Friday, September 25, 2015

52 Ancestors – Edward Francis Murphy – (week 39 – 2015)

Edward Francis Murphy
Edward Francis Murphy, son of Martin William Murphy and Sarah Elizabeth Anderson, was born October 3, 1883 in Mannington, Marion County, West Virginia. He was the 2nd child of 11—Cora Belle Murphy, Edward Francis Murphy, Charles Homer Murphy, Essie Lee Murphy, William H. Murphy, Ella Mae Murphy, Arliff Barow Murphy, Tabitha M. Murphy, Cecil Pearl Murphy, Addie Opal Murphy, and Olive Ruby Murphy.

When Edward was 15 years old, his two year old sister Tabitha died in 1898. She was buried at Anderson-Bethel Cemetery in Littleton, Wetzel County, West Virginia.

On June 22, 1900, Edward lived with his family in the Clay District of Littleton. He was enumerated as Ed.

On April 27, 1910, Edward and his family still lived in the Clay District. He was a teamster in an oil field.

On May 4, 1912, Edward married Cassandra Rebecca Kennedy, daughter of Franklin Scott Kennedy and Edna Elizabeth Booth in Logansport, Marion County, West Virginia. She was listed as Catherine Kennedy on the marriage certificate so I can’t be 100 percent sure this is the correct marriage but I feel good about it. The West Virginia Division of Culture and History website has free online birth, marriage, and death records so I searched on “Murphy” and “Kennedy.” The search results contained eight records with Ed Murphy and Catherine Kennedy appearing to be the logical choice. And, the marriage occurred in Marion County, which is where they lived. As far as I can tell, Edward and Cassandra never had children.

Results of marriage records search
West Virginia Division of Culture and History website

Edward’s sister Essie died in Warwood, Ohio County, West Virginia on May 25, 1915. I have yet to find her burial location.

On January 13, 1920, Edward and Cassandra lived in Mannington. His occupation was “laborer/drives team.”

Edward’s mother died in Littleton on April 1, 1927. Five days later on April 6, his father died in Mannington from a cerebral hemorrhage. Both of his parents were buried at Anderson-Bethel Cemetery in Littleton.

On April 8, 1930, Edward and Cassandra lived on Rymer Road in Mannington. She was enumerated as Cassie. Edward owned his own home which was valued at $800. He was a laborer doing road construction.

Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1941 and America became entrenched in World War II. Although an old man of 58 (Siri tells me the life expectancy of a man in 1942 was 62.3 years), Edward registered for the World War II draft in April 1942. He listed the person who would always know his address as his wife, Cassie R. Murphy. They lived in Mannington at R.F.D.I. and did not have a telephone. Edward’s occupation was “self-employed cutting props” in Mannington. That summer, his wife Cassandra died of cervical cancer in Mannington on July 31, 1942. She was buried at Gill and Haught Cemetery, a small family cemetery in Rymer, Marion County, West Virginia. Cassie was just 49 years, 5 months, and 13 days old. The decade ended with the death of two of Edward’s brothers—Arliff who died in Wolf Summit, Harrison County, West Virginia on July 11, 1947 and Charles who died in Littleton on November 16, 1949. Arliff was buried at Anderson-Bethel Cemetery in Littleton and Charles at Thomas Chapel Cemetery in Wetzel County.

The family would go a little over a decade without losing anyone until the 1960s when Edward lost three siblings as well as his own demise. His brother William died in Littleton on March 28, 1960 and was buried at Anderson-Bethel Cemetery. His sister Cecil died in Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia on September 26, 1963. She was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Wheeling. And his sister Cora died on November 29, 1964 in Weirton, Hancock County, West Virginia. She was buried at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Weirton. The family barely had time to bury Cora when Edward himself died in Fairmont, Marion County, West Virginia on December 12, 1964. He was buried at Anderson-Bethel Cemetery in Littleton.

Friday, September 18, 2015

52 Ancestors – Clarence Franklin Snipes – (week 38 – 2015)

Clarence Franklin Snipes
Clarence Franklin Snipes, son of Turner Walter Snipes and Nancy Irene Holland, was born April 16, 1923 in South Carolina, most likely Anderson County. He was the third child of three—Blair H. Snipes, Buren Turner Snipes, and Clarence Franklin Snipes. He went by Franklin and was named for his paternal grandfather, also named Clarence Franklin Snipes.

Little Franklin’s time of Earth was short. After an illness of only two days, he died at 12:30 a.m. on October 10, 1925 in Honea Path, Anderson County, South Carolina. His death certificate records the cause of death as enterocolitis, “an inflammation of the digestive tract, involving enteritis of the small intestine and colitis of the colon” according to Wikipedia. He was buried at Bethany Baptist Church Cemetery in Belton, Anderson County, South Carolina. An unknown newspaper carried the following obituary:
Death of Little Franklin Snipes 
On the night of October the 9th, while everything was calm and peaceful, God visited the home of Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Snipes and took from them their precious darling. He was two and one-half years old, and was sick only two days. Tis sad to part from you, Franklin, but ‘tis sweet relief to know you are in Heaven, where no tears are falling, and
Some time when day is ended,
    Some time when toils are over,
We shall behold precious Franklin
    There on the other shore.

Funeral services were held at 4 o’clock at Bethany cemetery. Rev. N. G. Wright officiating. W. B. Shirley in charge of funeral.
How devastating this must have been for his family.

Franklin is buried in the family plot beside his parents

Friday, September 11, 2015

52 Ancestors – Donald Roy Church (week 37-2015)

Fay (Heater) Church, Donald Roy Church,
and his sister Dessie Church Murphy

Donald Roy Church, son of Robert Church and Lucinda Murphy, was born May November 8, 1898 // correction made on Feb. 11, 2017 -- Donald's just found obituary and funeral card show that he was born in November, not May // in Littleton, Wetzel County, West Virginia. He was one of 13 children—George Church, Samuel C. Church, James Benton Church, Jennie F. Church, Anna B. Church, Dessie Church, Charles Cleveland Church, Martha Church, William Henry Church, Donald Roy Church, and Presley Church. Two children are unknown to me but enumerated in the 1910 census record. They most likely didn’t survive infancy.

On June 9, 1900, Donald and his family lived in the Church District of Wetzel County. He was enumerated as Roy D. Church. His father was a farmer. Donald’s brother George had apparently died before the census taker came around as the census record shows that Lucinda was the mother of 11 children, 10 of which were living.

On April 28, 1910, Donald and his family lived in the Clay District of Wetzel County. Again he was enumerated as Roy D. Church. Only five children were still at home—Dessie, Martha, Henry, Donald, and Presley.

On September 12, 1918, Donald registered for the World War I draft at the age of 19. He was a laborer for Pitts West Virginia Gas Company in Littleton. He listed his father Robert Church as his nearest relative. Donald was of medium height and build; he had blue eyes and brown hair.

The 1920s brought a lot of change to Donald’s life. On January 15, 1920, he was unemployed and still living at home. His sister Dessie, her husband Charles Homer Murphy, and her first born son Ralph lived next door. Donald married Fay Rhoda Heater, daughter of Ezra Heater and Olive Belle Sandy, in Harrison County, West Virginia on July 5, 1924. There was a six year age difference between the two of them. On October 24, 1924, Donald became a father when he welcomed daughter Pauline into the family, the first of three children. They ended the decade in 1929 living at 127 Charles Street in Harrison County. By then, Donald was employed as a welder.

On April 19, 1930, Donald, Fay, and Pauline lived in a rental home on Charles Street in Clarksburg. Donald was a welder in a carbon factory. By 1931, they had moved to a home at 139 Haymond Highway in Clarksburg. The 1930s would be a sad decade for the Church family. Donald’s brother Samuel died on June 22, 1931 at age 50 in the Church District of Wetzel County. His father Robert died on November 29, 1932 in Littleton. His mother, Lucinda died on January 13, 1933 in Littleton, less than two months after his father. All three were buried at Thomas Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery in Glover Gap, Wetzel County, West Virginia, near the town of Hundred. Donald’s sister, Martha Church McIntire, died in Clarksburg on August 6, 1936. She was buried at Elkview Cemetery in Clarksburg beside her two husbands, brothers Lester and Chester McIntire.

Marriage license for Donald Kenneth Church which shows
he was born in Niagara Falls, New York

Sometime between 1930 and 1936, Donald and Fay moved to Niagara Falls, Niagara County, New York. It was there that their second child, Donald Kenneth Church, was born on August 27, 1936. This move was a surprise to me. In all the conversations I had over the years with my father-in-law about his family, he never mentioned his Uncle Donald living in New York. This would explain the photo of Donald, Fay, and Dessie taken in front of some large falls.

By the time 1940 rolled around, Donald and Fay had moved back to Clarksburg and lived in a home at 314 Maryland Avenue. Donald’s sister Dessie died in Littleton on November 20, 1940. She was buried at Thomas Chapel Cemetery beside her parents. By 1942, Donald and Fay had moved to 402 Maryland Avenue. This is probably where their third child Garry David Church was born on December 12, 1942. By 1948, they had moved again and lived at 308 Pennsylvania Avenue in Clarksburg. Donald continued earning his living as a welder during the 1940s, a career he began in the late 1920s.

Donald’s brother Charles died in Littleton on April 12, 1955. He was buried at Anderson-Bethel Cemetery in Littleton. His sister Anna died of occlusive arterial disease at Weston State Hospital in Weston, Lewis County, West Virginia on March 29, 1959. She was buried at Green Lawn Cemetery in Clarksburg.

Still living in Clarksburg in 1960, Donald was a painter at Waldo Hotel which was located at West Pike and North 4th Streets. According to Wikipedia, the Waldo Hotel “was once the social center of Clarksburg. In its day it was a gathering place for parties, weddings, civic meetings and social events. It was known as one of the world’s most luxurious hotels.” The city directory listed Donald and Faye’s home as Pike (A) so perhaps they lived close to the hotel.
Waldo Hotel in 1914
By Siggy1997 (photo) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Donald’s sister Jennie died on February 26, 1963 at Weston State Hospital in Weston, Lewis County, West Virginia of a cerebral hemorrhage and arteriosclerosis. She was buried beside her parents at Thomas Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery. His brother James died on August 9, 1969 in Salem, Columbiana County, Ohio. He was buried at Hope Cemetery in Salem. Donald’s brother William Henry Church died on April 7, 1971 in Wetzel County. He was buried at Thomas Chapel with his parents and several siblings.

Donald died on November 10, 1983 in Clarksburg. He was buried at Floral Hills Memorial Gardens in Harrison County. His last surviving sibling, Presley, died in 1984.

Donald is a descendent of Henry “Old Hundred” Church for whom the town of Hundred was named.

Friday, September 4, 2015

52 Ancestors – no. 52: Jessica Corinne Lankford – (week 36)

Jessica Corinne Lankford
Jessica Corinne Lankford, daughter of James C. Lankford and Mary Ann Wilson, was born December 20, 1877 in Greene County, Georgia. She was the 4th child of 10—Homer J. Lankford, Alice Beman Lankford, Julia Lee Lankford, Jessica Corinne Lankford, James Vason Lankford, Mary Corrine Lankford, Nathan Lawrence Lankford, Vincent Thomas Lankford, Oliver Wilson Lankford, and Lillie Della Lankford. She went by Jessie.

On June 10, 1880, Jessie and her family lived in Falling Creek, Oglethorpe County, Georgia. Her grandparents, James Meriweather and Caroline (Hobbs) Lankford lived next door.

On June 1, 1900, Jessie and her family lived in Woodville, Greene County, Georgia. The census enumerator listed her birthdate as October 1882. Charles C. Davison, a member of the prominent Davison family of Greene County, lived two doors away.

Jessie’s father died in Greene County on January 21, 1908. He was buried at Penfield Cemetery in Penfield, Greene County, Georgia. Five days later and most likely heartbroken over the death of her father, Jessie married Seaborn Brice Barnhart, son of Seaborn Riley Barnhart and Talula Alford, on January 26, 1908 in Greene County. The next year would be much happier with the birth of Jessie’s daughter, Mary Lou Barnhart, in Greene County on March 16, 1909. Mary Lou was Jessie’s only child.

On April 20, 1910, Jessie, Brice, and their one year old daughter Mary Lou lived on Watson Spring Road in the Branch division of Greene County. Brice was an overseer on a farm. There were two servants living in the home, John Jorden and Willie Cosby, both farm laborers.

Lankford sisters -- Julia, Jessie, and Alice
Jessie’s mother died of Bright’s disease in Penfield on March 26, 1919. She was buried at Penfield Cemetery beside her husband. Jessie was the administratrix of the estate—a “large estate of real and personal property, worth the sum of five hundred ($500) dollars.” Jessie applied to sell the land in Penfield on June 9, 1919. The petition showed that Mary Lankford’s estate consisted “of a tract of land in the Village of Penfield, Greene County, Georgia, on northeast corner of Evans Gresham lot, bounded north by Main Street, East by thirty feet street and lot of Mrs. Barnhart, south and west by Evans Gresham lot, formerly owned by Penfield Hosiery Mills.” Jessie sold the land for $600 to pay her mother’s debts and then distributed the remaining money among her mother’s siblings.

On January 30, 1920, the Barnhart family lived in Penfield. Brice was a farmer on a home farm and Jessie a housekeeper. Her brother, Vincent Thomas Lankford Sr. and his family lived four houses away.

Jessie’s sister, Julia Lankford Hazlett, died from an enlarged spleen caused by leukemia in Wilkes County, Georgia on September 2, 1924. She was only 49 years old. Julia was buried the next day at Resthaven Cemetery in Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia.

Jessie, daughter Mary Lou, and husband Brice Barnhart
Jessie’s brother, James Vason Lankford, died on December 22, 1929 from chronic interstitial nephritis in Tryon, Polk County, North Carolina. He was brought home and buried at Penfield Cemetery.

On April 23, 1930, Jessie and her family still lived in Penfield. Her widowed aunt, Nannie Lankford, aged 77, lived with them. Aunt Nannie must have been the wife of her Uncle Nathan Lankford, the only male child of her grandparents besides her father James. Nathan is still a mystery to me. I don’t have much information on him at this point. But I did find a marriage record for a Nathan Lankford who married Mary Moore in Greene County. So it’s a good chance Aunt Nannie was Mary, but that needs to be proven.

On April 13, 1940, Jessie and Bryce lived in Penfield. The highest grade Jessie had attended in school was the 7th. The census enumerator spelled their last name as Barnheart.

About 1946, Jessie and Bryce moved to Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia to be near their daughter.

Jessie died at home in Greensboro on August 1, 1951. Her funeral was held at McCommons Chapel with the Rev. F. A. Kilgore and the Rev. Sewell Dixon officiating. She was buried at Penfield Cemetery on August 2. The Herald Journal ran her obituary on August 10, 1951 reporting that Jessie had been ill for 10 days prior to her death. It further reported that Jessie had a happy childhood spent near Penfield, where she continued to live after her marriage. Jessie was very involved in the Baptist Church and spent “a lifetime of service in the work of her Master.” She frequently entertained ministers in her home and was actively involved with her church until declining health prevented her from doing so. Jessie was devoted to Bryce and Mary Lou and full of love for her friends. She could always be counted on to help others. One of her greatest pleasures was growing flowers, which she shared with friends. Jessie was survived by her husband Bryce, daughter Mary Lou Barnhart Jackson, a grandson Grady Jackson, Jr., three sisters, Della McCollum of Smyrna, Cobb County, Georgia, Mary Callaway of Greensboro, Alice Callaway (who died four months later on December 5, 1951), of Union Point, Greene County, Georgia; and three brothers, Nathan Lankford of Union Point; Vincent Lankford of Greensboro, and Oliver Lankford of Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia.

Did you notice that this was blogpost number 52? That means it completes my first year of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors challenge. I know, it’s only September so how could it be week 52. Well, I joined in late last year. I didn’t find Amy’s challenge until August 2014 and then I spent a couple of weeks thinking about whether I wanted to accept it or not. I don’t consider myself a writer so I wasn’t sure how it would go. But I decided it would be a worthwhile project to tackle. At the time, my father-in-law was living with us. His health was declining rapidly so we were pretty much homebound with him. The challenge gave me something to do while we sat with him in the evenings. Early on I decided that I would write in a timeline format—beginning with birth and ending with death. For every blogpost, I check to see what information I already have for an ancestor. Then I search to see what new information I can find. I also got a little help from Mama and my Aunt Barbara. Along the way, I’ve discovered new information, corrected mistakes previously made in my research, and hopefully not made any new mistakes. It’s been a fun project and now I’m looking forward to year two!