Thursday, July 28, 2011

Three Grave Stones Identified

Just the other day I posted some pictures emailed to me by my uncle, and some were very hard to read. One looked like it said Ruth, and it did. But it is not the grave of Ruth. I returned to a site I used so many years ago to find my Missouri-Duncan information, but never got around to documenting the rest of the family and these two were both listed and documented some time ago. They are both in Mineral Springs Cemetery, Barry County, Missouri.

William H. Duncan 1872-1892
As you can see, it's getting very hard to read it. Which is why I am once again so grateful to those who came before me, and recorded things. I have never met or talked to the people who provided this information. Looks like I will have to do that soon, so they know how much their efforts are appreciated.
This is the Page where the entry can be found. You'd have to scroll down to W.H. Duncan. and you can click on their photo of the same stone. the two toned nature of the stone is also seen in their photo. They also took the time to highlight the markings and identify the person here.

The info they added to this marker was this:
Inscription: "Son of P. H. & Ruth" - Research Note: In 1880 Peter H. and Ruth Duncan were living in Lyon, Cherokee Co., KS and William H. Duncan was 8 years old, born in KS.
This other stone and info can be found on the same page as William H. Duncan. and this is what the researchers there  found out about her:
Research Note: Culver's Chapel Records read that her parents were Ruben and Elizabeth Starkey. She lived on Eagle Rock Star Route, Cassville, MO.

DUNCAN, Lillie Amanda (STARKEY) b. Sep. 26, 1890. AR  d. Sept. 15, 1973 Home, Barry Co., MO.
I will have to see if I can find out more about her. The way her name and dates is just etched really haunts me. They may not have had the money to get it engraved properly, but they thought enough of her to give her a big pretty stone (even though it looks like it was taken right from the ground and not modified much.  

The third stone I posted was easy to read.
Robert Bruce Duncan b. Nov 26, 1885  d. July 9, 1956
I believe this is Robert Bruce Duncan, son of Peter Hutsell Duncan and Ruth McCleur (McClure) Duncan. I really hadn't recorded much on him yet, as I hadn't really traced the other descendants much, but I know I've seen his name numerous times, and may have more information on him if I just dig a bit. 
The researchers who posted this didn't have anything else to add. Just added the dates provided on the stone. 
I just read over an email one of my uncles sent me back in October. He refers to a Bob and Mandy Duncan in his memories. I bet that's this Robert and Amanda! 
Here is what he says:
"The story I remember is that Peter was an Oklahoma circuit court judge and settled what was called "The Old Home Place" down at the bottom of the mountains before it became Mo. When I was six, we lived in a house that was converted to a duplex with Aunt Alberta, Laddie, Joanne and Jerry Owen that was by the Mark Twain forest tower on Hwy 76 about 10 miles N of Cassville. Dad was working for the CCC and often used his '30 Cheve as a fire truck. Grand dad's place was about a 1/4 mile S of the tower. When I started school, I walked down the mountain to a school that was on the corner of the old home place that at that time was occupied by Bob and Mandy Duncan. I think the school was called Minden. Bob's son's, William and Thomas were also in the school and were a bit older than me. Joanne saw them a few years back and says they are true to type. (Overalls and no underwear!) The last time I was down there, the tower and the house we lived in were still there. (Mom said she took me up in the tower when I was 1.) Someone was living in the school and Grand dad's house had been replaced with a new house. He had a strawberry patch on the home place and I remember going down to pick berries with him. Also there was no well on his place so he often had to haul water up the mountain with his '27 White truck. He had a sorghum press (Two large rollers, long pole, harness the mule to the pole.) and a huge pan up under the hickory tree for boiling down the sorghum and grandmother would dig sassafras roots and make tea that I hated. Before we moved to the duplex, we lived for a time in a log cabin at the corner of hwy 78 and M, several miles S of Grand dad's place. We did not stay there long, as I remember living with Lena and attending a country school near Monett by Christmas of that year, then going to a school in Monett before finishing the school year in Maple Hill."


Treasure Chest Thursday~Peter Hutsell Duncan~My gr gr Grandfather.

I wish I had a photo of this ancestor. I think he lived an interesting life, and I would hope to see the faces of his parents in his, if I could see a photo of him. Maybe someday I will find someone, or someone will find me, who has a photo of him and he/she will share with me.
I have found lots about Peter Hutsell Duncan in my research, but it would be difficult to share all of it in one blog entry.
His obituary sums it up pretty well, sounds like he was well loved by those who knew him.
Obit For Peter H. Duncan, Judge P. H. Duncan: At St. John's Hospital, Joplin, Mo., Wednesday, June 12, 1912, at 11:04 a. m. Judge P. H. Duncan answer the final roll call. He had under gone an operation for gall stones and though the operation was a serous one, he was thought to be gradually recovering from its effects. And his death was quite a surprise to his many friends.

Peter H. Duncan was born at Martinsville, Ind., August 10, 1841. In 1856 the family moved to Jackson county, Illinois. Here he attended the common schools and helped his father on the farm until the beginning of the Civil War when he enlisted in Company H, 27 Illinois Infantry of the Union Army. He made a good record as a soldier, always doing his duty bravely and promptly. He was with the army of the Cumberland during most of the war and participated in the battles of Belmont, Union City, Siege of Island No. 10, Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Kennesaw Mountain, Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, Peach Tree Creek and several other engagements. He served three years and one month in the army.

At the close of the war he located on a farm in Kansas and lived here until 1888 when he came to Barry County and lived on a farm four miles east of Mineral Springs until his death.

He had been married twice. His second wife and two children, Viola and Robert survive him.

For many years he had been Commander of the Old Soldier's and Settlers' Reunion. Under his efficient management, the reunion has become the largest and most successful in all the southwest. For four years he was presiding judge of the county court and gave the county an efficient administration.

The remains were brought to this city Thursday noon accompanied by relatives and Col. Wm. Holliday. The funeral services were conducted at Mineral Springs at 2 p.m. by Rev. F. M. Smallwood. Short talks were also made by J. S. Davis and L. Beasley.

The pall bearers were Prosecuting Attorney James Talbert, Judge E. W. Davis, Judge G. W. Henson, Judge Charles Velton. Ex-collector J. M. Davidson and County Assessor W. M. Houston.

The entire service was impressive and comforting to the sorrowing family. The casket was covered with beautiful flowers, mute testimonials of love, sympathy and friendship of those who knew him best.

In the death of Judge Duncan, the county loses one of her most honored and progressive citizens, a man who always took a deep interest in the welfare of this country, state and community.

Newspaper Cassville Republican Date June 20, 1912, Thursday Death Cert Link - Resource State Historical Society of MO Microfilm Submitted by Donna Cooper

Peter H. Duncan married Ruth McCleur (McClure) March 12, 1872 in Jackson County, Illinois. The first I find them on the census in Kansas is 1875, so I don't think they went to Kansas 'right' after the war ended, but a few years later. The first I find him on the census in Missouri is in 1900. I have not found him on the census for  1860, 1870 or 1890.

My aunt and uncle (my mom's brother) shared photos of some things they now treasure that once had belonged to Peter. They shared photos of the Duncan Family Bible and pages from that Bible that helps confirm things written on the notes I got from my grandmother.
edited to blur out info for living relatives

They also shared a photo of a flask that once belonged to Peter. I have not yet confirmed his work in the Oklahoma Territory, unless the parts of Kansas they lived in were part of the territory then, or he just traveled there on occasion since it was so near.

While looking for Peter Duncan in the census I made the discovery that one of the records was recorded by Peter himself! The whole document (1875 census for Lyon Twsp. Cherokee County, Ks)  is in his handwriting! But apparently I only printed that document, and didn't save a copy of it on my computer. I'm not subscribed to Ancestry at the moment or I'd go fetch it. But it was a pretty exciting discovery. I do have a copy of his death certificate and numerous printouts of transcriptions I found online of the Cassville Republican.  An entry dated October 12, 1899 simply states.
"Mineral Springs News: P.H. Duncan has returned home. His wife died and was buried in Kansas."

In a 1900 entry of the same paper he is listed in a county court proceeding, along with several other men, named as a road commissioner.
In an October 11, 1894 edition he is in a list naming him appointed as Judge of Elections for Mineral No. 2. 
I even found a couple entries where he oversaw a court case and conducted the marriage of another couple (1907 and 1909, respectively)
Then in the June 20, 1912 edition is two entries next to each other. The first says
T.R. Duncan of Columbus, Kan., attended the funeral of his brother, Judge P.H. Duncan at Mineral Springs Thursday.
The second says
Judge Duncan died at St. John's Hospital, Joplin, MO, Wednesday, June 12, 1912, at 11:04 a.m.

If the name of that hospital sounds familiar, well, it was the name of the hospital that was destroyed by the horrible twister in May of this year. I found this neat article on the Historic Joplin Website.  I'm looking around to see if the hospital that was destroyed was on the same site, or another site. If anyone knows, please drop me a line. It would be nice to know if that building is still standing, or not.
I also found a post card of what the hospital looked like in 1912. I just hope this image stays up awhile, it's being auctioned. Yes, I'm tempted. St. John's Hospital, 1912.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday~Riggs Family

I haven't even started sharing about my Riggs line yet, my maternal grandma's family. When I recently found this photo online that includes Grandma as a baby and her parents and grandparents, I was almost speechless! In a giddy way of course. I calculate the photo taken in 1915, since Ernest's brother Clifford turned 21 that year.

My grandma Beulah (front row being held by her sister Alta), her parents Ernest Lester Riggs and Hattie Estelle (Makin) Riggs are in back row. Ernest is second from left and Hattie next to him in the middle. Ernest's parents are in the center of the group, the oldest couple. They are Joseph Hughes Riggs and Emily "Emma" (Allen) Riggs.

James D. Riggs Family 1885 Henry, John, Rueben, Joe (my gr gr grandfather), Call (Calvin), Albert, Mary, Mary (wife), James D. (my gr gr gr grandfather), Nancy, Tamar, Charles, Hazel, Berdie

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thomas R. Duncan

Thomas R. Duncan was full brother of my great great grandfather Peter Hutsell Duncan, and half brother of my great grandfather Albert E. Duncan. As far as I can tell, he was the oldest child  of William Duncan and Amanda Hutsell Duncan. A good part of his biography has been listed here in his Find A Grave memorial, and it was insrumental in me learning more about my ancestor, Peter too, since they went to Kansas together. There are also tidbits of info about William included, which seems to be all anyone knows about William, as I see it repeated almost word for word in any files about William.

Thomas' biography can also be found in The History of Cherokee County Kansas.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Motivation Monday-Help from living Family

I haven't been able to do much work on my puzzles the last few days, but I have been getting a steady stream of emails all weekend, mostly from Cousin Valerie. She's been sending me what she has found, mostly about the Fredericks/Rhinesmiths and some about the Merrions (or Marions). This group of people seem to have come to America (New Jersey) from the Germany area possibly around the French/Swiss border or likely the Rhine River area during the mid 1700's. They were part of the Iron industry that was booming there in New Jersey at the time. I printed out numerous emails and documents she sent, including some that had been shared with her by Blanche years ago, so I could sit and read them while on the road or taking it easy in the recliner. But yesterday's road trip turned out to be longer than we expected and the car doesn't have air conditioning yet. It was a hot day here in Central Kentucky, pretty much like everywhere else, so I really didn't feel like reading much. None the less, I have a challenge before me.
Then this morning when I checked my email I had another unexpected email. This one from my uncle, (my mom's brother in law). It seems he recently made a trip to Mineral Springs, Missouri. He sent me photos he had taken of the church there that Albert Duncan used to attend, and the new building that has been built next to it. He also sent several photos of graves, Albert's grave, Peter Hutsell Duncan's grave and some I had never seen before! Some are very old and hard to read, one was never really engraved, but the name and date scratched on. I belive some of these I had not seen before are descendants and not all are my ancestors, so the challenge will be sorting them out, and for some reading what the stones actually say.
Mineral Springs Baptist Church. Barry County, Missouri

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sentimental Sunday-History in the Making

Family History in the making, that is combining with American History in the making.
I have been absent the past few days, and making this post brief for a good reason. My 3rd son, who just turned 21 a couple weeks ago, is preparing to go to Iraq. This weekend he came home for the last time before he deploys. He's been in training the past few months, and mother nature has decided to help prepare the troops as well. So for those of us suffering in the heat, just know it's helping our son, daughters, brother, father etc...get ready for the real heat of the desert.
My son got home Friday, after spending some time Thursday with his girlfriend and college friends out of town. We decided to combine his birthday party and going away party, into one big party yesterday. My husband smoked ribs and chicken, I made cake and salads, and the house was full of friends and family. It was a great day.
But this morning I woke up not wanting to face the day. Today our son heads back to his training post. I don't know when or if I will see him again. And that is a very difficult reality to wake up to.

My son is with the troops who will be part of the troop extraction in Iraq, and we are told they should be back by the end of the year. So that is where American history comes in. His big brothers, my two oldest are in the Navy, and they have also found themselves in the midst of making history while serving in the Pacific the last couple years. That was hard enough too, but not near as hard as seeing one go to Iraq.
My sailors are ending their term of service soon, and the best I can do for my mental state is look forward to the next year, when all my boys should be home again (by spring!), and to keep digging into family history.

My cousin Valerie has been emailing me information on the Fredericks/Rhinesnmith (from New Jersey) line on my dad's side, and her info contains more surnames and puzzle pieces to try to put together. So I hope that will help keep my mind on better things.
I hope to get back into the swing of blogging my family tree more this week. I expect/hope to find something new this week!

(new surnames that are being suggested are Speaker, Merrio or Marion, Richards, Metzenback. These tie in to my Van Ordens; Mary Ellen Fredericks and Harmen Van Orden. So if you recognize any of these names please shoot me a line! We can use all the help we can get)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-The Duncan Family

us014 by surfinsandy23
us014, a photo by surfinsandy23 on Flickr.
I have some things to do around the house today. Enjoy this picture of my great grandfather Albert Duncan, and other relatives. Click the photo for a little more information if you are interested.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday- The Duncan Family

Today I'm doing something more simple and still staying with the daily prompts. This genea-blogging is harder than I thought, but I may not be in the groove yet, and my mind still a bit distracted to do it right. So bear with me and I find my way.

First are the gravestones of my grandparents. George Hutsell Duncan and Beulah Angie Riggs Duncan. Words cannot express how much I miss my grandma. I took this picture last summer when I went back to Kansas for a brief visit. I had not been to the cemetery since 2004 when we buried Grandma. I needed to go back. They are resting in Rosean Cemetery in Lyon County Kansas. 

Next is the shared gravestone of my great grandparents, George's parents, Albert E. Duncan and Viola Ellen Duncan. I found this photo on a Missouri genealogy website that had a nice listing of Barry County graves, and volunteer contributed photos. The file says the photo was taken by Dianna Cooper. Diana, I am so grateful. Thank-you so much! Albert and Viola are resting at Mineral Springs Cemetery in Barry County, Missouri.

Next is my great great grandparents, Viola Ellen's parents. Peter Hutsell Duncan (also known as Judge P.H. Duncan) and Ruth McCluer Duncan. I believe I found Peter's grave photo the same place as Albert's, and I found Ruth's on Find-a-Grave. Peter Duncan is resting in Mineral Springs Cemetery and Ruth is resting in Greenlawn Cemetery in Cherokee County, Kansas. Peter and Ruth were true pioneers, I'll attempt to tell their story someday!

I wish I could add the photos of Albert and Peter's parents, but I don't have them. I don't even know where William Duncan and Susan Trammel Duncan are buried (Albert's parents). Peter's father, the same William Duncan, I suspect may have been buried on his farm in Jackson County, Illinois, if so I may never find it. Amanda Hutsell Duncan, Peter's mother, died 22 November 1847 in Martinsville, Indiana. I have not yet located her final resting place.

** note July 26, 2011** Reading over this post, I found some errors. I had said Viola Ellen where I should have said Ruth.  I have highlighted the correction in red with the correct person.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mystery Monday-Desperately Seeking Susan

I have several brick walls in my research, but this one bothers me the most. I really am not well prepared to assemble this information for this post, so I hope I don't mess it up too bad. I really need to get it out here in the chance someone out there can help me. But from what I can tell, I am the only person alive trying to find Susan.
Susan is my gr gr grandmother Duncan, mother of my great grandfather Albert E. Duncan. Her name appears to have been Susan Trammel (many other ways that could be spelled). The big mystery about her is where she came from and where she went. I cannot find record of her outside of her marriage to William Duncan, with the possible exception of a possible marriage to a John A. Dougherty (Daugherty).
Crazy already, huh?
Let me start with William, since that is where I started.
Everything I have seen about William Duncan's birth indicate he was born in New York, 1808 some things I have seen online say, Genesee. I have yet to see proof of his birth place. Supposedly his parents were Robert Duncan and Lucy Boyles (Broyles), Robert is said to have come from Scotland. I do think Robert may have actually moved on to the Indiana area later, with his sons, my William and (I think Robert was the other son).
William may have been married 4 times, but for my records, 3 times. I have found a record in Ancestry for a William Duncan having married a Mary Eslinger September 28, 1828 in Martinsville, Indiana. If this is my William, then the marriage didn't last for some unknown reason, because he is recorded as marrying Amanda Hutsell June 15, 1837 in Martinsville, Morgan County, Indiana.  I'm warning you right now, this will get complicated, because Amanda is also my ancestor, my gr gr gr grandma! I hope I can explain this clearly by the end of the post.
Amanda Hutsell was born September 20, 1815 in Fayette County, Kentucky. She was the daughter of John Hutsell and Rebecca Troutman. William and Amanda had 4 children together; Thomas R., Peter Hutsell Duncan (my gr gr grandfather), Giles Mitchell Duncan and Jesse H. Duncan. Amanda died November 22, 1847 in Martinsville, Indiana. Her and William were only married 10 years when she died.

William then married Sarah Catherine Hines. I believe she was born  April 19, 1826 (I have also seen 1823), in North Carolina, though some say Murphysboro, Jackson County, Illinois. Sarah was the daughter of Philip Hines and Mary M. Shuford. William and Sarah had 5 children; Mary Ann, Darius B., Sarah Katherine, John S., and William Robert. 
Some of these children were named in a  deed  for Sarah's uncle Solomon Shuford. It reads:
Catawba Co. N.C. Deed Indexes 1837-1926. Deeds v. 1-2 1842-1880 (FHL film 593,287) 2-380: 24 Jan 1871, William Duncan of Jackson County, IL, guardian of Mary Duncan, Darius Duncan, Catherine Diuncan and William Duncan Jr., appoint A.G. Corpening of Catawba Co, N.C. attorney to collect all money due said Mary Duncan, Darius Duncan, Catherine Duncan and William Duncan Jr.  from the estate of Solomon Shuford decd and to reciept the same, etc.; no wit. Authorization by Catwba Co, N.C. Probate Court to Jackson County, IL. probate court, 1 March 1871 to take acknowledgement of William Duncan, guardian; done., 31 March 1871; recorded 27 April 1871
I did a little digging on the Hines/Shuford line to make sense of that. When I first found that record I had no clue who Solomon Shuford was, and why he was naming William's children in a court record. Apparently they inherited part of Solomon's estate when he passed away.
Sarah died August 13, 1864 in Murphysboro, Jackson County, Illinois.

William next married Susan Trammell on November 2, 1864. The marriage record I found online (Illinois Statewide Marriage Index 1763-1900) has her name as Susan Dougherty. They were married in Jackson County Illinois.
(I paused here to figure out what I would write next. I realized I had not done a few things in my records I normally do. I like to make a list of the census records each of my ancestors appear in and somehow skipped doing that for William. So I did that and decided to do the same for Land records I have found him in. I recently found actual copies in Ancestry of certificates where he bought quite a bit of land in Jackson County, Illinois, 321 acres actually! Then I had stumbled across some transcriptions online of Pike County, Missouri records including some land records for William and his wife Amanda and also involving a relative of Amanda's, Giles Mitchell. Anyway, I just now got looking at that info closer and need to try to track down a book about Southeast Missouri. I checked Google Books, and the one I want is not available online and few libraries have it, none near me. This seems to be the book I want to see. See? This blog is already helping me find holes in my research! ya! This puzzle has lots of loose pieces, I have to get them together!)

Now, I have William Duncan in the following census:
1830 Morgan County, Indiana 
1850 Morgan County Indiana. Here he is 41, listed as a mechanic and says he was born in NY. His wife is Sarah and children listed in the household are:
Thomas R. Duncan age 11 born in Ia (but I believe it's supposed to mean Indiana)
Peter Duncan age 8                    "
Giles M. Duncan age 6               "
Jesse D. W. Duncan age 2         "
also listed are Isaac C. Baker 22, mechanic, b. Ky and David Hine, 21, (mechanic?) b. NC. I suspect David is Sarah's brother.
1870 DeSoto, Jackson County, Illinois.
William is now 61 and listed as a farmer, but this time it says he was born in Mo. (I'm guessing they asked someone who didn't really know). Susan is now listed as his wife, she is 29 and keeping house. She is listed as being born in Indiana. (there will be contradictions to this, too). The children now listed living with William are:
Jessee, age 23, working on farm, b in Indiana
Darris, age 17, b. in Indiana
Catherine, age 14, b. in Illinois
Wm II age 8, b. in Ark
Candas, age 8, born in Illinois
Joseph, age 5, b. in Illinois
Edward, age  9/12 (nine moths old, born in September) b. Illinois

That's it. So far those are the only census I have found William in.
I did recently find a William Duncan in the 1860 census for Washington Twsp, Dearborn County, Indiana. This William is listed as age 50, a farmer with a real estate value of $2,100 and person estate value of $300, and says he was born (hard to read, but looks like it says Irelands). Also listed in the household with him is
Catherine age 48; Jeremiah (laborer), age 16; Wm, age 13; John, age 11; Catherine, age 7; James, age 6; and Semperonce (?) A., age 3. I have not yet decided if this is the same family.

 Seems William died January 5, 1879. I believe Susan brought some children to this marriage too. But I can't say for sure they were from her marriage to John Dougherty.

The 1880 Census for Somerset Twsp, Jackson County, Illinois is like this:
Duncan, Susan age 39, Farmer, b. in Missouri, (father b. in Kentucky, mother b. in Missouri)
Dougherty (which has a line through it), Kansas (daughter) age 18, at home, b. in Arkansas (father b. in Virginia  mother b. in Missouri)
Duncan (which has a line through it), Joseph, (son) age 13, at home, b. in Illinois (father b. in New York, mother b. in Missouri)
_____(meaning Duncan?), Eddie, (son) age 11, at school, b. in Illinois (father b. in New York, mother b. in Missouri)
_____(meaning Duncan?), Scott, (son) age 9, at school, b. in Illinois (father b. in New York, mother b. in Missouri)
______(meaning Duncan?), Albert, (son) age 7, at school, b. in Illinois, (father b. in New York, mother b. in Missouri)
______(meaning Duncan?), Sarah C. (step-daughter), age 24, at home, b. in Indiana (father b. in New York, mother b. in Missouri)
_____(meaning Duncan?), Jessee. (step-son), age 33, at home, b. in Indiana (father b. in New York, mother b. in Missouri)
_____(meaning Duncan?), Darius, (step-son), age 27, at home, b. in Indiana (father b. in NewYork mother b. in Missouri)

I believe William and Susan's children together were Joseph S., Edward H., James Scott, and Albert E. Albert is my great grandfather.
I don't find Susan on anymore census with the children. It's like she vanished. I have seen some researchers say Susan died about 1890, but I have not seen any record of that. NO death records, no grave, nothing. Poof, She's gone.
The next I find my great grandfather Albert Duncan in the census is in 1900, at age 26. He listed as a farmer, alone, in Mineral Springs Township, Barry County, Missouri.
Then Albert is in 1910, married to my great grandma, Viola Ellen. living in Mineral Ward 1, Jasper County, Missouri. Two children are listed ages 2 and less than a year, but it is hard to read the writing for their names.
1920 Mineral Twsp. Barry Co, MO census has Albert and Viola with children Grace, George (my grandpa), Lavonne, Alberta and his brother in law Robert B. The 1930 census again finds Albert and Viola in Mineral, Barry County, Mo. with children Grace, George, Lavonne and Alberta.

I found a photo copy of Albert's death certificate on line through Missouri records, and my uncle sent me a copy of an obituary he had for Albert. Both name Albert's mother as Susan Trammel. The obituary for Albert's brother Edward also names their mother as Susan Trammel.

I just cannot be sure if Trammel is her maiden name or if it was a married name she took after William died. Since I can't find any record of her after the 1880 census, I don't know if she died, remarried or what.
The 'lore' I have found repeated almost word for word in a few other researcher's records and passed down through our branch as well, says this:
"Viola married her cousin Albert. Albert was the grandson of William Duncan and his third wife. Albert's parents died when he was young and he was raised by a doctor in southestern Missouri. Albert and Viola met with some family opposition when they married "

I have not been able to figure out who this doctor was who is said to have raised Albert, but have determined, the best I can, that he was not the grandson of William,  but the son. Viola Ellen, who Albert married, was a granddaughter of William and Amanda. Viola's father, Peter Hutsell Duncan was a half brother to Albert. Thus making Albert and Viola more like half niece/uncle. Though I can see why saying they were cousins was an easier way to explain things, but it's apparent the story got slightly confused quickly. This does explain why Albert was young when his parents died, sort of. William was a great deal older than Susan. Estimating from census records, Susan was born 1841. If William was born in 1808, and died in 1879, then William was 66 when Albert was born (1873) and Albert was about 6 years old when William died. But Susan would have only been about 49 if /when she died around 1890. (one researcher even gives a date for her death as January 10, 1890). How and where she died, remains to be discovered. I have not found an actual death record for William, or a grave, or burial record of any kind. The fact that he is no longer on the census with his family in 1880, supports his death date being before that, even though Susan is not specifically listed as a widow.

Also where Susan was born and what she did before she married William is a mystery. The best I could almost figure out, though not positively about where she came from, may be found in Missouri.
Going with the idea Susan was born in 1841 in Missouri I searched census records and found a Susan Trammel in District 92 of Scott County, MO. with her mother, Mary, age 40 (Mary is recorded in this record having been born in Indiana). Susan is 10, and has 3 sisters, Francez age 14, Lavina also was she a twin? and Louisa, age 6. I did find where a John Trammel bought land in the same county in 1841, but he is missing from the 1850 census. No clue what happened to him. I could find no other record on John.

 I did all kinds of searching, took all kinds of notes, and frankly, it's more like a rat's nest. Every time I try to research Susan, where she came from and where she went, I just keep hitting the same dead ends. I get frustrated and stash away my notes, hoping some day I'll just stumble on the right piece of information to open things up again.
My most recent discovery of info doesn't seem to help yet, and that was discovering land records for William in Pike County, Missouri, which seems to be just across the state line from Jackson County, Missouri.

Well, I hope some of this makes sense. The more I try to dig out the info, the more my brain wants to shut down. I had a long day in the hot sun today and this is taking all day to finish because of the delay.
If anyone has any questions, please don't be afraid to ask, I'll provide what I know, if you have any info that might help PLEASE let me know! I tried to add extra names in here to attract more possible leads from researchers.
To end on a good note I'll add a copy of a photo that was shared with me, of Albert, Viola and their children.
Back row left to right is Grace, George (my grandpa) and Lavonne
Front row left to right is Bertie Albert and Viola Ellen

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Obituary Sunday

How sad that within the first week I started this blog, a member of the family has passed. My dad tells me she was really into genealogy, but Alzheimer's ended that some time ago. What a tragedy.
I never met Blanche, I remember Dad getting Christmas cards and letters from her and her husband, and I knew they were cousins. The email Dad forwarded to me from Blanche's husband was heart breaking to read. It was easy to see, in so few words, how much he loved her and how sorely she will be missed. I'm so sorry I will never get to meet her this side of glory. I'm not even certain how much information I know today about the family history on Dad's side can be contributed to her efforts.

A link to her obituary as it is online, right now. I can only hope I can get a real copy. I always feel so awkward asking for something like that from people I haven't actually met during such a sad time in their lives.
RIP Blanche. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Those Places Thursday

I'm just following prompts right now from Genea Bloggers for ideas for posts. I'm feeling a bit scatter-brained today. There are several things I could be doing besides sitting at the computer, but I don't really feel like doing any of them yet. I'm not a morning person at all!
This first entry for Those Places Thursday is sketches  I found in Ancestry, photo copied from a book, attached to someone else's tree which has my 3rd Great Grandpa, John Allen McCluer (McClure)

Missionary Baptist Church in which John Allen McClure was a minister during the 1840's.

sketch of the farm of John A. McClure, taken from the 1878 History of Jackson County, Illinois

 John Allen McCluer (also spelled McClure by many) was my grandpa's great grandpa on my mom's side. (Mom>Grandpa George Duncan> Gr Grandma Viola Ellen Duncan>gr gr grandma Ruth McCluer> 3rd gr grandpa John A. McCluer)
The family notes Grandma had and other historical sketches I have found agree that John A. McCluer was born November 15, 1816 in Richland County, Ohio, near the town of Paris. The mention of Paris in family records seems to have confused some family into thinking he was born in France. My uncle kept telling me when I started my research that there was a Frenchman in the tree somewhere, so when I found this, I thought that was what he meant. That may be what he meant, but I have since traced back some more, and found a real Frenchman. But you know, that's another story for another day!
Here is a link to one of the historical sketches I found online about John A. McCluer which includes a photo of him and his wife Clarinda Nase (Nace), which has been added to my records. I have not seen anyone else identify the others in the photo, (I have also seen the photo attached to trees in Ancestry) but I would like to think maybe one is his daughter, my 2nd great grandmother, Ruth McCluer.
I have found land records for John through Ancestry, his Civil War Pension File (he served with the 81st Illinois Infantry, Company D, apparently along with his son-in-law's (Peter Hutsell Duncan) brothers Thomas R. Duncan and Giles Duncan. Peter served with the 27th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Company H.

I have found John A. McCluer (McClure) in the following census:
1850 in Jackson County, IL. (Northern District) with his wife, Clarinda, and 6 children: Susan, Sarah, Rhuey, Thomas, Anna, and George. He is listed as a farmer.
1870 in Levan, Jackson County, IL with his wife and 6 children: George, Ruth, Amanda, David, Oliver and Henry. He is listed as a farmer on this record too.
1880 in Levan, Jackson County, IL. with his wife and only one child, Oliver. He is again, listed as a farmer. His son Henry is living near by in this record.
1885 He is found in Cherokee County, Kansas (Columbus or Lyon?) with his wife and son Henry who is now 28. John and Clarinda are now 68 and 67 respectively.

It doesn't appear that John and Clarinda stayed in Kansas very long, for I found  mention of John in 1896 extracts from the Barry County, Missouri newspaper The Cassville Republican, Weekly Paper. The article is where he performed marriages as Rev. John A. McCluer. His obituary and a historical sketch were found in the same newspapers.
John died April 17- 18, 1899 at the home of his son Thomas, in Cherokee County, Kansas. and was buried at Mineral Springs Cemetery in Barry County, Mo, next to his wife, Clarinda. It appears he was very much loved by all who knew him. It seems he lived quite an amazing life, and my little bit here surely doesn't do him justice.  The link above also lists several sources, one of which seems to be his notebook. I would love to see copies of his notebook! If anyone out there reading this can help me learn more about this family, please contact me! I am always interested in hearing from other researchers and family!

A little more info about John and Clarinda and family: John's parents, said to be of German and Irish descent, were Thomas N. McCluer (b. Feb 28, 1790 in Maryland or Virgina possibly Rockbridge Co. Virginia, death date unknown)  and Susannah Trucks {Trux}(b. in Pennsylvania, date unknown, died August 1838.
John's siblings were Henry C., James J., George Y., William and Ruth Ann.
Clarinda was born December 9, 1817 in Luzern County, Pennsylvania and died June 16, 1893 in Barry County, Missouri. Her parents were: Thomas Barber Nase and Polly Montanye
John and Clarinda's children were Sarah A., Ruth, Susan Polly, Rhuey Jane, Thomas N., Amy, George Y., and Amanda. 
John's daughter Ruth is my gr gr grandmother, and she married Peter Hutsell Duncan (my gr gr grandfather). Ruth's sister Sarah married Peter's brother Thomas R. Duncan (both sons of William Duncan and Amanda Hutsell). After the Civil War, Peter and Thomas, and their families moved to Cherokee County, Kansas.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

For Wordless Wednesday I am sharing a photo of my grandma (Beulah Riggs Duncan), my sister and my grandma's sister Alta.

Before I Continue...

Before I dive into this more, let me lay down some basic history about me and my parents. Providing this will help some things make more sense. Extra info will especially help you understand some of my shock, amazement and surprise of some things I have found along the way. It really is a small world after-all!

I was born (in the mid 60's) and raised in Eastern Kansas,. I grew up as the youngest of four. My parents split up when I was 3, and Dad had a job that made him travel a lot. We typically only saw him once a year, or so. But we wrote to each other, him and us kids. Relatives that I had near me while growing up was my siblings (two sisters and a brother, then later a half brother and sister), my mother's parents, Grandma and Grandpa, and my aunts and uncles and cousins, on my mom's side. My Mom was the 3rd of 4 kids. Her older brother and family (a wife and 3 girls) lived (lives) in the Pacific Northwest. We only saw them on occasion, when they could come to Kansas to visit. Their youngest daughter is only a couple years older than I am. Mom's sister and her family were in the same town as we were. She has 5 boys and a girl, her youngest son is my age. We grew up around each other a lot. What you would expect of cousins. Mom's younger brother married, but never had kids. Some of were afraid of him as kids, he wasn't exactly gentle in personality, but we have grown out of that as we have grown older, and actually enjoy talking to him etc. He's a pretty cool uncle.
Grandma's sister lived in our town too, but for some reason I didn't realize they were sisters until recently. We always called her by Mrs. Wolgamuth. So did Grandma. I remember going grocery shopping with Grandma (always a Saturday chore), and sometimes stopping to pick up Mrs. Wolgamuth to take too. She was old, even then (to me), and because of that, slow. But as she got older, going shopping got harder, and Grandma would call her before she went shopping to get a list from her, and we'd drop off her things when we finished and Grandma would stay and chat with her awhile. I must have been pretty clueless as a kid to not realize they were sisters. I just always thought they were old friends.When Mrs. Walgamuth died, I remember Grandma being the saddest I had ever seen her. Grandpa died when I was in the 8th grade.

I never knew my great grandparents on mom's side. I knew they had lived in Missouri. I knew Mom was born in Missouri, and we still had relatives who lived there. I know I met some at a family reunion when I was very young, but I really never remembered who was who.

I also never knew my dad's parents. They both died before my older sister was born. I had seen a couple pictures of them, and heard a couple stories, but not much. My dad was born and raised in New Jersey. He had one sibling, a brother, who was about 14 years older than him. My dad's brother didn't have kids, and I never knew anything about his other relatives growing up. I would hear a few names over the years, and the name of the man my dad was named after, but that was about it.
My Dad joined the Air Force after he finished highschool. He was stationed at the base in Wichita, Kansas. It was through friends that he met my mom. The rest is, as they say, history. My oldest sister was born there, then Mom and Dad moved to New Jersey for a few years, where my brother and my other sister were born. Then they moved back to Kansas, (my dad likes it there better), then I was born.

So how did I wind up in Kentucky!? Well, I was the restless type of teenager, and determined to get out of that little town once I graduated. I joined the Army, went to basic training (in New Jersey of all places!) then was sent to Texas. The third day I was at Ft. Bliss, I met a guy. A few months later we were married. Our first son was born there, then my husband was stationed in Germany. Our second son was born in Germany, then we came back (while I was pregnant with our 3rd) and our third son was also born at Ft. Bliss. By the time our third child was a year old, the oldest was getting ready to start school, and the army life wasn't looking to be a very grounded way to raise kids. So we got out of the Army and moved to Kentucky, where my husband was born and raised. Our youngest son was born here. Kentucky has been my children's home, and my home since. That restlessness of my teen years has faded and I now wish I lived closer. Dad and I stay in touch with email mostly, phone calls sometimes. My sisters are still there with their families, my brother moved west. I've not been able to stay in touch with my half-siblings very well, or at all, as is the case with one. Grandma passed away in 2004, and I still mourn her passing as if it were yesterday. I stay in touch with some of my cousins, and even a few of their kids too. I know most of the family is also curious about our family history, they just aren't able to devote the time to help uncover it.

One cousin ( a second cousin or something to my dad, I had it figured out at one time) on my Dad's side, was my pen pal growing up.  She is close to my age, lives in New Jersey. Her grandmother used to write back and forth with me when I was young too. She was Dad's Aunt Josephine, we just called her Aunt Jo. I actually got to meet Jeannie (Aunt Jo's granddaughter) when she came to my graduation from Basic Training. Jeannie and I now write via email, and she is also trying to do some family history. We have a some-what unique situation in the family history realm. Her grandfather and my grandfather were brothers, and her grandmother and my grandmother were sisters. So our Fraternal family tree is the same!

My journey into the family tree and the use of the internet has allowed me to find more 'cousins', of the more distant kind, but I enjoy being able to talk to them now too. It's pretty amazing how I found some of them!
Many more stories to keep checking back!
Thanks for stopping by, and glad to see some followers sign up since I got this started. Always feel free to comment, make suggestions, send hints, whatever! In case you can't tell, I'm the chatty type. You won't be bugging me!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What I Started With

When my Dad got in contact with the family member he had in mind, something unexpected happened. He isn't sure how it happened, but a different family member sent him an email. The granddaughter of one of Dad's uncles sent him an email. She had been doing family research for a number of years. Her project started as a school project and she never quit. He was blown away by amount of information she had, and began sharing. Cousin Valerie had grown up in New Jersey too, but had by this time moved to Canada and started a family. Many long and forgotten memories of Dad's, little by little, got dusted off and brought back into light. When I'd talk to him on the phone, I could just imagine the look on his face. Valerie was sharing old photos, talking about people Dad hadn't thought about in years. He'd tell me things, and I'd try to write it down as he went. Then he'd put it in email and send it, and I groped in the darkness of the internet trying to find census, cemetery records etc. I felt like I was hunting for a needle in a haystack sometimes. My kids were young, and life was busy, but on slow days I'd do what I could.

Dad's Maternal Line
My family would go back to Kansas about once a year, or every other year to visit, and one such visit we got talking about Family Tree stuff. Dad brought out a family tree of his mother's side (Havens) that had been done back in the 80's. I had known about it, but forgot about it. Dad let me have his copy, and we made a copy of it for him too. It contained info I had never seen before. It had names and stories, cousins and ancestors. It was like gold to me! My first real peek into our family's past. How we got here and who we came from. The earliest names in the the tree are Frederick Kayhart (aka Gearhardt)  who married a Vanderhouf/Vanderhout. It says Frederick was born at sea in 1757 and died 1855 in Pine Brook (I assume NJ).  This couple are my 4th great grandparents. It also had another set of 4th great grandparents listed. Thomas Leach who was born 1781, in Nyack, NY. and died in Brook Valley (no date shown). His wife is simply listed as Priscilla. No last name, no dates.
I only recently came back to this tree to try to expand on it, but that is another story for another day. An amazing story it is too!

My Maternal Line
On that same trip back home, I went to visit Grandma. No trip back home was complete without a visit with Grandma. Grandma was that very special person in my life. We spent so much time at her house when we were growing up. She taught us kids many things, nurtured us, inspired us, put up with us, and fed us. Grandma fed us good things. But on this trip, while my little boys were running around playing with dogs and toys, I asked Grandma if she had any family information, names in a Bible or anything. She started telling me by memory, and I still have where I tried to write those names down in a way I could remember who was who. It was all so confusing. Names of people I could barely remember meeting as a small child. Grandma would mention them in stories through the years, but it was hard for me to remember who was who. They were names floating in the air. Then Grandma got out a newer Bible. not "the family Bible" just a Bible. She opened it up, and found a couple slips of paper.  I asked her permission to take them to Dad's so I could scan them. I promised to return them quickly. She agreed and that is what we did.
Here are those scans, which is what I started with when I started on my maternal line.

This white paper is my grandma's line (my mom's mom). Surnames include: RIGGS, MAKIN, BARRETT.
The yellow papers (was actually one long page but we had to split it into two scans) is my grandpa's line (my mom's dad). Surnames include: DUNCAN, MC CLUER, HASE. The double entry of Duncan is not a mistake. The family lore handed down was that Albert and Viola were cousins. But that will be another story for another day too.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In The Beginning

Everything has a beginning, but we don't always know where to start!
This is my first post for my genealogy blog. I have an idea where to start, I'm just not sure what will be next or where it will go or how I will organize things and all those details. Sounds kind of like my research!
A couple different things in my life planted the seed of curiosity to find out where and who I came from.

 I remember, vaguely, when I was in middle school (or somewhere in that time frame, could have been sooner, could have been later) a teacher gave us that homework assignment. You know the one, where they have you go home and ask a parent or grandparent about your family history. She didn't ask us to do a family tree or anything detailed, just to ask about what our heritage was, ethnically. So I asked my grandma, my mom's mom. I will never claim to have perfect memory, but some things stuck in my mind. She rattled off a list longer than I expected, and she never specified which side(s) of the family she was referring to. I was too young to ask too. I remember she said Dutch (thinking she meant on my dad's side. With a name like Van Orden, we pretty much knew that already), she also mentioned Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and I'm not sure what else, but I remember she said Sioux Indian. I wish Grandma was still here so I could ask her more questions and share with her things I'm sure she did not know. But I was young, then, and must have thought Grandma would live forever.
 Through the years I'd hear about family trees, and people talk about famous relatives, or going back to the countries of their origin. A mini series on tv came out, Roots but I was too young to really watch it and absorb it, but I felt the heat of the fire it had ignited in our society to search for ancestors and the truth, however difficult it was. I had seen the satisfaction others felt from finding out where and who they came from, and discovering the stories of their family's past.
  Fast forward to about 8 years ago. By this time I have gotten married and had 4 kids. All four of my boys were in boy scouts, and we were having a yard sale at a church to raise funds for the troop. As I was inside and my husband had stepped outside. While outside he began talking to a young lady as she was doing some yard work for the church. They talked for a few minutes then they shared names. All I know is that I was standing there folding clothes and my husband came in and told me (quite excitedly), "come outside, there is someone you need to meet". I was confused, but went along. Once outside he introduced us. First he told her my name, then he told me her name, and her last name was Van Orden! I was shocked! I had never met another Van Orden before except my immediate family and my dad's brother. We were the only family with that name where I grew up in Kansas (I now live in Kentucky). She was equally curious, and the questions poured. Turned out her family moved here from New Jersey, where my dad was born and raised, and where two of my siblings were born. In fact they came from the city one of my siblings was born in. We swapped some names and info then she had to finish her work.
 When I got home I called my dad and asked him if any of those names she told me sounded familiar. They didn't ring a bell at all. But he knew someone else in the family he could ask and let me know.
The seed that had been planted years before, was sprouting. It was time to learn how to search for the answers I had racing through my mind.
 I am now at a point where I am not sure which way to go next. So bear with me, I have a few years worth of research to go back over, on both my mom's and my dad's side, and even in my husband's tree. I have filled in many blanks already, and I have discovered some interesting and exciting stories. I have family members who are curious about what I have found, and I am hoping this is a way to help them understand what can be a very confusing topic. I still have many blanks left on my charts I hope to fill, and that is another reason for doing this blog, some of those blanks aren't so easy to get names into. I have found some blogs out there that has helped me. Who knows who may stumble across this and contact me. I have already found quite a few 'cousins' along the way, and it is such an exciting element that breaths life and more truth into what can be a dull and endless stream of names, dates and places.