Thursday, December 19, 2013

More on the McGinnis Family

I looked further into the descendant of Oscar's sister Harriet and her husband Alexander McGinnis. They had one grandson, Walter Raymond, who we had lost track of after 1900 when he was living with Harriet on the family farm. Here is some more detail about Walter's life.

In 1918, Walter registered for the World War I Draft in Omaha, Nebraska. He listed his wife as "Nellie" and their address as 110 Golden. His occupation was Refrigeration Engineer for the Pilsbury-Becker Engineering Company with offices in the Central National Bank Building. He listed his height and weight as medium and said he had blue eyes and red hair.

In the 1919 Tulsa City Directory, Walter is now Manager of the same engineering company and his wife is "Nellie" again.

In the 1929 Houston City Directory, Walter is listed as Vice-President of Marine Service, Inc. living at 3812 Austin Street Apt 3. with his wife "Ellen".

In the 1930 Census, he is living with his wife now listed as "Helen" who is 40 years old and who was born in New Mexico. They also have two 23 year old roomers living with them, Nora Mae Clements and Alpha Barnes.

It also appears that Walter's 1952 death was big news big news back in Ohio. I discovered his death was on page 1 of the Coshocton Tribune. I suspect that his mother Bianca stayed in the Coshocton area and he visited regularly. I have sent away for a copy of the article. This should provide any information about his children, if any, and answer the question of his wife's correct name.

I obtained this article and can add this last note. The article described the death of a famous son of Coshocton. He was well known there because his wife's family continued to live in the area. His wife had died before him and it listed no children as surviving him. Apparently, this was the end of Harriet Langford's line.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Oscar's sister, Harriet Langford McGinnis

Pictured above about 1870, is Harriet Langford McGinnis, sister to Oscar Langford. Harriet came west with her father, Charles, to Iowa, in the early 1840s. Likely, she was the one who ran the household as one of the last older daughters still at home when they moved. In the 1850 census she is listed as living with the Hann (or Hahn or Haun) family in Elk River Township, Clinton County, Iowa. There is a little patch of land there known as Hauntown, which I believe is the correct spelling. Her age is listed as 28 and she is likely working for them helping with the household. Living in his own house in the same township, with his family was her brother Charles, his wife Hannah and four of their children. Also living in this township, was her father Charles. His age is 50 and he is living with Ellen Collins, 33, and her four children. His occupation was wool carder. 

Harriet was married to Alexander Stuart McGinnis in Iowa in 1851. Her birth year was 1819, according to the script on the back of this picture. Alexander had been married before and had children to raise following the death of his first wife, Ellen Collins.

Let me reconstruct this as best I can. Alexander McGinnis married Ellen Collins on April 5, 1838, in Clark County, Ohio. They moved to Perry in Jackson County, Iowa. Jackson County is directly north of Clinton County. They had three children: Angeline L (1839-1862), Helen A. (1841-1867), and lastly William Wallace (1844-1920). According to the McGinnis genealogy, Ellen died the day after William was born from complications of childbirth.

The fact that a Collins family is living in Clinton County with Charles E. Langford while Alexander McKinnis is found in Jackson County, Iowa in the 1850 census,with only his 11 year old daughter, Angeline, may just indicate there were two farms to run.

The bigger mystery seems to me, that the McGinnis family lore is that Ellen Collins died in 1844, yet here she seems to be, living as Ellen Collins. This may be coincidence as the children in the two households vary, and the first names might be Ellen and Elizabeth. They could have been twins or sisters. I will have to work further on this.

From letters written by Oscar to others we know that Harriet moved to Coshocton, County, Ohio, where they farmed. They can be found there is the 1870 census. We also know that Alexander was appointed postmaster of Wakatomika, Ohio, from 1873 to 1891. We further know that Harriet and Alexander had two sons, both named Charles McGinnis. The first son, Charles S., only lived for a year or so. The second son, Charles E., lived to the age of 34, but did marry, to Bianca Wright, and had two children, Georgiana and Walter Raymond. Georgiana was born in late November 1880 and died the day after Christmas.

In the 1900 census Harriet can be found listed as a widow and still living on the family farm at age 77, along with her grandson, Walter, age 18.

I have not yet been able to locate a death record or burial site for Harriet. Neither have I found out what happened to her grandson, Walter. But there is a tantalizing clue provided in the picture, above. The picture is captioned "Redding" and a search for the photographer indicates he was in California. So, did Harriet retire to a nicer climate?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

William G. Langford in Vancouver, Washington

Over the Thanksgiving weekend we visited our son and his family in Vancouver, Washington. This Vancouver is just across the river from Portland, Oregon, and is always confused with the Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, to the north about 5 or 6 hours.
We had a few free moments and visited the Clark County Historical Museum there. We knew from Oscar Langford's writings that his brother, William G. Langford studied law in Vancouver, and practiced law there. We were hoping to find any information that we could about his time there.
Once we had reviewed the exhibits at the Museum, we went downstairs to their research library. And while we didn't find a lot, we were encouraged to learn that they are in the process of digitizing the entire collection of Vancouver Chronicle newspapers.
We also found a mention of William G. Langford. He was one of four attorneys who advertised in the very first issue of the Vancouver Chronicle, on June 30, 1860.
Another mention was found that he only stayed in Vancouver until 1862.
Here are pictures of William and his wife, Julia, taken in Walla Walla about 1880.

These photos and some others were generously shared with us this fall by Langford cousin, Pierce Eichelberger. Unfortunately, not all of them had identification. I will be posting the others soon.