My Military Heroes

In honor of Veterans’ Day this Friday, I would like to honor my ancestor Veterans.

crawford-eugene-b1927-1945-us-navyWhile still in high school, my father, Eugene David Crawford, enlisted in the US. Navy and attended training at the Naval Training Center (EE & RW) in Gulfport, Mississippi and at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Oneida (APA-221) from May 1946 to July 1946. The U.S.S. Oneida was part of Operation Magic Carpet to bring troops home from the Pacific Theater. Eugene received an honorable discharge from the service in August 1946.

crawford-leon-b1894-1917-wwi-portraitEugene’s father, Leon Russel Crawford, began his military service on 26 Apr 1917 in Dodge City, Kansas and was appointed wagoner 2nd class gunner in the 25th A. A. Battery 1st A.A. Sector. Leon’s unit was at the St. Misner 2nd Battle of the Marne from 31 Mar 1918 to 31 May 1918 in France. Later in 1918, his unit was assigned to the outer defense of Paris. On 28 Mar 1919, Leon received an honorable discharge from the service and returned to Dodge City.

None of my great-grandfathers served in the military. However, most of my great-great grandfathers and one great-great-great grandfather served during the War Between the States.

  • Washington Marion Crawford — Sergt in Co. H of the 2nd Regiment New York Calvary Volunteer — better known as the “Harris Light Horse”. Washington Marion was captured on 22 Sep 1863 in Liberty Mills, Virginia and imprisoned at Andersonville and Belle Isle.
  • Richmond Fisk Hammond – began his military service as a private in Company E 17th Illinois Volunteers later joining the 1st Illinois Cavalry Volunteers and Company D in the 14th Regiment Illinois Cavalry. Richmond was captured near Atlanta and taken as a prisoner to Andersonville on 5 Aug 1864.
  • Hiram M. Currey — served in Company B of the 12th Cavalry Regiment of the Kansas State Militia under Captain Samuel Hollister
  • Albert Hutchinson — served as a private in Company D of the 1st Regiment of the Iowa Cavalry Volunteers commanded by Captain Jinks and re-enlisted as a private in Iowa First Calvary Company D
  • Noah Washington Briles — served as a private in Company I, 1st Regiment Iowa Volunteers
  • Alexander Briles (Noah’s father) — served under Captain John Douglas in Company I of the Kansas State Militia
  • James Marshall Ricketts — served in Company K of the 7th Indiana Cavalry
  • George Mentzer — served in Company C of the Twenty-Foruth Massachusetts Infantry

According to my great-grandmother’s (Josie Hammond Crawford) DAR application, her ancestor, Jason Hammond, served as a private in Captain Coon’s Company of Col. J. Well’s Regiment in the Connecticut line. There is some question as to whether this military record is for my ancestor or another Jason Hammond. Thus, my DAR membership is thru his father, Nathaniel Hammond, for giving service to the cause.

Since almost all of my ancestors were in the colonies prior to the revolutionary war, it is likely that many of them served during the revolutionary war. It is even possible that at least one line traces back to loyalists.

It is thru this type of military service that our country was built. May we all pause to honor our military this week.

Hutchinson / Merry Ties

We’re Related Potential Success

img_7007img_7008img_7009According to the We’re Related app from Ancestry, I am related to Winston Churchill (7th Cousin 4x Removed).

Our common ancestor is Elizabeth Pye (1579-1638) — but it takes me 11 generations to get to Elizabeth. According to Ancestry, my ancestor, Albert Hutchinson is the son of Sarah Merry. If I can verify this relationship, it would extend my tree a generation and add the MERRY surname.

Currently, I am stuck on Albert Hutchinson. Albert Hutchinson married Julia Harding in 1859 in Black Hawk County, Iowa. According to his military record, Albert was born about 1838 in Northhampton, Fulton County, New York. Albert consistently appears in census records starting in 1860 thru 1895 in Iowa, Missouri and then Kansas. However, neither potential parents or brothers have been found in these records.

finch18502

 

An Albert Hutchinson was found in the 1850 census living in Wheatland, Monroe County, New York. A 14 year old male born in New York identified as Albert Hutchinson was listed in the household of Ephraim Finch and his wife Cynthia. (Ancestry – Year: 1850; Census Place: Wheatland, Monroe, New York; Roll: M432_528; Page: 240A; Image: 207)

finch2

 

According to Find A Grave, Cynthia Hutchinson Finch (#14430101) was the daughter of Aaron and Hannah (Nettleton) Hutchinson and sister of the Aaron Hutchinson who married Sarah Merry. If the 14 year old Albert Hutchinson was the son of Aaron and Sarah (Merry) Hutchinson, then Ephraim and Cynthia (Hutchinson) Finch would be his aunt and uncle.

A lot of additional research will be needed to verify the relationship between the 14 year old Albert Hutchinson and Cynthia Finch and to verify that the 14 year old Albert Hutchinson migrated to Iowa where he married Julia Harding. However, this hint provided by the We’re Related app is definitely worth pursuing.

 

 

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Tackling the Hirams – Dodge City Bunch

Children of Hiram Miles Currey and Winnie Mae Hutchinson Curreycurry-children

  • Henry Currey – 1893-1906
  • Herbert Miles Currey – 1895-1971
  • Hiram Currey – 1897-1898
  • Myrtle Irene Currey – 1899-1970
  • Mary Lela Currey – 1901-1977
  • Winnie Letha Currey – 1903-1992
  • Earnest Oran Currey – 1906-1979
  • Alma Jean Currey – 1912-1989

At the ages of 18, 14, 12, 10, 7 and 1, these siblings were separated when their mother, Winnie Mae (Hutchinson) Currey died in 1913. According to Winnie Letha (Currey) Crawford, the two youngest, Alma and Earnest, were placed with families while Winnie, Mary and Myrtle were sent to a children’s home.

By 1925, the youngest children,  Earnest and Alma, were  living with their father in Gray County. Myrtle and Winnie had married and were living in Dodge City just to the East of their father. Mary and Joseph Walters were living a bit further west in Finney County. (1925 Kansas State Census)

Herbert does not appear to be living in Western Kansas at the time. By 1930, he is living in Bannock County, Idaho. Since his daughter, Dorothy, was born in 1920 in Utah and his youngest daughter, Ellen, was born in Bear Lake County, Idaho in 1926, it is likely that Herbert and his family were either in Utah or Idaho in 1925. (1930 U.S. Census Bannock County, Idaho)

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Where’s My Irish?

Today is March 17th – St. Patrick’s day. In honor of the day, I was curious about whether I have Irish ancestry. Since my research hasn’t taken me beyond the borders of North America, I really don’t have any Irish lines identified. According to my Ancestry DNA results, my ethnicity % for Ireland is 3%.

DNA Ethnicityscreenshot from Ancestry.com

Out of curiosity, I decided to do some simple research on my family names using Ancestry’s tool to discover the meaning of a surname. Below are the surnames from my 5 generation pedigree with their probable origins. (chart printed with Family Tree Maker 2014)

surnames 5 gen

Crawford — Scottish, English and Northern IRISH

Foster — English

Hammond – English

Ralston – Scottish

Currey — Scottish or IRISH

Burke — IRISH, English, Norway,or German

Hutchinson – Northern English

Harding – English

Briles – German

Thompson – English

Ricketts – English

Christy – Scottish / Northern IRISH

Mentzer – German

Minnick – IRISH

Wells – English

Crandall – Scottish

According to Forebears, my Crawford line originated in Scotland: “Local. First assumed by the proprietor of the lands and barony of Crawford, in Lanarkshire, Scotland.”

Even though my Ancestry DNA ethnicity is only 3% IRISH, five of the lines from my 5 generation pedigree could be IRISH. Interestingly, I also have 5 Scottish lines but Scottish isn’t listed as an ethnicity.

A little searching of Ancestry forums revealed why my report doesn’t include my Scottish origins:

scottish

So, I’ll find some GREEN to wear today and celebrate my IRISH origins!

Elwood Cemetery – What is the evidence?

About a month ago, I discovered my great-great grandfather, Albert Hutchinson, listed on Find a Grave. Albert and his first wife, Julia Harding, have been one of the challenges in my search for the family history. I think I have Julia’s heritage figured out but Albert appears to ‘just hatch’ in Iowa. Both just seemed to disappear from this earth with little or no evidence of their passing. At least, until I found Albert on Find a Grave as being buried in the Elwood Cemetery.

But wait! Elwood is only 60 miles from me. Don’t you think I would have already found his grave? But does Elwood even have a cemetery?

Finding the Elwood Cemetery – OR – disproving its existence was a challenge to me. In the process of figuring out this puzzle, I realized that this task provided an excellent opportunity to apply this week’s ‘Finally Get Organized‘ task. This task involved looking at sources, information and evidence to be able to write a conclusion based on a preponderance of the evidence.

I started by conducting some ‘Internet’ research to see what else I could find on this cemetery.

  • Source: Find a GraveElwoodCem1
  • Information: Latitude: 39.76523, Longitude: -94.87605

Armed with the Find a Grave map, I then checked Google maps and clicked on the ‘Google Earth’ button, I was able to see a satellite view of the land.

 

 

Source: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Elwood,+KS/@39.7645554,-94.884329,1593m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x87c01ad8c4755eff:0xd2255ec1e61ba8ba

ElwoodCem2

Comparing the satellite view with the map from Find a Grave, there is a clump of trees in about the area indicated as a cemetery in Find a Grave. However, zooming in on the clump of trees, I did not find tombstones, but what appear to be boulders.

ElwoodCem3

Doing some background research, I found a list of Doniphan County cemeteries from 1906. In 1906, the Kansas State Historical Society compiled a list of cemeteries in Doniphan County and published them in their Transactions of the Kansas State Horticultural Society, vol. XXVIII (1906), pp. 325-377. The Family Search wiki has an expanded list of cemeteries for Doniphan County based on this 1906 list. Neither list contains an Elwood Cemetery.

After discussing this with my husband, I elected to check Google Earth itself.

ElwoodCem4Source: Google Earth search for Elwood, Kansas and then zooming in

Note that the clump of trees (and boulders) shown in the satellite image on Google Maps is missing from the image on Google Earth.

 

 

Challenged by this mystery, my husband and I took a trip to the Elwood/St. Jo area to try and figure out if there was a cemetery in Elwood.

KS-Doniphan-CemeteriessmOur first stop was the Harman-Rohde Funeral Home in Wathena, Kansas. When asked about a cemetery in Elwood, Paul Rohde responded, ‘If there is, it’s not used any more.’ When asked about evidence of such a cemetery, he checked his files and produced a map of Doniphan County cemeteries. (pictured on right)

Lo and behold — #89 says Elwood and may be the number in the bend of the river. Not only is it listed, but there is a check mark by it that indicates it ‘still exists.’ This map was created by Francis Burbridge in 1984.

Even though the map indicates the cemetery still existed in 1984, Paul Rohde was not aware of any burials in that cemetery. When asked about where residents of Elwood are buried, he said they are either buried in Wathena or in St. Jo. Unfortunately, the funeral home records only go back into the 1930s. Thus, they won’t shed any light on whether Albert Hutchinson is buried at Elwood.

KS-Doniphan-Elwood-6th-looking-northOur next stop was the Elwood city office to see what we could find out about a cemetery at Elwood. When asked about a cemetery in Elwood, the city staff said that Elwood did not have a cemetery. She indicated that the town moved South to its current location around 1916. As we discussed the Find a Grave entry showing a cemetery on N. 6th street, the city staff remembered that at one time city workers used an area on N. 6th as a dump. When asked if the city had maintained any death records, she said that they did not have such records and that the courthouse in Troy would be the place to look for death records.

(6th street in Elwood, Kansas looking North.)

 

KS-Doniphan-Elwood-5th-looking-NW

Since it had rained recently, we didn’t try to go down the dirt road. However, we couldn’t see any evidence of a cemetery between our location and the bluffs formed by the river.

(Right) View from 5th street looking Northwest towards the Missouri River.

Photos were taken on March 15, 2016

The Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society has a plat map of Buchanan County, Missouri hanging on the wall of their library (dated about 1939) that gives a good visual of where Elwood, Kansas is in relation to the Missouri River.

MO-Buchanan-Plat-Elwood-1939sm

 

Knowing that Elwood lies in the flood plain of the Missouri River and that Elwood was under water during the 1993 flood, it makes me wonder whether a cemetery would have survived so close to the river.

So what is my conclusion? Even though I found information (a map) indicating that there was a cemetery North of Elwood, I don’t feel like I have evidence of such a cemetery. I also conducted interviews indicating that there isn’t a cemetery in Elwood. Since the map and the interviews are contradictory of each other and since I haven’t personally seen the cemetery nor found any photographs of it, I don’t believe there is enough evidence to support a conclusion either way.