Saturday, January 5, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

I haven't done a "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun" post as proposed by Randy Seaver in quite some time. I am really intrigued with the one for this Saturday, January 5th, 2013.

The Mission is:

1)  Determine where your ancestral families were on 1 January 1913 - 100 years ago.

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

3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, .....

My maternal grandparents, Kenney Marcus Comstock (1887-1958) and Nora Lee Hays (1887-1973) had married in January of 1908, Crawford Co, AR.  The 1910 census shows them living in Union Township, a rural area, in that county.  Kenney was 22, Nora 23.  Their first child, a son, Graydon Comstock had been born, November, 1908.   I know that my grandfather first tried to make a living a farming and my grandmother taught the primary grades at the country school.  Their second son was not born until 1914 and he was born in the nearby town - Van Buren.  Then my Mom, born in 1916, was born back in the country near where they had lived when first married - an area called Stony Point, but not an actual town. I do not know exactly where they were on 1 Jan 1913, nor what house they lived in then.  I do have a picture of the house where my Mom was born, but nothing from the earlier residences.

My great-grandparents, James Monroe Comstock (1860-1928) and Lucretia Ellen Wood (1867-1963) were also living in Union Township, Crawford Co, AR in 1910 - but they were enumerated about 60 families away from my grandparents.  Of course, they may have lived closer together than that indicates depending on the route of the enumerator.  They still had six of their eight living children at home - and all of them would have still been in the household in January of 1913.  They were Ira, 17; Maude, 15; Edna, 10; Lettie, 8; Pauline, 4; and Paul, 3.  The town of Uniontown was located in Union Township and the enumerator did not differentiate who lived in the actual town, but I believe that this family was living in town.  My great-grandfather had a general store; he wasn't a farmer. I do have a picture of a large two-story white home with all of the above standing in the yard and based on the ages, it appears to have been made just about 1909 or 1910.  I'm reasonably sure they were still living there in that house in early 1913, because my Aunt Maude married in Uniontown in December of 1913.  The house burned some years later after they had moved into Van Buren.

My great-grandparents, John Jefferson Hays (1856-1950) and Philena Josephine "Josie" Allen (1856-1935) were living three residences from James & Ellen Comstock, in 1910.  Again, I believe they were residents of the town of Uniontown.  Two of their five living children were still at home and would have been with them in 1913.  In 1910, John and Josie were both 53, married for 34 years.  Daughter Minnie, was 20, teaching school, and son Arthur was age 18.  Neither married prior to 1913.  John was a farmer, but didn't always live on the farm - he raised strawberries on a hillside near Van Buren and also ran a cotton gin.  I don't have any pictures of their homes in Uniontown.  By 1920 the Hays would be living in Van Buren on what is now McKibben Street that runs north of Fairview Cemetery.  I do have a picture of this house that I took several years ago - it is still there.

My great, great grandfather, Elijah Thomas "Tom" Comstock (1838-1917) had lost his wife in February of 1912.  In 1913, he would have likely still been living at their homestead, on Lee's Creek, Crawford Co. You can look across the Creek and see Oklahoma.  Their youngest son and his family lived on part of the homestead so would have been nearby  The home they lived in there has been gone many, many years and no pictures have survived.

My great, great grandparents, Joseph Christopher Wood (1841-1927) and his wife Letitia Ann Mayberry (1844-1926) were also living in Uniontown, Crawford Co, in 1913.  They were the first household enumerated in Union Township in 1910 and they were on the same page with the Hays family and the family of their grandson, James Monroe Comstock.  Grandpa Wood was the postmaster of Uniontown for some years and may have been at this time.  Living with Joseph and Letitia in 1910 were a son Andrew, age 41, a barber, and a granddaughter, Mabel Burchfield, age 18.  Andrew would probably have still been with them in early 1913 as he didn't marry until 1914.  The house they lived in also burned some years ago.  No pictures have survived.

My paternal grandparents also lived in Crawford Co, AR, but in another part of the county.  My parents did not meet until they were adults and my mother had moved back to the small town of Chester in Crawford Co to teach school.  These grandparents were Ray Weymouth Adamson (1884-1958) and Mary May Harrison (1894-1929).  They were married July of 1912, but in 1910 they were living in the same household because Ray, his mother and a brother were apparently renting rooms [or perhaps a cabin] from the Harrisons.  As newlyweds, I have no idea where they lived in early 1913 except they were in Chester, or nearby.  It's quite possible they still lived with her parents.

My great grandparents, Elisha Shelton Harrison (1850-1929) and Edith Jane Irwin (1855-1932) were living in Chester, Crawford Co, AR in 1910 - there were three families enumerated in the same household and two of them as part of the same family.  It was either a very big house or possibly they had a cabin or two on the same farm.  In 1910, they had been married for 34 years and had twelve children, ten of them still living.  Several were still living at home - son Frederick was 28, Edwin was 24, Benjamin 19, and twin daughters, Margaret and Mary [my grandmother], were age 16.   The Adamsons were enumerated as a different family, but with the same household number.  My great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth "Molly" (Harmon) Adamson (1849-1912) was living there with her sons, Ray age 25, and Clair, age 17.  My great grandparents Adamson had lived in Rogers, Benton Co, AR about 50 miles from Chester but my great-grandfather had died in January of 1910 and his obituary mentions that he had fruit orchards near Chester. Perhaps Molly had gone there to live temporarily to take care of the orchards, but she died back in Rogers in 1912.  A Tribble family was listed as part of the same family as the Adamsons, but they were not kin to either the Adamsons or the Harrisons.  The only reasonable explanation other than simply an error on the part of the enumerator is that there might have been two houses on the Harrison property - one that the Harrisons lived in, the other a duplex.  The Harrisons & Tribbles are marked as renters, and the widow Adamson as an owner.  As I write this, I realize I should be examining land records for this time period!  The Harrisons had been in Chester since the 1870's - I feel sure they owned their property.  I have no pictures of the homes.

I had one great, great grandparent still living in January of 1913 on the paternal side as well.  He is the only of my direct living relatives to be somewhere other than Crawford County in Arkansas at that time. Ira Perrin Irwin was born 1831 in Ohio and died in August of 1913 in Schuyler County, IL.  He had married a second time to a lady quite a bit younger than he was.  In 1910 they were in Bainbridge Township in Schuyler Co - Ira was age 79, his wife, Kate, 68.  His obituary states he was still living in Bainbridge at the time of his death.  I have no pictures from Illinois.

This was a very interesting exercise.  Crawford County was a very rural area - then and much of the county is today.  Most of the homes of the period were basic cabins on homesteads, or those in town, wood frame homes.  Any existing fire department was a bucket brigade and I know at least two of the family homes were destroyed by fire - both incidents happened after my families had moved.  I have only two pictures and one of those was a home lived in a few years after 1913.  One hundred years is a long time...

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