Tuesday, April 29, 2014

52 Ancestor's Challenge - Week 17 - Martin Kutz - From Prussia to Chicago, IL

Martin Kutz is the furthest I can trace the Kutz line on my father's side of the family.  He is my 3rd great grandfather.  I haven't been terribly successful in tracing my German roots.  So this line is a work in progress.

According to family, he was born October 5, 1830 in Germany, and he married Anna Dräger.  The date and place of their marriage is unknown, however, their first child was born January 15, 1860 in Chicago, IL.  Anna was born 30 Jan 1833 in Germany, and died 26 Nov 1902 in Chicago, IL.

Ancestry.com has a passenger list for the ship Athena, arriving May 28, 1858 into New York, from Breman, Germany.  On one page, it shows a Martin Kutz, age 27.  Just nine lines below Martin is someone named Anna Dräger.  Not sure these are the same people, but could they have traveled together to the U.S.?  Did they meet onboard, or possibly know each other before leaving?  A copy of the manifest is shown below.

Ship Manifest for the Athena sailing from Bremen, Germany to New York, arriving May 28, 1858.
Found on the "New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957" on Ancestry.com (page 149 of 514).
Shows Martin Kutz age 27, and Anna Dräger age 22 just 9 rows below Martin. 

Martin had a sister named Gustina/Justine Kutz who married August Kienitz in 1849 in Germany.  I've been in touch with someone who descends from this line, and they say Gustina was the daughter of William Kutz, and was born September 23, 1832 in Steglitz, Brandenburg Province, Prussia.  I haven't been able to verify this though, or the fact that they were siblings.  So I'm not 100% sure.  However, Gustina and her family came to the U.S. in 1853, originally settling near Princeton, WI before settling in Faribault, MN.  Gustina died 12 Sep 1915 in Blue Earth, MN.

Martin Kutz and Anna Dräger had the following children:
  • Wilhelmina Kutz (Minnie) - b. 15 Jan 1860 in Chicago, IL - married Fred Hagenmeister 11 Oct 1879 - Minnie died 10 Sep 1947
  • John Martin Kutz - b. 18 Jun 1861 in Chicago, IL - married Ida Haase 10 May 1890 - John died 12 Nov 1933
  • Mary Kutz - b. 13 Jan 1863 - died in 1869
  • Emma Kutz - b. 25 Sep 1865 in Chicago, IL - never married - died 6 May 1941 in Chicago, IL
  • Herman Kutz (Henry) - b. 1 Oct 1867 in Chicago, IL - never married - died 14 April 1923 in Chicago, IL
  • Augusta Kutz (Gussie) - b. 10 August 1870 in Chicago, IL - never married - died 23 May 1923 in Chicago, IL
  • Anna Kutz - b. May 1874 in Chicago, IL - never married - died 29 May 1943 in Chicago, IL
**The only census I can locate Martin on is the 1880 Federal census.  He is listed with Anna and their children on page 32 in Enumeration District 142, Chicago, Cook County, IL.  They are shown living at 144 Cornell Street.  It says Martin worked as a day laborer, he could not read or write, and he was born in Prussia.

He is listed on the "Soundex Index to Naturalization Petitions for U.S. District & Circuit Courts, Northern District of Illinois and Immigration and Naturalization Service District 9, 1840-1950," found on page 47 of 3149 on Familysearch.org.  It shows he was born in Germany and became a Naturalized U.S. citizen on 4 Nov 1876.  I've attempted to obtain the paperwork on file, but haven't been able yet.  Because the paperwork is so old, I doubt there is much information on it to go off of anyway.

Martin died 3 Nov 1888 in Chicago, IL.  The death certificate indicates he was 58 years old, lived at 144 Cornell Street in the 16th ward, Cook County, IL.  The cause of death is listed as Pneumonia.

Death Certificate copy in my files for Martin Kutz ordered from Cook County, IL, and received July 2007

If you have any questions, or concerns, about the information in this post, please leave me a comment. I'd be happy to answer any questions, or share what information I have on the individuals listed above. Thanks for reading!!

**Upon further investigation, I was able to find Martin Kutz on the 1860 Federal census.  He was living in the 6th Ward of Chicago City, Cook County, IL, house number 1674 on page 202 of 404 on Ancestry.com.  He is listed as a laborer, age 30, from Baden.  His wife Anna is listed as 27, also from Baden, and their daughter "Mena," which I'm guessing is Minnie, is listed as 1 years old, and born in Illinois.

This post was part of the 52 Ancestor's Challenge brought by Amy Johnson Crow.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

52 Ancestor's Challenge - Week 16 - Eva Sabrina Porter...Daughter of French Nobility and Ex-Fiance of President James K. Polk???

This week for the 52 Ancestor's Challenge, I'm going to focus on my 3rd great grandmother, Eva Sabrina Porter.  Here is a perfect example of double checking your sources, and double checking your sources sources.

There is a book called The Holcombes, Nation Builders...Their Biographies, Genealogies, and Pedigrees, by Hannah Elizabeth Weir McPhereson, published in 1947.  It is a wonderful book with thousands of names and tons of stories about the genealogy of the Holcomb(e) family.  You can view a copy of it online, for free, at Familysearch.org.  Just put the title in the search box and you can download it to your computer.  Or, if you have an Ancestry.com subscription, you can view it there.  I find it easier to view on Ancestry.com.

My line of Holcombs are listed in the book.  My grandfather, Benton Rogers Holcomb and his wife Mamie Locke are mentioned in it (nothing more then their names).  Benton's father Thomas William Holcomb and his wife Jane Coburn are shown too, and listed with their children.  Then you come to Thomas' parents, William Alfred Holcomb and Eva Sabrina Porter.  This is where things get interesting!!  It states the following on page 350:

"This Porter family was of the French nobility, who escaped extermination by fleeing from France across the English Channel en route to N. America, bringing only such property as could hastily convert into money and jewels and carry on their persons."

"Eva Sabrina (Porter) Holcombe's parents knew they were marked to be beheaded as part of the nobility. This Porter family entered N. America through the port of New Orleans, La.; took boat up Mississippi River; then traveled inland. They bought and equipped a plantation on the old Post Road between Columbia and Nashville, Tenn. , -in Maury Co., Tenn., and there had as neighbors families named Payne, Pillar, Post.  The Polk families of Tenn. were their warm friends."

The story goes on to say the following about Eva:

"As a young lady Eva Sebrina Porter 'spent her summers on the home plantation and winters in Washington, D.C. where she entertained and was entertained in diplomatic circles and at the White House. She was engaged to marry President, James Knox Polk and led many grand marches at balls with him. They quarrelled and their former relations were not restored.'"

The quote from the book is in quotation marks which leads me to believe it was taken from one of the sources the writer corresponded to.  She lists the sources for William Alfred Holcomb and Eva Sabrina Porter as:
  • Family Records of Alfred and Sabrina Porter Holcomb
  • Their granddaughter, Nancy Sabrina Holcomb Carpenter (1869-1955). 
  • Mrs. R.H. (Lillie Cater) Creitzberg
  • T.K. Jones of Lubbock
  • Mrs. Arthur G. (Bob Holcombe Carter) Watson
  • Mrs. Oscar Waldo (Gaynell Martin) Williams
I recognize Nancy Sabrina Holcomb Carpenter, but not the other names.  Could these have been stories passed down??  A brief look into the life of Eva through records seems to contradict some of this.

What The Records State...

French Nobility??
First, lets deal with the issue of "French Nobility."  We know from probate records that Eva was not the daughter of James Porter, as the book suggested.  That may have been a guess on the part of the author.  A will dated May 6, 1841 for William Porter** of Maury County, TN, lists one of his daughters as Sabrina Holcomb.  Looking into his probate papers (which can be seen on Page 1852 on familysearch.org, TN Probate Court Files 1795-1927, Maury Co., Pigg, George W. - Reams, Joshua Henry), we can see an Alfred Holcomb purchasing several items from the sale of the estate.  This William Porter was the husband of Sabrina, or Sebra, Goodrum.  Sebra Goodrum Porter is living next door to Alfred and Sebrina Holcomb on the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, in District 11, Maury County, TN.  I'm fairly certain that this William Porter is Eva's father.

Gravestone of William Porter found in Porter Family Cemetery, Maury County, TN
Photo found on Findagrave.com
But who is William Porter?  Was he the "French Nobility" they were speaking of??  He certainly owned a large plantation in Maury County at his death.  The story says her parents emigrated during the French Revolution, which would have been sometime around 1789.  According to his gravestone, he was born October 15, 1766, so he would have been about 23.  But his wife is said to have been Sebra Goodrum, daughter of Revolutionary War vet Thomas Goodrum.  She would have been born in South Carolina, so they couldn't have traveled together.

Only 3 of William Porter and Sebra Goodrum's 8 children lived until the 1880 Federal census, which is where, for the first time, people were asked about their parents birth.  Two of them list their father's birthplace as North Carolina, and the other lists it as South Carolina.  Many other individuals who have researched this line suggest William is the son of Hugh Porter from North Carolina, who died in Abbeville, South Carolina in 1808.  The will of Hugh Porter does name a son William.  However, there were several William Porters at this time, it's hard to say it is our William.

It's my belief, our Eva Sabrina Porter is not from parents of "French nobility" who escaped during the French Revolution.  I believe her parents were born in the United States.  However, there is a line of Porters who descend from Thomas Porter (1685-1767) of Manakin Town, Goochland County, VA.  He is listed on the "Registered Lineage list" as a "founder of the Huguenot colony at Manakin or Huguenots settling in early colonial Virginia."  This is found on the website for The Huguenot Society of the Founders of Manakin in the Colony of Virginia.

Thomas Porter himself was not a Huguenot, but was married to Elizabeth Dutoy (or Dutois), who is said to have been born to parents who were French Huguenots.  The book To be Useful to the World, Women in Revolutionary America 1740-1790, by Joan R. Gundersen, 2006, can be found on Google Books.  On page 18, it relays the story of how Elizabeth Dutoy's mother, Barbara de Bonnet Dutoy escaped France with her parents and sister:   

"...travels began as an infant when her parents hid Barbara and her sister in saddlebags to cross the French border.  One of the children was wounded when a soldier thrust a sword into the bags.  The de Bonnetts were among the 200,000 Huguenots who chose to leave France rather than convert to Catholicism after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.  In 1700/01 the de Bonnetts joined an organized, publicly financed expedition of Huguenots who had received a grant of land in Virginia from the English Crown."

This is all speculation, but, could Eva's story originally been similar to the story above, about Barbara?  Maybe Eva's story that was told to Hannah Elizabeth Weir McPhereson was one that was altered through the generations?  It could have been about the Porter family, or maybe another relation to Eva.  This is something I'm currently researching, but as of now, don't have the answers.  Maybe in the future I'll have another post about this subject.  But until then, lets look at the other interesting comment about Eva.

Engaged To A Future President?
Did Eva really spend her winters in Washington DC?  Entertaining in the political circle?  Her father did have a large plantation in Maury County, TN, but I'm not sure how much he was involved with politics.  What would take him to D.C. anyway?  The Polk family did live in Maury County the same time as Eva's family.  I do find it possible that the Porters and the Polks could have been acquainted, however, I haven't seen any hard proof that they were family friends.

According to http://www.whitehouse.gov, James K. Polk married Sarah Childress on New Years Day, 1824.  That would have put Eva at a very young age.  According to my records, Eva was born March 1, 1815, however, 1850 federal census says she was born in 1812, and the 1860 federal census says she was born in 1814.  Either way, if we assume she was born in 1812 (the earliest date per our documents), then she would have been only 12 years old in 1824.  I know women back in the early 1800s married young, but to be entertaining people at the young age of 12, or younger...I find that a bit hard to believe.

It would be more plausible that one of Eva's older sisters was engaged to President Polk.  Or possibly a friend of the family.  But I do not believe that she was the one who was. 

Overall, I believe these are great stories that were probably altered in some form from generation to generation.  People could have been changed and dates could have been altered unknowingly, making the facts a little skewed.  Still, it was fun to read that we may be descendants of the French elite, even if it may not be true!

Timeline for Eva Sabrina Porter's Life
Here is just a brief timeline of the facts I have in my files on Eva Sabrina Porter.
  • 1815 - March 1 - born in Tennessee to William Porter and Sebra/Sebrina Goodrum (information provided to me by a family source).
    • She was the youngest of 8 children.  Her siblings were:
      • Delphia Porter Hall (1792-1859)
      • James R. Porter (1794-1857)
      • Elizabeth Porter Helms (1797-1880)
      • Nancy Porter Eddleman Turner (1798-after 1880)
      • William Wesley Porter (1800-1872)
      • Sarah Porter Bogard (1803-????)
      • John Nelson Porter (1810-1896)
  • 1831 - February 12 - Eva marries William Alfred Holcomb in Maury County, Tennessee.  William Alfred Holcomb is the son of Kinchen Holcomb and Nancy ?? (Tennessee State Marriages 1780-2002, found on Ancestry.com).
  • 1832 - June 27 - son John William Porter Holcomb was born in Tennessee (birth information on all of the children was provided to me by a family source).
  • 1834 - September 24 - son Nelson Holcomb was born in Tennessee.
  • 1835 - April 11 - son Nelson Holcomb died in Tennessee.
  • 1836 - October 27 - daughter Parolee S. Holcomb was born in Mississippi (birthplace according to 1850 Federal Census).
  • 1839 - October 18 - son James Alfred Holcomb was born in Tennessee.
  • 1840 - Family living in Maury County, Tennessee (1840 Federal Census), next to Eva's father and mother.
  • 1841 - May 26 - Eva Holcomb listed on the Last Will and Testament of William Porter.
  • 1842 - September 11 - daughter Nancy Evaline was born in Tennessee.
  • 1845 - April 14 - son Francis Newton Holcomb was born in Maury County, Tennessee.
  • 1846 - October 6 - son Thomas William Holcomb was born in Tennessee (my great, great grandfather).
  • 1850 - January 17 - Wesley Houston Holcomb was born in Tennessee.
  • 1850 - Family living in District 11, Maury County, Tennessee (1850 Federal Census), next to Eva's brother John, her mother Sebra, and her brother James' son James W. Porter.
  • 1851 - July 30 - Eva's mother Sebra Goodrum Porter died and was buried in Porter Family Cemetery near her husband.
  • 1852 - August 15 - daughter Roxyanna/Roxanna Holcomb was born in Tennessee.
  • 1854 - January 26 - daughter Roxyanna/Roxanna Holcomb died in Tennessee, and is buried in Porter Family Cemetery, in Maury County, TN (gravestone found on findagrave.com).
  • 1860 - Family living in Bell County, Texas (1860 Federal Census).
  • 1869 - March 17 - Eva Sabrina Porter Holcomb died and is said to have been buried in Carpenter's Cemetery, also known as Eulogy Cemetery in Temple, Bell County, Texas.
  • 1869 - June 16 - Eva's husband William Alfred Holcomb died and is said to have been buried near Eva.
If you have any questions, or concerns, about the information in this post, please leave me a comment. I'd be happy to answer any questions, or share what information I have on the individuals listed above. Thanks for reading!!

**Side Note
Doing research on other southern families, I've noticed the first male child is usually named after the wife's father as a sign of respect.  William Alfred Holcomb and Eva Sabrina Porter's first son was named John William Porter Holcomb.  I'm wondering if Eva's father was not just William Porter, but John William Porter?  It seems many people in this line went by their middle names, and not their first names.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

52 Ancestors Challenge - Week 15 - Mamie Estelle Locke - 1888-1972

This weeks 52 Ancestors post is on my great grandmother, Mamie Estelle Locke Holcomb.  This is one ancestor I've heard so many stories of, that I feel as if I knew her, even though we never met!  Every story I've been told about her has always been to the highest regard.  She was a sweet and caring lady.  Most people in our family referred to her as "Mama."  Those that new her outside the family called her Ms. Mamie.  We'll just refer to her as Mamie.
Mrs. Mamie Estelle Locke Holcomb
Christmas 1949
My mother remembers her grandmother fondly.  Says she was a fabulous cook.  Remembers her out tending her rose garden in her dresses, gloves, hat, and heels.  My mom also remembers attending church with her as a young girl.  She was a very religious woman, who would be known to correct the preacher when he made a mistake in his sermon.  Being the daughter of a Minister of the Gospel, she was well educated on religion, and would sometimes teach Sunday school as well.  One thing that seems obvious, is everyone seemed to love her.
Mamie was born June 15, 1888 in Rosebud, White County, Arkansas.  She was the second child, and oldest daughter, of a blind preacher/piano teacher, Francis Marion Locke, and his wife Nancy Elizabeth Vines.  The family resided in White County, Arkansas for several years.  The last known document I've seen with their residence of White County was a letter sent to her mother, Nancy Elizabeth, from Benjamin J. Vines of Alabama in 1892.  Benjamin J. Vines was Mamie's great uncle and brother to her grandfather, John H.M. Vines, who died during the Civil War.  As far as we know, all of Mamie's siblings were born in White County as well.  They were:
  • Grover William Locke 1885 - ?
  • Vida Gertrude Locke 1890 - 1974
  • Pearl Locke 1892 - 1975
Census records for the family have not been found.  But Mamie did have an autograph book that her friends and relatives signed.  The earliest dated signature was March 9, 1898 by her mother and father, and it reads "Peaster, Texas."  We believe this book was given to her by her parents on this date.  It also provides us with other dates and other locations.  We can't be certain the family lived in these areas, however, they must have lived nearby.  Here is a list of names, dates, and places in her book (some of them are hard to read, due to the age of it):
  • 3/9/1898 - Peaster, Parker County, Texas - written by her mother and father, Nancy Elizabeth Vines and Francis Marion Locke
  • 1/26/1903 - Stephenville, Erath County, Texas - written by her brother Grover Locke
  • 2/15/1903 - Morgan Mill, Texas - written by Abbie Davis
  • 1/19/1904 - Stephenville, Erath County, Texas - written by Zuela Evans
Other names written in this book are:
  • ?? Hubbard
  • Her sister Vida Locke
  • Ruby Owens
  • 12/2/1899 - Maude (or Mando) Sherrill
  • 1/24/1903 - Jessie Dickerson
  • ?/20/1903 - Martin Mall
  • Elsie Reeves - Peaster, Texas
  • Pearl Benson ?
  • Blanche Smith - looks like in Rogers, Texas
  • Rudolph W? - looks like 4/10/1890, but its faded a bit, and we think it was possibly 1898
  • Rupert Wilson
  • Laila Ashford
Parker and Erath County are near one another, so it is safe to assume they lived around that area.  With her father's job, he traveled around to different places, preaching and teaching piano.  She would tell stories of how she would drive him around in the "buckboard" since he could not see.

Wedding certificate for Benton Rogers
Holcomb & Mamie Estelle Locke
July 21, 1908, Tarrant Co., TX
Then, at a local barn dance, she met a man playing the fiddle, named Benton Rogers Holcomb.  They were married July 21, 1908 in Tarrant County, Texas.  Benton, or Jake as he was called by everyone, was the son of Thomas William Holcomb and Hannah Jane Coburn.  He was born December 9, 1885 in Bell County, Texas.  She would say he could fit his hands all the way around her waist.  From what I've been told, she was a very petite woman.
By 1910, they were living in Justice Precinct No. 4, in Shackleford County, TX.  According to the Federal census, they were living next to Benton's brother Alford and his son Barney.  Benton was working as a farm laborer.
Then 3 years later, they had the first of 5 children.  The children are listed below:
  • Clyde 1913 - 1981
  • Mary Inez 1915 - 2005
  • Jake Jr. (Buck) 1919 - 2000
  • Chester Lee (Chet) 1922 - 1988
  • Tennie Belle 1927 - 2001
Mamie and her 2 sisters
possibly at the funeral of their
mother Nancy Elizabeth Vines Locke
Unknown location in Texas
The family was living in the same area during the 1920 Federal census as well, but this time it says "Anson & Albany Road."  Mamie's sister Pearl and her family (husband, Grover C. Dumas), were living just a few houses away.  Their other sister, Vida, along with her family (husband, C.H. McAlister), were living in nearby Haskell County.  Their father, Francis Marion Locke, was living with Vida and her family.
The family moved to Lubbock, Texas, for a brief time, before moving to New Lynn, Lynn County, Texas.  This is where we find them on the 1930 Federal census.  Benton was still working as a farmer, but for a brief time it is said he was a deputy sheriff.
The 1940 census we find them in Lynn County, again.  This time, their two oldest children had moved out, and were living with their spouses.  About a year later, Benton and Mamie bought a grocery store and gas station, which they ran with the help of their children.
Around 1946, Benton became sick, and was suffering from very bad asthma.  He and their son Buck went to Ruidoso, New Mexico, to seek treatment.  However, Benton died suddenly on March 11, 1946.  They laid him to rest in the Tahoka Cemetery, in Tahoka, Lynn County, Texas. 

In the 1940s, their daughter Inez, along with her husband Hurley Grady Meeks and their children, moved out to California.  By the time Benton died, they were living by Long Beach.  About a year after Benton's death, Mamie sold the grocery store and gas station, and eventually moved out to California too.  Tennie Belle and Buck went as well.  By this time, Tennie Belle was married to William Frank Gibson.
Eventually, in the early 1950s, Mamie would make her home at 4629 Center Street, Baldwin Park, CA.  She shared the 1 bedroom house with her son, Buck, who suffered from his time in WWII.  Mamie had the only bedroom, while Buck slept on a pull-out sofa in the front room.  By 1955, Her daughter Tennie Belle, and Tennie Belle's family, moved into the 2 bedroom house next door.
Locke sisters: Vida Gertrude McAlister,
Pearl Dumas Maahs, and Mamie Estelle
The picture above is of Mamie in front of her little 1 bedroom home.  She could be found outside in her garden tending her rose bushes or watering her apricot tree.  Even though she died before I was born, Buck still lived in the little house.  I remember playing in the yard with my brothers and cousins.  The trees and plants were a lot bigger by then.  It isn't there anymore.  The little old house was torn down, and new house sits on the lot.
Ms. Mamie passed away in California on April 4, 1972.  She was laid to rest next to her husband, Benton. 
Obituary for Mamie Estelle Locke
Holcomb found in family files

If you have any questions, or concerns, about the information in this post, please leave me a comment. I'd be happy to answer any questions, or share what information I have on the individuals listed above. Thanks for reading!!


Mamie with her children, 1971
Clyde, Mamie, Buck, Chet, Inez, and Tennie Belle

Monday, April 7, 2014

52 Ancestors Challenge - Week 14 - Benton Rogers (Jake) Holcomb - Lynn County, Texas

B.R. "Jake" Holcomb
Photo taken about 1941-1945
I can't believe the 52 Ancestors Challenge is already a quarter of the way completed!! The weeks are passing quickly, and I just know I'm going to have several ancestors left to talk about once its over. Maybe I'll have to work on my own 52 Ancestors Challenge part 2! I want to thank Amy Johnson Crow for developing this idea, and letting me be a part of it. It has been an exciting journey, and has awakened my love of family research!

This week is all about Benton Rogers Holcomb, also known as B.R., or as Jake, to family and friends. In this post, however, I'm going to refer to him as Benton...I've always loved this name! He was my great grandfather, father of my grandmother Tennie Belle Holcomb Gibson.

B.R. Jake Holcomb on right, probably
with one of his brothers
Coburn, Alfred, or Charlie

Benton was born December 9, 1885 in Bell County, Texas. He was the youngest child of Thomas William Holcomb and Hannah Jane Coburn. By 1900, Benton, his sister Eva, and their parents were living in Precinct No. 6 of Milam County, Texas. According to the 1900 U.S. federal census, he was 14 years old, and attending school. Other siblings, who were already out of the house were Mary Willie, Zetha Roberta, Wilburn Coburn, William Alfred, Charles Andrew, and Barney (I believe Barney passed away as a young child).

July 21, 1908, in Tarrant County, Texas, Benton married Mamie Estelle Locke. She was born June 15, 1888 in Rosebud, White County, Arkansas and was the daughter of Francis Marion Locke and Nancy Elizabeth Vines. My mother remembers a story about how they met. It seems they both attended a barn dance one evening, where he was playing the fiddle. According to my grandmother, he was quite a fiddle player. Her favorite song was "Faded Love." He even wrote a song for his wife Mamie.

Benton with his siblings and father:
Coburn, Alfred, Zetha, Thomas (father), Eva, & B.R.
Photo may have been taken about 1913-14

By 1910, Benton and Mamie moved to Justice Precinct No. 4 of Shackelford County, Texas. According to the 1910 U.S. federal census, he was a farm laborer. It states the industry he was in was "working out." I'm not sure what this means, but I'm guessing he may have been working on a farm that wasn't his own. Next door to them was Alford Holcomb age 34, widowed, and his son Barney age 7. I believe this was Benton's older brother William Alfred.

Early photo of B.R. "Jake" Holcomb
Standing in the center - not sure who the other 2 men are.

By 1918, Benton was farming for himself, according to the U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 found on Ancestry.com. The card itself is difficult to read, but it says he was living in Lueders, Shackelford County, Texas. The description given on him says he was of medium height, medium build, and had brown eyes and black hair.

The 1920 U.S. federal census shows him, Mamie, and two of their children still living in Precinct 4, of Shackelford County.  Lueders is in Precinct 4. Benton and Mamie's oldest 2 children were Clyde, born in 1913, and Mary Inez (we called her Inie), born in 1915. Something odd about this census is it doesn't list their 3rd child Jake Jr. Jake, or Buck as we used to call him, was born October 29, 1919 and would have been born when they took this census. Of course, Benton's mother's birthplace is listed as Sweden (just as the household listed next door), and we definitely know she was not born in Sweden. This must have been an oversight of the census taker.

Two more children were born to Benton and Mamie: Chester Lee (I remember him as Chet), in 1922, and Tennie Belle (my beautiful grandmother), in 1927. The family remained in Shackelford for a brief time before moving west to Lubbock, Texas prior to Chet's birth. Not sure the exact date they moved, but I do know they moved once again, to New Lynn, Lynn County, Texas. Tennie Belle was born in Tahoka, the county seat of Lynn County.

Benton and son Jake Jr. "Buck" in front
of the store and gas station he owned
Somewhere in my records, I have written that Benton worked as a deputy sheriff in New Lynn, or Tahoka, around 1929. I don't know where this came from, so I'm unable to say its 100% accurate. But I do remember hearing he was a deputy for a short time. He did run for sheriff, but did not get it.

In 1930, he was working as a farmer, according to the 1930 U.S. federal census. The family was living in Justice Precinct No. 2, which I believe was New Lynn or Tahoka. In 1940, they were still in Lynn County, but this time it was Precinct No. 1. By this time the two oldest children were married and living out of the house.  However, they were still living in the same precinct. In fact, Clyde lived right next door with his wife Birdie.

Then around 1941, Benton and Mamie bought a grocery store and gas station. However, by 1946, Benton was suffering so bad from asthma that he had to go elsewhere to find some help. According to his obituary, he spent about 4 weeks in Ruidoso, New Mexico to try to find relief for it.  Unfortunately, it didn't help, and he passed away suddenly, March 11, 1946. His son, Buck, was with him.

Benton was buried at the Tahoka Cemetery, in Tahoka, Lynn County, Texas. He is buried next to his wife Mamie, who passed away some 26 years later in California.

Grave of B.R. "Jake" Holcomb and Mamie Estelle Locke Holcomb
Tahoka Cemetery, Tahoka, Texas

Obituary found in family files

If you have any questions, or concerns, about the information in this post, please leave me a comment. I'd be happy to answer any questions, or share what information I have on the individuals listed above. Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

52 Ancestors Challenge - Week 13 - Hannah Jane Coburn born April 30, 1850 in Texas

Hannah Jane Coburn (Colbourn), my great, great grandmother, is the subject of this weeks 52 Ancestor Challenge.  We'll refer to her as Jane, since that is what is written on our family bible sheets.  Jane was born April 30, 1850 probably in Houston County, Texas.  Her parents were Hansel Benton Coburn and Mariam Hannah Bennett.  They were early residents of Houston County, arriving in 1840 according to the US & Canada Passengers & Immigration List Index, 1500s-1900s on Ancestry.com.  The source is listed as "WHITE, GIFFORD. The First Settlers of Houston County, Texas. St. Louis, Mo.: Ingmire Pub., 1983. 35p."

The next record we find of Jane is the 1860 census from Beat 5, Houston County, Texas.  She is living with her parents and her siblings: Harriett age 13, Margaret age 3, and Willie age 1/2 a year.  There was also another 3 year-old living in the house by the name of Louisa Parker.  I don't know the relation of Louisa to the family.

From family data given to me by other family members, we find Jane married on July 23, 1867 to Thomas William Holcomb in Belton, Bell County, Texas.  Later, in the 1870 federal census, we see Jane and Thomas living in Beat 5, Bell County, Texas.  Their first child, Mary, is also shown, age 5 months.

Skip to the 1880 census, and we find the family living in Morgan, Bosque County, Texas.  In the household, we find Thomas and Jane along with their children: Mary age 10, Wilburn age 7, Alfred age 5, Zetha age 2, and Charles age 4 months.  In my records, I have a couple of other children who aren't mentioned: , Eva born 1882, Benton Rogers born 1885, and Barney born 1886.  These 3 wouldn't have been on the census anyhow, since they were born after 1880.  Benton is my great-grandfather, and my connection to Jane.

Since the 1890 federal census was destroyed, we will now jump to the 1900 federal census.  The family has moved and is now living in Precinct No. 6, Milam County, Texas.  There are only 2 children living at home, Eva at age 17 and Benton at age 15.  The 1900 census also states that Jane has had 8 children with only 6 living as of 1900.  I believe Barney passed away as a child, but not sure who the other child was?

In 1910, we see Jane in the federal census, but listed as a widow.  I don't know why, but our family bible reads that Thomas died November 6, 1919.  Could they have meant 1909?  You can see the entry to the right.  Either way, Jane is shown living with her daughter Zetha, Zetha's husband Fred Brown, and their 5 children.  They are living in Justice Precinct No. 5, Mitchell County, Texas.

By the age of 69, in 1920, she had moved in with her son Charley.  Charley, Jane, and his wife and children were living in Justice Precinct 1, Lubbock County, Texas.

If the record to the right is correct, we can see Jane passed away June 30, 1927.  However, there is a death certificate for Jane and it says she died July 8, 1927.  It says she died of heart failure, and was found in her bed.  She was living in Lubbock at the time, and her son Charles Andrew was the informant. 

There is no cemetery listed for Jane.  It just says she was buried in Lubbock Texas on July 8, 1927.  The undertaker is listed as A.C. Sanders  A.C. Sanders created the Sanders Funeral Home in the 1930's in Lubbock, and it is still in the same location today.  Not sure if they would be able to tell us where Jane would be buried though.  Her son Charles was buried in the Lubbock City Cemetery in 1964, so she may have also been buried there.  The cemetery was created in 1892 according to their website.

If you have any questions, or concerns, about the information in this post, please leave me a comment. I'd be happy to answer any questions, or share what information I have on the individuals listed above. Thanks for reading!!