Part 772h – Brunhammer Doherty Genealogy – The Mystery of GG-Grandfather Audley Holmes – 1855 – The Plot Thickens

30 September 2012

Good Day,

Researching one's genealogy requires me to constantly be looking up words and phrases. Words and phrases from the past, and try to understand exactly how they were used in context, and exactly what did those words and phrases mean at the time when they were used. I have to remember that I have to not attempt to use them in today's context and vernacular. My argument is that there could always be, in some cases a different meaning at a different time and age.

The three phrases and words, without being of a legal mindset, are “Habeas Corpus”, "remanded" and “Court of Oyer and Termiuer”. Both these phrases are used in the article that was next found revolving around the case of the murder of gg-grandfather Audley Holmes.

HABEAS CORPUS - A Latin term meaning "you have the body," refers to the right of every prisoner to challenge the terms of his or her incarceration in court before a judge.

REMANDED - To send back or recommit. When a prisoner is brought before a judge on a habeas corpus for the purpose of obtaining his liberty, the judge hears the case and either discharges him or not; when there is cause for his detention, he remands him.

OYER AND TERMINER - The name of a court authorized to hear and determine all treasons, felonies and misdemeanors; and, generally, invested with other power in relation to the punishment of offenders.

Well that is our legal lesson for today.

The 24 January 1855 edition of The Luzerne Union published on Page 2 a short article titled “Habeas Corpus Case”. The article refers to the fact that The Cook, “Margaret Burk” has been in jail for some time “on the charge of being concerned in the alledged murder of Adley Holmes...” (Note the different spelling of gg-grandfather Audley's name.)

The short article basically states and implies that she, Margaret Burk has been in jail since gg-grandfather Audley's body was discovered and she was arrested. The judge looked at the “facts and attending circumstances”. He then “remanded the Prisoner for trial at the next Court of Oyer and Terminer.

And then, something you do not see in the Media as much these days, the reporter continues “It is not proper at this time to any of the testimony.

Here is my highlighted image of the article from The Luzerne Union.

And my transcription -

The Luzerne Union
Page 2
24 January 1855

Habeas Corpus Case

The woman, Margaret Burk, who has been
in jail for some time on the charge of being
concerned in the alledged murder of Adley
Holmes, who, it will be remembered, was
found under the Bridge on the ice, one morning
in the early part of the winter; was brought
up yesterday on a Habeas Corpus before his
Honor John N. Conyngham. Nearly the whole
day was consumed in the examination of wit-
nesses. After a full investigation into all the
main facts and attending circumstances, the
Judge remanded the Prisoner for trial at the
next Court of Oyer and Terminer. It is not
proper a this time to give any of the testi-
mony. District Attorney Brundage and Wood-
ward represented the State. Ketchum and C,
E. Wright the Defence.

Stay tuned for the next installment. Will Margaret Burk(e) be found guilty? Who knows?


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Part 771h – Brunhammer Doherty Genealogy – The Mystery of GG-Grandfather Audley Holmes – 1854 – She Was The Cook!!!

29 September 2012

Good Day,

Now I really feel like I am delving into the depths of a cold, cold, cold case. Genealogy, the research and the search is definitely a “hold-your-breath-I-can’t wait-for-the-next-clue”.

We just received our next installment into the Mystery of the death of great-great-grandfather Audley Holmes. With the help of the Luzerne County Historical Society today’s mail provided a number of key newspaper clippings relaying additional information of the murder of gg-grandfather Audley.

From Page 2 of The Luzerne Union, dated Wednesday, December 13, 1854, one day after the affixed date of gg-grandfather Audley’s untimely death, see Part 770h,an article titled “Mysterious” provides us with some more insight.

And now the Mystery begins like a thriller novel... “On Monday about two o'clock, Mr. Ally Holmes...” Check that out. Great-great-grandfather Audley was also known as “Ally”.

We now know that he was “a contractor on the Lack.(awanna) & Bloomsburg R.R. (Railroad).” Does this mean that he could have been a Carpenter Contractor? From my sources “Construction began in Scranton in 1854. The first line ran from Scranton to Kingston, a distance of 17 miles (27 km), and opened on the morning of June 24, 1856.

He “left home in company with the cook, Margaret Burk...” She was The Cook! She had his gold watch! See Part 739h where we were introduced to “The circumstance of his gold watch being found in the cook's possession...

The mystery continues... “The woman came home with the horse and sleigh, but Holmes was not with her.” Ta-ta-da-dum... (Here's where the ominous music reaches the background and gradually strains into our ears.) “On Tuesday morning his dead body was discovered under the bridge across the river, between the toll-gate and the first pier.” Where's TSA when you need them?

This Luzerne Union's article provides a number of additional facts... and conjectures.

Here is my highlighted copy of the story “Mysterious”.

And my transcription –

The Luzerne Union
Wednesday, December 13, 1854


On Monday, about two o’clock, Mr. Ally

Holmes, in the employ of Mr. Tamany, a con- 

tractor on the Lack. & Bloomsburg R.R., left 
home in company with the cook, Margaret 
Burk, and come to Wilkes-Barre, for the pur- 
pose of getting her trunk, which was at the 
house of Charles Westfield. They pro- 
cured the trunk and started back about 8 o’-
clock in the evening. The woman came home
with the horse and sleigh, but Holmes was not 
with her. On Tuesday morning his dead body 
was discovered under the bridge across the riv- 
er, between the toll-gate and the first pier. –
His hat and cloak lay on the bridge immediate-
ly over where he was found – whether he fell 
through the bridge by accident, or came to his 
death by violence is as yet a mystery. A cor- 
oner’s inquest assembled soon after the discov-
ery of the body, and a full investigation of the 
case was had by the Inquest under the direction of 
Mr. Brundage, the District Attorney. Their 
verdict is that he came to his death by violence 
at the hands of some person unknown. There 
are many circumstances which seem to indicate 
that the man was met with foul play. We forbear 
giving testimony given by the woman, 
Burk, and other before the Inquest, as the 
District Attorney is endeavoring to find the 
guilty party, if any exist.

Stay-tuned for the next installment of The Mystery of the Murder of GG-Grandfather Audley Holmes.


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Part 770h – Brunhammer Doherty Genealogy – News Flash – The Mystery of GG-Grandfather Audley Holmes – 1854 Cold Case Opened – Who Dunnit?

21 September 2012

Good Day,

And the Murder Mystery continues…

As you, the reader of A Genealogy Hunt, and most interested descendant of great-great-grandfather Audley Holmes, know and have been following, I have opened the possible cold case of the 1854 murder of gg-grandfather Audley.

The questions are, of course: Who? What? Where? When? How? And Why?

Our first discovery, Part 733h and Part 734h, in the Calvary Episcopal Church of Tamaqua, in Pennsylvania, Parish Register, reveals that gg-grandfather Audley Homes was buried 16 December 1854. The scribe who entered the Burial Registration had entered the all descriptive, single word “Murdered”… Well deductively that answers two, maybe four questions. So I thought.

Who?GG-Grandfather Audley Holmes, The Cook, Elizabeth


Where?Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania

When?16 December 1854

No answer to How? and Why?

I next discovered, with assistance from the Schuylkill County Historical Society, that my question Where? was actually directed to another location. According to the 23 December 1854 copy of the Miners’ Journal and Pottsville General Advertiser, gg-grandfather Audley may have been murdered near the Susquehanna River in Wilkesbarre in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. (See Part 739h.) The details in the news clipping opened up a number of questions. What was gg-grandfather Audley doing, to be murdered approximately 40 miles from his home in the Tamaqua area? Who was the Cook? Why did the Cook have gg-grandfather Audley’s gold watch? Who was Elizabeth? And what did the murder have to do with New York?

I contacted the Luzerne County Historical Society to continue with my investigation. My recent call revealed that the research is still ongoing.

Today, A Genealogy Hunt received an Anonymous comment affixed to Part 733h.

Yes, Jim, his body was found near the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, on the morning of December 12, 1854. A woman by the name of Margaret Burk was accused and put on trial for his death, but I can find nothing on the trial or the results. I wish I could help with more details, but this is all I found. (Reported 24 January 1855.)

Our questions have changed somewhat,

Who?GG-Grandfather Audley Holmes, The Cook, Elizabeth, Margaret Burk


Where?Susquehanna River, Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

When?16 12 December 1854

And the plot thickens… Still no answer to How? and Why?

So who was Margaret Burk? Why was she held on trial for the murder of gg-grandfather Audley Holmes? What was the outcome of the trial? Who is the Cook? Who is Elizabeth? What happened to the gold watch?

And the search continues.

Who knows what lurks beneath the swirling waters of the Susquehanna River?


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Part 769p – Smith Groh Genealogy – Pariza Family Line – 1910 US Census – Marinette City, Wisconsin

19 September 2012

Good Day,

Found my Niçoise Olives, Publix Greenwise. Supper – extremely good caramelized onions, with Niçoise Olives, thinly slice tomatoes, and Feta Cheese pizzas. Could have gone for two… Radar just wanted one.

My back is slowly getting back to normal… but I hope this is not what it feels like when I eventually get old. I am back to searching CK’s Ancestry. This time the search and research is for great-great-grandfather Joseph Willard Pariza. Check out my Placeway Descendant Chart – II.

The 1910 US Census of Marinette City, in Wisconsin, United States registered four Parizas at Carney Avenue. These included ggg-grandparents Leo and Mary, gg-grandfather Joseph W. (Willard), and gg-granduncle Harold Pariza.

The following are the two pages of the 1910 US Census as downloaded via

The next two reports, United States Federal Census Population Schedule, 1910 CUSWI000005 and CUSWI000006 are my information recording through Clooz 3.0.

Note that the 1910 US Census records ggg-grandparents Leo and Mary birth location as “Canada – French”. The search is on.


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Part 768h – Brunhammer Doherty Genealogy – When Is a Date the Correct Birth Date? – Granduncle John Herbert Holmes

11 September 2012

Good Day,

In my genealogy search and research, and in response to a number of my past Postings, I was asked the question “How can there be a number of different dates concerning a specific event?” My response based on what I have been taught and learned is that a date for a specific event may change dependent upon who is giving the date and who is taking the response. Other factors for differences may be the recording and transcription errors over time, and information copied without a measure of source or documentation.

In some incidences, information relaying regarding details and dates may be compared to the children’s party game “Pass the message” or “Telephone”. Per Wikipedia, the game “is often invoked as a metaphor for cumulative error, especially the inaccuracies as rumours or gossip spread, or, more generally, for the unreliability of human recollection."

But now I have encountered a strange issue concerning a date; the birth date of granduncle John Herbert Holmes. According to the Parish Register of the Calvary Episcopal Church in Tamaqua, in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, and per the 2 November 1876 Baptism Registration of granduncle John Herbert, his Birth Date is entered as 10 June 1876. All-things-being-equal and based on the two dates, the registered birth and the baptism, there would have been 145 days. The following are the actual Pages from the Calvary Episcopal Church Parish Register.

A normal and plausible rule-of-thumb accepted in genealogy is “the document closest to the event is considered the most likely to be accurate”. In this case, the Baptism Registration, I would venture to say, which is 145 days after granduncle John Herbert’s birth date could be, at least the most probable.

But here comes the monkey wrench, sort-of. On the 10 September 1918 World War I Draft Registration Card, and signed by granduncle John H(erbert) Holmes, his date of birth is entered as “June 9th, 1876”. Say what? Check it out. Below are the images of the two pages of the Registration Card, as provided by The National Archives and the United States, Selective Service System, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

My questions are:

Even though there is only a ONE DAY difference reporting granduncle John Herbert’s birth date, between the Baptism Registration and the WWI Draft Registration, would I be safe in assuming that granduncle John Herbert may have made a mistake providing his birth date, when he was only 42 years old?

Did granduncle John Herbert’s parents, great-grandparents John and Hanora (aka Hannah) Holmes provide the incorrect birth date at granduncle John Herbert’s baptism?

Okay I know that this is not a big deal, it is only ONE DAY, but does this mean that it is extremely important to check and review all documents for credible information?

And can a general rule of thumb sometimes be allowed some flexibility?

Oh and by the way the name of the game "Pass the message" in Italian is: "Telefono senza fili". Translated: Cordless Phone... How apropos!


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Part 767p – Groh Smith Genealogy – The Mystery of Brayton C. Placeway – And Exactly Where Did He Live?

10 September 2012

Good Day,

Recreating an ancestor’s life and timeline in the throes of searching one’s own genealogy can at time be somewhat of an eye-opener…

Searching for CK’s ggg-grandfather Brayton C. Placeway, I located ggg-grandfather Brayton listed on the 1940 US Census. He was living at 5015 S. Budlong Avenue in Los Angeles, in California. (See Part 746p.) According to the 1930 US Census he was living at 1804 2D N. Clark in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. (See Part 719p.)

I thought, using published, US Federal Censuses, City Directories, and Voter Registrations; it may be interesting to discover the locations at which ggg-grandfather Brayton may have lived over the period of approximately 22 years, 1928 through 1950.

Year Source State Address
1928Pasadena City Directory– California– 125 S. Fair Oaks Ave.
1930US Federal Census Chicago– Illinois- 1804 2D N. Clark
1932Index To Register of Voters, Los Angeles City– California– 207 N. Fremont
1934Index To Register of Voters, Los Angeles City– California– 944 Robinson St.
1937Long Beach City Directory– California– Los Angeles
1940US Federal Census Los Angeles– California- 5015 S. Budlong Ave.
1944Index To Register of Voters, Los Angeles City– California– 2917 Brighton Ave.
1946Index To Register of Voters, Willowbrook– California– 2149 E. 124th St.
1948Index To Register of Voters, Willowbrook– California– 2149 E. 124th St.
1948Meridian City Directory– Mississippi– Road 6
1950Index To Register of Voters, Compton City– California– 933 Brazil St.

And of course, the pure coincidence is ggg-grandfather Brayton’s listed occupation and employer in 1948 in Meridian, Mississippi. He is listed as a Salesman (slsmn) at Smith’s Bakery. I was able to discover the above entered images of the possible Smith’s Bakery in Meridian where ggg-grandfather Brayton may have worked.

The following is the Front Page and the Page of the 1948 Meridian, Mississippi City Directory listing ggg-grandfather Brayton C. Placeway. Also included in the listing is noted his fourth wife Laura M. (née Eastering).



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Part 766gh – Brunhammer Doherty Genealogy – The Search For Great-Grandmother Hannah (née Gallagher) Holmes – Episode IX

09 September 2012

Good Day,

In my search for the vital events and genealogy of great-grandmother Hannah (née Gallagher) Holmes I decided that I would summarize some of the ages that I have found on certain possibly-related documents. The following is a Table presenting ages as presented on some of the Documents that I have on file that relate to all possible Hannah Gallagher and Hannah, Hanora, Honora, Hanna, and Anna Holmes.

CensusDateRecorded AgeRecorded/Possible Birth Date
Hannah Gallagher
186003 Jun 18604/12Feb 1860
187029 Aug 1870121858
Hannah Holmes
188018 Jun 1880251855
1890- - -
190012 Jun 190045Aug 1854
191028 Apr 1910541856
192008 Jan 1920551865
193014 Apr 1930741856

I have not been able to confirm, as yet, that the Hannah Gallagher of the 1860 and 1870 Census and of the two Documents filed in 1878 with the Orphans’ Court of Schuylkill County is the same person as great-grandmother Hannah, aka Hanora, Honora and Anna as found in the 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 Censuses and the various Baptism Registrations from the Calvary Episcopal Church Register.

As previously discussed in my earlier Postings, and based on Family History, and on the various Family Trees that I have been able to find entered to, there are a number of coincidences that could indicate that great-grandmother Hannah Holmes may indeed have been the referenced Hannah Gallagher.

I am still waiting for responses from the authors of the public Family Trees entered on I have also sent an inquiry and research request to the Historical Society of Schuylkill County in the hopes that there may be a slim chance of finding a marriage record of great-grandparents John and Hannah Holmes. I would tender a guess that their marriage, if there was one, may have occurred at some time before the 10 June 1876 birth of their first son, granduncle John Herbert Holmes.

The next image is my Clooz 3.0 Hannah Gallagher report summarizing 17 of the documents that I have on file.

Please note that four Birth Event documents of great-grandmother Hannah Holmes children are not included in the Hannah Gallagher report. I have not been able to find the Birth/Baptism Registrations for granduncle Richard Boyd Holmes, nor of the twins, granduncles Oliver and Oscar Holmes. Also, even though I have discovered the actual 1898 Baptism Registration for grandmother Hannah Myrtle (née Holmes) Doherty there is no indication of the names of her parents on the registration.

I would certainly appreciate questions, thoughts, ideas, facts, and sources regarding the life and times of great-grandmother Hannah (née Gallagher) Holmes. Please feel to contact me via email.

And I am recuperating from my Olympic try-outs.


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Part 765g – Brunhammer Doherty Genealogy – The Search For Great-Grandmother Hannah (née Gallagher) Holmes – 1860 US Census – Episode VIII

03 September 2012

Good Labor Day,

Yes, I do not do any labor, and therefore I do not know what I am celebrating. President Grover Cleveland signed the law setting aside the first Monday in September as Labor Day 28 June 1894.

The purpose of Labor Day, “…a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” (Per the US Department of Labor) And so I would think that somewhere and sometime ago, someone said “let’s take the day off and go to the beach.” Enjoy your Bar-B-Que in tribute.

My labor, albeit research and search of genealogy, continues. I am still trying to connect my search finds to ensure the timeline of great-grandmother Hannah (née Gallagher) Holmes.

Next of my finds, which definitely connects to the Gallagher Family that I located in the 1870 US Census of South Cass Township in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, is the 1860 US Census of Cass Township. This listing, in Cass Township, is of the Gallagher Family and it now includes both parents Daniel and Bridget, and all five children: John, Daniel, Ellen, Mary Ann, and Hannah.

Here is the image of the 1860 US Census as downloaded from The National Archives via

And my Clooz 3.0 report CUSPA000012.

I have discovered five public Family Trees posted on that include great-grandmother Hannah (née Gallagher) Holmes. I have sent, since the beginning of August 2012, query emails to the creators/publishers of each Family Tree to communicate, compare information, and learn of their sources. I am still waiting responses. I will keep looking.


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Part 764g – Brunhammer Doherty Genealogy – The Search For Great-Grandmother Hannah (née Gallagher) Holmes – Episode VII

02 September 2012

Good Day,

It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Two hurricanes and one tropical depression are far off in the Atlantic. At present their intended paths leave out the Sunshine State of Florida. Yeah!

My search for elements, hints, and clues of the genealogy of great-grandmother Hannah (née Gallagher) Holmes continues… and continues.

I believe I have found a possible and priceless clue, that all-things-being-equal, and if there is some smidgen of a similar piece out there, we might be on the right track. This could be the great-grandmother Hannah that we are looking for.

Part 762g and Episode V presented the recorded Document in Docket 17 of the Orphans’ Court of Schuylkill County “Real Estate of Hannah Gallagher, a Minor”. This Document is only a transcription of the original Document and was filed 28 October 1878. The other Document in Part 760g, Episode III “Appointment of Guardian for Hannah Gallagher, a Minor”, filed 16 September 1878 was also only a transcription, transcribed in the Docket.

I stumbled upon images of the actual Documents in my continued search; 17 pages. The amazing thing is the image of a possible original signature of “Hannah Gallagher.” The question is “Does someone possibly have something, anything, any paper or letter with great-grandmother Hannah’s signature that we could compare the two?

Here are the images of the original Documents as downloaded from Family Search from the Pennsylvania, Probate Records, 183-1994 Collection.


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