Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bessie Morgan's new hidden picture.


Cousin Claudia S. sent a copy of our GG Grandmother Elizabeth Thompson Groesbeck's recently found and published journal to one of her cousins in the East. Soon thereafter she received from that distant cousin a package of wonderful old family pictures. Claudia was familiar with most of the pictures, but sent me this one because it was labeled "Bessie Morgan," and she thought I might know who else is in the picture.  I don't, but I can guess and suggest.

That is my grandmother Bessie Morgan seated on a stool to the right of the group which may include girl friends. The two girls look to me like they may be sisters. The longer I look at the picture, the more people appear. There is a boy in the tree and two more at Bessie's knee. And there is a child in the barn loft across the fence. 

My guess is that the picture was taken in her mother's back yard, but it could have been taken in anyone's backyard.  It does fit well on Bryan Avenue in my imaginings.

Bessie was the youngest daughter in her family, she had two younger brothers. This picture was probably taken between 1910 and her 1912 marriage and move to Randolph, Utah. She worked with her sister Gail at the telephone company as a secretary before her marriage. She and her girlfriends established their own literary society at her mother's Bryan Avenue home in 1910. 

The flowers against the fence are reminiscent of the flowers Grandma Bessie grew along her fences in Randolph, Utah. 

 Bessie when she was about 18 years old.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Updated record of John Morgan's missionary service.

Amy has used the church's new missionary database to update Great Grandfather John Morgan's missionary service here.

Thank you Amy for keeping us appraised of the new missionary database and updating John Morgan and the Southern States Missionary records. I appreciate your work and your example.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Fraziers in the Early Mormon Missionaries data base.


Ivy Mae Frazier White
Salt Lake City Cemetery
"Gone To Her Glorious Reward"

Amy at the Ancestor Files blog announced the new Early Mormon Missionaries data base here early in February. I decided to follow suite and began looking up my ancestors. The first family name I entered “Frazier” was most fruitful and dispelled a family MYTH.

Great Grandfather Stephen Vestal Frazier was the probate judge in Woodruff, Rich County, Utah from 1888 to 1893. He came through those years purportedly declaring that neither he nor any of his children would ever join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

His youngest son, Frank Union, my grandfather, honored his father’s wishes and did not join the Church during his lifetime. I was pleased to learn that three of Stephen Vestal’s  oldest grandchildren (he had fourteen children) served as early missionaries and are listed on the database.

1 – Ivy May Frazier, born July 12, 1897 to Walter J. and Fannie Rose Frazier served her mission to the Sandwich Islands from June 8, 1920 to August 18, 1921.

2 – Charles C. and Mary Ellen Frazier Dean sent two of their sons on missions. Charles Vestal, born March 23, 1884 in Woodruff, Utah served in Great Britain from May 29, 1906 to October 3, 1908. David Leroy was born February 4, 1889 in Woodruff also and served in the Western States in Colorado from June 18, 1912, to September 1, 1914.

Missionary Department missionary registers, 1850-1959, Vol. 3, p. 238, line 392.
Missionary Department missionary registers, 1860-1959, Vol, 4, p. 132, line 260.
Missionary Department missionary registers, 1860-1959, Vol. 5, p. 29, line 401.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

1901 Death of Uncle Robert Marshall Hamilton.

John Morgan's Uncle Robert Marshall Hamilton was married to his father, Garrard Morgan's sister, Mary Morgan. John Morgan referred to him numerous times throughout his journal. These wonderful Greensburg, Indiana obituaries tell the stories of their lives. Robert Marshall is the youngest brother  to Cyrus, Thomas, and Eliza who's obituaries were posted here earlier. 


Death of R. M.Hamilton.
[August 30, 1901, Greensburg Standard]
Review of a Long Life, Exhibiting Many Noble Qualities.

Robert Marshall Hamilton, who died August 5, 1901, at the residence of his son-in-law, S. L. Jackson, three miles east of Greensburg, was born November 17, 1811, on McBride’s Creek, some three miles southwest of Carlisle, Nicholas county, Ky. His father, Robert Hamilton, died in 1817; and his mother, Mary Edward Hamilton, removed with seven of her eleven children to this county in October, 1823, and settled on the farm, where the deceased lived continuously from that time to his death. Two brothers and two married sisters preceded the rest of the family to the same neighborhood, and of the eleven, eight lived in this county to more than seventy-five, and five to more than eighty years of age. Upon the marriage of his older brother, Thomas, in 1826, Robert M. succeeded, at the age of fifteen, to the management of his mother’s farm. September 26, 1834, he was married to Miss Mary Morgan, who lived with her mother on the farm where the orphans’ home now stands. Of the six children born to them. Thomas W., Charles C., Mr. [sic. Mrs.] J. T. Rankin, and Mrs. S. L. Jackson are living.  Naracissa died in childhood, December 5, 1840, and Garrard in early manhood, December 13, 1882. Mrs. Hamilton died February 4, 1884, after a lingering illness.

As a farmer Mr. Hamilton was something of a marvel to two generations. Beginning in the era of low prices and costly transportation he acquired by unremitting industry and energy more than twelve hundred acres of land; and it was one of his rare qualities, that though he had never spared himself in its accumulation, he gave it all to his children long before his death. About the same time he gave $1,000 to the endowment fund of the Kingston church, a like amount to the endowment of a professorship in Hanover College, named at his request after his mother, and $700 to the Camp Nelson colored school in Kentucky and the same amount to Washington and Swift Memorial Colleges in Tennessee.


Unlike most men intensely devoted to business, Mr. Hamilton took a strong interest in many public questions. He was almost born an abolitionist. He used to say he would like to have voted for Henry Clay in 1840, but stayed away from the polls rather than vote for a slaveholder. In 1844 he voted for James G. Burney and acted thereafter with the Liberty and Free Soil parties until the disruption of existing parties in 1854. He was a zealous Republican until the great issues growing out of the war and slavery were settled. But the temperance question had also had his livelong sympathy, probably since the first total abstinence movement in this county in 1827. It is recalled that in the old days he chose to haul his wheat to Madison rather than to accept a higher price from the Lawrenceburg distilleries. Upon the formation of the Prohibition party he felt called upon to make a great sacrifice of party, neighborhood and family ties in obedience to his convictions. However we may differ as to the practical value of this step the spirit of self-sacrifice for a principle in which it was made was most admirable. It was affecting to note how this veteran of the anti-slavery struggle fortified himself with memories of that older warfare for what he believed to be a new crusade against as great a wrong and a more galling servitude. 

Mr. Hamilton had long outlived those of his own generation, only one sister, Mrs. Minerva Donnell, surviving him. He had grown very feeble physically the last few months of his life, though his mind remained unclouded to the last. As he had never spared himself in earlier life, so to the very end he used the failing remnant of his strength to the utmost, driving about alone when other men would have been in their beds. He attended the reception given to his past at Kingston only four days before his death. His last ailment was so slight that but little apprehension was felt, yet he sank gradually into unconsciousness. In the late afternoon of the third day he passed almost imperceptibly from the sleep of dreams into the sleep of death.


In accordance with his expressed wish the funeral services were held  the following afternoon at the Kingston church of which the deceased had been a life-long member, conducted by the pastor, Rev. C. R. Adams, and attended by a large circle of relatives and friends. And so passed to his rest one who had in his long life, exhibited some of the strongest and most admirable traits of character.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Uncle Tommy Hamilton -- Another Ripe Sheaf Gathered In.

Uncle Tommy appears to be the brother, Thomas, mentioned in these Hamilton obituaries. All of them older siblings to Robert Marshall Hamilton. 


Uncle Tommy Hamilton, so long of Kingston and Sandcreek church, took up his abode in that better country on last Wednesday evening. The time of his departure was at the setting of the sun, when the shades of evening were drawing their curtains closely down. It was a befitting time for a glorified spirit to be welcomed into that land of eternal day, that land we have so often heard him talk and pray about in bygone days. He was one of the purest of earth, and lived and died without an enemy. He lived his full four-score years, being 82 at the time of his death. He came to this country about the year 1825, was one of the founders, or charter members, of the Sandcreek (now Kingston) church, was ordained an elder in 1830, and remained in that position over 50 years, until the Master said “Come up higher,” We think we can see many of those of the old Sandcreek church, who have gone before, welcoming him on his arrival. Uncle Tommy was always a welcome visitor to their homes while here below, and we have no doubt they all hailed with delight his coming to dwell with them in that Heavenly home.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Miss Eliza Hamilton. "their history, so far as application to her sex, was her’s."

Thus a newspaper obituary writer determined Miss Eliza Hamilton's seventy-year life be summed up by reading her brothers' obituaries that had appeared there earlier. Her "died" notice was published February 16, 1900 in the Greensburg Standard, Indiana newspaper.


Miss Hamilton was sister to Cyrus and Thomas Hamilton, early prominent pioneers to Decatur County Indiana. I posted information about them in 2010. My ongoing investigation of the Hamilton/Morgan connection has been greatly helped by the obituary collection nicely indexed and available from the Greensburg, Decatur, Indiana County Library.  Thank you so very much to the folks at Gene Alogy! 

Obituary, Cyrus Hamilton
[August 27, 1879, Decatur News]


Cyrus Hamilton was born July 14, 1800, on McBride’s creek, in Burbon (now Nicholas) county, Kentucky; was married to Polly McCoy on the 22nd of February, 1822, and with his wife and his brother James E. and family, left the home of his boyhood to find, and found a new one in the then unbroken wilds of this county. On the 11th of March succeeding they arrived at the locality  since so well known as their hospitable homes, where both made a permanent settlement, and which has been their home ever since. In March of last year he was seized with disease of the kidneys and bladder, from which he was a terrible sufferer, with only fitful relief, until Tuesday last. (August 19th) about 1 o’clock when death came to his relief. 
Of the many early settlers of this county few have been better known to their citizens—for more actively and [illegible]  connected with her moral and social development. A Christian man—one of the “Sandcreek” (Kingston) Presbyterian church; an ardent temperance man, and a radical abolitionist, from the very inception of those movements, he assisted in the organization of these societies throughout his section of the country, —addressing the people thereon wherever he could get listeners.Though not an orator—not so much as a ‘speaker’ —he was a fine talker, and never failed to interest those who would hear him—though often his remarks feel upon prejudicial ears and he had to wait long for the fruits of his sowing. Those ears, however, and he lived to rejoice in the end. 
Mr. Hamilton came of a long lived race. In the years 1822 and 23 his mother, widow with four sons and eleven daughters emigrated to this country; four were then married, the others single; all but one lived till just past middle age and four of the daughters—Mrs. Sally Donnel, Mrs.Minera Donnell, Mrs. Jane Lowe and Miss Eliza Hamilton—and three of the sons James E., Thomas and R. M., are still living. Mother Hamilton lived to up in the seventies and the two sisters and a brother who settled here lived to a still greater age. Cyrus was the father of six children and about twenty five grandchildren, and he was the first death in his own or his children’s families. 
 For forty-seven years and seven months lacking three days, “Uncle Cyrus and Aunt Polly” had traveled the path way of life together, whether sharring its joys, together buffeting its misfortunes. He has been called home, she, bowed by age and disease, can tarry but a short while ere the winged messenger shall call for her. Funeral services were held at Kingston on Wednesday afternoon, and attended by a large concourse of relatives and personal friends of the deceased; sermon by the pastor, A. T. Rankin. —Standard.
These Hamiltons are family to Garrard Morgan's sister Mary "Polly" Morgan who married R. M. [Robert Marshall] Hamilton mentioned above. 

My own great great grandmother Eliza Ann Hamilton Morgan, married to Garrard Morgan, doesn't yet appear to be connected to these Hamiltons. Both groups immigrated to Indiana from Nicholas County, Kentucky. Eliza Ann is the daughter of James Hamilton, who is the son of John Hamilton

Thus far I haven't found any Roberts mentioned  in that family ancestry. Decatur County, Indiana information about Robert Marshall Hamilton, indicates he descended from a line of Roberts.

Hmmm!  Much still to do.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Now Available! Needle and Thread; a Life Story of Helen Melvina (Mellie) Groesbeck (1852-1930)


Our book of Great Grandmother Helen Melvina "Mellie" Groesbeck Morgan is finally printed and available. What a wonderful journey cousin Karen and I have shared—gathering, collaborating, sorting, compiling, and writing her life story.

When we candidly declared several years ago that "we would write our grandmother's history" we had little knowledge of what that would entail. Now knowing, we have produced a 172 page history comprised of text, articles, clippings, letters, poems and pictures of her exemplary life—one well lived.

Let me know in the comment field below if you would like to purchase a copy of the book for $35.