January 14th, 2012

The Return of the Holdemans

From my brief paragraphs in the book about Oregon Mennonites, I figured I had at most two opportunities to detect the married Toews sisters in state-side records.

(1) The Oregon State Archives historical births database
(2) The 1900 census

Helena Toews and Abram Esau had children starting in 1890 and ending in 1907. The book convinced me they would be gone by the 1910 census, and while the parents might have been in Polk for the 1890 census, that census is Gone (a fact which regularly irritates me). In the event, I have found the Esau family back in Manitoba (interestingly, they do not seem to have gone straight to Alberta, if, indeed, they _ever_ went to Alberta) in time for the 1901 census (not unexpected) where an immigration year for the US born children is given as ... 1899. Altho it's hard to get too depressed about a census that includes _full birth dates_ for everyone in the family.

Thus leaving me with option (1) above. I found two of the many children in the historical births database, both listed as "delayed births". I finally looked up what that meant.


In marginally better (altho if you think about it at all, really depressing) news, I am finding the kids who died relatively young in the Manitoba Vital Records database. Death records from 70 and more years ago are available in that database, so that may continue to work for ones who died in middle age as well. If they died in Manitoba. This is a nice, high quality source, however, it does not help in answering the larger question: are these actually Holdemans or not?

One CGCM obit bagged

John Harold Isaac's great-grandfather (my great-great-grandfather) is the top level guy in my family register. I _think_ that makes us 2nd cousins once removed but I'm fully accepting of any correction anyone would like to supply.

http://www.threehillscapital.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=422 :isaac-john-harold&catid=99:obituaries&Itemid=319

I also surfed around my ancestry.com tree, because I _knew_ I'd found obits on some of the other people in recent generations. They are not consistently CGCM. I've started putting obits in as "stories" so they are publicly visible, but I used to put them in as "Notes", which are only visible to people who are editors of the tree.

I stumbled across an academic article (testing Max Weber's thesis about capitalism and protestantism against Holdeman Mennonites, believe it or not) that suggested CGCM's have about a 50% attrition rate or greater in children of members. This is both unsurprising and real familiar to someone who was raised a JW. I can't really remember a lot of detail from any of my visits with the Mennonites. I'm _sure_ some were Plain people (and not Hutterites); equally, I know some weren't, and it wasn't just the excommunicated ones who weren't Plain. I think there really is a mix of anabaptist denominations represented amongst my cousins.

Another Delbert Plett blue paperback has arrived (Leaders of the Kleine Gemeinde). It's really annoying how difficult it is to get any detailed information on the CGCM. Just like JW's, they don't write about themselves for outsiders, and they don't let outsiders in far enough to write about them.