George Hoffman; Patriot?

My wife’s paternal line goes back to George Hoffman, born in Germany in 1736. Her grandfather kept a journal every day he was in college, starting in 1912. It includes stories of how he met his wife, and train travel to New York state to get married. After college, he kept journal entries on a less often weekly, and later only monthly, basis. But in the back of the journal is a Hoffman family tree. He got the info from his aunt; we don’t know where she got her information. But most of the tree, so far, seems to be fairly accurate, even though it has no sources.

Other documents have verified much of what is in the Hoffman journal family tree. Found out George Hoffman was born Johann Georg Hoffman, German for John George Hoffman. He Americanized his name after coming to Pennsylvania. The names of his wife and children are confirmed in other documents, including his will, written in 1801 in Cumberland, Pennsylvania.

[Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993; George Hoffman will of 1801; Pennsylvania County, District and Probate Courts, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Wills, Volume F, 1795-1803, pp. 294-300, images 506-509 of 542, images and database online, Ancestry.com : accessed 18 November 2018).]

Now, another user on Ancestry has made the claim that George Hoffman fought in the American Revolutionary War. They do not substantiate that claim with sources. I have sent an ancestry message to this person asking what sources they have, how can they prove their claim, and they have not responded. If George did fight in the American Revolutionary War, he is an American Patriot that would qualify my wife for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

So, another thing on the Research To Do list is to answer the research question, did this George Hoffman actually fight in the American Revolutionary War? I am actively searching for information; if you have any tips, let me know. When I find an answer, I’ll post it here.

Board of Directors for SCGS

The election results are in, and I was elected to the Board of Directors for the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS). I have attended the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree for years, and attended some of their general membership meetings, as I am a member.

Since I am currently studying with the ProGen 37 group, one of the things we’re learning is to get more involved with things genealogy. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have considered running for the Board. But I did, I was elected, and now it’s time for me to get a little more involved. I don’t yet know what that means, but I have some ideas, and I’ll figure it out as I go.

More info about SCGS can be found here. Membership is a good thing, even if it’s just for their webinars. Free to attend a webinar as it is live, but members get access to every single one stored in the archives! And I hope to see YOU at Jamboree 2019!

Stephen Bachiler

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Their magazine American Ancestors, Fall 2018, has an interesting article by Robert Charles Anderson starting on page 29. They have been publishing books by Mr. Anderson called The Great Migration series, which gives information on the many people that left England for the American colonies, including the Mayflower passengers, and for the great migration of people about 50 years after the Mayflower. I have access to their online database, which includes some data from their Great Migration books.

They are coming out with a new book soon, to be released in December 2018, called Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of the Great Migration to New England. It outlines the growth of the Puritan network, and the reasons why many of the pilgrims came to America.

Stephen Bachiler is my 11th great grandfather.  This lineage includes Matthew Gooding Reed and Ruth Anne Smith, which leads me to both American Patriot John Lecky (DAR and SAR) and to George Soule, Mayflower passenger. But another branch of that lineage leads to Stephen Bachiler.

Stephen Bachiler was not a Mayflower passenger, but is mentioned by name in the magazine article, and mentioned in more detail in the book, to be published soon. He was a great influence on the Great Migration, leaving England and coming to Massachusetts. He left mainly due to religious persecution.

According to the magazine article, Stephen Bachiler was born about 1561 in England, was a radical Puritan in his university days, and in the early 1600s was deprived of earning a living as a minister because he disagreed with English royalty on some points. He was vicar of Wherwill, Hampshire in England until 1605 when he was deprived of his job by the government. He was being punished because he disagreed with the English crown.

If you will recall, Henry VIII was a Catholic, wanted to divorce his wife to marry another, the pope refused, and so Henry started the Church of England, so he could basically be his own pope and make his own religious decisions. Every Protestant English monarch since then has been the head of the Church of England.  The king or queen rules their country and their church. They do not have separation of church and state there. (A basic American belief.)

Stephen Bachiler sailed to New England in 1631, mainly to escape persecution and government policies. He was an independent thinker and wanted freedom.

For more information, consult American Ancestors magazine, Fall 2018, pp. 29-34, or the upcoming book Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of the Great Migration to New England, releasing next month (late December 2018) and available here.

American_Ancestor_fall2018    Puritan_Pedigrees

It is fascinating to know that my ancestor is one of the big movers and shakers on why so many people left England for the Americas. Stephen Bachiler was an influence to be reckoned with, and was well respected in his time for challenging royalty and escaping England to come to the Americas.

And on this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful that we live in America, where these ideas of freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and the freedom to think any way you wish are not only allowed, but encouraged. And many of these ideas of freedom were promoted by my ancestors!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ida Seirer Cross obit and photos

Ida Seirer Cross was my great great grandmother.

EPSON scanner image

She was born in 1859 in Pennsylvania, and died 24 November 1915 in Kansas. Her mother’s maiden name was Spong, likely of German descent.

The obituary of Ida is below:

Ida Susan Seirer Cross obituary

An obituary with a story of a person’s life is a treasure from the past, as it is not often done these days. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

We also have some other photos of Ida, including when she was a young girl.

Miss Ida Susan Seirer

 

Ida Seirer 4 edit

And with her children:

EPSON scanner image

Photos from family

I have not posted in a while, I’ve been crazy busy with work lately. But some updates are in order…

I am currently working in ProGen, a 12 month online study program working through the Professional Genealogy textbook. It’s like a college course on becoming a professional genealogist. I am in the group ProGen 37 as this is the 37th class that has worked through the book. So far, it is fascinating to learn about other people and what they are up to and what their goals are. This next month we will get busy with some research techniques. So glad I’m doing this!

I met with some cousins down south in San Diego a couple of weeks ago. I’ll keep them private as I didn’t ask permission to tell the public their names. They provided me with some photos from their personal collection, and I can scan them all and return the photos at a later date! When I do, I plan on including a burned CD or a USB jump drive of all the photos in a digital copy for them. That’s just a thank you to them for borrowing the photos for scanning. Some of these photos include my dad when he was a tiny tot more than 70 years ago! And photos of ancestors that died more than 100 years ago.

These cousins are technically my 2nd cousins, their mom and my dad are 1st cousins.

Building a home server to store all the photos and docs I have for genealogy, as well as all the personal and business stuff I have. That has been taking some time also. But so glad I have a home server. Extra storage for digital files, automatic backup of my wife’s and my own personal PCs, it’s great. Personal research has had to go on the back burner for now as life takes over. But I will return soon, including the photo scanning I’ve already started!

All for now, greetings to all.

Mark Cross

Mary Elliott delayed birth certificate; info about father

I got crazy busy with a job project unrelated to genealogy and have been unable to write a post for a while. I did want to provide an update on something, however.

The delayed birth certificate for Mary Elliott did provide some information about her father; it turns out his occupation was listed as a Deputy Marshal. This means records may be available, as he was an employee of the US Federal Government.

I made an inquiry, which was forwarded to the National Personnel Records Center (Civilian Personnel Records) in Valmeyer, Illinois. I recently got a response from them, which informed me that their location does not have early 1900s Civilian Records. My request has been forward to the Military Personnel Records, Civilian Archival Section, located in St. Louis, Missouri. A reply will be made from that location.

I expect to hear from them in a few weeks, and will report findings here when I hear from them.

I have no idea if records will be found, or what information will be in those records if located. It’s new territory for me. I’ll post results here when I have a response.

Delayed Birth Certificate update — sealed records?

I wrote a post here a few days ago regarding my great grandmother’s delayed birth certificate. Mary Elizabeth Elliott was born in 1909, and the State of Kansas did not record birth certificates until 1911. She filed for a delayed birth certificate, which requires affidavits to be submitted as evidence to prove the birth facts stated on the delayed birth certificate.

I was curious if those affidavits are available to me, as part of my genealogy research, and sent an email to the State of Kansas.

Here is their official reply:

Kansas is a closed record state, so those are now sealed records. It would take a court order for us to release any documents we have relating to the filing of the Delayed Birth Certificate.

Wow. This is unbelievably frustrating. I do not understand why the government people are making it more difficult to do genealogy research. This is my great grandmother, and I cannot find out more about her?

I understand the concern for identity theft. I also understand, to a certain extent, privacy for cases of adoption. This is not an adoption.

Let’s look closer at this particular case. The child in question was born in 1909. She filed for a delayed birth certificate in 1944. Her mother died in 1939, so no affidavit could be filed by the mother. Her father, born in 1881, who she was likely not in contact with, could have been deceased at that time, but certainly is deceased by now. The affidavits were submitted by the child’s grandparents (Albert William Jones, 1862-1946 & Josephine Rebekah Wilson, 1876-1951) who are certainly deceased by now as well. We are talking about my great grandmother, and my 3rd great grandparents. Everyone involved is now dead. Why are the records sealed if everyone is dead? It makes no sense to me.

Adoption (not this case) and identity theft is one thing, but this is unbelievably frustrating. What is the logic behind the law of sealing the documents?

Well, consider the complaint filed. I can’t do anything about it now. I urge anyone who works in a government office to consider the laws they pass and the effect those laws will have on people. There are documents available, sources that have information that may help me identify and learn more about my 2nd great grandfather, but I have no access to those records. Because those records are sealed. It takes a court order to get access to those records.

Wow. That’s a brick wall.