Monday, August 27, 2018

Ancestors, Labor Day and What It Meant

Brumley brothers

Ancestors, Labor Day and what it meant to work hard for what you wanted to achieve. The three men are left to right - John, William Ralph, and Isaac Walter Brumley. 

In my journey to research my family tree, I have discovered that my relatives’ mostly men had careers that were mostly manual labor jobs. As you can see in the picture above that my ancestors didn’t mind getting their hands dirty. They worked long hours doing whatever it took to feed their families. I grew up with that kind of work ethic to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. Looking back on it now that I am retired, it was that work ethic that sustained me for thirty-one years.

My ancestors were hard-working people with many skills. These skills have been passed down from generation to generation. I am always interested in looking at the census pages and reading about what they did for a living. Many were farmers in my family which meant they worked from sun up to sun down to provide food for not only their own families but for people all over the United States.

There were other occupations that were of interest as well. I had relatives that were Coopers. What is a Cooper? A cooper is someone who makes wooden vessels, bound together with hoops and possessing flat ends or heads. Examples of Cooper's work would be barrels, buckets, tubs or butter churns.

Coopers working with barrels

My grandfather was a carpenter. He worked on various jobs around Kansas City, Kansas. He always took pride in this work. I had several relatives that made their living working for the various railroads around the United States. It was also a hard job to do because at times they would have to leave their families to work on an assignment far from home. Railroad work at least had a pension program to help out after they retired from the railroad.

I had a great uncle in Chicago who was in the Ice Manufacturing business for several years. My great-great-grandfather was a Ferryman before he signed up for the Civil War Draft. My father worked in the Steel Fabrication business that made steel structures such as gymnasiums that are still standing today.

No matter what job your ancestor had they made sure that they passed down their skills to their children. Some of their children carried on the same job skills but many others sought out other careers. It is these job skills that have shaped our America today. We owe these skilled workers a thank you for all that they do for us every day of the week.

In the United States, it is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is in honor of the American labor movement and celebrates the workers who have made this country strong and prosperous, and for the well-being of the country. As the trade unions and labor movements grew in the 19th Century unionists wanted to create a day of celebration for the laborers in the United States. Labor Day became an official Federal holiday in 1894.

I have started up my Brumley Branches Genealogy blog again and have updated some of my favorite posts. Please feel free to share this post with family and friends. If you have questions or wish to add any new information please email me. 

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

William Brumley - My Great-Great Uncle

Brumley Branches William Brumley

William Brumley my great-great uncle, known to most people as Bill. He was born on March 11, 1847, in a small town called Richland in Gasconade County, Missouri. He was the first child born to Willis Brumley and Mary (Polly) Johns. His other siblings were; Nancy Ann, Amanda Elizabeth, and John Brumley. His half siblings were by Nancy J Vaughan-Loughery-Lewis and Willis; Alice Florence and Isaac Walter Brumley. 

At the age of twenty-five, he married Mary E Williams on October 24, 1872, in Maries County, Missouri. In the Missouri Census of 1880, it has William living with R B Williams his mother-in-law and it lists Mary as dead. When my mother and I visited two newly found relatives in southern Missouri in the 1980's they told us that his wife and two children were involved in a house fire that killed her and two children. We could never prove that this took place but we know she is buried in Kenner Cemetery in Hayden, Maries, Missouri. I don't know if the children were buried with her or if they were in separate unmarked graves.

Bill picked up the pieces of his life after the loss of his first family and started to move forward once again. On July 6, 1881, in Maries County, Missouri he married his second wife, Mrs. Ellen Illinois Bell Lenox Blackwell. They had one daughter, America Layna, born December 3, 1882. 

My mother and I heard many stories about Bill. One, in particular, was the time he had too much to drink and relied on his faithful horse to see to it he made it home all in one piece. He was known to be a character when he drank too much but that is the fun part of learning about your relatives doing family genealogy.

He and his wife remained in the Dry Creek area of Maries County until the time of his death. Bill died on May 7, 1917, of Chronic Intestinal Nephritis at the age of seventy years old. 

He was buried in the Kenner Cemetery in Hayden, Missouri with his first wife Mary and his father Willis Brumley. My mother, Nancy Gertrude Brumley, myself and two other cousins walked this cemetery in mid-1980. We have at least eleven members of the family tree in this cemetery. Some of the tombstones are very old and you can hardly read what was engraved, others have nothing but white stones indicating a grave. 

I have started up my Brumley Branches Genealogy blog again and have updated some of my favorite posts. Please feel free to share this post with family and friends. If you have questions or wish to add any new information please email me. 

Thank you.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Nancy Elizabeth Baugh - Strong Woman

Brumley Branches - Nancy Elizabeth Baugh Cox
Nancy E Baugh Cox and Bessie and Eva
Nancy Elizabeth Baugh was my great-great-grandmother and was proven to be a strong woman all of her life.  Nancy was born to John Henry Baugh and Sarah Elizabeth Higgenbotham in January 1828 in North Carolina. Her known siblings are Mary Ann 1819, John C 1825 and Samuel Valentine Baugh 1833.

It is not known when her family began to move westward to settle in the Lincoln County, Missouri area but it was before 1846. She meant her future husband Ralph H C Cox when she was eighteen years old and they were married on December 15, 1846, in St. Charles County, Missouri.

They started their family in 1848 when Sarah Elizabeth was born. Siblings that followed were; Thomas Henry, Sophia Jane, Jesse, Mary Ellen, James William, Ralph Henry, Anna Perlina and Nancy Katherine Cox (my great-grandmother).

They lived in Bedford, Lincoln, Missouri from 1848 until sometime between 1870 and 1880. The 1880 Missouri Census shows them residing in Miller, Maries, Missouri.

In 1896 their son James William Cox married Nancy Clementine Laney. They had two girls before 1900, Nancy Elizabeth "Bessie" and Sarah Evaline Cox. On October 26, 1896, at the young age of 29 Clementine "Tina" died of brain fever. A horrible and tragic death. This left James with two very small children to raise by himself. Nancy and Ralph took on the challenge of helping James raise his two small girls so James could keep on working.

The 1900 Census showed that Nancy and Ralph were still living in Miller. On July 16, 1907, Ralph at the age of eighty-five died and they were living in Dixon, Pulaski County, Missouri. Nancy was 79 years old and now a widow. She never remarried. 

In the 1910 Census, it shows she was eighty-two living in Pulaski County with the girls now 13 and 15. Sometime between the 1910 and 1920 Census, she was living with James as she was ninety-two years old in Baxter Springs, Cherokee, Kansas. James was taking care of her now because she had helped raise his girls. 

Nancy Elizabeth Baugh Cox died sometime in 1920 and is buried in Galena, Cherokee, Kansas next to her son James William Cox. She outlived most of her family and was a giving mother who always knew the most important thing to her was her family.

Headstone for Nancy Elizabeth Baugh Cox

Several years ago I corresponded with a daughter of one of the girls in the above picture. She said her mother shared countless stories of the dedication Nancy showed her family. I hope somehow all of the relatives got some of her DNA because she was a remarkably strong woman.

I have started up my Brumley Branches Genealogy blog again and have updated some of my favorite posts. Please feel free to share this post with family and friends. If you have questions or wish to add any new information please email me. 

Thank you.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Nancy Katherine Cox

Brumley Branches Nancy Katherine Cox

Nancy Katherine Cox Brumley was my great-grandmother. She was born in September 1870 in Bedford, Lincoln, Missouri.  She went by Katie most of the time. Her parents were Ralph H C Cox and Nancy Elizabeth Baugh. She was the last child out of nine children born to this family; Sarah Elizabeth, Thomas Henry, Sophia Jane, Jessie M, Mary Ellen, James William, Ralph H, and Annie Perlina.

The Missouri 1880 Census says, her family had moved to Maries County, Missouri. Katie was twenty-four years old when on January 13, 1895, she married my great-grandfather, Isaac Walter Brumley also of Maries County. On the marriage license record, it states that Willis Brumley had to give consent for Isaac Walter to marry because he was underage at the time.

They started their family by the birth of my grandfather, John Leo Brumley in 1895 and then five other siblings came afterward; William Ralph, Thomas Clinton, Nancy Beatrice (Bea), Henry Elmer Raymond and Walter Willis Brumley. 

Over the years the family resided in Maries, Osage, and Pulaski Counties in Missouri. Walter worked odd jobs and finally was able to get a position working for the railroad.

Katie became ill either in 1912 or before and whatever her symptoms they were bad enough that someone had to admit her into the hospital. The informant on the certificate doesn’t know some of the basic information. So the person who admitted Katie was probably not a relative or Walter. She was diagnosed with Pellagra, a horrible disease back in the day. Pellagra is caused by a lack of Niacin or Vitamin B-3 and has symptoms of dementia, diarrhea, and dermatitis, and if left untreated can lead to death.

She entered the Missouri State Hospital #3 on July 9, 1912It is unclear why Walter didn’t admit her to the hospital unless he was out of town working on the railroad. Most of the information was unknown. She was there one month and eighteen days and died on August 28, 1912, at the age of forty-two years old. 

The mystery surrounding her death has been a long-standing question for years as my mother and I have looked for her gravesite with no luck. Two unknown relatives that we discovered in the early 1980's did not even want to discuss it with us as we were gathering genealogy information. All they told us was where she was at, at the time of her death. Mental illness was not talked about in the last century as it is today. People did not want other people to know they had someone in their family with mental illness. My mother and I had to convince our two cousins, Effie and Edna that it was alright to talk about this with us. So even back in the 1980’s, it was still a taboo subject with the elderly relatives living in the Ozark area.  

At the bottom of the death certificate, it says place of burial was Dixon, Pulaski, Missouri. Relatives have stated that she was buried in Fairview Cemetery near Laquey and Hanna, Missouri I have no evidence that she is buried in this cemetery. There is a cemetery at the State Hospital but very few records of who is buried on the hospital grounds. My mother, Nancy Gertrude Brumley Weik was unable to find her grave several years ago when she traveled with her sister and brothers to locate her burial place. So it remains a mystery for now. My aunt, Shirley Ann Brumley Stevens also tried to locate her remains with no luck. 

I have started up my blog again and would appreciate any feedback from family or friends. Also, if there is anyone out there who can share more information about Nancy Katherine (Katie) Cox Brumley I would love to hear from you.

Thank you.


Friday, August 3, 2018

John Leo Brumley - The Carpenter

John Leo Brumley

John Leo Brumley the carpenter was my grandfather.  He was a hardworking man that provided for his family in the toughest of times. He grew up in tough times so he was well prepared for what was to come in his life.

He was born on November 26, 1895, in Dixon, Pulaski, Missouri. He was the first son born to Isaac Walter Brumley and Katherine (Katie) Cox. His other siblings were William Ralph, Thomas Clinton, Nancy Beatrice, Henry Elmer and Walter Willis Brumley.

They lived in 
Vienna, Maries, Missouri in 1897 when his brother William Ralph was born. In 1899 when Thomas Clinton was born they were in Osage County. Nancy Beatrice 1901 and Henry Elmer Raymond 1907 were also born in the same county. They were living in Pulaski County, Missouri when Walter Willis was born in 1908.

John was only sixteen years old, when his mother, Katherine Cox Brumley died of Pellagra in 1912. This left his father, Isaac Walter with five children to take care of and raise. John, William, and Thomas were old enough to seek employment to help the family’s finances. Nancy also decided to take out on her own as well, but Henry and Walter were left with other families so their father could go to work with the railroad to earn a living.

Camp Laredo, Texas

He enlisted on July 1, 1915, in the 2nd Regiment Company K, Missouri National Guard. He was stationed at Camp Laredo, Texas on the Mexican border when he was injured in a non-military accident. He was patrolling the Mexican Border in Texas when a spear cactus pierced him in the right leg just below his knee. He had to have surgery to take care of the infection and was discharged because of his disability after serving only eighteen days.  He mustered out of service on January 13, 1917, because of the non-military accident.

John was living with his father Walter in Baxter Springs, Kansas when WW I broke out and he had to register with the local Draft Board. He gave the information that he had been a Private First Class in the Infantry and had served 3 years prior to WWI.

John Leo Brumley WWI Enrollment

In the 1920 Census, my grandfather was living with his brother William in Springfield, Greene, Missouri and working as a common laborer. It was at this time that he meant my grandmother, Nellie Opal Sells of Springfield. Their courtship was a whirlwind and on March 20, 1920, they were married in Kansas City, Wyandotte, Kansas.

As their life began so did their family when my mother, Nancy Gertrude Brumley was born, and then Leo, John, Jr., Gerald and Shirley Ann Brumley was born.

My grandfather was a union carpenter by trade and worked on several projects in Kansas City, Wyandotte, Kansas. The Great Depression of the 1930's came along work drastically slowed down and eventually no jobs were available. My mother told me the stories how he would have to go downtown and stand in "the bread line" for any food he could get for his family.

My mother and her siblings grew up in various neighborhoods in Kansas City, Kansas, and my grandparents lived the remainder of their lives there.
My mother told me stories about the Strawberry Hill community where people came from Croatia, Ireland, Germany and many other countries to live and thrive. They all got along because they all had the common thread of living and working in the United States to better themselves and their families.

John once again had to enlist in another war, this time it was WWII. He did not serve in that war because of his age and his disabilities from working as a carpenter. 

I enjoyed visiting them every summer and to hear the stories they had to tell of when they were young and living in Kansas City, Kansas. They once had a house with a big porch along with a porch swing, we would sit and swing on hot summer days watching the people go by and talking about the place they called home.

He worked as long as he could in odd carpentry jobs around the city. He was prone to getting blood poisoning if he was hurt on the job. Finally, he had to give up carpentry altogether.

My grandmother, Nellie Opal Sells Brumley died in 1965 and John lived in the city until his health began to fail. He then moved to Olathe, Johnson, Kansas to a nursing home, where he could be closer to his children that were caring for him.  John Leo Brumley died May 29, 1976, at the age of eighty years old. They are both buried at Highland Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas.

I have started my blog up again and have updates on my favorite posts. If you enjoyed reading this please pass this along to family and friends.

Thank you.