Category Archives: Crestleaf’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds 2015-16 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: April 2016

Have you ever come across a record that you had no reason to believe ever even existed? I know that sounds like a ridiculous question to ask a genealogist since we are always hoping to find “the” record, but that is what happened to me.

I’ve written many times about my Scerbak side of the family from Udol, Slovakia and Passaic, New Jersey. My grandmother, Julia, was born in Passaic in 1893 and her brother, Peter, followed on Christmas Day in 1896. They lost a brother, Michael, in between and the family moved back to Slovakia about 1897 and 1898.

Pete and Julia were both American citizens, having been born in Passaic and both returned to the United States to live permanently when they were young adults.

Passaic County has a fabulous digitized resource available for free online – its naturalization records. Of course, I had to poke around and was hoping to find information on Julia’s and Pete’s uncle, John Scerbak, who also immigrated and lived in the Passaic area.

Imagine my surprise when this came up:

Peter Scerbak Petition for Citizenship

I still haven’t figured out why Pete filed this petition on 18 December 1928.  His four children are named, but they were all born in Passaic, too. The only reason I can think of was to obtain American citizenship for his wife, Mary, who was born in Ujak. If so, did the law state that wives had to apply for citizenship through their husbands? 1928 seems quite late for that to be the case, but maybe it was.

Julia Sabo with son George and
brother Peter Scerbak, Summer 1926

I learned something else I didn’t know about Pete’s family. At the time, they lived at 156 Harrison Street in Passaic. During my lifetime when I knew Pete, the family always lived in Clifton. My grandparents already owned the house at 49 Summer Street, where I also grew up. Look at where 156 Harrison Street is:

156 Harrison Street, Bing Maps

I know this area well. Here is the house they likely rented:

156 Harrison St.
4-Plex at 156 Harrison Street, Google street view

Look what is directly across the street:

Roosevelt #10 School, Google street view

It’s my elementary school! I never knew that at one time Pete and his family lived right across the street.

This was very much a fun fascinating find! 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: March 2016

We are already up to month 10 in Crestleaf’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds.

For many years, all I had was a name, one photo and a family story. Oliver Scripture Tarbox, named in honor of his great grandfather, Oliver Scripture. I think it was particularly important to carry on the name because Oliver’s, or Ollie’s as the family called him, Tarbox grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Scripture, had died when she was only 38 years old. Ollie’s uncle, his dad’s brother, was also named for Mary’s dad.

Oliver Scripture Tarbox, aged about 12

The family lore was that Ollie was out hunting and was accidentally shot and killed by his brother. Charles Chadwick, the cousin who shared this story with me, didn’t any of the circumstances surrounding the accident. Just that he had killed his brother and that Ollie was well loved and much missed.

Ollie was the son of Charles Franklin Tarbox and his wife, Cleantha (Cannie) Cochran Tarbox. Charles grew up in Calais while Cannie was from Nova Scotia. They married on 19 October 1881, just across the International Bridge, in Milltown, New Brunswick, Canada.

Charles’ and Cannie’s children were born in between the two surviving U.S. censuses, those of 1880 and 1900. The only census in which Ollie would have appeared, the 1890, is gone.

Vital Records from the Eastport Sentinal of Eastport, Maine 1818-1900, published by Picton Press, has a short entry for Ollie on page 581:

In Grand Lake, 14 Aug 1898, Oliver S. Tarbox, 14y. 8m. 8d.

The Tarbox family did live in Grand Lake Stream, a few miles from Calais. Their residence was mentioned in the newspaper account of Charles’s father’s last illness in 1895. However, by 1900, they were enumerated back in Calais. Perhaps the grief over losing Ollie made them return to the “big city.”

Charles F. Tarbox, born May 1859, Maine, 41 yrs., m. 19 yrs., grocer
Cannie C., born Apr 1861, Canada, 39 yrs., 3 children, but 2 living
George R., born May 1882, 18 yrs.
Othelia F., born Aug 1890, 9 yrs.

From the newspaper notice in 1898 and the 1900 census data, there is no doubt that Ollie was the son of Charles and Cannie and that he had died, but did he really die in a hunting accident? I had no reason to doubt that, but no documentation, either.

FamilySearch came to the rescue. One of their databases is Maine Vital Records, 1892-1907. There I found it:

Oliver S. Tarbox, Death

The family lore was right. Ollie’s cause of death: “Accidently shot.”

By all accounts, he was a great kid, well loved and his family suffered extreme grief over his death.

Oliver Scripture Tarbox
6 Dec 1884-14 Aug 1898

Gone, but not forgotten, not even 118 years later. 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: Feb 2016

February’s Crestleaf Fascinating Family Find was a milestone for me. My husband’s 2x great grandparents were not exactly the easiest couple to track and trace because they moved so often and lived in places where records were often spotty.

Isaac Sturgell married Mary Bandy in Lawrence County, Ohio in 1844 when she was about 16 years old. The marriage record didn’t include parents’ names, but there was only one Bandy living in Lawrence County at the time, Andrew Bandy.

Andrew and wife Rebecca migrated to Ohio from Botetourt County, Virginia and lived out the rest of their lives in Lawrence County. Although Botetourt County marriage records are quite extensive, Andrew and Rebecca apparently didn’t marry in that county and no other nearby county has a marriage record for them either.

Rebecca was orphaned at a young age, the daughter of James Wooldridge and Ann (Nancy) Coleman, daughter of Samuel Coleman of Goochland and Buckingham Counties, Virginia. Andrew and Rebecca named their second son “Samuel Coleman Bandy” and Wooldridge researchers long believed that Rebecca was, indeed, the daughter of James Wooldridge, but had been unable to find any documentary proof.

Mary’s marriage record provided the needed proof of her mother’s maiden name:

Mary Bandy Marriage Certificate
George Fouts-Mary Cookman Marriage
7 March 1889

The license portion on top is very readable. The bottom is a bit more difficult:

Full Name of GROOM: George J. Fouts
Place of Residence: Kingston Mine, Peoria Co., IL
Occupation: Labour
Age Next Birthday: 63 years               Color: White
Nativity: German           Place of birth: Oiho (sic – Ohio)
Father’s Name: John Fouts
Mother’s Maiden Name: Mary M. Rex
No. of Groom’s Marriage: Third time
Full Name of BRIDE: Mary Cookman
Maiden Name, if a Widow: Mary Bandey (sic)
Place of Residence: Kingston Mine, Peoria Co., IL
Age Next Birthday: 57    Place of Birth: Verginia (sic)
Father’s Name: Andrew Bandy
Mother’s Maiden Name: Rebecca Woolrigee (sic)
No. of Bride’s Marriage: Fourth time
Witnesses to Marriage: Arabella L. Jefford
Burt Fouts
March 7, 1889

We hereby certify, That the above information is correct, to the best of our knowledge and belief.

                                                      George Fouts
Mary Cookmen (sic)

I Hereby Certify, That the above is a correct return of a Marriage solemnized by me, the 7 day of March 1889 at Kingston Mine

                                                      Thos. H. Jefford
Justice of the Peace

Although the groom and bride gave their respective ages as 62 and 56, that is not quite true. George was born about 1828 in Ohio, so his age is right on target. Mary, however, seems to have shaved a few years off her own age. She married Isaac Sturgell on 27 June 1844 and she wasn’t a child bride, aged 11 years when she married. She was actually born about 1828. The 1830 census enumeration of Andrew Bandy in Lawrence County, OH includes two females under the age of five, likely Mary and her sister, Nancy. Mary was actually about 61 years old when she married George J. Fouts.

This is the last record found for Mary. George’s obituary states that he died on 26 November 1894 in Banner Twp., Fulton County, Illinois, but makes no mention of any wife. Mary hasn’t been found in the 1900 census, either, so she may have died in this time period.