Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore home
photo owned by Wendy Littrell
Posts Tagged ‘Coshocton’
Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore home
Back in the mid 1960′s during a reunion trip to Coshocton, my parents had discussed finding a house that my dad’s mother had grown up in (or was born in). I don’t remember which one. So we headed toward the country and rural areas and started looking for said house. Apparently my dad had been there before when he was a boy.
We came across the dilipadated white house that to me seemed in the middle of nowhere. There were lots of trees around it and the drive was rock and grass covered. Sitting in the white Pontiac looking upon it, the house seemed rather sad. Obviously empty and forgotten about, some of the windows were cracked and caked with dust and dirt. Vines had found their way up onto the porch and the sides of the house. Seemed that it had been empty for quite a few years.
Mom mentioned that there might be things left inside. I think she wanted my dad to take a look to see if it really had been the house he was searching for. No dice. I remember she and I starting up onto the porch when my dad told her not to go any further. He was afraid that the porch wouldn’t hold us and cave in. I think that’s when I started being a little frightened of front porches not built on a slab. I always thought that as soon as I took that last step up on that porch that it would collapse and I would find myself underneath with all the rats and vermin. That was another thing my dad cautioned about. He was sure there were rats, snakes and who knows what else living in the house and amongst the grown up yard and vegetation. So we never got to see the inside of that house.
I was left to wonder all these years many things: Was it my grandmother’s childhood home? What did the inside look like? Were there ancestral treasures to be found in there? Who had been the last occupants and why did they leave? How long had it sat empty when we came upon it? What’s become of it since that time – at least forty years ago? Unfortunately, I’ll never know unless by some serendipitous chance I come across it again which is very doubtful.
I was able to see the home my mother was born in and spent the first year of her life living in – located in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana. When I was fifteen, my mom, sister, niece and I spent a week on “vacation”. We traveled from Southwest Ohio to Indiana and toured the Connor Prairie Living Homestead Museum in Fishers, Indiana. From there we went to Madison County and Mom pointed out the house as we drove by. Again – we didn’t take pictures – although I have some of my mom as an infant showing parts of the house. I do have a picture of the home my mom grew up in located in Greene County, Ohio. Originally the home had been in Osborn (before it and Fairfield merged to form Fairborn). Then as she explained, it was put on these big rollers and moved to Fairfield. My aunt had thrown toys from the second story window. Here’s a picture of that house with my aunt and my mom sitting in front. I also have pictures of my maternal grandfather’s childhood home in Anderson.
Departing Advice: Photograph and map out ancestral homes and land. Take photos of the home you live in now and those that follow. Check old city directories for information that might assist you in locating these homes or businesses. Plot the locations of places lived on a map to see where your ancestors lived and migrated.
Stories have filtered down through the family that my great-grandmother, Frances, was left on a doorstep as a baby. Her maiden name has been reported as Ogan – according to her husband’s, James House’s, application for invalid pension and her obituary – and Ogelvey – according to my dad and her son, (Alva) Lester House. Where did Frances come from? Obviously she wasn’t dropped to earth by the proverbial aliens! Was she left on a doorstep? Or did she get “farmed” out as so many children did back in the mid to late 1800′s due to financial reasons? Another theory leans to the fact that one of her parents died (or both) and she was brought up by relatives, god-parents, or neighbors.
Born on November 29, 1846, her obituary states that Frances was born in Guernsey, Ohio so that is where the census search began. She was found in the 1850 Census in Richhill Township, Muskingum County, Ohio living in the Evan & Susannah Ogan household at age 3 – her name is listed as Francis Foster. In the 1860 Guernsey census, Frances Foster (female), age 13, was living in the home of Evan and Susannah Ogan – both in their 70′s. In 1870, Frances Ogan, age 23, was living at a local hotel as a cook. After that she is found living in the House home. It is still unknown if the Frances in either of the 1850 or 1860 censuses is the woman being searched for – although her age matches with what is known. Evan and Susannah Ogan may have been related to Frances or another thought is she married their son or grandson before 1870 and he either died or the marriage ended. It has also been reported that she went by “Frankie” and her middle name was Virginia. Except for the census reports, most of these theories are conjecture and not to be taken as documented proof.
Frances daughter, Ella (my paternal grandmother), had auburn hair and since her father, James E. House, had dark hair and a dark complexion, it is possible that Frances had either auburn hair or was brunette with auburn undertones. Ella is the only one documented to have auburn hair until her great-granddaughter (my niece) came along.
Frances’ son, Lester House, wrote a letter to my aunt detailing what he could about his mother’s mysterious origins. It reads in part, “My mother was born some place near Cambridge, Ohio, her name was Frances Oglevey. As to her parents I don’t know much about. She was raised all around the County. She had to go out and work when she was only a child. The last place she worked over there was with people by the name of Blackson.”
In her adult years, there is more that is known. When my grandfather’s first wife, Barbara Shyrock, died leaving him with three little ones under the age of six, he employed Frances as his housekeeper and possible nanny to the children while he worked. Nine months after Barbara died, Frances and James had their first son. One month later, they were married. I often wonder what their explanation for that could have been! I also wonder how long James had known Frances before Barbara died. It isn’t known how Barbara died – whether she’d been ill for awhile or if it was sudden. Possibly if she had been unable to tend the home, James may have employed Frances prior to his wife’s death.
The couple went on to have seven more children. One son, Elmer, died at the age of four. Another son, Charles, died at age 12 in a farm accident. One daughter, Julia, died during childbirth at age 27. Frances had to endure so many losses – not only those of her children, but of her foster parents, Evan and Susannah. She had to sit by while her oldest son, Florus (named after James’ father), had symptoms of “lung fever” at age 15, was hurt in a mining accident a few years later, and was sent to serve during the Spanish-American War in 1898.
Did she ever wonder about her parents or did she accept the life she had been given?
Perhaps my great-grandmother’s origins will never be solved but then again, she may be just waiting to be found. It’s just a matter of time.
(Left: Gravestone of James E. and Frances V. House, Prairie Chapel Cemetery, Coshocton County, Ohio)
Most people outside of East Central Ohio probably have never heard of Roscoe Village. Located in Tuscarawas Township, Coshocton City, Coshocton County, Ohio, it sits off of the Ohio and Erie Canal. Coshocton County was formed from the Muskingum and Tuscarawas counties in December 1810 and takes its name from the Delaware Indian word meaning “black bear town” (cush-og-wenk) or “union of waters” (“coshoc-gung”)[Source: Wikipedia]. The first canal boat docked at Roscoe Village in 1830 bringing people and goods into this area of Ohio.
Today Roscoe Village has become a part of living history with guided historical tours and festivals annually to celebrate its significance.
My great-great-grandfather, William Amore, born in the Albany area of New York in 1828, found his way to Coshocton County by 1848. His grandson (my great-uncle), Isaiah “Zade” Henderson Amore recounted in a letter to the editor of the Coshocton Tribune in 1971, “Inasmuch as my grandfather, William Amore, was a mule-driver on the Erie Canal prior to 1850 . . .”
I believe, though I haven’t any documented proof, that William, wanting to leave New York to find land of his own, migrated toward Ohio via the Erie Canal around the age of 16-18 years old. Perhaps his own father or both of his parents had died or were facing difficult economic times, and William wanted to strike out on his own. Upon reaching the state of Ohio, he more than likely traveled down river until he reached Roscoe Village and Coshocton County. Sometime before 1850 he became a mule driver on the Erie Canal to earn a wage in order to live. It is known that he married in 1848 to Frances Price who only lived two years more.
In the 1850 Census William is found living in Oxford Township, Coshocton County, with the Thomas Buck family and gave his occupation as Shoemaker (a trade he would pass down to his oldest son, William Henry Amore). William married a second time to Charlotte (Reed of Imons – depending on what document is to be believed) who gave him five sons of which three died very young. With is third wife, Elizabeth Spencer, the family increased by seven more children – three sons also dying as children or infants. Elizabeth lived many years after William, who passed away on February 9, 1896. He had spent his life as a mule driver and then shoemaker.
William’s oldest son, William Henry (or “Henry” as he was known), also took up the cobbler trade. He and his wife, Mary Angelina Werts (“Annie”) lived in Roscoe for many years. His granddaughter reflected, “When us kids were younger, we used to go over to Roscoe to visit my grandparents (Pop’s mother and father). Grandpa had a shoe shop in one end of the kitchen and then later he did have a little shop just down on the hill about one half block from their house.”
Cobbler Shop & Henry Amore Home
The first family reunion was held at William and Annie’s home in Roscoe on May 25, 1924. Subsequent reunions were held at the Grange Hall at the Coshocton County Fairgrounds.
Henry’s son, Lloyd William Amore, the fourth of seven children, and his wife, Ella Marie (House), lived above the Roscoe General Store in the early 1900s shortly after they were married. In one of those rooms some of my aunts and uncles were born!
Roscoe General Store
My paternal side has a long and endearing connection to Roscoe Village and Coshocton County, Ohio. I was fortunate to feel some of that connection as a child when we would visit relatives who lived there or attend one of the many family reunions. I wish that today as an adult who has discovered so much more than I thought I could about my family history, that I could visit that historic town again. To stand on the banks of the canals and rivers and picture William Amore driving the mule. To sit on the porch of Henry and Annie’s home in Roscoe and picture the 100+ family members gathered together over 80 years ago at the first reunion. To visit the Roscoe General Store and hear in my mind the cries of the newborn babies – my father’s older siblings. To visit Coshocton High School where my dad graduated and to visit the graves of ancestors I never got a chance to meet. Those opportunities are waiting for me – just as my ancestors are waiting through their wills, graves, birth records and more, for me to find them.