52 Ancestors Wk3 - Lovina Clarissa Dye

This weeks theme over at No Story Too Small is Tough Woman. I am choosing to write about my great-great-grandmother Lovina Clarissa Dye. She may not have had the most difficult life, but she did have 13 kids, 12 of whom survived to adulthood. And I think raising that many kids takes one tough woman.

Lovina was born in Attleborough, Norfolk, England on 24 February 1865, youngest child of Richard Dye and Sarah Kemp. In 1854 her parents had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon). When she was 6 years old her family packed up their 6 kids and moved to Utah. Richard came to America in 1870, and saved the money to bring the rest of the family the next year. Lovina, her mother and 5 siblings sailed on the Nevada from Liverpool to New York on 18 October 1871 with 300 other Mormons heading for Utah. They arrived in Salt Lake City on 11 November 1871.

On 17 January 1884, at just 18 years old, Lovina married William Ellison in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, Utah. They stayed a few days in Salt Lake with Lovina's cousin Jane Edins, then went to Provo for a reception at the home of William's mother. They lived for a time with Lovina's parents. On 24 January 1884 Brigham Young Academy burned down, the whole city was awakened and bucket brigades were formed, but the buildings were a total loss.

William worked for Provo Woolen Mills, but work was slow, so he went out of town to Salt Lake to work at Deseret Woolen Mills. Lovina had their first child, Sarah, October 24th 1884, William was able to visit for a few days before having to go back to work. Between work at the Deseret Woolen Mills, Provo Woolen Mills and working on the Dye farm, they were able to move out on their own. They rented one room for 2 dollars a month from Sidney Bailey. While at the Bailey's house they had their second child, John.

In March 1887 they rented a house and 2 lots for 3 dollars a month, and could make improvements to the property for part of the rent. They grew a lot of their own food, as well as having a cow, a pig and some chickens. By the end of 1887 they had their third child, Clarissa. In January 1888 they bought a house for 300 dollars, fully paying it off in January 1889.

They stayed in the Provo area the rest of their lives. They had 10 more children, the last two being born after they started having grandkids. Their 7th child, Richard Heber, died of croup at 5 years old, but all the others survived to adulthood.

Lovina died on July 25, 1922 in Provo Utah of carcinoma of the intestines and kidney. She was 57.

Lovina and William Ellison and family. Taken after Richard died (shown in painting on the wall), and before the last two kids were born.
Richard Dye (1822-1905)
Sarah Kemp (1823-1903)

Sarah Ann Dye (1846-1869)
Robert Dye (1848-1866)
William Dye (1850-1932)
Hyrum Dye (1851-1860)
Heber Charles Dye (1853-1880)
Edmund Willard Dye (1855-1925)
Samuel Dye (1858-1915)
John Hyrum Dye (1859-1944)
Rebecca Dye (1862-1863)

Spouse: William Ellison (1863-1921)

Sarah Ellison (1884-1964)
John William Ellison (1885-1968)
Clarissa Ellison (1887-1967)
Grace Ellison (1889-1956)
Alfred Ray Ellison (1890-1969)
Ida Lovina Ellison (1892-1980) *my great grandmother
Richard Heber Ellison (1895-1900)
Elizabeth Ellison (1897-1969)
Arthur Albert Ellison (1899-1931)
Orena Ellison (1901-1987)
Kate Ellison (1903-1990)
Ralph Edmund Ellison (1907-1982)
Etta Ellison (1908-1993)

Tracking Research - Genealogy Do-Over Week 3

For the third week of the genealogy do-over we are working on keeping track of our research. Once you have your goals, you can start researching, and to avoid redoing too much work you have to track it.
To that end, I am going to start using Thomas MacEntee's research log (linked in the do-over blog). I used to have a spreadsheet, but when my computer crashed, the spreadsheet went with it. So, now I am going to do it on Google Drive, since it will be available anywhere I have internet access.

Now to get back in the habit of actually using a research log.

52 Ancestors Wk2- Sarah Hemingway

This week, for my second of 52 ancestors I chose Sarah Hemingway. Why her? Because we share a birthday, and I felt like writing about her.

Sarah was born to John Hemingway and Elizabeth Tuckler on November 9, 1827 in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England. According to her son, Sarah's mother died in 1832, and she got a new step-mother soon after. But Sarah didn't get along with her stepmother and at the age of 13 she moved to Nottingham to work in a stocking factory.

On a trip home to visit her father, she heard missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon missionaries). When she got back to Nottingham she again heard them preach, and decided to join the church. She was baptized in September 1848. Her father also converted. He later died in her home in 1855.

Sarah married John Ellison Jr. July 18, 1851. While they lived in Nottingham, he was a sailor. He never joined the Mormon church, and didn't like the elders of the church visiting his family, which caused contention in the family. In 1868, while working in Grimsby hauling goods up and down the canal, John was killed in a boat accident. This left Sarah a widow with 7 children. In 1870 her second child, Alfred, died at the age of 15, probably from complications that came from a childhood injury when a cart ran over him.

In 1872 her son Arthur enlisted in the Navy. And the same year her oldest child Henry got married. It was then decided that Sarah and the 4 remaining children should immigrate to America with other Mormons and settle in Utah. In October 1872 Sarah and her children, left Liverpool on board the Minnesota bound for New York, along with 203 other Mormons. From New York they made an 8 day journey to Salt Lake, arriving on November 7, 1872.

In April 1873 Sarah married Thomas Jones, a man she had known from Nottingham. His wife had died 3 years prior, leaving him with 4 kids (3 of whom had come with him to America). So, Sarah and the kids moved down to Provo, Utah where Thomas worked at the woolen mills. They rented various houses in Provo, until Thomas built them an adobe house in 1879.

She remained in Utah for the rest of her days, staying home to tend children and take care of the house. Just after her 87th birthday, she caught a severe cold, which turned into pneumonia. She died November 23, 1914 in Provo Utah.

In 1892 she wrote a small sketch of her life and testimony. Here are the final paragraphs:

"And I am still as strong in the faith today as I was then and hope always to remain so. And my desire is and always has been that my children might follow in the footsteps of the Mother and live their religion to the best of their knowledge.
And it is also my wish that this sketch may be handed down to my youngest son, if he is still living or to any of my children that may be living at that time. And if there is none left, to go to any of my Grand Children or Great Grand Children that may be still living."

I guess she valued family history too, wanting her story and faith to be carried on down the family line.

Parents: John Hemingway (1790/3 - 1855) and Elizabeth Tuckler (1798-1832)

Siblings (known and verified):
John Hemingway Jr (1820-1867)
Hannah Hemingway (1825-1863)
Mary Hemingway (1830-1913)

John Ellison Jr (1830-1868)
Thomas Jones (1836-1890)

Henry Ellison (1852-1912)
Alfred Ellison (1854-1870)
Arthur Ellison (1857-?)
Elizabeth Ann Ellison (1858-1933)
Mary 'Polly' Ellison (1861-1940)
William Ellison (1863-1921)  -- my great great grandfather
Sarah Ann Ellison (1865-1924)

Research Goals - Genealogy Do-over week 2

I have very specific research goals this year. I am doing a project of my mother's genealogy, to match the one I did for my father. I did research, gathered sources, and made a photobook. For much of his family I had to translate everything from Dutch and French (the languages of the records from Belgium), so in the scrap/photo book I included the original scanned document, and a translation. I put maps, family trees, and what few personal photographs we had in as well.

This year I am making one for my mom. Surprisingly, I have even less information on her family. Her mom's family came from England as Mormon immigrants, and have several genealogist Mormon descendants who have done work. Unfortunately not all of it is documented online. Not that it isn't documented at all, it's just not sourced online. But still it shouldn't be too hard to contact some of my older relatives that live in Utah to get copies of some of those sources and research. We also have lots of family photos from the previous couple of generations.

On the other side of her family, my paternal grandfather, there is much less information. Half the family is from England, and the other from Germany. To my knowledge little research has been done for them except what my grandma did years ago. I have easy access to that, but there isn't much there.

This brings me back around to research goals. For last years photobook project I created a simple spreadsheet for some of the basic information I might look for. I didn't find all the information, but I did find enough to put the book together. So, I am using my spreadsheet again this year for my moms family. This gives me a quick visual of the information I have and what I need.

Click the photo for a downloadable PDF form
Click here for a blank Excel Spreadsheet file

From here I can make specific plans on how and where to search for the missing information. I have this both on my computer, and as a printout, so it's easy to take it with me.

I have finished my photobook project and posted a follow-up HERE!

52 Ancestors - Cyrille DeValkeneer

Last month I stumbled across an interesting blog series/challenge 52 Ancestors, at No Story Too Small. I was happy to hear that she was doing it again this year. I may or may not follow the weekly themes, but I will certainly try to participate each week.

This weeks theme is 'Fresh Start'. My great great grandfather was Cyrille DeValkeneer. He and his family immigrated to the US from Belgium. Talk about a fresh start, it's a whole new country.

Cyrille was born on August 3, 1856 in the small town of Sint-Maria-Lierde, East Flanders, Belgium. He was the youngest of 4 children (girl, boy, girl, boy...just like my family). His parents were Pieter Francies De Valkeneer and Joanna Catharina Casteleyn.

He grew up to become a shoemaker, and on September 8, 1881 he married Maria Francisca Heiremans in Antwerp. Together they had 11 children, 6 boys and 5 girls. Two of the girls did not survive into adulthood.

Sometime between 1895 and 1897 the family moved from Antwerp to Charleroi and it's suburbs. Then 1911 he, his wife, and 7 of his children immigrated to America. Two of the daughters did not immigrate with the rest of the family. One came a few years later with her husband and children, the other stayed in Antwerp with her husband.

In America they moved to Pennsylvania, where they knew other Belgians. The lived primarily in Raccoon, PA, which is near the West Virginia and Ohio borders. Cyrille bought a house in the Smith Township in 1914. He became a citizen in February of 1920.

In 1941, he died on Christmas Day at the home of his daughter Louise, just after dinner.

From my understanding, all of his siblings remained in Belgium and France. I have found distant cousins in France that are descendants of his oldest sister. The internet is certainly making family history connections easier.

Pieter Francies De Valkeneer (1815-?) of Sint-Martens-Lierde, Belgium
Joanna Catherina Casteleyn (1817-?) of Sint-Maria-Lierde, Belgium

Anna Theresia De Valkeneer (1849-1869)
Vitalis DeValkeneer (1851-?)
Renilde DeValkeneer (1851-?)

Maria Francisca Heiremans (1858-1934) born in Langdorp, Belgium; died in Joffre, Washington, PA

Joseph DeValkeneer (1880-1966)
Maria Josepha DeValkeneer (1882-?)
Louis Andre DeValkeneer (1883-1971)
Cecilia Marie DeValkeneer (DeCook) (1886-1971)
Maria Celestina DeValkeneer (DeRicter) (1887-?)
Marie Louise DeValkeneer (Vandenderg) (1890-1974)
Victor DeValkeneer (1892-1975)
Camille Peter DeValkeneer (1895-1962)
Vital DeValkeneer (1897-1965) --my great grandfather
Jeanne Helene DeValkeneer (1899-1900)
Alfred Joseph DeValkeneer (1902-1979)

Starting With A Clean Slate - Genealogy Do-Over Week 1

This week for the Genealogy Do-Over the topics are about cleaning the slate and starting fresh.

The first step is to set aside previous research. 95% of my research is digitally stored, so it's pretty easy to set aside and hopefully not too tempting to look at. My father, who has a deep drawer of files might not have such an easy time, but for me it's fairly simple. Also, considering that I lost my most recent gedcoms/rootsmagic files (don't worry, my mourning period has passed), starting over there isn't too difficult either.

The second step is preparation for future research. This definitely isn't the exciting part of family history work for me, but I know it will pay off in the end.

I usually do research after the kids go to bed, and on Sundays when my husband can watch them and give me a few hours to myself. This part of research works best for me because it provides the greatest amount of time distraction free. However it also leads to late nights, which leads to tired thinking and therefore more mistakes. From now on I should set a stopping time for myself and not just get sucked in. After all, if I track my research properly I should be able to pick it up again the next day without too much trouble.

I have a research binder that I should always have with me when researching. It has word lists for the languages I often need to search in, maps of the places I'm researching (very helpful for me), pedigree charts, and various forms I use often. It also has a research log/notes, which needs to be updated.

The last topic for this week is about establishing 'best practices'.

I have been pretty good about citing sources, but not as good as I could be. I write down the basic info, but want to be better at proper citation. Luckily for me, many genealogy websites can do it for you. There are also citation websites that you can simply fill in a form and it will give you a proper citation. And of course there are source citation forms/templates on RootsMagic that I can utilize for when I input things by hand into the program.

One other thing I specifically want to work on is tracking my research. I have a simple columned form I made that I write the date, where I am researching, and who I looked up. This is fine, but sometimes isn't enough. I need to find a more detailed form. I should be recording not just those basics, but also what I found and what info was there. I will look online to see if there are already forms out there that will work for me, or I will make a new one.

Here are my "must do's" for future genealogy research:
1. Family history without citations is mythology. Always cite my sources.
2. Assume nothing. People's memories are often wrong, and family stories are embellished. If you can't find someone where you think they should be, throw out those assumptions and look somewhere else.
3. Record where I search. I don't want to have to search the same records for the same people over and over.
4. Back up my files. I'd hate to have to start all over again because of a computer crash (again).
5. Remember some people just won't be found. There are some brick walls that I may never break, and I should learn to set them aside when I feel like banging my head against them. I can always come back later if I am feeling too cocky about my research.

Genealogy Do-Over

Last month at geneabloggers.com, Thomas MacEntee announced he was doing a Genealogy Do-Over, and started a website, Facebook group and Pinterest board for others to join in with him.

This is very timely for me, since I lost some of my data recently in a computer crash. So in some ways I have to start over anyway.

This group of genealogists, and the weekly topics to improve your research, should help me not only get my information back, but document it properly, cite sources, and just be a better genealogist all around.

Can't wait to get started. One of my genealogy related goals this year is to cite sources and document my research better (in part recording things on this blog). My other big goal is to make a photobook for my mom like the one for my dad (which requires doing more research of course).