Researching these surnames; Baker;
Shaw/Oldham; Denby/McMaster; Pollack/Skeen; Jones/Miller; Skidmore/Mossberger; McDaniel/Otts; Dawson/Morrison.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday - The power of working in groups

Image from

I belong to a private Facebook group that started out as one thing and has turned into another. It started as a group interested in some commonalities in DNA testing but it has turned into a group of friends. It's a small group of 18 people who are some of the best researchers I know.

Several of the people have blogs, a couple have written books on their family history for family reunions (that is a huge task!) and a couple more are working in that direction. We each have different experience levels and different ways of researching. We are all ages and come from very diverse backgrounds. The common thing among us is our love of genealogy or as some call it family history.

We have solved several mysteries and worked on a couple that have not been solved...yet. Some having to do with our own research and a few that were just something one of us had run across and was curious about... such as a grave marker being sold on Etsy. One of the members posted about the marker pondering if it was ethical to sell and wondered where it come from. We put our virtual heads together using different searching techniques such as looking up the name on, using Google to look for obituaries, funeral homes, and cemeteries in the area. We discovered where the plaque was from. A phone call was made to the funeral home and contact was made with the cemetery. It was discovered that the lady did have another marker. We still wonder about the ethics of selling a funeral home grave marker online!

Another thing a couple of people worked on was a missing persons/identity case that was in the news. The investigator had turned to autosomal DNA testing to try to solve the case but was not using the full power of the science. The investigator was contacted and given help on ways to utilize the information he had. That case is still being worked on.

A few personal family mysteries have been solved by working as a group and I'm sure more will be brought up and worked on. I have a few things I could throw at the group such as; Who is the father of George Washington Baker? That ought to be a fun one to try to figure out! It is such a common name.

The power of working in a group draws on the strengths of individuates working for a common goal. That is very powerful and I value this group of friends very much! You know who you are and thank you for being you, you are golden!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Posey Reed McDaniel

Posey Reed McDaniel my maternal Great Grandfather

Posey Reed McDaniel was born in Young County, Texas on March  31, 1890. He was the first child of Robert Lee McDaniel and Ritte Jane (Otts), who would later give him 8 known brothers and sisters. The 1900 US Census finds him in Justice Precinct 3, Stephens County, Texas with his parents and sisters Ella, Stella, and Nevada. His father is listed as a farmer, they rent their home, and both of his parents can read and write.

On December 29, 1908 he married Dora Isabell Dawson in Clarksville, Red River County, Texas. I have not been able to find them in the 1910 Census. In 1917 his draft registration shows them living in Eldorado, Jackson County, Oklahoma. They are still living there in the 1920 Census and have four children Edith, Sidney, Nicebell, and my Grandma Vera. Posey's occupation is listed as general farming.  On September 30, 1925 they had another daughter, Lena Eudean Evelyn, who was born in Pleasant Hills Oklahoma and died at 18 days old according to family records.

By 1930 the family is living in Armstrong County, Texas and added two more daughters to the family Gertrude, and Georgia. Posey is listed as a cotton farmer which is what my Grandma remembered the family doing as she grew up. In 1937 they were living in Amarillo and he was an auto mechanic according to the city directory.

Sometime between 1937 and 1939 they moved to Grand Junction, Colorado because he shows up there in a city directory in 1939. The 1940 US Census listed them as living in Orchard Mesa, Mesa County, Colorado with only Georgia living at home but Posey's mother Rittie is living with them as well. In 1941 they are listed in the Grand Junction City Directory again. By 1945 they are back in Amarillo, Texas and they are both working at McCartt Supermarket, him as a Porter and Dora as a Baker according to yet another city directory.

In about 1947 they moved to Southern California where they lived for many years before returning to Colorado. Posey Reed McDaniel died on May 27, 1973 and is buried in Fruita Elmwood Cemetery in Appleton, Mesa County, Colorado.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Cave Springs Memorial Church Cemetery

I have a bunch of family buried here.....

Cave Springs Memorial Church Cemetery also known as 
Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church

Listed as a Greene County Missouri Historic 
SiteCounty registration date: Nov. 2, 1981
The Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church, now Cave Springs Community Church and Cemetery, has important connections to the early history of Greene County. Built in 1867, the building marks the site of an earlier log chapel and still earlier brush arbor, where one of the earliest churches in Greene County was organized in October of 1839. The present large two-story white frame structure with a bell tower had long served as a church, a school, and a community meeting place. It is the oldest Presbyterian Church west of the Mississippi.

See that mess of foliage and the surrounding stones? That's where most of them are buried. 

My ancestors buried there (the red are direct line, the burgundy are direct line with links);
Joseph Pollack - b. Oct. 30, 1842 d. Dec. 13, 1905 Adele’s father
Bettie (Martha Elizabeth Skeen) Pollack - b. Oct. 11, 1845 d. Sep. 24, 1923 Adele’s mother

Children of Bettie and Joseph (eight of their eleven known children) ;
Gay (Gabriel) Pollack m - b. Mar. 25, 1867 d. Jan. 23, 1888 
Joseph Pollack  - b. Oct. 17, 1872 d. Oct. 25, 1875
Calvin J Pollack  - b. Sep. 6, 1874 d. Feb. 1, 1955
    Nellie E Darraugh Pollack - b. Nov. 26, 1876 d. Oct. 26, 1936 Calvin J Pollack’s wife
Marvin Pollack  - b. Apr. 22, 1879 d. Aug. 17, 1962
    Virginia Barrow Pollack - b. Sep. 25, 1882 d. Sep. 14, 1979 Marvin Pollack’s wife
        Carl Marvin Pollack - b. Oct. 24, 1916 d. Apr. 18, 1930 Marvin & Virginia’s son
        Roscoe Pollack - b. Nov. 2, 1902 d. Nov. 27, 1918 Marvin & Virginia’s son
Florence Pollack (infant)  - b. Mar. 26, 1880 d. Jul. 12, 1882
Carl Pollack (infant)  - b. Jul. 27, 1884 d. Mar. 18, 1885
Juanita Z McNew Pollack - b. 1879 d. 1921 Wife of Ransom Harris Pollack, his burial place unknown
Helen J Pollack Carden – b. Aug. 24, 1891 d. Jan 4. 1966
    George A. Carden – b. Jan. 31, 1888 d. May 2, 1972 Helen J Pollack’s husband

Hope H Skeen - b. Feb. 16, 1807 d. Aug. 4, 1875 Bettie’s father
Delinda Harris Skeen - b. Aug. 17, 1809 d. Aug. 1, 1882 Bettie’s mother

Bettie (Martha Elizabeth Skeen) Pollack’s sibling;
R. (Ransom) H. (Harris) Skeen - b. May 10, 1835 d. Dec. 4, 1917
    Louisa E McClure Skeen - b. Nov. 4, 1837 d. Sep. 5, 1871
        William H Skeen (infant) - b. Aug. 28, 1871 d. Aug. 28, 1871 
Mary L Ross Skeen - b. Oct. 17, 1842 d. May 30, 1915 Ransom’s 2nd wife

I'm still digging through the names of people buried there and I'm sure I will find more connections.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Claude Denby

Claude Denby my paternal Great Grandfather

Claude Denby was born in Walnut Grove, Missouri on September 3, 1869. The 1870 US Census finds him, he is 8/12 of a year old, along with his parents Thomas Bleauford Spring and Esther Elizabeth (McMaster) Denby.  They were living with Thomas' parents William Author and Anna (Patterson) Denby. They had a full house according to the census, twelve people were listed. By the 1880 US Census Thomas and Esther had their own home in Walnut Grove and Claude had two brothers and two sisters. Over the next fourteen years two more brothers and two more sisters joined the family.

In 1897, at the age of twenty seven, he married Adele Pollack. They went on to have three girls, Esther, Irma and my Grandma Jo. His occupation on the censuses was always listed as "Farmer" until the 1920 census when it changed to "Solicitor, Life Insurance". He must have been more successful at sales than farming because by the 1930 US Census, when he was 60, Claude and Adele had built their own house after a lifetime of being renters. 

 The House that Claude and Esther built. Photo taken in 2011.

Claude died on August 4, 1944 at the age of 74. He is buried in Greenfield Cemetery with his parents.