Monday, December 31, 2018

Two more mysteries solved

For years I have been trying to find out two things about my grandfather, Eddie Murphy.  One is where he went to high school and the other was how he met my grandmother. Both facts have been quite elusive.  My mother had told me that Grandpa had gone to Manual High School.  However, no records of him attending have ever been found.  So then I thought maybe he had gone to the Catholic high school.  Again, no records found. Dead end.

A few days ago my sister and I met with two first cousins who we haven't seen for quite some time.  Both live out of town from us. 

As we discussed various things, one cousin began to tell us the story that he has always heard about how our grandparents met!  And the story began with Grandpa attending high school...for one day!  He got into a fight and was kicked out of school.  So he didn't tell his parents, and just left home each day as if he were headed to school.  After a few days, he noticed a sign at the local newspaper looking for a copy boy.  He went in and got the job, but was told that he needed to dress up each day in shirt and tie.  He headed to Szolds (a local department store) and a lovely young girl sold him a suit, shirt and tie.  And she was to become my grandmother!

And just like that, my questions were answered!  Incidentally, Grandpa retired from that newspaper after forty-eight years working there.  By the time he retired, he was the political editor for the paper.  Pretty good for a kid with an eighth grade education!

#52Ancestors-Week 48-Next to Last: Nancy Thompson

My third great-aunt, Nancy Thompson, was the next to last child (that I have recorded) born to Moses and Rachel Foard Thompson.

Nancy was born in about 1819 in Tennessee, probably in Bedford County.  Between 1846 to 1840, her family came to Illinois.  It appears that Nancy married John Omsby in about 1838 (marriage records have not been found) in either Tennessee or Illinois.

Nancy and John had ten known children.  The first was a son born about 1839.  I don't know any more about him. Three more sons followed, all born in Illinois. They had a daughter in 1848, then three more sons, then two more daughters.  The last child (Susan) was born in 1858.  Sadly, the two youngest daughters died in infancy.  One son died in 1857 at the age of seven.  I have not been able to find any records for another son, so he may have died early also.

John Omsby, Nancy's husband, died in November of 1858.   Nancy soon followed him, dying in February of 1859.  When they died, they left five living children, ages five to seventeen.

Nancy was buried in Wesley Cemetery in Wendelin, Clay County, Illinois.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

#52Ancestors-Week 47-Thankful

I have a million reasons to be thankful for my grandmother, who I called "Nanya".  One of the reasons I am thankful for her is that she instilled in me an interest in family history, on both her side of the family and my grandfather's side of his family.  One of the best things that she told me was when I asked if we were related to the O'Meara family.  The O'Meara's were often included in our family gatherings and I knew that Jo O'Meara was my great-grandmother's best friend.  So when I asked that of Nanya, she casually said "Oh, they're shirt-tale relatives from way back in Ireland.".  That was probably when I was around twelve years old.  About thirty-five years later, I began doing genealogy and remembered that comment.  It took a lot of research, but eventually I found the connections between the families!  And it did go back to Ireland in the early 1800's.  It's so amazing to think that the families are still connected....as it turned out a friend I know from church is related to the O'Meara family! Just that one question and comment so many years ago, lead to so much family history!


#52Ancestors-Week 46-Random Fact

Okay, this is a weird one and really caught me off guard!  I requested WWII Service records for one of my great-uncles.  When they arrived, I read this random fact: Right testicle surgically removed when he had hernia surgery.  Not really a fact I needed to know about him, but there it was.  You never know what you might learn about an ancestor!

Monday, November 12, 2018

#52Ancestors-Week 45-Bearded

This week's prompt is Bearded.  I believe that the closest ancestor I have who wore a beard was my great grandfather, Moses Thompson Adamson.  Below here Moses is pictured with his wife Lydia.  Moses was born in 1838 and every picture I have seen of him, he is bearded.

Moses and Lydia Adamson

#52Ancestors-Week 44: Frightening

Here is what I find frightening....all of the information that is somewhere out there that I may never find or learn!

This past month, I heard from a fourth cousin once removed, who is descended from a sister of my great-great-great grandfather, Patrick Smyth (born in 1809 in Ireland).  This cousin has a great deal more information on the Smyth family than I.  Including Patrick Smyth's parents names!!!  Incredible!

I am so thankful that there are people willing to reach out and share information!

#52Ancestors-Week 43-Cause of Death: Edward E. Adamson

from The Houston Herald, Texas County, MO, July 11, 2002, page 8:

from Mildred Melton's Scrapbook for the year 1879:
"August 8, 1879 Prosecuting Attorney Geiger, Dr. BF Morgan, Jackson Davis, CM Hill and Beauregard Ross went to the Hamilton neighborhood up the river to disinter the body of a young man named Adamson who committed suicide on account of troubles with his wife.  Foul play is now suspected." 

I have tried to find out information about this cause of death for years.  The young man was Edward E. Adamson.  He had been born in about 1857 in Missouri.  He married Martha "Mattie" E. Eldridge in 1875 in Texas County, Missouri. I have found no solid evidence of Mattie since his death.  She may have married George Morse in 1880, but again, I do not have solid proof that this is the same woman, since she is listed as "Mattie Eldridge" for the marriage to George, instead of "Mattie Adamson". I have found neither her nor George in the 1880 Census listings. I tried to get coroner records for the death of Edward Adamson, but was told that the records don't exist. Nor have I come across any other newspaper articles about his death.  So was it a suicide or was it foul play?