Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And Now, A Tale of Two Edna's

Now this story can be a little confusing, so try and keep up.

Edna May Becker (my grandmother) was born 8 Jun 1898 in Great Bend, Barton Co., Kansas. She was the daughter of Johann (John) Joseph "Joe" and Emma Cornelia (Strait) Becker. She was the youngest of nine children born to Joe and Emma Becker. On 23 Dec 1914, she married Ray Ross Smith in Great Bend, Barton Co., Kansas. They had 11 children: Leo Undine, Maurine Maxine, Ellis Wayne, Veva Delfreda, Ray Ross, Jr. (my dad), Wilmer LaVerne, Cecil Eugene, Nola Katherine, Shirley Ann, Carolyn Jean and John Franklyn.

Edna Mae Smith (my Aunt) was born 6 Nov 1892 in Hoisington, Barton Co., Kansas. She was the daughter of John Franklin and Emma Delphenia (Baldwin) Smith. She was the youngest of nine children born to John and Emma Smith. On 17 Sep 1913, she married Albert Leo Becker in Great Bend, Barton Co., Kansas. They had one child, Winnis Albert.

So, what's so confusing about all this?

Well, Edna May Becker married Edna Mae Smith's brother, Ray Ross and Edna Mae Smith married Edna May Becker's brother, Albert Leo. Got all that?

Did you notice the other weird thing about all this? Edna May Becker and Edna Mae Smith were both the youngest of nine children. Check out my story "A Tale of Two Emma's".

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Tale of Two Emma's

Emma Delphenia Baldwin (my great-grandmother) was born 26 Mar 1855 in Seymour, Wayne Co., Iowa. She was the daughter of William Alonzo and Clarissa Rebecca (Cook) Baldwin, Sr. Emma grew up in Seymour. On 19 Jan 1873, she married John Franklin Smith in Appanoose Co., Iowa. They had nine children: Etta Delphenia, William Orvis, Viola Anastasia, Alvie Adolphus, Franklin Phosent, Clara Ellen, John Orton, Ray Ross (my grandfather), and Edna Mae. In 1879, the family moved to Kansas where they homesteaded northwest of Great Bend, Barton Co., Kansas. In 1919, they moved into Great Bend. She became a member of the Christian Church in Hoisington, Barton Co., Kansas. John Franklin died 16 Nov 1923 in Great Bend, Barton Co., Kansas and was buried in Walnut Valley Cemetery, Barton Co., Kansas. Emma died 20 Oct 1947 in Great Bend, Barton Co., Kansas and is buried in Walnut Valley Cemetery alongside her husband, John Franklin.

Emma Cornelia Strait (my great-grandmother) was born 10 Sep 1867 in Springfield, Sangamon Co., Illinois. She was the daughter of James S. and Rachel (King) Strait. She came to Kansas in 1878 with her parents. She was a member of the Baptist church. On 26 Aug 1884, she married Johann (John) Joseph "Joe" Becker in Hodgeman, Ness Co., Kansas. They had nine children: Joseph Frederick, William, Nannie, Mable Mary, Mathilda, Albert Leo, Lewis Lewelling, Esta Leona and Edna May (my grandmother). Emma died 3 Dec 1920 in Eureka Twp., Barton Co., Kansas and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery (now Great Bend Cemetery). Joe d. 15 Sep 1944 in Great Bend, Barton Co., Kansas and is buried alongside his wife, Emma.

Notice anything weird about this information (besides the fact that they are both named Emma)? How about the fact that they each had nine children.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my great-grandmother,
Emma Delphenia (Baldwin) Smith,
b. 26 Mar 1855.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Madness Monday

The one that's got me currently pulling my hair out and gnashing my teeth are my great-great-great grandparents, Samuel S. and Mary "Polly" (Conkright) Roberts.

Can't seem to find a lot on either one of them and have never been able to figure out who their parents are or where they actually came from.

Research I have found so far has Samuel S. Roberts being born abt 1790 in either New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Ireland. Boy is that a wide variety of places. I'm tending to lean toward the New York location but have nothing that really supports that notion. I have his death as sometime before 1850 in Athens Co., Ohio, possibly in the town of Carthage. Do not know where he is buried so have not even been able to look for a tombstone. I found him in the 1840 census for Carthage, Athens Co., Ohio, but he does not appear in any subsequent census records so figure that he died before the 1850 census was enumerated.

I have Mary "Polly" Conkright born abt 1794 in either Ireland, New York or New Jersey. Again I'm leaning towards New York, because that's what the census records say. She apparently died in Colorado abt 1880 because she doesn't appear in the 1880 census. I also don't know where she is buried so have not been able to look for her tombstone either.

The one fact that I do know for sure is that Samuel S. Roberts and Mary "Polly" Conkright were married 25 Jun 1820 in Bath Twp., Steuben Co., New York. That's only because I found several newspapers articles regarding their marriage and found their marriage listed in a vital records listing (oddly enough they were listed in the Vital Records of Rhode Island, 1636-1850).

Evidently the circumstances behind their marriage was such a novelty that articles about it appeared in the Boston Patriot & Daily Mercantile Advertiser, 19 July 1820; The American Paper, 21 Jul 1820; the Essex Register, 15 July 1820; the Manufacturers and Farmers Journal, Providence and Pawtucket Advertiser; the New Hampshire Sentinel; the New York Gazette and General Advertiser; the Otsego Herald; The Freemans Journal; The National Advocate; and The New York-Columbian.

The story goes: "In Bath, Steuben county, 20th June, Mr. Samuel Roberts to Miss Polly Conkright after a most unceasing, long, tedious, pleasant, interesting courtship of five minutes, - neither of the parties were before acquainted but by accident they met in a store, where the bargain was thus soon concluded."

Have not, however, been able to find a marriage license for them. I did a Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness inquiry of an individual who had a number of Steuben County history books but she was unable to find anything on Samuel or Polly.

So, here I am hitting my head against that proverbial brick wall!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

My great-great grandparents, James S. and Rachel (King) Strait.
Riverside Cemetery
Ness Co., Kansas

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Grandparent's Tea

On 27 February 2009, Jon and I attended the Eighth Grade Class Grandparent's Tea at Reed-Custer Middle School in Braidwood, Illinois. Our granddaughter, Marisa, is a member of the class. There are 164 students in their eighth grade graduating class and the commons area was packed with grandparents and eighth graders. They had a very nice program. We got to spend some time attending two of Marisa' classes - Panther Time and Math. Both classes were abbreviated sessons because of the festivities - even more so because Marisa had to leave early for choir practice. We got to meet some of Marisa's teachers and friends.

After the classes, they had refreshments in the commons area and the jazz band played a couple of songs and then the chorus took the stage and sang a couple of songs. Marisa and her friend Haley were the featured duet soloists on the first song, so we got to hear her sing. Marisa told us afterwards that she was very nervous because of all the activities going on. She sure didn't seem nervous when she was up on the stage singing (however, she did tend to play with the bottom of her shirt most of the time). She had a lot of trouble sitting still and was up and running around alot so we didn't have much opportunity to visit with her.

Then, before we knew it, it was all over and the students were rushing to catch the school bus. We are very glad we were able to attend as this was a once in a lifetime event for Marisa. She will graduate from the eighth grade in May and move on to high school. She is just growing up way too fast for us.