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Aunt Ray, as my grandma always called her, is one of my favorite ancestors. Her legacy is clear in my life. It is from her, through my grandma, that I have my name. She was a schoolteacher in a one room school as was my grandma. I always dreamed of being a one room school teacher and believe I have achieved that to a degree as a Homeschool mom. And she first owned the school bell which is the centerpiece of my bell collection, again through my grandma.
Recently, during my research at Alice’s, I came upon a letter that Aunt Ray wrote to her mother on the occasion of her mother’s second marriage. It gives an interesting perspective on the marriage and I am sharing it here for Amanuensis Monday.
We understand in a roundabout way that you are married, despite your promises to me the evening of May 19, when I had that long talk with you.
Mother we can’t understand why you have treated us children in this way, in not telling us of this affair. I know of no child that has objected to your marrying, providing you got a respectable man, one who would not be a disgrace to us or that you would have to support. All the objections we have had to your doing this act was in marrying this North York man. We certainly had good reasons for that. Why don’t you come to see us as you have others. You know we can’t get away now these busy times. Oh! mother, mother, I can’t understand you. Why have you and why will you treat us thus. I don’t intend to do or say anything to you but what your husband should know, so please show him this letter. I have a copy of it.
Ray R Weeks
July 16, 1900
Charles Fuller Talbot was born November 17, 1879 in Iowa. He married Ella sometime between 1900 and 1910 in Iowa. They had a daughter, Irma in 1913 in Iowa. Charles died in Des Moines, Iowa on April 6, 1935.
James Edward Talbot was born in Iowa City, Iowa on July 2, 1882. He married Ella May Sherman between 1900-1910. They had two daughters; Ruth L in 1907 and Irene in 1915. James died in Iowa, July, 1962.
Walter George Talbot was the fourth child of James and Mary. He was born June 10, 1887 in Iowa. He married Grace Harris, October 1, 1908, in Iowa. They had two children, Leslie Willard Talbot born October 1909 in Troy, Iowa and James Paul Talbot born Jun 24, 1916 in Williamsburg, Iowa. Leslie married Madge and had children Beverly (1934) and Richard James (1945). Leslie died in Iowa City on March 28, 1962. James Paul died July 27, 1988 in Phoenix, Arizona. He was enlisted in the army during WWII. Walter George Talbot died in Shell Lake, Wisconsin on November 26, 1993 at the age of 106!
Clarence Earl Talbot was born in Iowa on November 8, 1892. He married first Doris. I believe they divorced sometime between 1920 and 1925. He married Lydia M Armstrong Michaelson, December 31, 1925. He had one stepson, Harold Almon Michaelson Talbot born June 1, 1917 in Des Moines, Iowa. Harold died in Sidney, Iowa, January 19, 1996. Clarence died January 1977 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Jennifer Talbot was born in Iowa in August of 1894. She married Everett L James, December 27, 1915 in Jackson, Missouri. She divorced him before 1920 and married Cecil M Corderre June 2, 1920 in Jackson. I don’t have any further information on her after the 1920 census.
Esther G Talbot was born in Troy, Iowa, December 15, 1897. She was only about three months old when her mom died. She married George K Long about 1916. They had one daughter, Mary Elizabeth (1920-2007). Between 1920 and 1930 the family moved to Palm Beach, Florida. Esther died at the age of 90 on August 24, 1988 in Palm Beach.
And that concludes the seven children of Mary Maria Tracy Talbot. Next week I will begin on the second daughter of John Edward and Mary Artlysia Tracy, Rachel Rosanna Tracy.
Mary Maria was the first child of John Edward and Maria Artlysia Boblett Tracy. She was born August 10, 1857 in Ohio before the family moved west. She married James Fuller Talbot in 1877 in York, Nebraska. The story I heard was that she met James when the family lived in Illinois and he followed the family to York. After they married James and Mary moved to Williamsburg, Iowa. James was a farmer. They had seven children: Annabelle (1878), Charles Fuller (1879), James Edward (1882), Walter George (1887), Clarence Earl (1892), Jennifer M (1894), and Esther G (1897). Mary died February 3, 1898. We know from the letters posted previously that Mary had some sort of tumor.
The oldest girl, Annabelle died August 31, 1885 at seven and a half years old.
James remarried in 1907 to Caroline (Carrie) Schwartz Nelson. He died in 1919 in Iowa.
Continuing with Mary Maria Tracy Talbot, here is her tombstone, obituary and telegram about her death.
Stay tuned tomorrow for more on Mary Maria Tracy Talbot’s life, marriage and children.
This week, as I begin with the seven children of John Edward Tracy, I will start with Mary Maria Tracy Talbot. Most of the records I have for Mary are about her death and today I am going to transcribe a couple of letters written to her parents around the time or her death.
Dec 6th 1897
Dear Mother and all
It’s been a long time since I wrote to you. I have not been well the rest are as well as usual. Father Talbot was taken sick the 16 of Nov and died the 22nd. James got a telegram and went to Great Bend had him sent up and brought Mother and Albert up too as they could not do much there. We are looking for you here Christmas so don’t disappoint us, we have lots of snow just now, and cloudy for more, when you see Ray tell her I will write to her before long, I don’t see why Aunt Ann don’t write or send me the picture she said she had for me. I answered her letter as as I got it last spring let us know in your next letter that you will be here Christmas. Good by untill then. Mary Talbot
Jan 7, 1898
I shall try too describe to you the condition off your daughter there was a chang the 8 and a decided change too day the 9 she is rapidly growing weaker and the tumor is growing so as too make it difficult too breath. She is in more distress and so difficult too breath the Dr. says it is closing up over the stomach and crowding the heart she takes very little nurishment and if there is no relife soon she cant stand it long is my opion
The baby is doing well
your daughter is no better this morning, had a restless night.
Last week I had the privilege of traveling to Colorado and visiting with Alice. She is my grandma’s first cousin and was born in 1920. Her dad, Charles Edward Tracy, was my great grandfather, John Wesley Tracy’s, younger brother. Alice was a genealogist before internet research and she had a treasure trove of records and pictures to share with me. She has boxes of binders and boxes of books just full of research that she has worked on over the last countless years. Before you could get online and just type in your search terms in a Genealogy Search Engine like Ancestry.com you had to write letters to relatives, courthouses, genealogy societies, libraries, etc..and ask for information. You had to know exactly what you were looking for. Or, many times you had to drive to those places and dig through records yourself. Most of them weren’t indexed or even in great order. I really realized how much easier it is now with so many records not only digitized but also indexed and sounded. I can do so much of my research from the comfort of my own home. But on the flip side, through her hard, patient work, Alice has a large collection of old letters, photographs, telegrams, birth and death certificates, and more. Genealogists like myself consider these real treasures.
I thoroughly enjoyed swapping stories with Alice and I can tell that, like me, she was very happy to have someone to talk family history with that understood the fascination with our ancestors. It was just so crazy to think through the steps every time she would tell a story that started with something like, “Aunt May” and I had to realize that was my great grandmother May. She spent time at the farm and met all the “cousins” who were really my grandma Mabel’s siblings or cousins as well. I didn’t get near enough time to ask all that I wanted to ask and it really made me miss my grandma so much. There are so many stories that I missed because I was too busy as a kid to really listen or pay attention when Grandma wanted to tell them to me.
One evening we ate dinner with her daughters, granddaughter (Tara), and Sara, another “cousin” (3rd once removed) who lives in the area and whom I had invited to join us. I enjoyed meeting such extended family. I worked quite a bit with Tara that week as she has the privilege of “housing” all of her grandmother’s treasure. She let me rummage through, scan and copy to my heart’s content and I helped her organize and explain her grandma’s system, hopefully.
Best of all I came home with new energy, and fresh direction. I now have most of the information I need to start writing about the John Edward Tracy family and I am ready to jump in.