dee_burris: (Default)
2012-06-10 07:21 pm
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Mystery Monday: My Burrises continue to surprise...

So I'm nattering around at FamilySearch, looking at marriage records.

And run across Elbert...

His second marriage.

Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957
name: Elbert Burris
event: Marriage
event date: 09 Mar 1931
event place: , Pope, Arkansas, United States
age: 43
estimated birth year: 1888
residence: Russellville, Pope, Arkansas
spouse: Ethel Harrison
spouse's age: 29
spouse's estimated birth year: 1902
spouse's residence: Russellville, Pope, Arkansas
marriage license date: 09 Mar 1931
page: 257
film number: 2132055
digital folder number: 004331571
image number: 00072
But wait.

Elbert and Ethel were already married, weren't they? I mean, she's living with him as his wife in the 1930 census...

1930 Census
Name: Elbert Burris
Home in 1930: Illinois, Pope, Arkansas
Age: 43
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1887
Birthplace: Arkansas
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Ethel
Race: White
Household Members:
Name Age
Elbert Burris 43
Ethel Burris 28
Bernice Burris 15
Loraine Burris 12
Bobbye J Burris 6
Okay Dad and favorite aunt...

What do you guys know about that one?
dee_burris: (Default)
2012-01-22 02:58 pm

Mystery Monday: John Wesley S Herrington and Maggie Kendrick

With another nod to my genealogy induced ADD, I'll bring you a double mystery.

One can probably be solved, and the other, most likely not.
I got a contact last week from a cousin several times removed who is researching our Herringtons. He and I share a great-grandfather, Jasper Monroe Herrington, but we are descended from different wives.

True to form after that series of emails, I leapt away from research on my elusive Duncans, and jumped right back on our Herringtons. (My Duncans, however, are brick wall lightweights when compared to my great-great grandmother Mary C Dunn.)
I think my cousin and I are the only ones researching our Herringtons (the ones in Arkansas who are descended from Madison Monroe Herrington) in a serious way, because there are *major* omissions and inaccuracies in a whole bunch of Ancestry family trees on them.

Like when and where did John Wesley S Herrington (son of Madison Monroe and Julia Ann Holt) die? A bunch of folks say in April 1967 in Camden, Benton Co., TN.

But that SSDI record does not convince me. Because I think John W S Herrington died in Hot Spring Co., AR, sometime between the 1910 census and the remarriage of his widow, Margaret Emaline "Maggie" Kendrick on 25 Apr 1912.

I think there is a grave, badly maintained, or not even marked, somewhere in Hot Spring County for him.

That mystery can probably be solved.

But then, there's Maggie.
John W S Herrington and Maggie Kendrick married on 21 May 1899 in Hot Spring County. He was 20 years old and she was 16. She was the daughter of James J Kendrick and Elizabeth Stanley.

By the 1910 census - taken in Hot Spring County - they had four children. That census record showed that mercifully, all the children born to Maggie Kendrick were still alive. Their youngest daughter, Opal Mae, was four months old at the time of the census.

Mrs. Maggie Herrington married Sandford Ramey Bashaw on 25 Apr 1912 in Hot Spring County. In the 1920 census in Hot Spring County, Opal Mae's surname - spelled Herington on the form - was crossed out and she had become a Bashaw.

She had four younger siblings in that census, including her four month old half-brother, Oscar Kendrick Bashaw.

I moved on to 1930 - and found Sandford Bashaw with three of his four children in Holtville, Imperial Co., CA, working on a fruit farm.

And no Maggie in sight.

The form said Sandford was married, but there was no wife in his home at the time of the census.

And I couldn't find Maggie Bashaw that year to save my life. So I went back to marriage records.

Mrs. Maggie Bashaw married James W Bledsoe on Christmas Eve in 1923, in Saline County, AR. Her youngest child, Oscar, was four years old.

At the 1930 census, Oscar was 10 and living with his dad in California. His mother was living in Benton, AR, making crates at a factory.

I wondered how Maggie bore it - being separated from all of her children. Two of her first four children - James Monroe and Opal Mae Herrington, lived to be adults. I can't find any death information about the middle Herrington children, Eliot and Gillis, who were born in 1904 and 1907, respectively.

All four of Maggie's children by Sandford Bashaw died in California between 1962 and 1992. Their Social Security numbers were issued to them by the State of California, before 1951. That sounds to me as if there was a tear in the family fabric that went beyond the divorce between Maggie and Sandford Bashaw.

Maggie Kendrick Herrington Bashaw Bledsoe died on 19 May 1966, and is buried with her final husband in Old Rosemont Cemetery in Benton, Saline Co., AR.
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-09-18 01:49 pm

Mystery Monday: Another Unlabeled Photograph from the Williams' family album

Posted for the Monday meme on a rainy Sunday that just cries out for a scanfest...
In the interest of complete honesty and full disclosure, I probably shouldn't say unlabeled.

Because when I picked this one up to scan and flipped it over, there was pencil writing on the back.

~Eureka~ She labeled one!


Yep, she wrote on the back of it...for sure.

This is all of the class. Aren't they cute?
Yes, Granny, they are very cute.


Adorable, in fact.

Anyone feel free to give me another superlative for photos of kids...seriously, jump right in.

But which one or ones of those precious lasses is *ours*? And what was her name?

My guess is one or both of the ones with the big honking hair bows.

Williamses seemed to go in for big honking hair bows and splashy bow ties...
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-09-11 01:43 pm

Mystery Monday: Teddy Roosevelt?

And so I ask - dear Great Grandma Maxie...

Why is Teddy Roosevelt in the Williams' family photo album?


Dang, I wish that woman would come to hang out with me for one hour.

I'd put her through her paces...
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-08-21 07:39 pm

Mystery Monday: Who was David Childress Jordon?

I know who he was.

He was my brother-in-law's maternal great grandfather.

And that's it. That's what anyone knows.

He married Mary Frances Edmonson, daughter of Jonas Smith Edmonson and Phoebe Harris.

They probably got married in Pulaski County, AR - most likely Little Rock, since that's where the Edmonsons had been living for a while - around 1888.

I can't find a marriage record.

David and Mary Frances had one daughter, Helen Phoebe Jordon, who was born in Little Rock on 18 Aug 1889.

The family story is that David messed around on Mary Frances, and her father forbade him to return to the family home.

So he didn't.

The 1900 census says Mary Frances was a widow. The family said that was the cover story for an embarassing failed marriage.

But after the 1889 Arkansas Press Little Rock City Directory, I can't find David Childress Jordon - any where. In 1889, he was working as a clerk for the Bank of Little Rock.


He was there in the 1887 Gazette City Directory for Little Rock.


And then, he was gone...

I've looked for military records, remarriages, and everything I can think of...I use 1860 as his date of birth, because 1861 was when Mary Frances was born. But I don't know if that's right, or even close.

I just hate it when they go ~poof~
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-01-17 01:00 pm
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Mystery Monday solved...

A phone call to Roselawn Memorial Park was all it took to find out if Josiah Hazen Shinn was really buried there.

He is. His remains were disinterred from Oakland Cemetery in Russellville, and reinterred at Roselawn on 24 Oct 1931, just a few months before Minnie died.

Which makes me wonder if she had a lingering illness and wanted his remains removed and reburied before she died...

But who is the little girl?

And where is the original stone?

One answer always leads to another question (or 12), doesn't it?
dee_burris: (Default)
2011-01-16 01:49 pm

Mystery Monday: Things that make you go hmmm...

Can't reconcile these.

One has to be a cenotaph.

Josiah Hazen Shinn is buried beside his wife, Mildred Carleton Williams Shinn, in Roselawn Memorial Park in Little Rock, Pulaski County, AR.

Isn't he?

I mean, I photographed their graves. Personally.

It wasn't an hallucination.

I can prove it.

The stone for the family plot...

Josiah's marker, at the foot of his grave...

Minnie's marker, at the foot of her grave...

So what is this?


It looks like a gravestone for Josiah Hazen Shinn to me.

In another cemetery.

A devoted husband and loving father. He has entered into the fullness of life. He lived a peaceful, constructive and an honorable life and such a life smiles at death. He lived no inglorious life and came to a peaceful and glorious death. He was the bough broken under the load of ripened fruit and such as he have passed into God's acre, the christian's home.

And the earth is mounded up behind the stone. There's a footstone there. Like a fairly recent grave.

Next to a retaining wall very similar to the one that surrounds the (former) Williams family plot in Oakland Cemetery, Russellville, AR. Where Katharine Leah Williams is buried. She was Minnie's niece.

And who is that little girl bearing flowers...
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-11-15 07:06 am

Mystery Monday: Two photos

The Williams family photo album is falling apart now. It was given to my great-grandparents, Jo Desha and Maxie Leah (Meek) Williams for Christmas in 1885, probably as an engagement present prior to their marriage on 11 Feb 1886.

This one fell out.

bet 1871 and 1878

I have no idea who she is. She could have been one of Maxie's friends, since I have found other photos of Maxie's friends in the album.

It was taken between 1871 and 1878, according to my research on the photographer.

Then, there is the daguerreotype - equally mysterious.

Who knows which Williams

I've taken it apart one time to get all the information I could about it.

In the interest of historic accuracy, I really think this is an ambrotype, placed in a daguerreotype case made by Litchfield, Parsons and Co. The tag inside the back of the piece says the case is a Union case, with embracing riveted hinge, patented by LP&C on October 14, 1856 and April 21, 1857. By the late 1860s, the ambrotype was replaced by the tintype.

So I have a date range for my heirloom photograph of roughly 1856 through 1865.

And no clue as to the identity of my ancestresses.
dee_burris: (Default)
2010-11-08 02:11 pm

Mystery Monday: Happy Heim

One of my uncles came from a large Catholic family of German descent. His grandparents and great grandparents settled in Shoal Creek, Arkansas in a German Catholic "colony" promoted by the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad to increase settlements in western Arkansas. In addition to the Benedictine Convent a Benedictine monastery was located in Subiaco.

As I began researching Uncle Tommy's German roots, he asked me more than once if I could find out what happened to Happy Heim, who was adopted by Uncle Tommy's maternal grandparents, and who left Logan County as a very young man for Chicago. Aside from one visit Happy made as an adult, Uncle Tommy did not know what happened to him.

I knew Happy had been a young rider on an orphan train. Between 1854 and 1929, an estimated 200,000 or more homeless and orphaned children were sent west from eastern cities, accompanied by agents. The purpose was to find families that would take in children in a "free-home-placing-out" program instituted by the Children's Aid Society of New York City, NY. The children were sent in groups of twenty-five to 100 on trains, making stops along the way where they might be chosen by some family who wanted a child or needed extra help.

The Sisters of Charity from the New York Foundling Hospital indentured Catholic children and arranged placements for them; several hundred arrived in Arkansas under the guidance of priests in the state. These children were indentured only to Catholic families. Arrangements were made in advance through correspondence among various priests (mostly at Subiaco Abbey), their parishioners, and the Sisters of Charity. Families could request a particular type of child; skin, hair, and eye color; and the sex of the child. Source: Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture

George Kasper Nelson was born on 13 Oct 1901 in New York City, NY and placed in the New York Foundling Hospital as an infant. On 27 Jan 1904, he was placed by the New York Foundling Hospital with the family of George Michal and Elizabeth (Raible) Heim, and rode to Arkansas on an Orphan Train. While living with his adoptive family, George was known as "Happy" Heim.

I lucked out on a visit to the Arkansas History Commission, where I found several of the books published by the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America, Inc. (OTHSAA), originally founded in Springdale, AR.

In the pages of one of the books that transcribed interviews with Orphan Train riders, I found that as a young adult, George moved to Chicago, where he owned and operated 7 taverns and speakeasies during Prohibition in the Chicago area. Among his patrons were Al Capone, Baby Face Nelson, and Clark Gable.

George Kasper Nelson, behind the bar

After selling his taverns, George relocated to Illinois, and from there, moved to Indiana with a very special family. When that family moved to Texas in 1976, George chose to stay in Indiana. He was using his birth surname of Nelson.

The article about George said that he had gotten his records from the New York Foundling Hospital, but had lost them in a fire, which severely damaged his home and injured him.

George Kasper Nelson died on 8 May 1988 in New Washington, Clark Co., IN, and was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

I was finally able to answer Uncle Tommy's questions about what happened to Happy Heim, just a few months before Tommy died on 19 Aug 2010.

This one is for you, Uncle Tommy. See you on the other side.