Sunday, October 23, 2016

Genealogy & Local History Fair : Indiana State Library

Yesterday, I drove to Indianapolis and attended the Genealogy & Local History Fair at the Indiana State Library.  A native Hoosier, I had never made it down to the State Library - an impressive place that I'm already making plans to return to in order to do some research.

I hadn't heard of this Genealogy & Local History Fair before, and I'm glad that I came.  Not only for the opportunities to learn from the speakers, but the chance to mingle with other genealogists and talk to the vendors/societies that were present.  I picked up quite a few materials and applications for hereditary societies that I am eligible for membership.

The two speakers for the day were Jill Morelli and Ann Staley.  Jill spoke on House Histories and Sanborn maps while Ann spoke on the Everyday Lives of our Ancestors and Using City Directories.  Both of these speakers presented good research examples and keep me interested in their topics.

Though the majority of my ancestors seem to be rural farmers, there have been enough relatives that have lived in cities that I should be utilizing the resources of Sanborn maps and city directories more.  Jill's talk on house histories has me thinking of researching my current house as well as the house that I grew up in, in order to find out more about the when it came into the families possession.  Ann's talk on the lives of our ancestors and reminding us to put them into perspective with timelines gave me some ideas for how to knock down some brickwalls and learn what was going on in the world during the times my relatives were living.

I'm looking forward to continuing to branch out and attending as many conferences as I can to meet fellow researchers and learn more tips and tricks.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Exploratory Data Analysis : Rebecca Ann (Heaton) Wright (1841-1890)

Rebecca Ann (Heaton) Wright (1841-1890) was my maternal third great-grandmother.  What follows is an exploratory analysis of the biographical data I have discovered about her.

1. Vital Records

     Rebecca was born 1841 in Ohio, likely in Brown County1.

     1.1. Birth Certificate

           The State of Ohio did not require birth certificates at the time of Rebecca's birth.  Statewide recording of births started in 1867.

          1.1.1. Birth Notice in Newspaper

               If Rebecca's birth was mentioned in a newspaper, I've not yet located it.  Will need to check with state and local archives to see if they have any newspapers from the time period.

          1.1.2. Bible Record

               I'm not aware of any surviving Heaton family Bible that mention's Rebecca.  Will continue to reach out to extended family in hopes that one can be located.

          1.1.3. Baptismal Record

               I'm not aware of any baptismal record for Rebecca. I am not sure of the church affiliation of the Heaton family at this time.

          1.1.4. Adoption Record

               There is no indication that Rebecca was adopted.

     1.2. Marriage License

          Rebecca married Joseph Wright on November 1, 1857 in Schuyler County, Missouri2.  Rebecca's parents had moved to Liberty Township, Schuyler County, Missouri in the mid-1850s, along with others from Brown County, Ohio.

          1.2.1 Marriage Notice in Newspaper

               I have not yet searched out available newspapers from the time period to see if Rebecca and Joseph's nuptials were mentioned.

          1.2.2. Anniversary Notice

               I have not yet searched out available newspapers from the time period to see if mention was made of Joseph and Rebecca's anniversaries, either.  Their 25th wedding anniversary would have been November 1, 1882.  Rebecca passed away before their 50th.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

          1.2.3. Divorce Decree

               There is no indication that a divorce ever occurred, and a recent search of court records during the time period did not turn up a divorce record.

     1.3. Death Certificate

          Rebecca died March 25, 1890 in Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana3, from german measles.  The State of Indiana did not require death certificates at this time.

          1.3.1. Obituary in Newspaper

               Record of Rebecca's death has not been found in any extant local newspapers from the time period.

          1.3.2. Funeral Home Records

                Will need to search records of the local historical society to see if they have any records of funeral homes that might pertain to Rebecca.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next trip.

          1.3.3. Tombstone Photograph

                Rebecca's tombstone in the I.O.O.F. cemetery in Alexandria, Indiana has been photographed
4.  A link to her memorial page at FindAGrave can be found here.
2. Census Records

     2.1. Federal Census Records

          2.1.1. 1880 Federal Census

               On June 18, 1880, Rebecca was enumerated in Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana5 in the Joseph Wright household as Rebecca Wright, wife, female, age 42, Keeping House.  Rebecca was born in Ohio, as were both her parents.

          2.1.2. 1870 Federal Census

               On September 13, 1870, Rebecca was enumerated in Monroe Township, Madison County, Indiana6 in the Joseph Wright household as Rebecca Wright, female, age 31, Keeping House.  Rebecca was born in Ohio.

          2.1.3. 1860 Federal Census

                On June 28, 1860, Rebecca was enumerated in Washington Township, Brown County, Ohio7 in the Joseph Wright household as Rebecca Wright, female, age 20.  Rebecca was born in Ohio.

          2.1.4. 1850 Federal Census

               On August 23, 1850, Rebecca was enumerated in Scott Township, Brown County, Ohio8 in the James Heaton household as Rebecca A. Heaton, female, age 9, born Ohio.  Rebecca had attended school within the year.

     2.2. State Census Records

          The State of Indiana conducted census in 1853, 1857, 1871, 1877, 1883, 1889, 1901, 1913, 1919 and 1931.  These, however, were merely for the purposes of legislative apportionment.

          No state census records in Ohio are known to exist.

     2.3. Agricultural Census Records

          I have not yet examined these types of records to see what light they might shed on the Wright farm.

3. Military Records

     3.1. Draft Registration

          Not applicable, as Rebecca was female.

     3.2. Pension Records

          I am not aware of any military service by her husband that would make Rebecca eligible for pension benefits.

     3.3. Service Records

          Not applicable, as Rebecca was female.

4. Land Records

     4.1. Deed Records

          Deed records need to be thoroughly searched in Madison County, Indiana and Brown County, Ohio to see see what records might mention Rebecca.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

     4.2. Plat map / county map

          Plat maps of Madison County, Indiana will need to be searched to see what information that can be gleaned that might be relevant for my search.

5. Supplemental Records

     Supplemental records to research for Rebecca include city/county directories, court records and will and probate records.  Will add this to my list of "to-do" items for my next research trip.

Sources :

1. Heaton, Dean, "The Heaton Families : 350 Years in America", Gateway Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 1982, page 120.
2. Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007.
Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.
3. Sandra Freeman, "John William Wright - Ellen King family group sheet," compiled [n.d.] (Alexandria, Indiana, USA). Notes say information from Zelma Cooper & Gloria LeMaster.
4. FindAGrave, Inc., ( : accessed 17 Oct 2016), Rebecca Ann (Heaton) Wright memorial.
5. Joseph Wright household, 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Monroe Twp., Madison Co., IN, ED 21, SD 3, Page 39, dwelling 329, family 330; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 293., Page 106.
6. Joseph Wright household, 1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Monroe Twp., Madison Co., IN, Page 38, Alexandria P.O., dwelling 275, family 270; National Archives micropublication M593, roll 336., Page 210.
7. Joseph Wright household, 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Washington Twp., Brown Co., OH, Sardinia P.O., dwelling 360, family 360; National Archives micropublication M653, roll 938., Page 25.
8. 1850 U.S. Census, Brown County, Ohio, population schedule, Scott Township, page 338 (stamped), dwelling 921, family 926, ; digital images, ( : accessed 17 October 2016); National Archives, Washington, D.C..

This post was developed as part of the series relating to Building My 2011 Research Template, an attempt to systematically document and source the details of my ancestors' lives. Comments regarding this template and the conclusions drawn in this article are welcomed.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Perry Langwell (1853-1916) at Indiana Central Hospital for the Insane

While searching through the Indiana Death Certificates database at Ancestry, I found this one for Perry Langwell (1853-1916), who was my maternal 3rd-great granduncle, the son of Joseph & Fanny (Reynolds) Langwell.

I was particularly interested in the fact that his place of death was the Indiana Central Hospital for the Insane, and a contributing factor in his death was listed as manic depression.

Perry Langwell death certificate, Marion County, Indiana, April 28, 1916
The reason I found his stay at the hospital interesting is that my ancestor, James Austin Davis (1850-1909) also suffered from mental illness, having spent time in the Owen County Asylum and the Northern Indiana Hospital for the Insane at Logansport, where he died.  

James and Perry were half-brothers, both were sons of Fanny (Reynolds) Davis Langwell (c1830-1883) of Owen County, Indiana.  

There were no family stories of any mental illness passed down in the family, whether by design or the fact that these facts were not known until I uncovered them.  James Austin Davis' mental illness may have set off the chain of events that led to his daughter Ida's life choices, as chronicled at my Ida Davis Mystery page.

Regarding Perry's stay at the hospital, the Indiana State Archive had some information on their website:

Inline image 1

I wrote off to the archives to see what the cost would be to obtain the information they had for Perry.  

Mr. LeMaster:  thank you for your inquiry.  Perry Langwell did not leave a very big paper trail.  We do not have his commitment papers.   His medical case file was not preserved.  We do, however, have his entry in the Hospital’s admission book.  It does contain both personal/family history and his diagnosis.  Also cause of death.

For a small fee, they will be able to provide me with copies of the records they have for Perry.  I will be writing off this week to obtain them and see what personal information and diagnosis is contained in the admission book.