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Archive for June, 2008

With the approaching Independence Day holiday, I found myself wondering how many folks in my family tree were married on July 4th or some other holiday.

CHRISTMAS DAY – 13

  • Georg Adams & Christine Werts – 1814
  • Eleazer House & Abigail Mosely – 1782
  • Ephraim Swingle & Dolly Nicholson – 1868
  • Percy Tuttle & Julia House – 1906
  • Evans Wortman & Laura House – 1888
  • Henry House & Lucy Woodford – 1860
  • Charles Duncan & Catherine Rice – 1876
  • Lindsey House & Mary Young – 1841
  • John Rivers & Rosa Hagerman – 1874
  • Leroy Snodgrass & Blanche Bookless – 1904
  • E. Lee Harnish & Blanche Hendricks – 1917
  • Conrad Miller & Maria Grim (1780)
  • Charles Reubush & Vada Henkle (1915)

NEW YEARS EVE/NEW YEARS DAY – 18

  • John W. & Mary F. [surnames with held for privacy] – 1983
  • Thomas Hollister & Abigail Talcott – about 1734/35
  • Ross Bookless & Estella Wiley – 1901
  • Alton Rose & Katherine Roberts – 1931
  • David Williams & Martha Ann Kinsey – 1839
  • Cyrellus Mackenzie & Cassandra Bushong – 1860
  • Beryl Goul & Freida Novak – 1927
  • Arza Young & Mary Guilkey – 1909
  • John ‘Jacob’ Bushong & Eva Catherina Bossert – 1784
  • Samuel Whiteman & Martha Goul – 1888
  • Charles Anderson & Rosa Johnson – 1888
  • Ralph Bushong & Ada Calhoun – 1927
  • Larry & Wilma [surnames with held for privacy] – 1983
  • John Alexander Bushong & Mattie Maxon – 1884
  • Eli Hendren & Elizabeth Gilreath – 1834
  • Evan Bell & Eliza Johnson – 1846
  • William F. Clawson & Martha Jane Stern – 1909
  • Clinton Dodd & Frances Huffman – 1938

Valentine’s Day – 15

  • John Canfield & Dorcas House – 1774
  • James Couts & Lorna Angle – 1948
  • Patrick & Marta [surnames with held for privacy] – 2003
  • Larry & Marilyn [surnames with held for privacy] – 1957
  • Samuel Hale & Sarah Smith – 1728/29
  • Donnie & Judith [surnames with held for privacy] 2002
  • William House & Judith Chapman – 1806
  • Richard Hendren & Harriet Agee – 1876
  • John Brown & Elizabeth “Betsy” Bushong – 1814
  • Philip Bushong & Elizabeth Brugh/Betsy Drew – 1815
  • Hughie Clark & Lieureta Stanley – 1853
  • Walter & Dorothy [surnames with held for privacy] – 1950
  • David & Sandra [surnames with held for privacy] – 1981
  • Francis & Lori [surnames with held for privacy] – 1986
  • Edward & Penny [surnames with held for privacy] – 1991

           (Siblings were married on the same day 12 years apart.)

 

4th of JULY – 9

  • Johnathon Loveland Nicholson & Elizabeth Swingle – 1804
  • Henry Goul & Mathilda Bates – 1894
  • Thomas Roudebush & Orpha Griffin – 1903
  • Henry Bushong & Isabelle Summers – 1791
  • Ezeckial A. Hendren & Miranda Wade – 1838
  • John Noonan & Martha Blazer – 1887
  • John Johnson & Katie Blazer – 1883
  • Harold & Doris [surnames with held for privacy] – 1953
  • David & Susan [surnames with held for privacy] – 1998

      (Sisters were married on the same date – 4 years apart.)

I’ve also found quite a few marriages close to Thanksgiving, Easter, Labor Day, and between Christmas and New Years.

Have you gone through your family file to see on what holidays were the most popular to be married?  What can be determined through this information?  Were there siblings who usually married on the same date as an older one?

 

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The topic for this edition of Carnival of Genealogy is:
INDEPENDENT! Do you have a relative who was feisty, spoke their own mind, was a bit of a free spirit? Anyone who most people might consider a “nut” on the family tree but you know they really just followed a “different tune?”

I’ve spent quite a bit of time going through my family files looking for someone who I think fits this description.  There are two people who come to mind immediately – my great-grandmother and my mom – however, I’ve already written posts about them and felt the need to expand my search.  My only challenge is writing about someone who still has living children.  I don’t want to offend anyone nor write something that will give too much information.  With that being said, I hope to not only portray this person in a way that will honor their memory but possibly encourage surviving family to reflect more fondly about this person.

Eva was born to an unwed mother on an interurban car in Fortville, Indiana, on October 2, 1910.  They were taken to St. John’s Hospital where the young mother pleaded with a woman to take her infant daughter and raise her as her own.  The mother wasn’t able to care for her baby and knew that letting her go was in the best interest of the child.  Katie and John Johnson took her in and raised her practically from birth on just as their own child.  They were never able to adopt her but gave her their last name.  She was 12 years younger than their youngest son, Glen, and the daughter that Katie had prayed for. 

Eva was a very strong-willed child – following the beat of her own drummer.  She liked to imitate her favorite screen star – Clara Bow – in dress.  Apparently Eva was unaware that she wasn’t the birth daughter of Katie and John until years later yet perhaps there was something inside of her that made her go “searching” for whatever it was that would give her peace.  Since she was so much younger than Glen it was as if she was an only child without benefit of really strong family bonds a closer-in-age sibling might have yielded her. 

When Eva was a teenager, she married and her son was born in 1929.  After her foster mother, Katie, died, Eva began searching for her birth mother.  As a fairly new mother herself, it is possible that she was searching for that parent-child connection in order to understand her own standing as a mom.  A woman saw a notice printed in a magazine and recognized Katie’s name as the woman she had given her daughter to.  The woman, Clara  Badgly Grennells of Chicago, got in touch with an Indiana newspaper and requested that her appeal to meet Eva be printed. 

There are conflicting stories that Eva did meet her birth mother and learn the name of her biological father.  Another story is that Eva’s birth mother died prior to their meeting but that she did meet her father. 

Eva’s relationship with her husband was not all glamour, champagne and happily-ever-after.  It is reported that she was always searching for something – many times in the arms of someone else.  She and her husband split up and divorced and when Eva was in her early 40s, discovered that she was pregnant.  The specter of what lay ahead of her would surely be weighing on her mind: an older mother, a single mother, a mother of a grown son, a woman who had limited income.  Any number of reasons would have aided her in her decision to give up her daughter – just as she had been given up.  It was only many years later before Eva died, that she would be reunited with her grown daughter.

I wish I could have met this woman – my grandfather’s younger sister – as she lived for many years after his death.  Whenever the family discussed his relatives, we all knew he had a younger sister but I truly think that they had fallen out of touch many years earlier.  It isn’t known who stopped communicating.  Possibly it was a bit of both.  Knowing my grandfather he would have talked and talked until he was blue in the face about “straightening up” and flying right to her.  As independent as she seems, Eva probably decided to do what she’d always done – dance to her own music and “if all you’re going to do is lecture me, I’m not listening anymore.”  Theories that are probably closer to the mark than not. 

It seems rather sad to me that no one contacted her – or knew where to reach her – when my grandfather passed away.  We never sought to visit her when we were in Indiana.  I hope that in her later years, she finally found what she was searching for.  Life is really rather short in the grand scheme of things and family ties – no matter how strained or tenuous – should never be broken.  She left this world almost the same as she entered – alone and unwanted – except by those who truly did wish to be a part of her life – her foster parents and her only daughter.  Rest in peace, Eva.

(For information on Clara Bow go to The Clara Bow Page)

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One of the earliest divorces I found – one that would also impact my life – was that of my great-grandparents.  Joseph Napolean Wilt and Martha Jane Stern were married in Delaware County, Indiana on September 10, 1890.  Six children were born to this family – one son was either stillborn or died shortly thereafter.  My grandmother, Vesta, was the fifth child (the fourth who lived) and first daughter.  By the time she was ten – in 1908 – her parents had separated.  I am unsure when the divorce actually took place but it was before December 1909.  Martha had to send at least one of her sons, to her husband’s sister’s home for awhile as she didn’t have the income or money to support all of her children.  On September 19, 1908 she appeared in Judge J.H. Leffler’s Delaware County Court to appeal for child support from her estranged husband.  The judge granted her support for her three youngest children, Vesta, and her sister, Nellie, and brother, Clifford.  The judge signed a bench warrant for the arrest of Joe Wilt for non-support of children under the age of 14.  Family stories indicate that Joe really never did much to support his children and drifted from one place to another and one job to another.  What is known is that my grandmother and her siblings went for a long time before ever seeing their father again.

Martha married her sister’s widower, William Frank Clawson, on December 31, 1909.  Frank and (Margaret) Ellen Stern had six children – four dying as infants.  Between Frank and Martha, they raised their combined families together.  My grandmother used to call her step-siblings, “double-cousins”, which was a misnomer.  They were first cousins who ended up becoming step-siblings due to Frank and Martha’s marriage. 

Joe went on to marry Anna Park on July 3, 1912 in Clark County, Indiana.  They spent most of their married life in Lexington, Scott County, Indiana as indicated by the 1920 and 1930 censuses.  I have not found either Joe or Martha in any of the 1910 censuses of Indiana.  Joe and Anna had one son, Albert, born in 1917.  My grandmother did meet her half-brother once but he died in 1933 at the age of 16.  Anna died about 1942.  Joe went on to marry one last time to a lady named Susie (as referenced in his obituary). 

When Joe Wilt died in early January 1944 he was alone.  Susie had been staying in Kentucky and it was thought that Joe died from a heart attack.  Even though he hadn’t had contact with his children for quite sometime, Vesta and possibly her brother Clarence (who also lived in Indiana) and other brother, Jesse (living in Ohio), were able to attend the funeral. 

Many years later after my parents divorced, my grandmother was like a kindred spirit as she told me that she had gone through the same thing when her parents split up.  She had experienced many of the same thoughts and emotions that I had.  Witnessing first hand all the triumphs over the stigma of divorce that she had accomplished, I knew that my future would be okay.  Without ever knowing my great-grandparents, their marriage and divorce, and the affect that had on their daughter, made a profound impact on my own life.

Picture 1: Martha and Joe Wilt, sons: John, Jesse (baby), Clarence
Picture 2: Frank and Martha Clawson
Picture 3: Joe and Anna Wilt

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Links Added

I just updated my links on the right hand side.  I’ve added a link category called “Genealogy Blogs” and updated some of the links I already had posted within this category.  Many who have left me comments also have their Blogs located in the Genealogy Blog links.  I urge you to go visit these blogs and read about their research, stories and discoveries.  The State Databases also received many hits so I’ve added that to the Genealogy Links to make it easier to find within all the posts! 

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Marital Longevity

In an earlier post, I wrote about How Many Times Have They Been Married.  This post will list some of the lengthy marriages I’ve discovered in my family tree.

Grandparents

  • Glen Johnson and Vesta Wilt – 67 years
  • Lloyd Amore and Ella House – 43 years.

Uncles and Aunts

  • Glen Johnson Jr. and Mary Van Tuyl – 61 years
  • Gail Amore and Margaret White – 40 years
  • Paul Amore and Dorothy (unknown) – about 50 years
  • Norman Amore and Mae Miller – 54 years
  • Bervil Amore and Eva Swigert – 45 years

First Cousins – since these couples are still living I will just list the years:

  • 57 years
  • 46 years
  • 45 years
  • 50 years
  • 43 years
  • 45 years
  • 26 years

My Great-Grandparents

  • John Johnson and Katie Blazer – 46 years
  • Henry Amore and Annie Werts – 62 years
  • James House and Frances Ogan – 42 years

Several of my great-aunts and great-uncles also had marriages that endured for a long time.  So even though there are quite a few couples whose marriages didn’t work for one reason or another, or they endured the death of a spouse, there are many examples of marital longevity in my family. 

Have you gone through your family tree and ancestors and discovered lengthy marriages or someone who has been married several times (for one reason or another)? 

 

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1000 Hits!

Very soon I’ll have 1000 hits!  As Sally Field said eons ago – “You Like Me!  You Really Like Me!”  I hope all of you have found at least one little tidbit here to help you or encourage you in your research.  Thank you all of my loyal readers and for all the brand new readers out there!  Just remember whenever you leave a comment, I do my best to go to your blog or website.  I hope to add to my Genealogy Links soon with many more of your blogs and websites!  And I will do my best to continue to add, enlighten, and bring something to the genealogy community through my posts!

Again – thank you!

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Thanks, Jessica & Randy, for the idea for this post!  Please go to Jessica’s Genejournal Blog and read How Many Times Have My Ancestors Been Married? to see what Jessica discovered or to Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings Blog to read

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