Posts Tagged ‘Tombstones’

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – The Day the Genealogy Serendipity Angels Smiled!

The following is from Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings website!  Thank you, Randy!

Yes, it’s Saturday Night, and time for some Genealogy Fun!

My friend, Leland Meitzler, posted his Top Ten list of “Most Satisfying Genealogy Events” yesterday – and it’s a good list – please read it and respond to it if you want to.

For today’s SNGF, if you choose to participate (cue the Mission Impossible music!), please:

1) Tell us about one (or more) “Satisfying Genealogy Moments” from your family history and genealogy research. What was it, and how did it make you feel? You can make a Top Ten list if you want to!

2) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on this post, or make a comment on Facebook, and tell us about your “moment in time.”

The Day the Genealogy Serendipity Angels Smiled!
by Sherry Stocking Kline, October 10, 2009

My Number One favorite all-time Genealogy Experience was one of those “ahhh moments” when Serendipity and the Angels smiled on us.

It was July of 2005, and my husband and I were leaving soon to visit our son in Illinois, and we were taking my mom who was 93 at the time, to Barren County, Kentucky for a day or two and try to locate my Mom’s dad’s childhood home.

I did some research before I left. I re-checked on library hours, wrote down addresses, packed up a notebook (and laptop), and called the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center in Glasgow, Kentucky to talk to the wonderfully helpful woman I had spoken with on a previous occasion.

I nearly hung up the phone…

I nearly hung up the phone when I learned that the woman who had been so warm and friendly before was not working.

That would have been a mistake.

I sighed to myself,  decided to take a chance, re-state my facts and share my story with the woman who had answered the phone.

“I’m looking for information,” I said, “about my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, Willis Washington Jones and his wife, Martha Ellen Smith and her parents, Charles and Virginia Hawley Smith.”

There Was Dead Silence…

There was dead silence for at least three heartbeats.

And then she said (and here I still get goosebumps) “Charles and Virginia Hawley Smith are my great-great grandparents, too.”

“Oh. My. Gosh.” I thought.

“Hello, cousin!” was my astonished reply. The genealogical angels had not deserted me; they had given me a wonderful gift!

My brand-new cousin’s name was Nancy Bertram Bush, she was ‘into’ genealogy, and she invited us to give her a call when we got to Glasgow.

A couple of weeks later, we were in Glasgow. I stopped at the courthouse, looked up some land records, and learned more about my great-great grandfather Smith’s land holdings.

When we arrived at the South Central Kentucky Cultural Center, I gave Nancy another call and we were in luck, she was home.

Nancy Had a Gift for Mother…

She hurried over to the Center to meet us, (and a nicer new cousin I can’t imagine meeting). She brought along a treasure, a photograph of my mother’s grandparents (complete with the names) that had been mailed back to the family from Kansas and presented it to my mom.

29 - Nancy Bertram Bush, standing and Dorothy Jones Stocking Barry seated.

29 - Nancy Bertram Bush, standing and Dorothy Jones Stocking Barry seated.

Mom had never seen photographs of her grandparents and when we brought the photograph home, we were able to identify Willis and his wife Martha in two other photographs that we had.

Nancy offered to take us around Barren County with her husband to try to locate the former home of Willis and Martha Ellen. We went up hill and down dale, we stopped at one family farmstead that had Smith family buried there, and we tramped through tall grass to record names and take photographs, but this was not our destination.

Our next stop proved to be the home of Charles and Virginia Hawley Smith, and we were able to visit with the family and see the land and outbuildings, some of which might have actually been standing during Charles & Virginia’s time.

The Family Cemetery Had Been Returned to Farmland…

Thanks to researching cemetery books we already knew that their family cemetery had been returned to farm land, which was disappointing.

66 - L - R: Nancy Bertram Bush, Norman and Sherry Stocking Kline, Dennis Bush pay respects to family members at the Temple Hill Baptist Church, Barren County, Kentucky

66 - L - R: Nancy Bertram Bush, Norman and Sherry Stocking Kline, Dennis Bush pay respects to family members at the Caney Fork Baptist Church, Temple Hill, Barren County, Kentucky

Next we stopped at the Caney Fork Baptist Church and cemetery and walked through the cemetery and paid our respects to cousins, great-aunts and great-uncles.

When we watched my mother get out of the car and in her words “stand on the land her father had played on as a child” and look around and see “where he came from,” it was a meaningful moment for us all.

We were grateful we were able to help her do this.

Dorothy Barry standing by car next to the Temple Hill Baptis Church & Cemetery - Barren County, Kentucky

Dorothy Barry standing by car next to the Caney Fork Baptist Church & Cemetery - Temple Hill, Barren County, Kentucky

Thank You, Cousin, Nancy…

It was with deep sadness that we received word about two years ago that our new-found cousin, Nancy Bertram Bush, had suffered a heart attack and passed away.

Thank you for a wonderful Genealogical Moment in Time, cousin Nancy.

And This Brother Came to Kansas – Tombstone Tuesday – James and Elizabeth (Conver) Kline

by Sherry Stocking Kline
Written for FamilyTreeWriter.com  -  October 5th, 2009

Though family and family history has always been important to me, I have my father-in-law to thank, at least in part, for my interest in researching genealogy.

My Father-in-Law Got Me Started…

It was my father-in-law who put the bug in my ear that “he sure would like to know more about his family” though he also let me know at the same time that he was afraid to find out.

Like many families, there was a ‘story’ involved. Three brothers, or some such number, and one went this way, one went another, they had an argument, and they never spoke again.

The Brothers Argued and Never Spoke Again?

The story that Pop, my father-in-law had heard was that the brothers came west, and then they argued on the way, and one came to Kansas and they never spoke again. And Pop was afraid that I might find something about his grandfather that would be, well, really embarrassing, so though he really wanted to know, he was more than a little hesitant.

He probably knew that the mystery would be a challenge that I couldn’t resist, and he was right.

I Was Clueless When I Began to Research…

I began to research. And it’s funny now how clueless I was when I started. My first trip to the library I was simply opening up Pennsylvania genealogy books looking for the Kline name, hoping to get lucky!

Kline isn’t all that common here, so I had no idea that Kline (meaning ‘little man’)  is pretty much the German version of Smith in Pennsylvania.

Bless her heart, Marsha Stenholm (now retired) of the Wichita Public Library took me under her wing, and we actually found a little info that first trip, and oh, my gosh, I was hooked!

James Ran in the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Race…

Here is the tombstone for Pop’s grandfather and grandmother.  They came from the Venango County area in Pennsylvania, and made a stop in Illinois and also in Iowa, leaving farms there to come to Caldwell, Sumner County, Kansas to make a run in the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Run into Oklahoma.  When they did not win any land in that race, they settled near Milan, Sumner County, Kansas.

James and Elizabeth Conver Kline are buried in the Ryan Township/Milan Cemetery in Sumner County, Township Cemetery, Milan, Sumner County, Kansas.

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James & Elizabeth (Conver) Kline - buried Ryan Township, Milan, Sumner County, Kansas

And though I did find that the siblings may have had some disagreements, it seems as though several kept in touch with one another, even after they all re-located to their new homes in the west.

Still a Work in Progress…

Even though Pop is gone now, this is still a ‘work in progress’ and I’ve connected with other distant branches of the family, and they’ve added much to the family tree information.

Tombstone Tuesday – Elizabeth Laird Crabb

Elizabeth Laird Crabb - Buried at Milan, Ryan Township, Sumner Co., Kansas

Elizabeth Laird Crabb - Buried at Milan, Ryan Township, Sumner Co., Kansas

The Tombstone Reads:

Crabb

Elizabeth

Wife of J.R.U. Crabb

March 11, 1831
July 30, 1912

Aged 81 yrs
4 mos. 19 DS

Obituary:
Death of Mrs. J. R. U. Crabb    August 1, 1912 – Milan News

Miss Elizabeth Laird was born in Hart County, Kentucky, March 11, 1831, and died at her home near Milan, Kansas, July 30, 1912, aged 81 years, 4 months and 19 days.

Early in life Mrs. Crabb dedicated her life to God through faith in Jesus Christ and united with the United Baptist church in Barren County, Kentucky.  She has been since that time a constant and faithful member of the church.

She was united in marriage to Mr. J. R. U. Crabb, July 11, 1857.  To this union six children were born, of which two died in infancy, one boy at the age of thirteen and one daughter after she was grown.  Two daughters still remain, one is married and lives in Kentucky and the other is still at home.

Mrs. Crabb has been ill for a number of years and everything that cheerful hands, loving hearts and the best of medical skill was done, but all in vain.  A good woman has gone to her reward leaving behind a sorrowing husband, two daughters and a host of friends.

Funerals services were conducted in the Baptist church, Wednesday afternoon at two o’ clock, by the pastor, F. G. Wilkerson.  Interment was made in the Milan cemetery.

The entire community extends sincere sympathy to the bereaved husband and relatives.

And here is part of my mystery, and my brick wall.

Elizabeth was my great-great grandmother. Or was she?

Her death certificate states that she was born in Hart County, Kentucky, and her parents are Hezakiah and Patsy Carter Lard/Laird.

Her obituary mentions the children “born to this union” and does not mention any other children.

The Mother in the census here was given the last name Crabb by the census taker, but note that her name was Patsy C., leading me to wonder if Patsy was actually Elizabeth’s mother, rather than J.R.U.’s.

For a time, even though my mother called her grandmother and we placed flowers on her grave, I could not verify her link to my family, as her son, my great-grandfather, had the last name of Jones.

My great-grandfather, Willis Washington Jones was born in 1853, and by 1860, he is shown here on the census with Elizabeth Lard Crabb and her husband, J.R.U. Crabb.  My mother was always told that Elizabeth was her grandmother, but as Elizabeth died the same year my mother was born, she does not remember her. Her older siblings did remember her, however, and she was always called grandmother by them and by my mother’s mother.

It appears, and records seem to verify, that Willis was her son, either by a previous marriage, or that Willis was illegitimate. (I have Willis’ death certificate, but not here where I am today. I believe that it lists Elizabeth as his mother.)  By the time Willis died, however, he was re-married to a much younger woman, and had begun a second family.

I’d like to be able to solve this puzzle someday, and in writing this, found one clue that I had previously over-looked. Amazing how a fresh look will open up another possible avenue of research!

Brick Wall Suggestions Most Welcome!!

Happy Tombstone Tuesday!

1860 Census
Page #87
Metcalfe County, KY
East Fork Post Office
Entry # 586  586

J. R. U. Crabb,  22,  M, Farmer, `1000 Real Estate Value, 1500 Personal Property Value,
Elizabeth , 28, F
Daniel U,  2, M
Patsy S, 1/12 yrs olf, F
Patsy C. Crabb, 60, F
Willis Lard, 25, M
Catherine Piper, 17, F
Amanda Gooden, 12, F,
Willis Jones, 7, M

1870 Census
Saunders Precinct
Barren Co, KY
20 Aug 1870
Temple Hill Post Office

Crabb, Joseph R. U. 32, M, W. Farmer,  blank, 1200 personal property, born KY
, Elizabeth   36, F, W  housekeeping
, Daniel W.  12, M, W
, Martha S    10, F, W
Sallie A.      8, F, W
Bettie          4, F, W,
Patcy (?) C  70, F, W,  housekeeping

Roderick and Frances “Fanny” Stocking’s Tombstone

Roderick & Frances Stocking's Tombstone

Roderick & Frances Stocking's Tombstone

By Sherry Stocking Kline
September 22, 2009

My great-grandparents, Roderick Remine and Frances “Fanny” Hitchcock Stocking are buried here, in the Osborne Township Cemetery near Mayfield, Sumner County, Kansas. This cemetery lies on the Chisholm Cattle Drive Trail.

Roderick and Frances came to Kansas from Michigan in the 1870′s, homesteaded just north and west of this cemetery, in a one-room house so small they had to put the table out of the house at night to put down their beds.

Their first child, my grandfather, Elmer Stocking, was born in that tiny house! Fortunately, they built a bigger house before they had three more sons, Ralph Hurlburt, Roderick Porter, and John Lester.

My great-grandmother passed away from cancer in 1920, but my great-grandfather Roderick lived to be nearly 98 years old, passing away in 1951. I remember him as being tall and distinguished looking.

My mother, his granddaughter-in-law, says he was a “fine, gentle, man” and she always thinks of him when she thinks of this verse, “Prayer was his key for the morning and his lock for the night”.

Roderick Stocking with his great-grandsons Harold "Fred" and Gary Stocking, and their dog, Snazzy

Roderick Stocking with his great-grandsons, my brothers, Harold "Fred" and Gary Stocking, and their dog, Snazzy

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