Saturday, September 6, 2008

Finding Out More About the Jarrells

So Mom's been great the past week or so sending me information about the Jarrell family. Apparently she corresponded with quite a few of the Jarrells during the early 1980s and asked a lot of questions in advance. It's pretty amazing really, considering my dad apparently wasn't interested in his family history at all. I'm sure she feels that it was all worthwhile now though, since I'm interested in everything she discovered. Hopefully Jill and I can get our kids interested one day too.

Mom corresponded with a Marvin Jarrell Pearce from Plano, Texas during that time and he forwarded information on how his family line tied in with ours. Very interesting stuff.

Among some of the records that my mom has sent are the following photos of William Calvin Jarrell (1870-1938) who was my great-great grandfather who lived in Tennessee.

We've actually gotten back four generations of Jarrells prior to this, all the way back to Joshua Jarrell (1750-1807), but I don't have photos for him and his wife...yet...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Looking for Dietel Russia

So Jill and I did a bit of research today on Russia. We watched a PBS documentary about Catherine the Great so that we could see a bit of what she achieved in her lifetime and how she affected Russia. It looks like a lot of outsiders were invited into what she called "New Russia," in the southern portion of the country, which she reclaimed during her lifetime.

This made us want to figure out exactly where the village called Dietel was/is located since that's where so many people from the Koehn side of the family seem to have come from. I finally found a few sites that seem to point to it being on the Volga River in Russia, and this website, The Volga Germans, which gives the Russian names for this village. It appears that its now known by the Russian name "Aleshniki." Coordinates for Google Earth are about 50°53, 45°10. So that's useful to know.

I also came across one other useful website that is called the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. They have a "village inventory" section on the website where they list files related to the Dietel village. It looks like you can send off for the files and they will send them to you. Possibly for free? I'll have to take a closer look at this list tomorrow and see if I think any of them might prove useful.

Trip to Fort Collins? No.

So I was thinking yesterday evening that I might plan a quick trip up to Fort Collins, CO today in order to find out info about some relatives. My mom and I had been looking at the death certificate for Margaret Miller/Richert who died in 1918. She was my great great great grandmother. Anyway, she had a daughter who had married a George Ruff and lived in Fort Collins. I was wondering if her family had stayed here in Colorado, so maybe if I went up there, I could find her grave, maybe figure out if her grandkids, etc. were still there.

So Mom and I searched around a bit and it looks like they were there in Fort Collins around 1920, but then later moved to Montana by the time the 1930 census rolled around. We eventually found them both on in the cemetery nearby where they had moved to, in Laurel, Montana.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Christine... Cristina... Teenie... Tennie... Tenny... Leney... Richard... Richards (nee Hardin)

My maternal grandmother's paternal grandmother, Christine/Cristina/Teenie/Tenny/Leney/Richard/Richards (nee Hardin) is proving very difficult to track down. According to Grandma Wray her grandmother was called Teenie but may have been listed as Lenny on her husband's death certificate. Looking at that death certificate, I think that "L" is actually a "T" if you look at the "T" in the word, "The" further down the page. So, her husband's death certificate actually does say, Tenny (but not Teenie). Still, if she is Tenny, she had no death certificate because she died in 1899 (according to my grandmother). Her son's death certificate calls her "Christine Hardin." I can't find a Christine Hardin or Christine Richard in the federal census. I find a "Leney Richards" which could be "Teney Richard" if you squint hard enough in the 1880 census. I found a "Cristina Hardin" in the 1860 census listed with a D. D. Hardin, Abel Hardin, Betsey Hardin and William W. Hardin. In the 1850 census D. D. Hardin is listed as Dial D. Hardin and he is 35 years old. There's a Lucy Hardin who is 34 years old but Abel Hardin is still 16 years old. So, if Lucy and D. D. Hardin are the parents they started having children very young. But the 1860 and 1850 census don't list the relationship of members of the household so they could be cousins or nieces and nephews. And Christine/Cristina isn't born until 1850 so she isn't listed there either. If only she had lived a little bit longer... as it is she was born too late to be listed with Lucy and Dial D and to died too early to have a death certificate in North Carolina. No marriage bond either.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Following the Koehns at the Turn of the Century

Ok, so here's what I've discovered about Andrew and Margaret Koehn (two of my great-great-great grandparents - pictured to the right) tonight and over the past couple of months. In 1868, Benjamin and Mary Koehn came to the U.S. from Russia and brought along their 8 year old son Andrew along w/ his sisters. (I'm assuming his brother Henry was actually born a few years later in the U.S.)

Margaret came to the U.S. in 1886 and she married Andrew some time between 1880 and 1890. He possibly could have gone back to Russia for a time to find his bride? They then had seven children. Today, in the 1900 census I discovered Rueben's younger brother named Adolph which I hadn't previously seen listed anywhere.

In the 1900 census, the family lived next door to Andrew's mother, Mary Koehn (nee Voth) until she presumably died sometime between 1900 and 1910. After that time, they moved to Oklahoma, possibly looking for some of the free land that was available at that time. They show up in Benton, Oklahoma in the 1910 census.

We also know from communications that mom had with Bertha Koehn in 1980 that Andrew and Margaret later moved to the Loma Linda area of California, where they eventually passed away in 1944 and 1931, respectively. I also recently received Andrew Koehn's death certificate from San Bernadino County, CA, which listed his parents Benjamin Koehn and Mary Voth.

Next, I need to find the Koehns (Benjamin, Mary, and Andrew) as they immigrated to Pennsylvania some time around 1868. I'm not sure if they immediately moved to Kansas, but they were definitely there by 1880.

Ada Johnson

Today I am researching my great-grandmother Ada Johnson (nee Taylor) who is my father's maternal grandmother so I called dad to get some information about her. According to my father Ada's mother died when she was 2 or 3 years old and Ada's father was a womanizing drunkard who died at Broughton Hospital where he was mental patient due to Syphilis. I don't know Ada's parent's names yet but she was born on June 22, 1895. Ada may have been raised by Linzy and Mittie Taylor. The 1910 Federal Census lists an Ada Taylor as a cousin living with Linzy. Linzy's neighbors are William and Jane Johnson and their son Dave W. Johnson. The Federal Census is all over the place with Linzy and Mittie's names. Sometimes Linzy is listed as Linsy or Lindsey. Mittie has also been listed as Mattie so I'm not sure what their actual names were.

According to the 1930 Federal Census, Ada married Dave W. Johnson in 1913 when she was 17 and he was 25. Their children were Allen, Wendell, Emmett, Violet, Maude, Allie (my grandmother) David and Frank. According to my father, there was also Jack who was the oldest child and then there were Martha and Lee who were not yet born at the time of the 1930 Federal Census. I went back to the 1920 census but didn't find a Jack Johnson listed in the household either so I'm wondering if Jack is a nickname for one of Ada's sons already listed and not an additional son. But which son is he? He's still alive so I would ask him but I don't know how to reach him and grandma Allie is insane so asking her is out of the question as she is liable to accuse my mother of hitting her over the head with a lamp again.

Dave W. Johnson was a farmer and mica miner. According to my father, Dave Johnson mined mica on his own property on Buck Hill and made quite a bit of money off of it. Unfortunately, Dave W. Johnson's death certificate says that he died on November 6, 1943 from silicosis due to drilling in the mica mines. Dad says that Ada didn't get the money from the mines. Ada and Dave's sons got the money instead and they drank it all away.

Dad says that at some point in Ada's old age her sons made her move to Washington State to be with them and when she moved out they burned her house to the ground so she couldn't move back. But she moved back anyway and rebuilt her log cabin with her $29.00 monthly pension. :) Granny Johnson died on December 11, 1980 shortly after I was born (April 1979) so I never got to know her but dad says that he and mom used to go up to her log cabin every weekend to take her to buy groceries and then to get a hamburger and strawberry shake :) Dad called Granny Johnson his role model and said that he has never met another person as amazing as she was. I wonder how mom feels about that?