Sunday, January 13, 2013

Newly Found Photos!

I briefly wanted to post about this find!  So, the other weekend my dad was putting in a new faucet for my grandmother.  He ended up needing a tool, so he went into the basement, to his dad's old workbench area.  After looking around for a bit, he saw a bag and decided to check what was in it.  What he found shocked him (and the rest of us)!  He ended up pulling out two old framed photos, wrapped in newspaper from the 1970s.  (She has so many things packed away, I have to admit, sometimes I think we'll find the ark of the covenant in my grandmother's house....)

They are absolutely gorgeous!  The woman's, unfortunately is cracked.  The duo pictured are one set of my dad's great-grandparents, probably taken in the 1880s.  They were poor (they were immigrants, he was a coal miner, she a housewife) but obviously paid a lot of money for these portraits.  I have not yet seen the photos in person, as I live out of state, but I'm told that the picture is on the glass, thus seemingly preventing the replacement of it.  So, if anyone out there knows who to go to, to fix a photo like this I'd greatly appreciate it!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Part 2: Susanna Clingerman's parentage?

Okay, Part 2 :)

At this point I have been through every article of data I can think of that might state Susanna's parentage.  I decided to focus on seeing whether or not I could rule out David Buck as her father.  The truth is, I cannot.  Currently, I am awaiting the results of an MTDNA test from a direct maternal line descendant of Elizabeth Buck (definitely the daughter of David & Catherine Cashman Buck) and a direct maternal line descendant of Susanna Clingerman.

David Buck (1745 - 1816) married Catherine Cashman, and had at least 5 children together.  Thomas, Elizabeth, Susanna, Mary, and David.

This is my list of "comparables":

1. My Susanna was born 20 Feb 1798 (from tombstone).  It appears Susanna Buck was also born abt this time since from David's will she was born after Elizabeth in 1795 and before Mary in 1800.

2. Both my Susanna & Susanna Buck were born in Pennsylvania.

3. My Susanna married Philip Clingerman who was the son of Frederick Clingerman.  Frederick Clingerman and family were living in the same town as David Buck in every census record in Providence, Bedford county.

4. Susanna, daughter of David Buck, was not married in 1816 at the time of his death, mine wouldn't have been married at this point either.

5. Neither my Susanna nor Susanna Buck were married in the 1820 census either.

6. My Susanna named her first daughter, Elizabeth.  Susanna Buck's sister Elizabeth named one of her daughters Susanna, possibly they were very close?

7. The Clingerman's were not Catholic and I don't believe the Bucks were either.  This is only important b/c within a few generations my family did become Catholic, but was definitely not at this point.

8. Elizabeth Buck wrote that by 1872 her sister Susanna was already dead, my Susanna Clingerman died in 1861.

9. In the 1830 census, Philip & Susanna Clingerman were listed with just 6 people in between them and David & Elizabeth Garlick.  Two were other Garlick's, two were Felton's, (father & son), and the son was married to a sister of Philip Clingerman.

10. I have not found any other Susanna in Bedford county in 1850 who could be Susanna Buck.  Of course, it's always a possibility she was dead/moved by then.

Some final remarks, I recently found some other extremely interesting information.  Elizabeth's descendants have a tradition that she and her family were run out of town by their friends and family after they converted to Mormonism.  I decided to go through the minutes from Bedford county, page by page to see if I could find any truth in this.  What I found astonished me.

In the January 1839 sessions, I found that my ancestor, Philip Clingerman (Susanna's husband) had been arrested for inciting a riot and assault and battery for dragging a man named Albert Brown out of his bed in the middle of the night and tarring and feathering him.  The main witnesses for the victim?  That's right, Elizabeth Buck and her husband, David Garlick.  Now, they obviously knew one another, but was he Elizabeth's brother-in-law?  Still unknown.  All in all there were over 10 people arrested in this incident.

Soon after this incident, Elizabeth Buck and David Garlick would move with their family to Utah.  Susanna and Philip Clingerman stayed in Bedford county, PA.  As it turned out, the incident in 1839 would not be the last time Philip ended up in court.  In 1851 he, along with several others, were arrested for "forcible entry".  What it came down to was one of his friends was renting out a property to a woman who was a Garlick by birth (cousin of David's above).  They took her and her belongings and through them into the street.

One would think this would be the end of his time in front of a judge, but no.  Once again he (and his son Lewis) shows up in 1870, but this time for making "wine and other intoxicating drinks and selling them to minors and others and also sold on Sundays without a license and with great annoyance to the community".

So there it stands.  Lots of circumstantial "evidence" and nothing concrete to prove that Susanna definitely is or definitely is not the sister of Elizabeth Buck Garlick.  The DNA is my last lifeline.

Who are Susanna Clingerman's parents? Part 1

This is a post about one of my brick walls in my father's family.  Susanna ___ Clingerman was born the 20th of February 1798 in Pennsylvania, and died the 13th of April 1861 in Bedford County, PA.  She is my 4th great-grandmother.  Unfortunately her parentage is uncertain.

Susanna married Philip Clingerman (1800 - 1881) in about 1829.  They had four children together,
   (1) Elizabeth Ann Clingerman (1830 - 1897)
   (2) Lewis Clingerman (1832 - 1884)
   (3) Mary Clingerman (1834 - ?)
   (4) Philip Clingerman (1846 - 1861)

Philip's parentage is well established in the history books as John Frederick Clingerman and his wife Catherine (although her parentage is also unknown).  They were Palatine Germans.  Knowing Philip's, I decided to move ahead and try to find Susanna's.  I checked both of their obituaries, I checked to see if there were any existing church records (hint, there weren't, apparently the Brethren didn't think it necessary), and I checked numerous will records from surrounding households.  One (David Buck) had a daughter named Susanna, however he died in 1816 so she was unmarried at the time.  It seemed like a possibility, but I still needed proof.

In the intervening time, I also checked death records.  In PA, the state has death records from 1906 to the present day, and prior to that, each individual county has death records from roughly 1893 to 1905.  Because parents are generally listed on the state records, I went ahead and ordered Elizabeth Clingerman Shuss's death record from 1897 (my 3rd great-grandmother).  The results: "no parents listed".  Needless to say I was bummed to say the least.

After my strikeout with Elizabeth, I decided to go through the rest of her siblings.  Unfortunately, as I soon learned, they all died relatively young.  Lewis died in 1884, and Philip died in 1861.  I was left with Mary.  But, in tracing her I got caught in a case of mistaken online identity.  This happens more than people realize (a very good lesson in why you can use others' research as a starting point, but always find your own supporting documents).  At first I was excited to learn that Mary Clingerman Morse had died in 1916 in Pennsylvania.  This gave me hope I would be able to solve the mystery of Susanna's parentage.  So I ordered Mary's death certificate, and impatiently patiently waited for it to come in the mail.  When I received it however, I was thrown back when it stated that her parents were "Peter Clingerman" and "Mary Smith".  I soon realized my Mary had been mistakenly identified by numerous online researchers as her cousin Mary Morse.  The hunt continued.

After striking out with the death certificate, I pushed forward and found Philip Clingerman's will in 1881.  In it he mentions his three children: Elizabeth Shuss, Lewis Clingerman, and (wait for it) Mary McDaniel, wife of J.N. McDaniel.  The hunt was back on!  J.N. I soon found out was a preacher, and he and Mary had had two children.  The first, Susan Margaret, was born in 1861 and died in 1895 soon after her first child was born.  The second was Linnie.  Then, as quickly as I found them, they disappeared on me.  Soon after Philip's death in 1881, as it turned out, the family picked up and moved first to Nebraska, and then to Oregon where J.N. would later die in 1890.  The hunt was still on for Mary.  What had happened to her?  Did she outlive J.N.?  Unfortunately, the answer was no, I don't believe she did.  There was no mention of her in his obituary.  I was at a dead end.

Part 2 will be coming soon!

About My Family

To start off the blog, I thought I'd post a little background on my own ancestry.  My parents families have by and large been in the US since they immigrated.  They are also mainly Catholic on both sides.  And they each are roughly 2/3's German/French (from the Rhine River area mainly), 1/3 British Isles.  But that's where the similarities generally end.

My mother's family is comprised of 100% post-1845 (and pre-1895) immigrants to the US.  My father on the other hand is descended from Colonial immigrants up to immigrants who came in 1882.  My mother's family is centered in Erie County, PA, while my father's was in Cambria County, PA.  My mother's were mainly train conductors and laborers, while my father's ancestors were coal miners and farmers.

As I said, both of my parents have by-and-large mainly Catholic ancestors.  However, my mother has a pair of Lutheran great-great grandparents from Germany who converted upon immigration, and my father has some Presbyterians, Lutherans, Quakers, and a number of the Church of the Brethren.

I'll delve more into some of their more "colorful" ancestors in this blog in later posts.  But for now, I'd love to hear a bit about your families.  I've learned many things through genealogy, one being that there is no such thing as a "boring ancestry".  And if you think you have one, well you just haven't dug deep enough yet ;)



Hello :)  I have about 6 different blogs (yes 6) that I started several months ago, each on a different genealogy topic.  I quickly found that to be far too cumbersome to keep going, so I decided to start a catch-all blog.

First, a little information about me, I am 26 and have been researching since I was about 13.  It started out as a way for my mother to keep her mother interacting after a stroke, but it soon became a passion of mine.  If I could, I would quit my dayjob and become a professional genealogist full-time.  If you've been researching for a while, I'm sure many of you know how addicting it can become! :)

Most of my research has been in Pennsylvania, but I've also had experience researching in New York, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, DC, West Virginia, and (through the magic of the internet and microfilm) Germany, Scotland, and many other places.

In 2008, after I graduated college and before I found my current job (2009-present!), I also researched for others.  Mostly for free, sometimes for small payments (I was a broke college student after all, lol).

I'll update this blog on stubborn ancestors, interesting newspaper articles I find, photographs, genealogy with DNA, and anything else that may come up.  Please enjoy, and thanks for checking out my site!

-Katie Rennie