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Innis Family Tree

I swear that darn Arwen is like reminder central. I went with her to the program she gave the other night and having heard it twice before you would think that it would have already sunk in. It finally did this time, which confirms I’m a slow learner – something Arwen already knew! So I spent the last couple of days going back over my early research on this family and was preparing this post when I went in and read Arwen’s post. I realized that I had not checked ALL of the individuals on familysearch. You would think that I would utilize my darn checklist, but I got caught up in the “Thrill of the Hunt” and failed to follow my own protocols.

There are several items on familysearch which show death dates for Oscar Lee Gattis. The posted ancestral files and IGI relate death dates for Oscar of 1931 and a couple for 1929. These are from individual submissions and not from a specific film of documents so I still have no independent source information for either of these dates. The 1929 date does not include a location of any type and the 1931 date is only a year, but does say burial in Denver. It does not include a death location or a cemetery.

The other thing that needs to be done is to resolve conflicts. My Oscar Gattis does not appear to be the only Oscar Gattis. There is a marriage record from Franklin County Tennessee for Oscar Gattis and Jenette Brown from 5 Aug 1917. There are no ages given so Oscar could be anywhere from 8 to 80. Also there are several census records that make me wonder. 1900 Justice Precinct 6, Eastland Texas there is a young lady named Lula B. Gattis, born May 1879 in Tennessee. In 1900 Justice Precinct 1, Wise County, Texas, there is an Oscar Gattis born Feb 1878 in Tennessee who is a laborer. On the 1880 census in Lincoln County, Tennessee, Lula E. is older than Oscar. I went to the Family Trees on Ancestry for Oscar and one has the 1929 death date and lists a spouse of Lula Williams. There are no locations given or sources provided.

Well I am no better off now than I was before. Maybe I should have simply called it documenting conflicts rather than resolving.


Scholefield Family Tree

I was rereading posts after a Moore family researcher found the blog and asked about James Armour Moore and his wife Matilda Jane Bennett. There must be some element of synchronicity here because a few nights ago I presented a class called “Using Records to Suggest the Next Step.” It seems unrelated, but I was encouraging the attendees to reexamine their records for additional research leads. I needed to do exactly that — recheck my own work.

Quite a while back, I found a census record that connected a Horace Moore to the family as a possible sibling of James.1 This hint should be followed up because it could lead to information about James’s parents. (And I was afraid I was stuck!)

In 1880, Horace Moore was living in Alameda, California, and was a clerk in a bookstore. His wife was named Ann. Members of the family I was searching for were living with them.

I went to and checked for Horace Moores born about 1821 as a possible match to the Horace in 1880. I found an IGI record “Horris Hawkins Moore,” son of Michael Moore, who was christened in Rye, Westchester, New York.2 The father’s name and place look familiar to me because I had also found a similar entry for James Armour Moore.3

If you’ve never tried it, you should check out the “batch search” function available in familysearch. When you find a record, you can search the source the record came from for additional records in that source. This is great because if a person’s birth record is indexed, you can search for any siblings whose birth was recorded in the same source. To search this way, check the bottom of the individual record screen and click on the number which is provided as a “batch number.” Once you have arrived at the new search window (with the batch number filled in for you), you can search for all persons with the same last name or other qualifiers. The other numbers will lead you to additional information about the source. In this case, you will discover that the records of Christ’s Church in Rye was transcribed in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. The issues are available in the online Family History Archives at BYU’s website.

Using the batch search, I found that the record I had previously located for James A. Moore was in the same source — along with two additional apparent brothers. Michael and Susan Moore had four boys christened at Christ’s Church in Rye: Horris Hawkins Moore c. 24 Jun 1821, John Jacob Moore c. 1 Apr 1823,4 James Armour Moore c. 1 May 1825,5 and Samuel Armour Moore c. 22 Jun 1827.6 Because of the census record, I feel reasonably confident in connecting the members of this family into the tree.

1. See post dated 13 Sep 2008.
2. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [LDS], “International Genealogical Index,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 Jan 2010), North America Region, entry for Horris Hawkins Moore, christened 24 Jun 1821, Rye, Westchester County, New York; citing FHL microfilm 0,962,876 (The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record), batch no. C510161.
3. See post dated 8 Dec 2008.
4. LDS, “International Genealogical Index,” database, FamilySearch, North America Region, entry for John Jacob Moore, christened 1 Apr 1823, Rye.
5. LDS, “International Genealogical Index,” database, FamilySearch, North America Region, entry for James Armour Moore, christened 1 May 1825, Rye.
6. LDS, “International Genealogical Index,” database, FamilySearch, North America Region, entry for Samuel Armour Moore, christened 22 Jun 1827, Rye.


Innis Family Tree

While it is always the goal to just do the genealogy and advance the line for research, part of my personal goal is to learn about research in other areas. It is important to know what records may be available to find. It makes no sense to be searching for something that simply did not exist in the time period you are working in. For comprehensive information either consult one of the many great books out there that tell you about the records available in a particular state, use the research guides at FamilySearch, or do your online research in the specific state for the available information.

Just a quick note about this – if you are going to do this online, be sure that you use the state’s official site for the latest information on locating or ordering their records. That said – do not stop there. Go out and look at other sites including blogs, because that’s where the tips and secrets are.

In Colorado try the COGenBlog which is just a wealth of information about genealogy. The site material comes from Julie Miller, Birdie Monk Holsclaw, and Roberta “Bobbi” King. They have spent a lot of time adding great information about doing research in Colorado. These are the folks that are helping genealogists doing research in Colorado!!!

Noted genealogist Arlene Eakle has several blogs – Tennessee, Kentucy and Virginia. All have some great information that can help build your knowledge base when you are starting your research.

I keep a small printed cheat sheet near the computer as I’m working. It is not comprehensive – it is just some basic notes and prompts.

Births – 1910 statewide registration
Deaths – 1906 while available in counties as early as 1900, the national system was 1906.
Neither birth, or death is online and you’ll need to send requests to the appropriate agency.
Marriages – by county and dates vary. As mentioned previously, Ancestry has some online, and there are some in the state archives (not accessible online), but not for my time period.

Births – 1903 statewide registration. Some earlier records are available in some counties.
Deaths – 1890-1976 online certificates and 1964-1998 an online index – both free through FamilySearch.
Marriages – pre 1966 in the counties as they were organized. After 1966 it became statewide.


Innis Family Tree

I want to look at the siblings of Thomas Roberts Innis and see if I can finish off this generation. I understand from Sue that all his siblings are deceased. I really wanted to answer the question about Pauline not being on the 1920 census, so I searched for her first. I found her in 1920 in Leadville, Lake County, Colorado.1 She is in the household of Ed F. and Emma Seabert and listed as a niece. It is interesting to note that Edith is also in the household on the day of the census so she is enumerated twice in 1920; on 2 January in Leadville and again on the 13th in Denver with her mother Loula. Pauline [indexed as Imse] appears on the 1930 census in Denver still living with her aunt Emma Sebrt [sic] who is now a widow.2 I had to do a specific search of the 1930 census for her as Pauline, no last name, born 1908 in Texas, living in Colorado to find her. I have no information on a marriage or her death. I’ll check with Sue and report back.

Blanche as noted in the previous post appears on the 1910 and 1920 census. The first search on Ancestry revealed her California Death Index record under the name Blanche Zitnik.3 My confidence is high as the record shows a father of Innis and mother of Roberts. Her birth date is 4 April 1904 and her death is 3 Sep 1980. In 1930 Blanche is living in the same house as her mother, but she is the wife of Charles P. Hannen and has a son.4 I had noticed there was another family in the house with Loula and when I could not find a Blanche Innis on the records, I went back and looked. Her husband Charles is the last person on the page with Loula and Thomas R., and Blanche is on the following page with her son.

By 1930 Edith Innis has married Ralph E. Cowles and is living in La Junta, Otero County, Colorado with their two children.5 I have not located her death information yet.

There is some interesting material and some confusion for me on the Gattis question. I went back and took a hard look at the World War I Draft Registration for Oscar Lee Gattis. Ancestry has two posted with the same name and birth date, but they appear to be duplicates. The occupation is listed as ‘none’ and next to the name in parenthesis is the word ‘Jail.’ So it looks like Mr. Gattis was not out earning wages in September 1918. If he died it would seem to be between September 1918 and 13 Jan 1920, the date on the 1920 census for Loula.

I find an Oscar L. Gaddis on the 1910 census in Denver as a Lodger in a boarding house and his occupation is engineer on the railroad.6 He is single on this census, so he and Loula must have married between 30 April 1910 (the date on the census from Texas) and (theoretically) before Eddie’s birth on 10 Mar 1913. Eddie’s Find A Grave memorial lists his place of birth as Fort Lupton, Weld County, Colorado – yet another confusing point. I found no census records in 1920 or 1930 for Oscar. I did a variety of searches using alternate spellings and wild cards, but I had no luck. I have listed his death date as before 1920 with no location. I also had no luck finding information on either GenealogyBank or .

Searching for materials utilizing only online resources in Colorado is not the easiest thing – the amount of information online is simply underwhelming. As is always the case, some counties are great, but Denver is – just – well – not! I am constantly surprised that states won’t put up at least an index of items by year if not by date – especially death records. You can find a Social Security Death listing from three months ago, but not a death certificate index from a state for 50-100 years ago. Bless those states that are putting records up! The lack of records online in Denver is just annoying the heck out of me so I will set it aside for the moment and go work elsewhere for awhile.

1. 1930 U.S. census, Otero County, Colorado, population schedule, La Junta, enumeration district (ED) 11, p. 8B, dwelling 186, family 198, Edith Cowles; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 248.
2. 1930 U.S. census, Denver County, Colorado, population schedule, Denver, enumeration district (ED) 63, p. 5B, dwelling 77, family 110, Pauline Innis; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 234.
3. “California Death Index, 1940-1997,” database, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 Jan 2010), Blanche I. Zitnik.
4. 1930 U.S. census, Denver County, Colorado, population schedule, Denver, enumeration district (ED) 241, p. 6B, dwelling 97, family 105, Blanche [Innis] Hannen; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 237.
5. 1930 U.S. census, Otero County, Colorado, population schedule, La Junta, enumeration district (ED) 11, p. 8B, dwelling 186, family 198, Edith Cowles; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 248.
6. 1910 U.S. census, Denver County, Colorado, population schedule, Denver, enumeration district (ED) 74, p. 16A, dwelling 324, family 339, Oscar L. Gaddis; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 11 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 114.


Innis Family Tree

Getting started on Ancestry, I put up a new family tree for the Innis family. The minute I had the first names in, the “shaky leafs” starting popping up like mad. Everyone does know that you can find “everything on Ancestry” right? Just like the lady in the commercial, I should be able to find one record and then a family tree and “then everything!” Small matter that most of those trees are not sourced or even close to verified – I should still be able to get back to Charlemagne shouldn’t I? Sorry – I wandered off on a tangent – that commercial just annoys me. Ancestry has so many good commercials about people finding out the truth about a family by using the available records, but that commercial isn’t one of them!

Starting with Thomas Roberts Innis I began looking at census records. The 1910 census record was from Fannin County, Texas. From this 1910 census record I am able to establish the family as:1

Thomas B. Innis, born abt 1879 in Kentucky,
Loula [Roberts] Innis, abt 1879 in Tennessee,
Blanche, abt 1904 in Texas,
Edith, abt 1906 in Texas,
Pauline, abt 1908 in Texas,
Thomas R., abt 1909 in Texas.

Thomas R. is indexed as Thomas T.

It appears Thomas B. is from Kentucky (his parents are from Kentucky and Tennessee) and Loula is from Tennessee (her parents are from Tennessee and Arkansas). They have been married 7 years and Loula had 4 children and all are living.

The 1920 census record is from Denver, Colorado and lists the family as:2

Loula Gattis, born abt 1880 in Tennessee
Blanch Innis, born abt 1905 in Texas,
Edith Innis, born abt 1906 in Texas,
Thomas Innis, born abt 1910 in Texas,
Eddie Gattis, born abt 1914 in Colorado.

Loula is listed as the head of household and a widow. So is she a widow of an Unknown Gattis or the widow of Thomas B. Innis? I checked with Sue, and she confirmed that she did not know the Gattis name. She never heard Eddie’s last name. Like most of us that are a certain age, all adults in our lives were Mr. or Mrs. or if related, they were Aunt or Uncle – regardless of the actual relationship. She simply knew him as Uncle Eddie. Sue also told me that Loula had remarried at some point and when she died her last name was Preston. This is getting way more interesting. Could this be why Eddie wound up in the orphanage?

The 1930 census record is also from Denver and lists the family as:3

Loula Innis, born abt 1879 in Tennessee,
Thomas R. Innis, born abt 1910 in Texas

Loula has gone back to the name Innis and is listed as the head of household and a widow. Was she widowed or divorced from Eddie’s father? Many women in the early 1900s listed themselves as widows rather than divorced due to the poor social standing a divorcee would have had.

I made a change to the tree listing for Loula and created a second husband as Unknown Gattis and put Eddie in that family. When I changed his name there was an immediate hit for records. With the California Death Index4 and Social Security Death Index5 information, I can clearly establish his full name is Edward Franklin Gattis, born 10 March 1913 in Colorado, died 1 August 1988 in Anaheim, Orange, California. You have to love the California Death Index because they give you the mother’s maiden name. In this case it states “Roberts” so I know I have the correct man.

A search for an obituary on did not help much. The notice simply stated,6

blockquoteEdward F. Gattis, 74 of Anaheim, a retired chief petty officer for the US Navy, died Monday. Private services …

There is a memorial posted for Eddie with a nice picture of both Eddie and his stone.

My resistance to temptation is minimal (none if there is chocolate involved) so I did a quick search on Ancestry for a Gattis who died in 1915 in Denver. The date was random based on Loula declaring herself a widow on the 1920 census. The first item that popped was a World War I Draft Registration for Oscar Lee Gattis born 1878 (same age as Loula) with a Denver residence.7 I opened the image and went right to the nearest relative line and found the name Loula Gattis. I believe that we might now know the name of Eddie’s father, but more research will be needed to be positive

Research Questions
  • Where is Pauline in 1920 – she would only be about 12, but she isn’t with the family – did she die, is she with relatives, or was she given up like Eddie?
  • Where are Blanche, Edith, and Pauline 1930?
  • Where is Eddie in 1930? A quick search of Ancestry did not reveal an answer. I will have to dig more and search with a wild card and some alternative spellings.
  • What happened to Eddie’s father? Is he really dead or did he and Loula divorce? I’ll ask it here and try to answer it with this generation because I don’t plan on following the Gattis line beyond clarifying his father.

1.1910 U.S. census, Fannin, Texas population schedule, Justice Precinct 1, enumeration district (ED) 33, p. 19B, dwelling 255, family 259, Thomas R. Innis; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T624, roll 1547.
2.1920 U.S. census, Denver County, Colorado, population schedule, Denver, enumeration district (ED) 310, p. 2A, dwelling 34, family 40, Thomas R. Innis; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 161.
3. 1930 U.S. census, Denver County, Colorado, population schedule, Denver, enumeration district (ED) 241, p. 6A, dwelling 96, family 104, Thomas R. Innis; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 237.
4. “California Death Index, 1940-1997,” database, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 Jan 2010), Edward Franklin Gattis.
5. Social Security Administration, “Social Security Death Index,” database, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 Jan 2010), Edward F. Gattis, SSN: 229-44-2022.
6. “Edward F. Gattis,” The Orange County Register, 4 Aug 1988, p. b09; digital images, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 10 Jan 2010), America’s Obituaries.
7. “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database and images, Ancestry (htp:// : accessed 10 Jan 2010), Oscar Lee Gattis.


Scholefield Family Tree

After the DeGraff censuses prompted a list of questions, off I went to try to answer them.

The first question was about Catherine DeGraff born abt 1841 (actually probably closer to 1843 based on when Helen was born). Who was she? I still dunno! I can assume that she is a daughter, but that can be dangerous with older censuses which didn’t list the relationships. She could have just as easily been a more distant relative. I need a second source to make the connection stick. I searched the newspapers at Fulton History. I searched the databases on Ancestry. I checked the cemetery transcriptions which are available online. Nothing turns up. If she was a daughter who died young, she was not mentioned in her brother’s and sisters’ obits. That would likely be a result of not being alive to meet her nieces and nephews, so I can’t use that as conclusive proof either.

Susan born 1849 is “missing” in 1860. I can’t find her in the census with a regular search or near her family with searches using only partial data in the hope of catching a misspelling. Because people were “missed” somewhat frequently for any number of reasons, this doesn’t worry me, but it means there is no quick way to tie to a family that she might have been living with.

The DeGraff men who are nearby in the censuses are so varied a group that I can’t connect anyone of them with Harmanus with any certainty. It seems I would be in the same boat with each of them — there are no exact records on the internet that reveal which belongs to which set of parents. In fact, the names of these men are even harder to trace because the DeGraffs reused family names. Harmanus only showed up in a few family lines. It seem that every DeGraff had a son named John though! (Hence the THREE Johns nearby in 1870!) To work this out, I’d need to conduct a whole DeGraff family study. That might not be a bad idea for a future project, but probably not.


Scholefield Family Tree

I feel that I have gotten close to a stopping point on this Scholefield Tree. My searches into the ancestral lines are not yielding results.

However, the internet is changing all the time. Since our defined limits for these cold genealogy projects for unrelated individuals state that only online research will be conducted, the information explosion is something to keep in mind. My last task before wrapping up and writing a report on the Scholefield family, is to make sure that nothing new has appeared on the internet and that I have looked at all of the things I planned to research.

Once that has been completed, the project really won’t be finished, but it will be to a point where I will want to write up what I know and put it aside. Maybe someday I will return to it.

First thing I find: In regards to Harmanus, I wanted to look at the nearby families and a pension record on Footnote that could have belonged to a family member.1 The censuses weren’t conclusive — I couldn’t even locate the pensioner who was living with Harmanus in 1830.

The pension records didn’t reveal anything helpful. John/Johannes DeGraff was born 19 Aug 1754 in Glenville, Albany (now Schenectady), New York, to Claas and Ariaantje Schermerhorn.2 He provided his baptismal record and described his service during the war. But he didn’t say anything about his current family. This is the correct John because his application states he was currently living in Johnstown, Amsterdam County, New York.

However, the later censuses for the family (after Harmanus’s death) reveal some interesting bits of information.

The 1850 Census for the DeGraff family listed:3

Susan Degraff age 33
Hellen age 10
Catherine age 9
Alonzo age 4
Susan age 3

On the same page are the families of: Frederick Degraff age 51, John J. Degraff age 44, and John Degraff age 40.

By 1860 Susannah and Alonzo are alone in the home, surrounded by DeGraffs: Abm DeGraff age 53, John A. DeGraff age 50, Frederick DeGraff, age 61, John G. DeGraff age 44, Garret DeGraff age 30, Emanuel Degraff age 50.4

The 1870 Census listed:5

Susan DeGraff age 51
Susan DeGraff age 22
Alonzo DeGraff age 24
Mary V Scholefield age 8

Again we see some of the same names appear nearby: John A. Degraff age 61, John G. DeGraff age 65, John P. DeGraff age 33, and Abram DeGraff age 62.

These censuses point to some questions!

Research Plan:

  1. Investigate Catherine from the 1850 Census. Was she a daughter?
  2. Where did Susan DeGraff, child of Harmanus and Susan, go during the 1860 Census? Could she be living with family?
  3. Is it possible that some of the DeGraff men who live nearby could be siblings of Harmanus? Or are there just too many of them to tell?

1. See post dated 30 Nov 2009.
2.”Revolutionary War Pensions,” database and images, Footnote ( : accessed 16 Jan 2010); John De Graf (De Graff, De Graaf), New York, pension no. S.15090; Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M804.
3. 1850 U.S. census, Montgomery County, New York population schedule, Amsterdam, p. 125A, dwelling 251, family 271, Susan Degraff household; digital images, ( : accessed 16 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 532.
4. 1860 U.S. census, Montgomery County, New York population schedule, Amsterdam, p. 524, dwelling 177, family 180, Susannah DeGraff household; digital images, ( : accessed 17 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 787.
5. 1870 U.S. census, Montgomery County, New York population schedule, Amsterdam, p. 78B, dwelling 1054, family 1190, Susan DeGraff; digital images, ( : accessed 17 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 974.


The Innis Family Tree

Making a list of all of the things I want to know when I first start work really helps me focus. Then I trim the list down to the absolute basics and determine whether they are questions I can answer and from those questions I create a list of goals. I have found that if I don’t have at least one short term and one long term goal written down it is easy to just wander off and lose track of the point. I also try to look at the goals frequently because they do change depending on where your research leads you.

Resisting the urge to jump right in, I sat down in front of the television (my favorite place to mull things over) and jotted down all the things I wanted to know. This is not my “To-Do List” – these are just the questions that come to mind as I think about the conversation with Sue.

1. Why did Eddie go to the orphanage? Was it just because he was the youngest? [I have the type of mind that wanders off to the worst – probably due to too much TV!]
2. Why was Thomas Roberts Innis in Denver if he was from Texas? When did he go there? Check for work, illness, other Innis family members.
3. Are Thomas Ballard Innis and Loula Roberts both from Tennessee, or were they from somewhere else in the south?

1. Did the family chart provided to Sue have it right? Is Arthur Kelly buried in Denver and is Lambert the maiden name of Annie Elizabeth Gruner’s mother?
2. Does Sue still have contact with the person that provided the chart and will they share their research? Is the research documented?

Both Families:
What’s online for birth, marriage, and death in Texas and Colorado? I know that Washington has a great digital archive.

The goal of every genealogist is to follow the documented direct line back as far as possible. It is the only long term goal at the moment since I don’t know where the basic research will lead me. My primary short term goal is to establish the family line by name and location using online sources. The secondary goal of discovering why Eddie went to the orphanage may not be something I can establish with online records, but it remains on my goal list. I’m working off the principle of K-I-S-S, Keep It Simple Sharon!

My To-Do List for the moment is very simple – get on Ancestry and create a family tree with the information provided and start tracking the census records and seeing what else pops up. This will establish the names (including the spelling variants) and the location of birth and rough dates. I should be able to answer most of my basic questions fairly quickly.


Scholefield Family Tree

I am unable to located the birth record for Susan Miller in the Michigan records availble at FamilySearch Record Search. I tried by her parents names, just the last name and date, by date and place, and several other combinations of what I know. I even tried to read through all of the pages for 1879 for Jackson, MI.

However, I have located her brother Fred. He was born 10 Jul 1888.1

It gets worse when I get back to Susan and try to find her in most of the standard resources I would check. She isn’t in the SSDI. She isn’t in the California Death Index. She isn’t even in the one free index at VitalSearch.

Okay — we regather our thoughts when this happens. How else can we attack this? We have her husband’s name (and is this a side trip all for the sake of finding an exact birth date? Yes.)

It appears that she died (or divorced) between her mother’s 1915 obituary and the 1929 when her husband remarried. Her husband, Ford Barnes, is found on the 1930 Census with a wife who had been married for the first time just one year earlier.2 The older children are noted as having a mother born in Michigan — a match to the Susan Miller Barnes I am looking for!

Going back another year to 1920 will help me to narrow my search window. I find Ford — but he is married to a Mabel M!?! Huh?3 My intital reaction is that I found the wrong Ford. But he’s in San Diego — this should be the right family! Checking Mabel’s vitals shows me that she is apparantly Susan Mabel Miller Barnes. She was born in Michigan; her father was born in South Carolina; her mother was born in New York. Mystery seems to be solved! A recheck of VitalSearch shows that Susan/Mabel likely died 24 Oct 1924 at age 44 in Merced County.4

Scanning through the rest of the records on Ancestry for Ford turns up his WWI draft card where he names his wife as Mrs. Mabel Miller Barnes.5 However, a check under the name Mabel still doesn’t turn up a birth record on FamilySearch.

After all that, I still didn’t end up with an exact birth date for her.

1. Michigan Department of Vital Records, return of births, Jackson County, 1888: 114, 87, Fred D. Miller; digital image, “Michigan Births 1867-1902,” FamilySearch Record Search  ( 14 Jan 2010).
2. 1930 U.S. census, San Diego County, California, population schedule, San Diego, enumeration district (ED) 122, sheet 5B, p. 107B (stamped), dwelling 151, family 161, Ford Barnes household; digital image, ( : accessed 14 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 192.
3. 1920 U.S. census, San Diego County, California, population schedule, San Diego, enumeration district (ED) 290, sheet 4B, p. 255B (stamped), dwelling 85, family 118, Ford Barnes household; digital image, ( : accessed 14 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 131.
4. “1905-1929 Death Index Summary,” digital images, p. 566, VitalSearch-California ( : accessed 14 Jan 2010), entry for Mabel M Barnes (24 Oct 1924).
5. “World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database and images, ( : accessed 14 Jan 2010), Ford Barnes, serial no. 150, order no. 513, Draft Board 2, San Diego, San Diego, California; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M1509, roll 1543650.


Innis Family Tree

My husband Scotty collects model and toy cars. It is his passion and he meets a lot of people through the hobby. While I’m probably no more interested in toy cars than my husband is in genealogy, we do make an effort to spend time with each other in those pursuits. He pretends to be excited for me when I find documentation, and I respond in-kind when he finds a model he has been looking for. He does enjoy tromping cemeteries with me and I have spent many hours at toy shows with him – both of us understand the “thrill of the hunt.”

Recently, Scotty wanted to go look at the toy car collection of an acquaintance from one of his hobby clubs. He asked me to go along and needing a break from the computer I readily agreed. I had met the gentleman, but had never met his wife; however, most “toy widows” can find common ground and we usually get along quite well. When we arrived, Scotty promptly went off to look at the collection and I sat down in the living room with Sue (not her real name) and began chatting. She asked me about my hobbies and I told her about my work in genealogy and family history.

I asked her about her family (I can’t help it – I’m nosy) and she told me she knew little beyond the names of her grandparents. It’s always a little surprising to me when people don’t know more than that. Family historians usually know the names and dates of several generations – although we aren’t always so good with our living relatives. Sue mentioned that one of her favorite relatives ‘Uncle Eddie” had been placed in an orphanage during the depression because the family was so poor. Don’t ask me why, but I was hooked right then and there. Everyone has eras that interest them more than others and for me it is 1840-1870 and 1910-1930.

I decided that if Sue was willing to let me write about my research, then her family would be my next project on Find Your Dead. I asked her if she was willing and I explained the ground rules. The only thing she asked was that I change her name for privacy purposes and we don’t discuss the living online without their express permission. She immediately brought out the small amount of material she had and I scratched out a rudimentary family tree.

We will be looking at the ancestry of Thomas Roberts Innis and Mary Lou Kelly. The information Sue provided was pretty basic: Thomas Roberts Innis, born 1909, was the son of Thomas Ballard Innis and Loula Roberts. Sue stated that Thomas R. was born in Texas, but thinks his parents were originally from Tennessee. He had three sisters: Blanche, Edith (who married a man named Cowles,) and Pauline. Eddie was his only brother. She thought the girls were older than Thomas, but wasn’t sure. Sue was positive that Eddie was the youngest and she thought the family may have been in Denver when Eddie was placed in the orphanage by his mother and he died in California. Sue also told me that Loula Roberts had a twin named Bula.

Mary Lou Kelly was born about 1910 (possibly in Denver) and was the daughter of Arthur Leroy Kelly and Annie Elizabeth Gruner. Sue stated that Arthur was in the military and died in Denver and is buried in the National Cemetery there. She thought Annie was from Walla Walla, Washington and that Annie’s father was from Germany and her mother’s maiden name was Lambert. Sue had a rather confusing family color coded descendancy chart done by a relative several years ago that didn’t have much beyond the names. Mary Lou had two sisters: Alice and Patricia.

This is the starting point for the Innis and Kelly work that I will do. It is actually not a bad amount of information to start with. There are enough names and places to be able to distinguish between family groups on the census and having the siblings will help make the search easier. Sue has no computer or online access, but has agreed to dig through her papers and pictures, and has also promised to ask her family members for more information about earlier generations.

Part of the fun with this family is that I have never worked in most of the places that Sue mentioned. While I have researched Washington records, I have no experience in Texas, Colorado, or Tennessee. Part of doing Cold Genealogy is to hone our existing skills, but also to learn about areas that we may not normally research. It is after all about – “the thrill of the hunt!”


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