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.




Sunday, October 15, 2017

Leander R. Alford Dead

This obituary actually holds little information about the deceased. It gives his age but not his birth date or place or his parents. It does not give his education or occupation. We know he left a wife but not her name.

The obituary mentions an “only brother”. There were seven children of Seaborn John Alford and Mary Catherine Felder. Leander had four brothers. I believe the obituary meant that B. S. [Barnabas Seaborn] Alford was the only living brother.







Leander Raiford Alford
1832 MS – 1911 MS
s/o Seaborn John Alford




McComb, Miss. Sept. 4. – The remains of Leander R. Alford, one of this county’s oldest and most respected citizens who died at his home near Johnston Station Friday evening at the advanced age of 78 years, was brought here Saturday and interred in the City cemetery. He leaves an aged wife and daughter, Mrs. J. W. Kinnebrew, of New Orleans, whose husband, until his retirement a few years ago, was one of the oldest passenger conductors on the I. C. railroad, also two sons, Robert Alford, for many years a freight conductor, and Hon. J. M. Alford, a promising young lawyer of Tylertown. Deceased also left an only brother, B. S. Alford of this place, father of J. B. Alford, of the firm of Denman & Alford, Rev. L. E. Alford, a Methodist preacher and Norman Alford, assistant cashier of the first National Bank.


Leander R. Alford Dead. (Jackson, MS: Jackson Daily News, 4 Sept. 1911) 3; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed 4 Sept. 2017.




Thursday, October 12, 2017

Top 10 Surnames

Family Tree Maker is the program I use to organize my genealogy information. Using this program I can print out various reports on the data I input. The information below came from the Surname Report, sorted by surname count.


                                    Total   Male    Female            Earliest           Most Recent
ALFORD                           377     221     154                 1645               1995

RITTER                            350     210     139                 1710               1967

BRUMFIELD                      348     198     150                 1720               1954

FORTENBERRY                  334     194     138                 1772               1979

SMITH                              243     121     121                 1756               1993

WOLF                              199      113     85                   1694               1911

BROWN                           154      87       64                   1730               2011

ELLZEY                           117      66       51                   1796               1980

MARK                              100      58       42                   1812               1979

OTT                                  95      56       38                   1666               1919


Note: The number of males + females does not always = total. There are many infants or children who died young and no first name or sex was recorded.



It is interesting that the common surnames Brown & Smith are not #1 & #2 on this list. It is precisely because they are so common that it makes it harder to claim an individual. If I find Adolphus Ott in rural LA in the mid 1850s I can be confident he is mine because that is an unusual name. But it is much harder to find the correct John Brown at the same time and place because there are many with that name.

Follow the links connected to each Surname to my website for more information on each family.

All of these surnames are on my father's side of the family tree. My mother's family is much smaller.


What are your Top Surnames?

Related Posts: