Thursday, June 23, 2011

New Treasures from My Mother #2 - Doc and Rose Campbell

This new packet from my mother seems to contain photos of allied family rather than my direct ancestors. Fortunately, I have done quite a lot of research on most of these people, so I still feel like I know them and happily welcome their photos into my collection. It is so nice to finally see their faces.

William and Rosanna (Norcross) Campbell, c. 1900, Gallatin, IL

When I saw the writing on the back of this photo - "Doc Campbell and his wife," I immediately knew who it was thanks to Aunt Cleo's letters. After reading that he was the doctor who cared for the Proctor boys and was related to my great great grandparents Ephraim and Mary (Hewitt) Proctor, I had previously done some extensive research to untangle this part of the family tree. It turned out that Dr. William Campbell (pictured above) was the half-brother of my great great grandmother Mary Hewitt Proctor. I found that Sarah "Sally" Gillett (my 3rd ggrandmother) had first married William F. Hewitt and then after his early death, she married the well-established William Charles Campbell. With her first husband she had two children - William Martin and Mary Hewitt and with her second husband she had (at least) two more children - William and Laura Campbell. Thankfully, Sally's second husband seemed to have had a positive effect on his stepchildren's lives.

According to Genealogy Trails, Dr. William Campbell (1842-1912) married Rosanna Norcross on April 9, 1867 in Gallatin County, Illinois. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find much on her. According to the 1900 Federal Census, she was born in July 1848 in Indiana and her parents were born in Massachusetts and England. I may have found her in the 1850 Federal Census living in Vanderburgh, Indiana with her family, but I am not sure it is her because the name seems to read "Rocena Norcross". The places of birth for these parents do match the 1900 Federal Census (and the 1880 Federal Census). If it is indeed her, then her parents are Allen and Jane (Sangford) Norcross. Apparently, the family was broken up by 1860 since I found most of the children living in other family's households in the 1860 Federal Census. I could not find Rosanna/Rose/Rocena though. I would like to have more information on her, but have hit a dead-end for now.

William and Rosanna Campbell had children Nellie, Jennie, William and Mary. I haven't yet followed their family lines down into the present, but it sure would be fun if one of their descendants was to come across this photo and contact me...Anyone?

Now that I have seen his face, I am inspired to say "thank you" to the good Doc for taking such good care of the Proctors. I know that his sister must have really appreciated what William and his father did for her and her family since she named her first son Charles Campbell and her second son William Ephraim. After all, taking care of each other is what family (biological or adopted) is all about.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Treasures from My Mother #1 - Zora and Ned Staples

Zori & Ned Staples c.1897, St Paul,MN
My mother brought me a baggie of really old photos and memorabilia today from my grandmother's boxes. I thought I had already discovered all of the family treasures that were in my immediate family's possession, but I was wrong. The one that jumped out immediately is this photo of Zora Edith "Zori" Hewitt Staples and her son. As I blogged in the past, I have always wanted to find a photo of Zori. (Aunt Cleo wrote about her here.)

I am in touch with her great granddaughter thanks to Tragically, they lost all of their family photos when their home burned down in the Sycamore Fire of 1977. I immediately emailed her to share this great news. She was ecstatic and happened to be planning on visiting her mother (Zori's granddaughter) on Thursday, so this will be a fantastic surprise!

The boy in the portrait is Zori's son Edwin Herrick "Ned" Staples who was born in 1895. I tried to narrow down the exact year of the photo by researching the photographer. Thanks to the Minnesota Historical Website's list of photographers, I was able to find quite a bit about this photographer. Alfred U. Palmquist, also known as A.U. Palmquist, was born in Finland on 21 June 1850 and died 23 March 1922.  He was well known for his images of Sitting Bull which can be found all over the Internet, including at the Library of Congress, Amazon and various auction sites. He worked in Minnesota from the 1870's to the 1900's and had a number of locations over the years. This photo has the address of 88 West Fourth Street, which, according to the listing from the Minnesota Historical Society below, was his location from 1891-1899. Since he was at this same location for quite awhile, I will have to hazard a guess that the photo is c.1897 when Ned would have been about two years old.
     Studio: Palmquist & Lake
     Address: 32 West Seventh Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1873
     Address: 25 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1874
     Studio: Alfred Palmquist & Company
     Address: 28 East Seventh, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1876-1881
     Studio: Palmquist & Jurgens
     Address: Seventh and Robert, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1883-1885, 1888
     Address: 225 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1890
     Address: 88 West Fourth Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1891-1899
     Address: 10 West Sixth, Saint Paul, Minnesota
       Dates of operation: 1900s

It is wonderful to have finally discovered a photo of the young Zori and to be able to share it with her descendants. I hoped to one day see one, but I never would have expected it to come from my own collection!
[Update - Apparently, this is the only known photo in existence of Ned.]

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Father's Day Present for Someone Else's Dad

A couple of months ago, my son's kindergarten teacher asked me if I could do some work on his family tree. (Famous last words, "Sure!") Then he said that he would like to give my work to his dad on Father's Day. Since I don't do genealogy reports for clients, I didn't have any format with which to present my research to him. Luckily, at SCGS Jamboree last weekend, I came across this beautiful family tree chart. It is 22" x 28" and came with instructions to print and affix the ancestors' names on labels on the tree. It was a lot of work cutting the sticky printer paper just right and getting the labels straight on the tree, but when it was done I was pretty pleased with the final result.

James Family Tree

I concentrated on his paternal ancestors since his mother is from Brazil and I wouldn't even know where to begin with her genealogy. Luckily, his father is very "American" and most of his ancestors trace back to Colonial New England, so there were plenty of records from which to build his family tree. I was also very fortunate that he had some notable ancestors like John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. I purchased the story of his ninth great grandparents, "The Courtship of Miles Standish" by Longfellow and glued his descendancy from John and Priscilla on the inside of the cover. 

Luckily, the Mayflower Society booth at SCGS Jamboree had a very nice printed copy of "The Mayflower Compact". Since, at least, four of my son's teacher's direct ancestors signed the compact and he is descended from, at least, eight Mayflower passengers, it was also a fitting gift. 

Some of his ancestral surnames are James, Gries, Downey, Harris, Bell, Coop, Myers, VanCleave and Swearingen. I found some interesting tidbits like that he shares the famous Vanderbilt family's immigrant ancestor, Jan Aertsen van der Bilt, and his VanCleave ancestors were with my Proctor ancestors fighting in the Kentucky wilderness with Daniel Boone.

Although I had a lot of fun working on this tree, especially when I discovered that he and I are ninth cousins twice removed through our shared Mayflower ancestors, John Howland and Elizabeth Tilly, I do have to admit, I sure was relieved when this project was finished!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Geneabloggers and DNA at Jamboree

I am just about to get on the road to the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree in Burbank. I am looking forward to meeting the many other Geneabloggers who will be there and hearing the DNA talks by Bennett Greenspan of FTDNA and Joanna Mountain of 23andMe. I have been asked to be on the discussion panel for the ISOGG meeting on Saturday at 5:00 pm along with Bennett, Katherine Borges, Alice Fairhurst and UCLA Professor John Richardson to talk a little about DNA testing and my blog "Your Genetic Genealogist". I will be at the ISOGG/SCGS Special Interest DNA booth much of the time when I am not attending lectures, so if you are at Jamboree too, be sure to come and see me!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

This Is The Face Of Genealogy

Four Generations - My grandfather Fred Moore, my great great grandmother Jennie Cole, my great grandmother Blanche Purdy Moore, my dad's sister Yvonne Moore
The Sixth Generation
Thanks to Thomas at Geneabloggers for the idea to respond to LA Weekly in such a positive way.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sepia Saturday: Comparing Photos to Make A Positive ID

I am so fortunate that a previously unknown cousin found me a couple of years ago through She has been a wealth of information about my Finnish family and has shared some fantastic photos and letters. Today she sent me some photos that she found in an old album. Most of them were identified, but this one was not. Immediately, I felt that the woman in the photo was a blood relative. Her eyes reminded me of my Finnish grandmother.

Courtesy Alan and Sara Grostick

It was on the same page as an identified photo of Lea Ahola, the daughter of Jaakko and Ida Ahola, so my cousin guessed that this might be a photo of them. At first glance, I didn't think so. Then I pulled out the known photos of Ida and had to agree. Below is a photo of Ida and an unidentified friend in Vancouver, British Columbia. (My Finnish cousins think that Ida looks like me in this photo.)

Courtesy Antti Honkaharju

In the two photos, the hair is a little different, but the facial features look strikingly similar. I am quite confident that they are the same person. Do you agree?

Ida Sophia Honkaharju, my first cousin twice removed, was born 2 August 1904 in Lapua, Finland. She emigrated to Canada sometime in the late 1920s and married Jaakko Ahola in Vancouver, British Columbia on 26 March 1931. Jaakko and Ida had three children - Esa, Lea and Eljas. Sometime in the thirties, Ida and Jaakko decided to move back to Finland and they settled in Haapajarvi. Ida died on 20 June 1996.

I would very much like to find her descendants. I believe that some of them may still be in Canada. On, I find an Esa Ahola living in British Columbia as recently as 2002. Maybe he will Google himself one day and find this post. I sure hope so!

Find more posts like this one on the Sepia Saturday blog.