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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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The USA Today article, Orphan Train Riders, Offspring Seek Answers About Heritage, (posted 25 Jan 2012) by Judy Keen, describes the search that descendents of those who rode the Orphan Trains in the early 20th century find themselves on. They want to find out more about those train riders, their parents, siblings, and heritage. Even some of the Orphan Train riders themselves are searching.

While researching my own family history, I came across two brothers who rode the train from New York until they arrived in Columbus, Kansas and were adopted by James William Goul (my maternal grandfather’s relatives). J.W. Goul was born in Ohio about 1839 to John and Martha (McManaway) Goul.  James William was the 2nd to youngest brother of my 2nd great-grandmother (Malissa Goul). He married Mary McAdams (b. 16 Sep 1840) and they had Martha E. and George Edward Goul. Before 1894, the family moved to Cherokee County, Kansas.

The Star-Courier newspaper of Columbus, Kansas of June 21, 1894 mentioned that two young brothers who did not want to be separated from each other were taken by “one kind hearted man.”  These two brothers were Matthew and Clarence Brown of New York.  Matthew was born about 1887 and Clarence was about 3 years younger.  Both reported on the 1910 Census that their parents were born in Italy.    

Discovering there were Orphan Train riders in the family history, led me to find out more about these children and the reasons they were sent from New York to other parts of the country.  The short version of the “why?” includes the fact that these children were abandoned or orphaned so the Children’s Aid Society and New York Foundling Hospital decided these children needed homes somewhere else.  Children were sent to Canada and the other 47 states. Some were adopted while others were foster children. Others were made to be “servants” to whomever chose them.  Children were picked the same way that slaves had been a century earlier – checking their muscles, sturdiness, and temperament. Some were loved dearly while others were beat constantly.

There are many places on the internet to read the history and stories of the Orphan Train movement including: Orphan Train History (has many links included), Children’s Aid Society, PBS Documentary, Iowa GenWeb Orphan Train project, Orphan Trains of Kansas, and Adoption History: Orphan Trains. There are some videos: Orphan Train in Michigan and Orphan Train Movie (1979).

With all of the newly digitized records on free and subscription databases, I sincerely hope that the descendents of the “riders” will find the answers they so desperately seek.  Perhaps they will be the recipients of Genealogical Acts of Kindness!

Do you have Orphan Train riders in your family? Have you learned about where they came from? Did they remember their background and parents? Were they treated like members of the family upon their “adoption” or was their life very difficult?  And what about the family they left behind or were torn from? What is their story?

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Mary Angeline Werts Amore

Mary Angeline Werts was born to William Washington Werts and Louisa Bookless on February 16, 1855 in Linton Township, Coshocton County, Ohio.  Her father died when she was two years old leaving Lousia to raise Mary and her older brother, George.  In the 1860 Census both children are living with others.  In 1961 Louisa married John Simon and three years later they had a daughter, Sarah Ellen.  On December 14, 1872, Mary married William Henry Amore.  In 1881 Mary lost her brother, George.

Mary – known as “Annie” and “Henry” had seven children – a daughter first, followed by six sons (“Clemmie”, “Zade”, Roy, Lloyd, Rollo, Bert, and Clarence).  The family was very involved with the Salvation Army.  I just didn’t realize how involved Annie was until I ran across an article from the Coshocton Tribune dated December 14, 1941 (nine days after Annie passed away).

In the “Fife and Drum” column written by Al Cline, he stated, “Back a quarter century ago, at the Christmas times even before the first World war, you might have seen a tiny, birdlike woman, her face rosy with cold, standing on one of Coshocton’s snow-swept street corners, ringing a Salvation Army bell.”  He went on to state that before many people knew what the Salvation Army was is when she joined as one of its first members. She was called “Mother” Amore, and as Cline reported, “very few people knew her first name was Mary. And there is no record how many derelicts she took into her little house, gave a bed and breakfast and sent on their way, because the true spirit of Christmas was with Mother Amore the year round.”

There were many Sundays she walked from her home in Roscoe to the Salvation Army home so she wouldn’t miss a service. My great-grandmother (her son Lloyd was my grandfather) saw the new citadel finished in 1929 when she was in her 70s. Unfortunately that was about the time she fell and was hurt pretty bad.  The columnist reported that for more than ten years after her fall, Mother Amore was “an uncomplaining invalid, tied to her bed and crutch.”  Salvation Army Captain Douglas Bethune told Al Cline that he always had a strange feeling in her house; one that felt as if she was comforting him instead of the other way around when he came to call on her weekly after her fall.

Cline summed up his story by writing, “I guess this is a story of faith. Mother Amore had faith, like an imperishable little . . . flame, burning inside her and shining thru her eyes. It took faith and vision to help build the snug Salvation Army citadel, and it took faith to lie calmly in bed, at 86, and wait for the quiet touch of death.”

As I read that article, tears sprung from my eyes.  No, I didn’t know my great-grandmother in the traditional sense (I also did not know my grandfather as he died six years before I was born).  I didn’t even really know her through memories of others.  The only thing my dad has said is that she was in bed all the time.  He was an adult by the time she died – so perhaps I can find out more about this woman from him.

However, I did learn a lot about this woman, just from this article.  It told me that she didn’t complain about any hardship that she encountered.  Whether she learned this at a young age from losing her father and then her brother and being “farmed out” from her mother, I don’t know.  I have a sense that she seemed to always have a sense of purpose – helping people, nurturing them, giving hope to others, and bringing the word of God into the lives of those who didn’t know Him. 

I have three pictures of Annie – the picture above is one that my cousin, Sharon Amore Brittigan, uploaded to Ancestry.  The picture below is one that my family has also shared with me of Henry and Annie and their children.  One other photo I have shows the couple surrounded by loving family members on the occasion of the first Amore reunion held at their home.

Annie died on December 5, 1941 seven years after losing her husband, Henry. Her funeral was held in the Salvation Army citadel and she was buried in Roscoe Cemetery.

R.I.P. Great-grandmother (“Mother”) Amore.

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I wanted to update my post of the other day concerning the obituary for Ellen Ora (Johnson) Moffitt that is the Knightstown (Indiana) Banner.  A wonderful person in that area checked the obituary for me and said that neither her parents or siblings are listed in it.  So that rules out that source.  She did, however, suggest I contact the Health Dept to see if the death certificate would have her parents listed.  I would like to think that her husband would have known who her parents were but whether or not that information was part of the standard death certificate information in 1929 for Indiana is an unknown to me.  The only way I’ll find out is if I make that call.

Stay tuned for more . . .

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The journey is taking a surprising turn . . .

If you’ve followed this series, in Part 1 , I explained how I’m on the search to find out how the Moffitt family is connected to my maternal Johnson family. In Part 2, I examined some letters from Elenora Johnson Moffitt’s daughters that shed some light on the relationship.

Yesterday, I decided to check the Henry County Genealogical Society webpage to see if I could find any information on the Moffitt family.  I clicked on the Death Records and scrolled down.  Listed under Moffitt, Christopher – I saw that he died on July 8, 1939 at the age of 84 years old.  The informaton also gave me what Book Name, book number and page number the record was located.  Then I saw Moffitt, Ellen O. (not Elenora) who died on October 26, 1929 with the same type of information on what book, number and page to find her death record. 

Under obituaries, I found that the Banner (a newspaper in Knightstown, Indiana), had an index of obituaries on their sight.  There was also a warning that because so many people had called up to complain about inaccuracies, it was a strong possibility that the index might be taken down as well.  And no one at the paper was going to go off and look for any information.  However, I found both people.

Ellen Ora’s obituary apparently lists not only her husband and children – but her parents!!  Her obituary is located in the November 1, 1929 edition of the Banner, on pages 1 and 3.  I am no where near Knightstown so I can’t just go down to the local library and look it up.  The Banner people obviously have had enough of “genealogy” people complaining about things so they won’t be able to help me.  What I really need is someone to go to the local Knightstown library or the Henry County Genealogical Society and look up the obituary – since I’ve provided date and page – and be able to at least give me the parents’ names.  That would be a big help and a wonderful gift. 

So in the meantime, I will continue to scour the census records to see if I can find Ellen Johnson, Ora Johnson, or Ellen O. Johnson (perhaps Ella Nora – depending on what the census taker heard and wrote down).

Stay tuned for more!

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This past weekend as I perused newspaper articles in Ancestry, I ran across a boatload of information concerning some distant cousins and an in-law of one of my great uncles.

Susan Peterson posted on her blog, Long Lost Relatives, an article, What To Do With Skeletons in the Closet” on February 26, 2011. She asked some pertinent questions (I urge you to go and read what she posted).  When I ran across all the information that made it abundantly clear that not only does our family have skeletons in the closet, but some scandals, and then those who are just plain screwed up, I realized that I would have to answer those questions.  My belief is that if the involved individuals are deceased – and more importantly – that the next generation is also deceased, and if the information is a matter of public record – especially when it was in the newspaper or on a document that anyone could obtain, then I will tell the story.  If there are truly sensitive aspects, I won’t lay them out in such detail, but respect the fact that there are possible descendents who either don’t know or have chosen not to acknowledge such behavior. 

A little over a year ago, I wrote Georgia On My Mind about my great-grandfather’s niece, Georgia Amore. This weekend I’ve learned some new information in addition to bits and pieces I’ve discovered since I wrote that. Soon, you’ll see that post again – with all the newest items added!

Many years ago when I first started my genealogical journey, a cousin mailed me some information – before either of us were proficient at scanning – and my email system back then wouldn’t even allow attachments. If it had, I’m sure it would have taken a very long time to download as I was still on dial up. One of the news clippings he mailed to me concerned someone who died in prison fairly recently in genealogy time (the 1970s). The man had the same last name as my paternal grandmother’s maiden name. Neither of us had heard of him or even if he was part of “our” House family. Fast forward ten years and I’ve made a connection – and a pretty sad one at that. Some of you might remember the series I wrote about my grandmother’s brother, Alva Lester House, – Lester’s Despair – Part One and More Tragedy for Lester House, concerning several losses that he experienced during his life.  The news clipping concerns Lester’s son and his grandsons.  After I assemble all of the new items, I will write a post about what I’ve learned.

Another news item that caught my eye, was about my great-uncle’s sister-in-law.  I found it only because I’d put my maiden name as a keyword to search Coshocton newspapers.  I saw the name “Mayme Amore” (first name spelled incorrectly) and wondered what it was about.  She was married to my grandfather’s brother, Roy. (Yes, a real consanquity chart would say that Roy is my grand-uncle, but as I’ve mentioned before, I grew up having him referred to as my great uncle.)  I clicked on the news article and it was about Mamie testifying at her sister’s trial.  Whoa!  What? A trial?  What sort of trial?  And that my dear readers, is something you’ll have to ponder for awhile – but I will give you the answer and all the particulars soon!

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