Saturday, October 14, 2017

Joseph Henry Sample-probate record 1910

I have been doing some probate research on several line and found the Letters of Administration for my great grandfather. He died intestate and his son John was named administrator.

I contacted Howard County Arkansas hoping that there would be some paperwork regarding his probate. Unfortunately they were unable to find anything.

Another dead end. This family is really making it difficult to find out anything about them!

_______________________________________________________________________________ Arkansas, Wills and Probate Records, 1818-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

BU program

I am considering taking the Boston University Certification Program. I have for a while thought about becoming certified but have not made a lot of progress on it.

A few years ago I took the NGS Home Study Course and the ProGen study group. Both were very helpful and informative but I still feel there is a heckuva lot I don't know. Also because this program sounds quite intensive and pricey I am hoping it re-motivates me to to get back and complete the BCG certification process.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Early 1900s house soon to be demolished

As a Commissioner on the county historical commission (and yes, right now I do wish my last name was Gordon) one of my committees is to document historical structures that are in danger.

It was probably built in the early 1900s, maybe even earlier.

This is the back of the house that leads to the kitchen.

Here is a peak into the doorway. While it looks like a sneeze might make it collapse, it still seems quite sturdy. 

It was definitely built before plumbing. The new addition on the bottom right was for an indoor bathroom on what was part of the porch. It is also the section that is the most dilapidated. 

The opposite side of the house.

The front of the house. You probably could get on the porch, but I don't think you would want to. On the plus side, it's doubtful anyone will rush out of the house wielding a chainsaw.  

With the widening of highway 36 scheduled to begin in early summer (2017) this is one of the buildings scheduled to be demolished. Not sure if this house could be rehabilitated, but it is sad such an interesting and historical home be torn down just to be replaced with more concrete.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Manus Ferry (abt 1834-1883)

Manus Ferry was the husband of my great grandfather's sister Margaret McFadden (abt 1842-1905). I have not found much about him but today I received his death record from the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio. 

 The final entry on this image concerns Manas (sic). There are Italian terms so I used a list of common Italian words to try to figure out what it said.

12 Julio    Manas (?) Ferry (?) sepolture  est (?) (?) Wellston, 58 annos (?) (?) (?) Co. Donegal.
12 July     Manas (?) Ferry was buried (?) (?) Wellston (Ohio). 58 years (?) (?) (?) County Donegal (Ireland)

It looks like it mentions a village or town before County Donegal where Manas was born, but after looking at maps and searching online, I have not found anything to what is written above. 

While this does give me a more specific date range to search for other death records, such as an obituary or notice in the local newspaper, it brings up several more questions.  

Manas is listed as being buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Pine Grove, Ohio though it has his age as 52 instead of 58. Wellston which is listed in the death record is about an hour away from Pine Grove. I'm guessing he died in Wellston but for some reason was buried in Pine Grove. If I can figure out some of those other words are, perhaps it will clear things up a little.

 St. Mary's Cemetery

Transcribed by



aged 52y

My next task is to locate a newspaper from the Pine Grove area of Ohio and hopefully find an obituary. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

New McFadden mystery: Charles McFadden

Margaret McFadden (abt 1840-1905) listed the family members in her statement to her parents (Edward (abt 1804-1887) and Alice Collum  (abt 1804-1886) McFadden) application for John McFadden’s (abt 1842-1863) Civil War pension application that they had another brother, Charles (?-?), that I was unaware of. 

Margaret McFadden applicant, sister of John McFadden, late (?) Co. K, 36th Reg, Ohio 2. Deceased. That she has lived near her father since I was married over 12 years. I am his only daughter (applicants). There was three of my brothers, Charles, John & Dennis (abt. 1847-1924). Charles went to Utah before the war of 1861 – not heard from him for over 12 years & we suppose he is dead. Dennis is living but away from home since before the war of 1861 and did not since contribute any support to father and mother. John was a good boy & man to provide for and help father and mother, he contributed to their support by his labor and earnings before the war and lived with them until he enlisted into the service which he was killed.

Alice Collum McFadden, John’s mother stated essentially the same thing. The one thing she added was that Charles was in the army when he left.

…Dennis, John and Margaret; (?) Charles left before the late rebellion, went to Utah, I have not heard from him since he left when he was with army going to Utah. I suppose him dead…

 So far I have not found anything to indicate if Charles enlisted or if any Ohio units went to Utah before 1861. I have also not found any leads on a Charles McFadden in Utah during and after the Civil War. Right now, this is the only mention of him I have found and I am not sure of the best way to proceed. Unfortunately, this pension file also mentions that the McFadden’s house burned and with it pictures and letters from John and likely information on the rest of the family.

Compiled service record, John McFadden, Pvt., Co. K, 36th Reg, Ohio 2; Carded Records, Volunteer Organizations, Civil War; Records of the adjutant General’s Office, 1780s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sadness of a thin letter

I have been trying to find additional information on Edward McFadden (abt 1804-abt 1887) and Alice Collum (abt 1804-1886) my maternal great great grandparents. In the 1860 and 1870 census they are living in Vinton County, Ohio. Both were born in Ireland and according to their son John’s Civil War pension application they were married there before immigrating.

My great grandfather Dennis McFadden (abt. 1874-1924) and my grandmother Ruth McFadden Webb (1905-1984) were practicing Catholics, so I believe that Edward and Alice were as well. I wrote to the Diocese of Columbus Catholic Record Society so that they could search their records for the McFaddens.

I was hoping for at least a death or burial record but unfortunately they were not able to find anything on this McFadden family. When I went to the mailbox and saw the very thin envelope, I knew that they hadn't found anything.

Not sure what my next step will be, but I am finding it difficult to get any of my ancestors back to Europe.