Friday Findings: GenLine, CRAPSEY Burials, Cousins, and SNOOK Graves

Due to the Blogger debacle this week, I was not able to post my Friday Findings in a timely manner. Here’s a rundown of my research results for the week of July 26 – August 1, 2008:

More on Many Marriages
While entering the marriage records of my husband’s granduncle, Lee Joseph “Mick” MARTIN, I realized that the witnesses for his third marriage, to Martha Isabell (JONES) DVORAK, were his daughter from his first marriage and her husband. Hmm… It made me wonder if his first wife had died by then (I’m not sure how their marriage ended; by divorce or by her death?). I couldn’t find any death information for her, but I did find Isabell, as she was called, on the SSDI.

Swedish Parish Records
Also following up on last week’s findings, I went to my local Family History Center to use their free subscription to GenLine, the Swedish parish records database, to find and verify my great-great-grandmother’s birth (Ida Charlotte (GUSTAVSON) HOLST). I had never used it before, so it took some time. Fortunately, it has a nice tutorial, available both in English and Swedish. It is necessary to know the name of the parish to do a search. The records appear in digital image format, not unlike looking at a roll of microfilm. They are not indexed by name in any way, so it takes some searching. All I had for Ida’s birthplace was Hamnada, Sweden. I had no idea where this location was, and used both Wikipedia and the FamilySearch Library Catalog to find it, without any success. I had a feeling I was spelling it incorrectly. I then did a Google search and found a mention in someone’s online family tree of a “HamnadaSmåland, Krnberg“. I went back to Wikipedia to look at the political structure of Sweden. Småland is one of 25 provinces (landskapen) of Sweden and has no political structure as of 1634. It is a cultural, geographical and historical subdivision. Kronoberg is a county (län), a political subdivision, that lies in what is a part of Småland. I still could not find Hamnada or a a similiar name in any of the lists of municipalities (similar to American townships), villages, or cities of Sweden.

I went back to GenLine, and looking up Kronoberg County records, I noticed that Hamneda was one of the parishes. Bingo! They had birth and christening records up through 1861 (I don’t recall the beginning year), so I went to take a look. In 1861 alone, there were NINE Ida Charlottas (no Charlottes) born in Hamneda parish! Only one had a surname close to GUSTAVSON, and that was a Ida Charlotta GUSTAFSON born, it appears on 29 December 1861 and baptized 31 December 1861. I say “appears”, because I am not certain of what the dates stand for. There are three numbers and a month before each record. The first number is the record number, as they are all in sequence from 1 until the last record. Then comes the month abbreviation, which is very similar to our English month abbreviations. Then two numbers follow. The first number is always lower than the second number, and none of the numbers go beyond 31, so my assumption is that the first one is the birth date and the second one is the christening date. The words “Births and Baptisms” appear at the the top of each of these pages (in Swedish, of course), adding credence to my theory. I used FamilySearch’s online Swedish Genealogical Word List to figure out the words.

My Ida Charlotte GUSTAVSON was born 28 October 1861, but I need to find my source of information for that. Her 1900 U. S. Federal Census enumeration does have October 1861 as a birth date. I ran out of time to double check 1860 records, and there are none available at GenLine for 1862. I will need to search other nearby parish records, too, I think. I also did not have time to figure out how to save or print the image with the birth date of the Ida Charlotta GUSTAFSON I found. This was an interesting first foray into Swedish records, and I felt I learned quite a bit.

CRAPSEY Burials
I’ve been trying to find a death date for my 4th-great-grandmother, Lura Ann (JACKSON) PECK CRAPSEY. I know she was deceased by 1900, when my step-ancestor, the Rev. John CRAPSEY, Jr. was listed as a widower in the Federal Census for that year. She was alive as late as 1891, when her husband filed an application for a pension based on his deceased son’s military service. They were living St. Paul, Ramsey Co., Minnesota. Attempts to have a volunteer at RAOGK look up her death records did not work out. I then came across John’s obituary stating he was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery. There is a Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries in Ramsey County, and I contacted them to see if I could find burial information (and thus a death date) for the Crapseys. I received an immediate response that there was no record of either one in their records. I need to follow up with wording from John’s obituary to make sure that the Forest Lawn Cemetery he was buried in is the same as what Park and Mortuaries company now manages, when their records begin, and if they have record of John and Lura’s children being buried there (it’s possible, if their children are buried there, that John and Lura are buried without markers).

Cousins
A distant LEWIS cousin of mine, Bob Stefanich, contacted me to tell me about another cousin of ours (related more closely to me than Bob is) and that the LEWIS family reunion is occurring today in Fruitport, Muskegon Co., Michigan (wish I could be there)! I’ve contacted Jim with the hope that I can get more information on the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of my 2nd-great-grandparents, George Emmett LEWIS and Mary WILKINSON.

Also, a McARTHUR cousin contacted me. She lives in Michigan and is able to visit the ancestral cemeteries. She promised to take some tombstone photos of some of our mutual ancestors…so exciting!

SNOOK Graves
Speaking of ancestral graves, I heard from a Find A Grave photo volunteer–Catherine Bryon–who photographed the graves of my husband’s 3rd-great-grandfather, Reuben Wohlford SNOOK, and his second wife, Elizabeth NEARHOOD, at the Forsyth Cemetery in Rosebud Co., Montana. Click on the links to view the photographs. Thanks, Catherine!

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Mrs. R.C. WESTABY in Elsie’s Place

Source: Westaby, Rebecca Catherine (Snook). Photograph. C. 1920s. Original photograph in the possession of Troy Midkiff, Vancouver, Washington. 2008.

Isn’t this a wonderful photo? It features my husband’s great-great-grandmother, Rebecca Catherine (SNOOK) WESTABY (1865 – 1960) in “Elsie’s Place”, probably in Seattle, King Co., Washington in the 1920s. The title of this post is the caption on the back of the photo, which is how I know the name of the owner of this store. I’ve blogged about Rebecca (and her buttonhook) before, here. But I have no idea who Elsie was. She doesn’t appear among any of the names I have related to Rebecca or her ex-husband, George “Rice” WESTABY, II. Perhaps Elsie was a friend or a distant relative. I have another photo of Rebecca outside her daughter Izma’s dress shop, which would not have been this same store. I suspect Rebecca was in Seattle to visit Izma when both photos were taken, as she is wearing the same dress–but different shoes–in each of them. Rebecca was living in Salem, Marion Co., Oregon at the time.

This photo reminds me of the I Spy books my children had when they were little:

I spy three Coke ads and one for Hires,
Campbell’s Soup and some hanging lamp wires.

If you click on the photo above, it will take you to my Picasa web album, and you can zoom in even more. What other goodies can you spy? Leave your answers in the comments feature below. Extra points if you can make an I Spy rhyme!

Mrs. R.C. WESTABY in Elsie’s Place

Source: Westaby, Rebecca Catherine (Snook). Photograph. C. 1920s. Original photograph in the possession of Troy Midkiff, Vancouver, Washington. 2008.

Isn’t this a wonderful photo? It features my husband’s great-great-grandmother, Rebecca Catherine (SNOOK) WESTABY (1865 – 1960) in “Elsie’s Place”, probably in Seattle, King Co., Washington in the 1920s. The title of this post is the caption on the back of the photo, which is how I know the name of the owner of this store. I’ve blogged about Rebecca (and her buttonhook) before, here. But I have no idea who Elsie was. She doesn’t appear among any of the names I have related to Rebecca or her ex-husband, George “Rice” WESTABY, II. Perhaps Elsie was a friend or a distant relative. I have another photo of Rebecca outside her daughter Izma’s dress shop, which would not have been this same store. I suspect Rebecca was in Seattle to visit Izma when both photos were taken, as she is wearing the same dress–but different shoes–in each of them. Rebecca was living in Salem, Marion Co., Oregon at the time.

This photo reminds me of the I Spy books my children had when they were little:

I spy three Coke ads and one for Hires,
Campbell’s Soup and some hanging lamp wires.

If you click on the photo above, it will take you to my Picasa web album, and you can zoom in even more. What other goodies can you spy? Leave your answers in the comments feature below. Extra points if you can make an I Spy rhyme!

Wordless Wednesday: Mrs. R.C. WESTABY in Elsie’s Place


(click on photo several times to enlarge)

Source: Westaby, Rebecca Catherine (Snook). Photograph. C. 1920s. Original photograph in the possession of Troy Midkiff, Vancouver, Washington. 2008.

Wordless Wednesday: Mrs. R.C. WESTABY in Elsie’s Place


(click on photo several times to enlarge)

Source: Westaby, Rebecca Catherine (Snook). Photograph. C. 1920s. Original photograph in the possession of Troy Midkiff, Vancouver, Washington. 2008.

The Buttonhook of Rebecca Catherine (SNOOK) WESTABY

[Laura and Carrie] dressed carefully in their woolen winter dresses and nervously combed their hair and braided it. They tied on their Sunday hair-ribbons. With the steel buttonhook they buttoned their shoes.

“Hurry up, girls!” Ma called. “It’s past eight o’clock.”

At that moment, Carrie nervously jerked one of her shoe-buttons off. It fell and rolled and vanished down a crack of the floor.

“Oh, it’s gone!” Carrie gasped. She was desperate. She could not go where strangers would see that gap in the row of black buttons that buttoned up her shoe.

“We must take a button off one of Mary’s shoes,” Laura said.

But Ma had heard the button fall, downstairs. She found it and sewed it on again, and buttoned the shoe for Carrie.

At last they were ready. “You look very nice,” Ma said, smiling. [1]

When I was a girl, my favorite books were the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Living on a small farm in rural Alaska with no electricity or running water, I could relate very well to her experiences. One of the things I also enjoyed doing was perusing a reproduction of an early twentieth-century Sears, Roebucks, and Co. mail-order catalog, that had pages and pages of button-up shoes. Now outside of museums, I have never seen button-up shoes, but my husband and I were blessed a few years ago to receive a button hook that had belonged to his great-great-grandmother, Rebecca Catherine (SNOOK) WESTABY, a woman who was alive when he, his brother, and several cousins were born. Unfortunately, to my knowledge no one ever took a five-generation photo for posterity. There were some four-generation photos taken when my father-in-law was a boy, however:


The woman on the far left in this photo is Rebecca at about age 79. Her son and daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and great-grandchildren also appear here.

First, a little history about Rebecca: she was born on 21 August 1865, probably in the Nittany Valley of Centre County, Pennsylvania to Reuben Wohlford SNOOK and Mary Ann WALKER. She was the middle of about half a dozen children, and her mother died when she was five years old. Reuben remarried to Elizabeth NEARHOOD and they had nine more children.

According to my father-in-law, the family came out west to California by covered wagon, and Rebecca walked behind the wagons much of the way. I have not found evidence that they ever made it to California. Perhaps they did, or perhaps they changed their mind along the trail. At any rate, they ended up in Forsyth, Custer (now Rosebud) County, Montana at least by the late 1880s. There Rebecca met and married George Rice WESTABY, II, always called “Rice,” around 1888. They had seven children: Clarice Orvilla, a little girl born in 1889 who died in infancy; my husband’s great-grandfather, George Rice, III; Guy Steven; Izma Ann (the only surviving daughter); Charles Wilson, Reuben Wohlford; and Lynn Walker WESTABY. What I like about Rebecca and Rice is that they named their children with family names. Many were named for relatives, and WILSON, Wohlford (from WOHLFART[H]), and WALKER were all ancestral surnames.

By 1920, Rebecca and Rice were separated, the older children all living on their own or with their spouses, while Reuben and Lynn lived with Rebecca and Rice in their homes, respectively. I’ve never heard what the cause of separation was, nor have looked for a divorce record for the couple. The family story passed down was that Rice married twice more before his death in 1927. Records from Rosebud County have not been filmed by the Family History Library; they are also archived in various locations, and both time and money must be invested to obtain the records I need to flesh out this family a little more. I do know that Rebecca’s father and step-mother, as well as some of her siblings, are buried in the Forsyth Cemetery. Rice died in Forsyth as well, but his body was sent back to Illinois to be buried with Westaby family members in Thompson Cemetery, Jo Daviess County.

Rebecca, meanwhile, moved on. It is said that she lived in Sheridan, Wyoming for a while, but the next time I find her is in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census in Salem, Marion County, Oregon, working in a cannery. She would have been 64 years old at this time. Why she came to Salem is somewhat vague to me; her youngest son Lynn may have lived there, but he died while swimming in either Tillamook Bay or the Columbia River in 1923 (again, oral history unverified). He had an artificial leg, which may have accounted for his inability to survive whatever caused his drowning. According to family history, his body was never recovered. At any rate, Rebecca lived alone during her senior years. Her children were scattered from New Jersey to Montana and Idaho to the Yakima Valley of Washington State. According to her obituary, she made quilts all the way up until four years before her death, caused by a stroke and fall in her bathroom.

Now about that buttonhook: there is a wonderful website for The Buttonhook Society where I found information about this handy tool. It seems that buttonhooks were used for more than buttoning shoes, as buttons on gloves, the back of shirtwaists, boots, and many other articles of clothing were popular during the 1880s – 1910s. In fact, buttonhooks were still produced in the 1920s and 1930s. How were they used? The tip of the hook would be threaded through the buttonhole from the outside of the shoe or clothing. Then the button would be grasped with the hook and carefully pulled through the buttonhole. Obviously, pulling too hard on the hook could result in the button flying off, as the example from The Long Winter, above, tells us. Rebecca’s buttonhook has no manufacturer’s mark, and the handle is a resinous material that appears to be an early plastic, indicating that this is a newer model. So I doubt this hook has much monetary value, but its worth as a family memento is priceless!

[1] Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Long Winter (1940; reprint, New York: Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1968), 76.

This post was written for the 2nd Cabinet of Curiosities Carnival hosted by Tim Abbot of Walking the Berkshires. What unusual or unique items from the past do you possess?

The Buttonhook of Rebecca Catherine (SNOOK) WESTABY

[Laura and Carrie] dressed carefully in their woolen winter dresses and nervously combed their hair and braided it. They tied on their Sunday hair-ribbons. With the steel buttonhook they buttoned their shoes.

“Hurry up, girls!” Ma called. “It’s past eight o’clock.”

At that moment, Carrie nervously jerked one of her shoe-buttons off. It fell and rolled and vanished down a crack of the floor.

“Oh, it’s gone!” Carrie gasped. She was desperate. She could not go where strangers would see that gap in the row of black buttons that buttoned up her shoe.

“We must take a button off one of Mary’s shoes,” Laura said.

But Ma had heard the button fall, downstairs. She found it and sewed it on again, and buttoned the shoe for Carrie.

At last they were ready. “You look very nice,” Ma said, smiling. [1]

When I was a girl, my favorite books were the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Living on a small farm in rural Alaska with no electricity or running water, I could relate very well to her experiences. One of the things I also enjoyed doing was perusing a reproduction of an early twentieth-century Sears, Roebucks, and Co. mail-order catalog, that had pages and pages of button-up shoes. Now outside of museums, I have never seen button-up shoes, but my husband and I were blessed a few years ago to receive a button hook that had belonged to his great-great-grandmother, Rebecca Catherine (SNOOK) WESTABY, a woman who was alive when he, his brother, and several cousins were born. Unfortunately, to my knowledge no one ever took a five-generation photo for posterity. There were some four-generation photos taken when my father-in-law was a boy, however:


The woman on the far left in this photo is Rebecca at about age 79. Her son and daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and great-grandchildren also appear here.

First, a little history about Rebecca: she was born on 21 August 1865, probably in the Nittany Valley of Centre County, Pennsylvania to Reuben Wohlford SNOOK and Mary Ann WALKER. She was the middle of about half a dozen children, and her mother died when she was five years old. Reuben remarried to Elizabeth NEARHOOD and they had nine more children.

According to my father-in-law, the family came out west to California by covered wagon, and Rebecca walked behind the wagons much of the way. I have not found evidence that they ever made it to California. Perhaps they did, or perhaps they changed their mind along the trail. At any rate, they ended up in Forsyth, Custer (now Rosebud) County, Montana at least by the late 1880s. There Rebecca met and married George Rice WESTABY, II, always called “Rice,” around 1888. They had seven children: Clarice Orvilla, a little girl born in 1889 who died in infancy; my husband’s great-grandfather, George Rice, III; Guy Steven; Izma Ann (the only surviving daughter); Charles Wilson, Reuben Wohlford; and Lynn Walker WESTABY. What I like about Rebecca and Rice is that they named their children with family names. Many were named for relatives, and WILSON, Wohlford (from WOHLFART[H]), and WALKER were all ancestral surnames.

By 1920, Rebecca and Rice were separated, the older children all living on their own or with their spouses, while Reuben and Lynn lived with Rebecca and Rice in their homes, respectively. I’ve never heard what the cause of separation was, nor have looked for a divorce record for the couple. The family story passed down was that Rice married twice more before his death in 1927. Records from Rosebud County have not been filmed by the Family History Library; they are also archived in various locations, and both time and money must be invested to obtain the records I need to flesh out this family a little more. I do know that Rebecca’s father and step-mother, as well as some of her siblings, are buried in the Forsyth Cemetery. Rice died in Forsyth as well, but his body was sent back to Illinois to be buried with Westaby family members in Thompson Cemetery, Jo Daviess County.

Rebecca, meanwhile, moved on. It is said that she lived in Sheridan, Wyoming for a while, but the next time I find her is in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census in Salem, Marion County, Oregon, working in a cannery. She would have been 64 years old at this time. Why she came to Salem is somewhat vague to me; her youngest son Lynn may have lived there, but he died while swimming in either Tillamook Bay or the Columbia River in 1923 (again, oral history unverified). He had an artificial leg, which may have accounted for his inability to survive whatever caused his drowning. According to family history, his body was never recovered. At any rate, Rebecca lived alone during her senior years. Her children were scattered from New Jersey to Montana and Idaho to the Yakima Valley of Washington State. According to her obituary, she made quilts all the way up until four years before her death, caused by a stroke and fall in her bathroom.

Now about that buttonhook: there is a wonderful website for The Buttonhook Society where I found information about this handy tool. It seems that buttonhooks were used for more than buttoning shoes, as buttons on gloves, the back of shirtwaists, boots, and many other articles of clothing were popular during the 1880s – 1910s. In fact, buttonhooks were still produced in the 1920s and 1930s. How were they used? The tip of the hook would be threaded through the buttonhole from the outside of the shoe or clothing. Then the button would be grasped with the hook and carefully pulled through the buttonhole. Obviously, pulling too hard on the hook could result in the button flying off, as the example from The Long Winter, above, tells us. Rebecca’s buttonhook has no manufacturer’s mark, and the handle is a resinous material that appears to be an early plastic, indicating that this is a newer model. So I doubt this hook has much monetary value, but its worth as a family memento is priceless!

[1] Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Long Winter (1940; reprint, New York: Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1968), 76.

This post was written for the 2nd Cabinet of Curiosities Carnival hosted by Tim Abbot of Walking the Berkshires. What unusual or unique items from the past do you possess?