Saturday, October 29, 2011

Emma and Elmer Eloped

Emma Ewers Taylor and Elmer Dennis Hopkins eloped from Mt. Vernon, Kentucky to Jellico, Tennessee on 11 Oct 1920 but this story doesn't really start there. It starts nine years earlier.

When Emma was almost eleven years old, her sister, Susie, married August Krueger on 7 Sep 1911 at the Taylor family home in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky. This is how she remembered the wedding. 
"They had a home wedding and they all cried so I decided then if I ever married, I would elope and I did."
She didn't elaborate on exactly who cried at Susie's wedding. Most likely Emma's mother (Susie's step-mother), Emmie Jane. Probably also Emma and Susie's older sister, Gracie. Maybe even their father, John. Possibly assorted other relatives in attendance.

At any rate, the crying made a big impression on young Emma - enough that she eloped to avoid it and still vividly remembered it when she wrote about Susie's wedding and her own decades later.

Emma was born and raised in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Elmer's family moved there from Harlan County when he was about six years old. Emma lived in Mt. Vernon and Elmer lived near Brodhead. Mutual friend, Ester Staverson, introduced them.   

By the fall of 1920, Emma had been working for 18 months as assistant cashier and bookkeeper at Peoples Bank in Mt. Vernon. Even though she wasn't yet 20 years old, this was her third job. She worked at the Mt. Vernon Post Office while waiting until she was old enough to take the teacher's examination after graduating from high school in 1916 at age 16. Her first and only year of teaching ended when the schools closed in Feb 1919 due to the flu epidemic. After that, she returned to the Post Office for a short time before going to work at the bank. 

Elmer, who was six years older than Emma, served in the U. S. Army from 4 Dec 1911 - 3 Dec 1914. He went to work for L & N Railroad on 15 Dec 1915 but took a break from his employment to serve a 2nd tour with the army during World War I from 24 May 1918 - 12 Jun 1919. After his discharge, Elmer returned to work for the railroad and bought a house in Corbin, Kentucky where he was stationed with L & N.

Emma wrote about their wedding in 1977:
"On Oct 11, 1920, I married Elmer Dennis Hopkins. When I was 11 at my sister's wedding I decided to elope. This I did. I went home from work at noon and Elmer and I left in a taxi as I went back to work. We went to Wildie. Got on the train and road to Jellico, Tenn. We were married by a Justice of the Peace in a furniture store with 1 witness which was all the state of Tenn required. We went to a hotel and ate supper then caught the train to Corbin. We got there about 11 P.M. and went to our house Elmer had bought and furnished. I fixed a special delivery letter to be delivered to Mama about the time I would get home from work telling her I would be married by the time she got it. My brother told me later there was weeping and wailing. She wrote me a letter the next day for us to come home. So we went to Mt. Vernon the third day of our honeymoon and spent the night and on to his home at Crab Orchard the next day. Mama had a good supper and a real nice cake. They didn't cry for which I was glad."
I had bought sheets, linens, etc. and had them at the bank so I bought a trunk and took all my things home. Later, I moved my piano."
"We had a bed, dresser, dining table, 6 chairs, rocker, kitchen cabinet and cook stove to start. I then bought a couch, another living room chair, rugs, wash stand and several other things for the house. I still have the round oak dining table after 57 years." 
The Mt. Vernon Signal published their wedding announcement on 15 Oct 1920: 
"TAYLOR-HOPKINS: Miss Emma Taylor and Mr. Elmer Hopkins were married in Jellico, Tenn Oct. 11, 1920.
Miss Taylor is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Taylor of this city and was the Asst. Cashier of the Peoples Bank. She was one of Mount Vernon's most popular girls and was liked by everyone. Mr. Hopkins is the son of Mr. J. A.  Hopkins of near Brodhead and is a fine young man. Mr. Hopkins is a conductor for the L & N with headquarters at Corbin, Ky. where they will make their home.
[1st part of the last sentence is unreadable on newspaper microfilm] .  .  . host of friends in wishing them a long and happy married life."
Elmer and Emma on their 50th Anniversary

Autumn Weddings is the topic for the 111th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Creative Gene.

Emma and Elmer were my maternal grandparents. The information written by Emma is from her Notebook that I have written about in the past.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Ancestors' Geneameme

There was a lot of genealogy blogging going on while I was off cruising and traveling for most of the past two weeks. Today I started trying to catch up on reading before my Google Reader explodes (it still says 1000+, I don't want to know the actual number). 

I need to get back into the swing of things. This meme started at Geniaus and it looks interesting so here goes. 

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

You are encouraged to add extra comments in brackets after each item 

Which of these apply to you?
  1.  Can name my 16 great-great-grandparents
  2.  Can name over 50 direct ancestors
  3.  Have photographs or portraits of my 8 great-grandparents [Have 7 but am missing Joseph Smith Lanier.]
  4.  Have an ancestor who was married more than three times [No, but have several with 3 marriages.]
  5.  Have an ancestor who was a bigamist [And that's all I'm saying about that.]
  6.  Met all four of my grandparents [Only met 3. My paternal grandmother died 9 years  before I was born.]
  7.  Met one or more of my great-grandparents [Met 3 although I only remember 2.]
  8.  Named a child after an ancestor
  9.  Bear an ancestor's given name/s [I share a middle name with my mother.]
  10.  Have an ancestor from Great Britain or Ireland
  11.  Have an ancestor from Asia
  12.  Have an ancestor from Continental Europe
  13.  Have an ancestor from Africa
  14.  Have an ancestor who was an agricultural labourer [Many, actually most]
  15.  Have an ancestor who had large land holdings 
  16.  Have an ancestor who was a holy man - minister, priest, rabbi [Great-grandfather, Thomas Leander "Lee" Hankins, was a Baptist minister.]
  17.  Have an ancestor who was a midwife
  18.  Have an ancestor who was an author 
  19.  Have an ancestor with the surname Smith, Murphy or Jones [2 Smith lines]
  20.  Have an ancestor with the surname Wong, Kim, Suzuki or Ng
  21.  Have an ancestor with a surname beginning with X
  22.  Have an ancestor with a forename beginnining with Z
  23.  Have an ancestor born on 25th December [Great-grandfather, John Cook Taylor]
  24.  Have an ancestor born on New Year's Day
  25.  Have blue blood in your family lines [Maybe, don't really know but my 10th great-grandfather, Nicholas Lanier, was a musician in the Court of King Henry II of France and the Courts of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I of England.]
  26.  Have a parent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  27.  Have a grandparent who was born in a country different from my country of birth
  28.  Can trace a direct family line back to the eighteenth century
  29.  Can trace a direct family line back to the seventeenth century or earlier
  30.  Have seen copies of the signatures of some of my great-grandparents
  31.  Have ancestors who signed their marriage certificate with an X
  32.  Have a grandparent or earlier ancestor who went to university
  33.  Have an ancestor who was convicted of a criminal offence
  34.  Have an ancestor who was a victim of crime
  35.  Have shared an ancestor's story online or in a magazine [There are lots of stories here and a couple of years ago I wrote an article for the Rockcastle County Historical Society's newsletter about my 3rd great-grandfather, William Taylor.]
  36.  Have published a family history online or in print [In addition to this blog, I have a family tree website - McCauley, Lanier, Hankins, Hopkins & Taylor Families.] 
  37.  Have visited an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries
  38.  Still have an ancestor's home from the 19th or earlier centuries in the family
  39.  Have a  family bible from the 19th Century
  40.  Have a pre-19th century family bible

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Those Places Thursday - Pope County, Illinois

In September, I visited the Pope County, Illinois to research my Weeks ancestors - 4th great-grandparents, James and Delinda Younger Weeks, and 5th great-grandfather, Job Weeks. 
Pope County Courthouse in Golconda, Illinois

If you are planning a visit, there are a few things you should know. Researchers are not allowed in the records. They have finding aids in the public area of the clerks office. Once you locate something you want to see, the staff will pull it and make any copies you want. 

The courthouse closes between noon and 1 p.m. for lunch. I grabbed a quick lunch and spent the rest of the time in the public library using the same finding aids that were in the clerks office to identify records I needed pulled that afternoon. 

The view of Livingston County, Kentucky across the Ohio River from Golconda. Various members of the Weeks family moved back and forth between Pope County and Livingston County. Birdsville, the area in Livingston County where they lived, was just a few miles south of this spot directly across the river from Golconda.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Elmer D. Hopkins

Elmer Dennis Hopkins (3rd from left)
Probably during his 2nd tour with the U. S. Army
bet. 1918-1919

My maternal grandfather
Photo compliments of 2nd cousin, P. H. Howard

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Estate Papers Reveal Date Job Weeks Died

This envelope from Box 60 in the Pope County, Illinois County Clerk's office contains the estate papers for my 5th great-grandfather, Job Weeks.  

Job apparently fought in the Revolutionary War from Gloucester County, New Jersey - he received a pension but I haven't found his service records. According to his pension application, Job left New Jersey after the war and moved several times before settling along the Ohio River in Livingston County, Kentucky around 1817.  

He was living with his granddaughter, Sarah Weeks Hankins, on the Illinois side of the Ohio in Pope County at the time of his death so his estate was settled there. Job may have also lived in Pope County at other times after he came to the area. 

I knew Job was still alive on 4 May 1838 when he last appeared in Livingston County Court regarding his pension application and I thought he was in the 1840 census (as an 80-90 year old male in Sarah's Pope County household) but I'd never found a clue as to when he died until I saw this estate record. "Died 15 Jany 1841" is written on the front of the envelope and also on the back of the Administration Bond inside the packet.   

John H. Smith was named administrator of Job's estate on 2 Mar 1841. As far as I know, John was not related to Job but he was probably the same J. H. Smith who, as a Justice of the Peace, performed the marriage ceremony when Job married Mary Reed in 1826

According to this record, Job died without a will. The only relatives mentioned are his grandson, Nehemiah Weeks, and granddaughter, Sarah. (Their relationships aren't identified but I know from other records that they were two of James Weeks' six children and that James was Job's son.) Nehemiah and Sarah both bought items from the estate and Sarah was paid $18.25 by the estate for keeping livestock and tending to Job while he was sick. There was no mention of Mary so she may have died before him. There was no property listed in the inventory and there were no deed records found for Job in either Pope County or Livingston County. 
I'll have another post in a couple of weeks (after my upcoming vacation) regarding the inventory and sale or Job's property.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Late in Life Marriage for Job Weeks

When I visited Pope County, Illinois last month to research my Weeks ancestors, I found something unexpected. Job Weeks, my 5th great-grandfather, got married again just before he turned 71 years old. I say again because Job had two children that I know about (both probably born in the late 1700's). I have no idea who their mother was but it's pretty likely she was a much earlier wife.

On 25 Apr 1826, a marriage license was issued in Pope County for Job Weeks and Mrs. Mary Reed, widow.

Job and Mary were married five days later on the 30th. The ceremony was performed by J. H. Smith, Justice of the Peace - possibly the same J. H. Smith who later became the administrator of Job's estate. (Yes, that means I also found Job's estate papers. More about that and Job later.)

Pope County, Illinois, Marriage Records, Book A: pgs 27 and 92, Weeks-Reed, 1826; County Clerk's Office, Golconda.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Those Places Thursday - Livingston County, Kentucky

In September, I visited Livingston County, Kentucky for some research on my Weeks ancestors who lived there in the early 1800s. 

The Courthouse was built in 1845 and the process is currently underway to get it named to the National Register of Historic Places. Even though the building is 166 years old, it is not the building where my 4th great-grandparents, James and Delinda Younger Weeks, and my 5th great-grandfather, Job Weeks, would have done business. They were all three deceased before it was built.

The Livingston County Historical and Genealogical Society is across the street from the courthouse. 

Birdsville is north of the county seat, Smithland. According to another Weeks researcher, this is the general area where our Weeks family lived along the Ohio River. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Jimmy and Goldie Hankins

James Bailey "Jimmy" Hankins and 2nd wife, Goldie (maiden name unknown)
On their wedding day 11 Oct 1967 in Phoenix, Arizona
[I only know their wedding date because it was written on the back of this photo.]

Uncle Jimmy was my paternal grandmother's brother
Photo compliments of 2nd cousin, S. London.