Monday, December 31, 2012

Military Monday: Uncle Billy A. Wallen

Happy New Year to all! I am finishing out the year with a couple of photos of my paternal uncle, (my only uncle), Billy Athol Wallen, circa 1955, when he served our country as a Paratrooper in the U.S. Army. Isn't he a handsome fella?

Billy A. Wallen circa 1955 - U.S. Army
Billy A. Wallen -Paratrooper- U.S. Army

Thanks for your service Uncle Bill!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Charles Alexander and Josie (Bean) Logsdon

Charles Alexander Logsdon, son of William and Alice (McIlvoy) Logsdon, married Ann Josephine "Josie" Bean on 4 Sep 1878 at St. Charles Church in St. Mary, Marion Co., Kentucky. 

Josie was the daughter of Ignatius Eulogius "Logan" and Margaret (Warren) Bean. Josie was the great granddaughter of Clotilda (Vincent) Bean who I have written about before. 

Charles Alexander and Ann Josephine (Bean) Logsdon circa 1878
Charles and Josie had 8 children before Josie died in 1907; Alice, Herman, Josie, Agnes (Sister Baptista), Charlie, Leslie, Marie, and Lillie. Leslie was my husband's grandfather. Leslie died young, before his children were grown.

Photo courtesy of the descendants of Herman Logsdon, particularly John F. Hagan with whom I have had the pleasure of corresponding.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Daniel and Lucinda (Tyree) Walling - Beyond 1860

Lucinda Tyree was born in Scott Co., Virginia in 1838. She was the oldest daughter of Jesse and Rosanna (Roberts) Tyree. Her father was the uncle of my maternal 3rd great grandmother, Louisa (Tyree) Wallen. 

Lucinda married Daniel Walling, brother of Louisa's husband Jesse B. Wallen, in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky in 1854. (Wallen and Walling were interchangeable within my early family and I use here the spelling carried on by descendants of these siblings.)

In late 1861, or early 1862, Daniel, Lucinda, and their two sons William and James, left for Indiana along with Daniel's father William II, and his brothers, William III and Isaac, and their families. Eventually, they all came back to Rockcastle Co., Kentucky except for William III and his family.

Daniel and Lucinda had a third son, Daniel W., born shortly after arriving in Indiana. It appears that Daniel Sr. was having an affair with a young woman in Indiana, Nancy McCloud, who gave birth to a son, Connard Walling, in 1871. Daniel and Lucinda then show up in the Rockcastle county tax records in 1872 through 1875. By 1877, Daniel had returned to Indiana to wed Nancy, daughter of George W. and Eunice (Bray) McCloud. By this time young Daniel was about 15 years old and Connard had just turned 6.

In 1880 Lucinda and her two youngest boys turn up in Rawlins Co., Kansas and she is listed as divorced. In undated Rawlins county homestead records she is listed:  Walling, Lucinda - Section NE 20, Twp. 5,  Range 31. In 1885 they are all three listed again in the Rawlins Co., Kansas state census, Jefferson Township. This time, Lucinda is listed as widowed.

Lucinda and Daniel's oldest son, William Jesse, married Kitty Mahala Houston in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky in 1873. Instead of going to Kansas with his mother and siblings, he and Kitty went to Nebraska to live and years later they would move to Wyoming. They had a dozen known children, three born in Kentucky and nine born in Nebraska.

Daniel and Nancy would have a total of 5 children together before Daniel died. His last child was born in 1885 and it is thought that he likely died prior to that birth or shortly after. Death and burial records have not yet been discovered.

Lucinda seems to disappear after that 1885 state census. I have seen a death date and place of 1892 in Kentucky in unsourced research on, but, as of this date, those researchers seem to be completely unaware of anything about Lucinda or Daniel after 1860; not the move to Indiana, the birth of Daniel W., the out-of-wedlock birth of Connard, the return to Kentucky, nor the split of Lucinda and Daniel or Daniel's return to Indiana and marriage to Nancy. Neither do they know of Lucinda's move with her sons to homestead in Kansas. If they don't know any of these things, where does this death date come from? Ancestry makes it impossible to know who said what first. 

Did Lucinda and her sons construct a sod house like this one?
I wanted to tell Lucinda and Daniel's story just because of how it seems to come to a stop at 1860 everywhere else...just because there was a lot more to their lives, and because pioneer women like Lucinda are fascinating, homesteading on her own with only her two boys...young men at the time. I wish I could know more. Did she and her sons construct a sod house, like so many other homesteaders? Did she, perhaps, remarry, or did she die of hardship and get buried in an unmarked grave? Could she have died in 1892 after moving back home to Kentucky? So many questions I hope to have answered someday!

*Update* Thanks to my distant cousin Nan Harvey, Tyree researcher extraordinaire, I have the source for the 1892 death date for Lucinda Tyree Walling! From "The Tyree Trail With Allied Lines of Adams and Blair" by Ella Rae Wilson Coleman, Gateway Press 1987 " pg. 44: Lucinda Tyree, b. 11 November 1838 in Scott Co., VA., d. 1892, Rockcastle Co., KY, m. in Rockcastle Co., KY on 24 July 1854 David (sic) Wallen.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Harvey J. Moore and Family

Harvey J. and Florence Polly (Melvin) Moore
and  her daughter Florence Edna
 Kentucky circa 1923


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Oliver's Diary: The Death of Sister Lucy 1901

The very last entries in book #1 (of 4 books) of Oliver's Diary, tell about his sister Lucy's illness and her death approximately a week later. Oliver's mother, Serena (Sutton) Wallen, probably had tuberculosis long before the birth of her first child. Serena would give birth to 9 children before she died at the age of 35. All 9 of her children died fairly young. The local newspapers attributed each of their deaths to Tuberculosis.

The first of William and Serena's children to die was Emiline. Emiline died in 1879 at the age of 4. In 1886, between six and seven years later, and about a year after her 9th child was born, Serena passed away. At least she did not have to bear the sorrow of seeing the rest of her children suffer from illness and death. 

The second child to die was Mary. Mary was a young mother at the time. She died at age 33 in 1895. The third child to die was Louesa in 1896 at age 19. Fourth was Lucy, the subject of this post. Lucy died in 1901 at the age of 17. Fifth to leave the famiy was Sarah Elizabeth in 1905 at age 25. Sixth to go was Willie in 1905 at age 19. Seventh to pass away was my great grandfather Oliver in 1907 at age 36. Oliver was a father of five children, my grandfather and two sets of twins. Eighth to go was Euna Ellen in 1907, another young mother, age 35. The ninth and last to leave was Jesse Uriah in 1917, at age 44, never married. Father William outlived them all, passing away in 1922 of heart disease, leaving a second wife and six more children.

Oliver does not give as much detail in Lucy's death as he does with Sarah Elizabeth and his youngest sibling  Willie . This is the record he leaves us in his diary about his sister Lucy's passing in the year 1901:

Mar. 8 – Went to Dr. Isaac’s and got a truss he had ordered for me. Went from there to Grandma’s and staid all night. Found sister Lucy very low. 

Mar. 9 – Staid at Grandma’s until noon. Came home. 

Mar. 10 – Sunday. Feeling very tough. At home all day.

Mar. 11, 1901 – Jess came out to see me, said Lucy was worse. He went home after noon.

Mar. 12 – Mary S. Denny and Cordia Burnette came out to see Sarah. I got a message from Jess, said Lucy wants me to come and baptize her. I went and baptized her at 4 P.M. Bro. John Cash assisted me. Staid all night at Grandma’s. Lucy very low. 

Mar. 13 – Went to Maretsburg to meet Dr. M. L. Bryant. He came to see Lucy. Staid all night at Grandma’s. 

Mar. 14 – Staid at Grandma’s with Lucy until after noon, then came home. 

Mar. 15 – John Norton and Ben Price came after me, got to my house at 4 A.M. Said that Lucy died at 1 A.M. I went to Grandma’s and ate dinner, from there to R. L. Bray’s and helped to select a place to bury Lucy. Staid at Grandma’s.

Lucy (C.) Daughter of W. M. Wallen
B. Aug 15 1883 - D Mch 15 1901
Wallen/Francisco Cemetery, Wabd, Kentucky

Mar. 16, 1901 – Lucy was laid to rest by the side of sister Lieuesa at ½ past 12 o’clock. There was not any funeral service. Bro. John Cash led in prayer. The choir sang “Where is now my brother dear”. Lucy gave us good evidence that she was going to rest. While we grieve to give her up, we rejoice to think she is with Jesus. And so may the Lord take us all. 

Rest in Peace, great grandaunt Lucy!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Newby Farmhouse Restoration, Post-Tornado

In yesterday's blog post I told about the tornado that ransacked my great grandparent's farm in Spiceland, Indiana the night my mother, Janet Runyan, was born. Mom related the events to me many times, just as she had been told them by her mother and her grandparents, Charles and Ida (Trowbridge) Newby. The photos included in that post are the main witness to the extent of the damage inflicted on the house and it's surroundings.

Charles Lee Newby was a carpenter by trade so he took to making repairs right away. He also made a few improvements by enclosing the second story side balcony and enlarging the shed so he could park his car and buggy under roof.  He also had to build a brand new barn due to the complete destruction of the old one. Below are the photos of the finished work.

My great grandparents, grandparents, Aunt Lela, and great aunts and uncles on the front porch of the newly reconstructed farmhouse.
A more distant view including the enlarged shed/garage. My great grandfather Charles leaning on his car, and my grandfather Lawrence Runyan and his daughter, my aunt Lela standing in the doorway.
A front view of the shed/garage with the new barn behind it in the distance

In May of 1999 my mother and I made a week long trip to Kentucky and Indiana. Once in Indiana we went looking for her grandparent's home. We didn't have any trouble finding it and we both recognized it as soon as we saw it through the trees. I had seen the photos so often that I had no doubt, this was it. My mother insisted we drive up the lane to the house to meet the owners. I was mortified! I didn't like dropping in on strangers unannounced! But Mom insisted. As we drove up and got out of the car we were greeted by the owners of the home, and when they found out who my mother was they invited us on a tour of the house. They were as excited to meet us as we were to be there! This young couple, who had five children if I remember correctly, had not owned the house long and they were in the process of restoring it to it's original blueprint. They asked my mother question after question. She pointed here and there, remembering a closet, a table, a furnace. We went upstairs. Her grandparents bedroom was there, the room she was never allowed in as a child. Mom told me she remembered looking from the doorway and seeing the stand  where my great grandmother kept the big Bible where all the family names and events are recorded. The very same Bible which is now in my possession!

When we finally left the couple, we exchanged addresses and over the years they wrote to my mother with all the new details of family and house restoration. I sent them all the old photos of the house and in exchange they sent me a 2 inch stack of papers of all the legal transactions from the house and land, the earliest being a warranty deed dated January 2nd 1832, and noting that: "The west half of the northeast quarter of section 20, township 16, range 10 east, was entered April 14th, 1824 by Thomas Maudlin as noted on page 23 of the entry book of lands in Henry County, Indiana, and according to the original survey contains 80 acres".

The most obvious renovation to the house was the return of the second story balcony that my great grandfather closed in when he made the repairs after the tornado. The photos below are more recent photos and reflect how the house looks today.

About 2004, 80 years after the tornado
The second story balcony is back, and this time with a stairway all to itself!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mom was "Born in a Tornado" - Indiana 1924

"I was born in a tornado" least that's how my mother told it. My mother, Janet Runyan, was born in a hospital on the evening of June 8, 1924 in New Castle, Indiana. A tornado hit the area that night and her grandparent's farmhouse in nearby Spiceland was partially destroyed. Below is a series of photos of the home taken pre-tornado and after the damage.

Pre-tornado (note the balcony on the side)

Roof torn off, balcony railing gone, considerable damage

A view from where the barn stood, looking at the shed and side of house

Another view of the damaged shed

Surveying the damage

Tree damage. What tree?
My mother said she was told they later found a chicken feather embedded in a tree so deep it couldn't be pulled out. Imagine that! She said her mother told her there were chickens with their feathers blown backwards and the feathers remained like that until the chickens molted. Hmmmm...

The Spiceland farmhouse was rebuilt, with improvements, by my maternal great grandfather, Charles Lee Newby. I'll post those photos tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Fountain and Mary Rash

Fountain Fox and Mary (Martin) Rash circa 1885
Mary was the sister of my paternal great, great grandmother, 
Ursula Ann  (Martin) Davis Burnette


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday: To My Complete Surprise

Charlie Wallen was one of my dad's paternal first cousins. Until January 1, 1998, I didn't know anything about Charlie. Our family had moved around and we were all in different parts of the country. We kept up more with Mom's side of the family than we did Dad's. 

Charlie circa 2007
When Charlie called me on that first day of 1998, it was because he, as a genealogist, was looking for other members of the family and had found me in his search. Charlie had been working on our family history for about 16 years at that time and I was fairly new to genealogy, only 3 years worth then. That was the beginning of a long and close relationship that ended with Charlie's passing in October of 2009.

In early 2005, Charlie decided to sell his home and move into an assisted living facility. He was still sharp of mind but his physical condition was deteriorating. He couldn't take all his years of accumulated genealogy with him so, with the help of his wonderful sister-in-law Betty, most of those things were packed up and mailed to me. In late March five very large boxes arrived at my house. It felt sad to me because I thought I'd never be doing genealogy with Charlie again. Thankfully, I was wrong. Charlie continued from his little room, on his computer, with the few books he kept, to plug away on his database, just as addicted as ever.

Most of the genealogy books that arrived at my house that day were duplicates of the ones I already had and most of Charlie's files on his paternal family had long ago been copied and sent to me over the years. Everything he thought I'd want, he had copied and sent to me via "snail-mail". I did the same for him. We copied and exchanged everything. In fact, I was surprised to see that every manila envelope I'd sent him over the years, arrived back to me in those boxes and the sheer number of envelopes with my name on them made me laugh with joy. Charlie and I had done some serious postal correspondence, not to mention all the daily e-mailing and weekly phone conversations!

All the duplicate books, 59 in all, promptly went up for sale on eBay. In my auction listings, because I didn't feel right about accepting money for them, I stated that 100% of the proceeds for the books would go to help fund the new youth building that was under construction at my church. In the last minutes of the auction the bidding became frenzied, it was very exciting! When all was finished, I had over $930.00 to donate to the church and there were a lot of happy auction winners, some who won books that were no longer in print. 

Weeks later, the rest of the binders full of pages and pages of genealogy, each page in a page protector, and all the manila folders full of more pages, were consolidated into two boxes and put into storage. Over the years, other things got piled in front and on top of those boxes but I never worried about it. I knew they were there, and they were safe, and there was nothing in them that I didn't already have or know about. Or so I thought.

Photos, some I'd never seen
This week we started clearing that room where those two boxes were stored. I separated the two boxes of genealogy from the rest of the boxes and yesterday I moved them into my recently reorganized office. I couldn't resist reaching into one of the manila envelopes and when I did, I pulled out a bunch of photos. What? I thought I'd looked through everything! There were photos here I had not seen. Woot! So I started rummaging...there were more photos, and there were some original certificates: birth, marriage, death, etc., that I had previously only had copies of. Then, this morning I was transferring the binders to a better box and I opened one of the smaller binders and, to my complete surprise, it was full of copies of photos of members of the family that I had never seen. How Charlie had overlooked making duplicates of these photos for me is a mystery. He was always giddy with excitement to share everything with me. These were oversights, I have no doubt, and were there just waiting for me to discover them so I could become excited all over again.

The binder of copied photos

So, I have new treasures to inspect, new faces to put with names that previously had none. Gloat.

I wonder what else I'll find? I have a feeling I'm in for more surprises.

Thanks Charlie!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Wm. H. Moore Family 1932

The Moore Family - 20 Aug 1932 
William H. and Ruth Bell (Melvin) Moore and children: Buddy, Mildred, and LaVerne
Ruth Bell was sister of my husband's maternal grandmother Florence Polly


Monday, October 29, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Will of Francis Toms 1633-1712

Francis Toms Sr. was my maternal 8th great grandfather and part of my Quaker heritage. In 1689 his daughter Mary Toms, married Gabriel Newby, son of William and Isabel (Turner) Newby. My Newby ancestors finally daughter out with my maternal grandmother, Mary Fern (Newby) Runyan. 

Detailed Toms genealogy is contained in The Batchelor-Williams Families and Related Lines by Lyle Keith Williams, Fort Worth, Texas, 1976. According to Williams, "Francis Toms 'who came into Virginia about 1649' and was 'age 77 in 1710,' lived about nine years in Martin's Brandon on the South Side of James River (Charles City County, now Prince George County). He then moved to the adjoining county of Surry about 1660, and in 1669 moved to North Carolina. He was among the earliest settlers of Albemarle County, North Carolina. He and his family were accepted in the Society of Friends in 1672".

Friends Meeting House New Garden, NC 1869

The Will of Francis Toms Sr.

Perquomons In No Carolina ye 6th Day of ye 10 Month 1709 I Francis Tomes Snr being of a Sound mind & memory considering ye Uncertainty of this life Doe make & ordain this my last will & testament In manner & forme as followeth Vizt My will is that my estate Shall not be brought to an apraisemt but shall be distributed according to my will att ye Discretion of my Executors hereafter named & after my Just Debts are paid. I bequeath my Estate as followeth. I Give to my loving wife Mary Tomes all her waring apparrel Her Sadle Horse Her White pasing mare & her coult To her & her heirs for Ever. I Give to my loving wife all my houshould Goods & both Iron Brass peuter & other necessaries belonging To us Keeping that Steds Cuboards Chears Chests. I Give unto my loving wife three feather beds with what furniture is belonging to them During her natural Life for her Service & for ye Service of Gods people Messengers & Ministers that he Send amongst us wch feather beds to be keept in ye porch Chamber for Gods Messengers & Ministers to Lodge In & my sd wife Shall not Imbasel nor Sell away of ye Said Goods out of ye house nor of ye plantation for they Doe belong to my Son Francis Tomes & his heirs for to keep up ye truth for ye Honour of God as I have done before him too End of Time. I Give unto my Loving wife Eight Cows & Calves by their Side, foure Stear & one bull & ten sows & six Hillable Barrows & Six yewes & one Ram all which my Executors shall leave In ye hands of my Loving wife for her Sustenance & maintanace During her Natural life. I Give unto my Loving wife this manner house & all ye houses orchards & all ye Clear Ground between Reehers & ye Bridge & So to Thigpens land & Timber for rales or to Repair House or to Build on ye plantation During her natural Life. I Give to my Loving wife my horse mill & my Still & ye two mill horses During her Natural Life. I Give to my loving wife three negroes James, Moll & Pattemore During her natural life. Also Will Plato & Vestaleve till they are free. I Give to my loving wife my Loome & all ye Gores belonging to itt & all my Shoemakers Tools During her natural life. I Give to my wife my Harro & harn hoes & axes weaden hoes hilling Hoes & all other Tools belonging to ye Cropp for her Life. I Give to my son Francis Tomes Six hundred & forty acres of land my negro Sam both to him & his heirs for Ever. I Give to my Son Joshuath Tomes my negroe Mingo to him & his heirs for Ever. I Give to my Son Francis Tomes Six hundred & forty acres of land lying between Reahors land & that as was called Vosses being James Morgins To him & to his lawfully begotten or Shall be ---- of his one body for ever. I Give to my Son Francis Tomes --- fifty acres of land lying on ye sd ---- of Vosse Creak & So running to ye ---- To him & his heirs for Ever. I Give to my Son Joshua Tomes four hundred acres of Land lying on ye -------- to him & his heirs for ever lawfully begotten ------ lawfully to be begotten of his one body for Ever. I --- Give to my three Children namely Francis Tomes Joshua Tomes & Presela Nicholson to each of them one feather bed with furniture that ------- for ye said beds. I Give to my loving Daughter Mary Newby five Shillings for she had her portion when she married Gabriell. I Give to my Grandson Francis Newby Three hundred acres of land lying on the South west of Vosse Creak att ye foot of ye Bridge to him & his heirs for Ever. I Give to my Son Francis & Joshua & Presela Nicholson all ye remaining part of my Estates that Horses & mare Cattle Hoggs & Sheep to be Equally devided between them three ---, my sadle horse Sorrester I Give to Preselo Nicholson & what Debts is Due to me Either att home or abroad to be Devided into four parts one for Francis Tomes one for Joshua Tomes one for my wife one for Presela Nicholson Equally to be Devided between them foure. I Give to my wife my Bible & Isack Penningtons Booke & Francis Kongols (?) Book & ye Bob Witlet (?) Book & a book Called Marage Lost (?). I Give to my loving wife one Third part of all my tand leather & ye rest to be devided as afsd. I Give unto my loving wife one --- & a halfe of barrels with ye H----- belonging to ye Still, but If my loving wife Shall marry or move of ye plantation she shall not any of ye houshould Goods or stock from of ye plantation for Itt belongs to my Son Francis Tomes for him to act & Doe as a afsd to the Honour of God, but my Son Shall not by his one Inheritance but if my wife will stay upon ye plantation She shall not be molested During her Life. I Give to my Son Francis Tomes all my Coopers Tools. I Give to my Son Joshua my Currier knife & Still, but if my Debts Shall be brought Justly against my Estate after it is Devided then my loving wife & all my Three Children Shall pay Equall Shares. I Doe appoint my two Loving Sons Francis Tomes & Joshua Tomes To be my Executors to this my Last will Performed as Witnessed my hand & Seal ye Day & year above Said memorandum that after ye Death of my wife negroe Jane to Francis & Moll to Joshua.

Wittness hereunto-----
WB Francis Tomes
William Boge Mathew N Alberson
John Stepny

Since Itt hath pleased almighty God to take out of this world my Father In law Jno. Nichols my will is that that pt of my Estate I have Given to my Daughter Presilla now wife of Jno Kinsely to be devided ye one half to her ye other half to ye children of her by Jno Kinsely Deceased & my will is that ye windmill now building on ye plantation I live on for ye free hold my wife & Children having ye use thereof She freely for grindeing their familyes Corne helping & paying their portion toward ye keeping & repair & This I Doe declare to be a Codicil to my will.

Fred Jones 
Francis Tomes
Joseph Carron

To this lengthy post I have decided to include an interesting snippit taken from the Greensboro, N.C. Daily News dated Sunday, 9 Aug 1936. It is a quote from Alpheus Briggs' manuscript on Quakerism. A cache of old Quaker Meeting records had recently been discovered in a home once owned by the Lambs and before that, the Newbys; most likely Gabriel and Mary (Toms) Newby, my ancestors, although the article doesn't specify. According to Briggs, the records indicate that the home of Francis Toms Sr. was the original meeting place of the first North Carolina Yearly Meeting.

Greensboro, N.C. Daily News
Sunday, August 9, 1936

In his manuscript, page 11, Briggs writes: "On the 4th day of 4th mo. 1698 at the home of Henry White the Quarterly Meeting by unanimous agreement decide to organize a yearly meeting to be held at this center at the home of Francis Toms the elder." This was no doubt the nearest approach to a beginning to North Carolina Yearly Meeting that any existing records show. "There is hardly any question," Briggs manuscript continues, "but that this quarterly meeting and yearly meeting was 'set up' by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and not by London Yearly Meeting as some have held."


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Runyan Siblings 1955

Grace Anna (Runyan) Crim and her brother, my maternal grandfather,
Lawrence Everett Runyan, Indiana 1955


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Robert and Jane Whiteley

Robert Henry Whiteley:  21 Aug 1815 - 22 Jan 1894
Jane Whiteley: 6 Oct 1820 - 22 May 1896
Tombstone of Robert and Jane Whiteley
Circle Grove Cemetery - Spiceland, Indiana

Robert and Jane (Woollen) Whiteley were my maternal 3rd great grandparents. More information and photos may be found at the following links:

Note: Surname is most commonly spelled "Whiteley". The second e is left off the tombstone.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

1836 Marriage Bond: Uriah Sutton to Euna Delaney

Uriah Sutton and Euna Delaney were my paternal 3rd great grandparents. The part of Lincoln county where they lived and were married, later became part of Rockcastle Co., Kentucky. Uriah and Euna had 11 known children.  

Lincoln Co., Kentucky 1836

Marriage Bond dated 10 Sep 1836
Signed by Uriah Sutton and Euna's father, Joseph Delaney

Know all men by these presents that we Uriah L(?) Sutton and Joseph Delany are held and firmly bound unto the commonwealth of Kentucky in the final sum of ₤100 witness our hands and seals this 10 day of September 1836 whereas this(?) is a license about to be issued from the clerks office of the Lincoln County Court for a marriage intended between the above bound Uriah (?) Sutton and Unah Delany. Now should there be no legal cause to obstruct said marriage then this obligation to be void.
Test                                  Uriah Sutton
G.(?) H. McKinny               Joseph Delany

Note: This is the only time I have ever seen a middle initial for Uriah and I am unable to be sure if it is L or S as in both instances above it is very faded. I'm not sure about that lira symbol before the sum but I imagine it was supposed to be a dollar sign. I have placed a question mark where I was unsure of letters. I use the spelling Delaney in my records as that is the more commonly seen spelling and the name Euna is a family name passed down for several generations and was almost always spelled incorrectly.

More information about Uriah and Euna (and Uriah's second wife) can be found at this link:


Saturday, September 29, 2012

SSN Application: William Jesse Wallen 1937

This application for a social security number was filled out by my paternal grandfather, William J. Wallen in March of 1937 when he still worked for Electrolux in Greencastle, Indiana. He and my grandmother had been married 17 years and they had three young children. 

SSN Application - William Jesse Wallen - 14 Mar 1937

When my parents married, my Grandfather Bill must have talked up Electrolux to my mother because after our family was finally able to afford such a high end vacuum cleaner, it was the only brand my mother would ever own.


SSN Application: Illinois (Townsend) Wallen 1958

This is the application for a Social Security number filled out by my paternal grandmother, Iva Illinois (Townsend) Wallen in March of 1958. "Noy" was already grandmother to 5 children at the time she filled this out. My grandfather deserted her about 1954 and they divorced sometime in the early 1960s.

Grandmother Noy lived with her daughter Jeanne for the rest of her life. Aunt Jeanne had divorced in 1951 and neither woman ever remarried.


Friday, September 28, 2012

SSN Application - Lawrence E. Runyan 1936

This application for a social security number was filled out by my maternal grandfather, Lawrence Everett Runyan, in 1936. I was filled with memories when I received this document as I remember well the square print my grandfather always used. This may be the only thing I have in his hand.

SSN Application - Lawrence Everett Runyan - 3 Dec 1936

My mother would have been 11 years old at this time. I had to laugh when I saw that Granddad left out one of the E's in his middle name when he filled this out! My grandmother often spelled his first name with a U instead of a W.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Orphans From Rockcastle Co., Kentucky 1873-1910

This article may be of interest to that part of my family who descend from, or are in some other way related to, Oliver Morton Wallen, my paternal great grandfather. It may also interest those doing research on other families who lived in Rockcastle Co., Kentucky. 

Along with the Wallen children and others listed here, are the Cress children who I am familiar with: Derrell Mitchell Cress, Eddie L. Cress, and Lizzie C. Cress. They are the youngest children of Derrell M. Cress Sr. and his third wife Sarah Elizabeth (Warren) Cress. Derrell Sr. is mentioned in Oliver's diary and Derrell Sr. and two of his daughters married distant relatives in our family.  The Wallen children listed in this article are James Hobert and his twin Charles Homer, Sula Susan and her twin Thomas Miller, and my grandfather William Jesse, all children of Sarah Frances (Davis) Wallen and her deceased husband Oliver.

From the Mt. Vernon Signal Newspaper dated 14 Jan 1910:

Article from the Mt.
Vernon Signal dated
14 Jan 1910
Orphans sent from Rockcastle county to Masonic Widows and Orphans Home, Louisville, beginning in the year 1873 are named below; Alice and Theodosia Denson were the first, Charles E. and Wm. C. Argenbright, Livingston; Goebel and Sherman Bowers, Jack Adams Carter and Mary Carter, Brodhead; Harrison Clark, Cline Clark, D. M. Cress, E. L. Cress, L. C. Cress, Ed Herron, John Herron, Hazel Salyers, James Scarbrough, Nora Scarbrough, Herbert (sic) Wallen, Homer Wallen, Susie S. Wallen, Thomas M. Wallen and Wm. J. Wallen, from Mt. Vernon. Many of these remained at the Home and received good educations and are today leading, business citizens in various states. Others were permitted to return to their former homes or homes found for them by their relatives before finishing their education. There are now remaining in the home nine Rockcastle children ranging in ages from 5 to 15, all getting along nicely and well satisfied with the kind treatment received and their progress in securing an education and learning various useful trades and callings.

The story (with photos) of Sarah and the children's return to Kentucky after Oliver's death in Texas, and the subsequent placing of the children in the Masonic Home, can be read here: Tombstone Tuesday: Oliver's Tomb, Then And Now ~ Sarah's Return.

A photo of Sarah and all five of the Wallen children at the Masonic Home and another photo of the exterior of the Masonic Home from the approximate time period can be seen here: Wordless Wednesday: At The Louisville Masonic Widows And Orphans Home


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Harvey and Rose Logsdon

Joseph Harvey Logsdon and mother Rose Lee (Mattingly) Logsdon
Father and Grandmother of my husband Mike
Louisville, Kentucky circa late 1940s


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: Nancy Eliza (Martin) Brown

Nancy was the daughter of James Monroe and Susannah (Grabeel) Martin. She was the sister of my paternal great, great grandmother, Ursula Ann (Martin) Davis-Burnette. Nancy was born 10 Dec 1850 in Lee Co., Virginia. She married Pleasant H. Brown on 16 Oct 1868 in Pulaski Co., Kentucky and died a little over two years later.
Tombstone of Nancy E. Brown, Friendship Cemetery, Rockcastle Co., Kentucky


Monday, August 27, 2012

Military Monday: Pvt. James Alexander Grunden

Pvt. James A. Grunden 1841-1906
James A. Grunden was the son of Joseph and Martha (Dungan) Grunden. He was the brother of my maternal great, great grandmother, Mary Louisa (Grunden) Newby. This photo was in our collection as an "unknown" for many, many years, until I accidentally met my cousin Frances, James's great granddaughter. To my amazement, Frances had a duplicate of this same photo! This discovery was one of the most startling cases of serendipity in my early days of genealogy.

James was a private in Co. B. of the19th Indiana Infantry and a part of the famous "Iron Brigade". His outfit went through the worst: Gettysburg, Antietam, and many other big battles.The Iron Brigade suffered the highest number of battle deaths during the war. 115 men made up Co. B. when they left Richmond, Indiana in 1861 and only 10 of those men returned in 1865. James was one who returned.

James can probably attribute his survival to an accident that happened early in his service. One night while standing guard, his musket accidentally discharged, blowing off the forefinger of his right hand. This wound would prevent him from ever using a musket, so when he returned he was assigned to driving an ambulance. James drove the ambulance for nearly four years.

Some of James's story is told in On Many A Bloody Field: Four Years In The Iron Brigade by Alan D. Gaff. There is another photo of him in uniform on page 364 that was donated to the author by my cousin Frances. Frances had a large oil painting done from that photo which is now proudly displayed in her home.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

And George Cook Makes Six

When I received the obituary of John B. Cook, saying he was the youngest of six children, I assumed it was a simple error. After all, who knows who wrote that obituary? The only immediate family member left was John's son Charles who was living in California when John died. John had resided in Indiana all his life and was living in a home for the elderly for a number of years with his wife who had died two years before him. It appeared to me that someone at the home had written the obituary. What if they were mistaken about the number of older siblings John had?

When, just a short time later, another researcher pointed out that a George Cook had married Sarah Ann Kirkpatrick, sister of Nancy Jane Kirkpatrick, wife of John's oldest brother Allison, I was in denial for almost a year. How could there be a sibling I knew absolutely nothing about? Last week I decided it was time to chase it down.

I knew that my maternal third great grandparents, Giles and Martha (Brown) Cook had five children. One daughter, Elizabeth Ann, had died as a toddler and was buried next to her parents in the Reddick Cemetery in Rush Co., Indiana. The other four siblings, Allison, Phoebe, Eliza Jane, and John B. appear in two group photos in our family album. One photo was of just the siblings, the other included their spouses. Their mother Martha died in 1841, probably due to complications of giving birth to John, and in 1842 Giles married again to the widow Rebecca (Goble) Parkhurst who had already given birth to at least ten children from her first marriage. Only three of those Parkhurst children lived to see 1850.

Giles Cook (see end note)
By the time the 1850 census was taken, Giles had farmed all his children out except for the youngest, John. I never understood the practice of farming out your children after you remarried, especially teenage boys that could help with farm chores, but I've come across it quite often on both sides of my family.  None of the three living Parkhurst children were in the home either, but Giles and Rebecca had added three brand new Cook children to the fold: William, Margaret Ellen, and Amanda Jane. Three others had been born dead or died as newborns.

In 1850 Allison, 16 years old and the oldest child, was living on the farm of a couple who had a large family. My ancestor, Phoebe, 14, was living with her maternal grandparents, George and Rebecca (Sutherland) Brown. Eliza Jane, 11, was living with her uncle and maternal aunt, Peter and Phoebe (Brown) Smelzer. Eliza would later marry her step brother, George Mason Parkhurst. John B., as I said, was living with his father and step-mother along with his three half-siblings.

When I received John's obituary from the Knightstown Banner, and was later alerted to the fact that Allison's sister-in-law had married a George Cook who was just one year younger than Allison, I knew it was possible that brothers had married sisters. However, Cook is a common name, so I was hesitant to jump to conclusions. So, last week, I decided to  re-examine the 1840 census. Sure enough, there were two boys in the 1830 - 1835 age slot, not one. I searched and searched for George in the 1850 census. Nothing. Where was the 15 year old living? The only possibility I found was in Tippecanoe Co., Indiana. But that was pretty far from Rush county. What made it intriguing though, was the presence of a slightly older boy, Samuel Cook, and two young men with the surname Brown, all living in the same household. If this was our George, who would later marry Sarah Ann Kirkpatrick, these others could all be family members, uncles or cousins. So far, I have not been able to come up with anything worth while on that.

Over the next few days I was able to locate George and Sarah Ann and their family in every other census up until their deaths. George died in 1895 and Sarah Ann married her second husband, Richard Abernathy, in 1901. Sarah died in 1929 and she and George are buried in the Brookside Cemetery in Windfall, Indiana.

Cook siblings in order of age
I still have a lot of work to do to fill in all the accumulated information on George's many descendants in my database. I don't have absolute proof George belongs, but I do have enough bits of evidence to convince me that I need to accept him into the family.  Adding to what I've already mentioned are naming patterns; George may have been named after his maternal grandfather, George Brown, and he named a daughter Martha, possibly after his mother. He named a daughter Nancy Jane, after his wife's sister. George's age also fits him perfectly between Allison and Phoebe. Then there is the obituary of Allison's wife Nancy, where it states that George's son John came all the way from Windfall, Tipton Co., Indiana to attend the funeral. But of course, we know Nancy was his maternal aunt. Was Allison also his paternal uncle? And lastly, there is a family history written a couple of generations later by the granddaughter of Amanda Jane, daughter of Giles and Rebecca, that states that Giles and Martha had eight children before Martha died. If John B. Cook told of being the youngest of six children, it is possible he was not including the toddler Elizabeth Ann, who died before he was born. If the family history is correct, then I'm still one child short somewhere. Another child who, perhaps, died young.

Note: Photo of Giles Cook was from a copy, made for me, of a tintype owned by half-cousin Kathy, very likely made on the farm in Rush county. The two little girls are not identified but, if it is a very early tintype, these may be his two youngest daughters, Margaret Ellen and Amanda Jane, but it is much more likely that they are granddaughters. My best guess would be that they are the two oldest daughters from the first marriage of my ancestor Phoebe: Sarah Elizabeth and Laura Alice Trowbridge. 

Up until fairly recently, I always imagined that Giles Cook was a poor farmer, but those fine horses (click on the photo to see a larger version) are not the horses of a poor farmer!