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Archive for the ‘Life and Death’ Category

This is a colorized picture of my paternal great-grandmother – Frances – that a cousin sent earlier this year. It is the first and only photo I have seen of her. This woman who I’ve written about before in this post from several years ago. Ever since my AncestryDNA results arrived two years ago, I’ve been hopeful about finding Frances’ birth family – humans – not the aliens I believed she was dropped by as no records are found prior to her being fostered by Evan and Susannah (Fritter) Ogan in 1850. In fact, as I had written in the post referenced above, I did check Evan’s will to see if Frances was included as a “child” or “grandchild” or even as a “daughter” that he had raised. Sadly, she was left out of her foster father’s will even though the birth daughter – Maria – was included which leaves one to wonder what type of relationship Frances had with her foster parents.

Fast forward, and I have been studying genetic genealogy and how to apply it to solving at least two of my brick walls: one is my paternal great-great-grandfather’s parentage, and the other would be the parentage of Frances. It has taken some time, but after reviewing the results of all of my House cousins’ DNA results, along with our shared matches, and verifying their House lines, I’ve come to some preliminary conclusions. One of my techniques has been to disregard those matches that come from my great-grandfather’s (James House) parents’ lines as well as those who descend from James and his first wife, Barbara. Looking at the shared matches that were left, I discovered an unknown to me family those matches were descended from.

Suddenly, it was as if the fog lifted on my DNA matches across all the platforms (AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage, and Gedmatch), and I could see where these “mystery” people fit in – on Frances’ birth line! Using DNA Painter, I added these folks and the following graphic shows that we match on chromosones 14 and 19.

But see that red arrow pointing to the segment on my X chromosone? That is the very first segment that I’ve found that came from Frances via her daughter Ella via her son (my dad) Gene and then to my sister and me – as I’ve also passed that segment on to my three daughters and son.

I have not pinpointed Frances’ parents but I have narrowed down the family lines. Solving mysteries such as these – especially difficult without having ANY information about parentage – aren’t easy. It takes a good deal of time and patience.

My advice for others dealing with brick walls or seeking birth parents due to adoption is to keep moving forward and take it one day at a time. Keep records – Excel, a scratch pad, family tree database, or some other way – so you can keep family lines straight. Someday you too may see the same type of chart I have. For now, I will keep working on the lines and my matches to get to Frances’ parents.

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In honor of Father’s Day, I created a collage of my male ancestors – just as I did for the The Women Who Came Before Me on Mother’s Day.

Beginning at the top, left to right:
Joseph Napolean Wilt b. 21 Jan 1868 in Henry county, Indiana and d. 9 Jan 1944 in Nabb, Indiana. Great-grandfather
Israel Wilt b. 20 June 1823 in Timberville, Virginia and d. 9 Sep 1919 in Middletown, Indiana. 2nd Great-grandfather
Emanuel Bushong Stern b. 7 Oct 1834 in Montgomery county, Ohio and d. 10 Sep 1911 in Yale, Nebraska. 2nd Great-grandfather
Peter Stern b. 10 Feb 1810 in Washington, Pennsylvania and d. 12 Nov 1887 in Clarksville, Indiana. 3rd Great-grandfather
James Wilson Johnson b. 16 Aug 1829 in Byrd, Ohio and d. 31 Oct 1917 in Anderson, Indiana. 2nd Great-grandfther
James Emory House b. 2 May 1842 in West Lafayette, Ohio and d. 1 Oct 1924 in Coshocton, Ohio. Great-grandfather
William Amore b. 6 Feb 1828 in Albany county, New York and d. 10 Feb 1896 in Franklin, Ohio. 2nd Great-grandfather
George Peter Werts b. Oct 1801 in Virginia and d. 29 July 1866 in Muskingum county, Ohio. 3rd Great-grandfather
John Lafayette Johnson b. 2 Mar 1861 in Rush county, Indiana and d. 28 May 1939 in Greene county, Ohio. Great-grandfather
William Henry Amore b. 10 Mar 1852 in West Lafayette, Ohio and d. 14 Jul 1934 in Coshocton, Ohio. Great-grandfather
Glen Roy Johnson b. 21 Nov 1898 in Anderson, Indiana and d. 18 Jan 1985 in Beavercreek, Ohio. Grandfather
Lloyd William Amore b. 5 Mar 1882 in Lafayette, Ohio and d. 25 Feb 1955 in Coshocton, Ohio. Grandfather
Eugene James Amore b. 4 Apr 1921 in Coshocton, Ohio and d. 3 Dec 2015 in Fanning Springs, Florida. Dad

 

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After losing a mother, it is especially difficult that very first Mother’s Day following her death, but it is especially trying when it happens all at the same time.

My mom died on May 1, 2009 – a Friday. Her memorial service was held on May 6 – a Wednesday. As soon as we returned to her home that day, the funeral home called – her ashes were ready to be picked up. Such a beautiful urn we had picked out for her – which was still sitting on the dining table when Sunday – May 10 – Mother’s Day – rolled around. In one sense, Mom was still there with my sister and me, and in another, she was now gone. We’d walk by the table – a room we had to walk through no matter what – and touch the urn lightly and say “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.” Bittersweet phone calls came from our own children to wish us the same. Yet, on that first Mother’s Day, without my mother, “happy” was not the right word.

A year later as a crisis unfolded among my family, it still didn’t feel like it should be “Happy Mother’s Day.” I was sad for many and had found it difficult to even look at greeting cards that year. Yet, I needed to find cards for my mother-in-law and my stepmother.

The years began passing by, always with the thought of Mom, but I kept busy and life was good. The middle of April in 2013, my mother-in-law had to be admitted to a local nursing home for hospice care. Her cancer was winning, and her fight was coming to an end. During my daughter’s baby shower on May 4 before we all left, we received the news that she was gone. What had been a joyous day filled with anticipation of the new little boy soon to be gracing our family turned into sorrow. The next morning – Sunday – we headed from Texas to Missouri to say our final goodbye.

Mother’s Day 2013 was on May 11, just a few days after my mother-in-law’s funeral. Instead of two cards that year, I only had to buy one to send to my dad’s wife.

Now, it has been nine years since that first Mother’s Day without my mom and five years without my mother-in-law. My dad’s wife is still with us – and so I continue to buy one single card. I am blessed that my three daughters are all mothers so I do send them cards. I am able to read Mother’s Day cards now and instead of grief, I smile and know that both Mom and my mother-in-law are aware of what they both meant to me.

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My maternal grandmother, Vesta Christena (Wilt) Johnson, was the middle child (and oldest daughter) out of six children born to her parents Martha Jane Stern and Joseph Napolean Wilt. She had three older brothers – Clarence, Jesse, and John, and two younger siblings – Nellie and Clifford. My great-grandparents divorced before my grandmother was ten. Martha went on to marry her late sister’s widower, William Frank Clawson. They did not have any children together; however, Joseph married Anna Park and they had a son named Albert – my grandmother’s younger half-brother.

It was apparent throughout the letters my grandmother wrote to her siblings as adults that none of them spent any time with their father or his new family following the divorce. I’m not sure if my grandmother ever met Albert, but she did have a picture of him at about 16 years of age. There was also a picture taken later of a tombstone shared by Joseph and Anna as well as Albert who died in 1933. The birth year listed 1917.

As new records were added to online databases, I discovered that Albert’s age was listed as 5 years old in the 1920 census and as age 15 in the 1930 census. At least a two year discrepancy according to his tombstone. Then I discovered his birth certificate showing that Albert was born on October 21, 1914! That meant that someone made a big error on his birth year listed on the tombstone.

Then I discovered Albert’s death certificate. Joe was the informant listed on his son’s death certificate and listed August 1, 1914 as the date of birth. There was an inquest to find cause of death. And that is when I read the horrible information. Albert died due to his skull being crushed; struck by a railway train as he was walking along the tracks. No wonder some of the information was off – as a grieving father, Joe may not have been thinking clearly about his son’s birth when his tragic death was fresh on his mind.

How did Albert not know a train was coming? Not paying attention? It happened too fast? Or could he have been deaf and not felt the vibrations in the ground soon enough? I bring up deafness because an earlier collateral relative on the Wilt side – brothers Charles and Absolam Hottinger, “deaf-mutes” according to the Rockingham (Virginia) Daily Record on November 9, 1912, were struck by the Chesapeake Western freight train near Penn Laird. Absolam was killed almost instantly, and Charles had extensive injuries.

I find it quite sad that my grandmother did not have a relationship with her younger brother, and instead of stories and her memories, all we are left with is one close-up photo of him.

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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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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.

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If you are on Instagram, you can follow genealogyphoto to participate in the Genealogy Photo a Day challenge (#genealogyphotoaday). My genealogy Facebook friend, Susan Peterson, also has her’s posted on Facebook. Recently, she posted a list of daily themes. Since I don’t have instagram anymore on my phone (due to storage space), I thought I would post the photos here on the blog.

Today’s theme is “Siblings” – so I will start with my dad’s side. The photo above is my paternal grandparents – Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore – with all seven of their living children (the youngest daughter was stillborn). Left to right standing: Norman, Gail, Bervil, Paul, Eugene (my dad); seated: Gertrude, Lloyd, Ella, and Marie. Even though my grandparents died before I was born, I was fortunate to know all of my paternal aunts and uncles.

picture2

 

This photo was taken in 1939 and is of my maternal grandparents, Glen and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson, and their three surviving children. Left to right: Glen Roy Jr, Genevieve, Vesta, Mary (my mom), and Glen Roy Sr. My mother had a baby sister, Lois Evelyn, who was born premature and died at about 6 weeks of age. My Aunt Genevieve died three years before I was born yet through the stories of my grandparents, my mom, and my cousins, I feel that I do know her.

Tomorrow’s theme: Cousins

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