Wordless Wednesday: Grandma Tallman and the Chickens

This is my Great-Great Grandmother Mary Elizabeth (Henderson) Tallman…not to be confused with her mother Mary Elizabeth (Atterberry) Henderson.

From what I have gathered, Mary Elizabeth wasn’t always the most pleasant person to be around and I think I can see this from this picture.  I still love it though.  It seems like it is a rare occasion to come across a picture from this time period that isn’t super staged but is more natural.

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Tombstone Tuesday: Benjamin and Ruth Tallman

There is nothing quite like seeing your ancestor’s headstone in person.  It is one thing to know where a grave is and another thing to actually see it in person.  Standing next to the final resting place of your fifth great-grandparents can be quite awe-inspiring.

Last week, I shared some photos of David and Minerva Williams’ headstone and these photos of Benjamin and Ruth (Taylor) Tallman come from that same trip to Ohio.

Benjamin Tallman married Ruth Taylor in Burlington County New Jersey on December 21, 1815.  They lived there for a bit (it is where all of their children were born) before moving to Logan County, Ohio.

Benjamin and Ruth Tallman (along with several other Tallmans) are buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery.  This cemetery is located at the northwest corner of State Route 559 and Township Road 177 in Zane Township, Logan County, Ohio.  There apparently used to be a church to go along with this cemetery, though I am a bit sketchy on the details for this.  It is one of the things I am working on.

Luckily, the cemetery is on the smaller side so we didn’t spend hours searching for the right headstone.  After finding a few wrong Tallmans, we finally found Benjamin and Ruth.  The headstone stuck out quite tall (am I the only one who the appreciates the fact that the Tallmans have a tall headstone…lol) among a huge patch of some sort of lily.

We actually walked past the stone a couple of times because the writing was so faded on Ruth’s side.  Just goes to show that you should pay attention to all sides of a headstone.  Benjamin’s name was on the opposite side of the stone and the writing was in slightly better condition.

The dates were pretty much unreadable, though luckily we already knew them. Benjamin died November 21, 1842 and Ruth passed away on February 22, 1861.

The Tallman surname was not on Ruth’s side either, another reason we missed the stone the first time.

I am so glad that we got to visit this cemetery.  These headstones have been here for more than 150 years but, judging by the deterioration of the writing on these as well as the others nearby, I am not sure how much longer you will be able to make out the names.  Several other relatives headstones were cracked and laying on the ground.  It was sad to see, but I guess is part of life.

As I said before, there is nothing quite like standing next to your ancestor’s grave.  If you ever get the opportunity to visit the grave site of an ancestor, I highly recommend you take it.  And if you are there, take a moment to enjoy the silence and give thanks to the people who made it possible for you to be.

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The Importance of the Family History Interview

When doing genealogy research, the focus tends to be on the vital statistics of your ancestors.  When they were born, where they lived, who and when they married, what their children’s names were, when they died, and where they are buried.  These are the bread and butter of genealogy and I love these records because they give you dates and a timeline and geographical information.  However, what they don’t give you, and what I find myself increasingly wishing for is a personal connection to your ancestor.  For example, I have a Great-Great-Great- grandmother, Phebe (Avery) Jones, who through her lifetime, went from North Carolina to Indiana to Iowa to Missouri to Montana.  This is the information I have gathered vital records and census data.  What I don’t know is why.  The most intriguing of my why questions is, why would a 60 something year old woman make the trek from Missouri to Montana in the 1870’s?  What I wouldn’t give to find a diary or journal or letters from her.

Ok, back on track now…we can’t go back in time and talk to our ancestors about the how’s and why’s of their lives.  But, we can talk to the generations still here with us to make sure we find out everything they know as well as the opportunity to pass down a part of this knowledge to the future generations.  Recently, I have been reminded that time is a fleeting thing and that you may not have as much as you think you do.

My grandmother, the one I sometimes talk about on here, has had a bit of a health scare recently.  She had to have an emergency surgery last week and now that terrible C-word has come into play.  The doctor sounds quite optimistic and with some chemotherapy, it sounds like there is a very good chance that things should be just fine.  Everything that has happened recently has made me realize two things.  First, just how important my grandma is in my life and that I need to tell her this a lot.  And second, that she isn’t going to be here forever.  It is easy to put off doing something like an interview of a family member thinking that there is more time, but the fact is you never know just how much time there is so don’t put it off.  I have heard stories from my grandma about her parents and siblings, but I have never really sat down with her with a recorder or video camera and had her tell me her story.  This is the connection to the past future generations will be searching for.  I think that I am lucky and still have time on my side, but you can be sure that I won’t be putting off this interview anymore.

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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!


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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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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William R. Henderson…Civil War Enlistment and Pension Application

I think he was very dashing in his uniform.

So for today, I sort of eeny meeny miney moed it to get which line I was going to post something from.  When it came up Tallman, I decided it should be something from William R (Robert or Redin…Have seen it both ways) Henderson, my Great-Great-Great Grandfather.  I have a confession, when it comes to the Tallman side, I am sort of obsessed with William Henderson.  It could be because he has one of the more interesting stories of my ancestors.  My family on both lines (and even on my grandfather’s side) are pretty much farmers.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being a farmer, but it doesn’t always make interesting research for those of us looking back.

William Henderson enlisted as a private for Company E of the Iowa 3rd Cavalry Regiment on August 17, 1861.  From what I have gathered, his company spent most of the Civil War fighting battles in Missouri and Arkansas.  There are a large number of battles listed that his company took part in, but I am not very well versed in military history so I don’t know how any of them rank in terms of importance.  Here are some websites that give much better detail and information on the regiment’s movements if you are wanting to know more.  Third Iowa Calvary, The Civil War Archive, and Civil War Reference can really give you some better information.

Henderson’s enlistment into the Iowa Third Cavalry.

The pension application for William Henderson. Filed by his widow Mary Elizabeth Henderson. I really love this document because Mary Elizabeth’s signature is in the lower left-hand corner. Somehow it makes the person more real when you can see something actually from their hand.

William Robert (again, not sure if it is this or Redin, but in my head I have sort of settled on Robert) was one of the lucky soldiers who managed to survive the fighting of the Civil War, but unfortunately, his luck didn’t extend to him actually

making it home.  He died of disease on the train on his way home to his family.  He was near Keokuk, Iowa at the time of his death and this is where his final resting place is.  It took us a long time to find out where he was actually buried, but thanks to the magic of findagrave.com we were able to discover that even though he was so close to home, he never actually made it back there.  He left behind his wife Mary Elizabeth (Atterberry) and three children, Frances Almeda, Thomas and Mary Elizabeth, who married Charles Tallman and is my great-great grandmother.

Well, somehow one document turned into two as well as two photos but, at least now you know a little more about one of my favorite ancestors.  Hopefully one day in the not to far away future (it is on my short list of genealogical places to visit) I will be able to make the jaunt to Iowa and get to actually see his grave and maybe learn even more about him.

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Daniel Jones and Lucretia Tallman Marriage Certificate

For the purpose of this blog, Daniel Sydeny Jones (#2) and Lucretia Tallman are to beginning of the tree, so I thought it a good idea to start with something from them.  This is a copy of their marriage certificate from the city of Bloomfield in Davis County,  Iowa.

Daniel and Lucretia met and lived in Schyuler County Missouri.  Daniel was a school teacher and Lucretia one of his students.  I know what you are thinking because I thought the same thing when I first found this out.  I don’t know if there was any sort of scandal attached to this or not.  Even my grandma (their daughter) didn’t’ know the full details.  From what I can gather, it doesn’t seem like it was too big of a deal.

Again, I am unsure of the reasons, but on the fourth of July while attending a fair or carnival of some sort just over the state border in Bloomfield, Iowa, they decided to just go ahead and get married.

However it happened, from what I can gather from my grandma, they were quite happy in their marriage.  They spent a good deal of their marriage in Schuyler County, Missouri and that is where 6 of their 7 children were born and spent most of their childhoods.  They then moved to Colorado, where they had their “oops” baby (my grandma) and spent the rest of their days farming the plains just east of Colorado Springs.

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My Genealogical Starting Point

A younger Daniel Sydney Jones

The best place to start is at the beginning, right?  So that is where I will begin this blog.  My Great- Grandparents on my grandma’s side are my genealogical starting point.  For this blog, this is the commencement of the line I will be following.  There is no point in overwhelming myself (or anyone else) is there?

Daniel Sydney Jones and Lucretia Tallman are my great-grandparents.  They met and were married in Schyuler County, Missouri and then later moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado for health reasons.  They had seven children and I count myself very lucky to be the granddaughter of their youngest.  They were farmers who made it through the great depression, parents who dealt with tragedy as they learned of their son’s death during WWII, and while I never got the chance to meet either of them, what I do know of them makes me proud to call myself their descendant.

I have a great deal of information on Daniel and Lucretia and will post more information as I go along.  I just wanted to start off with a little introduction to the beginning of my line before I got in any further with their branches.

Here is the link for my family tree on Ancestry.com if you would like to check and see if we have some common ancestors.

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