Ellen Neagle’s family

My third great uncle James B. Parker headed west to California from Wisconsin about 1860. I’ve tracked he and his wife in the census from San Joaquin Township near Sacramento in 1860, to San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara County in 1870, to Compton in 1880. James Parker died in 1895 in Lemon, near Los Angeles.

But at the time he died, his wife was named Harriet. His wife when he left Wisconsin was Ellen. So what happened to her? At this point, I don’t know.

In an effort to find out, today I researched her family. Often times, the obituaries for siblings will mention their family. Or a will will give the status of possible heirs. Or other researchers will have found information that I don’t have.

The Saint Patrick’s parish (Biddulph, Ontario) marriage record for Ellen Neagle gives her date of marriage to James Parker as 8 Jun 1857.

Portion of marriage register for James Parker and Ellen Neagle showing date of marriage as 8 Jun 1857
Saint Patrick’s Marriage register entry for Ellen Neagle

I found an 1851 Canada Census record that matched in nearby Usborne township, Huron County. There Ellen Neagle lived with her father John Neagle, and siblings James, Thomas, Catherine, Mary and John. From that, I was able to quickly find information to establish their marriages, entries in later Canadian censuses, and dates of death. My evidence would in no way be strong enough to satisfy the Genealogical Proof Standard, but I don’t need it to be. I just need clues from their obituaries, wills, other researchers, etc.

This is what I turned up:

Husband: First Names
John
Surname
Neagle
Born: abt 1798 Ireland
Married: unknown
Died: unknown
Wife: First Names
Catherine
Surname
Condon
Born: unknown
Died: unknown

Children:

Name Birth Death Spouse
James Nagle 8 Dec 1826
Ireland
25 Feb 1902
Perth, Ontario, Canada
Thomas Nagle 28 Mar 1828
Cork, Ireland
31 Jan 1905
Perth, Ontario, Canada
Catherine Nagle abt 1832
Ireland
2 Nov 1902
London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada
Thomas Casey
Mary Nagle abt Sep 1834
Ireland
17 Nov 1918
London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada
John Hagarty
Ellen Nagle abt 1836
Ireland
James Parker
John Nagle abt 1837
Ireland
12 Nov 1902
Perth, Ontario, Canada

Every single one of them died in Ontario, so I don’t have easy access to obituaries or wills. Additionally, every other public tree on Ancestry (as well as the ones I could find on the web) don’t include Ellen. No one else has a clue either.

The exercise isn’t worthless though. Perhaps someday I will have better access to Canadian records, or other families will post their information, or search for them and stumble cross this post. Over time, I get a fair number of people who contact me about what I post here. So hopefully that will continue with this, and I’ll get some clues as to what happened to Ellen.

The Sisters Solle

One of the things that I want to do with my family history research is tell the stories of my forgotten relatives. One such set of relatives are my first cousins twice removed: Clarabel, Marie, Catherine and Helen Solle.

The Solle sisters are the daughters of my second great uncle Frederick Henry Solle. Fred Solle was an oil and gasoline dealer in Springfield, Illinois and he died young. After his death, his wife Emma Neff Solle took her four daughters and moved to Los Angeles. Clarabel married Fred Adams, who died a few years after their nuptials and they never had children. Marie and Catherine never married and never had children, so far as my research has found. Helen married Floyd Chandler, had one child, and died shortly after that. They also had a brother who died in infancy before their father passed away. Seven people and only one descendant to remember them. For such families, I often wonder what happened to their personal effects, particularly their photos.

While researching this week, I came across photos of Catherine (a.k.a. Kay) and Helen from their time in a Los Angeles area women’s club, the Wilshire Juniors. They appeared four times in the Los Angeles Times in 1½ years. The final one appeared in November of 1937 and is the featured image at the top of this post.

Mrs. Maurice Miller, Miss Kay Solle, Mmes. Ralph Mather, Henry Graef, Clarence Hausser, Miss Helen Solle and Miss Dorothy Berry (in front)
Mrs. Maurice Miller, Miss Kay Solle, Mmes. Ralph Mather, Henry Graef, Clarence Hausser, Miss Helen Solle and Miss Dorothy Berry (in front), from the 28 Apr 1936 Los Angeles Times
Miss Helen Solle, Mrs. Ralph W. Mather, Miss Kay Solle, and Mrs. Henry A. Graef
Miss Helen Solle, Mrs. Ralph W. Mather, Miss Kay Solle, and Mrs. Henry A. Graef, from the 9 Jun 1936 Los Angeles Times
Mrs. Louis Miller, Misses Kay and Helen Solle
Mrs. Louis Miller, Misses Kay and Helen Solle, from the 26 Sep 1936 Los Angeles Times

Now I’ve gotten to tell a bit of the story of two relatives who didn’t have as much chance to pass on their stories as some.

Swedish billing screws up

This afternoon I got a call from Swedish hospital’s billing office saying that I hadn’t payed my bill for my CT scan in March. I am working from a coffee shop.

I couldn’t get First Tech CU’s bill pay system to show me my detailed bill payment history, but I could see that there was a payment to Swedish. He looked around and found that payment on another account, and said he would transfer it over to the correct one. The call ended.

Two minutes later, I figured out the trick to get the bill payment system to show detailed history. And I found the payment. It wasn’t the one he found that he said he was going to transfer.

So I called back and got someone else. Talked to some other lady, and told her what I’d found. Told her to stop the first guy from doing whatever it was he was doing to transfer the other payment. I don’t think that happened.

Then I told her I have my bill payer up, and read off the payment amount and address. She tells me it’s the wrong address (provider office instead of billing office). I am wondering how I screwed that up, but it’s possible I think. She’ll track it down, she says. Phone call ends.

I am home for the night, and pull up my scanned bills. Huh. I have the address correct. Now I’m concerned that they really don’t know what the fuck they are talking about, because they ought to know the correct address.

It’s 12:30 in the morning, and I can’t sleep because this fucking screwup is occupying my brain. This is our fucking health care system. It’s not just the insurance. It’s that whenever you do anything, there’s a minimum of three bills. Each of the doctor, the facility, and the electric company at a minimum. Probably a few others too. Each of them has a pretty good chance of screwing something up. This isn’t the first time.

I want a goddamn case manager to deal with all this shit. I want the medical industry to do something about it. I want the government to do something about it.
There’s no goddamn good reason for this to be so complicated.

Wikitree becomes evil / Chris Whitten is a liar

Several years ago I stopped using Geni.com because they decided to make previously private profiles public. I started using Wikitree instead because the founder, Chris Whitten, promised that Wikitree would not do this. He lied. Let me re-iterate. Chris Whitten is a liar. I wish I had saved screencaps where he told me Wikitree would not do the thing it has now done.

Wikitree decided to take private information and make it public.

I have profiles of people that I had set to private that were made not only public, but editable by anyone. Because Chris Whitten thinks he’s a better judge of what should be private about my family than I am.

While there’s nothing about people who died over 100 years ago that I am worried about, I no longer trust Chris Whitten. I would have no problem if he decided this is how privacy levels will work for all new profiles. But to retro-actively remove privacy protections for information tells me he’d be willing to do it again. What’s to say he won’t decide to make public information about living people? Or recently deceased? He’s shown that their privacy policy isn’t worth the electrons it was printed with.

Even worse, Wikitree will not let me delete the information they’ve let me keep private to this point. So I’m stuck with leaving that information with an untrustworthy shitheel.

So I repeat. Chris Whitten is a goddamn fucking liar. Wikitree has become evil.

Edited to add: Employee Eowyn Langholf is also a liar. In her response to my complaint with the Washington Attorney General she stated that: ” no private information has or will be made public “. Which is incorrect. The profile of my great grandfather Joseph Peter Weiss was made public.

Adventures in medical insurance enrollment

When I put in my notice at the last job, I assumed my insurance would carry through to the end of the month. I had an MRI scheduled for my last day (a Friday), and the related oncologist appointment for the following Tuesday. In my exit interview at 1 pm on that Friday, I was informed that my insurance got cut off at midnight. I hadn’t read the documentation I was sent two days earlier closely enough.

So I scrambled to apply for insurance that day, rather than do it the following Monday as I’d planned. Got on WAHealthPlanFinder, put in my info, including that my last day of coverage was 3/24. Picked a plan. Got confirmation that night that I was approved and that I should call the insurance company (Regence) or go to their web site to pay. Start date 4/1.

Called the oncologist on Monday and delayed my appointment for a week. Called Regence to find out how to pay. They had no record of me. CSR said it took a couple of days to get in the system. That’s fine. I expect these things.

I get “secure email” from Regence on 4/3 saying they need a letter from my employer before they can approve my insurance, deadline 4/10. I submit it online the same day. Within the hour. On 4/5, having heard nothing, I emailed Regence asking what’s up. I get a non-committal response. There’ll be a new deadline if that doesn’t suffice.

On 4/10, having heard nothing I call my oncologist and delay the appointment until May.

On 4/11, I get a request for a document from my previous insurance, deadline for submission 4/25. Letter from the employer wasn’t good enough. Note that this is the day after the previous deadline. I immediately call Cigna, the previous insurance. The document from them arrives on 4/17, and I submit it online that day.

On 4/26 (the day after the deadline), having not heard from them and starting to worry, I call the underwriting department. They say they’ve approved it and I need to call the exchange to arrange payment. Payment goes through Regence anyway. So I call the exchange, they have no record of the approval and as far as they are concerned, it was approved on 3/25. I need to talk to Regence. So I call Regence again, the regular line this time thinking it’s out of underwriting’s hands. But the CSR just transfers me to underwriting. This time the underwriting person tells me the application was approved this morning at 10:36, but that there’s nothing they can do on their end to speed of processing any more. Later in the call, she tells me because it’s an exchange based policy, it will take 4 days to get the paperwork transmitted back to the exchange, rather than the normal two. This means that the earliest I would actually have insurance is the last day of the fucking month, but I’d have to pay for the entire month. But even that’s unlikely because after the exchange gets it the information has to be put back into Regence’ system for payment and then to send me my insurance card. So I won’t be insured until May at least, but I’ll have to pay for April.

And no guarantee that all this paperwork will be processed before my appointment.

So, frustrated, I file a complaint with the Washington Insurance Commissioner, explaining all this. Total delay that I’m responsible for is a few hours. Total delay due to Cigna is 6 days. Total delay due to Regence (and possibly some due to the Washington insurance exchange) is 27 days. So far. I request:

  • A refund of any premiums I have to pay for April.
  • That Regence word its document requests so that everything can be submitted in one shot, with requirements understandable to people who aren’t insurance terminology geeks.
  • That Regence staff its underwriting department sufficient that paperwork processing happens in a timely fashion rather than the day after deadlines.
  • A pony

I tweet the previous bit out too, tagging the Regence Twitter handle. That person wants my info and I’m reluctant to give it, having been on the phone for an hour today already. However, about an hour later she’s on the line with me and with the exchange at the same time, and the exchange is putting in a ticket to change my start date to 5/1. With the Regence person on the line, she doesn’t think there will be any problem approving it. It would have required me putting a request in to Regence and paperwork being sent back and forth without that. I also recorded all this portion. Thank you Google Voice! It’ll probably mean I get one set of insurance cards for a start date of 4/1, and a second set with a start date of 5/1.

I’d rather have gotten the insurance processed in a timely fashion, and my oncologist appointment not delayed for a month. But it’s better than nothing. And I still want them to rewrite their requests and staff the hell up. I doubt the insurance commissioner will order that however. Still, I hope Regence has to at least spend some cycles on responding to those parts of the request.

Genealogy: do not trust, verify

The last couple of days I’ve been doing some quick research on an in-law, Andrew Fischer of Campbell County, South Dakota. He married Anna Lindemann, a relative of mine. I generally do some research on an in-law’s parents, siblings and anyone else that can be considered “immediate family” in case those people’s lives reveal something about my family.

Andrew Fischer was born in South Russia in 1903 and came to the US in 1910. His parents, Andreas and Magdalena Fischer, had more children after establishing themselves in Campbell County, South Dakota. (However, see my note in the final paragraph of this post regarding Andrew’s parents.) The one I want to highlight is his brother, Arthur Fischer. Arthur Fischer was born about 1918 in South Dakota, and that’s where things go wrong.

Somewhere along the line, someone found an Arthur Fischer who was born in 1918 and died in 1988 and was buried in South Dakota. They assumed this Arthur Fischer was the son of Andreas and Magdalena. After all, what are the odds of more than one Arthur Fischer born in 1918 and connected to South Dakota? Pretty good actually.

Searching the Social Security Death Index for Arthur Fischers born about 1918 with some connection to South Dakota results in seven people:

Name Birth Date Death Date Last Residence (City,County,State)
Arthur Fischer 28 Oct 1918 6 Apr 1988 57754 Lead, Lawrence, South Dakota, USA
Arthur Fischer 17 Mar 1918 7 Aug 1997 32798 Zellwood, Orange, Florida, USA
Arthur Adolph Fischer 4 Jun 1916 22 Sep 2010 57078 Yankton, Yankton, South Dakota, USA
Arthur Fischer 3 Jun 1915 Dec 1961
Arthur M. Fischer 20 Mar 1915 7 Sep 1999 57437 Eureka, Mcpherson, South Dakota, USA
Arthur J. Fischer 6 Sep 1922 4 Dec 1993 57437 Eureka, Mcpherson, South Dakota, USA
Arthur Fischer 22 Feb 1922 Feb 1984 55112 Saint Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota, USA

Two had their last residence in Eureka, just a 21 minute drive from Artas, where the “real” Arthur Fischer grew up. So which one is he?

According to ELCA baptismal records, the son of Andreas and Magdalena was born 17 Mar 1918:

ELCA baptism record for Arthur Fischer

The second Arthur Fischer listed above appears to be the correct one. Looking for an obituary for him, Genealogy Bank has the following (citing an obituary in the Orlando Sentinel):

79, Greenbluff Road, Zellwood, died Thursday, Aug. 7. Mr. Fischer was a quality assurance inspector for the U.S. government. Born in Artas, S.D., he moved to Central Florida in 1986. He was a member of Zellwood Golf Association. He was also an Army veteran of World War II and a member of Disabled American Veterans. Survivors: wife, Lois H.; sons, Bruce W., Inver Grove Heights, Minn., Bradley C., St. Paul, Minn.; sister, Elvina Huber, Mobridge, S.D.; brothers, John, Corvallis, Ore., Walter, Baxter, Minn. Woodlawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park, Orlando.

The obituary does not list his parents names, but the birthplace matches up. More importantly, Andreas and Magdalena had children named Alvina, John and Walter. Research on Alvina shows she married an Edward Huber. The Arthur Fischer who died in 1997 is the correct Arthur Fischer.

There are currently 10 family trees on Ancestry.com other than mine that include Arthur Fischer. As of today, all of them have his lifespan matching the first Arthur Fischer in the list above. And someone found the Find a Grave entry for the first Arthur Fischer, connected him to Andreas and Magdalena, added a bio, and included a photo.

That Arthur Fischer, however, was born in Napoleon, North Dakota, as his obituary states:

1988 obituary for the other Arthur Fischer

Maybe most of the people on Ancestry treat their trees there as “experimental” as I do, meaning, copy this at your own risk, as I haven’t verified everything. What’s on Find a Grave should be correct, however. People make mistakes. But it’s clear that noone has done much verification on the information for Arthur, they simply copied what someone else had. If you value the accuracy of your tree, do that verification before you copy a tree into your own. Assume that people make mistakes.

I’ve let the maintainer of the Find a Grave entry know, and I expect it’ll be corrected before too long. But those ten Ancestry trees, along with others on services I don’t use, will probably remain incorrect for years to come. A lesson from that is to remember that correctness of genalogical information is not proven by majority vote.

In my case, the easy things to find on Arthur Fischer didn’t reveal anything about Andrew Fischer, husband of Anna Lindemann. He died before Arthur, and I haven’t found any crossover in their records after childhood. In fact, in my better database (not my Ancestry tree), I haven’t included anything about the parents of the Andrew Fischer I’m interested in because I haven’t found a solid connection between Anna Lindemann’s husband and the rest of his family. Those same ten family trees are what suggested he is the son of Andreas and Magdalena. There’s a lot of suggestive evidence that backs that conclusion from those trees, but nothing solid, much less sufficient for a G.P.S. proof argument.

Initiative 1433 – Washington State Minimum Wage

Washington state already has one of the higher minimum wages in the Unites States, and our minimum wage is already adjusted for inflation every year. However, that does not mean we have a living wage. Initiative 1433, on the ballot in November, aims to increase wages for the working poor by increasing our minimum wage and instituting a few other worker-friendly protections.

I am sure there are some marginal businesses that this will hurt. If you are making a crappy product that is barely selling, having to pay people better wages may make your business not feasible.

I’d rather protect people who are marginally making it than businesses that are marginally making it. So, unsurprisingly, I am in favor of Initiative 1433.

The things it would do are:

  • Raise the minimum wage:
    Year Projected w/ Current Law New Minimum Wage
    2017 $9.55/hr $11.00/hr
    2018 $9.77/hr $11.50/hr
    2019 $10.02/hr $12.00/hr
    2020 $10.28/hr $13.50/hr
    2021 $10.56/hr $13.86/hr (projected)
  • Require businesses to provide paid sick leave at the rate of 1 hour for every 40 worked.
  • Require 40 hours of accrued sick leave to be rolled over every year.
  • Prohibit employers from requiring employees to find their replacements for sick time taken.
  • Prohibit discrimination against workers who use sick leave.
  • Expand minimum wage law coverage to include some additional caregivers who provide DSHS services.

The proponents of I-1433 claim that the new minimums will increase wages for 730,000 workers, citing the Budget and Policy Center (BPC). I can’t find with a cursory search how they obtained their numbers. In one place, the BPC says that 500,000 workers make less than $12/hour. The financial impact statement prepared for the voters pamphlet makes clear that a fair number of people will be raised out of poverty with I-1433, as it predicts a reduction in caseloads for a number of state programs that benefit the poor. the I-1433 opposition says that 1.13 million people make less than $13.50/hour in the state. That’s a lot of people who will be helped.

One of the big arguments against I-1433, as noted by the Defeat 1433 folks is that the initiative would cost the state $363 million through 2022. What they don’t note in that argument is that those costs are primarily due to a 4 year lag in collecting unemployment insurance premiums. In other words, rates for 2020 are based on what employers pay from 2015-2019. So we’d be paying out unemployment compensation based on the new minimum wage but collecting based on the old minimum wage. As unemployment insurance rate calculation is not affected by this initiative, the legislature could easily remedy that through a simple majority vote. If the legislature doesn’t want to, any shortfall is on them, in my view, not I-1433.

I-1433 also mandates sick leave. Workers at the low end of the wage scale don’t have much of a safety net if they can’t work. This gives them a safety net. The principle reason opposing this, according to the organization advocating defeat, is that it is unclear how much sick leave can be taken in a single year. That argument is based on rolling over 40 hours into a new year plus an additional accrual of 52 hours that year. How is a business to survive if they can’t tell if an employee might take between 0 and 92 hours of sick leave in a one single year??! You might think I’m being facetious with that claim, and you’d be right. A business allocates a certain percentage of money into a reserve account to account for that. That is approximately 5% of full time hours. It’s a fairly narrow range of unpredictability. I think they can adjust to the uncertainty a lot easier than low wage workers can adjust to the lack of income when they are sick.

It’s important to note that opponents of higher wages predicted gloom and doom when Seattle and Seatac raised their minimum wages. Nothing of the sort happened. Maybe the opponents will be correct this time, but it would be a first. And if they are correct, then the legislature can halt or roll back the increases.

A quick look at who is funding the campaigns, because I think that says a lot about who benefits. The Defeat 1433 campaign’s contributions come from the Washington Restaurant Association, the Washington Food Industry Association, and the Washington Retail Association. Their workers would benefit from higher wages. The other campaign is being funded by Nick Hanauer (a local businessman), unions (who might see higher dues from higher minimum wages), and a group called The Fairness Project. I should note that as of the information in the PDC’s database today, the proponents have raised over $3.8 million to the opponents $54,000.

Featured image for this post taken by Elvert Barnes and used under a Creative Common Attribution license.

Alt Metten in Bohemia

My second great grand uncle (by marriage), Joseph Zimmerman, died in 1908 in Los Angeles. I had his death certificate and brief death notice from Los Angeles to establish the details around that event, but I knew there were obituaries for him in Iowa, where he’d resided for many years before removing to Los Angeles. I’d seen a transcription for one from the Guttenberg Press on a GenWeb site. Last week I remembered that, like a lot of other Iowa county libraries, the local library probably had a web site hosting digitized versions of their old newspapers. And the Guttenberg Library does have a newspaper site!

In addition to the Guttenberg Press obituary, the site also has one from the Clayton County Journal (only the first portion shown):

Obituary for Joseph Zimmerman from the Clayton County Journal
Obituary for Joseph Zimmerman from the Clayton County Journal, 11 Dec 1908, page 8

Unlike other evidence which listed either Austria or Baden as his place of birth, this obituary gives a fairly precise location: Alt Metten in Bohemia.

Being the curious and detailed person that I am, I want to know where Alt Metten was. I know there are gazetteers for historical Germany, but I didn’t know offhand if any such things cover the Austrian Empire or Bohemia in particular. And I like maps. So I perused the David Rumsey map collection web site to see if it had any for Bohemia. It does, and the approximate date is 1838, which is really close to Joseph Zimmerman’s year of birth.

Unfortunately, Alt Metten was not immediately apparent. So I made a copy of the map and, using GIMP, started crossing off place names that were not Alt Metten. Below you will see my handiwork, which is still not complete. The red marks tick off places that are within the Kingdom of Bohemia according to the map. Then I started with yellow marks for places outside the borders shown but which could conceivably be considered Bohemia. A couple of places I circled in green for further checking in case I can’t find better candidates. I still have some places to check.

Map of Kingdom of Bohemia  from Allgemeiner Hand Atlas der Ganzen Erde
Map of Kingdom of Bohemia from Allgemeiner Hand Atlas der Ganzen Erde

So far, nothing that is clearly Alt Metten.

Post-glacial Rebound near Håkansön

I attended a genealogy seminar on 25 September 2016 at the Swedish Club in Seattle, put on by SwedGen. The final portion was on the historical maps available from Landmäteriet. I’ve used that web site for the current maps, mostly as a gazetteer. I didn’t know the historical maps were available.

So I poked around looking for maps of Håkansön, the village where both my great grandparents are from. Some of the old church records identify the farm numbers where my family lived. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any land reform maps for the village, which would show the individual farms.

But there were some general maps for the area, and I noticed something interesting. The first image is from Google Maps of the peninsula today. The marker on it shows where Håkansön was according to the old maps (I thought it was slightly south of there).

Map of Klubbviken 2016
Klubbviken 2016

The second image is of the same area on a map identified as being from 1858-78. The peninsula is shorter, with an island just off the tip.

Map of Klubbviken from 1859-78
Klubbviken 1859-78

What was an island in the 1800s is now part of the mainland. I’m betting the change in sea level is due to post-glacial rebound. The entire area was under thousands of feet of ice 20,000 years ago. and it is now rising because the weight no longer presses down.

Kind of neat to see a long term geological process actually reflected in the maps.