Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...Christmas Past

I know it's a week after Christmas, but I just now was able to get these uploaded and wanted to share them.  I don't know the specific year, my daddy and grandparents can fill me in later.  I took these scans when I was back in Georgia over the summer.  These feature my daddy, Kenneth Curran, and his parents, Alice Bussey Curran and Donald V. Curran.

Kenneth and Alice Curran

Kenneth and Donald Curran
Looks like someone called their name and snapped a photo.  So cute

Check out all the vintage toys!  The little gun and holster, the tractor, the wagon, the train and cars.  Awesome haul, little Kenneth!

What a handsome little man!  Kenneth Curran

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...Missing Mama

Donna Jane Thomason Curran

This is my mama, Jane.  I miss her.  I miss her every day and it's even more difficult during the holidays.  She always encouraged me in everything I did.  I love you Mama.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...They do favor, right?

Alice Bussey Curran is in the top two photos and the lower right photo; her Great Aunt Lucy Bussey McCaw is on the lower left.  Photos of Alice copyright Alice Curran.
Photo of Lucy Bussey McCaw courtesy of Sierra Walker

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let's not forget all of our ancestors that came before us.  If you have the opportunity to be with your extended family, try to sneak in some interviews or videos.  If they aren't keen on videos, just ask them about something from their childhood and let them talk.  We cannot let their stories be lost to our children.

Take care of each other and keep on searching those roots!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...Curran's in Ireland

Curran's Fish and Chips in Ennistymon, County Clare, Ireland

Curran's Pharmacy in Ennistymon, County Clare, Ireland

We took a trip to Ireland in 2013 for Spring Break.  While there we visited County Clare (I believe my Curran ancestors may, possibly be from there).  I took the above photos in the town of Ennistymon.  It was fun seeing my (maiden) last name up there on those businesses.  Someday I hope to find out where my Curran ancestor, Terence Curran, actually came from.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...Jackson Monroe Laycox and Bonnie Swafford

Jackson Monroe Laycox (1877-1942) and Bonnie Fevel Swafford (1893-1972)
Married 27 May 1909, Monterey, Tennessee
They had 7 children.
These are my husband's Great Grandparents, the grandparents of his mother. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...with a few words. Troy Waller Bussey

Troy Waller Bussey (1909-1991)
My Maw-maw (Great Grandmother)

This is one of those photo booth photos.  My grandmother has the original and I took a scan of it during one of my visits back to Georgia.  This is my great grandmother Troy Eugene Waller Bussey.  She told me once that she she was named after the doctor that delivered her.  She was the second of the nine children born to Charlie Henry Waller and Ina Myrtle Brown and the oldest of the girls.  I remember her very well.  She lived in Southwest Fulton County near the Lakewood Fairgrounds.  She took me on my first ever bus ride.  We took the bus to Candler Drug store where she could show me off as her great grand daughter and to buy me a milkshake.  She told me lots of stories about her childhood, that I wish I could fully remember.  She revealed family secrets to me; I'll share those one day on this blog.  I miss her all the time.  She passed away when I was 14; she had Alzheimer's disease.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day...Remembering the Veterans in our Family Tree.

I'm proud of the long history of military service that my family contains.  I'm listing below the direct line members of my combined tree that I have discovered that served in the military.  There are likely many more that I am not aware of as well as uncles and cousins.  As I learn more I will add their names here.

I'm starting first with recent service since I have photos of these.  Then starting with the Revolutionary War and working forward.  Thank you for all your hard work and sacrifice!

Presently in the Military

LT Cody Schaal, US Navy,  my husband
formerly US Air Force

Elmer Jack Laycox, US Army and then US Air Force; Cody's grandfather
John C Schaal, US Army (my father-in-law)

Donald V. Curran, US Army (my grandfather)

Revolutionary War

James Todd Livingston (1754-1812) 5th Great Grandfather

Samuel Whatley (1762-1826) 5th Great Grandfather

John Niswanger  (1729-1788) 6th Great Grandfather

Richard Tennant (1744-1823) 6th Great Grandfather

Peter Haught SR (circa 1720-post 1810) 7th Great Grandfather

Thomas Forshey (circa 1751-1836) 6th Great Grandfather

Martin Dial (1744-1844) 6th Great Grandfather

John Ephriam Mayo (1759-1842) 6th Great Grandfather

Civil War

David R. Laycock (1826-) Husband's 3rd Great Grandfather {TN}

Philip Schaal (1825-1866) Husband's 3rd Great Grandfather {Missouri, USA} 

Levi (Doc) Marlow (1830-1907) 3rd Great Grandfather (VA)

Thomas J Bussey (1818-1908) 3rd Great Grandfather (GA)

William Lewis Thomason (1835-1912) 3rd Great Grandfather (GA)

John Fields Chapman (abt 1841-1905) 3rd Great Grandfather (GA)

John Edgar Allen (abt 1833-?) 3rd Great Grandfather (GA)

World War 1

John Colvin Bussey (1892-1976) Great Grandfather 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...Conrad F. Wuerz

Conrad Francis Wuerz 1900-1973
Cody's Great Grandfather
Copy of photo in possession of Marion Wuerz Schaal

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...George Schaal

George Schaal SR. 1863-1920
Street Car Conductor, Belleville, IL 
My husband's 2nd Great Grandfather

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Switching Branches can lead to feeling more accomplished.

After the frustration of working on the search for my Great Great Grandmother, I decided to switch branches for a while and see if I can get anywhere with someone else.  I switched over to my husband's Schaal side.  

I sent for the Full Pension File for the Civil War for my husband's 3rd Great Grandfather, Phillip Schaal.  His widow Elizabeth Roth Schaal applied for a pension in 1903 and again in 1904.  The 1903 one was abandoned since it was not the right form.  

I was pleased with the information the forms contained.  I was able to confirm an assumption that I had but no evidence of.  According to the file, Mrs. Elizabeth Schaal married Christian Schaal after the death of her first husband Phillip Schaal.  I had always assumed he was a brother of Phillip or possibly another relative, but did not have firm evidence other than the same last name and a hunch.  The file actually stated, "That she has remarried since the death of said soldier, to-wit, to one Christian Schaal brother of soldier, October 27, 1867." 

There it is!  Phillip Schaal and Christoph Schaal were brothers!  (I've seen Christoph's name as Christ, Christopher, Christoph and now Christian).   Also in a couple of places it lists Phillip's place of birth as Wuerttemberg, Germany which is consistent with other records.  

Next step, figure out Phillip Schaal and Christoph Schaal's parents names and try to locate them in Germany.  
I wish we had photos of these people, they are just so fascinating.  

Phillip Schaal emigrated to the United States (we believe in 1855 but I've not been able to completely verify this as of yet) either way he emigrated and shortly after joined in the Civil War on the Union side.  

Elizabeth Roth married first Phillip and then his brother Christoph.  That in itself is interesting.  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Disappointment and Frustration in Genealogy Research...Brick Wall: Louella Ledbetter Bussey

We all have them...the dreaded Brick Walls. Dead end. End of the line.  Nothing more to be found.  The end of the paper trail.  If we are lucky, our brick wall is several generations back, may be even in the 1600's but some of us have a one or two generation brick wall.  These are the ones that we really do have an opportunity to break through; since the records, in theory should be there.

One of my most stubborn brick wall ancestors is Louella Ledbetter Bussey.  Better known as Ella Bussey, my great great grandmother on my paternal grandmother's paternal side. I have nothing definitive about who her parents were.

Louella Ledbetter is supposed to be born 10 December 1872 in Georgia.  Her Family Bible lists this as her birth-date and it corresponds with the census records as well as her death certificate.  Where in Georgia is in question.  There is family lore that she was from Rabun County, Georgia; but I have nothing that proves that.

The first place that we think we have located Ella Ledbetter is in the 1880 Census. She is listed living with an Elizabeth Lawrence in Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia.  Ella is named as Louella and is 9 years old and is listed as Granddaughter to Elizabeth.  Also listed is her brother Jene (Eugene).  Both were born in Georgia, with parents being born in NC.

Year: 1880; Census Place: Gainesville, Hall, Georgia; Roll: 150; Family History Film: 1254150; Page: 10C; Enumeration District: 132; Image: 0355.

There is a bit of family lore about our Louella Ledbetter.  Her mother is supposed to be named Alice (my grandmother was reported to have been named after her). She was orphaned and was mistreated by relatives.  They "scalped" her (cut off all her hair).  These are stories that were passed down to her grand daughters that have passed them to me and my cousin.  Mr. Bussey, (Samuel T. Bussey) that she married "found her" and they were married.

Louella Ledbetter married Samuel T. Bussey 30 December 1886 in Fulton County, Georgia.  This would make her just barely 14 years old and Samuel 30 years old.  Family lore again alleges that she was 12 years old.  I have found the image of the marriage book confirming that they were married.  I recently sent for the marriage application from Fulton County Probate Court, but received the reply that they couldn't find anything (of course they couldn't; it stated that they searched from 1979 to present; though I specified on the form to do a search prior to 1979 AND gave them the date).  I know that there had to be someone to sign for her since she was under-aged, but have yet to find any information. It seems that the state of Georgia did not require applications for marriage licenses until the 1920's.  This is where frustration really starts to seep in, strong. Georgia, Marriage Records From Select Counties, 1828-1978 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data:
County Marriage Records, 1828–1978. The Georgia Archives, Morrow, Georgia.

My cousin and I have tried to find any information about the church, 7th Baptist Church, with no luck.  We did find some information about the Rev. W.R. Dale that was pretty interesting.  While this information was interesting, it did not bring me any closer to finding out any information about my great great grandmother. 

1887 December 19 Ella and Samuel T Bussey's first son is born, Willis Collier Bussey.  She is about 15 years old and they have been married just short of one year.  

1890 January 7 Their second son, Samuel T. Bussey JR is born.  Ella is about 17 years old.

1892 November 19, Their third son, John Colvin Bussey is born.  Ella is almost 20 years old.  This is my great grandfather. 

1898 March 13 Fourth son is born, James Jefferson Bussey.  Ella is 25 years old. 

1900 Census--I have not located on this census, suspect it to be indexed incorrectly.  

1905 May 15   Son Samuel T. Bussey JR dies of meningitis according to a newspaper article.  He was 15                               years old. Ella was 33 years old. 

1910 Census--Ella is listed as living with her husband Samuel T and son James.  She lists her birthplace as being GA and both parents in GA.

1914 November 9  Ella's husband Samuel T. Bussey SR dies.  He was 58 years old and Ella was 42 years old.  
1916 July 28 Ella is named among many in a lawsuit by "a relative" Julia Lawrence.  Ella is 44 years old.  We have realized that this Julia Lawrence is one of the people she lived with in 1880 in Hall County, Georgia.  This Julia is a daughter of Elizabeth Lawrence that was listed as being Ella's grandmother in that census.  I have not been able to successfully prove this relationship.  

1920 Census--Ella is listed as Head of Household, living with son James and running a boarding house.  She again lists her birthplace as GA and both her parents as GA.

1929 Dec 4  Eugene Ledbetter dies at her home.  It is supposed that this is her brother "Jene" from the 1880 Census.  His parents are listed as Alice Mull and John Ledbetter and the informant is Ella's son James.  We have searched extensively for an Alice Mull and a John Ledbetter that were together but have found nothing.  
Also we have not been able to locate Eugene Ledbetter in any census record.

1930 Census--Ella is listed as head of household, living with son Colvin (listed as Culvier and this is actually John Colvin, my great grandfather).  Again she lists her birth place as GA and both her parents as being born in GA.  

1940 Census--Ella is listed as head of household, living alone.  She still lists her birthplace as GA.  Nothing is asked about parents on this census.  

1962  Ella passes away at age 90.


Located brother, Eugene Ledbetter, death certificate.  He died at Ella's home and her son was the informant.  Parents listed as John Ledbetter and Alice Mull.  We can presume that Ella told James the information, but cannot be certain. 

The Mortuary Notice in the newspaper for Eugene Ledbetter did not offer any family information at all. 

Still unable to locate Eugene Ledbetter in any census records.


Julia T. Lawrence--died 12 January 1921.  Death certificate has no family information.  She is presumed to be Ella's aunt.  Her obituary lists her three sisters (also presumed to be Ella's aunts) Miss Ella Beavert (who we know was not married, had two daughters and was "adopted" and took on the name of Beavert), Mrs. C.S. Brown (this is Stasy, she married Clinton Stephen Brown in 3 Aug 1881 at age 15 in Hall County, Georgia) and Mrs. M.I. Fretwell (this is Maud that married George Pearson Fretwell in 1883 at age 20) and one brother C.L. Lawrence (this is Carson). 

Ella Lawrence (Beavert)--Her death certificate is filed incorrectly.  It lists her name as Elizabeth Lawrence and her mother as Mary Ella Lawrence.  It should be the other way around.  She was born 16 May 1850 (according to the death certificate) and she died 10 Feb 1925.  The informant was Mrs. DR Burrell of Rabun Gap, GA.  Her birthplace is listed as Burke County, NC.  


Further analyse the court case between Julia Lawrence and Ella Bussey to see if the family relationship is mentioned.  

Find Death Certificate for Elizabeth Lawrence--it may provide her parent's names and would help to figure out where in NC she was from and trace her family back further.  

Find Death Certificates for Maude Lawrence Fretwell--see who her father was and where she was born in NC.

Find Death Certificate for Carson Lawrence for the same information. 

If you read through all of this, bless your heart and have a drink!  We are at a loss in trying to figure out what way to go next in getting back further with Ella's family.  We have been in contact with a descendant of Elizabeth Lawrence but he has not been able to figure out if Ella Ledbetter Bussey was related to his family or not.  There was no family stories about her passed down.  We have requested that he take a DNA test to see if he matches to me, my grandmother and a cousin to help us determine if Ella was indeed related to Elizabeth Lawrence and not just a person that took her and Eugene in when they were orphaned.  If you have any ideas on how we could further research please leave me a comment.  We are open to anything at this point.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...Curran Style

Lewis Wade Curran, SR (1903-1972) and Letha Hazel Marlow Curran (1905-1979)
My great grandparents
Copy of photo in possession of Donald V. Curran

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Swimming in the DNA pool and trying not to drown.

Woah Nellie!  If you recall I uploaded my Raw DNA files to and once it processed I have already been contacted by a match.  Upon the recommendation of a friend (waves to Sarah M) I also transferred my files over to and now I'm really swimming in the DNA pool!  I've really got to wrap my pea-sized brain around all this scientific data.  I'm not sure I'll ever really understand all these sequences and segment and cM.  I don't have the foggiest clue as to what is going on, but I sure am excited about it.

I don't know how much time I have to devote to understanding this DNA thing, but by golly I sure do want to get a better grasp at what's going on.

The only thing that I've been able to determine without a doubt is that I'm 100% European descent. The only thing that pops up that is extremely fascinating is the stuff over on  I don't know how, but it's showing up (hundreds of) thousands of years ago...pygmy.  And that makes me happy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What ya gonna do with all that DNA?

I am self-confessed DNA freak.  Okay, I should make that more accurate, I love the DNA test.  I've taken it.  I had my husband take it.  Then I gave it as gifts to my paternal grandparents.  Then I got my Dad to do it.  And my maternal aunt.  Then my son wanted to do it.  I got my husband's parents to do it. And now my younger son has done it.  We adore finding out what % of whatever we are.  I enjoy connecting to other cousins with family trees.  I look at it as a way to kind of verify and validate that our family trees are accurate--or if they are wrong we are all wrong together.

Now what to do with this new data?  I am not at all versed in DNA sequences or chromosomes or anything technical at all. I finally got around to loading my raw DNA data from up to   Now, I just did this today and I've only loaded a few of my kits since it takes a while for each one to process; but I've had some fun with making sure none of my subjects have parents that are related.  I didn't expect them to be, at least not closely, as the family lines branch back in different directions with little to no surnames in common.

I've played around with the eye-color predictor and so far it's been mostly correct.

But back to my question.  What am I to do with this DNA data?  I've used cousin matches to locate cousins and actually connect with them.  I've used it to try and do a descendant line trying to desperately figure out if my great great grandmother Louella (Ella) was actually a Ledbetter; but I've not really gotten very far with that.

What do you do with all of this DNA data?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Trying to maintain a focus for genealogical research.

I'm not very good at keeping focus for my genealogical research.  I start out with a half-baked plan and end up never following through.  For example I started out trying to log and research the military members of my varying branch.  I was planning on meticulous going back on each branch and note which wars they may have been in and to see if they served.  It lasted for about two generations then I got distracted by something else.  I ping-pong back and forth between branches and ancestors just willy-nilly.  I have got to get this under control.

I've decided to attempt again to focus in on one single area or branch for research.  The problem for me is that all of these ancestors live in my head along with all of the probable ways to research them.  I'll start down one road and locate a record or story and then suddenly think, "I wonder if that would work for such and such" on the complete other side of the tree.  So I skip on over and see if that will work and then I think of another ancestor that it might work for and hop on over to that one.  What I should do is make a note of it and save it in a research plan and continue with the one I started with in the first place.

I don't know if I'll be successful in focusing on one line at a time, but I'm going to give it a try.

How do you focus your research?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Careful with those shaky leaves!

I've been doing a lot of clicking and lookie looing at my online tree.  I've been tempted to just go crazy and add all the information I find in other peoples trees to mine and be all happy-go-lucky with all those ancestors.  I have to remind myself that accuracy is critical to being taken seriously with genealogy.  As much as I would love to just claim all of those exotic sounding ancestors, I can't just assume that they are correct.

I love this hobby and truly gain joy from finding connections to my ancestors and other descendants, I cannot bear to think that I'm connecting to the wrong person.  As a beginner, I did not understand the importance of paying attention to the details.  When you get carried away and excited it's easy to just start adding people willy nilly and ending up with a completely inaccurate and totally amateur tree.   I see them everyday when I'm clicking along.  Now, don't think I'm perfect, because I'm terrible at actually citing my sources and am slowly working through trying to fix that flaw in my tree.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Could he be where my Italian DNA comes from?

Of course I was supposed to be researching military service by my direct ancestors, but somehow I got distracted by following some shaky leaves on my tree and ended up with what just might be an Italian ancestor!  What the huh?

I did the AncestryDNA test a while ago and it came back with 2% Italy/Greece.  I was really surprised to see that ethnicity pop up in my DNA.  I've been testing anyone that will let me in my family.  My daddy has a slight 1% and his father 1% but his mother has a whopping 8%.  It is on my Grandmother's side that I clicked my way back to find this possible Italian.  His name was Salvator Muscoe.

I used my DNA matches to search for the last name Muscoe and low and behold there are several matches to me that include this Salvator Muscoe.  The accepted story is that Salvato Muscoe was born in Italy and went to London to help build St. Peter's.  I, of course, have not fully documented this nor tried very hard verify the information.  If nothing else I am clearly related by DNA to other people related to this fella.

It is my understanding that Muscoe is not actually Italian, but likely an Anglicization of the name.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

John C. Bussey Enlistment Record

I obtained a copy of John C. Bussey's military records back in 2003.  I looked at them and tried to decipher what they said.  The copy appears to have been faxed and then mailed.  It was printed in negative form since the writing was extremely difficult to read in it's normal form.  Below is a copy of the Enlistment Record.

As you can see, it is not the easiest document to read, but I believe I have seen worse as I'm sure you have as well in your research.  

This document gives me more insight into my Papa Bussey.  He entered service Sept 30th 1918 in Atlanta, Georgia.  He was born and lived his life in Atlanta. Under battles, engagements, expeditions: to the right is written none. But there is also written Mar 18  21 and Brouge.  I believe this may be bleed through from another document onto this one.  I know that my Papa was not in the military at that time.  

I love that his character is described as : Excellent.  
Remarks:  Inducted Sept 30th 1918 at Atlanta, Ga assd to 13th Depot Sig Franklin Contonment, ind 11/9/18  No AWOL on record  No (cannot read) 31/12or 45/14 {I'm assuming that these were some sort of rules, regs etc that he had not broken}  Service honest and faithful.  

Note written on the left side reads: Soldier entitled to travel pay from Camp Hancock, Ga to Atlanta, Ga place of induction. 

Here is his Discharge Paper and it is even more difficult to read. 

I'm not even going to guess on what it says.  I really want to know the reason for discharge but I cannot read it no matter how much I stare at it.  I see that he was in the Army from Sept 30, 1918 until Jan 20, 1919. He served just shy of 4 months. The war ended Nov. 1918 and that is likely why he was able to be released since he was drafted.  I don't know for sure.  As far as I can tell he did not have a disability at that time.  I do know that later he was blind in one eye, but I don't know how that came to be.  It's clear it wasn't the case for when he was younger though.  

Feel free to see if you can decipher what is written on the document.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

John C Bussey WWI Service Card

What information can I gather from my great grandfather, John Colvin Bussey's WWI Service Card?
Below is a snippet of his card. Georgia, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Georgia Adjutant General’s Office. World War I Statements of Service Cards. Georgia State Archives, Morrow, Georgia.

What information do we find here?
1. His name.  John C. Bussey
2. His Army serial number.
3. Residence address.
4. That he was inducted.  It is my understanding that inducted in this case meant drafted and that he did not enlist.
5.  Location of induction and date.  Ft. Thomas, KY
6. Date of birth.  Nov 19, 1892  (there seems to be some inconsistency in his birthday as to if it's Nov 18th or Nov 19th, but the year is always consistent.
7. Organizations that he served in. "13 Dep Bn Sig C Franklin Cantonment Camp Meade Md to disch"
      I tried to break down what these acronyms meant.  Here is what I deciphered.
       13th Department Batallion Signal Corp.  The unit he was assigned to.
       Franklin Cantonment    The school he went to.
       Camp Meade Md
       to disch (discharge)
8. Grades, with date of appointment:  
        Pvt 1 cl Dec1/18   = Private 1st class Dec 1, 1918
       Pvt Dec 26, 1918  = Private
9. Did not serve overseas
10. Honorably discharged on demobilization Jan 20, 1919
11. 0 per cent disabled.

So I was able to gather a small bit of detailed information about the time in service for my great grandfather.  I'm now curious as to why his rank appears to have been moved down, yet he was still honorably discharged.  I have a copy of his service record, but it is very difficult to read.

I was unable to find much definitive information regarding the unit "13 Dep Bn Sig C".  I would like to find out more about what he was supposed have been learning at the signal school in Maryland.  His time in service was short, but it was something that stuck with him his whole life.  When he was older he utilized the VA for medical care.

I look forward to fleshing out more of my ancestors.  I'm currently concentrating on the military members in my direct line.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

One of my Brick Walls. Who were Ella's parents?

My  GG Grandmother Louella Ledbetter Bussey. AKA Ella Bussey. She was born 10 Dec 1872 in Georgia (possibly in Hall County, Gainesville but there is no proof). The first census she shows up in is 1880 in Hall County, Gainesville, Georgia. She is living with a widowed woman named Elizabeth Lawrence and her children. Ella is listed as being her granddaughter. With Ella is a younger brother Eugene Ledbetter. She married Samuel T. Bussey in Atlanta, Georgia 15 Dec 1886 (she was 14 years old). We are trying to discover who her parents were and where she was from.

I have tried following Elizabeth Lawrence's family but I have not found a daughter or son that would have been Ella's parent. The family lore is that Ella was orphaned and had to live with relatives until Samuel "found her" whatever that is supposed to mean.

Ella's death certificate does not list any parents except that her father's last name was Ledbetter. The informant was her grandson and Ella was 90 when she died. I have not found an obit for her, I'm not sure if one was placed, but am seeking it out.

Ella's brother , Eugene Ledbetter's death certificate lists his parents as John Ledbetter and Alice Mull. The informant was one of Ella's sons. Family Lore supports the Alice name. I've gotten no where with these names since they are very common and without dates or locations it leads in a circle. His obit was not informative at all, just that he had died and when the funeral was to be and where he was to be buried.

Any more ideas on where to look?