October 22, 2014

WW1 Photo Album Doris Simpson p. 31

Continuing on with my WW1 Photo Album archive here is page 31 in my mother's cousin Doris Simpson's album.

WW1 Photo Album Doris Simpson p. 31

WW1 Photo Album Doris Simpson p. 31

I don't know who anyone is in these photos except for the photo of the two ladies in bathing suits. Doris herself is the gal on the left.  I love the old car! 


October 21, 2014

Preserving a WW1 Soldier's Room for 96 years After He Died

WW1 Soldier Hubert Rochereau died 96 years ago in Belgium. His parents left his bedroom untouched and stipulated when they sold the house in 1935 that nothing in the room be disturbed for 500 years.
Preserving a WW1 Soldier's Room for 96 years After He Died
Cropped Photo from The Guardian. Original Photograph: Bruno Mascle
A lace bedspread is still on the bed, adorned with photographs and Rochereau’s feathered helmet. His moth-eaten military jacket hangs limply on a hanger. His chair, tucked under his desk, faces the window in the room where he was born on 10 October 1896.

He died in an English field ambulance on 26 April 1918, a day after being wounded during fighting for control of the village of Loker, in Belgium.
Continue reading and see the photos at French soldier’s room unchanged 96 years after his death in first world war in The Guardian

October 20, 2014

Jan Corneliszen Damen in the New World, Part 1

Several years ago I wrote an article for publication in New Netherland Connections. it was about my ancestor and 9th great-grandfather Jan Damen who left Bunnik Netherland for the New World of New Netherland (present day New York state) in the mid 17th century. Jan settled in Long Island New York and married Sophia (Fytie) Martens.

Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims by Jan van Scorel ca 1541
Far right: My 13th great grandfather Jan Damen 1515-1569,
2nd great grandfather of Jan Damen 1638-1707 
Five Members of the Utrecht Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims
painting by Jan van Scorel ca 1541
My article Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World was published on pages 47-56 of Volume 4, number 2 (May 1999) as a companion piece to another article called The Nephews of Jan Jansz Damen by Dorothy Koenig and Pim Nieuwenhuis in Volume 4, Number 2 May 1999 pages 36-39. The two nephews discussed were Jan Cornelisz Buys (aka Damen) who had three wives, 1) Eybe Lubberts, 2) Phebe Sales, and 3) Willemptje Thyssen; and his first cousin (my ancestor), Jan Cornelisz Damen, who married Fytje Martens. 

I have decided to republish the first 3 pages of my article here on my Olive Tree Genealogy blog.  I hope that descendants of Jan and other genealogists enjoy this story of Jan's life in New York. 
Jan Corneliszen Damen In The New World

by Lorine McGinnis Schulze[1]

Jan Cornelise Damen's contract period with Jacob Stoffelszen was three years, ending sometime in 1654.  It seems he diligently saved his wages because in April 1655 he purchased Cornelis van Tienhoven's house and land in Breuckelen, Long Island.[2] The cost of his new home was 1300 Carolus guilders with equal payments to be spread over a three year period.[3] Since Jan earned a total of 320 guilders in his contract time, it seems he acquired more money elsewhere.

It is likely that Jan was 20 or older when he made this purchase, giving him an estimated year of birth of 1635. This agrees with the findings in Amsterdam that he was a minor at the time of his contract in 1651. Jan signed with his mark indicating he could not write his own name.

In February 1656 Jan is found in New Amsterdam where he was the baptismal sponsor for Lubberts, the son of his cousin, Jan Cornelise Buys aka Damen.[4]  From 1656 to 1661 we find no records of Jan although we know that somewhere in this time period he met, and married, Sophia Martens.[5]  While no marriage record has been found, Sophia is recorded as the mother of several of their children in their baptismal records,[6] and is named in their joint will written in 1680. 

Parts 2, 3 and 4 will be published in weekly installments.

[1] Lorine McGinnis Schulze, Ontario Canada
[2] Calendar of Historical Manuscripts in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany NY Part I, Dutch Manuscripts, 1630-1664, ed. by E.B. O'Callaghan. 1865. (Hereafter called CDM) p. 58. 29 April 1654. Deed. Cornelis Van Tienhoven to Jan Cornelissen Damen, of Buninck, of a house and parcel of land in the village of Breuckelen, between Joris Dircksen and black Hans. The contract of sale is between Cornelis van Tienhoven and Jan Cornelissen Damen and is dated 29 April 1655
[3] New York Historical Manuscripts Dutch translated by Arnold JF Van Laer (Hereafter called MHD.Laer) Volume III. p.394. "..the purchaser agrees to pay the sum of thirteen hundred Carolus guilders at 20 stivers each, in the following installments: May 1656, 1/3 of the promised money; May 1657, 1/3 and May 1658, the remaining 1/3, each third part amounting to fl 433:6:8."
[4] Baptisms Reformed Dutch Church New Amsterdam (New York). New York Genealogical & Biographical Record. (Hereafter called RDCNY) 1874 V.5:4 p. 175: 2 Feb. 1656. Parents Jan Corn. Buys, Ybetje Lubberts Child Lubbert Sponsors Jan Damien, Pieterje de Ruyter. Although Totten footnotes the sponsor Jan Damen as being Jan Jansen Damen, the adoptive father of Jan Cornelise Buys, this is not correct. Jan Jansen Damen died 18 June 1651 as per his probated will. It is almost certain that this baptismal sponsor is Jan Cornelise Damen, who later married Sophia Martens.
[5] She is also found in the records as Fytie, which is the usual diminuitive for the name Sophia. Some transcribed records have erroneously assumed a "T" in place of "F", rendering her name incorrectly as Tytie.
[6] Baptismal records for several of their children have been found, with gaps, for the years 1661 to 1685.

October 19, 2014

Buried Secrets: Who Is this Little Girl?

Recently a small box  containing what appear to be cremation ashes and a photo of a child was found in the backyard of a Washington City Utah home.

Buried Secrets: Who Is this Little Girl?
  Photo by Corbin Wade, St. George News and KCSG Television
The name Arline Fisher was penciled on the back of the photo. The owner of the home is attempting to find out who Arline is and are the cremated remains hers. The owner would also like to return the box to any next-of-kin or descendants.

Anyone with information that might help identify the appropriate recipient of this treasure, is asked to email kscott@stgnews.com

Continue reading this story at Buried secrets: Cremated remains found in backyard; finder seeks next of kin

October 18, 2014

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Album p. 5-1 Coldstream Guards 1915

This Photo Archive consists of a small autograph album (6.5" by 5.25") kept by Constance (Connie) Philips as a memento of her time serving as a nurse during World War One.  

The majority of the photos and items are from 1915, when she served as a nurse in France and Britain. 

The album and all photographs, postcards, and other ephemera contained in the album belong to Karin Armstrong and may not be copied or republished without her written permission. The images will be published on Olive Tree Genealogy with permission. 

Each image has been designated an "R" for Recto or a "V" for Verso plus an album page number. Recto is the right-hand side page of a bound book while Verso is the left-hand side page. 

I will be posting the entire album and my additional research on the individuals identified in Connie's album over the coming months so please check back frequently to view these historic photos. The easiest way to see what has been published is to click on the topic "Nursing Sister WW1 Photos" in the vertical menu bar on the right side of your screen. You can also click on that phrase at the bottom of this post.

Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Album p. 5-1 Coldstream Guards 1915
Nursing Sister Philips WW1 Album p. 5-1 Coldstream Guards 1915

1. "If you have a friend / then keep them so. / Let not that friend thy secrets / know. / For if that friend should turn / thy foe. / Then all the world thy secrets know.
2. Signed Cpl. G. H. W. 1st Coldstream Guards.
3. Date 16 - 6 - 15

October 17, 2014

My Top 10 Genealogy Mysteries

My Top 10 Genealogy Mysteries

A Facebook friend recently posted her top 10 Genealogy Mysteries.  They aren't brick walls because there is probably an answer somewhere, just waiting to be found.

I thought this was a great idea and I am following suit with my Top 10 Genealogy Mysteries. Of course any help or suggestions for further research are welcome. 

Here is my Number 1 of 10 Genealogy Mysteries:

Elizabeth Jamieson nee Shuart born ca 1801-1805 in New York or New Jersey

Elizabeth Shuart was born circa 1801-1805 in New York or New Jersey. At some time before 1835 she settled in Upper Canada (present day Ontario) and married James Jamieson from Ireland. Evidence and clues point to her being the daughter of  Henry Shuart and Rachel De Graw.

The only confirmed census records I have found for Elizabeth is the 1851 census for Flamboro West, Wentworth County Ontario. The family consisted then of

* James Jameson, 65, b Ireland, cooper
* Elizabeth 50 b United States
* James 16 b Ontario
* Lydia 14 b Ontario (my ancestor)
* George 10 b Ontario
 James disappears after 1851.  I found their sons James and  George in Michigan in 1870 and George in 1861.

George Henry Jamieson

In 1870 George Jamieson is in Austin, Sanilac, Michigan and next door is his brother James Jamieson

In 1880 George is Boone, Wexford, Michigan

In 1900 and 1910 George is found in Peninsula, Grand Traverse, Michigan. In both these census records he states that his mother (Elizabeth Shuart ) was born in New Jersey. In 1920 in the same location he says she was born in England which is not correct, so quite likely someone else in the household provided the information to the census taker.

George states in census records that he immigrated to USA from Canada in 1863 or 1864 which means he should be somewhere in the 1861 census in Ontario and fits with my findings. 

George's death record shows the following:

George Henry Jamieson
Birth: 17 Mar 1843 - Canada
Death: 18 Sep 1929 - Peninsula, Grand Traverse, Michigan
Spouse: Emily Squire
Father James Jamieson
Mother Elizabeth Shuirit [sic]

James Jamieson Jr.

Now for the contradictions: In 1880 James Jamieson (brother of George above) is found in Chase, Lake, Michigan. He says his mother (Elizabeth Shuart Jamieson) was born in Pennsylvania.

In 1900 James is found in Amber, Mason, Michigan. Here he claims his mother's place of birth was New York.

In 1910 and 1920 James is in Ludington Ward 1, Mason, Michigan and again states that his mother was born in Pennsylvania.

James gives his year of immigration as 1860 and 1861 in various census records but I have not found him in any census for those years in either USA or Canada. I believe I have found him enlisting in the Civil War in a Michigan regiment as a Private on 14 September 1864 at the age of 26.

Lydia Jamieson Vollick

George and James' sister Lydia is my direct ancestor and she married Isaac Vollick sometime before 1858. She is found with Isaac in the 1861 census for East Flamborough Tp Wentworth County and I have a good record of their lives up to their deaths near Hillsdale, Simcoe County Ontario in 1917 (Lydia) and 1904 (Isaac)


Rumour has it that Elizabeth Shuart Jamieson remarried twice after her husband James Jamieson's death. One marriage was said to be to a man named Decker, another to a man named Hunt.
I  found an intriguing 1861 census entry for 1861 Beverley Twp, Wentworth County Ontario

Decker, Richard, local preacher, 80 married 1806, b NY, Methodist
Elizabeth, 53 b Canada West
One name above is George Jamieson, age 18 b Canada West, labourer. This fits with James Jamieson and Elizabeth Shuart's son George's year of birth. 
Richard Decker appears to have died in 1868. See his gravestone. My next find was a marriage record in Beverley Twp, Wentworth Co. Ontario on 14 Oct 1869

Robert Hunt, 71, widower, farmer, born Ireland, Waterloo s/o John Hunt & Ann m Elizabeth Decker, 64, widow, born USA, living in Beverly, d/o Henry & Rachel ( no last name given). wtn. R.E. & S.A. Jameson of Beverley on 14 October 1869 in Beverly

Could this be my Elizabeth Jamieson? Henry and Rachel were the names of her parents.

Two more records in Grey County Ontario were found which add to the mystery and may or may not be for my Elizabeth.

Firsr is the death of Robert Hunt, farmer, 88, born Ireland died on April 4, 1887. Second is the death of Elizabeth Hunt, farmer's wife, 82,  died on April 11, 1887. Rev. Husband of Holstein was the informant in both these deaths and Dr. Brown was the doctor for both.  I believe these could very well be my Elizabeth Jamieson and husband Robert Hunt.

The Genealogy Mystery

Is this my Elizabeth Jamieson? Did she marry secondly Richard Decker and thirdly Robert Hunt? Did she die in 1887 in Grey Co. Ontario?

Summary of my findings for Elizabeth Shuart

  • 1801-1806 born in USA to Henry Shuart & Rachel DeGraw
  • 1851 census Flamborough West, Wentworth Co. Ontario with husband James Jamieson and children George, Lydia and James
  • 1851-1861 probable death of James Jamieson
  • 1861 census Beverly Twp, Wentworth Co. Ontario with husband Richard Decker and son George Jamieson nearby 
  • 1868 Death of Richard Decker
  • 1869 Marriage of Elizabeth Decker, widow, to Robert Hunt
  • 1871 census  Elizabeth and Robert Hunt are  found in Egremont, Grey Co.
  • 1881 census Elizabeth (born USA) and Robert Hunt are in Egremont, Grey Co.
  • 1887 Deaths of Robert Hunt and Elizabeth Hunt in Egremont, Grey Co. Ontario
What do I want to know?
  1. I want proof that my theories of Elizbeth marriages and deaths are correct OR proof that they are wrong!
  2. I want to know when James Jamieson died and where he is buried.
Miscellaneous Information

Children of Henry and Rachel (DeGraw) Shuart are
  • Joseph Shuart born ca 1790  married Christina
  • Lydia Shuart born ca 1794 NY or Pennsylvania m1 Job Skinner and m2 James McGarry
  • Margaret (Peggy) Shuart born ca 1798 NY or Pennsylvania  married Adonijah Taylor
  • Mary (Polly) Shuart born ca 1798 possbily in Pennsylvania married Joseph Mellick
  • Ellizabeth Shuart born ca 1801-1805 New York or New Jersey m1 James Jamieson m2 Richard Decker? m3 Robert Hunt?
  • Hiram Shuart born ca 1810 possibly in Pennsylvania  married Catherine Alice Skinner.
  • possibly Leah Shuart

All of these individuals settled in Ontario. It is believed that their mother Rachel (De Graw) Shuart also settled in Ontario as a widow.

October 16, 2014

Great News! 76,330 Digitized WW1 Files Available Online

In January 2014, Library and Archives Canada announced a project to digitize 640,000 Canadian Expeditionary Force personnel service files as part of the First World War commemoration activities of the Government of Canada.

Great News! 76,330 Digitized WW1 Files Available Online
Part of Digitized Service File for Nursing Sister Mary Geraldine McGinnis
Once digitized, the service files will be stored in a permanent, safe environment. We estimate that 32,000,000 pages will be available online once digitization is finished.
LAC has started posting the digitized files online. They are accessible via  Soldiers of the First World War: 1914–1918 database. As of today, 76,330 files are available online. Regular uploads of about 5,000 files will take place every two weeks. All digitized files are searchable by name, regimental number and rank.

October 15, 2014

LAC to Digitize WW1 Files by 2015

Library and Archives Canada has embarked on an ambitious and very much needed project to digitize the complete files of all WW1 Service people who joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). 

LAC to Digitize WW1 Files by 2015
Typical WW1 CEF Attestation Papers
Once completed, more than 18 million pages of service files will have been digitized and available online sometime in 2015. 

The service files include the two-sided attestation paper (already online as a searchable database on Library and Archives Canada and Ancestry.com),  which were completed when the soldier or nurse enlisted, a medical form, training and movement details, and other miscellaneous information. 

Each file is different. I have ordered dozens in the past and you never know exactly what will be found in each one or how many pages it might be. A file can range from a half-dozen pages to almost 100.