Friday, January 28, 2011

A New Ruch Mystery

When I published the book and CD about the Ruch Family last year, I thought, “Now, I can put that away and start on another line,” swiping my hands in finality. Of course, in genealogy, there is no finality and for all intents and purposes, no end. There are always some little details left undone and a mystery or two left unsolved and, sometimes, a mystery pops up that wasn’t even previously considered.

Well, such a “mystery” has come to the front in the past few days; a mystery that I can’t just dismiss and move on from without, at least, putting it forth here on my blog. You see as well as publishing in book form and on CD for the family, I put the family tree on Ancestry as a public tree for all to see. Just a few days ago, I received a message, through Ancestry from a gentleman from California, Ronald, who asked if I thought a particular Charles D. Brown listed in the Family Search database, “Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947” was the same Charles Brown who was married to my Julia Ruch Brown.

You may remember Julia is the twin sister of my husband’s grandmother, Emma Ruch Higgins. Julia, according to family lore, had a set of twins who died at nine months old within days of each other.  Also, according to family lore, Charlie was “a womanizer” and Julia “kicked him out.”

Well, the death certificate Ronald mentioned was for Charles D. Brown who was born 27 Jul 1876 in New York and died 08 Nov 1926 in Oak Park, Illinois, the husband of Freda and the son of Louise Murrey born in Vermont and Mert Brown born in New York. I’m sure he is our “Charlie Brown.” In the 1910 census, Julia is listed as married to Charles Brown (born in New York) and living with them is his mother, Louise, who was born in Vermont.  In addition, Charles’ WWI registration in 1918 lists Julia as his next of kin. The 1920 census records Julia as living alone; so, sometime between the registration and the census, it appears the couple split up.

This, however, isn’t the real mystery. After a few emails between Ronald and me, he mentioned a 1900 census that shows Julia Rusch living as a roomer on Madison Street in Chicago. She is most assuredly my Julia as she was born in Nov 1874 PA with parents born in France. I’d been looking for her in the 1900 census but, apparently, hadn’t tried that spelling. Anyway, she is listed as divorced on the census so Ronald, innocently, asked if I’d ever looked for a marriage previous to Charlie. Well, no, I hadn’t. There had never been the slightest hint in the family about an earlier marriage.

Well, she was married before. In 1892 Julia Ruch married Peter Jacobsen in a civil ceremony by a Justice of the Peace.


Now this is a horse of another color. Perhaps the twins were the product of this first union. There may be hope yet in finding their birth and death records! Though I really must get back to work on the Leisure project, I’ll at least spend some time in the Cook County, Illinois databases to see what I can find. Of course, there are also the two divorce files I should look for but that will take a trip to the Loop.

Try as I might, this Ruch family simply won’t leave me alone!!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Still Organizing Myself

I know I've been silent for awhile. I've been working on organizing my various responsibilities for the year. There are start-up duties for my EGS treasurer & ISGS Honors & Awards positions.

Since my time at the computer has been limited this month due to family obligations, my attention has had to be on these new aspects of my life. Hopefully, soon I"ll have things back under control and will be able to be more consistent with my posts.

By the way, if you haven't checked out the new Leisure Family Blog yet, please take a look at leisurefamilyhistory.blogspot.com. We'd love your comments.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ancestral Name List Roulette

It's Saturday Night again - time for some more Genealogy Fun!! from Randy Seaver of www.geneamusings.com

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) How old is one of your grandfathers now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ahnentafel"). Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."



My grandfather, Charles Sumner Stewart, would be 141 years old were he still living. My ancestral name list roulette number is then 35. Number 35 on my ahnentafel report is Mary Buchanan, one of my favorite ancestors.


Mary was born 15 Mar 1764 in York, Pennsylvania to George and Esther (Campbell) Buchanan. In 1787, she married George Eli Benefiel who had served with her father in the Revolutionary War. They lived in Jefferson County, Indiana where she died 21 May 1857. The couple had twelve children.


From the undated papers of Edna Lanham, family historian:


Mary Buchanan Benefiel was a fine pioneer woman, a faithful helpmate, and a good mother...She braved the hardships of the new settlements of Kentucky ad Indiana reared a family of twelve and enjoyed, so records say, 105 grandchildren. She lies in Jefferson Church cemetery beside her soldier husband, her gave being marked by the original stone.


From the papers of Fauna Mikhalko, genealogist, Madison Indiana held at the Jefferson County Historical Society, including family history of George Stewart, Madison, Indiana:
George Benefiel...wife was of Scottish descent. Her cousin, Claud Buchanan in Scotland was an author of considerable note, writing books of a religious nature. She was a second cousin of President James Buchanan...
Thanks again,Randy, for a fun exercise, even though I'm a little late:)






Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Emay/Leisure Marriage

I’ve started going through my various files, documents, and photos on the Leisure family line. One document was the marriage certificate of William Sydney Emay and Mary Frances (aka Fanny) Leisure. This document has interested me before but I hadn’t taken the time to do any research on it. J. B. Blount officiated the marriage on 12 Sep 1878 was. The question in my mind has been whether there was any other relationship with Rev. Blount.
Jacob B. Blount was one of the early ministers of the Church of Christ at Little Blue River, now known as Hannegan Christian Church. The church was organized in 1830 and the first building erected in 1869 on land obtained for the congregation by George W. Leisure and Benjamin Kendall.[1]
Rev. Jacob B. Blount (born in Tipton, Indiana) was the father of Raymond L. who was born in Posey township, Rush county on 29 Mar 1880. Raymond married Serena Rhodes was the daughter of Lewis R. and Elizabeth Leisure. (Aha! a Leisure).[2] Elizabeth was the daughter of Joseph P. Leisure and Dorinda T. Fresh.
I had most of this information in my genealogy database except I have not looked for the parents of Raymond. So now I know the person who performed the marriage of my great-grandparents was the father-in-law of my 2nd cousin 3x removed. That seems very distant but it appears closer (to me anyway) to remember that Serena’s mother, Elizabeth, and the bride, “Fanny,” were 1st cousins.
Just as an aside, William, the groom, holds a special place in my heart. He was an orphan train rider. He arrived by train in Rushville, Indiana in February of 1862 under the auspices of the New York Children’s Aid Society and placed in the home of Mr. J. M. Cook. William thrived and became a well-respected member of the community. More importantly he found warmth and love with “Fanny.” Though he died 50 years before “Fanny”, she never remarried and she kept his (very large) picture hanging in her bedroom until her death.



[1] Gary, A.L. and E. B. Thomas editors, Centennial History of Rush County, Indiana (Indianapolis, Historical Publishing Company, 1921), volume I, page 422.
[2] Gary, A.L. and E. B. Thomas editors, Centennial History of Rush County, Indiana (Indianapolis, Historical Publishing Company, 1921), volume II, page 245, 246. Biographical information for Raymond L. Blount.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Still Getting Started

Here we are almost at the end of the 1st week of 2011 and I'm still trying to get a handle on all the tasks I need to put together to accomplished the goals I've set for myself. I have to:

  1. decide where and how to start with the researching and writing of my Leisure line
  2. create some more pages and blog posts for the new Leisure Family blog (leisurefamilyhistory.blogspot.com) 
  3. make room for the files  - paper - I'll inherit as treasurer of my genealogy society
  4. create a time-line of tasks to be performed as chair of Honors & Awards of ISGS
  5. finalize and create reports to be used for personal taxes
  6. clean out file cabinets of unnecessary paperwork
  7. continue work on my personal memoirs and find that picture of me and my brothers I've been searching for.
Well, at least, this list should help me better define the lists to come.

Oh, yes, I forgot all about jury duty at the end of the month:)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Leisure Genealogy

Today is the day my new project begins. This year my resolution is to write and publish the story of my Leisure line. To that end, I'll be blogging about my genealogical adventures as I plod along.

As with my Ruch project, I'll first deal with what generation to start with and how far to go into the collateral lines. This decision will be a bit more difficult with the Leisures as they have been in the US since the 1700s. I'll explain my dilemma in a later post. I really don't feel the need to write a tome but I can already see the pages growing.

At the Leisure Reunion last year, I agreed to set up a blog to keep in touch, record family history, and perhaps gather new relatives along the way. Sometime this week I will be launching that blog. It's nearly ready but I have a few items to take care of first. Once it's up and running, I"ll provide the address so you can check it out.

For that blog, I'll, hopefully, have lots of Leisure authors to help with the posts. Our Indiana Leisure's had large families so there should be plenty to write about.

That's it for now as I need to put my thinking cap on and dig in!