In 1998 I began to investigate my/our family tree. It really started when I discovered a tree posted on a genealogy site in the old AOL system. This tree was for my mother-in-laws family, the Crabtrees, of central Ohio. Her birthday was coming up and I thought a few printed pages and a few pictures in a binder would be a nice present. Her niece Karen, saw the binder and after looking through it she pointed out a few errors. She is an avid genealogist and has worked on the families for many years. She explained to me the importance of documentation to support ones findings.
By now most of us have seen the ads on TV for Ancestry.com and their “leaf” that pops up to tell you that they have found a tree or document that fits one of your entries in your online tree. Of course it sounds quick and easy, but many times these hints lack documentation. These can be dangerous and send you down the wrong tree branch in your research.
For the Kerr research, my 2nd cousin Joan Mansfield, had already interviewed many of our relatives and provided a very sound base for me to start my Kerr family research. The same with Judy's family. Her cousin Karen Ver Wayne set me right by correcting some of my earlier errors and helping me with research technique and sources. All of the above is a prelude to what follows. The current state of my research into my Mother's family, the Hamiltons.
You know how they say that everyone has a relative that immigrated to this land we call America! Well for the Hamilton family it is Archibald Hamilton. Born in January of 1856 to James and Agnes Hamilton of Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, Scotland. By the census of 1880, Archie was living in Providence Rhode Island with his older brother John Hamilton who immigrated 2 years earlier. Archie and his brother James came into New York on the English ship Devonia. Archie was listed in the ships manifest as a laborer. On the same ship was a fellow Scotsman, William B Harvey, a stone cutter.
I have yet to discover why he traveled west, but by 1887 both Archie Hamilton and William Harvey are listed in the Denver City directory as stone cutters. After 2 years of working for others, William and Archie form their own company – Hamilton & Harvey Construction.
In 1891 at the age of 35 Archie marries 22 year old Isabella C Scott. Isabel as she was known was also born in Scotland but immigrated at the age of 4 with her parents James and Mary Scott in 1873. 1892 saw the arrival of Elizabeth 'Bessie' Hamilton followed in 1893 by my future grand father, William P Hamilton. Archibald D Hamilton, 1902; Isabella M Hamilton, 1903; and James A Hamilton, 1906 completed the family.
It was about the time of James birth that Hamilton & Harvey became Hamilton & Gillespie with Donald Gillespie buying out William Harvey. The 1910 Denver City directory list Hamilton & Gillespie located on 7th Street near Santa Fe Ave.
Prior to my Uncle Bill Hamilton's death, he gave me a few pages of Hamilton history that he possessed. One item was a small pocket diary for 1908 which belonged to Archie Hamilton. While this diary has a 1908 calendar, dated notations inside says he was using it in 1910. Like most of us, having a small note book was more important to him than actual dates. The leather bound diary is 4 inches by 2 inches and would easily fit in the breast pocket of overalls. Here is a sample of figures that look like computations for projects for which he was bidding. This entry for J L Gray dated February 4, 1910 and 227.18
and Kirchoff, B + stone, etc is his last entry.
At the end of February, he would go to Phoenix Arizona and after a stay of only two weeks, he died on March 12, 1910. On March 14th he was buried at the Greenwood Cemetery in Phoenix.