Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Guardian

Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Francisco Letelier at Santa Monica Red Cross.

This mural, called "Guardian," is located on the Santa Monica Red Cross building on 11th Street in Santa Monica, not far from our condo. The work was painted by Venice-based artist Francisco Letelier in collaboration with Beautify Earth. It is a beautiful piece and looks inspired by Gustav Klimt's style in the golden hair of the woman.
Photo by Patrick Jones. Mural by Francisco Letelier. 25 Sept 2017.

Friday, September 22, 2017


Source: North Carolina, 1826.
After writing about my 5th-great-grandparents Wiley and Sarah Freeze Mathews, I turn to Wiley's father, my 6th-great-grandfather Claborn Mathews. His name is spelled in various ways in documents, from Clyborn to Claiborne to Claburn or Cliborn. Claborn lived in Chatham County, North Carolina, and his will is available from Ancestry's North Carolina Wills and Probate Records. The will was written on 6 October 1797.
Source: Ancestry. Chatham County, NC.
Signature line from Claborn's will.
In 1801, Claborn executed a codicil on the will granting a distribution of the share of his estate to two of his children, Claborn Mathews Junior and Mary Mathews Skidmore.
Codicil from 1801.
Claborn left his personal estate to his wife Mary, with an equal division of his land to sons Wiley and Lewis Mathews. The rest of the estate was to be divided among all of his children then single. Separately he left five shillings to son Kinchen Mathews, and five shillings to daughter Lucretia Mathews Horn (spelled as Lucreasy). His wife Mary and son Britain Mathews were appointed as executors of the estate. The will was proven in November 1806, meaning Claborn must have died in late 1806.

Claborn appears in the 1790 US Census in Chatham County, North Carolina. He is listed close to brother Lawrence Mathews.
Source: 1790 US Census. Chatham County, NC.
In the 1800 US Census, Claborn appears in Hillsborough, Chatham County, NC.
Source: 1800 US Census. Chatham County, NC.
His birth date is not known, but is suspected to be around 1845, although it could have been earlier or slightly later. Claborn witnessed a deed in Northampton County, North Carolina on 7 November 1767. Northampton County is on the Virginia-North Carolina state line. Claborn likely moved to the area that became Chatham County around the time of county formation in 1770. His father Thomas Mathews died in Northampton County in 1770.

Claborn acquired 140 acres on the east side of New Hope Creek on 27 June 1783. The land was adjoining Matthew Davis, who also witnessed the purchase.

Claborn's wife Mary must have died about 1819, as that is when the remainder of the Mathews estate was sold.

There is more work to do on this branch of the family. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Path to Mississippi

Source: Google Maps.

From yesterday's post, my 5th-great-grandparents Wiley Mathews and Sarah Freeze Mathews moved from Warren County to Coffee County, Tennessee to Tishomingo County, Mississippi, sometime before 1850. Wiley's brother, Kinchen Mathews, likely arrived first around 1839. Kinchen was named a constable in the county in 1840 (see History of Old Tishomingo County, Mississippi Territory on FamilySearch) and he appears in the 1840 US Census in the county. He also appears in early county land records with Joseph Warren Matthews (Mississippi's first governor) and Joseph's brother James E. Matthews. My Mathews line does not appear to be immediately related to this Matthews family.

In 1856, northern Mississippi looked like the map below. Tishomingo County was originally larger, in the northeast corner of the state, bordering Alabama and Tennessee. By 1874, the county had been split into three, Alcorn, Prentiss and Tishomingo.
Source: Northern Mississippi, 1856.
Source: Northern Mississippi, 1874.
I need to look further at available records to see if there is more information on Wiley Mathews. For now, I am going to pause on Wiley and go back another generation to Wiley's father, my 6th-great-grandfather, Claborne Mathews.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Going back another generation

Another generation back from Allen Matthews, his parents (my 5th-great-grandparents) were Wiley Mathews and Sarah Freeze. AncestryDNA's DNA Circles has me and the tests I administer on my Mom's side of the family in a group for both Wiley and Sarah. I know there are a large number of connections out there who descend from these two. I am going to work carefully, using what is in available records, to try to build out a timeline for their departure from North Carolina to their arrival in Tennessee and later later settlement in Mississippi.
NC & TN Early Land Records, 22 Jul 1826
Based on exchanges with another Mathews/Matthews researcher, Wiley is believed to have arrived in Warren County, Tennessee between 1810 and 1812. He probably followed his brother Kinchen Mathews to Warren County, as Kinchen was in Roane County as early as 1801 and then in Warren County.
Source: Google Maps. Chatham, NC to Warren, TN.
Wiley appears in the 1820 and 1830 US Census in Warren County, Tennessee.

Wiley acquired a large tract of land covering 640 acres in Coffee County, Tennessee in 1836. The survey was witnessed by his son Matthew Mathews and my 5th-great-grandfather Matthew M. Davis (father of Sarah Davis Matthews). He added another 200 acres to this on the headwaters of Hickory Creek in Coffee County in February 1837. Wiley and Matthew Mathews' land can be seen on the 1839 Coffee County tax list below.
Source: Ancestry. Tennessee Tax List, 1839.
Wiley assigned his lands in Warren County to his son William in October 1837. It looks like he then moved on to neighboring Coffee County. Wiley's son Elijah Mathews was also in Coffee County, Tennessee in 1839.

Wiley and Sarah's son Matthew died in Coffee County sometime before March 1839. Wiley appears in the 1840 US Census in Coffee County, Tennessee.

In June 1840, Elijah Mathews appears in a court case in Coffee County (State of Tennessee v Elijah Matthews). Wiley was a witness in the case.

By 1850, Wiley had relocated to Tishomingo County, Mississippi, along with several of his children.
1850 US Census, Tishomingo County, MS

Wiley and Sarah had at least the following children:
- Matthew Mathews, born 1805 in North Carolina, died before March 1839 in Coffee County, Tennesse
- Claiborne Mathews (various spellings including Claborn, Clibourn), born in North Carolina in 1810, died 16 December 1879 in Smith County, Tennessee
- William Lewis Mathews, born in 1812 in Warren County, Tennessee, died 9 February 1897 in Montgomery County, Texas
- Allen Mathews, born in 1813 in Warren County, Tennessee, died sometime before 1870 in Metcalfe County, Kentucky (my 4th-great-grandfather)
- Elijah Mathews, born about 1819 in Warren County, Tennessee
- Sarah Mathews, born in 1823 in Warren County, Tennessee
- Tapley B. Mathews, born in 1828 in Warren County, Tennessee
- W. Stanford Mathews, born in 1829 in Warren County, Tennessee

By 1860, Wiley was listed as a farm laborer in the household of his son, William Mathews. William had become a baptist minister. Sarah Freeze Mathews must have died before the 1860 Census.
1860 US Census, Tishomingo County, MS
Wiley was still living in William's household in the 1870 Census.
1870 US Census, Tishomingo County, MS
Wiley disappears after the 1870 Census, and he is presumed to have died in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. I am planning to make another visit to the DAR Research Library and look for gaps in the records.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Allen and Sarah

Life Magazine Collection, Bulls in Tennessee. Photo by Edward Clark.
Moving backward one generation to my 4th-great-grandparents, I now turn to Allen Matthews and Sarah Davis. Allen and Sarah were likely married around 1835 or in the early 1830s in Smith County, Tennessee. The earliest available marriage records for Smith County begin in 1838. Sarah Davis was a daughter of Matthew Madison Davis and Elizabeth.

According to the 1900 US Census entry for Sarah, she had 14 children, but I am currently only aware of 10. Of the known children of Allen and Sarah, their names are below. If you are descended from this line and stumble onto my entry, please feel free to reach out with additional information.

Children of Allen and Sarah (the Matthews name is also often spelled in records as Mathews, Mathis)

- William Matthews, born 2 August 1836, died on 7 October 1922 (my 3rd-great-grandfather)
- Matthew Matthews, born in 1837, died in April 1877
- James Matthews, born in either 1837/1838
- John Matthews, born in 1841
- Cynthia E. Matthews, born in May 1844
- Allen Matthews, born in December 1846, died 19 December 1923 in Bryan, Oklahoma
- Wiley Simeon Matthews, born in 1849
- Thomas Anthony Matthews, born 28 December 1854, died in January 1922 in Grayson County, Texas
- Elijah Matthews, born in 1855 in Smith County, Tennessee
- Mary Francis Matthews, born on 7 August 1861 in Metcalfe County, Kentucky, died on 27 March 1955 in Metcalfe County

From the Daughters of the American Revolution Library in Washington DC, I was able to see some books on Smith County. Matthew Davis sold a tract of land on Defeated Creek to Allen Matthews on 2 July 1838. On the same day he also sold a tract of land to Elijah W. Davis. Elijah sold a tract of land to Allen Matthews on 4 November 1839.

Allen Matthews swapped ten acres with Daniel Smith on 25 November 1841. On 4 March 1845, Allen bought 25 acres from Allen Crowell, and sold 30 acres to Crowell. Crowell had bought 200 acres from Matthew Davis on 30 April 1842, so perhaps some of the land Allen purchased had originally belonged to Matthew.

Allen bought another tract of land from John Page on 30 November 1846. He transferred a tract to Elizabeth Matthews on 17 February 1847.

1850 US Census, Smith County, Tennessee
In the 1850 US Census, Allen, Sarah and family were living in Smith County, north of Cumberland and east of Caney Fork Rivers. Their son Matthew is seen living in the household with his young wife Darthula C. Hunt. They were married in the county on 17 May 1849.

Not all the records show an exchange of land. David P. Hodges sold a slave to Allen Matthews on 3 February 1857. In the record she is listed as a "negro girl." The 1850 Census slave schedules shows David P. Hodges owned several slaves, including one girl who was 4 years old in 1850. This girl was probably the same one, meaning she was born about 1846 and was likely a child of the slave man and women who were 25 and 24 in the 1850 record. This girl would have been about 11 in 1857. I cannot tell what happened next to the girl.

On 20 January 1859, Allen Matthews sold 128 acres to Armstead Moore in Smith County, Tennessee. This was probably the sale of the family farm and all their property in the state, as they next appear in the 1860 US Census in Metcalfe County, Tennessee.
1860 US Census, Metcalfe County, Kentucky
Allen Matthews died sometime before the 1870 US Census, as he does not appear in the document. In 1870, Sarah was managing the farm on her own with younger sons Thomas and Elijah and older son Allen living next door with new wife Margaret Caroline Flowers.
1870 US Census, Metcalfe County, Kentucky
Sarah's daughter Cynthia is shown with a two-year-old son, John L. Herring. The father is not listed, but I think it is 21-year-old John L. Herring, living four homes away on the same page in the census.

The 1880 US Census shows that Sarah's parents were both from North Carolina, which matches other known information about Matthew and Elizabeth Davis.
1880 US Census, Metcalfe County, Kentucky
Sarah's daughter Mary Francis appears in the household with husband James Williams and son Robert A. Williams.

The 1900 US Census shows Sarah Matthews (here spelled Mathews) still as the head of household. This entry shows she was born in May 1815, and had 14 children, with 7 still living. Her son John Matthews was still living with her.

Sarah does not appear in the 1910 US Census, therefore she likely died sometime between 1900 and 1910. She must have been a hardy woman to maintain the farm over 30 years after Allen's early death.

One more bit of useful information, on Mary Francis Mathews' marriage record to James Williams, it says that Mary's father was from Warren County, Tennessee, while her mother was from Smith County, Tennessee. Warren County is south of Smith County, but still close. I will need to check early Warren County records for references to the Matthews/Mathews family.

Based on my AncestryDNA results, I know there are many descendants for this Matthews family who may be out there. Again, if you stumble onto this page and have additional information about Allen or Sarah Davis Matthews and their family, please let me know.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Matthews side of the tree

After looking at the siblings of my great-grandmother Elisabeth Lois Whitley, I am going to follow up the Matthews line of her mother, Elisabeth Hayden Matthews. As posted back in 2012, her parents were William Matthews and Martha Jane Free.

William Matthews was born on 2 August 1836 in Smith County, Tennessee. He was the son of Allen Matthews and Sarah Davis. William appears in the home of Allen and Sarah in the 1860 US Census in Metcalfe County, Kentucky. William married Martha Jane Free in Metcalfe County on 27 June 1861. By 1870, William and Martha were living in Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky.

William and Martha had at least the following children:
- Felix Mitchell Matthews, born in 1862, died on 1 May 1948 in Indianapolis
- Martha Belle Matthews, born 24 October 1863, died on 23 September 1958 in Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky
- William Allen Matthews, born 13 July 1867, died 22 December 1942
- Elizabeth Hayden Matthews, born 28 September 1869, died on 14 August 1915 in Barren County
- Lucy Elizabeth Matthews, born 21 October 1871, died on 9 May 1954 in Warren County
- Eliza Ellen Matthews, born 21 October 1871, died on 3 November 1955
- Ora Leona Matthews, born 26 March 1874, died on 27 October 1945 in Louisville
- Alice Story Matthews, born 1 April 1878, died on 18 October 1967 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky

In the 1880 US Census, the family appears in Slick Rock, Barren County, Kentucky. I have been unable to find William in the 1900 or 1910 US Census, but he does appear again in the 1920 US Census in Elk Springs, Warren County, living in the household of his grandson Hilary D. Lawrence, next to daughter Martha Belle and her husband Robert Lawrence. Martha and William were separated, likely before 1900, as Martha was living as head of household in Rocky Hill, Edmonson County, Kentucky in 1900.

While I don't have much further on William, I do have a signed document from William, attested by Allen Mathews, giving his consent for the marriage of daughter Ora Leona to William Thomas Pace on 22 December 1891 in Warren County, Kentucky. She was 17. This is from Ancestry's Kentucky marriages database. I think the Allen Mathews on this document is Ora's brother William Allen, who would have been 24 at the time.

William died on 7 October 1922 in Sonora, Hardin County, Kentucky.

Martha Jane appears in the 1930 US Census, living in the household of her daughter Elizia Ellen and her husband William L. Whitley (son of Morris Whitley, himself a son of my 4th-great-grandparents Richard Wheatley and Nancy Philips). The census was taken on 16 April 1930. Martha Jane Free Matthews died on 26 May 1930 in Warren County, Kentucky.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hispanic Heritage Month 2017

Photo by Patrick Jones. Blessing of the Animals mural, LA. 3 Jan 2016.
Friday marked the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. I have traditionally done a blog post, like this one last year, to frame my own connections with the month. I am quite proud of this heritage and the fascinating stories of those in my extended branches of the tree who made the journey to the US and through their own unique efforts had valuable contributions to this country.

Earlier in the year I researched Dr. Anita Calneh Post, daughter of Esther Suastegui, who was a decorated linguistic professor at the University of Arizona and popular singer in Tucson. I also wrote about my connections to the Amado family, writing about the descendants of noted rancher Manuel Amado. This a small sample of the stories I have covered on my hispanic heritage. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A story worthy of a film

While looking for news articles on my great-grandmother's brother Grover Whitley, I stumbled onto articles mentioning Grover's son James Clifton Whitley and his service during World War II. James entered the Army in February 1942, training as an ordnance officer in Maryland and Montana. He was sent to Europe in 1943, and participated in bombing campaigns in Tunisia, Sicily and Italy. Prior to joining the Army, James was employed at the Allison Division of General Motors in Indianapolis, the same place where my Dad worked many years later.
Indianapolis Star, 1 Jul 1943.
James was promoted from Lieutenant to Captain in July 1944. His bombardment group completed over 300 missions in the Mediterranean.
Indianapolis Star, 28 Jul 1944.
Indianapolis Star, 26 Dec 1943.
In early 1944, Grover and Madge Whitley received a letter from James, reporting on an amazing coincidence. James had been wounded on 26 December 1943 while on a bombing run. His recollection from the British Eighth Army hospital in Italy was described in an article published in March 1944, with the headline "Local Flier Finds Man He Had Shot Down Shaving Him."
Indianapolis Star, 2 Mar 1944.

This story reads like a film, such a great bit of life to read about the Italian pilot turned barber meeting the soldier who shot him down, and that they became friends. The article provides a lot of interesting detail about James as well, including that he was an ordnance officer on a B-17 flying fortress bomber and could speak Italian well. The article also shows that Grover Whitley was employed at Allison, another interesting coincidence. A shorter version from the Indianapolis News is below.
Indianapolis News. 4 Mar 1944

Indianapolis Star, 2 May 1945.
Looking further, James was part of the 2nd Bombardment Group. A search of the group's database turned up 26 missions that James flew in Europe. As this doesn't include any of his flights in North Africa, so he likely flew many more. His duties ranged from observer, radio operator, waist gunner, tail gunner, and flying control officer. Targets included sites in Italy, Romania, France, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria. One of the missions, 252, is listed as "Landing Beach, France" on 15 August 1944. This was part of Operation Dragoon, on Southern France.

James retired as a Colonel from the Army. Incredible service for the country in extraordinary circumstances. Descendants of James will want to order a copy of his military file from the National Archives.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

More on the Whitleys

This is a continuation from my previous post on the children of Thomas Whitley and Elizabeth Hayden Matthews. As with yesterday's post, I know there may be many grandchildren and descendants of this family, so if you stumble onto this post I would be happy to share information.

Omer Dural Whitley
The next in line is Omer Dural Whitley. He was born on 24 July 1895 in Elk Springs, Warren County, Kentucky. He appears in the Whitley household in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 US Census. On his World War I draft card, Omer was working as a farm hand for his father in Smith Grove, Kentucky.

Omer later moved to Indianapolis, and worked at the restaurant called Turner's Lunch operated by my great-grandmother Lois and her second husband Ed Turner. On Omer's World War II draft card he listed Ed Turner as his employer, and was living above the restaurant at 1341 Kentucky Avenue (the same location as in the photos I posted back in 2015).
Source: Ancestry. WW2 draft card for Omer Whitley.
Omer married Mary Childers on 23 December 1930 in Indianapolis. She died a few months later in Barren County, Kentucky.

Omer passed away on 18 March 1951 in Indianapolis. Grandma Lois was the informant on his death certificate.

Thomas Bryant Whitley
The seventh child of Thomas Whitley and Elizabeth Matthews was Thomas Bryant Whitley. He appears in the 1900 US Census as Bryan and in the 1910 US Census as Thomas B. Whitley. He died on 1 June 1918 and is buried in Hydro, Warren County, Kentucky.

Elizabeth Lois Whitley
My great-grandmother Elizabeth Lois Whitley was the 8th of 12 children, and I have covered her previously here. She left Kentucky at the age of 17 and married my 2nd-great-grandfather Alvin Read in Indianapolis on 8 February 1919. They lived in the home of her sister Minnie Whitley and Minnie's husband Oran Sheeks in the 1920 US Census and he worked as a meat cutter. Lois and Alvin separated sometime before 1930, although they appear in the 1929 City Directory in Indianapolis. She sent my grandfather Leo to live with her older sister Mattie Whitley Goff while she worked as a servant in her uncle Felix Matthew's boarding house and restaurant at 1341 Kentucky Avenue.

Lois must have divorced Alvin, but I'm not sure if this happened in Kentucky or Indiana. By 1935 she appears in the Indianapolis City Directory with her 2nd-husband Ed Turner. In the 1940 US Census, Lois and Ed had taken over management of the boarding house and restaurant at 1341 Kentucky Avenue. Ed Turner's son William was living with them, along with my grandfather Leo.

George C. Whitley
Lois' younger brother George remained in Kentucky but followed older brother William to Louisville. He married Ellenora Lewis, and they had at least two children, Gloria and Carole May Whitley. George entered the Navy in 1944. His obituary says he was a veteran of both world wars. George died on 14 March 1970.
Louisville Courier-Journal, 16 Mar 1970
Margaret Madge Whitley
Tenth in the line of Whitley children was Margaret Madge Whitley. She was in the Whitley household in Kentucky in the 1910 and 1920 US Census. By 1930 she was in Indianapolis, working as a telephone operator.

Madge married policeman Forrest Watson in Indianapolis in September 1931. Watson served in the Indianapolis Police Department for over twenty years, retiring in 1952.

Madge was featured in the Indianapolis Star as a switchboard operator during the Indiana State Fair in 1941. This photo really helps, as now I can compare this photo of Madge with the old photo album my Mom inherited from my Grandma Lois.
Indianapolis Star, 7 Sep 1941. Madge is lower right.

In the clipping above, the part about time zone confusion is particularly amusing, given Indiana's notorious issues with daylight saving time.

Madge regularly appears in news articles in the Indianapolis Star as active in Sigma Beta sorority. She also served as the President of the Charial Club, participated in bridge tournaments with the Indiana Bell Bridge Club.
Indianapolis Star, 2 Dec 1956. Madge in upper right.

According to her obituary, Madge worked at Indiana Bell Telephone Company for 33 years. She passed away at the age of 97 on 3 October 2004, the last of the Whitley siblings.

Earl Benjamin Whitley
The next in line was Earl Benjamin Whitley. He was born on 12 January 1909 and appears as an infant in the 1910 US Census. Earl joined the Army and served during World War II and Korea.
Indianapolis Star, 14 May 1945
Earl moved to Texas. He was discharged from the Army in September 1954.

Earl passed away in San Antonio, Texas on 5 March 1979. He is buried at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
Photo from Findagrave, by A. Stone.

Nellie Ruth Whitley
The last of the Whitley siblings was Nellie Ruth Whitley. She was born 20 May 1912 and appears in the 1920 US Census in Barren County, Kentucky. Ruth married Lyle Markle on 3 April 1930 in Hendricks County, Indiana. She passed away a year later at the age of 18, in very sad circumstances.
Indianapolis Star, 10 Apr 1931

Friday, September 8, 2017

Revisiting the Kentucky side of the tree

A fortunate exchange with a distant cousin and AncestryDNA connection has me looking back over the Kentucky branches on my Mom's side of the tree. I am revisiting the Whitley/Wheatley and Matthews side of my 2nd-great-grandparents Thomas Whitley and Elizabeth Hayden Matthews. They had at least 12 children, and several made their way to Indianapolis. In reviewing my records, I see that I did not follow-up on this group of relations very well, as there are many news articles and entries that I missed. I am also correcting some errors. If any descendants of the Whitley family stumble onto this post, I would be very interested in seeing any photos of Thomas and Elizabeth if these exist.

As a reminder and now corrected below, Thomas and Elizabeth's children were:
- Martha Belle "Mattie" Whitley, born 3 December 1886, died 10 December 1944
- Minnie Catherine Whitley, born 6 September 1888, died 9 August 1983
- Samuel Robert Whitley (who I previously misidentified as Thomas), born 2 February 1890, died 14 May 1953
- William Clarence Whitley, born 24 July 1891, died 5 April 1966
- Grover Cleveland Whitley, born 9 February 1893, died 20 March 1983
- Omer Dural Whitley, born 24 July 1895, died 18 March 1951
- Thomas Bryant Whitley, born 15 October 1898, died 1 June 1918
- Elizabeth Lois Whitley (my great-grandmother), born 15 March 1901, died 24 November 1988
- George C. Whitley, born 15 April 1903, died 14 March 1970
- Margaret Madge Whitley, born 6 February 1907, died 3 October 2004
- Earl Benjamin Whitley, born 12 January 1909, died 5 March 1979
- Nellie Ruth Whitley, born 20 May 1912, died 8 April 1931

Martha Belle "Mattie" Whitley
The oldest of the Whitley children was Mattie Whitley. She appears in the 1900 Census in Elk Springs, Warren County, Kentucky. In 1907 she married miller Selby Clark in neighboring Metcalfe County, and they appear in the 1910 Census in Metcalfe County. Mattie and Selby had a daughter, May Aline (also spelled Olean or Olene) Clark, in September 1911. Selby Clark died on 4 April 1913, and Mattie then married another miller, Hallis Clifton Goff, in Louisville on 25 November 1914.

In the 1930 US Census, my grandfather Leo Reid was living with Clifton and Mattie in Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky. It appears Clifton had become quite successful. The census record incorrectly lists Leo as born in Kentucky
1930 US Census, Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky.
Clifton died on 23 May 1935 in Glasgow, Barren County. Mattie passed away on 10 December 1944. Her obituary in the Louisville Courier-Journal provides a bit more information on her, and also helped clear up some errors in my tree on her siblings.
Louisville Courier-Journal 11 Dec 1944

Minnie Catherine Whitley
The next in the line is Minnie Catherine Whitley. She also appears in the household of Thomas and Elizabeth Whitley in the 1900 US Census in Elk Springs, Warren County, Kentucky, attending school. She married John W. Neville, an engineer in a flour mill, in Barren County on 19 December 1906, after turning 18. Her father Thomas provided a handwritten consent to the marriage dated September 1906.
Source: Ancestry. Consent to marry signed by Thomas Whitley.
Minnie and John had at least three children: Anna, born in October 1907, William Albert, born in September 1910, and Carlos Lee Neville, born in January 1913. I don't know what happened to John Neville, but by July 1919 Minnie had moved to Indianapolis and married Oran Sheeks. Minnie and Oran had a home in Wayne Township, Indianapolis. In the 1920 US Census, my great-grandparents Alvin Read and Lois Whitley Read were living with Minnie and Oran, along with the children from their prior marriages.
Source: Ancestry. 1920 US Census. Indianapolis, Indiana.
Oran and Minnie had a daughter, Winifred, born in May 1921, and then a son, Kenneth Eugene Sheeks, in September 1923.

Oran Sheeks died in 1962. Minnie passed away in Dayton, Ohio on 9 August 1983.

Samuel Robert Whitley
Samuel appears in the 1900 US Census in Elk Springs, Warren County, Kentucky. His World War I draft card shows that Samuel moved west, as he was living in Wright County, Iowa, with a wife and two children at the time. Digging further shows that Samuel married Gertrude Eleanor Ries of Nebraska around 1912. They had a daughter Geraldine in Illinois in 1914 and another daughter Ruth Irene in Iowa in 1915. Samuel and Gertrude had a third daughter, Jean, in Wyoming in 1924.

Samuel was a farmer, who grew potatoes in Colorado in the 1930s and lived in Nebraska. He and Gertrude eventually moved to California. Samuel died in a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona on 14 May 1953.

William Clarence Whitley
The fourth of the children was William Clarence Whitley, who appears in the 1900 US Census in Elk Springs, Warren County, Kentucky as "Willie." He had moved out of his parents' household by the 1910 Census. Willam appears again in Nelson County, Kentucky in 1913, when he married Mattie Cheshire on 28 January 1913. The marriage record shows he was a section foreman for a railroad company, so this probably explains his absence from the 1910 Census in the Whitley household.

William and Mattie moved to Louisville. They had at least four children: Mabel (1914), William C. Jr (1916), Elizabeth (1918) and Jesse (1920).

According to his obituary, William worked at the Louisville and Nashville Railroad as a brakeman and conductor for 50 years. When he retired, he became a horse owner and trainer. It would be cool to know if one of William's horses ran in the Kentucky Derby.
Louisville Courier-Journal, 6 Apr 1966.
Grover Cleveland Whitley
Fifth of the children was Grover Cleveland Whitley, named after the President who was serving his second term when Grover was born. He appears in the Whitley household in the 1900 and 1910 Censuses. In January 1917, he married Nellie Madge Lawrence. They had two children, James Clifton Whitley in 1918 and Nellie Marie Whitley in 1920. Grover and family relocated to Indianapolis after 1920, and they lived there for the rest of their lives.

Grover and Madge were featured in the Indianapolis News in 1982 in celebration of their 65th wedding anniversary.
Indianapolis News, 11 Jan 1982

Grover died at the age of 90 in Indianapolis, on 20 March 1983. Madge died in Indianapolis on 18 August 1988.

I will have a separate post on the rest of the Whitley siblings.