25 November 2008

Another Clipping--this one with a date

This obituary was split over different parts of the newspaper as well. Fortunately this time the item of interest was located near the date of the paper, so that information was preserved.
This is actually something I have never taken the time to translate and I actually should. It is a letter written from F. J. Goldenstein (of Golden, Illinois) to the Ostfriesische Nachrichten in 1913. The newspaper was dated 20 March 1913 and in it Goldenstein writes of the death of his father-in-law Bernard Dirks, who died in Coatsburg, Adams County, Illinois, on 2 March 1913.
Goldenstein was to die himself in Golden, Adams County, Illinois, on 29 March 1913, just over a week after this letter was published. This had to be difficult on his wife Anna Goldenstein who lost her father and husband in the same month.
There are other clues in the letter as well. Goldenstein mentions Fritz Gerdes and Heinrich Dirks coming to the funeral of Bernard Dirks.
Foche and Anna Goldenstein are my great-great-grandparents.

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02 April 2008

Are You Looking in Surrounding Counties?

I stumbled upon it to be honest.

The Hannibal (Missouri) Public Library has digital images of many county and city directories on their website. While I have no family in that area, I made an interesting discovery. The 1892-1893 directory, actually Stone's Tri-County Directory for 1892-93, is one of the items included on their site. It includes Adams County, Illinois, right across the river and where I do have ancestors. The directories are searchable as well--a nice feature.
It always pays to check out surrounding counties for information that may be relevant to your search, even if your ancestors never lived in those counties and even if those counties cross rivers or state lines.

[the first screen shot shows part of the directory for Golden, Illinois, in Adams County].

Keep in mind that some names may be spelled incorrectly in the directory, which makes searching even more difficult. The partial image here (also from Golden) shows several names, including Ulfert Idens, which should actually be Ulfert Ideus.

The towns are organized alphabetically; I did not notice a table of contents. A little more searching located the entries for Coatsburgh, where I located my 3rd great-grandfather Bernard Dirks.

The Dirks entry got me to wondering about the numbers after the names. I knew they were not section numbers--the numbers only were 1, 2, and 3.

A little more searching led me to the list of abbreviations, something that one needs to look for in any directory of any kind.

The list of abbreviations told me that the 1 after my ancestor's name indicated he owned his farm. The list of abbreviations is included at the end of this post. This directory is really neat and those with Hannibal ancestors will find many more on this site. I was happy to find just one!

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14 November 2007

Declarations of Intent pre-1906

When I was in Salt Lake last May, one of my goals was to search for some declarations of intent and other naturalization documents on a few of my ancestors.

Like other documents, declarations of intent to become a citizen can vary greatly from one location to another and from one time period to another. Those familiar with naturalization research and history realize that records before 1906 are less detailed and less uniform than records after the 1906 reform.

There are two declarations of intent included in this post. The first one comes from Adams County, Illinois in 1856. Bernard Dirks is simply stating his intent to naturalize. It is not known (yet) when he immigrated, but it was likely close to the time this declaration was filed in April of 1856.

The second declaration of intent (partially shown in this post) comes from 1853 in Hancock County, Illinois, just north of Adams County. This form is significantly more detailed than the 1856 form for Bernard Dirks. In this declaration, George Trautvetter indicates his date and place of birth in Germany and his date and place of landing in the United States. His declaration was filed on 4 January 1855, a year and a half (approximately) after his immigration in July of 1853. Why the delay is not known. George did settle in Hancock County, Illinois, pretty much immediately after his arrival in the United States as he is listed as a resident of Hancock County, Illinois, when he purchased property in the fall of 1853.

Unfortunately, declarations of intent are not always preserved at the county level and as we have seen here there can be inconsistencies in how much information they contain. However, they should still be included as a part of any research plan for immigrant ancestors. And don't forget that before 1906, any court of record could naturalize.

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10 November 2007

Is Grandma living with one of the kids in the census?

The 1920 censustaker found my 87 year old ancestor, Heipka Dirks living with her daughter in law, Anna Dirks near Coatsburg, Adams County, Illinois.
If you cannot find your "older" ancestor in the census, look at the entry for each of their children (or in this case daughter-in-law)---they might have moved in with family as they got older. Heipka lived to be 91 and did not die until 1924.
The source citation for this image is:
Year: 1920;Census Place: Honey Creek, Adams, Illinois; Roll: T625_296; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 12; Image: 213.

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07 November 2007

Adams County 1901--the Dirks farm has grown

Moving forward to 1901, I found Bernard Dirks (as B. Dirks) owning 138 acres in Honey Creek, Adams County, Illinois, as shown here in section 35 of that township. His son, Bernard Dirks, Jr., owned 60 acres in section 36.

And of course, I made a copy of the title page so I know from where I obtained the information.


Adams County Illinois 1872 Map

This map is for sections 35 and 36 in Honey Creek Township, Adams County, Illinois, in 1872. The 40 acre plot in the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter of section 35 is supposed to be B. Dirks, actually Bernard Dirks.

Make certain when using these maps at Ancestry.com that you get the source as well. Simply saying "1872 Adams County Plat Book" is not an accurate title, nor is it a complete bibliographic entry. Take the time to look on the site for the title page, usually obtained by searching for the county and the year the book was published. It was too hard to locate the title page for this one. This is one drawback to how the maps are on the site--one has to be a little more vigilant to get adequate documentation.

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