Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Redlands Connection

Many years ago I began ordering the Hickory County newspaper, The Index, on microfilm from the State Historical Society of Missouri. I'd order them through ILL (Interlibrary Loan) at my public library and spend 40-50 hours per roll reading and transcribing them, also printing longer articles and family obituaries. I have hundreds (if not thousands) of pages of notes from 1885 until the early 1930s.

Hickory County has never had much to offer young men coming of age. There's never been any industry in the county to speak of, so jobs have always been scarce. Farms were usually pretty small; certainly not large enough to divide among multiple sons and be economically viable. Many Hickory Countians ended up migrating to Redlands and vicinity in San Bernardino County, California. I found some old letters from my great-grandfather to my great-grandmother when they were courting in 1891 and 1892 that were postmarked Messina, Calif. From what he writes, I assume this place was near Redlands, but I can't seem to find it in a gazetteer or on a map.

In working through my Index notes from 1885 through 1911, I've found the following names of people who either moved to or were already living in the Redlands area:
before 1890 - John D. Cooke (died Sep 1892)
1906 - E V McShane; J E Brock; Mary Lightfoot & Mrs. Anna Solberg (sisters); Miss Mary Bandel; Miss Ethel Brent (married Ed Moore, Oct 1906); Robert Clark
1907 - W H Gist; Harve Paxton; Miss Winnie Paxton; Mr. & Mrs. D. A. Pine, daughter Missie (living at 202 Washington St., Redlands); Edward Brock
1908 - Clark Sutt (lived at Dearborn SE & Sylvan); J. D. DeWitt; Homer Bennett & daughter Rebecca
1909 - Mr. & Mrs. S. R. Bailey, son Elmer; C. V. Edwards; Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Pine; John Crates, Buell & Clifford; John D. Blair
1910 - W. Y. Harlan; George Wilson & wife; Miss Mada Edwards & Otto D. F. Krull; C. E. Hinkle; S. E. Pine, pastor of Holiness Church; Cora Langford; W. E. Rickett (sister of Cora Langford); Denton Iams & wife
1911 - Walter Delmont (East Highlands); Stephen Nix; B. W. Whelchel; Mrs. Jennie Hinkle-Poe; Luther & Leonard Gist; Arie H. Harlan

I'm hoping to visit the Heritage Room at the A. K. Smiley Library in Redlands next week and learn more about these people. The library is in this incredible historic building. Built in 1898, the building has been used as a library since its construction and was donated to the City of Redlands by Albert K. Smiley, a wealthy hotelier. It is noted for its archives. I'm hoping they'll have information on some of these Hickory County transplants and be able to help me understand why so many moved to the Redlands area.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

SNGF: Surname Counts

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge from Randy Seaver asks us to figure out how to count the number of people with each surname in our genealogy management program and report on our findings.

I use Family TreeMaker (FTM) as my genealogy management program. Unfortunately, I don't have all of my families in a single FTM database. I maintain 3 separate files: my mother's lines; my father's lines; my husband's lines. Since I started using genealogy programs many, many years ago, I had to split my files to be able to back them up onto floppy disks and because, in the early days, the programs just couldn't handle very many names, dates, places, etc.

I upgraded to FTM 2014 last Christmas (thank you, Sara!), but still had two of my main files in FTM 2009. 2009 apparently doesn't have the capability of counting surnames, so I had to import those two files into FTM 2014 for this task.

In FTM2014, select PUBLISH; then PERSON REPORTS; then SURNAME REPORT. Select to include all individuals and to sort by count. To find alternate spellings, I also sorted alphabetically.

BROOKSHIRE = 777 individuals (+69 with variant spellings), 1680-1994
SWICEGOOD = 268 individuals (+21 with variant spellings), 1600-1995
SHARP = 174 individuals (+28 with variant spellings), 1655-1985
WOOLERY = 177 individuals, 1739-1919
RYASON/RYERSON/REYERSE = 164 individuals, 1664-1893
SOMMARSTROM = 156 individuals, 1778-1988

Numbers 1, 2 and 4 are from my mother's side; #3 and 5 are from my father's side; #6 is my husband's line. Because his line is Swedish/Finnish, the surname Sommarström wasn't established until the late 1770s. Before that the family used patronymics, changing the surname each generation.

One of these days I need to combine my three main files, but I keep thinking I should get them all cleaned up first. Somehow that just hasn't happened.