Category Archives: Cemeteries

Wednesday’s Child – Little Ada Cory

Ada Cory

Ada Cory, fourth cousin three times removed, was the daughter of James Manning and Elizabeth (Braly) Cory. Ada’s 3G-grandparenst were my 6G-grandparents, Joseph Cory and Mary Meeker. Ada was her parents’ first child, born 6 December 1864. Less than two years later Ada died, on 1 May 1866.  Following her death, James and Elizabeth had four more children:  George H., Frank, Mabel Hyde, and Henry M. The entire family is buried at Oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose, California. If it weren’t for this burial, not much else would be known about Ada, as she lived and died in between two censuses. This makes her tombstone all the more poignant, from the “Little Ada” inscription, to the carved verse below, from Psalm 127:3 –

“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord.”

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Tombstone Tuesday – Knox to King

Pearl Wilson Ramaker

Pearl Ethel Wilson, my 2nd great aunt, was born 18 June 1892 in Creighton, Knox County, Nebraska.  She was the fifth child of six born to Wellington David and Lucinda Blanche (Davis) Wilson. Lucinda died, aged 35, when Pearl was only two years old. Her younger brother, then ten months old, was raised by his maternal aunt, while Pearl is found living with her maternal grandparents in Iowa in 1900.

By 1910 Pearl was 18 and living in Centerville, South Dakota. She was a boarder in the Turner Hotel run by Edward Mudie and his wife Jennie.

Turner Hotel - Pearl Wilson Ramaker lived here 1910

By 1920 Pearl had moved to Hobson, Montana.  There, boarding with the family of Floyd McCowan, Pearl was employed as a schoolteacher. About 1921 Pearl married Ray Edward Ramaker. Ray and Pearl had three children, all born in Montana:  Mary Jo, Shirley E., and Nancy R. By 1930 the family had moved to Missoula, Montana, where Ray worked as a dentist. The home at 315 Daly Avenue where they lived in 1930 still stands; it was valued at $6500 in 1930 and $5500 in 1940. It was assessed at $165,877 last year. In 1940 Pearl and her daughters were still living in the Daly Avenue home, while Ray was living in Seattle.

By 1946 when their youngest daughter graduated from high school, it appears the entire family had moved to Seattle’s King County. Here, on 18 December 1969, Ray died, followed a decade later by Pearl, on 16 March 1979. Both are buried in Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park, Seattle’s largest cemetery.

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Tombstone Tuesday – More Sweeneys with Fun Names

Jordan SweeneyPermelia Pigg

Jordan Sweeney, first cousin six times removed, was born 16 November 1806 in Casey County, Kentucky.  The grandson of Moses Sweeney, his parents were Charles Welby Sweeney and Frances Shackleford. His wife, whom he married 20 September 1829 in Casey County, had one of the best names ever:  Permelia Pigg.  Permelia was born about 1810, also in Casey County.

The Baby Name Wizard site indicates that Permelia was the name originally chosen for Melanie Wilkes in Gone with the Wind, but that it has never ranked in the top 1000 baby names.  Shocking.

Jordan and Permelia had five children, all given much more normal names than their mother: Mary A., Charles Willis, Frances, Elizabeth Ellen, and Amanda H. Jordan died 2 August 1845, and Permelia about 1845.  Both are buried in the Sweeney/Drake Family Cemetery in Casey County.

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Wednesday’s Child – Baby Meneley

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Josephine Corey Williams, my 5th cousin twice removed, was born in San Antonio, Texas, 3 December 1882. Her parents were Charlton Hines and Emma S. (Cory) Williams.  My 6G-grandparents and Josephine’s 4G-grandparents were Joseph and Mary (Meeker) Cory, of the Cory family from Westfield, New Jersey.

When she was not quite fifteen, Josephine married Sion William Meneley in Gonzales, Texas.  Sion was 24. A little over a year later, their first child, Mattie Emma Meneley, was born, to be followed by eleven more children. On Mattie’s 27th’s birthday, Sion and Josephine’s last child was born and died. The unnamed Meneley son was buried in the Gonzales City Cemetery in Gonzales, Texas. Josephine was then 45 but would outlive her son by only three months. Josephine died 6 June 1926 and is also buried in Gonzales. Josephine’s death certificate lists her cause of death as “polegra.”  This appears to be a misspelling of “pellagra,” a disease resulting from niacin deficiency. According to a medical paper written in 1917, there was a possible connection between pregnancy/childbirth and pellagra.

By 1930 Sion had remarried; he and his second wife Lena appear in that year’s census along with five of his children and one of hers. On 27 January 1952 Sion died; he was buried alongside his first wife.

Tombstone Tuesday – Darmstadt to Fairbury

Karl Schwing

Karl Schwing, my 3G-grandfather, was born in 1813 in Darmstadt, Germany.  His father was apparently also named Karl Schwing, according to the History of the Schwing Family, which provides many of the following details. While in Germany, Karl was a Lutheran minister; he was married twice in the “Old Country” but lost both wives shortly after childbirth, the second wife buried at sea during the trip from Germany to America. Karl would later join the German Apostolic Christian Church.

In 1851 Karl married Saloma Bollinger, my 3G-grandmother, in Akron, Ohio. They had a son, John B., in 1852, and in 1853 the two older children, Karl and Margaret, died. Four more children followed John’s birth: Charles; Henry Edward; Albert Carl, Sr.; and Joseph Gilbert. Both the 1860 and 1870 censuses show Karl working as a tailor in Akron. In 1877 the family moved to Livingston County, Illinois, where Karl worked as a farmer. Three years later, the oldest surviving son, John, died in Chatsworth, Illinois, of lung fever. Karl only outlived his son by three months. The Livingston Yesterday series from the Pontiac Public Library (taken from the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Illinois) states that on 10 August, 1880, “at the zenith of his powers,” Karl died. He is buried in the South Apostolic Christian Cemetery outside Fairbury, Illinois. Karl’s widow Saloma lived for two more decades, residing with all three sons at various times. She died in early 1900 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Fairbury.

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Tombstone Tuesday – Joshua Ousley Montgomery

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One of many family graves seen during last year’s visit to Mansfield, Illinois, was that of Joshua Ousley Montgomery, a first cousin twice removed. Grandson of my great-great-grandparents John and Belinda (Simmons) Montgomery, he was born February 3, 1893 in Mansfield, to Thomas Milton and Frances May (Hoover) Montgomery.

His World War I draft registration from June 1917 lists him as “Joshua Oozley Montgomery,” age 24, of medium height and build, with light blue eyes and light-colored hair. In the four censuses in which he appears, he is enumerated with his parents. By 1930 he is listed as divorced. Cousin Janet Alvis indicates that his wife was a Leona H. Brooks, born about 1902, and that Leona and Joshua married May 6, 1922.

Janet has also provided the following obituary information for Joshua on the Find-a-Grave website:

Joshua O. Montgomery, 44, World War veteran and life-long resident of Mansfield was instantly killed at 10:50 pm Sunday, March 28, 1937, when he was struck by a car two mile east of Mahomet on Rt 150. Services were conducted in Mansfield Wednesday afternoon with burial in Mansfield cemetery. 

He was born on a farm near Mansfield, the s/o M/M T. M. Montgomery. He had just started construction of a home near his parents’ residence in Mansfield. Besides his parents he leaves two brothers: Fred of Chicago and Thomas of Mansfield; three sisters: Bertha Thomas, Stella McIlvain and Hattie Hannah, all of Mansfield. He was unmarried.

Census Sunday – William Montgomery, There You Are!

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There is irony in the fact that the line I’ve had the least success in tracing is my own paternal Montgomery line. I currently hit the proverbial brick wall with my 3G-grandfather, William Montgomery. Born February 19, 1802 in Pennsylania, his parentage is as yet unknown.

That was the paragraph I had written earlier today. I probably would have continued on to talk about how a fairly common name like Montgomery, and no specific city for beginning my search, complicates matters. But in reviewing sources on Ancestry.com I discovered something brand-new (to me): baptismal records for Old Saint Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia – and there is William – the February 19 birthdate that appears on his tombstone, and a baptismal date of March 21. These particular records still don’t list William’s parents – but this gives a whole new avenue for the search!

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So, to continue with what I already knew before today…

William married Mary Ann Extell on September 27, 1827 in Pleasant Mills, Gloucester (now Atlantic) County, New Jersey; William was 25 and Mary Ann 18. According to their marriage record, William was from Batsto and Mary Ann from Pleasant Mills.

The 1830 census finds the family in Fairfield, Cumberland County. Their location in 1840 is uncertain (tracing census records prior to 1850 when each individual began to be enumerated individually by name is always trickier). By 1850 the family has moved westward to Clark, Ohio; William and Mary Ann are now joined by John, aged 20; Samuel, 18; David, 16; Thomas, 14; Mary E., 10; Susan, 8; William, 5; Joseph, 3; and Edward, 7/12.

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William appears in only one more census, again in Clark, Ohio. Another child, Sarah (age 6) has been added to the family; other children had apparently been born but hadn’t survived. On October 6, 1868 William died in Lynchburg, Ohio. He is buried in Lynchburg’s Masonic Cemetery.

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