Friday, May 18, 2018

More Coopery: George Emrick & Family

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COOPER m George Emrick

You can read earlier information about Alice here. The Emrick's resided in Stephenson County, Illinois when George and Annie married. In 1892, the couple, joined other Cooper relations in Seward, Nebraska. George plied a variety of businesses, among them a restaurant and later, a long-lasting florist shop he opened in 1917. In 1914, his wife Annie had died, leaving son Bert and daughter Cora Alice "Alice" along with her husband to carry on without her. Bert (b. 13 Aug 1879) and Alice (b. 03 Oct 1882) had both been born in Stephenson County, Illinois.

George was named Justice of the Peace by the county and Justice of Police by the City of Seward in 1917. He seemed to keep busy. The family was fairly well off, owning a 9-room home in town. Alice worked as a clerk for one of the county superintendents, EH Koch, who also encouraged her and put her forth for the additional job as County Truant and Attendance Officer for Seward County in 1923. Nice of him, since she got no more pay for the extra work. Long a spinster woman, Alice surprised the townsfolk when she married widower Ira Moler, a man from Litchfield, who once lived near Bee in Seward County, but now farmed in the western side of the state. The wedding took place in Seward 01 Sep 1926 in Seward, with JP G. A. Emrick, her father, presiding as officiant.

The couple took off for Litchfield and spent a lot of time visiting Seward. On 31 Oct 1927, Ira was walking back from town to the Emrick residence when he fell over dead of a heart attack. He was predeceased by his first wife, Vada Church, and was survived by his daughter Ruby Margaret Deifenbach.

In May of 1927, Alice's brother Bert and his family made the big decision to head West, packing up and moving to Glendale, Los Angeles, California. Almost immediately after their arrival, their youngest daughter Marion became gravely ill and remained ill for many months. Soon after their removal, George and Alice made their first steps to moving west themselves.

In June 1927, George sold off the fixtures of his floral shop and retired. Alice and George held a sale of their property and in November, their household goods. George resigned from his position with the county and right before Thanksgiving of 1927, the two headed west to join Bert and his family in Glendale.

Love would strike Alice again and on 03 Oct 1936, she married widower Robert John Breen. When she died at the age of 57, he survived her by mere months, dying 17 Nov 1941.

I have put much of this up on Ancestry, in addition to the obituaries for George Emrick and Ira Moler and other information on the Emrick's. I would very much like to track down the daughters of Bert Emrick, both gone now, but I'm sure there are family members somewhere. That's another project for the list.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Jennie Cooper Conklin


Joseph Cooper was a tinsmith by trade and though he regretted not being able to fight in the Civil War, did fight in the Spanish-American War at the age of 50 years old! His wife Carrie Miles and he had three children. The youngest daughter, Jessie, would marry noted athlete Leslie Mann of the Miracle Braves of 1914.

As of my last research, Jennie had been working as a seamstress in a factory in 1910 and then, in 1912, had died. Since then, I discovered she had married Claude A Conklin, had a baby, and twelve days after her daughter's birth, died at the home of her parents in Lincoln, Nebraska. The daughter, Enid "Connie" Conklin, was born on 31 Jul 1912 in Lincoln, at the home of her grandparents. She lived to be 88 years old and died at Miller's Merry Manor nursing home in Syracuse, Indiana on 25 Apr 2001.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Neverending Job: Robert Thompson Cooper, Again


Many moons ago, I had researched Capt Robert T. Cooper, stalwart and engage citizen in some detail. You can read about it here. Doing the research is NEVER done. I do a round of research and then start all over again to see what new tidbits have been added to the volumes I've already collected.

I had already discovered that he lost his wife early in their marriage. I knew of some of his business dealings and his war record, but discovering his obituary recently filled in some of the blanks.

If you remember from reading about the Cooper's trip west, they were a Quaker family who left Pennsyvlania to go to a Quaker settlement at the edge of Crawford and Clark Counties, Illinois, where the pioneering journey of the family begins.

Nephew WW Fisher, a veterinarian, seems to have enjoyed his uncle's company. Joseph Cooper had early on worked with his brother Robert in the milling business when he was a tinsmith. He lived a full, fruitful life, but one without a life's companion by his side. Always kind of made me sad for him.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Yet Another Cousin

VERLIE SMITH m Ted Michaelsen > Judy > Joe

I had waited a long time to take a DNA test, but I ended up taking two. and 23andMe. In the first, I discovered a second cousin, whose mother was the child of one of my great uncles and was given up for adoption. That was a little mind-blowing.
The Willows, Kansas City

Then, I got my 23andme results and danged if I didn't run across a heretofore unknown first cousin. I shared a large first cousin-sized bit of DNA with him and immediately contacted him. He hadn't really been interested in seeking out any bio family, because his adoptive parents provided him and his sister a wonderful home and life. But...maybe he had siblings. He had been talked into doing the test.

I contacted the three first cousins I gained last year who were most assuredly his siblings and they are waiting for the results of a DNA test of their own to confirm the connection. I really have no doubt since Joe, our newest cousin, comes complete with a court record with his birthmother's last name.

I think, based solely on the results of my family, that there must be a lot of mind-blowing going on all over the country over other people's own results. Many secrets are being revealed. Some might cause additional heartache - some may be joyful news. The way I look at it, I'm glad to have a new family member and hope he has a chance to join us for our next reunion.

He's a storyteller, and you know I love that.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Hang Down Your Head, Frank Doole

I have been digging away at various pieces and parts, hither and yon, and took a second look at this fellow who had married three times - two of those times into families that are connected to me.  He seems like less than a pleasant character, but a character for sure.
Lydia Hinmon

Francis Doole was born 20 Jun 1823 in Antrim, Northern Ireland. His wife, Martha Shaw, born in 1825 in Ireland, traveled with him to the United States, arriving 25 Dec 1843 in New York City. They moved to Ware, Massachusetts, where they became US citizens in November of 1854.

Their daughter, Mary Jane, was born in Ware, but by the time the first of their three sons came along in 1854, the family was in Floyd County, Iowa, which is a hop and a skip from both Bremer and Butler counties.

Martha died in 1879 and Frank remarried to Lydia Hinmon Stuck Harshman.

Lydia was born about 1839 to George Richard Hinmon and Anna Lewis in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Her first husband, William Stuck, died during the Civil War. They had been married in 1855 and he died in late 1863. They had one son. She married George Harshman next, in 1866, and it appears that marriage ended in divorce. George seems to have moved on from Iowa, where several Hinmon's had settled and headed West to Nebraska. Lydia then married Francis Doole, widower, on 05 Jun 1880 in Floyd County.

The 1880 Agrigultural Schedule 2 of the Census indicated Doole was fairly successful. He owned 130 acres of farmland in Floyd township and his farm was valued at over $5,000. Just looking at the record, it seemed all was pretty normal.

Things changed - he had fractious relations with his children which culminated in the following event involving the desecration of wife Martha's grave:

I have not discovered whether Lydia died or they divorced, but Doole married my 2xGG William Custer Smith's sister Sarah Jane, a long-time spinster who had spent many years living with her mentally disabled brother and mother and big brother WC Smith and his wife Mary Ann. That marriage occurred in 1887. In 1888, Frank made the news again:

"A "Blind Pig" which has been successfully operated the past two years at Floyd by Frances Doole, was raided and a large quantity of beer and whiskey seized. Doole is in jail at Charles City.
Atlantic Daily Telegraph, Dec 26, 1888, pg 4 Atlantic, IA"
I wasn't able to find out what happened to this case, but perhaps it led to the divorce that followed between Aunt Sarah and Doole. It was a sad situation for Sarah, who had been cared for by her relatives her entire life. She was left without a place to go after the divorce, and ended up residing in the Bremer County Poor Farm and Asylum for the rest of her life, dying there in 1924.

Doole most likely died prior to 1900, since there is no record of him in the 1900 census.

What's a blind pig? In the Midwest, Blind Pigs started in the 1880s and were quite a problem, according to the anti-alcohol crowd. It got it's name because some wily proprietor would sell tickets to a back room to see a "blind pig," and the ticket price included a drink.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Mystery Muddle: Ancestry DNA and Me

I just had to. So, for Christmas this year, we all got DNA tests done. Mine had some surprising results
that I haven't quite figured out since my research has not indicated much of it to be true. The Scandinavian results was 61% and Iberian Peninsula was my next big group at 11%. Based on my work with the family tree, I expected a lot more English and German and I have no idea where the Iberian Peninsula thing came from. So, it will be fun figuring it all out.

One of the features of Ancestry DNA is the matching they do between you and others who share some DNA. Some are closer relatives, but most are distant - 4th to 6th cousins or more. The results of this was not surprising for the most part. People I'd been in contact with over the past few years are confirmed as actually being DNA-connected as well. If there were ever any doubt, my dad can be assured that he is in fact the child of his known parents!

What was a big surprise was this close cousin (1st/2nd) that popped up that I'd never heard of before. I couldn't figure out from what I could learn, how we were related. I contacted her and she told me her tale. Her mother had been adopted. She had traced her birthmother's family (Simmons) and a likely birthmother but had no clue on the birthfather.

The process of research on the detective trail is the fun part for me. First, I needed to establish that I was not related to her on "Sue's" mom's birthmother's side. That was borne out rather quickly. That meant that I might find the key to solving the puzzle.

Then, I took the shared DNA connections and used them to exclude possibilities based on the year of birth of the mother and age of the birthmother - two estimated things we knew.

The solution was found in the Smith-Smull line. The only Smith-Smull crossovers were with Jennie Elnora Smull and Kate Smull, who both married Smith men from our line. Jennie's boys were ruled out as were two of Kate's boys. Then, that left one Smith boy. I feel fairly confident that we have located the birthfather of her mother.

I absolutely live to work on puzzles like this. And, I got a new close cousin out of the deal. Pretty cool.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Things and Other Things that Are Coming Up with Love

What we work on, in our genealogical research, is discovering what the lives and loves of our ancestors were like in whatever small way we can, without a big book of family stories to read from. Filling in those blanks has brought me great pleasure this past three years. I've taken trips of exploration, interviewed distant relatives, researched parts of family I never knew I had, and met with others in my own far-flung family who share my interests in-person from time-to-time (shout out to my cousin in Clarksville!)

This past several months have been most busy. Hopefully making memories that won't be quite as hard to unearth for future generations.  I am blessed to be the mother of three children, all brought into my life and heart through adoption. They are all well-adjusted and amazing kids and I couldn't be more proud of them and their accomplishments thus far in life. They are all grown now and settling into adult lives of their own making. My oldest is married and has a two-year-old child of his own. To see him with her would warm the coldest of hearts. You can read a little bit about my youngest two's start in life here. They are doing far beyond early predictions. All three are the greatest joy of my life.

Recently, I've been trying to put together pieces of the family trees of all three of them. Fortunately, two will share the same information or it might have gotten a little crazy. In discussing doing the work on this with them, they, who have generally shown little or no interest in their biological families, are indeed most interesting in hearing about the people who came in generations before.

What I've discovered thus far is compelling and fascinating. The two stories are about as different as they could be from one another as it relates to the path of immigration, but each story is very rich. And, both stories end up in the north-central Midwest.

I don't have the resources with their research I've had with my own biological family. I can't ask a cousin to ask a cousin if I can come up and talk to them. Most of their relatives don't even know they exist. It could be a bit shocking to make those calls! They all had open adoptions, so talking to at least one birth parent is not a problem, but, what we find out from that adventure, we have yet to discover. It's one I'm looking forward to doing what I am able to do and providing it to my children to help them in their own quest for self-identity.