Sunday, February 18, 2018

SUCCESS!! Emigrant Savings Bank-Ann Meenan Rowan

Emigrants Savings Bank 2
The picture comes from  Frank Leslie's illustrated newspaper 1880.
Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC),  Posted by Townland of Origin.

I have searched and searched to find out where my 3rd great-grandmother Ann Meenan Rowan was born in Ireland.  (See post-A lot More Questions Than Answers-The Life of Ann Rowan.)  I knew that Ann reported she was born in Ireland but I didn’t know where or who her parents were.  I was discouraged after all the searching with no answers.  I am unable to even find a death certificate for Ann that might contain her parents’ names.  I decided to try the Emigrant Savings Bank.  I had heard of this bank for Irish immigrants but really didn’t know much about it.  All researchers will tell you to find out about the record collection you are searching and don’t just ‘report’ the information you may find. 

So what was the Emigrant Savings Bank and can it help me?
After some research I learned that the Emigrant Savings Bank records are said to be some of the best records of Irish immigration anywhere.  They contain records of depositors and borrowers.  The Emigrant Savings Bank was established in 1850 by Officers of the Irish Immigrant Society to help protect the Irish immigrants and to allow them a way to send money home to destitute relatives in Ireland.  This time period follows the mass migration of Irish to America following the potato famine in Ireland. 
The Emigrant Savings Bank records are a series of 59 volumes arranged in to seven series:
  • I. Irish Emigrant Society-
  • II. Deposit Accounts-
  • III. Real Estate-
  • IV. Real Estate Finances-
  • V. Main Branch-
  • VI. Bank Buildings-
  • VII. Investments-
When a new account was opened it was entered in the following 3 volumes-Index Book (contain names and account numbers), Test Book (contain a wide range of information which could include names of spouses & children, immigration year, name of ship, ports of embarkation and entry, occupations, etc.), and  Deposit-Account Ledger (contain basic banking transactions). 

A 4th volume –Transfer, Signature, and Test Books (contained changes in information such as addresses, account holder and information such as year born, place of birth, etc.).

1) First I looked on Ancestry in the Index Book for your family Surname.  There are 3 books covering 1850-1880.  All last names are grouped together under the same letter but are not alphabetized.
In the Emigrant Savings Bank Index Book records I found:
Rowan Ann Account # 47225

2) Second I looked on Ancestry in the Test Book records.
In the Emigrant Savings Bank Test Book records I found:

19 June 1865- #225.  Ann Rowan (her mark), Residence-623 Washington St, Occupation-Housekeeper, Birth year-1813, Where Born-County Monaghan, and 1837 per __, Relations-Widow of William, 1 ch John W, nee Meenan

SUCCESS!!  This has to be ‘my’ ANN!  The birth year, the husband, the son and the nee (maiden name) all match!!  Now I know the County she was from in Ireland-County Monaghan!!  WOW!!  I didn’t realize until I was transcribing the record that the # listed after County Monaghan was the year that Ann immigrated to America.  Another piece of information I hadn’t yet been able to find.  I also see by Ann’s ‘mark’ that she was unable to sign her name.

3) I looked in Deposit-Account Ledger under Ann’s name and was unable to find anything.  I tried searching by just the account number and again found nothing.  Then I realized the Deposit Account Ledger’s only go up to account 18,000 and Ann’s was # 47, 225.

These collections are housed at the New York Public Library and are available on microfilm there.   The New York Public Library has a User’s Guide to the Emigrant Savings Bank Records which I found useful.   (There is a lot more to the records then I am describing here.)  There are record books that appear to have been lost before being given to the Library.  Some of the records- Index Books, Test Books, and the Deposit-Account Ledgers are now available on line through (1850-1883).  There is also a great Youtube video entitled Emigrant Savings Bank Records-5 minute Find- Ancestry.  I think I do need to visit the New York Public Library to see what additional information I can find there on my next visit to the East Coast but there may not be any additional information. Perhaps I can find something in the Irish Emigrant Society minutes?  I do not believe Ann ever owned property.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Lot More Questions Than Answers-The Life of Ann Rowan

Ann Rowan is my paternal 3rd great-grandmother.  I thought I would do a formal research plan on her to determine where in Ireland she was born and see what I could find out about her parents.  Sometimes I am not sure if the information I have gathered is on the actual person I am researching.  This is especially true when I am researching common names.  If I write it out as a formal research plan I find it easier to weed out the incorrect person when I can see all the information side by side.  I have found several listings for Ann Rowan, William Rowan and John Rowan during the same time period.  The following is the information I believe to be correct about ‘my’ Ann Rowan:

  • I first find Ann in the 1850 US Federal Census living in a multi-family dwelling in Ward 7, District 2 in New York City on the 12th of  September.  Ann is listed as 32 years old (b. about 1818) with her birthplace listed as Ireland.  She is not listed with an Occupation.  She is living with her son John who was 4 years old.  In the building there seem to be a predominance of Irish born occupants as well as some English and Scottish.  Ann is a young mother of a 4 year old who has lost her husband and baby.  How did she live and support her other son?  I am unable to find Ann or her son John in the US Federal Census again until 1880.  Why not? Where were they living?

  • In 1868 in the New York City Directory I find Ann Rowan listed as the widow of William L. and living at 239 Tenth Avenue.  Hmm…I had William listed as ‘William Henry’ but the address matches her son’s marriage certificate. 

  • In 1869 in the New York City Directory I find Ann Rowan listed as the widow of William and living at 239 Tenth Avenue

  • In 1869 on her son John William Rowan’s marriage certificate to Sarah Hughes it lists his address as 239 Tenth Avenue in New York City.  John’s parents are listed as Wm Rowan and Ann Meenan.  Now I have a maiden name for Ann!

  • I know that John and Sarah’s first two sons-Joseph and William Rowan were born in Pennsylvania in 1870 and 1872 respectively.  Joseph’s death certificate stated his birthplace specifically as Ridgway, Elk County, Pennsylvania.  Why did John and Sarah move to a small town in the middle of Pennsylvania?  Did Ann go with them? I wonder if  they had family there?  Maybe there was the possibility of work there for John?  I was able in the 1870 census find a family named Meenan living in Rigway, Elk County, PA.  Is Peter Meenan born 6 July 1823 to Mr. & Mrs. Felix Meenan in Monaghan, Ireland a brother or cousin perhaps of Ann?  Peter and his wife Catherine immigrated in 1853 to New York City, then Philadelphia then Clinton County, PA and then to Ridgway, Elk County, PA in 1865.

  • In the 1880 US Federal Census Ann is 68 years old, a widow, her birthplace and that of her parents are in Ireland.  She is living with her son John and daughter in-law Sarah (Hughes) Rowan and their children Joseph, William, Mary and Sarah (my great-grandmother).  They are living on 5th Street in New York City on the 10th of June 1880.  In the next 5 years Sarah and John would have 3 more children.  Sarah and those last 3 children would all die by 1885.

  • I cannot determine Ann’s date of death or where she died. I can find several death certificates for Ann Rowan in the New York City area.  1 is definitely not ‘my’ Ann and the 2nd one is questionable.  What happened to Ann Rowan?

I use a spreadsheet for my Research Plan.  As I find the information I fill it in on my table.  Then as I start to find information that doesn’t seem to be correct I cross it out.  I like to see the information I have found even if it is incorrect so I don’t waste time later looking over the same information.
imageclick on image to enlarge

I still have no information on where Ann was born in Ireland or who her parents were. UGH!!  Definitely, more searching to be done.  I have some ideas and will let you know what I find.
If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Follow up-Hattie Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh

I remember a few years ago at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree I took a workshop that was given by Paula Stuart-Warren.  During the workshop she stated that one of the best things to do when researching was to have someone to work with.  I always find this to be true!  Sometimes they can find things you can't and may have ideas you hadn't thought of for researching.

I was researching the life of my maternal 2nd great-grandmother Harriett Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh.  I published my first of now 4 blog posts entitled Harriett Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh on what I had found out about Hattie’s life.  While researching I had hit a major brick wall in regards to Hattie’s first husband.  All I knew was that his last name was DeLeon.  I had spent hours searching for information to no avail.  Within an hour, I think, of publishing that first post my distant cousin Wendy had figured out who Mr. DeLeon was and that he and Hattie had had a daughter.  Major WOW!!

  • Wendy was able to find Hattie in the 1870 US Federal Census as the wife of…Charles DeLeon.
(click on image to enlarge)
  • In the census Hattie is listed as 20 years old.  Her husband is listed as Charles DeLeon, 24 years old and his occupation is Physician.  He was born in Cuba and he is listed as a Citizen.  His parents are both listed as foreign born.  Hattie and Charles are listed as living in LeRaysville, Bradford County, Pennsylvania on the 15th of August 1870.  The question of who Hattie’s first husband was is answered! I still don’t know when Hattie and Charles married or when Charles died?  I am guessing Charles died somewhere between 1872 and 1875. 
Right above Hattie and Charles on the census are listed Hattie’s parents-William and Amanda Browning along with her brothers Eustace and Gay.  This all fits!  Actually, I had found William and Amanda before on this census but never looked at the names below theirs to find Hattie and Charles…ugh!  How did I miss that?? Reminder: always look at other names on the Census page.
  • Wendy also found on Family Search a marriage certificate in Pennsylvania that listed Harriet DeLeon as the mother of a Florence DeLeon.  From this marriage certificate Wendy was able to determine that Harriet DeLeon listed “now Coolbaugh” on the certificate was the mother of Florence DeLeon who was 17 years old (b. 1872) at the time of her marriage on 10 January 1889.  Florence married Harry Burch and both were living in Towanda, Bradford County, Pennsylvania at the time. 
In the blog post Sunday Obituary-Harriett “Hattie” Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh the obituary states that Hattie was survived by a daughter “Mrs. Harry Bruch”.  Obviously there was a spelling error but the pieces are fitting together.  YEA!  And we now know that Harriett had a daughter with Charles DeLeon, her first husband.

I wondered who Florence was living with in 1880 since she wasn’t listed with Hattie and Portis in Towanda, Bradford County, PA?  Well, after some additional research I did find her and she was living with her maternal grandparents-William and Amanda Browning in Towanda, Bradford County, PA as well.

So, four Blog posts later I now have a much better picture of Hattie’s life.  I was amazed at how much information I was able to find on her!  The information just kept coming but it took Federal and State census records, marriage records for her daughter Florence, searching City Directories (see post Tip-Searching City Directories), an obituary, Civil War Pension records, North American Family History records (Coolbaugh Family) and the tremendous help of my cousin Wendy to put all the pieces together.  Sometimes the information just keeps coming.  I know there is probably even more information to find.

Wendy and I have worked together previously and I so enjoy not only talking to her to find out about her life but the rich research talks we have as well!  I am looking forward to one day soon actually meeting her in person. 

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sunday Obituary-Harriet “Hattie” Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh

I recently wrote a post about my maternal 2x great-grandmother Harriett Browning DeLeon Coolbaugh.  (Please click on the link to see the post for details on Hattie’s life.)  After completing the post I was then able to find Hattie’s obituary through from The Ithaca Journal (Ithaca, New York) Wednesday, March 19, 1930:

Some thoughts:

In her obituary Hattie is listed to have been living at 502 North Plain Street, Ithaca, New York.  This is where I believed she was living, with her daughter Amanda Cooper and her family, after tracing her through the City Directories for Ithaca.

I knew my great-grandmother Nettie Cornell had died (1925) before her mother Hattie but I believe that Hattie’s son Max Morris Coolbaugh didn’t die until 1949.  Hmm… he was living in California at the time of Hattie’s death.  Was there a reason he wasn’t mentioned or was it an oversight?

Who was the daughter listed as Mrs. Harry Bruch?  Well, big thanks to my cousin Wendy, who made an amazing discovery about Hattie’s first husband, that is another piece of Hattie’s story to be told in a follow-up on her life.  I so enjoy working with my family to find the answers to those missing pieces!!  I was also given a lead on Hattie's death certificate.  Now to find family that may have a picture of Hattie…

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Tip-Searching City Directories

While I was researching (See post Harriett Browning Deleon Coolbaugh) the life of my maternal 2nd great grandmother Hattie Coolbaugh I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find her in City Directories after her husband Portis died in 1910 in upstate New York …but I did! I searched in City Directories on Ancestry, as I usually do, by her name and found her listed in only 2 different years. I wondered why I could only find her listed for those 2 years and not other years? So, I thought about searching in a different, more round-about way and found her in additional years and was even able to determine who she was living with in each year.

1. I try to remember to look in U.S. City Directories when I am researching ancestors in the 1900s. I found Hattie with no problem on Ancestry.

In the Elmira, New York, City Directory for 1914:
Coolbaugh Hattie H. wid (widow) Portis, bds (boards) 101 1/2 Front

I wondered who was she boarding with? Was she living with family or did she just rent a room? When I looked further, on the same page even, I saw another Coolbaugh at the same address and realized that was her son Charles.

Coolbaugh Charles D, teamster, h (home) 101 1/2 Front
                               *So, I knew she was living with her son in 1914.

2. I searched again and was able to find Hattie easily in a 1930 City Directory.

In the Ithaca, New York, City Directory, for 1930:
Coolbaugh Hattie, wid (widow) Portis, r (rooms) 502 N Plain

I wondered if she was once again living with family? I was unable to see any other Coolbaughs listed. Dead end? Maybe not…

3. I decided not to search by a name but by putting in the name of the City and the address under Key Words:

                                I found a listing of people at that address or a similar address but no names were familiar.

4. I decided to go back and look at who Hattie’s children were. I knew there were no Coolbaughs on the page. What about her daughters? What were their married names? I started with Amanda and I saw she married Ira Cooper. As I looked down the list when I searched 502 N Plain….there was Ira Cooper and wife Amanda! Wait…but this was in the 1927 City Directory for Hattie Coolbaugh and that hadn’t come up when I searched for Hattie by her name. Interesting!

In the Ithaca, New York, City Directory, for 1927:

                                                                     And there is was!
* Hattie was living with Amanda and Ira. Now who are Lee and Miles, living at the same address? Are those Amanda and Ira’s sons? That will need more researching.

5. Now what if I go back to the 1930 City Directory for Hattie that previously came up and try this again to see who she was ‘rooming’ with?

*Success! Hattie is still living with Amanda and Ira.

6. Using the same technique I was able to find Hattie living with Amanda and Ira in 1925 and 1926.

So now I know:
  • in 1910 Hattie and Portis were living in Genoa Town with their daughter Nettie and family.
  • in 1914 she lived in Elmira with her son Charles
  • from 1925 until her death in 1930 she lived with her daughter Amanda and family in Ithaca
There are still gaps I need to fill in. Missing years to account for but I was able to find out 5 more years of where Hattie lived by using this technique of searching by the address to see who else lived at the address. City Directories have a lot of information for us. Be sure to try this the next time you want to know who someone ‘boarded’ with.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Harriett Browning Deleon Coolbaugh

I thought I’d see what I could learn about my maternal 2nd great-grandmother Harriett Browning Deleon Coolbaugh.  Frequently as I search my ancestors in the mid to late 1800s I am unable to find much information of them in public records.  This is especially true for the women in my family.  I was certainly surprised at how much I was able to learn about Hattie.

Harriett “Hattie” Browning was born in June 1850 to Amanda Johnson Browning and William Browning in Orwell, Pennsylvania.

In the 1850 US Federal Census on the 20th of September in Orwell, Bradford County, Pennsylvania Harriett W. was 3 months old (born June).  Her father William W. Browning was 34 years old, a Chair Maker by occupation, birthplace Pennsylvania and owning real estate worth $400.  Harriett’s mother Amanda was 27 years old and her birthplace was listed as Pennsylvania. There are no other children or adults living with them.

In the 1860 US Federal Census on the 26th of July in Orwell, Bradford County, Pennsylvania (Post Office -Potterville) Harriett was 11 years old, birthplace listed as Pa.  Her father William W. was 44 years old, his occupation Chair Maker, with Real Estate valued at $1400 and Personal Property valued at $740.  Her mother Amanda was 37 years old, birthplace Pa.  Her brother Euster was 8 years old and birthplace PA.  Her brother Gay was 2 years old with a birthplace PA.  17 year old Edwin Sherman lived with them and is listed as a Chair Maker apprentice.

In the 1870 US Federal Census on 15 August for Le Raysville, Bradford, PA I can find William, Amanda, Eustace and Gay but not Amanda.
Harriett reportedly 1st married a man named __ DeLeon.  I am not sure what year or how long they were married before he died. I am unable to find them in the 1870 census but I know that Harriett was not living with her parents then.

Portis, who’s first wife died during childbirth,  married Hattie Browning Deleon on 22 June 1875.  (See post Portis/Porter M. Coolbaugh)
Their children were:
In the 1880 US Federal Census on 3rd of June in Towanda Borough, Bradford , PA shows Harriett 30 is Keeping House with Portis 35 with an occupation as Engineer Stationery.  Living with them are Portis’ son from his first marriage Lewis 11, their son Max M. 3 and daughter Amanda 2 months old.

In the 1892 New York State Census on 16 February in Barton, Tioga County, New York Harriett age 42 is living with her husband Portis age 48 with occupation Carpenter, son Max M. age 15, daughters Amanda age 12 and Nettie age 10, and son Charles age 7. This is the first record of the family living in New York.

In the 1900 US Federal Census on the 8th of June 1900 in Baldwin Township, Chemung County, New York Harriett is 50 years old and her husband Portis is 55 years old and his occupation is Farmer.  Their sons Max M. age 22 is listed as a Sailor and son Charles is 13 years old and at School. Everyone is listed as being able to read, write and speak English.

In the 1905 New York State Census on 1 June in Baldwin, Chemung County, New York Harriet is 55 years old living with her husband Portis age 60 who was a Farmer and their son Charles 19 years old who was also listed as a Farmer.

In the 1910 US Federal Census on the 20th of April in Genoa Town, Cayuga County, New York Harriett is 60 years old, has been married for 35 years.  She has had 5 children and 4 are still living.  Portis is 65 years old and they are living with their daughter Nettie Emily (my great grandmother) and her family.

Harriett’s husband Portis died 16 October 1910.

On 21 October 1910 Hattie filed for a Widow’s Pension after the death of her husband Portis, who was a Veteran of the Civil War.
In the Elmira, New York, City Directory for 1914 I see Hattie living with her son Charles at 101 1/2 Front Street.

In the 1915 New York State Census on 1 June in Elmira Ward 2, Chemung County Hattie was 65 years old and was living with her daughter Amanda Cooper and her family on John Street.

In the 1920 US Federal Census on 2 January in Town of Spencer, Tioga County, New York Hattie is 69 years old and living with her daughter Amanda and her family. 

In the Ithaca, New York, City Directory, for 1926 Hattie is living with her daughter Amanda and her family at 502 N. Plain St.

In the Ithaca, New York, City Directory, for 1927 Hattie is living with her daughter Amanda and her family at 502 N. Plain St.

In the Ithaca, New York, City Directory, for 1930 Hattie is still living with her daughter Amanda and her family at 502 N. Plain St.

Harriett died in March 1930.  She lived to be 80 years old.  I need to try and get a copy of her death certificate.  Hattie’s daughter Nettie Emily would die before her in 1925.

There is so much information in public records on Hattie!  I wish I could locate a photo of Harriett.  Maybe if I can find a descendant of Amanda Cooper’s family they might have one since they are the last ones that Hattie lived with.  I wonder if she preferred Harriett or Hattie?  As she was getting older I find her listed more as Hattie.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, January 14, 2018

DNA Chromosome Mapping

Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending the San Diego Genealogical Society’s annual January seminar with Blaine Bettinger as the presenter.  Blaine is an great speaker!  He is able to put genetic genealogy into terms that make it a lot easier for most of us to follow and he makes it very interesting.  He is enjoyable to listen to.  Blaine presented the following 4 topics:
  • Introduction to DNA and Genetic Genealogy
  • Using Autosomal DNA for 18th and 19th Century Mysteries
  • Using Third-Party Tools to Analyze Your atDNA
  • Phasing and Mapping Your DNA
Blaine Bettinger conference 01132018
We realized as we were having our picture taken that we are all fellow Bloggers.

People purchase DNA kits for a variety of reasons.  Some are mainly checking to verify or learn their ethnic heritage.  Some people who were adopted are looking for possible connections to determine who their ‘birth’ parents may have been.  Some are using DNA to find cousins and answers to our brick walls.

I have done my own DNA testing and asked several members of my family to help me by being tested also.  I have done the testing for a variety of the above reasons.  I was pretty sure of my ethnic heritage but wanted to see if the DNA backed it up.  (see post How do my Known Ancestral Places of Birth Correspond to My DNA Results?)  I also wanted to look for cousins I had lost track of or new ones I didn’t know existed.  We knew very little of my maternal grandfather’s family and I thought DNA might help, which it has.  I also hope that DNA will help me break some brick walls in my paper research.

I was particularly inspired by Blaine’s last presentation of the day - Phasing and Mapping Your DNA.  I have read and attended several days of conference sessions on DNA.  One of the issues I struggle with is how to maintain and display the information I have in a way that allows me to make good guesses as to how I might be related to someone I ‘match’ as I start to back it up with a family tree paper trail.  I wanted to start working on which sections of my chromosomes are from which part of my ancestral tree.  This is called Visual Phasing.  Blaine used a program called DNApainter to show us an example of this.  So, I decided to see what I could do with my own family tree:
(Click on image to enlarge)
Debby Chromosome mapping 01142018
On each chromosome above there are 2 lines.  The top line contains the areas of DNA I match to my father and my paternal line.  The bottom line contains the areas of DNA I match to my mother and my maternal line.  The key is nicely color coded to help see the segments we share in common.  I am in the process of getting my brother and sister tested.  When their results come back it will be interesting to look at the 3 of us to see who gets which sections from which parent and where there is overlap.

DNA painter was a relatively easy program to use if you have tested on Family Tree DNA or if you have uploaded your results to GedMatch (great third party free website).  I would highly recommend it if you are trying to ‘see’ the areas of chromosomes you have from which branch of your family tree.  If you use DNApainter and have suggestions I would like to hear them.

Thank-you to Blaine Bettinger for yet another great conference!  I look forward to hearing him again at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank, CA in June.  Blaine also has 2 great books on genetic genealogy if you are interested in learning more.

Now what I need to do is ask some of my 3rd and 4th cousins if they would be interested in being tested.  I also need to ask my cousins who have tested on Ancestry if they would be interested in uploading their results to GedMatch so I can map their results.  So cousins…what do you think?

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,