On the search . . . .

For many years now I've been searching my past in an endeavor to unfold the tales of my family. I've traveled (via the internet) to England, Denmark, Norway, Ohio, Nebraska, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. I've spent time personally visiting historic Boston and their wonderful cemeteries and, or course, visited my ancestors right here in California. My ancestors have touched the world in many places... and I hope to enjoy some of their experiences. I want you to join me as I travel through my past... and uncover their stories..

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Joseph Garrett ~ My 6th Great Grandfather

My sixth great grandfather, Joseph Garrett, was born on 12 Mar 1743 in Goshen, Chester, Pennsylvania, United States to Mary Sharpless and Joseph Garrett.  He was one of ten children.  

In 1770, at the age of 27, Joseph married Charity Collins.  The 1770 census records indicate he owned: Acres - 210; Horses - 3; Cattle - 1; Sheep - 0; Servants - 0. 

Over several years they had six children; Benjamin (1772), Joseph (1773), Lydia (1775), Nathan (1778), Elizabeth (1780), and Sarah (1783).  While all their children grew to adulthood, Nathan died at a young age. 

The Garrett family had wanted to be part of the Quaker community however,  according to Quaker minutes because Joseph Garrett and Charity were married by a "priest" he was not permitted  to be a "Quaker".   The Quaker minutes also indicate that upon his death Joseph's children were then welcomed by the Friends by the Quakers.  

Joseph passed away at the age of 49, when his youngest child Sarah was only 9 years old.  His wife Charity was only 41. 

Charity passed away only 7 years later, at the age of 48. At that time her oldest child was 27 and her youngest was 16. 

A year after their mother's death, the following census of 1800 show the oldest son Benjamin with the remaining children - his siblings. He had living with him three (3) members of the household the age of 16 and younger and three (3) members of the household the age of 25 or older.  At that time it appears evident how the children had to take over for the family when they pass away at an early age. 

I have not found the burial locations of Joseph and Charity Garrett but assume they are somewhere in Pennsylvania.


Warm regards, 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Theodore Harold Moe ~ A Family Mystery Uncovered?

While there are some documented facts about Theodore Harold Moe there is much more we don't know about him.  I'll begin with what I do know.  

Theodore is my grandmother's (Bertha Moe Rasmussen) older brother and they were raised in a Catholic orphanage in Los Angeles, California since they were toddlers.   The orphange's records show him as "Harold Moe" and on Aug 27, 1908 he was 6 years and 9 months. That would make his birth date November 27, 1901*. Bertha Moe at 4 years and 11 months would have had a birth date of September 27, 1903*.   While his orphanage records indicate his name as Harold Moe subsequent records refer to him at Theodore Moe.  I will refer to him as Theodore Moe.

We also know his father died on August 27, 1908 as indicated by the Application for Admission and a copy of a letter I received by directly contacting the orphanage's archives several years ago.    We can only assume that both Theodore and Bertha were brought the the orphanage prior to that date to be cared for and the date of August 27, 1908 was the date on the application as that is when they were officially awarded to  Los Angeles County.  Both Theodore and Bertha could have been brought to the orphanage sometime between 1901 and 1907. There has been no information as to the mother of Theodore or Bertha except some records indicate she was Indian.

I frequently asked my grandmother, Bertha, and my mother Norma, for information regarding Theodore Harold Moe "Ted".  While I gleaned some information they both didn't seem very forth coming with information.  It appeared to be an emotional topic for my grandmother and while I pressed the issue she would just state small facts and then share she was unable to discuss it. 

Through the years I did obtain some photos of  Ted.
Theodore Moe & my mother Norma
Theodore Harold Moe - date unknown
The two photos I have here are the only two photo's I had of him for most of my research years.   In the first photo (to the left), I don't have the year but Ted looks to be in his late teens.  The photo to the right, is with my mother, Norma Rasmussen Booth.  She was born in 1927, and based on the appearance of her age, I would date this photo to have been taken around 1930.  Theodore would have been 26 years old.

Both my cousin and I kept researching Ted's history.  My cousin then discovered, through newspaper archives,  the information I posted here.   Wow!  Ted had been charged and convicted of stealing a phonograph and radio set from a patient at a private sanitarium.    While this occurred in Los Angeles, California, Ted was ordered to serve his time at San Quentin prison. 

This shows the newspaper article and some additional information regarding the sanitarium and it's location. 

So now my thoughts go to my grandmother and why she didn't want to discuss her brother.  I'm sure she was embarrassed. We didn't discover this information until after my grandmother's death therefore it wasn't a topic we could approach with her.   That probably was for the better. 

As one thinks about Ted, and the charges that were filed against him, in today's time it really would not have warranted any kind of prison term. It might not have even landed him jail. Fines yes, but jail time, who knows.  

Recently, as ancestry.com released more documents, my cousin found his mug shot and the initial documentation of his entrance into San Quentin State Prison.   It certainly is amazing that this document was found.   I search for information on Theodore Moe has taken decades.  I began inquires with the orphanage where they resided in the 1980's.  There was no internet.  It was mostly via phone calls and some written letters to them.   

Here is the last record that has been found on Theodore Harold Moe.  I find that the photo is very crisp and detailed, taken in 1924. In that photo he looks a lot like my grandmother.   I learned he had a prior record of being drunk and was in L.A. County jail.  The year that this took place, in 1920, was during prohibition - certainly an interesting time in history. 

So the photo I have above of Theodore (my mother's uncle) and my mother we had seen for many years. What we didn't know was that that photo was taken after his release from San Quentin. 

What I was told, by my Mother, was that Theodore struggled through life. She believes he had one child but had no idea what happened to her and his girlfriend.    She added that Theodore had worked part time as a barber and did other odd jobs for money.  He lived with my grandmother (his sister) and her husband off and on but they finally told him he had to leave, learn to take care of himself, and find work.     

Theodore's life ends with this death certificate.  It shows his father's name as Martin Moe and mother is unknown. Theodore was employed as a "cook".  He died of pneumonia and chronic alcoholism.  He was buried, via the county, at Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles.  I recall my grandmother telling me she had no money for his funeral, and didn't claim him, therefore the country placed him in an unmarked grave.

A family member, since then, did purchase a marker for him which I believe gave my grandmother some peace.

So, it appears, my great uncle Theodore was a pistol.  Caused a bit of trouble and paid the consequences.  In today's day, he would not have gone to prison.

Rest in peace, Theodore, you are not forgotten.

Warm regards, 


* Their birth dates are calculated using this birth date calculator:  http://www.searchforancestors.com/utility/birthday.html

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jane White Booth ~ Died in a Union Workhouse

I enjoy GeneaBloggers and it's daily prompts which give me a nudge of ideas to keep me engaged in writing about my ancestors.  Each day we get encouraging topics to get our minds thinking of what has transpired in the past.   Today's daily I'm choosing is "Wishful Wednesday".  You'll understand why when you finish reading this post.

Jane White Booth was my 5th Great Grandmother who lived her life in Gloucestershire, a county in South West England. It includes the cities of  Gloucester, Cirencester, Stroud and Tewkesbury.

Jane was born about the year 1778 in Gloucestershire, England and died December 24, 1853 (Christmas Eve) in a Union Workhouse in Tewkesbury, England.  She was 75 years old.

Death Cert: Died at "Union Workhouse Tewkesbury" of "Natural Decay"

I have no photos of my 5th great grandmother Jane, just some records and an online photo of where she was living when she died.   As I was reviewing her records I noticed her place of her death.  It had passed by my eyes before.  She died  at a "Union Workhouse" and I didn't know what that was. So I began my research.

Wikipedia states, "In England and Wales a workhouse, colloquially known as a spike, was a place where those unable to support themselves were offered accommodation and employment".  

I felt bad that she had to die in a workhouse.  She had a husband, George Boothe, my 5th great grandfather, but I have no record when he died.  I know he was born about 1782 and only can determine his death was before hers (1853) as her death certificate states she was a widow.   I also know she had at least one son, John Booth. John, my 4th great grandfather, was born in 1804 and his date of death is unknown.  I know John began serving in the Royal Marines at the age of 16,  married  Mary Hardy, and  had four children that I'm aware of.  My records indicate that her son John, and his family, lived in Wellington, England keeping John about 100 miles from his mother.

Tewkesbury UK Workhouse where Jane Booth died in 1853
I have to wonder why a son, and his family would have his mother live in a workhouse, when he is relatively close to her - 100 miles. Well, close in today's standards.  But in 1853 a 100 miles is quit a distance on a horse and buggy.

So, what was Jane Booth's life like in the final days of her life? At www.workhouses.org.uk workhouses in the mid-1800's are described as.. "To stay in one, you have to work to help pay your way. Jobs are menial and repetitive and some are simply punishments, such as oakum picking (separating strands of old rope). Until the 1840s, 'disorderly and profligate women' – a category that includes impoverished single mothers – are forced to wear distinctive yellow clothes, which leads to them being bullied. In the 1860s and 1870s, conditions in the special wards for the insane or for those with venereal (sexually transmitted) disease are especially grim."

So to my 5th Great Grandmother, on this Wishful Wednesday,  I wish your final days could have been spent with family.  I wish your final days were of happy memories of you and your departed husband George and your handsome son John.  My final wish is that I wish I could have met you.

Warm regards, 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Maren Rasmussen & Soren Poulsen ~ Aarhus, Denmark

For most of my genealogical searching years (over 30 yrs) I didn't have any information on my great grandfather's (Andreas Rasmussen) siblings. When my grandfather (Robert Rasmussen) was alive, for some reason, I didn't think to ask about them.  That was odd for me because I was always asking about family that had passed.

So now fast forward many years.  I found a wonderful photo of my great grandfather's sister and her family who lived in Denmark.  I was lucky to find this photo via another distant family member who has a family tree on ancestry.com.   That photo gave me the opportunity to get to know my Great Grand Aunt, Maren Rasmussen, and her family.  Through this photo,  and further research, this is what I learned.

est. 1915
The woman at the bottom left is my Grand Aunt Maren Rasmussen. To her right would be my Grand Uncle Soren Poulsen.  Behind are five of their children. L to R, Anders Johan Poulsen (b.1888), Johanne Poulsen (b.1893), Rasmus Poulsen (b.1898), Margarethe Poulsen (b.1895) and Christian Poulsen (b.1887).  I'm estimating this photo to have been taken around 1915.  That is based on their birth dates and the ages they seem to appear.

Maren Rasmussen (May 2, 1856 - June 2, 1941) married Soren Poulsen (June 19, 1859 - May 5, 1938) on July 29, 1882.  The census records indicate the family lived in Aarhus, Denmark. 

The Poulsens, had already experienced some of their children's passings. At the estimated time of this photo,  they had a son, Rasmus Poulsen (Sept 26, 1884 - Nov 29, 1888) who had died at the age of 4. Then they had another son, again named Rasmus Poulsen who only lived a few weeks (Apr 1, 1889 - Apr 14, 1889). Then in 1902, their child Paul Cort Poulsen (Aug 24, 1882 - Aug 25, 1902)  died, at the age of 20.

Here is the 1901 Denmark Census that shows the family.  Father, Soren Poulsen, is working as a "thatcher".  Mother, Maren, stayed in the home.  This census shows where each of them were born.

I wonder what that gathering was for, in the photo above.  They seem to be dressed in black.  Well, mother is dressed in black. It's actually hard to tell the colors they are wearing with the black and white film.

So on this Father's Day, I'm happy to be sharing a photo of a father and his children.  A father that worked as a Thatcher, had eight children, lost at least three before him, and lived his life in Aarhus, Denmark.

Happy Father's Day,  Soren Poulsen

Warm regards, 


Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Find ~ One Uncle, Three distinctly different names! Lesson on lost relatives

     I've known for many years that my Danish family immigrated to
the United States in 1891.  A few years ago I began searching to see if I could find them on manifest records.  I was curious if they all came together or made separate trips.    I was interested in my Great Grandparents, Andreas and Anna Rasmussen but today I was more interested in "Uncle Frank".  The family was never clear, exactly, on the relationship of "Uncle Frank Monsen". I recall being told he was my great grandmother's (Anna Monsen) brother. But I can't find him in any Danish census or church records. I have found him here in U.S. Census's but I am more interested in his life prior to arriving in the U.S.  So I was determined again to see what I could find.  
     After some hours of searching I found and looked closely at his "Declaration of Intention".  What I saw was quite interesting. First the only reason I know this is him is because of the address he has listed.  I know this is our family address in Los Angeles.  By deduction of other family members and verifying the birth date listed this was "Uncle Frank".  But the name listed was very different.   It's states his name as "Moyens Marius Magnusen".  Not close at all to "Frank Monsen".  This document also listed his date of arrival and the name of the ship he traveled on, so I began searching immigration passenger lists. But then I reviewed the Declaration document again and it clearly states he came through immigration with the name of "Mayeno Mayunson". What?  Why?  Another very different name.    So I go back to searching passenger lists on the British Prince that he traveled on. After scanning and scanning I find him.  There is "Mayeno Mayunson" on the list.   I look at other names on the manifest and can't locate any other family members.  However, if they are traveling under a different name they may be there and I just don't know it.   So as I read "Mayeno Mayuson's" information it shows he's only 10 years old and has one (1) piece of luggage.   I wonder to myself how he can travel to a new country, on a huge immigration ship, all alone.   I see his destination is listed as Independence, OH which coincides with where our family first settled upon arrival.
You can see his name here right below the center division black line.  It was an amazing find for me. I can't determine what that word is in the "calling" column.  It looks like "boy" but I'm not sure.  I did more searching and also found an advertisement for these immigration journeys. I find the description of the voyage very fascinating.
When searching for your relatives be very careful.  Don't give up.   Look very closely at all the documents.  See if you can discover a secondary or even third name that your relative may have gone by.  

So "Uncle Frank", or "Uncle Moyens"... no "Uncle Mayeno".. ugh..  he's my Uncle Frank who I remember well.   As we all know about hindsight... if I only knew to ask him about his journey here, why did different names.  I know Frank is a more Americanized name but why the second variation. I never realized he was only ten.  I'm still determined to find more information on him in the Danish records although now I know he only lived in Denmark for ten years there won't be much.   My thoughts are with you today Uncle Frank.

Warm regards, 


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

Eleonora Hedvig Margrethe Brøkner was my 2nd great grandmother.  She was born 23 February 1827 in Skanderborg, Vele, Stouby, Denmark. She passed away just before Christmas on 22 December 1904 in Ungstrup, Torning, Viborg, Denmark.  

 I never knew my great great grandmother Eleonora as she never left Denmark and she passed away many years before I was born.  But I do have a picture of her. 

 If you look past her frown and her tired eyes, you will see a woman whose hair is neatly pinned back, she wearing some type of bonnet or hat with flowers and/or a ribbon.  Also she looks bundled up with a scarf and/or high collar up around her neck.   I have no date on this picture.  I'm guessing mid-late1850's but that is only a guess. 

 I do know she married Rasmus Jensen March 12, 1854 and this photo I have of her  is taken from a photo I have of them together.  When I think of her getting married at the age of 27 that seems old to me, for the times.  But I am happy that she found someone to share her life with.  

So here's my great great grandfather.  No smile, like my great great grandmother, a bit of tired eyes, neatly cut and combed hair.  As I look at his neck I can't determine if that is his beard grown down around his neck (although I think it would be difficult to grow a beard that full there) or it's a furry neck warmer.  It appears he has a jacket on. 

Eleonora and  Rasmus had seven children;  Jens Rasmussen 1855- , Maren Rasmussen 1856-1941, Christine Rasmussen 1858- , Ane Rasmussen 1859 - , Christian Rasmussen 1861- , Clara Rasmussen 1867- , Andreas Rasmussen 1870-1949(my great grandfather). 

During the 1850's in Denmark brought to an end centuries of absolute monarchy. Danes could now form political parties, elect representatives to a parliament and were guaranteed freedom of religion, assembly and speech. Danish farmers, during this time, found it difficult with the low-priced grains offered in European markets by American and Russian exports. The Danes would turn to dairy and pork production. But agricultural change and the rise of industrialism were not enough to stop the rising anger and eventually one out of every ten Danes felt compelled to emigrate; most traveled to the United States.

I think about Eleonora, in Denmark, in the 1850's, with seven children, and her husband Jensen out working, as we know, as a day laborer.  Times must have been horribly tough but then again that's all they knew.

Eleonora's youngest son, Andreas (my great grandfather) at the age of 20, left Denmark and his parents in 1890 to find a better life in America.  Eleonora would have been 63, saw her youngest leave, and might have known she would never see him again. But he traveled here and did what he set out to do.  Began a new life and brought all the Danish traditions with him. 

So while I wonder what Christmas's were like for my great great grandparents in the 1850's.  I wonder how the family managed with their mother passing away just days before Christmas.  Here I sit over 150 years later, in another country, thinking of Eleonora and Rasmus.  I would want her to know that her name, and the names of her children, have carried down for several generations. I would want her to know that some of her Danish traditions continue through songs, foods, stories and owning a Danish flag. 

So on this Christmas Eve I wish you, Eleonora and Rasmus, a very merry Glædelig jul. 

Warm regards,


Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day Thanks

For this Veterans Day holiday I'd like to thank some members of my family who have served our Country. 

First, to my Father, Walter Richard Booth who served in the U.S.Navy in the mid 1940's.  He was part of Acorn 25 and served on the USS Maryland. 
S2c: Seaman 2nd Class
HA2c: Hospital Apprentice Second Class

F2c: Fireman 2nd Class

F1c: Fireman 1st Class

Service School Completed: USNNCS, Farragut, Idaho

My first cousin, James E. Booth served in the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War.  
James enlisted at the young age of 19 yrs in 1968.  

He is currently living in California with is wife and is a proud father and grandfather. 

Arthur C. Ferrier was my 1st cousin 1x removed and served in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Air Medal.

 The Air Medal was awarded to anyone who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Armed Forces of the United States, have distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement while participating 
 in aerial flight.

John Arthur Ferrier, was my third great grandfather.
He served in the 86th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Union Side of  the Civil War. 

This regiment was organized at Camp Chase, Ohio, June 10th 1862, to serve three months. It was mustered out September 25, 1862, by reason of expiration of term of service.

Andrew Jackson Ferrier, was my third great grand uncle ( brother of John Arthur Ferrier - above).  He also served in the Civil War.  

He was in the 2nd regiment, Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, (112th volunteers).  He was in Company K. He ranked in as a Private and his rank out was as a Private.


Warm regards,