30 April 2012

Searching for Victor Crumbaker

I was contacted by a cousin from a line in my family, specifically the Coblentz line, which is on my paternal side. She is working on an extensive project trying to find all the descendants of a common ancestor, John Phillip Coblentz b. 1730. I was thrilled to be included in the group she had put together researching this and even more thrilled when I began to receive daily emails with information on family within that line! 

I offered to help and was assigned Elizabeth Ann Coblentz (b. 1830 in Ohio), her husband Andrew Myers (b. abt 1828 in Ohio), and their descendants. I found information easily enough on this first couple, including some newspaper articles using Google News Archives (luckily The Youngstown Vindicator was one of the newspapers they had digitized before shutting the project down). Things became slightly more difficult (on the newspaper side of things anyway) with their first child Martha Catherine Myers (b. 1851 in Ohio) who married Benjamin Franklin Crumbaker (b. 1844 in Ohio) in 1868. They had moved to Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio sometime between 1880 and 1900. I was able to find some things with my GenealogyBank.com membership, but not very much. 

Regardless, I finished what I could on their union and started working on their first child, Victor Orville Crumbaker, born 23 Nov 1869 in Springfield, Mahoning, Ohio. This is the man who has started my frustrations. I immediately found a birth record, death record and 3 marriage records. His first marriage record to Mary E. Hall in 1893 had the application filled out, but it didn't have the actual marriage information completed. I could only assume they did not go through with the marriage. His second marriage record to Katie Selzer in 1909 showed that he had been previously married, but that he was divorced. Was this to the first Mary Hall? Or was there another marriage that I had not found? His last marriage record to Mrs. Martha E. Rupp in 1927 indicated he had only been married once before and that she was deceased. This was true as Katherine Selzer Crumbaker had died on 17 Mar 1918 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio.

I found the 1910 and the 1920 census without much effort since they came up pretty easily in the index search. In 1910, Victor was living with his first (second?) wife Katherine in Brooklyn, Cuyahoga, Ohio. In 1920, he was living again in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, but this time with his niece Winnafred Hoffman, age 28. They are both listed as single, even though he was technically widowed. I also found him in a 1925 Cleveland Ohio City Directory and an 1896 City Directory.

I started searching for Victor in the 1900 census thinking it would shed some light on whether he actually married Mary E. Hall or what he was doing at that time. I found his parents and youngest brother Harry living in Cleveland City. Not only did Victor not come up in a simple index search, but neither did his two middle brothers, Curtis L.A. and Perry Calvin Crumbaker. I started with searching the same E.D. as his parents and youngest brother. No luck. Searched in the E.D.'s according this the 1910 census for each of the brothers. No luck. I noticed that in his wife's Find a Grave Memorial it indicated his name was Ora and it was also how he provided his name as the informant on her death record. Searched under that name. No luck. Searched under the address from the 1896 directory. No luck. In total, I searched 8 different E.D.'s page by page and COULD NOT find Victor or his two brothers in the 1900 census!!! It was and is SO frustrating!

I decided to give myself a break and start searching for him in the 1930 census. No hits on an index search... I was sensing some deja vu and I was not liking it. At this time, he should have been living with his wife Martha E. Smith Rupp Crumbaker. They were married in 1927 and Victor died in 1932. On their marriage record, it showed they were living at the same address in Cleveland. I started there. I'm going to digress for a minute and say that I love Stephen Morse's website One-Step Webpages. Honestly, I hadn't used it much until the 1940 Census came out and I started searching for people by finding E.D.'s on his site. But it has been invaluable while trying to look up all these addresses for other census years too! Anyway, I looked up the address and there was a different family living there. I searched the rest of the E.D. just to be safe and there were no Crumbakers there. So, I moved on to the address on his death record. His brother, Perry C. Crumbaker, was the informant for his death record. It indicates he was married, but there was a question mark on the name of his wife. I thought this was strange. His own brother didn't know the name of his wife? I don't know if this indicated some type of estrangement or if it was just an error. Plus, he had lived in Cleveland this whole time, but had died in Akron, Summit, Ohio. Perry was still living in Cleveland. I looked up the E.D. for his address on the death record and searched the entire thing. There was a different family living at the address, however, it was a rental so that could explain why.

Unfortunately, my story does not have a happy ending. I have decided to move on to the other siblings, but I'm hoping that looking for information on them will maybe unearth something on Victor. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

22 October 2011

Census Saturday - 1910 Federal Census - Joseph & Frances Legge Household

This week we are still following Harry A. Legge. He was living with his parents in Hays City Ward 3, Ellis, Kansas in the 1910 Federal Census.

Joseph and Frances Legge household
Thirteenth Census of the United States: 1910 - Population; State: Kansas; County: Ellis; Hays City; Supervisor's District No. 6; Enumeration District No. 19; Sheet No. 9 B; page 1451 (handwritten); Enumerated by me on the 22nd day of April, 1910. Jur. H. Freesa, Enumerator. Street: West Perry Avenue; Lines 68-72; Dwelling 199; Family 204. 
Joseph Legge, head, male, white, 62 years old, married for 33 years, born in Germany, father born in Germany, mother born in Germany, immigrated in 1868, naturalized, speaks English, occupation is own income, able to read and write, owns his own home free of mortgage. 
Frances Legge, wife, female, white, 50 years old, married for 33 years, gave birth to 15 children, 10 were living, born in New Jersey, father born in Germany, mother born in Germany, speaks English, no occupation, able to read and write. 
Louisa Legge, daughter, female, white, 13 years old, single, born in Kansas, father born in Germany, mother born in New Jersey, speaks English, no occupation, able to read and write, attended school.
Harry Legge, son, male, white, 10 years old, single, born in Kansas, father born in Germany, mother born in New Jersey, speaks English, no occupation, able to read and write, attended school. 
Tresia [sic] Legge, daughter, female, white, 6 years old, single, born in Kansas, father born in Germany, mother born in New Jersey, no occupation, [education information blank].

Harry is living with his parents and the youngest of all his siblings. There was a child between Louisa and Harry named Helena "Lena" Legge, but she died in 1901 at the age of two. His mother, Frances (Franzika), noted that she had given birth to 15 children, however only 10 were living at the time of this census. Another interesting piece of information is that "own income" is listed as the occupation for head of the household, Joseph Legge. I'm not sure if this means he is retired or self-employed, but I would think they would specify self-employed if that were the case. He does own his home home though with no mortgage. The two older children are attending school. It is also noted that they live on West Perry Avenue, however, I was unable to locate this street on a map, so it's possible the name of the street was changed at some point.

Source: 1910 U.S. census, Ellis, Kansas, population schedule, Hays, enumeration district (ED) 19, sheet 9B, p. 1451 (handwritten), dwelling 199, family 204, Joseph Legge household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http:www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 438.

15 October 2011

Census Saturday - 1930 Census - Harry & Veronica Legge

This week I am going back another decade with Harry & Veronica Legge. In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, they were just married and she was pregnant with their first child, Harold, who would be born in July of that year. They were living in Fairview, Rush, Kansas on a farm.
Harry & Veronica Legge Household
Fourteenth Census of the United States: 1920 - Population. 
State: Kansas; County: Rush; Fairview Township; Supervisor's District No 7; Enumeration District No 214; Sheet No 4A; Enumerated by me on the 27th day of January 1920, Wm Crotinger, Enumerator. Lines 20-21; House number: FM; Dwelling No. 56; Family No. 56: 
Harry Legge, Head, rented house, male, white, 19 years old, married, did not attend school since Sept. 1 1919, able to read, able to write, born in Kansas; father born in W-s--ollin [crossed out] Germany, mother tongue German; mother born in New Jersey, able to speak English; trade of farming on general farm; Farm schedule 57. 
Veronica Legge, wife, female, white, 17 years old, married, did not attend school since Sept. 1 1919; able to read; able to write; born in Kansas; father born in [illegible crossed out word] Russia, mother tongue German; mother born in Kansas; able to speak English; occupation none.

I've learned that Harry & Veronica were living and working a farm they do not own. I learn that both of their mother were born in America and their fathers born outside of the country. What I find most interesting in this census is that the enumerator had written down a specific location within the country their fathers were born in. Unfortunately, they were badly written and then crossed out so I am unable to read them. Harry's brother was living in the same town and has the same crossed out name, but that is difficult to read as well.

Source: 1920 U.S. census, Rush, Kansas, population schedule, Fairview, enumeration district (ED) 214, sheet 4A, p. 751 (handwritten), dwelling 56, family 56, Harry Legge household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Sep 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 547.

10 October 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - My Second Grade Teacher

When I was growing up I loved school. I loved learning, seeing my friends, getting new school clothes and school supplies. Teachers, especially in elementary school where you only had one all year, were important and could either enrich your school experience or make you miserable for nine months. I know there were teachers I didn't care for in high school, but luckily you didn't have to spend all day with them and I learned fairly young that if you just figure out what they are looking for and give them what they ask, the year would go by pretty smoothly. In general though, my feelings were usually lukewarm for my teachers.

My all-time favorite teacher, however, was my second grade teacher Mr. Anderson. I loved him! He was young and handsome and had a beard, so that probably made him cool in our eyes. He also played guitar and he would bring it in and teach us songs like Yellow Submarine and Puff the Magic Dragon. I can remember the giant notepads that teachers used where he had written the words to the songs so that we could memorize them. Looking back, I'm not sure how it all fit into our lesson plan, but at the time we loved it.

One specific memory I have about him as a teacher is just a little snippet, but it's funny that it stuck with me. We must have had an increase in writing exercises in second grade because I developed the callous that you get on your knuckle that comes from writing with a pencil. I remember it hurting and going to him and telling him I had this injury expecting to be sent to the nurse. He just smiled and said that it comes with writing. Then he showed me that he had the same callous on his finger, only his was huge. Then he sent me on my way without a band aid or anything! It makes me laugh now because I remember walking away confused because he hadn't given me a bandage for my wound and what was I going to do now!?

Another memory I have of him is just an image... but a pretty vivid one, I must say! My mom taught an aerobics class at the school and one day I went into the gym where her class was and realized that Mr. Anderson was in the class. He was wearing a full body leotard. I remember being shocked that he was wearing that outfit and a little embarrassed. That image was forever burned in my brain and I can't think of Mr. Anderson without thinking of him in that outfit!

If my memory serves me, Mr. Anderson only taught the one year, however, when I think about it, I don't really know for sure if he taught before our class. I feel like I remember him saying it was his first year teaching although that might have been his first year at our school or teaching second grade. I do know, however, that it was his last year teaching at my elementary school. He was going into the Peace Corps. It made the end of the year all that much more sad because he wasn't coming back. I remember sitting at my desk the last day of school and we were singing Puff the Magic Dragon. I cried through the whole thing. So did many of my classmates. I don't know how he made it through the song with a bunch of second graders crying! I remember I couldn't look at him because it hurt too bad. My other classmates that I've contacted through the years still remember him and his songs and they all loved him too!

When I was pregnant with my son and thinking of names, I was having a hard time coming up with a middle name. I wanted it to be meaningful, but I hadn't started doing genealogy yet so I didn't have a vast resource of family names to choose from. A friend of mine suggested thinking of someone who influenced you in your life in a positive way to come up with a middle name. It's funny because he's the first person I thought of. It seems sad in hindsight that I didn't have more positive male influences in my life, but I knew his first name was James and it fit perfectly with my son's first name. My son today still loves to hear the story about why I picked his names for him. It blows my mind how much impact one person can have on a kid's life... even if just for one year.

24 September 2011

Census Saturday - 1925 Kansas Census - Harry Legge Household

This week I am looking at the Kansas State census of 1925. The Legge family is still living in Fairview, Rush, Kansas and only have the first three children living with them.

State: Kansas; County: Rush; Township: Fairview; Post Office: La Crosse; Page 1 (stamped); Lines 10-14; Name or number of street, avenue, rural route, etc. 2; Number of house or box, if on rural route: 52; Dwelling number 3; Family number 3.
Harry Leggle, head, male, white, 24 years old, married, born in Kansas, no occupation, did not attend school, able to read and write.
Veroniga [sic] Leggle, wife, female, white, 22 years old, married, born in Kansas, no occupation, did not attend school, able to read and write.H
Harold Leggle, son, male, white, 4 years old, single, born in Kansas, no occupation, did not attend school, not able to read and write.
Ralph Leggle, son, male, white, 2 years old, single, born in New Jersey, from New Jersey to Kansas, no occupation, did not attend school, not able to read and write.
Dorethy Leggle, daughter, female, white, 1 year old, single, born in New Jersey, from New Jersey to Kansas, no occupation, did not attend school, not able to readn and write.

First, the surname is spelled wrong. I had to look for them manually in the database on Ancestry because they weren't coming up in a simple search. Harry's name had been indexed incorrectly as Marry. The rest is just the incorrect spelling by the enumerator. Little Dorothy is only one year old and was born in New Jersey, so the family must have moved back sometime in the year and a half prior to this census and after she was born. Another interesting notation on this census is that there is no profession listed for Harry. I'm not completely positive this was an error, but it seems unlikely that he wouldn't have been working while trying to provide for a small family. It's also possible he was between jobs.

Source: 1925 State Census, Rush County, Kansas, population schedule, Fairview, p. 1 (stamped), dwelling 3, family 3, lines 10-14, Harry Leggle household; digital images, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Sep 2011); citing Kansas City Historical Society, Microfilm Reel K131.