Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Travel Tuesday – Derby, CT – Public Library Research

313 Elizabeth St., Derby CT
The large old stone building at 313 Elizabeth Street, Derby CT is a charming place to do genealogy research. My cousin, Pat, and I were in Ct for a weekend with our cousins. We had one day for research. We began at the Derby City Hall where we spent much more time than we had expected. When we finally went up the street to the library we had only an hour and a half before closing.

The librarian gathered armfuls of city directories and carried them to a large table for us. We looked for our Brady and Kilday relatives, descendants of Thomas Brady & Catherine Gibney who lived in County Cavan, Ireland. At least four of their children: Margaret Brady Coyle, Ann Brady Kilday, William Brady & Owen Brady left Ireland and lived in Connecticut. Others, Bartholomew, John and Catherine lived in New Jersey.

We used these directories:
Ansonia, Birmingham, Derby, Shelton and Seymour Directory. [1890 – 1905]. New Haven, Connecticut: Price, Lee & Company, 1891. Derby Public Library, 313 Elizabeth Street, Derby, CT.

Each was in an archival safe box. Some had loose pages. We wanted to browse through them but time was against us so we went directly to the pages we needed. We found many volumes that included our family.

Here are examples of our findings:
City Directory

1890 – 91

Page 30 Owen Brady, emp ABC Co, h 25 Bridge
William Brady, laborer, h 189 Sugar
Page 109 James Kilday, laborer, h Cannon

1896 – 97

Page 22 Ansonia. Owen Brady, emp F,F & M Co, h 30 Bridge
Page 159 Derby & Shelton. William Brady, watchman Huntington Piano Co; h 157 Hawkins
Page 207 James Kilday. Laborer, h 44 Cannon


Page 22 Ansonia. Owen Brady, emp Shelton, h 69 Factory
Page 218 Derby & Shelton. Anna Kilday, widow James, h 40 Emmett av

City Directories can be very useful.

· Locate your family in census years to assist in finding census reports.
· Discover when someone died. Above you can see that James Kilday was alive in 1896 but Ann was a widow in 1905.
· Look at others with the same surname. I’ve found them living at the same address which shows a connection.
· Find employment information & often advertisements for those employers.
· See maps of towns.
· Read about the towns with details like population counts.

We gathered up our notes & walked out the door just two minutes before the doors would be locked. That evening we treated ourselves to a delicious seafood dinner at the Stonebridge restaurant in Milford CT.

The next day we gathered with our Irish cousins and shared some of our findings. Our rough notes still needed to be organized & typed up. Pat & I are planning to return to the area. Next time we want to go to nearby Ansonia, CT.

Related Posts:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Surname Saturday - Alphabetical Ancestors - T

T is for these Surnames…

James Miles Thornhill [1862 – 1938 MS] married Violette Eliza Fortenberry [1848 MS – 1917 MS]. They had five children: an Infant, Lucy, Little B, James & June. James & Violette with son, James & daughter Lucy are buried in Silver Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Pike Co., MS.
Maria Elizabeth Tutt c 1723 – c 1787 PA] was my 6th great grandmother. I know nothing of her parents or siblings. She married Heinrich Ritter [ c1715 Germany – 1797 PA]. They had ten children, born in Pennsylvania: Johannes, Philip, Casper, Martin, Heinrich, Johannes T., Jacob, Barbara, Anna Margaretha & Maria M. Maria’s husband came to PA from Germany in 1732.
Tyra Jennings Tynes married Harriet Jane Alford [b 1825 MS] in 1847 in MS. They had eight children: Walter, Tyra, Martha, William, Jasper, Oliver, Sarah Ann & Harriet. In 1800 Tyra & his wife were in Washington, LA. Tyra was a farmer.

Other ‘T’ surnames in my tree: Tanguay, Timothy, Tornambe, Treaster, Tribble, Tucker & Turk.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Travel Tuesday – Derby, CT – City Hall Research

1 Elizabeth Street, Derby CT
Derby, New Haven County, CT has a City Hall Clerk’s office full of treasures as I discovered in a recent trip there. I was there as a part of an Irish Cousins Gathering. We third cousins from NY, NJ, MA & CT who have connections with Thomas Brady & Catherine Gibney try to gather yearly to talk about our shared history & to enjoy each other.

The first day of the weekend was for research. My first stop was at Derby City Hall. I wasn’t sure how long I would be there but I had high hopes of finding birth, marriage and death certificates. Once inside the clerk’s office was easy to find and the woman I spoke to was very helpful. She let me in behind the counter and into an attached room full of records. She gave me instructions on how to use the index and the volumes of registers.

Each index is clearly typed and alphabetized by surname. I began by looking for Kilday because the first thing on my list of goals was a marriage certificate for Ann Brady Kilday. I also wanted birth records for her children and a death certificate for her husband, James Kilday. It did not take long to find all of those:

Index Page

Marriage Record for James Kilday & Ann Brady, 18 August 1881. Birth, Marriage, Death Register, Volume 4, Page 358, Derby City Hall Town Clerk Office, Town of Derby, CT. James Kilday, 28 b Ireland. Ann Brady, 19 b Ireland. Residence: Birmingham CT.

Marriage Record for Ann Brady & James Kilday

Birth Record for Mary Kilday, 12 June 1882. Birth, Marriage, Death Register, Volume 4, Page 170, Derby City Hall Town Clerk Office, Town of Derby, CT. Parents: James Kilday, 28 b Ireland & Ann Brady, 26 b Ireland. [This child was previously unknown.]

Birth Record for Annie Kilday, 3 March 1887. Birth, Marriage, Death Register, Volume 5, Page 14, Derby City Hall Town Clerk Office, Town of Derby, CT. Parents: James Kilday, 33 b Ireland, Laborer & Annie Brady, 28 b Ireland. Mother of three children/ 2 living. Residence: Birmingham CT.

Birth Record for Margaret Kilday, 8 September 1889. Birth, Marriage, Death Register, Volume 6, Page 35, Derby City Hall Town Clerk Office, Town of Derby, CT. Parents: James Kilday, 35, b Ireland, Laborer & Ann Brady, 31 b Ireland. Mother of 4 children/ 3 living. Residence: Birmingham CT.

Birth Record for James Leo Kilday, 28 May 1892. Birth, Marriage, Death Register, Volume 6, Page 68, Derby City Hall Town Clerk Office, Town of Derby, CT. Parents: James Kilday, 41 b Ireland, Laborer & Annie Brady, 39 b Ireland. Mother of 6 children/ 4 living. Residence: Cannon St., Birmingham CT.

Birth Record for Frances Kilday, 14 Mar 1895. Birth, Marriage, Death Register, Volume 7, Page 25, Derby City Hall Town Clerk Office, Town of Derby, CT. Parents: James Kilday, 43 b Ireland, Brass roller & Anna Brady, 34 b Ireland. Mother of 6 children/ 4 living. Residence: Derby.

Death Record for James Kilday, 11 November 1899. Birth, Marriage, Death Register, Volume 8, Page 12, Derby City Hall Town Clerk Office, Town of Derby, CT. James, 49, Laborer b Ireland. Parents: Patrick Kilday b Ireland & Mary Fitzpatrick b Ireland. Place of death: 44 Cannon, Derby CT. Cause of death: chronic meningitis. Duration of disease: 25 weeks. Buried at Mt St Peters.

I was very happy to find so much Kilday information. Then I went back to the index to look for Brady relatives. About that time my cousin, Pat, arrived to join the search. It is very good she was there because we found a long list of Bradys. I won’t list all our findings here but will share the most exciting record, information on the death of William Brady which proved he was the son of Thomas & Catherine Brady.

Death Record for William Brady, 4 October 1926. Birth, Marriage, Death Register, Volume 15, Page 213, Derby City Hall Town Clerk Office, Town of Derby, CT. William Brady, 78 b 1848 Ireland, Laborer, son of Thomas Brady b Ireland & --?—Gibbony b Ireland.

Pat & I took lots of notes on our findings. We only asked for four actual certificates because each certificate cost twenty dollars. We stayed for hours. At one point one of the ladies working in the office came and told us where we could get some lunch. We assured her that we only had the one day to look through the records and wanted to work without taking a break. We kept working till almost three thirty when we went up the street to the Derby library.
William Brady Death Record

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sepia Saturday - Our Family's Actress

This week’s topic: For Sepia Saturday 199 we celebrate acting and theatre. And dressing up, and silly hats, and daft trousers, and fire escapes, and - anything else you fancy.

Alanna Mensing as Meg in Little Women

This is an easy topic for me. Our oldest daughter, Alanna Pasquale Mensing is an actress. When she was little she loved pulling clothes out of our old trunk and dressing up. She assigned roles to her younger sister and brother and directed their actions.

Alanna, on right, at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts

Alanna studied music at Norfolk State University, acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and graduated from the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Washington, D.C.

Alanna, in blue,  as Bianca in the Taming of the Shrew

Alanna has performed in many productions, singing, dancing, doing choreography, playing the piano and acting.

Alanna in the Nutcracker

I often drive to Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D. C. for performances. I love watching her on stage. 

My husband & I with Alanna after a performance at the Kennedy Center.

Hope you enjoyed these family photos & thanks for letting me brag a little! Read more about our actress at Alanna Mensing.

 Be sure to go to the Sepia Saturday page and read this week's other posts.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Travel Tuesday – Derby, CT - Preparation

 As a part of our Irish cousins gathering I recently spent a day in Derby, New Haven County, CT. I wanted to uncover documentation to prove that Ann Brady Kilday, born in Ireland, was a daughter of Thomas Brady & Catherine Gibney. I wanted to gather information on descendants of Thomas & Catherine Brady who lived in the Derby/ Ansonia area. The trip was a success.

Before going I first made a list of the things I wanted to uncover.

·         Marriage Certificate for Ann Brady & James Kilday, probably between 1800 – 1884. Hopefully the certificate would show Ann’s parents and prove her link to Thomas & Catherine Brady.
·         Birth certificates for the children of Ann & James Kilday: Catherine, 1884; Annie, 1887; Margaret, 1889, James L, 1892; Frances, 1895.
·         Death Certificate for James Kilday, probably between 1894 – 1900.
·         Any evidence of William and Owen Brady, brothers of Ann Brady Kilday.

I searched the internet for possible places I could find this information. It looked like my choices were:

·         Ansonia City Hall, 253 Main Street, Ansonia. The records there begin in 1889 which would not help with some of my wish list.
·         AnsoniaLibrary, 53 Cliff Street, Ansonia.
·         Derby City Hall, 1 Elizabeth Street, Derby. It was difficult to get an idea of their holdings from the internet.
·         DerbyHistorical Society, 37 Elm Street, Ansonia. I contacted them by email & they told me they have no birth records or directories.
·         NewHaven Public Library, 133 Elm, New Haven. I contacted them by email. Response: We only have New Haven records, and only prior to 1850. You'd want to contact the town clerks in the towns where the events occurred.
·         Milford Public Library, 57 New Haven Avenue, Milford.

Next I decided to check one of my favorite blogs, Explorations in CT Genealogy written by Bryna O Sullivan. I read her blog regularly and know she has expertise in researching CT. I emailed her concerning my goals and asked for places to look. She kindly sent me this response:
Unfortunately, not every town website contains the history you need. The 1800s are in a gap period – it’s too late for the Barbour Collection, but too early for statewide recording. The Connecticut State Library offers a great cheat sheet that’s probably a better place to start: http://www.cslib.org/cttowns.htm. That page indicates that Ansonia was taken from Derby in 1889…which means your record is probably in Derby. (Here’s Derby’s website: http://electronicvalley.org/derby/govern/Misc/City-TownClerk.htm.) Of course, that would only work if you’d like a full, certified copy. It might be cheaper to start with the Derby Historical Society (http://derbyhistorical.org/).

Bryna was a great help!

I decided to begin my search at the Derby City Hall, clerk’s office. I checked out their hours and phone number. I contacted my cousin, Pat, and we decided to meet in Derby. I packed my genealogy bag with my CT info, my binder of the Brady family, my iPad with my Ancestry APP, my camera, paper & pens and I was ready.

Results of the trip next Tuesday.

Related Posts:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Military Monday - James P Brown in the Liberty Guards

James P Brown [1844 MS – 1862 LA]
Son of Edward S & Mary Brown

James was my 2nd great grand uncle,
younger brother of Allen Moses Brown.

James’ father, Edward S Brown, died when he was a boy. In 1860 James was living in Liberty, Amite, MS with his mother, older brother and his brother’s wife. James was just sixteen. The following year he enlisted in the Liberty Guards.

Private James P Brown was mustered into service in Sam Nix’s Liberty Guards on 29 April 1861 in Liberty, MS. 

Co E, 22nd Reg., MS Infantry

This company was organized April 25, 1861, and mustered into the State service the same day for 12 months. When a call was made for troops for the war by the President this company was tendered to the Governor of the State as an independent company and was transferred by him to the Confederate service for the war on July 23, 1861.[from fold3]

Dunbar Rowland’s "Military History of Mississippi, 1803-1898 gives the following information on the Regiment:

1861. The men were first gathered at Camp Iuka, MS. On September 23 the regiment reported to General Polk at Columbus, Ky., where they remained until after the battle of Belmont, November 7, of which they were spectators, without being called into action. After this they were ordered to Union City, Tenn., and thence marched to Fulton, Ky., the night of October 1. October 6 they went into winter quarters at Camp Beauregard, in Graves County, Ky., and remained there until Christmas, making several expeditions to Mayfield and Columbus, and once marching in the night to within six or eight miles of Paducah. After Christmas they were moved to Clarksville, and thence to Bowling Green, December 29, where they were in winter quarters.
1862.  The regiment was about 580 strong in January and was brigaded with the Twenty-fifth Mississippi under Bowen. February they were at Nashville the day of battle at Fort Donelson and could hear the artillery.

They reached their old camp at Iuka in March, and after the Federal gunboats appeared on the river below Pittsburg Landing the regiment, under Colonel Schaller, engaged in frequent movements to Eastport. March 26 Schaller reported that his artillery had disabled the gunboat Lexington on the previous day, but he was removing the artillery by order of General Crittenden and would evacuate Eastport that day.

The regiment served in the lines around Corinth during Halleck's siege and participated in the engagement at Farmington, April 27. Upon the evacuation of Corinth, May 29, the Twenty-second and Fifth Kentucky were detailed as rear guard for the left wing and remained on the banks of the Tuscumbia south of Corinth until the evening of June 1, engaged in almost uninterrupted fire with the Federal pickets. Couriers sent to order them back failed to reach them, and they made a night march to Baldwin, June 1, through a country occupied by the Federal outposts, and rejoined the army. They moved from Baldwin to Tupelo, encamped at Kunewa June 12-22, suffering terribly for water, and then joined in the movement of Breckinridge's command to Vicksburg, where they were encamped at Bovina and at Four Mile bridge, picketed the river below the city, engaged in the attempt to surprise the Federal fort eight or ten miles below the city and capture the mortar boats. Being discovered in this movement they were exposed for some hours to a heavy fire from the fleet, including the Brooklyn, and there were several casualties, mainly from falling timber. This service in July, in intense heat, disabled a considerable part of the command. They were witnesses of the naval battle of the ram Arkansas.

July 29 they left Vicksburg under the command of General Breckenridge, and moved to Camp Moore, La., whence they marched to the attack on the Federal force at Baton Rouge. The Twenty-second; greatly reduced in numbers, was commanded in the battle of August 5 by Capt. Felix Hughes, who received a mortal wound at the head of his men leading the brigade in a gallant attack. The casualties of the regiment were: 13 killed and 34 wounded.

James was killed 5 August 1862, in the action at Baton Rouge, LA. at the age of eighteen.


Related Posts:
Maps Lead Places Edward S Brown
Jones County, North Carolina Records
Mary 'Polly' (Spurlock) Brown

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Our 6th Irish Cousin Gathering

Since our initial meeting in August 2009 
when three of us met for a weekend in 
New Jersey we Irish cousins have enjoyed coming together. This year we met in New Haven County, Connecticut, home of our shared ancestors, Thomas Brady & Catherine Gibney. As always our time together was filled with laughter, sharing and revelations.

Friday was the day for research. I drove from my home in rural New York to Derby, CT. It was a beautiful day for the drive with occasional trees that had turned bright red and amazing orange and a blue sky that stretched forever. I headed to the Derby City Hall clerk’s office. I had done by research in advance and was fairly certain they had the birth, marriage & death records there. It turned out to be a treasure trove! The clerks were friendly & helpful. The records were in great shape & were clearly indexed. My cousin, Pat who had driven up from New Jersey, met me there later and we were both kept busy for hours. I will detail our findings in another post.

When we finished in the city hall we went up Elizabeth Street to the Derby PublicLibrary, a great old stone building. We poured over city directories there, quickly recording the movements of our family till the building closed.

Saturday was our day for fun. Maureen, one of our Ct cousins had a delicious brunch for us at her home in Milford. As we gathered there more and more cousins arrived. Tara drove down from her home in MA. Lisa came from Moodus, CT. We reunited with those we have met in previous years and met new relatives. I had prepared a chart that shows how we are linked to Thomas Brady & Catherine Gibney which helped us all understand how we are related to each other. It a pretty simple excel sheet that certainly helps me keep our relationships straight in my mind. Pat and I shared some of our research findings. As we ate muffins, eggs and fruit Maureen made copies of documents. She gave us each a gift, a photo CD of her branch of the family! Conversations flew around Maureen’s charming house. Before leaving the house we posed for our annual cousin photo, this year taken by Dan amid much laughter.

Eventually we loaded ourselves in cars and headed to New Haven. We went to a chocolate
& wine tasting, had a little walk and visited Yale University Art Museum. Our last stop Kelly’s Irish Pub on Crown Street for dinner. Over a dozen of us shared a great meal. There was lots of conversation around the big table. We always delight in discovering how much we all have in common. Our evening ended with a birthday cake for the four year old twin cousins.

We keep in touch all year with emails, Christmas cards and facebook messages. Who knows what we will do next year.

[Watch for posts detailing the research we did that weekend.]

Related Posts:

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Census Sunday – Ritters in 1900 Indiana

I recently blogged about David Ritter and family in Steuben, Indiana in 1880. When I found him I found many other relatives nearby. Moving ahead 20 years David had died but I found there were still many Ritters there.

1900 US Census, SD 12, ED 109, Sheet 2A & 2 B

David Ritter [probably son of David & Malinda]
b July 1881 IN, 18, Single, farm laborer with the Deller family.

Malinda Ritter family [widow of David]

Malinda, head, b May 1884 OH, 56, widow; mother of 6/5 living
Jennie, daughter, b Oct 1878 IN, 21

Levi Ritter family [son of David & Malinda]
Levi, head, b July 1863 IN, farmer
Lovina, wife, b May 1865 IN, mother of 4/3 living
Bart C, son, b Feb 1881 IN, at school

William Ritter family [son of David & Malinda]

William Ritter b Apr 1871 IN, 29, farmer
Orpha, wife, b Nov 1872 IN, 27, mother of 2/2 living
Wyman L, son, b June 1893 IN, 6
Nina, dau, b Sept 1899 IN, 9/12

Jacob Ritter family [possibly a cousin, son of Joseph Ritter]

Jacob b Mar 1855 OH, 45, farmer
Mary, wife, b Jan 1858 IN, 42
Lewis, son, b Apr 1880 IN, 20
Gary, son, b Aug 1886 IN, 13

Note: I believe Levi & William married their cousins, Lovina & Orpha, daughters of Philip Ritter who lived near them in 1880 Steuben, Indiana.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Surname Saturday - Alphabetical Ancestors- S

S is for these Surnames…

Murrey J Schilling [1853 – 1951] was the son of Frank & Elizabeth (Ott) Schilling. He married Mary Jane Ellzey [1857 MS – 1932] who was the daughter of John Schaffer Ellzey, Jr. & Saryntha A Smith. Murrey & Mary Jane had nine children: Alfred, Ola, Dixie, Ruby, Oscar, John, Minnie, Fuman & Alma.

William Archie Simmons [1897 LA – 1955] married Lillian Alford [1900 LA – 1969], daughter of Julius G Alford & Lily E Brumfield. William & Lillian had three children: Woodrow, Geneva & Gwendolyn. They lived in Washington Parish, Louisiana.

Vern James Simmons [b1927 MI] married Dorothy June Hurd 91929 MI – 2008 MI], daughter of Howard Merton Hurd & Marian Louise Lehman. They had three sons.

Not only do I have Brown ancestors, I have Smith ancestors. And, they married each other. Try to search for those names and you will find long lists of results you have to sort through! Here are a few of my Smiths…

Jeremiah Smith Sr. [1755 – after 1827 MS] married Jemimah Hollis. They had four children: Jeremiah, George, Daniel & Mary.

Jeremiah Smith [1773 SC – 1843 MS] married Joanna Dillon [1778 NC – 1821 MS]. They had thirteen children: Hollander, Martha P., Eli, Jane, Edwin, Wyatt, Eliza, Calvin, Lidda, Mehala, Milevey, Joanna & Jeremiah. In 1790 Jeremiah was in Greenville Co., SC. In 1841 he was in Pike Co., MS.

Wyatt Smith [1809 LA – 1894 MS] married Euseba Fortenberry [1809 SC – 1878 MS]. They had nine children: Emmaline, Saryntha, William, Jasper, Newton, Rankin, Eliza Jane, Adolphus & Walter. Census records from 1840 – 1880 show Wyatt in Pike Co., MS.

Arthur Spice [b 1877 OH] was the son of Robert Anson Spice & Emma C Gordon. Arthur married Emaline Floy Moore [1883 OH – 1942 OH], daughter of Peter Jonathan Moore & Caroline Louise Gruissy. Arthur & Emaline had five children: Vernon, Glenn, Floy, Jay & Ralph. Arthur was a farmer and worked at a brick works. In 1910 & 1920 they were in Medina Co., OH.

Mary Polly Spurlock [1800 GA – 1888 MS] was my third great grandmother. I know nothing about her parents or family. I’d love to learn more. She married Edward S Brown [1806 GA – 1856 MS]. Mary & Edward had five children: Moses, Magdelene, Martha, Adeline & James.

Paul C Strohschein [b1922 LA] married Lacy L Ball [b1930 LA] in 1950. LA. Lacy was the daughter of James Alton Ball & Mildred Olga Brown. They had four children.

Not only is this an interesting surname but they are related in an interesting way. It is a case of siblings marrying siblings. Siblings John & Maria Magdalena Stumpf married Jacob & Mary Magdalena Ritter. Johannes Ritter, Sr. & Maria Elisabeth Keck were the parents of Mary Magdalena Ritter [1790 PA – 1870] and Jacob Ritter [1785 PA – 1847].

Delbert Milton Swagler [c1883 OH – 1962] married Lena Morrison [1883 OH – 1962 OH]. She was the daughter of Seth Benner Morrison & Margaret Jane Gruissy. Delbert & Lena had four children: Roy, Harold, Cleal & Paul. Delbert was a farmer in Medina Co., OH. Lena was a seamstress.

Other ‘S’ surnames in my tree: Sanfillipo, Schmitts, Shollenberger, Slaby, Sloan, Snyder, Sommer, Sparks, Stafford, Stahler, Stallings, Statham, Steele, Sterling, Straum, Sullivan, Sunburg & Swank.