29 April 2011

Sponagle... Sponagel.... Spannagel?

However you spell it, we've got them!

The weird thing is I had this information sitting on my digital desktop for a couple of weeks. What I have is a listing of anyone named Sponagle that was recorded in one of 33 sources contributing to the Lunenburg Vital Records.* 

All I knew, as of 9:00 this morning, is that Mary Ann Sponagle was born on 16 July 1795 in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, had married William Park Drew on 19 January 1820, and that she died with a will in 1880. I found their marriage record - really more of a contract - through Ancestry.com and the Nova Scotia Historical Vital Statistics Online Service. The thing that was puzzling me is William Park Drew and Philip Sponagle signed the contract, rather than William and Mary Ann Sponagle.

Just seemed odd to me.

I assumed that Philip would be her father or possibly brother, if her father had died.  I put Philip in the space Mary Ann's father would go. Unfortunately the dates didn't match up, so I deleted him from the record, and decided to put him in as her brother because the dates indicated he could be that. For some reason, you can't add siblings unless you have a parent listed. I wonder why that is?

A quick search of Ancestry.com turned up no records that matched his dates. Phooey! So I tried out my favorite new trick when I come to a dead end...

It's located in the lower right hand corner of a profile page > Recent Member Connect Activity - it might say you have not connected with other Ancestry members researching XXX yet. Learn more.

DO IT! - click on the Learn more button.

A new page appears with a list of people who are also searching for the same or similar information. It shows what they are looking for and while they may not have the information yet, they might have found other information you could use...like parents, siblings, children etc. Except there wasn't any Sponagle information that I didn't already know.

The eureka! moment today was when I clicked on a link located in the box below the recent member box called search the web ..., and voila, Neil Sponagle has a website. That looked very promising. And it was!

We've got lots of Sponagles now! And it is only 10:35am. And, yes, I did go back to my listing of Lunenburg Vital Records to verify the information.

It's a good Sponagle day!

* Lunenburg Vital Records can be accessed through: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canns/lunenburg/index.html


27 April 2011

We have a new addition to our family!

No, not that kind.

The previously living kind - the new-to-us and previously unknown kind.

Minnie Mailman Mack has an older sister Martha Mailman by their father William and Isabella (Martha's mother, but possibly not Minnie's mother). I have to go back to 1849 Mill Village or Charleston, NS records to figure this one out.

Martha's marriage record lists William and Caroline as her parents; but her death certificate lists her mother as Isabella _______ of Mill Village, NS. This would explain why William and Caroline's older children were about Caroline's own age.

Martha married William Gibbons of Mill Village in 1868 (1) and in 1871 they are living in Port Medway, NS. William is 28 and working as a Carriage Maker, Martha is 21, and they have one child Isobel who is 2 yrs old. William's heritage is Irish and Martha's is German, though both were born in NS. (2)

In 1891, William and Martha are living in Liverpool, NS with their family of six children: Isabella, John, William, Gertrude, Frank and P. Annie. (3) In the next year they will move to Boston, Massachusetts in the US.(4)

William Gibbons disappears from records sometime in 1896-97. I haven't found a death record for him in either MA or NS. Martha died on September 25, 1913. She is buried in Everett, MA at Woodlawn Cemetery (5) . Their daughter Gertrude is also buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. (6)

This might be a clue as to why Minnie and Burton moved to Massachusetts.

Genealogy research is peculiar. One often finds the individual pieces of information totally by chance. You have to examine it and see where it fits. Sometimes it doesn't fit just right and it has to hang out in space and time until the piece that connects it to the big picture of the family comes along.

Martha was like that. Fortunately it only took a couple of days to place her into the Mack family. I hope she is resting comfortably now.

(1) Nova Scotia Historical Vital Records
(2) 1871 Canadian Census for Queens Co, Nova Scotia
(3) 1891 Canadian Census for Queens Co, Nova Scotia
(4) Boston Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1943, 16 April 1892 and 21 August 1892.
(5) Commonwealth of Massachusetts death certificate, Martha Mailman Gibbons
(6) Commonwealth of Massachusetts death certificate, Gertrude Martha Gibbons

26 April 2011

Almost as good as having a genie in a lamp!

Within minutes of publishing my last post about saving images, I get not one, but two lovely responses from some new friends, and yes, I now have the answer to my cell phone dilemma. Yay friends!

More treasures from the aforesaid roadtrip to New Haven, Connecticut...

210 Prospect Street in New Haven. Designed and built by Rufus Gustavus Russell - my second great grandfather. Once lived in as a residence, now used by Yale University.

The Russell grave marker. I sure hope Susie is getting it all down in her notes.

Thanks, friends!

Don't you hate it when this happens...


I thought I was getting good at saving images. This is supposed to be an 1871 census record from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Maybe the information is in there somewhere.

All I can say is when certain websites say just "right click on image" and "save as"... they may be misleading us just a little bit. I have since learned to check the .jpeg I thought I was getting to make sure I didn't end up with a similar version of the document above...BEFORE I click the button to go back to my previous page...as the back arrow works kind of whimsically on some websites.

If a company wants to protect its images then just say so. Don't go saving the document I just spent an hour searching for in as .x file.

Yes, I do know some handy "get around" methods, but in this case I was lured into the "save as" trap.

Live and learn.

Now, anybody know how I can download photos of gravestones from my cell phone?
I'd appreciate it...

16 April 2011

Remember this couple?

Well, we still don't know who they are, but we now know a little more about them. By some very cool alignment in the universe, I met up with Maureen Taylor - The Photo Detective herself - at the NERGC (New England Regional Genealogical Conference) held April 6-10 in Springfield, MA and asked her to look at the photo to see if she could tell us a little more about it.

This couple are in their middle ages - 40 to 60 years old. The woman is wearing a day cap and the gentleman is sporting an unusual tie... it is patterned, which is not a common thing in the mid 1800's - the possible date of the photograph.

This photograph is actually a copy of a daguerreotype. It says so in the lower right hand corner - not that it was a daguerreotype, but that it is a copy, probably made by the person who signed the photo at the bottom. There are telltale spots in the background that indicate that the photograph is a daguerreotype.

It would be interesting to see if investigating the signature of the photographer would lead to any further answers. I'll let you know what I find.

Someone should start a website of unidentified photographs that people could upload their photos to... then other folks could look at them and hopefully ID the people in the photos. Sort of a WikiPhoto.

Any takers?

15 April 2011

Roadtrip souvenier...

(page 305)

To all People to whom thefe Prefents fhall Come, Greeting.
Know ye, That I Nathan Beebe of East Haddam in the County of Hartford and Colony of Connecticut in New England For divers good Caufes and Confiderations moving,

HATH Remifed, Releafed and for ever Quit-claimed, and by thefe Prefents, for
 him and his
Heirs, DOTH Fully, Clearly and Abfolutely, Remife, Rleafe and for ever Quit-claim unto 
Samuel mack of East Haddam in the County and Colony above Said in his full and peaceable Poffeffion and Seifin, and to his Heirs and Affigns for ever, all fuch Right, Eftate, Title, 
Interft and Demand whatfoever, as he the faid  Nathan Beebe:

had or ought to have, in or to all the Land that his stand Hond Father Cabb Beebe Late of East Haddam Deceased Died Pofsesd of in the Townfhip of East Haddam afore Said_
To Have and to Hold the above Released Premifses: unto the faid  Samuel mack his Heirs and Affigns, to the only Ufe and Behoof of the faid Samuel mack his Heirs and Affigns for ever; 
So that neither he the faid Nathan Beebe:
nor his Heirs, nor any other Perfon or Perfons, for Whom or in, their Names, nor in the Name, Right or Stead of any of them fhall or will by any Way or Means hereafter, Have, Claim, Challenge or Demand, any Eftate, Right, Title or Interft, of, in, or to the Premiffes, or any Part or Parcel thereof, but from all and every Action, Right, Eftate, Title Interft and Demand, of, in, or to the Premiffes, or any part or parcel thereof, they and every of them fhall be utterly Excluded and Barred for ever by thefe Prefents. And Farthermore, he the faid Nathan Beebe and his Heirs, the faid Released Estate and other the Premiffes, with the Appurtenances to the faid Samuel mack his Heirs and Affigns, to his and their own proper Use and Ufes, in Manner and Form before Specified, againft their Heirs and Affigns : And every of them fhall Warrant and for ever Defend by thefe Prefents. In Witnefs Whereof, I have hereunto fet my Hand and Seal this Eighth – Day of December In the third Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord George the Third of Great Britain, &c. KING.  Annoque Domini, 1762:

Signed, Sealed and Delivered                                                       
                in the Prefence of                             Nathan  Beebe [scribble]

James (one)               Hartford Countyifs East Haddam December ye 8th, 1762,
Daniel (one)              those Perfonally appeared mV. Nathan Beebe the Grantor
                                     and acknowledged this Instrument to be his free act and Deed Before me

Recorded Dec.V ye 8th 1762               Daniel Cone Justice of Peace

Found at the East Haddam, Connecticut Town Hall in Land Records Book. How cool is that?