Sunday, June 14, 2015

Flag Day and Pledge of Allegiance

From Kansas to You, History Written 1917
As a born Kansan (6 generations ), might I brag that the original Pledge of Allegiance came from Cherryvale, Montgomery County, Kansas, close to Coffeyville.
Transcription: The Denison Review, Denison Iowa,
Origin of This Sublime Salute to   the Stars and Stripes.


The Tribute Our School Children Pay to Old Glory Was Written by a Kansas Boy Who Was Inspired by the Patriotism of a Kansas Woman.

Half a hundred boys and girls, eyes  glistening and voices thrilling, chant  the flag pledge in unison, and at the  close half a hundred right arms are thrust forward and upward, the better  to wave a half a hundred little American flags. 
That Is the scene presented to the visitor in any public schoolroom in America on Washington's birthday or flag day or any other occasion of a patriotic program. 
America owes its flag pledge to Kansas.' It was written by a Kansas boy and inspired by a Kansas woman.  Here is the story: 
A little more than twenty years ago Mrs. Lillian A. Hendricks of Cherryvale, Kan., was an untiring worker in the Women's Relief corps, an auxiliary of the G. A. R., and held the office of patriotic instructor in the Cherryvale organization. The mother of two boys, she wanted them to grow up with the spirit of her ancestry, which led back to John Cary of Revolutionary war fame, and she entered- upon her duties as patriotic instructor with enthusiasm.  She followed the custom of her official predecessors in visiting the schools and talking to the pupils about the glories of the country and its traditions. But she went farther. She introduced the principal of the high school to set aside a recitation hour, during which the sixteen members of the class of 1896 wrote their ideas of their debt to their country and their duty to its government. 
One member of the class was Frank E. Bellamy. His tribute impressed Mrs.  Hendricks so much, when it was gathered up with the others and sent to her for inspection, that she preserved it. 
With 1898 came the Spanish-American war, and one of the first to volunteer his services to the country was Frank Bellamy, then twenty-one years old. He joined the Twentieth Kansas Infantry as a member of the regimental band and went to the Philippines, where he remained until the Kansas fighting force returned to the United States and was mustered out. 
But in the meantime, in 1899, with the fervor of patriotism which the war with Spain aroused, came the decision of a conference of representatives of the patriotic organizations of the country that a pledge of allegiance was necessary to inculcate a love of country in the generations to come. Throughout the states the submission of suitable sentiments was invited, and the W. R. C., through its state departments and through local corps like the one at Cherryvale, took it up. Mrs. Hendricks, whose love of the Stars and Stripes was something very much like worship, thought at once of the pledge of allegiance written by the high school boy who now was with Uncle Sam's fighting men across the Pacific, and she submitted it to the national committee which was to make the selection. Out of thousands upon thousands of manuscripts which reached the committee  and were read and passed on, the pledge of Frank Bellamy was chosen as the one expressing in fewest words and  strongest phrases the loyalty of an American to his flag and to the land of his 'birth or adoption. So it came to pass that the Kansas boy author of the "flag pledge" is numbered with Francis  Scott Key, author of "The Star Spangled  Banner, Joseph Rodman Drake, author of "The American Flag, Dr. S. S. Smith, author of "America," and others from whence pens have come undying expressions of loyalty to our country. 
Frank Bellamy returned from the Philippines shattered in health by his stay in the tropics. It is an interesting fact that he knew nothing of the adoption .of his pledge of allegiance by the patriotic societies of America until Mrs. Hendricks told him when he arrived in his home town.
"We are proud of you, Frank," she said "and the national W. R. C. has passed a resolution thanking you for writing it."  The boy flushed. "It didn't express half "what I tried to write," he said. 
The physicians who examined him on  his arrival home found that the white plague already had him In Its grip and ordered him to the mountains. He went to Colorado, and, since he could no longer follow music as a vocation, he took up art, for which he also had a talent, and, his own mother having died, he looked to Mrs. Hendricks for advice and corresponded with her throughout his residence in the west 
Mr. Bellamy never recovered his health, but his last days were made easy because of the fact that through Mrs. Hendricks' efforts he obtained a liberal pension as a Spanish-American war veteran. He died in Denver March 31, 1915. His body was taken to Cherryvale and rests in Fairview cemetery there, not far from the shaft which marks the grave of Mrs. Hendricks.—

Kansas City Star.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Friday, June 12, 2015

Is Genealogy Ancestor Worship?

Wiley J. Morris (Tobe) 1838 -1934
Why Do You Do Genealogy?
Is family history something to be proud of? Hasn't modern man moved on from ancestor worship? These are the questions posed in a New Castle Herald article Family Tree Futility on 29 Nov. 2011. It appears the writer truly finds no value in genealogy research or findings and I'm sure he doesn't stand alone. I have had church leaders quote I Timothy 1:4 (KJV) to prove the futility of genealogy; and we all know family members might quietly giggle at our occupation (or preoccupation).

Well, why do you do genealogy? Really, are you guilty of secretly seeking royalty? Or, have you been gifted with the "silly gene?" (Wonder which marker would reveal that buried gene?)

For me...I'll reprint why I promote genealogy research. This piece, entitled What Is Genealogy?, offers why I cherish family genealogies and family storiesJohn Brandt, (husband) in 2007 captured my thoughts in this clever piece!
Genealogy is more than cold dates and endless hours of research. It is more than who was born, who was married and who died. It is more than who a family was, and more than what they did or where they lived. Through the study of the names, dates, migrations, census information and DNA, the cold dates become milestones in the life of someone connected to us. The births of the past become as momentous as a birth today, the marriages, jobs, and setbacks as poignant. It is not only discovering a history but also uncovering a human journey. It allows for a grand perspective and realization that we will be the birth dates, marriage dates, and death dates of a future generation. We will be the nameless faces that stare from a faded picture. And so Genealogy becomes our future. By honoring our past we teach our children to honor theirs. When we honor the struggles and triumphs of our fathers and mothers, we honor the struggles of all families at all times in all places.  John Brandt,2007 
Originally posted 29 Jan 2010 at What Is Genealogy?

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Maybe not Cherokee? - Other Native American Tribes

562 Federally Recognized Indian Nations
Many researchers dive directly into the Dawes records when looking for their Native American ancestors. The record set of “The Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory” most commonly called the Dawes rolls are well known, clearly indexed and readily available. Few researchers even expand to the Guion Miller Roll, 1906-1911 to verify their Eastern Cherokee ancestry (reference NARA microfilm M1773) from Georgia, Alabama, and/or Tennessee. Researchers also commonly overlook the earlier rolls that compiled the Baker Rolls (reference textural records National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), RG 75). When looking for your Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole ancestry these records are paramount. Yet, only five tribes are represented vs. the “562 federally recognized Indian Nations (tribes, bands, nations, bands, pueblos, communities, rancherias and native villages) in the USA.”

Exhaustive Search:  From Alaska to the Atlantic
It is estimated that 229 of the 562 are located in Alaska, leaving 333 federally recognized communities in 33 states of the contiguous USA identified by their cultural and linguistic uniqueness. So if you seeking to verify your Native American heritage, you must go past the ease of the Dawes Records. 

A complete list by state of Federally recognized tribes can be found at the National Conference of State Legislatures website. And when researching in Alaska, don’t limit yourself to the cruise favorite of Ketchican and Icy Strait ports. Yes, in spite of the popular cruise land tour of the Tlingit tribe and Totem Pole Park, you may have to dig deeper for your ancestral Native American bloodline.

3 Research Tips for non-Cherokee Ancestry Records?

RG 75, Registers of Indian Families ca.1901-1902, Book 78
The a3Genealogy top 3 resources for Native American research:  1) National Archives (especially regional branches) 2) Church records 3) Tribal Records.  These records most commonly will provide the researcher with both a Native name and the more familiar family name.  Hint: these records are rarely indexed and must be reviewed page by page.  But with cross referencing and patience, you may not only ferret out your ancestor, but uncover generations of names and ages.

1)      The National Archives holds removal records, tribal enrollment records, land allotment records and more. We have had great success at the KC-NARA when researching Midwest tribes. One of our most recent successes was while researching the Omaha/ Winnebago Tribe, NE and the Ho Chunk, Wisconsin tribe, located in Record Group 75. Beginning with the List of Winnebago Families That Became Citizens of the United States, April 1871 and cross referencing Maps, Atlases and Drawings, Records of Land Allotted to Members of the Ponca Tribe of Native Americans and Records of Flandreau, Santee Sioux Indians Who Took Homesteads, 1883, we were able to uncover an elusive client ancestor.  These records were held at the KC- NARA.  But other cases have been solved using similar records in Louisiana and Georgia.
RG75, Winnebago Agency, Annuity Payrolls, 1857-1926

2)      Christian missionaries made it their “calling” to convert Native Americans. The conversion often was the first record using both a Native name and the adopted family name. We have located these in church records from Catholic, Episcopalian, and Presbyterian records, to Baptist and Methodist.  Others have touted Mennonite, Monrovian and the Reformed Church records also being helpful.
3)      With data, dates and names in hand, communication researchers will want to expand their search using additional tribal records. This may require communication with the tribal historian. We suggest paying attention to tribal specific Land Tract books and any Heirship card files, but many more records may be available.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Where Have You Researched in New Orleans?

Why they came and stayed in NOLA
12 Less Frequented Repositories and Archival Collections
Many researchers bypass the small archives that hold our ancestral histories.  Small archives may be located in historical hotels, specialty museums, and small college collections.  Some might ask, are these searches worth it? Well, the answer is YES!.  You'd be amazed at how many brickwalls have been solved by "small archive research."

Where to Begin?
After the internet and subscription (and free research has been exhausted. The National Archives collections, State and Historical Archives, local Genealogical Societies (state and counties) have been scoured, and the court records come up empty, it's time to go to the small archives. What do you have to lose besides a bit of time? What do you have to gain? Answer: "additional regional resources" and the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing a reasonably exhaustive search.

Clients know it can be worth it to have feet in the field. So equipped with the necessities, phone camera, flip-pal scanner, livescribe pen, and a list of repositories. two wonderful historical cases were solved.  One for was for the media (name not mentioned). Here is a shortened list of the repositories visited both online and in person for our New Orleans research and retreat trip.  (Well, of course the cuisine was necessary for all that walking, talking, and seeking!)

From Pre-planning to Visiting
1.  Louisiana Historical Society (LHS) :  Thanks LHS for sharing a list of Resourced for Research in New Orleans.  This list was used especially for my pre-planning. You never want to exchange the time in the field, for time you can do from your home office.  
2.  New Orleans GenesisSometimes you need a comprehensive list of books, resources, bibliographies or just possibilities.  Again as part of preplanning be sure to review the information provided by the New Orleans Genesis, the "official publication of the Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans." This newspaper link provided footing for our "street-side" research.   
3.  Touro Infirmary Archives. From their website: "Founded by Judah Touro in 1852, Touro Infirmary is New Orleans’ oldest private hospital. Its collection (1852 to present) includes the hospital’s historical records, annual reports, minute books, 19th-century admission records and photographs." Yes, we love minute books! 
4.  City Archives and Special Collections of New Orleans Public Library.  Know that this repository is worth the trip.  This is the "Official municipal archives for the City of New Orleans (1769 to date); repository for Orleans Civil (1804-1926) and Criminal (I 83 0-193 1) Courts; map and photograph collection; card indexes to obituaries and news items in local newspapers (1804-1972); nonarchival manuscripts, rare books, genealogy, and carnival collections." 
5.  Office of Archives, Archdiocese of New OrleansThe archives has four main sections: sacramental and cemetery records (1718 – ca. 1900); archdiocesan historical records (Spanish colonial period – present); several manuscript collections (e.g., Baudier Collection); and a small research library. The archives serves as the archdiocesan records management office. Be sure to secure an appointment in advance.
Office of Archives, Archdiocese of New Orleans: African American Research

University / College Repositories
University Special Collections has always been a favorite to a3Genealogy researchers. Here are a few frequent repositories: 

6.  Tulane University . Be sure to visit the Archival Guides that include both the Tulane University Archives and Louisiana Research Collection. We particularly favor the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library filled with Commencement programs and student transcripts (1834 -1978).  
7.  Loyola University, New Orleans, J. Edgar & Louis S. Monroe LibraryThe Special Collections and Archives at the New Orleans Province Jesuit Archives housed in the Monroe Library at Loyola University, held a surprising find. We began with the Digital Archives.
8.  Xavier University Archives and Special Collections.  A must for African American genealogical research and Gulf-Caribbean region research. This repository has an impressive of unpublished papers. The vertical files were worth the visit while researching an ex-slavemaster (long story) for the media.
Ethnic geography map of New Orleans c. 1850 to c. 1910.
Ethnic geography map of New Orleans c. 1850 to c. 1910
9.  Williams Research Center - Historic New Orleans Collection. Did you have German ancestors in New Orleans?  The history is strong, almost overwhelming and you wouldn't want to miss this repository. Be sure to review their digital collection.  One of our elusive Alsace projects were solved thanks to this repository.

Ethnic geography map of New Orleans showing generalized distributions of ethnic and racial groups in the city, c. 1850 to c. 1910 may assist with your search.

Historical New Orleans Hotel Research
Roosevelt Review
We wouldn't be a3Genealogy if we overlooked the historical hotel archives. As readers already know, we usually check-in to a historic hotel and make an appointment with the archivist in advance. These historic hotels are lovely and filled with luxury and elegance, and (often hold) great historical records. A listing of historical hotels can be found on the Historic Hotels of America website.

10.  The Roosevelt - Waldorf Astoria. For this visit we stayed at The Roosevelt - Waldorf Astoria. Like many historic hotels, the Roosevelt had a popular published magazine, The Roosevelt Review, that announced visitors and entertainers. Like other upscale historic hotels waiters and staff were also featured. Did your ancestor pass through the majestic doors of the Roosevelt?  The hotel holds a complete collection of the Roosevelt Review, but researchers must be able to narrow timeframe, as this magazine is not indexed. The magazine can also be used for a taste of social history.We did locate an Index of Roosevelt Review at the Louisiana Division New Orleans Public Library. The Roosevelt Review is also a valuable resource for African American research.

Roosevelt Review
11.  Dauphine Orleans Hotel: It is said the records date back to 1775. Although time (and job) did not required us to peruse the records, the history and records should be reviewed for that "one" ancestor who may have visited the early brothel. There is an historian, who seems to know much about the hotel and has valuable information.  Let us know what you find!

Last Thoughts
12.  New Orleans on the Greater New Orleans Archivists , If you still have not located that pesky ancestor playing hide and seek, be sure to review this impressive link of archival repositories on the New Orleans on the Greater New Orleans Archivists site.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Connected by Letters- Wiley, David and Sarah Morris

From Kansas to California
Sometimes it's just fun to find old letters that piece together the family photos, the family bible, death certificates, and obituaries.  We know that Wiley J, 1807 and Louisa Morris, 1817 had five children. Three of these offsprings, Wiley (Tobe) 1838, sister Adelade (married Willis Cox), and youngest brother David Morris, 1850 settled in Kansas. One son of Tobe's and many of David's offsprings to include his daughters Addie, Hoolie, April and Lou [Louise] went to California. But this railroad family (many of the husbands worked the railroad), travelled between Kansas and California to visit first cousins. They also wrote, confirming their close-knit family and relations.  Today cousins from these three Morris branches still celebrate in the Wiley J. Morris Reunion.  For 2015, it will be held in Omaha, Nebraska.

The following two 1954 letters are between all 3 cousin "groups" with the following mentions:
         Pearl (Morris) Simpson, daughter of Tobe, nicknamed "Duck"
         Jessie (Jess), Granddaughter of Wiley (Tobe) Morris
         Addie Belle Tucker, daughter of David, nicknamed "Sister"
         Hoolie (looks like Ollie), daughter of David
         Louise, daughter of David, seamstress in CA. (Often called "Big Sister")
         Cleave, son of David, lived in Kansas but visited California
Sarah Adelade
         Myrtle and Pauline, granddaughter of Sarah Adelade (Morris) Cox
         Mattie Cox, daughter of Sarah Adelade Morris Cox (mother of Myrtle and Pauline)

Letter 1 from Addie Tucker, CA to cousin Pearl Simpson, KS 28 Sept 1954

Hello, well I don’t know what to say_______this is I am so glad to rite you.  This is your cussin Addie, your uncle Dave Addie they called me Sister.  Duck I wish I could see you. Can you come to see me. I would come to see you but I am sick all the time with hi-blood pressure [pressure] & haven’t seen you in a long time. I got  a chance to see Jessie last night but I were [was] so glad she gave me your address. I have thought aboutyou so much thinking I would never here [hear] from you. But thank God for this blessing.  Send me your picture so I can see you.  Well all of us is about dead so I sure do want to see you cousin. Mat [Mattie Cox] girls live out here. Mirtle [ Myrtle] and Pauline. I have Pinks picture taken with me when I was 17 years old and have 2 sister out here April and Lue. Borther Cleave did last month. Excuse Bad spelling. All so [?} and don’t see to good. But I am ok and I do thank God for my youth. Well answer at once. I sure do want to see you all [and] hear from my you and family. So goodbye. Hope to hear from you. Your cousin Addie Tucker 631 E 52nd St, Ph ad4-1056, Los Angeles, CA. 

 Letter 2 to Pearl (Morris) Simpson, Great Bend Kansas from Jessie and Myrtle

Dear Aunt Pearl

Here I am at Myrtle’s and we both have said how we wished you were here. I told her yesterday I could all most see you laughing at us fussing. Myrtle is just as fast as ever. Last night she had a beautiful party for me. Alright in the morning before the party she went out to her club. I went sight seeing. Se got home about 4:30. She fixed a wonderful dinner. Had her party food already and was yelling at John and I to come to dinner at about 6. And she did have love party food.  Some gal. Her house is beautiful I will tell you about it when I see you in Omaha.  But I have found nothing more beautiful in L. A. I surely have gone to many one [ size] with ever convenience. She sill has some body coming and going all day. [  ] He has a nice job with the telephone company. I had a visit with [Hoolie]. She is fine. Today Myrtle and I going out to day to a place they call Farmers Market and to Lane Bryants store. Then on & on into the nte. Well also todayI am going to see Sister Addie. I can’t tell her last name. But will later. She keeps saying how she would love to see  “Duck” when , well Aunt Pearl there was 25 all together 1-3-3- cousins that goes to 7 [?] that was a party. Mattie Earl’s family and Uncle Dave’s kids. Oh I will tell you later. But fun O yes Ollie [Hoolie] had a nice [  ] down town for me. Will see you later. Love Jessie. 

Hi Simpson sorry I didn’t get to see you again. We went on [stopped] every place and finally got to NY and we sure did our number there. Great to have Jess. [?] meddled with her business to my own[?]. Smile. Love Myrtle. 

Where possible or needed for understanding we made spelling/grammar adjustments. Due to the difficulty in writing and numerous spelling errors, an actual transcript was not included. If this is needed, order via a3Genealogy  The highlighted sentence 'Aunt Pearl there was 25 all together 1-3-3- cousins that goes to 7 [?] that was a party. Mattie Earl’s family and Uncle Dave’s kids" tightly links all three families and verifies their recognized kinship. The family bible also confirms kinships as do many newspaper articles and other family records. 

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Sunday, May 24, 2015

1-2-3 Researching Revolutionary War Veteran - Virginia / Kentucky

Celebrating Memorial Day - Early Veterans
For Memorial Day, we have decided to highlight land patent research for VA-KY Revolutionary War Veterans.  Land patent and bounty research of our ancestors is a great way to show their contribution and war service.  

Kentucky,separated from VA, was admitted as the 15th state, 1 Jun 1792. So early researchers may find their VA - KY Revolutionary War ancestor’s land warrants on the Kentucky Secretary of State website: Revolutionary War Warrants Database. 
“Patents issued for service in the Revolutionary War are filed with the Virginia Patent Series (VA), Old Kentucky Patent Series (OK) and the West of the Tennessee River Military Patent Series (WTRM).”

Step 1. Where to begin?
Visit the Kentucky Secretary of State website. We have had wonderful success on the Virginia and Old Kentucky Patent Series, where researchers can access patent images using a “name” database.  There’s also the Index forVirginia Surveys and Grants posted by the Kentucky Historical Society online. 

Step 2: Tracing Deeds.
Tracing the deeds may be possible using online databases as that in Edmonson County, KY where images of the deeds are available. At a3Genealogy, if needed we use Deed Mapper to help us identify and track land descriptions. But even with metes and bounds and the lack of official surveys and platted land maps, you can uncover the general area of your war veteran and ancestors’ Kentucky early settlements. Visit here for Metes and Bounds Primer for Genealogists

Step 3: Ready to Walk Ancestor’s Land?
Once researchers have traced the early land patent to the current owners, we have found that the local Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) office is the best resource to mapping current day location. In Edmonson County, KY the Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) office aerial maps were used for outlining the original land patent of a recent client. However, for a “forensic genealogy” case in the same area, we used a property title search company / attorney with a surveyor to verify our findings and certify land boundaries for a court case. This however, is an expensive solution for genealogical research.  
Edmonson County Aerial Map - Ancestor Land Identified
There is also an online tool for ancestral researchers who wish to do the current-day mapping work themselves. After you have traced your 18th century patent to today’s current owner researchers may wish to visit If map aficionados and “deed tracers” haven’t used this tool, you are missing a genealogical treat! It is available in many counties across America and is such a life-saver when working with metes/bound land descriptions from Napa, California to Kentucky.

Top 3 Roadblocks
1)      Deeds may not be readily available on line. More than once we have had to use our a3Genealogy Kentucky deed experts to ferret original patents and trace the deeds.  However, our Revolutionary War patent projects have thus far been 100%. To trace these patents to current day, however, requires research in wills, probates and minute books.
2)      You may wish to not have an aerial map (birds-eye) view.  For these clients we use Google Maps, but in some rural areas, exact locations may not be discernable on the map. Yet, an overlay from historical maps using Google Maps is an acceptable tool.
3)      From the original patent to current day the watercourses have shifted and the descriptions vary from one owner to the next. It’s not exact. Be sure to widen your deed trace to include neighbors. Few have paid for official surveys. However, this is changing due to boundary disputes.

As we celebrate our war veterans, have a safe Memorial Day. And let’s not forget our Revolutionary War soldiers laid to rest in the most remote locations.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, accessible answers

Monday, May 18, 2015

Slave Death Records Before the Civil War?

Where Might They Be Hiding?
Sometimes, there's a record collection that elicits "pause!" A grouping of records that shatters a truth so ingrained in the slave researchers' psyche, that even the slightest hope of uncovering the pre-Civil War slave ancestors is dismissed. Sure there are Civil War records, pension records being one of the favorites. There are Civil marriage records as early as 1865, slave master personal records, probates and wills that may give us a hint of a slave's name and even age. But what about death records? Are you bypassing death records, because you consider finding death facts on your slave ancestor to yield a low success rate?

Names Slave and "Name of the Owner of Slave"
Try It Anyway
There are two main questions needing to be answered when doing slave research: 1) Names of parents?  2) Who was the slavemaster(s)? Researchers most often give up too early to really ferrett the answers to these questions.  This was the case in a recent Virginia / West Virginia slave research project. Yet, both questions were answered. Perhaps a quick peak at county death records will surprise you.  In this West Virginia slave research project, an "ah shucks...let's just check" attitude yielded a hosts of slave names, their slavemasters, death circumstances and even parent's names (as known by the informant). The results were numerous and outlined not for one, two, or three slaves, but for many.

Names Parents and Birthplace

Where to Look and Tips
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History holds the death record database and images. But, to recreate this type of research conduct your keyword searches by the county using a first name search, not the expected surname. Keep identifying characteristics (age, location,etc.) in mind when conducting your search to pinpoint your ancestor.

Where to Go From Here?
First stop should be to slave master deeds and records. These deeds may explain how the slave was acquired, and name previously known slavemasters.  Through slaveholder lineage, wills and probates may name your slave ancestors also.

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers