Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wedding Bells

I walked to the St. Louis Public Library at lunch today. It was a gorgeous day and it gave me just a bit of time to check out what books they had on Pope County.

Some of the books were early marriage licenses. I already had a wedding date for my great-grandparents, George C. "Cooper" VAUGHN and Hannah HOGG. (3 NOV 1878) But one of the books offered up a bit more information from the marriage license itself. It said they were married at the home of Francis HOGG (Hannah's father). It listed Francis as her father and an unknown THACKER as her mother. (All other records show her as Mary THACKER.)

It listed George's father as George VAUGHN and his mother as unknown CANER. First time I've ever seen that name. Everywhere else, she is known as Elizabeth SKINNER.

But one of the best pieces of information, the witnesses: Asa COLLIER and Elijah CARTER. (Asa HAS to be one of Margaret (VAUGHN) HOGG COLLIER's brood. He is a cousin to the groom as his mother was George VAUGHN's sister.) Elijah was the grandson of Aquilla (STORY) CARTER HOGG, wife of Francis R. HOGG. These two were Hannah's grandparents. Elijah is her what? Half cousin? Her father and Elijah's father were half-brothers. (Aquilla married a John CARTER and had a few kids before marrying Francis in 1816.)

Oddly enough, Elijah is one of the ancestors that newly found cousin Cathy is researching. Do you think the happy couple and their respective cousins would be marveling that almost 130 years later someone - me - is happy at having found them?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Updates: Online and off

Yesterday's mail brought a death certificate for Mary MICHAEL REDMAN. It confirmed some things and opened up questions for others.

First, she really DID die in 1934 -- at age 88! According to the certificate: She was born Oct. 11, 1846, in Vincennes, Ind., to John MICHAEL and an unknown mother. She was married to Joseph Thomas REDMAN. That cleared up the insanity about whether his name was Joseph or Thomas. (I still can't find them in the census, though, and it's starting to make me nuts!)

On a lark, I kept a link tying Mary and Joseph to another line of folks named KNEPPER. I wasn't sure if this was the RIGHT Mary and Joseph, but the birthdate, father's name, and death place of her father on this newly discovered Web site, together with a few other details seem to be more than circumstantial evidence. Cheryl, on whose site I found the Knepper link, has been kind enough to respond to me already. The direct link to my lineage is through her husband. So, I have already discovered yet another new cousin. How cool is that?!

Still got a lot more to unravel here, but I'm still looking.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Haunted by Another Joseph

I'm seeking information on Joseph and Mary (MICHAEL) REDMAN. Not sure of birthdate or birthplace of either. An obituary of one of their descendants says that Mary died in 1934. She was probably born in the late 1840s or early 1850s as she had children from the 1860s throught the 1880s.

They had at least five children: Thomas Calvin REDMAN (born c. 1863), John J. REDMAN (born c. 1872), Minnie Ellen REDMAN (born April 1879), Clarence Edward REDMAN (born June 1883), and Alice REDMAN (no date known). The previously mentioned obit says there was at least one more sister and brother (unnamed) who had died prior to 1939.

Minnie, my g-grandmother, married Thomas Henry McKINNEY. (That's her and Tom at their 50th wedding anniversary party in 1949.) She was born in Kansas. They married in Montgomery County, IL, and later settled in Madison County, IL.
Alice married William James CONLON. They had at least one child, a daughter, Vivian.
Clarence married Georgiana ? and they had children including Darlene, Dana, and Darrell. I think Clarence is the baby and he was born in Illinois.
John married Mary ? And they had at least one child, a daughter, Fern, who died in the 1930s or early '40s of cancer. John was born in Indiana.
Thomas married Edith Jordan and they had at least one child, a daughter, Eva. Eva REDMAN married a George STRONG and they were living in St. Louis in the 1940s/50s.
I have pictures of most of these relatives, so if they are someone to you, I'm happy to share.

I've done a lot of work on the McKINNEY line and am just starting to dig into the REDMAN roots. Starting to get very frustrated though as I can't find any of the early census records (1860, 1870, or 1880) on this family anywhere in the U.S. I find most of these kids as adults with families of their own in later censuses. Also, Minnie REDMAN McKINNEY's death certificate lists her father as Joseph REDMAN and mother as Mary MICHAEL. Thomas C. REDMAN's obituary has the same name for mother but lists Thomas REDMAN as his father.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Joseph Vaughn, Pope County, IL

I recently got a copy of the will of JOSEPH VAUGHN of Pope County, IL. (Golconda area) He died Dec. 18, 1867 and was born c. 1800. His wife, KEZIAH DIARMAN, was named executrix. When she died the following year, WILLIAM W. DIARMAN (either her brother or nephew) took over adminstering Joseph's will. It reads in part:
"It is my will the remainder be divided equal between my three children, to wit, JAMES VAUGHN, MARGARET COLLIER, ASSENETH BRAMBLET, with the exception of $1 to each of grandchildren, heirs of my son GEORGE VAUGHN, and MARY HOGG, my daughter."
I'm familiar with Margaret. Before marrying Thomas Collier, she had been married to LEWIS HOGG. We find her and some of her children living with Joseph and wife Keziah in Pope County in 1860. (Lewis died in 1859.) I'm familiar with George as I believe I descended from him through his son, GEORGE COOPER VAUGHN. I'm familiar with Mary as we find her marrying THOMAS HOGG in the Illinois statewide marriage index, though she is listed as MARY VAUGHAN. (VAUGHNs and HOGGs intermarried all over this family line. The GEORGE COOPER VAUGHN listed above would grow up to marry HANNAH HOGG, a union that helped get me here.)
This daugher Asseneth is a new one, though I found her -- I think -- through two marriages:
ESSENETH SBARGER m. BENJAMIN B. BRAMLETT on Jan. 25, 1855. (Benjamin Bramlett family is living next door to the VAUGHNs in the 1860 census, though what would appear to be a wife is SUSAN BRAMLET, age 52, MUCH older than a daughter of Joseph should be! Perhaps she married a son with the same name? Don't find a listing for them in Pope though. This has got to be a good assumption.)
And I'm confused about James. Was son George already dead when this will was probated in early 1868? (Son George HAD a son named James. He would have been around 16 when Joseph died. Did Joseph claim James in his son's place?) Within the file Pope County sent me with the will, there are a variety of receipts for payments to GEORGE W. VAUGHN, listed as a guardian of JAMES VAUGHN. WHO is GEORGE W. VAUGHN? What was his relationship to JOSEPH VAUGHN?
And, I'm also trying to figure out where JOSEPH VAUGHN fits in with the JACKSON VAUGHN clan in Pope County -- or if he even does. Would love to hear from anyone who can answer any of these questions or, based on the info I've got here, thinks they may be a relative.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Getting Started

When I was in eighth grade, I was given an assignment to start a family tree. I'd seen plenty of them and heard some family stories as a kid, but I had never paid a lot of attention to any of it. I only wish now that I had ...

That was more than a few years before the arrival of the Internet and a whole new way to trace your roots. It's been an incredible journey. The last 10 years or so have probably seen the most activity on my part. My mother worked on the BYRNES line through much of the 1980s and 1990s. Not long after 2000, she got interested in her paternal roots and we jointly started checking out the McKINNEY ancestry. It's like a huge puzzle that reveals not just one picture but many.

It also has put me in touch with lots of distant cousins. Among them, there's Rhonda in Texas (KACKLEY), Sarah in Oklahoma (McKINNEY), and very recently Cathy just a few towns away (VAUGHN/HOGG). If I'm really lucky, there will be even more along the way. Who knows -- maybe one of them will be YOU.