How Grandpa Zeke Collected a Bounty on Himself

My great-great-grandfather Ezekiel Johnson collected a bounty for turning himself into the federal government in 1864. Actually, so did a lot of other folks earn such bounties. Zeke Johnson was held as a slave in Clay County, Missouri, fro the day he was born in 1847 until one day in May, 1864, when he was 17 years old.  That day …Continue reading →


Another Approach to Finding African-American Names in the Census

Last year I wrote an article called “Slaves and Slavs in the U.S. Census (and how to tell the difference!).” You can find the post here: http://geneablogie.blogspot.com/2008/06/research-tip-slaves-and-slavs-in-us.html. It describes how to find African-Americans by name in the census prior to 1870. Since writing that last year, I’ve continued to experiment with the topic and have discovered another way. On Ancestry.com, …Continue reading →


Brother & Sister

Taken Too Soon David Joseph Penny (1942-2007) Edna Mary Penny (1941-2008) Direct Descendants of George Micheau (1813-1907)


Names, Places & Most Wanted Faces

I started this with a note on Facebook and it was suggested that it would make a good meme for bloggers.  The idea is to publicize your surnames and locales to see if anyone elseknows something about them.  For me on Facebook, I got several research-helpful replies. So how much better to take it to a wider audience. List the …Continue reading →


Surname Distribution Analyzed

Before we analyze the data to comprehend its meaning, let’s do a bit more research to see if we can validate the existing data. Let’s check in with the United States Census Bureau which has analyzed names by frequency of occurrence from the 1990 census. When we search for Gines and then Guynes, the following values are produced: GINES             0.001   …Continue reading →


Smile for the Camera! Can You Date These Clothes?

I’ve got no clue who these people are.     The photograph was found among the effects of the late Edna Penny Wells of St Louis, who died last April.  Can you date the photograph by their clothes +/- 5 years? (Click on image to enlarge)


Nana’s 100th Anniversary

JESSIE BEATRICE BOWIE 1909-1973 Jessie Beatrice Bowie was my paternal grandmother.  She was born in San Antonio, Texas, on January 11, 1909.  She was the daughter of Elias Bowie, Sr.(1874-1970) and Hattie Bryant (1888-1944). Hattie had been  born on the Texas Gulf Coast.  After a brief marriage at age 15 and another relationship, she headed for San Antonio with her …Continue reading →


Who Is This Man?

This photograph was found in St Louis, Missouri, along with many others depicting members of the Micheau family of Prairie du Rocher and Sparta, Illinois.  No living relative among those that I interviewed had anyy idea who he might be.  Is this a family member? A friend? How old? Occupation? Just what is his story? When was the picture taken …Continue reading →


Some of the Photographic Stash

You recall that last summer I cane into a windfall of literally thousands of photographs.  Well, we’ve spent some time on photo-triage, so every now and then I display some of the pictures most compelling or most in need of rehabilitation.  This is another of such posts. We start with a good one. These portraits are of John Henry Phillip …Continue reading →


Who Am I? Another Orphan Postcard

This photo postcard was found in family pictures in St Louis, Missouri.  Living family members do not recognize the man. He may be from St Louis, or possibly from the Southern Illinois region encompassing Randolph, St Clair, Union, Monroe, and Jackson counties. One clue as to the time frame is on the reverse side.  There around the stampbox are the …Continue reading →

August 2015
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