Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Mattingly's!!

No one will be getting a Christmas card from us this year.  I sent cards to Holiday Mail for Heroes.  This will be my way of sending our Christmas greeting to family and friends.

There were lots of additions to our extended family this year, the only one in our immediate family was Apollo - Haven's Husky.  We attended three weddings and I lost count of the number of babies born among our nieces, nephews and cousins. 

Haven finished her first year of college at the University of Kentucky, then decided it would be OK (and less expensive) to be a little closer to home.  She transferred to UNO in Omaha.  We're lovin' that!  She's in her second year, but technically has enough credits for a Junior.  Still working on deciding her major.  She and a friend took a road trip through the Virginia's and Carolina's in May.  I was jealous.

We had some great times in San Diego, and in Lebanon and Muncie, Indiana visiting family. It was so good to see everyone. Thanks for the hospitality to those who put us up!  I also enjoyed a road trip with my sister and her dog to Alliance.  

This was finally Joe's year - he won his flight in the Mayor's Cup.  Won't be golfing again until he is fully recovered from rotator cuff surgery.  I'm sure he's hoping to repeat.  His involvement with the City Singers this year, besides the annual Christmas concert, included their performance at the Chautauqua in late June.  One HOT performance!

Me, my obsession with family history is getting worse, for instance, this blog.  I dream of retirement.

We want to wish everyone a great holiday season.  Loved seeing family and old friends during the year, especially those we don't get to see often.  Looking forward to good times in 2014!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lena Jorgenson - No Ole and Lena Jokes!

Lena Jorgenson was the daughter of Ole Jorgenson, but I'm not sure if her mother was Caroline.  Lena was born in Denmark, April 10, 1858, and from Ole's obituary, he and Caroline were married November 2, 1860 in Denmark.  It's possible Lena was born out of wedlock, it's also possible Ole was married before to a woman who probably died.  Or, it's possible one of those dates is wrong. Still working on which case it is. 

The Jorgenson's came to America in 1867.  Another daughter, Hannah, was born in Denmark in 1866.  In Illinois, Ole & Caroline had 5 more children - Peter, Isabelle, Andrew, Alberta, and Walter.  My Great Grandmother Charlotte Isabelle Menke was most likely named after her Aunt Isabelle Roscoe.  More about both of them in a future post.  

In the 1880 Illinois census, Lena is living Peotone with the family of Michael Collins.  She is 20 years old and a servant, he is a Merchant of Dry Goods and is disabled.  To my knowledge, there is no connection to the Collins family.  The rest of Lena's family is living in Will Township.

Marquette, Nebraska, where I grew up, has a population of around 200 people.  There was the Methodist Church in town where I went, and a Lutheran Church about 3 miles east of town in the unincorporated Danish community of Kronborg.  Those two churches got together for summer Bible school so that there were enough kids to bother with, each church having it every other year.  When it was in Kronborg, we all learned to dance the Danish Grand March (I think that's what it was called).  All I remember about the dance is marching into the hall and winding into a big spiral, then somehow marching back out of it.  There was a little more to it.  At the time, I'm not sure if I knew I had Danish heritage. The dance was a lot of fun!

I don't know if Will & Lena danced at their wedding, but they were married for 65 years. Their children were Laura May, Cleveland Crosby, Charlotte Isabelle, Frank Edward, Oliver Bert, David Harlow, Cecil Marvin, and Charles E.  As parents they dealt with losing children to deadly diseases, mental illness and possibly special needs.  

This is not the best photoshop job, but I want to compare the two photos of William and Lena that I have side-by-side: 

What do you think?

Well, maybe one joke, it's a clean one - 
Ole was very ill, on his deathbed upstairs in his farmhouse.  He called his family to be around him.  Ole asked, "Is my wife of fifty years here, Marta are you here?"   "Yes, Ole, I am here."  came the woman's reply as she took his hand.  Ole then asked, "Is my son Peter here?"   "Yes father, I am here right beside you."  Ole then asked, "Is my daughter Lena here, too?"  "Yes Pappa, I am here."  to which Ole replied, "If everyone is up here with me, then why is the light in the kitchen still on?"  

Friday, December 20, 2013

William Harlow Roscoe's Lineage

Probably most people who get interested in family history think about the possibility of finding a connection to someone famous... or infamous.  Just looking for a brush with fame.  A few think about the connections to significant historical events like the Revolutionary War or the passengers of the Mayflower.  William Harlow Roscoe is my connection to both of those American events. 

With my greatest thanks to other researchers, I have the lineage of William all the way back to Richard Warren, who arrived in 1620 aboard the Mayflower.  Richard Warren would be William Roscoe's 7th Great Grandfather. 

William's middle name Harlow goes back to his Grandmother's maiden name - Mercy Harlow.  Mercy's father Sgt William Harlow was a military leader in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  His first wife, Rebecca Bartlett, was the granddaughter of Richard Warren. Mercy Harlow married Asa Corbin, who fought in the Revolutionary War.  Several other ancestors of William were in the military.  The names Harlow and Corbin were used often in later Roscoe families.  William had an uncle also named William Harlow Roscoe.  

Slowly, I'm working on finding books and things to help me collect the documentation on this branch of the family tree myself.  The Nebraska State Historical Society Library in Lincoln has newspapers on microfilm from all around the state.  So far when I've been there, I've spent most of my time searching through those (and having fun doing it!).  One of these days I want to look over their book shelves more and see what they have for out-of-state research.  Fall is not the best season for going to that Library.  Saturday's are the only day I can go, and the library is within a few blocks of Memorial Stadium where over 90,000 people converge most Fall Saturday's for Husker football.  If the boys are playing out of town, you still need to check on the Husker volleyball schedule.  The library is also within shouting distance of "The Bob", or the Bob Devaney Sports Center, where the girls games are always sold-out, too.  It takes patience and determination to deal with the traffic in Lincoln on a Fall Saturday.  Maybe that's just because I'm from a small town.

Searching through old newspapers I can find things like this advertisement from the DeWitt Times-News for William Roscoe's business from April, 1884.  His uncle Charles Roscoe was also in the well and windmill business, competitive or cooperative, I don't know.  The 1885 Nebraska census shows Will's occupation as a Dealer of pumps. Other census records list him as a stock buyer and manager of the grain elevator. His obituary said he was a grain dealer. He was definitely involved in agri-business throughout his lifetime. Nebraska, State Census, 1885 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.

Lena and William Roscoe, about 1932
William was born March 6, 1859 in Frankfort, Herkimer County, New York.  His place of birth in his obituary is Kankakee, Illinois but he is listed in the 1860 census in Herkimer County.  He lived to be 88 years old, passed away on September 2, 1947 and is buried in the Clatonia Cemetery. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Laura Kyle's quilt

Laura May Roscoe was the first of 8 children born to William and Lena Roscoe.  She outlived them all reaching the age of 98.  She married Joseph W. Kyle in 1901 and they moved to Manitoba, Canada soon after where they spent the rest of their lives.  Their children were Gertrude, Merle, Glen, Gordon, Orval, Reginald, and Dorothy. 

My Grandma gave me this beautiful crazy quilt that was made by Laura May Kyle.  It's a treasure from her old trunk in the attic, but that is certainly not where I keep it.  It hangs in my living room on the quilt rack that my Grandpa made. 

I think this is hand-stitched, at least some of it.

I love family heirlooms like this!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - William Roscoe & Lena Jorgenson

Thursday, May 4, 1882:  William Roscoe and Lena Jorgenson were married in Gage County, Nebraska.  A fellow Roscoe researcher sent me this photo calling it their wedding photo, but although they're wearing flowers I question that.  Maybe an engagement photo?  This was taken in Peotone, Illinois where they both lived in 1880. They moved to Nebraska (not necessarily together) sometime between the 1880 census and the 18th of March, 1882 when they filed the application for marriage in Gage County.  The home of William's parents was the site for their wedding.  Lena's family didn't move to Nebraska, I wonder if any of them attended the wedding.  Or maybe after their ceremony, Will & Lena took a trip back to Peotone and had this photo taken. 


Monday, December 16, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - CCR

Cleveland Crosby Roscoe was born April 30, 1885 in Saline County, Nebraska.  He was the oldest son of William and Lena Roscoe. 

From what I've been told about Cleve, his wife was Josephine and they didn't have any children.  I'm finding some other things that are interesting - in the 1930 census record Cleve's age at his first marriage was 22, but in 1920 he was single (he was 35).  At I found a marriage record for a "C C Roscoe", son of William, married to Anna Cardst or Cordot on November 23, 1909 in Council Bluffs, Iowa (he was 24).  I haven't been able to find him in the 1910 census.  But I have found a marriage record in Jackson County, Missouri for Cleve Roscoe and Josephine Cox on June 3, 1921. 

During WWI he served in France.  In 1920 he was stationed at Camp Stanley in Bexar, Texas.  He worked for the Kansas City Police Department and was a special agent for the Wabash Railroad.  He lived in Kansas City for about 20 years, then moved back to Nebraska.

Cleve was involved in a traffic accident on June 16, 1961 at the intersection of Highways 77 and 33 south of Lincoln.  On June 28 he died from his injuries.  He was preceded in death by his wife and 5 brothers, survived by 2 sisters and "a number of nieces and nephews".   He was 76 years old and is buried in the Lincoln Memorial Park in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past - David & Mary Roscoe

David A. Roscoe
Here in GI, the Family History Center is open only a few hours a week, mostly during business hours.  There are 2 hours a week that I'm able to use the center.  Back in the 90's they had one computer which I was lucky enough to get to use a few times.  The International Genealogical Index is how I learned that William Roscoe's parents were David & Mary Roscoe.  Then through the Rootsweb Mailing list I "met" a couple of other Roscoe researchers. Ivan Roscoe and Kathy Schaefer shared a lot of information with me, both in emails and by good old snail mail.  It was a thrill to find distant cousins who were also trying to learn about the same ancestors and to compare thoughts and ideas on their lives with them.  Kathy shared these photos with me and I am so grateful!   Notice they were not taken by the same photographer or in the same town, but they are the same style.  The year would have to be before 1882.

Mary Crosby Fero Roscoe
David A. Roscoe was born July 5, 1823 in Utica, New York, the son of Russel Roscoe and Nancy Corbin.  Mary Crosby Fero was born Dec. 11, 1836, in Glen, New York, the daughter of Isaac Fero and Philomena Crosby.  They were married April 6, 1854 in Utica, New York. 

They were the parents of 2 girls and 8 boys:
Nancy Corbin Roscoe
Martha A. Roscoe
William Harlow Roscoe
Sherman Isaac Roscoe
George Corbin Roscoe
Franklin A. Roscoe
Ervin Ward Roscoe
Bertruss Francis Roscoe
Edward Wright Roscoe
Charles Doyle Roscoe

About 1860, the family moved from New York to Will County, Illinois where David farmed. Around 1881, most of the family moved to DeWitt, Nebraska.  David died of congestion of the lungs in 1884 at age 60, and is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery.  Mary remarried to Lyman Adams in 1891, but there is no mention of that fact in her obituary.  She and Lyman moved back to Illinois in 1892, then Mary moved back to Nebraska alone about 1911.  I haven't found any death record for Lyman.  Mary died at age 86 and is buried next to her first husband David in the Oak Grove Cemetery.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wednesday's Child - Cecil Marvin Roscoe

Cecil Marvin Roscoe, youngest son of William and Lena, died when he was 5 years old. This poem is engraved on his tombstone in the Oak Grove Cemetery in DeWitt, Nebraska:

A loved one from us has gone
A voice we love is stilled
A place is vacant in our home
Which never can be filled

His name is not right in his obituary and the months and days of age differ from his tombstone.  From the DeWitt Times-News, DeWitt, Nebraska, Thursday, March 22, 1906 
"OBITUARY  Died March 19, 1906 at the home of the parents in Clatonia, W.H. Roscoe, Son of William and Lena Roscoe, after a sickness of two weeks, age 5 years, 6 months, 13 days. Cause of death, pneumonia.
On Wednesday (March 21), after a short service at the house, conducted by Rev. Williams, Congregational pastor of DeWitt, the body accompanied by friends and relatives was lovingly laid to rest in the DeWitt cemetery."
Back in August, in my post "Stone Binge" I told about how I had recently gone back to the Oak Grove Cemetery in DeWitt and did not find the Roscoe family tombstones that I had taken photos of years earlier.  My bad.  After contacting the very helpful cemetery caretaker there, I am embarrassed to say that I was wrong - the stones are all still there! Even better than that, she told me that there was one unmarked grave in the family plot. I have an idea who that is but she didn't have the name to confirm it.  

William and Lena had a son Charles who was living with them in 1910 at age 19.  After that I had no idea what happened to him.  He was never mentioned as a survivor in the obituaries of his parents or any of his siblings.  For years I searched for this Charles in census records and couldn't find him.  With access to the Beatrice Daily Sun online I just happened to find out what happened to Charles.  Normally, it's a fun thing to find someone when you've been looking for them for a long time.  In this case, it was sad. Charles killed himself drinking poison in 1914.  He was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, apparently never given a gravestone. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Roscoe Family Plots

The Roscoe family plot in the Clatonia Cemetery, Clatonia, Nebraska is the final resting place for my Great-Great Grandparents William and Lena Roscoe and 4 of their 8 children. The two military markers seen in this photo are for sons Frank and Oliver Roscoe. 

Frank died in 1923 at age 34 of Typhoid fever.  He had served in France as a fireman in the Navy during WWI.  One obituary says he was survived by a wife but I have yet to learn her name, and there was no mention of any children.  Frank was single and living with his parents in 1920.  After recently stumbling on a short paragraph in the Beatrice Daily Sun, I suspect his wife may have been pregnant at the time of his death.  A "Miss Frankie Mae Roscoe of Missouri is visiting at the home of her grandparents Mr. and Mrs. William Roscoe" in August of 1941. As of yet, this is the only reference to Miss Frankie Mae Roscoe I have ever seen and have not had any luck finding her in census records.

Oliver served as a private in the Army, Co 1,3 164 Depot Brig.  The Nebraska State Journal ran this paragraph on January 4, 1919:  "Oliver Roscoe, son of William Roscoe of Clatonia, died at the home of his parents on January 1.  The young man had been home only a day after being mustered out of the army.  He left Vancouver, Wash, sick with the Spanish influenza, to go to Camp Funston for discharge.  He contracted pneumonia before he reached home.  Oliver was well known and a popular young man among his friends."  He was 23 years old.  Oliver has a second flat marker for some reason. 

William and Lena have this simple flat marker. Their son David Harlow Roscoe is also buried in Clatonia, but when I was there years ago I wasn't aware of that.  So I have no photo of a stone for him, but I know I would have taken one if I had seen it.  One of these days I'll get back there, it's about a 2 hour drive.  David lived with his parents until his death in 1948 at age 51. He apparently didn't ever learn to read or write, so I think he may have been mentally or physically challenged. 

As I sort through my Roscoe files during the next few weeks, my series of blog posts will be focused on William and Lena's family.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A P.S. on my Henry Menke post

In my post about my Great-Great Grandfather Henry Menke (here) I mentioned the movie "Nebraska" directed by Alexander Payne.  I saw the movie this weekend and I just wanted to say I loved it and I was very happy with the realistic characters (some were actually local citizens). There are some good laughs, and it's a wonderful story.  And the scenery is just like home! It IS home!!

I especially liked that there were a few scenes where learning family history is a part of the story.  They visit a cemetery, visit the "old homestead" and the son even learns something from the local newspaper editor.  I'm just sayin'... anyone with an interest in family history might enjoy this movie.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful Thursday Thanksgiving Day

  • I'm MOST Thankful for my family's good health and well-being
  • I'm Thankful for my friends both in person and online
  • Thankful for all Veterans and current service members, all medical professionals, firefighters and police for doing the work I couldn't possibly do
  • Thankful that the work I do never requires going in on a holiday
  • Very Thankful for sunshine and occasionally Thankful for rain
  • Thankful for the beauty of fall, good roads in winter, fresh air in spring and no storms in summer
  • Thankful for every day I don't see a spider
  • Always Thankful for all meals prepared by someone else
  • Thankful for any chance to watch a movie
  • Thankful that the Golf channel and Turner Classic Movies were in the same Dish package
  • Thankful for all the treasures I've been blessed with from the old trunk in the attic 
  • Thankful for the space to keep a little grade-school art 
  • I'm Thankful that I'm free to pursue my hobby of family history
  • Thankful for all searchable digitized old newspapers
  • SO Thankful for all the old family photos I've been given
  • Thankful for the help I've gotten from other researchers
  • Thankful for all who take time to read my blog
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Martha Bell

I always knew my Grandpa was born in Kentucky and his family came from there.  He moved with his parents to Giltner, Nebraska when he was about 16.  But I was very surprised when I found that his Grandmother, Martha Bell, had also moved to Nebraska and died in Giltner. She was buried in the Giltner Cemetery only 30 miles from where I live.  I don’t even think my Mom knew that, but she did know there was something about someone in the family not being married.  Martha had 3 children, but she was never married.  My Great Uncle Virgil Bell, her grandson, didn't know who the father was.  He said it was something they never talked about.  He thought Martha may have told her daughter Laura Alcorn.  If Laura never told her daughters, the secret has gone to the grave.  I’m not desperately seeking to find the answer. 

In Wayne County, Kentucky in 1870 Martha is 25, still living with her parents, most of her siblings and "Siserow" - or "Simon" as Ancestry has it - who because relationships aren't noted in the census looks to be another sibling, but is in fact Cicero, her son.  That's what I believe (I've ranted about this one before in my post ""Cicero's Census").  

In the 1880 census, I can only find Garner, Elizabeth and Emily in Wayne County.  John Silas had died, and Rutha, Martha and her 3 children should be there somewhere.  I've searched page by page, I've searched the Soundex for both Kentucky and Texas for the children and I cannot find them.  Texas because by 1900 Elisha Bell had moved to Smith County, but I haven't found him in 1880 either.  

In 1900 Rutha, Martha, and Laura are living together.  This is the year with the question of how many children were born and how many living.  There is no mention of children on Martha's line there.  Rutha answered that question as 2 children born and 2 living and Laura is listed as her Granddaughter.  Cicero had gotten married and moved to Smith County, Texas. 
After Rutha's death in 1907, Martha lived with Carson & Laura Alcorn and family.  They moved to Ionia, Kansas, by 1910.  In 1920 she is listed as Eveline, age 79, Carson Alcorn's mother-in-law again in Ionia.  By 1925, Carson moved his family, including Martha, to Giltner.  Carson & Laura Alcorn are on my MOST WANTED PHOTO list.

John William Bell was a mystery.  In 1920 he was also in Ionia, Kansas, then there was the mention of him in Martha's obit where he was in Huntington, West Virginia in 1928, but nothing more.  Uncle Virgil didn't know whatever had happened to him either.  On Rootsweb's Mailing List for the Bell surname, I posted a message in January, 1998 with all I knew about him.  In April, 1999, I got an email from Carla Smith who was the Great Granddaughter of John William Bell.  It was such a thrill to find a descendant of his!  Uncle Virgil was thrilled too.  Carla filled me in on John, who died in Jamestown, Kentucky in 1938, and I filled her in on Martha and her ancestors.  She sent me this copy of a photo of John, it's from a tin-type.  He reminds me a little of my Grandpa.  Carla & I kept in touch for a long time, but as it goes, I can't reach her anymore.  Emails bounce and snail mail gets returned. Carla I hope we reconnect someday!

My husband has family in Marion County, Kentucky and on a trip there in 1996, he and I took a day (not near enough time!) and drove down to Wayne County.  We spent some time in the Monticello Public Library and found a few records in books and on microfilm to copy.  There were cemetery listings and the librarian gave us a map to help look for them.  So we ventured around the county finding cemeteries, some of which were off the beaten path.  We stopped at one house to get a little more help finding one cemetery and got invited onto the porch for some iced tea (but we declined).  They gave us explicit directions that included “turn down there where the store used to be.”  They apparently didn't notice our Nebraska license plates.  Seriously, there was nothing but a cement slab that I assumed "used to be" the store.  Must have been, we found the cemetery.

All of these facts from census records are interesting, but I have nothing that tells me what Martha was like.  She went to school, and I think she could read and write, although that answer varies on census records and she just "made her mark" on the Deed.  What was her favorite recipe, her specialty dish, or did I get my lack of interest in cooking from her?  Did she ever see a movie?  I liked "Sunrise" from 1927, wouldn't it be something if she saw it when it came out?  (Note to self:  check local movie ads in old papers)  To my knowledge there are no family heirlooms that were handed down to anyone from Martha's old trunk in the attic.  Newspapers in Wayne County weren't printed much before 1904. Ionia, Kansas might be a place to look for some gossipy news.  Maybe she was active with a local social group there.  My Grandpa died when I was 8 so I only vaguely remember him, but I think he was a quiet person.  Maybe he was like his Grandmother.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sibling Saturday - Emily and Elisha Bell

Several of my direct ancestors' siblings never married or some did but didn't have children.  They have no direct descendants.  I want to give them their 15 minutes here once in a while on Sibling Saturdays. 

Martha Bell's sister, born September 3, 1854, was named Emily E.  

At age 15, she attended school but could not read or write.  In 1880 at 28, she was living with John & Elizabeth Stringer and in 1900 I can't find her.  She is listed among the burials in the Stringer Cemetery with no birth or death dates. 

Martha's brother Elisha was married twice (and I only found that out because of writing this post!)  His first wife was N. C. Span, they were married May 15, 1873.  On September 18, 1875 he married Rebecca McFarland.  So I assume his first wife had died,  she was 17 years old when they were married.

Elisha or "Leish" and Rebecca moved to Flint, Texas in the 1890's.  Cicero took his young family out there and tried to make a living farming in Flint with little success.  While there his first wife, Mittie Ramsey, died of malaria after giving birth to a son who also died.  A month later their daughter Leavie also died.  They are buried in the Rather Cemetery.  Cicero and his 2 oldest sons, Frank and Oren, moved back to Kentucky.

Elisha and Rebecca both lived into their 70's in Flint, Texas.  They never had children. They may be buried in the Flint Cemetery in unmarked graves along with Rebecca's family. 

UPDATE:  A little more information on the deaths of Elisha and Rebecca has come to me, see it here. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Bells in Kentucky

""Rutha Bell" is etched in this stone, I could make out some of her name and "April" and "April 1907".  Rutha is Martha's mother, born April 22, 1822 and died April 11, 1907.  In 1996 I didn't know existed (it only had for a year).  I was a novice at taking gravestone photos.  My old Canon Sure Shot camera took great pictures or so I thought until digital came along.  This is good, but if I had had digital then, maybe the lettering would show up a little more.  My video camera was still a new toy and I took video here, too.  

This old stone was so hard to read, I apparently didn't take a snapshot of it.  But I did get it on video and I say how I can almost make out "John S Bell".  This is a screen shot from my computer I took from the paused DVD that had been transferred from the video, the extent of my photo skills (can blurry be photoshopped?).  This stone was to the left of Rutha's in the Stringer Cemetery on Cooper Ridge Road.  This cemetery looked like it was in someone's back yard and had not been mowed all year.  Also buried in this cemetery were Martha's sisters, Elizabeth, Emily and Ursula.

The sun was behind this one, makes for terrible lighting.  Polly's is one of the graves that I believe did get moved before the Wolf Creek Dam was built.  Her second husband, Garner Parmley, is buried beside her there and has a stone just like this one. They obviously are not that old.  This was in the New Bethel Cemetery behind the Parnell Methodist Church on Beaver Lodge Road.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Bell Deed 1887

126 years ago...

"Whereas John S. Bell, of Wayne County, Ky, departed this life leaving certain lands to his children and heirs at law, and whereas the said children and heirs have divided the said lands among themselves by mutual consent and agreement, and whereon there has not been any deeds made to the several heirs conveying to them the title to them severally to the parts laid off as aforesaid.  Now therefore in consideration of the foregoing promises and to further establish and confirm the aforesaid division of the lands of the said John S. Bell, dec'd, Ira Garner Bell & Martha E. Bell, Martha E. Bell, Henry Reynolds & Ursula J. Reynolds, Elisha Bell & Rebecca A. Bell, Emily E. Bell, Elizabeth Stringer and Rutha Bell do hereby convey unto James Hutchinson & Lean Hutchinson his wife all our right, title and interest in and to a certain tract or parcel of land lying in the County of Wayne and State of Ky, it being the part that was laid off to the said Hutchinson & wife in the division of the lands of John S. Bell, dec'd, as above stated on the waters of Beaver Creek, and is bounded as follows viz:  Beginning at a White and Black Oak, Garner Bells beginning corner, running with his line N 48 E, 108 poles to a Red Oak, Maple & Gum, N 15 W with John Haynes line 20 poles to a Hickory S 63 W 165 poles to two White Oaks S 58 E 24 poles to two Black Oaks S 87 E 51 poles to the Beginning, containing 40 acres more or less.  All our right, title and interest in and to the above described tract or parcel of land conveyed as aforesaid, we will warrant and defend unto the said James Hutchinson and wife and their assigns forever, against the claim or claims of our selves, our heirs, and the claims of all other persons whatsoever.  In testimony whereof we have set our seals and signed our names this the 15th day of November 1887.

Attest:  Gemima E. Blankenship

J. W. Wright
Garner Bell
Martha E. Bell
Elisha Bell
R. A. Bell
Rutha Bell
Martha E. Bell
Emily E. Bell
Elizabeth Stringer

Henry Reynolds
Ursula J. Reynolds

State of Kentucky
County County of Wayne
      I Jas. H. McConnaghy, Clerk of the Wayne County Court for the County aforesaid, certify that the foregoing deed from Garner Bell and Martha E. Bell his wife, and Elisha Bell and R. A. Bell his wife, and Rutha Bell and Martha E. Bell and Emily E. Bell, and Elizabeth Stringer and Henry Reynolds and Martha J. Reynolds his wife, to James Hutchinson and Lean Hutchinson his wife was on the 15th day of November 1887, produced to me in said County and acknowledged before me by Garner Bell and Martha E. Bell his wife, and Elisha Bell and R. A. Bell his wife and Rutha Bell and Martha E. Bell and Emily E. Bell and Elizabeth Stringer and Henry Reynolds, and Ursula J. Reynolds to be their act and deed, this the 15th day of November 1887.

Jas. H. McConnaghy, Clerk
By J. W. Wright D. C.

State of Kentucky
County of Wayne
     I A. Fairchild Clerk of the Wayne County Court do certify that on the 22nd day of August 1898, the foregoing Deed was lodged in my office for record.  Whereupon the same together with this and the foregoing certificate have been duly recorded in my office.  Given under my hand this 24th day of August 1898.
A. Fairchild, Clerk"

Martha Eveline Bell's parents were John Silas and Rutha (Simpson) Bell, and her siblings were Ira Garner, Mary Elizabeth, Elisha S, Saphronia, Emily, and Ursula Jane.  From this Deed, it looks like Saphronia may have died before 1887.  Ira Garner married Martha E. Simpson in October, 1868, her father was Thomas Simpson, brother of Rutha.  Elisha married Rebecca A. McFarland in September, 1875.  Mary Elizabeth married John Stringer in February, 1870. I have not found that Emily ever married, and Ursula married Henry Reynolds in about 1878 and died in 1890.  

Why is there no mention of how much the 40 acres were sold for?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Those Places Thursday - Cumberland Lake

Somewhere along Hwy 127 I took this photo of Cumberland Lake in 1996.  Wolf Creek Dam which created Cumberland Lake was completed in 1951.  The US Army Corps of Engineers moved some cemeteries before the land was flooded, but they weren't aware of all burials.  Some were unmarked, others were on private land.  David Bell, my 4th Great Grandfather died in 1818 and was buried somewhere under what is now Lake Cumberland. David was married to Mary "Polly" Adair and their son John Silas Bell was Martha Bell's father, my 3rd Great Grandfather.  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Martha Bell's Birthday

Giltner Gazette, Nov. 6, 1928
Today, November 3 would be Martha Bell's 170th birthday.  It might seem odd on her birth anniversary to post her obituary, but what's interesting here is that the next day is the anniversary of her death in 1928. 

Martha was my Great Great Grandmother, Cicero ("C. C.") was my Great Grandfather. Mrs. C. A. Alcorn's name was Laura, but I wasn't named after her.  The information here on John Bell was all I knew about him at that point, a clue to work on.

It takes a little bouncing around to read that third paragraph.  Marie Dieckmann, one of the "quartette", later married Cicero's son Ben.  More about Martha and her family in the next couple of weeks. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Sibling Saturday - 13 Mann's

My series of posts is usually focused on my Great Great Grandparent generation, but along with the Mann family series here, I'm going to discuss the incredible siblings of my Grandma.  She and two sisters are alive (over 90) and in the interest of respect for their privacy and internet security, I won't mention their names.

Clarence & Cora Mann had 14 children, the 13th child died at 4 months, one set of twins. They were married July 5, 1899.  The natural thing for them to do for their anniversary, being so close to Independence Day, was to celebrate it with a family picnic.  As their children grew, so did the picnic. In July of 1999, the 100th Annual Mann Family Picnic was held with well over 100 people in attendance.  The turnout is not that large every year, but the picnics continue.  Next July will be #115.

When Clarence & Cora were alive, another annual family gathering was at Christmas.  It was held at their little two bedroom house in Beatrice (the house that photo was taken in).  I was very young and have only a vague memory of these.  I remember SO many people I didn't know, and the two beds being piled high with winter coats.  Also, the basement where the men would all congregate around card tables, probably playing 10 point pitch.  The Lincoln Sunday Journal & Star ran an article in 1968 about Clarence & Cora's 69th wedding anniversary that mentioned the past Christmas there had been 117 people at the house. They had 39 grandchildren and 39 great grandchildren at that time.

Of the 13 siblings, two died before reaching 80, 4 lived into their 80's and 7 lived (3 living) to be at least 90 years old.  Seven couples celebrated their 50th anniversary (one brother died only a couple of months before his), six of them their 60th. The first cousins generation spans from 1920 to 1962. 

Through the years, those of the 13 siblings and their spouses living did a lot of things together.  They took a lot of group photos.  If their families pooled them together, I bet they could come up with a group shot of them every year for like 30 years.  I would love to have that collection!  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

William & Nancy Mann - Immigrants to America

This is William Mann, but I'm not sure which of his two wives this is.  He was first married to Nancy Clemie on September 14, 1861.  She died in 1894 and on March 6, 1896 he married Mary Armstrong.  This may be their "wedding" photo.  Where he married either woman is still an ancient Chinese secret to me. 

William was born somewhere in England on February 12, 1830.  The huge old trunk in the cyber attic lists him as an early settler in Princeville Township in Peoria County, Illinois, arriving in 1854.  He is also given credit for being a founding member of the White's Grove Baptist Church and having dug the well for the White's Grove School in 1880.  He immigrated in 1852 and if I have learned correctly, in the 1900 census under the "Naturalized" column there is a "Pa", which meant that he had filed his first papers for declaration of intent to become a US Citizen.  

Searches for "William Mann" come up with an astounding number of hits that would take hours to look through.  Because I don't have hours to look, I haven't been very successful finding this particular Mann, which is disappointing.  It makes me act a lot like little Susan Walker in "Miracle on 34th Street", even though there were packages under the tree for me, disappointed that I didn't see the package that I wanted.  I need to remember her mantra - "I believe.  I believe.  It's silly, but I believe."  Positive thinking will help me get through those hundreds of hits and find where in England this William Mann is from.

Nancy had been married before she married William.  Her first husband was John O'Brien and they had a daughter named Nancy Jane who was barely a year old when her father died.  A descendant of Nancy Jane's told me that she didn't know about her real father until just before she was married. 

Thomas Clemie from Scotland, and Mary Jane Hull from Ireland were Nancy's parents. She was born in Upper Canada, which was a British Colony in 1838.  Thomas died when Nancy was about 2, so both she and her daughter lost their fathers at a very young age.  Mary Jane remarried to Edward Jones and had 4 girls - Mary, Jane, Margaret and Jenette. Nancy originally was a nickname for Mary.  I don't know at what point in history it became a name on its own.  Why do I get the idea that Mary Jane Hull's mother's name may have been Mary - or Jane - or both?  The Jones family, with Clemie children Andrew, Robert and Nancy, lived in Van Buren County, Iowa in 1850.  Mary Jane died there May 29, 1854, she was only 37 years old. 

William and Nancy had 11 children together: 
  • Ada Belle married (1) Alex Johnson and (2) Sherman Armstrong 
  • Corrine 
  • Lafayette
  • William B married Eliza Carre
  • Stephen A 
  • Horace M married Lulu Wadley
  • Oscar Marvin married Ida Belle Berkey
  • Carrie
  • Effa married William Camp
  • Clarence married Cora Gaisford - my Great Grandparents
  • Elsie
Nancy died at age 55 on February 11, 1894, that was the day before William's birthday. Her obituary mistakenly says she was survived by one son, not the four it should have said. William was 75 when he died on August 29, 1905.  


A Mann family trait that looks like it comes from William with his white beard in that photo, is snow white colored hair.  It's pretty really, but no one wants theirs to turn white at too young an age.

My original goal when I started doing this research, was to find out what country each line of my family immigrated from.  In this line I have succeeded.  These people were from England, Canada, Ireland and Scotland.  International research is something I've been putting off until I have the time to focus on it - like when I retire.  More and more records are becoming available online, I should go ahead and give it a try.  I believe.  I believe.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wednesday's Child - Mann children

Lafayette Mann was 15 when he died December 29, 1881.  He is buried beside his parents in the Kilpatrick Cemetery near Plymouth, Nebraska.  Four other children of William and Nancy Mann died while the family lived in Princeville, Illinois.   
  • Corrine - born/died February 16, 1864 
  • Stephen A - born August 25, 1869, died by June, 1870 
  • Carrie - born January 11, 1875, died in infancy
  • Elsie - born/died August 1880   
They would be buried somewhere in Peoria County, Illinois, but I don't know if they have any markers on their graves.  Most likely the cemetery would be the Princeville Township Cemetery, but cemetery listings I have found so far don't list these children.  

I have had the tragic experience of losing an infant niece and nephew.  It seemed so unfair to have it happen twice in our family.  William and Nancy Mann dealt with the loss of 5 children.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sibling Saturday - William B. Mann

Several of my direct ancestors' siblings never married or some did but didn't have children.  They have no direct descendants.  I want to give them their 15 minutes here once in a while on Sibling Saturdays. 

William B. Mann was the brother of my Great Grandfather Clarence Mann.  

William B. and his wife Eliza are buried in the Evergreen Home Cemetery in Beatrice. This is their plot, but they have no markers.  They had no children.  On April 7, 1892, they were married in Gage County.  He died at age 58 in Goodland, Kansas April 27, 1927.   She lived to be 80 and died in Beloit, Kansas January 8, 1946.  

Beatrice Daily Sun, January 28, 1946
Beatrice Daily Sun, April 30, 1927

EDIT 10/30/14 - I'm glad to say I'm wrong about their not having any markers in the cemetery.  Photos of them have been posted on their findagrave memorials.  I must have been in the wrong section or grass has grown over them, but they are there.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Mann Family Plot

These need to be fixed.  They are the gravestones of my Great Great Grandparents William and Nancy Mann and their son Lafayette.  At least they fell name-side-up.  I wonder what might be on the other side.  They are all in the Kilpatrick Cemetery, also known as the Friendship Cemetery, just south of Plymouth, Nebraska.  I took this photo in 2005.  The first step is to get an estimate.  

UPDATE: June 4, 2018 - I'm late in updating this, but these grave stones have been uprighted!  I told my Dad, who told his cousins, some of whom happen to have a concrete construction business and in early 2017 they were fixed. Now the graves are being taken care of by family.  

Monday, September 30, 2013

John McGrath - Luck of the Irish

John McGrath died the day the Titanic hit the iceberg, April 14, 1912.  He wasn't on it. It's just interesting to note things like that.  He had been in the US for at least 55 years. Before he married Rachel Simmons in 1858, I have no record of John, but he may have been somewhere in New York.  Where they got married is a mystery.  Just like in a movie, I think they must have been married by a circuit preacher or wagon train master. 

His birth year varies on records from 1821 to 1841, but the family notes I found in the old trunk in the attic had his birth date as June 24, 1831, born in Ireland.  In the 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses his birth year figures to be about 1830 and his birth place is always Ireland.  But by 1900 those stats start to change a little.  On the 1897 marriage affidavit he gives his age as 56, born in Ireland.  He was marrying a 51 year old woman, I can understand him not admitting to the age of 67.  In the 1900 census his age is 64 not 69, born in New York.  His death certificate has his age "85 yrs or there about" (81 by my math) and birth place Ireland, his son-in-law Levi Patterson provided the information. The grave stone has his birth year as 1821 which would make him 91 at his death. Incorrect information, plus the look of the grave stone, just makes me think that it was placed several years later. 

Not being able to get a marriage record, I thought I would try for some birth records of their children.  His son, Art, was born in Henry, Illinois in October of 1876.  Birth certificates were not filed in Marshall County that early.  So hoping to find a birth announcement (with no luck), I searched the Henry Republican newspaper and just happened to find this newsy paragraph from May 18, 1876. That last sentence makes me think John was a little annoyed. But this little clipping tells me that he owned land in Illinois, I'd like to find out more about that.

On a beautiful sunny September Friday in 2005, I took a rare family history vacation day and drove from Grand Island to Broken Bow on Scenic Highway 2.  It's a beautiful drive up into the Sandhills, I love it up there.  I went in to the County Clerk's office and asked to look at land records to find out if John McGrath was a homesteader.  The Clerk showed me to the dusty old books and helped me get started and soon I found the McGrath name. The Clerk gave me this plat mat and marked where the land is.   He also tried to tell me how to get there coming in from the north, but I just wasn't sure how I would really know it if I saw it.  I grew up on country roads in a very flat part of Nebraska where the roads are all laid out on a square grid.  The roads in the Sandhills don't have intersections every mile.  I sat in my car debating whether or not to take the drive.  Time wasn't a problem, and it was such a gorgeous day it would be a nice drive anyway.  Then I noticed the line that ran through the part he marked (I marked the line I'm talking about with two red marks).
 A horizontal line with like a T every so often.  It went all the way over to the road south of Oconto.  The idea came to me that maybe that line meant a railroad, so I went back into the Clerk's office and asked him. He said, "No...(major disappointment) but I think it's an overhead power line."  With a huge smile, I thanked him and set out on my road trip!  I decided to go south of Oconto and then west, the dark blue line I have marked.  Following the curves in the road to the point of his mark, and with the power lines overhead there, I was sure I had found John McGrath's homesteaded land - at least a part of it.  I stopped my car on the road and took pictures.  Normally, I would have liked not to have those power lines in the photo, but I was glad to see them that day.  Climbing over the fence and walking around did occur to me, but I was by myself and didn't know what to do with my car.  There was no where to hide it.

So I sent to the Bureau of Land Management for his Homestead claim documents.  The claim was filed in North Platte on October 12, 1888 for the East half of the Southwest quarter and lots numbered 3 and 4 of Section 18 in Township 13 North of Range 23 West of the Sixth principal meridian in Nebraska containing 151 acres and eighty-three hundredths of an acre.  He built a 20 x 22 sod house, sod stable, grainery, chicken coop, well, windmill and pump, cellar and corral.  My Mom has a photo of the Homestead taken by Solomon D Butcher, which can also be found through the LIbrary of Congress, American Memory project here.  

In this "Testimony of Claimant" form, John states he was born in New York, not Ireland as in the early census records.  He established actual residence on that property in March, 1888 with "myself, wife & boy", that would be Rachel and Art.  Question #9 is "What is the character of the land?  Is it timber, mountainous, prairie, grazing or ordinary agricultural land?  State its kind and quality, and for what purpose it is most valuable"  The written answer is "Rolling farming & grazing land & very poor at that". Now I can tell from John's signature at the bottom of the page, that someone else wrote these answers.  For some reason, I can just hear a grumpy old man telling whoever was writing it to "make sure you put that in there!"  This is his signature.
Two other men filed "Testimony of Witness" forms, Alonzo Patterson and Henry Brown. Both men answered "yes" to "Have claimant and family resided continuously on the homestead since first establishing residence thereon".  These are dated April 27, 1895. But when Rachel died in June 1896, they were residing on the "Brown & Hughes farm east of town".  Maybe they moved closer to Cozad when Rachel became ill to be closer to a doctor. The Brown of "Brown & Hughes" could be Henry Brown.  John sold the land in 1909.

I have never found an obituary for John, but I have his will.  Dated March 25, 1912, he left $1.00 to each of his 3 children and "the rest of his property of every kind and description" to his grand daughter Nellie Patterson.  Actually Nellie Patterson was a grand daughter-in-law, but I think there were 2 Nellie Patterson's and I'm not sure which one he meant.  He made no mention of his wife, Susan, she had not been living with him for seven years. But she did attempt to get her portion of his estate.  Art requested reimbursement for some medical expenses in the amount of $211.50, which seems to have been denied.  The funeral expenses totaled $69.00 for a casket, burial robe and use of a hearse.  The funeral expenses were paid, Susan got $200, the Executor's fees were $85 and Nellie Patterson received $318.25 and a promissory note for $50 payable to her.  Whether his children received their $1.00 it doesn't say. 

After finding out about his second marriage from the Will documents, I got this copy of the marriage record from Custer County.  It has John's parents as Arthur (his son's name) and "R McCarty".  Knowing his firstborn daughter's name was Mary Rebecca, I ventured a guess that the R stands for the name Rebecca.  I entered her name in my software as "R (Rebecca?)", and it's in my Rootsweb World Connect Tree that way. It's even noted that I am assuming that's her name.  I have seen a few trees in Ancestry that have her name as "R Rebecca".   

With the story about the wolves, the remark about the land being very poor and the fact that he gave his children $1 in his will, I get the impression that John McGrath could gripe about it all right along with the Walter Matthau & Jack Lemmon characters from "Grumpy Old Men".  Not as mean as the "warped, frustrated, old man" Henry F. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life!", but a guy with a pessimistic attitude.  That attitude may have made its genetic way down to me, my first reaction is most often negative.  But give me a minute to think and I might see things better.  John may not have had the best of luck in his life, but at least he didn't come over on the Titanic.