Charles Karl Schmeling 1811-1885

Family tree from records of Elbert Schmiling.jpg

How wonderful that Elbert Schmiling wrote a family history that begins with the story of Charles Karl Schmeling and his wife Dorothea Maria Westphal.

This is a link to Elbert’s narrative account about Charles and Dorothea:

I have also done research on Ancestry to piece together documents and supporting facts. Here is what I found:

When Charles Karl Schmeling was born on April 9, 1811, in Greifenberg, Bavaria, Germany, his father, August, was -31 and his mother, Marie, was -29.

Charles married Dorothea Maria Westphal in 1835 when he was only 24 years old.

In 1857, Charles and his family emigrated to the United States. They sailed on a ship called Rinehard and left from a port in Bremen, Germany and arrived at Ellis Island.

Together Charles and Dorothea had five children in 15 years. The child who is a direct ancestor and 3rd great grandfather to my grandson is Albert Schmiling 1851-1903.

Charles died on October 19, 1885, in Algoma, Wisconsin, at the age of 74, and was buried there in Saint Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery.  This is a link to Find a Grave:

Frans August Ferdinand Thörnbladh, born 13 Dec 1863 in Sweden

Frans was the paternal great grandfather of my friends Heidi and Kurt Thornbladh. Frans was born on 13 December 1863 in Carlskrona (or Karlskrona), Sweden.  I learned from my friend Heidi that that there is not much family information on her paternal great grandparents. It seems that her grandfather had left home as a young man because he was upset and chose to walk away from his parents. So, now, as a genealogist, I focus on the few facts I can piece together about the life of this Swedish paternal great grandfather.

I found a record for Frans listed in Swedish household examination books. His residence at the time of the record was Eskilstuna Kloster och Fors, Södermanlands, Södermanland, Sweden. I am not sure of the exact date of the record.

Swedish examination book

a Swedish examination book.jpg

Frans married Hilda Vilhelmina Pettersson on December 26, 1886. This makes Hilda the paternal great grandmother of my Thornbladh friends.

Again, using Swedish examination booklets, I found these children recorded for Frans and Hilda:

June 5 1880        Emilie Isabella (great aunt to my friends)

Sep 28 1889        Elsa Matilda (great aunt to my friends)

Sep 2 1893          Erik Teodor Ferdinand (great uncle to my friends)

Mar 4 1897         Nils Magnus (grandfather to my friends)

Not listed in the record above is a possible additional daughter Gunhild who I believe died when she was just one year old in 1888.

There is a big gap in years of birth and this sometimes signals to genealogists that one or more births are missing from the records. I simply do not know!

In the examination record, a younger sister of Frans is also listed. Her name was Emilie Matilda Nilsson born on Jan 31 1874.

page 427 Swedish examination book

I found a birth record for Nils Magnus.  Remember,Nils was my friends paternal grandfather, the same man who apparently left home as a very young man leaving his father Frans and mother Hilda over a probable dispute.

1897 birth Nils Magnus

I found a transcribed record below (cannot view the original document) showing Frans’ emmigration from Sweden to Denmark. (note: the occupation of “barn” just means a child) This record shows that at the age of 11, Frans left Sweden with his family and moved to Denmark. I am unable to find out if this was a short or long stay abroad. This record is helpful because it lists the name of his father as “Per Tornblad Olsson.”

Sweden emmigrants registered in church books

I believe that Frans died sometime around 1950 in Sweden. I will continue to update this story if more information becomes available. Your feedback and comments are welcome.

Many of the Swedish examination books are available on the Family Search website. (You may be required to create a free account with the LDS Family Search site in order to view the records) Also, note that the list available by using the link below gives information on Frans and other people who had the same name…

Cecelia Gallagher (1841-1930) and Thomas E. Joyce (1841-1922)

I am researching Cecelia and Thomas Joyce because they are the 2nd great grandparents of my friends Heidi Thornbladh and Kurt Thornbladh.  During the years of our friendship, Heidi has shared stories about the life of “Celia” Gallagher from Ireland. I found those stories captivating! This short essay will present some of the genealogical facts and historical documents that I have come across.

Cecelia F (“Celia”) Gallagher was born on May 3, 1841, in Dublin, Ireland, the daughter of Margaret Madden and William Gallagher.

She married Thomas E. Joyce on October 11, 1868, in Newton, Massachusetts. They had four children during their marriage.

Cecelia’s occupation was a nurse. This is documented in the US census records of 1900. In the 1900 census, Cecelia states she has had 5 children and only 4 are living. In this census, Cecelia also states that she immigrated to the United States in 1860 (that would have made her 19 years old.) Her immigration date is up to question because in the 1920 census she states she arrived state side in 1865. (Cecelia became a citizen by naturalization).

By the time of the 1930 census, Cecelia is using the name “Celia”. She is 88 years old at the time of the 1930 census and is no longer working. In that 1930 census, 2 of her daughters are living with her. Their names were Mary (age 56) and Carrie (age 54). It is interesting to note that Carrie was also a registered nurse. They lived in Manchester, Hillsborough, New Hampshire, USA

Cecelia died on May 19, 1930, in Manchester, New Hampshire, at the age of 89, and was buried there in Saint Joseph Cemetery. This is the link to see the tomb stone marker:

I have also found her death certificate (this was also an important document as it lists her parents names – or the 3x great grandparents of Heidi and Kurt!)

death of Cecelia Joyce

This shows the records of Cecelia’s direct descendants:

Cecelia F (Celia) Gallagher (1841 – 1930)
2nd great-grandmother
William Lawrence Joyce (1875 – 1940)
Son of Cecelia F (Celia) Gallagher
Celia Marion Joyce (1898 – 1961)
Daughter of William Lawrence Joyce
Ruth Beverly Moller (1924 – 2006)
Daughter of Celia Marion Joyce
Heidi Thornbladh
the daughter of Ruth Beverly Moller

Thomas E. Joyce was born in 1841 in Manchester, New Hampshire to Mary Fitzsimmons Foley and Lawrence Joyce. Manchester was a mill town. During the 1800’s the town would be changing from a farm based economy to factory work.

In the 1900 census, Thomas states that both of his parents were born in Ireland. He was born in New Hampshire.  At the time of the 1900 census, Thomas was 60 years old and working as an iron moulder. At this time, he lived in a rented house with his family.

Thomas died on June 17, 1922,  at the age of 81, and was buried in Manchester, New Hampshire. I was able to find his death certificate, which is again important because it lists the names of his parents.

Death of Thomas Joyce

This shows the record of Thomas’ direct descendants:

Thomas E. Joyce (1841 – 1922)
2nd great-grandfather
Celia Marion Joyce (1898 – 1961)
Daughter of William Lawrence Joyce
Ruth Beverly Moller (1924 – 2006)
Daughter of Celia Marion Joyce
Heidi Thornbladh
 the daughter of Ruth Beverly Moller

Eugene Ludlow Barnes 1906 – 1979

When Eugene Ludlow Barnes was born on August 5, 1906, in Bond, Mississippi, his father, Samuel Tilden Barnes, was 29 and his mother, Mittie Campbell, was 23.

Eugene was only 2 years old when his father Samuel died. Samuel was only 32 years old at the time of his death.

After Samuel (Eugene’s father) died, his second wife Mittie Campbell Barnes (Eugene’s mother), petitioned the courts to establish a will for her late husband.

Mittie Campbell Barnes was the biological mother of Eugene and of his sister Hilma Barnes. Mittie’s petition to the court eventually wins her rights to all of Samuel Barnes’ property.

Eugene Barnes probate 1

Eugene Barnes probate 2

Eugene’s mother,  Mittie, goes on to marry a second time to a man named Henry Little. Mittie and Henry have 3 girls who then become Eugene’s half sisters. I think you will like the names of these 3 half sisters:  Jonnie Lee Little, Sammie Lou Little, and Henry Alice Little.

Eugene had another half sister because his father had been married and had one child before he married Mittie. This half sister was the child of Samuel Barnes and Mary Letha Galloway. Her name was Aletha Barnes.

Eugene’s obituary shows some of these relationships:

23 May 1979 Daily Herald, Biloxi, MS

Here is a timeline of some events in Eugene’s life

1902    birth of half-sister Aletha Barnes (child of Samuel Barnes and Letha Galloway)

1906     birth of Eugene L. Barnes in Mississippi

1908    birth of sister Hilma Gertrude Barnes

1909    death of father Samuel Tilden Barnes

1910    US census shows Eugene is living with his mother Mittie and her brother Arthur and his sister Hilma on Pearl Street in Columbia City, Mississippi

1917    birth of half-sister Jonnie Lee Little (child of Henry Little and Mittie Campbell)

1919    birth of half-sister Sammie Lou Little (child of Henry Little and Mittie Campbell)

1920   US census shows Eugene is 13 years old and living in the house of his step-father and mother.

1922   birth of half-sister Henry Alice (child of Henry Little and Mittie Campbell)

1930  Eugene is living with his step-father and his mother. He is age 23 and is a teacher in the public schools in Columbia, Marion, Mississippi

1931   birth of son Samuel Henry Barnes

1936  birth of son Thompson E. Barnes

1940 US census shows Eugene is living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi with his wife and his sons Samuel and Thompson. He is a school teacher.

1942  birth of son Arthur Dale Barnes

1946 article in the Hattiesburg American Newspaper that Sheriff EL Barnes responded to multiple fatality accident.

1948   death of son Thompson E. Barnes

1948 City directory of Hattiesburg shows that Eugene is with his wife and is employed as a deputy sheriff.

1948 Deputy Sheriff EL Barnes is in the Hattiesbury American Newspaper after breaking up a cattle theft ring.

1949 Deputy Sheriff EL Barnes is in the Hattiesburg American News after a 2 hour shoot out with a 29 year old man who was charged with intent to kill.

1949 Deputy Sheriff EL Barnes is in the Hattiesburg American Newspaper after raiding a moonshine distillery.

1951 article in the Hattiesburg American News about EL Barnes responding as sheriff to a woman who killed her husband.

1951 article in the Clarion Ledger Newspaper about Sheriff EL Barnes who had to chase by gunpoint two men who were cracking safes.

1951 article in the Hattiesburg American Newspaper stating that EL Barnes will not renew his expired tenure as sheriff.

1953  City directory for Hattiesburg shows that Eugene is with his wife and is employed at Ingass Ship Yard. Their residence address is 114 W. 4th

1953  death of his mother Mittie Campbell

1979  death of Eugene in Pascagoula, Mississippi – age 72

1994 death of Eugene’s wife Alice Christine Thompson at age 88.

Angelina “Angie” Cirabisi Bivona 1909-1987

When Angelina “Angie” Cirabisi was born on September 6, 1909, in New York City, her father, Giuseppe “Joseph”, was 35, and her mother, Leonarda “Lena” Gerace Cirabisi, was only 21 years old.

ANGIE’S FATHER: Angie’s father, Joseph Cirabisi, was born in Italy. He was 33 years old when he arrived at Ellis Island on the S.S. Algeria. As he entered Ellis Island, he stated that his occupation was stone worker and that his last place of residence was Castelvetrano, Italy. His ship had departed from a port in Naples on 17 January 1907 and arrived at Ellis Island on 4 February 1907. He recorded that he was coming to join his uncle Guiseppe Sanfilippo in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1917-1918, men in America were required to register for the draft. I found the document below. Melrose Street is where Joseph lived when he filled out this form and that street is not new in the family story and I found it in many documents.

Giuseppe Cirabasi draft

Another official record that I found was a 1925 New York State census record. At the time of that census, Joseph was 51 years old and was listed as doing “cement blocks.” He was living on Melrose Street with his wife Lena and daughters Angie and Antoinette. He records his citizenship status as alien. I had to do some history lessons to figure that one out. Why would an alien register for the US draft? Well, it turns out that you had to register for the draft if you were an alien residing in the United States! Go figure!

1925 state census

ANGIE’S MOTHER Angie’s mother was Leonarda (Lena) Gerace.  Lena was born in Partana, Italy.

Lena traveled to the states at the age of 25 leaving on the ship Luisiana from a port in Naples, Campania, Italy. She listed her last place of residence as Partanna, Trapani. She arrived at Ellis Island on 15 Oct. 1907. (Frank had arrived in February of that same year.)

In the 1925 New York state census, Lena claims she is of alien status.

It was so hard for me to find any good information on Lena. Anne Bivona Barnes had told us that Lena had a brother Gaspare. I was able to find some information on him and will continue as time allows to trace Lena’s family and ancestry through information available on her brother.

ANGIE’S SISTER Angie’s sister was Antoinette Cirabisi. Antoinette was born in approx. 1916. She was engaged to be married but sadly died before the wedding, at the age of 23, from a heart condition. Her date of death was 18 March 1939. Until her death, she had been employed as a bookkeeper. She was buried at St. John’s cemetery.

ANGIE Angie died in Michigan and her death date was recorded as 10 December 1987 and on that same certificate, her date of birth, was shown to be 27 September 1909.

Where was Angie born? Anne Bivona Barnes recalls that Angie was born in NYC so that is probably the case, but I did find a trip that brought Angie and her mother Lena through Ellis Island on 13 June 1913. This was on the ship the Principe Di Pimonte that left from the port of Palermo.

Ancestry reminds us when doing research on Italian ancestors to remember that they did travel back and forth. In other cases of immigration from European countries, people had fled from Europe to the United States to avoid persecution BUT the reason that so many people left Italy was almost entirely economic. That simply means, the Italian ancestors had every reason to go back to visit family, dream of returning to Italy and then often returning again to the states.

At the time that Angie’s family moved to the United States, the Italian unified government was encouraging people in Southern Italy to leave – not enough resources were available for the population. Also, the United States at that time had a labor shortage and were encouraging Italians to immigrate.


In 1925, in the state of New York census, Angie is a US citizen and is employed as a tailor. She lives on Melrose Street with her parents and her sister in that year. Her family told me that she worked in a coat factory.

In 1933, Angie was just 23 years old when she had her daughter Anne Bivona Barnes.

Her daughter Anne recalls that her family lived in Brooklyn at 41 Street and Ft. Hamilton Parkway until about 1939. Then, from 1939 to 1955 the family lived on Bushwick at the corner of Irving and Stockholm Street.

Angie was buried in NY. She had lived to be 78 years old.





Francesco “Frank” Bivona 1904-1969

When Francesco “Frank” Bivona was born on November 30, 1904, in Mendoza, Argentina, his father, Vincenzo  Bivona, was 29 and his mother, Anna Cappadoro Bivona, was 27.

Frank was from an Italian family, but he was born in Argentina where his family resided for a number of years before going back to Sicily, Italy. He then emigrated to the United States leaving from a port of departure in Palermo, Sicily, Italy on 22 December 1915. He came to New York on the vessel known as Giuseppe Verde and arrived stateside on 6 January 1916.

FRANK’S MOTHER: The ship manifest for the Giuseppe Verde provides some information about Frank’s mother.  His mother was listed on the ship manifest as Anna Cappadero (note the name Cappadoro is spelled differently here) We know that the Giuseppe Verde vessel sailed out of Palermo on 22 December 1915.  Frank’s mother says that she is a 38 year old woman who can read and write. Her age matches with the birth date that I found for her: 30 November 1877.  She states that she is married to Vincenzo Bivona and is going to meet him in Brooklyn, NY at his residence on Stagg Street.  She also states in this manifest that she has no occupation and that the name of her mother was Maria Accardi. Her physical description is of a 5’4″ woman with brown hair and eyes. Her birth place was Partanna, Italy.

By the time of the 1920 US census, Anna is living at 165 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY with her husband and children. It is in this census that you can see her children Joe, William, John, and Frank all had been born in Argentina. The other children listed in that census Vincent, Tony, Paulie and Angelo were all born in New York.  In this census, Anna also states that she became a naturalized citizen in 1916.

FRANK’S FATHER: I believe that Vincenzo was born on 7 April 1874. One of the only methods for tracing him was a WWI draft registration card that I found. The draft registration would have occurred from 1917 to 1918. Vincenzo was naturalized as a US citizen in 1916 so he would have had to register. Here is why I believe the draft card belongs to him: He lists his closest relative as Anna Bivona and his residence as 165 Manhattan Ave. He is employed by the Eastern District Dye Works and his job is to dye silks.  Now…go back to the 1920 US census for Anna and you will see that the address is also listed as 165 Manhattan Ave. (He lists his full name as Vincent Salvatore Bivona and describes himself as of medium height and build with black hair and brown eyes.) In the 1920 US census, Vincenzo says that he is a washer in a silk factory. I believe that he is buried in a Catholic cemetery: St. John Cemetery, Middle Village, Queens County, New York.

Vincenzo was an alcoholic and that may explain why his wife Anna eventually leaves him and lives in her own household.

Vincenzo draft card

FRANK: When working with genealogy, I try to find official documents that can provide insight and a timeline. I found a baptism record from Nuestra Señora de Luján, Luján de Cuyo, Luján, Mendoza, Argentina on 25 Jul 1905 for Frank.

In the 1920 census. Frank is listed as the 15 year old son of Vincent and Anna living on 165 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn district of Kings, New York.  His birth place is recorded as Argentina, but his mother tongue is Italian. Instead of school, Frank, at age 15, is employed as a clerk at a silk factory.

I found this declaration of intention for naturalization (by the time of this document Frank is 19 years old):

declaration of intention.JPG

At the age of 22, Frank married Angelina “Angie” Cirabisi. I found a wedding date of 30 April 1927. They were married in New York.

By the time of the 1940 census, Frank is 34 years old. (His daughter, Annabelle, is 7 years old.) The residence is now listed as 162 Irving Avenue, New York, Kings, New York. He states that the highest grade he has completed in schooling was 6th grade. He is now working 40 hours a week as an insurance agent. His yearly income is 2,450. He is living with his wife, Angie (born in New York), and his daughter Annabelle. In this 1940 census, he is also living with his father-in-law, Joseph Cirabisi who is recorded to be of alien status having been born in Italy.  In 1940, the other person living with Frank and his family is his mother-in-law, Leonada Cirabisi who is age 52.

Recently, Anne (Annabelle “Anne” Bivona Barnes)  described her residence on Irving Ave. It was a railroad flat, a 4 unit apartment above a drug store. She said they lived there from 1939-1955. Pasquale Zinnanti owned the building. The owner was a distant cousin of Angie’s. The Zinnanti children, Frank and Joseph, were like brothers to Anne.

FRANK’S SIBLINGS: Frank’s parents Vincenzo and Anna had 7 children. Here is some information on those family members:

Giuseppe or “Joseph” was born around 1899 in Argentina.

William seems to have 2 birth places! In some cases, he lists Argentina as his place of birth. BUT, in his petition for citizenship he states that he was born in Italy. The photo below is very interesting because it shows Pasquale Zinaupi as a witness who resides at the same 162 Irving Avenue address as shown in the photo I included for Frank and fits with Anne Bivona Barnes’ recollection of the owner of the building! The other witness is Giuseppe (or Joseph) his brother.

William Bivona petition

I am also including this photo of William Bivona’s death notice because it gives a clue as to the possible burial location for other members of the family. William Bivona death notice

Vincent was born 5 December 1908 and states 2 places for his birth. In the 1920 census (he was 11 years old) and he claims to have been born in New York. In the 1930 census (he was 22 years old) he states that he was born in Argentina. The other information that the 1930 census gives us is that Anna is now living without her husband at 350 Melrose Street. In 1930, she is claimed to be the head of household living with her children Vincent, Tommy, Angelo and Pauline.  In this 1930 census Vincent lists his occupation as a “paster” in a shoe factory.

Antonio “Tony” was born approx. 1911 in …well, here we go again. In the 1920 census he states that he was born in New York, but in the 1940 census he states that he was born in Argentina. In 1940 he is living at 331 Melrose Street with his wife. Note: he is obviously a neighbor to his mother Anna and some of his siblings in 1940! In 1940 his occupation was a wood heel turner.

Paolina was born in New York approx. 1913

Angelo was born 31 Oct. 1918.



Frank, father of Annabelle “Anne” Bivona Barnes, died on 18 Feb. 1969 in New York. Here is a copy of his death notice from the Daily News in New York:

death notice of Frank Bivona

He was 64 years old at the time of his death.