Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Records for Curtis Alexander Galttana Part 3

Read Part 1 of Curtis Alexander Galttana
Read Part 2 of Curtis Alexander Galttana

My next great discovery
I had visited the Fort Worth Archives and a lady there pulled up my ggg grandfather's H.B. Alverson's civil war record from When I got home I decided to subscribe to Footnote and started searching. Bingo, I found civil war records for Curtis A. Golttana. I was on a roll now and felt pretty confident that this was my Curtis Galttana.

Curtis A. Galttana Enlists in the Civil War
He enlisted April 13, 1862 at Granada, Mississippi. He served as a private in Company I, 30 Mississipi Volunteer Regiment.  If this is the same man as Alexander Goltana in the 1850 census then I wonder what brought him to Mississippi? Did he float down the Ohio River to the Mississippi River to get to Mississippi?

As the above record shows he was "Detailed as Teamster Jany 12, 1863 By order Col. G. F. Neill."

What is a Teamster and a Drayman
A Teamster in the Civil War was someone who drove a wagon with a team of horses, oxen or mules. This is interesting because the Alexander in the 1850 census was a Drayman. A Drayman is someone who drives a dray, which is a low, flat bead wagon with no sides usually pulled by horses or mules. Interesting.

Curtis A. Galttana Goes Missing
But, then on the night of August 22, 1863 Curtis Deserted. He "Left his command ... at Chattahorsckee Bridge, Ga."  He then "Joined from desertion December 29, 1863." Where did he go for four months? I know many men would desert for a few months to check on family and get their farm/house in order. This was common. Did Curtis have family in the area? What was he doing?

Also interesting to note, is if Curtis Alexander was born in Ohio or Indiana then why would he fight on the Confederate side and not the Union side?

I wish I knew the answer to this.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Who was Curtis Alexander Galttana? Part 2

Part 1 of Curtis Alexander Galttana

I have two birth states for Curtis Alexander Galttana that I wanted to follow. Ohio and Indiana. I started with the Galttana Family Bible lead and searched the 1850 census of the state of Indiana. I did not find any Galttana but found many families with the variations of the name Gwaltney. But, none of them had the first name of Curtis or Alexander.

I did find that some of the Gwaltney's in Indiana had been born in Ohio. This was an interest because in 1870 Curtis Alexander stated in the census that he was born in Ohio. So it could be a possibility that he was born in Ohio but grew up in Indiana as Indiana is shown on the Galttana Family Bible. Just a guess so far.

At this point I can not search the 1840 census because only the head of households are listed. Curtis Alexander would have been around 14 so without his father's name it does me no good.

When I did a search on Ancestry I found an Alexander Goltana living in Louisville, Kentucky. When I looked at the record it showed he was 24 (1826, the right age) and born in Ohio. I was getting excited at this point. Had I found him? I still wasn't sure. Looking at a map I remembered Kentucky was south of Indiana with the Ohio River in-between. The Ohio River being a major transportation route.

He was married to Clematine Goltana age 33. Three children were listed, Theresa A. age 12, Thomas age 8 and Harriet age 3, all with the last name Goltana. However, I felt Alexander at age 24 was too young to have the first two children and guessed they were from another marriage. The last child Harriet may or may not have been his, depending when they married. I wrote for the marriage record and hoped I could find some new information. When I received it, it showed they married on February 23, 1850. So none of the children were his. Clematine was widowed from Jewel Allen.

I searched the 1860 census but found no Alexander Galttana. But, I did find Harriet Galtana age 12 living with Jonas and Clematine Trobaugh in Harrison Co.  Indiana. (Directly across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky.) Clematine had remarried, but where was Curtis Alexander Galttana? Wrote for her marriage record and found they married on August 21, 1856. No other information was given. I tried to follow them but they too disappeared from the further census.

So I wondered if this was a different Alexander Galttana from mine and maybe he had died. If he didn't die, why did they divorce? She was about 9 years older than him. Did that make a difference? Hmmm. This made me realize I need to look for a divorce record for Alexander and Clematine. I'll have to order that.

But I soon made a new discovery. Stay tuned!

Curtis Alexander Galttana Part 3

Friday, March 11, 2011

Just who was Curtis Alexander Galttana?

Curtis Alexander Galttana seemed to appear from nowhere and then disappear eight years later. The name is so unique. Pretty much anyone with this name today is related to me.

The name is pronounced Galt-ney so I have often wondered if he is related to the Gwaltney/Gaultney families. But, unfortunally there are no all male Galttana's to test for DNA. The Galttana name continued through an unmarried Galttana daughter.

I first learned of him when I found him in the 1870 Shackelford County, Texas census with his wife Cynthia. As always the name is spelled incorrectly. I viewed it as Goltatine, others have it listed as Goltahne.

He is listed as Curtis Goltatine, age 42 (1828). He was a saltmaker born in Ohio. His wife Cynthia Goltatine (Alverson) was 23 and born in Mississippi. They lived next to Cynthia's sister and brother-in-law William and Margaret Ledbetter who owned and ran the salt mine.

Over the next eight years they had seven children with one set of twins. Then they are both gone. Only four of their children lived to adulthood. In the 1880 census two kids, John and Louisa (Lou) Gattwney are living with their grandfather Henderson B. Alverson. Margaret and Louis are listed as adopted children of Harvey and Margaret Ledbetter. Harvey is their first cousin.

No gravesites have been found for Curtis and Cynthia Galttana.

My next clue for what happened to them came from Henderson B. Alverson's Estate papers filed in 1910. Pg. 4 states:

"Cyntha Ann Galttana, who intermarried with one Alaxander Galttanta, and that said Cyntha die May 15th, A.D. 1878; both having died previous to the death of the said  H.B. Alverson; and that the said Cyntha Ann Galttana and Alexander Galttana left surviving them as their heirs and only heirs at law, the following named persons, to-wit:
(a) John Galttana, who now lives near Newark, Texas
(b) Louis Galttana, who now resides in Carter County, Okla.
(c) Lou Galttana Duke, who has since intermarried with George Duke and lives near Newark, in Tarrant County, Texas
(d) Maggie Galttana Campbell, who intermarried with one_____Campbell, and who now lives at Erick, Okla."

According to this, Cynthia died in 1878 (her last child was born Feb. 1878). Did she die in childbirth? Did Alexander die also or did he leave the children with family after Cynthia died and leave, which was common then? Alverson's estate paper's state that both died previous to H.B. death in 1910 so Alexander could have been alive until that time. However, I did not find him in any census searches. I tend to believe he died. Just wish I could find a record for him.

But the question is: Where was Curtis Alexander Galttana before 1870?
He was 42 in 1870 so where was he before that?

There is a lot of conflicting information on Curtis Alexander Galttana. In the 1870 census he states he was born in Ohio. In the next five census his children list him as born in five different states. Since the children did not grow up with their father they probably did not know much about him. 

Galttana Family Bible Page
A page that is said to be from the Galttana Family Bible shows the Galttana family and all seven children. It is very light and hard to read and some of the information is torn off. I have no way of knowing who or when the information was written. It shows C.A. Galttana as born in Indiana. His birth is in May but the year is unreadable to me.

For a very long time this was all I had on him. Until recently, when I found new information that may or may not be him. I will post that information next time. Stay tuned!

Curtis Alexander Galttana part 2 

Friday, March 4, 2011

August Ahlendorf Part II

Part 1 of August Ahlendorf

Did August Ahlendorf Die?
Because August Ahlendorf did not show up in the 1910 census with his family and later census' showed his wife as widowed and using her maiden name, I figured August had died.

But then I found an August Ahlendorf in the 1910 Luzern Co., Pa. census listed as August Allendorf age 45 born in Germany and a stonemason. The married column is marked with both a M for married and a bold S for single. He is listed as a boarder with Agusta Miller/Millir as the owner aged 61.

Then I found an Aug Ahlendorf age 68 in the 1920 Luzerne Co., Pa. census married to Agusta Ahlendorf age 71. I have no way of knowing if this is my August Ahlendorf from either census yet. I will be ordering divorce records (If he did divorce Martha), marriage records, and death records. But, if it is then it seems he was living in a different county trying to find work as a stonemason. He then married his landlady and added years to his age again.

Newspaper Articles
What's interesting about this August Ahlendorf in Luzern County is the newspaper articles I have found about him.
In 1916 in the Wilkes-Barre Times there is an article titled, "What's Good Enough For Her Is Good Enough For Me" August Ahlendorf, tells story of his conversion-now follow's wife's example.
The article is a testimony from August about him getting a bottle of Tanlac for his sick wife and it helped he so much that he now takes it for himself even though he is not ill. It then tells where to buy Tanlac. I would guess this was a paid testimonial. The ad ran again a week later in 1917.

In 1918 he was indited for Aggravated Assault and Battery against George W. Freeman. Then in 1919 he was tried for Aggravated Assault and Battery and Shooting, against Otto Haus. He did not deny the shooting but said he did it in self defense. I do not know the outcome of these trials. I need to find out how to get court records from Luzern County.

August Ahlendorf's Obituary
The most interesting article comes from a newspaper in Luzern Co., Pa.
Sunday-Independent, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Sunday, March 11, 1923

Taken from Jail Dies in Hospital within Six Hours
West Side Man Twice Held For Mistreating Wife Is the Victim

Stricken while a prisoner in the Luzerne Co. jail, August Ahlendorf, 62 years old, of Slocum Street, Swoyerville, died last night in City Hospital. He had been removed to the hospital six hours prior to his death. Heart trouble was given as the cause by physicians.
Ahlendorf was commited to jail on March 3 because of domestic troubles. He had previously appeared in court but when told to properly treat his aged wife, it is said he added further abuse upon his return home. His advanced age had induced the court to be lenient but the repeated offense led to a capias being issued for his arrest the next day.
Since being in jail, Ahlendorf complained of being ill. He was visited on Friday by Rev. Edward Schwenk. Heart trouble developed yesterday morning and at noon he was take to the hospital. His death occurred at 6 o'clock.
He is survived by his wife, 73 years of age. The couple had been married since 1910.

By this I know he married his landlady in 1910 and need to write for a marriage record.

It seems August had a few run-ins with the law and was not always a nice person. I wonder what kind of person he was towards his first wife Martha? If he was not, then was she happy that he left? Did they ever get divorced? Questions I will never know the answers to.

According to a descendant of August's he was told by his mother: "August was tall, blond, and heavyset. He was a stonemason and helped build the Hotel Casey in Scranton, Pa. He worked for a man named H.P. Spoul, and Spoul could only remember one time when August ever became angry."

I wonder if this is true?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

August Ahlendorf

August Ahlendorf has been my brick wall for many years. But, I recently found him and his family in New York.
I found August and Martha Ahlendorf in the 1900 census under the name of Ellendorf. They lived at 60 Lake Avenue in Middletown, Orange Co., New York. August was born in November 1857 in Germany and both his parents were born in Germany. He immigrated in 1894 and had been living in the U.S. for six years. He was a naturalized citizen. He was a mason but had been out of work for four months. He could speak English and read and write. He had been married for 6 years and was 13 years older than his wife Martha. They had two children, Charles, age 3 and Martha, age 1, both born in New York. So they could have married overseas or in New York, I have not found a marriage record yet.

In the 1905 New York State Census I find an August Allendorf in Manhattan, New York County, New York. He is listed as a lodger in a hotel and works as a bricklayer. However, he lists his age as 38 and in the U.S. for 15 years. 
Could this be the same August Ahlendorf? Maybe. He was listed as out of work in the 1900 census and may have left the family to find work. But, if this is the same August he shaved off some years of his age and added years to the length he had been in the U.S., which is not unusual.

I then find him in the 1906 and 1907 Pennsylvania, Lackawanna Co., Scranton Directory listed with his son Charles living at 815 Cherry Street. (Only males were listed in the directory.)

After that he seemed to disappear. 

I found his wife and family in the 1910  census, Lackawanna Co., Scranton, Pennsylvania, Living at 613 Locust St. Scranton, Pennsylvania.

1.) Martha H. Ahlendorf, age 36, married 14 years, 5 children, 4 living, can read & write, washer women at home, Immigrated in 1895, born in Germany, both parents born in Germany
2.) Martha Ahlendorf,  age 11    born in New York (born 1898)
3.) Emma Ahlendorf,   age 8     born in Pennsylvania (born 1901)
4.) Elsie Ahlendorf,     age 5     born in Pennsylvania (born 1904)
5.) Allelheit Ahlendorf,  age 3     born in Pennsylvania (born 1906)

Charles had died in 1907. Charles death certificate shows his father's name as Albert Ahlendorf from Germany.  Records at Forest Hill Cemetery show the gravesite was purchased by August Ahlendorf.
Martha is still listed as married in the 1910 census, but in the 1920 and 1930 census she is listed as a widow.
His daughter Martha Fisk stated in her Application for Marriage License on 26 Dec 1917 that her father resided in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. and his occupation was a mason. In 1925 Elsie's marriage certificate shows her father as Dead. 

From talking to descendants about 11 years ago, I found that the oral history states August worked and died in Wilkes-Barre. 

I had no idea what happened to August Ahlendorf...until recently. I have now made some interesting discoveries that I will share with you next post. 

Part 2 August Ahlendorf

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beginning my Journey

I will be posting information on both mine and my husband's side of the family. Some of the major surnames I am researching are TELESCA, HEFLEY, HARDEE, GALTTANA, STEGMAN, AHLENDORF, WILLIAMS, and STUBY. Please email me at if you are researching any of the above names.

Summary of surnames:
The TELESCA family came from Avigliano, Italy in 1905. They settled in Dunmore, Pennsylvania.
The HEFLEY line goes back to Adam Hefley born in 1774. They migrated through North Carolina, Montgomery Co., Illinois and Kansas.
The HARDEE family is traced back to John Ziba Hardee of North Carolina. My line migrated through many states and ended up in Texas.
The GALTTANA line has been my brick wall. I have back to Curtis Alexander Galttana born 1827.
My STEGMAN line is my Volga-German line. From Germany to Russia to America. A fun line to follow.
AHLENDORF line is another brick wall, but I have recently found new information and will be posting about it soon.
Because WILLIAMS is such a common name I only have back to Pennsylvania.
The STUBY line starts in Germany and they settled in Pennsylvania.

I will be posting more information on each of these lines and other related families. Stay Tuned!