Thursday, March 15, 2012


I feel like I have to answer the question mark of my very first post.  It has taken me awhile to put my feelings together about how this has come full circle for me.  The great thing about the genealogy world is that there are wonderful people who are willing to bend over backwards for you and help find what you are so desperately searching for.  So if you go and read my first post about my great great great grandfather, John Harve Moyers, this is the follow up and my reward for sticking with my genealogical journey! 
I am a member of and that allows me to contact other people who share family trees with me.  When I discovered that the picture hanging in my grandfather's house was a picture of Effie Barnhouse, I tried to contact people who would be related to her in hopes of finding a distant cousin.  I found someone that was related to the Barnhouse family and he put me in contact with his cousin who he thought was a descendant of Effie's.  Can you imagine how exciting it was to get an e-mail like that?  I can't even describe the feeling of elation!
Well, you would never believe it but this person is a DAUGHTER of Harve and Effie.  She is over 90 years old and told me her dad went by Harve (don't pronounce the "e").  It was like Christmas morning for me.  My e-mail friend, David, went to her home and showed her my first post and read her what I wrote about her parents.  She cried and got shivers.  Even though her eyesight is going bad she said that those were her parents just like she remembered them.  It was so sweet to be able to make copies of the portraits and send them to her.  She had never seen those pictures before. 
Since then I have been able to visit with her and pick her brain on things that happened seventy years ago.  Let me tell you, she as sharp as a tack, by golly!  It has been so fun hearing about her life and her children.  David and their family call her "Tootsie!"  I just love that nickname.  It seems to fit her perfectly.  She told me that it came from a comic strip when she was little.  There was a little girl who looked just like her so her dad started calling her "Toots."  This family is full of nicknames!
Tootsie told me that her father is buried in Thurman, Iowa, the same cemetery as Nancy McQuinn, his second wife.  She told me that she had a grave marker made for him and was able to get the dates from his death certificate.
No more question mark.

Tootsie also told me about how they lived in McPaul, Iowa and had a some cattle there.  She said that they moved to Percival, Iowa sometime before her father passed away in 1929.  She went to school in both McPaul and Percival.  She was also able to share with me her memories of the night her dad died.  She was about nine years old at the time, but says that it was something she would never forget. 
Effie was the mother of six children with Harve.  Tootsie is the fourth child of those six children.  She is the only one still living!  Effie was left a widow with six children in 1929.  This time period was not ideal for bad luck to come your way.  Effie moved the family across the border to Nebraska and she started doing housework to earn money for the family.
Tootsie told me how she cared for her mother, Effie, who struggled with diabetes and lost both legs before she died.  Effie died in 1959 which also happens to be the same year Estella, her stepdaughter and my great great grandmother passed away.  It is unclear if they ever met each other because Stella stayed in Idaho. But Stella is the owner of the portraits that have been passed down to my grandfather.  Effie was quite a bit younger than Stella, about 16 years.  Stella was born in 1883 and Effie was born in 1899, the year that Stella had my great grandfather, Elmer Montgomery.  I asked how Effie and Harve met.  She told me that he taught school.  I also learned that he played the fiddle which was really touching because my own children have taken to fiddling!  Tootsie remembered that she always felt loved by her father and he was always real good to her and her siblings. 
Here is another photo of Harve in his younger years.  I am hoping to confirm with Tootsie if she recognizes this photo!  It may be a photo that they have hanging around the house.  Notice the assorted pins.  Maybe I can have the photo detective take a look at this one and give me her expert advice!  Another interesting tidbit that Tootsie recalls is that her father had a pension.  So that would mean he may have been involved in the Civil War.  I will have to follow up on that lead and see what I can find out. 

Monday, September 12, 2011


The more I look into this woman's life, the more questions I have.  Another mystery.  Rebecca is the sister of my descendant, John Harvey Moyer.  This should not be confused with John's daughter, Rebecca Ann Moyer Donnelly, who died and was buried in 1919.  I find it endearing that that John Harve named a daughter Rebecca and then his sister Rebecca actually names one of her sons John Harve.
Rebecca was born February 1851 or 1854 in Indiana.  Her birthday is listed as 1851 on the 1900 census and on the 1880 census, it states that she is 30.  When she was 6 years old her family is listed on the 1860 federal census in Hickory Grove, Wisconsin.  She married Franklin Lafayette Williamson on 17 November, 1870 in Saunders County, Nebraska.  She was 16 years old at the time and he had returned from serving in the Civil War for three years.  This leads me to believe that her birth year was 1854, but it will get even more confusing.
In 1880 the family is living in Benton, Iowa.  At this time there are five children in the family, Elizabeth, George, John Harve, Bert and Charles.  By 1885 they have moved across the border to Plattsmouth, Nebraska and we are lucky to have a state census that year.  Rebecca is 29 and has six children.  Her first child, Elizabeth is listed as Lizzie Cunningham and step-daughter to Frank Williamson.  Frank is listed as a farmer.
In 1900 the family is living in Nebraska City, Nebraska.  Rebecca lists 11 of 12 children living.  She has 7 children at home.  Frank's occupation is listed as a teamster.
Here's where it gets real interesting.  I was able to locate an Iowa marriage certificate for a Rebecca Williamson who's parents were George Myers and Sarah Beasly.  She states that she is WIDOWED!  Her new husband is an immigrant from Germany named John Rousch.  He was 38 at the time of the marriage and Rebecca lists her age as 47.  Anyone interested in viewing the information can find it by clicking on this link:
The next document I look to is the 1910 census.  First I find Rebecca and John Rousch living in Nebraska City and Rebecca's daughter Louise and her husband, John Petty is living with them.  The only weird thing on this census is that Rebecca's name is listed as Helen on the census.  But don't doubt this is our Rebecca because you will see that she lists 11 out 12 children living.  She is 50 years old and living next door to her other daughter, Hattie Biggs, and her family!
Where is Frank living in 1910?  Frank is also living in Nebraska City doing odd jobs.  He is also listed as being a widow.  Makes things a bit confusing, eh?  Maybe it was cheaper than a divorce......
I haven't been able to pin point Rebecca's death date or where she is buried but in 1925 and in 1930 Rebecca's second husband, John Rousch is found living with Louise and her husband still.  This happens to be Louise's second husband, Bert Musselman.

Here is a list of her children:

Elizabeth (Cunningham) is found on two censuses living with Rebecca.  The 1880 Federal and the 1885 Iowa state census.  She is listed as a step daughter with the last name of Cunningham on the 1885 state census.
George, born about 1872 in Nebraska, married Rosa Pool 1895 in Nebraska and they had one child, Bessie R Williamson who was born 1905 in Nebraska, in 1906 George married Louisa Hammond at Council Bluffs, Iowa.  No known death date.
John Harve, born December 22, 1873 in Nebraska. He married Cora or Clara Crow about 1899.
Bert, born March 22, 1875 in Nebraska.  He married Ella Howery September 3, 1907 in Nebraska.  He died December 1967 in Nebraska City, Nebraska.
Charles Edward was born about 1880
Bessie Mae was born February 7, 1883 in Nebraska
Hattie Belle, a twin born February 5, 1886.  She married Jonathan Biggs July 18, 1900 in Nebraska City.  She was only 14 years old at the time.  She died  August 19, 1933 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Mattie, a twin born February 5, 1886.  I have two marriage certificates for her.  On March 6, 1902, she married Guy Pearman in Nebraska City.  Then on April 10, 1911, she married Ezekial Dutton.
Roy was born 1890 in Nebraska.  He married Myrtle Anna Horner on November 14, 1914 in Nebraska City.  I do not have a death date for him.
Louise, born January 18, 1894, married John S. Petty on October 12, 1908 when she was 14 years old.  She later married Bert Allen Musselman on October 11, 1911. Both marriages were recorded in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  
Olive Pearl was born June 3, 1897 in Nebraska City.  She married Abraham Lewis on September 25, 1916 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  She went by Ollie and she is buried at the Hazel Dell Cemetery in California.  She died on May 12, 1983.
Here are the questions I have about Rebecca:  Did she have a daughter Elizabeth with another man before she married Franklin Layfette Williamson?  Why did she and Frank list themselves as widowed?  Where and when did Rebecca die?  What was she like?  Did she have contact with her brother, John Harve, and my great great great grandfather?  Maybe these questions will never get answered but my inquiring mind just can't help but wonder!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Elsie May Moyer Stanfield 1883-1943

One of the many mysteries has been solved.  Doing family history is so fun in that there are so many ways to find clues and get the answers to the many questions that arise.  This time, just being snoopy helped me.  My great great grandmother had two sisters by the same mother.  Their dear mother, Nancy McQuinn, died eight years after marrying their father, John Harve Moyer.  They were raised by him until they were married and they were all quite young when she died.  I was lucky enough to get information about the youngest sister Rebecca or Becky, but the only information I had was from the 1900 census that listed Elizabeth as the other sister.  I took a peak at someone else's family tree and noticed that they listed the sister as Elsie May.  I am always skeptical about assuming someone else's work is accurate, but since there were no other leads, I decided to look into it.  I am happy to report that when I received a copy of Elsie's obituary, it was confirmed that Mrs. O.W. Montgomery was indeed a living survivor as Elsie's sister.  The obituary also mentioned a surviving brother, Ed Moyer living in Miles City, Montana. 
I have found varying information about Elsie's date of birth.  Her obituary says she was 60 at the time of her death and that she was born February 27, 1883.  I find this peculiar because in my great great grandmother's obituary it says that she was born February, 17, 1883!  That would only make them ten days apart.  Just shows that sometimes the person who is giving the information to the newspaper doesn't always know the right dates or possibly the newspaper made a mistake.  I recently recently read an obituary of a relative where I know the information was incorrect.  It's all a part of the adventure!  The 1900 census lists the girls names and birthdays like this:

Stella, daughter, Nov 1881, age 18, actual birthday 17 February 1883
Elizabeth, daughter, Nov 1883, age 16
Rebecca, daughter, Nov 1884, age 15, actual birthday 22 June 1885

This is the census that has a lot of errors concerning the family.  I keep trying to figure out who it was that gave the information.  It may have been the grandparents of these three sisters, George and Sarah Myers, or maybe it was one the nieces or nephews that were living with the family.  It would make sense that they might not necessarily know everyone’s birthdates.  My theory is that if I do enough research about each person on that census and I find whoever has the correct birthday is probably the one that gave the information!  It could also have been John Harve, himself.  Sometimes dads don’t always remember the birthdates of their children.  It is also curious that all three of the girls have November birthdays. 
It is interesting to note that the surname Myers is listed on this census and that Elsie's children all list her maiden name as Myers on their marriage certificates as well as she used it on her own marriage certificate.  Both Rebecca and Estella use the name Moyer on their own marriage certificate.  See my post on that controversial subject of Moyer vs. Myers.
Elsie May was born in McPaul, Iowa.  I am assuming that she was the middle child of the three girls.  The only thing that gives me that information is the 190o Federal census that lists the girls in the order of Estella being the oldest and Rebecca being the youngest.  This is the only census that I have with the girls living in the same household before they all go and get married.
Elsie married Isaac Huff Stanfield on October 28, 1900 in Harpster, Idaho.  He was a native to the Dayton, Washington area.   On the 1900 census, he is living with the Calkin family in Mt. Idaho, Idaho.  Mrs. Millie Calkins maiden name is Myers and she is the daughter of George and Sarah Myers and sister to John Harve.  She is Elsie’s aunt.  Isaac is doing farm work for them on their farm.
Isaac and Elsie lived in the Dayton area for awhile and then around 1918 they are living in American Falls, Idaho.  Before 1930 they return to Dayton, Washington and Isaac dies on October 20, 1938.  Elsie passes away five years later on April 18, 1943.  They are both buried in the Dayton City Cemetery in Dayton, Washington.
They had five children, but only three lived past childhood.  They are as follows:

Clarence Stanfield, not sure on the dates
Tabitha Elizabeth Stanfield Workman Abraham, born March 13, 1905
Mabel Irene Stanfield Stevens Tate, born July 13, 1907
Anna May Stanfield, born March 29, 1910 and died May 6, 1911
Lucile Stanfield Skelton Stump, born in 1914

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The handsome George E “Coon” Myers was born 1862 in Iowa. He was the youngest son of George and Sarah and carries the same name as his father, George.  The first official document we find about him on is the 1880 census in Pohocco, Saunders, Nebraska.  At 18, he works on the farm with his parents and his brother, Charles.  Charles soon gets married on December 24, 1880 in the same county.
George marries Dora Belle Garrean on December 4, 1888 in Cass County, Nebraska at the age of 26.  They have the following children:

  • Roy Lee Myers, born 16 July 1884
  • Charles Oliver Myers, born 27 Jan 1888 in McPaul, Iowa
  • George Israel Myers, born 6 March 1889 in McPaul, Iowa
  • Sarah Mae Myers, born 10 October 1892 in Dayton, Washington
  • Edith Ethel Myers, born 13 May 1893 in Dayton, Washington
  • Gertrude Lily Myers, born 13 March 1895 in Dayton, Washington
  • Ray Myers, born 13 April 1896 in Dayton, Washington
  • Bert Orval Myers, born 1 May 1897 in Dayton, Washington

The great thing about knowing where each child was born is that it narrows down when the family moved from Iowa to Washington.  This family lived in McPaul, Iowa where my great great grandmother, Estella, was born and at the time of her mother’s death.  So that tells me that they lived in Iowa and Idaho at the same time.  Roy and Estella were cousins close in age.

I have very few stories or documents on this man.  He had children who lived full lives and I am very interested in hearing stories about the lives they led.  The one story that has been passed on is from Edith’s grandson.  He shared this with me:

George Coon  died on July 8, 1898 at the age of 36. No one knew for a long time when he died, so when I notified the Grangeville Library about seeing if they could find this death date in a newspaper. They found it and sent me a short obituary. Then my grandfather remembered a story he had heard as a small boy about George. It seems that George worked for a freight company and on that fateful day of July 8, 1898, he was carrying freight in a wagon to Grangeville. He stopped a couple of minutes, got off the wagon, something spooked the horses and they rolled the wagon over him, killing him instantly. The kids went from several aunts and uncles until they finally got old enough to get on their own. My great grandmother (Edith Ethel Myers), George's daughter married at an incredibly young age of 13, mainly because no one in the family was able to take care of her, so she got married.”

Here is a family photo of Dora Belle and her children later in life.  I don’t have much background on when or where these photos were taken but I am just really happy to have them to look at! 

Dora Belle Garrean Myers Reynolds, the mother of these lovely children is seated second to left on the bottom row.

Monday, March 28, 2011

George and Sarah Myers

Here is the treasure of the week!  My cousin Steve Phillips provided this to me.  He is a descendant from George "Coon" Myers. 
I'd like to attach the photos to a their grave on but I am having a heck of a time finding where they were buried and when!  I spent the day Friday with my best genealogy buddy ever at the Idaho Historical Library.  I looked through all of the newspapers from Grangeville, Idaho for the year 1904.  The newspaper was only weekly at that time so there were only 52 issues to check out.  Unfortunately, I did not find anything.  But I will not stop trying.  There's got to be a trace somewhere and I'm determined to find it!  So here are the photos Steve was willing to share. Maybe someone out there will be able to give me more information on where George and Sarah died and where they are buried. 

Aren't they a cute couple?  Steve has Sarah's last name as Bisbee and I believe this is a transcription error.  I have found a marriage certificate from Clinton, Indiana and the name is stated as Beasley.  The pictures were take by Elite Studios in Grangeville, Idaho.  Enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rebecca Ann Moyer Donnally

Rebecca and Estella hardly knew their mother.  She died in 1888 and they soon moved from Iowa and away from the their mother's family.  I felt thrilled when I found this very informative obituary from the Lewiston Tribune, dated Saturday, July 24, 2010.  It is about Rebecca's youngest daughter, Della Irene Donnally Kemp and gave me some more information about her mother.

Della Irene Donnally Kemp, 92, of Grangeville, passed gently away at home with her family at her side Thursday, July 22, 2010. Della, the youngest of seven children, was born in Thurman, Iowa, April 28, 1918, to William Moses and Rebecca Ann Moyer Donnally. About three months after she was born, her mother died of influenza and the family traveled by train to Mount Idaho, where she resided for 87 years. She has lived in Clarkston with her daughter and son-in-law, Becky and Mike Moriarty, for the past several years.
Della was raised in Mt. Idaho by her aunt and uncle, Maude and Andy Donnally, while her brothers, Frank, Harvey, Charlie and Lloyd, and her sisters, Hazel and Esther, were raised at the Children's Home in Lewiston.
She went to elementary school at the Country School in Mount Idaho, which was on the hill above her home. She graduated from Grange-ville High School in 1936, where she enjoyed school activities including basketball, sewing, algebra, track and field. Since there were no buses, Della walked the 3 miles from Mount Idaho to Grangeville to attend school.
She enjoyed fishing and old-time dances in Mount Idaho. She would attend social activities in a horse-drawn sled during the snowy winters. In 1937, Della graduated from My Ladies Beauty School in Boise.
While she was a senior in high school and working at the Idaho Hotel, she met and fell in love with Bill Kemp, even though he came in with his muddy boots to clean up in the restroom, which she then had to clean as part of her job. They were married by the justice of the peace in Lewiston, Nov. 30, 1940. They began their married life at the family's Salmon River Big Bar sheep ranch, a 27-mile horse trip from Forest, Idaho, near Winchester. The family herded sheep regularly from the Salmon River to the Buffalo Hump area on foot and horseback.
Della helped run the sheep camp and, in August 1941, came out on horseback to Forest and traveled on to Grangeville for the birth of their first son, Billy. Two weeks later, she went back on horseback to the sheep camp.
In 1944, Della once again rode horseback from the Salmon River to Forest, traveling on to Cottonwood, where a second son, Ricky, was born. The family later moved to their home in Mount Idaho. During this time, Bill and Della ran the Pine Grove Dance Hall in Mount Idaho. Their third child and first daughter, Becky, was born about the time the dance hall closed in 1947. In 1950, their fourth child, Connie Ruth, was born, and nine years later daughter Kaylynn came along!
Della was a full-time homemaker, dedicated to making sure her husband and children were raised with love and care. Always taking an active part, Della was a Cub Scout den mother and Camp Fire Girls leader, where she was honored for 30 years of service, a chapter mom for Demolay and a Job's Daughter adviser. She and Bill were always proud of the fact that their family had two past master counselors of Demolay and two past honored queens of Job's Daughters. She also volunteered with 4-H, Triple Bar Drill Team and was a school volunteer.
Della was a 50-year member and past noble grand in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekah Lodge, and a 50-year member of Mountain Queen Chapter No. 11 Order of Eastern Star, serving in various positions and making lifelong friends. She most enjoyed the kitchen and banquet committees that she chaired. She was a charter member of the
Grangeville Eagles Auxiliary No. 539 and was the
Idaho state president in 1988. She and Bill both enjoyed working the many Eagles breakfasts for which the Eagles are widely known. She spent many years up at Fish Creek either with the Camp Fire Girls, the Eagles campouts, or teaching her grandchildren how to fish.
Some of Della's fondest memories came from her time spent bowling with her OK Rubber Welder teammates, Maxine, Opal and Shirley. Oh, the stories she would tell of her team travels to many different bowling tournaments! Bill had just as much fun watching them bowl as the girls did rolling their balls down the alley.
Della enjoyed picking huckleberries. She did not like to give out her secret spots, but if you went with her you would come home with lots of berries. She also enjoyed going "mushrooming" with Bill. They would bring back gallons of mushrooms and spend hours cleaning and canning them for friends and family. She spent many summer hours fishing at Mallard Creek with Jack and Mary Eagle. She always looked forward to their summer visits and bringing home lots of trout to freeze for the winter.
Besides bowling, she loved to crochet and sew. The last 7 years she spent building quilts for all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was always working on some sort of project for one of her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. The quilts and afghans are loved by her family just as much as she loved creating them. When she wasn't crafting or sewing, Della was reading - she was a voracious reader and loved stories of all kinds.
Della was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, William; her son, Billy; her daughter, Connie Ruth; and all of her brothers and sisters.
She is survived by her son, Rick Kemp and Connie of Woodburn, Ore.; her daughters, Becky Moriarty and Mike of Clarkston, and Kaylynn Irusta and Bob of Boise; her sister-in-law, Lois Donnally; brother-in-law Walter Kemp and Frances; her grandchildren, Chris Hardy and Linda, Tony Hardy and Rebecca, Blaine Moriarty and Dusty, Alan Brown, Michele Fredrickson and Zach, Reiko Kemp and Fred, and Kaitlyn Irusta; and her great-grandchildren, Ashley, Sarah Jane, Tate, Trae, Parker, Kalea, Katie and Ava, with another on the way.
She will be missed dearly by her little dog Penny, all of her family who loved her deeply, and many, many lifelong friends in Grangeville and Mount Idaho who are left with many wonderful memories.
The family would like to thank her longtime doctor, Daniel B. McIntosh, and Tri-State Hospice for their caring and help in the last days of her life.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to
Grangeville Eagles Auxiliary No. 539, Grangeville Rebekah Lodge, American Diabetes Association or Tri-State Hospital Foundation.

Graveside services will be held at Monday at the Mount Idaho Cemetery. The Eagles Auxiliary will conduct a ritual ceremony followed by a reception at the Eagles Lodge in Grangeville. Visitation is from to at the Blackmer Funeral Home in Grangeville. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Rebecca Ann Moyer Donnally passed away January 31, 1919 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  The death certificate states that she was buried in McPaul (Thurman), Iowa.  Della was less than a year old.  It is sad to think that Rebecca didn't know her mother, Nancy McQuin Myers, and Della also did not have much time with her mother either. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Moyer or Myers?

That is the question and I will let you be the judge.  For the longest time I didn’t believe that the people on the 1900 Federal census for Harpster, Idaho were related to me because they used the last name of Myers.  I wanted it to be true because there was three generations contained in one document, but it took a lot of research to convince me.  My maternal great grandmother was Estella Moyers and I had a marriage certificate to prove it.  But after studying and finding the census trail for their lives, I am convinced that they are indeed the same family.  Here is the trail of documents I have been able to locate for the George and Sarah Moyer family:

30 Jan 1840  CLINTON, INDIANA     
George MOYERS  and Sarah BEASLEY
marriage certificate

17 Aug 1850 District #130, White, INDIANA
George Moyer                     30                   b. Virginia
Sarah Moyer                        24                   b. Virginia
John Moyer                          9                      b. Illinois
Elizabeth Moyer                4                     b.  Indiana
Eliza Ann Moyer                0                      b.  Indiana

1860  Hickory Grove, Grant, WISCONSIN
George Moyer                     40                   b. Virginia
Sarah Moyer                        39                    b. Virginia
John Moyer                          18                    b. Illinois
Elizabeth Moyer                14                    b.  Indiana
Emma C Moyer                  10                    b.  Indiana
Rebecca                                6                      b. Indiana
Amelia                                  4                     b. Wisconsin
Charles                                 1                       b. Wisconsin

17 Nov 1870  SAUNDERS, NEBRASKA         
Frank WILLIAMSON and Rebecca MYERS
Marriage certificate

12 June 1880 Pohocco, Saunders, NEBRASKA
George Myres                     62                   b. Virginia
Sarah Myres                         58                   b. Virginia
Charles Myres                     21                    b. Wisconsin
George E Myres                 17                     b. Wisconsin

Charles A MYERS and Mattie OXFORD
Marriage certificate

3 June 1885   State Census for Center, Cass, Nebraska
George Myres                     66                    b. Wisconsin
Sarah Myres                         62                   b. Virginia
George Myres                     21                    b. Iowa

25 July 1900  Harpster, Idaho, IDAHO
John Myers               58                   b.Illinois
Stella Myers             18                    b. Iowa
Elisabeth                  16                    b. Iowa
Rebecca                    15                    b. Iowa
George Myers         91                    b. Virginia
Sarah Myers             72                   b. Virginia   

From these documents we can see that at some point before 1870 the Moyer family starts using the name of Myers.  Family legend says that there was a run in with the law and that was why there was a name change.  I don’t have anything to prove that theory yet.  It is interesting that John Harve and Charles A end up going by the name of Moyer again.  I have very little records about Elizabeth and Emma/Eliza who were born in Indiana.  I have located several marriage certificates for Rebecca Williamson’s children and it is interesting to note, they listed their mother as Rebecca Meyers or Myers.