Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: A Final Detail Confirmed!

August 25, 1842 - February 15, 1912

Sarah was the sister of my paternal third great grandmother Louisa Tyree Wallen, or "Grandma Wallen" as my great grandfather called her throughout his diary. Back in 2003 my distant cousin Connie sent me copies of notes her grandmother had made...snippets of things that old Grandma Wallen had told her. In those notes Grandma said her sister Sarah had also married a Wallen and had gone to Arkansas to live. Every other detail in those notes has since panned out, except that one...it had to be a mistake!

I didn't think much about it. I knew Sarah had married a Wallen, a distant cousin to my Wallens, and I had already traced her up to 1880...but she lived in Howell Co., Missouri, not Arkansas. Howell Co. is near the border of Missouri and Arkansas so I figured Grandma had just made a small error. James Wallen, Sarah's husband, died in 1867 in Missouri and I suppose when I could not find Sarah in the 1900 census I just assumed she had died there too and I didn't look further for at least 6 or 7 years.

Last week I decided I wanted to renew my efforts on Grandma's siblings and since I hadn't any closure on Sarah, I zoomed in on her.  I did a broad search of the 1900 census for her son Elisha with whom she had been living in 1880. Right away I found the family of Elisha...in Grant Co., Arkansas! And low and behold, Sarah was living with them! When I did more searches on cemetery listings in Grant Co. I quickly found Elisha, his wife Lina, and an infant daughter buried there in the Sheridan Cemetery. They were spelling their name Wallin in the census so that is the spelling I used in the search of the cemeteries. When I didn't find Sarah with them I changed the spelling to Wallen and searched again. There was only one Wallen listed and it was Sarah! (The members of this family were all buried together so I have no idea why the spelling on her tombstone was different.) With this information I did a search on FindAGrave.com and quickly found her memorial and tombstone photo and have used that photo here with the permission of the F.A.G. photo volunteer.

From the birth places of several of Elisha's children it is obvious Sarah had been living in Arkansas for quite some time, long enough to have written many letters to her sister Louisa in Texas. No wonder Grandma Wallen told everyone her sister lived in Arkansas! This may seem like a small detail but it was very exciting to me. It means that every item in those notes has now panned out. Small confirmations to family stories are really rewarding.

Interested persons can find out more on this subject at my companion blog "Genealojournal" by clicking on "Tyree" in the labels.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Obituary of Morris H. Newby

May 2, 1899 - December 6, 1947

My maternal granduncle Morris H. Newby  Circa 1930
Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I have two hand dated obituaries for Uncle Bud (as my mother called him). One apparently from Knightstown, Henry Co., Indiana and the other from Lowell, Lake Co., Indiana where he was last employed. My grandmother clipped these and I found them in my mother's photo albums. 

Friday, December 12, 1947
Morris Newby, 48, Dies in Gary

Morris Newby, 48, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Newby, former residents of Knightstown, died Saturday at the Mercy hospital at Gary. He had been ill since August. Mr. Newby was superintendent of schools of Lowell, Ind.  Funeral services were held in Lowell on Monday and the body was brought to Knightstown where graveside services were held with the Rev. E. A. Addison officiating.  The Butcher Funeral Home was in charge of the burial.  Mr. Newby was a member of Golden Rule Lodge No. 16, F. & A. M.  A sister, Mrs. Fern Runyan, of Indianapolis is the only immediate survivor. Two cousins, Floyd and Harry Newby, live in Knightstown. We wish to express our deepest and sincerest gratitude and thanks to the people of Lowell who were so kind to us at the time of the death of our dear brother, Morris H. Newby. The many beautiful flowers, and your kind expressions of sympathy will long be remembered and treasured by us. Signed: Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Runyan.

Morris H. Newby Succumbs After Several Months Serious Illness

Morris H. Newby Circa 1940
Morris H. Newby, 48, principal of Lowell grade school, passed away at Mercy hospital, Gary, last Saturday morning following several months illness. His health began to fail soon after starting the summer vacation. He improved some and was able to start his work at the grade school in September, but soon became seriously ill and was compelled to give up his duties.  He became a member of the grade school faculty in the fall of 1925 when M. E. Goodwin, now of Brook, was principal. When Mr. Goodwin transferred to the high school, he became principal and has held the position since. Educated at Ball State Teachers' College and at Indianapolis college, he had spent nearly his entire career in Lowell grade school. He taught one year in Wyoming and two years at Plum Grove school, east of town, before coming to Lowell. He was a man who had the respect of all residents of this community and his acquaintance was very large over southern Lake county. The Lowell grade school was his great interest in life, and he has informed us many times that he expected to end his teaching career here and on retirement to always make Lowell his home. He is a man who will be greatly missed, and the great good he has done in the educational system of the schools here will long be remembered.  He is survived by one sister, Mrs. Lawrence Runyan, of Indianapolis, one niece, one grand-niece and two nephews.  He was a member of the Masonic lodge in his home town of Knightstown, Ind., and of the Lowell Lions club.  Lowell grade school was closed Monday and Tuesday and the high school Monday afternoon in honor of the deceased.  Memorial services were held at Lowell high school at 2 p. m. Monday. The services were in charge of Rev. Luther Villars of the Church of Christ; Rev. Paul Reisen, of the Methodist church; Rev. Kenneth Owens, of the Church of the Nazarene; Rev. Edward Boney, of St. Edward's Catholic church, and Rev. E. L. Worley, of the ShelbyChurch of Christ. Mrs. Edward Minninger played several numbers during the services. Members of the grade school faculty attended in a body.  Tuesday morning the remains were taken by Weaver & Son to Knightstown, his boyhood home, where services were held and interment was made beside his father and mother.

My grandmother was very fond of her brother. Bud never married, never had children. He is interred in the Glen Cove Cemetery in Knightstown, Indiana.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Surname Saturday: GRUNDEN [Part 1]

Samuel Grunden was born 6 Mar 1777 in Pennsylvania and died 20 Jan 1852 in Mercer Co., Ohio.

We know very little about Samuel's parents but the story from Walter, a great grandson of Samuel, that he told in 1947 was that his (Walter's) father, John Snyder Grunden, said they always told him the family lived in Pennsylvania and their cabin burned and the father and mother ran away and left three children and the neighbors raised the children. Walter's brother Samuel later told a similar story: 

"So far as I remember I was told of a Grunden's cabin burning years and years ago, and there were three children which the parents put in another cabin and they (the parents) disappeared and the neighbors raised the children and they never did hear from the parents. Don't know if they were killed by Indians or not. One of these children was Grandfather's father. One of the children was a girl. Her name was Hannah and I think she married a Long. This must have happened in Pennsylvania".  

[The above snippets of the Grunden family story were passed on to me by my mother's 4th cousin and one of my dearest family genealogy cohorts, Dorothy Hildreth of Laramie, Wyoming (now deceased).]

We know that Samuel's father was Thomas but do not know anything about Thomas's wife. On page 470 of the "History of Van Wert & Mercer counties, Ohio" by R. Sutton & Co., 1882, it says that Thomas was in the Revolutionary War but no record has been found. An excerpt from the book "William Adams, 1594-1661, of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and some of his descendants: A history of the ancestral Adams lineage of Madeline (Adams) Whitehead ... Wilson, Mapes, Cochran, Whitehead, and Eaton" by Kenneth L. Bosworth 1996 states that this Grunden family had emigrated from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. Other than this book, I do not yet have documentation on that. We also know from research that the little girl in the story, Hannah, did indeed marry a Long (Armel Long), so that part of the story certainly pans out.

In Huntingdon Co., Pennsylvania, Samuel married Margaret Anderson, of Scot-Irish ancestry. Samuel was in the War of 1812. Sources listed as: Bible of Samuel Grunden; Grave Registrations War of 1812."

Samuel and Margaret had 9 known children: Mary, James David, Rebecca, Samuel A., Margaret, Thomas, Joseph (my ancestor), Hannah, and Anderson.

Joseph Grunden married Martha Dungan, daughter of John and Sarah Dungan of Butler Co., Ohio and Joseph and Martha's daughter Mary Louisa was my great, great grandmother and this is where my Grunden line daughter's out. Louisa married my great, great grandfather, John A. Newby.

Click here to see Part 2


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Thursday


Today is Thanksgiving Day and I am thankful for all my ancestors and my husband's ancestors, for all the hardships they endured in making it possible for us to be here and for our family to be here.

I am thankful for the Sacrifice and the Promises of God.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Over The River And Through The Woods

To grandmother's house we go....
Wallen siblings and maternal grandparents Lawrence and Fern Runyan   Indianapolis 1955

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Boy Hero Saves Life of Young Abe Lincoln


Where is my old friend and playmate Austin Gollaher? I would rather see Gollaher than any man living.” ...Abraham Lincoln

Ah...boy heroes. Doesn't every family have one? But this hero belongs to us all, because without his intervention, we might not have had a President named Abraham Lincoln.


Back in 1997 my mother-in-law tried to tell me about an ancestor on her side of the family that she'd heard stories about all her life. This ancestor had saved Abraham Lincoln from drowning in Knob Creek when they were just boys. Her details were extremely sketchy and she pronounced the surname in various ways and, well...she just looked like she was telling me a "tall tale". To say I was skeptical would be an understatement. I was not the least bit interested in wasting time on silly stuff....but I was taught to always show respect for my elders so I turned away before I rolled my eyes. I've learned many a lesson about arrogance since then. It is unproductive and unattractive and you often get your nose rubbed.

I don't know how long it was, probably only a week or two, but something made me go digging. Maybe it was my husband Mike saying he'd heard the tale from others in the family. Could there be something to the story? Before long I came up with the man's name, Benjamin Austin Gollaher, and he was Mike's maternal third great grandfather. At that time there wasn't much on the Internet about him but I talked with Mike's cousins who confirmed the story and said they had proof of it.

Later that year we made a trip to LaRue Co., Kentucky and the surrounding areas and we found out all we needed to know. I was relieved that only my husband would see me eat humble pie! He didn't even say "I told you so" because he was just as surprised as I was that the stories were actually true. 

Even Gollaher's tombstone in Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Cemetery reflected his friendship with Abraham Lincoln.

Best of all was the newspaper clipping, hand dated 1953. This clipping gives our family our own personal interest story. It not only confirms all the stories but it also shows the pocket knife given to Austin Gollaher by his friend, the young Abe Lincoln and the pocket watch that once belonged to Gollaher. 

In this article's photo are Mike's granduncle C. W. "Uncle Bud" Melvin, his grandaunt Myrtle Melvin and his great grandmother Edna "Eddy" Metcalf Melvin Price who remembers the stories told by her husband's grandfather Austin Gollaher. The article also mentions his grandaunt Bessie (Melvin) Church and it was Bessie's daughter Evelyn who made me a copy of this article. Click the article to enlarge.

There is now a huge assortment of articles on the Internet about Austin Gollaher and his heroic act of fishing his pal Abe from the swollen waters of Knob Creek so I won't bother to repeat those here. Interested persons have only to Google his name and Lincoln's to read some of them. There is even a page for him on Facebook "Austin Gollaher Descendants" where his portrait can be seen and on his Find A Grave memorial is a lengthy biography.

The quote by Lincoln at the beginning of this blog was supposedly said to Dr. Jesse Rodman of Hodgenville sometime before Abe invited his friend Austin to the White House. The story above says Lincoln actually wanted him to fill a position there although I have not heard that repeated elsewhere. All the stories seem to agree that President Lincoln offered to pay for Gollaher's trip to the White House but Gollaher turned him down due to his fear of trains!

The pocket knife and watch were in Uncle Bud's possession for many years but when he died his wife kept the items and we believe her children (Bud's step-children who are not related to the family) now have them. It would be nice to have them back in the family.

[Submitted for the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: "There's One In Every Family!"]


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day: Thank You For Serving!

Thanks to ALL who served! 

Photos below are those of Veterans in my immediate family who are still living.

My spouse
Joseph Michael (Mike) Logsdon
U. S. Army - Vietnam - Combat Engineer - 4th Infantry

Mike and the truck he drove

My brother Bob
Robert Terrill Wallen
U.S. Air Force Medical Corps during the Viet Nam War, 1966-1970

My brother Mike
Michael Dean Wallen
U. S. Air Force Pilot, Lt. Col., Ret. 1972 - 1993
Participated in "Just Cause", "Desert Shield" and "Desert Storm"

Brother Mike and President Ronald Reagan


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: Oliver & Sarah - May 23, 1900

May 23, 1900 - Wabd, Rockcastle Co., Kentucky

Below is the Marriage announcement of my paternal great grandparents, another recent discovery from the Mount Vernon Signal newspaper dated June 1, 1900 (pg. 4). Until finding this somewhat lengthy and descriptive announcement, I had only a copy of the marriage license and short excerpts from Oliver's diary covering his courtship, engagement and marriage to Sarah. This was a pleasant and welcome addition to my gleanings!

Courtship, Engagement and Marriage 
Excerpts from Oliver's Diary:

1898:  "Miss Sarah Davis of Level Green attended my school. I began waiting on her before my school was out and Easter Sunday April 10, 1898 - we were engaged to be married."

May 12 1900 "Took out lisence to solemize the rites of matrimony." 

May 18, 1900: "...got a letter the 15 from Miss Sarah Davis. She said she would be redy to get married the 23." 

May 22 1900 "... from there to Mt. Vernon and got my marriage lisence, from there to Rev. B. S. Duvalt's and got him to officiate, and home.

May 23, 1900  "Went to Rev. Nelie Burnette's, near Level Green, and got Miss Sarah Davis and went to the Rev. B. S. Duvalt's and we were made one, or husband and wife, at 1/2 past 4 P.M. Mr. J. J. Towery and Miss May Sowder went with us."


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Ursula Ann Martin Davis Burnett

January 10, 1856 - July 20, 1900

Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Pulaski Co., Kentucky

Ursula Ann was my paternal 2nd great grandmother. She was born in Lee Co., Virginia to James Monroe and Susannah Grabeel Martin. Ursula married John Miller Davis on October 4, 1874 in Woodstock, Pulaski Co., Kentucky. They had three daughters, Mary Susan, Sarah Frances (my great grandmother) and Malvina Catherine "Mallie" Martin. John died in 1880 and on January 31, 1884 Ursula became the second wife of Cornelius Donaldson Burnett. They had four children: Daisy Cordelia "Cordie", Cora Jane, Hobart Cornelius, and Amanda Ursula "Sula" Burnett.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Obituary of Isaac Newton Wallen

May 16, 1855 - April 27, 1925

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

Isaac Newton "Ike" Wallen was son of Jesse B. and Louisa Tyree Wallen and brother to my ancestor William M. Wallen. Isaac was married to Mary Frances "Fanny" Sutton in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky in 1877. Mary Frances told a fascinating story of early life in Kentucky and their migration in 1881 to Texas and eventually into Indian Territory when she was interviewed in 1938 for the INDIAN PIONEER PAPERS.

Note dated February 10, 2003 from my cousin Connie who is a direct descendant of Isaac: 

"Obituary for Isaac Newton Walling has him listed as S. W. Walling.  Reta Wilson had the obit in her possession.  I video taped it and took it home and transcribed it.  Reta made it very clear that she knew her grandfather (she would have been 15 when he died) and that his name was Isaac Newton, that he is buried at the cemetery in Sulphur.  She also stated that he spelled his last name both ways Wallen and Walling. There is no headstone at the cemetery and I have been having trouble getting confirmation from the city that he is buried there." 

Connie sent me the obituary for Isaac and two photos of him. The photo not shown here is a nude and can be seen at the above link.


"The death angel called at the home of Mr. Andrew Walling and taken away his dear father. Mr. S. W. Walling was born in Rocksten [sic] County, Kentucky, May 16th 1855 and died on April 27, 1925 making his stay on earth about 70 years.  He leaves a wife, two daughters, two sons and many friends and relatives to mourn his loss.  His funeral services were held at the home of Mr. Andrew Walling on April 28 by Eld. R. H. Emerson, assisted by Rev. Fisher to a large congregation.  He was laid to rest until the resurrection morning in the Sulphur Cemetery.  All was done for him that hands could do but to no avail.  As far as we know Mr. Walling was a good citizen and a good neighbor and it was stated by his companion that she had all reasons to believe that he made peace with God before death had overtaken him.  Then we would say to his companion and relatives and friends to weep not for him as on that had no hope, but make preparations and be joyful that we may be worthy of the reward that awaits the joyful.  I ask in conclusion that the God of mercy and peace would rest on the bereaved family and that he would prepare their hearts in such a way that they would make ... unbroken family in Heaven ... sickness and sorrow never... and it will be joy forever.  Rev. R. H. Emerson."


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Finding a Genealogical Jewel

b. Feb. 1830 in Scott Co., Virginia - d. circa 1913 in Cooke Co., Texas

Louisa was my paternal 3rd great grandmother, wife of Jesse B. Wallen. She was responsible for raising the younger 7 of her son William's 9 children, with the help of the two oldest, Jesse Uriah and my great grandfather Oliver Morton Wallen, after their mother died. Louisa, "Grandma Wallen", is mentioned regularly in Oliver's diary. Their home had been in Wabd, Rockcastle Co., Kentucky from the early to mid 1850s until 1905 when most of them packed up and headed for Texas. By that time nearly all the children were either grown or had died of Consumption. All 9 siblings eventually perished from that disease (as had their mother) and Louisa would outlive them all with the exception of Jesse U. who died in 1917.

For nearly 15 years I'd tried to prove the parents of Louisa. My dad's first cousin and my closest cohort in genealogical research, Charlie Wallen, never let go of the belief that Louisa was the daughter of David and Rachel Rogers Tyree. I went along with him on that assumption for nearly 10 years until I started digging up new clues that pointed to Louisa as being the oldest child of David and Rachel's son William and his first wife Lucy Osborne. The clues were all over the place but I couldn't convince Charlie. Anyone can read more about those clues here and here at my other blog "Genealojournal" where I tend to muse about things yet unproven. There were more clues too that I discovered in Oliver's diary since writing those notes. None of them said what I needed to know...not quite.

I was obsessed with knowing the truth about Louisa's parentage and I had exhausted all my resources short of making a trip to Scott Co., Virginia or hiring a researcher there. Then, a little over a week ago I was browsing the Rockcastle County newspaper, the Mt. Vernon Signal, and I had decided to do a search on the name of the tiny town of Wabd to see if anything interesting might surface. Now, over the years, I'd done many a search in this newspaper on the surname Wallen, including all the variations in spelling. Many years ago the Signal had been transcribed from microfilm and posted to a genealogy web site by a dedicated genealogist, Cindy Crawford, to whom I will always be humbly grateful. I copied and pasted Cindy's entire transcription to my computer's hard drive (hundreds of pages) and I've been over it dozens of times with a fine toothed comb. In other words, I didn't really expect to find anything monumental on this day, I was just browsing and enjoying reading about all the people of the county that I had come to know over the years.

And suddenly, there it was! Just a dozen little words. My proof. The genealogical jewel that became my gift. I immediately got writer's block..that is, after I spazzed out and danced and babbled and sobbed for a few hours. It was so big I couldn't write about it..I couldn't write about anything. I always thought I'd find the proof of Louisa's ancestry by using my skills. But this wasn't skill at all. It was simply a gift, the perfect gift.

Yesterday I came across this quote by Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings in his comments to Martin Hollick's post "Genealogical Gimme":

"...the record that provides direct evidence of a relationship or fact, might better be called a "genealogy gem" or "genealogy jewel." Often, these are hard to find and, when they are published and made known, then they become a "genealogy gimme." or "genealogy gift."

For whatever reason, this little excerpt gave me what I needed to help me write about my new discovery.

So, what were those few special words I found in the Mt. Vernon Signal?

Well, under the title "WABD" - dated Friday, August 12, 1904, were the words: "Mrs. Louisa Wallen, of Wabd, is visiting her sister, Mrs. John Sowder".  

I froze when I saw it. My heart stopped...and then my mouth flew open..and then I did all that heebee jeebee stuff they call "happy dancing". Every Tyree researcher of this particular Tyree lineage knows who Mrs. John Sowder was. She was Elizabeth Tyree Wallen Sowder, daughter of William and Lucy Osborne Tyree! What a jewel, what a gift! I had been interpreting the clues right all along!

I  just wish cousin Charlie was still alive so I could have the pleasure of saying  (respectfully of course) "I told you Charlie!"

And I still can't get this newspaper article to come up using "Wallen" as a search word!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Susannah Grabeel Martin

June 27, 1819 - July 14, 1906

Woodstock Cemetery, Pulaski Co., Kentucky

Wife of J.M. Martin
"Sleep on dear mother, peaceful be thy rest. 

Thou art gone to bask in the joys of the blest."

Susannah was my paternal 3rd great grandmother. She was born in Lee Co., Virginia to Jacob and Mary Grabeel. Susannah married James Monroe Martin on March 30, 1842 in Claiborne Co., Tennessee. The Martins settled in Pulaski Co., Kentucky between 1857 and 1859. They had 10 children: John, Lucinda Jane, Mary, Catherine, Nancy Eliza, William Franklin, Ursula Ann, Sarah Nelson, Rebecca Frances and James Daniel Sherman.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: The Will of John Martin, Jr. 1840

JOHN MARTIN, JR. 1762 - 1840

About Amanuensis Monday: John Newmark, who writes the TransylvanianDutch blog started a Monday Blog Theme called "Amanuensis Monday". John defines "amanuensis" as "a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

John Martin, Jr. was born in South Carolina in 1762. He entered into the service of the United States in the Revolution enlisting as a substitute for his father who was drafted at the age of 55 years. John, Jr. died in Lee Co., Virginia in 1840, Will probate 16th March 1840; he married Mary [Polly] Cooper who likely preceded him in death as she was not named in his Will. John Martin, Jr. was my paternal 4th great grandfather.

Will of John Martin, Jr.

    I John Martin Jr. of the County of Lee and State of Virginia being in a low state of health though in my proper senses do now make this my last will & testament in manner and form as followith.

    After all my just debts and funeral expenses are paid I give to my son James Monroe Martin, all my personal and real estate except so much as is herein provided for that is to say my land on which I now live, and also fifty acres adjoining the same on the west including the mill seat ... I once had a mill and an half of one hundred acres lying on trading creek that is the dry fork, running up on both sides ... creek including the mill seat and adjoining the lands of E....Hubbard and all my horses, cattle, hogs, sheep and every thing else that I may possess at my death.
    I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Jane Allen one dollar.  And whereas my sons Anson C., Wilkerson and John Martin have received each of them one fourth part of the tract of land on which I now live I therefore will them nothing.
    I do hereby constitute and appoint my son James Monroe Martin my executor of this my last will and testament hoping he will perform his duty faithfully and impartialy in every thing that relates to the aforesaid will. In testamony hereof I have hereunto set my hand & affixed my seal this twelfth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty.
                                                                                                John Martin (Seal)
Signed, Sealed & delivered
in the presence of
John Fulkerson
Jessee Vandeventer                    
Philip Long                                  

   At a court of quarter sessions begun and held for Lee County at the courthouse thereof on Monday the 16th day of March 1840 the last will and testament of John Martin deceased was further proven by the oath of Philip Long a witness thereto and the same having been before proved by the oath of another witness is ordered to be recorded. J. W. S. Morison C. C.

                                                   Probate 16 March 1840
                                                   [will book 2-112 Lee Co. VA]