Monday, February 27, 2017

What I'm Working On...

I received responses from both the Schuyler county clerk’s office and the Crawford County, Iowa, recorder’s office.

Remarkably, the Schuyler county clerk and recorder’s office has no records of Charles and his brother Philetus’ land transactions in the 1850s and no record of the land being sold by presumably Eunice and Alanson when they moved on to Iowa in the 1870s. The Bureau of Land Management website has images of the original land patents, and I have a photocopy of an index to land purchases, so I know where the land was and when it was purchased. A little further research online suggests that these land records may be available on microfilm through the Family History Library. I have not found them online.

The folks at the Crawford County, Iowa, recorder’s office didn’t find any record of the death of Lafayette Swift. They did give me the name of a local researcher. I emailed him and he told me about the online newspapers available through the Dennison library website. I search and found no mention of his death. The Worths were not long-time members of the community. In fact, they moved quite often between leaving Illinois and finally planting roots in western Loup county, Nebraska in April 1884. It is possible there is another newspaper that would have carried the news of a 21 year old man’s death. I will keep looking, but I have a feeling this may remain a mystery.

Another question I would ask Grandma if I could: Do you know the circumstances of the deaths of John H. Swift and Lafayette Swift, your mother’s brothers? I bet she did, but I didn’t know to ask.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

What I'm working on...

In the last two weeks, I have received a copy of John H. and Helen or Ella (Willey) Swift’s marriage license from  McDonough County. I also received a response to my request from the McDonough County Genealogical Society. They do not have any information about the deaths of John H. Swift or his parents, Charles and Lydia (Bates) Swift. Research volunteers Judy A. and Judy B. did a thorough search of their records and found references to our family, but it was mostly information I already had. It is GOOD to know there are still conscientious volunteers who are ready to help strangers find family info through county genealogical societies.

I finished browsing records on of probate records for Schuyler county. I found references to guardianship of Charles and Eunice’s minor children, but no probate records of Charles Swift (1790). McDonough County probate records are not on

Today I mailed letters to the Crawford County Iowa Recorder’s Office to see if they have a death record for Lafayette Swift, and a letter to the Schuyler County Illinois courthouse for information about when Charles’ land was sold.

I may have a new blog or even a new website soon. The goal of all of this is to share my research with my children and grandchildren and anyone else who is interested in it. And a blog or website is a low-cost way to achieve that. Daughter Liz is inspiring me to expand beyond this simple blog that no one reads ;) and create a place for stories and photos and research that is user friendly and a fun place to learn about our family. We’ll see what the future brings!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

What I'm working on...

I continued to work on adding citations to Charles and Eunice Swift in Legacy Family Tree. Looking through the few files I have, I discovered land records so I’m adding that information. I put a citation on the image. I need to learn about Bounty Land Warrants. I discovered Charles (1790) was given a bounty warrant for his service in the war of 1812. (Exciting find!) But he assigned the warrant to his son Charles F. Swift (1829). Charles was the oldest son. His brother Philetus bought 40 acres next to Charles’ 40 acres in Brownville Township, Schuyler County, Illinois. I need to follow the paper trail and find out what happened to the land.

I may see about ordering microfilm of newspapers from Schuyler County in the time frame of Charles’ death. I wonder if any mention was made of his death. It would be interesting to read what was being said about the Civil War. I also would like to see if there is any information about the death of his parents, Charles and Lydia.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Calista A. Worth


On Saturday the sad news went over the wire of the death of Calista A., second daughter of G. H. and F. L. Worth, of lung trouble.

Calista was born on the 13th day of June, 1883, in Crawford county, Iowa, and died on the 24th day of January, 1903.

Prior to this sickness she apparently was in good health until about three days before her death. Previous to her death, when she was taken sick, she was teaching school new (sic) Westerville and making her home with her uncle where she was at the time of her death. Her father received word of her serious illness late Friday evening and started early the next morning but the news of her death met him about half way. The remains were taken to Almeria on Monday and placed in the cemetery beside her four brothers and sisters, Revs Day, of Newton, and Evans, of Brewster, officiating.

Calista was an estimable young lady, just launching on a successful career as a teacher. All her intimate acquaintances have nothing but words of praise for her. A large concourse of friends gathered in Almeria to pay the last sad rites to their friend and neighbor and offer words of sympathy to the sorrowing parents, brothers and sisters.

Source: “Died.” The Taylor Clarion, newspaper, (Taylor, Nebraska, USA), 29 January 1903, vol. 20, no. 13, p 1, col 3; microfilm no. 11,854, Nebraska State Historical Society.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

What I'm working on this week...

There’s nothing better on a crazy hectic Friday than to come home from work to find some family history love in the mail box! The McDonough County Genealogical Society (Illinois) has publications called Grandma Flack’s Scrapbook. There are 8 volumes of this scrapbook which include wedding articles and obituaries from the Industry area of McDonough County. It’s a wonderful resource, but unfortunately most of the articles have no date and none have the name of the newspaper.

Flora Lucinda (Swift) Worth had a brother John H. who died when he was about 24 years old. I didn’t find his obituary because most of the articles are from 1894 to 1957 and he died in 1877, but I did find the obituary of his wife. They were only married 15 months or so before he died. I’m following up with a more specific request for information about John’s death from the MCGS.

I worked mostly on correcting and adding citations to the Charles and Eunice (Robinson) Swift family in Legacy Family Tree. It’s time consuming! But going through it slowly helps me see what other information I might be out there. For example, was there a newspaper article or at least a mention of Charles’ death in his hometown newspaper? I hope to look at microfilm through Inter Library Loan to see what I can find. I also sent for a copy of John H. Swift’s marriage license and an email request to the Crawford County Iowa Genealogical Society to see what resources might be available to find out about the death of Charles and Eunice’s youngest son Lafayette’s death in 1883.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

What I'm working on this week

This week I wrote a citation for the Civil War pension file for Eunice (Robinson) Swift Hurlburt. I read through the 207 pages and put more information with the citation in Legacy Family Tree. I also put the citation on images of some of the pages and copied them for the binder. I am almost ready to start writing the story...a few changes to make on old citations to get them worded properly and then it's on to the fun.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

What I'm working on this week...

To help me remember what I’ve done as time passes, I’m hoping to post a weekly update about what I’ve been working on and a brief summary of any findings and work completed. My GOAL is to write the stories I find in blog posts that I will link to from Facebook so my kids (or anyone else) can read them if they are interested. I have so much research mostly done but not ready to be passed on. My ultimate goal with all this is to put my research into a usable form - I’d love to say finished form but genealogy is never finished - for my kids and grandkids.

In December I decided I wanted to start working on breaking down some brickwall ancestors. They are:

Melissa (Donaldson) Whittecar
Susan (Westervelt) Newcomb
Elizabeth (Robison) West
Charles and Lydia ( ? ) Swift
John Jones
Aaron Robinson

The first three are on dad’s side and the last three are on mom’s.

I started with Charles and Lydia Swift. Using old Family Group Sheets from cousin Donna Shepard from the ‘80’s, I was able to find information on and about them, their children and Charles’ ancestors. I found military information on which provides information about Charles’ father, John Swift, who fought in the Revolutionary War. And beyond that, John and his wife Anna Throop are each descendants of people who came over on the Mayflower. I will post more about them in the months ahead.

So what am I working on specifically this week? Yet another goal with my research is to be sure every fact had a citation that shows the source of the information. So this week I have been working on Charles (1829) and Eunice (Robinson) Swift’s family. I found census and marriage records for their children Harriet, John, Leroy, Flora Lucinda (our ancestor) and Lafayette, and created citations to put in Legacy Family Tree. John and Lafayette died in their early 20s and I’d like to find out more. I sent a request on January 4 to the McDonough County Genealogical Society for Swift family information. They have a “Grandma Flack’s Scrapbook” that has quite a few mentions of the Swift family so I’m anxious to see what they have. Maybe with a little bit of luck we will discover the dates and places of death of Charles (1790) and Lydia Swift. I need to contact the Crawford County, Iowa, genealogy community to see what I can find about the death of Lafayette there in 1883.

Next: write citations for the Civil War widow's pension records of Eunice (Robinson) Swift Hurlburt, specifically the pages that give the births of her children. When I’m satisfied with the Charles (1823) Swift family, move up to his parents.

Context: How are we related to the two Charles’? Me - mom - Lizzie (Worth) Jones - Flora Lucinda (Swift) Worth - Charles (1829) and Eunice (Robinson) Swift - Charles (1790) and Lydia (Bates) Swift.