Saturday, May 31, 2014

Obituary for Harl Cain

At the beginning of the month I wrote to the Paradise Genealogical Society in Paradise, California, to see if they had an obituary for Harl Cain (brother of my 2nd-great-grandmother Mary Alice Cain Read). Today they replied back with a copy of Harl's obituary from 30 August 1962:
Source: Chico Enterprise Record, pg 3A
A few points jump out from the obituary. Harl was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. I am hoping the Veterans Administration is able to provide me with a copy of his pension file, which may shed more light on the family. The obituary also notes that Harl was survived by "several nieces in Kentucky." He would have also had some nephews in Indiana at this time, so I wonder who these nieces were. Perhaps children of other Cain siblings? Any distant cousins out there have more information on the Cain family?

June is Immigrant Heritage Month is kicking off the first Immigrant Heritage Month beginning on 1 June with a national effort to collect and share inspirational stories of immigration in America. I think about my great-grandfather Plutarco Campuzano's journey to the US from Mexico, and I am reminded about how impressive these initial steps were for him to make.
Altar Valley, Sonora, Mexico
At the age of 14, in January 1915, Plutarco crossed the desert on foot, walking 60 miles from Altar, Sonora to the border crossing at Sasabe, Arizona. He may or may not have been with his brother Vicente Campuzano Jr, or other family members, but I don't have this information. From Sasabe it is another 70+ miles to Tucson. He later made that same journey many times, returning to Altar and Pitiquito from Tucson to visit family who remained in Mexico. I have this information from Plutarco's Alien Case File via US Citizenship and Immigration Services (see below) and from the Border Crossing records.
When Plutarco first arrived in the US in 1915, I think he would have joined his father Vicente Plutarco Campuzano in Phoenix/Tempe, Arizona. During this time, Vicente was active with Liga Protectora Latina, a Mexican mutual aid society formed to provide financial support to unemployed and ill members, funeral costs, education and social assistance as well as labor and civil rights for immigrants. In July 1915, Vicente had been elected Sargeant-at-Arms for the Liga's Lodge #1 in Tempe. One hundred years ago, my 2nd-great-grandfather was helping smooth a path for others like him, who wanted to come to America for a better life.

"Uno para todos, todos para uno" was the motto of the Liga Protectora Latina, and they followed the principles of protection, equality and justice. The organization only lasted a few years in Arizona, but it had an enduring impact in the history of Latino civil rights. Vicente later moved back to Altar in 1917 but continued to visit family in Arizona through his remaining years.

Plutarco's Alien Case file shows that he lived in the US as a permanent resident, although he may not have become a US citizen. Plutarco worked as a painter and lived in Tucson until he died in September 1996. His descendants are now spread across the US, and work in a variety of fields. All possible because of a first walk through the desert, and a supportive community to welcome him.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Photo - Tower Bridge

Photo by Patrick Jones - Tower Bridge, London, 21 Feb 2014
Wandering around London on a brisk February evening, I took a set of photos of the famous Tower Bridge with my phone. This was the best of the set. Another showing the bridge is below.
Photo by Patrick Jones - London, 21 Feb 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Little Guy Turns Five

Happy Birthday to our little ninja...a year older than last year.
Photo by Patrick Jones - from Nov 2013
Photo by Patrick Jones - from May 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Death Notice for Thomas Whitley

The clipping below is from the Glasgow Daily News from 8 January 1940, on my 2nd-great-grandfather Thomas W. Whitley (courtesy of researcher Linda - thanks!).
Glasgow Daily News
This article is quite helpful, as I was unaware that Thomas had remarried after my 2nd-great-grandmother Elizabeth Hayden Matthews Whitley died in 1915, but it makes sense. From a quick search, it looks like his second wife Bertha Lowe Whitley (maiden name Robertson) died in Indianapolis in 1953.

The Mrs. H. C. Goff in the article is Martha Belle "Mattie" Whitley Goff, sister of my great-grandmother Elizabeth Lois Whitley. I think the article may be wrong about his birth date (it should be 1861 instead of 1862), and it is unclear if Thomas was born in Warren or Barren Counties. The article also shows that a large number of the Whitley children had moved to Indianapolis by 1940.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Photo - Biblioteca Nacional

These photos were taken at the Biblioteca Nacional (National Library of the Argentine Republic) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The building is in the Brutalist style and is worth a visit if you're in the Recoleta neighborhood.
Photo by Patrick Jones, Biblioteca Nacional, Buenos Aires
Photo by Patrick Jones, Buenos Aires, 2 Feb 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Marriage Record for Vicente Jr and Celia Pompa

I have written previously about my great-grand-uncle, Vicente Campuzano Jr, son my my second-great-grandfather Vicente Campuzano and brother of Plutarco Vasquez Campuzano. After deserting the 158th Infantry prior to it being sent to France for World War I, Vicente Jr. returned to Altar, Sonora, where he married Celia Pompa, the daughter of Fernando Pompa and Antonia Valencia.

The couple filed a marriage intention on 18 June 1919, and were married on 7 July 1919 in Altar. Their marriage record was in the Mexican Catholic Church Records on FamilySearch, and copy is below:
Source: FamilySearch, Mexican Catholic Church Records
It is great to be able to see these records from Mexico. There is also a set of records from the civil ceremony for Vicente and Celia, but I have not yet copied those.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Photo - Cliffs of Moher

This photo is from my Frequent Traveling sister, who has been driving around Ireland. The location is the Cliffs of Moher, on the western coast of County Clare. This region is significant in our family, as the ancestral home of the O'Briens. Our third-great-grandfather John O'Brien was born in County Clare in 1793.
Photo by Laura Jones, Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Generations on the O'Brien and Lamon side

The photo below was received from cousin Mike O'Brien, showing my great-grandfather Harry O'Brien & sons Lowell and Harry Jr. and 2nd-great-grandfather Uriah Lamon and his sons Herman and Edwin Lamon. I'm not sure on the year of the photo, I'm guessing about 1923 as Henry Lamon was born in 1922 and looks to be about a year old in this picture.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Meat Shop on Main Street

The family business for my Read ancestors in Barren County, Kentucky was a butcher shop. My 3rd-great-grandfather Guilford Dudley Read ran a butcher shop from at least 1870 (he appears as a butcher in the 1870 US Census), if not earlier. The shop was G. D. Read & Co. His son Charles Read later took over the family business.

I have wondered about the location of the shop in Glasgow, Kentucky. I'm not certain this is the one, but a meat shop appears on the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map for Glasgow in 1916 (see image below, bottom right corner on East Main Street). There are also two other meat shops on South Green Street, but another piece of information confirms that at one time the family shop was on Main Street.
Source: Kentucky Digital Archive
In The National Provisioner, Volume 52, Part 1, dated 9 January 1915, there is a line about this butcher shop. This was the official magazine of the American Meat Packers Association. "The butcher shop on Main Street, Glasgow, Ky., conducted by Charles Read, has been destroyed by fire." Given a day for the fire to make it into the AMPA news, I suspect the fire occurred in the later half of 1914. I've asked a helpful researcher to look for a local news articles on the fire.

In a separate news clipping, from the 17 August 1922 Glasgow Republican, "Mr. Alvin Read who has been running a meat shop under the name Goff & Read, has gone to Indianapolis to make his home. Tuesday evening a telegram was received by his wife [my great-grandmother Elizabeth Lois Whitley Read] saying he was badly injured, and for her to come at once, and she left to be with him. We are not informed of the extent of his injury."

My Grandma Lois had an older sister, Martha Belle "Mattie" Whitley, who married Clifton Goff. He had a flour mill. My Grandfather Leo Read was living in the household of Clifton and Mattie Goff in the 1930 US Census in Glasgow, Kentucky.

The 1909 Sanborn Fire Insurance map shows the meat shop on Main Street, just around the block from the Barren County Courthouse. Although there is a meat shop on Green Street, given the date, I think the Main Street shop was likely the Read family shop.
Source: Kentucky Digital Library, 1909 Sanford Fire Insurance Map

Monday, May 12, 2014

Picking up on a family mystery

In January 2012, one of my early posts on this blog was on a family mystery regarding my 3rd-great-grandfather John O'Brien and daughters who may or may not have been sent to a convent in Illinois. In that post, I included a transcription of a death announcement from 11 February 1914 for Anna O'Brien, sister of my 2nd-great-grandfather John J. O'Brien.

Anna Maria O'Brien died on 10 February 1914 in Chicago, Illinois. I was looking around on and found a clipping from the Chicago Daily Tribune of 12 February 1914, showing a probate filing for the estate of Annie O'Brien, by her half brother Michael Dooner and brother John O'Brien.
Source:, Chicago Tribune 12 Feb 1914
It appears Michael Dooner died on 18 February 1918 in Chicago. I do not know much about his connection to the O'Briens. The Cook County Death Record Index states that he was born on 16 March 1853 in Illinois. He married Annie Byrnes on 19 January 1886 in Chicago. They appear in the 1900 and 1910 US Census in Chicago. I'm digging deeper into this in the hopes that it provides more information on the O'Briens.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mothers Day Weekend

Sending thanks to my Mom and all the other Moms out there on this Mothers Day Weekend. Have a great one everyone, looks like it will be a wonderful Sunday in the DC area.
My Mom, Spring 1970 in California

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Photo - Visit to the Met

In my travels I sometimes have short windows of time to see some great museums. Last week in New York I had two hours to go through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is probably one of the best I've ever seen, which says a lot when I have the Smithsonian museums in DC locally and have been to places like the Getty (Museum and Villa) in LA, the Albertina and Kunsthistorisches Museums in Vienna, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore, MALBA in Buenos Aires, the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City, among others. Below is a selection of photos from my dash through the Met.
Photo by Patrick Jones, Met Museum NY, 1 May 2014
Photo by Patrick Jones, Met Museum NY, 1 May 2014
Photo by Patrick Jones, Met Museum NY
Photo by Patrick Jones, Met Museum NY, 1 May 2014
Photo by Patrick Jones, Ganesh at the Met
Photo by Patrick Jones, Met Museum NY

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Submitting a FOIA request to the VA

Last week I wrote about a new lead on the search for the parents of my second-great-grandmother, Mary Alice Cain Read. It appears Mary Alice had a brother named Harl Cain. He joined the US Army in 1901, and was sent off to California as part of the First Battery, US Field Artillery. Harl filed a pension for his service in the Army, and his name appears in the pension index cards.
Using this information, I went to the National Archives to see if a copy of the pension application was on file. Unfortunately, the pension file is still with the Veterans Administration, but the helpful staff at the Archives provided me with information on how to request a copy.

In order to request a copy of the file, I had to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Veterans Administration. One can do this electronically by going to  For fee purposes, FOIA requests are divided into three categories: 1) commercial requesters, 2) educational, non-scientific institutions and representatives of the media, and 3) everyone else. If you're in the 3rd category, it appears that you are only charged for photocopies after the first 100 pages (at 15 cents per page) and after time spent searching for records in excess of two hours. Fee waivers can also be granted if the requester describes why the disclosure of the information is in the public interest and not in the primary commercial interest of the requester.

I sent a signed copy of my information as an attachment to the email address for the appropriate VBA FOIA contact, and received a response later in the day. I don't know how long it will take to process the request, but I now have a case number. Hopefully the file will have information on others in the Cain family.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Evening at the 9:30 Club

Photo by Patrick Jones. Gogol Bordello, 9:30 Club, DC, Dec 2013
Photo by Patrick Jones. Gogol Bordello, 28 Dec 2013.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a date that means different things to different people. For some a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, for others a chance to enjoy margaritas, Coronas and tacos, or to commemorate the Mexican army's victory of French troops at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Today I reflect back on my own Mexican heritage, and the journey of my great-grandfather Plutarco Campuzano from Sonora to Arizona.

In January I wrote about the letter from Citizenship and Immigration Services on Plutarco's Alien Case file. I was beginning to think the file would never arrive, but a package from USCIS arrived in the mail this Saturday. Now I understand the delay. Because the file contained documents after the USCIS cut-off-date of 1 May 1951, those records had to be released by a Freedom of Information Act request. Thankfully USCIS submitted the FOIA request on my behalf. The file contained 12 pages, including color photocopies of his Alien Registration Card.
Source: US Citizenship & Immigration Services
In May 2012, I wrote about Plutarco, and included copies of border crossing records which referenced his permanent resident alien status received on 10 January 1929. The photo above shows the actual document granting him an Immigration Visa at Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Other pages in the file confirm what I already knew, that Plutarco had been living in Tucson (he claimed 1923 to 9 January 1929, returned to Mexico on 9 January and then went back to Arizona after receiving his immigrant visa. He was listed as 5 feet 6 inches with an occupation as painter. This visa was renewed on 9 September 1942.

A separate alien registration form dated 19 November 1940 in Tucson states that Plutarco first arrived on foot in the US at Sasabe, Arizona on 28 January 1915. It notes that Plutarco was a member of the Painters Union in 1938, and his current employer at the time was general contractor W. S. Conelly.

Plutarco signed a Declaration of Intention, which was endorsed by Evelyn Fields, Deputy Clerk of the US District Court for the District of Arizona on 3 June 1944 in Tucson. His name was signed on the form Plutarco Vasquez Campuzano. Plutarco's case files were consolidated on 14 July 1944. There were separate files on his original immigration visa and his reentry permit.

An updated address card was signed on 5 January 1951, which shows him as a national of Mexico, residing at 453 South Main Street, Tucson, Arizona.

The town of Altar in Sonora where Plutarco was from is located approximately 60 miles from the US border crossing at Sasabe. This is desert terrain. In January 1915 perhaps it would not be as hot, but likely Plutarco walked at night. It is another 71 miles or more from Sasabe to Tucson. It is a strong reminder of what we have today thanks to the efforts of those before us. I am glad the file arrived and that I have this information on the family's journey to the US.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sterling Brewery

This post provides more detail on the Sterling Brewery of Evansville, Indiana, employer of Stanley Read from 1944-1958. Stanley was my great-grand-uncle, son of Charlie Read and Mary Alice Cain.

Sterling Brewery was not Stanley's first involvement with breweries in Evansville. In the US City Directories, Stanley was a driver for Southern Indiana Beverage Company for several years before joining Sterling. contains a number of photos for the famous brewery (see Sterling Brewery photos at

The brewery dates back to the 1860s, but the brewery where Stanley worked was completed in 1914. After changing hands in the 1970s and 1980s, Sterling was sold to Pittsburgh Brewing. The building was razed in 1998. When Pittsburgh Brewing went bankrupt, the Sterling brand was bought and the beer was relaunched in 2013. More information on new Sterling is available at

Friday, May 2, 2014

New Leads on the Cain/Kane Family

After returning from meetings this week, I have some tantalizing new leads in the research on my 2nd-great-grandmother Mary Alice Cain/Kane's family. Helpful researcher Linda sent me text from the Barren County school census of 1895. In District 83 for Glasgow, Barren County, the household of Bland Read (Charlie Read's brother) shows son Eddie Read (age 6) and Alice Cane (age 17) attending school. We already know Mary Alice and Charlie were married in February 1895, but where were her parents? I looked through the Kentucky Probate files for guardian records but could not find any references to a Cain/Kane/Cane family in the county.

The State of Kentucky sent me copies of the birth certificates for Pearl Read and Carl Read, children of Charlie and Mary Alice. Both documents show that Mary Alice was born in or near Glasgow, Barren County.

The biggest lead of the week came from a distant cousin who is also researching this family. She recalled her mother remembered that Mary Alice had a brother named Harl Cain. It took some digging, but I found Harl Cain's World War II draft registration card, showing him living in Chico, Butte County, California. His date of birth, 16 June 1879, and place of birth Glasgow, Kentucky.
Harl Cain enlisted in the US Army in 1901. His service took him to California, and he was discharged in 1904. There's a long paper trail on Harl, so perhaps this information will lead to the parents of Harl and Mary Alice Cain. I will have more on his story soon.

Friday Photo - Historic Radio Equipment at the UN

The photos below are of an old set of radio and communications equipment at the side entrance of the Secretariat building at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Photo by Patrick Jones, UN HQ, April 2014
Photo by Patrick Jones, UN HQ, April 2014
Photo by Patrick Jones