Photo Friday—Elizabeth Walker

Elizabeth Hannah Walker (1807-1888)

Meet Elizabeth Hannah, wife of Francis Walker III, and newly discovered (for us) daughter of Richard and Catherine (Walker) Hannah.

Until a few weeks ago, our family tree included six children of Richard and Catherine Hannah—Edward, John, Francis, Andrew, Isabella, and Richard. They all arrived in Manvers Township, Durham County, Canada West (now Ontario) from Ireland about 1848, and are “easily” followed through the Census of Canada for many decades after.

Una May Davey Porter provided us this tantalizing breadcrumb regarding the children of Richard and Catherine Hannah …

New information — Francis, Edward, John, and Richard had twin sisters Elizabeth Hannah and Mary Ann Hannah, besides another sister Sara.

Hannah – Adams Genealogy, 1848-Present, 1987, page 105

The 5-second rule has SO expired on this 32-year-old breadcrumb.

During our research of the Hannah family, we identified several associated families of Walkers, Loves, Kerrs, and Virtues that removed with the Hannahs from Manvers Township westward to Holland Township, Grey County, Ontario; to Arran Township, Bruce County, Ontario; to Manitoulin Island, Ontario; westward through Canada or to Hannah, North Dakota. We even found a Francis Walker, married to an Elizabeth Hannah, but had been unable to determine their relationship to our Hannahs.

We have also found many DNA matches of our family members with these Walker, Love, Kerr, and Virtue families, but had been unable to identify a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) shared with them that explains the shared DNA.

On 6 Jan of this year, we stumbled across a family tree belonging to kfwalker11 on ancestry.com containing an Elizabeth Hanna, wife of Francis Walker. What actually caught our eye is this tree contains actual sources for baptisms and marriages of their Walkers in Ireland, which is not often seen during our research of our Irish lines. The sources though refer to private research that was paid for by this Walker family with a genealogy research company in Ireland, so we were not immediately able to see the actual records.

We contacted kfwalker11, aka F. Walker, and have been blown away with what we received. F. Walker mailed us 69 pages of research into the Walker family including the research of L. Walker and K. Moore. This research connects their Elizabeth Hanna as the daughter of our Richard Hannah and Catherine Walker, and connects their Francis Walker to our Catherine Walker. Elizabeth’s husband Francis is Catherine’s 1st cousin.

Our Hannah family has long known its ancestors emigrated from Donegal, Ireland, to Canada. We now know from precisely where—is 1.16 square miles in Ireland precise enough!

And we now know precisely where to keep digging—which led us to learn that Mary Jane Gallagher’s (Andrew Porter’s wife’s) family is from this same 1.16 square miles in Ireland. So her mother Mary Walker is probably from this same Walker family—which is also supported by numerous DNA tests.

Thank you F. Walker, L. Walker, and K. Moore for generously sharing your Walker research with us!


Elizabeth Hannah (1807-1888) is daughter of Richard Hannah and Catherine Walker, and 5th great-aunt of MKS in the Watne branch.

Francis Walker III (1803-1871) is husband of Elizabeth Hannah, and 1st cousin of Catherine Walker.

Richard Hannah (1780-1874) and Catherine Walker (1784-1825) are 5th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Source: Ancestry.com user kfwalker (research) and jazzysdad (photograph).

MyTreeTags Beta FAQ

Ancestry.com is currently (Feb-Mar 2019) making available as a public beta feature MyTreeTags, which lets you “add labels to people in your tree to highlight personal details or to clarify your research status.”

  1. What is beta software?
  2. How do I enable (or disable) the beta feature?
  3. Are my tags visible to others?
  4. Can I assign more than one tag to an individual?
  5. What happens to my tags if I disable the beta feature?
  6. What happens to my tags when the beta ends?
  7. Are tags saved in the GEDCOM file for a tree?
  8. Where can I learn more about MyTreeTags?

Q1. What is beta software?

A. Here is a good description of beta software from TechTerms.com.


Q2. How do I enable (or disable) the beta feature?

A. You can enable and disable the feature on the ancestry.com website—NOT from within the iOS or Android apps.

  1. Log in to your ancestry.com account.
  2. Navigate to the Ancestry Lab page (top menu bar > Extras > Ancestry Lab) which is equivalent to going directly to www.ancestry.com/beta.
  3. Under the heading MyTreeTags, click either Enable or Disable.

With MyTreeTags enabled, when you navigate to the profile page for an individual in your tree without any tags, you will see the below add tags button in the header of their profile. Click the button to add one or more tags.

After you add one or more tags to an individual, you will instead see the tags and an edit tags button replace the above button. In this example below, the Direct Ancestor tag has been added to this individual.


Q3. Are my tags visible others?

A. According to the Ancestry support page and a seminar conducted by Ancestry, the rules for visibility and editing of tags are the same as for the rest of your tree. See the last FAQ (learn more) at the bottom of this page for a link to Ancestry’s detailed answer.

It seems likely Ancestry hopes its users will use the Research Tags in others’ public trees as one more factor in deciding what weight to give to the information there, or as an indicator to consider offering assistance (e.g. with brick walls) to the tree owner.

You can also imagine Ancestry using the Research Tags as one of many factors it considers in assigning what weight to give to information in our trees for other features, like beta feature ThruLines.

So we should not expect the MyTreeTags release to include an option to make the tags in our public trees private.


Q4. Can I assign more than one tag to an individual?

Yes, click away to your heart’s content. And you can create as many custom tags as you want.

Tags are not mutually exclusive and can be in conflict. For example, under the Research Tags, you can assign Actively Researching, Complete, Unverified, and Verified at the same time.

So you are responsible for only assigning the correct tags if the tags are to have any meaning.


Q5. What happens to my tags if I disable the beta feature?

A. If you disable MyTreeTags, the MyTreeTag edit buttons are NOT displayed and your tags are NOT displayed.

Your tags are currently (1 Mar 2019) saved when MyTreeTags is disabled. You can re-enable MyTreeTags, and the edit buttons and any tags you previously assigned are displayed.


Q6. What happens to my tags when the beta phase ends?

A. Well, the nature of any software beta phase is that the feature is under development and evaluation for possible future incorporation into the production software as a standard feature. The feature may change before production release, or may disappear. Certainly there is an expectation for a public beta that there is some level of maturity for the beta feature, and that we can expect it to continue to production with a relatively smooth transition. Our mileage may vary.

You probably should not go tag all 13,640 people in your tree during the beta phase.

Hopefully, Ancestry will clarify this as the beta phase progresses.


Q7. Are tags saved in the GEDCOM file for a tree?

As of 1 Mar 2019, tags are not saved into the GEDCOM file you can export from your tree.

This would certainly be another useful feature to add, particularly for standard tags like: Direct Ancestor, Never Married, No Children, etc.


Q8. Where can I learn more about MyTreeTags?

Here is the Ancestry support page for MyTreeTags.

Here is a video on Facebook of an Ancestry seminar presented at RootsTech Salt Lake City 2019.

Photo Friday—Elisabeth, Grace, and Rachel Martin

Tinted lithograph entitled “Elisabeth, Grace, and Rachel Martin”, Claude Régnier (Lithographer), Felix Octavius Carr Darley (Artitst), 1853. [1]

This dramatic print depicts sisters-in-law Grace and Rachel Martin disguised in their husbands’ clothing successfully intercepting at gunpoint a dispatch intended for British troops near their South Carolina home. The two women then brought the stolen information to the American forces. When the intercepted British troops later sought refuge in the Martin homestead, the women’s mother-in-law Elizabeth Martin successfully diverted the soldiers’ attention away from Grace and Rachel. Author Elizabeth Ellett related the exploits of the three women in the first volume of Women of the American Revolution (New York, 1848).

In Disguise: Cross Dressing and Gender Identity, Women Soldiers [2]

Read about their daring exploit in Elizabeth Ellett’s Women of the American Revolution [3].


Elizabeth Marshall (1727-1797) is 8th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

Grace Waring (1758-20) is 7th great-grandmother of MKS in the Knight branch.

Rachel Clay (1763-1840) is wife of 8th great-uncle of MKS in the Knight branch.

Reference:
[1] Elisabeth, Grace and Rachel Martin, Lithograph, Claude Régnier (Lithographer), Felix Octavius Carr Darley (Artist), 1853.
[2] In Disguise: Cross Dressing and Gender Identity, Women Soldiers, Library Company of Philadelphia.
[3] The Women of the American Revolution, Volume I, Chapter XXI, by Elizabeth F. Ellet, Baker and Scribner, New York, 1850.

Photo Friday—Amund and Bertha Olson

Amund Olson and Bertha Marie Tonnesdatter Olson.

Here is a great picture of Amund and Bertha, courtesy of Ancestry.com user David Pollock.


Amund Olson (1840-1915) is 3rd great-grandfather of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Bertha Marie Tonnesdatter (1837-1904) is 3rd great-grandmother of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Source: Ancestry.com user David Pollock (photograph).

Photo Friday—Grover O’Kelley Still Lives

Grover O’Kelley in France (middle), 1918.

Grover O’Kelley, son of Benjamin Franklin O’Kelley and Mary Anderson Hix O’Kelley, was born in 1890 in Planter, Madison County, Georgia. Both of his parents died in 1903, and he was raised by a half-uncle.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1917, trained at Port Royal, South Carolina, and Quantico, Virginia, and served in the Eightieth Company, Sixth Regiment, 2d Division, American Expeditionary Force in France during World War I.

In Jun 1918, for extraordinary heroism in action at the Battle of Belleau (Bois-de-Belleau), he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross [2], Distinguished Service Cross, and Silver Star. The Navy Cross and Distinguished Service Cross are the second highest military decorations that can be awarded to a member of the United States Marine Corps and United States Army respectively, and are awarded for extraordinary heroism. The Silver Star, awarded for gallantry in action, is the third highest military combat decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Armed Forces.

While leading his platoon of riflemen, bayonets fixed, against German machine gun emplacements that day, his company lost 24 killed, 86 wounded, 1 missing and 1 captured, a loss of 50% of its strength. [3]

His Distinguished Service Cross Citation reads:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Sergeant Grover Cleveland O’Kelley (MCSN: 88441), United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving with the Eightieth Company, Sixth Regiment (Marines), 2d Division, A.E.F., in action in the Bois-de-Belleau, France, on June 6 – 8, 1918. Sergeant O’Kelley displayed the greatest qualities of courage and leadership in assaults against strong enemy machine-gun positions, and was killed in the performance of this splendid duty. Action Date: June 6 – 8, 1918

Distinguished Service Cross Citation, 29 Jun 1918

His family was informed of his death, and the Department of War announced his death on 9 Jul 1918.

And yet he lived to tell about it.

In late Nov 1918, after the signing of the Armistice on 11 Nov, his half-uncle John Zachariah Segars received a prisoner-of-war postal card from Grover [4], shown below.

During the attack on Belleau Wood by the 80th Company on 8 June, Sgt O’Kelley was wounded in the head only yards from reaching a German machine gun, rendering him unconscious. When he revived, he still had the presence of mind to know the only thing he could do was play dead. Due to the murderous fire and high casualties, his company was forced to retreat, leaving the (supposed) dead Sgt O’Kelley in front of the gun, with the dead body of one of the Marines of his platoon laying across his back.

After dark, O’Kelley tried to remove his dead comrade to make his escape back to his lines, but his movement was observed by the nearby Germans and he was captured. His wound was treated by the Germans and he was held as a POW until the end of the war. When the ground where he fell was retaken, no trace of him was found, and he was presumed dead and buried by the Germans.

Remembrance Military Service Page for Sgt Grover Cleveland O’Kelley [1]

An article on the front page of the 28 Nov 1918 edition of The Cullman Tribune said: “Sgt. Grover O’Kelley Still Lives—He Was Taken A Prisoner.”

After World War I, Grover finished his education, became a lawyer, and later worked for the U.S. Postal Service. He married Ruth Augusta Davis, and they had one son, Grover O’Kelley Jr.


Sgt Grover Cleveland O’Kelley (1890-1969) is 1st cousin 4x removed of MKS in the Spratlin branch.

References:
[1] Remembrance Military Service Page for Sgt Grover Cleveland O’Kelley, created by Sgt Dave Stutesman, togetherweserved.com. Photos there are courtesy of Joanne O’Kelley Kline.
[2] U.S. Marine Corps Navy Cross Recipients, World War I, 1917-1918.
[3] To the Limit of Endurance: A Battalion of Marines in the Great War (C. A. Brannen Series), by Peter F. Owen, 2014.
[4] Prisoner-of-War postal card photos are courtesy of Ancestry.com user rkline0462.

Photo Friday—Soo Line #X-17 Snow Plow

With a polar vortex bearing down on the U.S. midwest, these photos from Lucille Watne’s photo album seem appropriate.

This Jull type snow plow, Soo Line #X-17 (see the railroad reporting mark on the side of the railcar in the second photo), was operated by the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railway Company (M.St.P.&S.S.M.), also known as the Soo Line for the phonetic spelling of Sault. [1]

The Soo Line was a grain and timber products carrier operating in Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Montana, and providing U.S. connections for the Canadian Pacific Railway. [2]

Most rotary snow plows are of the Leslie type, featuring a large circular plow blade rotating on a shaft parallel to the tracks. The Jull type however has a large spiral screw rotating diagonally across the front of the plow. Both types were invented by and designed by Orange Jull, a Canadian inventor. Between 1890-1892, 11 of the Jull type were built, but all were eventually scrapped. [3]

The Railroads of Montana and the Pacific Northwest website has more photos and information about this very same Soo Line #X-17. [3]

That website refers to many postcards of #X-17 in circulation taken near Dooley, Montana, during the Feb 1916 blizzard. Lucille’s photos however appear to be original, not postcards. Her photos are not labeled with place or date. Perhaps the grain elevator in the first photo can be identified. Is this in Hannah, North Dakota?


Reference:
[1] Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad, wikipedia.org.
[2] Soo Line Railroad Company: An Inventory of Its Company Records at the Minnesota Historical Society, Manuscripts Collection.
[3] Railways of Montana and the Pacific Northwest.

Source: KMS Family Genealogy Digital Archive, Hannah Elva Lucille Porter Watne collection (photograph).

Photo Friday—Ernest Joiner

Earnest Lee Joiner I and unknown child.

­Ernest was born in Georgia, perhaps Mitchell County, the son of Asa Bryant Joiner and Susan Ellen Davis Joiner, and was raised there.

In the 1900 US Census, he is listed as living with his parents in Branchville, Mitchell County, Georgia, and his occupation is listed as farm laborer.

In the 1920 US Census, he is listed as living with his family in Sylvester City, Worth County, Georgia, and his occupation is listed as a laborer in an oil mill. From his Sep 1918 World War I Draft Registration Card, we know that he was working for the Planters Oil Company in Sylvester, manufacturing cotton seed oil. It also tells us that his eyes are blue.

He married Sarah Jane Alderman some time before his draft registration.

Before 1931, his family removed to Miami, Dade County, Florida. It appears that his parents also removed there with them. In 1931, he is working for the Seminole Drug Company.

In the 1940 US Census, he is listed as living with his wife in Miami Springs, Dade, County, Florida, and his occupation is listed as merchant working on his own account.

He was living in Miami Springs when he died in 1964.


Ernest Lee Joiner I (1883-1964) is 1st cousin 4x removed of MKS in the Knight branch.

Source: KMS Family Genealogy Digital Archive, Jacqueline Anne Knight Spratlin collection (photograph).

Photo Friday—Four Sisters

The Olson Sisters—front row, left to right: Bertelle Olson Stai, Pearl Olson Nansen; back row, left to right: Alta Olson Anderson, Mildred Olson Wetherbee; Sep 1993.

Bertelle, Alta, Mildred, and Pearl are the daughters of Bartemus and Anna Olson. They were born and raised in Murray County and Norman County, North Dakota.

This photograph was taken in Sep 1993, the year of Alta’s 85th birthday.

They have a fifth sister, Ruth, who passed away in 1940, and two brothers, Allan and Merrill.


Bertelle Marguerite Olson (1901-1997) is 2nd great-aunt of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Pearl Josephine Olson (1903-2006) is 2nd great-aunt of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Mildred Evelyn Olson (1906-2001) is great-grandmother of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Alta Valentine Olson (1908-2007) is 2nd great-aunt of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Ruth Frances Olson (1909-1940) is 2nd great-aunt of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Source: KMS Family Genealogy Digital Archive, Joyce Elaine Wetherbee Johnson collection (photograph).