Inspirational Message

Inspirational Message

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cousins in the Civil War

My 2x great grandfather, John Cope Louthan, was a Union soldier from Washington county, Ohio.  He, along with his brother, Oliver Perry Louthan, fought in the 36th OVI.  His younger brother, James Fife Louthan, fought in the 73rd OVI along with a future brother-in-law, Alexander M Ellis.  Many years ago, I ordered all four pension files from NARA.  I am so glad I did that as they have a wealth of wonderful information allowing me to glimpse into their lives and their struggles.

I decided to search for their cousins, both full and half.  You see, the father of the Louthan boys died when they were young, about 1845, and their mother remarried.  Their mother was a Hayes/Hays.   She married an Ormiston in Washington county, Ohio. After the Civil War, John Cope Louthan married Anna Jane Haddow.  Anna Jane's mother was an Ormiston.

I focused my search for Hayes/Hays, Ormiston and Haddow.

My first stop was the National Parks website for Soldiers and Sailors.  Technical difficulties prevented searching their website this morning.  I opened my Bookmarks in Chrome and found the Ohio Genealogical Society's Civil War Soldiers database link.  That is where I began my search.

First I searched for Ormiston and found these soldiers:

SurnameFirst NameCompanyRegimentBeginning RankEnding RankOther NamesNotes
OrmistonAlexanderG63rd Regiment, Ohio InfantryPrivateCorporal
OrmistonArchibaldF63rd Regiment, Ohio InfantryPrivatePrivate
OrmistonIsaac A.F148th Regiment, Ohio Infantry (National Guard)PrivatePrivate
OrmistonJames F.F148th Regiment, Ohio Infantry (National Guard)PrivatePrivate
OrmistonJoseph A.A36th Regiment, Ohio InfantryPrivatePrivateJoseph/Ormiston
OrmistonWilliamD148th Regiment, Ohio Infantry (National Guard)PrivatePrivate
James, Archibald and William are names of son's of David Ormiston, Anna Jane's uncle.  These could definitely be cousins.  I need more information to make an informed decision.  I decided to check a cousins family tree on Unfortunately he doesn't have this line completed on his family tree.  

Now, let's take a look at the Hayes/Hays surname in the OGS database.  There are 210 Hayes/Hays.DeHayes in the database.  I need to narrow the search results so I am going to take off the "fuzzy" and use "Exact."  An exact search for Hayes resulted in 206 results.  Too many, still so I need to do more research. In my Hayes line are three brothers, William Oliver Perry Hayes, Caleb Hayes and David Hayes.  They are my 4x great grandmother's brothers.  They were born between 1797 and 1824.  The youngest, David born in 1824, would be the most likely to have served himself.  However, sons of William and Caleb very well could have served in the Union.  Since I found so many results, I will need to search for each individual by first name in addition to the surname. Caleb had only one son, Samuel born about 1835. William married in 1830 and I don't have any information on his children.  Before I can do more research, I need to check the US Federal Census to find more information.

That will wait for another day!  Always loving the hunt for ancestors!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Follow Up on Trip to Mid-Continent Public Library's Midwest Genealogy Center

Hard to believe it was back in August that I posted about my upcoming research trip to the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence, Missouri.  I did make it on Tuesday, September 10, 2013!

I have to say this place is quite impressive.  I encourage everyone to check out their list of genealogical resources.

I searched the online catalog before I left home and made a list of the Title and Card catalog number of each book I hoped would contain information on my ancestors.

I found one book that I had never seen but had heard about.  "Republic, Missouri: Home of 3,000 Good Neighbors."  I found eleven pages that contained information on my Logan family line.  There is even a transcription of Tarlton Logan's will.  I hope to find the original on microfilm at the Missouri State Archives in Jefferson City, Missouri.

I inquired about a library card for remote access to their online databases.  They aren't free and I felt the cost wasn't worth the fee.

I do have a library card for the Kansas City Public Library. They have added some more online databases that I can access from home.  I called and renewed my card for two years just last weekend.

One of their collections I like is the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps 1867-1970.  I was able to find the home of my husband's great grandparents on the map.  No, it doesn't list their name, just matched up the address to the one listed in the census.  I also like the Kansas City Star Newspaper 1991 to present database.

I have decided I like remote research better than onsite.  Perhaps it is because I can concentrate better here at my computer than I can in a big wide open space with too many distractions!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Researching in the Kansas State Census

Today, I am looking for Logan and Hedrick families in the Kansas State Census on

One of the search results I found was for this family:

The last two children came up in my search results.  Now, I realize it can be difficult to index images, but seriously.  The last two children are indexed as Hedrick when they are clearly Pritchard.  Notice also, the census enumerator's notation that the two 10-year-old children are "twins" when they have different surnames.  

The youngest child is indexed at R A T Hedrick and his brother is listed as Wm A Hedrick.  

I did find Alpheus M (aka Alf) Logan, who is noted in the manuscript I own as simply Alf with no birth information and a note that he died in 1930.  Another notes states simply "Married late in life and soon separated."   Alf lived in several Western Kansas counties during his lifetime.  Mostly farming. I didn't find him listed in any census with a spouse.  He is single in 1915 and living in Haskell County and divorced, living in Pratt County with his mother, Elizabeth, in 1920.  Another mystery to solve!

I did come upon another mystery to solve as well.  Eva Hedrick age 16 in the household of W R Logan.  W R and Nancy (Logan) Hedrick are siblings.  Nancy Hedrick had one child, William. William doesn't have a child named Eva.  I also found Charles Hedrick living in Reno County who could be the Charley Hedrick residing with Nancy Hedrick in the 1880 Census in Greene County, Missouri.  We'll see how this one plays out.

I do like census records for the clues they provide, although, there are times they lead you astray. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Research Trip to Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Missouri

This weekend will be my first visit to this library. I have always wanted to do some research there but never had the opportunity.  I asked for some advice from a distant cousin who has made many research trips to this library.  Her advice for first timers was to use the book collection.  For my initiation into the world of library research I am going to focus on Ohio.  Specifically, Washington county and vicinity.  This is the location for my brickwall on the Louthan surname.  To prepare for this trip, I found some forms on their website, one of which I will utilize, the Research Log.  I will enter information into this document of what I already have so I will be able to determine in which direction my research needs to lead me.  I will search their catalog and compile a list of books I want to research.  I have several extended lines from Washington County, OH.  It will be difficult to stay focused on just Louthan.
Here is what I know:

  • Hiram Louthan was enumerated in the 1840 census in Columbiana county.
  • His wife, Harriet Louthan, married William Ormiston in 1846 in Washington county.
That narrows down my search time frame.   I need to do a narrow search so I can maximize my results and not feel like I wasted a trip.  I know that no matter what, there would be a probate record following his death.  I have conducted an extensive amount of research on him in the last 30 years via letters in the beginning and then later online.  It seems to me the records I was able to access back then are the same ones I can find online today.  I really hope to find more in this library's collection.  

In the 1840 census, Hiram was a blacksmith.  He owned a town lot and paid taxes on it in Columbiana county, OH prior to the 1840 census.  I haven't been able to locate him in any tax lists after 1840.  

I am excited to go on this research trip!  As always, love the hunt!  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mystery Monday - Moller/Moeller/Mueller in Cole County, Missouri

I am working on solving a mystery I found by accident when perusing the Anderson County, Kansas court index online.

Here is the page from the Kansas guardianship of John F. Rockers, age 4.

The man is listed as John G F Moeller in the Kansas record.

Here is the Missouri estate settlement record listing the heirs.  Notice in Missouri the name is written as Moller.  J G Moller died Intestate and George T. White, Attorney at Law, was appointed Letters of Administration.

I cannot read the name of the deceased heir, * H. Moller.  The first letter is not 'J' but could be an 'A' as there was an Anton Moller in Jefferson City.

I then found this Notice of Sheriff's sale listing the heirs.

 Mary Moeller married John B. Schneeders.  I haven't identified Anne M. Moller but did find her in the census with the children listed here.  

So, was John G. F. Moller/Moeller a brother, uncle, father or grandfather to the heirs?  Harman H. Rockers married Margaret Anne Mueller at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Taos, Cole County, MO on 11 June 1861.  I haven't been able to identify the burial place for John Moller.  There is a will for Johann Gerard Moeller but it was written in 1868.  

I will be visiting the church above later today.  Any suggestions??

Friday, May 17, 2013

Following the Paper Trail - Moller/Moeller/Mueller/Miller

I visited the Anderson County, Kansas courthouse in Garnett to read the guardianship file on John F. Rockers.

Probate Court, Anderson County, Kansas, Estate of Jno R Rockers minor heir of Harmon H. Rockers.   Harmon H. Rockers, Guar. 
Filed, Dec. 2nd 1869

State of Kansas, Anderson County}
Harman H Rockers being duly sworn says that upon information garnered from a creditable source His minor son John F. Rockers of the age of Four years has by the death of John G. F. Moeller late of Cole County, State of Missouri became heir to certain property in said state of Missouri.  (signed) H. H. Rockers.
Subscribed and sworn on this 2nd day of December AD 1869. M A Paye, Probate Judge

Another page in the file dated April 28, 1870, states that John F. Rockers was the heir of $110 dollars and Harmon H. Rockers was appointed guardian.

I knew John F. Rockers mother was Anna Margretha Mueller.  I didn't know when she married Harmon H. Rockers and I could only find her listed with him in the 1865 Kansas Census.  In February 1869, Harmon married Elizabeth Meimers in Anderson County, Kansas.  While visiting in Anderson County, we stopped at the St. Boniface Cemetery in Scipio.  This is where most of the Rockers ancestors are buried.  I forgot my camera so I didn't get a photo of the tombstone I found.  It states "Margareth A. Rockers 5 June 1830 - 15 July 1866"

I returned home to Missouri and following a job interview, I paid a visit to the Missouri State Archives.  I browsed microfilm of estates in Cole county looking for the surname Moeller.  I found a will for Johann Gerhard Muhler dated 1868 and read through it.  The grandson mentioned in this will was John Bernard Rockers of Germany.   I switched to another source I found in the index which was on microfiche.  It was the estate settlement of John G. Moller filed in 1866 in Cole county.  I found John Rockers among the heirs in the settlement.
"To be distributed as follows:
J. B. Schneeders & wife $58.19 2/3
Minor heirs of John H. Moller, dec $58.19 2/3
Guardian of John Rockers $58.19 2/3"
Dated April 23, 1869 on the previous page.

J G Moller's estate was quite large and I have yet to decipher the handwriting on all of the pages.  There were in total, three settlements.

The Missouri State Historical Society has digitized some of the newspapers and made them available for searching on their website.  I searched for Moller and found a notice of Sheriff's Sale of Real Estate in Partition.

Now I have the names of all of the heirs.  I still don't know anything about John G. Moller.

In the Missouri State Archives is a book of Baptisms and Marriages from St Francis Xavier Church in Taos, MO.  In this book I found the marriage of Harmon H Rockers and Anna Margaret Mueller on 11 June 1861. Why Harmon went back to Taos, MO at that time, I have yet to determine.  I am still looking for the death time and place of his mother, Anna Catherine ( nee Wolken) Rockers. I have not found her following the 1860 census.  Her husband, Herman Federick Rockers, is buried in St Boniface Cemetery, but haven't found a tombstone for Catherine.

Still have plenty of mystery to solve in this line but excited to find this connection!



Monday, May 6, 2013

Motivational Monday - Visiting a Courthouse

Many years ago, I received a GedCom file from one of my husband's cousins on their Rockers line.

This line of Germans from the Hanover area used the same given names repeatedly through the generations.  I didn't make any attempt to verify the information in this file for that very reason.  This family arrived at the Port of New Orleans on 2 January 1841. According to the ship's manifest Herman Friedrich Rockers was  traveling from Twist, Hanover to Jefferson City, Missouri.  Those arriving with him were Catharine Wolken age 49, Maria age 22, Herman age 20, Helen age 19, Addelaide age 17, Gerhardt age 14, Henry age 12, John age 9, and Gesine age 5.  This family sailed up the Mississippi to St. Louis and then down the Missouri river to Jefferson City.  Some stayed in Jefferson City and other sailed down the Osage river to Taos, Missouri.

Some traveled on to Anderson county, Kansas Territory. I found in the 1859 Kansas Territorial Census the following:


  1. H. H. Rockers, arrived 25 April 1856, total in household 1
  2. J. H. Rockers, arrived 25 April 1856, total in household 1
  3. Frederick Rockers, arrived 25 April 1856, total in household 1
  4. John Rockers, arrived 25 May 1856, total in household 1
  5. George Rockers, arrived 25 may 1857, total in household 4.
Heads of Household, Non-voters
  1. Mary Rockers is listed on the same line with George Rockers above and she has 2 minor children.
I followed these men in the subsequent censuses for Anderson county, Kansas.  Two mysteries have materialized in my husband's direct line:

  1. 1865 Kansas Census, Anderson county, Monroe Twp.
    1. H. H. Ruckers age 46 born in Hanover
    2. Margaret Ruckers age 34 born in Hanover
    3. Elizabeth Mimas, age 14 born in Missouri
  2. 1870 Federal Census, Anderson county, Monroe Twp.
    1. Harmon H. Rockers age 50 born in Europe
    2. Elizabeth Rockers age 19 born in Missouri
    3. John Rockers age 4 born in Kansas
In my PAF program, I have Margaret Mueller listed as Harmon's first wife and John as their son.  

I found online at Anderson County District Court that John F. Rockers has a guardianship file dated 2 December 1869.  I have never found a marriage record for Harmon H. Rockers to Margaret Mueller.  Harmon married Elizabeth Mimas 10 Feb 1869.  Today, I plan to visit the District Court office and get a copy of the guardianship to see who the parent(s) of John F. Rockers were.  When I imported the GedCom file, there weren't any notes included, perhaps this is an option that must be chosen? 

That is what is motivating me today!  I love mysteries and hunting for clues!  My husband and I will be visiting his uncle in Anderson county, Kansas today as well.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Great Grandpa's Scrapbook

When my uncle passed away in 2003, my aunt asked me if I would like to have some family treasures.  I was pleased to receive my great grandpa's scrapbook.  She showed me his college photo album which is still in pristine condition!  She is the "family treasures archivist" for my mother's side of the family.

Great Grandpa Hoag, Jared, was the son of William Cushing Hoag and Electa Ann Mitchell Hoag.  He was born in Danvers, McLean County, IL on 23 December 1857.

Jared attended the college in Danvers and participated in the theater.  Inside his scrapbook begins with newspaper clippings of poetry and notices of plays presented by the Danvers Dramatic Club.  He also clipped marriage notices of his friends while still living in Danvers.

After I received the scrapbook, I enclosed each page in archive safe sheet protectors.  The clippings were in pretty good shape for the most part, but you can see spots on them.  I scanned the pages that have notices regarding his family and burned them to a CD to share with other family members.

 Page 20 begins with clippings of his marriage to Florence Graves at the home of her parents, Gilbert and Sarah Graves in Mingona Township, Barber county, Kansas on the 25th of January in 1888.  On the same page is Florence's death notice, in 1897.    Jared had a nice set of horse called 'trotters,' as another clipping on this page points out.  Jared and Florence had three children, Mitchell William, Elsie May and Ray.  Ray was two years old when his mother died of consumption. Her parents had gone to Oklahoma Territory in the Land Rush and came back for the funeral.  The children were taken to their farm in Oklahoma Territory and remained with their grandparents.  My grandfather was Mitchell.  When a teenager, he traveled back to Barber county, Kansas in search of his father.  He didn't stay once he found him but they did keep in touch.  Jared lost his land, horses, cattle, etc. in a Breach of Promise suit filed against him, which he lost.  Jared lived with the Gano family on their ranch and later at the hotel they purchased and operated in Belvidere, Kansas.

Jared (left) in later years in front of the hotel in Belvidere, Kansas.

Jared went to stay with his son in Webster Township, Woodward County, Oklahoma sometime prior to his death on the 18th day of June in 1938.

There are a total of 33 pages of clippings in this book covering 1873 to 1937.  It includes the death notice of Alice Gano and an article with photo of Mrs. W. A. Espy holding her "Stradivarius" violin.
 This is the last clipped article in Jared's scrapbook.  The Espy family was not related to Jared.  The article, I believe, was printed in the Wichita, Kansas newspaper and is quite interesting.  The violin was rescued from a burning home during "Sherman's march to the sea."  It was found by John Loftenhizer, Mr. Espy's brother-in-law.

I feel blessed to be in possession of this scrapbook.  The poems, lyrics and published writings that were clipped and pasted into it are a reflection on the personality of my great grandpa.  I will always treasure it!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Reading County History Books - Clues In the Biographies

I took over the position of County Coordinator for the Lucas County, Iowa GenWeb project in 2010.  I do not live in Iowa and none of my ancestors ever lived in Lucas county. I browse the Internet for PDF files of books, microfilm of census records, etc. that I can transcribe and post on the Lucas county page. I just finished transcribing the biographies included in a history of Lucas county published in 1881. Check the "What's New" page for a link to these biographies. As I am transcribing, I find that I am learning alot about Iowa history.  It is very fascinating.    It is amazing the stories told in the biographies.  One man walked to the gold mines in Nevada, it took him a year to reach his destination.  Many of the men, were Civil War soldiers, some Confederate and some Union.  All of these sketches inform the readers of the locations where the subjects were born, how long they lived there, were they moved to and when, etc. Some went back to their previous home to marry and brought the new bride to his home in Lucas county. One man told of falling off of a wagon on their migration to Iowa when he was an infant.  His leg was crushed by the wagon wheel and his father had to amputate his leg nine days later, saving his life. There are so many great stories of courage and strength possessed by these pioneers.

I haven't taken the time to put together a migration time line for Lucas county, but I can imagine the wonderful data that could be presented!  I can envision a map with lines beginning at the point of origin.  Perhaps a table of locations and the names of the families who came to Lucas county from that location.  Not everyone who came to Lucas county stayed, many moved on to other locations. There is a later book that I  have transcribed and posted of Lucas county history published in 1913.  Both of these books offer many clues for those whose ancestors stopped in Lucas county, if even for a short time.

I enjoy reading county history books published 100 years ago and older.  They are less politically correct and you never know what you might find.  That's not to say that what is written is 100% accurate.  Skeletons may still be hidden from public view.  Still these county histories offer clues to the past and should not be overlooked!

Go find a county history!  You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Estate Record - John Cope, A Case Study

In browsing through the images of Ohio County Probate Records, on FamilySearch,  in search of my 3x great grandfather's estate, I found the will of John Cope.  This name interested me greatly since my 2x great grandfather is John Cope Louthan.  I will share with the what I found in the Estates Records 1841-1842 in Columbiana County. I found it very educational for me as to what may be found in these type of records.

Ohio, Probate Records, 1789-1996-Columbiana-Estate records 1841-1842 no 2353-2453

Case # 2362 Doc. CP 2, Pg 83

The will of John Cope was written 27 Aug. 1841 and  recorded in the probate court clerk's office on 19 Oct. 1841.   He left the farm to his widow, Mary Cope, but his personal property was to be sold.  Mary was allowed to live and collect the revenue from the farm so long as she remained a widow.  Upon her death the land would be sold and the proceeds divided among their children: Rebecca, Jason, Edmond, Elizabeth, Ann and Sarah.  His personal property was sold on 3 Nov. 1841 and an accounting of the sale recorded with the probate court on 19 Nov. 1841.   John Cope had borrowed money in the sum of $400 dollars and signed a binding agreement between him and the Fund Commissioners of Columbiana county, by the virtue of a Act of the General Assembly  entitled "An act providing for the distribution and investment of this state's proportion of the Surplus Revenue.  He had to pay $200 on demand with the balance at 7%  interest  was due within three years.  The agreement was made on 11 June 1840.  It doesn't state the his purpose for this money.    A letter filed with the probate court for the final accounting of his estate we find the death date of July 1854 for Mary Cope and a record of the money she received from John's estate.   Now the land is to be sold and the proceeds divided among John's children.  In this packet is a document dated December 23, 1855 noting the guardian, Jos. De Camp,  of the minors of Jason Cope; Charles, Jason and Amos, and  also mentions the two older sons of Jason and gives their ages: William age 24 years and John Clay age 22 years. All three men, Jos DeCamp, William Cope and John Clay Cope, signed the document.  Another document in this packet is from Van Buren County, Iowa appointing guardians for the minors of Sarah Jones, dec'd.  Harry Robb was appointed guardian of Margaret, David H, John M, Samuel, Roller, William and Appeline date 8 March 1858.  Amos H Levan was the attorney assigned to obtain the quit claim deeds from Rebecca Havil, Elizabeth Baker and Ann Hadley.  Emund Cope's attorney was James Crook.  The quit claim deed filed on behalf of Rebecca Havil of Hancock county, Ohio,  is the only one containing a description of the land; NE 1/4 Section 31 Township 12 Range 2  beginning at the Northwest corner then East with the section line forty chains and fifty links to the corner post then west until it strikes Gouchnaires South East corner (he owned 20 acres in the Southwest corner of the section) then round the lot to the west boundary of the quarter section, then along that line to the beginning, containing one hundred and forty acres and fifty-six hundredths of an acre.  The land sold for a total of $4,360.50 and a full accounting of the disbursement to the heirs was filed on 19 Sept 1860.
There are nearly 80 images in this packet, some of which are duplicated.

In a previous search in probate records for this county, I found a guardianship for Moses Louthan minor of John Louthan dec'd, appointing Joseph Hamilton his guardian.  There was nothing else in that packet.  After seeing the guardianship of the Jones' minors from Van Buren county, Iowa, I realized I need to find the county of death for John Louthan and search for his estate record in that probate court.  I will need to go back and read the history of Beaver county, PA to see if it states the county of John's death.   It was also informative in that the will was filed in 1841 but the estate could not be settled until after Mary's death as so stipulated in the will.  In this case it took nearly twenty years, but the packet is recorded not in the 1860 estate files but with the 1841 estate files.  While I didn't find a link to my 2x great grandfather, it was interesting to read.

Love the hunt, even when it leads me down a side road!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Talented Tuesday - Baseball, A Family Affair

I have written about the baseball players in my paternal line.  Well, guess what?  My mom was a baseball player too!

My mom was reared on a farm in Woodward County, Oklahoma.  She is the youngest of seven children, so with her parents, they had their own baseball team.  The parents, Mitchell W. and Mary (Steinmetz) Hoag, taught their children to play baseball.  The baseball players were Florence, Elena, Mary, Gilbert, Mitchell Jr, Dale and Clara (mom).

I knew from my grade school years, that Mom played softball one summer back in the mid '60s.  I asked her if she had ever played on a town team before.  She wrote back her story of playing baseball in the field on the farm. Most country kids can identify with the concept.  All you had to do was pick the places that would stand for the bases.  They had a good supply of bats, gloves and balls.  Mom would practice catching the ball by tossing it in the air.  Once she had perfected this skill, she began throwing the ball over the garage and,  running as fast as she could, catching the ball on the other side.  She wasn't allowed to throw it over the house, as a window might get broken.  The garage was just big enough to house the Model A car.  By the age of nine, Mom could throw the ball into the air and hit it with the bat.

In elementary school, sixth grade to be exact, she played the position of catcher.  She was the only one who could throw the ball to second base.  This is the position that she played during her softball career.

In the '60s when we moved to Kansas.  This little community played baseball and softball, after the school term ended for the year.  One year they didn't have enough girls to fill the high school girls softball team.  Three moms volunteered to play on the team!  Mom stepped up and played catcher.  She could still throw the ball to second base and she wasn't afraid of being hit by the batter.  The local clothing store, Oser's Department Store, was their sponsor.  This was the only time Mom played softball as an adult.  She had four children, the youngest being two years old, at that time.  The next summer, she was expecting number five; who arrived in November.

My mom also played basketball in high school.  Oh, and, hum..., well..., no, I didn't inherit those genes!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mappy Monday- Following John Cope Louthan

1897 Township Map of Linn County, Missouri

Detail showing R60 N R20W Section 34

John Cope Louthan, my 2x great grandfather, moved from Washington County, Ohio to Linn County, Missouri following the Civil War.  He purchased 240 acres in Benton Twp. A General Warranty Deed made the 26th day of February, 1884, shows the land being sold to his step-father, William Ormiston, for $3,000. (see below)  The township map above  shows section 34; this map is from 1897.  
Sale of land in Linn County, Missouri

 You will notice on the deed above, John is listed as a single man.  He was widowed in 1881 and married again after he sold his land and just before he moved to Kansas.  John moved to Barber county, Kansas in 1884 where we find a land patent for him in the Osage Trust Lands.

His land patent states the following: Osage Trust Lands, Certificate No. 2700.
Whereas John C. Louthan of Barber County, Kansas has deposited in the General Land Office of the United States a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Larned, Kansas, whereby it appears that full payment has been made by the said John C. Louthan according to the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April, 1820, entitled "An Act making further provision for the sale of the Public Lands," and the acts supplemental thereto, for the Northwest quarter of section twelve in township thirty-one south of range eleven west of the sixth principal meridian in Kansas containing one hundred and sixty acres according to the official plat of the survey of the said lands returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General, which said tract has been purchased by the said John C. Louthan.  Dated 18 November 1899.  John went to Barber County in 1884 and it took his 15 years to pay for his 160 acres.  The plat map to the right is from 1897.

 In the Land Run into the Cherokee Outlet (Cherokee Strip) John C. Louthan left Barber county, Kansas and filed on a homestead in Oklahoma Territory.  You will see him highlighted SE of the Barnes community.  His son, Robert Hiram Louthan is highlighted to the west of this community.  His land patent on this quarter section of land is as follows:
Homestead Certificate 4493, Application 7105.
Whereas there has been deposited in the General Land Office of the United States a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Alva, Oklahoma, whereby it appears that, pursuant to the Act of Congress approved 20th May 1862, "to secure Homesteads to Actual Settlers on the Public Domain," and the acts supplemental thereto, the claim of John C. Louthan has been established and duly consummated in conformity to law, for the South East quarter of Section Twenty five in Township Twenty North of Range Sixteen West fo Indian Mericidan in Oklahoma containing one hundred and sixty acres according to the Official Plat of the Survey of the said Land, returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General: ... Dated 1 July 1903.

I use maps in my genealogy research because I like to see with my eyes where they lived in relation to  landmarks, geography, and communities in that area. I can also find the names of their neighbors, who may have migrated to that location about the same time as my ancestor. This can lead to discovering possible unknown relatives. I endeavor to find the map that was printed nearest the time period during which my ancestor was a resident.  It helps to put those township, range and section numbers into perspective.  

What doesn't show on the Major County Plat Map (above), is the location of Hope Cemetery just south of John Cope Louthan's homestead.  Using a modern map found on Google Maps, I found the cemetery and the road on which it is located today.   

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Joseph Hamilton

Columbiana County, Ohio, Probate Case No. 639
In the possession of Lisbon Historical Society Archives, 119 Ease Washington Street, P.O. Box 191, Lisbon, Ohio 44432.

In the name of God amen.
I Joseph Hamilton of Saintclear Township Columbiana County an State of Ohio.  Being sick and weak of body but sound mind memory and understanding blessed be God for his mercies. And knowing the uncertainty of this transitory life, do make and order this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following (to wit,) I commend my immortal soal to God that gave it, and my body to the dust to be buried ina a Christian like manner at the discretion of my executors herein after named.  And as touching such worldly property as it has be pleased to God to bless me with I give and bequeath as follows (to wit,) and I first order that all my just debts and June *** exepenses be paid as soon as conveinantly ca be after my decease. 
Items, I give and bequeath to my  dear wife Mary Hamilton the one third of all my personal Estate to her her heirs and assigns for ever and the one third of all the incomes arising from all my real estate for and during her natural life, And all the rest and residue of my estate both real and personal I give and bequeath to my five daughters, viz., Elizabeth Sarah Mayanne Matilda and Pamara share and share alike as tenants in common for them their heirs and assigns for ever. And lastly nominate and appoint my said wife Mary, and my soninlaw Philip Cooper exectors of this my last will and testament, renounsing all other wills and Bequeaths made by me heretofore, declaring this to be my last will and testament and no other.  In witness whereof I have hereunto set my had and seal the 14th day of October in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty three. In the presence of the subscribing witness who at my request and in my presence have set their names as witnesses.
(signed) Joseph Hamilton (seal)
Witness present at signing & sealing
H B Blathana was interlined before signing between the 25th and 26th lines.
(signed) Nathaniel Martin
(signed) Terah Jones

Recorded Nov 7, 1823

The Inventory of the personal Estate of Joseph Hamilton deceased, appraised the 29th day of November, 1823.
  • 1 Grey mare $55.00
  • 1 Brown horse $40.00
  • 1 Grey colt $38.33
  • 1 Dark red cow $7.23
  • 1 Brendle cow $3.66
  • 2 Calves $4.66
  • 41 Sheep at 76 cents each $31.16
  • 1 Stack of hay $5.66
  • 1 Windmill ** screen $9.33
  • 1 Cutting Bone $1.00
  • 1 Lot of Hogsheads & Barrels $1.66
  • 2 Set of Horse Geers $9.00
  • 1 Sled double trees and Log chains $5.00
  • 1 Harrow $4.16
  • 2 Plows $10.66
  • 1 Waggon $33.33
  • 1 Stove and pipe $8.00
  • 1 Lot of Planes Augurs & Chisels $3.00
  • 1 Cross cut saw $3.13
  • 1 Jack screws and tar can $2.66
  • 2 Pack saddles & two old Barrells $-.86
  • 2 Chopping Axes & 1 Iron Wedge $2.00
  • 3 Hilling & 1 Grubbing Hoe & 2 Picks 3.25
  • 1 Broad Axe Scythe & Cradle $2.50
  • 1 Bead stead Chaff Bead and being $4.00
  • 1 Feathers & Chaff Do. 2 quills & 1 Sheet $6.66
  • 1 Woman's and 1 Man's saddle $7.33
  • Lumber in Shop Loft $-.50
  • 1 Large 1 Small pt & 1 Kettle $3.75
  • 1 Hand Saw & Hammer $-.37 1/2
  • 1 Grind Stone $1.00
  • 1 Clock $7.33
  • 1 Rifle Gun $8.50
  • 1 Bureau $6.33
  • 2 Jugs $-.50
  • 1 Dresser & Furniture $5.00
  • 1 Lot of Religious Books $3.75
  • 1 Falling Leaf Table $2.00
  • 1 Lot of Chairs $2.00
  • 1 Loom 5 reeds 3 peer of Geers $6.00
  • Grains in the ground $10.00
  • 12 Geese at 18 0/4 Each $2.25
  • 1 *** And Irons and Tea Kettle $1.25
  • 1 Shovels & Tongs $1.00
  • 1 Iron Oven and Spider $2.00
  • 1 Horse coller Hern & tresses $1.50
  • 1 Pocket compass $2.00
  • 1 Stillard $1.50
  • Total $371.86 1/2
We Nathaniel Martin William Batton Terah Jones after being duly sworn , did appraise the above specified property on the day above written, Given under our hands.
(signed) Nathaniel Martin William Batton Terah Jones

Amount of appraisment taken by the widow appraised $371.86 1/2

Debts due to the Estate
By Richard Huston 5,,94
By John Pearson 1,,31
By Even Frazer  Jos note due 7,,50
By Do., Jos Do., Sept 5th, 1824 5,,56
By Do.,    Due Sept. 5th , 1825 7,,50
By  Balld from the Estate of Jos Hamilton deceased 13.75
Whole Amount $413,,46 1/2

We certify that the foregoing is a true statement of the personal Estate of Joseph Hamilton deceased, given under our hands the 24th day of February 1824.  
her X mark Mary Hamilton
(signed) Philip Cooper

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday's Obituary - Oldest Settler and Good Citizen

On Thursday morning we received the sad news of the death of Mr. W. C. Hedrick, one among our oldest settlers and good citizens.
William C. Hedrick, was born Nob. 23, 1853, and died Nov. 13, 19913.  Aged 59 years, 11 months, 21 days.  He was united in marriage to Nancy M. Hazelton, of Republic, Mo., on Dec. 24, 1871.  He was the father of 9 children, four boys and five girls, all of which survive him.  He has been a member of the Christian Church for 30 years.  He die in the faith of a living God.
Funeral services were held at the Chester school house, at 4:30 p. m., by Rev. J. C. Shuck and remains laid to rest in the Chester cemetery by the side of his wife. 
Text: St. John, 6th Chapter and 40th Verse - "And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life.  And I will raise him up at the last day."
Mr. Hedrick had many friends and a large crowd gathered to pay the last respects to the departed one.
Peaceful be thy silent slumbers,
Peaceful in thy grave so low;
Thous no more will join our number,
Thou no more our sorrows know.
Yet, again we hope to meet thee,
When the days of life is fled.
And in Heaven with joy to greet thee,
Where no farewell tears are shed.
Rev. J. C. Shuck

Card of Thanks
The sons and daughters of W. C. Hedrick, thank the many friends in their sad bereavement.

Published November 21, 1913 in the Fairview Republican, Fairview, Oklahoma; page 6, column 4

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sympathy Saturday - Anna Jane Haddow Louthan

Anna Jane Haddow, a girl of Scottish descent, was born in Washington county, Ohio  on the 8th day of June in 1840 to  Robert and Janet Ormiston Haddow.  Her parents came to America in 1834.  She married John Cope Louthan in Washington County, Ohio during the Civil War, on 11 April 1864.
John enlisted in the company F, 36th OVI and served from 26 Aug 1861 to 11 March 1865.   She moved to Linn county, Missouri with John's mother and stepfather, William and Harriet Ormiston, before the close of the war and he joined them there upon his discharge.  Anna Jane gave birth to seven children in Linn county, the last four living only a matter of months.  Mary Rosa, Dec. 1873-Feb 1874; Lewis Alvin, Jan 1875 -Apr 1875; Lula Jane, May 1877 - Oct. 1877 and George Perry, Aug 1879 - Mar 1880.  Anna Jane died in June 1881 from complications due to a miscarriage.  She was survived by her husband and  three sons; Edwin Alonzo (b. 1866), Robert Hiram (b. 1868) and Samuel Oscar (b. 1872).  

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Family History Writing Challenge - A work in progress

I started writing on the first day of the challenge, February 1.  I made my outline and wrote an introduction.

Now what.  I chose to write on my brick wall, Hiram B. Louthan.  Well, I have plenty of questions but no conclusion.  So, I shifted my focus on his descendants.  I scoured published family sketches in county history books and asked my dad for stories he could recall.  He had a few about his father and grandfather that I had not heard.  I had posted previously on Talented Tuesday a story of baseball players in the Louthan family.  Guess what???  My grandfather,Lester, so the story goes, gave up an opportunity to be a pitcher for the New York Yankees to marry his sweetheart.  They married in 1936 in Woodward, Woodward County, Oklahoma.  His dad played baseball in Barber County, Kansas and Major County, Oklahoma in the late 1890's and early 1900's. The newspaper article above is my great grandfather, Sam.  He was born in Linn County, Missouri in 1872 and moved to Barber County, Kansas in 1884.  He made the Land Run of 1893 into the Cherokee Outlet (Cherokee Strip) with his brother, Bert, and father, John. All of my grandfather's brothers and cousins played baseball on the Chester team in Major County, Oklahoma in the 1930's.  At one time, they called themselves Cardinals.  The photo below was published in the "Chester America 73838" centennial booklet in 1995.
My grandfather is the guy peeking between the shoulders, third from the right.  He was born in Major County, Oklahoma in 1914.  they played on Sunday afternoons,  in other communities or in someone's pasture if there wasn't a baseball field.  One team in the area was called 'River Rats' and the members of this team lived anywhere between Chester and Longdale. According to the centennial booklet, the baseball team ceased to exist in the 1940's.

Below is another photo of the Chester Team that I have a copy of in my loose leaf binder.  I think it was taken earlier than the one to the above.

My grandfather is the guy in the back  looking over the shoulder of the guy in bib overalls.

From the centennial book is this quote from an opposing team member:
"When we went to play Chester we figured we might get beat because those guys knew how to play ball."
No one on the Chester team ever received compensation, but they did pass the hat to help pay for their equipment.

Today is the last day of the Family History Writing Challenge.  I find that in the stories that my dad sent me, are clues to be followed up on.  One story is of the 84 Hour Blizzard on 1938.  My dad was a baby, but the locals talked about this blizzard for years to come.  The snow drifts were as high as 20 feet and cows were seen standing on roof tops, according to their tales.

I have reached out to distant cousins for their stories as well.  The Louthan family split off into different directions following the Civil War.  There were four children, Oliver, John, James and Margaret.  Oliver and John went to Missouri about 1865.  James and Margaret, who married siblings of the Ellis family, stayed in Ohio until around 1880 when they moved together to Stafford County, Kansas.  Margaret died in 1905 in Stafford County,  After her death, James move his family to Barber County, Kansas.  John had one son still living in Barber County at this time.  This may have been the first contact since the Civil War between John and James' families.  Edwin, John's son, traveled back to Linn County, Missouri and brought a bride back to Kansas.  She died 10 days after the birth of her daughter, Mable.  Mable was her sixth baby, born on 16 Feb 1900.  The three youngest children were sent to live with relatives.  Mable, and her sister Stella, were sent back to Linn County, Missouri.  Sister, Edna, was sent to Major County, Oklahoma to Edwin's brother and sister-in-law, Bert and Belle.  Belle was a sister to Edwin's wife Sally.  Edwin stayed in Barber county for many years before moving to Seward County, Kansas.  He was granted a land patent in Seward county in 1914.  In 1916, Edwin married a widow, Laura Kipper.  Laura was a native of Linn County, Missouri.

In 2005 or 2006, my mother and I made a trip to Nashville, Barber County, Kansas to interview a descendant of James.  My parents moved into the neighboring county in 1965, and while working as a traveling salesman, my dad met one of the descendants.  He didn't make an attempt to stay in contact with them.

Last year I found a living descendant of Margaret, he lives in California.  I found him through the memorial pages he posted on Find-A-Grave.  I am slowly and steadily knitting this family back together.

When I started writing the family history, I kept finding clues and then doing more research.  I don't know when I will be able to reach a conclusion to my family history story.  That is a decision I will have to make some day.  That day will not be today, and that is okay.  When I am finished my children and grandchildren will know as much about their ancestors that I have been able to find. The will know their family extends beyond the walls of their home.  They will know they are not alone in this world but a part of a much larger family with many experiences to share.  They will know the trials and tribulations of this family and how we all managed to survive.   I believe we are all better people knowing our ancestors as we have a little bit of all of them in our DNA.  They are a part of who we are and who we will become.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - John and Margaret Rockers

John Frederick Rockers was born 17 August 1865, the grandson of German Immigrants.  His grandparents came from Hanover, Germany in 1846 landing at the port of New Orleans.  After sailing up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, MO they settled in Taos, MO along the Osage River.  Before the Civil War, Herman Heinrich Rockers, John's father, moved west to Anderson County, Kansas.  Here is where John was born.  He married Margaret Ann Maile who was born 15 December 1868 in Ohio on 3 February 1891 in Anderson County, Kansas.  Both are buried in St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery at Scipio, Kansas.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Motivational Monday - There Is A Season

Remember that song?  The words are taken from Ecclesiastes 3:1.

1For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

As a genealogy enthusiast I have been through lots of seasons in my research.  Often it seems there is not enough time or the season is too short.  I have been following the Family History Writing Challenge in an effort to organize what I know about my ancestor, what I think is a possibility, and what I can prove to be accurate.  I have found I can disprove more than I can prove.  It would be awesome if the season would change and I could turn this around and prove more than I can disprove.

Is it possible to not leave a footprint in legal documents during the 19th century?  I would think not.  If he owned property (he did) then there should be a record in the town where he purchased or sold or lost possession of that lot.  The next step should be to find the record.  Logically it should be in the town records not the courthouse, correct?  If so, the city clerk's office should have a plat book, perhaps.  Was the book microfilmed by the Utah Genealogical Society (LDS)?   That possibility  leads to FamilySearch to search their catalog.  If found there, the next step is to either order the microfilm (4-6 week wait) or request a search for a fee.  The other possibility is to request help from Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness on Facebook.   Further research into what records are available for that area where he lived, in my case Ohio, would be helpful.  Many years ago I requested and received a Genealogy Research Outline for the state of Ohio from the National Archives.  Cyndi's List is another helpful place to find out more information about the area.  Google is one of my favorite search engines and I use it religiously.  Do you use a search engine that gets better results?  I search for web sites that might have more information about an event or particular place . I feel that background information is helpful in understanding what I may or may not be able to find.

Life always interjects into our time other seasons; whether it's looking for a job, pursuing other hobbies and pastimes, etc.  So, we lay our research aside, for the time being.  It will still be there when it's season rolls around again.

What keeps you motivated?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Electronic Media

I started researching before the Internet was available to many and conducted my research by writing letters on an old manual typewriter while sitting at my dining room table.  Wow, does that paint an old fashioned picture.  The typewriter was purchased at an auction for our daughter to play with.  It worked wonderfully well and I used it when she wasn't playing with it.

Writing letters the old fashioned way to conduct genealogy research required a lot of patience.  Once I mailed my letter, there was the long wait allowing time for the United States Postal Service to route my letter from the local post office to the regional post office and then to another region before finally arriving at the local post office of the recipient.  Depending on the length of time the letter lay on the recipient's desk, it could be a month before I would receive a reply.  In the meantime, questions keep flooding into my mind and new letters are formatted in the process.  These new letters were mailed to different recipients who might be able to assist with the question, if the question was for the same repository, I had to be really patient.

When I bought my first PC and  connected to the Internet in 1996, it opened up a whole new world of research possibilities.  Letters were sent via email now, if the repository had an email address.  Message boards were developed to help connect with other researchers.  I signed up for every surname and locality pertinent to my research.  I posted my brick walls, questions, etc.  I also signed up for mailing lists for localities to get help from researchers in that area of specialty.  I asked a lot of 'dumb' questions and received a great education.  I am eternally grateful to those who assisted in my education!  

Through the message boards I connected with others researching my same surnames.  We shared information, photos of our ancestors, etc. via email.  I started out printing each email and keeping it in folders for that surname.  I printed some photos, others I saved to 3.5" floppy discs.  One of my email contacts was in Virginia, while I never found proof of how we connected, I was grateful for his help.  We both had direct lines living in the same localities in Missouri.  His line move on into Iowa while mine went to Kansas.  When he decided to 'retire' from active genealogy research, he asked if I wanted his research.  I, of course, said yes.  I was the lucky recipient of hand written letters from as far back at 1915.  I have scanned these letters to my computer and placed the originals in archival safe sheet protectors and placed them in a binder.  I hope to someday find a repository for these letters.

Gradually more digital images of original records are being placed online.  For the armchair genealogist, this is awesome!  I can sit here at my computer and scan images of tax record books, census images, county history books, newspapers, death certificates, marriage record books, etc.  Genealogy research has never been more satisfying  than it is now or will be in the future.  Last night I browsed images of tax record books from Columbiana County, Ohio.  I now know Edmond Hayes owned a parcel of land located in R2, T12, S34NE in 1820 and that the original owner was William Boyd.  How cool is that!

I have downloaded several county history books that have been digitized on and newspaper articles from and  Digital newspapers are one of my personal favorites.  It is amazing what I can learn about the life and times of my ancestors.  I have found marriage, birth and death notices; lawsuits and happenings in town they participated in; the list goes on.  Newspapers are the window into the world of my ancestors.

I save all of the images and PDFs I find in folders within folders in my Documents folder.  I file  electronic data just as I would a hard copy.  I copy my folders to an external hard disc drive placed in a docking station.  It has a large capacity for lots of data storage.  I am in the process of scanning my pre-Internet research to my computer and creating an index in electronic format, not to be printed.  I have a lot of scanning to do and it will take years to do on my HP all-in-one.  Given the opportunity to scan on a larger machine, I will definitely take advantage!

Electronic Media allows easier sharing of our research with others.  One Saturday, my cousin and I scanned her parent's old photo album to my computer, tagged the photos and created a CD to share with other cousins.  Now everyone has the photos of those found in this photo album.  Electronic Scrap Books are another great media for keeping and sharing genealogy research. There are so many options now, it is overwhelming sometimes to decide which format, style or type to use.  I participated in a book tour recently for digitizing your family history research and learned a lot!  I am grateful to the author for sharing her expertise.

I feel it is important to digitize all of my research and photos so my children and grandchildren will have easy access to it.  Now, what to do with the paper copies......

Monday, February 4, 2013

Military Monday - Leonard Lester Gregory

Leonard Lester Gregory was born 7 February 1896 in Amsterdam, Bates County, Missouri to Lewis Lafayette and Mary Belle Havens Gregory.  His mother died in Kansas City, MO on 8 May 1904 and Leonard was sent to live with his Uncle and Aunt, Orrin and Ida Havens Moore in Adair County, Iowa.  They later moved to Skowhegan, Maine.  The photo above was taken of Leonard when he was a private  in the Field Artillery, according to the WWI Draft Registration he filled out on 5 June 1917.  It doesn't state when he was discharged from the Army however, given that he had been in for five years prior to 1917, he would have joined the army after  1910, as the 1910 census shows he is enumerated in the household of his aunt and uncle in Skowhegan, Maine. In the photo above you can see his boyish face.  I tried to figure out the sign in rocks at his feet but could make out enough letters to solve the mystery.  Below are his two WWI Draft Registration Cards.  In 1917, he was living in Topeka, Kansas and worked for his brother, Lewis Orrin Gregory.  In 1918, he is living in Kansas City, Missouri and is a patrolman.  Leonard was married to Virginia Snoddy 18 September 1916 and later divorced.

On 8 August 1921, Leonard married Ethel Laverne Wilhite in Kansas City, Missouri.  They had 10 children.  With the assistance of my father-in-law, I wrote to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO to get a copy of Leonard's military records.  Sadly, a fire at the center caused many  records to be destroyed or damaged by water.  

Please Note: On July 12, 1973, a disastrous fire at the NPRC destroyed approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files. The records affected:
BranchPersonnel and Period AffectedEstimated Loss
ArmyPersonnel discharged November 1, 1912 to January 1, 196080%
Air ForcePersonnel discharged September 25, 1947 to January 1, 1964
(with names alphabetically after Hubbard, James E.)
See 1973 Fire for more information on the records affected and the alternate sources used to reconstruct basic service information.
They wrote back their regrets and requested information from my father-in-law, if he had any.  I decided to do some research on military in general for the time period 1911 - 1916 since Leonard married in 1916 I am assuming he had already been discharged from the army in 1916.   Leonard served during the Mexican Revolution.  You can tell from the photo that they were camped out in a barren area.  His hat is the  The Campaign Hat, M1911 called the "Montana Peak" style adopted from 1911 - 1916.  Although most did not flatten the brim in front.  My effort to determine the uniform and leggings style he is wearing, led me to a PDF document, Survey Of U.S. Army found on U. S. Army Center of Military History website.  It appears the uniform Leonard is wearing is the 1908 style.  There was an order issued that all old style uniforms would be used until stocks were depleted.  I researched further into Lineage Services.  No unit histories were kept prior to 1920.  However there have been some books written that are linked from their website.  This is an excerpt from one of the books, Maneuver and Firepower: The Evolution of Divisions and Separate Brigades  by John B. Wilson.
In March 1911, during disorders resulting from the Mexican Revolution, the War Department deployed many Regular Army units of the First Field Army to the southern border. Units assembled at San Antonio, Texas, constituted the Maneuver Division and the Independent Cavalry Brigade, while others, concentrated at Galveston, Texas, and San Diego, California, made up separate infantry brigades. The division, following the Field Service Regulations outline, consisted of three infantry brigades, a field artillery brigade, an engineer battalion, and medical and signal units, but no trains. 
You can view this entire book online
This would indicate that the photo was taken somewhere along the U.S./Mexico boarder. I still don't know when or where Leonard joined the Army's Field Artillery Division.   I hope to attend the next Gregory reunion and ask if anyone has Leonard's papers.  I feel certain one of the other children or grandchildren has it in their possession.  It is my prayer that his papers didn't end up in a garbage can.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Memories of Grandparents on the Farm

This is me in front of the farm house in about 1959-60.  
When I stop and recall times past spent on my grandparents farm, happy memories come in a flood.  There is just something magical about grandparents.  Ordinary things have a completely different meaning to a grandchild.
My Louthan grandparents lived on the family farm owned by my great grandmother, Emma Jennie Hurt Louthan. I never knew my great grandfather, he died before I was born.  Grandpa had a few head of cattle and one milk cow.  He worked for the Major County road and bridge department for many years.  Grandma worked in Branstetter's grocery store in Chester, OK.  I have an aunt who is 6 months older than me and we had some great times together!  I spent time during the summer with them on the farm.  Great grandma lived in town and we spent the daytime with her while Grandma was at work.

Let me paint a picture of the farm for you.  It was down a sandy road off of the highway a few miles.  The yard had elm, mulberry and cedar trees.  Very little grass grew around the house in that sandy soil and deep shade. When the mulberries were ripe, our feet were stained purple!  We almost never wore shoes in the summer. Out front of the house was a hand pump for drawing water from the well to drink, wash and cook with.  Out back was the two-seater outhouse.  There was a storm cellar where Grandma kept the electric separator for separating the cream from the milk. She kept her canned goods down there and there was one bed, just in case of a storm.  She had a crank style wringer washing machine and a close line.   There was a galvanized bathtub right up close to the back of the house.  We all shared the same bath water which had to be heated on the electric kitchen stove.  The house originally had three rooms; living room, eat in kitchen and a bedroom with two full size beds in it.  There was a sink in the kitchen with a drain, but no faucets.  Inside the front door, which opened into the kitchen, was a stand with a water pail, ladle and wash basin.  We all drank from the same ladle and we put it back in the water pail after we took a drink. After washing our hands in the basin, the dirty water was tossed out the door. They had a party line telephone.  If someone was on the line, you had to wait until they got off before you could make a call.  I remember the kitchen table, chrome with a grey marble Formica top. It is the first one I remember, they could have had one before it.  In the living room was a sofa that made out into a bed with storage underneath.  They had a wall furnace for heating and an evaporation water cooler for the summer time.  At night time, she brought in the chamber pot, a.k.a. 'Thunder Mug' as Grandpa called it.  In the summer time, my aunt and I would sleep outside on an iron bed with an open metal spring foundation that Grandma covered for us.  There was nothing like sleeping out under the stars!

I remember the holidays at the farm.  Grandma made chicken 'n' noodles, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, divinity, fudge and peanut brittle.  No one could top my grandma's cooking, especially her noodles and pecan pie, my favorites!   She made her own egg noodles and could cut them as thin as spaghetti noodles.  When we and all of my cousins were there, we numbered 10 kids and six adults.

Grandma made her own butter in a churn that belonged to her mother, Myrtle Paris Hedrick.  She always let her cream sour before she made butter, consequently, I never liked butter.  I didn't care for raw milk either, but would put it on my cereal.  To this day, I don't drink milk.

I don't remember the year, but my grandparents decided to build on to the farm house.  They built on a long room along the back that had a door from the kitchen into it and then it went across the back wall of the living room and had a door that exited to the outside.  The first Easter after they started construction, we hid the colored eggs in the stud walls which hadn't been covered yet. It was particularly cold Easter that year. One of the full-size beds was moved to this addition for my aunt.  Grandma's deep freezer was in this room as well.

There was a big elm tree next to the house and Grandpa made a tire swing for us.  We had a lot of fun on that tire swing.  We used to play a game where one of us would toss a ball over the house and  and the other one would catch it on the other side.

Grandpa had an old car that they didn't drive to town anymore.  He would load us up and head out into the pasture.  Following the two wheel trail down through the sandy hills toward a place he called "the thrill hill."  Grandpa would get going pretty fast then off the top of the hill we went!  I have no idea how steep the down side was, but it gave us quite a thrill!  My grandpa was pretty ornery.  He loved to tease us.   Grandpa had a bed time snack every night, bread and milk.  He put the bread in his glass of milk.  I don't know as I ever asked him why.  Grandma made bread, never bought it from the store.  She used to fry the dough on a hot griddle and we ate it with butter melted on it.  She called them 'fried toads.'  I should have asked her where this name originated.  I never knew anyone else who called it that.

Great grandma died in 1974 and the farm was put up for sale.  Grandma and Grandpa moved to town so my aunt finally lived in a modern house.  I know she was thrilled since no one else in her high school lived like she did on the farm.  I supposed it I had lived there all my life, I would have felt the same way.

I collected porcelain enamel ware in red and white like Grandma used on the farm.  She just couldn't believe I liked that old stuff.  It seems to me we collect things that bring back fond memories of our childhood.  I no longer have the enamel ware, I sold it during my first downsizing.  Letting go is hard.

Grandpa died in 1992 and Grandma died in 2003.  My parents made each of us kids a packet of pictures from the albums that Grandma had.  The picture at the top of this post was in that packet.  I don't know who the car belongs too.  My sister was born in Dec. 1959 in Lubbock, Texas but I cannot tell if the plates on this car are Oklahoma or Texas.  I am sure there are car aficionados out there who could identify the make and model by the style of the tail lights.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - An Autobiography

Born on the third day of December in 1934 in Mooreland, Oklahoma was a teacher and 'household executive'.  She loved reading, music and her friends.  Her husband, Pat McGinley was an Engineer with Exxon.  Jonila was the mother of two children, Mark and Patricia, and a grandmother of two, Hillary and Alicia.  
Jonila joined Thousand Oaks Chapter, DAR in June 1991 and was a charter member of Lohman's Ford chapter in Lakeway, Texas when it was chartered on November 14, 1994.  She held the offices of secretary and  historian; as well as literacy and patriotism chairmanships. 
Her chapter published an "Orchid Book" and each member wrote a narrative for that publication.  Jonila wrote:
"I, Jonila was born in Oklahoma and lived there for 34 years.  After marriage to Pat McGinley we lived in the great state of Texas and then the great state of California.  We resided in Australia for 5 years and South Korea for 3 years.  We have a son who is a Professor at Texas Tech and a daughter who is a speech therapist and mother of our two granddaughters."
"I would like to be remembered for my love of life and my willingness to do things for others.  I would like for my descendants to understand that we are responsible for our own actions. I want to pass on the importance of education."
 Jonila lost her battle with cancer on December 19, 2012 in Lakeway, Texas.  She is survived by her husband, Pat; her son, Mark, and daughter, Patricia Clarke; granddaughters Hillary and Alicia; and one brother, David Graves.  A private memorial service will be held in Oklahoma.

I am sorry to say that I never met Jonila.  We talked on the phone for the first time just this past summer.  I was looking for more information on our Graves line and my mother had contacted Jonila on my behalf.  She was very kind and helpful and talked about all the family papers she had received from her father, Jones Graves. She told me she had the original photo of our common ancestor, Elizabeth Fall Holley.  This photo was taken before her death in 1899 and wasn't it the best condition.  I felt very blessed when I received a copy of that photo in the mail a few weeks later.  My hope is to leave a fitting tribute to this wonderful person.