Grand Army Members

As we celebrate Memorial Day by honoring those who died while serving in the U.S. military, I would like to take today to honor my ancestors who served for the Union during the civil war.

Washington Marion Crawford

  • Sergeant in Company H of the 2nd Regiment New York Cavalry Volunteers
  • Enlisted 3 Aug 1861
  • Captured 22 Sept 1863 at Liberty Mills
  • Imprisoned at Belle Isle until March 1864
  • Imprisoned at Andersonville Mary 1864 to Nov 1864
  • Imprisoned at Charleston, South Carolina Nov 1864
  • Paroled 7 Dec 1864
  • Mustered out 8 Apr 1865

Richmond Fisk Hammond

  • Company E 17 Illinois Volunteers
  • enlisted 25 May 1861 as a private
  • honorably discharged 21 Aug 1861 in Missouri
  • 1st Illinois Cavalry Volunteers
  • Enlisted 1 March 1862
  • Discharged from 1st Illinois Calvary Volunteers
  • Company H of the 102nd Infantry
  • Enlisted 26 Jul 1862
  • Deserted 2 Sep 1862
  • Company D of the 14 Illinois Cavalry
  • Enlisted as a private 29 Sep 1862
  • Appointed Sergeant 1 Mar 1863
  • Captured near Atlanta 3 Aug 1864
  • Imprisoned at Andersonville
  • Imprisoned at Charleston, South Carolina
  • Paroled May 1865
  • Mustered out 12 May 1865

Hiram M. Currey

Albert Hutchinson

Noah Washington Briles

Alexander Briles

James Marshall Ricketts

George Mentzer

As I compiled this information, I realized that two of my ancestors, Albert Hutchinson from my father’s side of the tree and Noah Briles from my mother’s side of the tree, served in the same regiment.

Number Forty-Two

#SaturdayNightGenealogyFun

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans:  It’s Saturday Night again – 
Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!


Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):
1)  Have you identified #42 on your ahnentafel list?  If not, how about #21 the mother of #42?  If not, how about #10 on your ahnentafel list?  Do you even have an ahnentafel list?  
2)  Anyway, tell us about your #42 ancestor (or #21, or #10, etc.) – full name, parents, spouse, children, birth, baptism, death, marriage, burial, etc.  

So, who is #42 on my Ahnentafel? It is Henry F. Burke, father of Angelina Jane Burke Currey.

A search of this blog reveals three posts related to Henry F. Burke.

  • Shaky Leaf Bonanza
  • Will the Estate Ever Be Settled?
  • A Random Clue

Ahnentafel #42

Henry F. Burke was born on 30 Apr 1811.13

He was the child of John Burke and Elizabeth Graves.

He married Elizabeth Ann Bland on 22 Oct 1835 in Monroe, Kentucky, United States.46

On 30 Oct 1836, Angelina Jane Burke was born in Kentucky, United States.

On 2 Feb 1838, Milton E. Burke was born in Tennessee, United States.

He was listed on the tax rolls in 1839 in Platte City, Platte, Missouri, United States.78

On 25 Jul 1839, Sarah E. Burke was born in Missouri, United States.

Henry S Burke was listed on the 1840 census. Included in his household were 1 white male under 5, 1 white male 20-29, 2 white females under 5, 1 white female 20-20, 1 male slave under 10, 1 female slave under 10,910

On 15 Jul 1841, Pamilla A. Burke was born in Missouri, United States.

Henry  purchased land being the NE 1/4 of section 27 Township 54 North of Range 36 West on 21 Aug 1843 in Platte City, Platte, Missouri, United States.11

On 30 Apr 1844, John Martin Burke was born in Missouri, United States.

He sold land being the North East 1/4 of Section 27 in Township 54 of Range 36 on 5 Mar 1845 in Platte, Missouri, United States.12

He died on 30 Oct 1845 at the age of 34 in Weston, Platte, Missouri, United States.3,1314

Henry was buried after 30 Oct 1845 at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Weston, Platte, Missouri, United States.23,13

He had his estate on the probate court docket on 2 Mar 1846 in Platte, Missouri, United States.15

He received a preemption certificate having made full payment for the NE 1/4 of secton 27 township 54 of range 36 on 1 Apr 1846 in Plattsburg, Clinton, Missouri, United States.1617

Henry had his estate on the probate court docket on 4 Apr 1846 in Platte, Missouri, United States.18

He had his estate on the probate court docket on 4 May 1846 in Platte, Missouri, United States.18

He had his estate on the probate court docket on 1 Jun 1846 in Platte, Missouri, United States.18

Henry had his estate on the probate court docket on 5 Aug 1846 in Platte, Missouri, United States.18

He had his estate on the probate court docket on 7 Sep 1846 in Platte, Missouri, United States.18

He had his estate on the probate court docket on 2 Feb 1847 in Platte, Missouri, United States.18


ENDNOTES:

        1. Hiram Currey, Hiram Currey Family Bible (New York: American Bible Society, 1880); Marcia Philbrick, Seneca, KS, Family Record — Births, Children of H. F. & E. A. Burk “Henry F. Burke The Father of Angelina Jane Burke was borned April the 30th 1811”

        2. , (Doc. #: Burke.MO.005), Laurel Hill Cemetery, , .

        3. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online July 2017), memorial for Henry F Burke (1811-1845), Find a Grave Memorial no. #24041218, created by Laura Tasset Koehn, citing Laurel Hill Cemetery, Weston, Platte County, Missouri; accompanying photograph by Marcia Philbrick, Henry F Burke.

        4. Interview with Birdwell, Dayton (moore@asu.edu). (), (Bland.KY.014).

        5. The History of Monroe County Kentucky 1820-1988 (Tompkinsville, KY: Birdwell, 1996)

        6. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 database, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7836/). Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 : [AccessType] [AccessDate]; [Page].

        7. Platte County Missouri Records 1839-1849: 1840 Federal Census, Sale of Sixteenth Secion, 1842 Land Records and Tax Lists of 1839, 1847, and 1849 (Platte City, Missouri: Platte County Historical Society, 1993), p. 34 (Burke.MO.055)

        8. Murray, Betty Runner, Platte County, Missouri Records 1839-1849 (Platte City, MO: Platte County Historical Society, 1993), p. 3 (Burke.MO.052).

        9. 1840 U.S. Census, Platte County Missouri, Platte County, Missouri, Henry S. Burke; digital images,  (: viewed online July 2017).

        10. History of Clay and Platte Counties Missouri (: , 1885)

        11. Murray, Betty Runner, Platte County, Missouri Records 1839-1849 (Platte City, MO: Platte County Historical Society, 1993), p. 133 (Doc. #: Burke.MO.052).

        12. Missouri, Platte County, “Deed Records, 1839-1895,”  digital image, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.com : viewed online September 2017), Image 246.

        13. Platte County Historical Society, Cemetery Record of Platte County, Missouri (Platte Co., MO: Platte County Historical Society, 1968), Appendix p. 11 “Weston Cemetery” (Doc. #: Burke.MO.002).

        14. “1884 Complaint Burke vs Brooks,” transcription of court documents, Barbara_Parker1510, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online October 2016), Henry F. Burke; transcribed from FHL Film #985,278.

        15. Platte County, MIssouri, Court Record, v. 1 1839-1846, image 246; Estate of H. F. Burke; FamilySearch, http://www.familysearch.org; FHL microfilm 988945 / #007631728.

        16. United States, U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907, Henry Burke, 1 April 1846; database with images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed online October 2016).

        17. United States Bureau of Land Management, “General Land Office Records,” database with images, BLM.Gov (http://glorecords.blm.gov : viewed online 29 May 2021), Henry F Burke.

        18. Platte County, MIssouri, Court Record, v. 1 1839-1846, Elizabeth Burke.

        19. Platte County, Missouri. (Burke.MO.041).

        20. Platte County Missouri Abstracts of Wills and Administrations 1841-1861 (Kansas City, MO: Hodges, Woodruff, 1969), p. 8 (Burke.MO.007)

        21. Platte County Missouri Marriage Records, Platte County Courthouse, p. 104 (Burke.MO.037).

Call to Add GPS

#52Ancestors

Have you visited cemeteries in search of a grave? Did a family member help you find the gravesite?

Each memorial day, my mom would load us kids up in the car along with cut flowers from the garden to meet my grandparents at the cemetery to decorate graves. Thus, I grew up knowing where the Crawford family plot was in the Dodge City cemetery.

However, I did not remember where all of the other family graves were, including my great grandfather and 2nd great grandparents. I learned where those gravesites were when my grandmother took me on a ‘family plot’ tour of the cemetery. Thanks to her guidance, I can walk to most of those family plots.

When I’ve gone to other cemeteries looking for graves, I’ve sometimes walked the entire cemetery before locating the stone. In larger cemeteries, I’ve been able to visit the office and get a general location for the stone. Even when armed with that information, I’ve haven’t been able to walk right up to the stone.

That’s where GPS technology can be very helpful. While on a Memorial Day cemetery visit to locate graves of collateral relatives in Kansas city, I was very thankful for that technology. We were looking for a grave in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Kansas City, Kansas and the office was overwhelmed. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the entire cemetery on BillionGraves. Using the BillionGraves app, we were able to drive to the section and then I was able to walk to the grave.

I had a similar experience while visiting the Olathe Memorial Cemetery in Olathe, Kansas. I can generally locate the stone of my great grandmother, Winnie Currey (Curry) who is buried there. During a visit to the cemetery a couple of years ago, we discovered that they had GPSed the entire cemetery and made it searchable on their website.

Since Find a Grave is the go-to source for many people looking for burial information, I was curious about the ability to add GPS coordinates to a record on Find a Grave. If using a GPS enabled device such as a smart phone, then adding those coordinates appears to be fairly simple. Pictured below are the directions from the Find a Grave site.

Curious as to what that looks like on the app, I checked the Find a Grave record for a collateral relative who is buried in the Dodge City cemetery. His record already has a tombstone picture. Thus, I can’t take a photo and quickly add it to the record. However, while using the app (and not the web site), there is a handy little button to Add GPS.

So, my plans for this memorial day weekend is to work on getting this GPS data out there by making sure a photo has been uploaded to BillionGraves and either adding a photo or adding the GPS coordinates to Find a Grave. Won’t you join me in this endeavor?

GAR Monument

Most of us have heard of Gettysburg National Military Park. Spread throughout this park are monuments honoring the soldiers who fought there. But, have you heard of the Union Soldiers and Sailors National Park?

Don’t feel bad because I hadn’t either. That was until I studied a document I have for George Mentzer.

May future generations never forget the debt of gratitude they owe to the Brave Boys in Blue who on land and sea volunteered their services during that memorable struggle for the preservation of our Union, and may our motto always be

“Liberty and Union, Now and Forever,

One and Inseperable”

To all whom it may concern

Know ye that

George Mentzer

was enrolled, in a private of Company C

24th Regt. Massachusetts Vol. Infantry on the 26th day of Sept. 1861 and was

Honorably Discharged

September 30th A.D. 1864

His complete Record of Service and a copy of his discharge can be found in Carnahan’s

Manual of the Civil war

a companion to this Souvenir

This design for a National Monument was Dedicated to the Grand Army of the Republic and Kindred Societies by

The Easel Monument Association

and by them will be erected in the center of the Union Soldiers and Sailors National Park when the location of said park shall have been determined by the sale of this Souvenir

Underneath the Souvenir is the following information:

This is to certify that George Mentzer is a contributor to the Easel Monument Project and that his name counts and votes in favor of the State of Kansas in the contest for the location of the Union Soldiers and Sailors National Park. This souvenir was presented by him to his wife Emeline Aug 13 1898.

An article on the front page of the 8 Sep 1898 issue of The Columbus Advocate (Columbus, Cherokee County, Kansas) discusses the sale of these souvenirs in Kansas.

S. A. Matsler and his staff of assistants representing The Easel Monument Association have been operating in our town and county for some time with the result that a great deal of interest has been taken in the movement for erecting “The Union Soldiers and Sailors National Park.” The distribution of The Easel Monument Souvenirs has been almost completed, and as they are beautiful works of art and finished in an artistic manner they are giving general satisfaction to the ex-soldiers of our county who have been so fortunate as to patronize the movement and secure the souvenirs for their families. We hope that these sons may be successful in their work in other counties and receive the good will of all interested in a patriotic movement.

According to the souvenir, information about George Mentzer’s discharge is supposed to be in the book Manual of the Civil War. Full text versions of this book are available on Archive.org and on Google Books. However, a search of this book does not contain any MENTZER information.

The website, The Easel Monument: A Relic from the Civil War, discusses the souvenirs and the proposed monument and park. The website, Vermont in the Civil War, contains an extract from the book which gives a detailed description of the monument. In modern day terms, the proposed monument proved to be a scam and the park was never built.

Troubleshooting

Do you ever try to perform a task in a piece of software and just can’t get it to work like you think it should? That’s my situation.

I’m trying to create a ‘Who Was There’ report in RootsMagic for everyone who was living in Garrard, Madison or Lincoln counties, Kentucky prior to 1800. I thought I had this all figured out but no matter how I modify the settings, there is one individual who should be on the report who is NOT: Osborn Bland

To try and figure out what I was doing wrong, I checked to make sure Osborn Bland had a fact placing him in one of those counties. I verified that he had a residence fact for 1782 with a place of Madison, Kentucky, United States. I also verified that the fact was not marked ‘Private’.

Knowing that Osborn Bland had facts placing him in Nelson County, Kentucky, I tried a different approach to see of I could get him on a ‘Who Was There’ report. I created a marked group for people who have any fact place containing ‘Nelson, Kentucky’

Osborn Bland appears in this group. Thus, I know that the program is picking up the place ‘Nelson, Kentucky’. So, I tried a ‘Who Was There’ report for Nelson, Kentucky using my ‘AnyFact Place Nelson Kentucky’ marked group.

Again, Osborn Bland should be on the report but is found missing – AGAIN. (Note, his son, Osborn Bland Jr is on the report and in the Marked Group.)

Thinking that there is an issue with Osborn Bland, I created another person and named him Osborn Test Bland. I created facts for this test subject. These facts place him in Madison, Nelson and Monroe counties, Kentucky. I edited the Marked Group for Nelson County to make sure he would be found for the group. His inclusion in the marked group can be seen in the following image and in the above images for attempting the WhoWasThere report.

Strangely, this newly created individual is also missing from the Who Was There report as evidenced in the images above.

So, I tried a ‘Who Was There’ report for Nelson, Kentucky and set the date to 1785.

Again, no Osborn Bland nor an Osborn Test Bland. As I was creating the above report, I wondered if the age range of 0 to 100 was affecting my results. Thus, I modified Osborn Test Bland to add an approximate birth date of 1750 and an approximate death date of 1830. This time, Osborn Test Bland appeared on my report.

I couldn’t figure out how to create this report without the age range criteria. Thus, it will not pull up individuals who do not have a birth and a death date. By adding the approximate birth and death dates, then the individual is pulled for the report. This explains why I could get them on a marked group list but not on the report.

I posted this issue to the Facebook RootsMagic group and want to thank everyone who commented on my post with suggestions on how to get this report to pull Osborn Bland.

Mentzer Hints

Have you found a biography for an ancestor in a county historical society publication or a county history? If so, did it provide clues about your ancestor’s life?

I’m lucky to have two different biographies of George Mentzer. The biography found in the book, History of Woodson and Allen Counties, Kansas, provides clues to George’s life as a young adult.

In 1850, George Mentzer was living with his mother in Stow, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. In 1860, George was living with his brother in Northborough, Worcester County, Massachusetts. The clues in George’s biography indicate that he was living in Illinois between 1850 and 1860.

  • 1854 – a farm hand in Illinois at age of 16
  • 1856 – a grocery clerk in Chicago at age of 18
  • 1857 – helped establish the first hotel in Kewanee, Henry County, Illinois at age of 19
  • 1859 – learned the trade of comb maker in Massachusetts at age of 21

Unfortunately, I have not been able to verify these details. George did have a brother, Rufus and a sister, Sarah Oman living in Henry County, Illinois in 1860. Rufus Mentzer served as a postmaster for Kewanee between 1861 and 1866. Thus, George could easily have been in Henry County, Illinois prior to 1860.

However, information in the book, The History of Henry County, Illinois by Henry L. Kiner includes information from a diary by Hiram T. Lay. According to that diary, there was a hotel in Kewanee in 1854. Thus, George Mentzer did not help build the first hotel in Kewanee in 1857.

Even though I have not been able to find additional documentation for George’s life between 1850 and 1860, most of the other information in the biographies has been backed up by other sources.

Below is the biography found on page 680 of the book, History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas (available on Ancestry).

GEORGE MENTZER
The Veteran soldier who risked his life in defense of the flag, all things else being equal, takes high rank as a citizen. This may be partly because of the quality of the patriotism of the American public, but there is another reason for the preeminence of the veteran. The man who has the form of character to win distinction as a faithful defender of his country possesses the resourceful perseverance so necessary to success in other fields, and this is abundantly verified in the life of George Mentzer, who loyally followed the starry banner during the Civil war and is now one
of the enterprising and prosperous agriculturists of Woodson county, where he has made his home since I869.
A native of Stowe, Massachusetts, he was born June 12, I838, and is a son of Phillip A. and Orinda (Miles) Mentzer. The father, a native of Germany, died in Massachusetts in 1844, and his widow was buried by the side of her husband on the old home place in the Bay state. They had ten children, but only three are now living; Rufus, of Ft. Morgan, Colorado, Mrs. Sarah A. Green of Boston, Massachusetts
and George of this review.
The last named was reared in his native village until sixteen years of age, when he emigrated to Illinois and became a farm hand, being employed in that capacity for about two years. He then went to Chicago, where he secured a situation as clerk in a grocery store, also acting as assistant in a butchering establishment. Upon leaving the city he returned to Massachusetts to visit his mother and while there he learned
the trade of a comb maker, the combs being manufactured from the horns of cattle. He also improved his literary education by attending school. He was still in his native state when the Civil war broke out and there he enlisted as a member of company C, Twenty-fourth Massachusetts infantry, which was sent to Annapolis and on to North Carolina and thence to South Carolina, being discharged in front of Petersburg, Virginia. Among the important engagements in which he participated were the battles of Roanoke Island, Newberne, White Hall Goldsboro, Kingston, Bermuda Hundred and
Petersburg. He did duty in front of the Rebel fort which was blown up by a Pennsylvania regiment. In all of his three years’ service he was never wounded, but was always found at his post of duty faithfully defending the starry banner—the emblem of an undivided union.
When the war was ended Mr. Mentzer returned to Massachusetts and spent the
succeeding winter in Boston, after which he turned his attention to farming. He then again made his way to Illinois, where, prior to the war, he had aided in establishing the first hotel in Kewanee. He remained a resident of Henry county and was engaged in the butchering business until I869, when he came to Woodson County, Kansas, settling on section six. Center township, where he has since made his home,
his labors being given to the improvement of his farm. He now has a rich tract of land, the alluvial soil yielding good harvests for the work bestowed upon it.
In Henry county, Illinois, Mr. Mentzer was united in marriage to Miss Emeline Minnick, a daughter of John Minnick, a Pennsylvania German, who had a family of five daughters and one son. The wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Mentzer was celebrated on the 1st of January, I867, and they are now the parents of eight children, as follows: Charles 0. who married Nettie Wells; John P. who married Anna Wells; Susie May; Henry A.; Phillip E. who is now a student of the State Agricultural College of Kansas; Ernest E.; Clara E. and Clarence A. Although the Mentzer family have usually been Republicans, George Mentzer cast his first presidential vote for the Democratic
nominee in 1860, and is now a Prohibitionist. He believes most firmly in the abolishment of the liquor traffic through acts of legislation, and he is the type of citizens who support all measures to advance the moral welfare of the community.

Below is the biography found in the Woodson County (KS) Historical Society publication, In the Beginning from July 1970.

The George Mentzer Family

Around 100 years ago, George Mentzer, a veteran of the Civil War first came to Woodson County, seeking a home here on the prairie. On May 16, 1870, he made a contract with the MKT Railway to purchase 160 acres in the northeast corner of Section 6-24-14. Isaac T. Goodnow was the Katy land agent in Neosho Falls at that time. Mentzer made a deposit of $67 on the $738.67 that the five-year contract called for. He then returned to his home at Kewaunee, Henry County, Illinois the following year, early in the spring of 1871, George Mentzer with his wife Emeline, and two sons, Charles 0. and John Fred, and a close friend, George W. Allen, came to Kansas in a covered wagon.

They arrived in Neosho Falls in May. Obtaining rooms for Mrs. Mentzer and the two small boys at the Falls House where they were to stay until a home was made for them on the homestead.

Mentzer and Allen then loaded up some supplies and lumber and headed for the new homestead that was all prairie grass except where West Owl Creek cut across the southwest corner of the quarter section. They built a small two-room cabin and some necessary fences and sheds.

Mentzer then went to Neosho Falls and brought his family to the new home. Allen, who was a single man, stayed with the Mentzers for awhile until he obtained the southeast quarter of Section 36-24-14.

George Allen married a school teacher from Toronto and moved onto his new farm (where Harley Mentzer lives).

The George Mentzer farm is still owned by descendants, known as the John Williams farm.

George Mentzer was a native of Stowe, Mass., where he was born June 12, 1838. His parents were Phillip and Orinda (Miles) Mentzer.

There were ten children in this family. Phillip Mentzer was a native of Germany.

When the Civil War broke out G. Mentzer enlisted as a member of Company C, 24th Massachusetts Infantry. We believe that George Allen was with him throughout the war.

He participated in several battles. In one battle he was one of nine soldiers of his company to survive. Mentzer was discharged at Petersburg, Virginia, after three years· of service.

Following the war he returned to his native state and spent the succeeding winter at Boston. He made his way to Kewaunee, Illinois where he met and married a young lady who was clerking in a store.

George Mentzer and Emeline Minnick were married on January 1, 1867, at Kewaunee. His bride was a daughter of John Minnick, a Pennsylvania German. While named Emeline, she was known mostly as Emma. They were the parents of eight children; namely, Charles 0., who married Nettie Wells and their children were Gladys (Mrs. Roy Green), twins Paul and Pauline (Mrs. Osmond Briles, Leslie, and Herbert.

John Fred, who married Anna Wells, their children were HaLel (Mrs. Ed Herold), Cecil (Mrs. Emil Beine), Pearl (Mrs. A. Peterson), Marjorie (Mrs. Paul Weide), Fred, Harley, Mildred (Mrs. John VanValkenburg), Aleta (Mrs. Wendell Tolle).

Susie May, who married Ed Tunnicliff. They had no children.

Henry A., who married May Litton. They had a daughter, Dixie. A son died in infancy.

Phillip E., who married Anna Sheflin. They had three sons, Howard, Lauren and Ivan.

Ernest E., who married Edith Dummond. They had eleven children : George Edward, Talmadge “Tye”, Fleta (Mrs. Leon Vanvalkenburg), Austin, M. Burdette, Keith, Juanita (Mrs. Charles Baldwin), Norryce, Lovell, who was killed in action in World War II, and Donald. A son Laddie died at the age of six months.

Clara E., who married John W. Williams. They had twelve children: Glenn M., Goldie M. (Mrs. Ted Brodman), Edith E. (Mrs. Lester Hard­ing), John Harold, Leo L., Freddie Lloyd, Helen D. (Mrs. Orval Smith), George Wesley, Clifford W., Letha M., Doris Ann (Claxton), and Verna L. (Mrs. LeRoy Faherty). Clarence A., who married Grace Graham, had no children.

In the first years of their life here along the branch of Owl Creek Indians would camp along the creek as they would travel from the res­ervation to the Indian Territory to the south. They were friendly In­dians, but inveterate beggars. George Mentzer smoked a pipe. These Indians would often beg tobacco from him. On one occasion Mentzer found a couple of Indians digging in the bank along west Owl Creek. They were digging out a skunk. He asked them what they were going to do with it. They replayed, “Eat ’eml Heaps of good eats in ’em.”

Some of the Indians would come to the Mentzer house and bargain for eggs. They seemed to delight in scaring the two little boys, Charley and Fred.

George Mentzer had one of the first telephones in the county. He and C. B. Goodale, who lived about two miles to the north, each got telephones and fixed a line between them so they could talk.

Early on a Sunday morning in December, 1887, the George Mentzer family was getting ready to go to Sunday school at the Methodist Church in Yates Center. The Mentzer home was three miles west and about a mile and three-quarters north of Yates Center.

In the midst of their getting ready a man came to the door. He explained that he was taking a census of some kind although Mentzer observed that the man was carrying a gun. Mr. Mentzer had sold some hogs the day before and his first thought was that the man had fol­lowed him from Yates Center. Then he remembered that a man accused of stealing cattle had escaped the law and was in the hills of Belmont township. With this suspicion, Mentzer sent word of the man evidently as the rest of the family went to church in Yates Center.

The story of the cattle theft went back to the week before this, when a man by the name of Charley Mills, who worked for a Mr. Hob­son of Belmont township, had been arrested on the preceding Thursday for stealing three head of cattle. The cattle belonged to a Mr. Hay­wood of Allen County, who was pasturing them in the Hobson pasture. This farm was where a large stone house stood for many years and was known as the Adamson farm, a short distance east from Big Sandy Creek.

Mills had stolen the cattle and sold them to a butcher in Yates Cen­ter. He then stole three head of cattle from a neighbor and turned them into the pasture with the rest of the Hayward cattle. The evidence brought against him was almost certain but when he was brought be­fore the justice, he asked for a continuence till the following Friday morning to obtain witnesses. During Thursday night he escaped from Constable Metz, who was guarding him. Friday morning Metz went down to Belmont township and caught sight of the man in the hills and brush and fired two or three shots at him, but Mills got away from him. On Saturday morning Metz and Constable Throughman of Belmont found and arrested their man early in the morning. They all went to Throughman’s for breakfast and while Throughman was taking care of the horses the prisoner got hold of gun, knocked Met7 down and again escaped.

Word was spread throughout Belmont and to Yates Center. A sheriffs posse was organized. The hills and woods throughout Belmont township was guarded and searched all day long but no prisoner was located. Seems like the only “game” the posse saw was numerous door. One man reported seeing 17 deer in one bunch.

Somehow Mills eluded the posse and got out of the hills and to the Ed Currie home where he was permitted to stay all night and on Sun­day morning walked to the George Mentzer home on West Owl Creek. The man wanted to engage board and lodging for two or three days at the Mentzer home.

When Mentzer sent word to town about the man whom he suspected as the missing prisoner, two Yates Center fellows, Joe Allen and Will Pruit, who evidently thought they would get some glory and perhaps some reward, took it into their heads to go out and capture the prisoner.

It was mealtime and the Mentzer family, including Mr. and Mrs. Mentzer, the six sons and two daughters, and the stranger were at the table when Allen and Pruit first came to a window and then to the door. They came in, got the drop on the stranger, then asked Mrs. Mentzer and two daughters to go into the other room. Mrs. Clara

(Mentzer) Williams, who still owns the Mentzer homestead recalls that although she was only 5 years old at the time, and she was very much frightened when the men asked them to go into the other room.

The two young men were having some difficulty until Abe Smith, a nearby neighbor and early day sheriff of Woodson County arrived and helped them. Smith was not sheriff at this time. The prisoner had gotten on his knees in a pleading position and was creeping closer to one of the boys before Mr. Mentzer stopped him.

The prisoner, Charley Mills, waived examination and on Monday was taken to jail at Eureka. He was an old offender and a dangerous man. A short time later he escaped from the jail at Eureka and that’s the last trace of him that we found.

Even though these biographies may not be totally accurate, they provide lots of details about the life of George Mentzer, his siblings and his family.

ThruLines Analysis

Have you tested your DNA with Ancestry? If so, do you have a tree with at least a few ancestors named? And, are your DNA results attached to someone in your tree? Those are the requirements for Ancestry to begin populating your ancestral ‘ThruLines’.

Basically, ThruLines tries to locate other descendants of your ancestors and show relationships to a common ancestor. These suggested relationships are dependent on the accuracy of your tree as well as the accuracy of your DNA match’s tree.

Without evaluating those relationships, I believe one can use the number of matches an ancestor has to pick up clues about one’s tree. For example, my logic suggests that unless there are only children involved, the number of matches should increase from one generation to the next. I also believe that unless there are multiple marriages involved, the number of matches for the husband should match the number of matches for his wife. Thus, an analysis of the number of matches can raise questions about one’s own tree.

For example, I manage 4 tests on Ancestry. Three of those tests are for siblings. Thus when I see 2 matches for grandparents and 3 matches for great grandparents that suggests an issue.

However,, when I browse thru my matches, I find at least four known second cousins thru my ancestors Hiram Currey and Winnie Hutchinson that either don’t have a tree or have an unlinked tree. Spelling of the surname may also be an issue, since some records spell the surnames as Curry and Hutchison. Thus, I’m not overly concerned about their only being 3 matches for this pair of great grandparents.

These numbers can also reveal matches connecting thru a different spouse. My ancestor, Richmond Hammond had a daughter, Hattie, by his second wife. When I look at the number of ThruLines matches for Richmond Hammond and his first wife Sarah Ralston, they are not the same. Thus, this can be a clue to look for multiple marriages.

Another issue is revealed by comparing the number of matches between generations. For example, my 2nd great grandmother, Angelina Burke has 8 ThruLines matches. If I look at her parents, they also have 8 matches.

Since Angelina was not an only child, I would expect more matches for her parents than for her. Since that isn’t true, then I have to look at ‘why’. One reason might be that no one has tested from her siblings lines. Another reason my be that those descendants have tested but either don’t have a tree attached or have a very small tree that doesn’t have a person in common with my tree. It is also possible that other trees use a different format or spelling for the names of Henry Burke and Elizabeth Bland. Another reason is that my tree might be wrong. Thus, these numbers indicate that I need to do additional work on this particular line.

A telling issue is a very small number of matches for a distant relative. Thus, when I see only 2 matches for James Forbes while his wife, Ann Thomson has 16-19 matches, I know there is an issue.

Since I don’t have much data to support this ancestor, I’m assuming that I have a mistake in my tree.

And then there are the zeroes.

Even though these zeroes are associated with my mom’s 5th great grandparents, they are still a red flag that I likely have something wrong.

Thus, taking the time to record the number of matches for my ancestral ThruLines was worth it.

Below are the numbers for each of the ThruLines matches for the tests I manage:

Rachel Christy

Rachel Elmeda Christy1 was born on 28 Apr 1845 in Clinton, Indiana, United States.2–8

She was the child of Samuel Christy and Lyda Gallimore.9

She was listed as Elmedia Cristy, a 5 year old female who was born in Ohio in the household of Samuel Cristy in Jasper Township, Fayette, Ohio, United States on 21 Sep 1850.10

Rachel E. Christy was listed in the household of Samuel H Christy on the 1860 census living in Jefferson Township, Tipton County, Indiana. According to the census, Rachel was 15 years old and born in Ohio.11

She married James Marshall Ricketts on 12 Jul 1866 in Frankfort, Clinton, Indiana, United States.4–5,7,12–25

On 7 Apr 1868, Frances Artlissa “Artie” Ricketts was born in Clinton, Indiana, United States.22–23

On 24 Apr 1870, Hulda May Ricketts was born in Clinton, Indiana, United States.22–23

Rachel A Rickets was listed in the household of James M Rickets on the 1870 census living in Sugar Creek Township, Clinton County, Indiana. According to the census, Rachel was 25 years old and born in Ohio.26

On 9 Nov 1871, Annabelle Ricketts was born in Clinton, Indiana, United States.22–23

On 29 Jul 1873, Daisy Pearl Ricketts was born in Clinton, Indiana, United States.22–23

On 17 Mar 1875, Manford Milton Ebesnor Ricketts was born in Clinton, Indiana, United States.22–23

On 17 Jun 1877, Charles Desmond Ricketts was born in Clinton, Indiana, United States.22–23

Rachel A Ricketts was listed as the wife of James M Ricketts on the 1880 census living in Everett Township, Woodson County, Kansas. According to the census, Rachel was 34 years old and born in Ohio.27

On 7 Oct 1880, Minnie Ricketts was born in Woodson, Kansas, United States.23

On 7 Oct 1880, Dora Ricketts was born in Woodson, Kansas, United States.23

R. E. Ricketts was listed in the household of James M. Ricketts on the 1885 Kansas census living in Everett Township, Woodson County, Kansas. According to the census, R. E. Ricketts was 39 years old.1

R. E. Ricketts was listed in the household of J. M. Ricketts on the 1895 Kansas census living in Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas. According to the census, R. E. Ricketts was 50 years old and born in Ohio.8

Rachel E. Ricketts was listed as the wife of James M. Ricketts on the 1900 census living in Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas. According to the census, Rachel was born April 1845 in Ohio. Rachel and James had been married 35 years in 1900. Rachel was the mother of 8 children, 6 of whom were living in 1900.28

Rachel was listed as Rachel Ricketts, a 60 year old female who was born in Ohio in the household of J. M. Ricketts living in Liberty Township, Woodson, Kansas, United States on 1 Mar 1905.29

Rachel E. Ricketts was listed as the wife of James M Ricketts on the 1910 census living in Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas. According to the census, Rachel was 64 years old and born in Ohio. Rachel was the mother of 8 children, 6 of whom were living in 1910.30

She was listed as R. E. Ricketts, a 69 year old female who was born in Ohio in the household of J. M. Ricketts living in Liberty Township, Woodson, Kansas, United States on 1 Jul 1915.31

Rachel E Ricketts was listed as the wife of James M. Ricketts on the 1920 census living in Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas. According to the census, Rachel was 74 years old and born in Ohio.32

She lived in Yates Center, Woodson, Kansas, United States in Dec 1920.19

Rachel received pension as a widow of James M Ricketts for his service in K 7 Indiana Cavalry on 23 Feb 1921 .33

She lived in Topeka, Kansas, United States in 1924.9

Rachel Ricketts was listed as the 80 year old mother in the household of Edward G. Briles living in Iola, Allen County, Kansas. According to the census, Rachel was born in Indiana.34

She died on 27 Jan 1927 at the age of 81 in Iola, Allen, Kansas, United States.2–4,6–7,35–36

Rachel was buried on 29 Jan 1927 in Liberty (Dutro), Woodson County, Kansas.3–4,37

ENDNOTES:

  1. 1885 Kansas State Census, Woodson County, Kansas, Kansas State Census, Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas, page 11 Image 16 of 96, household 49, James M. Ricketts; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online September 2016); Kansas State Historical Society
  2. , (Ricketts.KS.003), Dutro Cemetery, , .
  3. Mrs. Rachel E. RIcketts, death certificate #2011237 (27 January 1917), Kansas State Board of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Topeka, Kansas.
  4. “Yates Center News”, (Yates Center, Kansas), to (), “Died” Frday, Feb. 4, 1927, page 7 col. 4 (Ricketts.Notebook); ,
  5. Yates Publishing, U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), Source number: 446.000; Source type: Electronic Database; Number of Pages: 1; Submitter Code: MP1.
  6. Ancestry Database, U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012).
  7. “Obituary – Mrs. J. M. Ricketts,” The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), 4 February 1927, page 2; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 22 August 2020).
  8. 1895 Kansas State Census, Woodson County Kansas, Kansas State Census, Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas, page 12 Image 18 of 76, family 74, J M Ricketts; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 12 May 2021); Kansas State Historical Society
  9. “Long Illness Ended,” The Tipton Daily Tribune (Tipton, IN), 7 February 1924, page 1; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 21 November 2020).
  10. 1850 U.S. Census, Fayette County Ohio, population schedule, Jasper Township, Fayette County, Indiana, page 156, household 1293, Samuel H Christy; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online October 2017); NARA microfilm publication M432.
  11. 1860 U.S. Census, Tipton County, Indiana, population schedule, Jefferson Township, Tipton County, Indiana, page 189 Image 15 of 34, household 1425, Samuel H Christy; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA microfilm publication M653
  12. Marriage Record, Vol. 5, # 1, page 12 (Ricketts.IN.006).
  13. Clinton County Indiana Marriage Records 1830-1852 (Owensboro, KY: Cook-McDowell Publications, 1980), p. 10 #879 (Ricketts.IN.008). Hereinafter cited as Clinton County Indiana Marriage Records.
  14. , Marriage Record, Book 4 page 498 (Ricketts.Notebook) ().
  15. “Yates Center News”, (Yates Center, Kansas), to (), “Died” Friday Dec. 3, 1920, page 4, col 3 (Ricketts.Notebook); ,
  16. James M. Ricketts file; James M. Ricketts; (: ), (Ricketts.Notebook).
  17. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 database, Ancestry.com (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7836/). Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 : viewed online 12 May 2021.
  18. “Indiana, Marriage Index, 1800-1941,”Ancestry.com, (www.ancestry.com : viewed online (August 2018), James M Ricketts.
  19. “Died,” The Yates Center News (Yates Center, Kansas), 3 December 1920, page 4; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online November 2019).
  20. “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images, FamilySearch (familysearch.org : viewed online 6 October 2020), James N Ricketts.
  21. James Marshall Ricketts, Military and pension record of James Marshall Ricketts (: U.S. Government), Ricketts Notebook.
  22. James M. Ricketts, Military Pension, James M. Ricketts, 1898 Bureau Pensions Questions James RIcketts.
  23. James M. Ricketts, Military Pension, James M. Ricketts, 1915 Pension Questionnaire James Ricketts.
  24. James M. Ricketts, Military Pension, James M. Ricketts, 1921 Declaration for Widow’s Pension Rachel Ricketts.
  25. “Obituary – Ricketts,” Woodson County Advocate (Yates Center, Kansas), 24 December 1920, page 2; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 8 April 2021).
  26. 1870 U.S. Census, Clinton County, Indiana, population schedule, Sugar Creek Township, Clinton County, Indiana, page 9 Image 9 of 25, family 66, Ricketts James M; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA microfilm publication T132
  27. 1880 U.S. Census, Center Township, Woodson County, Kansas, population schedule, Everett Township, Woodson County, Kansas, ED 58, page 7 Image 7 of 15, household 53, James M Ricketts; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA microfilm publication T9
  28. 1900 U.S. Census, North Township, Woodson County, Kansas, population schedule, Liberty Township, Woodson County, KS, ED 186, sheet 3B Image 6 of 18, household 162, Ricketts James; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); FHL microfilm: 1240503
  29. 1905 Kansas Census, Neosho Falls, Woodson County, state census, Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas, page 10 Image 19 of 70, family 76, J M Ricketts; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online 12 May 2021); Kansas State Historical Socity
  30. 1910 U.S. Census, Woodson County, Kansas, population schedule, Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas, ED 147, Sheet 2B Image 4 of 16, household 47, Ricketts James M; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA microfilm publication T624
  31. 1915 Kansas Census, Woodson County, 1905 State Census, Liberty Township, page 20 Image 39 of 71, dwelling 4, J. M. Ricketts; digital image, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : viewed online March 2016); Kansas State Historical Society
  32. 1920 U.S. Census, Woodson County, Kansas, population schedule, Liberty Township, Woodson County, Kansas, ED 156, Sheet 2B Image 4 of 13, household 41, James M Ricketts; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online November 2017); NARA microfilm publication T625
  33. U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, James M Ricketts, 20 April 1870; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online August 2018). Original Source: NARA micorfilm publication T288.
  34. 1925 Kansas Census, Coffey County, Kansas, Kansas State Census, Iola, Allen County, Kansas, page 20 Image 19 of 70, family 172, Briles Edward G; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online January 2019); Kansas State Historical Society
  35. “Death of Mrs. R. E. Ricketts,” The Iola Register (Iola, Kansas), 27 January 1927; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 22 August 2020).
  36. James M. Ricketts, Military Pension, James M. Ricketts, 1927 Drop Report Rachel Ricketts.
  37. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : viewed online September 2016), memorial for Rachel Elmeda Christy Ricketts (1845-1927), Find a Grave Memorial no. #16190923, created by Bertha Avery-Hood, citing Liberty Dutro Cemetery, Woodson County, Kansas; accompanying photograph by Donna Londeed, Rachel Elmeda Christy Ricketts.

GedMatch Projects

Have you spit in a test tube to have your DNA analyzed? Have you transferred those results to GedMatch to take advantage of the DNA analysis tools they offer? If so, have you checked out their ‘Ancestor Projects’?

As a Germanna Descendant, I joined their recently created project. Running a search of my DNA against other members of a project simply requires the selection of a project to be used and the entering of a kit number.

GedMatch Segment Analysis Screen

Once the submit button is pressed, it is just a matter of waiting for the DNA to be analyzed. It appears that switching away from the browser tab stops this process. To get around this, I simply opened GedMatch in its own Window and did not minimize the window. Once finished, a table appears.

GedMatch Ancestor Projects Results Screen

When it comes to ‘brick walls’, I have several SMITH lines where I’m lacking information. Thus, I joined the ‘A Your Ancestors were Smith and Jones or Brown …’. When I ran a segment analysis for this project, many lines of the report were for shared chromosome segments with my brothers and a parent. To make it easier to work with this data, I downloaded the CSV file and then opened it in Excel. Once open in Excel, I was able to pull out my family data so that the only remaining data was to other Smith, Jones or Brown matches. I then sorted by chromosome. Now, I have a list of matches and need to figure out which branch of my tree they match.

GedMatch ‘Smith Brown or Jones’ Results in Excel

The downloaded data does not contain the ‘tree’ column or the email address. Thus, I will have to refer back to GedMatch to evaluate these relationships so I can then use the given email address to contact the matches.

I also joined the ‘Colonial American Dutch’ project. I recently extended a branch of my tree that led back to several of these Colonial American Dutch families. Since I need more paper documentation to verify this line, I was curious as to whether my DNA results would support this possible lineage. Running a ‘Segment Analysis’ for this project produced over 100 results.

GedMatch Colonial American Dutch Results Screen

Fortunately, many of these matches have a tree associated with their GedMatch data. This will help to figure out our relationship. At this point, I don’t have ‘proof’ of a Colonial American Dutch lineage. However, I have ‘supporting evidence’ that may help me locate additional records to verify this lineage.

Like the ‘Colonial American Dutch’ project, many of the other projects I’ve joined are ‘regional’ projects to help verify that I have ancestry in those early areas of Colonial United States.

Unfortunately, the ‘Smith and Jones or Brown’ project was the only project with my surnames that I found on the list. The administrator of the Crawford yDNA project has attempted to form a Crawford GedMatch project, but hasn’t been able to get the required number of participating kits to create a project.

With the help of these projects, it allows me to view my ‘one to many’ results in smaller, focused batches. Thus, I may be able to figure out one of my SMITH lines or verify Colonial American Dutch ancestry or early colonial ancestry in one or more areas.

If you are like me and would appreciate the ability to see how you match against other GedMatch users with a similar surname, please either become a project administrator or agree to participate when surname project administrators suggest creating a project.

Rainy Days

For those of you that don’t live in Eastern Kansas, many of us are beginning to believe that

Kansas is the new Portland

You see, we’ve had at least 8 straight days of cloudy, rainy weather. If the Kansas City area ties the record of 10 days, then the forecast says it will be at least 13 straight days of rain. Last night, the weatherman said the chance of rain was very low for today. However, it is cloudy and my phone informed me that it will start raining this afternoon.

I was hoping that the rain would end so I could visit cemeteries this week. Since I’m spending the week in Kansas City to housesit my brother’s house and check in on my mom while he is taking a much needed vacation, I had these grandiose plans to visit all of the cemeteries where cousins are buried.

For my trip here, I decided to go thru Weston, Missouri and Leavenworth, Kansas to visit graves and try and find some other cousin graves. I knew that it had rained enough that I didn’t want to visit the rural Platte county, Missouri cemeteries, but I was hoping to visit Laurell Hill Cemetery in Weston.

Even though the forecast was for a 50% chance of rain, I was prepared. I packed by rubber snow boots so I could put them on to walk thru the high grass. (Remember, it’s been raining daily, making it difficult to get grass mowed.) When I reached Weston, I was thankful for those boots. Even though it was just drizzling, the grass was wet and my feet stayed dry.

By the time I reached Mount Muncie Cemetery in Leavenworth, the drizzle had turned into a light rain. On came the boots again along with a rain jacket as I located the graves of my second great grandparents: Hiram Currey and his wife Angelina Burke Currey.

While visiting these two cemeteries, I only visited those graves that I had previously been to. If it hadn’t been raining, I likely would have walked around the Laurel Hill Cemetery to find the Kirkpatrick cousins buried there.

So will I put those pages of cemetery data to work and visit the graves of these various cousins? Possibly, if it stops raining. However, if it continues raining, I may not venture out onto wet roads to tramp around a wet cemetery in my boots.