Epple Go-Over – Part One and a Half

In Part One of my Epple Go-Over I looked at the information I had in my database regarding Rose Epple and her family.  In doing so, I realized that much of the information I had was either unsourced or improperly sourced.  So I spent some time going back and re-sourcing the census information I had and re-examining that info to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

In addition, I pulled out what I had for Rose’s siblings.  Since I am dealing with an immigrant family, anything I can find on the siblings may help link the family back to Germany.
As I pulled out various documents I have collected through the years, both electronic and paper, I realized that I already have a lot of clues that I missed the first time around.

So…that is why I had to have a Part One and a Half.
I have been busy organizing and pulling all the clues out of those documents so I can come up with a clear set of goals for my Epple research.
Stay tuned…

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.

Epple Go-Over – Part One

In light of Thomas MacEntee’s “Genealogy Do-Over” (which I have been watching since its inception but haven’t jumped into), I decided to do a “Go-Over” for some of the families in my tree.  I decided to pick families that I haven’t really pursued seriously since I did the initial research on them.

One family in my tree that makes me scratch my head endlessly are my 2nd great-grandparents Massimo Hazeltime Pisani (Sr.) and Rosine Margarethe Epple.  Both were immigrants, he from Italy in the late 1850s and she from Germany in 1852.  I still have many questions about Massimo but I decided to first take another look at his wife’s family.

My original research on this family started in 2003, when I first caught the genealogy bug.  Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away in 2002, so I never got the chance to talk to her about the family.  So, I talked to my mother, my great Aunt Ruth Pisani Allen and my great aunt’s cousin.  I inherited 3 pictures of Rose that my grandmother had.  All 3 photos were from after she married my 2nd great-grandfather.  Only one picture had any date on it and another was the only picture that had any names associated with the people in the picture.  Beyond the pictures, after those conversations, I had names, birth dates, death dates and spouses for three of Rose and Massimo’s five children.  I knew a couple places in Baltimore that they lived and that Massimo was a fruit dealer and confectioner.  But what I knew about my 2nd great-grandmother herself was that her name was Rose Epple, and she was born in Germany.  That was it.  No dates, no parents.

So I started my research.  It looks like I didn’t source the information I have very well but as of today the information I have for Rose is:
Rosine Margarethe Epple was born in Germany (presumably Waldenbuch) and came to the United States, more specifically Baltimore, on 29 November 1852 when she was 3.  She arrived with her parents (Johan Georg-47 and Catherine-37) and 2 sisters (Albertina-13 and Paulina-5).  The Wuerttemberg, Germany Emigration Index and the Baltimore, Passenger and Immigration list (the ship name was Bessel) as sources for this.
Once in Baltimore, 1860 census information lists the family (minus Albertina) in the 14th Ward of Baltimore City along with 2 more sons (Lewis, who is actually a daughter Louise-7 and August-3) who were born in Maryland (presumably Baltimore).

I was unable to find Rose in the 1870 census but I did find her mother and 3 of her siblings. Her father Johann (or John) seems to have died, her mother Catherine (listed as being 26 years old) appears to have remarried a John Gerth (a 45 year old laborer who was born in Prussia).  Pauline (23), Louisa (14) and August (12) are also in the household in the 16th Ward of Baltimore City, Maryland.

By the 1880 census Rose had married Massimo and they were enumerated at 141 West Baltimore Street in the 9th Ward of Baltimore City, Maryland.  Also in the household was M. Fisher, a 39 year old single female, listed as a servant.

The 1900 and 1910 census’ list Rose and Massimo living in the 9th District of Baltimore County, on York Road. 

In the 1920 census finds Rose and Massimo living with their daughter and son-in-law Adelina and Louis Vicari.  Rose is listed as immigrating in 1852, Massimo in 1858.  Both are naturalized, with a date of 1885 for Massimo.

The 1930 census lists Rose as a widow (Massimo died in 1924), renting part of a house at 517 Turnpike Road in the 27th Ward of Baltimore City, Maryland.  She is listed as first being married at age 20, immigrating in 1853, and being naturalized.

“Rosey M. Pisani” died on 4 Oct 1937 at 500 Murdock Road in Anneslie, Baltimore County, Maryland.  She died of cardio-renal disease.  Her birth date is listed as 23 May 1849 and she is listed as being born in Stuggart, Germany.  Her father’s name is not supplied and her mother’s name is listed as “Katherine J. Epple”.  The informant for the information was her daughter “Mrs. Vicari” who lists her address as 500 Murdock Road.  Wm. Cook was the undertaker.  Rose was buried on 7 Oct 1937 at Western Cemetery in Baltimore City, Maryland.  It is also important to note that in the area of the deceased name, “Katherine Jacobina” was originally written and then struck through and “Rosey M.” written above.

So now I want to start filling in some of the information about Rose’s early life.  I also want to make sure I go back and source all the bits and pieces I already have. 
I have collected several newspaper articles, city directory pages, random documents that I haven’t sourced, or even organized.  I plan to go through all that information as well and see what I can learn from all the “stuff” I already have.

Stay tuned for more!

My Ability To Transcribe Deeds Just Got A Lot Faster

I hate to type.  I love land records.  These two things do not go together.

I have found so much great information in land records and I am lucky that many of the records I need are in Maryland.  In Maryland, all verified land instrument records are on-line (and free) through MDLANDREC.  All that is needed to access the records is a username and password, offered with a free registration.

The problem with getting all these great records is that the older records are hand written.  In general the copies are good, but they are tedious to read and even more tedious to transcribe, especially when you hate to type.

SOURCE – BALTIMORE COUNTY COURT (Land Records) WG RR, p. 0172, MSA_CE66-92

So since I had some gift cards burning a hole in my pocket, and a bunch of records to transcribe, I decided to spring for Dragon NaturallySpeaking.  I had heard some good things about the software and several administrative people in my office use it.

After my purchase I installed it and have been using it for about a half an hour.  So far I love it! In fact, I’m not typing this blog, I’m having Dragon do it for me.

I was hesitant on buying a voice recognition program because I have problems with phone systems that can supposedly use verbal cues in their menus.  But to this point I haven’t had any issues.  During set up it had me read a few paragraphs of text so the software could learn my voice.  Also, I have the TV on in the background and Dragon doesn’t seem to have an issue with picking up that noise.

I still have a lot to learn about the software, but to be able to go from installation to using it successfully in ten minutes is awesome.  I’m sure the cost of the software will be prohibitive for some, but for me the amount of time it’s going to save his worth that cost.  I purchased the Premium version which is supposed to work with spreadsheets, so I may not even need to worry about using Google Forms any longer.

Oh, and not only does this software type better than I do but it spells better than I do too!

Filling In The Blanks: Part Five

Continuing my Edna Henry and family research. In Part Four I found potential death dates for William and Florence in the land records for 3030 Westfield Avenue.  Now I want to get some other sources for their deaths.
Today I am going to see if I can find death notices for William and Florence in the Baltimore Sun.
I have a Baltimore County Public Library card so that allows me to access the archives over the internet.
The Baltimore Sun is not the only newspaper that would have a death notice but it is the one I can access from home, so it is the first one I check.  On my next trip to either the Baltimore County Public Library (I usually go to the Towson Branch) or the Enoch Pratt Library (I usually go to the Central Library) I will search other papers.  The Baltimore Sun may have just a death notice whereas other smaller, more local papers may have a larger article.
I go to the page and then scroll down to the Magazines & Newspapers area.


I log in on the next screen which leads me to the search page.
Notice that the database covers several papers.

Newspaper Options

In this case I only want to search the Baltimore Sun (1837-1988 and Sept 1990-Current).  If I can’t find anything I will expand the search to all the papers.
To limit my search to the one I want I will hover my mouse over the Baltimore Sun (1837-1988 and Sept 1990-Current) and click “Search Baltimore Sun (1837-1988 and Sept 1990-Current)”.

Limit database search

This brings up the search for the database I want to use.
To find William and Florence’s death notices quickly, I want to limit the search further to specific dates ranges.  Let’s start with William.  The land records had a death date for William of “on or about May 5, 1937”.  Assuming he did die on the 5th, his death notice may appear on the 6th or 7th at the earliest and may be run until the funeral, maybe the 8th to the 10th.
I am going to search May 6th through May 10th and if I don’t come across anything I will expand the search.
At this point I don’t know where or how William died.  There are many factors that could affect his death notice appearance, if there even was a death notice.  I am using a date range that is typical for death notices, about a week from the death date.
To limit the date range I will use the Advanced search.

How to launch Advanced search

I fill out my search terms and my date range.  I am just searching by the name “Henry”.
Many times, because of the format of the death notices, using the last name yields better results than using the full name.  This is just my experience.  Also, you notice there is an option to search Obituaries.  Although I am searching for a death notice, I don’t want to limit to just obits.  You never know, there could be another article about him that would not show up in the limited obit search.

Advanced search

I get 72 results for the 5 days in my search range.  The first one in the list is promising.
Notice on the results page you can change the sorting of the results.  The default setting is “Relevance”.  Usually if I am searching a wider date range I will change it to “Publication date (show oldest first)”.

Search Results

I click on the first result.  I am hesitant on posing the image due to copyright but the transcription is as follows:
HENRY. – On May 5, 1937, WILLIAM
 R., beloved husband of Florence E.
 Henry (nee Sparks).
  Funeral from his late residence,
 3030 Westfield avenue, on Saturday
 at 2 P.M.  Interment in Moreland
 Memorial Park.
SOURCE – The Sun (1837-1988); May 7, 1937; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Baltimore Sun, The (1837-1988); pg. 29; col. 7

The database gives me a choice to print or save the information.  I usually like to save it (in PDF format) but I like to save the entire page.
I like to have the articles in relationship to the entire page.  When I source a newspaper item I like to cite the section (if applicable), page and column and I like to attach the entire page to my source in Legacy.  Obviously this isn’t possible for clippings I receive from relative, etc. unless I can go back and find the whole page.  If I access newspapers on microfilm where I can’t print out the entire page, I always note the column for my source citation.

I click on a few other items in the results list but besides the same death notice on May 8, I find no other articles about William’s death.

I next run a similar search for Florence and get 102 results.  I get a hit on a death notice:
HENRY. – On February 23, 1939, FLOR-
 ENCE E. (nee Sparks), beloved wife
 of the late William R. Henry.
  Funeral from her late residence,
 3030 Westfield avenue, on Saturday
 at 3 P.M.  Interment in Moreland
 Memorial Park.
SOURCE – The Sun (1837-1988); February 24, 19397; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Baltimore Sun, The (1837-1988); pg. 21; col. 5

While I am here I will do a search for Edna as well.
I don’t want to limit the dates this time so I will do a basic search for the phrase “Edna B. Henry”.

I get 2 results for real estate transactions for another address, 2901 Bauernwood Avenue.
I make note of the address and date and make a to-do item to go back to the land records to search this property.

Now I search the phrase “Edna Henry” and get 27 results.  Many of these mentions are probably not her as they are from other states for years when she was very young and wouldn’t be “working in Virginia” but some of them have a better probability of being her.
I save each possibility for closer inspection later.

  • Attended a birthday party in Nov 1906 for Gladys Elizabeth Cox, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Cox in Govans, MD.
  • Participated in a piano recital and musical in April 1907
  • Graduated from Govanstown public school in June 1909
  • A lawsuit filed against United Railways for $10,000  (this one is a long shot, but worth exploring more)

I am pretty sure the first 3 are my Edna Henry because of the mention of Govans/Govanstown where William and Florence lived during those years.
The birthday party and piano recital may seem insignificant but I always make note of the other names mentioned, especially the party.  If Edna attended a birthday party it was probably a friend, maybe even a relative I have not yet discovered.
A few other interesting items:

  • An article in the Feb. 20, 1955 edition called “I Remember…A Child’s Govans in 1900” written by Mrs. Edna Henry Wasson.  The article mentions her father’s blacksmith shop, although it lists his middle initial as “P”.
  • Letters to the Editor on Apr. 10, 1955 and May 8,  1955 commenting on her article.

There is the Wasson name.  So maybe she just used her married name when she felt like it?  So weird!
I also searched “Edna B. Wasson”, “Edna Wasson”, “Benjamin Wasson” and Benjamin H. Wasson” with no results.  Searching “Wasson” yielded 956 results.  I will plow through those later.

On my next trip to the library I will definitely search the other papers on microfilm for more extensive obituaries but for now what did my search yield?

  • May 5, 1937 as William’s death date in the death notice.  I now have a second source for his death.  Actually it is a 3rd source since I found the date in 2 different land records yesterday.
  • May 5, 1937 was a Wednesday, so his Saturday funeral would have been on May 8, 1937.
  • I now have a second source for Florence’s death date of Feb. 23, 1939.
  • Feb. 23, 1939 was a Thursday so Florence’s Saturday funeral would have been Feb. 25, 1939
  • Florence E. Henry’s maiden name is listed as Sparks in both his and her death notices.
  • They are both buried at Moreland Park cemetery.  I should check cemetery sites and/or call the cemetery.
  • Edna wrote an article for the Baltimore Sun about growing up in Govans
  • Edna did use the name Wasson so the SSDI and Florida death index probably is her.  Ugh!!

My next step will be to search the Maryland State Archives death indexes for William and Florence.  I will post about it next time.  The next post will probably be my last one for this project.

Filling In The Blanks: Part Four

Continuing my Edna Henry and family project, I am getting ready to start a Land Records search on 3030 Westfield Avenue, the property that William Henry owned in 1930 and his daughter Edna Henry owned in 1940, based on the U.S. Federal census for those years.
Since the property still exists I am going to go to the Maryland Real Property Data Search site to get the Deed Number so I can (hopefully) trace the property back to the Henrys.  Depending on how many times this property has changed hands, I may have to look at several deeds.
If you have never used this method of research before it can be frustrating and intimidating at first.  Stick with it!  Once you have some positive results you will love it.
Also, there are other ways to research a property.  This is just one way.

OK, so off to http://sdat.resiusa.org/RealProperty/Pages/default.aspx.  This site is public information and free (yay, I love free!!).
In the search area I will search in Baltimore City by Street Address.

Maryland Real Property Data Search

On the next screen I will plug in the street number and name.
Note the highlighted portion.

Maryland Real Property Data Search

I am not going to post entire screen shots of the next part because it will provide information on living persons.
Once I hit ‘Next’ the property information appears.
What we want is in the upper right area where it says Deed Reference:

The deed reference is 12136/00368.  12136 is the Liber (Book) and 00368 is the Folio (Page).
Also, always take note of dates.  Many times, plugging in a deed reference will generate several results.  This is because deed numbers are reused, but prefaced by the court clerk’s initials.  Knowing the date will help grab the correct deed.  The date for this deed is 2009.
For a little more information on researching land records, this article from the Baltimore Sun may help explain the basics. 
Armed with that deed reference we can start the real search.

The Maryland State Archives provides land records on mdlandrec.net.
To access the records you do need to apply for an account, but it is free.  At the workshop in May it was mentioned that certain email domains (the only one I remember is AOL) were having issues with the account process.  Since I already had an account at that point I really didn’t pay close attention…sorry.
Also, I would suggest you look through the HELP! link before getting started.  I have used this site for several years so I am fairly familiar with navigating my way around.
Once logged in the site looks a little, well…barren.
I am going to start by selecting Baltimore City in the upper left.


Since I have the deed reference I am going to plug that in the search.
Otherwise I would search the indexes by location and year (much more tedious).

Deed reference search

Again, no full screen shots here, living people.  Also note that in this case the deed reference did not present multiple results.
There are a few items of interest in this deed.

SOURCE – BALTIMORE CITY CIRCUIT COURT (Land Records) FMC 12136, p. 0368, MSA_ce164_21289. Date available 11/03/2009. Printed 12/21/2014

The first paragraph above refers to a plat (drawing of the subdivision).  If I want I can go to plats.net (free!) and put in the plat number and get an image of the plat.
The next paragraph in this deed refers to Ground Rent.
In layman’s terms, ground rent is when one person owns the land and leases it to the person who owns the real property (house) on the land.  Baltimore City has a huge amount of properties that have ground rent.  You can read more about ground rent here.
Although I am not interested in the ground rent information I will follow those references.  There may be information that does mot appear in the actual deed.  Basically, READ EVERYTHING!
The last part refers to the deed.  There are different types of deeds, I won’t go into that.  But essentially, this is the reference we need to go back further.  FMC 648/0345 in 2000.
Remember, FMC are the clerk’s initials.

Along the yellow menu bar is the option to JUMP TO A NEW VOLUME.  This allows me to plug in another deed reference.
If I just plug in the Book (648) and Page (0345) numbers I will get 4 results.
This is where I need to take note of the date reference of 2000 or the clerk initials of FMC to select the correct record.

Result by Book and Page

However, if I plug in the Clerk (FMC), Book (648) and Page (0345) I will be taken directly to the record.
I repeat this process back through the paperwork, deeds, ground rent information, mortgages etc.
I finally get to a mortgage release for Edna B. Henry on 3 May 1940 (no mention of her parents) that has a reference to a mortgage release on 7 Jun 1939 (MLP 5927/187) for Florence E. Henry widow and Edna B. Henry.
So, Florence Henry was a widow on 7 Jun 1939.  This doesn’t mean William died on this date, but he was dead by this date.

SOURCE – BALTIMORE CITY SUPERIOR COURT (Land Records) MLP 5927, p. 0187, MSA_CE168_5935. Date available 02/10/2005. Printed 12/21/2014

Right below that mortgage release (on the same page) is another entry for mortgage on 7 Jun 1939 in the name of Edna B. Henry.

SOURCE – BALTIMORE CITY SUPERIOR COURT (Land Records) MLP 5927, p. 0187, MSA_CE168_5935. Date available 02/10/2005. Printed 12/21/2014

So basically a mortgage from one bank was paid off and another mortgage was obtained.
Interesting to note that this mortgage only lists Edna, no mention of Florence although it is the same day as the other mortgage record.  The mortgage record continues on the next page.

“parcel of ground known as” blah blah blah (deeds are really boring), “recorded in the land records” blah blah blah “Edna B Henry subject to the payment of” blah blah blah…”William R Henry having died on or about May 5 1937 and the said Florence E Henry having died on or about February 23 1939″, blah blah WHAT?!?!?!  Back up!  Yup, there it is.

SOURCE – BALTIMORE CITY SUPERIOR COURT (Land Records) MLP 5927, p. 0188, MSA_CE168_5935. Date available 02/10/2005. Printed 12/21/2014

Aren’t land records cool???
Searching back further there was another record that listed William’s death date (SCL 5762/564) and I learned that 3030 Westfield Avenue was purchased by the Henrys on 7 Dec 1920 by William, Florence and Edna.
As I searched the land records I downloaded PDF copies and filed them to be transcribed and entered into my database.  Normally I would do this as I search but because I wanted to created these posts “live” I couldn’t transcribe at the same time.
Oh, one other cool thing about the land records, source information is automatically printed on the left side of the pages in RED.  Sometimes it is a little hard to read depending on the page image but it is there.

I’ve looked at a lot of records but it did not take much time since I had reference numbers.
So, what questions have the land records answered? 

  • William R. Henry died on (or about) 5 May 1937
  • Florence E. Henry died on (or about) 23 Feb 1939

What questions do I have?

  • What is up with Edna’s husband (or a lack of a husband)?

If she got married in 1936 why is she still using the name “Henry”.  If it were 2014 I would not be at all surprised at a woman keeping her maiden name, but in the 1930s (and at least until the 1940 census in April)?  Maybe the Edna B. Henry I found in the Howard County marriage index wasn’t her, so the SSDI and Florida Death index entries aren’t for her either?

  • When did the house at 3030 Westfield Avenue get sold?

I never came across a land record for Edna selling 3030 Westfield Avenue.  I need to follow up on that, I may have missed something.

So now that I have potential death dates for William and Florence (I don’t want to rely on just information in the land records), searches of the Baltimore Sun and the Maryland State Archives death indexes are in order.

Let me say that I was a bit surprised when I found death dates for both Florence and William!
Remember that I chose this method of searching because the property appeared to stay in the family after William and Edna disappeared from the household (1940 census) AND the property still exists.  I thought there was a possibility I could get some good information and (for once) my hunch proved correct.  I said before how I love free.  I also I love LUCK!

OK, the dogs won’t walk themselves and it is football day.  So although it is so hard to stop, especially after finding some new information, those searches will have to wait.

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 ancestry.com and genealogy.com (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 ancestry.com 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 ancestry.com 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 ancestry.com 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 ancestry.com 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…

Filling In The Blanks: Part One

I’ve become a little bored with my research.  It seems I’ve lost my genealogy mojo.  With so many new resources becoming available, you would think I would have a renewed excitement.  The release of the Pennsylvania death certificates kept my attention for several months for research on my father’s side.  After mining that database for all my known relatives that died within the period covered and the recent discovery of a previously unknown stillborn baby girl that my grandparents had (see Why We Should Never Assume), the shine has worn off.

I need a new “project”, and I think I have a good one to work on.  I want to concentrate on something small and I wanted to pick something that my great Aunt Ruth could relate to.  Aunt Ruth is my maternal grandmother’s sister.  She is 92 and not in the best health.  My mother visits her regularly and tells Aunt Ruth about my research.  Aunt Ruth recently volunteered to take a DNA test, took it and we have received the results.  This has uncovered some new ethnicity that does not show up in my or my mother’s test (European Jewish…What?).
Note that I have interviewed my aunt in the past but do not ask her too many questions about the family anymore.  She seems much more comfortable just having casual conversation with my mother, so Mom gives me a report after every visit.  Sometimes it may take 3 weeks to get even a small tidbit from Aunt Ruth because she tends to ramble and repeat parts of her story several times.  I am not complaining, 92 years is a lot of years to remember!  Maybe being able to tell her some new stuff will prompt some old memories.

So I have decided that I want to find out more about my Aunt Ruth’s mother’s cousin Edna Henry and her parents.
Edna Henry was the daughter of William R. and Florence E. Henry.  William was the younger brother of my 2nd great grandfather Charles Dorsey Henry.  Charles, William and their father John Baker Henry had a blacksmith shop in the Govans area of Baltimore, Maryland. 

Why this family?
1.  Finding out more about this collateral line may help me break through my Henry brick wall.  I have minimal information on William and Charles’ father and grandfather.  I recently (well in May) found a death notice for John’s father Charles Henry.  I wrote about it in my post Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are.
2.  I don’t know much about this family.  I have no birth, marriage, death information on Edna’s parents.  Nor do I know Edna’s mother’s maiden name.  I would like to fill in those blanks if possible.
3. My Aunt Ruth has mentioned Edna several times, usually with a giggle.  My mother says she also heard a few stories about Edna.  Apparently Aunt Ruth’s mother (my great grandmother) and Edna were close in their younger days, and my great grandfather did not seem to like Edna.  My mother remembers comments that “Pop-Pop” would make about “Mom-Mom Pisani” and Edna going down to the Naval Academy to hang out with the sailors.  Neither my aunt or my mother remember anything about Edna’s parents.
4.  I know that Edna was married but Aunt Ruth and Mom seemed to be a little surprised by this.  Aunt Ruth remembers that Edna went by another last name (she couldn’t remember what it was) but never met a husband.  Could be that he died early in their marriage, could be they were divorced, who knows?
5. Much of the information I have on this family is unsourced so this is a chance to go back and properly document the records I have for them.

I do not like long posts as I don’t want anyone to get too bored, so I will split this project into several posts.  I hope you find it interesting enough to follow along. 

Next up…Everything I already know about William, Florence and Edna.

Gettin’ My Learn On

This past Saturday I attended a seminar that was jointly hosted by the Maryland Genealogical Society and the Maryland Historical Society called “Finding You War of 1812 Ancestors”.  The seminar is just a small part of many events celebrating the anniversary of Maryland’s involvement in the War of 1812.  There were several speakers and it was very informative.
Although I have yet to identify an ancestor that was involved in the War of 1812 I am so glad I attended.  Not only did I learn a lot about specific events of the war and Maryland’s heroes, records and resources available for the participants, but I found both the museum and the library of the Maryland Historical Society FASCINATING!!
I am embarrassed to admit that this was my first visit to the Maryland Historical Society. It definitely will not be my last! 

The museum had some great exhibits.  One of the new exhibits is “BEARINGS of Baltimore, Circa 1815“.  University of Maryland Baltimore County researchers have created an interactive display of Baltimore in 1815.  It does not show everything, but it does include many Baltimore landmarks.  You can zoom around and overlay Baltimore in 2014 as well.  Again, the 2014 doesn’t show everything but enough to get your bearings (ha ha). 
Then there is the library. WOW!!!  I am definitely taking a couple vacation days to spend time researching there.  I was lucky enough to be seated at a table with a nice lady who had visited many times and offered to show me around during the lunch break.  I would have investigated anyway, but she gave me some great hints and showed me where specific items were located.
I already have identified some things I will be searching for on a trip there soon.