28 December 2008

Rufus Beck of Rathdrum

Coeur d' Alene Press 14 Oct 1937 Thursday


Rufus Beck, 64 pioneer resident of Rathdrum died last evening at a local hospital. The body is at the Cassedy Funeral Home and funeral arrangements are pending the arrival of a sister, Mrs. O. H. Fuller of Fort Blakely, Wash.


Rufus was born 18 Jun 1879 to Simon and Mary Beck in Michigan. the family moved to Rathdrum, Idaho sometime before 1900.

His only known sibling was a young sister Lola (I'm not sure is this is the same O.H. Fuller named in the obituary or is that is a different sister. This sister was the only sibling found with the family in the census records from 1900-1930). She was born in Wisconsin in 1886, so the family must have lived in Wisconsin for a while before moving to Idaho.

From at least as early as 1910 until his death Rufus was a Blacksmith for Rathdrum. Rufus lost his mother Mary in 1919. By 1920 he and his father were partners in a Blacksmith shop until Simon's death in 1929.

Rufus finally married later in life some time before 1920 to Myrtle. I believe the son living with them in 1920, Thomas, was hers from a former marriage, even though he is listed as Rufus' son in the 1920 census.

I wondered how a man who was a big part of the Rathdrum community, a booming logging community at the time, ends up poor with the county burying him. But if you think about his profession as a blacksmith, he died at a time when the blacksmith was becoming extinct. People were starting to buy cars, not to mention the Great Depression which had been going on for nearly a decade at the time of this death.

05 December 2008

He Gave them Dignity

Gilbert Yates was the founder of Yates Funeral Home here in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. His son and I emailed a while back trying to find information about those buried at the Paupers Cemetery. His son, Dexter told me that his father was instrumental in stopping the use of the Paupers Cemetery for those who were poor. He thought it was embarrassing for the county to bury the poor in a way that showed prejudice.

I'm a little disappointed that I was too late to meet this man. He knew the history of this cemetery and I agree with his effort to stop its use and give even that poor a dignified burial. Which is why I am making an effort to preserve the memories of those buried there and give their lives meaning.

Here is his obituary.


YATES, Gilbert Dexter
(Age 89)
Founder of Yates Funeral Homes, died October 30, 2008 at his home in Hayden, Idaho. Gil was born May 13, 1919 in Potlatch, Idaho to Frank and Martha (Hutton) Yates. At the age of seven his family moved to a farm nine miles north of Potlatch where he attended grade school at the Mountain Home School District in Latah County. He graduated from Potlatch High School in 1938 where he excelled in football and baseball, and then moved to Coeur d'Alene to begin his apprenticeship with the Cassidy Funeral Home. After completing his apprenticeship he was employed by a funeral home in Yakima, Washington, and it was during this time that he met his future wife, Eileen Schanzenbach, who was attending nursing school at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Gilbert attended the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, graduated in 1941, and returned to Coeur d'Alene where he again was associated with the Cassidy Funeral Home.
Three months after the outbreak of Pearl Harbor, Gilbert enlisted in the Medical Corps with the U.S. Navy. He and Eileen were married on May 10, 1942 in Wapato, Washington. In December of 1942 he was transferred to overseas duty for two years. After returning from sea duty he served as an instructor at the Hospital Corps School in San Diego until his honorable discharge in 1945.
After the war Gilbert returned to Coeur d'Alene and to his profession as a funeral director while obtaining his pilot's license. He purchased the current property on 4th Street and started the Yates Funeral Home in 1952. In 1974 he purchased the Browning Funeral Home in St. Maries, Idaho and then opened the Yates Funeral Home in Hayden in 1978. He sold the family business to his son, Dexter, in 1981 but continued to work with his son and grandson, Eli, for the rest of his life.
He was a founding member of the Coeur d'Alene Public Golf Course and a founding member of the CHS Viking Booster Club. He served on the Fair Board and the School Board. Gil was a 60 year member of the Masonic Lodge and a 60 year member of the Lions Club where he served two terms as president and two terms as zone chairman. He was also a member of the V.F.W., the American Legion, the Elks Lodge, the Eagles Lodge, the Hayden Lake Country Club, and was named "Boss of the Year" in 1966. He was past president of the Idaho Funeral Service Association, and the Kootenai County Saddle Club as well as rodeo chairman and arena director for 30 years. Gil was a member and elder of the First Presbyterian Church, having served on every church committee during his 65 years of membership. He enjoyed horseback riding, snowmobiling, golf, and playing cards with his friends. His accomplishments as a leader in community, church, youth, school, athletic, and professional programs are far too numerous to list.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Eileen at the home in Hayden; a son, Dexter Yates and wife, Karen of Hayden; daughters, Patricia Rodriguez and husband, Rico of Post Falls, and Pamela Market and husband, Bruce of Spokane; a sister, Aileen Curtis of Moscow, ID; grandchildren, Jeff Yates of Coeur d'Alene, Eli Yates and wife, Ingrid of Hayden, Matt Ziegler of Walnut Creek, CA, Ben Ziegler and wife, Kim of Coeur d'Alene, Katie Ziegler of Post Falls and Paul Ziegler of New Castle, WA; 4 great grandchildren, 3 nieces and 1 nephew.
Calling hours for the visitation will be from 5-7 P.M., Thursday, November 6, 2008 at the YATES FUNERAL HOME, HAYDEN CHAPEL. The funeral service will be 1:00 P.M. Friday, November 7, 2008 at Coeur d'Alene Bible Church, 5350 N. 4th St., Coeur d'Alene. Burial will be at Coeur d'Alene Memorial Gardens with a reception following at the First Presbyterian Church, 521 E. Lakeside Ave., Coeur d'Alene. For friends wishing to make memorial contributions, the family prefers the Gilbert and Eileen Yates nursing scholarship fund, North Idaho College Foundation, 1000 W. Garden Ave., Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814. Please visit Gil's memorial obituary and sign his online guest book at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com

17 November 2008

In Life Just a Girl, In Death a Tragedy

Margaret Ellen Taisey

Her death was written about in papers all over the west. Even as far south as Texas.

Helena, MT

The article was always the same in every paper. It must have been a shock to the country in those days to hear about a 15 year old girl being electrocuted by a high wire which caused her to fall to her death in the Spokane River.

Margaret also known by her family and friends as Muggins was born 28 Feb 1922 in Hauser, Kootenai County, Idaho to Paul Walter Taisey and Irene Jane (White) Taisey.

She lived in a tent with her parents and nine (of the later 13) siblings until 1935, when they moved to St Maries. There they lived in a two story home on 4th St that they rented from Mr. Wandulich.

Her father, Paul was a logger by trade. Some of his family lived in Spokane, WA. He did the best he could for his large family, I'm sure, but when Margaret died a sudden death they were unable to pay for her burial. This is how she ended up to be buried in the Pauper's Cemetery. She lies in an unmarked grave under the the pine trees.

The more I write about the lives of those buried here I find it very heart breaking to think that these people were treated with prejudice because they nor their loved ones, if they had any, could afford their burial.

Sources: Ancestry.com, WWI registration (on Paul), Idaho Death Index 1911-1951, 1920 & 1930 Census

Noyes Family History at www.noyesgenealogy.net.

15 November 2008

Just a little family time

Dear readers, I need to take a break until the end of the month. I am still doing research on the interned at the Paupers Cemetery and I am learning some interesting stories and even receiving photos. However, my in-laws showed up for a visit and they are staying through Thanks Giving, so I need to take a break for now and spend some time with them. I will be back to my project after they leave.

Until then Happy Hunting.

01 November 2008

The precious ones

I found that five of the 49 interned were infants and I suspect that another eight were infants as well, but I have no proof as yet.

Here is a list of the infants or still born buried at the Paupers Cemetery in Post Falls, Idaho.

Infant BOCK still born on 30 April 1939. I tried to find this child's family in the area, but I found no Bock family in the area. I did find many Bock families in and around Ada county down south. I wonder if the family was traveling through or just moving here when the child was born.

Jane Willetta BRADFORD was born on 14 April 1938 and died the next day on 15 April 1938.

Linda Hazel (Baby) BURKE was still born on 7 April 1943. She appears to be the last burial at this cemetery.

James Wesley SNYDER was still born on 17 Mar 1938.

Mary Loretta STANLEY was born and died on 4 Oct 1938.

Unfortunately we do not know where these children are buried in this cemetery, only that they were buried here according to records. Many of the graves were never marked from what has been found, and those that were only a few have with stood the test of time. You must keep in mind that this was a cemetery in use during The Great Depression and was rightfully known as the Pauper's Cemetery as those who were buried here could not afford burial, therefor the county buried them.

Margaret Ellen Taisey was a 15 year old girl who died after an accident, but I will do another post on her death at a later date.

The other eight that may have been children I will not list until I've done more research. I will also look further into possible families of these five children, but as of yet I don't know who their parents were. It will take a visit to the court house when I have time to go further, if I ever find time.

A Face to the Name

Many times as we visit cemeteries and graves we rarely know what the person looked like unless they were a family member we knew, and even then, how good is our memory. I'm always so excited when someone shares a picture with me of an ancestor or in this case someone I am studying.

I finally received the photo of John E Davis from his granddaughter. After much trouble with sending it by e-mail we finally used Wal Mart's photo center to exchange the photo.

Finally for the first time we can see a face to a name at the Pauper's Cemetery in Post Falls, Kootenai County, Idaho. I don't know that I will get that lucky with any of the other 49 internments, so this is truly a treasure, thanks to his granddaughter.

She described him as a tall rugged man of very few words. I'm sure this photo was taken at his homestead in Alberta, Canada. He died at the age of 77 here in Idaho, but didn't move back to Idaho until the late 30's and died in 1941. He doesn't look like he is in his 70's in this photo, which leads me to believe this was taken in Canada.

There is still more to come on John. I am waiting for the homestead papers and some local history written about him to come from Alberta. I'll share what I find then.

22 October 2008

A little bit more

John Davis' granddaughter emailed me this about her grandfather this morning.

Amy, I read your post and thought I would add that Rosa was first married in Minnesota to John's younger brother, Joseph Davis. They had 3 children and then Joseph died of pneumonia at a young age in 1900. In those days I believe it was not unusual for a bachelor brother to assume responsibilities of the deceased brother's family. Therefore, the 3 oldest children were John's nieces and nephews as well as his step children!

So this explains the three oldest children and their relationship to John.

I'd like to thank John's granddaughter for contribution to this project. I couldn't have told his story so well with out her. Don't worry though. There will be more on the way. I can tell he was a very interesting man, and we are still working on getting his picture on here too.

20 October 2008

John Edward Davis, Buried at Paupers Cemetery

This is just a start. I can tell that I will be posting again about this man. The flood gates are opening with information, and I just couldn't hold off any longer to began sharing his story. It's so full of life!

John Edward Davis was born 11 Dec 1864 to Samuel A Davis and Elizabeth Ann Ritchey in Benton Co., Iowa.

In 1900 Samuel, Elizabeth and John were all living in Verdi, Lincoln Co., Minnesota. John is 36 years old and still single. In 1910 John, Rosa and the children are now living in Gray Township, Pipestone, Minnesota. According to the 1910 census John and Rosa had only been married eight years, so they were married about 1902. This also means that the three oldest children were Rosa's by a previous marriage, but John must have given them his name.

Name: John Davis
Age in 1910: 44
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1866
Birthplace: Iowa
Relation to Head of House: Head
Father's Birth Place: Iowa
Mother's Birth Place: Pennsylvania
Spouse's Name: Rosa
Home in 1910: Gray, Pipestone, Minnesota
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John Davis 44
Rosa Davis 33
Charles Davis 14
Anna Davis 11
Violet Davis 9
Dorothy Davis 7
John Davis 5
Edward Davis 3
Rosa Davis 1

By 1917 the family leaves North Dakota (where they lived next after Pipestone, MN) for Canada. They end up in Lac La Biche, Alberta, Canada. Where John homesteads (index of Alberta Homesteads 1870-1930, film # 2054, file # 515673). John is a farmer, fur trapper and fisherman. His granddaughter wrote to me about their time in Canada. Here is what she said

John Edward Davis took his family from North Dakota to Lac La Biche, Alberta, Canada in 1917. This place is 100 miles north of Edmonton. In those days it was end of the line for the railroad. John entered into a business of catching white fish and shipping them by train to Chicago.

Early on when this family arrived and started their homestead at Fork Lake, the terrible, world-wide flu epidemic hit...even in this remote part of the earth. My father said entire families would be found dead in their remote cabins. Amazingly, the Davis family was spared. My father, the eighth of nine children, grew up in the north and, with the other sons, drove dog sleds and ran trap lines for a living. When the depression hit in the 1930's, the markets dried up. The Davis family came south to look for jobs. Some settled in Spokane and some in the Kellogg/Wallace area. My father told me a story that John had save the lives of 2 of his grandchildren by running into a burning tent to get them out. He was a hard working man all his life and, I know, his memory was held dear by my father.

It is unknown, even to the family how John ends up buried in a Pauper's Cemetery in Kootenai County. For one he and his family lived in Wallace/Kellogg area which is in Shoshone County. But no mater how he ended up to be buried there it was obvious that he was well loved. Again his granddaughter sent me this email about how he was the only one to have a headstone. It was not bought.

.....my father made that crude headstone for his father's grave. We used to stop
by when traveling from Spokane to Idaho to visit cousins and would put some fresh flowers on the grave. However, that has been many years ago now. My dad has been gone for 10 years and mom just passed away last year. I remember dad saying his dad (John) wanted to be buried by a big old pine tree and I believe he is.

His granddaughter also tried to share a photo with me of John. It wouldn't come through me email, so hopefully we'll find a way for me to get his photo on here. She did described him......."As you can see, he was a tall, rugged outdoors man of few words."

Rosa Davis was born 4 Mar 1876 and died in Wallace, Idaho in Sep 1968, 27 years after her husband. Though she must have been buried in Wallace I would suspect since the Kootenai County Cemetery was no longer being used then.

I look forward to finding out more about John Edward Davis 1864-1941. I have a request in to the Alberta Genealogical Society for information from a half dozen books that appear to have some sort of history in them about John.

14 October 2008

Paupers Cemetery , Post Falls, ID

Okay I'm back at it again. My husband fixed my computer!!!

I'm still doing research on the old Paupers Cemetery in Post Falls, ID. Boy am I on a roller coaster of research right now. Some of these people seems to have never existed while others take me off on trails that end up belonging to someone else. It can be fun and frustrating all at the same time. I've got information on families that I thought belong to the loved ones in this cemetery, only to find out that I have the wrong family......arggggg!

One of my biggest mysteries belongs to a man named William Henry Manion. I first did a census search. I found a William H Manion in Mt Home, Elmore Co., ID and thought great I'm on a roll. At this time I had not yet found birth dates for those in the Paupers Cemetery. Then I started to notice something that bothered me. William H Manion and his wife Mary were long time residence of Mt Home, ID. I find them there in 1910 and 1920. I also found them in the 1880 census in Utah, where Mary was born as well as their first two children, Florance and Charles. William is listed in the Utah census as a miner, ID 1910 as a Probate Judge and ID 1920 as a farmer. So how is it that a man who has been a miner, farmer and probate judge ends up a few counties away from his home buried in a paupers cemetery? It bothered me for a while. I also got on Bureau of Land Management website and found that William owned 131 acres in Mt Home, ID. So he has a homestead of 131 acres and he's buried away from home with the poor? That didn't make sense to me.

Now mind you all of that research I was doing for free. Then I finally broke down and subscribed to Ancestry.com again. From there I found almost all of the birth dates of the people at Paupers Cemetery. Whoa wait a minute there are two William H Manions. One is William Harvis Manion, born in 1844 and died 1932 in Mt Home, ID. Uh Oh! This means I really do have the wrong man. Okay I know still too many holes to make any assumption, right. Well you'd think after all this time and as many times as I get off on the wrong path I'd learn that, but no.

Then I find the records for William Henry Manion and they fit. The death date is 18 Mar 1937, just like the man in my cemetery. Okay so the William Harvis Manion is probably the father of my William Henry Manion. Age seems right for that to fit. So I started looking that way. Okay now I'm about ready to throw in the towel. I soon discover the real William Manion son of William Harvis Manion and Mary of Mt. Home, ID is in fact William Edward Manion (this confirm by his WWI registration) who was born a few years earlier than the William Henry Manion I am looking for.

But I didn't give up. I kept looking and soon I'll be darned if my mystery doesn't become even more baffling then before. I find him! William Henry Manion born 27 Jul 1892 and died 18 Mar 1937, but here is where the mystery begins. Apparently he wasn't buried at the Paupers Cemetery. I don't know how he ended up on that list, but I've called to make sure and sure enough he is buried on the 22 Mar 1937 at Holy Cross Cemetery in Spokane, WA on the north side. The gal I spoke to there is going to find what she can in the archives and send it to me. So I will be doing another update here soon on dear old William Henry Manion when I get that. What I have found though is that he was married to Eva. They had a daughter named Patsy Manion born about 1928 in Spokane this is from the 1930 census I found of them. They lived at 1817 E 1st in Spokane. The residence information comes from Holy Cross Cemetery records.

I'm also working on the lives and history of Rufus Beck, a blacksmith in Rathdrum, ID, Margaret Ellen Taisey, a young 15 year old girl who died in the river after being electrocuted, John Edward Davis, the only stone at the cemetery who's family will be sharing a history of his life with me, and George Stewart just to name a few.

09 October 2008

For Now I must go.

Well folks. My life is upside down and I don't see things changing anytime soon. To make matters worse my husband got upset about the time I spend on the computer and cut the cords to my computer. So I'm posting this from work.

I think I'll have to go back to the old fashion way of write it in a note pad and hope I have time at work from time to time to post it for all of you.

Also Lisa (the gal I was working with on the Pauper's Cemetery in Kootenai county) If you read this you'll have to call my cell number that I gave you if you want to go over anymore of it. I obviously can't get to my email right now too. I will try to find time to set up an email account that I can access at work so I can stay in touch with everyone.

But for now I must go.

02 October 2008

Kootenai County, Pauper Cemetery

I am back to working on a little pet project of mine. I had a gal contact me yesterday asking for help on a research paper she is doing on this very same cemetery. I've given her what I can and I found more to send her.

Now I'm doing what I have always wanted to do, I'm researching the lives of each person interned in the Pauper's Cemetery. Some of them I have found census records and such on in order to compile a brief history of their lives. Others seem to not exist at all.

What I'm asking from those of you who have a connection and family history in Kootenai County, Idaho is to see if any of these people were your ancestors. Do you know a living relative who may have known any of them? Do you know any of them or about their lives. With my project I would not only like to pull together every known piece of history on this cemetery, but also the lives of those buried there. I would sure appreciate everyones help on this.

Please feel free to contact me or send me information. Photos would be lovely, histories would be great and anything else you can add to the lives of these forgotten ancestors. So far we have only found two or three obits, with very little information at that.

Here is my previous post on this cemetery.

01 October 2008

DNA Genealogy

There has been a great deal of discussion in the recent past about DNA Genealogy. I've been looking into it myself as a way to further trace and possibly prove my husband Native American Heritage.

I sent off for a free packet through Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation to do our DNA. I'm working on gathering all the needed information in order to submit our family tree with the DNA test. It's a very simple test. All you have to do is swish some mouth wash in your mouth, spit back into the cup, seal it up and ship it back to SMGF. You will also need a four generation pedigree to submit with it. Which is a bit of a problem for both my husband and I since one branch each only goes back to our great grandparent. But I'm going to see if they will except it with the rest of the pedigree finished.

Here is also a video about Genetic Genealogy that you may also find interesting and helpful. Genetic Genealogy like the Internet is the wave of the future and will hopefully help all of us in moving forward with our research and breaking down those formidable brick walls.

Tracing Your DNA: Genetic Genealogy Defined

05 September 2008

Just 15 minutes

Sometimes that's all it takes. I was just sitting here at my computer this morning having my cup of coffee and trying to wake up. I decided to open my file cabinet beside me and just pull out a file and see what I could find.

I reached in and just randomly selected James "Jim" Holcomb Graham. My Aunt did a lot of the research on our Graham's so I haven't spent much time there yet. I did see what else I could find on them when I had my subscription to Ancestry.com, but with not much new information. What was on Rootsweb.com was information my Aunt had given me. So I just put their information aside for another day.

I was sitting here just going over my notes and that of my Aunt when I happened to notice one of her notations to herself (1860 Census? and 1870 Census?) She hadn't been able to find the family in those two censuses. So I pulled up my Heritage Quest and went to work. I also had made notes when I was searching Ancestry and hadn't been able to find them either.

I'll be darn if I didn't find them with in 15 minutes of searching. First I started looking for Jim Graham (the name he was known to use), but still no luck. Now James would have been about 8 and 18 respectively in those two censuses. So I got to thinking I might have better luck looking for his father, Tillman Williamson "T.W." Graham. With the chance that he went by T.W. sometimes and Tillman other times I just put "T" Graham in my search criteria. It turned up nothing for 1860, but there they were in 1870. T.W. Graham, wife J.J. (Jency Jane) with eight children, including James H (that's why, he must not have used the name Jim until he was a grown man) 18 years old. They were living in Grayson Co., TX.

So in a matter of 15 minutes I found a census record we had never found. In it I have five more names of siblings we also did not previously have.

Now to add to this discovery I also have a new mystery this census has presented to me. In the two dwellings listed above T.W. Graham are two other Graham families, but here is the interesting part. T.W. is white and in every record is listed as such. But these two families with the same name are Black/Mulatto. Are these former slaves of the Graham family who have followed the Grahams to Texas and taken there name as well? I believe (though I have yet to find records) that it was very possible the Grahams did own slaves since they were from NC and TN. Did they free their slaves, who then followed them to Texas and became their employed servants and neighbors? I would like to think that they made an effort to set right the injustice they may have participated in.

Now I will research this family listed with them and see if I find any other connections.

By the way I am going back to work. My husband is coming off the road and looking for something here near home. But I will try and make a greater effort to keep up with my blog and my research now. We have a few more remodel projects we are buried in, but after those are complete we will quit working on this house until we can save up enough money to do those major remodel projects now. So I should have more time in the near future even though I will be working.

Until next time, Happy Hunting.

31 August 2008

What did they do?

As tomorrow, Labor Day approaches, we honor those who make life possible through their blood sweet and tears.

Often as we go back in time and stumble on the history of our ancestors we wonder what they did for a living. Many of my ancestors were farms, but also has those who worked in the factories. Very little of my heritage was passed down to my through my family. Much of what I now know about my ancestors has come through my research and through the contribution of other distant relatives.

So how do you find out what your ancestors did for a living? The most useful places are census records, obituaries, business directories, and for those who served or registered for war are the world war registrations. There are I'm sure other sources, but these are just a few I commonly use.

For example a very generous man, whom I didn't know saw my request for information on my grandfather and since I used the word please in my request it drew his attention. He contact me and said he had a passion for obituaries, had found my grandfather's, and would I like a copy. Of course I said yes. My grandfather Albert Lee Woolsey died when I was eight. He lived in the home with my grandmother, just behind us. By that time of course he was retired and of the time I remember he was sick. Of course I was too young and wrapped up in being a kid to ask any questions as too their life. My grandmother made sure to talk to me and I gained bits and pieces from her, but I never learned much about grandpa. So I must say I was surprised when I got his obit and in it was this:

"Born in Oklahoma, he moved to Modesto in 1962 and was a press operator for Norris Industries. He was a member of the Full Gospel Tabernacle"

How ironic. I discovered this pieces of information about a year after my daughter was born and I had quit my job for a printing company, selling printing. Even then it didn't hit me what we had in common.

At one point I started researching the family of my great grandmother May Elizabeth Rollette. I really still want to know more. My great grandfather left her when the children were still young, taking the children with him. The family hardly knew her and knew even less about her life or that of her family. I began finding them in the census records in MO where we knew she was born.

In 1920 I found May and Frank Roe in Buchanan, MO. The were roomers at the home of John W Stephens. They both worked at the local Box Factory and May was a stamper there. I have yet to find out what the local box factory was, but it gives us just a little more glimpse into their lives. I also find it interesting that Frank and his brother both were working there, both had moved there from Oklahoma and married women there. I think it's very likely that they left the Indian reservation they were on in Oklahoma to look for work in the factories of MO where they each meet and married a woman from the factory.

I also found the World War I registration card for May's brother Everett David Rollett. In his registration his occupation is list Delivery Clerk for Meyers Auto Livery. So here I not only found his occupation, but also the name of the company he is working for.

So take some time this weekend to look back through your notes, study and honor the hard work of your ancestors. Who knows you may get lucky and have it lead you to another bit of information you didn't even know.

25 July 2008

The Connor History

It's no surprise that along with doing our family history I also enjoy making Heritage Makers scrap books to tell the stories.

The new and exciting part is now I can share those books online with all of you.

Today I'd like to share a book that I made last year that I am so proud of. This is the story of my husband's Connor family. The Connors were his mother's mother's family. They came to California by way of Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona while working in the fields. Life was not easy for them, especially during the depression and during the time in history when Native American were misstreated since they were Native American.

So here it is. Please enjoy it. Also I have had a few of you in the Connor family that wanted a copy of this. I can order you a copy at any time, just let me know. The cost is $50.94 plus shipping.

08 July 2008

Three more weeks!

I'll be back to my usual self here soon. I have three more weeks left of work. It's time to come back home and do what I love. Money is always tight. It doesn't matter if I work or not. By the time I pay the baby sitter and put gas in my car I have so little left of my paycheck. I don't know of anyone who enjoys working for a mere $100 a week, give or take. So I've decided it's time to do what I love to do.

I think I will be placing ads out there offering my services for research. I also plan to spend some time quilting and maybe even sell some of my quilts on ebay. I'm sure between the two I can supplement our income while still being at home with my children.

I look forward to hearing from everyone again, and getting back into the genealogy circles.

18 May 2008

My treasure

I have wrote about this many time, but this ancestor (though really my husbands ancestor) is so dear to my heart.

When I began my search for our ancestors more than three years ago my husbands grandmother had only one request. She wanted me to help her find where her mother was buried. She didn't know for sure where and she had never been to her grave.

Estelle Connor was only eleven years old and the oldest of four children when her mother, Flora Mae (Manning) Connor died two days after giving birth to her last child Geneva who also died and was buried with her. Grandma didn't even know the sex, let alone the name of the last child.

I took me nearly two years to find anything on Flora. However once the doors opened I was flooded with information on her. She was the youngest child of Thomas Manning and Mattie Smith. She was born 25 May 1911. It is said that her mother died of dropsy (heart attach) with a baby in her arms. The child had to be pried from her arms. We can only assume that since Flora is the last known child of Mattie that she was that child.

We don't know much more about her childhood. She became estranged from her father and three brother when she choose to marry a part Native American boy, Ernest Ghamo Conner. This is the only known photo of Flora. We believe this was taken shortly after their marriage.

I eventually found where she was buried in Amarillo, TX. Grandma finally got to visit her grave and was so sad when she discovered that only a brick size piece of cement marked their graves of her mother and youngest sister with only their first names on it. She then bought new stones for both of them before going back home.

I hope that some day I will have the opportunity to visit the grave of the woman that I worked so hard to find. She may not be the grandmother who inspired my passion for genealogy, but she was the one who kept me going until I found her.

Search Engines and Genealogy Research

I stumbled across a new blog today that had a great post. Many of us use Google to do our searching, but there are many other choices out there that may serve our needs better when it comes to genealogy.

Visit the Hayes and Greene Family History blog to find out what Steve discovered in his search for information and the uses of different search engines. I couldn't say it much better myself.

09 April 2008

So call me crazy!

Why is it some of us never seem to have enough hobbies and find the need to start new ones? You've got me on that one. I don't know the answer. I just know I'm one of those people.

Yes I've started getting into another new hobby, quilting. Since I started my new job in September I have found that I rarely have enough time when I'm fully awake and coherent to do any genealogy research. Yes I still plan to keep looking for my ancestors and from time to time pop back on here and add more to my blogg. But for now I may also be adding little tidbits or showing off some of my quilts in the future.

I didn't mean to become a quilter. I never saw myself setting at a sewing machine and having fun. But there is something I hate and that's waste. When it comes to fabric my work wastes a lot of it! So one day I got the idea to bring some of the scrap fabric (though some is large enough not to be called scrap) home and try my hand at quilting. I quickly fell in love with it when I bought my first sewing machine (a cheap one that does the job for now).

I also plan to scan many of the fabrics into my computer to use in my digital scrapbooking. There are many fun designs that will make great scrapbook pages.

I'll post pictures later of some of the fun things I'm working on.

17 March 2008

Our New Addition

Well we finally got one. Not exactly an English Bulldog, but close. Rocky on the right is a White English Bulldog. We went yesterday to pick one out. The family was very happy to allow us to bring our dog Sareena to help us choose a new family member. Rocky had two other brothers still left looking for homes. There was a very cute one with tan spots, but he was very shy and a bit scared of my three rambunctious kids. Then there was anther boy who came out and played, was very sweet and the first to catch my eye. He had bigger patches of black around his eyes and solid black ears, but is was Rocky who won not only James' heart but quickly adopted Sareena and was accepted by her. They quickly paled up and have stuck together every since. Now we have the arduous task of house breaking the little guy.

For now I must get ready for work and make sure the last minute cleaning is done in my house since the in-laws will be here tonight to visit for a week or so.

If anyone is interested in a puppy like Rocky just email me here and I will give you information to contact the gal who is trying to find two more good homes for Rocky's brothers. They have another litter of puppies on the way so they are in a hurry to find them homes.

31 January 2008

Two jobs and no time!!!

Well for a while you may not hear from me again. I am going to help out an old friend and at the same time make a little extra money. I'll be working two jobs, from 8 A.m to 11 PM between the two. So even if I do have any time to do research or write, my brain will probably be mush!

Until you hear from me again, Happy Hunting.

09 January 2008

More of our families 100 years of history

In my last post I wrote about mine and my husband's families 100 years ago. Where they were, who they were and what they may have been up to. I choose our four main lines, but of course they are not the only family we had 100 years ago. There are many more lines that were around and carving out a place in history and in our heritage. So I will continue to write about our families based on where each surname I have found in our lineage was 100 years ago.

Today I will choose four more surnames. Two of my husband's, Ward and Cooke, and two of mine, Jenkins and Hayes.


James Rubin Ward was born 9 Mar 1887 in TX. He was the son of John S Ward and Melinda H Reed. I believe that he married Stella Cooke some time in 1908. Their daughter, Ruth Ann Ward (my husband's grandmother) was born 19 April 1909. The three of them are in the following picture. They would go on to have four more girls, Alta, Cleo, Oletta and Vierra. They were living in Oklahoma in 1908 and for several years after. James died in 1965 in Oklahoma. Stella went on to CA with her daughter. She was a resident of Stanislaus County, CA when she died in 1978, but she passed away while in Port Angeles, WA visiting family. Their daughter Ruth went on to marry Earl Porter Crooks and became the mother of my father-in-law.

John S Ward was born about 1864 in McNairy Co., TN. He was the son of James "Jim" B Ward and Mary Jane Rankins. He married Melinda H Reed of AR. They had three children, James, William and Maude all born in the 1880's. It is believed that John died before 1900, so I'm sure Melinda was a widow on her own or living with one of her children at this time in her life. Though it's also possible she was still living with John's brother, Luke whom she was living with in 1900. She would die a short time later in Byers, OK in 1910.

James "Jim" B Ward was born 23 Feb 1838 in TN. He married Mary Jane Rankins in 1860 in McNairy Co., TN. She would give him fifteen children; John, James, William, Margaret, Major, Mollie, Lucy, G.R., Hugh, Richard, Nancy, Oma, Florence, Mattie and Luke. By 1900 the family was living in the area of Ardmore, then known as the Chickasaw Nation. By 1910 they are living in Maxwell, Pontotoc Co., OK. So in 1908 they were probably in one of these two areas. Mary and Jim were both of McNairy Co., TN. In 1887 they left TN for Hot Springs, AR. After Oma was born they moved to Wise Co., TX. From there they moved on to the Ardmore area of OK. They were a family that moved often. Why? I don't yet know and may never know. He and his sons were farmers. I'm sure they moved from one farming community to another, wherever there was work.


Stella L Cooke
was born 12 Mar 1888. She was the daughter of William Vaughn Cooke and Mary A Chisholm. She was also the great granddaughter of Jesse Chisholm, the famous trader and peace keeper of the Native American. In 1908 her life changed. She married James Rubin Ward. Later that year she would be pregnant with their first child Ruth Ann Ward who was born 19 Apr 1909. The three of them are in the picture above.

William Vaughn Cooke was the father of Stella Cooke and husband of Mary A Chisholm. At this point I still know very little about him. I do know that he was born in about 1859 and died sometime around 1945. He married Mary A Chisholm 19 Nov 1885. It is likely that they lived on or near the Chisholm homestead in OK. One theory is that the homestead was near Shawnee, Pottawatomie Co., OK, but I don't know that for sure.


John Hugh Jenkins was born 6 Nov 1899 in Durwood, OK. He would have been a young boy of about 9 in 1908. He comes from a long line of farmers. He most likely would have been living on a farm in OK. He was the son of John Stephens Jenkins and Olive Swofford. He would later go on to marry Leota Morton and they would become my fathers grandparents, the parents of my father's mother, Olive Joyce Jenkins.
John Stephens Jenkins was born 22 Nov 1853 in Greene Co., TN. He would have been about 55 in 1908. He was a farmer and living in OK at the time, I believe some where around Maysville, OK. He would die eight years later in 1916 in Maysville. The family remained in and around Maysville for another couple generations before some of them moved to CA. Today there are still Jenkins and Woolsey's in the area of Maysville, OK. John married the preachers daughter, Olive Swofford of TX and they had thirteen children, Vergie, Ida, Ernest, Michael, Mary, Edith, Chester, John, Ira, Paul, Lula, Clarence, and Olive. Clarence would have been the baby of the family in 1908 and Olive wouldn't be born until 1909. Let's just say they probably didn't have to hire much help to run the farm.


General Martin Hayes was just a baby in 1908. He was born 4 Apr 1907 in Harmony, OK. The son of James Martin Hayes and Mary Jane Vest (Veft?). He would grow up and marry Lillie Lutitia Hoard and they would become the parents of my mother's mother, Mary Ellen Hayes.

James Martin Hayes was born 3 May 1874 in Cooke Co., TX. He married Mary Jane Vest, a German woman. They were raising their baby boy General Martin Hayes in Harmony, OK in 1908. They also had a daughter named Pearl. Mary is the woman sitting in the photo to the left and Pearl is standing on the far left we believe. The photo of the two women behind the car is of Pearl and Mary. I know so little about the life of James Martin Hayes. He was the son of Thomas Hugh Hayes and Cariline Beavers. At some point they moved to CA. I don't believe he was much of a farmer. From what I know of the family I believe they worked in Industrial jobs.

Thomas Hugh Hayes was born 27 Oct 1842. He married Cariline Beavers and they had twelve children, James, Mary, Rozaney, Flmida, William, Charlie, General, John, Samuel, Dollie, Burt and Newt. This is about all I know of this family. I don't even know where they were in 1908. I can't even seem to find them in the census. The information I have comes from a family member. The only thing I really have of him is this photo of his grave, which I'm not even sure where it is.

06 January 2008

Where were your Ancestors 100 years ago, 1908?

Lisa of 100 Years in America write "Where was your family in 1908?" She challenges others to join this story telling adventure. So here I go.

I can first say that while many were enjoying the hustle and bustle of a new era, mine were still farming and barely surviving in the west. Most all of my husband's and my ancestors were in Oklahoma and a few other surrounding states 100 years ago. Many of them were poor dirt farmers and some were living on Native American reservations still living a hard life and in some cases even denying their heritage in order to survive the discrimination of the Native Americans at that time. It was not the pleasant "good old days" for many of our ancestors.

Doug Dawgz writes a great article on the history of Oklahoma City 100 years ago. It give you a really good idea what it was like then. There are also many great pictures in his blog. Though I must say this is not a good account of life for my family since none of them lived in or around Oklahoma City.

I'll start with my husband's name sake, the Crooks. The Crooks were a wild bunch. It's hard for me to keep up with them as they were always moving. But there is a migration from NC to TX and then back to OK by the early 1900's.

  • Earl "Porter" Crooks was born in 1898 and would have been about 10 in 1908. His baby brother Clearance was born that year in OK. So the family was living in OK at the time. He also had two other brothers Jerel and his partner in crime, William aka "Dub." Porter and Dub were the wild ones. Later as adults they had many run ins with the law. Living a lawless life of bar fights and stabbings. Porter was said to have even spent some time in prison. He would go on the settle down and marry at the age of 45 to Ruth Ann Ward. They had two boys and he helped to raise her children from her first marriage. You might say she tamed the honorary old coot. It was the one thing my mother-in-law loved about her father-in-law. He was honorary until the very end and could make her laugh. I must say the same goes for his son, my father-in-law.
  • William Marion Crooks was born in 1876 (42 in 1908). He married Quincy M Myers (27 in 1908) in 1898. She gave him four sons, Porter (above), Jerel (7), William "Dub" (2) and Clearance who was born in Dec of that year. They lived in OK at that time.
  • Bolivar "Houston" Crooks was the father of William Marion Crooks. He died just months before 1908, but William's mother Martha G Thomas (64) was still alive and living in Frances, Pontotac County, OK. It's logical to think that William and Quincy were also living near by with their boys. We know they were in OK at the time at least. Martha would later go back to her home town in Yell Co., AR where she passed away in 1913.
My maiden name is Woolsey, though I'm not convinced that we are truly of the Woolsey's of New York. I believe it's quit possible that my great great grandfather William G "Billy" Woolsey changed his name and became a Woolsey some how. At least that's a theory until I can find out who he was before he married Lillie. The Woolsey's were dirt poor farmers. They lived around the Chickasaw Nation in Grady and Garvin counties.
  • Ewing Richard Woolsey, my great grandfather was born in 1890 so he was about 18 in 1908. He was a young bachelor still living with his parents and siblings in Grady County. He was a farm laborer, most likely on the family's farm. Ewing is the oldest son of William G "Billy" Woolsey and Lillie Ann Graham. He had four sisters, Minnie, Eva, May and Bulah and a brother James. Another brother would be born two years later in 1910. Living next door to the family is Ewing's future wife Mary Joann Williamson. She is the woman my dad and I get our curly hair from. They would be married three years later in 1911. Ewing continued to farm in around Grady Co., OK. He died in Garvin Co,. OK in 1959. His son would later move his family to CA where I grew up.
  • William G "Billy" Woolsey, my mysterious great great grandfather. It's almost like he didn't exist until he married the love of his life Lillie Ann Graham in 1889. He would have been about 43-45 years old. We don't know his exact age because so many records I have found conflict as to the year of his birth. Lillie would have been 35 that year. They had six children then and one more would be born to the family two years later. William was a farmer. He would never tell anyone who he was or about his family. I still believe he was running from something that happened in his younger days. We may never know who he truly was.
My mother-in-law is a Riddle. At this point I still don't know much about the life of the Riddle's in the early 1900's. I have bits and pieces I have found, but none that I can confirm. Her grandfather was Sam D Riddle (abt 31) and her grandmother was Daisy(18), who I believe I have found at an Indian Reservation school in 1900 as Daisy Blackwolf. It was known that Daisy was Native American and believed that Sam was at least part Native American. I believe it's possible that he was also living on an Indian Reservation during that era. They were married probably the year before in 1907 and then in 1910 she gave him a daughter, Bertha, whom our family never knew about. The rest of the children wouldn't follow until 1918-1926. Her father was their third child Sam Clifton Riddle born in 1919. The family moved throughout OK, TX, AZ and CA working on farms and living in tents. By the time my mother-in-law was born the family had began to settle down and carve out their new life in CA, mostly in the Stanislaus County area.

My mother was a Roe. Little did I know that this family was in fact living on an Indian Reservation in 1910, probably was in 1908 as well. I discovered the family in the 1910 census records living in Otoe Township, Noble County, OK enumerated in the Indian Population. This is where I learned that my great great grandmother was half Chipaway Indian. The family was not complete at that time. There are still three other older siblings I have not found. But in the family unit was my great great grandfather Jerry Roe (about 47), Rachel (about 44), and three sons, Piere (abt 12), my great grandfather Frank (abt 9) and the baby Jaybird "Jay" (abt 5). I believe the family migrate from Canada to the Indian Reservations of Oklahoma. Piere was born in MN about 1896, followed by Frank born in MO and then last Jay was born in KS before they end up in OK by 1910. Frank would later marry a woman from MO, May Elizabeth Rollette and live with her family for a time in MO before moving back to OK. Then in about the early 40's he takes the children, leave May and moves to CA where he starts a new life. The Roe's faired well in the Industrial world. Jerry was a farmer, but the future generations all went for Industrial work and seemed to be better off then those of our other ancestors during that era.

This was a fun post to write. I will look forward to writing about other branches of my family that lived 100 years ago in the near future I hope, lol.

So join this fun series of posts and let us know about your family 100 years ago. Post a link here for other to read your blog on the subject.