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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.

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In honor of Mother’s Day, I created a collage of all of the women who are my direct ancestors. After I was finished, I marveled that I had so many photos to use!

Beginning at the top, left to right:
Margaret Bushong b. 24 Jan 1814 in Ohio and d. 1 Jun 1888 in Hamilton county, Indiana. 3rd great-grandmother
Mary Angeline Werts b. 15 Feb 1855 in Coshocton county, Ohio and d. 5 Dec 1941 in Roscoe, Coshocton county, Ohio. Great-grandmother
Frances Virginia Ogan b. 29 Nov 1846 in Guernsey county, Ohio and d. 18 Feb 1915 in Coshocton, Ohio. Great-grandmother
Margaret Catherine Maple b. 22 Dec 1808 in Coshocton, Ohio and d. 13 May 1851 in Muskingum county, Ohio. 3rd great-grandmother
Nancy Caylor b. 10 May 1840 in Indiana and d. 21 Dec 1900 in Noblesville, Indiana. Great-Great-grandmother
Melissa Goul b. 17 Oct 1832 in Champaign county, Ohio and d. 7 Mar 1907 in Madison county, Indiana. Great-Great-grandmother
Ella Maria House b. 22 Jun 1882 in Coshocton county, Ohio and d. 3 Jul 1946 in Coshocton, Ohio. Grandmother
Louisa Bookless b. 13 Apr 1834 in Muskingum county, Ohio and d. 26 Jul 1912 in Coshocton, Ohio. Great-Great-grandmother
Martha Jane Stern b. 9 Feb 1872 in Clarksville, Indiana and d. 6 Nov 1956 in Leaburg, Oregon. Great-grandmother
Katie J Blazer b. 27 Sep 1864 in Madison county, Indiana and d. 20 May 1930 in Fairfield (now Fairborn), Ohio. Great-grandmother
Vesta Christena Wilt b. 7 May 1898 in Noblesville, Indiana and d. 19 Jan 1984 in Dayton, Ohio. Grandmother
Mary Helen Johnson b. 21 Sep 1921 in Anderson, Indiana and d. 1 May 2009 in Beavercreek, Ohio. Mother
Me!

 

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My paternal grandmother’s mother Frances V Ogan has been a mystery due to the fact that there is nothing that reveals her parents. The family story suggested that she had been left on a doorstep as a baby. The first census that I was able to find for her in the early 2000s was the 1880 census because that particular one was free to view. Her parents were listed as born in Ohio so that gave me hope that she knew that information. As the years went by and access to other census records opened up for me, I soon discovered the first census taken after her birth in 1846.

In the 1850 census in the Evan and Susannah Ogan household is a person with the name of Francis Foster, age 3, and born in Ohio. The person is marked male. The adults in the household, both born in Virginia, were both aged 64 – too old to be the biological parents of young Francis. They were living in Rich Hill township of Muskingum county, Ohio.

In the 1860 census there is a 13 year old Frances Foster – this time listed as female – living in Cumberland township of Guernsey county, Ohio – a distance of almost 6 miles from Rich Hill township. Frances is living in the Evan and Susan Ogan household. The adults are both listed as 73 years old.

Ten years later in 1870, 23 year old Frances Ogan is still in Guernsey county residing at the Eagle Hotel in Cambridge township. She is listed as a cook born in Ohio. Susannah Ogan had died five years before, and Evan was back in Muskingum county living with his 56 year old son Peter’s family.

For awhile I tracked Evan’s and Susannah’s children to see if any could be Frances’ biological parent. Nothing seemed to fit. I keep coming back to the surname used in the first two censuses – Foster. Did Evan and Susannah know that her birth name was Frances Foster? Or did they give her that surname because she was a “foster’ child? And what do I make of the fact that Evan and Susannah seemed to move soon after the 1850 census to a neighboring county and then move back once Frances is deemed an “Ogan” and out on her own? Could this have been a case of Evan and Susannah taking in a neglected child and moving in order for any birth family not being able to  find them? Was Frances related to them through a nephew, niece, cousin or dear friend? What could possibly move two people who had raised many children and were empty-nesters to raise a very young child? I may never know the answers, but I’m forever grateful that Frances had two people who took care of her in order for her to go on and marry a widower with three children. My grandmother was the youngest girl of the eight children they went on to have together.

This is a post in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge for Week 5. 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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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.

coshocton-12-july-2016-wendy-billy-becky

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.

coshocton-12-july-2016-richmond-cemetery-frances-amore-grave-no-stone

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

coshocton-12-july-2016-prairie-chapel-cemetery-james-e-frances-v-house-gravestone-inscription

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.

coshocton-12-july-2016-prairie-chapel-cemetery-julia-tuttle-charles-house-gravestone-inscription

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.

picmonkey-collagelesterpearlhouse

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

picmonkey-collagejohnluluhouse

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.

coshocton-12-july-2016-prairie-chapel-cemetery-florus-emma-stacer-house-gravestone

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”!!!!

coshocton-12-july-2016-pizza-hut-license-on-wall

Next – fun at the museum.

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52ancestors-2015

Amy Johnson Crow, of No Story Too Small continues the challenge to the geneablogging world to write a blog post weekly on one ancestor. This could be a photo, a story, biography, or a post on the weekly theme. To read her challenge please go to Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. Feel free to join in at any time! The theme for this week is “Luck of the Irish” and can be about an ancestor who was lucky or an Irish ancestor.

I have not discovered a single Irish ancestor lurking in my family ancestry. So it leads me to wonder – where does the red hair come from? My paternal grandmother had red hair and so does my niece. My sister, my daughters, and I all have auburn in our hair. My grandmother, Ella House Amore, was the daughter of James Emory House and Frances V. Ogan. Yes, that woman – whose parentage is a complete mystery. (See Mystery Surrounding Frances V. Ogan).

So, if she wasn’t dropped on the doorstep by aliens – perhaps her parents were leprechauns. I’m all out of ideas at this point. I suppose it would be too much to ask that maybe Frances and Maureen O’Hara share the same biological ancestors? Nah, probably not.

Which leads me to gush over how I adore Ms. O’Hara! I love her pairing with John Wayne in “The Silent Man” or “McLintock!” or “Big Jake” or “Rio Grande” – she was stubborn, strong-willed, and passionate in her beliefs. Well, now that I think about it . . .

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52ancestors-2015

Amy Johnson Crow, of No Story Too Small continues the challenge to the geneablogging world to write a blog post weekly on one ancestor. This could be a photo, a story, biography, or a post on the weekly theme. To read her challenge please go to Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 2015 Edition. Feel free to join in at any time!

Week number four’s challenge is “Closest to your birthday” and is about an ancestor who shares the same birth month and day.

The first ancestor that comes to mind is my great-grandmother, Frances V. Ogan, who was the mother of my paternal grandmother, Ella Maria House. I have written about Frances before in Mystery Surrounding Frances V. Ogan. She was born exactly 115 years before me. Unfortunately, I don’t have any new information about her that could solve the mystery. She is the only direct ancestor who shares my birthday. Other collateral relatives that I share a birthday with include a close family member; my first cousin on my dad’s side; a second cousin on my dad’s side; and Orlow Barnes – my third cousin once removed on the Johnson side (maternal) of my family.

One direct ancestor died on my birthday – Anna Burnham. She was born abt 1644 and died in 1722. She married Samuel Gaines on May 1, 1668 probably in Massachusetts. Anna and Samuel were my 7th great-grandparents.

There were no marriages reported among my direct ancestors that occurred on my birthday.

In summary, since Frances V. Ogan is the only direct ancestor that shares my birthday, perhaps that is why I feel I must leave no stone unturned in order to figure out her origins.

 

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AJohnHollisterHouseGlastonburyCT.png

The John Hollister House in Glastonbury, Connecticut was built about 1649 according to “The HIstorical Society of Glastonbury” (Architecture page). It is located at 14 Tryon Street. This was the ancestral home for the Hollister family for many generations.  Lieutenant John Hollister was born in 1612 in England and came to America around 1642 (1). Lt. Hollister married Joanna Treat, daughter of Richard and Joanna Treat, and eight children were born to this union: Elizabeth, John Jr, Thomas, Joseph, Lazarus, Mary, Sarah, and Stephen. Hollister Sr. died after April 3. 1665 and left a will naming his widow and living children and the children of daughter, Elizabeth. His burial location is unknown.

John and Joanna Hollister are my 8th great-grandparents through their son, John Jr. He married Sarah Goodrich and through their son Thomas who married Dorothy Hills. Their daughter, Hannah Hollister, married William House and through their son, my 4th great-grandfather, Lazarus House. He married Rebecca Risley and their son, Allen House, married Editha Bigelow. Their son, Florus Allen House, married Julia Ann Lewis, and their son, James Emory House, was the father of my paternal grandmother, Ella Maria House, with his second wife, Frances Virginia Ogan.

My House and Hollister ancestors all lived in Hartford, Connecticut since the mid-1600’s. They were founders of Wethersfield and many are buried in the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford county. I would like to visit the area to walk the same places they did; view the historical John Hollister House; and pay my respects to all my many times great-grandparents in the cemeteries there.

 

(1). The Hollister Family of America: Lieut. John Hollister, of Wethersfield, Conn., and His Descendants; Case, Lafayette Wallace; 1886; Fergus Printing Company; p 19; Digitzed 19 Sep 2006; American Libraries; Internet Archive.

 

(Photo credt: Connecticut Historical Society)

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