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Archive for the ‘Life and Death’ Category

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.

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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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(Links to previous installments at bottom of post.)

Our second day (first full day) in Anderson, Indiana began after breakfast by finding the homes where my great-grandparents (John and Katie Johnson) and my grandmother (Vesta Wilt Johnson) resided. Needless to say, the homes were either gone or it wouldn’t have been a good idea for me to step out of my car and start taking photos of houses so I dispensed with that idea. I did take a photo of the church where the Johnson’s attended and where my grandfather, Glen R Johnson, was baptized. After attending this church on Easter Sunday 1916, he met the woman he would marry – my grandmother, Vesta Wilt.

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Central Christian Church, Anderson, Indiana

It was almost time for the library to open so we waited in the parking lot for awhile. My grandson was already grumbling about spending more time in a library. Unlike, the one in Coshocton, the genealogy room was upstairs and open. There was no door that shut behind us as we entered. It was also very large. Since I had promised that we wouldn’t be there more than two hours, I hurriedly began looking through books. I used my Kindle to photograph information. In hindsight, had I known that I would find a wealth of information there, I would have spent more time at the Indiana Public Library and less at the Coshocton Library. Lesson learned!

Once we left the library, we headed toward Pendleton and Falls Park. It was a beautiful day for hiking the trail, seeing the falls, and enjoying nature. We didn’t park in the main lot but at a smaller lot on the opposite side of the park. The first thing that drew my attention was the beautiful Monarch Butterfly garden.

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While walking through the woods, we noticed that there were signs indicating our location which helps to not get lost! We crossed some bridges over Prairie Creek and came upon the CSX railroad bridge. The year “1910” was marked on it!

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While we explored, we saw groups of people who were walking/jogging the trails and those who were setting up cameras for photos. We came out of the woods in to the main area of the park and saw many people enjoying the day. There was even a bride having photos taken. I saw some geese but couldn’t get a very close picture. The falls were beautiful!

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We went back to the car the same way we had come. By then we were hot. We got back on the road and stopped for a sweet treat at Good’s Candy Shop about 2:30. Not only did they have several varieties of popcorn and candy but also hand-dipped ice cream – which is what we both chose. After we finished, we headed back to Maple Grove Cemetery. I was still looking for the graves of my great-great-grandfather’s sister – Elizabeth Blazer – and her husband – Coleman Hawkins (please go back and read “Mingling of Families and Murder” to get an insight about these relationships!) This time, when we entered the cemetery, there was a sign “No Pokemon Game Play Allowed in Cemetery.” Needless to say, there were at least 2-3 golf carts filled with college students driving around and stopping. Two cemetery security vehicles followed them and seemed to run them out of the area. A few times, security followed me until they figured out that I really was looking for gravestones! Our 30+ minutes driving around was fruitless. I decided that I just wasn’t going to find the Hawkins family or any other Blazers that day.

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We drove way out in the country to Henry County where my Nash ancestors were buried. Lebanon Baptist Cemetery isn’t very big and the graves were easily found.

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The photo above shows the stone of Alexander and Elsie (Minesinger) Nash. They were the parents of Christena Nash who married Israel Wilt. Christena and Israel are the parents my great-grandfather, Joseph N Wilt, and great-great-grandparents of my grandmother, Vesta C (Wilt) Johnson. That makes Alexander and Elsie my three times great-grandparents. Alexander’s inscription is on one side of the stone. To read Elsie’s inscription, I had to move some vines out of the way. A tree has grown up right in front of their stone (where “Nash” is inscribed at bottom) and is dislodging the stone from the ground.

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Close to Alexander and Elsie Nash rests the headstone of Christeana Minesinger – mother of Elsie (two photos above left). There is a stone leaning on Christeana’s but I wasn’t able to tell whose it was. The photo (third from left) above indicates how close her stone is to her daughter and son-in-law. The far right photo are graves of Nash children. Unfortunately, they were very hard to read. Before leaving, I told Christeana and Alexander and Elsie that I was very glad that I could visit their final resting place and thanked them for their lives.Without them, I wouldn’t be here. My grandson snapped a photo and labeled it “Nana talks to dead people.” Yes, yes I do!

It was time to head back to Anderson. That evening we ate dinner across the road from our hotel at Steak-n-Shake close to 7 p.m. By the time we were finished eating, it was time to head back to our room and settle in for the night. I was looking forward to a fun-filled and emotional Sunday. I would be meeting a cousin for the very first time!

Next – A Day with Lynn!

To catch up on this series please go to: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, and Part Seven.

(All photos copyright Wendy Littrell, address for private use)

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