Researching these surnames; Baker;
Shaw/Oldham; Denby/McMaster; Pollack/Skeen; Jones/Miller; Skidmore/Mossberger; McDaniel/Otts; Dawson/Morrison.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Thomas Bleauford Springs (T.B.S.) Denby

The big Denby stone in Greenfield Cemetery, Greenfield, Missouri

Thomas Bleauford (Bluford) Springs Denby
My paternal 2nd Great Grandfather

His obituary October 4, 1928

T.B.S. Denby ~ Thos. Blueford S Denby was born in Tennessee on May 21, 1846, and departed this life on September 10, 1928 at the home of his daughter. Mrs. Fred Champlin, in Greenfiel, Missouri; aged 82 years, 4 months and 9 days.

On November25, 1868 he was united in marriage with Esther McMasters. To this union nine children were born, five boys and four girls. Two boys with their mother, preceded him in death. Claud of Pearl Missouri, Denzil D. and Mrs. Fred Champlin of Greenfield, Glenn of Prescott, Arizona, Mrs. Maud Stevenson, Mrs. W.L Hannah and Mrs. C.H. Faucett of Los Angeles survive him. Seventeen grandchildren were his.

In the year 1863 he enlisted in the Civil War, 16th Missouri Cavalry, Co. A, under capt. Hayter and served until the close of the war. At the close of the war he settled in Missouri. He served as a county judge and county collector in Greene County, and was U.S. land commissioner in New Mexico for 17 years. 

The declining years of his life were spent in Dade county. He was a memeber of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, and his trust in God was implicit. He came to the end of his life calmly and serenely, and was loved, honored and respected by his large circle of friends. 

Age had dimmed his memory on earthly things, but as the writer of these lines sat by his side he talked clearly of the eternal world. He rested his hand in his Savior's care and was ready.

He belonged to the Oddfellows who feel that a good member has been taken from the. He was a student of the Bible, which was first with him, and a constant reader of history, science and literature. The long life was filled with good deeds of loving kindness, and his citizenship was a rich heritage to posterity.

We extend sympathy to the family, feeling that they have lost a good father and we a good neighbor.
Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Tom Procter and C.J. Allen at the Champlan home on Tuesday and internment was in Greenfied Cemetery under the auspice of the local I.O.O.F.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Esther Missouri McMaster Denby

Esther Missouri McMaster Denby, my paternal 2nd great grandmother 
and the beautiful Denby plot at the Greenfield Cemetery, Greenfield , Missouri.

Her obituary. Reverend C.J. Allen seemed to think a lot of her.
Mrs. T.B.S. Denby ~  Esther McMaster Denby, wife of T.B.S. Denby was born July 2, 1852, At Walnut Grove Missouri, and went to her heavenly home June 10, 1925, after a life spent in loving service to her God and to all with whom she came in contact, being 72 years, 11 months and 8 days of age. She was the mother of nine children, four girls and five boys, two of the boys preceding her to the great beyond, five of those being at her bedside during her last illness. 

Mrs. Denby was conscious until the last, and was surely a "soldier soul", ever thinking of those who cared for her, never mentioning or referring to her own suffering, ever patient and kind to the end. Hers was a life of service to her God, her family, her neighbors and friends. No day passed by that she did not render some kindness to some one. She was converted to Christ and united with the Presbyterian church in her early youth, ever remaining true and faithful, and during her last days hourly repeating beautiful verses of Scripture. Although she suffered intensely, she was quick of thought, ready of expression, sympathetic by nature and fond of companionship. It was hers to be the ideal friend, wife and mother, always cheerful, always brave, always considerate, scattering sunshine and happiness in lives of others, and even now it is hard to think, to say, to believe that she is dead. 

Her loved ones are left with sadness, by with the memory that she was good and true in life and beautiful in death. As the years go by, we may feel and know that her faith must be our faith, her trust our trust, her God our God, and the lesson of death is not sorrow and grief and tears for the dead, but beauty and smiles for the living. Brother and Sister Denby's two sons who were buried near Walnut Grove were brought here and laid to rest beside their mother in Greenfield cemetery. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. C.J. Allen, assisted by Rev. Frazier. The God of all peace strengthen and comfort the hearts of the bereft ones. C.J.Allen 

Her boys Harry and Henry

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday - The power of working in groups

Image from

I belong to a private Facebook group that started out as one thing and has turned into another. It started as a group interested in some commonalities in DNA testing but it has turned into a group of friends. It's a small group of 18 people who are some of the best researchers I know.

Several of the people have blogs, a couple have written books on their family history for family reunions (that is a huge task!) and a couple more are working in that direction. We each have different experience levels and different ways of researching. We are all ages and come from very diverse backgrounds. The common thing among us is our love of genealogy or as some call it family history.

We have solved several mysteries and worked on a couple that have not been solved...yet. Some having to do with our own research and a few that were just something one of us had run across and was curious about... such as a grave marker being sold on Etsy. One of the members posted about the marker pondering if it was ethical to sell and wondered where it come from. We put our virtual heads together using different searching techniques such as looking up the name on, using Google to look for obituaries, funeral homes, and cemeteries in the area. We discovered where the plaque was from. A phone call was made to the funeral home and contact was made with the cemetery. It was discovered that the lady did have another marker. We still wonder about the ethics of selling a funeral home grave marker online!

Another thing a couple of people worked on was a missing persons/identity case that was in the news. The investigator had turned to autosomal DNA testing to try to solve the case but was not using the full power of the science. The investigator was contacted and given help on ways to utilize the information he had. That case is still being worked on.

A few personal family mysteries have been solved by working as a group and I'm sure more will be brought up and worked on. I have a few things I could throw at the group such as; Who is the father of George Washington Baker? That ought to be a fun one to try to figure out! It is such a common name.

The power of working in a group draws on the strengths of individuates working for a common goal. That is very powerful and I value this group of friends very much! You know who you are and thank you for being you, you are golden!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Posey Reed McDaniel

Posey Reed McDaniel my maternal Great Grandfather

Posey Reed McDaniel was born in Young County, Texas on March  31, 1890. He was the first child of Robert Lee McDaniel and Ritte Jane (Otts), who would later give him 8 known brothers and sisters. The 1900 US Census finds him in Justice Precinct 3, Stephens County, Texas with his parents and sisters Ella, Stella, and Nevada. His father is listed as a farmer, they rent their home, and both of his parents can read and write.

On December 29, 1908 he married Dora Isabell Dawson in Clarksville, Red River County, Texas. I have not been able to find them in the 1910 Census. In 1917 his draft registration shows them living in Eldorado, Jackson County, Oklahoma. They are still living there in the 1920 Census and have four children Edith, Sidney, Nicebell, and my Grandma Vera. Posey's occupation is listed as general farming.  On September 30, 1925 they had another daughter, Lena Eudean Evelyn, who was born in Pleasant Hills Oklahoma and died at 18 days old according to family records.

By 1930 the family is living in Armstrong County, Texas and added two more daughters to the family Gertrude, and Georgia. Posey is listed as a cotton farmer which is what my Grandma remembered the family doing as she grew up. In 1937 they were living in Amarillo and he was an auto mechanic according to the city directory.

Sometime between 1937 and 1939 they moved to Grand Junction, Colorado because he shows up there in a city directory in 1939. The 1940 US Census listed them as living in Orchard Mesa, Mesa County, Colorado with only Georgia living at home but Posey's mother Rittie is living with them as well. In 1941 they are listed in the Grand Junction City Directory again. By 1945 they are back in Amarillo, Texas and they are both working at McCartt Supermarket, him as a Porter and Dora as a Baker according to yet another city directory.

In about 1947 they moved to Southern California where they lived for many years before returning to Colorado. Posey Reed McDaniel died on May 27, 1973 and is buried in Fruita Elmwood Cemetery in Appleton, Mesa County, Colorado.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Cave Springs Memorial Church Cemetery

I have a bunch of family buried here.....

Cave Springs Memorial Church Cemetery also known as 
Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church

Listed as a Greene County Missouri Historic 
SiteCounty registration date: Nov. 2, 1981
The Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church, now Cave Springs Community Church and Cemetery, has important connections to the early history of Greene County. Built in 1867, the building marks the site of an earlier log chapel and still earlier brush arbor, where one of the earliest churches in Greene County was organized in October of 1839. The present large two-story white frame structure with a bell tower had long served as a church, a school, and a community meeting place. It is the oldest Presbyterian Church west of the Mississippi.

See that mess of foliage and the surrounding stones? That's where most of them are buried. 

My ancestors buried there (the red are direct line, the burgundy are direct line with links);
Joseph Pollack - b. Oct. 30, 1842 d. Dec. 13, 1905 Adele’s father
Bettie (Martha Elizabeth Skeen) Pollack - b. Oct. 11, 1845 d. Sep. 24, 1923 Adele’s mother

Children of Bettie and Joseph (eight of their eleven known children) ;
Gay (Gabriel) Pollack m - b. Mar. 25, 1867 d. Jan. 23, 1888 
Joseph Pollack  - b. Oct. 17, 1872 d. Oct. 25, 1875
Calvin J Pollack  - b. Sep. 6, 1874 d. Feb. 1, 1955
    Nellie E Darraugh Pollack - b. Nov. 26, 1876 d. Oct. 26, 1936 Calvin J Pollack’s wife
Marvin Pollack  - b. Apr. 22, 1879 d. Aug. 17, 1962
    Virginia Barrow Pollack - b. Sep. 25, 1882 d. Sep. 14, 1979 Marvin Pollack’s wife
        Carl Marvin Pollack - b. Oct. 24, 1916 d. Apr. 18, 1930 Marvin & Virginia’s son
        Roscoe Pollack - b. Nov. 2, 1902 d. Nov. 27, 1918 Marvin & Virginia’s son
Florence Pollack (infant)  - b. Mar. 26, 1880 d. Jul. 12, 1882
Carl Pollack (infant)  - b. Jul. 27, 1884 d. Mar. 18, 1885
Juanita Z McNew Pollack - b. 1879 d. 1921 Wife of Ransom Harris Pollack, his burial place unknown
Helen J Pollack Carden – b. Aug. 24, 1891 d. Jan 4. 1966
    George A. Carden – b. Jan. 31, 1888 d. May 2, 1972 Helen J Pollack’s husband

Hope H Skeen - b. Feb. 16, 1807 d. Aug. 4, 1875 Bettie’s father
Delinda Harris Skeen - b. Aug. 17, 1809 d. Aug. 1, 1882 Bettie’s mother

Bettie (Martha Elizabeth Skeen) Pollack’s sibling;
R. (Ransom) H. (Harris) Skeen - b. May 10, 1835 d. Dec. 4, 1917
    Louisa E McClure Skeen - b. Nov. 4, 1837 d. Sep. 5, 1871
        William H Skeen (infant) - b. Aug. 28, 1871 d. Aug. 28, 1871 
Mary L Ross Skeen - b. Oct. 17, 1842 d. May 30, 1915 Ransom’s 2nd wife

I'm still digging through the names of people buried there and I'm sure I will find more connections.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Claude Denby

Claude Denby my paternal Great Grandfather

Claude Denby was born in Walnut Grove, Missouri on September 3, 1869. The 1870 US Census finds him, he is 8/12 of a year old, along with his parents Thomas Bleauford Spring and Esther Elizabeth (McMaster) Denby.  They were living with Thomas' parents William Author and Anna (Patterson) Denby. They had a full house according to the census, twelve people were listed. By the 1880 US Census Thomas and Esther had their own home in Walnut Grove and Claude had two brothers and two sisters. Over the next fourteen years two more brothers and two more sisters joined the family.

In 1897, at the age of twenty seven, he married Adele Pollack. They went on to have three girls, Esther, Irma and my Grandma Jo. His occupation on the censuses was always listed as "Farmer" until the 1920 census when it changed to "Solicitor, Life Insurance". He must have been more successful at sales than farming because by the 1930 US Census, when he was 60, Claude and Adele had built their own house after a lifetime of being renters. 

 The House that Claude and Esther built. Photo taken in 2011.

Claude died on August 4, 1944 at the age of 74. He is buried in Greenfield Cemetery with his parents.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Adele Pollack Denby

Adele Pollack Denby my paternal Great Grandmother

Adele Pollack Denby was born in Green County Missouri on October 19, 1871. The 1880 US Census finds her living in Cass Township, Greene County, Missouri with her parent Joseph and Martha Elizabeth (Skeen) and her siblings Gabriel, Delinda, Calvin, and Marvin. Also living in the home was her Grandmother Delinda Skeen and a hired hand James Harper. Her baby sister Florence who was born two weeks before the census was not listed.
On June 23, 1897 at the age of 25 she married Claude Denby. Three years later they had their first child Esther Elizabeth and were still living in Cass Township. By the 1910 US Census they had two more girls Irma Marie and my grandmother Jo Helen and are living in Melrose, Curry, New Mexico where Claude's father TBS Denby was a US Commissioner. That accounts for the Denby Ave there which I discovered while researching for Grandma Jo's Tombstone Tuesday post.

By the 1920 US Census they were back in Cass where she remained for the rest of her life. Sometime between 1920 and 1930 they built their own house which still stands today. My Grandma Jo loved that house and said during the hot summers there was always a cool breeze running through it because of they thoughtful way it was built by her parents. Adele was also listed as the post mistress in Cass in 1930.

She died on October 12, 1948 at the age of 76 and is buried at the Cave Springs Memorial Church Cemetery with many, many family members but not her husband who is buried with his parents at the Greenfield Cemetery. There might be another story there...

Edited to add a map of where they are buried in different towns 25 miles apart. Click for map.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Esther Elizabeth Denby Kelso

Esther Elizabeth Denby Kelso my paternal Great Aunt

Aunt Esther was born in Missouri on September 7, 1898. The 1900 US Census finds her living in Cass Township, Greene County, Missouri with her parents Claude and Adele (Pollack). Her younger sisters Irma Marie and Jo Helen were yet to be born. When she was 24 she married Arthur Howard Kelso while they were still living in Missouri. By 1930 they were living in Long Beach, California. Esther and Art never had any children of their own but she dearly loved her nephews and their children. She worked in the grocery industry in the deli department. The people who knew her when she was younger said she was a very outgoing social person. I don't remember her being anything but an old woman crippled by gout and arthritis with a slightly off color sense of humor which horrified my Grandma Jo. They lived together for many years after they were both widowed.

Aunt Esther had a secret that only her closest friends knew about... she kept a big bottle of Port under the sink and after dinner every night she would hit the bottle. It's interesting that my fondest memory of her is talking to things in the house as she was shuffling towards her bed. She would touch the faucet and say "Off", touch each stove knob and say "Off", check the door knobs and say "Locked", and then toddle off to her bedroom to call it a night. If I was there I would follow her, tuck her in and she would give me a big hug and tell me how much she love me. She was such a treasure.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Dora Isabell Dawson McDaniel

Dora Isabell Dawson McDaniel my maternal great grandmother

Great Grandma McDaniel was born on August 20, 1889 in Texas. The 1900 US Census finds her living in Red River, Texas with her parents George William and Julia Francis (Morrison) and her siblings Rodolph, Gussie, Carrie, Fannie, and Vivan. I don't remember much about her, she was a sturdy woman and bigger than her husband Posey. I have a newspaper clipping from their Golden wedding anniversary part of it says "Mrs. McDaniel says the secret to a her happy marriage lies in the fact that she never takes part in an argument. She waits till her husband "cools off" and then states her case. "It works." she says  "We both do pretty well as we please." she adds."  An interesting thing for her to have said back in 1958.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Grandad Casey's belt buckles and a special treat for Karin

 Here are a few of Grandad Casey's belt buckles that I talked about in Tuesday's post. The one on the top was worn for many years. To Grandad it represented the Appaloosa horse breed he loved and raised. The horse on the buckle looks a lot like Ogallala Chief a Grand Champion stallion born into his hands. The other buckles he made himself while they lived in Arizona as snowbirds, Grandma hated the cold Midwest weather. Silver smithing was a hobby he picked up in Quartzsite along with rock hounding and gold mining. If you look closely in Grandma Vera's jewelry box you can see her buckle that matchs the one on the right. I wonder what happened to the belt with his name on it? I will have to ask my mom.

This picture is for my dear friend Karin, I'll let her explain it!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Loyal Edward "Casey" Jones

Loyal Edward "Casey" Jones my maternal Grandad

Grandad Casey was born in Ogallala, Keith County, Nebraska on January 1, 1915. The 1920 US Census finds him in Winter Creek, Scottsbluff, Nebraska with his parents Lewis and Goldie (Skidmore), along with his siblings Arleu and Darline. Grandad was a truck driver, a construction worker, and above all a cowboy to his very soul. He always wore jeans with a sharp crease, a t shirt with a pocket for his cigarettes, the traditional cowboy boots and a belt with a big fancy buckle. If he was "going out" the t shirt was exchanged for a starched western shirt. Driving those trucks served him well, he could back a 35 ft. horse trailer into a single door shop in one smooth motion. Most little girls dreamed of having a pony, I owned one before I was even born. I was his only grandchild, he adored and spoiled me. I adored him right back.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Grandma Jones' Jewelry Box

In addition to a love of dancing Grandma Vera had a fondness for clothing and jewelry. This is one of her jewelry boxes. It's interesting what collects in this type of box. Tucked in the top lining there are sewing needles, a few more are scattered through the compartments along with a plastic bag of buttons and a thimble. A dog's name tag "Bosco", some Mexican coins, a pill box, a souvenir toothpick holder from The School of the Ozarks, jewelry findings and loose stones, a stretchy beaded hat band, and a car key. The jewelry is mostly nicer costume stuff, there are pieces made by my Grandad of turquoise, fire agate, and silver, a few tie tacks she had been safe keeping, two bolo tie slides, four watches, some fancy western shirt collar points, and four belt buckles. I'm so glad I have this box, it still smells like her and her house. When I am missing her I can open it up and take a deep breath and remember.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Vera Sybal McDaniel Jones

 Vera Sybal McDaniel Jones my maternal Grandmother
Her death date was not yet engraved on the stone when this photo was taken
 and is October 20, 2007

Vera Sybal McDaniel was born in Eldorado, Jackson, Oklahoma on December 4, 1918. The 1920 US Census finds her still living there with her parent Posey Reed and Dora Isabell (Dawson) along with her siblings Edith, Sidney, and Nicebell. Grandma Vera came from humble beginnings, her family did cotton farming in Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado. She had many stories of them picking the fields. She was a small feisty woman, in her younger days she road a motorcycle, and drove a long haul truck. She had a life long love of dancing. She met my Grandad when he came into a coffee shop where she was a waitress and after a few meetings he asked her to a dance. I spent a lot of time with these grandparents, there are many more stories to tell!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Grandpa Baker's coffee biggin and cup

This is Grandpa Baker's French enamelware coffee biggin and his demitasse cup. Grandma Jo told me that he enjoyed making and drinking his morning coffee with this set up. Grandma was a perked coffee kind of gal and there was always a pot on the stove.

The thing that I find funny about this is Grandpa Baker was a big man, 6'4" and probably over 250 lbs. I don't have many memories of him but I do remember him being BIG! It makes me chuckle to think about his large hands holding that tiny cup. He also always had a pet parakeet or love bird. So there seems to have been a delicate side to this rough and tumble law man.

As you can see I'm still running behind this week on these posts, bear with me while I get the hang of this!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Roy Henry Baker

Roy Henry Baker my paternal Grandfather

Grandpa Baker was born in Springfield, Missouri on July 5, 1888. The 1900 Census finds him living with his parent John D Baker and Virginia (Jennie) Shaw Baker in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri. Also in the household are Roy's siblings Harry E, Edith M, and Ella B. Grandpa Baker was in law enforcement for a large part of his life and also worked in the oil industry. Grandma Jo used to tell the story of how they met, he pulled her over and gave her a speeding ticket. Tall tales abound in this branch of the family tree, some of them are actually true. The story that he was a Texas Ranger is one of the those, my sister has his badges and I was able to acquire his oath of service. I'm glad we were able to prove that story, I will continue to work on the rest of them!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday - Grandma Jo Baker's sugar bowl

This is one of Grandma Jo Helen Baker's treasures, it tells a story about her. It says that she loved beautiful things and had a very feminine streak under that farm woman exterior. When I was a small girl she worked in a neighborhood thrift store. I imagine looking at the broken and repaired lid that it might have come from that shop. Someone had discarded it and Grandma still saw beauty in it so it came home with her. Grandma and Grandpa didn't have much money, many of the things they owned were rescued cast offs from others. This is a trait she passed on to me.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Jo Helen Denby Baker

Jo Helen Denby Baker my paternal Grandmother
Grandma Jo was born in Missouri on May 12, 1906. The 1910 US Census finds her in Melrose, Curry, New Mexico with her parents Claude and Adele (Pollack) along with her two older sisters Esther and Erma (Irma). Melrose's claim to fame is having William Hanna of Hanna-Barbera Productions born there. William Hanna was also my Grandma's maternal first cousin, she was very proud of his success. While writing this I Googled Melrose and found it is a "village losing population due to rural exodus". I also learned it is on Highway 84 which is also Denby Ave, this will require more research!