Monday, March 31, 2014

Interviewed on The Genealogy Professional

Interviewed on The Genealogy Professional
Marian Pierre Louis interviewed Lorine of Olive Tree Genealogy a few weeks ago for her ongoing podcast series called The Genealogy Professional. If you haven't been listening you should. Marian has interviewed some fascinating bloggers and genealogists around the globe. 

Her Podcast interview and biography can be found at TGP 18 Lorine McGinnis Schulze – Focus on New Netherland

Bernville, Berks County, Pennsylvania 1863 to 1870 Haag, Kline & Co Ledger

Bernville, Berks County, Pennsylvania 1863 to 1870 Haag, Kline & Co Ledger
Bernville, Berks County, Pennsylvania 1863 to 1870 Haag, Kline & Co Ledger
I now have the Bernville, Berks County, Pennsylvania 1863 to 1870 Haag, Kline & Co Ledger online in PDF format. This great old ledger book is from Haag, Kline & Co in Bernville, Berks County Pennsylvania. Bernville is a borough in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The ledger starts in 1860 and ends in 1870 and has over 300 names. I had a look in the 1860 United States Federal Census and found a few of the folks that are listed in this ledger. Some of the Berks County names you will find in the Haag, Kline ledger are Adams, Becker, Burkhard, Bright, Bressler, Baus, Bickel, Boyer, Bassler, Brossman, Bentz, Bean, Bear, Berger, Conrad, Cummings, Derr, Daniel, Ernst, Fisher, Fox, Groff, Haag, Hix, Kalbach, Kauffman, Miller, Reed, Shutz, Shade, Snyder, Taylor, Weaver to name just a few.

 If you want to have a look go to
 Haag Kline Ledger Book

If you would like to see the index to all my ledger books go to
 Ledger Books Index

Friday, March 28, 2014

Coffin Plate Of Mary J Hodson 1862

Coffin Plate
Mary J Hodson Died 1862
Mary J Hodson
Died Mar 17th 1862
Aged 26 yrs 7 mos 15 days

I went and had a look in the 1860 census and found a Mary Jane Hodson living in Somersworth, Strafford, New Hampshire but more research is needed to see if its the right Mary.

500 More Coffin Plates On My

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

52 Ancestors: Richard Boniwell Loses Everyting to his Creditors in 1849

52 Ancestors: Richard Boniwell Loses Everyting to his Creditors in 1849
I'm writing about my 4th great-grandpa Richard Rufus Boniwell or Bonewell, as part of Amy Crow's Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

Richard was born in 1809 in Southwold, Suffolk England, the son of Richard Rufus Boniwell. Richard Jr. was well-established in the little community and is written about in James Magg's Diary on 

Luckily for me, his marriage to Harriet, daughter of James Martin who owned The Red Lion Inn in Southwold, is mentioned in the diary. That gave me his wife's maiden name and her father's name. 

A carpenter by trade, Richard was the owner of The White Swan Inn and in 1841 he was living at Cliff's End with his wife Harriet Martin and 4 young children. A prominent man in the small community, he was elected a Councillor of Southwold in 1845. Then his luck changed.

1849 finds Richard bankrupt. A notice appeared in the Ipswich Journal dated February 1849 for an auction of all his posessions in order to pay his creditors - carpentry equipment, tools, household effects and so on. You name it, he lost it. There were 4 feather beds and all bedding listed in the effects to be auctioned for his creditors. He and his wife were given 3 months to gather all their possessions together for the auctioneers. 

Then in October yet another blow struck Richard. His inn, The White Swan, was repossessed and sold to pay his creditors. 

1851 finds Richard and his family living in much poorer conditions in the town of Southwold itself. I have to wonder how Harriet coped!   

In the end Richard and Harriet had 8 children, the last born in 1856. In 1886 Richard died. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Schuykill, Pennsylvania Tax Collection Ledger 1913-1922

Schuykill, Pennsylvania Tax Collection Ledger 1913-1922
Schuykill, Pennsylvania Tax Collection Ledger 1913-1922
I now have the Schuykill, Pennsylvania Tax Collection Ledger 1913-1922 online in PDF format.
This Ledger Book is a fantastic genealogy resource for Schuykill, Pennsylvania.

 To take a look at the Schuykill, Pennsylvania Tax Collection Ledger 1913-1922 go to
Schuykill Pennsylvania Tax Book

To see my list of ledger books go to the
Ledger Books Index.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Coffin Plate of Daniel Underwood 1868

Daniel Underwood Coffin Plate
Daniel Underwood 1801 ~ 1868

Daniel Underwood
Died Sept 9th 1868
Aged 67 Yrs
5 mos 14 days

I had a look in the 1860 Census for Daniel.

1860 United States Federal Census results for Daniel Underwood.

Daniel Underwood Living in Tewksbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Born abt 1801 in New Hampshire.

I have 500 more Coffin Plates on my

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas 1908 to 1915 Jackson McFarland Store Ledger ONLINE

Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas Genealogy
Jackson McFarland Store Ledger, Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas
I now have the Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas 1908 to 1915 Jackson McFarland Store Ledger online in PDF format. This is a original ledger book with assorted documents that came from the Jackson McFarland store in Ladonia, Fannin County, Texas. Ladonia is located in the southeast corner Fannin county.The city limits border on Delta and Hunt Counties.

Ladonia was first settled by James McFarland and Daniel Davis before 1840. The book starts in May 1908 and ends in 1915. The book contains the names of many locals that charged goods on account. This ledger book is great genealogy resource for this area of Texas. It paints a nice picture of life in Texas in the first few years of the century.

To take a look at the ledger go to Jackson McFarland Store Ledger

To see my full index of Ledger Books go to Ledger Books For Genealogy

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

1858 Bucks County Pennsylvania Ledger Now Online

I now have the 1858 Bucks County Pennsylvania Ledger online. The ledger book is freely available as 5 pdf files which you may download to your computer. This ledger book for Bucks County Pennsylvania is a fantastic one-of-a-kind genealogy resource for Bucks County Pennsylvania. If you had ancestors living in Bucks County in the 1850s you may find your ancestors are in this book.

1858 Bucks County Pennsylvania Ledger Book
1858 Bucks County Pennsylvania Ledger Book

If you want to take a look at the ledger go to Bucks County Pennsylvania Ledger Book.

Or if you want to take a look at the other ledger books I have on line go to Ledger Books

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ireland Is In My Blood

It's not too late for you to search for your Irish ancestors for free today. is offering Open access to the Irish Heritage Collection from March 13 to March 17, 2014
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Get Your DNA Tested

I self identify as Irish. If someone asks me what country my ancestors came from I don't say England, France, Belgium, Germany or any of the many Countries my ancestors came from. The first Country that comes out of my mouth is Ireland. Now to be sure I do have many Irish ancestors but the reality is much of my DNA is not Irish. Yet Ireland is the place that speaks to me. If I had to move across the ocean I would feel most comfortable heading for Ireland yet I have never been there. I love Irish music. I am interested in Irish history. I have spent way more hours searching my Irish ancestors than any of my other lines. And for some strange reason I trust anyone with an Irish accent.

I think perhaps that Irish DNA has a homing signal encoded in it. Its in my blood as they say. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

52 Ancestors: Edith & Martha Finch - Life in the Workhouse in England

Brighton Workhouse Sussex EnglandAmy Johnson Crow has a new challenge for geneabloggers called Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Amy challenges genealogists to write about one ancestor once a week. 
A few weeks ago I wrote about my ancestor Elsie Phyllis Markham and the hard life she had, orphaned at 9 months old, pregnant in 1917 at 19...... Today I want to talk about her mother Edith FINCH and grandmother Martha FINCH and their lives in the Workhouse.

Elsie's mother Edith Finch died in November 1898 in London England at the age of 28. Her husband Albert Markham had died just one month before Edith. They had both fallen victim to Typhoid Fever. Three young children were left behind - Albert, Frederick and Elsie (9 months old)

Brighton Workhouse

Edith's life had not been without difficulties. She was born in 1870 in the Brighton Workhouse in London England to Martha Finch, an unmarried inmate of the Workhouse. No father's name was given on little Edith's birth registration but at her marriage to Albert Markham in 1895 she gave her father's name as Lionel and his occupation as Commercial Traveller. I've never been able to find out if this is true. 

52 Ancestors: Edith & Martha Finch - Life in the Workhouse in England
Edith Finch - Albert Markham Marriage 1895

1871 Census

The census of 1871 finds Martha, age 32, listed as a pauper in the Cuckfield Union Workhouse with her 6 month old "pauper child" Edith. Martha has work outside the Workhouse as a cook in a family home. 

Race Hill Workhouse and Brighton Industrial School

1881 Census

In 1881 the family is still in dire financial circumstances. 43 year old Martha is living in the Race Hill Workhouse with another illegitimate daughter Esther age 23 and Esther's illegitimate son Arthur 1 1/2 years old. Edith is not with the family at this time. She may be the Edith Finch age 12 in the Brighton Industrial School in Sussex but the birth location for this Edith is not consistent with the actual birth location of my ancestor. However I believe the birth location is simply an error and that this is my great-great grandmother. 

The Brighton Workhouse (also known as Race Hill Workhouse) sent pauper children to the new Warren Farm (aka Brighton Industrial School) in 1862 and it seems almost certain that Edith was sent there from Race Hill where her mother is found in 1881. [Source: ]

The lives of Martha and her daughters in the Workhouse and the Industrial School would not have been easy. People ended up in the Workhouse if they were too poor to support themselves, or if their family would not help them during difficult times. Often unmarried pregnant women were forced to enter the workhouse because their families disowned them.

Workhouse inmates were forced to do hard physical labour to help offset the cost of providing them with lodging and meagre food rations. For the most part, the inmates worked 12  hours of each day. Meals were simple with breakfast consisting usually of tea and bread or tea and gruel (a watery oatmeal). Lunch was their main meal of the day and it was usually a watery soup with bread, or a thin stew made of tough mutton or beef with a few carrots and potatoes. Their last meal of the day was tea with bread and butter. [Source:]

1891 Census

1891 finds Edith Finch still living in the Workhouse but working as a housemaid. She too has an illegitimate son named Albert, age 5 months. It is not known who Albert's father was but he too was born in the St. Pancras Workhouse. Edith's mother Martha appears to have finally left the Workhouse after 30 or more years. Martha entered the Workhouse sometime before 1861 when she is found working as a dairymaid but with an illegitimate daughter born in the Workhouse. I suspect it may have been the birth of her daughter that forced Martha into the Workhouse. 

In the 1891 census Martha Finch lists herself as a widow even though there is no evidence that she ever married. She is working as a cook in a family home and no doubt had to say she was widowed since she had at least 3 illegitimate children. A proper Victorian family would not have allowed her to be part of their family life if she were not considered "respectable". It appears she may have been a live-in cook which was probably her only opportunity to escape the Workhouse life. 

As for Martha's 3 children, her son John (born 1863) was taken in by Martha's parents and appears to have lived with them his entire life. As to why they took in John but not Martha's daughters, I can't say. However there was contact between Martha and her parents as in 1871 12 year Esther Finch is staying with her grandparents and brother John. 

Esther Finch had yet a second illegitimate child, Ruth, born circa 1887 in the Workhouse but in 1900 Esther married a widower named William John Arrow. William had been left with 5 young children when his wife died in London in 1898, possibly from the same illness that took Esther's sister Edith and brother-in-law Albert Markham.


It's a confusing family to follow, full of misfortunate and sad circumstances. Because of this I created a timeline summary to help me in my research.

1838: Martha Finch, my 3rd great-grandmother, is born to Charles Finch and Keziah Harding. Charles is a bricklayer. Martha is one of 10 children. 

1861: Martha Finch is a dairymaid but living in the Workhouse. Her illegitimate daughter Esther is born that year.

1863: Martha Finch has an illegitimate son John born in Brighton Sussex OR is he the son of her younger sister Anna? 

  • Martha is a pauper in the Cuckfield Union Workhouse with her illegitimate 6 month old daughter Edith Finch, my 2nd great grandmother. 
  • John Finch and Esther Finch, Martha's two children, are living with grandparents George and Keziah
  • Martha Finch is an inmate in the Race Hill Workhouse with her daughter Esther and Esther's illegitimate son Arthur, age 1 1/2 
  • Edith Finch is 12 years old and an inmate in the Brighton Industrial School which is part of Race Hill Workhouse.
  • John Finch is living with his grandparents George & Keziah Finch
  • Martha Finch is employed as a cook in a family home. She doesn't appear to be living in the Workhouse
  • Edith Finch is in the Pancras Workhouse. She has an illegitimate son Albert born in the Workhouse 5 months previously.
  • Esther Finch is in the Race Hill Workhouse with her 4 year old illegitimate daughter Ruth.
  • John Finch is  living "on his own means" at Hollycombe Stable in Sussex
  • Arthur Finch, Martha's grandson, is living with a nurse in Brighton Sussex
1894: A John Finch born 1863 dies in Brighton Sussex. I do not have proof this is the grand son of George and Keziah but I do not find John in 1901 or 1911 census records.

1895: Edith Finch marries Albert Markham

1898: Edith Finch and her husband Albert Markham die of Typhoid Fever leaving 3 young children orphaned, including my great grandmother, 9 month old Elsie Markham

1900: Esther Finch marries John William Arrow, widower with 5 children

  • 62 year old Martha is a servant in Portsmouth Hampshire England
  • John Finch - not found
  • Arthur Finch is on board a ship of the Royal Navy as a musician
  • Esther (Finch) Arrow is with her husband and daughter Ruth Finch in Brighton Sussex 
1909: Esther (Finch) Arrow dies

  • Arthur Finch is living in Portsmouth, Hampshire England. He is a musician in the Royal Marine Artillery Barracks And Infirmary
  • Ruth Finch is a maid in the house of Fanny Masters in Sussex England
  • John Finch - not found

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Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Coffin Plate of Jacob Willsey 1819 ~ 1884

Jacob Willsey
Died June 2nd 1884
Aged 65 years

I went to and had a look for Jacob. In the 1880 census I found a Jacob Willsey born 1819 living with his Wife Matilda in Berne, Albany, New York.

To see my index of over 500 coffin plates go to

Monday, March 03, 2014

Coffin Plates Of Delia Cardinal

Coffin Plate
A sad story
I have a feeling that the two Coffin Plates on this page represent a rather sad story. The Coffin Plates are for Delia Cardinal age 23 and Delia Cardinal aged 1. The Coffin Plates have no dates but it is apparent that they were made around the same time. I would guess from the style that the plates were from the 1880s or 1890s.I can only guess that the plates are for a mother and daughter or perhaps two sisters.

Delia Cardinal
Age 1 year 18 days

Delia Cardinal
Age 23 years -- Days

For more coffin plates see 
Perhaps you will spot an ancestor.