The excitement of new records!

Yesterday I had an email from Ancestry.com. They had added a new collection called Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985. “Well, there’s a chance…” I thought.

Wow. I’ve barely scratched the surface so far, but I’ve found the marriage date of two couples, and I have high hopes of breaking through a very frustrating couple of brick walls.

On this Super Bowl Sunday, I’m excited about new genealogy records going online! Hence the Geek element of this blog. 😀

Paul Reda became intrigued with a vintage ad that said:  Ladies: When in need of legal or confidential advice why not confer with one of your own sex? Established 1890 Miss Cora M. Strayer’s Private Detective Agency.  Read his research on her here: Miss Cora Strayer’s Private Detective Agency


In April 1894 my great great great uncle (Newt Garst) participated in an experiment to make it rain in Wichita, Kansas. This article from The Wichita Daily Eagle has so many great phrases in it that I’m just posting the whole thing.

21 April 1894


Lord of the Rings Family Tree

Lord of the Ring Project

Some guy who is made of awesomeness is putting every single character of Lord of the Rings in a giant family tree.

(DeeDee, I think I found you a perfect boyfriend. *grins*)


What is a genealogy geek to do when she has nothing left to do? Until I have the money for travel to Philadelphia (NOT any time soon, I can tell you) and/or some new records come online, there’s nothing more I can do. It’s so depressing. I have the itch to research and scavenge for missing pieces, but nothing to scratch with.

I believe I’ll make one of my occasional “Please give me something to research” posts on Facebook…

Pointless post, over and out!

My new favorite newspaper…

My new favorite website is the Library of Congress project called, Chronicling America. I have been going through the 1800 hits (Yes, 1800!) of the name Garst from the Wichita Daily Eagle newspapers from 1830s – 1920s. I’m up to about 700 and the year 1899. And so far, yes, 99% of these articles are about Garsts that I’m related to. You’d think it would take a long time, but really a lot of them are advertisements for their businesses so it’s easy to click to the next one.

You know the “Girl in the Fireplace” episode of Doctor Who? Where the Doctor and Rose are peaking into rooms that all contain Madame de Pompadour in different decades, but it’s all the same day for them. That is how I feel reading these articles. After article 700 I finally got to one that said, “A decade ago in the Wichita Eagle” and it mentioned a concert that my ggg-uncle sang in that I remember reading about earlier and I thought, “That was 10 years ago, it seems like only yesterday!” I’m such a dork.

The one thing about the website that I’ve never come across before is that all the files are .jp2 files. I like the files because they are GINORMOUS…not file size but just length and width size. They are BIG. But I can only open them using photoshop and then I have to crop the little piece of the newspaper page that I want, so it’s really time consuming to mess with them. The website does give you an option to clip a certain section of the image and save it as a regular jpg but the quality isn’t as good so of course I feel like I have to save the whole jp2 image instead.

BUT OMG THE CRAZY STUFF I HAVE FOUND!!! I have to post some of it. So be prepared for lots of weird newspaper articles.

From the 2 December 1898 Wichita Daily Eagle:

Frank Garst is my great great grandfather.
Ash Garst is his brother

Frank sued him because Ash owed him money for some cattle.

2 December 1898

I love what this newspaper thinks is news. I actually keep getting distracted by reading the surrounding articles as well because this newspaper is just full of crazy.

Next up, the article in which one of my ancestors assists in an experiment where they try to make it rain!

My Middle-Earth ancestors!

From the Fellowship of the Ring:

Boromir: Have you ever seen it, Aragorn? The White Tower of Echthelion glimmering like a spike of pearl and silver. Its banners caught high in the morning breeze? Have you ever been called home by the clear ringing of silver trumpets?

Aragorn: I have seen the White City.

Boromir: One day, our paths will lead us there. And the tower guard will take up the call, that the Lords of Gondor have returned.

From the Wichita Daily Eagle, 22 October 1893:

22 October 1893

Yes, I momentarily envisioned my ancestors taking an extended trip to visit Aragorn and see the White City of Minas Tirith. And then I googled White City and decided they are probably referring to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

A lengthy Middle Earth vacation sounds way better.

My Daguerreotype Boyfriend

My Daguerreotype Boyfriend This is my new favorite website. Someone is posting old pictures of really cute guys. lol. The tag line for it is: Where early photography meets extreme hotness. Could there be anything better than that?? I just wish they’d hurry up and post more photographs. ❤

We had to delete our Google+ account for breaking their terms of service by not using a proper name and being more than one person. So if you wondered why we vanished, that’s why.

Television show I’ve been watching recently that had a genealogist character: The Almighty Johnsons. Here’s the summary from wikipedia. The show follows a student named Axl Johnson who discovers his family members are reincarnated Norse gods. The only problem is, they don’t have full control of their powers and it is up to Axl (the reincarnation of Odin) to restore them and ensure the family’s survival by finding the reincarnation of Odin’s wife, Frigg. Matters are complicated by the presence of four antagonistic Norse goddesses who are trying to find Frigg before the Johnsons do to prevent the restoration of the gods’ powers.

One of the lady goddesses is a genealogist and that’s how they’re trying to locate the reincarnation of Frigg by doing genealogy research. 🙂 Anybody else know of any TV/movies with a genealogist character?

Sometimes I wish I could get away with spelling my name a different way depending on what I felt like that particular day. Edward Oglesby (my great great great grandfather) shows up with at least 4 different spellings. I know it happens a lot, but it probably happens more often with people who couldn’t read or write like Edward.

Oglesby 1850 Census

Oglesby is the most correct spelling, at least it’s the one that the rest of his family goes by after Edward’s generation.

Oglesberry 1858 land record

Ogglesbury 1860 census

Then poor Edward went off and joined the 4th Alabama Infantry in the Civil War. He was sick a lot. He had the measles, diarrhea, and something called debilitas (which just means weakness). He fought in a lot of battles that everybody has heard of, and then he died at Gettysburg. In December 1863 months after the battle of Gettysburg, they spelled his name incorrectly one more time. One of the people in charge of removing the bodies from Gettysburg and reburying them was confused as to whether he was from Maine or Alabama and wrote a letter to the Governor of Maine looking for an Edward Oglesbury.

Oglesbury - 1863 letter

So now the big mystery is what happened to his body. I’ve contacted the State Archives of Maine and Alabama and neither of them know. And I’ve used the sources listed on Gettysburg National Park website and he’s not in any of those. My next step is to contact Gettysburg and see if he’s in the Medical/Burial/POW files that they have.

If he does have a headstone somewhere I wonder what spelling they used on that.

Have you ever done searches for character names just to see if anyone by that name actually existed? As you can tell by this post, I have. If the following post doesn’t earn me some kind of Super Nerd cred, I give up.

Let’s start with the world of Charlaine Harris and True Blood. The 1920 census records an Adele Stackhouse living in Brooklyn and a Jason Stackhouse in Pennsylvania. If you lived in Manhattan in 1900, Eric Nordman from Sweden might have been your neighbor.

As a teenager, I was devastated when I looked at an atlas and learned that Avonlea isn’t even a real place. But there were lots of Anne Shirleys (with Es and without), and a Gilbert Blythe lived in Philadelphia in 1900.

I wonder if the Matthew Cuthbert living in Buffalo in 1930 was as sweet as the one who lived in Avonlea?

Maybe Serenity’s captain is a descendant of Mal C. Reynolds, born October 1864 in Pennsylvania on Earth That Was.

There are many, many Elizabeth Bennets on the census rolls, but not a single Fitzwilliam Darcy. But then again, he was always too good to be true, wasn’t he?

Hundreds of Harry Potters lived in the U.S. over the decades, but I don’t think any of them were wizards.

This post only covers the U.S. census because I don’t have a “World Deluxe” subscription on Ancestry.com. So maybe Eric Northman and Mr. Darcy were hiding elsewhere in the world… As with all fictional characters, we can only wish.