Monthly Archives: July 2012

Headstone of David and Minerva Williams

While on our recent trip to Logan County, Ohio, my mother, grandmother, and I did a little cemetery wandering and were very excited to come across the headstone of David and Minerva (Ocheltree) Williams.  David and Minerva were the parents of Elinor Jane Williams who married Francis Austin Tallman.  The headstone was actually in the neighboring Champaign County in the Mount Tabor Church Cemetery.  This church is still standing, though from what I have gathered, it was given to the county and is not actively used anymore.

I had come across the possibility that David and Minerva were buried in this cemetery and was so glad to be able to verify this.

Mary E. Williams, second wife of David Williams

This headstone also provided us with some information.  We never knew the death dates of David and Minerva and because of headstone we now do.  We also found out that Minerva (Jane) died fairly young and that David remarried.  This is a very large stone with David’s information on the front, Minerva J. and Mary E. each on a side, and a bible verse inscribed on the back.  The Williams surname on the bottom was really cool looking and very intricate.  I don’t know if David Williams was wealthy or owned a lot of land, but this headstone was large and impressive and seems to me like it would have been quite expensive.

The Mount Tabor Cemetery was quite large so I am thankful for the rather large headstone.  It made the search a little easier.

Now, if only proving or disproving the theory that the land he owned in Ohio came from some Williams family member’s service during the Revolutionary War were as easy as finding his headstone.

I have many more photos of this headstone and the cemetery so if you have come across this article and are also related to David and Minerva, please feel free to contact me for them.

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Genealogy Road Trip and Connecting to the Past

This is a post I wrote for my other blog (http://musingsfrommommyland.wordpress.com/) and now am sharing here since it concerns my genealogy.  The trip was taken in May to Logan County, Ohio to do some research on Tallmans, Williams’, and Ocheltrees.  I have lots of pictures of headstones and other documents so just contact me for a share.  I know I don’t use specific names in the post so just to clarify, we were specifically looking at stuff related to Benjamin Tallman and his wife Ruth Taylor, Mary Wade Tallman (Benjamin’s mother) Francis Austin Tallman (Benjamin’s son) and his wife Elinor Williams, David Williams and Minerva Jane Ocheltree (Elinor’s parents) and anything on any Ocheltree that may be the parents of Minerva.   Enjoy!

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I am still relatively new to genealogy, but one of the things I love most about it is the research.  This has always been what is appealing to me about history in general and I am glad to have found something that gives me my history fix in the midst of mommy duties.  During my recent trip to WV to visit my family there, my grandma, mom and I decided that we were going to take an overnight trip somewhere to work on genealogy.  We had a couple of options of places to visit within driving distance of my mom’s house, but in the end we went with the closest.  So we armed ourselves with lots of pens and notebooks, packed the kids off to my sister’s for a slumber party, and headed out to Logan County, Ohio.

Whatever I was expecting from this trip, it was so much more.  Now, we didn’t exactly find a wealth of new info or anything like that, but the experience itself was one that has me already chomping at the bit for our next excursion.  We visited cemeteries, scoured courthouse records, and invaded the local Genealogical Society and in the midst of our hunt, I realized the two most important things I would take away from this trip.

The first and the one I will be looking at for this post is a sense of connection to your past.  You can find information online, but there is nothing like seeing things associated with your ancestors first hand.  This goes for documents as well as things like headstones or the house in which they may have once lived.  I knew the date of my 3rd great-grandfather’s marriage.  I even knew that he was married in a double wedding with his sister.  But, to open the huge book at the courthouse and to see his and my 3rd great grandmother’s names in fading ink on a worn and fragile page listed directly below his sister’s name with the same marriage date from more than 160 years ago, that was something that has definitely stuck with me.  Now this may be just me (the woman with an obsession for old books), but touching, seeing, smelling, these old documents, this is what makes me feel connected to history.

Even more than marriage records, or wills, seeing the headstones of my ancestors connected me to my past like I hadn’t ever really been before.  We knew which cemetery they were buried in, but as we pulled up next to it, we were grateful that the cemetery wasn’t too large because we had no idea where exactly they were buried.  After some frustrating searching, we finally found the graves.  Now, my third great-grandfather and mother whose marriage we had found earlier, weren’t here.  They are in Missouri which is another trip all together, but his parents and their first child who died in infancy was.  And, as I stood next to the headstone of my fourth great-grandparents and put back together the cracked headstone of my fifth great-grandmother I was awed and amazed.  It isn’t the same as standing in front of a headstone of someone you actually knew or were close to.  You don’t mourn for your ancestors like you would a close loved one.  You just feel a bond and a realization that these people were the ones who came before me, who made it possible for me to be…well me.  Yes, I know I sound a bit fanciful, but the connection that existed in that moment was really amazing.  You almost don’t want to leave the cemetery because you know when you do, you lose a little of that feeling of closeness.

The internet has made genealogy so much easier to find out about your ancestors and your past.  You can find scanned documents and strangers can post pictures of family members graves for you to see.  And this is all great.  On an almost daily basis I am thankful for technology in regards to family history.  BUT, I am telling you, there is nothing like the connection you feel when you are up close and personal with the documents and things associated with an ancestor.  So if you were ever considering going on a genealogy road trip…DO IT!  It is definitely worth it!

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The Marriage License of Thomas Avery and Margaret Buck

I love that genealogy is all about a shared past.  It means that you have “cousins” out there searching for common ancestors and with technology like blogs and genealogy websites it is so easy to share your findings with all these distant relatives.  I came across this scan of Thomas Avery and Margaret Buck’s Marriage Certificate on Ancestry.com a couple of weeks ago.  I already knew the marriage date and place but this was the first time that I had actually got to see the certificate.  It’s always exciting to see something that actually came from the time rather than just names and dates.  I am grateful to the person who found this and then decided to upload it for others to see and appreciate.

Thomas Avery and “Peggy” Buck were married in Rowan County, North Carolina on May 12, 1797.  A few years later, they would move to Harrison County, Indiana where they would spend the remainder of their lives.  In the grand scheme of things, Thomas and Margaret are my great-great-great-great grandparents ( I know it would be easier to say fourth, but sometimes it is more fun to write/say them all out).

Happy Researching!

 

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Mary Elizabeth Atterberry Henderson

Having done my last post on William Henderson, I thought I would follow that up with a deeper look at his other half.

I get that I romanticized William Robert a bit.  In my head, he is a great war hero who fought bravely to keep the Union in tact and help abolish the awful practice of slavery.  But, then I look at this picture of Mary Elizabeth and am reminded that there is nothing romantic to the story.  William Robert was a Civil War Veteran and I hope that he fought bravely for the right reasons though I will never know his true motivations. But, there is nothing romantic about dying of dysentery on a train.  And, there is nothing romantic about leaving behind a 26-year-old widow with three children to carry on by herself.  I love William Robert for his story and his service, but I LOVE Mary Elizabeth for her strength.

Mary was 17 years old when she and William married.  Not that young for the time, but when I think back to when I was seventeen, let’s just say I cannot even begin to imagine being married then.  This picture was taken when she was about 24 or 25.  The matching photo of William has him in his Union uniform so it had to have been around that time.  She looks so serious.  More serious than a 24-year-old should look I think.  Though, I guess I would be quite solemn looking too if my husband were heading off to war and  I was left at home taking care of three small children.

I was going back through what I have on Mary as I was preparing to write this post and I think what really struck me the most was that she lost her husband at 26 years of age and never re-married.  She spent the next almost 40 years without someone by her side.  I can’t imagine this.  Especially with three young children to take care of by herself.  I think that it was the census of 1870 that really affected me the most.

In this census, Mary Elizabeth is 29 years old with a 12-year-old, a 10-year-old and an 8-year-old at home with her.  This touched me because right now I am the same age Mary was then.  I have a 3-year-old and a one year old and I would be lost if I were trying to raise them alone.  Yes, she seems like she was a strong woman indeed.

Anyways, I also have every other census for Mary from the first in 1850 when she was still living at home with her parents Stephan and Martha Atterberry to her last in 1900 when she was living in the household of her eldest daughter Frances Almeda (Henderson) Hunter.  You can find all of the censuses for Mary Elizabeth Henderson at Ancestry.com or you can contact me and I would be happy to share.

Just to clarify any lineage questions…the children of Mary Elizabeth (Atterberry) and William Robert Henderson were Frances Almeda (1858-1950) who married Joel Ellis Hunter and spent her life in Iowa,  Thomas Henderson (1860-1918) who never married and spent his life in Davis County, Iowa, and Mary Elizabeth ( 1861-1922) who married Charles Tallman (my great-great grandparents) and through her life lived in Iowa, Schuyler County, Missouri and Boulder, Colorado.

The final thing I have for Mary Elizabeth is the memorial card from her funeral.  It would seem like she was quite loved by her children.  Maybe I am romanticizing again, but I know that I come from a line of strong women, and I have a feeling that Mary Elizabeth just extends that line a little further back.

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