Friday, March 30, 2012

Jack & Jinxy

I’ll never forget that day back in the summer of 1985 when we were helping my Uncle Jack & Aunt Hilda move from Santa Rosa, CA to Roseburg, OR.  Mom came in the room with an odd look on her face and plastic recipe file box in hand.  It looked a little beat up and had tape around the top to seal it.  Evidently, it was the cremated remains of Jack’s cat Jinxy!

Jack & Hilda
Uncle Jack loved cats especially black ones.  I can remember every time he visited us that he would tease me that he might have to take that fine black kitty we had back home with him.  I would tell him that she wouldn’t go with him because she loved me.  When Jack got back home he sent me a picture of his black kitty sleeping in some gold garland and told me that his old Tom looked lonesome.  Seven years later, Jack was probably without a cat for the first time in decades and he and Hilda were moving.  My parents, brother and I went down to help them pack up for the move.  Mom said that Jack came back in the room and asked her if she remembered Jinxy.  Jinxy was a cat that Jack had had some 25 years before when he lived in Colorado.  Jinxy had died and Jack was getting ready to move and he couldn’t bear to leave his beloved cat behind.  So, Jack had Jinxy cremated and kept him a plastic recipe box that he declared was hermetically sealed with tape.  He was very serious when he asked my mother if she thought that he should take Jinxy to their next home.  Mom looked at him and could see that this meant a lot to him and told him that he had had Jinxy this long, so why not take him with them.  She did point out that Jack should get a better box for him though.

When Mom came into the room after that little talk with Uncle Jack…she told us what he had said.  My Dad said that it was probably just some dirt and gravel and that he was probably pulling our leg.  Mom said no…he was quite serious.  Hilda was no help…she told Dad to open it up and look if he wasn’t sure.

We began the convoy up north – my brother and I driving Jack’s extra cars – and headed north to Roseburg, OR.  Along the way, my brother found a lovely little myrtle wood box for his wife.  When he was showing us all the box – Jack began eying the box and told him that it would make a fine coffin for Jinxy…my brother quickly put the box away because we weren’t real sure whether Jack was joking or not.

Jack didn’t live very long in Roseburg, OR.   One day, 2 years later, he was working in his wood shop and died of a heart attack.  Hilda, while broken hearted, still had her sense of humor and wrote Jack – AWOL on the day that he died.  Jack had a simple wish.  He wanted to be cremated and taken up to Grouse Flats on the old home place and have his and Jinxy’s ashes scattered.  His brother, Claude, told me that it really wasn’t quite fair to Jinxy as he was a city cat and he was up there with all of those country cats.

My cat - Jinxy
Several years ago when I got a new kitten the only name that immediately came to mind for her was Jinxy – so in memory of Uncle Jack and his love for black kitties…she is my Jinxy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Surprise With Hiley

If you ever think that you have the “complete” information on a family – be prepared to be wrong.  I didn’t feel quite that confident about the family of Levi Pennington and Elizabeth Henson, but I was pretty sure that we had a pretty good list of their children.  I was definitely proved wrong.

A few years ago, I began hearing about a Hiley Pennington.  Now…I had never come across this name and so it was pretty interesting.  She was born between 1816-1818 in Ashe Co., NC and died 4 Nov 1895 at Sturgill, Ashe Co., NC.  Hiley was married to James Emmett Lewis  in August 1837 probably also in Ashe Co., NC and they were the parents of eight children.  I went through my normal research to see if I could figure out where she belonged.  The more I looked the more suspicious that I got that I was looking at a daughter of Levi Pennington and Elizabeth Henson.

Levi Pennington was born abt 1794 probably in Ashe Co., NC and died sometime bet 1886-1887.  He married Elizabeth Henson probably around 1815.  They have been said to have anywhere between 12 and 16 children.  I really felt that I could only prove 12 children and so that was on my list.  However, I became convinced that Hiley was actually one of those children and therefore I had to raise my number to 13.  Their children are:
  • Dora Pennington b. bet 1810-1820 (no further info)
  • Edy Pennington b. abt 1815 Ashe Co., NC d. abt 1866 Ashe Co., NC m. Nathan Eastrage
  • Hiley Pennington b. bet 1816-1818 Ashe Co., NC d. 4 Nov 1895 Sturgill, Ashe Co., NC m. James Emmett Lewis
  • Elijah Ephraim Pennington b. bet 1819-1822 Ashe Co., ND d. 4 Nov 1895 Ashe Co., NC m. Mary Osborne
  • William Pennington b. abt 1821 Ashe Co., ND d. aft 1880 m. Frances Blevins
  • Larkin Pennington b. Jan 1826 Ashe Co., NC d. 6 May 1901 Ashe Co., NC. m. Lydia Lewis
  • Harvey Pennington b. 29 Feb 1828 Ashe Co., NC d. 21 Apr 1922 Ashe Co., NC m. abt 1850 Easter Little m. 2. Oct 1896  Martha Ann Brooks  
  • John Pennington b. 10 May 1829 Ashe Co., NC d. 5 Mar 1917 Ashe Co., NC m. 16 Feb 1859 Manda Hurley m 2. Abt 1860 Emeline Kilby
  • Anderson Pennington b. 1832 Ashe Co., NC d. 1850 Ashe Co., NC (Drowned)
  • Andrew Pennington b. 1834 Ashe Co., NC d. aft 27 Aug 1863 (Civil War) m. 5 Nov 1857 Mary Little
  • Levi Daniel Pennington b. 1837 Ashe Co., ND c. 17 Jan 1909 Morganton, Burke Co., NC m. 17 Dec 1854 Elizabeth Osborn
  • Elizabeth Pennington b. abt 1839 Ashe Co., NC d. bet 1883-1887 Johnson Co., TN m. 17 Jan 1857 Alexander Monroe Dollar (my line)
  • Martha Pennington b. 29 Mar 1843 Hemlock, Ashe Co., NC d. 21 Dec 1926 Eldreth, Ashe Co., NC m. 21 Mar 1872 Marshel Gilley

There may be more because we have a few unidentified names that we have found in a Probate document on Levi Pennington.  I’ve not yet been able to identify Isaac Cartron & wife and C. A. Warren and wife Catherine.
Clip listing the children of Levi and grandchildren (if parent had passed away)
This gives me hope that someday, someone will find another document that answers all the questions that this Probate document poses.  Although you must admit that it is interesting that there is hope that if you keep searching even on families that you think you have a complete history…you never will know when something shows up that offers a delightful surprise piece of information.  So…Hiley was a surprise all those years ago…but she was also a good lesson.  Never believe that your information is complete – there always might something else that explains yet another mystery.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Building on a Legacy

I still remember the first time that I got my hands on a genealogy book.  It was probably in the late 1970’s when I first got my hands on the Gage Genealogy that was published by Rev. Walker VanTassel Gage.  It was published in the 1960’s and my great grandparents had a copy of the book.  The logistics of producing that book nearly boggles my mind!

The Gage genealogy (I’m not using the exact name because I can’t remember) was probably a photocopied copy of a typewritten document.  It used what I later found out was a fairly traditional numbering system that allowed you to trace generations.  I was upset to find that it didn’t include my entire family yet it did include a lot of details that I wasn’t of an age to explore.  I’m sure I was thought to be too young to appreciate the data and I’m sure older family members wanted to look at the book. 

I have a large genealogy database where I have kept over a decade of details and connections in a rather large file.  In addition, I have a library of digital images and documents that I have also collected through the years.  I also have several paper files (these really need to be gone throughJ).  I can go to the appropriate place and bring up an individual as well as all of the research that I have done on that individual.  For example – I can choose and ancestor and find a notation for every census record, marriage record, burial record or military record that I might have on that individual.  I can also show you what I have on their siblings, descendants and ancestors all at a click of a button.  I almost take this process for granted.  It has taken me too many hours to count to gather that information so I can access it so easily as well as trips to cemeteries, court houses, and libraries.  When Rev. Gage wrote that Gage book – he didn’t have a computer to work from nor something that would automatically search whatever records that he had.  Rev. Gage probably filed each individual on something like a library card or in books with family group sheets.  Making the family connections necessary to assemble a family history with thousands of individuals, records, and ties had to be labor of love.  He created a book that in some ways is hard to read and follow for the novice –but my great grandfather must have really studied that book.  Granddad Gage left that New York family back in 1908 and while he had gone back at least once – that book had to help him sort out the various cousins that he had met.

My mother and I did our own Gage genealogy book about 10 years ago.  I think it was over 800 pages and included the Gage, Gallup and associated families as well as the Shawver and Pitsenbarger families.  We had a few pictures and documents but it mostly contained our own lines.  I had one cousin who wondered why he was not listed on his own but rather under his parents.  We had to explain to him that you were only listed if you had children.  My father decided to introduce me as his daughter without issue when introducing our group at the family reunion which definitely generated quite a bit of laughter.  I realized at the time that all of the work that my mother and I had done was built on the work of people like Rev. Gage and many others.  After my mother’s death, it is now my job to continue our research and hope that I find some new young family researcher in the future who will take over our legacy and build on it!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Little House in the Hollar….

I remember as a child listening to my great grandmother tell me about the house she was born in…that it was over 150 years old and a cabin.  I realized later in life that she was “pulling my leg!”  I never really thought I would ever get a chance to really see that house…but eleven years ago, I did! I talked a bit about that day in 2001 in an earlier blog “My Idea of a Vacation”…but there is a bit more to the story of that house.

Alexander Monroe Dollar and Elizabeth Pennington moved with their family over to the Laurel Bloomery area of Johnson Co., TN…more specifically Shingletown sometime after the 1880 census.  They purchased land and built a home near Shingletown.  My guess is that it was after 1883.  Sometime between 1883 and 1887, Elizabeth Pennington Dollar dies and Alexander Monroe Dollar remarries to Sarah “Lulu” Pearce.  The house that my great grandmother was born in is probably the same house that Alexander Monroe Dollar and Elizabeth Pennington originally built…but I am not sure – I am sure that it was built by 1890 when my great grandmother’s older brother was born.  John Dula Dollar probably brought his young bride (Buena Vista Bailey) to that house in 1889 after they were married.  By 1894, when my great grandmother was born and Buena Vista Bailey had died – the house was either deeded over or reverted to Alexander Monroe Dollar.  The three young children stayed with their grandfather and step grandmother while John Dula Dollar worked.  By 1897, he had remarried and the two older children went to live with their father and stepmother. Mom Friddle (Sophia Dollar Friddle) stayed with her grandfather and step-grandmother.  The step-grandmother, Lulu, was the only mother that she had ever known and Mom Friddle readily admitted that she had been somewhat spoiled. 

Mom Friddle’s life was about to change very quickly…her grandfather died in 1908 and ownership of the house transferred to Lulu Pearce Dollar.  John Dula Dollar was making noises about bringing Mom Friddle to live with him and Lulu wasn’t very happy about that prospect and encouraged Mom Friddle to elope with her beau!  (That is a whole other story that will wait for later)  Anyway, not too long after Mom Friddle eloped, Lulu remarried and moved over to Ashe Co., NC with her new husband.  At that point, she deeded the house over to Maggie Dollar.  Maggie was the wife of Roby Smith Dollar who was John Dula Dollar’s younger brother.  I always thought it was interesting that she deeded to Maggie and not Roby Smith Dollar…but by 1912, Maggie died of pneumonia and Roby was left in the house with his daughters. 
Roby's daughters on the porch in front of the  little house.

Another View of the house...going up the hill behind.
Roby stayed in the little house until after 1930 when he and his daughter Eva built a little house in Mountain City, TN.   The little house had been in the family for almost 50 years.  On my second visit to that little house in the holler, I met the lady who owned the house now.  She said that her parents had bought the house from Roby Dollar.  They had added an indoor bathroom and plumbing in the 1950’s as they got older and an addition on the back.  She still used the house as a guest house and said that it was much easier for her to do her canning in the little house’s kitchen than hers.  Mrs. Eller then took us through the house and down to the cellar where she proudly showed off her home canned goods.  I remember standing on that porch and thinking that over a hundred years ago, my great grandmother stood on that same porch gazing out over the view and probably dreaming about her future.  She probably never dreamed that she would end up so far away in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.  I’m sure Roby’s daughters had the same dreams standing on that porch.  In some ways it was a bit spooky standing there gazing out – it isn’t often we get to see and touch a place that played such a significant role in a loved one’s life. 
The view from the front porch.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Intersecting Families....

The Pennington family in Ashe Co., NC intersects with a lot of families.  Possibly one of the most dominant of these families is the Blevins family.  They are present in the Micajah Pennington line (Group 7) as well as Group 30 and the children of Abram Pennington.  Trying to figure out where they fit can be a challenge.

Johanna Pennington was the youngest daughter of Micajah Pennington and Rachel Jones.  She was born on 24 Mar 1779 in Wilkes Co., NC and died before 1860 probably in Ashe Co., NC.   Johanna married Douglas Dickson sometime before 1804 probably in Ashe Co., NC.  They were the parents of eight known children and their daughter Lucy Ann Dickson married Daniel Blevins in 1831 in Ashe Co., NC and were the parents of 13 children and grandparents of at least 40 others.  Daniel Blevins siblings also had close ties to Penningtons.  Daniel was the son of James B. Blevins and Lydia Sizemore.  James Blevins and Lydia Sizemore’s had ten children and of those four were married to Penningtons. They were:
  • Wells Blevins  b. 8 Oct 1795 Ashe Co., NC and d. 23 Dec 1865 Whitetop, Grayson Co., VA m abt 1820 Elizabeth Pennington b. 9 Apr 1798 Ashe Co., NC d. 13 Dec 1868 in Whitetop, Grayson Co., VA
  • Hester Ann Blevins b. 8 May 1812 in Ashe Co., NC and d. 19 Oct 1890 in Konnarock, Smyth Co., VA m. abt 1835 Andrew Pennington b. 11 Oct 1809 Ashe Co., NC d. 11 Oct 1882 Konnarock, Smyth Co., VA
  • James Blevins, Jr b. abt 1809 in Ashe Co., NC and d. 23 Dec 1869 in Ashe Co., NC m. abt 1831 Artemecia Pennington b. abt 1810 in Ashe Co., NC d. 27 Feb 1897 in Ashe Co., NC
  • Daniel was born about 1814 in Ashe Co., NC and died 12 July 1864 probably either in Ashe Co., NC or Washington Co., VA. m. abt 1831 Lucy Ann Dickson b. abt 1815 in Ashe Co., NC and d. 1883 Ashe Co., NC

All three of the Pennington siblings were the children of Abram Pennington who was probably a cousin of Micajah Pennington and his granddaughter who married Daniel Blevins – their younger brother.
James Blevins and Lydia Sizemore had about 44 grandchildren with these Pennington siblings and cousins.  Then the Blevins and Penningtons make things even more confusing by intermarrying several times.  It seems that almost any Blevins in Ashe Co., NC is somehow connected to both the Pennington/Dickson family as well as the Blevins family.   Some of these Pennington/Blevins families stayed in Ashe Co., NC but many more lived in Smyth and Washington Co., VA as well as Grayson Co., VA.

When I am confused as to the relationship of a Blevins to the Pennington family – I refer to Ron Blevins who I think is probably the best Blevins researcher that I have come across.  There have been many times that the two of us have had to puzzle out a relationship and it has taken both of our databases and experience to figure it out. 

Now, I don’t believe that this is any different than any other county with families who have lived in the same area of generations.  In fact – I’m sure that there are many other researchers out there who have experienced the same challenges.  The Blevins family helped convince me to research not just one Pennington line but multiple Pennington lines.  These cover the Pennington Research Association groups of Group 7 (Desc. Of Micajah Pennington) Group 30 (Desc. Of Abram Pennington) and also of Douglas Pennington b. 1818 whose lineage has not yet been ascertained.  

So, if you research Penningtons – you also research Blevins and a few other family lines such as Graybeal and Osborne.  It is a tangled web with many intersecting relationships.  It is difficult enough with a computer and genealogy program – I have to wonder how genealogist who were not computer aided managed the excellent research that they accomplished.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Immigrant Ancestor - Sebastian Shawver

My great grandmother had mostly German heritage…her maiden name was Shawver and her mother’s maiden name was Pitsenbarger, both thoroughly of Germanic descent.  Grandma Florence actually had her family line spelled out on a piece of paper from her mother’s line and her father’s line back to their immigrant ancestor.  Her paternal immigrant grandfather arrived on the Eastern Branch on 3 Oct 1753.
Sebastian Shawver or Schauber as it was probably originally spelled was born around 1733 probably in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany.  He arrived in Philadelphia on the Eastern Branch in 1753 captained by James Nevin.  As a 20 year old arriving in Philadelphia, I have to wonder how daunting it must have been to be somewhere away from everything that was familiar and be in a place where most probably didn’t even speak the same language.

Philadelphia was a typical landing spot for many of the German immigrants who arrived on American soil and many families can be traced through the Pennsylvania country between Philadelphia and West Virginia.  Sebastian does not seem to be one of those easily traced; however there is no doubt that he followed the same trail that many other German immigrants did.  Sebastian married Elizabeth Hammer around 1760 in Monroe Co., VA.  She was born sometime between 1730 and 1740 probably in the United States.  In truth, I’ve never read much about her except to know that she preceded Sebastian Shawver in death as she is not mentioned in his will.  They had the following children:
  • Jacob Shawver b. 1761 Monroe Co., VA d. abt 1828 Monroe Co., VA m. Judith Carpenter
  • George Shawver b. 1764 Botetourt Co., VA d. Nov 1849 Fayette Co., VA m. Mary Gillespie
  • Sarah “Sally” Shawver b. 1766 in Monroe Co., VA d. unknown m. Henry Smith
  • John Shawver b. 1767 in Monroe Co., VA d. bef Jun 1828 in Monroe Co., VA m. Margaret Wylie
  • Barbara Shawver b. 1769 Monroe Co., VA d. abt 1835 m. Charles Rowan
  • Child b. 1771 d. young
  • Elizabeth Shawver b. 1773 Monroe Co., VA d. unknown m. John Harnsberger
  • Christopher Shawver b. 1775 Monroe Co., VA d. 9 Dec 1831 Dodson Twp, Highland Co., OH  m. Mary Ruble m. 2 Elizabeth Harmon

My ancestor was George Shawver and Mary Gillespie through their son Robert S. Shawver.

Sebastian at times was also known as Boston Shawver and this in fact a common name in the family.  I know from family history that the middle names are often the names a German child is known by…so perhaps his full name was Boston Sebastian Shawver.   Anyway, Sebastian signed a will dated Jan 1816 and it was probated on 15 Oct 1816.  Sebastian left his sons land and money and his daughters were given Sebastian’s slaves.  After their deaths, the slaves were to be sold and proceeds to be divided amongst their children.  The will makes me believe that Sebastian had done fairly well for himself and was able to leave his sons land and money and to his daughter’s his slaves. 

Nothing of that inheritance is all that pleasant to read…that of slaves being given to his daughters and being sold at their deaths.  It is ironic that an immigrant who probably arrived with nothing gained enough wealth to own land and slaves and probably saw nothing bad about it as it was such a common practice in that time period. 

So…Sebastian and Elizabeth left behind thousands of descendants who populate at least within my family lines areas in West Virginia, Iowa, Nebraska, Idaho, Montana, Washington, & Oregon as well as many other states.  They would be my sixth great grandparents.  We will probably never know much their actual birth places or certainly their place of burial.  It is impossible for me not to wonder what life must have been like in the 1770’s when they were having their children and war was breaking out around them.  I have to wonder if it even touched them personally and if Sebastian actually might have gone off to fight.  By the time, Sebastian died in 1816, he was an old man of 83 years old who had lived a long life and had been able to see his children grow and have children of their own.  I’m sure he worked hard and was proud to leave a monetary legacy to his children that he never had from his own family.  I may not be entirely proud of the contents of that legacy – but it certainly had to be satisfying to him!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tenuous Irish Ties

I have never been able to claim any other native country other than my own.  I don’t have any ancestors who arrived in the United States that I know of – any later than 1810.  My ancestors didn’t come over and land on Ellis Island and watch the Statue of Liberty out their window – most of them came on the Mayflower or within a hundred years of the Mayflower.  Most of my families are English, German, and Dutch with a bit of Scottish and Irish thrown in for good measure.  I just wish I knew more about my Irish roots…since I have always been fascinated with Ireland.

My 4th great grandmother was Mary Jane Callison.  She was born in 1804 in Greenbrier VA (now WV) and died on 5 May 1854 on Mill Creek Mountain, Greenbrier Co., WV.  Mary married Robert Shawver on 25 Apr 1820 and they were the parents of nine children, including my 3rd great grandfather George William Shawver.  She was the daughter of Isaac Callison and Mary Cavendish who were both first generation descendants of Irish immigrants.  Sir James Callison, Sr was born about 1739 in Ballyhagen, Armagh Co., Ireland and was married to Elizabeth McCallister who was reputed to be born in North Ireland.  I have no idea as to what prompted them to come to American…It seems that most who came in those early days (first 150 years) came for opportunity or for religious freedom.  Can’t help if both might have been in play here…I know enough to say that if you were a Protestant and a Catholic and tried to marry in Ireland…there might have been problems.  That is just a guess of course…but it does make sense.  Mary Cavendish was also the daughter of William Hunter Cavendish.  Story goes that William Hunter Cavendish was the illegitimate son of Margaret and an aristocrat who was born in Ireland in 1740 and came over to America with his mother and sisters.  Strictly speaking, William Cavendish was born in Ireland, but more than likely was of English descent. 

My great grandmother always told my mother that she was of Scots-Irish descent.  Seeing that she was from the Appalachian area of the country…this is not a surprise.  Sophia Dollar Friddle was born in 1894 to John Dula Dollar and Buena Vista Bailey.  The Irish line is obviously the Baileys…but I sure wish there more bread crumbs to trace them to Ireland.  Jasper Bailey was Buena Vista’s father and from what I can tell, he was born in 1842 in Ohio and died near Abingdon, Washington Co., VA in 1928.  I know he was born in Ohio from census records – but I haven’t been able to locate him I the 1850 census with any faith in the accuracy nor have I been able to find him in the 1860 census.  He turns up in the 1870 census with three children and a wife named Margaret.  I have since found out that he was first married to a Martha Ellen Church.  However, I am very interested in Margaret – and this 1870 census is the only record that I have of her name.  Anyway, Margaret dies and he marries his ex-brother-in-law’s widow, Rachel McBride.  It is fairly obvious from Jasper’s last name that he was most likely from Irish descent and I am sure that my great grandmother heard that from him personally…I just wish I could figure out when and where his family came from with some sort of proof.

My last line with Irish roots is that of John Nathan Lyons.  I first found mention of him in my great great great grandfather’s death record.  John Nathan Lyons was born about 1790 in Ireland and probably arrived in the United States in 1810 or so…or at least before his marriage to Mary French in 1817.  He lived to be an old man of 90 years old and died in 1880 in Manchester, New Hampshire.  I have seen a record that lists his father as Timothy and his mother as Honora.  I have also seen a few other items that lead me to doubt this…

So here I am…searching in vain for the Irish ancestry that I always thought I had.  My claims are tenuous and unproven…and I wonder if I will ever find proof.  All I can do is what I have always done…keep searching.  Perhaps someday, I will find who Jasper Bailey’s parents were or why James Callison left Ireland and perhaps where John Nathan Lyons immigrated from in Ireland.  These are three separate branches on my family tree that as yet don’t have any connections beyond what I already have!  So, as I prepare the corn beef and cabbage and soda bread tomorrow on St. Patrick’s Day – I will celebrate those tenuous ties to my Irish heritage.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Generations of Micajah's

Micajah is a common name in Pennington research and almost all of them are related.  There are three generations of Micajah and they have been confused by researchers for decades.  When I first started researching Micajah Pennington – I reached the same conclusions that many other researchers had made. 
The first generation of Micajah’s starts with Micajah, Sr who was born in 28 Aor 1743 probably in Rowan Co.,  NC and probably died sometime after 1815 in either Ashe Co., NC, Grayson Co., VA or Lee Co., VA.  Since Ashe Co. NC didn’t become a county until 1799, Micajah’s children were born probably in Wilkes Co., NC.  Micajah worked for many years as a surveyor and owned many parcels of property.  His signature is on many land documents so it is also very likely that he was fairly well educated.  He is recorded on the tax list in 1815 and may have lived as late as 1817.  I suspect that Micajah, Sr. probably died around Grayson Co., VA because that was the location of his land parcels; however his son Micajah, Jr. is even more mysterious.

Micajah, Jr. was born 13 Dec 1763 probably around the Wilkes Co., /Ashe Co., NC area as the second son of Micajah Pennington and Rachel Jones.  His wife’s name was unknown.  It is apparent that he was married to a woman of a similar age from at least 1790 until 1840.  We know this because he is recorded in the census in every year with another woman of a similar age.  It wasn’t until the 1850 census when all the members of the household were recorded in the census.  So, therefore the name of his wife is unknown.  Now…this hasn’t stopped researchers from claiming that the Micajah Pennington who married Linthey “Cynthia”  Jones in 1822 was Micajah, Jr and therefore claiming that Cynthia was the mother of Micajah, Jr.’s children.  There was also a record of a marriage to a Nancy Baker in 1812.  The supposition was the Micajah, Jr’s wife died and he married Nancy Baker.  She died sometime before the marriage to Cynthia Jones.  In fact, we don’t know who Micajah, Jr’s wife was and probably will never know her identity unless someone has a magic document in hiding.

Marriage record with Nancy Baker
Now Micajah, Jr had a son named Micajah III.  Micajah III was born about 1794 and was probably the second or third son of Micajah, Jr.   It is Micajah III who married Nancy Baker on 13 Aug 1812 in Madison Co., KY.  Nancy was the daughter of Rezin Baker and Eleanor Roberts.  She was born about 1797 and died around 1821 in Lee Co., VA.  Micajah Pennington III then married a Cynthia Williams on 8 Dec 1822 in Clay Co., KY.  Cynthia was the widow of William Jones.  The Cynthia Jones that everyone assumed was Micajah’s  wife was mistakenly listed as Cynthia Corey and she was married to another William Jones in 1818 and was actually was recorded with her husband in the 1850 census.
Micajah III and his wife Cynthia probably died sometime before 1850.  The exact date or location is at this point unknown.  However, they left behind three children:  twins Phebe and Nancy and yes…another Micajah Pennington.  All three were probably born in Kentucky and all three married had families of their own.  Micajah C. was born 6 Apr 1825 in either IN or KY and married a widow named Jane Robertson Parnell on 29 Oct 1848 in Jackson Co., MO.  They had two children…and they finally broke the Micajah streak…this time they gave their youngest son the middle of Micajah.  Micajah C. died 23 July 1892 in Christian Co., MO.
Marriage record with Cynthia Williams aka Linthey Jones

This entire tangled skein was unraveled several years ago with a genealogy partnership between me and several other researchers.  The documents that we have were provided by the research and persistence of Rosalie Graham.  I’m sure that there will be more insights into these Micajahs…perhaps someday; someone will discover what happened to Micajah III and his wife Cynthia and perhaps the name of Micajah, Jr.’s mysterious wife.  I would be happy to be able to do a search on Micajah Pennington, Jr and not find him married to Cynthia Corey.  It is harder to correct misinformation than to spread it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Puzzling Leroy

I think of genealogy research sometimes as really complicated jigsaw puzzle – a bit like someone gave my grandmother for Christmas a few months ago.  I made the joke that someone with a sick mind gave that to her…and my grandmother agreed that she didn’t want to try it.  I think it was 1000 pieces with a picture on the front and the back.  So you not only had to match the front but that back as well –seemingly infinite possibilities.  Some of these puzzle pieces spark a little more curiosity.  One of these puzzle pieces for me was my great grandfather’s older brother, Leroy James Gage.

Granddad Gage (my great grandfather) was the oldest surviving child in his branch of his father’s family.  His father, Orlando, had been married to Charity Hotaling before Edith Gallup and Orlando and Charity had had four children.  They were: 
  • Burton Latta Gage b. 8 Oct 1876 d. 27 Sep 1949 m. Bessie Young
  • Edwin Welsh Gage b. 7 Jun 1879 d. 1960 m. Flora Sidney
  • Leroy James Gage b. 22 Dec 1880 d. 14 Oct 1910 m. Effie Butts
  • Nellie Mabel Gage b. 10 Sep 1885 d. 11 Sep 1972

Orlando and Edith Gallup had the following:
  • Allen G. Gage b. 10 Dec 1888 d. 12 Oct 1890
  • Ora Silas Gage b. 5 Apr 1892 d. 30 Dec 1990 m. Florence Christine Shawver
  • Peter Z. Gage b. 23 Oct 1894 d. 21 Nov 1983 m. Elizabeth Mathieson
  • Phebe Margaret Gage b. 23 Oct 1894 d. 28 Jul 1976 m. August Peterson
  • Alice Irene Gage b. 29 Mar 1896 d. 11 Sep 1976 m. Howard E. Frey

Charity died about a month after Nellie’s birth.  About 9 months later, Orlando married Edith Gallup who was by that time probably considered an “old maid schoolteacher.”  I’m sure he had thoughts that she would take care of the rowdy boys…but they proved to be quite a handful.  Nellie stayed with her grandmother for her first few years.  By the time 10 years had passed, Edith had had 5 children, 4 of who were still living. 
Growing up, I had heard a lot about Granddad’s younger siblings and had met most of them – but I had never really heard much about his older siblings.  I know that he had a lot of contact with Burt and Nellie but I heard little about the others.  The one that I really puzzled about was Leroy James Gage.  My great uncles said that their Dad talked about his brother “Roy”, but all they knew was that he died young.  Leroy James Gage was not quite 30 years old when he died.  He was married and had four children by the time of his death – and for a long time, I didn’t know what happened to him.  After my great - grandparents had passed; my Grandmother and I went through a lot of the old photo albums.  We found a photo album that had a lot of old vintage post cards.  Most were notes from his siblings but there was one that was mailed to his sister, Phebe that finally cleared up the mystery of Leroy’s death.  Nellie had written to Phebe that “Leroy was very sick with Plural Pneumonia and was taken a week ago.”  She concluded that she would write more later.  I don’t know what happened to that letter, but what a said message for them to receive.  Granddad Gage and his younger siblings had moved out to Nebraska to live with their maternal grandmother after Orlando and Edith’s deaths in 1908.  It seemed such a short time later, that they lost their older brother.
Front of Postcard - Informing family of Leroy's death
Back of Postcard - Informing family of Leroy's death
 Also in my great grandparents things was a letter.  It was from a Margaret who was a great granddaughter of Leroy James Gage and Effie Butts.  In the letter, she mentioned finding my great grandparent’s names in her great grandmother’s address book.  Effie, Leroy’s widow, had lived 67 years as widow after her husband’s death…after being married a short 8 years.  My great uncle gave me the task to finding this cousin who was descended from Leroy.  This wasn’t an easy task as she mentioned in her letter that she was getting married in a few weeks, and I realized that it would be pretty hard to track her.  I spent some time at the task…and one day I received an email from a Peggy asking me if I knew anything about Leroy James Gage.  I replied that yes…I did and what did she want to know?  She replied almost instantly and told me who she was.  I then asked her if her real name was Margaret and if she was, did she write Ora Gage in 1987.  Peggy replied back very quickly that yes she was Margaret and that she had a copy of that letter sitting right in front her.  Ironically…so did I…and Peggy and I began a relationship through emails and phone calls that has lasted ever since.  She lives in NY and I live in Idaho…but someday, we will get a chance to meet.  Sometimes it is months or perhaps a year or two between contacts – but when we do get a chance to visit, it takes a long phone call to catch up.  I have shared what I know about the Gage family and she and her daughter have spent hours taking pictures of gravestones back in New York.  I feel like she has given me far more than I have given her.  I have to wonder though if my Great Granddad didn’t arrange our connection from up above!

Tracing William Henry Dollar

My 4th great grandfather, William Henry Dollar, began his live near the Eno River, Orange Co., NC.  He was the son of William Dollar b. 1762-1764 Orange Co., NC d. aft 10/11/1850 and Mary Wilson b. abt 1771 d. bet 1840-1850.  I am fairly sure that I don’t have a complete list of his siblings nor do I have as is apparent exact dates of his parent’s births or deaths.  The only exact date I have on them is their marriage on 25 Aug 1789 in Orange Co., NC.

The Dollar family had probably only been in North Carolina for one generation probably following the Revolutionary War where William served as a Blacksmith.  He was drafted in 1780 and probably served with his brother Elijah.  I believe that William Henry Dollar must have been he and Mary Wilson’s youngest son as she would have been around 40 when he was born.  The next record occurs when he marries Mary Jane “Jennie” Sparks on 22 May 1838 in Orange Co., NC.  I have no exact date on the birth of their oldest child, Alexander Monroe Dollar, but his death record says that he was born in Aug 1838.  It isn’t quite clear if he was born in Orange Co., NC or Ashe Co., NC but I would estimate that he was probably born in Orange Co., NC.  As a much younger son, William Henry Dollar probably had no choice but to move on to somewhere else to find a better opportunity.  I’ve heard the story related that William Henry Dollar and his small family traveled by wagon looking for a new place to live and ended up in Ashe Co., NC. 
The William Henry Dollar homestead - later owned by his son James Madison Dollar.  (Picture from Loretta Gentry)

Copy of Marriage Record between William Henry Dollar and Jane Sparks.  (Copy from Richard Tucker)
I have often wondered about the ancestry of Jennie Sparks…I’ve also wondered what her name is exactly.  I have seen it has Jennie, Mary Jane or Jane…most commonly as Jennie Sparks.  Sometimes the individuals listed on the marriage bond have something to do with the couple…but I’ve never found anything on W. McCauley or George Browning or the witness J Taylor.  I have also been asked many times if I thought she might have been Native American.  I actually suspect that she might have been Melungeon;  this could have meant that she had African blood or was Portuguese or Spanish.  I know there was a large population of Melungeon’s who went to the New River area in North Carolina and Virginia which is where Ashe Co., NC is located.  I have heard Melungeons described as Indian, Arab, Spanish, Turkish or Jewish descent.  I don’t think anyone really knows and I haven’t heard of any real DNA study that really pins the ancestry down.  I have never found any trace of Jennie before her marriage to William Henry Dollar…and all that I have just said is speculation and so therefore a theory.

William Henry Dollar is hard to trace through the volumes of data that has been published online.  You will find him in the LDS Ancestral File as William Columbus Dollar.  I spent a few years searching on that name and another Dollar cousin pointed out to me that he is never listed as William Columbus…sometimes as William, Billy, or Henry and his son William Henry Dolllar, Jr must be called that for a reason.  After a little more looking, I discovered the source of the “Columbus” – my great great aunt Cassie who had done a lot of the early research on the family had put that name into the LDS Ancestral file.  In fact a William Columbus Dollar does show up in the line…but he is the grandson of William Henry Dollar through his son James Madison Dollar.

William Henry Dollar spent the majority of his life after his marriage in Ashe Co., NC living near what is now called Cabbage Creek in the Laurel Twp. in Ashe Co., NC.  We know from a letter written to the Emeline Dollar Tucker in UT in 1893 that Jennie Sparks Dollar passed away on 21 Jun 1893 in Solitude, Ashe Co., NC.  It must have been soon after her death that William Henry Dollar left his home to his youngest son, James Madison Dollar, and traveled west to Cleveland, Emery Co., UT to live with his daughter, Emeline.  Some of the Tucker family have told me that he converted to Mormonism (which Emeline and her husband were church members).  William Henry Dollar died on 31 Aug 1895 in Cleveland, Emery Co., UT and his buried at the local cemetery there.
William Henry Dollar's grave at Cleveland Town Cemetery, Emery Co., UT.

I have traced William Henry Dollar and his family through every census record and tax record that I have had access to.  I have always been curious as to the reasons why our ancestors moved from their homes to a new place.  Did William Henry move to Ashe Co., NC because it was a new opportunity…was his wife Melungeon and knew that she would be accepted there…or was it simply the place they stopped because a blacksmith was needed?  Did he maintain contact with his family in Orange Co., NC or was it really even possible?  So…I continue to trace William Henry Dollar and his family in hopes that someday I might get a few of my questions answered!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Finder's Delight

Imagine the delight of the researcher who one day decided to get a copy of the John Barton Revolutionary pension file.  You must imagine how it might have happened.  They have been vainly searching for more information on John Barton and Elizabeth Pennington.  Perhaps they didn’t even know Elizabeth’s last name or the names of her parents and siblings.  Can you imagine the frustration?  Then one day after waiting for several weeks, you get a package in the mail from the US Archives – and there it is – spelled out in black and white – a list of their children and Elizabeth’s family!

The early Pennington researchers spent a great deal of time trying to piece together families with sometimes limited resources.  It isn’t like now when there is a wealth of information available for sometimes for little money or for free.  I can download a copy of the entire John Barton pension on my library’s website through Heritage Quest.  I know that when I ordered two Civil War pensions that they cost me about $40 a piece.  You never quite know what you are going to get when you order a military pension.  Sometimes it is a bonanza of information and other times it can be merely a curiosity.  However, this particular pension has a wealth of information in the first two pages alone.  It lists the complete list of children for John and Elizabeth Pennington Barton and then on the second page it lists her entire family. 

This second page was particularly important to a lot of Pennington researchers.  It isn’t very often that you have exact birth dates or a complete listing of family members from a family who were all born in the 1700’s.  If it wasn’t for this record – we might never know about Rachel Pennington b.25 Dec 1771 because I know of no descendants for her.  Yet Elijah, Levi, & Benajah remain enigmas.  For many years it was assumed that my ancestor Levi Pennington b. 1794 was a son of Levi b. 1767 – but other evidence has suggested otherwise.  Levi b. 1767 disappears from records after 1815 – he may have gone elsewhere or passed away.  Elijah supposedly married a Susannah Kelley and went to TN. I’ve never found trace of him after 1800 or so and I have never been sure where the marriage record came from.  We have listings of descendants of the rest of the children, but only one stayed in Ashe Co., NC.  Benajah pretty much disappears from history after a power of attorney document was found in 1812 concerning his father.  After that, there is no further trace that has yet been found.

Micajah, Jr went to Lee Co., VA and Harlan Co., KY – we don’t know the name of his wife, but we do have several children who are attributed to him.  He died sometime after the 1850 census probably in Harlan Co., KY.  Mary Pennington married Jesse Bowling and ended up in Breathitt Co., KY and died in 1842.  Edward “Neddy” Pennington married Martha “Patsy”Flanary and moved to Lee Co., VA.  Elizabeth married John Barton, Jr and lived in Grayson Co., VA.  Sarah “Sarey” Pennington married Samuel Johnston, Sr and moved to Buckhorn, Perry Co., KY and died in 1817.  Johanna married Douglas Dickson and died sometime after 1860 in Ashe Co., NC

There are a lot more details that I can include on these families…and probably will sometime in the future – but imagine the delight of discovering the proof of the kinship of these brothers and sisters with their parents.  Much of this information was first spelled out by Bee Holmes who was one of the founding members of the Pennington Research Association.  I could easily put myself in her shoes and imagine the “genealogy high” she must have experienced when she saw that document for the first time.  I think that “high” is one of the reasons that so many of us out there spend so much time in genealogy research…that kind of experience can spur you on to even more devoted research in hopes of finding another great piece of documentation.

List of Micajah Pennington Family - Pg 1
List of Micajah Pennington Family - Pg 2

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grandma's Diaries

At home I have metal box that contains a lifetime of memories…that of my grandmother.  Capitola Friddle Tannahill Shearer was a writer.  She wrote for her the local paper reporting on news from Elk City, ID as well as editorials about local issues.  She also kept a diary for most of her life.  These diaries are a precious window into my grandmother’s mind.  I knew her as a child and young adult…but when she died when I was 18 years old – the opportunity to get to know her better was lost.

When we cleaned out my grandparents’ house after their deaths, we brought the diaries home and left them down in storage I the basement.  I don’t think that my mother was ready to look at them.  I didn’t really understand her attitude at the time – I didn’t understand how difficult it was to lose one’s mother…I now understand that feeling all too well.  I can remember my brother and I thumbing through the diaries looking at the entries when we were born.  It was neat to read about her excitement at a new grandchild, but the diary that was probably the saddest to read was kept upstairs in my mother’s keeping.

My grandmother lost her first husband in 1947.  Richard had gone out hunting with a friend and when the friend’s gun had jammed he had sat down to work on it.  It went off and killed Richard who was half way up the hill.  My mother remember going to the movies the night before he died….that was in Grandma’s diary.  On the day of his death…my grandmother wrote simply “My darling Richard!”  The next day she wrote about making the plans for his funeral and choosing his coffin.  The ennui of the difficult plans of a funeral for a loved one.  Then there was nothing for three months in the diary. 

In another diary she wrote about my mother’s health problems but also another significant event in the area.  The Mt. St Helens volcano erupted on May 18, 1980 – but that was actually the end of a long process.  We had almost daily reports of the dome of the crater building and of Harry Truman on the news refusing to leave his home.  Grandma reported all of this in her diary.  It was fun to read the events that led up to the eruption as well as the small family details like an Easter dinner or visit with her brother.  I was about 13 years old when Mt St Helen’s erupted and vividly remember what happened like anyone else who was in the path of the eruption’s ash cloud.  Somehow I had forgotten how we watched the evening news every night to see what had happened that day.  Grandma also wrote about the difficulties that my mother had gone through when she had to have an emergency hysterectomy.  Although she didn’t write about her worry…it was there.  In a way, it made me look at the events through someone else’s eyes.
Grandma Cappy at her table with her cat "Putty Cat"

In my mind, I can still see my grandmother sitting at the table in her home at Elk City writing in her diary or working on her articles for the newspaper.  The small table sat at the window so she could look outside.  In my mind’s eye, I can remember the view of the Elk City township spread out before her.  I wish I had grabbed that table when I had the chance.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Silas Gallup & Sarah Gallup in NY

The name Ebenezer brings up thoughts of “Bah Humbug!”, but it was actually a fairly common name in the 18th and 19th centuries.  I’m sure the name lost much of it’s allure thanks to Dicken’s timeless tale!  My 4th Great grandfather was named Ebenzer Gallup and was born on 25 Sep 1795 and was  my first Gallup ancestor born in New York state.

Ebenezer was the son of Silas Gallup and Sarah Gallup.  Silas and Sarah were 2nd cousins who married 13 Jan 1774 in Stonington, New London Co., CT.  Ebenezer was the youngest of their 11 children.  Silas and his brothers Levi, Samuel & Ezra and their cousin John Gallup moved into Albany Co., NY and helped establish the towns of Knox and Berne, NY in the late 1700’s.  Based on the birthdates of Silas & Sarah’s youngest two sons, they emigrated from Connecticut to New York between 1791 and 1795.  When Ebenezer was a bit over a year old, his father died.  Silas Gallup was 47 years old and I would guess that he probably died due to some disease.   Sarah Gallup died a few years later in 1799 at the age of 48 years old.  So, at the age of 4 years old, Ebenezer was left as an orphan.  From what I know – only the oldest daughter was married and out of the household.  Silas and Sarah’s children are as following:

  • Sally b. 9/30 1774 d. 11/27/1852 m.  Robert Babcock
  • Margaret  b. 7/21/1776 d. bef 1860 m. Joseph Crary
  • Silence b. 6/7/1778 d. 8/14/1834 m. Silas Brewster
  • Fanny b. 3/24/1780 d. 12/28/1862 m. Frederick Babcock
  • Silas, Jr. b. 6/4/1782 d. 4/17/1783
  • Lois b. 4/11/1784 d. 4/28/1784
  • Hannah b. 6/8/1785 d. 9/13/1785
  • Nathan b. 1/5/1787 d. 4/23/1844 m. Nancy Morgan
  • Silas, Jr. b. 7/25/1789 d. 6/14/1790
  • Eli b. 2/11/1791 d. 4/1882 m. Sarah Crary
  • Ebenezer b. 9/25/1795 d. 10/8/1865 m. Susan Harden

I found out from one of my cousins that Ebenezer was mostly raised by his sister, Silence and her husband Silas Brewster.  I suspect that the other younger children must have been placed with different family members.  I am limited as to what I have been able to discover about their lives.  I still wonder why Silas and Sarah Gallup died so young…and what happened to all of their children after their deaths.  Judging by the time period – I suspect that they probably died of something like small pox.  It must have been difficult for the older children to take care of their younger siblings.  I suspect that Margaret didn’t marry until later in life (she was 33 years old) that she might have been the one to take of her younger siblings in their homestead.  In the early 1800’s, it must have been very difficult for a young woman to take of her younger siblings without some sort of assistance. 

Ebenezer's gravestone at Middleburg Cemetery.
My 4th great grandfather Ebenezer married Susan Harden on 19 Nov 1826 in Middleburg, Schenectady Co., NY.  Not too long after his marriage, his sister, Silence died in 1830.  Seems quite sad that the sister who raised him died so soon his marriage.  Unlike his parents, Ebenezer lived to be a good age – 70 years old…and his wife Susan lived it to be 78 years old.  They had 10 children together and 8 of them lived to adulthood.  Just one generation after his father’s family moved to New York, my 3rd great grandfather moved to Nebraska – probably trying to find a better life just like his grandfather. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Walloon's to New Amsterdam

As far as I can tell, almost all of my ancestors definitely came from Europe…some came on the Mayflower or shortly thereafter…others during the mid  1700’s and few other lines came during the early 1880’s.  I have no ancestral lines that I know of who arrived after 1825.  So…my ancestral history almost showcases some of the early immigrants who came to America.  One of those early lines is the Truax family.

My 5th great grandmother probably has one of the more unusual names that I have come across…her name was Annatje Truax.   From what I was able to discover, it is a Dutch name.  I assume that is probably a version of Anna and Annatje was named for her mother, Anna Elizabeth Zeybel.  The only Dutch influence that was close was through Annatje’s paternal grandmother, Lysbeth De La Grange.  Annatje was born in 1769 to Willem Truax and Anna Elizabeth Zeybel.  She married Peter Jost Zeh on 4 Dec 1790.  Her great great grandson, Ora Gage was my beloved great grandfather.  Granddad Gage moved from New York in 1915 and I found out very early on that his mother’s Gallup family arrived in New York from Connecticut in the late 1780’s.  I was surprised to discover that his grandmother, Phebe Allen’s line arrived in the New York area much earlier.

Annatje’s great great grandfather, Philippe Du Trieux arrived in New Amsterdam in 1624.  He was born about 1588 in Rubaix, France.  The Du Trieux family were Walloons who were probably from what is known today as Belgium.  According to what I have read , they were primarily Celtic stock who fled their native area during the time of the Reformation.  This area of Europe was still under Spanish rule and there was a great deal of persecution for those who became Protestants.  The Du Trieux family fled to Leiden and Amsterdam, Holland.  Philippe Du Trieux was a dyer  - which was considered a very importat skill for the day.  By the time, 1624 had arrived – Philippe had been widowed and left with three small children and had remarried and started a new family.  During this same time, the West India Company had developed  a good fur trade and wanted to settle the land.  Philippe and many other Walloon families left the Netherlands in April 1624 on the “New Netherland” and arrived in New York about 6 weeks later.   Philippe ended up settling in what is present day Manhattan and owned several different pieces of land.  Philippe ended up dying in New Amsterdam, present day New York City with his eldest son, Philippe, Jr. in what I presume was an Indian attack.

Philippe’s son, Isaac married Maria Williamse Brouwver and soon after his marriage, they moved to Schenectady, Schenectady Co., NY where their son, Jacob Truax was born.  By this time the name Du Trieux had changed – perhaps so people could spell it phonetically or perhaps it was a Dutch spelling – I’m not really sure.  Jacob married Lysbeth De La Grange and their son Willem married Anna Elizabeth Zeybel…and now I am back to Annatje.  I found it very interesting to find out that my great grandfather’s family was in the same area in New York not the 100 years I suspected but actually well over 200 years before his birth. 

The rest of the line goes like this:
  • Annatje Truax m. Peter Jost Zeh
  • Elizabeth Zeh m. John Allen
  • Phoebe Ann Allen m. Gilbert Gage
  • Orlando Gage m. Edith Gallup
  • Ora Silas Gage m. Florence Christine Shawver
  • Helen Marian Gage m. Frank Stewart Johnson

Marian and Frank were my grandparents.  I suspect that the Truax family is one that I will revisit often as they seem to have something interesting being uncovered.  Walloons from Belgium seem pretty exotic to someone who thought they were almost all English, Irish and German!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Leander Franklin Kelley

Since I started researching my family lines, I have always recognized the importance of the peripheral lines as well.  Just as I have spent a lot of time on my direct line, I have also spent a great deal of time on the siblings and families of my direct ancestors.I have always thought that Leander almost seemed like a feminine name to me, but I know it to be a male name.  My great grandmother was one of 14 children.   All but two of them lived to be adults.  Most of the children were born in Clay Co., KY until 1885, when John Ward Kelly and Melvina Robertson moved west to Chautauqua Co., KS.  Melvina died in 1890 after having three more children; the youngest and Melvina dying during childbirth.

Leander Franklin Kelly - abt 1909
  Leander Franklin Kelly was almost 10 years when his mother died.  I’m sure it had to be difficult for John Ward Kelley to take care of such a large family on his own, so within a short time after his wife’s death to a Laura or perhaps Sarona Spivey.  I’ve never found proof of either marriage.  Lee (as Leander was called) had problems with this step mother and he took off at the age of 13 to make his own way.  He started out working through northwestern Oklahoma (which was known as the Cherokee strip) and then within three years he ended up near the Arkansas line.  He stated there until 1902, when got the chance to ride a train to Seattle, WA.  That fall he headed down to Lewiston, ID.  Lee met and married Lucinda Ella Powell in 1906 and married her in Orofino, ID.  Lee and Lucinda quickly added children to their family.  By 1930, they had 5 living children – including 4 daughters and one son.  Lee worked ranch work around Idaho Co., ID and near Teakean, Clearwater Co., ID.  Lee died on 23 Jun 1936 after committing suicide.  Earl, his son, told me that he was in terrible pain from stomach cancer and took his own life to stop the agonizing pain.  His wife, Lucinda married a widower and died in 1961 in Lewiston, ID.
Leander & Lucinda Kelley

Several years ago I had the opportunity to meet Lee’s son, Earl.  I had wondered why Lee had committed suicide and wanted to know if he knew that he had family that had also moved to Lewiston.  Lee’s brother –in-law, John Lyons Tannahill moved to Idaho in the 1920’s.  He had followed his brothers up north from Oklahoma.  I found it interesting that they ended up the in the same area.  Earl told me that his father was aware of the family that had moved to Idaho.  He came home one day from work and told his family that he had helped his niece when she had car problems and had fixed the car.  That niece was my grandfather’s twin sister, Rachel.  I also learned later that John Ward Kelley had actually traveled up to Idaho to visit Lee before he died in 1910.  I’ve often wondered if he made the long trip to mend fences with his son.  Learning about Lee Kelley reminded me of the importance of researching these siblings.  I learned a lot about the Kelley family that I never would have known.
Teakean Cemetery - Teakean, ID

Lee Kelley's grave
Lee's baby's grave
One of the other significant things about Lee Kelley for me personally is that it was one of my first cemetery trips.  I had no idea where Tekean, ID was…and had never heard of it until I found out that Lee Kelley was buried there.  So, one stormy fall afternoon, my father and I took off to find Teakean, ID.  We traveled out through Juliaetta, ID and up through Southwick and further on through to the top of the high plain.  There - seemingly in the middle of nowhere – was Teakean, ID.  All that remained of the town were a few houses and a cemetery.   Dad and I got our coats on and started walking the cemetery, and found Lee’s grave quite easily…and 
buried next to him was their young baby that had died shortly after birth.

I have since located Lee’s wife’s grave in Normal Hill Cemetery in Lewiston, ID and all of his daughters and have learned recently that Lee’s son, Earl had passed away as well.  Leander Kelley was the first relative that I was able to research first hand.  I researched him through records, personal interview with his son, his obituary, and traveled a few hours to go and find his grave.  You might say that he helped me become addicted to genealogy.