Saturday, January 30, 2010

Surname Saturday - Searching Kent County, England, UK

While trying to fill in some missing pieces of our Cassingham ancestry in Kent County, England, I came across:
There is so much information available here
                   - - The bonus: no suscription fee required.

Searching this site I found some new and interesting facts to add to our family history:
Melvilles 1858 Directory of Kent:

Listed under Gentry:
Casingimm, Mrs., Oak's place

Listed under Traders:
Casingham, Miss Hannah, Milliner

Under Churchyard Monumental Inscriptions - Tenterden:
Jane CASSINGHAM of this parish died 28th April, 1833, aged 77
Richard CASINGHM died 11th November, 1866, aged 72. Mary his wife, died 15th December, 1848, aged 53. Two children Samuel and David died in infancy. Left surviving three sons and four daughters. Also Sarah, 2nd daughter of above died 23rd October, 1875. Hannah Cassingham died 17th March, 1910, in 69th year.

Plus an unexpected bonus find:
Under Kent Will Transcripts - Pre 1858
I located:
William Castell of Margate, St John the Baptist, Thanet, mariner, will dated 24 April 1807
My son William Castell of Margate, cordwainer and William Adams of the same place, painter to be "Executors Admors and Assigns".
My dear wife Sarah Castell - to have income from the estate in her lifetime.
Son William Castell to receive a legacy partly for the bringing up of his "lawful issue".
From the estate fifty pounds is to used "to pay the creditors of my son Thomas Castell who will not have access to capital and part of the estate must be used to the bringing up of any "lawful issue" he may have in the future.
Witnessed by Robert Edward Hunter MS/Thomas Chapman atty Margate/ James Rossway clerk to Mr Chapman
Codicil dated 17 Aug 1815.

"Whereas since the date and execution of my will hereintofore written and bearing the date the fourth day of April 1807 my son Thomas Castell has been for a considerable time in his Majesty's service and absent from this kingdom and during this time the wife of the said Thomas Castell cohabited with another man and has been delivered of a child Now I do by this codicil to my will direct and declare that neither such child nor any other child which may be born to the Wife of the said Thomas Castell unless they shall hereafter habit together as Man and Wife and any Issue of their bodies shall be born who may become considered as lawful children shall take any ...(blank) nor any Interest in or benefit under my said will..."
Witnessed by John Pickering// James Clarke// Thomas Chapman".

Friday, January 29, 2010

Follow Friday - Colonial Maryland Land Patents

On this Follow Friday I want to share an excellent article written by Micheal Hait:
Colonial Maryland Land Patents and Headrights

Michael Hait is a professional genealogist, specializing in Maryland research, African-American genealogy, and Civil War records.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

On Ships They Came: SS Cleveland

SS Cleveland

Built in 1908, the SS Cleveland had twin-screw propellers and quadruple-expansion steam engines with a maximum speed of 16 knots. With a passenger capacity of 239 first-class, 224 second-class, 496 third-class, and 1,882 steerage, she mainly provided passage between Hamburg and New York.  Service was suspended during World War I, during which Cleveland was kept at Hamburg.

On 12 January 1912 in Honolulu, Hawaii, harbor pilot Milton P. Sanders suddenly dropped dead as the Cleveland was being moved. Control of the ship was not maintained and she collided with the Colorado causing moderate damage. No one was injured.

The News-Palladium  25 Jan 1912 viewed on

It was on the SS Cleveland of the Hamburg-American Line that Maria (Rauner) Stoss immigrated with her daughter, Theresa Stosz, departing from Hamburg on Jan 3, 1930, and arriving in NYC on 14 Jan 1930.

SS Cleveland was retired in 1931 and disassembled for scrap in 1933.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Waterloo Medal - Nearly Wordless Wednesday

The Waterloo Medal was the first military award issued those who served at the battles of Ligny, Quatre Bras and Waterloo 16th-18th June 1815.
Issued in 1816 –17 to every soldier present at one or more of these battles, irrespective of rank, it included nearly 37,000 Waterloo veterans.  The Waterloo Medal was the British Army’s first campaign medal and set a precedent for all such awards that followed.

Waterloo Metal Roll Entries can be viewed at Find My Past for a fee.
The rolls are also published in paperback:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Germantown, Upper Burial Ground

  Upper Burial Ground Cemetery Marker
where 58 American soldiers from the Battle of Germantown in the American Revolution are buried . 
Located in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Nice Find via ProQuest Historical Newspapers

This wonderful little ad published in the New York Times for a Thanksgiving Dinner at Franks Restaurant was found using the ProQuest Historical Newspaper search at our local public library.
This restaurant was owned by Frank Becker (b. 1879) & Marie (Kollain) Becker (b.1882)  who immigrated to the U.S. with their 2 daughters, Barbara & Helen, from Slavanisck, Brod, AustriaHungary, Aug 1912. 

The 1924-1925 New York City Directory  (also available on the public library database) listed Frank Becker's business as: Frank's Restaurant & Lunch Room.   I then searched the New York Times files in ProQuest and found this great little ad published 24 Nov 1932 for a Thanksgiving Dinner - Soup to Nuts for Only $1.25

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Surname Saturday - Casteel

Ancestors of James S. Casteel of Ohio> CA:

Creed Clayton Casteel  (IL>OH) m. Rose Welcheck >James Polk Casteel  (TN>IL) m. Arra Bacon 
> James Monroe Casteel (TN>IL) m. Susannah Underwood
> Abednego Casteel (TN) m. Agnes Hensley 
 > Abednego Casteel m. Sarah (MD>TN) 
>Edmund Casteel III m. Rebeccah 
> Edmund Casteel II  m. Johanna
> Edmund Du Chastel
of Philadelphia -  Captain & Privateer 
 m. Christian Bom  07 MAR 1693 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse

The Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse located in Annapolis, MD, is a National Historic Landmark - one of only ten lighthouses in the country to be bestowed this highest honor – and the only unaltered screwpile lighthouse in the United States remaining attached to its original foundation.

Photograph courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

An 1821 letter from William B. Barney, Naval Officer for the port of Baltimore, to Stephen Pleasonton of the U.S. Treasury, indicates the need for this lighthouse:

Many ship owners and seafaring men of respectability have frequently spoken to me on the subject of a light to be placed at the end of Thomas' Point bar, a few miles below Annapolis; which extends a considerable distance out into the Bay, cutting the direct track of vessels bound up or down; at the end of which from four feet, you instantly deepen to six and seven fathoms water. A light placed here, would be of as great utility as perhaps any one in the Chesapeake Bay.

By 1964 the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse was the last manned light in the Chesapeake Bay until it became fully automated in 1986.  The United States Coast Guard continues to maintain the navigational aids.
 - - -
Created for: A Festival of Postcards (7th Edition) - Light

Thursday, January 21, 2010

52 Weeks of Genealogy - Immigrant Home Town Record Search

Time is flying by...I think I've already lost a couple weeks somewhere!

Today I thought I would combine this week's GeneaBloggers theme :
Week 3 - Assess yourself! You’re great at researching everyone else’s history, but how much of your own have you recorded?
with Gena's Genealogy :  52 Weeks of Genealogy Sources
Week 1 theme:  Searching the Family History Library Catalog by Location

In my own family history research I had stalled on my immigrant g-grandparents, but recently I narrowed down possible towns of origin for them.
By searching Ellis Island passenger lists for the siblings of these g-grandparents I was able to find town names cited as 'last residence'.
Surname Kolbusz:  Szufnarowa, Galicia, Poland
Surname Kollain:  Slavonia, Brod, Austria

What I have failed to do so far is follow up on what records might be available for these towns.

Using the FHL location search:
 I found nothing for the town Szufnarowa which was disappointing, but there were several listing for Austria, Galicia, that I might want to delve into further.

I had better luck for my second location search finding:
Place: Croatia, Slavonski Brod
Topics: Croatia, Slavonski Brod - Church records
             Croatia, Slavonski Brod - Jewish records

Clicking on the Church records link I got the following:

Clicking on the first record listed I get a more detailed description of what it contains:

Title:   Kirchenbuch, 1748-1918
Authors:   Österreich. Armee. Garnison Brood (Slavonien)
Baptisms, marriages and deaths of military personnel in Brood, Slavonien, Austria; also called Bród, Pozsega, Hungary; now Slavonski Brod, Croatia. Includes military hospital. For Indexes to the names of regimental captains and garrison place names see films no. 1442862-1442866. Text in German with some Croatian.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - Immigrant Identification Card

Issued in 1929 in Bucharest, Romania, this is our Great-Grandmother Maria Stoss's Immigrant Identification Card. 

 Her signature appears in two places - once on the card and again on the photo which is stapled to the card.
After 1928, all immigrants admitted with a visa were issued an Immigrant Identification Card with a photograph of the immigrant. The scan of the reverse side more closely captured the true color of the card.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives - Steamship Tickets

The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives has a number of original steamship tickets for Transatlantic and other destinations, dating from the 1880s through the 1950s for immigrant passages to America. All of the contracts have been transcribed and have an English translation.

Even though it is highly unlikely they have your family's steamship ticket, try selecting a contract from the same steamship line or ocean liner used by your ancestors for illustrating your family history.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

After 13 years of planning and fund raising, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall is now under construction.

Clearing of the site located on the Tidal Basin began on Dec 28th. When completed more than 200 of Washington's famous cherry trees will be planted at the memorial. Dedication is scheduled for Fall, 2011.

The private foundation working to build the memorial has collected $108 million of the $120 million projected cost. A donation of $5 or more, gives you a "Build the Dream" wristband and lapel pin. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help Preserve Valuable Civil War Records

Volunteering at the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration is recruiting and training volunteers to help with a behind-the-scenes Civil War widows pension file project.  This project involves preparing historically valuable records of the federal government for digitization.

• generally work seated at tables or computer stations
• work in groups
• must pay attention to detail
• have an interest in lifelong learning
• make a commitment of a minimum of two years
• contribute at least 100 hours of service each year

Shifts are available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. 
For more information or to receive an application, write to or call 202-357-5272

The National Archives Building is located at 700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20408
Metro stop: Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Village Church of Segenthau

Established in 1771, this Roman Catholic Church in the Banat village of Segenthau, located in Romania, 15km S of Arad, is the place where the majority of my maternal grandmother’s ancestors worshipped.

Some of the Family Surnames from Segenthau that we are related to are:  Stoss, Rauner, Ballner, Menrath, Wild, Leilech, Dissler, Balthasar, Czimerin, Mayer, Bernath, Kraft, Brunner, Brischler, Welsch, Kottig, Matz , Krebs, Morgenthaler, Tenzler , Lambert

For genealogical records:
· Village name in FHL records: Segenthau, Sagu, Nemetsag
· Church records available at FHL: Christenings 1772-1812, Marriages 1772-1849, Deaths 1771-1848
· FHL Microfilm Nr. 0858425, 1271607
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Friday, January 1, 2010