Saturday, January 30, 2010


I thought it might be nice to define the nicknames we use to refer to the past generation or two. This will cover the Bagley, Roe, Hoffman, and Stout lines.

Since we don't want to have to constantly refer to these folks by their full names, we will use the following nicknames:

Here are the folks we knew:
Grandpa Bagley = Horace Thurston Bagley, the father of Grandma Sally
Grandma Bagley = Pauline (Roe) Bagley, the mother of Grandma Sally
Grandpa Joe = Joseph Weldon Bailey Hoffman, the father of Grandpa Glenn
Nanny = Versie Mae (Stout) Hoffman, the mother of Grandpa Glenn

The next generation:
Granny Bagley = Myrtle Estacia Wood, the mother of Grandpa Bagley
Grandpa Stout = James Alexancder Stout, the father of Nanny
Grandma Stout = Nora Bell (Lemaster) Stout, the mother of Nanny

These were the folks who were known to my generation. There were 5 folks from this generation who were gone before 1960:
Lige Bagley = Elijah Benjamin Bagley, father of Grandpa Bagley
C. L. Roe = Charles L. Roe, the father of Grandma Bagley
Grandma Roe = Sally P. (Foster) Roe, the mother of Grandma Bagley
S. C. Hoffman = Sylvester Clinton Hoffman, the father of Grandpa Joe
Grandma Hoffman= Lillie (Beasley) Hoffman, the mother of Grandpa Joe

This all assumes you know Grandpa Glenn and Grandma Sally. If not, email me and I will fill you in. I hope this works!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thomas Benton Stout - Follow-up

The picture is our Thomas Benton Stout with five of his sons; "Riley, Marion, Willie, Johnie, and James", taken in 1917 in Clovis, New Mexico.

This is just a short note concerning the name of our g-g-grandfather. See the Jan 19 post for details concerning his family, etc.

This is one of the few posts that will be pure speculation! But I hope it is informative and maybe a little fun.

In the mid 1800s, there was a very popular fad of naming children after famous celebrities, mostly political or military folks.

So, where did our Thomas Benton Stout get his name?

I believe it was from the Missouri Senator, Thomas H. Benton.

Thomas H. Benton was elected as one of two senators from the then brand-new state of Missouri in 1820. He served for 30 years, until 1850, the year our Thomas was born. He led a colorful life, with famous fights and an unpopular stand against slavery late in life bringing him notoriety.

Instead of re-writing his life story, I will link to his Wikipedia page for those who are interested:

He is the subject of several books, two of which were written by future presidents. Teddy Roosevelt published a biography in 1887, and Benton is one of the Senators profiled in John F. Kennedy's book, 'Profiles in Courage'.

Can we be sure that our Thomas Benton Stout was named after Thomas H. Benton? No. But until someone comes up with a better idea, this is what I will lean toward. It seems likely that parents would name a son after a man in whom they saw qualities which the family admired. Thomas H. Benton would fit the bill. We know the Stouts were men and women who stood strong for the values they deemed important, and the fact that John Lewis Stout (the father of our T.B.Stout) enlisted in the Union Army in Missouri shows that he must have been an abolishionist.

I hope that was fun, and even if it is wrong, it tells us a lot about the times in which these folks lived!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Thomas Benton Stout

Believe it or not, there were at least 3 men named Thomas Benton Stout in the United States in the 1800s. We know this is 'ours' because of a hand written ledger copied from James Alexander Stout's records in 1952, in which the birth and death dates match this stone.

This grave is found in the Hollene Cemetery, near Clovis, New Mexico.

Thomas was the son of John Lewis Stout and Amanda C. Carroll. At the time of this writing, it is believed that John is the only man in our ancestry who was a Union soldier in the Civil War. He seems to have died shortly after the start of the war, from illness, on Oct 16, 1861. In most wars before 1900, illness WAS the most common cause of death! He died when Thomas was 11 years old. I hope to have more about John and Amanda and their family in another article.

The first record of Thomas is the 1850 census when he was 3 months old. He had three grandparents nearby. His maternal grandmother, Dorothy Carroll, was living with John and Amanda. His father's parents were living next door, listed as Jude and Delila Stout. These families were in Moniteau County, Missouri. In 1860 he was 10 years old, with his parents and 7 siblings. In the 1870 census we are not sure where he was, but he married Mary Jane Kelsey in 1873 in Morgan County Missouri. Mary Jane was the daughter of Samuel and Rose Ann Kelsey (sometimes spelled Kelsay). Samuel had apparently died when Mary Jane was young, as her and her mother had weddings just 3 days apart - her mother's second marriage and Mary Jane's first:

Rose Ann Kelsay m. Alexander Hamilton (not the famous one) June 5, 1873

Mary Jane Kelsay m. Thomas B. Stout June 8, 1873

Thomas and Mary Jane had their first child, named Rosa Jane, in Missouri. The rest of their 16 children were born in Texas. That's right SIXTEEN. This is the largest in our known family, all born to Mary Jane Kelsey Stout! The first child born in 1874, and the last in 1897. We know that Thomas and Mary Jane lived in Collin and Denton County Texas. They are found in Greer County Oklahoma in 1900, so they must have moved there about the same time as son James.

As was true of almost all of our ancestors, Thomas is listed as a 'farmer' in all census records. We have not researched how much land he had, but the 1910 census does tell us he owned his home.

Our 'Grandpa Stout' - James Alexander Stout was the 4th child and the oldest son in this family.

As the children of Thomas and Mary Jane grew up, some of them moved to New Mexico. Mary Jane died in 1915. Thomas is not found in the 1920 census, but he must have either gone to visit family, or moved to be near them in New Mexico, where he died in 1925.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Andrew Boyd Foster

Andrew was the grandfather of our Grandma Bagley:

Thomas Boyd Foster married Eleanor Cowan in 1837. Their first 5 children were sons: William, Samuel, Thomas, Andrew, and Hugh. All 5 of these boys fought in the Civil War. Our Andrew Boyd Foster is #4 on this list. The family's sacrifices for the Confederacy cannot be overstated. The two oldest sons died in the war. The third son was shot in the ankle, resulting in his foot being amputated, and living with a wooden extension for many years. Andrew and Hugh were both captured and in prisoner of war camps, and it certainly appears that these imprisonments were very tough on them.

As was a common custom, Andrew's middle name came from his Grandmother Sarah "Sally" Ann Boyd (could she have been the original 'Grandma Sally'?)

Here are the summarized Civil War records of Andrew Boyd Foster:

He enlisted at Caperton's Ferry, Alabama under Capt. George Cowan, probably his uncle, on June 12, 1862, just about a month before his 21st birthday. After this he is listed on the role cards until Feb 21, 1864 when he was able to take a short furlough. On his return to service he re-enlisted "for the war". In July of that year, he is "missing and presumed to have been captured", which in fact, he was. Later records show that he was captured near Marietta, Georgia on July 15, 1864. He then was held at Louisville, Kentucky and Camp Chase, Ohio before being transfered to City Point, Virginia in March of 1865 where he was held until the end of the war.

After the war he married Nancy Brewer in Jackson County Alabama, where they had three daughters before moving to Texas. The third of these was our Sally Pauline Foster, mentioned in the last post.[there is a published book which says that her name was Sally 'Brown' Foster, and unfortunately it has been widely quoted, but in the census records her middle initial is consistently listed as "P", so this matches our family memories]

The couple settled in Comanche County in west-cental Texas, near the town of Sipe Springs. Here they aquired land and livestock, and had 6 more children. The Comanche Newspaper had a section that told of "Sipe Springs Doings", and on June 10, 1882 it said:

"The sheep interest is getting to be quite an important one...Mr A.B.Foster and Bro own about a thousand..."

It is a mystery as to which brother this could be, although it seems most likely that is was Hugh, who did move to Sipe Springs in the early 1880s.

Andrew worked as Deputy Sheriff for two years and was then elected Sheriff in 1891 and 1893, for two years each time. Although we cannot know much about him at this distant time, we do know he had enough respect in the community to be elected Sheriff after serving as Deputy, and then re-elected for a second term - the office of Sheriff being one of the most important public positions in the late 19th century West. (just watch any 'Gunsmoke' episode if you don't believe me) For religion, he was raised in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and this denomination was very active in his home in Texas, to which he seems to have remained faithful.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Andrew Boyd Foster

This is the start of a short series.  Our ancestors have very few gravestones of any significance, but there are a few, and this will be a good way to introduce some of these folks.  This is the first of a few posts on Tombstone Tuesday.

This picture is from the Sipe Springs Cemetery in Texas.  Andrew was the grandfather of our Grandma Bagley.  The family went like this:  Andrew Foster and his wife, Nance Brewer, had a daughter Sallie Pauline Foster.  She married Charles Roe, and they had Pauline Roe, our Grandma Bagley.  So you see that our Grandma Bagley, and Grandma Sally were both named after Andrew's daughter!

In family history we often find facts or stories of ancestors acting in ways that seem in conflict with our values.  This can be disturbing at times, but it can also open our minds.  Not necessarily to agree with them, but to understand why they may have acted in such a way.  You will see a Confederate flag next to his stone, commemorating his service for the South in the Civil War. Today we know how wrong slavery is, and it doesn't seem reasonable that good people could fight in support of such a cause, but both the North and the South felt that they were on the 'right' side at the time. There were certainly good men fighting on both sides. Andrew's family made amazing sacrifices in this fight. In the next post we will explore some of these as well as what else we know of Andrew Boyd Foster.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Two Men Named David LeRoy Hoffman

This is a picture of David LeRoy Hoffman, the oldest brother of our 'Grandpa Joe'. Roy - as he was known - was born in 1904 and was a sailor in the Navy from about 1928 until he died of Leukemia in 1932. He was on the U.S.S. Colorado and traveled around the Pacific, to Hawaii, through the Panama Canal, and was on this ship when the movie "Shipmates" was filmed in 1931.

Today's story is about a discovery I made today concerning the origins of Roy's name.

There is much evidence that Roy's father, Sylvester Clinton Hoffman (usually referred to by us as S.C.) was born and raised near Springfield, Illinois, actually in the nearby farm land of Greene County. What I didn't know until today is that Roy was probably named after his Uncle David LeRoy.

In Greene County there was an 1860's school ledger** with these students:

1863 - John Hoffman age 7 ; David Hoffman age 9 ; Andrew Hoffman age 12
1865 - Sylvester Hoffman 6 ; Harriet Skeen 16 ; Jennie Witt 17 ;Henry Perry 17
1868 - Clinton Hoffman 10 ; Leroy Hoffman 14 ; Flora Hoffman 14.

The three boys listed for 1863 are also seen in the 1860 census as the older brothers of our S.C. The 1865 Sylvester must be the Clinton in 1868, our S.C. What I had not noticed is that David in 1863 must be Leroy in 1868. All researchers had thought he was "David J" because that is what the writing in the 1870 census had looked like. But with the 'Leroy' information, it is actually easy to tell that the "J" is really an "L".

This brother disappears after the 1870 census, and is believed to have died while S.C. was a teenager. So we must conclude that S.C named his oldest son, the man in the picture, after his lost brother, David Leroy Hoffman.


** Transcribed by Mabel Gano, a cousin, in the 1970s. Not known if this ledger still exists.

Monday, January 4, 2010

FarmVille in 1783

I noticed folks on Facebook playing a game - FarmVille. So I thought it might be fun to see what real FarmVille items were worth in 1783, the year that Henry Hoffman's Will was filed. He, and his wife Margaret, were our 'immigrant' ancestor who lived in Culpeper County Virginia. His estate was detailed on October 1, 1783 in the Will Book at the County Courthouse. So here is a partial list of his inventory:

One Red Cow - $3.75
One Old Cow - 3.50
Two Steer Yearlings - 3.00
One Large Heifer - 3.80
Thirty Eight Head of Hogs - 16.00
Twelve Head of Sheep - 4.50
Sixty Seven Bushels of Rye - 9.00
Forty Bushels of Wheat - 8.00
One Womans Saddle - 4.50
Seven old Hogsheads - 1.20 (yes these are actual hogsheads!)
One Large Pot - 1.30
Four Hoes - 0.60 (reminds me of a Tiger Woods joke)
Old Corn, Forty Five Barrels - 31.00
Tobacco - 4.75
Two Axes - 0.75
One pair of Sheep Shears - 0.20
Sixteen Geese - 1.75
Six Chairs - 0.60
Although he did a lot of farming, he was also a weaver by trade:
One Loom - 1.70
One Harness Loom and gear - 0.50
One old pair of Wool cards - 0.15 (these held yarn or thread)
One pair of Cotton cards - 0.60
Fifteen Stays and Harnesses 5.90 (these were used for making women's dresses)

The values were actaully listed in British Pounds, which I converted to Dollars at 1.6 dollars per Pound.

You could have bought a saddle for about $5.00. That sounds really cheap, except that you could only get three or four dollars for a cow. Enjoy your FarmVille game, and remember many of ancestors truly relied on the farm for their survival, and thankfully most of them were very good at it!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My First Post.....

If you are reading this, you have probably been invited to view this blog. Obviously, there are many branches of our family tree, so some families will interest you more than others. I think you will find many of the items interesting, even if the folks involved aren't your direct family. Some of the families which will be detailed are the Stout, Lemaster, Hoffman, Bagley, Roe, Foster, Beasley, Wood, Norton, and Pease.

Whether you were born into, adopted into, or married into this family you are now a part of the story.  My main hope for this blog is to help us all feel closer to each other, and maybe better understand our role in this story.

Let me know if you have any suggestions!

So, if you are wondering 'Who were our Ancestors, Really?', here is an example. It is a picture of Sylvestor and Lillie Hoffman, taken in about 1903. This was about 5 years before their son, our 'Grandpa Joe" was born!

Lastly, you can leave comments or questions on the articles anytime you would like.  If you are interested in contributing articles, just let me know.  You may not consider youself an expert, but if you think about it, you likely will have some story, family recipe, old family picture, or maybe you have a old keepsake you could photograph and share with the rest of us!