Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Maggie's Adventure Comes to a Close

Margaret Davis Barnett - "Aunt Maggie"

  • second child of Robert Francis Barnett and Mary Elizabeth Turner
  • born April 25, 1869; 
  • Riner, Virginia
  • died June 26, 1947; 
  • Wallowa, Oregon

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Trials & Tribulations for Maggie

I meant to post these letters before the business letter from Wallowa County. They were written ten years prior to the official one.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Discouraging News for Will

Grandpa Will received this letter in February 1947 and may be what prompted he and my Dad to travel west in April.
Note that Maggie had put her houses in Grandpa Will's name.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

More Real Estate for Maggie

My dad, took these pictures and wrote on the back they were Aunt Maggie's houses. This was on the trip he and Grandpa Will made to visit Aunt Maggie in 1947, a few months before she died.

Not sure of the location on this.  Possibly 5th St. or Holmes St.

The 1940 Census has Maggie living on 2nd St. and renting but with the numerous records of failed mortgages she may have owned it and the mortgage holder allowed her to rent it after foreclosure. That's one hypothesis.

I found this on a Google Map of 2nd St. It is from in 2012. Looks like it might be the place. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Back East

Today we are going to divert back to Pennsylvania and the Cooverts.
A fellow researcher from Texas who has ties to the West Liberty, Brady Twp. area of Butler County found this new article.

To refresh memories or introduce for the first time. W.C. Covert 'uncle Will' was Grandma Belle Barnett's brother. Della was his wife.
No automatic alt text available.

I had read in news of his death that Uncle Will was known in the Butler area for his horses but this article really reveals a lot more about that.

Does anyone have any idea where the Coovert Farm in Connoq. Twp. was?  Grandma and Grandpa's farm would have been know as the Barnett Farm. A new mystery to solve.

I can't help but wonder if it was the Holt Farm. Grandma and Grandpa rented there around the same time as this article. And it was the first home we bought in 1973.

Ironically Vivian recently mentioned remembering visiting Aunt Della in her older years. She lived at the Almira Home in New Castle.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Maggie: Homesteader to the Far West

'Aunt Maggie': how real estate a can color the days of our lives.

If family history is part of the conversation, Maggie and her homesteading adventure often comes up. After featuring her in a previous blog post, I was compelled to attempt to put together the pieces of her real estate adventures; albeit not very pretty.

Once I had waded through the documents and had begun to get a picture of the coming and going of Maggie's property way out there in Oregon, I was ready to tap into the internet in an effort to pinpoint exact locations. It didn't take long to realize that Wallowa County is a beautiful place. So much so, that it has been labeled one of the seven wonders of Oregon. 

But back to Maggie's not so beautiful tale of real estate woes. She and her two brothers arrived in 1903 and by 1909  U. S. Government Land Records indicate that the siblings started out with 160 acres each. Additional acreage appears for Maggie in 1922 and 1923 indicating and additional 120 acres. 
Without going into all the details of borrowing and paying back and borrowing again and of all things buying more lots in town, she managed to hold on for a period of time until she lost the acres out in the beautiful mountain country. This acreage was located approximately ten minutes NW of town by modern travel.  


If I understand the facts correctly she was to pay the woman holding the mortgage enough to cover the taxes but failing that, the property was to be advertised for sheriff sale. The woman holding the mortgage agrees to bid the amount to cover the judgment she has brought against Maggie if Maggie agrees to release all rights to the property. This is where I begin to get lost in the legalese but apparently that is how it went down and the homestead acreage is lost at this point.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Little Record Housekeeping

Before we launch into Aunt Maggie and fill in a few gaps in the Barnett 'Oregon' story I would like to re-arrange a few of the puzzle pieces. Let me begin by saying that it is not unusual for information to go undetected and then suddenly come to light. Researchers do their best (including myself) but it's just part of the process to discover we got it wrong as some point.

Officially - Great grandma Mary Eliza's grandfather was Jontham Pierce. He had several children including a daughter Margaret and a son Crockett. Margaret married Thomas Turner and they were the parents of Mary Eliza (Turner) Barnett. Crocket married Fannie (Dodd) and they had a daughter Mary L Pierce.

In years past I had heard that great grandma Barnett was the daughter of Crockett Pierce and that her middle name was Ellen. Then with the advent of internet research official documents became available for information that was subject to memory in the past. Thanks to Vivian I think I have unraveled a mystery. She recently shared a document that her mom had received in the 1980s.

Aunt Ruth corresponded with a cousin Roy Whitlock and his wife Betty asking for great grandma Barnett's family tree. Roy was age 89 and Betty was age 79 at the time and Betty sent Aunt Ruth an extensive hand written document with tons of information. However Roy's attempt to recall his lineage back four generations got a little mixed up. Once he got to great grandma's marriage to Robert F. Barnett though, he was off and running.

So here is the document and my sources to support great grandma's middle name and her parents as Thomas Turner and Margaret (Pierce) Turner.


This is an original copy that Aunt Ruth kept safe for many years.

These are available on the internet

Hard to read this one but it is Census for Crockett with daughter, Mary L.

The information from the Whitlocks has lots of collateral descendants that I did not have before which I will be confirming and adding to the ever growing Barnett Tree.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Rest In Peace Uncle 'Babe'

The family on Whitestown Rd would have received this telegram in place of their dad at the death of Uncle 'Babe'.
Grandpa Will must have remained listed as next of kin even though he had passed away almost three years before.

A Family Generation Ends
Last to be born - Last to die

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Remaining Treasures

This should wind up the contents of the 'Treasure Chest' from Oregon.

First is this little nugget. It's the sort of thing a family researcher hopes for everyday - a hidden piece of information that hadn't been found before or confirming a fact.
While it appears to be a tiny bank book of uncle 'Babe's there are no financial entries other than a $300 deposit on August 30, 1920 which was subsequently crossed out.
The real find was a couple pages further where he recorded departure and arrival dates for what seems to correspond with his trip back East.

Notebooks, Bank Book, Dictionary, Wallet and Log Book of timber sales

A sample page from the previously mentioned log book of timber sales - 1915,1916

Railroad Schedules

A stack of Christmas Cards

Beekeeping Periodicals

 A catalog of pharmaceuticals 

A flyer on Sheep Dip 

 and A Map of Oregon

The town of Wallowa - col. 6, row 5

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Just One More

This letter from Grandpa Will was tucked in with a stack of Christmas cards.
He wrote it after returning from his trip to Oregon following Aunt Maggie's death.
My Dad and Grandpa Will took a Greyhound bus to Oregon earlier in 1947 (can you imagine?), I believe Grandpa made the second trip by train.

(click the pic to enlarge)
(letter transcribed below)
A new granddaughter, Vivian Ruth.

Butler, Pa
Aug 27 1947
Dear Brother Babe
I arrived home OK on the 15th. The folks were very much disappointed when you didn't come with me and hope you decide to come soon.
Ruth was back in the hospital when I got home. She has a baby girl. Is back home now, doing fine.
Ralph is going to be married next month. Bob is starting his house; has the walls up. So I am going to help him build it. 
We want to build three this Fall. One for Bob, one for Ralph and one for James.
We are well as usual. Hope this finds you well.
Will close for for this time hoping to hear from you soon and hope you decide to come soon.
With Love and regards from all

Friday, October 20, 2017

Family Losses

Will and 'Babe' were now the only living siblings.

(click the pic to enlarge)
Aunt Ruth wrote to 'Babe' on behalf of Grandpa Will wanting to be sure he knew that his brother Ed, sister Cora and sister-in-law Grandma Belle had all died died within the first six months of 1949.