Unusual Source ~ 52 Ancestors #7

10 years ago my husband and I took a Genealogy research trip to Missouri. My plan was to visit as many courthouses and cemeteries as we could. I also wanted to visit the Midwest Genealogy Center in Independence. I had contacted some cousins, and we made plans to get together with them. Our 10-day visit to the State was full.

We spent a full day at the Center, three days at some courthouses and a couple of days getting together with cousins. These were a lot of fun, however, as odd as it may seem, I enjoyed visiting the cemeteries the most. I grew up “visiting” people at the cemetery, and my mother always packed a lunch and we would eat lunch there. I have never had a fear of them.

On the next to our last day of being in Missouri, we visited the 2 cemeteries in the town I was born in. My Dad, several aunts and uncles, cousins, and my maternal Great Grandparents are buried there. I also got to meet a previously unknown cousin at one of them. When we left Lexington, we made our way to Buckner where my maternal Grandparents are. We attempted to find the Page Family Cemetery in Page City but the town no longer exists and the Cemetery was on private property.

Our last stop was the Dover Cemetery where my paternal Great Grandparents and 2x Great Grandparents are resting. I also found several other relatives graves there as well. We were heading back to our car when a much older gentleman in overalls approached us. He said he noticed our Arizona license plate, and he just wanted to know who we were visiting. I mentioned the names and his eyes lit up! He told us his Grandma was a Register. I asked what her name was, and he responded “Grandma”. I wasn’t sure if he was teasing me or what so I asked him what her first name was. It turned out that it was my Great Grandmother.


Robert, Elvira, Charles Register

We offered to buy him lunch, and we meet him at a small diner in town. We spent about 3 hours talking with him. He struggled at times to remember some details, but once he got started he told us so many stories and gave me verifiable facts that I didn’t already have. He even called his Granddaughter and had her bring a photo of his Grandma, and he gave it to me. So I now possess a photo that I never would have known existed if it hadn’t been for this encounter, and this unusual source.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

My Great Grandma was Superstitious ~ Tales from the Dark Side

I thought I would spend these next 3 weeks leading up to Halloween telling stories of things that happened in not only my childhood, but in the lives of my Ancestors that helped form most of my mothers superstition beliefs or were a result of her beliefs the ones she tried to pass down to my sister and me. I hope you will enjoy them and even get a laugh or two out of them.

My Great Grandma, Asenath “Dolly” Walt was born February 27, 1863, in Camden, Ray County, Missouri. Dolly was said to be a very superstitious woman. Anyone who visited her home knew that she did have what they considered unusual quirks.

It is said that Dolly was petrified of “demons”. She believed that at night they would creep around her home and try to gain access. She kept a large container of salt by both the front and back doors for when visitors came. Upon answering the door she would take a scoop of salt and place it across the doorway. If the person was not a “demon”, they could cross over the salt with no problem. The salt would have kept out any non-human who wanted to enter. I guess she never thought that a “demon” would probably not come knocking on her door, he would just kick it open and come in!

Machpelah Cemetery

Dolly’s fear of “demons” began at a young age. She had lived her entire life within the 16-mile radius between Camden and Lexington Missouri. Most of her relatives who had passed away were buried in Machpelah Cemetery in Lexington. Even as a young girl, this cemetery was considered an old one as the first burial there was in 1839. When Dolly was about 6 years old, her younger sister Naomi passed away at the age of 1. In those days visiting a cemetery, especially one that was so far away, was an all day event. This day was no exception. After the small service for Naomi the women went about laying out the picnic lunch for the mourners on the edge of the grounds. Dolly and her other siblings were racing around, darting in and out of the nearby woods. Dolly, in an attempt to hide from the others ran out of the woods and hid behind a large Headstone. That is when she saw it! A large man/beast come out of a grave and began walking slowly towards her. She ran terrified, screaming, all the way across the cemetery and into her Mother’s arms. When Dolly calmed down enough to speak, she told the adults what had happened. They tried to convince her that what she saw was the grave digger climbing out of the hole he had just dug. Try as they might no one could convince her that she hadn’t just seen a “demon”.

After this experience she refused to set foot in the Machpelah Cemetery. When her own daughter Ella (My Grandmother) died in 1921 she pleaded with her son-in-law not to bury her in Lexington and so Ella was buried in the Buckner Cemetery in the town of the same name about 25 miles west. Dolly spent 61 years of her life afraid of the “demon” that came out of the grave and was convinced that he was out to get her. Upon her death on February 19, 1931, Dolly’s husband John McGowan, had her buried in the Machpelah Cemetery.

Here are some more Superstitions that my mother had:

If your nose itches, you will soon be kissed by a fool.

If your house is clean on New Year’s Eve, you will have a clean house all year.

If you get a chill up your back or goose bumps, it means that someone is walking over the place where your grave will be.

Do you or anyone in your family have a Superstition? I would love to hear about them.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday at the Cemetery ~ Machpelah Cemetery Finale ~ Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO

pic TATCMachpelah Cemetery was originally known as the Waddell Family Cemetery. The first burial there was in 1839. In 1849, William Bradford Waddell donated his family’s cemetery, along with other nearby lands, to form Machpelah.

During the Civil War, many soldiers from both sides of the Battle of Lexington were buried at Machpelah. There is also a special memorial to the victims of the Saluda steamboat explosion of April 9, 1852. The Saluda carried Mormon immigrants from England and Wales who were traveling to Utah. Some of the bodies from that disaster are buried in a mass grave at the cemetery.

Among the prominent citizens buried here are Stephen Wentworth (founder of Wentworth Military Academy), Ike Skelton (US Congressman), William Waddell (one of the founders and operators of the Pony Express), and Gilead Rupe (the first settler of the area).

Cemetery records date only to 1885 with no record of earlier burials. Many headstones of the earlier burials can still be found. Records from the years of 1920 thru 1940 were destroyed by a fire. Just inside the south entrance is a kiosk with a database of burial locations.

Among those mentioned above are several of my beloved family members. This is the 4th and final blog about Machpelah Cemetery.

Gladys Irene Winningham Markel CousinGladys Irene Winningham, my 1st cousin, was born on May 6, 1930, in Chapel, Missouri, she was the second of 2 children born to Limuel Winford and Leola Belle (Hughes) Winningham. She married Charles Otis Markel on September 4, 1948, in Lexington, Missouri. They had three children, 1 son, and 2 daughters. She died on June 10, 2001, in Richmond, Missouri, at the age of 71.

Charles Limuel Winningham CousinCharles Limuel Winningham, my 1st cousin was born on August 12, 1925, in Missouri, he was the first of 2 children born to Limuel Winford and Leola Belle (Hughes) Winningham. He married Lillian Fletcher on April 29, 1952, in Benton, Arkansas. There is no record of any children. He died on May 14, 1981, at the age of 55.

Uncle Orville & Aunt MeadeCharles Orville Hughes, my paternal Uncle, was born on August 21, 1905, in Hughesville, Missouri, the oldest of 9 children born to Charles E and Virginia Belle (Hayes) Hughes. He married Meadie Louise Haller on September 15, 1928, in Sedalia, Missouri. Meadie was born on January 19,1903 and died on April 4, 2001. They had three children, 2 daughters and 1 son, all 3 of them died before the age of 18. He died on July 1, 1987, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 81.

Aunt COra Walt GoodmanCora Walt, my 2x Great Aunt, was born on January 29, 1874, in Camden, Missouri, the 6th of 10 children born to Peter and Elizabeth (Marsh) Walt. She married Marshall D. Goodman on March 16, 1898, and they had six children, 4 sons, and 2 daughters. She died on August 30, 1919, at the age of 45.

SONY DSCWilliam Francis McGowan, my 2x Great Uncle was born on October 9, 1858, in Ray, Missouri the oldest of 8 children of Captain James and Lucy (Reavis) McGowan. He married Susannah Mullikin on November 7, 1882, in Wellington, Missouri. They had six children, 5 sons, and one daughter. He died on July 16, 1934, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 75.

Thomas William McGowan CousinThomas William McGowan, my 2x Great Uncle was born in 1877 in Ray, Missouri the second of 8 children of Captain James and Lucy (Reavis) McGowan. He married Lucy McDowell on July 26, 1905, in Lafayette, Missouri. They may have had children but I have no record of them. He died on September 19, 1945, in Camden, Missouri, at the age of 84.

James D McGowan Jr CousinJames Daniel McGowan Jr, my 2x Great Uncle, was born on November 12, 1862, in Ray, Missouri, the third of 8 children of Captain James and Lucy (Reavis) McGowan. He married Mary Alice Mulligan on November 12, 1883, in Lexington, Missouri. They had six children, 3 sons, and 3 daughters. He died on October 16, 1936, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 73.

John Walter McGowan CousinJohn Walter McGowan my 1st cousin 2 x removed was born on January 17, 1886, in Lexington, Missouri, the oldest of 6 children of James Daniel and Mary Alice (Mulligan) McGowan. He married Helen E. Smith in 1914. They had one daughter. He died on December 21, 1951, in his hometown at the age of 65.

Cousin Maggie May Jennings DannerMaggie Mae Danner, my 1st cousin 1x removed, was born on July 29, 1930, in Lafayette, Missouri, the last of 5 children born to David and Cora Ann (McGowan) Danner. She married Lucien Aubrey Jennings and they had one daughter together. She then married Garner Melvin Race on June 9, 1981, in Missouri. She died on January 19, 2009, in Lexington, Missouri, at the age of 78.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

Thursday at the Cemetery ~ Machpelah Cemetery pt. 3 ~ Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO

 

pic TATCMachpelah Cemetery was originally known as the Waddell Family Cemetery. The first burial there was in 1839. In 1849, William Bradford Waddell donated his family’s cemetery, along with other nearby lands, to form Machpelah.

 

Machpelah Cemetery map

 

During the Civil War, many soldiers from both sides of the Battles of Lexington were buried at Machpelah. There is also a special memorial to the victims of the Saluda steamboat explosion of April 9, 1852. The Saluda carried Mormon immigrants from England and Wales who were traveling to Utah. Some of the bodies from that disaster are buried in a mass grave at the cemetery.

 

Among the prominent citizens buried here are Stephen Wentworth (founder of Wentworth Military Academy), Ike Skelton (US Congressman), William Waddell (one of the founders and operators of the Pony Express) and Gilead Rupe (the first settler of the area).

 

Cemetery records date only to 1885 with no record of earlier burials. Many headstones of the earlier burials can still be found. Records from the years of 1920 thru 1940 were destroyed by a fire. Just inside the south entrance is a kiosk with a database of burial locations.

 

Among those mentioned above are several of my beloved family members. Too many to feature in just one blog so, over the next few weeks, I will post between 3 and 6 headstones with a short bio of each person.

 

 

 

 

John Henry McGowan HSJohn Henry McGowan was born on May 10, 1863 in Henrietta, Ray Co, MO. He is my maternal Great Grandfather. He was raised on the family farm, helping with the chores and with the planting. He had 4 brothers and 3 sisters, In 1885 he moved to Lafayette Co and met Asenath Walt. They were married on May 30, 1887, and they had 5 daughters and 2 sons, one who died at birth. John worked his entire adult  life in the coal mines located around Lexington. He died on April 26, 1957. He had lived the last 8 years of his life in the Goodloe Rest Home located in Lexington. He died at the age of 93 of skin cancer with metastasis. He had the cancer for 5 years. He outlived his wife by 26 years.

 

 

 

Asnath Walt McGowanAsenath “Dolly” Walt was born on February 27, 1863, in Camden, Ray Co, MO. She is my maternal Great Grandmother. Her father worked as a carpenter and a wheelwright so she was raised in town. She was the oldest of 10 children, she had 6 sisters and 2 brothers. She married John Henry McGowan on May 30, 1887, and they had 5 daughters and 2 sons, one who died at birth. She died on February 19, 1930 at the age of 67. The cause of death was labored pneumonia.

 

 

 

James D McGowan HSJames D. McGowan was born in 1837 in Madison Co, Tennessee. He is my maternal 2x Great Grandfather. His father came to America from Ireland and he was a proficient farmer. James had 8 siblings, 4 sisters, and 4 brothers. He was the middle child. In 1854 his family moved to Camden, Ray Co, MO. He married Lucy Reavis (1836-1878) and they moved to Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO, buying a farm. They had 8 children, 5 sons and 4 daughters. When the Civil War broke out James joined the Tennessee Infantry CSA and reached the rank of Captain. His beloved wife died in 1878 just one year after their last child was born. James died on December 3, 1901, at the age of 64.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

Thursday at the Cemetery ~ Machpelah Cemetery pt. 2 ~ Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO

pic TATCMachpelah Cemetery was originally known as the Waddell Family Cemetery. The first burial there was in 1839. In 1849, William Bradford Waddell donated his family’s cemetery, along with other nearby lands, to form Machpelah.
During the Civil War, many soldiers from both sides of the Battle of Lexington were buried at Machpelah. There is also a special memorial to the victims of the Saluda steamboat explosion of April 9, 1952. The Saluda carried Mormon immigrants from England and Wales who were traveling to Utah. Some of the bodies from that disaster are buried in a mass grave at the cemetery.
Among the prominent citizens buried at Machpelah are Stephen Wentworth (founder of Wentworth Military Academy), Ike Skelton (representative to US. Congress and chairman of the Armed Services Committee), William Waddell (one of the founders and operators of the Pony Express), and Gilead Rupe (the first settler of the area).
Cemetery records date only to 1885 with no record of earlier burials. Many headstones of the earlier burials can still be found. Records from the years of 1920 thru 1940 were destroyed by a fire.
Just inside the south entrance is a kiosk with a database of burial locations.
 Among those mentioned above are several of my beloved family. Too many to feature in just one blog. So, over the next few weeks, I will post 4 or 5 headstones with a short bio of each person.

 Margaret Ruth Hughes was born on November 14, 1919, in Sweet Springs, Saline Co, MO. She died on November 26, 1988, in Buckner, Jackson Co, MO. She is my paternal aunt. She was the 10th child and the 5th daughter born to Charles Hughes and Virginia Hayes. She was married twice first to a sailor named Kenneth Smith with whom she had her 1st son. Her husband was shipped off to war and he never came home. Her 2nd husband was Paul Dwain Palmer. They had 2 sons and 1 daughter. Their 1st son died at the age of 7 months. She died from cancer at the age of 69. You may read about her incredible life here: https://wp.me/p4gvQU-wj

Margaret & Paul Palmer

Paul Douglas Palmer Sr was born on August 19, 1915, in Winona, Shannon Co, MO. He died on June 1, 1993, in Buckner, Jackson Co, MO. He worked for the Gulf Oil Corporation aboard the vessel “Gulfwave” as a fireman during WWII. After that, He worked for the Missouri State Highway Department until he retired in 1987. He loved the Kansas City Royals and he never missed a game. He died of a heart attack at the age of 78.

 

Paul Douglas Palmer JrPaul Douglas Palmer Jr was born on July 13, 1951, in Kansas City, Jackson Co, MO and died on February 19, 1952, from a viral infection and pneumonia.

 

 

 

Madonna Rose Palmer was born on January 1, 1964, in Kansas City, Jackson Co, MO. She died on August 21, 2001, in Higginsville, Lafayette Co, MO. She married twice 1st to Raymond Darnell and had a son. 2nd to John Anthony Bell and she had a daughter. She died of colon cancer at the age of 36.

Madonna & Darrell

Darrell Dwain Palmer was born on November 15, 1955, in Kansas City, Jackson Co, MO and died on June 24, 2016, in Kansas City, Jackson Co, MO. He never got married but he did have one daughter. He worked multiple jobs such as a truck driver, oil rigging, and too many other jobs to list. He died of brain cancer at the age of 61. BOTH MADONNA AND DARRELL WERE CREMATED AND PLACED ON TOP OF THEIR PARENTS.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday at the Cemetery~Machpelah Cemetery pt. 1~Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO

Machpelah Cemetery photoMachpelah Cemetery was originally known as the Waddell Family Cemetery. The first burial there was in 1839. In 1849, William Bradford Waddell donated his family’s cemetery, along with other nearby lands, to form Machpelah.

During the Civil War, many soldiers from both sides of the Battle of Lexington were buried at Machpelah. There is also a special memorial to the victims of the Saluda steamboat explosion of April 9, 1952. The Saluda carried Mormon immigrants from England and Wales who were traveling to Utah. Some of the bodies from that disaster are buried in a mass grave at the cemetery.

Machpelah Cemetery map

Among the prominent citizens buried at Machpelah are Stephen Wentworth (founder of Wentworth Military Academy), Ike Skelton (representative to U.S. Congress and chairman of the Armed Services Committee), William Waddell (one of the founders and operators of the Pony Express), and Gilead Rupe (the first settler of the area).

Cemetery records date only to 1885 with no record of earlier burials. Many headstones of the earlier burials can still be found. Records from the years of 1920 thru 1940 were destroyed by a fire.

Just inside the south entrance is a kiosk with a database of burial locations.

 

Amongst those mentioned above are several of my beloved family. Too many to feature in just one blog. So, over the next few weeks, I will post 4 or 5 headstones with a short bio of each person.

 

DadBenjamin Douglas Hughes was born on August 15, 1915, in Hughesville, Pettis Co, MO. He died on June 24, 1974, in Hollywood, Los Angeles Co, CA. He is my Dad. He was the 8th child and the 4th son born to Charles Hughes and Virginia Hayes. He was married 3 times, the 3rd time to my mother, and he had 3 children. The 1st one by his 1st was a son who died when he was 2 months old. The other two were my sister and I. Starting at age 15 he had a variety of jobs. He worked on the family farm, trained horses, worked in the coal mine, was a butcher, worked for the railroad, participated in the CCC in 1935 and was a carpenter and bricklayer. He died from lung cancer at the age of 58.

 

 

Ellie Hughes Willard Hankins was born on February 5, 1905, in Pettis Co, MO and died February 25,Aunt Ellie 1973, in Kansas City, Jackson Co, MO. She had a twin sister named Nellie. Ellie and her sister were both born with a hair lip which was eventually corrected when they were 10 years old. Her first marriage was to Mitchell Lee Willard when she was 17 years old and Mitchell was 24. They had 7 children, 3 daughters, and 4 sons. Mitchell died in January 1950 leaving Ellie a widow with 5 children under the age of 18. In November the same year, she married Chester Hankins. She died of heart failure at the age of 63.

 

 

Mitchel WillardMitchell Lee Willard, the husband of Ellie Hughes, was born March 25, 1898, in Kirksville, Adair Co, Mo and died January 30, 1950, in Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO. He worked as a Government River Worker and he was a farmer. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

 

 

John Henry McGowan, my mothers’ Grandfather, was born on May 10, 1863, in Henrietta, Ray Co, MOJohn Henry McGowan 2xGGrandpa and died April 26, 1957, in Lexington, Lafayette Co, MO. He married Asenath “Dollie” Walt on May 30, 1887. They had 8 children, 6 daughters, 1 son, and one child who died at birth. He worked in the coal mines around Lexington his entire life. His wife “Dollie” died on February 19, 1931. He lived alone in a home he owned until he was 85 years old. He lived the last 8 years of his life in the Goodloe Rest Home located in Lexington, MO. He died at the age of 93 of skin cancer with metastasis. He had cancer for 5 years. He also had Heart Disease.

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.