Saturday, July 30, 2016

SNGF: Age At Death for Female Ancestors

Since I haven't done one of Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) challenges for awhile, I thought I'd take a whack at this one. The challenge is:
1) Review your Pedigree Chart (either on paper or in your genealogy management software program) and determine the age at death of your female ancestors back at least five generations (and more if you want to).
2)  Tell us the lifespan years for each of these ancestors.  Which of your female ancestors in this group lived the longest?  Which lived the shortest?  

Here's mine:
3. Nancy Leah Swicegood (1917-1996) age 79

5. Virginia Corine Meldrum (1896-1980) age 84
7. Mollie Fay Brookshire (1894-1966) age 71

9. Nora Estella Ryason (1873-1898) age 24
11. Matilda Elizabeth Sonnen (1871-1921) age 50
13. Martha Elizabeth Coffey (1867-1947) age 80
15. Nancy Jane Collins (1873-1966) age 92

2nd Great-Grandmothers:
17. Mary Ellen McFarland (1836-1890) age 53
19. Susanna Sults (1837-1932) age 94
21. Nancy Maria Stark (abt 1845-abt 1913) age 67
23. Elizabeth Mohr (1838-1888) age 49
25. Sabray E. W. Owen (1819-1892) age 73
27. Drucilla A. Parker (1833-1901) age 67
29. Mildred Melvina Woolery (1850-1886) age 35
31. Rebecca Jane Campbell (1842-1882) age 40

3rd Great-Grandmothers:
33. Anna Mary Thomas (1795-1851) age 55
35. Nancy Stilley (abt. 1804-1876) age 72
37. Susanna Buscark (1811-1883) age 72
39. Sophia Howell (1812-1885) age 72
41. Emma Braithwaite (1815-1888) age 73
43. unknown
45. Anna Elisabetha Dierdorff (1800-1848) age 47
47. Margaretha Hahn [no dates]
49. Magdalena Harmon Nunley (1791-1818) age 27
51. Elizabeth Winchester (1780-
53. Rachel Boone (1794-abt 1885) age 80
55. Matilda Roberson [no dates]
57. Sarah A. Varnell (1803-1885) age 82
59. Emily Cordry (1830-1860) age 30
61. Susannah Bartshe (1829-1912) age 82
63. Sarah Anne Crabtree (1817-1856) age 39

So, in five generations (ignoring my 4 3rd great-grandmothers for whom I don't have information) my longest lived female ancestor was Susanna Sults at age 94 (on my father's side) and shortest lived was Nora Estella Ryason at 24 years (also on my father's side).

Averages and ranges by generation are:
Grandmothers   77.5  (71-84)
Great-grandmothers   61.5  (24-92)
2nd great-grandmothers   59.8  (35-94)
3rd great-grandmothers   60.9  (27-82 for 12 women)

I didn't realize what a huge range in ages at death there were in my ancestry.
Quite amazing!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Finding Family

This has been an amazing couple of weeks.

Not only have I been in contact with two first cousins on my father's side, now I've found someone who has provided me with a photo of my great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather. It's like Christmas and birthday rolled into one!

In the photo below (left to right) are my great-grandfather, Alvah Clyde Sharp, his step-daughter Norma, his father, Morris T. Sharp, another step-daughter, Ella, and his second wife (and mother of the girls), Rose Kathmann Andrews Sharp.

For years I have thought that Ella and Norma were Clyde's daughters. I finally found their marriage record last week and discovered that the girls pre-dated his marriage to Rose. As it turns out, her first husband died in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904 after being struck by a street car. Rose returned home to Quincy, Illinois, where she met and married Clyde. Ironically, Clyde worked as a street car conductor in Wichita, Kansas (hence the uniform).

This photo and a lot of information on the Andrews girls was provided to me by Ella's youngest son, who I tracked down last weekend. His mother was a school teacher for many years and wrote multiple stories about her life. They are absolutely fascinating. For someone who is no blood relation to me, Ella and her son sure have helped me understand my family.

Monday, April 25, 2016


I was shocked to look at this blog yesterday and see that I hadn't posted anything in over a year. How embarrassing is that? To be fair, I haven't really been doing much genealogy lately. Quilting has taken over my life.

But that changed this week.

My Sharp family tree on WikiTree, which I uploaded back in July 2013, has finally led me to two of my first cousins on my Dad's side of the family. I've never met any of his relatives. Ever. So I was totally astounded when I received an email a few days ago from the son of one of my Dad's brothers. His father had just died, the last of that generation and over 37 years after my own father died. Yesterday another son in this family emailed and he is actually interested in genealogy. Woo-hoo! I'm looking forward to much more contact with these two in the future, and hopefully seeing some photos of Dad's family.

I've also been corresponding with a semi-relative who contacted me through WikiTree. She descends from the second husband of my 3great-grandmother, from his marriage to his first wife. She noticed in my sources a reference to a pension file. When I was working I made several trips a year to Washington, DC and often added a day to research in the National Archives. I was happy to scan and share the 17 pages of this Civil War pension file that I had copied. She, in turn, likes to collect clippings from online newspapers and has sent me a pile of great articles. It's been a great win-win for both of us.