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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.

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).

Summertime Fun!

summer sun

Summer days are in full swing, children are out of school, families are taking vacations, and swimming pools are seeing an increased use in warmer parts of the country.

pool

As a child, the end of school marked the end of early bedtimes, vacations, spending all day in our backyard pool, and annual family reunions. My parents would try to have our pool open for the season by early May if possible even if the temps were still in the low 70s. Memorial Day signaled the beginning of summer with an outdoor picnic. Mom would make her famous potato salad and my Granddad would bring a fresh watermelon. It was time to kick off the shoes and run barefoot through the grass. We kids would savor popsicles and ice cream bars on the patio steps.

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During the month of June, I found the rhythm of summer days. Up by 7 or 8 a.m. because Mom didn’t believe in “sleeping your life away.” Normally there were chores that I had to do before I could start playing. Riding bikes through the countryside, visiting friends several streets away, inviting my friends over for lunch or snacks, and swimming. In those days I was like a fish – always in the water. I was so tanned that even by winter time my tans lines were still there.  We drank kool-aid by the gallon and slurped fresh well water from the garden hose. We stayed out past dark and ran through the unfenced backyards catching lightning bugs and looking at the stars. Weekends were also spent hanging out at local theaters watching movies after the parents dropped us off.

amorereunion_68_8

By July anticipation was in the air as we readied for our annual trip to Coshocton, Ohio and the big family reunion on my dad’s side of the family. We would normally stay with my dad’s oldest sister, my Aunt Gertie, in Zanesville over the reunion weekend. During the reunion, I stuck close to a couple of my cousins and my aunts and uncles. I had fun watching the men play horseshoes. By the time I was in 5th grade, I spent a week in July at church camp each year. That necessitated another long drive usually accompanied by the sister and her kids so my mom didn’t have to drive home all by herself.

reunion 11

Amore Sibling Reunion, Detroit, about 1966

August brought another trip for another reunion – this one for my dad and his siblings and their families. Many times it was in the Detroit area as two of my dad’s brothers lived there. If we were in Michigan, we’d usually head over to Battle Creek to visit my mom’s brother, too. Once we went to Chicago – my brother and his family following us. We all used my walkie-talkies to communicate. A time long before CB radios or cell phones. In the summer of 1968 while the West Coast was heating up with riots after the Summer of Love, the reunion was held at our house. The last reunion of my dad and his siblings I attended was in the early 1970s (71 or 72). My parents were already separated and I spent a week with my dad that summer during reunion time. He had it at his place by the lake in St. Mary’s, Ohio. That was the last time I saw my aunts and uncles and some of my cousins.

By the time August drew to a close, school was right around the corner, and it would be time to go to Sears or Elder-Beerman or Rike’s to shop for school clothes. I knew that swimming season was getting shorter and would usually end by mid-September as the temps in southwestern Ohio began to drop. Then when Labor Day arrived, our last outdoor picnic of the summer, bed time was moved back to an earlier time in preparation for school beginning that Wednesday. There were several times that sweaters were needed in the morning or evening by Labor Day.

Does your family have a summer time tradition? What were your childhood days of summer like?

(Sun image courtesy of Squidoo)

(Images: Our Swimming Pool; me and two of my friends about 1967; Coshocton Fairgrounds for Amore Reunion – July 1968; Amore Sibling Reunion at my Uncle Paul’s home in Detroit, Michigan about 1966-67 – all photos digital and original slides/photos owned by Wendy Littrell)

Born:

  1. Susannah Stern: 1823 Carroll county, Ohio

 

Died:

  1. Hamilton L Goul: 1902 in Coffeyville, Kansas
  2. Eugene Pidgeon: 1922 in Sebring, Ohio

 

Married:

  1. Henry Alexander Goul and Mathilda Kaziah Bates: 1894 in Boise, Idaho
  2. John Lafayette Johnson and Katie J Blazer: 1883 in Anderson, Indiana
  3. Martha Ann Blazer and John Noonan: 1887 in Anderson, Indiana
  4. Hiram W Jennings and Sarah Wilden: 1888 in Coshocton, Ohio

American_Revolutionary_War_collage

As our nation celebrates its 237th birthday with annual Independence Day celebrations, I wanted to also remember those in my family’s past who participated in the Cause.

William Arbuckle, born March 3, 1752 in Balcony Falls, Rockbridge county, Virginia to James Arbuckle and Margaret Thompson, served under General Andrew Lewis at Point Pleasant, Virginia (now West Virginia). He died on March 21, 1836 in Mason, Virginia (now WV) and is buried in the Craig-Douglas Burying Ground at Grimm’s Landing. 5th Great-Grandfather

Eli Bigelow, born May 29, 1756 in Colchester, Connecticut to Amasa Bigelow and Jemima Strong. He served in Capt. Champion’s Company. He died on March 22, 1836 in Chatham, Connecticut. 4th Great-Grandfather

John ‘Jacob’ Bushong, born February 18, 1754 to John Bushong and Elizabeth Sprinckel in York, Pennsylvania, served as a Private and artificer under Capt. Francis Cowherd and was discharged January 17, 1782. He died on August 16, 1830 and is buried in Grandview Cemetery, Carrollton, Ohio. 5th Great-Grandfather

John Bushong, born August 30, 1732 in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania to John and Barbara Bushong, served as a Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion in York county, Pennsylvania under Capt. Godfrey Frey. He died December  18, 1808 in Shenandoah county, Virginia. 6th Great-Grandfather

Adam Goul, born about 1761 in Germany to Frederick Goul and an unknown mother, served as a teamster in the Revolutionary War. He died on October 12, 1845 in Mechanicsburg, Ohio and is buried in Treacles Creek Cemetery in Champaign county, Ohio. 4th Great-Grandfather

Lazarus House, born April 14, 1748 in Glastonbury, Connecticut to William House and Hannah Hollister, served August and September 1776 in the 6th Company 6th Regiment of the Connecticut Militia. He died after 1817 and is thought to be buried in Glastonbury, Connecticut. 4th Great-Grandfather

Jacob Roudebush, born in 1752 in Berwick, Pennsylvania to Hans H Raudenbusch and Anna Maria Becker, may have served under Capt. John Sharp in the York County Militia Company (presently unproven). He died in Washington, Ohio in 1837 and is buried at the family farm in Carroll county, Ohio. 5th Great-Grandfather

Phillip Peter Werts (Wertz), born June 14, 1737 probably in Europe to William Wertz and Anna Catherina (maiden name unknown), served in the Continental Line during the Revolutionary War. He died in Loudon county, Virginia on May 22, 1798 and is buried in New Jerusalem Cemetery in Loudon county. 5th Great-Grandfather

I am so very glad that these men helped fight for our freedoms and am honored to be one of their many descendants!

(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Image is Public Domain)

Dear Aunt Martha

Postwatchletters

A couple of months ago, I pulled out some letters from my genealogy archives to read. Apparently, I missed putting one of them back and found it on the table about a week later. It was written by Dorothy Welch (my second cousin once removed) to her aunt (my great-grandmother) Martha Stern Wilt Clawson.

July 19, 1922
113 E. Ave 58
Los Angeles, Calif.
Dear Aunt Martha,
I received your letter and was certainly glad to hear from you.
Some Muncie people by the name of Cites came out here the other day to visit her brother
who is a friend of ours. They brought word to us from my grand daddy Welch.
I am awfully sorry to hear that Nellie is sick again. I wish she could come out to Los Angeles
if she has to come “west.”
I haven’t heard from Uncle Ralph since March either. I’ve wrote several letters to see what
was the matter but I never got a answer.
I bet Vesta’s children are cute I certainly would like to see them.
Leonore is studying her spelling now so she will pass in her grades next term.
What grade is Clifford in at school?
Well I must close this time with love,
Dorothy

The first thing that stood out for me was the date of the letter – 1922. My mother always said that she didn’t meet her grandmother until she was an adult so I assumed that Grandma Clawson had moved west before my mom was born – the fall of 1921. I really think she meant that she didn’t remember her because my mom and her family moved to the Dayton, Ohio area in 1922.  I looked up Grandma Clawson’s address on Google and the street scene shows a parking lot now at 31 W 12th Street in Anderson, Indiana. There’s a church nearby so I wonder if the house was torn down since 1922. It would have been interesting if it had still been standing.

The “grand daddy Welch” that Dorothy mentions would be Americas C. Welch. A.C. Welch married Sarah C Buzzard in 1875 in Huntington, Indiana (according to the database: “Indiana Marriages, 1811-1959″ index on FamilySearch.org). A.C. and Sarah were the parents of Dorothy’s father, George Welch.

Nellie was my grandmother’s younger sister. She was 20 years old at the time of this letter and had been diagnosed with asthma. I had been told by my mother that due to her illness, it was necessary for her to move to the western United States.  She ended up moving to the Oregon/Washington area and lived most of her adult life in Washington.

The “Uncle Ralph” that Dorothy is referring to is her mother’s brother, Ralph Clawson, and my grandmother’s cousin. He was enumerated in the 1920 Census as living in Watertown, Massachusetts in the George C Shattuck household. I know Ralph had gone in the Navy  and he would have been about 24 years old in 1922 when Dorothy was trying to reach him. In June 1923 Ralph married Olive Sundberg in Chicago, Illinois.

Vesta would be my maternal grandmother (Vesta C Johnson nee Wilt). She and my grandfather had already bore three children, my Uncle Glen R Johnson, Jr., my aunt Genevieve V Johnson, and my mom Mary H Johnson.

Leonore was Dorothy’s younger sister. At the time of this letter, Dorothy was age 16. Leonore was probably close to nine.

Clifford, my grandmother’s youngest brother, was born April 20, 1906 making him a little over 16 when Dorothy wrote this letter. The 1940 US Census shows that Clifford only completed the first year of high school (generally 9th grade) – so he was not attending school any longer. If he had remained in school, he would probably have been going into his sophomore year when school began that fall.

I am under the impression that Dorothy wrote this letter as a reply to her Aunt Martha’s correspondence to her. I haven’t run across any other letters written by Dorothy so I don’t think it was a regular occurrence.

I greatly enjoy reading old letters that were sent back and forth from family members. It enables me to glimpse a window into their lives at the time of the letter. I noticed that Dorothy didn’t volunteer very much about herself such as her social activities, friends, work, or suitors.  She also didn’t ask how her grandfather was – as after her grandmother Margaret Ellen passed away, her aunt Martha (Ellen’s sister), married her widower, W. Frank Clawson.

If you have letters or post cards like I do, a good way to understand their deeper message or the lives of the people then, is to do an analysis on them as I did with this letter.

(Image from Wikimedia Commons)

While we were on vacation in Missouri, my father-in-law took us on a cemetery tour. We visited the graves of grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, grand uncles and aunts, and collateral relatives. Before we left to return home, I realized that we hadn’t been to the family cemetery in several years. This three person graveyard sits on land that used to belong to my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather, George Washington Littrell. After he died, it eventually ended up belonging to my husband’s paternal grandfather’s brother.  After he passed away, it ended up going into a bank sale and another resident of the rural community purchased that plot of land where the cemetery was located. Missouri statutes explain that even though a cemetery might sit on private land, and even if it doesn’t have a drive that takes it directly to the cemetery, family members are not to be blocked from gaining access during regular daylight hours. There really has never been an issue with us visiting the Littrell cemetery. The gravel road goes right up to the barn and corral areas and the cemetery sits just outside of that.  I wrote a blog post awhile back about our experience when we visited the graves a few years ago that you can read here.

As we pulled up, I looked in horror at the following scene.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Someone – or several someones – had just placed whatever those things are (they look like steel sawhorse type of things) right inside the cemetery! I was mortified! And the steel cable “rope” that had cordoned off the graves was bent and pulled away from the corner posts. If the person who rents out the land knew about this, I know he would make sure the men who work for him would remove it and not ever do it again so I’m very hopeful that after my father-in-law speaks to him all will be taken care of. It’s just so sad that whoever did this, a) didn’t even realize this was a cemetery or b) didn’t care.  You may also notice that the stone on the right has been shifted as well.

And just to make a comparison – below is the picture of what it is supposed to look like.

gwlittrell-cemetery

Let’s hope this sacred family cemetery – small as it is – where George W and Kitty O (Blakely) Littrell are buried along with their very young daughter, Annie Elizabeth – will soon be properly cleaned of the equipment and I can breathe a lot easier.

(Photos by Wendy Littrell)

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