Yeah She Had Moxie #52Ancestors

Rebecca Holmes Williams and Family

Rebecca Holmes Williams and Family

Since March is Women’s History Month and I lucked into writing about a female ancestor last week I’m going to continue through the month honoring my female ancestors. This week I want to tell you about another of my great great grandmothers Rebecca Holmes.

Rebecca Holmes is a direct branch on my maternal side. She’s my mother’s, mother’s, mother’s, mother and in my mind she is a symbol of strength. Let me tell you why.

Rebecca was born 14 August 1833 to Margaret Junkins and William Holmes in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. She grew up in eastern Ohio and married Isaac Williams in 1853 when she was 20 years old.

Fast forward a couple years to 1860, Rebecca is the mother of two girls, her third child, a son lives only ten months. Add to that Rebecca’s fourth child another son lives just nine months before passing away. Rebecca has a fifth child yet another baby boy and is pregnant again when the family decides to move from Tuscarawas County to Allen County, Ohio. It’s not just this small family that makes the move. There is a passel of people that make this journey.

Rebecca Holmes Williams

Rebecca Holmes Williams

Along with Rebecca and Isaac on this migration are her parents, eight siblings many with families and her grandparents. Also included in the move are several of Isaac’s brothers and their families. It had to have been an event to remember with the number of people involved.

Finally in Allen and neighboring Harding County the families settle down. Most continue farming. It’s at this point I realize that Rebecca would have moved across the state knowing she’d never visit the final resting place of her two sons again. Buried in a small church cemetery in Tuscarawas County I can only imagine her final farewell and heavy heart. Continue reading

She’s the Culprit! #52Ancestors

Family history - Genealogy research

My great grandmother Mary Ellen Williams (Marshall)

Any of us who refer to ourselves as genealogists or family historians have a favorite ancestor. You know that one person we can’t get enough of. No matter what, we somehow circle back to them whether we’re looking at family pics or at pedigree charts our eyes always seem to find the favorite’s papers or charts. I’m no different. I have three ancestors I’ve spent a good deal of time researching but if asked for my hands down, absolute favorite, numero uno ancestor it has to be Mary Ellen Williams Marshall. It’s her life and story that piqued my genealogy interest. My delving into family history lays at her feet. So who is she?

I have written about her previously here and here and here if you care to read those posts but for this week’s 52 Ancestors I’ll share her with you this way.

Mary Ellen Williams Marshall is my maternal great grandmother. Born September 26, 1871 she was the youngest child of Isaac and Rebecca Holmes Williams. She married George S Marshall in 1891 and had three children. Gladys her oldest is my grandmother. So why the fascination on my part?

George & Mary Ellen Williams Marshall Farm

George & Mary Ellen Williams Marshall Farm

Mary Ellen died at a flourishing age. Consumption claimed her at only 36 years old. She left her husband George with two daughters ages 16 and 12 and a five year old son. Even though he was still a young man at 40 years old, George raised his children alone and then went on to live with his oldest daughter for the rest of his life, never marrying again. Continue reading

I have another vintage family photo story for you. This one just a little bit embarrassing on my part.

Silas Williams

Silas Williams

I have another vintage family photo story for you. This one just a little bit embarrassing on my part.



So I’m going through my craft stuff. If you read my post last Saturday you’ll know why I’m combing through my craft supplies.



Anyway I have a small box of family pics I use just for crafts. They’re images I’ve printed on my computer or duplicates I’ve made at Walgreen’s just for the purpose of cutting up and using in projects. They’re in with the rest of my supplies so they don’t get mixed up with my genealogy family photos.



Low and behold at the very bottom of my craft photo box are these two 5×7 black and white pics. My jaw dropped. These people are my 3x great grandparents! I know I have one and only one copy of their photo and it’s here in my craft box not scanned and placed in a digital file or at the very least in their binder.



Holy Moly!! I have no idea how they crept in here among my crafts but thank heavens I caught them before they became part of next week’s Crafting Genealogy. Me who rejoiced less than a week ago over some new found family pics am storing my great great great grandparents among my craft stuff in the basement!!


Before I go on I do want to take a minute and tell you who they are.

Silas Williams was born 20 Aug 1796 in Bucks County, PA. His father Abel was a veteran of the American Revolutionary War.

He married Sarah (Sally) Lappin on 15 July 1819 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. She was born 20 May 1799 in Fayette County, PA. They had eleven children.



Sarah Lappin Williams

Sarah Lappin Williams

Silas and Sarah donated some of their land in Tuscarawas County for a church to be built and to this day their photos hang in the back of the church. That’s how me and my genea-sisters were able to get these photos. Silas died 1 Oct 1848 in Tuscarawas County, Ohio and Sarah passed 11 Sept 1839 also in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.



Just a thought if these folks sound the least bit familiar to you contact me at With eleven children I must have a ton of distant cousins out there!



So let this be a lesson to one and all. Don’t let your 3x great grandparents out of your sight. Who knows where they’ll end up!

Now I’m off to scan these old people and make more copies.



Have you misplaced your ancestors? I hope you’ve found them! If so tell me about it in the comments. I’d love to know I’m not the only one about to lose my genealogy card over this! :)

It Was Right Under My Nose!!

Family history, genealogy, family tree, Marshall, Williams

Gladys Marshall Lowery’s Autograph Book

You know how sometimes you’re hesitant to tell a story about yourself because you know it makes you look like a goof? Well I thought twice about telling this story but what the heck. Here goes . . .

Recently I’ve seen a couple posts about autograph books. Very cool books indeed and I remembered have my maternal grandmother’s autograph book. My mom gave it to me years and years ago. It’s been safely put away for sometime now. My recent blog readings made me hunt it up.

It took only a few moments to pull out my grandmother’s autograph book. I knew exactly where it was. The cover and pages are in really nice shape, it’s just that the binding is broken. So gently and ever so carefully I turn every page.

My grandmother, Gladys B. Marshall Lowery was born in 1892 in Allen County, Ohio. The earliest message in her book is January 5, 1903. Maybe this album was a Christmas gift. She’d have been 10 years old then and I imagine this was a prized possession.

As I look through the pages some notes are signed “your cousin” with vaguely familiar names.

Nov 29. 1909.
Cousin Gladys,
Love your playmates
Love your toys;
But never never love
the boys.
Your cousin,
Ida Kidd

Later my grandmother wrote Battles after Ida’s last name. Thanks grandma for her married name!!

So I need to check these collateral family members out. Continue reading

Have you seen my Great Grandfather’s cane?

Marshall, Lowery, Williams Family History, genealogy

George S Marshall

I was searching through a closet today and came across my great-grandfather’s cane. It’s odd that I don’t remember how I got the cane. I’m sure my mom gave it to me. It belonged to her grandfather but I don’t remember how it actually came to be mine. Weird. I’m usually very good at that stuff. My great-grandfather, the owner of this cane, George S Marshall is somewhat of an enigma to me. I know very little about him but here’s a little of what I do know.

George was born in 1868 in Allen County, Ohio. He married my great-grandmother Mary Ellen Williams in 1891. They had three children, my grandmother Gladys was the oldest and they lived on a farm that’s only about 20 minutes from me today.

By all accounts life seemed good for the family. They had three children, were farmers and prospered. I have a couple of pictures of George and Mary Ellen in front of their house and on the farm. It was a happy life until 1908 when my great-grandmother died. Consumption was the cause listed on Mary Ellen’s death certificate. It may as well read “Tragic Ending” because George suddenly became a single father of two teenage girls and a small son. Continue reading