For the last few months, I have been transcribing the obituaries that my paternal grandmother, Mamie Olive (Martindale) Spurlock, had saved in her scrapbook. This last obituary puzzled me. All the other obituaries were for immediate family, but I couldn’t identify this person—Margaret H. (Lashly) Roberts. So off I went to research her and see what I could find.
My first search was for a death certificate on FamilySearch; success! I found that Margaret was born 25 December 1896 in Missouri, the daughter of [—?—] Lashley and Sarah Robinson, and that she died on 26 November 1957 in Houston, Harris County, Texas, where she had lived for 30 years. Her mother’s maiden name of Robinson rang a bell because I knew that A.B. Martindale (my great-grandfather) had been married to Zilla Robinson prior to his marriage to my great-grandmother Sarah Belle Forshee.
I next searched Missouri marriages on FamilySearch to see if I could find her parents’ marriage. I found a Sarah J. Robinson who married James J. Lashley on 2 December 1882 in Iron, Missouri (an area where my Martindale and Forshee ancestors had lived).
I turned next to the federal census. I found Maggie Lashly (born Dec 1896 in Missouri) living with her mother Sarah (widowed, born April 1860 in Missouri) and the siblings named in her obituary in Concord, Washington County, Missouri, on the 1900 census. I then found Sarah Robinson, age 20, in the 1880 census living with her parents Wm. (born about 1838 in Missouri) and Margareth (born about 1840 in Tennessee) in Concord, Washington County, Missouri. Sarah (age 2/12) was listed in the 1860 census in Concord, Washington County, in the household of Thomas W. and Margaret Robinson.
Back to Missouri marriage records! Thomas W. Robinson married Margaret Forshee on 2 April 1857 in Washington County, Missouri. Margaret was the sister of my great-grandmother Sarah Belle Forshee.
Voila! This obituary was for a relative like all the others in the scrapbook. Margaret Lashly Roberts was the first cousin once removed of my grandmother.
“MARGARET H. ROBERTS, 60, of 1127 West 30th Ave died 8:30 AM Tuesday in her home. Survivors: Sons, Lee S. and Louis H. Roberts, both of Houston; brothers, Benton Lashly, Port Arthur, Clyde and Tom Lashly, both of Lufkin; sister, Mrs. Ethel Perry, Lufkin; four grandchildren. Services 4 PM Wednesday Boulevard Funeral Home chapel, the Rev J. Kelly Neal. Burial Forest Park Cemetery. Boulevard Funeral Home.”
Source: Undated obituary for Margaret H. Roberts from unknown newspaper, Spurlock, Mamie Olive (Martindale), Scrapbook, ca 1950-1970; privately held by Cheryl Anne (Chaney) Beaver, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lone Grove, Oklahoma. 2010. Photocopy in possession of Denise Spurlock.
© 2012 Denise Spurlock