Monday, January 19, 2015

Evidence of the Existence of Ruth Smith Simmons Webb

In the past 20 years, I've worked to find all the information that I can for my 3rd Great Grandmother Ruth Smith Simmons Webb.  I have no birth record, no marriage record (for her marriage to my 3rd Great Grandfather Lebius Simmons) and no death record.   My evidence of the existence of Ruth consists of...

1)  1850 Mercer County, Pennsylvania census
I found this while searching for my Great Great Grandmother Rachel (as I wrote about here.)   Ruth is the 30-year-old mother of four children.  Later I learned that the Cook family listed just before Lebius Simmons is related to Ruth, the mother Mary Cook is her sister.

#986/1000 Lebius Simons, 25, M, Carpenter, born PA 
Ruth Simons, 30, F, born PA   
Rachel Simons, 8, F, born PA, attended school   
Rosilla Simons, 6, F, born PA, attended school   
Loisa Simons, 4, F, born PA, attended school   
Wm Simons, 1, M, born PA

2)  1854 Marriage record from Ritchie County, Virginia
Thanks to a fellow researcher I found this record.  Peggy Johnson contacted me after seeing a post about that family above that I had put on the Mercer County, Pennsylvania GENWEB site.  She was researching the family of Jonathan and Rachel (Simmons) Smith and thought we might have a connection.  Peggy told me about this marriage record which was online.  
1/11 Cyrus R. Webb, farmer, age 25, b. Harrison Co., VA, son of James and Bridgett Webb; m. Ruth Simmons, widow, age 28, b. Mercer Co., PA, dau. of Jonathan Smith; 1 July 1854, by Thomas Stinchcomb. 

3)  1860 Fulton County, Illinois census
I'm listing my evidence here in chronological order, but I had found this census record before I knew about the marriage record from 1854.  This census listing had me wondering when I first found it, but the marriage record seems to confirm it's the same Ruth.  Something had happened to Lebius.  Mary Simmons listed here is Rosilla in 1850, Loisa is missing and another daughter was born since 1850.  Levi Smith is Ruth's brother.  

#813/892 Syrus Webb, 30, M, Farmer, Personal Estate 100, born Virginia   
Ruth Webb, 32, F, born Maine   
Uriah Webb, 5, M, born Virginia   
Jesse Webb, 2, M, born Illinois   
Mary Simmons, 16, F, born Pennsylvania, attended school   
William Simmons, 10, M, born Pennsylvania, attended school   
Ruth Simmons, 8, F, born Pennsylvania, attended school   
Levi Smith, 19, M, Farm hand, born Pennsylvania
4)  1866 Will of Jonathan Smith, dated April 18th with a codicil dated February 9th, 1867
Peggy had told me that Ruth was apparently deceased by the date of this Will as her inheritance goes to her "heirs".  I ordered a copy of it from the County Clerk in Davis County, Iowa.  A kind woman from the local genealogy society made the copies for me, but I was a little disappointed by the fact that my copy of this page was cut off at the bottom just as you see here.  I would love to know what the line that got cut off says.

And there is yet due in legacy
To John Smith's Heirs $5.00"
" Ruth Webb's Heirs  5.00

In my last post, I transcribed a page of the Petition for Guardianship of Cyrus Webb's children.   There is no evidence of Ruth in this petition because she is never mentioned.  Four children are listed, Milburn U (I believe Uriah from the 1860 census), Jesse, Sarah and Franklin.  Ruth had two more children since 1860, making a total of 9 children.  Her Simmons children are not mentioned in this petition.  In 1864, her son William Simmons was 15 and his sister Ruth was only 12.  They were orphaned sometime between 1864 and 1866, and young Ruth married at age 16 in 1868.   

One final piece of evidence:
5)  1932 Daughter Ruth Simmons Pettit's death record
Ruth Pettit, the young Ruth Simmons in the 1860 census, is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Sterling, Colorado.  

In 1850 Ruth was 30 years old born in Pennsylvania, in 1854 she was 28, then in 1860 she was 32 years old born in Maine.  Where do I start looking for a birth record?  Mercer County has no birth or death records before 1893.  

Her first marriage to Lebius Simmons would be the marriage record I need, as together they are my 3rd Great Grandparents.  Most likely they were married in Pennsylvania.  The Mercer County Genealogical Society did not have their marriage record.  

Ruth's death most likely occurred in Fulton County, Illinois and I have tried every possible source I've run across to find her death date and/or burial place with no success.

This Simmons line is one that would connect me to a Revolutionary War Patriot named Libbeus Simmons, but there is very little documentation I can find to satisfy the DAR.  This evidence of the existence of Ruth may not be enough.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - Guardianship Petition

Petition of Thadeus Nott in the matter of the estate of
Cyrus R. Webb deceased, for Letters of Guardianship.


The Petition of the undersigned, Thadeus Nottrespectfully represents

that Milburn U. Webb is a minor aged 8 years on the 31 day of December A. D. 1864

that Jesse C. Webb is a minor aged 6 years on the " day of " A. D. 1864

that Sarah Webb is a minor aged 4 years on the " day of " A. D. 1864

that Franklin S. Webb is a minor aged 2 years on the 11 day of Oct. A. D. 1864

and that said minors resident of this County; that they have no father living,
or other legal guardian residing it this State; that said minors

they are the Children and Heirs at law of Cyrus R. Webb

and that your petitioner is requestor of and desires Thadeus Nott
to be appointed guardian of said minors
December 31, 1864. 
                                                        Thadeus Nott

State of Illinois
being duly sworn, deposes and says that the facts averred in the above petition are true according to the best of [?] knoweledge, information and belief.

Sworn to and subscribed before me, Joseph Dycker, Clerk 

of the County Court of 
County, this 31 day of December A. D. 1864.

 Joseph Dycker, Clerk.

Cyrus Webb, the father of these children, was married to Ruth Smith Simmons.  Cyrus mustered into Camp Butler in January of 1864 and died there in February of disease.  I ordered this document from IRAD hoping it would mention Ruth.  I know that appointing a guardian doesn't necessarily mean the mother is deceased.  Ruth Webb died sometime before 1866 and assuming she is the mother of all 4 children listed, she was alive in October of 1864.  Maybe she died giving birth to Franklin.  I cannot find a death date or place of burial for Ruth Webb. 

Thadeus Nott was a physician there in Fulton County 1850 through 1880.  The children did not live with him in 1870.  In 1871, he resigned as guardian of the children after a petition was filed stating he did not properly provide for the children.  In this petition, it states that Milburn is dead.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - 3 Smith's in Iowa

           Jonathan A.                                     Rachel                       Jonathan
        son of S. & M. K. Smith                   APR. 9, 1800                JUNE 22, 1793
        OCT. 19, 1872 - DEC. 25, 1875        OCT. 9, 1866                FEB. 27, 1867

These three are buried together in Mount Moriah Cemetery near Mark in Davis County, Iowa.

My fourth Great Grandparents, Jonathan and Rachel were the parents of 10 children:

  •    Abraham  (1816-1900) married first Rowanna (last name unknown), second Elizabeth (last name unknown); buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery
  •    John (1818-1852) died in Pennsylvania 
  •    Nancy  (1820-1910) married Patrick Bennett, buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, Wahoo, Nebraska 
  •    Julia Ann (1824-?)
  •    Ruth  (1825-by 1866)  married first Lebius Simmons, second Cyrus R.Webb
  •    Mary  (1827-?) married Mathias Cook 
  •    Elizabeth  (1831-1912) married Joseph Stuart, buried in Upper Mabel Cemetery, Lane County, Oregon
  •    Amasa  (1835-1912) died in Idaho 
  •    Sophia Isabel  (1839-1868) died in Virginia
  •    Samuel  (1842-1916) married Mary K. (last name unknown), buried in Upper Mabel Cemetery, Lane County, Oregon

Young Jonathan A. was the son of Samuel and Mary K. Smith, grandson of Jonathan and Rachel.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Friday's Faces from the Past - Maud

This is Maud.  That's all I know.  Her name was written on the back.  There is no photographer information.  My uneducated guess is that Maud is about 20 years of age and this photograph was taken about 1900.  The photo was among others that were in my Grandma's Old Trunk in the Attic.  Because of that, I believe Maud was living in Nebraska at the time of this photo.

A few possibilities from the 1900 Nebraska census for Maud are...

Maud Thomas, daughter of William & Anna from Scoville, Hamilton County.  She was born in Indiana in August of 1872.

Maud Cunningham, daughter of Charles & Mary from Leroy, York County.  She was born in Pennsylvania in January of 1873.

Maud Beard, daughter of John & Agnes from New York, York County.  She was born in Illinois in March of 1874.

Maud Pritchard, daughter of David & Mary from School Creek, Clay County.  She was born in England in May of 1875.

Does she look familiar to you?  If you think you might know Maud, please leave a comment.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Newspaper Clippings - Wood River, Nebraska 1906

If you have ancestors who lived in Wood River, Hall County, Nebraska, the Wood River Gazette (1884-1892) and the Wood River Sunbeam (1895-1995) newspapers are available on microfilm at the Grand Island library.  Here is a clipping from the Wood River Sunbeam covering news from the local townships of Cameron and Jackson.

Wood River Sunbeam, March 2, 1906

Women's Club Elects Officers
The Wood River Women's club held their annual election of officers at their regular meeting Wednesday and the result was as follows:  Mrs. George W. Conrad, president; Mrs. C. E. Towne, first vice-president Mrs. M. Diefenderfer, second vice-president; Mrs. J. W. Earel, recording secretary; Mrs. Ed Oswald, corresponding secretary; Mrs. M. C. Wingert, treasurer.


Mrs. J. E. Blue was a Shelton caller Saturday.

Lawrence Lee shipped cattle to Omaha this week.

Ada Turner visited with Mamie Rader Thursday night.

Miss Annie Behr is visiting at Aurora and Chapman this week.

Final examinations were given in district No. 13 this week.

Stella Dean visited at the home of Mrs. Stonebarger of Gibbon last week.

Walter and Ralph Dubbs were called home on account of the death of their mother.

Miss Alice E. Finan spent Saturday and Sunday with Miss Lena Conroy at Shelton.

Mr. Behr held the lucky number that won the graphaphone which was raffled off at Cameron store.

Mr. and Mrs. Benton Dubbs returned to Chicago Monday, after attending the funeral of Mrs. W. Dubbs.

A crowd of young folks drove down from Shelton to attend the dance last Monday night.  Mr. and Mrs. Henninger chaperoned the crowd which included the Misses Ella Bastain, Lena Conroy, Alice Finan, Bertha Echernact, Bessie Ecthenact and Hannah Conroy.

Mrs. Will Dubbs passed away at her home in Cameron last Thursday night, after a long illness.  The funeral was held Sunday afternoon, the services being in charge of Rev. Alton.  Mrs. Dubbs was a woman loved by all who knew her.  The deceased was sixty years of age and leaves twelve children, seven boys and five girls, besides her husband to mourn her death.  The bereaved ones have the sympathy of the community in their affliction.

C. M. Warren's Airship.
Is liable to be here some of these days and until it arrives he still insists on selling the nicest fruit and candies of anybody in Wood River.  If you are from Missouri or doubt his word just call at his store and see for yourself.

Hans Claussen will move this week up by Abbott.

Miss Mable Moore of Harrison is visiting in York.

D. Shriner from near Alda is moving into Harrison township.

Frank Shick of Wood River is a frequent caller in Harrison.

George Rickard has been under the doctor's care for a few days.

The Forrest brothers expect to start soon for the western part of the state.

Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Nelson and son Elmer visited friends in Harrison over Sunday.

John Workman and family of Central City are visiting relatives and friends in Harrison.

S. P. Deems and family expect to leave next Monday for Alma, Nebraska, where they will make their future home.


Mrs. G. W. Conrad visited Miss Roche's department Tuesday.

Misses Kate and Maude Wilkinson were guests of the high school Monday.

Miss O'Connor has some interesting work her pupils have done in geography.

The senior class is preparing a play which is to be rendered in the near future.

J. M. Weldon, chairman of our school board, was a caller at the high school Monday.

The school exists for the good of the whole, and not for the good of an individual.

The subject of rhetoric heretofore offered in the tenth will be offered in the ninth grade.

The senior class are enjoying Cicero's letters to his friends and family, written while in exile.

Alma, Pearl and Edward Balster, who have been attending school in Wood River the past two years, moved to Utica this week.

Zach Taylor was a visitor at the high school Tuesday.  We are pleased to have the patrons inspect our work and see what the pupils are doing.

Misses Bowen and Francis gave a very entertaining program Friday in honor of Washington.  A goodly number of parents were guests on the occasion.

The University of Nebraska, through Inspector Hodgman, submitted the annual report blank and graduates blank to be filled preparatory to commencement.

Mesdames McDermitt, Winn, Mullen, Madsen, Blass, Dunn, Root, Bruner, Wilson and Quackenbush were among those who enjoyed the program in the first and second primaries.

Upon the approach of warm weather more attention will be given to calesthenics and gymnsatics in the grades.  This removes possible restlessness of the forenoon and afternoon periods.

Parents will observe that no standing excuses are granted for pupils who are tardy or absent.  The institution of such a course would be decidedly short sighted and productive of unspeakable

Charles Babel, who assisted Ed Wilson in moving to Holdrege, returned home Sunday.

Preparations are being made for a big wolf hunt Thursday near the Gardner neighborhood.

Mr. and Mrs. John Conway of Denver are visiting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Graham.

Belle and Myra Griffin of Grand Island visited with relatives in this neighborhood the past week.

Grandma and Lawrence Cox of Bladen are visiting with George Cox and other friends in this neighborhood.

J. W. Suffel and family left Saturday for Zanesville, Ohio, where they expect to make their future home.

Rev. Sparr conducted services at the Northfield church Sunday.  The revival services are again in progress.

Joseph Graham received the sad news Thursday of the death of his brother, James Graham of Witchita, Kansas.

Mr. and Mrs. Rollin Brekenridge attended a supper Friday evening given by the Alda ladies of the M. E. church.

Willis Moore is the newly appointed treasurer for district No. 32, to fill the vacancy by Oliver Cox moving out of the district.


P. Nelson made a business trip to Prosser Saturday.

W. Jordon of Grand Island visited friends in Jackson Sunday.

John Tyrrell left this week for California with a carload of hogs.

Mrs. John Carey has 130 little chickens, hatched by the wooden hen.

Mrs. M. J. Carey visited a few days this week at the home of her father, D. Moore.

Mr. and Mrs. James Wilson visited Sunday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. P. Nelson.

Mr. and Mrs. Sheeks and family left this week for their new home in Lagrand, Oregon.

J. Donigan of Abbott visited a few days this week with Mr. and Mrs. Ed Donigan.

Mrs. Weber of Sheldon visited Tuesday at the home of her father, E. J. Henderson.

The sales at Joseph Nolan and Ed Guinan this week were well attended and things sold well.

A number of Jackson people attended the dance given by Steve Lyons in Langan's hall Monday evening.

The sewing circle met Thursday at the home of Mrs. Joseph Nolan.  Some thirty-five ladies were present.

Mesdames R. Moore, M. T. Neville and P. Mahoney spent Monday and Tuesday visiting friends in Grand Island.

Miss Mary Slattery gave a party to some thirty young people at her home Friday evening in honor of the Misses Balster.

Mr. and Mrs. John Duggan gave a card party to a number of their friends Friday evening.  Those present report a pleasant time.