Monday, August 31, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: The Accident in Transylvania

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue transcribing the tape my grandfather, Martin Deutsch, and his brother, Ted Deutsch, recorded in 1977. Back in October of 2007 I posted a couple entries describing a horrific accident that claimed the life of one of my grandfather's brothers back in 1908 or 1909. In my description, I included brief transcriptions from the tape, though I summarized much of it. The full transcript follows.

Recently I learned of an alternate version of the story with some dramatic differences. I'll discuss this below the transcript.


Martin: August 24, 1977 and we just finished the other side of this tape and got through with what we think is the place or the area where we came from near Cluj or Kolishvar and I think we might start on another subject. Possibly to decide how we came from there – how did we come. How was it decided. How was it arranged. There’s quite a story in that background. I was about five and a half years old, I think, when I came around. You were ten.
Ted: I was 11.
Martin: You say you were 11. You say you were born 1902?
Ted: Yeah
Martin: I was born in 1907. Anyway, there were several months in there where the differences make up the one odd extra year, I guess. To start with, before we come away, I think its important to establish how many were there in the family. There were actually six kids. Six kids.
Ted: Well, let’s see. There were five boys, no four boys and two girls.
Martin: And of course father and mother. The seventh in the family was of course born in the United States. That’s how it arises. But before the six there were seven in the family, until the accident, which I think we may as well cover that now. What was the basis of that accident? Ed and the seventh member of the family born there. Armin A-R-M-I-N? Is that what you would call it?
Ted: Yeah, Armon, A-R-M-O-N.
Martin: A-R-M-O-N? You say A-R-M-O-N?
Ted: Yeah.
Martin: And how old was he? And where did he come in?
Ted: He was two years older than I.
Martin: He was two years older than you, so he might have been born in 1900?
Ted: 18…yes. About 1900.
Martin: In that case, do you think that Jean was born before him? How long? Was she the oldest?
Ted: Jean was the oldest, and she was born about 1899.
Martin: I think that would establish it as 1899 although there is some thought that it should be 1900. And I’m not sure just what happened there.
Ted: Because mother and father were married in 1898.
Martin: 1898?
Ted: Yeah, so she was born in 19…1899.
Martin: It probably is true because they sure didn’t miss any periods inbetween to get seven kids.
Ted: That’s right. Armin must have been born in 1901 or 2. No.
Martin: He could be 1901
Ted: 1901
Martin: And Jean could be 1900, but it would have to be a stepped up operation to get it done.
Ted: 18 months.
Martin: Yeah. Well, anyway, when that accident happened, I don’t recall the details of it. Do you have pretty good…
Ted: When the accident happened I was only I would say about six years old
Martin: So I would have been between two and three years old.
Ted: But I recall the accident because I was involved in the accident.


: You were involved.
Ted: I was there at the time. And I saw.
Martin: You were the oldest one there?

[note: Armon was the oldest, if their sister, Jean, had left with the parents.]

Ted: Yeah, that’s right. It happened that Dad always carried a gun when he went out of the village. He carried a gun with him because you travel through the mountains
Martin: Highway robberies
Ted: Not robbers, but
Martin: Hunting
Ted: Protection. Not not hunting, Protection from wolves.
Martin: Animals.
Ted: There are wolves around when you cross the mountatins. He always had a gun
Martin: A revolver. A pistol.
Ted: A revolver or handgun. For protection. Not from robbers, but he did run into wolves. Wolves run in packs and you never know when they will attack you. Especially if you camp at night.
Martin: I wondered about that and how a gun got into the house.
Ted: If we camped at night, if we camped he always kept a fire going, but he always had a gun also.
Martin: So it’s wolves you were mainly afraid of. The wolves were around there for
Ted: Plenty of wolves around.
Martin: Goats and Sheep, were there a lot of sheep there?
Ted: Yes there were a lot of sheep in the mountains. So this day he didn’t go very far, he left the gun at home. When he left his home he had a chiffonier. And in there he locked up the bread and locked up any other stuff the kids might take. And his gun. So he forgot to lock it this time. We were there, Armon and I. And I think somebody else, but I don’t recall.
Martin: Ed?
Ted: Ed was there.
Martin: I suppose I was there too.
Ted: You might have been there too. Ed was there, and Armon. So Ed. I went to the Chiffonier. It was open so I went to get the bread. If it was locked we couldn’t get the bread, but if they left the key open, we’d go in and look for bread.
Martin: Something to nibble on
Ted: Yeah, so we found a gun in there. We didn’t know what the hell it was. I thought it was a plaything. Armon was older than I and I don’t know if he knew what it was. But he wanted…he took it away from me.
Martin: He was older
Ted: And showed it to me. And then Eddie got it, and he was looking at it. He thought it was something to whistle in because the barrel was there, and if you blew your breath in there you could whistle.
Martin: I see
Ted: So he tried to whistle into it.
Martin: Oh, into the barrel
Ted: Yeah, he held it up against his mouth like that and suddenly the damn thing went off and it went through his upper jaw and through his nose. It came out thorough his nose.
Martin: I see. I wondered how that all happened. I see now from your explanation.
Ted: That’s exactly what happened. He wanted to whistle. What the hell did we know about it? Anyhow. Because Armon was the oldest and
Martin: taking care of him
Ted: he was supposed to know better. But what the hell did he know. seven or eight. He couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. So he got scared because Ed was bleeding and there was no doctor around there to take care of it. Nobody knew what to do. Anyhow, after awhile, Dad and Mother blamed him, and he got scared and he got depressed that he was to blame for the entire thing.
Martin: Depressed and distressed and afraid I suppose
Ted: Afraid and for a couple of weeks he wouldn’t eat properly.
Martin: Do I understand he hid out somewhere where he wasn’t
Ted: He hid out where nobody
Martin: Where nobody could find him.
Ted: He was depressed in every way. He wouldn’t eat right. Finally about a month later he passed away.
Martin: That’s really something
Ted: He was just scared. He was just scared stiff. It actually wasn’t his fault.
Martin: He died of fear or something like that. It wasn’t his fault other than he was afraid he’d be blamed. He was blamed.
Ted: Eddie, Luckily he wasn’t hurt much. Its
Martin: It’s amazing
Ted: He always had a spot around his nose where it came out.


Martin: It’s an amazing accident the way it happened. It went through his upper palate and through his nose and out.
Ted: He didn’t take the thing in his mouth, he just pointed it this way where you’d blow into it.
Martin: Oh, yeah
Ted: That’s the lucky thing. If he had shot himself in the mouth…
Martin: And it was amazing he recovered completely because actually it didn’t bother him except for a slight….
Ted: I don’t know how mother … when Mother came home he was bleeding a lot but they took care of that.
Martin: That’s amazing
Ted: That’s the story
Martin: So there were actually six of us after Armon died. I have a very faint recollection…because I was possibly between two and three years old at the time myself. I was possibly three lets say. And I might be able to have that memory about it. I remember a coffin in the house when he died. I remember that. But I don’t have any other recollection at all except a coffin in the house.
Ted: We had the coffin, and he was buried on the mountainside in a cemetery there. Buried in the cemetery over there. Of course in those days the pallbearers carried the coffin all the way to the cemetery.
Martin: For a short distance anyway, there were of course no hearses
Ted: It wasn’t more than two blocks, the entire distance.

A couple months ago Ted's son mentioned in an email that he had heard a dramatically different version of the story. His father had told him as a child that when Eddie pulled the trigger, the bullet went through his lip, ricocheted off the wall, and then hit and killed Armon.

Two completely different versions - both originating from the same individual. Everyone in the family alive at that time is now gone, so except for the tape, everything is second-hand. About a week ago in a phone conversation my mother asked Jean's daughter for the version of the story she heard, and she recalled Armon dying from depression/starvation as well. She also recalled being told Armon had hid in a kiln, which is probably the clay oven Ted mentioned earlier in the tape, and may have only been used infrequently or seasonally.

While she corroborates the story on the tape, it doesn't explain the story Ted told his son. I can create some reasons he might have fabricated the more dramatic version. (To reinforce the lesson about how guns are not a toy; Maybe he was uncomfortable with explaining what could be considered suicide.) But these are just hypotheses.

I've created a chronological index to these weekly transcriptions I've been posting since February 16th.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Last week we received a packet from the daughter of Jean (Deutsch) Kamerman - Jean being the eldest sibling of my maternal grandfather, Martin Deutsch. The packet contained many wonderful photographs.

Here's one of them - a photograph of Jean with her mother, Helen. We estimate Jean to be 16 or 17 in the photograph. Jean was born in 1899, so this wasn't taken much after Jean's arrival in America in 1913. (I've tried to do some internet research on Humboldt Studio in Chicago without success.)
Going through the stack of photographs, I stopped at this one and wondered if I was going to be able to enlarge the photograph enough to identify the photograph Jean was holding. And then I smiled as I proceeded to the next photograph in the stack.

There's no question it's the same photograph - and the label says it is my great grandfather, Samuel Deutsch - Helen's husband, and Jean's father. I find it curious why Samuel's photograph is given a central spot in the other photo. Helen did arrive in America first, in 1912, but Jean and the rest of the family arrived in 1913 together. So the photograph wasn't being used to indicate an absent family member. (I have a few family photographs from the 1940s where that was clearly done.)

It occurred to me that what made the photograph special might not have been who was in it, but when and where it was taken. Might it have been taken in Transylvania? Perhaps in a studio in Cluj - the nearest large city to the Deutsch's rural home village of Varalmas?

I compared Samuel in the photograph above to a family photo taken in the early 1920s. He definitely appears to be younger in the photograph above, though I am unable to judge how much younger. (The darn hat obscures how much if any hair Samuel has, though the color of his mustache suggests a number of years.) The youngest boy in the photograph below, Allen, was born in 1914. So the Deutsch family had been in Chicago for about 6-10 years when the photo was taken.

Something else that catches my attention is the changing hairstyles of Helen and Jean. I'm no expert on hair styles, but I suspect the first photograph illustrates a more European style which they had Americanized by the time of the second photograph.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

SNGF: Ancestors I have met

In his weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Randy at GeneaMusings asks:
1) Write down which of your ancestors that you have met in person (yes, even if you were too young to remember them).

2) Tell us their names, where they lived, and their relationship to you.
In addition to my two parents, who recently celebrated their 49th anniversary together -- I have met four ancestors, for a total of six.

1) My paternal grandfather, Melvin Lester Newmark. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri on August 27, 1912. He lived until 1992.

2) My paternal grandmother, Belle "Sissie" (Feinstein) Newmark. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri on August 14, 1914. She lived until 2002.

3) My maternal grandfather, Martin Deutsch. He was born in Varalmas, Hungary on February 28, 1907. The Deutsch family immigrated to the US in 1913 and settled in Chicago, IL. My grandfather moved to St. Louis in 1933. He lived until 1991.

My maternal grandmother, Myrtle (Van Every) Deutsch, died in 1951, 18 years before I was born. My grandfather married Marjorie (Shelp Helmkampf) in 1965. I grew up thinking of her as my grandmother, even though she wasn't my ancestor.

4) my paternal grandfather's mother, Bertha (Cruvant) Newmark. She was likely born in East St. Louis, Illinois on the Jewish holiday of Rosh HaShana in either 1886 or 1887. (Sept 30, 1886 or Sept 19th, 1887). She lived until 1978 when I was 9 years old.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Poetry: Generations of Men - Robert Frost

I continue with my weekly Genealogy-related poetry series. This week's poem is Generations of Men, by Robert Frost. Written early in his career, in 1915, the entire poem is in the public domain. However, at 225 lines, I am only going to share a few sections.

The Generations of Men

A GOVERNOR it was proclaimed this time,
When all who would come seeking in New Hampshire
Ancestral memories might come together.
And those of the name Stark gathered in Bow,
A rock-strewn town where farming has fallen off,
And sprout-lands flourish where the axe has gone.
Someone had literally run to earth
In an old cellar hole in a by-road
The origin of all the family there.
Thence they were sprung, so numerous a tribe
That now not all the houses left in town
Made shift to shelter them without the help
Of here and there a tent in grove and orchard.
They were at Bow, but that was not enough:
Nothing would do but they must fix a day
To stand together on the crater’s verge
That turned them on the world, and try to fathom
The past and get some strangeness out of it.


“One ought not to be thrown into confusion
By a plain statement of relationship,
But I own what you say makes my head spin.
You take my card—you seem so good at such things—
And see if you can reckon our cousinship.
Why not take seats here on the cellar wall
And dangle feet among the raspberry vines?”

“Under the shelter of the family tree.”


“On father’s side, it seems, we’re—let me see——”

“Don’t be too technical.—You have three cards.”

“Four cards, one yours, three mine, one for each branch
Of the Stark family I’m a member of.”

“D’you know a person so related to herself
Is supposed to be mad.”

“I may be mad.”

“You look so, sitting out here in the rain
Studying genealogy with me
You never saw before. What will we come to
With all this pride of ancestry, we Yankees?

Read the whole poem

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tombstone Tittibhasana Tuesday?

Perhaps they got the idea from the Tombstone Tuesday geneabloggers meme.

However, as CBS News reports
There are yoga classes for women who are pregnant, people who like to sweat, people who don't like to sweat, and classes for people who like to bend it like Beckham.

But Yoga At Dusk, held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery every week, obviously attracts ... well, people looking for something vastly different.
Hollywood genealogists can visit the gravesites of their ancestors, and at dusk, as the fireflies begin to light up the cemetery, workout!

Tittibhasana is a specific asana (pose) also referred to as a firefly pose.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: McGregory Van Every Headstone

"Outstanding in the Warner Cemetery is the restored Van Every plot. This has been enclosed by a two-foot wall of rough, red sandstone, capped with dressed gray stone. The old, old headstones have been built into the interior face of this wall, so that they are preserved from damage as long as the wall shall stand." -- The Loyalist Gazette | March 22, 2000 | McBride, Robert Collins

Warner Cemetery, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.


Born April ye 27th 1723
Departed this life
Sept ye 25th 1786

MARY WILCOX his wife
Born April ye 29th 1736

McGregory and Mary Wilcox were my great-great-great-great-great grandparents, and this is one of my oldest ancestral tombstones that has survived. I am indebted to a kind photographer I found at RAOGK for this photograph.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: The Letter that Followed

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Two weeks ago in the series of Western Union telegrams I transcribed was one my grandmother, Myrtle Van Every, received from Agnes and Phil Gates, telling her that they had been married. In part, the telegram said, "letter follows." Here is the letter that followed.

At the office
March 13, 1930

Dear Aunt Myrtle:

Well, we have gone and done what you told us not to, and I know you are good and peeved. But, I suppose I am not responsible, because people in love are not.

Really I don’t have any good excuse to offer for not telling you before hand except that Phil or I [n]either wanted a big wedding, and that is just what we would have had. We did not tell any of my folks or any of his, but had we have done so you would have been the first I would have told. I told you I would do that, but I .. we couldn’t wait TWO long years.

We were married in Alamogordo, N.M. on the 27th of Feb. One of my girl friends and her husband went along as witness. We had a ring ceremony, and were married by a Methodist Minister. We intended keeping it a secret for about two months, but naturally it had to come out in the papers. However we did keep it secret until the 10th of March.

I was surprised that Teva wasn’t ready to murder me, but she wasn’t. Phil’s folks have been perfectly lovely about the whole thing. His aunt cried and said that she was losing her “baby boy”, but she is over that now.

You won’t approve of this, and neither does Phil but his aunt wouldn’t hear to any thing else. We are staying at Phil’s house. It isn’t bad really. We have the nicest room, and the bedroom suit{e] is ours. His dad and Aunt Sue gave it to us for a wedding present. Also a nice blanket. Phil wants to move off to our selves, but I don’t think it would be best, as he is only making about $35 a week, and sometimes not that much. This summer I am sure we will be able to live alone. We pay Aunt Sue $15 a week for room, board, and laundry. That is all of our expenses except for the car. Aunt Sue seems thrilled to death to have us with her, and the whole family is spoiling me something fierce.

I am still working, but Phil doesn’t want me to keep on. Neither does his aunt. She says I must eat some real food and rest. I wouldn’t mind that, but I think if I am away all day I will get along with “all concerned” better. You know “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

Gee, Aunt Myrtle I do hope you won’t be too mad at us for getting married. Just so you forgive us I don’t give a “whoop” what the rest say. I suppose I have been a “bad girl”, but I am sure we will be happy. Phil is such a dear. He is already “henpecked”.

I am enclosing one of the clippings. Teva gave me a party, and we had a lovely time. I didn’t like this announcement, but you know the papers. I.T. raised H because the punch was spiked, but only drank eight glasses.

I am going to see “Hamlet” tonight with my new sister-in-laws. Phil is playing as usual.

Well, I must get ready for lunch. Please write soon and tell me if you are going to murder me or just naturally dis-own me. My new address is 715 N. St. Vrain St.
Lots of love from both of us even if we are disobedient,

Agnes and Phil

Attached News Clipping:

Married in Alamogordo

Miss Agnes Lee Roberts became the bride of Phil Gates at a ceremony in Alamogardo, February 27. Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Bishop attended the couple. The marriage was announced at a party given by the bride’s aunt, Mrs. O.A. Herrin, Monday night. They will make their home in El Paso.

Teva has to be Myrtle's sister, Evelyn (or Eva). Agnes was six when her mother, Willa, died. She was first raised by her grandparents, and then her Aunt. "Aunt Eva" must have been elided into "Teva."

At that point, Eva was married to IT Herrin. I haven't figured out what the IT stood for, and the newspaper clipping strangely provides the initials O.A. instead.

It's clear Agnes was especially fond of her Aunt Myrtle. Possibly since Myrtle was the youngest of the sisters, and only ten years separated her from Agnes. At their marriage, Agnes was 19 and Phil was 22, so it seems they had been told to wait until Agnes was 21.

Finally, in her signature, I noticed Agnes also used the vertical "and" I have found throughout my great grandfather's letters to my grandmother, and also have seen in a letter from a daughter of Eva.
Here's a photo of Phil and Agnes with their daughter Phyllis, who was born in 1932. (source:

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Wolfram|Alpha for Genealogists

It's only been three months since I wrote a post on Wolfram|Alpha, but I received an email from them Thursday announcing their work in preparing the site for the "Fall" -- explaining they released the site in early summer to give themselves time to work out bugs before the expected increased usage by returning students.

I thought I would review my discoveries in May, and see what changes there have been.

The Name Command

The input: "Name Smith" still results in similar demographic information on the surname Smith in the United States. W|A is still clueless about what the input "Surname Smith" is supposed to represent.

As W|A admits:
"Close to half the time that Wolfram|Alpha doesn’t give a result, it’s not because it doesn’t have the necessary knowledge, or can’t do the necessary computation. It’s because it doesn’t understand what’s being asked."
Place names

This may currently be the most useful input for genealogists. It doesn't provide much more than a location on a map, population, elevation, and current weather. Still, if you come across a new town where your ancestors lived, this at least situates the place in your mind.

I am still surprised by which towns are recognized, and which ones aren't.


1. Varalmas

Population 2801. This is the Hungarian name for the town my maternal grandfather was born in. The Hungarian name is no longer in use, however, W|A knew it was Almasu, Romania.

2. Truth or Consequences

Population 7,071. W/A assumes you mean the town in New Mexico. W|A has cast information on movies, but not television shows, so it doesn't realize you might mean something else.

3. Kyle, TX

Population 23,905. Understandably, I have to indicate the state for this input, otherwise it assumes I want information on the given name. My maternal great grandmother was born in Kyle.

4. Warka, Poland

Population 11,048. The town from which my Newmark ancestors originate. It is near Warsaw.

Not Recognized

1. Garfield, NM ; Maxwell, TX ; Berclair, TX

All towns my maternal grandmother's family lived in - though the population of these three towns range from 300-600, so it's not surprising that W|A doesn't know them. W|A is familiar with the counties in which these towns reside.

2. Losice, Poland

The town of Losice has a population of 7,252. However, the County of Losice has a population of 32,769. W|A is oblivious to both. A paternal great grandmother was born in Losice.

I actually was unaware how small the rural towns in Texas were until I looked them up via Google after not finding them on W|A.


My original test input was my birthday: January 21, 1969

Three months ago I was told no notable events occurred on that date - which is acceptable, as my birthday isn't considered notable yet. However, today they list several 'anniversaries' of events. For example the 176th anniversary of the beheading of King Louis XVI of France in 1793, or the 13th anniversary of the birth of actress Geena Davis. This is a good addition.

However, it still tells me that there are no holidays or major observances. It says this for the input: "January 21, 1969 Worldwide" as well. I still have to enter "January 21, 1969 Poland" to discover that it was Grandmother's Day there.

January 21 of every year is Grandmother's Day in Poland. January 22 is Grandfather's Day.

Date Conversion

W|A understands the input: Hebrew date for January 21, 1969
As well as the input: Muslim date for January 21, 1969

I'm not sure what other calendars it recognizes.

Source Citations

Wolfram still cites itself as the source for all of its data. ("Wolfram|Alpha Curated Data 2009") They still provide 'other resources' but with the disclaimer that these other resources aren't necessarily where they got their data. The link they originally provided to request more specifics about the source has been removed. Of course, three months ago the link led to a 404 error page, so no link is arguably better.

It's possible Wolfram|Alpha will never be a source one can cite for scholastic or professional purposes. Wikipedia, despite its naysayers, is arguably a better resource since the original source for content is often cited in the entries.

Friday, August 21, 2009

NARA has a blog

Their opening post, dated August 12th:
Welcome to NARAtions, a blog about online public access to the records of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). (Yes, we know the proper spelling of narration contains two r’s, but we couldn’t resist the pun!)

We hope to hear from NARA researchers and anyone interested in the Archives on topics related to online access and historical research in general. The plan is to post questions periodically and encourage you to share your opinions, ideas, and stories with us. We will also post news items about descriptions or digitized archival materials available online.

Poetry: Mid-Term Break - by Seamus Heaney

The below poem is from one of Heaney's earliest collections of poetry, Death of a Naturalist (1966). There are many reproductions of the poem online, as well as amateur recitations on YouTube. However, the poem is under copyright, so I will only post the first couple stanzas below.

You can read the full poem at the Norton Introduction to Literature website.

Mid-Term Break
by Seamus Heaney

I sat all morning in the college sick bay
Counting bells knelling classes to a close,
At two o'clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying—
He had always taken funerals in his stride—
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.


Note: The poem is autobiographical, and references Christopher Heaney, who died while Seamus was at St. Columb's College.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad

Vincent Van Gogh
The Lovers: The Poet's Garden IV
Painting, Oil on Canvas
Arles: October, 1888

Monday, August 17, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: More Gleanings in Bee Culture

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Back in February, via a Google Books search, I found an article about my maternal great grandfather in the 1909 volume of Gleanings in Bee Culture.
A New Kink in Moving Bees.

We have been moving bees considerably this season, and have learned several new kinks. One of these is from M. E. Van Every, one of our extensive bee-keepers who claims that, when bees are to be moved a long distance, it is better to load them on the previous evening, haul them several miles after dark, and then leave them. standing on the wagon until next morning. They are then moved any distance, and will be much more quiet, and haul better than if kept moving without the stop immediately after loading. For this reason, when Mr. Van Every has been moving from his home yards he loads them in the evening, hauls them to the far end of his pasture, and returns to hitch up again the following morning to move them to their final destination. Has anybody else ever tried it?
The article dated my great grandfather's apiary business at least as far back as 1909. I conducted another search on my great grandfather's name this week to find any new information, and found another entry in the 1908 volume of the magazine. [The volume is recorded as having been scanned by Google at the same time, and should have shown up in the February search. I'm not sure why it didn't.] Apparently my great grandfather wrote a letter to the editor of the magazine, and in it he provided a detailed history of his apiary career up to that point. 'Detailed' may be an understatement.

Good Yields with Rapid Increase, by an Amateur

In 1903 we started with 11 colonies in Dovetailed hives. We increased to 27, and our surplus was 136 lbs per colony. In 1904 we increased to 62, and surplus was 127 lbs. per colony. In 1905 we started in the spring with 51 colonies, having lost 11 during the winter. We increased to 135, and our surplus was 66 2/3 lbs. per colony. In 1906 we increased to 252, and our surplus was 62 lbs. per colony. In 1907, the season just passed, we increased to 300, and our surplus was 88 lbs. per colony. We raise all our own queens. When I say we I mean my wife and three daughters, ranging in age from 7 to 17, and myself, we doing all the work. The 1907 crop brought $1742. Our expenses were $635.00, leaving a profit of $1107.00. We do not expect to do so well every year, as that was a favorable season.

Maxwell, Texas. M.E. Van Every.
Now I know the exact year he began, and his yields for the first five seasons. A colony of bees contains 1 queen, several hundred drones, and 30,000-80,000 workers. So 300 colonies would have been a LOT of bees. According to current classifications, he would be at the upper limits of a sideliner, and could be making 'a few tens of thousands of dollars each year.'

He also indicates in the letter that in 1908 his entire staff was himself, his wife, and three daughters. Those three daughters would be my grandmother, Myrtle, age 7, her sister Evva, age 15, and her sister Willa, age 17. It is Melvin's oldest daughter Minnie, who isn't included in the count - she married in 1905, and it's possible she helped out the first couple years. My great uncle, Samuel Van Every, had also moved off the farm by 1908.

So it is likely my grandmother and great grandmother in this photo, which I have posted before, and I suspect is the Van Every Apiary.

In 1917 they moved their apiary business to El Paso; the deed for their land is dated Jan 1, 1917. There are some records scanned in by Google Books that list my great grandfather as the County Apiary Inspector for El Paso County in 1918 and 1919. While I have no proof, my suspicion is that the job opportunity may have been the reason they moved. Which is an interesting parallel to my maternal grandfather's move from Chicago to St. Louis, for a position as Postal Inspector. (Though the move from Chicago to St. Louis was only about half the distance. It's easy to forget how large the state of Texas is.)

George Geder remarked a week ago that Genealogy is more than just dates, and how far back you can go, it's about being able to tell the stories of your ancestors' lives. I couldn't agree more.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Poetry: Copy-Change - Where I'm From - George Ella Lyon

Copy-Change Poetry
Imitation is the most direct route to mastering a skill—just follow the master step by step and you're bound to get it. There's a long tradition of this in the arts. Go to a museum and you’re likely to find a student tracing someone else's moves.

One specific exercise for practicing imitation is called "copy change." Basically, you borrow another writer's structure and use it as the skeleton for your own work. But isn't this plagiarism, you ask? You may find that the new poem takes on a life of its own, and becomes a very different work than the original. If there's no trace of the source, you don't need to give anyone else credit. If, on the other hand, evidence of the original structure remains, you should give a nod to the first writer in some way. [source]
One popular copy-change exercise given to poetry students is based on George Ella Lyon's poem, Where I'm From. (This is Lyon's official site, where you can find the text of her original poem, along with an audio recording of her reading it.) I suspect many interested in their family histories would have fun trying to write their own version.

Here's the template: (some reading this may recall Mad Libs books of yesteryear.)

I am from _______ (specific ordinary item), from _______ (product name) and _______.

I am from the _______ (home description... adjective, adjective, sensory detail).

I am from the _______ (plant, flower, natural item), the _______ (plant, flower, natural detail)

I am from _______ (family tradition) and _______ (family trait), from _______ (name of family member) and _______ (another family name).

I am from the _______ (description of family tendency) and _______ (another one).

From _______ (something you were told as a child) and _______ (another).

I am from (representation of religion, or lack of it). Further description.

I'm from _______ (place of birth and family ancestry), _______ (two food items representing your family).

From the _______ (specific family story about a specific person and detail), the _______ (another detail, and the _______ (another detail about another family member).

I am from _______ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives and several more lines indicating their worth).

Here's my version. I wrote most of this a couple years ago, though I have made some recent revisions.

Where I’m From
by John Newmark ©2009
based on Copy-Change Template by George Ella Lyon

I am from books --
from hostess ding dongs and lemonade stands.
I am from a three bedroom, finished basement, with a backyard fence our crazy dog was able to jump over.
I am from the dandelions I refused to accept were weeds,
and the tree that was planted in Israel in my name when I turned thirteen.

I’m from Sunday Dinners and talking politics at the table --
Sam and Rose --
fiftieth wedding anniversaries --
and watching Must See TV every Thursday night with my cousins at Grandma’s.

I’m from ‘pick up your clothes’ to ‘make your bed.’
I’m from Christmas Trees and Bar Mitzvah lessons.
I’m from St. Louis, Transylvania, Poland, and Texas --
Chopped liver, corned beef, bagels and gefilte fish.

I’m from a grandfather, who in the 1930s jumped a train with his friends and rode to California
to a grandmother, age 7, on a beebox in her father’s Texas apiary -
she stands in the center
of a photo at my parents’ house
inside a box next to other boxes
filled with books,
high school mementos,
my grandfather’s Cavalry sword from the 1920s, Star of David on the hilt,
and the WWII diary of a great-uncle who never returned.

If you wish to try your hand, don't feel restricted by the structure if it doesn't fit you.

Lyon on her site reminds:
Remember, you are the expert on you. No one else sees the world as you do; no one else has your material to draw on. You don't have to know where to begin. Just start. Let it flow. Trust the work to find its own form.
The country artist, Jason Michael Carroll, addresses the question of "Where I'm From" in a completely different fashion.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

St. Louis Post Dispatch Obituaries - and other area newspapers


One of the problems with the blog-format is that one finds oneself rewriting old posts with updated information. The old posts remain with the outdated, sometimes inaccurate information.

For example, I have written several times about researching obituaries in St. Louis, particularly for the St. Louis Post Dispatch. I'm going to do it again, and I'm now going to add a link at the top of all my old posts to this entry, so that anyone who finds those old pages doesn't leave the site with outdated information.

And if I write another post in the future, I will add a link at the top of this entry, and update the links in the prior entries.

The St. Louis Public Library Obituary Search

The St. Louis Public Library has created a searchable index for St. Louis Post Dispatch obituaries covering the years: 1880-1930, 1942-1945, 1960-1964, and 1992-2008. (I suspect they will continue to update the index as time goes by.)

Two examples:

1) A great-grandfather's entry:

Feinstein, Herman M. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 1963 11/8 p1B, Article 11/9 p5A

His classified obituary appeared on November 8th, 1963 on page 1B. An article appeared on November 9th, on page 5A.

2) The entry for one of Herman's brothers, who died as an infant

Feinstein, David St. Louis Post-Dispatch 1896 Burial permit 3/18

The burial permit appeared March 18th, 1896. The page number isn't indexed in this case, but we still have the date of the newspaper. The burial permit listings contained significantly less information than an obituary. Usually just a name, date and address. I know that David was definitely Herman's brother, though, because the address matches the address in the city directories for the family.

In addition to the search engine, they have an index-by-year that can be browsed, leading to the same entries.

St. Louis Post Dispatch - 1975-1977

An index for these years can be found on Bob Doerr's website. He has been the editor of the Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal since 1992.

St. Louis Post Dispatch Archives 1988-Current

The Post Dispatch website allows you to search obituaries back to 1988, and then it gives you the option of downloading the obituaries directly from the site for $2.95. This searches every word, so you can find entries that mention surnames of children, etc. However, the search engine will not capture every obituary, so it is useful to check the indexes above for those after 1992.

St. Louis Argus Obituaries
"The ST. LOUIS ARGUS serves as a valuable resource for deaths in the local African-American community, especially during the early 20th century, when obituaries or death notices for this segment of the population were generally not carried in major area newspapers."
On an old version of the St. Louis Public Library website they have obituaries from the St. Louis Argus (1915-1919, 1921-1927, 1942-1945)

I suspect over time these will be moved to the same obituary search engine as the Post Dispatch obituaries.

The Westliche Post Obituaries

The St. Louis County Library has an index for The Westliche Post, a German language newspaper

The index currently covers the years 1880-1887, with the indexes for 1881 and 1882 only covering 6 months each.

On the other side of the Mississippi river

Belleville, Illinois Daily Advocate

An index for vital statistics (Adoptions, Births, Baptisms, Marriages, Divorces, Deaths) 1927-1954 at the St. Clair Genealogical Society.

The St. Clair Genealogical Society also has indexes for the Belleville News Democrat (1994-2007), Freeburg Tribune (1904-1939), Lebanon Advertiser (1917-1921), and the Millstadt Enterprise (1897-1949). Scroll down their homepage for links to each of them. There is a site-search box at the bottom of the page, though it doesn't include the Daily Advocate index.

How to Get a Copy of the Obituary

If you do live in St. Louis, you can find the obituary in the newspaper microfilm archives at either the St. Louis County or St. Louis City headquarter libraries. (Only the County library has The Westliche Post on microfilm. Both have the St. Louis Argus, but the County library doesn't appear to have the years 1942-1945.)

You can also request the County library or City library photocopy and mail it to you. The fee is minimal at both places.

For the Illinois newspapers, the Belleville Public Library is the place to go.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: Western Union Telegrams

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

From 1851-2006 Western Union became almost synonymous with telegrams. (In 2006 they ceased providing their telegram service). I have several telegrams in my document collection, most of which were received by my grandmother Myrtle (Van Every) Deutsch. Together, they illustrate various reasons people sent them. Since by their nature most of them are short, I thought I would combine several of them together.

Sad News

A122 14=El Paso Tex 26 644P 1929 May 26 PM 8 07

Miss Myrtle Vanevery=
5660 Kingsbury Ave StLouis Mo=

Daddy passed away at five oclock come on without delay wire time of arrival=
Josie and Minnie.

[Minnie was my grandmother's sister, and Josie her step-mother. Her father's death certificate says time of death was six oclock.

Figuring out whether this is an error on someone's part is complicated. Both records could be correct. In 1929 El Paso was in the Central Time Zone, and neighboring New Mexico (where my great grandfather actually died) in the Mountain Time Zone. El Paso didn't move to Mountain Time until 1970. Josie lived in Garfield, NM, and Minnie in El Paso, TX, and there's no way to know who wrote the telegram, and which timezone their mind was in. Then there is the issue of "Daylight Time." The concept was introduced in 1918, but was a local decision from 1919-1943 and 1945-1966. The telegram indicates the timestamp was Standard Time.]

Happy News

DB756 11 NM=ElPaso Tex 12 1930 Mar 12 PM 10 59

Miss Myrtle Van Every=
5660 Kingsbury Blvd StLouis Mo=

Just announced our marriage of Feb 27 letter follows love=
Phil and Agnes.

[Agnes was a niece of Myrtle's. The daughter of her sister, Willa. She married Phil Gates.]

Job offers

WB37 50 Govt NL XU=Washington DC 1 1933 Jun 1 PM 3 37

Martin J Deutsch, Post Office Clerk=
VanBurean Annex CHGO=

Will you accept appointment as Post Office Inspector at twenty eight hundred dollers per annum you will be assigned to SaintLouis Division and will report to this office in Washington on June fifteenth for preliminary course of training reply by wire whether you will accept and comply with these directions=
K P Aldrich Chief Post Office Inspector...

[All indications suggest my grandfather accepted and complied.]


[my maternal grandparents were married on December 31, 1936]

QA412 43 NL=Jacksonville Flo Gwo 1936 Dec 29 PM 9 52

Miss Myrtle Van Every=
5660 Kingsbury StL=

Darlings we are thinking of you and wish for you the happiest days of your lives in the years to come congratulations to both of you on the unanimous choice may the new year bring to you health happiness and prosperity in abundance our love=
Freddie and Houston.

[I'm not sure who Freddie and Houston are.]

Holiday Greetings

[overseas telegram]

LD103 Cable Duplicate of Telephoned Telegram 1943 Jan 11 PM 349
CD Amelde
EFM Mrs. MJ Deutsch
(Mail) 417 Oakley Drive Clayton Mo

Happy Anniversary Best Wishes for New Year Love and Kisses
Martin Deutsch

Travel Plans
[my grandfather was a postal inspector so did a lot of traveling with work. These telegrams pre-date their marriage.]

Aw300 5=B Beardstown Ill 13 433P 1936 Jan 13 PM 4 49
M Van Every=
5660 Kingsbury=

Arriving Eight Tonight Hold Dinner=

AAB377 12=DE Macon Mo 10 655P 1936 Apr 10 PM 7 44
M Van Every=
5660 Kingsbury=

Will buy you one if you meet me at Esquires eleven tonight=

AAB320 5=Jefferson City Mo 25 614P 1936 Jul 25 PM 6 26
M Van Every=
5660 Kingsbury STL=

Arriving Nine Tonight Towergrove Station=

The Five Americans - in their 1960s #1 Hit - Western Union

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pony Tales

To the left is a photograph of my paternal grandmother, Belle (Sissie) Feinstein, and her brother Seymour (Babe). I don't have a year for the photograph, but my grandmother was born in 1914, and her brother in 1917.

I'm not sure where they are, but I notice if they aren't in their 'Sunday best', they're pretty close to it. Not the attire one would normally expect one to wear to go pony riding. Possibly they were at someone's birthday party, or some other celebration that included pony rides for the kids.

The theme for the 78th Carnival of Genealogy is Pony Pictures, and this picture is the first one that came to my mind. However, I knew I could find a couple more if I broadened the search to taller cousins of the pony, such as the horse.

On the right is my maternal grandmother, Myrtle Van Every. The caption places the year at 1936, which is the year she married my grandfather on December 31, so there is a good chance he took the photo.

One look at her boots, and you can tell she was there to ride. She was no stranger to horseback riding at that point, and had long been a fan. While my paternal grandmother was a city-girl, growing up in urban St. Louis, my maternal grandmother grew up on a Texas farm. There is a story she once broke up with one of her beaus, because he wouldn't buy her a saddle.

Here is a photo of her in 1919. The caption even tells us the name of the horse.

SNGF: 16 Second Greats

GeneaMusings's weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenged:
1) List your 16 great-great-grandparents in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places.

2) Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them.

3) Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 - 6.25% for each (obviously, this is approximate).

4) If you don't know all 16 of your great-great-grandparents, then do it for the last full generation you have.

5) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on Facebook or in this post.
(The numbers below are their ahnentafel numbers.)

16. Samuel Joseph Newmark (1862 Warka, Poland-1940 St. Louis, MO, USA) Polish
17. Rose Cantkert (1865 Poland - 1943 St. Louis, MO, USA) Polish
18. Moshe Leyb Cruvant (1857 Cekiske, Lithuania - 1911 St. Louis, MO, USA) Lithuanian
19. Minnie Mojsabovski (1863 Lithuania - 1924 St. Louis, MO, USA) Lithuanian
20. Selig Dudelsack (1860 Poland - 1915 St. Louis, MO, USA) Polish
21. Anna Perlik (1868 Poland - 1932 St. Louis, MO, USA) Polish
22. Morris Blatt (1862 Losice, Poland - 1926 St. Louis, MO USA) Polish
23. Belle Wyman (? Losice, Poland - 1892 Losice, Poland) Polish
24. Abraham Deutsch (dates unknown) Transylvanian
25. Sarah Weiss (dates unknown) Transylvanian
26. Israel Lichtmann (dates unknown) Transylvanian
27. Betty Adler (dates unknown) Transylvanian
28. Samuel Van Every (1820 Ontario, Canada -1888 San Marcos, TX, USA) Dutch
29. Abigail Stuart (1825 Ontario, Canada - 1866 Middleville, MI, USA) British
30. Ebenezer Ophan Denyer (1828 Bucks, PA, USA - 1872 Hays, TX, USA) British
31. Sarah Ann Hartley(1836 MS, USA - 1898 Hays, TX, USA) Choctaw

I haven't proven that Sarah Ann Hartley's dominant ethnicity was Choctaw, but there's enough circumstantial evidence to hold on to the family story a bit longer.

While I don't know their vital statistics, I'm certain of the names for Israel and Betty (Adler) Lichtmann. There is correspondence from them that has survived. I am less certain of the names for Abraham and Sarah (Weiss) Deutsch - those are the names recorded by their grandchildren.

3/8 Polish
1/8 Lithuanian
2/8 Transylvanian
1/8 British
1/16 Dutch
1/16 Choctaw

This isn't too different from the recipe I developed back in February, when I tried to break it down into 64 parts. (Though I don't know the names of all 64 ancestors in that breakdown...I just have a general idea of where they were most likely living.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Poetry: Spoon River Anthology

Every series of Genealogy-related poetry should include at least one entry from Edgar Lee Masters collection of epitaph-poems, Spoon River Anthology

Designed as a graveyard from a fictional village, several of the poems interrelate:

Ollie McGee

HAVE you seen walking through the village
A man with downcast eyes and haggard face?
That is my husband who, by secret cruelty
Never to be told, robbed me of my youth and my beauty;
Till at last, wrinkled and with yellow teeth,
And with broken pride and shameful humility,
I sank into the grave.
But what think you gnaws at my husband’s heart?
The face of what I was, the face of what he made me!
These are driving him to the place where I lie.
In death, therefore, I am avenged.

Fletcher McGee

SHE took my strength by minutes,
She took my life by hours,
She drained me like a fevered moon
That saps the spinning world.
The days went by like shadows,
The minutes wheeled like stars.
She took the pity from my heart,
And made it into smiles.
She was a hunk of sculptor’s clay,
My secret thoughts were fingers:
They flew behind her pensive brow
And lined it deep with pain.
They set the lips, and sagged the cheeks,
And drooped the eyes with sorrow.
My soul had entered in the clay,
Fighting like seven devils.
It was not mine, it was not hers;
She held it, but its struggles
Modeled a face she hated,
And a face I feared to see.
I beat the windows, shook the bolts.
I hid me in a corner—
And then she died and haunted me,
And hunted me for life.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

77th CoG has been posted

The 77th Carnival of Genealogy has been posted, filled with stories of disaster.
The topic of the 78th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will be: Pony Pictures! This is your chance to show off those pony pictures in your family album. Did you ride your first pony at the state fair or on a farm? Did you have to sit on the back and hold on to your older brother? Was your pony real or a rocking horse? Got any pictures of other family members on ponies? Show us the cowboys and cowgirls in your family and tell us the stories to go along with them. Giddyup pony! The deadline for submissions is August 15.

More Info
I should be able to pony up one or two pictures for this carnival.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Google Analytics

A month ago, I signed up for Google Analytics to measure who was visiting this blog, and how they were getting here. I had been using SiteMeter, but I wasn't happy with the limited information the free version was giving me.

Now that I have a month of statistics, I thought I would share some of them:

In the past 30 days I had 992 visits - approximately 33 visits a day on average.

Top 10 countries:
US (713)
Canada (62)
United Kingdom (34)
Belgium (26)
Netherlands (18)
Australia (14)
Brazil (10)
Philippines (10)
Mexico (7)
Germany (7)

Top 5 searches that led to the site
"Missouri Genealogy" Genealogywise (20)
Deuteronomy 16 (9)
St. Louis Post Dispatch Obituaries (7)
Dutch Terms of Endearment (6)
German Terms of Endearment (5)

Top 10 pages viewed
1. Main page (446)
2. label/Wordless Wednesday (75)
3. st-louis-post-dispatch-obituaries.html (54)
4. genealogy-wise-and-its-most-active-and_7337.html (52)
5. thoughts-on-genealogywise.html (42)
6. smile-for-camera-they-worked-hard-for.html (37)
7. label/Amanuensis Monday (33)
8. dont-rely-completely-on-google-alerts.html (31)
9. missouri-digital-heritage.html (30)
10. my-surnames.html (27)

I'm not too surprised by most of this information. I expect the majority of my regular readers to be visiting the main page to read the latest entries. The other pages will be accessed by those who find my site via search engines, are referred from other sites, or those who decide to browse through the archives.

This is proof (to me) that when one does participate in the Wordless Wednesday meme, one should add a link at It does bring in new visitors.

I'd be happy with an average of 30 readers a day, but I know it's higher. Google Analytics only measures those who visit the website. There are several other ways to read my posts. The most common is through an RSS feedreader. There are currently 79 subscribers via Google Reader, and 3 through Bloglines. (I've subtracted my own subscriptions from these totals) Most of these readers likely only visit the site when they leave a comment. There are other feedreaders, but these are the only two for which I have access to the statistics.

I also send a copy of my feed to my Facebook Notes application, and my profile page on Genealogy Wise. There is no way for me to know how many people read my posts there, though I have received several comments on my posts on Facebook, so I know I have some friends reading it there. I may have over 100 regular readers. I find this amazing, and gratifying. I want to thank all of you, and hopefully my posts continue to be of interest.

Amanuensis Monday: Post Office Inspectors - St. Louis Division - Feb 6, 1935

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Back on July 5, I posted a copy of the below photograph as an 'occupational photograph' of my maternal grandparents, who both worked at the St. Louis Post Office. I have transcribed the names below from a piece of paper that was taped to a piece of cardboard backing I believe was originally part of a frame. The photograph and cardboard removed from the frame, had been stored together.

Despite the usage of initials hiding the majority of the given names, perhaps someone searching for information on a relative may find this photograph. (If you have, feel free to contact me at the address in the upper left, and I would be glad to email an even larger version of the image.)
Post Office Inspectors and Office Force
St. Louis Division Feb. 6, 1935.

Top Row: (L to R) Inspectors F.R. Mayer, F.D. Flora, J.N. Diederich, H.H. Goodwin, John Sparks, F.M. McConnell, S.A. MacLennan, C.P. Donovan, T.E. Schutt, C.C. Taul, T.F. Rhea, J.T. Nelson.
2nd Row: Inspectors A.M. O Reilly, J.B. Tunny, H.D. Allen, A.A. Mehl, M.L. Edwards, D.F. Elliott, E.J. Kupferer, W.R. Sanders, J.L. Myers, Dewey Patton, T.B Stavely.
3rd Row: Inspectors L. O'Dell, B.B. Barnes, R.A. Munroe, W.J. White, M.J. Deutsch, O.C.H. Willard, T.F. Mooney, John Lorimer, C.H. Baker.
4th Row: Foreman Leon Vaucher, Chief Clerk Geo. W. Guenther, Inspectors A.A. Rowe, Ira Ross, Inspector in Charge Kansas City E.O. Hallock; Chief Inspector K.P. Aldrich; Inspector in Charge St. Louis W.L. Noah; Inspector A.F. Burt, Clerks Myrtle Van Every, Bertha Baebler, Wm. Vogel.
Bottom Row: Clerks W.D. Main, H.A. Wesling, Geo. Banger, Jr., R.G. Knight, R.O. Haustein.

Since I have several letters (such as this one) between my grandfather, Martin J Deutsch, and Chief Inspector K.P. Aldrich, and Inspector in Charge W.L. Noah, it's nice to be able to see what they looked like as well.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Where do I click?

In the comments to my Disaster post, Thomas MacEntee of Thomas 2.0 suggested I research old newspaper articles to see if there were cholera or typhoid outbreaks in Texas and Pennsylvania in 1840. I haven't found the answer to that question yet, but that did inspire me to search some of the old newspaper resources online for my Sliver ancestors.

I haven't focused much on this branch before. Even though I don't know the parents of, or much of anything about, my fourth great grandfather, John Sliver, I've focused my research elsewhere. There's been a lot of research done on the family tree of his wife (Barbara Fretz), so it wasn't as if the tree completely stops there, and I think I partially had the concern that I'd experience the same problems I had with my Denyer relatives in searching newspaper articles. Optical Character Recognition by its nature has to be a little fuzzy, and as Denyer and Denver are easily confused, so would Sliver and Silver.

But I knew his daugther, Elizabeth Sliver, was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and that she married William Denyer in Baltimore, Maryland, before they headed South to Texas. So I knew where to expect the articles to be. And the search turned out better than I expected.

At GenealogyBank, I found in several issues of the Baltimore Patriot, "lists of letters" left in the Post Office, like the one above. The Slivers (Parents John and Barbara, along with daughter Elizabeth) appeared a few times from 1818-1820. I wanted to know where to click to view the letter, but apparently that feature isn't operational yet.

While it's just a name in a list, it does place them in Baltimore. Elizabeth married William Denyer in Baltimore in 1821. None of the brief biographies I'd read in family histories mentioned that the Sliver family had definitively moved there from Pennsylvania. I knew William Denyer also spent time in Bucks County, so Elizabeth and William might have gone to Baltimore on their own.

I know Elizabeth's mother, Barbara, joined Elizabeth and William on their journey south, as she died in Texas, though I don't know when and where John died. It could have been at either endpoint, or on the journey inbetween.

I also turned up an 1851 obituary for an Abraham Sliver in Baltimore. I'm not sure if he's related or not, but in the 1810 census there is an Abram, John and a Henry Sliver in the same village in Bucks County, all with small children. Siblings? Cousins? Happenstance? It's not clear.

But I do have a sliver of more data.