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.

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.

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!

James Hollon and Eramanthus Scott, Sullivan County, Missouri

This is the end of the Hollon trail for my husband’s branch of the family. His 2x great grandfather, James Hollon, was the son of yesterday’s head of household, also James Holland, who kept to the traditional spelling of the name.

This James was born on 25 February 1824 in Missouri, undoubtedly in Howard County, where his parents lived. He married Eramanthus Elizabeth Scott there on 10 June 1847. (A total aside here – the only reference source I can find for the name “Eramanthus” is the boar of Erymanthus, found in the tales of Hercules. I am not sure why anyone would name a child, much less a daughter, with that name, but her mystery parents did.)

She was born about 1827 in Missouri, but all attempts to find parents for her have failed. She apparently had a brother Robert, who lived with James and her in 1850. She was enumerated as Eramanthus E. in this census.

Elizabeth Eramanthus was apparently the mother of all of James’s children. She died between 1870 and 1880, likely in Sullivan County, Missouri.

James and Eramanthus had seven known children, probably all born in Sullivan County:

John S., born about 1849; he married Clarissa A. Baskett, 25 February 1869, Sullivan County, Missouri. They had a daughter, Mary E., born in 1870. However, no one in this little family has been found after 1870.
James Milton, born 17 February 1853; died 27 August 1939, Sullivan County, Missouri. He married Nancy Melissa Baskett, 22 February 1874, Sullivan County, Missouri. James and Nancy had four daughters – Lulu who married a Jacobs, Miranda who married a Nickells, Ethel who married a Dell and Nancy Jane, who died in infancy. All remained in the area of Browning, Sullivan County, Missouri.
Eliza A., born about 1856; nothing further found after the 1870 census.
George M., born about 1858; married (1) Charity Ann Stewart, 28 July 1878, Chariton County, Missouri (2) Alice Coffman, 19 February 1896, Sullivan County, Missouri (3) Mary Rodman, 10 June 1906, Livingston County, Missouri. “G.M. Hollon” and wife, Mary, were living in Lujan, Union County, New Mexico for the 1920 census. George died there on 26 December 1920. A note on Find A Grave looks to be an abstract of an obituary, which says he was survived by his wife, a son, J.T. Hollon of Oklahoma City and a daughter Flora Cordray of Nevada, which is in Vernon County, Missouri.
Columbus Marion, born about 1861. He married (1) Sarah G. Caffelt, 31 December 1879, Moniteau County, Missouri and (2) Sarah Ann Zook, 21 May 1900, in Ottawa, Franklin County, Kansas. C.M. and S.A. “Hallan” were enumerated in Franklin County in 1900. They were aged 51 and 43 with no children in the household. Sarah is shown as never having given birth. Oddly, Columbus is listed as having given birth to 2 children, 1 living. Perhaps he  and first wife, Sarah had children and when she died, her family took in the surviving child. Columbus and Sarah are last found in Cave, Sharp County, Arkansas in 1920.
William Edwin, born about 1867; married Mary Elizabeth Martin, 3 July 1894, Henry County, Missouri. He died on 20 June 1935 in Winfield, Cowley County, Kansas. It appears that William and Mary divorced. In 1920, she is married to Jacob Burgoon in Kansas with the Hollon children in the household.

James W., born December 1898
Opal E., born about 1900
Goldie M., born about 1904; died before 1910
Bernie, born about 1908
Fern, born about 1908

There is no census note about “Burney” and Fern being twins, but they are both Hollons and both 12 years old in 1920.

The last child of James and Eramanthus Scott Hollon was Mary Elizabeth. She was born 24 February 1868, probably in Sullivan County and she was the first wife of John Henry Peavler Stufflebean. Mary Elizabeth died in Garner, Linn County, Missouri on 2 January 1905. My father-in-law Ed commented more than once that he never knew his grandmother. John Henry’s second wife, Addie, was the only paternal grandmother he ever knew, but Ed was pleased to finally visit the Linn County graveyard in the 1980’s after he retired.

Mary Elizabeth Hollon Stufflebean

The family didn’t even have a photo of her, so he settled for this.

John Henry Stufflebean and Mary Elizabeth Hollen married on 27 June 1886 in Linn County, Missouri and  had a big family, all born in Linn County. Their children were:

Ernest Lavern, born 21 May 1887; died 1959. Noble, Cleveland County, Oklahoma; married Grace M. Baker, 11 December 1907, Linn County.
Iva Myrtle, born 17 September 1888; died 29 June 1976, La Crescenta, Los Angeles County, California; married Marion Everett Baker, about 1909.
James Herman, born 2 August 1890; died 27 May 1955, Noble, Cleveland County, Oklahoma; married Anna Bell Riggs, 19 December 1908, Noble, Cleveland, OK
Owen Wayne, born March 1892; died about 22 August 1902, Linn County, Missouri
Earl Marcus, born 23 January 1894; died 11 January 1946, Norman, Cleveland County, Oklahoma; married Pearl Lillian Brasher, 10 August 1916 in Norman.
Lila Hazel, born 22 March 1896; died 31 January 1897, Linn County, Missouri
Henry Sylvan, born 9 December 1897; died 27 October 1940, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; married Blanche (maiden name unknown).
Nolan Kay, born 3 February 1900; died 9 November 1970, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; married Harriet Reeves.
John Kenneth, born 15 March 1902; died 11 October 1970, Noble, Cleveland County, Oklahoma; married 3 times, first to Lucille Mosley, the other two wives are unknown.

I don’t know if Mary Elizabeth died giving birth to yet another child. With the timing in January 1905, it is possible, but there is no death certificate for her. On 21 May 1905, John married (2) Addie Lucinda Belcher in Linn County. They went on to have four daughters and a son, but as they aren’t Hollon descendants, I will leave that for a Stufflebean post.

Thus ends the saga of the Holland/Hollon family from Anne Arundel County, Maryland in the mid 1600’s to the turn of the 20th century.

Here are links to the other posts:

Holland Family – Or Is It Hollen, Hollin or Hollon?

Anthony Holland and Anthony Holland

Following the Trail – Children of Anthony Holland, d. 1703

Ephraim Holland and His Siblings, Scott Co., KY

Ephraim Holland’s Mostly MIA Family

James Holland/Hollon/Hollin/Hollen and Family

Recommended Reads

Recommended Reads


This is the first in a 2 month series by Diane:
Eight Weeks to Better Rhode Island Genealogy Research – Week 1 by Diane Boumenot on One Rhode Island Family AND Canadian National Digital Heritage Index, both by John D. Reid on Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections

A good reminder about any type of record collection:
Three Cemetery Databases for One Cemetery and Not One Was Complete. What Would You Do? by Barbara Poole on Life From the Roots

The “Odd” History of Pittsburgh by Joanne Cowden on Researching Relatives

Cemetery Registration Indexes by James Tanner on Genealogy’s Star

Family Stories

Making Mary Mine: Finding Evidence by Sharn White on FamilyHistory4U

The Final Chapter for Jakob Schoenthal and His Descendants by Amy Cohen on Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

Genealogy, Alheimer’s and DNA by James Tanner on Genealogy’s Star

Dear Randy: Are You Related to Baseball Pitcher Tom Seaver? by Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings


Top 10 Tech Security Basics Every Person Should Follow by Melanie Pinola on Lifehacker

Check out the DNA reports from the various companies – interesting reading:
What Dutch DNA Looks Like by Yvette Hoitink on Dutch Genealogy

Google Photos Gets Non-Destructive Editing, No Longer Duplicates Photos by Eric Ravenscraft on Lifehacker

Methodology, News, Etc.

For those who add to the FamilySearch Family Tree:
Blog Posts and FamilySearch Family Tree by Nancy on My Ancestors and Me

Strategies for Searching Cemeteries Online AND

Why Don’t Genealogists Ask More Why Questions, both by James Tanner on Genealogy’s Star

Administrative Divisions of Poland: Why Knowing Is Important by Schalene Dagutis on Tangled Roots and Trees

Don’t Ask Me What Book That Was In by Michael John Neill on Rootdig

Don’t Shoot the Messenger re: Barry Ewell by Pat Richley-Erickson on DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog

Last, but not least, Lori makes a great point when considering donations:

Donations by Lori Samuelson on Genealogy at Heart

Genealogy Tips & Family History