Monday, June 25, 2012

Photos of Mary Ellen Callison Thomas

I am blessed with some wonderful photos of Ellen. She looks like someone who experienced a lot in her 80 years, I just wish I could ask her all about it. I especially love the photo with her smiling, and the one with her fancy coat and hat, but with the apron still peeking out underneath. 

The family of Joseph Andrew Thomas and Mary Ellen Callison circa 1906. Joe Andy's mother, Sarah Amanda Lucas Thomas on  the far right. Children, left-right: Joseph Berton, Lester Robert, James Elzie, Earl Gilmer.
Ellen with an unidentified child - anyone know?

Joe Andy and Mary Ellen Callison Thomas, before 1938.
Close-up of "Granny Thomas" and 3 grandchildren: James Russell Thomas, Glenna Thomas (the baby - my grandmother), and Letha Thomas, compiler of the Legacy. Photo taken at the Thomas farm in Danese, WV.

Doesn't everyone have a photo of their Granny with chickens?
The back says "Taken when lived on Claremont Mtn."

Same photo as above, full view.

Ellen with grandchildren, unidentified on this photo - anyone know?

Ellen in the center, the little boy on the right side of the photo is a  grandson, Gene Stickler.
All dressed up for an outing? Note that she's  still sporting her apron.  

Love this photo and her smile! The woman on the right is a friend, Mrs. Kate Helmick

Kate Helmick, Ellen, Gene Stickler, Sonny Helmick, and Lowell Thomas. Gene and Lowell are both grandchildren of Ellen and Joe Andy's.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Photos of Joseph Andrew Thomas

I have no tales to go along with these photos, but I feel compelled to share them. Enjoy!
Joe Andy Thomas 

Logging Camp possibly Greenbrier County, or possibly Fayette County, close-ups below.

Another Logging Camp photo, no one identified in this photo, close-up below.

The family of Joseph Andrew Thomas and Mary Ellen Callison. Joe Andy's mother, Sarah Amanda Lucas Thomas on  the far right. Children, left-right: Joseph Berton, Lester Robert, James Elzie, Earl Gilmer.
I wonder who made the quilt? Is it still around somewhere?

Friday, June 22, 2012

... starts with the Thomas family : Joseph Andrew Thomas

Ahhh, my branch! Just to recap, Edward Gilmer Thomas and Sarah Amanda Lucas had at least 12 known children: William, Elizabeth, James, Rachel, Sarah, Edward, Joseph, Martha, Adam, Lucy, May, and Angeline. Joseph and Ellen here are Great Great Grandparents of mine, I am blessed to have several photos (or copies of some sort) of them, which I am happy to share with you here.

The family of Joseph A Thomas and Mary Ellen Callison circa 1906 (the children l-r: Joseph, Lester, Elzie, and Earl) .
I believe the woman on the end is Sarah Lucas Thomas (Joseph's mother).

Logging Camp, presumably somewhere in WV.
The only person identified is Joe Andy.
Note the random baby in the middle...

close-up of the Logging Camp photo, Joe Andy on the left.

Joseph Andrew Thomas was born 19 Feb 1866 in Goshen, Rockbridge County, Virginia. He was married on 7 Mar 1900 in Greenbrier County (see line 21) to Mary Ellen Callison, both marrying later in life than most at the time: he was 34, she was 30. Joe Andy worked the farm, but also worked in a logging camp at some point, possibly before his marriage.  
Joe Andy died at his home in Danese, Fayette County, on 6 Dec 1938 from mitral stenosis. He is buried alongside his wife in the Ben McClung Cemetery in Rupert, Greenbrier, West Virginia.

Ellen with unidentified child.
Mary Ellen Callison was born 5 Jan 1870 in Greenbrier County, WV to Robert Callison and his wife Mary Laverna Smith. She passed away at her son Bert's home on 2 Jan 1950 in Danese, Fayette County, WV of chronic myocarditis and senility. There are 3 binders and several books on the Callison family in Letha's collection... 

Joe Andy and Ellen had 7 known children. More info on each of them on separate posts to come.

  1. Earl Gilmer (1900-1972)
  2. Lester Robert (1902-1978)
  3. Joseph Berton (1904-1974)
  4. James Elzie (twin) (1905-1980)
  5. Olney (twin) (1905-1905)
  6. Bessie Jane (1907-1996)
  7. Carl Vernon (1913-1986)
I have so much DATA on these people, and quite a few photos, but no stories to share. My great grandfather, James Elzie, passed almost two years before I was born. Do you have a story to add to give life to these people? I hope you'll share if you do.
Joe Andy and Mary Ellen Callison Thomas
The Thomas house in Danese, 1939. Jim Callison (Ellen's brother) wearing suspenders, Earl Thomas (son of Joe Andy & Ellen), the little girl's name is Murline.
Their final resting place, Ben McClung Cemetery in Rupert, Greenbrier, West Virginia

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 a shared dream.

"1982 - May 1983

Dear Family, 

The information presented here is more of a compilation of "notes" than a history of the family. Over the years my insatiable thirst for information about our forefathers has prompted me to ask questions - of everyone. Unfortunately, I have not always retained the answers so freely given, but I have kept some notes showing dates, places, etc.

I did not want the information to remain in my "Family History" file when some effort could be made to preserve and share as much of it as possible. It was then, in February, 1982, that I began asking different members of the family to provide what they could. It is that information, plus my notes, you will find here. 

It is my hope that some person or persons will share my "dream" to delve deeper into records to find more information on "our ancestors", and will share that information. I know my search will continue as I find new leads. 

My only regret is that I did not begin this project 30 years ago. 

This is a labor of love for me. I hope it will be of interest to all the members of the family.

My thanks to all those who have answered my numerous questions; those who responded so willingly; and a special thanks to my Harry who has supported and advised me along the way.

Juanita C. (McNamee) Auer"

I found this in the Thomas family binder. I have never met Juanita, and I wish that I could. I feel as though this was written for me. Is it strange that her motivation for this letter started 1 month after I was born? What a coincidence! I found that her beloved Harry sadly passed away a year after she wrote this, in 1984. My heart goes out to her, even though he's been gone nearly 30 years.

The next several pages (12 total) after this letter are typed notes and a list of the known family descendants of Edward Gilmer Thomas and Sarah Lucas that Juanita had found and their dates of birth, and their last known location. For privacy reasons, I will not be posting any of those, but I will post the notes.

The "notes" on the THOMAS / SIMS segments were compiled after many questions over the years with my mother, MARY JANE (THOMAS) McNAMEE, and my great-aunt, LUCY (THOMAS) FRANTZ. My aunt, NELLIE VIRGINIA THOMAS, continues to be a great source of information. She mailed clippings and scrapbooks for me to use in my research.

While working on this "labor of love" I have found that several people in the THOMAS family are also working on the family history. I have been in touch with LETHA THOMAS OSBORNE, who has done some research and provided me with additional information as well as some sources to be explored. 

Much of the information has been taken from the obituaries and clippings which I mentioned above, thus the "last known address" of survivors might not be the current one, but might help in a follow-up f needed by someone who wishes to pursue the "history".

The extensive information on the SIMS family comes from MYRTLE McCLUNG JOHNSON. She has done much research much more than I could ever hope to do. We are grateful for her part in providing insight into our forefathers. She responded to my question concerning the possibility of there being Indian ancestors in our family history history as follows:
  "If there were Indian ancestors in our SIMMS branch of the family it was back of Joseph Simms as I heard my grandmother, Mary C. Simms, (who was a woman of great integrity) discuss with one of her nephews, Ed Smoot. She knew Joseph and his wife very well and it was far back of them. Some of the early settlers did take squaws for wives, for instance, John Smith and Pocahontas were married and their family history gives more than 50 families who can trace ancestry back to them, but so far I have not been able to find any connected with the Simms in that list, tho there must have been many other such marriages not so well publicized."
 I have found the SIMS name spelled with 2 "M's" in many instances; witness Myrtle's references. Except for the direct quotes, I have used the the "SIMS" spelling, as that is the way it is used in references to our grandmother, ELIZA ELLEN SIMS THOMAS. 

As additional information becomes available it will be sent to you to up-date your records."

...has information on the family of Eliza Ellen Sims

Letha did some research on the family of Eliza Ellen Sims, wife of Edward Daniel Thomas, that might be of use to some researchers out there. She did not cite any sources on this page, but I have supplemented her information where I could, much information pulled from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History search engine for Birth, Marriage, and Death records provided by the West Virginia Archives and History, which if you have any roots in West Virginia are PRICELESS, but WV is amazing to offer them to us for FREE! Check it out here.

Eliza Ellen Sims' parents were Alexander Henry Sims and Mary Catherine Dwyer, who were married in Greenbrier County on 25 Nov 1856. Henry was born in Jul 1827 (according to the 1900 census) and Mary was born in August 1836 (1900 census), both in Greenbrier County (marriage record). The marriage record lists A. H. Sims' parents as a Jos. and Tabitha; Mary's as Moses and Nancy.

Letha lists 7 children for Henry and Mary Dwyer Sims:

  1. David A, born Sep 1857 (1900 census), died  21 Jan 1944 in Rainelle, Fayette, West Virginia, buried in Sims Cemetery. David married Mary J Goddard on 6 Dec 1882 (see line 102) in Greenbrier County. Five children listed: Lula, Tennie, Amanda, William A, and Henry Samuel.
  2. Virginia Rose, born 7 Jun 1860 (she is 20 years old in the 1880 census still living with her parents), died 5 Dec 1925 (both dates are listed on her death certificate), married John H Hutch Hodge on 12 Jan 1888 in Fayette County, WV by Alfred McClelland, this being John's second marriage. Virginia and John had one daughter, Kate Bullar Hodge born 4 Feb 1896 (also here). John was married first on 19 Dec 1883 to Joanna C McClung. John and Joanna had two known sons; Ruffus R born 25 May 1885 and Henry C born 10 Oct 1886 . Joanna died from after soon after giving birth to Henry, the death was recorded as simply Dec 1886, the cause listed as child birth, her parents are listed as William W and Harriet McClung. Some trees on give Joanna's death date as 22 Oct 1886 but with no sources.
  3. Tennie A, born 26 Feb 1865, died 19 Nov 1945 in Oak Hill, Fayette County, West Virginia. Her death certificate states that she was born 26 Feb 1865 in Maywood, Fayette County to Alexander Simms (born in Blue Sulphur, Greenbrier County) and Mary Catharine Dwyer (born in Bushy, Greenbrier County). Her cause of death is listed as Metostatic Carcinoma of the Abdominal Cavity and cancer of the descending colon. She is listed as buried at Fayetteville Cemetery. Tennie married William A Anderson on 7 Dec 1882 in Fayette County, WV, both 21 years old. William's parents are listed as Alex and Elizabeth. Tennie and William had one known child, a daughter named Ollie born 19 Oct 1887 in Fayette County. Ollie married George T Myles (son of T. G. and Susan A., birth record) on 28 Jun 1911 in Fayette County. In the 1930 census, Ollie and George (and their two children, George b abt 1915 and Frances b abt 1920) are living with a widowed Tenie.
  4. Eliza Ellen - more on her here.
  5. Nancy J "Nannie/Maggie", born 7 Oct 1871 in Big Sewell, Fayette County, WV. Letha has no death date for her. She married Lincoln McClung on 23 Nov 1893 in Fayette County, WV. Lincoln was born in Putnam County to Francis M and Susan M McClung. They had two known children: Sonnie/Saunie David (27 Jan 1895 - line 110) and Mary Myrtle (7 Oct 1898 in Maywood, Fayette County, WV).
  6. Ledona "Dona", born Jun 1872 (according to 1900 census) or 25 May 1875 in Rainelle, Fayette County, WV (according to her death certificate), died 18 Oct 1959 in Danese, Fayette, WV. Her cause of death was Cerebral Thrombosis due to Arteriosclerosis. Ledona married Newton Alfred Heaster on 28 Aug 1895 in Fayette County, WV. His parents are listed as Hedges and Martha. Letha lists 2 daughters for Ledona and Newton: Bettie O (30 Jan 1896 - line 123- Maywood, Fayette County, WV), and Mary Pearl (born 15 Feb 1897 - line181 - in Maywood, Fayette County, WV).
  7. Sarah Elizabeth "Betty", born 30 May 1877 in Rainelle, Fayette County, WV and died 26 Jan 1955 in Meadow Bluff, Greenbrier County, WV(both dates and places according to death certificate). Cause of death listed as Coronary Thrombosis due to Coronary Arteriosclerosis. She married Charles G. Legg on 16 Nov 1903 in Fayette County, WV. Charlie is listed as 31 years old, born in Nicholas County to Charles and Harriett. They had 1 known child, Gradie Bland Legg, born 30 July 1906 in Maywood, Fayette County, WV.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

... starts with the Thomas Family - Edward Daniel Thomas

I introduced Edward and Sarah Lucas Thomas a few posts ago, their children are:William AlexanderElizabeth MargaretJames Franklin, Rachel Jane, Sarah Amanda, Edward Daniel, Joseph Andrew, Martha Alice, Adam Henry, Lucy Ellen, Mary Emma, and Angeline.

Edward Daniel Thomas - note the picture of his parents, Edward Gilmer and Sarah Lucas Thomas behind him.
Edward Daniel Thomas was born 11 May 1863 in Goshen, Rockbridge County, Virginia.  He passed away at age 94 on 14 Sep 1957 in Fayette County, West Virginia. He is buried at Sims Cemetery on the Loops Rd in Fayette County. Ed was married to Eliza Ellen Sims on 3 Jan 1895 in Fayette County. Eliza was born to Henry Sims and Mary Dwyer on 15 Jan 1867 in Big Sewell, Fayette County, WV. She passed on 8 Jul 1918 from chronic Brights disease. She is also buried at Sims Cemetery on the Loops Rd. 

Edward Daniel Thomas
Eliza Ellen Sims

Ed and Eliza had 2 daughters:
Mary Jane was born 31 Oct 1895 (line 278) in Dennis, Greenbrier, West Virginia, and died 5 Mar 1974, she is buried at Wallace Memorial - End of the Trail Cemetery in Clintonville, West Virginia. She married William Gregory McNamee on 23 Sep 1917 in Thayer, Fayette, West Virginia.

Cornellia Virginia "Nell/Nellie" was born 24 Aug 1901 (line177) and entry #240 here, Little Sewell Mountain, Fayette County, West Virginia. Nell never married. She passed away 17 Oct 1994 in a Nursing Home in Rainelle. She is buried at the End of the Trail Cemetery in Clintonville.

William Gregory McNamee (11 Jun 1889 - 6 Jul 1976, buried at Wallace Memorial - End of the Trail Cemetery) and Mary Jane Thomas had 2 children: Elizabeth Ellen (1919-1997) married John Alexander Cummings (1918-1975), Letha lists 7 children for them. Juanita Carol (b 1924) married Harry Victor Auer, Jr, Letha lists No Children for them. Juanita is a frequent source of information for Letha, and I believe there is a stack of letters to be gone through at some point... I cannot thank the people who helped Letha out, like Juanita, enough!

Edward Daniel Thomas' sister Lucy Ellen Thomas is living with him in both the 1920 and 1930 census.