Tag Archives: genealogy

Veiled Eyes

26 May

one of the surnames in my family tree is KAUHIMAKA. My 2xGreat-Grandfather Joseph Kauhimaka was born in Hana, Maui. The story is he was born out of wedlock. His mother, Anahua, had children from many other couplings as well sometimes married – sometimes not.

We’ve always been told KAUHIMAKA means “veiled eyes” and the explanation was it meant ashamed because of the circumstance of his illegitimate birth.. However, yesterday I had an ‘aha’ moment when i learned of something called a ‘veiled birth’ where the child is born partially or completely enclosed in an unbroken or barely broken amniotic sac also called the ‘caul’ …

Fewer than 1 in 80,000 births occur this way. Sometimes the child will have a veil of the membrane over their head and eyes… hmmm. Perhaps the name was given more literally…

Thoughts?

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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.

Genealogy Guilty Pleasures

7 Oct

Genealogy is an addiction for me… yes addiction.  Do I need a cure?  Probably not… but often, I do need a fix.  Here are some of my “go to” genealogy guilty pleasures. You may find a few links you’d love to Follow Friday too:

Alltop Genealogy  http://genealogy.alltop.com/

This blog aggregator gives their curated view of the top 100 blogs in any topic; this page covers their picks for genealogy; don’t agree you can create your own MyAlltop pages and blog collections. There’s no shortage of reading for the novice to the pro-genealogist.

Ancestry.com http://www.ancestry.com

I only recently made the leap into being a “paid” researcher and not looking back.  What’s funny is I’ve been a guest member since 2000…  I still need to load my tree and it will be so phone to use their accompanying iPhone app and be able to whip out the family tree at any given moment.

Chronicling America  http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/newspapers/

I’ve fallen in love and it’s with yesterday’s news.  You can search America’s historic newspapers pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.  Some of Hawaii’s early papers are here and they’ve been a treasure trove of finds.  I’ve searched on names, places and topics.. their pdf browser has many FREE export options too to download a pdf or jpg of the whole page or just take a “clipping” that can zoom into the section you need and it comes with the citations…AWESOME!

Genealogy Gems Podcast http://genealogygems.tv/

With hundreds of podcasts and wonderful content – i’ve been doing all my driving with host Lisa Louise Cooke.  She is the producer and host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, an audio and video genealogy show available in iTunes.

Geni.com http://geni.com

Through collaborations on geni.com and elsewhere, my Geni Tree spans 10s of thousands of blood relatives… that’s a lot of cousins.. and I’ve discovered roots tracing my direct lineages over 40 generations back in time.

Google.com http://www.google.com

You might think that’s not a genealogy site, but oh yes it is…surname searches, history searches plus google’s own proprietary tools like GoogleEarth, Timeline, GoogleBooks and other google gadgets make for a very happy genealogist.

Ulukau.org http://ulukau.org

Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library is my number one resource for Hawaii based searches.  There’s dictionaries, Hawaiian Newspapers, and the Polk Guides (city directories from turn of the century).

‘Ohana means family

5 Oct

Since the early 90s, I’ve immersed myself in collecting genealogy–my own and that of others–literally “Shakin Trees”. Over the last year, I’ve made many more discoveries about my ‘Ohana (family) near and far and the Shakin Trees blog will be my touchstone for sharing research, family treasures and hopefully connecting with distant cousins.

October is Family History month and I’m shifting my genealogy efforts into high gear.  Feeling like i’m getting a good start:

  • Visited and enrolled as a member today with the Portuguese Genealogical & Historical Society of Hawaii
  • Have a second genealogy lunch date setup with my Aunt and family historian mentor
  • Enrolled in a few Familytreeuniversity.com webinars and being sure to enter the daily drawing
  • Watching for the Tuesday questions/contest from Geni.com
  • Got a lead to contact a Keanini relative to help collaborate and plan the genealogy for the 2012 Akana ‘Ohana Reunion in Hilo next summer.
  • Got some 3 inch binders to organize some papers on each of my grandparent’s lines.
  • Helping edit and write a “memory book” entry for another Aunt for her high school reunion
Overall October will be a wonderful month of ‘Ohana time and sharing.
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