More Adventures in Genealogy, Don’t Trust Other People’s Work Edition.
I don’t know if I can explain the problem so that it makes sense, but I’m going to try.
John Number 1 was born in Sraheen, County Mayo, Ireland in 1860. His parents were John Basquill and Bridget Kelly.
John Number 2 was born in County Mayo, Ireland in 1876. His parents were Nicholas Basquill and Ellen O’Brien. He emigrated to the US and settled in Scranton PA.
Two Johns, with two different sets of parents and two different birth dates. Not so easy to keep straight, apparently.
Somebody else attached Mary McGing and her children to John Number 2, and I blindly followed suit. Bad idea! The result was that when I discovered a John Joseph Baskwell born in Ireland 1876 and living in Scranton PA, there was no place to put him. It looked like he was a THIRD John. AIEEE! It was like the worst genealogical tetris problem ever, and I nearly had a brain hemorrhage.
I got out all my records for the three Johns and went back over them again with a fine-toothed comb. What I discovered is that Mary McGing and her children belonged with John Number 1. Further, Census records showed they were all still in Sraheen in 1901 and 1911, and as far as I can tell they never left. That left John Number 2 without a wife and kids, which meant that he WAS the John Joseph Baskwell who married Anne Simerson. YAY! This is backed up by the fact that old city directories show him living at 611 West Market Street, Scranton PA, with his brothers, Patrick John Baskwell and William Joseph Baskerville. So my hunch that John Number 2 was actually one of “mine,” was correct.
I’m sure this is boring to anyone who is not me, but I’m going to share, anyway. I mentioned that I’d located my great-great-great aunt Margaret Basquill? Today I found her death certificate. Yay! But the name listed for her father is wrongity-wrong-wrong-wrong. Boo! On the death certificate her father is identified as William. His name was Michael Basquill. Oops. Well, there are three possible explanations.
1. Michael’s first or middle name is actually William. I have nothing whatsoever to support that theory, so I’m discarding it. (Making note of it in case evidence appears in the future, but it’s just not likely.)
2. I have the wrong Margaret. I do not. More on that later.
3. The information on the death certificate is simply incorrect. I’m going with this one, because the information was obviously supplied by someone who was not Margaret (most likely her son, Michael), so it’s possible that they made a mistake.
Now, why do I know I have the right Margaret, out of the twelfty Margaret Basquills to choose from? Letters! I have a letter written by my great-great uncle William to my great grandma Nell, in which he states that Margaret “lived in Boston & was married to a man named Bourke.”
The reason I have been useless and boring the past couple of months is that I’ve gotten sucked back into genealogyland. It’s like a giant black hole. I sit down at the computer for five minutes, and the next thing I know, it’s 2am. But! I’ve made a few discoveries and solved some mysteries that had been bugging me. Of course, that means I’ve created a few more that now have me completely stumped.
Like, there’s a John Joseph Baskwell living in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Anne Simerson. According to the old city directories, he was at some points living with Baskwell/Baskerville people who I have linked to my family tree, but I cannot for the life of me figure out where he fits. The George S. Baskerville living a few doors down from some of “my” Baskwells/Baskervilles might be a plausible coincidence (as far as I can tell, he’s totally unrelated, or related so far back that there are no records to show how), but in the same house? At the same time? I can’t buy that. So John Joseph and the missus are “mine,” but I have no idea how or what to do with them.
However, today I found my great-great grandfather Walter Basquill’s sister, Margaret, living in Massachusetts. I also found Walter’s daughter, Mary, living with them. It’s not a big thing on its own, but sometimes the small additions and connections make other things fall into place, like dominoes.
A coworker found this in a drawer she was cleaning out. She thought I’d like to look at it, so she brought it to work. I got permission from her to scan, transcribe, and upload the entire album, so that other people could look at it. It might be of use for genealogical research.
The album belonged to Mr. James Thomas Ricketts, a teacher at the Yorktown School, in Yorktown, Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Most of the entries are from 1886, with a few later ones in 1890. Yorktown no longer exists. It was de-platted in 1969. All that remains is a cemetery.
I’m finished transcribing all the entries, but I’ve only had time to do a few cursory look ups in the Census records. The entire album can be seen here.
1940 Census Atlanta GA ED160-158, page 10, lines 58-60.
IT’S HERE! I wouldn’t recommend trying to access it right now, because their servers are getting hammered. Things should calm down soon, though. I did manage to find my grandma Jeanne, my great-grandma Nell, and my great-great aunt Margaret, but it wasn’t easy. Even knowing their street address, I had to look through three different schedules to find them, because there are no transcriptions available yet.
I love these two photos. They must have been taken on the same day.
This photo was a bit of a salvage effort. The negative is pitch black, and even when I held it up to a bright light, I couldn’t tell if there was actually an image on it. I scanned it anyway, but the scan was black, too. I was able to bring up the image in Photoshop, but I had to make such extreme adjustments that the image quality suffered. Sometimes a bad photo is better than no photo at all, though, and I think this is one of those times. I love the way grandma is leaning over and rubbing grandpa’s head.
I spent most of the day scanning more negatives. I love these two photos of my grandma.
My slide scanner (CanoScan 8800F) is kind of cantankerous. It was well reviewed, which is why I bought it, and for the most part it works great (can’t say as much for the software bundled with it, alas), but it has a couple of quirks.
The main problem is that I’ve been having trouble getting decent scans of negatives. I don’t know if it’s a hardware issue or something wonky with the software, but almost every time I scan a negative image, I get large, flat, grey areas within the image. Hrmf! I was about to send the scanner back, but I went ahead and tried scanning some 35mm slides. Those worked fine. Hmm. The only difference in the settings was that I was scanning the slides as positive images. So I tried scanning some of the problem negatives again, only this time as positive images, and they came out perfectly. Very odd! I just have to invert the images in Photoshop, which is no big deal.
And another one of my grandpa (left) and his brother, Mel (right). I’ve been trying for days to scan this photo!