Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Found Antrim Cemetery Across the Road!

Antrim Cemetery Today:
Antrim Cemetery is an active cemetery nestled in the northwest corner of Houston County, Texas close to the Anderson County line and contains recent burials of families who presently live in the area or who lived in this area in the past.

Visitors may come to the open cemetery to pay their respects, clean the area around headstones, take pictures, and write comments in the Visitors' Notebook. My interest is about the two ancestral lines in my mother's family: the Willis and Gray surnames. Many other surnames in the Antrim Cemetery are also in my ancestry listed alphabetically: Brinson, Cook, Durnell, Edens, Helm, Hudnell, Little, McElroy, Simpson, Streetman, Weisinger, Weissinger, and Williams.   
Some say that Antrim Cemetery was named for an early settler in the Antrim Community in the Houston and Anderson Counties area: W. F. Gray, my Great-great-great Grandfather, born 1802 and said to have migrated from Antrim County in Ireland.
Another story says that an earlier name for the cemetery was McElroy Cemetery. Still another name is Anthom Cemetery.
Nearby Towns:
Elkhart, Texas (5.8 miles NNE), Salmon, Texas (6.8 miles ENE), and Grapeland, Texas (8.5 miles ESE).

Find A Grave: Antrim Cemetery, Houston County, Texas: 235 Records,

Transfer requests at should be requested for direct relatives within four generations. This includes siblings, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

The following individual contributors, organization, and more have added records to web site for Antrim Cemetery:

Joel Farringer, member #46600437, member for 7 years, 11 months, 21 days,

Bernard-Trigg, member #46860860, member for 5 years, 3 months, 21 days,

Linda Robbins, member #47094726, member for 3 years, 9 months, 25 days,

Tom Streetman, member #47063251, member for 3 years, 26 days,

Houston County Historical Commission, Crockett, TX, member #:47230384, member for 1 year, 10 months, 26 days,
If there are more contributors who are descendants of any of the ancestors at Antrim Cemetery, Houston County, Texas, please let me know and I will add your name here.
Records List and Map of Row and Plot Numbers by Ivey Maurice Brinson after 2004:
Antrim Cemetery, Houston County, Texas: 184 Records
The map is displayed below. If someone would like the eight-page list of names, birth, death, and sometimes marriage dates, additional social organization affiliated symbols, and more inscriptions, please leave a comment, a Facebook private message, or email me.
Antrim Cemetery, Houston County, Texas: 172 Records
Letty Harrington compiled this  Internet web site list to place online records complete with name, birth date, death date, inscription, and her comments in five columns. Each record is linked to a digital photograph of each headstone. Last update: July 7, 2002.
Houston County (Texas) Cemeteries, Second Edition: 158 Antrim Cemetery Records.
Compiled by Houston County Historical Commission, Third Floor, Court House, Crockett, Texas. Copyright 1978. Hunter Publishing Company, Printers. 2475 South Stratford Road, Winston-Salem, NC. 27103. The second edition contains 192 burial grounds, family plots, and community cemeteries. The preface lists many Houston and Anderson County residents who volunteered for the field work for this edition including many descendants of John Pinckney and Lucy Jane Lamb Willis. The Table of Contents is an Alphabetical Indexed List of Houston County Cemeteries from pages 3-431. At the end of the book is a Surname List for Houston County Cemeteries from pages 1-22.

Antrim Cemetery is listed from pages 25-27and was compiled or checked by Mrs. I.J. Nichols in October, 1976. Antrim Cemetery contains 158 records.

The following is a transcription about Antrim Cemetery from this book:
“Located about 7 miles west of Grapeland on Farm to Market Road 1272. Take right hand dirt road and go about 4 miles. It is just across Mackleroy Spring Brand on a hill to the right. Well-kept and enclosed by a cyclone fence.”

“It derived its name from W. F. Gray [my 3rd great-grandfather] who came from Antrim, England [Ireland or Virginia] in the 1800s and who is the great grandfather of Jim [James Malachi Gray, 1882-1964, my great uncle] and Ed Gray [John Ed Gray, 1886-1959, my great uncle] and grandfather of Richard Gray [1853-1917, my great-grandfather]. Some say the first grave was that of a male slave and unmarked. However, according to markers, the earliest is T. L. Kent, February 12, 1847-February 2, 1873.”

“Land for the cemetery was deeded by Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Durnell [uncle of wife of 1st cousin 1x removed] in 1910. Almost every grave has interesting epitaphs of poetry or scripture which have to be omitted for the sake of brevity. Other remarks are written at the end of page 27: “Wynn lots are enclosed by cyclone fince and “kept very special”.

Additional history, according to Ethel Gray Wilson [1912-2004, daughter of Richard Malachi and Olivia Elizabeth Gray mentioned in an earlier paragraph, and my first cousin, once removed], Elkhart, Texas follows:
"In the 1860s, John McElroy bought the 488 acres in the Collison League, where the Antrim Cemetery is located. John McElroy gave five acres for a church, school, and cemetery. The first person to get a resting place in the new cemetery was John McElroy’s negro slave. The next ones buried were Billiy Williams and wife. I have no history on who passed away first. John McElroy and wife, Jane, are resting here and his sister and a brother, nephews and nieces.”
The first edition published in 1977 listed 142 burial grounds, family plots, and community cemeteries.
The Houston County Historical Commission, 401 E. Goliad Ave., Suite 203, Crockett, TX 75835, 936-544-3255 ext. 238, has  publications for sale.
New Houston County Cemeteries: A computer database printout of cemeteries in Houston County, Texas. This printout is alphabetical by surname with about 1,200 pages and is up-to-date as of the week it is printed for $70.00, a USB, or a CD for $35.00 with available updates.
I hope all the readers enjoy looking at the links for the many records at Antrim Cemetery, Houston County, Texas. I am indebted to second cousin Ivey Maurice Brinson and second cousin once removed Tom Streetman for their friendship and genealogy expertise.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Serendipity Celebration for Joseph Jerkens

I am excited to share this wonderful serendipity celebration for Joseph Jerkens and for his family, his descendents and nieces and nephews. It was not easy to find Josef Jurkiewicz's Application for the USA Declaration of Intention, but through several helpful people and organizations, I located it. The copy and information were all on the Internet. That is not always the case. Genealogists cannot expect everything to be on the Internet, but this time what I needed was.

I have written two other blog posts about Joseph Jerkens and the unknowns about his early life on July 8, 2011, Joseph Marion Jerkens (1883-1952) Followup, and July 9, 2011, Joseph Marion Jerkens (Josef Marion Jurkiewicz).

I finally "struck gold" with the New York Italian Genealogy Group at which indexed the New York Eastern District Court of NY Naturalization Project. This database contains an index to the naturalization records that were issued between 1865 and 1956 by the Eastern District Courts, which includes Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

I used the  printable form to request Naturalization Records from the National Archives (NARA) in NY. This is a copy of the email I received from Sharon A. Pullen, C.A., Archivist, Office of the County Clerk, Historic Documents Library, 310 Center Drive, Riverhead, NY 11901-3392. She was most helpful to lead me in the right direction.
From:Pullen, Sharon (
Sent:Wed 3/02/11 7:07 PM
Dear Ms. Robbins,
The document that you requested is from the Eastern District court, not the Suffolk County Supreme Court. In order to obtain a copy of that document you must use the form that requests records from NARA. It can be found at:
Sharon A. Pullen, C.A., Archivist
Office of the County Clerk, Historic Documents Library
310 Center Drive, Riverhead, NY 11901-3392
Phone: (631) 852-2000 extn. 700
Fax: (631) 852-2004

On November 13, 1926 Jozeph Jurkiewicz, age 43, applied for the USA Declaration of Intention, in the Village of Patchogue, Suffolk County, NY; occupation private groom, resided Islip, Suffolk County, NY, white, dark complexion, 5'10", 168 lbs., brown hair, grey eyes, scar on chin, birthplace Zadarow, Austria; came from Bremen, Germany on Crown Princess Cecile. Joseph Jurkiewicz's last residence was given as Tarnobrzeg. His birthplace was Buczacz which is the same district as the village of Zadarow but about 400 miles NE of modern Vienna, Austria. Joseph Jurkiewicz arrived at the port of NY in the state of NY about 21 Sep 1908. He was not an anarchist or a polygamist. He intended to become a citizen of the USA & permanently reside therein. Superior Court, Suffolk County, NY, Fred S. Pulver, Clerk The form states that it is invalid for all purposes seven years after the date hereof. Record #651879. Joseph became a naturalized citizen on November 9, 1929.

If you check the date of the email I received from Sharon A. Pullen, that was back in March, nine months ago, when I was struggling with technology, at least with the free Adobe Reader. I uninstalled it and use the free Nitro Reader which gives me many more choices, as changing a .pdf document to a Picasa photograph which gives me the opportunity to insert genealogy documents into .jpg so I can use them in my blog. The sizing of the pages in the document are not perfect here. There are more readable for anyone who wishes to order their own downloaded .pdf copy.

Notice on page 2 that Josef's last name is spelled Yorkiewicz. That is only one of several misspellings of his Jurkiewicz and Jerkens surname in all of the documents I have found. Here follows Josef Jurkiewicz's application for the USA Declaration of Intention:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pearl Harbor Reflections One Week Later

Where were you on December 7, 1941, during the bombing of Pearl Harbor? Were you born yet? Had you been "thought of" by your parents? How many years would it be before you were born? Do you know anyone who served in the United States Military during the bombing of Pearl Harbor?
All six of my uncles served in the US Military during World War II: my dad's two brothers, Daniel A. Hollingsworth, enlisted on November 2, 1942 at age 35 and Frank S. Hollingsworth, enlisted in the U.S. Marines on December 11, 1937 at the age of 21 and served through the end of World War II. My dad's brother-in-law, Ralph Slagle, enlisted in the U.S. Army September 23, 1942 and served through the end of World War II in 1946. Ralph reinlisted in the U.S. Army from 1946-1949, and then enlisted in the Army Air Force from 1949-1966. On my mother's side, her brother Cecil N. Gray enlisted in the United States Navy on November 18, 1941 and was released from the US Navy on November 18, 1945. Mother's older sister's husband Ruel E. Snow enlisted on February 10, 1942 in the U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. After World War II, Ruel continued his military service in the Reserves until his retirement in the 1960s. My mother's younger sister's first husband, Melvin E. Gandy enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on December 12, 1945, but I do not know how long he served. He was single at the time.

My parents "had thought of me" since I was born three months and 16 days later in 1942. According to Wickipedia in their Generation article, I was born in the Silent Generation that occurred between 1925 and 1945. We were "generally recognized as the children of the Great Depression. This event during their [our] formative years had a profound impact on them [us]."

The Silent Generation also included my husband who was born ten years earlier. As he told me, he, at age 9 1/2, was living on Rose Street in Islip, NY. He was in the back yard and his dad was working in the garden when his mom came out on the porch and announced that she heard on the radio, "The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor."  I had not thought much about it before, but it is true that wherever anyone was on that fateful day, or even if they had not been born, our world changed drastically on that one day. It really was an "infamous" day in history.

I read last year about my high school choir teacher from Duncan, Oklahoma, Mr. Allen H. Clinkscales, Jr., as a veteran was at Pearl Harbor. Isn't it funny, or strange, that I and maybe none of our classmates knew about Mr. Clinkscales service in World War II? I recall him as my favorite teacher.

He must have been many of our classmates' favorite teacher also since he was voted the most popular teacher at our 50th Duncan High School Reunion 50 years later at Duncan High School where almost 200 of us gathered together to have fun, visit our old school, and talk about old and new times.

This link will show you what he looked like throughout his life including two photographs of him in the United States Navy:

I believe that important days in our country's history can be thought about on more than the one day the big event occurred. I am certain that our United States citizens thought about December 7, 1941 for many years if they were old enough to grasp the importance of what happened then.