Monday, January 31, 2011

Graduate Elvis John Brassfield

This one is captioned "the graduate" and "Me" and is from Elvis J. Brassfield's photo album.

Elvis John Brassfield (1920-2006) was the son of Thelma Sarah (Hunt) and Floyd Gipson Brassfield.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Adrian Brassfield in 1916 or 1917

This photo is captioned Adrian Brassfield 1916 or 1917. Adrian was born March 18, 1902 and died January 4, 1919, probably from pandemic influenza.

Adrian was the son of Elvis H. Brassfield and brother of Floyd Gipson Brassfield. He was Elvis J. Brassfield's uncle and my Great Grand uncle.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Bethany Circle

This image is captioned Bethany Circle, Iowa City, 1919, which I can only assume is some kind of religious woman's group. Clara Ross is in the back row, 3rd from the right. Her sister Mary Ross is in the middle row, 2nd from the right. Clara Ross is my Great Grandmother and she would have been about 22 years old in this photo. Mary would have been around 25. This photo was in the collection of my Great Grandmother, Clara Ross-Fowlie.

As a side note, this photo kind of illustrates how lazy I am on scanning some of these photos. I didn't even remove the paperclip from the upper left part of the photo. Also, since the photo is too long to fit my scanner, one poor girl got cut right off in the front row at the right.

Update: This is the same photo that appears in the University of Iowa Hawkeye yearbook, 1920 edition.It is captioned Bethany Circle.
Back Row: Walker, Paul, Varner, Ross, Grace, Henderson
Middle: Sunier, Rohrer, Richards, Kinsor, Johnson, Evans, Ross, Issac
Front: Garris, Kaudelka, Yavorsky, Lake, Ogle, Kinser, Foxworthy, Ritz, Plum
(Sorry to cut Ms. Plum out of my scan)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Minnie Polenske-Haney

This is the tombstone of Minnie (Polenske) Haney at Riverside Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette, Wisconsin.

Minnie was born December 3, 1858. She married James Haney after the 1880 census but probably before 1881 when Maggie was born. She died February 26, 1895. Beyond that, I don't have very much detail on her.
Minnie is the mother of Maggie (Haney) Alexander. This makes her my 3rd great grandmother.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Anna M. Perry Stotler

This is a photo of Anna M. (Perry) Stotler, wife of John Harrison Stotler. I don't have too many details about her, except born in Ohio March 1865 from the 1900 census on Mt. Carmel, Wabash County, Illinois. John and Anna lived on 6th St while John was a minister there. I don't have anything else on her and I can't find them in the 1910 census. The oral tradition in my family has been that John died in a flood during 1913, probably the Great Flood of Indianapolis in Columbus, Ohio of March 1913. They may have lived in Indianapolis in 1913, but Stotler is a difficult name to search the census for since there are many ways the census taker can misspell it and the people creating the database can misread their writing. Stotler, Stotter, Statler, Statter, Stattler, etc etc. It makes it tricky to search the databases and Indianapolis is too large to check page by page. I'll keep working on it. 

Update: I'm starting to have doubts on the flood story. The source of that story was the April 1913 notification of Mary Ross by a Franklin County Coroner following the disastrous flooding. I now think that the notification was in error and in the confusion following the flood, the wrong Stotlers were notified. The death certificates for John and Katherine Stotler that died during the flood indicate they were much older by 20 years and were born in Germany, not Illinois. Based on this, I think I need to go back to the drawing board on John Harrison Stotler.

As I mentioned the other day, John H. Stotler was the brother of Mary Hay Stotler-Ross. He was my 2nd great grand uncle.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

John H. Stotler at his desk

Here's a followup photo of John Harrison Stotler. The caption just says John Stotler minister on the back of the photo. I can almost read the calender on the wall on the 1200 dpi scan, but not quite. It's a 30 day month that starts on a Sunday, looks like 190-something. I'm guessing April 1906, but you decide...(Update: Can't be 1906, see below)
I'm always impressed at how much detail from the scanner. The calender is not even 1/2 inch tall in the original photo.

Update: The photo dates to the time period where J.H. Stotler was a pastor in Mt. Carmel, IL. The bottom of the photo says it was printed by a company in Mt. Carmel. According to other information that I have, he was there for about 5 years. This was after 1894 when he was in Burlington, IN, but before 1902 when he was in Centralia, IL. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ancestral Name List Roulette

Mary Hay Stotler, age 19

Randy at Genea-Musings has some more entertainment for us tonight: Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ancestral Name List Roulette:
Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) How old is one of your grandfathers now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your 'roulette number.'

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an 'ahnentafel'). Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the 'roulette number.'

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person's name for your 'roulette number' then spin the wheel again - pick a grandmother, or yourself, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

Mary Ross and her mother Mary (Stotler) Ross
I used Elvis John Brassfield, who would have been 90 years old November 2010. That translates to a number of 23. #23 on my ahnentafel is Mary Hay Stotler, a frequent subject of this blog, so I have some details about her.

Three facts are pretty easy for Mary since I have most of her basic details. She was born in Piatt County, Illinois January 27, 1864. She Married John Franklin Ross March 27, 1889. She died February 15, 1959 and is buried at Lake Creek Cemetery, Rockwell City, Calhoun, Iowa.

Looks like the hardest part of this exercise was determining who was in what position on my ahnentafel, but I already had it figured out to the 20's. Thanks Randy for the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

Gen Wish List: Scanning Slides and Making Videos

Tina over at Gen Wish List had an article earlier in the week about about scanning slides. Check out her article at Gen Wish List: Scanning Slides and Making Videos. I wish her the best of luck in her effort to scan her collection of slides.

Clara and Frank Fowlie scanned with the Plustek
I went down this same road in the past few years, too. I bought a slide-scanner (Plustek Opticfilm 7200) Winter of 2007. I tried out the SilverFast software that came with it and I didn't care for it. After some searching on the web I switched to Vuescan, a universal scanning software, that I still use. I have used VueScan in concert with my HP Scanjet 3500c to scan nearly every photo on this blog. I think it does a great job and is very flexible. I also used it with my slide scanner and it works with every scanner I've owned, even an old 300 dpi flatbed scanner that I couldn't find the original Acer drivers for.

I scanned a hand full of 35mm negatives with the Plustek, but I had difficulty getting the colors and contrast right. The slides looked very good with the Plustek scanner. It just took way too much time to do. I had trouble centering the slides because of the tray it comes with and I'd often have to preview each more than once before doing a final scan. One Sunday during the winter of 2010, I scanned around 100 slides in about 8 hours and I realized that I was nuts to spend that much time for so few images. I had over 1000 slides left and I couldn't justify the time. I thought the slides were coming out pretty good, but it was just taking way too much time.

Floyd Brassfield Scanned by
I finally took the slides to a professional and had them scan the slides for me. It cost just under $575, but that was with sales tax. I ended up with nearly 1300 slides scanned and put on 4 DVDs. The DVD plays the slideshow on regular DVD players. When you put the DVDs in the computer you get the jpgs of all the 3200 dpi scans so I can post them on the blog or have them printed at Walgreens or something. For me it was an easy decision, since I live less than 5 miles away from his office, I just dropped them all off. People from other areas have to ship their slides, but he seems to do a quite a bit of business online via mail.

Ultimately, for me it was a better use of resources to pay a professional to scan the images. My only regret is not being a bit more selective with the slides. Even though I spend hours and hours sorting them, I should have sorted them better. I also should have copied all of the notes written on the slides and made a script for the slideshow. It's difficult remembering the who, what and where of the images.

Disclaimer:I'm not affiliated with any of the above companies and I've never received compensation of any kind from any of them.

John Harrison Stotler

This one is captioned "John Harrison Stotler". He was the son of Hiram Stotler (1838-1920) and Hannah Argo (1833-1871). He was the brother of my 2nd great grandmother, Mary Hay (Stotler) Ross, so that makes him my 2nd great grand uncle. He would have been Clara (Ross) Fowlie's uncle, if that helps connect things.

John Harrison Stotler was born February 15, 1867 in Illinois to Hiram A. Stotler and Hannah Argo. He was probably born in or near Piatt County, Illinois since his family was recorded to be living in Sangamon township, Piatt County, Illinois in 1870. John became a minister and married Anna M. Perry around 1890. In 1900, John was a minister in Mt. Carmel, Wabash County, Illinois. I don't have a religion listed, but it was most likely a Protestant faith. They had no children in 1900. According to my notes, he died in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1913 due to a flood. There was a large flood in Indiana in March of 1913, so his death might have occurred in that flood. He might be buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN where his brother and father are buried, but the online database for Crown Hill conflicts with some of my notes. I'll post an update in the future if I find anything else.

Update: John Stotler apparently was killed in Franklin County, Ohio rather than Indianapolis. My grandmother has a letter from the Franklin County, Ohio Coroner dated April 3, 1913 that says he and his wife Katharine were killed in the flooding at that time. The best I can do at this time is say that according to the Ohio Historical Society's website around 100 were killed in Columbus, Ohio and 467 total in the state of Ohio. I will scan the telegram and post it when it becomes available. Apparently, John Stotler remarried Katharine following Anna's death.

Update: I'm starting to have doubts on the flood story. The source of that story was the April 1913 notification of Mary Ross by a Franklin County Coroner following the disastrous flooding. I now think that the notification was in error and in the confusion following the flood, the wrong Stotlers were notified. The death certificates for John and Katherine Stotler that died during the flood indicate they were much older by 20 years and were born in Germany, not Illinois. Based on this, I think I need to go back to the drawing board on John Harrison Stotler.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Roy Fowlie

This is a photo of Royal James Fowlie (Roy) (1887-1911). He was the brother of Frank Brown Fowlie, my Great Grandfather. According to the Rockwell City Advocate, on Monday, July 31, 1911 Roy was handling bundles of grain on a wagon during a threshing operation when he was fatally struck by a bolt of lightning. He was buried at Rosehill Cemetery, Rockwell City, Calhoun Cty, Iowa.

 Update: Death record states Royal James Fowlie. The notes I was given said Charles, but one of his older brothers has the middle name Charles. I now believe his full name was Royal James Fowlie.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - James Haney

This is the tombstone of James Haney at Riverside Cemetery, Town of Westfield, Marquette County, Wisconsin. Locally it is in an unincorporated place known as Lawrence on the shores of Lawrence Lake, but there is nothing officially named Lawrence, Wisconsin, no zip code, etc.

James Haney was born in Canada on January 6, 1842 and died May 19, 1923. His parents, Patrick Haney and  Margaret Foley were born in Ireland on their way to immigrating to the US. James married Minnie Polenske, of Ireland (my notes say Ireland, but it's probably Prussia/Eastern Germany/Western Poland), and their daughter Maggie Haney was born in 1881. Maggie Haney married Gilbert Alexander and their daughter Norma Alexander married Lloyd Ira Parker. Hopefully family and regular readers will recognize those names. Anyway, all of this makes James Haney my 3rd great grandfather.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jorgon Peter Johnson September 1944

This one is a photo of Jorgon Peter Johnson, my 3rd great grandfather. It is captioned "Peter Johnson, September 17, 1944, Jennie Johnson Hunts father".

He was born in Denmark and was naturalized at October 6, 1877 in Cuming County, Nebraska. He died in February 1945 at age 93. He was buried at Blair Cemetery, Blair, Washington County, Nebraska. His tombstone lists him as J.P. Johnson. The 1900 census lists him as John P. Johnson and he lived in Blair, Nebraska.

His wife was Hannah Branhus and she was listed as having 9 surviving children in 1900. The 1900 census also lists her as mother of 17 children, but the second number is not very clear, it could be a 12, but definitely a flat line on it to like a weird 2 or a decent 7. It seems extraordinary to me for a 45 year old to have 17 children, but it's possible. She would have been pregnant for nearly 13 years of her life. Hannah died in 1908 at age 53.

His daughter Jennie Johnson married John Hunt. Their daughter Thelma Sarah Hunt married Floyd Gipson Brassfield.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Nathan and Thelma Hunt around 1906

This photo is of Nathan Johnson Hunt (1898-1935) and Thelma Sarah Hunt (1900-1976) the children of John and Jennie (Johnson) Hunt. The caption says Randolph, Neb, Nathan - 6, Thelma - 8. I'm guessing that the middle name Sarah comes from John Hunt's mother's first name, Sarah (Beistline) and Nathan's middle name, probably comes from his mother's maiden name, Johnson.

Thelma Hunt married Floyd Gipson Brassfield, so she would be my Great Grand mother.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What are they searching for?

Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What are they searching for?:
"Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Go to your Blog Statistics website (e.g., StatCounter, Google Analytics, etc.) and find the page for 'Keyword Searches' done on your blog.

2) Tell us some of the funniest or most interesting keyword searches and your reaction to them. Write your own blog post or put them in a comment to this post, or in a comment or status on Facebook.

Have fun!

This blog doesn't get much traffic, and I have less than a dozen keywords listed by Google analytics and Blogger's stats page. I kind of expected more Elvis Presley related keyword hits because of the focus on my grandfather Elvis John Brassfield and his grandfather Elvis H. Brassfield. However, I only had one that seemed Elvis Presley related: "the fact that elvis s grandma"

I had some fairly targeted searches like b24 "asbestos alice", one of the B-24's that Elvis J. Brassfield flew on in WWII, but the page they were sent to didn't have much information. Not too many pages share those keywords, so it's easy to see how they ended up on my page. Maybe some time in the future I will have some more information to post about Asbestos Alice and the missions Elvis flew. I see that someone liked that Tombstone Tuesday post so much that they stole it and put it on their own World War II blog. Their blog is shut down now, but google still has it in the cache. I didn't think anything I'd write would be worth stealing, but I guess it was. Maybe it's time to start adding a more obvious copyright notice, but I doubt that will help.

A similar search found the same page, elvis brassfield 445th, but again I didn't provide them with much information. It's interesting to see the other pages with the same keywords, but also disturbing to see other spam sites that have stolen my text. I guess that's the dark secret of the internet, that anything useful you add to it will be stolen. I can only hope that these posts will find their way to a distant cousin or genealogy researcher and help them in their research even in some small way. The internet has helped me greatly in my research and this is one small way I can help give back a little.

Another interesting keyword search is "charlotte temple bird", but I didn't have much info about her for them to find. I do have some things I need to post someday. Charlotte Temple (Parker) Bird (1842-1923) is my 2nd great grand aunt and I even have a photo of her tombstone from a visit to Wautoma Union Cemetery, Wautoma, Wisconsin in 2009. She was the sister of Valois Denemore Parker, so she will definitely have a post or two about her in the future.

Well those keywords were the most interesting to me. Thanks Randy, at Genea-Musings, for the idea to look at some of the keywords and for the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

Clarence Brassfield Portrait

This a a portrait of Clarence Dixon Brassfield, son of Elvis H. Brassfield and Nellie Belle Bates-Brassfield.

Clarence was born 116 years ago on January 7, 1895. He and Jennie Martinson had two boys prior to his death in 1941. So somewhere out there might be some cousins of Elvis John Brassfield. They would be between 70 and 80 years old, their names are in the 1959 Higginson Brasfield-Brassfield book, but if they are still living, I'm not going to list them here for privacy reasons.

One note about the photo, the original 1200 dpi scan shows a bit of detail on the pins he is wearing, the one on his upper left lapel appears to be masonic. I can't make out the other object though.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Clarence D. Brassfield arrived overseas

This is a newspaper clipping from November 11, 1918, the day of the Armistice that ended World War I. The caption is:
C. D. Brassfield,
Clarence D. Brassfield, ambulance company 134, 109th Sanitary Train, has arrived overseas.

The reverse side of the clipping indicates that it is from a newspaper in the Sioux City, Iowa area, where Clarence lived.

As noted in a previous post. Clarence D. Brassfield (1892-1941) served in the Iowa Army National Guard during World War I. He was in the 34th Infantry Division, 109th Sanitary Train, Ambulance Company 134. The 34th Division arrived in France in October 1918, a month before the war ended and fortunately did not see combat.

Clarence was married to Jennie Elvera Martinson in 1924 and he died in Los Angeles County, California in June 1941. He was buried at Floyd Cemetery, Sioux City, Iowa. I have no details about his death at age 46.

Clarence was the brother of Floyd Gipson Brassfield and my great grand uncle.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

50 years ago today - Lloyd Ira Parker

This is a photo of Norma Elizabeth (Alexander) and Lloyd Ira Parker. They were married November 23, 1921 and this photo is probably from that time period.

Lloyd Ira Parker died January 6, 1961, 50 years ago today. He was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Westfield Township, Marquette County, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Nellie Brassfield and children

This is Nellie Belle Bates-Brassfield with her three sons. From left to right, Clarence (1895-1941), Adrian (1902-1919), Nellie (Bates) (1873-1940) and Floyd (1898-1961) Brassfield. Nellie's husband, Elvis H. Brassfield died in 1904, so I'm assuming this photo is after 1904. Floyd Gipson Brassfield is my Great Grandfather.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Twyla I Schauer-Schultz

This is the tombstone of Twyla I. (Schauer) Schultz located at Westfield East Cemetery, Westfield, Marquette County, Wisconsin. She died at age 29 in Madison, Wisconsin October 23, 1950 due to polio. She was the second daughter of Arnold Carl Schauer (1894-1954) and Alma Marie Polsfuss (1895-1977).
She married Robert E. Schultz (1920-2008) in the 1940s. He remarried around 1953 and is buried in Montello, Wisconsin. As far as I know, Twyla had no children.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Shop in 1920

This photo is a pretty interesting one. In the album it's easy to zip right past. It's dark and hard to make out details, but after scanning it at 1200 dpi, it looks very interesting. Click the image and take a look at the details. It is captioned as follows:
left to right
Floyd Brassfield
Clifford Bates
Boss of shop
office girl
Clarence Brassfield (partner in shop)

This shop was probably in Sioux City, Iowa. You may remember that Clarence and Floyd are brothers, sons of Elvis H. Brassfield and Nellie Bell Bates. Clifford Bates is a cousin of theirs, son of Robert Bates, Nellie's brother. Notice that Floyd is leaning on an engine block. There is also a large "Bull Dog" No. 52 vise made by Prentiss Vise Company on the bench.

Everyone has some kind of tool, but I found it a bit amusing that the "office girl" has the largest one, a huge pipe wrench. Floyd moved on to being a rancher near Fairfax, South Dakota sometime after his son Elvis John Brassfield was born in November 1920.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Mary Hay Stotler and John Ross

This is a photo of Mary Hay Stotler. It is captioned "April 1883, age 19" on the reverse of the image.

According to my notes, Mary Hay Stotler was born January 27, 1864 in Sangamon township, Piatt County, Illinois to Hiram A. Stotler (1838-1920) and Hannah (Argo) Stotler (1833-1871). Her father was from Pennsylvania and mother was from Ohio. She was their second child, but Catherine E. Stotler died in 1862 less than a year old. She had two brothers, George and John, that survived to adulthood, and a sister Jane Gregory that was born and also died in 1869.

Mary grew up in the vicinity of Mahomet, Champaign County, Illinois and Mansfield, Piatt County, Illinois. Her mother died in 1871, and her father remarried before 1880. At the time of the 1880 census the family was living in Mansfield, Illinois. This photo dates to 1883. Mary was married to John Franklin Ross on March 27, 1889 in Mansfield, Illinois. John was also a native of that area, born in Mansfield August 2, 1859. His parents came from Pennsylvania.

The photo to the left is of John F. Ross. One copy of this photo is captioned "c.1890?" so that date is not certain.

Mary and John had seven children from 1890 to 1906. Their first child George Adam Ross was born in Illinois May 5, 1890, but their second, Mason Hiram Ross was born in Calhoun County, Iowa April 14, 1892. John and Mary lived in Calhoun county for the rest of their lives. John died December 11, 1934 and Mary died February 15, 1959. Both were buried at Lake Creek Cemetery, Rockwell City, Calhoun, Iowa.

The connection to the Brassfield surname is their daughter Clara Ross (1897-1994) married Frank Fowlie (1892-1977). Their daughter married Elvis John Brassfield. John and Mary would be my 2nd Great Grand parents.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Well, it's 2011, so here's a photo from around 142 years ago. This on is from 1869 of Mary Hay Stotler. It is captioned "Age 5". She was born in 1864. In 1870, her family was living in Sangamon township, Piatt County, Illinois near Mohamet and Mansfield, Illinois.

Mary is my 2nd Great Grandmother. Her grand daughter married Elvis John Brassfield. More to come Sunday morning on Mary Stotler and John F. Ross (Sr.).

I have plenty of photos scanned and ready to post in the coming year. I'm going to shoot for about one post a day, though it will probably be closer to 4 or 5 a week. I have plenty of Brassfield, Hunt, Ross and Fowlie photos to post and I hope to get to the other side of my family at some point too. Hopefully you will enjoy the photos and my commentary about them.