Sunday, November 18, 2012

Homemade Headstones-Mt Vernon Cemetary

A month ago we set up my mil's headstone.  It matches my fil's stone, mosaic granite, made by my husband.  He also made a set for his grandparents. If you look closely you can see that some of the pieces are etched.  Each of our children picked a piece of granite and etched something meaningful to them to add to the stone.
It was truly a labor of love.
e b
Walking through the cemetary, I noticed other homemade headstones and thought it might make a nice pictorial essay.  We often visit cemetaries when we are geocaching, so why not photograph the unique and unusual headstones.  I look at headstones the way I look at old photographs, wondering about the people they represent- what were they like, what were their hopes and dreams, who did they leave behind.
When I decided to start a family history blog, I thought this might be an interesting weekly post.  My photography skills are a bit rusty, but I expect to improve with practice.
This is the Mt Vernon Cemetary in Johnson County, Arkansas. Its out in the Ozark Hill country.

These markers are some of the simplest, concrete with pebbles, cement with drawn information, a wooden cross and welded metal.  Here is a welded  headstone:
I really like the use of the pebbles to make designs on these stones:
I also liked this vignette, that told me about the young girl buried here and her love of G-d and horses:
The most unusual headstone would be this literal stone-Obsidian?
The smaller stone has simple etching and the larger stone has some fancy lettering.  I love the thought that went into the stepped base with holes provided for flower vases.  this may be a grave for a mother and son, the smaller stone is for Esther but the larger stone mentions a "special boy".  Here's another view:
I love the thought and creativity that went into making these final tributes. Truly labors of love.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Martinez-Dominguez: Spain or Mexico?


My mother says she has always been told that her maternal grandfather, Celso Martinez, was born in SPAIN and deserted the Spanish Army and went to Mexico.  The only information that is currently available to support this is an index card with the name MARTINEZ, Celso Alfredo       #548376  from the  U. S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992.  This card is listed in the New York Court District, which would be correct for someone coming from Spain to the U.S. However, at the current time, to get access to the actural document, one would have to physically go to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  I'm not sure what kind of records would be available if he entered thru Mexico.

The only other documentation I have for Celso is a 1930 Census.  It is the census record that clears up his birthplace, which he lists as MEXICO.  Although he may have lied about this since proof wasn't required then.  Another interesting thing from the census is that his name is spelled - Selso.  This may have been an error by the person filling out the census form. Perhaps it was Celso's father who defected to Mexico, it will take more information than is currently available, to determine this. So Here is the Story of Celso Martinez:

Celso Martinez was born in Mexico about 1850. Nothing is known of his parents or where he came from in Mexico.  At the age of 20, he emmigrated to the United States in 1870.  Celso was in his thirties when He married 14 yr old Andrea (Rodriguez?) about 1865.  They had 10 children: Abundio, Lazaro, Maggie, Cadeno (1902), Eusebia (1907), Emsbra (1906), Pedro (1909), Isabel (1917), Dominga (1919) and Lucia (1921).  In 1930, all but the older three children and Emsbra were living on a farm in Bastrop, Texas.  They were renting their home and it was valued at $2,000.00. Celso was 80 years old.   They were farmers and worked hard all week.  On Friday nights, they would clear all the furniture out of their front rooms and the children who all played instruments would play.  The workers, neighbors and family would gather for a big dance. By 1939, Selso had moved to Austin, TX.  My mother was born in 1936 and remembers that "he always walked us to a store at the end of 6th St and bought us ice cream.  That was when you could get 3 scoops side-by-side.  He had a long white beard and always wore a black suitcoat."
Celso died sometime before April 1940, as Andrea is listed as a widow and shown living at 1200 E. 5th St in Austin, Tx.

If you have any information to share about Celso Martinez or his family please let me know and if you find errors in this LifeStory please leave a comment below.  I am continuing to research this family and will update as information becomes available.

After posting, I rechecked the dates and Celso may have had a wife before Andrea and the older children my be from this first marriage. His first wife may have died leaving him with small children to care for and that would explain a quickly arrainged marriage with 14 year old Andrea.

October is Immigrant Month

Because Columbus discovered the Americas in October (and I needed a place to start) I want to write about our immigrant ancestors.  In some family lines there are many immigrants and in others just 2.  I am choosing one from each family line to research and tell their stories.
Here an the ancestors I've chosen:



If you have any knowledge about the lives of these men, please share it.  You can add a comment here or on one of the family facebook pages.  Thanks

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Document your Sources: A Math Lesson

Okay, so I planned this really cool blog entry about one of our ancestors who immigrated to America, but in order to tell the whole story- at least what we know of it- I needed to say something about the place he came from in England.  While looking at my tree on Ancestrydotcom, I realize the father I have listed for him died before he was born.  So the search began, luckily I was only one generation off, but that started another bruhaha over who this new father's wife was.  So here is what I'm dealing with in setting the ROSBURY family line straight.  Adrian Frye, Jr is first mentioned in America in 1663.  He is listed as being born in England and marries in 1669. That seems simple enough...
But wait... His fathers information is muddled up with his, and there are many researchers that say Adrian Sr, immigrated to America and Adrian Jr was born here.  To make matters worse, Adrian Jr had a son he named Adrian also.  So who came to America, Jr or Sr?
I have also found mistakes for Adrian Sr's father Nicholas' wife.  I had her listed as Mary Brett with extensive research into her family going back at least 10 generations, but her dates were all wrong and didn't line up with her parents either, so I'm having to go back and start again searching for documentation as to who really was Nicholas' wife.
Anyway, I hope to be able to tell you very soon about our first family in America.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Blog for Keeping Our Family History Research

I finally figured out what I want to do with this blog.  Working on our Family Tree, I realized that I needed someplace to keep not only the photos and stories of our ancestors, but also the research trails I'm following.  While has been so helpful, there are quite a few mistakes on it, I found several on my genealogies as I was reviewing them.  This is where my problem came in- How do I make other researchers aware of the errors?  How do I connect with other's researching the same families and open discussions, share information.  How do I share the story of how we were almost related to George Washington, Pocahantas and Lady Jane Grey. But aren't although there are those who still claim we are. This blog is my current answer.
I do not intend to put any information on living relations on this blog.  I encourage other family members to share their stories and let me know when my information is in error.  Also any photos, papers, etc that you may have to add to our Family Story are greatly appreciated. 
As I begin, I am having to learn all about blogs and widgets, etc; in the future I hope to have a timeline and maps detailing the when/where of our ancestors. The best way to keep up with the Family Tree as it grows is by becoming a subscriber in the column at right.
Lastly, this blog is for my children, that they will know something of history and our families place in it.