Sunday, August 17, 2008

Identified a Portrait I Couldn't Before

I wanted to include the photo with this blog, however, my scanner is not being cooperative. Oh well. It is a picture of Maybelle and Austin... Maybelle the mysterious Ahern wife. I've had this photo just as long as the others. I decided to go back and see if now I recognize people I didn't before. Playing with the family tree, I'm starting to get good with the faces. One mystery solved!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Edwin Charles Smith's Father Update

My dad says we have the birth certificate in the house. I haven't found it, but we have it somewhere. He did say without prompt that the name of the father is "O'neil something". I have moved him back under Edwin O'neil. And now because of the year of Isabelle's first marriage and the year of Buster's birth, there must be a marriage record out there somewhere for Edwin (sr) and Isabelle. That's for another day, however.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

An Amazing Ahern Find

I started the day with a search for a 1920 US Census including buster. I know where he was in 1930. I know where his parents were in 1920. So it didn't make sense to me that I couldn' find him. Turns out what happened is that Charles and Irene were the last two entries on one page and Edwin and Elmer were the first two entries on the next. For some reason, chose to put them with another family on the page. Had I not chose to look at the original document, I wouldn't have found them. But he was listed as Edwin Charles and in the right city so I chose to take a chance. By the way, I also discovered that the baby girl I named as Joy because of the old picture I found it turns out is Elmer Joy Smith. Another mystery solved.

Just by finding out that it was Elmer J Smith, I found the birth and death indexes for him. He was born 13 Jul 1918 in the county of Sonoma and died 17 Jun 1949 in Santa Clara.

Going over the 1930 Census for Charles Smith yet another time (I've chosen to copy the information on to the blank census records so I have hard copies), I discoverd that although it didn't have an age at first marriage for Maybelle, it did say she was married. Could she have been married to one of the Aherns away at war? And I saw where it said that Charles is a veteran of the WW so I added him to my Military Records list which I hadn't done before.

The dates of "age at first marriage" confirm that Charles was not her first husband. To be age 17 at first marriage would put the year abt 1915. According to Charles' age, she married him abt 1918. I did however move Edwin Charles Smith to his children for now because until I get any form of evidence to the contrary, I'm just going to consider him Charles' son.

I haven't added Maybelle and Austin back in yet. I'm waiting until I get more clues for the husband. Good thing I have pictures to look back on.

Because of my earlier success with the US Census, I did a search for Isabelle in 1900. I ran across a Sarrah Ahern in Sonoma. At the time, I think pretty much any Ahern I run across in Sonoma is related so I took a peek. They had the name wrong again! It was under Archie Ahern, but looking at the original, it is clearly Nicholas. The groovy thing about this year's census information is that they had to write the month and year of birth. So I know have that info for William, Richard, and George. Not to mention, there was an 11 year old Mary, hello! Mae E! The Sarrah name was only 11 months and clearly one that passed before the 1910 survey.

Another mystery is why Isabelle doesn't appear on this census. She would've been about 2 years. Also, it says that Mary had 6 children and only 5 living. The 5 was smudgy, but only 5 were listed. One other thing, it says Nicholas immigrated 1885, two years earlier, and said he had been in the country 15 years which sounds like the information is correct.

From adding Mary to Mae E's profile along with the month and year of birth, I came up with her CA Death Index entry. She died Mary E Neimann. If she did mary a Reed early on, she married a Neimann later in life. There was no social securtiy number, but it gave me her birthday 5 May 1889 and death 1 Jan 1947 in San Francisco.

I got more pictures and names of McQuearys today from Mary Pat. I've been adding family members there, mostly living.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Long Day of Research- Made a Lot of Contacts!

The day started in a pretty awesome way. From my Aunt Mary Smith, I got the email addresses for my Uncle Bob, and cousins Michael & Theresa. I emailed them right away and ended up with an instant message conversation with Terry. From that I learned birthdays, spouses, and children.

I also got an email address and phone number for Mary Pat McQueary from my Aunt Jackie. I heard back from her right away. Apparently, she's been working on the family tree for 20 years. The McQueary side, anyway. She sent me pictures from the reception the night before grandpa's funeral which gave me the names of a lot of my mom's cousins.

A family reunion is in the works for the Smiths this September/October.

While checking those emails earlier, my mom was on the phone with her cousin Jimmy. She found out that Zelma Irene has a half sister Etha. Jimmy is Charles Jr.'s son and she found out that he has three half brothers and sisters somewhere in the world. They remain unknown at present. Charles Seibert died at 46 which makes the year abt 1932. Mom told me Jimmy is four years older than her which gave me his approximate birthday. He has 5 grandsons and 1 grandaughter we'll get names for later. Mom also knew Charles Jr.'s wife's name to be Ella May.

The CA Birth Index for Michael R Smith gave me Borg for his mother's maiden name. It also gave me San Francisco for his city of birth. I found Theresa's also with the same city of birth.

I need to figure out which of my grandfather, Paschal McQueary's, brothers was nicnamed "Bud". None of the names give it away. It took me forever to figure out Sonny was Charles Edward McQueary.

I revisited some more of the US Census Reports gaining valuable information. The 1930 census for Charles Larsen (mispelled as "on") rented his home and lived on a farm paying $30 a month. The most important fact is that Marion is not a daughter. Marion was his son! Don't I feel stupid. Their ages at marriage were Charles, 38 and Ada, 19. Charles and his parents were born in Denmark. Ada was born in Connecticut and her parents England (father) and Ireland (mother). Charles immigrated to the US in 1880. Charles was a farmer on a fruit farm and Marion was a laborer on a general farm. Neither was a veteran.

From the 1880 US Census for Mary H Hartford, if I'm right that this is her, she lived with a family named Read. There was no relationship next to her name, but there were four other boarders without details as well. This does list the parents from the wrong states, but the time and location match up. Also, the wife Read was from Tennessee and one of Mary's parents was born in Tennessee.

The 1910 US Census for Charles A Larsen showed that he and Ada were married for 10 years putting their marriage abt 1900. This one lists Charles' mother from Germany, so I don't know which census has the wrong info. I got the birth years for Mildred (7), Pearl (5), and Marion (3). Also I figured out that a picture I have from somewhere between there and 1920 is of the three of them. Charles was the foreman on a farm. All three kids were born in California.

From the memorial notice for Marion Larsen (1907-1962) I learned that his final resting place is Cherokee Memorial Park in Lodi, CA.

I've started a binder with documents. I'm printing out blank copies of census reports and writing in only my relatives information. I have all of the originals saved to my computer of course.

Lots of New Stuff- Ahern immigrated in 1887!

As I said, I'm going through documents I had previously found looking for new clues. I also managed to stumble across some new documents at the same time. For example, I finally found my birth index entry. It is misspelled Catherin (no e at the end) and mom's maiden name is missing the a becoming McQuery. But I am sure it is mine.

I decided to add in that both my sister and I were born at the French Hospital. My sister however was immediatly moved to the Children's Hospital because of a collapsed lung. All of her birth index info is correct. (Those are, if needed, California Birth Index, 1905-1995)

The CA Marriage Index shows that Thomas Earl Smith (22) married Beverly Ann McQueary (20) in the city of San Francisco, 24 Sep 1966. On the Nevada Marriage Index, Jackie Lee Mitchell (name from previous marriage) wed Angelo A Mantia in Reno, Wahoe County, 26 Mar 1971. The service was prepared by "religious celebrant".

I found some phone and address listings for my Uncle Patrick, which of course I won't share here in case any of them are still accurate. These basically just show all of the years he's been in Cincinnati which I think is his whole life.

Looking back at the 1920 US Census for Virgil McQueary brought light to some new facts. The owned the home they lived in and Dennis Morgan, Bessie's orphaned brother lived with them. I learned that both sets of parents, McQueary and Morgan, were all born in Kentucky. Virgil was a farmer.

Going to the other side of the family, Norma Jean Ballou's memorial notice has been in the photos I have for her, well the only photo. From that I made note that her interment is at Sunnyside Mausoleum. This was Grandpa Buster's first wife.

From Edwin C Smith's obituary, I learned that he was a teamster for 30 years and a member of the Railway Express Employees Association. Our family, at least back to Nicholas, was all involved in the Railroad. Edwin died at home.

The 1920 US Census for Isabelle Ahern showed that they lived in the "Ocean Township". I only make not of that because I'm enjoying all of the township names. Her husband Charles Smith was born in CO. Isabelle's dad was born in Ireland, this document confirmed that fact on his profile. Charles worked for the railroad.

A random fact popped up on, "Did you know that most Ahern immigrants to the US came from Liverpool, England and Queenstown, Ireland?"

The 1930 US Census for Isabelle Ahern brought many new tidbits of information. They lived in San Jose at the time. Their ages at first marriage, not necessarily to each other, were Charles 26 and Isabelle, 17. Maybelle has no number for first marriage. They had a lodger by the name of Susie J Kelley.

What is most exciting of all is that this census proved something I've suspected all along. Other trees have Maybelle Ahern under the list of siblings for Isabelle. She is not, however, an Ahern. She must've married in. Her parents were born in Denmark (father) and Sweden (mother).

From this I also have that Charles' parents were born in New York. Also, that Isabelle's mother was born in California which makes her birth information on my tree incorrect. I'm basing this on other census information show CA as the birthstate as well.

In 1930, Charles and Isabelle had 4 children living with them, Elmer J (1), Robert P (9), Richard E (7), and Mary F (3). Some of those initials were new info. They also had living with them at the time sister-in-law Maybelle (25) and nephew Austin (9). Edwin did not live with them. Maybelle was a waitress.

The CA Death Index show the correct spelling, as long as they didn't typo, for Isabelle at the time of death to be Oliveira. This would be the Charles that she married later in life. She apparently had a thing for the name Charles. From the Social Security Death Index, her last residence was in the 95401 area of Santa Rosa, CA.

From the math, whether Charles was her first husband or Edwin O'Niell, whichever she married at 17, the year would have been abt 1915. I have no confirmation either way.

The 1910 US Census is a little harder to find because of the spelling error "Akern". Having this census show California as Mary's state of birth just reconfirms the incorrect date of death on the tree. They also misspelled Nicholas, leaving the "h" out. This form showed that they had 11 children together and that only 9 were living at the time. Living in the home with them were Richard (16), George F (14), Isabelle (12), Thomas (9), Leroy (5), and Leland (3). The couple had been married for 22 years at this time. I also learned the origin of Mary's parents to be Missouri (father) and Tennessee (mother). Nicholas and Richard worked for the railroad and William was a teamster. They rented the home.

I've removed Maybelle from the family tree completely until I can figure out where to put her. Unfortunately, having photographic evidence of her doesn't give me much. Other trees have her married to Garrett, but I need to figure out who he is as well.

The 1930 Census for Nicholas Ahern showed he now owned their home. Those living with them were Roy J (24), Robert R (19), Mae E Reeder (40), and Edwin C Smith (13). To help with the confusion... Mae E Reeder is listed as "daughter". Where she was for the other census, I'm not sure. However, Reeder would be her married name and I have at least one picture of her. Edwin was Isabelle's son, my grandfather.

To further the confusion, Edwin's father is listed as born in Colorado. This would be true if his father is Charles. However the story is that Edwin O'Neil is the father. So I don't know if it was a cover up or a fairytale. Because there is so much stigma around my grandfather having another father, I'm tempted to believe that even back then they were taking measures to cover it up. I really want to get my hands on his birth certificate.

The birth states of Mae's parents also confirm that she and Maybelle are not the same person and that Mae is definately an Ahern.

An exciting bit of new information from this document is that Nicholas Ahern's year of immigration is 1887. This has not helped me find anything as of today, but I am hopeful.

As far as work goes, Nicholas was the foreman of something at the railroad, Roy was a mail carrier for the post office, and Robert was a truck driver doing county work. Neither Nicholas or Roy was a veteran, but there is nothing in the box for Robert as he was only 19 at the time.

I found a 1920 US Census for George Ahern, which was confirmed by another family tree. He was then married to Hazel C whose parents were from California (father) and Italy (mother). She herself was born in California. George was a towerman for the Railroad and they lived in San Rafael.

In 1930, the census shows that they now have a daughter, Francis L who was born in California abt 1925. The family tree entry that led me to this gave her actual birth and death. George and Hazel were married when they were 21 and 18 years, respectively. That would be abt 1917. They still lived in San Rafael and he was still a towerman for the railroad. He was a veteran of the World War.

By the way, to keep track of people you find in the military for looking up later, there is a handy form at It is the Military Records Checklist.

The CA Death Index shows that Frances Lorraine Gardner (married name) was born 22 Dec 1925 and died 17 Aug 1993 in Sonoma County.

To start off today, I was very lucky to get new contact information out of my Aunts Mary and Jackie; both different sides of the family. Also, I added pictures from Pachal McQueary's funeral. Back to work!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Facts I Found Yesterday

I'm going back and looking through documents I saved to family members on When I first started, I didn't realize there was valuable information on them besides the obvious. By the way, visit to find forms to download or print. I found some really helpful ones.

Looking back on Bethel Laverne Seibert's 1930 US Census form, I found quite a few new facts. She lived with Charles (34), Zelma I (29), Charles Jr (8), and William R (1). They lived in Sharonville, Hamilton, Ohio. I learned that when they were married, Charles was 24 and Zelma was 20 which puts their marriage date abt. 1921. All were born in Illinois, except Bethel and William who were born in Ohio. Also, parents Seibert and Fitzgerald were born in Illinois.

I had the brothers names, but the R for William was new information. If you're just catching up, Bethel, my grandmother, legally changed her name to Betty. You may need that at some point.

I found Betty L McQueary in the Ohio Deaths record. She died at home and what's not listed is that it was cancer. The certificate number is 045162.

How long ago did I start this tree? Over a year I suppose. Turns out this whole time I've been spelling Seibert wrong (ie). There are many people with the other spelling who are not related. (Side note: Have I mentioned how cool it is that this blog site autosaves?)

Back to the 1930 US Census for a moment... Charles was "car repairer" employed by the steam reailroad industry. He also was a "WW" veteran.

If the registration for the army that I found is in fact him, his name would be Henry Charles Seibert (a lot of people back then went by their middle names) and his birthday would be 29 Oct 1887 in Chicago, IL. I haven't added this information yet as I want to make sure it is the same Charles Seibert that I'm looking for.

I revisited the Michigan Deaths record for Zelma Irene Seibert. She was born 30 Apr 1900 and died 27 Feb 1995. At the time of her death, she resided in Mason, Ingham, MI, but died in Lansing, Ingham, MI.

After adding the Jr to Charles Seibert, Bethel's brother, I was able to find his Ohio Deaths record which was all new information for me. He was born 30 Oct 1921 and died on 25 Dec 1996 in Hamilton. The certificate number is 103784. I now have his social security number too. I have yet to discover what I can use these SS#'s for, but when I find a service, I will have them. On the death record, I also discovered that he was divorced, was an Army veteran, and he was also in the railroad industry.

I found Harry McQueary in the SS Death Index. He was Grandpa Paschal McQueary's nephew; so, mom's cousin. He was born 6 Sep 1935 and died October 1986. Why it doesn't have the day, I'm not sure. His last residence was Cincinnati 45247.

That's where I am today. I'm going to continue going through the saved records and try to find some other clues.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Entry Number 1- An Introduction

I am setting up this blog, hoping that people who are searching for relatives for their family tree stumble across it. I've reached some dead ends, but have a pretty large tree growing. It is my hope to help others with their mysteries while solving some of my own.

My background: I am a Smith. On father's side I go through the Aherns and O'Niels as well as the Larsons and Blythes. On Mother's side, I go to McQueary's and Durhams as well as Seiberts and Fitzgeralds.

The biggest stumbling block is finding any info regarding the union of Zelma Irene Fitzgerald to Charles Seibert. Beyond their children, I have no info. I don't know siblings or parents other than they were both born in Illinois as were both sets of parents.

If you think I may be crossing paths with your tree, subscribe. I'll be posting my findings. If you think you can help, drop me a line!