Sunday, May 23, 2010

Grover's Books

Grover gave us this book many years ago . . .
Then, he borrowed it back, re-read it all again, but I think he added some post-it notes and highlighting.
Often while working in genealogy, I wonder. . . "but, what did he think . . what were her values. . . why did they do that?" With Grover's post-it notes and highlighting, we pretty well know his values and beliefs.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Appendicitis and Harry Smith's Family

My father-in-law Grover told me several stories about his uncle, Harry Smith, pictured above with his sister Ellice Smith Morgan and his wife "Pawdy" Smith in 1961. Harry's family moved around with the Morgans a lot so Grover knew them pretty well. Harry was not with the coal mines, though, but was a meat cutter.

Harry and Pawdy had four children: Robert, Thelma, Gladys and Ruth. Only two lived to adulthood---Robert and Thelma. Gladys died of appendicitis before she was 21 years old. Grover didn't have too many details about that but he did for Harry and Pawdy's appendicitis.

Around 1922-1923, Harry had appendicitis when they lived in Landville, WV. He was packed in ice and taken to the hospital the next day. Although it's not in my notes, I seem to recall it was in a bathtub. I'm amazed that was done since that is what is done today with spinal injuries and is considered a break through.

His wife Pawdy also had appendicitis in the late 1920's. Apparently, they were living in Kimball, West Virginia (or nearby---I know Morgans lived in Big Four) at the time because she was operated on by a black surgeon in a black hospital which was over a store. I googled it and found this about the Kimball Colored Hospital. I don't think the timing was right that Dr. Roscoe Harrison would have been her surgeon, but it did verify Grover's story that there was "colored" hospital in Kimball.
One of the reasons I'm doing this blog is because all of the stories from our parents are written down on whatever was handy. This was on the back of an envelope which is nice because it's dated 04 August 1999 :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Charlie Smith's Family

L-R Anna Brown Smith, Arnold Smith, Carrie Cornwall Smith, Glenn Smith, Eddie Smith (little), "Grandma" Cornwall, 1922
The family above is Charlie Smith's wife, sons, mother and mother-in-law. Charlie was Ellice Smith Morgan's oldest brother. Charlie, like many in West Virginia/Kentucky was a miner. In 1920, they were in Colorado. By the 1930 census, Charlie and his family were in Riverside, California where he is listed as a "decorator" (painter, wallpaper hanger). My father-in-law's family went West in 1929 to visit with this family and thought they might like to settle west, but they came back to West Virginia. Click here for more about that trip.
L-R: Glenn Smith, Paul Morgan, Grover Morgan, 1983
However, the Morgans maintained close ties with their California cousins, so Grover and his brother Paul often visited with their cousin Glenn Smith.
Glenn and his wife Lucy often traveled with my in-laws Grover and Eloise Morgan to Las Vegas and Arizona where Glenn's brother lived.

Double click on the postcard above to read what Lucy had to say.
This is a photo of Ellice Smith Morgan with her older brother Charles E. Smith. I'm guessing it was made in 1960's but we aren't sure where it was made since she was in Florida and he was in California.
Charlie might have even come east for his son Arnold's funeral---I found this letter to my in-laws.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lydia Graham Olds

David brought me a document about Lydia Graham Olds (above), William Graham and Margaret McCarroll's granddaughter written by Warren Snider (her grandson):

Lydia Graham was born on January 10, 1848 in Waddoms Grove, in northern Illinois. Her father, Theodore Graham, had gone to California to the Gold Rush just months before she was born. When he returned home two years later, he had enough money to buy an 80-acre farm and a team of horses.

My grandmother, Lydia Graham (Olds) told the story that she was playing in the yard when her father came home from California. He picked up his little two year old daughter, and when he kissed her she cried.

I remember two other stories my grandmother told. When she was six years of age, one day the teacher dismissed the children at 11:00 A.M. because she was very ill. That night the teacher died of cholera. The other story is of hearing about the beginning of the Civil War. The family had gone on a picnic at Sweet Home, near Warren, Illinois. Two men came riding by on horseback and told them of the Battle of Bull Run. This was in 1861.

Kingsley E. Olds served for four years as a volunteer in the Illinois 45th Infantry in the Union Army during the Civil War. He returned home to his home on a farm south of Warren, Illinois in 1864. Shortly afterward he married Lydia Graham, and they moved to a farm in southern Wisconsin. Many years later they moved into the town of Warren, Illinois, where Kingsley Olds died two years later in 1907.

Carrie Olds, the oldest daughter of Kingsley and Lydia Olds was born in southern Wisconsin on May 18, 1865. During the twelve years three other daughters were born. Emma and Ella married brothers and moved to Primghar, Iowa. Lottie attended Warren Academy and later moved to Van Buren, Missouri in 1909.

Carrie attended Warren Academy and another school in Dixon, Illinois and taught school for ten years. She married Edward M. Snider in 1900. four sons were born to Edward and Carrie Snider. Herbert and Ed were born in 1901 and 1902 on the Sllothawer place in southern Wisconsin. I, Warren, was bron on a farm near Laddonia, Missouri in 1904. After two years in Missouri, the family moved back to Warren, Illinois, where Joe was born in 1906.

We then moved to Winthrop, Iowa and lived on three farms, the Carpenter Place, the Murley Place , and the Scheidler Place. In 1910 we moved to Lawrence, Michigan, where my father bought the only farm he ever owned. My father was killed by lightning on that farm in 1912.

After my father's death, Carrie Snider and her four boys went to Van Buren, Missouri to live with her sister Lottie Olds. Two years later my mother died. The boys stayed in Van Buren with Lottie until they were ready to leave home to go on to other pursuits, college, marriage, jobs.

For several years Graandma Olds kept her home in Warren, Illinois. She received a Civil War pension until her death. She spent the summer months in her home in Warren and the winter months in Van Buren with Lottie and the Snider boys. She died at the age of 97 in Van Buren while Warren was in Okinawas and Joe was in Europe during World War II.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dancing in Heaven

This year I've been very fortunate to meet 3 cousins I'd never met before---all of them are pretty distant---even my parents had never met them. We met through genealogy, we got to know each other better through Facebook---I love the internet and the relationships that can be formed.

My sister says I'll have quite a fan club when I get to heaven, but I prefer seeing this image of ancestors high-fiving each other whenever I meet one of these distant cousins.
I met Ricky in Arkansas this Spring. Our relationship is a bit complicated because My great grandfather is the brother of his grandfather AND my great grandmother is a first cousin of his grandmother. So, we're a little closer that 3rd cousins once removed.
But can't you see our mutual ancestors (on the Wicker side) high-fiving. Above is Virginia Sampson (my g-g grandmother and Rick's g-grandmother).
And, this is John Wicker (my g-g grandfather and Rick's g-grandfather).
A few days later, while on vacation in Alabama, I met up with Catherine. Her mother Claudia below. . .
Is first cousins with my grandmother Vivian (below) making us 3rd cousins once removed also.
This weekend, I met up with Steven---we don't know how we're related but his DNA matches my brother's 67 out of 67 markers. We have an 89.97 % chance of being related within 6 generations.
So, ancestors that lived back in Virginia (see below) are high-fiving that we have met. I chose this place for a photo to show the photos of my daughters, parents and grandchildren to reflect the circle of life.

Or, maybe. . .our ancestors are really having a circle dance. Each time I meet another cousin, the circle gets larger. . . Hey, I think I really like that image.