Monday, August 31, 2015

Eliza Langford Found

Eliza Langford was the one sibling of Oscar's who has consistently eluded my efforts to find her. I knew about when she was born, that Oscar had seen her when he was 18 (1855) in Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin, and she was married at that time. Then I also had a hand written note that said her married name might be "Wayland" and she may have lived in Unique or Henrique, Humboldt County, Iowa.
I am not exaggerating when I say that I looked for her for hundreds of hours. Last week that all changed.
I do most of my research on I also heavily use as a double check and with troublesome searches. Both are continually adding new records to their collections. I was once again looking for Eliza on when I found a Federal Census record from 1850 that said there was a Pennsylvania-born 18 year old Eliza Langford living in Bellevue, Jackson County, Iowa. She was living with a family named Williams. Her sisters Harriet and Jane started Iowa life in the same way. Either Iowa families took them in, or hired them as domestic help, or both.
I had previously scoured the Iowa census records for her so I was confused when this showed up and went to and looked for the same record. They had made several mistakes when it was entered. They said she was 48, not 18, and that her name was Longford and that the census was in Belleville, Iowa. When you looked at the original census file there is no doubt about her name or age.
So now I had found her. But finding her again proved to also be a challenge. In 1850 she is single in Iowa, but in 1855 Oscar sees her in Wisconsin and married. I needed to find a marriage record between 1850-1855.
I tried without success and then turned to my secret weapon, the Facebook Group : Your Genealogy Brick Walls. There are some excellent people who will do excellent work when you are at the end of your rope. It took less than a day for them to find a marriage record. Eliza married Edwin D. Hoylands on September 4, 1854, in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. Jo Daviess County is east of Dubuque and includes Galena Illinois.
Eliza Hoylands is found in the Clinton, Iowa census record of 1870 without Edwin but with a daughter, "Nettie" (Martha Janette Hoylands) and Nettie was born in Wisconsin in 1857. Also, I found four other Hoylands buried in Richland Cemetery in Green County, Wisconsin, and I found an 1878 marriage record for Nettie and her husband Thomas Heather. In the 1880 Census Eliza is living as a boarder.
I kept looking and found an Iowa State Census record from 1885 from Weaver, Humboldt County, Iowa. Eliza is 51 and living with Nettie and Thomas and their sons, Oral (1879) and Frank (1883). Another son Oscar comes along in 1897. Eliza is marked as a widow in 1885.
So all of the little facts that I knew came together. Hoylands not Wayland, living in Humboldt County, and in Clinton County, Iowa. I feel certain that this is our Eliza as there were very few other Langfords in northeast Iowa in the 1850 Federal Census

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fisher's Cemetery, Vancouver, Washington

Over the summer of 2014, we visited a lot of places for genealogy purposes. We visited cemeteries, libraries, museums, battlefields, historic homes, county offices, courthouses, historic societies and more. We checked on many families: Langfords, Flemings, Rettews and Allens in particular. Without a doubt, we learned the most about a branch of the Langford family, the Allens.
Mary Langford married Merritt Allen and had five children with him before she died in 1853 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Here is a recap of the family and some pictures from Vancouver.

Merritt Allen married Mary Langford in Fredonia, New York, in 1837, the same year her youngest brother Oscar was born. Their children Henry (1839) and Arabelle (1841) were born in New York. Around 1843 they moved to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where children Frank (1844) George James (1850) and Mary Adelia (1852) were born. Sadly Mary died there also, in 1853.

Their children:
Henry Allen can be found in the 1860 Federal Census living in Hannibal, Missouri. He was killed in action in the Civil War at the Battle of Chalk Bluff, Arkansas, on May 1, 1863. This battle was fought on both sides of the state line between Missouri and Arkansas and he died in Dunklin County, Missouri.
Arabelle Allen married Elbridge D. Bailey (1837-1894) in Wisconsin in the mid 1850s. Their family started in that state as well. Son William was born in Wisconsin in 1858. Shortly after this they moved to Hannibal, Missouri. 
By 1860 Merritt Allen, had married Jane Langford, had two children with her and left her behind when he moved to Hannibal and many of his children with Mary followed. In Hannibal, Arabelle and Eldridge Bailey added to their family Nettie (1860), George (1864) and Arthur Merritt (1874).
The least is known of Frank Allen who married Nettie McCoy and had three daughters, Frances (1867), Susan (1869) and Daisy (1873). Frank lived in Hannibal but returned to Wisconsin by the 1870 census. He moved to Mosinee, Marathon County, Wisconsin, until his death in 1905. He is buried there as well as Nettie who died in 1933.
George James Allen is one of the more intriguing characters among Mary's children. Born in Wisconsin in 1850, he is in Missouri in 1860 and marries Mary Loretta Cook there in 1870. Their first five children were all born in Missouri: Lillie Belle died at birth in 1871, Charles (1872), George (1874), Henry (1877) and Eugene (1879). After Eugene's birth, the family moved to San Francisco where the two youngest boys, Henry and Eugene, died a day apart in 1880.  The next event tells us the family did not stay in California but moved to Vancouver, Washington. In 1883 a new son is born there Albert, following by a second wave of other children, Sarah (1885) Hazel Esther (1888) and Francis Willard (1897). For the most part, this branch of the family stayed in that immediate area and are all buried in Fisher's Cemetery in Vancouver. Many of their graves are pictured here as well.
The last child of Merritt Allen and Mary Langford was Mary Adelia (1852) who married William Francis Marseilles (1850-1928) in Hannibal about 1870. They had six children and lived their lives in Missouri: Florence (1871), William Merritt (1875), Charles Edgar (1879), Francis Ferdinand (1883) and Frederick Allen (1887).
I have followed each of these descendant lines down even further but will not over burden the reader with more names and dates.
Following are pictures from Fisher's Cemetery:

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Oscar Write Julia again in 1922

It amazing appears that Oscar continued to correspond with his brother William's widow for almost thirty years after William died. This letter was written on Union Printers Home letterhead and had been noted with  this comment added to the letterhead: Exclusively a Union Printers Home and 240 acres of land in connection property of the International Printers Union. From our visit there several years ago, I learned that they ran a complete farm operation there producing much of their own food.

 Colorado Springs, Colorado
June 20, 1922

Dear Sister Julia, Hillsdale, Michigan:

Last month I had some "Kodak" pictures of myself taken, the face being a little too much shaded, but I will now mail you one of them in this letter, that you may see how I "show up" in the poor "Kodak" form, taken the date that I was three months past eighty-five, being born February 20, 1837. Please make the best of it.
Since your hand became disabled, I seldom hear from you. My daughter-in-law, Veva, in St. Louis, Missouri, cannot write from a similar affliction, but her daughter Vivian and some other relatives write me occasionally. I often think of you, and will not forget your past kindness. Weather, sun shining all this month.
Owing to my hand writing not being first-class on account of my poor eyesight, Jason E. Haynes, a roommate and Union printer, kindly writes this for me. He has his right arm off since thirty years of age, and had his left hip socket injured, causing short left leg, when forty-nine years old by two separate train accidents, yet full of life and intellect. He was born October 22, 1854. Now eight months past sixty-seven-an American, and a Missourian. Long time a printer and an editor.
Hoping this will find you in good health, I remain,
Your affectionate brother,
Oscar Langford
Resident, Union Printers Home

Friday, August 21, 2015

Oscar writes to brother William's widow in 1907

Some time ago, I was given some letters that had been written by Oscar Langford to Julia Gilbert Langford, the widow of Oscar's brother Judge William Langford.
The following letter was written some 14 years after his brother died indicating that Oscar had a regular correspondence with Julia over quite a long time. I was also given another letter written in1922.
Some time after William died, Julia returned to her family's farm in Hillsdale, Michigan. She cared for her mother and ran the farm.

January 2, 1907

Dear Sister,
I should have acknowledged your kind Christmas gift of “The House Beautiful” before now, but was waiting for my IOOF certificate before writing. The card contains a whole sermon of precious truths and I have hung it up in my room  so that I can keep its lesson in mind. Thank you.
Well, Christmas and New Year’s have come and gone and we at the Home have received numberless and all kinds of gifts from our local unions and from personal friends. One of mine was a hundred letterheads from Dayton union of which this sheet is a sample. I received from the St. Louis union $5.00 cash as did the five other members of that union at the Home. I received handkerchiefs, etc., from different friends, and have got a big enough stock on hand to keep my nose clean till next Christmas, at least. Mr. and Mrs. Graul, living at Dow City, Iowa, sent me their photos and a pretty handkerchief. Mrs. Graul is a niece of mine and the younger sister of Delia Wilcox. I was surprised to get a letter from her about three weeks ago, as she has never written to me before. I have not seen her for about forty years, when she was then Mary Wise and I think not over fifteen years old. She is now a mother of several grownup children and also a grandmother. It seems but yesterday since she and Delia were little “kids” playing about their father’s house at Elk River, Iowa. You know Delia and Mary are daughters of my sister Jeanette, one of the dearest, sweetest women that ever lived, and who died early in the fifties.
Delia Wilcox is almost a perfect picture of what her mother was, and Mary looks like her father. Mary wrote me for information about the birthplace of her father and mother, but I could tell her nothing except that her father was born in Canada.
You know, I was the youngest of eleven children. My mother died when I was about three years old, and I was adopted by a farmer named Griswold and thought that was my name till about ten years old. My father went west and I was introduced to him when I went to sister Jeanette’s in Iowa when I was about 18 years old. Jeanette lived at Fredonia, New York, near where I was raised, but I never knew she was my sister till after I found out my name was Langford, though she often came to see me when a little boy “down on the farm”. My foster parents told me her name was Walker. I remember I was mighty glad when I found out  the relationship for I was very fond of her. My father was such a ”rolling stone” that I never knew where I myself was born till I became a young man, when I visited cousins in Erie County, New York, and they told me I was born there. The rest of the family became scattered all over the country and their “long lost brother” had a terrible time hunting them up and getting acquainted. So I wrote Mary Graul all I knew about the Langford family, which wasn’t much, especially about their early history. Sister Harriet knew about all of them, but I never saw any family record.
Mary mentioned her sister Delia Wilcox, but did not write whether she was still at Mount Vernon, Iowa or not, from which I infer that she is. I have had no letter from her for over a year though I wrote to her last. The last letter she wrote she complained of bad health and that she was wearing herself out sewing for so many people, who were tiring her to death and she seemed rather discouraged. I wrote her an encouraging letter, telling her to put her trust in God and be more cheerful. But she never answered the letter.
Well, our holiday weather has been more like spring than like winter. We have had no snow to speak of since November ,when we had a severe blizzard and bad weather for about a week or more, but December has been mostly a pleasant month, the sun shining almost every day. It tried to snow yesterday a little but quit the job in a few hours. I expect, however, we will get plenty of winter weather yet, because the stormy times come late in the season here.
I got no holiday gifts from either of my sons, and I hardly expected any, as Charley (so Veva wrote) has been out of work a good while, though was at work again a couple weeks ago. I hear that Harry and his wife are both in poor health. I sent Veva some magazines, their little girl a doll and Charley some cigars and tobacco.
You must be rather lonesome trying to run the farm yourself, but I suppose there isn’t much to do in winter. I hope and pray that you may continue to be healthy, prosperous and happy. I want to hear from you often. My health is about the same. Will be 70 years old Feb. 20. God bless you and keep you,
Your affectionate brother,