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.