Monday, December 11, 2006

Frank and Francis Grant Geyer Obituaries

Here are the obituaries for my great, great grandfather Frank Geyer (b. 16 Apr 1862 in Johannesburg, Germany, d. 29 Mar 1938 in Wellman, Iowa) and my great grandfather Francis Grant Geyer (b. 14 Jul 1897 in Wellman, Iowa, d. 19 Sep 1951 in Iowa City, Iowa).


Frank Geyer Found Dead In Barnyard of Farm Home
Wellman -- Mr. Frank Geyer, 75, was found dead in the barnyard of his farm home, three and one-half miles northwest of Wellman, Tuesday afternoon. He had been in failing health for sometime and had been confined to his bed recently. Death is believed to have been caused by a heart attack. Mr. Geyer was born in Johnsburg, Germany, April 16, 1862, and came to Iowa with an uncle when 13 years old. He lived in the Washington Prairie community for several years and married Miss Lucinda Griffith December 22, 1888. The couple settled on the Wishard farm near Wellman where they lived until moving to their present home, with the exception of five years passed in Minnesota. Surviving are the widow; six sons, Messrs. Leonard and Grant Geyer of Wellman, Wilbur Geyer at home, George Geyer of Scranton, John Geyer of Thornburg and Howard Geyer of near Iowa City; 22 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. One sister and five half-brothers in Germany also survive. Funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon in the Wellman Methodist Episcopal church. Burial will be in the Bunker Hill cemetery.

Source: "Wellman Man Dies Suddenly," Iowa City Press Citizen 30 Mar 1938, page 9, last column.


Wellman - Francis Grant Geyer, 54, died Wednesday at University Hospital in Iowa City following a short illness. He was born July 4, 1897 in Washington county, the son of Frank and Lucinda Geyer. He was married to Grace McGimpsey, May 14 1919. He is survived by his widow, four daughters, Mrs. John Allard, Harman Village, Guam, Lois of Wellman, Niva, of Wellman, and WAC Pvt. Dorothy Geyer, of Ft. Lee, Va., and six sons, Harlan, Oceanside, Calif., Donald, Wellman, Calvin, Iowa City, Larry, Wellman, Laverne, Wellman and Francis. Also surviving are his mother, Mrs. Lucinda Geyer, and three brothers, George, Boone, John, of Thornburg, and Wilbur of Oxford. Service will be at the Methodist church in Wellman at 2 p.m. Saturday with the Rev. D. C. Bissinger officiating. Burial will be near Thornburg. The body is at Powell funeral home in Wellman.

Source: "Francis Geyer, 54, Dies at U-Hospital After Short Illness," Iowa City Press Citizen 21 Sep 1951, page 11; available from, full edition, subscription database, <>, accessed 14 October 2005.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

McGimpsey and Moore family photos

These photos were found in my grandfather Harlan Geyer's possession and are now in my aunt's possession. These families settled in Keokuk County, Iowa, which leads me to believe that the mystery family I posted about previously today must be related.

Henry James McGimpsey, 1860, picture taken off of a glass photo

Henry James McGimpsey was born 13 Oct 1829 in Newtownards, County Down, Ireland. He came to the US sometime in 1860. On 6 May 1862, in Rock Island, IL, he married Elizabeth Hamilton from County Down, Ireland. They are my 3rd great grandparents. After the death of Elizabeth, he married Eliza McLean on 2 Jan 1868. He died 14 Nov 1907.

Rachel Moore and children, 1911
Back row: John C. Moore, James H. Moore, George C. Moore
Front row: Jane M. (Moore) McGimpsey, Rachel (Moore) Moore,
Catherine (Moore) Dusenberry

Rachel Moore was born Aug 1838 in Newtownards, County Down, Ireland. She married James Moore, also from County Down, Ireland, 5 Mar 1866 (they were from different clans). Their children were: Jane M. (Moore) McGimpsey (12 Dec 1866-6 Apr 1938), John C. Moore (23 Dec 1870-11 Dec 1949), James H. Moore (18 Aug 1873-17 Dec 1951), George Cook Moore (Apr 1880-12 Mar 1960) and Catherine (Moore) Dusenberry (8 Oct 1882-31 Jul 1974).

William and Jane Moore McGimpsey with children, 1913
Back row: Catherine Eliza, George William, and Grace Edith
Middle row: Mary Jane, Margaret, Rachel, and Hazel
Front row: William James (father), Ruth, Eva Mae, Bernice, Martin H., and Jane M. (mother)

William McGimpsey (13 Jan 1863-20 Oct 1920) and Jane Moore were married 22 Dec 1892. They had 11 children, including my great grandmother, Grace Edith (McGimpsey) Geyer (b. 1 Jan 1902).

Bear, Ginkens/Jenkins, Kirkland family photos

These photos were all in the possession of my grandfather Harlan Geyer and are now in the possession of my aunt.

Written on back: Joe Kirkland, Margaret and Samuel Bear, Will Kirkland

This photo was probably taken in the 1880's. Margaret Jane Kirkland was married to Samuel Rupley Bear on 17 Feb 1880 (they're my great-great-grandparents). The other men are her brothers Joseph Kirkland (b. 1845 in Wetzel County, WV) and William Kirkland (b. 1840 in Ohio).

Samuel R. and Margaret Bear with children, ca. 1910

The children of Samuel and Margaret Bear are: Samuel Lewis Bear (b. 1881), James Allen Bear (b. 1883), Abraham Alexander Bear (b. 1886), Ruby Caroline Bear Wells (b. 1889) and Moses Washington Bear (b. 1894).

Henry Ginkens and wife, Martha Alice Watson Ginkens, with daughters: Bessie Belle (b. 1886), Beulah Benson (b. 1887), Mary Maude (b. 1889) and Artie Alice (b. 1891)

Samuel Lewis Bear and Bessie Belle Ginkens wedding portrait

Samuel and Bessie were married 15 May 1910 and are my great grandparents. The photography studio was located in Hot Springs, South Dakota (Fall River County).

Martha Watson Ginkens with children

Bessie Ginkens Bear (b. 1886) is in the back row on the right. Her siblings are: Beulah Belle Ginkens Entsminger (b. 1887), Artie Alice Ginkens Haines (b. 1891), Lela Leota Ginkens Barnebey (b. 1893), Ardys Austin Ginkens (b. 1895) and Lloyd Leonard Ginkens (b. 1897). I'm not sure who is pictured above. Martha Watson Ginkens and Artie Alice Haines both died in 1942, so the photo was taken prior to this.

Henry Austin Ginkens (b. 1857 in IA, d. 1924 in Fall River, SD)

According to the 1920 US Census, he and Martha were divorced between 1910 & 1920, but my family don't remember hearing about this and I suppose it would have been news back then.

Mystery Family Photo taken in Richland, IA

I have been unable to identify the surname of the family in this photo. The photography studio is located in Richland, Iowa, which is in Keokuk County. Written on the back of the photo is: "Mother, Emily, Wesley, Hanna & Ellen". It was among my grandfather Harlan Geyer's belongings and is now in the possession of my aunt. Do you know who they are?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Griffith family photos

These photos were passed down to my grandfather Harlan Geyer and are now in my aunt Cherie Geyer's possession. The names of those pictured were written on the back of the photos.

Griffith Family, 1880
Back row (left to right): Grant Griffith, Lucinda Griffith, Elizabeth Griffith
Front row (left to right): John W. Griffith, Priscilla Longwell Griffith, Etta Griffith

The Griffiths and Geyers, 1912
Back row (left to right): Valentine Wagamon, Elizabeth Griffith Wagamon, Grant Griffith, Mary Kruger Griffith
Front row (left to right): Lucinda Ellen Griffith Geyer, John White Griffith, Frank Geyer

Monday, November 06, 2006

18 Jan 1849 Marriage announcements in the American Volunteer [Carlisle, PA]

From "Married," American Volunteer [Carlisle, PA] 18 Jan 1849, p.3, co. 2:

On the 11th instant, by the Rev. A. H. Kremer, Mr. JONATHAN BEAR, of West Pennsborough, to Miss MARIA BEAR, of Silver Spring township, this county.

On Thursday last, by the Rev. J. N. Hoffman, Mr. DAVID NAILOR, to Miss CATHARINE HASSLER, both of this county.

On the same day, by the same, Mr. JOHN STROCK, of Churchtown, to Miss ELIZABETH STEVENSON, of Silver Spring township.

On the 4th inst., by the Rev. John Fritchy, Mr. WM. C. BRANDT, to Miss ELIZABETH GOODYEAR, both of Monroe tp.

On the 6th inst., by the same, SAMUEL BEAR, to Miss MARY RUPLY, both of Hampden township.

The last couple listed, Samuel Bear and Mary Ruply, are my 3rd great-grandparents.

BEARs in The History of Appanoose County, Iowa

The following appears on pages 575-576 of The History of Appanoose County, Iowa containing A History of the County, its Cities, Towns, &c. .. (1878, Western Historical Company, Centerville, Iowa: Appanoose County Genealogical Society, 1989), under the Johns Township section:

BEARE, ANDREW J., far., Sec. 28 ; P. O. Tranquility ; born in Mount Morris, Green Co., Penn., Aug. 30, 1829 ; located here, 1869 ; owns 240 acres of land, valued at $25 per acre. He is a member of the Methodist Church, and Republican. His wife, Annie Kleiss, was born in Lancaster City, Penn., May 25, 1830, and married May 29, 1871. Mr. Beare enlisted in Co. F, 12th Illinois Infantry ; afterward re-enlisted in Co. F, 57th Illinois Infantry, and served four years and three months ; was in the battles at Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, Miss., Murfrecsboro, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Allatoona, Paducah, Kenesaw Mountain, Rome, Ga., Atlanta, siege of Vicksburg, and with Gen. Sherman in his amous march to the sea, and at the review at Washington ; was mustered out June 7, 1865.

Bear, J. G. F., far., Sec. 29 ; P. O. Tranquility.

Bear, G. W., far., Sec. 28 ; P. O. Tranquility.

Bear, L. A., far., Sec. 20 ; P. O. Tranquility.

My Bear ancester from this time period, Samuel Lewis Bear, born 24 Oct 1825 in Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania, settled in Plano (Johns Township), Iowa between 1855-58, was not listed in the book. Justice G. F. Bear was born in Mount Morris, Green Co., PA, so is likely a brother or cousin of Andrew J. Beare.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New history website

From the NEHGS eNews, Vol 8, No. 39:

Television for Genealogists Available on the Internet

A new website has just launched giving The History Channel competition for the attention of genealogists. is a website that provides videos of interest to genealogists, historians, and others interested in the world of the past. The website currently offers several videos, including a five-part interview with Hank Jones, author of Psychic Roots, and the second Ancestors series from PBS. Viewers can also watch videos of the recent press conference in New York City about the discovery of Annie Moore, the first passenger welcomed at Ellis Island.

Videos are currently available for free, although pay-per-view videos will be offered in the future. Find out more at

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Geyer Obituaries - Fairfax County, VA

Here are the obituaries of my father and paternal grandparents. I'd love to hear from you if you are related or were friends with any of them.


Ila Iola Geyer

Ila Iola Geyer, 78, died at her home in Herndon, Va., Friday, March 13, 1992.
Funeral services will be Thursday, March 19, at 1 p.m. at Green Funeral Home in Herndon. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
Mrs. Geyer was born June 11, 1913, in Plano, Iowa, the daughter of Samuel and Bessie Belle Bear. She graduated from Seymour (Iowa) High School and the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, with a degree in elementary education. Ila Bear Geyer taught at Union School, north of Wellman, from 1938 to 1940. She also married Harlan M. Geyer on June 11, 1945, at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and moved to Herndon, Va., from Mission Hills, Calif.
Mrs. Geyer is survived by her husband of Herndon; a son, Harlan M. Geyer Jr., and his wife Unchalee of Herndon; a daughter, Cherie Ann Geyer of Laguna Hills, Calif.; three grandchildren, Christina, Christopher and Christian Geyer, all of Herndon; one sister, Holly Plaster of Gering, Neb.; four brothers, Austin Bear of Arizona, George Bear of New Jersey, Claude Bear of Plano, Iowa, and John Bear of Missouri.

From: Wellman Advance [Iowa]


Harlan M. Geyer Jr.

Of Oak Hill, VA. On Friday, November 2, 2001 at Hospice of Arlington. Beloved husband of Unchalee Geyer; father of Christina Lynn Geyer of Durham, NC, Christopher Eugene and Christian Alan Geyer, both of Richmond, VA; son of Harlan M. Geyer of Reston, VA; brother of Cherie Ann Geyer of Aliso Viejo, CA. Mr. Geyer was a Marine Combat Veteran of Vietnam and awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Award. Service will be held on Sunday, November 4 at 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at ADAMS-GREEN FUNERAL HOME, 721 Elden St, Herndon, VA. A graveside service will also be held at Arlington National Cemetery Columbarium on Tuesday, November 20 at 1 p.m. (Please assemble at 12:30 p.m. at the Administration Building). In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to Hospice of Northern Virginia or the American Cancer Society.

From: The Washington Post 3 Nov 2001

Update: Thoughts on my dad



Of Reston, VA, died on Friday, March 24, 2006 at Fair Oaks Hospital. He was born July 20, 1920 in the town of Wellman, IA to the late Francis Grant and Grace McGimpsey Geyer.

Harlan served 20 years in the US Marine Corps, attaining the rank of 1st Sergeant. As a member of the 2nd Marine Division, he took part in the Battle of Tarawa, one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific in World War II. He also served in the Battles of Saipan and Tinian.

On June 11, 1945 he was joined in marriage to Ila I. Bear. After her passing in 1992, he was united in marriage to his second wife, Mary Gallagher Farley Bahlmann, who passed away in 2001. Harlan is survived by three brothers, Calvin, Larry and LaVerne; his sisters, Doris Allard, Dorothy Biddle and Niva Nix; his daughter, Cherie Geyer and his grandchildren, Christopher and Christian and Christina Geyer and her husband, Rainer Spang. Harlan also rejoiced in being a loving grandfather to Beth, Patsy, Scott and Chris Farley, grandchildren of his second wife. He was preceded in death by his son, Harlan M. Geyer, Jr.

Funeral services for HARLAN M. GEYER will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 1 at ADAMS-GREEN FUNERAL HOME, 721 Elden St., Herndon, VA. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday, April 11 at 10 a.m. Relatives and friends are welcome.

From: The Washington Post 29 Mar 2006

Update: Memorial webpage for my grandfather

Friday, September 29, 2006

Bear obituaries in Appanoose County, Iowa

These are transcribed from the book: Osee Johnson Knouf, comp., Soldiers Buried in Appanoose County, Iowa Before World War II and Some Obituaries of Early Settlers, (DAR, Illinois Society, 1976). I accessed it in the DAR library in Washington, D.C. The obituaries are typed, and include what appear to be many typos.


Mary Jane Kirkland Bear

Mary Jane Kirkland, daughter of Hue and Nancy Kirkland was born in Wetzel county, West Virginia, April 17, 1853, and passed away June 5, 1939, at the age of 86 years, 2 months and 18 days. She is the last of a family of 11 children.
She came to Iowa with her parents at the age of 14 years. On February 17, 1880, she was united in marriage to Samuel R. Bear. She was the mother of six children. One daughter, Mrs. Ruby Wells, and her husband preceded her in death. She lived the greater part of her life in Appanoose county, Iowa.
She was converted and united with the Little Flock Baptist church in 1871. She lived a true and devoted life until the end. She has been in poor health for some time. She was making her home with her son, James A. Bear, at the time of her death. All was done that loving hands and medical science could do but to no avail. She was a loving mother, a good neighbor, and a kind friend. She is survived by 5 children: Della Squires, Seymour, Ia.,; S. L. Bear: James A. Bear; and A. A. Bear, of Plano, Iowa; and Mose W. Bear of Centerville, Iowa. 26 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, other relatives and many friends.
Funeral services were conducted Wednesday p.m. at the Little Flock church at 2 p.m. with the Rev. W. M. Cleeton of Seymour officiating. Burial was in the Little Flock cemetery.


Adessa Jane Bear Wilson

Adesa Jane Bear, daughter of Mary and Samuel Bear, was born in Peoria, Ill., Nov. 24, 1849, and passed away at the home of her son Joseph in Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 5, 1940, at the age of 90 years, 2 months and 18 days.
Her parents came to this country when she was small and settled on a farm near Plano where they lived until their death.
In 1871 she was united in marriage with Perry C. Wilson. They lived on a farm a few years and then moved to East Wilson street of this city where they were living at the time of Mr. Wilson’s death in May, 1930. She has spent most of the last 10 years of her life at the home of her youngest son, Joseph, at Minneapolis.
She enjoyed good health until last Friday, when Joe’s wife noticed she was ill. She was put to bed at once and tenderly cared for until she passed away early Monday morning.
She was the oldest of her family and the last to pass away of six children. Mrs. Wílson was the mother of 11 children. Elizabeth, Frank and Grover preceded her in death.
She leaved to mourn their loss; three daughters – Mrs. C. L. Gray of this city, Mrs. Mary Myers of Phoenix, Ariz. and Mrs. Zella Hurd of California. Five sons – Joseph of Minneapolis, Minn., Oscar, Robert and John of this city and William of Cincinnati, Iowa; 21 grand children 9 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.
Mrs. Wilson was a woman of fine character and was loved and respected by a large number of friends. She loved her home and was a devoted and loving mother.
Funeral services were held from the Miller Funeral home Friday afternoon with H. E. Trimble officiating. Burial was in Oakland.


Catherine Elizabeth Bear

Catherine Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel and Mary Rupely Bear, was born Feb. 7, 1858, and passed away at her home north of Plano, Feb. 17, 1939. She was united in marriage to Edwin Lyon, April 18, 1877. He preceded her in death April 18, 1921. She has spent her entire life in the community of Plano, where she was born, and 60 years at the home where she passed away.
Ten children were born to this union. Surviving are: Mrs. C.F. Kirkland, Los Angeles, Calif., Ira of Plano, Mrs. E. W. Wyrick of Centerville, Iowa, Nellie at home, C. Fred of Oklahoma City, Okla., Mrs. Walter Haines and Jay of Plano and Art of Yakama, Washington. Harry E. and Gertrude Mae preceded her in death. Twelve grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren also survive. Of a family of six, she is survived by one sister, Mrs. Dessie Wilson of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Funeral services were held at the home with Rev. George W. Swan, Jr. officiating. She was laid to rest in the family cemetery.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Kirkland Obituaries in Wetzel County, WV

The following are all the Kirkland obituaries found in the book "Wetzel Co., WV Obituaries", published by Wetzel County Genealogical Society and compiled by Carol Rush Hassig and Elizabeth Estlack Mullett. They appear to have been cut from newspapers and pasted onto pages that were photocopied to make these volumes. I accessed this book in the DAR Library in Washington, D.C. I've left misspellings in and anything in brackets "[]" are my comments.


J.F. Kirkland [Vol. 2, p. 52]
April 28, 1930 [date handwritten]

Mr. J. F. Kirkland, son of Alexander and Eliza Jane Kirkland, departed this life April 28, 1930, aged 68 years, 11 months and 28 days. He was born May 3, 1861, near Wileyville, Wetzel County, where he lived until about seventeen years ago, when he moved to his late home located about five miles east of this city. He was one of Wetzel County’s most successful and prosperous farmers. He achieved success by faithful to[illeg.] coupled with attention to details and wise management.

December 25, 1895, he was united in marriage to Sarah Belle Briggs, daughter of the late Henry Briggs, who resided at Green Hill, Wetzel County. To this union were born four children, all of whom are graduates of Magnolia High School and highly respected citizens. Clark and Cline are with the Lemley-Bridgeman Company garage of this city. Dr. Matt is owner and manager of the Fulton Pharmacy, Wheeling, and Mrs. Eliza Kirkland Brown is a successful teacher of Fairmont. He is also survived by his widow; his aged mother, living at Maud, who has passed her ninety-third birthday; one grandson, Matt, Junior; three brothers and three sisters: Mrs. Samantha Moore, of this city; Mrs. G. W. Huff, of Maud; Mrs. Virginia McIntire, of Maud; Lockwood Kirkland, of Centerville, Iowa; Shriver Kirkland, of Clarksburg, and Elsworth Kirkland, of Maud.

Mrs. Kirkland, too, has shared with her husband the responsibilities and sacrifices that come to a farmer’s wife, incidental to the maintenance of a happy, comfortable, and hospitable home.

For a number of years Mr. Kirkland had been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Along with his farm cares he found time to devote to the worship of his Creator. He was seldom absent either from Sunday school or the [article cut off at this point]


KIRKLAND [Vol. 3, p. 29]

Ross C. Kirkland, 77, of Pine Grove, died at 8 p.m., Monday, Oct. 28, 1963, at the Wetzel County Hospital. Born in Wetzel County, Nov. 11, 1885, he was a son of Foster and Adaline Martin Kirkland. He was a retired employe of the Hope Natural Gas Co. and was a member of St. Paul’s Methodist Church of Pine Grove.. Survivors include his wife, Ethel Cosgray Kirkland; two sons, Hugh, of Canton, and Kenneth, of Pine Grove; a half-brother, Joseph Bland, of Pine Grove; and a granddaughter. Friends are being received at the Palmer Funeral Home in Pine Grove. Services will be held at St. Paul’s Methodist Church at 2 p.m. today (Thursday) with the Rv. Albery O. Morrison officiating.. Burial will be in Greenlawn Memorial Park, New Martinsville.


KIRKLAND [Vol. 3, p. 30]

Ethel Kirkland, 79, of Pine Grove, died Wed., Nov. 5, at the Wetzel County Hospital. She was born in Wetzel County, June 16, 1890, daughter of John and Emma McAlister Cosgray. She was a member of St. Paul’s Methodist Church. Her husband, Ross C. Kirkland, preceded her in death in 1963. Surviving are two sons, Hugh of Canton, and Kenneth of Pine Grove; and one granddaughter. Friends were received at the Palmer Funeral Home, Pine Grove. Services were held at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church with the Rev. Robert Harshburger officiating. Interment in Greenlawn Memorial Park, New Martinsville.


Sarah Kirkland [Vol. 3, p. 31]

Mrs. Sarah Belle Kirkland, 73, member of a well known family, died at her home on Little Creek last Sunday after she had suffered a heart attack.
She was a native of Wetzel County, having been born at Proctor Sept. 14, 1867. She was a daughter of Henry and Massa Brookover Briggs.

Mrs. Kirkland was a member of the First M. E. church and of the Mrs. D. N. Mangolg Sunday school class. She took an active part in Ladies’ Aid work.

Survivors are one daughter, Mrs. C. H. Huffman of New Martinsville; three sons, Clark and Cline Kirkland of New Martinsville, and Matt L. Kirkland of Wheeling; three sisters, Mrs. J. G. Guthrie and Grace Briggs, both of New Martinsville, and Mrs. W. E. McKnight of Charleston; and five grandchildren.

Funeral services for the deceased woman were conducted Tuesday afternoon at the Wharton Funeral Home. Rev. S. B. Cunningham preached the funeral. Mrs. Kirkland was buried in the Northview cemetery.


Pfc. Warren R. Huff’s [Vol. 4, p. 32]

The body of Pfc. Warren Robert Huff arrived in New Martinsville on Monday and was taken to the Wharton & Ellis Funeral home.

He was killed in action December 27, 1943 in the invasion of New Britain, Cape Gloucester, South Pacific.

He was attached to the First Marine Division, and was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. He enlisted in June, 1942 at Wheeling.

Pfc. Huff was born August 13, 1920 at Maud, W. Va., the son of Robert and Esta Kirkland Huff, who survive him, also surviving are three sisters, Mrs. Lucile Ball and Miss Maxine Huff, both of Washington, D. C. and Mrs. Sue Heinzman of Pittsburgh, and two brothers, Sgt. Norman Huff of the U. S. Air Force, stationed at Brookley Field, Mobile, Ala., and Raymond Huff at home.

Services were held in the chapel of the funeral home on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30, conducted by Rev. H. A. Hopson of St. John’s Methodist church. Burial was in North View cemetery, with full military honors by Marne [Marine] Post No. 28, American Legion, New Martinsville.


J. A. KIRKLAND [Vol. 4, p. 43]

James A. Kirkland, 70, died at the home of his sister, Mrs. Amanda Jackson, of Wileyville, Wednesday morning at 3:00 o’clock. He was a member of the Wileyville Baptist Church.

Mr. Kirkland was born at Wileyville, September 8, 1871, the son of the late Joseph and Lucinda Furbee Kirkland.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Junie Richmond Kirkland, of Elm Grove; six sons, Joseph, of Missouri, and Roy, Charles, Frank, Alton and Bryan, of Elm Grove; two daughters, Mrs. Thelma Andrews and Mrs. Hattie Scyock, both of Elm Grove; three sisters, Mrs. Amanda Jackson and Mrs. Etta Blake, both of Wileyville, and Mrs. Olive Barr, of Pine Grove.

Funeral services will be conducted Friday afternoon from the Jackson home at Wileyville, in charge of Rev. James Webb. Interment in the Kirkland cemetery will be in charge of the Palmer Funeral Service, of Pine Grove. Apr. 1942 [date is handwritten]

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Where's Christina?

I know this looks like a dead blog, but I really have a LOT of info to post here from my recent genealogy trip to Pennsylvania and Virginia. I unfortunately have a lot of projects I'm juggling right now, and genealogy has been put on the back burner, so to speak. So please be patient, I will get around to blogging, it just may take a month or so (hopefully less).

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bear Y-DNA Study

I have no idea if this is reputable, and as I'm not a direct male descendent, I'll leave it to those interested to check out further:

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My Genealogy bookshelf

Books everyone should own:

The Source: A Guidebook Of American Genealogy (3rd edition) - this is an indispensable guide to genealogy in the US. Buy it! This book actually spends very little time on my bookshelf.

Ancestry's Red Book: American State, County & Town Sources (Third Edition) - Gives information on where genealogical information can be found on state and county levels (archived and internet). Tells county by county when different records were kept. Very useful.

Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790-1920 - indispensable in doing census research. This book describes the formation of new counties, the changes made in county lines, and discusses various aspects of the census over the time period of 1790-1920.

Other books:

The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual - Discusses the standards professional (and hobby) genealogists should follow.

Wellman, Iowa Centennial 1879-1979 - A history of the town of Wellman in Washington County, Iowa. I'm happy to do look ups for people. An every name index can be found here.

Cumberland County Pennsylvania Marriages, 1761-1800 - Once again, I'm happy to do look ups.

Pennsylvania German Roots Across the Ocean - A collection of articles from the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine. The book has an every name index. I'm happy to do look ups.

The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States: Who Were Themselves Notable or Left Descendants Notable in American History

Finding Your German Ancestor's: A Beginner's Guide - read the soc.genealogy.german Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) instead.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The tragic life of Sanford Kirkland

In doing research on the Kirkland branch of my family, I came across a cousin who seems to have had a mysterious and sad life. I thought I'd share it in the hopes that someone who knows more of the story will come across this page and be able to add to the tale.

Sanford Kirkland was my 1st cousin, 3 times removed [Me > Harlan Geyer, Jr > Ila Bear > Samuel Bear > Margaret Kirkland > Hugh & Nancy (Morrison) Kirkland < William Kirkland < Sanford M. Kirkland].

Sanford was the only child of William J. Kirkland (born 1840 in Ohio) and Rebecca Dulaney (born 1838 in Pennsylvania). From what I can piece together, their families both settled in Wetzel County, West Virginia in the 1840's, where they grew up. According to the 1910 US census, they married around 1861. Sometime before 1870 they settled in Walnut township, Wayne County, Iowa, where Sanford was born on 25 Nov 1870.

When Sanford was seven years old, tragedy struck; his father had disappeared:

A LOST MAN. -- On Wednesday, June 6, l877, WILLIAM KIRKLAND, a farmer, started from his home, five miles west of Seymour, Wayne Co., Iowa, to go to Seymour, and took a train at Kniffin Station, and has not since been heard of. His friends think he was not in his right mind when he left. He was a man six feet high, and slender, with black hair, dark sandy whiskers and hazel eyes. He had on a dark mixed cassimere suit and a black, broad-brimmed hat.

Any information of him will be thankfully received, and all necessary charges paid by the wife.

Address by mail or telegraph REBECCA KIRKLAND, in care of E.R. Clark, Seymour, Iowa.

Source: "A Lost Man," Chariton Leader 30 Jun 1877; posted by David <> on 11 Mar 2004,
transcribed by Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert on 8 Mar 2004, IAGenWeb Project <>.

I don't know whether William was ever found. In the 1880 US Census he is listed with his family, in the 1900 US Census, his wife is "widowed", then in the 1910 US Census he is listed with the family again, and finally in the 1920 US Census, he is gone and his wife has no marital status given (which is not typical). Maybe he came home, or maybe Rebecca lost hope that he would return by 1900 and considered herself a widow, then heard something which made her change her mind. We may never know for sure, although I guess that if he returned it would be news, so a closer look at the local newspapers should be the next step here.

Sanford became a high school teacher, probably at Seymour High School. He was active in the community, being mentioned often in the local newspapers in connection with meetings of the local school board, but by the time of the 1930 US Census, he had changed careers to be a secretary for the telephone company. I wonder if, before he left teaching, he might have taught my grandmother, who graduated from Seymour HS in 1932.

On September 4, 1910, shortly before his 40th birthday, Sanford married Clementine Drake, two years his junior. It was the first marriage for both. It must have been a surprise, and I assume a joy, when in the second year of their marriage she became pregnant. But tragedy struck again; she and the child died during childbirth on December 4, 1912.

Sanford lived with his mother until her death in 1921, then when Clementine's father Joseph died in 1930, Sanford lived with his mother-in-law Selena (Clinesmith) Drake. From undocumented family trees on the web, I've found that she died in 1944 and Sanford died on April 8, 1959.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A WWI Send-off

from Humeston New Era 26 Sep 1917, page 1:

Patriotic Program Given Wednesday
at Corydon in Honor of
Important Day in History of Wayne
County--Boys Given
Good Farewell.

Answering the summons of the nation, fifty-nine Wayne county young men, the second contingent to be taken for the National Army, left Corydon for Camp Dodge, Des Moines, over the Rock Island at 2:35 o'clock Wednesday afternoon.

Corydon and Wayne county honored the National Army men with a program and a big patriotic demonstration. The exercises were held on the court house lawn. Short talks were made by W. H. Tedrow, D. L. Murrow and W. P. Allred of Corydon, Rev. S. H. Hedrick of Allerton and L. Belvel of Lineville. Mr. Tedrow presided at the exercises. Excellent music was furnished by a twenty-nine piece band, directed by Prof. Reizenstein. Ten members of the Humeston band played. Eleven musicians were present from Allerton. A basket dinner was enjoyed at noon.

The fifty-nine soldiers, civil war veterans and the Corydon school children marched in a parade.

Two men from the first contingent attended the farewell Wednesday.

The streets were filled with people and the crowd is said to have been the largest ever seen in the county seat. Hundreds of interested relatives and friends and neighbors were present to bid the boys goodbye.

The call for the second contingent came last week after the county newspapers had been published but hurried arrangements proved satisfactory and the boys were given a good demonstration. The efforts of A. T. Gallagher, president of the Corydon Commercial club, and other were highly appreciated. The farewell last week stirred the patriotism of the county as it has not been stirred for years. There were tears, misty eyes, and choked throats, filled with emotion, but for the most part it was a cheerful crowd. Most of the farewells had been said around the family firesides the night before and on the threshold of homes that morning. Many, though, clapsed the hand they loved or kissed the cheek they had known from babyhood as the fifty-nine were given the parting at the station. Several group pictures were taken.

Daniel Boone Heller, superintendent of the Seymour schools, was selected as captain of the boys until they reached Camp Dodge. Following are the men who reported last week...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Emigration records of Baden-Wuerttemberg

I just found this well-made site of the Landesarchiv Baden-Wuerttemberg (State Archives), that includes a database of emigration records that can be searched. Unfortunately, Franz Geyer and Josef Freund, who emigrated in 1876 from somewhere in Prussia, were not in it, but maybe your ancestor is. The information in the database comes from the archives of Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Ludwigsburg, Sigmaringen, and Freiburg. Also on the website is an interesting section with short articles on the crossing and some famous emigrants from the area (such as John Jacob Astor).

Friday, June 23, 2006

Requesting US Military Records

If you have a relative that served in the US Armed Forces after 1917, you may be able to get ahold of their service records fairly easily. The veteran and their next of kin need only apply at eVetRecs. Once you fill out a simple online request form, you'll be asked to provide a signature verification that must be either mailed or faxed to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. If you are not next of kin, I'd suggest asking the next of kin to submit the request, if they are not available, the procedure you must follow is explained at the National Archives site: Access to Military Records by the General Public, including genealogists who are not next-of-kin.

It is important to note that in 1973 there was a fire in the military personnel records facility that destroyed many records. The affected records are described in this excerpt from a description on the National Archives website:

A fire on July 12, 1973, left the top floor of the military personnel records facility in ruins. This floor had contained some 22 million personnel folders, filed alphabetically, for U.S. Army personnel discharged from 1912 through 1959 and of the U.S. Air Force discharged from September 1947 through 1963. At the time of the fire, one-third of the air force records already had been relocated and thus saved, but overall, fewer than 4 million records were recovered, either entirely or with as little as one identifiable document.

Records of military service from before 1917 are available and can be ordered online, visit this National Archives page for more info.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Ideal German Wife

In "The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin" by H.W. Brands ( a book I recommend not just as a biography of Franklin, the author also gives inciteful descriptions of the way life was in Franklin's time) , the author writes that there came a point in the 1750's where the Pennsylvania Assembly worried about the integration of the German immigrants and the English colonists (sound familiar?). Peter Collinson suggested that intermarriage between Germans and English be subsidized. Franklin said this would never work, because:

The German women are generally so disagreeable to an English eye that it would require great portions to induce Englishmen to marry them. Nor would German ideas of beauty generally agree with our women; dick und starcke; that is, thick and strong, always enters into their description of a pretty girl, for the value of a wife with them consists much in the work she is able to do. So that it would require a round sum with an English wife to make up to a Dutch man the difference in labour and frugality.
No wonder Rainer was all into me ;-)

So I guess if we have German ancestors, we can assume the women were probably dick und stark (I know in my family this trait has been passed down to the current generation despite the addition of tiny asian person genes).

Online Learning

I'm seriously thinking of taking the NGS's online course on "Using Census Records in Genealogical Research". I hesitate because it's $35 and I feel I know quite a bit about the US Federal Census records already, but maybe I don't know as much as I think I do. Passing the course gives a $30 discount on the 18-month $495 Home Study Course in American Genealogy, which I'm pretty sure I will sign up for once we move to wherever we'll be moving to at the end of this year, so then it's really only $5. Anyone out there familiar with these courses?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Book Review: BCG Genealogical Standards Manual

This book is produced by the Board for Certification of Genealogists and aimed at the professional (or professional-in-training) genealogist. The first 27 pages of this book give Standards that should be followed by the genealogist. Some examples:

  • "Materials (published unpublished, microfilmed, photographic, and original) are handled with careful regard for their preservation and availability for future researchers."
  • "Indirect evidence is assembled with care and caution to ensure that all relevant evidence is included and all irrelevant evidence is excluded."
  • "Sources are fully cited."
  • "Lecturers do not reuse another speaker's overall presentation or any part thereof (research, handouts, visual aids, case-study examples, or distinctively worded titles) without written permission and source acknowledgement in both the oral presentation and the written materials that accompany it."

The appendixes make up the bulk of the book and present examples of Client Reports, Proof Summaries, Compiled Lineages, and other writings.

This book is essential for the professional genealogist. As a hobby genealogist with thoughts towards a career in genealogy, I found this to be an interesting read that I will probably go back to somewhat often. I was, however, very annoyed that the examples used distracting made up names and places, like Ila Bee Karefull of Mytown, This State; Joe Somebody Else of Histown, His State; and Ima Kean Researcher of Anytown, Research State. The authors could just have easily used fictitious examples like Joe Smith of Springfield, Illinois, which would have made the appendixes much more readable.

I imagine those only superficially interested in genealogy wouldn't find much of interest here, but they would probably not bother with building a genealogy book collection or reading this review either. I wouldn't call this an essential, as a lot of the info is common sense and/or can be found on the web (I've made one link in the list of contents below), but it's still a nice addition to your bookshelf.


Title: The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (buy this at
ISBN: 0916489922
Published: 2000 by Ancestry Publishing
Pages: 125
Cost: $19.95

When Standards Apply
The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual
Research Standards
The Genealogical Proof Standard
Data-Collection Standards
Evidence-Evaluation Standards
Compilation Standards
Teaching Standards
Standards for Lecturers
Standards for Instructors
Standards for Educational Writers
Genealogical Development Standards
Continuing-Education Standards
Appendix A: The Genealogist's Code
Appendix B: The Board for Certification of Genealogists
Appendix C: Example Reports (letter, formal, and memorandum formats)
Appendix D: Example Proof Summaries (cover-sheet list & source-cited text)
Appendix E: Example Compiled Lineages (ascending & descending)
Appendix F: Example Compiled Pedigrees (Sosa-Strandonitz & Multi-Surname systems)
Appendix G: Example Compiled Genealogies (NGSQ & Register systems)

Book Review: Finding Your German Ancestors

This book starts out with a short, uncomplicated history of the region known today as Germany. The same time period is covered in the Germany article on Comparitively, Hansen gives a few more sentences on the early history than the Wikipedia article.

He then gives tips for locating your ancestor's town in modern day Germany (the internet page he gives no longer exists), names a few online German dictionaries (but not, and sends you to for more internet sites. He explains that you will find a lot of spelling errors and variations in spelling in the records, and that you need to know the town before starting research in German records, as records were not kept on a National level until recently, so if you don't know the town name, you need to keep looking in US sources (he does not give any hints on where to look here).

The third chapter gives a brief summary of the different types of records available (brief = one paragraph). The rest of the book is mailing addresses of archives and genealogical societies.

Overall, the book did not provide me with much new information, but it only costs $6.95 (and I got it for $4). Sometimes it's nice to have something in your hand as opposed to on the computer screen, so I don't regret the money spent. There is the possibility that some of the info is out of date, as the book was published in 1999.

In regards to genealogy resources in Germany, I've found the soc.genealogy.german Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page the most useful resource thus far.


Title: Finding Your German Ancestor's: A Beginner's Guide (buy this at
Author: Kevan M. Hansen
ISBN: 0916489833
Published: 1999 by
Pages: 80
Cost: $6.95

Chapter 1: Historic Germany (16 pages)
Chapter 2: Research Tools and Tips (10 pages)
Chapter 3: German Genealogical Sources (12 pages)
Chapter 4: Church Records (13 pages)
Chapter 5: Archival Records (16 pages)
Chapter 6: Genealogical Societies (4 pages)

Setting Sail

It's the first post on my new blog (I've been blogging for a while over at An American Expat in Deutschland). The purpose of this blog is to chronicle my experiences as genealogy becomes something more than a hobby for me. I'll review books and online courses as I read and take them respectively. I'll talk about my trials and tribulations; hopefully my experiences will help you avoid some of the bigger potholes on the family history road. And maybe I'll be entertaining from time to time.

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