I have tried to transcribe this as written. The paper is old and writing is faded. I believe this letter was written to my Great Great Grandmother Maria Artlysia (Aunt Lissa) who was Ann’s sister in law, married to Ann’s brother John Edward. She speaks of Isaiah who could have been her nephew or her son as both women had an Isaiah. Rachel was Lissa’s daughter. Billy was William Tracy, Ann’s brother. B.N. was Benjamin Nicholas Watt, her son, I believe. I don’t know who Aunt Jane refers to. She had a daughter named Mary Jane but she died in 1895 from the information I have found.
Mary Artlysia Boblett Tracy
“Armington Oct 31, 1904
Dear sister I will write you a few lines and see if I can hear from you and Isaiahs I have wrote to them twice since I got a letter from them I don’t know why they don’t I am anxious to hear we haven’t had a word from them for six weeks at least I don’t remember when I did get I can’t write much I have a pain my back that bothers me a good deal I had a right smart atack of jaunders last week not so bad as I have been just enough to know I had it. Aunt Jane is gone to her daughters to Bellflower where is Rachel if she is there tell her I think she has forgot her Aunt Ann I have been looking for a letter from her for sometimes I got a letter from you soon after you went home and I cant remember whether I answered or not I am getting very forgetful poore old woman no wonder so much to think about. Brother Billy poore dear old man he is so porely he cant hardly write to me any more his daughters writes to me now tells me how he is geting along I am about as well as usual
Ann Dilworth Tracy Watt
except my back and all the rest of our relations as far as I know. B.N. was to visit us four weeks ago I went over to franks two weeks ago and stayed four days I should of stayed longer but was still in the barn I went round among their children I hadent been there since last march now aunt lissa I want to hear from you and yours and from Isaiah particular about you and many as you are both cripples I hope you are both better or well my regards to all every one.
Mabel and Leo Gotcher in Oregon on Honeymoon
I was one of those that counted down the days to the release of the 1940 census. One of the first couples I looked for was my Grandpa and Grandma Gotcher. I was curious to see where they lived and to fill in some of the details of their early married life. About a year before the release I had ordered and received their marriage license and there were a couple of curious things there. They were married across the border from York, Nebraska in Belleville, Kansas on September 30, 1938. There were two interesting things on their marriage license. First, Grandpa Leo listed his residence as Turebound, Oregon (which would prove useful information when searching for them on the census). Second, Grandma Mabel listed her age as 24 when I know she was born in 1904 and was therefore 34 and Leo listed his age as 22 when I know he was born in 1917 and was actually 20 almost 21. There was a 13 year age difference, her being the elder, that they seemed to want to hide when they were younger.
Leo and Mabel Tracy Marriage License
Moving on to the census. I started searching before the census had been indexed and started looking in York, Nebraska as that is where the family had been for many years. When I couldn’t find the newlyweds there and I knew that they had lived in Oregon for awhile I remembered the marriage license and started searching for Turebound which turned out to be Terrebonne, Oregon. There they were. Here he is listed as being 22 and she is 20. – Actually he is 22 but she is 36. They both list their residence in 1935 as being on a farm in York, Nebraska. She is listed as being a teacher and he is a potato grader. This was a new bit of information for him because we had all heard that he was a lumber worker in Oregon not a potato grader. But later I found them in the 1940 Terrebonne City Directory and there he is listed as being a millworker for a lumber company – so he must have only been a potato grader for a short amount of time. The other interesting thing on the census was that my grandpa only had a 5th grade education – not that rare at that time but interesting since grandma was a school teacher. I have heard stories that she tutored him at some point.
1940 Terrebonne, Oregon Census
So how long did they live in Oregon? The story I had heard, and that these three documents seem to substantiate, is that after Grandpa and Grandma met, Leo went to Oregon to work for awhile. They probably corresponded during this time. In 1938 he came back to Nebraska and proposed to Grandma. They got married across the border because at that time it was breach of contract for a teacher to get married. After the wedding she went back to teach the rest of the semester and he went back to work in Oregon. They wrote letters which my cousin has and at Christmas Grandma got on a train and went out to Oregon to be with him. They lived there until Grandma was pregnant with my Aunt Mary, since she was born in April of 1942 they probably moved back in late 1941. The story I heard was that she had had several miscarriages and wanted to go home to better doctors when she became pregnant again. It was fun finding them in the 1940 census and seeing how they answered the census questions. In my mind, their time in Oregon always seemed like a honeymoon time for them.
Terrebonnne, Oregon Directory 1940
I am determined to clean up my ancestry tree this year. Currently it has 6,932 people and 8,951 hints. It is driving me crazy. The problem is that I have so many branches connected to it and I can’t decide; a) whether to prune, b)what to prune, c) where to prune. Besides my paternal and maternal lines and my husband’s paternal and maternal lines, I also have my husbands stepmother and stepfathers’ lines, 2 of my sister in laws’ lines and 2 of my brother in laws’ lines and also an ex sister in law. Add to that some of my cousins lines from when they asked me to look into things and make them a family tree. I just know the minute I prune a branch off that person will get in touch wanting more information.
I also have the problem of adding in siblings and children of siblings of ancestors too far back to really need to know their siblings but I worry that those lines may be the ones that have the clues I may someday need. There’s also the ancestors and branches that I am unsure of and need more sources for but I am afraid not to add because I might lose the information – how do I differentiate between those with primary sources and those without?
So I am putting out an S.O.S. call. I need some experienced genealogists to tell me how they keep their online trees under control. I could really use some advice here. I have been going through my tree since January, one surname at a time and fixing things, checking all hints, and merging duplicates (thank God for this new feature) but I feel like this process is so slow and may take all year. The other option I thought of is to start new trees with each line separate – but that seems like a lot of work especially with all the sources and pictures I have scanned into my current tree.
Please comment with how you keep your tree clean and in good order. Thank you!
John Edward Tracy Tombstone
Tombstone for John Edward Tracy in Council Cemetery, York County, Nebraska. Tombstone is located in the middle of a bush near the middle of the cemetery which holds many of John Edward Tracy’s descendants and neighbors. John Edward Tracy was my great great grandfather, Nebraska pioneer and patriarch of the Tracy family.
John Edward Tracy
The tombstone says:
Maria Artlysia Tracy
Apr. 28, 1896
64 Y 8M 12D
“A precious one from us is 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 boon His love has given. And though the body slumber here, the soul is safe in heaven.”
My husband’s great grandmother was named Effie May Stinson Banks. I have found plenty of genealogical information about her life. Her father, on the other hand, has been a brick wall. I didn’t have too much trouble finding the family in the 1900 census. They were living in Washita county, Oklahoma. The family consisted of;
James T(?) Stinson born Aug 1850 in MO both of his parents were said to be from MO, and he is a mechanic.
Tenessee – wife – born 1866 in Ky, parents from TN and KY
Effie – born 1885 in TX
Oliver – born 1888 in MO
Emma – born 1894 in Ark
By 1910 James is gone but he had a daughter in 1901 named Lena. Tenessee is remarried and has more children, the first one born in 1906 so James disappeared between 1901 and 1905. Knowing that Effie was born in Texas and was the first child I looked in Texas for James and Virginia Tenessee Gainer’s marriage license. I had a few clues about Effie’s birth to narrow down the counties and found it in Wise County under the names J.T.Stinsere and Miss Tennie Gainer, June 25, 1884.
So this is what I know
He was born about 1850 in Missouri to parents from Missouri. He married Tennie in 1884, moved around a lot and had four children before dying (or disappearing) between 1901-1905. I have searched (even in person) for a death certificate, obit, and/or a tombstone without any luck. I can’t find him as a young child in Missouri – at least not with the correct spelling and there are several that match with different spellings.
I traveled to Washita County, Oklahoma several years ago but I have since learned alot about research so I am hoping to make another trip down there sometime. Until then, unless I can find another relative that knew more about him he will continue to remain a brick wall.
Car wreck kills father, wife no where to be found.
Car Hits Viaduct Pier
Gotcher, 3217 Franklin Street, died at St. Joseph’s hospital at 10:10 o’clock last night from a fractured skull received when a car in which he was riding with Carl Carlson, 3215 Franklin street, crashed into the center pier of the Burlington viaduct on Thirteenth street at 9 o’clock last night. Carlson’s auto was going north on Thirteenth street at the time of the accident.
Both men were extricated from the wreckage by Lawrence Scabio, 1814 North Eighteenth Street, who reported the accident and had the men taken to St. Joseph’s hospital. Carlson was severely cut and bruised.
At the hospital last night Carlson was too dazed to tell how the accident happened.
According to Mrs. Carlson, Gotcher is survived by a widow and four children, but police were unable to find Mrs. Gotcher last night to tell her of the accident. Neither did Mrs. Carlson know where Mrs. Gotcher could be found.
Gotcher’s body was taken to Heafey & Heafey undertaking parlors pending arrangements for the funeral.