Notes from the past…


Finally… a clue! (conclusion)

So, how am I ever gonna find any data on my 2nd great-grandparents, Joseph Rogers and Susan Hannah Knox?

I have checked online for census, BMD, cemetery, land, military… every kind of record that I can think of, with no success. And because I have very little information on these ancestors, I don’t feel able to write to the local courthouse, library, historical society or RAOGK volunteers requesting help.

This brick wall has been in place since I first began my genealogical research, as these folks are among the sixteen great-grandparents that I initially began studying. Their names are listed in the Stanley family Bible, which is the first “artifact” that I was exposed to as this journey began.

Over the years, as new databases and resources would appear, I have checked for the surnames Rogers and Knox, hoping… always hoping…

A few days ago, I was checking my Google Reader rss feeds and came across Miriam’s post, Allen County Public Library Historical Texts on the Internet Archive, at AnceStories: The Stories of my Ancestors. I have been to both the Internet Archive and the Allen County Public Library websites, which both contain vast amount of genealogical data, and have never found anything pertinent to my ancestors.

But Miriam’s article grabbed my eye:

“…did you know that many of these historical and genealogical texts from ACPL are being scanned and uploaded to the Internet Archive, so that the public can view them for free? You may not be able to take a trip to Fort Wayne, but you can visit via the power of the World Wide Web!
AND…you can set up a feed on your feed aggregate such as Google Reader, Bloglines, etc. to view each and every book that is uploaded to the Internet Archive from the ACPL!”

An rss feed! What a great idea! I have found lots of great genealogical leads and tidbits through these feeds from my favorite bloggers and research sites. A few years ago, the brick wall of another 2nd great-grandfather Crist Hayes Carrico, was shattered by an rss lead! What an invaluable resource!

I immediately set up the rss feed from the Internet Archive: Allen County Public Library Collection and started to follow it.

Within just a few hours, an item appeared on the feed that really got my attention:

Reprints of the biographical sketches, W.H. Perrin’s histories of Kentucky originally published 1885-1887, surname index ([19—])

Kentucky? Surname Index?

Do ya think…?

This entire book is available to read online or download as a .pdf file. So I downloaded it and then entered “Rogers” into the search box and…

2 hits popped up!


    Rogers in Montgomery County… that’s my surname in my county!!!


    I did find a few Rogers in my 1870 census search, but none appeared to be my ancestors. But here is a book, written 1885-1887, that lists my surname Rogers as living in Montgomery County, Kentucky. Maybe…

    I quickly decided that I needed to learn more about this book, or set of books. They were reprinted in 1969 as 9 volumes, arranged by county. According to the surname index above, Montgomery County is discussed in Volume 1.

    Simple enough, now I just gotta find a library that has Volume 1.

    It seems that the Family History Library may have what I need:

    Kentucky Genealogy and Biography. 9 vols. Owensboro, KY: Genealogical Reference, 1969–. (Family History Library book 976.9 D3wt) These are reprints of the biographical sections of various editions of Kentucky: A History of the State, by W. H. Perrin, et al., published during the 1880s. The biographies are arranged by county. Another reprint of the biographical sections of Perrin’s work was published by the Southern Historical Press and bears the title of the original work, Kentucky: A History of the State. These volumes are facsimiles of the original biographies, with complete name indexes prepared by various individuals. New material was added in 1979. The Family History Library has described each volume on a separate record. (Family History Library book 976.9 H2p; volume numbers vary.)

    Looks like I need to visit my local Family History Center and order a book!

  • 1 Comment

    Finally…. a clue!

    One of my  “sturdiest” brick-walls has been the inability to find any trace of my 2nd great-grandparents, Joseph Rogers and Susan Hannah Knox. I have no primary evidence of their existence. Nothing.

    What I do have is their names on the SS-5 application of my great-grandfather Charles Arthur Rogers:

    ChaARogers ss5

    What I do have is their names on the death certificate of my great-grandfather Charles Arthur Rogers:

    ChaARogers DC

    What I do have is the family tradition told by my grandmother:

    “My daddy ran away from home as a child because he knew that if he didn’t, he’d end up killing his step-father, who was mean to his momma!”

    A few details from this story:

    • When he initially ran away, his two brothers George and Henry went with him, but later turned back.
    • A family headed to Texas picked up Charles and allowed him to travel with them, ending up near Round Rock, Texas. Charles then worked for the family for a time to repay their kindness in helping him.

    So, what was my logical first step in locating Joseph and Susan Rogers?

    The US Federal Census, of course!

    My great-grandfather was born in April of 1870, so off to Ancestry I went…

    I have searched page-by-page through the entire 1870 Montgomery County, Kentucky census and found no family even close to Joseph, Susan, Henry, George and Baby Charles Rogers.

    Ok, so Charles’ father died and his mom remarried. The earliest that Joseph could have gone to the Great Beyond would have been ca July 1869, nine months before Charles was born. Did he die so soon after Charles was “created” and then Susan remarry so soon after his death? Not likely, but still possible. So I looked for any family that fit that description: Husband, wife, at least 2 sons or 3 sons, depending on when the census taker actually arrived. In 1870, the official census day was June 1, so if the census taker arrived after June 1, there should have been an infant in the household, right? So maybe Charles was the oldest child and George and Henry were younger, which might explain why they returned home rather than run away as Charles did. So I looked for a household with an infant, a household with something close to Susan as the mother and Rogers as the surname… still nothing. Or maybe Susan as the mother and an infant in the household and some other surname. Nope. Did the new family pack up and leave Montgomery County with an infant in tow and miss the census taker? Who knows!

    I think I may have located Susan Knox in the 1860 Mongomery County census:


    Here is Sarah Knox, age 10, which would have made her of child-bearing age in 1870. And the names Susan and Sarah where used interchangeably in those days. Is she my Susan Hannah Knox? I don’t know for sure…

    I have also looked online for marriage, birth, death and cemetery records with no success. I have located 1 Civil War record for a Joseph Rogers from Kentucky, but there is no way of knowing is he is my Joseph Rogers.

    As I still know so very little about Joseph and Susan Rogers, I am hesitant to write to the Montgomery County courthouse for any records they have. I can’t give them enough details to allow them to find any documents without an exhaustive search, which I doubt that the courthouse folks have the time or desire to do!

    The same with the local library or RAOGK (Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness) volunteers. I know so little and I certainly don’t expect someone else to do my research for me.

    So, I have been at a dead end, until a few days ago…