Tuesday (June 28th) was my first foray into Ancestry.com and it was quite an introduction! I've gotten some very nice e-mails from the Robb-Waller-Kelley-Montgomery end of the family. Based on some of their comments, I've decided that I need to be more specific about a few things, so please bear with me.
First, a little background. I inherited these items from Mary Emmett FitzGerald Koza and her sister Alice Watson FitzGerald who died earlier. There were no boys in their family and neither of the sisters had any children so their line ended with Mary's death in 2000. All the materials pertain to Mary's mother's side. Mary's husband Bob sent them to me because he knows I'm interested in genealogy - I had helped Mary's cousin Helen Myers bring the FitzGerald family history up to date. My own mother died last year at 94 so I've also inherited her 50+ years of accumulated records. Although I'm new to "doing" genealogy because the "older generation" always did it, I grew up in a family that was proud of its heritage and made sure it was documented. (Yikes! Now that I'm taking up where the others left off, I guess that means I'm now the "older generation." What a shock!) Having been a career research librarian, I also know the value of good source materials. Bob Koza entrusted these records to me and I will try to make sure they are shared in such a way that everyone can benefit. I won't be making any hasty decisions about dispersing them, but do have some ideas for sharing them. Just for the record, Mary also was a librarian so she knew the value of these items and kept them for all these years. In addition, Mary's mother joined the DAR and some of the letters are addressed to her.
Second, the lineage insofar as I've been able to trace it through materials in hand:
Mary and Alice's parents were Jay Emmett FitzGerald 1879-1954 and Mary Kelly 1879-1955. We'll ignore the FitzGerald side.
Mary Kelly's parents were Francis Hart Kelley 1836-1914 and Mary Alice Robb 1853-1945.
Francis Hart Kelley's parents were Robert Kelley 1797-1863 and Charlotte Walton 1802-1877.
Mary Alice Robb's parents were John Waller Robb 1816-1894 and Mary ("Polly") Montgomery 1819-1863.
Robert Kelley's parents were John Kelley 1762-1838 and Ann Templeton 1756-1848.
I have nothing on Charlotte Walton.
John Waller Robb's parents were John Thomas Robb 1769-1818 and Lydia Waller 1777-1867.
Mary ("Polly") Montgomery's parents were James Montgomery 1784-1827 and Nancy Cook.
John Thomas Robb's parents were James Robb 1747-1825 and Margaret ("Margery") Barr ?-1807
James Montgomery's parents were Samuel Montgomery 1743-1815 and Polly McFarland.
Samuel Montgomery's father was Hugh Montgomery 1705-1785.
Considering that I'm "only" the wife of Mary Koza's first cousin once removed, I've already learned a great deal about your end of the family! Knowing that I have a mountain of my own family's research ahead of me, I was prompted first to purchase Family Tree Maker and, second, to use the Robb-Kelley-Waller-Montgomery information so I could learn how to use FTM with a finite quantity of data (ha!), as opposed to my own family's which will be quite overwhelming. I've already entered 448 individuals and 140 marriages! Of course, a lot of these entries relate to Mary Koza's father's side of the family (the FitzGeralds) so what I have on her mother's side is smaller than that. If I can pare the FTM data down to something more relevant to your branch, I will share it through Ancestry.com when I learn how. Please bear with me. I know I made some entry errors initially because I was paying more attention to "How to Use" FTM than to the data itself. I'll correct errors as I see them. The initial part was easy, but now I've reached the citing of sources and am learning that. It's a neat program, but it is a lot to learn!
This all brings me to what we've inherited.
1. The best item in my estimation is the family bible of John Waller Robb and Mary ("Polly") Montgomery. It cites their marriage and the births of all 11 of their children, as well as a page with deaths. One note that amused me pertained to the minister who married John and Mary. There's a notation under his name that he later became an Abolitionist. I guess that was a sign of the times in which they lived. Also, the date on the bible's title page is 1847 and their first child was born in 1845. I would guess that after several children were born John and Mary decided it might be time to document their family's growth. The handwriting and ink are consistent throughout until the last entry which is the death of John W. in 1894 and a new handwriting records that event. The death entries have notations about the circumstances. For example, Mary must have had what today we call a "splitting headache", took a pill, and died several minutes later. Today we can guess that she probably had an embolism or aneurysm. This 150-year-old bible is bound in leather. It is very fragile, but still in relatively good shape (better than one from my own family). I have wrapped it in acid-free paper to preserve it. You're no doubt wondering how I can use it if it's wrapped. I didn't want to photocopy it because of the intense light's effect on fading ink and I certainly didn't want to break the spine so it's through the miracle of digital! My husband loves his digital camera and has been photographing the fragile items so I can use the information on the computer. For this bible, we have high resolution digital photos of the leather-bound exterior, the title page, and the family data pages, seven in total with the seventh being a duplicate of the last column that is badly faded. Once I learn how to use Ancestry.com, perhaps there is a way for me to post these photos so you all can see them. Incidentally, I arrived at the name of John and Mary's first child as Lanora Ann by zooming in on her name in the bible birth record. When magnified on the computer, you can tell that it originally was written as Leanora and the "e" was purposely erased. That's the other nice thing about digitizing these old papers - finding out what they really say!
2. Another wonderful item is a beautifully tooled leather-bound photo album with a locking arm. The photo pages have slots in which to insert the photos and every page is full. That's the good news. The bad news is that I'm not sure we can identify which family it is. I'm guessing by the clothing worn by those photographed that it's John and Mary's family. I've only had a chance to pull out a couple of photos and they had nothing written on them. When I get a little more time, I'll try to determine if any of them are identified. On the FitzGerald side we have a family photo with both parents and all of their eight children. If any of you has something similar for John and Mary, perhaps we can identify some of the photos in the album and narrow it down. It's so beautiful, I wish someone had the foresight to write in the names (something I'm trying to remember to do for our own family!).
3. Along the same lines, a very nice "studio" 8.5 x 11 (almost) photo of a distinguished looking older gentleman. It does not look like Mary Koza's father, Jay FitzGerald, so I'm guessing perhaps it's one of Mary's grandfathers (Kelley or Robb), but again it's not identified. In the lower right corner someone wrote what looks to be Johnston Studio. If that means anything to anyone, perhaps it's a clue. I would say it was probably taken in the 1920s or 1930s because of the suit, eyeglasses, and mustache. The attire and mustache are similar to a picture of my own grandfather taken during that time period.
4. An original typewritten application to Daughters of the American Revolution by Mary Kelley Fitzgerald. It's dated January 28, 1924 and accepted January 31, 1925. She and Jay were in New Harmony, Indiana at the time. Her Revolutionary War ancestor was James Robb of Pennsylvania. (Side note: I also have a DAR application filled out by Alice Watson FitzGerald and her Revolutionary War ancestor was John Watson on the FitzGerald line so probably not of interest to you.)
5. A letter written by J.W. Robb to R.A. Waller on Feb. 13, 1866. In it he mentions "Mother died 3 of this month." Presumably he is referring to Lydia. I have elsewhere that she died in 1867, but the letter's date "13 Feb 66" is quite clear. He said she had been sick for two weeks and was 89. It also mentions that William Waller son of Nathan Waller died but without a date. Business was bad and the winter was disagreeable and very cold. Please don't anyone be offended by the following because they're J.W.'s words written in 1866. J.W. talks about the "darkeys" next will be having a free vote and mentions Frederick Douglas meeting President Johnson. All-in-all a very interesting commentary about the state of things in Stewartsville, Indiana and our nation in February 1866. The letter is in surprisingly good shape and J.W. had beautiful penmanship.
6. An original typewritten letter from the War Department, Adjutant General's Office, dated March 14, 1931. It is addressed to Mrs. J.E. Fitzgerald who would be Mary Kelly. She had inquired about Revolutionary War service records for Samuel Montgomery (no records found), Hugh Montgomery (three references to Hugh Montgomery and all from Virginia), and John Waller (three references and all from Virginia). The information gives dates, payroll information, transfers, muster rolls, and the like. Quite good reference data I would think; however, you may not want to know that one of the Hughs deserted on November 22, 1777!
Attached to the March 14, 1931 letter is another letter dated June 18, 1920 from the same War Department office. The difference is that this is a typed facsimile of the original and it is typed on a company letterhead that perhaps one of you will recognize. This letter says "Respectfully returned to Miss Edna D. Robb, New Harmony, Indiana." The letterhead on which it is typed says Consumers Supply Co. in Mt. Carmel, Illinois with the names H.H. Hobson and R.E. Townsend at the top like they were the owners. This firm was agent for the Indian Refining Co. On the other side it mentions other companies with which it was associated, namely Big Creek Coals, White County Mining, Harrisburg Mining and Ayrshire District. Edna must have been inquiring about John Waller's Revolutionary War service and again got two references, both from Virginia.
7. An original letter dated January 28, 1924 from the United Daughters of the Confederacy to Mrs. Fitzgerald (nee Mary Kelly). Apparently Mary had written previously inquiring about F.H. Kelly which would be her father. This letter says they rechecked their records and he enlisted June 11, 1862 in the 3rd Ky. Mounted Infantry. He later was imprisoned near Indianapolis. Appended at the end is a penciled note with his release date from Camp Morton, Feb. 20, 1865. He was captured in Danville, Alabama serving C.H. Stewart, commander.
With the January 28, 1924 letter is a typewritten note clarifying and summarizing the above.
8. The Baptism certificate for Alice Watson Fitzgerald, dated 3 April 1920 with sponsors Jay E. and Mary Fitzgerald.
9. Another typed list on the Consumer Supply Co. letterhead. This one contains two lists. The first is a "Statement of Births and Deaths of family of John Waller." The second is a "Statement of the Births and Deaths of family of Thomas Robb." Both records were obtained from Mrs. Winfield Robb of New Harmony, Indiana. There are handwritten notes in ink that expand upon Mrs. Robb's data, for example that John Thomas Robb and Lydia Waller probably were married in Washington Co., Ky.
Attached to the lists on the Consumer Supply letterhead is another half page of typewritten information pertaining to Colonel John Waller - the earliest John Waller who married Dorothy King and who died in 1754. This talks about his service to the Crown - member of the House of Burgesses for King William Co. in 1710 and 1714. By the way, this says John Thomas Robb was born on the Atlantic Ocean with a handwritten note "or Newton Ards, Ireland." John Thomas Robb's birth place is questionable, at least as far as these various family papers are concerned. Handwritten notes indicate it could have been either on the ocean or Newton Ards, Ireland, however Mary Kelley FitzGerald's DAR application says "he" was born in Pennsylvania but it is not clear who he was - John Thomas Robb or one of his four brothers. Logically, if James and his wife came to America in 1773 and John Thomas was born in 1769, then he clearly would have been born in Ireland. If he was born in Ireland, then the DAR application is wrong. I suspect other family members have already resolved this in the intervening years. Mary Kelley FitzGerald's National DAR number is 207551 and the James Robb descendant application is from 1924.
10. Another typewritten list on The Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway Co., Cairo Division, Mt. Carmel, Illinois letterhead. This one is titled "Robb Ancestry." It is about 1.5 pages long. On the back of the first page is a quote taken from a letter from one Fanny Putnam (nee Brenneman?? who is from the Fitzgerald side). Two paragraphs summarize James and Margaret's background. At the end of the second page, there are handwritten notes giving birth and death dates of John Thomas and Lydia Waller Robb's children, up to Mary Kelley marrying Jay E. Fitzgerald. As far as the individual pieces of paper are concerned, this is among the most fragile. After we get photos, I'm going to put it in a plastic sheet protector so it won't tear any further.
11. Typewritten notes summarizing John and Ann Templeton Kelley's pension record. It's a statement of Ann Kelley because John's discharge papers were lost and she had a pension claim that required documentation.
12. Typewritten list of the Kelley line from John to Robert to Francis Hart. They were derived from 1800 and 1850 U.S. Census. The children of Robert and Charlotte were listed as initials instead of full names. There are penciled notations showing the child's gender, birth dates, etc.
13. Typewritten list of the Montgomery line from Hugh Sr. to Samuel to James to Polly, including all the children of each generation and relevant data pertaining to each. Attached to this list is another page with a paragraph about James Montgomery, fifth child of Samuel. This paragraph is interesting because it discusses his ownership of a negro called Pete who had almost full control of his affairs and who contributed largely to his success.
14. Newspaper clipping obituary of Mrs. Greta Holliger. I believe Greta was Mary Kelly's sister. The obituary is very short and is in a very small envelope with a Novena to St. Anthony from Italy and a My Petition to Saint Anthony. Not sure about the connection of these other things to Greta. The envelope is a more like a small brown bag and is addressed to Mrs. Jay Fitzgerald. This envelope appears to have been mailed from Italy. It was not taped closed and it's amazing that the contents arrived without being lost! This is a guess - perhaps Greta went to Italy and sent the Novenas to Mary and when Greta died, Mary put her obituary with the items which were a memory of her sister.
15. A typewritten family tree of the Kelleys. This one is something of a mystery. It is titled "Tradition. Kelley, Merchant of Belfast, Ireland." Three sons (John, William, and Joseph) emigrated to America. Two generations may be missing after them. It picks up again with John Kelley who married Nancy or Ann. From 1800 Census it lists John and Nancy or Ann's eight children. These names fit with those found elsewhere. Then it jumps - supposedly through Robert (born in 1797) and Charlotte - to 1840 Kentucky and 1850 Missouri Census to this couple's nine children. These nine names do not match the line to Mary Kelley as I know it. Three names that are unusual enough to recognize are Thomas Jefferson born 1835, Winny (Winfield?) born 1840, and Newton born 1848. The typing is clear enough but the lines are not. (Data in item #9 above is from Mrs. Winfield Robb so this is probably one of the related branches that you'll know about.)
16. A very nice sketch of Mary Kelley Fitzgerald on letter size paper. It's either pencil or charcoal. The sketch was done by Alice Watson Fitzgerald (1907-1965). According to FitzGerald family lore, Alice was such a good artist that she had an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. They were all very proud of her. Unfortunately Alice also was described as "high strung" and she apparently committed suicide. The paper has on the back the beginning of another sketch that must have been done earlier because the paper was cut in half to reuse for Mary's sketch and the person's lower half is missing.
17. A 2" x 5" envelope mailed to Miss Allie Robb, Stewartsville, Indiana. (Could this be Mary Alice Robb who married F.H. Kelley? Inside it says Dear Alice.) The stamp is from 1869 but the postmark is unreadable. The letter might be from a Sr. Maurice at St. Mary's and it's dated August 8, 1872. The penmanship is gorgeous! But it's also very faded and difficult to read. Apparently the good sister was going to Indianapolis and Alice asked her to look for a specific watercolor paint box that she was unable to find but it might be coming from New York. It also mentions a Mary, a Florence, and Nick and Nora.
Well, that's about it for now. I've been working on this in bits and pieces so hope it's coherent. And I'm sorry it's so long.
Happy Independence Day!
P.S. In case your wondering why I've used both Fitzgerald and FitzGerald, it's because my husband's side uses an intercap while the other doesn't. Very confusing.