I am published!!

As many of you know I am an avid genealogist and have been since I was a teenager. I love doing research, solving mysteries, and putting it all together. So I am beyond excited that for the first time ever I have an article published. It is about my immigrant ancestor George Robinson and his family and it was published in The New England Historic Genealogical Society Register. If you are interested here is a PDF of the article. nehgr_summer_2017_vol_171_George_Robinson_article

I have published genealogy related blog posts in the past. They can be found here.

 

 

My Dad – Donald Wayne Robinson June 26, 1927 – September 9, 2014

My Dad, Don Robinson died Tuesday September 9, 2014. He was 87 years old.

He moved to Reno in 2008 after my Mom died. He and I went out to Starbucks almost every day for coffee. He leaves a big hole in all of our lives. I'm sharing his obituary with you here.

————

Donald Wayne Robinson, 87, died Tuesday, September 9, 2014, in Reno, Nevada.

Born June 26, 1927, in Minot, North Dakota, the son of Ruth and Ray Robinson, he moved to Reno seven and a half years ago from Escondido, California where he and his wife Margaret had lived for twenty years.

He grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota. He joined the Navy in the spring of 1945 prior to graduating from high school. His parents accepted his diploma for him.

Don graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1950. On September 24, 1950 he was united in marriage with Margaret Helen Gibson. They were married for 57 years until her passing in 2007.

He worked for Standard Oil which later became Amoco, for thirty-three years. He helped design and construct the Standard Oil refinery in Mandan, North Dakota. In March of 1964 he and Margaret with their four children moved to Brisbane, Australia where he was a Project Engineer for the construction of the Amoco refinery on Bulwer Island. In 1969, the family moved to London, England and then to Milford Haven, Wales where he was project manager for the construction of the Amoco refinery there. In 1974, he and Margaret moved to Fungerumi, Zaire, Africa where he managed the construction of a copper cobalt mine for Amoco. A year later, when that project was cancelled, he accepted a position in Chicago as Manager in Synthetic Fuels Development with Amoco, and the  family moved to Wheaton, Illinois. He was elected Vice Chairman of the Council on Synthetic Fuels and appointed to the National Coal Council by the Secretary of Energy. He retired from Amoco in 1986 subsequently he and Margaret retired to Escondido, California.

 He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1956. It is a tribute to his strength that for more than 58 years he never let the challenges of living with diabetes define his life or limit his activities. He climbed the Grand Teton, enjoyed an annual fishing trip with friends at Lake of the Woods, traveled the world, moved more than twenty times and loved, provided for and supported his family. Donald was a faithful Christian all his life. He lived his faith.

Mr Robinson was preceded in death by his wife Margaret Helen Gibson Robinson and his granddaughter Jennifer Margaret Gail Thompson. He is survived by his four children and their spouses; Marion and Duke Vermazen of Reno, Nevada, Barbara and Michael Simpson of University Place, Washington, Elizabeth and Steven Thompson of Memphis, Tennessee, and Charles and Annie Robinson of Mendon, Massachusetts; sister, Dorothy Jensen of Centerville, Minnesota; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

 Funeral and burial occurred Sept, 22 in San Diego and Escondido, California

The family suggests memorials to The American Diabetes Association, The Glaucoma Research Foundation or The Salvation Army.

———–

If you would like to read about my Mom her eulogy is here

I miss both of them a lot. I was so lucky to have them for parents. They always believed in me. I can honestly say that I am who I am today because of them.

Red Coat Picture

 

Erb, Musselman Genealogy Trip Report – Allegany County, Maryland – May 2012

One of my many hobbies is genealogy. I love being a detective and in many ways genealogy is doing family history detective work. At one point I considered creating a separate Genealogy blog but decided instead to just tag my genealogy posts as such. This is a genealogy post. If you are not interested in genealogy and the Erb and Musselman families you should stop reading now.

On our  road trip in the Spring of 2012 Duke and I did family history research in a few places including Allegany County, Maryland. I have been mulling over in my head how to summarize and save the details of the research we did on the trip. I decided to create a trip research report. First I did a Microsoft Word document. But I think I also want it on the blog. I can send a link to the others who I think will be interested and I will have the results in the future if I want to recall what I did and what I learned.

Background

My third Great Grandparents, Joseph Erb (b1789) and his wife Elizabeth
Musselman Erb (b1798) lived in Allegany County with their family in the early
1800's. One of their sons, my Great Great Grandfather also named Joseph Erb was born in 1822 probably in Allegany County.

The Musselman Farm

We arrive in Cumberland Maryland on Sunday, May 13. Based on several sources 123 
I believed that the Musselman farm was located on land that is now the
Arboretum of the Frostburg State University.

DSC_5176

Duke and I drove out to the Arboretum and hiked around it. It is a beautiful
location but we found no signs of the old Musselman farm. You can see my other
pictures of the Frostburg State University Arboretum on Flickr here. This set
also contains other pictures referenced in this trip report.


[1] (Moore, 2004)

[2] (Frostburg State University)

 [3] (Brusca, 2010)

 

Frostburg State University
Library

The library has both a local history section on the open
shelves and a rare book room that can be accessed by appointment. I have the
name and phone number of the person to contact for an appointment. Let me know
if you need it. The library also has an
interlibrary loan service. The brochure I received says for more information
contact the ILL office ill@frostburg.edu
301-687-4886.

From the catalog the following books sounded interesting:

  • The Braddock Road by John Kennedy Lacock –
    published 1994 reprint of an edition thought to have been published in 1914.
    Includes maps and bibliographical references. The John Brusca Route 40 website4 quotes this book extensively. – the book is in the special collection room so I
    couldn’t review it.
  • Historical Biographical Sketch of Frostburg
    Maryland and its Citizens old and new – published 1912 16p call number F 189.F7
    M5  - The book contains pictures of
    the Musselman Farm and cornerstone.

7427302374_725610d4d3_c

7427304932_cc275814ec_c

  • Allegany County Maryland Rural Cemeteries – I
    reviewed it and found no Erb, Musselman, Arter or  Strotzer
  • History of Cumberland Maryland by Will H.
    Lowdermilk – Baltimore Regional Publishing Company 1971 – photos are also in the set on Flickr. In the forward the book
    includes background on Cumberland Maryland newspapers.  On pages 277-278 there is a statement that
    the Erb family and several other listed families came to Allegany County
    between 1790 and 1800. On pages 296-297 there is a description of the Militia
    formed in 1814 and Joseph Erb is listed as a member.

The Genealogical Society of
Allegany County Library

The Genealogy Society of Allegany County Library is located in the
library of the Allegany college of Maryland, 12401 Willowbrook Rd, Cumberland,
MD. The library is in a room separate from the rest of the library. A librarian
had to let me in to the locked room. After I had browsed the regular shelves
for a while the president of the society and her husband arrived. The president of the society is Harriett
Moore. She is the author of the
Musselman article in the society newsletter2. She has Musselman ancestors. We discussed the
cornerstone and the location of the ruins of the Musselman farm and she said
she thought it might be some place else than the Arboretum.

Her husband gave me a copy of
the Musselman article3 from the Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage Newsletter.
The article is well sourced and documents the Musselman ancestry.

I also referenced the
following books and other materials: 

  • ·Genealogical Resources in
    Allegany County – a seven page handout compiled by the Genealogical Society of
    Allegany County 
  • The Marriage Diary of William
    Shaw 1792 – 1813. Several pages from this manuscript are also on
    Flickr
    at On page 8 the document lists
    the marriages of

    • ERB,
      Catherine to Jacob Woodring July 30 1805
    • Erb,
      Polly to Jacob Speelman Feb 9 1808

It is possible that Polly and Catherine were sisters of  third great grandfather Joseph Erb(b1789).

There was also a
card catalog of surnames. A transcription of the  Erb and Musselman cards follows this article.

If anyone reading htis has more informatin about the Erbs and Musselmans or if you have any questions please let me know.

Works Cited

Brusca, F. (2010, 11 3). John Kennedy Lacock's
"Braddock Road" (1909) Part 3
. Retrieved 6 23, 2012, from Frank
Brusca's Route40.net: http://www.route40.net/page.asp?n=10595

Frostburg State
University. (n.d.). Arboretum History. (W. P. hli@frostburg.edu,
Editor) Retrieved June 23, 2012, from Frostburg State University:
http://www.frostburg.edu/dept/biol/arboretum/history.htm

Moore, H. (2004). The
Musselman Family – An Early, But Brief, Sojourn in Allegany County. The Old
Pike Post
, 21 (4), 1,2,4.

Phelan, E. D. (1989,
January). Descendants of Christian Musselman (d. 1734) of Lancaster Township,
Lancaster County, Penn. Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage , 146-23.

 

Transcription of card catalog Cards

I need to get an
explanation of the following references on the cards. If anyone would like
copies of the original cards I have copies.

Alle

Alle Adm.

Alle Will

G1

Index Card 1

Erb, Polly                                                                             Alle

m. 2-5-1808

                Jacob Speelman

                Joseph                                                                  Alle
Adm.

                m. Elizabeth Musselman

                     dau of
Christian adm. 1828

 

Index Card 2

Erb, Margaret                                                                    G1  * 12-48

                m. Samuel Thayer

son/ Murray                                                       Keziah
Barrows

Index Card 3

Musselman, 
Christian                                                   Alle
Adm.

                6-14-1825                                                                 a –

  
Valentine Hoffman

  
Jacob Snyder   Adm.

 

Accts Paid

Nancy

Susanna

Christian Jr.

Etc.

                11-15-1826

                #2   Adm. “                                          a –
335

 

                8/15/1827

                #3  Adm.  “                                          a -353

Index Card 3 side 2

                8/13/1828                                                            A  378

                Div
of Estate

                Val
Hoffman & Jacob Snyder  Adm.

                Mrs
Susanna     third

Christian Jr.

Jacob

Elizabeth (Joseph Erb)

Nancy (John Blocker)

Susanna (Henry Arthur)

Frances  (George Hartzell) Hansel

8/10/1831  #7 adm “                                        B33

div.  John  
Heirs (Christian)                          AlleAdm

        Christian                                                      3-11-1834  B82                  

        Jacob                                                             Mussellman   Mrs. Susa

       Elizabeth (Joseph Erb)                            John Blocker Adm.

       Nancy (John Blocker)                              (Same as Christian

        Susanna 
(Henry Arthur)                       except
Christian

        Frances 
(George Hansell)                    Jr.
dec’d  (heir)

 

Index Card 4

Musselman                        G1  * 1-3

                Jacob

Teacher School House Run          Shoemaker

When school not in session.

 

 

Index Card 5

5-10-1843                                            Alle
Adm. C66

Musselman 
John

   
#1    John Blocker  Admx.

 Mrs.  
Christianna     wid third

                Sarah

John

Elizabeth

Daniel

Andrew

                Equal
shares

 

Index Card 6

                                                                                                Alle

Musselman  
Nancy  <Christian  Susanna

                m.
8-9-1814

                  John Plucker  
(Blocker)

 

                John  <Christian 
Susanna

                m.
1-21-1815

                Christina
Blocker < Andrew Barbara

 

                Christian
< Christian Susanna

                m. 5-17-1817

                Nancy
Arthur

 

                Fanny
< Christian Susanna

                m.
9-6-1824

                George
Hansel

 

                Elizabeth
< Christian Susanna

                m.
Joseph Erb

 

                Susanna
< Christian Susanna

                m.
Henry Arthur

 

Index Card 7

Musselman        John                                                      Alle
Will

                                Hazzy
(his wife)

A  519   2-8-1840

Of Dark Co Ohio   Appointed Daniel
Musselman

Of Somerset Co. Pa. to recover their 1/5

Int. in late grandfather’s  (John
Musselman

 Sr)  estate in Alle Co.

 

And debts owed by Abraham’Miller’s
estate                     

(also their
grfather) in Somerset Co Pa.

Musselman Elizabeth

A 520 2-18-1842                ditto above

Money was owed her by John Blocker of Alle
Co.

(See Stephen Shipley)

 

 

 

 

Lisa Louise Cooke – Creator and Host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast – Episode 12 – Marion Vermazen Podcast

Lisa Louise Cooke – Creator and Host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast – Episode 12 – Marion Vermazen Podcast

Lisa_Louise_Cooke_2009 This podcast is available in the iTunes store. It would help me a lot if
you would go to the store and write a review. To find the podcast just
search the store for Vermazen

You can listen to my interview with Lisa in iTunes or by clicking on the link below.

MVP0012

Lisa Louise Cooke has been a genealogist since a very young age. She has a passion for genealogy. About three years ago she followed her passion into podcasting and started the Genealogy Gems Podcast. . Today that podcast is one of the most popular genealogy podcasts available. Lisa also does Genealogy training, speaks frequently at conferences nationwide, blogs, produces genealogy training videos, has written a book about genealogy and produces a podcast and writes for Family Tree Magazine.

Here are links to some of the things we discussed in our conversation.

A Race of Giants

I have been doing some research on my Erb family ancestors in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and I found this article in the January 7, 1842 edition. I found it amusing and you might too.

A Race of Giants – An extraordinary family. — There is now a person of the name of Scott, a nurseryman, about three miles form Manchester, and near the Independent College now building, who is one of six sons, now living, and whose united stature is the extraordinary one of 38 feet, or six feet four inches on the average. The lowest in stature is six feet two inches and a half. The father of this race of giants, who was married when thirty nine years of age, has now living nine children, six sons and three daughters, two of the latter being very tall, whilst the other is by comparison diminutive, About seven years ago, all the family assembled at the family residence near Carlisle and on the sons visiting the city, which they did, walking two and two, arm in arm, the circumstance caused much attention. The mother was only nineteen at the time of her marriage, and she died about twelve months ago.

053

My Grandparents – Marion Etta Bagnall Gibson and Robert Alexander Gibson

My Grandfather Robert Alexander Gibson "Bob" was an engineer for the Canadian National Railway in the Canadian Rockies. My Mother (Margaret Helen Gibson Robinson) told me that when she was young she was afraid of the steam locomotives he drove  because they were so big and so noisy. Here are a couple of pictures of my Grandfather.

MV0001 (11)
MV0001 (9)-cropped

Both my Mother and her brother Gordon are gone now. I recently called their cousin Helen who is 92 now and lives in Kingston Ontario. I asked her what she remembers about my Grandfather and Grandmother. They were  Aunt Marion and Uncle Bob to her.  She said:

"Well
you know one thing I can remember… one
time after Jane (my sister) was born Grandma came down and she asked me if I wanted to go
home with her and of course I jumped at the idea. I thought it was great. So I
went home with her and you know I ended up staying about a year and a half. While I was in Edmonton your Grandfather  was transferred to Jasper
and while he was getting a place to live in Jasper Aunt Marion came to
Grandma’s. We were all there. There was
she and Margaret and Gordon and me. 

I remember Uncle Bob, he was a nice man, good looking too. You know the train went right back of Grandma’s house, about a block, and of course we’d watch, we knew what train when he was going by and used to run out the back and wave at him and he’d blow the whistle. He was
the engineer. He was always leaning out the window there and waving at us. That
was my Uncle!

He worked for the CNR,
Canadian National Railway. I’m sure
about that. You know Gordon used to say
… He was a little bit lonesome for his Dad you know and he used to say “I’m
going to jump out the window. I’m going to run to the CNR station and I’m going
to say Jasper Park!”"

At this time Gordon would have been about 4 my Mom about 6 and Helen about 11.

When I asked Helen what she remembered about her Aunt Marion, my Grandmother, she told another story from the same time period.

"I can remember Aunt Marion sewing. She was a great seamstress. She could make anything! She made these Hudson Bay
coats.  Aunt Hilda and Aunt B each bought
a Hudson Bay blanket and Aunt Marion made coats for them. Theirs were that camel color with the black
stripe around the bottom. 

Then Grandma bought the white Hudson Bay blanket
with all the candy stripes you know, the red and the green and the gold and Aunt Marion made me a coat.  And the way she cut it she got a coat for
Margaret too. Margaret and I both had a coat out of that blanket." 

Her is a picture of my grandmother, Marion

MV0001 (5) 

Here is my Grandparents wedding picture

MV0004

The baby in the picture below is my Mom with her parents.

MV0001 (2) 

Helen and I talked for about 45 minutes and I got some great family history stories and information.

Almost a Genealogy Blog and searching for the Erb Family in Richland County, Ohio Land Records

The Separate Genealogy Blog Question

In a post about a month ago I pondered the question of whether my genealogy posts should be in a separate blog. I really appreciated the comments, including one from the king of genealogy blogging, Thomas MacEntee, who manages a
group of over 900 genealogy bloggers at GeneaBloggers (http://www.geneabloggers.com). He clearly has a Google alert set up for the words "Genealogy Blog"!

Thomas recommended a separate blog and others said they would like all the content in one place. For the time being I've compromised. I've added a link in the navigation bar at the top of this blog to my genealogy content. You can also go to the genealogy content directly at

http://marionvermazen.blogs.com/marions_blog/genealogy/.

Searching for the Erb Family in Richland County, Ohio

My Dad's Mother, my Grandma Ruth was an Erb. She told me that her Grandparents were Joseph Erb and Mary Harris Erb but she didn't know a lot more about them than their names and the fact that they lived in Wabash County, Indiana.

038

Over the years other family researchers and I have discovered that Joseph Erb's father was also named Joseph. Joseph Senior was born in 1788 in Maryland. His wife's name was Elizabeth. They show up in the census in Allegany County, Maryland.  He was drafted and served for a few months in the war of 1812. In the early 1830s Joseph and his family which by that time included 8 children moved to Richland County, Ohio. In the mid 1850s they moved to Wabash County, Indiana.

In my genealogical digging the questions about Joseph Senior and Elizabeth that I am working on right now include:

  1. Where and when did Joseph die?
  2. What was Elizabeth's maiden name?
  3. Where and when did Elizabeth die?
  4. Who were Joseph and Elizabeth's parents? (An Ancestry.com family tree may take the Joseph Erb family back several generations. The tree shows that Joseph's father was Michael Erb. There is a Michael Erb of about the right age on the same page as Joseph in the 1820 census but I'd like some real proof.)
  5. Did Joseph have siblings?

In addition to these specific questions I like to fill in details about my ancestors to make them more than just names.

So……. I am currently working on finding the land records for Joseph and Elizabeth and their children in Richland County Ohio. I ordered the microfilm of the Grantee Index for the Richland County Ohio Deed Books (film # 388652) from the Family History Library and it arrived while I was gone on my road trip. A couple of days ago I spent several hours pouring over the index and extracting all the entries for the names Erb, Arter, Caldwell and Calwell. I created a Google spreadsheet of the relevant entries and I took digital pictures of each page that had an interesting entry.

006

The next step is to search the Grantor index and to start looking at the Deeds. I have the microfilm of the Grantor index to the deed books and  the microfilm of deed book volumes 13-14 on order. I love doing research and solving mysteries. I'll keep you posted on what I find out.

Her is a picture of Joseph Erb Junior, my Great Great Grandfather.

MV0014