Friday, February 05, 2016

Death Notice : Edmund Pierce, 1875, Anderson, Indiana Democrat

Anderson Democat January 15, 1875 page 4
While at the the Anderson, Indiana Public Library, I found the mention of Edmund G. Pierce's death in the January 15, 1875 edition of the Anderson Democrat.  This weekly paper didn't have much in the way of an obituary, but it did place his death in Madison County.  Edmund's tombstone is at the West Maplewood Cemetery in Anderson and states that he died January 8, 1875.

Last Friday, Mr. Ed. Pierce, a highly respected citizen, was summoned from the embrace of his kind family and friends to appear on "the sweet Eden shore" there to enjoy the society of the good and blest throughout the annals of eternity.

Edmund was my maternal 3rd-great grandfather, the son of Francis S. and Rebecca (Page) Pierce and the husband of Catherine Groenendyke.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Searching for the Smoking Gun In Madison County, Indiana

Mom searching Miscellaneous Records books, Madison County, Indiana
Spent today researching family history in Madison County, Indiana with mom today, working on trying to find clues on her Pierce line so we can button up the application for the DAR.  While we did make some interesting finds, there was no smoking gun today linking Edmund G. Pierce to his parents, Francis & Rebecca (Page) Pierce to be found.

In the 1850 census, when Edmund should be living with his parents in Wayne County, Indiana - he was enumerated in another household.  He wasn't the only one, as brothers Henry and Francis N. were not in the household either.  I'm sure that a search in Wayne County, Indiana records will need to be done to solve the whys and wherefores.  In the meantime, I was hopeful that something could be found in Madison County.

I knew that Edmund and his brother Henry were found in Madison County, Indiana circa 1863 based on a Civil War draft record, and that the family farm was purchased circa 1870 from the county history biography.  Edmund and wife Catherine were listed in the 1870 census in Lafayette Township as was Francis and Rebecca in the same township.  Edmund died January 8, 1875 in Madison County. My hope was that sometime between the period of 1863-1875 we would find a deed or record that would tie the families together.

We started out our day at the Recorder's office, searching through the Grantor and Grantee Index books (the big ones) writing down the page and book numbers so that we could later get copies.  We ended up finding several records to have copies made, but none of them contained anything about Francis.  Apparently, his time in Madison County was spent without buying or selling land.  There were, however, many records between Edmund and his brothers, Albert O. and Henry E. to be found in Madison County.

A stop at Central Records for a copy of the marriage license for the second marriage of William F. Pierce to Vida Maddox revealed that his birth date on that record was July 10, 1866, not 1865 as is found on his tombstone.  While we were there, I had asked about another marriage record on James F. Wright who I was trying to verify was a relative, and asked about the divorce records for Chester Wright and his father John Wright.  Since I don't have too many opportunities to have the day off to research, I took my chances, but unfortunately, the Central Records couldn't find the divorce cases.  I will continue to search other sources and come up with an exact date before trying again, as I'm not sure they searched that hard for them.

On our way out of the courthouse, we stopped by the Auditor's office, which had the records of the County Commissioners during the time period when William F. Pierce served as County Commissioners.  We found the original minutes where he signed his name, records show he served from January 1, 1918 through December 31, 1923.

Signature of my maternal 2nd-great grandfather, William F. Pierce

Had to stop and get something to eat before heading out to the West Maplewood Cemetery to find the Pierce plot.  It had been awhile since I had been there, but we were able to find it.  I was hoping to get a picture of Clara Pierce's marker, as I realized that I didn't have it.  When we found the plot we realized that Clara didn't have a marker.  There is the big family marker that has "E.G. Pierce" on one side and "W.F. Pierce" on the other; markers for Edmund and Catherine Pierce; one for James L. Pierce and one for infant Chad Pierce, and then a marker for William F. and Vida Pierce.

We next headed over to the Anderson Public Library to see if by chance there were any contemporary newspapers that they had on file that might have a mention of the death of Edmund on January 8, 1875.  Fortunately, they did have the Anderson Democrat on microfilm, and I was able to find mention of his death.  Unfortunately, it wasn't much of an obituary, and made no mention of who his parents were.

The library was able to give us the contact information for the cemetery and we called and made arrangements with the office to come over and view their records.  Of course, a fire had destroyed many of the older records.  They didn't have a card on file for Clara's burial, but in the record of the family plot, there is mention of "1 adult", which we are pretty sure is Clara.  I know in the past I had seen a map of the family plot, but right now cannot locate in my files.  Rather than make copies of the records, I took pictures with my cell phone, and will be able to examine later and will make another post on them.

There were many records to digest which will provide me with some blog fodder for future posts.

Overall, the day had some positives, but at the end of the day we still have no concrete proof to supply on the DAR application that Edmund G. Pierce was the son of Francis & Rebecca (Page) Pierce.  The hunt continues!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mom's DAR Process - Documenting the Details

Mom met this past Thursday with the ladies from the Kikthawenund Chapter of the DAR at the Anderson, Indiana library.  They were holding their genealogy sessions to help new prospective members with their lineage.  They had already asked her to submit a biography so they could know something about her, believe they had to vote to make sure she was upstanding material.

Previous to the meeting, they had told her to bring documentation for the first 4 generations, so I had sent mom what I had on her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.  There were actually a couple of items (birth/marriage/death) that I had not accumulated over the years, even though I knew where they were located.  Cost was a factor when I was younger and I hadn't sought them out.  Together we put together a plan and mom went to the Madison County Health Department and County Clerk to obtain what documents she could find.

The meeting with the ladies from the DAR went well.  I think they were glad to see that not only did mom know who her Patriot ancestor was, but that she had a pedigree chart and a good start on the documentation for the process.  I would imagine that not everyone who seeks membership has the lineage already known.

Afterwards, when telling me about the meeting, one of the items that mom stated that we would need would be her grandfather's birth certificate. Apparently, the national organization is adamant about that.  However, Indiana didn't require birth certificates until 1907, and he was born in 1894.  Mom's grandmother, born in 1897, did have a birth certificate, however.  Apparently the filing was rather optional at that point in time.

The regent and other ladies at the meeting suggested that mom apply for her grandfather's long-form death certificate from the state, which might contain the birth date.

Looking over the guidelines for documentation of the line, I believe there might be other things we can use to substitute.  I've found his World War II draft card, for instance, which clearly states his date and place of birth and also there is the census record in 1900 when he was living at home which gives the month and date.  If for some reason that cannot be overcome, it would be a major stumbling block because many of mom's DAR recognized Patriot ancestors would come through this line.

Check out : Is That Lineage Right and DAR Genealogy guidelines for tips on how to prepare your lineage for the application process.

Personally, I'm not sure that the requirement of a birth certificate for her grandfather makes sense when the state didn't require one at the time, as well as the fact that if my sister were the one applying for membership, he would be far enough back that they would just want to see the relationship established through census records.  But then again, I don't get to make the rules.

This whole process has mom interested in her family history and she's learning some things she didn't know about them.  The members are very helpful and the registrar has been emailing mom the long form application and providing tips on what information she needs to complete.

To facilitate this process, I've created a Dropbox folder for the information I've collected on each successive generation from mom to the Patriot ancestor.  That way when she meets with them again she can pull up all the documentation on her computer and they can print out what they need or advise her if they need more information.

We are meeting tomorrow to head to the Madison County, Indiana courthouse to see if we can locate some information that will fill in the gaps.  While we are there, I will also see if I can pick up some additional information on other lines.