02 December 2009

Casefile Clue

Here a while back I purchased my copy of Casefile Clues, 2009 from the brilliant writer Micheal John Neill. I have been going back to the material often. As I hit different scenarios in my research that may stump me for a bit I go back to by binder I've created of his files. Either I learn something new, or confirm a thought I may have had. No matter the outcome I can say I have thoroughly appreciated his volumes for learning and growing in my genealogy practice.

Each volume discusses a different type of records, or a series of records used to solve a particular problem. Say for instance you have difficultly with an ancestors birth year. You have records that conflict. He has written an example, A Chicago Birth in 1913, that may help you solve that discrepancy. He clearly walks through all the documents he found, what the family tradition was as to her age at time of marriage, and then how he used all this information to arrive at a reasonable conclusion, as well as cautioning us to make clear notes when we are using conjecture.

I just purchased his weekly newsletter for $15 annually. I look forward to getting more and adding them to my binder.

24 November 2009

How to find Native American Heritage

I recently had a client ask this:

Client’s Question:
I am attempting to find my husband's biological father in order to prove that he was Cherokee Indian. How do I find if he did belong to the tribe and what if any benefits can be afforded to our children because of their ancestry? I believe he is now deceased.

Here was my response to her and I thought maybe it could help others. So I asked her permision and she graciously granted it for me to post to share with all of you.

My Response:
To start you will need to pin point the ancestor the Indian blood comes from. You are aware that G**** was Native American, so your first task then is to find his parents. Obviously it had to have come from one or both. If he was born in 1942 then you may have to go back as far as each of his grandparents to answer this question. Once you have traced back to his grandparents then you need to narrow down which one the Natvie blood comes from. You may be able to answer this by finding them in the 1900 Federal Census (more on this later).

The key is to find the ancestor that is on the Dawes Rolls and has a roll number. With out that no descendant would be eligable for Indian rights. So keep in mind this may even need to include a search for his great grandparents, if not successful with his grandparents. The Dawes rolls were taken between 1898 - 1914, so it's very likely that you only need to find out who his grandparents were, and if his parents were older when he was born, then they may even be on the rolls.

Next you need to know the tribe, which it appears you do, but if there is some question as to the accuracy of that then look for them in the 1900 Census. I would still do this as you don't know which ancestor is Native American. This will help narrow down who you need to look for in the Dawes rolls. In the 1900 Federal Census they recroded the tribe of Native Americans (though not all claimed their Native Heritage, so this does not mean they were not, if they did not claim a tribe in the census).

Then search the Dawes roll under the tribe for the ancestor. You can search the index here. This will take some time. Be patient. First find the tribe (in your case Cherokee), if the ancestor is by blood, then Cherokee by blood. Then the index is in somewhat alphabetical order by first letter of surname. I did take a quick look at pg 300 (narrowed it down alphabetically) for G**** and there were none listed, but don't panic. That may mean his Native Blood came from his maternal side or a grandmother, or you need to keep looking through the "G's." Like I said I just took a quick look. But what this tells me is that this can not be easily answer by just searching the rolls. You will need to research his ancestry.

As far as your other question. It really depends on the tribe. My husband is in the process of apply for his rights through the Chickasaw Nation. When we are done (just waiting for a birth certificate we had to reorder) he will be eligable for medical help, free hunting and fishing licenses, and if he were interested help with college. So yes there are benifits to finding this out, but each tribe is different. I would have to look into the Cherokee tribe to find what eligabilites they would have. But first and foremost the ancestor on the Dawes rolls must be found and their number found. With out that ancestor and the number from the rolls it won't matter how much Indian your children have they are not eligable. Which even in my husbands family we know. His mother is part Native American, but she is not eligable because her Cherokee ancestor ran away from the authorities and went to TX. They refused to be put on the reservation or be a part of the rolls. They went to great lengths to hide their heritage, and as a result, none of their descendants are eligable for rights. So be prepared for disapointment as well. I've dealt with both, just in our own family.

After you narrow down to the ancestor and find their roll number the last thing you will need is proof. To do this you will need birth (of those living) and death certificates (of desceased ancestors) between your children and the ancestor on the rolls in order to submit for approval to the tribe and their rights. Also get familiar with the tribe, their laws and guidelines for applying.

Note: I do this kind of research, and can certainly help you if you are looking for someone to do this work for you, but it is possible to do it yourself as well. Just be patient and sometimes you will need to think outside the box. Feel free to ask for help when you get stuck.

Good Luck,
Amy Crooks

* Names removed to protect identity.

06 October 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Issac Knight


Issac T. Knight
born February 24, 1861
died April 18, 1905

According to the Moore Family Tree on Ancestry.com Issac was born in England and died here in Harrison, Idaho where he is buried in the Harrison cemetery. It appears that he may have been the only one of his family to come to the US. The rest of his family remained in England from what I can see of this tree.

The headstone was in pretty bad shape. I could not make out the symbol at the top or the inscription at the base.

Family Tree Voting!

Family Tree Magazine voting is now open. Take a moment to cast your votes for your favorite blogs. But first visit Footenote Maven. She has put together a great list of all the nominees, including yours truly. I can't write it any better then she did so I wont even try. Besides I'm tired, it's late and I'm off to bed.

You can read more at the Family Tree Magazine Genealogy Insider

05 October 2009

Madness Monday - Educational

I've not had time to do a lot of research myself, but I have been answering questions lately. In some of the cases people think they have hit a brick wall, but many times it appears that they just don't realize all the sources that are available to them in order to break that brick wall. So I thought I'd take a moment and touch on some of these common questions and give my answer.

The most common one I get is: I've found everything I can on ancestry about my great grandfather. I'm at a brick wall. What do I do now?

Let's answer this questions with a few answers.

  1. Not everything that can be found on an ancestor is online, let alone on ancestry.
  2. Just because you found everything on ancestry.com doesn't mean you've hit a brick wall or that you can't find more online.
  3. You stop. You analyze all the records you have. Then you write a research report that details everything that has been found (source it!!) and from the analysis of your clues find the missing pieces. Then create a research plan that lays out the missing pieces. Read my previous post Family History Made Easy and use the link to down load a very helpful form for this part of the project. If you aren't sure where to find those missing pieces then maybe the rest of this will help you, or ask someone you know who's been doing this for a while.
  4. Did you try the name with various spelling? If not then try it. You might be amazed at what you find. If you can't come up with different spelling then research the surname it's self. Get the family to help you brain storm. Also don't forget abbreviations and miss spellings of the given name as well.
  5. Broaden your search. Often times we get hung up on dates and places we found in one record (or from family memory. Lord knows that can keep you from the truth), with out thinking that this particular one record could be incorrect. Omit information in your search to open up more doors.
Other online sources you can use are:
  • Cindy's list: No genealogist (professional or hobbiest) should be with out this valuable resource bookmarked on your computer.
  • UsGenWeb and Genealogy Trails: These are two valuable sites that break down your search first by state and then by county. Some of them have nothing in some counties because no one has volunteered in that area, but for the most part you may actually be amazed at what has been scanned and put online of your ancestor. The down side is you really need to know a state (at the least a state) and county to began searching in.
  • Ellis Island and Castle Garden: are two of many sites design for helping you find your ancestors immigration records.
  • Footnote: though a paid subscription it is worth every penny. It is also a great partner to ancestry. I maintain both subscriptions. They compliment each other well. Though some of their records overlap Footenote provides a a lot that ancestry has yet to put on their sites. I have found civil war record files on ancestor of mine. I have also found the files of ancestors who went before the Commission of the Five Civilized Tribes to apply for their Indian rights.
  • Find A Grave: this has been a very valuable source, not to mention the ability to not only find a record of an ancestor grave, but the chance to either see their grave or request for a local volunteer to photograph it for you.
  • Rootsweb: they not only have other researchers trees that they have graciously shared online for others to see for free but they have a wealth of other records. One word of caution about finding other trees online. Make sure that you verify everything. Not all trees are sourced and there is lots of erroneous information out there. I'm embarrassed every time I find a tree with erroneous information only to discover it's mine when I was wet behind the ears on this, and I can always tell it was from the early days as it has no source information except that I got it from someone else's tree. But now I know better.
  • Land Records: on BLM you may just find the records that prove that your ancestor did own that tract of land was rumored to be in your family. Either way this is valuable in establishing residence of your ancestor in a certain area.
These are just a few of the source I use on a regular basis that are very general. There are also sites that specific to a location that may help you as well. I hope this helps some of you break down your brick wall. But always remember three important things, SOURCE, PLAN and then SEARCH.

10 September 2009

Mining Country

























Once again we decided to spend a day exploring history. So we packed an ice chest and headed out. Dressed in jeans and tennis shoes for walking and exploring; our mission was to visit some near by ghost towns. Our destination was Burke, Idaho.


Burke Idaho lays in ruins. What once was a thriving rich community, though in some ways inhospitable due to the lack of room and over population of the area, not to mention the harsh winter conditions, is now reduced to rubble and empty buildings.

I couldn't resist snapping a shot of the "Ghost Town Auto." Apparently someone had a sense of humor about the state of the town.

You might want to visit Ripley's Ghost Towns. The photos on their page were taken at a much earlier date then the ones here that I just took. For instance you can see the foundations of two buildings beside the green house in the top photo, but on Ripley's the buildings are still there. Slowly the last remaining pieces of this history will be gone.

I've read a few times about the Tiger Hotel. I wished I could have seen it. It's been gone for many years, but it was one of a kind. There has never been another hotel that had a rail, a road and stream running through it's lobby. This was necessary in Burke since the canyon is very narrow (about 300 ft at center). There wasn't room for a hotel to be built off the side of the road. So they threw tradition out the window and built it over the road and the stream, and later the railroad was ran through it as well.

As you look around Burke you eventually realized that not only are the building collapsing and being reduced to rubble but so are the retaining walls. As a way to build the necessary buildings to run the mine and housing for the miners, retaining walls were built up and down the canyon. This allowed for more level building ground on which to build. Now in many areas of the canyon all you see are logs sticking out of the side of the mountain as they decay in the summer sun and harsh winter snows of this area.

We first got side tracked in Wallace, Idaho before we went up to Burke. Though we have been here many times we had never gotten the chance to go through the Sierra Silver Mine Tour. It was well worth it. The children even enjoyed the history lesson on mining. On the tour the guide did point out the famous Nine Mile Cemetery outside of Wallace. Unfortunately we didn't have time to go back up the hill and see it later. It will have to be another trip and another excuse to go up there again.

You can see the whole family here in front of the Silver Mine and below is a photo of our fabulous tour guide. With a sense of humor he took us through the mine and showed us the harsh conditions and hard work these men and women go through to get our precious minerals and stones out of the earth. It certainly isn't a job I would want to do.



I couldn't resist sharing this photo of my husband and kids playing in the sand. I don't know who was having more fun him or her.

31 August 2009

Madness Monday - Certification Process

Well it's not an ancestor who was mad. It's not me going mad over a brick wall ancestor. I'm going mad over transcribing a document! I got in me copy of original to transcribe as part of my BCG portfolio and I wanted to cry. I've encountered some pretty difficult records over time, but this one looks like someone scribbled lines on the page. This will certainly be a challenge.

As far as ancestor I haven't pulled any new brick walls out of my file in a while. I've been working on my CG portfolio and taking stabs at my previous brick walls I've posted in the hopes that I can post a Falling Wall Friday post. However, those darn elusive ancestor insist on continuing their stand as elusive ancestors!

I will say to others of you who may be getting discouraged or loosing interest in Madness Monday, don't! As a result of Madness Monday there are cousins that have found me. As it turns out they are also stumped on the same ancestors, but many of them have graciously shared other information and photo that I didn't have for the family. The photos are my favorite part! When I get to see an ancestors face for the first time after researching them and learning a great deal about their lives for years.......well I almost can't describe how exhilarating it is. At times I've even teared up over the gifts that people have shared.

So keep up the chain of sharing. It will come back to you some day, it has many times over for me.

24 August 2009

Camping and fun


We went camping this weekend and saw some breath taking sites. The picture here is one I took from my phone of the Kootenai Falls just outside of Troy, Montana. Silly me I left the camera back in the car. It couldn't be that I had my hands full with two dogs and three kids, not at all. My husband had the biggest (pain in the butt) dog, I had the other (well behaved and smaller) dog, with the kids between us. We hiked the trail down to the falls. I'm still sore from the hike, but it was well worth it!

I've got other pictures of our camping trip that I'll have to download from my camera. I'll do that later and share. We camped at a little place called Blue Lake RV Resort just outside of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. I'd call it a pond more than a lake, but it was still a great place to camp. We loved it. It was clean, beautiful, and even had showers. The kids loved fishing off the dock. In other words we had lots of fun.......that was except for trying to sleep on the hard ground after our air mattress sprung a leak.......that's another story I'll tell later.

18 August 2009

The road to Certified Genealogist

I could use your help. I received my packet to apply for my certification as a genealogist. I plan to specialize in the Northwest region of the US and from Civil War to post WWII eras. One stipulation of this certification is that I can't use the research I've done for my family. I have others I have done research for, but only one covers this region and era. I would really like one or two more research projects to pull from for my portfolio. The other research I am doing for this area is not for any client (which is also another stipulation), but for use in a book I plan to write, so this will not work.

If you would like the opportunity to have someone work on a genealogical problem that needs to be solved and it falls into the region and era I am working on, please get in touch with me. Maybe we can help each other out.

To all of my readers, please keep visiting. Bare with me as I work on my certification. It will unfortunately take my attention away from by blog, but I hope to squeeze in time for an article here and there. It'll get easier to juggle all of this in a few weeks when the kids go back to school as well.

07 August 2009

New Site

I know there are new sites popping up all the time, but I like the idea behind this one. Ancient Faces encourages you to post stories, photos and family recipes. I have seen some stories that are more of a query though. But I like the site and the whole idea. This also has a paid section, kind of like MyFamily, allows you to create a family web page.

01 August 2009

Untangled Family Roots - Home

Untangled Family Roots - Home

Shared via AddThis

I have finally done it! I'm still working on my AG and saving money for the final, but doing some work may help me save the money I need faster. So I'm going for it. Come visit my website and let me know what you think.

29 July 2009

Wordless Wednesday, Harrison Cemetery, Harrison, Idaho


Yesterday I posted a photo of a headstone at the Harrison Cemetery
in Harrison, Idaho. Here is the last photo I took that day looking from the
cemetery out over Coeur d'Alene Lake. It is certainly a beautiful resting
place. One can see why this site was chosen.

28 July 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Louisa J Yaxtheimer was born Louisa J Bailey on 10 Mar 1862 in Pennsylvania. She married Willoughby A Yaxtheimer on 20 Sept 1909 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. She died 1 Nov 1939 in Springton, Idaho and was buried at the Harrison Cemetery in Harrison, Kootenai County, Idaho.

I would assume that Willoughby has passed away at this point, but either he was buried somewhere else or the date of his death was never inscribed.

I am happy to report that do to the great efforts of the local Girl Scouts this cemetery has been cleared of it's underbrush and it is once again accesable and the headstone have been cleaned up so they are readable. Thanks girls for all your hard work. I had about three men stop by who were locals to see if I needed help. There was construction going on that they were doing on the nearby road. They were very proud of the work the Girl Scouts have been doing and bragged to me about all of their hard work. It's great to see that there are still those who teach our children respect for the dead.

23 July 2009

Madness Monday, Michael Oliver Jenkins 1824- 1905


Michael Oliver Jenkins is my 3rd great grandfather. I have been searching for his family for more than four years. As in the case of my gg grandfather William Woolsey, it's as though he life also does not start until he married. I often expect to encounter this hurdle with my female ancestors, but I seem to be encountering this with my male ancestors quit often. So in order to break down this brick wall, I sat down and wrote out his Biographical Outline as I know it.



Biographical Outline of the Life of M.O. Jenkins
  • 4 Apr 1824 Michael Oliver Jenkins was born in Lincoln, NC.
  • 31 Aug 1848 Michael married Mary Ann Freshour in Greene Co., TN.
  • 29 Oct 1850 Michael and Mary are in the 1850 Federal Census of 9th Division, Greene Co., TN. Living next door are Mary's parents Joseph and Catherine.
  • 30 Nov 1851 Catherine Barbara Jenkins was born to Michael and Mary.
  • 25 Nov 1851 Michael is listed as one of two executors on a will dated on this date for John Stephens who was Mary's uncle through her mother Catherine Stephens. (Will probated 7 March 1853).
  • 22 Nov 1853 John Stephens Jenkins (my 4th great grandfather) was born in Greene Co., TN.
  • Abt 1855 Ann Jenkins was born
  • Abt 1857 Mollie T Jenkins was born
  • Abt 1860 Sallie C Jenkins was born
  • 11 Jun 1860 Michael and Mary along with the four children listed above are in the 1860 Federal Census living in Limestone, Greene Co., TN. Living next door is Joseph and Catherine, Mary's parents.
  • Abt 1861 Missouri P Jenkins was born.
  • 27 Sept 1862 M.O. Jenkins (also known as Oliver) enlisted as a Private in Co I, 64th North Carolina Infantry and fought in the Civil War until 1864. He later became a Sargent and later became part of Co E, 16th Battalion Tennessee Cavalry. It appears that his records continue until July of 1863. I'll elaborate more on this set of records later.
  • Abt 1865 William O Jenkins was born
  • Abt 1867 Lavina Elizabeth Jenkins was born
  • Abt 1870 Lucinda J Jenkins was born
  • Abt 1876 Joseph A Jenkins was born.
  • 28 Jun 1880 Michael O and the family are enumerated in Precinct seven in the county of Eratt, Texas. The only child not with them in this census is the oldest Catherine Barbara Jenkins, whom I'm sure was already married by this time.
  • 24 Jan 1905 M. O. Jenkins died. According to the family in Oklahoma, but his body was taken back to Erath Co., TX and buried beside Mary who died 5 May 1892.
Records I have:
  • 1848 Greene Co., TN marriage record, page 277, record 1479 shows M. O. Jenkins married to Mary Freshour on 31 Aug 1848.
  • Civil War records. There are too many to list everything, but to summarize most of these were from the muster rolls. All of them can be found on footnote, under the name Oliver or M.O Jenkins. He enlisted 27 Sept 1862 and the records continue on until 31 July 1863. He was a Private then a Sargent and last his title simply says D. S. which I can only assume is Drill Sargent? Please correct me if I'm wrong. He started out in Co. I, 64th North Carolina Inf. and was last in Confederate Co E, 16 Batt'n (Neals) Tennessee Cavalry. I also noted that in the Cavalry he was enlisted with a W. R. Jenkins (who was a deserter) and and E.T. Jenkins. I need to look into these two men further. They may be related and may lead mo to the family of M.O. Jenkins. It's top on my list.
  • 1850 Federal Census 9th Division, Greene Co., TN, pg 204, family 1200, dwelling 1200 is Michael and wife Mary. Next door in dwelling 1201 is Mary's family the household of Joseph Freshour. Michael is a Carpenter and is listed as born in NC. Also living in Dwelling 1206 is Mary's uncle Jacob Stephens, and living in the home of Jacob is another uncle John Stephens.
  • 1860 Federal Census, Limestone Springs, Greene Co., TN. series M653, Roll 1252, page 374, family 275, dwelling 275 M. O Jenkins age 35, male, Farmer born in North Carolina. Also listed is wife Mary age 28 and their first five children. Again living next door in dwelling 276 is Mary's father, Joseph Freshour.
  • 1880 Federal Census, Precinct Seven, Eratt Co., TX, page 3011?, dwelling 246, family 249, Michael O. Jenkins age 55, Farmer born in NC as well as both parents.
  • Photo of his headstone that he shares with his wife Mary in Hannibal Cemetery, Hannibal, Erath Co., TX. I also just received a photo from a very generous lady showing Mary's original headstone still standing beside the one they share. It's broken and leaning against the base, but it's still there.
Future research:
  1. Find W.R. Jenkins and E.T. Jenkins from NC or TN enlisted in the Civil War around the same time as Michael.
  2. Still missing and need to find census for 1900, 1870, 1840 and 1830. Though the last two I may not discover until I know the name of his father.
  3. Record of his death. I'd like to know where he really died, if in TX or OK. I may need to find if there are records for the Hannibal Cemetery which may reveal this information.

10 July 2009

Is Nothing Sacred Anymore?

We should be shouting out loud over this! Yes I'm mad and it didn't even affect my family, but it could have. Think about this for just a moment. How would you feel if you found out your sacred hill where your ancestors once morned their dead, was destroyed for profit? What about if your loved ones were dug up from their graves and dumped in a field in order to make room for more burials in a full cemetery, so someone again makes money? Is the all mighty dollar going to destroy our ethics, morality and respect? Well it is!

I was watching the news late last night when I heard about the historical African-American Burr Oak cemetery in Alsip, Chicago that has been desecrated. Four people have been charged in the scam to remove bodies in order to make room for "new" plots. In some cases the bodies were removed and dumped in abandoned fields, in other cases the bodies were pounded down to make room for a burial above them. In one report a family member said "it's like killing them again." It is believed that they have desecrated 200 to 300 bodies. It is disgusting and outragouse! Have we become a society where the all might damn dollar is more important to us then showing respect to our dead?

You can read more about this in these post:
Then this morning I recieved an email alerting me to this tragedy. In Oxford, Alabama a sacred 1500 year mound is being destroyed. This mound was used by the Indians to morn their dead and then bury them in the caves below. What is even more infuriating is that the mayor of Oxford, Leon Smith is involved in making it possible for the constrution crew to destroy this mound in order to use it for......get this.....fill dirt for a Sam's Club. I use to work for Wal Mart and one thing they really make a big deal of in your orientation is how important family is. You really even get a bit of a history leason on the Walton family. I doubt they are condoning this. I'm sure this is all in the hands of the construction crew who wants to make that all might damn dollar and is willing to distroy something so sacred to others in order to make that dollar.

Please do take the time to visit this well writen post about the mound in Oxford, Alabama. She has done a great job of pulling together a history and addresses where you can write to make your voice heard. I plan to sit down later today and put together a few letters myself. Oxford, Alabama Destroying A 1500-Year-Old Indian Mound To Build A Sam's Club by Deep Fried Kudzu.

30 June 2009

Genea-Musings: California Assembly Bill AB130 - IAJGS Letter

All Genealogist from Hobbyist to Professional should be aware of this issue that will inevitably effect the genealogy community as a whole. Read Randy Seaver's post.

Genea-Musings: California Assembly Bill AB130 - IAJGS Letter

29 June 2009

Changing Gears

This happens to me several times a year. I will continue to write here in the future, but for now I have other projects that really need my attention. I have a yard that still needs a lot more work, though I am very happy to report that we finally have the front yard done! (all but one flower bed that I'll save for later, since we still need to tear up the ground there to replace a basement window) Next is to clean up the side of the house (probably next weekend), the basement and level, seed and start watering the back yard. Then we still have one small section of siding to buy and finish on the side of the house, paint it and then that's done! We need to put on a new roof and put up a fence. All of this takes time and of course we can only go as fast as the money comes in. I doubt we'll get to the new kitchen for another couple years as that will take a great deal of money. Though we could probably get a couple rooms in the basement finished this fall too.

On top of that I am beginning to pull together my work and work toward my accreditation. I would like to achieve this goal in the next year. I have a book I am doing research for and would like to write after I get my credentials. Then in the future I hope to take on genealogy projects for customers.

Let's also not forget my quilting projects either. I went to the Inland Northwest 2009 Quilting show in Kootenai Idaho on Saturday. I took my daughter and my niece and we meet up with my Aunt Dawna there. Just looking at some of the quilts inspired me to finish some of my projects that I have started and became bored or stumped on. So it's back to the sewing machine for me as well. Not to mention my daughter's new bed is now put together in her room and now I really need to finish her quilt. That project is nearly done.

I have really bad tendinitis in my right elbow and I'm sure being on the computer and using the mouse doesn't help it any either. So I have a few really good reasons to take a break. I'll be back soon I promise! I'm sure by the fall all of these projects will slow down and I'll be able to return more often. Though if work slows down any more, I may have more time on my hands than I want. Ta Ta!

23 June 2009

They're Back......

Please stop on over to Looking 4 Kin (the real one) and show your support. I was bummed at the end of last year when Looking 4 Kin dropped out of the genealogy scene, but I understood, as I have had to do the same thing from time to time when life gets too crazy. But Just M and team are back! And so is their chat room!!! So stop by, find some new genealogy friends and welcome them back. I've really enjoyed the chat room in the past. I wished I had more time to visit myself. I just stopped by, but go figure I'm the only nut up at midnight trying to visit a genealogy chat room...hehe!

Heads up there is a copy cat site out there according to Just M. Please make sure you visit through the link I provided to make sure you get the right Looking 4 Kin instead of the copy cat. It's sad to think that even amongst those of us search for our family history that there are jerks trying to making a profit off of the hard work of others.

Tombstone Tuesday - Greiff Couple


Gladys Greiff photo curtosey of Ronald Sykes
Gladys Mae Greiff 1918-1977 was the wife of Willie Greiff. Willie's parents immigrated to the US from Germany. In about 1916 they came to the Spokane area in Washington. Their farm is still owned by their family and is now a museum in Deer Park, near the Wild Rose Cemetery. See my previous post to read more about the museum.


These two photos I took when my family and I were visiting the Wild Rose Cemetery. I was looking for older or military headstones, but this one caught my eye and I just had to take a picture. It's beautiful. It wasn't until I got home that I realized this is the man the museum was created in honor of.

22 June 2009

Madness Monday - Alice A Jeffery

I am going to pull one of my subjects from my Old Paupers Cemetery research as my Madness Monday today. I am not related to this person, but I would certainly like to know more.

From the records of Alfred E and Betty J Shane which they extracted from records in May 1983, I know that Alice A Jeffery was born 7 July 1849 in Wheaton, IL. She was the wife of W. H. Jeffery and died 23 July 1940.

Armed with the above information I began my search on her life.
  • First I found her in the Idaho Death Index 1911-1951 on Ancestry.com (original data: Bureau of Health Policy and Vital Statistics. Idaho Death Index, 1911-1951, Boise, ID: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.) The dates match that found in
  • 1880 Census of Village of White Creek, Adams Co., Wisconsin William H Jeffery age 23 and wife Alice age 27 with two children, Luella age 3 and David age 1. William was born in Canada, Alice in Illinois, and both children in Wisconsin. (1880 Federal Census, Village of White Creek, Adams, Wisconsin, page no. 1, sup dist 2, enum dist 4, 1 July 1880 by C. J. Austin, dwelling 2, family 3)
  • 1894 Graham, Benton Co., Minnesota Territory I find them again. William age 41, Alice age 39? and Ella-19 and David O-15. I know ages don't exactly match, but I've seen this so many times I've about become numb to it. But they are in close proximatity to the ages of the subjects I'm looking for. Though this time I notice that William is born in NY, and the others are the same as the 1880 census. (I have a printout of this that I can hardly read the source information, but I do know that it was the 1894 Minnesota Territory census of Graham, Benton Co. The page number is unreadable)
  • 1900 Federal Census of Graham, Benton Co., Minnesota. Once again I find the family of William Jeffery, born Oct 1853 age 47, married 25 years, born in NY, parents both in England, farmer, Alice, wife, born July 1855, age 45, married 25 years, 2 living children, born in IL and parents in NY. Child David, son born Apr 1879 age 21 born in Wisconsin. (1900 Federal Census, Graham, Benton Co., Minnesota, sup dist 6, Enum dist 320, sheet no., 4 B, on 7 Jun 1900 by Scott Thomas, dwelling 76, family 76)
  • WWI registration of son David Orvil Jeffery on Sept 12, 1918 in Simpson Hill, Hill Co., Montana. He was born 1 April 1878 (one year different than the 1900 census). His wife is Sadie and also lived in Simpson Hill. This helps to bring him closer to Idaho.
I have yet to find Alice and William after the 1900 census. I will keep looking, but from what information I have here is her story.

Alice A (maiden name unknown) was born 7 July 1849 in Wheaton, IL. She married William H Jeffery about 1875 possibly in WI where their children were born. Their daughter, Luella or Ella, was born about 1877 in WI, followed by David Orvil Jeffery on 1 Apr 1878 also in WI. Since the family is in the 1880 census living in Village of White Creek, Adams Co., WI it's very possibly that the children were born in Adams Co., WI. By 1894 the family has moved on to Graham, Benton Co., Minnesota Territory, where we still see them again in the 1900 census. Then I loose track of the family, but I do find David registering for WWI in Hill Co., MT. Somewhere between 1900 and Alice's death William and Alice moved to Kootenai County, Idaho, where Alice A Jeffery died 23 Jul 1940 in Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai Co., ID.

She is interred at the Kootenai County Cemetery aka Old Paupers Cemetery. Unfortunately we do not know exactly where she is buried as all but one no longer have names or markers. If you know anything on this family or about this person I would love to hear from you. I would love to write her story and add it to the Old Paupers Cemetery book that I am working on.

21 June 2009

Roads Less Traveled - Tour Six

We decided to put my new book to use yesterday. While I was at the Coeur d'Alene North Idaho Museum on Friday I purchased a book Roads Less Traveled through the Coeur d'Alenes. It has eight different tours of the area covering Kootenai, Benewah and Shoshone Counties of Idaho. So for our first tour we choose the Tour Six: Historic Coeru d'Alene National Forest.

The tour starts at the Fernan Ranger Station on E Sherman in Coeur d'Alene. Just in front of the Ranger Station is the Fernan Village. This was once the homestead of John Fernan a Civil War veteran. He came to Fort Sherman where he was a soldier in 1878. His wife joined him a year later and they raise thier six children here. Interestingly Mary Jane, his wife, was the first white woman to raise a family in this area. How scary I'm sure that was at times. John rented boats for use on the lake and raised alfalfa hay in the area. Now it is all homes.

Then the route takes you around the lake. At 0.7 miles there is suppose to be a Cattle Crossing. Not over the road, but under the road. The CCC built this road and built tunnels under the road for cattle to get through to the water on the lake. I didn't see the tunnels, but we didn't want to spend long on the road. There is currently construction going on to widen the road. Parts of the road are on the verge of sliding into the lake, so it looks like they are shaving away the mountainside on the other side in order to move the road safer away from the lake.

Next was the Moate House, built in 1954 by Robert Moate. It is a very cute and interesting vertical log cabin. It is one of the first homes built on this lake. His father homestead the area up on the hill.

The route continues to take you around the lake. This road was built by the CCC beginning in 1934. I was a one lane road with turnouts. It took nearly 20 years to complete. It helped to boost the economy in the area and provided greater access to the lumber used in the housing boom after WWII.

Lillypad Bay appears to be in the process of being restored to it's form natural beauty. There was a bridge built across Lillypad Bay that was torn down and the bay was filled in to create a road across. As we traveled passed we see that another bridge is being constructed across Lillypad Bay. I'm sure they will they tear out the current road and open the end of the bay back up. It's obvious where it gets the name Lillypad Bay. It is completely full of Lillypad's and they are huge. I wanted to get a picture, but with the construction there is really no safe place to pull over.

Next was the Kelly homestead. William Kelly came to this area in 1886. He homesteaded this area just on the other side of the lake as you head back into the beautiful valley with his wife and nine children. Over the years there were three different homes built on the property and all three of them burned down. Only two large 100 year old barns remain on the property. I didn't see them, but I'm sure they were amongst the trees at the base of the hill. There is a new home on the property and new owners, though some of the Kelly descendants still own section of the original homestead in the valley.

There were several other sites along the way that have their share of history, but for us they were mostly full of beauty. The hills here are full of pine trees, ferns, and other native plants and flowers to north Idaho.

After going up and over the Fernan Saddle and coming down the other side you come to Deception Creek Experimental Forest. This area was once homesteaded by Isaac Sand in 1904. Then in 1906 the Forest Service pulled this area from homesteading and began to reacquire the homesteads. After Isaac died in 1913 his wife refused to sell the land to the McGoldrick Lumber Company and the land eventually went back to the forest service. I was saddened to discover that Ranger Haynes burned all the buildings on the homestead.

Then we discover there is a grave under the road! Yes a reread the entry a few times. Bill Moore and a couple companions were traveling to Coeur d'Alene. They stopped in the area. The next morning Bill suffered a heart attach and fell dead from his horse. The other two men buried him and reported his death when they reached Coeur d'Alene. Then the story gets more interesting. A storekeeper that Bill owed money, came out here and dug up his body to see if he had any money on him, but he didn't. The cabin the men stayed in was destroyed when the road was built in 1934 and Bill's grave ended up under the road near the mouth of the creek that bares his name.

Then we came to one of our favorite camping sites which you can see in the photo above with my middle boy, the Honeysuckle Campground. Actually when we camp here we have a secluded places back behind this campground on the other side of the creek where we go. We don't stay in the campground.

Then the route took us into uncharted territory for us. We had never been back this way. This area was absolutely breath taking and the road a bit scary as there was only room for one car! But it looks like not too many people know of this area or rarely visit it. There were two interesting sites along this road.

The first was the Halsey Homestead and Barker Sawmill. The location of this former homestead is in the picture below. You are suppose to be able to see the foundation of the Tepee Burner, but from our view point we couldn't see it. There was 85.82 acres here that was homesteaded by Homer Halsey's mother in the early 1900's. In 1912 Homer's sister died and was buried beside the creek here. In 1946 Bob Barker built a Saw mill here and operated it until the early 1960s. It has since been returned to the Forest Service. In 2003 efforts were began to restore the natural foliage of the area. In an effort to chock out the noxious weeds more of the native plants and flower you see here were planted in this valley.

Next we came to the Trail Creek Work Camp site and Magee Ranger Station. Supposedly the camp was dismantled, but there were still cabins there and even cars there. So I didn't take pictures. But the ranger station sat empty. Below you can see one of the cabins. The Station was in use from 1908-1973. There is also a warehouse, barn, office, bunkhouse, as well as the house. During WWII the CCC built a 900-meter long emergency airstrip. The rangers house can be rented.


My daughter and oldest son looking at the cabin. My daughter is on this kick of begging her brother for piggy-back rides lately.
McPherson Meadows, another breath taking site. I told my husband to stop so I could take a photo of this. I wished I could have gotten closer, but you might be able to see the little log structure. It was a tool shed and is the only thing remaining of the McPherson homestead. Frank McPherson lived her from 1920 until he died in 1980. He was a trapper and also did seasonal work for the Forest Service. This land is still privately owned and only the tool shed remains. McPherson's cabin was moved in 2004 to the Shoshone Work Center. Hopefully we'll get to see that when we go on the tour of Shoshone County.
There were other interesting stories along the way. The children really loved having their mother be a tour guide. As we came to each location along the way I would read the history about it. It made the trip a lot more interesting then just staring out the window at the trees and flowers. I can't wait until we take another one of these tours and neither can the kids. They keep asking when we are going to do this again.

19 June 2009

North Idaho Museum

Well my Friday trip with the kids took us not far from home to the Museum of North Idaho in beautiful Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Our four year old daughter got a bit tired of it all, but she hung in there. The boys however were reading and looking at the pictures. I heard a few "wows" and "mom look at this" or "What is that?" I would say they really enjoyed themselves. It's a great experience for children and a chance for them to learn history, especially our local history.

The local history is comprised mostly of the logging and mining industries of the area as well as the Coeur d'Alene Indian history. The Coeur d'Alene Indian are still a major part of this area. I hope to learn more of their history as we spend our summer exploring more historical area.

I meant to get a picture but I completely forgot. Now I think I will sit down and read the book a bought "Roads Less Traveled Through the Coeru d'Alenes" by Dorothy Dahlgren and Simone Kincade.

Next Friday I think the kids and I will travel to Harrison, Idaho to visit the museum and cemetery there.

17 June 2009

Wordless Wednessday



Another attempt at my retouching. This photo as you can see was taken in April 1960 of my grandfather Rusty and his twin daughters (my mother and Aunt Mary). I think it turned out pretty well.

16 June 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Wild Rose Cemetery


This post is not about the headstone. For one I wasn't prepared. I just happened to be out with the family, had my camera and stopped at this cemetery. I think I am going to have to prepare a little box with cemetery supplies to keep in the van. I have a feeling this will happen more often.

Anyway this is about the family in the back ground. My husband and daughter holding hands while looking at a headstone. My oldest off to the side, and my middle boy looking at the ones under the tree.

15 June 2009

FamHist: The Problem With Primary Source Documents

FamHist: The Problem With Primary Source Documents

This is a great post and something to consider. Many of us today will or usually post are Madness Monday posts. Well here is an article that you may want to read instead.

Often times we can't find records because information is recorded incorrectly. Death certificates, though a primary source, are a common place for this, as explained in this article.

From my experience I never rely on just one primary source. You really need to gather all of your sources and come to a working conclusion based on ALL of the evidence.

I've even found a birth certificate of my husband's grandmother that had her mother's maiden name as her father's surname and the mother had someone Else's surname. Try to figure that one out. We were luck she was a twin, or it may have never been found. The state sure couldn't find it.

Just something to consider on those maddening elusive ancestors.

14 June 2009

Wild Rose Prairie

I had a lot of fun with the family yesterday and it was packed full of history at that. The day started out with a trip to the Car d'Lane show, which is the annual car show in downtown Coeur d'Alene, ID near where we live. You can see my boys admiring the cars in the photos. If they were facing the camera they'd probably be drooling like their father.

So we spent a while there looking at two streets full of cars. We missed the Friday Night Cruise. We've gone to that before, but I was wiped out Friday night.

Then we had a couple errands to run. One took us to North Spokane, WA near Mead to get an electric used lawn mower we finally found on Craigslist. We just finished our front lawn and it is now a raised lawn with rock all the way around. Gas lawnmowers are too heavy to lift up there, so we had been looking for an electric. It's for just a small patch of lawn.
So we were on our way. I called and got directions, and don't laugh....I missed one of the turns he told me to take. So we ended up going a little too far down Hwy 395 trying to find this street that didn't exist on 395. Where we turned around we saw a sign for a Farm Museum. So we agreed that after we meet the guy holding this lawn mower for us we'd come back. We finally found the place, almost by accident, bought the lawn mower and headed back to the museum. It was a five mile drive off of 395 through beautiful winding hills that opened into stretches of farm land and then back to hills....until we got there. About a mile in we saw an old school house being restored. I love to see that when someone take the time, care, and money to restore and protect our history. On the right just before the museum was a cemetery (made mental note to return after we were done). We got to the museum and had a wonderful time. This was the North Spokane Farm Museum Wild Rose Prairie in Deer Park, WA. Most museum you go in and walk through the displays and read for yourself, but this was different. The lady who walked us through talked to us and told us the history behind so many of the pieces. Some of it was from her family, some from her husbands and others pieces donated by other local family. But they have done a fabulous job of preserving the history of everything there. Even my children had their own tour guide, a young boy....I believe was the ladies grandson. He was I sure younger than my oldest, but he walked them through and showed them the working displays they could play with and they had a blast. My husband and I were in awe of the care that has gone into creating this museum. If you are ever in Eastern Washington you've got to make a trip to visit this museum. It's well worth it!

On my way out I asked my husband to be a dear and stop by the cemetery. He did.It was the Wild Rose Cemetery established 1885, though the gal at the museum did say that they believe people were buried there before it was actually established and that the headstones are gone on some of the old ones. The cemetery is still used though they are nearly out of space. We all got out and visited. It was a great lesson time for the kids. I took a moment to explain respect in a cemetery to them. They did really good really. My daughter stayed with me, and on occasion I had to remind her to look down that she was too close to a headstone and over the grave. She'd give her usual respond of "Oppie" and quickly move. The boys did really good. They split up and helped me look for old headstones or military stones. My husband also walked through and admired a few until his allergies got the best of him and he went back to the car. I didn't care if my allergies were getting to me. I managed to get photos of plenty of headstones, so I now have plenty of material for future Tombstone Tuesday posts. Now I am going to visit Find-A-Grave and see if this cemetery is even on there. If not then I'll post it.

Then we grabbed a bit to eat and came home. I walked into the house to find that even the dogs behaved themselves. There wasn't a problem at all. So it was a really good day!

Now I've told the kids that since I'm off on Fridays for I don't know how long (work is just really slow and looking worse) I'm going to take them to museum to give us something to do. The next two we will visit is the Coeur d'Alene museum and Harrison Museum. I'll report on these later.

09 June 2009

To step back......

in time and see the actual records that were hand written in beautiful cursive hand writing is the one experience an aspiring genealogist should never pass up.

I had a doctor's appointment today and when I was done I knew that I had enough time to go a few blocks down to the courthouse. The baby sitter was at the house with the kids, and I could have one of those moments I have dreamed about for so long.

I went in to the Kootenai county courthouse and asked were I would find the old archived records I was looking for. The nice gentleman directed me to the Records office down on the left. I went in and explained to the lady, that quickly stepped forward to help me, that I had been doing research on the Kootenai County Cemetery up on Seltice (aka Paupers Cemetery). I told her a little about it and what I was hoping to find out. She took me to the vault where all the old books were kept and thought for a minute, and then went back out and pulled out a file. In this file was a copy of the list and history compiled by Alfred E and Betty J Shane. Their records come from the old Cassidy Funeral home record books (I'm still trying to find where those records disappeared to). Anyway she just gave this to me. Then she took me back to the vault and began to explain the different collections of books and what I may find in them, which ones most likely would yield information I was search for, and which ones were for the year range I was looking for.

Then she pulled down the Grantee Deed Book for 1920-1940, and then left to let me began my search. Oh how to describe it. I ran my hand down the spin of it and felt the old well worn leather that has seen seventy years of hands. I carefully opened the cover to see tattered edges and appreciate it oh so much more. I selected "B" to start with. Why not? I've done research and written about both Rufus Beck and Paul Best. Let see what this little treasure can tell me about these two men. I pull back the first page with the "B" tab on it only to discover it was blank. Well that can't be. So I pull back the next page. Well of course there we go. As I slide my finger down the pages, looking at each and every surname, I can't help but admire this beautiful scrolled handwriting. With the occasional rough handwritten line. I bet there was one particular person who maintained the majority of the records listed in this book. They took pride in their work, and I loved seeing that.

Though I found no surname of Best I did however find several individuals buying deeds in the 1920's with the surname of Beck. I will dig further into these later and see if they are of any relation to Rufus.

I told myself that I had to leave there at 12:00 in order to have time to eat lunch and get to work. At 12:00 I thought....Oh just another page won't hurt.....then 12:05 .....just another .....I'll be okay ....then at 12:10 I finally had to say okay that's enough. I regrettably folded up the book and put it back on the self where she pulled it from.

As I went out the door she smiled and waved and I said "thanks. I'll come again when I can stay longer." I left there with such excitement and a big smile on my face. I'm sure that's why the lady outside the door looked at me strangely. She was probably thinking "what on earth would have her leaving a court house with a big goofy grin on her face." If only she knew the feeling a genealogist gets when.......... Oh heck why do a try to explain it. Only a genealogist would understand.

All the way home I'm thinking of how can I possibly get away for a little time with out the children to go through more of these records? Then it hit me. Heck I made a deal with the babysitter so that she could afford her college that I would at least pay her a minimum each week. Well I've been tacking on 1-4 hours extra each week to make that minimum. So as soon as I got home I asked her if she would mind actually watching the kids for those extra hours on Friday, now that I have Friday's off (work is really getting slow. It's scary really) so that I can go down to the court house and maybe even the library. It'll be easier on the kids, and I can go to places they aren't allowed for now. She was more than grateful that I always paid the extra, even if she didn't work it, that she answered "sure" in a heartbeat. So problem solved. I will now have a chance to spend more time in records and find more of the missing pieces.

Ok it's now midnight and I guess I should get some sleep. I just couldn't go to bed with so much pent up excitement, without sharing. I even shared it at work. I swear I watched one gals eyes glaze over.....oh well.

07 June 2009

Burial vs. Cremation

Have you ever wondered why there are so many cemeteries with nothing but flat headstone and no monuments? How about the reason behind more cremations and fewer burials, besides the obvious cost? Ever wondered why people buried before a certain time in history in your area had beautiful standing monuments and raised family plots, and then sometime in the 1900's all the headstone lay flat on the ground?

All of these questions are answered in a well written and very detailed post by Dead Man Talking on Blogging a Dead Horse: A Little History. Stop by and read his post and learn a little something new you may not know.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Where were they in 1909?

I've done a post like this a couple years ago. I was a lot of fun. Thanks Randy for bringing it back.

1) Which of your ancestors were alive in 1909?

For me it's not my grand parents but my great gandparents who were alive in 1909. That is except for one exception. My great grandmother Lillie Lutitia Hoard wasn't born until 1910. She was my mother's maternal grandmother. Lillie's parents were Thomas Miller Hoard and Martha Ellen McCombs Hoard. My mother's maternal grandfather James Martin Hayes though was aliveas were his parents James Martin Hays and Mary Jane Vest Hays. Then for my mother's paternal grandparents.... Frank Roe was alive as were his parents Jerry and Rachel Roe. As well as May Elizabeth Rollette. My father's grandparents were all alive.....Ewing Richard Woolsey, Mary Joan Williamson (both paternal grandparents) and John Hugh Jenkins and Leota Morton (both maternal grandparents). Mary Joan Williamson's mother died that year. Some of the others I don't know when they died or if they were alive that year. A couple were though.

2) Tell us where your ancestral families were living in 1909. What country, state, county, city/town, etc. Who was in the family at the time? Use the 1910 census as "close enough."

3) Have you found each of these families in the 1910 census?

4) Write a blog post about your response. Or write a comment to this post.

5) Have fun. Learn something!

Genea-Musings: Ancestry Quirks - Census Source Citations

Genea-Musings: Ancestry Quirks - Census Source Citations

This is worth reading. There has been a lot of emphasis on source citation. Randy has discovered a little issue with the way Ancestry.com publishes the source information. If you care about citing your source information correctly, you'll want to know about this.

06 June 2009

Puckerbrush Award


I was shocked to find that Judith of Genealogy Traces awarded me the Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award. Judith did an amazing job of pulling together the history of the award and of the word "puckerbrush" in her post The Janice Brown Puckerbrush Blog Award for Excellence so I'll let you visit this wonderful blogger and read it from her post instead of trying to slaughter it by trying to rewrite it myself. I sure enjoy reading Judith's blog and now thanks to her post I now have a few more on my list that I will enjoy reading. If only I had enough time to do all of that reading. There are just way too many wonderful bloggers out there when it comes to genealogy, but I will try to nominate a few of my favorites.
  1. Lisa of 100 years in America does a wonderful job of writing about her Croatian history here in America. I enjoy reading this blog from time to time. Ironically 100 years in America celebrated a two year Blogoversary this last week! Stop by and wish her another great year of telling us her New York history.
  2. Miriam Midkiff of AnceStories: The stories of my Ancestors has been an absolute inspiration to me. She not only is a wonderful genealogy bogger, but she also is a great research, teacher, and also keeps me updated on local events involving genealogy. I don't know what I would do without her. Probably be lost!! Thanks Miriam for all you have done.
  3. Now this one is great for a wonderful laugh. I just recently discovered Dead Man Talking author of Blogging a Dead Horse of Portland, Oregon. He is also a fellow Grave Yard Rabbit. I'm so glad I found the time that day to read a few new bloggs. Dead Man talking and I share a common interest. We are drawn to grave yards by an unexplainable force. he is lucky to have a wife who shares this interest as well. When ever they see a sign in Oregon for a grave yard, even if off the beaten path, they go for it. I'll look forward to such a time in my life when I'm not wrangling the kids, killing my feet at work, and have some time to just take a drive and visit graveyard. I love to read about his escapades to these sacred places.
  4. Now this one is special to my heart. Though she is not a genealogy blogger, she is still a wonderful writer and worth reading. She is a part of history today and loves to write about her adventures and accomplishments at NASA. She is Desiree Sylvia author of Space Princess & The Boron Bunch. She has been a life long friend (since high school). I miss her all the time, since now she is down in Southern California in the heat of the desert that I can't tolerate very well and I'm up here in North Idaho in knee deep snow in the winter that scares the bajebbers out of her
Then of course there are the ones that most of us know whom have already received the award like Randy Seaver, Thomas MacEntee,and of course Judith, so I'll stop here. I've got some kids to round up, a grocery list to finish and many many photos still to scan as people are now sharing their photos with me and even giving me the originals because they feels I will care for them and preserve them for the family and future generations. I just backed up all my genealogy and photo files on my computer last night. So there is at least one thing off of my list. Again Judith thank you for this wonderful thought. Oh and by the way it's all not as hard as it looks to be a mother, work full time and do what I love. I had to learn to make a schedule if I didn't want my husband constantly complaining that I spend too much time doing what I love with my research and my blog and not enough time on the house, kids and of course him. So I have certain times I spend on the computer during the week, time set aside for house cleaning, and then I work in the evening. Then on the weekend if he is home we find something to do together as a family, but lately I've had the weekend to spend on the computer because he has been at the shop rebuilding one of our vehicles that has been broke down, leaving me with out a car for months. But hopefully "fingers crossed" I will have a vehicle by Monday "fingers still crossed"

03 June 2009

Worldess Wednesday - Children


Amy at We Tree did a fabulous post today about how to entertain our children while pursuing our interests. So for my Wordless Wednesday, since my allergies have me too tired to think, I will link to her post, In the Good Old Summertime.

02 June 2009

Madness Monday - James J Morton

I know a little late. I was waiting on this one in the hopes that I could find something to break down this brick wall, but with no luck so far.

James J Morton was my grandmother, Olivia Joyce Jenkins' grandfather. I know very little about him, but here is what I do know. James J Morton was born about 1862 in Alabama. This information is based on the 1910 & 1920 census which I will give more detail later. He married Flora Idela Beason on 23 December 1890 in Comanche County, Texas. Thanks to a very generous distant cousin, Carole, I now have the original marriage certificate for this. I have no death date or place for him.

James and Flora had the following children:
  • H. G/Q? Morton born about 1893 in Texas. I only find this child once with the family in the 1910 census and nothing more.
  • Leota Morton born 4 Sept 1894 in Oklahoma. She married John Hugh Jenkins and they are the parents of my grandmother Olivia Joyce Jenkins. She died 1974 in Modesto, CA. Leota was in the 1910 and 1920 census with her parents. I obtained her birth and death from her Soc Sec record.
  • Conrad Morton was born 14 Jun 1902 in Arkansas, married Bessie, they had three children I've found Raymond, Dorris and J.B. and he died Aug 1985 in Maysville, Garvin Co., OK. Again his information is from the 1910, 1920 & 1930 census as well as Soc Sec record.
  • Eric Morton was born 14 Jul 1904 in Arkansas and died Jan 1978 Maysville, Garvin Co., OK. Again records are from 1910, 1920 and 1930 census records. Note in 1930 Eric was living in the home of his brother Conrad and his family.
  • Octavous Morton was born 14 Nov 1906 in Arkansas and died Jan 1977 in Maysville, Garvin Co., OK. Records are from 1910 and 1920 census and Soc Sec records.
Records I have
  • Comanche County, Texas marriage certificate for J J Morton and F I Beason issued on the 19th December 1890 and married on the 23rd.
  • 1910 census Henderson Twnp, Hot Spring Co., Arkansas. James was born in Alabama as well as both of his parents. His profession is a Teamster Log Hauler. Flora was born in AL and mother in SC and father in GA. They have been married for 19 years. At this time Flora has given birth to eight children, but only five are living (the five listed above).
  • 1920 Census Whitehead Twnp, Garvin Co., OK. Here James is 58 and a farmer and everything else is the same as before. Flora's information is pretty much the same as well.
  • 1930 Census in the same location as 1920 however I can't find Flora and James. I believe that Flora passed away in 1921. I have yet to prove that but that date is based on family. James however I do not know when he passed way, but may very well be gone by 1930. The 1930 census I found is of Conrad and his family with his both Eric living with them.
  • Social Security Death Index Records for Leota, Conrad, Eric and Octavous
Now here is a real lesson in looking at the neighbors. I noticed that in the 1920 Census there is a Henry Allen and wife Alice living a couple houses from James Morton. Then in the 1930 census the same Henry Allen and wife are living a couple houses from Conrad and Eric Morton. Also James Barber is living next door to both families in both census records. This leads me to believe that Conrad and Eric are living in the same home their parents lived in 1920. Which would also lead one to believe that it is very possible that James has passed away by 1930.

At this point I think it would be very beneficial for me to obtain a death record for James J Morton who most likely passed away between 1920 - 1930 in Maysville, Garvin Co., OK. Now there lies a challenge, but I'm sure I will find someone who can help me obtain that record at some point.

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