Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Favorites for July 22, 2016

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
Pokemon Go comes to the FDR Presidential Library
Researching tips for your Civil War ancestors
How Historians can help #SaveTheWeb
Analysis of the battle of The Somme
Taste testing the history of the hamburger
New season of Who Do You Think You Are? on the horizon
Research tips for overcoming burnt research ends (see what I did there? Love me some bar-b-cue)
The history of a glorious summer fruit
The bloody history of the U.S. House of Representatives
The National Park Service is almost 100, check out the latest news
An age old question answered: what historians really do
Welcome to "The Rock"
Grace Kelly's royal wedding
A great day to be Royal

Monday, July 11, 2016

Matrilineal Monday - Emley Odell

Emley Odell is my third great grandmother on one of my maternal lines. She was born November 18, 1859 in Ray County, Missouri to Pittman and Nancy (Hightower) Odell. She was the last of six children.
Emley's mother, Nancy, died in 1866 when Emley was just 7-years-old. Her father, Pittman, died just three years later in 1869. In 1870, the Odell children are living in the home of the oldest sibling, Elizabeth, (who had married Charles Perkins), save Elias who was a farm laborer next door to his sister's house.

The family is also mentioned in probate documents for their father, Pittman, who apparently died without a will. Charles Perkins, Elizabeth's husband, requested letters of administration in 1871 to distribute the remaining property belonging to Pittman Odell. It lists all of his children as heirs. I have not been able to locate documentation of the final distribution.

Emley is married to John Clevenger Turnage, her first cousin, on June 25, 1874. It is assumed that her sister and brother-in-law cared for her up unto her marriage. If the documentation is correct, Emley would have just been 15-years-old at her wedding. The marriage was not filed with the county until mid-November, right after she turned 16...coincidence?
John is a farmer and Emley a housewife. It is unclear whether John owned his own land or worked that of his mother, Esther Turnage. The couple have four children. It possible that there was a fifth child born in 1875 but I can find no record of it. John also appears to have been a baptist preacher as his headstone and death certificate mention, though he always lists his occupation as farmer.

Emley dies in Richmond, Missouri on June 24, 1916 just one day shy of their 42nd wedding anniversary. Though John remarries he is buried next to Emley in Crowley Cemetery near Ray County, Missouri.
Ultimately, all I know of Emley is that she was born, married, had children and died. A sad commentary on the lack of documentation of the common housewife.

To Do:

1. Locate the final distribution of Pittman Odell's property.
2. Find an obituary for Emley Odell.

This post is part of my on-going goal of 2013 to research each of my 32 3rd great-grandparents more in-depth. Emley is #22 on my list.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Surname Saturday - John Joseph Coffman

John Joseph Coffman is my third-great grandfather on my maternal side. He was born sometime in February 1857 in Rockingham County, Virginia to Joseph Coffman and Mary Miller. He was the first-born son of Joseph Coffman and Mary Miller.
His mother, Mary, died at age 31 in 1863, when John was just 6 years old. His father was remarried on October 19, 1865 to Ellenora Jones and the couple had 8 more children. If the dates on official documents are to be believed, their first son was born prior to their marriage. How risque!
Four of John Coffman's children are younger than his half siblings, that must have made for a unique family environment.

John married Elizabeth "Bettie" Knupp in Shenandoah County, Virginia on January 16, 1879 when they were both just 22-years-old. The couple had five children together.
The couple were many for nearly 8 years when Bettie committed suicide in 1887. She died November 3, 1887 just 8 months after her daughter Carrie was born. The story is sad and I imagine left an indelible mark on her daughter Florence, my great-great grandmother. This tragedy left John with five children under the age of 8.
A photo believed to be Elizabeth "Bettie" Knupp, John Coffman's first wife
Not surprisingly, John marries again soon, sometime prior to 1890, to Mary Garber. The couple have four children together.

John Joseph and Mary (Garber) Coffman
John's life was plagued with untimely deaths: his mother, his first wife and then his son, John Saylor Coffman died at just 15-years-old. There may be other children born to this union, but I find record of only four.

There is not much information on John Coffman outside of the basic data pulled from census records. He was a farmer working rented land throughout his life. He was too young to have served in the Civil War, though it doubtless was fought on his family's doorstep in Rockingham County, Virginia. I am blessed to have the above photo of John, but I wish that I knew more about his life.

He died at age 73 in Rockingham County, Virginia on April 9, 1930 and is buried in Timberville Cemetery, Timberville, Virginia.

This post is part of my on-going goal of 2013 to research each of my 32 3rd great-grandparents more in-depth. John Joseph Coffman is #31 on the list.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Surname Saturday - Elijah Happy

Elijah Happy is my third great-grandfather on my maternal side. He was born August 2, 1833 in Fayette County, Kentucky to James and Catherine Vaughn Happy. He was the fifth of six children, two of whom died in childhood.
James and Catherine were farmers by trade and when Elijah was 17 they moved the family to Ray County, Missouri to begin farming just a few miles southwest of the county capital of Richmond.

On April 21, Elijah married Marcella Reed in Carroll County, Missouri.
Elijah continued to farm in Ray County owning his own land. The couple had a total of 11 children.
Elijah was of age to have served in the Civil War and was included on a draft schedule in Ray County, along with his brother Cornelius, but Elijah did not serve in the war in any capacity I could locate. 
U.S. draft registration from Ray County, Missouri, taken June 1863
I am blessed that Elijah was active in the community because I have come across not one, but two biographies about him. Elijah and Marcella belonged to the Missionary Baptist Church and he was a member of the Richmond Lodge of A.F. & A.M., Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. Elijah's farm was 200 acres and, according to his biography in the 1881 History of Ray County, he was "one of the most substantial farmers, and valuable citizens of his neighborhood." Mighty fine words. A second biography, printed in the Portrait and biographical record of Clay, Ray, Carroll, Chariton, and Linn Counties, Missouri, states he was a Mason connected to the Master Lodge No. 57 at Richmond (Mo.) and in politics a follower of Jefferson stating he "is thoroughly persuaded that the principles of Democracy are best adapted to the welfare of the country."

The biographies are interesting and certainly paint a picture of Elijah. He appears to have been active and respected member of the community. And the couple did well in life. According to the 1880 census they even had a servant, John Mosley. Elijah and his wife, Marcella, farm throughout their lives and live very close to several of their children as the years go on. Marcella dies in 1891.

It appears that Elijah remarries after Marcella's death. On the 1900 census he is listed with a wife named Martha, having been married for 5 years. 

Elijah Happy 1900 census
I also found a marriage record for this union dated January 13, 1895. Elijah and Martha were married 20 years when she died January 9, 1915. Elijah lived for another six years before he passed as well on June 5, 1921 at the age of 88. He is remembered in his obituary as "one of Ray county's oldest and most highly respected citizens." Interestingly, Martha is not mentioned in his obituary, only his first wife, Marcella. He is also buried next to Marcella.
Elijah and Marcella Happy's gravestone in Richmond Cemetery, Richmond, Missouri
This post is part of my on-going goal of 2013 to research each of my 32 3rd great-grandparents more in-depth. Elijah is #17 on my list.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Celebrating a happy day

Today my mother, Cathy, celebrates her 60th birthday! My mother has always had a large influence in my life. She has shown unimaginable strength and courage and has always, always been there for me. Congratulations on reaching this milestone, you are loved!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Follow Friday - Favorites for December 6, 2013

Favorites is my weekly list of favorite genealogy, history and random finds from across the Net.
Flashback to the totally rad 1980s mall scene
View a teacher's collection of confiscated things
More on military Thanksgiving menus (I posted my own here)
What deceased rock legends would like if they were alive today
How photographs told the story of the Vietnam War
What kind of beard did your ancestor sport?
Tips on using the Family History wiki
12 gift ideas for the genealogist in your life
Tips to find and share old family recipes
Mocavo is working on a little something to make cursive writing less sucky
More on the Ghost Army, Army of deception
Tips on using Blurb for blog publishing at The Armchair Genealogist
The Dead Person Whisperer at Threading Needles in a Haystack
Bill at West in New England tells us why he loves A Christmas Story

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving


A Thanksgiving menu from my father's Army days in Germany. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!