Thursday, August 18, 2011

Unmarked! Mystery Photos - Fern Runyan Collection

These are photos from the collection of my maternal grandmother, Mary Fern (Newby) Runyan. All are postcards except for the first two. All are completely unmarked, which is a rarity considering my grandmother had hundreds of photos that were all identified on the backs.

Five ladies. Very thin paper photo, not regular card stock. 3 1/2" x 5"
None of these ladies look familiar or similar to persons in other marked photos.
Portrait of man on card stock 3" x 4"
No clue to identity.
Portrait of two men. Postcard 3 1/2" x 4 1/2".
Looks like the man on the right is black or mixed race.
Both may be of mixed race. Completely baffled on this one too.
Little girl in front of house. Postcard 3 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Girl and house both unfamiliar.
Young Woman in a neighborhood setting.  Postcard 3 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Wedding dress? Person and place are presently unknown.
Portrait of a young girl. Postcard 3 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Possibly a Newby? Needs to be compared to marked photos.
Full length portrait of two men. Postcard 3 1/2" x 5 1/2"
Totally unfamiliar faces.
As always, all comments are welcomed! Any comments that might help to date these photographs will be appreciated. I'm hoping to get a few familiy members to check these to see if they can help with identification.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You Have The Wrong Beulah Smith!

Beulah Smith, wife of Samuel Darling vs Beulah Smith, wife of William Darman - Salem County, New Jersey

Several years ago I received an e-mail from a distant Darling cousin. I found out later that it's contents were copied and pasted from yet another Darling cousin after I did some searches and found the identical note on a message board. This is the exact message I received (copied and pasted verbatim; italics mine):

"I have info on Beulah Smith Darling her grand mother Grace Tyler named Beulah in her will and named her mother .Grace left to her daughter Ann Smith she was m to Mark Smith in Salem she listed her two grandaughters to granddau Rebecca Tyler Smith,Bedding,Bureau, and silverware,to granddau Beulah Smith bedding, silver tablespoons marked P.E.A. and a tenplate stove and rag carpet now at Mark Smiths she also stated she wills her rights to the farm which she bot of Mark Smith,being his life estate in same,in trust to pay the profits arising from same to dau Ann Smith which income is not to be under control of her husband Mark Smith oct 16,1824"

A second entry to the message boards by the same person adds just a little more information:

"This the info on the will 1822,Jan 17 Tyler Grace,Salem.To my executor,my right of the farm which I bot of Mark Smith.being ,his life estate in same, in trust to pay the profits arising from same to dau.Ann Smith which income is not to be under control of her husband Mark Smith.To granddau. Beaulah Smith,bedding,silver tablespoons marked P.E.A,and a tenplate stove and rag carpet now at Mark Smith's Exec.John G Mason.Wit James Newell,Ebenezer Smith and Maskell Mulford. Proved Oct 16,1824"

Then, there was the "other Will" (again, message posted by the same person):

"This is another will Feb 27,1807 David Smith to his wife Mary , house and lot in Salem where I now live and a lot on a new st fronting John Tyler's. to hannah Carpenter Ellet and Maria Ellet 100 pounds each to nephew Steven Smith 300 pounds Elizabeth Fogg 25 pounds to Neices Beulah and Attila Smith house and lot on the creek,In Salem to Elisha Smith 15 acres of woodland. to nephew David Smith remaindre og me estate Exec Mary Smith Bro William Smith and nephew David Smith wit Jesse Bond,John Redman,and John Ellet proved mar 30, 1807"

I originally cast these carelessly typed notes aside because too many things were just "not right". My ancestor, Beulah Smith, was born in 1823 and married Samuel Darling around 1844. The first five of their ten children were born in or near Salem County, New Jersey. The first Will above was written a year before my ancestor was born and the second Will was proven over a decade before she was born. Normally, I wouldn't have bothered with doing any follow-up research on something so unlikely, but it bothered me that these Internet messages were going to mislead others. Add to that my curiosity concerning the names Beulah and Attila! Beulah and Samuel's oldest daughter had many names in the various records found for her throughout her life: Artilla, Atilla, Artmezy, Misha, etc. I am convinced she was named after Artemisia Newell*, a neighbor of Samuel and Beulah's in 1850 and that Artmezy and Misha are derivatives of that name. Artilla or Atilla may have been a second, or middle name. Those are not the most common names and it made me curious; were these recycled family names and could all these Smith families of Salem county be connected? A bit of research turned up strong evidence that Grace Tyler was not the grandmother of my ancestor.

The Will cited does indeed mention a Beulah Smith, daughter of Mark and Ann Tyler Smith. Ann Tyler was the daughter of Samuel and Grace Ambler Acton Tyler. Grace's maiden name was Ambler. She was a widow at the time of her marriage to Samuel Tyler and her previous married name was Acton. However, as research would indicate, Grace's granddaughter Beulah Smith (b. 1818) married WILLIAM DORMAN (or DARMAN) and they and their children can be found in Gloucester Co., NJ in the 1850 census. Their two youngest boys are Mark and Samuel, named for Beulah's father and grandfather.  Beulah DARLING (b. 1823) is likewise found in the 1850 census in Salem Co., NJ with her husband Samuel and three sons. 

The genealogy of the family mentioned in the Will of Grace Tyler can be found in the book "The History and Genealogy of Fenwick's Colony, NJ" on pages 279 and 280. Fenwick's Colony (a Quaker colony) was located in Salem county. Grace Ambler Acton Tyler's parent's were Peter and Elizabeth Ambler and it was they who were the likely original owners of the silver tablespoons marked "P.E.A.". It clearly says in this history that Grace's granddaughter Beulah married William Dorman (Beulah R. and William Darman in the census and in the marriage record dated 9 Feb 1841 in Salem Co., NJ).

Excerpt from "The History and Genealogy of Fenwick's Colony" by Thomas Shourds, pg. 280 "Tyler Family"

The other cited Will of David Smith appears to tie into this same family. It is highly possible that these Smith families, including that of my ancestor, are all related. More research is in order.

*Samuel and Beulah named their first born child William "Newell" Darling and the name Newell is passed down once again to William's grandson Lawrence Newell Huckleberry. It is also interesting to note that a James Newell is a witness in Grace Tyler's Will.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ancestor Approved!

Ancestor Approved!

I am humbled that this secondary blog of mine has recently become a recipient of the Ancestor Approved award which was initiated by Leslie Ann Ballou of  Ancestors Live Here   in order to show appreciation for those who write the blogs we read and enjoy. Thank you Liz of My Tapley Tree... and it's Branches  for bestowing this award!

The rules of this award specify to list ten things I've learned about my ancestors that have surprised, humbled, or enlightened me.  As the recipient I am to pass the award along to ten other genealogy bloggers that I feel are also deserving of it! Since I received this award once for my blog Old Stones Undeciphered I will reuse the body of that blog and name ten new bloggers to pass this award on to. (Any recipients who don't want to use the black and white version can go over to Old Stones or any other blog with the reward and use the color version.)


*When I got so busy with less exciting things in my life,  I took a break from serious research for almost 2 years. When I forced those encumbrances aside and came back  to what I love to do most I was surprised stunned to find the Internet had exploded with a gazillion new databases and I was overwhelmed with all the new sources of information  and new clues for me to follow!

*A woman I'd never met, shipped me a package of genealogy on her great grandfather who I strongly suspected was connected to my lineage in some way. I nearly peed my pants when I opened the package and a photo of him slid out! The photo was identical to one in my family's collection! It was of a Civil War soldier, unmarked and unknown. We kept it because we knew he was family but didn't know who he was. This woman's great grandfather was my great, great grandmother's brother!

*I'm surprised that blogging has opened up so many new avenues...very surprised! I thought I was just creating a place for family to come someday (if they EVER get curious about their ancestors...sigh!) and read stories about their kin...see photos and documents. I just wanted to leave something that would make their ancestors REAL.....real people, with real lives....and something more interesting than a hard to understand, boring, dry genealogy report!

*I have been surprised many times when someone has contacted me from a query I put on the Internet 10 years ago...or more!

*I was surprised to find that now when I read all those BEGATS in the Bible, they are actually interesting! I used to skip over that part!


*Humbled when my sister-in-law Rose entrusted all the family photos and documents from her side of the family to my safe keeping.

*Humbled when my great half-aunt Myrtle, at my timid request, shipped me the huge stack of her mother's letters (my great grandmother!), that were written during the depression years, for me to photo copy.

*Humbled at the generosity of genealogists everywhere who love to help and give their time. Humbled to have received this award from my peers!

*Especially humbled when once I had just a few minutes to search an older section of cemetery for my 4th great grandfather and I knew I'd never find his grave in the short time I had. So many rows of stones!  I got to the middle of the third row and I suddenly stopped and I said a small prayer...."Lord, you know who I'm looking for and you know how much time I have, please guide me!". I opened my eyes and I looked over my shoulder....about two dozen stones back and about four or maybe five rows over, my eyes fixed on a stone. I couldn't possibly read it from that far but I pivoted and walked all the way to that stone without taking my eyes off of it, and there  was my ancestor and his wife next to him!! THAT is humbling! THAT is a miracle!


*Every day that I read the blogs of others I am enlightened about something. I am inspired as well. I read of a database I didn't know of, a source for clues I'd overlooked, always something!

Passing it on...

Sharn's Genealogy Hints  Sharn
Glimpsing The Past  Angie
Into The Light  Renate
Mariah's Zephyr  Vicky
Marksology  Kenneth
Nebraska Roots and Ramblings  Ruby
Roots and Stones  Jenn
Adventures in Genealogy  Deb
Genealogy Frame of Mind  Karen
TJLGenes: Preserving Our Family History  Travis