Ann was born about 1821 in Ireland and died 20 Dec 1896. She is buried in the Old Calvary Cemetery in Monroe, Green, Wisconsin. She married Patrick Dolan also from Ireland.

Patrick and Ann Dolan were the parents of four children:

  •  John A. Dolan, b. about 1850 in Pennsylvania
  • Elizabeth Dolan, b. about 1853 in Pennsylvania
  • Mary A. Dolan, b. about 1855 in Wisconsin
  • James E. Dolan, b. about 1860 in Wisconsin

I am trying to identify Ann’s maiden name and if possible her parents. One Dolan family researcher says that Ann’s maiden name is Garvey. This is a good clue, but I don’t know where she got this information.

So far I have found Ann Dolan in the U.S. census for 1860, 1870, and 1880 as well as a headstone photo at the Find a Grave website.

I have searched online Wisconsin death records at, but no death record has been found. I also searched for an obituary in online newspapers at GenealogyBank and Newspaper Archive, but nothing was found. Since her oldest children were born in Pennsylvania I searched online Pennsylvania marriage records, but nothing was found. I need to check on Patrick’s immigration date, perhaps they were married in Ireland.

I have expanded the search to her husband who lived until 1912 and her children. I am requesting obituaries for her husband and her sons, John and James. I could also see if there are obituaries for her two daughters. Another avenue I have not explored is church records; if there is a death or burial record in the local Catholic church it may mention her maiden name.

The 1940 census is now available for indexing at FamilySearch Indexing. I indexed my first batch last night. It was from the state of Colorado and it was easy to read. There are fewer fields to index than the 1930 census and it went pretty quickly. Make sure and read the project instructions and field helps before you start.

Fearless Females

March 12, 2012

I’ve been reading an interesting book on my Kindle. It’s called Woman’s Work in the Civil War: A Record of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience by Linus P. Brockett. It was written in 1867 and has a strong anti-Confederacy bias, but it gives an interesting view of the role that women played in the Civil War. He details the activities of many prominent women working in hospitals, at the battlefields, cooking and tending to the wounded, gathering and distributing needed “sanitary” supplies, caring for the families of the soldiers and refugees, etc. Even if your “grandmother” isn’t named in the book it could give you an idea of the types of activities she may have been involved in.

The book is available as a free ebook at Google books.

Rootstech 2012

February 3, 2012

Having fun in Salt Lake City at the Rootstech 2012!  I’m currently attending a class of using blogs for your online research log. It sounds like a good idea.

I was doing some census research yesterday. I found Jesse Osborne in the 1920 U.S. census living in East Marion, Williamson, Illinois. Included in his household were: Jesse Osborne, age 35, b. Illinois, occupation: miner/coal loader; Ebba Osborne, wife, age 25, b. Illinois; John Osborne, son, age 8, b. Illinois; and James Osborne, son, age 3-11/12, b. Illinois.

Next I searched for Jesse in the 1930 U.S. census without much luck. Finally I found Jesse Ozment living in East Marion, Williamson, Illinois. Included in this household were: Jesse Ozment, age 45, b. Illinois, occupation: loader/coal mines; Ava Ozment, wife, age 35, b. Illinois; John Ozment, son, age 19, b. Illinois; and James Ozment, son, age 14, b. Illinois.

I’m pretty certain that they are the same family. I thought it had probably been indexed incorrectly, but when I looked at the original image I found that the census taker had actually recorded the family name as Ozment.

Sometimes it takes some creative searching to find our families in the U.S. census records. In this case I had searched for all people named Jesse living in Williamson Co., Illinois.

William Gossett of Hickman Co., Tennessee was reportedly descended from the French Hugenot Gossetts who left Europe because of religious persecution, came to America and settled in South Carolina. He was born in the late 1780s. He had two wives: Elizabeth Barnhill and Mrs. Mary P. (?) Clark. There are three identified children:

  • Meredith Gossett (1819-1890)
  • James P. Gossett (1833-1891)
  • Elizabeth Gossett (b. abt. 1835)

William was reportedly a veteran of the War of 1812. A Hickman County, Tennessee history stated that he came to Hickman Co. sometime after the War of 1812.(The Hickman County Historical Society, Hickman County Tennessee History, 1807 – 1993, Dallas, Texas : Taylor Pub., 1993, p. 157)

While studying early U.S. census records I discovered that William and his family probably lived in Maury Co., Tennessee before moving on to neighboring Hickman Co. Here is what I found in the 1820, 1830 and 1840 census records:

1820: one male born 1810-1820; one male born 1775-1794; one female born 1810-1820; one female born 1805-1810; and one female born 1775-1794.

1830: one male born 1815-1820; one male born 1780-1790; one female born 1820-1825; one female born 1815-1820; and one female born 1780-1790.

1840: one male born 1830-1835; one male born 1810-1820; one male born 1780-1790; one female born 1830-1835; two females born 1825-1830; one female born 1820-1825; and one female born 1790-1800

The male born 1810-1820 could be Meredith Gossett (b. 1819)

The male born 1775-1794 could be William P. Gossett (b. 1786-1789)

The male born 1830-1835 could be James P. Gossett (b. 1833)

The females are more difficult, as only one daughter has been identified: Elizabeth Gossett (b. 1835) could be the female born 1830-1835 (1840)

The female born 1775-1794 and 1780-1790 could be Elizabeth Barnhill Gossett, but she was reportedly born about 1799 which would fit the female born 1790-1800 (1840).

It appears that these census listings for William Gossett may all be for the same household living in Maury Co., TN in 1820 and 1830; and in Hickman Co., TN in 1840.

I should try to confirm these findings by continuing research on William Gossett in land and tax records, court records, military records, etc. Both counties should be searched. Unfortunately many early Hickman Co. records were destroyed in a courthouse fire, but the records for Maury Co. are available.

I just read a short article in the NGS Magazine (April – June 2011, p. 4-5) by Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens entitled “Let Their Stories Be Told.” While many records are available online for researching our Civil War ancestors, most of them do not shed light on the lives of the women in our families. Elizabeth suggests that we use obituaries for clues to other possible sources, such as church records. Church minutes might contain references to women’s activities such as sewing groups and compassionate service.

This week FamilySearch has announced that it is making millions of Civil War records available for free on their website.

To view the collection click here

Military Records

May 11, 2011

Military records are an important resource when researching your Civil War ancestors. Compiled service records will tell you what unit your ancestor served in, when he enlisted and when he was discharged. You may also find birth information, a physical description, pay information, medical treatments, and more.

Pension records are a great source for learning more about your Civil War soldiers’ families. You may find his wife’s name and when and where they were married, a list of children, military service information, health concerns, statements from witnesses (who may also be relatives). In addition to looking for a pension file for the soldier in the family, also be sure and look for a pension for his widow if she outlived him. A widow’s pension will provide more information on the wife and her children.

To see how census records can help us get to know our ancestors let’s look at the family of Robert Baker in Maury County, Tennessee. In the 1860 U.S. census Robert, age 49, was listed as head of household with his wife, Mary, and seven of their nine children living with him. He reported $2000 worth of real estate and $3500 personal estate. His two oldest sons headed their own households in the same county. His second son, John, died before the war, but Robert still had three sons of an age to serve in the military: Fielding, age 25; George W., age 21; and William T., age 18. Robert Baker also appeared in the slave schedule of the same census – he owned two slaves: one male, age 60; and one female, age 46.
The 1860 agricultural census showed Robert to be a fairly prosperous farmer. He reported 50 improved acres; 110 unimproved acres; with a value of $2,000 and $200 in farm implements and machinery. He had 3 horses, 6 mules, 3 milch cows, 6 cattle, and 40 swine with a value of $1,500. His farm produced 100 bushels of wheat, 59 bushels of rye, 750 bushels of Indian corn, 10 bushels of Irish potatoes, 30 bushels of sweet potatoes, 300 pounds of butter, 1 ton of hay, and 60 pounds of honey. He had a value of $152 in slaughtered animals.
In 1870 Robert’s wife, Mary Baker, was head of household in neighboring Williamson County, Tennessee with her two youngest sons living with her. Another son and his young family were listed in the next household and Robert appeared at the end of the list – he had died prior to the census taker’s visit. No real or personal estate was reported. Also two of their three sons who were of age to serve in the military were not found in the 1870 census – they had died during the war. The agricultural census for 1870 Williamson County was too faint to read, but obviously the family had left their prosperous farm in Maury County. It appears from these records that the ten years from 1860 to 1870 were difficult years for the Baker family. Besides the tragic loss of their two sons, it appears that the war may have taken a financial toll on the family as well.