dee_burris: (Default)
2016-07-06 09:12 am

Another of Fred Chapin's sisters...

As was the custom of the time in which he lived, my great great grandfather, Fred Chapin, came from a large family. Ten documented children, nine of whom lived to adulthood.

Fred's sisters have given me fits. (And to be fair, so has one of the brothers.) I've looked into the lives and wanderings of Essie and Addie. I have a date of death and burial place for the next-to-youngest sister, Immogene (Emma) Chapin.

So I thought I was done. Until a chance comment on my Facebook page by one of my Parrish cousins, wanting to know if any of the descendants of the transplanted Fort Scott Chapins were till in the area, as she planned to make a trip there.

As I looked over the siblings of Fred Chapin and their children, I could only think of one - the only living child of Immogene Chapin and William H Nutz.

Helen Leotia Nutz. What had happened to her?

As I started looking more closely at her, things started getting complicated and mysterious.

And I ran into another sad story.
Helen Leotia Nutz was born on 17 Aug 1890 in Fort Scott, Bourbon Co., KS.

I know this from the U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 on (Due to some adjustments in the budget here at the cottage I now access Ancestry from the public library.)

However, that source also muddied the water quite a bit for tracking the whereabouts of my first cousin, thrice removed, because it also gave the following name changes for her, but no date of death. Based on name changes on her Social Security record, she had three husbands: Devault (March 1938), Yocum (August 1940) and Roach (May 1943), when she changed her name on her Social Security card.

However, I know her first marriage was at the age of 15 (she turned 16 nine days after the marriage), with the consent of her legal guardian (and paternal aunt) Susanna (Susan) N. Nutz, with whom Helen was living in the 1900 census in Kansas City, Jackson Co., MO. She married William K Gleason on 8 Aug 1905. I have not had any luck to date finding him either. I suspect the reason for the marriage was probably pregnancy, but that is purely speculation on my part.

So I tried to find a Helen Gleason getting married to a man with the surname DeVault in Jackson County, MO, and came up with this instead:
Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002
Name: Helen Gleason
Marriage Date: 17 Dec 1914
Marriage Place: Jackson, Missouri
Registration Place: Jackson, Missouri, USA
Spouse:  Edward Farrell

I don't know that this is Helen Leotia Nutz, but it sure complicates things. If it is Helen, then this marriage also would have occurred before the Social Security Act was passed by Congress as part of the New Deal, and signed by Franklin D Roosevelt on 14 Aug 1935.
Since the two marriages above for which I could find records took place in Jackson Co., MO, and since that's where she was living in 1900 with her single aunt, Susan N Nice, I thought maybe Helen and her aunt Susan were still close.

I wasn't having any luck finding Helen under any of those surnames throughout the remaining census years of 1910, 1920, 1920 and 1940. I changed course and decided to track Aunt Susan instead.
Many family historians feel that in order to accurately document folks in the family tree, one must have access to historic records through (mostly) subscription services like, for historic newspapers, etc.

And those are helpful. Ancestry has outpaced the free LDS church ( on obtaining scans of marriage records, wills and probate records, etc., but familysearch is highly useful.

And so is a plain old Google search. That's how I found out who Susanna Nice Nutz - Helen's paternal aunt - was, the identity of her parents, and how her life ended.

It was clear from census records that after Susanna Nutz gave consent for her niece's marriage in August 1905, the two did not live together again.

Although I haven't found Helen after the 1900 census, I did find Susanna. Helen was not part of her household in either of those censuses.
Susanna Nice Nutz was born on 21 Aug 1837 in Ohio to Leonard Nice Nutz and Rebecca Clutch. She was the eldest of the children of Leonard Nutz in his first marriage.

I found that information from a website talking about an invention for which Leonard Nutz received a patent. Leonard as an engineer, and for at least ten years, the family lived in St. Louis. On 17 Aug 1858, Leonard Nice Nutz received a patent for a "single column adding device." The article goes on to talk about Leonard's family history, including both his marriages and identifying most of his children.

In 1845, Susanna's mother died, probably in Ohio. Her father remarried to Susan Catherine Cochran on 27 Nov 1846 in Hamilton Co., OH. Leonard Nice Nutz died on 16 Nov 1870 in Alton, Madison Co., IL.

To date, I haven't been able to find Susanna Nutz in the 1850, 1860 or 1870 censuses. She was not living in her father's home in the 1865 Illinois State census or the US census of 1870. I found her next in 1880, living in Leavenworth, KS. She boarded with the family of Charles Kunz, and I suspect that may actually have been Nutz, but haven't tracked that family to find out for sure.

Susanna was a dressmaker. Never married, she was a single woman making her way in the world at a time when "spinsters" were supposed to be living in their parental home, and raising their younger siblings when their parents died.

Helen Nutz's mother died in 1892. As stated above, Helen was living with her aunt and legal guardian (I suspect grand aunt) in 1900 in Kansas City, where Susanna Nutz was working as a dressmaker. Apparently, Helen was still living with Susanna when she married for the first time in 1905. Minimally, Susanna Nice Nutz was a mother figure to Helen for thirteen years, supporting her financially and making a home for her.

After 1905, Helen disappeared from the historic record radar. However, Susanna continued to live in Kansas City, working as a dressmaker, through the 1920 census, taken on 5 Jan 1920.

And that Google search brought gold. Susanna Nice Nutz was also an inventor, like her father. On 28 Mar 1905, she was granted a patent for "new and useful Improvements in Adjustable Measuring and Ruling Devices..." Below is a drawing of her improved adjustable measuring and ruling device, which she said was to help quilters cut uniform one inch strips of cloth on the bias, forming diamonds.

...A piece of cloth may be quickly divided into diamond-shaped figures for quilting by drawing lines thereon with the rulers arranged at the angle shown in Fig. 1 and then changing the position of said rulers so that other lines may be drawn at the proper angle to intersect the first-mentioned lines...
 photo Susanna Nice Nutz drawing of her measuring device.png

In the 1920 census, Susanna Nice Nutz was living at #2 Fountain Court in Kansas City, MO. She was 82 years old, and the head of her household. There was no indication on the form that anything was wrong with her.

So I was stunned when I found her death certificate. Less than one month after the 1920 census, she died on 2 Feb 1920 at Kansas City General Hospital of asthenia and starvation, secondary to senility. (Note: asthenia means generalized weakness and was often referred to as debility on older death certificates. If she was starving, it's easy to see why she would be so weak.)
 photo Susana N Nutz death certificate.jpg

How could this happen, I wondered? She was in the hospital for one day. Had someone finally checked on her, and found her starving? Where was Helen? Did she know? Did she care?

Susanna's remains were sent the following day back to Fort Scott, where she was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, in a family plot with her younger brother, Francis Johnston Nutz, and his wife, Harriet.

Susanna Nice Nutz is only in my family tree because of her relationship to my cousin, Helen Leotia Nutz.

She was a woman I would like to have known in life.

Perhaps I'll meet her on the other side...
dee_burris: (Default)
2016-07-02 04:01 pm

The wars for American independence...

 photo fortbomb edit.jpg

...And the rockets' red glare,
The bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave?
O'er the land of the free
And the home of the brave...

Although we all know that the holiday we will celebrate Monday s the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence - a statement declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation - not everyone realizes how the Star Spangled Banner came to be, or that it was not written during the Revolutionary War.

As a matter of fact, Francis Scott Key didn't call it the Star Spangled Banner. His original title was Defence of Fort M'Henry.
It was during the War of 1812 that the verses that would become our national anthem were written.

Key was an influential lawyer who volunteered to negotiate with the British for the return of some American prisoners captured during the war, and being held on the the flagship of the British fleet on the Chesapeake Bay. He and some friends were permitted to board the ship and were successful in their efforts, but since they had learned of plans of the British fleet to attack Fort McHenry at Baltimore, they were allowed to re-board their own vessel, but under British guard.

It was under this close scrutiny that on the night of 13 September 1814, Key watched anxiously as the British fleet continued to shell Fort McHenry, and the Americans became slower and slower to return fire. At twilight, he could still see the 30 by 42 foot Stars and Stripes (one of two flags made the previous year by a woman named Mary Pickersgill), tattered but still flying over Fort McHenry. The shelling continued throughout the night.

By dawn, an eerie silenced descended. Through the smoke, fog and haze, Key and the other Americans looked for the flag. There was a break in the haze, and they could see it.

Our flag was still there... announcing the American victory.

Mary Pickersgill's original flag is preserved at the Smithsonian Institute.

The memory of our ancestors and other relatives who fought for our independence from England during the Revolutionary War, and then fought for it again during the War of 1812, is preserved in our hearts.

Revolutionary War
Joshua Bloomer Ashmore, Sr.
Stephen Bloomer Balch
Luke Chapin
Samuel Chapin
Thomas Hale
Jesse George Hoshal
Alexander Meek
James Meek
Samuel Meek
Nelson Edward Parrish
Elijah Rollins
Ichabod Rollins
Nathaniel Rollins
Jesse Williams

The War of 1812
John S T Callaway
John Ivie
Ephraim C Lemley, Sr.
Keys Meek
Abraham Lincoln Parrish
George Wharton
Jacob Wingfield

 photo d5694c39-f08d-45b0-bba1-9abbddb5d59f.jpg
Lest we forget...
dee_burris: (Default)
2015-06-09 08:52 am
Entry tags:

My ancestors mess with me

 photo pop_art_cartoon_ginger_woman_tearing_hair_out_-_154569740__medium_4x3.jpg

And not just in that maddening, tear-your-hair-out sense that comes with reaching a brick wall with them.

Sometimes they talk to me.

Not necessarily in words.

Grampa Chapin has been talking of late. His portrait keeps listing ever so slightly to the west.

Not every day, but for the last week or so, I'll look up in the morning, and see that it's tilted. I always straighten it up.

Naturally, I look for logical explanations first.
The cottage is a mobile home, so I thought maybe this occurred when the washer was on the spin cycle, and the vibrations were moving the portrait.

So I looked several times this morning to see if it happened. Nope, didn't move even a millimeter. Besides that, I only use the washer a couple of times a week. I haven't seen a connection.

I've stomped across the living room floor. No movement. But anyway, I don't stomp around the cottage.

I've slammed the door. No movement. I've slammed the wooden gates on the front and back of the porch.

Nada, zip, zilch.

So, I figure Grampa Chapin wants to get my attention for some reason.

It's those kinds of moments that make me grin, because they just reinforce the truism.

The journey is good.
dee_burris: (Default)
2014-07-03 10:27 am

Patriots in the family tree

Although the family tree is full of veterans and heroes of service - past and present - in the armed forces of the United States, I focus today on my ancestors who served in battles before and during the American Revolution.

James Samuel Ashmore - born 4 Nov 1732 in Harford Co., Maryland Colony. He was the son of Richard Ashmore and Margery Lindley.

James was one of the rabble-rousers who was determined to annoy, harass and set back the cause of our fledgling country's British oppressors.

So in an act of covert defiance, on 2 May 1771, James - along with his half-brother, Joshua Hadley, and several other men - burned a gunpowder train that was on its way to Tory General Waddell, which was intended to be used against the group of colonists protesting the unreasonable taxes being imposed upon them by the Brits. This group of men became known as The Black Boys of Cabarrus County, North Carolina, due to them blackening their faces before setting out on their destructive mission.

In his deposition about the incident taken on 22 Jun 1771, James said:
...they found and stopped the waggons and enquired for the powder that was carrying to General Waddell. When in the waggon belonging to Col. Alexander they found the powder and took it out of the waggons, broke open the hogsheads and kegs that contained the powder, and set the same on fire and destroyed some blankets, leggins, kettles, and other things, and then dispersed soon after, having at this deponent first joining of them sworn him to secrecy as they informed who they all before, and further his deponent sayeth not. (Sourced to this website.)

Public sentiment among the colonists grew overwhelmingly in favor of "The Black Boys." As stated here, When the drama of the Revolution opened, these same "Black Boys" stood up manfully for the cause of American freedom, and nobly assisted in achieving, on many a hard-fought battlefield, the independence of our country.

Line of descent to me:
James Samuel Ashmore/Elizabeth Balch
Joshua Bloomer Ashmore/Mary Henderson
Andrew Sawyer Ashmore/Elizabeth McCarley
Elizabeth Adeline Ashmore/James Littleton Burris
George Washington Burris, Sr./Mary Mathilda Wharton
George Washington Burris, Jr./Addie Louise Herrington
my dad
Jesse Williams - born 19 Jun 1750 in Newcastle County, Delaware Colony, died 29 Sep 1834 in Rockcastle Co., KY after being kicked by a horse he was shoeing.

He was the son of David Shion and Mary Williams, immigrants to Delaware Colony from Wales.

Jesse enlisted in the Revolutionary War at Baltimore, MD in the summer of 1776, and as was the practice for the voluntary army made up overwhelmingly of farmers, served his multiple week tours of duty until the summer of 1781. (Sourced to his descendant's application for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution, at this link.) Note - paywall for the link.

Line of descent to me:
Jesse Williams/Elizabeth Rachel Gott
David Williams/Elizabeth Rowe
Jacob Williams/Catherine C Mueller
Jo Desha Williams/Maxie Leah Meek
Jo(e) Duffie Williams/Doris Geneva Balding
my mother
Joel Chapin - born 22 Apr 1732 in Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachsetts Colony, died 17 Mar 1805 in Bernardston, Franklin Co., MA.

He was the son of Caleb Chapin and Catherine Dickinson.

History of the Town of Bernardston, Franklin County, Massachusetts. 1736 - 1900 by Lucy Jane Cutler Kellogg (publ. E A Hall and Company, 1902) describes Joel Chapin as one of the members of the "committee of inspection" established on 30 Jan 1775, "when war was an almost assured event" in colonial Massachusetts. Although I have been unable to turn up his service record, Joel must have served because his gravestone in Old Cemetery, Bernardston, Franklin Co., MA says he was Lieut. Joel Chapin.

Line of descent to me:
Joel Chapin/Sarah Burke
Solomon Chapin/Rebecca Porter
Joel Chapin/Adeline Foster
Nathaniel Foster Chapin/Elizabeth Pancoast-Harris
Frederick Chapin/Eada Belle Parrish
Hattie Belle Chapin/Victor Claude Balding
Doris Geneva Balding/Jo(e) Duffie Williams
my mother

 photo d5694c39-f08d-45b0-bba1-9abbddb5d59f.jpg
Betsey Ross flag at Valley Forge
dee_burris: (Default)
2014-04-22 05:58 am

Cyrus Foster Chapin, 1853-1926

He's one of my orphan relatives. Cyrus was the oldest of 10 children born to my third great grandparents, Nathaniel Foster Chapin and Elizabeth Pancoast Harris.

He never married or had children. Census and city directory records say that he followed in his father's footsteps and became a carpenter, but he doesn't seem to have been able to work at that trade consistently enough to support himself.

Cyrus never married. He also didn't seem to have set up his own house in his lifetime, living first with his parents into his young adulthood, and as an older adult, with his younger sisters and their families.

He lived with sister Addie the longest - from at least 1900 until her death in 1925. Then he moved from Denver, CO, to Altoona, PA, where he lived out the remainder of his life with his sister, Essie.
Cyrus' obituary made me curious.

Died at 3 o'clock this morning at the home of his sister, Mrs. Essie Lebolt Finn of 1421 Second street, following an illness of six weeks. He suffered from a complication of diseases.

I wondered what "complication of diseases" he had. As previously noted in this post, the 1880 census form said he had sciatic rheumatism, a very painful nerve disease that sometimes makes walking almost impossible. I found it really strange that a 27 year old man would have an illness that usually comes with advanced age.

So I ordered his death certificate from the State of Pennsylvania.
Cyrus' death certificate didn't note any central nervous system disorder.

It says he died of senility.

I've seen scads of death certificates that say that. Searching for it as an "olden days" cause of death, I've also found cautions to doctors about ruling out any other cause of death before just saying someone died of old age.

Cyrus' death certificate also lists a contributory cause of death. But it's the one I think probably killed him.

Chronic interstitial nephritis. In truth, he probably died of kidney failure and also had some form of senile dementia. The death certificate says he was attended by his physician from 15 Feb 1926 until his death at 3 a.m. on 3 Mar 1926.

His obituary said he was ill for six weeks. Makes me wonder how long people waited back then to call the doctor for an ailing 72 year old brother.

And about that "complication of diseases" noted in his obit.

I guess I'll find out on the other side.
dee_burris: (Default)
2014-04-20 08:47 am

Musing on death, and dying at home

I got death certificates in the mail Friday - four of them - for a great grandfather, great grandmother, and two great-great grandparents.

Fred and Eada Parrish Chapin, Victor Claude Balding, and Mary Mathilda, "Tildie" Wharton Burris.

They were related to each other not by blood but by marriage, so I can only use any similarities in causes of death as they apply to me, and other common descendants of the multiple blended families.

The years of death are 1938 (Fred Chapin and Tildie Burris), 1944 (Eada Chapin), and 1945 (Pop Balding).

And as I laid them out side by side, I noticed something else.

Three of the four of them died at home - or at the home of a child, where they had been living. (That's the multi-generational family living under one roof thing that was the rule instead of the exception until after World War II.) They were surrounded by people and things that were familiar, and even if in a small way, comforting.

And it struck me.

What a grand way to die...
The aftermath of World War II not only saw a change in the way American families lived, but also how - and where - they died.

Prior to World War II, only in exceptional circumstances did people die in hospital beds instead of in their own beds, in their own homes, or a home of relatives (frequently their children) that had become their home.

My paternal great grandmother, Tildie Burris, died on 26 May 1938 at the home of her daughter, Emma Burris Crites. Her death certificate notes that she died of chronic nephritis, or kidney disease as we would say now. It also says the doctor saw her for three days leading up to her death and she was in a partial coma. As has been noted by memories of her grandchildren, some of whom said she got "mean" in her later years, the certificate says she had senility.

The next death in the chronology was my great-great grandfather, Fred Chapin, on 29 Dec 1938. He died at Baptist Hospital of prostatic hypertrophy - a condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged. He also had kidney disease - a combination of which we recognize today as dangerous for older men. His doctor attended him (Fred was also diagnosed with senility) from 28 Nov 1938 to the date of his death. I'm going to guess that he was only hospitalized for part of the 32 days his doctor cared for him.

On 2 Dec 1944, my great great grandmother, Eada Chapin, died at the home of her daughter, Hattie Chapin Balding, of a heart attack. There is no note on the certificate of senility, but it does say she had arteriosclerosis.

Only a little more than a month later, my great grandmother, Hattie Chapin Balding, was present at the death of her husband, Victor Claude "Pop" Balding, when he died at home - in the same house - of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Some of those deaths were sudden, some weren't.

But I am sure now - whether I leave suddenly, or because of a lingering illness - if at all possible, I'd like to die at home.
dee_burris: (Default)
2014-02-28 10:14 am

Getting the scoop on Adaline Chapin...

As I said in this entry, I have been most keen to try and puzzle through the marriages and wanderings of my second great grandaunt, Adaline Chapin.

I'm suspect Addie - as she was called through most of her life - was one of the two Chapin daughters of Nathaniel F Chapin and Elizabeth Pancoast-Harris that my family disapproved of on the basis of snippets of conversation I heard as a child. I recall overhearing one conversation in particular - between my grandmother and one of her brothers, who was compiling the family genealogy. They were talking about whether to leave out two of the Chapin sisters altogether because of their behavior, or to keep them in and just call them prostitutes.

I'm betting that's because Addie and her younger sister, Essie, were married multiple times. I suspect both daughters' multiple marriages and divorces bothered their parents and siblings. And two of Essie's descendants have stated multiple times in comments to this blog that there was a fracture in the family that continued throughout Essie's life.

But now, I have to wonder if Essie took it harder than Addie did.
Addie's marriages were not really hard to document.

She married first in 1886 to George D Rouse while they were living in Ft Scott, Bourbon Co., KS, where Nathaniel Chapin had relocated his family between 1883 and 1885. Addie and George were divorced - my guess is that was in Greene Co., MO, where she married Lorenzo D Melton on 21 Sep 1904.

She was divorced from Lorenzo Melton on 11 Sep 1914 in Arapahoe Co., CO, and on 5 Oct 1915, married Charles M Mendenhall in Littleton, Arapahoe Co., CO. (I have requested the divorce records from the Colorado State Archives and am waiting for them to be mailed.)
The eldest of the Chapin siblings, Cyrus, made his home with Addie for at least 25 years.

He lived with her through all of her marriages in Springfield, MO, and Littleton and Denver, CO. In the 1880 census, Cyrus was noted to have sciatic rheumatism. I was unfamiliar with that ailment. I found it described on page 3 of the 27 Apr 1915 issue of L'Impartial, a Swiss French-language daily newspaper published since 1880.

There are very few ailments more painful than sciatic rheumatism. At first one is scarcely able to straighten up, and finally, if neglected, it gets so bad it is impossible to walk. Sciatic rheumatism is a combined form of neuralgia and rheumatism, and has been considered very hard to treat successfully...

Although it appears that Cyrus tried intermittently to work in the trade of his male relatives - as a carpenter or woodworker - mostly I found him unemployed, with the exception of any money he may have made as a notary public in Denver from 1907 to 1915.

So Addie housed and supported her brother for a great many years.
I guess that's why I found Cyrus' obituary a bit odd. His obit was how I found Addie's date of death, which I used to get her death certificate from Denver.

Cyrus F Chapin

Died at 3 o'clock this morning at the home of his sister, Mrs. Essie Lebolt Finn of 1421 Second street, following an illness of six weeks. He suffered from a complication of diseases. He was born in Bradford county, Dec. 2, 1853, and resided with a sister in Denver, Colo., until March 15 last year, when the sister died, Mr. Chapin then removing to this city. He is survived by three brothers, George Chapin of Atlanta, Ga., Fred Chapin of Little Rock, Ark., and Willard Chapin of California, and the sister of this city. Surviving also is a niece, Mrs. J.A. Boorman of Altoona, and a nephew, E C Shephard of Pontiac, Mich. He was a member of the International Bible Students' association. The funeral will be held from the Lafferty & Tobias funeral parlors on Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock. Interment will be made in Rose Hill Cemetery. Source: Altoona Mirror, Wednesday Evening, 3 Mar 1926, at page 1.

[R]esided with a sister in Denver, Colo., until March 15 last year, when the sister died...

That sister had a name. Why didn't Essie use it? I know it's common to have to pay by the word for an obit, but Essie didn't have any problem getting that Lebolt surname in there instead of her maiden name...
Addie's death certificate says she died at her home at 2025 Clay Street (now part of an interstate system in Denver) from the flu, secondary to bronchial pneumonia.

She was buried at Olinger Crown Hill Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Jefferson Co., CO, just outside Denver. Although she was married three times, she had no children.

And now I'd love to know the rest of her story...
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-10-23 06:01 pm
Entry tags:

Paul E Chapin, 1880-1905

Paul Chapin was the fourth of five children born in Erie Co., PA to Lucius Milo Chapin and Viola Marinda Bayle.

 photo LuciusMiloChapinfam15Mar1904.jpg
Front row, l to r: Lucius Milo Chapin, Viola Marinda Bayle
Back row, l to r: Nora E.(Chapin)Church, Samuel N. Chapin,
Paul E. Chapin and Adda G.(Chapin) Wager.
Photo taken 15 Mar 1904, and courtesy of Brit Wager.

Paul had diabetes. Although sometimes people struggle these days with their diabetes, rarely is it a death sentence within three years of diagnosis, as it was for Paul. He died while in a diabetic coma.

Unfortunately for Paul, the era in which he lived meant diabetes very often was a killer.

In the early 1800s, science had progressed enough to understand that elevated sugar in the urine of affected individuals was a signal that they had the disease. Treatments varied over the first three quarters of the 19th century. By the 1880s, periodic fasting and starvation were the norm.

German medical student Paul Langerhans first identified islet cells in the pancreas in 1869. In 1889, Josef von Mering and Oskar Minkowski removed the pancreas of a dog and voilà! — instant diabetes. Scottish endocrinologist Edward Sharpey-Shafer made the leap in 1910, suggesting that the pancreas secreted an “antidiabetic” chemical, which he dubbed insulin. (Sourced to this website.)

But it would not be until 1922 - too late for Paul Chapin - that Canadians Frederick Banting and Charles Best injected their purified pancreatic extract into a young boy suffering from juvenile diabetes. His health immediately improved. The following year, the first commercial preparations of bovine insulin appeared. (Source: Id.)
My tenth cousin in my Chapin line, Brit Wager, often collaborates with me on our Chapins, and provided me with information about the manner of Paul Chapin's death, as well as the photos that appear in this post.

Paul's obituary, courtesy of Brit Wager:
 photo paulchapinobit.jpg
Paul Chapin Dead
Mr. Paul Chapin died at the home of his sister in Model City, N.Y. last Monday morning. Mr. Chapin had been in poor health for about three years but was taken worse in October and went to Model City at that time. His ailment was diabetes. Mr. Chapin was 25 years of age and leaves to mourn his death a wife and little daughter, who have the sympathy of a large circle of friends. His funeral will be held from the home of his father, Mr. L. M. Chapin, who resides on the Murray road north of town, this, Friday afternoon at one o'clock, and interment will be made in Evergreen Cemetery.

Paul's daughter, Doris (as an adult), with her mother, Mary (Edwards) Chapin, undated photo
 photo DorisandMaryEdwardsChapin.jpg

You can leave virtual flowers on Paul Chapin's Find a Grave memorial, here.
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-07-24 07:52 pm


The lady at the Old Fort Genealogical Society meant well.

I know she did.

And she gave such prompt attention to my email inquiry.

But my 3rd great grandmother, Elizabeth Harris Chapin, did not die as a result of a fall down some stairs.

That was Mrs. E J Chapin who fell down the stairs.

 photo MrsEJChapinaccident.jpg
Sad Accident
Last evening Mrs. E J Chapin called upon the family of J C Moore of the Fort Scott saw mill, to administer to the care of Mrs. Moore, who is quite sick, when by some unfortunate accident, Mrs. Chapin fell down the stairway in Mrs. Moore's residence, breaking her shoulder blade and dislocating her shoulder. The unfortunate lady was instantly cared for by those in the house. Dr. Aikman was summoned and rendered assistance. The shock to the lady's nerves was severe, but all the skill that medical aid could render was immediately applied.
Source: The Fort Scott Daily Monitor, Wednesday, 7 Sep 1887, page 5, column 4.

Mrs. E J Chapin was Mrs. Elmer Judson Chapin, nee Hannah Elizabeth McIntosh.

And she didn't die. Not immediately. Or even a month later.

Hannah Elizabeth McIntosh Chapin died on 13 Nov 1925, and was buried beside her husband in Maple Grove Cemetery, Fort Scott, Bourbon Co., KS.

Elmer Judson Chapin and my 3rd great grandfather, Nathaniel Foster Chapin, were 6th cousins, once removed.
For the time being, I have the Chapin family lore about how Granny died - from those injuries in the buggy accident when my great grandmother was just an infant.

But now there's this thing that really puzzles me. Why did it take so long to bury her? Her funeral was the day after her death on 4 Oct 1887. Yet the records of Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Scott say she was not interred there until 30 Oct 1887.

Where was she for 25 days?

 photo ElizHarrisChapindeathnotice.jpg

At 2 o'clock p.m., yesterday, at her home in East Fort Scott, 321 Mulberry street, Mrs. E H Chapin, in the fifty-sixth year of her age. The deceased was born in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, November 20, 1831, married N F Chapin in 1852, and enjoyed the full fruition of life for the past thirty-five years. She was the mother of ten children, seven sons and three daughters, nine of which and the father are now at home mourning her loss. The funeral will take place today at 2 o'clock p.m. All friends of the family are invited to attend.
Source: The Fort Scott Daily Monitor, Wednesday, 5 Oct 1887, page 3, column 5.
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-07-18 10:41 am

So then I got sidetracked on another of the Fort Scott Chapins...

Immogene. Emma, she was called in a lot of documents.

And Uncle Linky's notes said she married a guy named Will Nutz, and they had one child, a daughter named Helen. The notes also said that Immogene was buried in KS, date of death missing.
So, I looked and found the record of Emma Chapin's marriage to W H Nutz (born in 1866), on 12 Mar 1889, in Ft. Scott, Bourbon Co., KS.

And I found William H Nutz, a machinist, living in Ft. Scott in the 1889 City Directory. The address for his residence was 1120 East Oak.

William H Nutz lower left column, left page

 photo 1889FtScottDirWmNutz.jpg

And I can't find anything else on them.

My city directory and census searches of Ft. Scott around, prior to, and after Emma and Will's marriage show that there were several people with the Nutz surname living in Ft. Scott for quite a while. They had to be part of Will's extended family. But as I track them, I can't find a parent or parents from among the folks of the right age.

Makes me wonder if he was orphaned early and taken in by family members. That happened a lot back then.
There is an Immogene Nutz buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Ft. Scott.

My Chapins seemed to favor that cemetery. The spelling of her first name is strikingly coincidental.

But the birth year is wrong. Immogene Chapin was born 23 May 1869, not 1860.

The FAG record was created from a cemetery transcript, or book the church ladies put together, or some other document like that.

I've requested a photo of the grave to see if there was a typo in the document used to create the record.

Add Immogene to the Chapin brick walls...
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-07-17 09:38 pm

Because no one is looking for these folks...

Sometimes, I spend a little more time, dig just a little deeper, and examine images of documents a little more carefully when I'm looking for a family.

It's harder when you find a family in peacetime that seems to have husband and wife in different locations for a significant portion of their marriage.

That's what happened with Willard Chapin and Dee Rowland. He was gone to other towns in California, and I think I've found him in Pershing NV in the 9120 census with two male [business] "partners" in or close to a mining camp.

And Dee Chapin was holding down the fort in San Luis Obispo, supporting herself and the couple's 4 and then 5 daughters by running a boardinghouse.

It must have worked for them. They were married for at least 33 years. Dee Chapin died in 1921. I don't know when Willard did.

So I am looking harder at them, trying to account for all the kids (I'm missing one who must have died young and in between census years), and now noting who the kids married, whether they had children, etc.

And no one else is looking for this family. I kid you not.

How can that happen? Will I be the only person who makes information about this family and its subsequent generations available in electronic (or any) form?

Or somewhere, is there some man or woman staring at a box - or twelve - of "stuff" they got when an older relative died, and wondering...

dee_burris: (Default)
2013-07-17 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...
dee_burris: (Default)
2013-07-16 06:40 am
Entry tags:

Essie's female descendants are back for more drive-by commenting...

At least one of them is. She usually incites the other one.

I'm trying to figure out if there's an actual cycle to this. Maybe they've gotten tired of shopping, tennis, or whatever other interests they pursue in the "off" cycle.

I suspect there is some consternation that there hasn't been a really recent Chapin entry.

Not to worry, dear cousins (and I use that term facetiously)...

There will be an entry (or two) soon. Because it looks like Broshia has gotten some of her story twisted up.

Or maybe she just wrote it down differently in that Bible...
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-12-15 08:33 am
Entry tags:

The Rose Man of Sing Sing

Getting that contact from my Chapin cousin rekindled my fascination with one of our bad boys, Charles E Chapin, whom James McGrath Morris dubbed The Rose Man of Sing Sing, in his biography of the same name.

The book was published in 2003, and in 2004, it was selected by the Washington Post as one of the best non-fiction books of 2004.

Since I have a holiday season staycation coming up soon, I checked it out of my library to read.

Only I'm peeking.

A lot.

Because it's good.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-12-10 08:15 pm
Entry tags:

Lucius Milo Chapin, 1842-1928


My newly found, who-knows-how-many-times-removed Chapin cousin is hunting for information about her great great grandfather.

She has quite a bit of information already. She wants to find his grave, which she suspects is unmarked. She recently has been to Evergreen Cemetery twice on that quest.

And she shared a photo.

Lucius Milo Chapin and wife, Viola M Bayle

Information about interments at Evergreen Cemetery in Union City, Erie Co., PA show the graves of Lucius, Viola and Paul (one of their sons) in Section 6, Lot 53. A caretaker told my cousin that the graves are in Lot 38 instead.

I hope she finds markers buried in sod.

I wonder if Lucius would have a Union Army marker. If he doesn't have one, she can get one from the VA for him.

For free.
According to existing documents, Lucius Milo Chapin enlisted at Venango Township, Erie County, PA on 21 Aug 1861 as a Private in Company K of the 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteers.

He was wounded at the second Battle of Bull Run on 30 Aug 1862, and discharged 28 Jan 1863, for wounds received.

His thumb and forefinger were shot off in the battle. Look at the photo above.

According to my cousin, when Lucius posed for photos afterward, he kept something in his left hand to hide the amputations.

And it must have been incredibly hard for him to return to farming afterward.

He applied for a Civil War pension as an invalid on 27 Oct 1863.

I hope he got it.
Lucius married Viola Bayle on 1 Oct 1866. She was the daughter of Samuel K and Theresa L Bayle.

They had five children. The 1870 census in Erie Co., PA shows their first child, a 3 year-old son named Otis.

And that's the last time I saw Otis in the census. The 1900 census says Viola was the mother of 5 children, 4 of whom were living at the time of the census.

I can't find a record of little Otis in cemetery records on Find a Grave for Erie County.

Other children born to Lucius and Viola were Adda, Nora, Paul and Samuel.

Lucius Milo Chapin died on 13 Jun 1928.
And eureka!

As I have been typing this post, my cousin has filled me in on more of the descendants down to her.

We are 10th cousins.
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-12-09 09:42 am

Woo-hoo! Another Chapin cousin came to call...

And sent me a private message through the blog.

Her g-g-grandfather was Lucius Milo Chapin.

Whom I did not have in the GEDCOM until I did some digging around this morning. I found out he was my 5th cousin, five times removed. So I have no idea what kinship she and I are, because I let the software tell me.

If any of you can figure that one, let me know.

But while I was digging, I found a whole bunch of her ancestors buried in Lowville Cemetery in Wattsburg, Erie Co., PA.

So naturally, I had to stop and figure out who was whom, and add them also. You know about my genealogy ADD. (Yesterday, I was all over some Kellys in Lancashire ENG.)

Chapins now number 745 in the GEDCOM.

They were quite prolific. I wonder if it would shock the boots off of our common progenitor, Deacon Samuel Chapin, to know how much his descendants enjoyed and engaged in sex? Since they were raised not to cuss, drink alcohol and raise hell, I guess there was only one thing left to fill the time when they were not in church.

His likeness was used to craft the monument called The Puritan, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Springfield, MA in 1887.


What can I say? I was born curious...
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-10-21 08:12 pm

Started chasing some more Chapins...

And got sidetracked on the Chappuis family.

I cannot pronounce that, and I'm having a heck of a time finding them.

Maybe that's a sign...
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-12-31 08:39 am

Sympathy Saturday: Eada B Parrish and Fred Chapin

These are the obituaries for my great-great grandparents, Eada Belle Parrish (1859-1944) and Fred Chapin (1858-1938).
Fred Chapin

Fred Chapin, 80, of 913 North Valmar street, died at a Little Rock hospital at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. He is survived by his wife, a daughter, Mrs. V C Balding of Little Rock; a sister, Mrs. Essie Finn of Altoona, Pa.; seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at the P H Ruebel & Co. chapel at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the charge of the Rev. Hay Watson Smith. Burial will be in Oakland cemetery. Pallbearers will be Joe D Williams, E V Balding, R Ellington Balding, and Marvin Balding.
Published on Friday, 30 Dec 1938, in the Arkansas Gazette
Mrs. Eada B Chapin
Octogenarian Dies.

Mrs. Eada B Chapin, aged 85, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. V C Balding of 217 Denison street, at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. She had been a resident of Little Rock for 50 years. Also surviving are seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at the Ruebel Funeral Home at 10 a.m. Monday by the Rev. Marion A Boggs. Burial will be in Oakland cemetery. Pallbearers will be W L Terry, L C Gring, J S Holtzman, W M Brandon, J D Williams and Lt. Eugene Balding.
Published on Sunday, 3 Dec 1944, in the Arkansas Gazette
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-09-10 10:35 am

Sympathy Saturday: Chapin

DIED, last night about 12 o'clock, MISS LOUISA CHAPIN, daughter of Nathan Chapin, aged 23 years, of consumption.
Source: [Pennsylvania]National Gazette, 29 May 1823, retrieved from on 10 Sep 2011]

Louisa was the daughter of Nathan Chapin and Elizabeth Castner.
Fatal Accident - Mr. Seth Chapin, of Chickopee Parish, Springfield (Mass.) was burnt to death on the evening of the 13th inst. He was endeavoring to extinguish a fire that had communicated to a brush fence, and it is supposed he got entangled with the brush, and was unable to extricate himself; his body was found about 9 o'clock very badly burned - and it is supposed he perished almost instantly. His age was about 73.
Source: [Pennsylvania]National Gazette, 26 Apr 1832, retrieved from on 10 Sep 2011]

Seth Chapin was the son of Seth Chapin and Hannah Sikes, and was married to Sibyl Lombard on 1 Jan 1800 in Springfield, Hampden Co., MA.
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-08-27 04:30 pm

Roselawn Cemetery, Little Rock, Pulaski Co., AR

So I went by Roselawn today as I was in town taking cemetery photos.

And I drove by this grave.


Now how could they not be related? But I didn't recognize the name.

I took the shot anyway.

Chester C and Mary Ruth Chapin

And came home and dug around.

Yep. Cousins.

I wonder if Chester and his eighth cousin, Hattie Belle, ever knew each other. They lived in Little Rock at the same time - for years.

And if they did, I wonder if they were ever able to puzzle through exactly how they were related?