Interlibrary Loan and Edward McAllister

I know I mentioned it before, but I’ve got to mention it again, Interlibrary loan is one of your best friends. I wrote last January about the Georgia Virtual Vault and Edward Lamb McAllister
I still had many questions regarding Edward’s murder.  Could newspaper articles provide answers to the questions I’ve been looking for?
One of my favorite places to look for books, or anything is WorldCat. WorldCat is a huge network of library content. It will tell you the availability of all kinds of things at thousands of libraries. So, I wanted to see where I might find the newspapers I was looking.
It took some poking around WorldCat to find a Savannah newspaper from 1925 available.  World Cat showed The Savannah Press had issues from 1891 to 1931 available at two libraries.  Zooming in, I found it available at University of Georgia, only about 1-1/2 hour drive so certainly a possible road trip. (The holding at University of Rochester (NY) was a bit far for a visit.)  Looking more closely at their holdings, they appeared to have both a paper and microform versions and the microform has multiple copies. One more click and I see their status as “Not Checked Out.” I took that as code that they allow the film to be checked out and will allow interlibrary loan.  
Logging into my county library, I selected their interlibrary loan option, which opened their link to WorldCat. I found the same selection, Savannah Press, and ordered it.
Savannah Press
Jan 14, 1925, Pg 14
A few weeks later I receive a call from my county library, the microfilm has arrived.  Going through unindexed newspapers on microfilm is a brutal process. This one was like I expected.  The nice thing about having the film local is I didn’t have to review it all in one sitting.  I could take my time and review the material over several visits if I so desired. Nice. 
Anyway, the view was about 1/12 of the page, so it was necessary to make three sweeps across each page, top, middle bottom, looking for relevant articles. I read, the papers slowly looking for key words in headlines and the first paragraph of most articles. Luckily, I could skip over the Society pages, and the entertainment pages.
I found nine articles during the two weeks following his murder. Lots of detail about Edward’s life, a photo of Edward, a photo of the man arrested for the murder and a photo of that man’s wife. Could she be the woman he was “bedding,” as mentioned in the family oral history? There was even a photo of the grizzly murder weapon. 
What a treasure trove of information. Having the film available via interlibrary loan save me several hours driving time, parking hassles, (It is usually a hassle parking at a University.) and the frustration of using unfamiliar equipment. Yes, Interlibrary is one of my best friends. 

Caroline Pankey’s Mother – Martha!

Needless to say when you begin a new genealogical subscription or service you want to check out if it might clear up one of your brick walls.  In one of my research areas, I have someone who died back in “the late 1960s or early ‘70s” and I am yet to find an obituary or death record.  I gave it a quick look, no such luck finding it.  Then I thought about another area I’ve been researching.  I knew Caroline M.A. Pankey, b. abt 1810, father was named Thomas Pankey but didn’t know Caroline’s mother’s name. 
Using Genealogy Bank, I searched for Thomas Pankey then narrowed it down to 1750 to 1860.  Walla!  Seven items, five of which were the same legal notice.  
Newspaper Notice (from Virginia Memories)
similar to the one at Genealogy Bank
Thomas Pankey is mentioned in a 1830 Powhatan County, Virginia, Chancery case. A quick read finds that it is the wrong Thomas Pankey, rather than Caroline’s father it is her (before unknown) brother.  The defendants in this case include, “Frank Pankey, Thomas Pankey, ____ Ellis and Mary his wife, _____ Calhoun and Henrietta his wife, _____ Pankey and Nancy his wife, _____ Scott and Elizabeth his wife, _____ Howel and Caroline his wife, which…. are the children of Martha Pankey, dec’d.  Not much doubt about it, Caroline’s mother’s name was clearly Martha and she had two brothers and four sisters that were unknown before. The case was William Pollock, et al, verses Mary Pollock, et al
One of my favorite genealogical sites is Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia. They have a great set of Chancery records.  Pick the County, Powhatan; Plaintiff equals Pollock, Defendant equals Pollock. Search.  One case, index number 1831-015. Click on View Details and there is the first of 109 pages, handwritten documents relating to the case.  Going through the case documents solidified the relationships. One page the same iteration of children of Martha Pankey speaks about Peter M Howell and his wife, Caroline, formerly Caroline M. A. Pankey.  Martha is the sister by half blood of Sarah Ligon formerly Sarah Pollock.  It was a wonderful find. In the maze of documents I find that Martha is the sister of William Liggon, which must be her original name. So, Martha’s half sister Sarah probably married one of Martha’s kin on Martha’s father’s side. So confusing. 
One problem with the Virginia Memory site is that the downloads, although easy to do, do not have the the resolution you would really like to have in your personal files. Downloads, and print to PDF do not have the detail to zoom in and be able to read the complicated documents. You can zoom in on the image to the level needed to read it, do screen shots, then use some kind of stitching software to assemble the desired images.  Alternately, you will just need to document the URL & Page number.   

  
Same image as above downloaded, converted to JPG
To the left is the same image as above downloaded the way that is easy. I then cropped it and saved it to JPG with the maximum settings. It really is unreadable. The image above was zoomed into on line, screen shot taken, then converted to JPG.  Much better quality. 
Virginia Memory, great job and great material, please if at all possible, let the downloads be the same image quality as you are have visible.

More about Donna Montran from Genealogy Bank

Miss Donna Montran
Boston Journal
December 12, 1916
Page – 4 

As I mentioned before there are 20 items in the Genealogy Bank regarding “Donna Montran.” After her, now famous, airplane ride she applied to represent Boston at  New York’s Crystal Palace Preparedness Bazaar.  It is amazing that in those days, the newspapers printed the names and addresses of all the applicants.  Imagine what would happen today if a newspaper published the home addresses of 49 contestants for a beauty contest. Wow.  Anyway, thanks to the policies of the time, we now know that in December if 1916, Donna was living at 64 Bennett in Brighton (Boston), MA. The house at that address today was built in 1920, so we don’t know what 64 Bennett was like back in 1916.  It is interesting to note that there were two Holdsworth girls who also applied to represent Boston.  Holdsworth was the name of one of Donna’s mother’s husbands — I wonder if there is a relationship.

By the way, Preparedness Bazaar referred to actions to prepare the United States to enter into World War I, which the US Didn’t do until the following year.

Donna doesn’t show up in the Genealogy Bank papers again until 1919 when she was in the play “Chin Chin” where she played at the Pinney Theater (Demolished) in Boise, Idaho where she received accolades for her role as the “good fairy”. She continued that role at the Powers Theater in Grand Rapids, and the Saginaw Auditorium in February, 1920.
Donna played at the Garden in Baltimore in March 1921
Donna then began a run of “The California Bathing Beauties” with Donna Montran. In September and October of 1920, she played the Garden in Baltimore, the Cosmos in Washington, DC, and the Capitol Theatre in Wilkes-Barre, PA. 

In the spring of 1921 she played at the State Theater in Trenton, NJ, again at both the Cosmos in Washington, DC and the Garden in Baltimore. 
The Genealogy Bank newspaper articles added a substantial number of new and exciting details to our understanding of Donna’s life.

Census Taker’s Tracks – June 27th.

I’ve been working on promoting the Smyrna Historical and Genealogical Society program for June 27th.  It will be Susan Sloan, a former Smyrna native, who will present “The Census Taker’s Tracks.”  
The Census Taker’s Tracks 
History of the census and information on data on specific censuses will be presented in an interactive format.  Clues to finding elusive female ancestors will be addressed.  Often overlooked clues found on specific censuses will be noted. Tips for finding your family on the census will be reviewed. 
Susan Sloan is a professional genealogist whose areas of concentration are teaching family history classes, conducting private lineage research, and preparing lineage applications.   She has authored articles in several genealogical publications in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  She holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from Georgia State University.
The Smyrna Historical and Genealogical Society operates the all volunteer Smyrna History Museum located on Atlanta Rd.
See www.smyrnahistory.org for Museum volunteer opportunities and membership. 
Check  Facebook at “Smyrna History Museum” for periodic Museum events.
Also, please visit my Smyrna Genealogical pages at www.smyrnahistory.com/genea/
Visit the Smyrna Museum with free admission on Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. See me there on the second and third Tuesday morings, 10 to 1.

City Directories [Original 2013 Post]

US Census Records are among the most important records used in genealogical research. They are a treasure trove of information; however, they come out only once every ten years leaving huge gaps.  With the 1890 census having lost so many records in a fire, often there is a twenty-year gap in our family research.  Do not overlook city directories as a potential source to fill in those gaps.
Many cities and counties have had directories published over the years.
They were created for salesmen and merchants to be able to contact
individuals.  Of course, every publisher had their own format for information they presented but it can be the source for new information. Typically, city directories give the name and address of the head of the household.  Often they give the wife’s name, usually in parenthesis, and sometimes the names of adult children living at the same address. They also usually provide a clue to the occupation of the individual.  Sometimes
there is a reverse directory included which goes by street address and provides the name of the individuals living there.
For many years, I thought a great-grandmother of mine moved from one
address to another on the same street.  A city directory revealed that they renumbered the street one year. The neighbors stayed the same but the numbers changed for all of them.  Directories will often show maps, street name changes, addresses of key businesses, churches, schools, cemeteries, post offices, hospitals, newspapers and the like.  Some will give a history of the city as well as the names of elected officials. Some, like the 1867 Atlanta City Directory, even gives the names and roles of various churches and civic organizations such as Masons and Odd Fellows.
Another major bit of information often given is if a person is a widow.  That
can be key to narrowing down the year of someone’s death and provides a “died before” date.  In some occasions, the city directory may even list marriages, and deaths, including date, during the previous year.
Smyrna Museum Collection
The Smyrna Museum has a small collection
of city directories of Marietta/Smyrna. The collection includes 1958, 1959,
1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1985-86, and 1987.  These directories are available for members to use at the museum for research.  If you cannot make it to the museum, the
Genealogy Committee Volunteers will be happy to do a lookup for you. Just let them know the surname and the year y  If you want more than three surnames or volumes looked at, a small donation to the Museum would be great.
Of course, if you have a Smyrna city
directory, even for a year listed above, please consider donating it to the
museum.  We would be extremely pleased to
receive it as a donation.
On-Line Resources
Google Books is always worth a quick look to see if they have a directory you are looking for. Go to books.google.com and then enter in the search box: City Directory [city of interest].  You may be surprised at what
is available online. Another great Google page is Google’s US Online Historical Directories site. It shows access points to many city, county, business, and other directories online and provides information regarding them being free or paid sites.
One of my favorite sources for Directories is Don’s List (www.donlist.net).
He has an 1859 directory of Augusta, 27 directories for Atlanta (1867-1923) as well as a Georgia Gazetteer from 1829 that provides a lot of history about
Georgia and information about the various counties and cities of Georgia at
that time. Smyrna was part of the Cherokee Nation until 1832. Once gold was
discovered, the land was quickly confiscated from the Indians and redistributed to settlers via a land lottery.
Another great source for directories is the Internet Archive (www.archive.org) and has several Atlanta directories.
Distant Cousin (www.distantcousin.com) has the 1890 Brunswick, Georgia directory and information regarding several other Brunswick, Georgia years.
Of course, Ancestry and Fold3 have many directories in the paid sections.
Off-Line Sources
Many Libraries and historical societies have city directories in their possession. It is always worth an email or telephone call to find out if a library has a city directory.  Often they will do a look-up for you without
charge or for a small fee.  Often the directories have been microfilmed so be sure to speak with a reference librarian who knows the various collections available on microfilm. Sometime those resources may be ordered via interlibrary loan.
The Family History Library has microfilm and microfiche, which can be ordered from www.familysearch.org and then viewed at your local Family History Center. They have several cities in Georgia, including Atlanta, Columbus, and Savannah.
Genealogy Research Associates will lookups in Directories for a fee. They have access to Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah. Check their website for years available. They currently charge $15 plus P&H for the service.