Friday, June 24, 2016

Myers Family A - Samuel Ralston

Nathan Myers was born in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania in 1812, probably into a German-speaking family. His parents were Johannes (or John) and Anna Maria (Wuchter) Meyer. Johannes was a weaver. They married probably before 1808 in Heidelberg Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, which later became Lehigh County.

Nathan married around 1833. His wife, Leah Wagner, was the daughter of Johan and Maria; she was baptized in the Upper Milford Reformed Congregation (which is now known as Zion's Reformed Church). They had four sons between 1834 and 1844, including two who we'll be discussing in the coming weeks: Welby, and Daniel. Then, probably in 1845 or 1846, Nathan moved the family to Ohio. In 1850 they were listed in Thompson township, Seneca county. Nathan and Leah had four more children in Ohio, two sons and two daughters. Then, by 1860, they had relocated further west, to Perry township in Allen county, Indiana, where they lived near the Eel River post office.

Sarah Ferguson (1846–1934) was also born in Ohio, as you may recall from our February post, Rise of the Fergusons. The Fergusons also relocated to Indiana in the late 1840s, settling in Jackson township, De Kalb county. This placed the Myers and Ferguson families about 70 miles apart, on opposite sides of Fort Wayne. This was apparently close enough, as Sarah married Daniel Myers (1844–1922) on 3 September 1864. (I was not able to determine whether he served in the Civil War - there were a lot of "Daniel Myers" of varied spellings!)

They settled on a farm in Cedar Creek; they farmed and Daniel worked as a carpenter. They raised four sons, who were born in the space of ten years. Daniel suffered from arteriosclerosis later in his life, and died at the age of 78 at their home in Huntertown. He was survived by Sarah, three sons, 12 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Sarah moved in with Edward, the youngest son, whose two surviving sons were grown and out on their own. She died in 1934.

     I. Samuel Ralston Myers (1865–1947) married Nora Dale Green (1870–1955) on 24 September 1887. They had two sons and two daughters over the following decade, and Ralston farmed in Perry township, near Fort Wayne, Indiana, until some time in the late 1910s, when he and Nora moved to Toledo, Ohio. There, he took work as a machinist and pump operator for an oil company. Ralston and Nora are buried in the New Huntertown Cemetery in Huntertown, Allen County, Indiana.

     A. Clyde Alfred Myers (1888–1955) married Mabel Leona Schrader (1892–1978) in Allen county, Indiana, on 28 January 1909. Clyde retired as a master mechanic from I&M Electric, and died of a heart attack in 1955.

     1. Mildred L. Myers (1909-1910) died at ten months and 21 days old, on 29 April 1910, after a six week bout with pneumonia. (I calculate an 8 June 1909 birthday from that.)

     2. Ethel Ailine Myers (1910–1997) married Owen Jones Morris (1911–1986), probably after 1935. Owen was an accountant who worked in Fort Wayne, eventually becoming the corporate controller for Dana Corp. After his retirement, the couple seems to have had a home in Sun City, Arizona (at least, they did in 1984). Owen died of prostate cancer in Angola in Stueben county, Indiana, in 1986. I know they had at least one daughter, who completed Ethel's death certificate in 1997.

     B. Daniel Albert "Danny" Myers (1890–1985) was raised on his father's farm, and grew up to be a farmer. In the 1920s and 1930s he also drove a truck for a dairy. He married Edith Amanda Barker (1892–1942) on 18 June 1915. He was her second husband, and I feel I should take an extra moment to tell you her story, because it was difficult to puzzle out.

Edith was born 16 April 1892 to Benjamy Barker and Amanda Kimes (according to the Indiana marriage certificate from her wedding to Danny). Before 1900, she was adopted by Allen G. and Julia (Wilcox) Dunten, and that is the name she used on all of her official documents (birth/death certificates, marriage records, etc.). Edith married Earnest Burdette Mesel (1885-1936) on 10 August 1908. Earnest was originally from Chataqua county, New York, and he was in Indiana working on the railroad as a section laborer,

The couple had two daughters: Dorothy Lillian Mesel (born 8 January 1909) and Virginia Luella Mesel (born 12 December 1911). It isn't clear what happened between them, but by 1915, Earnest was back in Cherry Creek, Chataqua county, New York, married to Gertrude Johnson (1892-1990); he had Dorothy listed in his household on that year's state Census. In 1920, Virginia appeared in the household of Allen and Julia Dunten; she appeared in 1930 in Danny and Edith's household, listed as married and with the surname "Lee."

Danny and Edith had six children together, four of whom survived to have families of their own. They were all grown when Edith died in 1942, and Danny remarried to Goldie C Freeman (1882–1964) in 1943.

Found on

     1. Maurice Dale Myers (1916–1935) was 19 years old when he fell and was run over by a tractor on the family farm in Swan, Noble county, Indiana. (The newspaper account linked here may be disturbingly graphic; it does contain some genealogical information, though.)

     2. Eugene Allen Myers (1918–1972) joined the U.S. Army on 2 October 1940, more than a year before the attack on Pearl Harbor, and served in the Army Air Forces as a technical sergeant during the war.

His record shows that he was discharged on 11 September 1945, but he married Ruth June Hemphill (nee Rowe; 1926-2008) in Randolph county, Arkansas, on 10 June 1946. I suspect he was still stationed at what would have then been called Blytheville Army Air Field, waiting for his discharge.

After their wedding, Eugene and Ruth moved back to the Fort Wayne area, where he worked as an assembler. They had two children, a son and a daughter, both still living.

     3. Betty Arleen Myers (1919–1999) was the only daughter of Danny and Edith. She married Thurlo Samuel "Frog" Gaff (1916-2004) on 25 September 1938, in Fort Wayne. He worked in welding and painting for LaOtto Fabricating for 23 years. They had a daughter and a son, both of whom are still living.

     4. Samuel Albert Myers (1920–1997) was a career military man, enlisting in the U.S. Army on 6 October 1939. In 1940 he was a private serving with the 21st Field Artillery at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and in 1945 he and a wife were listed living in Denver, Colorado, his occupation still "United States Army." Since he retired in 1970 from the U.S. Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel, I'm going to make the educated guess that he was selected for officer training some time after the close of World War II, and received his commission in 1953. I believe he had at least one son, who is deceased, but I have not been able to find records to confirm this.

     5. Robert Lee Myers (1925–1952) also enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944, serving through November 1945. He married in March of that year, and the newlyweds settled in Avilla, Noble county, Indiana. After his unexpected death in 1952 from leukemia, his wife remarried, and she is still living.

     6. Calvin C. Myers (1926) was born prematurely on 12 January, and died one month and one day later; the cause of death listed was "exhaustion."

     C. Sarah Oseola "Ocie" Myers (1892–1964) married Anthony Barney Spain (1887–1920) on 8 October 1915, and they lived in Fort Wayne. Anthony was a laborer and crane operator who caught pneumonia and died in February of 1920. Two years later, on 27 May 1922, Ocie married Jessie Marion McCord (1884-1960), and they moved to Toledo, Ohio. I have found no evidence to suggest that Ocie had any children with either of her husbands.

     D. Gercie May Myers (1896–1951) married Stephen Raymond Hayes (1891–1970) on 10 June 1915, and in 1920 the couple was living in Ralston and Nora Myers's home in Toledo, Ohio, along with their baby daughter. Stephen worked as a switchboard operator for the power plant.

     1. Mary Maxine Hayes (1916–1991) grew up and married Francis J "Frank" Lininger (1917–1986), and together they raised two daughters, who are still living. According to her 1991 obituary, they had four grand-children.

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That rounds out the descendants of Ralston Myers. Next time, we'll begin with his fatally stubborn brother, Henry.

There were a lot of gaps in the records that probably led to a number of mistakes and omissions in this post. If you're one of the still living sons or daughters that I allude to in this post, please contact me and let me know what I got wrong so I can fix it. You can email me at my Gmail address (callintad at gmail dot com), comment on this post in the comment section below, or follow the link to our Callin Family History Facebook group and get to know more distant cousins.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Disease Stalks the Land

Many apologies to my fans, family, and followers, but I have been smitten by an old disease - literally forty years old, in my case.

I had chicken pox when I was four years old, and last week, it crawled out of its hiding place in my trigeminal nerve, and made any of the activities I normally engage in completely unbearable. The good news is that it has not infected my optic nerve, and my right eye is clear (except for gross blisters on my eyelids which make it irritating to read or do much of anything involving looking).

I'm feeling a lot better today, thanks to Aciclovir, and I'm taking the week off of work, so as not to pass on any more viruses than necessary. If you saw that my half-finished post on the Myers family went up, I've taken it down again so I can finish it. I hope to get a chance to put the finishing touches together in the next few days.

Meanwhile, while my eyes have been out of commission, I've enjoyed catching up on back episodes of the BackStory American history podcast. I'm going to go listen to this episode, now:

Contagion - Responding to Infectious Disease.

Stay well, and make sure every child you know is vaccinated, because even a mild outbreak of this "minor" disease really, really sucks.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Reminder: Callin Family History Facebook Group

Are you descended from James Callin? If your relatives have made an appearance in this blog, then you probably are! (You can use the "Search this Blog" bar to the right to look for a name, and make sure.)

I've set up a Facebook Group, so if you're trying to find out more about your ancestors, or would like to meet some cousins and catch up (and correct some of my inevitable mistakes!), just follow This Link and send me a request.

(You can also search for "Callin Family History" among the Groups on Facebook, and you should be able to see it.)

It is a closed group, and I'll only add people I can confirm are related to these families.

My personal rule not to publish any information about living people on Mightier Acorns still stands. Anything a cousin shares in the Group won't be posted here unless I have express permission to do so.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Nick Ferguson Family

Last time, we looked at Nicholas P. Ferguson, and the descendants of his eldest daughter, Mildred.

If you're new to the blog, or if you simply haven't noticed, I've been trying to stick to a more consistent outline format when I list descendants. Since Nick Ferguson is our "main subject" right now, Mildred was enumerated with a Roman numeral one: I.  Her siblings will be listed with these large Roman numerals; their children will get capital letters (A., B., etc.), grandchildren will get the Arabic numerals (1., 2., etc.) and if great-grandchildren are not still living, they'll be listed with lower case letters (a., b., etc.)

I try to vary the use of Bold and Italics to make it easier to scan down the page and pick out names. I would use colors, but that's not as easy to read, especially for those with color blindness.

So, to continue Nicholas Ferguson's descendants:

     II. Ida May Ferguson (1871–1872) - sadly, we begin this week's list with a tragedy. We only know about her because she is mentioned in the Callin Family History, which says only, "Ida May, died at 1 year old." I've estimated her birthdate, based on the assumption that the CFH listed the Ferguson children in order of birth.

     III. Anise L Ferguson (1873–1906) married John L Bailey (1871–1967) in 1891, when she was 18. They had three daughters and a son together, and then in 1906, Anise died. John remarried in December 1911, adding the children of his new wife, who was suddenly widowed earlier that year, to his family. They had two more sons, but I won't be listing them here, since they are not descendants of Anise. (I'm happy to share what little I know about them upon request.)

I know little more than names and birth dates for Anise's children; they appeared on the 1900 and 1910 Census; the former with their mother, the latter without. By 1920, James was married, and his older sister were nowhere to be found.

     A. Elsie L Bailey (b. 1893)

     B. Hattie Bailey (b. 1895)

     C. Georgie Bailey (b. 1897)

     E. James E Bailey (1899–1981) married Helen L Morris (1901–1973) about 1920. They settled on a farm in Crane, Paulding county, Ohio, and had one daughter: Ida Annise Bailey (1930–1986). They moved back to De Kalb county, Indiana, probably some time in the 1930s. Ida's obituary said she lived in Saint Joe most of her life, and she had been the theater manager for the Auburn-Garrett Drive-In.

     IV. James F Ferguson (1877–1964) married Florence Grube (1880–1953) in 1899, and farmed in DeKalb county his whole life.

     A. Arthur D Ferguson (1899–1964) married Velma Pauline Sliger (1903–1982) in November 1927. Arthur worked as a foreman for Rieke Metal Products Corp. in Auburn, until his death in March of 1964. The couple had three sons in the 1930s who are still living.

     B. Chalmer Ferguson (1903–1989) lived on his father's farm at least until 1964. Unlike his more adventurous cousin of the same name (the son of Terry Victor Ferguson), this Chalmer Ferguson does not appear to have ever married or had any children.

In 1939, Chalmer was employed by his aunt, who lived on a neighboring farm. This aunt was Florence's sister, Ida. On the 23rd of November, Chalmer went over to milk the cows, and when he went into the basement of the house to run the milk through the separator, he found that Ida had hanged herself with a length of clothesline. The papers suggested that she was despondent after her husband, Joseph Lige, had left her.

     C. Alice L Ferguson (1908–1990) was also still single and at home on the farm in 1964, when her father died. According to the Indiana death certificate, she died at the age of 82. She was a resident of the nursing home when she died, and she never married.

Alice and Chalmer also made an appearance in the local paper in 1952, after their father's barn was struck by lightning during a bad storm, destroying thousands of dollars of property.

Found on

     V. John Henry Ferguson (1880–1919) married Harriett C. "Hattie" Milliman (1890–1969) on 20 July 1907 in De Kalb county, Indiana. John is listed in the 1910 Census as a machinist in an auto factory; I'm willing to bet that he worked for the Auburn Automobile company. He died unexpectedly in 1919 from "cerebral spinal fever" and peritonitis. Hattie remarried in 1920 to Samuel Shutt Springer (1885-1963) in Detroit, Michigan; they lived in Indiana.

     A. Mildred Irene Ferguson (1911–1923) died at age 12, about four years after the death of her father.

     B. Mary Jane Ferguson (1916–1996) was four years old when her father died, and only eight when her sister died. She married Vernon Renalto "Buck" Halter (1912 - 1992). Buck served in World War II, and then worked as a truck driver. He died of a malignant brain tumor at the age of 80.

     VI. George Ferguson (1883–1883) died in infancy, according to the CFH. As with his sister, Ida May, I've estimated his birth date.

     VII. Margaret J Ferguson (1884–1947) married Jacob Stebing (1879–1956) in September 1904. They raised four sons, and had a little girl in 1920 who died.

     A. George Nicholas Stebing (1910–1990) married Harriet Elizabeth Thimlar (1911–1991) on 24 June 1933 in Auburn. George served in the U.S. Army from 21 April 1944 to 10 May 1946.

     B. Robert Paul Stebing Sr (1913–1979) married Kathryn A Klopfenstein (1916–2011) in the 1930s, and he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II,  from 7 March 1944 to 1 January 1946. He worked as a tin smith, and I gather from the "Senior" suffix that the couple did have at least one child, who is probably still alive.

     C. Everett Romain Stebing (1918–2004) married Beverly E Kline (1922–1980) and they had two sons (still living). Everett enlisted in the U.S. Army on 13 November 1942, and served in the war as a technical sergeant.

     D. June Irene Stebing (1919–1920) died at 10 months of age, and was buried in Roselawn Cemetery, Auburn.

     E. Vernon Eugene Stebing (1924–2003) was an insurance agent for Western Southern Life Insurance Co. for 23 years, retiring in 1984. He was also a retired member of the Auburn Fire Department. He served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army and was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, enlisting on 9 July 1943 and leaving the Army on 30 November 1952. When he died, he was survived by his wife, son, two daughters, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

     VIII. Dorothy Mail Ferguson (1889–1967) married Lloyd Alton Mitchener (1886–1963) on 15 November 1915. Lloyd was employed by the Auburn Automobile company (like his brother-in-law, John Henry Ferguson), and by the Warner - Motor Division. They raised two daughter, the younger of whom is still living.

Dorothy's mother, you may recall from last week's post, lived with the family until her death in 1930.
Since it was evidently a law that no two records could spell the woman's name the same way, Latita Kiester Ferguson is listed in the Mitchener household in 1930 as "Latisha L Ferguson."

     A. Hilda Mae (or "Hildamae") Mitchener (1924–2007) married Ray Donald Steward (1923-2012) in November 1942. They moved to Charles City, Iowa, in 1962. Hildamae worked as a salesperson, office clerk and teachers aide at various places. Ray enlisted in the United States Army on January 6, 1943, and served as a Private until he was honorably discharged. After the war, he worked for International Harvester as a draftsman, then for the Dana Corporation, working on Indy 500 cars. Ray began working as a mechanical engineer employed by the J.I. Case Company. This career led him to Charles City, where he worked from 1962 until his retirement in 1989.

The couple raised a son and two daughters, and had three grandchildren, all still living.

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As I mentioned last time, I will be playing a little more loosely with the posting schedule here. I have some other things going on that may require me to skip a week here and there. Don't Panic! And please consider sharing something that you think would be interesting as a guest post.

This post is late, in part, because of a rookie mistake I made. By this point, I should know better than to accept information that seems "not quite right" - but when I started digging for records about Hilda Mae Mitchener and her sister, I found some marriage records that weren't quite right...but were "close enough." This is always a judgement call, and I do go over what I find and look for corroborating evidence or records that might help me weed out facts that aren't right.

In Hilda's case, I ran with the first marriage records I found for her, and expanded her part of the family tree quite a way before finding a birth record that named different parent from OUR Hilda! After half an hour of painstakingly reviewing each record I had added, I figured out where I made my mistake, and then spent another hour deleting the records of people who are not at all related to our family.

Lesson: even with relatively unique names, like Hilda Mitchener, you have to take your time and verify that you have the right person - the OTHER Hilda even had a younger sister with the same name as our Hilda's living sister.

Happy Hunting!