Monday, June 25, 2007

June 25, 2007

Friday I spent the morning searching the Akin line to try to answer a question that Akin historian, Larry Akin, asked me to help answer. Larry has a wonderful website on the Akin History ( that he painstakingly put online a few years ago. We "collaborated" on some of the data, and even did research together in Albany, Quaker Hill, Hoosick Falls area, and Glens Falls, NY in 2002. I haven't really searched the US Census for Akin too much since they've become available online, I guess because I got so much information first hand during my "Vagabond Travels" of 2000-2002, especially in Chautauqua Co., NY. The picture on the right is of the land around the Akin lands in Pittstown Twp, Rensselaer County, NY in 2002.

Suprise for me later in the evening when I was searching for my Thornburgs when Larry Akin's website came up as a resource! The Akins and the Thornburgs are on opposite sides of my family tree. As I researched how Larry came to have Thornburghs on the Akin tree I stayed up until 4am. That is way too late, but very exciting to put puzzle pieces in place! It turns out his Ethan Akin III ancestor, in Iowa in 1882, married a granddaughter of Hannah Thornburg. Hannah may be the sister to my GGG-grandfather, Amos Thornburg. Extensive research has been done tracking Larry's Thornburg/Griffith family through the Midwest, through Virginia (West Virginia/Tennessee) and back to Ireland and Wales. I don't know if further research can really prove the relationship since Amos and Hannah were born before the US Revolution.....but I can't wait to contact Larry and see what we can find out. If that doesn't work, I do have Griffiths in Wales in the 1500's! To be continued!

Lucille, my traveling companion from the Adventurers' Club, just returned from her trip to Peru, Ecuador, Machu Pichu, the Amazon River, and the Galapagos. I relayed the procedure to send her passport in to get visas for our upcoming trip to China and Cambodia in September. She is really a world traveler and just put her photos on a slideshow on a photo website. They are wonderful. The last meeting of the club had, Thursday, was a nice presentation of traveling to Egypt. I was amazed at how close hotels and other buildings are now to the Pyramids.

I've downloaded 6 lectures from last year's Federation of Genealogical Societies in Boston to my computer from (They are listed under "Talk Radio" ) then synched them to my iPod. They cost $1.99 each mp3 lecture and are certainly a savings over attending the conference in person. Since I will be going to this year's conference in Ft Wayne, Indiana, I decided to listen to some of the lectures that weren't offered or are repeats that I won't have a chance to attend do to conflicts in the schedule. I chose one lecture to download called "Pianos to Popcorn Makers-our ancestors inventions" ----- because I wanted to figure out how I can find the patent information for the inventions of my Grandfather, Alfred G. Hague. I know you can go to the US patent & Trademarks Office's online site, but you have to know the patent numbers, which I don't have.

Great Discovery!!!! Thanks to podcasts!
On my iPod today I listened to the lecture on Inventions and Patents and found that there are 50 libraries in the US designated "Patent & Trademark Depository Libraries " - they have indexes to the patent numbers by using the inventor's names. At home I found that the Hawaii State Library is one of the libraries. Since they didn't answer their phone, I continued looking online, and thought I'd click on to the Iowa State Library which also has the index by names. I figured I would visit Des Moines this August. Much to my surprise they are one of the only libraries that have a complete listing -online- of all the patents that have issued for their state - in this case Iowa inventors!!!!! How great is that?! I found ten inventions that my grandfather patented, and was able to access some of the drawings of these patents back at

My grandfather did the drawings for his patent applications, and others where he worked at Orwig & Hague because he started out as a draftsman. One of his best inventions is a car dumping apparatus (to dump grain out of train cars-picture on left); some others are a trolley catcher, a needle to repair runs in knits; a caster, a culvert, a silo, and a photographic device (see upper right). It is really amazing to find out all of these inventions. I only had heard of the car dumping device when I interviewed my father many years ago. It was a good thing I did, or I never would have thought to look for patents that my grandfather made!


Anonymous said...

Very cool!

Karen said...

Yes, very cool! Neat that you can see the original patients. I love that kind of stuff.

Don and Dorothy said...

Great find, Donna. We can sure go to the new Library here in Des Moines in August if you want.