Blogging Prompts, Census, Census Sunday, Military, Montgomery, Montgomery Line, Research

Census Sunday – Grandpa in 1920

Just in time for Memorial Day, here is Grandpa Lawrence Montgomery‘s 1920 census record. I still haven’t found him (or his father) in 1910, so this is the first record where he appears. In that year he was stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. His age is listed as 21, which is consistent with the (incorrect) birthdate Grandpa gave when enlisting in 1917. Grandpa was really only 18 in January 1920. Nebraska is listed as the birthplace of Grandpa (which is correct), as well as his parents (which is incorrect). His occupation is “soldier.” Grandpa’s military records give a little more information on his military service, though Grandpa also told some (as yet unsubstantiated) colorful stories about his experiences:

  • Being stationed in Hawaii
  • Being sent to climb up a pole to cut down an effigy of Kaiser Wilhelm
  • While operating the base movie projector (which his records confirm he did do), hollering at someone who came in to the projector room to put out their cigar, only to have someone tell him he had just yelled at General Pershing

Whatever Grandpa’s role, I’m grateful for his service.

Blogging Prompts, Cemeteries, Montgomery Line, Research, Sweeney, Tombstone Tuesday

Tombstone Tuesday – More Sweeneys with Fun Names

     

Jordan Sweeney, first cousin six times removed, was born 16 November 1806 in Casey County, Kentucky.  The grandson of Moses Sweeney, his parents were Charles Welby Sweeney and Frances Shackleford. His wife, whom he married 20 September 1829 in Casey County, had one of the best names ever:  Permelia Pigg.  Permelia was born about 1810, also in Casey County.

The Baby Name Wizard site indicates that Permelia was the name originally chosen for Melanie Wilkes in Gone with the Wind, but that it has never ranked in the top 1000 baby names.  Shocking.

Jordan and Permelia had five children, all given much more normal names than their mother: Mary A., Charles Willis, Frances, Elizabeth Ellen, and Amanda H. Jordan died 2 August 1845, and Permelia about 1845.  Both are buried in the Sweeney/Drake Family Cemetery in Casey County.

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Blogging Prompts, Montgomery, Montgomery Line, Sympathy Saturday

Sympathy Saturday – Manhattan (the Kansas One)

 

My mom and I attended the National Genealogical Society‘s annual conference last week.  I’d never been before – what a great experience! I’m now determined to bring some semblance of organization to not only my genealogy files and records, but also to my genealogical searches. So now my genealogy tasks are threefold:

  1. Continue the never-ending census project (tracing all families in the “easy” censuses, from 1850-1940)
  2. Share my various findings through this blog
  3. Select one mystery or problem, and focus on trying to solve that in a structured and organized way

First mystery? Trying to trace the elusive Montgomery family’s origins in this country (or at least back another generation from William Montgomery, my 3G-grandfather, born 1802).

With this aim in mind I’ve been focusing more on those Montgomery connections, so Joseph (William’s son and my 3G-uncle) seems a logical topic for today’s post. Joseph S. Montgomery was born in August 1847 in Ohio, son of William and Mary Ann (Extell) Montgomery. He was the eighth of thirteen children and on New Year’s Eve in 1874, he married Sarah Ann Achor.  Joseph, Sarah, and their first child, Viola, then five years old, appear in the 1880 census, enumerated in Clarke, Clinton County, Ohio.

By 1900 the family had moved to Liberty Township, Geary County, Kansas.  Viola is no longer in the household, but two new children are listed – J.W., a son born in February 1882 in Ohio; and Vellah, a daughter born in August 1886 in Kansas.  In 1910 and 1920, J.W. is not with the family, but Joseph, Sarah, and Vellah continue to live in the same household. Sarah died in 1923; by 1940 Vellah, unmarried, is listed as head of the household in Lawrence, with Joseph enumerated as her 92-year-old father.  He would live six more years, dying in 1946 at nearly 99 years of age.  Vellah lived to be 87, dying in April 1974.  Joseph, Sarah, and Vellah are all buried together in Sunset Cemetery in Manhattan, Kansas.

Blogging Prompts, Cemeteries, Cory, Montgomery Line, Research, Wednesday's Child

Wednesday’s Child – Baby Meneley

 

Josephine Corey Williams, my 5th cousin twice removed, was born in San Antonio, Texas, 3 December 1882. Her parents were Charlton Hines and Emma S. (Cory) Williams.  My 6G-grandparents and Josephine’s 4G-grandparents were Joseph and Mary (Meeker) Cory, of the Cory family from Westfield, New Jersey.

When she was not quite fifteen, Josephine married Sion William Meneley in Gonzales, Texas.  Sion was 24. A little over a year later, their first child, Mattie Emma Meneley, was born, to be followed by eleven more children. On Mattie’s 27th’s birthday, Sion and Josephine’s last child was born and died. The unnamed Meneley son was buried in the Gonzales City Cemetery in Gonzales, Texas. Josephine was then 45 but would outlive her son by only three months. Josephine died 6 June 1926 and is also buried in Gonzales. Josephine’s death certificate lists her cause of death as “polegra.”  This appears to be a misspelling of “pellagra,” a disease resulting from niacin deficiency. According to a medical paper written in 1917, there was a possible connection between pregnancy/childbirth and pellagra.

By 1930 Sion had remarried; he and his second wife Lena appear in that year’s census along with five of his children and one of hers. On 27 January 1952 Sion died; he was buried alongside his first wife.

Amanuensis Monday, Blogging Prompts, Montgomery Line, Roberg, Wilson

Amanuensis Monday – Poor Harold Bridgman

Two months before my father was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, his grandmother, Sophie (Roberg) Wilson wrote to Grandma (Blanche) Montgomery from Winner, South Dakota, some 275 miles away. She also forwarded on a letter from another daughter, Maude Lucille, then 18 years old. Both Sophie and Maud express their concerns about the ongoing war, employment and financial difficulties, and, on a lighter note, basketball.

Postmarked February 11, 1942, Winner, South Dakota; Addressed Mrs. L. C. Montgomery, Box 675, Scottsbluff, Nebr; Return address Mrs. Wilson, Winner, S.D.

2-10-1942 Winner, S.D. Lomero [?] St.

Dear Blanche & rest must write a few words

I was so glad to hear from you suppose you got my letter about the same time as I got yours. I’m so sorry that Slim hasen’t got steady work. I know how hard it is to get long & I haven’t lost any time. And I’m always broke from one time to the next check course have Helped Maude quite a little. But must do what I can because can’t leave it all to June: I’m so sorry. I guess Clarence is gone to Rapid City for Examination hope he won’t half to go right away. Wish he would have had time to come down—haven’t saw him since Christmas hope he is feeling better all thise Poor boys that has to go to war—this war is Terrible. We are sure that Hareld Brigeman is Killed. Grandma has not herd since Wake Iland was attacked Oh its so Sad. I will send the last letter Maude wrote. Her letters are so much easier to understand. And I must answer Pearls letter its so long since I got her letter. Poor Pearl won’t be long until she will be going to the Hospetil—if I could only be with you girls for a few days when you need me the most—I would be so glad— but know it’s impossible but sure wish you could go to the Hospital—wouldn’t the county help on the Docter bill. The county sure helps People up here—Pay Docter bills: Pearl will go to the Hospital. Percy Mother will half to keep the children so that is not so Easy Eather. You said you diden’t see how Florence could be confermed. Oh I sure will do all I can for Florence. I have a cream collard dress that could be made over for her. I will see Mrs. Iver Week You send her size and tell me what coller would be allright if it was died [?] and what coller think Mrs. Week will be Kind and do that don’t suppose there would be any boudy down there that would make it over for Florence. I just love to see Florence have chance now because when she geats In to high school it’s much harder. In school Takes all the time for studying will you leat me know what you think about the dress course I relize it takes more than just the dress but will do all I can I sure love to it will be so earley that I don’t amigene they will have white dresses. Well dearest folks hope you can read this scribbling. Must close and get this up to the Post office. Would like to write a lot more but ime won’t permit so best love and good wishes to all and God Bless and Keep you well until we meat again Good by from Mother Lester and Grandma

Write when you find time

[enclosed in same envelope:]

[written at top:] I’m sending Maude’s letter I know you like to read it so by by

Sioux Falls, S.D. Feb. 3, 1942

Dear Mother & all,

Rec’d your letter & money order last nite. Also a letter from Irene and $1, and a letter from Clarence. He was very sorry that he couldn’t help me out, but has to go to Rapid City to be examined the 16th. I’ll send his letter with this, I answered him right back so he would get it. I told him that was O.K. as I knew he had a hard time of it and to be sure and go down and see you before he had to leave. I’ll pay part of what you sent me on my rent but I’ll have to use that dollar Irene sent me for groceries and I thought perhaps I’d better not give her all of that as I’ll need groceries again next week. Don’t worry tho it will come out somehow. Clarence was only getting $25 a month and had to buy license and also that permit to drive which was $2. But if he has to go to the Army I think he’s foolish if he doesn’t sell that car. I sure hope he gets a good location if he has to go. I haven’t heard from Lawrence for over 2 wks. He must be in New Jersey yet tho as he hasn’t sent me his radio and as soon as they go over he’s going to send it to me. I sure wish he’d write. They tell them when they can write now. It’s sure terrible about Harold Bridgman. I’m afraid they torture the boys and starve them to death. A family down here in Sioux Falls got a message from Wake Island, “You may be interested to know your son was taken prisoner at Wake Island.” Wouldn’t that be terrible to get that message and not be able to do anything about it.

It’s about 2:30 and I would be in school today but I guess I’ve got the flu. I’ve such a bad cold and it affects my eyes and neck. It’s so hard to get rid of a cold down here. I feel sort of dizzy when I get up. Mrs. Mellenbrendt called up Roberts & told him I was sick in bed, she also invited me down to dinner and gave me some cough medicine & Listerine. I think I’ll be able to go to school tomorrow so don’t worry, everyone seems to be having bad colds. Lorraine Hight from White River is going to Nettleton College down here she called up the Beauty School and wanted to talk to me so they had her call here. She is coming down at 4:30 to see me. I ran into her one day in Kusge’s [?] store.

I fixed Mrs. Small’s daughter’s hair and her sisters in-law’s hair also awhile back & they wrote up to Witten & told Pearl I did a very nice job. Pearl, I guess told the Long girls, as Romane wrote it to Dorothy McManigal. I fixed Gweny’s [?] hair last Sun. nite.

I sure wish I could see Clarence before he has to leave. They’re really drafting the boys fast around here.

Gee, it’s hot up here in this room but I’ve just got to keep covered up.

Hasn’t the weather been nice. We haven’t had such a bad winter yet but it still takes plenty of fuel tho.

Tell Lester I guess Winner’s B.B. team isn’t doing quite so bad now, I saw in the Argus-Leader where they beat Gregory.

I wonder what the Witten B.B. team is this year.

Excuse the writing I can’t do very good when I’m laying donw.

Write when you can Mother & thanks so much.

Lots of Love

Maude

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Amanuensis Monday, Blogging Prompts, Letters, Montgomery Line, Research, Roberg, Wilson

Amanuensis Monday – “So I’m Getting Old Now….”

Four years after Pearl Harbor, Martha (Roberg) Anderson mailed a birthday card to her cousin, my grandmother, Blanche (Wilson) Montgomery. Grandma would turn 37 ten days later.

[Postmarked Newman Grove, Nebraska, December 7, 1945; Addressed Mrs. Lawrence Montgomery, Marsing, Idaho. R.#1; 3c postage; birthday card; message written on back]

Dear Blanche. We all wish you a very Happy Birthday. How old are you now? I am 38 years old now. So I’m getting old now. Alfred is 40 years old. Roy is 40. I suppose your kiddies are looking for-ward to Xmas and Santa Claus. My kids are busy planning too. I been busy crocheting for Malinda. She isn’t a bit well. I suppose you heard about Olaf. I suppose she has wrote and told you. All her troubles. Poor Malinda. I sure feel sorry for her. Hope these few lines find you in the best of health. Write soon.

Your cousin
Martha

Martha Ingrid Roberg was born 31 May 1907 in Nebraska, the oldest daughter of Severin and Inga (Nelson) Roberg. One of ten children, she married Roy Anderson on 21 October 1925 and had two children of her own. One of Martha’s brothers was named Olaf, but I’m not sure if this cryptic reference is to him or not, as I can’t seem to identify Malinda or the troubles she was undergoing. Martha died 9 November 1996 and is buried in Newman Grove, Nebraska.

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Biographies, Blogging Prompts, Death Certificates, Montgomery Line, Research, Sweeney, Sympathy Saturday, Vital Statistics

Sympathy Saturday – Childbed Fever…Or Not

It’s interesting how setting out to write a simple blog post can result in confusion and/or changes to the information I already  have on file. I searched my family tree data for “childbirth” for today’s post; after all, what could be more suitable for Sympathy Saturday than a death in childbirth? However, after latching on to Emily Jane Sweeney Fogle, my second cousin 5 times removed, it appears that though sympathy is called for – it cannot be targeted at death in childbirth.

Emily was born in 1821 in Liberty, Casey County, Kentucky, the daughter of Joel and Obedience (Edwards) Sweeney and great-granddaughter of Moses Sweeney. The second of eight children, she married William McDowell Fogle on 17 February 1841 in Casey County. Emily died, still in Liberty, Kentucky, on 14 October 1852. This much does match the information I already had on file from the Descendants of Moses Sweeney CD compiled by Harvey J. Sweeney. From there, though, a few facts begin to differ.

The Sweeney compilation indicates that Emily Jane was born 4 January 1821 and probably died in childbirth, and lists a total of six children of the couple, including an unnamed daughter who was born and died in Liberty in October 1852. The 1896 Kentucky Biographical Dictionary, as well as the image of Emily’s grave in Liberty’s Napier Cemetery from the Find-a-Grave website, however, however, indicates a birthdate of 4 June 1821. The story of the infant who died also appears to have come originally from the Kentucky Biographical Dictionary, which indicates Emily “was the mother of six children: Marietta, Isabelle, Sarah Frances, Jesse Edwin, William McDowell, and a daughter who died in infancy, a few days preceding the death of its mother.”

However, Ancestry.com has now digitized Kentucky Death Records from 1852-1953 (which incidentally also provided the catalyst for my investigation into the murder of Emily’s second cousin three times removed). Here we find Emily’s death listed, but the cause of death appears not as “childbed fever” (unlike two others on the same page) but as asthmaI thought perhaps somehow this was still a complication from childbirth, but the Kentucky Death Records don’t indicate any other Fogle child who was born around October 1852 and died then or later. So it seems possible the Biographical Dictionary, written some forty years later, may have provided erroneous information. Two other interesting points are revealed by the Kentucky Death Records source – Emily’s occupation (after much scrutiny) appears to be listed as “Innstress,” and the Clerk of Casey County, whose name appears on the death notices, was none other than Emily’s own father, Joel Sweeney.

Blogging Prompts, Montgomery Line, Sweeney, Thriller Thursday, Waters

Thriller Thursday – Death by Musket

Any family history will have its share of tragedies. One of ours was that of Polly Waters, eldest child of Joseph and Celah (Sweeney) Waters, my 5G-grandparents. Polly was born 28 August 1799 in Lincoln County, Kentucky; thirteen or fourteen more children would follow later. I have limited information on William Waters, so it’s possible he may be the same individual as the youngest, Charles W., born 25 November 1825.

Sometime between 1803 and 1812 the family moved from Lincoln to Casey County; it was there my 4G-grandmother, Cassandra, was born in January 1814. She would never know her eldest sister, however. Sources for the date differ, but according to both the Waters GenCircles database and the research of Jay Sweeney, on either 26 September 1805 or 20 September 1808, young Polly was shot and killed when her mother attempted to start a fire using a musket, and the weapon misfired. Was this a common means of starting fires? My quick Google search didn’t help answer this question, so I’ll need to do further research. Regardless, one can only imagine Cassandra’s horror and grief as well as that of the rest of the family. Polly, aged either six or nine, was buried somewhere in Kentucky. Shortly after the birth of the last Waters child, the family moved to Morgan County, Illinois. There, in Pisgah, Joseph and Celah would eventually be buried, many miles from their first lost child.

Blogging Prompts, Immigration, Lien, Montgomery Line, Research, Roberg, Wordless Wednesday

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – The S.S. Angelo

S. S. Angelo

The S.S. Angelo, built in 1874, carried my great-great-grandmother, Agnette, and her son Emil from Norway to America four years later.  Later that year Agnette would marry my great-great-grandfather, Anders Roberg.

Sophie, Anders, Severin, Emil, Agnette, and Sena
Blogging Prompts, Davis, Gifford, Montgomery, Montgomery Line, Thriller Thursday, Wilson

Thriller Thursday – Winston Churchill

There is always a thrill in discovering a famous relative. In this case, the relative in question is Winston Churchill – can’t you see the eerie resemblance?! Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, born November 30, 1874 at Blenheim Palace, was my half eighth cousin three times removed. I even visited Blenheim in 1994 while on a semester abroad program during my junior year at Sewanee (The University of the South). This was long before I discovered my familial connection to the Prime Minister through his American mother, Jeanette (Jennie) Jerome. Jeanette’s 6G-grandparents were William Gifford and Elizabeth Grant. William and his wife Patience Russell were my 10G-grandparents (William – Hananiah – William – Joshua – Ann – Joseph Davis – Cornelius – John – Lucinda Blanche – Carl Ozro Wilson – Blanche – Theodore Montgomery – me). Interestingly this means that Winston Churchill was also 6th cousin twice removed to another of my famous relatives: Lizzie Borden.

Blenheim Palace