Honoring the Veterans in My Family

Anyone who has lived in Emporia, Kansas realizes that Veteran’s Day is a MAJOR holiday. Today, we take time to honor those who have served and who are serving. Thus, I would like to take a walk thru my family tree to honor my veteran ancestors.

World War II

Eugene Crawford

Between 15 Feb 1945 and 1 Aug 1946, Eugene served at the Naval Training Center in Gulfport, Mississippi and at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois. He shipped out on the USS Oneida (APA-221) towards the end of the War in the Pacific as seaman 1st class in the U.S. Naval Reserves. He received the Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal.

Esther Crawford Noll

Esther served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps in the European Theater between 1942 and 1945.

Hugh Judson Crawford

Hugh Crawford served in the U.S. Navy Seabees

Walter Emery Briles

Walter enlisted in March 1942 in Los Angeles, California serving in the U.S. Army. Walter was discharged in 1944 but re-enlisted in 1946 and served until 1958.

World War I

Leon Crawford

LeonCrawford began his military service on 26 April 1917 in Dodge City, Kansas. He was appointed wagoner 2nd class gunner in the 25th AA Battery, 1st AA Sector. Leon was a wagoner at St. Misner 2nd Battle of the Marne from 31 March 1918 to 31 May 1918 in France.

Leon served with others from Dodge City including his brother-in-law Russel Horton and his brother, Marion.

War between the States

Washington Marion Crawford

Washington Marion Crawford enlisted in Company H of the 2nd Regiment of the New York Calvary Volunteers on 3 August 1861 serving as a sergeant. W. M. Crawford was captured in September 1863 and was imprisoned in Andersonville and Belle Isle. He was paroled on 7 Dec 1864 in Florence, South Carolina.

Richmond Fisk Hammond

Richmond Fisk Hammond enlisted as a private in Company E 177 Illinois Volunteers on 26 May 1861. He also served in the 1st Illinois Calvary Volunteers and in Company D 14th Regiment Illinois Calvary. Richmond Hammond was captured near Atlanta, Georgia on 5 Aug 1864 and was imprisoned at Andersonville.

Richmond Hammond and Washington Marion Crawford both moved to Dodge City, Kansas after the war. Richmond’s daughter, Josie, married Washington’s son Judson in Dodge City.

Other Civil War Veterans

Hiram M. Currey served as a private in Company B of the 12th Regiment of the Kansas State Militia in 1864.

Albert Hutchi(n)son began his military service on 1 Sept 1862 in Independence, Iowa. He served as a private in Company D of the 1st Regiment of the Iowa Calvary Volunteers. Albert re-enlisted on 1 Jan 1864 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Noah Washington Briles enlisted on 13 Jun 1861 in Ottumwa, Iowa serving in Company I of the 1st Regiment Iowa Calvary Volunteers. His father, Alexander Briles served in 1864 under Captain John Douglas in Company I of the Kansas State Militia.

James Marshall Ricketts enlisted 11 Sept 1863 in Indianapolis, Indiana serving in Company K of the 7th Indiana Cavalry.

George Mentzer began his military service on 25 Sep 1861 serving in Company C of the 24th Massachusetts Infantry.

Alexander Briles served with the Kansas Militia under Captain John Douglas in Company I.

Revolutionary War

Nathaniel Hammond served the revolutionary cause by supplying provisions to the soldiers families between 1776 and 1783 in Bolton, Connecticut.

There could easily be other revolutionary war ancestors in my tree. However, I haven’t proven my descent from any of the other known patriots.

Eliza Part 2

As discussed in my recent post, Duplicate or Different, I followed up on a ‘notice of change’ message to discover two Eliza Van Valkenbergs on Family Search. By looking at the differences between the two women, I discovered some clues that led to more information in Eliza.

One of those clues was the differing death dates for Eliza. In one case, the death date was given as between 1920 and 1930. I’m sure this was due to not finding Eliza in records.

The other Eliza had a death date of 1943 listed. Knowing that Eliza had been married several times, I suspected that a different surname was contributing to the difficulty in finding records. When I searched Newspapers.com for the term Eliza in 1943 in St. Joseph, Missouri, I found a notice of her death.

Since Eliza died in Missouri, I then checked for a Missouri death certificate.

Both of these documents contain clues that connect Honora Eliza Schleininger to Eliza Huntchinson Phay. First is her maiden name: Van Valkenburg. The marriage record for Eliza and Albert Hutchinson gives Eliza’s name as Eliza Van Valkenberg.

Albert Hutchinson’s entry on the 1895 census in Doniphan County, Kansas includes an Eliza Hutchinson along with a Howard Nolan and a Peter Nolan. One of the affidavit’s by Eliza Phay in the pension application file for Elmer Hutchinson states that Eliza was married to Henry Nouland prior to her marriage to Albert Hutchinson.

Thus, when the obituary identifies Peter Nolan as the son of Eliza Schleininger, it provides another clue connecting Eliza Schleininger to the Eliza that married Albert Hutchinson.

The other clue obtained from FamilySearch was not only the year of death (1927) for Elmer Elsworth Hutchinson but also the comment in the change log that his cousins caused his death. Those two pieces of information led me to Newspapers.com. I wasn’t able to find anything in 1927 but I did find information regarding his death, including the funeral notice in the 30 Aug 1926 issue of the St. Joseph Gazette.

Based on the information found in these records, I concluded that these ‘duplicate’ people were actually the same individuals. Thus, I added sources and then merged the duplicates.

I’m thankful for the nudge to do further research and the hints found on FamilySearch. I hope that others who follow Eliza Van Valkenberg and Elmer Hutchinson will find this work useful.

Duplicate or Different

Do you ever check out someone else’s tree to see if they have something that disagrees with what you have? I know I’m usually looking for confirmation, but I appreciate seeing conflicting information. That conflicting information makes me re-look at what I have and to look harder for additional sources to support what I have.

That’s likely one of the reasons I work with the tree on FamilySearch. On this tree, I can look at the changes made to an individual. If those changes differ from information I have compiled, I can message the user making the changes and/or post a discussion about the change.

Thus, I utilize the ‘watch’ button to mark individuals I’m researching. Not only have I marked my ancestors to ‘watch’ but I’ve also marked other individuals in my research that I’m having trouble finding sources. Each week, I get notified of changes to those ‘watched’ individuals.

This morning’s notification list included Eliza Honor Van Valkenburg, the second wife of my ancestor, Albert J Hutchinson. That’s when I discovered that there are TWO of them in the Family Search tree.

Since I haven’t found birth or death information for her, I have no idea which  Honor Van Valkenburg is the correct one. However, I do believe that these are the same women and that they are the same person I have in my database as Eliza Honor Van Valkenberg.

Unfortunately, Eliza (or Honor Eliza) may have been married multiple times. Thus, it becomes difficult to locate information for her since her name changes constantly.

Eliza Phay applied for a pension for her minor son, Elmer E. Hutchinson, based on the service of Albert Hutchinson. This file contains information that helps in identifying some of these marriages. In an affidavit by Eliza Phay dated July, 17, 1913, Eliza Phay states she was married to Henry Nouland prior to her marriage to Albert Hutchinson.

Honor L Vanvolkenberg was married to Henry H Nolen on 25 March 1885 in Doniphan County, Kansas.

In 1893, Miss Eliza Valkenburgh married Albert Hutchinson. The marriage took place August 8, 1893 in Buchanan County, Missouri.

The 1895 Kansas census for Doniphan County shows the family of Albert Hutchinson. Listed in the household are Eliza Hutchison, Howard Noland and Peter Noland.

In 1898, Mrs. Honor E Hutchens married Samuel King in Buchanan County, Missouri.

On 7 August 1900, Mrs. Eliza Nolan was married to John McColgin.

On 23 May 1906, Mrs Eliza McColgin married Osceola Phay.

In 1910, Eliza Phay was listed in the household of Osceola Phay on the census for Buchanan County, Missouri. Also listed in the household was 13 year old Elmer Hutchinson along with Howard Nolan and Peter Nolan.

The family of Osceola Phay and Eliza, his wife is found on the 1920 census living in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri. Also listed in the household was a son, —– Elmer. 

In the fall of 1923, Oceola Phay petitioned for divorce from his wife,  Eliza. According to the 6 Oct 1923 issue of the St. Joseph Gazette (St. Joseph, Missouri), the divorce was granted by Judge Utz.

The divorce of Oceola and Eliza would explain why records for Eliza are difficult to find after 1923. Since no one has shared a source for her death, it is difficult to determine when she died and thus difficult to determine which Eliza Van Valkenberg is the correct one.

Same or Different?

My great-grandmother was Winnie Mae Hutchinson (1871-1913), wife of Hiram Currey. Winnie died when my grandmother was 10 years old. With the loss of her mother at an early age, my grandmother lost connection with her mother’s family. My grandmother’s desire to learn more about her Hutchinson grandmother is what started my genealogical journey. Thus, I have been researching my grandmother’s grandparents, Albert and Julia (Harding) Hutchinson, their children and grandchildren for years in an attempt to learn about my grandmother’s aunts, uncles and cousins. Since Albert and Julia both died before my grandmother was born, her aunts, uncles and cousins would have been the only members of her mother’s Hutchinson family she could have possibly known.

Although my grandmother lost contact with her first cousins, DNA is allowing me to reconnect with some of those Hutchinson cousins. I have a couple of matches that Ancestry classifies as 3rd cousins. Shared matches hinted that these ‘3rd cousins’ are Hutchinson cousins. One of those matches did not have a tree but provided me with her parents’ names, Thomas and Jeanette Hutchinson. According to my DNA match, Thomas Hutchinson was born in Missouri in 1929.

In my research, I had a Thomas Hutchinson born in 1929. I had this Thomas as the son of Thomas G. Hutchinson and Minnie E Hanson. The primary source for this relationship was the 1940 census record for Thomas Hutchinson living in Ward 8, St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri (sheet 19A)



Unfortunately, I did not have enough research to prove that the Thomas in my research was the same Thomas as my match’s parents. Since I shared enough DNA with my match to indicate that we could be 3rd cousins, I started trying to prove/disprove a relationship between the two Thomas Hutchinson’s.

One of the documents I located was an application for a marriage license in the Washington, Marriage Records, 1854-2013 for Guy T Hutchinson and Minnie E Hanson. The application was dated 23 Jan 1956. According to the application Guy Hutchinson was divorced and Minnie Hanson was single.



I also found the marriage license that was dated 1 Jun 1956. The marriage was witnessed by Rosalie Rankins and George A. Rankins. Since I have a Rosalie Hutchinson Rankins as the daughter of Thomas G. Hutchinson, it is possible that the Rosalie Rankins who witnessed the marriage was the daughter of Guy T. Hutchinson.


With Rosalie Rankins as the witness on the marriage license, I began to wonder whether the Thomas G. Hutchinson in the Missouri records was the same person as Guy T. Hutchinson in the Oregon/Washington records. Sine the 1940 census indicated that Thomas G. Hutchinson’s wife was named ‘Minnie’ I also began to wonder whether the Minnie of the 1940 census was the Minnie Hanson of the marriage license.

An obituary transcript for Mrs Minnie E Hutchinson from the 19 Dec 2000 issue of the Oregonian (courtesy of Genealogy Bank) supports the theory that the Minnie of the 1940 census is the same Minnie Hanson of the marriage record.

Mrs Minnie E Hutchinson, 90

Oregonian, The (Portland, OR) – Tuesday, December 19, 2000
A funeral will be at noon Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2000, in Bateman-Carroll Funeral Chapel in Gresham for Minnie E. Hutchinson, who died Dec. 15 at age 90.

Mrs. Hutchinson was born Aug. 12, 1910, in Kansas City, Mo. Her maiden name was Hanson. A homemaker, she moved to Gresham in 1946 and lived in Canby since 1963. She was a nurse’s aide for the Canby Nursing Home in the 1960s. In 1954, she married Guy T. Hutchinson; he died in 1962.

Survivors include her sons, Thomas, Ronald, Donald, James and Joseph; daughters, Mary N. Mitchell, Martha B. Belk and Rose V. Rankins; 36 grandchildren; 67 great-grandchildren; and 47 great-great-grandchildren.

Interment will be in Forest Lawn Memorial Park. The family suggests remembrances to Full Gospel Community Church in Milwaukie.

Oregonian, The (Portland, OR) – Tuesday, December 19, 2000

The names of the children in the obituary are similar to the names of the children in the 1940 census. The obituary identifies a daughter as Mary N. Mitchell who may be the Nadine Hutchinson in the 1940 census. Included in the obituary, but missing from the census was a son named Joseph.

Another document that supports the concept that the Minnie Hanson of the Washington marriage license had previously been married to a Hutchinson is the 1943 obituary of Minnie’s brother, James Hanson. This obituary includes Mrs. Minnie Hutchinson as a sister of James Hanson. (St. Joseph Union-Observer, 13 Aug 1943 – found on Newspapers.com)


At this point, I do not have enough evidence to prove that the Thomas G Hutchinson and wife Minnie of the 1940 Missouri census record are the same as the Guy T Hutchinson and Minnie Hanson. I do have verification from my DNA match that her grandparents were Thomas G (or Guy T) Hutchinson and Minnie Hanson.

My next step is to try and locate a Hutchinson-Hanson marriage record in Missouri (or Kansas). I also need to check for land records for Thomas G. Hutchinson in Buchanan County, Missouri. If Thomas Hutchinson owned land in St. Joseph, then the sale of that land might show that he moved to Oregon.

I will also continue researching the children of Thomas and Minnie. Hopefully, I will acquire a ‘preponderance of evidence’ to support my theory that Thomas G. Hutchinson and his wife Minnie are the same couple as Guy T Hutchinson and Minnie Hanson.





Winnie Mae Hutchinson Currey

Winnie Mae Hutchinson, female, was born on 6 May 1871 in Osage, Mitchell, Iowa, United States.14

She lived in Douglas Township, Mitchell, Iowa, United States on 2 Jun 1880.5 Winnie Huchardson was listed on the 1880 census as the daughter of A Huchardson. According to the census, Winnie was 9 years old and born in Iowa.

She lived in Jackson Township, Bremer, Iowa, United States in Jul 1885.4 Winna Hutchinson was listed on the 1883 census in the household of Albert Hutchinson. According to the census, Winna was 14 years old and born in Bremer County, Iowa.

Winnie lived in Delaware Township, Leavenworth, Kansas, United States in Jun 1900.6 Winnie M. Carrey was listed on the 1900 census as the wife of Hiram Carrey. According to the census, Winnie was 31 and born May 1869 in Iowa. Winnia and Hiram had been married 11 years.

She lived in Lansing, Leavenworth, Kansas, United States in Jul 1905.7 W. M. Curry was listed on the 1905 census in the household of H. M. Curry. According to the census, she was 32 years old and born in Kansas.

She lived in Rooks, Kansas, United States in Jul 1910.8 Winnie M. Currey was listed on the 1910 census as the wife of Hiram M. Currey. According to the census, Winnie was 38 years old and born in Iowa.

Winnie died on 23 Sep 1913 in Olathe, Johnson, Kansas, United States at the age of 42.23,911 Winnie Mae Currey died of heart disease. An abdominal tumor contributed to her death.

She was buried on 25 Sep 1913 at Olathe City Cemetery in Olathe, Johnson, Kansas, United States.3,10,1214

She was also known as Winnie Mae Currey.


  1. Hiram Currey, Hiram Currey Family Bible (New York: American Bible Society, 1880); Marcia Philbrick, Seneca, KS, Family Record — Births: Children of H.M. and A. J. Curry “Winnie May the wife of Hiram Miles was borned May 6 1871 Osage City Iowa”.
  2. Winnie Mae Currey, death certificate #46 412 (23 September 1913), Kansas State Board of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Topeka, Kansas.
  3. Winnie Mae Currey, (1871-1913), Olathe Memorial Cemetery, Olathe, Kansas. (738 N. Chestnut).
  4. 1885 Iowa State Census, Bremer County, Iowa, state census, Jackson Township, Bremer County, Iowa, page 33, household 177, Albert Hutchinson; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online September 2016); State Historical Society of Iowa.
  5. 1880 U.S. Census, Mitchell County, Iowa, population schedule, Douglas Township, Mitchell County, Iowa, enumeration district (ED) ED 302, page 10 (image 8 and 9 of 15), household 65, A. Huchardson; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online June 2017); NARA microfilm publication T9.
  6. 1900 U.S. Census, Leavenworth County, Kansas, population schedule, Delaware Township, Leavenworth County, Kansas, enumeration district (ED) SD , ED 83, sheet 20A, household 364, Hiram M. Currey; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online September 2016); NARA T623.
  7. 1905 Kansas State Census, Leavenworth County, Kansas, state census, Lansing, Leavenworth County, Kansas, page 2, line 17, H. M. Curry; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online September 2016); Kansas State Historical Society.
  8. 1910 U.S. Census, Rooks County, Kansas, population schedule, Twin Mound Township, Rooks County, Kansas, enumeration district (ED) SD 6, ED 168, Sheet 11A, household 201, Hiram M. Currey; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : viewed online September 2016); NARA microfilm publication T6224.
  9. , Family Record: Deaths “Winnie M. Hutchison wife of H. M. Currey died Sept 15, 1913 (Note the 15 is marked out and a 23 is written above it)”.
  10. “Winnie May Curry,” obituary, Olathe Independent (Olathe, Kansas), 1 October 1913, page 8, col. 6.
  11. “Obituary”, Olathe Register, (Olathe, Kansas), 25 September 1913, page 10, last column; Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, KS.
  12. Certificate for Permanent Care Cemetery Lot Olathe, Kansas (: ), West 1/2 Lot 1, block 70 Second Addition; H. M. Currey Estate by Mrs. Leon Crawford
  13. Find a Grave, database and images, Find a Grave (www.findagrave.com : Viewed Online June 2016), memorial for Winnie Mae “Winnie” Hutchinson Currey (1871-1913), Find a Grave Memorial no. # 13100755, created by Mike Wren, citing Olathe Memorial Cemetery, Olathe, Johnson, Kansas, United States; accompanying photograph by Shelley / Marcia Philbrick, Winnie Mae “Winnie” Hutchinson Currey.
  14. BillionGraves, digital images of tombstone, BillionGraves (billiongraves.com : viewed online August 2017), memorial for Winnie M. Currey (1871-1913), BillionGraves created by Spencer’s Eagle Project Account, citing Olathe Memorial Cemetery, Olathe, Johnson County, Kansas; accompanying photograph by Vicki, Winnie M. Currey.

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.



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)



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.




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)



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:


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


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.


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.)



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.



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.