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The “Eh Cuz” Cousin Game

20 Sep

When doing genealogy research you really can’t discount the value of finding cousins (or understanding how you are cousins.)

A cousin is a relative
with whom a person
shares one or more
common ancestors.

Near or far the children of our ancestors and their siblings can be a wealth of connectivity to more information about ourselves and our past, present and future. (okay, maybe I’m waxing poetic.)

But, when I connect to living relatives in a genealogy forum there’s a warm camaraderie of knowing – “eh we related” or “eh we might be cousins”  or at a minimum – “eh we looking for the same people.” This has happened a few times over the last month as I’ve been researching my various lines WAIWAIOLE, MOSS, KAHELE, and as my research wondering/wandering has found cousins who may be able to answer the question about  if there truly is a connection from my Great-Grandmother Violet to the famed cowboy Naluahine KAOPUA which a family scribbled note says was somehow her grandparent. The resemblance is uncanny, though right???

Violet Keawe Hii Ku O Kalai Jennie KAUHANE

b. 1896 Kahaluu, N. Kona d. 1975 Kapaa, Kauai

Father – John Napua KAUHANE Mother – Mary KALAUWALU
married Elia Waiwaiole and resided in Kapaa, Kauai

WAIWAIOLE_Violet

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 11.04.22 PM

b. March 4, 1870 d. April 13, 1961

 

I’ve connected with a possible cousin half way around the world in Sicily, found a clue as to how my son’s Great-Great-Grandmother MOSS was cousins with William I. KANAKANUI, and found out that several friends I’ve known for years, my niece and also one of my first cousins may be related to my KAHELE line and we may have an opportunity in coming months due to a cousin’s friend visit the ancestral lands in Kaupo where my Great-Grandfather Joseph KAUHIMAKA was born.

This “cousin” warmth and welcoming lei of aloha is NOT limited to genealogy buffs — it is felt by all at celebrations and gatherings in the islands.  A typical scenario may play out like this — you attend a 1st Birthday Lu’au celebration and at the event – you recognize friends, neighbors, former co-workers and ask, “Eh, how come you at this party?” Well the answer so many times turns out to be, “that’s my relatives” and then you say, “Eh, me too, we cousins!”

This same kinda thing happens on Facebook — you comment on your known cousin’s page or see a photo of folks from different parts of your life together and suddenly – a mutual friend is asking how you know each other – and guess what – now you are all cousins…

People worldwide are sending in their swabbed spit samples to get that same “cousin” warmth feeling when 6-8 weeks later their AncestryDNA (currently on sale for $79) or 23andMe report returns with DNA matched relatives.

So where else can you play the cousin game?  Geni.com’s world tree has an interesting feature for cousin matching with their Master Profiles of famous celebrities living and passed on…So once you’ve got some critical mass of ancestors and branches on your tree that you load/build there – then you can search for a Master Profile and see if it tells you “You are connected” then you can click a step further to see the relationship path.

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 9.42.24 PM

It’s loads of hours of potential fun (no really my son and I had hours of fun searching our favorite celebs) – to see just how many famous people you are related to and how closely – like 44th President Barack Obama – my 15th cousin,  Justin Drew Bieber – my 20th cousin, or Taylor Swift – my 11th cousin twice removed or Walt Disney – my 13th cousin thrice removed.  (Will this qualify me for Club33?)

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Research Ramblings – brick by brick and brick walls

28 Feb

Been busy with field research continuing at MaeMae Cemetery in Puunui. Nearly finished with photographing all the headstones and still have to transcribe to my spreadsheet. Then to compare to the items found in digital archives of other known burials to the site. Still need to map the stones and reach out to Kaumakapili Church to see what records and information they might have as well as sharing my research with them.

I’m also spending much time in Facebook Groups – like Helu Papa Kūʻauhau and also the Native Hawaiian Genealogy Society (NHGSoc) page. Another useful resource has been the group Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy. The camaraderie of the groups is infectious and there are many ‘ohana connections.

Spent some time learning more of my North Carolina roots – and learned that some of my ancestors and family were brick makers and instrumental in building and supplying the brick for buildings like the Mills River Chapel Methodist church. The Chapel is one of a few antebellum churches in Henderson County and the only one used for worship since its construction. The King family farm passed this craft down through generations. Building more family history – brick by brick.

Looking forward to the Akana ‘Ohana reunion coming up in mid-July and will be returning to Hilo where my Great-Great-Grandparents Wong Sing Akana and Kaili Kaapuiki made their home. My Great-Grandmother Ami Akana Lee was the eldest child. It will be exciting to meet many distant cousins in person for the first time after months of corresponding online.

Finally a brick wall has been busted — and I’ll post a more detailed article about this find. In September, I discovered that Virginia K. Ayres – my husband’s great-grandmother – had a blood connection to the name KAMA. It turns out her birth father was known as Kama. Well I ran the search again on Chronicling America and a new article came up this time “Missing Girl has been found” … with his first name and the brother’s first name. Very exciting and now some concrete material to continue the search to find her blood kin and perhaps more of her story.

The ‘Ike Ku’oko’a Initiative – Hawaiian newspaper transcription project

29 Nov

Last week while attending the “Genealogy Help in Hawaii” seminar, it was shared that the Mission Houses Museum and the Hawaiian Mission Children’s Society is making a call to their 8,000 missionary descendants to come forward and take a page each in the ‘Ike Kū‘oko‘a — Liberating Knowledge Hawaiian newspaper transcription project.  The organization is making a world-wide public call for volunteers to assist with taking 60,000 digital scans of Hawaiian-language newspapers that were printed from 1834 to 1948 and transcribe them into searchable typescript. Of the 125,000 pages originally published, 75,000 have been found and made into digital images, and 15,000 of those images have been typescripted. Our goal is to make the whole collection word-searchable.

Sign up today at Awaiaulu.org and encourage others to do the same.  The organization has an aggressive goal of completing the project by summer 2012 which will require 200,000 volunteer hours.  One of the other attendees at last week’s seminar has been involved with this project for some time and said that at the rate the project had been moving it would take 30 years to complete… this call for more volunteers is in direct response to moving this project forward in a timely fashion.

Over 125,000 pages of Hawaiian-language newspapers were printed in more than a hundred different papers from 1834 to 1948. They equal a million or more typescript pages of text – perhaps the largest native-language cache in the western world. They became an intentional repository of knowledge, opinion and historical progress as Hawaiʻi moved through kingdom, constitutional monarchy, republic and territory, yet only 2% of that repository has been integrated into our English-speaking world today. ‘Ike Kū’oko’a is a dynamic move to change that percentage and to open up this resource for general access today.

Registration was simple and I’m so excited – eagerly awaiting my “reserved page” to start.

Finding Mr. Welpe

29 Oct

My Great-Aunt Jewell Rebecca Brown Welpe was born in 1897 in North Carolina and died in 1992. Until a few weeks ago all I knew of her was from a handwritten note my mother had after a conversation she had many years ago with Great-Grandma Elizabeth Brown Whitfield six years younger born in 1903.

“Grandma’s Sister: Rebecca Brown married Mr. Welpe”.  I’d always wondered more about my Great-Aunt and thought if I could learn more about her perhaps I’d learn more of my own Great-Grandmother.  And from that little 4×4 square note spawned years of wonder over the question: “Who was Mr. Welpe?”

Records I found on Ancestry.com opened many new doors for my search. I started with my Great-Aunt’s name as I knew it -“Rebecca Welpe”-looking for some kind of death record or census record.  There was a hit – the North Carolina Death Collection – stating she had passed away in Raleigh, Wake County, NC. Which placed her in the right region for the family,  and it revealed a new name, Jewell.  Armed with this new gem of information — there was already a second suggested record  — from the SSDI (Social Security Death Index).  This one had somewhat conflicting information — but I knew it was another clue – “Last Residence: 10520 Croton on Hudson, Westchester, NY”.

I quickly flipped over to Familysearch.org and found their expanded  entries of data — all more valuable clues — Burial Place: Fayetteville, NC; Place of Birth: Randolph County, NC; Occupation: Public Health Nurse; Marital Status: widowed.  So we know our Mr. Welpe passes on before 1992.  A second microfilm death collection there has much of the same information but lists the name of the crematory – Rogers and Breece Crematory in Fayetteville and also lists an residence address on Crutchfield Rd.– the very same address I had as a known address for my own Great-Grandmother.  Perhaps her health began to fail so she traveled south to be with her sister Elizabeth back home in Raleigh soon before she passed to have the conflicting last known residences.

On the same search at the bottom of the page — “the following results don’t strongly match what you searched for but may be of interest”  and yes they were… perhaps these Welpe’s were relatives of –or the “Mr. Welpe”  himself.  Unfortunately, none seemed to be a match for him – but all had some kind of New York connection.  So into the database they go as possibles. For some odd, gut-reason I especially like the possible Fredrick Welpe – born approx. 1894 to German immigrant parents and living in Brooklyn Ward 27, Kings, NY. (1910 Census). But even he seems to be a miss.

Simultaneously — I wonder where is Jewell in that year – so back to Ancestry – to build her timeline:

  • 1910 United States Census: 12 year old Jewell Brown is residing in the Oxford Orphan Asylum in Oxford, Granville, North Carolina.  Listed right under her name on the next line is Lola Brown listed as the same age.
  • 1920 United States Census: 22 year old Jewell is now in Henrico County, Virginia.  Richmond Clay Ward, Independent City, Virginia.  She’s in a household of Staff nurses who are “visiting nurses.” living on South Cherry Street.
  • 1930 United States Census: 32 year old Jewell moves again this time to an apartment house on Sherman Ave. in Manhattan, New York City.  She’s her own head of household, still single and working as a nurse in the maternity center.  Many other nurses are listed in the same apartment building so perhaps this is near the hospital.
So now I’ve established her in NYC by 1930  — a marriage to Mr. Welpe just might be in Manhattan…unfortunately to get a marriage certificate in NYC it will require me to know Mr. Welpe’s first name and to acquire a copy of both his death certificate and Jewell’s.
I’ve found many Mr. Welpe’s in  NY, NJ areas from other sources — just not the one who married Jewell Rebecca.  At least not yet:
  • Albert H. Welpe b. 1878 NYC; father Clements Welpe b. 1846 Austria
  • Frank Welpe b. 1883 d. 1978 married Mary Branard /Brainerd – daughter of Grove P. Branard b. 1851 – brother Charles D. Branard
  • Frederick Welpe b. 1893 NY married Gertrude
  • John Charles Welpe married Lulu Rowland; son Dennis J. Welpe d.2007 who endowed the Welpe Theatre in NJ.
  • Lawrence Welpe b. 1884 d.1963 married
  • William Welpe  a Broadway actor in the 1920s
Until I found a resource called Sysoon.com the “dead people search engine, funeral news and directory.”  They claim on their homepage to be “the first social network dedicated to the death and funerals”. On their search – was one Mr. Welpe with the right approximate birth and the last location zip — 10520 – that’s New York’s Croton on Hudson village. Very promising.
Milton Welpe b. 1895 died 1974.
Other citations I’ve found for Mr. Welpe  include:
  • 1910 United States Census: Milton M. Welpe — 14 years old – stock boy – natural born – parents German Andrew H. Welpe & Thelka Welpe residing in Manhattan on West 114th Street
  • 1917 — WWI Draft card from June 1917 – the 21 year old Welpe is single; a salesman for Charles Russell in Baldwin where he also resides.  On his draft card he reports he has grey eyes and brown hair.
  • 1920 – possible “first” marriage at age 24 (per 1930 US Census)
  • 1930 United States Census: 34 years old – listed as married  and age of first marriage 24. No wife is listed in the household though.  He is residing with his parents on W. 204th Street which happens to be right around the corner from the Sherman Avenue apartment where Jewell R. Brown resides.  He works as a manager of a radio store.
  • 1974 – SSDI  – Milton Welpe last residence Westchester, New York, zip 10520 (Croton on Hudson)
My intuition tells me we’ve found Mr. Right in this Mr. Milton M. Welpe,  but till i find some vital record linking them on a death certificate or marriage certificate or probate – I’ll still be… finding Mr. Welpe.

A little Genea Good

14 Oct

I discovered GenHelper.com earlier today…free registration on the site allows you to submit or answer a genealogical question… Some of the stumpers include search for names, places and other brick walls busters with which folks need some help. Registration was quick and simple and it felt good to help answer a question or two.

If you want to continue that feel good genealogy vibe head on over to Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (http://www.raogk.org/).    Become part of the global volunteer taskforce to offer your help in research, lookups, record retrieval, or photographing burial sites, cemetaries and tombstones.

FindAGrave.com is always looking for help to upgrade a memorial or to be a photo volunteer.  Register on the site and you’ll receive an email alert when there’s a new photo request in your zip code zone.  Once registered you can help claim and fulfill requests by browsing within a 50 mile radius of a zip code.

Continue your cemetery volunteer adventures with the iPhone or Android app from BillionGraves.com.  The premise at BillionGraves is to photograph and transcribe headstone information.  The app will track your visited cemeteries and collected headstones.

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