Saturday, January 4, 2020

Top Posts of the Decade

The clmroots blog was created to share my family history research, photos, and stories.  Hopefully the stories and information found on this blog has also been of benefit to others interested in their family history and searching for their roots.

Here is a list of clmroots top 20 most popular posts. 
20. Jesse Stewart - Baptist Preacher 

Our Alamo Defender, Jonathan Lindley, has been the most popular post almost from the time it was posted.  It is always near the top of the Popular Posts list.  
When the History Channel ran their three-part miniseries on the Hatfields & McCoys in 2012, my Hatfield family posts shot to the top of the Popular Posts list.  And NO, I have not made a connection between our family and the feuding Hatfields.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year 2020
and a Happy New Decade 

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Mary "Polly" Huff Wilson

Mary “Polly” Huff Wilson
(Mother of our great-grandpa, Charles B Wilson)

Mary Polly Huff Wilson was the daughter of Matthew Huff and Theodota "Dotie" Day.  She was born on June 15, 1840 in the hills of western Virginia in Grayson County.  By 1850, the Huff family was living in the neighboring county of Carroll, Virginia.  Mary was enumerated as “Polly Huff” in the 1850 Carroll County, Virginia census.  Polly was a common nickname for Mary.   The Matthew Huff family starts on the bottom of page 339 and continues on the next page.  Polly is listed on line 3 the next page.
1850 Federal Census
Carroll County, Virginia, District 11

The Matthew Huff family left Virginia in 1857 and joined a large wagon train going to Texas.  Mary Polly would have been around 17 years old when her family, extended family, and friends loaded up their wagons and left for Texas.
Wagon Train
The Huff Family settled in Collin County in a community called Farmersville.  Not long after arriving in Texas, Polly met William B Wilson.  They were married on 7 December 1858 by J.M Chipman, JP in Collin County, Texas.
Marriage Record
William B Wilson and Mary Huff
7 December 1858, Collin County, Texas
Mary Polly and William became the parents of seven children: William David, James Ervin, Laura May, Doris Belle, Charles B, Rosa Lee, and Mary Lillian.  Information on the children can be found here

Family tradition states that Polly became blind in middle age.  Supposedly, Polly was never able to "see" her son, Charles Bee Wilson.  Charles said that he would often lead his mother by the hand because she could not see good enough to walk by herself.  Pardon papers for her husband, W. B. Wilson, refer to Polly several times as being blind.  One pardon request, probably written in 1889, stated that Polly had been blind for seven (7) years.

Polly's husband, William, enlisted and served in theConfederate Army during the Civil War.  After the war was over, William could not settle down to farming.  William picked up some bad habits while in the army -- playing cards, gambling, drinking.  After he got home from the war, William would go off gambling and drinking for months at a time, leaving Polly to care for home and children by herself. 
Mary Polly supposedly had beautiful red hair.  Not sure which side of her family she got her red hair from – the Huff/Thompson side or the Day/Cock side.  But the gene for beautiful red hair has passed down to grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and so on to this day to my own grandchildren.

Family tradition states that Polly was a sweet, kind, and gentle woman.  She would often laugh, never got mad, and was very patient with her family.  She was also very faithful and had a strong belief in God.  Polly gave a copy of her hymn book to her son Charles just before he left to be a cowhand on cattle drives.  The book was covered with a red cloth and had some random embroidery stitches on it.  To view a blogpost about the hymn book, click here
In 1870, Mary Polly and her children were living in Weston, Collin County, Texas with her in-laws, James and Martha Wilson.  Mary was 30 years old.  Her children William,  James,  and Laura are also living in the home with their grandparents.   This census would fit with the scenario of William leaving his family.  It is not known where William living in 1870.

1870 Federal Census, Collin County, Texas
Mary Wilson (highlighted) living in the home of her in-laws,
James and Martha Wilson.
The family was still living in Collin County in 1888 when William was convicted of horse theft.  He was sentenced to 5 years in prison but was pardoned in 1890.   The pardon papers states a hardship case for William B. Wilson's family; His wife, Polly, was blind and had a large family to care for. William also had an aged father to help care for. William escaped in January 1890 before the pardon was granted in May of 1890.

The Wilson family was living in Woods County, Oklahoma in the 1890's.  Granddaughter Maymie said the family lived at Griever, Woods, Oklahoma.  Four of the Wilson children were married in Woods County during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s: Rosa married Daniel Baugh in 1897, Mary Lillian married John Marrs in 1898, James married Melissa King in 1900, and Charles married Pearl Hatfield in 1902.  
Road Sign at Griever, Woods, Oklahoma
When Polly was on her deathbed, a message was sent into town to notify William.  He was in the middle of a poker game at the saloon.  William stayed to finish his game before going home.  Polly had already passed away when he arrived home.  She was just 58 years old when she died.

The following news of Polly’s burial was found in the Alva Pioneer newspaper in a section called “Chester Pickings", published on 24 March 1899.

Alva Pioneer (Alva, Oklahoma)
24 March 1899
Mary Polly apparently died and was buried during the week of March 12th -18th, 1899.  She was buried in the Chester Cemetery.  No headstone exists today, but there are several unreadable and unmarked headstones. 

Polly's son Charles B passed down treasured stories 
of  his mother to his children, who then passed them to their descendants. 

To view family on, go to the Wilson Hatfield Ancestors tree.  cmyroots

Monday, November 11, 2019

Honoring Our Veterans

Since today is Veterans Day, I would like to say ‘Thank You’ to all Veterans and especially to the Veterans to have served from our family.  I love our Country and feel a deep debt of gratitude to all who have served and still serve in the military to keep this land free.

Below is a list of the wars, beginning with the Revolutionary War, with some known family veterans from each war.    If I have already written blog posts about a Veteran who served in the military, their name is the link to their information.  Links also provided to separate blog posts with compiled lists of all Revolutionary War Veterans and all Civil War Veterans.  These lists are far from complete, so leave a comment and add your family veteran.

Revolutionary War

War of 1812

Michael Box   John C Cock  
Joseph Day   James Goble 
Luke Johnson   Greef Johnson 
Samuel Leffel   John Leffel 
Samuel W Lindley   Simon Lindley  
 Britton Medlin 

Civil War

Henry R Stewart
Union Army
Little Rock National Cemetery
Five Coddington Brothers all served in Union Army
Father (front center) also served (his photo later added to original picture)

World War I

Charles W Leffel and Kerby Leffel
Brothers of our Grandma Mabel Baldwin
John Wesley Leffel
Wounded in Action
Service included campaigns in
France and Germany

William High Baldwin
US Marine Corps

William Martin "Vern" Wilson
Brother of our Grandma Maymie

World War II

Weldon Albert Baldwin
Army Air Corps
Jack Edward Taylor
US Navy, Aviation Machinist Mate
Recipient of Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross
Husband of our aunt Ethel

Carroll Leroy "Buck" Neff
Recipient of Bronze Star

Robert Ward Pitts
Re-enlisted in Army
Husband of our aunt Ethel

Virgil Duane Lichliter
Sgt US Army  Korea
82nd Airborne
Husband of Aunt Glenda

Thomas Ernest Barker
US Army, Co A 128 Infantry

Troy Gene Barker

Leon A Killian
Recipient of Silver Star, Purple Heart, and Bronze Star
for Heroic Action under fire in Belgium during WWII

Korean War

Charles Wilbur Martin
Korean War - US Army
Although I don't have photos for two of my uncles in their military uniforms, I still wanted to add them to the list of veterans.  Both served in the Korean War: Jesse in the US Army and Vernyle "Tommy" Thompson in the US Navy. Uncle Vernyle was a champion rodeo bareback rider in 1959.

Jesse Baldwin (left) US Army  --  Vernyle "Tommy" Thompson (right) US Navy

Other Wars and Peacetime Military:

Leroy Martin
US Navy

Texas Independence

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Remains found in Arizona Mountains

Mysterious Disappearance and Death 
of Thomas Box Jr 
Thomas Box Jr is the 1st-cousin once-removed to our grandma Mabel Leffel Baldwin.  See short bio at bottom of this blog post.
Thomas Michael Box, son of Thomas Box and Clarkey Carpenter, was born 1837 in Mississippi.  The Box family moved to Texas in 1845, then to Utah in 1857.  Tom and his father, Thomas, raised and sold cattle for a living.  The elder Thomas Box died near Farmington, New Mexico in 1881.  Thomas Jr disappeared from all records after 1882.  Or, so I thought....

Skeletal Remains found in the Arizona Mountains

On October 25, 1884, Daniel Waughtal reported to the authorities in Cochise County, Arizona that he had found skeletal remains in the Dos Cabezas Mountains, about three miles west of "Silver Camp".  W. F Nichols, Justice of the Peace acting as Coroner for Cochise County called for an Inquest into the circumstances of the death of the person found dead.
1882 Map of Arizona Territory showing
Dos Cabezas Mountains

Coroners Inquest
The inquest was held on October 26, 1884.  The jury adduced from the testimonies of the witnesses (below) and exhibits used as evidence that the remains found belonged to Thomas Box.  Below is the final verdict of the jury. 
Cochise County, Arizona Coroner Records
October 1884
Transcription of above report:
Territory of Arizona
County of Cochise
We the Jury summoned to appear before W. F. Nichols Justice of the Peace acting as Coroner of Cochise County at Dos Cabezas on the 26th day of October 1884 to inquire into the circumstances of the death of the person found dead in the Dos Cabezas Mountains on the 25th of October 1884 having been duly sworn according to low upon our oath each and all do say after having viewed the remains of deceased and heard the testimony oral and documentary adduced That the name of deceased was Thomas Box aged about 40 years nativity unknown that he came to a violent death near the “Silver Camp” in the Dos Cabezas Mountians on or about the 18th day of April 1883 at the hands of party or parties unknown to the jury.
Dated at Dos Cabezas the 26th day of October 1883.
Sylvester Porter, P A Boyer, D P Lynch, J J Savells, E J White, H S J McCowgor

News reports of the Death

An Arizona Stockman Murdered

Arizona Stockman Murdered
Dodge City Globe, Dodge, Kansas
18 Nov 1884

Weekly Repblican
Phoenix, Arizona
13 Nov 1884
Arizona Citizen
Tucson, Arizona
15 Nov 1884

After reading the above news articles and the below transcriptions of the testimonies that were given by the witnesses, can you determine WHAT happened to Thomas Box Jr and WHO might have killed him?? 

Testimonies given at Inquest

1. Henry Dial
Territory of Arizona
County of Cochise
Henry Dial being duly sworn say my name is Henry Dial reside in Sulphur Springs Valley occupation Stock Raiser
Q: Do you recognize any of the articles found upon or near the remains of deceased that would lead to the identity of deceased?
A: I am satisfied that the pocket book now before the jury and found upon the body is the book of and owned by one Thomas Box.  I also believe the coat found near the remains to have belonged to Thomas Box.
Q: When was the last time you saw Thomas Box alive?
A: I saw Thomas Box alive for the last time about the middle of the month of April 1883 it was in Dos Cabezas where I last saw him.  I knew Charlie Smith and H.C. Reynolds whose names appear in the pocket book found on the body and know that they at one time were in the employ of Thomas Box.
H. Dial
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 26th day of October 1884.  W.F. Nichols, J.P.

 2. Daniel Waughtal
Territory of Arizona
County of Cochise
Daniel Waughtal being duly sworn say my name is Daniel Waughtal reside in Dos Cabezas occupation miner.
Q: Did you find the remains of deceased and if so state when and where and any other facts that you may know that will tend to establish the identity of the deceased.
A: I found the remains yesterday Oct 25th 1884 in the Dos Cabezas Mountains about three miles west of the “silver Camp”.  The remains were scattered around, bones separated and scattered and clothing torn and scattered.  The bones of deceased were entirely denuded of clothing and what was left of the bones were bleached.  Should think deceased had been dead about one and one half years.
Q: Who do you believe the deceased to be?
A: I believe him to be Thomas Box
Q: Did you ever find a horse belonging to Thomas Box in his lifetime and if so when and where did you find him?
A:  I found him between a quarter and a half of a mile from the mouth of the “Silver Camp” Canyon and about one and a half miles from where I found the remains after finding the horse.  I trailed the back track of the horse to within about a mile of the place where I afterward found the remains of deceased.  I first supposed the horse to have strayed from the Indians and afterwards learned that he was the property of Thomas Box.  I learned that Mr Box had left Dos Cabezas about three days before I found the horse.  The horse when I found him was in a bad condition, had apparently been without water for some time and was cut with spurs considerably and seemingly had been run pretty hard as the perspiration had dried upon him.  The horse had nothing upon him.  I found a saddle and a bridle and one spur beside the various articles of clothing near the remains of deceased.  I never saw any of these articles before I saw them near the remains.  When I found the remains of the deceased and also the horse I was at the time hunting.  When I examined the vest and shirt I discovered what I believed to be a bullet hole through both articles of clothing in the right front of the articles.  The scull of deceased could not be found.  Think probably wild animals or a rush of water down the canyon may have caused the scull off.  I did not know Thomas Box in his lifetime.
Daniel Waughtal
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 26th day of October 1884.  W.F. Nichols, J.P.

3. N. C. Scow 
Territory of Arizona
County of Cochise
N. C. Scow being duly sworn say my name is N.A. Scow reside in Dos Cabezas occupation Freighter
Q: Do you recognize any of the articles found near the remains of the deceased and if so state what they are?
A: I recognize the coat as belonging to Thomas Box as it was made of a peculiar clothe and the last time I saw him alive he had on this kind of a coat.  I could not swear that this coat belonged to Box but he Box had one on just like it when I last saw him.  The shoe that was found near the remains is similar to the pair that Thomas Box wore when I last saw him.  The saddle blankets found with the saddle are similar as Mr Box had.  I knew Thomas Box during his lifetime.  Saw him last alive about the 18th day of April 1883 in Dos Cabezas it was in the morning about 9 o’clock he was about to leave and was inquiring the shortest way to Safford as He brought some cattle from somewhere on the Gila river and sold them to Henry Dial.  I helped drive the cattle from Stockton Pass to Dos Cabezas.  I understood he received his pay for the cattle from Mr Dial and that he had the money on his person when he left here.
N. C. Scow
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 26th day of October 1884.  W.F. Nichols, J.P.

4. James Scow
Territory of Arizona
County of Cochise
James Scow being duly sworn say my name is James Scow reside in Dos Cabezas occupation Freighter.
Q: Do you recognize any of the articles found near the remains of the deceased?
A: I recognize the coat as just like the one worn by Thomas Box the last time I saw him alive. I knew Thomas Box in his lifetime saw him last on about the 18th day of April 1883 in Dos Cabezas as he was leaving for Safford he lived in Smithville. He had received the sum of about $1800 from Mr. Dial for the sale of cattle to Mr. Dial and was about to go home.  He required of me the shortest way across the Mountains and I directed him to go through the Silver Camp  From the head of “Silver Camp” there is a trail that goes to the Graham Mountains and from there a road leads to Safford.
James Scow
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 26th day of October 1884
W F Nichols JP

The original documents of the above transcriptions of testimonies given at Coroners Inquest can be found on in the Source section of profile page for Thomas Michael Box.  To go to profile page, click here 

Thomas Box, Jr
Short Biography

Thomas Michael Box, son of Thomas Box and Clarkey Carpenter, was born 26 Oct 1837 in Chulerhome, Marshall, Mississippi.  The Box family moved to Henderson County, Texas in 1845, then to Utah in 1857 after joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The Box family lived in Salt Lake City for many years, then moved to southern Utah.  Tom and his father, Thomas Sr, raised and sold cattle for a living, with a short stint trying their hand at mining near Panaca, Nevada.  Thomas Jr lived with his parents during his lifetime and there are no records showing that he ever married.

The Box family moved to the McElmo Canyon area of the Four Corners area, and then into New Mexico Territory.  Thomas Sr died near Farmington, New Mexico on 17 March 1881.  Tom was still single and living with his mother after his father's death in 1881.  In 1882, Thomas is mentioned in the Minutes of the Burnham Ward, San Juan Stake of the LDS Church when on the 4th of February 1882, when he was re-baptised and confirmed a member of the Church.  This was the last record found for Thomas Box.

Tom seems to have completely disappeared after 1882.  Although his mother and sister, Josephine (along with her family), were enumerated in the 1885 San Juan, New Mexico Territorial census, Tom could not be found.  

What happened to Thomas Box Jr after 1882 and where did he go?

It seems that after the death of his father, Tom Jr continued to raise and sell cattle.  He moved down to a Mormon community in Arizona near Safford called Smithville (now called Pima).  In April 1883, Tom sold a herd of cattle to Henry Dial of Sulphur Springs Valley, Arizona for $1,900 cash.  On his way back to Safford, riding his horse on a trail through the Dos Cabezas Mountains, Thomas Box was robbed and murdered.  He never reached his home and no one knew what happened to him -- some feared foul play.  According to a newspaper account, his disappearance was "shrouded in mystery".  But, since no "body" was found, his disappearance remained a mystery until skeletal remains were discovered in the Dos Cabezas Mountains on 25 October 1884.  A Coroners Inquest was held the next day on October 26th and the remains were declared to belong to Thomas Box.  Tom's murderer was never discovered.

QUESTIONS concerning the death of Thomas Box:

WHAT happened to the remains after the Inquest?  Were they properly buried?
WHO knew Thomas had money from the sale of the cattle, and who knew where he was going? 
WHY wasn't his disappearance in 1883 investigated? 
Was there a cover-up?  Coroner's report does not seem complete.  
There is more information in the Dodge newspaper than in local newspapers.  Why didn't the Arizona newspapers give a more detailed account?
Waughtal's testimony doesn't seem plausible.  There are too many inconsistancies.  
WHO killed Thomas Box??

***Another murder in the family took place in the Arizona Mountains.  In 1910, Fred Kibbe was murdered in the White Mountains on the Fort Apache Road.  Click here   

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Early Clark County, Ohio History by Joanna Smith Miller

1887 Newspaper Article 
Early Clark County, Ohio 
by Joanna Smith Miller

Joanna Smith Miller (1806-1891), the daughter of Samuel Smith and Elizabeth McCleave, was married to John Miller.  John Miller was the brother of Mary Miller Leffel, our 3rd great-grandmother, and son of Frederick Miller, our 4th great-grandfather.  When Joanna was 80 years old, her son Samuel Smith Miller interviewed her for a newspaper article, which was published in the Springfield Daily Republic on 17 January 1887.  The article was titled "Clark County's Infancy," with a subtitle: "An Intensely Interesting Chapter of Early History - The Ways of Our Forefathers Charmingly Described."

In order to enlarge the newspaper article to a size big enough to be easily read, please go to Chronicling America.  The above newspaper article can be found on the Library of Congress website, Chronicling America.
 Springfield daily republic. [volume] (Springfield, O. [Ohio]), 17 Jan. 1887. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

Joanna's history includes information about the Smith, Miller, and Leffel families, as well as many others.  At the bottom of the second column is an excerpt about Joanna's father-in-law, Frederick Miller, and brother-in-law, Anthony Leffel.

I love the part about the Indians living in their wigwams near Anthony Leffel's cabin -- 
"While Mr. Leffel lived there the Indians had a dozen or so of wigwams, built of bark, a short distance west of their cabin, and Samuel, Mr. Leffel’s son, who is yet living and not very old, used to play with the Indian children.  When a tall, good looking Leffel of eighteen years would go to see the Indians, a comely young squaw always came out and sat on a log as if to court the young man into an attachment."

Birch-Bark Indian Wigwams

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Painting My Chromosomes

In order to come up with "just the right" paint colors for the home🏠 we're building, I've been spending a lot of time at the Sherwin-Williams paint store, or online at Houzz, or with the designers.  There are over 70 shades of white paint alone!  It's all very overwhelming.  
But, on the happier side, there is one paint job I have been enjoying -- Painting My Chromosomes.  I have been using a free online DNA tool for chromosome mapping called DNA Painter.

DNA painter helps you map or “paint” your chromosomes to find out which ancestors belong to your specific segments of your DNA.  I only paint segments of a match when I am certain of the common ancestral couple we both descend from and received our common DNA from.  In the past, I have kept spread sheets of my matches but I think I like using DNA Painter better.  And, it’s much more fun to “paint” 🎨 a match than it is to add them to a spreadsheet. 

My chromosomes (all 23 of them) are 55% painted and I could probably have closer to 80-90% painted if had a chromosome browser showing segments matching.  I have found DNA matches with paintable segments at FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage, 23andme, and GedMatch.  Each of the aforementioned companies have a chromosome browser and I just copy the information and paste it into DNA Painter.  But, I have more matches on AncestryDNA than anywhere else.  In order to add my matches, the Ancestry match  would need to download their raw DNA data from Ancestry and transfer to one of the vendors which accepts downloads - such as FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage, and/or GedMatch.  For information on how to transfer DNA files, click here.

For each numbered chromosome (1 through 23), the top pale blue line represents the DNA  received from my father, and the bottom pale pink line represents the DNA that came from my mother.  My segment matches are painted on top of each paternal or maternal line.

I made two separate profiles for my own matches, the top profile image showing my four grandparent lines, and one bottom one showing all identified common ancestors.  I have also created a profile for each parent (both of my parents have tested their DNA).  Also, I have created profiles for my brick-wall lines.

This first image shows my four grandparent lines.  I created this profile to visually see which of my grandparent lines were more complete.  My paternal grandparents are shown in blue and green on the top pale blue paternal line of each chromosome.   The blue represents all my matches on my Martin-Weiss family lines, which are my German lines.  My German lines will always be the least complete because there are only three generations here in the United States.  The green represents my Wilson-Hatfield family lines. 
Pink and yellow represents my maternal grandparent lines: Baldwin and Stewart are pink, Leffel and Box are yellow.

The next profile I created from myself shows all of my ancestors who have been identified with segment matching information.  I have 28 ancestral couples whose segments have been identified.  I have not added close family matches (siblings, 1st cousins, aunts & uncles) because I would not know which of our shared matches came from which of our shared grandparents.  So, I started with matches who are 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc cousins.  All of my great-grandparents and 2nd great-grandparents are represented, as well as many of the 3rd-4th-5th great-grandparents.   The program allows me to click on any of the colored segments to see which ancestral couple gave me that segment.  My favorite is to click on the ancestral couple in the chart on the right to see all the segments identified as coming from them. 

Click on above images to view larger.

I love DNA Painter😍    If you want to join in the fun of painting chromosomes, just go to DNA Painter and start painting away.  But watch out -- it's very addicting!!

Instructions for using DNA Painter can be found on the DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy website:  DNAPainter Instructions and Resources 

Instructions for transferring DNA from one company to another can be found here: DNA file Upload-Download and Transfer Instructions to and from DNA Testing Companies.

DNA Posts on this Blog:

Finding Family with DNA
Finding More Family with DNA
FM Baldwin DNA Project