Another major focus of my winter research was working my back a little farther on Shea-Macumber lines in New York. I comber through land records and wills and probate for St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison and Cortland Counties trying to track the Macumbers in particular in the hopes of more substantially identifying Teresa and Amy (Macumber) Shea’s mother. I believe she was Pulchara Jaquay but I can’t as yet tie her to any of the Jaquay families in the area. She is listed in one lone document that I’ve found so far—selling land in Lewis County with her husband in 1836.

Deed of sale from Rufus & Pulchara McOmber to Michael Lehr

In the process I have figured out that Rufus was a junior, the son of a Rufus Macumber of Otsego, Madison, and Cortland counties. He probably had a brother named Moses who married Sarah “Sally” Crumb who was, in turn, probably their stepsister by Rufus Sr.’s second wife, Polly Whaley Crumb McUmber. Polly and Rufus also had a t least 4 children, two of which—Nathan and Waity Ann—finished out their lives an hour and a half away from me in Van Buren County, Michigan.

I’m exhausting my online resources and really need to go back to planning a New York State research trip.

Happy hunting!

Jessica

PackerAlbum27One of my winter projects was to write about my family’s experiences during the height of the Tuberculosis epidemic in the late 19th and early 20th century.  That means I have a nice list of resources I’d suggest for people researching in this era. My primary focus has obviously been Michigan but if you’re researching a TB patient or anyone involved in the epidemic—activists, medical staff, etc.—consider that there could have been a comparable organization in the area you’re researching.

Track down the Tubercular hospitals, such as the Michigan State Sanatorium (pictured above), for which you can find:

  • Patient records held by the Archives of Michigan and available with death certificate of patient.
  • Historical collections regarding the hospital held by Howell Carnegie Library
  • Reports of the Board of Trustees held by the Library of Michigan, some available through Google Books
  • Michigan Official Directory and Legislative Manual. Includes a short history of the Sanatorium with a listing of the Board of trustees.
  • Tuberculosis Hospital and Sanatorium Construction by Thomas Spees Carrington, National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, New York, 1911.

Find out how the locale you’re researching responded to the epidemic. For Michigan that includes State reports and Legislation:

  • Report of the Tuberculosis Survey of the State Board of Health compiled under the supervision of John L. Burkart, by the authority of the State Board of Health, Lansing, Michigan, 1917.
  • Public Health (quarterly periodical) by the Michigan State Board of Health, Lansing, Michigan. 1907-1951.
  • Michigan Tuberculosis Association Records, held by Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections.
  • Ralph H. Childs/Grand Rapids Anti-Tuberculosis Society Collection held by Grand Rapids Public Library.

Broader discussion of the treatment of Tuberculosis:

  • The Open Air Treatment of Pulmonary Tuberculosis by F. W. Burton-Fanning, Cassell and Company LTD, 1909.
  • Clinical Tuberculosis by Francis Marion Pottenger, Second Edition, 2 Vol., C.V. Mosby Company, St Louis, 1922.

It’s fascinating and often heartbreaking research.

Happy hunting,

Jess

So… it’s been forever. On the plus side, I’ve definitely been working on my genealogy. But outside of answering your very encouraging and informative comments–thank you all for those!!—I’ve mostly been trying to figure out what to write next. Part of my issue is that I’m researching in probably way too many directions at once… but I also have to get over the need for a perfect post. I forget sometimes that I wanted to track the journey here as much as the findings. So, I have a goal to get past this bit of writer’s block and continue my research journey here.

Wish me luck & happy hunting!

Jess

Is this the blog post I’ve been trying to put out for weeks? Of course not!

But these are appearing in my Facebook feed and looked fun–Thank you Kris R., Cousin Marcia and Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak. They also played into a thought I had the other day listening to an article about the the Lansing State Journal’sMichigan Best Small Town” competition currently in the Final Four round.  Though I don’t quite know how I got around to it, it occurred to me that I am part of a 7th generation of children born and (mostly) raised in Michigan. Smith Lapham and his Gilbert in-laws were here in the Washtenaw County area in the late 1820s… which, mind you, I found fairly boring when I first started out, but it made for a great learning experience when I was starting in my research.

So, here’s my 5-Generation Birth Location Chart. Looks pretty good up to this point. It starts going nuts in the next generation with question marks, more immigrants, and, of course, more Michiganders.

Happy hunting,

Jess

5GenLocChart

CADLFamilyHistoryOpenHouseOkay… a lot of my time has been taken up by planning (all sorts of things) but this event is near and dear to my heart and I want to thank everyone who’s signed up to help ahead of time—especially my co-workers and fellow presenters Anne, Jeff, and Cassie!

My library will be hosting a Family History Open House on March 12th in celebration of National Genealogy Day. CADL’s blog has a post with even more details but suffice to say it’s free and open to the public, there’s a lot going on, and I believe a good time will be had by all!

Happy hunting and if you’re in the area come hang out with us!

Jess

20151227_165455The holidays are a (mostly lovely) distraction from my research, writing, etc. but they also lead to so many questions. Are you still doing genealogy? How far back have you gone? Are we really Irish?

Yes, I’m still doing genealogy.  Yes, I’m still working on your part of the family. If I could work on all of them at once I probably would, but I do tend to jump around in the branches. How far back depends on the line. And, yes, the Packers and Sheas are definitely part Irish but with a healthy dose of English and Scottish… you know those Packers came straight from Kent, people—you can’t be all Irish.

But as the dust settles, I find myself reviewing the years’ work and, yes, trying to formulate goals for the new year.  Here on the blog I was relatively quiet but it was a good research year for me. My only real research trip ended up being a big one—my first trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah where I happily immersed myself in British records to deepen my understanding of my Alison family and slave and Reconstruction era Arkansas in hopes of breaking down a few more brick walls surrounding my Bradley County families.  But the release of large digital collections at places like SeekingMichigan.org and Ancestry.com  gave me more than enough to do from home.

Throughout the year I connected with fellow researchers and distant family. I took a number of great classes, and taught a few too. I donated research time for a local Family Center’s annual auction and had a blast working with the winner. I continued to work as a volunteer indexer for one of my societies and “consulting librarian” for another. And I took a little time for crafting to share some of my findings with the family. All and all 2015 was a good year.

So, what will this year bring? Hopefully more of the same with a little more travel. New York and Arkansas are on my radar, though the latter might have to coincide with the next reunions in 2017. Salt Lake is a definite possibility.  We’ll have to see. Regardless, I’m starting the year right with a lot of ideas, leads, and friends and family.

Happy New Year and happy hunting!

Jess

JuneRuss1975There’s nothing quite so moving as the slow salute of an honor guard to a fallen comrade or that final verse of Taps… November has been a month of ups and downs culminating in my Uncle Russ‘s funeral this morning. He was a gifted mechanic, veteran, father, uncle, friend and, from my perspective, utterly devoted to my Aunt June. So, perhaps it’s no surprise…

We’ll miss them both.

 

Happy hunting,

Jess