September 19, 2017

Documentation that John Nordgren’s middle name was Gormley

John Nordgren’s middle name was Gormley

This newest documentation is also proof that you should always revisit sites like Ancestry again and again, because new information is being added all the time. That’s where I found this birth record for my great aunt Edith Elvera Nordgren.

It’s a little hard to decipher the document because it doesn’t seem like a normal birth record. It doesn’t have any identifying official notations at the top of the page, other than “Register of Births in _______ County, State of Washington”. In looking at the locations where the children and their parents lived, it was quite a spread out area, but I suspect it was all in Whatcom County even though it’s not noted on the sheet.

Specifically, for Edith’s family the details for her, and them, are hard to read. What I can see is that Edith is listed with her full name, date of birth, gender, her mother’s name*, mother’s age and mother’s place of birth; in the line for her father it list his first and middle name**, age, and place of birth. It also lists the father’s vocation and who he is working for at the time.***

*The mother is listed as Anna Lena Anderson. This is Anna Lena’s married name, not her maiden name, which was Andreasdotter.

**Since Edith is listed as Edith Elvera Nordgren, but the year is 1907, that means that John G was already going by the surname of Nordgren which leads me to believe he had changed his surname from Andersson some time before. He came to America as Johan Andersson. His brother John Bernt went by the surname Larson. The mother of the two boys was Anna Lena Jönsdotter Larson who had also come to the United States. We know this because she is listed in census records, and she is buried in Minnesota. (Originally, the surname was probably Larsson when they were living in Sweden.

Also, keep in mind that John had filed more than once for Naturalization, and eventually made it in 1907. Was he already going by Nordgren because that was the name he filed under and did it for continuity?

***John Gormley Nordgren was listed as an Engineer working for C I Hood. I have not yet found the company in Washington State business records. It could have been an out of state company doing business here.

Still, some mysteries remain for John G Nordgren. We know he lost his hand somehow because my mom remembered that he had a hook prosthesis.

  • The oldest child, Andrew was born in Minnesota.
  • The next two children, Hulda (my grandmother) and Olive Josephine, were both born in Iowa. Why were they living in Iowa? What occupation was John working that allowed him to take his wife and little son to Iowa? Did they know someone there? Or, was it just there was a job he could do? This time frame is the late 1800s. My grandmother was born in 1896, her sister the next year.
  • The next child, Esther, was born in Sept 1899 in Bellingham, Washington. Sadly, Esther died in October of that same year. Great grandmother Anna Lena was under great stress (my assumption) by having to have two babies born right after each other while they were in Iowa, and then sometime after 1897 the family made another major move which took them from the Midwest (Iowa) to Washington State. Could that have contributed to the loss of the baby Esther? Or, was there some other reason like illness involved?

I do know that from Washington State birth records that all of the children born here were delivered by midwife. Two more children, Oscar and Edith were both delivered by that method. Midwifery in those days had to be somewhat more primitive than present day midwifery.

 

 

 

Was Great Grandpa Named John GORMLEY Nordgren?

 His Middle Name Is Gormley?

My genealogical head-scratcher for the night is/was I was looking at some of my recent ancestors who might be in the latest release of the SS records and happened upon someone who has my GGrf in their tree with my pictures (which is OK, I make them public) but it shows in their tree that my GGfr’s middle name (of which I have no record) as Gormley. John Gormley Nordgren. This person who added it is connected to the Croasdill family, which includes John’s youngest child, my aunt Edith Nordgren Croasdill. Edith took care of her father near the end of his life, so maybe someone in her family ran across my Nordgren family documentation.

I think this person who owns the Chester_Chesler Family 2015 Tree on Ancestry will contact me soon so we can solve this mystery!

How Sharing Photos On Ancestry Can Be Successful Cousin Bait

John Holmes 1784 - 1875

Quite some time ago I posted a photo of the grave of my 4th Great Grandfather John Holmes to Ancestry and attached it to his profile. I usually try to note who has given me a picture, but right this moment I can find who that was in my records. Still, it’s a great picture (albeit of a couple gravestones) of John’s descendants and/or relatives. My comment on Ancestry read as such:

2013 – I’m not sure who the ladies and child are in the picture. 2014 – (Sarah) Malinda Edgemon next to Great-grandfather John Holmes’ grave in Tenn. Also Cordie and Herschel Morrison in background

How odd then, that almost a year later to the day, a comment was left on the photo saying this:

You are right about the people in the picture. Herschel Morrison’s daughter is still with us and identified the people as the same.

Can you believe it? That little boy named Herschel in the photo (c. 1875) has a daughter still living!

That’s not all. As I did a quick search to fill in some of Herschel Morrison’s dates, locations, etc., I found this picture below that I never thought I would see. It’s labeled as:

Holmes, Morrison, Roane TN

4 generations each one is the others uncle commencing with J.R. Holmes

NOW, I’m going to have to contact my cousin J Bogart and ask her which one was J(ames) R(egister) Holmes!

Next, I found another picture my Bogart cousin had posted and she said it had written on the back

(on back) Cemetary [sic] Where all relatives are buried in Tenn. Frank, Cordie, Malinda & Elie Edgemon, Uncle Jim Holmes & his folks

Shiloah Cemetery, Roane TN

I’m sorry the photos in this post look rather small. The originals are very large and I had to choose this size to fit my blog format. I do think you can click on them to get them full-sized. Or, you can email me and I can share the files that way too. This cemetery picture is probably a different view on the same day, but I can’t be sure of that. Looks like the family was out to clean up the overgrown weeds and brush at Shiloh Cemetery in any case.

Jefferson Davis and Emma King Morrison

And, now I leave you with one last picture of my cousin Jefferson Davis Morrison and his wife Emma King. Most likely, the photo was taken in Roane County, TN as well as all the other images here.

1917 Ethel Mae and Lillie Mae Vitatoe Yates Die From Burns In Fireplace Accident


It’s always serendipitous how new family information comes to light in the most innocent of ways. A few days ago I received a message from “Louise” through the FindAGrave site. Louise had asked me to change a Yates grave location from Ponders cemetery in Roane, Tennessee to reflect that it actually was in the Kelsay cemetery in the same county.

As it turned out, Louise and I determined that all of the Yates family graves that she had added in Kelsay/Kelsey cemetery were my family members, so she was kind enough to transfer them to me.

So, now I’m in the process of checking each new memorial, connecting it to other family members when it’s possible, and downloading photos of headstones if they are new to me.

As I download new photos I can upload them to my Yates Family Tree on Ancestry.com , add my own photos to FindAGrave and/or to Ancestry as well.

One of the families I have been able to add information for was my great grand uncle Walter Jackson Yates and his first wife Lillie Mae and their daughter Ethel Mae. It’s quite a sad story really. Walter and Lillie (Vitatoe) had two boys James Steven and Samuel Joseph, and then the youngest was the little baby girl Ethel born 23 December 1916. I’m not sure yet of the full details of the accident, but there was a fire and little 3 month old Ethel was burned so badly that her shoelaces were completely gone. (I’m citing that because it was something my great aunt Martha Yates Scott wrote in her memoir. She was in direct contact with some of the Yates family in Tennessee at the time.) Lillie must have tried to save her and in the process she too was burned and died from her injuries.

Walter, Lillie & Ethel Mayfix

The picture of them is the only one our family has of the three of them together. What I didn’t have before, and what I have now is a photo of the homemade headstone for Lillie and Ethel. This family was the epitome of being dirt poor, but someone, maybe Walter, found a large piece of stone and it looks like he lovingly scratched his wife and baby’s names and dates as best he could.

Ethel and Lillie Yates headstone

In the “It Pays To Look Again” department, I had added Lillie and Ethel’s birth and death information, but since then more documents have become available through Ancestry, and so this death certificate for Ethel showed up in a search. I think I can read part of it, but the writing is so light I’m not sure what it really says.  I think it says “Caught in bedding ___ fire grate”.  This happened in February of the year and most likely the only source of heat was a fireplace.  Today, I found the death certificate for Lillie Mae Vitatoe Yates which helps me document names and dates. Previously, I didn’t have Lillie’s birthdate.

TennesseeDeathRecords1908-1958ForEthelYates

TennesseeDeathRecords1908-1958ForLillieMaeYates

Rest in peace Lillie and little Ethel. We have not forgotten you! redheart2

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