Friday, September 30, 2011

Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933

Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933 | Learn |

The Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933, are online. You can read the details of the collection at the link above. Near the bottom is an index to the rolls with a link to each roll. Unfortunately you will have to go through the roll to see if the person you are seeking is there. If you chose pdf and wait for it to load [and you will wait] you can save the entire roll to your computer. I found that contributed to faster searching. I used Adobe Acrobat and viewed the pages two up.

The cards only cover 1907-1933. If your veteran and beneficiary died before 1907 you won't find them here. If you do you will find the veterans service and maybe his disability, often his location and sometimes his cause of death along with the date. If the final payment to the widow it generally states that. Most I checked were handwritten but some were typed.

These veterans would have preferred that their disability not be listed on cards for all to view. It seems many of them suffered from chronic diarrhea.

Not every veteran is a male. Ellen Downing, a nurse, got a pension beginning June 12, 1896. When she died June 19, 1910, her final payment went to Daniel W. Downing of Pittsburgh. It doesn't state his relationship to Ellen.

One George Downing alias Henry Harris [that's what it says] began collecting his pension on August 7, 1894. On May 24, 1913, he was dropped from the pension rolls. He didn't die. They learned he "did not render 90 days of service." This really sounds like an interesting story. He wasn't the only person with a totally unrelated name as an alias that I ran across.

A word of warning. Whoever alphabetized these cards was not perfect. Check before and after where you expect to find your ancestor.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Huguenot Records at

The Lucases came to the US in 1710, having fled up the Rhine from Otterberg, Germany. Before that they lived in France. They were Protestants and fled France to Germany. For some reason the records of the French Protestants in Otterberg survived three centuries of war. Now you can look them up on The Otterberg records show up in Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898.  []

Just because I could I checked out France, Protestant Church Records, 1612-1906. []

There are Lucases there, haven't checked those out yet. There are images of the French Protestant records so I can check out nearby names.

Whatever happened to Jacob Bowman?

Richard Bownam was born on October 20, 1767, in Somerset County, NJ. He married Mary Senteney and they had 10 children. By the time he was ready to draw up his will in April 1829, he was living in Hamilton County, Ohio. Apparently the first child Abraham and the last child William were deceased by that time as he does not mention them. George was living nearby in Ohio. Ezekial was in Indiana on his way to Illinois and the remaining children were in Logan County, Illinois. Three of the four girls and Ezekial were married to Lucases.

The remaining children except for Jacob that is. It is obvious from the will, which names every living child regardless of sex, that no one knows where Jacob is. Twice in the will Richard writes: "if my son Jacob return or call for his share within two years..." Richard thinks Jacob is alive and might return although he prudently makes provision for Jacob's share if he doesn't within two years.

All we know about Jacob is that he was born between 1802 and 1808 and that in 1829 his father did not believe he was dead. Did he run away? Did he go off on a trip and never return? I have never seen any research which finds Jacob.

It seems to have been a close family. They traveled together and lived in proximity even as adults. Four of them married into the same family, to three siblings and their cousin. After Richard's death Mary moved to Illinois to Mt. Pulaski Township to be with her family and is buried in Steenbergen Cemetery.

So what happened to Jacob?

The Mystery of the Ashes

Buried among some discarded photographs the letter caught my eye.

It was from Charles R. Loomis of Loomis, Offers & Loomis of Buffalo, New York, to Mrs. Alma Cunningham in New York City. The date on the letter was September 24, 1943. It said: 

Dear Mrs. Cunningham: 
I have just returned from securing the permit for shipment of your sister's ashes and for the burial of the same. Unless I am otherwise advised we will send the ashes by express to you, care of Mr. Carl Lipp, Mt. Pulaski, Illinois on Monday of next week. They should then arrive at about the same time you do. 

It seemed odd to keep such a letter so I had to track it down. I knew who Carl Lipp was, my great uncle by virtue of his marriage to my great aunt, and the letter was in their daughter's possession. But I had no clue who Alma Cunningham was. So I dug.

Alma Vonderlieth Cresmer Cunningham was the daughter of George Vonderlieth and his wife Catherine Miller. George was a brother of Adolph who married first Elizabeth Lipp and second her sister Anna Catherine. Elizabeth and Anna were sisters to Carl Lipp. There's the Lipp connection.

But who was Alma's sister? A Vonderlieth. And then I knew. A quick check of dates showed Leonore Vonderlieth died May 28, 1943, in Buffalo. 

Leonore Vonderlieth, better known as Vaugh de Leath, was born September 26, 1894, in Mt. Pulaski. She was known as the "First Lady of Radio" in the 1920s and was one of the first "crooners." One of her hits, from 1927, was a hit for a guy named Elvis years later. Hear Vaugh de Leath's version here:

The ashes were buried in Mt. Pulaski Cemetery in the family plot with her parents and her sister Alma.

Newly Released War Of 1812 Land Records | Jim Dane

How did I miss this? This is the new part:

"The National Bureau of Land Management recently released family military land records to the general public. These records have only been available in the last couple of years and the best part of this release is that you can print the actual documents from your home computer for free. You can expect to find the actual military land warrant document given to your ancestor for completion of service to the United States during the War of 1812..."

If you haven't looked at the federal land patents lately it's time for another look.

Newly Released War Of 1812 Land Records | Jim Dane:

'via Blog this'