Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rain, Rain and More Rainwater

Rainwater, newspaper, genealogy, family history, Cloudy Night Rainwater, Wood Rainwater, Night Rainwater, Lloyd Rainwater, Pearl RainwaterNames that are also common words add an extra degree of challenge to genealogical research. Among my ancestors I have names such as Cook, Bell, and Kite. You probably have similarly challenging names in your trees. 

My second great grandmother was a Rainwater, and as you can imagine, researching that name can be challenging. Whether researching in general databases, newspapers or a general Google Search, I frequently find myself wading through results such as rainwater baths, rainwater harvesting, and ads for artesian bath houses with water as-soft-as-rainwater. 

Thanks to classes taken from Lisa Louise Cooke and tips in her book "The Genealogist's Google Toolbox," I've learned tricks to help me narrow down those searches, but with a name like Rainwater, there still seems to be a variety of results sure to bring a smile. 

The two newspaper articles below are just a few examples:


A SERIOUS FALL 
Yesterday morning Mr. Rainwater, engaged at the store of March & Price, while standing on a tall step ladder arranging the price of an immense pile of seersuckers and ginghams they suddenly fell with a dull, sickening thud--we mean the prices.  The proprietors advised Mr. Rainwater to let them B flat.
Fort Worth Daily Gazette (Fort Worth, Texas)  1 May 1887 Sun page 5
accessed on Newspapers.com September 30, 2015


and yet another:

A WELL WATERED BANK 
     There can be water in banks the same as in wells and securities.  
     For instance:  The Rainwater Bank & Trust Co of Morriton, Ark. 
     Wood Rainwater is president of the bank; Cloudy Night Rainwater, vice president and Night Rainwater treasurer. Loid Rainwater and Pearl Rainwater are directors.  But somehow or other Pure Rainwater was left out. Ditto "Rain-in-the-face." 
The Pittsburg Press, October 20, 1913, accessed on Google Newspapers


Yes, Cloudy Night was a man's real name and no, they weren't Native American, but possibly they believed they were.  Cloudy Night Rainwater is in fact in my ancestry and since he is the only child I have listed for that family, I can see that I have some work to do on his family, among other Rainwater families. 

Recent contacts with Rainwater cousins have helped me focus a little more on my Rainwater side of the family and with that has come the realization that I have neglected them for long enough. Maybe it's time I wring out the records in search of my Rainwaters. 

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2015, All rights reserved

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Site Sleuthing- On Demand Court Records for Oklahoma

Oklahoma, court records, genealogy, family history, research, marriage license

When we lived in Dallas, Texas, shopping was both wonderful and hard. It was wonderful because there were so many options and it seemed that whatever I wanted or needed could be found if I just persisted in looking long enough. The bad part was for someone who is a little compulsive in nature, if I couldn't find something it was hard to just give up because I knew if one place didn't have it, another place might. So with so many options, the search could go on forever and sometimes it felt like it did.

In ways I feel like that is how it is with genealogy research today.  It's good because there is always one more place to look, but bad because the never ending options are responsible for both anxiety and sleep deprivation for many a genealogist.

While some stay within the confines of the sites created specifically with genealogy in mind,  the bottom really opens up once we realize that, in addition to the massive number of records on those sites, there are many options beyond the typical genealogy sites.

A couple of years ago I stumbled onto a website for Oklahoma court records called  "On Demand Court Records." This site has Oklahoma public records searchable for free. In addition, there are subscription options for advanced tools, but so far I have only used the free version which allows me to search by individual, by court, by county, by party type, and date range.

What have I found on the website? The records I've found vary from marriages, imported marriages, divorces, estates,  and lawsuits etc., so in other words, the stuff genealogist love to find!

For example, I found a reference to an imported marriage license for Edgar Howell and Ollie Ganus for 1896. Now granted, I was not successful as long as I searched only for Ollie or Olivia Ganus, but when I searched for Edgar Howell, I was able to find the couple. Unfortunately she is listed as Allie Gomes instead of Ollie Ganus and with that experience, I was reminded to be very creative with spellings and to search for all who may have been involved.

 


One downside is, it is really more of an index, but it is still useful in narrowing down dates and places and in providing clues leading to other existing records.

Some counties have records going further back than others and it's also worth noting that I've found instances where there are records on the site that actually go further back than indicated for that particular county. For instance on the marriage record below,  the marriage license was filed in Lincoln, Oklahoma in 1899 and yet looking at the website's court upload status, it indicates that records for Lincoln County go back to March 22nd, 1904.




Another downside (for your cousins) is that having recent court information online means you get to see references to recent driving violations, arrests or scuffles that friends and family may have been implicated in, which can make for some interesting discoveries and possibly even provide material for some entertaining conversations for the next family reunion.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2015, All rights reserved

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Two Sisters, Two Stories

As I looked at the pictures of Bertha and Gussie Fricks, I was taken by how much the sisters looked alike, in fact at first I wondered if they were twins. But research would show that they were born two years apart. Bertha was born about 1885 and Gussie was born about 1883. Daughters of Ramsey Fricks and Emma Faucett, the girls grew up in Walker County, Georgia and were sisters to Carl Fricks, whose story I shared here.  

In the picture, the girls wore very similar dresses and both wore their hair pulled up on top of their heads in the Gibson Girl style. Did their dress just reflect the current style for young girls, or did they have the same taste? Perhaps we see the common tendency of a younger sister to imitate the dress and style of an older sister.  

family history, genealogy research, ancestors, research, sisters, Oklahoma
Gussie (Fricks) Brummitt
genealogy, family history, Walker County, Georgia, Bertha Fricks, Gussie Fricks, Faucett, Ramsey Fricks
Bertha (Fricks) Lamb

















I wonder if they were close. Not having any sisters of my own, I used to think about how wonderful life would be if only I had a sister. I imagined that we would play together, share each other's clothes and at night, when we were supposed to be asleep, we would giggle and whisper secrets in the room that we shared. As much as I loved my brothers, I knew that having brothers was not the same deal. I would like to think that Bertha and Gussie had a close loving relationship, although I don't really know. 

In my research, I could see other similarities between the two girls.  They married within two years of each other and both married in Walker County, Georgia. Interestingly enough, both girls married men quite a bit older. Gussie married a man 10 years her senior and Bertha's husband was nearly 7 years older than she was. Each had only one child, a son. (I shared Gussie's story here.)

Whatever similarities existed between the two girls, there were also some striking differences. At the young age of 16, Bertha married Sam Lamb on the 22nd of July 1900. Although several years older, Gussie actually married two years after Bertha. Bertha and Sam's son, Jesse Wallace Fricks, was born about 1902. Gussie and her husband John Brummitt would have a son three years later. 

The most striking difference though was the length of Bertha's life which sadly was considerably shorter than Gussie's. 

Bertha didn't live long enough to appear on a single census with her husband and son.  Dying before her son Jesse was two years old, she missed out on so much. She didn't experience growing old with her husband, nor seeing her son Jesse marry and have children. She never knew the joy that grandchildren bring.

Sadly no death certificate exists for her and not even a Find-A-Grave entry helps identify where she was laid to rest. Thankfully, a short article appeared in the Walker County Messenger, a newspaper for LaFayette, Georgia.  The following entry was published on Thursday February 26, 1903:
"On the 14th inst. while the shades of night hung over our sleeping valley the angel of death entered the home of Mr. Sam Lamb and snatched from his bosom his dear wife. Two short summers ago she stood by his side a beautiful blushing bride full of life and vigor; but soon the much-dreaded monster, consumption, with its cold hands laid hold of her body and finished its deadly work. The deceased was the daughter of Mrs. Ramsey Fricks. In this, the saddest hour of their lives, we offer sympathy and trust that the Good Master will at last lead the bereaved to a sweet home where no sad farewells are heard."   (1)              J.B. Cagle                                                                                                                                                                         
Only 18 years old and with so much ahead of her, Bertha succumbed to the awful disease, consumption, known today as tuberculosis. She left behind her husband of two years and her young son. Two sisters and two stories, but one story was much too short. 


(1)  LaFayette Georgia Walker County Messenger 1902-1905, image 218, February 23, 1903. Accessed on Old Fulton New York Post Cards, October 24th, 2015.

Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2015, All rights reserved