Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Land Record Research

This past weekend, I had the chance to find out a little more (actually, a LOT more) about researching land records in Maryland. Although I have a huge brick wall to climb with my James Madison DeHority, I know he came from Delaware, and I know the Delaware Dehortys started in Maryland in the early 1700's.

The Dorchester Historical Society hosted a workshop presented by John Lyons on his years of research into the Maryland land records. John has reviewed the land records for the lower counties of Maryland, "platted" these properties with software, pinpointed their location and created a wonderful database to organise this information. Having read some of these old patents myself, I can't imagine what a huge job this has been. My eyes start to blur after a couple of hours!

John demonstrated the wealth of information available in these records, some of which are available online. After lunch, John, along with his fellow researcher, John Polk, patiently allowed each of us the opportunity to see if they had information on particular families and see plats of the early land holdings. There were quite a few happy folks in the room that afternoon.

Unfortunately, their research is just now getting to Dorchester County, which is where my people were. I hope they continue to organize this early information, so that someday I'll have a better idea of where my family washed ashore.

If your are a Maryland researcher, attending John's workshop is an opportunity not to be missed! Both John Lyons and John Polk are active on the Lower DelMarVa Rootsweb list, and their posts are usually mini-workshops in and of themselves.

Many thanks to the Dorchester Historical Society for the opportunity! Now, to plan my next trip to the Maryland Archives!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Can't Wait for the Weekend!

The earliest records that I have in my Dehority research are land records from Maryland. The Maryland State Archives has a wonderful resource at MdLandRec.net that allows searching for old land records from the comfort of your home. You have to sign up for a username and password, but the record access is free. Here is a sample image. It is an order dated 1715 for a survey of land for one George Dehorty. It is really exciting to come across these old documents. I am lucky enough to live close to Maryland, so this weekend I will be able to attend a workshop given by someone with a lot of experience with these old documents. I hope to maybe find out where these lands were, and how to get the most out of this type of record. Even though I can't directly link my family to this group yet, I know I will someday, as soon as I get over my brick wall.
Happy hunting!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Deja Vu All Over Again

I have a LOT of land records to transcribe before going to a workshop on Maryland land records in a couple of weeks....but I really don't feel like it. SO, I decided to check out a site that was recommended, GenealogyBank.com . It is a subscription site that features historical newpapers, books and documents, and the always available Social Security Death Index.

The good thing about a name like DeHority is that most of the time, when you get a hit on a search, it is somebody connected to the family. In browsing the hits on this site, I read an article that referenced William DeHority (who would be a great uncle), the first mayor of Elwood, Indiana. The report seemed to be right out of today's headlines, but the reference is a newspaper called the Inter Ocean, dated 20 July 1893:

Dull Times in Elwood

...A deplorable condition of affairs exists among the poorer class of Elwood. Over two thousand workmen are out of employment and many are in suffering circumstances with starvation staring them in the face. The stagnation in business circles prevents them from obtaining any work, and, with no prospect of immediate relief in this direction, they are in a very pitiable condition. With rent to pay and food to procure they are helpless, and in order to furnish them relief Mayor Dehority called a meeting of citizens this evening to devise means for their support.
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, 1892, there were no unemployed men in Elwood. The mills and factories were running on full time and the wages paid were high. But on that day, though a Republican majority was cast in Elwood, many working men in the country at large were led to believe that the Homestead strike was a result of Republican rule, though really it was an event uninfluenced by political causes; and, acting on this belief, they aided in the election of a Congress and a President pledged to repeal that protection to American industries which alone had given birth and maintenance to the Elwood enterprises. The Sherman law, so-called, was then in force, but its operation did not prevent the prosperity of Elwood. It does not now prevent it. The cause of depression there is uncertainty as to the intentions of Congress and the President toward the tariff. If assurance be given that protection will be continued to the glass and tin-plate industries the business of Elwood will revive. If such assurance be withheld it is probable that yet darker days are in store for this lately prosperous little city."

Friday, April 3, 2009

March Madness

I always knew my dad to be a super tennis player. He won many trophies playing for the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950's and early 1960's. But, I didn't know about his earlier career on the basketball court. This photo was probably taken around 1928 or so, and from the front of the jerseys, I'd guess this team played for Elwood (Indiana) Junior High. Written on the back is the following:
"My brother, Bill DeHority, wrote the names on the back of the picture.
Left to right top row: Carl Renner, Ass. Coach, Don Dellinger, Bud Hefflin, Bill DeHority, Mr Bridges coach, Denver Foist, Ralph Warner, Pete Vanness.
Bottom row: Tom Lindley, Jim Frazier, Carl Sigler(?), Paul Alexander, Alvey Havens.
Very Bottom Charles DeHority"