Saturday, November 30, 2013

Phoebe Ellen DeWeese Barnard Simms Lacy

My 2nd great grandmother.  She was a little, loud woman with a horrible temper, according to the memories of my great grandmother, Edna America Stevens Barnard.  She was also an adulteress, according to the divorce record.  She divorced George Washington Barnard in 1892, then married James Simms in 1893.  She had a child with Mr. Simms; Charley.  I found him in two census records and then he disappeared.  Or maybe he's there and I just can't find him because his name isn't unique enough.  Either way, he's invisible to me.  So was Ellen, as she was called.  Until today.  Today I was looking for her sons and I found her.  In 1900 she's married to James Simms and living with him and Jerry B Simms (who is actually Jerry Barnard, her youngest son with George.) and Charley, and with James' brother, Mort, who ended up marrying Ellen's sister, Hester Ann DeWeese.  Hester has her own sordid past, which I will detail another time.

So while looking for Jerry, I found Ellen, who died under the name Ellen P Lacy.  Parents are correct and a "Jim Barnard" was the informant for her death certificate.  That would be James Spencer Barnard, another of her sons.  James and Jerry Barnard went to prison for killing a man, but they were released early.  Again, a story for another time.  I don't know who the Mr. Lacy was who gave her his last name, which she took to her grave.  I haven't been able to find Ellen in the 1910 census records.  I know she was buried in Mount Olive Cemetery, which used to be DeWeese Cemetery.  I think.  There is a Mount Olive Cemetery which at one time was the DeWeese Cemetery in Union County, Kentucky, where Ellen died.  But there's also a Mount Olive Cemetery in Hardin County, Illinois, where this particular branch of my family did most of their living and dying.  So which Mount Olive Cemetery is she buried in?  I wish I knew because if I did, I'd create a Find A Grave memorial for her so the rest of my Barnard side of the family could find her.

Here's her death record.  I (heart) Kentucky.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

For Every Failure There Is A Success...Sometimes.

A few days (or maybe weeks, time gets blurry when I'm genealogy-ing) I wrote someone on about maybe having a connection to one of the people in her private trees.  I got an answer back tonight, but she stated she didn't think there was a connection.  She didn't have the person's parents, only the person's husband.

Well, that was enough for me! 

I'd been working on my Griffins in Canada, taking advantage of having full access to all the world's records with my new subscription (thanks again, Knapper!), and one of the families had moved down into Michigan, so I was following them here.  They were in Aetna Township in Mecosta County, which is where I've lived before.  I find that when it comes to some branches of my family or Knapper's, we've lived where they lived without knowing they lived there, much less that they were our relatives. 

Anyway.  I was following Sarah Ellen Griffin, the daughter of Isaac James Griffin, my 1st cousin 5x removed.  Sarah was born a twin, the last two children in a large family, and almost after-thought children, if you know what I mean.  The last child born before Sarah and her twin brother James Emmerson was a brother, David Griffin, who was born in 1839.  Sarah and James were born in 1849.

So Sarah Ellen Griffin was married twice:  first she married Henry Olin in 1863 in Mecosta County when she was 13.  Yes.  13.  She was 2 months pregnant with her first child, John Olin, when she married Henry in May.  Sarah and Henry eventually had 7 children. Six sons and one daughter.  Two sons as well as the daughter ended up dying very young.  It was a hard life.

Then something happened and the family broke up.  Henry remarried and had more children and Sarah remarried as well.  Her new husband's name was Charles Blackford.  Charles was born in Washington D.C. and together he and Sarah had 4 children.  I can't be sure, but it looks like they had a set of twins also: Chloe and Cleveland.  Chloe died at 5 months.  I don't know what happened to Cleveland.  Chloe is listed as female in the record I found and Cleveland as male, but I can't find a death record for Cleveland or find him in any census record.  Another mystery.

So Charles and Sarah have at least 3 children, maybe 4.  Their other children are Maude b. 1885, Gertrude b. 1887 and then the twins (maybe) born 1889. 

Gertrude Blackford married Franklin Alphson Adams in Barry County in 1906.  Franklin was the son of Stephen Adams and his wife, Irena Burd.  I love to hunt ancestors so of course I started learning all I could about the Burd and Adams families.  The Burds were pretty easy.  The Adams, not so much. 

I worked on that family for hours and hours.  I followed them from 1850 when Franklin (Franklin A's grandfather) and Susan Dilt married and set up house, through the 1860 census, the 1870 census, and the 1880 census.  In 1881 Franklin Adams died.  The Adams' had had 8 children by then:  Joseph F b. 1852, Alta A b. 1854, Stephen b. 1856,  Rufus b. 1859, (whom I think died early, I wasn't able to trace him any further than the 1860 census) then a Francombe, a female, b. 1861, Bryon  b. 1865, Carrie b. 1869, and finally Charles Randolph Adams b. 1874. 

Joseph, Alta, and Stephen were all out of the house by the time Franklin died.  In the 1880 census only Franklin, Susan, Byron, Carrie and Charles were left in the family home.  I can't find Susan after that census, but I found the last 3 children: Byron looks to have taken over the care of Charles until he grew up, and Carrie got married in 1884 at the tender age of 15. 

It took some looking, but I found these last three in Barry County in the 1894 Michigan Census.  Carrie is with her husband, Walter Scrambling, and Byron and Charles are working on the farms of other people.  I found an Alta Hubbard and my geni-senses started tingling.  I couldn't find a marriage record for Alta Adams, but I was sure I had the right Alta. 

Anyway, I've run on and on again, haven't I? 

So the person with the private tree I wrote to told me that she doubted we had the same Alta because that part of her own family was from...and she listed the counties where the Adams family had lived or married or died.  Using her Alta's married surname and husband, I tracked down my Alta and found where she'd remarried in 1906 in Kalamazoo.  Listed on the marriage record were the names of Alta Hubbard's parents, Franklin and Susan Diltz Adams.

That was a fun hunt.  I can't find Alta's death record using the name of her second husband, but it's out there somewhere.

Where ARE you, John Bowman?

I cannot find John Bowman anywhere after 1930. These are the things I know: he was married to Emma F Turner. They were married in Fremont, Tuscola County, Michigan in 1879 (Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925, index and images, Family Search). They were in Watertown, Tuscola County, Michigan in 1880. By 1900 they had two daughters and were living in Vassar, Tuscola, Michigan. By 1910 they had moved to West Bloomfield, Oakland County, Michigan. They were in that same place in 1920. Emma died in 1926 (Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952, Family Search). John was still there in 1930 with the two children of his dead daughter, Ella Bowman Lemon, and his unmarried daughter, Hessie J Bowman. In 1940 Hessie is living alone with one nephew, John Clayton Lemon, Jr., who is listed as "John Booman," an obvious misspelling of Bowman, and he's using his grandfather's surname. Hessie died unmarried in 1945 (Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952).

I am almost certain John Bowman died in Michigan between 1930-1940. I have tried everything I know to find him. His wife and unmarried daughter are not listed on Find A Grave. Plenty of John Bowmans on FAG, but none in the right place at the right time.

Oh, how I wish I had access to the images of the death certificates between 1921 and 1952! I know it's probably a case of misspelling of his surname.

In every census record, John lists Illinois as his place of birth. I cannot find him in Illinois unless I know his parent's names.

Why is he hiding? Why is he forgotten after his death? Where in Illinois was he born? Who were his parents? How did he come to be in Fremont, Tuscola, Michigan in 1879?

This is driving me crazy.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Full Week of Genealogy and a World Access Pass to

I have been able to indulge my passion for genealogy without any restraint this week, as Knapper has been gone on a hunting trip to Ohio.  Before he left, he gifted me with the most expensive subscription to, for which I will be forever grateful.  So, without Knapper here and with the whole world of genealogical records spread before me, I've been...frustrated.  Why, you ask?  Because just because you have access to the whole world doesn't mean most of your ancestors won't continue to hide from record-takers.  I have been able to document a great many of my family lines in Canada, but some, including one of my most-wanted records, are still swirling out there somewhere in the mists of time...or something.

Isaac M Lemon.  He was the father of my great grandfather, Isaac B Lemon, father of my grandfather, Russell Tiffin Lemon, father of my own father, Russell Raymond Lemon.  I found the record listing the death of Isaac M's wife, Ann Tiffen Lemon.  It was an addition to the 1871 Canadian census.  Nothing written, of course, of the whereabouts of her burial.  Isaac M Lemon supposedly died not long after, but I can't find any record of that.  Frustrating.

I cheated and took Knapper's computer downstairs to use for genealogy while he's gone.  It's been lovely not having to wait and wait and wait for pages to load, and it's almost silent as well, which is wonderful.  Hours and hours go by and I am lost in records and trees and names and dates and I've been loving every second of it.  I cleaned the house when Knapper left and it's stayed clean.  I clean as I go when cooking, so the kitchen has been spotless.  I've only eaten when I felt like it, which hasn't been often.  I think this must be a little what Heaven must feel like, except in Heaven there are no missing records and all dates and spouses and children and explanations are easily found and understood.