Thursday, May 31, 2012

Just Trying To Learn About The Man

To recap my 24 May post:  I debated James Lawrence Adam’s birth date. His death certificate reports that he was born 19 June 1872 in Des Moines, Iowa. As births were not recorded at that time in Iowa, I must rely on the U.S. Census records to help in determining his birth date. The following birth dates are reported in his census records.

1870 U.S. Census             Lawrence Adams            Age 11/12              Born in July
1880 U.S. Census             Lawrence Adams            Age 10           
1900 U.S. Census             James L.  Adams            Age 30
1910 U.S. Census             James L. Adams             Age 40
1920 U.S. Census             Missing data
1930 U.S. Census             James L. Adams            Age 57
1940 U.S. Census             James L. Adams            Age 71                       

The first discrepancy that shouts out at me is the name variations of this man. It appears that he may have been called Lawrence as a child. About 1900 Lawrence Adams suddenly becomes James L. Adams.

Are Lawrence Adams and James L. Adams the same person? I believe they are. In 1910 James L. Adams and wife reside with his parents, Dr. James W. Adams and Mary Adams. James W. and Mary were also reported to be Lawrence’s parents in the 1870 and 1880 census records. James W. and Mary most likely named their only son after his father.

The second discrepancy is that of age/birth date. As you can see, the 1870 U.S. Census reports Lawrence as being eleven months of age. Had Lawrence been born 19 June 1872, he would not have appeared in the 1870 Census. His appearance in the 1870 census strongly suggests a birth year of 1870 or earlier.

The census also reports the birth month as July; which is tricky. With James being eleven months of age and with the census enumeration date of 13 June 1870, it is a logical assumption that James was born in July of 1869. Yet his family celebrated a June birthday according to his surviving daughter.

As the years progress, Lawrence’s age progresses logically as he ages ten years in each census until the year 1900. 1900 seems to be a year of change. As an adult, Lawrence becomes James L. In 1930 his age is reported as 57 when logic suggests 60. Then in 1940, James L. Adam’s age is reported as 71.

Why would James Lawrence Adam’s age be reported in 1930 as three years younger that his logical age? It may have something to do with his young wife and daughter. James Lawrence was thirty years older than his second wife, Charlotte. In 1930 James Lawrence and Charlotte Adams (age 29) had a three-year old daughter. He may have wanted to appear younger with a wife and child of such a young age.

Life is full of discrepancies. So, was James Lawrence Adams born in June or July? Was he born in 1869, 1870 or 1872? What do you think?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Well Dressed Gentlemen Wear Straw Hats

Who is that debonair gentleman wearing the straw hat? He is James Lawrence Adams of Chicago, Illinois. His daughter, Charlotte Jane, is the only remaining person who knew him personally.

Charlotte recalls that her father was always impeccably well dressed. He was a fanatic about shining his shoes. Charlotte never saw her father sitting around in old clothes. He wore a suit daily. The straw hat was part of his summer attire. This type of hat wear was popular in the 1930s.

Monday, May 28, 2012

In Flanders Field

In Flanders Field

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD
Canadian Army

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D., “In Flanders Field,” Arlington Cemetery ( : accessed 28 May 2012).

This Memorial Day I visited two locations.

In search of  Memorial Day treasures, my first visit was to my Grandmother Meyer’s Family Bible. Dried poppies from Flanders Field were a gift from her son, Robert. Uncle Bob, a World War II veteran, visited Flanders Field in 1941 and sent this poppy home for his mother. My Grandmother preserved another flower; this one came from Korea. Her son, Paul, followed his older brother’s lead and while serving in Korea sent a Japanese Rose home to his mother. Both wartime gifts were obviously appreciated as they were saved in her Bible.

My second visit was to the gravestones my World War II Veteran Father and my Mother. My Father was a medic during World War II. He built hospitals, drew blood and retrieved the wounded throughout Europe. 

For some reason, my father never got on the American Legion Veteran list. As a result, his grave is not decorated with an American Flag. Each Memorial Day I place a flag by his gravestone. I don’t mind.

The cemetery was quiet, as usual, until I heard a single trumpet. A young man standing in the center of the cemetery was playing taps in honor of the veterans of the Town of Maine Cemetery, Park Ridge, Illinois. It was very somber moment. That sound took me back in time to my father’s funeral. I last heard taps played on a very snowy day in December, 2005. 

I must honor my other veteran ancestors of the Town of Maine Cemetery.
The Town of Maine Cemetery has a Civil War Memorial. My family and I passed by this Memorial for my entire life and never realized that Ferdinand Meyer, Civil War Veteran, was a paternal ancestor.

I must also mention my Uncle Dick Dollen. He was killed in an accidental fall while painting his ship in dry dock shortly after enlisting in the Navy. His safety harness failed.


With Gratitude For All Those Who Serve.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

James Lawrence Adams

Locating and confirming the parentage of James Lawrence Adams is important in linking my husband to the Revolutionary War Patriots Captain Andrew Beatty and General James Cox.

I presently believe that James Lawrence Adams was born 19 June 1872 in Des Moines, Iowa to James William Adams and Mary I. Cox. 

Information found in the Illinois Death and Stillbirth Index of 1916-1947 and James Lawrence Adams death certificate offer the best information to date. This sounds nice, but the death certificate informant was Mrs. J. L. Adams. Information she supplied may also be recorded in the death index. I must search for another source with a different informant.

Mrs. J. L. Adams (Charlotte Adams nee Ludiger) was not present at his birth and most likely learned about his birth date and parentage from James himself. I know for a fact that Mrs. J. L. Adams never met her in-laws. While this does not diminish the importance of her knowledge or information, I feel it necessary to gather more evidence to confirm her stories.

Official, governmental proof from the Great State of Iowa can provide the proof of birth date and more importantly his parentage. If James was born in 1872, I am out of luck. The Great State of Iowa began recording births in 1880.  My next avenue for information will be the Iowa Genealogy Society. Perhaps their library will hold other records there linking James to his parents.

I currently have the 1880 and 1990 U.S. Census and his death certificate as evidence of parentage. I was hoping for another piece of evidence. Patience . . .

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Blogging Milestone

The other day I reached a milestone and let it pass by without acknowledgement. On Wednesday, May 16, 2012, I wrote my 100th Blog Post!  Whew! Whew!

It feels like the 100-Day celebration in Elementary School. Did any of your children have the homework assignment of collection 100 items to celebrate the 100th day of school? We glued 100 pennies on a poster.

This Blogging Milestone is the adult version of 100-Day!

It’s Revolutionary . . . I Hope

The search has begun for my husband’s Revolutionary War ancestors. When the research is complete, I expect four Patriots in my husband maternal line. The surnames that I will be searching for are Cox, Potts, Adams and Cundiff. has given me the base from which I will start my research. Several S.A.R. and D.A.R. applications are available for viewing on

I must connect each generation to the previous one. I plan I gathering birth and death certificates for the most recent generations and then work my way back in time. My research strategy is to begin with what is known and work from there beginning with the Cox/Pott line.

I made a quick Descendant Chart and will work from it to build my case. I believe that William Potts and General James Cox are my husband’s the fourth and fifth great grandparents. Here is the chart.

I am off to the safety deposit box for a copy of my husband's birth certificate. Then I must call his mother and ask for her birth certificate. That is the easy part of the research! Wish me luck with the rest!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Darn It!

Life with a puppy has proved delightful yet challenging resulting in less “me” time. Today I caught up on my Who Do You Think You Are? episodes. Thank goodness for the ability to record favorite television programs.

I was surprised to hear that NBC has decided not to renew Who Do You Think You Are? for a fourth season. thanked NBC for airing the program for three years and are looking for another avenue of distribution of the show.

Every action has a reaction. The obvious reaction is a huge number of disappointed genealogy fans. Despite the disappointment, there was another reaction.

Following the May 14th NBC announcement, stock dropped 13.7 percent in a single day. On the morning of May 14, 2012, stock was valued at $26.16 and by the close of the day the value dropped to $22.57. I checked the value today, May 16th and found the stock selling at $22.29.

Those who know me must be wondering how all this financial information can be coming from me. Anyone who knows me knows that I cannot even balance my checkbook. I relied on Dick Eastman’s 14 May 2012 Genealogy Newsletter. If you care to read more about it, please visit his website:

So, I am left dumbfounded. I am sure will rise to the challenge and find a way to continue airing this great program.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother’s Day

My mother is an angel and this is the fourth Mother’s Day that I celebrate her as an angel. I never imagined living life with an angel mother. I wish I had, for I would have been more thoughtful and deliberate in how I celebrated each Mother’s Day while she was alive.

My mother was born to be a mother. Motherhood meant everything to her. She invested every fiber of her being into her children from the moment each child was born until her last breath of life.  I know for I was at the beginning and the end and witness to everything in between.

Mom kept a book, Safeguarding Motherhood, by Sol T. De Lee M.D. It was her guidebook to pregnancy. I recall her referring to the book during my first pregnancy. Saving that book speaks volumes about her loving dedication to her family and the profession of motherhood.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my Mother on this day dedicated to all mothers. I would love to hear something special about your Mother. If you can, please take a moment to share a special memory about your beautiful Mother.

With Love,


Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Angel Mother

Abraham Lincoln said it best, “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sickness and Suffering

To some this may be morbid but I have a growing collection of death certificates, as do most genealogists. Death certificates provide important information. Initially, I focused on birth dates, death dates, parents’ names and parents’ birthplace. This critical information allowed me to grow my family trees.

Knowing that all documents lie, it is important to remember that death certificates can give false information. A family member or close associate usually supplies information about the decedent. I remember giving incorrect information for my mother’s death certificate.

A great debate occurred around the location of her birth. I thought she was born in Chicago and my mother’s cousin was certain she was born in Arlington Heights. I yielded to Mom’s cousin because she knew my mother as a child. As a result, Mom’s death certificate reports her birth as Arlington Heights. The truth is she was born in Chicago but lived in Arlington Heights as an infant. I am living proof that even a daughter didn’t know everything about her mother and I should have.

With that said, there is a piece of information that I have ignored and that is the cause of death. The cause of death can be important to future generations who have significant health problems. I have a brother and nephew with chronic kidney disease. Did we have ancestors with kidney disease?

My death certificates show a wide variety of cause of death. Here are a few of the medical causes of death in my family trees: 

Dropsy, La Grippe, Acute Coronary Insufficiency, Fracture Cervical Vertebrae, Acute Decompressed Heart, Cerebral Hemorrhage, Carcinoma of the Bladder, Myocarditis, Influenza, Senility, Cerebral Apoplexy, Carcinoma of the Stomach, Uremia Septicemia, Infantile Marasmus, Acute Coronary Thrombosis, Carcinoma of the Prostate and Bladder, Chronic Nephritis, Cirrhosis of Liver, Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Shock and Hemorrhage due top accidental gun shot wound of the body, Chronic Brights, Diphtheria, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Pneumonia.

That is a lot of sickness and suffering. It is kind of sick (no pun intended) but I find the causes of death very, very interesting. I came across a website dedicated to archaic medical terms that clarified exactly what my ancestors suffered from. If you are interested you can view the website at:

Not that it solves anyone’s health problem, but I believe I may have found ancestors who suffered from kidney disease as my brother and nephew do. My mother’s Paternal Grandmother and Great-Grandmother (mother & daughter) seem to have died from kidney disease or the effects of kidney problems.  Mom’s Paternal Grandmother died following childbirth due to Uremia Septicemia. You won’t find Kidney Disease in the above list as it was previously called Brights Disease and Uremia Septicemia.

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Family Has Grown

A few months ago, I wrote about the desire to get a dog. Our home has been so quiet since the death of our Sweet Charlie. 
Sweet Charlie

As we approach the anniversary of his death, we did indeed take the plunge. In fact, our family increased by two apricot poodle puppies. My husband and I have one little pup and our daughter adopted his brother. We are definitely keeping in all in the family.

Brothers Riley and Ollie
Today I watched both puppies and I must say I am quite exhausted.

Puppy training and genealogy don’t mix well. Genealogy has taken a back seat as a curious puppy calls me away from my thoughts. Just for fun . . . here is our puppy genealogy.

 What’s up with my genealogy? I am attending the BIGWILL Seminar, “Courting Your English Ancestors,” on Saturday. The seminar is in Richmond, Illinois. I hope find a few pearls of British wisdom.

Good night,


Saturday, May 5, 2012

One Small Step

I have finally made my first small step in the search for evidence of my husband’s Revolutionary War roots. I believe that his maternal line descends from four Revolutionary War Patriots and my goal is to prove just that.

My search led me to California. Finding California death certificates and newspaper obituaries has stymied me for quite awhile. My motto, “Never say never,” finally paid off by finally cracking the California death record files. California lists death certificates on a database by name, date of death, age of death, county of death etc.

About two months ago after reviewing my choices, I took a “best guess” and ordered two non-certified death certificates. The death certificates just arrived and I discovered I did indeed choose the correct people. I know have my first evidence linking my mother-in-law to a Revolutionary War Patriot, Andrew Beatie (Beatty)!

This will be an interesting journey back in time to Virginia prior toward the Revolutionary War as Andrew Beatie was born in Virginia. Keep you posted!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Diary Written A Hundred Years Ago Becomes A Blog

A diary by definition is a written record consisting of entries that report happenings for the course of a day, week or possibly years. As a child, I had a personal diary in which I recorded my experiences. A small lock and key kept my diary safe from the prying eyes of my younger siblings. Recording my simple life experiences in a diary was not very exciting and I quickly lost interest.

I say “Hooray!” to all those who have kept diaries. As a genealogist, diaries offer a glimpse into your ancestors’ lives. What did they do? What did they think? My curious mind wants to know. I sure wish I were in possession of a diary.

Let me introduce you to a special blog titled “A Hundred Years Ago.” Sheryl Lazerus shares her grandmother’s diary in a blog format. Her daily posts correspond and are written exactly as her Grandmother wrote them.  I don’t know Sheryl but I think she has done a very nice job.

If you are interested, you can read her blog at

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday

My maternal grandmother offered these words of wisdom:

Kids and Fools Tell The Truth!

I know she meant every word.
Love you, Grandma!