Thursday, December 20, 2012

DAR, Some Secrets, Brother Ed, and the Mayans

US Navy 060417-N-8157C-162 The American flag f...
US Navy 060417-N-8157C-162 The American flag flies prominently during the World Patriot Tour performance at Hickam Air Force Base (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every time I go to a DAR event [and I'd say even the meetings are events...pomp and circumstance...which is a very nice surprise amidst my usual days filled with mediocrity] and every time I go to my GenSoc meetings, I feel the pressure to get my DAR app completed.

It's not a bad kind of pressure, and it certainly comes from myself. So while working on several app reviews for my site and while monitoring the new Google Plus Communities that Kenneth R. Marks [from blog] and I created and while Christmas shopping, I've been going over my research plans trying to figure out what I need to do so I can get my DAR [Daughter of the American Revolution] and my UEL [United Empire Loyalist] applications completed.

And then I got my 23andMe DNA results and I was sidetracked for a while. {And, no, the results won't help me with this research problem. That would have been nice though.}

But now I'm back.

So. I thought I'd list what I need to do next. {And, no, this is not my research plan, my research plans, or my research log. This is a very informal update of where I am and what I plan to do next and some of the reasons why. My formal research plans and research log are located in OneNote in table and narrative formats.} 

After consulting with my DAR Chapter's Registrar by phone a month ago, I found that I don't need to take my supposed Patriot line back to my supposed-but-proven-for-others-Patriot, Melchior Stock because his son, who is my proposed ancestor, Matthias Stock is also a proven-for-others-Patriot. [That's right 2 of them are proven Patriots.] But? I don't even have to prove Matthias' relationship to his son Michael Stock/Stuck [my ancestor] because it's already been done via another descendant of Michael's, through one of his sons.

Now, I don't descend through that same son of Michael's. Nope. I descend through one of his daughters, Margaret Barbara Stuck who married a Mr. Rook and their daughter, Susannah Rook married Benjamin Brown Vaughan, and it's through their son, Daniel Rook Vaughan, that I descend.

Well, him and the very Catholic Annie J. O'Brien from Ireland.

{As a sidenote, my cousin who descends from Daniel and Annie & who found me through this blog, is coming to Texas in January to photograph tombstones, including Daniel's and Annie's. And since I think I found it last year, but it's broken and was too heavy to turn over and verify, we're looking into identifying it and getting it repaired. So we've been collaborating on family info and such via email. Bonus!}

Anywho. My work was lessened somewhat by my local DAR Chapter's Registrar and I found a cousin and I got my DNA test results back. It's raining genealogy here, no?

Oh, and I checked with my local DAR Chapter's Regent about my grandfather. {We're in the same GenSoc and I strategically sat by her at the Christmas Party a little over a week ago, which was a blast, BTW.} Anywho, I told her about my grandfather probably not being divorced before he married my Gran, and she asked if they'd married, and I said yes, and she said no problem. So. My wayward grandfather isn't going to be a stumbling block on my road to DAR membership. {At least, not yet.}

So. Here's what I still need to get and what I have for each generation:

My Birth & Marriage: No prob. Got those.

My parents BMDs: No prob. Got those. [Well, it is a problem that I have their D's, but there's not much I can do about it.]

My Mom's Parents:
Mary Alice Velda Truitt Blacketer {or my Gran}
Death - Can I order a copy of my Gran's death certificate? No. Her death occurred less than 25 years ago here in Texas and for recent deaths {less than 25 years} only immediate-to-her family members can order them. So. I have one aunt and a couple of uncles that could order it, but I'm not close to them nor in touch with them. However, I do have an aunt-by-marriage that I am in touch with so I can ask her if she happens to have a copy. If not, then I'll need to turn to some secondary documentation. An obit would be nice and since I was there at my Gran's funeral and know that my Mom created the obituary, I happen to know my Gran had one. So I need to look for that. She does appear in the Texas Death Index as well as the SSDI. So once I get a copy of her obituary, I can send off for a copy of her Social Security Application. Also, when I go to San Antonio, I need to visit Gran and snap a photo of her tombstone. {Of course, tombstones can be wrong and not very reliable information-wise - especially for birth info - but I'd like it for my records. And I'll be there, so why not?}

Birth - The problem with her birth is that it seems to vary by 1 or 2 years in the census records {which is not unusual, but in her case it doesn't make sense because of her birthday versus the date of enumeration on the census records} and is {maybe} unclear on her U.S. Passport Application. And I'll write more in detail later after I try to obtain some better documentation, which brings me to her Good-Better-Best documentation options for her birth event.

Best case scenario would be a copy of her birth record. However, according to The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogists: The Essential Guide to American County and Town Sources, edited by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack and Erin Nevius, statewide birth recordings didn't start until 1914 in Louisiana; Rapides Parish is an original Parish; and there is no information listed for birth records in the Parish at all (pp.282-283 and pp. 293-294). And further general information about birth records is given for after statewide recordings began and Catholic church records are suggested for before (pp.282-283). Additionally, a survey of Clayton Library for Genealogical Research's Microprint Collection and their online card catalog yielded nothing for finding birth records before statewide recordings in Louisiana around my Gran's birth year. And a look at's online databases as well as their online card catalog yielded nothing as well as for birth records for Rapides Parish, Louisiana before statewide recordings of births and for around the time she was born. So, unless someone out there knows of anything else, I'm going to say - right now - that it probably doesn't exist.

St Mary's Catholic Church, San Antonio
St Mary's Catholic Church, San Antonio (Photo credit: Rennett Stowe)
Better case scenario would be her baptismal record. I found on an index on that she was baptized in San Antonio, Texas in 1913 at St. Mary's Catholic Church downtown. So after such a resounding success with obtaining my Boo's {Gran's mother} baptismal record from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Archives, I thought this might not be as difficult as I once thought. However, I talked to a very over-worked Brother Ed at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio Archives, and they're understaffed. 

In fact, it's just Brother Ed. 

Archiving all by himself. 

And he's 'swamped'.

And he informed me it'd be quicker if I could just come down there and do it myself. 

Challenge accepted, Brother Ed. 

So. A trip to San Antonio {3 hours away} to rummage around the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio Archives looking for my Gran's baptismal record is now on my agenda.

Good case scenario would be a copy of her Social Security Application, it should have her birth date and place and her parent's names, but depending on when that was applied for, this will more than likely be a secondary document for her birth information and second best to her baptismal record, in my opinion, even though she would probably have needed her birth certificate {which I think doesn't exist}or an affidavit to apply for it, but it's direct because it should answer the question of her birth event. 

And this is the thinking behind my opinion: If her 'later' baptism was in 1913, then her baptismal record would be preferable because that would have been created closer to the event of her birth. And would clear up {or maybe not} her birth year.

squared circle - mayan calendar
squared circle - mayan calendar (Photo credit: Thom Watson)
But then what evidence did they provide for her Social Security Application and what, if any, did they provide for her baptism? Thus, I'm gonna try to get both. So, we'll see what we can get. And we'll see what we can see with what we get. {And perhaps her SSA is the better case scenario and her baptismal record is the good case scenario.}

{My suspicion is that my Gran was born before my Boo and Claudius were married and my very Catholic Boo tried to keep this under wraps. {And may be the reason my Gran was born in Cheneyville, Rapides Parish, Louisiana while the rest of the family was in Texas.} So, through trying to find evidence, I'll be exposing her secret, which I'm sure I'm going to hear about it from her in the After Life, which may be tomorrow, according to the Mayans.

So I need to collect what evidence I can, and write a proof argument for her birth based on the evidence and my interpretation of the evidence. {But not before tomorrow because I may not have to do the work.}

Marriage - Speaking of rummaging around the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio Archives, I might as well look for my Gran's and my naughty grandfather's {James Wesley Blacketer} marriage record, or blessing, or whatever. From the various indices found on, I've {intelligently, I think} guessed {and maybe incorrectly} that they had a civil marriage that was later blessed by a Father So-n-So at St. Mary's Catholic Church, downtown San Antonio. {More on my  guess below.} 

And then I'll go downtown to the courthouse and look for their civil marriage record and their divorce record. {Thanks to my Big Paw Paw's, my Dad's Dad, penchant for women and lawsuits in Bexar County, I know where to go for divorce records.}

Ironically and coincidentally, the courthouse is right next door to...

 {wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...} 

...St. Mary's Catholic Church downtown San Antonio. So. I'll snap a pic of that. {And perhaps I'll partake of some Holy Water on the forehead, some prayer, and maybe even light a candle. Lord knows my family lines and research need it, eh?}

James Wesley Blacketer {My naughty grandfather. The naughty one that is NOT Big Paw Paw, who also happens to be quite naughty in his own right and lived in San Antonio as well.}

Death - I have his death certificate compliments of and I already visited him at his grave located at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio and snapped a photo of his tombstone. {But his birth date is off by 2 years on his tombstone.} Oh, and I have his 2 obituaries, which the second has proven to be quite enlightening on some future stories of him, but nothing I need for my applications.

Birth - According to all documentation that I've collected on him, he was born in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie, Iowa. Now, according to Iowa, I can order it as long as no one really dwells too much on the 'legal' part. {You know, that part where I'm not quite too sure he ever divorced his first wife before he married my Gran.} But while searching in, an index indicates that he was baptized a month after his marriage to my Gran at St. Mary's Catholic Church downtown San Antonio. 

Now, why would he do that? Simple. {I think.} To get the marriage blessed by the Catholic Church. Because if you don't think that my Gran's Gran, the very Catholic Annie O'Brien from Ireland and her mother, my very Catholic Boo {Alice Florence Vaughan Truitt} weren't fit to be tied when they found out about my Gran entering into marital bliss with James via a civil union, you're just plain crazy. Well, that's my {maybe intelligent but could be very wrong} guess anyways. 

So. While I'm rummaging around the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio Archives for my Gran's baptismal record and their marriage blessing, I'll have a look-see for James' very-late-but-very-necessary-to-my-Gran {and her mother and her Gran and the Catholic Church} baptismal record as well. At the same time, though, I'll order his birth record from Iowa. It's $15 and what's the worst they can say? No? And why would they? He was born in Iowa and grew up and married the first time in Missouri. {Not that he actually told anyone that. I've just dug around a lot for that info. And wouldn't you know? That marriage record was much easier to get.}

Alice Florence (Vaughan) Truitt {my Boo; my Gran's mother}
Death - I have her death certificate, and while I'm in San Antonio tracing her daughter's records, I'll have a visit with her at graveside and snap a pic of her tombstone for my records.

Birth - I already obtained her baptismal record. And many thanks to the not understaffed Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Archives for that. 

Marriage - Boo and ol' Claudius Roy Truitt {a.k.a., The Jerk} were married in San Antonio, or so says a book of San Antonio marriages in the genealogy department at my local library {15 minutes away.}, Montgomery County Memorial Library. And? Because the lovely local library is in possession of  the microfilm that contains their marriage record in Bexar County, I need to go snap a copy of that. {It's there. I've seen it. I just didn't get a copy at the time.} But? My Boo divorced 'The Jerk' in San Antonio, so while I'm at the courthouse in San Antonio, I might as well snag that record too, no? {'Cause I've learned from Big Paw Paw that sometimes divorce records are boring and sometimes they're not, but they're always full of info and stories.} And maybe I'll even look for their marriage record at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio Archives. 'Cause why not? {Of course, they may not have married there. But I'll be there right next to the very over-worked Brother Ed. So why not look?}

Claudius Roy Truitt
Death - I have his death certificate via, and I hunted down his tombstone here in Houston and snapped a photo of it already.

Birth - I have a copy of his birth record compliments of {Thank goodness because he was born in Kentucky.}

{So. Basically, 'ol Claudius was reportedly a jerk in real life, but so far, he's not been a jerk to me and my research. So there's that.}

Daniel Rook Vaughan {my Boo's dad}
Death - I have his death certificate via back when it was still And I may  have located his tombstone and {hopefully} on this same research trip, I can visit him gravesid
English: Plaque on the Federal Bureau of Inves...
English: Plaque on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Building in Washington, D.C., denoting the founding of the Knights of Pythias at that location in 1864. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
e {with my newly-found cousin} and verify that and snap a photo of his tombstone located in the Knights of Pythias cemetery. And speaking of the Knights of Pythias, I have his membership record from the San Antonio Chapter, and they recorded his death in his membership record. So I think I'm squared away on the evidence of his death. The former is direct and primary and the latter is not as primary and may even be secondary, but it is direct.

Birth - Daniel was born in 1847 in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw Co, Michigan. And because his father's line is the Loyalist line, and because his father was baptized in the Church of England up in Noyan, Quebec, and because I have a suspicion {Thanks to a published history of the wee town of Ypsilanti.} Daniel's grandfather was the sexton of the still-open St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Ypsilanti and may be buried in the church's cemetery, I think Daniel's - if he was baptized and his family was Episcopalian {like me} like I suspect, baptismal records just might be there. I've already contacted them and they informed me that their records are archived in Ann Arbor which at the time didn't take email or snail mail lookup requests. But according to a recent search in, they've microfilmed them since the last time I searched. So I'll be placing a rental order. Of course, I could be wrong about their church membership, but I'll deal with that when I have to, if I have to. {His mother's line was decidedly Lutheran and Ypsilanti is a wee town.} So, on second thought, maybe I'll order the microfilm of the local Lutheran Church's records too.
New Orleans - French Quarter:  St. Louis Cathedral
New Orleans - French Quarter: St. Louis Cathedral (Photo credit: wallyg)

 Marriage - According to a book of New Orleans' marriages located in my local library, Daniel and Annie were married in 1874. So, I need to locate where the information came from. Further, it's indexed on so I'm going to need to do some digging around on that. And? Would Annie have insisted the marriage be in a Catholic Church or, perhaps, had it been blessed in one? Of course, that brings up which Catholic Church in New Orleans? {Am I allowed to *snort* at this question?} So, I need to do a more thorough survey of the available records and the locations of said records.

Also, note that Daniel was in the Civil War and received a pension that his widow, Annie, later collected. So. That's a good avenue for information as well for a whole lot of events. Hopefully. So that's going on order as well. But when I'll get it and what's in the pension file, I don't know. 

Annie J. (O'Brien) Vaughan {my Boo's mom}
Death - I have her death certificate via And like I mentioned above, I'm pretty sure of her tombstone. The former is direct and primary for her death event. The latter is for my records.

Birth - I've written about this. And the closest document to the occurrence of her birth that shows her place of birth is her first child's baptismal record created in 1876. As far as the date is concerned, that's going to be the very secondary Death Certificate and her tombstone, once I snap a pic of it. Plus, there are the various census records she appears in which silently indicate she never became naturalized citizen. I'll need to write a proof argument explaining the places I've looked for her birth record information {and not found it}, and lay out the case for the secondary and indirect evidence supporting her birth event at the time of the writing of the proof argument.

And here is the Loyalist-Patriot split. Daniel's paternal line is the Loyalist line, and his maternal line is the Patriot line. But? I'll save that for another time. {And if you've made it this far in my ramblings, you should receive a reward from me, like me stopping for now.}

So. Me and some cemetery visits, some picture-taking, a new cousin, some microfilm ordering and reading, another visit to the Bexar County Courthouse, a visit to St. Mary's Cathedral, a visit to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio Archives, and Brother Ed are all on the horizon. 

Unless the Mayans were right.

San Antonio Texas Alamo
San Antonio Texas Alamo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Other folks go to San Antonio for The Alamo. I'm going for some naughty ancestors. Again.  


Note: If you have some recommendations of places to look for those Louisiana records or any others, please let me know in comments below. However, please refrain from doing the actual research yourself. I know it's tempting and I appreciate the gesture, but I'd like to do it myself unless it's totally impossible for me to do it. And this is partly why I didn't give full dates even though I am aware of them and they are in my research plans. And I'm sure I glossed over a bunch of stuff including my complete thought processes, so if you're confused or have any questions or suggestions, please let me know in comments below.
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  1. Carolyn you've certainly got a plan! When you do get to St. Mary's in San Antonio make sure to dab that holy water behind the ears - the devil never looks for it there!

    DAR will be lucky to have you and you'll be in great company!

  2. Not Louisiana, but the folks at the Pottawattamie County Iowa Genealogical Society were recently quite helpful to me:

  3. Caroline,

    Your grandmother's death certificate may be on under the Texas Death Certificates 1977-1986. They are not completely indexed yet but I have found several of them when knowing the county and month they died.

    Great post.

  4. Thanks, Laura! I'll take that into consideration if I'm not able to get it via the state. However, if they have it on microfilm, I wonder if it's the same as what's available through the Family History Library because Council Bluffs is not included. But I'll look into it. Thank you! =)


  5. Deborah, thanks for the recommendation. However, they don't have my grandmother's death certificate because she died 19 years ago and they only have them available through 1986.

    But that is a great resource, and I, too, have found many death certificates there. =)


  6. Amazing. This is a model of thorough research, and it sounds as if you have the means to prove many of the BMD events several times over. Your work is detailed on the level of a dissertation. Anyone who thinks that getting into the DAR is a "piece of cake" or anywhere near easy, has only to read this blog of yours. I love the fact that you have both a Patriot and a Loyalist line. Parsing out these research choices and these proofs would drive some people bonkers, but it sounds as if you are enjoying it. This is your "metier." Congrats!

  7. Have you checked the Orleans Parish marriage records at the LA State Archives? There is a database online at Maybe you can find Daniel and Annie's marriage record there and then order a copy. I believe it's only $5 or so for a copy. Unfortunately, you are spot on about the Louisiana birth records. You will have much more luck looking in Catholic church records around Cheneyville.


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