Monday, December 12, 2011

Holidays and Genealogy

Wow ... I hadn't remembered that my last blog post was way back in October.  I knew it had been too long, but I was thinking I had posted in November ... see what getting older does to us?

First of all, I decided to revamp the way I'm doing my West Virginia Heritage website so that it includes a lot more people, but that's food for a separate post.  The work with that decision was taking longer than I anticipated.  Secondly, about that time other things took precedence over my genealogy research ... and when I don't look at my database I also don't have things popping into my brain that I want to add here.

What I probably need to do is go back and see what I had promised to write about and try to tie up some of those loose ends ... like a followup on the Glassworker series, or additional info about the Fork Ridge Christian Church that I've found, or additional info sent to me by cousins, etc.

Sounds like a plan ... now all I have to do is actually do it.  In the meantime, I hope everyone is having a great time getting ready for Christmas!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Samuel E. Clark

From disappointment to delight ... here's the scoop:  Last week I visited the Washington County, PA, courthouse and made the disappointing find that they have no birth records prior to 1898.  Disappointing because I had really hoped to find a birth record for Samuel E. Clark, my 2nd great-grandfather who was reportedly born in the 1850s.  I wrote about him in a July post in which I noted:
"I've been trying to put together a post about Samuel and Margaret, but the more I dig into my info, the more conflicts I keep finding. I don't want to post the conflicts here until I'm a little more sure of my line of reasoning."

Apparently it's time to just throw some of my info out here and see if anyone else has different ideas as to Samuel's correct birth info.  I have bolded the variations in the following discussion.

The marriage license for Samuel Clark and Margaret Shimp is my primary lead that Samuel was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately, the informant was Margaret's mother - giving a little less credibility than if Samuel himself had been the informant.  However, there are several other sources that support the state being Pennsylvania.

According to Samuel's death certificate:
  • Born 25 August 1853 in Pennsylvania
  • Died 01 June 1936 in Moundsville, West Virginia

Per the 1856 Iowa State Census, Samuel was 3 years old and born in Pennsylvania - this agrees with the birth info above.

Per the 1865 Kansas State Census, Samuel was 11 years old and born in Pennsylvania.  More agreement with the death certificate.

The 1930 U.S. Census also supports a birthplace of Pennsylvania.  The age is off by a year, but that's common in census records.

Now for the conflicts ...

The 1900 U.S. Census reported Samuel's birth as August 1852 in West Virginia (of course it was still Virginia in 1852).

The 1910 U.S. Census also reported his birthplace as West Virginia (on the bright side, the age given is consistent with the birthdate on his death certificate).

The 1920 U.S. Census is the only source I've run across giving Kansas as Samuel's birthplace - but I make a good argument against that one on my website (just look up Samuel E. Clark).

At this point, I'm leaning toward Samuel's birth info being:
25 August 1853 in Pennsylvania
I'd like to find additional documentation to confirm if it was Washington County before I take that stand officially - the courthouse folks suggested searching for church records. Easier said than done!  If you're a Clark researcher who has input, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

One last thing ... I started this post with, "From disappointment to delight".  So what was the delight?  My husband and I took our Trek bikes to Wellsburg, WV, yesterday to ride the Brooke Pioneer Trail now that the connection to the Wheeling Heritage Trail is complete.  (If you like paved rail trails, we highly recommend both of those.)  We had a PERFECT day ... low 60s and lots of sunshine.  Delightful!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Flora R. Harris

In the John Harris family cemetery on Fork Ridge in Marshall County, West Virginia, there is a grave marker for Flora R. Harris:

As you can see, Flora was the daughter of J. A. and I. Harris - but when I took that photo in 2004 the initials didn't register. I recently searched through my Harris folks for a J. A. Harris married to an I. “Somebody” and realized I had John A. Harris married to Isabella/Isabell/Isabel Littleton. Aha!

Sounded like a good match, but was I really on the right track? I needed more to back up my theory. I have a typed copy of John's obituary that lists his children, obtained from a distant cousin. Per that obituary, John and Isabella had 13 children, 12 of whom were still living when John died. Could the one who died be Flora?

John and Isabella lived in Marshall County, (West) Virginia when they were married and for the birth of their earliest children. The obituary says that the family moved to Illinois in 1865 after John's Civil War service. Flora's gravestone is pretty worn, but it looks to me like she died 29 April 1865 only 22 days old. So it seems plausible that she could have died shortly before the family moved. If I'm right about John and Isabella being her parents, then her burial in the John Harris (Sr.) family cemetery means that she was buried on her great-grandfather's farm. John A. was a son of Benjamin Harris, who was a son of John (Sr.).

Unfortunately, I've run into issues with my theory. I just added the 1870 and 1880 federal census enumeration for the John A. Harris family living in Fairbury, Livingston County, Illinois, to my West Virginia Heritage website. I'm running into likely name errors and incorrect genders that don't entirely match up with the children's names listed in John's obituary … this is leaving me with more than 13 children.

I've lost touch with the distant cousin I mentioned earlier, but I think it's time to see if I can track her down again!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Word to the Wise

I'm busy these days updating, correcting, and adding census information to my West Virginia Heritage website.  Keep your eyes on the Recent Updates page to follow along.

And once that's done, I'll be adding more info about the people who are currently included on the site ... things like military service, immigration, etc.

And once that's done, I'll be regularly adding more people - which is where the "word to the wise" comes into play.  If you bookmark pages for specific people on the website, please be aware that those links may stop working as I add people.

The best thing to do is to bookmark the home page or one of the main pages such as the Surname Index or Recent Updates - those links will stay the same.  Pages for specific individuals or photos are more prone to being changed when my software publishes my data to the website.  It's an automated process that does its own thing!

So if you get 404 error pages advising you that something can't be found, try starting at the home page and using one of the menubar links near the top.  Odds are the info is there ... but if you still can't find it, I hope you'll send me an email so I can see if there is a problem.

Remember that I would love to hear from you if you have additions or corrections.  You can send an email from the bottom of any of the website pages.  Hope you're enjoying it!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Website Additions

Just finished uploading a new version of my West Virginia Heritage website a little bit ago - check out the Recent Updates for a summary of the additions and updates.  Some of the new info includes:
  • More "cemetery people"
  • Occupations/employment
  • Residence info for some persons
  • 1870 federal census info for Anderson Clark family in Kansas

Bear in mind that I'm continually working on cleanup of my info which leads to new inclusions, so the Recent Updates may not catch all of the changes in detail, but it will give you most of them.

I've decided to finish cleaning up my census data for the people who are already on the website before I add any more people.  I'll try to do better at keeping the blog updated with my progress!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Non-person People

Did my comment about "non-person people" yesterday leave you thinking I'm crazy?  Not to worry ... my mental state isn't that bad ... yet!  I really do have a good explanation for you.

UPDATE:  The crossed out info below is no longer applicable for my website as the old Recent Updates link was renamed and moved to the menubar where there is a link for New items.  A dropdown menu underneath includes Individuals with Recent Updates - the place to check for changes since your last visit.

My West Virginia Heritage website has a Recent Updates link at the top of each page - it's a great way to check for changes since your last visit.  As currently noted at the top of that Recent Updates page,
"Website first published online on 08 September 2011 with 92 people (56 real persons plus 36 "census people" such as 1850 U.S. Census, Virginia, Marshall County)"

Now, getting back to the "non-person people" I mentioned in the first paragraph ...

Near the bottom of the website pages you can see the date and time the site was last updated, the total number of individuals, and this note: 
(count includes "pseudo persons" for cemeteries, census records, etc.)

Those "pseudo persons" are the "non-person people" to which I've been referring.  Within my genealogy database, I can create fake people who serve as convenient sources for making lists.  Yes, I can hear you thinking, "well now, that's as clear as mud!"  Examples will help:

Cemetery person:  Take a look at the Fork Ridge Christian Church Cemetery person and you'll find that this "person" is actually a means for compiling a list of real persons who were buried in that cemetery.  That's the easy example; let's move on to another one.

Census person:  As households were enumerated in a census (1950 and later), they were given consecutive family numbers. The enumerators worked systematically, whether traveling the length of a street in town or along a country road.  Generally, the result was that consecutive numbers indicated "next door" neighbors - close numbers indicated families living near each other. 

I created census persons such as:  1850 U.S. Census, Virginia, Marshall County.  If I find a family who was enumerated in the 1850 census in Marshall County, I tie that family to this census person in my database.  Now, increase that to several families who are tied to this same census person.  Look at this census person on the website, and you'll see that all those families are combined into a list of the households, sorted by the family numbers.

Not only is it interesting to see who lived next to who, it can often provide clues about families.  Remember that back in those days, folks didn't travel all over the country like we do today.  Odds were that the families of a bride and groom didn't live more than a few miles apart.  Newlyweds often lived near their parents; and it wasn't unusual to find siblings raising their families in close proximity to each other - perhaps even on the same farm.

Bottom line ... my "non-person people" are nothing more than a way to create lists of people who have something in common.  While it's great to have detailed information on each person's individual page, it's sometimes nice to see how several people correlate to each other  ... and that's the beauty of having these "people" who don't really exist.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

West Virginia Heritage website

There were times when I thought I'd never see this day ... my West Virginia Heritage website is now not only online, it's pretty much "good to go" as far as info layouts and source citations.

I also now have the photos sorting into the appropriate image galleries that are organized by:
  • The family lines of my great-grandparents (Aston, Church, Clark, Harris, Kuhn, McGary, Richmond, and Summers)
  • Cemeteries (Fork Ridge Christian, Oak Grove Methodist, Harris family, etc.)
  • Places and Buildings
  • Documents

There are a lot more photos to come, but at least I now have figured out what I need to do to get them organized the way the way I want them.  That's always the hardest part; figuring out what outcome I'm trying to achieve and then actually getting it to work!

Tomorrow I'll explain about the "non-person people" that are included in my website.  If you're scratching your head on that one, just check back tomorrow ... I promise it will make perfect sense.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Website Is Coming Faster Than I Thought It Would

In fact, the website is actually here!  Or maybe I should say it's there since it is separate from this blog.  Where is there???  The website, which I titled West Virginia Heritage is located at

I'm still working out a few kinks ... and I have to admit that I didn't get it all as cleaned up as I thought I would.  That means you may find some places where it looks like something is missing - and you'll probably be right!  Once I get those sections fixed, I'll make the "official" announcement here and on facebook that the site is good to go.

Go ahead and take a peek - there's a lot more to come, but I've crossed the biggest hurdle just getting the site up and running. And I thought I had made progress when I did yesterday's post.  Ha!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Website Is Coming, My Website Is Coming

August was a very quiet month (only one blog post), but I finally have NEW news!  I now have my domain name for the web site I'm getting ready to launch:

If you go to that link, you'll see I have a temporary "fixin' to get ready" page set up - not the official name for those type of pages, but I think it fits!

Next step is to get set up with my web host and upload some files.  I'll be doing that tomorrow, so my WV Heritage web site should be up and running in a couple days or so.  


Note:  My Website Status post last May included details about the info that will be included in the initial launch.

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Month, Old News

A few days ago my sister sent me a message asking if I was still alive since she hadn't seen any recent blog updates. I admitted that watching the Tour de France was big on my list right then, but that yes, I was alive.  I was (and still am) painting also - but I'll take watching the Tour over painting any day.  Actually, I'll take just about anything over painting ... but that's another story.

I have been working a lot on my genealogy too, and I've met several new folks with Summers connections, but best of all ... I got an upgrade for Second Site,  the software I'm using to create my website.  This latest version has some pretty cool new features; of course, that means I've been playing around with it quite a bit.

I decided to revamp the format of my census info to utilize one of the new features, but it has taken me awhile to think through what I actually wanted to do - perhaps you've seen smoke arising out of southwestern PA???

So ... it is a new month with the old news that I'm still "a fixin' to get ready" to launch a website - just delayed a little longer than I anticipated due to this new software. Don't give up on me yet!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

McGary and Summers Connection?

Genealogy is a fun hobby ...
  • Puzzles to solve - I'm still working on Samuel Clark & Margaret Shimp but I have gotten closer to telling you what I've learned.
  • New ancestors to find and research
  • Discovery of surprising connections between family lines
  • New living relatives to meet ...

A little less than a month ago, a distant McGary cousin found me through this blog, and I've also heard from a few others who may or may not be related - they're keeping an eye out here and watching for the launch of my website. In addition, I've had a couple contacts find me through my family trees on ... Clark and Aston connections.

Did I get a little sidetracked from the cleanup I had been doing on my database? Well, sure ... but that's the idea behind getting more of my info online. So I'm considering this venture at blogging a success!

Getting back to the McGary cousin, he gave me some info posted by Del Groves1 on RootsWeb that leads to a probable tie-in between my McGary and Summers lines. I have always thought of McGary as Mom's lines, and Summers as Dad's ... a "never the twain shall meet" scenario ... so this was an interesting theory.

Here's how it goes:
  • One of his great-grandfathers, Isaac Newton McGary, was a brother to my great-grandmother, Cancedella (McGary) Aston.
  • Isaac had a son, Willard, who married Clara Pritchard.
  • Clara's mother was Lucy A. E. (Summers) Pritchard.
  • Lucy's father, Elias Summers, was a younger brother of David Summers, MY 3rd great-grandfather.

So yep, my McGary and Summers line do appear to intersect, albeit distantly via marriage.  Cancedella was an aunt to Willard McGary.  Willard's wife, Clara, was a grandniece of David Summers.

Ha! Never say never!

1 NOTE:  Del Groves' pedigree on Rootsweb led me to his website, "Our Family Saga, West Virginia & Beyond" which I love. He has sourced a lot of his info, which will help me confirm and prove its accuracy to my own satisfaction.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lenora Summers Church

Lenora "Nora" (Summers) Church
Today marks the anniversary of the death of one of my great-grandmothers, Lenora Susan (Summers) Church, who passed away on 07 July 1965.  In her later years, she stayed in the homes of her daughters, including my grandmother, Nellie (Church) Kuhn.  The only memories I have of Nora are from the time period when she stayed with Grandma.  We lived across the road from Grandma, so I was over there a lot - especially since Grandma's house was surrounded by maple trees that were great for climbing!

Grandma had set up a hospital bed in a first-floor bedroom that was in a front corner of her house - the corner that was closest to all of those maple trees.  Mom didn't want me to visit as much once Nora came, thinking that noise I (and sometimes my cousins) made would disturb Nora.  However, Nora told Grandma that she enjoyed hearing us kids and that there was no reason not to let us continue playing there.

The one thing that always stood out in my memories was that Nora wore her hair in a really long braid; one of those things that seemed so cool to me back then.  The other thing I remember is that she was "hard of hearing" - although I've since learned that her hearing improved considerably when something was going on that she didn't want to miss!

Nora had married Eli Church on 20 November 1896 in Calhoun County, West Virginia - but until I started researching family history many years ago, I never knew why I didn't remember my great-grandfather at all.  Turns out there were two reasons:  he died when I was only 2.5 years old, but prior to that he and Nora were divorced.

Nora never married again.  Even though she was very religious and read her Bible faithfully, she always said she would never go to heaven because she was divorced (as recalled by some of her grandchildren during the 1999 Church family reunion.)

Nora was buried in the Limestone Presbyterian Church Cemetery on Rt. 250 at Limestone, West Virginia.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Samuel E. Clark & Margaret Shimp

Samuel E. Clark is my 2nd great-grandfather ... the father of my dad's paternal grandmother. How's that for a brain teaser?

I've been trying to put together a post about Samuel and Margaret, but the more I dig into my info, the more conflicts I keep finding. I don't want to post the conflicts here until I'm a little more sure of my line of reasoning.

Since I didn't make the June 30th goal I had set for myself, the least I can do for those of you who are waiting to see the Clark information is to go ahead and show you these photos of Samuel and Margaret:

Samuel E. Clark

Margaret (Shimp) Clark

Just to make the brain teaser a little easier to follow, especially if you're one of my Kuhn relatives ...
  • Samuel and Margaret were the parents of Hattie Clark, who married Adam Kuhn.
  • Adam and Hattie were the parents of Herbert Samuel Kuhn, who married Nelle Belle Church - they are my paternal grandparents.

If you're interested in the Clarks but not so much in the Kuhns, keep following the blog ... there will be more to come once I solve some of my own brain teasers!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Anniversary: Forrest & Vella Alley

My paternal Grandma's older sister was Vella Church, born 17 November 1898 in Calhoun County, West Virginia, to Eli Church and Lenora Summers Church. (Note that their names appear as Ely Church and M. Sumers Church in the birth register entry for Vella.)

Eli and Lenora moved their family to Moundsville in 1913 - and sometime within the next six years Vella met Forrest William Alley, pictured with her in this photo taken in 1919:

Forrest W. Alley and Vella Church

On 28 June 1922, Vella married Forrest, who was the son of Elias Sheridan Alley and Mary H. "Mollie" Young.  Although the marriage license was issued and recorded in Brooke County, West Virginia, the actual marriage apparently took place in Marshall County.  The preprinted location of Wellsburg is crossed out in the Ministers' Return section of the record where W. C. Harold certified that he united Forrest and Vella in marriage at Moundsville.

Forrest and Vella had four children, all born in Moundsville.  Forrest died in 1952 at the young age of 55.  That must have been an extremely rough year for Vella as both of Forrest's parents also died in 1952.  But she continued on, living until 24 June 1989 when she passed away at the age of 90.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Memories of Garages and Snakes

Yesterday's post on my sister's blog has an interesting title:  "Country Life = sssssSnakesssss" which got me to remembering snake events when I was young.  But first, a little background ...

When I was two years old, Mom and Dad bought a small piece of property from Dad's parents and built a cement block garage across the road from Grandma and Grandpa.  It was designed to eventually be a one-car garage with an attached workshop.  The garage was to serve as a temporary home until they could build a house - so it had a regular front door and a big window in the spots designed to one day have two garage doors.

Much to Mom's dismay, the years kept rolling by and we were still living in that garage.  It was comfortable enough ... one side had a living and dining area and a bathroom, the other side had the entry, master bedroom, kitchen and a laundry/storage room.  We had a sleeper sofa in the living room that served as my bed - it later became a bed for two when my sister was born.  Mom did eventually get her house 12 or so years later when I was a freshman in high school.  But I digress ...

Living in the country, we occasionally had small garter snakes get inside.  No big deal.  Until one day when the snake wasn't a garter snake.

I was still pretty young and we were getting ready to leave home.  I opened the front door and was mesmerized by a big snake that was coiled up between the screen and the wooden door ... a copperhead!  I'm not sure who was more surprised, me or the snake.  I can remember standing there watching it as it was flicking its tongue - while Mom and Dad were yelling to move back NOW.  Turned out there was a nest of baby copperheads outside the garage below the big living room window, just a few feet from the front door.

Yes, life in the country does indeed include snakes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

West Virginia

All native West Virginians know that 20 June 1863 was the date when West Virginia became the 35th state in the Union.  I won't go into the historic details here ... check out the West Virginia Division of Culture and History article, "West Virginia Statehood" or any of a multitude of web sites.

Genealogists often run into changing county and state lines.  There is a great set of maps on the VAGenWeb site that shows the progression of the changing county lines in Virginia and West Virginia.

Many of my ancestors lived on what is now Fork Ridge in Marshall County, West Virginia.  Consider the history of that area:
  • In 1721, it was in Spotsylvania County, Virginia.
  • In 1734, it was in Orange County, Virginia.
  • In 1745, it was in Augusta County, Virginia.  Was also called West Augusta District.
  • As of October 1776, it was in Ohio County, Virginia.
  • As of 12 March 1835, it was in Marshall County, Virginia.
  • And finally, as of 20 June 1863, it was in Marshall County, West Virginia.

In many family histories, the transition from Virginia to West Virginia is often handled by recording the state where something happened as (West) Virginia.  Any time you see this, it indicates that the event occurred in an area that is now in West Virginia, but was in Virginia at the time it happened.  A great example:  Census records for 1870 and later often record the place of birth for persons born prior to 20 June 1863 as West Virginia when it was actually still Virginia.

The trick is to remember to always consider the date and the location together.  There are a lot of folks whose location changed from Ohio County, Virginia, to Marshall County, West Virginia ... and they never even moved!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Father's Day 2011 is drawing to a close as I write this ... I hope it was a great day for all you fathers.  To all the sons and daughters, I hope you were able to spend some time with your father or at least able to connect through any of the technologies we have available these days.

If your father has passed away, I understand ... my own dad died unexpectedly in his sleep in 2009.  This is a photo of Dad and me in front of one of Mom's rosebushes.  It's still hard to believe that he's gone.

Don Kuhn with daughter, Jo Ellen ~ 1960

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Memories of Sue Ella (Aston) Chambers

A year ago today, my cousin passed away after a life that was far too short.  Sue was born 23 August 1955 in Glen Dale, West Virginia, and died 16 June 2010 in Suwanee, Georgia, at the young age of 54.  She had to deal with numerous health issues through the years, but she had a strong faith in God that carried her through.

When we were young, we spent a lot of time together - our mothers, Eva (Harris) Aston and Louise (Harris) Kuhn, were sisters and we only lived a few miles apart.  Aunt Eva's family, including her widowed mother, Dessie (Aston) Harris, lived on the Harris farm on Brushy Ridge where Aunt Eva and Mom where raised.

When Mom was very sick and sometimes in the hospital when I was young, I would stay with Aunt Eva.  (Earlier this year, I wrote about one Easter I spent there.)  Of course we visited there a lot even when Mom was healthy, so I have a lot of memories of times spent on the farm ...

Sue and I climbing into bed with Grandma Dess on the many nights I stayed with them.

"Driving" cars around on the toy room's lineoleum floor that had roads or streets (some details are just a little hazy now!) - the toy room was a small room off of Grandma Dess' bedroom.

Swinging in one of two swings that hung from a huge willow tree - a superb place for two little girls to play.

Spending time in the barn while the milking was done.

Riding Trigger, a black and white pony, while Sue lead him around the yard.

Riding the school bus and playing Authors with Sue's deck of cards.  I also remember that Sue carrying dolls (Barbie?) in a little red case to play with on the bus when we were in grade school.

Walking up and down the hillsides and all through the woods looking for wildflowers.  Sue and I had a school project for which we had to collect and dry wildflowers, and research the botanical info about them.

The memories go on and on ...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Kuhn Boys

Sometimes a simple photo is better than a lot of words ... this one from the early 1930's shows my dad, in the center, with his two older brothers.

Dale Milton Kuhn (1925 to 1990)
Donald Glenn Kuhn (1929 to 2009)
Philip Lee Kuhn (1923 to 2005)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

June Brides

Today is the wedding anniversary of my parents, Alda Louise Harris and Donald Glenn Kuhn.

Yes, Mom was a June bride ... and as I thought about that I got to wondering how many other June brides there were in my family.  I tend to categorize people as ancestors in the lines of my grandparents; i.e. surnames of Kuhn and Church on my Dad's side, Harris and Aston on Mom's. 

01 June 1850Rachel Reed and David Summers
12 June 1865Martha Ellen Matthew and Joseph Summers
20 June 1934Lenna Alice Church and Allen M. Bonar
23 June 1926Eula C. McMillan and Okey Anise Church
28 June 1922Carrie Vella Church and Forrest William Alley
01 June 1815Cleopatra Sherwin and Rufus Bartlett
02 June 1901Leota J. Howard and William Ollison Harris
02 June 1955Freda Fay Landers and Homer J. Stewart, Jr.
07 June 1911Virginia R. Genther and Pardon Smith Harris
08 June 1929Fay E. Harris and Curtis S. Blake
14 June 1894Olivia "Ollie" Harris and Charles Keller Stewart
18 June 1850Emeline S. Bartlett and John Rulong
22 June 1907Letha Harris and Frank Allen
28 June 1919Grace Iona Parks and Oren Elson Rulong
29 June 1860Isabella Littleton and John A. Harris
15 June 1926Clara Edith Kuhn and Joseph Serenella

Interestingly, I found no June brides in the Aston line and only one in the Kuhn line other than Mom and Dad.  In the interest of privacy, this list does not include couples in my records who are still living - if they had been included, there would have been Astons and more Kuhns.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Paden Island, West Virginia

Are you familiar with Paden Island? In spite of growing up only a few miles up-river from it, I had never heard of Paden/Paden's Island until I was reading through the Civil War pension papers of my 2nd great-grandfather, William S. Church.  That was a few years back, but my current reviews of my info before I "go live" with a genealogy website have brought the island back to my attention.

It is commonly reported in a variety of records that William was born in Wetzel County, Virginia (which of course changed to West Virginia in 1863). Courtesy of distant cousin Candace Church, I have copies of several of the documents relative to William's "Invalid's Pension" entitlements for his Civil War service. I found a couple references to his place of birth:
  • "paten ilant, W Va" from a document he completed and signed 23 March 1915. (It becomes clear as you read this form that William wasn't one of the best spellers!)
  • "Patens Island, Wetzel County, W Va" from the Declaration for Pension filed on 08 August 1921

I believe both of these are misspellings of Paden Island, an 81-acre island in the Ohio River next to Paden City.  While Paden City straddles the line between Wetzel and Tyler counties (Wetzel was formed from the northern end of Tyler County in 1846), the island is part of Wetzel County.

Based on info from a variety of sources, Obediah Paden, patented 2,000 acres of land in 1796 (or 1790) which became known as Paden's Bottom. He reportedly paid $1,333 for that river bottom, surrounding hills, and the island in the Ohio River that was lying in front of the valley. In 1877 the U. S. Mail Service came to the town's new name, Paden Valley. In 1895 Paden's Valley changed it's name to Padensvalley (one word); then to Paden City in 1903.

One of the better written and quite interesting accounts of the life of Obediah Paden can be read at "A History of the Paden/Peden Family;" it supports most of the info shown here.  Other sources include a history of Paden City and the city website.

In the 1800's, there were families who lived on Paden Island for several years; there are no longer any active human residences. I have not yet found when that changed, but Paden Island is now part of the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service:
"Public uses of all types have occurred on and around the Ohio River Islands in recent years. The relatively undisturbed nature of many of the islands have made them popular areas for nature study, hunting, fishing, camping, picnicking, and pleasure boating. As islands are acquired for the Refuge, only those uses determined to be compatible with Refuge purposes will be allowed to continue."

A website about Ohio River fishing maintains that Paden Island is good for fishing:  "The head of the island is best—fish the gravel and small rock for black bass."

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Okey Anise Church revisited

Not too long ago I wrote about official records containing errors … specifically regarding Okey Anise Church.  I made a good case why I believed that the Carl Church recorded in the Calhoun County, West Virginia, birth register was actually Anise – and I still believe it is.  HOWEVER … I've now found yet another wrinkle in this whole thing that really makes me scratch my head in wonder.

There is a birth record for Okey Anise Church born on 14 May 1897 to Eli Church and Nora Summers in Pennsboro, Ritchie County, West Virginia.  All of the info is correct – except for the county!

A note on the Ritchie County record which comes from an “Index and Register of Delayed Reports of Births” states:  "This record made from photostatic copy from Div. of Vital Stat., Charleston, W.Va. File No. 30942, recorded Aug. 24, 1943."  Yep, a 1943 recording of an 1897 birth counts as delayed in my mind.

As sources go, the document created closest to the actual event date is generally considered to be the best and most accurate source.  As we all know, the passage of time leads to failing memories – so the longer the time period between an event and the recording of that event … the more likely it is that errors will occur.  Using that criteria, one would put more credence on the Calhoun County birth record.

Let's take a look at all the pieces of this puzzle so far …

In support of Calhoun County:
  • Register of Births – timely recording
  • WWI draft registration – info per Anise himself
  • Certificate of Death – informant was Anise's wife, Eula
  • According to his sister (my grandmother), Nellie Church Kuhn.  Couple this with the fact that his parents were married in Calhoun County, Anise was the first child, and the next two (Vella and Nellie) were also born in Calhoun County.

In support of Ritchie County:
  • Index and Register of Delayed Reports of Birth – delayed recording
  • Marriage License – informant was Anise

The marriage license is the thing that really puzzles me.  Almost everything listed above points to Calhoun County and the delayed report of birth is questionable; but why would Anise say in 1918 (draft registration) that he was born in Calhoun County then say in 1926 (marriage license) that he was born in Ritchie County???

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Barbary Elizabeth Harris

Today I want to share a copy of a handpainted portrait of Barbary Elizabeth "Bessie" Harris who died from fever when she was just a young teenager.  She was born in 1858 to Uriah and Mary Ann (Lydick) Harris and died 21 December 1871 per her death register entry -  her recorded age was 13 years, 7 months.

Barbary E. Harris

Barbary's death at such a young age prompted her brother, Alfred, to write a song entitled, "Mother, do not weep for Bessie" which can be found online as part of The Library of Congress American Memory collection.

I haven't seen her gravestone personally, but did receive a copy from Glen Harris that shows that the stone is quite weathered.  Using Paint Shop Pro to look at it with a variety of effects, I believe it reads:


Daughter of



Dec 21, 1871

Aged 13 Yrs.

8 Ms. 5 Ds.

Questions I've not yet resolved include the discrepancy between the death register and Barbary's gravestone as to her exact age; and her full birth date.  The date I originally found of 26 February 1858 for her birth does not compute with either of the ages when coupled with a death of 21 December 1871.  I have yet to locate Barbary's birth record ... that would certainly be helpful!

I did find a second death register entry for B. E. Harris, daughter of Uriah and Mary A. Harris, with a date of death as 22 December 1871; but her gravestone definitely does not say the 22nd, so I'm presuming that this register simply reflects a clerical error.

If you have information that can clear up my questions about Barbary, I hope you'll contact me.  Also, if you would like a larger copy of this photo, let me know ... it has beautiful detail.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Website Status

Too many days between posts ... but it's due to a good thing ... I've been concentrating on my genealogy database to get just a little bit closer to putting a website online.  I have close to 2,400 people in my database which may sound like a lot, but it's actually small by some folks' standards.

I've decided to start small with the number of people to ensure that the info I publish online is as accurate as possible.  Once I get the site going, I'll keep adding people on a regular basis.  I started a test site with my direct ancestral lines then added their spouses and parents - a total of 55 people for the inaugural site which will include these surnames:


I'm about halfway through this group, which means I need to get crackin' and decide on a web host before much longer!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Even Official Records Contain Errors

Okey Anise Church

My paternal grandmother's oldest brother was Okey Anise Church, commonly known by his middle name.  He was born 14 May 1897 in Calhoun County, West Virginia.  These are the facts I had gathered from a variety of sources, including Grandma herself.  Finding his official birth record took a little extra research due to several inconsistencies:

I found a Carl Church born on 14 May 1897 in Calhoun County.  Hmmm … right date & place but wrong name.  But let's look at this a little more.

Father's place of birth = Marshall County per the birth register, but Anise's father, Eli Church, was born in Wetzel County.  Another strike against this being the right record.  But don't give up yet!

Mother's place of birth not given, so that's no help.

Full name of mother = Minora Summers.  Her maiden name = Church.  This was my aha moment – Anise's mother was Lenora (Summers) Church.  Lenora … Minora … maybe the clerk was just hard of hearing.  Summers was her maiden name, Church her married name.  They're reversed in the register.

Full name of father = Ely Church.  Wrong spelling, but that's a common occurrence.

So the baby's name is incorrect, the father's birthplace is wrong, the mother's name is all messed up, and the father's first name is misspelled.  Yet, the record I found has to be Anise. 

Where did the name Carl come from?  Was it clerical error?  Did Eli & Lenora change their mind about what they wanted their baby's name to be?  Who knows!

UPDATE:  Check out "Okey Anise Church revisited" for more questions resulting from a second birth record in a different county!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Summers Family Nicknames

Earlier this month, I wrote about the confusion surrounding the spelling of my 2nd great-grandmother's surname in Matthews or Matthew or Mathews or ....  Martha and husband Joseph Summers raised a large family - so far I've found nicknames for nine of their 14 children, plus two (maybe three) more that had a "commonly known by" name:
  1. William David Summers = Will
  2. Phoebe Ellit Summers = Phebe
  3. James Augustus Summers = Gus
  4. Mary Irene Summers = Rene
  5. Thomas Franklin Summers = Tom
  6. Matilda Jane Summers = Till
  7. Walter Henry Summers - I wonder if he was called Walt?
  8. Robert Edward Lee Summers was commonly known as Lee.  Interestingly, Lee was apparently part of his full name.  His marriage record first listed his name as Robert E. L. Summers, then his full name as Robert Edward Lee Summers.
  9. Lenora Susan Summers = Nora or Nory  (my great-grandmother)
  10. Claude Raymond Ellis Summers was commonly known as Ellis or Ell
  11. Victor Lawrence Summers = Dot
  12. Arthur Lloyd Summers = Lomie
  13. Joseph Marie Summers was listed as Maree on 1910 census, probably spelled incorrectly but leads me to believe that he may have been commonly known by his middle name.  He reportedly died at the young age of 29.
  14. Roscoe Hamelton Summers - He was the informant listed on the death certificate for his brother Ellis - his brother's name is shown as Ellis Summers whereas his own is Roscoe Summers.  Looks like he actually used his first name!
It's easy to see where most of these nicknames came from ... but Dot?  There must have been an interesting story behind that one!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Thoughts

It sometimes seems odd that I had so much more trouble dealing with Mothers' Day when Mom was still alive but getting progressively worse with Alzheimer's than I do now that she's been gone for 6+ years. Then again, I guess it's because I know that she's in such a better place now with a body that was healed forever. Hallelujah!

Alda Louise (Harris) Kuhn
1925 to 2005

Don't get me wrong … I still miss her terribly. She was an excellent seamstress and sewed many clothes for my sister and me, including gowns for proms, dances and weddings. Mom made a beautiful tailored coat for herself after attending a Homemaker's class through the Extension Service. When something didn't meet her standards, she would rip out seams and start over. Being a perfectionist meant that she sometimes cost herself hours of time that greatly multiplied her stress when deadlines loomed. Mom considered her sewing skills to be inferior to those of her sister, Eva – but I think she was wrong!

During the early stages of her Alzheimer's, I worked with Mom to make one last skirt using fabric she had bought and stashed away. It was bittersweet as I ended up doing most of the work, although she was able to sew the straight seams. I'll never know if she felt any sense of accomplishment with that skirt … but I treasure it dearly. Just a simple skirt with an elastic waist; yet it means more to me than any other piece of clothing I own.

I hope that most of you reading this will be able to celebrate the day … whether you're a mother being appreciated or a child doing the appreciation … or maybe even both …

Happy Mothers' Day

Friday, May 6, 2011

Funeral Cards

Funeral cards come in various forms … single cards (similar to a postcard) and small folded cards seem to be common for those prepared by funeral homes.  They give basic info that usually includes name, birth and death dates, and info regarding any memorial service and burial location.  

Then there are personalized cards that are prepared by the family … these usually include a photo and give a great deal of insight into the individual's life.  

Anyone who gathers family history treasures both kinds of cards, standard or personalized, for the information they provide.  When Mom died, I added the cards she had saved to my existing collection.  I thought for sure I would find a funeral card for her mother, Dessie (Aston) Harris, but much to my dismay I did not.  I hope I can find one someday.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oscar Leslie Harris

Oscar L. "Bones" Harris

This photo from Mom's collection shows Oscar Leslie "Bones" Harris with a team of horses pulling what looks like a disc to me.   I never knew the background behind that nickname until one of his great-granddaughters filled me in that it was due to his size and bone structure.  Specifically:
  • As a young child he was very tall and skinny and the other kids called him "Bones" or "Boney."
  • As an adult, he was about 6 foot 3 or 4 inches tall and was very thin.
  • As for his facial features, his bone structure was well-defined by protruding cheek bones.
  • The bones in his big hands and arms were visible.
So the nickname that began in his youth stayed with him throughout his adult years as well.  (Thanks to Juanita Fallihee for this info.)

According to birth records in Marshall County, West Virginia, Bones was born on 13 September 1870 near Easton (now Glen Easton).  Interestingly there are two different registers that appear on the WV Division and Cultural History website and neither of them included Oscar as his first name.  Makes me wonder if his parents, Samuel and Mary (Richmond) Harris, intended to call him by his middle name.  The two different birth registers also reflect two different spellings of his middle name:  Leslie and Lesley.  I have a handwritten list of the Samuel Harris family that I received from my grandmother, and it shows his name as Oscar Leslie as does his marriage record - so that is the spelling I believe is correct.

The death certificate shows his name as Oscar L., with the informant being his daughter, Leona Dobbs.  According to the certificate, he died in the Wetzel County Hospital from pneumonia, but I remember my mother, Alda Louise (Harris) Kuhn, saying that he was in a nursing home in New Martinsville when he reportedly fell down the steps and died.  According to Mom, the family suspected that he had been pushed down the stairs ... but Mom didn't seem to know why the family believed that. 

Bones married Mary Bane Cummins on 12 August 1893 per the handwritten family record I mentioned earlier; that is confirmed by the record of their marriage.  They are both buried in the Fork Ridge Christian Church Cemetery, Fork Ridge, Marshall County, West Virginia.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Infant Death of William Hollie Church

William Hollie Church was born on 20 March 1914, the ninth child of Eli and Lenora (Summers) Church.  The family home on eastern Seventh Street in Moundsville, West Virginia, was not only the location of William's birth, but also of his death less than two months later from pneumonia as a result of whooping cough.

A very short obituary was published on Friday, 08 May 1914 in the Moundsville Daily Echo: 

     A five weeks old baby of Mr. and Mrs. Church died Sunday night at its parents home on eastern Seventh street.  Several members of the family have been very ill during the last few weeks.
Per a written family record, William was born on 20 March 1914 and died on 03 May 1914 at the age of 1 month 14 days.  A quick look at a perpetual calendar confirms that May 3rd of that year was indeed a Sunday.  However, a date calculator counts the time as 1 month 13 days.

The Marshall County Death Register includes two entries on the same page that both recorded 03 May 1914 as the date of death:

  1. Wm. R. Church, age 1 mo 13 days, born at East 7th St, Moundsville, died from pneumonia as reported by physician L. H. McCuskey. 
  2. Wm H. Church, age 2 mo, born in Moundsville, died from whooping cough as reported by Eli Church, his father.
I believe that all of these documents and records are for the same little boy even though there are several inconsistencies:
  • The Death Register entries were written in two clear, but very different and distinctive hands; two persons involved would reduce the chance of realizing there were duplicate entries.
  • The incorrect middle initial of "R" could have been a transcription error when a clerk made the entry in the Register of Deaths or the doctor may have simply mis-reported it.
  • The handwritten family record shows William's age as one day too many per the physician (and a date calculator), but that is most likely a simple calculation error.  Perhaps Eli reported the age as two months simply because he was almost 1-1/2 months old.
  • The physician reported the exact place of birth (street and city) whereas Eli simply reported the city.
  • According to, the most common complication and the cause of most whooping cough-related deaths is secondary bacterial pneumonia, with young infants being at highest risk for both.  So the two reports actually support each other: the primary cause of death was pneumonia, secondary cause was whooping cough.

William Hollie Church - 03 May 1914

Although a picture of a six-week old infant in a casket may seem offensive today, this quote from Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey by Lillian Schlissel provides another viewpoint while writing about the pioneers who settled the western part of America:
     "Among a people whose lives were often scarred by the death of children, the photograph quickly became a cherished souvenir. Such pictures might be placed on a mantel or table in a sitting room."
While the Church family was not on a westward journey, William's death when he was not quite six weeks old may well have occurred before any other photographs of him had been taken, thus making this a most cherished photo.  A valuable lesson may have been learned, as a picture of William's younger brother, Arles Lloyd Church, was taken as he sat in his mother's lap.  This proved to be a fortunate thing as he died in 1919 when only a few months old.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Matthews or Matthew or Mathews or ...

Seems like I've posted a lot lately about my 2nd great-grandparents, so I thought I'd stick with that but switch to the ancestors of my paternal grandmother, Nellie (Church) Kuhn.  Her mother was Lenora (Summers) Church, daughter of Joseph and Martha E. Summers.

Martha E. Summers
I originally thought Martha's maiden name was Martha Ellen Matthews according to a handwritten family document I was given years ago ... until I found the official register documenting her marriage in Taylor County, West Virginia, where her last name appears without the “s”:  Martha E. Matthew.

Now I know that spelling errors occur frequently, even in official records - so I still figured that the handwritten document would prove to be the correct spelling.  After all, it seemed more likely that a clerk would misspell the name than a family member.  But wait ...

On Martha's death certificate in Calhoun County, West Virginia, for which one of her sons was the informant, her maiden name is spelled with the “s” but with only one “t”:  Martha Mathews.  Again, you would think a son would know the correct spelling, yet this certificate lists her birthplace as Tyler County and her father as James Mathews ... as opposed to all the other sources I've found that indicate her parents were William K. and Nancy and that she was born in Barbour County.  Coupled with the fact that the son gave no birthplace for James and no info at all for Martha's mother, I'm not so sure he's an ideal source!!

On the other hand, Nancy died from diptheria at the young age of 39, and the informant son wasn't born until 15 years later.  So he would never have known his grandmother Nancy.  But who is James?  Was Tyler County written in error instead of Taylor County?  (Taylor and Barbour are neighboring counties, and Martha did live in Taylor County for several years.)  Those are questions for another day.

While I'm talking about Nancy, her two youngest children also died from diptheria a few months after she did – and all three of them appear in the death register on three consecutive lines written in the same hand, but with two different spellingsMathew and Mathews.

Federal census records don't help a whole lot as the surname spelling for the William K. household (including Martha) was Mathew in 1850 and Matthews in 1860.  By the time of the 1870 census, Martha was married to Joseph Summers so she finally had a surname with no question about the spelling!  Interestingly, the 1870 census does show several Summers and Matthew families living next to each other in Taylor County.

At this point in my research, I have no reason to doubt that Martha Ellen is correct for her given name, but was her maiden name Matthews or Matthew or Mathews or Mathew?  The answer appears to be that ... the answer is unclear!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Louisa ... Louise

Been spending most of my computer time cleaning up my genealogy database, which means not so much time has been spent on this blog.  A couple days ago I wrote about one of my 2nd great-grandmothers:  Louisa (Perkins) McGary.  So her granddaughter, Dessie (Aston) Harris, was my grandmother.  And Dessie's daughter, Alda Louise (Harris) Kuhn was my mother.

The title of this post comes from my wondering if Grandma Dess gave her youngest daughter a middle name of Louise in honor of her own grandmother, Louisa.  This is probably one of those things I'll never know for sure ... but it seems a likely possibility.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Arthur McGary & Louisa Perkins

Arthur & Louisa (Perkins) McGary
Arthur McGary and Louisa Perkins were married 14 November 1854 in Belmont County, Ohio.  Arthur was born 11 February 1823 and died 27 April 1899.  Louisa was born 02 April 1836 and died 28 May 1926.  Both were born in Ohio - and both died at Fork Ridge, Marshall County, West Virginia.

Arthur & Louisa are my 2nd great-grandparents following this line:
  • Arthur McGary married Louisa Perkins
  • Daughter: Cancedella McGary married Charles Gibson Aston
  • Daughter: Dessie Charlotte Aston married Charles McClure Harris
  • Daughter: Alda Louise Harris married Donald Glenn Kuhn
  • Daughter: ME!
This photo is one of many that were included in a beautiful photo album that my Grandma Dess gave me when I was young - the album was her mother's.  Fortunately, Grandma Dess had written names on many of the photos in this album so that I have been able to match the photos with people I have recorded in my genealogy program.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kuhn Immigrants to America

Nikolaus Kuhn and Catharina (Schumacher) Kuhn were released from Prussian citizenship for the purpose of emigration to the State of Ohio in North America. The release certificate was signed on 27 April 1886 by the Royal Prussian Government in Trier. The Release Certificate stated that the certificate would "be ineffective if the released persons do not move their place of residence to outside Federal territory within six months from the day of issue of the Release Certificate, or acquire citizenship in another federal state."

Rhynland, Red Star Line steamship - courtesy Norway Heritage
Photo above is part of the Heritage-Ships collection
available at Norway Heritage.

Nikolaus and his family boarded the S.S. Rhynland in Antwerp, Belgium, to start their new life in America.  The journey from Antwerp to New York took one to two weeks in conditions that were far from being first class for most immigrants. Castle Garden was America's first official immigration center and was the predecessor to Ellis Island. Castle Garden records state that the Rhynland arrived at New York on 10 April 1886.

Why is the date of arrival earlier than the date of the release certificate? That seems backwards to me ... it's a head-scratcher that I hope to figure out one of these days.

According to the passenger list, all of the Kuhn family were citizens of Germany, had begun their journey from Wallerfangen, Germany, and had an intended destination of East Liverpool. On a ship manifest totaling 347 passengers, they were numbers 145 through 150 with the following information:
  • Nic. Kuhn, age 37, male, a laborer
  • Cathe. Kuhn, age 36, female
  • Anna Kuhn, age 12, female
  • Adam Kuhn, age 11, male
  • Mathe. Kuhn, age 9, male
  • Cathe. Kuhn, age 5, female
You can read more about their life in America in my Glassworkers series.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Memories

Easter Sunday ... a new dress ... an Easter hat.  
When I was a little girl, these things went together.

Jo Ellen Kuhn - Easter 1960

Of course we always went to church on Sundays, but Easter was a little different.  Before church, there was the treat of an Easter basket! A big chocolate rabbit, little chocolate eggs, Reese's peanut butter eggs … is there anything better? Mom would hide some of those pull-apart plastic eggs around the house and I would search for them. In later years, I sometimes hid the eggs and my younger sister searched for them.

These are the things I associate with the Easters of my childhood, except for one year. When I was young, Mom was very sick – anytime she was in the hospital I would stay with her sister, my Aunt Eva Aston, who had three children of her own. Her daughter, Sue, was only two months older than me and we spent a lot of time together when we were young.

One Easter, Mom was in the hospital – so I was staying at Aunt Eva's. I don't remember how old we were at the time, but Sue and I received identical Easter baskets that included a little wind-up bunny that was covered with soft white fur. All was good until I wound mine up too tight and it stopped hopping. When I wanted to play with Sue's, she protested and Aunt Eva told me I had to play with my own even if it was broken. I laugh about this memory today – but I was fuming that Sunday. Life was frustrating for a little girl with a big temper!!

Happy Easter
just don't eat too much candy … 
and don't wind your bunny too tight!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fork Ridge Christian Church - Part 3

Our internet service was down all day yesterday ... but at least this time I have an excuse for being late with my post!

So far in this series, I've touched on my strong ties to the Fork Ridge Christian Church through my Harris and Kuhn lines and have included photos of some baptism records for them. As noted in Part 2, my Grandma Dess was an Aston who married a Harris. But as family goes, she's not the only Aston who went to church there. 

I also found the baptism record for Henry Aston – I believe this would be Charles Henry Aston, a son of Joseph “Joe” Aston and his first wife, Rosa “Rose” Henceroth: 

Henry Aston

Rose died following the birth of her second child, which led to Joe marrying his second wife, Mary Gertrude Ryan. Many of Joe and Gertrude's children and their descendants have been and/or are members of the Fork Ridge Christian Church. 

Joe was one of my Grandma Dess' older brothers – and their oldest sister was Ethel May Aston who married Spencer Lee Marshall. The next baptism record is for their daughter, Mary Idella Marshall:

Idella Marshall

I started this series with a couple of photos of the Fork Ridge Christian Church – one from 1938 and another one that showed the building after the vestibule was added. So I think I'll close it out with a couple more photos.

For comparison, here again is the photo from Part 1 that shows the vestibule … and if you look closely to the left of the steps, you can see the top of the door that goes into the basement. 

This photo I took on 04 September 2006 shows how the steps down to the basement door were closed in as well as the addition of a roof over the steps up to the vestibule. I don't know exactly when those additions were made – if you know, feel free to leave a comment. 

As I'm writing this post, I realize that I don't have a good photo of the wheelchair ramp that was built later. I do have this one taken from the back end of the cemetery in which a portion of the ramp can be seen. Like much of the work done at the church, the ramp was built my cousins – and they did a beautiful job if I say so myself. 

As I said when I started this series … I have very strong ties to the Fork Ridge Christian Church. When I go to the cemetery, it seems that the majority of those buried there are related to me one way or another. And of course, that's where Mom and Dad were buried too:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fork Ridge Christian Church - Part 2

My Harris family has strong ties to the Fork Ridge Christian Church, as noted in yesterday's Part 1 post. But it's not just the Harris line … my Kuhn family has been connected to that church for many years. My grandparents, Herbert and Nellie (Church) Kuhn, bought their farm on Fork Ridge in the fall of 1929. I suspect they were already attending church there before Rev. Howearth's revival in 1932 resulted in 40+ new members.

Yesterday I posted three photos of baptism records for one Stewart and two Harris relatives who joined the Fork Ridge Christian Church in 1932. I ran across those records a few years back when I was at the church following a funeral, and the same aunt who wrote the church history I've been quoting let me scan them. I really appreciated that because one of them is for my mother who was baptized on 19 September 1936:

Louise Harris

Another is for one of my aunts … Mom's older sister:

Eva Mae Harris

Eva and Louise were the daughters of Dessie Harris whose baptism record appears in yesterday's blog post. Louise married Donald Glenn Kuhn, one of the sons of Herbert and Nellie mentioned in the first paragraph above. Dad's baptism record wasn't included with the ones I found, but I do have his actual Baptismal Certificate dated 17 October 1943. He was baptized by Rev. A. J. McCloy at the Cameron Christian Church as the Fork Ridge Christian Church doesn't have a baptistry.

As I think about this now, I'm not sure if all of the baptisms for Fork Ridge were performed at Cameron or if some of the earlier baptisms may have taken place somewhere else. Some quick internet research indicates that the First Christian Church in Moundsville is older than the Cameron church, so it's possible that some of the earliest baptisms may have occurred in Moundsville as the Cameron and Fork Ridge churches were both built in 1898.

Getting back to the records I scanned … two more were for Dad's older brothers:

Philip Kuhn

Dale Kuhn

In addition to my Harris and Kuhn ties to the Fork Ridge Christian Church, there's also a connection through my Aston line.  My grandmother, Dessie Aston who married Charles M. Harris, is the Dessie Harris from yesterday.  In addition to her, I found a few more Aston line baptism records that I'll post tomorrow.

But before signing off today, here's two more Stewart records.  Yesterday's post included Opal Stewart ... these are her younger brother and sister:

Homer Stewart, Jr.

Imogene Stewart
That's it for now!

Continue on to Part 3