Another Grand-daughter arrives in January of 1906…

Amarilla added to her duties as grandmother with another grandchild.

Miriam McDonald about 1909

Miriam McDonald about 1909

This grandchild was Miriam Audrey Amarilla McDonald.  Miriam was born the 15th of January 1906 in International Falls where her parents Grace (Barclay) and R.S. McDonald had moved. She was baptized on February 4, 1906 under the name Maria.  Her godfather was John McDonald and godmother was Mrs. McDonald.  I think the sponsors were R.S.’s brother and wife.

Miriam about 1913

Miriam about 1913

I have no baby pictures of Miriam. Most of the photos start when she was about 3 or 4 years old.

Miriam has been featured in her brother Keith’s blog “The Man Who Lived Airplanes.”  You can find the link to this blog on the right side panel of this blog.  Just put Miriam in the search engine of that blog and you will find lots of articles and pictures of her and her family.  I found about 10 posts.

Miriam is very important, because she was the one that got the writer of this blog and the others interested in the family genealogy.  In about 1967 she sent me six pages of typewritten notes on our family.  Later I was to find more and it eventually became about nine pages.  I am greatly indebted to Miriam for these notes and have shared them on this blog and the one mentioned above.

Miriam about 1940

Miriam about 1940

This photo above is one of my favorites of her.  She never married but had a long good life traveling to many places in the world, teaching ninth grade English for years at Franklin High School in Yakima. She was devoted to her family up to the very end.  Oh, she made the best Pecan pie ever…!

Back from My Travels…

Well, I am back from my travels.  My second trip to Canada is completed and that happened in September 2014.  Remind me not to travel in the Fall because you have to drive through thick fog, rain, cold and wind storms, brrrr….  Fortunately, I did not have to deal with snow.  It was a great trip and I posted about it in The Man Who Lived Airplanes and the Boardman and Brown blog – see side panel for links.  I did 1964 miles just 49 short of my first trip. It was EPIC!

My week at Salt Lake City went by too quickly.  I enjoyed my class on Scottish research and learned a lot.  The British Institute sponsored by the International Society of British Genealogy and Family History always puts on quality genealogical education. http://www.isbgfh.org/ My teacher was Paul Milner and he was very knowledgeable and patient with us Americans.  You might want to check out his blog he discusses the sources and that could be very helpful.  http://www.milnergenealogy.com/

While in Salt Lake City I was at the Family History Library doing research I did try to seek out John Barclay and his first wife Margaret but was not successful in finding him listed in the indexes that they had, so it will probably require some more digging, fortunately, I have a road map with my class lessons.

Looking west in SLC

Looking west in SLC

Class on Irish Research

Class on Irish Research which I probably should take next?

Family History Library British Isles floor B2

Family History Library British Isles floor B2

Let’s see, I left off with Amarilla and J.G. Dawes in the 1905 Census in Pine River.  I will continue to follow Amarilla through the rest of her life touching on the people who were part of her experience which includes her half-siblings from the 2nd marriage of her father Daniel D. Spracklin: Lydia, Virda, Reed, Daniel, Peter, and Charles Edward. They are all characters just like Amarilla.  Yes, I will discuss her marriage to J.G. Dawes and later to George Urton.

Her “of the blood” siblings have been written about: Henry, Oliver, Mary and from the second marriage Alfred.  I will share some about Henry’s descendants especially Harry his first born.

There will be posts about the end of Daniel and Sarah’s lives and why it is so difficult to find them in the records in Iowa, it is because they left.  I had to go there to Iowa to find them.

There will be more about Amarilla’s grandchildren and daughter Grace.

How all these events and happenings affected Amarilla is difficult to say.  I really have very little personal information about her or memorabilia from her like a diary or letters.  Sigh!

On George’s side, I have some more interesting tidbits and will write about my research on his siblings and half-siblings. According to his brother Alexander’s probate file there were 11 children that were involved in the process, one of which was represented by his children.  Yes, it is a mystery.  So brother Alexander Barclay end of life will be a big topic.

There are two other blogs you should be consulting and that is the Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp. in Ohio where I share about Amarilla’s grandparents on both sides of her lineage.  Elizabeth Keller Spracklin’s parents,  John and Mary Keller, are discussed and this line leads to DAR and Mayflower.  On Daniel’s side I write about John and Lydia Spracklin and their lives in Ohio and will go back further into that lineage.  Lydia Goss Spracklin line also leads to DAR and Mayflower.

If you are interested in Amarilla’s daughter Grace’s life you could read about it in this blog and also in The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  That blog is about her son Keith’s life and the family.  Grace married Ronald S. McDonald in 1898 and had 8 children one of which was Keith, my father.  I will touch upon his siblings briefly in this blog, but for more details go to the Man Who Lived Airplanes.  My dad loved airplanes and worked around them all his life.

Genealogical Education: British Institute

Templegrds

2006 Temple Square SLC

Last year in October 2013, I took the Sources for Tracing Pre-mid-Nineteeth Cemetery Ancestors course offered by the British Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. http://www.isbgfh.org/

The course was excellent and one of my teachers appeared on an episode this last year of “Who Do You Think You Are?”  I was very excited when I saw Paul Blake on the show.  http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/who-do-you-think-you-are

I started to build on my Boardman and McMurray/Jackson family lines on my mother’s side and I posted my findings on the Boardman and Brown blog I write.  I also did some searching on the Spracklins.  Spracklin is Amarilla’s maiden name.  So I studied the records for Somerset, Dorset and more in England.  I will be sharing those findings on my other blog:  Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp. in future posts. See the right panel of this blog for the links to my other family history blogs.

Family History Library 2006

Family History Library 2006

This year in 2014, I will be attending the Institute again in Salt Lake City and taking Scottish Research: The Fundamentals and Beyond, by Paul Milner.  So I am currently in the process of preparing to attend this course and getting ready for the trip to Salt Lake City.  I also plan to take advantage of the opportunity to do more of the family research at the Family History Library.  It will be a very intense week of classes and researching.  So I will be getting back to posting on this blog some time in November 2014.  There is a lot of good information coming for future posts on the Barclays.

This course hopefully will help me to learn about Scottish genealogical research, figure out a strategy to “Finding the Greats.”  Hopefully I can find John Barclay and Margaret my great great grandparents in Scotland.  These are George A. Barclay’s parents, the subject of this blog.  I want to visit the British Isles at some point within the next two years so I am getting ready.

The Line at opening to the Family History Library

The Line at opening to the Family History Library

This will be my sixth trip to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library.  https://familysearch.org/locations/saltlakecity-library  This library and their online website for their records has contributed greatly to my research successes.  https://familysearch.org/search  I do know of people who go there even more than six times.

2009 3rd Floor Family History Library

2009 3rd Floor Family History Library

At the National Genealogical Society Conference held in Salt Lake City in 2010 Family Search announced that they would digitize their whole collection and it would take 100 years but they had created ways to improve digital transfer so they could do it in 10 years.  I was amazed.  Every time I go to their website it changes and gets better and better.

2013 British Institute

2013 British Institute getting ready…

I was thinking of sharing my Powerpoint lecture:  “Planning a Trip to the Family History Library,” on this blog but I created it five years ago and it is now very out-of-date, so you can see that Family History Library and their website have changed a lot.

2013 British Institute Class

2013 British Institute Class

Well it is time to get back to planning for this trip.  One of the requirements is to read a book on Scottish History, so I best go and get my two chapters in.

The History of Scotland,” by Peter & Fiona Somerset Fry, reprinted several times 1997.

 

More Adventures in Ontario & Quebec

I have just returned from my trip to Ontario, Quebec, parts of Michigan and New York.  Most of the trip did not add to the research of this specific blog.  However, is it possible that John Barclay came in through Canada to the United States?  I do see the Barclay name in Canada and in cemeteries.

The Whole province of Ontario

The Whole province of Ontario

So that is the reason I have not been posting on this blog for a while.  If you would like to see what my adventures were all about you can go to my two other blogs The Boardman and Browns and The Man Who Lived Airplanes.  See the right side of this blog for the links.

Southern Ontario

Southern Ontario

The majority of the trip is to dig deeper into my mother’s side of the family and visit the family history sites.  I never thought I would get very far in researching “Browns.” I have to give thanks to several cousins for their diligence.  I will spend my time in the southern part of Ontario.

The Boardmans and Browns of Winnipeg: A Canadian Story http://boardmanbrown.wordpress.com/

On my dad’s side, I am still trying to make that connection to the origins of the McD’s in Canada and Scotland. There have been recent developments that I am currently pursuing so you may see more posts about the research soon.

Southern Quebec and parts of New York

Southern Quebec and parts of New York

The Man Who Lived Airplanes: http://macdonellfamily.wordpress.com/

Come and check it out!!!

Amarilla tries for George’s Civil War Pension 1898…

Widows Application 1898

Widows Application 1898 portion of…

On November 21, 1898 Amarilla tried again for George’s Civil War pension remember that George tried at least twice to get this money but failed.  She filed the Declaration for Widow’s Pension in the county of Crow Wing with the help of Henry D. Philips Law Offices of Washington D.C.

Something happened because the claim had the word ABANDONED stamped a on December 9, 1898 document and several others.

Apparently on 21 November 1900, J.G. Dawes appears on another Declaration of Widow’s Pension with Amarilla.   J.G. Dawes was the notary public at the bottom of the form.  So J.G. tried to help her out.

Several other documents followed from friends and a physician.  They are very interesting and I wonder what stories these people would have told about George and Amarilla.

General Affidavit of Bertha Mickelson, 25 February 1901.

That she was well acquainted with George Barclay deceased for a period of 4 years before his death.  That in the evening of October 29, 1898 about half pass seven o’clock said George Barclay was shot and killed by a person unknown at the time he was sitting in a chair in his own house.  I heard the report of the gun saw him fall and he expired on the floor where he fell.  The ball passed through his neck.  The shot was fired from outside of building and was fired through a window. 

The Physician’s Affidavit was signed by T. F. [Rodwell] M.D. on the 7th of August 1901.

That he is a practicing physician and that he has been acquainted with the said soldier two years, and that he was a man then whose general appearance would not admit I should judge of unusual labor.  I met George Barclay September 1896 and occasionally until his death Oct. 1898.  Where I was called to testify as to cause of death which was from a bullet fired by some unknown person while said Barclay was seated in his house at Pine River passing through his neck thereby causing instant death. 

General Affidavit of John Bubar, age 53 years  Henry Shalding, age 46 years citizens of Brainerd, 28 January 1902.

That they knew personally and were well acquainted with the soldier, George A. Barclay, for a period of 28 years commencing in the year 1867 and continuing up to the  time of his death in the year 1898; that they are acquainted with and have known personally Ammarilla Barclay, widow of George A. Barclay, soldier, for a period of 20 years commencing in the year 1882 and continuing up to the present time; that they personally know said George A. Barclay and Ammarilla Barclay were married and lived together as husband and wife; that they verily believe that said George A. Barclay and Ammarilla Barclay or either of them, was never married prior to their said marriage; that the contents of this affidavit are known to affiants by personal knowledge, observation and acquaintance for a time as aforesaid. 

Something happened and the lawyers were still trying to get a resolution in 1905 and 1906 but it doesn’t appear anything came of it.  You notice that the time frame it really stretched out which means that it was difficult to get resolution.  Every time the law was updated there would be a flood of these widows declarations. Every time Amarilla applied she would have to resubmit documentation.

The Aftermath of a murder – Pine River in October 1898!

Pandemonium rained on the night of my great-grandfather George’s murder, October 29, 1898.  People were running here and there, shouting and yelling and there was a great deal of confusion.  There were many witnesses that had their own take on the actual happenings of the event.

In my last post I wrote a possible scenario of what may have happened that night taken from these eye-witness accounts.

Cowardly Murder

Someone had been standing out in front of the Barclay Hotel in the dark with a gun and aimed through the window.  The bullet went through the front window of the hotel and through George Barclay’s neck and into the post behind/or near him.  Nothing could have been done for him even though they tried to wire for medical aid which would come by train from Brainerd to Pine River.  He was gone!

Whatever aspirations that George had left to realize, they would not happen now and he would not be there for the births of his grandchildren.

Some people have been a little mean and unfeeling about George’s death.  He did have a married daughter, Grace, and she would have children. George’s grandchildren were my dad’s family and from them would come great-grandchildren.  Yes, descendants are living today of this man George Angus Barclay and his wife Amarilla.

My family knew of the murder of George but there was not much detail about the events of that night and what happened after. All we knew was that he was murdered and he “yelled a lot,” and may have had enemies?

The notes of my Aunt Miriam did little to explain the murder. She has the 28th not the 29th.

George's Death

Upon finding the court documents in 2001 and reading them, I will have to say that it was indeed emotional.  The murder was 103 years old back in 2001 when I read about it.  Here I was grieving over the rather sad way that my great grandpa died.

I have studied and read every line of the court documents looking for clues.  Frankly, I was surprised to find anything in the court records on this event.  After looking at the court documents that have survived, I feel a lot of documentation is missing and possibly removed from the files, which is probably not surprising, after all it was at that time 103 years old.

It would be difficult to solve this murder, why.

1.  The crime scene is gone:  The Barclay hotel burned in 1915 (a subject for a future post).  I have not been able to find any blue prints for the hotel which could be of help by telling us where things were inside.

2.  Evidence is long since gone.  The bullet was dug out of the post and removed by Deputy Sheriff Frank Breese with permission from the court.  It was examined and weighed.  What happened to it and where it has gone is unknown.   How long does a county keep evidence?

3.  Witnesses and suspects are gone:  Those individuals present at the scene of the crime are long since dead.  So witnesses and suspects who one would talk too are gone.

4. George himself has been gone a very long time and the condition of his body would be unknown.

5.  The only items left are the court records which to me are not complete and newspaper accounts.

It has long been a dream of mine to hire a forensic expert or CSI but it might be a little expensive.  Just having them review what information I have collected might be of great interest.  I was hoping Cold Justice the TV show would take it on but after having watched their first season I have learned that it is very difficult to work a case that is 25-30 years old because the evidence is lost imagine a hundred years ago. The Cold Justice website would only accept cases referred to them by a law enforcement officer.  I can just imagine the laughter from the county police regarding this 115 year old murder (2013) when they have more urgent cases to solve.

I know, I am dreamer or either I have watched too many crime shows. HA!

Oh, this murder case may be 115 years old but it is still an open case but inactive for there is no statute of limitations on murder in the USA.

 http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_statute_of_limitation_on_murder_in_the_US_and_other_countries

So what did happen that night of October 29, 1898. Well, let’s start with a few newspaper accounts.