A genealogy blog about the migration generation of my McKee Family line, including bios, transcribed obituaries, photographs, and research notes.

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Friday, August 27, 2021

Circling Back to Family Search's Trees

Just when I thought I had the whole tree book as complete as I could get it, I was pecking around on Family Search and started looking at their updated trees. Low and behold, researchers who are better ferrets than I am had several records that I had not been able to dig up on my own. I found more than a few marriage dates and places, added a new person via a new marriage record that I had missed, and discovered the St. Louis Military Separation File, which proved to be most helpful. 

If you want to see the whole megillah, I've uploaded my RootsMagic database as a public member tree to Ancestry.com. I've included all of my notes and sources for each person in the McKee tree.  

Questions? Please comment or email me at ptreme@gmail.com. 

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Long Time No Post!

 I know it's been a long time since I've posted an update. I've been buried for the most part of the last five years in newspaper research. As a result, I have an updated family tree book. If you would like an electronic copy, please email me at ptreme@gmail.com. 

The tree book is greatly expanded with lots of new people and more complete information on individuals as a result of the newspaper research. In addition to updating the book, I've also uploaded a public family tree to Ancestry.com. The public family tree has notes that include the results of my newspaper research. For example, if an individuals profile includes a note titled Obit, open the note and you'll see the transcribed obituary. I hope you enjoy the new public family tree. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Vincent Fletcher, Canada, 1929-1997

I love Find A Grave. A good soul published the grave site details and a picture of the gravestone of Vincent Fletcher. See memorial 195643418. I've been missing a death date for him. The memorial shows the date 21 Apr 1997.

Vincent is the son of Percy Vincent and Mabel (BradleyFletcher. He married Many Winnifed McLees. Based on Mary's obituary, the couple had no children. Here are the links to Mary's obits and an extra article.

Obit 1
Obit 2
Article 1

From Mary's obits and the article, the couple seems to have retired to Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. So now I need to see if I can track down an obit for Vincent.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Jesse Lemuel "Lem" McKee 1890-1971 Missouri Michigan

I'm still buried in newspaper research. Thus you have the lack of posting to this blog. I'm finding all sorts of interesting articles...not the least is this series of articles about Lem.

Greenville Sun, Greenville, Missouri, 24 May 1906, Page 6
Joe Huff Killed.
Williamsville citizens were startled last Monday morning at the news of Joe Huff having been shot down and almost instantly killed by a son of Jesse McKee. Huff and Jesse McKee engaged in a quarrel about some trivial matter and McKee's son took sides with his father and shot Huff down. McKee claims that Huff drew a club on him and was about to strike him and that his murderous act was in self-defense.
Coroner Sheets held the inquest Monday afternoon. The verdict of the jury was that the deceased came to his death by a gun shot wound produced by young McKee. The young man is only about 17 years old. He has been given a preliminary before H. Manns and held to await the action of the circuit court. Constable Edgar delivered him to the sheriff here Tuesday.

Pemiscot Press, Caruthersville, Missouri, 5 Jun 1906, Page 1
Kennett Democrat: Joe Huff was shot and instantly killed while engaged in an altercation with Jesse McKee, at Williamsville, Tuesday, the fatal shot being fired by a 16-year old son of McKee. The two men were quarreling over a woodpile which McKee claimed obstructed a pathway used by him.

Greenville Sun, Greenville, Missouri, 7 Jun 1906, Page 2
Bound Over.
Lem McKee, who is charged with the murder of Joe Huff, was given a preliminary trial before 'Squire Manns at Williamsville last Thursday. He was held to await the action of the circuit court. His bond was fixed at $10,000 and he was committed to jail for failure to give bond. His mothers, Mrs. Jesse McKee was held as an accessory. Her bond was fixed at $1000 which was promptly tilled. Attorney O. L. Munger has been retained by the defendants and Almon Ing represents the state.

Greenville Sun, Greenville, Missouri, 2 Aug 1906, Page 7
List Of Cases To Be Tried At The August Term Of Circuit Court.
State of Mo vs. Lem McKee; murder.

Greenville Sun, Greenville, Missouri, 30 Aug 1906, Page 2
Circuit Court Proceedings, (Third Week)
State vs Lem McKee, murder, trial by jury and acquitted.

You just never can guess what information you'll run across when you start poking around. Lem went on to live an honorable life. He worked mostly as a carpenter, moving between the Williamsville, Missouri area and Pontiac, Michigan (as early as 1929). His obit--see below--says he lived in Detroit; however, I found him in Pontiac.

Piedmont Wayne County Journal-Banner. 11 Feb 1971, Page 2 Columns 4 and 5
J. L. McKee Rites Held in Williamsville
Jesse Lemuel McKee, the son of Jesse and Rosa Noble McKee, was born in Wayne County, Missouri, on January 6, 1890.
Mr. McKee was converted early in life and attended the Assembly of God Church for many years.
On November 1, 1913, he was united in marriage to Miss Lillie Grable. Mr. and Mrs. McKee made their home in Detroit, Michigan, where he worked as a tool and die maker for General Motors Corporation until his retirement. Mrs. McKee passed away on May 29, 1959. On December 21, 1960, he was married to Mrs. Nellie Mae Frazier who survives.
Other survivors include a step-daughter, Mrs. Gloria Salamore of Harvey, Illinois; two sisters; Mrs. Julia Hillis of Dexter, Missouri and Mrs. Alice Howard of Jackson, Missouri; three-step grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Mr. McKee passed away at the Doctors Hospital, Poplar Bluff, Missouri, on February 4, 1971 at the age of 81 years and 21 days.
Funeral services for Mr. McKee were held in the Assembly of God Church, Williamsville, Missouri on February 7, 1971 with Rev. Lester Freeman officiating. Music was furnished by the church choir, with Mrs. Floyd Gurley at the piano. Serving as casket bearers were O. L. Holmes, William Cradic, Charles Tinker, Sam Willard, Gene Manns, and Donald Murray.
Interment was made in the Holladay Cemetery at Williamsville. Coder Funeral Home of Williamsville, in charge of arrangements.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Florence Huff or Florence Robbins, 1905-1992, Maine, Florida, Colorado

One thing that doing newspapers research has caused me to do is revisit the research for each person in my database. I'm making sure I've included every available record. I've uncovered a few mistakes and have found information added since the last time I looked, which has been a few years. Today I started looking at a person whose last name is either Huff or Robbins. I've got records that would indicate that both are possible. This puzzle started when I looked up Florence's marriage record.

Ancestry.com. New Hampshire, Marriage Records Index, 1637-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Name: Florence M Robbins
Marriage Date: 31 May 1930
Event Type: Marriage
Marriage Place: Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire
Birth Date: abt 1905
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Father's name: George Robbins
Mother's name: Harriet Lansing
Spouse Name: Frank A Anderson
Spouse Age: 27
Spouse Gender: Male
Spouse Father's Name: Joseph
Spouse Mother's Name: Julia Pierce
FHL Film Number: 2057170

Biddeford Journal, Biddeford, Maine 6 Jun 1980, Page 31

GOLDEN WEDDING - Frank and Florence Anderson of Goose Rocks Beach, Kennebunkport, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary May 31 at the home of her brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Ernestine Huff of Jenkins Road, Saco. Fifty relatives and friends attended the surprise party which was given by the honor couple's children, Joyce Anderson of Yuma, Colo., Guy Anderson of Biddeford and Judie Lenhart of Greeley, Colo., and the Huffs. Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were married May 31,1930, at Portsmouth, N.H. They have lived in Biddeford and Kennebunkport ever since. Their family also includes seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

If you look up Florence Huff on Ancestry and check the Public Member Trees, you'll find four trees under both the names Florence Huff and Florence Robbins, with both women marrying Frank Anderson. So it would appear that I'm not the only confused person.
  • Florence Huff's parents are William O Huff and Ivy M Clark.
  • Florence Robbins' parents are George M Robbins and Harriet M Lansing
Here's the census layout.
  • 1910 has a Huff entry.
    Florence is with the Huff family in Lyman, York, Maine.
    Her father William is married to Ivy in this census.
  • 1920 has a Robbins entry.
    Florence is with the Robbins family in Biddeford, York, Maine.
    1920 has a Huff entry.
    Robert (Florence's brother) is still with his father William O Huff.
    William is married to Helen in this census.
  • 1930 has a Robbins entry.
    Florence is there in Biddeford, York, Maine.
    1930 has a Huff entry.
    William is a boarder in Biddeford and is listed as divorced. He has no children with him.
  • 1940 has no Robbins entry.
    1940 has a Huff entry. William is divorced and living with his son James. 

It would appear that based on the census entries and subsequent records that Florence started life as Florence Huff, and for some unknown reason, becomes Florence Robbins between 1910 and 1920. 

As an additional piece of information, in Florence's daughter Lillian Joyce's obituary, her mother is listed as Florence Robins

So what happened is a puzzlement. If you have information to contribute, please post a comment to this blog post.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Joseph G. McKee, 1804-1884, Northern Ireland; Sparta, Randolph County, Illinois, United States

Joe seems to be the first person in the McKee family who comes to the U.S. The question is: What is his first wife's name?

Based on research for Joe's brother, William, I know that William is in the Port/Mount Norris, County Armagh area as late as 11 May 1837 because of the birth of his daughter there on that date.

In 1834 I can find the following information:
Joseph McKee appears on a Kilcon Tithe Applotment (1834)...a hop away from Port Norris in Loughgilly and geographic coverage is Mountnorris, Armagh, Ireland
This Joseph is gone from Griffith's Valuation, which occurs later. In addition, this Joseph may or may not be my Joseph. Of note, I have a photocopied story that has Joseph stating that one of the reasons for leaving Ireland was rising rents.

By 1838, Joe is in Randolph County, Illinois. Here's the quotation that confirms his presence.
The Trails, Randolph County Genealogy Society, Vol 15, No 17, Page 33

At Joe McKee's house, Mrs. Eliza Stewart and Mrs. Martha McKee received on certification.
So I have a working theory that Joe and his wife (and possibly children) emigrated between 1834 and 1838.

The closest I can come to this date is this record on Ancestry.com are as follows:
Name: Joseph McKee
Arrival date: 13 Jul 1830
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Port of Arrival: Philadelphia
Port of Departure: Londonderry
Place of Origin: Great Britain
Destination: USA
Ship Name: Ship Asia
National Archives' Series Number: 425
Microfilm Number: 45
List Number: 113

Name: Martha Mackey
Arrival date: 13 Jul 1830
Age: 20
Gender: Female
Port of Arrival: Philadelphia
Port of Departure: Londonderry
Place of Origin: Great Britain
Destination: USA
Ship Name: Ship Asia
National Archives' Series Number: 425
Microfilm Number: 45
List Number: 113

If you look for Joe on Ancestry.com and check the families, they suggest that his wife's name is Elizabeth. They offer no source for the information that I've noticed. I have seen a Philadelphia arrival record that has a Joseph McKee entering with an Elizabeth McKee. But for the life of me, I can't locate that record. But again, even if I could find this record, I have nothing to say that this couple are the couple I'm looking for. 

If you have anything to add to this thorny knot, I'd be happy to hear from you. Please leave me a message. In the interim, I'm going with Martha until I have info to the contrary.

Update: I've been pondering the question of Joe's wife's name for days and two things occur to me.

  1. No reason exist to assume that Joe is married when he emigrates from N. Ireland. He's in his 20s and members of the McKee family (like many Scots-Irish families) tend to marry later. 
  2. I've never check the early marriage records for Randolph or surrounding counties to see if there is any record of Joe marrying post emigrating to the U.S., which based on the evidence I have is entirely possible. 

So I've perhaps reasoned my way to a new line of research; that is, Joe marries the first time in the U.S. I'll update the blog if and when I make any startling discoveries.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

John Karber, Gypsum, Saline, Kansas, 1892-1954

I've been fumbling around with the John Karbers in Gypsum, Kansas. Two John Karbers are there born just a year or so apart. However, only one of them was married to Mary Velma Thompson. Needless to say the records are mixed and it has always been hard to tell them apart.

John Karber s/o Nicholas Karber and Elizabeth Berger

John Karber s/o Michael Karber and Anna V. Hoffman

I finally decided last night that I was going to tackle this knot and see what I could find.

The first record that confirmed that Mary Velma Thompson had actually married a John Karber was in the 1915 Kansas State census.

Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; Roll: ks1915_214; Line: 12
Name: John Karber
Census Date: 1915
Residence County: Saline
Residence State: Kansas
Locality: Gypsum
Birth Place: Kansas
Family Number: 79
Gender: Male
Age: 23
Birth Year: abt 1892
Race: White
Household Member(s): Name Age
John Karber 23
Velma Karber 24

With this entry, I had an approximate date range to start searching newspapers. Here are the entries I found that confirm the marriage. And boy did I luck up. One of the articles identified, John's parents.

The Gypsum Advocate, Gypsum, Kansas, 25 Oct 1979, Page 4
Do You Remember?
Taken from the files of The Advocate.
October 23, 1914--65 years ago
John Karber, son of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Karber, south of Gypsum, and Velma Thompson, of Roxbury, were united in marriage last Thursday in Salina by Probate Judge Wilson.

The Democrat-Opinion, McPherson, Kansas, 30 Oct 1914, Page 8
Roxbury Notes.
Another wedding occurred last Wednesday. Miss Velma Thompson and John Karber were married at the Catholic Church at Salina. They are at home on the Matt Karber farm four miles southwest of Gypsum.

For the first time, I had definitive evidence that I was search for info on the John Karber who was the son of Nicholas and Elizabeth Karber. But it turned out there was much more information to find. Here's the information about Velma and John's bitter divorce.

The Salina Evening Journal, Salina, Kansas, 7 Jun 1918, Page 1
Charges and Counter Charges Fly Thick in District Court.
The domestic troubles of John Karber and his wife, Velma Karber, both of Gypsum are being thoroughly aired in district court today before Judge Dallas Grover, where Karber is suing his wife for divorce.
Serious charges and counter charges are made against each by the parties, a large number of witnesses are in attendance from the Gypsum neighborhood and the case is expected to take the remainder of the day.

The Salina Evening Journal, Salina, Kansas, 10 Jun 1918, Page 1
Condition of Mrs. Karber Forces Recess in Case.
The divorce case of John Karber, against Velma Karber, which has been on trial in the district court since Friday, bids fair to occupy the attention of the court for several days yet. The introduction of testimony by Mrs. Karker was started this morning, Mrs. Karber herself taking the stand as the first witness in her own behalf. The nervous excitement of the ordeal caused her to break down at ten-thirty this morning and a recess of court was taken to permit her to recover.

Western Kansas Journal, Salina, Kansas, 13 Jun 1918
Woman in Divorce Case is Remembered by Friends.
Attorneys are arguing the Karber divorce suit before District Judge Dallas Grover today, the taking of testimony having been concluded at adjourning time last night.
The trial of this case, which began last Friday, has attracted a large crowd from Gypsum City, many coming as witnesses in the case. The parties are well known in Gypsum neighborhood. At the conclusion of the argument this afternoon Judge Grover took the case under advisement.
An interesting feature of today's hearing is the flowers given Mrs. Karber by a group of her friends, who surround her at each recess of court as the case proceeds.
To each of the floral offerings given her today was attached a card bearing these words:
"In loving sympathy of Mrs. Velma Karber. From friends."

The Gypsum Advocate, Gypsum, Kansas, 27 Jun 1918, Page 10
A decree of divorce was granted by District Judge Grover late yesterday to Mrs. Velma Karber from her husband, John Karber. The judgment was rendered on Mrs. Karber's cross petition. Mrs. Karber was given the custody of her three year old son.

And just to add a little salt to the wound, we have this tidbit.

The Gypsum Advocate, Gypsum, Kansas, 11 Jul 1918, Page 8
I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to all my friends and neighbors for their part in helping restore my darling baby boy to my arms again. May the Lord's richest blessings rest upon all of you.--Mrs. Velma Karber.

The baby boy was Paul Thompson Karber, Sr. b. 9 Dec 1915, Gypsum, Saline, Kansas d. 5 Nov 1978 Garden City, Finney, Kansas. You can find his memorial on Find A Grave (14806050).

I've posted this info all over the place for researchers to use and to correct entries on Find A Grave (due diligence since I made one of the original errors on Find A Grave by connecting to the wrong John Karber.)

Newspapers...What a good thing!