Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Many Lives of Dorothy


My grandmother, Dorothy Procter, was small, with dark hair and eyes. She lived in Portland, Oregon when I was a girl and we visited her regularly. The rest of her family always remarked that I looked just like her. I am not so sure about that, except for the small and dark part. In their British way, they called her Dor-o-thy, in three separate syllables. It seems as though her life was lived in separate sections or phases, hence the title of this memory of her.



This is a picture of where her family lived in 1900. I am told that it would have been a very nice home at the time. She was born in York, Yorkshire, England on 31 October 1900 to John Procter and Emily Gourd, his wife. York has an interesting history extending back to Roman times, and Yorkshire is considered to be the "greenest" area in England. It is an area of beautiful landscapes, castles and abbeys, and was an independent Viking kingdom for a time; all of these things giving it a rich and interesting history. Since Dorothy was born in 1900, that part was over by the time she arrived on the scene. To see some photos of the city of York, click here.


Dorothy's family immigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada sometime between 1909 and 1913. In addition to Dorothy, the children at that time were Walter, Percy, Gert, Cecil, and Berniece. While the family was living in Canada, Doug was born in 1913. Shortly after that they moved to Portland, Multnomah, Oregon, where her father worked as a printer. Her sister, Evelyn Maud was born there in 1915. They certainly picked beautiful places to live. This is a picture of Dorothy, Gert, and Berniece (Lu) with their mother, Emily.

Dorothy married Joel Shirley Locke on 19 February 1919. They crossed the Columbia River to Vancouver, Clark, Washington to be married. He was fourteen years older than his new wife. They had two sons, Ray and David, while living in Portland. Ray, my father, is our ancestor.



In about 1924, Joel and Dorothy divorced. Ray moved to Tacoma, Pierce, Washington with his father and David stayed in Portland with his mother. This is a picture of Dorothy with her mother and David.















She sent pictures to Ray and wrote notes on the back of them. It is hard to see since it was written in pencil, but it shows her handwriting, and also something she did to maintain contact with her son.



Dorothy was briefly married to Ralph Lucas. She next married Earl Moses, to whom she was married for fifteen years. Earl was eleven years older than Dorothy. In this photo Dorothy and Earl, at the right, are with her sister, Gert, and her husband, Frank Lamb.



In her later years, Dorothy married Dwight Skaggs, who I knew as Little Grandpa. I think they were married by 1950. He was very good to her, particularly at the end of her life when she was sick. She was an alcoholic who died from complications associated with that.



Each Christmas she sent us a pair of knitted gloves. I remember her sitting on her couch with blankets wrapped around her legs. They lived at Milwaukee, outside of Portland. And there we are, my brother and me, with our "Little Grandma." She died on 9 January 1955.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mary Potbury of Powderham


Powderham has an interesting history, complete with a castle, and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The Devon Library has a nice map and description of Powderham.

On 29 October 1769, Mary Northam Potbury, "base child" of Sarah, was baptized. The significance of this entry is that Mary was illegitimate. Her mother was 32 years old when she was born and no record of a marriage for her mother has been found. She was born at Powderham, Devon, England. She married William Bolt there on 4 October 1797. They remained in Powderham where they had four children named William, Thomas, Ann and Martha. William is our ancestor.

Mary grew up in the shadow of this castle. Castle owners, the Courtenay family of her time, had a large family of 13 girls and one son. It is unlikely that Mary had contact with this family, whose life is so well documented, unlike her own. In fact, we know more about the castle than we do about Mary!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mary Jane Robbins

Mary Jane was born 15 Oct 1827/1829 in Ohio or New Jersey, depending on which record you choose to use as a source. It's probably a toss up since she could have been born in New Jersey and grown up in Ohio, or her parents were from New Jersey and she was born after their move to Ohio.

Many of the Robbins people who lived in that area were from New Jersey. You would think that would make the job easier, but that's not the case. When I found a Robbins will listing a daughter named Jane Lock, I was thrilled, thinking I had found my girl with her parents. Nevertheless, I persisted in investigating since there was also an Alvis Lock married to a Jane. You know what happened. I proved that that Jane was the Jane who was married to Alvis. And I still don't know who Mary Jane's parents are.

She married William F. Lock on 19 August 1947 in Randolph County, Indiana, which is at the Indiana-Ohio border, making it more difficult to search for records since both states have to be considered.

In August of 1850, the little family, including their two baby daughters, was living in Somers, Preble, Ohio, about forty miles SE of Randolph County. This census enumeration explains Sarah Caroline's birthplace of Ohio. All of the other children were born in Randolph County, Indiana. Finding this particular census opens the possibility that Mary Jane's family was from Preble County. Levi Lock, who was living with them, does not appear again, so he remains a mystery at this time. He is a clue, waiting to be discovered.

William F. Lock, age 23, M, laborer, NC; Mary, age 19, F, NJ; Margaret, age 1, F, IN; Sarah, age 4/12, F, OH; Levi Lock, age 17, M, IN.

By November, they were back in Randolph County and were living in Greens Fork, the township located in the most SE corner of the county.
William F. Lock, age 21, M, wagon maker, NC; Mary A. Lock, age 21, F, OH; Margaret Lock, age 2, F, IN; Caroline Lock, age 5/12, F, IN.

In 1860, the family had grown again, and they were living in Washington, just five miles west of Greens Fork.
William F. Lock, age 32, M, blacksmith, /$100, NC; Mary J. Lock, age 32, F, NJ; Margaret A. Lock, age 12, F, IN; Sarah C. Lock, age 10, F, IN; Alvis M. Lock, age 8, M, IN; Joel J. Lock, age 4, M, IN; Charles H. Lock, age 2, M, IN.

Sometimes you wonder why people said what they said to census enumerators. They lied about all kinds of things, or were careless in their responses. The enumerators were also a mixed group, some being meticulous in their entries, and others hurrying along and making mistakes. Did Mary Jane list her birthplace as Ohio in 1850 because she had most recently come from there? When in Ohio did she say New Jersey because that's where her family lived previously? Who knows! Who knows!

By 1870, their family was complete, and several of the children had already left home. They were still living in Washington.
Wm. F. Locke, age 49, M, blacksmith, $150/50, NC; Mary J. Locke, age 38, F, W, keeps house, NJ; Joel J. Locke, age 13, M, IN; Charles M. Locke, age 11, M, IN; William F. Locke, age 8, M, IN; Sherman Locke, age 5, M, IN; Minna Locke, age 3, F, IN.

Mary Jane died on 14 November 1872 and was buried at New Liberty Cemetery in Lynn. Since they stayed in the same area for the entire life of their marriage, we have a picture of them every ten years. What we do not have is personal information about Mary Jane. We do not know her parents' names, her brothers and sisters, what she liked to do with her time, or even how she looked. We know her as a wife and as a mother. She was the mother of eight children and her household would have reflected that. They were not wealthy people, so she probably did all of her own housework while raising her children. Thus, her short life was a busy one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Pinder Procter Connection

If you look for Yorkshire histories at the left, you will see that there is a nice description of Doncaster and a good map of the places Sarah Pinder lived under the posting for her husband, John Procter, who she married on 6 September 1841 at Rotherham, a good place to go to be married because of its many churches.

John Pinder and his wife, Jane Butter, are credited with two daughters named Sarah. This normally happened when the older child died and the parents used the name again when another child of the same gender was born. In this case, the two Sarah's ages are two years apart. The first was christened on 13 October 1819, and the second on 24 January 1821, both at Doncaster. Normally, one would assume that the first Sarah was deceased. In this case, the Sarah who married John Procter was 32 years old on the 1851 census for Doncaster, setting her birth at 1819. Both of the christening dates were extracted from church records by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There could actually be two Sarahs or just one, with different christening dates recorded. One could be a correction. Or, these two girls could have had different names, but one was recorded incorrectly. We cannot know. But we do know when Sarah Pinder married John Procter and that she is a grandmother for us. And we further know that she was the daughter of her parents, John and Jane.

Sarah's married life matches that of her husband as follows--
On 6 September 1841, John married Sarah Pinder, the daughter of John Pinder and Jane Butler, his wife. They married at Rotherham, located about thirteen miles SW of Doncaster. That would have been a big trip for them. Their first son, Henry, was born in 1842 at Cantley, which is about three miles east of Doncaster. John is our grandfather, six generations back for my children. Their five other children were born at Doncaster, where they made their home for the rest of their lives. Their four girls were M. (name unknown), Jane, Mary Ann, and Lucy. Their last child was John, born in 1859, which is about the time Sarah died, perhaps in childbirth.


Sarah, if she was born in 1819, would have been about 40 years old when she died. She had a relatively short life, proving once again, that childbearing was a perilous business in earlier times.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Bennett Murray of Fredericktown, Missouri

I devoted many research years to Bennett Murray. It was complicated by the existence of several other men of the same name. One, in particular, lived in an adjoining county and was about the same age as our Bennett. His descendants had a story about his parentage. It was that his father "crossed the river" and married his mother. Then he "went back across the river" to his own people and did not return. So his mother named him Bennett Murray after his father. This implies that Bennett Murray was also his father's name. I've never found anything to indicate the reality of this story, nor do I have any reason to doubt it either. These two Bennett Murrays could even be half brothers in the whole scheme of things; or they could be cousins. Since I have had no luck in locating Bennett's father, it remains a mystery waiting to be solved.

According to Lota Murray Campbell's family Bible, our Bennett Murray was born 5 October 1820 in Fredericktown, Madison, Missouri. Missouri was acquired from the French in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase. Missouri became a territory in 1812 and a state in 1821, so this was truly the frontier at the time. Sometime in the 1950's, Lota Murray Campbell received a letter from another branch of the family who wanted to exchange information. Unfortunately, that never happened and the letter didn't have anything in it to identify this family. Family tradition is that he was from a large family of brothers who were divided in their loyalties at the time of the Civil War. It is unfortunate that we do not have an 1820 census for Missouri. It might have helped us sort these people out. The state of Missouri has a nice historical timeline.

Bennett's Volunteer Enlistment into the Civil War contained many facts pertinent to his life. It was made at Rolla, Phelps, Missouri on the 6th day of August in 1862. He stated that he was forty years old and a farmer. He was five feet eleven inches tall and had gray eyes and dark hair. He was a man in his forties who was leaving his family to fight a war; not for choice, but for duty.

When he applied for his pension in 1898, he listed his marriages on the application. He was first married to Mary J. Barnes in Madison County, he said 1840. The day book of the Reverend Elias White sets the date at 8 June 1845. She died the next year. Mary Jane was the daughter of Samuel and Mary Barnes from North Carolina.

Bennett's second marriage was to Susan Perkins, and he noted that she died November, 1845, also in Madison County. In actuality, their marriage was recorded in Washington County, Missouri on 6 July 1848. Their daughter Sarah A. Murray, was born 4 November 1850. It is obvious that Susan died from complications related to the birth of their daughter. Efforts to locate Bennett on the 1850 census have not been successful. There is one possibility for Susan's parents, but it is also uncertain at this time.

At this point, Bennett was a young father who had lost two wives to death, and now had a small baby daughter. It appears he had his share of grief. His third marriage was to Olive Wood. His pension papers list the date of 10 January 1846, with a notation that she died in July, 1882. That cannot be right since Sarah was born in 1850 and Olive, age 17, was living with her parents on the 1850 census. This date has also been adjusted to accommodate other information available to us. The accepted date of their marriage is 10 January 1851, just after Susan's death. Bennett gets credit for remembering the day correctly, and the year has been adjusted based on the birth of Sarah and the 1850 census enumeration for Olive.

Bennett and Olive raised a large family of boys in addition to baby Sarah. Our ancestor, John Lewis, born 13 June 1854, was the oldest. His brothers were Francis Marion, James Henry, Bennett, Thomas Franklin, William Elisha and Ora. All of the boys were born in Missouri, except James Henry, who was born in Arkansas. That's interesting because there were Murrays living in Arkansas with similar family names. It may be that they were with some of their extended family at the time since tradition says some of them were in Arkansas, and their Missouri home was not farm from the border between Missouri and Arkansas.

In 1859 Bennett purchased land in Dent County, Missouri, about 85 miles west of their home town of Fredericktown. That is where his family lived during the Civil War. As was mentioned previously, Bennett enlisted in the Union Army on 6 August 1862. His military service was outlined by Herbert Campbell. He was enrolled at Benton Barracks, near St. Louis, Missouri, in Captain Joe Davis' Company on 20 October of that same year. He was paid $2 premium and $25 enlistment bounty. He served most of the time in Company C, 32nd Regiment, Missouri Infantry, and in Company D, Consolidated Battalion, 31st and 32nd Missouri Infantry. Bennett's regiment was in General Sherman's YAZOO Expedition from 22 December 1862 to 3 January, and in the assault and capture of Fort Hindeman, Arkansas Post, January 10-11. Bennett's regiment moved to Young's Point, Madison County, Louisiana about 15 miles from Vicksburg, Warren, Mississippi, and across the Mississippi River, with the Army of the Tennessee.

Bennett left camp on 20 March 1863, and apparently went home to see Bennett, Jr., who was born on January 25th of that year, and to help with the spring planting. He was placed on the Desertion List to the Provost General, dated 21 April 1863. He was arrested in May and taken to the Provost Marshall in Rolla, Missouri. From there he was sent to St. Louis, Missouri in the charge of Lt. White's Provost Guard on June 22nd. He returned to Company C, operating around Jackson, Hinds, Mississippi, and was with the Army on the Tennessee on 9 July. He was charged with desertion, "did desert said service on or about the 20 March 1863 at or near Youngs Point, Louisiana and remained absent from his command until on or about the 17th July 1863, at which time he voluntarily rejoined his command. Since which time he has been a good and obedient soldier," but was not court martialed until 1865. As was often the case, men would leave their duty to go home to take care of family business and then return to their service.

Bennett's regiment had nearly twenty times as many casualties from disease as from combat. This was undoubtedly due to lack of knowledge of proper sanitation and living and fighting along rivers and swamps. Bennett was admitted to USA Hospital Steamer, Charles McDougall on 5 September 1863 from Vicksburg with an intestinal fever. He was transferred 8 September to Overton USA General Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee with atrophy of the testicles. On 19 September, he was again transferred to USA Hospital Steamer, Memphis with mumps. On 23 September, he was transferred to the USA General Hospital, Jefferson barracks, near St. Louis, Missouri with a lame back. He returned to duty on 30 November. He was sick again on 22 December at Bridgeport, Alabama and admitted to Cumberland USA General Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee on 23 December 1863. The complaint was rheumatism, with an added diagnosis on inflamed bronchi. Following all of this illness, he was furloughed from 12 February to 14 March. He was then transferred to Brown USA General Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky on 15 April, with a diagnosis of chronic rheumatism. He was detailed to Ward 9 on 21 May, and returned to duty 8 October 1864.

After Bennett's return to duty, his regiment was in the operation against Confederate General Hood in northern Georgia and Alabama until 3 November. Due to losses, the 32nd Regiment was consolidated to a battalion of three companies and further consolidated with three companies, the 31st Missouri Infantry as consolidated Battalion 31st and 32nd Missouri Infantry. General Sherman instructed the army's surgeons to examine every man with a history of illness to be sure they would be able to make it all the way to Savannah, Georgia. No man was retained who was not capable of the long march. No one anticipated that the route would be to our nation's Capitol, over 1000 miles, and would require over six months. They crossed mountains, rivers, and swamps and fought numerous battles in General Sherman's March to the Sea, and in operations in the Carolinas and Virginia against Confederate General J. E. Johnston. (General Robert E. Lee surrendered 27,800 Confederate troops to General U. S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on 9 April.) General Johnston surrendered 31,200 troops to General Sherman on 18 April 1865, at Durham Station, North Carolina, ending the last major organized military resistance. (General E. K. Smith surrendered about 3000 west of the Mississippi on 26 May.) The Consolidated Battalion 31-32 regiment marched to Washington D. C. via Richmond, Virginia, (the Confederacy capitol until 2 April) from 29 April to 20 May. They marched in the Grand Review up Pennsylvania Avenue on 24 May 1864. They were moved to Louisville, Kentucky and redesignated the 32nd Missouri Infantry on 20 June.

Bennett was court martialed for desertion from March to July 1863 and punished with loss of pay for the period absent and pay was stopped for transportation in the amount of $11.50. An Act of Congress, approved on 5 July 1884, removed all unauthorized absence charges against soldiers who subsequently had good records. First Lieutenant Beverly A. David of Company C had entered on Bennett's charges that Bennett had voluntarily rejoined his command, "since which time he has been a good and obediant soldier." Bennett was mustered out of Company D, 32rd Regiment, Missouri Infantry on 18 July 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky. Pay due Bennett was $21. (for 20 1/2 months less the court martial) plus $75. for increased enlistment bounty which was approved during the war.

Bennett returned to his nearly destitute (due to military and guerrilla operations in the area) family in Norman, Dent, Missouri. His eldest son John L., later described Bennett as being covered with bandages because he healed slowly. He said they only had a cup of turnip seeds to plant the next spring. They farmed for several years before moving to Short Bend township. In 1880, Bennett and Olive were living in Short Bend, Dent, Missouri. James, Bennett, Thomas, Elisha and Orin were still living at home at the time. He listed his occupation as "collier" and his parents' birth states as being North Carolina. Olive died 3 July 1880 and is buried at the Sligo Cemetery, Sligo, Dent, Missouri.

There are two other marriage records for Bennett. He married Margaret McCoy on 5 November 1882. He married Millie Taff on 20 July 1884, both in Dent County. I have not done any research on these two events.

When he applied for his pension, he made his declaration on 17 October 1891. He was a resident of Licking, Texas, Missouri. He stated that he was honorably discharged at St. Louis on 22 July 1865. "He is now totally unable to earn a support by reason of disease of the eyes, disease of back result fallin of the mumps and disease of the heart. That said disabilities are not due to his vicious habits and are to the best of his knowledge and belief permanent." S. A. Mitchell and Josiah Bradford appeared to vouch for him at that time. The original declaration for his pension stated that he contracted mumps while serving at Vicksburg. His application approval was delayed for over twelve years because he had stated he became ill in July 1863. The legal reviewer recommended disapproval because he determined that the mumps was contracted during his period of desertion. Subsequently, medical records showed that the mumps was contracted in September, almost two months after his return. With his application finally approved, Bennett received for his service $12. a month, which was to be retroactive to 22 October 1891.


Leta Murray Boucher's memories of Bennett were when he was an old man and lived with their family for a time. He chewed tobacco and she had the unsavory job of washing his beard. She also remembered him listening for the children and taking his cane and trying to trip them when they ran past him. She made a face when she told about it. He also enjoyed shocking family members with his colorful language.

Bennett died on 25 March 1902 at Birchtree, Shannon, Missouri. The following appears in the Birch Tree Free Record on Friday, 28 March 1902- "Bennett Murray, commonly known as Grandpa Murray, died in Birch Tree at the home of his son, Bennett Murray Jr., last Tuesday and was laid to rest in the Baptist Cemetery, Wednesday. He was born in Tennessee and came to Fredericktown, Missouri in an early day, where he married Miss Ollie Wood, with whom he lived till death parted them, some twenty years ago. He was a professed Christian and a member of the Baptist church. He was a Union soldier and served his country faithfully for three years and four months, as a private soldier in Company C, 32 Missouri Volunteers. He was in his 83rd year and had been blind an invalid for several years. He leaves six sons and one daughter do mourn his departure."

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Rossea Whitlock


Rossea was the third child of George W. and Nancy Ann Whitlock. She was born on 1 October 1841, according to the Whitlock Family Bible. Her birthplace was not recorded next to the date, but was probably Indiana. It was listed as Ohio on the 1850 and 1860 census. After that, every census said it was Indiana. Since her step-mother was born in Ohio, this could explain the first two census references to Ohio. In 1840, Rossie's father was enumerated on the census at Sullivan County, Indiana. That's the place that has my vote. On later census records, other Whitlocks lived at Fairbanks (A). It is at the north of the county and next to the Wabash River that separates Indiana from Illinois.

Her two older siblings were Abiah and Robert. When she was two years old Frances joined the little family. When Rossea was just five years old, her mother died on 2 November 1846. She would have naturally depended on her older sister Abiah, who was nine years old, to care for her at the death of their mother. Sadly, Abiah died on 15 March 1847, leaving the little family without a mother or a big sister. They were living at Canton, Fulton, Illinois (B) at the time. Canton is about 225 miles NW of Rossea's birthplace in Sullivan County, Indiana, and not far from the larger city of Peoria. Mother and daughter were buried next to each other at the Greenwood Cemetery in Canton. This must have been a difficult time for them.

Rossea's father provided another mother for the family shortly after that when he married Catherine Hilton on 12 September 1847. She appears as the mother of this family on the 1850 census, and if we did not have other sources, we would not know about Nancy Ann, the children's birth mother. They were living at Canton, and as you can see, George was a blacksmith with a fair amount of assets for the time.

Geo. W. Whitlock, age 35, M, blacksmith, $2000, VA; Catherine Whitlock, age 26, F, OH; Robert B. Whitlock, age 10, M, IN; Rossea H. Whitlock, age 8, F, OH; Frances E. Whitlock, age 6, F, IN.

On the 1860 census 18 year old Rossea was enumerated in the household of Hepalong Whitman. She could have worked there during the day, or been living with the family. She didn't marry until 23 February 1872, when she and Horatio Wellington traveled west 163 miles to Schuyler County, Missouri (C) and were married. Her husband was the brother of her sister Frances' husband, Horace. Their daughter, Pearl, was born that same year at Texas County, Missouri (D) where her parents now lived. The marriage didn't work out and by 1876, she was living with her parents and her daughter. Their neighbors were the Boucher family who came from Tennessee to Missouri in 1870.

Rossie married Samuel Boucher on 27 May 1877 in Texas County. She was 12 years older than her new husband. On the 1880 census they were living in Pierce, Texas, Missouri next door to her father, George Whitlock.
Sam Boucher, married, W, age 30, TN, farmer, TN, TN; Rossea, W, F, age 36, wife, housekeeper, IN, KY, IN; Luther, W, M, age 3, son, MO, TN, IN; Arthur, W, M, age 6/12, born Jan., son, MO, TN, IN.

Their three sons--Luther, Arthur, and Edward were each born two years apart beginning in 1878. Edward only lived for three years. By the time Edward died in 1885, the family had moved south 12 miles to Hutton Valley, Howell, Missouri.

Samuel died in 1897 at a cousin's home in what is now Chelsea County, Oklahoma, then Cherokee Lands. By this time Rossea and the boys had moved another five miles into the little town of Willow Springs, Howell, Missouri where the boys attended school. Rossie was listed there on the 1900 census.
Rossie Bousher, head, W, F, born Oct 1841, age 58, widow, 4 children/3 living, IN, KY, KY, farm; Luther Bousher, son, W, M, born Feb 1880, age 20, single, MO, TN, IN, painter.

Luther was actually in Wyoming at the time working as a carpenter, and the son at home was Arthur. In about 1903, Art got a job with the Northern Pacific Railroad. A year later his intended, Leta Murray, took the train from Willow Springs to Washington to marry him, and Rossea came with her. She spent most of the rest of her life living with Art and Leta in Washington. At the time of the 1920 census she was boarding with Maggie Harrison, in Spokane where Art and Leta lived. She was probably not at home because Leta was pregnant.

Rossea died on 11 August 1922 while visiting at the home of her son, Luther, at Grants Pass, Josephine, Oregon. It is sad to recount that she did not want to make that visit and was afraid she would die if she left home. Unfortunately, Leta, who was 41 years old, was pregnant and had a little toddler named Betty (Grandma Locke to us) to care for as well. So Rossea traveled to Oregon for six weeks while Leta had her baby, named William (Uncle Bill to us). When she got to Luther's house, she would not eat. She never did make the return trip back home to Spokane. It is also unfortunate that there is not a single photo of Rossea. It would have been nice to put these events together with a face.