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Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2013-07-17 06:23 pm

The search for my Fort Scott Chapins continues...

I'm back to work on that branch of the family.

Due to some family history notes compiled by my grand uncle, Russell Ellington Balding, I have some new leads. (We always called him Uncle Linky.)

The notes were provided to me by my first cousin, once removed. Some of the information has proven to be untrue, and some has been accurate, but I have run ~ temporarily ~ into a dead end.

All of it has made me dig deeper into some useful but under-utilized resources.
From Linky's notes, I thought I might find a news article about an accident suffered by my 3rd great grandmother, Elizabeth Harris Chapin.

According to the notes, she and my great grandmother, Hattie Belle Chapin, were involved in a buggy accident when Hattie was four months old. Elizabeth was seriously injured, and those injuries led to her death.

I emailed the Old Fort Genealogical Society a couple of days ago about searching for an old news clipping.

In less than an hour, I had my answer. Elizabeth Chapin did die from injuries suffered in an accident, but not one involving a buggy. She fell down some stairs. The woman at the OFGS also said that what I previously thought was Elizabeth's date of death - 30 Oct 1887 - was actually the date of her burial. She died 4 Oct 1887.

The researcher wondered why there would be such a delay in her funeral. The only thing I could think of was getting all the family rounded up.

But that kind of delay doesn't seem likely, particularly given the limitations on preservation of bodies during that era. I'll be interested in the publication date of the news clippings - including her brief obit - when I get them in the mail.

Uncle Linky's notes also say that there was speculation that Elizabeth Harris was born Elizabeth Pancoast, and after her father died, Sally Miller married James Elisha Harris.

I do know that Elizabeth is referred to in historic documents as E H Chapin, but I will explore the Pancoast angle also.
I thought I hit pay dirt with Willard N Chapin, and in a way, I did. I started looking harder to find him after Uncle Linky's notes corroborated some unsourced information I had seen about Willard on the internet.

All of the adult men in Nathaniel Foster Chapin's family, excluding George and Ward Chapin, are listed in the 1889 City Directory for Fort Scott, KS.

 photo 1889FortScottCityDirectory.jpg


According to Uncle Linky's notes, Willard Chapin b 4 May 1865 Olean N.Y. Moved with family to Kansas about 1882. m Dee ___. Buried in Calif. Date of death missing. His 4 daughters were living in San Luis Obispo, Calif. when last heard of.

I finally found a record of Willard's marriage. He married Delana L Rowland on 25 Apr 1888 in Ft. Scott, Bourbon Co., KS. She was called Dee.

I haven't found Willard in any census with his family yet. I did find Dee Chapin, the proprietress of a rooming house in San Luis Obispo, in the 1910 and 1920 censuses. She was born in Missouri on 26 Sep 1864.

The 1910 census said that Dee was the mother of six children, five of whom were living at the time of the census. I have only been able to account for four of the daughters - Helen Chapin Gardner, divorced and living with her mother in 1920; Icy Chapin Justus, married to Felix Orlando Justus and the mother of four sons; Rosetta Chapin Baxter; and Margaret Chapin.

Icy Chapin died on 1 Mar 1959 in Santa Clara Co., CA. Rosetta Chapin died on 9 Aug 1980 in San Joaquin Co., CA.

Dee Chapin died on 19 Aug 1921 in San Luis Obispo, CA, and is buried in San Luis Cemetery, San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo Co., CA.

I still don't know when or where Willard died, or where he is buried. He's going to be another brick in the wall for me.

But I'm getting closer...
rainbow: image of a light skinned person wearing a knit hat with orange skulls. the orange skulls have hearts for eyes and nose. (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2013-07-18 11:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm huzzah-ing all over the place for your finds, congratulations!