Friday, December 31, 2010

Capt. David W McClurken (1839 - 1916)

David W McClurken was a Civil War soldier who served in the 10th Regiment of the Missouri Infantry. He was promoted to the rank of Captain and he was wounded in action. A biography has been created and is available at this link. His headstone can be viewed at this link.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thomas Patrick Ryan Death Certificate

Thomas Patrick Ryan was born on November 6, 1873 in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1918, he was single, living in Chicago, Illinois and working as a salesman for a company located in Decatur, Illinois. The 1930 Census found him living in a hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was age 56, still single and working as a neon sign salesman. I recently ordered and received a copy of a death certificate for a Thomas Patrick Ryan. Unfortunately, this Thomas was born in 1863, so it was the wrong Thomas. I had previously received another death certificate for a different Thomas Patrick Ryan. That one was born in 1890, so again the wrong person. Unfortunately, Thomas Ryan is a fairly common name. The Missouri Archives has death certificates available for 68 Thomas Ryan's who died between 1910 and 1959. All of these were examined, for free, and none were for the right person. The Arkansas Death Index on also did not provide a match. The Illinois Database lists 34 more possible Thomas Ryan's and 4 Thomas P Ryan's who died between 1931 and 1948. 32 of these 38 were in Cook County. Since the date and the state, where Thomas died, are unknown, the details of his death may never be discovered.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Charles Peter Jacobsen's Death Certificate

I recently obtained the death certificate for Charles Peter Jacobsen (1860 - 1917). I had hoped to find his birthdate and other details of his birth location and that of his parents. Although the decedent was listed as the informant, this certificate has numerous errors and missing information. Errors include: spelling of the last name as Jacobson (should be Jacobsen), birth year as 1862 (other documents indicate 1860), and his marital status as widower (he was married). His birthplace is indicated only as Illinois and no information is provided about his parents. However, some good information was discovered: middle name was Peter, occupation as watchman, place of death as Oak Forest Infirmary, and residence as 2309 N. Keeler Avenue. For further information, see the Death Certificate and for family linkages, see his Find A Grave Memorial.

Friday, December 10, 2010

William Eggebrecht's Death Certificate

I recently obtained the death certificate for William Eggebrecht (1861 - 1923). Since he was the older brother of Robert, I had hoped to find detailed information about William's place of birth and that of their parents. Unfortunately, the informant, his employer, only provided Germany as the birthplace for William and both of his parents. One new item of information, that was obtained, was his place of burial: Concordia Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois. From the cemetery, I found out that William and his wife, Augusta, are buried in the plot of his employer, William Mielahn. While I did not find the information that I sought, I did find out the burial information. I hope to visit the cemetery in the near future. The death certificate is available at this link.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Clara McClurken Kemps' Death Certificate

I recently ordered and received some death certificates from the Illinois Department of Public Health. One was for Clara Amanda McClurken Kemps (1849 - 1936). Previous attempts to acquire this had been unsuccessful. This time I located it in their database with the last name misspelled Kerups and an incorrect year of 1935. Most of the information was previously known and some was incorrect (parents birthplaces should have been South Carolina). A curiosity was the cause of death - cerebral hemorrhage. One of her sons, Luther James Kemps, had also died of a cerebral hemorrhage just six months earlier. It was nice to finally acquire this document as an additional source for the various dates and facts of her birth and death. This document has been included as a reference file for her biography an is also available at this link.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dorothy Lois Jennings Kemps (1916 - 2010)

Dorothy Lois Jennings married William Worth Kemps in 1935. They were married for over 66 years when he died in 2002. Dorothy was a remarkable woman. One of the three eulogies, at her memorial service, was delivered by her minister, Jonathan Chute. This eulogy is presented, with permission, as her biography. See biography.

Monday, October 11, 2010

William Worth Kemps (1913 - 2002)

A biography has been created for William Worth Kemps. He was the son of William Henry Kemps and Edna Hammond Wright. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and lived most of his life in Glendale, California. I spoke to him in September of 1993 and some of this biography comes from that recorded conversation. For additional details of his life, see biography.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Richard G Kirkpatrick (1918 - 2000)

A biography has been created for Richard Garnholz Kirkpatrick. He was the son of Raymond Kirkpatrick and May Belle Kemps. He was born in Oakdale, Illinois and lived most of his adult life in Waukegan, Illinois. I spoke to him in October of 1987 and some of this biography comes from that recorded conversation. For additional details of his life, see biography.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

GEDCOM Update Is Available

My latest GEDCOM file has now been uploaded to and It replaces any that I had previously placed on these sites. The family tree is identified as Samuel Henry Kemps and on, the database is rkemps. This file includes 452 individuals and all the latest identifications of the various sources. The file can also be downloaded from each site.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

More Find A

For the past 7 weeks, I have continued to concentrate on The totals of my efforts are now 115 memorials created and 155 managed. For these memorials, I uploaded a total of 186 photos and I wrote 81 biographies. All 20 of my photo requests were completed for the Oakdale Cemetery. Headstone pictures now total 78. Almost all of my work is now complete. To check out any of the memorials that I manage, see summary.

Saturday, July 17, 2010 Revisited and Recommended

Previously, I had never found anyone on However, I decided to check it out again. I found that on May 30, 2009, the Oakdale Cemetery in Washington County, Illinois and a total of twelve McClurkens and McClurkins were added. Upon reviewing their FAQs, my whole perspective changed. I realized that it is a great place to create memorials to individuals. So far, I have added my parents, two of my grandparents, two great granparents, four great great grandparents, two great great great grandparents and eight aunts and uncles. Additionally, I added 38 additional McClurken - McClurkin graves in the Oakdale Cemetery and I am managing the original 12. I have requested photos for many of the above gravesites.

Lengthy biography space is available and 5 free photos are allowed (20 if you pay a one time fee of $5). Grave Monument photos can be requested from volunteers. I, now, highly recommend the use of as a way to create memorials to our dearly departed loved ones. (And you may find that they are already there).

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Archibald McClurken (1794 - 1853)

Archibald McClurken was the son of Thomas McClurken. He served in the War of 1812, as a private in the South Carolina Militia. He and his brother, James, started the first steam mill in Washington County, Illinois. A biography has been created for Archibald McClurken. See biography.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

John McClurkin (1792 - 1874)

John McClurkin was a very religious person. He was an elder and a Charter Member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Oakdale, Illinois for 40 years. Two of his sons, three of his grandsons, and a great grandson were ministers of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. A biography has been created for John McClurkin. See biography.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Seven McClurkin Ministers

At least seven McClurkins were ministers of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Two books, that were published, included sketches of their lives. "History of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in America" included six of them. "Sketches of the Ministers of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America from 1888 to 1930" included five from the first book and one additional. Pseudo biographies have been created for these individuals by presenting these sketches. The seven ministers, and links to their biographies, are: Albert Witsius McClurkin, Hugh Park McClurkin, John Johnston McClurkin, John Knox McClurkin, Samuel Rutherford McClurkin, Thaddeus Zwingle McClurkin and Walter Clyde McClurkin. All seven individuals were descendants of Thomas McClurken.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thomas McClurken Outline Descendant Report Update

Building on the three previous posts, the Outline Descendant Report of Thomas McClurken has now been updated. The number of individuals almost doubled from 166 to 325. Numerous new links have been added. See the updated Outline Descendant Report.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ancestor Tree Major Update

I have now completed a major update to the ancestor tree. 162 individuals have been added, bringing the new total to 449. A great many facts have been added and all have at least one source. See the update at Ancestor Tree.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Document Sources in FamilyTreeMaker

In 1999, I bought a copy of FamilyTreeMaker and began to load it up with what data that I knew at that time. Pages 109 through 112 of the 514 page instruction book described how to document a source for each fact. I doubt if I ever read that far into the book. The pdf manual that came with the 2005 FamilyTreeMaker used the word "source" only three times in the entire 101 pages and none of these applied to manually entering the source of a fact. Needless to say, I was doing a terrible job of documenting the sources for the data that I had entered.

When I began to use GedHTree, my lack of documented sources became painfully obvious. For the past several months, I have been adding the source information to each fact in the file. I needed a systematic way to do this, so I printed out the alphabetical surname lists available from the GedHTree display. Then I revisited each of the 38 biographies and checked off the names on the lists as each person was completed. When I started, I had 287 individuals in my public file. As this project progressed, the number increased to 449. The Narratives of Randolph County provided most of the additional persons.

I did not just add the source data for the facts that were in the file. As I revisited each source, I added all the facts and sources for all the individuals included in the source. I have over 104 census pages on my website and many others that are not. Some have as many as 11 persons on a page. I also have about 150 other source documents available on my website. Additionally, some sources are on-line, such as, the Illinois State Archives. For each of the individuals buried in the Oakdale Cemetery (on-line website), there were three fact and source entries needed (birth, death and burial).

This has been a monumental task. However, this comprehensive review has brought new facts to the surface and has caused others to be adjusted. Because the biographies are intertwined, all were at least tweaked as a result. I now see what a wonderful tool the FamilyTreeMaker is as an index for all the facts and sources for each individual.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Narratives of Randolph County McC - McM

The Narratives of Randolph County, McC - McM, is a wonderful source of information for descendants of Thomas McClurken. This is a portion of the research of Mrs. Frank Torrens that was "published" in 1958. Original copies can be obtained from the Sparta (Illinois) Public Library. Pages 37 through 83 provide details on 5 generations of descendants of Thomas McClurken. Pages 84 and beyond, are presumed to include details about his siblings. This portion of the document can be viewed at Narratives of Randolph County.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Thomas McClurken Biography Update

I have updated the biography of Thomas McClurken to include the links for the last four blog entries. Specically: his Revolutionary War Service; his birth year change and sources; the 1800 US Census image; and his obituary. Additionally, I corrected the timing of his move from South Carolina to Illinois (left December 1833), associated land purchases, and references from "History of Oakdale Township." I have also included the Revolutionary Soldiers Marker in South Carolina and references from "The Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter, Volume 14" and "History of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in America." See updated biography.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thomas McClurken Revolutionary War Service

Last August, I added the 94 page Pension File of Thomas McClurken to my website. Now, I have finally gotten around to transcibing the 6 pages that relate to his testimony about the extent of his service. The webpage for the transcript is Thomas McClurken Revolutionary War Service.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Birth Year of Thomas McClurken

Unfortunately, the various sources, that indicate the birth year of Thomas McClurken, are not consistent. Therefore, I created a webpage to list some of these sources and present my conclusion that he was born in 1756. See this page at Birth Year.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thomas McClurken in the 1800 US Census

I had seen transcriptions of Thomas McClurken for the 1800 US Census; however, I had never seen the actual image. So I decided to look again using HertitageQuest. After trying all the variations of the spelling of the last name, I decided to look for persons in Chester County South Carolina named Thomas. Although it found 69, it was immediately apparent which was correct.
The last name is obscured in the image; however, his brother, Matthew appears directly below and the last name is complete. To view the image, see 1800 US Census line 2. To appreciate the data, it is necessary to view a blank form with the column headings; see 1800 Blank Form. This information will be added to the biography for Thomas in the near future.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Obituary of Thomas McClurken, Senior

A kind, but, distant relative, sent me a transcript of the obituary of Thomas McClurken (1756 - 1845). It indicated that it was published in the April 1846 issue of "The Reformed Presbyterian." With just a little effort, I was able to find the original material at the Reformed Presbyterian Archives. I also concluded that the author was incorrectly identified in the transcript. I have repackaged this obituary with the original text and attached it to the biography of Thomas. The obituary provides a unique reflection of his life and his faith. See obituary.

Thursday, March 11, 2010 and GedHTree

I thought it appropriate to check out my recommendation, in the previous post, of using as a web hosting site. So I signed up for a free account and was pleasantly suprised. A key feature, that is lacking in my existing Comcast website, is the ability to use an FTP program to batch upload and overwrite files. Especially difficult was making updates to the Gedhtree applicaion. I chose Core FTP LE, a free program, to upload the 300 files in the GedHTree directory. It was so easy that I decided to move that application to the byethost website. For the current update, see Ancestor Tree. For byethost, see byethost. To download Core FTP LE, see Core FTP LE.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Amateurs Guide to Genealogy Website Construction

I was recently contacted, by a distant relative, about the tools and techniques that I had used to create my webpages. In addition to responding to this request, I realized that it would also help me to document some of the tools and techniques that I use infrequently. I also decided that I might as well share my experience with any others who might be interested. Therefore, I created a webpage entitled "An Amateurs Guide to Genealogy Website Construction."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rachel Beatrice Shepard Eggebrecht (1877 - 1963)

A biography has been created for Rachel Beatrice Shepard Eggebrecht at this link.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Joseph Cheput Shepard (1816 - 1915)

A biography has been created for Joseph Cheput Shepard. See biography for details.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rachel Stuart Winters Shepard (1842 - 1879)

A biography has been created for Rachel Stuart Winters Shepard. See biography for details.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana

The website for Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana was very helpful in researching the Wright and Hammond biographies of the previous post. It includes an on-line Burial Locator. Crown Hill Cemetery has been in existence since 1864. Additionally, they have on-staff genealogists. For $5.00, they will provide whatever information that they have on an individual and a map and listing of others buried in the same lot. For Worth Wright, this included a burial permit, the equivalent of a death certificate. For $10.00, except in the winter, they will provide a color digital photo of a headstone or monument. Additional pictures on the same lot are only $2.00 each. I found Crown Hill Cemetery to be a very useful and inexpensive resource!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Edna Hammond Wright Kemps (1885 - 1954)

A biography has now been created for Edna Hammond Wright Kemps at this link. Additionally, biographical information has been provided for her parents at the links Worth Wright (1851 - 1904) and Helen Hammond (1858 - 1885).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Robert Eggebrecht (1874 - 1941)

A biography has been created for Robert Eggebrecht. See biography.