Monday, January 31, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Obituary of Sarah (Davis) Wallen Livesay

November 25, 1877 - August 23, 1939

Sarah Frances (Davis) Wallen-Livesay
Sarah's daughter Myrtle Livesay Raber, my half grandaunt, sent me this photo of her mother saying: "I believe this must have been taken on her 50th birthday. She had wonderful auburn hair and I remember the dress: it was blue satin."

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

Sarah was my paternal great grandmother. She was the daughter of John Miller Davis and Ursula Ann Martin. The obituary below is transcribed verbatim from a copy of the original obituary which was typed by my grandaunt Sula Wallen Splitek.

of Sarah Davis Wallen Livesay

      Mrs. Sarah Livesay died at Cloverdale Indiana August 23, 1939, after a lingering illness.
      Sarah Francis Davis was born at Plato Kentucky on November 25, 1877, and was 61 years, 8 months and 28 days of age when she passed away.
      She was married to Oliver Morton Wallen of Wabd Ky., in May 1900, and he preceded her in death 32 years ago. By this union five children were born.
      In September 1916 She was married to John Lloyd Livesay of Mt. Vernon Kentucky, and by this union two children were born. She is survived by all seven of her children who are
      William Jesse Wallen,     Terre Haute, Indiana.
      Thomas Miller Wallen,     St. Joseph, Missouri.
      Mrs. Frank Splitek,       Huron, South Dakota.
      Charles Homer Wallen,     Chicago, Illinois.
      James Hobart Wallen,      Saybrook, Illinois.
      Ross Dudley Livesay,      Cloverdale, Indiana.
      Myrtle Davis Livesay,     Cloverdale, Indiana.
Also her husband, J.L. Livesay of Cloverdale Ind. one sister, Mrs. Harvey Colyer, Elgin, Kentucky, two half sisters, Mrs. Morris Thompson, Craborchard Ky., and Mrs. Chester Wilson, Stanford Ky., a half brother Hobart Burnette in Kentucky; fourteen grandchildren, and a host of friends and relatives.
      She became a member of the Baptist Church at an early age and was a sincere and devoted christian all her life.
      For the past nine years she and her family have resided on a farm at Cloverdale Ind., But she has also lived in Texas, Illinois, and Kentucky, and was loved and respected by all that knew her.
      There are many pupils in her ten years as a teacher in the rural schools of Kentucky that can testify that she started them out on the Christian road, and she was an influence for good on all that came in contact with her.
      One shining example is Rev. Fred Hicks of Indianapolis, Indiana, who was her pupil in school, and Preached at her funeral. The services were conducted at the Methodist Church and the remains were laid to rest in the Cloverdale cemetery.
      Her five sons were pallbearers.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: Great Grandpa's Lumber & Log Book

 Schribner's Lumber & Log Book (1882 ed.)

Front cover, stained and worn

My maternal great grandfather Charles Lee Newby was a carpenter and worked his trade until he was in his mid sixties. My grandmother, Mary Fern (Newby) Runyan, kept this book her father used as his reference. Apparently it got a lot of use as it is quite worn but not in bad condition.  These are some of the illustrations I liked.

Table of contents

Illustration on how to load logs after they are cut
‎"How few know the great possibilities implanted within them, unless some unforseen chain of circumstances chances to draw them out. One step higher, gained by honest perseverance and purpose may make one master of a business and prepare the way to be proprietor at no distant day. Brains and perseverance always tell."

Back page advertisement for  Fischer's book on grain tables

A tornado tore apart my great grandparent's farm house in Spiceland, Indiana on the evening of June 8, 1924, the night my mother was born. My great grandfather not only repaired the damage but he did some remodeling too. I have photos of the damaged structure and the finished restoration. I'm sure he must have referred to this little book often during the rebuilding process!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

COG 102 - Annual iGene Awards - Best of OSU 2010

102 Edition of The Carnival of Genealogy 
Presents: "iGene Awards"
Best of OldStonesUndeciphered 2010

The topic for the 102nd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: The Annual iGene Awards, where we announce what we consider to be our best blog posts from 2010 in the following 5 categories: Best Picture (Photo), Best Screen Play (with Cast) , Best Documentary (Investigative Research), Best Biography, and Best Comedy. We are to write up a blog post with links to our best articles in these categories. My thanks to Jasia of CREATIVEGENE, our Carnival Host!

As the red carpet is lovingly rolled out, I am ready to present to you: 
"The Best of Old Stones Undeciphered 2010 Awards"!

BestPicture: This award goes to the NUDE 1800s photo of my great granduncle Isaac Newton Wallen in the blog post Pioneers To Indian Territory 1881. While it is not the most attractive photo, it is certainly the most unusual photo on my blog. Isaac must have been quite the character to pose for this one! 

BestScreenPlay: This award goes to the blog post from the darkest corner of my gene pool, The Worst Kind of Murderer set in 1648 Scituate, New Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts where my deranged ancestor murders her own 4 year old daughter!

The Cast:
Deranged woman, Alice (Martin) Clark/Bishop - Elizabeth Taylor
First husband of Alice, George Clark - Basil Rathbone
Second husband of Alice, Richard Bishop - James Cagney
The young witness, Rachel Ramsden - Audrey Hepburn
Goodwife Winslow - Hedda Hopper
Child murder victim, Martha Clark - Shirley Temple
Father and Mother of Rachel Ramsden - Peter Lorre and Greta Garbo

Best Documentary: This category was a tie with equal awards going to: Trowbridge: Our Distant Connection To Kings And Emperors and The Melville ScotsThese are two of my earliest blog posts and they both continually pull in the highest number of hits daily. I am especially fond of the absolutely adorable and hunky photo of my husband in his KILT at the bottom of the Melville Scots blog!

Best Biography: This award goes to the second blog post of my blogging career and one that I am quite proud of. Who The Heck Is Alice? is a biography of my children's paternal third great grandmother, Alice McIlvoy Logsdon, the redheaded Irish lass from Belfast, Ireland.

Best Comedy: This award goes to a blog post containing three wacky photos, Silly Saturday Scans - My Parents 1942. Mom and Dad had such a great sense of humor!

And so ends this iGene Awards Ceremony! Goodnight Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming!

(Written for the 102nd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy)


Tombstone Tuesday: Margaret (Newby) Boyer

December 24, 1904* - April 18, 1939
Daughter of Charles Lee and Ida May (Trowbridge) Newby
Wife of Joseph C. Boyer
Glencove Cemetery, Knightstown, Henry Co., Indiana
Margaret was my maternal grandaunt and mother of my cousins Jack and Neil Boyer. 

*Tombstone and Internet birth records show her birth year as 1905. Our family Bible states the year was 1904. Margaret's obituary and the 1910 census also indicate a birth year of 1904. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Obituary of Margaret (Newby) Boyer

December 24, 1904 - April 18, 1939

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

Margaret was the youngest child of Charles Lee and Ida May Trowbridge Newby and the little sister of my maternal grandmother, Mary Fern Newby Runyan. She married Joseph C. Boyer, son of Charles and Rosa Sidenspenner Boyer, on 15 January 1923 and they had 3 children: John Neil, Bernice Jean (died in infancy), and Jack Newby Boyer. It was devastating to the whole family when Margaret died of pneumonia at the age of 34.

The obituary below is transcribed from the newspaper clipping found among my grandmother's keepsakes, probably clipped from the Knightstown Banner.

Mrs. Margaret Boyer
Funeral Services To Be Held Friday Afternoon.
By Special Correspondent.
KNIGHTSTOWN, April 19 - Mrs. Margaret Boyer, 34, died last night at the Henry County hospital. She had been a resident of Knightstown all her life and was taken to the hospital only yesterday. Surviving are a sister, Mrs. Lawrence Runyan of Lewisville; a brother, Maurice Newby of Lowell, Ind.; and the mother, Mrs. Charles Newby of Knightstown.  Funeral Services will be at 2:30 o'clock Friday afternoon at the Wilson funeral home in Knightstown with the Rev. Ernest Addison officiating. Burial will be at Glencove cemetery.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Death of Willie Wallen 1905

March 5, 1885 - February 16, 1905

Willie was the 9th child of William M. and Serena (Sutton) Wallen, youngest brother of my paternal great grandfather, Oliver Morton Wallen. Willie died in Kempner, Lampasas Co., Texas during the move from Rockcastle Co., Kentucky to Sutton Co., Texas. He died less than six weeks before his 20th birthday.

Below is the account of Willie's death and burial, transcribed exactly as written by my great grandfather in his diary.

Feb. 5 – Sun.: Several came in to see Bro. Willie who is very sick.  

Feb. 8 – At home. Willie is no better.  

Feb. 9 – Mr. W. W. Whitis, his son Elzie, Jess and I went to Lampasas 12 mi. west of Kempner. Jess and I bought provision enough to last 4 or 5 weeks. Mr. Whitis and I staid all night with Louis Ulrich 7 mi. east of Lampasas. 

Feb. 10 – We came home.

Feb. 11, 1905 – At home, came a very severe northern about 10 A.M.  

Feb. 12 – At home, very cold. Evry thing is suffering a great deal with cold. Bro. Willie is worse, we had the Dr. with him. He can’t stand cold much.  

Feb. 13 to 15 – At home. Not feeling well. Willie is no better. It has moderated a very pleasant this eve, Feb. 15.  

Feb. 16 – Bro. Willie is very bad this morning. As soon as I ate breakfast I went over to Dr. Harisons and had him come and see him. When we got there he was sinking very fast. Dr. Harison gave him something to stimilate him and he roused up and talked nicely to us all. I don’t think I ever saw any one express a stronger hope than he did. While he wanted to get well he was perfectly reconciled to die and he had a smile on his face all day. Several called to see him, he talked to each one, and asked them to live for Jesus. He talked a great deal about dying and said he was perfectly happy. He had us all kneel and he led us in prayer just about 1 ½ hrs. before he died, he could only whisper. The Lord sent his holy angle and took him home about 6 P.M. “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, blessed be the name of the Lord”. Farewell dear one, ‘tis hard to give thee up but we are sure our loss is heavens gain. Thou art gone from us but we will not forget thee, but ever remember thy loving counsel and cherish and keep it, and at last we will meet again, so goodbye dear Bro. Willie.  

Feb. 17 – Jess got on the 6 o’clock A.M. train and went to Lampasas and got a coffin and robe for Willie, cost $35.00. He made arrangements with Bro. Airhart, Baptist pastor at Lampasas, to come and preach Willie’s funeral at 3 P.M. Jess came back on the 10:40 A.M. train. Bro. Airhart did not get to come and we had to bury Willie without any funeral. We had a song and prayer at the cemetry. We laid him to rest about ½ past 3 P.M. in the Kempner Cemetry about 1 mi. north of Kempner upon a high flat elivation. We laid him near the center of the cemetry. Sleep on dear one and take thy rest. Jesus will come and wake thee up soon. “Blessed be the name of the Lord”. William Thomas Wallen Born Mar. 5, 1885 Died Feb. 16, 1905. It has just been one mo. And two days since we buried Sister Sarah.

Kempner Cemetery, Kempner, Lampasas Co., Texas

Willie was buried without a funeral and without a tombstone. If I ever get to Kempner and I find that high, flat elevation near the center of the Kempner Cemetery, I hope to get permission to place a stone there for him.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Samuel Darling: Temperance Society of Lower Penns Neck, New Jersey

SAMUEL DARLING 1821 - 1891

Samuel Darling was my maternal great great grandfather. He was the son of William and Prissilah Cool (or Priscilla Cole) Darling. Samuel was born in New Jersey where, about the year 1844, he married  Beulah Smith (1827 - 1892) and where 5 of his 10 children were born.  In the 1850 census Samuel, Beulah, and sons William N., Samuel S., and Henry C. are found living in Lower Penn's Neck in Salem county. Samuel and Beulah were members of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and they moved their family to Henry Co., Indiana sometime before 1860. I have very little information on Samuel in his early life before he moved to Indiana, but recently I was able to add a little to my gleanings when I found him listed as a member of the Lower Penns Neck Temperance Society. (Top of column three)

Salem County Historical Society

In 1850 Samuel's neighbors were Charles B. and Artemisia Newell. Samuel and Beulah named two of their children (William Newell and Artemisia) after this couple so I'm interested in knowing more about their relationship, just good friends or could Artemisia be family? Charles Newell is also listed as a member of the Temperance Society.

Samuel died in Spiceland Township, Henry Co., Indiana on 16 Mar 1891 and is buried there in the Circle Grove Cemetery. Beulah died late the following year at the home of her son Samuel and is also buried in Circle Grove. Their daughter Mary Elizabeth Darling Runyan was my maternal great grandmother.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Surname Saturday: TOWNSEND

Joseph L. Townsend 1795 - 1875

Joseph L. Townsend was born November 11, 1795 in New Jersey. Earlier genealogists placed him as Joseph Ludlam Townsend, the son of Daniel Townsend, Jr. and Hannah Lord Townsend of Cape May Co., New Jersey. Daniel was the great grandson of Richard Townsend, the oldest of the three well researched Oyster Bay Townsend brothers.

I have not yet seen actual proof that my ancestor is the son of Daniel and Hannah. Perhaps someone will see this article and provide me with that proof. I suppose I am in some agreement since my Joseph named his first two children Daniel and Hannah. The fact he was born in New Jersey and that his middle initial is L. adds even more interest in that direction. I have yet to find a document where Joseph's middle name is spelled out.

Joseph married Christiana Wheaton, daughter of Uriah Wheaton, on April 18, 1921 in Pike Co., Ohio. Christiana's mother, as far as I know, has not yet been identified for certain. Some say her mother's name was Margaret but I believe they have her confused with Margaret Macky who was Uriah's second wife and not the mother of Christiana, and I have also seen it said that her mother was Margaret Wheaton, first cousin of Uriah. The second two children of Joseph and Christiana were named Eleanor and Uriah W. Christiana's grandmother was Eleanor (Elinor) and her grandfather was also named Uriah.

Two more children were born to Joseph and Christiana, my ancestor Lewis and then William H.

I have been able to identify this family in the 1830 census in Sunfish, Pike Co., Ohio and again in the 1840 census in Roundhead, Hardin Co., Ohio. All children born by those dates are accounted for with the addition, in 1830 only, of two female children that I have not yet identified. William was born shortly after the 1840 census so he does not appear until 1850.

In the 1850 census we find this family in Effingham Co., Illinois. Joseph purchased land there in 1850 and again in 1853. It should be noted that in 1850 Uriah W., who was born in 1832, is clearly listed on the census sheet as "David". For years this threw me off. I searched and searched for anything I could find on David and never found a thing. And why was Uriah missing? I couldn't find Uriah anywhere in 1850. When I was able to identify this family in the 1840 census I realized the name David on the 1850 census was just a simple, but glaring, error. There was only one male child for that age slot listed for this family in the 1840 census and that could only have been Uriah.

In 1856 Joseph, Christiana, Uriah W., Lewis, and William H. all appear on the Benton Co., Iowa State census. The two oldest children, Daniel and Hannah, were both married by this time and were living with their families in Fayette Co., Illinois. In 1857 Joseph purchased land in Benton county.

In 1860 through 1870 Joseph and Christiana are back in Illinois, not in Effingham county this time but near Daniel and Hannah and their families in the neighboring county of Fayette. They took up residence in Sefton Township. Christiana died in Sefton on August 28, 1872 and is buried in the Yolton Cemetery. Joseph died almost two and a half years later on March 19, 1875 and I presume he is also buried in the same cemetery with his wife and other family members but apparently there is no stone or record of his burial.

The children of Joseph and Christiana

Daniel md. Evelina Scoles. They had 8 children and lived in Fayette Co., IL

Hannah md. Abel Scoles (brother of Evelina) and had 7 children. Hannah died in Prowers Co., CO

Eleanor md. George Washington Phifer. They had 8 children and lived in Effingham Co., IL then moved to Sumner Co., KS and later to Bates Co., MO

Uriah W. md. Mary Ann Cameron. They had 8 children and lived in Fayette Co., IL

Lewis md. Mary Ann Patterson and they had 9 children and lived in Fayette Co., IL (Their son Andrew Melvin Townsend was my great grandfather.)

William H. - no information found on William after 1860, however there is a William Townsend who was killed in the Civil War on March 7, 1864 and buried in the Mound City National Cemetery in Pulaski Co., IL who needs to be researched.

There may have been other children born to the children of Joseph and Christiana but these 40 are all that I have found.

My paternal great, great grandparents Lewis and Mary Ann Patterson Townsend  Fayette Co., Illinois

Written for submission to the Townsend Society of America Genealogical Journal


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: Harvey G. and Mallie C. (Davis) Colyer

Harvey Green Colyer 9 Apr 1874 - 2 Oct 1943
Mallie Catherine Davis Colyer 23 Feb 1880 - 18 Jan 1955

"Resting in hope of a glorious resurrection."
Woodstock Cemetery, Pulaski Co., Kentucky

Mallie was my paternal great grandaunt, sister of my great grandmother Sarah Frances Davis Wallen-Livesay. She and Harvey were married in Clarence, Pulaski Co., Kentucky on 28 Nov 1901.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: WWII Letter - Lt. Ross D. Livesay, B17 Pilot

Ross Dudley Livesay 1918 - 2002
782 Bombardment Squadron

Photo via "The Commons" - Allied planes (B17s) over Holland

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

The following letter was originally handwritten by my paternal (half) granduncle Ross Dudley Livesay to his wife Meta Videra (Norris) Livesay. Ross asked Meta to share it with the rest of the family so she made typewritten copies for various family members. Ross's sister Myrtle sent her copy to me a couple of years ago to photocopy and return. There is no date. 

Dear folks,
Yesterday I got a very interesting letter from Ross, and since he is pretty busy, he didn't think he'd have time to write all the details to all of you, so he asked me to share the letter with you. So here 'tis, in full:

          "Am not flying yet but have been very busy the last few days preparing for winter in all this good weather we're having. We came out by truck to our permanent home the other day - a big field, with the camp on top of a round treeless hill and the field below us in the flats. All the offices are in the old Italian buildings and villas and newly built stone buildings. Some of the permanent officers have stone huts, too, but the combat crews all live in tents. Feiten, Kern, Hegel, and I are in one tent (they are the regular GI pyramidal type). It has just been set up and we're making it liveable. By the end of the week we expect to have it airtight, with a door, shelves, clothes rack, desk, a stove, chairs, and a wash stand. There are no materials available besides junked airplanes - very little lumber - so the good old yankee ingenuity is really strained.
          "You see they would have had a place for us, only more crews are coming in than are going out of the squadron and so they have to put up more men than they expected to have. The first nite we didn't even have a tent to sleep in. We were taken in by some kind hearted officers with real old southern Italy hospitality, and we slept on the floor of the tent in our sleeping bags. They have a tiny, chubby pup, hardly bigger than a man's hand, whom they call Flak. You'd go crazy over him - I did too. He is the most energetic little dog you ever saw - always on the go. He sleeps about ten minutes every hour in the little bed they have fixed for him, and the other fifty minutes, day and nite, he is playing around. While we were sleeping on the floor that nite he was always crawling over us, licking our faces, and cuddling up next to our faces. I'll have to take a picture of him for you. While I was in town one day, I was in the PX and a tiny little dog - he was even smaller than Flak - honest, he was no bigger than a full grown rat - came in the door dragging a Hershey bar wrapper. He was indubitably of German Daschund ancestry (just like some of the blond babies all over Italy - German ancestry) and was he playful. He stopped business in the PX right there. I've been kicking myself ever since for not bringing him with me.
          "You asked about the boys from Pueblo. They are scattered all over Italy now - just replacement crews. Note the new address. I am now with the 782nd Bombardment Squadron of the 465th Bombardment Group of the 55th wing of the great 15th Air Force. Out of all loyalty to my new outfit let me say before I forget it that the 15th Air Force is just as good and doing just as good work - if not better - than the 8th A.F.  Of course, we don't get as much publicity because the writers and photographers find it more uncomfortable to live in Italy than in London - and that's a fact.
          "We have a darned good camp here - for combat. We have good food, a nice officer's club with a bar and a reading room with some good, if out of date, magazines. We even have hot showers rigged up by our ingenious mechanics, also hot water for shaving, if we do have to use our steel helmets for wash pans. The group even has a good moving picture every nite, for free, too!
          "Speaking of our ingenious mechanics, those fellows never will be given enough glory. Those boys are really winning this war - just ask any flyer. I don't know why it is that the d--fool newspapermen will always play up the glorious birdmen and ignore the really important man who is always on the job, tuning the poor abused engines, patching flack holes, doing the thousand things necessary to a big bomber before every flight - sometimes even building complete airplanes out of spare parts. If you ever meet anybody who is an aircraft mechanic treat him with respect and give him my regards.
          "I'm going to ask you again not to worry. The losses here are very light and what we do lose many, many times walk back through Yugoslavia with the aid of Marshall Tito's partisans and many more land in Germany and are made prisoners. You'd be surprised at how many men have come back to this group after having "hit the silk" over enemy territory. So if I show up "missing in action" don't give me up for lost for a few weeks. You'll be notified by the quickest means possible when the army learns what happened to me.
          "We'll have to finish at least fifty missions before we come back to the states, but they go pretty fast in good weather. Some of the missions count double if the target is especially tough, and you can walk from plane to plane on the flak!!
          "I haven't time to write a letter like this to everybody, as much as I'd like to have them all know about the adventures of a GI tourist. Would it be too much trouble to lend this letter to Dad, Sula, Hobart, Myrtle and Mrs. Miller? From now on I can probably keep them all informed myself, since there won't be so much to tell.
          "PS Hegel has a nice radio in the tent and we get all kinds of stations. Of course we can't understand most of the talking, but we get some swell music.
          "PPS I meant to tell you that we have cots to sleep on now. Also to tell you what a typical stove consists of: the top half cut off of a gasoline drum, fed by airplane tubing from an oxygen tank outside of the tent. For smoke pipes we use flare cans or 3 inch anti-aircraft shell hulls with the flanges cut off and placed end to end. All procured by "moonlight requisitioning", a great institution over here."

          That's the end of the letter. The new address he refers to is this:
                    Lt. R.D.. 0713498
                    782 Bomb. Sqdn.  465 Bomb. Grp.
                    A.P.O. #50 C/o Postmaster
                    New York, N.Y.