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Sentimental Sunday: Roberts Genealogy in an Address Book

Page from an address book of Edith Roberts (McMurray) Luck, with genealogical information of family and friends.
Page from an address book of Edith (Roberts) (McMurray) Luck, with genealogical information of family and friends.

Sometimes the small ephemera left by a person can be so personal that it makes me sentimental about them and the sweet times we had together. Seeing the handwriting, seeing who is important in her life, and just noting that this was information that she thought was important enough to pass on, touches my heart. Edith (Roberts) (McMurray) Luck is a big part of why I love family history so much, so this find made me very sentimental about the times she talked about her family, and drove us all over the county to visit her cousins and elderly relatives. There was only one of the new-fangled copiers in town, and family members would not allow us to take their treasures, so my sister and I copied obituaries, letters, etc., by hand, using a purple Flair pen (the coolest thing to come out of the 60s). There are precious documents that were shared that hot Iowa summer, items that would have been lost forever had we not transcribed them in the 1960s.

Here is a transcription and some details about the persons she listed:

Grandpa Daniels  [Robert Woodson Daniels- Edith’s maternal grandfather] March 21-1862

enlisted Rocklimogen W. Vir

5’8″

Light complexion- Light hair   Grey eyes

discharged fm USA [United States Army] March 25-1865

was 23 years

Born May 26-1843

Died June 20-1922  79 years

 

Grandma Daniels [Margaret Ann Hemphill Daniels- Edith’s maternal grandmother]

Marg A.

Born Sept 25- 1839

died Dec 19- 1915   76 years

 

George Roberts [George Anthony Roberts, Edith’s father]

Born Nov 18 -1861        78 years

died April 18 -1939          5 months

0 days

 

Ella V. Daniels [Ella Viola (Daniels) Roberts, Edith’s beloved mother]

Born Oct 29 1866        55 yrs- 3 mo- 18 days

Died Jan 17 1922        56 yrs.

 

Georgie Roberts [Edith’s brother, George Anthony Roberts, Jr.]  June 30 1965 [death date]    76 [years]   -1889 [birth year]

 

Ethel Robison  [Edith’s sister, Ethel Gay Roberts, married to Bert Robison]  Jan 28 1969 [death date]  78 [years]  1891 [birth year]

 

Winnie Carson [Edith’s first cousin- Winnie Viola Walker was the daughter of Lily G. (Daniels) Walker, Edith’s mother’s sister, and married Archibald Carson (1892-1982)]   June 1997 [June 1897 was when Winnie was born- an error in Edith’s notes]

 

Hilma Stines  [Edith’s first cousin and sister of Winnie Viola Walker, both daughters of Lily G. (Daniels) Walker, Edith’s mother’s sister; married Ruben M. Stines.] Ap. 1900 [birth date either April 1900 or approximately 1900; census calculation indicates about 1902 for birth.]

 

Mrs. Annie Hunniball   [Eliza Ann Fletcher, a close friend and neighbor of Edith as an adult. Annie was born 18 Dec 1880 in Timworth, Suffolk, England, and married Albert John Hunniball (1877-1965); they never had children. As a young woman, Annie worked in one of the palaces of the British Queen.] Died 7.45 PM.

1971  Tues Jan 26- Buried

Thurs Jan 28

 

As I was typing out these names and dates, I thought it somewhat ironic that Edith would have used a page from her address book that had a place for a phone number, since telephones were unknown when some of these persons were born. But then, maybe it was not so ironic, since the lifetimes of these folks spanned a simpler time, leading up to the use of the telephone and even the automobile in the early 1900s. By 1914, the US had the most telephones per capita of any country, so even Margaret Ann (Hemphill) Daniels may have seen or used a telephone before her death in 1915, depending on when it was introduced to their rural area. What an amazing time period to have lived, from the late 1830s until the nineteen-teens and twenties. The changes in technology were just astounding during that time span.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Family treasure chest.

 

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Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.

Mystery Monday: Roberts, Daniel, or ? in Early 1920s?

Possible Roberts, Daniel, or ? Family Picture. Woman on front right is probably Edith Roberts. In with images from the early 1920s, possibly taken in Iowa.
Possible Roberts, Daniel, or ? Family Picture. Woman on front right is probably Edith Roberts, man to her right with bow tie is probably George A. Roberts, Jr., Edith’s brother. (See below.) In with images from the early 1920s, possibly taken in Iowa.

 

This image is in the photo album of Edith Roberts (later McMurray and then Luck), in with images taken in the early 1920s. The woman in the front on the right appears to be Edith, but it is unknown who the other persons are. Since she is by herself and we do not recognize any of the men in the picture, she may not yet have been married nor had her son, Edward A. McMurray. (He was born in 1924.)

We would be very interested in learning more about any of the people in this picture! Please contact us if you know them.

 

REVISED later in the day after looking at more family photos: The man with the bow tie to the right of Edith is probably her brother, George Anthony Roberts, Jr. The woman two persons to the left of Edith, holding a little girl with a barrette in her hair, may be Edith’s sister, Ethel Gay (Roberts) Robinson (1891-1969). The child may be Ruby Robinson, born 1915, or Helen Viola Robinson, born 1921. Ethel’s husband Bert Robinson (1890-1977) may be the man in the back, just to the left of  “Georgie” Roberts. These assumptions/guesses are just from knowing these people in later life and looking at the few pictures we have of them. The man in the center with a tie (in front) may be George A. Roberts, Sr. OR Robert Woodson Daniel. There is a picture of RW Daniel somewhere in the family archives, as I remember Ed McMurray talking about it as we viewed an image. It is on a little cassette video somewhere, just begging to be digitized. Even better would be finding the original, which has not turned up in boxes of family pictures. I am now leaning toward this being a group photo of the Daniel family, as George Roberts, Sr., was not happy with his daughter Ethel’s choice of husband, and he disowned her when she married Bert Robinson; thus, a picture of them all together was unlikely as Geo. Sr. was a strong-minded man (per his daughter Edith). George Sr.’s wife and the mother  of Edith, George, and Ethel’s was Ella V. Daniel, but she had passed away 17 Jan 1922; I don’t believe she is in this picture, which may help date it after 1922 or so. R.W. Daniel’s wife, Margaret Ann Hemphill, died in 1915, so that may also date the photo. Again, any help would be appreciated with identifying the people in this image.

Edited 05/12/15: The man that might be RW Daniel might be correct, but his wife is not in this picture. A story by Edith Roberts said Margaret Ann Hemphill was very thin, and always dressed in dark colors. She was ill for many years before her death, so it is very likely that she is not in this image. RW was bald, per Edith’s story, so that may not be him in the image either. 🙁

 

Still searching for information…

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family treasure chest of photo albums.

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images.

Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.

Sentimental Sunday- Little Houses on the Prairie

Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls, 1975
Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls, 1975. Wikimedia Commons.

September 11, 2014, among other things, was the 40th anniversary of the television premiere of, “Little House on the Prairie” which was based on the beloved books of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The books were favorites of mine as a child- I would check out one after the other at the school library and the public library, devouring them even under the covers with a flashlight, over and over. I would dream of what it must have been like to be a pioneer in the olden days- that was probably the beginning of my (virtually) time-traveling, family history-loving self. Even though I was an adult when the series premiered, I just had to watch the programs, and they never disappointed- not a case here of ‘the-books-were-so-much-better.’ I loved seeing the settings and costumes, and sometimes-ornery, sometimes-sweet Laura, portrayed by Melissa Gilbert. (She made me think of how my grandmother would have been at that age. Grandma thought that too.) The series added characters and changed story lines from the books, but they did them well. They had the bonus of the very handsome Michael Landon, my favorite from his previous series, “Bonanza,” as Charles Ingalls, Laura’s father.  The programs from 1974-1983, plus movies from the series, still air around the world in reruns and are now being released as DVDs in their uncut and remastered versions, indicating their popularity through time.

Melissa Gilbert is releasing a cookbook full of “Little House” series recipes and memories on 16 Sep 2014, entitled My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours. She also published, in 2010, an autobiography that includes stories from her “Little House” days.

The “Little House” books have an even more special meaning for me- I knew my boyfriend was THE one when he gave me the whole set of “Little House” books as a Christmas gift when we were starving college students. OK, they were just paperbacks, but it was a nice boxed set and invaluable because I loved the books so much. The fact that he thought of them for a gift- well, that was stupendous. We are still together 35 years later, and thinking of the stories, the books, and the gift (plus the extra hours he worked to earn the money for them on top of a full load of classes plus work), make this a very ‘Sentimental Sunday.’

Schoolhouse attended by the children of George and Ella Daniel Roberts. Image taken c1970 and building is now gone. The children attended c1900-1915.
Schoolhouse attended by the children of George and Ella Daniel Roberts. Image taken c1970 and building is now gone. The children attended c1900-1915.

It is also a ‘Sentimental Sunday’ because we had the same kind of pioneers in our family! Edith Roberts McMurray Luck told stories of how her family migrated to Illinois and then to Jasper County, Iowa in the late 1800s, just after folks like the Ingalls family pioneered farming and towns on the midwest prairies. The Roberts, Daniel, and Murrell families were originally from Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana, and migrated to Roseville in Warren County, Illinois from their respective homes in the 1850s. They then traveled to Jasper County, Iowa, in 1858 with a large grouping of families and covered wagons full of household goods, elderly parents, and children.

Our McMurray and Benjamin ancestors were people of the frontiers, migrating west as the lines blurred between native and white settlements, sometimes being part of the casualties or captured during those hostilities, and eventually migrating to Iowa from Pennsylvania. Heinrich Horn immigrated from Germany (probably as a conscripted mercenary “Hessian” in the Revolutionary War and captured by George Washington’s forces at Trenton, then paroled when he became an American citizen); he settled in Virgina, then Pennsylvania with some of his descendants moving later to Iowa. The New England-born Paynes and Burnells became farmers and ministers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, and even took the train to settle out in California in the 1870s, when it still was a sort of ‘Wild West.’

The Lee family sailed from England to the Illinois prairies, going up the Mississippi from New Orleans, and although the Bunker Hill, Illinois area had been settled a while, the prairie was still a harsh environment to farm and have a business in 1875. Lee married-ins like the Lutz, Russell, and Aiken families had moved west through frontier Ohio and even into ‘Indian Territory,’ which has since become the state of Oklahoma.

The Helblings migrated to Pennsylvania from Germany, and lived on the unsettled outskirts of what is now the large Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania metropolitan area. The Springsteens were from New Jersey and watched the growth of the early Indiana prairie town that became Indianapolis, Indiana.

Edith Roberts said often to her family, “You come from strong pioneer stock. You can do anything you set your mind to.” That legacy has helped many of her descendants get through tough times, and appreciate the strong, determined pioneers that fill our family tree.

Stories to come about these families and their migrations!

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) “Little House on the Prairie” tv series information: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071007/

2) Wikipedia article about the TV series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_House_on_the_Prairie_(TV_series)

3) Wikipedia article about the books: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_House_on_the_Prairie

4) “Little House” books- http://www.littlehousebooks.com 

5) Melissa Gilbert’s autobiography- Prairie Tale: A Memoir, Gallery Books, 2010, ISBN-13: 978-141659917.

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Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.

Wedding Wednesday: Ella V. Daniel and George A. Roberts

Roberts-Daniel marriage announcement, after 16 Apr 1885. newspaper unknown but possibly one from Prairie City, Jasper County, Iowa.
Roberts-Daniel marriage announcement, after 16 Apr 1885. Newspaper unknown but possibly  from Prairie City, Jasper County, Iowa. (Click to enlarge.)

Ella Viola Daniel was just 18 when she married her 23 year-old friend and neighbor, George Anthony Roberts.

Great-granddaughter wearing the wedding dress of Ella V. Daniel.
The sixteen year-old great-granddaughter of Ella V. Daniel wearing her wedding dress, about 1970 in Edith Roberts Luck’s home. The dress was stored in the attic for over 50 years of hot Iowa summers and very cold Iowa winters. (Click to enlarge.)

Ella and George had four children together, with the first living only three months. Their children were John Robert Roberts (1888-1888), George A. Roberts, Jr. (1889-1965), Ethel Gay Roberts (1891-1969), and Edith Mae Roberts (1899-1982).

Their daughter Edith remembers them as a loving couple, and they had 36 years together before Ella died at age 55. George lived 17 years longer, and remarried, to Lucy L. (Cadwalader) Frank  (1875-1970).

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family photos and ephemera.

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images.

Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.

 

 

 

Madness Monday: Ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920

Edith Roberts, center front, with her sorority sisters at Iowa state University, circa 1920.
Edith Roberts, center front, with her sorority sisters at Iowa State University, circa 1920. (Click to enlarge.)

August 18, 1920, was actually not the day of madness- it was all those years before that date that were the madness. How could one half of the population of the United States of America not be allowed to vote? In a country based on freedom, women had no freedom to choose those who would make the laws nor use them to judge. Taxation without representation? It continued long after 1776 for every woman and every black person who was not allowed to vote, despite many of them having taxable income.

The 15th Amendment, passed in 1870, (theoretically) gave men of any “race, color, or previous condition of servitude” the right to vote. Women had worked to help gain suffrage for black men, hoping that it would be realized that women should also have the right to vote. That was not to be, especially because men and those with interest in taverns and the liquor industry thought that if women had the right to vote, alcoholic beverages would be banned. So black men were allowed to vote in 1870 (although discrimination made that difficult in some areas of the country). It took fifty more years of toil, suffering, discrimination, even torture (yes, in the USA!) for passage of the 19th Amendment ‘allowing’ women the right to vote.

I worked to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed back in the 1970s, but sadly, ratification fell short and women still do not have full protection under the law in this country. Back then, when I realized that Edith Roberts had been in college, studying biology in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified, I could not wait to hear her stories. She loved debate- had won a number of contest when young- and in her later years followed politics and international news, mostly through the PBS station in her hometown of Newton, Iowa. I naturally thought she would have been the same as a young woman (without the television, of course), especially since she was studying a ‘man’s’ subject, rather than womanly arts like teaching or music (which was her first major when she went off to college). Her father had been active politically in Jasper County, Iowa- she adored him, so I assumed she followed his political leanings and maybe they even discussed such issues at home. Iowa was such a progressive state- I could only imagine that in an Iowa college, they would have discussed and debated the issue of women’s suffrage. I wanted to know what it felt like to be a part of such a momentous event for women- had she joined protesters marching against President Wilson’s policies? Was she ever arrested due to her vocal call for women getting the right to vote? How did her college classmates react when women got the right to vote? What were her feelings the first time she exercised her hard-won suffrage? I could feel a connection between my conviction and what I imagined was hers, because she had always been a woman of her own mind, independent politically, financially, and mentally.

As I blurted out my many questions, probably not waiting for an answer between, she had a pensive look on her face, and one could see she was traveling back in time 50 years, back to when she was my age. Then there was a slight frown. And a pursing of her lips, the way she did when she was not happy. Her brows scrunched together, and she shook her head in disbelief and almost shame. “I hate to say this, but I don’t remember anything about women getting the right to vote. I was in a sorority, and went to dances and recitals and…” She was more interested in her social life than politics back then, she admitted. Rising from the green ‘divan’ in her 1920s Craftsman bungalow, she climbed the steep stairs to the attic. I followed to that place of family treasures, and she opened an old trunk, way in the back of the attic. Edith pulled out an old scrapbook filled with dance cards, programs, poems, and memorabilia of a joyous part of her life, that time away at college when young and anything was possible. No politics here. For a few moments, she was again a beautiful young woman with friends and pretty clothes and no responsibilities in life. “I was spoiled,” she said. “My father put up with so much from me, probably because I was the baby.” She admitted to not handling her money well and having to write her father to send more- I was shocked, as she had been such a frugal, hardworking woman all the time I had known her. She did talk about how scandalous it was for her to be studying biology, when they had to go catch their specimens for dissection and she was one of only a few women in the classes.

She did seem to regret not realizing those important issues and moments, like August 18, 1920, when women in all the United States were granted the right to vote. (Some states allowed women voting rights before then, but only a few, mostly western states.) Mostly, however, it seemed that she enjoyed the sweet reverie of being 20 years old and being in love with her world, something she had long forgotten.

 

Proposed Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of america. NARA.
Proposed Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. NARA.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family photos and memories.

2) When I think about not going to vote because the choices are awful, it is cold and rainy, or the lines too long, I think about those who worked so hard to get all Americans the right to vote. And then I go exercise it.

 

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Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.