Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ongoing mystery of Richard Berry Keeney's first wife

This was a genealogical problem that I didn't realize that I had until I read my ancestor Eva Keeney Smith Combs's obituary.

"She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Oren; two sons, William A Smith and Clyde Willard Combs; two grandchildren, Mrs. Hugh (Marjorie) Gilliland and Kenneth Ray  Combs; three great-grandchildren, Ronald Joseph Farrell, Mary Ann Patten and Connie Jean Rhinehart; eight brothers, Earnest, Elmer, Edgar, Clarence, Clyde, Claude, Roy and Fred Keeney; and two half-brothers, Willie and Bert Keeney"

I had never heard of there being two half-brothers - nor a first marriage at all.

Richard Berry Keeney married Eva's mother Anna Robison on the 14th of October 1880 in Belton, Cass County, Missouri.  Anna's family lived in Johnson County, Kansas in the 1880 census.  Her father Richard Keeney does not appear in the 1880 census that I can find.  And believe me, I have looked aplenty.

I have yet to find marriage records for his first marriage or for his brother Elbert James Keeney's (well-documented otherwise) marriage to Annie McKown in 1878, so I suspect lost marriage records from the place/time the marriages took place.

So, I began looking for Willie's and Bert's Keeney and pretty quickly came across:

State Washington
County Chehalis
City of Hoquiam, 3d Ward, S.D. 2? E.D. 29, Sheet No. 3A/49A
16 April 1910 by Lee Carlton
410 M Street
line 45, 58/58 KEENEY Bert J head WM 33 M1 9 Missouri Missouri Missoura Teamster/Livery barn Rents House
Emma L. wife WF 28 M1 9 2/2 Kansas Penn. Penn.
Orvil R son MW 7 S Kansas Missoura Kansas
Glenn J son MW 2 S Washington Missouri Kansas

and also:

Kansas Marriages
KEENEY Bert J / McCRAY Emma 06-20-1900 Crawford Co., KS

So, a Bert born in Missouri and married in a part of Kansas where Richard and Anna Robison Keeney had lived.  Their first son Ernest Elzie Keeney was born and died 1881-1885 in Crawford County, Kansas.  So far, so good.

Then, something that didn't fit:

record title: Washington Death Certificates, 1907-1960
name: Bert J. Keeney
death date: 12 Sep 1933
death place: Hoquiam, Grays Harbor, Washington
gender: Male
age at death: 57 years 1 month 25 days
estimated birth year: 1876
marital status: Married
spouse's name: Emma Keeney
father's name: Joseph Keeney
volume/page/certificate number: 34


Then I went looking for this Bert son of Joseph.  There is only one Joseph Keeney with a (nearly) appropriate 'Bert'.  The Joseph and Miriam Evans Keeney family has a son in the 1880 census named Gilbert O. Keeney b. 1874.  But I found Gilbert O. Keeney b. Jun 1873 in Missouri in the Phillipines in 1900 census with the Hospital Corps of the US Army.  Not this 'Bert'.  I cannot find a 'Bert' in 1880 that matches this one and is not otherwise documented.

Then I found this note from Roscoe Keeney's Keeney Update, Dec. 2004:
noted 9 Mar 2013
Roscoe Keeney includes notes from the 1920 Washington State Census that state:
“BERT J. KEENEY 42 Gray’s Harbor s/o Elbert James Keeney of Cass Co. MO; Emma 39 KS, Orval 17 KS and Glenn 11 b. WA”

Okay, now.

Elbert is well documented with lots of kids.  His only (known) marriage was in 1878 and here he is in the 1880 census:, 1880 United States Census,
[Household: Couple houses down from his Uncle Isaac Keeney]
Albert KEENEY Self M Male W 22 MO Farmer KY KY,
Ann KEENEY Wife M Female W 19 MO Keeping House MO MO,
Source Information: Census Place Washington, Jackson, Missouri, Family History Library Film: 1254694, NA Film Number: T9-0694, Page Number: 250B.

There is not one census in which Bert J. Keeney appears with Elbert and family, and, in 1891 Elbert and Annie had a son and named him Elbert Earl Keeney - and they called him 'Bert'.  So, I'm pretty sure that's wrong.  But the near miss just makes me think I really am on the right track.  This IS the son of Richard Berry Keeney and his unknown first wife.

But my real question is: who was she?

His death record as transcribed appears to have nothing (the index does not link to an image of the original document at this time).

His World War I Draft Registration form on shows his full name as Bert Jacob Keeney.  Jacob was Richard B. Keeney's father's name.

I am utterly convinced this is Richard's son, am completely unable to prove it and am also unable to find out who his mother was.

There has been no sign of an appropriate "Willie" at all, though I wasn't terribly surprised at this as the nickname would seem to suggest a boy who died young.

And there it sits.  Sigh.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Another census puzzler

I've been browsing the 1940 census and finally found this family - but look how tricky they made it!

This is the family in 1930:

State Iowa
County Mahaska
Oskaloosa City, Fourth Ward
e.d. 62-18, s.d. 12, Sheet No. 21A/168A
April 23, 1930 by Elizabeth O'Rourke
524 North 4th Street
line 5, 538/569 MILLER Charles Head O $3000 R MW 43 M 23 no/yes Iowa Ohio Iowa machinist/R.R. Roundhouse
Roxy Wife-H FW 41 M 20 no/yes Iowa Iowa Iowa
Eugene Son MW 16 S yes/yes Iowa Iowa Iowa
Aletha Daughter FW 14 S yes/yes Iowa Iowa Iowa
Redonda Daughter FW 7 S yes/ Iowa Iowa Iowa
Dewayne Son MW 5 S yes/ Iowa Iowa Iowa
Here they are in 1940:
State Iowa
County Mahaska County
Oskaloosa City, 4th Ward
Oskaloosa Twp.
Silent Rest Tourist Home
s.d. 5, e.d. 62-21, Sheet No. 81A/236A
April 8, 1940 by Thomas K. Farmer
The following persons were enumerated in the "Modern Rest Tourist Home" 409 High Ave East Oskaloosa Iowa
line 6 409 T O 4000 No WILLIAMS Charles E. Head MW 53 M No H2 Iowa Same Place 40hrs Machinist/Railway Shope 52wks 1740 yes
Roxie B. wife FW 51 M No H2 Iowa Same Place
Rhodanda Daughter FW 17 S yes H3 Iowa Same Place
Dewayne Son MW 15 S yes H2 Iowa Same Place
NEWTON Leo Head MW 37 M No 8 Iowa R Ogallala Nebraska 32hrs Drag line operator/Coal Mine 52wks 1800 No
Marie Wife FW 33 M No H2 Missouri R Ogallala Nebraska
Alice Daughter FW 16 S yes H2 Iowa R Ogallala Nebraska
Wayne Son MW 12 S yes 5 Iowa R Ogallala Nebraska
Leona May Daughter FW 4 S No 3 Nebraska
I mean, I think it's them...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nancy Missouri Slinker

This is all I have had on Nancy Missouri Slinker for some time:

County of Metcalfe, State of Kentucky,
Page No. 58/[866],
22 June 1860 by Dory Nell,
P.O. Eastfork
[near John (son of Frederick and Susannah) and Mary Grimes Slinker],
line 7, 381/381 Missouri SLINKER 41 F House Keeper Ky,
Narsette 19 F do [Ky],
John N. 17 M Day Laborer do [Ky]
Joseph 15 M do [Ky]
Susannah 13 F do [Ky]
Kindrick 10 M do [Ky]
Alonzo D 7 M do [Ky]
Samuel D 2 M do [Ky]
Then I found this:
Kentucky Death Records, 1852-1953,
Name: Narsetta Green Jewell
Death Date: 29 Dec 1914
Death Location: Muhlenberg
Residence Location: Muhlenberg
Age: 75
Gender: Female
Ethnicity: White
Birth Date: 14 Mar 1839
Birth Location: Hart, Kentucky
Mother's Name: Nancy Misoura Slinker
Mother's Birth Location: Hart, Kentucky 
I found someone online who said that Missouri's son Samuel D. Slinker [later Sinclair] had parents noted on his death certificate as "Kixon Sin Clair" and "Nancy M. Smith".

So the question is, who was right?

I believe the answer is a qualified yes...

I found this record:
Kentucky Births and Christenings, 1839-1960
noted 13 Feb 2012
name: Lewis V. Smith
gender: Male
birth date: 21 Mar 1858
birthplace: Barren, Kentucky
father's name: Thomas D. Smith
mother's name: Missouria Slinker
indexing project (batch) number: C01993-6
system origin: Kentucky-EASy
source film number: 216816
I believe it is actually Samuel D. Slinker/Sinclair's birth record.

And it would make his parents not Kixon Sinclair and Nancy M. Smith, but Thomas Dixon Smith and Nancy Missouri Slinker.

These are close enough that I am comfortable making the leap in logic.

If I found that Samuel's birthdate was near 21 Mar 1858, I would be entirely convinced.

I am now adding Missouri as one of Lewis Slinker and Cenia Slinker Slinkers's missing daughters, but only because no one else appears to be missing a daughter in the right age range.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Uncle Claude remembers stories

Claude Brown of Noel, Mo “remembers stories”
[undated, unsigned transcript]

Old Joe Hendry who was a brother of great grandma Sarah Hendry
Brown [actually a nephew, son of William and Nancy Carter Hendry],
was shot in Henry hollow (4) by his son-in-law then some
say the son-in-law then shot himself in the yard.  the family waited
untill daylight and found him. Others say he was shot by the family
after he shot Joe Hendry.  Joe Hendry had a son named Jim and he
and Joe fell out.  Jim went to hunt his dad down to kill him and
when he fired the gun blew up and Jim Hendry lost his arm because
of it.  Joe Hendry and Uncle Henry Brown ran around together during
the civil war and made moon shine whiskey untill Uncle Henry came
to Arkansas. I talked to one of Uncle Henrys nieces and she said her
dad Uncle Will Brown told her that he and Uncle Henry were scouting
during the civil war and heard some southern soldiers comming so
they hid in the brush and waited then Uncle Henry shot both of the
soldiers and cut their heads off and hung them on a sapling.  Uncle
will was just a small boy and was almost scared to death.  A year or
two later he past the place and the limbs had sprouted and grew
around the heads still hanging there. I visited Hendry hollow and
saw the Hendry place.  Uncle henry later lived on Brown’s mountain
(6) untill he came to Arkansas.

Uncle Henry’s boy Will got in to some slight misunderstanding with
the law and hit out for Kentucky wher he lived for some time. While
there he had a disagreement with a fellow and when Will was talking
to a neighbor one day this fellow come along and being drunk he
had a notion he would just cut Will’s head off or his liver out
and feed it to the dogs. Will run around the house while the man
he was talking to keep telling him that the man would kill him.
Finally the man threw Wll a gun and he killed the fellow.  The man
talking to Will was afraid to testifie and will went to the penin
[blank] for life and died there.  Either some one went and got him or
he was shiped back and burried on Brown’s mountain. I talked to his
son in Greenville about July 4, 1974 and he had just put a tumbstone
up for his dad. The Grave is at the point of Brown’s mountain the
back toward Baileyton at the head of a hollow. This is where uncle
Henry lived along with Ramsey Harris when he came to Arkansas.

The old timers still tell how mean old Joe and Jim Hendry were.
One of the old timers told me he found one of the old pistols
where Joe and some of his folks were having a battle years after
but after he washed it and oiled it years later someone stold it.
I would like to have had it. It was the old musle loading type.

Grandma Mathilda Brown’s old home place has been bulldosed down
for the new interstate 81 which has been finished to Bullsgap.
We saw it before it was taken down but the old house was long
since gone with a few of the chimney bricks left. It was reported to
us by a niece, Uncle Matt Pierce’s granddaughter that Great grandpa
Jimmy Pierce was a law-in-forcement officer at that time. We were
unable to find his burial place but all the rest of the emediate
family were buried at Mt.Carmel where grandma Brown went to church.

The following is a list of Pierces buried at Mt. Carmel:

W.E (Willie) Pierce-1884-1965 -Nephew Grandma’s
Ova Jeffer Pierce-1893-1918-Willie’s wife- I had meet both of these.
Joel N. Pierce -1882-1918
H.M (Matt) Pierce -1854-1924-Grandma’s brother
Louise Hendry Pierce -1862-1913
Guy Pierce 1902-1966 - Teddy Pierce 1941-1965
Willie Pierce 1907-1957 Chas Pierce 1883-1959 wife Ida -1884-1952
Chas B Pierce 1887-1942

Thursday, October 20, 2011

cemetery limbo

How is it possible that no one is responsible for fixing this problem?  Really incredible:

A concrete burial vault still protrudes from the bank near the top of the ravine. A 5-inch-high hole in the dirt shows where animals have been digging. A few yards down the steep slope, bits of rusty hardware, possibly from an old coffin, sit next to what appears to be the end of a human leg bone. A couple of pieces of other bones peek out from under fallen leaves. 
“It’s just a heck of a mess,” said Phil Berglund, a Yell Township trustee who oversees the cemetery’s maintenance. Berglund said his little township can’t afford to stabilize the ravine, and a proposal to move graves away from the edge is snarled in bureaucratic red tape. “This is a problem that is beyond us,” he said.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Ahhhh, middle names

I'm not sure why they are so important to me (and not just me).

As a way of confirming you have the right John A. Smith?  Or in may case, the right Robert N. Scott?

But I'm still pleased as punch to have found that he is Robert Newton Scott.  The only place he admitted it was an application to the Missouri Confederate Home that specifically said you could not abbreviate names on the application.

I also have the ancestor that we all thought was named Robert Walker Jackson, until a family bible turned up showing he was named Robert William Jackson.  I'm still not sure when the idea that Walker was his middle name crept in.  He was a man who liked to use R.W. Jackson for most everything he signed.

And then there's Martha A. Davison.  One researcher's uncle said the middle name was Avarilla and she used it to mark her work (so she could see who was using her research unattributed) although she thought he was a pretty unreliable source.  I had seen a family note that it was Ann, but now I can't find it again, so for now I leave it "A.".

Now, if only someone made my Elmer J. Gilbreath admit what his middle name was, maybe I can relax.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Finally found her: May Belle Green Inman

Amongst the papers my grandmother shared with me about her family was this story written by her aunt:

"Belle married a Mr. Green from Fulton, [Fulton Co.] Ky.  (His family raised race horses).  They came to near Lamar, [Barton Co.] Mo.  She died in child birth.  Mr. Green took the baby girl and went back to Kentucky." 
-Jessie Mae Jackson
 Belle was Lucy M. Arabella R. B. "Belle" Jackson.  Her full name will surely never be known as the family bible contained nothing but initials.  The other names that filled in the gaps are all from census records.  A little digging and I found her marriage to "J.R. Green" MAY 28, 1873 by J.M. Spence, M.G., in Weakley County, Tennessee.

I'd always wanted to track down Mr. Green and the daughter and thanks to one of my favorite databases, the Tennessee Death Records at, I finally have:

Tennessee, Death Records, 1914-1955
noted 24 Sep 2011
name: May Belle Inmann
event: Death
event date: 28 Apr 1943
event place: Union City, Obion, Tennessee
gender: Female
marital status: Married
race or color: White
age: 64
birth date: 31 Aug 1878
birthplace: Joplin, Mo
spouse: W J Inman
father: Jim Green
father's birthplace: Mo Or Ky
mother: Belle Jackson
mother's birthplace: Mo Or Ky
occupation: Hw
street address: RFD #3
residence: Obion Co, Tenn
cemetery: Beulah
burial place: Union City, Tenn
burial date: 29 Apr 1943
additional relatives: X
digital folder number: 4184876
volume/page/certificate number: cn 8076
No question that it is her.

So, no special skill this time.  No unravelled puzzle.  Just diligently looking and never giving up.  These databases are so amazing.  It's hard to remember that you had to know where to look before you could really get started...

I'm having trouble finding out very much about May or her husband.  I have found them in only one census, with May's half-sister Dolly living with them:

State Kentucky
County Hickman
McAlister Magistereal Dist
s.d. 1?, e.d.  50, Sheet No. 108?A/89A
20th? June 1900 James [smudged]
line 1, 196/200 INMAN W J head WM Dec 1875 24 M 1 Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee Farmer Rents Farm
M B wife WF Aug 1879 20 M 1 0/0 Missouri Kentucky Missouri
GREEN Dolly Sister WF Mar 1885 15 S Kentucky Kentucky Kentucky attended school 5 months
WILLIAMS Dolphus laborer WM about 26 S Kentucky Tennessee Kentucky Farm laborer unemployed 4 months
But I'm sure I'll find more.  I'm just excited that one of my oldest and biggest mysteries is solved.  Now on to a few others...