Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Taking a short break: Be back soon!

Hi all. I'm going to be absent on the blog for a couple of weeks while I pack up my apartment and move to a new (and bigger!) place. I look forward to being back soon!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: 1949 School Sticker Card for William Lee Brittain

My adorable nephews started back to school this week, which reminds me that I have copies of several school-related documents from my parents and grandparents. This cute little sticker card belonged to my dad, William Lee Brittain (1942-2003). It shows that, in 1949, "Billy B." received motivational stickers for his accomplishments in good writing (three stickers!), reading and being a paper monitor. He also got a sticker for his "farm booklet" -- I would have loved to see that!

I'm guessing that he created the sweet artwork on this card, too. My dad always was very creative. And smart, too!!

I hope my sister, Cindy, shows this to the boys. I think they'll be tickled to see what their Papa Cow did when he was a little guy in grammar school.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Jane Alen Reed Garriott (1805-1874)

Last week, I wrote about a photo of the gravestone of my 4th great grandfather, John Newton Garriott, that a generous volunteer, Frank Murphy, took and posted up at FindAGrave.com. Well, Mr. Murphy must have been a busy photographer at the Barnes Cemetery in Mercer County, Missouri, because he posted photos of several Garriott gravestones as well as the stones of some of my Brittain relatives. One of the Garriott graves that Frank documented was that of John Newton Garriott's wife, Jane Alen Reed Garriott. Here it is:
Wife of
July 10, 1805
 Aug. 31, 1874
67 Y's. 1M. 21D's
The stone clearly says she's 67 years old (and change), but the math says she died at the age of just over 69 years old. Oops!

I hadn't noticed Jane's photo on Find A Grave when I went to see the picture of John's grave. Fortunately, my cousin, Jennifer, who writes the Climbing My Family Tree blog, pointed out that Jane and several of our other relatives were now nicely documented on the site. 

Once again, thanks to Frank and all the FindAGrave.com volunteer photographers!

Here's how I'm related to John and Jane Garriott:
1. John Newton Garriott (1806-1882) married Jane Alen Reed (1805-1874) on Apr. 7, 1827 >
2. Nancy Garriott (1828-1912) married Milton Price Brittain (1822-1898) on Jan. 25, 1843 >
3. Frederick Harmon Brittain (1859-1921) married Mary Jane Rooks (1862-1904) on Sep. 4, 1879 >
4. Andrew Lee Brittain (1888-1954) married Jessie Luetta Halstead (1898-1974) on Sep. 24, 1919 >
5. Woodie Leroy Brittain (living) married Edith Vivian Hunt (1920-1993) on Aug. 18, 1938 >
6. William Lee Brittain (1942-2003) married Rebecca Elizabeth Bartram (living) on Sep. 12, 1964 >
7. Me!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: Grandma Donna Teaches Uncle Jimmy to Swim

Isn't this a sweet photo? It's of my Grandma Donna Madsen Bartram (1919-1966) and my Uncle Clinton James "Jim" Bartram (1938-2001), and seems to have been taken sometime in the summer of 1939. I don't know exactly where they were, but it must have been somewhere in or around the Livermore valley in Northern California.
I always love seeing pictures of my parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents when they were children -- they were all so adorable!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Surname Saturday: The Family of Samuel Bartram (1795-1882)

It's Surname Saturday. Last time, I took us through my Brittain line, which hail from Wales. Today, I'll list my ancestors through my Mom's family, the Bartrams. My earliest documented Bartram ancestor was born in Suffolk, England, but they eventually moved to Wales, too. I still have cousins in Wales, as a matter of fact, and I'm hoping to get there for a visit next year (do you hear that, Steven?!).

Without further adieu, here is my Bartram line:

1. Samuel Bartram (3rd Great Grandfather) -- his father is thought to be named John Bartram
born  9 May 1795 in  Frostended, Suffulk, England
married Harriett Boste (1791-1859) on 15 Sep 1816 in Kelsale, Suffolk, England
died Jun 1882 in Kelsale, Suffolk, England

Confirmed Children with Harriett Boste:
1. John Bartram (1815-1882) - also spelled Bartrem
2. Sophia Bartram (1821- )
3. William Bartram (1823-1917)
4. Louisa Bartram (1825- )
5. James Bartram (1832- )
6. Mary Ann Bartram (1837- )
7. Caroline Bartram (1840- ) 

2. John Bartram/Bartrem (2nd Great Grandfather)
born 1815 in Kelsale, Suffolk, England
married Esther Meredith (1814-1888) on 12 Jul 1846 at Church of Welsh Newton, Welsh Newton, Herefordshire, England
died about 1882 at sea  

Confirmed children with Esther Meredith
1. Louisa Bartram (1847-1919)
2. James Christopher Bartram (1849-1877)
3. Samuel Bartram (1851-1924)
4. John Bartram (1854- )
5. Sarah Ann Bartram (1856- )
6. Joseph Bartram (1860-1930)
Front, L-R: John Bartram, Arthur Bartram (grandson via Louisa), Esther Meredith Bartram
Back, L-R: Louisa Bartram, Joseph Bartram, Sarah Ann Bartram

3. Joseph Bartram (Great Grandfather)
born 23 Jun 1860 in Dixton, Monmouthshire, Wales
immigrated to Kansas, USA, in 1881
married Alice A. Veale (1872-1954) on 31 Jul 1891 in Topeka, Shawnee,  Kansas
died 4 Feb 1930 in Clear Lake, Lake, California 

Confirmed children with Alice A. Veale
1. Roy Bartram (1891-1896)
2. Reva Bartram (1893-1952)
3. Ruth E. Bartram (1895-1988)
4. Robert Adam Bartram (1897-1983)
5. Ralph Bartram (1899-1998)
6. Helen Bartram (1900-1994)
7. Joseph L. Bartram (1902-1998)
8. George Bartram (1904-1972)
9. Florence Irene Bartram (1905-1999)
10. Raymond "Dutch" Bartram (1907-1954)
11. Eunice Fay Bartram (1909-2009)
12. John Bartram (1911-1987)
13. Grace Bartram (1913-1975)
14. Mildred Lucille Bartram (1915-1990)
15. Lorna C. Bartram (1916-2003)
Joseph & Alice Bartram and part of their large family
4. John Bartram (Grandfather)
born 4 Apr 1911 in Allen, Wabaunsee, Kansas
married Donna M. Madsen (1919-1966) on 26 Mar 1938 in Reno, Washoe, Nevada
died 15 Aug 1987 in Tracy, San Joaquin, California 

Confirmed children with Donna M. Madsen
1. Clinton James Bartram (1938-2001)
2. Brenda Rae Bartram (living)
3. Rebecca Elizabeth Bartram (living)
4. Clay John Bartram (living)
Seated, L-R: Clay Bartram, Donna Madsen Bartram, John Bartram
Standing, L-R: Jim Bartram, Brenda Bartram, Becky Bartram (Mom)
5. Rebecca Elizabeth Bartram (Mom)
married William Lee Brittain (1942-2003) on 12 Sep 1964 in Reno, Washoe, Nevada 

Confirmed children with William Lee Brittain
1. Wendy Lee Brittain (me)
2. Cynthia Lynn Brittain (living)
Cindy & Wendy (Front, L-R)
Becky & Bill (Back, L-R)

Next time, I'll focus on my Grandma Edith's family: the Hunts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

(Not so) Wordless Wednesday: William Calhoun Hunt Family in Oklahoma

Here are a couple of wonderful photos that Michelle, one of my Oklahoma Hunt cousins, shared with me recently. She received them from another relative at a recent Hunt family reunion in Oklahoma. I sure wish I could have attended!

The first is of our great great grandparents, William Calhoun Hunt (1870-1915) and Georgia Frances Ann Purser (1871-1956), and their children. The second is a close-up of William that was taken from the photo and colorized.
Front (L-R): William Calhoun Hunt, Georgia Frances Ann Purser, Iva Naomi Hunt (1904-1972)
Back (L-R): James William "Earl Hunt (1891-1961, my great grandpa),
Melvin Dean Hunt (1900-1969, Michelle's great grandpa), and Clarence Edwin Hunt (1896-1973)
Wasn't he a handsome man?
Thanks to Michelle for sharing these amazing photos!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: John Newton Garriott (1806-1882)

A lot of people ask me where I find my ancestral photos and documents. While it's true that most genealogical documentation isn't yet online, there's still a treasure trove of great information (and supporting documentation) that can be found on the World Wide Web via family trees and websites that are published by other family history enthusiasts, as well as websites such as Ancestry, Footnote, GenealogyBank, FamilySearch.org and many, many other online repositories.

One of my favorite go-to websites for burial information is FindAGrave.com. According to the website, Find A Grave now boasts more than 66 million grave records from all over the world. All of these records are volunteer supplied, and many have photos and biographical information attached to them. Of course, not every burial record is contained on Find A Grave, and many that are there don't have photos of the tombstones -- YET.

That's where the volunteers come in. You can log a request via the website to ask someone who lives near the cemetery where your ancestor is buried to go and take a picture of the tombstone and post it on the Find A Grave record of that ancestor. I've put in a few requests for volunteers to take photos of my ancestors' tombstones that I can't already find on the website, and I haven't been disappointed. In fact, just last week, I was surprised by Frank Murphy, a Find A Grave volunteer who went out to the Barnes Cemetery in Mercer County, Missouri, to snap a picture of the grave of my 4th great grandfather, John Newton Garriott, who was buried there in January 1882. Here's the photo that Frank uploaded onto John Garriott's Find A Grave record.
John Garriott
Jan 15 1882
75y 1m 26d

John's wife, Jane Alen Reed Garriott, is also buried in the Barnes Cemetery, and I'm kicking myself for not asking Mr. Murphy to get a photo of her gravestone, too. Perhaps, I'll ask him if he plans to be out at that cemetery again one of these days. Meanwhile, I appreciate the generosity of Frank and all of the other volunteer photographers who schlep out to the cemeteries (often out of their way, and in uncomfortable weather) to document our ancestors' burials and share this precious information with us. 

Thanks, Frank!

Ps. I live in San Francisco and, while I don't have a car to get to cemeteries outside of the city, I can take a bus to the National Cemetery in the Presidio. If anyone needs photos of graves in that cemetery, drop me a line. I'd be happy to pay it forward!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: Lars Hansen Madsen Naturalization Certificate

While virtually all of my dad's family history can be traced back to the 1600s and 1700s in America, most of my mom's family became Americans more recently. I'm finding it a bit difficult to locate some of the naturalization papers of my ancestors. For example, I know that my GGG grandfather, Claus Schlichtmann, was naturalized on September 13, 1877, in San Francisco. Well, I'm finding that the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fire seem to have destroyed a good lot of documents that were held in San Francisco, including naturalization papers. Le sigh...

Meanwhile, I've had the good fortune of finding a copy of the actual naturalization certificate of my great grandfather, Lars Hansen Madsen, in my mom's files.
This document is chock full o' interesting information about Grandpa Louie (1893-1971), who was born in Denmark and immigrated to California in 1908. For example:
  • I see that he was a 23 year old unmarried man when he was naturalized on March 9, 1917. In fact, he married my great grandmother, Johanna Bruhns, just a few weeks later on April 4, 1917.
  • He had already started to anglicize his name from Lars to Louis. 
  • He was all of 5 feet, 5 inches tall, and had a fair complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.
  • He had no other distinguishing marks.
  • He was naturalized in Alameda County, California. For some reason, I had been under the impression that he was naturalized in San Francisco, but I see that I was wrong on that count. 
I look forward to finding the naturalization papers for my other immigrant ancestors to see what else I can learn about them!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Mom and Grandma Donna in Galt, CA

I love this photo of my mom, Rebecca Elizabeth Bartram, and her mom, Donna Marie Madsen! The back of the photo says (spelling error and all) "Uncle Masen at Galt." This appears to be in the very late 1940s. I'm not sure which Uncle Madsen they were visiting. Great Grandpa Louie's older brother, Hans Therkelsen Madsen, had several children and I recall that some of them ended up in Modesto and Galt, so I think it may have been one of his sons. Perhaps my Aunt Brenda can answer that question for us...
Rebecca Elizabeth Bartram & Donna Marie Madsen
Too cute!!

UPDATE: Mom comes to the rescue! Apparently there was an "Uncle Masen," but she's not sure how he fits into the family. Hopefully, we'll be able to figure out that little mystery soon. In any case, I think it's kind of fun to collaborate on our family's history via the Shaking Leaves blog! =)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: Great Grandma Ethel Hunt & Friends

I'm still having fun looking through all the photos that I found at my Mom's house earlier this summer. A lot of them are very simple: folks just standing and smiling for the camera. But some of them are quite entertaining and even a little puzzling.

For example, here's a picture from 1918 of my paternal great grandmother, Ethel Modena Martindale Hunt, and two other ladies (I don't know who they are). The photo was printed onto a postcard (which is apparent on the back). Written in pen on the back is "Ethel Hunt on the right" and "1918."
"Ethel Hunt on the right"
Ethel and James Hunt were married in 1918, the year the photo was taken. They were living in Oklahoma at the time (Coal County when they were married, but they had moved to Euchee, Creek County, by the 1920 US census). What's puzzling is the odd pose of these ladies. Why on earth are they laying on rugs in the dirt? It seems an odd place to sunbathe, even on what appears to be a farm. Oh, well -- it looks like they are having fun.

I just wish that I'd seen this photo while Great Grandma Ethel was still alive so I could have asked her about it!

Surname Saturday: The Family of James Brittain

I'm finally jumping on the Surname Saturday bandwagon, and I'm not sure what took me so long. Surname Saturday is a chance for genealogy bloggers to highlight one surname in their family and trace that line from the known beginning to the present day.

Fittingly, my first Surname Saturday post spans nine generations (including my sister and me) and covers my own surname: Brittain. I'm starting with my 6th great grandfather, James Brittain, who is believed to be the first known patriarch of my line of Brittains. I also often see his father listed as Asa Brittain, but I have no idea if there's any proof of that at all. If there are any others out there researching this surname, please feel free to get in touch with me so we can share our information!

1. James Brittain (6th Great Grandfather)
b. 1709 in Wales (unconfirmed)
m. Mary Whitty in 1726 in Virginia (unconfirmed)
d. 1776 in Guilford County, North Carolina (unconfirmed) 

Confirmed Children with Mary Whitty:
1. Nathaniel Brittain (1734-1776)
(James and Mary reportedly had many other children, but I don't have confirmation of them)  

2. Nathaniel Brittain (5th Great Grandfather)
b. 1734 in Chesterfield County, Virginia
m. Elizabeth Parks (1742-?) in 1760 in Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky
d. October 17, 1776 in Virginia while in service during the Revolutionary War 

Children with Elizabeth Parks:
1. Nathaniel Brittain (1761-)
2. Sarah Susan Brittain (1766-1829)
3. James Brittain (1766-1841)
4. Levi Brittain (1768-1838)
5. George Brittain (1770-1850)
6. Parks Brittain (1771-1846)
7. William Brittain (1772-1808)
8. Mary Brittain (1774-) 

3. Parks Brittain (4th Great Grandfather)
b. July 10, 1771, in Virginia
m. 1. Sally Leonard; 2. Elizabeth King (1780-1809) in about 1798 in Barren County, Kentucky; 3. Sarah Price (1775-1843) on November 10, 1810, in Barren County, Kentucky
d. September 6, 1846, in Shaky Run, Keokuk County, Iowa 

Children with Elizabeth King:
1. Harmon Brittain (1799-1875)
2. Mary Polly Brittain (1801-1842)
3. James Franklin Brittain (1803-1877)
4. Nathaniel Brittain (1804-1852)
5. Sarah Sallie Brittain (1807-1865) 

Children with Sarah Price:
6. William Brittain (1811-1884)
7. Elizabeth Brittain (1812-1868)
8. George N. Brittain (1814-1877)
9. Francis McGuire Brittain (1817-1885)
10. Eliza Jane Brittain (1820-1852)
11. Milton Price Brittain (1822-1898)
12. Matilda Brittain (1824-1897)
13. Mariana Brittain (1827-1913) 

4. Milton Price Brittain (3rd Great Grandfather)
b. June 20, 1822, in Rock Castle, Barren County, Kentucky
m. Nancy Garriott (1828-1912) on January 25, 1843, in Henry County, Iowa
d. February 19, 1898, in Payne County, Oklahoma 

Children with Nancy Garriott:
1. Matilda Jane Brittain (1844-1918)
2. William Parks Brittain (1845-1921)
3. Jonathan Francis Brittain (1848-1884)
4. John Marion Brittain (1850-1853)
5. Mary Margaret Brittain (1853-1930)
6. Sintha Ann Brittain (1857-1860)
7. Frederick Harmon Brittain (1859-1921)
8. Milton Harvey Brittain (1861-1923)
9. Nancy Etta Brittain (1864-1936)
10. Leander Brittain (1866-1939)
11. Eliza Brittain (1869-)

Milton Price Brittain & Nancy Garriott
5. Frederick Harmon Brittain (2nd Great Grandfather)
b. January 20, 1859, in Keokuk County, Iowa
m. 1. Mary Jane Rooks (1862-1904) on September 14, 1879, in Lowery City, Missouri; 2. Sarah Frances Young (1866-1960) in 1906 in Stroud Creek, Oklahoma
d. February 6, 1921, in Wheeler, Van Buren County, Arkansas 

Children with Mary Jane Rooks:
1. Infant Brittain (1880-1880)
2. Nellie E. Brittain (1881-1882)
3. Mary Olive Brittain (1883-1917)
4. Melton Park Brittain (1885-1967)
5. Sarah Serina Brittain (1886-1981)
6. Andrew Lee Brittain (1888-1954)
7. Frederick Harmon Brittain (1889-1943)
8. Robert Ellis Brittain (1891-1965)
9. Ruben Franklin Brittain (1893-1967)
10. Allouise L. Brittain (1895-1974)
11. James M. Brittain (1896-1899)
12. Alice Blanch Brittain (1901-1977) 

Children with Sarah Frances Young:
13. Georgia L. Brittain (1905-)
14. Willie E. Brittain (1908-1910)
15. Jessie Brittain (1914-)
Frederick Harmon Brittain and his kids

6. Andrew Lee Brittain (Great Grandfather)
b. February 26, 1888, in Omaha, Boone County, Arkansas
m. Jessie Luetta Halstead (1898-1974) on September 24, 1919, in Cushing, Payne County, Oklahoma
d. January 22, 1954, in Hayward, Alameda County, California 

Children with Jessie Luetta Halstead:
1. Woodie Leroy Brittain (living)
2. Amos Lee Brittain (1922-1922)
3. Audrie Catherine Brittain (living)
4. Anna Pauline Brittain (1926-1999)
5. Evelyn Lea Brittain (living)

Andrew Lee Brittain & Jessie Luetta Halstead
7. Woodie Leroy Brittain (Grandfather)
b. living
m. Edith Vivian Hunt (1921-1993) on August 18, 1938, in Oklahoma
d. living 

Children with Edith Vivian Hunt:
1. William Lee Brittain (1942-2003)
Woodie Leroy Brittain & Edith Vivian Hunt
holding William Lee Brittain

8. William Lee Brittain  (Father)
b. October 28, 1942, in Hayward, Alameda County, California
m. Rebecca Elizabeth Bartram (living) on September 12, 1964, in Reno, Washoe County, Nevada
d. January 4, 2003, in Stanford, Santa Clara County California 

Children with Rebecca Elizabeth Bartram:
1. Wendy Lee Brittain (Me!)
2. Cynthia Lynn Brittain (living)
William Lee Brittain, Rebecca Elizabeth Bartram
with Cynthia Lynn Brittain, Wendy Lee Brittain and Pepper
Stay tuned for the next Surname Saturday, when I'll focus on the Bartram family!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The 1807 Marriage of John T. Bentley & Polly Maxey

I love county courthouses! I know -- to most people, that seems like the talk of a crazy woman. But we family historians tend to be quite fond of the many county courthouses and clerk's offices that contain the historical documents that we covet so deeply. A couple of weeks ago, I got a wonderful present in the mail (well, I paid a small fee for it) from the probate office in Oglethorpe County, Georgia. It was the 1807 marriage record for my 5th great grandparents, John Townsend Bentley (1786-1863) and Polly Maxey (1791-1830).

It reads:
On the 22nd day of October 1807 John T Bentley & Polley Maxey was joined together in holy wedlock by me,                           Nat McClurg, J.P.
Recorded on the 21st day of Jan, 1808              
                                                             Matthew Rainey, C.C.O.
About a month ago, I posted about John's father, Revolutionary War patriot, Jesse Bentley. Here's the bible record from that post that also lists the marriage of John and Polly.

Here's how I'm descended from my 5th great grandparents, John and Polly:
  1. John Townsend Bentley (1786-1863) m. Polly Maxey (1891-1830) in 1807 >
  2. Elizabeth Scott Bentley (1810-1891) m. Richard William Purser (1802-around 1850) in 1837 >
  3. James Monroe Purser (1843-1914) m. Nancy Susan Hodge (1844-1883) in 1867 >
  4. Georgia Frances Ann Purser (1871-1956) m. William Calhoun Hunt (1870-1915) in 1891 >
  5. James William Hunt (1891-1961) m. Ethel Modena Martindale (1896-1977) in 1918 >
  6. Edith Vivian Hunt (1920-1993) m. Woodie Leroy Brittain (living) in 1938 >
  7. William Lee Brittain (1942-2003) m. Rebecca Elizabeth Bartram (living) in 1964 >
  8. Me!