Sunday, December 9, 2018

An Empty Place at the Table: Cora Redington

David Owens > Lucy Owens & Ira Miller > Josie Miller Redington Swanger > Cora Redington

A child. Born after the last census and dies before the next, can be lost to history. Their place at the table still goes missed.

Before, I'd talked about the husbands of Josie Miller, James Irving Edward "Ed" Redington and Charlie Swanger. Ed was a wild one - a town eccentric and multiply married fellow. Charlie was a wild one when younger, but found The Salvation Army and led an exemplary, alcohol-free life in the latter part of his life.

To date, the only child I was aware of in the Redington-Miller marriage, was Ira Edmon Redington, namesake of Grandpa Ira Miller, who was born in 1905 and suffered from some sort of disability that eventually had him living Woodward State Hospital for the "feeble-minded" in Boone County, Iowa. He died at the age of 61.

In searching for something else completely, I ran across this article:

No name is mentioned and I certainly hadn't run across anyone having died so tragically in previous research. No mention was ever made that I recalled of any such horrific event. The story, which began on a beautiful day with children playing and ended in an instant in calamity of the worst kind, went like this:

Young Cora Mae Redington, born in 16 Apr 1903, died on her 3rd birthday,16 Apr 1906, in Harrison Township, Benton County, Iowa at the home of her grandparents, Ira and Lucy (Owens) Miller. The uncle mentioned is unknown as none of the children of Ira were 13 at the time of this event. Jesse was 11 and is the most likely solution. She was buried in Bear Creek Cemetery in Benton County, where several other Miller descendants are buried.

The Redington's had not married until February of 1905, so whether Cora is his biological daughter of Josie, Ed, or both, is not known, but she did carry the Redington name.

No mention is made in Edmond or Josie's obits about Cora, nor Ira Edmond Redington, their child born in 1905 who lived in the Woodward State Hospital for the "feeble-minded" for most of his life.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A Little Pile of Treasures

Click on photo to enlarge
My dad and I have spent much of the last forty years either estranged or annoyed with one another.

When he remarried when I was 14 years old to a woman only 9 years older than me who spent a lot of time subtly sabotaging our relationship, we were never the same. Then, though many years younger than my dad, his wife died last December, quite unexpectedly. In that moment, our relationship moved from eternal darkness to dawn.

As his life went on, the retired Army recruiter, his son and wife, plopped themselves down in a house near a major military base in the Midwest. He made his home there for over 20 years. A rambling house, of good bones, but which had little attention in the past few years as my dad became more and more challenged to finish projects, it had become too much for him to care for. Now, he's moving out of his home and to a new adventure in a seniors community here near me.

My sister and I helped for a week organizing him in the first step to prepare and in the meantime, I located photos he hadn't seen in forty years. Photos he'd forgotten about. Photos no one else living had seen. I got my first glimpse into the childhood of my dad and his brothers. Into my grandmother's relationship with her first family's children. Into what my grandpa looked like with hair. No one knew him then. I don't think they ever owned their own camera, strictly based on the fact there are so few photos. I have a lot of work to do.

What a treasure.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Aaron W. Cooper and His Neighbors


I talked about John Cooper's kids here - they just seem to be a bit of a mess generally. I recently ran across this article regarding Aaron before he left Stephenson and Winnebago Counties, Illinois for /Butler/Bremer County and later Franklin County, Iowa.

The divorce of Anna Blaser from Aaron took place in 1904 in Butler County.

This may well have had something to do with the sale of property in 1904 and early 1905

He died in 1920, having never married again. 

Hannah Cooper: Crazy as a Hawk

Elgin Asylum
This small mention of the life and times of Hannah Cooper, who died at the young age of 45 during a brief stay at Elgin Insane Asylum in Illinois. Living with her single brothers and parents as of the 1880 census in Stephenson County, Illinois, it's likely she was still with the brothers remaining in  the area in 1891. Learn about her brothers here.

She died on 16 May 1891, after being committed only two weeks previously.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Jacob Smith: Bits and Pieces for Discussion Including the Custer Connection

JAMES SMITH > JACOB SMITH m Mary Catherine Randolph

Rumley Township is at the top in Harrison County
Click to enlarge
I've been incredibly frustrated by my inability to move my SMITH line beyond 3GG Jacob Smith and
his purported father, James Smith. Anectdotally, James is Jacob's father and they were originally from the Monmouth, New Jersey area before moving to Ohio somewhere before 1830.
1830 Rumley Township Census
Click to enlarge

Also, little is known about Mary Catherine Randolph, Jacob's wife, who went by "Cathy" from what I've learned. Jacob's son, John R. Smith married Susan Randolph, who I will guess is a relative of Cathy, but again, I have nothing. I've got a couple lines of inquiry I'm pursuing, but records are spotty in the wilderness during this time and without birth or death records, it's going to be non-definitive, even if I feel I've solved it.

One thing of the family legends I was able to confirm is that my 2GG, William Custer Smith, did indeed most likely get his middle name from George Armstrong Custer's father, Emanuel Custer. The legend had it that the Custer's were great friends of the Smith in Rumley Township, Harrison County and sure enough, I find them both living there in 1830.  Emanuel and Jacob were contemporaries.

Jacob's father, James, may be living in Cadiz Township at this time. In 1820, the James Smith family was located in Belmont County, which is adjacent to Harrison County. In 1820, James and family lived in Belmont County.


I believe that either Henry Custer or Nevin Custer is the man on the far left 3rd step,
James Calhoun is seated, 2nd from left.
It is probably Thomas Custer next to Calhoun and G. A. Custer is on the top
step, center, his wife Elizabeth Bacon seated to his right. The man below Elizabeth and below Emanuel
I've not identified. Emanuel is in the top right on top step sitting in a chair.
Photo shared on Ancestry by Connie Fullmer

Emanuel Custer was born and raised in Allegany County, Maryland. He was born 10 Dec 1806. His
Emanual and Mary
Image Courtesy 1881 Courthouse
Museum, Custer SD
first wife was Matilda Viers, whom he married in Maryland in 1828. They had three children, two of whom died young. Upon Matilda's death in 1835 in Harrison County, he married Mary Ward Kirkpatrick in 1836. The couple had at least seven children and widow Mary brought a daughter to the marriage. The two oldest, James and Samuel, died before their first birthdays. The arrival of George Armstrong Custer, later youthful West Point grad and Civil War Army General; and later yet, failed battle strategist at Little Big Horn, was the oldest of Mary's surviving children.

Emanuel and Mary were settled in Harrison County by 1830. After serving in the US Civil War himself at a quite advanced age in his 60s, he and his wife moved to Monroe County, Michigan, where they both died. The Smith's moved on to Grant County, Wisconsin in the mid-1840s.

In between, though, the Custer Family rallied at the time of the Civil War and beyond as part of the Cavalry. Four members of the Custer's immediate family died at the Battle of Little Big Horn:  Brevet Maj Gen (Lt Col) G. A. Custer, his brother Boston Custer, brother Capt Thomas Ward Custer (two-time Medal of  Honor winner), and brother-in-law, Lt James Calhoun, husband of Margaret Custer, along with nephew Harry Armstrong "Autie" Reed (a non-military member of the group) and other Custer friends. The historical perspective of G. A. Custer has been tipped on its head in the past decades as the "heroic" nature of their deaths at the hands of Chief Sitting Bull and his army of Native Americans, but it was surely a profound loss to Emanuel and Mary Custer which ranks up there with the tragic loss of the five Sullivan Brothers of Waterloo, IA during WWII in terms of family service tragedy.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

SIDEROAD RIPLEY: Tragedy Follows...Again and Again

Wm Ripley Dorr

I was doing a little dabbling a few months ago and ran across a Find a Grave for Cyrus Thurston Dorr, the son of William Ripley Dorr, who was the son of Julia Ripley Dorr, the noted author and daughter of the business titan, William Young Ripley of Vermont.

A group called "Missing In America" had located and identified Cyrus' remains, which had been left unclaimed in a Nashville mortuary since 1918 and had his ashes interred at Ft Leavenworth, with full military  honors, along with the remains of several others whom the project located and had interred in 2011.

As a veteran, and as the former wife of a career man, the specter of military suicide has always been of special concern to me. When we have so many of our young men and women taking their lives during or after service, it makes me quake with anger that the awareness and treatment options for our service members are so incredibly lacking and the stigma that still persists stifles great strides in treated our psychically wounded warriors. It made me incredibly sad to think of Cyrus' remains and what caused them to sit, untouched, for several generations and I needed to understand why.

The progeny of William Young Ripley were legend. The lineage is chock full of leaders, business luminaries, and adventurers. William Ripley Dorr, the offspring of Julia Ripley Dorr and Seneca Milo Dorr, was no exception.  Raised in Rutland, Vermont, the ancestral hometown of this branch of Ripley's, he was educated at Norwich University, where he graduated in 1873.

He moved on to Appleton, Wisconsin, where the lumber business was booming and started his life there. Upon hearing of the death of his father in 1884, he returned to Vermont and entrenched himself in the various business interests of the family, including his father's brokerage firm, S. M. Dorr Sons.

Eventually, he moved on to St Paul, Minnesota, where his business acumen was targeted at a number of businesses from gold mining to insurance. In addition to many business interested, he was also President of the Chamber of Commerce in St Paul for many years.  In 1890, he married Helen Thurston, a young woman born in Iowa. From 1891-1900, the couple had four children, Seneca Milo dying in infancy. Once they began getting to the age where they needed an education, William relocated the family to New Jersey so the children would be educated in eastern schools.

In 1904, he  was sent to Chicago as a representative of the American Car Company, and while on business there, he took ill and died suddenly. After William's death, Helen moved to St Paul once more. She passed away in Spokane, Washington in 1922.

Cyrus, the second of four children, was born 30 May 1893 in St Paul, Minnesota. By 1915 he was in Silver Bow, Montana, where he married Kathryn Helen Carpenter on 15 Oct 1915. Kathryn was born in Dec 1893 in Houghton County, Michigan.

Kathryn's family included her parents, William Esau Carpenter and his wife Margaret "Maggie" Sullivan.  Married in 1891, the couple had at least six children, of which Kathryn was the second child.

The Carpenter's young life was marred by tragedy. In 1902, their 3-year-old daughter, Gladys drowned in a nearby waterway while following her siblings as they went to school. In 1907, 4-year-old Fred died of infantile convulsions. It was after this death the couple pulled up stakes and moved to Montana. While there, their 17-year-old daughter, Margaret, died of typhoid in 1913. Son Chellis would become a lawyer and reside in California and daughter Lydia would go on to teach domestic sciences.

Kathryn and Bud had a daughter almost immediately. Named after his grandmother, Julia Caroline Ripley Dorr, young Julia was born 5 Jul 1916 in Broken Bow. From here, things get murky because there is no trace of Cyrus.

It's now 1918 and the war is raging in Europe. Everyone was contributing to the war effort in any way they could. Suddenly, though, Kathryn becomes ill with Scarlet Fever and dies at the home of her parents on 19 April. Both husband and daughter are mentioned in the obit, but at the time, Bud was living in Kansas City, selling bonds.

On 8 Jun 1918, Bud married Margaret Poncelette in Kansas City.  Just in time for him to report to duty on 2 Jul 1918 with the US Marine Aviation Corps at the Philadelphia Shipyards.

He visited his cousin JD Steele in Appleton, Wisconsin,  while on furlough, 24 Aug 1918. Presumably furlough was taken from Great Lakes Naval Air Station. We see no word of Bud until next we hear of his death. The first report to his widow in Kansas City, Margaret, lacked details as to the cause of death. The second posting regarding his death, published in Appleton, indicated it was an accidental death, yet, the article posted in Nashville bared the truth of the matter - suicide.

No interment was made and the ashes were never retrieved. No mention is made of Bud's second wife Margaret. Margaret, through much of the 1920s, remained a widow. What became of her, I don't know.

Mother Helen was alive and living in St Paul when he died, yet one of the articles refers to "parents" - William was long dead.

William & Maggie Carpenter raised their granddaughter Julia, in Montana. Julia married Robert A. Mohr and had at least two daughters. They divorced. The 23-years-older Julia married young naval man, Gail A. Brownlow in 1962. Reportedly, she died of COPD two days after their transfer from Hawaii to El Paso, Texas.

What did I learn from this foray into the life of a veteran who succumbed to suicide? I learned nothing about what drove the man to this permanent solution. Did whatever darkness he carried impact his first marriage? Did he see himself as a failure? Was there some rift with second wife Margaret? What I do understand, is suicide is rarely ever just about one thing.

Why did no one go pick up the ashes? Clearly it was known where they were. Was the stigma of suicide too great? Was the family in disagreement of what would become of his remains? We'll never know, but thanks to the Missing in America project, this Marine received full honors and a very belated burial.

Things look like they might be changing. The Department of Veteran's Affairs, claims the prevention of suicide is the top clinical priority. Let's hope.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Clan William: The Newcombs and Mayflower Immigrants.

Governor Wm Bradford
Capt Thomas Munson > Samuel Munson > Samuel James Munson > William Munson > Samuel II Munson > Freeman Munson > Amos Munson m Mary Ann Kerney

The children of Amos & Mary Ann Munson married into the Newcomb family of Pennsylvania and here and read more here. Their immigrant was Capt Thomas Munson, founding father of the Munson's of America, who arrived in the US in 1637.

Caroline married Uri Clark Newcomb and sister Julia married Frederick Porter Newcomb. Caroline and Frederick died and Julia married her sister's widower, Clark. To top it off, Almira Munson married George Ball. Their daughter married Arthur Gilman Newcomb, a nephew of Clark and F.P. Newcomb. Now, we're going to have a quiz. Or not.

Anyway, my point is, the Munson's ties to the Newcomb's are very deep and complex. The Newcomb's time here in America is also quite long. It even includes a marriage within the the family of one of the original Mayflower immigrants - a great granddaughter of Governor Bradford  of Plymouth with Hezekiah Newcomb. There are 35 million claimed descendants of this relatively small group of Mayflower settlers.

Capt Andrew Newcomb was born in the East of England, possibly Devonshire, about 1618. He was a sea captain. He died in Boston in 1686. The descendant Newcombs are in the millions - but our Newcombs are descended from LT Andrew Newcomb, the eldest son of the first wife (Andrew is not mentioned in his father's will and there is some contention over his parentage).

According to The Genealogical Memoir of the Newcomb Family by John Bearse Newcomb, it is believed that Lt Andrew Newcomb came to America as early as 1666. He was also a sea-faring man in his younger life and his earliest recorded mention in writing is regarding a meeting he attended to help set the price of fish in the new colony. Andrew ultimately settled on Martha's Vineyard and does not appear to have felt the call of the sea for many years. He owned a number of pieces of land and served as constable during his lifetime. He died intestate.
Fishing in the New England colonies dates back to the early 1600s when the first Pilgrims made the journey across the ocean to the New World. The poor farmland caused the fishing industry to become vital to the success of the 13 colonies. 
Early fishing vessels
USA Today
Simon Newcomb born about 1666 and believed to have been born at the Isles of Shoals in Maine before his father moved to the Edgartown area on Martha's Vineyard. Simon later moved his family to New London, Connecticut, where he remained until his death in 1774. Simon's son Hezekiah was born in 1693 in Edgartown and married the great granddaughter of Governor William Bradford, of the original Mayflower immigrants.

Jerusha Bradford was born in 1692 in Norwich, New London, Connecticut. They married 14 Nov 1716 in Norwich. Jerusha's line from the Governor is: Thomas, Maj William, Gov William Bradford. Jerusha's aunt Hannah Bradford married into the Ripley line when she married John Ripley in 1684. That tells you just how tied in those New England folks intermarried!

Hezekiah's son Silas was the father of  Capt John Brewster Newcomb, born in 1760. According to the Lineage Book, Vol 19 of the DAR, Newcomb was a, "conductor of trains for the transportation of supplies from Lebanon to the Continental Army," during the Revolutionary War.  John was the grandfather of Uri Newcomb - the father of all the "modern" Newcombs who pioneered west to Iowa and South Dakota.
The great grandfather of Uri, Silas Newcomb, was born in 1717 and married Submit Pineo in Lebanon Crank (now Columbia), Connecticut. His wife's family were French Huegonots. Old Silas died suddenly of a stroke while sitting under a tree, 24 May 1773. His wife was described as, "having a remarkable attachment to her children and grandchildren. " Five of their sons were coopers and three were physicians. Uri's grandfather, Captain John Brewster Newcomb, was born in Lebanon, Windham County, Connecticut. He and his family lived for many years on "Metcalf Hill," which he had received from his father Silas' estate in 1774. After the birth of their last child, they moved around quite a bit in New York, moving to Oxford, Owasco Flats, Oswego, Moravia, Owego, where his wife died. He then moved to Scipio, where he remarried in 1818, to Reliance (Ticknor) Strong, widow of Daniel Strong. He held various offices in New York, including justice of the peace, as a captain in a calvary company, and was a prominent member of a masonic fraternity. He was described as "an intelligent and an eminently good man," in the Newcomb Family History. ~ Me, Here, Right Now

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Hoodoo, Voodoo, and Quackery

Abner Gile, Millionaire Lumber Man
I was doing some research the other day, and ran across a person who is connected to a line I'm related to only by marriage, but who's family had enough historical interest to follow the bread crumbs. Genealogy is like that, isn't it?

So, way back when, in Wisconsin, three of my Smith fellows married three Monteith women. The Monteith's also married into the Preston family - a more prominent family in the Brodhead area. You can read a little about my family and the Preston connection here.

One of the Preston women, Elizabeth, married into the Tiffany family (yes, that Tiffany family). The  Nathan Tiffany's family ended up in California and I hope to write a little more on another day.

Elizabeth Giles Tiffany's brother Abner Gile was a multi-millionaire lumberman in Wisconsin. Pretty impressive career and achievements in contributing to the growth of his corner of Wisconsin. He'd been born in Wyoming County, New York in 1820. He built a saw mill and lumber business in Illinois in 1843, and in 1850, spent a year in California. On his return, he worked in someone's lumber business and later partnered with NB Holway. He later built the LaCrosse Lumber Company and later yet, built the Island Mill Lumber Co. in 1881, which
Tower Jackson Gile claimed to have an
institute dedicated to the cure of disease through
electro-magnetic treatments. Early quackery
at its best!
he operated until his death. He had his fingers in all kinds of pies from the new utilities concerns to high society and philanthropy.

Abner was also helpful to his family. His brother, Tower Jackson Gile, for example, was the recipient
of his largesse for much of his adult life. When Abner died, Tower was left a bequest, but  Tower did not live long after his brother's death, both dying in 1897.

What grabbed me about Tower is, he went from being Tower Jackson Gile, to "Dr TJ Gile." Tower married Mary Knickerbocker, daughter of Harmon Knickerbocker and Phebe Haughton (or Horton) in upstate New York. Records indicate that they most likely divorced. The couple had at least two children.

In 1875, he left the Wisconsin area and cut a swath through the midwest including Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado with his miracle cures. The references I could find about Tower (I just love that name) show he was into the spiritual use of electro-magnetic healing. He claimed he could diagnose you during a free consultation and would provide you with electro-magnetic cures (which I'm sure came at a pretty penny).

He was the "inventor" of many devices and operated the Globe Electric Company. Its appliances, which included an electric chair, electric vapor bath, and other devices, were stock in trade for his "cures."

After the death of his brother Abner, Dr Gile claimed to have been visited by a visage of his brother. This made it into the book, "Beyond the Vail: Narrations and Illustrations of Spirit Experiences, Spoken, Written, and Made by Full-Form Visible Materalizations"; (1901) Kansas City, MO and is excerpted here:
Abner Gile. 
803. Here is a spirit who, in his earth life, came into pos- 
session of rather a large fortune for a person of his locality, 
Wisconsin. And this fortune, it seems, was accumulated large- 
ly from milling into lumber timber of Government lands, and 
handling lumber so made. 

804. His brother, Dr. T. J. Gile, was less fortunate, hav- 
ing accumulated nothing in a financial way; but had made quite 
thorough search into the merits of Spiritualism, and was one 
of this circle during several weeks of the preparation of "Rend- 
ing the Vail," and about that time Abner Gile passed on to 
spirit life, and now, by invitation of this psychic band, stands 
in materialized form before this circle, saying: 

(a) "I am Abner Gile, and I am glad to be here in this way r 
to tell of some things I found when I got to this country. And, 
of course, about the first thing I learned was that my brother 
was about right in this matter. I thought it bothered him. I 
thought it troubled his mind. I tried to hold him back and 
away from it. But I begin to think it was my own mind that 
was off. I was pursuing dark shadows, and he the light. I was 
piling up treasures that I had to leave behind and their bane 
binds me in dark conditions and shuts me up in dark prison; 
makes of me a 'spirit in prison.' While my brother was casting 
bread upon the waters for which I now hunger, and of which 
he may eat and be satisfied, my wealth, instead of a blessing,, 
is a great curse to me. I cannot explain to you how I have 
been confined in darkness. What light I had was of itself the 
most profound darkness, for I find the church dogmas are abso- 
lutely false. 

(b) "I wish I had known these things, but I did not. I 
would not try to know the truth of future life and its relations, 
but scorned whoever did try to learn. So I had no teacher 
when I got here, but have to work it out alone. Each must 
work out his own salvation. I wish all your world could know 
what I know now. But T helped to keep the world in ignorance,, 
and now must try to turn on the light." 
Tower died in 1897. If he's making his own spirit known, I haven't heard.
Tower Gile
La Crosse, Wis., Jan. 22. - Intelligence has reached the city of the death at Cleveland of
Tower J. Gile, aged 73, a brother of the late Abner Gile, the millionaire lumberman of this city. The deceased gained considerable prominence after leaving here in 1875, through his belief in spiritualism and magnetism, and traveled through the country preaching his views and acting as a magnetic doctor. During his travels he was supported almost entirely by his wealthy brother at La Crosse. When Abner Gile died he left a legacy for his brother in his will. The deceased went to Cleveland a few weeks ago, and died there on Thursday last. [Source: Wisconsin Weekly Advocate (25 Jan. 1900)]

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mapping it Out

I do better with visuals. I tried to map out the immigrant path - still a lot of incomplete information even after all these years of work. Here is how it went down with my four sets of great-great grandparents on my dad's side.

Includes Cappoens, Meserol, Fontaine, Leroy, Miller, Linsey lines
antecedents of my paternal grandfather, Leo Linsey
(Click to enlarge)
Abraham Owens and Zachariah Holler. This family joined with the Miller family with the marriage
of David Owens and Sarah Holler. This is the paternal side of my grandfather Leo Linsey's family.
UNK Smull immigrant who was father to Brush Valley, PA's Brothers Smull. The Quaker Cooper's of Pennsylvania and the Quaker Beams family of Whitley County, Kentucky joined  with the marriage of William Lloyd
Cooper and Elizabeth Beams. This family  joined the Smull family with  the marriage
of Johnathan Smull and Mary Jane Cooper, maternal 2GG of my grandmother Verlie Smith Michaelsen Linsey.
James Smith is the earliest located Smith originally believed to be from Monmouth, NJ
The Munson family goes back to Munson immigrant who arrive in Connecticut in 1637. Grant County, Wisconsin
was the site of the joining of the Munson and Smith families when William Custer Smith
married Mary Ann Munson. This is my maternal grandmother Verlie Smith Michaelsen Linsey's paternal grandparents.

Friday, May 18, 2018

More Coopery: George Emrick & Family

Click to
increase size
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 engaged 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.