Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dividing Family Lands

As family historians we share what we have gathered knowing we have given the time and done our best with what we've found.  We open and close our research with an open mind that something new may come to light down the line and that's o.k.

I begin this post with that statement because the information that follows contains some correction to facts that have been updated. It originally appeared that Belle's great grandparents Jacob and Mary Ann (Cornelius) Covert had obtained land in Mercer County as the result of the Bounty Lands Act for his service in the War of 1812.
  • He did serve in the War of 1812
  • He did purchase land in Mercer County
  • That land was not his bounty lands. (the search goes on for those acres which now appear to have been located in Butler County.

As the community around West Liberty, Butler County continued to grow, in April of 1856 Jacob made the decision to purchase one hundred acres of land along Wolf Creek in Liberty Twp., Mercer County. This tract was bought from James McClintock. It was a part of an original land grant to George Taylor. Once again the wagons were loaded and Jacob and Mary Ann along with their youngest son Jacob D. set off for this new land of opportunity.  While in those days transportation was by horse and wagon, the new location was only ten miles to the northwest from West Liberty, and the family continued to be active in both areas.

Three months after the move Jacob sold twenty-five acres of the new tract to his son-in-law John W. Campbell and nineteen acres to his son William.

During the same time period some of his adult children also made the move to Mercer County. They were Mariah who first married Henry Campbell and later, Wm. Dale; Isaac M. married (Belle's grandfather) to his second wife Nancy Campbell; as well as William married to Catherine Adams; Elizabeth Jane, married to John H. Campbell; and John V. married to Clara Taggart.  Jacob's son Lucas, married to Elsie Douglas, chose to move to Iowa between 1850 and 1860.  Daughter, Rose Ann married before the family move and settled with her husband, James Thompson in Cherry Twp, Butler County. He was a casualty of the Civil War and she later married Thomas Campbell and a third time to John Turk. Maps of that time also indicate that other families from the West Liberty area moved to Mercer County also.

Several of these names can be seen on the map above along the northern border of the township near Wolf Creek. For a closer look: 

Being in their seventh decades, Jacob and Mary Ann built their new home along Wolf Creek just southwest of the village of Pine which would later become Grove City. They were probably glad to sit back and watch the family grow surrounded by grandchildren to dote on. Their youngest son, Jacob Decalb Covert lived with them and he and his wife, Sarah (Bixler), raised their family there.

Land records also show that in 1864 Jacob sold property to a granddaughter, Mary E. (Campbell) Miller. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Jane (Covert) Campbell. Mary had recently been widowed when her husband James Y. Miller was a casualty of the Civil War. Her husband's family lived in the area as well and it appears everyone came together in helping her become settled nearby to raise her two children. This sales agreement also stated that Isaac M. was a co-seller but no earlier deed from Jacob to Isaac has been found. The 1860 census of Liberty Twp. records that Isaac M. owned real estate. Yet another land record mystery.

Jacob also sold property to George Clupper, the husband of a niece, Isabella (Vogan) Clupper.  Isabella was the daughter of Jacob's sister Sarah (Covert) Vogan and she and her husband were residing with Isabella.

The last tract of land, eight and one half acres, that Jacob sold was too James Christy in 1868. This left Jacob about fifty-three acres of the original one hundred he purchased in 1856. Those acres were bequeathed to his youngest son, Jacob Decalb Covert.

Having acquired many acres of land over the years, Jacob could go to his grave knowing he had provided well for his family. In his eighties Jacob wrote his will in which he stated that he was leaving his home and acreage to his youngest son Jacob Decalb Covert. To his other living sons he gave one dollar since he had helped them with their lands earlier and his living daughters five dollars. His remaining assets were left to his beloved wife, Mary Ann.

excerpt from a Covert Family research project I am co-authoring.
© familyresearchandme

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sepia Saturday Ventures - 24 Jun 2017 . . .

This man's best friend.

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” 
– Roger Caras (photographer and writer)
quote source:

There are so many points of interest 
in this prompt photo from Sepia Saturday.
Maybe 'Tiny Houses' were the rage
earlier than we thought.

Join the fun and share your photo HERE at Sepia Saturday.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Death and Distress

My grandmother was old enough to remember the day her father did not come home. The  circumstances of his death were told to me many years later by my father. His grandfather had become ill at work and died.

For the over twenty years I have been researching our family that was the only accounting of his death I had; no obituary or burial record. 

He appeared in the 1880 census as married with five children and working for the railroad. 

His date of death was recorded on the marriage license application of his wife at the time of her second marriage. Now mind you I had read the microfilm of the local newspaper  published during the time period of his death, November 1891. And what did I find? Nothing. 

The census record and the application were the sum total of the sources in my family tree. Until now that is. And suddenly there it was. Just not where it was supposed to be.

But there it was. In the local paper --- the previous year. Yes, he died in November of 1890; not 1891.

It seems the clerk who completed the marriage license application got it wrong and my great grandmother may not have looked it over before signing. Or perhaps she gave the wrong date. 

There is was. Not an obituary. Not a burial record. Rather it was an article entitled Death and Distress. And it gave the report of my great grandfather's death in support of the family story I had received from my father so long ago.

How did I make that discovery? I didn't. Corroberation is a good thing.

A few years ago a distant half cousin and myself found each other through the miracle of the internet and exchanged a few records. That was that until a couple of years ago when she contacted me again to say she wanted to put together a published family history and would I help her with the research. Of course I would, and the fun began.

Together we have made some great finds and while I wasn't surprised to receive a call from her a few days ago; I was however pleasantly surprised by what she had found. 

Not only did it support the family story it also revealed additional information of the precarious family situation surrounding his death.

My grandmother was one of the younger children who had not contracted the fever but . . . as the opening line of this post says. . . My Grandmother Was Old Enough to remember the day her father did not come home.

Just For Me?

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday Marriage - 19 Jun 2017

This young couple served in WWII
He was with the Army Air Corp 
attaining the rank of  Sargent
She was with the Women's Army Corps 
attaining the rank of Colonel
Robert Earl Barnett -  1913-1997           Irene Elizabeth Jamison - 1917-2002

After returning to their childhood community
They were married December 15, 1946

Sadly they lost their only child at birth
and welcomed their home
to many nieces and nephews over the years.
I was blessed to be their niece.

 They were married 50 years the year before
Uncle Bob passed away.

Aunt Irene was a quiet spoken woman. 
Since I lived next door, our lives were pretty much an open book. 
Yet I now wish that I had talked to her about the time she was in the military and her experiences in those years.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Now I Did It . . .

Yep, now I did it; made a public commitment in a blog comment and thanks to Jacqui Stevens at A Family Tapestry blog that commitment was made even more public when she mentioned it in her blog today---haha. Seriously though, it was the kind of little nudge I need in my determination to be persistent with my blog. Thanks, Jacqui.

So before tackling a block of time to renaming photo files in yet another attempt to be better organized, I WILL complete a blog post.

Photos were often a part of family visits when I was growing up and this one was always a favorite. Today I am struck by the resemblance I see in these two young boys to the faces I remember of two senior citizens. An then I blink and see a flash of Milford's great great grandchildren. 

Milford Vernon Myers (PopPop to me)
Rena Cline Myers

Photos are one of the foundation stones of family research. They evoke memories that bring forth family stories from the past and the time spent with the storyteller creates a new memory.

See more photos at Sepia Saturday HERE

Now on to renaming those photo files . . .

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thriller Thursday - 15 Jun 2017

A Genea Daily Prompt: describe murders, bizarre accidents or other thrilling stories in your family tree

A bad ending to a run of the mill day 

My 3rd great uncle.
Jacob Decalb Covert
Jacob Decalb COVERT

New Castle News
August 16, 1899

Jacob D. Covert, a brother of Mrs. Anna D. Turk of this city, was killed in a runaway accident near Grove City this week. In company with J. T. Smith he had been assisting A. C. McCoy in stacking hay, and was on his way home in a buggy when he stopped to exchange a bridle at a neighbor's.
Smith got out of the buggy and as the horse had on a halter in addition to a bridle it did not seem to be an unsafe proceeding to remove the latter. Just as the bridle was removed, the horse took fright at some noise and began to run.
Smith held on but was finally thrown to the ground. Covert jumped and alighted on his head and shoulders. When picked up the blood was streaming from his mouth and he died in a short time. He was 70 years of age and survived by his wife and eight children.

A reminder to live each day to the fullest in peace and harmony.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Workday Wednesday-14 Jun 2017

The 'Plane' Truth

The Wick Planing Mill-190_
Etna Street, Butler, PA
This planing mill located on the southside of the city, was owned by Lewis C. Wick. It was a three story brick building. There was a boiler house, dry kiln and shaving house attached.
The mill was designed to employ from 50 to 75 workers.
(written on back)
Fair-Bower-George-W.H. Barnett-Red Billingsly

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

So, There You Are!

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY - Oldest Tombstone

This is the oldest ancestral tombstone photo 
I have located thus far.
Peter Kamerer
March 07, 1860
4th Great Grandfather
Peter Kamerer
White Oak Cemetery, Kepples Corner 
Butler County, Pennsylvania

This is the oldest ancestral tombstone
I have visited thus far.
Jacob Covert
September 20, 1869
Third Great Grandfather
Old Presbyterian Cemetery
Grove City, PA 

What is the oldest tombstone you have found?

Find Genealogy Prompts for everyday of the week HERE

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

We Feel We Knew Them

We probably all have a family member who passed away before we were born and yet we feel we knew them well through memories shared by others. That is the case with my paternal grandmother.

Meet my grandmother 'Belle'
Arabelle Nancy Covert Barnett

The headline read " Three Brothers serving in the Armed Forces". The mother of those three brothers was my grandmother, Belle Covert Barnett. Her children would sometimes refer to 'mom's nerves'. The experience of having three of her six children fighting in a war; knowing they were in harm's way; must have added to the stresses of her life.

Her given name was Arabelle Nancy but soon after her birth in 1884 she was called 'Belle'.

According to family oral history, in 1891 Belle's father became ill and while walking home from work he collapsed and died. This left her mother with seven children at home ranging from age twenty to age two. 

With the older ones out on their own, Belle, her mother and youngest sister Mayme were enumerated in 1900 as employees of a hotel/boarding house the Bowman Hotel.  Sometime after Jake's death, Belle's mother had taken a job as a cook.  With two young daughters still as home she may have made special arrangements with the hotel proprietor to keep them close by. Belle was listed as a domestic and Mayme as a servant. 

Shortly after 1900 Belle met a certain red haired young man, William 'Will' H. Barnett who came to Butler from Riner, Virginia seeking work as a carpenter in the nearby mills. Their wedding took place in 1903 at the home of the bride's mother.

The 1906 Butler City Directory lists Belle and Will living at 326 Spring Ave, Butler and they had become parents for the first time that year too. That area of the city was called Springdale and was described in the 1895 Butler County History.
Springdale... presents a neat and thrifty appearance, and contains some of the pleasantest homes in Butler. Its aspect and character are creditable both to the projector and the residents of the little village.
According to Will's WWI registration in 1918 they were living outside the city and renting a turn of the century farm house which several decades later was the first home purchased by this researcher and her husband.

By 1920 they had built their own home on land formerly owned by a neighboring farmer, James Barr, 'Jimmie', who became a lifelong friend and family mentor. Will and Belle and their family had a small truck farm at a separate location nearby where they raised various berries and sold them in the city for income.

Belle and Will went on to raise their children, four sons and two daughters, through the Great Depression and WWII. Family stories indicate that they were a lively bunch and created many, many memories which Belle and her children loved to share with family and friends.

A few that come to mind involve a black snake which lived in a stone wall outside the home that the children were instructed to leave alone since it took care of mice; the occasional liquor bottle that Belle felt compelled to pour down the drain; horses, mules and trips to and from town in a wagon with a fringed cover. As time went on and her son's grew older there were tales of cars and trucks and working as a team with neighbors to clear the unpaved road of snow with hand shovels.

During this period Belle was baptized and became a member of St. John's Reformed Church where she remained active for the remainder of her life; laying a foundation of faith for her children. She also kept close ties with the members of her extended family and over the years reunions were held and enjoyed by all.

Covert Reunion - circa 1925

In the 1930s Belle and several of family members and a longtime friend Margaret Sanders took a trip to Virginia to visit Belle's husband Will's family. They drove two vehicles, theirs and Margaret's. Tales of the challenge of driving through the Appalachian Mountains were often told. The visit was a lifelong highlight and many more stories and memories became a part of family gatherings in later years.

Thankfully following WWII Belle and her family were blessed to welcome home all three sons.

In early 1949 Belle contracted pneumonia. It was a short illness. Her family encouraged her to go to the hospital but she declined and was treated at home by the family doctor who made house calls at that time. She died on January 25, 1949.

There was an old wives' tale that Belle had quoted. The tale was that in the case of twins, one often did not have children.  Unfortunately she died before the tale was proven wrong. Her daughter had given birth to a daughter in 1947 which would have meant that perhaps that her twin brother would not have had children. Ironically this researcher was the first child born to he and his wife in 1949. And even more ironically I was born in the same month as my grandmother Belle and inherited her opal birthstone ring.  She had designated that should a granddaughter be born in October the ring was to be hers. Even though I never knew her I always felt a connection with her because of that ring.

'Belle' and Will

In her life of just over sixty four years Belle made and left many happy memories and a great sense of family which her children shared with those born after her death. She and Will had been married forty-six years. Her husband and mate for life died two years later on January 15th, 1951.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

How Far is Far?

Joining Randy for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun here

"For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

1)  The Family History Hound listed 20 Questions about your Ancestor, and I'm going to use some of them in the next few months.  

2)  Please answer the first question - "Which ancestor moved the farthest from their home?"

3)  Write your own blog post, make a comment on this post, or post  your answer on Facebook or Google+.  Please leave a link to your answer in comments on this post."
---Genea Musings

Two ancestors came immediately to mind and the winner is my sixth great grandfather, Hans Teunise Covert.
Heemstedt, Netherlands to New Amsterdam in 1653.
Approximately 3,681 miles

1671NewAmsterdam,New York NETHERLANADS 1

He was in running with my great aunt, Margaret Davis 'Maggie' Barnett who homesteaded from Riner, Virginia to Wallowa, Oregon in 1909.
Approximately 2,486 miles
Barnett - Oregon Home #1 Margaret 'Maggie' Davis Barnett