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, Census, Census Sunday, Montgomery Line, Research, Walker

Census Sunday – George and Sarah Walker

In 1850, my 3G-grandparents, George and Sarah Walker, were living in Batavia, Ohio and were enumerated there with six children:

383 383 George Walker 68 M[ale] Farmer Maryland
Sarah ” 57 F[emale] Kentucky x [can’t read/write]
Hiram ” 21 M Farmer Ohio
Marcus ” 20 M Farmer “
Ruth ” 18 F “
Mary ” 16 F “
Ezra B. ” 13 M Indiana
Ellen ” 10 F Ohio

George was born about 1781-1782; his parents are as yet unknown. Sarah was born Sarah Malott about 1792-1793. The couple was married July 23, 1815 in Clermont County. George and Sarah’s son Marcus, my great-great-grandfather, would marry Mary Ann Conklin seven years later.

Blogging Prompts, Cemeteries, Montgomery, Montgomery Line, Research, Simmons, Surname Saturday, Vital Statistics

Surname Saturday – the Simmons Brick Wall

Names are interesting. When I first started doing genealogy, I found it intriguing to realize how many surnames you “own” in your family tree. Sometimes the surnames become more and more familiar over time as more relatives are uncovered and researched.  Other times the connection to a surname is more tenuous – a link of one maternal ancestor, and then the proverbial brick wall.

My great-great-grandmother Belinda Simmons is one of these tenuous links.  Born May 14, 1838 in Cincinnati, she married John Montgomery on Christmas Day 1858 in Ohio. John and Belinda appear in the 1860 (Clark, Ohio) and 1870-1880 (Denver Township, Illinois) censuses with their growing family. Belinda died on Valentine’s Day 1908 and is buried in Pleasant View Cemetery in Olney, Illinois (in a grave my family and I failed to find on a field trip to Olney).

Belinda’s parentage, however, remains a mystery, as does her name itself.  Sources list her name variously as Malinda, Mary Ann, Mary Ann Belinda, Mary B., and Belinda. After much searching I did finally locate Belinda in the 1850 census, aged 12. The discovery, however, only provided half the story: apparently sometime before 1850 Belinda’s father had died, and her mother (Rachel – the half of the story the census revealed) had remarried a Charles Clark. Also in the household is Belinda’s younger brother Charles H. Simmons, aged 10. If Belinda had been born a little later, it might be easy enough to find a Rachel Simmons and her young children in an earlier census – but since census records prior to 1850 don’t list each individual in the household by name, it is trickier to confirm the identities of family members – especially when the head of household’s name remains unknown.

So…the search back in time continues…

John and Mary Montgomery Tombstone from Find-a-Grave

Blogging Prompts, Friday's Faces From the Past, Montgomery, Montgomery Line, Research, Walker

Friday’s Faces from the Past – The Mysterious Family from Olney

This is another of those mysterious family photos that makes me feel guilty remembering all my own unlabeled pictures. Obtained from Grandma and Grandpa Montgomery’s house while packing things up, the family is most likely one of our Montgomery connections – but which one?

Again one of the major clues is the name and location of the photography studio.  Olney, Illinois, home of the M. B. Rush studio, has any number of Montgomery and Walker connections, with even more when all of Richland County is considered.  The family members themselves also provide clues – is there a family consisting of two sons and then two daughters with approximately the right age differences between them?

One possibility is the family of my great-grand-aunt, Hattie F. (Montgomery) West. The oldest child of John and Belinda (Simmons) Montgomery, she was born November 28, 1859 in Ohio; from at least 1870 until her death, Hattie resided in Denver Township, Richland County, Illinois. Hattie married Martin V. West in a double-wedding with her brother Charles William (my great-grandfather) and Laura Maud Walker.  The ceremony took place February 22, 1883. Ten months later Hattie and Martin’s first child, Wilmer Madison West, was born. In 1885, son Harley R. West followed. Around 1887-1888, daughter Stella West was born, followed by Bessie in 1891-1892.  Edna Bertha West was not born until August 23, 1897. A photograph taken of the West family when baby Bessie was about two years old might look similar to this one. Around 1894, Wilmer would have been 10, Harley 9, Stella 7, and Bessie 2. Of course, there’s also the possibility this could be some other family entirely!

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

Wednesday’s Child – Montgomery Babies

 

For children who were born and died within the ten-year gap between censuses, a headstone may be one of the only clues to their existence. Thanks to resources like the Find-a-Grave website, it’s possible to find a record of these headstones from many miles away.

A case in point is the double headstone of Anne B. Montgomery and an unnamed infant sibling, children of Samuel and Susanna H. Ruse Montgomery.  Samuel was my great-great-grand uncle. Born in 1832 in New Jersey, he married Susanna before 1870, when they were enumerated in Clark, Ohio.  Samuel is listed as age 39, Susanna age 25.  William, age 1, is in the household as well. Without the headstone in Lynchburg, Ohio’s, Masonic Cemetery, however, it wouldn’t be apparent that Samuel and Susanna had already lost one unnamed child, who was born and died December 22, 1867.

Samuel and Susanna had another child, Anne B., born March 16, 1871. As noted on Anne’s headstone, she died at the age of six months and 16 days.  A little over a year later Susanna herself died as well. Samuel then married Hattie A. Paige (born between 1844-1845), and they had two sons, Edgar and Stanley, both of whom lived to adulthood and had children themselves.

Montgomery

Captain Montgomery

One of the most interesting discoveries I have made recently is finding information regarding the 48th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, which fought in the Civil War and included a Montgomery cousin, Thomas Montgomery, and his brother-in-law John A. Bering (Thomas’s sister Susan was John’s first wife). The 48th Ohio fought at the battles of Shiloh and Vicksburg, among others. Following their war experiences, the two men collaborated on a memoir which was published in 1880 and is now available online.

Thomas Montgomery, 1905

Thomas Montgomery was born in New Jersey in 1837, the fourth son of William and Mary Ann (Extell) Montgomery. His eldest brother John was our direct ancestor. By 1850 the family was living in Clinton County, Ohio, where, 10 years later, Thomas was listed in the census as a schoolteacher. Thomas’s military career covered the four years of the Civil War, after which he appears to have settled down in Highland County, Ohio. His wife, Elizabeth, was born between 1844 and 1845 in Ohio, and their first child, Stella May, was born between 1866 and 1867. Based on a photo of the Montgomery family, 5 more children followed, though I only have details on 4:  Walter T. (b. November 1870), Maud (b. 1872-1873), Harley H. (b. March 1876), and Milton Clark (b. 1878-1879). In 1870 the census listed Thomas as a livery stable keeper, and in 1880 as a U. S. Storekeeper. Thomas died 13 July 1907 and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Lynchburg, Highland County, Ohio.

Thanks to the 48th OVVI website for many of these details.