Sunday, December 21, 2014

Blog Caroling with Footnote Maven

I am joining in with Footnote Maven's Blog Caroling meme. Click on the blog name to join. This is my fourth year of joining the fun.  I love Christmas Carols and have actually learned some as I have researched those I like.

This year I am choosing to do a new modern classic carol.  "Mary Did You Know?" lyrics and music written by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene.
I looked for the background of why he wrote the carol, and found a snipit on Wikipedia.... 'In 1984, Lowry wrote the lyrics to the song "Mary, Did You Know?", when asked to write a script for a church Christmas play. Lowry wrote a series of questions that he would like to ask Mary, the mother of Jesus. These questions were used in between the scenes of the play. Over the next decade, Lowry tried to find the music that would complete the song. Twelve years after writing the lyrics, musician and songwriter Buddy Greene wrote the music to the song. The Christmas play script then became the song.' no author given. 

There are many different presentations of this carol, but the sentiment, and words stay the same.  You can feel the dept and love in the words. It fills my heart with joy.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Hero Made a Difficult Decision: Sentimental Sunday

I am combining two memes today. One is Sentimental Sunday which I have done for years and the other is Blue Raspberry Sunday by Aine at Blue Raspberry Sky.

This is a sentimental look at a hard decision that the Hero made which affected our lives and fits both memes that have kept me blogging when it would have been easy to quit.

When the Hero and I first married, we lived in Houston. This was the Hero's birth city and where he fully expected to live out his days in.  I on the other hand was not a city girl and desired to go to the country.  My mom and dad lived in Oklahoma and we wanted them to move to Texas so we kept an eye out for them a small acreage of land.
Meanwhile, the Hero compromised with me and we moved to a rent house that belonged to his
dad's company in the outer suburbs (at that time) which qualified, for him, to be in the country.

The house was most people's dream. It had 5 bedrooms, 2 car garage, 2 1/2  baths,  fireplace, an office, and a swimming pool.
 I admit, it was not my dream. It was in the middle of a subdivision, although this is where I earned the title of snake killer.
About a year later, we discovered some property 6 acres with a house partially started for sale just 30 miles north of us in a small town.  They had their own school district, so it was perfect for my parents and would be close enough for us to visit frequently and the children to have a taste of country.  When my dad saw it he was excited, there was a shack on it that was called a cabin which he could live in while getting the house finished and then my mom could move on down.
He thought was a great idea.  It took us about 6 months to get all the paper work done and my dad moved down.  My baby was 18 mos old, and my oldest was just ready to finish 2nd grade. She adored our big home, her friends, and the status she had at school.
My dad of course began to populate the "farm" first before finishing the house. :D  I was not surprised.
The second weekend we went up to help him work on the house, the well had stopped, and he decided to pull the well casing and clean it with the help of some friends he had already made in the area.  The Hero was all excited about learning to fix things on his own and not having to pay a serviceman.  They worked hard, pulled the casing, and by the end of the day they were all exhausted.  That night, my dad got up in the middle of the night, and started belching and complaining of heart burn.  He was pale, but asked for coffee.  We got him some. He threw up, then commenced to collapse in the Hero's arms.  The Hero picked him up and put him in the car.  I got in the backseat and held my dad's head while the Hero drove 100 miles an hour down a two lane road to cover 20 miles in 15 minutes.  We never saw a policeman either. We got to the hospital and in the ER they said he had suffered a major heart attack (Myocardial Infarction).  My Hero gave him a blessing as there weren't any other Elders in the area to help. My dad made it through.
We knew we had a challenge on our hands.  My mother had already quit her job, and my dad was not going to be able to finish their house.  After much thought and prayer, the Hero decided (it had to be his decision)  we would move up to the "cabin" and live there to finish the house for my parents. That way I could help them during the week as my mom wouldn't be able to take care of my dad and the farm too.  This was a decision that changed our lives totally and affected all our children forever.  It was a shock to move from a 5 bedroom house with all amenities to a shack that sometimes would not have running water or a working bathroom.
 The Hero was a brave man to take on the responsibility.  He felt a sense of responsibility since he had paved the way for them to move from their home.  It took us another 2 years before we started a house of our own.  I know many times he wished maybe he had not done that and had decided to stay in the city.  He didn't though, and stuck it out to the very end.  There were blessings and I have to admit, some very hard times that shaped each life as a result. I was thankful for his strong character and devotion to family.
It all worked together for our good in some way. I hope the children feel the same way. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Totally Floored, and Appreciative

Thank you so much to Beverly McGowan Norman for thinking of me and nominating me for the 'One Lovely Blog' ward.
What a lovely award to receive.

Beverly writes an informative blog and shares her personal research and methods with all.  She is one lovely blog writer at Roots, Branches, and a Few Nuts.

Here are the rules for this award:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog
2. Share Seven things about yourself
3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (or as many as you can think of!)
4. Contact your bloggers to let them know that you have tagged them for the One Lovely Blog Award
It is always good to have a little fun while blogging.

Seven things about me
1. I am an Okie who has embraced Texas as my homeland (two great grandfathers arrived in 1838)
2. I have 6 children, 25 grandchildren which is why I travel alot.
3. I was a Registered Nurse until I retired to home school my children.
4. I am a pile organizer takes me forever to get things in a file.
5. I have three blogs and write for the WorldWide Genealogy Collaboration Blog
6. I became a Master Gardner and managed a Retail nursery.
7. I took the ProGen Class and finished it.  Great experience,

Now the nomination of 15 bloggers I admire.
1.  Heart of Story by Fran Jensen
2.  Empty Branches on the Family Tree by  Linda Stufflebean
3.  Tangled Roots and Trees by Schalene Dagutis
4.  HEART OF A SOUTHERN WOMAN by Helen Youngblood Holshouser
5.  Old Bones Genealogy by Eileen Furlani Souza 
6.  starryblackness  by Lynne Black
7.  American History and Ancestry by Tom Verenna
8.  Genealogy Heirlooms by Carmen Johnson 
9.  On a Flesh and Bone Foundation... by Jennifer Geraghty
10.Cone Chronicles by Cecily Cone Kelly
11.100 Years in America by Lisa / Smallest Leaf I also love (A Light That Shines Again )
12. A Sense of Family by Shelley Bishop
13. Ancestor Soup by Karen
14. BeNOtForgot by Vickie Everhart
15. BLissed-Out Grandma by Nancy

A good many of the blogs above I have followed and been influenced by since I first started my Joyous Tomorrows Blog. Some are new bloggers to me that I have met and read since joining the Genealogy Bloggers Facebook Group.  What I love about Genealogy Bloggers is they are always encouraging, and uplifting to each other.  
I'll be contacting the fifteen bloggers above, unless they happen to be reading and contact me first

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Hero Always Responded to a Request

I thought I had written this story, but it is not on the blog.
This week I had an event in my life that brought the blessings of knowing and having the Hero in my life.
Forgive the short rant.
I have been fighting a virus and my chest was hurting.  Low grade fever at night and aches all over, then I was left with left-side chest pain that hurt when I would breath deep.  No... I had not been fact no mucus.  As most of you know, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  With in the church there is a Home Teaching program in which members of the church over see a family(ies) other than their own to teach, assist, give blessings too, an so forth.  My home teacher is a truck driver and out of town. So I asked another man I knew to give me a blessing. He said yes, then showed up at the Family History Center where I was working without someone to assist him, said he was just checking to see if I was there (?) and he would get back with me.  Never showed back up, and 24 hours later I received a call from another member who said the first member had texted him I needed to be seen.  REALLY!  What is happening with our world.  I am done... but so disappointed in the priesthood in our ward.
Now the Hero Story and why I find the above offensive.
Day our son was baptised. 

Once the Hero received the priesthood in our church, he took it very seriously as he should have.  No one had to remind him of his responsibilities, in fact, if he was ever your home teacher you continued as his family forever.  He was totally committed.
This is one case.  The Hero and I were awakened at 1am in the morning by a call.  I heard the Hero answer, and begin asking questions.  He put the phone down and immediately began dressing.  I was puzzled...
He told me it was a call from a young man he used to home teach and that he sounded like he had been drinking but there was something wrong. He was going to go and check on him.  I was like, if that is what you need to do.  He called back a few hours later from the hospital.  He had arrived and found the young man had tried to commit suicide.  He loved on the young man and he made a come back to a healthly life.  There wasn't any question of where he needed to be.
Another case he was tired after along drive from Houston to our home it was about 10pm, and received a call that someone needed a blessing he called a couple of members and found someone, went picked them up and they gave the person a blessing.
When he was sick, we called our home teacher and we met another member at a fast food restaurant where they gave him a blessing in the back seat of the car to help the home teacher from driving so far.
He was an exemplary priesthood holder. He taught his sons the same principles and they live up to the standards.  Geez, he would never have texted. To him it was all about live contact, phone calls and visits.  He respected those who were in his care and those who were in need.
In a way, this has not been all bad for me; I have taken the time to reread many of my Hero stories and remind myself of why I started blogging.  So, we would not forget the stories.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sentimental Sunday A Hero Day

The Hero was a great dad.  He deserves a post today. 
Happy Father's Day my Hero. You are greatly missed.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Pawnee School Group Picture

Most of the people in the picture were born around 1920 this could be a graduation picture?  Maybe it is just a class picture.
It meant a lot to my Aunt Lynn, she documented each person in the picture on the back. Hoping to find others that would like a copy.

Names listed left to right First row: Mae Caldwell, Mary Frances Clark, Owen White, Dick Combus, 
Clyde Quail, Gale White.
Second row: Lynn Langley, Leta Ross, Maxine Harris, Florence Matthews, Shari Zone, 
Share Rader Band, Wilbur Mitchell.
Third row: Vera, Katherine Dean, Wilbur Helwick, Clyde Fryer,Verden Parker, John Smith, 
Claud Ellington, Woner Helwick.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Captain Lemuel Roberts

We are blessed with information from Lemuel, himself.  He wrote a book of his memoirs of his time in the Revolutionary War.  The only enlisted man to do so, which has given us today great insights into the men of that time period.  It is now required reading in some Universities for American History courses.
Found on

Lemuel said he was born on April, 1751, in Canaan, Connecticut. He told us his father Lemuel Roberts who was married to Lydia Purchase gave him his Christian name.This was proved by Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection)
Interesting that he gave a different date.
When he was ten they moved to Stillwater, New York.  He spent a time with his eldest brother in partnership working lumber.  He helped his father for 6 years 1769 to 1775 in building a home in Charlemont, Franklin, Massachusetts
In 1775, when the British fought the Sons of Liberty (his words), he and many youth of his area marched off under the command of a Captain Avery to Cambrige where he enlisted under Captain Maxwell.  He describes his motivation as “feeling his bosom glow with love for my country.” (Page 21)  His description of service, I imagine would be true for most young men his age…”my zeal for liberty urged me to an attentive observance of all necessary orders…”(page 22)
His father died while he was gone, and he says himself became sick.  He took this occasion to go home on a pass to check on the fatherless family who he had promised to care for.  Lemuel was giving up hope of continuing as a soldier, when his older brother and his family came back to care for them. 
He re-enlists, as his previous enlistment had expired, with Captain Thomas Alexander in Col. Porter’s regiment of the Massachusetts line.  His description of the battles, and action are riveting.  It is hard to put the book down.  He early on had explained how daring and physically active he was before the war. He maximized on those traits, which today has earned him a fond title of “Rambo of the Revolutionary War”.  He was captured in Canada, and imprisoned, only to escape 3 times. The Canadians became wary of him and isolated him. He prevented cowardly officers from needlessly surrendering to weaker British forces. Just to mention a few moments of excitement. A Colonel Herrick commissioned him a lieutenant for a scouting expedition on 12 January 1778. 
After leaving the war he stayed in Vermont. He asked Col. Herrick for back pay; but due to the countries lack of organization, he never received compensation.

He married Sarah Collins on March 14, 1781, in Rutland, Vermont. He was a Captain of the Ira Militia in Vermont in 1785. They had five children during their marriage. He died in 1810 in Franklin, Vermont, at the age of 58.   
In 1790, Lemuel Roberts lived in Chittenden, Rutland,  Vermont.
In 1800 - 1810, Lemuel Roberts lived in Franklin, Vermont.
This is the time period in which he wrote his Memoirs for publication.

1810 United States Federal Census 
No one has his death or burial place, to my knowledge, today.
This is two of six service records from the U.S. Revolutionary Service Records on Fold3

All his life, Lemuel served family or community, or country.  He continues to give, as we are enabled to learn about the battles, and feelings first hand from his memoirs.
 I love his closing.  
More than anything I am uplifted by his belief in God.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Jasper Newton Wells

The person who shared on Ancestry never gave his name dwightbrooks2, this is also on FindaGrave

My knowledge of Jasper Newton Wells increased when two people who were not related to the Hero's ancestor, took pictures of his tombstone and shared it on Find a Grave and I contacted them both and they were glad I knew him. They were keeping it just in case they found a connection because their Wells family lived in the area.  Tombstones do count in genealogy research... I wrote a blog post about this on the WorldWide Genealogy Collaboration Blog, go HERE to see it. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

52 Ancestor Weeks. Week 11 Mildred's First Sight of Ed

The Hero and I asked Mom E how she met Dad Ellsworth.
This was a tale, which I hope I get correct… Don’t want finger shaking to happen from the other side.
If anyone has a different version or corrections, let me know, I don’t pretend to be all knowing, just sharing as I remember being told.
Mom E had her secret little smile as she began her tale. 
Mom and Dad Ellsworth were very close

“I didn’t know Ed, my girlfriend did at her work and I was over at her house one night when she dared me to call him.     
We have a picture of Mom E on the phone.
It was a trick calling thing we did, guess we were up to no good.  (a sheepish grin here)   He answered the phone with a quiet voice. ‘ I said, you don’t know me, but my friend knows you.  What are you doing?’   He said," I am watching my grandfather sleep. "  I didn’t know if he was serious or kidding me.  He went on to tell me that his grandfather Sackley was very ill and he was watching him. He thought his grandfather probably would not live much longer, that he loved him very much. It was very sad.  I felt bad then, but he wanted to talk, so we spent an hour or so, on the phone.  At the end of the conversation, he asked if we could meet.  I said yes; I would come by when he got off work at J C Penny’s.  It was agreed upon, and we hung up.  The next day, I knew where he worked because my friend gave me the information.  I went upstairs where  I could see him, before he could see me [she had a sneaky side. J  ] He was good looking.  I came down the stairs and our romance began. “
My minds eye version of the first sight. 

Dad E never added or chimed in. He just smiled and puffed on his pipe with a twinkle in his eyes.
The memory of being told the story is as precious as the memory told.

Now you know how they met.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

52 Ancestor Weeks, Week 10 How Did Grandma and Grandpa Meet?

When the Hero and I first began asking questions of Mom E about her family, a basic question was asked, "How did your grandparents meet?"  We knew he lived in the northern part of Alabama and she lived in the Southeast corner of Alabama.
Her answer began with the giggle. " Well", she said, "grandma said she was hiding behind the fence when grandpa came up to apply for the job as a hired hand on her grandpa's farm." Grandma said, "He was as pretty as a picture."  Saying these words triggered another giggle from Mom. She thought that statement was the greatest expression ever.
I do not have any pictures of Henry Crawford Reynolds or Martha Ann Maloura Wells when they are young.  I hope one day some may appear. In order to compensate for this, I used Mom's picture which was of her squatting on the porch, since she looked a lot like Martha. Then I found a cowboy picture and created my own mental scene of Martha hiding behind the fence and watching the farmhand ride up to apply for a job.  At the bottom is a picture of Henry and Martha late in life. Guess he held his magic for her all those years. Wonder if she still thought he was as pretty as a picture. ;-)
(hope you enjoy my visual)

Monday, March 3, 2014

52 Ancestor Weeks, Week 9 : Mildred Vance Ellsworth - The Teen Years.

When Mildred Vance left her grandparents, she had a different way of life. Initially her mother sent her to live with her father where they would work out in the garden and the fields helping.  Mom said she remembered picking crops.
At 13, she moved to live with her mother and step-father Clarence LaBerge, because her father was suffering trying to support 7 children during the depression, and his second marriage was breaking up. Houston was not hit as hard economically, but work was slowed. She said they didn’t have a house.  Mr La Berge was a carpenter. He worked for several home builders.  As he was framing and finishing, he and the family would live in the garage or house, sometimes with sheets up to separate rooms.
I found some interesting facts out about her during her teen years.
She wanted to be an actress.  In 1934, while in the 8th grade, she played Frances in the play “Sally Ann Finds Herself” at George Washington Junior High School.
"Sally Ann Finds Herself" is on Internet Archives. 
This school opened in 1928, and was among the first Junior High Schools in Houston Texas.

Another milestone for her was the Cinderella Pageant at George Washington Junior High in spring of 1935 in the 9th grade. She was a Lady in Waiting for Cinderella.  Her picture is cute.
Cinderella Pageant 1935
Mildred at 16. A favorite picture of the family.
She was to experience tragedy in 1937. Her brother Thurman was killed in an auto accident. He was only 25 and had a little girl. Mom kept in touch with her.  She told me that he lived at the edge of Houston, on a farm the family owned. He would pick her and her brothers up from town and take them out to work on the farm to care for the garden.

In 1938, she must have gone visiting at Cass County, because we have pictures of her having fun with friends, a fellow and cousins.  The following has written on the back: “Arnold Mackey and Mildred Vance”. There isn’t a clue who Arnold is, and I can’t find him on a census.

She had a best friend, Ila Mae West. She wrote this on the back of the picture.  I have not found Ila in any records either.
Ila is in the center and Mildred on the right
.  You can tell who had brothers.  J
Mildred on the left and Ila on the right. The caption on the back was "best friends" ?  
This brings us up to where she met Ed, that is new chapter in her book to be done at a later date.
Thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

52 Ancestor Weeks Week 8 Martha Ann Maloura Wells Reynolds Being Frugal

The Hero's mom shared about her grandmother when I was talking with her about mine. I told her my grandmother, who had 13 children, would even save the squeal of the pig (my grandmother's joke).
Not to be out done about being frugal, Mom Ellsworth shared the following.
"When I was living with my grandparents, we were on a small farm.  My grandmother always had a cow, chickens, and a garden. My grandfather's work as a Doctor did not always bring in money.
Grandmother to save against the time when the cow was dried up, came up with a method of preserving her butter.  She was sought after by the neighbors to teach them too.
After churning the cream into butter, she would mold it into 1 lb. blocks.  She would then stack the block into crockery pots, cover them with brine water, and then put a cover over it to keep the butter from floating up."
This would have been the type of crock she used. It is called a Red wing Fermenting Crock

During Mildred's childhood, Martha would can from her garden for winter, and she sewed.
Henry Crawford Reynolds, Mildred Vance, Martha Ann Maloura Wells Reynolds

Martha Ann Maloura Wells was born 16 Jul 1859 in Abbeville, Henry County, Alabama to Jasper Newton Wells, and Nancy Ann Holland.
found on Year: 1860; Census Place: Rowville, Henry, Alabama; Roll: M653_11; Page: 207; Image: 211; Family History Library Film: 803011.
I have some Civil War stories she told. Will share at a later time. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

52 Ancestors Weeks Challenge: Week 7; Who was the Owner?

Genealogy as discovered for this family. Thomas Thorn was born 1687 in Virginia, and died October 31, 1717 in Richmond Co., Virginia.  He had son, Merryman Joseph Thorn, born 1712 in Richmond Co., Virginia; died Bet. 1787 - 1790 in Granville Co., North Carolina.  Who had a son, Presley Thorn, born Bet. 1755 - 1760 in North Carolina; died 1849 in Madison Co., Alabama. Whose son was Thomas Thorn, born 12 Apr 1803 in Chester, South Carolina, USA; died 18 Sep 1879 in Franklin County, Alabama, USA.

Thomas had a daughter, Sarah H Thorn who had a daughter Mary B. Hughes, who had a daughter Emma Self, who had a daughter Lenorah Gildon.

To make a long story short, Lenorah gave the Mason's apron to my cousin. The framed apron had a typed note taped to the back of the frame which said, "Royal Arch Mason's apron brought by Thomas Thorn to the United States to America. Passed down to Emma Self Gildon; last worn by Tilman Self at the Grand Prarie Lodge in Texas."  The apron was made of silk not lambskin.

Experts in Mason's aprons, said it was most likely from the Thomas who came from South Carolina as that was the first entrance of the Mason's into the United States.  I recently found a note about the Royal Arch Mason's which said. "Fredericksburg Lodge in Virginia lists a conferral of the Royal Arch degree on December 22, 1753"  If that is the case, maybe it was Merryman that earned the Royal Arch degree and passed it down to Thomas who brought it to Alabama from South Carolina. It does not appear that the apron came with our first recorded ancestor.  Someone knew he came from England. that is a plus.
This is a post,  I made previously regarding the apron. 

Every once in a while I return to the apron to ponder on which one earned it, and where they were when they earned it.  I love genealogy mysteries.

Monday, February 10, 2014

52 Ancestors Weeks Challenge: Week 6; The Story of Bessie Langley As Told By Her Granddaughter

When Bessie Della Langley was born on December 4, 1895, in Rayville, Missouri, her father, Benedict Langley, was 43 and her mother, Sarah Jane Hankins, was 39.
This story was related to me by Debra West-Mouze granddaughter of Bessie Della Langley Lane Bowen in 2003. The second generation of descendants in Oklahoma had lost contact with Bessie when she moved to California.  It was a great blessing when she found me on Rootsweb and began to correspond with me. I have lost contact with her, but hope to find her again. She said they have some pictures but we lost contact before she shared. The following is as she told the story to me along with excerpts from my paper trail research. This is long and I hope not too hard for you to read, as I chose to go with the story inserting genealogical proofs along the way.
Debra: My grandmother told me many stories about her life in Oklahoma and in California, most of them were short and many had lessons in them about life. The stories gave me just a glimpse of what her life was like raising 6 children during the 1920s to the 1940s.  They followed the fruit, living in their car, in tents, and in rented homes never having quite enough to buy a home. There were times they went to bed hungry.  I knew her as a private independent woman, with a strong belief in God and doing the right thing.  I never knew her to lie; she would not even lie about Santa Claus (much to my parents dismay), telling me at the age of 5 that there was no such thing!
I don’t know how old my grandmother was when her family moved from Missouri to Oklahoma, but she told me that she remembered the covered wagon trip and walking alongside the covered wagon with her siblings. [Here we can insert what we do know…]
In 1900, her father, Benedict, and mother, Sarah, were in Cloud Chief Twp., Washita County, Oklahoma with 5 of their children enumerated. Bessie would have been 5; she is not on the census. ( yes, I looked on the next page) . The note that Sarah had 5 children and 5 were living was added later, this was not in original pen. This was, however, what prompted me to tell Debra, I had been wondering if Bessie was a niece or something as I could not find her. Maybe it was dad giving the information and he forgot to add the little one, maybe the enumerator forgot to put her on the form. Who knows?  We do know that she was born in 1895 in Missouri and they are in Oklahoma in 1900.  My thoughts are they came to Oklahoma for the Land Rush in April 1899 and apparently did not obtain land as in 1900 he is renting.

1900 census Year: 1900; Census Place: Cloud Chief, Washita, Oklahoma;
Roll: 1342; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0207; FHL microfilm: 1241342.
Walter's family said this picture was of the Family Homestead. Bessie looks to have been about 5 or 6 here. The tall man in front of the house is Jesse Brummett... That is another story.
Continuing with the narrative… In Oklahoma, Bessie married Julius Lane when she was 14 or 15 years old, it was an arranged marriage and had something to do with a land deal.
Again, we have a paper trail… Someone was telling a story on the license. The marriage happened at her Sister Annie Bright’s, the witnesses were her brother in laws and brother. She is listed as 18 on the license BUT her birth date puts her at 16, which would go with her story. 
"Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 Feb 2014), Julious Lane and Bessie Langley, 1911
I am not sure about the land deal; Benedict did own a farm in 1920 according to the census. Maybe that is how she felt or maybe it was a deal.  (After hearing this story, I did ask and someone told me this did happen in Missouri… wouldn't you know it… cannot find the reference.)
When she was 17, she gave birth to twin boys, Willie, and Charlie. January 19, 1912. Willie was born small but fine and Charlie was born with cerebral palsy, my grandmother had a very hard time with the births and was in and out of consciousness for several days. [This portion of the story came from Debra’s mother because her grandmother would not talk about her first marriage, so Debra said the information was a little confused at times…]   Julius was very upset about the birth defect and after my grandmother recovered, he was quite mean to her blaming her for the defect. Walter, her brother came over and had a talk with Julius.  Shortly after, Julius left her and she returned to her family.  

Year: 1920; Census Place: Stonewall, Pontotoc, Oklahoma;
 Roll: T625_1480;Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 190; Image: 322

We are fortunate to have pictures of them with their grandmother, mother and aunts.
Left to right: Susie, Annie, Bessie, Emma with Nettie
In front: Sarah Hankins Langley with Charlie and Willie

Back to Debra’s narrative… A few years later my grandfather Lowery Bowen entered the picture. He was a field hand working for her father.  

"Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 Feb 2014), Lowery Bowen and Bessie Lane, 1920.
Bessie was 22, Lowery was 20 and had to have his mother's permission to marry. 
Lowery Bowen was kind and gentle, but somewhat lazy. Bessie could not get him up to go to work in the morning.  She complained to her family and , late one night a group of men in hoods on horseback came and drug him out of the house and threatened to ride him out of town on a rail if he did not get out to work like a man and care for his family.  After that night, Bessie never had to get him up; he was up and out before dawn. Bessie thought that one of the men was her brother Walter, but was never told for sure.
(Now that I know about the Anti Thief Association, and their documented membership, Bessie's story points to at least who one of the masked men was.)

Debra said Bessie also told her that the territory was very rough, that you never traveled on the road without a handgun for protection against highwaymen, and that she remembered several town hangings.  Her daughter, Debra’s mother, thought they lived with Bessie’s mother after Benedict died.  (Sarah was actually living with her daughter Emma, according to Sarah’s death certificate and Emily’s residence in 1930.) Bessie and Lowery did live in Pawnee County, Oklahoma,  just not in the same area.  They were in Liberty and she was in Burnhaw as was Emily.
Bessie and Lowery left Oklahoma in 1936; their destination was California.  My mother, Oma, says she remembers they were forced to leave because the land was barren, my grandfather and my grandmother’s brothers worked in the oil fields for a while, but Lowery decided to leave for California where they could find work.  (Oma was only 4 when they left. It would most likely be she was sharing parents conversation she had overheard.)
The paper trail puts Bessie and Lowery in Kern County, California in 1935. They  lived in Bakersfield, Kern County, California when they got there and worked in the cotton field. Charlie one of the twins caught pneumonia and died in 1938 and was buried in a potter’s field in an unmarked grave.
Apparently by 1940 Lowery had work as a WPA worker, as listed on the 1940 US Federal California Census.
Year: 1940; Census Place:  , Kern, California; Roll: T627_213; Page: 25B; Enumeration District: 15-47.

That is where Debra left off.
In 1943, Lowery and Bessie are found in Bakersfield, California in the city directory.  Lowery is a mill man.
In 1953, they are found in Modesto, California city directory.  Lowery is working for Max Foster.
On 18 Feb 1969 in Stanislaus, California, Lowery dies.  
Bessie lives until 24 October 1985 when she dies away at Turlock, Stanislaus, California.  

Bessie Della Langley Bowen
She is loved by her family. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

52 Ancestors Weeks Challenge: Week 5 Mildred Vance Ellsworth: The Child

When Mildred Christell Vance was born on July 5, 1919, in Pittsburg, Texas, her father, Walter VANCE, was 29 and her mother, Annie Mary REYNOLDS, was 24. She married Edward Nicholas ELLSWORTH Jr. in September 1939 in Houston, Texas. She had four children by the time she was 26. She died on November 22, 2012, in Katy, Texas, at the age of 93.
For this story we will just cover her childhood years.

We have Mildred’s birth certificate.
"Texas, Birth Certificates, 1903-1935," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed Jul 10, 2010), Mildred Vance, 1919
She did not have a middle name given to her. She said she picked her middle name herself. Her daughter said she had thought a friend of Annie’s had suggested it.  I just know she was impish as she talked about having given herself the middle name. She had a mischievous streak.
The 1920 census gives us a record of her with her mother and father.
Year: 1920; Census Place: Justice Precinct 1, Camp, Texas; Roll: T625_1785; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 24; Image: 62
She told us that at about 2 years of age her parents were divorced and her mother took her to stay with her grandparents while Annie got a job and worked.  This ended up being for 7 years.
These pictures of Mildred, Walter, and her brothers must have been taken close to this time period. I have never seen a picture of Mildred or her brothers with Annie in their youth.
Mildred, Walter P Lane Vance, Dutch

top Archibald 'Button' Walter, Thurman
bottom Arnold 'Dutch' and Mildred
The 1930 census gives us a record of her with her grandparents. This is just before she goes back with her mother.
Year: 1930; Census Place: Precinct 1, Cass, Texas; Roll: 2306; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0006; Image: 130.0; FHL microfilm: 2342040.
Mildred, let me just call her mom, shared a few stories that gave insight into the time she was with her grandparents. Her cousins gave some insights when the Hero and I visited them to find out more information about her Reynolds side of the family.
Mom let me know that her grandmother Martha Wells Reynolds had a portrait of her mother Nancy Holland Wells, hanging on the wall of their house. She said she would never forget it because the eyes followed her everywhere.  When she asked her aunt, who had broken up her grandmother’s housekeeping where it was, she was told they did not know anything about it, maybe it was in the attic of the old house that they sold.  A treasure lost.
Back to Mom’s narrative, when living with her grandmother life was very structured and orderly.  According to her cousins, when she came to visit, their grandmother made mom wear white gloves, and keep her dress clean, she wasn’t allowed to run outside and play with them.  Maybe not with them, but I happen to have a couple of stories that show she got outside to run and play.
Once when she was about 4 or 5, she decided she didn’t want to do what her grandmother told her to do.  When her grandmother reached for her, she ran outside and kept out of her grandmother’s reach.  Later when she laid down for a nap, she woke up to find herself tied to the bed with her grandmother standing next to the bed with a switch. The dialog was something like “you won’t run off like that again.”  Mom wasn’t upset by it, in fact she found it somewhat amusing that her grandmother had out bested her.
Another time her brother Dutch was visiting. He had been picking on her… brothers do that… so she decided to “get him”. She said she snuck into his room, grabbed his shoes and ran out laughing telling him he couldn’t catch her.  Of course she knew he could, but not before his bare feet hit the patch of sand burrs she had headed for.  Yes, she was giggling at the age of 92 when telling me about this, describing how he hopped around trying to get the burrs out. (I am so glad we sat and visited about her youth a little).
They did not stay in Cass County all that time. She said that her grandfather was a doctor for the Railroad company in Wharton, Texas for a several years.  He got a small salary for doing physicals for them, and some of the local people would come by for colds, etc.  They were not wealthy and half the time people paid in food. I will share her stories of her grandmother as a person at a later time.
Leaving her grandparents was hard for her. Her cousins said that it was because her grandparents were older, in their 70 s, and were breaking up housekeeping to stay with their son.  Mom saw it as her mom showing up and taking her off with her to go to her father’s for awhile. This was when she went to the Wichita, Texas area.  When the Hero worked up there for a year, she would tell us, that she remembered the area well.  Silly us, we didn’t grab the opportunity for more stories.
It wasn’t until her early teens that she moved back with her mom, and that is another story.
She is a precious lady to me. She was not perfect. She didn’t pretend to be. She was real. Hope you enjoy her stories as much as I did.