Sparks High School photo 1937

With my mother’s move to Florida I inherited a bunch of family “stuff”.  I got several pieces of furniture, an old trunk, glassware and even my 2nd great-grandmother’s spittoon.  I also got newspaper clippings, framed pictures and photo albums.

One of the pictures is a class photo of Sparks High School in 1937.  Sparks High School was located in Sparks, Baltimore County, Maryland.  The original school, which opened in 1909, was named Agricultural High School.  Around 1920 the name was changed to Sparks High School and in 1953 the school was converted to an elementary school and Hereford High School opened.

Sparks High School photo – 1937

My maternal grandmother Margaret Adelina Pisani is in the 3rd row, 4th from the right (she was 16, and depending on exactly when the photo was taken, perhaps pregnant with her first child).  The defiant looking lad in the middle of the front row is my great uncle Charles Angelo Pisani (age 17).

The back of the cardboard photo frame has a handwritten list of everyone in the photo.  All names below are spelled as-is from the photo.

From left to right, back row: Frances Eicholtz, Rose Mary Wier, Ruth Shelly, Mary Jane Sattler, Esther Wisner, Nell McGraw, Rosalie Nash, Dagmar Monson, Gladys Foster, Margot Robinson, Irene Thompson, Louise Hale, Armide Chilcoat, Virginia Bortner, Dorothy Peregoy

From left to right, 3rd row: Dorothy Ensor, Amelia Skipper, Irene Childress, Elaine Carr, Elizabeth Whiteford, Harry Fehl, Charlotte Bond, Harry Ryan, Elva Miller, Aileen Mays, Muriel Fuller, Adelina Pisani, Agertha Swam, Frances Wilhelm, Angela Wilson

From left to right, 2nd row: Jean Kerr, Edgar Thompson, Lillian Miller, Harry Stilz, Ferne Rodamar, Bernard Forbes, Miss Litsinger, Virginia Garrett, Kemp Beaumont, Mary Miller, Josh Ensor

From left to right, front row: Jack Wier, Charles Cross, Jim Coburn, Edward Ryan, Charles Pisani, William Hurst, Gordon Cumming, John Calhoun, Eugene Sattler


Tuesday’s Tip – Read Source Introductions

I have been looking for one of my ancestors for years in the 1800 Census.  He lived in Baltimore County, Maryland.  It seemed as though the entire county was missing from every source I looked at.

Well, I finally discovered why.

During a trip to my local public library I pulled the book “Maryland 1800 Census Index” from the shelf.  I decided to read the introductory pages…and there it was:

Jackson, Ronald Vern., and Gary Ronald Teeples. Maryland 1800 Census Index. Bountiful, UT: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1973. Print.

So, read the introductions of sources to find out what is and what isn’t there.  I have known this tip but obviously haven’t followed it.  Maybe if I write it down I will now practice what I preach.

Sibling Saturday: My Grandmother and her siblings – 1925

Charles, Adelina and Ruth Pisani

One of my favorite pictures of my grandmother and her siblings.  This picture was taken in 1925, probably at the farm they lived on in White Hall, Baltimore County, Maryland. They were the children of Angelo Louis Pisani and Ruth Augusta Henry.
Charles Angelo Pisani, a World War II veteran, was born on 1 JUL 1919 in Baltimore City, Maryland.  He died in White Hall, Baltimore County, Maryland on 12 MAR 1955 in a motorcycle accident.
Margaret Adelina Pisani Bull Wilson (my grandmother), was born on 14 JAN 1921 in White Hall, Baltimore County, Maryland.  She married and became a mother at 16, lost that son at 17 and then had 3 daughters.  She died 27 MAR 2002 in Hampstead, Carroll County, Maryland.
Ruth Louise Pisani Allen was born 8 JUL 1922 in White Hall, Baltimore County, Maryland.  She married her husband right before he went overseas in World War II.  They had one son.  She passed away on 23 AUG 2015 at the age of 93.

Filling In The Blanks: Part Six

This post continues my Edna Henry and family project.  I have been working on this for almost a week at an average of about 1-2 hours a day or researching.

Since I have William and Florence’s death dates from the land records and found both of their death notices in the Baltimore Sun, I want to see if I can locate their death certificate information in the Maryland death indices.
I will not be able to obtain the death certificates anytime soon.  They are $25.00/certificate when ordered on-line (they are certified).  So I like to wait until I have quite a few to get and then I go in person to the Archives in Annapolis, Maryland.
The indexes are available on-line at the Vital Records Indexing Project.
The index is free to search and does not require any registration.  However, if you choose to generate a death certificate order you will need to create a free account.
On the main page, click Search MD Vital Records.

Clicking the Search link yields the search page.
The Baltimore City indexes are separate from the County indexes.  For the county indexes, all counties are included within each available date range.

Search page

I will search Baltimore City first as 3030 Westfield Avenue is in Baltimore City and the closest hospitals to that location would have been in Baltimore City.
So I will click on the Baltimore City Indexes for 1875-1972.
The City indexes for 1875-1880 and 1943-1949 are different as the records are not scanned.  You have the ability to type in names and years.  For the rest of the indexes there are scanned images of either cards (for the counties), or index pages (for the city).

I will select 1937 to search for William.
The indexes in this time period are typed pages arranged by first letter of last name, then organized by the first vowel in the name and finally listed in order by month and day of death.  Earlier indexes are hand-written and sometimes arranged by first letter of last name and then first letter of first name.  Also, the earlier indexes that contain multiple years within a single index are a bit jumbled.  Later indexes are organized by soundex.

I go to page 5 which covers the “H” “e” for May (William died on 5 MAY 1937).

1937 Baltimore City death index

William R. is not listed in that time period.  I do notice however that scanning further down the page is  a “Henry, William R.” on Jul. 11th.  Hmmmm.

1937 Baltimore City death index

Could his death certificate somehow have been misfiled?  I do a quick search of the Baltimore Sun for July 12-16, 1937 and do in fact find a death notice for William R. Henry that died on July 11th.  There is mention of his parents (names that are not familiar) and he to be buried in Ohio.  This isn’t my William.
So, perhaps he did not die in Baltimore City.  Next I search the county indexes.
I click on the index for “1934-1944 Han-Hor” and page through the index and realize that the index is mislabeled.  It only covers “Han-Har”, the last card in the index is for George W. Harvey.
I go back to the main search page and check the indexes for “1934-1944 Gam-Ham” and “1934-1944 Hos-Jones, J.” as maybe those have been mislabeled as well.  I find nothing for “He”.
Well, this is disappointing!

Now I will search for Florence.  I go back to the city index for 1939.

1939 Baltimore City death index

Yay!  Finally! Progress!
Although I plan on pulling this death certificate myself on my next visit to the Maryland Archives, I still like to generate an order form.  I like to print those out and place them in a folder that I labeled “Archives Search” so I have all the information I need when I go.
At the top of the search page I will click on the link to “Order a copy of a certificate from this index page”

Ordering a death certificate

At this point I am prompted to log in or create a new account.
Since I have an account I will just log in.

Log in screen

Others have ordered certificates from this page based on the window that pops up.
I like when a certificate I am interested in shows up here because it means at least one other person out there somewhere is interested in this person as well.
Florence isn’t on this list so I have to “Add a new transcription”

Existing transcriptions

I fill out the form.
Notice that for the date it only asks for the Year of Death.  I like to put the date in parentheses so it prints out on the form.  For this date range there are no Volumes and Folios listed in the index so I just leave that blank.

Transcription for Florence E. Henry

When I click Continue the transcription and pricing information is generated.

After clicking continue, the screen shows my Shipping and Billing information since I already have an account. No screen shots here!!  HA!
Next it generates the order form which I can print out.
The page can be sent directly to the printer.  If your computer has a PDF print driver installed you could also save it as a PDF file.
Since it is in HTML format it can be saved, but as a webpage.

At this point I have all the information I can get from the death index, but I still do not have any information on William’s death certificate.  My guess is that he died in a Maryland county but it is entirely possible he didn’t even die in Maryland.

Since his death notice in the Baltimore Sun said he was to be buried at Moreland Memorial Park I will check and to see if there is an entry for him. only has one Henry entry (not him) for Moreland Memorial Park and there are none for

I decide to try to give the cemetery a call to see if they can provide any information over the phone.  Some cemeteries will, some won’t.  Since I live near the Baltimore area I can certainly visit the cemetery in person.  However, it is a large municipal cemetery so walking it to find them will probably not be productive.
Before I call I check their website for information (some have maps on the site, Moreland Memorial Park does not) make a list of my questions:

  1. In what plots in the cemetery are they buried?
  2. Do they have maps of the cemetery in the office?
  3. Does she know where William died?
  4. Does she know what funeral home handled the arrangements?
  5. What were their birth dates?
  6. Is there anyone else buried in their plot?
  7. Can I get a hard copy of the information? 

I call and the lady that answers is very nice and offers to look him up. So I start down my list.

  1. They are buried in Section E-14, Plots 1 and 2.  She then says the graves are unmarked.  Of course they are, that is my luck.
  2. Yes, they have maps in the office.  I want a map!
  3. William died in Sykesville, Maryland.  She also mentioned that Florence died “at home”.  Sykesville, could he have been a patient at Springfield State Hospital?
  4. L.J. Ruck handled William’s arrangements.  I will have to check to see if Ruck has any funeral home records available.

At this point she says that she needs to go because the other lines are ringing.  I am not upset, I will try to visit in person soon.  Most likely, since she gave me some information over the phone, I can get more in person, and hard copies.

So, if William died in Sykesville (Carroll County) that would explain why I couldn’t locate him in the death index since the county index was missing for part of the alphabet.

I can pull the certificate pretty easily knowing the county and the date but it would still be nice to see it in the index.
That is when I remember that the indexes are also located on the Maryland State Archives Guide To Government Records.
I go to the guide, go to death records and scroll down to The County Death Records 1898-1972.
I find the correct series and find that they have an Electronic version.

I click on the MSA SE58 link to bring up the county index lists, scroll to the appropriate date range  and click the Link button.

This is a huge file so I give it some time to fully load, it took a couple minutes to load the 10,106 pages in the index.
I don’t want to scroll through a bunch of pages so I take a guess and jump to page 5000. Hensley, not bad, pretty close.
Let’s try 4970.  Henry, Walter Eugene.  Getting closer.
Page 4972 is the winner.  Found him.   Page 4972

Now I feel better that I did find him in an index.  This wasn’t necessary, as I said before I could have pulled his certificate without the index but it does verify that this William Henry died on May 5, 1937 in Carroll County at age 78.  My William was born about 1859, that would make him 78 in 1937.

I print out the index card and place it in my Archives search folder.

Let’s do a quick check to see where I am with my goals:

  1. When and where exactly was William born?  Don’t know.  Hopefully when I get his death certificate I will get a clue to that information.
  2. When and where did William die?  May 5, 1937 in Carroll County, MD (Sykesville).  More specific info should be on his death certificate.
  3. When and where were William and Florence married?  I haven’t even started this search yet!
  4. What is Florence’s maiden name?  SPARKS.  I need to do some searches and see if I can find her before she got married to William.
  5. What happened to Edna’s husband (since no one remembers him, only her)?   Oh Edna!  You are killing me with this one.  My mother said she was going to visit Aunt Ruth today, maybe she will remember something to give me a hint.
  6. Can I find any new information on William that will lead to new information on his father John Baker Henry, brother Charles Dorsey Henry or grandfather Charles L. Henry?   Not yet.

I realized in my goals I forgot to add my goals for Florence (where/when she was born and where/when she died.  She died Feb. 23, 1939 in Baltimore City, MD (most likely at 3030 Westfield Avenue).  Her death certificate should hopefully provide that information and birth information as well.

I have much that I still need to do but I am headed in the right direction.
This will be my last post on this project.  I will try to post an update as I find more but I think that I showed how to use some of the resources for Maryland research.  That was my big picture goal.  Search strategies will always vary depending on what information you have and what you want to know but hopefully this gave less experienced researchers so pointers.

My other suggestions:

-Use a research log.
When I first started researching I know I searched the same resources for the same person multiple times because I didn’t keep a log.  Many free logs templates are available on the internet.

-Make sure to source your records.
You should be able to pinpoint exactly where your information came from, even if it was from a conversation with a relative.  The internet is a great resource but it is ever changing.  Records you find on-line today may be moved, web sites change etc.  Don’t assume you will remember where it came from!

-Revisit your information every few years..
More and more records are becoming available.  Just because you can’t find it now doesn’t mean you will never be able to find it.  When I first discovered this family in the early 2000s I could not have found all this from the comfort of my home office.  It was all available, just not so easily.

-Field trips are good.
All of this on-line research will be followed up by some field trips.  I will go to the library to search for more newspaper articles.  I will go to the MD State Archives to pull death certificates, birth information for Edna, and marriage information for William and Florence.

-Don’t forget about genealogical and historical societies.
Although I didn’t use them here, another great resource for Maryland research is the Maryland Historical Society and the various genealogical societies. It may not be financially possible to join all of them but join at least one and try to be as active as possible.  You research will improve and you never know who you will meet!

-Check your local library to see what services they provide for genealogical research.
Public libraries many times offer access to subscription services;,,, local newspapers.  Also see what microfilmed records they have.  Different branches may have different resources.  I have a U.S. subscription to but go to the library if I want to search the World records.  I can use my own laptop by connecting to their wi-fi network. 

Join social media groups.
Message boards and mailing lists are not as popular as they used to be but groups on Facebook, for example, are on the rise.  You never know who you will connect with.

Filling In The Blanks: Part Three

This continues my Edna Henry and family project from Part Two where I summarized the records I collected from 2005-2008. Now I  will concentrate on evaluating what I have which should help to decide where to go next.

To help me decide where to go next I should define my goals for this project.  I talked about this a little in Part One, but let’s list it out:

  1. When and where exactly was William born?
  2. When and where did William die?
  3. When and where were William and Florence married?
  4. What is Florence’s maiden name?
  5. What happened to Edna’s husband (since no one remembers him, only her)?
  6. Can I find any new information on William that will lead to new information on his father John Baker Henry, brother Charles Dorsey Henry or grandfather Charles L. Henry?

I realize I may not be able to answer all these questions during this small project but these are the things I am looking for.

First off, back to talk to my mother.  Both her and Aunt Ruth have mentioned Edna.  Let’s go back and ask some more questions.  I ask Mom:
Did you ever meet Mom-Mom Pisani’s cousin Edna, she died in 1979 in Florida?
I don’t remember ever meeting her.  I do remember that Pop-Pop (Angelo Pisani, Ruth A. Henry’s husband) used to make comments about her.  Apparently her and Mom-Mom (Ruth A Henry) used to go to Annapolis when they were younger before Pop-Pop and Mom-Mom were married.  Pop-Pop would tease her about them going to meet sailors.  And I think Edna traveled a lot and would make comments to Pop-Pop about how he should let Mom-Mom go with her.  And I think she worked as a nurse or something for elderly people.  I don’t know where she did this exactly, whether she lived at their houses or what but I am pretty sure I heard something about that.  That is all I know.
Have you ever heard the name Benjamin Wasson, she married him in 1936?
No.  To be honest I don’t remember anything about a husband.  I think she was always referred to as Edna Henry. 
Do you remember anything about Edna’s parents?
Nope.  I knew that she was Mom-Mom’s cousin, and a Henry but I was never quite sure how exactly she was related.
Next time you visit Aunt Ruth can you ask her these questions?
I will but I’m not sure what answers I will get.

Hopefully I will have more on that once Mom goes to visit Aunt Ruth.

In the meantime, unlike 2008, the 1940 census is now available.  So my first new search will be for William and family in 1940. Off to

Plugging in William R Henry, birth year of 1859 in Maryland yielded 147 results for the 1940 census.  The best candidate was the first on the list.

Search results for William Henry

Why is Cambridge, Dorchester County, Maryland a possibility when all earlier records were in Baltimore County and City?

  • My 2nd great grandfather (and William’s brother) Charles D. Henry had 3 daughters.  Two of them married men from the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
  • Charles D. and his wife Charlotte lived there for a time as well.
  • There are many pictures that Aunt Ruth has that are from family outings on the Eastern Shore.  So there is a connection to the Eastern Shore so I wouldn’t just eliminate the possibility.
  • The father-in-law relationship would hint that if this is the right William might be the household of Edna’s husband.  I have a record that Edna married Benjamin H. Wasson in 1936.  Beyond his name I know nothing about Benjamin.  Maybe he is from the Eastern shore?  Or a sailor?

So I click the View Record button…

SOURCE – Year: 1940; Census Place: Cambridge, Dorchester, Maryland; Roll: T627_1547; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 10-12

Unless Edna changed her name, married someone else, gained 3ish years in age, or William and Florence had another daughter that never showed up before, this isn’t my guy.
I go back to the search list but no other matches fit seem to fit. I checked some of them out anyway.  Nothing.

OK, so maybe William has passed away between 1930 and 1940.  Let’s look for Florence.

None of the 5 Florence Henry results matched at all and there were none in Maryland.  I clicked on a couple just to make sure but again, nothing.  Maybe both William and Florence died between 1930 and 1940.

Next up, Edna.  A search for Edna Wasson born in Maryland in 1894 yielded no hits.  But look, see something interesting?  (P.S., I cut and pasted since the “interesting” entries in question were 5 entries apart.)

Search Results for Edna Wasson

Ben H Wasson.  Same name as the man Edna married in 1936.  Maybe her name is transcribed incorrectly as Caroline L. Wasson in the records since the birth date matches Edna’s?  More clicking…

SOURCE – Year: 1940; Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: T627_1520; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 4-311

Hmmm…I am not going to throw this away, but I don’t think this is who I am looking for.  So far, Edna has never been enumerated as anything other than Edna or Edna B.  We will file this as something to explore further later on.

Well, just for kicks, let’s search for Edna Henry instead of Edna Wasson…

Search results for Edna Henry

Promising. Click…
OK, I think I found her.  Edna B. Henry in the 27th Ward of Baltimore City at 3030 Westfield Avenue.  This is the same address from the 1930 census when she was living with her parents.  Edna is listed as the single 45 year old head of household who owns the house and is employed in candy sales, making and selling candy.  There are 3 others in the household that I may need to revisit later.

SOURCE – Year: 1940; Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland; Roll: T627_1539; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 4-776B

What is important about this record (and why)?

  • Edna uses her maiden name and is listed as single. (Later records; SSDI and Florida Death Index lists her last name as “Wasson”)
  • She is listed as “Single”. (The marriage record from 1936.)
  • She is living in the same house as in 1930 but neither of her parents is there. (Maybe they are both dead)
  • She is now making and selling candy.  (Her change of occupation is not unusual but intriguing.  There is a history of candy making in the family.  My great grandfather Angelo Pisani married Edna’s cousin Ruth Augusta Henry.  Angelo’s father was a fruit dealer and candy maker in Baltimore after he emigrated from Italy.)
  • She has other seemingly non-related people living in the house.  (Maybe something to explore)

I continue to do some additional searches for William and Florence but still come up empty.

Now I decide that I am going to concentrate on trying to find out if William and Florence did in fact die between 1930 and 1940.  There are several directions I could go here and there may be readers who would choose a different path.  We will see where my path leads me.

  1. I could search the Baltimore City Directories to see if I could narrow down when they no longer appear in the directory.  Since I have a U.S. subscription to and a subscription to I can view many of the directories from the comfort of my home office.  But there are gaps in the directories between 1930 and 1940 and that method is not always reliable.  I could luck out but I’m going to search other resources first.
  2. I could search the Baltimore Sun archives. Since I have a Baltimore County Public Library card I can access the archives from home as well.  However, searching can be a bit tedious, especially when searching the name “Henry”, even for a relatively small 10 year range.
  3. I could search the Maryland State Archives death indexes.  This is a great resource but at this point I will have to wade my way through each of the 10 years from 1930 to 1940 (for Baltimore City) and possibly the County indices as well.

Back in May I attended a Workshop hosted by the Maryland Genealogical Society on Maryland Land Records.  The workshop was excellent and what I learned has helped my research immensely. 
I am going to try a Land Records search on 3030 Westfield Avenue because:

  • Since William owned the property in 1930 and Edna owned it in 1940, maybe she inherited the house somewhere in those 10 years (if they are in fact dead in 1940).
  • I googled 3030 Westfield Avenue and it still exists, making it easier to track the property back through the records.  If the property no longer existed I could still search this way but I would have to start searching through the Grantor or Grantee indexes until I happened upon them. 
  • Land Records can provide some unique information.  Besides property information you may find death dates, filed will information, and relationship information. I have found this helpful to find maiden names or for the reverse finding names of men daughters married.  Sometimes however, it is just boring (but useful) property information.
Google search for 3030 Westfield Avenue

There is even a street view, what a cute little house.
Since real life calls, I will start my Land Record search…tomorrow I hope.

Filling In The Blanks: Part Two

In my last post I introduced my Edna Henry (and parents) project.  This post will cover what I know about Edna, William and Florence Henry before I start any new research.

When I first started genealogy research in 2003, my main concentration was my direct line, so Charles D. Henry, his father, etc.  Anything I found on non-direct people were entered into my database but not sourced (bad, bad, bad).  In 2003 the majority of the on-line resources I used were from and (which has been discontinued and now consists of just read-only message boards and user created family home pages).  As I go back now to review what I already have, I am also taking the opportunity to source the records as well.

As is common, my research started with conversations with relatives and exploring any resources they had in the home.  Along the Henry line, my mother and her sisters, Aunt Ruth and a couple of her Henry cousins were the only ones surviving.  There were several pictures of Charles D. and his wife.  My Aunt Ruth had some names written down; Charles’ father’s name (John B) and information on Charles D. and Charlotte’s children, but nothing on any siblings of Charles. No one had any family bibles that had any information that went any further back than John B. Henry.  The cousins I talked to were children of Charles D. and Charlotte’s children and no one mentioned any siblings of Charles, but to be fair, I did not ask.  At this point I had not yet heard any mention of cousin Edna.
Once I figured I had exhausted those resources it was on to search the U.S. Federal Census records.  At the time the latest census released was 1930, and it was not yet indexed.  In fact, not all census records before 1930 were indexed either.  If you are a “new” researcher you may remember the extreme frustration of waiting all of a couple months for the 1940 census to be indexed?  Imagine that for many of the census years, and the wait was way longer.  So basically, census research was a bit more tedious.  I don’t remember the time it took to locate the census records from 1930 back but it was much longer than what it would take now.  Also,  there may be a few reading this who are mumbling “well, they may not have been indexed but at least they were on-line”.  Yes, I bow to you!

As I worked my way backwards from 1930 in my search for Charles D. Henry , William first appeared in the 1880 U.S. Federal census in Waverly, Baltimore County, Maryland.  He is listed as the 21 year old son of John B Henry, single, born in Maryland and employed as a blacksmith.

SOURCE – Year: 1880; Census Place: Waverly, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: 496; Family History Film: 1254496; Page: 221D; Enumeration District: 244; Image: 0245

In the 1870 census in the 8th District (Ellen Gowan Post Office) of Baltimore County, Maryland William is listed as an 11 year old born in Maryland, living in the household of John B. Henry.

SOURCE – Year: 1870; Census Place: District 8, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M593_569; Page: 404A; Image: 809; Family History Library Film: 552068

Note: You may notice the presence of a sister of William and Charles named Ruth in the census record above.  She will not be included in this project as I have previously been successful in finding information on her.

In the 1860 census in the 8th District (Cockeysville Post Office) of Baltimore County, Maryland William is listed as a 1 year old born in Maryland, living in the household of Charles Henry. 

SOURCE – Year: 1860; Census Place: District 8, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: M653_468; Page: 384; Image: 389; Family History Library Film: 803468

 Note: You may notice the difference in names of the oldest female in the house in the census record above.  John B. Henry’s wife Mary (Whitaker) died in 1861 and John married Mary’s sister Martha (Whitaker) in 1866.
OK, now that I have found him back to his earliest census, let’s go forward from 1880.  Back in 2003 I did make the assumption that he remained in Maryland.

In 1890 there is no census for Maryland but in 2003 the 1890 Baltimore City directory was used as a substitute on and it would appear in the census search list.  Since the 1890 Baltimore City directory was not scanned at the time like it is now, the listing for William appeared on as:
Name: Wm R Henry  Location: 184 Old York road  Business Name: John B Henry & Sons

In April 2004 I found William and family in the 1900 census.  William is listed in the 9th District, 1st Precinct of Baltimore County, Maryland.  He is 41 (born Feb 1859), married 10 years to Florence (also 41 and born Feb 1859) with 5 year old daughter Edna (born Aug 1894).  He rents his house and is a carriage builder.  It is unclear from the census record what street he lives on since his entry is on the top of a page that doesn’t appear to be a continuation of the previous page.

SOURCE – Year: 1900; Census Place: Election District 9, Baltimore City (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 607; Page: 31A; Enumeration District: 0040; FHL microfilm: 1240607

Apparently January 2005 was a busy month and I continued research on William and family.  The next 3 census records were entered for them in Jan 2005.

In the 1910 census William and family is found split between 2 sheets in the 9th District, 1st Precinct of Baltimore County, Maryland on York Road (no house number listed).  William is 51, married 19 years to Florence (also 51) with 15 year old daughter Edna who attended school within the year.  He owns his house and is a blacksmith.

SOURCE – 1910; Census Place: Election District 9, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: T624_551; Page: 1A and 1B; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1374564

In the 1920 census William and family is found in 9th District of Baltimore County, Maryland on Old Harford Road (no house number listed).  William is 60, married to Florence (also 60) with 25 year old single daughter Edna.  He rents the house and is a painter at a car company.  Edna is employed as a bookkeeper at a drug company.

SOURCE – Year: 1920; Census Place: Election District 9, Baltimore, Maryland; Roll: T625_655; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 33; Image: 348

In the 1930 census William and family is found in 27th Ward, Block 118 of Baltimore City, Maryland on 3030 Westfield Avenue. William is 71, married to Florence (also 71) since they were both 31 years old with 35 year old single daughter Edna.  He owns the house and is a painter working for himself.  Edna is employed as a bookkeeper at a bank.

SOURCE – Year: 1930; Census Place: Baltimore, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland; Roll: 868; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0515; Image: 886.0; FHL microfilm: 2340603

In February 2005 I entered listings for William from the Baltimore City Directory for 1885 and for 1912.  I did not include any detail for these.  Chances are I found this while searching for his brother Charles D.

This concludes all the records I have on William and Florence.  I have a few additional records on their daughter Edna.
In May 2008 I recorded the following information for Edna:

  • From the Howard County Marriage Licenses she married Benjamin H Wasson on 4 April 1936.  As far as the source for the marriage, that is all I recorded.  I remember I got this from a website.  Many of my relatives, although residents of Baltimore County or City got married in Howard County so I referred to the site often but never properly sourced it.
  • From the Social Security Death Index at she was born 11 Aug 1894 and died Jul 1979.  Her last residence was In Miami, Dade County, Florida.
  • From the Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 at she died on 28 Jul 1979 in Dade County, Florida.

This is all the information I have in my database for this family.
Next time – Evaluating what I have and what to do next…

Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are

While at my local public library the other week I stumbled upon a tidbit of information on my 4th great-grandfather Charles Henry.  I have Henrys on both sides of my tree and Charles in in my maternal line.  I have no reason to believe that my paternal and maternal Henrys are related and have never found any evidence to dispute that theory.  The DNA results from my mother’s test seem to support this as well since she is not matched to any of my paternal Henry matches.
Also, the Henry surname is more common now but I have found that in the 1800s it hasn’t been all that difficult to track the different “groups” of Henrys.

The information I had about Charles before my library find was mostly derived from the U.S. Federal census.  No information on him was mentioned by any family members, bible records, pictures, etc.
I originally found him in 2003 by finding his son, my 3rd great-grandfather John Baker Henry in several U.S. Federal censuses and working backwards.

  • Charles does not appear in the 1900 U.S. Federal census, neither does his son John.  I did locate a death date for John of 1896 and Charles does not seem to appear in any other households in the 1900 census.  I assumed he was deceased by 1900.
  • Charles appears in the 1880 U.S. Federal census in Waverly, Baltimore County, Maryland as the widowed, 78 year old father of John B. Henry.  He is listed as a wheelwright who was born in Maryland and both his parents were born in Maryland.  He has dropsy.
  • He appears in the 1870 U.S. Federal census in the 8th District (Ellen Gowan Post Office) of Baltimore County, Maryland as a 66 year old living in the household of John B. Henry.  His occupation is listed as “as of family” and he was born in Maryland.
  • He appears in the 1860 U.S. Federal census 8th District (Cockeysville Post Office) of Baltimore County, Maryland as a 56 year old Wheelwright born in Maryland.  In this census he is the first person listed in the household, the others being his son John Baker and John’s wife, 3 children and a 13 year old black female whose name is hard to read.
  • He appears in the 1850 U.S. Federal census 1st District of Baltimore County, Maryland as a 48 year old Wheelwright born in Maryland. He is the first listed in the household, the others being his son John Baker and a 24 year old black female named Malinda Howard.
  • He appears in the 1840 U.S. Federal census 2nd Collection District of Baltimore County, Maryland.  Since only the head of household is listed I estimate that this is the correct Charles Henry based on the other heads of household on the page compared to the same in the 1850 census.  Listed in the household is a white free male between 10-15 (I assume his son John), a white free male between 30-40 (I assume Charles), a white free male between 40-50 (unknown), a black free male under 10 (unknown) and a black free female between 24-35 (unknown).
  • He appears in the 1830 U.S. Federal census 2nd Collection District of Baltimore County, Maryland. Again, I am assuming it is him based on the other heads enumerated on the page.  I do not think that Charles has a “tick mark” because although he is named, listed in the household is a white free male under 5 (I assume his son John), a white free female between 10-15 (unknown), and a white free female between 20-30 (unknown but maybe Charles’ wife?).
  • I did not find Charles in the 1820 U.S. Federal census but I didn’t expect to.  He would have been a little young to be head of household in 1820.  I did find a John Henry in the same area as the later censuses for Charles.  Since Charles’ son was named John, could this be Charles’ father?  I noted that but haven’t gone any further,

Next I checked the Baltimore City Directories for the years between 1870 and 1900.  I started with 1870 because the 1870 census had Charles living in the Cockeysville area of Baltimore County (therefore not listed in the Baltimore City directory) and the 1880 census had him living in Waverly (listed in the Baltimore City directory).

  • I found the first listing for these Henrys (John B.) in the directory in 1879.  So I assume it was around this time that the family moved from Cockeysville to Waverly.  However, Charles was not listed in the directory until 1882. 
  • Charles is listed in the directories for 1882 through 1884 as a Wheelwright in Waverly.  John B. Henry, Charles D. and William R. Henry (John’s sons) are listed as Blacksmiths in Waverly.

Based on that I figured, Charles was born about 1803 in Maryland and probably died in the mid 1880s.
Cursory searches in the Land Records (at the time not so easy to navigate) did not turn up any records for Charles.
Searches in the Baltimore Sun archives (through the library) were tedious and yielded nothing on Charles.
Searches in the State archives for Baltimore City yielded nothing on Charles.

So, that is what I had until my library visit.  I was not there to do family research but I decided to take a look in the Maryland room on my way out.  I perused the books, mostly the same ones I have looked at in the past. Then I spotted a new looking book “Index of Obituaries and Marriages in the (Baltimore) Sun  1881-1885”.  I thought to myself, “Well, I had already searched the Sun and not found anything so this is probably useless”.  But, I had to take a look anyway.  It was published in 2009, so I am pretty sure I haven’t looked at this book.
I searched my typical surnames and then got to the Henrys on page 224.
Charles D. Henry married Charlotte V. Blatchley in 1882.  I know that, this is my 2nd great-grandparents, nothing new. 
I almost missed the entry right above that line:
“Henry, Charles (81 yrs.) d. on 83-Jan-4 [83-Jan-6: 2B, 4E].”
Wait, 1883 – 81 = 1802.  That is close.  I quickly logged into the Sun archive, pulled up the Jan. 6, 1883 edition and turned to page 2.

HENRY-On Thursday, 4th inst., CHAS. HENRY, in the 81st year of his age.  
His friends and relatives are requested to attend his funeral, from his late residence, Waverly, Baltimore county, at 10 A.M., this Saturday, 6th instant.

Promising, right age, right place.  On to the second article on page 4.

Mr. Charles Henry, who died at Waverly on Thursday at the age of 81 years, was one of the oldest citizens of Baltimore county. He formerly resided in the vicinity of Cockeysville, but he removed to Waverly some seven or eight years ago, where he carried on a blacksmith and wheelwright business up to the time of his death.  He was highly esteemed by his neighbors as an honest and useful citizen.

Wooooohoooooo!  I am 99% sure that this is him, I have to leave that 1% just in case.
Temporary exhilaration.  I am so happy to have found his obit, but a little sad that there was no burial location listed.  Grrrr.
But, now that I have a death date it is time to do some more searches.  Off to another library to search some more local newspapers that are not available on-line, another check for a death certificate and some more cemetery searches.

So far my new searches haven’t given me any new information but I’m refreshed by this new lead.  Hopefully I will have a good update on this ancestor to blog about soon!