Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some mysteries aren't solved

One of the interesting parts of genealogy research is investigating and finding out who is related to who and how. But sometimes you come across a family and just can't figure it out.

I have been corresponding with Don Miller in Florida for about 7 years who is researching two boys who were living with my Great Great Grandfather, James Henderson Hogan in 1880. Thomas Ellis Miller and Marion Pascal Miller were 10 and 8 years old and listed as his nephews.

Don's cousin hired a professional genealogist who had contacted a woman named Emma Morris in Galva Illinois in 1991. Emma was related to the Hogan family and published material on the family. They had read her material so they asked her to help research the question about how the boys were related to the Hogans. Emma died about 10 years ago and I received her research papers in 2001 from her family. I saw the Miller correspondence and contacted Don and his cousin to take up the question.

The boy's parents apparently died in 1880, in fact they were living with their mother on June 19, 1880 along with two sisters, Florence Matilda Miller and Julia Miller but 10 days later on June 29, 1880 they were living with James Hogan and the sisters were living with two other families with some connection to the Hogans. By 1885 they were no longer living with James Hogan.

Don and I have compared notes on the Hogan family and also every other family related to James Hogan, trying to find out how and why the two boys were listed as nephews and have not come up with a satisfactory answer. We have separately and together searched census and marriage records of every county in South Georgia and North Florida trying to figure out who John Miller (born 1834 in Georgia) was and who he married.

We know the wife's name was Sally and she was born about 1843 in Georgia. Both of them disappear, not appearing on the 1880 death index, (which should list them if they died in 1880) and the children grew up in various households as orphans.

At one point Don and his cousin were having a family history book published and since they couldn't go past the 1880 census on the Miller side of the family were in a quandary, trying to figure out what to put in the book for their ancestry. The book has been published, but what it says only represented their best guess at the time, now shown to be suspect.

To add more mystery to the question, I found a picture of Florence Miller and her husband John Brown in an old Green family bible. There is no one alive today who can say why she would be in the family bible.

Every couple months I take up this family again, searching another tree to try and find John and Sally Miller. There are about 5 possibles but none of them have any stronger case than the other. I know Don is still searching also, but suspect his cousin is satisfied with the conclusion in the book.
1880 Taylor County Census, Sup Dist # 18, En. Dist. # 149, June 1880, Page 42
Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father's Birthplace Mother's Birthplace

James H. HOGAN Self W Male W 45 GA Farmer GA GA
Anne A. HOGAN Dau S Female W 14 FL Keeping House GA NC
John T. HOGAN Son S Male W 12 FL GA NC
Dora HOGAN Dau S Female W 8 FL GA NC
Thomas MILLER Nephew S Male W 10 GA GA GA
Paschal MILLER Nephew S Male W 8 GA GA GA
Source Information: Census Place "Precinct 1, 2, And 4", Taylor, Florida Page Number 371B

Monday, February 16, 2009

Remembering my grandparents

Today is my great grandmother, Sallie Adams Fulford's 139th birthday. I made this video of my mother talking about her grandparents in 2005.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Clean the tombstone

There is a lot of controversy about how and if you should clean tombstones. I have been out to several cemeteries and after finding an old marker couldn't read what it said.

There is a group that believes you should clean it off and some that I have seen look a whole lot better afterwards. They use various chemicals to get rid of a century of mold or algae.

Some people just use a whiting agent, like chalk or shaving cream to fill in the indentures of the letters and then photograph the stone, hoping the difference in color will make the letters visible. This is supposed to wash off and after you get the photo the stone will look like it did before.

There are others who say you shouldn't do anything to the marker, thinking the chemicals will destroy the stone. I am not sure what is correct, although I would tend to believe granite or marble can take a lot without any permanent damage.

The question is what good does a marker do that is not legible? If you can't read it, future generations will not even know who's grave it marks. Seems to me it makes more sense to do something to mark the grave, using caution, but with it being an ancestor's grave that would be something most would not argue with. I think the important thing is that we leave the graves marked out of respect for the ancestor and for the benefit of the future generation.

If you want to clean a grave marker there are a couple good web pages with guidance.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Four years to the day

On February 1, 1947, four years to the day after his brother was killed in an airplane crash, my uncle Lester Broward Green was killed in a train crash. I never knew the cause of his death until a cousin sent me a newspaper clipping she found in the Perry, Florida paper.

The Live Oak Perry & Gulf Railroad was owned by the Brooks-Scanlon Corporation who operated a sawmill in Foley, Florida.

Feb. 6, 1947

Lester Green Dies In Motor Car Wreck

Lester Green, 37 year old son of M.F. Green of Perry, was fatally injured in a railroad motor car accident last Saturday afternoon. He died in an ambulance shortly after leaving Perry for a hospital at Thomasville. The accident occurred on the L.O.P.& G. about twelve miles east of Perry.

After nine years in the Army, Mr.Green came home last November 27, going to work for the L.O.P.&.G. R's in late December. The accident which cost his life occurred when a section motor car jumped the track and the trailer with men and tools piled up on the motor car as boxes of heavy tools was said to have fallen upon his body, crushing his chest.

The deceased is survived by his father, M.F. Green, his widow, the former Miss Doris Vera Avera of Orlando, to whom he was married December 21, 1940. There is a son, Dan, and a daughter, Miss Doris Green of Eustis, by an earlier marriage. Three brothers survive, being Tech. Sgt. Clyde Green of Eglin Field, Alton B. Green of Jacksonville and Floyd Green of Macon, Georgia. There are also several uncles and aunts and other relative. Another brother, Bryant Green, US Army, was killed in a plane crash in New Mexico, just four years to the day and almost to the hour before Lester’s death February 1.

Funeral services were held here at the First Baptist Church Tuesday afternoon at three o’clock, Rev. Alva Horton of New Home Baptist Church conducting the service. Internment was in the City Cemetery.

Lester Broward Green was born in this county on May 31, 1910 and spent his entire life here, except for the nearly ten years he spent in the Army. His mother died when he was five years old.