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15 June 2012

Google Newspaper Archive 1914: Southern Iowa Farmer named Morlan duped

I had totally forgotten about searching Google's Newspaper Archive, and so set about looking for something on my elusive ancestors.  No first name is given in this story, but surely, being a Morlan in southern Iowa, this  poor guy was some of my relation.  This comes from "The Pittsburgh Press", October 4, 1914:
The Farmers Were Taken In

13 June 2012

Dale Cemetery, Appanoose County, Iowa: New Additions to FindAGrave

I was able to add a few people to the Dale Cemetery in Appanoose County, Iowa for  I also added some info about other people there.
Additions are:

Name & FindAGrave Memorial # Dates
Andrews, R T 91865555
b. Jan. 20, 1870 d. Aug., 1915
Bryant, Emeline 91874395 b. unknown d. May, 1912
Cloud, James B 91873688 b. Jan. 4, 1857 d. Aug., 1936
Cloud, Jessie 91876054 b. Nov. 28, 1896 d. Jun. 28, 1934
Cutts, Hannah 91874605 b. May 6, 1847 d. Jan., 1917
Cutts, James 91875106 b. 1911 d. Oct., 1912
Everman, William Franklin 91874186 b. Mar. 20, 1845 d. Mar. 21, 1910
Hawkins, Harry 91875305 b. May, 1869 d. Mar. 18, 1936
Hurt, Viva Jane "Woodland" 91875742 b. unknown d. Aug., 1937
Hutchison, Clara Everman 91878341 b. Jun. 27, 1886 d. Aug., 1914
Jobe, James Thomas 91876255 b. Apr. 15, 1845 d. Apr. 14, 1939
Minks, Infant 91871853 b. Jan. 6, 1910 d. Jan. 12, 1910
Myers, Infant 91865614 b. unknown d. Oct., 1896
Neville, Hannah 91872147 b. unknown d. Jan., 1922
Snider, Floyd 91871656 b. 1906 d. Aug., 1907
Snider, Marcella 91873960 b. unknown d. Jun., 1909
Swinford, George W 91878562 b. unknown d. Feb. 7, 1907

11 June 2012

Sunday's Obituary: Miss Alice Knott, Washington, Iowa

All PARROT owners, BEWARE!
Searching through the Daily Iowa Capital newspaper, Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa from September 14th, 1899, is this very brief death announcement:

Suffocation Causes Death of a Washington Woman.
Washington, Sept. 14 - Miss Alice Knott was found dead in bed Tuesday.  She had been suffocated by gas, which a pet parrot had turned on."
Thanks to for access to years of news!

10 June 2012

Surname Saturday: Davis

Genealogy frustration continues with more of the surnames from my mother's side of the family. Which is worse?  Having Irish who leave no records prior to 1850 or having names like Jones and Davis in your line?  :-)

Part of my problem here is I just need to get out East to do some research and/or find some people who actually know which of the many Robert Davis lines truly are the ones that end up in Iowa.  Probate records?  can't find them; gravestones?  nope, obituaries, no luck.  Land records?  there are so many by the same name!  and no dates to distinguish father/son/nephew/uncle.

You would think I would have another connection to the DAR here given these time frames!

There are 33 trees that say they are researching Robert Davis & Jane Jopling.  None of them have sources except each other.  For the Robert Davis who married Jane Jopling, people have various birth dates of 1722, or 1743, but all have the same death date of  May 18, 1780 in Cumberland, Kentucky.

As I've mentioned earlier,'s autosomal test has not helped, and I am awaiting the info from

Robert Davis (1743 - 1780) married to Jane Jopling (1738-?)
Marriage date thought to be around 1758
is your 5th great grandfather
Robert Davis is mentioned in 1842 Casey County court papers: "Robert Davis was many years ago killed by the Indians and Jane the mother of the ---? (children?) Robert, Landon, and Hannah has departed this life many years ago."  I also received this note: You are correct that there were two Robert Davis'. The Robert Davis who married Jane Jopling was the Robert Jr. He bought land in 1779 in Lincoln County, KY (later Jefferson, later Bullitt). This land is now part of Fort Knox.... the land was purchased with a Virginia Treasury Warrant with Robert's name and one that Robert bought from William Deal for a total of 900 acres, but apparently Robert did not live long enough to claim the land. The actual patent was acquired by Robert's son Thomas as "heir at law" in 1787. In 1782, Thomas appoints his grandfather, Thomas Jopling, as his power of attorney to settle his father's estate and lay claim to Robert's land in Montgomery Co, VA. In this power of attorney, Thomas Davis lists all of his siblings (the same names you have listed as Robert and Jane Davis' children. Thomas Jopling is also listed in the Amherst court records asking to be appointed administrator of Robert's estate and it mentions Robert's wife, Thomas Jopling's daughter Jane.... Hannah Smith is Robert Jr.'s daughter, sister to Thomas Davis. She married in Lincoln County, Kentucky, William Clames Smith, 29 Jan 1785. Lucy Jopling did marry a Powell, so you are probably correct that Lucy was Robert Davis and Hannah Smith's aunt. I have the marriages for the Robert's other daughters as well."

I was also told of this book:  The Wilderness Road":
I went to my local library and checked out the book "The Wilderness Road". Many of the Davis researchers have Robert, Jr. (married Jane Jopling) dying in 1782 or abt 1782. The book actually pin-points this a little closer, I believe. Starting on page 155 (instead of 156) the book reads: 

Pages 155-156 
'Weary from his labors and spent with illness, Colonel Fleming started back along the Wilderness Road for his home early in May 1780. A party of twenty men had gone ahead. He caught up with them on a small stream flowing into Dick's River near English's Station, a new settlement recently begun three miles east of Crab Orchard.... Fleming and his party followed a new road to Skaggs Creek and joined another group of fifteen men. They crossed Rockcastle River and encamped on Raccoon Creek three miles from its mouth. Here they saw the graves of the Davis family who had perished in the cold in December. They observed the huge rock which sits like a castle on the ridge by Rockcastle River. It is from this immense boulder, still plainly descernible from Highway 25 a few miles south of Livingston, Kentucky, that the river and county are named. 

'After passing Hazel Patch where the Boonesborough road came into the trail the party continued to Raccoon Spring, seven miles south of the present town of London. Here they camped a half mile from the place where two men had been killed and a Negro taken by Indians a short time before. 

'In the neighborhood of Cumberland Ford, Fleming and his fellow travelers met three white men and a Negro -- the survivors of a party of twelve men from Lexington ambushed five miles ahead. In silent marching order, Fleming and his men rode on to the scene. They found the bodies of John and Robert Davis of Amherst lying scalped and mangled on the road. Two war clubs lay by the bodies, and on one of them was a figure of a lizard, which Colonel Fleming believed belonged to Chief Spring Lizard of the Chickamauga. The travelers buried the bodies and continued their journey across Cumberland Gap and camped near Walker's Creek in Powell Valley. 

'Joined by another man from the scattered Lexington party, Fleming continued up the valley and camped eight miles beyond Martin's Station, then he followed the main road to the Holston settlements, passed Glade Spring, present site of Jonesville, Virginia. Two more men from the defeated Lexington party after he had crossed the Wallins Ridge. On May 19 Fleming noted in his journal...' 

The note in his journal just goes on about the travels, but I find it interesting that he leaves early in May, finds the bodies of John and Robert and the next entry is May 19. Do you think this ties the date down a little better? I also find the entry about the 'graves of the Davis family who perished in the cold in December' interesting as well.
Robert IV Davis (1778 - 1846) married to Sarah Smith (daughter of Martin Smith and Hannah Stephens)
My great-great-great-great grandfather
Son of Robert
This information comes from the Prairie Trails Museum files in Corydon, Wayne County, Iowa.  I don't know what was at the Chicago library...a book?  a file? 


Abigail Davis (1799 - 1870) married William Martin Jones Jr,
18 December 1817 Casey County, Kentucky.
My great-great-great grandmother
Daughter of Robert IV

This is from the 1878 History of Appanoose County, Iowa

Also was given this family group sheet by Larry Allen (deceased), who was a frequent contributor to the Iowa Genealogical Society and a family historian for the Jones-Davis-Morlan families.  Unfortunately, when Larry died, his rooms full of research disappeared.


07 June 2012

Early Burials, St. Ambrose Cemetery, Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa

If you are looking for late 1800, early 1900 deaths and burials in the Catholic cemetery, St. Ambrose Cemetery, in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, I have just added quite a few, with obituaries,  to

Brennan, Katharine 91543054 b. unknown d. Feb., 1904  
Caffrey, Mary 91502421 b. unknown d. Dec., 1897  
Cassidy, Augustus 91539888 b. unknown d. Apr., 1901  
Cory, Markie 91501454 b. unknown d. Aug., 1897  
Donovan, John 91539531 b. unknown d. Jan., 1901  
Haley, Richard 91538441 b. unknown d. Apr. 1, 1900  
Harrigan, William 91502175 b. unknown d. Dec., 1897  
Hartigan, Michael 91538231 b. 1828 d. Nov., 1899  
Hawkens, Edward 91543432 b. unknown d. Jul., 1907  
Holland, Mary Basquil 91542693 b. Feb. 4, 1830 d. Dec., 1902  
Johnson, George J 91543603 b. unknown d. Oct., 1907  
Johnson, George W 91538689 b. unknown d. May, 1900  
Lalley, Sarah 91540349 b. unknown d. Nov., 1901  
Leonard, John 91501210 b. unknown d. Aug., 1897  
Mahoney, Patrick 91502527 b. unknown d. Mar., 1898  
McHale, Martin 91538051 b. unknown d. Oct., 1899  
Miller, Jonathan D 91542376 b. unknown d. May, 1902  
Murphy, Charles 91501781 b. unknown d. Sep., 1916  
Murphy, Sarah 91538533 b. unknown d. Apr., 1900  
Murphy, Thomas 91538896 b. unknown d. Oct., 1900  
O'Brien, Peter 91539985 b. unknown d. May, 1901  
Rice, Byron 91501553 b. unknown d. Oct., 1897  
Scanlan, Helen 91537372 b. unknown d. Aug., 1899  
Spellman, Hugh 91536944 b. unknown d. Apr., 1899  
Swift, Anthony 91543226 b. unknown d. Aug., 1906  
Welsh, Edward 91537128 b. unknown d. May, 1899  
York, W Jane 91539747 b. unknown d. Apr., 1901

03 June 2012

Surname Saturday: Morlan

Sometimes I get a little discouraged researching my family history.  I teach genealogy classes here in Colorado and I do rejoice when my students can document their ancestors back to the 'old' country after listening to my research methods, suggestions and techniques.  I, however, just can't make that jump on any of my lines, and even more frustrating, is when I can't even track the line right here in the United States.    So, let's try running my surnames and see what pops up. 

I have submitted info to (autosomal)  and have had a bunch of matched results - no one from this line, apparently.  I just submitted my dna to the new autosomal test at as well.  Maybe something will pop up here?

I'll start with Morlan (or Moreland, Mooreland, Moorland).  Where the heck did they come from?  I can get back to Tennessee, if you believe some of the old research the Prairie Trails Museum in Corydon, Wayne County, Iowa,  provided (they have some old family histories of residents from Wayne & Appanoose County - GREAT research library!)

Elijah M Morlan (1787 - 1856)
is your 3rd great grandfather
I believe Elijah Morlan was born in Hawkins County, Tennesee, and according to a history of Appanoose County, Iowa which his granddaughter-in-law wrote, Elijah was born in 1787.  There is much discussion how many children Elijah and his bride Mary Boutman had, and where they all ended up.  It is said Elijah and Mary were married and then their first child Henry, was born in Indiana in 1811.  Here is where conflicting info starts popping up.  They say Elijah married Mary Ann Countz in 1839, tho Mary Boutman doesn’t die til 1841.  There are at least 10 family trees on that have copied and recopied this info, but not one lists a source.  Here is a summary of who we think his children are:

Children with Mary Boutman:
  • Henry Morlan (1811-1861)
  • Jonathan Morlan(1813-1863) (though last night a very convincing argument was made that this Jonathan is not related at all to this group of Morlans)
  • William Morlan (1821-1878) My ancestor
  • Silas Morlan (1822-1903) (Again - much discussion as to whether Silas is a son of Elijah).
If this info sounds familiar to you, or we have a possible connection, please let me know!  THANKS IN ADVANCE!

Children with Mary Countz:
William Morlan (1821 - 1878) my 2nd great grandfather
Son of Elijah M (?)
I know for a fact, William Morlan is my great great grandfather from family stories and obituaries.  In a History of Appanoose County from 1878, in a story of A. A. Adams, it mentions his wife, "Mary A. Moreland, daughter of William Moreland, from Putnam County, Indiana, a resident of this township since 1849, until his death in (sic) March 30, 1878; a man highly honored and respected by all who knew him."  I do have his probate record, and know he is buried in Jones Cemetery, Wayne County, Iowa.  Here is a summary of who we think his children are with wife Louisa Jane Jones, 
16 September 1841 in Putnam County, Indiana.

  • Mary Abigail Morlan (1842-1880)
  • Louisa Caroline Morlan (1845-1904)
  • Lucintha Ann Morlan (1849-1912)
  • William Marion Morlan (1851-1930)
  • Belinda Elizabeth Morlan (1853 - 1928)
  • Jonathan Henry Morlan (1856-1940)
  • Martha Jane Morlan (1858-1921)
  • Robert Lewis Morlan (1860-1937)
  • Sarah Matilda Morlan (1862-1899)
  • John Thomas Morlan (1865-18865)
  • Amos Albert Bluford Morlan (adopted) 1866-1948


my great grandfather
Son of William
As we get to the 20th century, more things become clearer, and more info available.  William Marion's obit states: 
"William Marion Morlan, son of William and Jane Morlan, was born on a farm in the northwest part of Appanoose County, October 20, 1851. His parents had permanently located here, having moved from Indiana. When Mr. Morlan grew to manhood he worked with his father on the farm until his marriage, after which he lived in the same vicinity, a part of the time in Wayne county, until in 1912 when he brought his family to Mystic which remained his home.
His marriage in 1871 was to Miss Eveline Awalt and to them 10 children were born, four are deceased: Charlie, Roy, John, and Mamie. The others are Mrs. Cora Cox of Rockford, Ill., Mrs. Ella Jumper of Puxico, Mo., Henry of Dunseith, N. Dak., Mrs. Nellie Milburn, Mrs. Docia Milburn, and Mrs. Clara Elgin of Mystic, Ia.
His companion passed away July 23, 1913, but he kept his own home in association with different members of his family until about four years ago when failing health compelled him to give up and he has since lived with his daughters. For more than three months, in the home of his daughter, Mrs. J. E. Milburn, Mr. Morlan has been confined to his bed resulting in his death January 29, 1930, at the ripe age of 78 years, 3 months and 8 days.
Mr. Morlan was a public-spirited man and held the city office of both councilman and mayor. His parents belong to the Old School Baptist church in their home community and he held to their religious teachings as his denominational preference.
He has 26 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren, also three surviving brothers: Henry, of Los Angeles, Calif., Robert of Plano, Ia., and Bluford of Monmouth, Ore.
The funeral services were held at the Methodist church in Mystic at 2 p.m., Saturday, conducted by the pastor, James A. Wilson, and burial was in the Elgin cemetery. A goodly number of relatives and friends were present including the following from a distance: W. M. Cox and wife of Rockford, Ill., Robert Morlan and wife of Plano, Ia., Jeffeson Conner, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Robertson of Promise City, Ia., Mr. Tracy Milburn of Harvard, Ill., Mr. Enzley Milburn and wife and two chldren of Ottumwa, Ia., and Mr. Orville Abbott and wife and three children of Moulton,Ia."