Wednesday, December 31, 2014

52 Ancestors: #52 Fanny Gowdy and an American Romance in Paris

 Fanny Alice Gowdy
The Saint Paul Globe, 1903
Back of the prosaic announcement that Robert E. Mansfield, Consul at Valapariso, Chile, has petitioned his department at Washington for a transfer to France ... is an interesting little romance.  Consul Mansfield is in love.  And the object of his affection is ... Miss Fanny Gowdy, daughter of the United States Consul General in Paris.  

What is more, Miss Gowdy is also in love -- with Mr. Mansfield. And here Uncle Sam, after allowing them to be together for a long time, has separated them almost as far as he possibly could.  No wonder Mr. Mansfield wants to get back to France, and Miss Gowdy is anxious that he should be there.  ("Four New American Romances," The Saint Paul Globe, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 6 Dec 1903, page 30.)

The courtship of Fanny Gowdy and Robert Mansfield was a favorite topic in the gossip columns of many newspapers across the country and abroad.  It is not surprising; they were both young, attractive, and accomplished.

Fanny Alice Gowdy was born on March 6, 1870, in Arlington, Rush County, Indiana, to John K. Gowdy and Eve Eliza Gordon.   She was raised as an only child, since her brother died two weeks after she was born. In 1887, 17-year-old Fanny graduated from Rushville High School as valedictorian of her class with special honors in elocution and literature.  She went on to study literature, art, and linguistics at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

Robert Emmett Mansfield
Passport photo from
Fanny Gowdy and Robert Mansfield first met in Rush County, Indiana. Robert was a journalist in Muncie and often visited her father on business. When John K. Gowdy accepted the post of Consul General to Paris, his wife and daughter accompanied him to France.  Naturally, Robert was delighted to receive the position of Gowdy's personal secretary.

However, Mansfield was soon called away to Valparaiso, Chile, on a political assignment. The consular position in Chile was a highly sought-after office, but Mr. Mansfield was determined not to stay longer than necessary.  He soon petitioned for a transfer.

With so many thousand miles of territory between the young people their happiness could not be complete and therefore Mr. Mansfield can certainly be pardoned for his anxiety to effect a transfer to Calais, which is within easy reach of Paris.  The members of the Indiana delegation, who have hearts as big as the side of a hill, certainly will do whatever is in their power to help Mr. Mansfield, who is popular with them.  (New Castle Daily Press, New Castle, Indiana, 24 Oct 1903, page 1.)

Fanny Gowdy, age 28, and her mother in Paris
Mr. Mansfield was not the only one who thought well of Miss Gowdy.  At one time, there were rumors that Fanny was to marry a French count. It was clear that Europeans and Americans alike admired her elegance and charming manners, and she quickly became a leading lady of Parisian society.

Several newspapers credit Fanny Gowdy with the establishment of a popular literary salon.  This is regarded as a wonderful achievement by the Europeans, who understand the great importance of these gatherings [are] ostensibly social, but also frequently political. ("Four New American Romances", The Saint Paul Globe, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 6 Dec 1903, page 30.)

In 1900, Tennessee artist Willie Betty Newman, who was living in Paris, painted a remarkable portrait of Fanny Gowdy.  "Portrait of Miss Gowdy" was heralded as one of the best portraits of the year and received an honorable mention at the 1900 Paris Salon.

"Portrait of Miss Gowdy" by Willie Betty Newman
The painting was again displayed in 2002 as part of an exhibit of Newman's pieces at the Parthenon in Tennessee.  A review of the recent exhibit describes the century-old portrait: Newman captures Fanny -- a lithe, Gwyneth Paltrow-style beauty -- as she lounges on a divan with a vase of white flowers at her elbow.  ("An Artist Reclaimed" by Angela Wibking, 14 Feb 2002)

Another publication mentions the painting's "exquisite color arrangement."  I would love to see the original color palette of the portrait; unfortunately, I have only found it reproduced in black and white. I'm not exactly sure where the painting is now, but it may be in storage at the Smithsonian. Perhaps it will be displayed again some day so I can see it in person!

Early in 1906, Fanny and Robert officially announced their engagement, putting an end to the constant rumors generated by newspapers throughout America and Europe.  Soon after, Consul Mansfield started his voyage home from Chile.  Then he ran into trouble.  On January 31, 1906, an earthquake, measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale, resulted in destructive tidal waves off the coasts of Ecuador and Colombia.
Washington Times, 14 Mar 1906 
Although Mr. Mansfield wasn't harmed in the disaster, the delay in his journey caused much anxiety for his family and friends.

San Fransisco Call. 12 Jul 1903
Robert and Fanny were married the 17th of April, 1906. If you were expecting to hear a grand account of an extravagant wedding ceremony, I'm sorry to disappoint you.   The popular couple chose to have a small, quiet ceremony at the Gowdy's home in Rushville.  They did not even make the wedding time known to their friends -- I suspect they were tired of being in the spotlight.  Apart from the immediate family, only two guests attended; Fanny's elderly aunt, Mary Jane Green, and Mrs. Posey, a neighbor.

In June of 1906, the Mansfields moved to Lucerne, Switzerland, where Robert served as consul.  After four years abroad, the couple returned home to Indiana for good.  During her lifetime, Fanny visited or resided in many countries including France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, and Canada.

Robert died at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on September 18, 1925 after a long illness.  Fanny died at the age of 67 in her hometown of Rushville on March 23, 1937.  The Mansfields never had any children, so there are no descendants.  Although I am only distantly related to Fanny (she is my 1st cousin 4 times removed), I felt compelled to recount her fascinating life.

Friday, December 19, 2014

52 Ancestors: #51 Emily Ann Montgomery, a Posthumous Child

Illustration by unknown artist.
I was a posthumous child.  My father's eyes had closed upon the light of this world six months, when mine opened upon it.  There is something strange to me, even now, in the reflection that he never saw me; and something stranger yet in the shadowy remembrance that I have of my first childish associations with his white gravestone in the churchyard, and of the indefinable compassion I used to feel for it lying out there alone in the dark night. (From The Personal History and Experience of David Copperfield the Younger by Charles Dickens.)

These words help me imagine what life might have been like for my third great-grandmother, Emily Ann Montgomery.  According to One Man's Family by Olive Lewis Kolb, Emily was a posthumous baby.

Emily Montgomery was born April 24, 1838, the eighth and last child of John and Elizabeth Montgomery. Her father passed away only a month before her birth, on March 6th.  Emily's mother remarried twice after John Montgomery died, first to Jacob Shiplet, then finally to a man with the surname Bly or Blythe.

Just a few days prior to her 19th birthday, Emily married John William Worland on April 20, 1857 in Shelby County, Indiana.  They had a family of nine children: George Isom, Cecilia Elyrine, Mary Elizabeth, Samuel Montgomery, Lewis Milburn, Martha, Zerada Frances, Lucy Burnetta, and Sarah Ella.

A devout Catholic, Emily was a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Shelby County.  Six days after her 77th birthday, Emily passed away at the home of her daughter, Lucy Burnetta Hendricks.  She is buried at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Cemetery in Waldron, Indiana.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

52 Ancestors: #50 John Kennedy Gowdy and the Search for John Paul Jones

Consul General John Kennedy Gowdy
John Paul Jones was the founder of the American Navy, a prolific and eloquent writer, and a fluent speaker of several languages. Perhaps the most well-known aspect of his posterity was his reply to a demand for surrender: "I have not yet begun to fight."  

However, when the celebrated admiral died in Paris in 1792, his burial was poorly recorded and his funeral was attended by few. For 113 years, America's first naval hero lay in an unmarked tomb in France.  One of the chief detectives in the search for his burial place was my third great grand-uncle, John Kennedy Gowdy.

John K. Gowdy was born in the small town of Arlington, Rush County, Indiana on August 23, 1843 to Adam McConnell Gowdy and Nancy Oliver.  The Gowdy family migrated from Rush County to Jasper County in 1848. When Adam Gowdy died at the young age of 48, John became responsible for the farm.  He divided his time by working on the farm during the summer and returning to Arlington each November, where he lodged with his sister Mary Jane and attended the local school.

At the age of 18, John K. Gowdy joined the Fifth Indiana Volunteer Cavalry.  He helped pursue and capture General John Hunt Morgan, the only Confederate leader to pass through Indiana. Gowdy served under General Ambrose Burnside in the winter of 1863-64 and under General William Tecumseh Sherman during the Georgia campaign.  After the war, Captain John K. Gowdy became an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

On January 24, 1867, John married Eve Eliza Gordon in Rush County, Indiana.  The Gowdys had three children, but only one, Fanny Alice, survived past childhood.  Their two year-old son, Latta Theodore, died two weeks after his sister Fanny was born, on March 24, 1870.  Between the years of 1887 and 1888, John K. Gowdy built a fine brick house in Rushville, Indiana. His former residence is now home to the Rush County Historical Society and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places of Rush County.

John K. Gowdy's house.
Gowdy was twice elected sheriff of Rush County (the youngest in the history of the county at the time.) From 1890 to 1897, he served as chairman of the Indiana Republican State committee.  In recognition of his services to the party, he was appointed by President William McKinley as consul-general to Paris on March 20, 1897.  The news of his position was reported in many papers throughout the country, including this California publication:  He will take with him to France, his wife and charming daughter.  Mr. Gowdy has no knowledge of the French language, but thinks he can manage it.  (Sacramento Daily Union, Vol. 93, No. 51, 13 Apr 1897.)  Consul-General Gowdy also took his horses to France.  The horses, "Rush" and "Brooks," were bred and trained in Rush County, Indiana. While in Paris, the horses were involved in an unfortunate incident:

John K. Gowdy at far right, wife Eve and daughter Fanny in coach.
Chaffeur Stephen Hordsbath and the Rush County horses.
Paris, France, 1898.
[M]iscreants broke into the private stable of United States Consul Gowdy in Paris and cut off the manes and tails of the American-bred horses that he had taken over from Rush Co., Indiana ...  It is assumed that this action was designed as a hint to Mr. Gowdy that he should do in Paris as the Parisians do, and drive bang-tailed horses.  It is an outrage and the severest punishment should be visited on the perpetrators if they can be discovered.  (The Breeder's Gazette, Vol. 34, 1898.)

Nearly two years after Gowdy began his service in France, he wrote a letter urging for an investigation to locate the remains of John Paul Jones:

To Representative Charles B. Landis, January 2, 1899, Paris, France.

It does seem strange that we have not identified ourselves in gratitude to him who fought our battles at sea in our struggle for independence and who was the first to secure our recognition as a Republic.  His achievement of glorious deeds commends itself to the gratitude of the country.  Every thoughtful American citizen can not but feel the deepest regret that we have shown no interest in his resting place.  The graves of other heroes of the Revolution have been marked, and honor paid.  John Paul Jones' love of liberty and devotion to the United States Government, and its principles, were the strongest passions of his life.  Besides fighting our battles, he identified himself in many ways with our Government, that in the past century should have called forth, as for other heroes of the Revolution, the praise and admiration of a grateful people.
                                                                                                               John K. Gowdy 

John Paul Jones Monument, Washington, D.C.
The quest began in June of 1899.  Two search teams were formed, one headed by U.S. Ambassador Horace Porter, and the other directed by John K. Gowdy. Although Consul-General Gowdy later wrote that the two worked in "perfect harmony", it seems that there was a spirited competition between the two teams.  The exhaustive search was concluded on April 14, 1905, when Porter's men discovered the coffin shortly before Gowdy's team arrived at the spot.  On January 26, 1913, the remains of John Paul Jones were at last re-interred at the Naval Academy Chapel at Annapolis, Maryland.

According to a transcript of an unidentified American newspaper, Captain John K. Gowdy ... never received the credit that [was] due him for his part in the search for the body of John Paul Jones.  On his own initiative and at considerable personal expense, Gowdy, while consul-general at Paris, employed a searching party and directed its operations.  John K. Gowdy later said that he did not have any hard feelings that the Ambassador received full credit for the discovery.

Consul-General Gowdy was also instrumental in the purchasing the right to build the Panama Canal. As recognition for his extensive services to France, John K. Gowdy was awarded the Legion of Honor, the highest decoration in France, on September 30, 1905.

John K. Gowdy died at his Rushville home on June 25, 1918, at the age of 74.  On the day of his funeral, flags were lowered to half-mast and many local businesses were closed.  Scores of telegrams from old political friends were received by his family.  John K. Gowdy is buried at Arlington East Hill Cemetery in his birthplace of Arlington, Indiana.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

52 Ancestors: #49 Nancy Oliver, Who Waited 3 Years for Groceries

My 4th great-grandmother, Nancy Oliver, was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky on the first of June 1807 to John Oliver and his wife Jane Hill.  Sometime around 1821, the Oliver family moved to Rush County, Indiana.

At the age of 22, Nancy married Adam McConnell Gowdy, a blacksmith who was two years her junior. The couple had two daughters, named Mary Jane and Martha Ann, then three sons, Lewis Oliver, John Kennedy, and Adam Thomas.

General Store, shared under creative commons license on Flickr.
Nancy's husband died in 1857; their youngest son, Adam Thomas Gowdy, died two years afterwards at the age of ten. Three of the Gowdy children (Mary, Martha, and Lewis) were married by this time, which only left one son, John Kennedy Gowdy, at home to look after his widowed mother.  The two lived on a farm in Rensselaer, Indiana.

[John] was living with his mother near Jasper [Indiana] when the war broke out.  He was 17 years old.  His mother sent him one day to a grocery two miles distant for soap, molasses, and a broom.  He found an excited group about the store discussing war news, and there was a recruiting officer in the town seeking volunteers. Young Gowdy promptly enlisted without consulting his mother, knowing she would object. Three years later, he came marching home again in a blue suit, with an honorable discharge in his pocket and the title of captain stuck to his name, enough to make any patriotic mother forgive anything or everything and be proud all the rest of her days. [But] he brought more.  He stopped at the grocery and bought the supplies his mother sent for three years before.  His first words on reaching home were: "Here, mother, are the soap, molasses, and broom you told me to get."  (The Literary Digest, Vol. 15, No. 2, pg. 59)

This same son was twice elected sheriff of Rush County.  John Kennedy Gowdy later became a famous Hoosier politician and served as Consul General to Paris during the William McKinley administration.  He received the Legion of Honor for his great service to France.

In her later years, Nancy Gowdy lived with her daughter Mary's family in Arlington, Indiana.  She died there at the age of 75 on September 3, 1882 and is buried at Arlington East Hill Cemetery in Rush County, Indiana.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

52 Ancestors: #48 Samuel Kimmel and the Stark County Infirmary

I don't know much about my 5th great grandfather, Samuel Kimmel, but I do know how he died... and it is a sad story.

Samuel was born in 1787 in Pennsylvania to Joseph Kimmel and Nancy Anna Stoner.  He married Catherine Mory, a Maryland native. They had six children, including my 4th great grandfather, Jacob Kimmel. Samuel moved with his family to Stark County, Ohio sometime before 1820 and lived there for the rest of his life.

Stark County Infirmary, Canton, Ohio
On September 15, 1869, Samuel and Catherine were admitted as paupers to the Stark County Infirmary, formerly called the county poorhouse.

Those eligible to live at the county home are homeless persons who are unable to care for themselves.  They may be recipients of old age pensions, if the amounts so received are not sufficient for them to take care of themselves. Likewise if relatives are unable or unwilling to care for a needy person, the latter is eligible.  Many patients have no friends. City residents who are unemployed single men are likewise eligible. Relatives will take care of women before they will men.  (Stark County Story, The Suburban Era in Stark County Ohio 1917-1958 Vol. 4)

The infirmary register listed both their ages as 81 and their former residence as Osnaburg, Stark County, Ohio.  Four of the Kimmel children had left Ohio and were scattered across several states by this time. One son, William Kimmel, died in 1865 from the black measles, along with much of his household.   However, Samuel and Catherine's youngest child, Margaret, still lived in Osnaburg with her own family in 1869.  I wonder why Margaret was unable to care for her elderly parents.  Did the other siblings even know that their parents were destitute and living in a poorhouse?

Samuel Kimmel died in the infirmary on March 18, 1871, at the age of 84.  He was not buried in a cemetery; I assume this was because no one could pay for his burial expenses.  Following his death, Catherine Kimmel was discharged.  I don't know why she had to leave or what happened to her afterwards.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

52 Ancestors: #47 James Whitlow Trees, Still a Democrat

Portrait taken from 1888 History of Rush County
J. W. Trees, of Manilla, was in town today on his way to Indianapolis.  He is still a democrat.  (Columbus Daily Herald; Columbus, Indiana; 5 Apr 1892)

I was amused when I ran across this article about my 4th great grandfather, and I can only guess at what the writer was implying.  A biographical sketch of James W. Trees also mentions that "he was ever a democrat." (History of Rush County, Part II)  It seems that he readily expressed his political views.

James Whitlow Trees was born March 21, 1818 in Clermont County, Ohio.  Adam Trees and Mary Ann Hill were his parents.  His middle name came from his Irish grandmother, Elizabeth Jane Whitlow.  James migrated with his family to Rush County, Indiana on March 27, 1823.

At the age of 20, James decided to pursue a career of medicine.  He went to the small town of Milroy, Indiana and studied under Dr. Samuel Barbour, who was one of the earliest physicians of Rush County.  While he underwent medical training, he also was a clerk at a dry goods store. James received his physician's license from the Indiana Medical Institute in May of 1841.  A few months later, James set up his own medical practice in Manilla, Indiana.

He married Catherine Mull on September 18, 1842 in Rush County, Indiana.  The couple had six children together, but only three sons lived to adulthood: Ethan Allen, Leander Mull, and Cyrus Ebon.  The three youngest children -- Lavanche, Maggie, and Marshall -- all died at a young age.

Around 1852, James W. Trees entered into a mercantile partnership with Jacob and Cyrus Mull, his father-in-law and brother-in-law.  According to William DePrez Inlow, author of In Old Kentucky, "It was common at the time for physicians to engage in business in addition to their profession."

By 1864, Dr. Trees had sold his medical practice to his son-in-law, Dr. J. J. Inlow, and was operating his own dry goods store in Manilla. "By strict attention to his profession, he amassed a goodly fortune.  He and his two sons, Ethan A. and Cyrus E., were of the staunchest business men in the county." (The History of Rush County, Part II)  According to the Indianapolis Journal, the store was robbed in 1875; the burglars got away with $500.

An early map of the town of Manilla, Indiana.  The land Dr. Trees owned is highlighted. 
In 1872, the small town of Manilla received state-wide attention when James W. Trees discovered several fossilized bones of a mastodon on the farm of his neighbor, A. J. Westerfield. (You can see the farm in the map shown above.)  The Indianapolis Journal reported that the fossils "were in a remarkable state of preservation."

The residence of Dr. James W. Trees in Manilla, Indiana.
On April 25, 1895, a Shelbyville newspaper stated that James W. Trees was dangerously ill. He died a short while later, on May 4, 1895, and was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Shelbyville, Indiana.

Recently, I made an interesting discovery.  There is a subdivision in Manilla, Indiana named after James W. Trees!  Looks like I need to make a trip to Manilla so I can see his house (shown at right) and his subdivision!  {Update:} I visited the Trees house in Manilla on July 5, 2015 with my family.  The current owners told us that when they renovated the building, they found an underground passageway that connected the house to the doctor's office across the street.  One of the front rooms in the house was fitted out for a funeral parlor.  When a patient died, the body was discreetly brought into the house via the tunnel.

July 5, 2015.  My brother and I in front of James W. Trees' house in Manilla, Indiana.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

52 Ancestors: #46 Malachi Cooper, 13 Year-Old Patriot

My fifth great-grandfather, Malachi Cooper, was barely 13 years old when he enlisted for service under General Nathanael Greene (who is also a relation of mine) in Guilford County, North Carolina.
Malachi was born on the 14th of April, 1762 in Pasquotank, North Carolina, to David Cooper and his wife Elizabeth Wilder.  Both Malachi and his father served in the War for Independence. Some Cooper descendants claim that the Battle of Cowpens was fought near David Cooper's plantation in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

"Battle of Guilford Courthouse" from Wikipedia
On March 15, 1781, Malachi fought at the Battle of Guilford Court House, a pivotal battle in the Revolutionary War's Southern Campaign. After two hours of intense fighting between General Nathanael Greene's forces and the British troops under Lord Cornwallis' command, Greene withdrew his weary soldiers.  His retreat preserved the strength of his army, while Cornwallis' frail victory cost him over a quarter of his men.  Cornwallis was later heard to say about the battle: I never saw such fighting since God made me.  The Americans fought like demons.

Although I don't know of any other battles he participated in, Malachi served in the militia for six more years.  At the close of the war, Malachi was still a young man of 20 years.  He made his way to Edenton, North Carolina, and there he married 17 year-old Anna Wilkinson.  The couple had a total of 12 children; all except one lived to reach adulthood.  Their eighth child, Anna Cooper Green, was my fourth great-grandmother.

Around 1795, Malachi, his wife, and their small children migrated to the new state of Kentucky. Malachi's younger brother Edward and his bride Susanna traveled with them.  According to a family history written by Clyde Toland, the Cooper clan made the journey by pack train, crossed Daniel Boone's Wilderness Trail, and settled in the foothills beyond Cumberland Gap.  Malachi and Edward are described as "a pair of tall, silent brothers."

Malachi Cooper served on the first grand jury in Pulaski County, Kentucky in 1797.  The jury returned indictments for retailing liquor without license, profanity, and gambling.  When the jury retired to consider their verdicts, they were compelled to go outside since there was no room to meet inside.

In 1806, Malachi was granted 135 acres of land on Fishing Creek.  As an ordained Baptist minister, Malachi Cooper established the Old Fishing Creek Church in Pulaski County and ministered there for many years. Two of his sons, Levi and James Cooper, also became Baptist ministers.

After the death of his wife in 1820, Malachi began to disperse his land holdings in Pulaski County. Records of these transactions are found in Pulaski County deed books.  In 1825, he "sold" 100 acres to his son Milton Cooper for $1 "in consideration of love and natural affection he entertains for his son."  However, two years later Malachi sold 235 acres of land to his son Asa, for $700.  (Pulaski County, Kentucky Deed Books)  I wonder why he practically gave land to Milton, but expected Asa to pay a substantial amount.

This is the only known signature of Malachi Cooper, an endorsement on a 1782 currency certificate.
Malachi's name has been spelled a number of ways: "Malleki" in his father's will, "Malikiah" in D.A.R. records, "Malikah" as a member of the Pulaski County grand jury, "Malekiaha" in probate records of his son Asa's estate, and finally as "Malicha" in a family history written by his grandson James Wilkinson Cooper.  Malachi himself signed his name as "Malicha." Perhaps this is how he spelled and pronounced it. However, he may have copied someone else's writing, since he signed other documents with his mark. I've decided to use the common Biblical spelling of "Malachi."

Malachi Cooper's monument erected by the DAR
Photo taken by James Arnold of the Daniel Guthrie Chapter SAR in June of 2006.
Malachi Cooper was living at the home of his grandson, Dr. Stanley Cooper, in Rush County, Indiana when he passed away in the fall of 1843.  (A few sources say he died in February of 1845.)

In the summer of 1978, a local DAR chapter erected a monument for Malachi and held a dedication ceremony at Pleasant Run Cemetery in New Salem, Rush County, Indiana. Unfortunately, his first and last name have been reversed on the plaque.  I have a copy of some correspondence that discusses the error. Some effort has been made to correct the mistake, but nothing has been done yet.  More than 30 years have passed since the plaque was installed, and I would really like for it to finally be corrected.  Malachi Cooper should be honored with an accurate monument.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

52 Ancestors: #45 Maria Dent, Who Lost a Very Important Paper

Maria Bird, age 82, upon her oath declares that she was granted a pension under the Act of March 9,1878 as the widow of William Bird, who was a Private in Capt. Robert's Co. of Ky Militia, War of 1812. And that in June 1883, she lost her pension certificate in some way, she does not know just how, whether it has been misplaced or lost in some way.  She has made diligent search for the same and has been unable to find the same.  She asks that she be given a new certificate in lieu of the one lost. (War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, 11 Sept 1883)

At the time Maria appeared in court, she was living with her son Edward's family, which included eight children. (That might explain how something could be lost.)  I assume she was given a new certificate, since "certificate on file" was scribbled on the statement recorded by the notary public.

Maria Dent, my fourth great-grandmother, was born on November 7, 1801 in Stafford County, Virginia.
According to her obituary, she became an orphan at the age of three.  Her father was lost at sea; her mother died soon after. She came to Kentucky in 1811 with her uncle, James Smith.  The only information I have about her uncle is that he was listed as a bondsman on her marriage license.

Maria married William Bird on November 7, 1822 in Nicholas County, Kentucky on her 21st birthday. The couple soon settled in Decatur County, Indiana, where they raised nine children.  She lived there the rest of her life.  In January of 1888, Maria slipped on some ice and broke her leg.  She never recovered from the accident and died on the 27th of January.  She had outlived her husband and four of her children.

There was none more kind as a neighbor, more devoted as a wife, more loving as a mother, and more dearer as a grandmother than she.  In the days of her widowhood, her every aim and interest was centered in her children and her grandchildren.  Very few visits did she make to any of them that she did not leave some token of remembrance, or some deep kindness done by her dear old hands, to tell them that her presence had been there. (Excerpt from Maria's obituary in the Saturday Review, Greensburg, Indiana, 14 Feb 1888)

Monday, November 3, 2014

52 Ancestors: #44 Isaac Inlow, Undone by His Son

Taken from In Old Kentucky, a History of My Forbears
My 4th great-grandfather, Isaac Inlow, came from a large family.  His parents, James Inlow and Mary Wilson, had 15 children; Isaac was the 14th child.  In 1840, Isaac married Lucinda Bell in Fleming County, Kentucky.  Isaac, his wife, and their five children moved to Manilla, Rush County, Indiana about 10 years later.

Isaac was a respected farmer and a man of tireless energy; he was numbered among the wealthy and influential citizens of Rush County.  He helped to found the Christian Church at Manilla and remained a faithful member there throughout his life.  Isaac was also a member of the Knights of Pythias.  At two different times, he was tendered a nomination to the legislature of the Democratic party, but Isaac chose instead to live a quiet life in his Rush County home.

However, Isaac's second son, John William Inlow, was his undoing.  John was a man with big ideas... and a spendthrift. He had great visions of doubling his father's assets.  John invested a great deal of his father's money in real estate in Indianapolis.  According to the Indianapolis Journal, on March 14, 1871, John purchased a lot for $2,300. (That's roughly equivalent to $45,000 today!)   Then, his scheme backfired, and John lost his father's money. Isaac was forced to to sell the Manilla farm in 1879.  John ended up as a floorwalker at the New York Store (aka Pettis Dry Goods Co.) in Indianapolis, a position he held for many years.

After he lost his farm, Isaac and his wife moved 50 miles away to Alexandria, Indiana, where his oldest son, James Elliott Inlow, was practicing as a doctor.  When James relocated to Hancock County, Isaac and Lucinda returned to Manilla.  In 1894, Lucinda Inlow died.  At the time of her death, she was completely blind.  It then fell upon the youngest son, George Jefferson Inlow, to care for his elderly father.  George worked as both a carpenter and a druggist in Manilla.  Isaac Inlow died at George's home, at the age of 89, from a stroke.

(Much of the biographical information in this blogpost comes from the book In Old Kentucky, a History of My Forbears, Book 3 by William DePrez Inlow, published in 1950.)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

52 Ancestors: #43 Mary Ann Hill, Born on the Atlantic Ocean

Mary Ann Hill was born aboard a ship on passage from Ireland to America on June 6, 1790.  This is confirmed by 1880 census reports from four of her children.  Her birth at sea is also mentioned in a biographical sketch of her son, James Whitlow Trees. (The sketch is from the History of Rush County, Part II.)

Like many Irish immigrants of that period, Mary Ann's parents, John Hill and Elizabeth Jane Whitlow, came from Ulster.  John Hill was a weaver in trade.

After the Hills arrived in America, they located somewhere in Pennsylvania.  I don't know exactly when they left that state, but Mary Ann spent most of her early years in Bracken County, Kentucky.

In 1811, Mary Ann married another first-generation American, John Adam Trees, in Clermont County, Ohio.  After spending well over 10 years in Clermont County, Adam and Mary Ann decided to move to Indiana.  For 10 days, they traveled over almost impassable roads, crossing the White and Miami Rivers. Their youngest child, John Kell Trees, was barely two months old at the time. The family arrived in Richland Township, Rush County, Indiana on March 27, 1823. The Trees raised ten children, who all lived to adulthood.

Mary Ann Trees died on July 23, 1863 in Shelby County, Indiana, less than a year after the death of her husband.  She was 73 years old.  Her father, John Hill, outlived her by a few years.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

52 Ancestors: #42 Thomas Worland's Wheel Chart

Thomas Worland's Wheel Chart, which includes 75 grandchildren.
I descend from Thomas' son Stephen, then from Stephen's son John.
One of most useful and interesting genealogical treasures I have inherited is a book about the Worland family.  One Man's Family, written by Olive Lewis Kolb with the help of two Worland descendants, is well over 1000 pages long, including maps, biographical sketches, wills, and family pedigrees.  Hidden within its many pages is this wheel chart of Thomas Worland's family. The wheel chart makes it easy to see how often family names are reused.

Thomas Worland was the eldest son of John Worland III and Mary Brady.  He was born June 11, 1774 in Maryland, probably in Prince George's County.  He assumed responsibility very early in life.  His father's will, written just before Thomas' 16th birthday, named him as co-executor with his mother. (One Man's Family by Kolb)

Thomas married nineteen year-old Virlinda Hardy on December 8, 1799 in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Thomas and his wife raised a large family of 13 children, who all reached adulthood.  Barnabas, a younger brother of Thomas, married Virlinda Hardy's sister, Theresa.

Thomas, Barnabas, and most of the Worland family joined with about 60 other Catholic families in a compact to migrate to Kentucky between 1785 and 1807. This migration was inspired by the great poverty being endured in Maryland and the promise of a better life in Kentucky. By 1810, almost all of the Worland known to be living at that time were in Kentucky.  (One Man's Family by Kolb)

Thomas and Barnabas Worland [were] worthy and respectable citizens, always in active and useful occupation. (The History of Pioneer Lexington, Kentucky by Charles R. Staples)  Thomas and his brother Barnabas seem to have been very closely associated until Thomas decided to leave Kentucky in 1828 and begin a new life in Indiana.  They likely never saw each other again, since Barnabas later gathered up his family and permanently settled in Missouri.

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
Thomas took up his residence in a roughly-hewn log cabin situated near the Little Blue River, one mile east of Shelbyville.  In the fall of 1828, the first Catholic Mass in history of Shelby County, Indiana occured in this house.  At that time, the congregation numbered about 30 members.  On September 6, 1838, a contract was signed to build a church for $619.00 on two acres of land donated by Thomas Worland. The St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church was built in 1839.

Two of Thomas' daughters, Mary Ann and Eleanor, entered convents. Eleanor became "Sister Mary Saint Paul"; Mary Ann became "Sister Mary Clara."  Sister Mary Clara later wrote a book entitled Lives Of the Saints, where she described the Worland family's influence on Catholicism in Shelby County.

Thomas Worland's youngest daughter, Eulilia, was "feeble-minded." According to Thomas' will, five hundred dollars (in addition to her portion of the estate) was to be set aside after his death for her support.  She only lived nine more years after her father died.

Thomas Worland died July 13, 1850 in Shelby County, Indiana.  He was buried at St. Vincent's Catholic Cemetery, on the land he donated to the church.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

52 Ancestors: #41 Jacob Kimmel, Oldest Voter in Kearney, Nebraska

Jacob Kimmel, left, with his daughter Catherine and her family.
Jacob Kimmel of Fourth Ward Votes at 86 Years of Age.

The statement in the Hub Tuesday that Rev. C.R. Ford was probably the oldest voter in the city has brought out the fact that there is at least one voter, who cast his vote on election day, who could boast more years than Mr. Ford.  This is Jacob Kimmel.  Mr. Kimmel is 86 years of age.  He is a carpenter and mill wright by trade and is still able to do some work every day.  The fact that there was a voter 86 years of age in the city was kindly brought to the attention of the Hub by S.M. Forney, and it is probable that there may be some other voters who are as old or older. (The Kearney Daily Hub, published November 8, 1906.)  

My 4th great grandfather, Jacob Kimmel, was born on May 27, 1821 in Canton, Stark County, Ohio. His parents were Samuel Kimmel and Catherine Mory.  On October 9, 1842, Jacob married Nancy Tombaugh. Sometime before 1850, Jacob and Nancy migrated to Richland, Illinois, along with Jacob's brother William and his sister Elizabeth and their families.  Together Jacob and Nancy had at least seven children.  Jacob's wife Nancy and his sister, Elizabeth Shook, were midwives in the area. Nancy died in 1879.  

In 1880, Jacob lived with his newly-married daughter Mary and her husband Noah Michaels. Sometime before 1885, Jacob, his son Lewis, and the Michaels family decided to leave Illinois and and travel over 500 miles to live in Hutchinson, Kansas.  Jacob, Lewis, and Noah were all carpenters and probably worked together.

The Wood River Mission Church in Kearney, Nebraska.
In 1896, Jacob Kimmel moved one more time to Kearney Nebraska to join his daughter, Catherine Forney, and her family.  Jacob opened a carpenter shop at the back of Catherine's house.  

Catherine's husband, Samuel Michael Forney, was the minister of the Wood River Mission Church in Kearney, Nebraska, which was affiliated with the Dunkard Brethren.  During a special council on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, the Wood River Church reinstated "Brother Jacob Kimmel."  (I wonder why he had to be reinstated.)  By December 31, 1898, the church had 40 members.

Jacob died in Kearney on March 10,1910  at the age of 88 from cardiac failure. According to his obituary, he had made his own coffin before he died.

Jacob Kimmel with four generations of descendants, c. 1908.

Friday, October 17, 2014

52 Ancestors: #40 Squire Lot Green, Pioneer School Teacher

A schoolhouse similar to the one Lot Green would have taught in.
Lot Green was a farmer of Rush County all his active life. He was a man of fine attainments for those days and at different times taught school with such success that he is regarded as having been an able educator. For twenty years he was Justice of the Peace under the old constitution. (From the Pictorial and Biographical Memoirs of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana, 1893.)

My 4th great grandfather, Lot Green, conducted one of the oldest schools in Anderson Township, Rush County, Indiana. The log cabin school stood on the farm of Jacob Hackleman, one of the original settlers of Rush County.  In 1829, a man named George Wrinbro assumed the task of teaching the school. At the end of the school year, Mr. Wrinbro treated his students to whisky!  Another teacher in Anderson Township at the time was the famous evangelist and poet Knowles Shaw, who wrote the lyrics to the Gospel hymn "Bringing in the Sheaves."  

Lot was born on April 15, 1799 in Pulaski County, Kentucky, the tenth of eleven children. His parents were Thomas Greene and Elizabeth Ann Ransbird Mathews. (I believe Lot was the first Green in the family line to drop the final "e" from the surname.) Thomas Greene was a Patriot spy during the American Revolution and was the first cousin of General Nathanael Greene. Nathanael and Thomas Greene came from Quaker families, but both were turned out from the congregation because they would not acknowledge that they were wrong in joining the fight for freedom.

On April 27, 1824, Lot married Anna Cooper in Pulaski, Kentucky.  Together they had nine children. Anna died in 1841, when their youngest child was less than two years old.  Lot married Sarah Houston on June 7, 1842.  He was chosen as a delegate to attend the Rush County convention on April 18, 1843.

Lot's involvement in education had a lasting effect on his descendants.  Two of his sons, James Wilkinson Green and William Frame Green, became doctors.  Another son, John Cooper Green, was a well-known lawyer in Shelby County, Indiana.  His youngest son, Perry M. Green, was also a lawyer and a founder of the city of Pasadena, California.  Six of Lot's grandchildren became doctors, including my great grandfather, John D. Green.

Lot Green died on July 12, 1845 in Rush County, Indiana, at the age of 46.

Friday, October 10, 2014

52 Ancestors: #39 Mary Gertrude Resslein, the Ship's Cook

"Scene Between Decks", The Illustrated London News, July 6, 1850.
In the summer of 1850, my great-great-great grandmother, Mary Gertrude Resslein, left her homeland of Bavaria and boarded the ship Marathon at the Port of Le Havre, France.   Captain Henry S. Tyler commanded the 890-ton ship, which was built in 1849.  A thorough study of the ship manifest reveals that she was 28 years old and had brought 2 chests with her. A family story is that Gertrude worked as a ship's cook to earn her passage. There were 408 passengers listed on the ship manifest; two young women died from a fever during the voyage.

Gertrude's granddaughter, Stella McCammon, wrote a letter to her sister Bertha describing the
voyage. The wind blew the ship off course, and they ran out of drinking water. According to Stella, Gertrude slipped food to a stowaway from Luxembourg on the ship.  His name was George Holzlider.   Gertrude and George disembarked from the Marathon at New York on July 26, 1850. Less than a month later, they were married in Hamilton County, Ohio.

Hamilton County, Ohio Marriage Certificate

At some point, the Holzliders moved to Decatur County, Indiana and eventually to North Vernon, Jennings County, Indiana. They raised five children, including my great great grandfather, William. Gertrude died at North Vernon sometime between 1880 and 1897.   It is not known where she is buried, but she may have been buried at a Potters Field in North Vernon.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

52 Ancestors: #38 Nancy Tombaugh, Midwife of Richland County

The Illinois Medical Practice Act of 1877 included the creation of the Illinois Board of Health, which was charged with the responsibility of regulating physicians and midwives. Midwives would now be required to register with and be approved by the Illinois Board of Health.

"Midwives To Whom Certificates Have Been Issued" from the Annual Report of the State Board of Health of Illinois 
On December 15, 1877, Nancy Kimmel registered for a midwife certificate.  She was 54 years old and had practiced as a midwife for 15 years in Richland County, Illinois.  Her certificate was issued on October 19, 1878.

Nancy was born on May 8. 1821 in Akron, Ohio to Solomon Tombaugh and Catherine Myers. At the age of 21, Nancy Tombaugh married Jacob Kimmel on October 9, 1842 in Stark County, Ohio. Jacob's sister, Elizabeth Kimmel Shook, was also a midwife in Richland County.  Nancy and Jacob had seven known children. Their youngest child, Susanna, born in 1860, was my third great-grandmother.

On March 14, 1862, their 13-year-old daughter Sarah died of "winter fever" (an archaic term for pneumonia that was used only in Southern Illinois.)  Soon after Sarah's death, Nancy began her occupation as a midwife.  (Perhaps to keep her mind off of her loss?)

Nancy Kimmel died on May 9, 1879, less than a year after she received her midwife certificate.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

52 Ancestors: #37 James Harvey Latham, Survived the Battle of Shiloh

Pen-and-ink and watercolor map by Captain Leon J. Fremaux.
My 4 times great-grandfather, James Harvey Latham, was among the 111,000 men who fought at the two-day battle at Shiloh. The carnage amounted to the greatest devastation known on the American continent to that date -- more than 23,000 casualties.  Yet somehow he survived the horrible battle.

James was born on February 5, 1823 in Todd County, Kentucky. His parents were Stephen R. Latham and Mary Elizabeth Sears.

On September 25, 1844, James married Susan H. Driskill in Montgomery County, Tennessee. He was 21, and she was 17.  The Lathams raised their family in Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. They had nine children: George Washington, John Wesley (my 3rd great-grandfather), Sophronia, Mary Susannah, Cordelia Josephine, twins Robert Oscar and Stephen Finis, Margaret Marcella, and Harvey Edward Latham.  Tragically, two of their children, three-year-old Cordelia and newborn Stephen, died from scarlet fever in 1856.

James enlisted as a private in Company K, 11th Kentucky Infantry, which was attached to Fifth Division of the Army of the Ohio.  On April 6, 1862, his regiment engaged in the Battle of Shiloh. Colonel Pierce Butler Hawkins, commander of James' brigade, in his report of the battle stated:

The enemy ... [was] drawn up in considerable numbers in the brush and playing upon us from their batteries ... We were compelled to fall back to the original line of battle. I then by your order charged the enemy, and succeeded in driving [them], found and captured one piece of artillery ... holding it until the engagement ceased.

Shiloh was the first battle for the men in the 11th Kentucky Infantry. For James Harvey Latham, it was also his last battle.

James' gravestone at Nashville National Cemetery
On August 18, James was sent to General Hospital #1 in Nashville, Tennessee. He died ten days later on August 28, 1862, from typhoid fever at the age of 39.  He was buried the same day in Nashville City Cemetery and was later re-interred in the Nashville National Cemetery. By the end of the war, the 11th Kentucky had lost 214 enlisted men by disease.

Two years after his death, James' widow Susan married a man named Edmund Hawthorne.  Mr. Hawthorne became the legal guardian of the four minor heirs of James Latham (namely, Mary Susannah, Robert Oscar, Margaret Marcella, and Harvey Edward) and helped them obtain a pension of eight dollars a month.

Like countless others, James had his life cut short by disease during the war.  James Harvey Latham's grandfather, Elijah Stephen Latham, lived to be 102 years old.   Elijah's father, Jeremiah, died at the age of 104.  Jeremiah's father, Phillip Latham, was born in 1710 and died in 1820.  Yes, that's 110 years!  I wonder how long James Harvey Latham would have lived if he had not been struck down by typhoid fever.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

52 Ancestors: #36 Adam McConnell Gowdy, Delegate to the Indiana Constitutional Convention

Cover of the 1851 Indiana State Constitution
My 4 times great-grandfather, Adam McConnell Gowdy, was born in 1809 near Bellbrook, Ohio, the eldest child of Andrew Gowdy and Mary McConnell.  He had two brothers and four sisters.

Among the papers I have inherited that belonged to Adam's son, John Kennedy Gowdy, I found a few interesting documents.  I believe the following history of Adam McConnell Gowdy was written by John K. Gowdy's daughter, Fanny Gowdy Mansfield.

When a child, as was the custom then, he was bound out to a farmer, John Van Eaton, who lived near Xenia,[Ohio].  John Van Eaton was a wheelwright and a member of the Old Seceder Church. 

The Old Seceder Church was a branch of the Presbyterian church. They were against Sabbath desecration, profanity, stage performances, use of charms, slavery, secret societies, intoxicating liquors, and dancing.

Fanny's story continues...

Adam McConnell Gowdy was not treated kindly by Van Eaton and ran away, walking to Rush County, Indiana.  There he met and married Nancy Oliver, daughter of John Oliver.  She was born in Fleming County, Kentucky and had moved with her parents to Rush County as a child.

Adam was a blacksmith and pioneer resident of Rush county and helped lay out the town of Rushville.  He and Nancy had five children together: Mary Jane (my 3 times great-grandmother), Martha Ann, Lewis Oliver, John Kennedy, and Adam Thomas.  It is interesting to note that both Mary Jane and Martha Ann were married at the age of 15.  John Kennedy Gowdy later became a famous Hoosier politician and served as the American Consul General to Paris during the McKinley administration.

Adam Gowdy gained quite a reputation as a public speaker and was active in politics.  He was elected in 1850 and served as a member of the Legislature of Indiana, which formed the Constitution of the State.  Having moved with his family in 1849 to Jasper County, Indiana, he was elected from the county, which comprised the territory now composed of Jasper, White, and Pulaski counties.

In 1857, Adam died in Xenia, Ohio due to unknown causes.  He was only 48.  Adam McConnell Gowdy is buried at Pioneer Cemetery in Bellbrook, Greene County, Ohio.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

52 Ancestors: #35 Nancy Elizabeth McLaughlin, Eloped at 16

Above: A section of the National Road in 1908. 
Below: Henry and Nancy's marriage certificate.
A story has been handed down in my family that my 3rd great-grandparents, Henry Fisher and Nancy McLaughlin, eloped to be married.  On a dark March evening, Nancy went out into the front yard after supper on the pretext of emptying the dishwater.  Henry was waiting for her on horseback.  Nancy had smuggled out her dress-up clothes earlier that day so that they could make their getaway easily.  A minister had been arranged for, and the license had already been obtained.

The National Road (known today as U.S. 40) had been built by that time, so perhaps they would have used that route to travel from Marion County to Wayne County to be married. Henry and Nancy were married on the 13th of March, 1843. She was 16 years old, and he was 22.

Nancy Elizabeth McLaughlin was born in Marion County, Indiana, on May 11, 1826. Her parents were James McLaughlin and Elizabeth Huggins, both natives of Kentucky.  Nancy was the second of 13 McLaughlin children.

After Henry and Nancy eloped in 1843, the first document they appear in is the 1850 census.   The Fishers and their three young daughters lived next door to the Marion County Asylum (which was essentially a poorhouse for paupers and the feeble-minded).  Henry was the superintendent of the asylum.  In 1860, the Fishers lived in the village of Broad Ripple in Marion County.  They stayed in Broad Ripple for 20 years then moved to Jasper County, where they remained for the rest of their lives.

Henry and Nancy had ten children: seven girls and three boys.  One of their daughters, Minerva, born in 1848, lived to be 100 years old. Their fifth daughter, Rebecca, was my great-great grandmother.

Nancy Fisher died on December 20, 1895.  She is buried at Weston Cemetery in Rensselaer, Jasper County, Indiana.

I found a letter written by my grandmother that mentions a photograph of Henry and Nancy with one of their grandsons, Noble Fisher.  I've looked through all my family files and haven't been able to find the picture.  In the back of my mind, I feel like I may have seen the picture before, but maybe it was just a dream. (Yes, I do dream about genealogy sometimes!)

Friday, September 19, 2014

52 Ancestors: #34 Augusta Lange, Asylum Patient for 31 Years

My great-great-great-grandmother was born on Christmas Day, 1845, in Germany.  Her first name was Augusta, but I have not been able to find out her maiden name.

She married Charles Lange in 1872, prior to their immigration to America.  By 1880, they were living in Vincennes, Indiana.  According to census records, Augusta never learned to speak English. Charles and Augusta had four children. Wilhelm, her first son, was born shortly before the Langes left Germany.  The other three, Charles Carl (my great-great-grandfather), Alvina, and Mary, were all born in Vincennes.

Main building of Southern Indiana Hospital for the Insane in Evansville, early 1900's
On December 14, 1897, at the age of 51, Augusta was admitted to the Southern Indiana Hospital for the Insane in Evansville, Indiana.  She was patient #490.  I assume that means Augusta was the 490th person admitted since the hospital opened.

"Woodmere", as the institution was locally known, was situated on 879 acres of land and surrounded by thick woods.  The facility opened to patients on October 30, 1890.  In 1927, the asylum changed its name to Evansville State Hospital.  Among the buildings on the grounds were a carpenter shop, well house, railway station, greenhouse, chapel, assembly hall, bakery, laundry, dairy and stock barns, carriage house and two silos.

Although Augusta remained at Woodmere for 31 years, the only record I have discovered is an index card with limited information: her physical health at admission was good, her mental illness was "mania acute," and her father was a drunkard.  The majority of the records of patients admitted before 1943 were destroyed in a disastrous fire.

Postcard of "Woodmere" at the time Augusta was there.
The fire began in the early morning hours of February 9, 1943, while nearly 1200 patients were sleeping.  A hospital employee later confessed to starting the fire and was herself ultimately committed to a mental institution. The building was destroyed, and the records were totally lost; however, heroic action of the staff saved almost all of the patients.  The hospital was closed for two years while a replacement facility was built at a new location.

Augusta Lange was released from Woodmere on October 11, 1929.  I think the hospital must have sent a letter to Augusta's family saying that her health was declining and suggesting that she be brought home.  Only a week later, on October 19, she died at the home of her son, Charles, in Vincennes.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

52 Ancestors: #33 Sarah Ann Lane's Album and a Shorthand Mystery

Sarah Ann Lane

Sarah Ann Lane was my third great-grandmother.  She was born on July 30, 1836.  Unfortunately, I don't know who her parents were or if she had any siblings.  I'm not even sure where she was born or where she lived before she was married.

I have some notes that my grandmother wrote in Gregg shorthand that contain information about Sarah's life.  The problem is that I can't read shorthand!  From what I can decipher, Sarah lived with the Hamilton family, and she may have come from Cincinnati on an orphan train.  I know that the initials "J. H." mentioned in the note stand for her husband, James Harvey Bird.

I really would like to know what the rest of this note says. Can anyone help me out with this?

My Grandmother's Shorthand Note.  

On Christmas day of 1864, Sarah received a photo album with the following inscription:
 A Christmas Gift
     To Sarah Lane,
     from T.G. Hamilton
     Dec. 25, 1864
I assume that T.G. Hamilton was a member of the Hamilton family mentioned in the shorthand note; however, I have not been able to find a census with Sarah living with the T.G. Hamilton family.  [EDIT on 12/7/14: Since posting this, I found a "Sarah Maine" listed as a domestic servant in the 1860 census in the household of William Warder Hamilton, T.G. Hamilton's brother!  I am pretty sure this is Sarah Lane; she is the right age and in the right place.]

Glass negative of Sarah Lane Bird.
On March 14, 1865, Sarah Lane was married to James Harvey Bird, a widower.  He was ten years her senior and already had seven children by his first wife.  Sarah and Harvey had three girls: Nina, Grace and Mary Edna (my great great grandmother.)

In 1873, Sarah gave birth to her only son. Sadly, Sarah and the baby both passed away in June of that year.  Since death records were not kept at that time in Decatur County, Indiana, I do not know the exact cause of her death.  She was only 36 years old.

Below is a slideshow of the 26 photographs contained in Sarah's album, given to her by T. G. Hamilton.  Sarah is in one of these photos herself, and there is a picture of her husband, James Harvey Bird.  The images are tintypes and carte de vistes. None of the pictures were originally identified. Fortunately, I was able to identify some of them by referring to labeled family pictures.

Because the number of photographs exceeds the limit for a slideshow, the album is divided into two parts.  Please let me know if you are able to identify any of these people.  Enjoy!

Below are the remaining eleven photographs.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

52 Ancestors: #32, Catherine Mull and Her Sister

Mary Ann
My four times great- grandmother, Catherine Mull, and her sister, Mary Ann, "were about as close as it was possible for sisters to be."  Living as next-door neighbors, they were together daily.  Often they could be seen walking together, attired in "elegant dresses, long and full, with many petticoats, with spring bonnets bedecked with flowers tied under their chins, holding their skirts on one side."

Catherine and Mary Ann's father, Jacob Mull, was a pioneer of the town of Manilla and a whisky merchant.  Their mother was a stern-faced Scot named Margaret Richinson.  Catherine was the eldest of four, being born in 1824; Mary Ann was the youngest child, born in 1831.  They had two brothers, Cyrus and George.  

On September 18, 1842, Catherine married a Manilla doctor, James W. Trees.  Mary Ann followed suit in 1853 and was also wedded to a physician, John James Inlow.  Doctors J. W. Trees and J. J. Inlow even practiced medicine together for a short time.  James and Catherine had six children: Ethan Allen, Leander Mull, Cyrus Ebon, Lavanche, Margaret, and Marshall.

The sisters lived in very similar houses; in fact, one was a copy of the other.  In about 1858, Jacob Mull built his house in Manilla, "which though not the largest house to be ever constructed in Manilla, was nevertheless at the time the best, and architecturally speaking, the most distinctive. Soon after they were married, Mary Ann and her husband, Dr. J. J. Inlow, built their house next to Jacob's house. They were obviously similar, however, it was built in wood instead of brick. Doubtless, the young couple could not afford to spend the sum that the father could.  When Jacob Mull died in 1861, his home became the residence of his daughter Catherine, and her husband, Dr. J. W. Trees.  From that point on, the two sisters lived side by side in the most prominent location in the town."

Dr. Trees' residence, where Catherine lived.
Dr. Inlow's residence, where Mary Ann lived.
Catherine and Mary Ann "spent a lot of their time conversing with the neighbors and with people who came into town to see the doctor. [Catherine], for instance, if while sweeping out her front room she should see someone with whom she wanted to speak would throw up the window and call, stopping her work and leave it for the maid to finish."

Catherine died on November 5, 1884 in Manilla; Mary Ann died in 1902.

All quotations and pictures are from the book In Old Kenucky, a History of My Forbears by William DePrez Inlow.