Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Welch, West Virginia: The Nation's Coal Bin

Welch, West Virginia, was the birthplace of Van Jeffrey Blankenship, who was born in 1945. The city became the county seat of McDowell County in 1892.

Welch, West Virginia, on a Sunday afternoon in 1946; photograph
courtesy of Wikipedia

During the first half of the 1900s, railroads were built through McDowell County, making the vast fields of coal economically feasible to mine and ship to markets across the country. Welch became a prosperous city. After the production boom as a result of World War II, oil began to supplant coal as the domestic fuel supply. Mechanization of mining reduced the number of laborers needed in the production of coal. McDowell County's population peaked in 1950 and began to decline during the decades to follow. Today, less than 2,500 people live in the city. During its heyday, Welch proudly described itself as the "Heart of the Nation's Coal Bin."

Welch, West Virginia, circa 1940 when the population was about 100,000
people; photograph from McDowell County, W. Va., 1940: The Nation's
Coal Bin
Welch, West Virginia, in May 2015; the population is now less than 2,500
people. Photograph from personal collection

When presidential candidate John F. Kennedy visited Welch by automobile caravan in 1960, he saw a city whose businesses were struggling due to a growing poverty rate throughout the county. It is believed Kennedy's trip through McDowell County became the basis of the aid brought to the Appalachian region by his and Johnson's administrations. Kennedy said later in a speech, "McDowell County mines more coal than it ever has in its history, probably more coal than any county in the United States and yet there are more people getting surplus food packages in McDowell County than any county in the United States. The reason is that machines are doing the jobs of men, and we have not been able to find jobs for those men."

Welch, West Virginia, circa 1940; photograph from McDowell County, W. Va.:
The Nation's Coal Bin

Welch, West Virginia, May 2015; photograph from personal collection

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'Welch, West Virginia circa 1940, No. 1' McDowell County, W. Va.: The Nation's Coal Bin
'Welch, West Virginia circa 1940, No. 2' McDowell County, W. Va.: The Nation's Coal Bin
'Welch, West Virginia circa 1946,' Wikipedia
'Welch, West Virginia Today, No. 1,' Personal collection
'Welch, West Virginia today, No. 2,' Personal collection

2.12.3.1.1.3. Van Jeffrey Blankenship (1945- )

Van Jeffrey Blankenship was born on 1 May 1945 in Welch, West Virginia, to Miles Henry and Mary Inez (Muir) Blankenship. Welch is the county seat of McDowell County and to this day is a one-industry place. That industry is coal. So it is likely Miles Blankenship worked as a miner or for a company that supplied the mines.

On 20 December 1965 Van Jeffrey and Sandra Rae Tubbs applied for a marriage license at the Probate Court in Summit County, Ohio. He was required to provide his mother's custody papers before the license could be finalized. My assumption about this was he was not yet 21 years old. At the time he and Sandra lived at 148 Willard Street in Akron, Ohio, and he was a draftsman. Sandra Rae Tubbs had been married twice previously and had a minor child.

They did not marry, however, until 8 July 1971 at the courthouse in Winchester, Virginia. At the time of their marriage, they both lived at 1342 Getz Street in Akron, Ohio. They divorced two and a half years later on 11 January 1974 in Summit County, Ohio. Van Jeffrey was granted the divorce decree after proving his wife was grossly neglectful in her duties. According to the divorce decree, they had three children together, but I do not know anything about them.

Van Jeffrey married  Jo Ann Elizabeth (Norman) Wesie, daughter of Hugh D. and Lydia (Thomas) Norman, on 2 March 1974 in Winchester, Virginia. At the time of their marriage Van lived at 887 East Crosier Street in Akron and Jo Ann lived at 8490 Highmill Avenue in Canal Fulton, Ohio. Both had been married before. After their marriage they moved to Findlay, Ohio, and lived at 724 Liberty Street in 1979 and 1020 Washington Avenue in 1993. They divorced on 3 August 2001 in Hancock County, Ohio. They had no children during their marriage.

In 2002 he still lived in Findlay at the Washington Avenue address.

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US, Ohio Divorce Index, 1962-1963, 1967-1971, 1973-2007, 1974 Blankenship, Van - Blankenship Sandra
US, Ohio Divorce Index, 1962-1963, 1967-1971, 1973-2007, 2001 Blankenship, Van - Blankenship, Jo Ann
US, Ohio (Summit County) Marriage Records, 1840-1980, 1965 Blankenship, Van - Tubbs, Sandra Rae
US, Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002, 1993-2002 Findlay, OH (Van Jeffrey Blankenship)
US, Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002, 1998 Findlay, OH (Van Jeffrey Blankenship)
US, Public Records Index, Volume 1, 1979 Findlay, OH (Van Jeffrey Blankenship)
US, Virginia Marriage Records, 1936-2014, 1971 Blankenship, Van - Tubbs, Sandra
US, Virginia Marriage Records, 1936-2014, 1974 Blankenship, Van - Wesie, Jo Ann

Monday, June 29, 2015

Jearl Lee Blankenship Headstone

Jearl Lee Blankenship was interred at the Franklin Hill Memory Gardens in Canal Winchester, Ohio. The photograph of his headstone was provided by Find A Grave volunteer Gene.

Jearl Lee Blankenship headstone; photograph provided by Find A Grave
volunteer Gene

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'Jearl Lee Blankenship Headstone,' Find A Grave

Jearl Lee Blankenship Obituary

Jearl Lee Blankenship, age 63, Sunday, March 11, 2007 at home. Preceded in death by parents Miles Blankenship and Mary Moore, and brothers Miles Blankenship, Jr. Survived by brothers Van and Clovis (Joyce) Blankenship; nieces Amanda and Linda. Friends and family will meet for graveside service 10 a.m. Wednesday at Franklin Hills Memory Gardens, 5802 Elder Road, Canal Winchester. Dr. William L. Snider officiating. Arrangements by the Maeder-Quint & Tiberi Funeral Home, 1068 South High Street.

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Maeder-Quint & Tiberi Funeral Home, 2007 Blankenship, Jearl Lee

Sunday, June 28, 2015

2.12.3.1.1.2. Jearl Lee Blankenship (1943-2007)

Jearl Lee Blankenship was born on 15 March 1943 in West Virginia to Miles Henry and Mary Inez (Muir) Blankenship. In 1993 he lived with his mother at 176 Frebis Avenue in Columbus, Ohio.

Jearl Lee died on 11 March 2007 at his home in Ashtabula County, Ohio. He was interred at Franklin Hills Memory Gardens in Canal Winchester, Ohio. He never married.

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Global, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, 2007 Blankenship, Jearl Lee
Global, Obituary Daily Times Index, 1995-Current, 2007 Blankenship, Jearl Lee
Maeder-Quint & Tiberi Funeral Home, 2007 Blankenship, Jearl Lee
US, Cemetery and Funeral Home Collection, 2007 Blankenship, Jearl Lee
US, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, Certificate: 017910
US, Public Records Index, Volume 1, 1993 Columbus, OH (Jearl Lee Blankenship)
US, Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Issue State: Virginia; Issue Date: 1958

Saturday, June 27, 2015

2.12.3.1.1.1. Rose Marie Peterson (c1943-1987)

Rose Marie Peterson was born about 1943 in Ohio. I do not know who her parents were. When she was about 19 years old, she married Donald Dwight Murray. They had five children together before they dissolved their marriage on 16 October 1978. The divorce was recorded in Fairfield County, Ohio, though Rose Marie lived in Franklin County, Ohio, at the time.

She married Miles David Blankenship on 16 June 1979 in Franklin County.

Rose Marie (Peterson) Murray Blankenship died on 11 May 1987 at home in Franklin County. She was married at the time of her death and only 44 years old.

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US, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, Certificate: 034715; Volume: 26872
US, Ohio Divorce Index, 1962-1963, 1967-1971, 1973-2007, 1978 Murray, Donald - Murray, Rose
US, Ohio Marriage Index, 1970, 1972-2007, 1979 Blankenship, Miles - Murray, Rose

Friday, June 26, 2015

2.12.3.1.1.1. Harriet Naomi Hott (1942-1983)

Harriet Naomi Hott was born on 26 August 1942 in Ohio to Carl Willis and Harriet Ester (Linton) Hott. She first married a man named Gillilan and then married John Bruce Johnson, son of Henry Stewart and Mattie Bell (Davis) Johnson, on 21 September 1968 at the Southern Baptist Church in Honaker, Virginia, which is a town in Russell County. At the time of her second marriage she lived at 860 Greenfield Drive in Columbus, Ohio. Both John and Harriet and been married before. John was eleven years her senior. His father had shot his mother and then killed himself in 1936 when John was five years old. He was raised by his maternal grandparents.

John and Harriet divorced some time before his death on 15 August 1975 at the Mattie Williams Hospital in Richlands, Virginia, of Oat Cell carcinoma of the right lung. He was a welder by trade and a veteran of the Korean Conflict. He was 43 years old.

She married Miles David Blankenship on 29 August 1977 at the Pentecostal Holiness Church in Buchanan County, Virginia. At the time of her marriage she lived at 5551 Saltzgaber Road in Groveport, Ohio. Miles David and Harriet divorced less than a year later, on 25 May 1978, in Franklin County, Ohio. Harriet was granted the divorce for gross neglect of duty. They had no children together.

Harriet died on 13 March 1983 at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She was 40 years old at the time of her death. She was going by the name of Harriet N. Gillilan and her marital status was divorced.

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1940 US Federal Census, Census Place: Honaker, Russell, Virginia; Roll: T627_4292; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 84-21
Bluefield Daily Telegraph, 8 November 1936
US, Ohio Death Index, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, 1983 Gillilan, Harriet N.
US, Ohio Divorce Index, 1962-1963, 1967-1971, 1973-2007, 1978 Blankenship, Miles David - Blankenship, Harriet N.
US, Virginia Birth Records, 1864-2014, 1931 Johnson, John Bruce
US, Virginia Death Records, 1912-2014, 1975 Johnson, John Bruce
US, Virginia Marriage Records, 1936-2014, 1968, Johnson, John Bruce - Gillilan, Harriet Naomi
US, Virginia Marriage Records, 1936-2014, 1977, Blankenship, Miles David - Gillilan, Harriet Naomi

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Theda Marie (Seagle) Blankenship Nalley Headstone

Theda Marie (Seagle) Blankenship Nalley was interred at the Obetz Cemetery in Obetz, Ohio. A photograph of her headstone was shared by Find A Grave volunteer dcterri.

Headstone of Theda (Seagle) Blankenship Nalley buried in Obetz Cemetery;
photograph provided by Find A Grave volunteer dcterri

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'Theda Seagle-Nalley Headstone,' Find A Grave

2.12.3.1.1.1. Theda Marie Seagle (1943-2005)

Theda Marie was born on 14 September 1943 or 1946. Her Ohio birth index record indicated 1946 but all other records, which included birth information, referred to her birth date as 1943. Her parents were Edgar Lee and Roma Ellen (Moreland) Seagle. Her father worked as a shipping clerk for Wells Adhesive Co. in 1951.

She married a man named Man about 1969 and changed her name to Theda Marie Mann in May 1969.

She lived in Franklin County, Ohio, at the time of her marriage to Miles Blankenship on 18 October 1974 and had been married once previously. Their marriage was dissolved on 23 June 1976; there were no children.

She married a man named Nalley about 1994 and resided in Columbus, Ohio. In 1994 she moved to Boise, Idaho, and resided there through at least 1996 when she lived on 2138 Blue Spruce Lane.

She died on 30 July 2005 at the Mount Carmel Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. She was divorced at the time of her death.

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Global, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, 2005 Nalley, Theda Seagle
US, Ohio Birth Index, 1908-1964, 1946 Seagle, Theda Marie
US, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, Certificate: 63033, Volume: 34910
US, Ohio Divorce Index, 1962-1963, 1967-1971, 1973-2007, 1976 Blankenship, Miles - Blankenship, Theda
US, Ohio Marriage Index, 1970, 1972-2007, 1974 Blankenship, Miles - Seagle, Theda
US, Public Records Index, Volume 1, 1973 Columbus, OH (Theda M Seagle)
US, Public Records Index, Volume 1, 1983 Columbus, Oh (Theda M Seagle)
US, Public Records Index, Volume 1, 1994 Columbus, OH and Boise, ID (Theda M Seagle)
US, Public Records Index, Volume 1, 1996 Boise, ID (Theda M Seagle)
US, Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-1941, 1959-1960 Seagle, Theda Maire
US, Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, State: Ohio, Issue Date: 1959-1960

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Miles David Blankenship Headstone

Miles David Blankenship was interred at Franklin Hills Memory Gardens in Canal Winchester, Ohio. The photograph was shared by Find A Grave volunteer Gene.

Miles David Blankenship headstone; photograph by Find A Grave volunteer
Gene

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'Miles David Blankenship Headstone,' Find A Grave

2.12.3.1.1.1. Miles David Blankenship (1941-2004)

Miles David Blankenship was born on 4 May 1941 to Miles Henry and Mary Inez (Muir) Blankenshkp. He was the oldest of four children. In 1944 his father served in the U.S. Navy in Europe. Some time after 1946 Miles' mother left his father and split up the chldren, leaving one son with her mother, the youngest with her husband, and the two older boys -- Miles David and Jearl Lee -- with her.

Miles married Clara Peddicord on 31 October 1959 in Baltimore, Maryland. It was his first marriage. The couple separated in 1968 and Clara was granted a divorce decrees for cruelty and desertion on 3 September 1969. The couple had no children.

On 18 October 1974 Miles David married Theda Marie Seagle, daughter of Edgar Lee and Roma Ellen (Moreland) Seagle, in Franklin County, Ohio. He had been married once previously and Theda had not. Both were residents of Franklin County. The marriage was dissolved less than two years later and the couple had no children.

On 29 August 1977 Miles David married Harriet Naomi (Hott) Gillilan Johnson, daughter of Carl Willis and Harriet Ester Hott in Buchanan County, Virginia. Both had been twice previously. At the time of their marriage Miles David lived at 643 South Wayne Street in Columbus, Ohio, and Harriet lived in Groveport, Ohio. They were divorced on 25 May 1978 in Franklin County, Ohio. Harriet was granted the divorce for gross neglect of duty.

On 16 June 1979 Miles David married Rose Marie (Peterson) Murray in Franklin County. It was his fourth marriage and her first. They were both residents of Franklin County. Rose died in 1987.

In 1993 Miles David lived at 176 Frebis Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. This was the address of his mother, Mary Inez Muir, and her husband Eugene Guy Gribble, who died that same year.

Miles David Blankenship died on 31 May 2004 at his home in Columbus, Ohio. He was interred at Franklin Hills Memory Gardens in Canal Winchester, Ohio.

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Global, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, 2004 Blankenship, Miles David
US, Ohio Divorce Index, 1962-1963, 1967-1971, 1973-2007, 1976 Blankenship, Miles D. - Blankenship, Theda M.
US, Ohio Divorce Index, 1962-1963, 1967-1971, 1973-2007, 1978 Blankenship, Miles D. - Blankenship, Harriet N.
US, Ohio Marriage Index, 1970, 1972-2007, 1974 Blankenship, Miles D. - Seagle, Theda M.
US, Ohio Marriage Index, 1970, 1972-2007, 1979 Blankenship, Miles D. - Murray, Rose M.
US, Public Records Index, Volume 1, 1993 Columbus, OH (Blankenship, Miles David)
US, Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Number: 223-52-0221; Issue State: Virginia; Issue Date: 1956
US, Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, 225-52-0221
US, Virginia Divorce Records, 1918-2014, 1969 Blankenship, Miles D - Peddicord, Clara
US, Virginia Marriage Records, 1936-2014, 1977 Blankenship, Miles David - Gillilan, Harriet Naomi

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Children of Miles Henry and Mary Inez (Muir) Blankenship

2.12.3.1.1.1. Miles David Blankenship (1941-2004)

The lives of Miles David Blankenship and his wives will be covered in future posts.

2.12.3.1.1.2. Jearl Lee Blankenship (1943-2007)

The life of Jearl Lee Blankenship will be covered in a future post.


2.12.3.1.1.3. Van Jeffrey Blankenship (1945- )

The lives of Van Jeffrey Blankenship and his wives will be covered in future posts.

2.12.3.1.1.4. Clovis Blankenship (1946- )

The lives of Clovis Blankenship and his wife will be covered in future posts.

Monday, June 22, 2015

2.12.3.1.1. William T. Moore (1939-2008)

William T. Moore was born on 14 March 1939. I do not know where he was born or who his parents were. He had been married three times prior to his marriage to Mary Inez Muir. I do not know if he had children.

In 1995 William T. Moore likely lived in Pearson, Georgia.

He and Mary Inez married 24 October 1997 in Franklin County, Ohio. They were both residents of that county at the time of their marriage. William was 17 years her junior. Mary Inez had been married four times previously, most recently to Coy Franklin Hicks before she married William T. Moore. William had been married two times before.

Mary died in 2002 due to a medical mistake according to her granddaughter. William received a small settlement and moved to Louisiana. He died in Denham Springs, Louisiana on 28 October 2008.

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US, Ohio Marriage Index, 1970, 1972-2007, 1997 Moore, William T. - Hicks, Mary I.
US, Public Records Index, Volume 1, 1995 Pearson, GA (Moore, William T.)
US, Public Records Index, Volume 2, 1935-1993 Columbus, OH (Moore, William T.)
US, Public Records Index, Volume 2, 1935-1993 Pearson, GA (Moore, William T.)
US, Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Issue State: Virginia; Issue Date: 1954

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Eugene Guy Gribble Headstone

Eugene Guy Gribble was interred at Franklin Hills Memory Gardens in Canal Winchester, Ohio. This photograph of his headstone was taken and shared by Find A Grave volunteer Gene.

Eugene Guy Gribble Headstone; photograph courtesy of Find A Grave

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'Eugene Guy Gribble Headstone,' Find A Grave

2.12.3.1.1. Eugene Guy Gribble (1914-1993)

Eugene Guy Gribble was born on 7 August 1914 in Columbus, Ohio, to William Hugh and Sabrina (Brobson) Gribble. In 1920 the family lived in Rochester, Pennsylvania, His father was a detective for a railroad. In 1930 family was back in Columbus and his father worked as a blower at a glass factory.

In 1940 the family remained in Columbus. Eugene had joined his father at the glass factory, along with a younger brother. They three men were glass blowers. The youngest brother worked as a cook at a restaurant. Eugene worked about 24 hours a week and had worked 35 weeks in 1939. He made $560.

On 4 January 1943, at the age of 28, Eugene was drafted into the U.S. Army as a private. He had completed three years of high school prior to his induction. Nothing more is known about his service during World War II.

Eugene was married twice before he met Mary Inez Muir. They married on 1 July 1972 in Franklin County, Ohio. Both Eugene and Mary were residents of the county at the time of their marriage. She had been married at least two times before and most recently divorced Hubert C. Lemaster on 16 August 1971 for gross neglect of duty.

In 1983 the couple lived at 176 Frebis Avenue in Columbus. Eugene died ten years later on 4 June 1993 at their home in Columbus. He likely worked as a security guard prior to his death. He was buried at Franklin Hills Memory Gardens in Canal Winchester, Ohio. Mary Inez Muir, his wife, was buried beside him after her death in 2002.

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1920 US Federal Census, Census Place: Rochester, Beaver, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1532; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 67; Image: 928
1930 US Federal Census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: 1793; Page: 32B; Enumeration District: 0006; Image: 986.0; FHL microfilm: 2341527
1940 US Federal Census, Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T627_3240; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 93-14
Global, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, 1993 Gribble, Eugene G.
US, Ohio Marriage Index, 1908-1932, 1938-2007, Certificate 043540; Volume: 29427
US, Public Records Index, Volume 1, 1987 Gribble, Jearl
US, Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Number: 275-01-2945; Issue State: Ohio
US, World War II Army Records, 1938-1946, 1943 Gribble, Eugene G.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Miles Henry Blankenship Headstone

Miles Henry Blankenship was interred at Green Hills Memory Gardens in Claypool Hill, Virginia. This photograph of his headstone was generously shared by Find A Grave volunteer Polly Fry Hagerman.

Miles Henry Blankenship Headstone; photograph courtesy of Find A Grave

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'Miles Henry Blankenship Headstone,' Find A Grave

2.12.3.1.1. Miles Henry Blankenship (1914-1983)

Miles Henry Blankenship was born on 14 August 1914 in Page, Virginia, to Thomas and Millie Ann (Blankenship) Blankenship. His parents were first cousins once removed, and it is likely that his mother was Native American. His father was a farmer. By 1920 the family lived in Garden, Virginia, on a rented farm.

Some time before 1930 the family moved to Sandy River, West Virginia, Thomas, Miles' father worked as a coal loader for one of the many mines in McDowell County and Miles and his younger brother, Wallace worked on the family farm, which was rented.

I have been unable to find Miles in the 1940 census but sometime before 1941, he married or began a relationship with Mary Inez Muir. They had four sons together between 1941 and 1946.

During World War II, Miles served in the U.S. Navy I do not know when he enlisted or when he was discharged. The one Navy muster roll I have been able to find indicated he transferred aboard USS Landing Craft Infantry LCI(L) No. 16 on 5 September 1944 from the LCI(L) Flotilla 18. He was a replacement sailor and was classified as a Seaman 2nd Class, which would be a Seaman Apprentice in today's Navy. He didn't stay on the ship long. On 20 September 1944 he was transferred back to Flotilla 18's Vicarage Barracks in Portsmouth, England.

LCI(L) craft were seagoing amphibious assault ships used to land large numbers of infantry soldiers directly onto beaches. They could carry up to 200 men and travel at speeds up to 15 knots.

According to her granddaughter, sometime after 1946 Mary left Miles, she took one son to her mother. She kept the two oldest sons and left their youngest son with Miles. Supposedly, Miles abandoned his son, who was raised by his paternal grandparents, Thomas and Millie and an aunt, Linda Blankenship.

Miles never married again. He died on 29 September 1983 at the Lee County Community Hospital in Pennington Gap, Virginia, of cardio-pulmonary arrest. He worked as a coal miner and lived in Oakwood, Virginia, at the time of his death. He was buired in Green Hills Memory Gardens in Claypool Hill, Virginia.

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1920 US Federal Census, Census Place: Garden, Buchanan, Virginia; Roll: T625_1882; Page: 33A; Enumeration District: 14; Image 662
1930 US Federal Census, Census Place: Sandy River, McDowell, West Virginia; Roll: 2543; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0047; Image: 968.0; FHL microfilm: 2342277
Email Messages with Linda Blankenship
Global, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, 1983 Blankenship, Miles H.
US, Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Number: 236-28-8504; Issue State: West Virginia
US, Virginia Death Records, 1912-2014, State File Number 83-033540
US, Virginia, Find A Grave Index, 1607-2012, 1983 Blankenship, Miles H.
US, World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, Serial Number; 928-97-35

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mary Inez (Muir) Gribble Headstone

Mary Inez (Muir) Blankenship Lemaster Gribble Hicks Moore was interred at Franklin Hills Memory Gardens in Canal Winchster, Ohio. Beside her grave, or nearby, are her sons Miles David and Jearl Lee Blankenship. Her husband Eugene Guy Gribble is also buried near her.

Mary Inez (Muir) Gribble headstone; photograph courtesy of Find A
Grave volunteer Gene

According to her granddaughter, Inez purchased her burial plot and headstone at the same time she made the arranges for her husband, Eugene Guy Gribble's funeral and burial, hence the name on her headstone. She went on to marry at least two more times after Gene's death.

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'Mary Inez (Muir) Gribble Headstone,' Find A Grave

2.12.3.1.1. Mary Inez Muir (1922-2002)

Mary Inez Muir was born on 8 November 1922 in Raven, Virginia, or in Buchanan County, Virginia. She was Henry "Jack" Muir's first child and only known child with his first wife, Mary Frances (Canterbury) Muir. Henry and Mary Frances were no longer together when the 1930 census was enumerated. He had remarried earlier in the year and lived in Louisiana. Mary Frances was also in a new relationship with Lee Andrew Collins. She and Lee had two daughters of their own in 1926 and 1930. The blended Collins family lived in Bradshaw, West Virginia, an unincorporated place in McDowell County. Lee worked as a brakeman in a coal mine.

Mary Inez Muir went by Inez most of her life. On 20 December 1938 she and George R. Bruster or Brewster applied for a marriage license in McDowell County, West Virginia. They both lived in Bradshaw, West Virginia, and had not been married before. They received their marriage license on 23 December but the portion of the form the minister fills out after the wedding had not been completed. This leads me to believe George Bruster or Brewster and Mary Inez Muir never actually married.

I have been unable to find Mary Inez Muir in the 1940 census. By 1941 she had her first child with Miles Henry Blankenship. Three more sons would follow between 1943 and 1946.

Home of Miles H. and Mary I. (Muir) Blankenship, likely in McDowell County, West
Virginia; photograph courtesy of Linda Blankenship

In 1947 Mary Inez Muir applied for social security. At the time she filled out the application form, she lived in Raven, Virginia. She was unemployed and using her maiden name. So she had divorced Miles Blankenship by this time and was using her maiden name, something very rare for the time; or she and Miles never married.

According to the Social Security Applications and Claims Index, Mary Inez changed her surname in July 1966 to Stacy and again in May 1967 to Carlisle. This name changes typically indicate marriages. To date, I have found no information about who the men could be.

At some point after her youngest son was born in 1946, Mary left Miles. She took their two oldest boys, left the third son with her mother, and the youngest boy with Miles. That son ended up being raised by his paternal grandparents, Thomas and Millie Ann (Blankenship) Blankenship and an aunt. Mary married Hubert C. Lemaster, about which we know nothing, sometime before 1971. She divorced him on 16 August 1971 in Franklin County, Ohio. The grounds for the divorce were gross neglect of duty.

The next year she married Eugene "Gene" or "Jearl" Guy Gribble on 1 July 1972 in Franklin County. Both were residents of that county at the time of their marriage and had each been married twice before. They were together until Gene's death in 1993 and had lived for some period of time at 176 Frebis Avenue in Columbus, Ohio.

When her oldest son, Miles David Blankenship, married for the second time in 1977, he listed his mother's maiden name as Mary Inez Collins. Collins was actually the name of her step-father.

In 1994 Mary Inez Gribble lived in Newhall, West Virginia. She married Coy Franklin Hicks on 26 January 1994 in Tazewell County, Virginia, but they were divorced by 1997. I have been unable in a brief search to find any other additional information about Hicks.

On 24 October 1997 Mary married William T. Moore in Franklin County, Ohio. They were both residents of that county. Mary had been married four times previously, and William two times. He was 17 years her junior.

Mary Inez (Muir) Moore died on 22 August 2002 at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus. She was interred at Franklin Hills Memory Gardens in Canal Winchester, Ohio, beside Eugene Gribble.

At some point she must have reconnected with her father because his name, and Inez's mother's maiden name were listed on her death certificate. According, to her granddaughter, she lived in Louisiana for some period of time.

Her granddaughter said she had a hard life but was a good grandmother and her granddaughter loved her very much. Her granddaughter also believed she had been married nine times. I must admit after searching for several months, the number of marriages and her name at the time of each marriage dovetail with the five known marriages.

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'Home of Miles H. and Mary Inez Blankenship,' courtesy of Linda Blankenship
1930 US Federal Census, Census Place: Sandy River, McDowell, West Virginia; Roll: 2543; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0048; Image: 1012.0; FHL microfilm: 2342277.
Alice (Muir) Jennings' Genealogy Notebook, page 9
Global, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, 2002 Gribble, Mary I
US, Ohio, Divorce Index, 1962-1963, 1967-1971-1873-2007, 1971 Hubert C Lemaster - Lemaster, Mary I
US, Ohio, Marriage Index, 1970, 1972-2007, 1972 Gribble, Eugene G - Lemaster, Mary I
US, Ohio, Marriage Index, 1970, 1972-2007, 1997 Moore, William T - Hicks, Mary I
US, Public Records Index, Volume 1, 1994 Newhall, West Virginia (Gribble, Mary I)
US, Social Security Application, 1935-2014, Number: 235-34-1978
US, Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, 225-34-1978
US, Social Security Death Index 1935-2014, Number: 235-34-1978; Issue State: Virginia
US, Virginia Marriage Records, 1936-2014, 1994 Hicks, Coy Franklin - Gribble, Mary Inez
US, West Virginia, Marriages Index, 1785-1971, 1938 Bruster, George R - Muir, Mary I
US, West Virginia, Marriage Application/License, 1865-1969, 1938 Bruster, George R. - Muir, Mary I

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Children of Henry "Jack" Muir and His Wives

Henry "Jack" Muir eight or nine known children by different wives and partners. However, I do not know how one of them, Ellen Davis, tie into the family. If anyone knows anything about these her,  please contact me using the contact form on the Robert Muir Family blog, http://robertmuirfamily.blogspot.com/.

2.12.3.1.1. Mary Inez Muir(1922-2002)

The lives of Mary Inez Muir and her known husbands, Miles H. Blankenship, Hubert C. Lemaster, Eugene Guy Gribble, a man named Hicks, and William T. Moore, will be covered in future posts.

2.12.3.1.2. Richard Marvin Muir (1930-1939)

Richard Marvin Muir was born on 13 December 1930 in Louisiana. He was Henry "Jack" Muir's second child, and first with Henry's second wife, Armitar (Alleman) Muir. Richard died on 13 September 1939 in Rayne, Louisiana, of tetanus. He had been treated by a doctor for the illness since 5 September. I do not know where he was interred.

2.12.3.1.3. Henry James Muir, Jr. (1932-2000)

The lives Henry James Muir, Jr., and his partners will be covered in future posts.

2.12.3.1.4. Alexander A. Muir (1934-1998)

The lives of Alexander A. Muir and his wife, Loretta Mae Jacobs, will be covered in future posts.

2.12.3.1.5. Barbara Jean Muir (1935-1999)

The lives of Barbara Jean Muir and her husbands, Isaac Junior Conrad, a man named Barbazan, Ray Emile Nehlig, Sr., and Dallas Bourque, will be covered in future posts.

2.12.3.1.6. William Bobby or Bobbie Muir (1939-unknown)

William Bobbie Muir was born about 1939 in Louisiana . He was Henry "Jack" Muir's sixth child and fifth with Henry's second wife, Armitar (Alleman) Muir. According to one of his nieces, he had a job which required him to travel around the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Supposedly, he was married a few times, or had a few partners, and left several children behind. I have heard many stories from his nieces and nephews about his life but can find no records which may confirm any details.

School photograph of William Bobby Muir; personal collection of Abby Muir

2.12.3.1.7. Shirley Mae Muir (1944-2000)

The lives of Shirley Mae Muir and her known husbands or partners, a man named Billiot and Julio Baltierra, will be covered in future posts.

2.12.3.1.8. Trudy Muir (1953-2015)

The lives of Trudy Muir and her only known husband, Harold T. Word, will be covered in future posts.

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1940, US Federal Census, Census Place: Rayne, Acadia, Louisiana; Roll: T627_1377; Page: 23B; Enumeration District: 1-1
Alice (Muir) Jennings' Genealogy Notebook, page 9
US, Louisiana, Death Certificate, 1939, No. 11081

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

2.12.3.1. Edith Mary Davenport (about 1907-before 1986)

All I know about Edith Mary (Davenport) Samples Muir, Henry's fourth wife, comes from this newspaper clipping. I have been unable to find any records that are definitively about her. She was 72 years old when they married in 1979, which would make her birth year about 1907. She had lived in St. Louis, Missouri, at one time, but I do not know if she was born there.

I do know she married Henry "Jack" Muir in May 1979 in the St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, courthouse.

One of Jack's granddaughter's told me Edith predeceased him and died in Waveland, Mississippi.

Newspaper clipping of the marriage between Henry "Jack" Muir and
Edith Mary (Davenport) Samples, dated 30 May 1979; clipping provided
by Wanda Morrow

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Unknown newspaper, 30 May 1979

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Eppa (Swan) Childs Obituary

A Childs family research collaborator found Eppa (Swan) Child's obituary in the 28 February 1975 Time-Picayune. Is May Swassard Edna Mae Childs? And who is Carol Swassard? Is she the same person as the Carol Swafford mentioned in Henry "Jack" Muir's obituary? Did Eppie marry or have a relationship with a man named Swafford in between the death of her first husband and Henry "Jack" Muir? So many questions remain.

MUIR
Mrs. Ettie Swan Muir, on Tuesday, February 25, 1975. Wife of Henry J. Muir Sr. Mother of Fay Hays, R. C. Childs, May Swassard, Carol Swassard, Trudy M. Muir, Henry J. Muir Jr., Alexander Muir, Barbara Jean Muir and Shirley Billiot. Sister of Sannie Thompson and Grace Eddy. Also survived by 51 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren and 7 great great grandchildren. Age 58. A resident of St. Bernard parish.

Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the funeral.

Services from the Metairie funeral home of L. A. Muhfeisen and Son, 2929 Metairie Rd., at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 1, 1975.

Interment in St. Bernard Memorial Gardens.

Friends may visit after 6 p.m. on Friday, February 28, 1975.

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Times-Picayune, 28 February 1975

2.12.3.1. Eppa Swan (1909-1975)

Eppa Swan was born on 5 January 1909 in Campti, Louisiana, to William Henry and Edna Sarah "Minnie" (Norvell) Swan. Campti is a flat area of mostly farm land on the eastern bank of the Red river. I have been unable to find the family in the 1910 U.S. census, but in 1920 they lived in Red River Parish, Louisiana. Her father was a fisherman working on his own account, who sold his catch to Bayou Fish Co. William Henry Childs, Eppa's father died in 1928.

By 1930 Eppa had married Elvin Eufay Childs, a farmer, and had two young sons. Their neighbors were Eufay's brothers and sisters. Some time after 1935, the family included four known children and lived in Trees, which is in Caddo Parish. Eppa's husband, Eufay, worked as an pumper for an oil production company and had been out of work for 16 weeks the previous year. Their children were:
  • Fay Frances Childs, born about 1929 and was married to someone name Hays when her mother died
  • Elvin Ray "Henry" Childs, born 17 January 1930, died 13 October 1951
  • R. C. Harley Childs, born 24 January 1932, died 27 May 1980
  • Edna Mae Childs, born 3 August 1934, may have been married to someone named Swafford or Swassard when her mother died
In 1943 Eppa (Swan) Childs applied for social security. The family still lived in Trees. Eufay Childs died on 10 September 1945 in Coushatta, Louisiana. He was interred at Hand Cemetery in Red River Parish.

At some point after 1953 Eppa was in a relationship with Henry "Jack" Muir. His sister believed they were married but several of his grandchildren tell me they were never married. 

According to one of Henry's granddaughters, Eppa was killed on 25 February 1975 by an 18-wheel tractor trailor truck which ran over her. According to her obituary, she was buried at the St. Bernard Memorial Gardens in Chalmette, Louisiana.

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1920 US Federal Census, Census Place: Police Jury Ward 3, Red River, Louisiana; Roll: T625_627; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 122; Image: 747
1930 US Federal Census, Census Place: Police Jury Ward 8; Red River, Louisiana; Roll: 800; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0010; Image: 556.0; FHL microfilm: 2340535
1940 US Federal Census, Census Place: Caddo, Louisiana; Roll: T627_1385; Page: 24A; Enumeration District: 9-10
Alice (Muir) Jennings Genealogy Notebook, page 9
Times-Picayune, 28 February 1975
US, USGenArchives, Obituary Index, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, 1975 Muir, Ettie Swan
US, Social Security Application, 1935-2014, 1943 Childs, Eppa (Swan)
US, Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Number: 439-28-2087; Issue State: Louisiana

Monday, June 15, 2015

Cajun or Cerole? What's the Difference?

One of the granddaughters of Armita Marie Alleman, my grand uncle Henry Muir's second wife, always heard her grandmother was a full-blooded Native American. As she digs into her family history, she's finding out that may not be true. Her grandmother's race was always listed as "W" for white on the census forms, but she was from Acadia Parish. So was she Creole or Cajun and what's the difference anyway?

"Creole in a Red Turban" by Jacques Aman, circa 1840; image courtesy
Wikipedia

I learned it's pretty easy to determine the difference between Creole and Cajun food; Creole cuisine uses tomatoes, Cajun doesn't. People, well, that's not as easy.

When the French settlers moved to Louisiana, the placage system was set up due to a shortage of accessible white women. The French wanted to expand its population in the new world, however men were not expected to marry until their early thirties and premarital sex was inconceivable. African woman soon became the concubines of white male colonists, which in some cases they happened to be sons of noblemen, military men, plantation owners, etc. Soon, wealthy white Creole men would marry and, in some cases, they would possess two families. One with the white woman to which they were legally married, and one with their mistress of color. The offspring from their mistresses were then grouped into a new class of creoles known as gens de couleur, or free people of color. This class of people would soon expand when refugees from Haiti and other French speaking colonies would migrate to New Orleans, effectively creating a new middle class between the white French Creoles and slaves.

Courtesy of Google

This class of colored people was unique to the South as they were not in the same category as African slaves. They were elite members of society who were often leaders in business, agriculture, politics, and the arts. At one time the center of their residential community was the French Quarter. Many were educated, owned their own property and businesses. Additionally, some were even slave-owners. They formed a third class in the slave society. This meant that in the pre-civil war era, race was mainly divided into four categories. These were white, black, creoles, and free people of color. French Creoles objected to the fact that the term Creole was used to describe Free People of Color but their culture and ideals were often mirrored by them. French Creoles spoke French while Black Creoles spoke Louisiana Creole which was a mixture of English, French, African or Spanish. The end of the civil war was a threat to the Louisiana Creoles of Color because this brought about the two-tiered class system that existed in the rest of the country that was divided predominately by race: black and white.

Cajuns, on the other hand, are any descendant of Acadian exiles (French-speaking Canadians from the Maritime provinces) who lived in the southern bayou region of Louisiana. They can be any race.

Courtesy of Google

Cajuns began arriving in Louisiana during the French and Indian War. Their forced expulsion by the British was part of the its military campaign again New France, French territories in Canada. It is thought that over 11,000 people out of 14,000 were deported during what became known as the Great Expulsion.

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I learned when researching the cultural history of Russians in Alaska, they also used the term "creole" to define people with mixed Russian and Native Alaskan blood.

Henry James Muir, Jr., Selective Service System Registration Card

This is the only record I have been able to discover written by a family member that includes the name of Armitar (Alleman) Muir.

Henry James Muir, Jr., Selective Service System Draft Registration
Card; FamilySearch.org

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'Henry James Muir, Jr., Selective Service System Draft Registration Card,' FamilySearch.org

Photographs of Armitar (Alleman) Muir and Children

These photographs were graciously shared with me by Abby Muir and Johnny Rocha, grandchildren of Henry Muir and Armitar (Alleman) Muir.

Richard Marvin Muir (1930-1939) and his mother, Armitar (Alleman)
Muir; shared by Johnny Rocha via Abby Muir

Standing from left to right: Armitar (Alleman) Muir; and daughters Shirley
Mae Muir, and Barbara Jean Muir. Edna Conrad is likely the little girl
standing in from of her grandmother; courtesy of Abby Muir

2.12.3.1. Armitar Ormmueth Alleman (about 1907-unknown)

Armitar Ormmueth Alleman was born about 1907 in Rayne, Louisiana, to Arrestide and Alice (Istre) Alleman. There are many possible spelling variations for Armitar's name but I have chosen the one her son wrote on his draft card in 1949. All other possibilities are census documents, which were written by the enumerator who went house to house and they are often incorrect.

Armitar's mother was a descendant of Islenos from the Canary Islands who settled in Louisiana in the late 1700s. Prior to 1778, Spanish settlements in Louisiana could only trade with ships owned by Spanish subjects. Don Carlos III eased those restrictions; and, at his own expense, sent a large number of farmers and soldiers to Louisiana. He offered each colonist a home, tools and subsistence on which to live for up to four years. As a result of those inducements, several families from the Canary Islands immigrated. They became known as Islenos. Armitar's four times great grandfather, Juan Gonzales Carbo, arrived in Louisiana on 26 July 1778 aboard the Sacramento. He was a soldier and a member of the Louisiana Regiment. Isleno soldiers fought against the English at Natchez, Manchoc, Baton Rouge, Mobile and Pensacola during the Revolutionary War.

I have been unable to locate the family in the 1910 census, but in 1920 they lived in Lafayette Parish. Armitar and her older sister attended school. Her father owned their house free and clear and worked in general merchandizing and her mother worked at a cotton gin. Armitar was enumerated as Armmueth.

On 24 February 1930 Armitar and Henry "Jack" got a marriage license in Acadia Parish. When the census was enumerated in April the couple lived in East Baton Rouge in home they rented for $30 a month. Armitar was enumerated as Armedi.

The couple had their first son in December of that year and between 1932 and 1944 had five more children.

In 1935 the family lived in Los Angeles County, California, but by 1940 they were back in Louisiana and lived in Rayne, the birthplace of Armitar.  They had lost their oldest son the previous year. Armitar was enumerated as Armita.

Some time after 1944 Henry "Jack" and Armitar divorced. The last record I have been able to locate is the World War II draft registration card for Armitar's son, Henry James, Jr. At that time he lived with his mother on Hammond Highway in New Orleans. He listed her name as Armitar Zeller, which indicates she had remarried. Henry filled out his draft card in November, 1949. Several public trees on Ancestry.com indicate Armitar died in the 1970s, but I have no proof of this.

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1920 US Federal Census, Census Place: Police Jury Ward 4, Lafayette, Louisiana; Roll: T625_615; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 36; Image: 504
1930 US Federal Census, Census Place: Police Jury War 7, East Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Roll: T792;  Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 29; Image: 716.0; FHL microfilm: 2340527
1940 US Federal Census, Census Place: Rayne, Acadia, Louisiana; Roll: T627_1377; Page: 23B; Enumeration District: 1-1
Alice (Muir) Jennings' Genealogy Notebook, page 9
US, Louisiana, Acadia Parish Marriage License Index, 1887-1999, 1930 Muir, Henry Jack - Alleman, Armitar
US, Louisiana, Second Registration Draft Cards, compiled 1948-1959, 1949 Muir, Henry James

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Photograph of Mary Frances (Canterbury) Muir Collins and Children

The following photograph was shared by Ancestry.com member Indiana.Janne. It is of Mary Frances (Canterbury) Muir Collins and two of her children, Mary Inez and Bill. I have been unable to find any information about Bill.

From left to right: Mary Inez Muir; her mother Mary Frances (Canterbury) Muir; and son, Bill.
I do not know if Bill was a son of Henry Muir or Lee Collins. The photo was likely taken
in West Virginia. Shared by Ancestry.com member Indiana.Janne
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'Mary Frances Canterbury with Children,' Ancestry.com

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Henry and Mary Frances (Canterbury) Muir Marriage Record

The McDowell County, West Virginia, marriage license and minister's return for Henry Muir and Mary Frances Canterbury. This document was acquired from the West Virginia Divison of Culture and History.

Henry Muir and Mary Frances Canterbury Marriage License;
personal collection

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US, West Virginia Marriage License, 1865-1969, 1921, page 314


2.12.3.1. Mary Frances Canterbury (1906-1971)

Mary Frances Canterbury was born on 23 February 1906 in Mingo County, West Virginia, to Howard or Homer and Nancy "Nannie" (Robertson) Canterbury. Her parents split up not long after Mary was born. Her mother remarried in 1913 and her father, in 1914. By 1920 Mary likely lived on the farm of George Rhodes in Big Sandy, West Virginia, where she worked as a farm servant.

She married Henry Muir on 3 July 1921 at Walls Creek, West Virginia. She was 16 years old and Henry was 18. The couple had a daughter, Mary Inez Muir, in late 1922 and they must have separated soon after. By 1926 Mary lived with or was married to Lee A. Collins and had a daughter. In 1930 Henry was in Louisiana and married to another woman.

When the 1930 census was enumerated, Mary lived in Sandy River, West Virginia, with Lee Collins, her daughter, Mary Inez, and two daughters, Irene and Laura, by Lee Collins. In 1940 she and Lee lived with his aunt and uncle in Hurricane, Virginia. Only their youngest daughter, born about 1930, remained at home.

Some time after 1940 Mary Frances and Lee divorced and Mary married Jeffrey Robin Hopkins and moved from southwest Virginia to Columbus, Ohio.

Mary Frances (Canterbury) Muir Collins Hopkins died on 20 December 1971 at her home in Columbus. She was buried at the Short Ridge Cemetery in Garland, West Virginia. Her former husband or partner, Lee Collins, died in 1964 in Chicago and Jeffrey Hopkins died in March 1984 in Avondale, West Virginia. He is also buried at Short Ridge Cemetery.

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1920 US Federal Census, Census Place: Big Sandy, Kanawha, West Virginia; Roll: T625_1957; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 66; Image: 81
1930 US Federal Census, Census Place: Sandy River, McDowell, West Virginia; Roll 2543; Page 6B; Enumeration District: 0048; Image: 1012.0; FHL microfilm: 234227
1940 US Federal Census, Census Place: Hurricane, Buchanan, Virginia; Roll: T627_4251; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 14-9
Global, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, 1971 Hopkins, Mary F.
US, Ohio Deaths, 1908-1932 and 1938-2007, Certificate: 091958; Volume: 20700
US, West Virginia, Birth Index, 1853-1969, 1906 Canterbury, Francie
US, West Virginia, Birth Registration, 1852, 1870-1871, and 1872-1914, 1906 Mingo County, Record 1A
US, West Virginia, Marriages Index, 1785-1971, 1921 Muir, Henry R. - Canterbury, Mary
US, West Virginia Marriage License, 1865-1969, 1921, page 314

Friday, June 12, 2015

Photographs of Henry "Jack" Muir

The following photographs were graciously shared with by Abby Muir, Henry's granddaughter:

Henry "Jack" Muir and his sister, Alice (Muir) Jennings

Henry "Jack" Muir with is nephew's family. From left to right: Schalene
(Jennings) Dagutis, Dorothy (Lange) Jennings, Charles Theodore Jennings,
John Edward Jennings, Henry "Jack" Muir

Henry "Jack" Muir and his daughter, Trudy

Henry "Jack" Muir, Sr. Obituary

MUIR
Henry J Muir Sr., on Saturday, May 24, 1986 at 7:29 a.m., beloved husband of the late Eppie Sevan Muir; father of Ellen Davis, Shirley, Barbara, Henry Jack Jr., Trudy, Bobbie, Alex and Carol Swafford; also survived by 19 grandchildren.

Relatives and friends of the family, are invited to attend the funeral. Memorial services will be conducted at the Gretna Home of Leitz-Eagan Funeral Home, 919 Amelia Avenue, Gretna, on Sunday, May 25, 1986 at 7 p.m. Parlors will be open after 6 p.m. Sunday.

NOTE: I do not know anything about Ellen Davis. Carol Swafford, who is mentioned in Eppa (Swan) Childs Muir's obituary as Carol Swassard is a daughter of Eppa's from a previous relationship.

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Times-Picayune, 25 May 1986

2.12.3.1. Henry "Jack" Muir (1903-1986)

Before I begin, I should mention that Henry Muir has been one of the toughest people I've researched. He changed his first name, provided different birth years and locations on various forms, and lost touch with his full sister, my grandmother, Alice (Muir) Jennings, for several years. Much of this biography will be filled with caveats.

Henry was born on 29 May 1903 likely in Adair County, Missouri, to Robert and Ida Mae (Riggin) Muir. He was their oldest child, born seven months after their marriage. Later in life Henry used 1899 as his year of birth, but I do not believe that is possible because his parents had not yet met. Henry almost always provided Missouri as his state of birth. However, in 1940, his wife told the census enumerator he was born in 1910 in Illinois. He was also going by Jack Muir, which he began to do sometime before 1930. Henry married for the first time in 1921; he was 18. At that time he provided his correct age and what I believe to be his correct place of birth. I did find it sad that he did not know his mother's name.

Perhaps it's understandable. His mother in 1909 died of tuberculosis when he was six years old. The next year, when the census was enumerated, Henry lived with his recently widowed father and younger sister. They lived in a rented house in O'Fallon, Illinois, next door to his paternal grandmother and her youngest daughter, Janie. I imagine "Grandmum Maggie" as my grandmother called her, helped her son with his children when he was working in the coal mines.

In 1911 Henry's father remarried and his second wife had three of their four children by 1920. The entire family and Henry remain hidden in the 1920 census. Henry's younger sister, Alice, lived with Grandmum Maggie. Henry's third half-sibling was born in West Virginia, so I believe the family lived there even if they cannot be found in the 1920 census.

On 29 June 1921, 18-year-old Henry and 16-year-old Mary Frances Canterbury got a marriage license. He lived in Walls Creek, West Virginia, and worked as a laborer. He signed his name as Henry R. Muir, the only time I have seen a middle initial. They were married in Walls Creek on 3 July 1921.

Henry and Mary Frances had a daugther, Mary Inez Muir on 8 November 1922 in Buchanan County, Virginia. Some time before 1926 Henry left the family. The 1930 census was enumerated in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on 14 April 1930. At that time he was likely married to Armitar. Henry, who was now going by Jack Muir, worked as an electrician.

Henry's sister, Alice, always said Henry did not like his step-mother. She believed they got into a fight and Henry hit her, knocking her unconscious. He thought he killed her and fled. I always supposed it to be a family legend my Grandma made up to explain why she was not included in her father's life much after he remarried. Perhaps it is true and explains why Henry started going by Jack Muir. We just don't know.

Henry and Armitar got a marriage license on 24 February 1930 in Acadia Parish, but no for the marriage date exists in available records. In 1935 Henry "Jack" and Armitar lived in Los Angeles, California. The next year Henry "Jack" was listed in the Los Angeles city directory as living at 1008 West 11th Street. No occupation was listed.

By 1940 the family was back in Louisiana and lived Rayne, the town of Armitar's birth. Henry worked as a truck driver.

Henry had a daughter, Trudy Muir, in 1953. I do not know who her mother was. His obituary also listed two other daughters: Ellen Davis and Carol Swafford. I know nothing about them at this time.

In 1951 Henry "Jack" Muir filed a civil suit against Samuel S. Seither, et al. A joint compromise was reached in August. $220 was exchanged but I do not know who paid whom. This lawsuit was reported in the Times-Picayune.

Some time after 1953 Henry "Jack" began a relationship or married Eppa "Eppie" (Swan) Childs. She was killed in an accident involving a tractor-tailor truck in 1975, according to a granddaughter of Henry's. They were together as a couple nearly 30 years, likely the longest of any of his relationships.

Robert Muir, the father of Henry "Jack," died in 1956 and it was some time after this that Alice (Muir) Jennings, Henry's only full sister found him. They visited each other a few times, once according to my cousin, Joann, about 1962 or 1963 when Henry traveled to Maryland, just after Grandma had retired. Another visit occurred when Alice (Muir) Jennings traveled to Louisiana not long before his death.

Henry "Jack" married for the third time to Edith Mary (Davenport) Samples in May 1979 in St. Bernard Parish courthouse. Henry lived in Kenilworth, Louisiana, and Edith was from St. Louis. They planned a month-long honeymoon along the Mississippi gulf coast, which I just love.

Henry Muir and Edith (Davenport) Samples Wedding, unknown newspaper,
30 May 1979; courtesy of  Wanda Morrow

Henry "Jack" Muir died on 24 May 1986 just five days before his 84th birthday in Gretna, Louisiana. I do not know if Edith survived him or had already died. His funeral was held the next day in Gretna, but I do not know if or where he was buried.

I want to thank the many grandchildren of Henry "Jack" Muir, who have reached out to me over the years through, Ancestry.com, my Tangled Roots and Trees Facebook page, by email and telephone. I would not know this much about my grand uncle's life without their input. I also have a Semple cousin from New Zealand, who seems to be as obsessed about genealogy as I am. She is much better at Google searches than me and we have so enjoyed getting to know each other and collaborating on our shared family research. While Dad was able to communicate, he was so pleased to learn about these discoveries.

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1910 US Federal Census, Census Place: O'Fallon, St Clair, Illinois; T624_323; Page; 4A; Enumeration District: 0155; Image 641; FHL microfilm: 1374336
1930 US Federal Census, Census Place: Police Jury Ward 7, East Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Roll:792; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 29; Image: 716.0; FHL microfilm: 2340527
1940 US Federal Census, Census Place: Rayne, Acadia, Louisiana; Roll: T627_1377; Page: 23B; Enumeration District: 1-1
Alice (Muir) Jennings Genealogy Notebook, pages 8-9
Times-Picayune, 25 May 1986
Unknown Newspaper, 30 May 1979
US, City Directories, 1821-1989, 1936 Los Angeles, CA (Henry Muir)
US, Louisiana, Acadia Parish Marriage License Index, 1887-1999, 1930 Muir, Henry Jack - Alleman, Armitar
US, Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Number: 439-07-6122; State: Louisiana
US, Tennessee Probate Court, 1957 Settlement of the Estate of Robert Mur, Sr. (Deceased)
US, West Virginia Marriages Index, 1785-1971, 1921 Muir, Henry R. - Canterbury, Mary Frances
US, West Virginia Marriage License, 1865-1969, 1921, page 314

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Alice (Muir) Jennings' Genealogy Notebook

My grandmother, Alice (Muir) Jennings, kept a notebook full of 39 pages of genealogical information about the families of James Muir and Margaret Semple. She must have begun asking questions when her grandmother, Margaret (Semple) Muir, was still alive. She worked often with her cousin Robert (Caswell) Fullerton and was able to connect with cousins in Scotland, whom she visited in the 1970s when her son, Marvin Edward Jennings, Jr., was stationed in Europe.

I believe Grandma got her thirst for family history because her mother died when she was three years old and she was raised by her grandmother. She knew very little about her brother's life or that of her half siblings. She always wanted to know more.

Before Grandma died in 1993 her son and my father, Charles Theodore Jennings, began researching the Muir and Riggin families. He was able to find out a great deal about the Riggin family, who came to the U.S. from Ireland in the 1640s. However, the Muir family remained a mystery because it was not possible for him to access Scottish records before the Internet.

I promised Dad when his health and mental capacity made researching impossible that I would take over his 30+-year effort. I have enjoyed every minute of the time I have spent learning more about Dad's Scottish Muir family. I have many descendants to thank for the information included in this blog and book. To a person they have all been very open and helpful. Many of them are as curious as I am to learn more about the Muir family. Without their help, I would never have been as successful as I have been to date.

As an example, this is the sum total of information my Grandma had about her brother, Henry "Jack" Muir, Sr.

Page 9 of Grandma's Genealogy Notebook, the sum total I knew about her brother when
I started researching the Muir family; from my personal collection

I believe there are still many gaps in our combined knowledge and ask that anyone who reads this contact me using the contact form on this blog to provide any information they feel comfortable sharing.

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'Alice (Muir) Jennings Genealogy Notebook, page 9,' Personal collection

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Photograph of Robert and Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir Family

This photograph is of the children of Robert Muir and his second wife, Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir and was graciously shared by Faye (Muir) West.

From left to right: Robert Muir, Jr.; Henrietta Muir; Verna Muir;
Margaret Muir (standing in front of Verna); Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir; and
Robert Muir. From the personal collection of Fay (Muir) West

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'Robert and Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir and children,' personal collection of Faye (Muir) West

Children of Robert Muir and His Wives

2.12.3.1. Henry Muir (1903-1986)

The lives of Henry Muir and his several wives will be covered in future posts.

2.12.3.2. Alice Muir (1906-1993)

The lives of Alice Muir and her husband, Marvin Edward Jennings, will be covered in future posts.

2.12.3.3. Robert Muir, Jr. (1912-1959)

The lives of Robert Muir, Jr., and his wives, 1) Sadie Viola Cline and 2) Carrie, (maiden name unknown) will be covered in future posts.

2.12.3.4. Verna Muir (1917-2010)

The lives of Verna Muir and her husband, Franz "Frank" Burglecher, will be covered in future posts.

2.12.3.5. Henrietta Muir (1920-2008)

The life of Henrietta Muir will be covered in a future post.

2.12.3.6. Margaret Muir (1924-1993)

The lives of Margaret Muir and her husband, Roy Cecil Hess, will be covered in future posts.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Four Generations of Fausz Women

This photograph was shared with me by my cousin and granddaughter of Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir.

Margaret (Dietrich) Fausz, Liz's mother; Liz (Fausz) Muir holding her
granddaughter, Mary Burglechner; and Verna (Muir) Burglechner, Liz's
daughter; photograph from the personal collection of Faye (Muir) West

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'Four Generations of Fausz Women,' personal collection of Faye (Muir) West

Photographs of Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir

These photographs of Elizabeth "Liz" (Fausz) Muir were generously shared by my cousin and Liz's granddaughter, Faye (Muir) West.

Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir; photograph from the personal collection of Faye (Muir) West

Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir with her daughter, Verna; photograph from the
collection of Faye (Muir) West

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'Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir,' personal collection of Faye (Muir) West
'Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir and Verna,' personal collection of Faye (Muir) West

Monday, June 8, 2015

Robert and Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir

This photograph of Robert Muir and Elizabeth Fausz was likely taken on their wedding day on 26 September 1911. It was generously shared by Faye (Muir) West.

Robert Muir and Elizabeth Fausz

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'Robert Muir and Elizabeth Fausz,' personal collection of Faye (Muir) West

2.12.3. Elizabeth Fausz (1894-1940)

Elizabeth "Liz" Fausz was born on 26 May 1894 in Caseyville, Illinois, to Peter and Margaret (Dietrich) Fausz. She was their seventh known child. Her paternal grandfather had immigrated to the U.S. from France but her other grandparents had all immigrated from regions of Europe that became Germany in 1871. In 1900 Liz's father rented a farm in Caseyville, but two older brothers worked as coal miners. In 1910 Liz was 16. She lived on the farm with her parents but was no longer attending school or working.

She married widower, Robert Muir, on 26 September 1911 in St. Louis, Missouri. She had her first son, Robert Muir, Jr., on 7 January 1912 and the couple had three more children together.

For most of her married life, Liz lived at 436 North 80th Street in East St. Louis, Illinois, while, according to my grandmother, her husband traveled to coal mines up and down Appalachia, organizing miners. I have not been able to find the family in the 1920 census but their third child was born in Tralee, West Virginia, in 1920. So I assume the family lived there for some period of time.

The 1926, 1928 and 1930 city directories for East St. Louis indicated the couple maintained a home in that city, the one at 436 North 80th Street. When the 1930 census was enumerated, Liz was living there with her three daughters and mother and worked as a cook for a private family. She told the enumerator she was married but Robert Muir and his son were not included in the list of people living in the home.

When the 1940 census was taken on 29 May, Liz and her youngest daughter, Margaret, were boarders in the home of P. J. Walker, which was located near her husband's home at 473 North 80th Street. She indicated she was divorced.

Elizabeth (Fausz) Muir died at the age of 46 on 24 September 1940 at Wood River, Illinois. Her usual residence was East St. Louis, Illinois, and she was divorced from Robert Muir at the time of her death.

She was buried on 27 September 1940 in the Caseyville Cemetery, which was located in the town of her birth, Caseyville, Illinois.

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1900 US Federal Census, Census Place: Caseyville, St. Clair, Illinois; Roll: 340; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0088; FHL microfilm: 1240340
1910 US Federal Census, Census Place: Caseyville, St. Clair, Illinois; Roll: T624_321; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 0099; FHL microfilm: 1374334
1930 US Federal Census, Census Place: Centerville, St. Clair, Illinois; Roll: 555; Page: 40B; Enumeration District: 34; Image: 984.0; FHL microfilm: 2340290
1940 US Federal Census, Census Place: Signal Hill, St. Clair, Illinois; Roll: T627_879; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 82-35
Alice (Muir) Jennings' Genealogy Notebook, page 8
US, City Directories, 1821-1989, 1926 East St. Louis, IL (Muir, Liz)
US, City Directories, 1821-1989, 1928 East St. Louis, IL (Muir, Liz)
US, City Directories, 1821-1989, 1930 East St. Louis, IL (Muir, Liz)
US, Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947, 1940 Muir, Elizabeth
US, Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002, 1911 Muir, Robert - Fausz, Elizabeth

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Great Cyclone of 1896

Ida Mae Riggin was born in 1879 in Troy, Illinois, 17 miles northeast of East St. Louis. She was 17 when the Great Cyclone of 1896 hit the city across the Mississippi from St. Louis.

On 27 May 1896 a series of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes struck the central Midwest. The "cyclone" that hit St. Louis and East St. Louis was a historic tornado that is still considered the third deadliest and most costly tornado to strike the U.S.

Electric train car blown off a bridge in East St. Louis

The tornado spawned from a supercell; it touched down in St. Louis first and then crossed the river into East St Louis. At least 255 people were killed in the two cities that afternoon, including 35 at the Vandalia railroad freight yards. Many more may have been killed as several steam ships were destroyed in the Mississippi river and bodies were never recovered.

Many of my ancestors lived in nearby Madison County as well as in St. Clair County and East St. Louis at the time the great cyclone hit. According to The Great Cyclone at St. Louis and East St. Louis by Julian Curzon published in 1896, "Nearly half of East St. Louis was wrecked. The damage was done in a few minutes' time, and how anyone in the path of the cyclone escaped is a mystery to all who passed over the devastated section."

Courthouse in East St. Louis

"A law case was being tried in the court house. When the storm clouds began to gather, the foreman of the jury implored the judge to discharge them. The court house at the time was being shaken by the wind. Five minutes after the jury departed for their homes, the courthouse was destroyed by the tornado."

Eads bridge (view from East St. Louis)

"The scene from the Eads bridge resembled a battlefield. The dead and dying were removed from the ruins by willing workers, and the burning mills and warehouses lighted their funeral pyres with a distinctness that added horror to the awful scene." Rescuers and clean-up crews found a 2x10 wooden plank driven through a wrought iron plate.

Grain elevator on the Mississippi river levee in East St. Louis

"The wind struck the levee just north of the East St. Louis elevator about 5:30 p.m. The wharf at Wiggins Ferry was the first to suffer, and it was thrown far up on the levee."

National Hotel in East St. Louis

"At the hotels panic prevailed. Women ran from one room to another, and along the corridors, screaming and seeking protection. Men who had faced almost every peril were powerless to comfort them. One glance from the window told them that the storm was one of greater force than any they had gone through or even contemplated. The strongest of them trembled and there were none who pretended they had a reasonable hope of escaping alive."

Martell bridge in East St. Louis

"When the dawn came it was possible to see the devastation wrought by the storm in East St Louis. The sky was clear, and the beauty of the morning strkingly contrasted with the scene of desolation that was disclosed. On the river bank, from Kehlor's mill on the south to the elevators on the north, not a house was standing. These huge structures and the cold storage company's plant were badly damaged. The river bank was was lined with the wrecks of boats.

With the river banks as the base, the entire triangle formed by what is called the Island, there is not a whole house standing. Even the Relay Depot had its corners broken and two huge roundhouses were shaved off below the tops of the middle of the locomotives which stood within them."

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'Courthouse in East St. Louis,' The Great Cyclone at St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896
'Eads bridge,' The Great Cyclone at St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896
'Electric train car blown off bridge,' The Great Cyclone at St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896
'Grain elevator on the Mississippi River,' The Great Cyclone at St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896
'Martell bridge,' The Great Cyclone at St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896
'National Hotel,' The Great Cyclone at St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896
Curzon, Julian (compiler and editor). The Great Cyclone at St. Louis and East St. Louis, May 27, 1896, (St. Louis, MO: Cyclone Publishing Co., 1896), pages 1-416