Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - I'm a Big Girl Now!

Digital image. Original photograph held by
Denise Spurlock, 2012.
Looks like I was feeling quite fashionable 
and grown up with my neck scarf and pin!
circa 1960

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Stephen and Bertha (Tatman) Cary 1898

My 2nd great-granduncle, brother of my 2nd great-grandmother Rhoda Cary, Stephen Cary just two days after his second wife Bertha died. Perhaps the pain of losing a second wife was more than Stephen could bear.
"Obituaries," Richwood Gazette, 25 August 1898, p. 1, col. 3;
digital images, NewspaperArchives
( : accessed 27 Apr 2012). 

“Bertha Tatman was born in Knox county, Ohio, May 29, 1837 and died at her home in Union county, Aug. 15, 1898, aged 61 years, 2 months and 16 days. She was married to Robert Patent in 1856 and to them were born four children, three of whom are living. Her husband died and after living a widow for 16 years she was again married to Stephen Cary on March 14th, 1883 with whom she lived until her death.

“Stephen Cary was born in Leesburg township, Union county, Ohio, November 24th, 1827 and died on the farm on which he was born, Aug 17, 1898, aged 70 years, 8 months and 23 days. He was married to Miss Mary Ann Walters, March 26, 1854, and to them were born nine children, four of whom are still living. His wife died and after living a widower for about 6 years he was again married to Mrs. Bertha Patent. Mr. Cary's father was a Presbyterian and his mother a Universalist, to which faith Mr. Cary held until the time of his death, always believing it to be just and right. He was a man who was honest and upright in all his dealings, a kind husband and father and a good neighbor and was held in high esteem by all who knew him.

“Funeral services for husband and wife were held at their late residence in Friday, Aug. 17, at 10 a. m., conducted by Rev. Louck. Interment was made in the Maskill cemetery.”

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Those Darned Horse Thieves!

I’ve heard rumors that there were horse thieves in my family, but in this case, my maternal 2nd great-grandfather David Snider was the victim of the thieves! I will have to delve into Union County, Ohio, court records to see what more I can learn about the incident reported in this newspaper article.

“—George Cook and son Frank, the latter aged about thirteen years, of Odin, Ills., who had been visiting in this vicinity for a few days, were arrested near Zanesville, Ohio, and brought to Marysville, on Monday last, by Marshal Bonnett, for stealing a pair of horses from David Snider, a farmer living on Bokes Creek, southwest of town. The parties to whom Cook had sold the horses, near Zanesville, suspicioned that the horses had been stolen, from the small sum at which they were offered, and arrested Cook and son after an exciting race. The preliminary trial was held before Esquire Garrard in Marysville, on Monday, and both parties were bound over to court. This is not Cook's first offense, and it is likely that he will be dealt with to the full extent of the law. The boy will no doubt be sent to the Reform School.”

Source: "Local and Other Items," Richwood Gazette, 21 Oct 1880, p. 3, col. 2; digital images,
NewspaperARCHIVE ( : accessed 17 May 2012).

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Not Liking this Doll!

Digital image. Original photograph held by Denise Spurlock, 2012.
The story is that I really wanted this doll when
I saw it in the store, but was afraid of it 
when it was given to me as a birthday gift!
May 1956 

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Mary Elizabeth Franklin Cary (1827-1901)

Mary Elizabeth Franklin Cary is one of my 2nd great-grandaunts, the sister of Joseph Franklin, my 2nd great-grandfather. She married George W. Cary, and Joseph married George's younger sister, Rhoda.
"Obituary," Richwood Gazette, 2 Jan 1902, col. 5;
 digital images, GenealogyBank
( : accessed 3 Jul 2010) 

“Mary Elizabeth Cary was born February 23, 1827, in Leesburg township, Union county, Ohio, about one-half mile northeast of Pharisburg on the farm now know as the Drum farm. "Mother" Cary was the daughter of Arad and Nancy Franklin and was one of 11 children. She was united in marriage to George W. Cary Oct. 7, 1847, who died Oct. 19, 1888. To this union was born 7 children; 3 only came to the years of accountability and are living, 21 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. Mrs. Cary became a member of the Universalist church at Pharisburg more than 50 years ago. During all these years she has lived an earnest, devoted and exemplary Christian life. She died Dec. 16, 1901, aged 74 years, 9 months and 23 days. The funderal services were held at Claibourne M. P. church on the 18th at 11 o'clock, conducted by Rev. Welchimer assisted, by Rev. J. F. Wilkins.”

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Ribbons Are Cool!

Digital image. Original photograph held by Denise Spurlock, 2012.
Who cares about a new sippie cup?
Just give me the ribbons!
May 1955

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More on the Mystery of Alexander and Tamson (Cary) Gandy

In the post Mystery Monday – A Love Triangle, I wrote about the marriage of Alexander Gandy and Tamson Cary and the stories surrounding their supposed deaths and Tamson’s subsequent marriage to Robert Phares Kirby in Texas sometime in the late 1850s.

Several other tidbits of information have been found related to this mystery: 
  • A child named Shepperd Gandy died 31 May 1855 aged 3 days; his gravestone at Brannan Cemetery in Leesburg Township, Union County, Ohio, appears to read “son of A & T.” Could this have been the son of Alexander and Tamson—perhaps their first (and only) child? Nearly every Gandy family had a son named Shepperd, but I know of no other Gandy couples whose initials were A and T. Did Alexander and Tamson leave Union County for Illinois as a result of losing their baby?
  • Henry H. Gandy (Alexander’s great-grandfather and Tamson’s grandfather) died in 1849; I posted a transcription of his estate documents here. The first item in the inventory is a “note of hand” on Robert P. Kirby and Oliver Simpson, due 1 January 1847, appraised at $20. It is believed that this is the same Robert P. Kirby that later married Tamson (Cary) Gandy. How did Kirby happen to know Henry Gandy well enough that Gandy would loan him money? Why had the note not been paid? Oliver Simpson, the other party to the note, appears to have remained in Union County; did he pay this debt to Henry Gandy’s estate?
  • Many Cary researchers, myself included, have recorded that Tamson (Cary) Gandy died in 1855 in Pike’s Peak, Colorado. My hypothesis has been that, when Alexander returned to Union County about 1860, this is what he told the family. However, in the following biography of G. W. Cary (Tamson’s brother George), Tamson is listed as one of his still-living siblings! How did this biographer know that Tamson was still alive? When did the Cary family learn that she had not died in 1855 in Colorado? Why has this inaccurate information continued to be passed down, despite a written record to the contrary?

Source: Pliny A. Durant; W. H. Beers & Co., Chicago, publishers,
The History of Union County, Ohio
PDF download, Internet Archive
 ( : downloaded 11 May 2012), 434.

The search for the truth continues…

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Monday, May 14, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Will and Estate of Henry H. Gandy - 1849

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.

This week I am posting the will of Henry H. Gandy, my maternal 4th great-grandfather, as well as other probate documents, all of which were recorded in the Union County, Ohio, probate administration records at the same time. I have not included the transcription of the inventory of his estate except for the first few items which are notes due from various individuals. Likewise, I have not included a transcription of the record of the items which were sold. However, these lists are shown in the images below.

Henry’s will was written in three parts which seems unusual. In the first part, he bequeaths his movable and chattel property. In the second and third parts he bequeaths land to several (but not all) of his sons. Henry was married twice and had 15 children, but only a few are named in the will.

“Henry H. Gandys
Will and Estate

At a court of Common Please [sic] begun and held at the court House in the Town of Marysville ^within and for the County of Union & State of Ohio^ on the fourteenth day of August in the Year of our Lord one Thousand eight Hundred and forty nine. Present Levi Phelps James R. Smith and William W. Woods associate Judges and James Kinkade Jr Clerk. The last will and testament of Henry H. Gandy late of this County deceased was produced in Court by Mr. Powell attorney and William Foster and Julias A. Bell, the subscribing witnesses to said will appeared in open court and on oath testified to the due execution of said will which testimony was reduced to writing and by them respectively subscribed and filed with said Will, and it appearing to the Court by said testimony that said will was duly attested and executed and that the said testator at the time of executing the Same was of full age and of sound mind and memory and not under any restraint. It is ordered by the Court that said Will and testimony be Recorded said will reads +Last Will and testament of Henry H. Gandy made this 5 day of March 1849. I do and here bequeath all my moveable and chattle property I do give to S[h]eppard and John S. Gandy my black horse, also my waggon, harness, plows, Harrows, hoes, sythes, and cradles, rakes [unreadable] pitchforks, shovels, the fanning mill, & the things belonging thereto, cupboard & close, the bed on which I lay with the Clotheing thereof & twelve sheep and one bed & beding in the other room the Bed and beding which Elizabeth Betsey claims to be hers & a safe for keeping clothes four sheep & one blue Coverlid [coverlet?] it is also my will that Abijah & Shepherd Gandy should superintend the division of my property as I have before willed in the above and to divide all the moneys and notes of hand when collected equally among the female Heirs of my Estate. [?] I allso give to Shepherd & John S. Gandy five Sugar kettles thre meat tubs two fat tubs & one razor Whone[?]. It witness hereof I do hereunto set my han & seal Henry H. Gandy. William Foster Julias A. Bell. witnesses. Last will and testament of Henry H. Gandy I do here bequeath to Sheppard Gandy and John S. Gandy all that parcel of land bounded as follows beginning at a stake in the senter of bokes creek also tree lins as witness in Samuel Waltters north east corner running south on said line to the original a stone as the corner thence [e]astwardly to the south east original corner of said survey then running north on said original to the [?] of the Bell fountain road thence with in the centre of said road west to a certain corner in said road that was made in 1825 thence north to said to the centre of bokes creek then west along said creel with the meanderings thereof to the place of beginning containing one Hundred & forty five acres be the same more or less to have & to hold their Heirs & assigns forever. March 5th 1849 Henry H. Gandy. William Foster, Julias A. Bell, witness. March the 5th 1849
The last will and of Henry H. Gandy made on — — — — — — —
I Henry H. Gandy do of my own free wil & accord will and bequeath to Abijah George W. Gandy Henry H. Gandy one Hundred acres of Land beginning at a stake in the centre of the Creek  John Woods southeast corner and l ine running with old original Survey 3692 to the Centre of Belfountain road along the road ut you [?] strike a line in 1826 runen there along said line to the centre of the creek to stake there set for a corner then down the creek with the meanderings of the creek to the place of beginning to them their Heirs & assigns forever here unto I do set my Hand and seal Henry H. Gandy. William Foster Julius A. Bell Witness X
Said testimony reads, The State of Ohio Union County SS, In the court of common Please August Term 1849 William Foster and Julius A Bell appeared in open Court and being duly sworn upon their oaths depose and say that the paper here now produced in Open Court purporting to be the last Will and testament of Henry H. Gandy now dead, being in three separate parts signed in three places by the said Gandy and in the like manner witnessed by us was on or about the 5th day of March last by the said Henry H. Gandy then n full life at his residence in the County declared and published as his last will and testament, at that time he requested Shepherd Gandy to sign the said will in three several places which was done accordingly in the presence of the Said Henry H. Gandy and in our presence that we then severally signed our names thereto as Witnesses at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other. That the said testator was then about eighty years of age of sound mind and memory and not acting under any restraint. William Foster, Julius A. Bell. Sworn to and Subscribed in Open Court August 14th 1849. James Kinkade Jr Clerk. And afterwards to wit, at the November term of said Court A.D. 1849. On motion to the Court of Shepard Gandy One of the executors name in the last will and testament of Henry H. Gandy decd which will was duly proven and ^ordered to be^ recorded at the last term of this Court. It is ordered that Letters testamentary on the Estate of Henry H. Gandy decd. be granted to the said Shepard Gandy, on his giving bond in the sum of Four Hundred dollars with Richard Judy and Jacob Gandy his security conditioned according to Law. And it is further ordered that William Foster Julius A. Bell and John Elliott appraise the personal estate of the testator. Said bond reads, Know all men by these presents, That we, Shepard Gandy, Jacob Gandy and Richard Judy are [?] and firmly bound unto the State of Ohio in the sum Four Hundred dollars, to the payment of which will and truly to be made we bind ourselves, our Heirs, executors, and administrators jointly and severally firmly by these presents: Witness our hands and seals this 20th day of November A.D. 1849. Whereas the Court have this day appointed Shepard Gandy executor of the last Will and testament of Henry H. Gandy in pursuance of said will. Now if the said Shepard Gandy Executor as aforesaid shall make and return to the Court on oath within three months, a true inventory of all the moneys, goods chattels, rights & creditors of the testator, which are by law to be administered and which shall have come to his possession & knowledge; and also if required by Court an inventory of the real Estate of the deceased: Secondly, and administer according to law, and to the will of the testator all his goods chattels, rights and credits; and the proceeds of all his real estate that may be sold for the payment of his debts or legacies which may at any time come to the possession of the executor or to the possession of any other person for him. Thirdly and render upon oath a just account of his administration within eighteen months and at any other time when required by the Court or the Law; then this obligation shall be void, otherwise be and remain in full force and virtue in law
Sheppard Gandy {seal} Jacob Gandy {seal} Richard L. Judy {seal} Signed and sealed in presence of. The inventory filed herein February 9 1850 reads, The State of Ohio, Union County SS, We the undersigned do make solemn oath that we will truly honestly and impartially, appraise the estate and property that may be exhibited to us belonging to the estate of Henry H. Gandy deceased, and perform the other duties required by law of us in the premises as appraisers according to the best of our knowledge and ability (signed) Julius A. Bell, John Elliott, William Foster. sworn and subscribed before me this 21st day January AD 1850 Abijah Gandy J. P.
We the undersigned appraisers of the estate and property of Henry H. Gandy deceased after being duly sworn have made an inventory and appraisment  thereof  [?} as follows,
1 Note of hand, on Robert P. Kirby & Oliver Smimpson [Simpson] due January 1st 1847 ^appraised^ $20.00
1 Note of hand on Rodney Picket due March 5th 1848 appraised at $22.00
1 note of hand on Thomas J. Tunks due March 1st 1849 calls for twenty five dollars with Eleven dollars paid balance fourteen dollars principle 87 cts interest appraised at $14.87
1 Note of hand on S. J. Kirk of ten dollars with eight dollars sixty two cents credited & appraised at $1.37
Amount of money on hand              $40.98

[There is here a listing of the remainder of the inventory with the appraised value.]

Appraisers William Foster, Julius A. Bell, John Elliott.
The State of Ohio, Union County, SS, Sheppard Gandy Executor of the estate of Henry H. Gandy deceased makes solemn oath that the above inventory of said estate is in all respects just and true and contains a true statement of all the estate and property of the deceased which has come to the knowledge of affiant being assets &c. and particularly all money bank bills or other circulating medium, belonging to the deceased and all just claims against the affiant or other persons according to the best of his knowledge. Shepherd Gandy Executor. Sworn to before me this 9th day of February AD. 1850 James Kinkade Jr Clerk. The sale bill filed herein March 19, 1850 reads, A bill of the property sold by Sheppard Gandy Executor of the estat[e] of Henry H. Gandy deceased at public vendue [venue] February 22nd 1850.

[There is here a listing of the inventory of the items, to whom sold, and price.]

The above sale bill is correct George W. Cary clerk of sale.
The State of Ohio, Union County, SS, Sheppard Gandy, Executor of the estate of Henry H. Gandy deceased to make solemn oath that the above is a correct statement and bill of the Sale of the property of the estate of Henry H. Gandy deceased in all respects to the best of my knowledge and belief. Sheppard Gandy Exxecutor. Sworn to before me this 21st day of March A.D.1850 James Kinkade Jr Clerk.
Attest: James Kinkade Jr Clerk.”

[Source: Union County, Ohio, Probate Records, Administration Records Volume 3: 354, Henry H. Gandy; FHL microfilm 574,684.]

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Sunday, May 13, 2012

This Mother's Day...

I honor my mother and my grandmothers...

And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see - or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.
—Alice Walker, American author and poet

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Sunday's Obituary - Robert E. Martindale

Robert Ellis Martindale was my half-granduncle, the son of my great-grandfather Ambrose B. Martindale and his first wife Zilla Melissa Robinson Martindale. He died on 30 March 1946.

Undated obituary for Robert E. Martindale 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.

"MARTINDALE—Robert E. Martindale, 71, of San Antonio, died at his home Friday night. He had formerly lived in Houston 33 years. Survivors are his wife, Mrs. Charley Martindale of San Antonio; a daughter, Mrs. M. W. Bourne of San Antonio; a son, Robert A. Martindale of of [sic] Houston; three sisters, Mrs. Lucy Upton of Houston, Mrs. Maude Thompson of St. Louis, Mo., and Mrs. Mamie Spurlock of Corpus Christi; two brothers, Walter I. Martindale of Houston and Arthur B. Martindale of Tyler; and five grandchildren. Funeral services at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Heights Funeral Home with Rev. T. C. Jester, assisted by Rev. T. P. Hendricks, officiating. Burial in Rosewood Cemetery. Pallbearers: Percy Irwin, Chester Wilson, John Mitchell, and Sewell Bisby. Heights Funeral Home."

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - She's Arrived!

Digital image. Original photograph held by Denise
Spurlock, 2012.
 Beaulah Belle Yawman Spurlock holding newborn
Denise while puppy Pierre checks her out! 
May 1954

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mystery Monday - A Love Triangle

As a newbie genealogist, I received information that Alexander Gandy (son of Jacob Gandy and Lucinda Elliott) married Tamson Cary (daughter of Ephraim Cary and Matilda Gandy) on 21 December 1853 in Union County, Ohio. The only other information I had was that Tamson died in 1855 in Pike’s Peak, Colorado, and that Alexander died in Jerome, Union County, Ohio. Of course, I entered this information into my database but, since they are not my direct-line ancestors, have never spent any time verifying the information I received or researching this couple. Until now….

In trying to prove the relationship of Rhoda Cary (Tamson’s sister) to her father Ephraim Cary, I have been researching all of her siblings trying to find clues to prove that parental relationship.

In my searching, I came across an article posted on an Ancestry Member Tree stating that, following her husband’s death in an attack by Indians on their wagon train, Tamson Cary had run off with a man, Robert Phares Kirby of DeWitt County, Illinois, sometime in the late 1850s, went with him to Texas, married and had several children, and died there in 1911! Wow!

After picking myself up off the floor, I continued my search and found a message posted by another researcher looking for help in trying to determine the truth behind the story. If the story is true (and it appears to be), how did Alexander and Tamson Cary Gandy come to be in DeWitt County, Illinois, where Robert Kirby lived with his wife Phoebe and their children?

Alexander has not been found in the 1860 census. He married Eliza Johnson on 9 March 1861 in Union County, Ohio. He enlisted in Company I, Ohio 121st Infantry Regiment, on 11 September 1862, and was mustered out 27 May 1865 at Louisville, Kentucky. By 1870, he and Eliza had three children and were living in Union County, Ohio. In 1880, Alexander was enumerated in De Witt County, Illinois, while Eliza and the girls were in Champaign County, Ohio. By 1888, Eliza was in Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio; she and Alexander were enumerated there for the remainder of their lives. But their youngest daughter Pet married Fred Magill in 1889 and lived in De Witt County until her untimely death in 1907.

No marriage record has been found for Tamson Cary Gandy and Robert Kirby, but in 1880, they are enumerated together with seven children ranging in age from 5 to 19 in Bexar County, Texas. Tamson Kirby died in 1911 and is buried in Atascosa County, Texas; I have not located a death certificate. The death certificate for their youngest son Volney D. Kirby states his mother’s maiden name was Tamson Carey.

After hours of sorting through various Gandy families (all with sons named Abijah, Henry, and Shepherd!), I have found that a good many of Alexander Gandy’s kinsfolk were in Winnebago and DeKalb counties in northern Illinois by 1850. Ten years later, some were still in DeKalb County, one family was in De Witt County, and still other families had moved on to Kansas and Texas. There appears to have been ample opportunity for Alexander and Tamson to end up in De Witt County.

But why did Alexander and Tamson go to Illinois in the first place? Why would Tamson have run off with a married man twenty years her senior? Did she know he was married? Was there an Indian attack and she truly thought Alexander dead? Did Alexander tell his family that Tamson died in Pike’s Peak so as to keep his story a secret? Why was Alexander in De Witt County in 1880 and how did his daughter Pet end up marrying a man from that county?

So many questions. My fellow researcher hopes to find the truth. I am not sure we ever will.

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Mrs. Lydia B. Tripp

Lydia Belle Martindale Tripp was my first cousin once removed, the daughter of my paternal grand-uncle Walter Ivan Martindale; she died 4 July 1966. I do not remember ever meeting her.

Undated obituary for Mrs. Lydia B. Tripp 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. 

"MRS LYDIA B. TRIPP, 56, of 1311 Melbourne, died Monday. A member of the Methodist Church. Survivors: Husband, Mr E. R. (Diby) Tripp, two daughers, Mrs John A. Reddick, Mrs Robert Bradley; one son, Mr Robert D. Tripp; four sisters, Mrs Marie Rosson, Mrs Doris Laughlin, Mrs William Siebe, Mrs William Knast; two brothers, Mr A. C. Martindale, Mr D. H. Martindale, all of Houston; eight grandchildren. Services 10 AM Wednesday Heights Chapel with the Rev Jack Schoultz officiating. Interment Forest Park Lawdale Cemetery. HEIGHTS FUNERAL HOME, UNderwood 2-8844."

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Expecting a baby soon!

Digital image. Original held by Denise Spurlock,
[ADDRESS WITHHELD FOR PRIVACY], Lomita, California. 2012.
Beaulah Belle Yawman Spurlock at
baby shower given by her co-workers
about April 1954.

© 2012 Denise Spurlock