Monday, April 30, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Indenture - Joshua Davis to Thomas Cook 1812


On his TransylvanianDutch blog, John Newmark defines an amanuensis as “a person employed to write out what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.” For more information about this daily blogging prompt, see John’s post Amanuensis – Why?.

I have amassed quite a collection of scans of handwritten documents related to my ancestors—primarily marriage records, deeds, and wills. As I have been transcribing these documents, it occurred to me that most of these documents were not actually written by my ancestors, but rather dictated to someone else, and then transcribed by a clerk into official records.


This week’s transcription is another deed to which my maternal 4th great-grandfather Thomas Cook was a party. This purchase of 68 acres on Brushy Mountain, in Wilkes County, North Carolina, took place about seven  years before Thomas’s death in 1819. Notice that the document mentions the "Iredell line." Thomas Cook's property straddled the boundary between Iredell and Wilkes counties. In fact, when the boundary changed in 1815, his land was mentioned in the legislation making the change; you can read about the boundary changes here.

“Joshua Davis to Thomas Cook

This Indenture made this twenty second day of September, In the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred & twelve between Joshua Davis of the County of Wilkes & State of North Carolina of the one part & Thos Cook of the County & State aford of the other part. Witnesseth that for & in Consideration of the sum of Eighty Dollars to me in hand paid by the sd. Thomas Cook the same whereof is fully acknowledged, that the sd. Joshua Davis hath given granted Bargained Sold & by these presents do give grant & sell unto the sd. Thos Cook his heirs or assigns to a certain tract or parcel of Land Containing Sixty Eight acres the same more or less lying in the County of Wilkes on the brushy Mountain, It being part of a Tract of Eighty acres conveyed by James Fletcher senr. to Elijah Vickas & from Elilijah [sic] Vickas to Joshua Davis, Includnig the plantation whereon the sd. Davis now lives, Beginning at a red oak in the Iredell line, Then north one hundred ps [poles?] to a chestnut. Then West one hundred & Sixty Eight po. to a red oak, Then South one hundred po to the Iredell line, Then East with sd. line to the beginning and Divides by a conveyance of twelve acres conveyed by Elijah Vickas to Jeremiah Gilreath with the appurtenances and all rights titles & privileges & Improvements to the said [?] belonging to him that Joshua Davis his heirs or assigns, forever and the sd. Joshua Davis himself his heirs do hereby covenant & agree to & with the sd Joshua D Thos Cook that sd Cook his heirs or assigns shall & may forever here after peacibly & Quietly Enjoy occupy & possess the aforesd Grant & [?] without molestation & the sd Joshua Davis himself his heirs Executors, administr or assigns do by these presents warrant & forever Defend the rights & title of the aforesd Granted Land & premises to him the sd Thos. Cook his heirs or assigns forever against the claim or right or title or Interest of any persons or whatsoever In Witness whereof I Joshua Davis hath hereunto set my hand & fixt my seal the day & date above written.
                                                                                     his
                                                                        Joshua X Davis {seal}
                                                                                    mark
Signed Sealed & Delivered In presence of
Jeremiah Gilreath     )
Richard Cook            )                       Wrote on the Back

            North Carolina          )
            Wilks County             )           Novber Term. AD 1812
                                               
The within Deed was duly proven in open Court by the oath of Richard Cook in order to be Registered.

                                                                        Test. R Martin Clk.”


Source: Wilkes County, North Carolina, Deeds, 1768-1964, G: 437, indenture, Joshua Davis to 
Thomas Cook, dated 22 Sep 1812, recorded Nov Term 1812; FHL microfilm 20,135.


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Mattie Lee McBride Spurlock


Mattie Lee McBride Spurlock was my father's first wife and my sister Jane's mother. She died 4 December 1952 in El Monte, Los Angeles County, California.

Undated obituary for Mrs. Mattie Lee McBride Spurlock
from unknown newspaper,
Spurlock, Mamie Olive (Martindale), Scrapbook, ca 1950-1970;
privately held by Cheryl Anne (Chaney) Beaver, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,]
 Lone Grove, Oklahoma. 2010. Photocopy in possession of Denise Spurlock.

“MRS. MATTIE LEE McBRIDE SPURLOCK, of El Monte, Calif, died there Thursday. Survivors: Husband, J. J. Spurlock; daughter, Miss Gloria Jane Spurlock; mother, Mrs Otis McBride, all of El Monte, Calif; sisters, Miss Marie McBride, Mrs Essley Wheeler, Mrs Johnnie Crawford; brothers, Chester, Ocie, Eddie, Elbert and Albert McBride, all of Houston. Chapel services 2:30 PM Monday, the Rev J. H. Freland, the Rev Van Vleck. Burial, Rosewood Park Cemetery. Pallbearers: E. D. Barnes, Frank A. and J. W. Azzarello, T. E. and H. Boehmert, L. W. Hodson. Fogle-West Service.”


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Surname Saturday - Ancestor #16 - Ransom Spurlock


One of my goals for 2012 is to use the Surname Saturday blogging prompt as a way to assure that I spend some time researching each of my family lines and that I have appropriate source citations for the genealogical facts related to my ancestors. I’ve decided to use my ahnentafel report and work back through the generations starting with my grandparents, writing a summary of each ancestor. If you discovered this post through a search engine and find one of your ancestors listed here, please leave a comment to let me know.

My paternal 2nd great-grandfather Ransom Spurlock was born 25 October 1807, in Washington County, Georgia.[1] His parents are unknown.

Ransom married Ellender Vickers on 20 April 1836 in Barbour County, Alabama.[2] They had ten children:
  • Frances Elizabeth (1837-1932)[3]
  • William Green (1838-1862)[4]
  • Sarah Frances (1839-1931)[5],[6]
  • Marcus D. Lafayette Spurlock (1842-1922)[7]
  • George Marion (1844-1880)[8]
  • Mary Ann (1846-1888)[9]
  • Elizabeth Rebecca (1848-before 1900)[10],[11]
  • John Fedrick (1850-1945)[12] – my great-grandfather
  • James Joshua (1853-1889)[13],[14]
  • Jasper Newton (1856-1858)[15]


I have been unable to locate any records of Ransom prior to adulthood.

He first appears in a transcription of the 1833 Alabama state census.[16] He is next found  as a private in the 42nd Alabama militia during the Creek Indian wars of 1836-1837.[17]

He first appears on a U.S. federal census in Hinds County, Mississippi, in 1840.[18] He appears on Mississippi state censuses in 1841[19] and 1845.[20] On the 1845 tax list for Hinds County, he is noted as being “not found.”[21]

In 1850, he is enumerated in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.[22] Although the 1860 census for Bienville Parish is lost, he was likely still there as he was not enumerated in Claiborne Parish where he appears in 1870.[23] In 1881, he received the patent to his  homestead in Claiborne Parish.[24]

Ransom died 2 October 1896 and is buried at Hurricane Cemetery in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.[25] When I visited the cemetery in 1999, the original grave marker was broken; my cousin Ernie Spurlock had a new marker made to replace it.

I have accumulated many records and documents related to Ransom’s life, including military and pension records, various deeds, and his homestead file. My brick wall is his parents. It has been hypothesized that he is a son of John Spurlock and Sallie Avent and some evidence is available to support that conclusion. One of my male Spurlock cousins has had his DNA tested and has submitted the results to the Spurlock DNA project. However, I have not yet analyzed all the available evidence to reach my own conclusion. This is one of my goals for this year, but it seems a daunting task.

I need to start tracking down some of the Spurlock descendants who still live in Claiborne Parish to see if anyone has copies of documents that I have not been able to find (such as Ransom and Ellender’s marriage certificate or perhaps a family Bible). It would also be great if someone has photos of the old home place and perhaps of Ransom himself!




[1] Ransom Spurlock, Indian Wars Pension Application No. 445, Declaration of Survivor, dated 12 Aug 1892; National Archives, Washington.
[2] Ibid. [No marriage record was found in Barbour County, Alabama.]
[3] Mt. Zion (Driskill) Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery (Bienville Parish, Louisiana), Francis Miller marker, personally read and photographed, 2009.
[4] William G. Spurlock; War Department Collection of Confederate Records; Record Group 109; digital images, "Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Louisiana," Footnote (www.footnote.com : accessed 17 May 2011).
[5] 1850 U.S. census, population schedule, Western District, Bienville, Louisiana, p. 287B, dwelling 553, family 553, household of Ramsun Spurlock; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Feb 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 230.
[6] Mt. Zion (Driskill) Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery (Bienville Parish, Louisiana; 2009), Sallie Duncan marker, personally read and photographed, 2009.
[7] findagrave.com, digital images (www.findagrave.com : accessed 27 Apr 2012), Marcus DeLafayette Spurlock, Memorial #15472736, created by Foster L. Spurlock, 23 August 2006.
[8] Lilac Cemetery (Milam, Texas), G. M. Spurlock marker, personally read and photographed, 2010.
[9] findagrave.com, digital images (www.findagrave.com : accessed 27 Apr 2012), Mary Ann Spurlock Kilpatrick, Memorial #15474030, created by Foster L. Spurlock, 23 August 2006.
[10] 1850 U.S. census, pop. sch., Western District, Bienville, Louisiana, p. 287B, dwell. 553, fam. 553, household of Ramsun Spurlock.
[11] 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Police Jury Ward 6, Claiborne, Louisiana, enumeration district (ED) 22, p. 4A, dwelling 57, family 57, household of Ellendor Spurlock; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Feb 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 562.
[12] Louisiana State Department of Health, death certificate 519 68 (1945), John Fred Spurlock; Louisiana State Archives, Baton Rouge.
[13] 1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Ward 5, Claiborne, Louisiana, p. 149B, dwelling 73, household of R. Spurlock (continued from previous page); digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Feb 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 510.
[14] "Volentine school house Dots.," Homer Guardian, 25 Jan 1889, p. 2, col. 4; digital images, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov : accessed 17 Feb 2012).
[15] Spurlock Family Association, database, family group sheet dated 23 Jul 1996.
[16] Foley, Helen S, 1833 State Census for Barbour County, Alabama (Greenville, SC; Southern Historical Press; reprinted 1992), page 21.
[17] Compiled service record, muster rolls dated 20 September 1836 and 26 June 1837; Indian Wars; National Archives, Washington.
[18] 1840 U.S. census, Hinds, Mississippi, p. 206, line 29, household of Ransum Spurlock; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Feb 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M704, roll 214.
[19] "Mississippi Census, 1805-90," online database, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Feb 2010), entry for Ransum Spurlock; MS 1841 State Census Index.
[20] "Mississippi Census, 1805-90," online database, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Feb 2010), entry for Ransum Spurlock; MS 1845 State Census Index.
[21] Hinds County, Mississippi, United States, "Hinds County Assessment Roll 1843," image 168, R. Spurlock; digital images, FamilySearch(www.familysearch.org : accessed 21 Sep 2011); citing Mississippi State Archives, Hinds County tax rolls, 1842-1846, Box 10333.
[22] 1850 U.S. census, pop. sch., Western District, Bienville, Louisiana, p. 287B, dwell. 553, fam. 553, household of Ramsun Spurlock.
[23] 1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Ward 5, Claiborne, Louisiana, p. 149A, dwelling 73, household of R. Spurlock; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Feb 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 510.
[24] Accession No. LA0800_.381, Homestead Certificate No. 409, Ransom Spurlock, 1 Nov 1881, Natchitoches, Louisiana, General Land Office; Records of the Bureau of Land Management; digital images, U. S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records (www.glorecords.blm.gov : accessed 7 Oct 2011).
[25] Hurricane Cemetery (Claiborne Parish, Louisiana), Ransom Spurlock marker.


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Mama with a few descendants

Digital image.

Beaulah Belle Yawman Spurlock with
grandson Ron, great-granddaughters Christen and Rachel,
and daughter Jennifer
c1999


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Monday, April 23, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - 1797 Indenture - Thomas Cook to John Marlow


On his TransylvanianDutch blog, John Newmark defines an amanuensis as “a person employed to write out what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.” For more information about this daily blogging prompt, see John’s post Amanuensis – Why?.

I have amassed quite a collection of scans of handwritten documents related to my ancestors—primarily marriage records, deeds, and wills. As I have been transcribing these documents, it occurred to me that most of these documents were not actually written by my ancestors, but rather dictated to someone else, and then transcribed by a clerk into official records.

This week I have transcribed a 1797 deed in which Thomas Cook, my maternal 4th great-grandfather, sold 50 acres of land in Wilkes County, North Carolina, to John Marlow, whom I believe was one of his sons-in-law. As you can see in the image below, this document contained numerous ink smears and bleed-through of writing on the back of the original, making it especially difficult to read.

“This Indenture made this first Day of February One thousand seven hundred and Ninety seven Between Thomas Cook of the County of Wilkes & state of North Carolina of the one part and John Marlow of the County and State aforesaid of the other part witnesseth that for & in Consideration of the sum of Nine pounds to him in hand paid by the said John Marlow the Receipt whereof he the said Thomas Cook doth hereby Acknowledge & himself therewith fully Satisfied & paid hath Given Granted Bargained & Sold and by these [--?--] Presents do Give Grant Bargain & Sell unto John Marlow his heirs and Assiggns a Certain tract or parcel of land Containing fifty Acres more or Less lying & being in the County aforesaid on the Brushy Mountain [--?--] & sold by the shiriff to Thos Cook beginning at a Chesnut standing [unreadable] a [unreadable] of Rocks in the Iredale line running to Northwest by [--?--] to Thos Cooks Spring Branch then Down the branch to the Creek[?] then running so as to include the above Mentioned fifty Acres with the improvement Together and Every Right Title Proveledge the the said Thomas Cook [ink smear] [hi]mself his heirs Executors & Administrators well [ink smear] Warrant & forever Defend the aforesaid [unreadable, ink smear] all [ap]purtenances thereunto Belonging to him to [ink smear] Marlow his heirs & Assigns free & Clear from all incumbr[ance] [ink smear] whatsoever in Witness whereof he the said Thomas Cook hath Hereunto set his hand and seal
Signed sealed & Delivered                            Thomas Cook {seal}
in presence of
James Fletcher Jurat
Hiram [unreadable]              (made [ink smear]  Back as follows)

North Carolina          }
Wilkes County           }           January Term 1797
The within Deed was Duly proven in open Court by the Oath of James Fletcher Esqur and ordered to be Registered
                                                            Test Wm. B Lenoir C,,C”

Source: Wilkes County, North Carolina, Deeds, 1768-1964, D: 105,
 Indenture, Thomas Cook to John Marlow, 1 Feb 1797; FHL microfilm 20,133.


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Richard Albert Thompson

Richard Albert Thompson was the husband of my paternal grand-aunt Maude Alberti Martindale Thompson; he died 12 September 1955.

Undated obituary for Richard Albert Thompson from unknown newspaper,
Spurlock, Mamie Olive (Martindale), Scrapbook, ca 1950-1970;
 privately held by Cheryl Anne (Chaney) Beaver, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,]
 Lone Grove, Oklahoma. 2010. Photocopy in possession of Denise Spurlock.


"THOMPSON, RICHARD ALBERT, 6718 Virginia, Mon., Sept. 12, 1955, beloved husband of Maude A. Thompson (nee Martindale), dear father of Mrs. Mrs. Verna Kohlberg, Ivan, Edwin, Guy and the late Maymie Wilson and Robert M. Thompson, dear brother, brother-in-law, father-in-law, grandfather, great-grandfather, and uncle.
Funeral from HOFFMEISTER Chapel, 7814 S. Broadway, Fri., 10 a.m. Interment Hopewell, Mo. Member of Mellow Methodist Church and Good Hope Lodge No. 218, A.F.&A.M. Masonic services Thurs. 8 p.m."


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Mama and Aunt Eva

Digital image.
Beaulah Belle Yawman Spurlock with
Eunice Evangeline Yawman Waddell
probably about 1990

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Arthur Bryant (Otto) Spurlock

Arthur Bryant Spurlock was my uncle. I don't know why they called him "Otto." My sister Jane called him Uncle Toe. He died 21 October 1951 in Houston, Harris County, Texas.

Undated obituary for Arthur Bryant (Otto) Spurlock from unknown newspaper,
Spurlock, Mamie Olive (Martindale), Scrapbook, ca 1950-1970;
privately held by Cheryl Anne (Chaney) Beaver, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,]
 Lone Grove, Oklahoma. 2010. Photocopy in possession of Denise Spurlock.  

“ARTHUR BRYANT (OTTO) SPURLOCK, 41, 129 Harbor Blvd., died Sunday in a Houston hospital. Native Jacksonville, came to Houston with mother at age 7. Sheet metal worker. Survivors: Mother, Mrs. Mamie Spurlock, Houston; sister, Mrs. W. L. Magee, Houston; brothers, W. T. Spurlock, Houston, J. J. Spurlock, Los Angeles, Calif; several nieces, nephews. Services 10 AM Tuesday, drawing room, Settegast-Kopf Home, the Rev A. Grady Hallonquist. Burial, Forest Park Cemetery. Pallbearers: James H., Walter L. Jr, Jonathan Magee, Lawrence E. Hodson, Robert A. Martindale, John Mitchell. Settegast-Kopf Company.”


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Not Living in a Box Car!


My oldest sister Jane told me once that, before she started attending school, she lived with Daddy and her mother in a box car. But, according to the newly-released census, they weren’t living in a box car when the 1940 census enumerator came to visit! They were living with Gram at 129 Harbor in Houston, Harris County, Texas. Here’s the page:

1940 U.S. census, Harris County, Texas, population schedule, Houston, Enumeration
District (ED) 258-38, household 44, Mamie Spurlock; digital images, Ancestry.com 
(www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 April 2012); citing National Archives and Records
Administration publication T627.

This is the first time my grandmother was listed as being divorced. My grandfather left her sometime in 1912. She was listed as being widowed on both the 1920 and 1930 censuses. My grandfather was listed as being married to another woman in the 1930 census, although I have yet to find a marriage record. Hmmm…

In 1940, all of my grandmother’s sons were living with her. Neither Uncle Bill nor Uncle Toe (Arthur B.) had married yet. Daddy was living there with Mattie Lee, his wife of about 5 years, and my sister Jane who was almost 4 years old. Aunt Dot had married in the early 1920s and I have not yet located her on the 1940 census.

Daddy was SMART (yes, all capital letters!), but I had always thought he never finished high school. According to the census, he had attended four years of high school, as had his mother and two older brothers. Attending four years doesn’t necessarily mean he graduated, but I think I will start researching school records to see what I can find.

The household employment situation was good. All three men had been employed for 48 or more weeks in 1939 and worked 40 or more hours in the week prior to the census date of April 1. All were engaged in private work. At $1,200, my father’s wages as a machine operator for a railroad company were the highest of the three. But Uncle Bill’s wages were nearly that and Uncle Toe earned $720 which I believe was on the low side of average. My uncles both worked for a sheet metal manufacturing company. Now I understand how Daddy became a sheet metal worker.

Since the census shows that Daddy and his wife lived in the “Same Place” in 1935 as opposed to the “Same House,” it appears that he was not living with Gram when he got married. Maybe he and Mattie Lee lived in a box car then! I don’t doubt that what Jane told me is true—I previously posted a picture of her in a railyard—I just don’t know when they lived there!


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Mama at Disney World

Digital image. Original in possession of Jennifer Spurlock,
[ADDRESS WITHHELD FOR PRIVACY], McKinney, Texas, 2011.

Mama (Beaulah Belle Yawman Spurlock) 
having a good time at Disney World
with my sister Deanna circa 1997


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Monday, April 9, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Land Grant to Samuel Martindale 1799

On his TransylvanianDutch blog, John Newmark defines an amanuensis as “a person employed to write out what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.” For more information about this daily blogging prompt, see John’s post Amanuensis – Why?.

I have amassed quite a collection of scans of handwritten documents related to my ancestors—primarily marriage records, deeds, and wills. As I have been transcribing these documents, it occurred to me that most of these documents were not actually written by my ancestors, but rather dictated to someone else, and then transcribed by a clerk into official records.

Last week I transcribed a grant to William Martindell and explained my working hypothesis that William Martindell/Martindale might be the father of my paternal 2nd great-grandfather Howell Brewer Martindale. This week I have transcribed a land grant from the State of North Carolina to Samuel Martindale in 1799. I believe that Samuel Martindale may be the father of William; or, although I don’t think it’s likely, he could be the father of Howell. I have not been successful in finding much information about these Martindales who lived in Moore County, North Carolina, but I continue to searching for enough evidence to either prove, or disprove, my hypothesis.

“Book 102. State of North Carolina.

No. 1199. Know Ye that We have granted unto Samuel Martindale One hundred Acres of Land in Moore County on the North of Deep river Beginning at a post oak by a pine and post oak pointers on his own line of 200 Acres running thence West as his own line sixteen Chains and seventy links to a stake by a hiccory and a red oak saplin thence South as his other line six chains and fifteen links to a stake by a pine and a post oak in Lawlers line of the trap track, thence as the line of it South forty five East eighteen Chains and eighty links to a stake by two post oaks and a dogwood Lawlers third Corner of 150 Acres, thence South twenty five twenty seven Chains, thence North thirty Chains thence North seventy West twelve chains, thence South thirty nine West five Chains, thence North seventy two West five Chains, thence North fourteen Chains, thence direct to the Beginning To Hold to the said Samuel Martindale his heirs and assigns for ever dated the 7th of June 1799.

Will. White Secretary                                    W.R.Davie”

Source: Moore County, North Carolina, Record of Grants, Volume 1, page 293,
State of North Carolina to Samuel Martindale, entered 7 June 1799;
Family History Library microfilm 546530.


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Margaret (Porter) Douglass

Sarah Margaret (Porter) Douglass, my first cousin twice removed, died 23 December 1974 in Sidney, Richland County, Montana.

 “Douglass

SIDNEY — Margaret Douglass, 90, of Sidney, died Sunday in the Community Memorial Hospital.

She was born March 16, 1884, in Todd County, Minn., a daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Cornelius Porter.

In 1906 she moved to Montana and homesteaded on Gossett Flats. She was married to Stephen Douglass Feb. 2, 1908, in Glendive. They ranched east of the Yellowstone River until 1924 when they worked for Holly Sugar Co. until 1945. In 1948 they moved to Crane where she worked as a post mistress until 1951 when they moved to Sidney.

She was a member of Lonsdale United Methodist Church, a charter member of Royal Neighbors, a charter member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and a charter member of Senior Citizens.

Survivors include a son, Charles Douglass of Helena; a daughter Mrs. Shirley Obergfell, of Sidney; a brother, Robert Porter of Glendive; a sister Nellie Powers of Columbus; 15 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday in Lonsdale United Methodist Church, the Rev. Howard Hunter officiating. Burial will be in the Sidney Cemetery. Fulkerson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.”


[SOURCE: "Douglass," Billings Gazette, 24 Dec 1974, p. 10, col. 7; digital images, AccessNewspaperArchive (access by subscription : accessed 6 Oct 2011).]

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I Found Mama in the 1940 Census (and Grandma and Grandpa!)


I had done my homework so I knew my mother’s address in 1940: 3526 Farago, El Monte, Los Angeles County, California. I had figured out that was in Enumeration District 19-156, so once the 1940 census images became available on Ancestry.com, I knew just where to go! It didn’t take long to find her on Sheet 16A, along with her first husband, Archie Sherrell, and two of my older siblings, Deanna and Arnold (Arny):

Source: 1940 U.S. Census, Los Angeles County, California, population schedule,
El Monte Judicial Township, Enumeration District 19-156, Sheet 16A,
household number 361, Archie Sherrell; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com :
accessed 3 April 2012); citing NARA microfilm number T627.

I knew that my Aunt Jean lived next door to Mama at that time and she and her family were enumerated beginning on the previous page.

Since this was the first census on which my brother appeared, I emailed him a copy of the page. He remembers the house and living next door to Aunt Jean and her children.

Mama had told me that she and Archie were married in 1935 in Kansas City, Missouri, so I expected that, in all likelihood, they were living there, and I was right. However, their marriage license was issued in Johnson County, Missouri, and that had puzzled me. I think I found the answer to that question. Archie’s mother, Lola Carson, was living with them in 1940, and in 1935, she was living in Johnson County, Missouri!

Things must have been pretty tight financially. According to the census, Archie was a laborer in construction but had been unemployed for 52 weeks. Having two young children, Mama didn’t work. Lola had been a cook on a ranch, but had been unemployed for 36 weeks. Their total combined income in 1939 was less than $700!

I also had my Yawman grandparents’ address: 3304 Freer in El Monte. I wasn’t sure which Enumeration District that would be in, but had narrowed down to the same as my mother and one other. So after I found Mama, I just kept going through the pages. Two pages later, I found my grandparents on Sheet 17A:

Source: 1940 U.S. Census, Los Angeles County, California, population schedule,
El Monte Judicial Township, Enumeration District 19-156, Sheet 17A,
household number 387, William Yawman; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com :
accessed 3 April 2012); citing NARA microfilm number T627.

Grandpa Yawman was enumerated on line 14 so the supplementary questions were answered. But there was nothing there that I didn’t already know!



© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Surname Saturday - Ancestor #15 - Ruth Franklin

One of my goals for 2012 is to use the Surname Saturday blogging prompt as a way to assure that I spend some time researching each of my family lines and that I have appropriate source citations for the genealogical facts related to my ancestors. I’ve decided to use my ahnentafel report and work back through the generations starting with my grandparents, writing a summary of each ancestor. If you discovered this post through a search engine and find one of your ancestors listed here, please leave a comment to let me know.

My maternal great-grandmother Ruth FRANKLIN was born 12 March 1851 in Ohio.[1] She was the firstborn child of Joseph and Rhoda (CARY) FRANKLIN.[2]

Ruth grew into adulthood in Union County, Ohio,[3] and married David SNIDER on 5 January 1871.[4] The 1900 census record indicates she was the mother of 10 children:[5]
  • Lawrence W. (1871-?)[6]
  • Omer Roy (1873-before 1900)[7]
  • Ottous Adelbert (1876-1942)[8]
  • Myrtle Arminta (1878-1958)[9] – my grandmother
  • Byron Lee (1880-1969)[10]
  • Wilbur Grey (1884-1954)
  • Ernest A. (1886-1978)[11]
  • Nettie (1888-?)
  • William L. (1890-?)
  • Lester Evan (1893-1969)[12]

At some point after the 1880 census,[13] David and Ruth moved with their family to the southeastern area of Kansas.

Ruth died on 28 August 1914 and is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Parsons, Labette County, Kansas.[14]

All I know about Ruth is what I have been able to glean from records. She was my mother’s grandmother, but she died before my mother was born, so Mama never knew her. As I continue to do descendancy research on this family, I hope that I will be able to learn more about her. It would be wonderful if I could find a distant cousin who has a photograph of her!




[1] Labette County, Kansas, death certificate no. illegible (1914), Ruth Snider; Kansas Board of Health.
[2] 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Leesburg Township, Union County, Ohio, p. 28, dwelling 421, family 397, Joseph Franklin; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Feb 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 1044.
[3] 1870 U.S. census, population schedule, Taylor Township, Union County, Ohio, p. 1, dwelling 4, family 4, Joseph Franklin; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 Feb 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 1274.
[4] Union County, Ohio, marriage certificate no. 4852 (1871), Snider-Franklin; Union County Courthouse, Marysville.
[5] 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Lincoln, Neosho County, Kansas, Enumeration District (ED) 155, sheet 1A, dwelling 3, family 3, David A. Snyder; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 April 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 493.
[6] "Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1800-1962," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Feb 2012), entry for Lawrence W. Snider; citing Family History Library film number 1015856.
[7] "Ohio, Births and Christenings Index, 1800-1962," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 Feb 2012), entry for Omer Roy Snider; citing Family History Library film number 1015856.
[8] State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics, "California Death Index, 1940-1997," online database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Mar 2012), entry for Ottous A. Snider, died 9 Sep 1942.
[9] Washington State Department of Health, death certificate 10617 (1958), Myrtle A. Yawman; Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics, Olympia.
[10] findagrave.com, digital images (www.findagrave.com : accessed 27 Mar 2012), Find A Grave Memorial #28399745, Lee B. Snider, created by TiogaRose, 19 July 2008.
[11] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Dec 2009), entry for Ernest Snider, 1978, SS no. 338-12-2201.
[12] Social Security Administration, "Social Security Death Index," database, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 Dec 2009), entry for Lester Snyder, 1969, SS no. 513-14-3782.
[13] 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Leesburg, Union County, Ohio, enumeration district (ED) 81, p. 181A, dwelling (unreadable), family (unreadable), David A. Snider; digital images, Ancestry (www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Feb 2012); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 1073.
[14] Labette County, Kansas, death certificate no. illegible (1914), Ruth Snider.


© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Mama and her cast iron skillet

Digital image.

Beaulah Belle Yawman Spurlock
about 1978
(She loved her cast iron skillets!)

© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Monday, April 2, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Land Grant - William Martindell 1817


On his TransylvanianDutch blog, John Newmark defines an amanuensis as “a person employed to write out what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.” For more information about this daily blogging prompt, see John’s post Amanuensis – Why?.

I have amassed quite a collection of scans of handwritten documents related to my ancestors—primarily marriage records, deeds, and wills. As I have been transcribing these documents, it occurred to me that most of these documents were not actually written by my ancestors, but rather dictated to someone else, and then transcribed by a clerk into official records.

Although I do not yet have enough evidence to prove the relationship, my hypothesis is that William Martindell/Martindale (born about 1780 and died after 1860) was the father of my paternal 2nd great-grandfather Howell Brewer Martindale (born 1814 in Moore County, NC, died about 1866 in Arkansas) and that William’s wife was probably a Brewer. Only two Martindale men are enumerated in the 1820 Moore County, North Carolina, census that could be the father of Howell: Samuel Martindale and William Martindale. Samuel is considerably older than William and may be his father. The following land grant to William Martindell mentions Mycajah (Micajah) Brewer as an adjacent landowner; it is not uncommon for collateral families to be close neighbors.

Determining the parents of Howell Brewer Martindale is one of my goals this year, but it’s going to be tough!


“Book 134. State of North Carolina.

No. 2447. Know ye that we have granted unto William Martindell one hundred acres of land in Moore County; on the East side of fall Creek; Beginning at a stake in a rut between a pine post & red Oak Mycajah Brewers corner running thence as Brewers line North thirty East twenty chains to his corner, thence as his other line East forty one chains to his other corner thence North fifteen chains, thence South twenty eight East twenty one chains and seventy links Parsons second corner of two hundred acres thence as Parsons second line West twenty five chains to his third corner, thence as his third line South sixty three chains and twenty five links to the corner, thence North twelve and a half West fifty one chains to a pine Wills's corner thence as Wills's line to the Beginning. Entered 18th.February 1817. To Hold to the said William Martindell his heirs and assigns forever. Dated the 22d. day of December 1819.

Wm. Hil Secretary                                         Jno. Branch”

Source: Moore County, North Carolina, Record of Grants, Volume 2, page 705,
State of North Carolina to William Martindell, entered 18 February 1817;
 Family History Library microfilm 546530.



© 2012 Denise Spurlock

You may have heard...


the 1940 US Census was released this morning!
Woo hoo!

Because there is no name index, only images, I am restricting my searches to the following family members:
  • Great-grandfather John F. Spurlock (Jonesboro, Jackson Parish, LA, probably in Enumeration District (ED) 25-5)
  • Grandfather Jasper J. Spurlock (Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, CA, probably in ED 60-999)
  • Grandmother Mamie Spurlock (Houston, Harris County, TX, probably in ED 258-37 or 258-38)
  • Grandparents William and Myrtle Yawman (El Monte, Los Angeles County, CA, probably ED 19-387)
  • Father Jasper J. Spurlock (likely enumerated with Mamie Spurlock)
  • Mother Beaulah Sherrell (El Monte, Los Angeles County, CA, probably ED 19-156)

What will be really exciting is to see my three oldest siblings enumerated on the census—Jane, Deanna and Arny!

EVERYONE is looking for their ancestors and the sites that have the images are struggling to keep up with the demand. The only images I’ve been able to see have been for Delaware; here’s what the census pages look like:




I’ll keep you posted on my progress!




© 2012 Denise Spurlock

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Ellison Snider

Ellison Snider, my first cousin twice removed, died 18 December 1963 in Marysville, Union County, Ohio.


“Ellison Snider
Found Dead At
Home Thursday

Ellison Snider, 75, 118 E. Eighth St., died sometime in the night Wednesday.

Marysville police discovered the body about 10:30 a.m. Thursday when they were called by neighbors who feared something was wrong when they saw no activity about the house. He lived alone and was the last member of his family.

A retired employee of the former Davis Chair Factory, he was born June 27, 1888, in Union County to Joseph and Melissa (Blue) Snider.

He was a member of the First Methodist Church, a veteran of World War I, a member of the American Legion, and the Disabled American Veterans.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Faulkner Funeral Home with the Rev. Paul Tropf officiating. Burial will be in Oakdale Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home any time.”


[SOURCE: "Ellison Snider Found Dead At Home Thursday," The Marysville Journal-Tribute, 19 Dec 1963, p. 2, col. 5; digital images, Genealogy Bank (www.genealogybank.com : accessed 4 Jul 2010).]



© 2012 Denise Spurlock