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Posts Tagged ‘House’

When I set out on the journey to discover family origins, I was thrilled by some of the information I found.  My paternal grandmother had a sister?  No one ever mentioned her before.  Of course Gramma Amore had already passed away before I was born so there wasn’t any reason for me to ask if she had siblings.  Not only did I learn that she had seven siblings but she had three half-siblings born of her father’s first marriage.

As I researched my grandmother’s parents and brothers and sisters, I learned that her older sister, Julia, had been named after my grandmother’s grandmother – Julia Ann Lewis House.  And so it had been with her oldest brother – named after his grandfather – Florus Allen House.

So what became of Julia, I wondered.  My first clue about her came from my aunt.  She sent me some copies of Julia’s high school graduation program with a note that

Her name was on the program twice so she must have been smart.  She died young in childbirth.  I have never found out if the baby survived, but never hearing about it, I presume he didn’t . . . .  I guess she was dead before I was born because I never remember seeing her.

I found Julia’s marriage information listed on page 375 of the Coshocton County Marriages, 1811-1930; compiled from marriage records, Probate Court, Coshocton County, Ohio by Miriam C. Hunter, and published by the Coshocton Public Library in 1967.

percy_julia_tuttle_marriage

Percy J. Tuttle and Julia A. House were married on Christmas Day in 1906.  Further searching led me to a newspaper article about their wedding.  From the Coshocton Daily, printed on December 26, 1906:

House-Tuttle Wedding.
Twenty-five friends and relatives were gathered at the home of James W. House on East Main street on Christmas night to witness the marriage of Miss Julia A., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James E. House, and Mr. Percy Tuttle of Cleveland, Ohio. The ceremony was performed by Elder B. S. House of the Adventists church at 8 o’clock, the wedding couple being attended by Miss Carrie Leach and Mr Herman Irons, marched to the strains if Mendelssohn’s wedding march played by Miss Inez Waite and took their places under a beautiful arch. After the ceremony a sumptious supper was served. The bride was tastefully dressed in white silk draped in chiffon and the groom in the customary black. This evening Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle leave on the W. & L. E. for Cleveland for a few days visit with the groom’s parents. They then go to Mt. Vernon to take charge as manager and matron of the Mt. Vernon Hospital and Sanitarium.  Many beautiful wedding presents were received as the gifts of friends. Those present were Mr. and Mrs. James E. House, Mr. and Mrs. Allen Conger, Mr. and Mrs. Gray, Mr. and Mrs. John W. House, Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Randles, Mrs. Bertha Rogensparger, Messrs. Floris House, Lester House of this city, Mr. and Mrs. Loyd Amore of Roscoe, Mr. and Mrs. B. L. House of Trinway, and Mr. and Mrs. R. T. Ragsdale, manager and matron of the Newark Sanitarium; Misses Carrie Leach, Inez Waite, Gloria Franklin, Mr. Herman Irons also of the Newark Sanitarium and Miss Grace Kline of the Mt. Vernon Hospital and Sanitarium.

A few things popped out at me as I read that article.  One – Julia wore a dress that seemed to be the equivalent of modern wedding attire as did her groom.  That told me that either her mother, Frances, was able to procure material and sew the dress or it was purchased and probably at a price not many people paid for wedding clothes then.    My great-grandfather had filed for a pension on his Civil War service as he had become infirm and wasn’t able to work or farm.  Had the family been very frugal in their living that they were able to afford material or the dress?  Had the dress been a hand me down from a previous relative? Or had Julia, herself, scrimped and saved in order to buy such a luxurious dress?

The other item that jumped out at me was it appeared that Julia had some sort of training in the medical profession since she and her new husband had been hired to run the Mt. Vernon Hospital and Sanitarium which was a tuberculosis hospital at the time.  Again I wondered where the money had come from for her to have had training in this field.  Or did she really have formal training or a series of “first aide” classes that qualified her?

More research led me to articles on her death.  The following is from page 3 of the November 28th, 1907 edition of the Coshocton Weekly Times, Coshocton, Ohio.

Mrs. Julia Tuttle Dies At Defiance
The family of James House, living in the eastern part of the city received a message at two o’clock this afternoon from Defiance conveying the sad news that their daughter, Mrs. Julia Tuttle had just died in that city as the result of child birth. Mrs. Tuttle was formerly a trained nurse in this city and was conducting a sanitarium at Defiance. She was about 27 years of age. The brothers and sisters of the deceased left for Defiance at once to attend the funeral.

And on the same day, this was published in the Coshocton Age, Coshocton, Ohio:

Sad Death at Defiance
Coshocton relatives received the sad news Saturday of the death of Mrs. Julia House Tuttle at her late home in Defiance. Mrs. Tuttle was just past 27 years of age and was born in this county; she was graduated from the Roscoe high school and after that took a nurses’ training in hospitals in Cleveland and Newark. She was married last Christmas day to Mr. P.J. Tuttle and their only child died a few days ago after having lived but a few hours. Mrs. Tuttle’s death was caused by blood poisoning.
She is survived by her husband, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James E. House of North Eleventh street, the following brothers and sisters, John, James W., Floris, Mrs. Ella Amore, Lester and the following half-brothers and sisters Mrs. Lucinda Conger Mrs. Bell Ruby and E.F. House all living in this county. She was also a cousin of Elder House of the Seventh Day Adventists church.
The arrangements for the funeral have not been made.

Those articles answered my question on her training.  Julia had taken nurses’ training in Cleveland – which is probably how she met her husband, Percy.  Their child – neither article mentioned if it was a son or daughter – had died soon after birth.  Julia, herself, had died as a result of the complications of child birth and had blood poisoning.  That information leads me to wonder if she perhaps was Rh Negative and her child was Rh Positive.  Or did she acquire an infection while in labor or giving birth that resulted in her untimely death.  Was the infection passed on to the baby or was this a premature birth?  All questions that may be forever unanswered. 

I didn’t find anything about her funeral but I do know that she is buried at Prairie Chapel in Coshocton County.  She shares a plot with her younger brother, Charles, who died in 1896 at the age of 12, and her parents who died years after her.  No mention of her child is on her tombstone.

julia-house-tuttle-side-of-stone

And a close up of her inscription.

juliatuttleinscription

So what became of Percy, I wondered.  Did he remarry?  Have other children?  In the 1920 Census, he and his wife, Adeline, were living at 12317 Osceola Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio.  There weren’t any children listed as living with them.  Percy was a nurse in Private Practice. Then I found his death certificate that recorded his death as March 26, 1932 at the age of 51 years, 10 months, 6 days of interstitial acute nephritis brought on by uremia.  He was listed as a Graduate Nurse who was self-employed. 

pjtuttle

Did Percy ever set out to become a Medical Doctor?  Or did he choose to be a nurse when such things as male nurses weren’t something you saw all the time?  Was he the equivalent of the modern day Nurse Practitioner?  How much education had he received?  How long had he and Adeline been married?  Had they borne children?  Did he ever get over the death of his first wife or that of his first born child?

Many questions will go unanswered but I feel as if I’ve learned more about my grand-aunt, Julia Ann House.

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Some of my ancestors were “lost” at one point or another in their lives.  I find them in one census – then they are missing from the next one – and found again on the one following.  Unfortunately, it is always the census that could give me that extra bit of information – children’s names, a current spouse’s name, or even an age and location of parents’ births.

Those that I am desperately trying to locate include:

James Emory House b. 2 May 1842 d. 1 Oct. 1924.  I’ve located my g-granfather in the 1850 Census living in his parents’ (Florus A. and Julia A. House) home, age 8, Linton Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1860 Census still in his parents’ household, age 18, Linton Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1880 Census as Head of Household, age 38, living in Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1900 Census as Head of Household, age 58, Bethlehem Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1910 Census as Head of Household, age 67, Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio; the 1920 Census as Head (his son Alva Lester House is also listed as Head), age 77, Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio.

He’s missing from the 1870 Census!  He was married to his first wife, Barbara (or Barbary), and their three children were born.  Since Barbara was originally from Guernsey County, Ohio, I’ve looked in that county as well as Coshocton.  I’ve entered just the first name, age, and born in Ohio to try to narrow it down to the possibility of the last name being misspelled.  I’ve also tried searching by his first wife’s name and the three kids’ names.  No luck. I suspect that they were in a pretty rural area or were in the process of moving at the time of the census.

Franklin Blazer b. 2 June 1836 d. 26 Aug. 1869. I’ve found my 2nd great-grandfather in the 1850 census living in his parents’ (John and Mary Ann Blazer) household, age 14, Fall Creek Twp, Madison County, Indiana.  Since he has died by 1870, the 1860 Census is the only one that will show that he was indeed the husband of Malissa (Goul) Blazer and father of her children including my great-grandmother.  I have checked the 1860 census records for the United States using his name without any luck. I’ve checked in Madison County, Indiana using either his first or last name or his last name with wild card characters in case it has been misspelled.  One thought is that my great-grandmother’s sister, Martha, was born close to the time the census was taken.  Perhaps they were in transit from wherever the birth ocurred to another location.

James Wilson Johnson b. 16 Aug. 1829 d. 31 Oct. 1917.  I’ve located my 2nd great-grandfather in the 1850 Census living in his parents’ (Jacob and Ann) household, age 20, Centre Twp, Rush County, Indiana; the 1860 Census as Head of Household, age 31, Centre Twp, Rush County, Indiana; the 1880 Census as Head of Household, age 50, Stoney Creek Twp, Madison County, Ohio; the 1900 Census as a Boarder in the household of his brother’s widow/first wife’s sister (Dolly Mullis Johnson), age 70, Stoney Creek Twp, Madison County, Ohio.  He’s missing in the 1870 Census.  I’ve checked in Rush County, Indiana and Madison County, Indiana and throughout the state of Indiana by his first or middle name and last name; by his last name and birth year, by “Johnston” (since it has been misspelled that way in other censuses) but no luck.  I think the family was moving from one location to another as there were reports that they also lived in Howard County for a short time.  The 1870 Census will provide information on his second marriage and the youngest children from his first wife.

These men aren’t necessarily brick walls – yet they have been lost somewhere in time.  More research is needed and other avenues will have to be explored.

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This time of year families migrate back together from either distant areas of the country or through forgiveness and hope for the coming year.  There are many who spend Thanksgiving alone either by choice or circumstance.  With our technology even those who are alone or too far away from loved ones, can now spend a portion of their holiday feeling not so out of touch.  You can call long distance without worrying about the extra charges – thanks to “all-in-one” phone service or cell phones with unlimited long distance built into the cost of your monthly bill.  You can talk via the computer and web-cam so Grandma and Grandpa can actually see the grandchildren telling them Happy Thanksgiving.  Or spend time instant messaging one another before the Turkey or during the game.

Abraham Lincoln was one smart man to enact legislation making Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863 while the Civil War was raging.  He proclaimed the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”  And for 145 years we have done just that.  Thanks, Mr. President.

From my earliest memories, there has always been family around at Thanksgiving.  As a young girl, we’d spend the holiday at our home with grandparents and in-laws swooping in, eating, enjoying company and staying all day.  As an adult I continued the Thanksgiving Turkey and Dressing tradition with my own children.  At times we would travel to Missouri to spend the holiday at my in-laws or they would travel to our home in Texas.

As the children grew older and became close with other people, their friends would eat at least one of the Thanksgiving meals at our home.  We’ve invited families who needed a change of scenery to our house to celebrate and give thanks with us.  Ours is always a bountiful day full of family, food, noise, and (of course) the Cowboy game!

thanskgiving05

This year we have all four of our adult children home (two who live here, one who lives close by and one who traveled in from out of state), our three grandsons will be here, our son-in-law, and a possible new addition to the family.  We’ll have turkey and all the trimmings along with four different pies and plenty of wine and spirits.  And of course we’ll be watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Dog Show and that at 3:30 p.m. Central Time, we’ll have the Cowboy/Seahawk game playing.

This year has brought me in touch with distant cousins including:

  • My great-aunt Rachel (Blazer) Given’s great-granddaughter
  • The granddaughter of Chase Noonan
  • House family cousins
  • Risley cousins (Julie & Becky!)
  • Stern family cousins

Through the newly found family members, I’ve also learned a bit more and was able to share what I’ve learned with them.  My experience has taught me that even though I enjoy the research and new information genealogy brings, I also need to focus on the family that is still providing history and stories for future generations.  Blink and it might be too late.

May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving and time with loved ones!

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Tuesday when I posted my submission for the 59th Carnival of Genealogy, I didn’t realize that several of my genea-blogger friends would suddenly realize we are related! Julie Cahill Tarr from GenBlog and Becky Wiseman from kinexxions and Whitley County Kinexxions Blog are my newly found distant cousins! We are related through our ancestor, Richard Treat, one of the first settlers of Wethersfield, Connecticut.  So for full disclosure, I thought I would list how I am related to Richard Treat.

Richard and Joanna Treat – 9th great-grandparents
 parents of Joanna Treat married John Hollister (8th gr-grand)
   parents of John Hollister Jr. married Sarah Goodrich (7th gr-grand)
      parents of Thomas Hollister married Dorothy Hills (6th gr-grand)
         parents of Hannah Hollister married William House (5th gr-grand)
            parents of Lazarus House married Rebecca Risley (4th gr-grand)
               parents of Allen House married Editha Bigelow (3rd gr-grand)
                  parents of Florus Allen House married Julia Anna Lewis (2nd)
                     parents of James Emory House married Frances V. Ogan (great)
                        parents of Ella Maria House married William Lloyd Amore (grand)
                           parents of my dad married my mom (parents)
                               parents of ME!

Richard was born around 1584 in Pitsminster, Somerset, England.  He was married first to Joanna (maiden name unknown) – who was the mother to several of his children, including their daughter, Joanna (my ancestor).  Many refer to his second wife, Alice Gaylord, as the mother of Robert and Joanna.  Alice outlived Richard and was named in his will.  (Source information:  The Hollister Family of America.  Compiled by Lafayette Wallace Case M.D.; Chicago, Fergus Printing Company; 1886 and The Treat Family, A Genealogy of Trott, Tratt and Treat.  By John Harvey Treat, A.M.; Salem, Massachussets; The Salem Press Publishing & Printing Company; The Salem Press; 1893.)

St. Mary and St. Andrew Church, located in Pitsminster, Somerset, England where Richard Treat was baptized.  (Picture from The Pitminster Church.)

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Alva Lester House buried his wife, Mary Lucy Besser, on February 17, 1920 with their stillborn son and next to their two babies – Arthur and Esther – in South Lawn cemetery, Coshocton County, Ohio.

With his two surviving children, Evelyn and Jarold, recuperating from the flu, and feeling as if life has dealt him a losing hand, Lester had to find a way to move forward especially when a few months later his older brother, James W. (Willie) House, died from bronchial asthma.

 

Marriage Permit of Lester House and Pearl Davidson

A little over four years later, he married Pearl Davidson on June 14, 1924.  She was the daughter of Isaac Newton and Mary Davidson of Keene, Coshocton County.  Born the youngest of four children on April 6, 1893, she had lived in Keene until her marriage.  Immediately she became a second mother to Evelyn, age 10, and Jarold, age 8.

Even though Pearl was 31 years old at the time of the marriage, it is unknown if the couple tried to have children or if she had any pregnancy complications. 

Several months after their wedding, Lester’s father, James Emory House, passed away. He was 82 years old. The year following their wedding, Pearl lost her mother, Mary Davidson, due to diabetes.
 
Several years later, Lester’s son, Jarold, went into the U.S. Army.  He enlisted on July 19, 1940 at Fort Hayes in Columbus, Ohio.  During his duties, he was sent to Trinidad in the British West Indies, stationed at Camp Robinson in Arkansas, and also Italy.  In August 1943 he married Elizabeth Johnson.  When she went to visit him a few months later in Arkansas, she found him “leading an improper life and associating with other women”.  Soon she had filed for divorce.  It took over a year for the divorce to be finalized.  There hadn’t been any children born to this union.
 
In April 1942 Lester was required to register for WWII.  Called the “old man’s draft”, he completed the registration card at age 55.  He listed Pearl House as the person who would always know his address.  He lived in the same house he’d grown up in: 423 N. Eleventh Street, Coshocton, Ohio (the home that was willed to him by his parents).  He was working at the Warner Brothers Theater on N. 6th Street in Coshocton and listed that he had distinguishing characteristics of both his thumb joints.  He was 5’10” and weighed 160 lbs. with blue eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion.

In December 1944, Pearl became ill, possibly having a mental breakdown.  Lester took her to the doctor.  Requesting that he take his wife to a hospital in Columbus, Pearl was hysterical.  She threatened to end her life as well as her husband’s.  Thinking that he would try to prevent any suicide attempt, Lester took the firing pin from the shotgun he owned and went to work as a janitor at the Bancroft school building on the morning of April 5, 1945.  Not too long after her husband left for work, Pearl figured out how to work the shotgun and killed herself.  Lester had called the doctor and then went back home where he found his wife’s body.  The coroner listed her official cause of death as multiple lacerations of brain due to discharge of shotgun in head, self-inflicted.

With his son in the service in Italy, Lester and Evelyn had to come to terms that Pearl had ended her own life in the community they had lived in all their lives.  She was buried in Prairie Chapel Cemetery in Coshocton County, Ohio two days later.
 
 
Once again, a devastating tragedy had left Lester looking for a way to pick up the pieces of his life.  He had hardly gotten his breath when his older brother, John, died on October 22, 1945 due to coronary thrombosis.  He had already lost another brother, Florus, in 1941 and a half-sister, Lucina, in 1937.  His oldest sister had died in childbirth in 1907.  There were only a half-brother, half-sister and one sister left. 
A month after John died; Lester celebrated the marriage of his daughter, Evelyn, to Ellis Murray close to Thanksgiving 1945.  The joy soon turned to more grief as Lester’s half-brother, Ed House, died three days after Christmas of a cerebral hemorrhage.  It had been so quick and sudden that it was initially reported that he’d died of a heart attack.  Lester’s family was dwindling and more people he loved were dying.
 
Then came the news in 1946 that his son had been wounded serving with the United States 5th Army in Italy.  He’d received wounds to his right arm, chest and thigh and received a Purple Heart.  In July of that year, Lester’s only remaining sister passed away of breast cancer. 
 
A bright spot came in June 1947 when there was a wedding to celebrate.  Jarold and Margaret Ruth Wohlheter married at the Zion Methodist Church in Adamsville, Muskingum County, Ohio.  Within several years, the couple’s family had grown as their children were born. 
Lester then lost his last surviving sibling, his half-sister, Belle Dora (House) Ruby, on November 12, 1951.  He was the last one left of his father’s children and time was slowly catching up to him.
At some point, something must have changed within Jarold.  Something so unsettling that Lester had even more to be concerned about.  In 1958 his son was arrested on morals charges and sent to the State Mental hospital for a sanity hearing.  Finding him sane, he was released back to Coshocton County to be arraigned.  In March he was sentenced to 1-20 years in prison at the Ohio Penitentiary.  A month later, Margaret filed for divorce.  The judge hearing the case found no evidence of cause and dismissed the divorce.  It is unknown the length of Jarold’s sentence or if a divorce ever occurred.
At the age of 76 years, he responded to a letter from his niece.  In the text of the letter he wrote, “I can’t write much as I have a crippled right hand with arthritis.  I am only one of all the children left. And I will be 77 May 9.”
Lester died in January 1968.  He was survived by his son, Jarold, his daughter, Evelyn, and four grandchildren.  Services were held at Gibson and Bontrager Funeral Home and was buried next to his wife, Pearl, at Prairie Chapel Cemetery in Coshocton County, Ohio.
  

Epilogue: Jarold died in August 1980 and Evelyn died in 1985.  It is my wish that my Great-uncle Lester finally found some measure of happiness in his later years.  He had endured so much tragedy and loss in his lifetime that he deserved some bright spots.

 

 

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Not Really News

As I was going through a newspaper printed the day my grandmother, Ella (House) Amore, was born – June 22, 1882, I was struck by the type of products and services offered.

  • Opium – advertised by a dr.
  • Drunkeness Easily Cured by Leslie E. Kekley, M.D.
  • Make Hens Lay by giving them Horse and Cattle Pills
  • New Rich Blood by taking Parson’s Purgative Pills
  • Noise Collars
  • Kidney – Wort for the permanent cure of constipation
  • Band and Military Uniforms

Other items of interest in the “gossip” section include:

  • A church had to get a prescription in order to have wine for communion
  • A lady sued her ex-fiance for breach of promise and received $700 in settlement
  • A butcher who sold meat from a steer that he killed due to cancer, was bound over for the grand jury
  • A man threatened his wife’s lover until he admitted the affair then was tied to a post and castrated.
  • 1300 men were confined in Ohio’s penitentiary but only 91 for life.
  • The “Sunday” law stopped being enforced in Columbus.
  • A man said his horse was 80 years old.
  • A man was almost sentenced to two years in prison for vagrancy until he admitted he just inherited two million dollars.
  • A baby was found near the railroad tracks after it had been born – someone threw the baby off the train.

What was happening the day one of your ancestors was born?

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My dad remembers his mother’s youngest brother with fondness.  Born Alva Lester House on May 9, 1886 in Coshocton County, Ohio, he was the youngest of James and Frances (Ogan) House’s eight children.  Somewhere along the line, he acquired the nickname of “Doc” even though he went by his middle name, Lester.

 

Lester and Mary Lucy Besser, daughter of Isaac Besser and Mary Thornsley, were married on June 13, 1908.  Lucy, as she was known, was just over 16 years old.  On February 28, 1910 their first child, Arthur Joseph House, was born in Tuscarawas Township, Coshocton County.  On April 16, 1910 the couple and their son were enumerated in the James E. House household living at 423 N. Eleventh Street in Tuscarawas Township, Coshocton County.  Lester is working for a pottery company as a kiln worker, possibly at the Pope-Gosser China Company located on Seventeenth Street.

 

 

Lucy’s mother, Mary Lucy (Lucy) and step-father, Noah Deeds, lived on the same street at house number 336.  Lucy’s father had been killed in a coal mine accident when she was still a child. 

 

Four days after the census taker left, little Arthur came down with pneumonia.  At just two months old, he contracted meningitis and died on April 29, 1910.  Lester and Lucy faced their first tragedy as husband and wife.  The baby was buried two days later in South Lawn Cemetery in Coshocton. 

 

 

Two years later, Esther Annie House, was born on April 7, 1912.  She lived only 18 hours before dying of lobar pneumonia. She was buried next to her brother in South Lawn Cemetery. 

 

 

Not but a little over a month later, as the couple were enjoying some time at the home of Lucy’s mother and step-father, Lucy Thornsley Deeds, fell out of her chair by the window of her home and died of a heart attack.  The woman was about 42 years old.  Once again, Lucy had to overcome a loss and wade through her grief.

 

 

 

The couple finally had a child they could nurture when Georgia Evelyn House (referred to as Evelyn her entire life) was born on March 11, 1914.  Their joy continued as a healthy son, Jarold House, was born two years later on May 26, 1916.  Unfortunately the year previously, Lester had lost his mother, Frances (Ogan) House, to pulmonary tuberculosis.

 

Lucy wasn’t in the best of health as the family had lived in Colorado about a year but returned to their hometown on account of her health.  The family also lived in Dennison, Pennsylvania where Lester worked in the shops but returned to Coshocton in September 1919. 

 

The 1920 US Census taken on January 8th, shows that the couple is residing, once again, at 423 North Eleventh Street with Lester’s father, James. The census taker must have asked for the first name of occupants as they are listed as James E. House (head), Alva L. (listed also as Head), Mary L. (wife), Georgia E. (daughter), Jarold E. (son).  There was also another child – one still unborn – as Lucy was pregnant.

 

A little over a month later, the young mother contracted the Spanish flu, which had been the cause of a worldwide pandemic that had begun two years previous and would continue for several more months, then pneumonia set it causing labor.  It is unknown how far advanced the pregnancy was, however, the son that was delivered on February 14th, was stillborn.  Lucy died the following day.  The baby was buried with Lucy next to the other two children, in South Lawn Cemetery. 

 

 

 

 

 

Lester had to pick up what was left of his family and move forward.  His small children were also ill with the flu but would go on to recover.  He had to move beyond his loss and grief.

 

Part Two: How much more loss and grief can this famliy withstand?

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As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this blog and my regular genealogy website (All My Branches) has been instrumental in the “finding” of long lost and unknown relatives.  I attribute my good fortune to several things.

  1. The use of great keywords
  2. Submitting my sites to search engines
  3. Submitting information on key family names via message boards and queries on a variety of genealogy related sites
  4. Posting enough information about ancestors that will aid others who are searching for specific family names

Not too long into my research, I ran across a post on a message board by an Amore relative whose name was familiar to me.  Turns out, he was the son of my first cousin!  We emailed constantly and shared a wealth of information with each other.  When his father had to travel to my part of the country many months later, we were able to meet.  I hadn’t seen him since I was very little.  He also got to spend time with my sister, who he had known quite well when they were both younger.  I mailed letters to many with that last name who were living in Coshocton, and soon I was also in contact with others from my Amore branch.  Several others also found me through the website.

On my Johnson line, I had posted a query on a message board about my great-grandfather’s half brother and his children’s names.  Quite awhile later, the grand-daughter of that half-brother, contacted me after seeing her mom’s and two aunt’s names.  Since that time, we have exchanged pictures of our shared ancestors and family.  She even sent me copies of letters my grandparents had written to her mom.  Between her queries and my website we brought several more Johnson family members into touch with each other.

I have also heard from relatives I never knew existed: a daughter of an uncle; a daughter of a great-aunt; a grand-daughter of my gr-great aunt’s son; just to name a few.  I’ve also heard from those I’ve been searching for – maybe not by name, but by relation (case in point: Rachel Blazer Given’s descendents). 

In almost all of my closest family lines (Amore, Johnson, House, Wilt, Stern, Blazer, Goul, Werts) – there has been at least one distant “cousin” (sometimes closer) that has found me via the blog or website.  Sometimes I’ve heard from relatives that share a common ancestor through the Caylor, Roudebush, Hollister, Loveland, or Risley line.

So as you post information on your blog or set up your genealogy website, make sure you:

  • submit it to several search engines
  • use good keywords
  • post information to message boards or queries – not only Surname – but location and even ethnic or religious boards
  • list Surnames so they are easily found

When contacted by other researchers, sharing is wonderful – but until you know enough about who you are giving information to, make sure you privatize your gedcom files.  Also, make sure when you receive information from others (as is the case when surfing the web), take with a grain of salt any information that’s posted unless there are sources and accurate citations.

And if you happen to stumble across long lost relatives or those waiting to be found, enjoy the experience!

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Thanks to Randy over at Genea-Musings, several of the genea-bloggers are flocking to How Many of Me to find out how many people in the United States have our name.  That started me thinking about the naming patterns within my ancestry and family. 

Donna Przecha has an article at Genealogy.com on the Importance of Given Names. Donna writes, “You will often see the same names used over and over again in families. While certain names are popular in different areas in different times in history, the repetition could represent a pattern.”  She writes of English naming patterns of which son is named after the father’s father, the mother’s father, the father, or father’s & mother’s brother(s), and the same with the daughters being named after grandmother’s, mother, and aunts.

Many have noticed as they are inputting names into Gedcom files, that there may be several generations of sons who carry on either a given name or middle name.  So I thought I’d go through my list to see what I could find.

The furthest ancestor in my Amore line is William Amore.  He has 6 descendents who share his name.

  • His son (my great-grandfather) – William Henry Amore
  • His grandson, (my grandfather) – William Lloyd Amore
  • His great-grandson, (my uncle) – William Gail Amore
  • His 2nd great-grandson, (my first cousin) – William V. Amore, Sr.
  • Another 2nd great-grandson – William C. Amore
  • His 3rd great-grandson, (my first cousin once removed) – William V. Amore, Jr.

The House line has several William’s (12 – first names)

  • Born 1642
  • Born 1672
  • Born abt. 1684
  • Born 1713
  • Born 1744
  • Born 1781
  • Born 1813
  • Born 1840
  • Born 1853
  • Born 1871
  • Born 1946

Middle name of William:

  • Fredrick William House - born 1878

James’ (first / middle)

  • My great-grandfather – James Emory House
  • His son – James Wilbur House
  • His grandsons – Welby James House & my dad (whose middle name is James)
  • His great-grandsons – both named James Amore
  • His 2nd great-grandson – my son James S.
  • A 3rd great-granddaughter – Jamie

In my maternal Johnson line there are many men with the first name of James who descended from my 3rd great-grandfather, Jacob Johnson:

  • his son (my 2nd great-grandfather), James Wilson Johnson
  • his great-grandsons, James Bertram Johnson, James Wilson Shively, James Madison Shively, James Leroy Delawter
  • his 3rd great-grandsons, (my brother) James Amore, A. James Hastings, James Shively
  • his 4th great-grandson (my son), James S.

And also descended from Jacob with the middle name of James:

  • his son, John James Johnson
  • his 3rd great-grandson, E. James Pratt

I plugged the names into the How Many of Me website and came up with this:

  • William Amore - there are 3,749,171 people in the U.S. with that first name.  There are 2,379 people in the U.S. with that last name.  There are 29 people with that exact first and last name.
  • James House – there are 5,076,176 people with that first name.  With the last name, there are 51,860 people.  There are 863 people with that same name. 
  • James Johnson – with the last name there are 2,470,975 people.  There are 41,117 people with the same name.
  • William House – There are 637 people with that same name.

Statistically:

  • James is the #1 most popular first name.
  • Johnson is the #2 most popular last name.
  • William is the #6 most popular first name.

Oh, and how did my name rank?  There are 282,179 people with the same first name (on a personal note: I’d like to know where all these people are!).  There are 5,613 with the same last name (and if they are from Missouri – probably related!).  There are only 5 of us with the same first and last name.  Have you played?

Quite possibly you may be able to discover the name of that brick wall ancestor, if you analyze the naming patterns throughout the generations.

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Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore home
Coshocton, Ohio
photo owned by Wendy Littrell

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