Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Life and Death’ Category

My most recent common ancestor with the surname of Mullis would be my great-great-grandmother, Amanda Eveline Mullis. She was born in North Carolina about 1833 to John Mullis and Darlett Stanley. She was the seventh of their eight children who included: Reuben, Nancy, Lucinda, Sophia, Dollie, Thomas, and Margaret. She was the last child born in North Carolina for shortly after her birth the family traveled from their home in Wilkes county, North Carolina to Rush county, Indiana.

Amanda was about 19 when she married my great-great-grandfather James Wilson Johnson in Rush county on December 26, 1852. Soon the family was blessed with children: Martha Emily, Clara (who died at 7 months), John Lafayette (my great-grandfather), Florella (who died at six weeks), Olive Belle, and an infant who died soon after birth on February 11, 1868. Almost six weeks later, Amanda died and was buried in the Little Blue River Cemetery in Rush county.

Although Amanda is my direct ancestor, she was not the only Mullis who married a Johnson. Her sister Dollie married James’ brother, John J. Johnson, on March 4, 1848 in Rush county. Dollie was eight years older than Amanda. She and John had five children: Ann Marie, Elizabeth Ellen, Mary Jane, Rosa Alice, and John Marshall.

Dollie and Amanda’s parents John and Darlett Mullis lived in Rush county for the remainder of their lives. John died in June 1863 at the age of 73 and Darlett died six years later at the age of 82. The couple are buried in Center Church Cemetery in Rush county.

John Mullis was the son of George Mullis and Margaret Polly Owens, born in North Carolina. There were 12 chidren in the family.

The name has also been spelled Mulles. I don’t have an origin for the Mullis family nor do I have information on George Mullis’ parents. For now, this is as far as I’ve been able to go on that line.

(Digital image of marriage record: Ancestry.com. Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.
Gravestone: photographer Virginia Nuta, digital photo used by permission.)

Read Full Post »

James Wilson Johnson – my maternal great-great-grandfather – died at the age of 88 years 2 months and 15 days being born in Brown county, Ohio on August 16, 1829 and dying on October 31, 1917 in Anderson, Indiana. He had outlived two wives: my great-great-grandmother Amanda Eveline Mullis and his second wife Margaret Gordon as well as two infant daughters – Clara and Florella.

His short obituary appeared in the October 31, 1917 edition of the Indianapolis News on page 21. A short obituary for a man who lived a long life with many descendants and other family members at the time of his death.

The following day, the Anderson Herald ran a more in-depth obituary on page 4 that reported:

JAS. W. JOHNSON, AGE 88, IS DEAD
Grocer and Postmaster Fourteen Years at Johnson’s Crossing, Near Anderson.
Oldest Member of Large Family
James W. Johnson, age 88, died at 3 a.m. Wednesday at the home of his son, J.L. Johnson, 99 Indiana avenue, North Anderson. The funeral will take place at 10 a.m. Friday at the J.L. Johnson residence with Rev. H.R. McCune conducting the service. The body will be taken to the Blue River church cemetery, five miles south of Knightstown.
Mr. Johnson is survived by five children – James B. Johnson, of Tipton; O.L. Johnson, of Dublin; J.L. Johnson, North Anderson; Mrs. Ollie B. Tyler and Mrs. Martha E. Whittiker, of Battle Creek, Mich,; seventeen grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
Mr. Johnson was born in Brown county, Ohio, and came to Rush county, Indiana at the age of three and spent his youth there. He married Eveline Mulless and located in Madison county about thirty years ago.
For fourteen years he was a grocer and also postmaster at Johnson’s Crossing, five miles west of Anderson.
Mr. Johnson suffered from dropsy since last January, but he came from Battle Creek, Mich,; to Anderson last summer to attend the Johnson reunion, of which he was the oldest member present. The reunion was held on his birthday for the past few years and last year he was presented with a gold headed cane.

There was an inconsistency between the two as the short death notice mentioned five sons and two daughters while the lengthy obituary correctly mentioned a total of five children – three sons and two daughters.

James Wilson Johnson’s funeral took place tat the home of my great-grandfather, John Lafayette Johnson, in North Anderson and not at a funeral home. He was buried in the Little Blue River Cemetery. Presently, his stone has not been found although he is probably right next to his first wife, Amanda.

Read Full Post »

On this date 79 years ago, my brother was born in (present day) Fairborn, Ohio. Back then it was Fairfield – Bath township to be exact – because Fairfield and Osborn had not merged yet. My brother was the oldest child born to my mom – and the only child born out of her brief first marriage to Leslie Lovejoy. A marriage that I knew nothing about for many, many years. Their son, (birth name) Leslie James Lovejoy was born on January 2, 1940 after at least two days of labor for my just turned 18 year old mom.

Jimmie (as he was known) was a handsome fella – adored by his maternal grandparents. It was Jim who gave our grandmother the moniker of Nana. And it was Nana who took care of Jim for the first few years of his life while Mom became a working mother and figured out what she was going to do about her less than ideal marriage.

On June 22, 1946 in Berrien county, Michigan my brother was adopted by my mother’s new husband (my dad), and his name was legally changed to James G. Amore. It was known that “G” stood for Glen after our maternal grandfather Glen but there was just an initial. When my parents married just before Jim turned 4 on December 3, 1943, my brother called his new dad – “Daddy Gene.” It wouldn’t be until Jim was about 16 when he would re-meet his biological father and meet his younger half-sister.

If Jim were still living, he would be turning 79 today – which for me is mind-blowing. I often wonder how life would have played out if he had not had pancreatic cancer and passed away on August 31, 2001. I can’t call or write him yet I know he is with me. I miss you, Jim.

(Original and digital image in possession of Wendy Littrell.)

Read Full Post »

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.)

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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

 

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »