#43 Automobiles

For transportation week, I’m posting some pictures of ancestors and their automobiles.

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My husband’s paternal great-grandparents Leonard and Mayme (Kivi) Eklund on their wedding day in June 1931
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My grandfather Charles T. Wilson, 1930s?
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Belknap/Wells Family, c1945

Week 43 (Oct. 21-27): Transportation

#40 Farmers in my Tree

For Week 40 of #52Ancestors, the theme is “Harvest.” I decided to look and see how many of my great-great grandfathers (you have 8) were listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census/1881 Canadian Census with an occupation of “Farmer.”  Here we go:

  1. James Wells – Farmer, aged 40, Horsepasture District, Henry Co., Virginia
  2. Willis Clark – Dead
  3. Arthur Belknap – aged 11 – his dad was a laborer in Dover, Fulton Co., Ohio
  4. William Bost – Farm Laborer, aged 20, Marion Twp., Henry Co., Ohio
  5. John Wilson – Farmer, aged 48, Howe Island, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada
  6. Archibald Thompson – Sailor, aged 43, Amherst Island, Lennox & Addington, Ontario, Canada
  7. Henry Ochs – Farmer, aged 34, Taylor, Wayne Co., Michigan
  8. Fred Moore – Farm Laborer, aged 17, living with his grandmother in Stafford, Genesee Co., New York

So 1 of my g-g grandfathers was dead by 1880, 1 was only 11, 1 was a sailor, and the rest were farmers or farm laborers. Interesting stuff!

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Archie Thompson, year unknown

#37 Mary Clark Wells

The theme this week is Mistakes. My great-great grandmother Mary (Clark) Wells was listed in the 1900 census in Horsepasture, Virginia even though she died in 1894. Now this is either a spooky mistake or my great-great grandfather’s wishful thinking. He was in the middle of a strange second marriage to a much younger woman who was also his son-in-law’s sister, and his new wife and their newborn daughter were living with her parents.

Mary Ann Clark was born December 20, 1839 to William Clark and Ann Martin in Henry County, Virginia. She was 10 years old in the 1850 census, living with her family, and attending school. In the 1860 census, she was 20 years old and living with her parents, younger siblings, and her grandmother. On September 2, 1864, she married James H. Wells in Henry County. By the 1870 census, they were living in Horsepasture Township and had 3 children – Susan, Mary, and William. James’ sister Eliza was also living with them with her 2 young children. In 1880, James and Mary were living in the same township, with 4 more children – James, Sarah, Lucy, and Martha. In 1881, they had my great-grandfather, Robert Luke Wells. Mary Ann died on December 29, 1894 of fever (according to the Death Register of Henry County, Virginia, Volume 11, 1875-1896, p. 162-163).

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Tombstone of James H. and Mary A. Wells in Mount Hermon Church of the Brethren Cemetery, Bassett, Henry County, Virginia

Now is where things get a little strange. James and Mary’s daughter Martha married J. W. Koger on July 21, 1897. James re-married on February 22, 1898 – to J. W.’s sister Sallie. James was 57 and Sallie was 32. According to (spoiler alert!) divorce depositions, Sallie left James in July/August 1899. She gave birth to their daughter Maggie on February 13, 1900. On June 4, 1900, Sallie and Maggie were living with Sallie’s parents and her brother. Sallie was listed under her maiden name, Koger, while Maggie had the surname Wells. Meanwhile, on June 26, 1900, James and his (dead) wife Mary are listed with their sons Robert and Edward, and their daughter Martha, her husband, and her daughter.

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1900 Federal Census listing James Wells and his deceased first wife Mary, as well as his son-in-law/brother-in-law James W. Koger

On April 16, 1901, James filed for divorce from Sallie on the grounds of desertion. The divorce was granted in June 1903. James Wells died March 6, 1904. Sallie lived until 1947 and their daughter Maggie lived until 1985.

The Bassett Historical Center in Bassett, Virginia was incredibly helpful in researching James and Mary Wells, sending me copies of vital records and divorce papers.

Week 37 (Sept. 9-15): Mistake

#25 Earliest Photos

I saw this idea from Amy’s review of Week 25: “Debi shared the earliest photos of various ancestors. (I like how she broke them down by maternal and paternal sides).” So I’m going to give it a try!

Maternal

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My 3rd Great-Grandfather, William Dillon Bolt (1835-1901)
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My 3rd Great-Grandmother, Mary J. (Everitt) Bolt (1837-1918)

 

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My 2nd Great-Grandmother, Mina Adell (Bolt) Moore Thompson, (1866-1942)
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My 2nd Great-Grandfather, Archibald Thompson (1838-1931)
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My great-grandfather, John A. Wilson (1874-1930)
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My great-grandmother, Mary (Thompson) Wilson (1872-1940)
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My great-grandmother, Mae Dillon (Moore) Oakes Smiechowski Johnson (1892-1971)
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My grandfather, Charles Wilson (1907-1989)
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My grandmother, Helen Oakes (1912-1988) on her mother Mae’s lap
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My mother

Paternal

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My 3rd Great-Grandmother, Margaret (Rhost) Gisel (1848-1939)
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My 2nd Great-Grandfather, Arthur Belknap (1869-1955)
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My 2nd Great-Grandmother, Martha (Gisel) Belknap (1869-1925)
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My 2nd Great-Grandfather, William S. Bost (1859-1932)
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My Great-Grandmother, Nannie Jane (Clark) Wells (1880-1969)
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My Great-Grandfather, Earl E. Belknap (1895-1960)
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My Great-Grandmother, Florence E. Bost (1896-1961)
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My grandfather, Edward L. Wells (1905-1955)
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My grandmother, Velma Belknap (1913-1999)
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My father

Week 25 (June 17-23): Earliest

#8 Edward Wells Family

Week 8 (February 18-24): Family Photo

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Back row: Robert Wells, Patricia Wells Sherman, Edward Wells, Velma Belknap Wells, RuthAnn Wells Soper. Middle: Richard Wells, Donnalee Wells O’Brien, Daniel Wells, Janice Wells McEwen. Seated: Nancy Jane Clark Wells holding Cynthia Soper Reeck and Michael Wells. Photo taken in about April 1955

#5 Robert Luke Wells Burial Place

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Photo added by Robert Libby at https://www.findagrave.com

One discovery I made on my visit about 15 years ago to the Allen County (Ind.) Public Library was the book “Follow the periwinkle: cemetery records of Henry County, Virginia” from the Henry County Historical Society.  Robert Luke Wells, my great-grandfather, died in 1919 of typhoid fever. From “Follow the periwinkle” I discovered he was buried in Pleasant Grove Christian Church Cemetery. From there I was able to find his tombstone (although his dates of birth and death are slightly wrong).

Week 5 (January 29-February 4): At the Library

 

#39 J.H. Wells in Horsepasture, VA

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Horsepasture Store, U.S. Route 58 & State Route 687, Horse Pasture, Henry County, VA (from the Historic American Buildings Survey at the Library of Congress)

For the “On the Farm” theme, I want to talk about a farmer in my family tree and the area in which he lived and farmed. James Henry Wells, my great-great grandfather, was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia on August 4, 1840. He married Mary Ann Clark on September 2, 1864 in Henry County, Virginia. By the 1870 Federal Census, they were living in Horsepasture, Henry County, Virginia and had 3 children. James’ sister Eliza, a widow, was also living with them with her 2 children. He was a farmer who could not read or write. In 1880, they were living in Horsepasture with 7 children and James was listed as a farmer again.

From Pat Ross and Fran Snead on the Bassett Historical Center’s “History Cornerblog from Sept. 6, 2007:

Horsepasture had no recorded name until a group of Northerners traveling South passed through this part of the county riding thin mares, undernourished and overworked. The men of this group struck bargains with the people living in the area, trading their rides for new Virginia stock – two mares for a stallion, a mare and a colt for another mare, etc.

The Yankees rode southward that Spring, but during the Fall of that same year they returned North to their homes, traveling through this very same area. The horses that they had traded were now grazing on the high quality grass of this very fertile area. The Yankees continued home, shaking their heads in disbelief as they remarked that this little area was about the best ‘horse pasture’ they had ever known. The name stuck and the local Horsepasture Christian Church was founded in 1832. There was a post office at Horsepasture from 1833 to 1906.

James’ wife Mary Ann died of a fever in 1894 and James re-married in 1898 to Sallie Lou Koger. A little over a year later, Sallie moved back to her parents and gave birth to a daughter, Maggie. Oddly, in the 1900 census, James lists his deceased wife Mary Ann as living. Sallie was living with her parents and her daughter. James farmed with two of his sons, Robert (my great-grandfather) and Edward, as his farm laborers. In 1901, James filed for divorce on the grounds of Sallie’s desertion and it was finalized in June 1903. James died March 6, 1904 and was buried in Mount Hermon Church of the Brethren Cemetery in Bassett, Henry County.

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From Find-a-Grave Memorial ID #37754107

52 Ancestors #39 – On the Farm

#36 Timken-Detroit Axle Company

My grandfather Edward Lee Wells (1905-1955) worked in various capacities for Timken-Detroit Axle Company from the 1920s until his death on June 19, 1955. The company started on Clark and Fort Streets in Detroit in 1909.

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Detroit Publishing Co. [Between 1910 and 1920]. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2016815614/
Edward, his mother Nannie, and his siblings Willis, Mary, William, and Jesse came to Detroit from Virginia in about 1923. He married my grandmother Velma Belknap on November 23, 1932. On the marriage license, his occupation was factory work.

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In 1933, Edward and Velma were living in Lincoln Park, Michigan and he was a truck operator at Timken-Detroit Axle Company. In the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Edward, Velma and their four children were living in Allen Park and his job was as a stock chaser at the axle company. His income was $1600 and he had worked 50 weeks out of the year. In 1947, now with seven children, the family was living in Melvindale and Edward was a press operator at Timken Axle. In 1953, with eight children, Edward was listed in the city directory as a mechanic at Timken. In 1954, the last directory before his death, Edward was a service representative for Timken.

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Advertisement from the July 7, 1917 Saturday Evening Post for Timken-Detroit Axles

In the 1950s, my grandfather had to travel a lot to Chicago and back for his job.There is a family story that my grandmother once visited him there and that is where my youngest uncle was conceived (he was born March 31, 1953). Edward died ten days shy of his 50th birthday of a heart attack.

52 Ancestors #36 – Working for a living

Lifespans of your 3rd Great-Grandparents

I got the idea for this post from Randy Seaver’s blog.

My 32 great-great-grandparents are, by ahnentafel number:

32. Joel Wells (1801-1856), 55 years
33. Sarah Tarpley (1805-1890), 85 years
34. William Clark (1810-?), ?? years
35. Ann Martin (1807-?), ?? years
36. Joel Wells (1801-1856), 55 years
37. Sarah Tarpley (1805-1890), 85 years
38. William Clark (1810-?), ?? years
39. Ann Martin (1807-?), ?? years
(yes, my Wells/Clark great-grandparents were double first cousins)
40. Thomas Belknap (1803-1889), 86 years
41. Polly Ann Farr (1832-1887), 55 years
42. John Gisel (1843-1923), 80 years
43. Margaret Rhost (1848-1939), 90 years
44. Adam Bost (1838-1924), 85 years
45. Mary B. Shartzer (1841-1921), 79 years
46. ? (? – ?), ?? years
47. ? (? – ?), ?? years
48. Berger Halvorsen (Rustad) (1806-1837), 30 years
49. Helena Andersdotter (1802-?), ?? years
50. Robert Gibson (1805-1882), 77 years
51. Mary McCormick (1811-1886), 75 years
52. Robert Thompson (?-?), ?? years
53. Mary Stevenson (?-?), ?? years
54. David Dunning (?-?), ?? years
55. Nancy Vance (?-?), ?? years
56. John Ochs (1823-1912), 89 years
57. Anna Ziegler (1820-1852?), 32 years
58. John Schroeder (1828-1916), 87 years
59. Sophia Martens (1826-1916), 89 years
60. Andrew Moore (1830-1918), 88 years
61. Mary Lyman (1836-1904), 67 years
62. William D. Bolt (1835-1901), 66 years
63. Mary J. Everitt (1837-1918), 80 years

The average birth year for third-greats is 1820, with a range from 1801 to 1848. (Calculated with 26 of 32 birth years).

The average death year for third-greats is 1896, with a range from 1852 to 1939. (Calculated with 21 of 32 death years).

The average lifespan is about 73 years, with a range of 30 to 90 years. Males average lifespan is 73 years, and females average lifespan is 74 years.