Critique: Parsons Family (2 volumes), by Henry Parsons

Parsons, Henry. Parsons Family: Descendants of Cornet Joseph Parsons, Springfield, 1636 – Northampton, 1655. Volume 1. New York: Frank Allaben Genealogical Company, 1912.

Parsons, Henry. Parsons Family: Descendants of Cornet Joseph Parsons, Springfield, 1636 – Northampton, 1655. Volume 2. New Haven, Conn: Tuttle, Morehouse and Taylor Co., 1920.

The Parsons family entered the New England colonies in the late 1600s and settled first in Springfield, Massachusetts, and later moving to Northampton, also in Massachusetts.

The two volumes, by the same author, are well constructed, and well indexed. The second volume is a continuation, with revisions, of the first. The introduction and the first generation presented in volume two explain the reasoning for it and set the context for the rest of the volume. While they are constructed mostly from correspondence with extended family, the author includes sketchy citations and references to other materials, mostly of the secondary or derivative sort.

The majority of the genealogy covers the 1600s, 1700s, and early 1800s, before the western territories opened up. Most of the Pacific Northwest families referenced, therefore, appear in the second volume. Perhaps, because of increased interest in family history in the later 1800s and early 1900s, these family members began correspondence with the author and were included.

Among the notable entries for the Pacific Northwest states are the families of:

  • 1: 374–376 — Nathaniel Emerson and Clara J. (Williams) Parsons. There is a full-page portrait of him tipped in between pages 374 and 375. They spent time in both Oregon and in Washington Territory.
  • 2: 196–197 — Sidney Stanhope and Mary A. (Spaulding) Parsons from North Carolina, and later, Kelso, Washington. Two of the sons are continued in later entries. [436, 437]
  • 2: 328–329 — Avery A. and Helen M. (Parsons) Smith, of Spokane County, Washington, and earlier in Oregon.

A number of brief entries for families which spent time in Idaho appear in both volumes.

The two volumes of the Parsons genealogy are available on Google Books. They are free downloads, as they are in the public domain. The copies used here were from the Wisconsin Historical Society collection.


Critique: Genealogy of the Ludwig Mohler Family in America, by Dunning

Dunning, Cora Garber, compiler and editor. Genealogy of the Ludwig Mohler Family in America: Covering a Period from April 4, 1696, to June 15, 1921. Stanley, New Mexico: the Author. 1921.

The patriarch, Ludwig Mohler, referenced in the title, and the first date given, are at best, anecdotal to the genealogy given. The only reference to Mr. Mohler is in a letter written to the author and dated much later than the late 1600s. There is a possibility of a connection, however, because the first reliably recorded member of the Mohler family was born about the time the alleged patriarch flourished.

The Mohler genealogy covered in this volume consists mostly of hearsay and vaguely cited source material. As the family settled in Pennsylvania in the mid–1700s, and there are few reliable records from that time and place, some assumptions must be made and allowed for. The bulk of the genealogical material presented here relates to the Garber family, the author’s own ancestors.

Most of the members of the families recorded in this genealogy lived in the mid–West: Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma for instance, and the eastern states. There are a number of Pacific Northwest connections, which are interesting. Several members of the family lived in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, so I will highlight those members.

  • p. 23 – William Francis Guin, b. 16 August 1880; was a businessman in Seattle, Washington.
  • p. 43 – Philip T. Garber, b. 18 July 1892, at Red Cloud, Nebraska, married Florence Habler, 28 September, 1915, in Washington State. He was a printer by trade.
  • … – Bernard S. Garber, b. 11 August 1894, at Red Cloud, Nebraska. He served five months at Camp Fremont, California, during World War I, as corporal drilling raw recruits. He lived at Nespelem, Washington.
  • … – Victor B. Garber, b. 1 April 1901, Red Cloud, Nebraska, graduated at Almira, Washington H. S.
  • p. 44 – Jacob Garber, married Julia Wheeler in California, and later moved to Grangeville, Idaho, where he was postmaster a long term of years.
  • … – Mary Magdaline Mohr, b. 26 March 1847, d. 21 October 1906, at Eugene, Oregon. She married Edward Ayers in the early part of 1870 and moved from Manchester, Iowa, to Beaver City, Nebraska, and in 1885 to Santiam, Oregon, where they lived many years. Her only living child is Jesse G. Ayres. b. in 1885, at Beaver City. Nebraska.
  • p. 49 – Estella V. Garber, b. 21 August 1861, at Humboldt County, California, married J. E. Corlette of Elkader, Iowa, 23 February 1886. They moved to Seattle, Washington, in 1908.
  • p. 59 – Joseph Schaeffer Garber completed the Red Cloud High School and settled at Kellogg, Idaho, where he married, in 1912, and is in business. He has no issue.

There are a few technical issues with the Google Books copy of this genealogy. The page alignment is off, and one of the pages is clipped on the right edge of the text, resulting in lost information.

Numerous photo illustrations of the Mohler and Garber ancestors are supplied. There is no index, however, so one will need to use online tools to search it or find a searchable copy elsewhere. I was able to extract the pages into a multi-page TIFF file using IrfanView, and then run the images through Tesseract, an Open Source OCR program, to make an off-line searchable copy.

The Mohler genealogy is available on Google Books. It is a free download, as it in the public domain.


Sunday’s Obituary – Helen Matilda Kolb – Snohomish, Washington

Helen Matilda Kolb

Mrs. Helen Matilda Kolb, 73, a resident of Snohomish since 1913, died March 4 at her home on Route One. Mrs. Kolb was born March 31, 1877, at Brownhelm, O., and went with her parents to Wisconsin when she was 3 years old. In 1901 she moved to Everett and twelve years later came to Snohomish. Mrs. Kolb was a member of First Methodist Church of Snohomish. Surviving are are [sic] her husband, Godfrey Kolb at the family home; three daughters, Mrs. F. B. Dreyer of Sunnyside, Mrs. Albert Fisher of Sutherland, Ore., and Mrs. Carl Nelson of Zillah; one son, Ray Kolb of Seattle, one brother and one sister in Wisconsin and eleven grandchildren. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Purdy and Dawson Funeral Home.

Everett Herald, Everett, Washington, 5 March 1951, page 5, column 3.


Obituary - Helen Matilda Kolb, Snohomish, Washington

Everett Herald, Everett, Washington, 5 March 1951, page 5, column 3.

GeneaBlog Award – “Best Reanimated Genealogy Blog”

Thanks are due, once again, to that erudite scholar of genealogy, Tamura Jones, for recognizing this blogger’s efforts. He has given me the honor of, ummm, rising from the dead?

Thank you to everyone for making this award worthwhile.

Michael Hait’s recent piece on the genealogy blogosphere, and Thomas MacEntee’s, also, highlight the higher significance of our contributions to the community.

These two writers have inspired me over the past five-odd months to continue blogging into the next year. I’ve got plans for 2012, with some reconsideration of set-aside items, to start with.

Right now, though, I’m trying to get a book to press. Look for it by the end of the month, or, at worst, in January.

Happy holidays, everyone.


Critique: The Siler Family, compiled by A. O. Siler

Siler, A. O., compiler. The Siler Family: a Compilation of Biographical and Historical Sketches Relating to the Descendants of Plikard Dederic And Elizabeth Siler. (Marfork, W. Va.: the Author). 1922.

The couple referenced in the title was, apparently, part of the Palatine immigration wave of the mid–1700s. They arrived, according to the compiler, before 1745, when their first child was born in Pennsylvania. The compiler makes few hard references to Plikard and Elizabeth Siler, so the reader is left in doubt about their heritage. The book is almost completely devoid of source citations and references thereto. There are many blanks for descendants to fill in and otherwise complete the information missing from the printed copy. A number of family meetings and reunions are discussed as well, some dating back to the mid–1800s.

The Siler Family really begins with Philip Siler, Senior, born 5 May 1745 in Pennsylvania, and carries on through his descendants. Shortly after arriving in the colonies, the family migrated south to Virginia and then North Carolina. From there, the family migrated westward to states such as Kentucky and Tennessee.

The Pacific Northwest connection appears at page 69 with Rufus Theodore Siler, who was born 11 April 1863, at Franklin, North Carolina, and married Josephine Landes, 3 December 1886, at Mossy Rock, Washington Territory.

Two sons of Thomas Summerfield Siler (b. 19 April 1834, d. 6 April 1916) and Louise Herren, (d. 25 January 1903) also migrated to Washington Territory in 1886: Judson Sawin Siler (b. 14 June 1863) and Alfred Weimar Siler (b. 31 May 1868). Both settled in Vance. (pp. 70, 72)

Three sons of James M. Siler, of Kentucky, moved to eastern Washington in the late 1800s: S. Boyd, Joseph, and Elisha. Geo. W. Siler, son of William H., also moved to Washington about that time. (pp. 158–159)

Several daughters married men who later migrated to the Pacific Northwest. One Oregon resident is also mentioned.

This volume includes a preface filled with generalities and patriotism. A four-generation chart, spread over a number of pages, also devoid of source citations, begins the text. There is a surname–given name index at the end.

The Siler genealogy is available on Google Books. It is a free download, as it in the public domain. The copy used here was from the Wisconsin Historical Society collection.