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Archive for the ‘Life and Death’ Category

cemetery-meme-12-july-2016-coshocton-ohio

(You can catch up with Part One, Part Two, and Part Three prior to moving on if you have not read those already.)

I was up bright and early on Tuesday, July 12, ready for an adventure I had spent the previous fifteen years dreaming about! I had contacted my first cousin once removed, Bill, in 2001 (I think!) after I found his post on a message board concerning our shared Amore family. We spent quite a bit of time emailing back and forth as we shared information and documents with each other as well as becoming family. And very soon, I would get to meet Bill and his wonderful wife, Becky, in person! By the time they drove in to the hotel parking lot, I was filled with emotion and overjoyed to be able to hug them and talk to them in person.

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Bill navigated while I drove. The first place we ventured was back to Roscoe Cemetery since it was not too far from the hotel. They had been to most of the cemeteries we planned to visit. While Bill had seen my great-grandparents’ grave (William Henry Amore and Mary Angelina Werts), and I had seen a photo of the stone, it took a bit of time to find. Just about the time, we were all splitting up to look for it, I looked out the window of the car and pointed it out!

picmonkey-photograve

Our adventure that day took us to (these are in no particular order!) Mount Zion Cemetery, Orange (Richmond) Cemetery, Prairie Chapel Cemetery, Plainfield Cemetery, Coshocton Memory Gardens, and South Lawn Cemetery. At Mt Zion, I saw the stones for my 2nd great-grandparents – William Amore and Charlotte Reed Amore, along with their young sons and infants of William and his third wife, Elizabeth Spencer.

amore-graves-mt-zionAmore sons, Charlotte & William Amore, Oliver Amore

My 2nd great-grandparents on the House side (Florus Allen House and Julia Ann Lewis) are also buried at Mt Zion. Their gravestones were remarkably still easy to read.

picmonkey-collagehouse

Orange Cemetery – also called Richmond Cemetery – located in what used to be called Evansburg – a village in Oxford township (Evansburg does not exist any longer). To get to the cemetery, we had to cross private property. Bill indicated we should stop at the farm house to let the owners know why we were parking on their property. Becky and my grandson stayed in the car while Bill and I made our way up a hill to the cemetery. Although none of our ancestors are buried there, William Amore’s first wife is and her stone is one we hoped to see. Unfortunately, due to erosion and the fragility of the stones, Frances Price’s stone was not there. It may have been one of the many that the person mowing the cemetery had leaned next to the fence. Bill showed me where he remembered it being, and I snapped a photo of that area.

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Richmond Cemetery

Coshocton Memory Gardens lies off of Ohio state highway 621 less than 15 minutes from my hotel. That cemetery is very large and mostly unshaded. With the morning sun beating down, the four of us split up in order to look for my Uncle Norman Amore. I knew he had a double stone with his wife and a military marker with flag. Passing by single stones quickly, we all took sections and walked up and down the hill. At one point, I looked up to the heavens and said, “Uncle Norman, where are you?” Just then, Becky called out that she had found him! It was back down the hill again to his stone.

coshocton-12-july-2016-coshocton-memorial-gardens-norman-amore-gravestone

I did not have Plainfield Cemetery on my list because I just hadn’t thought there would be time to go. It wasn’t that far out of the way. When we drove in, I wasn’t sure if we would be able to locate any of the Amore graves. My great-grandfather’s brother, George Washington Amore, and his wife are buried there. Just like what happened at Roscoe Cemetery, we were driving through when it was pointed out that there was an Amore gravestone.

plainfield-cemetery-collage

Not only did we find George Washington Amore but his wife Catherine Burden Amore, sons – Jesse and Stanley Amore, his two granddaughters and husbands – Corle and Hayden Roahrig and Kathryn and Chester Williams. When we saw the small stone in front of George’s headstone, our first reading of it was W. Amore. Bill and I thought we’d hit upon someone earlier than William Amore – but upon closer examination, realized it was George’s footstone and it read G W Amore.

Moving on to South Lawn Cemetery, we stopped at the cemetery office first as it is a very large cemetery that is spread out in many sections. We weren’t sure if the office was open but as providence would have it – a very helpful and knowledgable woman was on hand to provide immense help. She took the list of names, looked up each one, and then marked the plot on a map she gave to us. Without her help, we would not have been able to cover that entire cemetery in the short amount of time we had. On the Amore side, we found our Uncle Zade (Isaiah) and his wife Rose, Uncle Rollo and his wife Alice Belle, Uncle Herbert and his wife Fannie (and their son, Ernest).picmonkey-collagesouthlawn

The photo located above at the lower right is the area where my dad’s baby sister, Mae Maxine, is buried. She never received a marker. In the cemetery books, she is listed as “Infant of Lloyd Amore.”

On my grandmother’s House side of the family, we found her half-sister, Lucina Conger (yes, her stone reads Lucinda but her name did not have the “d”), and her husband John Allen Conger. Their stones were a bit difficult to photograph as they are directly behind the stone that marks their plot.

picmonkey-collageconger

My great-grandfather’s sister, Sarah House Chamberlin along with her husband Benjamin Chamberlin’s stone was found by my grandson. He asked if we were still looking for them and told us where the plot was located.

chamberlin-stone

William Riley House, brother of my great-grandfather, James Emory House, is buried close to his daughter-in-law, Anna Ruby House. Anna’s daughter from her first marriage, Juanita Burch Kah and son-in-law, John I Kah, are buried next to each other. Anna Ruby is the daughter of my grandmother Ella’s half-sister Belle Dora House Ruby. So . . . first cousins ended up getting married (each was their second marriage) and there were no children born.

picmonkey-collagehouseruby

After lunch we went back to the hotel so Bill and Becky could get their car. We were headed to get gas and then I would follow them to the last cemetery on our list – Prairie Chapel – before they headed out of town toward home. The last time I was at that cemetery, I was a small child. Those who are buried there include my paternal grandparents, Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore, my great-grandparents James Emory and Frances V (Ogan) House, and my grandmother’s siblings and their spouses.

coshocton-12-july-2016-prairie-chapel-cemetery-lloyd-ella-amore-gravestone

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There wasn’t a flag at James House’s grave even though other veterans had flags (similar to my grandfather Glen R Johnson’s grave in Ohio). Recently, I have found the correct organization to contact in order to rectify that in the future. Julia’s and Charles’ inscriptions (my grandma’s older sister and younger brother) are on the other side of the stone in the above picture. Julia died a year after she and Percy J Tuttle were married and during childbirth. Charles died at the age of 12 in a farming accident.

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Grandma Ella’s youngest brother, Alva Lester ‘Doc’ House and his wife are also buried there. Lester died at the age of 81. His second wife, Pearl, died at the age of 51 by her own hand.

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My great-uncle John House and his wife, Lulu Peer House – their stone is below.

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My grandmother’s older brother, Florus A House and his wife, Emma (Stacer) House’s stone (below). Their infant son, Welby, is also buried there.

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All too soon (it seemed), the day had flown by and Bill and Becky had to return to their home. We hugged goodbye and then left in different directions. After my grandson and I relaxed a bit at the hotel, it was time to figure out what we were going to have for supper. We decided to head to the local Pizza Hut. I had to take a photo of the license plate on the wall – “Birthplace of Aviation”!!!!

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Next – fun at the museum.

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baby mary

By the time I was born, the only set of grandparents still living were my mom’s parents – Glen R and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson. Forget about great-grandparents. My grandmother had four siblings still living: John and Clifford lived in Oregon, Nellie lived in Washington, and Clarence lived in Indiana. John Wilt died before I was old enough to meet him. As far as Clifford, I don’t remember meeting him but I may have as a small child. I knew Nellie from staying at her home in Washington when my parents and I toured the western states and because Aunt Nellie and her husband John Lilly visited Dayton many times. I also remember visiting Uncle Clarence in Indiana almost every year.

It wasn’t until I was almost a teen, that I even learned that my grandfather had an older brother who had died young as well as a younger foster sister, Eva. Apparently, everyone thought Eva had died as well (later I found out that Eva outlived my grandfather). But it never dawned on me until many years ago, even when I had seen her gravestone, that my grandfather had a baby sister named Mary who died before she celebrated her first birthday.

Several days ago, Ancestry published three new databases – Indiana marriage, birth and death records. I immediately began going through them for any new or correct information. Mary appeared on the 1910 census and the Indiana death index (no images) listed her date of death as July 1910. The search term of Mary Johnson 1910 did not bring her up. I tried various ways to find her until I gave up and just entered the month and year of death. Finally, her death certificate was located under Marry L Johnson (her gravestone reads: Mary A Johnson). She is buried at Maplewood Cemetery in Anderson.

Mary died at home – 432 W. 17th street – in Anderson, Indiana at the age of 8 months and 14 days on July 17, 1910. The cause of death was listed as brain tumor and contributory cause was cholera infantum. I had to look that up. Merriam-Webster online defines it as “an acute noncontagious intestinal disturbance of infants formerly common in congested areas of high humidity and temperature.” I am left wondering if the brain tumor killed her or if she had become so dehydrated that her condition deteriorated rapidly.

An interesting thing to note is that my mother’s sister, Genevieve, died from a benign brain tumor. My aunt’s tumor was not cancerous but it was inoperable and 48 years after her baby aunt breathed her last, so did my Aunt Genevieve.

I am also left to wonder if my mother was named after my grandfather’s baby sister. I never heard him speak about his sister or how he felt at her death. He had just turned 11 when Mary was born so he was old enough to remember her short life.

Years ago, I found a crate of large pictures. One of them was of a baby that my mom thought was baby Mary. I don’t know if it is but I have included it above. It seemed that for so many years, she wasn’t talked about. Perhaps my Grandad thought about her when he lost his own daughter, Lois Evelyn, at just six weeks old or when Aunt Genevieve was so ill. But documents pertaining to Mary’s short life have been found – she did live, she did breathe, and she was loved.

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Indiana_Flag_(1903)

Thanks to a Facebook post on the Indiana Genealogy page yesterday, I learned that three new databases were added to Ancestry.com – Indiana Birth Certificates (1907-1940), Indiana Marriage Certificates (1958-2005), and Indiana Death Certificates (1899-2011). At first, I figured it was just transcriptions of these documents (and we all know that there can be errors in transcribing documents!). Imagine how thrilled I was to find out that these three databases all included scanned images of the records!

After spending almost an hour going through some of the records pertaining to my family and ancestors, I realized that if I didn’t set a time limit for myself, I would be up all night! I found the birth certificates for my mom, aunt and uncle! I found death certificates for some of my extended Wilt relatives. And even though I had said that I had found the last piece of the Johnson/Kirkpatrick puzzle, I was wrong! On Ellen Ora Johnson Moffitt’s death certificate, her mother’s name was listed . . . (drum roll please) . . . Nancy J Kirkpatrick!!! Oh, happy, happy dance!!!

I’m sure I will find even more details that I’ve missed when I go through these documents and some are even sad. I decided to look for the death certificate for Albert Wilt. He was my maternal grandmother’s younger half-brother, son of Joseph Napolean Wilt and Anna Park. Albert’s gravestone bears the years 1917-1933. I did find his death certificate and the cause of death listed was horrible: head crushed by railway tram as he walked along the tracks. His death was ruled an accident. My great-grandfather Joe was the informant but he listed his birth date as August 1, 1914. So was Joe correct and the incorrect birth year was put on the head stone? Whatever the case, Albert was too young and his death was tragic.

So if you have family and ancestors from Indiana, please go check out these three new databases. Perhaps you’ll find some information that can help break down some brick walls.

(Image: Indiana Flag 1903 from Wikimedia Commons; public domain)

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On this Memorial Day, I remember those collateral relatives who paid the ultimate price in order to protect the freedom we have in this great nation of ours.

My second cousin once removed, Charles E Albert died in Italy on October 6, 1944 during WWII. Charley enlisted in the Army on February 4, 1943 at Columbus, Ohio. Three weeks after his death, his mother, Georgia Anna Amore Smith, received a telegram that was delivered by the Adjutant General, J A Uho. It read that Charley was killed in action. He was survived by his mother, stepfather William Smith, and ten siblings. He is buried in Greenfield, Ohio at Greenfield Cemetery.

My second cousin twice removed, Ward Lester Goul, died from wounds received in battle during WWI. He died on January 25, 1919 at the Evacuation Hospital and was buried at the American Cemetery in Nantes, France. Ward had been assigned to the 56th Coast Artillery after he was shipped overseas in March 1918.

Bill Amore and Wendy
Wendy and Jim (Bill) Amore 1969

My first cousin, James Amore, did not die during battle but during his service in Viet Nam, he was exposed to Agent Orange which caused him to die at a young age. Jim (or Bill as I called him) was the son of my uncle Paul Amore. He was born in October 1946 and died May 17, 1974 at the age of 27 years.

May we never forget those who served and died in order to keep our country free.

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Wedding Wednesday

“Abel Lewis taking the said Elizabeth Jones by the hand did in a solemn manner openly declare that he took the said Elizabeth Jones to be his wife.”

Those written words could belong to any number of couples who are marrying, but Abel Lewis and Elizabeth Jones aren’t just any couple. They are my four times great-grandparents. The words above explain in detail the union of this couple who would go on to produce several children – one being my ancestor, Abel Lewis Jr. I’ve often come across marriage records for ancestors that just give their names and the date of marriage. Not very many record what transpired at the wedding.

I have to admit that as I read the rest of the marriage record, I was overcome with emotion. It was only recently that I learned their names. They aren’t as familiar to me as some of my ancestors. Yet, reading about the union of Abel and Elizabeth caused me to be very thankful that they were married – or I wouldn’t be here. It’s sort of silly getting a little misty over a wedding that took place on October 10, 1759.

Except . . . the groom would only live seven more years and die six months after his youngest child – my ancestor, Abel Lewis Jr, was born. Abel Sr wouldn’t see his children grow up or know his grandchildren. He wouldn’t live to a ripe old age with his bride, Elizabeth.

“Promising with the Lord’s assistance to be unto her a loving and faithful husband until death should separate them.”

Source: U.S., Quaker Meeting Records. Montgomery County, Pennsylvania; Ancestry.com. Citing Abel Lewis and Elizabeth Jones. Accessed 23 May 2016.

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PostcardWinchesterINBigFourRailroadDepotCirca1919

The life of William Blazer began in fraud. His biological father, Albert Hercules, allegedly seduced Blazer’s mother, Estella Blazer, with the promise of marriage – a marriage that never happened. (For the previous installments, please read When He Stood Her Up, Common Sense Prevails for Estella Blazer, and A New Blazer) Yet, the child was born, and then had his mother taken from him probably due to illness just a short time after she wed John T Dilts. Willie was only two years old. His grandparents, George W and Amanda Blazer, raised him to adulthood.

When William was just 19, his grandfather drank carbolic acid and died. A local newspaper (unknown) reported that George Blazer had an argument with his son. That person was his grandson, William (as George’s two sons had died as very young children). George died on Sep 24, 1903 and was laid to rest close to his sons and daughter, Estella, in Grovelawn Cemetery in Pendleton, Indiana. William’s grandmother, Amanda, lived another three years before passing away at the age of 61.

On Jan 4, 1910, William married Nellie Spaulding who had already been married and divorced. William raised her son, Samuel Thomas, as his own. The couple went on to have three more sons: William K Blazer, Raymond Blazer, and Rolla Burnsey Blazer. (Editor’s note: on more than one occasion, the surname is spelled Blazier).

By 1922, William was a detective with the Big Four Railroad (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway). On Dec 3, 1922 Blazer tried to arrest two men who were “train riding” – they had hopped aboard without paying for a fare. The confrontation turned deadly as the men stabbed him and threw him from the train as it went through Farmland, Indiana.

William Blazer headline

When he was found, he was taken to a physician in town before an ambulance was called to take him to Home Hospital in Muncie. It was there that 38 year old William Blazer died from his wounds – never regaining consciousness.

detective stabbed

He left a widow, Nellie, and sons: 10 year old William; almost 7 year old Rayond; and 2 year old Rolla.  He was buried at Maplewood Cemetery in Anderson, Indiana. Thirty one years later, Nellie, would join him in eternal rest.

Though born and died in tragedy, William probably had a good life after he was married and became a father. It is unfortunate that he didn’t live long enough to watch his sons grow to manhood.

(Postcard image of Big Four Railroad, Winchester, Indiana: Wikimedia Commons)
(Headlines: Indianapolis New (Indianapolis, Indiana), “Detective is Stabbed and Thrown Off Train,” 5 Sep 1922, pg 19, Newspapers.com, accessed 3 Feb 2016)

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Infant_boy's_cap,_bib,_and_shirt_set_probably_for_christening,_England,_1675-1725,_linen_tabby_with_lace_-_Patricia_Harris_Gallery_of_Textiles_&_Costume,_Royal_Ontario_Museum_-_DSC09373

When I was about 6 or so, I learned that my dad wasn’t the youngest of seven born to Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore. A sister had been born a year and a half after him. I was told her name was Maxine. She had died as a baby.

Fast forward some 30 plus years when I started in depth research on my family history to a letter I received from my dad’s sister, Marie. I had contacted her to obtain all the names, dates, places, etc. of all the immediate Amore family. If anyone would know birthdays and anniversaries, it was my Aunt Marie. I sent her a list of names for her to fill in the blanks. That’s when I discovered that Maxine was born Mae Maxine Amore on November 19, 1922. I also learned that she died the same day.

mae maxine amore death record

It wasn’t until a few years later, that I discovered my dad’s baby sister was stillborn. She was buried the very next day. Her grave at South Lawn Cemetery in Coshocton, Ohio doesn’t have a marker. The cemetery book only lists her as Infant of Lloyd Amore. The Ohio Department of Health lists her name as “Stillborn Amore.” How very sad that Mae Maxine doesn’t have an official name in the books nor a headstone. She’s not even buried in the same cemetery as my grandparents.

Recently, I found a For Sale ad in the December 9, 1922 edition of The Coshocton Tribune that was heartbreaking.

for sale ad

My grandmother, Ella, was parting with the brand new outfit she had hoped to dress the newest member of the family in. I don’t know if she was asking the same price she paid or a little less, but $7.50 for a new baby outfit back in 1922 was a lot of money – especially for a large family. Perhaps, she realized that this would be her last baby, or with each child, she purchased one new article of clothing.

This summer, when I’m in Ohio and can (finally!) visit my dad’s hometown of Coshocton, I plan to go visit the gravesite of his baby sister and let her know that even though she didn’t take a breath on earth, she will always be remembered as a part of the Amore family.

SOURCES: 
Death Record: Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 [database on-line]. Citing Stillborn Amore. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. Ohio. Division of Vital Statistics. Death Certificates and Index, December 20, 1908-December 31, 1953.State Archives Series 3094. Ohio Historical Society, Ohio.Ohio Department of Health. Index to Annual Deaths, 1958-2002. Ohio Department of Health, State Vital Statistics Unit, Columbus, OH, USA; digital image, accessed 18 Mar 2016.
Newspaper Ad: Ancestry.com. Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) [database on-line] 9 Dec 1922, pg 5, Col 1, Citing Ella Amore. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Coshocton Tribune. Coshocton, OH, USA. Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper, digital image, accessed 18 Mar 2016.
Photo of baby clothes: Infant boy’s cap, bib, and shirt set… , Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume, Royal Ontario Museum, Daderot, 20 Nov 2011, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain. Accessed 18 Mar 2016.

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