Friday, August 22, 2014

52 Ancestor's Challenge - Martha Jane Ross 1863-1933 Missouri - Week 27

Picture of Martha Jane Ross
Well, I've been MIA these past few weeks.  Summer has taken me outside and away from the computer.  I'm about a month behind with this challenge, I think...I've lost track!!  Back to it!!

I'm dedicating this post to my great, great grandmother Martha Jane Ross.  From information I was given, Martha was born in Ripley County, Missouri.  Not sure where this information came from, so I'm not 100% sure it's accurate.  According to her death certificate, she was born March 30, 1864.  She was the daughter of William H. Ross and Mary Jane Kidd.  I am not able to find the family in the 1870 Federal Census, so I am not able to see if Martha had any siblings (according to the 1910 census showing William and Mary Jane, it states she had 2 children, but only 1 was living).

The family can be seen in the 1880 Federal Census living in De Soto, Jefferson County, Missouri.  In the household is William, Mary Jane, and Martha, or Mattie as her name is written.

Martha was first married to John Hopson.  Martha and John had 4 children together:
  • Willie born 1881
  • Ivy born 1882
  • Myrtle born 1884
  • Lester born 1890
I believe the two were married November 2, 1880 in St. Louis, Missouri.  This was information given to me by another family member, but I can not find proof of the marriage, so I'm not 100% sure it is correct.  I was also told Martha and John divorced in 1889 in Jefferson County, Missouri.  Again, I have not seen the paperwork, so I'm not certain of this date.

I do know that Martha married for a second time to Harmon Augusta Tracy on November 14, 1896 in Jefferson County, Missouri.  This can be found in the Missouri Marriage Records 1805-2002 on  Martha was Harmon's 3rd wife (possibly 4th).  Together the two had 7 children:
  • Paul who died in infancy
  • Luke who died in infancy
  • William Mark born 1897
  • Minnie born 1899
  • Arbelle, or Orville, born 1902
  • Grace born 1904
  • Byron Earl born 1906
Here is a funny story given to me about Martha's father William and her husband Harmon:
Martha's father, William Ross, was about 7 years younger then his son-in-law, Harmon (William Ross was born about 1841 and Harmon was born in 1834).  They both fought in the Civil War, William fought for the South and Harmon for the North.  At one point, the two were living in the same household, and it is said "they would use their canes and try to trip each other as they walked by."
The pictures in this post are of Martha and various family members.  These copies were given to me by my mother, who received them from her aunt.  I'm not sure who is in the photo with her, or when and where they were taken.

The family can be found in the 1900 Federal Census living in De Soto, Jefferson County, Missouri.  In the house is Martha and Harmon, along with 2 of Harmon's children from his second marriage, Olive and Matthew, Harmon and Martha's children, Mark and Minnie, and Martha's 4 children from her first marriage, Willie, Ivy, Myrtle, and Lester.  Looks like they had a full house!!

In 1910, the family is still living in De Soto.  Mark, Minnie, Orville, and Grace are the children living with them...not sure where Byron is (1910 Federal Census found on

Then, after 1910, Harmon left the family to go visit his daughter, Olive, in Arkansas.  He never made it back.  Harmon died on May 17, 1919 in Memphis, Tennessee, supposedly on his daughter's houseboat (Olive's husband was a ferry boat owner).  Harmon was buried at the Memphis National Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee.

In 1920, we can find Martha along with Orville, Grace, and Byron living on Hickory Street, in St. Louis Ward 15, St. Louis County, Missouri.  The 1920 Federal Census shows Martha as a widow.

On the 1930 Federal Census, we see her still living in St. Louis, but this time on Monroe Street.  She was listed as a "lodger," renting a room from Julian and Sophia Lesvicki.

Martha Jane Ross Hopson Tracy died September 25, 1933.  Her death certificate can be found online through Missouri Digital Heritage, Missouri Death Certificates 1910-1963.  She was living at 3403 North Broadway, in the City of St. Louis.  She is listed as 69 years, 5 months, and 26 days.  Her son Byron was the informant.

I'm not sure which cemetery she would have been buried in.  Under "Burial, Cremation, or Removal," it says "De Soto Sept. 27, 1933."  The Undertaker is listed as E.J. Schnur, at 3125 Lafayette Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri.  One day, maybe I will find out where she was buried.

If you have any questions, or concerns, about any of the information listed above, please leave a comment.  I'd be happy to provide any additional information.  Thanks for reading!!

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