Sunday, April 27, 2014

52 Ancestors - #17 Mary Loucinda Halbert – Don’t go into the Front Room!

She was born in Licking, Texas County, Missouri, on November 30, 1832 the daughter of Eli Garner Halbert and Frances Sherrill. Mary was one 13 children only six of which lived to maturity. She married Philander Davis Mitchell on March 24, 1853 and settled on a 600 acre farm about 5 miles south east of town and lived there for the balance of her life. They lived in a one room log house, until after the close of the Civil War, when they were able to finish their large two story house. The lumber for the house was brought around the Horn and the large front room doors were of solid mahogany. 

Philander and Mary Loucinda had five children -Travis Burke born December 1, 1855; Spencer Eli born October 5, 1858; Frances Malinda (or Malvina) born March 8, 1861; and Mary Elizabeth born November 27, 1863. Their youngest was my great grandfather Hubbard Philander Mitchell was born April 22, 1866. During her life Mary Loucinda worked as a teacher, and she was a member of the South Methodist Church.

In the 1900 census it was just the two of them on the 13th of June and Philander Davis died two weeks later on the 2nd of July at the age of 73 and was buried at the Licking Cemetery.

In 1920 she was residing with her son Spencer and his wife Mary at the time of the census which was enumerated on January 12, 1920. Her great grandson Lionell Burris Mitchell (my father) had just been born in the neighboring town of Raymondville the day before. She died October 29, 1920 of old age complications, being a wheel chair invalid for nearly 15 years, previous to her death, caused by a broken hip. They both died at home, in the same exact place (20 years apart) – the northeast corner of the west front room.  (I am started to think that it was a family tradition to stash the old folks in the front room since I have 2 couples in Licking, Missouri that both died in their front room.) Philander and Mary are buried together in about the center of the Licking Cemetery near the driveway.

I was recently contacted by someone who had the Ancestry DNA test done also. It was saying we were second to third cousins but when we both looked into it we discovered that we have mutual great great great grandparents Eli Garner Halbert and Frances Sherrill which makes us fourth cousins not third. I descend from their daughter Mary Loucinda Halbert Mitchell and he descends from Mary’s brother Joel Spencer Halbert. Maybe there is another relative somewhere in our trees that we have in common?

(Thanks again to the Mitchell Grand Aunts Veron and Gwendolyn for some of this information. I think that Grand Aunt Veron also gave me a copy of a picture of Mary Loucinda Halbert - now I just have to remember where it is.)

Monday, April 21, 2014

52 Ancestors - #16 Fidelia N. Riggs – What in the World does the N Stand For?

Fidelia N. Riggs was born in Woodbridge, Connecticut on April 21, 1812. She was the daughter of James Riggs and Pamelia Carrington, and had the following brothers and sisters: Julius, Edwin, Lafayette, Dennis, Daniel, Anna Eliza, Sarah, Helen, Frances, Cynthia, and Martha. Fidelia is my great great great grandmother. 

Fidelia married my great great great grandfather Thomas Tubbs Grave (born June 14, 1808) in 1830 in Dexter, Jefferson County, New York. A story that has been passed down from one generation to another is about how Thomas and Fidelia met. Fidelia was a noticeably pretty girl and as a young lady she went visiting in Herkimer, New York. One Sunday she went to church there wearing a "scoop bonnet" with the entire front filled with roses. Thomas Graves was also there that morning and upon seeing Fidelia among those pink roses, he was so smitten by her beauty that he never looked at another woman. 

Thomas and Fidelia’s first child Henrietta M. was born in January 17, 1831 in New York. Their second Pamelia Fidelia was born January 1833 also in New York State along with Cynthia Elizabeth in 1835, Lydia I. in March 1837, Lafayette William on April 21, 1839, Sarah Frances in 1841, Thomas Jefferson in 1843, Anne Eliza on April 10, 1847 and my great great grandfather James born January 2, 1850. 

Sometime in 1850, Thomas and Fidelia went west, traveling through the Great Lakes to Horicon, Dodge County, Wisconsin.  By August 2, 1850 they were living in Hubbard. They bought a farm near Oak Grove, Dodge County, near where Morrison Barott later settled. (Their daughter, Cynthia later married Alfred Barott, son on Morrison and Diana Barott). Thomas and Fidelia built a beautiful, brick house there that still stands.

Thomas and Fidelia’s daughter Pamelia Graves married Burness Crawford; Henrietta married Mortimer Sayles; Sarah Frances married Henry Duboise; Lydia married first Hugh Devlin and then upon his death his brother Robert; Lafayette William married Emily Stratton; and my great great grandfather James married Effie Beaubier. Thomas Jefferson Graves never married and died in the Civil War. My great grandfather Jefferson Thomas was named for him.

Thomas Tubbs Graves died December 11, 1867 In Oak Grove Township, Horicon County, Wisconsin. In the 1870 census Fidelia is 56 years old and living alone with one of her grandchildren – six year old Cora Sayles.

Fidelia died on August 21, 1871 in Horicon, Dodge County, Wisconsin and is buried at Wruke Cemetery in Horicon with her husband. In May 2001 Thomas and Fidelia’s descendants erected a new tombstone for their grave.

Some things we may never know and I think what the N stands for is one of them. I didn’t find any Carrington or Riggs relatives that had names beginning with N. None of the records that I have found ever had anything more than just the initial.

(Some of the information here was provided by the great granddaughter of Cynthia Elizabeth Graves Barott – Viola Cayo Schnake Walden. I would like to thank previous generations again for writing it down and passing information along.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Organizing 38 Years of Paper

For a couple of months I have been organizing all the genealogy paperwork that I have collected over the past 38 years. It is a slow process. I thought that I had better get this done before I start taking my genealogy class.
It has all been sorted by family group and each surname has its own color of folder. I have scanned most of the documents on my mother's side and the digital copies go into file folders grouped by family name and then by individuals.

The first of Mom's family groups that I have filed the paper copies on is the Tuckers - I went through and for those directly related or those that I want to do more research on I have filled out the research log below from

Then I went on to and started proofing the family tree my son filled out using records he found online and my paper files. I then decided that while it was still fresh in my mind I would add citations to what I brought over from my cousin Carole's data in my genealogy program which is The Master Genealogist. It took me awhile to figure out the nuances between citations, sources, and repositories - probably way too long. I have almost all the sources set up for John Tucker - just a couple more to do - and a number of them I can use for his children. The next step will be doing the citations and correcting some of the importing errors with the data. Once I get old John done - the rest of his family should fall into line and go much faster. It would probably be going faster if I didn't stop and research my son-in-law's Bryant family tree.

If I had but one wish it would be family from New England - but I don't. The family on his father's side is from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts - and it looks like several branches may have come over on the Mayflower (which is what he was told.) I am beginning to think that most of the early settlers from the Mayflower and other ships must have been civil servants in England. They have been registering a lot of the births, marriages, and deaths in those states since 1657!! We are lucky in Washington State to find a birth registered before 1907 - 250 years later! I also have a lot of family from the south and a lot of those courthouses were burned during the Civil War.

I can tell you now that it won't be done before September, but it is going to be in a lot better condition. I should have all the paper sorted and in the individual person files by September, but I won't have and The Master Genealogist done by then. I have told myself no more Bryants etc until I am done with the Tuckers.

Monday, April 14, 2014

52 Ancestors – #15 Eunice Pitzer – Sifting Through Family Information and the Records

Eunice Pitzer was born August 29, 1813 in Ohio. She is my great great great grandmother.

On August 29, 1836 in Ohio she married (Dr.) William C. Bishop (born January 24, 1816.) They moved from Ohio to Payson, Illinois year unknown. On December 25, 1847, Catharine Lea Bishop, my great great grandmother who married Isaac Harry was born at Payson, Adams County, Illinois.  

On October 8, 1856, Eunice and William moved from Payson, Illinois to North Missouri. William died near Hedge City, Missouri with heart dropsy, October 10, 1877. Eunice died, March 22, 1886, near Edina, Missouri at the home of her daughter Rachel Bishop Griggs, and the family being conscious of her impending death for some time, her burial clothes had all been made by hand by her daughter (Catherine Lea Harry) and sent from Licking, Missouri before her death. Both are buried in the Bishop Cemetery.

The above is from the information that my paternal great aunts gave me on their mother’s side (Effie Harry Mitchell daughter of Catharine and Isaac Harry.) 

My research shows a marriage record that indicates that they were married in Illinois not Ohio. Census records uniformly list William as a farmer so I am not sure where the Doctor came from. Other records indicate that Eunice and William were both buried at the Bee Ridge Cemetery, Edina, Knox County, Missouri – not at Bishop Cemetery – though there are a couple dozen Bishops buried there.

An 1850 census (taken on November 18, 1850) shows us that William and Eunice’s eldest son Anthony was 13 and born in about 1837 in Ohio, George was 12 and born around 1838 in Illinois, John was 10 and born around 1840 in Illinois, Rachel was 7 and born around 1843 in Illinois, Elizabeth was 5 and born around 1845 in Illinois, Catharine was 3, and William born around 1850 (a later census says August 1850.) This tells us that they probably moved from Ohio to Illinois between 1837 and 1838.

The 1860 census shows the Eunice is 46 years old and insane and cannot read or write. She is keeping house in the 1870 census. I am not sure what to make of that.

Other family trees indicate that Eunice was born in Hogs Run, Licking County, Ohio and that her parents were Eunice Ball (born 1775 Virginia) and Major Anthony Pitzer Sr. (born 1771 Virginia) and her siblings were Elizabeth, Mary, John, Anthony, Sarah Ann, Rachel, Richard and James. Eunice was the youngest with her mother dying in 1813 the year she was born. The names of these sibling fit with what Eunice named her own children.

Some of the other trees show that Eunice’s paternal grandparents were John Pitzer (born 1746 Virginia) and Elizabeth Kistner (born 1740 Virginia.) Her maternal grandparents were Mathew Ball (born 1748 New Jersey) and Mary Osborne (born 1740 New Jersey). Her maternal great grandparents were Caleb Ball Jr. (born 1665 New Jersey) and Sarah Wallace (born 1728 New Jersey.) We shall see, but at least the other trees give me places to look for records. 

I find it sad that I don’t know much about Eunice other than a few facts and a few family stories. I know that Catharine when she left Knox County to move to Licking County was very sad to leave her ailing mother (who died less than two years later) and as the wagon pulled out she looked back as long as anything was in sight. Catharine also made her mother’s funeral clothes since she couldn't be there to help.  This leads me to believe that Eunice was loved.