nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘family history

where we read

with 4 comments

I am a reader. There are stacks of read and unread books wherever you go in my house. There is a Kindle by my living-room chair and a Kobo by my bedside. Since I read multiple books at once, most are marked ‘last-page-read’.  I read the books a bit at a time, choosing whatever I think will suit me on a particular day.

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So where do I read? Anywhere!

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When I was young, I read in my bedroom. I’d take a flashlight to bed and hide under the covers to read. Mom was not fooled! When we went to Nova Scotia for summer vacation, I read in my grandfather’s orchard. There was a tree-limb perfect for sitting!

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During my university days, I read like a mad-woman, as much mystery/romance as I could absorb. I think I wanted solace from my steady diet of science texts and journal articles! My preferred reading place was my car – also a rest from the lab where I did most of my university studies.

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I still favour mysteries, especially detective series. Science fiction too. And poetry, always poetry!

A few series I’d recommend:

Chuck Bowie -“Donovan: Thief for Hire

Ann Cleeves – “Sheltland Island Mysteries

Ann Granger –  I like her older “Fran Varady Crime Novels

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Through the years, I have been constant in my reading spaces:

  • the car … for years I drove to a park on my lunch hour and cheerfully read the time away. When my son was in his early university days, I never minded waiting for him because I could read while I waited.
  • in bed … as the years go by, reading puts me to sleep faster and faster. It sometimes takes me months to read a particular book!
  • in my accustomed chair in the living room … experience with decades of public service work means I can read with any distraction.
  • in our camp at our table. No distractions, just good company.
  • but never in my planned reading space … when I retired I bought a comfy chair and designed a perfect reading corner. It is a great space to store stuff – books for my next signing, the shower head we haven’t yet installed, two throw pillows no-one wants to sit with and recent purchases not put away. When the chair is empty of stuff, it is filled with Zoë. I never read there …. never, ever.

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Where do you read? If you had a special reading spot, do you think you would use it?

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Copyright 2018 Jane Tims

 

 

Written by jane tims

February 8, 2018 at 7:00 am

ghost stories

with 10 comments

Although I hesitate to write this post, I am trying to go through my older poems and think about them a little. The next one on the list (I am working backwards through the alphabet) is called ‘visitations’. The subject matter is a bit ghostly.

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I do not generally believe in ghosts although I do believe in phenomena if that makes sense. A phenomenon is defined as a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question.

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I have experienced many phenomena in my life. Odd things that seem to have some particular significance at the time. My mother, who also had such experiences, called them “comforts from heaven.”

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Here are a couple of examples from my own life:

  • After my mom died, a little yellow bird came almost every day to peck at our windows (not a goldfinch, in spite of the drawing below). After that year, I never saw it again.
  • Once I bought a handmade quilt at an auction and laid it over our upper loft railing. One night I came out to the hall in the dark, touched the quilt and heard the following words, quite distinctly: “Henry, come in to supper!” I don’t know anyone named Henry.
  • When she was alive, my aunt and I had a contest to see who could lose the most weight. My aunt told me to pick an item from her home as the ‘prize’. I know she was disappointed when I chose a little framed picture of a waterfall she had won as a prize in Sunday School in 1937. Neither of us lost any weight so the prize was never claimed. After her death, we retrieved some boxes from her estate. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened the box in the trunk of my car and the little picture of the waterfall was the top item.
  • Once when I was staying away from home, I heard the front door open and footsteps, crossing the tile floor. I expected to see someone else and instead a little girl with ringlets came into my view, reached up for the doorknob of the adjacent bedroom and went inside. There were no children in the house at the time and I was terrified.
  • My husband had his own weird experience on our local covered bridge. He was crossing the narrow bridge one day in our truck and was alarmed to see another car enter the bridge. He was certain there would be a crash but the other car, an older V-8 model, squeezed right by. My husband, knowing there was no way two vehicles could pass in the bridge, had to stop the truck at the other side of the bridge, he was shaking so hard.

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Now every one of these experiences could be explained. Probably a vivid imagination is part of that explanation. But I do believe in the phenomenon. Have you had any experiences of your own?

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visitations

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moonlight on birch

stark shadows

words precise on the page

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her tread heavy

she reaches for the door

opens, ringlets close as a spring

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lengthen, what else is possible?

hand touches a quilt, a voice asks

a practical question, distilled in velvet

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a small yellow bird

at the window

every morning for a year

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

 

 

Written by jane tims

January 26, 2018 at 7:00 am

pick faster

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dscf3342

October 21, 2016 ‘blueberries’, Jane Tims

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pick faster

for Dad

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blue ripens as morning, deft fingers

noisy pails, hail on metal gutters

this bush spent, unsatisfactory

berries over there fatter

bluer

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I am certain I see, beside mine

my father’s hands, callused

and quick

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berries roll between

thumb and fingers

I try to meet

his expectation

pick faster

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Published in: ‘within easy reach’, Chapel Street Editions, 2016

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

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October 21, 2016 ‘sweet hurts’ Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 9, 2016 at 8:35 am

so many kinds of apples

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October 24, 2016 ‘yellow transparent’ Jane Tims

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orchard outing

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wooden bushel baskets

of laughter, delirious tumble down

the avenue of trees, shadows ripple

among the dapples, Cortlands tied

with scarlet ribbons

burdened

boughs

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my son grown tall

on his father’s shoulders

stretches to pick the McIntosh

with the reddest shine

small hand

barely able

to grip the apple

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Published: ‘within easy reach’, Chapel Street Editions, 2016

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

November 7, 2016 at 7:49 am

getting ready for fall – blueberries

with 2 comments

Another painting in my series! I could call the collection paintings to illustrate ‘within easy reach’ since each one was inspired by a poem in my book.

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Blueberries are probably my favorite berry to pick. This could be because every summer, when my family visited Nova Scotia, we spent a week at my Grandfather’s blueberry farm. I picked blueberries with cousins, siblings and parents. I was never very good at the task but my idea of picking is one for the bucket, two for the mouth, so I guess you now know why I love picking blueberries!

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This little painting was fun to do. I was inspired because I had just finished putting together freezer bags of blueberries from a big box we bought at McKay’s Wild Blueberry Farm Stand in Pennfield, New Brunswick (https://janetims.com/2012/08/04/blueberries/).

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The painting is 10″ X 10″, gallery edges, acrylics, painted with Ultramarine blue, Cadmium yellow, Cadmium red, Burnt sienna and Titanium white.

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August 20, 2016 ‘pick faster’ Jane Tims

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And, to accompany the painting, another sampling from the poems in my book ‘within easy reach’. My book of poems and drawings is available from my publisher http://www.chapelstreeteditions.com

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pick faster

for Dad

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blue ripens as morning, deft fingers

noisy pails, hail on metal gutters

this bush spent, unsatisfactory

berries over there fatter

bluer

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I am certain I see, beside mine

my father’s hands, callused

and quick

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berries roll between

thumb and fingers

I try to meet

his expectation

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pick faster

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within easy reach, Chapel Street Editions, 2016

Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

morning bird chorus – ephemera

with 7 comments

When I was a child, one of the things I prized was my collection of ‘bird cards’. These were an advertising give-away from ‘Cow Brand Baking Soda’ (Church and Dwight Limited, Montreal, Canada).

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I would spend hours looking at these, putting them in order of the ones I liked best, thinking about the birds depicted. The Meadowlark was a local bird I had seen many times and his call was as familiar to me as breathing – he always made it to the top of the pile! Today the winner would be the Cedar Waxwing who sits in the tops of the pines at our cabin, or the Goldfinch who spends all winter at our feeders!

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Scan0021

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Today I still have two packs of these cards. They are in sets of 16 in a paper envelope. The card sets are called ‘Useful Birds of America’ and the front of each card shows an image of a bird by artist Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874-1927), an American ornithologist and artist. On the back, there is a tip on how to use ‘Cow Brand Baking Soda’, the bird’s common name, its scientific name and a charming paragraph about its appearance and habits. The card concludes with a short message still relevant today:

For the good of all, do not destroy the birds 

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Scan0022

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 3, 2016 at 8:22 am

early schools – the exotic and the common

with 4 comments

In my Aunt’s book about early schooling in Nova Scotia, she tells an amusing story about field days at school:

… I recall another field day when Dr. DeWolfe, Miss Harris, and Miss Baker came with shrubs to our school. The shrubs were ten cents each. My mother had always longed for a weigela and a snowball and we were delighted that at last she could have her wish, for both these varieties were among Dr. DeWolf’s  collection. They were duly planted at my home on the bank of the French River. One turned out to be a high bush cranberry and the other a spiraea, but today we still refer to them as the “snowball” and “weigela” and, I may mention, they have many an offspring throughout our province.

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I must have seen the high bush cranberry and spiraea many times at my mother’s old home, but I don’t remember them in particular. I do remember the gardens, lush with rose bushes, tiger lilies, and grape vines.

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June 17 2016 'an exotic shrub' Jane Tims

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 24, 2016 at 6:45 am

a place for Zoe

with 8 comments

I’ve heard the theory that the Internet is 90% occupied by cats. I have spent a fair share of my time watching feline antics on stairways, kittens tumbling from chairs and cats sneaking up on cameras.

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The cat I spend most time with is Zoe. She is a small cat, about eight years old (whoops, my niece says Zoe is twelve)! She tries so hard to communicate and can usually make herself understood via telepathy. She sits and stares at me and I go through the list. Food? No. Water? No. Ice cubes? Yes.

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Zoe checks in with me at intervals through the day. She greets me and listens to the morning bird chorus with me. She runs in front of me to her bowls and waits while I feed her. When I am typing at the computer, she hops up and tries to help. Later, when I watch TV, she snoozes on my lap for a few minutes. She usually appears later to race through the house from corner to corner.

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Nothing special about this particular cat post. But I wish I had Zoe’s nonchalance, her utter calm, her faith that all will be well.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

June 22, 2016 at 7:00 am

Posted in a niche for Zoë

Tagged with , , , ,

early schools – the autograph book

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A tradition in schools before the 1960s was the autograph book. I had one of these books in the 1960s, but although I collected some autographs, it was considered a quaint activity.

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two of Jane Margaret Norman's autograph albums

two of Jane Margaret Norman’s autograph albums

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Both my mother and my aunt had autograph books in the 1940s and 1950s. One of my aunt’s albums was from her students when she taught in a one room school.

I also have my great-grandmother’s autograph album with messages from 1885 to 1914. Her name was Mary Jane (Johnson) Clarke. Her daughters (including my grand-mother) wrote in the album in the later years.

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Mary Jane Johnson Clarke's autograph album

Mary Jane Johnson Clarke’s autograph album from the 1880s

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These books are small, rectangular in shape. The covers are heavy stock paper, sometimes flocked. The older albums have embossed leather covers. The albums range in size from about 3″ by 5″ to 7 3/4″ by 4 3/4″ (the oldest books are the largest). Each page of the book held one autograph: the date, a message, saying or poem, perhaps an address and a signature. Males as well as females wrote in the albums. The albums from the 1940s and 1950s have variously coloured pages in now-faded pink, yellow and blue. The pages in my great-grandmother’s album are beige and white.

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my grandmother's autograph in my great-grandmother's autograph album

my grandmother’s autograph in my great-grandmother’s autograph album

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Some of the messages offer serious advice for a good life:

Life is like a mirror

Reflecting what you do

And when you face it smiling

It smiles right back at you

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Some messages are amusing or even politically incorrect. One from 1947 shows a disturbing flippancy about marital violence:

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When your husband at you flings

Knives and forks and other things

Seek revenge and seek it soon

In the handle of a broom

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Some messages are just funny, and seem almost modern:

Great-Aunt Laura Clark's autograph in my Great-Grandmother's autograph album

Great-Aunt Laura Clarke’s autograph in my Great-Grandmother’s autograph album in 1909

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Since my focus in my ‘old schools’ project will be on the school in the context of the landscape, I was pleased to find one or two messages about landscape!

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When hills and dales divide us

And distance is our lot

Just cultivate the little flower

That is called forget-me-not

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And:

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I’m glad the sky is painted blue

And the earth is painted green

And such a lot of nice fresh air

Is sandwiched in between

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June 8 2016 'the autograph' Jane Tims

June 8 2016 ‘the autograph’ Jane Tims  (Is she writing the autograph for her friend or her doll?)

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Did you ever have an autograph album? Do you remember any of the verses people wrote?

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Copyright 2016  JaneTims

Written by jane tims

June 15, 2016 at 7:00 am

Norman Families Living in Missouri in 1870

with 11 comments

In my search for my Great-Grandfather Frank Norman, I became interested in where Norman families were living in Missouri in 1860 and 1870. Frank was born around 1855, so it is likely his family was still in Missouri for the 1860 Census and may have been there in 1870. Locating all the Normans in Missouri also helped me be certain I have not missed any possible Frank Normans in my search.

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In a previous post, I located the Norman families living in Missouri in 1860 on an 1856 map. Today’s post shows the Norman families in Missouri in 1870. Each black dot represents one to three households living at that location in 1870. I have included the table of households at the end of this post, in case this information would help other Norman families in their genealogy searches. I have double-checked the information but please be aware, there may be households missing or incorrect. My next genealogy project is to map the Norman families in Missouri in 1880.

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Norman Families in Missouri 1870

 

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In 1870, there were 148 households in Missouri with people having the surname Norman (in 1860, there were 92). Some of these were families, some with more than one generation in the household, some with as many as nine children. Some were young men or women living or working as servants or laborers with other families. Some were young children, living with foster families or in one case, in an orphanage (Lucy Norman, 12 years old).

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To see the change in the Norman families, compare the 1860 and 1870 map below. The numbers of Norman families have increased due to migration from other states, or because older children have established their own families. Some families or their members have migrated to the cities of Saint Louis or Kansas City.

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By comparing the family lists, the whereabouts of various families can be traced. For example, in Laclede County in 1860 there were two Norman families, including Moses and Betsy Norman who I think may be Frank’s parents. By 1870, this family is no longer in Laclede County or anywhere else in Missouri. Also, I know from other records that their son Benj has died. The other 1860 Norman family (Moses and Lucinda with eight other family members) is now represented by Lucinda and four other family members (Moses died in 1873, so it is unknown why he is not with the family at Census time). I can trace remnants and descendants of this family through to 1880 (Lucinda died in 1891).  There are two other Norman families in Laclede County in 1870, Newton Norman and William Norman. Newton Norman is Lucinda’s son and has his own family.  I do not know the relationship, if any, of William Norman to the Moses and Lucinda family.

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Norman Families Missouri 1860Norman Families in Missouri 1870

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Six of the 1870 Norman families had sons named Francis/Frank. There is also a Frank L (born 1836) in St. Joseph, Buchanan County who is too old to  be my Frank, and an ‘F. Norman of uncertain age in St, Louis.  I think my ancestor was Francis M. Norman, son of Moses and Betsy Norman, living in Hooker, Laclede County in 1860. In 1870, he is 18 years old and if his parents have died, he could be anywhere. Sad sentence for a family historian!!!

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Family Number (for my own reference) Male (usually husband but also father or son) Age Female (usually wife but also mother or daughter) Age Number Other Normans in House-hold

(* son Francis)

Township County Living with another family
135 Salina 26 Rochester Andrew Cook
139 Laura E. 20 Lincoln Andrew Jackson
124 Alexander 16 Nancy 57 1 Deer Creek Bates
47 Caleb 37 Josephine 35 4 Boone Bates
110 William 29 Julia 19 2 Capps Creek Barry
80 Marion 24 1 Fristoe Benton
7 W. L. 59 Mary 60 4 Cedar Boone
35 James 41 Armina 23 5   * Cedar Boone
138 Maj 21 2 Cedar Boone
22 Enos 48 Nancy 47 6   * Jackson Buchanan
121 Charlotte 63 Center Buchanan Smith
41 Charles 39 4 St. Joseph Buchanan
42 John 39 Mary E. 21 9 St. Joseph Buchanan
55 Frank L. 34 Stacy J. 26 2 St. Joseph Buchanan
68 James 30 St. Joseph Buchanan
69 Jas 30 St. Joseph Buchanan
115 B.F. 27 St. Joseph Buchanan Thompson
141 Mary 16 St. Joseph Buchanan McClean
144 Josephine 13 St. Joseph Buchanan Cunningham
32 Smith 44 Hannah 41 Hamilton Caldwell
71 Fayett 29 Elen 26 4 Warren Camden
48 Caleb 33 Josie 26 4 Dolan Cass
9 George W. 57 5 Cedar Cedar
131 Hillina 32 1 Twnshp 53 Chariton
15 Hiram 52 Juda 52 4 Polk Christian
62 William 33 Sarah 30 3 Polk Christian
91 William 26 Elisabeth 22 Wyaconda Clark
143 Mary 14 Jackson Clark
54 A.M. 34 Fannie 26 Saline Cooper
113 William 28 Eleanor 20 1 Greenfield Dade
27 Eldridge 46 Julia 40 2 Benton Dallas
57 William 34 Lucy 30 8   * Benton Dallas
107 Thomas 21 Adeline 20 Benton Dallas
24 Joseph 47 Phoeba 43 3 Jefferson Davies
117 John F. 27 Sherman Dekalb Tenneson
99 James M.P. 23 Mary F. 23 Findley Douglas Ellison
31 Henry 44 Emilie 24 Boles Franklin
72 James T. 11 1 Miller Gentry Setzer
82 William J. 23 Miller Gentry Sutzer
94 Louis C. 25 Martha F. 25 2 Cooper Gentry
16 James 52 Sarah 40 4 Pond Creek Greene
25 William 47 Mary 41 6 Center Greene
56 Robert 34 Mary 30 2 Wilson Greene
60 Josiah 33 Sarah A. 34 1 Taylor Greene
108 Jesse 29 Susanna 23 Taylor Greene
123 Daniel 17 Malinda 58 Taylor Greene
112 Olon 28 Trenton Grundy Hansen
147 Hattie 12 Marion Grundy Johnson
77 Milton S. 25 Lewis Holt Prie
88 Andy 20 Richmond Howard Patterson
2 Thomas 64 3 Kansas City Jackson
45 Thomas 38 Kansas City Jackson
63 Henry 32 Laura 21 Kansas City Jackson
95 A.J. 24 Kansas City Jackson
96 Thomas 64 3 Kansas City Jackson
105 James 21 Kansas City Jackson Madison
118 Joseph 27 Mary J. 23 3 Kansas City Jackson
3 Thron 62 Mary A. 55 3 Marion Jasper
20 Aaron Vanormond 49 Sarah 44 4 Benton Knox
5 Lucinda 52 4 Hooker Laclede
46 William 38 Mary 33 3 Lebanon Laclede
111 Newton 28 Virginia A. 35 3 Hooker Laclede
102 Joseph 22 Buck Prairie Lawrence Cummings
109 Milford 29 Mary 23 3 Buck Prairie Lawrence
132 Amanda 30 2 Monticello Lewis Howard
33 William 44 Mary 32 Chillicothe Livingston
51 Minnie 12 Chilicothe Livingston Reugger
140 Namie 18 Chillicothe Livingston
142 Basha 15 Chillicothe Livingston Bargdoll
65 Henry 31 Alice A. 25 2 Medicine Livingston
129 Elizabeth 35 2 Blue Mound Livingston
83 George 22 Warren Marion Hanley
134 Nancy L. 26 Somerset Mercer Duree
28 J.B. 45 Rosan 38 7   * Pilot Grove Moniteau
86 James M. 21 Anna 66 Pilot Grove Moniteau
64 J.W. 32 Mary J. 31 2 Willow Fork Moniteau
92 Joseph W.T. 25 Louisa A. 20 2 Clay Monroe
122 Eliza 58 Jackson Monroe Vaughn
18 Allen 50 Catherine 40 4 Danville Montgomery
90 Robert 19 Melissa 23 1 Danville Montgomery
29 William 45 Sarah 35 6 Mill Creek Morgan
13 Thomas M. 53 Julia A. 37 5 Oak Grove Oregon
100 John 23 Nancy 25 1 Oak Grove Oregon
120 George 26 Mary 23 2 Oak Grove Oregon
127 Hester 49 Oak Grove Oregon
38 M.G. 40 Mary 38 6 Piney Oregon
11 A. 54 Roda 36 Marion Ozark
67 James 30 Bowling Green Pettis
74 Jas 26 Mary 24 5 Bowling Green Pettis
75 John D. 26 Calumet Pike Kissinger
116 C.N. 27 Carroll Platte Adams
61 Thomas F. 33 Mary 28 4 Madison Polk
85 William T. 22 Lucretia 52 5 Looney Polk
1 Stephen 64 Mary A. 38 2 Sherman Putnam
43 L.M. 39 Susan 34 4 Sherman Putnam
101 Eph 22 Sherman Putnam Neff
14 George 52 Eliza 46 5 Center Ralls
73 Harry 17 Margaret 14 1 Jasper Ralls Brasher
79 Johnithan 24 Saline Ralls
81 Thomas 24 Mary 23 1 Salt River Ralls
78 Jas B. 24 Sarah 19 Polk Ray
104 Jack 21 E.D. 45 2 Current River Ripley
26 Albert 46 Mary 39 6 Fabius Schuyler
37 James 40 Hannah 66 3 Fabius Schuyler
39 Minor 40 Ellen 34 5 Fabius Schuyler
50 Doctor 35 Martha 25 4 Independence Schuyler
6 James 60 Kelso Scott
128 Caroline 37 1 Kelso Scott Hankerson
23 Charles W. 47 Mary E. 41 4 Moreland Scott
53 William 35 Diana 45 2   * Moreland Scott
70 John C. 30 Ann E. 23 2 Moreland Scott
84 Reuben 22 Harriet 25 2 Moreland Scott
89 James K. 20 Altha 24 Moreland Scott
145 Mary L. 13 Commerce Scott Archer
12 Birkett 54 Carlonie 54 3 Tiger Fork Shelby
40 Thomas 40 Sally 24 1 Osceola St. Clair Barth
8 Daniel 58 Bonhomme Sr. Louis Campbell
17 John 52 Mary 38 St. Louis St. Louis
19 Pat 50 St. Louis St. Louis
21 Daniel 49 Lucy 39 St. Louis St. Louis
49 David 35 St. Louis St. Louis
66 F. ?? St. Louis St. Louis
87 Saml 21 St. Louis St. Louis
93 Leslie R. 25 Mary 26 1 (Eliz 49) St. Louis St. Louis
98 Henry 24 St. Louis St. Louis
103 Michael 22 St. Louis St. Louis Heinsey
119 Dennis 26 St. Louis St. Louis
126 Lizzie 50 St. Louis St. Louis Washington
133 Angeline 30 St. Louis St. Louis
136 N. 25 St. Louis St. Louis
137 Louisa 22 St. Louis St. Louis Nayler
148 Lucy 12 St. Louis St. Louis Winter Orphanage
10 Christ 56 Catherin 56 3 Ste. Genevieve Ste. Genevieve
4 William 62 Sarah 38 2 Castor Stoddard
30 Wm 45 Sarah 38 8 Castor Stoddard
44 Matthew J. 38 Christian 35 6 Castor Stoddard
106 Levi 21 Missouri 21 3 Castor Stoddard
58 Andrew 36 Martha 34 6 Liberty Stoddard
36 Eli 40 Eliz 40 4 Liberty Stoddard
125 Elizabeth 42 3 Liberty Stoddard
146 Elizabeth 42 3 Liberty Stoddard
97 Enos W. 24 Mary E. 20 1 Clay Sullivan
59 John A. 33 Margaret 23 4 (Louisa 53) Cass Texas
34 Alfred R. 43 Cornelia 39 6 Henry Vernon
52 Jacob F. 35 Eliza 33 3   * Henry Vernon
76 George 25 Nellie L. 29 1 Osage Vernon
130 Henry 17 Nancy 33 3 Warrenton Warren
114 W.S. 28 Sarah C. 22 2 Various Wright

Written by jane tims

June 3, 2016 at 7:35 am

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