Friday, August 9, 2013

Who let the dust in?

I. Am. Back. 

Sort of.

I know its gotten boring around here, seeing as my last entry was written in 2012 (oops), but I'm planning on getting back in the groove in September. Why September? First off, part of my long absence is due to another little leaf being added to our family tree. Blake was born in June so things have been a bit hectic and busy adjusting to a family of 5. Callie, our eldest, starts back to school (First Grade) next week, so while I anticipate much more time to be able to get some work done on Letha's research, I'll still have Jameson (2.5 years old) and Blake to keep me hopping. 

Secondly, I'm making plans to attend my first genealogy conference, to which I can hardly convey my excitement! Unless something comes up, I am registered to attend the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) annual conference being held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Allen County Public Library and its amazing Genealogy Center. I'm so very anxious to hear and learn from some really big names in the realm of genealogy including, but certainly not limited to: Cyndi Ingle Howells, Elizabeth Shown Mills, D. Joshua Taylor, Judy G. Russell, Crista Cowan, and Thomas W. Jones. I've got my sessions picked (and some back-ups as well). Here's hoping Blake and I can handle the separation (he'll be at a nearby hotel with my mom and Jameson - thanks Mom!), because there are so many great sessions planned, I've got some pretty long days scheduled! Another great aspect of the conference is the social/networking that will be going on. I'll be meeting some people that so far I have only known through the internet and various Facebook/Google+/Twitter interactions. There's even a list of other GeneaBloggers who will be in attendance, so if you're interested in learning more about the conference, be sure to check them out.

Fingers crossed that all goes as planned and I get to go after all of this planning! "See" you after FGS, if not sooner, eh?

Friday, December 21, 2012

The books. Oh, wow. The books.

Included in the many boxes of Letha's collection was an impressive selection of books. I add them here for those who may be interested in what she had as well as for other researchers to offer up lookups in them. I have attached links to these books on several websites like the Library of Congress, (find the book in a library, hopefully, near you!), and Google Books. If there are digital versions of the book, I will note that as well. I have so many that in order to keep this manageable, this is the list of books just based on Family Histories.

Family Books 

The Bowyers of Old Virginia 1607- 1979 Maryetta Frances Bowyer, 1979 (Library of CongressWorldCatGoogle Books, signed by the Author) - I also have a printed index for this book by Mata Bowyer Stevenson

Leaves and Branches from Bowyer Roots- A Supplement to 'The Bowyers of Old Virginia 1607-1979' Maryetta Frances Bowyer, 1986 (WorldCatGoogle Books, signed by the Author) - I also have a printed index for this book by Mata Bowyer Stevenson

The Claypoole Family in America  - Volumes I (1986), II (1988), III (1973), V (1982) compiled by Evelyn Claypool Bracken (Volume III is listed in the Library of CongressVolume I and Volume III are available to read online at, WorldCat has Volume IIVolume III, and possibly Volume IV)

Gwinn Family Reunion Program 32nd Annual 1983, 33rd Annual 1984, 34th Annual 1985 (These are very interesting, and thick, programs with a schedule of events, family information, photos, memorials, and advertisements... it reminds me a lot of the sports programs available at high school football games, very cool little books!)

Three Hull Brothers Eugene F. Hall, 1986 (ISBN 0-87012-480-3, Library of CongressWorldCatGoogle Books)

Kincaid-Claypool Descendants - Mountain Tom Kincaid's Second Family of Central West Virginia and 34 Other States William Harold Kincaid, 1991 ("ISBN Application Pending," Library of CongressWorldCatGoogle Books, this copy is signed "To Letha Thanks so much for your help! Bill Kincaid")

History of the Descendants of John Koontz Lowell L. Koontz, 1979 (ISBN 0-87012-338-6, Library of CongressWorldCatGoogle Books)

Legg Family History compiled by Nawasa Wheatly (This is a very nicely done self-published compilation of the descendants of Hazel William Legg and his wife Matilda Caroline Crookshanks, with some general Legg family history as well. I can only assume from a note in Letha's writing attached to the front page the name of the author, it is not clear on the printing date, but there are entries dated up to the end of 1992)

Billy Hance: The Wit and Wisdom of William Hance Ramsey compiled by Richard L. McGraw, 1992 (Library of CongressWorldCat)

Shucks, Fleshmans, Sydenstrickers & Other Families Larry G. Shuck, 1986 (Library of Congress,, Google Books

Our Families - Shuck, Sydenstricker, Smith, Lewis, Kincaid, Keister, et. al., of West Virginia Larry G. Shuck, 1995 (Library of Congress, WorldCat)

Royalty Among Us - The History of the Skaggs, Foster and Allied Families of the Western Frontier Shirley Greene Ulaki, 2000 (**This is a self-published book from my own collection, not Letha's, but it may tie in at some point due to location** Shirley Greene Ulaki's website)

The Spade Family Tree, The Spade Family Photo Album, The Spade Family Tree and Photos compiled by Davida R. Farley, 2010 (This is another self-published family genealogy that is from my collection, once again, may tie in somewhere due the locales of these families.)

Thomas Family History J. Montgomery Seaver, 1929 American Historical - Genealogical Society (original copyright, this is a 1972 reprint, Library of Congress, WorldCat)

If you are interested in any more information regarding these books, please contact me. I will gladly do lookups (as time permits), scan pages and email them, etc.  Happy Holidays and Happy Ancestor Hunting in 2013!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

First Binder Finished!

Just a quick little post to make note that I have now added all of the information found in Letha's THOMAS binder. That is pretty huge for me, so motivating to keep moving! There are nearly 20 binders in all (and countless folders and books!) and I hope that I can be a little bit quicker about each of the subsequent binders to follow.

Just as a reminder, I only put up very minimal information pertaining to the living (and in some cases, possibly still living) for privacy reasons. This  THOMAS family binder was slow going, in part, due to that.

So who is next? I am thinking the Bowyers, or maybe the Callisons... come back soon to see who it will be!

Also, Tina Sanford, if you are still reading along, I hope you will contact me, there are too many "Tina Sanford" options on facebook to just start sending random messages to!      

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

...starts with the Thomas Family: Mary Emma Thomas

The 11th child of Edward Gilmer Thomas and Sarah Lucas was Mary Emma, also known as Emer. Mary Emma Thomas was born 3 June 1877 in Rupert, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, according to the Thomas Bible (there is no record of Mary Emma's birth currently on the WVCulture site). Mary Emma married Charles Wallace Crotty on 14 Aug 1901 (entry 91) in Talcott, Summers County, West Virginia, by none other than her sister Lucy's (future) husband, Reverend Abraham M. Frantz. Charles Crotty was born in February 1878 (the date is unclear in Letha's records as she has two, either the 2nd or the 16th, the 2nd is noted as provided by granddaughter Marie) to Charles P and Nancy Eagle Crotty (marriage record, line 90).

Charles Wallace and Mary Emma had 3 known children, all daughters.

  1. Hattie Mae, born 21 May 1902 (according to Letha and also by death certificate), married W. A. Briniger/Brinager on 27 April 1921 in Summers County (marriage record, line 59). Hattie left this world on 2 Jul 1925 in Secoma, Summers, West Virginia. Her cause of death is listed as "Eclampsia, due to child birth," she is buried at Layland Cemetery (Fayette County), but is not currently listed on FindAgrave's internments there. Death recorded here. I cannot find anything on the fate of the pregnancy/child, and Letha does not note this information. 
  2. Morene Fay, born 29 Jun 1904 (according to Letha and also by death certificate), married Charles Fitzpatrick on 4 Apr 1923 in Fayetteville, Fayette County, West Virginia (marriage record), he was a 27 year old miner, she was 19. His parents are listed simply as John and A. M. Fitzpatrick. Sadly, Morene shared the same fate of death in childbirth, her death certificate also listing "Eclampsia." BUT, their child, Marie, lived to be raised by her maternal grandparents, Charles Wallace and Mary Emma Crotty. 
  3. Pearl Grace, born 2 Feb 1910 (birth recorded here), married Clarence Fletcher Cochran on 29 Aug 1931 (right side page) in Rupert, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, he was 24, she 21. His parents are listed as Raymond and Bessie Cochran.
Mary Emma Thomas Crotty passed away on 30 Mar 1953 at her home in Charmco, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, from a cerebral hemorhage and clot, along with suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (death certificatedeath record). Mary Emma Crotty is listed as buried in the Ben McClung Cemetery, Rupert, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, according to her death certificate, as is her brother Joseph Andrew Thomas. Charles Wallace is listed by Letha as having passed in 1954. There is a death certificate on WVCulture's website for a 76 year old Wallace Crotty that I believe is him, the dates match the headstone, but since the informant was the hospital, there is little background information on him.  Here is the death record (bottom of the right side page).

I find it incredibly sad to see that 2 of their 3 daughters died due to or during childbirth. Pearl and her husband, Clarence, went on to have a fairly large family of 5 children. Though they did lose an infant, he is buried at the End of the Trail Cemetery in God's Flower Garden section, in Clintonville, WV. 

The photo below is horrible, I should have taken the time to clear the headstone off, but this cemetery is so extremely overgrown I was trying to get what pictures I could and get out without too much trouble!
Ben McClung Cemetery, Rupert, WV - headstone of Charles Wallace and Mary Emma Thomas Crotty

starts with the Thomas Family: Lucy Ellen Thomas

The 10th child of Edward Gilmer Thomas and Sarah Amanda Lucas was Lucy Ellen Thomas.

Lucy was born on 7 Feb 1873, Letha does not list a list a specific location, but presumably she was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia as the family moved to Greenbrier County in 1877. Lucy passed from this world on 17 Jul 1963, having succumbed to carcinoma of the liver (death record). Letha lists her final resting place at the End of the Trail Cemetery in Clintonville, West Virginia. Lucy married Rev. Abraham Michael Frantz on 9 May 1939 at the age of 66, together they had no children, Abraham was a 79 year old widower. 

Abraham was a Minister of the Baptist Church of the Brethren in the Greenbrier County area. He presided over several marriages in Lucy's family, including that of her niece Maggie Sanford, daughter of Edward Preston Sanford and Sarah "Mandy" Thomas, to McKinley Osborne in 1918. Abraham was the son of David Frantz and Sarah Gillispie, and was born on 29 Oct 1859 in Franklin County, Virginia; he passed of cardiovascular renal disease on 24 Oct 1942 in Meadow Bluff, Greenbrier County, WV, all according to his death certificate. His burial is listed as the Frantz Cemetery in Vale, West Virginia. FindAGrave lists Frantz Cemetery in Dawson, West Virginia. Here is Abraham's entry on FindAGrave

I have come across two small biographical sketches of Abraham Michael Frantz in the book Greenbrier County West Virginia Heritage - 1997 by S. Grose on Google Books (what a wonderful resource!). The sections of interest are "Abraham Frantz" and "Sarah Minnie Frantz" both on page 70, Sarah's story continues on to page 71. It should be noted that neither sketch includes Abraham's marriage to Lucy.

Abraham Michael Frantz and Lucy Ellen Thomas Frantz

Saturday, October 6, 2012

... starts with the Thomas Family - William Alexander Thomas - UPDATED!

A Holiday postcard from William Alexander Thomas to his brother Joe Thomas & his wife Ellen Callison.
I especially love how he "hid" the gifts for them in the ends of the tobacco!
William Alexander Thomas, son of Edward G Thomas and Sarah A Lucas, was born 5 Dec 1852 and died 30 Jan 1934 at the age of 82. He was married (1) to Emma Puckett (line77) on 10 Oct 1878 in Greenbrier County and (2) to Ida Smith (have not found a marriage record for them, but according to the 1910 census they were married 5 months as of May 1910). Once again, the sources include a scrapbook of Mary McNamee, and also "Nellie & Juanita." I have updated this section considerably as I found some mistakes on this Family Group Sheet!

William and Emma had 4 known children:
  1. Mamie, b 3 Jan 1882 in Dennis, Greenbrier, WV; d 15 Mar 1971 in Monroe Co, WV, married Frank Rodney Upton (d 1956) on 18 Dec 1901 in Monroe County, WV. Marriage License  Marriage Register 
  2. May, b 16 Aug 1879 in Greenbrier County, WV; d 28 Mar 1980 in Peterstown, Monroe, WV; married Oscar A Still on 22 Oct 1902 in Alderson,  "Oscar (died) age 82 Upton Cem, Alderson, WVa" Marriage LicenseMarriage Register line 74 
  3. Rev Cary Houston, b 15 Aug 1894 in Alderson, Monroe, WV (see Delayed Certificate of Birth); d 17 Apr 1976 in Denver, Denver, Colorado; married Florence Gertrude Lair on 20 Jul 1921 in Cabell County, WV (see line 8 *Clary H Thomas*); was in the Army (according to Delayed BC, he was "Honorably Discharged from the U.S. Army on 26 Jul 1918."). Cary and Florence can be found in the 1930 census in Chapman, Merrick, Nebraska and in the 1940 in Bridgeport, Morrill, Nebraska.
  4. Irene, b 20 Jul 1891 in Dennis, Greenbrier, WV; d 20 Mar 1980 in the Masonic Home, Jefferson County, Kentucky; married John Robert Ray on 8 Sep 1920 in Monroe County, WV Marriage Register, Line 50 Marriage License
Wiliam and Ida had 1 known child together: 
  1. Willie Watts Thomas (daughter!), b about 1912 (the WVCulture collection currently has birth information for most counties up to 1911, hopefully 1912 will be included next year), I would guess her birth location to be somewhere in the Wolf Creek, Monroe, WV vicinity as that is where William is living for the 1910, 1920, and 1930 census. Willie married Frank Benjamin Foster on 18 Dec 1929 in Lewisburg, Greenbrier, WV.

Buried at Upton Cemetery in Alderson, Monroe, WV are: W A and Emma Puckett Thomas, Frank and Mamie Thomas Upton, and some of their children (Emma Lucille, Fred Roy). As well as Mae and her husband Oscar Still

On the next page is the FGS of Mamie Thomas and Frank Upton. Frank is listed with a death date of 1956, buried at Upton Cemetery, Alderson. (No death record listed on WVCulture as of 26 May 2012, but I have found another researcher who lists Frank's death date as 18 May 1947 with a citation of OBIT, and quite a bit more information on this family). Here is Frank's memorial on 

Children of Frank and Mamie Thomas Upton:

  • Noka Fanstine, b 17 Nov 1902 d 22 Mar 1996, married Walter Henry Schmidt 2 Jun 1930 in Alderson, Monroe, WV
  • Ruth, married Harry Valma Holliday 14 Jun 1926 in Union, Monroe, WV
  • Fred Roy, b 10 Sep 1905 d 10 Nov 1956, married Vivian Wikel
  • Hubert Orville, b 16 Jul 1907 d Dec 1979
  • Glenn R, b 30 Mar 1909 d Sep 1982
  • Emma Lucille, b 10 May 1911 d 10 May 2005, OBIT - Emma Lucille Upton
  • Haven Hersey, b 10 Jan 1913 d 25 Aug 1990
  • Elizabeth S,  married J W Propes 16 Jul 1942 in Hinton, Summers, WV
  • Frank Melvin (not listed by Letha, but his OBIT clearly puts him in this family as well) b 6 Jan 1917 in Monroe County, WV d 29 May 2003 in Gaffney, Cherokee, South Carolina.
  • Charles H, b 7 Nov 1918 d 19 Mar 1992
  • Rosalie (Rosa Lee), b 27 Dec 1920 d 20 May 2009, married Harold Stennett OBIT - Rosalie Upton Stennett
How strange for a single card to have survived, but no photo of William or his family for the collection? I hope that one day photos and stories can be added to the skeletons of dates... 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

...starts with the Thomas Family: Adam Henry Thomas

Back to the last few children of Edward Gilmer Thomas and Sarah Amanda Lucas...

Adam Henry Thomas was the ninth child of Edward and Sarah. He was born 14 Sep 1870 at Walkers Creek, Rockbridge County, Virginia. He married Ida Vermont Hinkle on 13 Sep 1899 in Fayette County, West Virginia, he was 28 and she was 17. Ida was born 13 Mar 1883 (100 years to the day of my brother's birthday), her parents are listed as David Crawford Hinkle and Sue Faulkner Hinkle.

Adam Henry and Ida had 6 known children:

  1. Susan Beatrice - born 17 Nov 1900 in Rupert, Greenbrier County, WV; married William E Plumb on 17 Jan 1917 in Erskine, Fayette County, WV; died 14 May 1928 in Thurmond, Fayette County, WV; she is buried at Hilltop Cemetery in Oak Hill, Fayette County. (This death date is listed in the Family Group Sheet, but I have found no records, yet, to back it up.) I do not know if they had any children, there are none listed in the 1920 census with the couple. 
  2. Ethel Mabel - born 3 Dec 1902 in Stone Cliff, Fayette County; married 1) Homer E Kirk on 4 Dec 1923 in Fayetteville, Fayette County, Homer is listed as divorced, and 2) Harry R Lilly on 22 Jan 1925 (80 years to the day of my own wedding) in Beckley, Raleigh County, and 3) Henry R Robinson; Ethel is listed as having passed on 5 Dec 1995 in Charleston, WV; she is buried at High Lawn Cemetery in Oak Hill.
  3. Cora Gladys - born 16 Jun 1905 (according to the FGS, no record currently on WVCulture) in Stone Cliff, Fayette County; married 1) Herbert F Duncombe on 1 Jan 1924 in Mt Hope, Fayette County; they had 1 child, and Herbert passed away soon after from pneumonia (death certificate and death record) (Herbert's FindAGrave Memorial), 2) Mark Cotton.
  4. Albert Haven - born 18 May 1909 in Newlyn, Fayette County; married Nellie Taylor (no marriage record found yet, but they are living with her parents in the 1940 census); Albert died at almost 32 years old of "anemia - muscular miositis" on 15 Apr 1941; he is buried at Oak Hill.
  5. Rubena Vermont - born 22 Jul 1911 in Stone Cliff, Fayette County; married 1) Oscar Wood on 7 May 1928 in Mt Hope, Fayette County. Had several children. 2) Mike Kozma on 21 Apr 1949 in Mt Hope. Fayette County; Reubena passed away on 19 Feb 1990 in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey.
  6. Carrie Deilis - born on 16 Oct 1916 (no birth record on WVCulture, yet) in Erskine, Fayette County; married Clarence W Parrish on 15 Nov 1936 in Mt Hope, Fayette County; she passed away on 17 Jan 1996 in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia, and is buried at Big Chimney Cemetery in Kanawha County. 
Adam Henry Thomas passed away on 13 Feb 1926 in Weewin, Fayette County, and is buried at Oddfellows Cemetery in Oak Hill, Fayette County, as is his wife, Ida, who passed away on 18 Jul 1967 in Oak Hill. Ida remarried after Adam Henry's death, she married a John W McClure (who passed away in 1960).

Ida's Obituary from the Beckley Post Herald on 19 Jul 1967.