Sunday, January 30, 2011

Backward Glance - Russell Scott Osborn

Russell Scott Osborn is my 3rd great grandfather. He was born on July 3, 1833, in Margaretville, Delaware County, New York. His parents are Hiram and Laura (Scott) Osborn. He died on May 20, 1912, in Stockton, Rooks County, Kansas.
Russell married Sabrina Letticia McKinley, daughter of William Vale and Ruth (Carl) McKinley on March 26, 1857, in Henry County, Illinois. Sabrina was born on October 23, 1836, in Ohio.  Sabrina died on October 18, 1898, in Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas. Russell and Sabrina had eleven children. Russell married Mary Parmer in 1904.

During the Civil War, Russell served from Illinois in the Union Army, enlisting on two separate occasions. He wrote letters home regularly, and kept a detailed diary.

Among his occupations are itinerant preacher, horticulturist, stonemason, and farmer. He served as Kansas Secretary of State from 1892-1894.

In August of 1872, Russell settled his family near Bull City (now Alton), Osborne County, Kansas. After constructing a sod house for his family, initially, he built the Stone House (pictured above). He was also instrumental in the building of the Ash Rock Church near Alton. Both of these structures are still standing and in good condition, lovingly preserved by family and friends.

Monday, January 17, 2011

(Not) Out and About - fun with Google Maps

Last night I decided to look for the cemetery where one of my ancestors is buried on Google Maps. It's kind of hard to be out and about in the cold and snow! Google Maps is the next best thing!

So, first you go to Google Maps, type in your hoped-for location, and press 'Search Maps."
You will get something like this:
This isn't the whole screen, but it gives you an idea.
Usually, the map will come up in 'street' mode first, so here is how you get it into 'satellite' mode:
Also, the zoom utility on the left will help you get closer.  You want to drag the little 'guy' to the street, which will let you look around as if you were standing there.

Then, you can 'look' around. The pictures at this cemetery aren't clear enough to read names, or anything, but I still enjoyed seeing the place.

Now, where do you want to go? Enjoy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Out and About

Recently, my husband and I went in search of information about his 2ggf, John Newton Gibler, who lived part of his life in Council Bluffs, Iowa. We already knew quite a bit about him, so we thought it would be fun to find where his home was. We went to the Council Bluffs Public Library. They have great genealogy resources in the Reference Department on the second floor. We discovered some obituaries and newspaper articles about other family members. We also found, in city directories which had been filmed, the address of John's home in Council Bluffs - 1410 Avenue H. Armed with a GPS, leming-like, we began following the monotone voice toward our destination.

Very shortly, we were going in circles around what used to be where John Gibler's home was. The house is gone. We aren't sure when it was razed, but the CHARLES E. LAKIN HUMAN SERVICES CAMPUS is there, now. From the air, it looks like this. 

 I took a couple of pictures, we lamented and moved on. Ah! progress.
Now, I will contact my mother-in-law for more information. Does she have a picture of John Newton Gibler? Does she have pictures of where he lived? Thank goodness I still have someone to ask. Why didn't I think to ask sooner? 
This is one of the big lessons of family history research: Ask questions! Listen to stories. And, when you think of a question you didn't ask the last time, or the time before that, ask it right away!