The Genes are Showing.

My cousin recently shared with me a photo of her father when he was young.  The resemblance between him and his uncle is amazing.  I don’t believe any of Fred Wilson’s sons looked so much like him.  I can’t help but wonder which side of the family they resemble, George Wilson’s or Viola Hise’s.  Here are some photos to study:

 Whitted Florenceis Hise Eliza

Wilson Clara

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In order from the top, Larry L. Elwood, his uncle Fred Wilson. Below Fred on the left is Fred’s cousin Florence Whitted and next to him his mother and Fred’s great-aunt Eliza Hise Whitted.  Below them is Fred’s aunt Clara Wilson on his father’s side.  The bottom photo has Fred’s grandmother Mary Jane Runyan on the far right.  I believe the two children on the left are by her first husband Jesse Hise.  The dark fellow standing next to her may be Barney Humphreys.

I  added Clara Wilson’s photo in an attempt at contrast. Her look is not entirely dissimilar, but not exactly the same as the Hises.  The resemblance might be due in part to the Native ancestry her mother Mary Skeeters had.  As far as I can tell, the Hise and Skeeters family don’t connect.

 

Great Aunt Found

I know now what happened to May Murray, my grandfather’s half-sister, whom I found on the 1910 census.  As Wreatha May Murray, she married Cyril Myron Elwood 3 July 1924 in Marion County, IN.  The  couple lived in Indianapolis for several years and then moved to Adams Township, Allen County, IN.  They had six children.  Sunday morning I was contacted by the daughter of the youngest son.  We compared notes all afternoon and they all matched.  It wasn’t until a couple days later we accessed the Parke County USGenWeb page to find a “corrected” birth record that listed Wreatha May Murray born as the daughter of Samuel F. Murray and Viola Hise.  This is exciting. Laurie lucked out because she received information culled from my many years of research.  What other hobby can bring a new first cousin for your mother and a second cousin for yourself?

1902 Skeeter Family Reunion

Image

Here is another family photo in which all but one of the people are unidentified.  This is the Skeeters family reunion in 1902.  This photo was shared with me a long time ago by a distant cousin who wanted help in identifying people.  If you recognize anyone, please let me know.

The Skeeters family seems to be a very small one, and everyone with an ancestor of that name is related.  The origin of the family still hasn’t been determined, although I have a theory or two.

This is how the Skeeters entered my family:

David Skeeters (Josiah-1) was born about 1802 in KY. He lived in Parke Co., IN in 1850.[1] In 1850 he was a farmer.[2] David died before 17 Aug 1876 at the age of 74, because his wife Catherine’s tombstone says she is his widow.

David Skeeters and Catherine Turner were married on 28 Jun 1821 in Campbell Co., KY, but it could have been in Boone County instead. Catherine Turner was born on 25 Mar 1799 in KY.[3] She was buried in 1876 at Old Morgan Cemetery in Parke Co., IN.[4] She died on 17 Aug 1876 at the age of 77 at possibly in Wabash Township in Parke Co., IN.[5]

David Skeeters and Catherine Turner had the following children:

  1. Mary Skeeters, born abt 1828, KY, USA; married William Harvey Wilson, 24 Jan 1844, Parke Co., IN; died 21 Jun 1890, Parke Co., IN.
  2. Lorenzo Skeeters was born about 12 Sep 1828 in KY.[6] He was buried in 1853 at Old Morgan Cemetery in Rockville, Parke Co., IN. He died on 1 Jan 1853 at the age of 24 in Parke Co., IN, USA.
  3. Elizabeth Skeeters was born on 6 Apr 1830.[7] She was buried in 1837 at Old Morgan Cemetery in Rockville, Parke Co., IN.[8] She died on 13 Sep 1837 at the age of 7 in Parke Co., IN.[9]
  4. Absalom Skeeters was born on 11 Nov 1835.[10] He was buried in 1836 at Old Morgan Cemetery in Rockville, Parke Co., IN.[11] He died on 11 Mar 1836 at the age of 0 in Parke Co., IN.[12]
  5. Ellen Skeeters, born 18 Mar 1842, IN, USA; married Milo G. Chezem, 18 Dec 1861; died 28 Dec 1909, Parke Co., IN.

Mary Skeeters (David-2, Josiah-1) was born about 1828 in KY, USA. She appeared in

the census in 1880 in Reserve Township, Parke Co., IN.[13] She died on 21 Jun 1890 at the age of 62 in Parke Co., IN.[14] She was buried at OId Morgan Cemetery in , Parke Co., IN.[15]

Mary Skeeters and William Harvey Wilson were married on 24 Jan 1844 in Parke Co., IN.[16] They appeared in the census on 18 Jun 1860 in Reserve Township, Parke Co., IN.[17] William Harvey Wilson, son of William Wilson and Rachel Wells, was born on 3 Dec 1820 in Greenfield Twp., Fairfield Co., OH.[18] In 1850 he was a farmer.[19] He appeared in the census in 1860 in Reserve Township, Parke Co., IN.[20] In 1860 William was a farmer.[21] He died on 28 Oct 1862 at the age of 41 in Parke Co., IN.[22] He has reference number 160. William was buried at Old Morgan Cemetery in Parke Co., IN.[23]

William Harvey Wilson and Mary Skeeters had the following children:

  1. William Graham Wilson was born about 1845.[24]
  2. Isabel Wilson, born 1848, IN; married Samuel Haworth, 1866.
  3. Pratt Wilson was born in 1851.
  4. Alice Wilson, born 1853; married James Collins, 1872.
  5. Loretta Wilson, born 1855; married James Hiller, 1871.
  6. George S. Wilson, born 30 Dec 1858, Parke Co., IN; married Viola V. Hise, 31 Mar 1882, Parke Co., IN; died 23 Jan 1901, Parke Co., IN.
  7. Clara Wilson, born abt 1862, IN; died 24 May 1927, IN.

George S. Wilson (Mary Skeeters-3, David-2, Josiah-1) was born on 30 Dec 1858 in Parke Co., IN.[25] He appeared in the census on 4 Jun 1880 in Reserve Township, Parke Co., IN.[26] In 1900 he was a farmer.[27] George died of consumption on 23 Jan 1901 at the age of 42 in Parke Co., IN.[28] He was buried on 25 Jan 1901 at Old Morgan Cemetery in Parke Co., IN.[29]

George S. Wilson and Viola V. Hise were married on 31 Mar 1882 in Parke Co., IN, USA.[30] Viola V. Hise, daughter of Jesse Hise and Mary Jane Runyan, was born in Oct 1862 in Clinton, Vermillion Co., IN.[31] She appeared in the census in Jul 1870 with her aunt and uncle in Reserve Twp., Parke Co., IN.[32] She appeared in the census on 10 Jun 1880 with her aunt and uncle in Reserve Twp., Parke Co., IN.[33] Viola appeared in the census on 11 Jun 1880 with her mother and stepfather in Clinton Township, Vermillion Co., IN.[34] She appeared in the census on 28 Jun 1900 in Reserve Township, Parke Co., IN. She appeared in the census on 15 Apr 1910 in Reserve Township, Parke Co., IN.[35] Viola died of paresis for a year on 14 May 1914 at the age of 51 in Reserve Township, Parke Co., IN.[36] She was buried at Morgan Cemetery in , Parke Co., IN, USA.[37] Viola lived with her aunt and uncle James Morgan and Turzah Hise.

George S. Wilson and Viola V. Hise had the following children:

  1. Iva M. Wilson, born Aug 1883, IN; married Lewis A. Rohr, 6 Mar 1901, Parke Co., IN; divorced 1905.
  2. Frederick Everett “FE” Wilson, born 17 Jun 1887, Montezuma, Parke Co., IN; married Mary Myrtle Vandivier, 18 May 1910, Parke Co., IN; died 12 Oct 1965, Hagerstown, Washington Co., MD.
  3. Mary D. Wilson was born in Feb 1891 in IN, USA.[38]
  4. Infant Wilson was born on 1 Jul 1900 in Parke Co., IN.[39] He died on 12 Aug 1900 at the age of 0.[40]

[1]. 1850 federal census record, Parke Co., IN.

[2]. Ibid.

[3]. Carol Ealey, transcriber, Old Morgan Cemetery (2000).

[4]. Ibid.

[5]. Ibid.

[6]. 1850 federal census record, Parke Co., IN.

[7]. Carol Ealey, transcriber, Old Morgan Cemetery.

[8]. Ibid.

[9]. Ibid.

[10]. Ibid.

[11]. Ibid.

[12]. Ibid.

[13]. 1880 federal census, Reserve  Township, Parke Co., IN.

[14]. Carol Ealey, transcriber, Old Morgan Cemetery.

[15]. Ibid.

[16]. Parke County Marriage Records.

[17]. 1860 federal census, Parke Co., Ind.

[18]. Carol Ealey, transcriber, Old Morgan Cemetery.

[19]. 1850 federal census record, Parke Co., IN.

[20]. 1860 federal census, Parke Co., Ind.

[21]. Ibid.

[22]. Carol Ealey, transcriber, Old Morgan Cemetery.

[23]. Ibid.

[24]. 1860 federal census, Parke Co., Ind.

[25]. Carol Ealey, transcriber, Old Morgan Cemetery.

[26]. 1880 federal census, Reserve  Township, Parke Co., IN.

[27]. 1900 federal census, Parke Co., Ind.

[28]. Carol Ealey, transcriber, Old Morgan Cemetery.

[29]. Ibid.

[30]. Parke County Marriage Records, MR#7, page 485, Book 7, Page 485.

[31]. Parke County Death Records, Book H-16, Page 86.

[32]. 1870 federal census, Parke Co., Ind.

[33]. 1880 federal census, Parke Co., Ind.

[34]. 1880 federal census, Vermillion Co., Ind.

[35]. 1910 federal census, Parke Co., Ind.

[36]. Parke County Death Records, Book 16, Page 86.

[37]. Parke County Death Records, Book H-16, Page 86.

[38]. 1900 federal census, Parke Co., Ind.

[39]. Carol Ealey, transcriber, Old Morgan Cemetery.

[40]. Ibid.

Researching Wreatha May Murray

I was not able to find enough information to determine if Wreatha May Murray is my half-great-aunt. This is what I’ve discovered so far.

Wreatha was born in 1904 in Indiana. In January 1920 at the age of 16 she was living with two married couples and three other young women as a lodger in Indianapolis, Indiana. That’s about 65 miles from Montezuma. I imagine Indianapolis was “the big city” in that area. It’s not given if she was working.

On 3 July 1924 Wreatha married Cyril Myron Elwood in Marion Co., IN, the county that contains Indianapolis. Cyril was a year older and born in Kentucky. They had six children:

  1. James Richard Elwood, born 3 Feb 1925, Indianapolis, Marion Co., IN, USA; married Loraine Stellhorn, 26 Jun 1948, , Allen Co., IN, USA.
  2. Betty J. Elwood, born ca 1927, , , IN, USA, married Male Sexton.
  3. Ronald G. Elwood was born circa 1929 in , , IN, USA.
  4. Roy Elwood was born circa 1933 in , , IN, USA.
  5. Rose A. Elwood was born circa 1938 in , , IN, USA.
  6. Larry L. Elwood was born circa 1938 in , , IN, USA.

In 1930 the family was living on Wilcox Street in Indianapolis. Cyril was a mechanic for an auto manufacturer. In 1940 the family was living in Adams Township, Allen Co., IN where Cyril operated a garage and service station.

Wreatha died in 1969, Cyril in 1982. They are both buried in St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Adams Township.

Why do I think that Wreatha May Murray may be my relative? She was born 1904 in Indiana, just as May was. In 1920 Samuel F. Murray, the father, was living without his daughter in Paris, IL, with his dead wife’s half-brother and his family. His wife, my great-grandmother, Viola Hise had died 14 May 1914. Wreatha was living more or less by herself in Indianapolis that year. I was told my grandfather had a sister named “Reethie.” The 1940 census appears to note Wreatha Murray Elwood as part Native American, as I know Viola Hise was.

There are other May Murrays, but they don’t seem to quite match in age or place. I was surprised to find out that Wreatha was a very common name in Indiana at the time. Unfortunately on the birth record for my great-aunt, there’s no given name recorded, so I have to look at other records.

If Wreatha May Murray were my half great-aunt, the man below would be her half-brother.

Frederick E. Wilson

The mature woman below would be her grandmother Mary Jane Runyan, widow of Jesse Hise who didn’t live much longer after the Civil War, and David Leonard Humphreys.  Her  children pictured would  be an aunt and uncles.

Mary Jane Runyan Hise Humphreys

May Murray

For a long time I’ve wondered what happened to my grandfather’s half-sister May Murray. I didn’t think she was connected to another mystery in the family: who was Reethie who sent the family a box of candy for every Christmas?

My grandfather was Frederick Everett Wilson who was born 17 Jun 1887 in Montezuma, Parke Co., IN. His parents were George S. Wilson and Viola V. Hise. His father died 23 Jan 1901 of tuberculosis. On 20 Oct 1903 his mother married Samuel F. Murray. The 1910 United States census revealed that Samuel and Viola had a daughter, May Murray born 7 Aug 1904 in Parke County.

Fred had two sisters, Ida M. born August 1883 and Mary D. born February 1891. Ida married Lewis Rohr in 1901 and divorced him in 1905. I think Mary may have died while still a child. Neither name lent itself to the nickname “Reethie.”

Today while playing on Familysearch to see if I can find information about someone, I found a marriage record for the son of Cyril Myron Elwood and Wreatha May Murray. Wreatha May Murray! My limited research at home could only determine that Wreatha was born the same year as my half-great-aunt and that the family lived in Indianapolis. Despite my earlier desire to stay home and goof off, now I want to go to the library to use Ancestry to find out more about this family.

In case you’re wondering why you’re reading words instead of viewing photos, I’ve decided to continue this blog to write about the maternal side of my family. I will still share photos!

It’s Working!

One reason I created this blog was that I hoped it would help reconnect me with my mother’s relatives in Indiana.  I think the last contact my mother’s family had with their Indiana relatives was in the 1950s, at least 50 years ago.  In the 1970s my father refused to take my mother and me to visit her relatives in Indiana.  Since he could afford the trip, I thought it was very selfish of him.  I’ve always wanted to help my mother reconnect with her family there since I first began using genealogy messages boards on the Internet in 1995.

 

I may have accomplished that.  This past week I had a message left by a cousin with the Vandivier last name.  I called him the next night and we had a very enjoyable conversation.  He very kindly offered to share the information he had on the family’s ancestors.  Of course he wouldn”t know that I’d been researching the family since 1994 and amassed quite a lot of information myself.  He said his father should know who some of the people in the photos were.  That makes me very happy.  However, what I miss is knowing about my grandmother’s immediate family, the events that occurred and the stories told.  The only thing I know so far that there were bluegrass musicians in the family.  I hope more knowledge will be coming.

 

Aunt with Great Aunts

My Aunt Sue with her aunts Amnie and Opal

 

Grandmother with Siblings

My grandmother Mary Myrtle Vandivier with her siblings Amnie Vandivier Miller and Willie Vandivier