16 September 2018

Another Great Story From The California Statutes - Deputy Marshall Andrew McGinnis

So I am back to extracting genealogical information from the California State Statutes.  I am in the year 1895 and it is mostly all payments made by the State of California to individuals.  As usual, one catches my eye.  Mostly because it is a payment to a woman and the amount of the payment - Mrs. Addie McGinnis for $7500.

So off I go, to ask The Google why Mrs. McGinnis is getting $7500 from the State of California.

At first, all I find is that the payment is compensation for the death of her husband who was "killed while hunting the reward for the capture of Evans and Sontag."

Clickity-clack, clickity-clack and it is now 3 in the morning.  HOWEVER, I now have the story.

In August 1892, George Constant, John Sontag and Chris Evans, using sticks of dynamite, held up a train near Visalia, California and made away with over $10,000 in gold and silver coins.  They shot Visalia Deputy George Witty and then escaped in the deputy's buggy.  This triggered a large possee to come after the desperados.  The train robbers were tracked to a cabin and as the lawmen approached, the robbers opened fire killing Andrew McGinnis.

McGinnis had just moved to San Francisco with his wife and daughter in February of that year from Modesto, where for eight years he had held the position of Deputy Sheriff.  After moving to San Francisco he had found employment at Friedlander Cigar Manufacturers.  When the possee was forming, the Southern Pacific Railroad asked his assistance due to his reputation as an efficient and intelligent officer.  He was sworn in as a Deputy U.S. Marshall the morning the possee left to find the robbers.  In a weird coincidence, McGinnis had at one time worked as a bill collector for Sontag and Evans when they owned a livery stable in Modesto.

Addie McGinnis left San Francisco and went to Modesto to bury her husband at Modesto Citizens Cemetery in Stanislaus County. A little less than a year later, Sontag was killed and Evans was apprehended after a gun battle with a posse. Evans lost an eye and his right hand in the fight.  Chris Evans was convicted of the murder of all three officers and sentenced to life in Folsom Prison. He was paroled in 1912.

 "Whatever happened to the Widow McGinnis and her daughter?", you ask.  Well, I caught up with Addie McGinnis in 1900.  

Addie McGinnis, age 45,  had moved to Stockton (of all places)  and was working as an attendant at the Stockton State Insane Asylum.  Daughter Etta May McGinnis was attending dental school.  Ten years later finds them both in Oakland, Alameda County working as dermatologists.  Sometime before 1920, Etta May McGinnis married Jeremiah Denahy and she and her mother moved in with him.  Jeremiah was the owner of a dancing academy in Oakland.

Owning a dancing school must have been good business because the Denahy's purchased a home valued at $3000 and all three lived in the house until their deaths.

Addie died first on 4 January 1943, then Etta May on 1 October 1955 and finally Jeremiah on 12 December 1958.  all are buried at St. Mary's Cemetery, Oakland, Alameda County, California.

There are no living descendants of Deputy Marshall Andrew McGinnis.  I am telling his story here so he will not be forgotten.

1900 U.S. census, Stockton, San Joaquin County, California, ED 108, sheet 5B, dw 39, fam 109, Addie McGinnis household
1910 U.S. census, Oakland, Alameda County, California, ED 121, sheet 1A, pg 53, dw 7, fam 15, Addie McGinnis household
1920 U. S. census, Oakland, Alameda County, California, ED 81, sheet 4A, pg 222, dw 73, fam 81, Jeremiah Denahy household
1930 U.S. census,  Oakland, Alameda County, California, ED 1-101, sheet 9A, pg 9, dw 126, fam 143, Jeremiah Denahy household
1940 U.S. census,  Oakland, Alameda County, California, ED 61-184, sheet 12A, pg 89, Jeremiah Denahy household 
Find A Grave Memorial 146896522
Find a Grave Memorial 146896470
Oakland Tribune, Friday 12 December 1958, pg 21, col 4, Obit for Jeremiah Denahy
San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday 15 September 1892, pg 2, col 1, "Inquest on the Dead"
San Francisco Chronicle, Wednesday 14 September 1892, pg 1, col 1, "Two More Victims, Deadly work of Evans and Sontag"
Stanislaus Historical Quarterly, Vol 7, No. 4, Winter 2014, pg 715
Officer Down Memorial Page, http://www.odmp.org/officer/16202-deputy-us-marshal-andrew-w-mcgennis

07 September 2018

The DAR Library and Genealogical Lecture Series

Did you know that the Library at the National Society Daughter of the American Revolution has an archived lecture series that is absolutely free to anyone?  All the presenters are librarians or genealogists at DAR and there is a wide variety of topics to choose from.

This is a must to have on your list of genealogical education opportunities.  


"From Rhode Island to Australia and Back" by Andrew Boisvert
"Asian American Genealogy" by Pamela Loos-Noji
"FamilySearch:  Improving Your Research With The Search Tab"  by Anne Merrill
"Revolutionary Elizabeths" by Clare Marshall
"African-American Research in DC" by Stacie Newton
"Real Widows of the Pension Office:  Civil War Widow Pensions" by Pamela Loos-Noji
"Native American Genealogy"  by Briana Diaz
"Cemeteries and Death Records" by Karen Janczy
"North Carolina Land Records in Tennessee" by Stacie Newton
"Jewish American Genealogy" by Pamela Baster
"African American Genealogy" by Elizabeth Drembus
"Female Ancestors" by Darryn Lickliter
"Search Strategies" by Marilyn Mills
"An Ocean Away:  Immigration Records" by Stacie Newton
"An Introduction to Quakers for Genealogists" by Elizabeth Ernst
"Land and Property Records" by Forrest Crosley
"New York Military Records" by Tom Ragusin
"African American Research" by Yvonne Liser
"That's Revolutionary (War)" by Bevin Creel
"DNA Research" by Tom Ragusin


"1777: Tipping Point at Saratoga" by Dean Snow
"Testing the American Way of War" by Edward G. Lengel
"The Swamp Fox" by John Oller
"Confounding Father" by Robert McDonald
"Abductions in the American Revolution" by Christian M. McBurney
"American Icarus:  A Memoir of Father and Country" by Pythia Peay
"Federal Style in the Federal City" by Ann Wass
"Washington's Circle" by David and Jean Heidler
"The Grand Forage 1778" by Todd W. Braisted
"Using Maps in Historical Research" by Charlie Grymes

15 August 2018

Clues From Headstones

I came across this headstone photo on Find A Grave the other day.  The words in Latin with the insignia intrigued me so off I went to find out the meaning.


The translation is:   "In this sign you will conquer."

This motto is used by about fifty different military groups, schools, sports teams and other organizations.  Here are just a few:

Is the motto on the Coat of Arms of O'Donnell

It has been used in some versions of the logo for the brand of cigarettes, Pall Mall

It is the motto of St Michael's Church School, Christchurch, New Zealand.

The motto of the Norwegian Army 2nd Battalion.

The motto of College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The motto of U.S. Marine Aircraft Squadron VMA(AW)533.

The motto of Saint Joseph's Grammar School in Donaghmore, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

The motto and engraving on the headstone mean that Joseph Peters is a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.  So if I wanted to learn more about this Joseph Peters, I might try contacting the alumni of this fraternity to see if they have any information.  But seeing as how this wasn't the Joseph Peters I was after, it will have to wait for another day.

12 August 2018

10 Years of Blogging!

Ten years ago, Randy Seaver of GeneaMusings, invited me to write a series of articles on his blog as his guest.  They told the story of my attending the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama for the first time.  You can read all of the articles HERE.

The posts were well received but after the last one in the series, Randy kicked me off his blog telling me to go start one of my own.  And so the "Educated Genealogist" was born.

I didn't remember it was my anniversary.  I read about it on the GeneaBloggers Tribe website.  Thanks Geneabloggers!

According to Wikipedia, the traditional 10th anniversary gift is tin or aluminum.  However, the librarians at the Chicago Public Library created a modern gift list and they say that diamond jewelry is the proper gift for a 10th anniversary.  Librarians know best so I am going with diamonds.  Please feel free to send me either one of the tiaras below.

Just an FYI:  IGHR is now held at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel on the University of Georgia Campus in historic Athens, Georgia.  To learn more click HERE.

10th anniversary logo courtesy of 123rf

03 August 2018

What is a Genealogy Blog Party?

Back in 2008 or so, there was a thing called "Carnival of Genealogy."  Each month a theme was announced for bloggers to write about.  One genealogy blogger would host the carnival.  Hosting meant that blogger gathered all the submissions for that month and then made one post that contained all the links to the genealogy blogs that had made submissions for that month's theme.

It was a great way to read new blogs and to promote your own blog.

Around 2012 or so, the carnival kind of faded away.

Elizabeth O'Neal, who is the author of "My Descendant's Ancestors," has decided that we need to bring back this tradition and has done so with a new name - "Genealogy Blog Party."  Elizabeth comes up with a theme each month and then asks genealogy bloggers to submit their post on that theme.  You can learn how to submit your post HERE.

Elizabeth has been hosting the blog party for awhile now and I feel really bad I haven't participated until now.  

This month's theme is "Potluck Picnic."  You can submit any of your favorite posts.  So here is my entry into the blog party.

I am almost finished with my project of abstracting genealogical information from the California State Statutes 1850-1910.  You will find wonderful information such as legal name changes, estate and probate, etc.  The link to my blog page where you will find all of the abstracts is HERE.

One of my favorite posts was written after I finished my four year term serving as president of the San Joaquin Genealogical Society.  I feel that if you belong to any organization, you should step up to the plate and take a turn at serving as an officer or a committee chair.  You can read that post HERE.

Some items from the California State Statutes caught my eye for one reason or another.  After some research in newspapers and local sources, I was able to find out the story behind some of these - some shocking, some terribly sad.

California Statutes - A Lesson Learned From Judy Russell

1913 Was An Interesting Year In California

A Juicy Nugget From The California Statutes

30 June 2018

Stories From The Research Committee

After I termed out as president of the San Joaquin Genealogical Society, I remained on the board as immediate past president.  I am also head of the research committee, handling requests for research in our county.

Today a request for an obituary led me down a 2 hour rabbit hole.  The obituary was for a woman named Louise Leger who died in San Joaquin County in 1955.  The person requesting the obit was employed by an heir searching company in France.  He wanted the obit to determine if Louise had any children.

 When I didn't find an obit for Louise, I let the patron know there wasn't one and that concluded our business.  But I personally couldn't let the story go.  I decided to locate her death certificate.

After reading the certificate, I understood why there wasn't an obituary.  Louise had died at the Stockton State Hospital for the Insane.  She had been a patient there for over 22 years at the time of her death.  She was cremated by the hospital and her remains were buried on the grounds of the hospital.  This was usually done when no known next of kin could be located.

This poor woman died all alone. I needed to learn more about her.

The death certificate gave her address before she had been committed to the hospital - 128 Leland Avenue, San Francisco.  A check in the San Francisco City directories did not list a Louise Leger. 

The death certificate stated that Louise was born in France.  I decided to look at passenger arrivals.  I found her with two children.

Louise Leger, a widow, age 43 with her daughter Vivian Charlene Leger, age 19,  and son Andre Ernest Leger, age 18 arrived at the Port of New York on 22 February 1913.  They had sailed on the SS La Lorraine from Havre, France.

I did not find any of them in the 1920 census, but hit the jackpot in the 1930 census.  Living in the Bronx, New York I found that both children had married and had families of their own.

Jules Dumont   age 36, age 23 when married, born France, immigrated 1907, naturalized citizen, weaver in a lace mill
Vivian Dumont, age 35, age 22 when married, born France, immigrated 1913, naturalized citizen
Germaine M. Dumont, daughter, age 10, born Rhode Island
Robert Dumont, son, age 8, born Rhode Island
Andrew Dumont, son, age 6, born Rhode Island
Helen Dumont, daughter, age 4yr 6mo, born Rhode Island
Georgette Dumont, daughter, age 3yr 6mo, born Rhode Island
Louise Leger, mother-in-law, age 60, widow, age 23 when married, born France, immigrated 1913, alien

Andre Leger, age 34, age 20 when married, born France, immigrated 1914, naturalized citizen, weaver lace factory
Albertine Leger, wife, age 33, born Canada
Viviane Leger, daughter, age 12, born Rhode Island
Rene Leger, son, age 9, born Rhode Island
Leo Leger, son, age 10, born Rhode Island  
Elise Leger, daughter, age 8, born Rhode Island
Gerard Camil Leger, son, age 8, born Rhode Island  
Charlotte Leger, daughter, age 7, born Rhode Island  
Richard Maurice Leger, son, age 4, born Rhode Island 

In 1940 Vivian Dumont and her family are living in Passaic County, New Jersey and Andre Leger and his family are living in East Providence, Rhode Island. 

Where was Louise living in 1940?  At the Stockton State Hospital for the Insane.

Her children probably never knew what happened to her as evidenced by her death certificate.  Why did Louise move to San Francisco?  What happened after arriving in San Francisco that led to her commitment to the hospital for the mentally ill?

We most likely will never know what happened, but I feel better connecting Louise to her children.

17 May 2018

State Lineage Societies and Pioneer Programs

Reasons for joining a lineage society are varied. Some join as a way to validate their research. While there are a few exceptions, nearly every lineage society will ask you to prove the dates and places of birth, marriage, and death for each person on the application and then prove the child to parent relationship for each generation starting with you, and going back to your qualifying ancestor. This is also a way to preserve history for future generations. Others join for the social and community service aspect.  Being around people who share your interests is a wonderful thing.

In my previous post, I listed some of the general lineage societies.

This post is a listing of some of the many First Family or Pioneer Certificate Programs at the state level.

I have only listed those who have a listing of proven ancestors or pioneers on their website.

If you don't see a state listing of your choice - just ask The Google if one exists.

Lineal descent from an individual who resided in that part of the Province of Carolina that became North Carolina, before the creation of the Royal Colony in 1729.
List of Proven Ancestors

Lineal descent from an ancestor who was a resident of, owned land in, was the chief proprietor of a business, or performed military or civil service, between 1622 and 1680 within the boundaries of present day New Hampshire.
Proven Ancestors

Lineal descent from an ancestor who was a resident of, owned land in, or was the chief proprietor of a business between 1604 and 1652 within the boundaries of present day Maine.
Proven Ancestors

Lineal descent from an ancestor who was resident on land presently a part of the State of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations prior to January 1, 1647/8
Proven Ancestors

Sponsored by the Ohio Genealogical Society
First Families of Ohio is a lineage society open to OGS members who prove their descent from an ancestor who lived in Ohio by the end of 1820.
Proven Ancestors

Lineal descent from either: (1) Sir George Calvert, The First Lord Baltimore, who was granted the Palatinate of Maryland by King Charles I of England, or (2) an ancestor who aided in the establishment of the Palatinate of Maryland or who was an office holder, real property owner or resident in Maryland prior to December 31, 1734.
Proven ancestors

Sponsored by the Washington State Genealogical Society
Proven Ancestors

Direct descendants of pioneers who arrived and settled in the Oregon Country – the present states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, parts of Montana, Wyoming and most of the Province of British Columbia – prior to the entry of Oregon to the Union on February 14, 1859
Links to assist you in proving your ancestor

Sponsored by the Alabama Genealogical Society
Proven ancestors

Sponsored by the Illinois State Genealogical Society
Proven Ancestors

Sponsored by the Florida State Genealogical Society
Proven Ancestors

Sponsored by The Missouri State Genealogical Association
Proven Ancestors

Sponsored by Texas State Genealogical Society 
Proven Ancestors

Sponsored by Montana State Genealogical Society
Proven Ancestors

The only requirement to join this society is that you be female and born in the State of California.  A real gem on their website is the database of California Pioneers who resided or were born in California before December 31, 1869.
You can access it HERE.

Lineage Societies - Do You Have An Ancestor That Qualifies?

A listing of just a few lineage societies. Some even have proven ancestor databases that may help with your research even if you are not interested in becoming a member - check the description of each society for a link.

National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
Headquarters located at 1776 D Street NW, Washington, DC
Founded in 1890 with the mission of promoting historic preservation, education, and patriotism.
Any woman 18 years or older who can prove lineal, bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence.
185,000 members in 3,000 chapters around the world

National Society of the Dames of the Court of Honor
Founded on 15 May 1921 by Miss Mary Florence Taney and thirteen associates in Covington, Kentucky.
Direct lineal descent from a Commissioned Officer of any one or more of the earlier American Wars between the years 1607 through 1865 or from a Colonial Governor, during the period 1607-1775.
Listing of proven qualified ancestors

National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century
Established on July 15, 1915, the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century is a non-profit organization with its headquarters located in Washington D.C.  Constructed in 1884, the headquarters building,  Brig. Gen. George P. Scriven House,  holds historical significance and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lineal descendants of an ancestor who lived and served prior to 1701 in one of the Original Colonies in the geographical area of the present United State of America.
Chapters in 25 states

National Society Daughters of Colonial Wars
First organized in the State of Massachusetts at the Hotel Brunswick, Boston, Massachusetts, on May 14, 1917, Mrs. Frank Dexter Ellison, President, and incorporated on May 27, 1921.
Service as a military or naval officer, or as a soldier, sailor, marine or privateersman, under the authority of the Colonies that afterward formed the United States, or in the forces of Great Britain that participated with those of the said Colonies in any wars in which the said Colonies were engaged, or in which their men were enrolled from the time of the settlement at Jamestown (May 13, 1607) to the battle of Lexington (April 19, 1775).  Served in any civil position of high trust and responsibility in the Colonies, such as Director General, Vice Director General, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Deputy Governor, Governor's Assistant, Lord Proprietor, Secretary, or Treasurer of a Colony or Province, member of the King's or Governor's Council, or Legislative Body in the Colonies, or Commissioner to the United Colonies or New England, or Member of the Council, or Body of Assistants, as well as Receiver General, Attorney General, Surveyor General, and such titles as Sheriff, Constable, Mayor, Judge, Justice of the Peace, Customs Officer, Master of Ordnance, or other elective or appointed offices in the Colonies. 
Proven ancestors listing
32 chapters in U. S.

Founded in 1881
National Headquarters
Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic
4710 Eby St. Merriam, KS 66203
Chapters in 16 states

National Society Daughters of the American Colonists
Founded:   December 9, 1920, by Sarah Elizabeth Mitchell Guernsey (Mrs. George T.)
Descendants of a man or woman who rendered patriotic or civil service to the American Colonies prior to 4 July 1776.
Headquarters, NSDAC, 2205 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20008-2813
Proven ancestors database
Chapters in 38 states

National Society United States Daughters of 1812
1463 Rhode Island Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20005
Founded January 8, 1892, by Flora Adams Darling.  Incorporated by an act of Congress on February 25, 1901.
Lineal descent from period 1784-1815 inclusive, rendered civil, military, or naval service to our country, rendered material aid to the U.S. Army or Navy, or who participated in the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Ancestor Database
Over 5,365 members, 42 state societies, and over 162 chapters

Descendants of Whaling Masters
Founded in 1974 at the instigation of Mrs. Dorothy Howland of New Bedford, widow of whaling-tales author Chester Scott Howland
Some links that may be helpful in documenting your ancestor
450 members in U. S.

Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865
National Headquarters and Museum, 503 South Walnut Street, Springfield, IL
Organized on May 30, 1885 and held the first meeting on June 3, 1885 at the home of Eva Merwin, 419 First Street, SE Massillon, Ohio.
Membership shall be limited to women who can provide documented proof that their ancestor was a soldier or sailor of the U. S. Army, Navy, or Marine Corps and Revenue Cutter Service who served between April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865 in the war for the suppression of the Rebellion.
Chapters in 27 states

National Society of the Colonial Dames of America
Founded in 1891, the NSCDA Headquarters is located at Dumbarton House, a Federal Period House Museum in Washington, DC.
Lineal descent from someone residing in an American colony, rendered efficient service to our country during the Colonial period, either in the founding of a State or Commonwealth, or of an institution which has survived and developed into importance, or who shall have held an important position in a Colonial government, or who by distinguished services, shall have contributed to the founding of our nation. All services which constitute a claim to membership must have been rendered before July 5, 1776, but this date shall be held to include all signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Proven ancestors database
Chapters in 44 states and over 15,000 members

Flagon and Trencher: Descendants of Colonial Tavern Keepers
Founded in March 1962 by Walter Lee Sheppard, Jr & Kenn Stryker-Rodda 
Proven ancestors database
Over 2000 members in U. S.

Colonial Dames of America
Founded April 1890, Maria Denning “May” Van Rensselaer (Mrs. John King Van Rensselaer) of New York 
The Headquarters of The Colonial Dames of America is located in New York City on grounds that include an accredited museum and The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden.
Lineal descent within the period beginning with the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia, May 13, 1607, and extending to, but not including, the Battle of Lexington April 19, 1775, served one or more of the thirteen original Colonies: By holding public office in the government thereof; By holding a commission in the armed forces thereof; or, By otherwise serving one or more of said Colonies in the capacities specified in the Eligibility List.
39 chapters across the U.S.

A few more worth checking out:

Coming up next: A look at First Family Societies.