Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Importance of Finding Our Ancestors Tombstones

A very important part of any genealogy search is looking for the headstones of our ancestors.

John Guy Bradley's Headstone
(4th Great Grandfather)


Well...because these markers provide clues. Some grave markers are simple and yet others are more elaborate and may contain a great deal of information. The most obvious information is the birth and death dates. This can lead you to birth or death certificates, church records, military records, obituaries, etc.

Some markers even have inscriptions that give military rank or membership in some organization. Some may even have medallions instead of words. 

John Matthias Flach served in the Revolutionary War
(6th Gr Grandfather)

Now the more elaborate markers can offer lots of clues, like if the son was the eldest. The age may be listed, which can indicate date of birth. Maybe they'll list "Wife, Mother and Grandmother". If you were unaware of any children this would lead you on a new search. Or, like my 4th Gr Grandfather John Guy Bradley's grave marker below, lists his spouse.

Besides the information the grave markers can offer, I find them very interesting. They help tell a story. It's a piece of the person left behind that reminds those who remain that they existed. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Family Recipe Book - Salad Eleanor by Joseph A. Beyl

My Gr Grandfather Joseph A. Beyl was a chef. He came to America from Germany in 1912. His father, Anton, was a baker in, what I've been told was a storybook village, Obernai, not far from Strasbourg.

Joseph worked in the bakery with his father until he was 15 when he left for America. Shortly after he arrived in the U.S. he got a job in Manhattan's Hotel Astor as a baker's assistant. After a year there he took a train to Philadelphia, where the chef at the Bellevue Stratford signed him on as a kitchen helper. After that he went to Minneapolis where he also worked in a hotel kitchen...then finally on to San Francisco when he was 19 years old. He went to work for the St. Francis Hotel as a chef commis and his mentor Victor Hirtzler. By 1928 Joseph was worked as a chef at the Hotel Californian is Fresno, CA. In 1930 he became the chef at the prestigious Alexander Hamilton Hotel in San Francisco, CA.

A few years ago my mother gave me a small stack of photos and in those photos was a thin, brittle recipe card. The recipe "Salad Eleanor" by Joseph A. Beyl, Sea Wolf Restaurant. It was the first time I'd seen a photo of my Gr Grandfather. I've seen seen a few more...but the photo of Joseph in his chef's hat is my favorite.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Midnight Treasures....Joseph A Beyl and Amelia Fries Beyl Graves Found

Any genealogist will tell you when you are searching for information about Family A it's inevitable you'll find a nugget of information about Family B that will take you down a different path then you'd planned. There are days I will bookmark this information and continue my Family A search...but not often...since the nugget about Family B is so unexpected it becomes my new obsession. 

And even though my search for information on Family A has been put on hold once again...I'm so thrilled with what I've found it'll be hours before I get up from my computer.

I was doing a search on my grandfather, Ernest Beyl, this evening and instead a hit came up for Joseph Anton "Anthony" Beyl on Find a Grave Memorial's site. I quickly clicked over to find his obituary and a few details I was unaware of. Like his sisters name "Anna Fromm from Strasbourg"...Now I knew her name was Anna and she's in my Ancestry.com tree as Anna Beyl, so I'm assuming if they've named her Anna Fromm in the obituary it's her married name. I hope to one day get in touch with any of my Beyl cousins. I hope you're out there...

Anyway, I love reading the obituaries of my ancestors. But especially this one for Joseph and his wife Amelia since they list their great grandchildren (which is me)...always brings a tear to my eye. I met them when I was a very young child but my parents moved us away from CA so sadly I didn't get to know them as I got older. I remember after Amelia died I was given a hand purse that was hers. I loved this thing and took it with me to the airport one evening and someone stole the purse while I was there. It was devastating. All these years later I don't remember who we were there to pickup...or even what items I lost in that purse...none of that even matters to me. But the loss of that heirloom still breaks my heart.

One other interesting tidbit was from Amelia Fries Beyl's memorial page...she is listed as "Mollie" Amelia Fries. Now there is no headstone image, so I'm dying to know if this was her true full name. I've never heard or seen this in my research before.

Plus, her parents and her siblings were all listed and their headstone images were included. They have all been buried in the Mountain View Cemetery...which I find interesting. I wonder if they're all close by each other. That really makes me happy.

Surname Saturday - McCaskey / McKaskey

Surname Saturday is where I'll highlight a surname I'm pursuing, where and when.

Mary L McCaskey / McKaskey, my Gr Gr Grandmother, born February 15, 1873 in Pennsylvania

Mary L. McKaskey/McCaskey

My family has always known Mary's surname to be spelled McCaskey. That's how most census reports list it as well. However, the marriage certificate between Mary and William list the spelling as McKaskey.

Until recently I couldn't find anything about Mary McCaskey/McKaskey's family. My grandfather told me she had a sister named Rose, but no one knows who her parents were. I was fortunate to find the marriage license which lists Mary's mother as Margaret McKaskey.

I was so thrilled to find this document and to finally have her mother's name. I am looking for more proof, but I think her mother's name was Margaret Logan (1823, Scotland) and her father was John McKaskey (1820, Scotland).

I've found a 1880 Census from West Salem, Penn listing John McCaskey and Margaret McCaskey. Children Lizzie, Ella, Rosann, Mary, Maggie, Treasy. I believe Mary is my Gr Gr Grandmother and Rosann is Rose the sister my grandfather told me about.

Rose (Rosann) McCaskey

Marriage Between William L. Kimple and Mary L. McKaskey

Mary McKaskey/McCaskey & William Kimple

Marriage License Docket of the Orphans' Court of Crawford County
Mr. William L Kimple to Ms. Mary L. McKaskey 
Marriage License No: 2905
On this 24th day of December A.D. 1891, appeared Mr. William L Kimple and applied for a license for the marriage of Mr. Himself, white, a resident of the () of Hayfield, County of Crawford, State of Penn who was 23 years of age on the 10th day of July lat past, to Miss Mary L. McKaskey, white, a resident of the (JL) of ( ), County of Crawford, State of Penn who was 18 years of age on the 15th day of February last past.

And the said Mary L. McKaskey  being a minor, the consent of Margaret McKaskey, mother of the said minor to the contemplated marraige was first given before said Clerk personally (by proper legal certificate filed and duly signed, attestetd and acknoweldge). 

Occupation of man Farmer
Occupation of woman, none
Relationship of parties, if any, before marriage, none
Former state of man, marriage or single, single
Former state of woman, marriage or single, single
If married, date of death or divorce of man's wife.
If married, date of death or divorce of woman's husband, -.

Same day, the Clerks of the Orphans' Court .... by law to solemize marriage to join said William L Kimple and Mary L. McKaskey together in the holy state of matrimony.

Now this 31 day of Dec, A.D. 1891, there was received and filed here certificate as follows...

Marriage License for William and Mary Kimple 1891 (top left entry)

William and Mary had two children: Arthur Henry Kimple (1892) and my Gr Grandmother, Esther Agnes Kimple, who everyone called Bobbi, (1905 -1987).

back: Arthur Kimple and William Kimple
front: Esther Kimple and Mary McCaskey Kimple

Mary McCaskey with son Arthur Kimple

In a 1945 Florida State Population Census Mary is listed as living with her son Arthur. I don't know why she left Penn or when she died. Is she buried in Florida? I'd also love to find out when my Gr Gr Grandfather William Kimple died.
1945 Floriday Population Census

I've hit a dead end with both the McKaskey and Logan family lines since they both came from Scotland. If anyone out there knows more about either family or cant ell me more about Mary's parents, siblings or grandparents, I would LOVE to hear from you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sticky Situation

Sticky Situation
by: Robert Minnigh (1924-2010) 
Cooperstown, PA

The year was 1946 World War II had just ended and I had returned to civilian life. I had $500 cash so I started to search for a used car. One of the first cars to catch my eye was a 1939 Packard four-door sedan. It was sound, no dents, good tires, and a good motor, but it had a terrible paint job. I decided I'd take the car and one way or the other take care of the paint. I went to a paint store, bought several quarts of paint (a dark green as I recall) and several paintbrushes, and with a friend set out for my father's hunting cabin in the woods. We arrived at camp in early afternoon and started sanding, masking, and painting. We finished in several hours; surprisingly, the results didn't look too bad.

The following morning I was shocked to find the car covered with pine needles that were now fixed in place by the drying paint. After an hour or two of plucking pine needles, we were satisfied that we had done our best and we headed for home.

On our way I stopped for gas. The attendant came out, lifted the hood, and leaned in to retrieve the dipstick to check the oil. When he straightened up, his left hand remained stuck to the still-tacky paint. I don't remember what was said at that point, but I remember his first words were "What the . . . !" Incidentally, that left-hand print remained on the fender and was still very evident the day I sold the car two years later after many miles of faithful service. Just before the new owner drove the car away, he said, "By the way, who painted this car?" to which I replied, "I don't know" and left it at that.