Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Greetings from the past!

Paloutzian family Christmas 1956

Ed and Dorothy, Mary and Ernie, Louise and Frank, Judy, Raymond, Arlene, Nancy, Goohar and Tatevos, at 834 N. Harrison, Fresno, CA.

Steele/Golden family c. 1953

Chickie and Mammy (Andrew and Claire), Betty, Margie, Cathy, Susan, Bill, Mary Ann, Don, Tom and Anne at 1040 Vagedes, Fresno, CA.

Friday, October 23, 2009

One thing leads to another

Anyone who has worked on genealogy puzzles knows how one piece of information can lead to a whole lot more. Earlier this year, my family and I attended the Descendant's Day Picnic at Black Diamond Mines Regional Park. At the celebration, the park staff had several huge white binders full of documents, lists and other information about the families who lived in the mining communities that used to exist in the area. My great-grandfather Andrew Steele was born in Somersville, along with his siblings. While looking through the binders I found an index or list that had church baptisms with Steele (or Still) family members listed. I just recently received copies of these documents. What I have posted are scans of photocopies of pictures taken of the original records of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Antioch, CA. They are in Latin. There was a Catholic Church in Somersville called St. Patrick's, but I read that it was mainly used for Sunday masses.
John Steele - Rosa (Rossi) Turra marriage record
Joseph V Steele baptism record

Andrew Steele baptism record

Joseph's record lists the names of his Godparents (Latinized, of course): Vincentius Rossi and Cesarina Rossi. I have found Vincent and Cesarina (and family) in the census records, living in Stockton. I think Vincent is Rosa's brother. An interview recorded and transcribed by staff of Black Diamond Mines Park of Richard B. Steele (and family) indicates that Rosa Rossi was brought to the U.S. by her brother, but his name wasn't mentioned.
John and Rosa's wedding record list ALL FOUR PARENTS' NAMES! (All the genealogists gasp). Both John and Rosa's fathers' names were written on their death certificates, but not the mothers' names. John's parents are written as Josephi Steele and Maria Rossi. (His death certificate says his father was John). Rosa's parents are written as Matheii (hard to read) Tura (sic) (her maiden name is Rossi, and Mathew Rossi is listed as her father's name on her death certificate) and what I think says Baptistima ________ (I cannot make sense of the last name). Note John and Rosa's son Richard's middle name was Baptist, and Joseph's middle name was Vincent.
So now I'll be trying to find information that connects Rosa and Vincent as siblings, and also trying to find any more information on both John and Rosa's parents (my great-great-great grandparents!)

Monday, August 24, 2009

It helps if you're looking in the right cemetery...

About a year ago, in an attempt to locate new on-line information, I subscribed to, which has thousands of images of newspapers from all over the United States and internationally, too. I was able to locate a lot of articles, such as marriage notices and obituaries, which provided me with tons of new information. In particular, I was looking for information about one of my great-great-grandfather's brothers, Bedros Paloutzian. Bedros was one of the four Paloutzian brothers who came to California. The others were Kachadoor, Hovhannes (John) and my g-g-grandfather Manoug. Sometime between his arrival in New York on 25 May 1891, and 10 July 1900 when the census-taker took down the information, Bedros started going by the name Peter Thompson. (Bedros is the Armenian form of Peter.)
The name change made it very difficult to track his 8 children and unknown grandchildren, because while Paloutzian stands out among records as an obvious relation, the name Thompson just blends right in and could be anyone. I had the family located in each of the US Census records for 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930. After that, I didn't have much. I looked in the California death records available on-line, but couldn't find a Peter Thompson that matched what I knew. It was likely then that he died between the 1930 census and 1940, when the death records available on-line begin. (Earlier death records are available on microfilm, but that involved a trip to the library on Wednesdays or Saturdays from 1:00 to 4:00. I am now a member of the Merced County Genealogical Society and have more convenient access.)
But thanks to my subscription at NewspaperARCHIVE, I was able to find Peter Thompson's obituary.

This gave me the married names of his daughters, and that he was buried in West Selma Cemetery. So, I wanted to find his headstone. On my way to Kingsburg, I stopped in Selma at the old section of the cemetery at Floral and Thompson. I didn't have the grave location, I just figured it was a small enough area that I could find it. Well, I wore myself out pacing up and down the rows of headstones .As you can probably guess by the title of this entry, and to make a long story shorter, I was at the wrong cemetery. I even went back there, with my sister Joy, a second time after calling the cemetery office and getting the location of Peter Thompson's grave, still thinking it was the West Selma Cemetery. The cemetery at Thompson just south of Floral is North Selma Cemetery. I was looking at a USGS map in my office one day when I noticed the other cemetery, also on Thompson Ave., which is actually the West Selma Cemetery. It is south of Highway 99 on Thompson near Park St. This is where Peter Thompson and his wife Mabel are buried. Their son Haig is there as well. He was a flying instructor who died in a plane crash at the age of 33.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Grandma Golden

Jean Elizabeth Golden
Our beloved mother passed away peacefully on Friday, July 31, 2009. She was born April 7, 1921, in Fresno, California to Andrew and Claire Steele. Betty graduated from St.Therese school and from San Francisco College for Women. She married Robert Golden in Fresno in 1944. They established Golden Insurance Agency where Betty worked for 40 years. Betty was a lector and Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady of Victory Parish. She was a member of Third Order of St. Francis, YLI, Serra Club and a volunteer for Catholic Charities. She was preceded in death by Robert, her loving husband, of 54 years; her brother, Br. Andrew (Don) Steele, FSC; and her grandson, James Stone. Betty is survived by her nine children and their families, Mary Ann and Tom Paloutzian, Susan and Don Sturges, Bill and Shirley Golden, Catherine and Jerry Johnson, Margaret Golden, Patti and Tom McMurry, John and Maureen Golden, Janet Golden, and Michael Golden; 26 grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren; her siblings, Bernadette Steele and Thomas and Anne Steele; her sister-in-law, Virginia Golden; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Visitation will be held at Whitehurst, Sullivan, Burns & Blair Funeral Home, on Thursday, August 6, 2009, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. followed by Recitation of the Holy Rosary at 7:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, on Friday, August 7, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. Interment will follow at St. Peter's Cemetery.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New friends, old pictures

I made a connection this week with Alan Ouzoonian, a fellow genealogy researcher. While we aren't related, our families knew eachother and were friends. I wanted to share some photos with him that are (mostly) not identified, so I thought I would post them here as well.

There was a note on this wedding photo, and I got an English translation:
Mr. and Ms. Kar-ean(k)*
we are giving -- to you as a memory of Mr. and Ms. Ba(ou)la(ou)ltsian**.
Year of 1921

* unfortunately I can't distinguish the fourth letter and am not sure if the last letter is k.
** not sure if it says Baloultsian, Balatsian, Bouloutsian or Boulatsian. ou or a are not very distinguished... (I, Michelle, am guessing Paloutzian)

Armenian in English letters:
Ter yev tikin Kar-ean(k)
knvirenk -- i hishatak
Ter yev Tikin Ba(ou)la(ou)ltsiani
1921 tvin
The wedding picture was taken in Boston.

This photo above of a woman had a note on the back and my mom had written a translation that she thinks she got from Auntie Louise Paloutzian that says "May 22, 1923, A gift in remembrance of your grandmother Toorvanda (Theresa) Kachadooryan of Perchanj." So, it is a grandmother of a Paloutzian or a Tatoian, maybe.

I think the man above could be Giragos Tatoian.

The photo above reminds me of Tatevous Paloutzian.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Roger Doherty

This obituary was published in the San Francisco Morning Call newspaper on 27 July 1891. Roger Doherty was my great-great-great grandfather. He and his wife Ann(e) had 6 children; William, Ann, Mary Jane, Elizabeth, Lily and John. Mary Jane died sometime between 1880 and 1900. She was listed at age 14 in the 1880 census record. William and John seemingly did not marry or have children. William might have been married for a short time as he is listed as a widower in one census.
Ann married Edgar Coxe and had one son, William. He also did not marry. Ann and her family lived next door to her mother on Elsie St. in San Francisco.
Elizabeth (Peeps) was married to Ewen Davidson and had, Claire (Mammy). Ewen died, and she later married Louis Levenberg (Pop), after his wife, Elizabeth's sister Lily, also died. Lily and Louis had 2 daughters, Mildred and Loretta. Peeps had 3 more children, Joseph (Bud), Elizabeth (Beth) and Louis (Lou).
Interesting to note in the obituary: Roger was a native of the Parish of Mohul(sic) in County Leitrim, Ireland; Leadville, Colorado papers are asked to copy - was there a relative there?; Roger would be buried at Mount Calvary Cemetery, one of the cemeteries that was later moved to Colma, CA.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Aunt Ida

Ida T. Levenberg Sept. 10, 1914-April 27, 2009 The family of Ida T. Levenberg announces her passing into the hands of Christ on April 27, 2009, at the age of 94. Ida is survived by daughter Lynne, grandchildren Scott, Tracy, Marci, Ann, Larry and Tom and grandchildren Kristen, Eric, Lucas and Joey. Ida was preceded in death by her beloved husband Bud Levenberg and son Kerry Levenberg. Ida was born in Fresno, CA to Lawrence and Angela (Breda) Pedroncelli. After her marriage to Bud they relocated to Campbell, CA in 1936. She was involved with a local theater group called the Highlighters. She owned and operated one of the first child care facilities in Campbell, known as Tot-Lot, for over 40 years. Ida and Bud were past presidents of the Holy Family Retreat Association and very involved with the Catholic church. She received a commendation by the County of Santa Clara for over 50 years of volunteer service for register of voters. Ida was an expert seamstress and became a horticultural advisor through a Millpond Community newsletter. Ida was truly a talented lady who took interest in her community and devoted time to her faith. She will sincerely be missed by all who were fortunate enough to have known her. A memorial service will be held at St. Christopher's Catholic Church, 1576 Curtner Avenue, San Jose Ca 95124 on Thursday, May 7th at 11:00 a.m.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Black Diamond Mines Descendent's Picnic

Margie, Mary Ann, Michelle, Liz and John. Family!

Pictured above, staying out of the rain: On the left, Mary Ann Golden Paloutzian and husband Tom in back, Margie Golden in the front. On the right, Liz Steele and father John Steele in the back, Jed Thoma and wife Maggie seated in front.

This weekend a few Steele family members gathered at the Black Diamond Mines Descendent's Picnic. The picnic is held every 2 years for desecendents of the mining communities that used to exist in the area. My great-grandfather, Andrew Steele, was born in Somersville. His father, John Still (later spelled Steele) worked in the coal mines.
John Still(18 Oct 1847-9 Jan 1912) married Rosa Rossi Turra(17 Apr 1860-18 Nov 1939)after her first husband George Turra died (on 15 Aug 1888). She had 2 daughters, Theresa and Georgie Turra, and at least Theresa was born in Stockton. Georgie was born after her father died (1 Jan 1889)and was apparently named after him. John and Rosa were married 12 Nov 1899 in Stockton. They had 6 more children together: Mary (b. 1890), John (b. 1891), Joseph (b.1892), Andrew (aka Chickie, b. 1895), Richard (b.1897) and David (b.1899). I have records showing that at least John through Richard were born in Somersville, CA. (David was born in Tesla, another mining community in Alameda county). Somersville no longer exists, but the site is located within the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve.
The family was living in Fresno at 1207 F St. when they were recorded in the 1900 U.S. census on 5 Jun 1900.

Above: left to right, Margie Golden, Mike Atkins and wife Meg Thoma Atkins, Maggie and Jed Thoma. Meg and Jed are Margie's children.

Above: Margie Golden and sister Mary Ann Golden Paloutzian. Liz Steele and father John Steele.
John Steele is the son of Richard B. Steele, and the grandson of John and Rosa Steele.
Mary Ann and Margie are the daughters of Betty Jean Steele Golden, the granddaughters of Andrew Steele and the great-granddaughters of John and Rosa Steele.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Are you done yet?

Friends and family who know that genealogy is one of my hobbies frequently ask if I am done, if I have finished my family tree. The answer is that I will never be done. The tree extends back in time as far as records can take me, and the family keeps expanding every day. I know of at least 4 people in my tree expecting babies this year. I also still have dead ends, places in the tree where I am stuck for lack of information. We also say goodbye each year to people we love. This week we lost my Aunt Ida Pedroncelli Levenberg (10 Sep 1914-27 Apr 2009). She was married to Joseph Francis Levenberg, Uncle Bud, who was the younger brother of my great-grandma, Claire Davidson Steele, known as Mammy to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
I have wanted to post the family tree here on my blog, but haven't been able to find a format which allows it to be easily read and understood. It is too big! Also, since it is always changing, it can only be a snapshot of any point in time.
So, for anyone in my tree who would like to have it, I will e-mail you either a Simple Register Report or an Ahnentafel Report. The Simple Register Report uses a descendant-ordered format starting with an ancestor and moving forward in time to that individual's descendants. The Ahnentafel Report uses and ancestor-ordered format starting with one individual and moving backward in time to that individual's ancestors.
I can also do various chart formats; just let me know what you would like to see.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

This is a picture of my mother, Mary Ann, with her great grandmother, who was called Peeps.
Peeps was born Elizabeth Agnes Doherty on July 9, 1870 in San Francisco, CA to Ann McLoughlin and Rogerty Doherty.
She was married to Ewen Davidson, and had a daughter, Claire (Mammy to her grandchildren and great grandchildren). Ewen died, and she later married Louis Levenberg (Pop), after his wife, her sister Lily, also died. (Lily and Louis had 2 daughters, Mildred and Loretta). Peeps had 3 more children, Joseph (Bud), Elizabeth (Beth) and Louis (Lou).
Peeps died July 21 1949 in Fresno, CA. She is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, CA.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Days

Happy 88th Birthday today to my Grandma, Betty Golden! This is a picture from her 80th birthday party with her sister and brothers. From left to right, Don, Betty, Bernadette and Tom. If you were at the party in Fresno that day, you might remember that it snowed!!
Also, a happy 25th wedding anniversary to John and Maureen Golden, my uncle and aunt. This picture was taken at my parents' house when they were first engaged.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

What? St. Patrick's Day was last week? I'm still celebrating. Here's a photo of some Irish people I know, taken in the summer of 1948, La Honda, CA. Here we see the families of Jack, Walter and Bob Golden with their mother Ann.

If I get any of this wrong, someone correct me. In the back is Mary, Bob, Walter, Walter Joe, Paul, John and Anne. In the front is Jim, Michael, Julia with Margaret, Ellen with Jimmy, Kathy with her back to us, Grandmother Ann, Mary Ann, Betty with Billy, Martha and Bob with Susan.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Margaret Murphy

Here is a picture of Cornelius "Con" Murphy, Margaret "Aunt Marg" Murphy, Bob Golden, Anna Golden and Dan Murphy. Anna Golden and the Murphys are siblings.

Here is Aunt Marg's obituary from the Montana Standard-Post dated Monday, March 11, 1963.