Tombstone Challenge Accepted

This week’s ‘Saturday Night Genealogy Fun‘ challenge was to figure out how far back a line can be traced thru tombstones. My immediate reaction was that it was probably thru my dad’s CRAWFORD line

There are 4 generations of CRAWFORDs buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Dodge City, Kansas

  • Dad: Eugene Crawford
  • Granddad: Leon Russel Crawford
  • Great Grandfather: Judson Crawford
  • Great Great Grandfather: Washington Marion Crawford (headstone and footstone shown)

My 3rd great grandfather is buried in the West Lebanon cemetery just outside of West Lebanon, Indiana.

My 4th great grandfather is buried in the cemetery at Eaton, Ohio.

Patriots (and Tories)

As we celebrate Independence Day, I began thinking about my ancestors that participated to make today possible.

My great grandmother, Josie Hammond, joined the Daughters of the American Revolution thru her great-grandfather, Jason Hammond. At the time, it was believed that Jason fought for Connecticut. Unfortunately, there are several Jason Hammonds in Connecticut at the time and records make it difficult to know for sure which one served. Thus, my DAR application is thru Jason’s father, Nathaniel Hammond. Nathaniel Hammond didn’t fight for the cause but helped the fight by providing supplies to the troops.

I also have a verifiable revolutionary ancestor on my mother’s side: William Buckles. William served in the Berkeley (Virginia) militia 1778. Other potential revolutionary ancestors include Cheney Ricketts (Pennsylvania), Oliver White (Massachusetts), George Thurston (Rhode Island), George Crandall (New York). With most of my lines going back to colonial New England or Virginia, it is likely that I will discover more patriots as I verify new ancestors.

Besides having numerous patriot ancestors, I have at least one Tory ancestor. My great-great grandmother, Julia Harding, was the daughter of William G. Harding. William Harding migrated to Iowa from New Brunswick, Canada – where Julia was born. The Harding family settled in New Brunswick shortly after the end of the revolutionary war on a land grant from the King. Prior to the revolution, the family was living in the state of New York.

I look forward to discovering more ancestors from this time period – Patriots or Tories.

 

West Lebanon to Dodge City

The newcomers who arrived last Saturday from West Lebanon state of Indiana are E. Brice, wife and three children; J. H. Crawford, wife and six children; W. P. Armour, wife and two children, J. O’Hara, wife and one child, J. M. Fleming and wife; Joseph Briggs, wife and one child; Thompson Rankins wife and six children; U.R. Rogers, wife and two children; Geo. Jones, wife and two children; Chas. Dickerson and wife; David Wilson and son; David Manford and Charles Brown. They brought with them about twenty-five horses and mules, farming implements and household furniture. They go to work at once on their claims about nine miles north-west of Dodge.

Ford County Globe Republican March 5, 1878, Page 3, Column 3 (Ford County, Kansas)

Mrs. E. O. Briles

pauline-portrait-2Known as Mrs. E. O. Briles most of her adult life, Pauline Edith Mentzer was born in Woodson County, Kansas in 1896. Pauline and her twin brother, Paul, were the children of Charles Oliver and Nettie Adell (Wells) Mentzer. Pauline spent her youth in the northern part of Woodson County, Kansas where she attended school.

high-school-diploma-pauline-mentzerIn 1913, Pauline completed the ‘Common School Course of Study’. Her required course of study included reading, orthography, writing, arithmetic, geography, US History, Physiology, civil government, Kansas History, classics and agriculture.

At the age of 19, Pauline married Edward Osmund Briles and became known as Mrs. E. O. Briles. Her first child, Walter, was born in 1917. A year later the couple welcomed a second son, Kenneth.

Mr. and Mrs. Osmund Briles who lives south of here took their eight months baby which had stomach and bowel trouble to Kansas City to consult a specialist, week before last and last Tuesday the baby died and was brot here Wednesday and buried in the Crandall cemetery. The funeral was held to the Christian church Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. conducted by Rev. Mr. Lowe of Burlington. Kenneth was a sweet child and will be greatly missed in the home and we extend our sympathy to the parents and relatives in their sorrow.

Based on a postcard passed down by Pauline, it appears that Pauline was hospitalized a few months after the death of her child. img_3330

Pauline must have become an ‘expert’ at moving as the family seemed to have a new address every few years. When Kenneth was born in 1918, the family was living in Vernon (Woodson County) Kansas. During the early 1920’s the family was in Iola (Allen County) Kansas where her husband operated a garage. Her daughter, Letha, was born while the family lived in Iola. Around 1929, the family moved from Iola to Buffalo (Wilson County). It was in Buffalo that her husband Edward Osmund Briles began his career with motion pictures. It was also in Buffalo, that her daughter Roberta was born. Shortly, after that the family moved to Emporia, Kansas, where her daughter, Barbara was born. Even though Pauline would spend the rest of her life in Emporia, the family continued to move frequently. The family first lived outside of the city limits on the East side of town.  Other Emporia addresses for the family include 416 Constitution (1938), 613 Lincoln (1940), 645 Lincoln (1952), 924 Constitution (1953), 138 W. 12th (1957), 1014 Market (1959), 821 W. 6th (1966).

mentzer-pauline-b1896-1966-advertisement-the_emporia_gazette_sat__jul_30__1966_According to a want ad, Pauline was forced to move from the duplex on West 6th when the property was rezoned. She was able to locate that ‘3 room apartment’ and moved to 609 West Fifth.

Throughout her life, Pauline was socially active. In 1934, Pauline joined the First Christian Church in Emporia. She was an active member of that church until her death.  In 1960, Pauline was a member of the ‘Harmony Builders Class’ in the church. Besides hosting or attending family events, Pauline was a member of the East Sixth Avenue Club and the Whittier Unit.

mentzer-pauline-b1896-1932-airplane-rides-the_emporia_gazette_sat__jun_11__1932_Although most would have viewed Pauline as a typical wife and mother during the 30s and 40s, she was not always ‘traditional.’ In an interview with a correspondent for the magazine, Motion Picture Herald, Pauline told the reporter that she was going for an airplane ride. This interview was published in Oct. 1932. Since the June 11, 1932 issue of the Emporia Gazette includes an advertisement for those airplane rides, it is possible that this young mother did partake of this adventure. Pauline also worked in her husband’s business — The Lyric Theater. The 1936 directory for Emporia indicates that Pauline was a cashier for The Lyric Theater.

Pauline’s husband, Edward O. Briles, died in 1956. After over 40 years of marriage, Pauline faced life as a widow — but continued to be known as Mrs. E. O. Briles.

 

 

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Winnie Letha Currey Crawford

Aunt Winnie to many, grandma to me

img_3337Family was important to Winnie Crawford. It was her quest to know more about her grandmother (her mom’s family) that started my genealogy journey. At the time, it was hard for me to imagine growing up without knowing your grandparents — or at least something about them. Even though my Briles grandfather died when I was 4, I grew up hearing stories about him. That was not true for Winnie. All of her grandparents had died before she was born.

Winnie Letha Currey was born in 1903 in Leavenworth County, Kansas. She was the seventh child born to Hiram and Winnie (Hutchinson) Currey. As a young child, Winnie’s contact with family members was limited to her immediate family. Both the Currey and Hutchinson families dispersed around the turn if the century leaving few aunts, uncles, cousins living in the vicinity during Winnie’s childhood.

Around 1908, Winnie’s family moved from Leavenworth County to near Plainville, Kansas, where her dad rented land to farm. By 1913, the family left western Kansas and moved back to Olathe, Kansas.

Winnie’s letters provide the best picture of her childhood:

Feb 1982

I don’t know for sure but the Hutchinson family were around Liberty Mo and Dad went there to William Jewell and met my mother. The Currey place was a few miles form Lansing Kansas. The kids all left but after Gma & Gdad Currey died Uncile Will stayed on married & raised his family there. Aunt Jesse died before we left Lansing for Plainville Kas. My dad was a barber at Lansing owned his shop but sold it to farm at Plainville.

… I went with mother when Earnest was a baby to visit Aunt Nora & I faintly remember an old lady smoking a corn cob pipe, who she was I wouldn’t know.

Mother died in May. We went to the Children’s Home June 11 — Herb didn’t go and Myrtle wasn’t there long til she went to Aunt Mary’s in Denver Col.

Mary and I stayed together till she got married. But to go back – The court took Littens license away so dad had to take us back till Mary & I finished grade school. Then he was going to put us back into a home. I got Aunt Joe De Shazer to take Alma & found a home for Earnest. Then Mary & I lied about our ages went to work. I always kept track of the kids as I do now.

We were on the farm when Alma was borned. Just renting. We were burnt out for 4 straight years. So we moved to Olathe & dad went to hauling freight in Kansas City. The reason I stay with Liberty because Aunt Nora (mother did too) would tell me about their dances and one time got to KC form N KC and an old man came and set by me & called me Winnie and began to talk of the past. So that in itself told me mother lived around there.

Mid March

My dad was a jack of all trades except for his carpentery. In that he was tops. He could heal a headache, backache and aches of all sorts with his hands. He did it only for his family. I don’t know what it was in the census. But he was a barber while we were in Lansing. Had a barber shop of his own till he sold & we went to Plainville on the farm. When we were on the farm there was a hill not far from our hose & dad tunneled into it lined it with straw and stored our spuds, cabbage & spuds etc in it. They kept all winter.

crawford-leon-b1894-1919-wedding-photo2Winnie married Leon Crawford in Dodge City in 1919. When asked about how she got from living with a cousin in North Kansas City to Dodge City, she said she went to Dodge to help Myrtle because Myrtle was having her first baby. (Myrtle was married in Dodge City on 24 Mar 1917. Dorothy, Myrtle’s first child, was born in Feb 1918 in Ford County, Kansas.) When asked about meeting Leon, Winnie said he would come over to Myrtle’s house and the four of them would play cards. Winnie and Leon were married in Myrtle’s living room on Christmas Eve, 1919.

Winnie and Leon lost their 1st child, Betty Jean, on the day she was born in 1921. Six years later, their son Eugene was born. Eleven years after that, their youngest son, LR, was born and she would bury him in 1961.

Winnie was a typical wife and mother for that time period. She raised a garden and canned the produce to help put food on the table. During World War II, Winnie opened a room in their house so that wives of the US Army pilots would have someplace to stay. When the family moved from Avenue G to 2nd street, Winnie continued the practice of renting out rooms. The bedrooms on the second floor were rented to students going to college across the street. When those same students couldn’t make it home for Thanksgiving, they would be included at the family table.

Winnie hosted family dinners on a regular basis. She was a good cook and enjoyed baking. Pecan, pumpkin and cherry pies were always part of a holiday meal. Homemade noodles, gum drop cookies, and frozen salad were some of the family favorites. Even when she traveled to Emporia for those holiday dinners, she would bring the pies, the gumdrop cookies and the frozen salad.

green_quiltWinnie was also a quilter. She hand embroidered quilts for her son and granddaughter. Her grandsons also were beneficiaries of one of her quilts. Her green pom-pom quilt was her pride and joy. She created this quilt for their bedroom. This quilt has been repurposed into table runners by her great-granddaughter and shared with the family.

img_3Winnie and her husband, Leon Crawford, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1969. Seven years later, Winnie would sell the family home, move into an apartment and bury her husband.

Winnie later moved to a first floor apartment in the high rise on Central where she tended the flowers on the East side of the building. It was in this apartment that my genealogy journey began. We would sit and discuss my findings, go thru the albums and talk about her life.  I will always treasure my memories of those weekends spent with her.

 

E. O. Briles

briles-edward-b1891-1908-phelps-schoolE. O. Briles, the son of Edward Grant and Frances Artlissa ‘Artie’ (Ricketts) Briles was born in Coffey County, Kansas in 1891. His full name was Edward Osmund Briles, but he was rarely called Edward or Eddie. Perhaps that is because his father was Edward and often referred to as ‘Eddie’ Briles. Souvenir books from schools, list him as Osmund Briles thru 1908.

E. O. Briles married Pauline Edith Mentzer in Yates Center in 1915. Pauline often referred to her husband as Osmund.

briles-edward-b1891-1916-thresher-steam-ford-autoBy 1916, E. O. Briles had started his first business venture with the purchase of a threshing machine. He also owned a steam driven thresher and a Ford automobile.

By the early 20’s E. O. Briles had ventured into the automobile business, owning Briles Garage on North Jefferson in Iola (Allen County) Kansas. Briles Motor Company sold the Chandler Motor Car, the Cleveland and Oldsmobile automobiles. Silverton tires were also sold by the business. Since houses in the early 1920s didn’t come with the ability to protect a car by parking it in a garage, Briles Garage provided the ability to ‘store’ one’s car in the garage.

briles-edward-b1891-1923-garage

By 1930, the family had moved to Buffalo, Kansas. The 1930 census indicates that E. O. Briles had left the car business and was beginning to work in the motion picture industry as his occupation is stated as a ‘picture show machine operator’. According to his obituary, the family moved to Emporia, Kansas in November of 1931. In 1932, he purchased the Lyric Theater on Commercial Street in Emporia.

lyric1In the fall of 1933, E. O. Briles began his challenge of the Sunday ‘Blue’ laws that prohibited the showing of a ‘picture show’ on Sundays. For several weeks, he would open his theater to the public on Sunday just to be arrested. He would appear in police court and post bond. This sequence of having a Sunday show, getting arrested and posting bond continued for several weeks. The September 11, 1933 issue of the Emporia Gazette provides details for this first arrest.

“E. O. Briles, proprietor of the Lyric theater was arrested twice Sunday by city police for violating the Sunday labor law as contained in a city ordinance.”

E. O. Briles was arrested twice that day: once for the afternoon show and once for the evening show. In total, he posted $300 in bond to be released until the following Tuesday when he would appear before Judge J. H. J. Rice. According to the article, ‘Theater Owner Fined’ in the 20 Sep 1933 edition of the Emporia Gazette, E. O. Briles was found guilty. The case was appealed to the district court with a bond of $450 required. According to the 30 Oct 1933 issue of the Emporia Gazette, E. O. Briles had been arrested 12 times as he and the police were apparently in an endurance contest. The police were concerned that if they didn’t arrest him each time a show was shown on Sunday, it would weaken their case when it reached the district court. The November 14th issue of the Emporia Gazette reports that the district court jury found E. O. Briles guilty of violating the city ordinances prohibiting the showing of Sunday movies and the requiring of employees to labor on Sunday with the sale of goods.

His weekly court appearances must not have caused a decrease in the number of people going to the ‘picture show’ since the Lyric Theater moved into 407 Commercial in January of 1934. According to the article, “New Lyric to Open Saturday” in the 26 Jan 1934 issue of the Emporia Gazette, this new location would seat 400 persons. In 1935, the theater was upgraded by installing a new RCA Victor Photophone sound system. In November of 1935, the Lyric Theater had two free shows for the unemployed on Thanksgiving morning. Tickets for these shows were distributed at the Allied Workers’ lodge room at 517 1/2 Merchant in Emporia. In 1936, E. O. Briles purchased his third motion picture theater in Excelsior Springs Missouri. The Missouri theater was to be run by his niece, Mrs. Cleo Smalling.

briles-edward-b1891-1955-tractorBesides running the Lyric Theater, Osmund Briles also could be found on a tractor. Family stories claim that he farmed the ground that later became the Emporia Country Club just south of Interstate 35.

1950-briles-e-o-portrait-anderson-collectionIn the spring of 1956, E. O. Briles developed kidney disease. He succumbed to the disease at Newman Memorial Hospital in Emporia on May 28, 1956. Edward Osmund Briles is buried in the Emporia cemetery.

A complete bibliography is available by contacting the author.

 

 

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Preparing for Ancestry Sync

TMG –> RootsMagic Cleanup

Randy Seaver recently discussed the upcoming ability of RootsMagic to sync with Ancestry and what he is and isn’t doing to prepare for that in his blog post, “Dear Randy: What are you doing to prepare for the RootsMagic program sync with your Ancestry family tree?” While reading Randy’s blog, I realized that I was in the middle of such a preparation with my work on my census facts.

My genealogy data was migrated from The Master Genealogist version 9 to RootsMagic. When I selected The Master Genealogist (around version 4 or earlier), it was because I wanted something that allowed me to add citations for each event. Thru the TMG community, I developed my research and documentation skills. I also applied several TMG ‘hacks’ — especially if they helped visualize the events in someone’s life.

tmgcensusOne of those ‘hacks’ was a modification to the census tag developed by Terry Reigel. It took me some time to implement this hack, but once completed, it allowed me to see the family in the timeline for the head of the household.

Since RootsMagic would not handle the ‘split sentences’ in the census-head or census-enum tags, I did have to modify the sentences. I was able to do this in TMG prior to the migration. Because, I liked how the census tags worked, I did not modify them in TMG but let them migrate into RootsMagic as custom event (fact) types.

As I began to learn to use RootsMagic with Family Search, I realized that my custom fact types were not lining up with the corresponding fact type on Family Search. Since the tree on Family Search is a community tree, I’m very hesitant about making changes – but also want to see more documentation for my ancestors. Thus, the conflict — my custom fact types would ‘foul up’ the Family Search tree but the census records have not been sourced. Because of that conflict, I decided to figure out how to revert my custom fact types (census-head and census-enum) to the standard type.

Knowing that there wasn’t an easy way to do this from within RootsMagic I turned to the SQLite Tools for RootsMagic community. There, I found directions on how to setup SQLiteSpy so that it would read and modify the tables in the RootsMagic database. Once I had this software downloaded and correctly configured, I used the SQL script, Facts – Change Fact Type to change all of my census-head and census-enum fact types to the standard census fact type. Since this SQL script directly modifies the database, I copied the database and worked with the copy FIRST. That allowed me to make sure the script was doing what I wanted without the danger of corrupting my data. Once I knew it was working, I backed up the data and then ran the script on the original copy of the data.

After running the script, the census citations in my RootsMagic database lined up with any census citations on Family  Search. Step one accomplished!

Besides changing the custom fact type to the standard, I had two other potential issueds with my census facts. The first involved the sentences. It appears that what was in the memo field in TMG was dumped into the note field in RootsMagic while the sentences pull the information from the description field. Thus, all of the information I had entered about the individual wasn’t being pulled for the sentence. Since almost all of my census facts had witnesses associated with each fact, individual reports and web output was showing extra sentences/facts for other members of the household.

So, my next step was to move the info in the note field to the description field while also removing any witnesses. Since I couldn’t get the SQL scripts for this process to work (they do exist), I resorted to doing this one person at a time. With over 10,000 census entries this is no small task. I started with my ancestors who were living in 1850 and worked thru their descendants. However, I’ve been researching several neighbors and other potentially connected families and their descendants. Thus, I needed some sort of report that would help me know who was left to do.

The SQLite Tools for RootsMagic came thru again! On their site, I found a link to the “People who share a fact with a principal list” script. This particular script just creates a list, it doesn’t modify the database. However, the script must be run with the RootsMagic database closed. I have the script saved in my SQL directory. Each time I want to run it, I open the script with Notepad and then copy and paste it into SQLiteSpy. Once executed, the script will create a list. I copy the info in that list and paste it into a blank Excel spreadsheet. That way, I can close SQLiteSpy and open RootsMagic and still have a list to work with.

Once the data is in Excel, I do a multilevel sort: Fact, Surname1, Given1, RIN1. This allows me to easily delete everything but the census records. Armed with that list, I just work my way thru the records. I’m down to about 1300 census events.

Will this be worth it? Because this is cleaning up my data and making it easier to see corresponding census records on Family Search, I will continue until finished. I’m also hoping that by using the standard ‘census’ fact type, this data will also line up with Ancestry. My wish is that all of my census data will keep me from having shaky leaves for those same census records.