“Chin Chin” plays Smith Opera House – 21 May 1920

Donna & “Chin Chin” Play the Smith
Opera House in Geneva, New York, May 21, 1920.

Many thanks to the Northern New York Library Network and their New York State HistoricNewspapers site. Because of their efforts, I learned that “Chin Chin” played in at the Smith Opera House in Geneva, New York on 21 May 1920. This was probably one of the last shows of the Chin Chin company and the last one that I have found so far.

Ad for “Chin Chin”
Geneva Daily Times
May 15, 1920
Source: NY State Historic Newspapers

This was a one night show so the pre-show advertising was very important. The initial ad for the show, which ran on May 15th, contained more detail than the show’s advertising typically had. It informed the reader that “Chin Chin” was a company of 70, mostly girls, the famous saxophone band, Mlle. Falloffski, grotesque dancing two car loads of scenery and much more. (I’ve always wondered what “grotesque dancing” was.) There was a more standard “Chin Chin” ad on the 17th. Articles apparently provided by the “Chin Chin” publicist were published on May 19th and 20th. Neither had any mention of Donna.

The Smith
Opera House

Stage of the Smith Opera House 1 April 1921
during a production of “Neighbors” by the Womens Club
Courtesy: Geneva Historical Society

Built in 1894 by William Smith, the Smith Opera House operated as the premier theater in the area for opera and vaudeville. Originally, it seated about 984 people, 425 on the floor level, 203 in the balcony, 300 in the gallery, and another 56 in the box seats.[i] The stage was relatively small, only 32 x 22 feet. As more and more of the theater’s engagements were movies, the theater switched to entirely movies in 1929. In 1931 the theater was converted to a 1400 seat movie theater. The theater continued a long decline and finally closed in the mid 1970s. In 1978 the theater was taken over by the City of Geneva. They worked with the Finger Lakes Regional Arts Council to preserve and restore the theater to its previous grandeur. In 2008 Finger Lakes council teamed with the Geneva Arts Development Council to change the focus of the facility and renamed the theater, Smith Center for the Arts.

Smith Center for the Arts (Today)
Photo by Marcbela [CC-BY-SA-3.0 )],
via Wikimedia Commons

Today, it is a beautiful, renovated facility that features live performances (such as the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra), films (such as “Vertigo”), and educational theatre (such as “Dog Loves Books” a musical for K-2). (See http://thesmith.org/ for details of about the Smith.)

[i] The_Julius_Cahn_Gus_Hill_Theatrical_Guide
1913-1914.pdf

Genealogical Proof Standard – J. B. Burlison

Genealogical Proof Standard – J. B. Burlison

Lately I’ve been seeing many things about the Genealogical
Proof Standard. Certainly, Dr. Thomas Jones spoke about it at the recent Maine Genealogical Society that I
attended. It was also the subject of a recent Ancestry
Livestream
broadcast. In both of the presentations, they talked about being
careful to not think you have several sources of information when there is
really only one. I got to thinking about that and the impact it can have when
one mistake is repeated over and over because of a single error.
My mother grew up believing her birthdate was the 20th
of the month. She based that upon a little card she had with was dated the 20th
and her mother’s telling her the date. It wasn’t until she was in her late 50s
and her husband was retiring that she needed a copy of her birth certificate. When
she received it, she was flabbergasted. It indicated that she was born on the
15th. The card she had was actually referring to the recording of her birth and not the
actual date of her birth. We will never know why her mother always said her
birthday was the 20th, maybe because her mother really didn’t
remember and relied upon the little card to correct her memory. Maybe it was because
her birthday was the 20th day of the following month and remembering
the 20th would be easier. In any event, all of my mothers records,
school, employment, marriages, were wrong all of her life – because of a little
card which was interpreted incorrectly. 
Ancestry Livestream

As I listened to the “Analysis and Correlation” phase of the Ancestry Livestream presentation and in particular was asked if “my sources truly independent,” I thought of my mother’s case.  Knowing if the sources are independent is a
good thing, a really good thing.  Just because you have multiple sources for a
fact, that doesn’t mean the information is independent.

I was working on the ancestors of a very dear friend and
thought that I’d apply the analysis and correlation of what I have to an
ancestor of hers that I was investigating.

J. B. Burlison (1924-1972)

Birthdate

Burlison Marker – Courtesy Find-a-Grave

As I began analyzing the sources of J.B. Burlison’s birth records, I realized that all of them were based upon his death. A Find-a-Grave entry, his marker, a Rootsweb cemetery index, and the Social Security Death Index were all consistent and gave his birthdate as 24 Jul 1924. The problem is that all of these records were based upon his death records and not his birth. A case could be made that his SSDI birthdate was based upon his SS Application, but he still entered the date of his birth in that application based upon what he was told, not what he witnessed. The only other corroborating evidence to his birthdate was the 1930 Census Record that indicated was born sometime between 1924 and 1925.

Birthplace
Other than “Oklahoma,” it is only in J.B.’s various death records that his birthplace is reported — Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma. One source, the Find-a-Grave entry, indicates he was born in Wanette. This is 111 miles west of where his father & mother were living, according to the 1920 Census, in Canadian, Cleveland County, and 129 miles east of where they were living, according to the 1930 Census, in Oakdale, Washita County, Oklahoma. Because his father was renting farms in both censuses, it is possible that they were in Wanette, Pottawatomie County, in 1924. I would really like to find something that corroborates the birthplace.

Military Service

Veteran’s Marker – J B Burlison – Courtesy: Find-a-Grave

J.B. Burlison’s gravesite, according to Find-a-Grave, includes a VA Marker. That marker indicates he was a PFC (Private First Class) and served during WW II in the 270 Fld Arty. Based upon that marker I believe that J.B. did serve, however, initial research has not yielded any information regarding that service – Nothing on Fold 3 or my other military sources. In addition, I couldn’t find anything about a 270th Field Artillery unit. I wonder which is more likely, that the marker has a mistake or that there is nothing about a 270th Field Artillery unit on the Internet. (I suppose I could just not be searching properly but I hate to think that that is the case). In any event, it bears further investigation.

Marriage
Oklahoma appears, to me, to be one of the least helpful states for genealogists. They seem to keep virtually all records to themselves and only give records to immediate family. As such, I can’t find any records showing his marriage to Bertha (Bertie). I’m sure that J.B. & Bertha were married sometime between 1940 and 1955 (probably between 1949 and 1951). They were both reported as single in the 1940 census and were reported as married in the 1955 Oklahoma City city directory. J.B. was in an automobile accident in 1949 and the newspapers make no mention of his being married nor of a wife, so I suspect he didn’t marry Bertha until after 1949. They had a child born late in 1951, so I suspect they were married before his birth.


Death
J.B.’s death is well documented by his marker (Find-a-Grave), various indexes, and newspaper articles that talk about his auto accident and then talk about his death from the accident in the following day’s paper.

Conclusion
As Crista Cowen (the Barefoot Genealogist) suggests in her LiveStream presentation of 9/25/2014, when you analyze and correlate data, you find the places that your information may be lacking. I find that the process is a reiterative effort. One that each time you analyze and correlate your you find new areas of investigation. In my case, I added the following tasks to my workload:

Find a corroborating birth record for J.B. Burlison recorded at the time of his birth.
Find a marriage record for J.B. Burlison and Bertha (White).
Find corroborating evidence of J.B.’s military service and information about the 270th Field Artillery.

Reinold Rode (1905-1992)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 39

Reinold
Rode (1905-1992)

By – Don Taylor

No Story too Small 
I have a friend that lured me into researching some of her Eastern European immigrants. Actually, she didn’t lure me; she just told me her story and I bit. I had never searched Eastern European immigrants and had no idea how perplexing such searching can be. My friend provided what little information she knew.

Her grandfather is “Reinold Rode and [she is] not certain where or when he was born. We have always gone by April 28th 1901. He was born in either Zhytomyr, Ukraine or Minsk, Belarus.” My Google search showed them over 300 miles apart. Hopefully, I could improve on that location.

I thought that should be easy to figure out when and where he was born, and where he lived before immigrating to Nebraska.

Thanks to
Ancestry.Com, I quickly found him in the 1940
Census[1].  Born in Russia about 1906. Not much help
there.

Continuing on to the 1930 Census I found him again born in
Russia about 1906[2].
Humm, it seems that the 1901 birthdate is probably incorrect – me thinks that 1905 or 1906 is correct. 
RMS Caronia
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia.Com

I figured that if I could find his immigration record I would know for
sure. So, I looked closely and couldn’t find it. (Grumble, Grumble – It is
never that easy.) The 1930 Census indicated his immigration year as 1922 so I
cast a search for his record looking for anyone named Rode who came to the country in 1922. Then I found him (spelled Rheinhold Rode). Arriving on the SS Caronia
in New York on 26 September, 1922. He was heading to Nebraska to his father, Adolph, (whose name I already had from my friend) with a brother, Rudolph. Reinold was
17 years, 4 months old when he arrived which would put his birthdate in 1905
and his birth month in April or May.  But
most important to my quest it gave a birthplace of “Marijantje, Russia.[3]” Got
it.

Detail of Passenger List which shows
Rudolph born in Lindental and
Reinold born in Marijantje – Image from Ancestry.Com  

A quick search of Marijantje in Google maps found nothing; likewise no results on Wikipedia. Maybe his brother Rudolph’s birthplace Lindental, Russia, will help. Again nothing on Google maps nor Wikipedia. Finally, a Google search yielded a link to the “Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online” (GAMEO). It mentioned that “Lindental was a small Mennonite settlement in South Russia near the railway station Sinelnikovo,” So, where is Sinelnikovo? Google Maps suggested three different places all in Eastern Urkrane, none anywhere near the Belarus border. Also on the GAMEO there is an entry that says that “The village of Lindenthal was located between Kutuzovka and Zhitomir.”

Now I still can’t figure out where Lindental/Lindenthal nor Kutuzovka are but I’m fairly certain that Zhitomyr and Zhitomir are the same place which would put Rudolph’s birthplace near Zhitomyr which is where I guess I’ll tentatively place Reinold’s birth. Am I sure, no, but I think Zhitomir is more likely than Minsk.

I learned how place names in Cyrillic are translated into English in lots of different ways. It seems like every translation becomes a unique spelling. Also, place names changed dramatically in the past hundred years as countries rose and collapsed. Prussia no longer exists, parts became part of Russia and parts became Poland. Today there are Belarus and Ukraine that overlap the same area.

I still have a lot more research to do on Reinold Rode (pronounced “roe-dee”). I know he was a German speaking Russian from the Prussian, Polish, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia area. Maybe a naturalization record can be found, that might clinch it. I definitely have a lot more work to do.

Bio – Reinold Rode (1905-1992)

Reinold Rode was born on 29 Apr 1905[4] in Marijantje,
Russia, which is probably near Zhytomyr, Ukraine today.

S.S. Caronia
Thanks to Great Ships

When he was 17 he immigrated from “Ober Cyrus, Germany” to
the United States aboard the SS Caronia with his brother, Rudolph. The two
brothers met up with their father, Adolph in Madison, County Nebraska. 

Reinold met and married a Nebraska native, Delilah Hefner (Hoefener)
about 1928.
He rented farmland, which he farmed, in Pierce (1930 Census),
Cumming (1935), and Antelope (1940 Census) Counties, all in Northeast Nebraska.

Marker: Rode – Reinold & Delilah
Courtesy: Find a Grave

Sometime before 1992 the Rode’s moved to Tacoma, Washington
where Reinold died on 18 Apr 1992.

He is buried at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery,
Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington State. His wife Delilah passed three years
later and is buried with him.

  
Further Actions:
·      Narrow down Reinold’s birth location.
·      Find Reinold’s naturalization records.
·      Research Reinold’s siblings for additional insight.
List of Greats
1.    
Adolph Rode



[Disclaimer:  The links to Ancestry.Com are connected to an affiliate program which provides a small reward to me if you purchase from them.  Although I receive a reward from them for a referral, my comments regarding Ancestry are based solely upon my experiences with them.]

Endnotes:

[1] 1940 Census; Census Place: Willow, Antelope, Nebraska; Roll: T627_2236; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 2-32. Line 19, Junold Rode See http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1940usfedcen&h=61663652

[2] 1930 Census; Census Place: Allen, Pierce, Nebraska; Roll: 1290; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0001; Image: 11.0; FHL microfilm: 2341025 – Line 20.

[3] Year: 1922; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 3186; Line: 30; Page Number: 77.

[4] Social Security Death Index, Number: XXX-XX-6745; Reinhold Rode, Issue State: Nebraska; Issue Date: Before 1951.


Start Looking

Maine Genealogical Society – 2014 Annual Conference

Maine Genealogical Society – Annual Conference – Review

Maine Genealogical Society
Logo
I had the opportunity to attend my first Maine Genealogical
Society (MGS) event last Saturday.  I
joined the MGS about a month after moving to Maine but hadn’t had the
opportunity to attend any of the local events. 
So, I registered to attend the Annual Conference on September 13, 2014 in
Brewer, Maine, as my first event.
I needed to get up early as Brewer is just over two hours
away driving and I wanted to make registration before 8:30 so I wasn’t rushed
for the opening session. I made it there with no problems.  Because it was my first long trip in the new
Jeep, I had the opportunity to try out the Adaptive Cruise Control.  Love it!
MGS Pin
After registering, I wandered around the vendor’s area.  Picked up one of the Society’s pins.  You can order them from their website also.  
I was kind of taken aback by the attitude of
a couple of the DAR representatives that were there.  I got the sense that if my wife were to apply
for DAR all the documents and work needed to be done by her and that I couldn’t
do it for her.  Someone, please tell me
I’m wrong in that feeling. I am yet to apply to any lineage society and figured that the DAR, on behalf of my wife, would be one of the first I attempted.  I guess it might be the SAR instead. 
The opening, Keynote address, was by Thomas Jones, PhD,
author of Mastering Genealogical Proof
published by the National Genealogical Society (NGS). I’m a member of the NGS
so I’ve been seeing their promotions for the book and it has been on my list of
“books I’d like to get,” so I purchased a copy at the MGS Annual Conference. 
Thomas Jones, PhD,
CG, CGI, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
The keynote address was “Can a Complex Research Problem be
Solved Solely Online?” The bottom line answer is, as you might expect, “Well,
maybe.”  That said, Dr. Jones’ delivery
was excellent.  He was very personable
and very good at his presentation, being engaging, humorous, and clearly
knowledgeable.  He was clear that not
everything can be found on line but in some cases enough might be findable to
answer the question you have.  He had a
number of really good online resources, some of which I didn’t have
before.  I loved the presentation.
After the keynote address, the conference split into two
tracks. I went next door to listen to Nancy Lecompte speak about Genetic
Genealogy.  The conference technical
folks had some problems isolating the speakers that each of the presenters
would be talking only to their room of attendees. They finally got it
straightened out after a few minutes and the presentations began.
Nancy did a very good job with her presentation. In the fast
changing field of genetic genealogy, she appeared to be up to date, which is a
task in itself, and provided a smooth presentation with information that
supported both individuals with both novice and intermediate level understanding of
DNA Testing.  She provided a link to her slides, which is
something I really appreciate because it means I can pay closer attention to
the speaker and not spend as much time taking notes.  Although I did take quite a few notes at her presentation.
After an okay lunch I had a chance to talk with some folks and make a couple friends.  Then the two training tracks started again.
In both of the sessions I attended presentations by Dr. Thomas Jones.  The first was “Debunking Misleading Records.”
He did an excellent job of showing how to detect, compare, and disprove
misleading or erroneous records.  In my
personal practice, I have taken to keeping all records, even if misleading. I
generally then identify one of the same items as “preferred.” If “prove”
something as misleading, I enter a note concerning why the information is in
error and I mark it private so I don’t accidentally share the error with
others.
The last presentation I attended was “Proved? – Five Ways to
Prove Who Your Ancestor Was (Some Reliable and Others Not Reliable).”  As you might expect three of the ways were
unacceptable, one might be close to okay, but really only one was fully
acceptable because it was the only one that met The Genealogical Proof
Standard.  The approach is to weigh
conflicting evidence and resolve the conflicts using the five cornerstones to
“The Genealogical Proof Standard,”

reasonably exhaustive search,
complete, accurate source citations,
skilled analysis and correlation of the data
resolution of contradictory evidence, and 
a soundly reasoned conclusion.

There was a fairly quick wrap up of the day’s activities, a
short business meeting, and drawings for door prizes.  Needless to say, I didn’t win anything, I
never do, but I stayed to the end.
It looks like the next big thing with the MGS is the Southern Maine Genealogy
Conference
to be held May 30th, 2015 in Portland.  I’m looking forward to it. I’m also looking
forward to attending some of my local (Greater Portland) chapter’s meetings
over the next few months.

Clifford Brown (aka Richard Earl Durand, aka Richard Earl Brown) (1903-1990)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 38
Clifford Brown (1903-1990)
(aka Richard Earl Durand)
(aka Richard Earl Brown)

By – Don Taylor

No Story Too Small

We all have someone in our tree that is confusing. It is that person that the more you learn about them; the more you know you do not know. My grandfather was such a person. It wasn’t until I began doing genealogy that I learned his birth name. I also knew he went by another name but didn’t have a clue why. Back in the late 1990s, I asked his sister, Delores, about the name changes and again I asked her about it in the 2000s, and she avoided answering. She said she didn’t want to speak ill of the dead and that “Dick” was her “favorite brother.” I so wish I hadn’t let her take that stand. In the following years, thanks to Genealogy Bank, I learned much about my grandpa Dick, things that I would have never imagined. Through that research, I think I know why the changes in
name. Continue reading “Clifford Brown (aka Richard Earl Durand, aka Richard Earl Brown) (1903-1990)”