Saturday, January 2, 2016

John Parker Gourd

John Parker Gourd was first christened at home on 15 August 1788. Perhaps he was a sickly baby and his parents, Matthew and Betsey weren't sure he would survive. By the time of his public christening on 2 January 1789, it appears they were satisfied he was going to be a healthy boy. His middle name was taken from his mother's maiden name of Parker. He was the fifth of a family of eight children, and only one did not survive. They lived at Liskeard, Cornwall, England (A), which was mentioned in earlier Cornwall posts.

View Larger Map

On 3 May 1810, John married Ann Pyne in her home town of Topsham, Devonshire, England, which is located near the cathedral town of Exeter (B) on the east side of the River Exe estuary. Topsham was made a town by royal charter in 1300, and is the location of an earlier Celtic settlement. It was a port city during Roman times, and is noted for its sheltered harbor. Topsham is 63 miles NE of Liskeard and across what is now the Dartmoor National Park. John was a blacksmith by trade, and the family moved around a bit, though never far.

By 1819, they settled in Chudleigh, Devonshire, where they raised their family. Our ancestor is their son William Soper Gourd, the youngest of seven children. John was enumerated on the 1841 and 1851 census records in Chudleigh. Chudleigh (C) is about twelve miles SW of Topsham, closer to Dartmoor National Park. Earlier Devonshire posts can give more information about Chudleigh and its "great" fire.

In 1858, Ann died, and on the 1861 census, John was living with his daughter, Emma and her husband Thomas Duke at Torquay, just 13 miles south of Chudleigh. Like all of these small places, Torquay has an interesting history. He lived with them for the most of the rest of his life. John died on 24 February 1878 at Combe Lane, West Teignmouth, Devonshire, England. He was 89 years old, and his son, John, was present at his death.

It strikes me that John Parker Gourd was surrounded by beauty his entire life. If you look at these pictures, you can see nature's loveliness everywhere you look. I think of his work as a blacksmith and wonder how often his smithing took him to ships rather than to horses and wagons.

Friday, January 1, 2016

England 1066

You can read up on the Bayeux Tapestry before watching the video. I think it's an amazing piece of history that changed the lives of everyone, including our ancestors. And the stitchery is pretty amazing as well!

The Domesday Book

I could write something about the Domesday Book, but it would be redundant since there is wonderful information available about it. It was commissioned in 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066 and became its king. He rewarded his supporters, who were French, with land and power, leaving only a few of the resident Anglo-Saxon nobility with holdings. There were 13,418 settlements in the English counties, and he needed to know what was there. The book recorded the value of land and who held what. It provides a picture of what life was like in the 11th century. The original Domesday Book is held by the National Archives in London. Here are a couple of good sources if you would like to know more. Genealogically speaking, the book is a treasure.
They call the book "Britain's finest treasure" and "the foundation document of the National Archives." This site has wonderful photos of the book, 11th century tapestries, and other artifacts; also a Domesday glossary, bibliography, and Latin tutorials for beginners and advanced level. There are two exhibitions, "Discover Domesday" and "World of Domesday." They offer several different searches, including by place and name. They even note that the name may have a Biblical context referring to Doomsday when Christ has the final word of judgment. In its time, the Domesday Book had the final word. The logo you see is theirs. Everything else is for sale, such as books, photos, etc.
They also tell about life in the 11th century. There is a nice picture of William and a time line of his life. There is a list of landowners with short descriptions, which is very interesting if your family history extends back to nobility. For instance, the Count of Mortain, who is mentioned in Radigan's little history is listed. He was half-brother to William, and the largest landholder in the country after the king. There is also a glossary. You can find a nice interactive map with links to listings of the places found in the book. Another great feature is the origin of place names from the Roman, Celtic, Saxon, and Viking. A timeline tells about world events during this time. It appears that this is still a work in progress and there will be even more.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Life in Pictures

Ray Lee Locke was born 27 December 1919 at Portland, Multnomah, Oregon.

He was raised by his father, Joel Shirley Locke in Tacoma, Pierce, Washington. His mother, Dorothy Alice Procter, lived in Portland. His parents divorced when he was about five years old.

As a young person, Ray was popular and active in school events at Lincoln High School in Tacoma. He didn't like to dance, but he was a great roller skater. There used to be a photo of him on skates. He was holding a girl by her ankles and swinging her around. Too bad we can't find that picture. We will have to make do with the motorcycle photo.

He is the "big eye" person in our family tree. Ray had black hair and brown eyes. He was just five feet four inches tall.

Ray married Betty Jane Boucher on 20 April 1941 at Kent, King, Washington. They were married by a minister friend of Ray's. He was always active in church groups as well as at school.

Ray worked at the shipyards for a time, but eventually enlisted in the Army during World War II. He served in the Philippines, and in Japan.

When Ray returned home, he worked for the Post Office, first as a clerk, and then as a supervisor and route manager. He loved animals and always had a dog or two. He is with his father in this picture.

Ray and Betty had two children, Judith and Richard. This photo was taken in 1957.
It was an important year because the family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This particular Thanksgiving, the missionaries who taught our family were guests for dinner. Ray and Betty learned about the church because two missionaries stopped by the house. Normally, they would not have found them home, but Judy and Dick were having their tonsils removed, so they were home that day. That was the beginning of several months association with the Elders. As a family, we were all baptized on 1 June 1957.

This picture was taken in 1959 when the family drove to Salt Lake City, Utah to attend the temple and be united as an eternal family. It was a big trip, and an important one.

Ray was a get it done kind of person, very organized. He was always busy. He had a sharp wit and a good sense of humor. He built an upstairs on our home, and lost his thumb doing it. He kept the house and yard in immaculate condition. He enjoyed reading and loved cars; his was pristine. I remember, as a girl, listening for rattles while he drove. He couldn't stand rattles; I still listen. He looked forward to the Seattle Seafair and the hydroplane races each year. He loved the speed.

When he was older, he thought his age gave him license to say what he thought, which he often did. He could be abrasive. Ray had two bypass surgeries. At the time of the second surgery, he said that if he could gain another good ten years from it, that would be good. If he couldn't, he would rather just not wake up. And that's what he got. The surgery was a success, but the patient did not revive. Ray died on 16 March 1995, in Tacoma. I felt like I ought to be able to walk into another room and ask, "So, how was it?" But I could not.

When he died, I felt peaceful and good about him and his life. On the Monday before his death, he came home from his walk and said he needed to see the doctor. After that, things moved along until the surgery. It was the same surgeon as before, and when he came into the waiting room, he cried. Before entering the hospital, Dad ran down to church to do a couple of chores. He was the executive secretary of the Singles Ward. He left nothing undone, and so he died, all assignments complete. That was like him to finish everything up before leaving.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

John Procter of Yorkshire and Oregon

John Procter was born on 26 December 1868 at Doncaster, Yorkshire, England. His parents were Henry Procter and Mary Ann McCabe. They had a large family, and John was the oldest surviving child. Emily and George, born before him, only lived a few months. Altogether, there were fourteen children born to this family. John was the only one who left England. There is still one unidentified child for this family.

John and Emily Gourd were married at Doncaster on 19 January 1890. He was a printer by trade, and always made a good living. They lived in at least six houses during a ten year period before leaving England. Although they would not be considered anything special now, they were new and very nice at the time. All of these houses are located within a very small area of York, and within the same parish.

John and Emily had a large family. Their children were Walter, Percy, Gert, Dorothy, Cecil, Berniece (called Lu), Doug, and Evelyn Maud. Dorothy is our ancestor. Everyone was born in Doncaster except for Doug, who was born in 1913 in Vancouver, British Columbia; and Maud, who was born in 1915 in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon. In August of the same year, their oldest son, Walter, was killed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, during World War I. He was a soldier in the Australian Imperial Forces. They lost their youngest daughter in 1922, leaving them with six remaining children. Seated in this photo are Percy, Emily and John, Gert, and Dorothy; standing behind are Cecil, Berniece (Lu), and Doug.

John was an avid golfer. He was a stern man, who, in his later years could be called "a sweet old man." He possessed a charming nature. As a child, I remember visiting at their home. The adults visited and we children sat outside on their porch in the big porch swing that looked like a couch with a canopy. Great-grandfather John believe that children should be seen and not heard, so it was a quiet time visiting at their house.

John died on 23 April 1953 in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon. In 1967, when our family (Locke) visited Emily, his wife, she said, with tears in her eyes, that she still missed him so very much.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Elisha Boucher, Loving Father

Elisha Boucher was born in Clay County (now Laurel County and home of the Colonel Sanders Cafe), Kentucky (A) on 18 December 1821. His parents were William and Mary Anna Gray Boucher. William was from Virginia. In 1830, he was listed on the census for London Post Office, Kentucky. Since the Wilderness Road passed directly through London, it was a gathering place for homes, stores, churches, the post office, and a local blacksmith shop.

1830 was the year Congress passed the Indian Removal Act authorizing the federal government to relocate the Indian tribes, moving them west of the Mississippi into the designated Indian Territory in Oklahoma and parts of Kansas and Nebraska. In the fall and winter of 1838-39, Cherokees of the Tennessee River area were marched to their new location along a 1200-mile route appropriately called the Trail of Tears, or in their language, "nunna-da-ul-tsun-yi," translated, "the place where they cried." In Meigs County, Tennessee, some traveled by riverboat or steamboat, and avoided the dreaded Trail of Tears.

When the Cherokee lands became available for settlement, William took advantage of the opportunity. On the 1840 census, he and his family were living in Meigs County, Tennessee (B). They may have traveled down the Wilderness Road and through the Cumberland Gap, their wagons loaded with their possessions. William's sister, Elizabeth, and her husband, Joseph McSpadden, were also living along the Tennessee. At the time, Elisha was nineteen, Gadi was sixteen, Nancy was thirteen, Kiziah was eleven, Robert was eight, John was six, and Temperance was just four.

Elisha married Hester McClanahan on 6 Nov 1845, probably in Meigs County or a nearby county in Tennessee. They had four children- Anna Jane, born 23 August 1846; William Robert, born 21 February 1848; Amanda Malvina born August 1852; and Samuel White, born 22 April 1854. Samuel is our ancestor.

In 1850, Elisha and Hester were living next door to his parents, William and Anna. It is interesting that he named his first two children Anna Jane and William. On the 1860 Limestone, Meigs County census, Elisha was still living next door to William. Elisha's personal property was valued at $375, while William had property worth $2000 and personal property of $942. It appears that William owned the land and they worked together to farm it. Since elementary education began in Meigs County in the 1830's the children had the advantage of a basic education. Religion was either Methodist or Baptist, and the Bouchers favored the Methodists.

Elisha served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was a corporal of Captain James L. Duncan's Company, Fifth Regiment of the Tennessee Infantry Volunteers. He enrolled on 1 April 1862 and was discharged on 11 May 1865 at Nashville, Tennessee. His papers list his birthplace as Laurel County, Kentucky. He was five feet nine inches tall and had a fair complexion, blue eyes, and dark hair. He was a farmer when he enrolled in the military. Elisha's brothers also enlisted. Elisha was not a young man, but a family man in his middle years, who had to leave his home and family to serve.

When the war ended, Meigs County was like a desert wasteland. Being on the Tennessee River, both armies had marched back and forth regularly, using up all the resources available. Farms were vacant, lands uncultivated, and large numbers of families left to find a better place to live. Even the fences were gone, having provided firewood for camping troops.What the Bouchers had, were their men back, all of them.

On 24 February 1867, Elisha's daughter Anna Jane, married Joseph Romine in Bradley County, next door to Meigs County. He was also a native of Meigs County.

On 26 April 1870, Elisha deeded 135 acres of land in Meigs County to Robert Boucher. Then he took his family who were still living at home and joined a wagon train to Missouri. They started their trip on May 2nd. Along the way, he wrote letters to his children in Tennessee, telling them of the trip and encouraging them to also move to Missouri so that the family could remain together. He had a good team and wagon, and the resources, probably from the sale of his land, to pay the necessary fees and costs along the way. Their destination was Howell County, Missouri, where Joseph and Hannah McClanahan Bracket lived. Hannah was a sister of his wife, Hester. One such letter was written on 15 May from Sumner County, Tennessee and is included here. Punctuation and capitalization have been added for easier reading, but the spelling is as he wrote it.

Dear son and daughter, with pleasur I take the present opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that we are well at present, hoping these few lines may reach you and find you all well and doing well. We started the 2nd day of May. We have been hindered some on the way. There is 7 waggons in our train. Miller has 4 and George Russel one, Martin Turner one and me one. We are 9 miles past Galiton on the Red River road. My expences has been more than I expected. Turnpikage cost me 25 cts evry 5 mile. I paid 435 turnpikes, feed for my team cost about 125 cts per day, beside the family. We travel from 14 to 18 miles a day. The fore part of las week was very wet. We got our thing wet. We are resting to day and suning our things that is wet.
Well I want you to write us and direct your letter to Joseph Brackett, West Plains PO, Howel Co, Misouri so we can hear from you as soon as we get there. We expect to stop in Howel Co and look at the country. If we like and can get land to suit us we will stop there. If not we will go further.
Well Jo, I want you and Jane to not go to any expence to fix for housekeeing untell you find out how things is in Misouri. If I like in MO I want you to come. Billy will come. Harry and Manda says they will come next fall. I want all my children together where I can see them once more. That is one cause of my sellout and move. It is ahard toil on me and Hetty.
We have 2 good yoke of young steers and a good waggon. We are getting along tollerable well. Will rest evry Sunday if we can get feed for our stock so we can stay. I wrote to Mandy last Sunday.
Well Jane, your mother is taking a great toil on herself to try to get to her children. Says she don't know how she can stand it tell fall and not see you and the children and Billy, but I don't see any chance for her to see you before fall. I will not have money enough to bear my expence further than Misouri. I will write to you when I get to MO and I will tell you what I think that country.
If I have no bad luck and you want to come to us I will come after you with my waggon. I have a good cover and tent cloth so we can sleep dry of a wet night. Write soon as you get this. I want to hear from you as soon as we get to Jo Bracket's. So I must close for this time. I have to write a letter to Billy to day.
Elisha & Hester Boucher to Jo & A. J. Romines-
Show this to Fate and Frank."

Elisha died on 14 March 1871 in Missouri. On the 1876 state census, his wife, Hester, was living with her son, Samuel. All of their children did come to Missouri. Joseph and Anna Jane Romine had six children and eventually settled in Willow Springs, Howell, Missouri. Amanda and Harrison Hickman, who were neighbors in Tennessee, married on 20 March 1870 in Missouri. They were living near Hester on the 1876 census in Texas County, Missouri (C). They had a large family of nine children and settled in Crawford County, Missouri.

View Larger Map
William married Alberta Moore on 17 March 1878 in Texas County and they had three children. And Samuel married Rossea Whitlock on 27 May 1877, also in Texas County. She was a divorced woman with a daughter named Pearl. They had three sons, one of them our ancestor, Arthur; and also ended up in Willow Springs. So Elisha had his wish to have all of his children around him. As did Hester, who died on 23 May 1879. Of his four children, three named a son Elisha.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Joseph Sealy of Chudleigh

This is taken from the 1851 census for Chudleigh, Devonsire, England,
Joseph Sealey, head, married, 73, Chelsea pensioner, born Chudleigh, Devon; Elizabeth, wife, age 79, born at Hennock; William Bolt, son-in-law, age 52, house servant, born Powderham; Sarah Bolt, daughter, age 51, dressmaker, born Chudleigh; John Sealy Bolt, grandson, unmarried, age 25, journeyman carpenter, born Chudleigh; Mary Ann Bolt, granddaughter, unmarried, age 16, at home, born Chudleigh; William Bolt, grandson, age 11, scholar, born Chudleigh.

Census records like this are a treasure because they tie people together. From this record we learn where Joseph and his wife, Elizabeth were born. That is helpful for further research. We also find out about his daughter, Sarah, and her family. There are three generations living together in this household! Their address was 15 Culver Street.

Parish records tell us that Joseph was born 12 December 1779 and christened on 10 January 1780. His parents were Philip and Grace Sealy. He had at least one sibling, a sister named Betty. While we don't know when he died, we do know that it was after the 1851 census. Since Sarah was born in 1800, we can estimate Joseph and Elizabeth's marriage at 1799. Not having an actual marriage record, we do not know her maiden name. It is likely they were married at her home of Hennock, but it could also have been at Chudleigh, it being a "thriving metropolis." The distance between these two places is a staggering 3.5 miles, Hennock being on the west side of the River Teign, and Chudleigh on the east. Hennock is a small moorland village, recorded in the Domesday Book, and situated just inside the SE edge of the Dartmoor National Park, with tremendous views over the rolling countryside. Chudleigh was featured in an earlier post in September.