August 31, 2011

The Arch City, 1905

Lisa at Are You My Cousin? is hosting a Postcard Bonanza, inviting bloggers to share some of their favorite family postcards. What a great idea! Vintage postcards are so much fun, aren’t they?

This postcard depicts High Street in Columbus, Ohio around the turn of the century. It’s postmarked December 20, 1905. Columbus used to be nicknamed the "Arch City” because of the lighted arches that spanned High Street downtown and northward. You can see one of the streetcars that ran under the arches in this scene, as well as various horse-drawn carriages. Signs advertise “The New Idea in Millinery” at N. Myers and “Meals 25¢” at a nearby diner. The black clock was a familiar fixture for many years.

The postcard reads: “Dear Bro. & Sister – Just a few lines to tell you that Grandma Evans is very poorly. Will send you a letter end of the wk. Lizzie” It was addressed to Mr. Evan Evans, Lake Shore Blvd., Glenville, Ohio, c/o Samuel Mathers. Evan was a gardener at the Samuel Mathers estate along the shore of Lake Erie. He later became Mathers’ head groundskeeper. Lizzie Roberts and Evan Evans were the sister and brother of my husband’s great-grandfather, John Evans. John was a Columbus streetcar conductor. I wonder if his route took him down High Street?

My father and grandfather used to own Reeb’s Restaurant, which featured murals of classic Columbus scenes painted on the walls. One of the murals portrayed the High Street arches and looked a lot like this postcard. The arches have been recently reconstructed in the Short North district. So a visitor from 1905 might find something familiar in the Columbus of today, after all.

If you'd like to know more about the Columbus arches, check out this article by local historian Ed Lentz. Hope you enjoyed this peek into the past!

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August 27, 2011

Roush Family Ancestry - Surname Saturday

The Roush (Rausch) & Allied Families of America recently held their 83rd Annual Reunion, celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of John Adam Roush. Although I was unable to attend this year, I did go to the 2010 Roush Reunion in Akron, Ohio, and had a wonderful time meeting many new cousins. I am a descendant of two of John Adam’s sons, Philip and Jacob. Here's a brief overview of my Roush ancestry:

Generation 1
John Adam Roush (Johan Adam Rausch), born about 1711 near Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany; immigrated to Philadelphia in 1736; died 19 October 1786 in Shenandoah County, Virginia. He married Susanna Sehler. She was born about 1713 in Germany, and died in 1796 in Shenandoah County. They had at least 10 children: Philip, Henry, John, Jacob, Daniel, Eleanor, Mary, Elisabeth, George, and Jonas.

Generation 2
Philip Roush, born about 1741 in Pennsylvania or Virginia; served in the Dunmore County Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War; died 1 March 1820 in Gallia County, Ohio. He married Catharine Kelchner about 1764. She died in 1833 in Gallia County. They had 13 children: John, Elizabeth, Susanna, Michael, Philip, Catherine, Henry, Sarah, Molly, Eva, George, Hannah, and Jonas.

Jacob Roush, born about 1746 in Pennsylvania or Virginia; served in the Dunmore County Virginia Militia during the Revolutionary War; died in 1830 in Gallia County, Ohio. He married Catharine Fox on 21 February 1775 in Dunmore [Shenandoah] County, Virginia. She was born about 1758, and died before 1827 in Gallia County. They had 8 children: Rosanna, Dorothy, Catharine, John, Adam, Susanna, Paul, and Cornelius.

Generation 3
Adam Roush (son of Jacob), born 29 November 1785 in Shenandoah County, Virginia; died in 1846 in Gallia County, Ohio. He married Hannah Roush (daughter of Philip) on 12 April 1808 in Athens County, Ohio. She was born 30 December 1790 in Shenandoah County; died 26 March 1876 in Gallia County. They had 3 children: William, Gideon, and Lydia.

Generation 4
Gideon Roush, born 11 September 1812 in Gallia County, Ohio; died 31 July 1894 in Gallia County. He married Elizabeth Rayburn on 2 March 1837 in Gallia County. She was born 18 March 1815 in Virginia, and died 22 April 1855 in Gallia County. They had 8 possible children: Admiral Rodney, Benjamin, Adam, Wilson, Electa, Abner, William, and James.

Generation 5
Electa Roush, born 11 August 1845 in Gallia County, Ohio; died 30 June 1932 in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio. She married Newel King on 26 May 1869 in Mason County, [West] Virginia. He was born 17 January 1838 in Gallia County, served in Co. B, 91st Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, and died 17 September 1896 in Gallia County. They had 4 children: Wesley Berlin, Curtis Walden, Minnie, and Bella.

If you are a Roush descendant or are researching Roush genealogy, please contact me at I have extensive documentation on the families listed here, and would welcome the chance to share my sources and collaborate our findings.

August 24, 2011

Evans Family Portrait - Wordless Wednesday

Evan Evans and his wife, Mary Hughes Evans, posed with their seven grown children for this family portrait at the Baker Art Studio in Columbus, Ohio. The portrait is undated, but I estimate it dates to about 1895. The Evans were Welsh, having immigrated from Montgomeryshire in north Wales. They look quite distinguished, don’t they?

In the front row, from left to right, are: Mary Evans Williams, Evan Evans (father), Elizabeth Evans Roberts, Mary Hughes Evans (mother), and Hannah Evans Morgan. In the back are: Evan Evans (son), John Evans, Anne Evans Morgan, and Thomas Evans.

Evan and Mary Evans were my husband’s great-great-grandparents, and John Evans was his great-grandfather. As I dip my toes into Welsh research, I’m finding that the Evans surname is just about as common in Wales as Smith is in the U.S. But fortunately I have this lovely photograph to inspire me!

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The Arch City, 1905

August 22, 2011

Playing Catch Up with 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog

I don’t know about you, but my summer is flying by! Between vacations, an unexpected project, and kids home for the summer, I’ve fallen behind in a lot of things, including blog reading and writing. Tempting as it is to throw in the towel, I’m going to try to catch up, starting with what I missed in Tonia Kendrick’s “31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog.” Tonia is doing a great job with this series, setting up challenges with lots of helpful information and giving personal feedback. And I’m learning so much from the enthusiastic participation of fellow bloggers that I don’t want to let the ideas slip by without trying them out.

So today I’m revisiting Week 4: Analyze a Top Genealogy Blog. The challenge is to look at a blog in terms of content, reader engagement, design, and monetization, then come up with some action items for your own blog. I chose to take a look at Amy Coffin’s blog, We Tree Genealogy. Amy’s blog is highly successful—it was named one of the top 40 genealogy blogs of 2011 by Family Tree Magazine, and has over 450 followers. Yet she was one of my first followers, and even leaves me a comment from time to time (as does Greta Koehl of Greta’s Genealogy Bog, who Stardust & Roots blogger Bart Brenner reviewed). That means so much!

We Tree Genealogy covers a nice mix of topics, from personal discoveries to things of general interest to the geneablogging community. Amy’s writing style is friendly, upbeat, and engaging. Her posts are relatively short, which makes them easy to read, and frequent—every couple of days. She uses photographs and formatting to good effect, as seen in her Oklahoma Road Trip series. Three stand-alone pages—About Me, My Surnames, and Disclosures—are easily accessible via tabs.

Amy engages her readers with a conversational style, and because she usually talks about her family or herself, readers feel like they get to know her. She also has her finger on the pulse of the community. One of her posts last week, “Where Keggers and Social Genealogy Intersect,” (what a great headline!) drew 28 comments. Her sense of humor shines through on many posts, especially “Fun with Search Terms.”

Page design is simple and easy to read: posts on a white background, gadgets on the right divided into two narrow columns. A few of the gadgets are for affiliate advertisers, but they’re pertinent and don’t seem intrusive. Amy explains her affiliate associations on her Disclosures page. Older posts scroll continuously after the newest one, so readers don’t have to wait for pages to reload.

I’m glad I took the time to go back and do this challenge. Amy and Tonia have both given me some ideas and inspiration for my own blog. Here are a few action items I want to try:
1.  Keep posts short and frequent; create a series for longer ones
3.  Post on developing news when it impacts me
3.  Refine my stand-alone pages

If you haven't already done so, be sure to read the Comments to #31WBGB: Analyze a Top Genealogy Blog for links to more great reviews of popular blogs. Thanks to Tonia, Amy, and fellow participants in the challenge, and thanks to my readers for your understanding as I get back up to speed!

August 15, 2011

Are you going to the FGS Conference?

Back in June, I registered for the FGS Conference in Springfield, marked my calendar for September 7-10, and crossed my fingers that nothing would come up to keep me from going (last year, my daughter’s college move-in date coincided with the conference in Knoxville). Now that the time is fast approaching, I’m getting more and more excited about all the wonderful things the organizers have planned. I’m also eager to meet fellow geneabloggers and connect with some of the writers who inspire, educate, inform, move, challenge, encourage, and entertain me in our common quest for ancestors.

In preparation, I’m posting some links for the conference that I’ve found helpful. First on the list is the FGS Conference Blog, written primarily by Paula Stuart-Warren, Conference Co-Chair. Paula does a fabulous job of promoting the various social events, speakers, exhibitors, nearby research facilities, and a myriad of other details. Her posts generate excitement for the conference and make even first-timers like me feel welcome. Thanks to her enthusiasm, I signed up for the Old-Fashioned Prairie Social and the 35th Anniversary Celebration, even though I'll be attending alone. I figure you can’t go wrong in a group like this!

In addition, Thomas MacEntee, Geneabloggers founder extraordinaire, is the National Publicity Chair and a speaker. He keeps everyone informed about new developments, like the just-released FGS app for iPhone/iPad. I hope to attend a couple of his sessions. With so many top-notch speakers on the agenda, the schedule of lectures and workshops looks great.

If you’ve been sitting on the fence, there’s still a little bit of time left (until August 20) to register for the conference and some of the functions. If you’re already registered, I’d welcome hearing from you. What are you looking forward to most? Do you have any tips? What workshops or luncheons are you signed up for? Feel free to leave a comment below or email me at sbishop(at)asenseoffamily(dot)com. Hope to see you there!

Here’s my rundown of links for FGS 2011:
Official FGS Bloggers:
·      Amy Coffin, We Tree Genealogy
·      Schelly Talalay Dardsashtl, My Heritage and Tracing the Tribe
·      Dick Eastman, Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
·      Jen Holik-Urban, Chicago Family History and GenerationsBiz
·      Linda McCauley, Documenting the Details
·      Gena Philibert Ortega, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera
·      Caroline Pointer, Family Stories and For Your Family Story
·      Ol’ Myrt, DearMYRTLE
·      Randy Seaver, Genea-Musings
·      Ginger Smith, Genealogy by Ginger
FGS 2011 on Facebook
#FGS 2011 on Twitter
New FGS Mobile app for iPhone/iPad announcement

(Thanks to Tonia Kendrick of Tonia's Roots for the challenge to Write a Link Post for Week 7 of 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog)

August 9, 2011

Gideon Roush and Elizabeth Rayburn - Tombstone Tuesday

     SEPT. 11, 1812
      JULY 31, 1894

     Roush Cemetery
     Cheshire Township
     Gallia County, Ohio


Gideon was my fourth great-grandfather. The son of Adam and Hannah Roush, he was born in Ohio, most likely on land very near where he was buried 81 years later.

Gideon married Elizabeth Rayburn on March 2, 1837 in Gallia County (Gallia County, Ohio, Marriage Records, vol. 1, p. 447, Probate Court Office, Gallipolis). Although she predeceased him by almost 40 years, they were buried together. Her inscription is on the other side of their shared tombstone. 

            WIFE OF
        MAR. 18, 1815
        APRIL 22, 1855

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August 7, 2011

John F. Beum - Sunday's Obituary

Was Director of Westerville Board of Trade
Sketch of His Life

    Funeral services over the remains of John F. Beum, director of the board of trade and well known business man, were held at his late residence Sunday at 2 p.m.
    His death occurred Friday morning after an illness covering more than a year, during which he made a brave fight for his life.
    Dr. R. R. Bishop, pastor of the Methodist church, officiated at the funeral, appropriate music being rendered by a quartet composed of Dr. Mayhugh, B T Davis, Bronson Durrant and Fred Hanawalt.
    Interment took place in Otterbein cemetery the pallbearers being J. F. Sked, Frank Culver, Frank Bookman, E P Beck, B. N. Gorsuch and W D Stock.
    John Franklin Beum was born July 20, 1856, on a farm near Danville, and remained there until eight years old, his parents then moved to Coshocton county near Riverton Center, on a farm and remained there nine years. His parents then sold out and returned to Danville where he spent the next four years in school.
    After having finished his education he was united in marriage with Miss Lillian Tuttle and moved to Sunbury where he lived several years. Of this union two children were born, Carrie Beum and Thomas Beum, Carried Beum now deceased and Thomas Beum surviving the death of his father. Mrs. Lillian Tuttle Beum departed this life in 1887.
    In September of 1890, Mr. Beum was united in marriage with Miss Emma Williams, of Westerville, where they have resided since, Mrs. Beum surviving the death of her husband. Mr. Beum was at this death 53 years, 4 months and 28 days of age.
    He is survived by 3 brothers and 2 sisters: William R. Beum, of Nebraska, R.T. Beum, of Danville, Mrs. Jennie Clark, of Troy, Mrs. Ena Neal, of Mt. Vernon, S. D. Beum, of Cleveland.

        This obituary appeared in the Public Opinion in Westerville, Ohio, on December 23, 1909. I just love the amount and variety of information here—occupation, birth, childhood homes, marriages, children, and siblings, not to mention a list of friends who served as pallbearers. Over and over again, I find that small weekly papers like the Public Opinion can be a gold mine of information, and well worth the time to seek out. I viewed this issue at the Westerville Public Library. They offer an online obituary index as a finding aid (note: enter as last name, first name in the search box).

       John’s obituary proved to be an important missing link in solving a family mystery—finding the birth mother of Leatha Evans, my husband’s grandmother. From this and other clues, I’ve determined that her mother was Carrie Beum, daughter of John Beum. This was one of my 2011 genealogy goals. It feels great to make progress!


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