Friday, February 29, 2008

Out in the internet world

Yesterday I used my Rollyo search engine and typed in the name "Guinee". I was looking through my "hits" and ran across a new entry posted on Upon reading it, I discovered what I hoped would be a connection and contacted the author of the post. I was wondering if she could give me some additional information about Charles Guinee's wife-Carol. She responded and provided me with Carol's parents' names and some of their family history! Lucky me. Although the author Laura and I are not related it was interesting to see our connection through my great uncle and his wife Carol. Little tidbits of information may not seem like much, but you must keep looking for them, gathering them, and putting them all on your tree. You never know when you will contact someone who is a distant cousin!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Charles and Katherine Ball

My great-great grandparents Charles and Katherine (Sommer) Ball are an elusive pair! I hit a "brick-wall" regarding everything about them except the date and place of their marriage and the birthdate of their daughter, my great grandmother Alma. They were married here in Chicago at Central Christian Church in 1885. This church no longer exists. I can find one or the other on the Chicago city directories until 1900 and then they both "disappear". According to my great grandmother Alma's birth certificate (which I was very LUCKY to get my hands on considering that documenting birth records at that time was not required) both Charles and Katherine were born about 1857, in Germany . I cannot verify when they came over from Germany, although I have a pretty good idea that Katherine came over by herself in 1880. There is no 1890 Census to check. Charles, Katherine and Alma do not show up on the 1900 Census.
We can all hit a "brick-wall" when searching for our ancestors, you just need to keep on plugging away looking for clues anywhere; in vital records, census records, and talking to any relative who may provide a clue to steer you in the right direction. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Great Grandparents Alma and John Guinee

For the last year now I have been seriously working on obtaining some accurate information on my Great Grandparents Alma and John Guinee. Alma had been married since 1906 to Philip Hirschberg and they had four children. In May, 1918, she married John Guinee. An interesting fact came to my attention when I requested the divorce records for Philip and Alma. The County Clerk could only provide me with annullment papers, dated 1920! Apparently the annullment became legal the end of 1921. How was Alma able to marry John if she was still legally married to Philip? I would like to know the answer to that question.
According to the annullment papers, Philip had been previously married and recently divorced when he married Alma. In those divorce papers he was unable to marry for one year, unless he remarried his first wife. Imagine that? Perhaps that was the legal loophole which allowed Alma to marry John. I am attempting to obtain Philip's divorce papers from his first wife.
Vital records are important documents to request if they are available. They give concrete evidence to relationships and important facts and dates. Sometimes they can be costly, but they are worth the time and effort in obtaining them.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My interest in my family history started about ten years ago when my cousin Terry and I were attempting to figure out how many great grandchildren our great grandparents Bert and Eva Hanaway had. You see we are part of that number. It wasn't too long or too hard to discover that the number was about one hundred fifty-three! It took writing a few letters to some of our cousins and connecting the dots. That started my family tree interest. Today I am clearly hooked. Since 1998 I have put together a family tree that currently has over 7,100 names!
For the last year I have been working on my mother's father's family. My grandfather Bert was adopted by his stepfather so it makes obtaining some of the vital records and other information a bit difficult to gather. To complicate matters, my mother and her father were very much estranged during my childhood. No one really talked about grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles. All I can say is thank heaven for vital records!

The Family

The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. ~Erma Bombeck

Genealogy Pox, author unknown


SYMPTOMS: Continual complaint as to need for names, dates and places. Patient has a blank expressions, sometimes deaf to spouse and children. Has no taste for work of any kind, except feverishly looking through records at libraries and courthouses.
Has a compulsion to write letters. Swears at mailman when he doesn't leave mail. Frequents strange places such as cemeteries, ruins, and remote desolate country areas. Makes secret night calls and hides phone bills from spouse. Mumbles to self. Has strange, faraway look in eyes.


TREATMENT: Medication is useless. This disease is not fatal, but gets progressively worse. Patient should attend genealogy workshops, subscribe to genealogical magazines and be given a quiet corner in the house where he/she can be alone.

REMARKS: The unusual nature of this disease is that the sicker the patient gets, the more he or she enjoys it!