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Archive for the ‘challenge’ Category

The  Week 2 prompt for “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” is Challenge. And do I have a challenge ahead of me! In October 2017, I accepted a position on the Board of Directors for my local society – Chariton County Historical Society. At the first board meeting I attended, I was asked if I would accept the role of Vice President/Program Coordinator. I was excited about helping the organization find new and exciting programs for their quarterly meetings.

Fast forward to July 2018 when the President of the Board resigned after many, many years of being very active on the Board and with the museum. At the July board and quarterly meetings, as Vice President I stepped up to chair the meetings. October is the month to elect new officers. Besides the one new member who was asked to serve to fill the empty spot, the other seven and I agreed to continue on the board. I really enjoyed my position and said I would continue as VP, but then one other lady said she could be VP but not President. So I consented to the position.

At the October quarterly meeting (our “big” meeting), the slate of Board members and Officers were approved and without any nominations from the floor, were elected. Immediately, I realized that I was really out of my comfort zone. I didn’t grow up in Chariton county. I didn’t know that much about most of the artifacts in the museum. I didn’t have a clue about the “business” of being President. I did however know that several of the board members and our hostesses are a wealth of information, advice, and guidance. And I can delegate! (Insert maniacal laughter!!)

This year will be challenging, but one thing I learned many years ago is that a challenge is just another opportunity. Missouri is coming up on the 200th Anniversary of statehood in 2021. Every group, society, and organization will be having some sort of birthday celebration of sorts. And in 2020 it will be Chariton County’s anniversary! I foresee many amazing things for the Chariton County Historical Society, its members, the community, and all the visitors!


Wheelwright Shop Display at Chariton County Historical Society & Museum


General Store exhibit in “Main Street” area

I can’t conclude this post without inviting all of you to come visit us at 115 E. 2nd Street in Salisbury, Missouri. The museum (which has a genealogy library and a large Veterans area) is open from the first Tuesday in April until the last Saturday in October, Tuesday through Friday from 1-4 p.m. or by appointment. Check out the website for Chariton County Museum and our Facebook Page.

If you would like to join the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge by Amy Johnson Crow, please click here to be taken to the link. (Hint: you don’t have to write about an ancestor – as this post shows – nor do you need to have a blog. This is a way for you to just start writing!)

(Images: Top – digital image use via Creative Commons; all other photos: photographer – Wendy Littrell, original digital images in possession of Wendy Littrell.)

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As a young teen, home alone while Mom and my grandparents were on a day trip to Urbana, Ohio to viist cousins, I took the opportunity to peruse the photo albums. Either that same evening or another day, as I was talking to Mom about photos, she brought out a medium sized box full of photos. (Side note: I wish we had labeled the photos then when Mom’s memory was better and my grandparents were still living.) 

I began taking out pictures one by one. Who was in the photos? I really don’t remember. I do know that several of them were face down. I picked one up and turned it over and immediately hollered at Mom. It was someone in an open casket. What was this madness?! Mom chuckled – obviously this was nothieg new to her. I hadn’t been educated in the “why” of post-mortem photos.

It seemed as if I ran across a ton of post-mortem photos – in reality, probably not very many. I don’t know what happened to that box of photos. In probability, I probably have them all now – but they were broken out in to smaller boxes. And the post-mortem photos? I have 3 of them (there were several copies). I can’t remember all these years later who it was in that first photo but it was either my great-grandfather John Lafayette Johnson, my great-grandmother Katie J (Blazer) Johnson, or my mom’s baby sister Lois Evelyn Johnson.

I won’t post those photos – for many reasons. If my kids want to see them, I’ll dig them out, but I won’t make them public for anyone’s morbid curiousity. I will post photos of when they were living (except my baby aunt as I don’t have any).

John & Katie Johnson
about 1929 in Anderson, Indiana

This is Week 1 post of “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge by Amy Johnson Crow. The prompt for this post was “First.” To participate, please go to: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

(Top image courtesty of Creative Commons. Original & digital Image of John & Katie Johnson in possession of Wendy Littrell – address for private use.)

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My family tree has many Johns, Josephs, James, Peters, Williams, Marys,Marthas, Sarahs, Elizabeths, and Catherines but not too many Clementines. There are exactly two. Clementine Romaine Adney, daughter of Henry Harrison Adney and Elizabeth Jane Blazer was born in Holt, Missouri on January 29, 1873 and died on December 23, 1952 in Benton, Oregon. Clementine was my second cousin three times removed. Our shared ancestors are Philip Blazer and Elizabeth Kingsley.

The other Clementine is my great-aunt; sister of my paternal grandfather. Her birth name was Louisa Clementine Amore. Her first name was in honor of her mother’s mom – Louisa (Bookless) Werts Simon. Yet, she was “Clemmie” to everyone else.

Aunt Clemmie was born on March 12, 1874 in Lafayette township of Coshocton county, Ohio to William Henry and Mary Angeline (Werts) Amore. She was the oldest of seven and the only girl. When she was 12, she was an exemplary student with perfect attendance and a grade of 100. Unfortunately, her education went to 8th grade but not beyond according to the 1940 census.

At the age of 19, Clemmie married Benjamin F Baker on December 7, 1893 in Coshocton, Ohio. The couple had four children: Donald Francis, Anna Belle, Clara Ethel, and Charlotte (Lottie) Christina. Ben Baker died on May 19, 1936 leaving Clemmie a widow. Their children were all grown and married by then. The 1940 census lists Clemmie living in the Curtis Davis household on S. Eureka Avenue in Columbus, Ohio as a housekeeper. She had worked every single week of the previous year with an annual income of $260.

At the Amore-Baker reunion in 1951, Clemmie posed with her six brothers for a photo. Left to right: my grandfather Lloyd, Rollo, Clemmie, Zade (Isaiah), Roy, Clarence, and Herbert. It is one of only three I have of Clemmie and her brothers. She died on April 4, 1956 in Springfield, Ohio at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Anna and Harrie Foster. Her brother (and my grandfather) Lloyd had passed away the year before. Her obituary stated that she was survived by her four children, 12 grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, and five brothers. Aunt Clemmie was laid to rest next to her husband at Sunset Cemetery in Galloway, Ohio.

This is a post in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge for Week 6. For more information or to sign up to participate (all free!!), check out Amy Johnson Crow’s post: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

(Clementine graphic: Wikimedia Commons – public domain. All other digital photos in possession of Wendy Littrell)

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My paternal grandmother’s mother Frances V Ogan has been a mystery due to the fact that there is nothing that reveals her parents. The family story suggested that she had been left on a doorstep as a baby. The first census that I was able to find for her in the early 2000s was the 1880 census because that particular one was free to view. Her parents were listed as born in Ohio so that gave me hope that she knew that information. As the years went by and access to other census records opened up for me, I soon discovered the first census taken after her birth in 1846.

In the 1850 census in the Evan and Susannah Ogan household is a person with the name of Francis Foster, age 3, and born in Ohio. The person is marked male. The adults in the household, both born in Virginia, were both aged 64 – too old to be the biological parents of young Francis. They were living in Rich Hill township of Muskingum county, Ohio.

In the 1860 census there is a 13 year old Frances Foster – this time listed as female – living in Cumberland township of Guernsey county, Ohio – a distance of almost 6 miles from Rich Hill township. Frances is living in the Evan and Susan Ogan household. The adults are both listed as 73 years old.

Ten years later in 1870, 23 year old Frances Ogan is still in Guernsey county residing at the Eagle Hotel in Cambridge township. She is listed as a cook born in Ohio. Susannah Ogan had died five years before, and Evan was back in Muskingum county living with his 56 year old son Peter’s family.

For awhile I tracked Evan’s and Susannah’s children to see if any could be Frances’ biological parent. Nothing seemed to fit. I keep coming back to the surname used in the first two censuses – Foster. Did Evan and Susannah know that her birth name was Frances Foster? Or did they give her that surname because she was a “foster’ child? And what do I make of the fact that Evan and Susannah seemed to move soon after the 1850 census to a neighboring county and then move back once Frances is deemed an “Ogan” and out on her own? Could this have been a case of Evan and Susannah taking in a neglected child and moving in order for any birth family not being able to  find them? Was Frances related to them through a nephew, niece, cousin or dear friend? What could possibly move two people who had raised many children and were empty-nesters to raise a very young child? I may never know the answers, but I’m forever grateful that Frances had two people who took care of her in order for her to go on and marry a widower with three children. My grandmother was the youngest girl of the eight children they went on to have together.

This is a post in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge for Week 5. For more information or to sign up to participate (all free!!), check out Amy Johnson Crow’s post: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

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Many of my ancestors and relatives have been blessed to live long lives. Here is my Top Ten List of those who have.

#10 – Leroy Thurman Amore (my paternal great-uncle) was born on July 27, 1879 and died on January 28, 1974 at the age of 94 years 6 months and 1 day. He had been a widower for 17 years. Three of his 14 children predeceased him.

#9 – Eugene James Amore (my dad) was born April 4, 1921 and died December 3, 2015 at the age of 94 years 7 months and 29 days. He had been a widower twice but was married at the time of his death. His son predeceased him.

#8 – Lily Mamie (Amore) Green (first cousin once removed) was born February 17, 1912 and died on March 31, 2007 at the age of 95 years 1 month and 14 days. She had been a widow for 25 years. One of her three daughters died 76 years earlier.

 

#7 – Virgil Amore (first cousin once removed) was born on January 21, 1914 and died on October 19, 2009 at the age of 95 years 8 months and 28 days. He had been a widower for 4 1/2 years. Two daughters predeceased him.

#6 – Isreal Isaac Wilt (my maternal great-great-grandfather) was born June 20, 1823 and died September 9, 1919 at the age of 96 years 2 months and 20 days. He was a widower for 43 years, and three of his ten children died before he did.

 

#5 – Anna A (Amore) Moore (first cousin once removed) was born on February 22, 1916 and died on November 26, 2012 at the age of 96 years 9 months and 4 days. She had been a widow for 19 years and one of her four children predeceased her.

#4 – Charlotte (“Lottie”) Christina (Baker) Smith (first cousin once removed) was born November 15, 1904 and died on July 6, 2003 at the age of 98 years 7 months and 21 days. She had been a widow for 8 years.

#3 – Gertrude Pearl (Amore) Shackelford (my paternal aunt) was born April 22, 1904 and died on January 20, 2003 at the age of 98 years 8 months and 29 days. She was a widow for 58 years at the time of her death.

#2 – Isaiah (“Zade”) H Amore (my paternal great-uncle) was born on September 17, 1876 and died on February 18, 1977 at the age of 100 years 5 months and 1 days. His wife was still living.

#1 – Marie Erma (Amore) Quirk (my paternal aunt) was born May 21, 1909 and died on September 3, 2010 at the age of 101 years 3 months and 13 days. She had been a widow for 28 years.

 

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.

 

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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.

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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.

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