Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wedneday - Guys and Cars

Digital image. Original held by Arnold Sherrell, [ADDRESS WITHHELD FOR
PRIVACY], Dripping Springs, Texas, 2011.
 My brother, Arny Sherell, and
Gary Hutchcraft,
c1955, California.

Digital image. Original held by Cheryl Beaver, [ADDRESS WITHHELD FOR
PRIVACY], Lone Grove, Oklahoma, 2011.
My brother-in-law, Dale Chaney, and
unknown driver,
c1955, California.


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Monday, February 27, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - 1829 Deed - Roberts to Cary


On his TransylvanianDutch blog, John Newmark defines an amanuensis as “a person employed to write out what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.” For more information about this daily blogging prompt, see John’s post Amanuensis – Why?.

I have amassed quite a collection of scans of handwritten documents related to my ancestors—primarily marriage records, deeds, and wills. As I have been transcribing these documents, it occurred to me that most of these documents were not actually written by my ancestors, but rather dictated to someone else, and then transcribed by a clerk into official records.


On Christmas Day 1829, my maternal 3rd great-grandfather Ephraim Cary purchased 100 acres of land for $150 from Wm. J. Roberts (and others) of Virginia. The land was situated along Bokes Creek in Union County, Ohio, and adjoined land purchased by his father-in-law Henry H. Gandy.

Several aspects of this deed were particularly interesting to me. It is the first deed that I have encountered where the transaction was handled by an attorney-in-fact for the seller; in this case, that individual was Laurence Ashton acting on behalf of Wm. J. Roberts and others who are named in the deed.

It also was the first time that I remember encountering so many individuals involved in the sale. Besides Ephraim as purchaser and Laurence Ashton as attorney-in-fact,  these are the people that Ashton represented:

  • Wm. J. Roberts
  • Martha Roberts
  • Thomas Lunsford Lenox (or Lomax)
  • Edmund (or Edward) Penn
  • Jane Penn, and
  • Elizabeth Smith.


Spelling was clearly a challenge! In addition to numerous spelling variations of words such as "attorney," names were spelled differently throughout the document. Roberts is also Robberts, Lenox is Lomax, Edmund became Edmond and Edward, Ephaim is also Ephriam. At least Martha, Jane and Elizabeth were spelled the same way throughout!

And a name I have never encountered: Falvory! This is the given name of the Mr. Frazier who held the original land patent.

My transcription of the document appears below the images:




“Laurence Ashton
Attorney in fact for
Wm J. Roberts & Others
Deed to
Ephraim Cary

This Indenture made this twenty fifth day of December, eighteen hundred and twenty nine, between Laurence Ashton agent and Atorney in fact for William J. Roberts, and Martha Roberts his wife, Thomas Lunsford Lenox, Edmund Penn and Jane his wife and Elizabeth Smith all of the State of Virginia as will appear by a Power of Atorney now on Record in the County of Union and State of Ohio of the one part and Ephraim Cary of the County of Union and State of Ohio of the other part. Witnesseth, That the said L. Ashton agent and attorney, as afforesaid for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and fifty Dollars to him in hand paid by the said Ephraim Cary, before the signing and ensealing of these presents, the receipt, whereof is hereby acknowledged hath granted bargained and sold, and doth by these presents, grant bargain, sell [--?--] and convey unto the said Ephraim Cary all the right title interest, and estate of the said William J. Roberts and Martha his wife Thomas Lunsford Lenox Edmond Penn and Jane his wife and Elizabeth Smith in a to a certain tract or parcel of Land lying and being in the County of Union and State of Ohio, containing one hundred acres being a part of a tract of one thousand acres entered in the name of Falvory Frazier No 3692 and pattented to Robert Campbell and bounded as follows To wit. Beginning at a stake in the center of Bokes creek near a cluster of Lymns and Two sugar trees standing on the sound side of said creek thence running down said creek with the meanders thereof S70E 32 poles. N 80 E 23 poles South 22 poles S 50 ED 7 poles to a stake inm the center of the creek, near a sugar tree and bur Oak standing on the south side of the creek North westerly corner to Henry H. Gandys' land. thence with said Gandies line S 7 W 273 poles to a stake in the south line of the Original survey, near two ash saplins, thence N 83 W 34 poles to a stake near a large berch, thence N & E 200 poles to the beginning. Together will all and singular the rights, issues benefits hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining. To Have and to Hold the said tract or parcel of land with the premises aforesaid until the said Ephraim Cary his heirs and assigns forever and the said L. Ashton agent and Atorney, as afforesaid by virtue of the power vested in him by the Letter of Atorney before alluded to and according to the true meaning and intent thereof does hereby bind the said William J Robberts and Martha his wife Thomas Lunsford Lomax to Warrant and defend the said tract of Land with its apertenances unto the said Ephriam Cary his heirs and assigns free from the Claims of them the said William J Roberts and Martha his wife Thomas Lunsford Lomax and all persons, claiming by through and under them, and the said Edmond Penn and Jane his wife and Elizabeth Smith are hereby bound to warrant and defend the said Tract of Lane with its appurtenances unto the said Ephraim Cary free from all the claim or claims of them the said Edmund Penn and Jane his wife and Elizabeth and all persons whatsoever.
In Testimony whereof the said L. Ashton agent and attorney as afforesaid has hereunto set his hand and seal and the names and seals of the ssaid William J. Roberts and Martha his wife, Thomas Lunsford Lomax, Edward Penn and Jane his wife and Elizabeth Smith the date of this Indenture first written.
                                                                        William J. Roberts       {seal}
                                                                        Martha Roberts           {seal}
                                                            Thomas Lunsford Lomax        {seal}
                                                                        Elizabeth Smith            {seal}
                                                By their agent and attorney in fact
                                                                        Laurence Ashton         {seal}

Signed and acknowledged in the presence of
Levi Phelps
N Adamson

State of Ohio  )
Union County ) ss
Personally appeared before the subscriber, a Justice of the Peace for said County, Laurence Ashton signer to the Within deed of conveyance and acknowledged the signing and sealing thereof to be his act and deed for the purposes therein Expressed as Atorney in fact for the persons therein mentioned. Given under my hand officially this 25th day of Dec. A.D. 1829
                                                            Ira Wood. Justice of the Peace
                                                                        for Union County

The above deed was filed for Record May 17th and Recorded June 26th 1930
                                                            Silas G. Strong. Recorder.” 



[Source: Union County, Ohio, Deed Books, 1819-1877, 2: 422, deed, Roberts-Cary, dated 25 Dec 1929, 26 Jun 1930; FHL microfilm 571,795.]



© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Sarah Belle (Forshee) Martindale

The following obituary is for my great-grandmother, Sarah Belle (Forshee) Martindale; she died 17 February 1923, in Houston, Harris County, Texas.



“MORTUARY

Mrs. Sarah Belle Martindale, aged 66, died at 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Mamie Spurlock, corner of Gainesville and Harbor. The body was taken in charge by the Sid Westheimer Company and the funeral will be held from the residence at 4 this afternoon. Burial will be in Hollywood Cemetery.

Surviving are two sons, W. I. Martindale of Houston and A. B. Martindale of Tyler; two daughters, Mrs. R. A. Thompson of St. Louis and Miss Mamie Spurlock of Houston; a stepson, R. E. Martindale of Houston, and a stepdaughter, Mrs. D. R. Upton of Gallatin.”



[SOURCE: Undated clipping 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

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Surname Saturday – Ancestor #9 – Dialtha Jane OWENS


One of my goals for 2012 is to use the Surname Saturday blogging prompt as a way to assure that I spend some time researching each of my family lines and that I have appropriate source citations for the genealogical facts related to my ancestors. I’ve decided to use my ahnentafel report and work back through the generations starting with my grandparents, writing a summary of each ancestor. If you discovered this post through a search engine and find one of your ancestors listed here, please leave a comment to let me know.

My paternal great-grandmother Dialtha Jane OWENS was born about 1847 in Alabama, the fourth child of Houston T. and Sherreldia J. (HAMMONTREE) OWENS.[1]

While she was a young child, the Owens family moved from Alabama to northwestern Louisiana, settling in Bienville Parish. The Owens family were near neighbors of the Spurlocks in the 1850s and probably stayed close throughout the years. Dialtha’s sister, Missouri Ann, married M. D. L. Spurlock in 1860.[2]

Dialtha married John F. Spurlock about 1875[3] and they had six children:
  • Jasper Jackson (1876-1940)[4]
  • William Martin (1878-1973)[5]
  • Era (1880-1961)[6]
  • Lucy Jane (1882-1912)[7]
  • John Thomas (1887-1969)[8]
  • Sarah Elizabeth (1890-1970)[9]
  • Jefferson Owens[10]


Dialtha died in 1893 and is buried in Hurricane Cemetery in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.[11] She was only 46 years old when she died; I heard from someone that she had some kind of blood disease (leukemia, perhaps?).

It is said that I have so little information about Dialtha and her life. Here are some of the things than I plan to do to try to learn more:
  1. I have searched the marriage records of Bienville, Claiborne and Jackson parishes for a record of Dialtha’s marriage to John Spurlock but have been unable to locate one.
  2. I will attempt to locate digitized images of historical newspapers to see if I can find any reference to her death; if digital copies cannot be found, I will add it to the list of things to research when, and if, I have the opportunity to visit the area again.
  3. I will try to find living descendants of her children and see if any has any artifacts or information about Dialtha’s life. Foster Spurlock, a descendant of Dialtha’s sister, may have some additional information.




[1] 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Western District, Bienville, Louisiana, p. 288A, family 559, household of Huston T. Owens; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 Jan 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 230.
[2] Spurlock Family Association, database, family group sheet dated 23 Jul 1996.
[3] 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, 6th Ward, Claiborne, Louisiana, enumeration district (ED) 14, p. 30B, dwelling 266, family 301, household of J. F. Spurlock; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Feb 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 451.
[4] Los Angeles, California, death certificate no. 19-442238 (1996), Jasper Jackson Spurlock; County of Los Angeles, Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
[5] Texas, death certificate no. 23575 (1973), William Martin Spurlock; digital image, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, "Texas Deaths, 1890-1976," FamilySearch Record Search (http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/ : accessed 17 Feb 2012).
[6] Maxine Morgan, "Driskill Cemetery," transcription, USGenWeb Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.net/la/bienville/cemeteries/driskillcem.txt : accessed 21 Apr 2010), entry for Era S. Crawley. Eva (Spurlock) Crawley Photograph of tombstone, 1999; digital image, privately held by Denise Spurlock, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lomita, California. 2012.
[7] Descendants of Bartholemew Ranson Spurlock (Received Aug 2000 via email from Sandra Childs Haynie - schaynie@aol.com).
[8] Texas, death certificate no. 95183 (1969), John Thomas Spurlock; digital image, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, "Texas Deaths 1890-1976," FamilySearch Record Search (http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/ : accessed 21 Apr 2010).
[9] Maxine Morgan, "Driskill Cemetery," transcription, USGenWeb Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.net/la/bienville/cemeteries/driskillcem.txt : accessed 21 Apr 2010), entry for Sarah S. Conville.
[10] Descendants of Bartholemew Ranson Spurlock (Received Aug 2000 via email from Sandra Childs Haynie - schaynie@aol.com).
[11] Dialtha Owens Spurlock Photograph of grave marker, 1999; digital image, privately held by Denise Spurlock, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lomita, Callifornia. 2012.


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Grandma at Five Points

Digital image. Original held by Arnold Sherrell, [ADDRESS WITHHELD FOR
PRIVACY], Dripping Springs, Texas, 2011.
My maternal grandmother,
Myrtle Arminta (Snider) Yawman,
at "Five Points," El Monte, California,
c1940.

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Surname Saturday - Ancestor #8 - John Fedrick Spurlock


One of my goals for 2012 is to use the Surname Saturday blogging prompt as a way to assure that I spend some time researching each of my family lines and that I have appropriate source citations for the genealogical facts related to my ancestors. I’ve decided to use my ahnentafel report and work back through the generations starting with my grandparents, writing a summary of each ancestor. If you discovered this post through a search engine and find one of your ancestors listed here, please leave a comment to let me know.

As I begin to write about my great-grandparents, I find that I have more documentation, but much more work to do in terms of transcribing documents and writing proof summaries/arguments to support my conclusions regarding their lives. As a result, these posts may not be as well documented as I would like and I may not be able to keep up the pace of a post each week.

My paternal great-grandfather John Fedrick SPURLOCK was born on or about 22 August 1850[1] probably in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. He was the 8th of ten children born to Ransom and Ellender (VICKERS) SPURLOCK.

He married first Dialtha Jane OWENS probably in 1875.[2] John and Dialtha had six children:
  • Jasper Jackson (1876-1940)[3]
  • William Martin (1878-1973)[4]
  • Era (1880-1961)[5]
  • Lucy Jane (1882-1912)[6]
  • John Thomas (1887-1969)[7]
  • Sarah Elizabeth (1890-1970)[8]
  • Jefferson Owens[9]


After Dialtha’s death in 1893,[10] John married second Annie Lee CONVILLE on 3 July 1894 in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.[11] John and Annie had twelve children:
  • Boydston W. (1894-1938)[12]
  • Allen Herman (1896-1971)[13]
  • Dayton (1898-1898)[14]
  • Gus Hobson (1899-1968)[15]
  • Zell (1901-1983)[16]
  • Velma Frances (1902-1989)[17]
  • Halbert R. (1904-1971)[18]
  • Claude Dudley (1906-1996)[19]
  • Senorita (1908-1991)[20]
  • Easter (1910-1988)[21]
  • Freda E. (1913-2003)[22]
  • Jewell S. (1915-1997)[23]


Wow, that’s a lot of mouths to feed! How did he do it?

In addition to farming,[24] John was a minister with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.[25] He served as constable in Claiborne Parish in 1880[26] and was elected a Justice of the Peace in Bienville Parish in 1900.[27]

However, it appears that money was always tight because he appeared on the delinquent tax list in 1877[28] and notices of sheriff’s sales for nonpayment of taxes appeared in newspapers in 1920,[29] 1921,[30] and 1922.[31]

John died on 18 March 1945 in Jonesboro, Jackson Parish, Louisiana, and is buried next to his second wife Annie at the Antioch Cumberland Presbyterian Church cemetery.[32]

Although I have a great deal of information about John’s life, there are still several areas that need further research:
  1. I need to continue to search for early records of John in order to establish more precisely when he was born. The earliest record on which he appears is the marriage certificate for M.D.L. Spurlock (his brother) and Missouri Owens in 1868; he was a witness to the marriage.
  2. I have searched the marriage records of Bienville, Claiborne and Jackson parishes for a record of John’s first marriage but have been unable to locate one.
  3. I have several deeds that need to be transcribed and/or ordered from courthouses in Bienville and Claiborne parishes.
  4. My cousin Archie Spurlock told me that John collected a small pension for his work as a minister for the Cumberland Presbyterian church; I need to contact the church historical foundation to see if they have any information on this.
  5. In the early 1930s, John filed a fraudulent application for a Civil War pension on the basis of his brother George Spurlock’s service; George died in Texas in 1880. I have the pension file and need to write an article about it.
  6. There are only a few individuals still living who knew him personally. One is Loretta Spurlock with whom I am in touch regularly. I need to formally interview Loretta regarding her memories. I have some taped conversations recorded in November 2011 which I have yet to transcribe.



[1] Various documents point to this date including census records from 1880-1930 and his death certificate; however, I am still looking for additional evidence and need to write a proof argument.
[2] 1880 U.S. census, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, 6th Ward, enumeration district (ED) 14, p. 30B, dwelling 266, family 301, household of J. F. Spurlock; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Feb 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 451.
[3] Los Angeles, California, death certificate no. 19-442238 (1996), Jasper Jackson Spurlock; County of Los Angeles, Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
[4] Texas, death certificate no. 23575 (1973), William Martin Spurlock; digital image, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, "Texas Deaths, 1890-1976," FamilySearch Record Search (http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/ : accessed 17 Feb 2012).
[5] Maxine Morgan, "Driskill Cemetery," transcription, USGenWeb Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.net/la/bienville/cemeteries/driskillcem.txt : accessed 21 Apr 2010), entry for Era S. Crawley. Eva (Spurlock) Crawley Photograph of tombstone, 1999; digital image, privately held by Denise Spurlock, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lomita, California. 2012.
[6] Descendants of Bartholemew Ranson Spurlock (Received Aug 2000 via email from Sandra Childs Haynie - schaynie@aol.com).
[7] Texas, death certificate no. 95183 (1969), John Thomas Spurlock; digital image, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, "Texas Deaths 1890-1976," FamilySearch Record Search (http://pilot.familysearch.org/recordsearch/ : accessed 21 Apr 2010).
[8] Maxine Morgan, "Driskill Cemetery," transcription, USGenWeb Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.net/la/bienville/cemeteries/driskillcem.txt : accessed 21 Apr 2010), entry for Sarah S. Conville.
[9] Descendants of Bartholemew Ranson Spurlock (Received Aug 2000 via email from Sandra Childs Haynie - schaynie@aol.com).
[10] Kelly Christian Priestly, "Hurricane Cemetery, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana," transcription, USGenWeb Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.org/la/claiborne/cemeteries/hurrican.txt : accessed 12 Apr 2010), entry for Dialtha Owens Spurlock. Dialtha Owens Spurlock Photograph of grave marker, 1999; digital image, privately held by Denise Spurlock, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lomita, Callifornia. 2012.
[11] Bienville Parish, Louisiana, (Bienville Parish Courthouse, Arcadia), vol. G, p. 111, marriage certificate (1894), J. F. Spurlock-Annie V. Conville; FHL microfilm 266,031.
[12] State of Louisiana, Secretary of State, Division of Archives, Records Management, and History, "Louisiana Statewide Death Index, 1900-1949," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Dec 2009), entry for Boyd W. Spurlock.
[13] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Dec 2009), entry for Allen Spurlock, 1971, SS no. 433-36-4758.
[14] Dayton Spurlock photograph of grave marker, 1999; digital image, privately held by Denise Spurlock, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lomita, California. 2012. Also, Conville Family (The) (Published circa 1985).
[15] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Dec 2009), entry for Gus Spurlock, 1968, SS no. 433-16-1526.
[16] John L. Hinton Jr., "Antioch Cemetery, Jackson Parish, Louisiana," transcription, USGenWeb Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.net/la/jackson/cemeteries/antioch.txt : accessed 12 Apr 2010), entry for Zell S. Thrasher.
[17] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Dec 2009), entry for Velma S. Vance, 1989, SS no. 438-60-0193.
[18] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Dec 2009), entry for H. Spurlock, 1971, SS no. 433-58-2643.
[19] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Dec 2009), entry for Claude D. Spurlock, 1996, SS no. 433-16-7814.
[20] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Dec 2009), entry for Senorita Thompson, 1981, SS no. 429-06-8324.
[21] John L. Hinton Jr., "Antioch Cemetery, Jackson Parish, Louisiana," transcription, USGenWeb Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.net/la/jackson/cemeteries/antioch.txt : accessed 12 Apr 2010), entry for Ester S. Lamb.
[22] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Dec 2009), entry for Freda E. Donaldson, 2003, SS no. 434-72-6609.
[23] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Dec 2009), entry for Jewell S. Carson, 1997, SS no. 435-26-9220.
[24] 1880 U.S. census, pop. sch., 6th Ward, Claiborne, Louisiana, ED 14, p. 30B, dwell. 266, fam. 301, household of J. F. Spurlock.
[25] "Funeral Services Held March 20 for Rev. John Spurlock", undated, unknown newspaper; privately held by Denise Spurlock, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lomita, CA. Bettye Lou (Conville) Gleason, granddaughter of John Fedrick Spurlock, gave this newspaper clipping to me in Dec 2000; Mrs. Gleason is now deceased.
[26] "Ward Officers," Claiborne Guardian, 30 Jun 1880, p. 4, col. 6; digital images, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov : accessed 17 Feb 2012).
[27] "Election Proclamation for the Parish of Bienville," The Daily Advocate, 3 May 1900, p. 4, col. 4; digital images, GenealogyBank (www.genealogybank.com : accessed 17 Feb 2012).
[28] "Delinquent List," Claiborne Guardian, 21 Nov 1877, p. 3, col. 3; digital images, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov : accessed 17 Feb 2012).
[29] "Sheriff's Sale," The Bienville Democrat, 23 Dec 1920, p. 4, col. 4; digital images, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov : accessed 17 Feb 2012).
[30] "State Tax Sale of Immovable Property," The Bienville Democrat, 18 Aug 1921, p. 3, col. 7; digital images, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov : accessed 17 Feb 2012).
[31] "State Tax Sale of Immovable Property," The Bienville Democrat, 10 Aug 1922, p. 3, col. 5; digital images, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov : accessed 17 Feb 2012).
[32] Louisiana State Department of Health, death certificate 519 68 (1945), John Fred Spurlock; Louisiana State Archives, Baton Rouge.



© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Grandpa and a Chicken

Digital image. Original held by Arnold Sherrell, [ADDRESS WITHHELD
FOR PRIVACY], Dripping Springs, Texas, 2011.

My maternal grandfather, William Lee Yawman,
probably early 1940s in El Monte, California.

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Monday, February 13, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Alexander Brandon Power of Attorney to Ransom Spurlock - 1857


On his TransylvanianDutch blog, John Newmark defines an amanuensis as “a person employed to write out what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.” For more information about this daily blogging prompt, see John’s post Amanuensis – Why?.

I have amassed quite a collection of scans of handwritten documents related to my ancestors—primarily marriage records, deeds, and wills. As I have been transcribing these documents, it occurred to me that most of these documents were not actually written by my ancestors, but rather dictated to someone else, and then transcribed by a clerk into official records.

While in Utah for the Salt Lake Institute for Genealogy, I added 291 scanned images to my collection of items to be transcribed! I am going to be busy for quite a while.

The document I have chosen to transcribe this week is the Power of Attorney granted by Alexander Brandon to Ransom Spurlock in 1857.

Because one does not grant power of attorney to just anyone, I decided to research Alexander Brandon to see if I could determine the nature of his relationship to Ransom. I discovered that Alexander was living in Bienville Parish in 1850; a 37-year-old farmer, born in South Carolina, he had four children under 10 in his household, but no apparent wife.[1] On 9 January 1851, he married Tabitha Ann Vickers in Bienville Parish; on 19 November 1855, he married Nancy Person.[2] In 1860, Alexander was living in Canton, Van Zandt County, Texas. He was enumerated as a 47-year-old farmer, born in South Carolina; also enumerated were Nancy, age 34 born in Georgia, and seven apparent children, ages 18 down to 1, with the youngest born in Texas and the others born in Louisiana.[3]

So how does this all relate to Ransom? Not sure exactly. Ransom was also in Bienville Parish in 1850, but not exactly a near neighbor to Alexander. (Ransom’s family was #553 in the census enumeration and Alexander’s family was #522.) Ransom’s wife was Ellender Vickers; was there a familial relationship between Ellender and Tabitha Ann? Did Tabitha Ann die soon after her marriage to Alexander? So many unanswered questions, but continued research may lead to the discovery of Ellender Vickers Spurlock’s parents.

Whether there was a family relationship or not, Alexander Brandon trusted Ransom Spurlock enough to grant him power of attorney. Here’s the transcription of the document with the image below.

“The State of Texas)
County of Vanzandt )

Know all men by these presents that I Alexander Brandon of the county of Vanzandt, and State of Texas have made, constuted[constituted], and appointed and, by these presents, do make constitute and appoint Ransom Spurlock of the state of Louisiana and Bienville Parish my  True and Lawful agent for me and in my name, place and stead, to sue for and collect, all monies that may be coming to me in said state of La. hereby giving and granting my said Attorney full power and authority to do and perform all and every act, and any thing whatsoever requisite and necessary to be done in and about the collecting of any and all debts, as fully to all Intents and purposes as I might or could do if personally present, with full power and authority hereby Ratifying and confirming all that my said agent, or his substitute, shall lawfully do or cause to be done by Virtue hereof. In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and [--?--] for seal on the 7th day of March A.D. 1857. Signed in presence of
W. L. T Burnes)           (signed) Alexander Brandon {seal}
T. M. Allen      )

The State of Texas   )
Vanzandt County      )

Before me A. G. Parker, Clerk of this County court of Vanzandt County, this day personally appeared Alexander Brandon, to me Well Known, and acknowledged, to me that he signed and sealed the within and foregoing power of attorney for the purposes therein Set forth and that it was his own free act and deed. In Testimony of which I hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of the county court thereon done at Canton on the 7th day of March A.D. 1857.
(signed) A. G. Parker, Clerk, of County court Vanzandt County.

I certify that the foregoing is a true Record of the original Power Atty. as filed & Recorded March 24th A.D. 1857.
                                                John G. Noles Recorder”

[Source: Bienville Parish, Louisiana, Conveyance Records, 1848-1900, E: 115, 
Alexander Brandon Power of Attorney to Ransom Spurlock, 24 March 1857; 
FHL microfilm 266,008.]

[1] 1850 U.S. census, Bienville Parish, Louisiana, population schedule, Western District, page 285-A, no dwelling number, family 522, Alexander Brandon; online images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 February 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication M432, roll 230.
[2] Art Lewis, transcription, “Bienville Parish Marriage Book A & B; 1849-1872”; USGenWeb (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~labienvi/b_groom.htm : accessed 10 February 2012).
[3] 1860 U.S. census, Van Zandt County, Texas, population schedule, Canton,  page 17, dwelling 128, family 133, A. Brandon; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 February 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication M653, roll 1307.


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Surname Saturday - Ancestor #7 - Myrtle Arminta SNIDER


One of my goals for 2012 is to use the Surname Saturday blogging prompt as a way to assure that I spend some time researching each of my family lines and that I have appropriate source citations for the genealogical facts related to my ancestors. I’ve decided to use my ahnentafel report and work back through the generations starting with my grandparents, writing a summary of each ancestor. If you discovered this post through a search engine and find one of your ancestors listed here, please leave a comment to let me know.

My maternal grandmother, Myrtle Arminta SNIDER, was born 26 January 1878 in Ohio,[1] the oldest daughter of David A. and Ruth (FRANKLIN) SNIDER.[2]

On 26 September 1897, she married William Lee YAWMAN in Lincoln Township, Neosho County, Kansas.[3] William and Myrtle had eight children:
  • Joyce Opal YAWMAN (1899-1967)[4]
  • Eunice Evangeline YAWMAN (1901-1999)[5]
  • Hazel Agnes YAWMAN (1904-1993)[6]
  • Juanita Marie YAWMAN (1907-2004)[7]
  • Myrtle Gertrude YAWMAN (1909-19995)[8]
  • Clarence Leonard YAWMAN (1912-1912)[9]
  • William Howard YAWMAN (1914-1990)[10]
  • Beaulah Belle YAWMAN (1915-1999)[11]

After William and Myrtle married, they lived in the southeastern Kansas counties of Labette and Crawford.[12], [13] Between 1915 and 1920, they moved to Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri.[14] To my knowledge, they remained in Kansas City until about 1939, when they moved to California.[15] William and Myrtle lived at 3304 Freer, El Monte (in Los Angeles County) from about 1940 until his death.[16] Sometime after William’s death, Myrtle moved to Washington where she lived with her daughter Joyce.[17]

Myrtle died on 20 June 1958 in Clarkston, Asotin County, Washington, and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California.[18]
  
While I have the basic research covered for Myrtle, there are additional areas I need to research:
1.     Land and property records in the counties in which she and William lived.
2.     Newspapers for communities in which they lived.

My brother Arny had several photos of my grandparents that I scanned when I visited him last fall. I have an original of their wedding picture which I have scanned and shared with my siblings.

My grandmother was an accomplished seamstress, and I am fortunate to have in my possession a skirt that she made for my oldest sister sometime in the early 1950s. I seem to recall hearing that she made her own wedding dress, but I need to verify that with someone—perhaps my older sister will know.

Arny told me that Grandma Yawman loved to listen to the Los Angeles Angels’ baseball games on the radio. (The Angels were a farm team at the time.) She was not happy when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, because she could no longer hear the Angels’ games!



[1] Washington State Department of Health, death certificate 10617 (1958), Myrtle A. Yawman; Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics, Olympia.
[2] 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Leesburg, Union County, Ohio, enumeration district (ED) 81, p. 181A, dwelling (unreadable), family (unreadable), David A. Snider; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Feb 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 1073.
[3] Neosho, Kansas, marriage certificate (no number) (1897), Yawman-Snyder; Neosho County Courthouse, Erie.
[4] Washington State Department of Health, "Washington Death Index, 1940-1996," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Nov 2009), entry for Joyce Y. Seely.
[5] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Nov 2009), entry for Evangeline Y. Waddell, 1999, SS no. 547-34-7828.
[6] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 Feb 2012), entry for Hazel A. Yockey, 1993, SS no. 511-24-8870.
[7] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 Dec 2009), entry for Juanita M. Moerer, 2004, SS no. 486-26-1188.
[8] State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics, "California Death Index, 1940-1997," online database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 Dec 2009), entry for Jean Y. Taylor.
[9] findagrave.com, digital images (www.findagrave.com : accessed 23 Aug 2011), Clarence Leonard Yawman, Memorial #34314994, created by Mary Parmele, 1 March 2009.
[10] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 Feb 2012), entry for William H. Yawman, 1990, SS no. 495-01-4244.
[11] Kern County, California, death certificate no. (no number) (1999), Beaulah Belle Yawman; Kern County Department of Public Health, Bakersfield.
[12] Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925, Crawford, Kansas, 1905 population schedule, Osage, p. 43, family 292, household of W. L. Yawman; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Nov 2009).
[13] "Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925," online database and images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Nov 2009), entry for W. L. Yawman.
[14] 1920 U.S. census, Jackson, Missouri, population schedule, Kansas City, enumeration district (ED) 34, sheet 11A, dwelling 121, family 306, household of William Yawman; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 Nov 2009); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 924.
[15] Los Angeles County, California, death certificate no. 1659 (1948), William Lee Yawman.
[16] El Monte City Directory - 1940 (N.p.: n.p., 1940).
[17] Washington death certificate 10617 (1958), Myrtle A. Yawman.
[18] Washington death certificate 10617 (1958), Myrtle A. Yawman.


© 2012 Denise Spurlock