entries friends calendar user info King Rat Previous Previous
King Rat
Private Life
Add to Memories
Share

In my last post, I wrote about the estimates that Ancestry.com made regarding my ethnicity based on my DNA results. That wasn’t why I took the test though. I wanted to see which family lines I matched. By that, I mean I wanted to find other people who have enough matching genetic markers to indicate that we are related.

Ancestry classified the matches into three categories for me.

  • 3rd cousins, with 98% confidence
    While there may be some statistical variation in our prediction, it’s likely to be a third cousin type of relationship—which are separated by seven degrees or seven people. However, the relationship could range from six to ten degrees of separation.
  • 4th cousins, with 95% confidence
    For relationships this distant from you, there is greater statistical variation in our prediction. It’s most likely to be a fourth cousin type of relationship (which are separated by ten degrees or ten people), but the relationship could range from six to twelve degrees of separation.
  • distant cousins, with 50% confidence
    As far as DNA goes, you do have a fair amount of shared DNA with this match, however the relationship is distant if it exists at all.

Ancestry found one third cousin match, eight fourth cousin matches, and 101 pages of distant cousin matches. I’ve looked through the online family trees for many of them to see if matching ancestors can be found.

The family tree for the predicted third cousin only goes back to their great grand-parents. To match at 3rd cousins, they’d need to go back to their 2nd great grandparents. However, I’ve done descendancy research on all my 2nd great grandparents, and none of the people in that research match people in her tree. There’s enough holes in my descendancy research from 3rd great grandparents that it’s possible she could fit in there, particularly in the Solle/Hein line, where I haven’t found my 3rd great grandparents yet. I think it’s also important to note that Ancestry gives the confidence at 98%, which means there’s a 2% chance their prediction is wrong.

Of the fourth cousin category, I was able to find common ancestors for four of the eight predicted matches. Three are third cousins, once removed. One is a sixth cousin, once removed.

Of the distant cousin matches, I was able to find three other people with common ancestors. One is a fourth cousin, once removed. One is a 5th cousin. And one is a third cousin, once removed. Third cousins, once removed, are popular in my results.

The Big Tree fan chart with DNA matches marked
The Big Tree fan chart with DNA matches marked

The chart above (click to make large) shows the family lines where matching people were found. Three of the third cousins once removed matched Parker/Murphy, Ryan/Sheedy, and Voigt/Thuernich, which are all lines from my paternal grandfather and where I’ve focused a lot of my research energy. One third cousin once removed matched Samms/Cornell, and the remainder matched either at James Washington Annis or his grandfather Ezra Annis. All of these are my maternal grandfather’s family and I’ve barely scratched the research surface in that branch.

The short conclusion I take from that is my research on my paternal grandfather’s family has some genetic support for being correct. There’s still some room for error, but it’s pretty good evidence.

I should also mention there’s one predicted match where I don’t have a common ancestor at this point, but that person’s family tree comes heavily from the area of Piteå, Sweden. That’s where my maternal grandmother’s family is from, so I suspect a match will be found there as well.

And for the benefit of people searching for names on Google, here are the ancestors with matches.

  • Patrick Parker and Mary Murphy
  • John Ryan and Deborah Sheedy
  • Johann Voigt and Mary Agnes Thuernich
  • Edgar Marion Samms and Ella Orinda Cornell
  • James Washington Annis and Elizabeth Davis (2 matches)
  • Ezra Annis

Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.

Tags:

Add to Memories
Share

With the new job, I decided to splurge on a genetic test from Ancestry.com, hoping to see if it matched me up with anyone. As a bonus, they guess what your ethnic ancestry is from the results.

I don’t actually trust those ethic results much, but they still didn’t surprise me to any great degree:

Region Approximate amount
North Africa< 1%
Scandinavia39%
Europe West24%
Ireland21%
Europe East4%
Great Britain3%
Iberian Peninsula2%
European Jewish2%
Finland/Northwest Russia2%
Italy/Greece< 1%
Caucasus< 1%

In map form:

Ancestry Ethnicity Estimate Map

I’m not surprised at all that it predicts my ethnicity is from Scandinavia, Western Europe and Ireland. That’s pretty much what my genealogy says. However, it has a higher percentage of Irish and lower percentage of Western European than my genealogy indicates.

Now, either my genealogy work is wrong, their estimates are imprecise, or the genetic mix of a large portion of my Irish and Western European ancestors is too diverse to accurately classify. Barring an instance of the milkman being my ancestor instead of a documented parent or an unknown adoption, I’m reasonably certain of my tree out to my third great grandparents’ generation. There’s always a possibility of someone schtupping someone they weren’t married to though. I suspect the discrepancy is a combination of items 2 and 3. The 25% of my ancestry that is Swedish can be traced back hundreds of years, and it’s all Swedish. But the Irish, German, and Danish? Well, that could easily be pretty mixed ethnically.

But this analysis isn’t why I took the test. I’ll write about genetically matching people in my family tree in another post. That was far more useful.

Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.

Tags: ,

Add to Memories
Share
It’s been years since I got to participate in a 401(k) retirement plan. Last time was when I worked at Expedia. I put the amount in that would maximize the employer contribution and didn’t pay much more attention. The first thing I looked at this time was which investment options were index funds. There’s one index fund option for large-cap funds and one for small-cap funds. Out of 24 options, only two are index funds. That’s deplorable. To illustrate why, I dug around to find the expense ratios for the fund options. It wasn’t as easy to find as I would like, but when I did Fidelity showed it quite nicely.
Name Category Gross Expense Ratio Shareholder Fees
COMPANY STOCK Company Stock Commission on stock trades: $0.029 per share
MAINSTAY LGCP GR R1 (MLRRX) Large Cap 0.87% No additional fees apply.
MFS VALUE R4 (MEIJX) Large Cap 0.68% No additional fees apply.
SPTN 500 INDEX INST (FXSIX) Large Cap 0.05% No additional fees apply.
ARTISAN MID CAP INST (APHMX) Mid-Cap 1.03% No additional fees apply.
ARTISAN SM CAP VALUE (ARTVX) Small Cap 1.24% No additional fees apply.
VANG SM GR IDX INST (VSGIX) Small Cap 0.08% No additional fees apply.
FID DIVERSIFD INTL K (FDIKX) International 0.81% Short term trading fees of 1% for shares held less than 30 days.
DODGE & COX BALANCED (DODBX) Blended Fund 0.53% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K 2005 (FFKVX) Blended Fund 0.50% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K 2010 (FFKCX) Blended Fund 0.54% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K 2015 (FKVFX) Blended Fund 0.57% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K 2020 (FFKDX) Blended Fund 0.59% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K 2025 (FKTWX) Blended Fund 0.62% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K 2030 (FFKEX) Blended Fund 0.67% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K 2035 (FKTHX) Blended Fund 0.68% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K 2040 (FFKFX) Blended Fund 0.68% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K 2045 (FFKGX) Blended Fund 0.69% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K 2050 (FFKHX) Blended Fund 0.69% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K 2055 (FDENX) Blended Fund 0.69% No additional fees apply.
FID FREEDOM K INCOME (FFKAX) Blended Fund 0.45% No additional fees apply.
MIP II CL 1 Bond Investments 0.56% No additional fees apply.
PIM TOTAL RT INST (PTTRX) Bond Investments 0.46% No additional fees apply.

I’ve highlighted the index fund for large-cap and the option with the next lowest expense ratio, and the same for the small-cap index fund. Those percentages indicate the amount the fund managers skim off the top every year. As a retirement saver, you never even see it because they don’t list this percentage in how much you make. They could do this (examples use a 1% expense ratio for arithmetic convenience):

Investment  $10,000
Increase$500
Fee-$105
Total$10,395

Instead, they do this:

Investment  $10,000
Increase$395
Total$10,395

Notice in my example, the fee is a percentage of the total, not of the increase. An average fund manager might make the investor $500. An extraordinary fund manager might make $700. The average fund manager charges $105. The extra-ordinary one charges $107. Now, you might think you are getting a steal of $200 for only $2 more, but the real travesty is that the average manager gets $100 for very little work. To see that, look at an index fund.

The small-cap index fund I highlighted uses CRSP US Small Cap Growth Index to benchmark. Compared against their own benchmark, they lose over the last three months but just barely: return of 1.58% vs. the benchmark return of 1.6%. They compare very closely because all an index fund does is buy exactly what’s in the index.

For comparison, the actively managed fund uses Russell 2000 Value as it’s benchmark index. Compared against that, the managers lost 0.28% vs. the index’s gain of 1.78%. These managers are trying to beat the index by picking better investments than the index, charging for their “expertise”, and losing.

Now, that’s a short period of time and perhaps at other times the actively managed fund does better. But over time, index funds have better returns than actively managed funds. There are exceptions, but those options aren’t pertinent to the broad market investments that are available in a 401(k).

So basically, those investment options I have? I’m giving away $60 (for the large cap fund) to $115 (on the small cap fund) every year for nothing (on a baseline portfolio of $10,000). If I’m saving money every year for retirement, that amount grows every year, and cuts into the compounded interest every year.

All of this stuff is pretty well written about all over, but regular people don’t pay attention for a variety of reasons. I’m not naming my employer here, but they really should be doing better by their employees.

Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.

Tags: ,

Add to Memories
Share

One of the questions I have about Patrick Parker and Mary Murphy is when they emigrated from Canada to the United States. Their family appears in the Canadian census in Blanshard township, Perth county, Canada West on 11 Jan 1852. The next recorded place I have for them is in Glen Haven township, Grant county, Wisconsin on 1 Jun 1860.

I can narrow the time of emigration by looking at his son James Parker. James requested his first papers in January 1859 in the Grant County District Court. James married Ellen Neagle in Jun 1857 in Middlesex county, Canada West, just across the county line from Blanshard township. James has two sons in the 1860 US Census, John Patrick and Napolean. John Patrick’s birth was likely in July 1858 in Wisconsin. If correct, James emigrated to the United States between Jun 1857 and Jul 1858. More likely than not, Patrick emigrated with his son.

One record series I thought might confirm that is the series at the Family History Library, Blanshard township property tax assessment rolls, 1851-1899, specifically the film covering 1851 to 1866. I ordered it back in December, but a new job and other life issues kept me from reviewing it until this past week. Luckily, I remembered to renew the rental before it expired in February.

This is what I found. In 1851, Patrick Parker appears paying taxes on lot 16 in concession 9. This is the same lot and concession where he was recorded in the 1848 Canadian Census.

Blanshard Tax Roll 1851 - Patrick Parker
Blanshard Tax Roll 1851 – Patrick Parker

The microfilm is missing the years 1852 through 1854, but luckily Patrick shows up in 1855, 1856, and 1857, all for the same lot and concession. (Images below don’t include the second page which shows the concession/lot.)

Blanshard Tax Roll 1855 - Patrick Parker
Blanshard Tax Roll 1855 – Patrick Parker
Blanshard Tax Roll 1856 - Patrick Parker
Blanshard Tax Roll 1856 – Patrick Parker
Blanshard Tax Roll 1857 - Patrick Parker
Blanshard Tax Roll 1857 – Patrick Parker

In 1858, Patrick Parker is not to be found on the tax roll. Instead, a James McDonald owns lot 16 on concession 9. And the roll for 1857 has the name J. McDonald to the right of Patrick Parker in a column headed, Owner. I believe this means the land had been sold to James McDonald prior to the time of the assessment, or possibly it was a notation put in after the fact when James McDonald did purchase it. This narrows the sale of the property to late 1856 or 1857. The tax rolls appear to be filed in the spring of each year.

Blanshard Tax Roll 1858 - James McDonald
Blanshard Tax Roll 1858 – James McDonald

The sale of his property matches the dates of emigration for his son James, making it even more likely he emigrated about the same time. The next place to look is to see if any records show him purchasing land in Grant county Wisconsin about that time.

Lastly, based on plat maps of Blanshard township, here’s the location of the farm today:

Location of Patrick Parker's farm in Blanshard on satellite
Location of Patrick Parker’s farm in Blanshard on satellite

Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.

Tags: , ,

Add to Memories
Share
FOGcon has been not as interesting or enjoyable as i had hoped. The panel with Seanan McGuire last night was interesting, but the rest have been people bloviating. For instance, a panel on Tim Powers magic systems turned into a panel arguing what is magic and what is technology. I left early.

So now i'm skipping stuff and reading.
Add to Memories
Share

I don't know what to say. You were a big part of my life for 3 years.

Current Mood: really sad

Add to Memories
Share
Add to Memories
Share

I successfully made cookies for the first time last week. Every other attempt failed miserably, to the point where I’d given up. Cookies are supposed to be easy, but apparently not for me. I’d been invited to an event where cookies were expected, so I gave it a go.

Cover of Cookies For Kids

I found this recipe in an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook called Cookies for Kids. It has photos of kids aged 5 to 10 years old making cookies in it. I figured this would be hard for me to screw up.

I doubled the recipe from the book though. I think it worked out better because there was more stuff for the mixer to work with and so it all got mixed better. Directions below are how I did it, not a copy from the book.

Equipment

Stuff I need to make sure I have cleaned and available.

  • large mixing bowl
  • medium mixing bowl
  • small saucepan
  • hand mixer
  • 2 cookie sheets
  • parchment paper
  • storage bins for finished cookies
  • bowl for drained cherries
  • cup to hold cherry juice

Ingredients

  • butter, 2 sticks, room temperature
  • sugar, 2 cups
  • eggs, 2
  • vanilla extract, 3 teaspoons
  • all purpose flour, 3 cups
  • unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 cup
  • baking soda, ½ teaspoon
  • baking powder, ½ teaspoon
  • salt, ½ teaspoon
  • maraschino cherries, 2 jars (this was overkill, but I used more than 1 jar worth)
  • semisweet chocolate chips, 12 ounce package
  • sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup

Instructions

  1. Add butter and sugar to a mixing bowl
  2. Beat with a hand mixer until fluffy and thoroughly mixed
  3. Add eggs and vanilla
  4. Beat well
  5. In another mixing bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
  6. Add part of flour mixture to butter mixture
  7. Beat until well mixed
  8. Repeat last two steps until all of the flour is combined with the butter
  9. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls, placing each on parchment paper on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart (made enough to fill about 2½ sheets)
  10. Press thumb into the middle of each cookie, squashing them down</lii>
  11. Drain cherries, reserving the juice in a cup
  12. Put a cherry in the indentation in each cookie
  13. Combine chocolate chips and condensed milk in a saucepan
  14. Melt over low heat, stirring occasionally
  15. Stir in enough cherry juice to make the chocolate spoonable
  16. Spoon a dollop of chocolate over each cookie, enough to cover the cherry
  17. Bake at 350° til edges of the cookies are firm (was about 13 minutes for me, book said 10)
  18. Transfer cookies to a cool surface to cool

Gallery of photos at most steps taken below. Forgot to take photos of the finished cookies, which were tasty, by the way.






Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.

Tags: ,

Add to Memories
Share

After a couple of years of little progress mostly due to focusing on other parts of my family tree, I’ve been making huge progress with the Parkers. You’ve probably noticed the multiple posts about them recently.

A few weeks ago, I noticed there was a Find-A-Grave memorial for a Leonard Parker at the church cemetery in Saint Mary, Ontario. Leonard Parker is reputed to be the brother of my ancestor, Patrick Parker. I wrote to the person who put up the memorial, asking if they were related. The answer was yes, and we exchanged some information about our respective family trees. One of the things she clued me in to was that the parish registers for some of the Roman Catholic churches have been scanned and are on FamilySearch. Not indexed, but available.

Which brings me to my great great grandmother, Mary Parker Ryan. She married William Dennis Ryan in 1864, had six children, and died of typhus in 1875, not quite eleven years into her marriage. She had a short and somewhat forgotten life. Every time I mentioned her to one of my relatives, I get blank looks. Apparently my great grandparents and grandparents generations talked so rarely about her that no one in the next generation had heard of her. That sort of reaction is part of why I’ve been drawn to genealogy, to remember the people who haven’t been.

The main source of information I had on Mary was her grave monument in a small cemetery on a hill about a mile east of Patch Grove, Wisconsin. I visited Saint Johns Cemetery in June 2011.

Grave marker for Mary Ryan (1841-1875)
Grave marker for Mary Ryan

It’s quite a nice monument for the time. William Ryan cared enough to spend some dough on it. Here’s a close up of the inscription.

inscription on Mary Ryan's monument
inscription on Mary Ryan’s monument

It reads:

Mary
Wife of Wm. D. Ryan.
Born Jan. 7, 1841. In
Ramsey, Township of Perth.
Canada West. Died
Feb. 20, 1875,
Aged 34 yrs. 1 mo. 13 ds.

The inscription has a number of problems with it. The Parkers lived for a time in Blanshard township in Perth County, Canada West. There is no Ramsey township in Perth County, and as far as I can tell, there never has been. The only Ramsey township I’ve been able to find is in Lanark County, Ontario. That sort of fits with another family legend, that Mary’s mother was one Mary Murphy who was part of the Peter Robinson settlement of Canada. One of those settlements was in Ramsey township. I have doubts as to whether Mary Murphy really was part of that endeavor, but there’s a geographical connection at least. Oh, and the nearest city to Ramsey township is Perth. My working hypothesis was that this particular Ramsey was the one indicated on her grave.

Additionally, her death certificate and other accounts put her date of death as 23 Feb 1875. Three days difference isn’t that big of a deal. Still…

A further problem is that there is a second marker for Mary in front of the monument:

Second marker for Mary Ryan
Second marker for Mary Ryan

You’ll notice this one gives a year of birth as 1840, rather than 1841. Rather confusing.

And, as it turns out, both are likely wrong. Going back to the thing above about the Ontario parish registers being online… I looked at the register for Perth’s Saint John the Baptist parish. There was no entry for Mary Parker in 1841. Her brothers Stephen and Patrick were there in 1835 and 1837, but no Mary. On the first perusal, I missed it. But on the second look through, I saw an entry for a Mary Parker in 1839:

Mary Parker baptismal register entry
Mary Parker baptismal register entry
On the 28th day of February 1839 the undersigned Priest of this Parish
has Baptized Mary seven weeks old of the lawful marriage of Patrick
Parker & Mary Murphy of Ramsey.
Sponsors Nicholas Dison and Emilia Dison

That’s an entry in a contemporaneous journal of parish actions. Unless it’s for a different Mary Parker, it’s pretty convincing evidence she was actually born in January 1839. January 7th fits, so I’m guessing that’s her actual birthday.

However, by the time the monument was erected, people were guessing at her actual age. Maybe she’d shaved off a couple of years. Maybe she forgot or didn’t know. Maybe the monument was erected years after her death. I’ve no idea the reason.

As an added bonus for this post, among the effects found in my great aunt’s house last year when she died was this photograph:

Mary Parker Ryan
Mary Parker

On the back is the inscription “Mary Park” and the paper is torn. Is it my ancestor or another Mary Parker or did whoever wrote the inscription just guess? I’ve no idea.

Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.

Tags: , , ,

Add to Memories
Share

There was another item in the map I found yesterday that is of interest to me. On one of the other sheets is a city map of Cassville, where my great great grandfather Anton Weiss operated a hardware store for close to 50 years.

Just as I was able to find Patrick Parker in Glen Haven, Anton Weiss store shows up in this map too:

Cassville in 1868 showing Anton Weiss
Map of Cassville in 1868 showing Anton Weiss

Here’s what the location looks like today:

Denniston and Amelia, Cassville in 2013
Denniston and Amelia, Cassville in 2013 (Google Street View)

I’ve made one visit to Cassville, but at the time I didn’t know the location of the family home.

Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.

Tags: ,

Add to Memories
Share

My genealogy white whale since shortly after I started has been finding Patrick Parker and his wife Mary Murphy. I’ve written about them here multiple times. I’d found pretty solid evidence on what happened to 8 of their 10 children, the only two where I was missing basic information were the sons James and John. Last month I found good evidence for James. Two weeks ago I found John, though I haven’t pursued it much yet.

But as much information as I’ve found on all their children, the evidence I have for the pair themselves is aggravatingly small. I’ve located them together in the 1851 Canada Census, the 1860 US Census, and the 1870 US Census. I have a possible grave site for Patrick in Iowa. And Mary Murphy can be found in the 1885 Iowa Census. That’s the sum total of direct evidence I have for them.

I have indirect evidence for them. I know they arrived in Canada between 1832 and 1835, based on the listed countries of birth for their children. The death records for several children list their names. The grave marker for my great great grandmother Mary Parker Ryan gives a place of birth for her, which places Mary Murphy in that place at least.

Today I was looking through the online maps collection for the Wisconsin Historical Society, and I saw they had added a map for Grant County from 1868, and the description included “shows townships and sections, landownership, …” The earliest landownership map for Grant County that I’ve viewed came from 1878 and the Parkers were not to be found on it. So, I took a peek at the 1868 map:

1868 map of Grant County, Wisconsin showing the Parker and Ryan farms highlighed
1868 map of Grant County, Wisconsin showing the Parker and Ryan farms highlighed

Lo and behold, there he is! The P. Parker farm is just southwest of North Andover (a town which is no longer a town). On the map, I also highlighted the location of the farm for Patrick Parker’s son in law, William Dennis Ryan. And with handy Google Maps, I can show you where the Parker farm is on today’s maps.

This is the first direct piece of evidence for their existence that I’ve found in nearly 2 years. You don’t know how thrilled I am about this.

Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.

Tags: , ,

Add to Memories
Share
A page from a compiled genealogy of the Parkers
A page from a compiled genealogy of the Parkers

I’ve previously written about Patrick Parker and his wife Mary Murphy. One of the family legends passed on to me by other researchers was that they had a son names James who went off to California, never to be heard from again.

There is a James Parker who appears in the 1852 Census of Canada in the vicinity of Patrick Parker’s family. He’s born about 1832 in Ireland. However, that census does not list relationships so there’s no telling if he’s a son or some other relation to Patrick. In the 1860 US Census, there’s a James Parker living with Patrick Parker’s family in Glen Haven, Wisconsin. The age listed would put his year of birth about 1832, also in Ireland. Listed below him are Ellen, John and Napolean Parker. The 1860 US Census also does not list relationships, so it’s not certain how they relate to Patrick either. But the placement is typical of an adult son who has married but is still living in the same household as his parents. It’s not certain by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s the most likely possibility.

James, Ellen, John and Napolean Parker in Glen Haven, 1860
James, Ellen, John and Napolean Parker in Glen Haven

I’ve researched all the other children of Patrick Parker and Mary Murphy who showed up in the United States, and have had some luck with tracking many of their descendants who lived mostly in Iowa. But this James disappeared after 1860.

And last night I found something intriguing. There appears to be a very similar entry for another James Parker in San Joaquin Township, Sacramento County in California, also in 1860.

James Parker in San Joaguin
James, E., John, and N.J. Parker in San Joaquin

Listed with this James Parker are an E., a John, and an N.J. Parker. They have similar ages, though slightly different. They are listed as from Canada and Wisconsin rather than Ireland and Wisconsin. But remarkably similar overall. At this point, I don’t have anything to corroborate this record.

It was at this point that I started writing this post, thinking that I had a something interesting to follow up on for later.

However, as I am wont to do, I added this to my Ancestry.com tree for James Parker. I treat my Ancestry.com tree as a database of possibilities. I’ve even posted a note on it warning other people they should copy my tree at their peril. When I posted this census entry to the family of James Parker, Ancestry went to work and started matching new records. Now that they live in California, it starts ranking California based records higher in its sort. Nothing popped up for James Parker, but four new census entries showed up for John Parker, born in 1858 in Wisconsin and living in California.

The first of these is a John Parker living in Santa Barbara in 1900 with wife Margaret and children John Warren, Mary Ellen, James Galen, and Ruth M. Now, this is also no guarantee that this is the same John Parker. In fact, the link was tenuous enough that I did not add the record to my entry for John Parker even with the database of possibilities caveat. It would just be too hard to unwind if it turned out to be wrong. So I created a new, disconnected family for a new John Parker and recorded it. If the research was a dead end, I could just delete them all, I wouldn’t have to disconnect them from the known Parker tree, and everything would be good.

Family of John Parker in 1900
Family of John Parker in 1900

I also added the 1910 US Census entry for the family (image not included with this post). This one had the same children, except that Mary Ellen is listed as Inez in 1910. Other people on Ancestry had added these two census records to families headed by a John Parker and Margaret Miscall.

The next step in this bread crumb trail of discovery is an entry in Ancestry.com’s California Death Index. The California Death Index is just a list of death certificates that were filed with the state between 1940 and 1997. It’s not a dispositive record without seeing copies of the underlying certificates, but I’ve generally had good luck with the index being correct. I haven’t seen the errors for the database that I’ve seen with other transcriptions.

The entry that I found was this:

Name:	Mary Elleninez Gerard
[Mary Elleninez Parker] 	
Social Security #:	563325739
Gender:	Female
Birth Date:	1 Nov 1890
Birth Place:	California
Death Date:	5 Jun 1981
Death Place:	Orange
Mother's Maiden Name:	Miscall
Father's Surname:	Parker

Mary Elleninez Gerard (neé Parker)? That looks really promising, I thought to myself. Date of birth matches up, and the parents’ surnames match up with what other people had found for John and Margaret. None of those researchers had linked the record to Mary Ellen Parker however. Nevertheless, I added a husband to her with a last name of Gerard so that Ancestry’s search engine would look for her as part of a Gerard family. Nothing popped up immediately.

And nothing else popped up for any of the other family members at the time either. I haven’t been doing real research in this process. This is just following my nose and poking around. It’s late at night and I should go to bed. However…

Last year my great grand aunt Frances died at the age of 103. In June of this year, I picked up five boxes of photos and other personal effects that had been in her possession from a cousin. I’ve been paying my friend Kim to scan all these items so they’d be available for everyone in the family. One of the items is an album containing photos from what appears to be trips my great grandparents Joe and Frances Weiss took. They visited relatives in Colorado, Illinois and California. And toward the back of the album was a photo of a nun with an inscription that appeared to be Sr. M. Germaine Parker. It’s hard to read.

I’ve thought Sister Parker might be a connection to one of the two missing branches of the Parker family. In addition to James Parker, there’s also another John Parker who went missing in records after 1880. He probably exists somewhere, but John Parker is such an incredibly common name and records from the 1800s are often sketchy. I haven’t found anything that matches up with him.

So I pulled out the album and looked for the photo. Sister Parker looks to be in her 30s or 40s, though it’s quite hard to tell with her habit covering everything except her face. I flipped backward through the pages of the album looking for other photos of her. And then I saw this photo:

Jeanne Margaret and Mary Ellen Gerard
Jeanne Margaret and Mary Ellen Gerard – ’21

Gerard! Mary Ellen Inez Parker Gerard! Could these be her children? Must search harder for her! And bingo! In 1920, there’s this census record:

Family of Henry Gerard - 1920 in Los Angeles
Henry Gerard – 1920 in Los Angeles

Henry and Inez Gerard, living on Gardner Street in Los Angeles with children Jeanne and Mary Ellen, aged 4 and 1¼ years old. Those are the two girls from the photo. And Inez matches up with the daughter of John Parker.

And the most likely reason my great grandparents would be visiting the Gerard family that matches up with this trail is because they are related.

This is just the beginning. I’ll have a lot of hard work to prove all of this. That record for James Parker may be incorrect. James may be a cousin of my great great grandmother Mary Parker and not her oldest brother. James himself may disappear from available records. But my great grandparents did not visit the Gerard family randomly.

This is why family genealogists should research the descendants of their ancestors. The descendants provided the link that may lead to valuable information about James Parker and ultimately my third great grandparents, Patrick and Mary Parker. had I not gone down the tree, James Parker may have remained among the disappeared.

Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.

Tags: , ,

Add to Memories
Share

A gave myself a couple of tasks to accomplish yesterday before the second session of my genealogy class. The first was to pick up the class packet from the copy center. The second was to pick up a Husky Card for access to the U.W. libraries. Both went swimmingly, so I got to my class early, hung out and read the text book.

The class was taught by James Rigali today. He’s the instructor for the history portions of the class. Topic was Organizing Historical Research Projects. After an overly long and fairly unimportant discussion of what is history? he delved into a basic method he wanted us to follow:

  • Pick a subject. At this point, I’m thinking of doing my project on either or both of my third great grandparents, Patrick Parker and Mary Murphy. (I’ve written about them on the blog before.)
  • Create an annotated chronology
  • Develop research questions, both historical and genealogical
  • Develop a bibliography. His overview included the following types of sources:
    • General books, including textbooks.
    • Scholarly articles (JSTOR)
    • Encyclopedias (he didn’t cover this one too much)
    • Historical books and magazines published at the time
    • Local histories
    • Historical maps
    • Historical photographs.
    • Newspapers of the time
    • History web sites
  • Sample Research Journal
    Sample Research Journal
    Keep a research journal. He didn’t really cover what to record on this, other than keeping what he called a two-sided journal. In other words, record what you are searching and reading on one side, and notes and thoughts on the other. He didn’t really seem like he’s embraced computer technology like I do.

Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.

Tags: ,

Add to Memories
Share

Tonight was the first session of my Genealogy and Family History class through the Continuing Education office at U.W. I don’t have a whole lot to report about the experience, as we did not cover any academic material today. The first half of the class the instructors reviewed the syllabus and their expectations. None of the work appears to be particularly difficult. Assignments include things like retrieving and printing a page from the census and requesting a vital record.

Wright County Iowa
Wright County Iowa

The second half of the class was dedicated to student introductions. Not so much tell us a little bit about yourself as tell us a little bit about your family. Throughout the introductions, whenever someone mentioned Iowa the genealogy instructor (the other instructor focuses on history) asked what part of Iowa. She mentioned she had a lot of interest in one county. About the 4th time she asked about Iowa, I realized that her name has been ringing a bell in the back of my head, and I realized why. She runs the GenWeb site for Wright County, Iowa. As I’ve documented here, my third great grandparents Patrick Parker and Mary Murphy Parker appeared to have ended up in Iowa. Four or five of their children were in Wright County Iowa, two others in Franklin County, the next county over.

I’m being taught by a person who has expertise in the genealogy and history of a specific county I’m interested in.

Originally published at King Rat. You can comment here or there.

Tags: ,

Add to Memories
Share
Cross-posting is obviously working again. Sadly, it's cross-posting old articles when I make small edits. Hopefully I'll be able to stay on top of that.
Add to Memories
Share

I think I’ve found the correct passenger manifest which shows my great great grandfather Anton Weiss arriving in America.

Anton applied for a passport in 1886 stating that he emigrated from Bremen on 4 Mar 1852, however he forgot the ship’s name.

On 9 Apr 1852 the Agnes arrived in New York from Bremen with an Anton Weiss aboard. He’s 24 years old, from Prussia, and his occupation is mechanic. That’s doesn’t exactly match what I know about Anton Weiss, but it’s reasonably close. Anton was actually 25, from Bavaria, and worked as a tinsmith in the first references to his occupation in the U.S. Anton turned 25 on 27 Feb 1852. He could easily have been 24 when he first registered with the Bremen emigration bureau.

Anton Weiss on the Agnes passenger manifest
Anton Weiss on the Agnes passenger manifest

What clued me in to the manifest is an entry in the United States Germans to America Index, 1850-1897 for Anton Weiss. That lists a 24 year old Bavarian named Anton Weiss, occupation coppersmith, arriving in New York on the Agnes on 9 Apr 1852. I don’t know why this database lists him as Bavarian rather than Prussian or gives his occupation as coppersmith instead of mechanic. This entry matches what I know about Anton Weiss pretty closely.

Coppersmith, tinsmith, and mechanic would have been very similar occupations in the 1850s. That discrepancy doesn’t bother me.

The discrepancy that bothers me is the scanned microfilm image gives his origin as Prussian. Bavaria and Prussia were were not interchangeable countries in 1852. Indeed, several other passengers have their origin listed as Hesse, Hanover, and Germany. So where the Germans to America Index gets Bavaria, I don’t know. Stuff to research!



Originally published at King Rat

Tags:

Add to Memories
Share

Just as I am walking out the door to go pick someone up at the airport, I notice dripping sounds coming inside my wall. I dig out the claw hammer and pry open the boards over my water heater. Nope, not my water heater, but I can hear the water coming down even better there.

Call the building manager, who is on sleeping pills and can't comprehend what I'm telling her. She attempts to call a plumber. I talk to the woman above me. No apparent water in her place. Plumbers don't answer their emergency line. Manager notices water dripping in the hallway on the floor above me, not inside her unit. After several calls to the plumber, we turn off the water to the stack, hoping that will solve the problem temporarily. It does. The dripping noticeably decreases.

I grab my stuff and head to the car, getting a text message as I open the door telling me the plane as touched down. I make it to the airport just as they get to baggage claim. Get them home and head home myself.

No water dripping or running. I'm guessing the plumber will be here early tomorrow morning. I bet the plumbing will be fixed in a day. But we're going to have to have someone come in and cut open the walls so fans can be directed into them to dry them out properly. We don't want mold growing inside our walls. I lived with 2 weeks of high powered fans inside my apartment a few years ago. I don't look forward to hearing them again. Hopefully they can at least put them in the hallway outside rather than inside my condo.

Add to Memories
Share

As usual, I am somewhat behind on preparations for my open house tomorrow. I have 7 things I want to make. I made 1 tonight. The rest are all pretty simple, but still. I wish I could get it together enough to be ahead of the game. It will all be ready, but I'm gonna be rushing around tomorrow.

Oh yeah, the electrical contractor decided tomorrow is a good day to come by and finish the work. So I'll need to work around him. Which basically means a couple of the items will be started after he leaves, so my place should smell extra food-tastic when people get here as these items may still be cooking.

Tags:

Add to Memories
Share

Yesterday I drove out to Issaquah for a Deirdre's birthday party. She had a surprise planned for us. Raven proposed in front of everyone assembled. At first it appeared that this was a surprise Raven had planned. Then Scott stood up and and said it would be difficult to follow that act, but he had more. He then had Shannon and Aaron put up draperies and handed a white shawl to Deirdre to wear. Just about the time we all figured out what was happening he asked them if they vowed to continue to be sarcastic to each other, stated the Internet gave him the power, and declared them married. Then they announced that Deirdre is pregnant.

That's a lot to fit in 5 minutes.

So here's to the rest of your marriage, evillinn and ravenmimura


As the party wound down, I left and headed to Seattle for the farewell show for Bat Country. I'm not sure I've even seen them play with Joe on bass, though I may have. I went to many of their shows from 2008 through 2010, which is right around the time that Joe joined. I was really glad there would be one last show I could see. When I planned my road trip, getting back in time to see the show was hugely important to the plan. I totally get shutting down the band after Cafe Racer, and I'm hugely happy I got the chance to see one last show.

And though it's the end of Bat Country, I have the album and memories. billycorazon and raqsindira, this better not be the end of music coming from you. Maybe a rap duo now? Something.


One hell of a night.

Add to Memories
Share
I haven't posted any life updates recently because they all seem Too incomplete to post. Nevertheless:
  • my remodel is progressing. I should have my living room back this week. The kitchen will not be finished until after I return from WisCon.
  • I will be attending WisCon again. I will be road tripping there, leaving a week from Tuesday.
  • I have been slowly getting content moved from my old book blog to my new book blog, after which i shall start posting again.
  • I appeared on the inaugural episode of the Lady Business+ podcast to discuss Kameron Hurley's God's War.
  • I've been working on a paying project since January.
  • I haven't been working on genealogy since then.
  • I think I will take genealogy continuing ed courses at UW this fall. I don't know that it will teach me anything I can't learn on my own, but it might teach me more rigorous ways of approaching it. It's a yearlong program.

Tags:
Current Mood: lonely lonely

Add to Memories
Share
I'm really loathe to police someone else's FB or Twitter or whatever. But I had to call out the people that spread rumors that Sunil Tripathi, missing student, disappeared to become the Boston Marathon bomber. I'm not going to re-hash the argument here, so don't even think about trying to correct me on this one. I hope Mr. Tripathi is okay, and I hope he stays okay. I hope he doesn't end up with a tarred and feathered reputation for the rest of his life.

I am now dreaming of pissing on one Stranger news box every weekend until I see an apology from them and Paul Constant. I know I'll never see one from 4chan or reddit.
Add to Memories
Share

Cross posting from the blog is currently failing. I don't currently feel motivated to fix that. Anyhow, if you want to see that stuff too before I get around to getting this fixed, go to kingrat.us and subscribe there. The stuff that gets posted there is somewhat less personal, but will include the stuff I want to have a record for. I'm generally posting things I want to remember there, important events and whatnot (so long as they can be talked about publicly) as I control all the data there. I feel like I won't know when LJ is going to bork everything and I lose it.

Add to Memories
Share

On Wednesday I signed the contract to remodel my kitchen. Cabinets will take 4 to 5 weeks to arrive, and then they will schedule the actual work.

Things to do:

  • Figure out where to store my books and kitchen stuff during the remodel.
  • Actually get rid of the crap in my boxes of crap to get rid of.
  • Shop for a new range.
  • Shop for new bookshelves.
  • Sell old bookshelves.
  • Shop for a television.

Probably other things too.

Tags: ,

Add to Memories
Share
Poll #1897209 Do you miss Livejournal?
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 22

Do you miss Livejournal?

View Answers
Yes
18 (81.8%)
No
4 (18.2%)

Tags:

Add to Memories
Share

Yesterday I was really in the mood for a bad action movie, so I saw A Good Day To Die Hard. I haven’t seen a movie in the theater since November (I think). But I really wanted some explosions, car chases, and a plot that made almost no sense whatsoever. Die Hard delivered. John McClane (MacClain? I dunno how they spell it and I don’t really care either) heads to Russia where his son he hasn’t seen in years is about to go on trial for some sort of drug charge. Total white knight. But John McClaine Jr. is actually C.I.A. and being in jail is part of their complicated plan to bring down the incoming Russian defense minister. Sr. screws that up by distracting Jr. and then they have to start killing bad guys. Sadly, there’s only one car chase, which occurs near the beginning of the film. Lots of explosions and dodging bullets though, including dodging being shot at by a giant gun on a helicopter that shoots lit up bullets. Very satisfying.

Mind you, it’s really nothing like the original Die Hard, which was a different kind of action movie. A Good Day To Die Hard is really the same old action movie.


Today I went and saw The Hobbit. Bleah. Awful movie. I don’t really remember a lot of the book, but there’s a lot of stuff added in the movie. Most of the added stuff I didn’t like. Where the hell did the pale orc nemesis come from? I don’t remember that in the book. Did the movie really need a nemesis in order to make the show palatable? I don’t think so.

Unlike Die Hard, I wanted these things to make sense, and they just didn’t. Why were the dwarves fighting the orcs, other than the set up the nemesis relationship? No reason. Oh yeah, and the son of the dwarf king goes and fights orc who have nothing to do with Smaug the dragon who took over the dwarf redoubt. Why had the pale orc sworn to end the dwarf king’s line in particular? Why does he care? Just dumb. That’s merely one example.

And oh my god was this movie slow. I don’t mind the flashbacks. That didn’t seem to slow things down. But there were interminable talking and speechifying scenes that added nothing. And unnecessarily long scenic shots. And C.G.I. chase scenes that were just too damn long.

Needless to say, I am extremely unlikely to be catching in the theaters the last 6 fucking hours of this story that will comprise the second and third movies of a series that really shouldn’t have been a series.

crossposted from King Rat.

Tags: ,

profile
King Rat
User: gkr
Name: King Rat
Website: King Rat
April 2014
12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930
links
page summary
tags