Monday, July 30, 2018

Willis Brumley - His Life and Times

Iowa Farm

Willis Brumley - His Life and Times, he had four wives and six children and lived a life of questions. I have been on his trail since the early 1980's as my mother, Nancy Gertrude Brumley Weik and I tried to put the pieces of his life together. We have had some success but now it is just me trying to put this jigsaw puzzle together. The information I have gathered just leads to more questions than answers. I am going to share and update what I have in hopes that someone will read this and contact me that knows anything about Willis Brumley.

Willis is my great-great-grandfather he was born about 1824 in Missouri. At this writing, I think his parents were James Brumley and Eleanor "Nellie" Crismon, but I have no concrete evidence that connects him to James. 

Willis was married to his first wife, Mary "Polly" Johns February 25, 1844, in Gasconade County, Missouri. They had four children together, William "Bill" 1847, Nancy Ann "Aunt Coon" 1850, Amanda Elizabeth "Mandy" 1855 and John Brumley 1860. It is not clear if Polly died after giving birth to her last child John or if it was a later date. I have been unable to find her gravesite or any of her relatives over the years. So that is my first question mark on Willis. I found two of Willis' grandchildren that were children of his son John Brumley, Effie and Edna. They provided some information about what they knew of his life but there were still more questions. 

I do know in July of 1863 in Saint Louis he registered for the Civil War and it stated that he was a widower with children and living in Mount Sterling, Gasconade, Missouri. I have been unable to find if he actually served in the Civil War. He either had too many obligations at the time or could find no one to take care of his children. Polly Johns Brumley must have died sometime after 1860.

On June 12, 1864, he married for the second time to Sarah Lane/Jane Shockley in Gasconade County. I have discovered no children born to this union. I have no more information on her except the marriage record. Another question mark for Willis.

Willis married for the third time to Nancy J Vaughn-Lowery/Loughry-Lewis/Louis on September 26, 1868, in Osage County, Missouri. Willis and Nancy had two children, Alice Florence 1869 and my great-grandfather, Isaac Walter Brumley in 1875. This is perplexing because of the seven-year gap between siblings. Nancy had other children from her prior two marriages, Edward, Martha and Charlesann "Annie" Loughry and Julia E Lewis/Louis. My mother and I had thought for years that Delalin Foster Harris was my great-grandfather's mother. I have discovered in the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index 1936-2007 that he said his mother's name was Lowery. Still, I have questions about who his mother really was Nancy or Delalin.

I think Willis was working on the railroad when they traveled to Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska and where Isaac Walter was born. I don't know what happened to Nancy if she died or they divorced or if she remained in Nebraska. I have not found a gravesite for Nancy or know of any marriages after Willis.

This is where it really gets tricky. Willis married for the fourth time to Delalin Foster Harris on February 22, 1874, in Osage County, Missouri.  

It states on Isaac Walter's Death Certificate that he was born in 1875 but that he married Delalin in 1874. Walter's third wife is the one who filled out the information at the time of his death so she may not have known the correct year.

I have determined that Willis must have died sometime around 1899 in Maries County, Missouri and is buried in Kenner Cemetery. There is no information about dates on his headstone. I do not find him on any census after 1900. I have never found a picture of him and to this date, no relatives have any pictures of him.

Willis Brumley Kenner Cemetery

I have started my blog back up again with updated information. If you have any information on Willis Brumley please contact me through this blog. If you like this blog please spread the word 

Thank you.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Sarah Frances Douglas

Sarah Frances Douglas

Sarah Frances Douglas was my great-great-grandmother. She went by Sallie most of the time. She was the daughter of William and Johannah Douglas born in Grant County, Kentucky in 1853. I know that she had at least one brother, William Douglas born in 1849 also in Kentucky, but to this date, I have found no other siblings.

The 1860 Census shows that she was 7 years old living with her family in Grant County, Kentucky. Ten years later in 1870, she was living with the Lamon family in Williamstown, Lewis, Missouri. It is not clear if she was related to this family or not, she was attending school in Lewis County.

On January 26, 1873, in Clark County, Missouri she married Simon Nichols, my great-great-grandfather. Sallie was wife number three for Simon.

On August 14, 1873, in Williamstown, they had her first child, Lorena "Rennie", in 1876, they had their second daughter Lilly F, and 1878 Gertrude Wilburn (my great-grandmother) was born. In 1880, they were living in Union, Missouri and that is where Addie was born and died as an infant.  My mother told me that her mother Gertrude was deeply saddened over Addie's death and it bothered her for years. It is not known what Addie died from but she is also buried in the Nichols Family Graveyard. In 1882 Robert Lee was born and in June 1884. Sallie and Simon's last child was born June 7, 1884, Simon Leonard Nichols. The sad fact was that Simon died on May 26, 1884, in Williamstown without even knowing his son that carried on his name. Simon Nichols was buried in the Nichols Family Graveyard on his property at the time in Williamstown, Lewis, Missouri.

Sallie was now left with many children to raise by herself as well as taking care of the farm property they lived on. She married a second time to Henrich (Henry) Miller on April 9, 1888, in Clark County, Missouri. She and Henry had a son, William Henry Miller born on January 22, 1890. 

Sarah Frances Douglas Nichols Miller died of Heart Disease in Jackson County, Missouri on October 15, 1896, she was only forty-three years old. It is not known where she is buried, but I will update this post if I discover any more information on her burial.

I have started up my blog again to add new information on various relatives that I have discovered over the last year or so. If you like this post please spread the word to other relatives and friends. 

Thank you and enjoy the post.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Gertrude Wilburn Nichols

Gertrude Wilburn Nichols

Gertrude Wilburn Nichols was my great-grandmother. She was born to Simon Nichols and Sarah Frances Douglas in Union, Clark, Missouri on May 17, 1878. 
Her siblings by Sarah were Lorena R, Lilly F, Addie, Robert Lee and Simon Leonard Sells.

She also had half-brothers and half-sisters because her father had been married before to Mary Frances Noel. They were William Ruben, John Clayton, Nancy, Mary A, Alvira Ellen and Emma E Nichols.

Gertrude lost her little sister Addie when she was about 3 years old of some unknown illness at that time they were living in Union, Clark, Missouri.

At the time of her father’s death, she was living in Williamstown, Lewis, Missouri. By 1884 the family was living in Kahoka Clark County and at the age of 16 years old, she married my great-grandfather Columbus Sells of the same county on November 15, 1894. 

Gertrude and Columbus started their family by having a son, John Wesley Sells on February 10, 1896, in Kahoka. The family had moved once again to Farmington, Iowa when my grandmother, Nellie Opal was born in 1900. They had their last child, Sylvia Pearl Sells in Ft. Madison, Lee, Iowa on February 28, 1902.

UPDATE: Since I last published this post I have learned more information about Gertrude and Columbus's family. It was thought that John Wesley Sells, Jr., was the first son born to their family but it was Wilburn Sells. He was born in 1893 and died at the age of six years old on August 4, 1899, in Kahoka, Clark, Missouri. His death notice was published in the Kahoka Gazette-Herald and the Kahoka Courier Aug. 11, 1899. The cause of death was not known. He was buried in the Chambersburg Cemetery in Chambersburg, Missouri. There was also the following poem for him in the newspaper death notice;

A precious one from us has gone
A voice we loved is stilled;
A place is vacant in our home,
Which never can be filled

God in his wisdom has recalled
The bloom his love has given
And though the body slumbers here
The soul is safe in Heaven.”

For years my mother and I have wondered what Gertrude's middle name was, it was always just a "W" for the middle initial. Since I have learned about her young son's passing and his name, I now know that it stood for Wilburn.
On the 1910 Missouri Census Columbus and Gertrude and their family were living in Union, Laclede, Missouri. They moved again sometime between 1910 and 1920 to Springfield, Greene, Missouri. Gertrude developed pneumonia and died on November 6, 1919, she was only forty-one years old and was buried in Springfield. Gertrude never had a proper headstone so my aunt, Shirley Ann Brumley Stevens purchased one for her gravesite in Springfield, Green, Missouri, and had the grave properly marked.

As I have written about before, Gertrude and her family were 7th Day Adventist. The early Adventist Church emerged from a climate of religious revival in the Northeastern United States. Camp meetings, such as the Millerite gathering, were a hallmark of the Second Great Awakening. Gertrude continued her faith into her own marriage to Columbus and brought the children up as 7th Day Adventist.

I have started up my blog again and I am posting my favorites with the updates I have learned since the last one. If you enjoyed this blog please share with family and friends. 

Thank you.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Nellie Opal Sells

Nellie Opal Sells

Nellie Opal Sells was my maternal grandmother. She was born August 11, 1900, to Columbus Sells and Gertrude Wilburn Nichols, Farmington, Van Buren, Iowa. She had two other siblings, John Wesley, and Sylvia Pearl Sells.

By the time Nellie was ten years old the family had moved to Union, Laclede, Missouri and nine years later the family had settled in Springfield, Greene, Missouri. In the fall of 1919 Nellie's mother became ill with pneumonia and died on November 6, 1919, my grandmother was a young woman of only nineteen years old.

My grandmother's mother Gertrude Wilburn was a member of Seventh-Day Adventist Church and raised her family in the faith. There would be times in Springfield, Missouri that they would hold tent revival meetings that would sometimes last up to a week. It was at one of these tent meetings that Nellie attended that she caught the eye of a bystander, John Leo Brumley. My grandmother spoke many times about how it was love at first sight for each of them. They had a whirlwind romance and March 13, 1920, she and John were married in Kansas City, Wyandotte, Kansas.

They began building their family on December 6, 1920, with the birth of a daughter, Nancy Gertrude Brumley, my mother. They established their residency in Kansas City, Kansas and added to their family with Leo Isaac, John Junior, Gerald Raymond, and Shirley Ann Brumley. 
My grandfather had many jobs over the years to provide for his family. He was a carpenter in most of the jobs he held in Kansas City. Times were tough during the Great Depression of the 30's and my mother told me of the stories of him and others standing many hours in the bread lines for any food to feed their families. 

My grandmother Brumley was my favorite grandmother, she was always happy no matter how bad things would look. There were many occasions we would sit together on her porch swing and just talk or laugh about anything and everything. Since my family lived in Illinois at the time I would look forward to visiting her each summer. She taught me how to cross-stitch one summer and I still love that hobby today. 

I was an 8th grader looking forward to graduation and my graduation present was going to be spending the summer by myself with my Grandmother Brumley. I could hardly wait for school to be over that year. One day my mother got a phone call that my grandmother was ill and could she come to Kansas to help out. I was worried and waited for my mother to call us back home and give us a word on how she was doing. My mother returned home and everyone thought she was getting better. I remember the phone call like it was yesterday as my mother came into my bedroom to tell me that my Grandmother Brumley had died of complications of her illness. I was devastated and I remember crying most of the night in bed. The person I had looked up to for so long was no longer alive. It was hard to accept but with my mother's help, I put her in my heart where I could never forget her. Nellie Opal Sells Brumley died on May 3, 1965, in Kansas City, Wyandotte, Kansas she was 65 years old. 

My mother went by herself to her mother's funeral while my dad stayed home and took care of me and my brothers. She was the first relative to die when I was a child, I didn't know what to expect but with the understanding of my mother, I got through it.  

John Brumley and Nellie Opal Sells
Nellie Opal and John Leo Brumley

I have started my blog back up again and I am selecting some of my favorites to post again. If you enjoyed reading this blog post please let your family and friends know about it and spread the word. 

Thank you.


Monday, July 9, 2018

Ruby Jemima Pultz Weik

Ruby Jemima Pultz Weik

Ruby Jemima Pultz Weik was my paternal grandmother and as I was growing up we called her Grammy Weik. She was born on September 14, 1889, in Woodburn, Clark, Iowa to Edward George Pultz and Kate Anna Smith. Ruby was their fifth child out of thirteen children. Ruby's brothers and sisters were George Alvah, Frank, Ina Grace, Carrie Rosalie, Edward Glenn, James Harold, Waunita Susan, Edna B, Lloyd Wilson, Williard Zee, Kenneth Leo and Wilma Jean Pultz.

She and some of her siblings were raised in Iowa until they moved to Kansas around 1899 to Bala, Riley, Kansas. The rest of her siblings were born in Kansas where they settled in and around the area for their childhood. 

Her father came to Kansas as a farmer with many mouths to feed. They all pitched in and did their share of the chores every day to keep the farm running smoothly. One by one the children left to find their own paths on the journey of life. My grandmother was no different and at the age of eighteen, she meant and fell in love with a young man that would become my grandfather, Otto Richard Weik. On February 20, 1908, at the Clay County, Kansas courthouse.

Ruby Jemima Pultz Wedding Announcement
Ruby and Otto Marriage

Otto lived in the nearby town of Leonardville, Riley, Kansas and it was there they made their home as he continued to farm the land. They soon started a family with seven children, Leo John, Edward Hugh, Don Charles, Lola Mae, Elsie Elizabeth, Ina Marie and Merle Otto Weik, my father.

Tragically sometime in the Spring of 1926, he was working around horses when one of them kicked him injuring him severely. On June 16, 1926, he died of his injuries. He was only forty-one years old. He was buried at the Sunset Cemetery in Manhattan, this would leave Ruby with seven children to raise as well as running a farm. She relied on the knowledge she had learned as a child on how to work as a family together to keep the farm producing food for themselves as well as income for the family. 

Weik Family Photo 1938
Weik Family 1938

My father Merle was only three years old when his father died and while his brothers and sisters along with Ruby worked out in the field they would put him in the wagon as they worked so they could keep an eye on him. They raised much of their own food. As the older boys grew older they began to leave home to pursue jobs other than farming. Once again, Ruby made it work until the children were grown and then it was time to move to the city.

Ruby never remarried and was devoted to her family. Between 1925 and 1930 she moved to Manhattan, Riley, Kansas. In 1940 the census shows she was living in Blue, Pottawatomie, Kansas just outside of Manhattan. She eventually went back to Manhattan to live out her life. 

I remember summers when I was a child that we traveled to Manhattan to visit her along with other relatives, she was always willing to tell us a story of how it was back then when she was a child. Her health started to fail and on June 3, 1973, she died at the age of eighty-three years old. She was buried at Sunset Cemetery next to her beloved husband Otto. 

My father was devoted to her as she had been to him during those years when he had no father. He told me that it was his older brothers that stepped up to guide him, especially his brother Edward. 

 I am starting my blog back up again and would enjoy hearing from any relatives that would have anything to add about Ruby Jemima Pultz Weik. If you enjoyed this post, I would be grateful if you would spread the word by emailing it to a friend. Thank you very much.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Isaac Brumley Indentured Servant

Iowa Farm Silo

What does it mean to be an indentured person back in 1868?

Technically an indentured servant serves someone under a contract. The contract may have a limited period of time after which the contract is null.

In 1868, Isaac Brumley - son of Stephen Brumley (deceased) in Gasconade County, Missouri was indentured to Henry Leimkuehler. I have transcribed this document to the best of my ability.

 This indenture, made the 12th day of November in the year of our Lord 1868 between Isaac Brumley of the age of four years and nine months, son of Stephen Brumley deceased, of the county of Gasconade, and the state of Missouri, of the first part, and Henry Leimkuhler, of the place, of the second part, witnessed: that the Isaac Brumley, by and wish the consent of Frederick  Leimkuhler, the guardian duly appointed of the said Isaac Brumley, signified by the signature of the said Frederick Leimkuhler affixed to this indenture and by his own free will and consent hath placed and bound himself apprentice to the said Henry Leimkuhler, to dwell, confine, and serve, as an apprentice aforesaid , for and during the term of sixteen years, two months  and eighteen days, from the date hereof, which will be until the first day of February in the year 1885 at which time the said Isaac Brumley, if he so long live, will be of the age of twenty-one years, during all of which him the said Henry Leimkuhler his master, shall faithfully and diligently serve, and in all such lawful business as he shall put to by his said master, according to the best of his abilities, and conduct himself honestly and orderly servant the family of said, Henry Leimkuehler.

And the said Henry Leimkuhler doth covenant and agree to the said Isaac Brumley to teach and instruct the said Isaac Brumley , or cause him to be well and suffice by instructed in the art and trade of a farmer, after the best way and manner he can and further that he the said Henry Leimkuhler will provide for and allow the said Isaac Brumley meat, drink, washing, lodging and apparel, and all other necessities proper and suitable for an apprentice, during the term aforesaid,, and furthermore that he the said Henry Leimkuhler will furnish the said Isaac Brumley a common school education, such as in afforded in the neighborhood, and lastly that the said Henry Leimkuhler will give to the said Isaac Brumley at the expiration of his apprenticeship, a horse valued at seventy-five dollars or the value share of in lawful money.

In witness whereof, the parties have sworn to, and to duplicate thereof, subscribed their names and affixed their seals the day and date aforesaid.

Edward Kehoe and Charles Steinberger (witnesses)

Frederick Leimkuhler

Heinrich Leimkuhler

The State of Missouri

County of Gasconade

            Henry Leimkuhler the master to whom the within named Isaac Brumley is bound, makes oath and says that he will faithfully perform the duties required by the within indenture, and enjoined on him by law.

Heinrich Leimkuhler

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 12th day of November A.D. 1868

E. Kehoe

Clerk County Court

In the 1880 Census of Boulware, Gasconade County, Missouri he is listed as "adopted child". He was 17 years old at that time. If anyone has any information on this person please contact me. His father was Stephen Brumley and I believe his mother was Jemima (Miller) Brumley and his siblings may be Mary Ann (Polly) Brumley, Eleanor (Nellie) Brumley and Sophia Brumley. All lived in and around Gasconade, Osage and Maries County Missouri. I can be reached at


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Brumley Branches - Fourth of July - Family Style

America 1776

Brumley Branches- Fourth of July-Family Style is celebrating the comeback of my Blogger Blog about family genealogy. It is also a good time to talk about visiting with relatives especially the older ones and having a good old fashion one on one talk about themselves

You will learn about a different time in our history and what people did back in those times to pass the day. Did they have to do chores before riding their bicycle to their friend's house? How did they spend the Fourth of July? Once the conversation is started it will take you in so many directions for learning more about your relatives. 

And believe it or not, they will be surprised you asked but also so thrilled you wanted to know more about them beyond their name and their place in the family. You will learn that you have so much in common than you ever realized about their childhood, their teenage years and their family life. We all have great stories to tell and we just need someone to ask us to share it with them. 
The same thing can be said for sharing pictures during this holiday time. At some point in our lives, we celebrated the 4th of July in some fashion. What was it like? Did you have a carnival come to your town? What was your favorite ride? Somebody took a picture of the event - dig them out of the box way back in your closet and share them with younger relatives. If you didn't write on the back of the picture, and you don't know someone there is a good chance someone in the group will remember Aunt Betty and the memory about the picture.

It is all about connecting the young with the old or the now with the then that makes genealogy so much fun. You can't find these terrific stories on a Census page, it takes pictures and stories to make the rest of your information come alive again!

As I look back now I wish I would have listened more, asked more questions and looked at more pictures. It would have made this family genealogy journey so much easier. My mother, Nancy Gertrude Brumley Weik did share a lot of her stories and pictures with me. My father thought it was all nonsense and did not share too much with me. There were times when he and I were fishing, that I could get him to open up about his family but it was rare so I had to listen very carefully.

On my last visit to Iowa to visit the grandkids, I was surprised to hear that they had seen the commercial where they saw the graph of the DNA pie chart of the percentage of the ethnic mix. They actually wanted to know where they came from and knew grandma could tell them. I could only tell them what I had learned over the years. It is on my "Bucket List" to do the DNA test. They were at least thinking about who they were and the countries in which they traveled.

So as we go into this holiday remember that you are sharing a memory that long after you are gone your relative will pass it along

UPDATE: I did complete my DNA test and received the results. They were pretty accurate in the findings. I have had relatives contact me already wanting to know more about their relatives since we have connected with the DNA results. 

Have a great 4th of July and please make it a safe on!