Photo Corner: Rev. John Henry Clark and Donald Clark Morgan, ca. 1915, in Northville, New York

Rev. John Henry Clark and Donald Clark Morgan, ca. 1915, in Northville, New York.
My name is David Williams Morgan.  I’m seventy three years old and have devoted most of my retired years to researching my family’s history.  But that’s another story!


This portrait photo is of my great grandfather, Reverend John Henry Clark, and my father, Donald Clark Morgan who was about ten years old at the time.  The photo was taken ca. 1915, in Northville, New York. 

John Henry Clark was a Methodist minister who graduated with a degree in Theology from Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, NJ, on May 21, 1874.  He remained in the ministry until he retired in 1922 after forty-seven years of service.  He married Florence Alvina Williams in the Village of Bondville, town of Winhall, Vermont on June 2, 1874.  Their second daughter, Mable Wilhelmina Clark, born October 15, 1880 in Seward Center, Schoharie Co. New York, was my grandmother.  She married James Franklin Morgan, my grandfather.  Donald Clark Morgan, born February 14, 1905, was their first child.


David W. Morgan

Weekly Planner

As Michael mentions in today’s article, when searching for census records, it is helpful to have the estimated ages for the ancestors you are researching. Create a grid for each family with estimated birth dates and ages for each family member. See a sample in the Library.  

Using Getting Ready for 1910, by Michael John Neill

It is coming and I want to be ready–the 1910 every name census index. While I’m waiting, I’m going to work on organizing what I do know about the people I have been unable to locate in 1910. This helps me to construct more effective searches and to save time. The key is to put together what you do know before you search in order to make your searches more efficient.

Of course, before any census index is searched, there are the following caveats:

  • Census information may be incorrect. Someone other than the person enumerated may have provided the information, or the informant may have been uncertain, uninterested, or deceitful.
  • The original could be difficult to read.

There are several items one needs in order to search a census. Some of these items can be entered as search terms and others are viewable on the census entry. Personally I hate to have to constantly go back to my database to look these items up while searching. Continue reading

Finding Inspiration, by Juliana Smith

PansiesI’m still not exactly sure how it happened, but it would appear that I am the incoming president of the PTA at my daughter’s school. It kind of snuck up on me, and as the end of the year draws closer, the panic is setting in.  I don’t know how to be president!

With the state PTA convention approaching, I signed on to go and last Friday I left for the weekend event. Prior to my arrival, I was filled with dread. I had way too much to do to be leaving for an entire weekend and since I didn’t know very many people that were going to be there, I was also a bit nervous.

It wasn’t as large as the national genealogy conferences I am used to, but it was similar enough that I felt a bit more at ease as I got into the conference mindset. I planned what seminars I thought would benefit me most and before long I found myself scribbling notes on what I was learning and jotting down ideas that were popping into my head. Continue reading

Tips from the Pros: Subscribe to Local Newspapers, by Paula Stuart Warren

Subscribe to the current newspaper in the city or town where your ancestral families lived. Many are online but not all of those are the complete newspaper for that day or week. The current newspaper may have a column reprinting news tidbits from fifty, seventy-five or a hundred years ago. To find current contact details on a newspaper, just do an online search using keywords such as Auburn newspaper or Somerset newspaper.

In smaller cities and towns, you may find articles on the local historical society, genealogical society, and stories on older homes and buildings. From these you may learn who the knowledgeable persons in that area are as far as local history. You might learn the name of the head of the Comfort Rest Cemetery committee.

Don’t forget to borrow older newspapers on microfilm via Interlibary Loan and spend some time reading these to get a feeling for the time when your family was in that locality. Inquire at your local public library about borrowing newspaper films from other places. Don’t forget that many older newspapers are now online, including those at Online collections continue to grow, so check back often.

Your Quick Tips

Search by Location
My husband’s grandfather had the same name as a few hundred others (Peter Johnson).  I knew where they lived, and in what year, but could not find him in the index.  I looked through the census for the township in Minnesota, where I knew them to be.  Sure enough there was the whole family (all the siblings) and Peter Gunson as the father.  Had I not known the names of the siblings I would not have recognized Gunson as Johnson.
Bee Johnson Continue reading

The Year Was 1917

WWI U.S. Garden Army poster
The year was 1917 and it began with the U.S. maintaining its neutrality and President Woodrow Wilson speaking out for a “peace without victory.” But the year would end with the U.S. embroiled in the conflict it had sought for nearly three years to avoid.

By the time the U.S. had entered the war the world food supply had been severely cut. Farms throughout countries that had formerly been leading agricultural producers had been abandoned as farmers left the fields to take up arms. Fields of wheat became fields of battle and crops were burned, trampled and destroyed. The burden of feeding stricken countries in Europe fell to the U.S.  A month before the U.S. officially entered the war, the National War Garden Commission was formed to promote the building of gardens and preservation of produce through canning or drying. War gardens were created across the country and according to the book The War Garden Victorious (Pack, Charles Lathrop, 1919), “Boston Common was credited with having one of the finest demonstration war gardens. . .” and “the city of Rochester, New York [had] more than 15,000 war gardens in 1918.” Continue reading

Photo Corner: Courtin family and Wm. and Sarah Porteus

Courtin Family, London, England, ca. 1909Contributed by Connie Cooke, Fullerton, California
Leopold and Alice Harris Courtin and their brood of 12 (a 13th died before the age of 3) in London, England before the family scattered, ca. 1909.  Connie’s grandfather Harold (far right, second row) came to the U.S. on the Majestic and settled in Oakland, California.


Click on the photographs to enlarge them.

 William and Sarah Porteus in Ireland, circa 1890s

Contributed by Gene Fabry
Gene’s grandmother’s parents, William and Sarah Porteus in Ireland, circa 1890s.