Cousin Dawn & the Appleton Ancestors

In the presentation I am giving next Wednesday evening at the Scarborough Museum on “Social Networking for Genealogy,” I emphasize the importance of connections. Connections with people and connecting with cousins are among the best. A cousin, who is into genealogy, cares about the accuracy of your family tree, particularly at your shared ancestor and beyond. They may also have researched areas that you haven’t and can provide great insight into potential sources and facts. I tentatively accept a lot of information from cousins; however, I flag the source and know that I need to try to find original documents to replace my tentative source as having come through someone else’s research.
An example of this is my cousin Dawn M. Through Ancestry.Com’s DNA test I had a match with a 4th to 6th cousin, Dawn M. (Not to be confused with my 1st cousin, Dawn M.) First, through Ancestry’s “Send Message,” then through direct emails, we quickly learned that our first common ancestors are Henry and Marion (Sanford) Brown. They are 2nd great-grandparents to both of us, thus making us 3rd cousins. According to Ancestry.Com, Dawn M. and I share 29.9 centimorgans across 4 DNA segments. It is really interesting to note that my half-sister, Glennis, and Dawn M. share more than double the DNA, 77 centimorgans across 5 DNA segments and is predicted by Ancestry to be 3rd cousins. Seeing that difference in shared DNA between Dawn M. and Glennis compared to between Dawn M. and me reinforces the importance of testing siblings as well to better identify DNA connections and improve the odds of finding the best possible matches. In this case, I almost didn’t pursue contacting with Dawn M because the suggested match was so distant (4th to 6th cousins).
I shared my tree on Ancestry.Com with Dawn and she shared a genealogy file she works with. It was 276 pages of information. Nearly overwhelming – No it was overwhelming. I decided to analyze her material based upon surnames. The first surname we matched alphabetically was “Appleton.” Samuel Appleton, Esq. and his wife Hannah are our 10th great-grandparents.
I had a lot of information she didn’t have, much of it from Chandler Wolcott’s book, The Family of HENRY WOLCOTT published in 1912. What is really good about that source is that it is available through the Internet Archive (a key genealogical research tool). Anyway, I sent her a link to the book and sent her an extract of the appropriate pages. Her information included the names and relationships for four 11th, four 12th, and two 13th great-grandparents. Just learning the names and potential sources for the information is huge and is a great beginning. Learning the probable names of 10 new ancestors is always a good day.
8 new ancestors thanks to 3rd cousin Dawn.
Altogether, just the Appleton section (15 of 276 pages) provided details, which I didn’t have before, on 25 individuals. As slow as I am, (I like to think of myself as thorough instead of slow) this is several days of verification and validation research, thirteen of which are direct ancestors.
2 new ancestor names
thanks to 3rd cousin Dawn
In all the Appleton material, there were only two minor items that were in conflict with what I have. Both these conflicts give me additional research areas so I can double or triple verify my interpretations of other sources. If I still disagree with Dawn M.’s assessment, then I’ll let her know my thoughts and why.
Thanks to DNA Testing, I found a third cousin, Dawn M. Thanks to communications with her I was able to assess that her unpublished tree. Thanks to that assessment, I have tentatively added twenty-five new ancestors. Yes, social networking can provide amazing results.  Five percent done, only 95% to go.

Television in my family

Television in my family

Old Philips television set We did not have a television while I was growing up. I remember listening to the radio a lot when I was young. When I was in the second grade (1957), we lived in upstairs of a bakery in downtown Anoka, Minnesota. Next-door was a bar (beer joint) that had a television. Actually, they had one of the earliest color televisions. I remember my grandmother, Donna, taking me there to watch special events. I specifically remember watching the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Rose Bowl in color there. It was amazing.

We did not have our own television until I was in the fifth grade (about 1960) and were living in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota. It was a black and white TV. I remember watching morning cartoons a lot and my favorite TV show at the time was “Have Gun Will Travel.” At the time, I thought Richard Boone and my grandfather, Dick, look a lot alike. I think they had the same kind of mustache.

In 1961, my mother married Budgar and in 1962 we moved to North Minneapolis (1502 Fremont Ave No.). While there, Budgar purchased a color television. “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” and “Route 66” were my favorite television programs then (although I still loved “Have Gun Will Travel” but it was only in black and white). It was the first television I recall having a remote. I could change channels by clicking my cap gun (with a Paladin holster) – I guess TV remote was ultrasonic and the clicks of my cap gun made the TV change channels.

RCA Indian Head test pattern
RCA Indian Head test pattern

About 1965, we, my mother, younger sister, and I, lived in Detroit for a short time. In Detroit, we had a weird television. Rather than the standard clicking channels, the TV had continuously tuning through the VHS band much like UHF channel selector did in those days. Between channels six and seven there were a multitude of things that could be received. FM radio stations were there along with amateur radio and some, as I recall, police/fire radio communications. It was a cool television and the only one I’ve ever seen with that type of tuner in the VHF band.

Television notes from other family members via Facebook:

My sister Glennis says: “We got our 1st TV when I was 7… an RCA Victor. For many years we only had one channel, our own local channel 4 (then an NBC affiliate.) a second channel came in a few years later when they built a repeater for the Eugene ABC affiliate. Our second TV was also Black and White. We got a Magnavox color TV when I was a senior in high school. By then, we had three channels.”

Aunt Barbara says: “I think we got our first black and white TV in about 1949/1950. It was a gift from my Uncle Bob. We loved it and him too.”

My nephew Luke says, “We had a TV already when I came along. My first memory of television was color, a little 12″ or so screen with green backlit pushbuttons down the side of the screen for channel selection and a roller wheel for volume control. It was undoubtedly a Sony. We had it in Roseburg Oregon and I remember only two channels. My mother (Glennis) had a black and white TV after the divorce, a yellow plastic housed unit with a tiny little knob on the bottom right for on/off and volume control. This was in Eugene, I remember at least three channels.”

Reuben Fowler (1753-1832), DAR, and Find-a-Grave

Reuben Fowler

Reuben Fowler’s Name
On 1927 DAR Plaque
Photo Credit: Mora #48254008

I received a message from Mora, Find-a-Grave contributor #48254008, with six photos attached A couple of the photos are beautiful pictures of Old St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and the Old Van Cortlandtville Cemetery in Winchester County, New York. The significance of those photos is that my 5th great grandfather Reuben Fowler is buried there. Included in Mora’s email were several photos of a Daughters of the American Revolution memorial & plaque that the DAR erected in 1927, “TO THE MEMORY OF THE HEROS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION 1771-1783 BURIED IN THIS CHURCHYARD.” The plaque names Reuben Fowler among 37 other patriots. Very nice to see. Thank you again, Mora, for sharing. (Another proof that Social Networking can yield amazing results.)

I still need to find the time to do additional research about Reuben Fowler and his service, but here’s a quick bio.

 

Reuben Fowler (1753-1832)

Born either the 4th or the 9 September 1753 in Yorktown, Winchester County, New York.
He married Martha Drake in 1773.
He served in the Revolution (1776-1783). (By the way, the surrender took place at Yorktown, Virginia, not Yorktown, New York.)
He died on 1 February 1832 at the age of 78.
He is buried in the Old Van Cortlandtville Cemetery See: Marker Here.

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John F Montran (c.1867-c.1897)

John F. Montran

This has been a really good week for me. I continued working on my great grandfather, John Montran.
John F. Montran & Ida in Birth Registry entry for Madonna Montran, 1893
John F. Montran & Ida Birth Registry entry.Michigan, Births, 1867-1902
Dept. of Vital Records, (Lansing, MI, )
I learned his middle initial was “F”, and not “H”, through a birth register entry for my grandmother, Madonna (Donna).
I have also ordered a microfilm of another record regarding the birth.  I am hoping it is a full certificate and not just the same image from the register.  If you have never ordered a microfilm from Family Search and had it sent to your local Family History library, you should.  It is a fantastic service and inexpensive — only $7.50/film for short term use.  I’ll let you know the results when it comes in.
The exciting thing about learning his middle initial is “F” is that I’ve been unable to find anything about John H. Montran.  Whenever I researched, I kept running into John F. Montran. If my John F. Montran is the same person as I’ve seen many times before, then Madonna (Donna) has at least one half sister, maybe two that we’ve never known about before.

 

I’ve begun researching the other two daughters of John F. Montran.  Thelma M and Ruth Grace Montran. If I can find a descendant and can convince that person to have an atDNA test, I can prove that the two John’s are the same person.
These are exciting times in genealogy.
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Might they be cousins?

Many years ago I was hanging around in the Navy barracks at Treasure Island and was chatting with another sailor. I mentioned I was from Minnesota and he said he had many relatives in northern Minnesota. I said, “Where ‘bouts.” And he said, “The Motley-Pillager area.” I said, “Really, that’s where my family is from.” Sure enough, after a bit more discussion, we learned that his mother was my grandfather’s youngest sister. We were first cousins, once removed.

A couple years ago my half-sister, who lives in Oregon, started dating a guy who was also from Oregon. In their discussions, they learned that he had family from Pillager, Minnesota, also. They laughed about it and started calling each other “cousin.” Not that they thought they were actually related, but they figured if both their families were in Pillager during the same years, it is likely that they must have known each other. The town only has 469 people, according to the 2010 census. Back in 1910, it only had 252 people,[i] so it is easy to suspect that someone in one family married someone in the other. So she asked me the obvious question – are she (a Brown) and her new beau (a Haywood) related?

The family of interest is George Edgar Heywood (or Haywood) and his wife Christina Catherine Hull. It appears that George and Christina came to Minnesota from Wisconsin about 1875 and had all 10 of their children in Minnesota. Several were born in Kandiyohi County, but most were born in Cass County in Township 133 (May Township (S)). Christina died in 1901 and it appears that the family moved out to Idaho shortly thereafter. In the 1900 census, George’s sister, Delia, shows in the as a schoolteacher. In the 1905 Minnesota census, she still shows up in Pillager, but by 1910 she and, apparently, the rest of the family had moved on. Most of the Heywood family moved to Idaho, but some moved to other places.

Family locations by year.

Year
Heywood/Hull
Brown-Manning
1875
Kandiyohi Co., MN
1885
Kandiyohi Co., MN
North Dakota
1892
Pillager, Cass Co., MN
Cass Co. MN
1894
Sylvan Township, Cass Co. MN
Note: Pillager is in Sylvan Township,
1896
Pillager, Cass Co., MN
   next to May Township.
1897
Pillager, Cass Co., MN
1900
May Township, Cass Co. MN
Pequot Lakes, Crow Wing Co., MN
Note: about 25 miles
1901
Pequot Lakes, Crow Wing Co., MN
1902
North Dakota
1905
Pillager, Cass Co., MN
Note: Delia only (Other gone).
1910
Montana (Marian)
1910
Texas (Delia)
1917
Backus, Cass Co., MN
1920
Idaho
Sylvan Township, Cass Co., MN
The Browns moved from Cass county to North Dakota about 1896 and then back to Cass County about 1897. They then moved to Crow Wing County by 1901 and back to North Dakota by 1902. They moved back to Cass County, again, about 1916.Anyway, it appears that the Philips and Brown families were both in the Pillager area from about 1892 until about 1897.

It will take a while to go through all of the descendants of George and Christina and their siblings that lived in the area to see if there were any marriages between the families; however, it doesn’t look that way. I’m fairly certain my sister and her beau are much farther apart then that sailor I encountered so many years ago are.

ENDNOTES

[i] United States. Bureau of the Census – Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910: Population by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions 1910, 1900, 1890. Page 252 – https://books.google.com/books?id=T9HrAAAAMAAJ
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