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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thursday's Treasure - More Treasures from the Archives

by Laurie Scheeler
2nd Vice President

Keyes & Hentz families

On my latest “library” treasure hunt I came across a great collection featuring the Keyes and Hentz families. Unfortunately we found no information about who donated the material or when. After trying to contact two local Keyes families listed in the phone book and having no luck, I did a search on for persons researching this family and emailed several of them. Two people responded and were very interested in the material. After they discussed it amongst themselves, a family member in Georgia was willing to share the material with others and the box was shipped to her.

This is a fascinating family which includes authors, poets, and artists as well as military, political and
istorical figures.

Our journey begins with a journal written by Marianna Hentz in beginning in 1861, her journal begins with a family history relating to Nicholas Arnould Hentz in France during the French Revolution. Nicholas was an appointed member of the National Convention in 1789, this convention eventually led to the Revolution. He became a General for the Revolution and was imprisoned in the Castle of Ham, which was a famous prison which contained many famous prisoners including Napoleon III. The prisoners were allowed some freedom and Nicholas lived under an assumed name of Arnould. After the
Revolution he was ordered to leave the country within 30 days
, along with all the survivors who signed the warrant for the execution of Louis XVI.

Nicholas and his family left from Havre, France for New York where they landed March 25, 1816, with the little fortune which survived the Revolution. His descendants and their families are listed in detail in the book. The remainder of the book is filled in longhand, details of the politics behind the Revolution, quotes from Nicholas and perhaps many historically significant events. Since the writing is quite small and lengthy, although quite legible I will leave it to historians to sift through.

The next generation sees 4 children who include Nicholas Marcellin Hentz noted artist, entomologist, identifying 124 species of spiders, medical doctor and Professor of languages at several Universities. He married Caroline Lee Whiting, noted novelist, most noted for her opposition to the abolitionist movement. She was a major literary figure in her day, often compare to Harriet Beecher Stowe, her contemporary but opposite in feeling on slavery. Her Feelings would come into play in later years in the family during and after the civil war.

Nicholas Marcellin Hentz and Caroline lee Whiting had 5 children, one of whom died early. Their daughter Julia Louisa Hentz married into the Keyes family and became a well-known poet in her own right. Her poems earned praise throughout the Confederacy during the Civil War. There were copies of many of her poems in the box of material as well as poems by several other family members. One envelope contained some family letters written by Julia from Brazil after the War. They were marked as original and the only ones "Known to exist".

The Hentz and Keyes families lived in the South and were primarily pro slavery, as depicted in many documents, copies of speeches and family letters. After the Civil War many members of the family chose to leave the United States and move to Brazil, along with many other Southern families. The Emperor of Brazil offered incentives for Confederate families to come to his country to help develop plantations educate and build railroads.

A copy of a 212 page typewritten manuscript titled "Our Life in Brazil" was included in the box. (It was printed in the Alabama historical quarterly, vol 28, no. 3-4, pages 127-339 which can be found at this link ttp://

There was also a published short story titled "When Americans were Emigrants". This story was published by a Kansas City Paper, June 16, 1912. It is quite an interesting short story about the history of this family and others during the time shortly after the Civil War. I retained a copy of this story for our library plus a copy will be published to our blog at a later date. Most families returned to the United States after several years in Brazil. (If you have family from the South that disappeared after the civil war you might look into this possibility.)

Two copies of another interesting booklet titled "A Sailor's Manuscript", published by the University of Pennsylvania, dated 18 Dec, 1859 were found in the box. It depicts a history of the Keyes family, coming from England. One copy was retained for our library.

Many items in this box are duplicates of material found in collections owned by The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and The University of Alabama. They are important historical documents.

Of equal importance is the rich history and detailed family trees found in this collection.

At some point after World War 2, Merrit Hentz Keyes and his wife Nancy found their way to Lake Havasu City, most likely during the 70's or 80's. Merritt died in Lake Havasu in 1992 and is buried here. It would seem reasonable to assume this is how this material found its way to our library. After many years of safekeeping we a pleased to reunite it with the rightful family and know it will help with their genealogy projects. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Saturday Sharing - History of Dr. Dana Gibson and Rosemary Bower Pierce Gibson

By Laurie Scheeler
2nd Vice President

In going through the Archives at our genealogy library, we came across a box donated by Dr. E. Dana Gibson, prior to his death in 2000. This box has been just waiting for use to open and discover the treasures inside.

Dr. Gibson, a Lake Havasu resident from the early 80's to his death in 2000 was renowned expert in early data processing and business automation. he co-authored a number of business education textbooks and classroom resources with his colleague Lynn Straub while they were on staff at San Diego State University. His wife Rosemary was co-authored of some books with her husband. Dr. Gibson was considered to be about 20 years ahead of his time in business automation and was named Professor Emeritus of Information management at San Diego State University after his retirement.

Dr. Gibson and his wife were world travelers, including Africa and Central America, where they were often involved in research project relative to the evolution of business methods within various countries. Dr. Gibson was very generous with his resources, The Presbyterian Community Park on Avalon Ave had its origins in his Generosity.

The couple left no children or known relatives according to his January 16, 2000 obituary. Further research found that Dr. Gibson was born in Worthington, Minnesota on April 5, 1906 to James and Genevieve (Jennie) Gibson. He has two sisters, Ermie (1906), Ruth (1908) and a brother Dyerald (1913). He married Rosemary Pierce in Las Vegas on June 16, 1956. His given name was Ernest Dana Gibson.

Treasures in the Box

1950 Yearbook-DEL SUDOOESTE COLLEGE which is now known as San Diego State College. The book is in fair to poor condition with many pages stuck together. Dr. Gibson is listed as a Professor of Commerce at the school during this time.

Rosemary Bower Pierce was born February 15, 1914 in Trafford, PA to Howard Leroy Pierce and Mary Elizabeth Bower. She was the only surviving child, a set of twins died as infants prior to Rosemary's birth. Rosemary died February 17, 1978 in Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Most of the material in the box relates to Rosemary Pierce's family. a full genealogy book is included giving education, church and political affiliations, birth, death, marriage, children and occupations of her family members. The bulk of the research began with her father and there is a full folder containing correspondence between Mr. Pierce and the Gloucester County Historical Society, Woodbury, New Jersey, ( during the 1940's.

The Pierce family seems to be early settlers in New Jersey and are of the Quaker Faith during this time. Their roots lead back to England.

  • Typewritten listings of Gandy Family Bible, from 1798 to 1914 plus another listing from Wolf Bible from 1797 to 1882.
  • Type letter dated 1945 with family stories.
  • Copy of the last will and testament of James Poarce, dated 1694. This will was found in the Books of Wills, Secretary of State's Office, Trenton, NJ, pg 138. I found this person on spelled this way, the name was later changed to Pierce.
  • Pierce family notes
  • Pages of real estate papers, maps, etc.
  • Large group of vital stats from Trenton, NJ about the Pierce family
  • Album with Pierce family data and photos from early 20th century to 1940's
  • Album with Pierce family data, 1st page is interesting giving history of Puritan (New England and Quaker Pennsylvania relationships)
  • Album with Harris family data tied to Gandry family
  • Listing of Settlers of Fairfield, NJ, dated March 2, 1912
  • Land records search by Hazel Simpson, letter to Howard Pierce, dated Oct 28, 1942.
  • Correspondence to Howard Pierce regarding deeds, plats, research.
  • Typewritten letter to "Barbara" from "your Uncle" presumably Howard Pierce. Lots of good family information and history, dated 1945.
  • Handwritten letter from Howard Pierce to Mrs. Theodore C. Schumacher
  • Misc. handwritten notes, regarding Pierce family
  • Typewritten notes Pierce family 4th thru 8th generation - 1768 to 1920 1 page of 2nd gen 1694
  • Typewritten history of Gandy family of West Jersey, 1635 to 1932 including lists from Gandy Bible and Wolf Bible - 2 copies, original and Xerox copy
  • List of marriages in Cumberland and Atlantic counties since 1848 to 1876.
We would like to reunite this information with the family so they may enjoy the multitude of facts, history and stories about this early colonial family.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Online Learning

Even the most experienced researchers need to continue their learning. We might be strong in one area and weak in another or perhaps we just want a refresher or a different perspective on a research topic. Whatever the reason, we can always find online learning to take our family history research to the next level.

Therefore, when I received an email from the New England Historic Genealogical Society ( that talked about what is NEW at the Online Learning Center, I thought I should share this with my genealogical society.

The library will be closing soon for summer, since many of us travel during the hot summer months of Arizona. Thus, our share sessions, general meetings and special interest groups will be halted too. But our learning doesn't have to stop just because the library will be closed.

Check out the following:

New at the Online Learning Center
Watch How-To Videos and Lectures 
Want to learn how to get the most from How to write and publish your family history? Or how to find your early New England ancestors? Our video series, featuring NEHGS experts, can help! 

Archived Webinars 
Watch previously broadcast webinars on topics ranging from using to Irish research to writing and publishing your family history. (Videos range from 45 minutes to a little over an hour in length.)

Brief Video Lectures 
Get a quick introduction to best practices in genealogy, identifying Civil War ancestors, and more. Created in partnership with Family Search. (Videos are approximately 10 to 15 minutes long.)

How-To Videos 
Want to learn how to save searches on, or how numbering works inahnentafel or Register-style publications? Our short how-to videos can help! (Videos are approximately 2 to 3 minutes long.)

Our growing Online Learning Center contains subject guides on a variety of genealogical topics, informative videos, webinars, online courses, and more. If you have questions or feedback, contact Online Education Coordinator Ginevra Morse at

So whether you will be traveling or staying this summer, try to fit a little learning in each and every week. Life is short and before you know it, summer will be over and what will you have to show for it? Come back in the fall or next spring and share what you learned through online learning!

Monday, April 28, 2014

NEW SET OF MAYFLOWER “SILVER” BOOKS donated to the Lake Havasu Genealogical Society

The Lake Havasu Genealogical Society Library accepts a new set of Mayflower Families Through Five Generations volumes, better known as the “silver books,” from the Arizona Mayflower Society.  Mayflower Society Member, H Allen Nash their new Library Liaison, delivered the books in person on April 24th to the LHGS Librarian and President, Jane Bowen. Funds came from the estate of Jeanette Schmidt, widow of former Arizona Mayflower society governor L Bernard Schmidt, Jr., state member #2, in honor of his mother, Georgia Perle Wilson Schmidt. She was the founding governor of the state society and AZ member #1. Allen also installed bookplates inside each volume to commemorate Mrs. Schmidt and the Arizona Mayflower Society.

The Schmidt bequest was sufficient to also fund a previous donation that was awarded to the Yuma County Library on April 4th. Adding these two libraries has expanded the current list to 7 libraries and ensures that no Arizonan is more than a two-hour drive from a library that the Arizona Mayflower Society supports.

Pictured from left to right are: Jennifer Lynn-Goettelmann, member of both the LHGS and Mayflower Society; H Allen Nash, Mayflower Society Library Liaison; Jane Bowen, LHGS President and Head Librarian, and Larry Hayduk member of LHGS and former junior member of the Mayflower Society. Larry was instrumental in getting the donation for the Lake Havasu Genealogical Society.  
Visit to see the list of books donated.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday Sharing – Digital Copies

Have you every wished you could find that article you read in Family Tree Magazine, but can’t remember what issue it was in? Do you have stacks of old magazines that are taking up valuable space in your home? The Genealogical Library now has back issues of Family Tree Magazine in digital form thanks to a donation. These issues of magazines can be accessed from the first computer in the Library and they cover 2000-2013. They are searchable and printable. If you find the article you want, you can print it out for only ten cents a page.

Plus all the State Research Guides for all 50 states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico are available in digital form. They were published as four-page inserts in the Family Tree Magazine, but they can be access directly via the State Research Guides Shortcut located on the first computer. If you are going to be doing research in a state that you are unfamiliar with or even familiar with, you will find many helpful tips and links to aid your genealogy research in those states. We also have these guides in printed form too!

There is even City Genealogy Guides for many major cities. These two were published as four-page inserts in the Family Tree Magazine and can be access directly via the City Genealogy Guides shortcut located on the first computer.

In addition to all of this, there is another short cut which will take you directly to Family Tree Magazine’s Web Guides. These are short four-page how-to-do guides to popular websites such as HeritageQuest or Now some might be a little out of date, but you still might find helpful tips or tricks that you didn’t know before.

Come into the library now and explore our new donations, printout an interesting article or helpful guide that might come in handy this summer as you are traveling for your genealogy research. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Saturday Sharing - Fraternal Organizations

This month, the Society’s program was on Fraternal Organizations. Since I had volunteered to do the program, I decided to approach the subject as a researcher. How would I know if my ancestor was a member of a fraternal organization?

One way would be by their obituary. Many times, people will list what organizations the deceased was a member of. Another way would be by finding a newspaper article that might list your ancestor in connection with the organization. However, what if the organization was a secret organization, then how would I know?

Many times you will find symbols on their gravestones that you might not know what they represent. So I decided to do a google search on “Fraternal Organizations symbols on tombstones” and it leads me to the following link This website was great place for me to start my search. It showed many organizations, not just fraternal orders, but other civic groups.

Because the website did not go into great detail on the history of each organization, I had to do more google searches on each organization that I decided to include in my PowerPoint presentation. I found many were listed in Wikipedia but I made sure I explained where I found my information since Wikipedia is only as accurate as the person submitting the information.

All-in-all the Presentation was very informative. However, many members expected me to have all the answer about Fraternal Organizations and I had to remind them that I was learning as I was doing this presentation. I did find another website that listed when many organizations were first form and that website was

Since a few members wanted to know what website(s) I used to do my presentation, I decided to create this blog as a way to get the word out.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday Sharing - Using Facebook for Genealogy

This month’s Share Session at the Genealogy Library talked about how to use Facebook for Genealogy. A lot of members had stated that they don’t use Facebook and they don’t need to know what someone has for their lunch or breakfast. Other’s had mention that they can’t believe the stuff that family members post on Facebook.

My suggestion is to use Facebook just for Genealogy. I explained if they already have a Facebook account for family and friends; create another account just for Genealogy. I explained they will need a separate email account to create this Facebook account. Since I usually have a dedicated email for my genealogy stuff, I decided to use that email for my Genealogy Facebook account.

I then showed everyone the importance of privacy settings. I explained that I try to pick the most secure sounding option, especially for those options that I don’t understand. Therefore, if you have the following options: public, friend of friends, friends or only me. I will choose only me because that is the most secure. If that is not an option, then I choose friends.

I explained that for my Genealogy Facebook account, I don’t have any friends, I don’t plan on choosing any friends, plus I won’t be accepting any friend request either because I don’t want to have to scroll through all my friends, “frivolous” post to get to my genealogy post, this is why I don’t use my everyday Facebook Account for my genealogy stuff.

To check your privacy setting, you click on the “gear” icon located near your name in the upper right-hand side of your home page.

Once your privacy settings are good, then you can use the Facebook Search bar (not your browser’s URL spot) to find genealogy groups. Type in search words like: Genealogy, Irish Genealogy, or FamilySearch… Then you just have to “Like” their page. Some might be private groups that you will need to be accepted to. This is why I don’t privatize everything, I allow my city and state to show, I also share the fact that I am Married, I list that I volunteer at the local library and I might share my genealogy society website too.

However, my profile picture is not of me but a generic picture that I found on the web that reflects my genealogy interest. I do not want my friends sending me request to the wrong account. However, if they do, I can always send them a request with my “real” Facebook account and explain that the other account I use only for my genealogy interest.

So you might want to know what the difference between a page and a group. Pages are usually for businesses or organizations. All you have to do is “Like” the page and you get post to your news feed as they are posted to the pages. Groups are a just that, a group of people who might share an interest. Usually they are controlled by someone, might require approval to join and if so, you will see a “request” button to join. Some groups want to make sure you are a real person, again, this is why I make sure I have some public information.

Basically, my Genealogy Facebook account because a “share” session where I can learn from others who are in my groups or what is happening on Facebook Pages such as my society page.

I am really liking my Genealogy Facebook account because I am not being side tracked by all my friends and family posts. Don't get me wrong, I love my family and friends, but my time that I use for genealogy is rare and precious plus I won't get distracted by seeing that someone has passed me on Candy Crush and won't be tempted to try to pass them!