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 much 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 Ancestry 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 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 

DNA Posts on this Blog:

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

Friday, August 9, 2019

clmroots tree

Before there was the clmroots blog - there was the clmroots tree.

Around thirty-five years ago, I carved my initials on an aspen tree located on our mountain property.  It was in an area where we camped a few times during the 1980's.  Last month while on this year's camp trip (Yes, I still go camping every year), I came across "my tree" during an afternoon hike around the property.  I was surprised when I first saw my initials right in front of me on a tree (mainly because I had forgotten all about it😏), and even more surprised to find the tree was still around after all these years.🌳🌳🌳  It has aged about like me -- a little bigger, a few scars here and there, and getting crowded out by all the new, young growth around it.

Friday, June 28, 2019

1902 McNeil Reunion

My great-grandmother, Minnie Pearl Wilson, had a newspaper clipping of a family reunion tucked in the old family bible where she also kept all of the clippings of family obituaries.  The "Family Reunion" clipping was from an unknown newspaper, had no date or place, and had already turned yellow with age when I received it almost 50 years ago.  Someone had taken a guess and written a date (which was off by a year) and place (state only) on the top of the clipping.  The clipping was about a McNeil Family Reunion -- children and grandchildren of Mrs. Sarah McNeil.  The article  mentioned that "Photographer Stone" had taken a group picture of all the family at the reunion.  Over the years I have often wished I could find a copy of the picture taken that day at the McNeil Family Reunion!!
Newspaper Clipping found in family bible.
McNeil Family Reunion
Last year, added a lot of small town newspapers from Kansas.   I spent some late nights going through the newspapers from Smith County, Kansas, which ended up being a goldmine of information on the McNeil, Cole, and Hatfield families.  The above article about the McNeil Family Reunion was found in a Smith Center newspaper.  It was published in the Smith County Pioneer (Smith Center, Kansas) newspaper on Thursday, 30 October 1902.  The reunion would have taken place on the previous Sunday which was 26 October 1902 and was attended by twenty-seven children and grandchildren of Sarah Margaret Cole McNeil. (Transcription at bottom of page)

Smith County Pioneer newspaper
Smith Center, Kansas
Thursday, 30 Oct 1902
Earlier this year, a cousin on the McNeil side of the family reached out to me to say she was going to post her McNeil family photos on  I was more than excited 😍😍 when she posted a copy of the actual photograph taken the day of the McNeil Family Reunion mentioned in the above newspaper article.  As stated in the news article, the photograph was taken on the front porch of the Nate McNeil home in the afternoon by "Photographer Stone" just after their "big dinner".  Grandma McNeil is right in the center of the photo, resting her head back on a white pillow.  

This photo taken at the reunion is remarkable for several reasons:  1) Only known picture(s) of Sarah Margaret Cole McNeil was taken at this reunion; 2) All of Sarah's living children were at the reunion and in the photo; 3) Only known picture of Charles E Hatfield (brother of Martin M Hatfield).  

McNeil Family Reunion 
30 Oct 1902, Smith Center, Kansas
Back row: Martin M. Hatfield, Nancy McNeil Hatfield, Thomas C. McNeil, Mary "Stella" Reed Hoyt, George Hoyt, Addie Ball, Noah Ball, Alma Peterson Hatfield, Amos Reed, Charles E. Hatfield. Middle row: Minnie Newbrey McNeil, James "Harmon" McNeil, Verna McNeil, Susie Hoyt McNeil, Nathan H McNeil, Grandma McNeil (Sarah Cole McNeil), Levi Ball, Susan McNeil Ball, Albert Reed, Roxie Ellen McNeil Reed. Children: Clinton Hatfield, Lenard McNeil, Juanita Higby, Nellie McNeil Miller, Lester McNeil, Blanche Hatfield, Blanche McNeil Miller, Alfred Hatfield.

Transcription of above newspaper article of the McNeil Family Reunion:
Family Reunion
"A family reunion was held last Sunday at the home of Nate McNeal, of this city, at which time 27 children and grandchildren of Mrs. Sarah McNeal were present. The children were T.C. McNeal, Nate McNeal and Mrs. Roxie Reed, of Smith Center, Susan Ball, of Athol, Mrs. Nancy Hatfield, of Woods County, Oklahoma, and Harmon McNeal of Dor township. All the above were accompanied by their husbands or wives except T.C. McNeal, who is still a single man. About a dozen grandchildren were present, also was Charlie Hatfield, of Oxford, Neb., a brother of N.M. Hatfield, accompanied by his wife. In the afternoon after a big dinner they all assembled on the front porch where their picture was taken by Photographer Stone.
Grandma McNeal was 77 years old on her last birthday, and all her children are living except one, a daughter who died when about eight years old. Her husband died in 1894. This is the first time all the family have been together for about eight years, and it was like told times for them all to meet again. Mrs. N.M. Hatfield and husband left Monday for their Oklahoma home, and Charlie Hatfield and wife left for Oxford, Neb., on the same train and the others went away Sunday." 

Many thanks 😘😘 to our cousin who took the time to post, preserve, and share the McNeil family photos.  So many family photos and documents are lost every time there is a fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, etc.  By scanning and posting the photos/documents on sites such as Ancestry, My Heritage, FamilySearch, Blogs, etc., we can preserve history for future generations.

Note: Many more photos of the McNeil family of Smith County, Kansas are posted on

Click here for Sarah M Cole McNeil's Ancestry profile page. 

Related posts:  

Thursday, June 27, 2019

June Weddings

Historically, June has always been a popular month for weddings, and if the movies shown on TV this month are any indication, June is still a favorite.  All you need to do is turn to the Hallmark channel to find dozens of movies about June Brides and June Weddings. 

The month of June was named after Juno - the Roman goddess of love and marriage.  And, it was traditionally thought that those who married in the month of June would be blessed with love, happiness, and prosperity.  Another benefit is the wonderful weather and all the beautiful flowers which are abundant in the month of June for the bridal bouquets

June also appears to have been a very popular month for our own ancestors to “tie the knot.”  As you can see from the calendar below, every day in June has a wedding for at least one of our ancestral couples.

One of my favorite musicals is the 1954 movie, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”.  In the movie is a song called “June Bride.” 

“Oh, they say when you marry in June you’re a bride all your life, 
And the bridegroom who marries in June gets a sweet-heart for a wife. 
Winter weddings can be gay like a Christmas holiday, 
But the JUNE BRIDE hears the song of a spring that lasts all summer long. 
By the light of the silvery moon, home you ride side by side 
With the echo of Mendelssohn’s tune in your hearts as you ride. 
For they say when you marry in June you will always be a bride.”

And, if you are wondering: No, I did not get married in June.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Finding Pearl's Obituary

Obituary for Pearl Wilson

This past week I “accidentally” found my great-mother’s obituary while searching for information about my grand-uncle, Buck Wilson.

Pearl’s obituary was found in the “San Juan Record” (Monticello, Utah) newspaper published on Thursday, March 3, 1966. Monticello is in a different state and 60 miles away from where Pearl lived and died in Cortez, Colorado.  No one in the family lived in Monticello, Utah, but Pearl’s son Loni “Buck” Wilson lived in Bluff, Utah.  Bluff is a small town about 50 miles south of Monticello - over a hundred miles from where Pearl lived.  And, Pearl's obituary was published on March 3, 1966, which was about ten days after her death which was on  February 22, 1966.

The obituary was titled, “Rites held for Mrs. Charles V. Wilson.”  Pearl is only referred to as “Mrs. Wilson” throughout the obituary.  At no point is she referred to by her given name(s) of Pearl or Minnie Pearl.  Also, there is no mention of her maiden name of Hatfield or names of her parents or siblings.  Even her husband’s name used in the obituary is not one he normally used.  He usually went by Charles B Wilson or C B Wilson.  In his own obituary, he is referred to as “Charles B Wilson”.  Also note that Pearl's daughters are referred to by their husband's names not their own. So they (the daughters) would not show up in a search - only their husbands would show up.

In spite of the above issues, Pearl's obituary contained some great biographical information.  I love the part about Pearl driving a covered wagon from Oklahoma to the Four Corners area with her four young children, while her husband drove a herd of wild horses.  To read her daughter Maymie's version of this journey to Oklahoma, click here.  I also love the reference about Pearl’s husband working on the first road up Comb Wash hill (Comb Ridge).  This last bit of information was unknown to most of the descendants today and is fun information to those who like to explore the Comb Ridge area of southeastern Utah.

Lessons learned to be successful in finding obituaries for women:
1. Check newspapers in towns (or nearby towns) where children/siblings/parents lived. 
2. Try using husband’s name when searching for wife’s obituary.   
3. Try using different spellings, initials, and nicknames.
4. Instead of using a daughter's name or sister's name, use their husband's name.
5. Expand your search for several weeks to a month after the death.

Read here about the challenges of finding information for our female ancestors - the 'Hidden Half' of our family.

Transcription of obituary: 
Rites held for Mrs. Charles V. Wilson
Funeral services were held Feb. 24 at the Ertel Memorial Chapel in Cortez for Mrs. Charles V. Wilson, mother of Buck Wilson, Bluff, who passed away in that city on Feb. 22.
Mrs. Wilson, born in 1886 in Smith Center, Kan. travelled from Oklahoma in 1913 driving a covered wagon with her four children while her husband drove a herd of wild horses.  The Wilsons settled in the Zuni Mountain Area of New Mexico, later moving to Dry Valley, north of Monticello.  They homesteaded in Urado, Utah where they lived for 12 years.  Mrs. Wilson had lived the past 33 years in Colorado.  Her husband, who passed away in 1951, worked on the first road up Comb Wash hill. 
Surviving are five children – Mrs. Elmer Martin, Cortez; Mrs. Martin Barnes, Waynoka, Okla.; John Wilson, Prescott, Ariz.; Clayton Wilson, Cortez; and Lonie (Buck) Wilson, Bluff.  Also surviving are 16 grandchildren and 38 great-grandchildren.

Information that also should have been included in Pearl's obituary:
Name: Minnie Pearl Hatfield Wilson
Born: 27 April 1886, Smith Center, Smith, Kansas
Death: 22 February 1966, Cortez, Montezuma, Colorado
Father: Martin Monroe Hatfield
Mother: Nancy Abigail McNeil
Married: 14 December 1902 at Woods County, Oklahoma
Preceded in death by: parents; son, Vern Wilson; son, Charles Lloyd Wilson; daughter, Juanita Maxine Wilson; 5 brothers and 2 sisters.
Survived by: sister Grace Hatfield Kaser of Egbert, Wyoming (in addition to her children mentioned in obituary above.)

Related posts:
Minnie Pearl Wilson  
Wilson's Utah Homestead   
Wilson Family Photos
Maymie Wilson Martin  

Friday, November 30, 2018

James Cole of Plymouth

Although no Mayflower Ancestor has been found in the family, there is an early Plymouth Colonist -- James Cole, who was in Plymouth by 1633.  James Cole is our ancestor on our Hatfield Wilson family line.

James Cole memorial marker on Cole's Hill
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Below is the James Cole fact sheet from the Plimoth Plantation.

James Cole Fact Sheet
Recently while doing research at the GSMD (General Society of Mayflower Descendants) Library in Plymouth, MA, I was excited to find a new book published in 2017 by Susan E Roser about our Pilgrim ancestor James Cole and his early descendants.

Although the GSMD Library did not have the book for sale, I ordered one as soon as I returned home. The author has a website:  The book arrived just before Thanksgiving, so I was able to spend Thanksgiving weekend reading about my Pilgrim ancestor, James Cole.

Pilgrims at Plymouth -

Information about James Cole of Plymouth can be found in many places online.  The best is the New England Historic Genealogical Society's website,  which has a profile of James Cole in their Great Migrations Study Project.  Much can also be found on, especially in their public family trees -- just be careful because there is a lot of "junk" posted there also. James Cole also has a profile on both FamilySearch and Find-a-Grave.  I will post another article on James Cole once I sift through all the information.😊

Related Posts:
Our 'First Families' in America
Nathan Cole - Patriot
Nathan Cole's Revolutionary War Button

Plymouth Colony and Plimoth Plantation

Last month while on a visit to Cape Cod, I was able to visit Plymouth and Plimoth Plantation.

Plymouth Colony was home to the Mayflower colonists who landed in 1620.  Although I do not have Mayflower ancestry, my children and grandchildren do.  Their ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower were John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.  John Alden came as a single man and was the ship's cooper, responsible for maintaining the ship's barrels.  Priscilla Mullins came with her family, although her father, William Mullins, step-mother, and brother all died that first winter.  John and Priscilla married on 12 May 1622 and were the parents of 10 children.  My children descend through their eldest daughter, Elizabeth Alden, who married William Pabodie.
John Alden and Priscilla Mullins Info
Plymouth Rock is supposedly the point where the Mayflower passengers first set foot on their new homeland.  Plymouth Rock is much smaller than I imagined.  Supposedly, over time pieces of the rock were chipped off as souvenirs. So, when the Pilgrims landed almost 400 years ago the rock was somewhat larger than it is now.
Plymouth Rock
Plimoth Plantation was our next stop.   "Plimoth" is an old-fashioned spelling of the word Plymouth used by Governor William Bradford in his history of the colony.  Plimoth Plantation is a living history museum located in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Plimoth Plantation

John Alden Home at Plimoth Plantation

Guess who got to meet his ancestor "John Alden"?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Finding More Family with DNA

Using DNA to Find "F C Tucker"

Sometimes a DNA match will give just the right push in the right direction to help break down a stubborn brick wall.

Last year, a Box family mystery was solved using DNA and the newly launched Oklahoma Death Index.  After researching a DNA match I had received on, I was able to finally figure out who the 10 year old granddaughter “F M Tucker” was in an 1880 census for my 2nd great-grandmother, Roenna Box.
Clip of 1880 US Federal Census, Jack County, Texas, page 34
Roenna’s daughter and son-in-law, S A (Susan) and John Tucker, were listed in Roenna’s household with their two young daughters, enumerated only by their initials.  Click HERE to read about solving that mystery and figuring out who F M Tucker was.  The F M Tucker from the census record was our Florida Melissa Tucker (Stanford Leffel).  Florida is connected to our family two ways: 1) through her mother Susan Box, sister to our Caldona Jane Box, and 2) through her 2nd husband, George Leffel, brother to our Charles Leffel.  But, Florida only shares DNA with us from our common ancestors, Grief J Box and Roenna Johnson Box.

The F M Tucker puzzle was solved, but there was still the problem of the other daughter, listed only as 13 year old F C Tucker in the 1880 census record.  
So, who was F C Tucker, what was her name, and what happened to her??

About the time that Florida Tucker married Rufus Stanford in Wichita County, Texas, there was another Wichita County, Texas marriage record -- Fannie Tucker married to James Saunders in 1884. 

Could the Fannie Tucker in that 1884 marriage record be the missing F C Tucker, I wondered??  I could find no further records for a James and Fannie Saunders to support this theory -- no census records, vital records, newspapers -- nothing.  Another dead-end...

Using AncestryDNA Matches to Solve a Mystery

Last week while looking through my DNA matches on, I noticed one of my matches had a tree that included a Fannie Tucker married to a James Sanders with a father, John Tucker.  The tree had no facts or identifying information for Fannie, husband James Sanders, nor for her father John Tucker – no dates, no places, only their names.  And, the James was a Sanders NOT a Saunders. So, could this be the right family??  I did not see any other way I could be sharing DNA with the the owner of the tree, so I needed to investigate.:)
DNA match tree with Fannie Tucker (and John Tucker as a father)
 with husband James Sanders.
When I clicked on the shared matches tab, all of the known shared matches were cousins on the Box family line.  So, that told me that this match with the tree that included Fannie Tucker (with father John Tucker and married to a James Sanders) was sharing DNA with me from my Box family line.
I went back to look at the original 1884 Wichita County marriage record for the Fannie Tucker to James Saunders and I noticed something funny.  James Saunders name was spelled two different ways on the original certificate – Saunders on the license section on top and Sanders on the marriage portion on the bottom.  
So, which was right - Saunders or Sanders?
Could it be possible that this new DNA match with James Sanders and Fannie Tucker turn out to be the answer to the F C Tucker mystery??
Wichita County, Texas, Marriage Record, Book 1, Page 14
It appears that the spelling of Saunders on the top half of the marriage record was wrong and that the correct spelling was Sanders.  With that new information, I found a cemetery record for a James Sanders who died in 1891.  But if James died in 1891, what happened to Fannie and their children after his death and where did she go?  I could not find her or any of their children in the 1900 census.

The DNA match only had one child listed for James Sanders and Fannie Tucker, a child named Lee Elmer Sanders (see above pedigree).  So I started researching him.  I was able to put together a family of his parents and three other siblings.  But I could not find any of them in the 1900 census -- why?? 

Several of the death certificates for the siblings of Lee Elmer Sanders list their mother’s name as Fannie Caroline Tucker.  This looking more and more like my lost “F C Tucker” from the 1880 census. 

I continued to research the DNA match ancestor Lee Elmer Sanders and found his obituary that listed half-siblings.  That meant his mother Fannie had married again.  
Siblings listed from the Obituary of L E Sanders
Notice the half brothers and half sister.
I did a search for the names of the half-siblings and found the family in the 1900 census.  It appears that Fannie Tucker Sanders married again in 1899 to Thomas Kirkham, and so in the 1900 census, she and all of her Sanders children are listed with her new husband’s surname -- Kirkham.  
1900 US Federal Census, Jack County, Texas, page 82A, sheet 2
Fannie and her Sanders children enumerated with surname Kirkham.
Notice in the above census who is next door to Fannie and her husband, Thomas Kirkham.  It is Fannie's grandmother, Roenna Box!  It appears that Fannie had a close relationship with her grandmother Roenna -- she was living with her grandmother in the 1880 census and in 1900 she was living next to her.  Fannie may have lived with her grandmother after her first husband died in 1891.  

Once I had the information from the 1900 census, I was able to put Fannie's  family together quite easily.  Fannie had four more children with her 2nd husband, Thomas W Kirkham.  The Kirkham family moved to Oklahoma about 1904.  Fannie died on 16 Jan 1944 and is buried in the Sunny Lane Cemetery in Del City, Oklahoma.  I've updated all my trees and the family can now be found on my Ancestry tree, as well as on FamilySearch and on Find a Grave.

I am sure Fannie knew all of her Box relatives, especially since she lived with or next to her grandma Roenna Box for a lot of her life.  But present day family trees listed in online databases did not reflect those connections.  So, Welcome back to the Family, Fannie Caroline Tucker (Sanders Kirkham), daughter of Susan Ann Box and John Tucker, and granddaughter of Grief Johnson Box and Roenna Johnson.

She fits into the family tree as shown:

Benefits of Knowing Your DNA Matches

When looking at the shared matches on Ancestry with my original Fannie Tucker descendant match, I can now figure out many more of my previously unknown DNA matches.  Most of my matches on AncestryDNA do not have a tree, or do not have more than one or two generations filled out in their tree.  But, because of the additional information I found on Fannie’s descendants (surnames & locations) I can now figure who many of the previously unknown DNA matches are.

Thanks to DNA, my tree is becoming more complete as I find more descendant lines.

Both DNA and traditional research were required to solve this puzzle.  It could not have been done without the DNA or the research into original records.  

The DNA matches used for this post were found on AncestryDNA.  Sadly AncestryDNA does not provide a chromosome browser, so the shared DNA between the descendants of Fannie and the descendants of her cousins have not been triangulated.πŸ˜’  Descendants of Fannie should share DNA with other descendants of Grief J Box and Roenna Johnson.

At the present time, there are 51 members in the AncestryDNA Circles for Grief J Box and for Roenna Johnson.  If you have taken Ancestry's DNA test and descend from the Box family and want to be included in their AncestryDNA Circle, extend your family tree back to include Grief J Box and Roenna Johnson.  

If tested at AncestryDNA, consider transferring the raw DNA to FamilyTreeDNA, MyHertiage, and/or GedMatch. Each of these companies provide a chromosome browser and many other tools.

Related blog posts:
Roenna Box  
Fannie C Tucker Ancestry Profile (must have Ancestry membership to view)