Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Where Were They 100 Years Ago?

Our assignment this week from Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings is:

1)  Determine where your ancestral families were on 19 July 1914 - 100 years ago.

2)  List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?

3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.

I’ll start with my maternal line:
My great grandparents, Thomas Newton Johnston (1885-1951) and Nell L. Hutson (1888-1919) were living in Gustine, Comanche County, Texas. Their eldest son, my grandfather, Tom J. Johnston Jr, (1912-1973) was living with them.

Thomas Newton Johnston’s parents, Reuben Mack Johnston (1841-1924) and Olivia Jane Jones (1859-1914) were also living in Gustine, Comanche County, Texas. Olivia died later that year on 11 Dec.

Nell L. Hutson’s parents, Peter Hayden Hutson (1853-1930) and Sarah Helena “Sallie” Selman (1858-1916) were probably living in Gustine, Comanche County, Texas.

My great grandparents, George Warren Lancaster (1893-1964) and Lela Ann Loveless (1896-1951) were living in Erath County, Texas, probably not far from the county seat, Stephenville. Their daughter, my grandmother, Pansy Louise Lancaster (1913-2013) lived with them.

George Warren Lancaster’s parents, William Carl Lancaster (1873-1946) and Martha Jane “Doll” Coor (1873-1942) were living in Stephenville, Erath County, Texas.

William Carl Lancaster’s parents were George Wilson Lancaster (1839-1919) and Martha Jane “Mattie” Polly (1855-1932). George W. was probably living in Dublin, Erath County, Texas. Mattie had remarried Noah Park and was living in Imperial County, California.

Lela Ann Loveless’ father was A. Ebenezer “Ebbie” Loveless (1851-1929) and he lived in Erath County, Texas on a farm. Her mother had previously passed away.

I have no photos of the farm houses in Texas.

My paternal line:
My great grandmother, Julia Ann Sievert (1854-1928) lived in Hamilton, Ravalli County, Montana. My grandfather, William Cyril Hork (1899-1967) lived with her. They lived at 601 South 5th Street. Cyril’s father, John A. Hork had died in 1906. I have a photo.
601 South 5th, Hamilton, Montana
My great grandfather, John H. Sullivan (1854-1932) lived in Anaconda, Deer Lodge County, Montana, probably at 1016 East 3rd (the address from the 1915 city directory). His daughter, my grandmother, Anna Marie Sullivan (1892-1979) graduated from Montana State Normal College in June 1914 so might have stay there or moved back to Anaconda and lived with her father. Her mother, Anna Marie Gleeson died in 1912.

My great-great grandparents, John Gleeson (1835-1915) and Margaret Tierney (1835-1920) lived in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon at 410 Ross Street. There are tall city buildings there now but I have a photo of the house!
410 Ross Street, Portland, Oregon

So I had 21 direct line ancestors living on 19 July 1914!

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Random Search: William T Lancaster & Julia A Cannon

Here’s another great challenge from Randy Seaver of Genea-musing.  You can see his blog post here.
1) We're going to do a little bit of Semi-Random Research tonight...
2) Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like RootsMagic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the very first person on your list of C surnames is. Or the first person on your list of J surnames. Or P surnames. Or any other name you need to research. Your choice!
3) What do you know (or not know) about this person based on your research? It's OK to do more research if you need to - in fact, it's encouraged!
4) How are you related to this person, and why is s/he in your family tree?
5) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.
This seemed like fun. I tried picking some letters in my RootsMagic program but kept coming up with people who were still alive, which I don’t want to write about here.

Earlier today I was working on entering tax records for my Lancaster families in Kaufman County, Texas, and I realized I didn’t have death dates for William T. Lancaster and his wife, Julia A. Cannon. What a perfect pair to work on with this challenge.

William T. Lancaster was the third child of Ellis W. Lancaster and Elizabeth S. Neel, born about 1837 in Missouri. Sometime after 1850, the family moved to Kaufman County, Texas and the family was found in the 1860 census, taken on the 5th of July 1860, as abstracted here:[1]
Lancaster, E.W., 50, born in VA, a farmer, land worth $3000, personal property $830. 
      Elizabeth S., 58, female, white, b. KY
      Wm T, 22, male, white, farming, personal value 500, b. MO
      Geo W, 21, male, white, farming, personal value 500, b. MO
      Linace, 18, female, b. MO
      Catharine, 14, female, b. MO
      Martha J, 12, female, b. MO
      Hannah, 10, female, b. MO
Olds, Ben, 19 male, Mas Carpenter, personal value 750, b. MO
Boystone, R, 25, male, Mas Carpenter, b. KY
Neil, Wm, 17, male, farm laborer, personal value 4000, b. TN

Here you see William T as a 22 year-old male with personal wealth of $500. This personal wealth could be the ownership of horses, wagons, or cash.

A few months later, William married Julia A. Cannon on 25 Oct 1860.[2]  Julia’s family also lived in Kaufman County, not far from William. Julia was born about 1845-46 to Emberry and Minervia Cannon.
Kaufman Co, Texas Marriages Bk 1a, p 68, Lancaster-Cannon
By the 1870 census, William and Julia were living in Milam County, Texas.[3] William’s occupation was retail merchant with $2000 worth of real estate and $5000 worth of personal property. He lived with Raymond S. Porter, also a retail merchant, his wife, Julia, child Ella, and possibly sister-in-law, Callie Cannon. A Mullatto nine year-old male named Marion Graham also lived with them as a servant.
1870 Milam Co TX - William Lancaster in the Raymond S. Porter household
In transcribing the Kaufman County tax records, W.T. Lancaster appeared twice, 1872 and 1879. But was he in the Milam County tax rolls? I went to to search the “Texas, County Tax rolls, 1846-1910” database and images. Putting “Lancaster” and “Milam” in the search boxes came back with no records. Then I tested the database and entered only Milam for the county with no names and it came back with no records. So Milam County has not yet been indexed.

I could also browse though, so I selected Milam County and then 1870. There were 48 images and they were listed by rough alphabetical order. The “L” names would be a bit half way so I selected page 20 and then worked my way through the L names until I found W.T. Lancaster.[4] He had 1 town lot in Duvilla worth 400. That was all besides the poll tax that he paid tax on.

1871 tax list had the taxpayers listed by address and there were 80 pages. I decided not to look for W.T. I do have him in the 1872 Kaufman County and his tax basis was for two pieces of property totaling 85 acres and worth $1121.[5] He also had 2 wagons or carriages worth $50, 3 horses worth $150, 2 cattle worth $10, and a $100 worth of miscellaneous items for a total of $1381.  Now the discrepancy between the census value and the tax value could be that he didn’t have to report “everything” he owned, only those items requested. 

There was also an 1879 tax list in Rockwall County (Kaufman Co split into two and this part was now Rockwall Co) and his total worth for tax purposes was $1277.[6]

In 1880, the family was found in the census.[7] William and Julia were hotel keepers. They had four children. Here is the abstract without all of the boarders:
Lancaster, Wm, w, m, 44, mar, hotel keeper, Missouri, VA/KY
                Julia, w, f, 33, wife, mar, keeper hotel, Alabama, TN/AL
                Ella, w, f, 17, daughter, single, Divorced, TX, MO/AL
                Ollie, w, m, 7, son, single, at school, TX, MO/AL
                Mark, w, m, 3, son, single, TX, MO/AL
                Carl, w, m, 1, son, single, TX, MO/AL

Now the trail was cold and it is time to do some research. has Texas death certificates in a database and images called “Texas Deaths 1890-1976.” It was time to see if I could find William or Julia in the death records.

Well, I struck out there. No record came close to either William T or WT Lancaster, nor for Julia Lancaster. It was time to look for some hints. I went to the family trees in and poked around. Several trees had William T and Julia but the last record sourced was the 1880 census. Some trees listed death date for both as “bef 1900” indicating that they were not found in the 1900 census.

FamilySearch Family Tree has one William Thomas Lancaster, born 1837, son of Ellis Lancaster and Elizabeth Neel, husband of Julia A.Cannon.  He is LC5S-MRH. This is probably the right person but again, no hints to the death date or place.

I decided to look at for any memorials for this family. The only ones I found were for one of their children: Ollie Edgar Lancaster (1871-1947).[8]

Back to and I found census records for Ollie, his wife, Bessie, and son, Cohn for 1910, 1920, 1930, and for Ollie and his son in 1940. I will download these and enter them into the database.

So I have extended the family a bit but still no death date or place for William T. and Julia A. Lancaster. Newspapers would be a good place to search but will have to be done by microfilm as there are few Texas papers online. There are also other children to search besides Ollie and maybe their obituaries might give some clues.

More for another day!

[1] Texas, Kaufman, 1860 U.S. census, pop. sched., Kaufman, p. 41, dwelling 338, family 340, E. W. Lancaster household, digital images,  ( accessed 20 Jan 2011), citing National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), M653.
[2] Kaufman Co, Texas, Marriage Bk 1a: 68, Lancaster-Cannon; FHL microfilm 1302500.
[3] Texas, Miram, 1870 U.S. census, pop sched, Devilla, p. 304A (stamped), dwelling 1535, family 1543, Raymond S Porter, digital images,  ( accessed 7 Mar 2011), citing National Archives and Records Administration, n.d., M593, roll 1598.
[4] “Texas, County Tax rolls, 1846-1910,”Milam Co, 1871, p 22, W.T. Lancaster.
[5] Ibid, Kaufman Co, 1872, p 34, W.T. Lancaster.
[6] Ibid, Rockwall Co, 1879, p 13, W.T. Lancaster.
[7] Texas, Kaufman, 1880 U.S. census, pop. sched., Terrill, enumeration district (ED) 38, p. 114 C & D (stamped), dwelling 66, family 67, Wm Lancaster; digital images  ( accessed 7 Mar 2011), citing National Archives and Records Administration, n.d., T9, roll 1315.
[8] "Find A Grave," database and digital images, Find A Grave (, Memorial# 57268107, Mission Burial Park South, San Antonio TX, Ollie Edgar Lancaster.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family

Saturday, July 5, 2014

52 Ancestors, Week 18: Ellis W. Lancaster (1808-1866)

This is week 18 of the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge” by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.  I am a bit behind but intend to catch up.

This week I’m writing about Ellis W. Lancaster, who was my maternal fourth great-grandfather.

In his lifetime, he lived in four states: Virginia, where he was born on 7 Jul 1808; Shelby Co, Kentucky where he was married on 10 Jun 1831 to Elizabeth S. Neel; Missouri, where his eight children were all born; and Kaufman Co, Texas, where he died shortly before 13 Sep 1866.[1]

Ellis was most likely named after the maiden name of his mother, Sarah Ellis. Ellis’ father was Robert Lancaster.

As stated above, Ellis married Elizabeth S. Neel in Shelby Co, Kentucky and they moved to Missouri shortly after that, as evidence by their first born child, Sarah A. Lancaster, was born 11 April 1832 in Missouri.[2]  The following children were:
  • James R. Lancaster, born Sep 1835, death unknown
  • William T Lancaster, born 1837, death unknown
  • George Wilson Lancaster, born 3 Apr 1839, died 14 Jan 1919[3]
  • Lenir A. Lancaster, born 1843, death unknown
  • Catharine Susan Lancaster, born 1847, died 1871
  • Martha J. Lancaster, born 1848/49, death unknown
  • Hannah Lancaster, born 1850, death unknown

Almost the complete family in 1850 Lewis Co, MO census. Hanna, the youngest was born after the census was taken.
From the list of birth and death dates, I need to do more research on the extended family. I do know that the first seven were married as I have the names of their spouses.

He also owned slaves and here is the 1850 slave schedule for Lewis Co, Missouri. Interesting that his slaves were all young females. Perhaps they worked in the house or yard garden.
1850 Lewis Co, MO slave schedule
Ellis and family moved to Texas sometime before 1860. He purchased his first piece of land from Mary Standifer and Samuel H. McHenry in Kaufman Co, Texas on 12 Feb 1858.[4] There were more transactions but I haven't had a chance to analyze them yet.

In 1860, Ellis stated his land was worth $3000 and his personal property worth $830. This was before the Civil War.  From the agricultural schedule, he had 160 acres of improved land and 160 acres unimproved. He also had $175 worth of machinery.  Livestock included 2 horses, 6 milk cows, 4 other types of cattle, 24 swine for a value of $459.  He also produced 200 bushels of Indian corn and 250 bushels of oats.

Here is Ellis Lancaster on the 1860 Agricultural Schedule
Ellis died sometime before 13 Sep 1866, when his wife, Elizabeth and son, William T. appeared in court concerning the estate of E.W. Lancaster.[5] Elizabeth was appointed executrix and William T. Lancaster and J.O. Monday as sureties. 
Kaufman County Probate, 1866, p 342
In October of the same year, Elizabeth returned to the court with the inventory of the estate. It was divided in two parts: E.W.’s property valued at $405 and separate property claimed by his wife, totaled at $1397. 
Kaufman County Probate, 1866, p 361
It is interesting that she had separate property claimed by her. How did she obtain this property? From an inheritance? Had she brought property into the marriage? More research is needed! The other interesting this was the short list. Other probates had lists that ran 1-2 pages long. Where were the kitchen items and other furniture besides beds?  The appraisers stated this was the complete list of items "pointed out" to them by the administrator.

I didn't find any other reports about this estate. No other pages were listed in the index and I checked page by page until the June 1867 session. I will keep looking in case I missed any more records.

[1] For birth & parentage: see Robert “Robin” Lancaster, “Lancaster Family Genealogy Forum: Shelby Co,” posted by Nancy Mathews,,Lancaster::lancaster::2599.html : accessed 4 Jul 2014; for marriage: Shelby County, Kentucky Marriages, 1792-1851,compiled by Annie Walker Burns Bell, p 49, Lancaster-Neel, FHL film 851648, i4; for children’s birth: 1850 & 1860 census records, 1850 Lewis Co MO, p 707 (355 stamped), dwelling 355, family 415, Ellis W. Lancaster and 1860 Kaufman Co TX, p. 41, dwelling 338, family 340, E. W. Lancaster; and for death: Kaufman Co, Texas, Probate records 1858-1870, p 342, FHL film 1451663 Item 5
[2] Birthplace from census records 1850-1900; birthdate from memorial 51036012, Sara A. Bourn, Campground Cemetery, Terrell, Kaufman Co, TX.
[3] I’m descend through George W.
[4] Rockwall County, Texas, Deeds, bk I, p 360, # 270, Standifer & McHenry to Lancaster, FHL film 1289128. Note, this portion of Kaufman county became Rockwall County in 1873.
[5] "Texas Probate Records, 1800-1990," Kaufman County Probate 1858-1870, digital images, : accessed 4 Jul 2014, 1866, p 342-43 & 360-61, E.W. Lancaster.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, Mam-ma's Southern Family