Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: John Danchak

John Danchak
Born Dec 30, 1839
Died Apr 30 1925

Gravestone is in the Frenstat Cemetery in Burleson County, Texas next to that of his wife, Rosie (Adamek) Danchak.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Aunt Bell

Well... Almost Wordless Wednesday.  Do you remember the movie The Others with Nicole Kidman?  Where she finds the photo album and is shocked that all the pictures are of dead people?  Since Halloween and All Saints Day is almost upon us, I thought I'd share my only post mortem picture.

Cyntha Isabelle (Stroud) Lewis
2 Jan 1867 - 17 Jul 1938

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Rosalie (Adamek) Danchak


Zde odpociva  --  Here lies
Rosalie  --  Rosalie
Dancak  --  Danchak
roz. 1841  --  Born 1841
u Vsetina  --  near Vestin
na Morave  --  in Moravia
Zem  --  Died
4 ril 1903  --  4 Oct. 1903

(There are four more lines ~ mostly unreadable)

Gravestone is in the Frenstat Cemetery in Burleson County, Texas.  Thank you to Mike Hejl for the translation from Czechoslovakian to English.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

SNGF: Dangit! My Mother was Right!

Randy from Genea-musings, has given us our Saturday Night Genealogy Fun mission: to pick one of our four great-grandparents, create a descendants list for that great-grandparent, and tell how many decendants (living or dead) are in each generation.

Of course, I accepted this task. (^.~)

I chose my great-grandparents, Clifford Clyde McLaughlin (1882-1956) and Emily Phoebe (Clifton) McLaughlin (1885-1942).

Clifford and Emily had 15 children. All 15 are now deceased; three died before I was born or shortly thereafter. I did get to meet four of them: my Grandma Alice, Aunt Lily, Uncle Dick and Aunt Marge. My memories of Grandma Alice are a little fuzzy since she died when I was three, but Aunt Lily and Aunt Marge were often there for Thanksgiving at Uncle Dick’s. He gave us kids nick-names; my sister was Grace since she would trip over her own two feet, and I was Army. Army was short for Armenian Changeling because he said that with my dark hair and eyes I didn’t look like the rest of the family. (That depends on which members of the family you’re looking at, doesn’t it?)

Most of McLaughlin clan stayed in Marshall or Peoria counties in Illinois while my ancestors came to California, so I really don’t have an accurate number of grandchildren. There are 18 that I know of. Uncle Dick had two children whom I know and stay in sporadic contact with, and I know/knew all three of Grandma Alice’s kids. We visited Uncle Jerry a few times, and used to visit Aunt Donna a lot before she was murdered. I know of four great-grandchildren; my sister and I, and Aunt Donna’s two boys and to my knowledge my daughter is the only great-great-grandchild.

Wow, I really need to fill in some holes! I know my mother has more information on all the cousins, I guess it’s time to pick her brain. Hey Mom! Can I come over for lunch soon?

I need to find descendants of:
  • Ethel McLaughlin (1904-1964) and LaMont Andrews (1892-1942),
  • Raymond McLaughlin (1905-1982) and Esther Goudy Daniels (1905-1955),
  • Willard McLaughlin (1911-1992) and Madaline Wanders (1910-1994),
  • Trella McLaughlin (1917-2000) and Leslie Beck (1907-1990),
  • Emily McLaughlin (1919-2005) and John Ryan (1915-2007),
  • Mary McLaughlin (1921-1966) and Glenn Koch and
  • Cecil McLaughlin (1922-2003) and Josephine Bruno

Ethel and Emily each had six children that I am aware of, but I don’t know if their children had children. Dangit! My mother was right! I should have paid more attention when I was younger….

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Poetry of Love


I actually have a fair amount of treasures in my genealogical collection, but I thought I’d start with the love letters/poems that Vanny (Virginia Vandalia McCroskey) sent to my great-grandfather Alexander Judd Doran.  Only one is still in its envelope, and the postmark is torn, but it appears to have been sent in either JAN or JUN of 1920.

Alexander had written “by Vannie McCroskey” across the back of each one, so I thought she had actually written them. As part of writing this article, I did a quick Google search of the first lines, expecting to get no results. Boy, was I wrong! Apparently Vannie was sending lyrics and poems that were popular in the early 1900’s. The endnotes citing the source and author are mine.

This packet was in the envelope:

In The Gloaming1

In the Gloaming O my darling
When the lights are dim and low
And the quiet shadows falling
Softly come and, softly go;
When the winds are sobbing faintly
With a gentle unknown woe,
Will you think of me and love me
As you did once long ago?

In the Gloaming O my darling
Think not bitterly of me,
Tho’ I passed away in silence,
Left you lonely, Set you free.
For my heart was crushed with longing
What had been could never be,
It was best to leave you thus dear,
Best for you and best for me.

It was best to leave you thus dear
Best for you and best for me. 

I hold your trembling hand to-night and yet2
I may not now what wealth of bliss is mine,
My heart is such a curious design
Of trust and jealousy! Your eyes are wet –
So must I think they jeweled some regret, --
And lo, the loving arms that round me twine,
Cling only as the tendrils of a vine
Whose fruit has long been gathered: I forget,
While crimson clusters of your kisses press
Their wine out on my lips, my royal fare
Of rapture, since blind fancy needs must guess
They once poured out their sweetness otherwhere.
With fuller flavoring of happiness
Than e’en your broen sobs may now declare

Pity me not, twill make me pitiable3
Grieve not for me, twill set me grieving too.
But write to me hopeful,
In words pure, strong and true.

Sincerely yours with all the richest blessings heaven has in store for you,

XXXXX tenthousand times tenthousand

P.S. you did not say where to send your letters, you seem to stay near Walters, but I see you still head your letters Devol so there they go. If you want them sent else where say so.

This was the second batch:

Last Night When All Was Still4

Last night the night-in-gale woke me!
Last night when all was still!
It sang in the golden moon-light,
From out the woodland hill.
I opened my window so gently,
I looked on the dreaming dew,
And Oh! the bird my darling
Was sing-ing, sing-ing of you, of you!

I think of you in the daytime,
I dream of you by night,
I wake and would you were here, love,
And tears are blinding my sight.
I hear a low breath in the lime tree,
The wind is floating through;
And Oh! the night my darling
Is sigh-ing sigh-ing for you, for you!

Oh, think not I can forget you:
I could not tho’ I would;
I see you in all around me,
The stream, the night, the wood,
The flowers that slumber so gently,
The stars above the blue;
Oh! Heaven it-self my darling,
Is pray-ing pray-ing for you, for you!

O Heart of mine we shouldn’t5
          Worry so!
What we’ve missed of calm we couldn’t
          Have you know!
What we’ve met of stormy pain,
And of sorrows driving rain,
We can better meet again,
          If it blow!

We have erred in that dark hour
          We have known
When our tears fell with the shower,
          All alone!
Were not shine and shower blent
As the gracious Master meant?
Let us temper our content
          With his own.

For we now, -not every morrow
          Can be said;
So, forgetting all the sorrow
          We have had,
Let us fold away our fears
And put by our foolish tears
And through all the coming years
          Just be glad.

1In the Gloaming by Annie Fortescue Harrison & Meta Orred in 1877
2Dearth by James Whitcomb Riley
3These first two lines are from Pity Me Not. by Ethelwyn Wetherald, the rest seem to be by Vannie
4Last Night When All Was Still by Halfdan Kerulf
5Kissing the Rod by James Whitcomb Riley

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Baby on the Half-Shell


On the back is written
Ruth take care of Florence. Stroud granddaughter of Uncle John Stroud, brother of Elisha Stroud.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday


Alexander J.                                              Lillian F.
Apr. 18, 1873                                          June 29, 1882
Mar. 22, 1976                                         Mar. 6, 1942

Dec 17

Monday, October 12, 2009

Madness Monday: the Search for Cora Belle House

Cora’s not mad, but she’s certainly driving me crazy!

Using the premise of starting with what you know and working backwards, here’s what I know:
  • She was born July 2, 1881
  • She married John William Prewett
  • She had thirteen children
  • She died January 21, 1942 in Los Angeles, CA
  • She was buried in Lightning Ridge, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma
Where was she born? According to various sources she was born in either Arkansas or Oklahoma. Since Oklahoma wasn’t a state in 1881 I’m leaning toward Arkansas. It would be nice to at least narrow it down to a particular county….

When & Where did she get married? According to a “cousin’s” family tree, she & John got married on November 12, 1896 in Red River County, Texas. But he has no verification. I haven’t been able to find any either. Don’t even get me started on how many spelling variations there are for Prewett, Prewitt, Pruitt, Prouette, etc.

Who the heck are her parents? I was really hoping to have this one answered by now! Back in May I ordered a copy of Cora’s death certificate. It arrived a few days ago. Her father is Frank M. House (birthplace unknown) which goes along with what my husband’s sister thinks she remembers. She thinks his name was Francis Marion, which is a very common name in her George line, so she wasn’t sure. It’s nice to know she may be right! Her mother’s name and birthplace are both unknown. :(

Most of the trees online list her parents as Francis Marion House and Rhoda Elizabeth Turner. They believe this because a 1900 Federal Census for Sulphur, Sebastian, Arkansas shows a Cora B House born in 1881 in Arkansas as the daughter of Francis M and Rhodil House. I have a problem with this because a 1900 Federal Census for Township 1, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory has Cora Prewitt with her husband John W Prewett and first child, Harvey O. How can she be both people?

How I long for a copy of the 1890 Federal Census, it would answer so many questions!

Cora & John Prewett with Leah & Ivan Clayton

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Alexander Judd Doran & Lillian Francis Stroud

Lillian Francis Stroud & Alexander Judd Doran in their wedding clothes

Since I posted the History of Alexander Judd Doran last time, I thought I’d tell you a little something about him. Does that sound ok to you? Assuming, of course, that there ever is a “you” to read this. :)
Alexander Judd Doran was born April 18, 1873 in Finley, Christian County, Missouri to Hamilton Green Doran and Charlotte Belinda McCroskey. He had two sisters (Emma Amner and Minnie Ellen) and six brothers (Francis Edwin, Matthew Duff, William James, Junius Harry, Allen Hamilton and Leonard Paul).

If you read his History, you know he wandered all over Missouri, Kansas, and the Indian Territory to find work. He even wandered as far as Nebraska. Then in 1902 he went to

Oklahoma with Cousin Charley McCroskey where he went to homestead. Went to Valley View Tex in fall to Uncle Will McCroskeys
1902 stayed there one year about Dec 10           29
then to Thayer Kan was married Dec 17 1903    30
I find that passage to be incredibly interesting.

According to family legend, aka my mother, Alexander Judd was in love with Vanny McCroskey. And she loved him. He even asked her to marry him. But she said no, because they were cousins. “Uncle Will McCroskey” was Vanny’s father. So it appears that in the fall of 1902 he went to Valley View and spent a year with the McCroskey’s before going to Kansas to marry my great-grandmother.

On December 17, 1903 he married Lillian Francis Stroud, daughter of Elisha and Ruth (Rawlings) Stroud. They had four children: Ethel (104 and still feisty!), Chester Joseph (1906-1972), Harry Glenn (1910-2002) and Vivian Vannie (1913-1996).

They moved to Cotton County, Oklahoma in September of 1907 to a homestead Southwest of Walters where the family remained until 1943. To me, he sounds incredibly lonely when he wrote:

The children all married and gone Lillian died March 6 1942 and was buried in IOOF Cemetery one mile west of Walters. On the north side. I am alone on the Farm this is may 13th 1943.
Twenty-eight days later, on June 10, 1943 he finally got to marry his first love, Virginia Vandalia McCroskey.

Vanny McCroskey (1875-1963) circa 1884

Alexander Judd Doran passed away on March 22, 1976 just 24 days from his 103rd birthday.

Friday, October 9, 2009

History of Alexander Judd Doran

My great-grandfather, Alexander Judd Doran, was a genealogist. He loved to write the family history -- again and again and on any scap of paper he could find.  This transcription, The History of Alexander Judd Doran, was written in a small datebook. The original is in the possession of my mother.

I was Born April 18, 1873 in a log house 8 or 10 miles South and just about ½ East of Springfield Missouri. I can recolect the old home before the Frisco RR come along between it and in the spring about 1880. I was about 7 yrs old then. my mother died in Feb. 1883 I was 9 years old. mother died with typhoid pneumonia. She was buried 2 ½ miles north east of the old house in the Doran Cemetery on my Great Grandfathers place. P.S. Father was buried there Feb 13 – 1905. I was raised to be grown on the old farm and in neighborhood [the bottom corners appear to have been nibbled or torn.]

We built a new house when I was 11 years old.
1891 I worked for Doug Chapman and others. Jon A Gibson mel davis Henry Davis 18
1892 worked for John A Gibson and others 19
1893 worked for John M Keltner 20
1894 worked for Frank Keltner 21
1895 stayed at home and made a crop on Grandpa Dorans place & worked the rest of the time at home 22
1896 made a crop with a great uncle John Doran 4 mi n-w of Springfield mo. 23
1897 made a crop with Dee Doran on Jenkins farm 2 mi n of ho
1898 went to St. Louis mo then back to Springfield then to Kansas City mo then to Passons Kansas then to Vimta Indian Ter. Then back to Springfield 25
1899 went to K.C mo, St Joe mo then to Marysville Kan Wymore Nebraska back to St Joe mo. Back to Wymore neb Marysville and Randolph Kan then to Wichita Kan then to Sedgwick then back to Springfield 26
1900 went to Wichita Kan worked for sisters of Chanty one year 27
1901 went to Joplin mo then to walnut Kan worked with a Santafe Bridge and went home in fall and sowed crop of wheat on land that I had bough of the Grandfather Dorans estate 28
1902 went to htobast Oklahoma with Cousin Charley McCroskey where he went to homestead. Went to Valley View Tex in fall to Uncle Will McCroskeys
1902 stayed there one year about Dec 10 29
then to Thayer Kan was married Dec 17 1903 30
1904 stayed at Thayer Kan 31
1905 at Thayer until fall went to Cassidy Mo 32
1906 was at Cassidy 34
went 1907 at Cassidy until sep 1st then moved to Walters Okla where I moved to a homestead 33 3 S 9 west of Walters. Land no NE 17-312 I still own this land 1930 58
1943 The children all married and gone Lillian died March 6 1942 and was buried in IOOF Cemetery one mile west of walters. On the north side. I am alone on the Farm this is may 13th 1943.
Sold the homestead June 1943 bought a place in Comanche 12 mi South of Lawhan sold it 1945 moved to two miles west one south of temple Okla moved to Walter Okla fall of 1948 and I am still here Sept 3 1962