Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Charles August Smith, Chicago Policeman

About 1912 Chicago Illinois
My grandpa, Charles A. Smith, was nicknamed Cully. He was a police officer for the city of Chicago. His police career ended long before I was born, but I know his limp was the result of an accident he had while on the motorcycle beat. Now I know when it happened thanks to his WWI draft registration card which I found on According to the draft reg card he completed on 12 September 1918 Grandpa had a broken right leg (last April) and was using crutches. This nifty resource also has his  age, birthdate, address, my grandmother listed as his nearest relative, his build and height listed as medium, and he had blue eyes and brown hair. Also noted is he was a native born U.S. citizen. And it has his signature!

Elsie Carr Smith & Charles A. Smith
The back porch swing
July 1962

I also found his WWII draft reg card on By then Grandpa was retired from the police department and was working for Illinois Bell Telephone Co. in the Claims Department. The address on the card is for the apartment on Milwaukee Avenue that I remember well. You could see the parachute drop at Riverview from the back porch. It was a toss up which was better, the coffee cake from Burney Bros. bakery my grandma always had in the pantry or sitting on the back porch swing waiting for the parachute to drop.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Herbst family- another look

In looking over the online census record from 1850 I found an older couple, with the same last name, right under my g-g grandparents, Henry & Louisa Herbst, (indexed as Hass). Could this be my g-g-g grandparents? This couple, Heinrich and Freidrike are the right age to be Henry's parents, but I cannot find them in the 1860 census, nor do I find them buried in the cemetery where Henry & Louisa are buried.

I did find a  Henry & Fredrike Herbst buried in Monee,Will County in the early 1860's and the birth years seem to jive. Will Co is not too far away but too far to make sense if they were living in Leyden Township. Why would they be buried there? What took them to Will County?

I have searched the 1860 census for them in Will county and have come up with some other Herbst families. Could there possibly be some brothers of my g-g grandfather?

When the weather clears up a bit I will get myself down to Monee and see what I can find.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting Organized

Spent some time today going through genealogy files on my PC. There is a folder, Genealogy, with a subfolder for each surname of my great-grandparents. This is where I put all my online discoveries. And where  documents, such as birth marriage, death, etc. will go as I scan them. Each surname folder will have a sub-subfolder for scanned photos. 

In my file cabinet are my paper files (folders, again by surname) with a research checklist I created so I know what I have and what needs to be located at a glance.

The new FamilySearch now has so many records that include images. What a time and money saver! But all these records I am saving need to be saved so I can find them again and that is what prompted today's file cleanup. 

With all the new additions to new FamilySearch I have been finding much information, including naturalization cards from the Illinois, Northern District Naturalization Index, 1840-1950. I have found the entry for my g-g grandfather, Carl/Charles Dettman(n). Since all of my family immigrated before 1880 the immigration records do not have much info, but every little find is helpful.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Day Early

It arrived today, a day early actually, Evidence Explained, Second Edition, by Elizabeth Shown Mills. I am very excited! Now I can really get those source citations in shape. What a great beginning to the new year. As a librarian I have always been pretty sticky about creating proper citations, but even MLA, APA, Turabian and Chicago Manual have left me hanging,  genealogy wise. So that bowl of popcorn is going to have to wait (probably a good thing) while I spend some time reading my new book.