Tips from the Pros: Read the Entire Manifest, by Michael John Neill

Genealogists are encouraged to always look a few names before and after their ancestor’s name on a manifest to determine if other family members immigrated on the same ship as the located relative. Sometimes names may not be as close as you think.
Anna G. Fecht is listed as entry number 100 on the “Main,” which landed on 8 March 1879. Ninety names away from hers is the name of Harm Alberts Fecht, her nephew. If I had looked at only nearby names, I would have missed this reference. Of course, I could have located the entry for Harm by searching in Ancestry’s index, but genealogists sometimes forget to look for all related surnames, and occasionally names are difficult to read and get mis-transcribed. Even if you do not find names of actual relatives you may notice last names of neighbors of your ancestor. These are names that one does not usually think to search for.
Even families can get split on a manifest. I have seen entries where the grandma was travelling with a married child and that child’s children. For some reason the parents and one child were listed quite a few names away from Grandma and their other children. It usually takes only a few minutes to scan the other names on a manifest and the “extra” name(s) you find may make it worth your while.

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Your Quick Tips, 18 August 2008

Sharing Cards Received
My mother had saved cards for years and when she moved in with my sister, she wanted to know if I wanted the cards. I said yes. So I also sorted them out by families and friends and have them for those who want them in the future.

While going through cards I found several from a good friend of hers with notes written in them. She always wrote what was happening in her family to keep my mom up to date. It just so happened that the son was in my class at school. So I sent the cards to him. This told him what his mother was thinking of him and his children each Christmas and was an addition to his family history written in his mother’s hand.

Elaine Continue reading

The Year Was 1842

The year was 1842 and the issue of child labor was coming under scrutiny. In Britain, one-third of coal mine workers were under the age of eighteen, as were one-fourth of metal mines workers. Following a mining disaster in 1838, there was an investigation of mining conditions. 

In 1842, Lord Ashley delivered a report citing the deplorable conditions, and, invoking Victorian morals, he revealed that girls were working alongside boys and men, and that the warm conditions of the mine led to improper clothing. The report led to swift enactment of the Coal Mines Act of 1842, which forbid women and boys below ten years of age from working underground. For more on mining conditions, see “The Peel Web” website. 

In the U.S., child labor was also a growing problem. Children often went to work in the dark and returned in the dark, only seeing the light of day on Sunday. In 1842, Massachusetts passed legislation limiting the children’s work day to ten hours. Unfortunately these laws weren’t always enforced.

There were other labor concerns in Britain as well. Chartists had gathered around 3.3 million signatures on a petition in support of the People’s Charter of 1838 and added to it other complaints, including factory conditions. The petition was rejected by an overwhelming margin, infuriating supporters. In August 1842 protesters marched into mills and effectively shut them down by emptying mill dams and removing boiler plugs. The movement, known as the “Plug Riots,” led to violence in some areas, but eventually the Chartist movement would die down again, as its supporters waited for another opportunity to press their case.

In Hamburg, a fire burned much of the city, leaving fifty-one dead and more than 20,000 people homeless. After the devastation, the city rebuilt itself, this time installing water pipes under the streets and making other improvements.  

In North American, the Webster-Ashburton Treaty finally decided the Maine-Canada border, although the Oregon Territory border with Canada was still being disputed. 

Dr. Crawford Long made his mark in medical history in 1842 when he became the first to use ether to anesthetize a patient for surgery. At that time surgeons typically used alcohol or hypnotism to relax patients during medical procedures. Dr. Long had seen the effects of laughing gas and ether at parties or “frolics” and noticed that although people exposed to the substances ran into things, they didn’t seem to feel the pain. Other doctors began experimenting with the procedure and Dr. Long made his findings public in 1849.

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Photo Corner, 18 August 2008

 taken about 1910 in Chicago, IllinoisContributed by Carol A. Brown
This is a picture of my father Harry Meseth (left) and his brother Herb Meseth taken about 1910 in Chicago, Illinois. My father was born 8 October 1908, and he appears to be around two.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Ann M. Parker (b. 1893 on the far right), with her two sisters and a brother, Harriet Mae Parker (b. 1894), Lillian Belle Parker (b. 1898), and Edward Walter Parker (b. 1899)Contributed by James W. Salo
This is my grandmother, Ann M. Parker (b. 1893 on the far right), with her two sisters and a brother, Harriet Mae Parker (b. 1894), Lillian Belle Parker (b. 1898), and Edward Walter Parker (b. 1899–the one in pants!).

Book Club: Winning of America Series

Here’s a book review submitted by one of our readers:

I highly recommend reading the Winning of America series, by Allan W. Eckert.  Do not be put off by the size of these books.  (Each one is approximately 700-800 pages)  These books are fact, not fiction, but written in narrative form, which makes for fast, interesting reading.  From the Intro of each book:  “Every incident described actually occurred; every date is historically accurate; every character regardless of how major or how minor, actually lived the role in which he is portrayed.” 
The author’s research for each book is impressive, evident by the wealth of documentation (footnotes, explanatory notes, and bibliographies) included.  If your ancestors were pioneers or among those who settled in the U.S. as each area opened for settlement, you may very well find the names and activities of these ancestors in one of the books.  For instance, in
The Frontiersmen I discovered the date my fourth great-grandfather emigrated from Pennsylvania to Kenton’s station in Kentucky.  I further learned that he was a Captain in Kenton’s Kentucky militia and likely participated in many of the incidents documented in this book.  Also, until I read Wilderness Empire, I didn’t know that one of his sons-in-law was a very famous frontier spy and the date and circumstance of his death are provided.  The bibliography is a real treasure. 
The series includes the following books in the order they were written, but it is not necessary to read them in this order: 
The Frontiersmen, Wilderness Empire, The Conquerors, The Wilderness War, Gateway to Empire, and Twilight of Empire.  In addition, his book that is not in this series, That Dark and Bloody River, is a must for anyone with ancestors who settled in the Ohio River Valley.  One caution–these books are not for the squeamish.  Atrocities committed by both Europeans and Indians against each other are vividly described. 
Nancy Masterson

Photo Corner, Oscar and Anne Martha (Svendsen) Setter Family

Oscar and Anne Martha Setter family minus AnitaI’ve been going through the many photo submissions I have trying to sort out which ones will fit in the newsletter and which I will need to post here on the blog. If my count is correct, it appears that this family had twenty children. That is one large family! Thanks for sharing Deb! 

Attached is a photo of my great-grandparents, Oscar and Anne Martha (Svendsen) Setter and most of their family.  He emigrated from Norway to Polk County, Wisconsin;  she is a first-generation Norwegian-American.  This photo, taken about 1918, has all of their children except the youngest, Anita, who was born in 1919.  Anne Martha was the mother of all of the children.  Most people cannot believe that she gave birth to so many.

Deb Dargay
(Grandaughter of Oscar and Anne Martha’s seventh child, Laura Magdalene Setter New Hope, Minnesota)

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Weekly Planner: Review Collateral Relatives

Make some time to look at the known siblings and cousins of your direct ancestors. When your research takes you back to times and places where few or no records were created or have survived, you may find clues in the records of other family members. Track their movements through directories and census records and follow up with probates and other
records, some of which may include references to your direct ancestors.