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..

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, 


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sympathy Saturday ~ Daniel Barrett & Martha Dasho Barrett ~ Gruesome Deaths

 This is a story of the death of my 4th Great Grand Aunt, Martha Dasho Barrett, and her husband, Daniel Barrett.  They died a horrible death.  Below are two articles that appeared at the time of their death detailing a vivid description of the events. 

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Front page of the Tri-State Alliance Pioneer, Ohio, Friday May 28, 1894 as reprinted in the Leader Enterprise, Thursday, April 15, 1965.

CYCLONE SWEPT! - Williams County Visited By A Devastating Cyclone - Four Persons Killed and a Number Injured - Kunkle the Scene of Terrible Desolation - Houses Laid in Ruins, Barns Leveled and the Debris Strewn to the Winds - Dense Forests Mown Down as if by Magic - Thousands of People Daily on the Scene Witnessing the Wonderful Sight - Our Reporter Visits the Spot and Gives an Interesting Description of the Storm Swept Region.
     Astronomers tell us that the sun has passed through terrible convulsions during the past week and that the disasters of wind and water are but the results of these fiery throes culminating upon the earth. Be that as it may, a few more such visitations would almost obliterate Williams County. The intense, sickening heat of Thursday, May 17th, 1894, seemed to impress many with the dread of a terrible something! About 5 P.M. the clouds seemed to be centering west and in dense blackness with ominous streaks of light moved easterly.
The first indications of a cyclone were manifest on the farm of John Lantz where the funnel-shaped cloud dipped down and struck the ground, plowing an immense furrow through the cornfield and then on through the heavy timber, tearing and rending trees and bushes like a giant playing with straws.
The huge destoyer scattered fences and orchards till it reached the house on the Old Hazen farm which it carried off as completely as if it were but a mere speck on the surface of the earth. The tenants of the house were fortunately away from home, else there would have been greater damage done than was. On it came plowing its way through huge timbers, leaving a wide stretch of desolation and ruin in its path, until it reached Basswood Corners, four miles south of town, where it done some lively work. It first struck Geo. Mercer's house, lifted it from its foundation and hurled it into pieces, the ruins scattering over the site of the house, and the road. Furniture was torn into atoms and the scene was a hard looking one. It unroofed Sam'l. Barclay's house, leveled his large bank barn to the ground, burying three horses in the midst of the debris. One was instantly killed, but the other two were got out alive and almost unhurt. Mr. Barclay's property is completely gone and it is hard for the old couple as they were yet in debt on their place. The sympathy of the people should take an active form in their case and endeavor to help them out of their present difficulties. Mrs. Mercer, upon hearing the terrible roar of falling timbers, ran out the east door of their house and with her little child in her arms, threw herself flat on the ground. The debris flew thick and fast around them but the child was unharmed and the mother but slightly injured. The residence of Wm. Mowry was left standing and that is all. Doors and windows and the greater portion of the roof is gone, while immense splinters are sent through the siding and plastering, penetrating the inside walls. His bank barn is levelled to the basement and nothing but ruin prevails in that vicinity.
     Samuel Andre's house narrowly escaped the great destruction, standing but a few rods this side of the storm. His farm however got a small share of it taking off the roof and the siding in places and generally demolishing it. Another one of the provident escapes was that of seven head of horses which stood in the barn not one of which was hurt. It was a close call, however.
Straight onward still in a north easterly direction it went, now raising a little and again assailling the ground with terrible strength, until, upon reaching Kunkle, storm-swept and desolate, ringing with the moans of the dying victims, the intense excitement and the crowds gathered on the fatal ground, the scene is a difficult one to describe. All the houses, fences, trees and obstructions of all kinds in the path of the storm were carried away and nothing is left to mark the spot where they stood, but the direst desolation.
      The building in which Daniel Barrett, his wife, and their granddaughters, Martha and Myrta Daso, is so completely demolished that not even a portion of the foundation is left. The first found remnants of the house were at least 100 rods from where it stood. Here began scattering timbers and further on can be seen larger portions of the building and about 40 yards from where it stood lies the roof, almost intact, together with portions of the frame work.
     Mrs. Barrett, who was horribly mangled, was carried by the cyclone over a quarter of a mile and dropped in the S. cemetery. Her dismembered limbs were found about 100 yards further on. There was very little left of the woman's body that resembled the form of a human being. Her breast and abdomen were rent in two, and her entrails, heart, and lungs were scattered broadcast through three forty-five acre fields. The search for remains continued nearly an hour before flesh half her weight was found. Daniel Barrett was carried about 40 rods from where the cyclone struck him. His hand was torn off at the wrist and scattered to the wind, one leg was beaten into pulp, and he suffered internal injuries. He was still breathing however, when found but died soon afterward without regaining consciousness.
     Martha and Myrta Daso, who were in another part of the house, were found near where the house seemed to have gone to pieces. Martha, the eldest, aged 14, was injured only about the head, which was crushed in on the left side, showing a great hole from which the brain oozed mingled with blood. She is still living however with the slightest chance of recovery.
The younger sister, Myrta, age ten, lay almost in the arms of her sister with almost every bone in her body broken, and ground into flesh. Nothing could be done to relieve her suffering and little one died about ten o'clock the same evening.
      Geo. Oxenger, a hired man of the Barrett's who was in the field plowing saw the storm coming and made for the barn. He succeeded in getting his horses in the barn, and had started for the house when the cyclone struck him, and witnesses say that he was lifted from the ground and whirled into the air at least a hundred feet, together with timbers, fences, trees and other debris scooped up by the wonderful, irresistable current of death and disaster. Oxenger's lifeless body was found about 100 rods from where it was lifted into the air. The body was in a horrible condition, bones protruding from the flesh, and from indications he must have come into contact with many of the flying beams and trees.
     Jas. Whitla, another farm hand of the Barrett's, had a most miraculous escape. He was in a field working with Oxenger, and with him started for the barn, when his team became unmanageable and broke away from him. They were afterward caught and were but slightly injured. When the team ran away he started for the house but had just reached a rail fence near a gate when the storm struck the barn and he fell upon his face grasping the fence with one hand and with the other the gate. The gate was demolished to the very bottom rail and the gate carried hundred of rods, but the prostrate man lay unmoved. A huge apple tree was torn up by the roots and a brick cellar laid flat to the ground within fifteen feet of him, yet he came out with a bruised face and a few scratches. In an interview with our reporter he gave the following experience with the raging elements. He said: "Oxenger and I were plowing in a field about a quarter of a mile from the barn when we saw the storm coming. It looked like a huge funnel, its irregularly formed upper half revolving rapidly, while the lower half swept the earth dealing death and destruction from its mighty arm, leaving a wide path of desolation in its wake, and transforming what was but a moment before a prosperous little group of farm buildings into a scene of devastation and sorrow. It seemed to be so unreliable in its course that we did not know which way to go to escape it. Finally we decided to seek shelter in the barn. Oxenger got to the barn but my team broke away from me and left me free. By this time the storm was so near that it was like the roaring of Niagara and the heat was sickeningly intense. When I saw the barn go up I knew my only salvation would be in throwing myself flat on the ground. I threw myself in a hole and grasped the lower part of the fence. The fence was torn from me but I dug my fingers deep in the earth and knew no more for a time. The barn, cow shed, and horses must have passed over me, and when I arose my face was plastered with mud. The last I remember was dim recollection or realization of seeing the house swept from its foundation and thrown into atoms over the place."
     Just across the road from the Barrett residence stood a log and frame structure occupied by Charles Moore and wife, a young couple but a short time married. The forepart of the structure remains standing, every log in its place, but the roof has departed for an unknown land, and the back part of the frame is gone to the foundation. Not a piece of crockery, a carpet, a bed-quilt, or any other article of bedding or clothing which was in the house was left, but a few could be found decorating the forest a half mile or so further in the course of the storm.
     As destiny would have it, it was in the back part of the house where the young man and his wife took refuge, and while the last they can remember they were together holding the door shut, they were picked up far apart, she having been thrown in a little swamp several rods from the house and he in a pile of debris in another direction. A new barn is completely gone, the heavy timbers thrown for acres around, and a light shed close by is scarcely touched. Moore had tied his team to a post near the barn and the horses were swept along like straws before the death dealing storm. From one horse the strong new harness was stripped off as neatly as if it had been cut, while parts of it was strewn over the entire field. One horse was buried under a mass of beams from an adjoining corn crib and killed outright, while the other laid about ten rods further on, so badly injured that it was killed to end its sufferings. Oxenger's team, which was put in Barrett's barn escaped with scarcely a scratch. A hog pen containing seven shoats stood in a lane several rods to the north of Barrett's barn. They help add to the list of the dead, and all that can be found of pen or pigs is one dead porker which lay stretched directly over the site of the barn. The ground on either side of the storm was covered with featherless fowls, grain, etc., and close to Moore's barn laid a disemboweled cow. A calf was lifted up and carried across the woods, a distance of nearly a mile and dropped, rather dumpy but still alive and likely to be.
     Farther on in the course of the storm at the point where the funnel-shaped cloud rose from the ground, the debris seems to be as thick as further back, hence it is presumed that much of the stuff went up in the clouds. Everything for miles back has vanished as if by magic.
     Samuel Hollenbaugh and his wife who were in their house about two miles further north escaped death by seeking refuge in their cellar. One half of their house was left standing almost untouched. Miss Jennie Greek who was teaching in that district and boarding there was in the portion left standing and sustained slight injuries. Further west, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Coy? stood in their back door and saw all their barns, other buildings and windmill carried up into the air. A house containing some pet rabbits, rabbits within six feet of where they stood went with the rest, while hardly a breeze touched them. Two or more of the farm houses, a saw mill, and a number of barns are reported carried away, but no other persons are hurt. The path of the storm can be easily followed its entire course by the roofless barns, decapitated windmills and fallen forests.
The whirling cloud seemed to go very slowly in its forward course and gave many people a good chance to get out of its way who would otherwise have been killed. It is estimated that it took at least 15 minutes to go its last mile, the mile which dealt death in its most terrible form, filling the air with flying debris, in which were fragments of human flesh, horses, cattle, furniture, trees, farming implements, etc. All propelled by a most wonderful, irresistible current of ruin and disaster. The course it took seemed to be somewhat zig-zag, and rolled from left to right, as well as upward on its onward course. It visited the cemetery south of Moore's house, leaving there the mangled remains of Mrs. Barrett, and making sad havoc with the grave stones.    People for miles on either side of the storm could hear its roar and climbed on house-tops and other places of eminence to witness the moving avalanche which carried everything before it. To add to the scene of desolation, the rain fell in torrents. Where at noon stood finely growing fields of wheat now stood fields of water. All wheat and like vegetation is mown close as if by a scythe.
     The dead victims of the terrible phenomenon were all buried last Saturday, May 19th, while the wounded are gaining. The Daso girl has regained consciousness and may recover, while Mr. and Mrs. Moore are both doing well. A good deal of sympathy is manifest among the people for the sufferers, and what is better they are offering substantial aid in the shape of "cyclone fund" meetings all over the county.
     Thousands have witnessed the scene of disaster since last Thursday, and whispers of wonder and awe at the scene are heard on all sides. It is, indeed, a miracle that many more were not victims of this awful messenger of death and destruction. Williams County never wishes another such an experience.
     Help for the sufferers, a numbers of families in this, the worst disaster that ever visited Northern Ohio, have been stripped of everything. Homes, furniture, bedding, clothing, eatables, etc., and believing there are many who feel it would be the spirit of human kindness to help these distressed ones we have concluded to open up a Bureau of Relief for the cyclone sufferers and all sums of money sent to the Tri-State Alliance will be placed in the hands of a relief committee and the names of the donors with amount given will be published in the next week's Alliance. Now if you have any real sympathy for these suffering ones respond as the heart wills.

Kunkle, Ohio Tornado May 18, 1894
THE OHIO CYCLONE Further Details of the Terrible Cyclone in Ohio. KUNKLE, O., May 19. --- Four persons were killed and two others fatally injured in a great cyclone which passed through the farming district a short distance from here yesterday afternoon. The dead are DANIEL BARRETT and wife, MARTHA DASHO and GEORGE OXINGER, CHARLES COLE and wife will both die.

     For a distance of six miles a strip a quarter of a mile wide is laid in waste. Houses, fence lands trees are all destroyed. There is not even a trace left of the BARRETT house. The body of MRS. BARRETT was carried almost half a mile, being terribly managled.

     At Alliance the storm was the worst experienced in years. The wind blew over sixty miles an hour. Much minor damage is reported. At Cleveland, thousands of windows were broken by hail and many runaways were caused. The damage amounts to several thousand dollars.

     The revised count of dead and injured by the Kunkle tornado shows four dead and three fatally injured. The fatally injured are: MARTHA DAZE, skull fractured; CHARLES MOORE, aged 25 both hips dislocated, several ribs broken and internally injured; MRS. ELLA MOORE, his wife, serious bodily injuries.

     These are all expected to die. Besides these casualties, MRS. ELLA EVANS, who lives a mile east of the track of the tornado, is missing. She started from Kunkle for home an hour before the tornado struck and has not yet been heard of.

     One of the most gruesome incidents was the finding of a gory human heart lying in the cemetery between two overturned tombstones. It belonged to MRS. BARRETT, whose body was torn to pieces and distributed over three 40 acre fields.

     The tornado passed through only the southern edge of the village, levelling everything south of the tracks of the Detroit division of the Wabash, which passes through the place. Much small damage was done to houses in the main part of the village, however. Had the storm gone 200 yards further north it would have utterly wiped out Kunkle and killed the greater portion of the people.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Monday - Andrew Jackson Ferrier and the Civil War, 1861 - 1865

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the final Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.  Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. 

On this Memorial Day Monday I'm going to celebrate and honor my 3rd Great Grand Uncle, Andrew Jackson Ferrier.  I wish I had a photo of him, but I don't. 

If my genealogical records are accurate I show he was born in 1830 in Harrison, Ohio and died on 4 February, 1919 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

On 23 May, 1852, at the age of 22, he married Catherine Mercer in Williams, Ohio. 

About ten years later the Civil War was in process and that's when began serving as a Union Soldier.

Below is the record indicating more specific information on his role in the Civil War. 
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 U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 about Andrew J. Ferrier

Name: Andrew J. Ferrier
Side: Union
Regiment State/Origin: Pennsylvania
Regiment Name: 2 Pennsylvania H. Art'y.
Regiment Name Expanded: 2nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery (112th Volunteers)
Company: K
Rank In: Private
Rank In Expanded: Private
Rank Out: Private
Rank Out Expanded: Private
Film Number: M554 roll 36
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It shows he was responsible for using "heavy artillery".  During the Civil War "heavy artillery" or Siege and garrison artillery were heavy pieces that could be used either in attacking or defending fortified places.  The weight and size of siege artillery prevented it from regularly traveling with the armies. When needed, siege artillery and other material needed for siege operations were assembled into what was called a siege train and transported to the army. In the American Civil War, the siege train was always transported to the area of the siege by water.

My Uncle Andrew Ferrier died at the age of 89 on 4 February 1919.

Warm regards, 


Monday, January 7, 2013

Surgeon's Certificate ~ Sheridan Dean

I find this diagram posted here very interesting. The fact that we even have a copy of it I think is amazing. My Booth family cousin found it online and I haven't seen one like it before.  

I'm having a difficult time reading it and determining why this surgeons certificate was needed. 

One thing I do know is that Sheridan Dean, the subject of this Surgeon's Certificate, is my 2nd great grandfather.  

Warm regards,