Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Discovered the Actress from Hale!

My photo excursion through Hale Cemetery helped to refine some information on John Rosevelt's descendants and in the process helped me to find the actress from Hale. John’s eldest daughter Margaret married Henry C. Clemm in February, 1881 in Carroll County, Missouri. She and Henry had two children. The first child, Jene, was born in October, 1881 and had a gravestone in Hale Cemetery. I couldn't find a burial record for their younger daughter, Aileen, born in 1901.
I found Henry, Margaret, and Aileen in the 1925 census of Kansas. Aileen Poe Clem was listed as an actress who was born in 1901 in Missouri. In first tries I couldn't find any of them in the 1900, 1910, or 1920 census.
The Clemm's were very difficult to locate in the U.S. censuses, too. I did find a record for Margaret Rosevelt Clemm in the 1930 census in Hale, Carroll County, Missouri.
After little success with censuses, one of my first thoughts was to search for death certificates. That meant using Missouri's great vital record site. http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/deathcertificates/ Missouri has indexed and added images of the certificates from 1910-1958. After trying several variations of the names I was still unable to locate a death certificate for any of them. The gravestone showed Henry had died in 1925, the same year that found them in Kansas, so that wasn't too surprising. I was very much hoping that I would find the death certificate for Margaret Rosevelt Clemm who according the gravestone died in 1934.
I did a Google search and found a very interesting article about Aileen and her mother in Kansas City in 1908. http://www.vintagekansascity.com/100yearsago/labels/vaudeville.html Aileen was noted as being fourteen years old. A woman claimed she had sent her husband compromising notes, and she was out to get Aileen. They all ended up in court, where the judge wasn't happy with Aileen and her mother.
From the clue noting her as working vaudeville I put more effort into searching for something about her as an actress. Ancestry's newspaper collection was helpful. The Chillicothe newspaper had articles mentioning Aileen and in one told about her and a friend on their way to Hollywood. After more Google searching, it became apparent that Aileen was using the stage name Aileen Poe (her middle name), which brought to mind Edgar Allan Poe, whose wife was his cousin Virginia Clemm. That could be an interesting search for a Clemm researcher.
The New York Times had an obituary for Aileen Poe with a place of death and reference to her death date. I retried the Social Security Death Index, but there was nothing for her as Poe or Clemm. I then tried her first name and death date. That brought up Aileen Egelston. Later research showed Aileen had married Charles Egelston. That helped to find her on a few ship manifests and gave her birthplace as Hale, Missouri.
Aileen and her mother still eluded me in the 1920 census. I tried many different searches and finally hit pay dirt with Ail*, no surname, born Missouri, mother born Iowa. Aileen was shown as being married to Reginald Grant and living in Manhattan, NY. Her mother was also in the household as Margaret Clenin. Interestingly, Aileen was noted as single in the 1925 census of Kansas.
Aileen was fairly successful as an actress. Her earliest recorded Broadway performance was in 1916 in Fast and Grow Fat. A play bill from around 1920 shows her as the attractive femme fatale, a role that she often played in other plays from that time period. Fade In - Fade Out was her last big performance on Broadway in 1966 with Carol Burnett.
There still wasn’t a death record for Margaret Rosevelt Clemm. That required some new thinking. Margaret’s close relationship with her daughter suggested checking the death record index for New York City. A couple of great volunteer groups have worked to add vital records from all of the boroughs of New York City. A search of their index showed Margaret Clemm died August 2, 1934.
So there it is, I discovered, Aileen Poe Clemm, the actress from Hale.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hale, Missouri

Last Monday on my way to visit my daughter in Missouri, I stopped at Hale, Missouri to do some genealogical research. My second great grand uncle, John Henry Rosevelt, had settled in Hale. He later migrated to Nowata, Oklahoma, but several of his children stayed in the Hale area and his wife returned to Hale after his death in 1912.

I had found a cemetery transcription on Ancestry for Hale Cemetery, which is just north of the town. It listed the burials of several relatives. As this would be one of the few times I would likely have the opportunity to visit the cemetery, I decided to check Find A Grave to see if there were others who needed photos of gravestones. There were several listed and some of those were fairly old. I made a list of those and printed out the map showing the location of Hale Cemetery.

I took the highway east from St Joseph, Missouri and then some county roads to reach Hale. The local drive was very scenic. The cemetery was easy to find with the handy map I had printed from Find A Grave. The cemetery was well-cared for and all of the stones were upright. I only had a little over an hour to search and decided I could do a fair job of walking the entire site. I was lucky to easily find all but two of the requested stones and all of those I was searching for my own family.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Odds and Ends

I had requested a photo on Find A Grave of Alpheus Brown. I had found the death certificate for him somewhat by accident a few months ago. Unfortunately, the volunteer wasn't able to find a stone for him. It was my best chance of detrmining his birthdate. The volunteer suggested I contact the Keeler Township Clerk. I tried calling a few times today, but I didn't get an anwer.

It was my day to do calls. The other was to the New York Historical Society. I followed the advice I got from them on Twitter. The archivist was quite helpful and I should be able to get into the papers when I visit NYHS in October. I am very much hoping there will be some great documents. He verified that they did have one set of family papers and that they were accessible.

Tomorrow, I need to send the photography permission form to Woodlawn in NYC>

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Find A Grave

After fighting with my Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 for several minutes, I finally got the pictures from last week to save at under 250K. That is the largest image Find A Grave will allow you to upload. I got a couple added that someone had requested. Now to get some more of my own families added.

Monday, September 14, 2009

SD Trip and New Laptop

My trip to the Black Hills was very nice. I had great visits with several cousins, aunt, and mother. I was lucky to get to a few cemeteries and got some good pictures of some family gravestones to add to Find A Grave. The new camera did a fantastic job. I also heard a great story from my cousin Loretta about my great uncle Will's funeral. To make it short, he and the coffin got away from the pall bearers on a long stairway.

Last night I decided I really had to buy a new laptop, so I headed to Best Buy and got a Dell Inspiron that was a display model for a very nice price. Now I don't have to worry that I will suddenly lose my electrical connection.

In today's mail was the death certificate from Delaware for Warren Roosevelt. They did a very impressive job... fast and accurate.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cameras and NYHS

I looked at digital cameras last night and decided I just had to have a new one. It is a 10 megapixel Nikon. Of course I had to play with it most of last night. I think it will be great for trip, family snapshots, and gravestones.

My tweet got a great result. I had tweeted about needing advice on researching at the New York Historical Society. I hadn't sent them the original tweet directly, but they picked it up. Now to see if they can answer my research questions.

Tomorrow I head for the Black Hills of SD to visit family. Of course, while I am there I will do some genealogical research.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My laptop is having problems keeping connected to the electrical plug and occasionally completely loses power. I have been backing up my data often, just in case it loses it forever. A friend says I need to solder the plug and hope for the best. That sounds scary.

I was at a cookout Sunday night and friends brought a really nice little digital camera... 12 megapixal and not that expensive. It's a point and click, which is probably what I need. I am thinking this might be the answer for my trip to NYC in October. A camera buying trip might be on tonight's agenda.

While cleaning out a bag of papers in the garage I found some photos from my trip to Ireland from many years ago. I think a preservationist would have a few words to say about that. Fortunately, they seem in good condition.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

The past few days have offered several new options for my research. I was really happy to find that familysearch.org has added the index to the 1892 census for New York. It makes it possible to research Brooklyn. I had browsed images earlier, which was all right for villages, but was overwhelming for a city like Brooklyn.

Yesterday I decided to work on Warren G. Rosevelt. I found a marriage record I didn't have for him through a google search... I love google searching. That led me to see what records were available for New Castle County, Delaware. The Delaware Public Archives http://archives.delaware.gov/ has a great service to provide copies of vital records to genealogists for their older records. I emailed their form with the information and had a reply within a few minutes. I was able to order the death certificate for $10.00 online using a credit card.

Today I went to the local cemetery, Wyuka, to practice taking gravestone pictures in preparation for my trip to NYC in October. I am getting used to the camera and hope I can get what I want from it, or there may be a new digital camera in my future. I am adding the practice pictures to FindAGrave.