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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Rebecca Middleton Warren

Kendall County News - May 8 1906

Called to Other Shore

Rebecca Middleton was born in Kent County, Maryland December 3 1818, and died in Plano, Ill., on May 1, 1908, being 87 years, 5 months, 28 days of age.

She was united in marriage to Hamilton B. Warren in 1839 and lived with her husband in Maryland until his death which occurred in 1873. To this union were born four children one dying in infancy, the three surviving children are Mrs. Anne Thompson of Maryland, William Warren and Mrs. Usilton of Plano, Ill. Beside twelve grand children and eleven great grand children.

She was converted at the age of eleven and joined the M. E. Church and brought her letter with her when she came west twenty-three years ago.

Grandma Warren was unusually bright and retained the use of her faculties until the last. Her interest in the present day things continued to the end.

The funeral service was held at the Usilton home Thursday at 10 a.m., Rev J. P. Davies officiating. Interment took place in the Plano cemetery.

“Let me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like his.”

“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NYC, NC Newspapers and Who Really Saved Washington's Portrait?

The majority of my research has taken place in the Midwest. When I did have to venture 'out east' I was thrilled to find one of the sites featured this week, the Italian Genealogical Group. While the group focuses on Italian heritage in New York it has vital record databases for New York City.

Sunday July 24
* Genealogy Books: My Family Tree Workbook - Genealogy for Beginners Author: Rosemary A. Chorzempa - This is a great book to share with your children, grandchildren or other young genealogist.

Monday July 25
* Just Starting in Genealogy? Did your relatives and family friends send out holiday newsletters or did their Christmas cards have letters? Find them and transcribe them because you never know when some comment about a trip or cousin will spark a memory and knock down a brick wall.

Tuesday July 26
* New York became a state on this date in 1788
* The Italian Genealogical Group has transcribed New York Naturalization and Vital Records. Visit:

Wednesday July 27
* North Carolina Ancestors? Check out the North Carolina Digitization Project at the North Carolina Archives. Visit:

Thursday July 28
* Planning a Research Trip to Salt Lake City? The Family History Library has a site that will help you get organized so you can make the most of your trip. Visit:

Friday July 29
* Genealogy Glossary: Soundex - A method of indexing names most often used in census research. It assigns 1 letter and 3 numbers to every surname. This is to aid genealogist with the various spelling of names such as Smith and Smyth.

Saturday July 30
* The British burned the majority of Washington D.C.’s buildings and legal documents on August 24, 1814 during the War of 1812.

* While Dolley Madison is often credited with saving the portrait of George Washington, it was actually Paul Jennings, one of Madison's slaves, John Suze, a french door keeper and Magraw, the gardner. In 2009 there was a ceremony to honor Paul Jennings actions his descendents were invited.For more on this remarkable story and man visit: Paul Jennings and White House Slavery.

Stay Cool!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Nellie Emma Pierce

Nellie was the sister of Alice Pierce Schwemm, first wife of Fred Schwemm.

Marble Rock Journal - May 11 1915

Nellie Emma Pierce, daughter of Chester and Helen Pierce, was born in Lake County, Ill., September 28, 1858, and moved to Marble Rock, Iowa in the spring of 1860. She was united in marriage to James Mallon in 1885, moving to Kansas and later to Medford, Oklahoma, where she continued to reside the greater part of her life. Mr. Mallon was killed in Kansas City on a train, and she was afterwards married to John Strider in Oklahoma.

She is said to be a member of the Disciples of Christ Church and it was her dying request that her funeral ceremony be conducted with the 23rd Psalm as a basis for consideration and comfort to mourning ones, as it had been a comfort to her while living.

The last part of her life was spent caring for her aged father who made his home with her.

Death came from cancer, Sunday, May 9th, at the age of 56 years, 8 months and 11 days. Relatives remaining to mourn her loss are her father, Chester Pierce, and numerous cousins residing hear here. The remains were brought to Marble Rock May 12 for funeral and interment was made in the East Side Cemetery. L.W. Inman officiating.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Steve Morse, Dear Myrtle and More!

This week's hints and tips cover finding living people, researching your Polish and Irish roots and more.

Sunday, July 17
Genealogy Blogs: Dear Myrtle – Your Friend in Genealogy Visit:

Monday, July 18
Genealogy Slogan: When I searched for ancestors, I found friends!

Tuesday, July 19
Looking for ancestors in Poland? Check out the Jewish Records Indexing Project (JRI) Poland Name Finder. Visit:

Wednesday, July 20
Genealogy Supply List: If you are filing your source documents in binders a label maker will help keep them organized.

Thursday, July 21
Looking for living people to help in your genealogy search? Try Radaris, a comprehensive people search. This can help you pinpoint family relationships and either give you hints or the actual married surnames of female relatives. Visit:

Friday, July 22
Stephen P. Morse has created “One Step Webpages” to make searching large sites, such as Ellis Island simpler. Visit:

Saturday, July 23
Need help with your Irish research? Eneclann: Irish Genealogy and Family History Research Visit:

Good Luck Researching!

Take Care,

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Catherine Golbach Balmes

Barrington Review November 13, 1930

Grade Crossing Claims Life of Man and Two Women

A tragic accident that bowed the heads of all Barrington residents occurred last Friday night when grim death stalked a Barrington automobile and claimed the lives of a man and two women. The victims were:

Bayard T. Falter, 52, of 536 Grove Avenue, Barrington.

Mrs. Peter J. Balmes, 36, of 600 E. Hillside Avenue, Barrington.

Mrs. William Murphy, 22, of 922 Dakin Street, Chicago.

Mrs. Balmes and Mrs. Murphy were instantly killed when the automobile in which they were riding collided with the end of the of the rear gondola of a gravel train on the C. & N. W. railroad at a crossing on the outskirts of Crystal Lake. Mr. Falter had his skull fractured and his left leg nearly severed from his body. He died at 3 o’clock Saturday morning, 5 hours after the accident at the Woodstock hospital without recovering consciousness.

Mr. Balmes, the driver of the car, had his right knee cap fractured and suffered minor cuts and bruises. He was taken to the Woodstock hospital with Falter, but returned to his home in Barrington the same night. He is at present at home and is making a satisfactory recovery.

Mr. and Mrs. Balmes and their guest, Mrs. Murphy, started out from Barrington shortly before 10 o’clock Friday night to attend a church function and dance at Crystal Lake. Mr. Falter, who frequently accompanied the Balmeses on an evening ride, was invited to go along.

As they approached the Rout 10 crossing of the Crystal Lake-Elgin branch of the C. & N. W. they saw no train and proceeded across. The train that struck them was a gravel train backing up without a caboose or lights on the rear. The car struck the automobile just back of the front wheel and hurled it to one side. The automobile was almost completely demolished and its occupants pinned in the wreckage.

Return Open Verdict

At an inquest held at Crystal Lake by Coroner E. H. Cook of McHenry County Saturday morning employees of the railroad of the railroad company testified that there was a flagman and brakeman on the crossing with lanterns and that another brakeman rode the rear car of the gravel train with a white lantern and that an attempt was made to signal the oncoming automobile.

There were no other witnesses to the accident and Mr. Balmes was unable to attend the inquest. The coroner’s jury returned an open verdict. McHenry County newspapers pronounce the crossing one of the most dangerous in northern Illinois.

The Balmes family has been resident of Barrington for four years. Mr. Balmes is a well known contractor and has built several built several fine country estate homes in the Barrington district. This year, with Herman Mass he formed the firm of Mass & Balmes. They are at present engaged on a $45,000 bridge contract for the C. B. & Q. railroad at Princeton, which is nearing completion.

Mr. Falter has been a resident of Barrington for about 15 years. He was a tailor by trade but had been employed by the Public Service Company of Northern Illinois for the past six years and was the driver of a line-gang truck for that company.

Mrs. Murphy spent most of her life in Lake County. Her husband operated a drug store here in the Dayton Hotel Building for several years. They moved to Chicago last March.

Funeral Services at St. Anne’s

Funeral services for the three victims of the accident were held at St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Services for Mr. Falter took place at 9 a.m. on Monday morning. Fr. F. P. Gahagan of Wauconda officiating and burial was in Evergreen Cemetery.

Services for Mrs. Murphy were held Monday morning at 10 o’clock and burial was in All Saints Cemetery at Des Plaines.

Services for Mrs. Balmes were held at 10 o’clock Tuesday morning and burial was in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Wilmette.

Fr. J. C. Duffiey (sp), pastor of St. Anne’s Church officiated at the funerals of Mrs. Murphy and Mrs. Balmes.

Mrs. Catherine Balmes

Mrs. Catherine Balmes, the daughter of Bernard and Katharine Golbach was born in Wilmette March 24, 1894, and was married there to Peter Balmes on May 19, 1915.

Besides her husband and the five children - Bernadine, Ruth, Robert, Patricia and Gerald - she is survived by one sister, Mrs. Gesina Koepber of Wilmette and two brothers, Peter Golbach of Evanson and John Golbach of Dallas, Texas.

She was a member of the Alter and Rosary Society of St. Anne's Catholic Church and of the Barrington Women's Club.

Wedding Photo of Peter and Catherine Golbach Balmes - May 19, 1915

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Newspaper Research, Poison and my eReader

I have spent many hours reading newspapers at the Barrington Library (located in Barrington, IL). The library has the local Barrington paper on microfilm beginning in 1890. It has been a wealth of information over the years and has helped flesh out the Schwemm and Pahlke family trees.

Poison at a Children's Party

Newspaper research helps us learn when, where and how our ancestors lived their daily lives making them more real to us. They become more than just a group of vital statistics. They become members of the family who suffered through family tragedy, celebrated marriages, graduations and birthdays. Some even broke the law!

During my research I found that children's parties were quite often front page news. In the March 7th edition of the Barrington Review there were multiple parties! Here is a clipping from a party my great uncle Fred Schwemm attended.

Barrington Review - March 7, 1896 pg 1

Parties Held During the Week
Miss Homuth's Party

Monday evening about twenty of Miss Rose Homuth's friends assembled at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. Homuth to help her celebrate her birthday. Games of various kinds kept those present in a jolly mood until a late hour. "Poison," "I'll Bring Back What I Borrowed," "Keep House," "Fruit Basket," "Roll the Platter," and other games were played. At 10:30 o'clock a dainty lunch was served, girls choosing partners. A most pleasant time was spent by all. Among those present were:

Misses Tillie Hobein, Louisa Sadlic, Emma Schultz, Martha Groff, Maud Cady, Lillie Smith, Ella Homuth, Laura Homuth and Edna Homuth.

E. Weiseman, H. Robertson, Ed Groff, Charlie Schultz, Chas. Schwemm, Walter Homuth, Fred Schwemm, Reuban Homuth, Wilbert Smith and Mr. and Mrs. E. Hachmeister.

POISON is a children's game? While unusual, since it was in the paper I assumed that it was a harmless game which needed to be renamed. After I transcribed the newspaper article into my database I did not think much more of it.

Free Books and my eReader

Today while eating lunch I was browsing for free books on for my Kindle and came across Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie H. Bancroft. Since the copyright was 1909 it was FREE so I downloaded it. I wondered if it would have a reference to the game "Poison" and it did! Poison is a variation on the game of Tag, quite harmless and not deadly. I searched Google Books and it is also available there. I also found a book titled "What Shall We Do Now" which contains 500 games and pastimes written in 1907 by Dorothy Canfield.

Over the past few years I have downloaded many free books from Google Books, Barnes and Noble Online and Amazon. The great thing is that I can read them on my computer, my eReader or print out pages of interest to read or highlight.

I have been loading my Kindle with all types of free books. I have histories written at the turn of the century, fairy tales from countries of my ancestors origin and a popular 30 volume series featuring Ruth Fielding. When my grandmother died I came into possesion of a Ruth Fielding book - so I now have a complete series. Just think, my grandmother may have read them!

Over Labor Day I am going to be in Minneasota with Chuck's extended family, I may teach the kids how to play Poison, now that I know the rules of the game.

Take Care,


Monday, July 11, 2011

eBay, Ancestry and the Photo Detective!

The lazy days of summer are great for reading books, building sandcastles and exploring new genealogy databases or ebay.

Sunday July 10
* Wyoming became a state on this date in 1890
* Visit the Wyoming State Archives for voting records, Spanish-American War Rosters, oral histories and more. Visit:

Monday July 11
* Puerto Rico became a United States Territory in 1898 and a United States Commonwealth in 1952. Visit: The Hispanic Genealogy Society -

Tuesday July 12
* Looking for fun and practical genealogy supplies and gift? Visit:

Wednesday July 13
* Using ebay for Genealogy Research: Look for postcards featuring family owned businesses or vacation destinations. Visit:

Thursday July 14
* has over thirteen thousand names of individuals who were executed during the French Civil War. Visit:
Search-> Card Catalog -> French Deaths
* is a fee based database that offers trial memberships.

Friday July 15
* Looking for old newspapers in Iowa? Check out the Iowa Old Press website. Visit:

Saturday July 16
* Visit Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, for clues to the unknown individual in your family pictures. Visit:

Hope you break down a brick wall or two!

Take Care,

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Edna DeLap Edgerton

Star-Times - 11 May 2005

Edna M. Edgerton, 84, New Lisbon, died Sunday, May 8, 2005, at Moundview Memorial Hospital in Friendship. She was born Feb. 14, 1921, in New Lisbon, the daughter of William and Victoria (Sanderson) DeLap.

On Dec. 20, 1939, Edna married Lynn E. Edgerton in Tinley, Ill. She spent most of her life in the New Lisbon area, living for a while in Illinois and then returning to New Lisbon. She has spent the last even years in Necedah. Edna loved to play bingo and work jigsaw puzzles; they called her the "Queen" of puzzles.

Survivors include sone, Lynn W. (Phyllis) Egerton of Mauston; daughters, Tina (Denis) Nowicki of Necedah, and Linda Edgerton of Las Vegas, Nev.; brother, Harold (Geraldine) DeLap of Black River Falls; seven grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandson; and nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Lynn in 1975; sisters, Elizabeth Fredrickson and Nancy Sweeney; brother; Edwin DeLap; and grandson, Collin W. Nowicki in 2000.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 14 2005, at Hare Funeral Home in New Lisbon, with Reverend Kathleen Jury presiding. A private family interment of her cremains will be at a later date. Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home on Saturday from 10 a.m. until the time of services.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Idaho, Independence Day and Verify Your Sources

This week's tips range from tracing your ancestry back to a signer of the Declaration of Independence to getting family involved in your genealogy research. AND, always verify your sources!

Sunday July 3
* Idaho became a state on this date in 1890
* The Idaho State Historical Society Library has created a substitute for the 1890 census. Visit:

Monday July 4
* Independence Day
* If you trace your ancestry to one of the founding fathers then the “Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence” will be of interest. Visit:

Tuesday July 5
* “It is a poor mind that can think of only one way to spell a word.” Attributed to Andrew Jackson

Wednesday July 6
*Facebook and Genealogy: Share updates to your family research through Facebook, this will encourage other family members to join in the conversation. Visit:

Thursday July 7
* Genealogy and Photographs: Ancestorville: Where Families Meet Again Visit:

Friday July 8
* Genealogy Glossary: Direct Line Family line of people who are related to each other as a child and parent.

Saturday July 9
* Just Starting in Genealogy? Just because you find a family tree with your great grandparents name does not mean it is YOUR ancestor. Never accept other researcher’s conclusions without thorough investigation and documentation.

Have a great time researching!

Take Care,
Everyday Genealogy

Monday, July 4, 2011

Add Paint to Your Genealogy Toolbox

Pam Treme, my genealogy partner, and I speak at societies in the Tampa area under the name 'The Technology Tamers'. Our presentations show how to make your genealogy research easier using technology.

I have seen "Paint" on my Windows based computers for years, but rarely used it. Whenever I did try I would get confused and frustrated. Pam, on the other hand is a Paint genius. After hearing how frustrated I was using Paint Pam decided it was a great topic for the Technology Tamers to tackle.

We recently did a presentation to the Florida Genealogy Society - Tampa entitled "Dipping Your Fingers in Paint". I thought I would share the highlights on this blog.

Why use Paint?

According to the Microsoft website Paint is "a feature in Windows 7 that you can use to create drawings on a blank drawing area or in existing pictures".

While this may be true, it does not describe how I use Paint, now that Pam taught me how to use it!


Let's say that I find an obituary online that I want to share with my family. By using the PRINT SCREEN button on my computer I can capture the obituary, paste it into PAINT and then HIGHLIGHT the areas I want my family to read.

If the obituary is split into multiple columns I can COPY the entire obituary into PAINT, open another instance of PAINT and CUT/COPY the various pieces into one document.


Paint will convert photos from one format to another. You can right click on any photo, open it with Paint and then SAVE the photo in the new format. Always be sure to understand the various formats (Tiff, Jpeg, etc) and under what circumstance to use each format.

Dip Your Fingers into Paint!

These are only two examples of the hundreds of things that you can do with Paint. Check out PAINT on the Microsoft Site or check out

Have fun Painting your Genealogy!

Take Care,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Sophie Dehmlow Schwemm

Mother: Marie Doss
Father: Christian Dehmlow

Married: William David Schwemm - Dec 2, 1893

Crystal Lake Herald - January 3, 1957

Funeral Services for Mrs. Sophie Schwemm, 83, of Crystal Lake, sister-in-law of Mrs. John Schwemm of Liberty Street and Mrs. William Schnetlage of North Avenue, were held on Monday.

She was born March 2, 1873 at Bassendorf, Germany, the daughter of Christian and Marie Doss Dehmlow. The family came to this county and became early settlers in Algonquin when the deceased was nine years old.

In 1893 at Algonquin she married William Schwemm, who died four years ago. They farmed in the Algonquin-Crystal Lake-Cary area. Mrs. Schwemm's interests centered in her home, her family and her lovely garden. She was an earnest church worker and a 'good neighbor'.

Surviving are a daughter, Esther, Crystal Lake; seven sons, Edwin, Alvin, Raymond, Leslie and Howard, Crystal Lakel Emil, Cary and Gordon, Lake Geneva, Wis., and four grandchildren. A son, daughter, two brothers and a sister preceded her in death.

Funeral services were held at the Warner Funeral Home at 1:30 p.m. Monday and at 2 p.m. at the Immanuel Lutheran Church with the Rev. Fred Duever officiating. Burial was in the Algonquin Cemetery.