28 April 2009

Flora May Conner and baby girl

As a result of more than two years of research I was finally able to give my husbands grandmother the gift that she most wanted from this. When she was a child her mother Flora May Manning Conner died after giving birth. Grandma didn't even know if the child was a girl or a boy and all she ever wanted was to find where her mother was buried and return and visit her. After I found where she was buried at the
Llano Cemetery
Potter County
Texas, USA
Plot: Section 74 Lot 46 Space 1 my sister and mother-in-law were able to take her on a trip to Texas and Oklahoma so that she could visit their graves. She was saddened to find that the only thing marking their graves was a gray brick with just their first names on them. She decided then that she would give them new headstones, so she purchased these and marked their graves with a beautiful headstone. She was also happy to discover that she had a baby sister and that her parents had given her a name before the baby and her mother died.

These are the moments I look forward to in my research when I can give something special to a family member that they always wanted to know or see about their ancestors.

27 April 2009

Madness Monday, William Vaughn Cook apx 1859 - 1945

I know I've touched on the subject of my husbands great great grandfather William Vaughn COOK in the past. At that time I thought his name was spelled COOKE, but as I changed the name today and did more research I quickly discovered records for him by dropping the "e" in the surname.

Surprisingly just spending today on his file I found three census records and his Dawes Packet for Indian rights. Yet I still don't know exactly when and where he was born or who his parents were. He seems to follow the same scenario that my own great great grandfather, I posted about a couple weeks ago William Grant Woolsey, did. I can trace his life easily after his marriage, but know little to nothing prior to that time. What is it with these men?

Up until today I really only had two sources of information about William Vaughn Cooke. The first was my mother-in-law. She knew some names in her husband's family. First she knew that my husbands great grandmother was named Stella Cook and that she married James "Rubin" Ward. Their daughter was my husband's grandmother, Ruth Ann Ward. She also knew that it was Stella who was a descendant of Jesse Chisholm of OK, whom the Chisholm trail was named after. Stella's mother was Mary Chisholm the granddaughter of Jesse Chisholm. She gave me a few dates that she could remember, but not much there.

In photo is Rubin and Stella (daughter of William) Ward with baby daughter Ruth. This was likely taken around the time of the 1910 census and probably at their home in Byers, McClain Co., OK.

Mostly with the names I began my search. I got lucky and stumbled across a cousin whom still corresponds with me from time to time who exchanged more information about the Chisholm family and also pointed me toward a transcription of Mary A Chisholm's memoirs.
Even if you have no interest in the Chisholm's I highly recommend reading her memoirs. It's very interesting reading as she also speaks of many other people she grew up with and knew in her life. But of course the most important information she gave in her memoir for me at the time was of her husband William V Cooke. This is where I got the spelling of the Cook name as Cooke. I assumed she knew how to spell her own name, and I'm still not sure that the name isn't spelled with an "e". It's just none of the records I've found are spelled Cooke, but rather Cook.

For the last few years I have been at a dead end with this family, until today when I filled out one of my Individual Research Worksheets and began my search. For me I always find it useful to do a broad search for the person on Ancestry.com to see what records I might find before I tailor my searches to look for specific records. So I first searched for William Vaughn Cooke, born about 1859 in OK only to find nothing. So I tried again only I changed the surname to COOK and also added that he lived in OK (which I knew from family accounts). Voila! There he was three census records in a row; 1930 then 1920 and last a few lines down in 1910.

1930 Census in Maxwell, Pontotoc Co., OK is William COOK age 71 and Mary, wife, age 62.
1920 Census in Byers, McClain Co., OK is William COOK age 60, wife Mary age 50, Charles, son age 36, divorced, William Graham son-in-law age 33, Lavera, daughter age 26 and Edward, grandson age 8.
1910 Census in Byers, McClain Co., OK is William COOK age 51, wife Mary age 43, son Charles age 23, daughter Stella age 21, Vern 18, William 13 and Cleo age 12.

In all three of the census records William states he is born in MO as well as his mother. In two of the three he states his father is born in KY and in one in MO. Also noted that in the 1910 census the family is living next door to Rubin and Stella Ward with baby daughter Ruth. Now that is funny, Stella is listed as living in both house holds. I think someone forgot that their daughter was married the previous year and is living next door. Then I realized that I had this same record in Rubin's file. Well I had found that back when I was a rookie. I guess I didn't realize the importance of neighbors back then. Go figure!

Now I had a location for the family. Which I had suspected was their area of residence all along. According to the family all (or most all) of the COOK and CHISHOLM family members are buried in the COOK/CHISHOLM Family Cemetery in McClain County, Oklahoma and supposedly that was on the Chisholm family homestead. I've been emailing and trying to find out from people if this homestead is still in the possession of Chisholm descendants. We know it had been as of about ten years ago, but last we heard the cousin who owned it passed away. Which worries me as to rather or not the family cemetery is being cared for. Anyway I'm sure this will be an article for another day.

So next I looked for information on his burial and the family cemetery on Find-A-Grave, as well as UsGenWeb, Oklahoma, McClain County. With no luck. The only thing I did find was the Cook/Chisholm Family Cemetery listed on a list of cemeteries in McClain County.

So next I pulled up Footnote. I am having so much fun finding large files of information on family members on this site, and once again Footnote did not disappoint me. About five records down is a Dawes Packet for William V COOK. I wasn't exactly expecting this because though I knew his wife Mary was Native American I didn't think he was. But he did file for Indian rights under intermarriage laws. Included in the packet was a letter from the judge who married them confirming that they were married 19 Nov 1885 in Pontotoc Co., Chickasaw Nation. In the interview with the commissioner William states that he is forty years old, that he had lived in the area for 20 years and that his wife was Mary Chisholm of Chickasaw blood. This means that William was born about 1862 which is a bit off from all three census records that would put his birth at about 1859. He says he had lived in the Chickasaw Nation for about 20 years which means since this interview was conducted on 22 Oct 1902 that he would have moved to the area about 1882 just a few years before he married Mary.

I will keep looking and I hope to find more.

24 April 2009

Falling Walls Friday Part II - Helen Fannie Burnett Williamson

In my previous post, Falling Walls Friday Part I - Henry King Williamson, I wrote about how the Williamson wall began to crumble on Henry's wife. Today I'll continue to add to Helen Fannie Burnett's story.

So now that I know Helen Fannie Williamson was born 24 Aug 1862 somewhere in KY and died 15 Sept 1909 in Bradley, Grady Co, OK (from the family bible of Lillie Mae Woolsey, grave marker, and 1900 census of Mahulenburg, KY.), I wanted next to find her marriage to Henry King Williamson and her parents.

First I did a standard broad search of all records for Helen Fannie Burnett born about 1862 in KY and only one records came back that matched almost perfectly, except that she was called by her middle name.

1880 Census Bristow, Warren Co., KY
Burnett, John, M, W, 50, head, TN.......
Mary J, W, F, 38, wife, KY......
Fannie H, W, F, 17, dau, KY......

This is certainly a fit for my Helen. If this is her family then I can also see that Helen named her daughter (my great grandmother) after her mother. So I decided to look into this family more and see if I can't find something that will prove this is Helen's family.

Next I find the John Burnett family in the 1900 census in Bristow, Warren Co., KY. Still living in the same place they were twenty years prior. This time John is 69 years old and thanks to the 1900 census I also find out that he was born Oct 1830 in TN. This time there is no wife listed, only three more sibling.......oh and what's this a Williamson living in their home. The last name listed in the household is a William Williamson, son-in-law.......wait so does this mean that two of John's daughters married Williamson boys. It's very possible. It may be just a coincidence, but it gives one more clue that may connect Helen to this family. He was born 1872 in KY. So that would make him six years younger than Henry. It's very likely that this William is a younger brother or a cousin to Henry King Williamson the husband of Helen F Burnett. I will need to conduct a search later for Henry and his family and see if he has a younger brother or a cousin named William that fits this man.

I continued looking for Helen though by searching the Death records in Kentucky for John Burnett. My hope was that maybe I could find Helen's name listed as the informant or even be lucky enough to find an obit with her name in it. Here is what I did find though.......

Kentucky Death Records, Reg Dist 1121, Reg # 16289, Prim. Reg Dist 7746, County of Warren, Vet Pet. Sunny Side Mashale?.
John Burnett
died: 1 July 1921
DOB: 22 Oct 1830 (definitely fits the John in 1900 Census and in 1880 most likely too)
Father: Vinson Burnett born in TN
Mother: Unknown
Informant: J W Burnett of Franklin, KY (likely the son listed in the 1880 Census of John and Mary, James W)
Okay so I know this John died in Warren Co., KY. So let's find out where he was buried. That turned out to be a short search. I went to the UsGenWeb, Kentucky, Warren County site and searched the cemeteries....a couple cemeteries later I had it.

Bowling Green, Warren Co., KY, Fairview Cemetery
John Burnett 10/22/1830 - 7/1/1921 (no doubt this is the John in the death record above, but the question remains is he Helen's father?)
Mary J Burnett w/o John 2/8/1843 - 11/20/1890 (so according to the transcription she is the wife of John. This leads to a conclusion that the family of John and Mary with child Fannie is this same couple. Their ages are correct as the 1880 census. But still not proof of Helen's parents)

Okay so I quit there. I think my best bet is to stop spending time on this family until I can connect this family to my Helen with out a shadow of doubt. I decide to find someone in Warren Co., KY to search courthouse records for a probate or will for John Burnett. So my next step was to go to Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, Kentucky and find someone who can search this area of records. I did find one gal listed, so I emailed her. I hope she is able to do the search and that something shows up in the records. If I get lucky and she find a probate it should list Helen (or Fannie as they may have called her) with her married name and give her place of residence. Though I do have to consider that John died many years after is daughter, so in that case it may list her husband or their children if he even left them anything in his will. If not then I'll go back to the drawing board.

I also tried to find a marriage records for Helen and Henry which might have her parents name, but with no luck. I suspect they were married in KY, though TX or OK are a possibility I would say not likely.

So for now I will wait and see if I can get the help I need from Warren Co., KY in finding records on John Burnett.

23 April 2009

Falling Walls Friday Part I - Henry King Williamson and Helen

I wrote a couple weeks ago in my Madness Monday about Henry King Williamson. Well unfortunately he is still a brick wall. However, I also wrote a deal about his wife Helen F. Let's just say though I need more proof to fully disintegrate this wall, it certainly is crumbling. I think I may have found her parents and even grandparents in KY.

It all started last week when my dad's cousin, Debbie whom we haven't heard from in many years read my Madness Monday post.....imagine that! So it does really work to post your brick walls! She emailed me and began to fill in some blanks right away. She had a family bible that had been my great Aunt Lillie Mae Woolsey's bible. Lillie Mae had never married and had no children, so some how Debbie ended up with her bible. Here is what she sent me transcribed from the bible.

We have one of Lillie Mae's Bibles and the Family Register shows the following information:

Mary Joan Williamson's Family
Date of Birth: Sept. 1, 1890 in KY
Date of Death: July, 1981
Buried: Elmore City , OK - Garvin County

H. K. Williamson (father)
Date of Birth: April 10, 1866
Date of Death: Feb. 4, 1931
Helen Fannie Burnett (mother)
Date of Birth: Aug. 24, 1862
Date of Death: Sept. 15, 1909

Ewing Richard Woolsey's Family
Date of Birth: Sept. 6, 1890
Date of Birth: Feb. 15, 1959
Buried: Elmore City , OK - Garvin County
W. G. Woolsey (father)
Date of Birth: December 15, 1865
Date of Death: June 26, 1913
Buried: Lindsay , OK - Garvin County
Lillie A. Graham (mother)
Date of Birth: June 20, 1873
Date of Death: March 23, 1951
Buried: Lindsay , OK - Garvin County

Mary Joan Williamson married Ewing Richard Woolsey on June 3, 1911 in Bradley , OK at W. G. Woolsey's home.

So now I have Helen's maiden name, when she was born and died as well as birth and death dates for Henry. All information I didn't have before.

I don't know why but I choose to start doing my search on Helen. I finally had a clue on her death. I wouldn't call bible records proof, but they are rather a clue. They can sometimes be wrong. But I had a feeling that she had died after 1900 and before 1910 based on the 1900 and 1910 census records I already had of the family. So this tells me that she did in fact died before 1910. Now the next question is where and where is she buried. So I took this opportunity to use a new form I discovered and wrote about on my Wordless Wednesday post Family History Made Easy. I don't want to take up to much room, so I'll just do a quick overview of how I did to find this piece of information.

Research Objective:
Find the place of death for Helen F Burnett Williamson.

Known Facts:
  • 1900 Census family in Central City Mahlenburg, KY
  • 1910 Census family with out Helen in Grady Co., OK
  • Husband is Henry King Williamson
  • According to Mary Joann Williamson told to her children that her family lived in St Joe Texas before Oklahoma.
  • She died 15 Sep 1909
  • Born 24 Aug 1862 in KY.
Working Hypothesis:
  • It's possible she died in Muhlenburg Co., KY based on the last known place she lived and we find her with the family in 1900
  • She died in Grady Co., OK based on her death being so close in time to the 1910 census where we find her husband and children after her death.
  • She died in Saint Joe, Texas based on the account of her daughter about living there between OK and KY.
Research Strategy:
  1. Quick search of death records on Footnote and Ancestry.com for her.
  2. Search Muhlenburg Co., KY on USGenWeb
  3. same for Grady, OK
  4. same for St Joe, TX
  5. Search Find-A-Grave for a burial
  6. Search Genealogy Trails if the three counties are hosted and have information yet.
  1. Nothing for Footnote of Ancestry
  2. Nothing in Muhlenburg that fit
  3. Found!! Bradley Cemtery in Grady Co., OK on the USGenWeb archives for Bradley Cemtery "Williamson, Helen 1863, 19??, W2-7." Ironicly I've search this site before when I was looking for grandma Woolsey two daughters that died while they were still in OK. So Helen's two great granddaughter Mary Leota Woolsey 1956 and Marcella Ann Woolsey 1958 are buried right there in the same cemetery. At the time I found that records I did not know Helen was even their great grandmother. It makes you wonder how many other relatives I'll come back here to find later.

Transcription of Cemetery: Bradley Cem, Grady Co., OK, UsGenWeb Archives, Cemeteries, Bradley, Transcribed by Molly Nye.

Final Conclusion:

Helen died in Grady Co., OK and is buried in Bradley Cemetery. Bradley Cemetery is free and only for residents. So since the family was in Bradley in 1910 and she is buried there it's likely she died there.

So now I know Helen Fannie (Burnett) Williamson died 15 Sep 1909 most likely in Bradley, Grady Co., Ok and is buried in the Bradley Cemetery.

Now on to the next part. I think I'm on the trail to finding her parents, but I will continue this part tomorrow as this post is getting long enough and I've got to go to work.

22 April 2009

Wordless Wednessday - Woolsey Family Bible

In staying with my latest research I thought I'd post the pages from my Grandma Woolsey's bible (Olivia Joyce Jenkins Woolsey).
These are marriages of my Grandpa Woolsey's parents and siblings.
Deaths of Grandpa Woolsey's Grandparents.

Marriage License of Grandpa Woolsey's Grandparents. W.G Woolsey and Lillie Ann Graham.Various births in the Woolsey family.

21 April 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Mary Joann Williamson Woolsey

Thanks to the wonderful volunteers of Find-A-Grave (this time David Hawk)
I was able to add one more piece to my history of my great grand parents
Ewing Richard WOOLSEY and Mary Joann WILLIAMSON Woolsey.
Mary Joann is the daughter in my Madness Monday post of

Born: 1 Sep 1890 in KY
Died: Jul 1981 in Elmore City, Garvin Co., Oklahoma

Ewing Richard WOOLSEY
Born: 6 Sep 1890 in OK
Died: 1959 in Elmore City, Garvin Co., Oklahoma

They are buried together at Elmore City Cemetery, Block 34, Lot 7

20 April 2009

Madness Monday- William "Billy" Grant WOOLSEY

This has been one of my most serious brick walls. I often understand when a wife is a brick wall because it generally means that I don't know her maiden name, but the men are usually a different matter. In this case I think it may be a case where I don't really know the name he was given at birth. If the story that has been told in the family is true then William ran away from home. Here is how it was told to me by my Aunt who told me this is how William would often tell the story.
"I was born in Iowa. I ran away from home as a young lad because of my abusive Irish stepmother. I stowed away on a wagon train headed west. By the time they discovered me it was too late to turn back . And that's all I'm going to say about that."
He never went into detail about his family or where he was from. The only other detail that was discovered through his life is that he says he named one or two of his daughters after his sisters. So we know he had sisters, but we don't know how many or which names were in honor of his sisters. He had four daughter, Minnie, May, Eva and Bulah. So this doesn't tell me a lot.

Here is what I do know.
  • 15 Dec 1865 William Grant WOOLSEY was born in Iowa (from family bible owned by granddaughter Lillie Mae and now in possession of her great niece Debbie as well as 1900 and 1910 census)
  • 8 Dec 1889 Marriage to Lillie Ann GRAHAM in Montague Co., TX the daughter of James GRAHAM and Sarah THOMPSON. (From their marriage certificate)
  • 6 Sep 1890 birth of first child Ewing Richard WOOLSEY in Garvin Co., OK (a different family bible then list above, and same for rest of list and 1900 & 1910 census)
  • 11 Jan 1893 birth of Minnie A WOOLSEY (family bible and 1900 & 1910 census)
  • 1 Jan 1895 birth of Eva Pamerila WOOLSEY (family bible and 1900 & 1910 census)
  • 1900 W.G with wife and children in Chickasaw Nation, Indian Teritory, Badly damaged record. Though visible he states birth month as Dec and birth year as possibly 1867? He and Lillie have been married 10 years. Born in Iowa, father & mother both born in TN (there had been talk in the family that they were from TN, but unproven). The rest of the families birth month and all is unreadable. ( 1900 Census, Indian Teritory, Chicasaw Nation, Township no-3, no -R, no-6, Enumeration Dist Co., 119?, Sheet no 10, Enumerate on 18 June 1900 by Henry H Gattelemy.)
  • Mar 1901 birth of May WOOLSEY (family bible and 1910 census)
  • 15 Apr 1904 birth of James Buford WOOLSEY (family bible and 1910 census)
  • 7 Oct 1906 birth of Bulah Leah WOOLSEY (family bible and 1910 census)
  • 10 Jan 1910 birth John Wesley WOOLSEY (family bible and 1910 census)
  • 1910 William and family in Bradley, Grady Co., OK. Apparently in the same place as ten years previous, only now OK was a state and counties were formed. He states his age as 45 again putting him born in 1867, though from family records and headstone we know he was born in 1865. Married 21 years with seven children. Born in IA and parents both born in IN (this conflict earlier census, but his place stays the same) (1910 Census, Oklahoma, Grady Co., Bradley, Supervisor Dist. No 5, Enumeration Dist No 91, Sheet no. 3, Enumerated by Chas Callinon on 21 & 22 of ??? 1910.)
  • 26 June 1913 William died in Garvin Co., OK and is buried at the Erin Springs cemetery in Garvin Co., Oklahoma. His wife was later buried beside him.
So I know it sounds like I know quit a bit, but in reality we know nothing before his marriage to Lillie. I'm not really even sure that his birth date is correct. The only reason I have that is because it was recorded in two different family bibles. So then why can't I find any record to back it up. The census records put him younger than the family bibles do, why is that? I also know nothing about his family. I have researched almost every WOOLSEY family in the Iowa census from 1860 through 1900. I've also spent a lot of time tracing the many lines that descent from Richard Woolsey of NY (original Immigrant) and many of those lines are in TN around the time of Williams birth which according to the census may be a possibility but no one matched at all.

I know and before you send me a copy of the 1870 Census of a William Woolsey, son of William and Armile WOOLSEY living in Humbolt, Allen, KS......I've already traced this family. At one time I made the mistake and got so excited thinking I had finally found him. I later found him as a border in Spring Creek and Bell Fourche, Lawrence, Dakota Territory in the 1880 probably as a ranch hand. Then ironically I found him in 1920 and 1930 living right here in Spokane, WA about 30 minutes from my home. When I know that my William G WOOLSEY was definitely in Oklahoma married to Lillie, not here married to Kate. Then later I had the great great grandson of that William Woolsey contact me and he is buried here as well. We compared notes and came to a definite conclusion that our William's were two different men though born near the same time and in the same place moved in two different directions. We also believe that the William and Armile as parents of William in KS in the 1870 Census are in fact his family, not mine.

There are a few other possible matches, but so far they have not yielded anything. But my fear is that maybe William Grant WOOLSEY was not his name when he was a child. If the story is true and he was very young when he left Iowa he may have been adopted and taken on another name. Why would he never talk about it? Maybe he wasn't that young. There has also been a rumor shared with me that he ran with a gang robbing stage coaches. I didn't believe it, so I didn't write down where I got that information, but now after all this time looking I sometimes wonder if there was an element of a criminal past and he changed his name. These are all just speculations, but they keep me looking. Wondering why, who, where when and how? What was his life like before he married Lillie?

18 April 2009

Prompt #15 Records Anomolies

He was born when? That's not right. What is that last name? Wow no wonder I could not find them. Oh my God he's lying through his teeth. If you've been doing research for long you see documents that make you say this all the time. I'll share a couple of my head-scratchers with you today.

first is a document I knew about but just got a copy of it yesterday. It's the application of William M Riddle for his Mississippi Choctaw rights. I believe it's very likely that he was Choctaw as he is trying to claim but the problem was in reality his family did not comply with the treaty of 1830. which made him ineligible for annuities.He has trouble keeping his story straight. Not only that I have found the family in TN, KY, and IN but not in MS. I think with this and his lack of proof that this family complies to the treaty ended in his being denied. It looks like he kept at it for about two more years and never got it.

My next anomaly was that of my husbands grandmother's birth certificate she had told us that even the state of Oklahoma could never find her birth certificate when she applied for social security. So they used her school records to establish her birth date, but even they didn't match. So I contacted a dear genealogy friend, Jeanette Coaly (she is actually a distant cousin) but she also runs the museum in Harmon County, Oklahoma where I knew grandma was born. Here is what she found.

I'm not going to show the whole certificate as she is still living, but here is the area of problem. There is a serious mix up of names. Had grandma not been born as a twin we may have never found that, but as a result Jeanette was able to look for twins born during that year and narrow her search to only a few in that county. However, only one had names similar to Grandma's parents. I say similar because their first names were correct, but not the last. Here in lied the problem. Her parents were Ernest "Joe" Conner (not Manning) and Flora Mae Manning (not Master). So the person recording the record I think may have been off by a line or something because they gave Joe his wife's maiden name as his surname and Flora, well I don't know where her name came from.

Now we could see why Grandma was unable to find her birth certificate because the state was looking for a girl born on the date she said and to her correct parents. But in fact not only was their name wrong on the record, but I think her father's memory failed him and he registered her for school with the birth date that was acutely her mother's death date, but the right years. It's no wonder they couldn't find her certificate. However, the family lore was that Joe took the kids, ran to Arizona, changed the spelling of the last name to Connor instead of Conner and also mixed up the kids birth dates to hide them because he was afraid that the orphanage would come take them away from him again. You can read more about her story in my previous post.

There are so many more I could share, but the point is when you look at or for documents keep in mind that people lied, memories fails, facts were recorded wrong, and illiteracy and foreign accents made getting the facts difficult. So when you know a record should exist in a place, spell names wrong, keep dates and time frames open and even search surrounding counties. Sometimes it's a case of changing borders. But never give up. It's there. Also use siblings and other relatives to find your ancestors. It's like a puzzle. Sometimes you need to assemble the surrounding pieces before you can find the one you want.

15 April 2009

Beloved Uncles

My favorite uncle is my Uncle Dewight. He is my uncle by marriage. He is married to my mom's twin sister. So I guess it was natural that he became my favorite uncle. He was always there. We all went to church together, family get togethers all the time, lived near each other and us kids were always together, even going to school together.

Uncle Dewight is the kind of uncle that always has open arms ready for a big hug. He never meets a stranger and never has anthing mean to say about anyone. He has got the biggest heart. My mom and her twin sister both picked wonderful men who treat them and everyone else very well.

One of Uncle Dewights cworks is his story telling though. Boy can he build up a story. We always keep in mind that any story he tells is only partially true, and you've got to throw out the embelishments to get to the truth. But you can't help but love his story telling. I truly miss my Aunt Mary and Uncle Dewight since we've moved up here.

Mom and Aunt Mary have a younger sister, Dawna, who lived up here in Idaho with her husband Uncle Edy when I was growing up. I've had more of a chance to get to know them over the last ten years. But we still don't get together often enough. My Uncle Edy is fun to be around and a loving uncle as well, he just doesn't embelish his stories quit so much.

In this photo you can see all of them together. This is my favorite photo of them because it shows them perfectly as they are. When you get the six of the together (the three sisters and their husbands) you have a he haw fest. It's always a lot of laughs with them around.
L-R Uncle Dewight, Aunt Mary, Aunt Dawna, Uncle Edy, Mom and Dad.

But I can't forget Dad's side of the family. Although he had five brothers.....two I never knew, two I didn't have anything to do with (alcholism can tear apart a family), and only one did I feel close to, Uncle Jerry. He is in these photos in the burgundy shirt also holding his granddaughter. He was much older than my dad and as a result his children were much older then us. But I remember visits with them when I was younger. His girls like to dote over my brother and I. Uncle Jerry is a very loving and caring Uncle. I guess my biggest regret is that we didn't take time to see more of him.

Also in the photos is my great uncle Jim Jenkins. He is the only great uncle I have left and honestly I don't really know him. These were taken after the funeral for my grandmother Olivia Joyce Jenkins Woolsey. She was his sister.

Another Uncle that I remember was my Great Uncle Lloyd. He was married to Geneva the sister of my Grandpa Albert Woolsey. He was a real card. A practicle joker. He use to love to play pranks and then just he haw like crazy. He was a jolly old man. He's the kind of person you meet once and you never forget. I wished I had a photo here of him, but my mom has them.

Wordless Wednesday - Family History Made Easy

I've got to give credit to Lisa Cooke for this wonderful post. You can read about her podcast Family History: Genealogy Made Easy or listed to her podcast episode #20.

Don't forget to download the form that goes with it. This is a very useful form and will help many of you if you are new to or seasoned in genealogy.

I also have a form that I use almost exclusively to help me do my research, keep track of my findings, keep my finding in the order I found them with plenty of room for source information and notes. If you would like a copy just contact me through here or email.

14 April 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Mary Ellen (Hayes) Roe

This is a tribute to my Grandmother, Mary Ellen (Hayes) Roe.

I received two wonderful gifts this Easter. I had put out two requests for pictures of the headstone of my Mom's mother, Mary and my Dad's parents. Both were sent to me the same day, on Easter Sunday. I'll post the headstone of my Dad's parents next week.

You can read more about Mary Ellen on her Find-A-Grave Memorial. She was a remarkable woman. Tough as nails but I found a closeness to her. I think because I respected her. She didn't give her love easily and freely to just anyone. But those she loved she truly loved. We lost her to cancer just a few days before I graduated from high school. It was a bitter sweet time for me.

13 April 2009

Madness Monday, Samuel D Riddle

Samuel D Riddle was my mother-in-laws grandfather. I meet his son, her father, Samuel Clifton Riddle (in photo) on a couple occasions before he died. He was a honorary old man. Full of fire. A cowboy to the core who didn't understand the generations that followed him. The first time I meet him I think he was impressed that his grandson, my husband, was falling in love with a cowgirl. Back then I was thin and looked cute in the wrangler jeans and cowboy boots. But I was also a real cowgirl that got in the dirt with the animals. I was in FFA in high school at the time he first introduced us. Near the end he lived in an old camping trailer on one of the families properties. As long as his TV worked and he had his coffee he was happy. That's one of the last things I remember about him was his telling a family member that they needed to get him coffee. He was almost out. He died some time later and we never got back over there to visit him. I often regret that we didn't take the time to spend with him more. We moved to Idaho before he passed away and never saw him again.

With Samuel Clifton RIDDLE I was able to get a great deal of information on him. But it was his father Samuel D RIDDLE and his mother Daisy Dollie UNKOWN that keep my scratching my head.

Here is what I do know. Sam D RIDDLE was born about 1877 1,2,3,4 in KY the son of William M RIDDLE and Harriet F UNKOWN5 . He was married twice. The first marriage I have never found, it is only referenced to in the 1910 Federal Census that his then marriage of one year to Dollie was his second. This would mean that Sam and Dollie (Daisy) were married about 1909. I believe the most likely place was where I found them in the 1910 census in Wilson Twp, Atoka, OK. This census also helped to establish who Sam’s father was. Living with Sam and Daisy was William M RIDDLE, father, age 65, widowed born in NC and James A. H. RIDDLE brother, aged 40, widowed born in KY.

From there I was able to find Sam and Daisy again in the 1930 Census in Ponca, Kay, OK. Sam was 53 and his first marriage was at the age of 30, again confirming that there was a marriage prior to Daisy since he was about 32 when he married Daisy. This one also confirms that he was born in KY but this time gives me so much more. It lists his father as born in KY (ok so 1910 said NC, mistakes happen in these census records. It all depends on who gave the information) but this time also says he is of mixed blood but does not say what. Then it lists his mother as born in SC and that she is Choctaw Indian. This is the first real proof I found to back up what the family had been telling me for years that the Riddles were Native American. His wife Daisy is 40 married at age 18 (the age she was when she married Sam) born in OK, father no birth placed but again listed as mixed blood and mother no birth place but listed as Pottawamie. So again this confirms that Daisy is nearly full blooded Native American, though the family thought that she was full blooded I believe she was mixed, but nearly full. Children are Jewel J age 12, Samuel C age 10 (my husbands grandfather), Willie F age 6, Earl E age 3 6/12, which all of these children were confirmed by my mother-in-law as her Aunts and Uncles. But then we get one more little mystery also listed with the family as a daughter of Sam is a Bertha Keith age 19 married at age 18 born in OK. This would put her born just after the 1910 census. But here is the interesting part. The family doesn’t know her. They had never heard of Sam C’s sister Bertha. So what happened to Bertha? Oh boy just another mystery to solve. I’ll figure this one out later.

Then I find the family in the 1920 census in Jackson Twp, Coal, OK Sam is 43, Daisy 33, Bertha 9 (ok so here she is again and she is in fact their daughter), Jewel J 1 9/12, and Clifton less than a month old. This one didn’t tell me a whole lot other then just more proof of relationship.

Then I went back further in time to find Sam D Riddle with his parents in the 1880 census. For some reason I have never been able to find Sam D Riddle in the 1900 census. If I could I think it would begin to shed more light on vital information like giving me his month and year of birth, but so far no luck. So in 1880 I find the William M RIDDLE family in Tracey, Barren, KY. William M RIDDLE age 34, head, Farm laborer born in TN and parents in TN, wife Harriet F age 39 born in SC (which matches the 1930 census where Sam’s mother is listed as born in SC) and parents in SC, son James A age 13, KY, daughter Mary E age 9 KY, son John H age 7 KY, son Samuel D age 5 KY, and son Marian S age 1 KY.

I know it sounds like I have a lot on the Riddle family and I do, but only enough to show family relationships and approximate dates, but nothing that is full proof of birth, marriage or death. According to the family Samuel D RIDDLE died before 1945. I think my mother-in-law was basing that on the fact that she was told that Samuel D RIDDLE died before her mother and father were married in Mar 1945. I assume he died in OK as most of the family still lived in OK at that time. Though her parents Sam Clifton RIDDLE and Estelle Conner (in photo above) where living in and married in Phoenix, AZ in 1945.

I would like to be able to find proof of Samuel D RIDDLE’s birth, marriages and death dates and places. Likely places of birth would be Barren county, KY where I found the family in 1880. First marriage I really have no clue where is happened though then would have been about 1907 two years prior to his marriage to Daisy. Likely she died. Marriage to Daisy was most likely in 1909 in Atoka County, OK where I find them one year later. Then his death I explained in previous paragraph would have been before 1945 and most likely somewhere in OK, though the last known place was in 1930 in Kay County, OK.
1 Ancestry.com, 1930 United States Federal Census, Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2002, Online publication - Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2002.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930.T626, 2,667 rolls. Ponca City, Kay, Oklahoma, ED 42, roll 1909, page , image 333.0.
2 Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census, Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005, Online publication - Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited use license and other terms and conditions applicable to this site.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1880.T9, 1,454 rolls. Tracy, Barren, Kentucky, ED 12, roll T9_402, page 130.2000, image 0263.
3 Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census, Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006, Online publication - Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1910.T624, 1,178 rolls. Wilson, Atoka, Oklahoma, ED , roll T624_1242, part , page .
4 Ancestry.com, 1920 United States Federal Census, Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005, Year: 1920; Census Place: Jackson, Coal, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1457; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 214; Image: 853., Birth date: abt 1877Birth place: KentuckyResidence date: 1920Residence place: Jackson, Coal, Oklahoma.
5 Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census, Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005, Online publication - Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited use license and other terms and conditions applicable to this site.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Tenth Census of the United States, 1880. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1880.T9, 1,454 rolls. Tracy, Barren, Kentucky, ED 12, roll T9_402, page 130.2000, image 0263.

11 April 2009

Weekly Prompt #14 Technology used in research

Okay that list really can go on and on. I'm a computer geek. I want and like to do it all on the computer. But no matter how hard I try to do it all on the computer I can't help but do some old school hard copy work too. So first I'll refer you back to my old post The Organized Genealogist for help in keeping those files straight.

But for the technical end I use a few different software for organizing my notes on the computer:
  • Family Tree Maker - I would say this one is my favorite. I think the feature I use the most is the ability to select an ancestor and the click on the Internet symbol and have the software use the information I have for that ancestor to search Ancestry.com for all articles, documents and other people research that may relate to that person. I also like the reports I can make and save to a PDF file in order to share my work with others.
  • Family Tree Legends - This one though it does not work with Ancestry.com it does have it's own online database you can search. I just have yet to find much there. I find this software to have a more user friendly layout. Especially for a first time user or someone who isn't all that up to date on computers. With all of it's icons and layout I think it would be even simple enough for a child to use. So those of you who are trying to get your children interested in genealogy I highly recommend Family Legends.
  • GenSmarts - Another very useful tool. I like this because I can pull the information I enter into my genealogy software into GenSmart where it will analyze the information and give me a list of places and records that are most likely to yield answers to what I am looking for. I can use it on a whole family group or I can isolate to one person. So if you are looking for marriage, death or birth information for example it will use information you have entered about that person and related family members to determine the most likely location and records that will yield the information you are looking for. It also tells you what information can be found online and even provide a link to go right to the information. This is also very useful when planning a road trip in search of your ancestors. Based on information in your genealogy software it will give you a list of locations to search in for your ancestors as well as the records to look in. It's just another helpful tool in keeping you organized and on the path to finding answer quickly without going in circles.
So that's the software that I use in organizing and researching my family history. I would also like to add one more tool I use. Heritage Makers and now Ancestry.com have online books you can make to preserve the history, photos and memories you find for your family. Heritage Makers has amazing digital scrapbooking to create some beautiful books.

10 April 2009

Smile for the Camera - A Noble Life

This is of my daughter at age two walking hand in hand with her Grandpa Crooks while the family was exploring the train station in Jamestown, CA. While learning a little history we were making a little of our own.

I know this isn't exactly genealogy or ancestor material. But as much time as we all spend looking for our ancestor (it in it self is a noble deed and our descendants will hopefully greatly respect that some day) we need to stop and spend time treasuring those we are still blessed to have around us. Listen to their stories and record them. The more we do to preserve those we still have around us the easier it will be for those who come after us to know their ancestors.

If there is ever a noble deed I wished my ancestors had done and that is that they had preserved their history and passed it down. Even my own grandparents (whom three of them I have memories of) I can only find bits and pieces. There were no journals, bibles, or much that tells us of their lives. Photos yes in some family groups, and in others there aren't even any photos. There are pieces that I know should exist but are unfortunately in the hands of stingy family members who think they are the only ones to have the right to that history. Now that would be a truly Noble deed if people would stop being so stingy with family history and see the importance of sharing and maybe even creating a bigger picture of history with their whole family.

I just didn't have any Noble family photos or history. My family though was noble in the hard work they did to make this country from those who fought in wars to those who worked the farms that feed everyone around them. But the biggest Noble act that find time after time in my research of my family is that they truly loved family. Family was the most important thing to them and everything they did they did out of love.

09 April 2009

George Stewart 1866-1941

Unlike many buried here at the Old Paupers Cemetery George A Stewart was actually born here in the Northwest. He was born 21 May 18661 . I have yet to determine which one of the many Stewart family with a son named George born in 1866 in Oregon is his.

George came to Post Falls, Kootenai County, Idaho some time before 1910. As best I can tell he remained a single man, never married and never had children. George was a farmer and it appears that his farm was somewhere between Hwy 41, Hayden, Poline and Atlas.2,3,4

George died 19 June 1941 at the age of 755 . As best I can tell he had no family around here, which may explain how he ended up in the Old Paupers cemetery. There was no family to claim his body and give him a burial, so it feel to the county to bury him.

George Stewart unfortunately is one of the many that we do not know exactly where he is buried. Until someone comes across some map of the Old Paupers Cemetery I’m afraid his grave will always remain unmarked as he rest with many others under the pine trees on the hill.

1 Ancestry.com. Idaho Death Index, 1911-51 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003. Original data: Bureau of Health Policy and Vital Statistics. Idaho Death Index, 1911-51. Boise, ID, USA: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

2 Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Lincoln, Kootenai, Idaho; Roll: 401; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 40; Image: 308.0.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2002. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.

3 Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Post Falls, Kootenai, Idaho; Roll: T625_291; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 195; Image: 802.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 on roll 323 (Chicago City. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1920. T625, 2,076 rolls.

4 Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Post Falls, Kootenai, Idaho; Roll: T624_225; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 175; Image: 455.
Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1910. T624, 1,178 rolls.

5 Ancestry.com. Idaho Death Index, 1911-51 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003. Original data: Bureau of Health Policy and Vital Statistics. Idaho Death Index, 1911-51. Boise, ID, USA: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

08 April 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Spring Cleaning

Can you say........SPRING CLEANING!!!

I'm on vacation this week so this is one of my tasks to complete, my basement. We had an icicle go through a basement window this winter (in another room at the back of the basement) so myself and everyone else has just been running down and dumping off what ever needed to go in the basement and then running back up. It was freezing down there. Not to mention who wants to be in a dark dreary basement when it's already dreary and gray outside.

But with spring now here there is some sunshine coming through the broken window to the back of the basement and the fresh air coming through the broken window makes it not so musky down there. So it's time for some spring cleaning. I already tackled a few things on the main floor on Monday.

The room in the picture is suppose to be my office and sewing room which are both up stairs in the front room right now until we finish sheet rocking this room. The wood floor is down and then it'll just need a coat of paint and I'll be ready to move in. I hope to move in this summer for good. I was down there until the window broke, so I guess we'll need to fix that too.

06 April 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

A fitting tribute to a well known marshal of the wild west.
I loved the cowboy hat hanging on the stone.
Ready more about Morgan Earp and his brothers at the
shootout at the OK Corral.

Madness Monday - Henry King Williamson

Photo: Mary and Ewing Woolsey with children L-R Lillie Mae, Geneva, Albert (my grandfather) and Alton.

Mary was the daughter of Henry King Williamson and Helen F. Her full name was Mary Joann Williamson.

Mary is not my brick wall. My family knew her name, where and when she was born and died and of course who she married and who her children were. However, her parents are a slight mystery. I have bits and pieces of information and details that I suspect relate to them, but nothing conclusive. It's one of those cases where the census records tell me just enough to lead me on but not enough to make it fact or lead me to the facts.

With this one I am going to take you backward in time and walk you through the bits and pieces as I found of them.

The first piece of information I found was my grandfather, Albert Woolsey's, social security death record. On it lists his mother's maiden name as Williamson. Now I knew her first name was Mary. I even remember talking to my Grandma Olivia Woolsey (Albert's wife) about her as a child. I even meet her once that I can remember on a visit to Oklahoma as a child. She died in 1981 followed by the death of my grandfather.

So with this little bit of information gathered from family and a social security record I began looking for her in the census records. So I find Ewing and Mary in the 1930 census living where I expected in Brady, Garvin, Oklahoma where the family lived for generations. This gave me just a bit more to let me know that Mary was born about 1891 in KY and married Ewing about 1909. Great this means she should still be with her family in 1900. So I'll skip the rest of the Woolsey family that I know.

I jumped to looking for a Mary Williamson born about 1891 in KY living in OK in the 1900 census. Here she is as the daughter of Henry K Williamson and Helen F. But not in OK. She is still in KY at this time.

1900 United States Federal Census
about Mary Williamson

Name: Mary Williamson
Home in 1900: Central City, Muhlenberg, Kentucky
Age: 9
Birth Date: Sep 1890
Birthplace: Kentucky
Race: White
Ethnicity: American
Gender: Female
Relationship to head-of-house: Daughter
Father's Name: Henry R Or K
Father's Birthplace: Kentucky
Mother's Name: Helen F
Mother's Birthplace: Kentucky
Marital Status: Single
Residence : Central City Town, Muhlenberg, Kentucky
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Henry R Or K Williamson 34
Helen F Williamson 36
Browner Williamson 11
Mary Williamson 9
Lelie M Williamson 4
Burnett Williamson 2/12


View original image
And look at that she had a sister named Lelie (probably spelled Lillie) M Williamson. I bet she named her daughter Lillie Mae after her sister. Okay now I'm on the right path. Now I know her father is Henry K Williamson born Apr 1866 in KY and mother is Helen F born Aug 1863 in KY. Now I must back up. I forgot that I did find the social security record for Mary Woolsey and her birth date is 1 Sept 1890 and death Jul 1981. This Mary is born Sept 1890. This has to be the right family. So I kept looking and I'll be, there I find Henry Williamson living next door to W.G Woolsey (another brick wall for another day and the father of Ewing) in 1910 in Bradley, Grady, OK. That's it. This has to be the right family. Here we go again with the Woolsey boys marring the girl next door. The same thing happened with my parents.

1910 United States Federal Census
about Mary Williamson

Name: Mary Williamson
Age in 1910: 19
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1891
Birthplace: Kentucky
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Father's Name: H K
Father's Birth Place: Kentucky
Mother's Birth Place: Kentucky
Home in 1910: Bradley, Grady, Oklahoma
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Gender: Female
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
H K Williamson 45
B L Williamson 21
Mary Williamson 19
Lottie Williamson 14
Burnett Williamson 10
Henry Roy Williamson 7
Now this gives me just a few more details to Mary's family. Helen is not with them. I suspect that she has passed away by this time, though I still have no proof when she died. There is also another sibling to Mary, Henry Roy who is Seven. So this means that likely Helen is his mother as well and alive in 1903. So though I have no proof this gives me a time frame to look for the death of Helen F Williamson between 1903 and 1910 but I have no idea where she died. Henry Roy is listed in the census as being born in TX, they were in KY in 1900 and now in OK in 1910. So her death could have occured in any of these places, but most likely TX or OK. So there is my first brick wall that I still have not broken through.

But let's get back to Henry. I tried to find out when Henry died. I suspect since I can't find him in the 1920 or 1930 census that he must have died between 1910 and 1920 in OK, but again that's just a therory.

So I went further back in time to see if I can't find Henry's family, and I do find two census records that fit Henry. The first was 1880 in Clay, Logan County, KY. I find an H. R Williamson (the census was unreadable to me, so I suspect it should have been H. K. but they couldn't read it.) age 15 born in KY, father I. H. and mother Mary. He is a mail carrier. I bet that has a bit of a story to it considering it was the late 19th century. He was a farmer later in life. Then in 1870 I find the family in Davis, Lafayette County, MO. They are living in the home of Sarah Vanmetter. I don't know if she is any relation to them or not. This is 1870 where relationships where not recorded. It may be worth looking into this family as Mary Williamson is very close in age to the children of Sarah Vanmetter. But that's a search for another day. Again their oldest child is Henry K 4 years old which corrilates to the 1880 census.

This is where it all ends. I can't seem to find anything more.

Locations of the family:
Brady, Garvin, Oklahoma,
Central City, Muhlenberg, Kentucky,
Bradley, Grady, OK,
Clay, Logan County, KY,
Davis, Lafayette County, MO

01 April 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This is one of my favorite photos of my dad and I.
Do you see a common family trait?

Now here is my daughter. Probably a little older.
Now do you see our family trait?