52 Ancestors: #12 Civil War Baby, Gordon Washington ROOP 1862-1930
My great-great-grandfather Gordon Washington ROOP, a photographer, miner, and farmer, was born 6 May 1862 in Floyd County, Virginia, during the Civil War.
Gordon’s father enlisted in Jacksonville as a private on 10 September 1861 in Company A, 54th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry, for a period of one year. He may not have known at the time that his wife was pregnant with their third child. The 54th was engaged in battles in Bourbon County, Kentucky, on 15 April 1862 and at Princeton, (West) Virginia, on 16 May 1862. Was Gordon’s father given furlough to be at home for the birth of his son?
Gordon’s father must have worried about his young family while he continued to serve in the Confederate army. He was NOT one of the nearly 23 percent of Floyd County men who chose to abandon the cause. The Confederate Conscription Act of April 1862 may have forced him to extend his service, when his initial commitment of one year expired, to a total of three years.
On the 19th and 20th of September 1863, while Gordon was learning to walk and beginning to talk, his father was fighting his last battle at Chickamauga in Georgia. On 1 November 1863, when young Gordon was a year and a half, his father died in Flewellan Hospital, in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia.
Parents and Siblings
Gordon’s parents Gordon H. ROOP (1838-1863) and Emaline LESTER (1836-1877) married on 10 March 1856 in Floyd County, Virginia. They had two children by 1860: Dollie Ann Ellen (1857-1937) born 24 February 1857 and John Thomas (1859-1902) born 6 March 1859, both in Floyd County, Virginia.
When the American Civil War began on 4 February 1861 the young family of four was living in Floyd County. Emaline gave birth to her second son and third child, Gordon Washington ROOP, on 6 May 1862. He was given his father’s first name and, as a middle name, the surname of the first U.S. President. Sadly we do not know how much time Gordon Sr. was able to spend with his family while serving in the Civil War until his early death at the age of 25 in 1863.
The end of the Civil War in June 1865 brought changes to America, Virginia, and families in Floyd County. We don’t know what price Gordon, his mother Emaline, and his sibings paid for his father’s loyalty to the Confederacy. Gordon’s mother Emaline waited nearly six years to remarry. She was 32 when she married Pleasant D. EPPERLY, 21, son of Solomon EPPERLY and Rachel RATLIFF, on 6 February 1869 in Floyd County. A year later we see Gordon and his siblings in the household of their step-father and mother in the 1870 census.
Gordon’s sister Dollie Ann Ellen married her 2nd cousin 1 time removed Giles SUMNER (1855-1920) on 1 7 November 1873 in Floyd County. His brother John Thomas married Ardelia E. WAITMAN (1858-?) on 16 November 1876 in Camp Creek, Floyd County.
Orphaned at Fifteen
A little over a year after John’s marriage, Gordon was orphaned at the age of 15 when his mother died on 13 December 1877. Did Gordon stay with his step-father or did he go to live with his sister or his brother? Gordon and his siblings were close to their ROOP and LESTER grandparents as well as the SUMNER family, their great-grandparents. I hope that he was well taken care of until he married two years later.
Marries at Seventeen
William L. SIMMONS joined Gordon Washington ROOP, age 17, and Milla Susan PETERS, age 23, in marriage on 1 January 1880 in Floyd County at Jordan PETERS’ residence. On the marriage record the ages of the bride and groom were fudged. Gordon was listed as 21 and Milla as 20.
Gordon and Milla were first seen together on the 1880 census. They lived on Alum Ridge in Floyd County near the Montgomery County line.
Becomes a Father at Eighteen
Gordon and his wife Milla did not wait long to start their family. They had five children, four sons and a daughter, in ten years:
Ch 1: George Washington ROOP (1880-1950) born 19 September 1880in Floyd County, Virginia. Note: no birth record however WWI and WWII draft cards match date seen on his death certificate.
Ch 2: Walter Farmer ROOP (1883-1971) born 16 April 1883 in Montgomery County, Virginia.
Ch 3: Charles Turner ROOP (1885-1966) born 15 June 1885 in Montgomery County, Virginia. The father’s residence at the time was Raleigh County, West Virginia, and the birth was recorded there. Ch 4: James H. “Old Man Jim” ROOP (1887-1962) born 30 May 1887 at Snuffer’s Branch, Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia. Ch 5: [–?–] ROOP (1890-1891) born in June 1890 in Kanawha County, West Virginia. She died in a house fire in 1891.
Moves his Family to West Virginia
By 1885 Gordon moved his family to Raleigh County in West Virginia where he had the birth of his son Charles recorded. After the birth of their fourth son James, Gordon and Milla and their four sons moved to Kanawha County where their only daughter was born in 1890.
Wife and Daughter Die in a House Fire
Sadly the daughter born in June 1890 was not named and died with her mother in a house fire in 1891 according to family tradition as recounted in genealogy notes by Linda Pearl Dickey Roop. Neither death records nor newspaper articles have been found to confirm the story and year of this event.
Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994) collaborated with Everette L. McGrew (1923-2008) on a book on the Roop family. The summer of 1994 she was diagnosed with cancer and died a month later. Everette took over the task of finishing the book which he titled My Mother Was A Rupe. He gave me an updated copy in 2002. Linda had done most of the work on our direct line as her husband is the grandson of Old Man Jim, Gordon’s fourth son.
Motherless Children Go into Foster Care
The four motherless boys were placed in the home of Henry Snuffer, the Sheriff of Kanawha County, and his brother, Lee Snuffer, until Gordon was able to care for them. Linda wrote, “Gordon married second to Nancy E. Johnson. When Gordon returned for his children, Walter, Charles and George went with him but James wanted to stay with the only family he knew, the Snuffers, so Gordon let him stay rather than insist he go with him. Henry and Martha E. Snuffer were a loving married couple who could not have children of their own. They took in and raised with loving care many children who had lost their parents.”
Further research brought to light that Lee and Eliza Snuffer, like Henry and Martha, did not have children of their own. James was living in Henry Snuffer’s and Charles was in Lee Snuffer’s households in 1900. Walter was with Gordon and his second family. George was not found. Is it possible that Charles, like his brother James, also wanted to remain with the Snuffer family he had been living with?
Mentioned in his Grandfather’s Will in 1890
Gordon’s grandfather James ROOP dated his will 31 January 1890. He died 2 November 1890 and final settlement of the will was made on 18 September 1897 in Floyd County, Virginia. In his will James ROOP mentioned among others, his son Gordon ROOP’s children Thomas, Gordon, and Dolly.
Marries a Second Time and Fathers More Children
Gordon Washington ROOP and Nancy Elizabeth JOHNSON (1860-1949) were married on 25 August 1894 in Pond Gap, Kanawha County, West Virginia, by L. D. Hill. [line 76]
They had five children in five years:
Ch 6: Samuel Pasley “Sam” ROUPE (1895-1956) born 30 October 1895 in Blue Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia [line 39].
Ch 7: Julia Ann ROOP (1897-1990) born 4 January 1897 in Cannelton, Kanawha County, West Virginia [line 40].
Ch 8: Amanda O. “Mandy” ROOP (1898-1994) born 20 March 1898 in Hughes Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia [line 12].
Ch 9: Hallie Beatrice ROOP (1899-1944) born 10 September 1899 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Ch 10: Hazel Vern ROOP (1900-1976) was born 28 December 1900 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Dies at the Home of his Daughter
According to Linda Pearl Dickey Roop, Gordon was living with his daughter, Amanda WITHROW in Donnally Hollow in Kanawha City, West Virginia, before he died so that he could get to the doctors more easily. Gordon Washington ROOP died at 6:30 a.m. on 30 January 1930 in Kanawha City; cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis with contributory factor being cardio-renal disease. He was buried in Jodie, Fayette County.
Gordon’s son Walter Farmer ROOP was the informant on the death certificate. Walter didn’t know the name of his grandmother and he got the name of his grandfather wrong. Or did he? The name he gave was Ham ROOP. Gordon’s father’s middle initial was H. in Civil War records. Is it possible that the H. was for Hamilton even though Gordon Sr.’s youngest brother was named Hamilton Null ROOP? Could Uncle Hamilton have raised Gordon Jr. after both his parents’ deaths?
Gordon Washington ROOP was survived by his second wife, all of his children except for the baby girl who died in the house fire, and his sister Dollie. His children’s families continued to grow giving him a total of 50 known grandchildren, 10 still living in 2014.
Gordon’s second wife Nancy Elizabeth Johnson died 14 June 1949 in Charleston.
Mary M. DEMPSEY, one of my 4 paternal great-great-grandmothers, is from the other DEMPSEY line in my family tree. The lines are connected as Mary’s daughters Octava and Laura INGRAM married sons of William A. W. DEMPSEY. However a common DEMPSEY ancestor has not been found to connect the two DEMPSEY lines.
52 Ancestors: #11 Mary M. DEMPSEY abt. 1845-bet. 1880-1888
Mary M. DEMPSEY was born about 1845 to Seaton Y. DEMPSEY and Clementine M. GOWING who were married on 3 January 1829. They had 5 children before Mary was born and then two more bringing the total to eight children. All of these events took place in Amherst County, Virginia.
Sib 1: George W. Dempsey (1831-aft. 1870)
Sib 2: Geneva Elizabeth “Jennie” Dempsey (1836-aft. 1910)
Sib 3: William S. Dempsey (1839-1860s)
Sib 4: Thomas G. Dempsey (1840-1860s)
Sib 5: John J. Dempsey (1843-1860s)
Sib 7: Martha Ann “Matties” Dempsey (1847-1909)
Sib 8: Julia Victoria Dempsey (1853-1926)
1850 U.S. Federal Census
Amherst County, Virginia
Dempsey, C. Y. 47 M Farmer 500 Virginia
Dempsey, C. M. 35 F
Dempsey, Geo W. 19 M
Dempsey, Elizabeth 14 F
Dempsey, Wm S. 11 M
Dempsey, Thomas G. 10 M
Dempsey, John J. 7 M
Dempsey, Mary M. 5 F
Dempsey, Martha A. 2 F
Following the 1850 census Mary’s older siblings began to marry and have children. Her sister Jennie had illegitimate children, a daughter about 1857 and twin daughters about 1859. Her brother George married Rhoda A. STATON (1825-aft. 1870?) on 20 December 1852 and her brother William married Mary Eliza CLEMENTS (1839-?) on 26 April 1857, both in Amherst County.
The family moved to Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Mary’s father Seaton and her uncle Wilson M. DEMPSEY moved their families to Fayette County, (West) Virginia, in the late 1850’s. Mary’s brother William and sister Jennie remained in Amherst County with their young families.
The 1860 census listing shows Mary’s parents in one household followed by her brother George’s household. Mary and and her siblings Thomas, John, Martha, and Julia were listed in George’s household. Normally Mary and her siblings would have been listed in her parents household. I suspect that the entire family group was living together and George was given a household and family number making it look like his siblings were living in his household.
1860 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Dempsey Ceton Y. 57 M W farmer Virginia
Clementine M. 47 F W wife Virginia
George 28 M W farm labor Virginia
Rhoda 35 F W wife Virginia
Ceton A. 5 M W Virginia
Thomas G. 18 M W farm labor Virginia
John J. 15 M W farm labor Virginia
Mary M. 13 F W Virginia
Martha A. 10 F W Virginia
Juda V. 7 F W Virginia
Older siblings returned to eastern Virginia in the 1860s
Following the 1860 census Mary’s brother Thomas returned to eastern Virginia and joined the 58th Virginia Infantry in August 1861 in Amherst County. It is possible that her brother John also went east and joined up in Rockbridge County where their brother William was living. There is no trace of William, Thomas, or John in 1870 or later. Mary’s brother George and his wife disappear after the 1870 census. Their sons remained in Fayette County while a daughter went back to Amherst and later lived in Rockbridge County.
Mary’s sister Jennie had more illegitimate children and married Marshall S. TERRY (1843-aft. 1920) about 1866-1869 (per 1900 and 1910 census). She died between 1910-1920 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. No marriage record has been found for Jennie and Marshall Terry. In 1895 Chancery Records found in Rockbridge County concerning the estate of her uncle Wesley G. DEMPSEY, one of Seaton and Wilson’s brothers, Jennie was seen as Wesley’s niece Jennie TERRY (née DEMPSEY) wife of Marshall TERRY. Prior to finding the chancery records it had been assumed that the daughter seen only as Elizabeth in 1850 had died by 1860. Finding her as Jennie Terry, wife of a man who was seen as a mulatto in the earlier census listings, has brought up a whole bunch of questions that need to be answered. This discovery also gives me faith in the documents that are going to help open the doors in the DEMPSEY brick walls!
Back in Fayette County, West Virginia
Mary’s parents Seaton and Clementine remained in Fayette County with the three youngest daughters Mary M., Martha A., and Julia V. By 1870 Mary and her sister Martha had married and only Julia was living at home with her parents.
Mary’s sisters Martha and Julia marry
Martha Ann “Matties” DEMPSEY married George L. “Little George” JOHNSON (1846-bef 1880) on 20 September 1866. They had four children before Little George left her a widow. She married second Joseph Henry ARBAUGH (1853-1927) on 18 July 1880 in Ansted, Fayette County, West Virginia. They were the parents of three children. “Matties” died on 11 March 1909.
Julia Victoria DEMPSEY married Joseph Henry PRESSON (1850-1934) on 3 June 1872. They were the parents of 7 children. Julia died 1 May 1926 in Ansted.
What became of Mary M. Dempsey?
On 23 May 1867 Eli WOOD, Minister of the Gospel, performed the marriage ceremony in Fayette County, West Virginia, for Mary M. DEMPSEY and her groom Irvin Lewis INGRAM, son of Robert INGRAM and Huldah JOHNSON. [line 37]
The 1870 census listing for Mary and her young family has not been located. I suspect that the family may have been missed. From later records we know that Mary’s first daughter Octavia Dell INGRAM (1866-1923) was born 14 March 1866 Fayette County, West Virginia. This was a year prior to Mary’s marriage to Irvin Lewis INGRAM on 23 May 1867. Following the marriage their second daughter Laura Belle INGRAM (1868-1940) was born 24 April 1868 at Ingram Branch on Loop Creek in Fayette County. There are no birth records for Octava and Laura and we must rely on the information passed on to descendants, in Octava’s case, and given on Laura’s death certificate.
Mary and Irvin’s third daughter’s birth was entered in the register of births: Harriet F. Ingram (1871- ) born 8 March 1871 at Loup Creek, Fayette County, West Virginia. This daughter most likely died before 1900 as she has not been found in the 1900 census nor has a marriage record been found for her at WVCulture.org. Note that her father Irvin was missed in the 1900 census and it is possible that Harriet may have also been missed.
In 1880 we see Mary age 31 with her husband Irvin age 35 and their three daughters, Octavi D. age 14; Laura B. age 12 and Harriet F. age 9. This is the last record we find to document Mary’s life.
Was Mary still living when her daughters married in the early 1880’s? Octavia Dell married Elijah Lewis DEMPSEY (1862-1943) on 19 October 1882 and Laura Belle married William Henderson DEMPSEY (1860-1941) on 1 October 1884. Both marriages were performed by I. C. Cavendish.
Mary’s husband Irvin Lewis INGRAM’s marital status was widower when he married Susie Aliff on 11 February 1888 therefore Mary must have died after the 1880 census and prior to Irvin’s marriage in February 1888. She would have been 43 years old in 1888.
I planned out my 52 Ancestors in January and only noticed today that I would be blogging about the same ancestral line as I did last year on St. Patrick’s Day. Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona Duit!
“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 my 10th entry in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.
52 Ancestors: #10 Irvin Lewis INGRAM 1846-1910
Irvin Lewis INGRAM, my 2nd great-grandfather, died in 1910. I don’t have access to West Virginia newspapers for that time period and do not even know if an obituary was printed for him. I’ve used the information in my genealogy database to write this impromptu obituary in honor of him.
Obituary of Irvin L. Ingram Irvin Lewis Ingram, 64, passed away at his home in Turkey Creek near Ansted, Thursday, March 4, 1910, as a result of kidney trouble. He was a blacksmith and a member of the Loop Creek Baptist Church in the early days of its formation. Irvin was born about 1846 to Robert Ingram and Huldah Johnson on land patented by his father Robert and uncle Matthew in 1843 on Ingram Branch of Loup Creek (also seen as Loop Creek) in Fayette County, Virginia (now West Virginia). He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife Mary M. Dempsey Ingram; daughter Harriet F. Ingram; granddaughters, Lillie Dempsey (1908), Cora Dempsey (1887), Victoria Dempsey (1896), Viola Dempsey (1887), and Pearl Dempsey (1898); great-granddaughter Olive Dempsey (12 Jan 1910); sister Amy Ingram Payne and brother Vincent Ingram. Survivors include three daughters Octavia Dell (Elijah L.) Dempsey of Turkey Creek, Laura Belle (Fred R.) Dempsey of Victor, and Ocie Ola (Michael C.) Watts of South Caperton; 18 grandchildren Edward Dempsey, Hallie Dempsey, Walt Dempsey, Ada Dempsey, Clara Dempsey, Bert Dempsey, Henrietta Dempsey, Carl Dempsey, Willie Dempsey, Ernest Dempsey, Oscar Dempsey, Roy Dempsey, Fred Dempsey, Clyde Dempsey, Hester Dempsey, Homer Watts, Arizona Watts and Myrtle Watts; two sisters, Maggie Bowling and Mary E. Blake; two brothers, William P. Ingram and Richard E. Ingram; an aunt, Cynthia Ingram Tincher; many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was also survived by his former wife Octava Susan “Susie” Aliff Walk and her children Thomas Holstein, Julian Lee Walk, Mary Ann Walk, and Joseph Walk. His 24th grandchild is expected in November. Funeral arrangements are unknown. Burial may have been in Hendrick’s Cemetery, Turkey Creek.
The Details of Irvin’s Life
Irvin Lewis INGRAM was the second son of Huldah JOHNSON (1818-aft.1880) and Robert INGRAM (1819-1902). The family of five was seen on the 1850 census in Fayette County, Virginia. Vincent was born abt. 1841, Irvin abt. 1846 and William in 1848.
1850 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Enumerated on 27 August 1850
Robert Ingram 31 M W Farmer $100 VA
Huldah Ingram 32 F W Virginia
Vincent Ingram 9 M W Virginia
Irvin L. Ingram 4 M W Virginia
Wm. P. Ingram 2 M W Virginia
During the 1850’s the family grew with the births of Irvin’s three sisters: Amy, Nancy Margaret “Maggie”, and Mary Elizabeth INGRAM.
1860 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
District No. 1, Page No. 25, Sheet No. 335
Enumerated the 20th day of June 1860,
P. Morton, Ass’t Marshall
Gauley Bridge Post Office
HH # 183-161
Robert Ingram 41 M W Farmer $1000 $200 Virginia
Huldah Ingram 42 F W Virginia
Vincent Ingram 19 M W Farm Laborer Virginia
Ervin L. Ingram 14 M W Virginia
William P. Ingram 12 M W Virginia
Amy Ingram 8 F W Virginia
Nancy M. Ingram 7 F W Virginia
Mary E. Ingram 3 F W Virginia
Amanda Blake 20 F W day laborer Virginia
John A. Blake 1 M W illegitimate Virginia
It is believed that Irvin’s oldest brother Vincent INGRAM died during the 1860’s as no further records are found for him following this census. Did he serve in the Union or Confederate army during the Civil War (1861-1865)? Did he have a middle name that he was known by after the 1860 census?
In 1862 the family was complete with the birth of Irvin’s youngest brother Richard Edward INGRAM.
Irvin was a Baptist
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. The Methodists also allowed the Baptists to use their Lincoln Chapel, a small log building constructed about the time the Civil War ended. The first house of worship owned by Loop Creek Baptist Church built in 1874 was used only a brief time before it was destroyed by fire. Once again Lincoln Chapel was used until 1892.
Irvin and Mary Ingram as well as Mary’s parents, Seaton and Clementine Dempsey, 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.
Irvin marries and becomes a father (maybe not in that order)
Irvin and Mary’s first daughter Octavia Dell INGRAM was born in March 1866 per the 1900 census. The age calculation is consistent in census listings. However this was over a year prior to the marriage. Their second daughter Laura Belle INGRAM was born 24 April 1868 at Ingram Branch per her death record. I had hopes of clearing up the confusion with the 1870 census but the small family of four appears to have been missed.
Irvin’s parents and four youngest siblings were found in HH #13-13 in the Falls of Kanawha Township (Fayette County) followed several households later, in HH #16-16, by his brother William Preston, his wife Minerva LIGHT (1849-1920) whom he married 8 April 1869, and their son.
Could Irvin’s absence in the 1870 census mean that he was not in Fayette County? Was his brother Vincent with him and his family? By 1871 we see Irvin and Mary living in Loup Creek at the time of the birth of their third daughter Harriet F. INGRAM (1871-bef. 1900) born 10 March 1871. [line 83]
Irvin’s younger siblings began to marry in the 1870’s: Nancy Margaret “Maggie” INGRAM married 2 February 1872 Marion L. BOWLING (1836-1900) and Mary Elizabeth INGRAM married 22 October 1874 Martin Van Buren BLAKE (1846-1900).
In 1880 we see Irvin and Mary with their three daughters. No other children are known to have been born to this couple.
1880 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, West Virginia
ED No. 27, Sheet No. 17A
Enumerated the 8th day of June 1880, John T. Smith, enumerator
Ingram, Irvin W M 35 married Blacksmith WV WV WV
Ingram, Mary M. W F 31 Wife married Keeping house VA VA VA
Ingram, Octavi D. W F 14 Dau single At home attended school WV WV WV (sic, VA)
Ingram, Laura B. W F 12 Dau single At home attended school WV WV WV (sic, VA)
Ingram, Harriet F. W F 9 Dau single attended school WV WV WV (sic, VA)
The mystery years between 1880-1910 (due to missing census)
The absence of the 1890 census makes it difficult to determine when Irvin’s mother Huldah JOHNSON died. No death record was recorded in West Virginia and by 1900 her husband Robert was seen as widowed, therefore she died between 1880-1900.
Irvin’s oldest daughter Octavia Dell INGRAM married Elijah Lewis DEMPSEY (1862-1943) on 19 October 1882. Nearly two years later his daughter Laura Belle INGRAM married William Henderson DEMPSEY (1860-1941), the brother of Elijah, on 1 October 1884. Both marriages took place in Fayette County, West Virginia.
Irvin remarries after his wife’s death
Irvin’s wife Mary M. died after the 1880 census and before 1888. We see Irvin, a widower, marrying Octava Susan “Susie” ALIFF (1865-1932), a widow, on 11 February 1888 in Fayetteville. They were married by Irvin’s double second cousin Rev. Henry LIGHT. On the marriage certificate Susie was listed as Mrs. HOLSTEIN and more research was done to determine her maiden name. [marriage license and return; left page]
Susie brought a son, Thomas Holstein, from her first marriage into the union. Irvin and Susie had a daughter Ocie Ola INGRAM (1889-1949) born 8 July 1889 in Fayette County, West Virginia. [line 185]
His second union is a troubled marriage….
I suspect that Irvin and his second wife Susie were living a troubled marriage long before they were divorced in 1904. In 1897 the birth of a son was recorded twice with similar information. Julian Lee INGRAM (1897-1960) born 9 July 1897 in Star, Fayette County, West Virginia, was the third child of the mother Susie. [page 414, entry 2] and [page 406, entry 4]. The age of the mother is seen as 23 but should be 32. In both records Irvin age 52 is listed as the father. However the child is seen as Julian Lee WALK in 1910 to 1940 census records and his 1960 death record. Julian is listed as a half-brother in the obituary of Ocie Ola Ingram Davis Watts. This would suggest that Julian’s father was not Irvin INGRAM. Samuel Russell WALK, whose obituary listed Julian as his son, gave him his surname and raised him. Note that Thomas Holstein, Susie’s son from her first marriage, is also listed as a son of Mr. Walk in the obituary. Susie INGRAM had two children with Samuel Russell WALK before they were married in 1905.
The 1900 census might have shed more light on the number of children that Irvin and his second wife Susie had. Unfortunately there are several families in my family tree who were missed in Fayette County enumeration including Irvin and his second family (Susie Ingram, Thomas Holstein, Ocie Ola Ingram, and Julian Lee Ingram aka Julian Lee Walk) as well as his brother William P. Ingram and his family. I did locate Samuel Russell WALK, single, with his mother, stepfather and half-siblings.
….ends in divorce….
The divorce of Irvin Lewis INGRAM and Octava Susan ALIFF was recorded at Fayette County courthouse on 15 December 1904. [Note: copy of this record needs to be obtained; would cause for divorce be included in the entry?]
Susan INGRAM did not wait long to remarry. She married Samuel Russell WALK on 23 April 1905 [9th entry from bottom] in Fayette County. As it turns out, Sam Walk was the father of three of the children Susie gave birth to while married to Irvin. I have always suspected this and finally found the records to prove it.
….and three children born during his 2nd marriage were another man’s
A new search on WVCulture turned up a delayed birth certificate (1952) for Julian Lee WALK naming Samuel WALK and Susie ALIFF as his parents. Further a delayed birth certificate (1958) was found for Joseph WALK who was born 22 October 1904, several weeks before Susie’s marriage to Irvin was dissolved. The third child that Susie gave birth to while she was still the wife of Irvin INGRAM was Mary Ann WALK who killed herself in 1918 at the age of nearly 17 years. Her certificate of death shows that Samuel Russell WALK was her father.
While Irvin was having his difficulties with his second wife his siblings continued to marry. His youngest brother Richard Edward INGRAM married Lucy F. HAMILTON (1856-1884) on 21 March 1883. Lucy died in February 1884 two weeks after the birth of their child from a deep cold. The child died about the same time at age 2 weeks. Richard then married Rebecca Wilmuth RINEHART (1856-1909) on 27 May 1888. Irvin and Richard’s “old maid” sister Amy INGRAM married James B. PAYNE (1846-1916) on 23 October 1895 and both died between 1900-1910.
Irvin’s father Robert INGRAM died about 1902 at the home of his cousin Preston KINCAID.
Irvin’s daughter Ocie Ola INGRAM married Clay DAVIS (1883-1906) on 2 February 1906 at Coal Run in Fayette County. The marriage lasted less than three weeks as the young groom was killed in a mine accident on 21 February 1906. Ocie Ola then married Michael Curtis WATTS (1879-1948) on 5 June 1906 at Coal Run.
Irvin Lewis INGRAM died 4 March 1910 at Turkey Creek, Fayette County, West Virginia. His daughter Octava DEMPSEY was the informant on his death record where his marital status is listed as single. [fourth entry from bottom]
Addendum: Irvin died 104 years ago. It is not likely that his obituary would have been written the way I wrote it. I wanted it to show all of the people who were in his life: parents, siblings, spouses, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, and, yes, even the children he did not father but were born to his second wife while they were still legally married.
If anyone reading this has more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
March 6 — Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor (wedding ring or other jewelry, china, clothing, etc.) If you don’t have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother, or aunt (a scarf, a hat, cooking utensil, furniture, etc.)
My grandmother Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE married Nicolas WILDINGER, a German whose family had been living in Luxembourg since the first World War, on the 26th of July 1935. A month later she made a declaration to preserve her Luxembourgish nationality. In May 1936 her only child was born. When her daughter was five years old Marcelle’s husband died of tuberculosis. She had at least one offer of marriage but remained a widow from 1941 until her death in 2005 at the age of 95 years, 7 months, 10 days.
Bomi, as her grandchildren called her, was a fearless female during World War II (1939-1945). On May 10th, 1940, the German Wehrmacht invaded Luxembourg. On the eve of this invasion the Prime Minister of Luxembourg and his government decided to go into exile. From abroad, they lead the resistance against the Nazi regime in Luxembourg. Grand Duchess Charlotte followed the government and eventually moved to London, the headquarters of the allies. Thanks to her, the resistance movement in Luxembourg developed strongly.
The people of Luxembourg had their own ways to resist the German occupation of their country during World War II. They used passive resistance. They refused to speak German and participated in the Spéngelskrich [see page 14] or “War of the Pins.” The people wore badges, pinned to their coats or jackets, which bore patriotic emblems such as the Red Lion or the head of Grand Duchess Charlotte, cut from a coin. My Bomi, Marie Marcelle FOURNELLE, wore this amulette, a profile of the Grand Duchesse with the initial C for Charlotte, on a chain around her neck until her death in 2005.
Bomi told us several stories about her life during this time. Once on the evening of January 23rd all of the neighbors met in her house to celebrate the birthday of Grand Duchess Charlotte. The windows were covered so that no light could be seen from the street but the German patrol could hear the celebrating. They knocked on the door and asked what was going on. Bomi told them that they were celebrating her birthday. It’s a good thing they didn’t check her identification as her birthday was June 17th. She asked the Germans to join them in a glass of wine. She would laugh when she told us how the Germans raised their glasses to the birthday girl, not knowing that they were toasting the Grand Duchess.
Bomi was a seamstress and during the war the German officers’ wives would come to her to have their clothes made or altered. Once shellfire had caused damage to the roof of her house and she needed roofing material to have it fixed. She went to the Germans to apply for aid. The officer in charge wasn’t very forthcoming. My fearless Bomi “threatened” him saying that the next time his wife needed a new dress she wouldn’t be able to help her unless he helped her now. The officer’s wife must have also been a fearless female because he handed over the papers Bomi needed to pick up the supplies.
Hope that caught your eye! No, I’m not convinced that one of my ancestors was an alien from another world. After last week’s entry about my most frustrating brick wall, William A. W. DEMPSEY, I had to do something to lighten things up before I go on with his wife Sarah’s story.
Sarah Ann WOOD was born about 1827 in (present day) Fayette County, West Virginia, the third child of Elijah WOOD and Rachel HONAKER who were married in 1825 in Nicholas County, (West) Virginia.
In 1885 Elijah WOOD named his nine living children in order of birth in his last will and testament. Sarah was named third after Allen Alexander and Amanda Jane; Mary Salina was named fourth. Allen, Amanda, Sarah, and Mary were born between 1825-1830 per the 1830 census when the family was living in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia. Allen was their first child born nine months after the marriage in October 1825 per the 1900 census. The 1840 census numbers are consistent with the 1830. There are no birth records for this time period so I have to trust the census for an estimate of when the children were born.
I am puzzled by the fact that the family was enumerated in Greenbrier County in 1830 as the area that they lived in was part of Nicholas County at that time. Or did they move out of that area for a short time? Sarah’s great-grandfather Bailey WOOD first settled in Woodville (also known as New Haven, Westlake and now Ansted) in the 1790’s when the area was part of Greenbrier County. Due to the changing county lines it fell to Nicholas County in 1818 and then Fayette County in 1831.
[See this nifty interactive map on the formation of the Virginia counties.]
I’m multi-lingual and sometimes the right term in English just doesn’t want to come to me when I need it. There is a wonderful German word to describe the vital records for the time period that my Sarah lived in: lückenhaft (incomplete, sketchy, fragmentary, scrappy, gappy). When documentation is “lückenhaft” and your ancestor fits into the gaps found between the records it’s disappointing. Looking on the bright side, it is encouraging to find records for siblings and other relatives to put things into perspective.
Sarah was most likely the next of Elijah and Rachel’s children to marry. She married William A. W. DEMPSEY about 1846 as we see Wm. A. W. age 28 and Sarah A. age 22 in the 1850 census with their oldest child Elizabeth Rachel age 3 and James Alexander age 1. The young family was living in HH#85, in the immediate area of Sarah’s parents in HH#94, in Fayette County.
In the 1850’s Sarah gave birth to three more children: Mary Virginia in June 1854, Eunice J. on 1 May 1855, and John Henry on 7 November 1857. The closeness of these births makes me wonder if she may have had more pregnancies between 1849-1854, children who did not survive.
In 1860 the family was living in the household of the widower John A. McGRAW and his three motherless children. John’s deceased wife Nancy M. McGRAW (maiden name McGRAW) was Sarah’s double first cousin once removed. I would like to think that the families were living together because Sarah was helping with the care of the widower’s children who had lost their mother in 1855. I believe that the families may have been living together for several years. Both families had sons named James. Sarah’s son James was seen with only his middle name, Alexander, possibly an attempt to avoid confusion as the boys were close in age. That same year Sarah gave birth to her sixth child, my great-grandfather, William Henderson DEMPSEY, born on 14 September 1860.
Sarah’s husband is arrested as a rebel
During the Civil War while pregnant with her youngest child Elijah Lewis (b. 19 October 1862), Sarah’s husband William A. W. DEMPSEY, a farmer and citizen residing on Dogwood Ridge, was arrested as a rebel by the Union army. He had left home on the 18th of May 1862 to get work in the valley when he heard firing at the Court House. He gave the names of his brothers-in-law Simpson Wood, Styris Wood, and G. W. McVay of the Oil Works as references as well as saying he knew Hamilton of Hawks Nest. James B. Hamilton was well known and his marriage linked him to the large WOOD family. He had married Sarah’s first cousin Matilda Wood in 1853.
The Difficult Years Following The Civil War
Times were hard for Sarah and her family following the Civil War. Sarah’s mother Rachel died in the 1860’s and her father Elijah remarried. About 1867 Sarah’s husband William was killed in a logging accident leaving her with a passel of children aged between twenty-one and five. Her oldest child Elizabeth Rachel “Lizzie” DEMPSEY married Robert HUGHES, a widower, in 1868.
The family is dispersed
Sarah still had six children to feed and raise. The extended WOOD family came to her rescue. The family was scattered at the time of the 1870 census. James was living with his Aunt Amanda Jane (WOOD) PARRISH:
Eunice and John were with their grandfather Elijah WOOD:
Elijah, the youngest, and his mother Sarah were with his aunt Turzey (WOOD) NEAL:
William, age 10 at the time and working as a farm laborer, was living with the Abraham “Abram” FORSYTHE family. Mr. FORSYTHE was first married to Sarah HENDRICK (d. 1859) and second to Mary WESTLAKE in 1862. Both Abram’s brother Samuel and Mary’s sister Mathilda were married into the large WOOD family.
Lizzie was with her husband, raising his two motherless boys from his first marriage and their own son.
Sarah’s daughter Mary Virginia, about 16 years old at the time, was not found. She was in the area as she was the next of Sarah’s children to marry. She married John A. SNELL (1850-1897) on 16 September 1872 in Fayette County.
Two marriage licenses found for Sarah
A few months later Sarah had an offer to marry as a marriage license was taken out on 27 November 1872 in Fayette County, West Virginia, for James B. REID born in Scotland, widowed, son of Wm & Mary, and Sarah Ann DEMPSEY, widowed, daughter of Elijah WOOD. Geraldine Dempsey Workman believed that this marriage did not take place as there was no minister’s return. This would make sense as several weeks later, on 14 January 1873, Sarah married John M. FOX. The marriage licenses were found on the same page of the marriage register. [Reid line 17; Fox line 32]
Sarah’s children were growing and coming of age to marry. Eunice J. DEMPSEY married John Isaac SCAGGS (1841-1903) on 11 May 1873 and James Alexander “Buck” DEMPSEY married Mary E. SADDLER (1855-1920) on 25 December 1874, both marriages in Fayette County. This left her with her three youngest sons still unmarried in 1880. John and Elijah were living with their grandfather Elijah WOOD:
and my great-grandfather William, adopted, was with the John CAMPBELL family. No record has been found to show that this was a legal adoption.
In earlier research some confusion was caused by the presence of a grandson named Charles A. DEMPSEY in the 1880 household of John Fox and his second wife Sarah. Since Sarah first marriage was to a Dempsey one could assume that the grandson was the son of one of her children. But he was not. This is a lesson to those who do not look at all the persons involved in their ancestors lives. Charles was the son of John Fox’s eldest daughter Mary and her husband Seton B. DEMPSEY. To date no relationship has been found between the families of Sarah’s first husband William DEMPSEY and Seton B. DEMPSEY.
Sarah’s son James Alexander was living next door to her in the above.
Sarah’s youngest sons marry in the early 1880’s
Following the 1880 census Sarah saw her youngest sons marry their life partners. John Henry DEMPSEY married Amanda Ann “Mandy” McCLUNG (1864-1938) on 22 February 1882; Elijah Lewis DEMPSEY married Octavia Dell INGRAM (1866-1923) on 19 October 1882; and my great-grandfather William Henderson DEMPSEY married my great-grandmother Laura Belle INGRAM (1868-1940) on 1 October 1884.
Sarah and her father Elijah die a year and half apart
In 1885 Sarah’s father Elijah WOOD passed away. Sarah followed him a year and a half later on 1 April 1887 [2nd entry]. It is believed that she is buried in Good Luck Cemetery also known as Fox-Wood Cemery on Chestnutburg, Ames Hgts Rd. 1.75 mi. off Rt. 19, Fayette County, West Virginia. She was survived by six or seven children, about 20 grandchildren, and her second husband John M. FOX who died 12 January 1896. Sarah’s seven children gave her a total at least fifty grandchildren, although about seven did not live to adulthood, and nearly 180 great-grandchildren.
Flat rock tombstone may be Sarah’s
Lyle LeMasters wrote in December 2000 that he believed that my great-great-grandmother Sarah Ann Wood Dempsey Fox is buried in the old cemetery on the old Chestnutburg Road now known as the Old Mill Creek Road. The Foxes are buried at the very top of the hill and different families are buried in lines coming down the hill. The Wood family graves are about the 3rd or 4th row down the hill. The graves are all facing east to meet the rising sun. He further said that her stone is like the old Fox stones, a rock tombstone in the ground and roughly carved initials and years in the stone. She is not buried with the Foxes but is buried down along the line of the Woods graves. The reason that he believes that this is her stone is that she was the only one that came close enough to fit. His aunt Becky Fox shared a photo of the marker with me.
March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.
My first name is Catherine and I share it with the following 27 ancestors (mostly maternal, only 5 are paternal and marked with an *):
mother, Catherine Josette WILDINGER
great-grandmother, Catherine PÖPPELREITER great-grandmother, Catherine FRANTZ 3rd great-grandmothers, Maria Katharina GROELINGER 3rd great-grandmothers, Catherine SCHRAMEN
3rd great-grandmothers, Marie Catherine PHILIPPART 4th great-grandmother, Maria Catharina SCHUMACHER 4th great-grandmother, Catharina HAMES 4th great-grandmother, Catharina CORNELY 4th great-grandmother, Anne Catherine HENNES 4th great-grandmother, Catherine MEUNIER 5th great-grandmother, Katharina KLEIN 5th great-grandmother, Maria Katharina HUSS 5th great-grandmother, Catherine Barbara NOLL *
5th great-grandmother, Catherine SINGER 5th great-grandmother, Catherine ARENT 5th great-grandmother, Marie-Cathérine HASTERT 6th great-grandmother, Catharina RONES 6th great-grandmother, Catherine PLICKENSTALVER *
7th great-grandmother, Marie Catherine [–?–] HUSS (descended from her twice)
7th great-grandmother, Catherine SETON 7th great-grandmother, Anne-Catherine ECKART 8th great-grandmother, Catharina KUENZ *
8th great-grandmother, Katharina B. [–?–] BLICKENSDOERFER *
8th great-grandmother, Catherine LEPINE 9th great-grandmother, Catherine RATZEN 12th great-grandmother, Katherine (Honeywood) FLEETE *