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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What Happened to the Children of Nathan Thomas & Catharine Lancaster?

Introduction:
Nathan Thomas and Catharine Lancaster married 1 August 1867 in Kaufman County, Texas.[1] Two known children were born to them:
  • Ida Belle Thomas, 3 May 1868[2]
  • Wilson Franklin Thomas, 11 Jun 1870[3]

Catharine Lancaster died shortly after Wilson’s birth on 12 Feb 1871.[4] No known cemetery record has been found for her. No census record for Nathan with his two children in 1880 has been found either. The previous post described the resulting research on the whereabouts of Catharine and Nathan. Check it out here.

What happened to their children? This post continues the story.

Ida Bell Thomas
In 1880, eleven-year-old Ida Thomas was living with her aunt, Martha and uncle, Charles Fletcher in Rockwall County.[5] Martha was the younger sister of Catharine Lancaster.

Ida continued to live with her aunt, Martha, perhaps to help take care of Martha’s young children. Her husband died between 1891 and 1900.  In 1908, Ida Belle married John A. Nash.[6] Ida and her husband lived in Lewisville, Denton County, Texas in 1920 and 1930. John was a farmer. In 1920, Ida’s father, Nathan lived with them.[7] 

After John’s death in 1939,[8] she moved to Grayson County where she lived with her niece, Ida Jewell Ridlehoover and her family.[9] Ida died in Tarrant County, Texas at a home for aged Masons in Arlington. She died of chronic myocardium and was buried in the Rockwall Cemetery.[10]

Wilson Franklin Thomas
Nine-year-old Wilson Thomas was living with aunt, Sarah and uncle, Reuben Bourn, also in Rockwall County in 1880.[11] He attended school.

Because his mother had passed away, when his grandmother, Elizabeth S. Lancaster died in 1881, he and his sister, Ida, received their mother’s share of the estate of $49. 26, which they split.[12]

Wilson married Mrs. Lovie Stephenson on 4 July 1899 in Kaufman County, Texas.[13] She brought two children to the marriage: Etta M., born Jul 1893, and Byron D., born Jul 1895.[14]  In 1900 he worked as a farmer on his rented farm. His mother-in-law, Sarah Beck and a servant, Della Wilson, lived with them.

Wilson and Lovie had three children who lived to adulthood: Chester, born 13 Jan 1901; Frank E., born 10 Dec 1903, and Ida Jewell, born 18 Jan 1908. Ida Jewell married John H. Ridlehoover, who Ida Belle lived with in 1940.

Wilson lived a short time in Kiowa County, Oklahoma where he lived on a rented farm.[15] Sometime before 1920, he moved back to Kaufman County. His step-children had moved out.[16] Then they moved to Sherman in Grayson County.[17]

Wilson died 18 Jun 1926 in Sherman of tuberculosis. He was 56 years old.[18] He was buried in College Mound Cemetery near Terrell, Texas. His wife, Lovie lived another thirty years and died 24 November 1958 in Haltom City, Tarrant Co, Texas.[19]

Wilson and Lovie’s children all married and had children of their own:[20]
  • Chester C. Thomas married Letrus Leola Wilson
  • Frank Eugene Thomas married a Ridlehoover
  • Ida Jewell Thomas married John H. Ridlehoover


A tenant farm, Texas. Dorothea Lange, photographer. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8b31955

[1] Kaufman County Marriage Certificates, T, Bk 1a, n.p., 1867, Thomas-Lancaster; index, Kaufman County, Texas USGENWEB page, http://www.rootsweb.com/~txkaufma/marriages/marrcert.htm (link broken 21 Sep 2016), now archived on WayBackMachine: https://web.archive.org/web/20040321091419/http://www.rootsweb.com/~txkaufma/marriages/marrcert.htm
[2] Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com : ), Memorial# 27545060, Rockwall Memorial Cemetery, Rockwall TX, Ida Belle Thomas Nash.
[3] Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com : ), Memorial# 156951300, Wilson Franklin Thomas, College Mound Cem, Terrell TX.
[4] Year only was listed in husband, Nathan Thomas’ obituary. Full birth and death were listed in Tharp/Yost Family Tree on Ancestry.com,  by Erin Tharp, viewed on 15 September 2016.
[5]  1880 U.S. census, Rockwall Co, Texas, pop. sched., ED 30, sht 16d, dwelling 135, family 135, Samuel Fletcher household, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2016); NARA T9, roll 1324.
[6] Based on two years married on the 1910 census: 1910 U.S. census, Rockwall Co, Texas, pop. sched., ED 177, sht 5a, p. 5 (stamped), dwelling 88, family 88, J.A. Nash household, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 15 Sep 2016); NARA T624, roll 1586.
[7] See 1920 & 1930 census: 1920 U.S. census, Denton Co, Texas, pop. sched., ED 59, sht 2a, p. 208 (stamped), dwelling 27, family 27, John A. Nash, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2016); citing NARA T625_1795. Also 1930 U.S. census, Denton Co, Texas, pop. sched., Lewisville, ED 61-13, sht 4b, dwelling 122, family 122, John A. Nash, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2016); citing NARA T626_ 2323.
[8] Texas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate, digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : ), No. 27579, John A. Nash; FHL 2,118,255.
[9] 1940 U.S. census, Grayson Co, Texas, pop. sched., ED 91-50, sht 8b-9a, family 161, John H Ridlehoover, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2016); citing NARA T627_4044.
[10] Texas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate, digital image, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : ), no. 41770, Tarrant Co, 1958, Ida Bell Nash; FHL film 2,115,550.
[11] 1880 U.S. census, Rockwall Co, Texas, pop. sched., ED 30, sht 14b, dwelling 118, family 118, Reuben Bowen household, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2016); NARA T9, roll 1324. Wilson was enumerated as “Thomas Wilson.”
[12] Rockwall County, Texas, Probate record 1877-1895, bk B, p. 302, estate of E.S. Lancaster.
[13]  Kaufman Co, Texas, Marriages, Book 7: 275, no. 550, W.F. Thomas to Mrs. Lovie Stephenson; FHL microfilm 1305364.
[14] 1900 U.S. census, Kaufman Co, Texas, Prec 4, ED 78, sht 6a, p 233 (stamped), dwelling 86, family 87, Wilson F Thomas, digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 15 Sep 2016); NARA  T623, 1651.
[15] 1910 U.S. census, Kiowa Co, Oklahoma, pop. sched., Qill twp, ED 164, sht 12a, p. 111 (stamped), dwelling 83, family 83, Wilson L Thomas, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2016); citing NARA T624_ 1257.
[16] 1920 U.S. census, Kaufman Co, Texas, pop. sched., College Mound, ED 43, sht 12a, p. 276 (stamped), dwelling 207, family 223, W.F. Thomas, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2016); citing NARA T625_1825.
[17] 1930 U.S. census, Grayson Co, Texas, pop. sched., ED 91-49, sht 7a, p. 89 (stamped), dwelling 119, family 120, Chester C. L. Thomas, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2016); citing NARA T626_2338.
[18]Texas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate, 1926, Grayson Co, no. 21582, W.F. Thomas, digital image, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : 15 Sep 2016); citing FHL microfilm 2,114,143.
[19] Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, death certificate, 1958, Tarrant Co, no. 64773, Lovie Cinderella Thomas, digital image, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : 15 Sep 2016); citing FHL microfilm 2,115,622.
[20] Research needs to be done on the children.

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

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Such a Short Life: Catharine Susan Lancaster (1847-1871)*

Early Years
Catharine Susan Lancaster was born about 1847 in Missouri to Ellis Wilson Lancaster and Elizabeth S. Neel.[1]  Based on the two census records where she appeared with her parents, Catharine was their sixth child and third daughter.[2]  Her family lived in Lewis County, Missouri where her father was a farmer. Around 1858, when she was about ten years old, the family moved to Kaufman County, Texas.[3]
1850 Lewis County, Missouri

1860 Kaufman County, Texas
Marriage
At the age of twenty, she married Nathan Thomas on 1 August 1867. [4] They had two known children: Ida Belle  born 3 May 1868 and Wilson Franklin born 11 Jun 1870. The census entry for this family in 1870 has not been found yet.

Death
She died sometime in 1871 in Kaufman County. Her burial place has not been found. There are few surviving newspapers available for this area and time period. She was young when she died. Could it have been due to childbirth? Could she have contracted an illness? Her husband, Nathan Thomas’ obituary at his death just stated he married Miss Catharine Lancaster and that she died in 1871. He later married Mrs. Mary Jane Yates and had four more children.[5]

Her FAN Club**
It is sad to know so little about a woman who lived only twenty-three years in a time period where few records existed.  There were 6,895 people living in Kaufman County in 1870.[6] Her father owned a little over two hundred acres of land, half of which were improved. His farm was valued at $3000. He had five horses, one milk cow, ten swine, all valued at $350. He produced in the previous year fourteen hundred bushels Indian corn and fifty bushels of oats.[7] He was doing pretty well compared to others in his vicinity.

So let’s focus on her husband. His obituary also mentioned that he came to Texas from Washington County, Arkansas in 1859 and settled near Rockwall until he enlisted in the Civil War. When trying to learn about one ancestor, it’s necessary to study the others around him or her.

Since it was claimed in the obituary that he came to Kaufman County in 1859, he should be found in the 1860 federal census living in Kaufman County. He was living with the E. and Minervia Cannon family as a farm laborer.[8] Their daughter, Julia A. Cannon married Catharine’s brother, William T. Lancaster in 1860. So it is likely that Nathan met Catharine Lancaster through her brother, William.

Few Records for Nathan
Nathan Thomas was found in few records. Nathan and Catharine’s first child, Ida Belle was born in 1868, so the family should be found in the 1870 census with a one- or two-year-old. However, Nathan, Catharine, nor Ida were found in Kaufman county or any other nearby counties.

Nathan remarried on 18 January 1880 to Mary Jane (Yates) Johnson in Sherman, Grayson Co, Texas.[9] This family should be found in the 1880 census, but they were not found.

He applied for a Confederate Soldier pension 1 July 1913 and was awarded a pension. He stated he had served in Company B 6th Texas Cavalry.[10]

Nathan was living with his daughter, Ida and her husband, John A. Nash in 1920 in Pilot Point, Denton County, Texas.[11] Mary Jane Thomas was living in College Mound, Kaufman County with her son, Lee Thomas. She claimed she was a widow.[12] Why were they living apart?

Nathan died in Pilot Point on 30 Jan 1920.[13] He was buried at College Mound Cemetery in Terrell, Texas.[14] Mary applied for a widow’s pension on 1 Mar 1920 and the pension was approved.[15] There is a Findagrave memorial for a Mary Jane Thomas, who died 13 Jul 1920 and buried also in College Mound Cemetery. No photos of tombstones were available for Mary Jane or Nathan.

Conclusion
So there was not many records about Catharine Lancaster Thomas, nor many found for her husband, Nathan. He has not been found in several census records. More intense search strategies will need to be used to find him. The next post will focus on his children with Catharine. What happened to them after their mother’s death?


*Catharine Susan Lancaster was the author's 3rd great grand-aunt.
** FAN Club stands for friends, associates, and neighbors. The term was coined by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
[1] Tharp/Yost Family Tree, by Erin Tharp on Ancestry.com has complete birth (20 Jul 1847) and death (12 Feb 1871) dates for her but no sources.
[2] 1850 U.S. census, Lewis County, Missouri, p. 707 (355 stamped), dwelling 355, family 415, Ellis W. Lancaster, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Jan 2011); citing NARA, M432. Also 1860 U.S. census, Kaufman Co, Texas, pop. sched., p. 41, dwelling 338, family 340, E. W. Lancaster, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Jan 2011); citing NARA M653.
[3] Her father, E. Wm Lancaster of Kaufman Co, purchased property 12 Feb 1858: Rockwall County, Texas, Deeds, Bk 1, p. 360, Standifer & McHenry to Lancaster, 1858; FHL film 1289128. This portion of Kaufman County became Rockwall County 1 March 1873.
[4] “Texas Marriages, 1837-1973,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : 17 Sep 2016), Nathan Thomas & Susan C. Lancaster, 1 Aug 1867; citing Kaufman Co, Texas, marriages, FHL film 1302500.
[5] “Nathan Thomas,” Terrell Transcript, 31 Jan 1920; transcript, “Death Notices of Kaufman County Vol. VI” on the Kaufman County Texas Genweb page, http://www.rootsweb.com/~txkaufma/obituary/thomasn.htm.
[6] “Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850 to 2010,” https://texasalmanac.com/sites/default/files/images/topics/ctypophistweb2010.pdf.
[7] 1870 U.S. census, Kaufman Co, Texas, agricultural schedule, p. 5, dwelling line 23, Ellis Lancaster, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 Jan 2011); citing National Archives and Records Administration, M593, roll 10.
[8] 1860 U.S. census, Kaufman Co, Texas, pop. sched., Kaufman (Rockwall PO), p 36, dwelling 265, fam 265, E. Cannon household, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2016), citing NARA M653, roll 1299.
[9] Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com : 15 Sep 2016), memorial# 123121846, College Mound Cem, Terrell TX, Nathan Thomas. This bio section was uploaded by Janice Peay.
[10] "Alabama, Texas and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 September 2016), No. 22041, Kaufman Co, Texas, Nathan Thomas.
[11] 1920 U.S. census, Denton Co, Texas, pop. sched., Pilot Point, ED 59, sht 2a, p. 208 (stamped), dwelling 27, family 27, John A. Nash, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2016); citing NARA T625_1795.
[12] 1920 U.S. census, Denton Co, Texas, pop. sched., College Mound, ED 43, sht 12a, p. 276 (stamped), dwelling 206, family 222, Mary Thomas, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2016); citing NARA T625_1825.
[13] Texas Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics, Digital Images of Death Certificates, No. 1092, Denton Co, Texas, Nathan Thomas, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org : 15 Sep 2016).
[14] Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com : 15 Sep 2016), memorial# 123121846, College Mound Cem, Terrell TX, Nathan Thomas.
[15] "Alabama, Texas and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 September 2016), No. 36536, Kaufman Co, Texas, Mary Jane Thomas.

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

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 Ancestry.com 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.

Introduction
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.

Example:
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
Age
Year born
Date of census visit
Calc. Year if Apr 2 is birthdate
1900
5
Apr 1895
16 Jun 1900

1910[4]
14

10 May 1910
1896
1920[5]
23

11 Mar 1920
1896
1930[6]
34

8 Apr 1930
1896
1940[7]
44

10 Apr 1940
1896

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?

Conclusion
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 (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-13-Classes of Evidence—Direct, Indirect & Negative : accessed 18 Jun 2016).
[1] Find A Grave, database with images (http://www.findagrave.com : ), 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 (http://www.familysearch.org : 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, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 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 ,  Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 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, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 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, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: 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, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 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