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This past weekend as I perused newspaper articles in Ancestry, I ran across a boatload of information concerning some distant cousins and an in-law of one of my great uncles.

Susan Peterson posted on her blog, Long Lost Relatives, an article, What To Do With Skeletons in the Closet” on February 26, 2011. She asked some pertinent questions (I urge you to go and read what she posted).  When I ran across all the information that made it abundantly clear that not only does our family have skeletons in the closet, but some scandals, and then those who are just plain screwed up, I realized that I would have to answer those questions.  My belief is that if the involved individuals are deceased – and more importantly – that the next generation is also deceased, and if the information is a matter of public record – especially when it was in the newspaper or on a document that anyone could obtain, then I will tell the story.  If there are truly sensitive aspects, I won’t lay them out in such detail, but respect the fact that there are possible descendents who either don’t know or have chosen not to acknowledge such behavior. 

A little over a year ago, I wrote Georgia On My Mind about my great-grandfather’s niece, Georgia Amore. This weekend I’ve learned some new information in addition to bits and pieces I’ve discovered since I wrote that. Soon, you’ll see that post again – with all the newest items added!

Many years ago when I first started my genealogical journey, a cousin mailed me some information – before either of us were proficient at scanning – and my email system back then wouldn’t even allow attachments. If it had, I’m sure it would have taken a very long time to download as I was still on dial up. One of the news clippings he mailed to me concerned someone who died in prison fairly recently in genealogy time (the 1970s). The man had the same last name as my paternal grandmother’s maiden name. Neither of us had heard of him or even if he was part of “our” House family. Fast forward ten years and I’ve made a connection – and a pretty sad one at that. Some of you might remember the series I wrote about my grandmother’s brother, Alva Lester House, – Lester’s Despair – Part One and More Tragedy for Lester House, concerning several losses that he experienced during his life.  The news clipping concerns Lester’s son and his grandsons.  After I assemble all of the new items, I will write a post about what I’ve learned.

Another news item that caught my eye, was about my great-uncle’s sister-in-law.  I found it only because I’d put my maiden name as a keyword to search Coshocton newspapers.  I saw the name “Mayme Amore” (first name spelled incorrectly) and wondered what it was about.  She was married to my grandfather’s brother, Roy. (Yes, a real consanquity chart would say that Roy is my grand-uncle, but as I’ve mentioned before, I grew up having him referred to as my great uncle.)  I clicked on the news article and it was about Mamie testifying at her sister’s trial.  Whoa!  What? A trial?  What sort of trial?  And that my dear readers, is something you’ll have to ponder for awhile – but I will give you the answer and all the particulars soon!

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Many, many years ago (around 10), as I was posting queries to message boards searching for information on my paternal Amore side of the family, I ran across a woman who I began an email relationship with.  She was the granddaughter of my great-uncle Clarence Amore and his first wife, Nellie Buchanan.  Sharon shared some pictures and what information she had, and I returned the favor.  We were both of the same generation, both great-granddaughter’s of our mutual ancestor William “Henry” Amore and Mary Angelina (Annie) Werts (or Wertz – depending on how they were spelling it at the time).  I believe that would make Sharon and I second cousins.  Her grandfather, Clarence, and my grandfather, Lloyd, were brothers.  The really cool thing (for me) was that Uncle Clarence and Aunt Mary (his second wife) had spent several days visiting us in our home.  I was only a small child, but I remember him very well and would always get a hug from him at the big Amore-Baker reunion held every summer in Coshocton, Ohio.  Not only did we share family history information but we shared stories about our immediate families. 

The communication between Sharon and I slowed in the last five years or so.  Once the initial “newness” of the family history search wore off, we weren’t corresponding as much as we had because the information we found didn’t come as quickly as before.  Sharon’s husband was very ill and needed treatment for cancer, so she spent quite a bit of time with him instead of traveling to find records.  She had written in December of 2004 to let me know that her husband’s cancer had returned and he was to start his chemo treatments as soon as his radiation treatments were over.  Two months later Bob Brittigan passed away.  Now that I think about it, she didn’t email to let me know and I was remiss for not contacting her with better frequency.  I know I’ve emailed her since then, but I’m sure that in her grief and stress that happens after a death (will, taking care of personal issues), it wasn’t important enough for her to contact me. 

Last week I thought I’d see if she was on Facebook – I’d looked before without any luck – and couldn’t find her so I did a google search of her name.  That’s how I discovered that her husband had passed away in February 2005.  I also ran across a listing in the Social Security Index for a “Sharon Brittigan”.  Not my cousin! was my first thought.  But the year of birth seemed correct and the state of issue would have been right.  Finally, I hit upon her obituary via Ancestry.  Sharon died on July 9, 2009.  No cause of death listed other than she died at her home.  I couldn’t tell if she was cremated because it listed the time for her memorial service as well as interment.  I don’t know if she had been ill for awhile.  I have no way of contacting her sons or siblings to express my condolences.  I feel as if I lost a cousin – even though we had never met in person. 

Picture from her obituary in the Washington Post

Sharon Lynn (Amore) Brittigan, widow of Robert Lee Brittigan, Sr. born on January 18, 1943 died on July 9, 2009 at her home in Virginia.  She is survived by two brothers, one sister, two sons, and six grandchildren.  Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, Theodore William Amore, on December 2, 1981 and Dorothy Belle (Moran) Amore on February 13, 2003. Sharon was buried next to her husband in Arlington National Cemetery.

In an email she wrote to me in January 2002, she said, “I’m working on a combined family book that incorporates the history of the times they lived in. It’s a challenge, but I’m learning an awful lot about what all the forebears lives must (or could) have been like. I’ve been to many of the places they came from and can describe those locales as a part of the history.”  I hope that if there really was a beginning family history book, that her children have preserved and kept it instead of abandoning it to that “black hole” where so many ancestral stories, documents, and pictures have gone.  I hope that one day, one of her sons or grandchildren will be searching the web and run across this blog, and get in touch with me.  I’d love to have copies of what she wrote.  What better way to remember her memory then to put her notes and words to use in helping our future Amore generations learn about their ancestors.

Rest in peace, Sharon.

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(Photographed by Gene Amore; digital scan owned by Wendy Littrell)

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I’m a day late with Saturday Night Genealogy Fun that Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings posted last night.  The challenge was to list the number of descendents of one of the four sets of great-grandparents, how many are living or deceased, and how many we’ve met.

Reunion of the Amore – Werts Family 1924

My paternal great-grandparents, William Henry Amore (“Henry”) and Mary Angelina Werts (Annie) have over 457 descendents!  They had:

  • Children: 7 (Clemmie, Zade, Rollo, Clarence, Lloyd – my grandfather, Bert, and Roy) – all deceased

Wmamore

Back: Bert, Rollo, Zade, Clarence, Lloyd
Front: Roy, Henry, Annie, Clemmie

  • Grandchildren: 36 (Clemmie – 4, Zade – 1, Rollo – 3, Clarence – 2, Lloyd – 8, Bert – 5, Roy -13); Deceased: 30

amorefamily1

Gene (my dad), Paul, Bervil, Ella (my grandmother), Gail, Norman, Lloyd (my grandfather), Gertrude, Marie

  • Great-grandchildren: 122 (26 Known – Deceased
  • 2nd great-grandchildren: 166 (10 Known – Deceased)
  • 3rd great-grandchildren: 113
  • 4th great-grandchildren: 13

I’ve met: 

  • Five of the children (my grandfather’s four brothers) – Clarence, Roy, Zade, Rollo, & Bert.  My grandfather and his sister were both deceased by the time I was born.
  • Some of the children of my grandfather’s siblings and their grandchildren – but I was young so I don’t remember names.
  • Almost all of my grandfather’s descendents – my dad’s siblings and their children (my first cousins) – who due to the wide age range – are much older than me.  Some of my first cousins’ grandchildren I’ve never met.

 I’ve had the good fortune to meet one 1st cousin I didn’t know I had a couple of years ago and continue to correspond with her via Facebook and email.  Some of the distant Amore relatives have also contacted me via email or by phone after receiving a query letter from me several years ago.  I feel very blessed that we continue our familial relationship even if it is through email or Facebook.

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Georgia Anna Amore is somewhat of a mystery to me.  She was the daughter of George Washington Amore (my g-grandfather’s brother) and Catherine (Katie) Burden.  Born on January 21, 1895 in Plainfield, Coshocton County, Ohio, Georgia was G.W.’s and Katie’s 5th child and 2nd daughter.  One brother was born after her.

Georgia married no less than 4 times (Ottis Kazee, John Albert, LeRoy Bennett, and William Smith) and possibly 5 (Unknown Ostler or Osler). 

mary kazee

Georgia’s first daughter (and only child from her first marriage to Otis Kazee), died at the age of 13 months from pneumonia.  Mary Katherine Kazee’s obituary seems to indicate that Georgia and Otis were not living together any more.

mary kazee obit

It seems odd that the newspaper states that she was 13 months old (it was the Jan. 12, 1915 edition of the Coshocton Tribune) yet lists her birthdate as the month before (Dec. 1914) – even her death certificate states she was born in Dec. 1914.  Georgia was the informant so it would seem logical that she would know how old her daughter was.  Georgia also lists her own birthplace as Ohio.

georgia amore smith 1920

The 1920 Census (above) show Georgia and her second husband, John Albert, living in Tuscarawas Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio.  They had been married almost 5 years and had one daughter, Velma, age 3 years and 9 months.  One son, George Woodrow, born on Oct. 3, 1918 died on Nov. 21, 1918 (a little over a month old) of “improper nutrition”. The other 3 children (Nellie, Grace and John) were from John’s previous marriage to Elva P.  

Gorgia_Amore_1984536_194

In the May 23, 1916, June 17, 1919, and May 16, 1921 editions of the Coshocton Tribune, John had posted this notice: “I will not be responsible for any debts incurred by my wife, Georgia Albert.”  In the March 15, 1917 edition of the same newspaper there were two different postings.  One reads:

Says Hubby Was Extremely Cruel
In the matter of John A. Albert Vs. Georgia Albert asking a divorce, the answer and cross petition of the defendent was held Wednesday in probate court.
In her cross petition the defendent alleges extreme cruelty in that about six months after the birth of their child, “plaintiff came into the room where she was sleeping and while sharpening a butcher knife said he felt like cutting defendent’s d—- head off; and struck her with his fist, and pulled her out of bed.” Other instances of alleged cruelty are also cited.

The next posting reads:

Wants Divorce
Alleging that his wife was guilty of neglect of duty, that she struck him with a rocker and a cream pitcher and stabbed him with a fork so violently that the handle was broken, John A. Albert brot suit in probate court Tuesday against Georgia Albert asking a divorce and temporary injunction restraining her from interfering with his management of the household until the case should be heard. The injunction was allowed. The couple were married Oct. 1, 1915, and one child was born of the marriage. Albert was married previously and has a child by the first marriage. He alleges that his present wife threatened it’s life. George D. Klein represents the plaintiff.

Yet the couple remained married at least until about 1921 and had two more daughters, Betty and Winifred, and a son, Charles.  Velma is not seen again after this census and is believed to have died prior to 1930.

Sometime between 1921 and 1926, after Georgia and John divorced, she married Leroy Bennett.  Their first son, Robert Leroy Bennett, was born on Apr. 24, 1926 in Fayette County, Ohio.  He died four months later on Aug. 10, 1926 of malnutrition.  Leroy listed Georgia’s birthplace as Blaine, Kentucky on the death certificate.

robert bennett death

The next son, Thomas J. Bennett, born Mar. 2, 1928, lived until he was 15 months old.  The cause of death was listed as petroleum poisoning.  This time Leroy listed Georgia’s birthplace as Ohio.

thomas bennett death

The couple had one more known son, Kenneth Bennett, born in 1929 and living to adulthood.

Georgia, age 35, is found on the 1930 Census living on her own in Madison Twp, Greenfield, Madison County, Ohio.  She was enumerated as Head of household, divorced, born in Kentucky (?) and with three children: Charles Albert (son with John Albert) – age 8, born in Ohio; Eileen Ostler (daughter with Unknown Ostler) – age 6, born in Ohio; and Kenneth Bennett, age 8 months, born in Ohio.

georgia amore bennett 1930

Daughter, Betty Albert, age 9, was living with Georgia’s sister, Bertha, and her husband, John Woodward, in Linton Twp, Plainfield Village, Coshocton County, Ohio.  Winifred isn’t found – but she is listed as married and a survivor later in Georgia’s obituary. 

Sometime after the 1930 Census, Georgia married William Smith.  The couple had three known children: James, Paul and Gerald.  William died in 1954 and the couple were still married.  Georgia died on December 23, 1973 at Community Hospital in Springfield, Ohio.  Her obituary ran in the Hillsboro, Ohio Press Gazette the following day.  It reads:

Georgia Anna Smith
Georgia Anna Smith, 78, Greenfield, died at 1:30 p.m. yesterday at Community Hospital, Springfield. She was a member of the Plainfield, O., Baptist Church and a Gold Star Mother.
She was born Jan. 21, 1895, the daughter of George and Catherine Burden Amore, at Plainfield.
She married William Smith, who died in April of 1954.
She is survived by seven children, Mrs. Clarence (Winifred) Summer of Springfield, James W. Smith, serving with the U.S. Army at Ft. Lee, Va., and Mrs. Arthur (Betty) Payne, Mrs. Herman (Eileen) Daugherty, Kenneth Bennett, Paul Smith and Gerald Smith, all of Greenfield; 36 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
One son, Charles Albert, was killed during World War II, on Oct. 6, 1944. She also was predeceased by six children who died in infancy, two other children, four brothers and a sister.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Murray Funeral Home, Greenfield. Rev. Noble Miller officiating and burial at Greenfield Cemetery.
Friends may call at the funeral home after 4 p.m. Wednesday.

She delivered a total of 16 children – five of those who died are known (Mary Katherine Kazee, Robert Leroy Bennett,  Thomas J. Bennett; Velma Albert, and George Woodrow Albert.  Her son Charles died in the War.  Only seven survived her upon her death.  There are still three unaccounted children.  Not only does it appear that Georgia lived a life of “drama” and engaged in volatile relationships but she had several children who died.  I wonder if she ever suffered from depression or post-partum depression.  

I have no photos of Georgia nor any information about her descendents – other than from her daughter, Betty (from husband John Albert).  I’d like to find out about all the other children she bore as well as the husbands who divorced her.  So that is the end of Georgia’s story until I can do further research.

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This is a list of my ancestors who immigrated to America.

Adam Goul: My 4th g-grandfather.  About 1763 from Germany to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Adam was a young boy traveling onboard ship with his mother, father – Frederick, and a sister.  All but Adam died on the voyage.

Adam Lutz: My 5th g-grandfather.  (father-in-law of Adam Goul) about 1749 from Rotterdam on the Lydia.  (source: Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, Baptisms from the Church Book of German Reformed Church of Philadelphia)

Jacob Blazer (or Blaser): My 5th g-grandfather.  Came from Baden (German) via Holland late 1700s and settled in the Shenandoah Valley.  Traveled to Gallia County, Ohio and settled there by 1803. (source: Blazer Family History, credited to Dan Blazer and Aileen Blazer Rush – no date given)

James Arbuckle: My 6th g-grandfather.  Born Glasgow, Scotland and died in Virginia.  (source: Jacqueline Ann Richardson – no supporting documentation)

John Madison: My 9th g-grandfather. Born in England about 1620, died in Virginia.  (source: Kenneth Soper – no supporting documentation)

Johannes Kohler (Caylor): My 4th g-grandfather.  Born in Germany in mid 1700s, immigrated to Philadelphia on ship Britannia in August 1767. (source: paper sent by Ann Hastings from a paper received by Dr. Truman Caylor in a letter to Evelyn Caylor from a church paper.)

Johannes Kuntzi: My 6th g-grandfather.  Surname later changed to Kinsey.  Born in Switzerland about 1724 and died about 1761 in Berks County, Pennsylvania.  (source: Robert Mark Sharp “The Kinsey Family”)

Hans Peter Wampler: My 6th g-grandfather.  Born about 1722 in France and died in Frederick County, Maryland.  Lived in Schuykill County, Pennsylvania by Sep 1743 when he married Anna Maria Brenneissen (also born in Germany). (source: World Family Tree – no supporting documentation)

John Miller: My 6th g-grandfather.  Born in France in 1724 and was in Somerset County, Pennsylvania by Jan 1848 when he married Magdalena Lehman. (source: Rose Patrick – no supporting documentation)

Christian Yoder: My 6th g-grandfather.  Born in Bern, Switzerland in 1722 and was in Berks County, PA. by 1752.  (source: Greg Raven, Blickensderfer and related families – no supporting documentation)

Barbara Beiler: (Christian Yoder’s wife) My 6th g-grandmother.  Also born in Bern, Switzerland about 1723. (source: Rose Patrick – no supporting documentation)

Unknown Amore: My 3rd g-grandfather.  Born in England and was in New York by 1828 when my 2nd g-grandfather, William Amore, was born.  (source: 1880 US Census, Franklin County, Coshocton County, Ohio, Enumeration District No. 45 – William Amore lists his father’s birthplace as England)

Peter Werts: My 5th g-grandfather.  Born 1737 probably in Germany and married in 1758 in Maryland. 

Rosina Feurstein: My 5th g-grandmother.  Baptised in a Alsace, France and was married by 1768 in Maryland. Immigrated with her parents, Nicholas & Anna Catherina (Nonnenmacher) on the ship “Peggy”, captained by James Abercombie, Master.  Arrived in Philadelphia from Rotterdam (where they left after fleeing Alsace) on September 24, 1753.  (source: The Firestone Family History and German Pioneers to America, Passenger Listss)

Benjamin Maple: My 7th g-grandfather.  Immigrated from Ipswich, England in 1864 on the ship “Friendship”.  Ended up in Barbados as an indentured servant for four years.  Afterwards, he went to New Jersey.  This man and none of his descendents ever owned slaves. (source: Mark Freeman, Mostly Southern, no supporting documentation)

Those individuals that I have no supporting documentation for will have to be researched further until evidence is found of their immigration, marriages, deaths, etc.

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If you’ve been lucky enough to find military records connected to your ancestors or collateral family members, then you have realized what a find these records can be.  Information generally available include vital statistics (height, weight, color of hair, eyes, complexion), an address, nearest relative, occupation and place of employment, date and place of birth, and more.

Most of these questions on these records were answered by the person in question so it is generally thought to be a Primary source, as opposed to a death record which is filled out by someone else about the person.

Part 1 of this series on “Gleaning Information from Military Records” concerns characteristics and the spelling of names about my paternal ancestors – the Amore family.  Further articles will delve into occupations, addresses, places of birth, and other information that I was able to ascertain from these records.

Over the years, I’ve seen my paternal grandfather’s name as William Lloyd and Lloyd William.  I know he always went by “Lloyd.”
 lloyd_name

1900 Census

 lloyd_1920_name

1920 Census

I’ve also seen it spelled as “Loyd”. So when I ran across my grandfather’s WWI and WWII military draft cards, I realized what a find these particular type of records are.  In his own signature, he writes his name: William Lloyd Amore or W. Lloyd Amore. 

lloyd_signature_wwi

 

Signature on WWI Registration Card

lloyd_signature_wwii

Signature on WWII Draft Card

There – end of mystery.  Why then did my grandmother (his wife) sign her name as “Mrs. Loyd Amore” on most things? 

 

 

gramma_signature

 

Did she not realize how her husband’s name was spelled?  Maybe it wasn’t that important to her or to him that she get it right.  To me it’s a sign not only of respect, but love, that you at least know how to spell your spouse’s first name.  But that was a different time then.  There were a lot of other things to worry about, I suppose.

 

From the military records I learned that my Grandpa Amore was short in stature (5’5″) and his eyes were blue.  My father is a little taller than that.  As I checked my grandfather’s brothers’ records I discovered striking similarities:

  1. Clarence Amore (youngest of the 6 Amore brothers) was 5 ft. 6 1/2 inches tall and also had blue eyes.

  2. Herbert (next to the youngest) was 5’8″ and blue eyes.

  3. Roy (second oldest brother) was 5’7″ and had blue eyes.

  4. Rollo (third youngest and next in line after my grandfather) was 5’6″ and had blue eyes.

  5. Isaiah “Zade” (oldest brother) was listed as “tall” on his WWI Registration card (he was much taller than his brothers) and had blue eyes.

So I went back to look at my grandfather’s cousins’ military records.

  1. Charles Cleveland Amore (Grandpa’s 1st cousin) was listed on his WWII Draft Card as 5’10” and had gray eyes.  However, on his WWI registration card his eyes were listed as brown.

  2. Grover Amore (1st cousin) was 5’6″ and had blue eyes.

  3. Leonard Studor Amore (half 1st cousin) was 5’9″ with blue eyes.

My conclusion was that most of the Amore men were of medium stature (under 5’9″) and blue eyes were predominant.  They were all also listed as slender build (even the couple who were tall) and almost all of them had light complexion.

 

Charles Cleveland Amore didn’t write his name on his WWI Registration card.  Instead, at the age of 34, he put his “mark”.  Someone else signed his name.

charles_amore_mark

On his WWII Draft Card at age 57, he did sign his name – although it is really difficult to read as it looks more like a child’s scrawl.

charles_amore_signature1

The deduction I make is that over the years, Charles (or Charley – as his signature seems to read), learned how to at least sign his name probably for business purposes or other personal reasons.

Can you get a clearer picture on similar characteristics of your ancestors that trickle down to you?  What about a name that you’ve had difficulty determining exactly how it was spelled?

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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