Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Vail Connection

Source: CDPL Digital Collection.
I have written before about my 4th-great-grandfather James Vail, who arrived in Montgomery County, Indiana sometime before March 1839 and married Selina Hampton. I have struggled to find parents for James, but by revisiting another James Vail who was living close by in the same county I may be able to overcome this brick wall.

In the 1840 US Census, there is an older James Vail (listed between 40 and 50 years old) in Union Township, Montgomery County, Indiana. I originally thought this might be my James' father. This James married widow Lavinah Lincoln on 26 October 1834 in Montgomery County, Indiana. A copy of their marriage record is shown above. Lavinah was James' second wife, he was previously married to Esther Russell in Butler County, Ohio on 15 August 1821.

James and Esther moved from Ohio to Vermilion County, Illinois sometime before 1830. James bought 80 acres in Vermilion County on 1 December 1830. They moved from Vermilion County to Montgomery County, Indiana sometime before 1834. Esther Russell Vail died in Montgomery County in July 1834.

Lavinah Vail died sometime before 1843, and then James married another widow, Martha Ann Clevenger White on 20 April 1843. Martha had previously married William T. White in the county on 2 January 1835.
Source: CDPL Digital Collection.
Unfortunately I cannot yet find James, Martha and family in the 1850 US Census, although they should be living in Montgomery County. I have looked page by page through Union, Scott, Brown, Clark, Coal Creek, Franklin, Sugar Creek, Wayne, Walnut, Ripley and Madison Townships, and the family is not listed. They next appear in Union Township in the 1860 US Census. The children listed in the census were children of James and Martha.

The family appears again in the 1870 US Census in Union Township, Montgomery County, Indiana.

James Vail died on 7 July 1871 in Montgomery County, leaving his wife Martha 55 and 1/2 acres in the county. He is buried in the New Pleasant Cemetery in Montgomery County.

James is referenced in a biography of his son, James A. Vail, in the History of Montgomery County, Indiana, Volume 2, pages 904-905. He is said to have been "one of the early settlers of Montgomery County and he became well established here through his industry."

As a recap, based on my research so far, James Vail and Esther Russell had at least the following children:
- Peter Vail, born 20 August 1821 in Butler County, Ohio, died 6 Sept 1908 in Elkhart, Indiana
- Samuel Vail, born 1824 in Butler County, Ohio, died October 1899 in Montgomery County, Indiana
- Sarah Vail, born 14 August 1825 in Butler County, Ohio, died 16 May 1880 in Fountain County, Indiana

James and Lavinah Lincoln do not appear to have had children.

James and Martha Ann Clevenger White had six children children according to Martha's obituary:
- Samuel Vail, born about June 1844
- Shubal (or Shobal) C. Vail, born 18 January 1844, died 29 September 1912
- James A. Vail, born 22 November 1847, died 16 April 1912
- Alvin Vail, born 4 October 1849
- Abraham Albert Vail, born 4 October 1849, died 23 January 1934
- Noah B. Vail, born December 1853

My theory is that my James is a nephew of this James Vail. I have a number of DNA connections which lead me to believe exploring the Vail family links in Butler County, Ohio may uncover the connection between the families.

Friday, April 28, 2017

No existen las fronteras entre los trabajadores

Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural in Arlandria. 23 Feb 2017.

The section above is part of a larger mural on the Arlandria-Chirilagua Community Center building in Alexandria, Virginia. It was painted in 2006 as a commission by Tenants and Workers United with support from the Alexandria Commission for the Arts. The words "No borders between workers" appear in Spanish, English and Ge'ez (Ethiopian Amharic script). It is a positive message we could use more of in this country right now.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mystery Location

Photo by K.D. Jones. 1968.

In an album of photos taken between April and November 1968 by my Dad, I have not been able to place the location for three. Above is a photo of an old cathedral, but I cannot identify where it is. Other photos on pages around these three were taken in San Antonio, Texas. I have already posted several from area Spanish missions. Perhaps these were taken in Mexico, a short drive from San Antonio. I just can't tell.

Photo by K.D. Jones. 1968.
Photo by K.D. Jones. 1968.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

HemisFair '68

Photo by K.D. Jones. HemisFair '68, San Antonio.

Among the black and white photos taken by my Dad in the summer of 1968 were several from the HemisFair in San Antonio. Some show the Riverwalk and HemisFair Arena. Another photo captures the Migration Fountain at the United States Pavilion, created by artist Bill Bristow for the HemisFair.
UTSA Digital Collection. Mural postcard by Carlos Merida.
Photo by K.D. Jones. Migration Fountain.
Photo by K.D. Jones. HemisFair Arena. 1968.
Photo by K.D. Jones. Riverwalk, San Antonio.
Photo by K.D. Jones. Riverwalk, San Antonio.
Perhaps these were captured on a single day in the summer of 1968. More about the HemisFair can be read online at the Texas State Historical Association's page.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

San Antonio Missions and Fountains

Photo by K.D. Jones. Mission Espada. 1968.

Here are more photos from the album made in 1968 while my Dad was stationed in San Antonio. The first two photos show the Mission San Francisco de la Espada, founded in 1690 and relocated to San Antonio in 1731.
Photo by K.D. Jones, Mission Espada. 1968.

The next photo shows Mission San Juan Capistrano. It was founded in 1731 and renovated in 2012.
Photo by K.D. Jones. Mission San Juan. 1968.
The location of the fountain below is a bit of a mystery to me. I think it is near or in the Riverwalk area of San Antonio.
Photo by K.D. Jones. Fountain in San Antonio.
The final photo in this set shows the Tower of the Americas. It was completed in 1968 for the World's Fair. The World's Fair ran from April to October 1968, the period when Dad was stationed in San Antonio. Given the nature of other photos in the album, I now see these were taken at the fair. I have a few more to share. It is interesting to compare Dad's photos from HemisFair '68 with my Gumpy's visit to the 1939 World's Fair in New York.
Photo by K.D. Jones. Tower of the Americas. 1968.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Texas, 1968

Photo by K.D. Jones, Texas. Aug 1968.

This is a set of photos taken by my Dad while he was stationed in San Antonio, Texas during the summer of 1968. The set is from a larger photo album dated between August to November 1968.
Photo by K.D. Jones, Texas. Aug 1968.
Photo by K.D. Jones. Buffalo, Aug 1968.
Photo by K.D. Jones. Buffalo, Aug 1968.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Service Record

Keith D. Jones, US Air Force

My Dad passed away last September after a battle with cancer. As part of the process to memorialize his life, I requested a copy of his military service record from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. The file arrived in February but for a variety of reasons I had not yet written about it here on the blog. We now have a date for a memorial service for Dad at Arlington National Cemetery later this summer. I thought now may be the time to share some extracts from the record.

In January 1968, Dad signed papers to enlist in the Air Force. My Gumpy witnessed the form. Dad had just completed a semester at Indiana University, following two years at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. The enlistment questionnaire included all addresses where Dad had lived from his birth to 1968. I knew about the Broad Ripple address, where he lived with his parents up to 1961. I did not know Dad had lived in Danville, Indiana between 1965-1968.

Prior to joining the Air Force, his only international travel had been a month long camping trip to Canada in June 1958.

The formal enlistment date was 4 March 1968. The first stop in Dad's Air Force service was Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. After completing basic airman school in April 1968, Dad went to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. He must have returned home to Indianapolis in August 1968, as my parents were married there on 30 August 1968.

After their wedding, Dad went into aircraft maintenance training at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio in September 1968. On 1 October 1968, Dad was promoted to Airman First Class. He received a secret clearance in 1969, and was transferred to Udorn Royal Thai Air Base in Thailand as part of the 432nd Combat Support Group. During that time he was promoted to Sergeant. In his duties as an aircraft mechanic, he performed pre and post-flight inspections on assigned aircraft, assisted the crew chief on unscheduled maintenance, troubleshooting, repairs and modifications to aircraft and related equipment.

We are lucky to be able to see some of the endorsements and references he received in his promotions. In his promotion to Airman First Class, the reporting official noted he was "a valuable asset to any enroute support section. A1C Jones' abilities were exemplified on March 19, 1969, when a C-124 aircraft staging this station was found to have a broken clamp on Number 2 engine driven generator. A new generator could not be procured and A1C Jones removed the generator so that the aircraft could depart on time without a costly delay. A1C Jones consistently volunteers his outstanding job knowledge and abilities to co-workers to get the job completed in minimum time. This has definitely contributed to the 98 percent maintenance reliability rate this enroute station enjoys. A1C Jones was selected as 'Airman of the Month' for February 1969. He was selected for his job knowledge, initiative and devotion to duty."

During the time at Udorn, the Crew Chief reported "Sgt Jones is continually studying and working towards furthering his knowledge of the many complex systems associated in the maintenance of C-130E type aircraft. Prior to being assigned as a' crew chief, Sgt Jones requested to be assigned to the phase dock so that he could gain more experience in the inspection and fix phases of heavy maintenance."

The Line Chief stated "I concur, Sgt Jones has done an excellent job in the maintenance section. I recommend his promotion."

In the facts supporting his promotion, the record reflects his "outstanding performance as a supervisor and manager. He insists on only quality maintenance from the various specialists that are used to maintain his aircraft. He has an outstanding knowledge of the various aircraft records, technical orders, and directives that are used to maintain the aircraft and he keeps abreast of all the latest changes of the technical orders and directives. With long and demanding hours as an aircraft mechanic, Sgt Jones finds time to assist the lower grade airmen in better understanding their job through the use of technical publications and on-the-job training. Sgt Jones has been lauded by his supervisors for his outstanding performance and the ability to promote a harmonious atmosphere in any situation. He has the determination to succeed in every task he is given. His military bearing and dress are of the highest standards. OTHER COMMENTS: Sgt Jones is one of the most outstanding young NCO's that I have had the pleasure of working with. He should be assigned the duties of crew chief to further his knowledge and responsibilities as a supervisor. I recommend Sgt Jones be promoted well ahead of his contemporaries. This duty was performed in Southeast Asia."

I can't think of a better review of Dad's military service to read.

In June 1970, Dad was assigned from Udorn to Travis Air Force Base as part of the 601st Organizational Maintenance Squadron and 60th Military Airlift Wing in California. The following March he was promoted to Staff Sergeant. During this time my parents lived in Vacaville, California. Dad was released from active duty in December 1971.

Dad remained in Air Force Reserve status until 3 March 1974. At some point between 1972-1974 my parents moved from California to Houston, Texas. My Nana and Gumpy later moved to Texas, and Dad also entered school at Sam Houston State University. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force on 14 March 1974.

I may have more to post in the near future on Dad's time in Texas and Thailand. I previously posted some photos my Dad took while in Thailand in 1969. There are many more in the same album. I also have an album of photos from 1968 while he was in Texas.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Scenes from Amsterdam

Photo by Patrick Jones. Amsterdam. 17 Mar 2017.

Here are a few more photos taken during my birthday weekend in Amsterdam back in March. As with my earlier photos taken last May, and the visit to the Banksy exhibition at the Moco Museum, these photos center on various forms of street art. The top stencil painting is from the inside of a bar connected to the De Looier Antiques Market. The two below were taken along canals.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Amsterdam, 18 Mar 2017.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Amsterdam. 17 Mar 2017.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Grain Elevators

Logansport Pharos-Tribune, 5 Dec 1930.

In the article above, James D. Havens, county trustee, was appointed receiver for two grain elevators in Miami County, Indiana. These were operated by the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company.

As noted in the obituaries of James and Lucinda Helen Wright Havens, they lived in Bennetts Switch, Miami County for many years. In the 1900 US Census, they were living in the household of James's parents, James and Ellenora Rork Havens in Deer Creek Township.
1900 US Census. Miami County, Indiana.
By 1910, James had become head of household. James and Lucinda had six children:
- Hazel Aleta Havens, born 4 Sept 1894 in Tazewell County, Illinois, died 1 Sept 1976 in Cass County, Indiana
- Ross Harold Havens, born 7 Dec 1900 in Miami County, Indiana, died 31 May 1973 in St. Louis, Missouri
- Russell Ardith Havens, born 12 Oct 1903 in Miami County, died 21 Jan 1983 in Orlando, Florida
- Ellenora Havens, born 18 Feb 1906 in Miami County, died 20 Jun 1992 in Louisville, Kentucky
- Leora Annabel Havens, born 28 Feb 1908 in Miami County, died 25 Nov 1987 in Cass County, Indiana
- Verna Mae Havens, born 30 Jun 1910 in Miami County, died 8 Sep 2000 in Kokomo, Indiana

The 1930 US Census shows James managing the grain elevator in Bennetts Switch. They were in the same place in the 1940 US Census.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Obituaries for James and Lulu

Kokomo Tribune, 7 May 1949
Continuing with information on James Daniel Havens, my wife's 2nd-great-grandfather, above is a copy of his obituary from the Kokomo Tribune in Indiana. His wife Lulu, Lucinda Helen Wright Havens, preceded him on 11 September 1940. A copy of her obituary from the Kokomo Tribune is below.
Kokomo Tribune, 12 Sept 1940.

Draft card for James Daniel Havens

Ancestry. WWI Draft Card for James Daniel Havens.
This is the World War I draft card for my wife's 2nd-great-grandfather, James Daniel Havens. The card was signed on 12 September 1918, included his birth date and permanent address in Bennetts Switch, Miami County, Indiana. He wrote that he works for himself and was township trustee. James listed his wife "Lulu" Lucinda Helen Wright Havens as nearest relative.
Ancestry. Reverse side of draft card.
The reverse provides key details on James' eye color (blue) and hair color (light).

Bennetts Switch is a tiny hamlet located in Deer Creek Township, Miami County, named by Baldwin Bennett for a station on the Lake Erie & Western Railroad.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Revisiting the Havens side of the tree

Back in July 2013, I posted about the family of my wife's 3rd-great-grandfather, James Daniel Havens Sr. Based on email I exchanged recently with one of her distant cousins, I thought it was time to revisit this side of the tree.

James was born on 3 July 1828 in Monmouth County, New Jersey. He moved with his parents Daniel Havens and Margaret Ketcham Havens to Tazewell County, Illinois. James married Hannah Elizabeth McGinnis in Tazewell County on 15 December 1850 (she appears as Mary E. McGinnis on the Tazewell County Marriage Record). 

Hannah appears twice in the 1850 US Census in Tazewell County. First, in the household of her parents Abraham and Betsy Ann McGinnis on 11 October 1850. She was 17 years old and born in Tennessee.
Ancestry. 1850 US Census, Tazewell County. 11 Oct 1850.
By 24 December 1850, James and Hannah were listed again in the household of David Osborne, a farmer in Tazewell County were James was working as a laborer. In the same census, James' father Daniel appears as a laborer on the farm of Philip Hamburgh.

In my post from July 2013, I wrongly assumed the Elizabeth Havens appearing with James in the 1870 US Census was a different wife, but this was Hannah going by her middle name.
Ancestry. 1870 US Census, Tazewell County. 1 Jun 1870.
Hannah Elizabeth McGinnis Havens presumably died sometime between June 1870 and December 1872, when James married Ellenora Rork in Tazewell County.

In my July 2013, I listed James and Hannah as having at least 5 children. Here is an updated list, with my best current assumption on correct names:
- Margaret Elizabeth Havens, born 23 December 1851, died 17 October 1932
- Sarah Ellen Havens, born 9 February 1854, died 17 December 1934
- William Henry Havens, born 14 February 1856, died 26 December 1926
- Mahala Jane Havens, born 31 March 1858, died 5 February 1922
- Alice Mary Havens, born 29 January 1860, died 28 February 1923
- Charles Havens, born 1867, died before 1880

James and Ellenora had at least the following children:
- Bessie Havens, born about 1874, died about 1892
- James Daniel Havens Jr, born 14 September 1875, died 7 May 1949
- Charlotte Havens, born about 1878

Thursday, April 13, 2017

In the Highlands

Photo by L. Jones. Scotland, Apr 2017.

The photo above looks like it could be a scene from Game of Thrones or the Lord of the Rings. This is another shot from my Frequent Traveling sister during her trip through Scotland last week. She's currently in France with my Mom, her sisters and our cousin. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Inverness at Night

Photo by L. Jones. Inverness, Scotland. Apr 2017

Here's another shot from my Frequent Traveling sister, taken at Inverness, Scotland. I am looking forward to seeing more photos from her trip.

Creation of Wabash County

Source: OpenLibrary.
I am looking back again at the creation of Wabash County, Illinois, a sliver of land along the Illinois border facing the Wabash River and Indiana directly east. As I wrote yesterday, John Og McIntosh was integral in the formation of Edwards County, Illinois in 1814. By the time Wabash County was created in 1825, McIntosh was well into retirement from public service, living in the northern corner of the county between Friendsville and Allendale. John appears on a list of original property owners along with another familiar name, Asa Smith.
Source: Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties, p 117.
The book indicates Asa Smith settled in the area that became Wabash County in 1818. He recorded this land on 6 April 1825, totaling 81 acres in the west half of the southeast quarter of Section 5, in Township 1, North of Range 12 West. The land was assigned from Cornelius Vanderhuff.
Source: Bureau of Land Management records, Illinois Land Grants.
The image from page 285 of the Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties gives a sense of what the land was like after this area was settled by the pioneering families.
Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence & Wabash Counties, p. 285.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sorting fact from legend

Yesterday I introduced John Og McIntosh, our 5th-great-grandfather from Scotland. Trying to separate the facts from the legend behind his arrival in the US is proving to be difficult. First, let's look back at the account from the Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties, 1883.

John Og McIntosh is first mentioned in the entry on Wabash County, on page 292. This section says he was from Virginia, of Scottish descent, and his wife Sarah Bennett was the daughter of a ship carpenter. They went to Kentucky in 1784 or 1785, until they arrived in Illinois in 1814 with a family of six children, Samuel, Daniel, William, Lavina, Lucinda and Sarah. The family settled in an area then part of Gallatin County and moved into Compton's Fort. "After a four months' stay he settled on the west half of the southeast corner of section 23 and lived there for about one year." This matches up with the land grant issued to John McIntosh in 1816. The county history book says this land was entered on 12 November 1814.
Land Grant issued 6 Apr 1816.

John McIntosh "was naturally a leader, and took an active interest in the movement that resulted in the creation of Edwards County, having been selected for the arduous and dangerous task of bearing the citizens' petition to Gov. Ninian Edwards at Kaskaskia." The section on Andrew J. McIntosh states that John made this journey on horseback and met the Governor, whom he had personally known in Kentucky. The petition to create the county was granted, and it was named after Edwards.

When the county formed in 1814, McIntosh was appointed a judge of its court. He "busied himself in the manner of organization and the establishment of police regulations." This land would eventually separate to become Wabash County.

John McIntosh and Sarah Bennett had at least the following children:
- James McIntosh, 5 May 1783 in Winchester, Virginia to 1 March 1866 in Wabash County, Illinois
- Margaret Jane McIntosh, 6 March 1785 in Mason County, Kentucky to 3 January 1848
- Levina McIntosh, 1788 in Mason County, Kentucky
- Elizabeth McIntosh, 11 July 1790 in Kentucky to 5 May 1867 in Wabash County, Illinois
- Samuel McIntosh, 25 December 1791 in Bourbon County, Kentucky to 16 June 1879 in Wabash County, Illinois
- John McIntosh, 15 October 1794 in Bourbon County, Kentucky to 1 June 1859 in Nashville, Tennessee
- Sarah McIntosh, 1798 in Bourbon County, Kentucky to 1844 in Wabash County, Illinois
- William McIntosh, 15 May 1800 in Logan County, Kentucky to 16 August 1882 in Tipton County, Tennessee
- Daniel McIntosh, 1 October 1801 in Warren County, Kentucky to 14 December 1884 in Crawford County, Indiana
- Lucinda McIntosh, born about 1802 in Warren County, Kentucky to sometime after June 1880 in Crawford County, Indiana

Tracking the birth locations of the children helps show the path John and Sarah took before arriving in Wabash County, Illinois.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Our Scottish ancestor

Painting by Peter Graham. Wandering Shadows, 1878.

Back in December 2012, I started to explore the story of our Scottish ancestor, John Og McIntosh. I picked up his story this month while exploring the line of his daughter, my 4th-great-grandmother, Lucinda McIntosh Smith. A booklet written by his grandson, Andrew J. McIntosh, was published in 1898. A version of this story appeared in the Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties, 1883.

According to these stories, John Og McIntosh was born on 6 March 1753 in Inverness, Scotland. He was a son of John McIntosh and Margaret Og. John McIntosh Sr was a shepherd and small farmer. Margaret's brother John Og is said of have been a British military surgeon, who took young John McIntosh under his wing and helped him get to the Medical College of Edinburgh. There he studied medicine and surgery up to the Spring of 1776.

With the start of the American Revolution, John Og was ordered with Gen. Cornwallis' Army to America. John McIntosh joined his uncle as an assistant surgeon. Andrew's account says they set sail for America on 11 February 1776. Andrew wrote that they were with Cornwallis' Army up to 4 October 1777, when John Og died at the Battle of Germantown. While the British Army was camped at Germantown, John McIntosh met a Scottish family named Bennett. This family had a daughter Sarah Bennett, who would later become John McIntosh's wife.

After the death of his uncle, John McIntosh could no longer work as an assistant surgeon, and he accepted as a recruit in the British Cavalry of Colonel Tarleton. John served in this unit up to 17 January 1781.

By Andrew McIntosh's account, while at the Battle of Cowpens, John McIntosh was trapped under his horse after it was shot. McIntosh was captured by American General Daniel Morgan, who led him into camp as his personal prisoner. Andrew's story isn't clear why Morgan spared McIntosh's life, but he says McIntosh followed Morgan to Winchester, Virginia. Before settling in Winchester, McIntosh returned to Germantown, New Jersey for Sarah. They were married at Philadelphia. Afterward they moved to Winchester, Virginia, where their first child James McIntosh was born on 5 May 1783.

In early Spring 1784, they young family packed up their belongings and began the journey with a few other families to Kentucky. They traveled to Pittsburgh and caught a boat down the Ohio River to Kentucky. The McIntosh family lived in various parts of Kentucky from 1785 to 1814.

With the opening of land in Illinois, they moved to what became Edwards County, Illinois in 1814. John McIntosh was named as a Justice of the Peace for the county for Illinois Governor Ninan Edwards in November 1814. McIntosh was appointed as a Justice in the county on 24 December 1814. He was reappointed in 1816 to another term as Justice in the County Court. Andrew McIntosh indicates that his grandfather served as a Justice until Illinois became a state in 1818.
Territorial Papers of Illinois, pp 650-651.
John McIntosh retired in Wabash County, Illinois, and died on 28 January 1829.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Visit to Leesylvania State Park

Photo by Patrick Jones. Leesylvania State Park, 9 Apr 2017.

This afternoon I went with my Mom and her sisters to Leesylvania State Park, on the Virginia shore of the Potomac. We saw the memorial brick for my Dad as a Friend of the Park, and we saw one of his boat models on display at the park visitor center. Before he got sick from cancer he taught a wooden boat building class at Leesylvania. The visitors center is planning to hang the boat from the beams in the ceiling for visitors to see.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Boat model by K.D. Jones.