Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall road trip.....

My granddaughter Elizabeth Mae Tietz was October 13, 1999.  A few days later, Grandma Jan took a couple of days off from work and decided a road trip was in order. I love fall, I probably never told you that but I LOVE the colorful leaves, the crisp morning and evening air and a new crop of apples! There is an aroma in the air on a prefect Indian summer day that reminds me of heaven. I know it instantly and I want it to last for ever. I close my eyes and bask in the warmth of the sun and take very deep breaths of this wonderful aroma. I do not know if it is the smell of leave changing but it is an aroma that only happens on a perfect fall day.

My road trip to see Elizabeth began on such a day. I live in Chicago and she lives in Capac, Michigan. I decided to take the long way to Capac, Michigan by way of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Yes. I know what you are thinking! I left first thing Friday morning figuring I would have a few hours to check out a cemetery or two.

I love cemeteries, I always have. I remember as a school girl, I would ride my bike to a small country cemetery down the road from our house. This was a very old cemetery and I visited it often. As I read the names and dates on the tombstones, I would make up stories in my head about the people in the cemetery. Some of my made up stories were about rich people, some were about poor people, some were old people and some were about very young people. I always pondered why they died and how they had lived.

I decided to take a more rural route to Fort Wayne to get away from traffic. I took a US Highway 30 through northern Indiana from the south east suburbs of Chicago to Fort Wayne. The fall leaves were beautiful. The sun was shining and I traveled the whole distance with the window rolled down absorbing every second of the fall ride. My first stop was at the Methodist church at Nine Mile Indiana. I had found records which indicated that my Smith Family had likely lived nearby and that the father James and some of the children may be buried in the cemetery at this church.

I found a section of the cemetery in the northwest corner which had the oldest stones. There did not seem to be Smith family stones anywhere.  Eventually I would find a pile of stone carefully placed on a worn base.  When I moved them, I was thrilled to discover that they were the Smith stones I was searching for.

All these pieces are actually one stone. The church burial records which I would later obtain from a cemetery trustee would show that James, Charles, Kisiah and a baby named Barberry are all buried in this plot and listed on this stone. Susannah is also on the stone but the church has no record of her being buried here.

James Smith died on March 24, 1868. Charles Smith died in 1863. I believe he died while serving in the Civil War. I have been unable to obtain his records but there is a Charles Smith listed as killed from Indiana in 1863. I will continue to work to verifying this information. I believe that the loss of Charles was a contributing factor to the enlistment of Charles brother’s James W. Smith (my GGGrandfather) and Joseph J. Smith in 1864. Kisiah died in 1861. She was 19 years old. I do not why she died. I do not know an exact date which will make it difficult to obtain a death record. Barberry died as an infant and no date is listed. To date I do not know when Susannah died either. She was alive and counted in the 1870 census after the death of James but I do not find her in the 1880 Census ten years later. She continues to be a needle in my haystack.

The remaining Smiths' buried in the Nine Mile Cemetery are in the plot to the south of this worn base stone. I noticed the stone that day but I did not record it.  I noticed it because the stone looks like it is growing out of a tree.  I thought to myself, "what a shame".  A tree has grown in that woman's grave. I read the name on the stone but thought nothing of it.  After returning home and obtaining burial records from the trustee of the cemetery, I realized that Mary Ann Kimble and her daughter Susanna, who are buried in this grave are the daughter and grandaughter of James and Susannah Smith.  I have made many visits to this cemetery and will like return many times more....Soon fall road trip will continue in the next segment of my blog...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rather be Bloggin....

I am taking a class this week and it is really I have not had time for bloggin..... but I will soon...

Friday, September 25, 2009

What is her name?

The Family Bible says she is Della Denney Smith. Her marriage license says she is Celie Dennie. Her name is Ella in the 1860 Federal Census in Indiana. In the 1870 Federal Census, she is Aella Smith. In the 1880 Federal Census, she is Oella Smith. So who is she and what really is her name?

It would take me several years to sort out who Oella really was. I first contacted the Huntington Library for assistance because Grandpa Everett said he was from Roanoke, Indiana and the Huntington Library is near Roanoke. I worked with a wonderful lady named Marilyn in the Indiana Room of the Library. She was able to provide me with a copy of the marriage license for James W Smith and Celie Dennie. She gave me a marriage license for Alvin Smith and Cora Crites. She would provide information which would pin point the location that these families lived in. It was not Roanoke; it was closer to Zaneville, Indiana. I did not know it yet but I was picking away at the “Needles in my Haystack.”
Soon after I received the information from Marilyn, I discovered Through and message boards I would discover a group of Denney (Denny, Dennie) researchers. I posted a couple of question on the Denney message boards. They did not know who Della Denney was. Nor did they know who Celie Dennie was either. I would be able to find the information that Marilyn had provided me. It was listed on also.

I would learn early on in my research that electronic records are only as accurate as the original recorder and the provider of the information are. Many things would play a role in the accuracy of this data. Lack of formal schooling, the inability to read or write, and spelling were all major factors in the accuracy of the information being collected and the information being recorded. Errors came from the people giving the information and the people recording it.

Many years later we(society) would decide that this data should be translated and placed in databases so that people like me can use this data. At this time, the translation of the data becomes a major factor. If the translator can not read the writing of the census gatherer, then the data maybe translated incorrectly. I would learn that hand writing played a major role in the translation of this information. I would also learn that recorders may have been able to write but they may not have been able to spell. It is very hard to read the handwriting of many of the original records.  At this point I need to make a statement, there have been millions of hours of time donated by wonderful people to who have tried very hard to translate these old records accurately.  They have done a wonderful job!  To these people as a family historian, I am eternally grateful!  You have done a great job!  Thanks!

I would learn that it is likely these situations which lead to the “Oella, Della, Ella and Celie Denney” problem. It would be through the Denney researchers that I corresponded with which enabled me to sort through and untangle all the errors associated with Oella Denney and her name.

She is the daughter of Walter and Mary (Young) Denney. She was born on May 12, 1845 in Brooke , Virginia. By the time that Oella was 16, her parents had settled in Wells County, Indiana near Zanesville. She married to James W Smith on March 18, 1869 by an Allen County Justice of the Peace, A.P. Crighton. They would begin their family with the birth of William F Smith later that year.

James W. Smith Born: 1844 in Ohio; Died: 1915 in Indiana; Buried: Uniontown Cemetery

Oella Denney Born: May 12, 1844; Died : Nov 21, 1925; Buried, Uniontown Cemetery

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Della's Sister....

I knew almost from the start of my research that the lady on the right in this photo was my GGGrandmother. She always looked the same. The lady with the scowl. I knew that she was my Grandparent because we had many photos of her. There was the one with Alvin Smith holding a baby and Della Sparks, one with Dora Jackson, Ruth and Ruth’s baby seated outside, pictures of her seated with all of her children and their families standing behind her. The list goes on… What I did not know for sure was her name. I knew she was a Denney and I thought her name was Della because that was what Grandma Lillian called her. I’ll talk more about her in another blog. So for now we just know the crabby one is Oella Denney Smith. She always looked like that I am told.

For years I wondered who this other woman was, the one on the left who seems to have a slight grin! My only clue was a note from Grandma Lillian on the back of the photo. It said Della’s sister. ( Remember that the name Della is wrong…)

I circulated this photo with all of the Denney researchers I have made friends with in hopes that someone would be able to match this photo with one of the Denney woman in their families. None of the researchers seemed to know who she was.

The more I looked at the photo I decided that these two could not be sisters. They did not look at all alike. I know that all sisters do not look alike but there are always some similarities and these two had none. One had a permanent scowl but the other had a bright face, maybe she is squinting but I do not want to think that is it! She has a smile! How could the lady with the scowl and the lady with the smile be sisters…. In my mind it just can not be. Yet this woman was very much apart of the lives of these relatives of mine. She was at the Baptisms, the picnics and all the family gatherings even after Oella seems to be gone. So who is she? SO I kept looking at her and wondering where she belonged.

I would find clues and not really realize that they were clues. When I found the death record for James’s brother Joseph in Chicago, I would get a burial date in Fort Wayne. With that I would get and Obit who mentioned a sister, Mrs. Ralhman. I could not find a Ralhman in Fort Wayne. For years I searched for Rahlman, Ralhmen, Ralman, Rehlman, Relman and every version I could think of but no one was found. James and Joseph did have sisters. All of the sisters which were older than them, had died long ago. One was named Susan she was younger than the brothers but I knew little about her. I wondered if this could be her but who had she married? They also had a sister Martha who was the youngest sibling, could it be her? I would later find that Martha would marry Henry Hauss and settle in the neighboring county of Huntington where she would die at the age of 21, in 1877. So it is not her. Who could she be?

So I started to search for a woman born between the years of 1850 and 1853 whose first name was Susan or Susannah. Eventually I would add the criteria of a surname (married name) beginning with “r”. After a few weeks of searching, there she was Susanah Rehnen. Could this be her? It would take some time but eventually I would obtain Obits for Susanah, her son Bernard, his son Parnell and Parnell’s son, James who died in Larkspur California in 1994. Eventually I did a search on a website called and much to my surprise there was a B. Rehnen who was listed in Larkspur, California. As I recall, this was around 2003. I have used this tool several other time successfully to find children who are still living who had been listed in their parent’s obits. Usually I write down the name, address and phone with a note about who I think they are and how I suspect they are related to me. After finding several, I would write a generic note explaining who I am and that I am looking to confirm information and provide them with information on how they can contact me. Sometimes they do get back to me and sometimes they do not. Not everyone is as interested in their families past as I am.

I had been looking at this photo and getting to know this woman for years and I just had to know who she was. She was another lost relative who spoke to me every time I looked at her just begging me to find her. This process of elimination had been so slow that I took a bold step. I picked up the phone one Sunday afternoon and I called the number. A sweet elderly woman answered the phone, as I explained to her who I was and how I thought I was related she quietly listened. Eventually she broke her silence and said, well you know, you are not actually related to me, it was my husband that you were related to and he has been dead for some time. Then she went on to tell me that his sister still lives in the Fort Wayne area and that I should call her. Susan Katherine Brown is her name. 

After talking to her, I was able to identify this sweet woman as Susannah M (Smith) Rehnen (pronounced Wren like the bird…as she explained), Susan Brown’s Great, Great Grandmother. Susan is named after her. Susan would supply me with several other wonderful photos’ of Aunt Susan and I was able to supply her with a few that she had never seen.

It would be a day that I would solve another one of the “needles in my haystack”. The clue on the photo would have helped if it had said “James W. Smith’s sister, Susan”. She was Oella’s sister-in-law not her sister but as I think of it, that would have made it too easy and I would not have learned so much about this part of my “Haystack”! I thought it was amusing when I received this photo from Susan Brown, there is Oella scowl and all…

  Susan M (Smith) Rehnen

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Fort Wayne Smith's

I have this photo from Grandma Lillian and she gave me one clue. It says “Fort Wayne Smith’s”. For years I looked at this photo and wondered who all these people were. As I researched and scanned in family photo’s it became obvious to me that this photo is of Uncle William‘s Children, Aunt Della’s family and Aunt Dora’s family. We will work on identifying them.

At first I was able to identify a few people from other photos that Grandma and Grandpa had. I knew that Aunt Della was the lady on the right seated below the guy in the suit. Aunt Dora is the lady seated with the baby on her lap. I knew the man with the hat in his hand was Della’s husband from later photos and I know that it is not William Sparks (died 2/13/1931, he did not look like the man in the other family photo that we analyzed) so it must be her second husband, William Hart (married 10/13/1931). So the photo is from after 1931. I knew the man in the suit was Virgil Smith because I have a photo of him in a suit like the one he is wearing in this photo. I knew that the lady to the right of Virgil is Nora (Sparks) Patten she will be a key to the date. On Virgil’s left is his sister Della. Next to Della Smith is Vesta Jackson, Oscar’s wife. To the left of Dora (holding the baby) is her daughter Ruth (Jackson) and since it is after 1931 she has married her second husband Ralph Emrick(1927).

For many years the woman in the center remained unnamed. I had several photos of her with Oella. On the back of one of the photo, Grandma tried to give me another clue. It stated that she was Oella’s sister. This is a story for a future Blog so I will just identify her as Aunt Susan (Susanna). Oella is not in the photo, she died in 1925 which just helps to establish the date that the photo was taken.

Three woman seated in the center of the photo are L to R: Dora Jackson holding (probably) Marlene Emrick(1932), Aunt Susan (died 1933), Della Sparks.

The row standing behind: is likely Talmage(probably Talmage, the son), Lydia Sparks, Talmage’s wife, Ruth (Jackson)Emrick, Melba Jackson(1917, 15 years old), Vesta (Bowersock) Jackson, Della Smith, Virgil Smith, Nora(Sparks) Patten(died 2/24/1933), William Hart (Della's second husband married 10/13/1931)

Third row L to R: William Harvey Jackson (the man's profile), Ralph Emrick (over Ruth's shoulder to the right), Oscar Jackson(over Vesta's shoulder to the left) ,Alvin (1904, 26) or Virgil Sparks(1902, 28)standing by the tree in back of photo, the man behind Nora is Grover Patten, Nora’s husband.

Children seat in the front are no doubt Della and Dora's Grandchildren. I am making an educated guess here based in the ages that each of these children is known to been born according to census records which only go to 1930.

Front L to R: Walter Emrick(1927, 5 ), behind Walter and kneeling, Dora Jane Jackson(1926, 6), Marjorie Jackson, (1921, 11), Loydell(1923, 9), Loren Sparks (1921, 11), Bernard (1923, 9) behind and next to Della, Martena Sparks (1922, 10)

Since both Nora (Sparks) Patten (Feb 1933) and Aunt Susan (Dec. 1933) were both known to have died in 1933, we know that the photo was taken before 1933. It looks as though it is summer so it is probably 1932. Marlene Emrick was born on January 29, 1932 and Dora Jackson is her Grandmother who is holding her. Marlene provided me with her birth date.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Della and the Sparks Family….

Della M. Smith(1874) married William R. Sparks( 1873) in 1896. The photo is Della’s Wedding Portrait. They had four children; Nora Sparks (1897), Talmedge Sparks (1899), Virgil Sparks (1902), and Alvin Sparks(1904). They lived in Wells County near James, Oella and the rest of the siblings in Union Township, Wells County, Indiana.

This picture is Della Wedding photo.  It is interesting that of the wedding photos that I have from prior to 1900, the bride is dressed in black.  I am assuming that they are dressed in their "best dress", not necessarily a new dress.  Their best dress probably was their funeral dress too.

Della was very committed to her family. In our pictures you see her, with her mother, Oella, often in the last years of Oella's life. She also seems to be assisting her neice, Della and nephew,Virgil at the family farm where Oella went to live with William F. and his family after James W. died. Oella is certainly not able to raise two small school age children without Della’s help. William's wife , Dessie died when their daughter Della was three.

  This photo is of Uncle William‘s children, Aunt Della's  family and Aunt Dora’s family. I have most of them identified and we will analize this photo as we did the James W. Smith photo to identfy the rest and place a year to it as well in a future blog .  Aunt Della's children and their families have been a bit illusive. I have made no contact with any descendants of Della so far. I will always keep searching. I am hoping that the release of the 1940 records will assist me in finding them.  I have contacted Oscar's children. Majorie (Jackson) Goshorn is still living and is the little girl in the front with her hand by her eyes.  She and her son were able to attend a small family reunion I hosted in Nine Mile Indiana in 2005.  I have also been in contact with Emrick children.   

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meet the Jackson's....

This is the Jackson Family. Yes, they are related to us. Dora Belle Smith, Alvin’s Sister, married William Harvey Jackson on June 30, 1893. They had three children; Oscar H. Jackson (1895), Charles W. Jackson (1899) and Ruth Jackson (1903). Charles Jackson died as an infant in May of 1901. He is buried in the Hoverstock Cemetery in Zanesville, Indiana. I have not found a picture of him. This picture is of William Harvey, Oscar and Dora Jackson. I would guess that it is from about 1898. I do not seem to have any pictures of Ruth as a child with the exception of the James W. Smith Family Photo. In future blogs, I will talk about Oscar and Ruth and their families.

Even though there was 200 mile which separates these Smith siblings, they still remained close as a family. Through pictures and letters it is obvious that they all made trips to visit each other regularly. Every time Everett and Lillian drove south for Church conference or vacation, they always had a stop over on the way down and one on the way back according to Grandma’s Travel logs. Dora and Della visited the Michigan Smith families regularly as they aged. We have many photos of them.

This photo is a Smith Four Generation photo which was likey taken in 1923 or maybe 1924. Seated in the Photo on the left is Dora (Smith) Jackson and she is holding her Grandson Loydell Malone.  Seated on the right is Oella (Denney) Smith and standing behind is Ruth (Jackson) Malone.  Loydell was born in May 1923 and Oella died in November of 1925.  Knowing that we can fairly accurately set the time frame to 1923-1924.  Loydell seem to be a toddler so it is probably summer of 1924 he does not look like a 3 or 4 month old baby to me..

Been a few days....

It's been a few days since I blogged...Had Blog Brain block.....yes a new condition. Been real busy quilting and painting the hallway too. I'm glad the Brain Block went away...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Etta Clare and Wm Homer Wert...the sad part

Lule Etta Wert - 1925 James Frank Wert - 1904

Etta Clare story is a sad one. Eventually I found her in the 1900 census still living at home with James W. and Oella Smith along with her brothers Francis and William. She married William Homer Wert in 1903 and they had their son, James Frank Wert, in 1903. Etta Clare died on July 11, 1905 during the birth of her second child, Lule Etta Wert. She was 23 years old. The baby, Lule Etta, survived and would later go by the name Etta also. Lule Etta Wert will later be found living with her grandparents in the 1920 census. These are Etta’s children; James Frank Wert and Lule Etta Wert

Homer would remarry in 1909 to Allie Furgeson who died in 1912. Homer would have two wives die in the very first few years of each of his two marriages. He must have wondered “why” and with two small children to raise. This is no doubt why you find his children with the Wert Grandparents. Eventually he would remarry Josephine Potee but not until 1919. They would have two daughter; Margaret A. and Elizabeth Mary. Homer and Josephine would live in Ossian, Indiana. Homer would die in 1966 and Josephine would live 10 years longer and die in 1976. Both are buried in Ossian’s OakLawn Cemetery. Etta Clare is buried in Horeb Cemetery.

Etta Clare and Wm Homer Wert

Etta Clare Smith and William Homer Wert

What I have found is that I feel a special attraction to relatives who I have had to search very hard for. Etta Clare falls into this category. First I missed her because of the lack of the 1890 census. She was born in 1882. I have had this picture of her tucked in the box of dusty old photos for a long time. Her eyes spoke to me every time I looked at the photo. I had scribbled her name on the back of the photo all those years ago but Grandma did not give me any hints for this photo, as she had for others. (Her hints, I later found, were not always accurate.) It might have been that she and Grandpa did not know her exact connection either. And to make matters worse, when I wrote on the back of Homer’s photo, I had spelled the last name Wirt and on Etta’s, I spelled it Wert. I do not remember if there was a debate between Grandma and Grandpa about the spelling. That could have been it or it could have been that I wanted the job to be done and I was just careless about how I spelled the names. Eventually though I decided that she and Homer were probably married but that did not help me much at first.

As I stated in a previous blog (“Shared School Photo”), a shared school photo which showed a picture of Etta Smith sent me racing to the old dusty box of photos and there she was. It is the kind of moment when you have chills running up and down your spine. I know her! I know her! That’s who she is! And she might as well start talking to you! You can almost see the smile on her face. She is as glad to be found as you are to find her. It is this defining moment and all the others like it which has created the addiction that I have for this family history search! When it happens the tears flow because now you know this relative of yours! It is these hard fought defining moments that keep you search.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Could it be....

I had a bit of a revelation tonight while examining old photos and thinking about the date of the previous family photo. This is a photo of James Fredrick and Everett and I just realized that they are dressed in the same clothes as the Family Photo that we just examined. This makes and even stronger case that this could be a baptism photo. Humm…

Date an old Photo

Back Row L to R : William Harvey Jackson, Alvin Smith, William Sparks, Della (Smith) Sparks, Oscar Jackson( born 1895)in front of Della, Wm Homer Wert, William Frampton Smith(Married 1905) , Francis Willard Smith, Arena (Straley)Smith (marriage 1907)

Row 2 L to R: Ruth Jackson(1903), Dora (Smith) Jackson, Cora (Crites) Smith, holding James Fredrick Smith(born 1907), James W. Smith(Died 1913), Oella (Denney) Smith, Dessie (Heckman) Smith(died 1913), holding Virgil Smith(born 1905).

Front Row L. to R.: Alvin A. Sparks(born 1904), Lule Etta Wert (born 1905), James Frank Wert (born 1903) , Everett Smith(born 1904), Virgil Sparks(born 1902), Talmadge Sparks(born 1899), Nora Sparks(born 1897), Ethel Straley

When you have an old Photo which has people in it that you recognize you can dated it fairly accurately. The adults in this photo could be positively identified from other photos which I have of them with the exception of James W. Smith. It is obvious that the couple in the center is a “couple” probably a Father and a Mother. I can positively identify Oella from other photos that I have of her as the Mother. Since she did not remarry after James W. Smith died, we can make the logical conclusion that he is James W. Smith.

So you identify all the adults in the photo noting the significant life events dates, like marriage, death and birth events. In this case we know that James W Smith died in 1913 and so did Dessie (Heckman) Smith. William F Smith never remarried so we can positively say that she is Dessie. Dessie and William were married in 1905 and Virgil was born in 1905. We have already narrowed it down to after 1905 and before 1913. Francis Willard married his first wife Arena Straley on October 30, 1907.

Now as we take a closer look; we identify the dates that each of the children are born. We identify James Fredrick as the youngest and he is born on July 23, 1907. And we know that. The next child to be born is Della who is the daughter of Dessie and William and she is born in 1910. She is not in the picture so it is before 1910. James Fredrick is sitting on Cora lap he is not a new born, he looks he is old enough to sit up fairly well and probably with out much assistance. He looks to me like he is closing in on the toddler stage. I would make a guess that he is a year or more. Since James Fredrick was born in July of 1907, I would date this photo about July of 1908. ( July of 1909 at the latest.)

I wish I knew when James Fredrick was baptized because I would not be surprised if this picture was taken the day of his baptism.

And that is how you date an old photo……

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just another James Smith….

My GGrandpa was Alvin Oliver Smith. His parents were James W. Smith and Oella Denney. Oh yes, that means that my GGGrandpa was another James Smith, he might as well be John, William or Charles. With Smith being a common surname, when you match it with a common given or first name the haystack gets bigger and bigger. Common names are hard to trace because they are just so many people with the same names. And if your ancestor provided incorrect or incomplete information to the census recorder they become even more invisible. You just have to keep digging.

James W Smith was born in July of 1843 in Ohio and died on January 28, 1913 in Indiana. I will blog in the future about his family and what I have found but for now let us talk about James W. and his immediate Family. He arrived in Indiana with his family sometime between 1843 and 1847. We know that because his next youngest sibling was listed as born in Indiana in 1847.

He enlisted in the Civil War in 1865. He served in the Indiana 142nd Infantry in 1865. When he returned from the war, he went back to farming in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area. He married Oella Denney in March 18,1869. I should add here that information from our own family sources like pictures and Everett and Lillian family bible indicated that James W Smith’s wifes name was Della. It was through contact with Denney family researchers that we were able to obtain the correct information about Oella true given name. Census records, marriage records and several other sources had her listed as Della, Celia, and Ola, just to name a few. They had 6 children; William Frampton Smith, Alvin Oliver Smith, Della Smith, Dora Smith, Etta Clare Smith and Francis Willard Smith.

James and Oella’ s first born son, William Frampton married Dessie Heckman on April 15, 1905. They had two children; Virgil Smith and Della Smith. After James W Smith died Oella is found living with William Smith and his family. Shortly after Oella came to live with them, Dessie died of TB. Della was 15 months old when her Mother died.

Alvin Oliver, my GGrandfather was born Dec 18,1873. He married Cora Crites on Dec 24, 1892. They had two children; Everett Alton (1904) and James Fredrick (1907). They lived in Indiana until about 1920 before leaving to go to the Flint area. See the post titled the “Just incase this “Automotive Thing” doesn’t work out” .

Della Smith married William Sparks. They had four children; Nora Sparks (1897), Talmage Sparks (1899),Virgil J Sparks, (1902) and Alvin Sparks(1904). I have thus far been unable to make any contact with any relatives from this family. Nora Sparks married Grover Patten and they had one daughter and Nora died at age 36 in 1933. Grover Patten was referenced in the “Shared school picture” blog.

Dora Belle married William Harvey Jackson on June 30 , 1893. They had three children; Oscar(1895) , Charles (1899) and Ruth(1903). My Grandfather Everett had always said that his favorite male cousin was Oscar Jackson. Charles died in 1901.

Etta Clare was not known to me for quite some time. She was born in 1886. She married William Homer Wert in 1903. We have a couple of very nice pictures of this couple in the dusty box of photos. They had two children, James Frank Wert born in 1903 and Lule Etta who was born in 1905. Etta Clare died giving birth to Lule in 1905 she was 19 years old. We are lucky to have the photos of her that we have. Some time back I did get a letter from the wife of Lule’s son. She was not able to tell me much since she was not directly related but it was nice to hear from her all the same.

Francis Willard Smith was born in 1887. He married Arena May Straley in 1907. They had two children; James W. Smith (1911) and Dorothy Smith (1917).

This picture was given to me from two different relatives during my search. It is of the James W. Smith family. It is the only photo that I have of James W Smith. It has no date on it but we can figure it out by the people who are in the photo and the dates they were born. I do not know whose house it is or the exact location but it is likely near Zaneville or Ossian Indiana. We will date the Photo in the next blog..

Just another James Smith ...(photo)

James W Smith Family