Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Mary Lincoln Stover 1796 - 1859 My 3rd Great Grandaunt

Daniel Stover Sr. home where Mary grew up
Mary Lincoln Stover was the second child of Daniel Stover Sr. and his wife Phoebe Ward. She was one of seven sisters of my third great grandfather, William Ward Stover. Mary was born on January 20, 1796 in what was then considered the Southwest Territory and today is part of Carter County, Tennessee.

When Mary was nineteen, she married John Teter Bowers on February 3, 1815[1]. John was also born in the Southwest Territory on January 27, 1792. He was the son of John Leonard Bowers and Rebecca Nave. John enlisted in the Tennessee militia on January 5, 1814 and was discharged on May 18, 1814. This was during the War of 1812. He served as a private with Captain Adam Winsel’s Company.

Pension application for War of 1812 service

Mary and John had ten children. They were Mary Lincoln Bowers born ca. 1815, Daniel Stover Bowers b. ca 1817, David B. Bowers b. 1820, William Carter Bowers b.1823, Teter Nave Bowers b.1826, Jemima Bowers b.1829, Rev. John Leonard Bowers b.1830, Christian Nave Bowers b.1836, Isaac Stover Bowers  b.1839 and Samuel Murray Stover Bowers b. ca. 1841.

In 1850 Mary appeared on the census for Carter County. She was fifty-four at the time and was living with John 58 and four of their children. The children were listed in this order on the census form: Christian 14, Isaac 11, and Murry 7, followed by John 19, Mary 21 and Isaac N. one month. Since their daughter Mary Lincoln Bower would have been 35 in 1850, I believe the Mary listed below their son John Leonard was his wife and the one-month-old Isaac N. was John L. and Mary’s son – John Teter and Mary L. Stover’s grandson.

John T. and Mary Bowers on the 1850 census
 John Tater was identified as a “Collier” in the occupation column whereas every other male aged 15 or older on the page was identified as a farmer. A collier is a coal miner.

According to Robert Nave, a Carter County historian, Mary and John were divorced  - a somewhat unusual occurrence for the time. Then on April 20, 1856, John Bowers married a second time to Mary Jane E. Crawley, the widow of Griffin Pearce. John T. Bowers and his wife Mary (Crawley) applied for a pension based on John’s service during the War of 1812. John died sometime before 1870 in Carter County.[2]

Bond for John's marriage to Mary Crawley

Most records suggest that Mary Lincoln Stover Bowers died in Elizabethton in Carter County in 1859 at the age of 64.

[1] Tennessee US Marriage Records 1780-2002, TN State Library and Archives shows this marriage date as 3 Feb 1811. Other sources show 1814. The 1815 date comes from Robert Nave’s book on Teter Nave whom I trust.

[2] Dale Jenkins, a descendant of Solomon Hendrix Stover, one of Mary’s brothers, says John died after 1871 but Nave says before 1870.

John Bowers and Mary Lincoln Stover marriage record

John Bowers and Mary Pearce (Crawley) marriage record

David B. Bowers and his wife. Two of his brothers below
Sources for this Post: 1850 Census, Teter Nave East Tennessee Pioneer His Ancestors and Descendants bu Robert T. Nave and Margaret W. Hougland, War of 1812 Pension document, Carter marriage records, FamilySearch, Ancestry, Google, Watagau Historical Association,  a family history of Phoebe Ward, a page from the family bible of Daniel Stover Sr. (given to me by Robt. Nave), and correspondence with Dale Jenkins.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Christian Wilhelm Menge My third Great Grandfather on my Mother's Side

Alfeld City Hall from Google
Christian Wilhelm Menge is my third great grandfather. I estimate that he was born about 1779 in Germany, probably in Alfeld, but have yet to prove either of these suppositions. Wilhelm was the son of Casper Heinrich Ludolph Menge. According to a note on his son’s marriage document, Wilhelm was a white tanner in Alfeld. A white tanner works with high-quality soft leather, which would have been suitable for making gloves. Wilhelm’s son Heinrich Christian was a glove maker, so I think it is likely that Wilhelm also made gloves and possibly other products from his leather. Historically, the profession of tanner had a negative connotation, because the processing of leather involved working with animal hides and various chemicals to treat the leather. These were odoriferous and potentially harmful to workers’ health. But by the 19th century, power-driven machines were being used to complete most of the noxious tasks, and less toxic chemicals were being used, so the profession was more well regarded.

Tanning is a multi-step process that starts with receiving hides from the butcher, scraping off the fat and blood, tanning with chemicals, drying, smoothing, dressing and applying oils and color All this is completed prior to cutting and stitching each pair of gloves.

According to the FamilySearch tree, Wilhelm married Johanna Sophia Vos, the daughter of Ernest Friedrich Vos. Sophia was born in Bad Pyrmont, Niedersachsen, Germany. They had at least one child, Heinrich Christian Menge in 1809.

Wilhelm lived during the American Revolution when Germany sent troops to America to support the British, and during the French Revolution when France invaded Germany. Wilhelm was a young man at the end of the Holy Roman Empire during the Napoleonic Wars. The Holy Roman Empire existed from 962 to 1806. During that time the Kingdom of Germany was the largest territory.

Old Latin School in Alfeld, now a museum

Alfeld is 20 miles southwest of Hildesheim on the Leine River and is the second largest city in the District of Hildesheim in Lower Saxony. The town was founded in 1214 and for many years was a small village. It prospered from trade in beer, hops, linen and yarn, and grew `before the Thirty Years’ War in the 1600s. The town is known for the octagonal tower on its town hall, which was built in 1586; the Church of Saint Nicolai; the Fillerturm, a medieval watchtower; and the Fagus Factory, which was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011. 

Sources for this Post: Wilhelm's son's marriage record, FamilySearch tree, and online research.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Lottie's Photos: Cute Photos of Terry and Kathy 1946

Terry and Kathy holding hands in the garden

Taking photographs was a life long hobby and pleasure for my mother. It all began when my father gave her a camera for their first Christmas together in 1938. That was when Mom started to document our family life. Not only did she take the photos and have them developed, she dutifully pasted them into photo albums and annotated each volume with captions and later she added stories that explained what was happening in our lives. She gave detailed accounts of holidays and family trips – where we went, when and what we saw.  

All the photos I’ve used to illustrate this blog series so far have been from volume one of her massive collection of albums. This photo of Terry and Kathy is one of very few in the album that is in color. This photo is one of the images she captured on her first roll of color film. It was taken in 1946.


This album includes several photos of my two siblings as infants and toddlers and includes many wonderful shots of the two of them together looking incredibly cute and angelic. I scanned nearly 200 photos from volume one. Terry and Kathy are the stars of 33 of those shots and most notable to me is that in ten of those shots – nearly one third the two of them are holding hands. Now, how cute is that?


Volume one covers the period 1938 to 1949 and is my favorite of all my mom’s photo albums despite the fact that I’m not included in it. I cherish this book because it depicts my ancestors and many of my parent’s friends during the earliest years of their marriage. Volume two covers 1950 – 1957 – a seven-year period compared to eleven years in volume one. Volume three covers 1957 – 1961 – only four years. That pattern continues and in later years some volumes are devoted exclusively to one major trip that took place during a single year.


Working on her photo albums gave mom a lot of pleasure. Sometimes she took an album with her on a motorhome trip when she would have time to sit beneath a tree by some California lake and put her latest batch of pictures in her album. Near the end of her life, she would ask my brother Terry to retrieve one of her older books and then she would enjoy looking at her photos and reminiscing about all the things that she and my father enjoyed together. Now, these albums give me pleasure and hopefully, they will continue to delight Lottie’s descendants via this blog.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Vetter Wallace 1890 - 1965 My Grandaunt on my Father's Side

Elizabeth Vetter as a young woman
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Vetter was the fourth daughter born to George and Katherine Vetter. Lizzie
also known as Rosie was born on February 22, 1890 when her family was living at 1328 W. 20th Street in Chicago, Illinois. She had two older sisters Kate and Mary, one having died at 5 months, and two younger sisters Emma and Anna, my grandmother.

When Lizzie was ten, she appeared on the 1900 census with her family. At that time, they were living at 409 21st Street in Chicago and Lizzie was attending school. About four years later they left Chicago and moved all the way across the county to settle in Los Angeles. Shortly after arriving in California Lizzie’s mother Katherine died at the age of 57 leaving Lizzie, age 14, and her sisters alone with their father George. Apparently, George struggled as a single parent because, as my grandmother told it, she was mostly raised by her older sister Kate. Each of the girls left school early and went to work or got married and their father remarried in 1910.

L-R Anna, Elizabeth, Emma and Mary Vetter
Lizzie attended elementary and two years of high school – leaving school when she was sixteen. At nineteen she married Paul Clifford Wallace in Los Angeles on June 5, of 1909. Her sister Emma was a witness at their wedding. Paul was the son of George W. Wallace and Mary Adella McGuire. He was born on July 20, 1884 in Cincinnati, Ohio and was a machinist working in Los Angeles at the time they were married. The following December their first child was born – a son named Robert Leroy Wallace, followed by Helen Pauline Wallace born in 1911, and Paul Wilbur Wallace in 1917. All three children were born in Los Angeles.

Paul Clifford Wallace

Lizzie’s son Robert married Helen McCollum and they had six children. In 1940 they were living in Oakland on Melrose Avenue. Robert died in Tracy which may be why his mother is buried there. Helen married George Wellman, had at least two sons and died in Calaveras County, California. I don’t know much about their youngest son Paul Jr.

When the 1910 census was taken the Wallace family was living at 3851 N. Broadway in Los Angeles. Paul was employed as a machinist at an ironworks plant – the same type of work that my grandfather John Roger Thornally did.

In 1920 the family was still in Los Angles living at the corner of Arthur and Orchard Streets. Lizzie registered to vote as a Republican in 1922 at which time she was living at 3032 Tom Street and identified herself at a housewife.

By 1930 they were living at 3816 High Street in Oakland in a rented home. Paul was identified as being employed as a Chief but it did not say in what industry. The census showed that Lizzie’s daughter Helen was 18 and employed as a saleslady and Paul Jr. was 15. In 1938, Lizzie’s voter registration showed that she was living at 2916 Courtland Avenue in Oakland.

Birth record for Rosie Elizabeth Vetter
When the census was taken in 1940 Lizzie and Paul were living with their son Paul in Castro Valley, California at 19185 Center Street which is very close to where my parents lived starting in 1949. Paul senior was working on a goat farm and their son was employed as a mechanic. In the mid1960s Lizzie was living in Oakland again at 3844 14th Street. She died at Stockton State Hospital – a psychiatric facility on July 21, 1965 at the age of 75, and is buried at Tracy Memorial Cemetery in San Joaquin County, California.

Lizzie's Death Certificate

Historic postcard depicting the Stockton State Hospital
found on Google

2916 Courtland home in Oakland

19186 Center Street, Castro Valley

3816 High Street in Oakland

Monday, March 1, 2021

Mary Vetter Low Lock 1888 - 1970 My Grandaunt on my Father's Side

Mary Vetter right with her
sister Anna
Note: This is the last of my 16 grandaunts and granduncles that I've written a biography for on this blog.

Mary was born November 2, 1888 in Chicago, Illinois when her family was living at 1328 20th Street. She was the third daughter born to George and Katherine Vetter. Mary’s middle name Augusta is the same as their first-born daughter who was named Augusta Elizabeth. Clearly, the name Augusta had significance for George and Katherine but I have yet to figure out why – I don’t find the name among their siblings or parents or grandparents. Augusta died before Mary was born but Mary did have one older sister Kate. She was one when her sister Lizzie was born, three when Emma was born, and four when my grandmother Anna was born.

Mary was twelve when the 1900 census was taken and was attending school. That is when they were living at 409 21st Street in Ward 10 of Chicago. She was fifteen when her mother died in 1904 shortly after the family had moved from Chicago to Los Angeles. Two of her sisters, Anna and Emma, were married when Mary was twenty. A year later when the 1910 census was taken Mary was living at 1449 Valencia Street in Los Angeles and she was working as a maid in the household of Jacob and Frieda Joseph with their two children Lillian age nine and Paul, seven.

1910 Census when Mary was living with the Joseph family
Mary was the last of the five Vetter daughters to marry on May 25, 1912. At the time she was living at 221 W. 51st Street when she married Fred Mason Low. Fred was the son of James M. Low and Josie Lathrop of Los Angeles. He was born in Kingman, Kansas but grew up in Los Angeles. Fred’s WWI draft registration dated June 5, 1917 shows a residence at 128 Oak Street in Porterville which is in Tulare County, California. Mary and Fred had a daughter Doris in 1917 who appeared on the 1920 census when the three of them were living at 3244 Alta Avenue in Fresno, California and Fred was working as a plaster installer. They were living at the same location in 1930 and their son Leonard had joined the family. Doris was fourteen and Leonard was nine according to the census. Mary was twenty-four in 1913 when her father died.
L-R Lewis and Anna Pattillo with Mary and Fred Low
In July of 1930 Lottie and Ed Pattillo went to Fresno to visit with Mary and Fred and their children Doris and Leonard. Doris took them to Roeding Park and led a tour of the sights in Fresno while her mother and aunt Anna gossiped about their eldest sister Kate whom they did not get along with. In 1939 Lottie wrote that the Low family had plans to leave Fresno and move to Oakland.
The same foursome - Lewis, Anna, Mary and Fred
Fred died on March 12, 1964 when he was living in Alameda County, California. Three years later on August 24, 1967 Mary married for a second time to, Ernest Alvin Lock. Ernest was born in Chariton, Iowa and worked as a barber. Previously Ernest was married to Isabel Williams with whom he had three children. Mary was 78 when she married Ernest. Sadly, this marriage did not last long because Mary suffered a heart attack and died on January 13, 1970 at the age of 81. Mary is buried in Clovis Cemetery in Fresno. Ernest died in 1977 and is buried in Arbor Vitae Cemetery in Madera County with his first wife.

Anna and Mary on a picnic or camping trip

Mary and Anna ca. 1940

Anna and Mary ca. 1939
Mary and Lewis Pattillo ca. 1940

Mary's son Leonard with his wife Betty and their
son Jim

Mary's birth record 1888

Doris Low's Roosevelt High School
photo, Fresno, age 16

Ernest A Lock headstone

Mary Vetter Low Lock headstone, Clovis, California

Sources for this Post: Birth and marriage records, 1900 – 1930 censuses, FindAGrave record, BillionGraves, Anna Vetter Pattillo’s bible notes, Lottie Pattillo’s journal notes, FamilySearch and Ancestry websites.

Ed Pattillo with his cousin Doris at Roeding Park, 1938

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Emma Vetter DeMarco 1891 - 1965 My Grandaunt on my Father's Side

Emma Vetter as a teen
Emma was the closest in age to my grandmother Anna of the five Vetter sisters. She was the fifth daughter born to George Vetter and Katherine Neumeyer. Emma was born November 9, 1891 after the family had moved to 1328 West 20th Street in Chicago, Illinois.

When the 1900 census was taken Emma was a student in the Chicago school district as were two of her older sisters Mary and Elizabeth “Lizzie”. Emma attended school through the fifth grade. Then like her older sister Kate, Emma took a job while still in her teens. She was only twelve when her mother died in 1904 which undoubtedly impacted Emma’s life and forced her to grow up fast.

At twenty Emma married Anthony “Tony” DeMarco on December 6, 1911. They were married in Los Angeles by a Justice of the Peace with Emma’s sister Mary as one of the witnesses. At that time Emma was living at 1037Albany Street and she was employed as a housekeeper while Tony was living at 850 East 32nd Street and working as an elevator operator.

Emma and Tony left with Anna and Lewis
Tony was born in Los Angeles in 1889. He was the son of Donato DeMarco and Rose Gagliano. Tony worked for the City of Los Angeles for much of his life and was working as a truck driver when the 1940 census was taken.

Emma was twenty-one when her father died and twenty-four when her first child was born – a daughter Rose DeMarco who was born in 1915, followed by a son George Denota DeMarco in 1917, Irene DeMarco in 1922, and another son John Gene DeMarco in 1927. The family lived in Los Angeles during the time the children were born. Then by 1930 they had moved to 8415 South San Pedro Street – also in Los Angeles County, and they were still at the San Pedro address ten years later when the 1940 census was taken.

Emma and Anna with rifles -
wonder what they were up to
Rose DeMarco was my grandmother’s favorite niece. I remember our going to visit Rose and her husband Nick Spindler at their farm in Greenfield in Monterey County, California. I was 13 at the time and Rose told me I could go into the barn and collect the chicken eggs. I distinctly recall feeling uneasy about this assignment – fearing the chickens might resist but I managed to accomplish the task unharmed.

Emma survived the death of two of her sisters and her husband, and the marriage of at least one of her children before she died at the age of 73 from a heart attack on May 18, 1965. She is buried somewhere in Los Angeles but I don’t know exactly where.

Sources for this Post: 1900 – 1940 censuses, birth, marriage and death records for Emma, Chris Dixon, my mother’s photos, my grandmother Anna’s bible notes, MyHeritage, Ancestry and FamilySearch websites.

Emma Vetter portrait from Chis Dixon's collection

Rose and her husband Nick Spindler

Nick and Rose with their son who was 
killed in a truck accident.

Emma's sister Anna with her two granddaughters Kathy and
Chris Pattillo. Anna holding the freshly gathered eggs. Taken
at Rose and Nick Spindler's home in Greenfield, CA.

Emma's birth record

Emma and Tony's marriage record

Rose and Nick 1963

L-R Mary, Anna and Emma Vetter

Emma and Tony DeMarco

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Kate Vetter Cordes 1885 - 1953 My Grandaunt on My Father's Side

Kate Vetter as a young woman
Katherine “Kate” Vetter is one of those larger-than-live relatives. I don’t think I ever met her in person.
I might have met her but I would have been too young to remember her. I was three when Kate died. Everything I know about Kate is from stories my grandmother, her youngest sister, told me or from photographs I have of Kate. From what I’ve gleaned from researching Kate online it appears she led an interesting life. At least it appears that way from the variety of places she lived.

Kate, like all of her five sisters, was born in Chicago. She was the eldest born on July 16, 1885 when the family was living at 500 Halstead Street. It was just two years after her parents immigrated from Mainz, Germany and when her father George was working as a stonecutter in Cook County, Illinois. What an experience that must have been. They probably spoke German at home so for a time Kate and her younger sisters may have been somewhat multi-lingual. The family would have been struggling to adapt to life in a new, big American city.

Kate as a toddler

Kate was actually the second daughter born to George and his wife Katherine Neumeyer. Their first child a daughter named Augusta Elizabeth Vetter was born in Chicago on May 13, 1884 and died seven months later on December 16, 1884. Augusta is buried in St. Boniface Cemetery in Chicago.

Between 1888 and 1893 Kate’s four younger sisters were born. Mary in 1888, Elizabeth “Lizzie” in 1890, Emma in 1891 and my grandmother Anna in 1893. The entire family appeared on the 1900 census living in a rented house at 409 21st Street in Chicago, Illinois. Of the 100 individuals listed on that census page 91 of them had both parents born in Germany. The parents of the remaining 9 individuals had parents who were born in England. No person on the page had American born parents. So, the Vetter family was immersed in a neighborhood of newly arrived immigrants strongly dominated by Germans.

Kate was fifteen when the 1900 census was taken and somewhat to my surprise she is listed as a “laborer” as was her father. Her sisters Mary, Emma and Lizzie were all attending school but Anna who was seven was not in school. In 1870 one out of every eight children was working. By 1900 the rate had increased to one in five children. Girls often worked in mills. Others worked at home making things like clothing.[1] 

Photo of girls working in a mill from the Library of Congress site

Kate as a young woman, from
Chris Dixon

Four years later Kate’s mother Katherine died from heart disease. She was only 47, and Kate who was nineteen assumed responsibility for taking care of her younger sisters. Katherine is buried in Angeles Rosedell Cemetery in Los Angeles. The family continued to be listed in Chicago directories in 1901, 1902 and 1903, at the same address on 21st Street, so they must have left Chicago in late 1903 or early 1904.

When Kate was twenty-three her sister Lizzie married Paul Wallace in June of 1909. Three months later Kate married Ernest Cordes on September 8, 1909. Earnest was the son of C.H. Cordes from Germany and Margaret Gender from Ohio. Ernest was born in Pennsylvania in 1879. Seven months after they married Kate and Earnest appeared on the 1910 census living in Rhyolite, Nevada where Ernest was working as a miner. Kate’s youngest sister Anna, my grandmother, was thirteen years old and was living with Kate and her husband in Rhyolite. You can read more about that adventure in the blog post about Anna that I posted on February 12, 2020.

Kate’s father remarried in 1910 followed by the marriages of her other three sisters – Anna in 1910, Emma in 1911 and Mary in 1912. Sadly, George’s second marriage didn’t last long because he died in 1913 before Kate’s daughter Irene Cordes was born on November 24, 1916. Irene married Norman Fritz Beuchel in 1939 – the same year that my parents were married, and lived in Venice, California where Norman worked at Lockheed Aircraft. Irene died on February 7, 2001 in Clark County, Nevada but she is buried in Whittier which is in Los Angeles County.

Kate and Ernest

When the 1920 census was taken Kate, Ernest and Irene were living at 2423 Washington Boulevard in Santa Monica – a posh place in Los Angeles County. They were at the same location ten years later as recorded on the 1930 census. Ernest was working as a police officer in Santa Monica. Two years later their daughter Margaret was born in Shasta County, California on August 12, 1921. Margaret married Frederick Bertandt Espe on June 25, 1938 in Santa Monica and they lived in Glendale. Fred also worked at Lockheed as a mechanic. In 1940, Fred and Margaret were living at 3340 Durango Avenue in Venice, California and they had a three-month-old daughter Beverly.

Earnest died when Kate was fifty – too young to be a widow. After his death Kate occasionally visited her sister Anna in Oakland but as my grandmother tells it, she and her sister Kate did not get along. Anna claimed to not get along with any of her sisters. I think my grandmother was a bit irascible though so I suspect she was the primary source of the problem. From reading my mother’s diaries I know that she and her mother-in-law conflicted with each other the entire time they knew each other.

Kate during one of her family visits
Kate made a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii on December 10, 1948. I know this because I found her listed on the S.S. Lurline ship’s passenger list which noted that the ship arrived on December 15th. Kate was sixty-three at the time and appears to have traveled alone. I presume it was a vacation and not an extended stay. Kate died at 68 on December 26, 1953 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica.

Sources for this Post: US censuses, marriage record, birth records, directory listings, voter registration, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, death certificate, ship passenger list, Find-A-Grave website, and my Grandmother’s bible notes.

1 Michael Schuman, History of Child Labor in the United States Part 1: Little Children Working, Monthly Labor Review, Jan. 2017.

Augusta Elizabeth Vetters death certificate

Kate "Kathe" Vetter birth certificate

Kate on the right with her four sisters

Kate's tomb

Kate in Rhyolite, Nevada

Kate and Ernest's marriage record

Anna and Kate in Rhyolite

Margaret Cordes Wedding announcement

Irene Cordes Beuchel marker on her grave

1910 Census when they were living in Rhyolite, Nevada