Tuesday, November 28, 2017

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ The headstone of James & Anna Moss and their two children

Headstone added to findagrave by Lynn - photo used with permission

This headstone is located at Pleasant Corners Cemetery, in Monroe County, Iowa.

Anna Eliza Haskill is my 1st cousin 4 times removed.  She is descended from one of my Gillen ancestors. She married James Emerson Moss on 3 Sep 1868 in Monroe Co., Iowa.1

Here’s how Anna fits into our family tree.
William Gillen & Rachel Frampton – my maternal 4th great grandparents
their daughter Mary Jane Gillen – my 3rd great grandaunt
her daughter Ann Eliza Haskell 

James & Anna had three children, but only 1 child, a daughter, Mary E. lived to adulthood.  Their two other children an infant girl and a son, Peter Ellis are buried with them and listed on their headstone.  The 19002 census states that Anna is the mother of 3 children, but only 1 living at that time.  James was working as a Railroad Inspector according to this census.
(click on any image to enlarge it)
Moss family 1900 census

James & Anna lived in Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.  They died only 8 months apart.  He died at age 76, on 10 Feb 1921 in Missouri.  His cause of death is listed on his death certificate3 as Chronic Bronchitis/valvular insufficiency.

Anna died in Ottumwa, Wapello, Iowa on 9 Oct 1921 at age 77.  Her cause of death is listed on her death certificate4 as Valvular disease of the heart/regurgitation/cerebral embolism.

Their only surviving child, Mary Elizabeth Moss married Charles W. Winkler on 18 Dec 1906 and she lived to be 90 years old.  I’m glad that Anna & James’ one child lived a long life.

You may visit the memorial for James & Anna & their two young children here #36331683.  The Moss children were not linked to their parents and I have submitted a request to the memorial manager for that to be done.

If you are related to this family, I’d love to hear from you.

Sources: 1Iowa, Select Marriages Index, 1758-1996, 21900 U.S. Federal Census, 3Missouri death certificates, 4Iowa death certificates

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall

Sunday, November 26, 2017

SUNDAY’S OBITUARIES ~ Charles Wesley Whitsell & May Thorp Whitsell–1942 and 1944

I was recently researching my half 2nd great granduncle, Reverend Wallace Walter Thorp.  I have recently obtained his Civil War Pension File (stay tuned for a post about that). 

I began taking a look at the children of Rev. Thorp to make sure I had located information about all of them.  That’s when I came across an obituary/death notice for his daughter, May Noon Thorp and her husband Charles Whitsell.  I tend to refer to these more as death or funeral notices rather than obituaries due to the abbreviated information contained in them. 

Charles & May were wed on 8 Apr 1885 in Appanoose County, Iowa.  They had one daughter, Ruth A.  Charles died at the age of 78 and May at the age of 74.  Charles was born during the Civil War and May, four years after the war ended.  Both of them lived during the horror of World War I and also the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1942.  They saw the end of the horse & buggy era, the advent of electricity and the automobile.  I wonder what stories they could share with us.

I don’t have any photos of this couple.  If anyone related to them comes across this post and has photos to share, I’d love to see them.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A HEADSTONE LOST FOR 256 YEARS – Now Found ~ The story of 9 year old Betty Clark (1752-1761)

Photo used with permission of "Cheshire."

This is such a wonderful story and so unexpected.  That this little girl is a member of our family tree makes it all the more heartfelt.

Her headstone was located underneath a Keene resident’s front steps.  He was replacing a loose step and found this headstone.  Can you imagine his surprise?

How does Betty fit into our family?

Betty Clark is my husband’s 1st cousin 5 times removed.  That makes her the great granddaughter of my husband’s 6th great grandparents.  Make sense?  If not, here’s how Betty Clark fits into our family.

Betty Clark – 1st cousin 5 times removed, daughter of
Deacon Simeon Clark & Betsey “Betty” Hall who was the son of
Benjamin Hall & Betty Blake – husband’s 5th great granduncle & aunt, son of
Benjamin Hall, Sr. & Sarah Fisher – my husband’s 6th great grandparents

Yesterday on a Facebook page that I follow, I saw a story about Betty Clark’s headstone, which made the local Keene, New Hampshire news, and some of the more distant national news outlets.

Due to copyright laws I cannot copy and paste the news articles here.  However, I will give you the following links so that you may watch the video and read the stories for yourself.

Here is the link to the Keene Sentinel newspaper article.
Here is a link to the video from the news station – you do have to sit through a 30 second ad to watch it WMUR video

What did I know about Betty Clark prior to this story?

I knew she was the daughter of Deacon Simeon Clark (1723-1793) & Betsey Hall (1731-1817). I had her listed as the oldest child of 7 known children born to this couple.  I knew that her sister Unity Clark had died at the young age of 19 (probably in child birth) and was buried at Ash Swamp Cemetery.  I also knew that Betty’s father Deacon Simeon Clark was buried at Ash Swamp Cemetery.  

Ron and I took these photos in 2009 when we visited Keene for the specific purpose of finding out more about Ron’s family.

Ron standing at the Ash Swamp sign.  You have to climb the stairs to get to the cemetery
Ron standing inside the small cemetery
Headstone of Deacon Simeon Clark - Betty Clark's father
Headstone of Unity Clark Durant - Betty's sister

I had also located the birth record (in a book) and the death record for little Betty Clark.  I had no idea how she died or where she was buried.  The newspaper articles related to the finding of her headstone have given reference that she may have died in a small pox epidemic that occurred in 1761.  You may visit her findagrave memorial here #185054804

CLARK_Betty_birth record_7 Aug 1752_WrenthamMassachusetts
Birth record of Betty Clark
CLARK_Betty_death record_9 Mar 1761_KeeneCheshireNewHampshire
Death record for Betty Clark

I’ve often wondered what life was like back in those days of early Colonial America.  Of course there are many books, movies and historical documents that give us a window into their lives.  Five of Betty’s siblings lived to adulthood.  It appears that in 1774 her parents had a daughter and named her Betty as well.  I have not been able to determine if she lived to adulthood.  It was very common practice to name a subsequent child after a child who had died.
Here is my Family View from Legacy for this family.  If you are related to, descended from or otherwise connected to them, I’d love to hear from you.
CLARK family view

OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST (all related to Keene, New Hampshire)

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall

Monday, November 13, 2017

MILITARY MONDAY ~ Sgt. Presley Lunsford - Killed in Action during the Civil War - 1864

Who was Presley Lunsford, this young man who gave his life in service to his country for a cause he believed in?

He was the second child of eight, born to Andrew Lunsford and Jane Gillialan/Gilliland.  An exact date for his birth cannot be determined, but it was about 1841 in Ohio. Presley Lunsford is my 1st cousin 4 times removed.

We first find Presley in the 1850 census living with his parents four siblings in Elizabeth, Lawrence Co., Ohio.  The surname Lunsford is often spelled Lunceford and varies from family to family and document to document.  Presley’s father is working as a Laborer.

Elizabeth Township is a small rural community.  In the 2000 census there were only 2,914 people living in Elizabeth.  I suspect it was much smaller back in the 1860’s.

In 1860, just a year prior to the beginning of the Civil War, Presley is single, 19 years old and living with his parents and all 7 of his siblings, still in Elizabeth, Lawrence Co., Ohio.  Both Presley and his father are working as Farm Hands.

On 12 Apr 1861 the War of the Rebellion as it was called then, the Civil War, as we call it now began.
Presley enlisted at Ironton, Ohio as a private on 28 Aug 1861, just four months after the war began.  Term of enlistment was 3 years.  He was in Company G, 2nd Regiment West Virginia Cavalry.  His description is given on this page in his muster roll.  He was 20 yrs. old, 5’ 7 1/2” tall, light complected, brown eyes, dark hair, born in Lawrence County, Ohio and his occupation was Farmer.  This same muster roll page states he was promoted to Sergeant on 31 Dec. 1862.  He just have been doing a good job for him to be promoted.

Here’s the image of that page along with the battles & commanders of the unit Presley Lunsford belonged to.  You may read more about this unit here 2nd West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry 

Click on any image in this post to enlarge it.

Presley got married during his time of service for the Union army.  On 12 Mar 1863 he married Martha Campbell at Kanawha, Cabell, West Virginia.  I wonder if they knew one another from his childhood or did they meet during his service?  There were no children born to this couple.  From statements in the file it appears that Martha was 18 years old when they married.

Here is a copy of a certified statement of the marriage, found inside the pension file.  This is just the kind of record you hope to find when you order pension files.  It may be the only evidence you find for marriages, especially during the turbulent times of the Civil War.

Sgt.Presley Lunsford was Killed in Action at Winchester, Virginia on 24 Jul 1864.  He was about 23 years old at the time of his death.  Here is the Casualty Sheet from his pension file.

Martha applied for and received a monthly pension of $8, in his name.  I expect it was difficult for a young woman to support herself in those days and even if she lived with family, every little bit would help.

Martha remarried to Thomas Saunders on 20 Oct 1865 and the pension payments were terminated.

Here are the notes I recorded as I read and re read this pension file.

                                CIVIL WAR PENSION FILE REVIEW
                                                   Presley Lunsford

Page                              Item of interest
3Claim filed 10 Dec 1864 at Ironton, Lawrence, Ohio
4Shows that Martha Lunsford is now Martha Saunders
6Surgeon general’s report dated Jan 1868 verifying death of soldier
7Widow’s Pension stating Presley Lunsford was a Private in Co G, 2nd W.VA Cavalry. Rate of pension is $8 a month commencing 25 Jul 1864, the date after the soldier’s death. List all dates pertinent such as enlistment, marriage and date of his death
8Summary of Proof – states he was killed in action at Winchester, VA on 24 Jul 1864
11Gives the date and place the soldier mustered into service – 28 Aug 1861 at Ironton, OH for a period of 3 years or during the war
14Statement by Kanawha County Recorder in the state of West Virginia on 25 Nov 1864. States that he certifies to the marriage of Presley Lunsford and Martha Campbell on 12 Mar 1863 in said county by James Atkinson . License for the marriage was issued by said office on 9 Mar 1863.
15Widow’s Claim for Pension – Martha Lunsford appeared before Court of Common Pleas and states she is 18 yrs. old and a resident of Aid Township in Lawrence County, Ohio. She is the widow of Presley Lunsford who was a Sergeant in Company G, commanded by Capt. Ankram in the 2nd Regiment of West Virginia Voluntary Cavalry commanded by Col. William Powell. That Presley Lunsford was killed near Winchester in the State of Virginia on 24 Jul 1864 in a fight with the Rebels. She also claims that she married Presley Lunsford in Kanawha Co, W. VA and that her name before marriage was Martha Campbell. And that no children were born to this couple. Her post office address is Ironton, Lawrence Co., Ohio.
16Witnesses to Martha Lunsford’s statement were John McMahan and Henry Lunsford residents of Lawrence Co., Ohio. State that since the death of her husband Martha Lunsford has not remarried as of 17 Sep 1864.
18Letter dated 14 Jun 1876 in Ironton, OH to Honorable J.A. ______, Commissioner of Pensions. This letter states that Martha Lunsford married Thomas Saunders 20 Oct 1865 and that her attorney Stephen P. Calvin died some six or seven years ago.
21Letter from probate Judge Geo. W. Thompson of Lawrence Co., Ohio, dated 14 Jun 1876 stating that Martha Lunsford and Thomas Saunders were issued a marriage license on 19 Oct 1865 in said county. And, that they were united in marriage on 20 Oct 1865 by Jeptha Clark, Justice of the Peace.
25Claimant’s answer to letter asking why she long neglected to prosecute her claim. States she lives far from town at Vernon Furnace in Lawrence Co., OH and has been married a second time for ten years and her name is now Sanders (note difference spelling here).

NOTE:  My system for reviewing these files has always been to record each page number and what I found on that page. I also extract that particular page from the PDF pension file and save it separately.

Some of these files can be over 200 pages long.  To think I will remember which page number contains which piece of information would be pointless.

I don’t have any idea where Presley’s final resting place is.  However, I have created a memorial for him on FindAGrave so that he is never forgotten. You may visit his memorial here.

While researching this family, I learned that Presley’s older brother, William H. Lunsford also served in the Union Army and survived the war.  I obtained an image of William from some of his descendants and use it here with their permission.  He too had dark hair and I wonder how much Presley may have looked like his older brother.
Photo of William H. Lunsford

If you have any additional information regarding this post, or are related to this family, please contact me.



My source for obtaining Civil War Pension Files is Twisted Twigs Genealogy.  There is a link to their home page in the right column of this blog.
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOROTHY FINK HALL ~ My husband’s mother–born this day in 1913

Birthday Balloons with happy birthday
HALL_Dorothy_headshot when she was young_enh_B&W

Dorothy Beatrice Fink was born on this day in 1913 in Buffalo, Erie, New York.  She was the second child born to Heinrich “Henry” August Fink and Freada Emma Meta Doller.  Dorothy had an older brother, Elwood and two younger siblings, Willard & Delphine “Honey.”

She and her family moved to San Diego, California in 1935.  At age 23 she met and married Floyd O. “Ted” Brown in 1937.  There were no children born to that marriage and they divorced in 1944.

On 22 Jul 1945 Dorothy was 31 years old and she enlisted in the U.S. Navy.  This was just months prior to the end of World War II.  She was honorably discharged from military service 5 Apr 1946. 

On 22 Aug 1948 at age 34, Dorothy married Gordon Charles Hall in Lynwood, Los Angeles, California with her sister Honey and brother-in-law Marion Nelson Long as witnesses.

Gordon and Dorothy had one child, a son, Ronald. 

Dorothy and Gordon enjoyed a comfortable life with their young son, until Gordon’s sudden death of a heart attack, on 12 Jan 1966.  He was only 48 years old.

Dorothy provided a loving and stable home to her son.  She eventually became the grandmother to two young boys.
I knew Dorothy for only four short years prior to her death in 1993.  She is remembered by her family as a loving mother and grandmother.

Happy birthday Dorothy.  We all still miss you, especially your son.


Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall

Thursday, November 2, 2017

TREASURE CHEST THURSDAY ~ BIRTH RECORDS (twins) and others on one register page

What is one thing we always tell others and remind ourselves?  Be sure to look at other entries on any record you find.  Whether it’s a birth, death or marriage register or census records.  You never know what else you will find.

Today I was working on my Lunsford line.  It’s an extensive line on my maternal side with LOTS of children born to many of the couples.

I noted that I had found a birth record for a set of twins born to Basil Lunsford and Mahala Taylor Lunsford.  In fact, these twin girls appear to be the first of 11 children born to this couple.  In 2011 I have recorded the index record of the birth, but no image.  I wondered if that image had since been put online. I returned to familysearch.org to look for it.

Sure enough, it had.  And not only are the twins on this page, but another Lunsford cousin is listed as well.

I’ve marked Ada & Ida in red and circled the word “twins.”  And, marked Charles in green.

LUNSFORD_twins Ada & Ida & Chrls_birth record_1874_MasonOH

For any of my fellow genealogist in Lawrence County, Ohio, there are quite a few Massie & Vermillion births on this register as well.  None of those particular Massie or Vermillion’s link to my family, but they may link to yours.

Here is the family of Basil & Mahala Lunsford as they appear in my Legacy database.

(You can click on the image to enlarge it)

Lunsford Basil & Mahaly family view

This is what I like to see when I look at a family view in my database.  A robust family with lots of names and dates and other critical information like causes of death.

I know that Ida Lunsford went on to marry Dr. Charles E. Stewart and have four known children; Hobart (murdered in 1936-see link below), Charles, Mark & Thelma. She died on 15 Nov 1958.  I am not able to ascertain yet, if Ada married and to whom.  The names Ada & Ida are mixed up and cross referenced on many of the records.  I’m still working on Ada.

Do you know of any twins in you family?  If so, did they live to adulthood?  I’d love to hear about them.

If you think you have additional information about the ancestors mentioned in this post, please contact me.


THRILLER THURSDAY - Hobart Stewart Murdered in 1936


Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2017 Diane Gould Hall