Feeds:
Posts
Comments

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.

I used #2018bestnine to compile a collage of my top nine photos from Instagram for 2018. The top nine are ranked according to how many “hearts” (likes) were given on each picture. In case some of my followers aren’t on that social media platform, I thought I’d also post the compilation here as many of them are genealogy related – as well as my captions for each one.

Beginning at the top row, left to right and working my way down:

  1. Lois Evelyn Johnson, born on June 9, 1927, was my mom’s baby sister. She was premature and couldn’t seem to gain weight according to a calendar diary my grandmother kept. Lois Evelyn died on September 30, 1927. She was first buried in a cemetery in Fairborn, Ohio (then Fairfield), but a family lost several members due to a fire and wasn’t able to afford cemetery plots. My grandparents donated their plots and had the baby re-interned at Glen Haven Memorial Gardens outside New Carlisle, Ohio. This is Lois Evelyn’s heart-shaped grave marker. Lying in the family plot are my grandparents, Aunt & Uncle, and my mom. Most of the family together in rest.
  2. Genealogy Photo a Day for May 2 is “Happy Face” – a pic of my mom Mary (left) with her older sister Genevieve taken about 1956. Yesterday, May 1, was 9th anniversary of mom’s passing. Today May 2 marks 60 years of my aunt’s passing.
  3. Today the Genealogy Photo a Day is Letters. I have boxes & boxes of letters dating back to 1916. This letter was written by my maternal grandmother when my grandparents were stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany in the early 50s.
  4. Chariton County Missouri museum has Laura Ingalls Little House on the Prairie info in display case
  5. My husband and I were married in the office of our local Justice of the Peace in May 1988. Almost a year later, on the first Saturday of April, we had a church wedding (a reaffirmation). The date happened to fall on April Fools Day!
  6. Today the Genealogy Photo a Day theme is “Starts With T”so I chose a photo that depicts Trip of a Lifetime! My mom was thrilled to travel to Israel in the 90s. Here she is riding a camel! I am glad Mom was able to do this.
  7. This item hung on my grandparents’ wall in all of their homes for as long as I could remember. I was probably almost a teen when I made it known to my grandmother that I sure would like to have that item. Every time I saw it, I asked my grandmother to wind it for me (it plays music). At some point before my grandmother’s death, she put my name on the back of that plaque. I also think I ended up with it because I was the “baby” (by 14 years) of the grandchildren and most of the other granddaughter’s (there are 5 of us and 3 grandsons) received items like crystal stemware, jewelry, and silver. They bought the item in Garmisch (in Bavaria), and I have the letter written to my mother that detailed their trip to Garmisch and the purchase of that piece!
  8. Today’s theme for Genealogy Photo a Day is “Friends” so I chose this pic taken in the fall of 1966 in Seattle. I’m in red in front of my mom & dad. With us is Derald & Marilyn Manning and their 2 children (their daughter took the picture). We were at the top of the Space Needle. Mom & Dad met the Mannings over 10 years earlier when the men were in the US Army Air Corps/US Air Force stationed in Japan. The couples spent many evenings together playing cards, eating dinner, enjoying parties, and being close friends. I know they exchanged Christmas cards for awhile before finally losing touch by the mid 70s due to distance and my parents’ divorce.
  9. This is my Great-great-grandmother Melissa Goul. Her daughter Katie was the mother of my maternal grandfather. Melissa had a tragic life. Born in Ohio in Oct 1832, she found herself pregnant with her first cousin’s baby at the age of 18. The cousin (& his wife) moved to Missouri while Melissa’s parents moved her to Indiana. Melissa ended up marrying Franklin Blazer and had 5 more kids. Frank was killed by lightning in 1869 at the age of 33. Melissa then ran the farm by herself. She died on March 7, 1907 but had pre-planned her funeral as she didn’t want to be buried in the winter. Her funeral was held three months later on June 9. According to newspaper accounts, her body was very well preserved, and she looked as if she was just recently deceased at the time of her open casket funeral.

Are you on Instagram? Do you participate in the #genealogyphotoaday challenge?

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.)

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.)

Happy New Year to you! It has been a bit of a drought here on the blog, and I apologize for that. Sort of like the drought we had here in north central Missouri this past summer. Farmers in the heartland struggled during the harvest this fall as it had been so dry for so long and then all of a sudden, the rains came.

For my readers who are also family history researchers, I hope 2018 was a great year for you – possibly knocking over those brick walls or solving a mystery through DNA. Perhaps you attended your first or tenth genealogy conference or made it to RootsTech in Salt Lake City last winter. Did you meet someone you consider a genealogy “rock star?”

I’ve had an amazing 2018 concerning research, DNA, and genealogy! I hated science in high school and my Biology grade was a C so imagine how surprised with myself I was when I absorbed details about DNA that made sense to me! And through DNA and old-fashioned sleuthing, I am on the trail of my great-grandmother Frances’ birth family. I’ve connected to descendants of two sisters of my great-great-grandmother Charlotte. And I’ve heard from a paternal cousin who may be able to put the last pieces of the puzzle of my great-great-grandfather William’s early life in order.

I have also enjoyed volunteering at the Chariton County Historical Society and being on the board as well as being an appointed officer of my local tent of Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865, I have been helped by so many others in the genealogy field or those who work in libraries and have sent me news articles/obituaries in the past, that I want to give back and pay it forward.

I hope to get back on track with consistent blog posts (beginning with the first post in 2019’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge by Amy Johnson Crow (who I met this summer, and who I consider a genealogy rock star – and she’s also a fellow Buckeye!), and over on Instagram – the Genealogy Photo a Day Challenge.

What are your goals for 2019?

(Image used with permission – Creative Commons)

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.

My Forefathers

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