Feeds:
Posts
Comments

I have a difficult time picking just one photo of an ancestor or relative that is my  favorite. Many of what I consider in the top five include my maternal grandmother, Vesta Christena (Wilt) Johnson. I called her Nana because I believe it was my brother – the oldest of the grandchildren – who gave her that title.

As a child, many people would always comment on my blue eyes and ask me where I got them. My dad and siblings all were blessed with blue eyes so I would say that I got my blue eyes from my dad. There were also others who would tell me that I looked like Nana. I just couldn’t see it. I was a pre-teen or teen, and my grandmother was 63 years older than me. How could anyone tell?

However, in the last ten years or so, as I’ve shared photos of Nana online, many have repeated those assertions – that I did resemble her. Since I am much older now, I do see it. And then back in December, my cousin posted a picture that I had never seen before. It was of my grandparents with my uncle (my cousin’s father) when he was a baby. I cropped the photo to show just my grandmother and compared it to a photo of me about the same age. Well, what do you, my readers think?

This is a post in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge for Week 2. For more information or to sign up to participate (all free!!), check out Amy Johnson Crow’s post: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Advertisements

When I started working on my family history, information on the web was lacking. In fact, aside from the beginnings of Ancestry.com, Rootsweb, and the old LDS FamilySearch.org, the main website was Cyndi’s List. Cyndi Ingle was a one woman show back in 2001, and she still is. Except today, Cyndi’s List is much bigger.

Fortunately, back then a good friend let me borrow her family tree software in order to begin. All the beginning genealogy articles I found online or in a few magazines suggested to start with yourself. That is exactly what I did. Now, almost twenty years later, I am using the latest version of Family Tree Maker (FTM). The database assigns a reference number to each person, and my number is 1. Number 2 is my dad. I really have no idea what the computations are for numbers in FTM. My mother shows up as Reference number 7359!

My descendants include four children and eight grandchildren! My ancestors include my two parents and four grandparents.

• Paternal: Lloyd William Amore and Ella Maria House
• Maternal: Glen Roy Johnson and Vesta Christena Wilt

As I go further back into my family history, not only do the generations become compounded but I am at brick walls on others. I have listed the number of known and documented ancestors after the relationship.

Great-Grandparents – 8

• Paternal: William Henry Amore and Mary Angeline Werts; James Emory House and Frances Virginia Ogan
• Maternal: John Lafayette Johnson and Katie J Blazer; Joseph Napolean Wilt and Martha Jane Stern

Great-Great-Grandparents (AKA 2x great-grandparents) – 14 out of 16

• Paternal: William Amore and Charlotte Reed; William Washington Werts and Louisa Bookless; Florus Allen House and Julia Ann Lewis; BRICKWALL on Frances Ogan’s biological parents.
• Maternal: James Wilson Johnson and Amanda Eveline Mullis; Franklin Blazer and Melissa Goul; Isreal Isaac Wilt and Christena Nash; Emanuel Bushong Stern and Nancy Caylor.

3x Great-Grandparents – 25 out of 32

• Paternal: BRICKWALL on William Amore’s parents; Zachariah Reed and BRICKWALL on Charlotte Reed’s mother; George Peter Werts and Margaret Catherine Maple; David Bookless and Mary Cartmell; Allen House and Editha Bigelow; Abel Lewis Jr and Nancy (Ann) Johnston.
• Maternal: Jacob Johnson and Ann Shields; John Mullis and Darlett Stanley; John Blazer and Mary Ann Nelson; John Goul and Martha McManaway (or alternate spellings); John Wilt and Phebe Hottinger; Alexander Nash and Elsy Minesinger; Peter Stern and Margaret Bushong; Abraham Caylor and Susannah Miller.

4x Great-Grandparents – 42 out of 64

• Paternal: BRICKWALL on Zachariah Reed’s parents; George Peter Werts and Susanna Huff; William B Maple and Mary Fuller; (thought to be but not proven) William Bookless and Ann Pearson; John Cartmell and mother of Mary Cartmell NOT PROVEN; Lazarus House and Rebecca Risley; Eli Bigelow and Anna Freeman; Abel Lewis and Elizabeth Jones; James Johnston and Catherine See.
• Maternal: BRICKWALL on Jacob Johnson’s parents; William Shields and Mary (maiden name is unknown); George Mullis (Sr) and Margaret “Polly” Owens; Thomas Stanley Sr and Sarah Mason; Philip Blazer and Elizabeth Kingsley; John Griffith Nelson and Mary Dickenson Arbuckle; Adam Goul and Elizabeth Lutz; BRICKWALL for parents of Martha McManaway; Peter Wilt and BRICKWALL for John Wilt’s mother; John Hottinger and Mary Orebaugh; Joshua Nash and Abigail (maiden name is unknown); Joseph Minesinger and Christeana (maiden name is unknown); Christian Stern and Susanna Roudebush; John Bushong and Anna Stover; Johannes Caylor (Kohler) and Sarah Salome Kinsey; Joseph H Miller and Catherine Botafield.

Now, 17 years after I began this family history journey, where do I start in order to break down those brick walls? I start with myself once again and go through each person’s documentation, ephemera, and stories in order to pick out as much information as I can. I also check into each person’s FAN club (family, associates and neighbors) – cluster research – for even more evidence.

(Photos above (left to right top to bottom) – First collage: Glen & Vesta (Wilt) Johnson; Lloyd & Ella (House) Amore; William Henry & Mary (Werts) Amore; John & Katie (Blazer) Johnson. Second collage: Peter & Margaret (Bushong) Stern; Joseph & Martha (Stern) Wilt and family; Emanuel & Nancy (Caylor) Stern; George Peter & Margaret Catherine (Maple) Werts. Third collage: James Wilson Johnson; William Amore; Melissa (Goul) Blazer; Isreal Wilt.)

This is the first post in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge for Week 1. For more information or to sign up to participate (all free!!), check out Amy Johnson Crow’s post: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

There are two ponds on the farm – the North Pond and the South Pond. For many of the years that we vacationed here, there were cattle in the vicinity of the North Pond so the family didn’t fish out of that one. The pond and pasture is separated from our backyard by a barbed wire fence.

The photo above is of the South Pond. This is where our nieces and nephews fished as kids as well as our own kids. After some neglect – which was apparent when we moved to the farm two years ago – all that my grandson caught were weeds. My husband spent most of that first summer here cleaning it up and just recently the dam was fixed because of so many muskrat holes that had caused it to leak on the backside.

I took the photo a year ago. It looked serene, and I can picture all the kids there being very quiet as they fished. The farm isn’t my favorite spot on earth without reason! And the pond is just one of those reasons.

(Photo above taken by Wendy Littrell.)

Last fall on a day trip to the Chariton County Historical Society and Museum, I filled out a membership form and told the hostess on duty that day that I would start volunteering when the season began in April. Even though my husband’s family has deep roots in Missouri – especially Chariton county – I had found that some of my collateral relatives also had lived and died here. What better way for me to learn about the area I now call home than to spend time at the Historical Society.

My first “volunteer” opportunity came on April 1st during the 150th Anniversary for the city of Salisbury. The museum was open and even provided sheets of clues for a scavenger hunt. It was advised that I participate as well in order to familiarize myself to the location of items and genealogy files. I had spent two hours there a few weeks before learning the new microfilm scanner and printer so I knew the location of many items.

I volunteered to be there one Wednesday in April. We didn’t have any visitors that day so I spent time inserting obituaries from 1954 into binders – in alphabetical order – or creating a new page if it wouldn’t fit. On my next day there – in early May – I scanned several photos from a large 1967 news magazine. Then I downloaded them from the hand held scanner (I want one of those!) onto the computer and used photo editing software to crop and save them. That day there were several visitors. It was enlightening to hear about a military hero that had grown up in Chariton county from a man who had spent time doing research. Soon, his information will be on display in the military section of the museum.

Some of the other high profile people from this area include: Cal Hubbard, Vernon Kennedy, Gen. Maxwell Taylor, and Sterling Price (Governor of Missouri and also a Confederate General).

I urge to find your local genealogy or historical society and join. Not only will you have access to the holdings, but you will also learn more about the history of your area. And if you are in Chariton county or close by, I invite you to stop in and visit the Chariton County Museum & Historical Society.

(Photo: Depiction of a school room located in the “Main Street” section of the Museum; photographer: Wendy Littrell)

Philip Wesley Blazer was born on April 25, 1862 in Indiana to Melissa Goul and Franklin Blazer. Wesley (as he was known his entire life) was the third child and second son out of five children and an older half-brother. His younger two sisters were born in Madison county as was his older sister, so Wesley probably started life there as well. At the age of seven, his father was struck by lightning and died. At the age of nineteen, he spent about a year in his mother’s native Champaign county, Ohio working on a farm. He went back to Madison county for another couple of years before returning to Ohio. There he married Binnie McAdams on September 12, 1885. She was born on April 13, 1864 in Union to Samuel McAdams and Nancy Jane Doak.

During the next ten years, the couple lived in Harper county, Kansas; Indiana; Goshen township in Champaign county, Ohio; and finally purchased land in Union, Ohio, where he resided for the rest of his life.

Wesley and Binnie had four children – the first three born in Kansas and the youngest born in Ohio. Charles Frederick Blazer was born on November 18, 1886 in Kiowa, Kansas and died on December 25, 1886. The infant is buried in Fair View Cemetery in Champaign county, Ohio. John Franklin Blazer was born on August 24, 1888 in Kiowa, Kansas and died in 1920 at the age of 31 as a result of pneumonia and influenza leaving a widow and two children (another child had died in infancy). Ada Dell Blazer was born on July 2, 1890 in Kansas. She was married, widowed, and married again. At the time of her death on February 22, 1977 at the age of 86, she was a widow again. She was survived by a daughter and grandchildren. Glen Orem Blazer was born in Champaign county, Ohio on October 6, 1898 and lived to the age of 79. He left a widow and one son and grandchildren.

Binnie McAdams Blazer died on January 30, 1938 in Union at the age of 78. Wesley died three years later on January 3, 1941. They are both buried at Fair View Cemetery.

Putnam County lies along the Missouri/Iowa border in North Central Missouri. Now that I am a resident of Missouri, I want to familiarize myself to the geography – especially in areas where some of my collateral relatives lived and are buried. And I do – have people buried in Unionville – the county seat of Putnam county.

As we drove toward Purdin last week for a high school baseball game, I saw a sign that said Milan was 30 some miles and Unionville was 53 miles. My husband’s grandparents once lived in Milan. To get to the cemetery where they are buried, we would need to go through there. Unionville was still closer than Columbia – the nearest “big” city.

The day after that, I checked to see where the Unionville cemetery was located because I will drive up one day and take pictures of headstones for my own files as well as Find a Grave. Oh, and who is buried there? The man who is purportedly the father of my great-grandmother’s half brother – James M Goul. James was also my great-great-grandmother’s first cousin. He was born in Virginia in 1822 and died in Unionville in 1888. He and his wife, Hannah Susan Harbert Goul are both buried in Unionville cemetery.

My Google search also turned up a link to the Putnam County Historical Society. I was excited to see that the Putnam County Library had digitized their collection of newspapers – and it was searchable! I found many wonderful goodies in those newspapers – which will be another blog post! For now – here are some links if you also have ancestors or collateral relatives that lived in Putnam county: Putnam County Historical Society and Putnam county newspapers.

Image: By The original uploader was Catbar at English Wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

I have been so busy the last few months that I completely missed my blogging anniversary (blogiversary)! Nine years ago on April 19, 2008, I wrote the first two posts here on All My Branches Genealogy: New Genealogy Blog and They Died How?

Since that day, I’ve published 580 articles; have 66 followers; and have had 404 likes, 14,789 visitors and 65,457 views.

Thank you to my faithful readers!