Monday, April 25, 2011

I Should Be Sleeping

In the past week the following things have happened:

  • I had a routine hospitalization (standard, I'm used to it). I got out for Easter.
  • A tornado hit the Saint Louis airport, stranding my fiance with me until Thursday (not complaining!)
  • While being forced to sit on my butt, I've discovered the shows Addicted to Food and Relapse.
  • I've seen movies - lots of them. Today we did a double header of The Conspirator and the new Madea movie. I loved them both.
  • I spent three hours trying to make heads or tails of Flora, and figured out something interesting...
I should be asleep right now. It's almost midnight. But I just found something about Flora and I have to type it out.

On I found a census, listing Zelpha Mangrum (her daughter) at age 13 in 1910 living with Ive Mangrum and his wife, Blanche (I love that name) in New Orleans. I didn't find it before because of the way they spelled their last name - Mangrich - but it's definitely them. Now I have questions.

Why was Zelpha living with her half brother (her dad's son) and his wife so far from home at such a young age? Why did they come back to the Missouri area? Ive was killed in a terrible accident in 1919 in New Madrid (he got beheaded by a cart, I won't go into details, but my strong stomach almost couldn't take the description I found).

I hear that Flora wasn't the best mother and threw all of her children out when they were quite young - I just didn't realize it could have been THAT young.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mystery Solved!

Thanks to the fabulous and spectacular blog reader Heather who commented on my last post, the mystery of who JL Rogers is has been solved! THANK YOU, HEATHER.

He's my 2nd-great uncle, my great-grandfather's brother. I had been assuming that his legal name was John, because that was his father's name (according to his death certificate), but Heather did a search and found a James L Rogers - and all the information (parents birth places, wife's name, birth place, everything) matched perfectly. You couldn't find a better match.

So then I went crazy on Ancestry. I use Ancestry as a starting point, especially since I see flaws on there all the time (today I read my grandmother is dead - pretty sure she isn't, I talked to her yesterday and she sounded fine). I put together a tree, and then print it, finding other sources to verify the facts. The only tree I trust on there is my cousin's, because I know the information on that tree is from family records in his possession.

Over the next week I'm going to work on JL's mother, who was named after her father - Willis. Her full name was Willis Adeline/Adaline Weed, nicknamed Addie. She was the only child to two older parents (I'm presuming miracle baby/accident or adopted). All I have is her parents names - Willis Weed (Willie Weed?) and Martha Clay.

I also found my two 2nd-great aunts married the same man. First one sister did, then she died, then the other sister married him a year later. I find this remarkably creepy for so many reasons. I'm sure it was common, but still, I shudder at the thought.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Mystery of JR Rogers

JR Rogers is buried in the Rogers family plot in Blodgett Cemetery in Blodgett, Mo. Everyone else in the plot I can account for being related to somehow - except him.

I gathered from his death certificate he was born in the same county in Kentucky that several of my relatives (on both sides of my family) came from, so I know he's related in there somewhere. I found him on a census in 1930 in that same KY town, just a few years before he died. He was 54 and his wife, Maggie, was 44. They had two children - Mary, 6, and Clara, 4. Is it just me, or do you think they were possibly grandchildren? I can't find a death record for Maggie anywhere (she could have remarried) and the path for both girls is stone cold.

He's my project for tomorrow (Sunday.)

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Mystery Headstone

So when I went searching for my maternal grandparents' graves over the weekend, I encountered something I've known before - but still have no answer for. It's The Mystery Headstone.

My great grandmother, Stella Mae Belt Rodgers, has a normal headstone.

The "At Rest" part is appropriate, since she was a sick woman for most of her adult life and finally died of a ruptured gallbladder in 1941.

Then, there's this:

That's her. It's down the row from her original headstone.

My question is why would it be there? Who did it? It can't be that old. I'm confused.

Does anyone have any answers?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Blogging resumes tomorrow

Hey everyone, just wanted to let you know that my blog posting resumes tomorrow after a week long absence. I got a new computer, I’ve been on vacation… You get the idea. But tomorrow I’m back with a series of new stories, new pictures, and new discoveries!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are - Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow is the daughter of Blythe Danner and the late Bruce Paltrow, and she's very public about how much she values family, so I wasn't really surprised to see she did an episode of WDYTYA. And what an episode it was.

It was all about the hidden lives of people, how beneath the angry and distant surface can be someone who has just been through hell and doesn't know how to deal with it. Her great-grandmother, Ida, was what was described as a "negligent" mother. She didn't take care of her kids, pretty much. Her son Buster, Gwyneth's grandfather, wasn't fond of his mother because of this (and really, why would he be?), and Gwyneth wanted to know what made this woman such a "bad" mother.

Here's why: the woman went through tragedy and death, plenty of both. Ida was in college when her mother died of cirrhosis of the liver (implied alcoholism, although it may have not been) and her brother died of an "intestinal blockage" just two months after that. A year after the deaths, Ida was "released" from college, probably for spotty attendance.

Later on she got married and had several kids. When she was pregnant with her sixth child, her fifth one died by being run over by a wagon. The little girl was three years old. Just three. Ida gave birth just three weeks after that.

This made me think about Flora. I have heard family stories about her, let's call it "parenting skills", and how they were lacking. She bounced around from husband to husband, she didn't really have roots I'm finding out. She supposedly kicked Robert (my great-grandfather) out when he was 14 or 15, causing a family rift, but he was the informant on her death certificate, so I'm not sure how true it was.

Crazy and heartbroken people are in every family. They have an impact whether we want to believe it our not. Ida was Gwyneth's.