Posted in challenge, Fearless Females, Life and Death, Occupations, tagged Amore, Anderson, Clawson, Coshocton, Fairborn, Fearless Females, House, Indiana, Occupations, Women's History Month on April 7, 2013 |
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(I started this blogging prompt late in the month so will try to catch up!)
Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has listed blogging prompts for each day of March to celebrate Women’s History Month. The blog prompt for March 12 – Working girl: Did your mother or grandmother work outside the home? What did she do? Describe her occupation.
W.F. Clawson store in Anderson, Indiana
My maternal grandmother, Vesta Wilt, helped out in the store owned by her step-father, William Frank Clawson, prior to her marriage. The Clawson’s store was located in Anderson, Indiana. That is about the only job outside of the home she ever had. Vesta was better known for being an excellent homemaker and making so many of her family and friends feel welcome in the homes she shared with her husband, my grandfather, Glen R. Johnson. He always held a position of importance in the military so my grandmother was always prepared to entertain other officers.
My paternal grandmother, Ella (House) Amore, worked in the Coshocton Glove factory. I don’t know if it was before she was married or after she was married with children.
Mary Amore using her knitting machine
Mom spent more time working outside of the home than she did as a full time homemaker. She worked as a bookkeeper, a seamstress, a grant writer, a secretary, and in accounting. She didn’t complete her working “life” until 2003 – at the age of 81. With only a high school education, Mom was very fortunate to obtain some of the positions that she had. As a small child, I was lucky that she was a stay at home mom for awhile. When she did re-enter the workforce, it was as a seamstress for a drapery manufacturer. Then a few years later, she went to work for Apple Manufacturing in downtown Dayton. They worked on contracts for the U.S. Army making cargo covers among other items. It was heavy, dirty work and she didn’t get much more than what the law allowed for minimum wage. Very rarely did she have to miss work due to illness because if she had, she would not have gotten paid. She didn’t have much in common with the people she worked with. Yet she was there for almost 10 years before the government contracts stopped and the plant closed its doors. She painstakingly sent out feelers and resumes and stayed employed. Not only was she a professional seamstress out in the workforce, but Mom was a professional home seamstress. She was very good and for awhile when I was in elementary and middle school, she had regular clients who came to our home. She mainly did alterations but ocassionally would sew clothes – even our neighbor’s wedding dress. She had a knitting machine (see picture above) and took classes on how to be an instructor. Dad and I would drive her to other lady’s homes so she could teach others how to use the machine. Now that knitting machine is mine.
Mom as a Senior Aide & Grant Writer at the Fairborn Senior Center – mid 1990s
(All photos – original and digital owned by Wendy Littrell, Address for Private Use)
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Posted in Census, Life and Death, Mystery Monday, Records, tagged California, census, Henry County, Indiana, Mystery Monday, New Castle, Wilt on January 7, 2013 |
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Jacob Marion Wilt is my great grand uncle. He is the oldest child born to my 2nd great-grandparents, Isreal Isaac Wilt and Christena Nash and oldest brother of my maternal great-grandfather, Joseph Napolean Wilt. Jacob was born on February 21, 1858 in Indiana. On August 6, 1881 Jacob and Scena Gibson were married in Newcastle, Henry County, Indiana. They had a son, Russell Ray Wilt, born September 6, 1890 in Newcastle. The family is found in the 1900 Census living in Jefferson township in Henry County. They reported that they had been married 18 years. By the 1910 Census, Russell was already out on his own. Jacob and Scena were living in Sulphur Springs in Henry County.
And there begins the mystery. It was reported by a distant cousin (Jacob is their great grand uncle also) that Jacob and Scena moved to California. I have not located either one – however, according to the 1920 Census, Russell is married to Ferna (LNU) with a young daughter, Thelma, and living in Modesto, California. In 1930 the Russell Ray Wilt family is in Oakland, California and in 1940 they have moved to Pierce County, Washington.
There is a Jacob Wilt listed in the 1920 and 1930 Censuses in San Bernadino, California – but his age is off by a couple of years and the listing for his father’s birth place is not Virginia. In the 1920 Census, that particular Jacob reports that he is divorced and in the 1930 Census, it shows he is widowed. I need to pinpoint the exact locations in the enumeration districts where both this Jacob and also Russell were living. If they are close by, then these two “different” Jacobs may just be one and the same. I haven’t located any further information on Scena (whose name has also been spelled Sena and Cena and mistakenly reported as Lena – depending on who was reading the writing!) nor on Russell’s wife, Ferna, or their daughter, Thelma. The Wilt branch of the family still living in and around New Castle, Indiana, didn’t seem to know any further information.
Sources: All Census information came from www.familysearch.org indexes. Jacob and Scena’s marriage information came from the same website – the “Indiana Marriages, 1811-1959” database (digital image).
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John Lafayette Johnson and Katie J. Blazer
My maternal great-grandparents (on my grandfather’s side), John Lafayette Johnson and Katie J. Blazer, were married on July 4, 1883, in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana. He was a few months over 22 years old and she was close to 19. Since both were “of age” according to the laws of the time, neither needed a parental signature.
The couple was just shy of celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary when Katie died on May 20, 1930 (trivia: my wedding anniversary is on the anniversary of her death – May 20!).
Below is a picture of the couple in older age.
(Source 1: Anderson, Madison, Indiana, 1880-1920, Book 1, Page 393; County Clerk’s Office, 16 East 9th, 2nd House, Box 19, Anderson, Indiana, 46016. FamilySearch – Indiana Marriages Database
Source 2: Glen R. Johnson, Sr., personal genealogy notes, in possession of Wendy Littrell, address for private use)
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In my previous post from last Thursday, Treasure Chest Thursday – Items from a Box (Part 1), I wrote about a picture I found in one of the many small boxes of photos and ephemera I have. Today, I’m pulling out one of my grandmother’s grade cards!
Vesta Wilt was born on May 7, 1898 in Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana. By the time she was in 7th grade in 1911, her parents had divorced. Her mother and her aunt’s widower had married and were living in Anderson in Madison County, Indiana. She attended Anderson Public Schools and the principal was Eva DeBruler. When she started school in September of 1911, she was in “B” Class of grade 7. In the second semester, she was in “A” Class of grade 7 and by the end of the school year, she was promoted to the “B” Class of grade 8. Her mother signed “M. Clawson” for each month of the two terms of the school year except for the last – May.
My grandmother received A’s, B+’s, and B’s in all of her subjects (Conduct, Reading, Writing, Spelling, Arithmetic, Language, Geography, Sewing, and History). Grammar was crossed out and Sewing was written in. She took one month of Music during her first term, and she only missed one day during the first month of school.
Stay tuned for more Items from a Box!
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I wish I could just add a photo and keep it wordless – unfortunately, I can’t! This photo was taken on July 30, 1916 at the occasion of William Frank Clawson’s 58th birthday! “Frank” was my maternal great-grandmother’s 2nd husband. Standing left to right: John Stern, Frank Clawson, George Fouch. Seated left to right: Mary Stern, Martha Clawson (my great-grandmother), Mollie Fouch.
John Stern was Martha’s older brother who was married to Mary Ann Betts. Mollie (Mary) Fouch was Frank’s sister who was married to George Fouch. I am pretty sure this photo was taken in Anderson, Indiana, where the Clawson’s lived.
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Posted in Tombstone Tuesday, tagged Anderson, Boltin, cemetery, grave, headstone, Hefler, Indiana, Johnson, Madison County, marker, Pendleton, tombstone, Tombstone Tuesday on August 7, 2012 |
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The photo above was taken by a friend of my grandparents pre-1920 in Anderson, Madison, Indiana. Glen R. Johnson (my maternal grandfather) is standing in between the two headstones and my grandmother, Vesta C. Wilt, is leaning on George Hefler’s headstone. The gal on the right, leaning on Sarah Boltin’s headstone, is a friend of the couple.
When I checked Find a Grave, I noticed that the current picture of George’s stone is very difficult to read. Time and weather has deteriorated the readability – at least via a photo. At the time of the above photo, Sarah Boltin (George’s second wife), was still living. Currently on Find a Grave, it shows that her tombstone has broken off at the base and is laying on the ground. I have cropped a picture of each stone in the above photo and added them to Find a Grave.
I do not believe that George Hefler nor Sarah Boltin are related in any way to my grandparents – the names have not come up in my research. The cemetery – Grove Lawn in Pendleton, Madison County, Indiana – is also the final resting place for many of my grandfather’s relatives – Johnson’s, Goul’s, and Blazer’s.
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So many 1940 census images and so many indexers but according to FamilySearch – not enough arbitrators. I read blog posts and information about arbitration and decided I had indexed quite a bit and remained consistent at 97%-98% accurate so I dipped my toes in the water and requested to be considered as an arbitrator. Apparently, they are really desperate because I received the “right to arbitrate” about 2 hours later!
When I started to arbitrate indexed census images, it looked as if Indiana was on the brink of being “searchable” (that was an erroneous perception it turns out) so I started with that state as I had plenty of collateral relatives there. Didn’t find any as I started arbitrating (I had already indexed a lot of Indiana census images). What I did find made me scratch my head.
Most of the dual indices (each census image is indexed twice – the differences are then arbitrated) – were close enough to each other with minor exceptions – an “o” instead of an “a” or not paying attention that the “S” typed for “Son” turned out to be “sister”. Easy arbitration. Then came what I am calling – the indexers who apparently do not read any instructions. If there is not a dwelling number, instead of viewing the previous page to see what the dwelling number is, the indexer put <blank>. Really? Seriously? Or how about a place lived five years previous for a child who is only 2? Really? Seriously? I’ve even found a <blank> in place of a surname because generally the census taker did not write down the surname for each member of the family with the same last name. Really? Seriously? That sort of thing leaves me scratching my head.
Of course, I am still indexing records in between doing arbitration. When I do index, I try to be very careful and mindful of how my transcriptions are viewed by the person who will arbitrate what I’ve done.
I believe the biggest reason there are so many “oopsies” is due to indexers not reading directions or making sure the highlight is adjusted to the line that’s being transcribed. That being said, some of the census takers’ penmanship leaves a LOT to be desired! Spelling errors and such are forgiveable especially when trying to decipher some of those squiggles – such as lots of names crossed out and rewritten above what’s crossed out – looks like a 2nd grader has written everything!
So to my fellow indexers and arbitrators – we can only do the best we can and be as conscientious as possible. Quality before quantity – and a prayer that we are reading it right doesn’t hurt!
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