Getting to Know an Ancestor – Essie Pansy Barnes Roberts (1903-1982)

Getting to Know an Ancestor: 

Starting with Ancestry and Family Search

My primary reason for genealogical research is to get to know someone, an ancestor. Often the ancestor is mine or my wife’s but occasionally the ancestor is a friend’s or, not nearly often enough, a client.  Census records are a key starting point to know an ancestor. Census records also situate the individual in time and place, which then provides a context for other searching and getting to know the ancestor.  Information about my presentation, “Getting to Know You: Ancestors through Genealogy” is on my website.
I like to use Ancestry.com as my baseline regarding an individual.  Many of their collections include images, which make validation of the transcriptions easier.  Family Search is also an excellent resource. Because of indexing quirks, sometimes you can find an ancestor on one system and not the other. Family Search also has many of the Census records images available through them at no charge. For census records that they don’t have the image for, Family Search often directs you to the images on Ancestry or Fold3. What is really cool is you can save records you find, when the image is not available from Family Search, to a personal Source Box (you need a free account with Family Search).  Later, you can visit your local library, most of whom have access to the Library Edition of Ancestry.com and/or Library access to Fold 3, access your Family Search account, then access your source box. From there you should be able to select the images you have been wanting, download them to a thumb drive and have the images you desire. Personally, I find having an Ancestry.Com account well worth the expense and I recommend getting one. If you are an AARP member and want an Ancestry.com account, CALL Ancestry and tell them you want the one-time AARP Member discount.  If you haven’t used the discount already, you can use it for a renewal too.
I find it difficult to write about an ancestor I’ve never known, nor met in person, when there are many other people who knew the ancestor in life. With the exception of the photo, the below story of Essie Pansy Barnes Roberts is based almost entirely on what I have found on Ancestry.com. My goal was to follow Essie through all the Censuses during her life and then fill in some details based upon stumble on finds on Ancestry (got to love those shaky leaves). Next time I’ll use what I learned here and use social media, scour newspapers, and search other sources for relevant information to fill in the texture of her life, but here are the basics of Essie’s life.

RB05 – Essie Pansy Barnes Roberts (1903-1982)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 6

Essie Barnes Roberts aka “Gran”
to her many grandchildren.
Photo courtesy of granddaughter.  
Essie Pansy Barnes was born on 15 March 1903 in Graysville (Turman Township, Sullivan County) Indiana.[i] She died on 20 November 1982 in Mount Clemens (Macomb, Michigan), aged 79[ii].
She is the daughter of Joel Clinton Barnes (1857-1921), and Marada Mae Lister, (aka Marady, May, Morady, & Maranda) (1867-1932).
The 1900 Census indicates that before she was born, her mother, Marada, had three children before 1900. One was John Lister, whose father is unknown. One was an older brother, Ray, whose father was Joel Barnes. The third child was born and died before 1900. It is unclear of that child was Joel’s of if he or she had a different father. [iii]
Likewise, her father had three children by another wife, Sarah Josephine Conner. The children were Flora, Flava, and Anna/Alma.  Flava was born in 1881 and died in 1882.  This set the stage for Essie’s birth in 1903.
1910 Census indicates 7-year-old Essie living in Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana with her father, mother, paternal half-sister Anna, maternal half-brother John A, Lister, older brother Ray, and younger sister Mabel. Essie was attending school. The 1910 Census also indicates that her mother had six children, four of which were living. The implication of this is that Marada had another child between 1900 and 1910 that had died.[iv] 
1920 Census indicates the 16-year-old Essie living in Turman Township, Indiana with father, mother, brother Ray, and sister Mabel Bessie. Essie was attending school.[v]
In May, 1922, Essie married Bert Allen Roberts (1903-1949), son of Hugh Ellis  Roberts (1884-1908) and  Clora D  Scott [roberts] [adams] (1884-?) in Sullivan County, Indiana[vi]. Her marriage registration indicates that her father was dead. Subsequent research found that her father, Joel, died in 1921. The registration also indicates she was living in Graysville, which is an unincorporated community in Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana, the same place she was born.
The 1930 Census finds the young couple thirty miles to the north renting a home at 613 North 15th Street in Terre Haute, Indiana. Bert is working in construction as a plumber’s helper. Their oldest child Pansy is attending school. Their oldest son, Bert and their twins, Hugh and Helen, and Essie’s 63-year-old mother, Marada (“May” in the Census) round out the household.[vii] Marada died in 1932.
Ancestry.Com’s City Directories for Terre Haute show the Bert and Essie living at 354 Chestnut in 1934 and 1936. [viii] [ix]
The 1940 Census finds the family living at 1719 Chestnut Street, Terre Haute. Because they are living at the “same place” as in 1935, it appears that they moved up Chestnut Street and didn’t have the street renumbered. 
Their oldest daughter is listed in the 1940 Census as “Penny” and not Pansy. She is 17 years old and attending high school.
Bert Junior is 15 years old and also attending high school.
The twins, Helen & Hugh, are 13-years-old and are attending grade school (7th grade)
Finally, 11-year-old John is in the 5th grade.[x]
Sometime in the 1940’s the Roberts’ moved to the Detroit, Michigan area.  Essie’s husband, Bert, died in a fiery motor vehicle accident in 1949.

Essie lived Ferndale (Oakland County, Michigan) sometime before 1982 when she died at Mount Clemens, Macomb County, Michigan.[xi]

Further Research

The name, birth, & death of the child born before 1900 that died.
   Ada Barnes was born on 21 March 1898 and died on 19 December 1899.
The name, birth, & death of the child born between 1900 and 1910 that died.
   Nelson Barns was born on 14 April 1901 and died 22 November 1902.
Trace Essie oldest daughter’s name from Pansy to Penny and determine what her name actually was. It may also give insight into Essie’s middle name of Pansy.
Trace the children of Bert & Essie through the school system.

Endnotes
[i] Sources: Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007 – Family Search (Other) – 1930 Census / Indiana, Vigo, Terre Haute, Page 9A – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other) – 1940 Census / Terre Haute, Vigo Indiana – Bert Roberts – Ancestry.com  (Other) – 1910 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 178, Page 8A – Joel C Barnes – Ancestry.Com (Digitizing) – 1920 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 0270, Sheet 1B – Ancestry.Com (Digitizing) – U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 / Essie Roberts – 384-20-4983 – Ancestry (Other) – Michigan Deaths, 1971-1996 / Essis P Roberts (1903-1982) – Ancestry (Internet)
[ii] Source: Michigan Deaths, 1971-1996 / Essis P Roberts (1903-1982) – Ancestry (Internet)
[iii] Source: 1900 Census, Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, ED 138, Sheet 7B – Joel C Barnes, Ancestry
[iv] Source: 1910 Census, Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 178, Page 8A – Joel C Barnes, Ancestry
[v] Source: 1920 Census / Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, District 0270, Sheet 1B – Ancestry.com  (Digitizing)
[vi] Sources: Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007 – Family Search (Other) – 1930 Census / Indiana, Vigo, Terre Haute, Page 9A – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other)
[vii] Source: 1930 Census / Indiana, Vigo, Terre Haute, Page 9A – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other)
[viii] Source: U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 / 1934 – Terre Haute, Indiana – Bert A Roberts. – Ancestry (Other)
[ix] Source: U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 / 1936 – Terre Haute – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other)
[x] Sources: 1940 Census / Terre Haute, Vigo Indiana – Bert Roberts – Ancestry.com  (Other) – U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 / 1940 – Terre Haute, Indiana – Bert A Roberts – Ancestry (Other)
[xi] Sources: U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 / Essie Roberts – 384-20-4983 – Ancestry (Other) – Michigan Deaths, 1971-1996 / Essis P Roberts (1903-1982) – Ancestry (Internet)
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Back to John Montran

Last month (July 2015), I wrote about finding John F. Montran in an index entry for my grandmother’s birth record and that I was ordering the microfilm from the Family History Library (FHL) for my use at my local Family History Center (FHC). I mentioned before I’d report my results from the film.

The FHL let me know when the film was shipped and let me know when it arrived at my local FHC.  Amazingly, it arrived the day before I was giving a presentation to the GPC-MGS on social networking so I would be there the very next day. Might the film include an actual birth certificate?  Might it include some other really important information?

After my presentation, I went into the FHC, had the librarian volunteer find the film for me, loaded the film into the reader, and began searching.  Brutal.  Yes, it came with an index but it was extremely hard to read.  I tried and tried and finally gave up using the index. I began browsing the records, beginning to end. Nothing.  Didn’t see my desired record after I viewed all the records on the microfilm.   “Come on already, it wouldn’t be in the index if there wasn’t something there,” I said to myself.  I thought about giving up on the search. This film appeared to be contain the same data as I had viewed before in another connection. I decided to continue viewing, this time from back to front.  Having gone through the film completely one way I had gained a fairly good understanding of how the film was organized and could focus on pages that were likely to contain the record I was looking for.  I found it! My grandmother’s birth registration entry.

Family History Library Film 1008278 – Page 290, Entry 435.

It was clearly a typed version of a record I had seen before, in handwritten form. The typist mistyped the surname as “Montrau” – Not surprising, having seen the original handwritten document.  It did mention that Madonna was “Legit”, something that I hadn’t seen in the handwritten version. Then I noticed at the bottom, “Original Records are missing for the following records 427 to 450.” So, Madonna’s record (#435) was known to be missing when this was typed. That explains why the Calhoun County Clerks people couldn’t find it. Now, I have evidence that an original record probably doesn’t and can put aside trying to find it.

This experience reminded me to not give up because you can’t find a record on the first pass of viewing a microfilm. Also, it also reminded me that just because I don’t think a record will yield any new information, I might be surprised by what is in the margins.

100 Years ago – Florence Wilma Huber – (1908-1934)

Research Darling/Huber

by Don Taylor

One hundred years ago, June 1915, Florence Wilma Huber was a six-year-old living on a farm in the Swiss Colony of Elberta and Josephine, Baldwin County, Alabama. Her father, John, and her mother Bertha (Trumpi) moved the family to Alabama from Wisconsin when Florence was a baby. Her five-year-old brother, Clarence, had been born in Alabama.

John was a farmer, but I suspect that farming was difficult for the young man from Switzerland. The land was much different from his native land and different from Wisconsin where he farmed for seven years.
Children_and_adults_in_front_of_a_school_building_in_rural_Baldwin_County_Alabama.jpg From Alabama Superintendent of Education photograph album, LPP16, Alabama Dept. of Archives and History. via ADAH http://digital.archives.alabama.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/photo/id/18058/rec/1
Baldwin County School Building, c. 1913
Courtesy: Alabama Dept. of Archives and History
Both of Florence’s parents could read and write, so I suspect that Florence probably began school about that time. Certainly, she could read and write by the time they moved to Michigan and were enumerated in the 1920 census.
Family history says, “Bertha didn’t care much for Alabama, too hot and lots of bugs.” Also, we don’t know exactly when, possibly in 1915 or 1916, but according to family legend, John became a hobo, “riding the rails” for some time. After a bit, he came back to Bertha and said Michigan was the place they would move sometime between 1916 and 1919.
Nationally, June 1915 was an exciting time. Certainly, the war in Europe was taking central stage in the news. There was a major German offensive in Argonnes[1]. Nationally, The League to Enforce Peace was organized in Philadelphia, with former United States President, William Howard Taft, as the League’s president.[2] Meanwhile, President Wilson was demanding reparations for the German sinking of the Lusitania.
Locally, the sale and regulation of alcohol was a bitter issue in Alabama politics. In 1915, Gov. Henderson vetoed a ban on the sale of alcohol; however, the legislature overrode his veto. Despite prohibition, 386 illegal stills were seized in Alabama in 1915[3].

 

[2] Ibid.
[3] Alabama Department of Archives and History –http://archives.state.al.us/historythisweek/week27.html
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Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 42 – Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)

No Story Too Small

It is always a problem when you can’t find a person in a US Census while they were alive. It is particularly frustrating when you think you have the information that should find the individual in the various censuses. That is the case of Rufus Holton Darling. He died in 1857 and shows in the 1850 Census as you would expect. He is said to have come from Rome, Oneida County, New York and that his father’s name was Abner. That ought to be enough to find him, but alas, no such luck. I browsed the 1840 Census for Rome and only saw one Darling, Israel Darling, who had no males living with him aged 24 or so. Searches in the 1840, 1830, and 1820 censuses likewise did not result in any likely candidates. There are several other Darlings in the county during that time; so, I know I need to do a lot more research. I need to try to find each of these Darlings in Oneida County and trace them on to the 1850 Census, where all the members of the household are name. I hope that that will provide some insight.

Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)

Rufus Holton Darling was born in New York State about 1816.[1] This was the year that the U.S. Supreme Court affirms its right to review state court decisions, James Monroe was elected 5th president defeating Federalist Rufus King, and Indiana became the 19th state. Michigan wouldn’t become a state for another 21 years. Rufus is not a British name and it would be easy to speculate that Rufus was named after the presidential candidate, but we don’t really know where the name “Rufus” came from.

Nothing is known of Rufus’ youth, but in 1840, he left Rome, Oneida County, New York for the wilds of the new state of Michigan and settled in Kalamazoo[2]. 1840 was the year Army troops “transported” the local Indians to reservations west of the Mississippi. Kalamazoo was a fledgling village; the first permanent cabin was built there in 1829 and by 1840 the population had grown to over 1200 individuals in the village. Sometime in the 1840s, Rufus went into partnership with Milo J. Goss and established the Goss & Darling General Store.[3] In 1844, Rufus’ first son, Abner, was born. We know nothing about his first wife, her name, if they were married, or when she died, but in 1846 Rufus married Elizabeth Jane Swayze Wiseman[4], a widow, also with one child, a daughter. Also in 1846, the Michigan Central Railroad connected Kalamazoo to Detroit.

Marriage Notice August 1846
Kalamazoo Gazette (Kalamazoo, MI, ), 
Thanks to Genealogy Bank,

In 1848, Rufus and Elizabeth were living at the northwest corner of Cedar and Rose. They had the first, who they named Elizabeth, of their four children. In the fall of 1849, Rufus dissolved his partnership with Milo Goss and sold the Goss & Darling General Store[5]. In addition, in 1849, the railroad was expanding service to Chicago. Interesting enough, in the spring of 1850, Milo Goss went to California to make his fortune selling supplies to the gold miners. From 1849 to 1850, nearly 10% of Kalamazoo’s able-bodied men went to gold fields of California.

In 1852, Rufus ran for City Supervisor as a Whig[6]. He lost, however, it is clear that he was a leader in the city. Rufus and Elizabeth had twins, Eva and Emily; Eva died in 1853[7]. Emily was disabled; she never married and lived to be 65.

In 1854, Rufus was a Trustee for the city of Kalamazoo[8].

Marker: Father – Rufus Holton Darling 1816–1857
Courtesy: Find a Grave Memorial #30754149

In 1856, the neighbor across Cedar and Rose, whose name was H.G. Wells (not the author) invited a little-known Illinois lawyer named Abraham Lincoln to speak at a Republican rally at Bronson Park. We don’t know if he was able to attend his neighbor’s rally because Rufus was quite sick, an invalid, at that time. I’d like to think he was able to go up to the park and see Mr. Lincoln.

In June of 1857, Rufus and Elizabeth had a son they named Rufus Harry Darling[9]. The following month Rufus Holton Darling died of consumption (probably tuberculosis – although “consumption” was used to describe any degenerative lung disease). He was buried with Masonic honors at Mountain Home Cemetery, in Kalamazoo[10].

List of Greats

Rufus Harry Darling (1857-1907)
Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)
Abner Darling ( ? – ? )

[1] Mountain Home Plot
File (Kalamazoo County, ), Kalamazoogenealogy.org, Mountain Home
Burials by Lot Numbers, Block: 6. http://kalamazoogenealogy.org/Cemeteries/Mountain%20Home%20Plots/6.htm#16.
[2] Kalamazoo
Gazette  (Kalamazoo, MI, ), GenealogyBank, 1857-08-07 Pg- 2 – Died.
[3] Kalamazoo
Gazette  (Kalamazoo, MI, ), GenealogyBank, 1849-03-07 – Dissolution
[4] Kalamazoo
Gazette  (Kalamazoo, MI, ), GenealogyBank, 1846-08-XX, Pg X – Married, [Rufus Darling – Elizabeth Wiseman].
[5] Kalamazoo
Gazette  (Kalamazoo, MI, ), GenealogyBank, 1849-03-07 – Dissolution.
[6] Kalamazoo
Gazette  (Kalamazoo, MI, ), GenealogyBank, 1852-04-09, Pg 2 – THE ELECTION.
[7] Mountain Home Plot
File (Kalamazoo County, ), Kalamazoogenealogy.org, Mountain Home
Burials by Lot Numbers, Block: 6. http://kalamazoogenealogy.org/Cemeteries/Mountain%20Home%20Plots/6.htm#16.
[8] History of
Kalamazoo Michigan (Phildelphia, Everts & Abbott, 1880), Google Books, Page
226. http://books.google.com/books?id=qMXoj2IUNUUC.
[9] Michigan, Dept of
Public Health, Death Certificate, Seeking Michigan, Rufus H. Darling – Death 5
Jan 1917. Credit: Library of Michigan. http://seekingmichigan.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p129401coll7/id/123256.
[10] Mountain Home Plot
File (Kalamazoo County, ), Kalamazoogenealogy.org, Mountain Home
Burials by Lot Numbers, Block: 6. http://kalamazoogenealogy.org/Cemeteries/Mountain%20Home%20Plots/6.htm#16.


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Bertha Barbara Trümpi Huber

52 Ancestors #18
Darling-Huber-Trumpi Line

Bio: Bertha Barbara (Trümpi) Huber (1884-1968)

The umlaut helps to confuse Bertha’s records in America. Usually, the umlaut is dropped and Trumpi is used, it is also Trumpe and sometimes Trumpy, misspellings include Trunpe. Bertha was born the oldest child of Bernhard Trumpe and Bertha Koch on 9 May 1884, in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland. We know nothing about her childhood, although we do know she “came from a big family and had a stepmother as her father married twice.
She is my wife’s most recent immigrant coming to America in 1903 when she was only 18 years old. She came in the care of an aunt and uncle who traveled from America to get her in Switzerland and bring her back. She then settled in Wisconsin where she met Johann (John) Huber. She married Johann on 2 March 1905 in New Glarius, Wisconsin,[1] most likely at the Swiss Church in New Glarus in a religious ceremony by Rev. A. Roth. Anna Altman and Gebert Huber were the witnesses.
The young couple settled in Primrose, Dane County, Wisconsin. [2]
In April of 1908, she had her first child, a daughter, Florence Wilma Huber.
1909-02-07 - Morning Star (Rockford, IL) Page- 13 - Home Seekers ad
1909 ad for Baldwin County Colonization Co. From The Morning Star (Rockford, IL)

Three Chicago businessmen formed the Baldwin County Colonization Company in 1903: Alexander Klappenback, F. W. Herdick, and Henry Bartling. They hoped to establish a German colony near Perdido Bay, Alabama. In 1904, settlers were offered 20 and 40-acre portions of land.[3] They provided free trips to southern Alabama in February to people who bought property in the Colony.

The excitement of land of their own in the warmth of Alabama enticed the young family to move south in 1907 or 1908. Shortly after she and John located to Elberta, Baldwin County, Alabama, in 1908 she gave birth to her second child.[4]
Sometime between 1916 and 1920, the young family decided to return to the north and purchased a farm in James Township, Saginaw County, Michigan. After daughter died in 1934, their granddaughter came to live with them (Bertha, her husband, and her son Clarence). Bertha spoke Romansh, High German, and English. Her husband died in 1948. She continued to live at the James Township farm until she died from a coronary occlusion on 21 March 1964.
Bertha was buried in an unmarked grave at Oakwood Cemetery, Saginaw, Michigan. Section 116, Plot S692 on March 25th.
List of Great Ancestors
1.    Bertha Barbara Trümpi
2.     Bernhard Trümpe

Sources:

[1] Wisconsin Marriage Records, Johana Huber and Bertha Trunpe, 02 Mar 1905.
[2] Wisconsin State Censuses, 1895 and 1905, Ancestry.Com
[3] Baldwin County, AL Genealogy Trails. See: http://genealogytrails.com/ala/baldwin/cities/elberta.html
[4] 1910 Census, Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com, Elberta and Josephine, Baldwin, Alabama; Roll: T624_1; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0013; FHL microfilm: 1374014.