52 Ancestors: #21 Clementine GOWING 1814-1880+

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #21 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #21 Clementine GOWING abt. 1814-bet. 1880-1900

My third great-grandmother Clementine GOWING was the youngest of three daughters of Landon S. GOWING and Sally CRISP who were married 17 January 1803 in Amherst County, Virginia. Clementine’s sisters were Emmeline born abt. 1810 and Martha C., also known as Martissa, born abt. 1812. Clementine M. (her middle initial was seen in the 1850 and 1860 census) was born abt. 1814.

Analysis of the pre-1850 census listings for the GOWING family show that Clementine’s mother was older than her father by about 5-10 years. By 1820 Sally and Landon had been married 17 years and their daughters were about 10, 8, and 6 years old. It makes me wonder if there may have been more babies who did not survive.

1820 U.S. Federal Census
Nelson County, Virginia
Landon S. Gowing
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Landon)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Clementine and Martissa)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Emmeline)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (Sally)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 3
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 5

Landon S. GOWING was security witness on the marriages of each of his daughters. Clementine’s sister Emmeline married William Dison LAWHORNE (1811-aft. 1880) on 5 July 1828. Six months later on 3 January 1829 Clementine, the baby of the family, married Seaton Y. DEMPSEY. She was about 15 years old at the time. Her sister Martha C. “Martissa” married Wyatt F. LILLY (1811-aft. 1880) on 29 May 1833.

1829marriage
Register of Marriages, Amherst County, Virginia (LDS Film 30273, pg. 301)

Although the Gowing family was living in Nelson County in 1810 and 1820 all of the daughters were married in Amherst where Landon was seen in the 1830 census. Martissa and her husband Wyatt moved to Caldwell County, Kentucky, after the births of their first three sons and prior to the 1840 census.

Clementine’s mother appears to have died after 1830 as her husband Landon is seen with a younger woman in his household in 1840. Clementine’s “stepmother’s” name was seen as Celia in the 1850 census. No marriage record was found for this marriage. I have a theory but will save it for Landon’s story.

As previously seen in Clementine’s husband Seaton’s story, she was the mother of 8 children, all born in Amherst County, Virginia:

  • George W. was born abt. 1831; married Rhoda A. STATON on 20 December 1852; father of two sons and a daughter.
  • Geneva Elizabeth “Jennie” “Janie” born abt. 1836; mother of six illegitimate children; married Marshall S. TERRY bet. 1866-1869; mother of three children with her husband.
  • William S. born abt. 1839; married Mary Elenor CLEMENTS on 26 April 1857; father of two daughters and a son; died bet. 1864-1869. Note: His widow Mary married his cousin Sterling LAWHORNE (son of Clementine’s sister Emmeline) and had two more sons and a daughter.
  • Thomas G. born abt. 1840, died bet. 1864-1870.
  • John J. born abt. 1843, served as a substitute for Andrew Scott Montgomery in Carpenter’s Company, Virginia Light Artillery (Alleghany Rough Artillery), he did not survive the war.
  • Mary M. b. abt. 1845; married Irvin Lewis INGRAM on 23 May 1867 in Fayette County, West Virginia; mother of three daughters.
  • Martha Ann “Matties” born abt. 1847; married(1) George L. “Little George” JOHNSON on 20 September 1866 with whom she had two sons and two daughters; married(2) Joseph Henry ARBAUGH on 18 Jul 1880 with whom she had a son and two daughters.
  • Julia Victoria born in 1853; married Joseph Henry PRESSON on 3 June 1872; mother of two daughters and five sons.

On 8 September 2007 I located the Revolutionary War papers of John MASSEY, husband of Susannah WRIGHT. In these papers Landon S. GOWING age 87 gives affidavit on 24 September 1853. This is the last document found that mentions Clementine’s father. He was not seen in the 1860 census and therefore may have died between 1853-1860.

In the late 1850s when Clementine and her husband Seaton Y. DEMPSEY moved with their family to Fayette County, in western Virginia, she left behind her son William S. who married in 1857 and her unmarried daughter Jennie with baby Clementine, her first grandchild.

Clementine’s sons Thomas G. and John J. returned to eastern Virginia after the 1860 census and joined the Confederacy. Her son George W. was taken prisoner in Fayette County:

Friday Morning, May 30, 1862
The Lewisburg Prisoners – One hundred and fifteen prisoners arrived in the city yesterday on board the steamer Glenwood, and were marched to the Atheneum in charge of a heavy guard. These prisoners were captured the other day at Lewisburg by Col. Crooks, who attacked and routed the rebels at that place. They were uniformed in all sorts of styles. They looked about as hard as the general run of secesh (sic) who come to this city to visit the Atheneum, but would doubtless present a different appearance if they had an opportunity to wash and brush themselves up. Among the prisoners are four commissioned officers, one of whom is a Lieutenant Colonel.
Many of the privates among the prisoners seem to be very much dispirited. Some claim to have been pressed into the service. They say that in the counties where they reside, every man capable of holding arms is compelled either to volunteer or leave the State. Some of the officers, on the other hand, talk impudently and defiantly.
The following are the names of the prisoners:
[I’ve left out the entire list here which included George]
G. W. Dempsey, Fayette county
The prisoners will be sent to Camp Chase to-day.
[Source: Daily intelligencer. (Wheeling, Va. [W. Va.]), 30 May 1862. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026845/1862-05-30/ed-1/seq-3/>]

George came home after the war but Clementine’s other three sons did not live to see the 1870 census enumerated. George died after the 1870 census leaving Clementine with only her three youngest daughters living in her area and daughter Jennie living in Rockbridge County.

Clementine and Seaton were last seen in the 1880 census. I’ve gone through the 1900 census page by page for Fayette County searching for several of my families who did not turn up on the index. Either the families were missed or pages/places are missing. As death records are scarce for the 1880-1910 period and I have no 1900 listing, I estimate that Clementine died between 1880-1900.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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52 Ancestors: #20 Seaton Y. DEMPSEY abt. 1803-bet. 1880-1890

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #20 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #20 Seaton Y. DEMPSEY abt. 1803-bet. 1880-1890

It is my belief that my third great-grandfather Seaton Y. DEMPSEY’s middle name was Younger after his [grand-uncle] Captain Younger LANDRUM, who served during the American Revolutionary War. This is supported by the fact that a great-grandson Edgar Younger DEMPSEY also had this unusual middle name. But,until I find proof, he is Seaton Y. DEMPSEY.

Martha “Patsy” LANDRUM (1778-1834) and William DEMPSEY (1779-bef. 1836) were married in 1799 in Amherst County, Virginia. Seaton was their second child born abt. 1803 in the same county. He had the following siblings:

Sib 1: Wilson M. DEMPSEY (1802-1883) born abt. 1802; married(1) Evalina Carolyn RHODES ( -1848) on 30 December 1839 in Amherst County, Virginia; married(2) Paulina [–?–] Dempsey (1815-1881) abt. 1848
Sib 3: Isham Coleman DEMPSEY (1806-1854) born abt. 1806; married Sarah Elvira THOMAS (1809-1879) on 5 March 1827 in Rockbridge County, Virginia
Sib 4: Wesley G. DEMPSEY (1808-1890) born abt. 1808; married Mary HUGHES (1823-1889) on 6 May 1856 in Rockbridge County, Virginia
Sib 5: Louisa J. DEMPSEY (1812-1888) born abt. 1812; married Simeon A. BURCH (1790-1870) on 8 October 1840 in Amherst County, Virginia, at the residence of S. Y. DEMPSEY
Sib 6: Eliza DEMPSEY (1815-aft. 1860) born bet. 1815-1820; married Patrick H. ROWSEY (1814-1858) on 4 February 1843 in Amherst County, Virginia

Seaton and his family were neighbors of Benjamin SANDIDGE who first exploited Buffalo Springs, the sulphur springs situated in the foothills of northern Amherst County, near Allwood. “In an 1820 tavern bond, Sandidge pledged to provide a wholesome diet, clean lodging and stabling, no unlawful gaming, and no more drinking than was necessary on Sunday.” [Source: Sherrie McLeRoy and William McLeRoy, More Passages: A New History of Amherst County, Virginia, Heritage Books, 1995, page 77]

Seaton Y. DEMPSEY and Landon S. GOWING , father of Clementine, went bond on 3 January 1829 for the marriage of Seaton and Clementine.

1829bond
1829 Marriage Bond (photocopy courtesy of Geraldine Dempsey Workman)

In the Register of Marriages for Amherst County, Virginia, we see that Landon S. GOWING was security witness and Phillip SMITH Sr. and Robert TINSLEY were witnesses for the marriage of Seaton Y. DEMPSEY and Clementine GOWING on 3 January 1829.

1829marriage
Register of Marriages, Amherst County, Virginia (LDS Film 30273, pg. 301)

Following his marriage Seaton was seen with his young wife Clementine and a male age 10 and under 15 years in the 1830 census. This young man was most likely his brother Wesley. Their mother, not their father, was enumerated with her two daughters. The 1810 through 1830 census listings and their complications will be discussed when I do Seaton’s parents’ stories.

1830censusdempsey
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst> Sheet 519 (left) [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
1830censusdempsey2
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst> Sheet 519 (right) [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
Three children were born between 1830 and 1840: George W. abt. 1831, Geneva Elizabeth abt. 1836, and William S. abt 1839. These children are reflected in the 1840 census. Also in Seaton’s household was a young lady 20 and under 30 years old, most likely his sister Louisa who married later in the year at his residence.

1840censusdempsey
1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst > Sheet 214 (left) [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
1840censusdempsey2
1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst > Sheet 214 (right)[ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
Seaton’s mother died on 27 September 1834. Her death notice was published in the Lynchburg Virginian along with a request for papers in the state of Ohio to publish the same for the information of Mr. William DEMPSEY who was supposed to be somewhere in that state. Apparently her husband did not see the notice and in June 1836, a year after publication, their son Wilson M. DEMPSEY was made administrator of the estate of William DEMPSEY. It took a dozen years to settle the estate. Deeds found by Norma Barnett Dempsey prove that Wilson M., Seaton Y., Isham Coleman, Wesley G., Louisa J. and Eliza were the children of William DEMPSEY and Martha LANDRUM.

In 1842 Seaton sold his interest in the estate of William DEMPSEY dec’d, 1/6th of 330 acres, to John J. Morgan. His brother Wilson bought the rest of his siblings’ share, 220 acres, in 1845. Wilson had quite a head for business, or profited from his first marriage, while Seaton did not appear to do as well. However in 1850 we see Seaton, a farmer, with real estate valued at $500 while Wilson had no real estate and was an overseer. It is not known how Wilson disposed of the 275 acres that he had from his father’s estate.

In the 1840s four more children were born to Seaton and Clementine: Thomas G. abt. 1840, John J. abt. 1843, Mary M. abt. 1845, and Martha Ann abt. 1847.

1850censusdempsey
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Amherst > Sheet 76 > HH#40 [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
Before his last child was born Seaton saw his oldest son George W. marrying Rhoda A. STATON on 20 December 1852 in Amherst County, Virginia. The following year Julia Victoria, the baby of the family, was born. Seaton’s second oldest son William S. married Mary Elenor CLEMENTS on 26 April 1857 in Amherst County, Virginia. Seaton’s first grandchild Clementine was born abt. 1857 to his unmarried daughter Geneva Elizabeth.

Sometime following the above events Seaton and his brother Wilson moved their families from Amherst to Fayette County in western Virginia. This was the late 1850s and tension over slavery had begun to disrupt Virginia. Was this the reason that they moved farther west or was it because land was cheap? They established their homes in the Laurel Creek area. Later the place would be known as Dempsey, a quiet little ccommunity situated in a valley just five miles west of Fayetteville, called Laurel Creek by some of the residents from the stream of water which flows through it.

In 1860 Seaton had only $100 of personal estate while his brother Wilson is seen with real estate valued at $1000 and personal estate valued at $8000. Wilson may have used his personal funds to set up the country store operated by his only son John Edward “Ed”. The store, one of two in the area, was the location of the first post office established in 1865 giving the community its name – Dempsey.

1860censusdempsey
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Fayette > Fayetteville > HH#687&688 [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
The 1860 census listing is a bit confusing. Seaton is seen with his wife Clementine and in the next household his oldest son George is with his wife Rhoda, their son Seaton A. and his siblings Thomas G., John J., Mary M., Martha A. and “Juda” V. I believe that George was living on his father’s farm.

Two of Seaton’s sons died during the Civil War or immediately following the war: William S.  bet. 1864-1869 and Thomas G. bet. 1865-1870. Also following the war Seaton’s daughters began to marry:

  • Martha Ann “Matties” married George L. “Little George” JOHNSON (1846-1874) on 20 September 1866 in Fayette County, West Virginia
  • Geneva Elizabeth “Jennie” “Janie” married Marshall S. TERRY (1843-1920) bet. 1866-1869 in Virginia
  • Mary M. DEMPSEY married Irvin Lewis INGRAM (1846-1910) on 23 May 1867 in Fayette County, West Virginia

This left only Julia Victoria, age 16, at home with her parents in 1870. Seaton had acquired real estate valued at $500 and had $130 in personal property. Also in his household was a man named Joseph Hardy, a farmer with real estate valued at $1500 and personal property valued at $180. Could the enumerator have forgotten to fill in the household number which would have made this man the head of his own household?

1870censusdempsey
1870 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Fayetteville > Page 39 > HH #257-256 [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
Seaton’s youngest daughter Julia Victoria married Joseph Henry PRESSON (1850-1934) on 3 June 1872 in Fayette County, West Virginia.

Seaton, his wife Clementine, their daughter Mary and her husband Irvin INGRAM were on the church rolls of Loop Creek Baptist Church in 1875. The church was located in the Wriston community area on the south bank of Loop Creek at the mouth of Carter’s Branch.  M. Bibb, W. P. Walker, Eli Wood and Washington McGraw were the brethen of the fourth oldest Baptist church in Fayette County when it was formed. The Loop Creek Baptist Church of Christ was constituted in August 1865 by a presbytery appointed by the Hopewell Baptist Church. The church was organized with a membership of 19. Religious services were held in the homes of the faithful until a church could be built.

1880censusdempsey
1880 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > ED 27 Sheet HH # [ancestry.com : accessed 19 Feb 2013]
In 1880 Seaton and his wife Clementine were alone, all living children being married and on their own. Victoria, as she was usually known, was living next door to her parents. She was with her husband Joseph Henry PRESSON and their children. Martha Ann “Matties” was widowed and remarried on 18 July 1880 to Joseph Henry ARBAUGH (1853-1927) in Ansted, Fayette County, West Virginia.

No death record has been found for Seaton Y. DEMPSEY. I believe that due to the fact that he was not mentioned in the chancery records concerning the estate of his brother Wesley G. DEMPSEY he may have died before  1890. There is a possibility that Seaton and/or Clementine were living at the time of the 1900 census but were not enumerated as was the case of their daughters Mary (Irvin INGRAM) and Victoria (Joseph PRESSON).

I am very grateful to Norma Barnett Dempsey who shared all of her DEMPSEY research with me after I first contacted her in April 2000. Not only did she research the DEMPSEYs in Amherst, she also looked into other DEMPSEY families in Virginia and West Virginia in hopes of finding a connection. Norma’s husband descends from Seaton Y. DEMPSEY through his oldest son George W. DEMPSEY and then through three generations of strong DEMPSEY women who passed on the DEMPSEY name to their children.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #19 Huldah JOHNSON abt. 1818-bet. 1880-1900

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #19 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #19 Huldah JOHNSON abt. 1817-aft. 1880

I can hear her say, “Be sure to spell my name right!” Well Huldah if you’d have left a few more records . . . . at least they got it right on the 1850 to 1880 census.

Huldah
Huldah as seen on 1850-1880 census.

The second child of Nancy Ann SIMS (1793-aft. 1860) and William JOHNSON Jr. (1793-1845) was born in Kanawha County in Virginia abt. 1817, a year before Nicholas County was created from Kanawha, Greenbrier and Randolph Counties. This child, a daughter, was my 3rd great-grandmother Huldah JOHNSON.

No exact date of birth is known for Huldah. She was seen as age 32, 42, 52, and 63  in the 1850-1880 census – each taken on the 1st of June. If she was born before 30 January 1818, the date of the formation of Nicholas County, then she was born in Kanawha County. However if she was born after this date, Nicholas County would have been her place of birth.

Nancy Ann and William married on 15 October 1814 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia, and were the parents of 11 children. Huldah’s siblings, three of whom died young, were:

Sib 1: Nelson (1815-1855) b. abt. 1815 md. Elizabeth Hughes 14 Sep 1837
Sib 3: Alexander (1819-1887) b. 10 Jun 1819 md. Isabella Hughes bef. 1850
Sib 4: Mary (1820-1898)  b. 20 Aug 1820 md. David Alexander Miller 13 Dec 1839
Sib 5: John Brown (1823-1902) b. 23 Dec 1823 md. Mary Ann Settle 14 Jul 1846
Sib 6: Amy (1825-1904) b. 4 Nov 1825 md. Charles McClung Huffman in 1849
Sib 7: Lewis (1828-1845) b. 6 Mar 1828
Sib 8: Elizabeth (1829-1833) b. Abt 1829
Sib 9: William Hunter (1832-1899) b. 27 Jul 1832 md. Louisa Lavinia Samuels 26 Oct 1856
Sib 10: Nancy (1835-1915) b. Aug 1835 md. William B. Martin 7 Sep 1853
Sib 11: Morris Houston (1839-1845) b. 21 Jan 1839

William JOHNSON Jr. and his family originally lived at the mouth of Laurel Creek, a tributary of the Gauley River which empties about one mile above Swiss. In 1810 the JOHNSON and SIMS families were neighbors and it is known that James SIMS, father of Nancy Ann SIMS, made his home at Swiss. Huldah’s brother John Brown JOHNSON was born at the mouth of Rich Creek on Gauley in 1823 per the 1911 biography of his son Julian M. Johnson. This would have been in the area of Swiss. Later, most likely after 1823, the JOHNSON family moved to a place on Loop Creek (Loup Creek) in the area of what is known as Robson in present-day Fayette County, West Virginia.

Loop_Creek_WV_map
Wikimedia Commons

“Loop Creek flows for its entire length in western Fayette County. It rises in the city of Oak Hill and flows initially west-northwestward through the unincorporated communities of Lick Fork, Wriston, Ingram Branch, and Hamilton; then northward through the unincorporated communities of Kincaid, Page, North Page, and Robson, to Deep Water, where it flows into the Kanawha River.” [Source: Wikipedia]

The 1820 and 1830 census were enumerated in alphabetical order rather than in order of household visitation. This makes it less useful for locating the actual place that the family lived. The pre-1850 census listings will be discussed in William Johnson Jr.’s story at a later date.

The family was in Nicholas County in 1820 and then next seen in Kanawha County in the 1830 census which supports the theory that their move to Loop Creek was in the 1820s, most likely between 1824-1830. Robson is 10 miles south of present day Gauley Bridge. Fayette County was created on 28 February 1831 from parts of Greenbrier, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Logan counties. From then on Huldah’s siblings were born on Loop Creek in Fayette County where they were seen in the 1840 census.

Huldah JOHNSON met Robert INGRAM (1819-1902) who also lived on Loop Creek at Ingram Branch about 5 miles from Robson. Both were living at home with their respective parents per the 1840 census listings. They married after the enumeration and before the birth of their first son Vincent about 1841. Geraldine Dempsey Workman, who did much of the early work on our families, wrote, “Robert and Hulda’s (sic) marriage record cannot be found since pages are missing from the Marriage book at the courthouse.” Death records of their children Mary Elizabeth (Ingram) BLAKE and Richard Edward INGRAM list the mother as Hulda (sic, Huldah) Johnson.

I’m sorry Huldah but it looks like your descendants dropped an h off of your name.

Huldah’s father William JOHNSON Jr. died on 18 December 1845 on Loop Creek in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Following his death her mother Nancy moved to the Sissonville area of Kanawha County with Huldah’s siblings Alexander, William and Nancy.

Following the birth of Vincent abt. 1841, Huldah and Robert had two more sons before the 1850 census. Irvin Lewis was born abt. 1846 and William Preston was born abt. 1847 on Ingram Branch of Loop Creek.

1850censusingram
1850 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Sheet 365B [online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu0943unix#page/n334/mode/1up : accessed 3 March 2014]
1850censusingram2
1850 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Sheet 366A [online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu0943unix#page/n335/mode/1up : accessed 3 March 2014]
Three daughters were born in the 1850s: Amy b. abt. 1852, Nancy Margaret b. 15 January 1853 and Mary Elizabeth b. 26 October 1855.

1860censusingram
1860 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Page 45 > Sheet 355 [online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1344unix#page/n341/mode/1up : accessed 3 March 2014]
Note: Amanda Blake seen with the Ingram family was the daughter of John Blake and Malinda Johnson. Malinda has been seen as the daughter of Israel Johnson however I believe that this may not be the case. Israel Johnson’s last will and testament written 24 October 1850, proven March 1852, does not mention Malinda. Further research to determine the relationship between Amanda Blake and the Ingram and/or Johnson family is planned.

Huldah’s oldest son Vincent gave evidence on 28 May 1862 about an event that took place in the fall of 1861. This is the last mention of this child and it is believed that he died between 1862-1870.

Huldah’s mother Nancy Ann SIMS died sometime after the 1860 census was enumerated. She was last seen in Sissonville District of Kanawha County in the household of her son William Hunter JOHNSON.

Richard Edward, Huldah’s youngest son, was born during the Civil War in March 1862 at Ingram Branch.

Two of Huldah’s’s children married in the late 1860s in Fayette County. Irvin Lewis married Mary M. DEMPSEY (1845-1888) on 23 May 1867. William Preston married Minerva LIGHT (1849-1920) on 8 April 1869.

1870censusingram
1870 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Falls of Kanawha >Page No. 2, Sheet 95B > HH #13-13 [https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1686unit#page/n192/mode/1up : accessed 5 May 2014]
Two of Huldah’s daughters married in Fayette County the 1870s. Nancy Margaret “Maggie” married Marion L. BOWLING (1836-1900) on 2 February 1872 and Mary Elizabeth married Martin Van Buren BLAKE (1846-aft. 1900) on 22 Oct 1874.

1880ingramcensus
1880 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Kanawha > ED 28, Sheet 59D > HH #329-330 [https://archive.org/stream/populationsc18801402unit#page/n121/mode/1up : accessed 6 May 2014]
Huldah JOHNSON died sometime after the 1880 and before the 1900 census. She may have lived to see her youngest son Richard marry first in 1883 and second in 1888. It is my belief that she was not living when her daughter Amy finally married in 1895 at the age of 45.

Huldah was buried in a cemetery at the mouth of the Ingram Branch of Loop Creek, Fayette County, West Virginia, according to Luella Loving Lowther.

This entry is especially for Luella who first introduced me to this branch of the family. She is a very dear friend, 3rd cousin once removed, and a great-granddaughter of Huldah’s son William Preston INGRAM. William and his wife Minerva LIGHT named their daughter after Huldah JOHNSON in December 1880. Only they spelled her name without an H at the end. I wonder if my Huldah was still living when Luella’s grandmother Hulda Margaret INGRAM was named after her.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

The World War II Exploits of Eugene N. DEMPSEY

Gene was my 1st cousin once removed. We may have also been 5th cousins once removed, sharing Susannah [–?–] DEMPSEY as an ancestor. Susannah’s husband, whoever he may have been, is not the DEMPSEY who passed his surname on to both Gene and me. I’ll leave it at that as it’s another story for another day.

Eugene Noble DEMPSEY, 86, of Ansted, passed away Friday, May 11, 2001, at Hidden Valley Nursing Home in Oak Hill, Fayette County, West Virginia. Gene, as he was known by his family and friends, was born August 23, 1914, in Ansted, and was the son of the late Oscar and Fannie NOBLE DEMPSEY. He was a retired electrician from Alloy Union Carbide, a member of Ansted Masonic Lodge, VFW of Fayetteville, American Legion of Fayetteville, CCC Alumni, and Hopewell Baptist Church of Hopewell.

On January 8, 2001, four months before his death, Gene wrote me a letter giving his permission to use his World War II story on my now obsolete website. On the 13th anniversary of his death I would like to once again share his memories of this world war.

The World War II Exploits of Eugene N. DEMPSEY

By Eugene N. Dempsey

The notice containing the “Greetings” from the White Bearded Uncle came to EUGENE NOBLE DEMPSEY in December 1943. After completing his physical examination at Huntington, West Virginia, he was inducted into the U.S. Army in that same month. Following induction Gene was granted a three week furlough for the purpose of placing his personal and business affairs in order before being sent to Fort Thomas, Kentucky for processing, classification and assignment to a military unit.

In the processing for the military service stage, numerous papers were filled out where such questions concerning the individual’s education, previous military service, work experience, and special skills were required to be answered. Although Gene had previous service in the Infantry branch of the U.S. Army (1933-36), he avoided reassignment to this combat arm because of one seemingly innocent question he answered on his personnel questionnaire regarding his work experience. Here he indicated that he had worked for a short time as a brakeman on an electric motor propelled train which moves coal cars in and about the coal mine. Since at this very moment in time the U.S. Army was in the process of organizing railway operating battalions to be assigned to the newly created Transportation Corps, classification officers had been alerted and directed to assign any newly inducted personnel with experience on railroads to these units. The Transportation Corps is that branch of the Army that is assigned the responsibility for the movement of personnel and materiel over land, sea and in the air. During World War II, this was to and from the European, African, Middle East theater of operations as well as the far flung bases and battlefields of the Pacific.

In January 1944, following five days of classification and processing at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, Eugene N. Dempsey was sent to Camp Plusha, New Orleans, Louisiana. He spent three weeks there in basic training before he and several others were moved to an abandoned U.S. Army Air Force Base on Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans where they continued basic training for three more weeks. In February 1944, after they had completed their SIX weeks of basic training, the group was given a farewell party and dance on the campus of Tulane University in New Orleans before being reassigned to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana for seventeen weeks of technical training on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Gene was assigned to the Alexander to Monroe, Louisiana Division of the Missouri Pacific where he trained under the regular civilian train crew to be a railway brakeman.

About the middle of June 1944, Gene Dempsey completed his seventeen weeks of on-the-job training as a brakeman on the Missouri Pacific Railroad and was reassigned to Camp Reynolds, Pennsylvania. He was given a seventeen (17) day delay en route before he was to report to his new station on 17 July 1944. After spending several days at Camp Reynolds, Gene and his contingent were moved by troop train via Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and Albany down the Hudson River to West Point. Then they moved on to Camp Shanks near New York City, the Port of Embarkment for Europe, where they arrived on 22 July 1944. On this day Gene and his contingent became part of a larger group of 15,000 military personnel who boarded the British ship QUEEN MARY in New York harbor from which they departed for the United Kingdom on 23 July 1944. To hopefully avoid German submarines who were prowling the waters of the North Atlantic, the QUEEN MARY with Eugene N. Dempsey and its cargo of other soldiers proceeded to take a zigzag course across the Atlantic. Five (5) days later, on 28 July 1944, the majestic Queen arrived at Glasgow, Scotland.

On the evening of 29 July 1944, Gene Dempsey and his railway buddies left Scotland on a British troop train. They rode through the night in complete darkness, the use of lights of any kind only being an invitation to the German Luftwaffe to bomb and strafe the moving train. (Gott strafe England – God punish England, German propaganda slogan during World War I.) On a cold and rainy morning, they arrived at Doddington Park near Liverpool, England on 30 July 1944. Gene, along with the other military railway unassigned replacements, remained at Doddington Park until 4 September 1944 before being moved to Delmar Park, England. There they remained for only eight (8) days before being stationed at Tidworth Barracks a permanent British Army Base about ninety (90) kilometers south of London. Also stationed here was the 9th U.S. Armored Division and many other military units. On 4 December 1944, Eugene N. Dempsey and other replacements departed for Southampton, England where they were to cross the choppy waters of the English Channel on a L.S.T. arriving in Le Havre, France on 6 December 1944. In Le Havre Gene was to lose his duffel bag which, after thirty-eight (38) years, is still missing and has now been dropped from an AWOL status to that of a deserter.

On 9 December 1944, Eugene Dempsey and several other railway replacements were moved to Ballan Court, near Paris, France, where they remained for eighteen (18) days and where they observed a Christmas that was everything but the usually delightful holidays spent in the States. Many of the replacements, including Gene, were overcome with a bad case of diarrhea. This is an extremely dreadful and distressing malady when one must hike through deep snow to the nearest Straddle Trench, which serves as an outhouse when the army is in the field. At that time, the Labor Unions were not strong enough to require that the U.S. Army provide “Comfort Stations” for their troops in the field. It should be remembered that under these conditions certain tender extremities which are exposed to a low chill factor only add to the pathetic predicament. Even under these unpleasant circumstances, soldier Dempsey was able to mail a box of souvenirs back to West Virginia. Included in this parcel post package was a German steel helmet, which Gene still has.

During December of 1944, the front line combat units were fighting the fierce and bloody Battle of the Bulge (and Cousin Eli Dews was up there with his men pinned down by the grazing fire of the enemy guns). Everyone, including the support units of the Army, was somewhat jittery because the German Army had cracked the lines of the Allies and were rapidly moving toward the English Channel. Under these extremely explosive and unstable conditions, Gene and his group of replacements departed Ballan Court on 27 December 1944. The following day they arrived at Compiègne where the World War I Armistice was signed in a railroad car on 11 November 1918. It was also where Hitler, in June of 1940, added to the humiliation of France by requiring their leaders to meet with him and sign a treaty with Germany during World War II. Here on 28 December 1944 Gene Dempsey’s group was to spend a bitter cold night in tents pitched on a race tract for purebred horses. The following day, 30 December 1944, Gene and his group of replacements were moved by army trucks to Noyon, France a small town several miles northeast of Compiègne. Here Gene and his comrades enjoyed a bath at a public bath house. Here also, Gene Dempsey committed a dishonorable theft when he removed a light bulb from a French Post Office while his buddies engaged the sweet young Postmistress in a conversation of pigeon French. Gene rationalized this shameful act by calling it a “requisition” since the light bulb was removed, he said, from one French government building to another building owned by the same government, that is from the Post Office to the French Army Barracks where they were temporarily quartered.

On 7 January 1945 Eugene Dempsey along with other replacements were moved from Noyon, France to Aulnoye, France where they were assigned to the 716th Railway Operating Battalion. This Battalion was then under strength because several of its members, including the Battalion Commander, were charged and court-martialed with selling to French civilians materials and supplies they were transporting to the troops fighting on the front line. After spending about twenty (20) days at Aulnoye, Gene and his entire Battalion was ordered to Metz, France, where they were quartered in French railway box cars. It was here in Metz that Gene learned of the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he heard a French newsboy cry out the headline on his newspaper “ROOSEVELT EST MORT.” With Metz as their home base, Gene along with other members of the 716th Railway Operating Battalion were sent out in groups on detached service and at this time Gene found himself working in a railroad yard in Maubeuge, France, for several weeks. Nearly every morning while at Maubeuge, Gene observed the heavy bombers of the 8th U.S. Air Force in formations which included several hundreds of planes, along with their fighter escorts, passing over on their way to destroy military targets in Germany.

On or about 10 April 1945 Gene was transferred to Thionville, France, which is located on the Moselle River near the border between France and Germany. The Germans called the town Diedenhofen. It was from here that Gene Dempsey rode a street car to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, where he bought an ice cream cone – the very first ice cream that he had in over two (2) years.

On 5 May 1945, the day of the German surrender and the end of World War II in Europe – Gene left France with his railroad unit. They headed for Kornwestheim a small town northeast of Stuttgart, Germany, where they arrived on 10 May 1945. In this town there was a large shoe factory (Salimander) where Gene traded a package of Lucky Strike cigarettes for a pair of brown slippers. Gene and his train crew continued to use railway boxcars as their living quarters when they crossed the Rhine River near Mannheim, Germany, where they spent seven days before moving on to Esslingen, Germany, on 17 May 1945 where they moved from their boxcars and commenced to live in buildings. For the next fourteen weeks they were quartered in a schoolhouse in Esslingen which is a city of about 50,000 located about ten miles southeast of Stuttgart, a city of about 700,000. The 100th Infantry Division was also stationed in and about Esslingen at this same time. The 716th Railway Operating Battalion to which Eugene N. Dempsey was assigned operated the electric railway from Stuttgart to Augsberg, Germany, a distance of about 110 miles. It was on one of these runs that “One” Dempsey almost made contact with his cousin, Captain Eli “One” Dews who was a rifle company commander with the 44th Infantry Division. The train on which Gene and his crew were operating had made an emergency stop and was blocking the highway over which elements of the 44th Infantry Division were traveling. They were on their way to France in preparation for being re-deployed through the States before being assigned to the Pacific Theater of Operations to continue the fight against the Japanese. Gene was unable to contact his “Cuz” because Eli was still in Ulm, Germany, a city that his Infantry Regiment captured during the fighting.

It was while the 716th Railway Operating Battalion was stationed in Esslingen that they commenced the project of turning the operations of the German railroads back to their German owners and very shortly Eugene Dempsey found himself driving trucks for the Transportation Corps instead or operating railway trains. The war with Japan ended in August 1945 and it was here in Esslingen in late September of 1945 that re-deployment started to wreck the 716th Railway Operating Battalion. Based upon length of service combat assignments, campaigns, decorations, dependents and other considerations, an individual soldier was assigned “points”. The soldiers with the lowest number of points were being reassigned to other military units all over Europe while those soldiers with the larger number of points were sent back to the States for separation from the service Since Gene Dempsey was in the low point category, his service with the 716th Railway Operating Battalion ended. He was shipped, along with several of his buddies, to Hannover, Germany by troop train. Here in the British Zone of Military Occupation, they were assigned to the 741st Railway Operating Battalion. It is reported their duty assignment at this station was somewhat of a “cake walk” and that these combat characters spent more time loafing and “fraternizing with Frauleins” than they did performing military assignments. However, all of this good stuff came to a screeching halt on 4 November 1945 when Gene and others in his train crew departed Hannover, Germany, for duty assignments at Kassel, Germany. They remained in this city of about 130,000 located approximately 100 miles south of Hannover until 23 November 1945 when they were released from assignment with the 741st Railway Operating Battalion. They were then assigned to the 817th Tank Destroyer Battalion at Fürth, Germany, the town where Henry Kissinger was born. Since Fürth is practically an eastern suburb of Nürnberg, Gene had occasion to be near the Palace of Justice where the Nuremberg Trials of war criminals were taking place.

Eugene Dempsey spent his second Christmas in Europe in the city of Fürth, Germany, and it was here on 18 December 1945 that he had to say farewell to several of his old army buddies. John Shay of Falls River, Massachusetts, who in 1948 supplied him with most of the dates and places used in the preparation of this “after action” report was one of these old army buddies. Since most of his railway buddies were being re-deployed and Gene was left almost alone in strange surroundings he became homesick, dispirited, depressed and extremely melancholic and felt that he needed to do something very soon to overcome this undesirable condition that entered his young life. A solution – take a furlough to England where he at least could be among people who spoke a language he could understand better than he did French and German. Since he felt that he would be re-deployed to the States in the very near future he would be even more depressed if he was in England and “missed the boat” which might return him to the nearest port on the Atlantic coastline of the United States. Gene solicited and received assurances from his first sergeant that there was no possibilities that he would be scheduled for Stateside transportation for several months. Consequently, Gene accepted the 10-day furlough in the United Kingdom which also authorized “necessary travel time.” What a trip!! At 11:59 PM or at 2359 hours on 31 December 1945 he boarded a train in Nürnberg railway station. About daybreak the following morning his train stopped in Strasbourg, France, for breakfast and in the afternoon of 1 January 1946 Gene Dempsey was in Paris, France. Since he had almost unlimited travel time and because things looked VERY interesting in “Gay Parree” ONE decided that there was no great need to hurry on to England. Although there are no witnesses, reportedly he went on a conducted tour of the city where he visited Napoleon’s tomb, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Palais Royal, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Sorbonne and other educational, artistic and cultural works. One reason to wonder about some of these reported uplifts in refinement of this soldier’s party received in Paris is hazy because seven days of the diary is missing and is believed to have been lost at Place Pigalle. Anyway, Gene left Paris and continued on his journey to the United Kingdom on 7 January 1946 only to arrive at Le Havre, France (Camp Lucky Strike) and find that because of rough seas in the Channel there would be no boat train to England for several days. After three days Gene volunteered to ride in the back of an army truck 50 miles up the coast to Dieppe where crossings to England had not been interrupted even though the seas were high. Along with a large number of military personnel Gene boarded a boat for the 67-mile crossing to Newhaven, England and a few hours later a boat load of sea sick soldiers were met by a train which took them to Waterloo Station in London in 30 minutes. From the train station Gene took the subway to the Columbia Hotel and here he was indeed surprised to meet Forrest Scales a fellow worker at the Alloy Plant in Fayette County, West Virginia. Forrest was the very first person with whom he had worked that he had met since he left there when inducted in the army in December 1943. Gene and Forrest reportedly spent the 10-days together and London, England, has never been the same.

On 16 January 1946 Eugene N. Dempsey left London and headed back toward Germany. As he felt he had not received enough culture in Paris while on his way to England, he decided to make another extended visit on the return to soak up more of the esthetic and intellectual excellence of this refined civilization. The exact number of days he devoted to this chore is not known because in Place Pigalle time stands still. Reportedly this, by now, “soldier of fortune seeker” that some would characterize as a “soldier of fun seeker” also spent a few days at his old stomping ground and watering holes in Esslingen, Germany on his return trip. Although written records of these events have been lost or deliberately destroyed, military history will record that he did not return to his unit until 28 January 1946 and his first sergeant was surprised to see him back so soon.

On 10 February 1946, One Dempsey, the nomadic vagabond soldier, was transferred to the 379th Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion stationed at Hann Münden, Germany. Here, appropriately, he was assigned to the motor pool as a driver of various purpose army vehicles. This detail as a gasoline cowboy was much preferred over that as a guard on railway supply trains operating from the American Sector of Occupation to the city of Berlin, Germany, which was also being offered as a choice duty assignment. While here Gene was assigned as the driver for a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, an Irish national who had never been in the United States. It was while driving for this medical officer that the otherwise unblemished military record of Eugene Dempsey was almost marred, tainted, blemished and tarnished beyond all recognition. One night while they were in Bremen, Germany, this usually circumspect soldier decided to go to a movie – probably a cover story – and placed the army vehicle for which he was responsible for protecting in an unguarded parking lot. Several hours later this red faced soldier returned to find that his vehicle had been stolen – not an unusual happening. The missing vehicle was reported to the military police, the CID and several other military and civilian law enforcement and criminal-investigating agencies but it was never located. Negligence on the part of the custodian-driver of an army vehicle can subject the guilty party to court-martial and could result in his being required to reimburse the Federal government for the depreciated value of the vehicle. This was one hell of an unpleasant predicament for a “lonely” soldier whose primary goal at this point in time was to he assigned to a unit which was scheduled to return to the States for demobilization. After several lengthy investigations and the intervention of several high-ranking officers, Gene was absolved of blame for the lost army vehicle.

It was in March of 1946 that Gene was transferred to the large seaport city of Bremerhaven, Germany, located on the North Sea. Here he was to make contact with the first group of U.S. Marines that he saw during all his travels in Europe. The detail of Marines were guarding the German Liner EUROPA which was anchored in the harbor at Bremerhaven. In addition, it was here on 1 April 1946 – April Fools Day – that One Dempsey received the information for which he had long been waiting. His name had been placed on the roster of those to be returned to the United States and he was placed in the re-deployment pipeline. This pipe line processing can be long and hazardous and often subject to much chaos, commotion, pandemonium, confusion, disorder, disarray and general snafu. Along with a group of others scheduled to return to the States, Gene boarded the boxcars of a troop train and after traveling day and night they arrived in the city of Mannheim on the Rhine River in Southern Germany. Here they were assigned quarters in a tent camp and in order to get to the Post Exchange for “rations” they needed to ride a street car to Heidelberg, Germany located several miles to the southeast. Monotony can become intense when one has nothing to do but lie in the springtime sun for three weeks and that was the occupation which Gene and his fellow re-deployees were doing in Mannheim, Germany during the greater part of April 1946. But, the good news came: “board the box cars boys” and be on your way back to Bremerhaven, Germany on the North Sea was the order which the First Sergeant barked out. Boarding the troop train and riding day and night the rag-tag group arrived at their northern destination where they were moved to a German Luftwaffen hanger which served as their sleeping quarters while waiting ship passage to the States. After about two days here Gene and about 1,500 other soldiers were placed aboard the Victory ship ALHAMBRA for the westward voyage across the Atlantic. They sailed out of the North Sea and into the English Channel where they passed the white Cliffs of Dover before nightfall on the first day of a 10-day trip back to the United States. On the morning of the 10th day the greatest thrill of a lifetime was experienced when they sighted the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. An unexpected but very moving and touching ceremony was given the troops on the Alhambra Victory before they docked at the 84th Street Pier at 11:00 A.M. on 2 May 1946. They were met near the entrance of the harbor by several tug and fire fighting boats which were spraying water in all directions and every ship and boat in the harbor began to sound their horns. As the troops came down the gangplank a band was playing “I Love You Truly”. Another touching scene was to witness a few returning soldiers drop to their knees at the end of the gangplank and kiss the soil of the good old U.S.A.

From New York the returning contingent was loaded aboard a train for the short ride to Fort Kilmer, New Jersey where they were served a meal of T-bone steaks with all the trimmings. The table waiters at Kilmer were German prisoners of war, which had been captured in North Africa and parts of Europe. After two days at Port Kilmer Gene was sent to Fort Meade, Maryland for processing and discharge after over two and one half years of Wartime service nearly 90% of which was spent overseas. For control and administrative purposes Gene was attached to an Ordnance Battalion for the return trip to the States and he was a little apprehensive that this unit might show on his discharge as his “Wartime” assignment. It did not however and his discharge from the service that he received on 6 May 1946 shows that he was a member of the 716th Railway Operating Battalion.

Immediately upon receiving his final pay and separation papers at Fort Meade, Maryland, Eugene N. Dempsey caught a bus to the Union Station in Washington, D.C. where he got a ticket on C&O train No.3 to continue his westward journey to Wonderful West Virginia where he arrived on 7 May 1946.

This brief military history made by One Dempsey shows his contribution to keep the World free for Democracy. How free? How long? It seems somewhat doubtful that this War has ever ended because there was a continuation in Korea and Vietnam and now it has spilled over to Afghanistan and Poland, Central America and the Middle East.

EUGENE ONE  DEMPSEY
February 1982

© Eugene N. Dempsey

The Mystery of James C. Crouse Sr.’s Grave Marker – Part 2

I promised a follow up on this mystery but did not expect it to be so soon. I cannot believe how fast things got moving once people read the story.

As seen in my original post The Mystery of James C. Crouse Sr.’s Grave Marker Anita McClung and Sandra Humphries Raedel from the Facebook group Fayette County West Virginia Genealogy were the first to help on April 28th.

On Saturday, May 3rd I searched Facebook and found a page for Fayetteville Huse Memorial Park and Mausoleum. I liked the page and took a look around. There were several photos of requested markers.

I was a bit hesitant to request a photo of the marker as the cemetery is quite large and I had no idea of the plot’s location. In the Notes section of the page, I found burials listed in alphabetical order. They included the block, lot and grave numbers.

I sent a private message to the admin of the page requesting a photo of the marker of James CROUSE Sr., block 1, lot 38, grave 4 and included the link to my unpublished blog post as an explanation to why I was interested in this particular marker. An hour later I received a message from the page administrator that she would get the photo for me on Monday.

I posted The Mystery of James C. Crouse Sr.’s Grave Maker as scheduled on Sunday. Monday morning I had a message from Sonya of the Huse FB page, I have placed the picture of the marker along with monument and other markers associated with your request under ‘Various pics requested’. Hope it helps.

Of course, it helped! Sonya took time on a Sunday evening to perform this act of kindness, taking not only a picture of James’ marker but also of the family monument and his parents’ markers.  Thank you, Sonya!

Markers found in garage (left) and at Huse Memorial Park (right)

I shared the photos with James C. CROUSE’s granddaughter Marian. As soon as she saw the marker she remembered that her stepmom had put a new marker on the graves after her Dad’s burial.

Sonya told me, Most of the time when a family changes a marker, then they will take the original marker home. Very few say throw it away.”

Presently speculation is that the marker found in the garage is most likely the marker that was on the grave of James C. CROUSE Sr. from 1949 until the burial of his son in 1997. Even though the application for the marker had the wrong cemetery listed it appears to have been placed in the right cemetery.

The question that remains is how did the marker end up in the garage? One of my helpers offered to “go to the courthouse and dig a little” [search the deeds at the courthouse to see if the Crouse family once owned the home where the marker was found].

I hope that once all parties have gotten in touch with each other the marker will be returned to the family. It would be nice to write a “closure” post on this mystery.

Update (21 February 2018):
SOLVED – The Mystery of James C. Crouse Sr.’s Grave Marker

© 2014, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

52 Ancestors: #18 Robert INGRAM 1819-abt. 1902

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #18 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #18 Robert INGRAM 1819-abt. 1902

My 3rd great-grandfather Robert INGRAM was born in 1819 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia. He was the son of James INGRAM and Margaret “Peggy” KINCAID. He had two older brothers, James Jr. b. abt. 1811 and Joshua b. abt. 1813. He may have had an older sister, as seen in the 1820 census, but no further information has been found for her.

1820 U.S. Federal Census
Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia
James Ingram
3 males under 10 yo (James Jr., Joshua, Robert)
1 male over 45 yo (James)
1 female under 10 yo (unknown daughter?)
1 female over 45 yo (Margaret, age should be ca. 26)
1 person engaged in agriculture
6 persons in household

Robert’s parents continued to have children in the 1820s: John was born abt. 1820, Matthew on 9 January 1824, and Cynthia on 25 March 1828. The female in the under 10 years age group in 1820 was not with the family in 1830. She may have died or was old enough to marry by 1830.

1830 U.S. Federal Census
Kanawha County, (West) Virginia
James Ingram
1 male under 5 yo (Matthew)
1 male 5-10 yo (John)
2 males 10-15 yo (Joshua & Robert)
1 male 15-20 yo (James Jr.)
1 male 50-60 yo (James)
1 female under 5 yo (Cynthia)
1 female 40-50 yo (Margaret)
Note: Fayette County was not formed until 1831 and included parts of Kanawha, Nicholas, Greenbrier, & Logan counties

In an election held 1 April 1835 in Fayette County to determine the location of the new Court House and County Seat, “James Ingrahm” and “Joshua Ingraham” voted for Kanawha Falls. James’ oldest son James Jr. is not mentioned and it is assumed that he died before this date. Robert INGRAM was not old enough to vote.
[Source: History of Fayette County, West Virginia 1993; Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, 310 Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill, WV 25901, 1993; pg. 21]

1840 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
James Ingram
2 males 10-15 yo (Matthew & John)
1 male 15-20 yo (Robert)
1 male 60-70 yo (James)
1 female 5-10 yo (Ruth)
1 female 10-15 yo (Cynthia)
1 female 50-60 yo (Margaret)

No marriage record has been found for Robert INGRAM. He was most likely with his father in the 1840 census as he is not seen with his own household. I assume that he married Huldah JOHNSON after the enumeration and before the birth of their son Vincent abt. 1841. Geraldine Dempsey Workman, who did much of the early work on our families, wrote, “Robert and Hulda’s (sic) marriage record cannot be found since pages are missing from the Marriage book at the courthouse.” Death records of their children Mary Elizabeth (Ingram) BLAKE and Richard Edward INGRAM list the mother as Hulda (sic, Huldah) Johnson.

In 1843 Robert patented 120 acres at Ingram Branch with his brother Matthew.

MRIN01994 1843 Ingram Land Grant31 August 1843
Location: Fayette County (W. Va.).
Grantee(s): Ingram, Robert and Mathew.
Description: 120 acres on Loop Creek. .
[Source: Library of Virginia, Land Office Grants No. 94, 1842-1843, p. 507 (Reel 160)]

21 October 1842
Robert & Mathew Ingram
120 acres
Fayette County
Delivered to Col. Tyree ?th February 1844
James M. Dowell, Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia:
To all to whom these Presents shall come-Greeting: KNOW YE, That in
conformity with a Survey, made on the 21st day of October, one thousand eight hundred and
forty two By virtue of Land Office Treasury warrant N. 14756
there is granted by the said Commonwealth, unto Robert and Mathew Ingram
a certain Tract of Land, containing one hundred and twenty acres: lying and
being in Fayette County on Loop creek and bounded as follow, towit
Beginning at a white oak and gum corner to John Kincaid, on
the Left hand side of the creek & with crossing the same S6W54 poles
to a sugar tree & beech corner to same and leaving S67W60 poles to two
chestnut oaks on a point S88W106 poles to a white oak North 48 poles
to a white oak on a ridge N19W66 poles to a maple and hickory N48
W24 poles to a maple and beech N8W (crossing the creek) 34 poles to
two chestnuts on a South hillside S69E230 poles to the beginning
with its appurtenances.

To have and to hold the Tract or Parcel of Land, with its appurtenances, to the said
Robert and Mathew Ingram
and their heirs forever.

In witness whereof, the said James M. Dowell Esquire, Governor
of the Commonwealth of Virginia, hath hereunto set his Hand, and caused the Lesser Seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed, at Richmond, on the thirty first day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty three and of the Commonwealth the sixty eighth.

Jas. M. Dowell

Following the birth of Vincent abt. 1841, Robert and Huldah had two more sons before the 1850 census. Irvin Lewis was born abt. 1846 and William Preston was born abt. 1847 on Ingram Branch of Loop Creek. Robert and Huldah are seen with these sons in the 1850 census.

1850censusingram
1850 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Sheet 365B [online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu0943unix#page/n334/mode/1up : accessed 3 March 2014]
1850censusingram2
1850 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Sheet 366A [online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu0943unix#page/n335/mode/1up : accessed 3 March 2014]
Three of Robert’s siblings married in the first three months of 1851 in Fayette County. Ruth married John Johnson DARLINGTON (1826-1900) on 9 January 1851, John married Lucy Jane SKAGGS (1824-1853) on 13 Feb 1851, and Cynthia married John B. “Johnny” TINCHER (1815-1890) on 23 Mar 1851.

Robert INGRAM was one of the appraisers of his uncle James G. KINCAID’s estate in August 1852. He bought a MaComic (sic, McCormick) plow for 3 dollars 12 1/2 cents. at the estate sale. In the 1800s, farming was largely done by hand, with animals assisting in plowing, breaking up the soil, and transporting crops.

Robert’s brother Matthew who had patented land with him in 1843 married on 20 August 1854 in Meigs County, Ohio, to Sarah Francis MARTIN (1834-1906).

Three daughters were born in the 1850s: Amy b. abt. 1852, Nancy Margaret b. 15 January 1853 and Mary Elizabeth b. 26 October 1855.

1860censusingram
1860 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Page 45 > Sheet 355 [online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1344unix#page/n341/mode/1up : accessed 3 March 2014]
Note: Amanda Blake seen with the Ingram family was the daughter of John Blake and Malinda Johnson. Malinda has been seen as the daughter of Israel Johnson however I believe that this may not be the case. Israel Johnson’s last will and testament written 24 October 1850, proven March 1852, does not mention Malinda. Further research to determine the relationship between Amanda Blake and the Ingram family is planned.

Robert’s brother Joshua died bet. 1860-1862. The death record has not been found however his widow was seen remarrying on 23 August 1862 in Meigs County, Ohio, to Isaac E. Lewis, a veteran of the Mexican War.

Robert’s brother John who had been widowed in the 1850s married Delilah CRAIG (1826-1869) on 12 July 1860 in Kanawha County, (West) Virginia.

In 1861 Robert INGRAM was one of the signers who endorsed James S. Cassady as a delegate for Fayette County during the debates and proceedings of the First Constitutional Convention of West Virginia.

Richard Edward, the youngest child of Robert and Huldah, was born during the Civil War in March 1862 at Ingram Branch.

Robert’s oldest son Vincent gave evidence on 28 May 1862 about an event that took place in the fall of 1861. This is the last mention of this child and it is believed that he died between 1862-1870.

Robert’s mother Margaret “Peggy” KINCAID died about 1865 at the home of her nephew James Gillespie KINCAID Jr. and his father James INGRAM died between September and December 1865 in Sissonville in Kanawha County while living with his son Matthew.

Two of Robert’s children married in the late 1860s in Fayette County. Irvin Lewis married Mary M. DEMPSEY (1845-1888) on 23 May 1867. William Preston married Minerva LIGHT (1849-1920) on 8 April 1869.

Robert’s brother John married a third time to Mary F. LEGG (1843-1870) on 1 December 1869 in Kanawha County. He was seen with her in the 1870 census and both died before 1880.

1870censusingram
1870 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Falls of Kanawha >Page No. 2, Sheet 95B > HH #13-13 [https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1686unit#page/n192/mode/1up : accessed 5 May 2014]
Two of Robert’s daughters married in Fayette County the 1870s. Nancy Margaret “Maggie” married Marion L. BOWLING (1836-1900) on 2 February 1872 and Mary Elizabeth married Martin Van Buren BLAKE (1846-aft. 1900) on 22 Oct 1874.

1880ingramcensus
1880 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Kanawha > ED 28, Sheet 59D > HH #329-330 [https://archive.org/stream/populationsc18801402unit#page/n121/mode/1up : accessed 6 May 2014]
Robert’s wife Huldah JOHNSON and his sister Ruth INGRAM died between 1880-1900. This twenty year gap in the census is a hurdle all genealogists have to take. Hopefully one day documents will come to light that help close this gap. Several of Robert’s children married in Fayette County during this time as seen in marriage records:

Richard Edward married Lucy F. HAMILTON (1856-1884) on 21 March 1883. Following her death he married Rebecca Wilmuth RINEHART (1856-1909) on 27 May 1888. Irvin Lewis married Octava Susan “Susie” ALIFF (1865-1932) on 11 February 1888. Finally “old maid” Amy married James B. PAYNE (1846-1916) on 23 October 1895 at the age of 43.

1900ingramcensus
1900 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > Kanawha > ED 16, Sheet 11A > HH #190-190 [https://archive.org/stream/12thcensusofpopu1758unit#page/n105/mode/1up : accessed 6 May 2014]
In 1900 Robert is seen for the last time in the census. He is living with the family of William Edward HAMILTON and is listed as a boarder. There is no known relationship to the Hamilton family who took in two other boarders. His surname is seen as INGHRAM, a spelling that he did not use. He was widowed and did not work. He was incorrectly listed as being 89 years old, born in May 1811. He may have been born in May but in all previous census listings he was seen with an age that calculated to his being born in 1819.

Robert’s brother Matthew died 12 July 1900 in Sissonville in Kanawha County and was buried in Pauley Cemetery on Little Sandy in Elk District.

Robert INGRAM died abt. 1902 at the home of his cousin Preston KINCAID. He had one surviving sibling, Cynthia TINCHER who died in 1910.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

The Mystery of James C. Crouse Sr.’s Grave Marker

On 27 April 2014 Ellen Claytor contacted me by private message on my Facebook page to find out where James C. CROUSE 1920-1944 is buried. It was a very short message and I had no idea why she wanted to know this.

She found James in my GEDCOM file which is online at RootsWeb WorldConnect Project and linked to my Facebook page. A few messages were passed back and forth before I found out why she wanted to know.

Her son had recently bought a house and in the garage, he found a flat marble marker:

James C. Crouse Sr.
P.F.C. 424th Inf. – 106th Div.
World War II
Jan. 2, 1920 – Dec. 18, 1944

I already had the following information and went on to find several newspaper articles about his burial to answer her question.

A Short Biography of James C. CROUSE

2014-04-29_130504

James Carlton CROUSE Sr. was born 2 January 1920 in Lochgelly, Fayette County, West Virginia, to Samuel Joseph CROUSE and Cora Lee BABER. He was my 5th cousin once removed (5C1R) through two sets of 5xgreat-grandparents:
1. William JOHNSON and Amy NELSON and
2. James SIMS and his first wife Phebe [–?–].

James had been an only child for seven years when his sister Margaret Ann was born in 1927. He attended Fayetteville High School and was a Methodist.

On 26 July 1941 in Fayetteville, Fayette County, West Virginia, James C. CROUSE, age 21, married Eugenia Lee WISE, age 18, daughter of William and Lucy Lee WISE. [line 24]

James and Eugenia became the parents of a son, James Carlton CROUSE Jr., on 17 August 1942.

2014-04-29_130531
World War II Young American Patriots, 1941-1945 (Ancestry.com : accessed 29 Apr 2014)

On 2 December 1943 James enlisted in the U.S. Army “for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law.”

He began his service at Camp Blanding in Florida and then went to Europe where he served in England, France, Belgium, and Germany. He died serving his country.

His death was recorded in the Register of Death for Fayette County. [line 40] On the West Virginia Veterans Database of West Virginia Memory Project, maintained by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, we find his record with more details. His cause of death is listed as DOW (died of wounds) in Belgium while his death record in the register has killed in action (KIA) in Germany. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

A little over four years later the body of Private First Class James C. CROUSE of Fayetteville was re-interred in Huse Memorial Park in Fayetteville on Sunday, April 24, 1949.

1949 James C. Crouse burial
Beckley Post Herald > Thursday, April 21, 1949 > Page 2

Publication: Beckley Post Herald (West Virginia)
Published: Thursday, April 21, 1949, Page 2
Headline: VETERAN TO BE BURIED SUNDAY
FAYETTEVILLE, April 20 – Pfc. James C. Crouse of Fayetteville, who was killed in action in Germany, December 18, 1944, will be buried in the Huse Memorial Park here on Sunday, April 24.
There will be a brief ceremony at the home Sunday afternoon at two o’clock with Rev. R. T. Mallory of Mt. Hope in charge. Graveside services will be in charge of the American Legion, LaFayette Post, 149, Fayetteville. The body will be removed from the Dodd Mortuary here to the home of his parents, Saturday at 5:00 p.m. where it will remain until time for the services.
He was aged 24 years, 11 months and 11 days, and is survived by one son, James Culton (sic, Carlton) Crouse, Jr., his wife; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Crouse of Fayetteville; one sister, Mrs. Margaret James of Oak Hill.

1949 James C. Crouse obit
Charleston Gazette > Saturday, April 23, 1949 > Page 2

Publication: Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)
Published: Saturday, April 23, 1949, Page 2
Headline: Rites for Pfc. Crouse Slated in Fayetteville
Service for Pfc. James C. Crouse of Fayetteville, who was killed Dec. 18, 1944, in Germany, will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Crouse of Fayetteville.
Rev. R. T. Mallory of Mt. Hope will officiate and burial will be in Huse Memorial Park at Fayetteville with LaFayette Post No. 149. American Legion, in charge of graveside rites.
Pfc. Crouse, 24, was born at Lochgelly, Fayette county.
Surviving besides his parents is a sister, Mrs. Margaret James of Oak Hill.
The body is at Dodd mortuary in Fayetteville and will be taken to the house of his parents at 5 p.m. today.

James C. Crouse’s location at the time of his death

The 424th Combat Infantry Regiment of the 106th Infantry Division landed in France on 5 December 1944. They crossed into Belgium on 10 December 1944 and were stationed at Winterspelt (Germany). On 16 December 1944, the German Army unleashed its Ardennes Counteroffensive (The Battle of the Bulge). After Action Reports show that the 424th was in Belgium on 18 December 1944. KIA or DOW, whichever is correct, one could place him in Belgium and the other in Germany. His military records may shed light on this question.

And this is where the mystery comes into the story

Ellen wanted to know why the marker was in her son’s garage and what they could do to get it back where it should be.

I posted the “problem” to the Fayette County West Virginia Genealogy group on Facebook. They are a wonderful group of genealogist and always ready to help.

Anita McClung was able to confirm both James C. Crouse Sr. and Jr. are buried at Huse Memorial Cemetery. Her source is the Fayette County Cemetery Records, Vol. VI, published by the Fayette & Raleigh Counties Genealogy Societies in October 2006. She was one of the persons who participated in reading the cemeteries.

Sandra Humphries Raedel was able to furnish a missing piece of the puzzle. On Find A Grave she found James’ listing with the application for the marker. “It ‘does’ appear that a flat memorial marker was ordered for James C. Crouse Sr., but…it was to be shipped to High Lawn Memorial Park.”

I hadn’t thought to check Find A Grave as I’d already located the newspaper articles. If I’d looked there first I might not have gone on to search for the burial notices which would have caused further problems. The contributor Jeff Hall had entered the name of the cemetery seen on the application. I notified Jeff of the discrepancy and he corrected the cemetery name. 

The story of James C. Crouse’s marker continues:

After the body was returned to West Virginia and buried in Huse Memorial Cemetery, his father S. J. Crouse applied for a flat marble marker with a Christian emblem for the unmarked grave.

James C. Crouse marker application (Ancestry.com : accessed 29 Apr 2014)

James was buried on the 24th of April and his father made the application three days later on the 27th of April. Several different handwritings are seen on the card. The name of the cemetery was penciled in. On the card, we see Highlawn Memorial Park in Oak Hill as the place of burial. As seen in the cemetery book and the newspaper articles this is incorrect.

Reverse side of application (Ancestry.com : accessed 29 Apr 2014)

On May 10th C. S. Wilson, superintendent or caretaker of the cemetery, certified that the marker would be permitted on the grave. The information was verified in Green Mountain, VT, on May 17th.

The question is, was C. S. Wilson from the Huse or High Lawn cemetery?

Shock, surprise, and goosebumps

I quickly found James’ granddaughter Marian Crouse Walraven on Facebook and sent her a message. I don’t like to do this as the message will go to the person’s Other folder if you are not “friends.” I hardly ever have success getting in touch with people this way. I sent a friend request, just in case, and was surprised to get a quick response. In a private message, I explained what was going on. She was shocked to hear about this marker and confirmed that both her grandfather and father are buried in Huse Memorial Park in Fayetteville.

By the time replies came in from Anita and Sandra from the Facebook group, I was chatting with Marian, and sending messages to Ellen — three conversations at one time.

Marian was shocked that I was getting in touch with her about her grandfather’s marker and that it had been found in someone’s garage. It was news to her as she has seen his marker on his grave but does not have a photo to compare with.

She was excited to learn not only are we related through her father and grandfather but also through her mother’s paternal line. We are 6C1R on JOHNSON and SIMS lines mentioned earlier (both her father and mother descend from these lines)  and we share John KINCAID Sr. and Elizabeth Hannah GILLESPIE at the same level.

Then it dawned on me that Ellen had contacted me exactly 65 years to the day that Samuel Joseph CROUSE had filled out the marker application for his son’s grave. I shared this <goosebumps> with both Ellen and Marian. Ellen wrote, “I believe that things like this happen for a reason. My son says to use the photo. He wants to do whatever he can to find the proper place for the marker.”

The mystery hasn’t been solved. Was the marker delivered to the wrong cemetery? Was the family contacted? Did they request a new marker when the one they applied for did not show up at the cemetery of burial? Was the home that the marker was found in previously owned by a member of the Crouse family?

Photo of the marker courtesy of J. Claytor

One last <goosebumps> note:

My part in this story began on the 65th anniversary of the application for the marker. James’ story spans two continents, my part in the story also spans two continents. What are the chances that a mother in Ohio would contact a genealogist in Luxembourg — one of the countries that the Battle of the Bulge took place in?

There will be a follow-up on this mystery. I have a couple of people checking things out. Mostly, I can’t wait to hear from my new cousin Marian about how this story ends.

Update (21 February 2018):
See link at the bottom of The Mystery of James C. Crouse Sr.’s Grave Marker – Part 2

© 2014, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.