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Florus A House, my grand uncle (brother to my paternal grandmother), was born on April 21, 1873 in Guernsey county, Ohio to James Emory House and Frances Virginia Ogan – who were not yet married.  The marriage would take place one month later. Florus was named after his paternal grandfather (my 2nd great-grandfather).

At the age of fifteen, my grand uncle was very ill.  The “Semi-Weekly Age,” – a Coshocton county newspaper, reported in the April 20, 1888 edition that he was “on the sick list, with symptoms of lung fever.”  At the age of nineteen, he was picking apples at a neighbor’s farm and fell from the tree.  The “Coshocton Democratic Standard” reported in the October 21, 1892 edition that he “broke his fore arm and badly cut his face.”  When his oldest son was nineteen, they both were in a mining accident.  My father remembers that Florus had many facial scars from that accident.

On July 26, 1899, he married Emma Caroline Stacer, who was born on June 4, 1879. The couple bore 8 children: Harvey J House (born May 18, 1900), Gertrude M House (b. May 7, 1903), Mary H House (b. March 18, 1905), Ralph Frederick House (b. March 15, 1907), twins Wealtha Fay House and Welby James House (b. May 28, 1909), Dorthy E House (b. February 20, 1914), and Betty J House (b. private).

In the 1900 census, the couple and their son, Harvey, were living in Jackson township in the county of Coshocton. Florus indicated that his occupation was that of a coal miner, and that he and Emma had been married less than a year.

The family was living within the city limits of Coshocton at the time of the 1910 census.  Besides their son, Harvey, the family also included Gertrude, (Mary) Helen, Ralph, and Wealtha.  Her twin, Welby, had died less than two months after birth. He had been spina bifida. The July 12, 1909 edition of the “Coshocton Daily Times” mentioned that the baby “had been ill since his birth.”  He was buried at Prairie Chapel Cemetery.

The family stayed in Coshocton until between 1930 and 1935. The 1940 census showed that they were living in Tuscarawas township of the same county and had been there in 1935. Florus listed that he and his wife only had an 8th grade education (different than my grandmother and her sister who both graduated high school). They were members of the Coshocton Nazarene church.

In the spring of 1941, Florus had surgery for a double hernia. That was probably just the beginning of his troubles. Within six weeks, the “Coshocton Tribune” was reporting (July 2, 1941) that his condition was critical. Eight days later the same newspaper reported his death in the Cleveland Marine hospital.  He was 68 years old. His death certificate (image obtained from FamilySearch.org in the “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953” database) lists his cause of death as “hypertrophy of prostate (about 1 year ago); pyelonephrtis, bilateral, chronic.”  The online article “Bilateral Emphysematous Pyelonephritis in a Patient with No Known Risk Factors” from “The Journal of the National Medical Association” explains that it is a “rare life-threatening infection” (Hart, Peter D., Vaseemuddin, Mohammad, Egiebor, Osbert; J Natl Med Assoc. 2007 February; 99(2): 179–181. 29 July 2013).

Funeral services for Florus were held at the Nazarene church, and he was buried at Prairie Chapel cemetery. His wife, Emma, survived him, dying fourteen years later, on December 12, 1965 in Akron, Ohio. She was buried next to him. It is believed that only one of his daughters is still living.

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Of research on the Amore branch of my family – that is!  What do I know and what do I not know?  In order to get to a point where I might have a chance at breaking through a brick wall, I need to re-visit my notes and sources and analyze what is in them as well as “see” what it is I may have missed in the last fourteen years.

What I know: I have not been able to figure out who the parents are of my 2nd great-grandfather, William Amore. I do not know how old William was when he came from New York to Ohio. (Sounds more like things I don’t know!) But, as the saying goes: “you don’t know what you don’t know.” So at least I know a few things that I don’t know. Confused yet?

A couple of years after I started delving into family history, one of my cousins said that William was born in Troy / Albany area of New York. What documentation have I located to prove that?

william amore 1850 censuscr

The first census I found him in was the 1850 U.S. Census. He was enumerated living in the Thomas Buck household in Oxford township, Coshocton county, Ohio. His age was 22 and his place of birth was listed as Ohio. His profession was shoemaker and the value of his real estate was $200. Everyone in the household except for Thomas Buck was listed as born in Ohio – perhaps the enumerator just made a mistake – or someone else answered the question and not William (the enumerator used ditto marks). If William didn’t answer that question, who else would have known the value of his real estate?  For that matter, what real estate would he have owned if he was living in a household not his own?

william amore 1860 censuscr

William was married to Charlotte (my 2nd great-grandmother) by the 1860 U. S. Census and had four sons. They were living in Linton township – still in Coshocton county. William, age 33, is listed as born in Ohio again as well as everyone else. The enumerator did not write “Ohio” – just ditto marks (“) from a previous entry of “Ohio.” So there are two population schedules that list his birthplace as Ohio. His real estate value is $400 and his personal property value is $100.

william amore 1870 censuscr

By 1870, Charlotte has passed away and William has remarried Elizabeth. The family – minus 2 sons enumerated in 1860 as they have died – and with the addition of three more children are residing in Franklin township in Coshocton county. William, 42, lists his birthplace as New York, occupation Shoemaker, and no real estate amount is listed. However, $350 is listed as value of personal property. The column listing whether parents are of foreign birth is not checked (there are no checks in those columns on that page at all so it is unknown whether the enumerator asked that question). The difference noted between this census and the 1850 and 1860 censuses is the enumerator wrote out on each line the place of birth instead of relying on ditto marks.

william amore 1880cr

William is 52 on the 1880 U. S. Census, still married to Elizabeth, and still living in Franklin township.  The two oldest sons, William Henry and George Washington, have left home; one son, Florus, has died; and two more daughters have been added to the family. William still lists his occupation as shoemaker and his birthplace as NY.  This is the first census that asks a location for the parents’ birthplace.  It shows William’s father as born in England and his mother as NY. The enumerator has written down the birthplaces instead of using ditto marks.

Unfortunately, there is no way to determine what William listed on the 1890 U.S. Census since it was destroyed, and he passed away in 1896. Documentation for his death comes from: an obituary printed in the Democratic Standard, Vol. XVII, No. 48, on the front page; and one in an unknown Coshocton newspaper. His gravestone also lists his death date and his age.

In later years, his children all listed his birthplace as New York. In the book “A Centennial History of Coshocton County. Ohio” by William J. Bahmer: George Washington Amore’s biography states “…his parents being William and Charlotte (Reed) Amore, the former a native of Troy, New York” (S.J. Clark Publishing Co., 1909, p. 160-161).

William Amore was married three times – his first wife, Frances Price, whom he married in September 1848, passed away in April 1850 – less than two years after being married. His second marriage to Charlotte Reed in May 1851 lasted until her death in October 1862 – almost eleven years. He married for the last time to Elizabeth Spencer in January 1863 – a mere three months after Charlotte died. They were married when he died. On the marriage documents (Digital images, FamilySearch.org,  "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994,") there is not a listing for place of birth so those records do not add any information.

zade letter to editor

William’s grandson – my grandfather’s brother, Isaiah H Amore, wrote a letter to the editor of the the “Coshocton Tribune” that was published in it’s June 8, 1971 edition on the Opinion Page (accessed and downloaded digital image from NewspaperArchives.com). He begins by saying “Inasmuch as my grandfather, William Amore, was a mule-driver on the Erie Canal prior to 1850” which provides second-hand information about William’s occupation before 1850. Coshocton county is next to the Ohio and Erie Canal. Two rivers – the Walhonding and Tuscarawas merge there to form the Muskingum River (Wikipedia.com; Coshocton, Ohio). Reported on Ohio History Central (ohiohistorycentral.org), the Canal system brought more people into Coshocton in the 1820s and 1830s. The canal that eventually went from Lake Erie to the Ohio River was complete by 1833. Since there hasn’t been any documentation to prove or disprove William’s birth in New York, it is documented via his marriage to Frances Price, that William was living in Coshocton county in September 1848. If he was born in Troy, New York, his family could have made their way via the Hudson River north to Lake Erie, then along Lake Erie to Cuyahoga county in Northern Ohio, down the Ohio and Erie Canal to Coshocton county.

In the same publication as George Washington Amore’s biography, is a biography on Arnold Babcock. His parents were Abel Babcock and Jane Amore – both of New York. Unfortunately, not much is known about Jane. She died in 1845 (memorial #91891488 findagrave.com) and is buried in the Caton Cemetery in Coshocton. The memorial states that she was 30 years, 3 months and 7 days old making her born on January 15, 1815 – 13 years before William. If Jane was a younger sister of William’s father and she was born in New York, then William’s father could have been brought to the United States from England as a younger child with Jane being born after arriving in New York. Locating the Babcock family in New York in censuses prior to them arriving in Coshocton, might provide a clue – especially if they lived in the same vicinity as an Amore family. However, Jane may be a much older sister of William’s – possibly born of a different mother. Tidbit of information: William and Elizabeth’s oldest daughter was named Jane (and called Jennie much of her life).

There is an Enoch Amore found in the 1820 U.S. Census living in Wawarsing in Ulster county, New York. The household is enumerated as having 3 males under the age of 10, 1 male 45 and over, 1 female under 10, 1 female 26-45 and 1 female over 45 and one person involved in commerce. It can be deduced that Enoch Amore is the male age 45. There are three sons under the age of 10, one daughter under the age of 10. Enoch’s wife could be the female between 26 and 45 with his mother or mother-in-law over age 45 or his wife could be over 45 and a sister of one of them the female 26-45 (or an older daughter of Enoch’s from a previous marriage). Since William wasn’t born until 1828, he would not have been enumerated in this census. Needless to say, I have not been able to locate Enoch in the 1830 U.S. Census – the first census William would have been enumerated.

In the 1830 Census there is a William Amer indexed who is living in Albany, New York with one male under 5, 1 male 30-40 (presumably him), 1 female under 5, 1 female 5-10, and one female 20-30.

There is a Patty Amour listed in the 1840 U.S. Census living in Adams township of Coshocton county and living right next door to the Abel Babcock family. Enumerated in the Amour household are 1 male 10-15, 1 female 10-20, and one female 40-50. Presumably, Patty is the female aged 40-50. In 1840, William was 12 which would fit the male age 10-15. Living next door to the Babcock family could also provide a clue since Jane Amore was married by then to Abel.

The “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1994," index and images, FamilySearch indexes an image as Anny Ann Amore marrying Joseph Lime on May 2, 1843 in Fayette county, Ohio. Looking at the image, the first name looks more like Amy.

Another interesting piece of information comes from the fact that just across the county, another Amore family lived. Francis Amore and Charlotte Thiebaut – both born in France – and living in Coshocton by 1840. They also had a daughter named Jane. They were of the Catholic faith and descendants of William Amore were not Catholic. As long as memory serves, it has always been said that the two Amore families were not related. Saying they weren’t related doesn’t necessarily make it so though; however, like so much else, nothing has been proved or disproved.

What has been learned? Documentation consisting of the 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 U.S. Census records; three marriage records; two obituaries, and a burial indicate that at least from October 1848, William Amore resided in Coshocton county, Ohio. His occupation in each of those (above) census records was shoemaker. What is not known? The names and nationality of his parents, the exact location of his birth – it could be Ohio or New York; or if he was related to Enoch Amore, William Amer (could be a misspelling) or Patty Amour (another spelling issue).

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question_mark
Jacob Marion Wilt is my great grand uncle. He is the oldest child born to my 2nd great-grandparents, Isreal Isaac Wilt and Christena Nash and oldest brother of my maternal great-grandfather, Joseph Napolean Wilt.  Jacob was born on February 21, 1858 in Indiana. On August 6, 1881 Jacob and Scena Gibson were married in Newcastle, Henry County, Indiana. They had a son, Russell Ray Wilt, born September 6, 1890 in Newcastle. The family is found in the 1900 Census living in Jefferson township in Henry County.  They reported that they had been married 18 years. By the 1910 Census, Russell was already out on his own.  Jacob and Scena were living in Sulphur Springs in Henry County.

And there begins the mystery.  It was reported by a distant cousin (Jacob is their great grand uncle also) that Jacob and Scena moved to California. I have not located either one – however, according to the 1920 Census, Russell is married to Ferna (LNU) with a young daughter, Thelma, and living in Modesto, California. In 1930 the Russell Ray Wilt family is in Oakland, California and in 1940 they have moved to Pierce County, Washington.

There is a Jacob Wilt listed in the 1920 and 1930 Censuses in San Bernadino, California – but his age is off by a couple of years and the listing for his father’s birth place is not Virginia. In the 1920 Census, that particular Jacob reports that he is divorced and in the 1930 Census, it shows he is widowed. I need to pinpoint the exact locations in the enumeration districts where both this Jacob and also Russell were living. If they are close by, then these two “different” Jacobs may just be one and the same. I haven’t located any further information on Scena (whose name has also been spelled Sena and Cena and mistakenly reported as Lena – depending on who was reading the writing!) nor on Russell’s wife, Ferna, or their daughter, Thelma. The Wilt branch of the family still living in and around New Castle, Indiana, didn’t seem to know any further information.

Sources: All Census information came from www.familysearch.org indexes.  Jacob and Scena’s marriage information came from the same website – the “Indiana Marriages, 1811-1959″ database (digital image).

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When the 1940 U.S. Census was released in digital form earlier this year, I used the 1930 Enumeration District converter by Steve Morse to begin locating grandparents and my parents. As each state was indexed in entirety, it became much easier to find relatives. Now that Ancestry has the complete 50 state index (and Familysearch is not too far behind), I wanted to see how many of my aunts and uncles I was able to find.

The verdict: all but two out of 8!

My paternal grandparents, Loyd and Ella Amore, are empty-nesters living at 1236 Vine in Tuscarawas Township in Coshocton County, Ohio. (I had previously written about this find at Census Saturday – 1940 Census Finds). Of their seven children, I located my dad and 4 of his siblings. My dad was stationed at Patterson Field (now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) outside of Dayton, Ohio living in the Enlisted Men Barracks. His oldest sister, Gertrude, and her husband, Walter Shackelford, along with their two children resided at 611 Larzelere in Zanesville, Ohio.

611 Larzelere Ave.
Zanesville, Ohio
Source: Trulia, Neohrex

My dad’s other sister, Marie, and her husband Robert Werkley, are lodgers in a household at Morristown in Morris County, New Jersey. Both are involved in the Salvation Army.  His brother, Paul, is living in Plymouth, Wayne County, Michigan and his other brother, Bervil, is living with his wife and family, in Jackson Township, Coshocton, Ohio.

I am still looking for my dad’s other two brothers – (William) Gail Amore and Norman Edgar Amore.

My maternal grandparents, Glen and Vesta Johnson, as well as my mother, Mary, were enumerated in Fairfield (present day Fairborn), Greene County, Ohio, living at 40 Ohio Street.

40 Ohio St, Fairborn, Ohio (house on right)
Source: Trulia, @2012 Google

Besides my grandparents and mother, occupants also include my uncle – Glen Roy Jr., and my newborn brother, Jim. My grandparents had a family of lodgers living there – the Theodore Fern family.

My mother’s sister, Genevieve, was found as a nursing student at Miami Valley Hospital located at 134 Apple Street in Dayton, Ohio.

Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio
Source: Esco Communications

The next people on the 1940 U.S. Census who I want to find are the siblings and their children of both sets of grandparents. I’ve already made a pretty good dent in that list.

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Lloyd & Ella Amore

I found my paternal grandparents, Loyd and Ella (House) Amore, living at 1236 E. Vine Street in Tuscarawas Township of the City of Coshocton, County of Coshocton, Ohio, in the 1940 Census. They are the only occupants of the home that they are renting for $16 a month.

My grandfather, Loyd, appears to be the person who responded to the enumerator by way of a check mark at the beginning of his name. He is listed as the Head of the family and my grandmother, Ella, is listed as his wife. Both are shown to be White, and he gives his age as 58, with her age shown as 57. Grandpa was born on March 5, 1882, and Grandma was born June 22, 1882, so their ages match up. She was just a couple months away from being 58. They are shown as married. Their education was a little surprising for me. My grandfather completed the 8th grade whereas Grandma completed two years of high school. They were born in Ohio and resided in the same house in 1935. They are not living on a farm. Grandpa was at work for pay in his own business as a Painter for 32 hours during the week of March 24-30. He worked 52 weeks in 1939 for a total income of $1000 and did not receive money from other sources. My grandmother was enumerated as being at work in the home.

Other than the education information, none of the answers on my grandparents’ 1940 Census surprised me. What is sad for me is knowing that this would be the last census my grandmother would be enumerated because she died of breast cancer six years later. I would never get to know her and my sister was just a baby when she passed away. My grandfather would be enumerated in one more census: 1950, before he died in February 1955. How sad that he would be listed as a widower.

Now, if I can just locate them in the 1930 Census living at 720 S. Fifth (5th) Street in Coshocton, I’ll be all set!

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So many 1940 census images and so many indexers but according to FamilySearch – not enough arbitrators. I read blog posts and information about arbitration and decided I had indexed quite a bit and remained consistent at 97%-98% accurate so I dipped my toes in the water and requested to be considered as an arbitrator. Apparently, they are really desperate because I received the “right to arbitrate” about 2 hours later!

When I started to arbitrate indexed census images, it looked as if Indiana was on the brink of being “searchable” (that was an erroneous perception it turns out) so I started with that state as I had plenty of collateral relatives there. Didn’t find any as I started arbitrating (I had already indexed a lot of Indiana census images). What I did find made me scratch my head.

Most of the dual indices (each census image is indexed twice – the differences are then arbitrated) – were close enough to each other with minor exceptions – an “o” instead of an “a” or not paying attention that the “S” typed for “Son” turned out to be “sister”. Easy arbitration. Then came what I am calling – the indexers who apparently do not read any instructions. If there is not a dwelling number, instead of viewing the previous page to see what the dwelling number is, the indexer put <blank>. Really? Seriously?  Or how about a place lived five years previous for a child who is only 2? Really? Seriously? I’ve even found a <blank> in place of a surname because generally the census taker did not write down the surname for each member of the family with the same last name. Really? Seriously? That sort of thing leaves me scratching my head.

Of course, I am still indexing records in between doing arbitration. When I do index, I try to be very careful and mindful of how my transcriptions are viewed by the person who will arbitrate what I’ve done.

I believe the biggest reason there are so many “oopsies” is due to indexers not reading directions or making sure the highlight is adjusted to the line that’s being transcribed. That being said, some of the census takers’ penmanship leaves a LOT to be desired!  Spelling errors and such are forgiveable especially when trying to decipher some of those squiggles – such as lots of names crossed out and rewritten above what’s crossed out – looks like a 2nd grader has written everything! 

So to  my fellow indexers and arbitrators – we can only do the best we can and be as conscientious as possible. Quality before quantity – and a prayer that we are reading it right doesn’t hurt!

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GEARING UP TO INDEX AND SEARCH THE 1940S CENSUS!

Are you ready for Monday, April 2nd? Do you have all of your tools ready? What about your work schedule? Where are you sending the kids?

Wait a minute – you don’t know what happens on Monday? You must have just returned from another planet or out from under a rock!  It’s the release of the 1940s Census!  A whole army of volunteers (but we need MORE!) has registered to index!  Have you? What are you waiting for? Stop reading (but please bookmark this post) and go register at The 1940 Census – Getting Started!

Let’s get the list in order!

What to tell your employer (or employees if you own the business!)

  1. National 1940s day – they must be able to tell you why April 2 is important in order to get off work.
  2. You don’t need an excuse – you requested this day off a very long time ago (about the time the 1930 census was released!)
  3. You will be “out of pocket” all day and unable to be reached.

Tools needed:

  1. Download indexing software (I downloaded mine several weeks ago!)
  2. Viewed the tutorials (I did too!)
  3. Participated in the 1940s Indexing Simulation (I did that the day it was available)
  4. Have indexed other images already (yep – about 1000 names so far!)
  5. Computer (You will want to make sure to clean out your cache/cookies; do a defrag so you’ll get optimum speed)
  6. A gedcom or .paf or some sort of family history program or report in front of you with the names of those you are searching
  7. Steve Morse’s One Step Unified 1940s ED Finder so you can find those Enumeration Districts
  8. Along with the names you are looking for, you also have as much information as possible next to the names: what enumeration district(s) you hope to find them in, a street address in order to find them in the ED; who was possibly in the household.
  9. Water bottles and snacks – because you have to keep up your strength so you can search AND index constantly.
  10. An accurate clock – so you can begin as soon as possible!
  11. A charged phone (or battery laptop!) – just in case there is an emergency and you must be reached or you need to reach someone – especially if you need to call someone (a parent/aunt/uncle/cousin) to ask where they or their parents/grandparents were living in 1940!
  12. Big sign on your front door that requests visitors not knock or ring bell or solicit. Mail or package deliverers are to leave items at your door but not announce themselves.
  13. Several Barney, Caillou, Dinosaur Train, or Sesame Street DVDs to keep the itty bitty ones busy all day.
  14. Several Camp Rock, Hannah Montana, iCarly, Wizards of Waverly, Power Rangers, Victorious, Star Wars, etc. DVDs to keep the not so little ones busy after they get home from school.
  15. Prepared meals in the fridge with step by step instructions on how to heat so no one bothers you.
  16. Ear buds/Ear phones and tons of music so you can listen all day long instead of being distracted by the television, children’s voices, etc.

And don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep the night before so you won’t get worn out on Monday. After all – we have a lot to do!

And most importantly, please INDEX while you are searching!  After all, it’s not every day that history like this happens, and we all should want to be front row center when it does!  You never know where serendipity happens!

PS – I’m supposed to tell you that this post enters me in a contest for prizes – gift cards (and who doesn’t love gift cards!)

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