Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- How Many "Mary LNU" Persons in Your Family Tree?

It's Saturday Night again - time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is my assignment from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musing:
1)  How many females in my family tree database are without a last name?
2) How many "Mary" persons without a surname do I have in my genealogy database?  How many of them are my ancestor? 
3)  Look at records online that might lead you to her surname.

Women Without Surnames
I have a total of 6,827 persons in my database and 226 of the females have no last name. The most I have are Mary, with 22 Mary names with no last name. Only two of them are in my direct line. These both are in my maternal line. I also have quite a few Elizabeths and Anns.

Wife of Benjamin Brashear
Mary, the wife of Benjamin Brashear and the mother of Elizabeth Brashear. Elizabeth married John Sellman about 1629 in Anne Arundel Co, Maryland. I descend through their oldest son, John Selman (1680- ) and Martha Groce. I don’t know enough about both Benjamin and Mary to search for them.

Wife of David Walker
Mary, the wife of David Walker and the mother of Hope Walker. Hope Walker was the wife of Nathaniel Lancaster. They married 19 Apr 1758 in Goochland Co, Virginia. I descend through their youngest, Robert Lancaster (1784-1840) and Sarah Ellis (1782-1830). There seem to quite a few trees on with Mary Munford as the wife of David Walker. I’ll have to check this out. I haven’t worked on this family yet.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Monday, June 20, 2016

When was Lela Ann Loveless Lancaster born? A QuickLesson13 Example

I am participating as a panelist in the DearMyrtle study group, studying Elizabeth Shown Mills' QuickLessons.* This week is QuickLesson 13: Classes of Evidence--Direct, Indirect, & Negative. Since I am writing about my grandmother's mother, I felt I should post this in the blog I write about her ancestors.

We learn from QuickLesson 13 that Sources give us information that can be used as evidence but in order to use that evidence we must have a research question. One piece of information may be used as evidence to answer one question and another piece used to answer a different question. This evidence is then categorized as Direct, Indirect, and Negative.

Direct Evidence
Most of the time we conduct our research hoping to find that piece of information that will directly answer our research question.  If our research question was “When was John Smith born?”, our evidence could come from a birth certificate that gives of the complete birthdate or a census record that gives of the ancestor’s age at the time of the census, which can help us calculate the birthdate. Both sources give us direct evidence for the date of birth.

Indirect Evidence
This type of evidence does not answer our research question directly on its own, but rather in combination with other indirect or direct evidence.

Negative Evidence
This is evidence that can answer our research question when information we expect to be there wasn’t there.

My research question for my great grandmother is:
When was Lela Ann Loveless, who married George Warren Lancaster, born?
I have several pieces of information pointing directly to her birth:

Her tombstone listed complete birth and death information.[1] The informant was probably her husband, who was still living.

The death certificate only listed her age at death: 55.[2]  The informant was the hospital records. With this age, her birth calculates to around 1896.

1900 census, closest to her birth, gave her age at 5 years and birth in Apr 1895.[3] This conflicts with the tombstone date by one year.

Completing a chart for the remainder of the available census records for Lela Ann Loveless Lancaster:

Census Year
Year born
Date of census visit
Calc. Year if Apr 2 is birthdate
Apr 1895
16 Jun 1900


10 May 1910

11 Mar 1920

8 Apr 1930

10 Apr 1940

These records give direct evidence that Lela Ann was born in April 1895 or 1896.  The only one conflicting is the date closest to her birth. We don’t know who the informants were for each of these census records, except for 1940. The informant was her daughter, Pansy L. Johnston.

Indirect or is it Negative Evidence?

I have another document that can point to a possible age. Lela Ann Loveless married George Warren Lancaster on 15 December 1912.[8] According to the chart above, Lela would have been 16 years old if her birthday was April 1896 and 17 years old if her birthday was April 1895.

There was no other notation with this marriage license and return to indicate a parent or guardian gave permission for Lela Loveless to marry. There was no indication on the license as to her age.

However, according to Texas law, females under 18 and males under 21 needed parental permission to marry.[9] If this was the case, and permission was not needed, then Lela would have been 18 years old at the time of her marriage, making her date of birth about 1894. This birth conflicts with the records after her marriage, giving her birth consistently around 1896.

There was a statement in the law under the same article (4611) that stated, “… and if there be any doubt in the mind of the clerk of the county court issuing such license, he shall not issue said license unless there shall be presented to him a certificate under oath from their parent or guardian…”[10] 

Since the clerk issued the license, then he must not have had any doubt that Lela Ann Loveless was of age. Did she or her future husband, George Warren Lancaster, state her age at 18? Or did the clerk assume her age of 18 without asking?

Couples often lied to get marry. They sometimes traveled to county courthouses where no one knew them. They could have gone somewhere where the clerk wouldn’t question them. Perhaps, they knew this clerk would say nothing about Lela’s underage. Her mother had died in Arkansas three years earlier. Perhaps her father wasn’t in town to give the permission. Perhaps there was a verbal permission that was not recorded. I should research additional marriage records to see how underage marriages were handled in Erath County, Texas.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 13: Classes of Evidence—Direct, Indirect & Negative,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage ( of Evidence—Direct, Indirect & Negative : accessed 18 Jun 2016).
[1] Find A Grave, database with images ( : ), Memorial# 17927168, Upper Greens Creek Cemetery, Stephenville TX, Lela Ann Loveless Lancaster.
[2] Texas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate #27274, Wichita Co, 1951, Lela Ann Lancaster; digital image, FamilySearch ( : 22 Jul 2013), citing FHL film 2074696.
[3] 1900 U.S. census, pop.sched., Faulkner County, Arkansas, East Fork Township, ED 29, sht 12B, dwelling 201, family 204, Ebenezer Loveless, digital image, ( accessed 19 Nov 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), T623, roll 58).
[4] 1910 U.S. census, pop. schedule, Erath Co., Texas, Stephenville, ED 19, sht 14a, dwelling 230, family 230, Ebby Loveless household, digital image , ( 20 Jun 2016); citing NARA, T624, roll 1550.
[5] 1920 U.S. census, pop. sched., Erath Co., Texas, Dublin Public Highway, ED 7, sht 3A, dwelling 44, family 45, Warren Lancaster, digital image, ( : 20 Jun 2016); citing NARA, T625, roll 1801.
[6] 1930 U.S. census, Erath Co, Texas, ED 3, Stephenville, sheet 7b, dwelling 172, family 172, G. Warren Lancaster, digital image, ( accessed 26 Apr 2005); citing NARA T626, roll 2326.
[7] 1940 U.S. census, pop. sched, Erath Co, Texas, Stephenville, ward 2, ED 72-7, sht 4A, household 75, Warren Lancaster; digital images, ( : accessed 3 April 2012); citing NARA T627, roll 4029.
[8] Texas, Erath County, Marriage Records, Book M, p. 278, 1912, Lancaster-Loveless; FHL Film #1428410.
[9] John S. McIlwaine, Vernon’s McIlwaine’s Pocket Digest of Texas Laws, Annotated 1912, 2nd edition, (Kansas City: Vernon Law Book Co, 1912), p. 556, referring to Title 68, chapter one, Article 4611 (2957) (2841) (as amended 1911, p. 63).
[10] Vernon’s McIlwaine’s Pocket Digest of Texas Laws, Annotated 1912, p. 556.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Friday, January 15, 2016

Happy Blogiversary - January 15

On this day, it's been exactly 5 years since I started this blog. I attended a class taught by Craig Siulinski at the California Genealogical Society. He gave us step-by-step instructions on how to set up a new blog on Blogger. There were several other students in the class who still write in their blogs, too.

I had a hard time coming up with a theme for the blog and came up with writing about my maternal grandmother's family. We called her "Mam-ma." She was from Texas and her ancestors were from other southern states such as Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Since that time, I have written 75 blog posts. That equals to about 15 per year. It's not a lot because this blog is only about my maternal line. I started another blog where I can write about my father's side and about my husband's family.

So Happy Blogiversary to Mam-ma's Southern Family!

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Monday, November 16, 2015

On this Day – The Marriage of Dempsey P. Welch and Ann Jemima Coor

On 16 November 1847, Dempsey P. Welch and Ann Jemima Coor were married.[1] 

Two days earlier, Dempsey, along with D.K. Coor, his surety, applied for the marriage bond. D.K. Coor was probably Daniel K. Coor, Ann’s older brother. Their ages were not listed, nor the part for parents to give permission was filled out, so the couple was of age to marry. The clerk probably filled out the complete form as the signature line for DP Welch and DK Coor looks alike. Dempsey’s name was listed as BP Welch all through the document.
Bond. Copiah Co., Mississippi, Welch-Coor, 1847
On the next day, the marriage license was issued by the Probate Court Clerk.
License. Copiah Co., Mississippi, Welch-Coor, 1847
Finally on the 16th, the Justice of the Peace, James A. Sturgis, married the couple.
Certificate of Marriage. Copiah Co., Mississippi, Welch-Coor, 1847
Dempsey P. was born 11 May 1822 in Mississippi to Dempsey Welch and Elizabeth Rebecca Young. Ann Jemima was born 29 Feb 1828 in Copiah County, Mississippi to John Coor and Ann Kethley.

Ann and Dempsey are my third great aunt and uncle. Ann was the sister of James Madison Coor, my third great-grandfather, and Dempsey was the brother of Melissa Ann Welch, my third great-grandmother.

Ten years later, Melissa and James Madison would also marry, making their offspring double-cousins to Ann and Dempsey’s offspring. I wrote about Melissa and James here.

Dempsey and Ann had 11 children, with nine living to adulthood. Dempsey was a farmer who owned real property valued at $7000 and personal property valued at $11,500 in 1860.[2]  After the Civil War, his property was valued at $1200 and personal property at $700.[3] This large decrease in value was due to the slaves being freed.

Sometime in the 1880’s, Dempsey brought his family to Texas where they settled in Erath County.[4] 
He continued to farm.

Dempsey and Ann died within days of each other, Dempsey on 23 January 1902 and Ann following him five days later on 28 January. They were buried in Huckaby Cemetery.[5]
Tombstone photo for Dempsey P & Ann J Welch, Huckaby Cemetery,
Erath County, Texas; Taken by Ken Jones, used by permission.

[1] Mississippi, Copiah County, Bk B, p 422, 1847, Welch-Coor; FHL film 876488.
[2] Mississippi, Copiah, 1860 U.S. census, p. 135, (907 corner), dwelling 940, family 946, D.P. Welch, Digital images,  ( accessed 21 Mar 2011), citing National Archives and Records Administration M653, roll 580.
[3] Mississippi, Copiah, 1870 U.S. census, Twp. 1 & 2 East of RR, p. 18, 129b (stamped), dwelling 129, family 123, Dempsey Welch, Digital images, ( accessed 16 Mar 2011), citing National Archives and Records Administration M593, roll 727.
[4] Texas, Erath, 1900 U.S. census, Prec 1, enumeration district (ED) 64, sheet 21 A, p. 21 (stamped), dwelling 357, Dempsey P. Welch, Digital images, ( accessed 7 Mar 2011), citing National Archives and Records Administration T623.
[5] "Find A Grave," database and digital images, Find A Grave (, Memorial# 24126487, Dempsey Perry Welch, IV.  Tombstone photo taken by Ken Jones.

Copyright © 2015 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Sunday, November 15, 2015

On the Day: Thomas W. Jones born 15 November 1883

This is a story of a short life.

Thomas W. Jones was born probably in Hill County, Texas on 15 November 1883.[1] His parents were Thomas W. Jones and Nancy A. Huff. His grandparents were Benjamin W. Jones and Amanda A. Haley, my third great-grandparents. So that would make Thomas my first cousin three times removed.

Thomas had a sister, Amanda E. Jones who was born just a few years earlier in March 1880.[2]

The only record of little Thomas is a tombstone in Vaughan Cemetery in Hill County, Texas.[3]
Vaughan Cemetery in Hill County, Texas, showing Thomas W. Jones, son of T.W. and N.A.
Jones;, photo taken by Doreen Morelli.
This poor tombstone is broken and the death date cannot be made out clearly from the photo. However, on the Hill County, Texas webpage, someone had made a transcription of the cemetery and the death date was listed as 1 February 1885.[4] Perhaps the recording was done before the stone was broken.

His mother, Nancy would go on to have 5 children with two dying young.[5]

Such sadness to lose a child so young.

Happy Birthday, Thomas.

[1] Vaughan Cemetery Listing, “J,” Thomas W. Jones, 1885, Hill County, ( : accessed 13 Nov 2015).
[2] Texas, Comanche Co, 1880 U.S. census, pop. sched, ED 30, p 95a, fam 169, W. Thomas Jones, digital image,  ( accessed 28 Jul 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration, T9 roll 1297.
[3] "Find A Grave," database and digital image, Find A Grave ( : accessed 13 Nov 2015), Vaughan Cemetery, Vaughan, Hill Co TX, Memorial# 6946612, Thomas W Jones.
[4] Vaughan Cemetery, Thomas W. Jones.
[5] Texas, Erath County, 1900 U.S. census, pop. sched., Dublin City, ED 69, sht 15a, p. 123 (stamped), dwelling 287, family 296, Tom W. Jones, digital image,  ( accessed 13 Nov 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration, T623 roll 1631.

Copyright © 2015 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Thursday, November 12, 2015

On This Day – Birth of Eliza Kirby 12 Nov 1876

Eliza Kirby was born in Faulkner County, Arkansas on 12 November 1876 to Robert R. Kirby and Sarah Cathrine Howard.[1] She had two brothers and four sisters; all four sisters died in infancy. In 1880, the family was living in Hardin Township in Faulkner County.[2] Their household included her grandmother, Francis Howard and an aunt, Eliza Hinsley. Is it possible she was named after this aunt?

When Eliza was just seven years old, her father died in 1883.[3]  Her mother remarried 23 Oct 1887 to James J. Robinson.[4]

Eliza married George Alonzo “Lon” Loveless on 20 Jan 1898.[5] They were both of 21 years of age and living in Linder, a community in Faulkner County. P.H. Glover, the minister at the Greenbrier Baptist Church married them.
Faulkner County, Arkansas, marriage between GL Loveless and Eliza Kirby 
Lon and Eliza had three children, all who grew to adulthood and married:
  • Doyle Elbin Loveless
  • Meda Orthal Lovelss
  • Gladys Loveless
Lon purchased land from his brother-in-law John Lee Kirby on 11 February 1903[6] and spent his life as a farmer.

Three years later, Eliza died 18 April 1906 of consumption,[7] which today is called tuberculosis, and she was buried in Needs Creek Cemetery.[8]
Eliza Kirby Loveless, Needs Creek Cemetery, taken by author
There were three children under ten left with their father, with Gladys just barely a year old. Lon remarried 30 Dec 1906 to Nancy “Nannie” MacPherson. They had two children between them, Virtle E. Loveless and James Ebbie Loveless.

[1] "Find A Grave," database and digital images, Find A Grave (, Memorial# 18315354, Needs Creek Cemetery, Faulkner Co AR, Eliza Kirby Loveless. For parents: Faulkner (Arkansas) County Deeds, Bk 24, p 474, warranty deed Cathrine Robinson et al to J.A. Lea.
[2] Arkansas, Faulkner Co, 1880 U.S. census,, Digital images (, Hardin township, ED 57, sht 30b, p 683b, dwelling 239, family 242, Robert Kerby, roll 44.
[3] "Find A Grave," database and digital images, Find A Grave (, Memorial# 18315033, Needs Creek Cemetery, Faulkner Co AR, R R Kirby.
[4] Arkansas, Faulkner Co, Marriage Records, index and images, "Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957," (, J J Robinson and S C Kirby, 23 Oct 1887, Bk C, p 562; citing , Faulkner, Arkansas, county offices, FHL microfilm 1,033,396.
[5] Arkansas, Faulkner Co, Marriage Records, index and images, "Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957," (, film 1033397, Bk G, p 358, Loveless-Kirby, 1898.
[6] Arkansas, Faulkner County, Circuit Clerk records, Conway, Bk 29, p 157, J.L. Kirby to G.L. Loveless, 1903.
[7] Desmond Walls Allen, Pence Funeral Home Conway, Arkansas 1904-1926 Vol II , (Rapid Rabbit Copy Co, Conway, AR), p 51, Eliza Loveless.
[8] "Find A Grave," database and digital images, Find A Grave (, Memorial# 18315354, Needs Creek Cemetery, Faulkner Co AR, Eliza Kirby Loveless. Also photo of tombstone taken by author, 7 Apr 2015.

Copyright © 2015 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Piece of Bad Luck

Daniel Matt Coor, oldest son of Rufus K. Coor and Mary J. Sones, died 17 Sep 1881, when the steam engine at his grinding mill blew up.[1] Daniel is not in my direct line. He is my first cousin four times removed. His grandfather, John Coor (1785-1838) was my fourth great-grandfather and his father, Rufus K. Coor (1825-1877) was the brother of my third great-grandfather, James Madison Coor (1833-1890).

Rufus K. Coor’s family remained in Copiah County, Mississippi while Rufus’ brother, James Madison took his family to Texas. So finding two newspaper articles about Rufus’ son, Daniel Matt Coor in the Daily Commercial, a newspaper from Vicksburg, Mississippi, was a nice find. This paper reprinted news from another newspaper called, Hazlehurst Copiahan.

This was not Daniel Matt’s first piece of bad luck. The previous month on 20 August, his gin and mill that was located near Copiah Creek on the Georgetown Road was destroyed by fire.[2]
Copiah Creek between Hazlehurst & Georgetown in Copiah Co.
The exact location of mill is not known.
He also lost two bales of cotton. He stated in the newspaper that he thought “the fire originated from friction.”
“Mississippi News,” Daily Commercial (Vicksburg, Mississippi), 2 September 1881, p. 2, col. 3
At this time, Dan Matt was just 24 years old, probably still living with his mother and four younger brothers, as he had been in 1880.[3] His father had died 1 March 1877.[4]

So on this day when the steam engine blew up, Dan Matt, knew something was wrong. The grinding mill was not operating quite right, so he shut down the engine by letting off the steam and putting out the fire. He examined the engine closely and then started it up again. According to the newspaper account:
“In a very short time after this his steam gauge registered one hundred pounds. This increased his anxiety so he watched every point and movement with greater vigilance and very justly too, for in a short time the crisis came … when in a moment’s time the whole machinery was blown into atoms, and two souls were launched into eternity.”
A total of twelve people were present at the accident and two people died, Dan Matt and Jack Wilson. Dan had been thrown some forty feet from the boiler and was found lifeless, but Hunter Garth resuscitated him. But after being taken to the house and the medical treatment given, his injuries were too severe and he died later that night. He had a compound fracture of the skull in three different places. Poor Jack Wilson, who had been right in front of the engine, was “mutilated beyond description.”  Though the newspaper did manage to describe it.

The force of the explosion was massive. Further description of the accident:
“…The shaft with one box and part of bed plate, hub of main wheel and excentric [eccentric axle], supposed weight five hundred pounds, were thrown a distance of one hundred and twenty feet. The remainder of bed plate, steam chest, cylinder, cross head and piston, weighing about eight hundred pounds, were thrown eighty-five feet. The hull of the boiler, wheel and running gear were literally torn into atoms. One piece of the boiler was driven through the limb of a tree at a distance of one hundred feet from the explosion. Other portions of the boiler were torn into strips and rolled up; the dome was found at a distance of four hundred feet, the ground was covered with the debris for two hundred yards around.”
Dan Matt Coor was buried in the Coor Cemetery, probably not far from his father. There may not be a tombstone for him.[5]

“Death Dealing Steam,” Daily Commercial (Vicksburg, Mississippi),
27 September 1881, p. 2, col. 3

[1] “Death Dealing Steam,” Daily Commercial (Vicksburg, Mississippi), 27 September 1881, p. 2, col. 3; digital image, : accessed 5 November 2015.
[2] “Mississippi News,” Daily Commercial (Vicksburg, Mississippi), 2 September 1881, p. 2, col. 3; digital image, : accessed 5 November 2015.
[3] Mississippi, Copiah, 1880 U.S. census, pop. sched., Browns Store, ED 27, p. 15, 282b (stamped), family 183, Mary P. Coor, Digital images, ( accessed 16 Mar 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration, T9, roll 646.
[4] Mississippi Genealogical Society, editor, Cemetery & Bible Records Vol 1 (Mississippi: n.p., 1954.), p. 1, Rufus K. Coor.
[5] "Find A Grave," database and digital images, Find A Grave (, Memorial# 70127715, Coor Springs Cemetery, Copiah Co MS, Daniel M Coor; no tombstone photo.

Copyright © 2015 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family