Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Benjamin Franklin Hiding in the Family Tree

Benjamin Franklin, 1706 – 1790, was a Founding Father of our country. He was also a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. Long after Benjamin’s death some branches of my family named their sons after Benjamin.

Recently I posted about the George Washingtons in my family tree a friend saw the post on FaceBook and he made a comment about Benjamin Franklin. Well, Russ, here are a few Benjamins for you.





Benjamin Franklin Barton      1904-1992    son of Yearby Franklin Barton & Ophelia Kemp

Benjamin Franklin Ellzey       1827-1904    son of John Ellzey & Elizabeth Coney

Benjamin Franklin Ritter        1835-1884    son of Michael Ritter & Eloisa Miller

Benjamin Franklin Wolf         b 1833           son of Andrew Wolf & Catherine Dick


Do you have any "famous people" in your tree?





Monday, November 6, 2017

George Washington in Our Family

George Washington lived 1732 – 1799. My family is not related to our first president. However, we do have several members named after George Washington. Our first president must have been a hero to these families.




George Washington Brumfield        1830 – 1865 son of J K Brumfield & Hannah Youngblood

George Washington Cutrer              1899 – 1977 son of Isaac Omer Cutrer & Fannie Smith

George Washington Fortenberry    1842 – 1910 son of C K Fortenberry & Narcissa Simmons

George Washington Mark                1878 – 1938 son of William Mark & Elidia Rebecca Ritter

George Washington Simmons          b 1820        son of Willis Simmons & Jane Goslin

George Washington Westmoreland            1832 – 1906     husband of Adeline Julia Brown


George Washington Wolf                 1842 – 1920 son of Frederick Wolf & Louisa Goetz

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Strength of Family: The Love of Leo D. Brown

I have been blessed with a close, loving family. All of my life I have had the comfort in knowing that if I needed a hand I could call on a sibling, a cousin, a parent, or an aunt or uncle and they would reach back. Even with our family scattered over several states I know I would be helped if I had a need. Of course, there is lots of good natured teasing and jokes whenever we gather.

            Recently we were gathered for several days in the Veterans’ Hospital in Albany, NY, at the bedside of my father’s brother, Uncle Leo D. Brown. His children, grandchildren and his beautiful great granddaughters arrived by car and plane. They surrounded him with love, brought him fresh, cold cider to sip and his favorite Ohio Buckeye blanket to comfort him. We nieces and nephews backed up our cousins in any way we could. Hands were held, hugs exchanged and sad smiles on all our faces. And there was laughter. Who was the favorite child? Who would bring him a beer? Where was that cigar?

            The hospital staff, who could not have been more caring, soon realized they had to change his room. The veteran who was sharing with my uncle was over run by our family. Leo was moved to a room for four, and had it all to himself - and the rest of us. My cousins and my aunt took turns spending the nights. My uncle was never alone. We took turns holding his hand and cuddling his 3-month-old great granddaughter. At times he could talk to us and at times he could not. Emotions soared and crashed. When the veteran next door, his brief roommate, was discharged he came into the room to bid us goodbye and saluted my unconscious uncle. We cried. When my uncle rallied and someone asked him if he wanted ice chips he said, “Hell, yes.” And we laughed.

            Those days were a clear demonstration of the strength and love of our family. My uncle has left us and there is a hole in the core of our family where that veteran, fisherman, camper, father, uncle once stood. But the family will not collapse. We will step closer and fill the hole. And the tall tales of his exploits will be passed down through the years.

Leo Dwight Brown, surrounded (of course) by family

Leo D. Brown   October 27, 2017 (written by my cousin)

Leo D. Brown, 87, of Stuyvesant Falls passed away surrounded by family on Thursday, September 26, 2017 at the VA Hospital in Albany NY.
He was born on September 20, 1930 in Rittman, Ohio to Roy Jesse Brown and Ivy Regina Mark. He married Barbara J. Cottrell on September 4, 1955 in Troy, NY. 
After graduating Hudson High School, Leo entered the U S Air Force and served as a Military Police Officer Korea and was honorably discharged in 1954. Later in life, he worked for and retired as a Special Investigator for the NYS Department of Labor. 
Leo was a life member of the Stuyvesant Falls Fire Company, a life member of the Glencadia Rod and Gun Club, a life member of the Stuyvesant Falls VFW, a past member of the Town of Stuyvesant Assessment Review Board, and a life member of the Hudson Valley Girl Scout Council.
Leo was predeceased in death by his brothers Delbert Brown, Larry Brown, and Robert Brown and sisters Jeannette Wager, and Genevieve Weiland. Leo is survived by his spouse, Barbara, his children Aileen Roberts (John), Roy Brown (Nicky), Everett Brown (SC), Nancy Dilley (Tom) and Philip Bickerton (Tahnee); 11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. 
Visitation hours are from 5-7 PM on Monday, October 30, 2017 at Bond Funeral Home in Valatie NY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Friends of Camp Little Notch, 110 Spring Street, Saratoga Springs NY 12866. A former Adirondacks girl scout camp, Little Notch was dear to his heart. Now a nonprofit youth camp, he spent many happy hours there camping and fishing. 
Leo was a character. He was known for his voracious reading, humor, story and joke telling. If he liked you he teased you. If he teased you he loved you. He contributed a lot to our lives. The Oracle will be missed.



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

4 Generations in one Source! A Brumfield Bonanza!

Sometimes we get lucky and discover an obituary or history that gives information on a couple generations of our families. I got very lucky when I found this book through Genealogy Gophers. This sketch of Daniel C. Brumfield gives information on four generations of the family.


Daniel C. Brumfield, MD
b 13 March 1870 MS
Son of Jesse Kelly Brumfield & Elizabeth Jane Harvey
My 2nd Cousin 3x Removed



Brumfield, Daniel C., M. D., of Darrow, Ascension parish, was born Dec. 13, 1870, in Pike county, Miss. His parents were Jesse K. Brumfield, a native of Mississippi, and Jane (Harvey) Brumfield. The family records show that the Brumfields were among the early settlers in York district, S.C., the first of the name to remove to Washington parish about 1813, were John and Margaret (Kelly) Brumfield [generation#1 John B. Brumfield b c 1768 NC]. Their son, Jesse, married Hannah Youngblood of Washington parish, and went to reside on Union Creek, in Pike county. Their son, also named Jesse, settled near Bogue Chito, on a plantation south of Holmesville, formerly owned by William Love in 1809. He became a popular citizen, was elected sheriff for 4 years; a member of the state legislature in 1848, and was parish supervisor for a long time.

Isaac Brumfield, his son, married Elizabeth Holmes. [generation #2 Isaac Brumfield 1801- 1862]

 Jesse K. Brumfield (father of Dr. D. C. Brumfield) [generation #3 Jesse K. Brumfield 1836 – 1928] was in the Confederate army during the Civil War, with 2 brothers, one of whom was killed in battle, while they were soldiers in Co. K, South Mississippi regiment. The surviving veteran of the great struggle between North and South is a resident, with his wife, of Tylertown, Miss, living in comfortable retirement after having spent many years in farming.

Four children were born to Jesse K. Brumfield and wife: Daniel C., Claude Isaac, merchant in Tylertown; Lovie, wife of Dr. Jesse N. Ball, of Tylertown; and Jessie, who married Charles Davis, a cotton dealer at Chickasha, Ok.

Dr. Brumfield [generation #4 Daniel C. Brumfield b 1870] who is the subject of this sketch, went through the preliminary studies in public schools before attending the University of Mississippi, at Clinton, graduating in 1894, and then matriculating in the medical department of Tulane University, New Orleans, which granted his degree of M. D. in 1900. Since that year, Dr. Brumfield has been practicing his profession at Darrow. From 1905 to the present time he has been a member of the board of health, and in 1912 was elected coroner of the parish of Ascension. He is a member of the Louisiana state and parish medical societies. In the ranks of fraternal orders, the doctor is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, the Red Men, the Elks, and the Red Cross society, of Donaldsonville, Ascension parish; also with the Masons, of which order he is a member in high standing, belonging to the Chapter and Commandery. Dr. Brumfield is a bachelor.




Source: Fortier, A., Louisiana: Comprising Sketches of Parishes, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, arranged in Cyclopedic Form, Vol. 3 (Madison, WI: Century Historical Assoc., 1914) 597-8; digital image, Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed July 2017).

Are you related to this family? Let's talk.




Friday, October 20, 2017

Yellow Fever

George Howard Alford survived yellow fever. This newspaper article tells us that George and another student battled yellow fever while they attended college. It tells me that he did attend college & where he went. I know he survived because I have information on his marriage and his children. 

George Howard Alford
1875 – 1958
s/o Jeptha J. Alford
My 2nd cousin twice removed

Starkville, Miss. Oct 5. – Dr. Grant pronounced two cases of yellow fever today at the A. and M. College. These two cases are G. H. Alford and H. E. Cutrer, both of Pike County, Miss. They are both students who have spent their vacation at the college and it is not known how they caught the disease. This evening Sargent Barr reports a third case, that of Prof. C. T. Ames. Alford and Cutrer are both nearly well. Most of the people from the college and many from the town of Starkville will leave on a special train tomorrow at 8 o’clock for St. Louis.

The Quarantine. (New Orleans, LA: Times Picayune, 6 October 1898) 2; digital image, Genealogy Bank: accessed Sept. 2017.