Monday, November 21, 2011

Tonight's links

Not URLs... links I made from 1901 to 1911 census on!

In Houghton, Norfolk, starting with page 1 in 1901:
Alton, Albert R.
Alton, Martha
Alton, Leslie A.
Alton, Charlotte E.
Jackson, Andrew
Alton, William B.
Alton, Marion R.
Thomson, Thomas E.
Thomson, Annie
Thomson, Lauerence/Lawrence W.
Thomson, Kenneth C/E.
Thomson, Howard W/Winston H.
Willis, Arthur
Willis, Phebe L.D. / Pheobe L.
Willis, Arthur R.
Finch, Lafayette G.
Finch, Hannah
Marshall, Charles
Marshall, Castellia R.
Marshall, Verna A/M
Marshall, Charles S.
Marshall, Earl S.

I could not find a strong match for Alton, John, but a quick search on showed a John Alton, died November 6, 1909 in Port Rowan, which is a lovely little town in Norfolk, near Houghton.  So that explains him.

I also could not find Williams, Ada L.  She was 18 in 1901, so she quite likely married between 1901 and 1911.  Marriage records are notoriously scarce, and didn't show any Ada Williams marriage, although I did confirm her birth and parents' names.  The other Williams are already linked, so presumably that researcher ran into the same problem.

I couldn't find a Severance, Sewell in 1911, but someone of that name died in 1910 in Malahide, Elgin, which is not too far from Houghton; plus, he was 80, which is the correct age.

I couldn't find poor Crawford, Emma J. in 1911.  Her husband Wallace is easily found, but he's now married to a Sarah with a very different birthdate, so it's probably a second wife.  It took some searching, because the name on her death record is recorded as "Ema Jane", but I found her death in Houghton in 1903.  That fits with the new wife.

And that's as far I'm going to get tonight...

Charlotte E. Alton - a linking case study

Here is Charlotte E. Alton in 1901, in Houghton, Norfolk, Ontario:

5 2Alton Charlotte E.F DaughterSApr 191870

and here, I believe, she is in 1911, also in Houghton, Norfolk, Ontario:

48 95Alton Charlotte E FHeadSApr186546

It's tempting to believe that they are the same person.  How many Charlotte E. Altons can there be, anyway?  In 1901 she is living with her father, John Alton, but in 1911 she is the head of her own household.

The problem is the dates.  I can't quite convince myself that the five-year difference between the two birth years is no problem.

In 1891 there is a Charlotte E. Alton who gives her age as 24, which would make her birth year around 1867.

In 1881 she is living with her father John (as she is in 1901), and her birth year is 1865.

In 1871 there is a Sharlotte E. Alton living in Houghton, with mother Margaret and brother George.  Father John is not listed in the household.  The birth year then is given as 1866.

All those differences, and no sign of any other Charlotte Alton, convince me that this is just someone where weird dates accumulate.  Whether she habitually forgot or lied about her age or not, there seem to be just some people you run across where the dates never quite match up.  I'm going to go ahead and match the two up in 1901 and 1911.

Census linking

One of my favourite online volunteer projects is  Volunteers have already transcribed the entire Canada 1901 and 1911 censuses, and now people can add themselves as researchers to individuals and families, and link individuals across the two censuses.

For instance, here's my grandmother and her family in 1901:

10 81Woodard Angus MM HeadMJan 251865
36page icon
 11 81Woodard Sarah EF WifeMSep 61869
31page icon
 12 81Woodard Sarah EF DaughterSAug 201894
8page icon
 13 81Woodard Lola PF DaughterSJan 141894
7page icon
 14 81Woodard Charles WM SonSAug 131897
3page icon
15 81Woodard Lydia MF DaughterSMay 181900
10/12page icon

And here they are in 1911:

32 7Woodard Angus MHeadMFeb186546Links
33 7Woodard Sarah E FWifeMSep186941Links
34 7Woodard Sarah C FDaughterSApr189218Links
35 7Woodard Lolla P FDaughterSJan189417Links
36 7Woodard Charles W MSonSApr189713Links
37 7Woodard Lula G FDaughterSAug19055 
38 7Woodard Iva B FDaughterSMay19083 

I think this illustrates perfectly why this can't be done automatically.  Sure, Angus and Sarah E are consistent names, but can the computer recognize why Lola became Lolla?  And why has Angus's birth month changed from January to February, and his daughter Sarah's from August 1894 to April 1892?

In another census year Lola and Charles are given as Pearl and Wellington, the names I knew them by, but actually their middle names.  Additionally, I knew the daughter Sarah as Great-Aunt Sadie.  That makes it difficult for searchers to match people up by name alone.

It becomes a little treasure hunt, finding someone related to you in one census, and then trying to track them down in the other.  I'm about to do a little more hunting...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Shape-note singing

I've long been a fan of the group Anonymous Four, especially their CDs American Angels and Gloryland.  These two CDs introduced me to shape-note singing and the book The Sacred Harp.

Here's a screen shot of the PDF I found online, of one of the A4 songs:
And here's my recording!  It's a bit ragged, but for a first try I think it's not so bad.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Katrina" Cottages

I follow the small/tiny house movement, as you know, and dream of downsizing someday into a very small space.  An odd interconnection between small houses and world events is the idea of "Katrina" cottages, meant to be quickly and cheaply built for people who lost their houses in the 2005 Katrina hurricane. recently released eight plans for these little houses, ranging from 544 square feet to a relatively large 1200 square feet.  I particularly like the fact that the 1200 square foot house is an expansion to one of the smaller houses; that a small 938-square-foot 2-bedroom (shown above) can be expanded to have an extra bedroom and bath.  At the website, there are actually more plans, but they don't seem to be available to buy any longer.

Many of the cottages on Cusato's own site are designed with the traditional form of New Orleans homes, long and skinny with a front porch.  We are thinking of an addition on our farmhouse someday, and I like the idea of building an addition that's also a self-contained unit on its own for future adaptability.  This yellow house is only 308 square feet, which is not big enough to build as a dwelling in our district, but there are no minimum-size requirements on additions!

I can definitely see this cute little appendage tacked on to the back of our farmhouse!  I would have to make some minor changes to provide a back door that would attach to the lobby connecting the two houses, but I think it could be done, and the 7 by 13 bedroom with a closet stuck in the middle could be improved anyway, I think.  Perhaps I would have to add two feet to the length of the house, or move the middle window and wall between the bedroom and living room.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Farmhouse Hearts and Darts, Part 12

It's time to finally show you the front of the house!  First, here's how it looked when we bought it.  That's Insulbrick at the bottom of the front, and two colours of aluminum siding.  The upper left is the original painted concrete with some wood strapping attached to it.  The previous owner must have been adding siding as he found it, possibly leftovers from other houses.
Now, here it is when we left it last week!
It was a bit of a gray day, but you can see what a huge difference it makes to the look of the place.  The door under the gable makes the proportions look completely different, and without that blank space, I think the 'face' of the house makes so much more sense now.
There's still plenty of work to do, of course - parging the cracks and holes, and painting, will make it look completely different again.  I'm hoping to get the trim painted this season, but everything else will have to wait until late spring, once the cluster flies wake up from hibernation and move out.