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.

15 February 2018

Selected Genealogical Abstracts from the California Statutes 1871-1872

California Statutes 1871-1872

A copy of this publication can be found HERE.


Chapter 14, pg 19
James W. Coffroth, Julius Wetzler and George J. Wright, executors of the last will and testament of John C. Keenan, deceased, late of the City and County of San Francisco are authorized to mortgage the real estate of their testor for a sum sufficient to pay off all legal claims existing against said estate

Chapter 94, pg 91
It shall be the duty of the guardian of the minor children of the estate of James Donahue to pay the amount of the legacies authorized by the Probate Court of Santa Clara County

Chapter 423, pg 621
An act to enable the heirs or next of kin of Thomas Spriggs, deceased, to inherit his estate

Chapter 548, pg 795
Margaret McDanel, administratrix of the estate of Thomas McDanel, situated at Cherokee Flat in the County of Butte is authorized to borrow money to pay debts of the estate


Chapter 29, pg 33
$250 per month for two years is to be paid to General John A. Sutter

Chapter 30, pg 34
$700 payment to J. Alexander Forbes, Jr and Thomas R. Eldridge for translating into Spanish several State documents

Chapter 54, pg 52
$2000 payment to James T. Ryan for services rendered the State 

Chapter 65, pg 61
$200 per month for two years is to be paid to James W. Marshall

Chapter 78, pg 79
$1000 is set aside for the purpose of erecting a monument to the memory of John Bigler, formerly Governor of this State

Chapter 79, pg 79
$4732.82 payment to James Franklin Burns for sums by him expended in the pursuit of parties indicted in Los Angeles County for the murder of Oscar H. Bilderbeck and Henry Bilderbeck

Chapter 91, pg 88
$5948.68 payment to William Sharp for furnishing carpets for the new Capitol

Chapter 92, pg 88
$300 payment to Isidor Wormser

Chapter 116, pg 118
$1625 payment in gold coin to James M. Kane for services as a special officer of the Marine Board of the City and County of San Francisco

Chapter 154, pg 173
$5565.65 payment to Henry Kohn

Chapter 156, pg 174
$5000 payment to the widow of the late Royal T. Sprague, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of this State for salary due him

Chapter 281, pg 384
$1000 payment to William S. Brown for services as brickmaker at San Quentin

Chapter 301, pg 410
$25,000 payment to John J. McCredy for losses sustained by him in the construction of the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind situated in Alameda County

Chapter 325, pg 437
$2000 payment to Henry N. Morse, sheriff of Alameda County for the capture and arrest of Jesus Tejada and Juan Soto

Chapter 327, pg 438
$251.50 payment to James T. Boyd for legal services rendered 

Chapter 328, pg 439
$40 payment to Morris Wolf 

Chapter 329, pg 440
$100 payment to R. B. Thomas for services rendered in running the boundary line between the Counties of Fresno and Mariposa

Chapter 403, pg 560
$1050 payment to James Carroll for services as Supervisor of Alameda County

Chapter 447, pg 665
$12,000 payment to Joseph S. Emery to reimburse him for losses sustained by him in the construction of the Institution of Deaf and Dumb and the Blind in Alameda County

Chapter 467, pg 698
$120 payment to J. Johnson for services rendered in keeping the entrance to the State Capitol in order

Chapter 555, pg 799
$793.96 payment to Mrs. Eliza McLean for supplies furnished the State Marine Hospital

Chapter 583, pg 861
$2983.07 payment to John J. Conlin for planking Kentucky Street between two bridges in the City and County of San Francisco

Chapter 605, pg 893
$2000 payment to Samuel Cross for services as Special Attorney


Chapter 27, pg 32
A Commission to examine the claim of James E. Carr against the County of Siskiyou in relation to the construction of a wagon road from the top of Scott's Mountain to Masterson's new house

An Act to provide for indexing the names of persons who have declared their intention or who have become citizens of the United States in the several Courts of record in this State. [Clerks of the court were paid 20 cents per name indexed]

Chapter 139, pg 156
All persons who appeared and testified for the people in the case of the People ex relatione Downs and Thompson against J. B. Holloway may now submit claims for reimbursement

Chapter 286, pg 389
The Masonic and Odd Fellows' Cemetery Association and the citizens of Contra Costa County are authorized to disinter and remove all human remains in the graveyard at the Town of Antioch in and upon T. N. Willis' land and reinter in the cemetery near said town known as the "Masonic and Odd Fellows' Cemetery

Chapter 313, pg 422
Jesse Morrow, Elias Jacob, and Charles P. Converse are authorized to improve a portion of the Kings River in the County of Fresno

Chapter 341, pg 471
George W. Reamer and the American River Water and Mining Company are given the rights to supply pure fresh drinking water to the inhabitants of the City of Sacramento

Chapter 387, pg 538
E. H. Miller, Jr., D. W. Earl, F. M. Chapman, Robert Hamilton, D. E. Callahan, C. F. Wheeler, C. L. Scudder, Edgar Mills, George Gilbert, Frank Malone, Edward Hamilton, and Benjamin Crocker have the right to take possession of, improve and collect tolls upon the road now leading from Y Street in the City of Sacramento to the Hooker Ranch commonly known as Sutterville Road

Chapter 388, pg 542
It shall be lawful for P. Henneberry, Superior of St. Joseph's College near Hydesville in Humboldt County to remove bodies of all deceased persons buried on the grounds belonging to said college to the public graveyard at Hydesville

Chapter 398, pg 553
It shall be lawful for William A. Findley of Yuba County to remove the bodies of all deceased persons now buried on the grounds of said Findley to the public graveyard

Chapter 498, pg 730
George W. Chesley, F. S. Malone, E. M. Fry, Charles A. Low, Edward Ewald, B. N. Bugbee and Henry Norton are authorized to lay down gas pipes in the City of Sacramento

Chapter 529, pg 765
It shall be lawful for John Ram or S. C. Long of Yuba County to remove the remains of all deceased persons buried at Foster's Bar to a public graveyard

Chapter 530, pg 766
It shall be lawful for Isaac Bluxome to remove from his private property, on the Rancho de Mircelacon in Sonoma County certain dead bodies to the public graveyard

Chapter 558, pg 801
The Principal of the Napa Ladies' Seminary in Napa City, Napa County is hereby authorized to grant diplomas


Joint Resolution 16, pg 965
The State Prison Committee recommend the pardon of the following criminals:
George O'Connor from San Francisco - manslaughter
Thomas Lloyd of San Francisco - murder in the 2nd degree
John Benson of Calaveras - assault to rape
Solomon W. Sonedecker from San Mateo - manslaughter
Martin Noon - manslaughter
George Thompson from Yuba County - burglary and arson
Francis Callahan from Klamath County - assault to murder
Michael Frender from Alameda County - murder 2nd degree
Robert Francis from Plumas County - murder 2nd degree
Thomas Haley from San Francisco - robbery
William Pierce from Sacramento - burglary
Wesley Hess from Santa Clara County - grand larceny
Charles Jones from Butte County - robbery
James Taylor from San Francisco - robbery
Peter Quigley from Sacramento - murder 2nd degree
W. H. Warren from Sacramento - murder 2nd degree
Norman J. Thompson from Humboldt County - assault deadly weapon
H. C. T. Rotger from Mariposa County - murder 2nd degree
Kate Murphy from Sonoma County - arson
Charles Haley from San Francisco - burglary
Frank Steinman from Placer County - murder 2nd degree
Eli Hanna from Nevada County - murder 2nd degree
John Hauser from Santa Clara County - murder 2nd degree
Thomas Corcoran from Sacramento - arson
George Lowry from San Diego - robbery
A. E. Manning from San Francisco - attempt to mayhem
Thomas K. Hays from Tehama County - manslaughter
Alexander P. Manor from Yolo County - burglary
John M. May from Yolo County - kidnapping
Augustus Tomeo from Nevada County - assault to rape
John Shaw from Santa Cruz - assault to murder
Walter C. Rhuefell from San Bernardino - grand larceny
F. W. Voll from San Francisco - manslaughter
J. W. Drisdom from Amador County - murder 2nd degree
Louis Antonio from Calaveras - grand larceny
D. C. Parks from Calaveras - grand larceny
Charles Denman from Sacramento - arson
Thomas Eckholm from El Dorado - murder 2nd degree
Peter Metz from Sacramento - murder 2nd degree
Ramon Alvitre from Los Angeles - grand larceny
Lucio Alvitre from Los Angeles - grand larceny
Ramon Romero from Sacramento - murder 2nd degree
Ah Shim from San Francisco - murder 2nd degree
Thomas Boswell from Tehama - murder 2nd degree
Milton S. Price from Nevada County - robbery
Polimio (Indian) from Calaveras - murder 2nd degree
J. F. Shuler from Butte County - robbery
Ramon Culihuita from Santa Barbara County - murder 2nd degree
F. C. Coffman from El Dorado County - murder 2nd degree
Frank Smith from Yuba County - burglary
Ah Sam from Alameda County - assault to murder
C. W. Smith from Mariposa County - manslaughter
Jose Gonzales from Colusa County - manslaughter
John Jackson from San Joaquin County - grand larceny
Lewis Mahoney from San Francisco - grand larceny
Andreas Galindo from Tuolumne County - murder 2nd degree
John McDonald from Nevada County - arson
William Hoffman from Alameda County - burglary
John Daley from San Francisco - robbery
Henry Doty from Yolo County - grand larceny
James Tevis from Colusa County - murder