Even More About Sgt. Walter Scott

This afternoon, I had about an hour in the genealogy room of the downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library. I wanted to see what I could find out about Sgt. Walter Scott, even though an hour didn’t give me enough time to really do a lot of digging. First, I looked at the microfilm rolls of the Washington State Death Index for 1910 – 1919 and for 1920 – 1929. I was looking not only for Walter, but for his wife Josephine. There were many Walter Scotts listed in the WSDI, and I had to eliminate them by subtracting the age listed at death from the year of death to see if I could come up with a date of (or close to) 1847, the date Craig determined Walter had been born. I found only one Josephine listed in that 20-year-span, and her age was too young to have fit the Josephine found on the 1870 and 1880 Federal Censuses. I finally found Walter listed in the 1920 – 1929 WSDI, age 75, death on 6 January 1923 in the City of Spokane.

From there, I went in search of Spokane newspapers on microfilm for that week. In 1923, the city had three newspapers, The Spokane Press, The Spokane Daily Chronicle (which later became simply The Spokane Chronicle) and The Spokesman-Review, the only one of the three still in existence. Most people in those days did not have obituaries, unless they were prominent citizens or celebrities. Occaisionally, one might find a short “blip” of a paragraph or two tucked away behind the front page, notifying the public of the death of a well-known or beloved person in the community. Births, marriages, deaths, funerals, and cards of thanks were listed with the public notices directly before the advertisements, not unlike today’s paper.

In The Spokane Daily Chronicle of Saturday, 6 January 1923, on page 14, column 1, I found Walter’s death notice:

Scott – Walter. Age 75 years, passed away a E3604 2d avenue, January 6th. He is survived by his wife, Alice M.; a daughter, Eva M. Petway of Spokane; two sons, Miner [sic] L. of Seattle and Walter of Anaconda, Mont.; also a granddaughter of Portland. He was a member of the K. P. lodge and Reno Post. The body is at Smith & Co.’s funeral parlors.

The Spokane Press had a funeral notice two days later on page 7, column 2:

Walter Scott, Tuesday, 3 o’clock, from Smith & Co.’s. Rev. Johnson, Reno Post of GAR and Knights of Pythias to officiate. Greenwood.

There was nothing found in The Spokesman-Review. I ran out of time to check funeral home records, city directories, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, and a number of records I could have accessed in the genealogy room, Northwest Room, or microfilmed newspaper section. On my To-Do list is to discover when and where Josephine died.

When I got home, I was curious to see what I could find on the Washington State Digital Archives website. I noticed that Walter’s wife was listed as Alice M. in the death notice, so I figured he had married again after Josephine’s death. My search for Walter Scott turned up many results, most of which were not the man I was researching. However, three were of interest: the 1910 Federal Census of Spokane County; a 1911 Spokane County (historic) marriage record to Alice M. Harris; and a Walla Walla Penitentiary record. The 1910 census listing is actually an index, and does not list other members of the household. Since Craig had already found this information (likely on Ancestry.com), I didn’t feel compelled to dig deeper here. The marriage record was definitely a jackpot, because one can view images of these historic records! It confirmed Walter’s birth in Ohio, and gave his mother’s maiden name: Sophia Hall, born in Kentucky. His father’s name was unknown. Alice had much more detailed information, including the fact that she was an octoroon, divorced, and her parents’ names and birthplaces. The record contained the Scotts’ signatures as well. I could not make out the last name of one of the witnesses: Belle Sear? The other witness was definitely a relative: W. E. Scott. They were married by F. L. Donohoo, elder of the A.M.E. Church in Spokane.

The penitentiary record was probably not this Walter, but may have been his son. A Walter Scott, Negro, was convicted of Grand Larceny in King County (Seattle) in 1915, and served time in Walla Walla.

There are certainly many more things I could research on this family. Currently, my curiousity has been satisfied. Perhaps having this information online may bring about a result for a descendant Googling Walter Scott’s name.

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Even More About Sgt. Walter Scott

This afternoon, I had about an hour in the genealogy room of the downtown branch of the Spokane Public Library. I wanted to see what I could find out about Sgt. Walter Scott, even though an hour didn’t give me enough time to really do a lot of digging. First, I looked at the microfilm rolls of the Washington State Death Index for 1910 – 1919 and for 1920 – 1929. I was looking not only for Walter, but for his wife Josephine. There were many Walter Scotts listed in the WSDI, and I had to eliminate them by subtracting the age listed at death from the year of death to see if I could come up with a date of (or close to) 1847, the date Craig determined Walter had been born. I found only one Josephine listed in that 20-year-span, and her age was too young to have fit the Josephine found on the 1870 and 1880 Federal Censuses. I finally found Walter listed in the 1920 – 1929 WSDI, age 75, death on 6 January 1923 in the City of Spokane.

From there, I went in search of Spokane newspapers on microfilm for that week. In 1923, the city had three newspapers, The Spokane Press, The Spokane Daily Chronicle (which later became simply The Spokane Chronicle) and The Spokesman-Review, the only one of the three still in existence. Most people in those days did not have obituaries, unless they were prominent citizens or celebrities. Occaisionally, one might find a short “blip” of a paragraph or two tucked away behind the front page, notifying the public of the death of a well-known or beloved person in the community. Births, marriages, deaths, funerals, and cards of thanks were listed with the public notices directly before the advertisements, not unlike today’s paper.

In The Spokane Daily Chronicle of Saturday, 6 January 1923, on page 14, column 1, I found Walter’s death notice:

Scott – Walter. Age 75 years, passed away a E3604 2d avenue, January 6th. He is survived by his wife, Alice M.; a daughter, Eva M. Petway of Spokane; two sons, Miner [sic] L. of Seattle and Walter of Anaconda, Mont.; also a granddaughter of Portland. He was a member of the K. P. lodge and Reno Post. The body is at Smith & Co.’s funeral parlors.

The Spokane Press had a funeral notice two days later on page 7, column 2:

Walter Scott, Tuesday, 3 o’clock, from Smith & Co.’s. Rev. Johnson, Reno Post of GAR and Knights of Pythias to officiate. Greenwood.

There was nothing found in The Spokesman-Review. I ran out of time to check funeral home records, city directories, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, and a number of records I could have accessed in the genealogy room, Northwest Room, or microfilmed newspaper section. On my To-Do list is to discover when and where Josephine died.

When I got home, I was curious to see what I could find on the Washington State Digital Archives website. I noticed that Walter’s wife was listed as Alice M. in the death notice, so I figured he had married again after Josephine’s death. My search for Walter Scott turned up many results, most of which were not the man I was researching. However, three were of interest: the 1910 Federal Census of Spokane County; a 1911 Spokane County (historic) marriage record to Alice M. Harris; and a Walla Walla Penitentiary record. The 1910 census listing is actually an index, and does not list other members of the household. Since Craig had already found this information (likely on Ancestry.com), I didn’t feel compelled to dig deeper here. The marriage record was definitely a jackpot, because one can view images of these historic records! It confirmed Walter’s birth in Ohio, and gave his mother’s maiden name: Sophia Hall, born in Kentucky. His father’s name was unknown. Alice had much more detailed information, including the fact that she was an octoroon, divorced, and her parents’ names and birthplaces. The record contained the Scotts’ signatures as well. I could not make out the last name of one of the witnesses: Belle Sear? The other witness was definitely a relative: W. E. Scott. They were married by F. L. Donohoo, elder of the A.M.E. Church in Spokane.

The penitentiary record was probably not this Walter, but may have been his son. A Walter Scott, Negro, was convicted of Grand Larceny in King County (Seattle) in 1915, and served time in Walla Walla.

There are certainly many more things I could research on this family. Currently, my curiousity has been satisfied. Perhaps having this information online may bring about a result for a descendant Googling Walter Scott’s name.

More Obituaries: SNOOK and WESTABY

Joyce Obland, a volunteer for Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, obtained some obituaries for my husband’s family and sent them to me this week. George Rice WESTABY, II was Norm’s great-great-grandfather. George, his father-in-law, Reuben Wohlford SNOOK, and Reuben’s second wife, Elizabeth NEARHOOD, were all residents of Forsyth, Rosebud Co., Montana. I’ve posted their obituaries on my website here. I especially like the flowery and sentimental obituary for Elizabeth.

The obituaries have provided me some new information, and as I add the information to Norm’s family tree database, analyzing it as I go, I’ll probably come up with even more details, as well as questions to add to my research “To Do” lists.

I recently found a very interesting online biography of Reuben in Progressive Men of the State of Montana, which added quite a bit to my understanding of this family.

More Obituaries: SNOOK and WESTABY

Joyce Obland, a volunteer for Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness, obtained some obituaries for my husband’s family and sent them to me this week. George Rice WESTABY, II was Norm’s great-great-grandfather. George, his father-in-law, Reuben Wohlford SNOOK, and Reuben’s second wife, Elizabeth NEARHOOD, were all residents of Forsyth, Rosebud Co., Montana. I’ve posted their obituaries on my website here. I especially like the flowery and sentimental obituary for Elizabeth.

The obituaries have provided me some new information, and as I add the information to Norm’s family tree database, analyzing it as I go, I’ll probably come up with even more details, as well as questions to add to my research “To Do” lists.

I recently found a very interesting online biography of Reuben in Progressive Men of the State of Montana, which added quite a bit to my understanding of this family.

My Genealogy Gift List: Victoria’s Secret? Never!

The other day, my 16-year-old daughter and I were watching television together when a commercial for Victoria’s Secret aired during the break. The gist of the message was “every woman wants Victoria’s Secret for the holidays.” I rolled my eyes and said to Missy, “Not this woman. Give me death certificates or census records any day!”

As I thought it over, I realized that there were actually a few Secrets I’d like, none of them having to do with women named Victoria, however. For instance, there’s Mariah Emily DAILEY and her daughter, Emma Alice LYTON, my husband’s 2nd-great- and great-grandmothers, respectively. Just exactly where were they when the 1880 Federal Census was being taken? They should have been in Iowa, specifically in Thurman, Freman County. Mariah’s first husband, George TURK, assumed the name Henry LYTON, and immigrated to the U.S. from Ontario to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. After his death, Mariah married German immigrant John KLINDER in 1875. By 1880, Mariah and John had two children, Nancy Florence and Laura Luella, as well as Emma and Agnes LYTON from her marriage to Henry. Mariah’s Secret or Emma’s Secret would be great gifts for Christmas!

And in my own ancestry, I have yet to figure out Mary Jane’s Secret…Mary Jane FREDENBURG, that is. My 2nd-great-grandmother was 8 years old in 1880, yet she and her six-year-old brother, George Franklin FREDENBURG, are missing from the Greenwood Township, St. Clair County, Michigan home of her widowed mother Cornelia (McCLELLAN) FREDENBURG, younger brother William Anthony FREDENBURG (age 3 1/2), older half-sister Sarah E. FREDENBURG (12) and paternal grandparents Anthony and Hannah (FOX) FREDENBURG. Can’t find them anywhere in Michigan, or the U.S., for that matter.

I did get Helen’s Secret and Rena’s Secret for Christmas last year. Norm’s paternal grandmother, Helen Mary WESTABY, and her mother, Rena (LERFALD) WESTABY, went missing, along with father George Rice WESTABY, III, during the 1920 Federal Census. I thought I had figured it out when I read George’s obituary a few years ago. It stated that he had come from Montana to Washington State in 1920. “Aha!” I thought. “That’s why I couldn’t find them…they were moving, en route across the Northwest.” I was right…sort of. I was given some significant missing details by my father-in-law during our 2005 Christmas visit. He told me that his grandfather George had been employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad in Montana, along with George’s father and brothers. Seems George and his brothers made a little extra on the side by selling brass they stole from the railroad. George apparently sold to the wrong person, and managed to discover his mistake shortly before his impending arrest, making a midnight move with Rena and little Helen west to the Yakima Valley, where they likely hid out at the home of George’s cousin, Charles WESTABY. If they weren’t exactly in transit when the census was taken, it is certain that neither Charles nor his wife would have divulged to a government employee (i.e. census enumerator) that they were harboring a fugitive from the law!

And I did uncover another Mary Jane’s Secret this year…I think. Mary Jane BARBER, my great-grandmother and daughter of Mary Jane FREDENBURG mentioned above, was married many times. In fact, she apparently was married so many times, even her family members may not have known the exact count. My records show she first married my great-grandfather, Howard Merkel YORK, when she was only 14 years old, in 1924. That unhappy union ended three years later. Mary Jane later married her step-brother, Archie Louis KELLER, when both were in their thirties. After that divorce, Mary Jane married what we had believed to be her third husband, Jay DUNLAP. It was my searching for Mary Jane in the 1930 Federal Census that led to my theory that there was another husband between Howard and Archie. Since I couldn’t seem to find Mary Jane, I looked for her older brother Jim. I found a man with his name, the right age, birthplace and parents’ birthplaces in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Coincidentally, there’s also a Mary Jane KUPSH in Manitowoc, age off by only one year, born in Michigan, parents born in Michigan. Ordering Arthur KUPSH’s marriage record to Mary Jane should clarify if this is my great-grandmother. Interestingly, I asked Uncle Jim’s widow if she had ever heard that her late husband and sister-in-law had lived in Wisconsin. She said no; however, Jim’s widow came late into the family, as a second marriage for both Jim and herself. She may not have known Mary Jane’s Secret.

So a few Secrets uncovered…yet many more to be found! So put away those laces, satins and silks…give me dusty documents, faded photographs (but not too faded!), or samplers stitched with my ancestress’ maiden name instead:

My genealogy gift list for myself (and for you!) is to uncover a few more family secrets in 2007…a few more surprises, a few more times exclaiming “so THAT’S where they were!” and many more genealogy happy dances to jig!

Merry Christmas!

P.S. When I originally published this post at my old blog site, Lee left the following comment on December 18, 2006:

Love your post! Who has a need for Victoria Secret when there are juicier secrets out there just waiting to be uncovered?

~ Lee

My Genealogy Gift List: Victoria’s Secret? Never!

The other day, my 16-year-old daughter and I were watching television together when a commercial for Victoria’s Secret aired during the break. The gist of the message was “every woman wants Victoria’s Secret for the holidays.” I rolled my eyes and said to Missy, “Not this woman. Give me death certificates or census records any day!”

As I thought it over, I realized that there were actually a few Secrets I’d like, none of them having to do with women named Victoria, however. For instance, there’s Mariah Emily DAILEY and her daughter, Emma Alice LYTON, my husband’s 2nd-great- and great-grandmothers, respectively. Just exactly where were they when the 1880 Federal Census was being taken? They should have been in Iowa, specifically in Thurman, Freman County. Mariah’s first husband, George TURK, assumed the name Henry LYTON, and immigrated to the U.S. from Ontario to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. After his death, Mariah married German immigrant John KLINDER in 1875. By 1880, Mariah and John had two children, Nancy Florence and Laura Luella, as well as Emma and Agnes LYTON from her marriage to Henry. Mariah’s Secret or Emma’s Secret would be great gifts for Christmas!

And in my own ancestry, I have yet to figure out Mary Jane’s Secret…Mary Jane FREDENBURG, that is. My 2nd-great-grandmother was 8 years old in 1880, yet she and her six-year-old brother, George Franklin FREDENBURG, are missing from the Greenwood Township, St. Clair County, Michigan home of her widowed mother Cornelia (McCLELLAN) FREDENBURG, younger brother William Anthony FREDENBURG (age 3 1/2), older half-sister Sarah E. FREDENBURG (12) and paternal grandparents Anthony and Hannah (FOX) FREDENBURG. Can’t find them anywhere in Michigan, or the U.S., for that matter.

I did get Helen’s Secret and Rena’s Secret for Christmas last year. Norm’s paternal grandmother, Helen Mary WESTABY, and her mother, Rena (LERFALD) WESTABY, went missing, along with father George Rice WESTABY, III, during the 1920 Federal Census. I thought I had figured it out when I read George’s obituary a few years ago. It stated that he had come from Montana to Washington State in 1920. “Aha!” I thought. “That’s why I couldn’t find them…they were moving, en route across the Northwest.” I was right…sort of. I was given some significant missing details by my father-in-law during our 2005 Christmas visit. He told me that his grandfather George had been employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad in Montana, along with George’s father and brothers. Seems George and his brothers made a little extra on the side by selling brass they stole from the railroad. George apparently sold to the wrong person, and managed to discover his mistake shortly before his impending arrest, making a midnight move with Rena and little Helen west to the Yakima Valley, where they likely hid out at the home of George’s cousin, Charles WESTABY. If they weren’t exactly in transit when the census was taken, it is certain that neither Charles nor his wife would have divulged to a government employee (i.e. census enumerator) that they were harboring a fugitive from the law!

And I did uncover another Mary Jane’s Secret this year…I think. Mary Jane BARBER, my great-grandmother and daughter of Mary Jane FREDENBURG mentioned above, was married many times. In fact, she apparently was married so many times, even her family members may not have known the exact count. My records show she first married my great-grandfather, Howard Merkel YORK, when she was only 14 years old, in 1924. That unhappy union ended three years later. Mary Jane later married her step-brother, Archie Louis KELLER, when both were in their thirties. After that divorce, Mary Jane married what we had believed to be her third husband, Jay DUNLAP. It was my searching for Mary Jane in the 1930 Federal Census that led to my theory that there was another husband between Howard and Archie. Since I couldn’t seem to find Mary Jane, I looked for her older brother Jim. I found a man with his name, the right age, birthplace and parents’ birthplaces in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Coincidentally, there’s also a Mary Jane KUPSH in Manitowoc, age off by only one year, born in Michigan, parents born in Michigan. Ordering Arthur KUPSH’s marriage record to Mary Jane should clarify if this is my great-grandmother. Interestingly, I asked Uncle Jim’s widow if she had ever heard that her late husband and sister-in-law had lived in Wisconsin. She said no; however, Jim’s widow came late into the family, as a second marriage for both Jim and herself. She may not have known Mary Jane’s Secret.

So a few Secrets uncovered…yet many more to be found! So put away those laces, satins and silks…give me dusty documents, faded photographs (but not too faded!), or samplers stitched with my ancestress’ maiden name instead:

My genealogy gift list for myself (and for you!) is to uncover a few more family secrets in 2007…a few more surprises, a few more times exclaiming “so THAT’S where they were!” and many more genealogy happy dances to jig!

Merry Christmas!

P.S. When I originally published this post at my old blog site, Lee left the following comment on December 18, 2006:

Love your post! Who has a need for Victoria Secret when there are juicier secrets out there just waiting to be uncovered?

~ Lee

Research Log – Obits for Norm’s Ancestors, Part 2

Heard from Christine Gray, RAOGK volunteer for Multnomah Co., Oregon. She will be looking for obits for Emma Alice LYTON and John Franklin MARTIN. Requests reimbursement of 25 cents per obit (copying fees) and $1.25 parking fee. She’s done a lookup for me before; found Leona Mary MARTIN’s obit a month or so ago, and did a great job.

Also heard from Joyce Obland, RAOGK volunteer for Rosebud Co., Montana, willing to look up obits for George Rice WESTABY, II, Reuben Wohlford SNOOK, and Elizabeth NEARHOOD. She requests reimbursement for gas (50 cents per mile is the standard donation…however, she has a 60-mile round trip to do her lookups), plus $1.00 per obit copy. I e-mailed her back and told her I will have to wait until after the holidays, as the $30.00 for gas is a little much right now.

Lastly, I heard from Linda Kolinski, RAOGK volunteer for Los Angeles Co., California. She had done an online search in ProQuest Historical Newspapers in the Los Angeles Times (1881 – 1985), and was unable to obtain an obituary for either Clark Pleasant R. TOLLIVER or Senna COLLINS.