Unexpected Connections – Fortner, Parker, Stapleton, Whatley

Earlier this week, I was researching the line for Mary Ann Olds.  She is my 3rd great grandmother on my paternal grandmother’s side of the family.  Mary Ann Olds was born around 1829 in Mississippi and died around 1900 in Catahoula Parish in Louisiana, USA.   Her mother was Ann Fortner, daughter of Bersheba Arrington and John Fortner.   While I was doing some searching online, I ran Bersheba Arrington through Google.  When the search results came up, I noticed one had the name of one of the nurses I used to work with at Mid State Home Health.  I’m just going to call her Whatley because I haven’t asked permission to use her name.  I followed the link to see why the names came up connected but it was to a forum with 500+ entries and I couldn’t find the correct thread.  So I searched the nurse’s name on Google and came up with her family tree online.  Thankfully, she had the surnames for all the people on her tree set up as links so I could skim that list to see if any matched with my people.  I found the surname Stapleton which led me to Ana J. Stapleton, the wife of Phineas Harmon Whatley.  Ana J. Stapleton is daughter of Nancy Jane Parker & John Wesley Stapleton.  Nancy Jane Parker is daughter of Ann Fortner and William Parker, Ann’s 2nd husband.  This makes Ana J. Stapleton great granddaughter to Bersheba Arrington as well as my 1st cousin 4x removed .  I was able to navigate my way through the Whatley family tree until I reached the entry for the nurse I once worked with at Mid State. Her 1st cousin 4x removed, Phineas Harmon Whatley, married my 1st cousin 4x removed, Ana J. Stapleton.  I know that was probably hard to follow but I hope it isn’t impossible.  It is so cool to learn about connections to people I have known for years and never knew there was any kind of family connection.

Over the years, people have asked if I was related to one person or another and I would always say no because I didn’t see beyond my immediate family up to 1 generation back.  I wish I had started this research when I was younger or at least before I did home health.  I may have taken care of family over the years and never knew it.  I have discovered family in LaSalle Parish in Louisiana and the home health I worked for had offices in Jena, which is a bigger town in that parish, and in Pollock, which is in Grant Parish.   I’ve found connections to Natchitoches Parish, Winn Parish, Catahoula Parish, and Grant Parish in addition to the ones I already knew about in Rapides Parish.  I’m looking forward to finding out so much more in the future.


A little bit of everybody – Cloud, Terral, Foster, Olds, John Harville

I have been researching most of the day.  Started off uploading some pictures to ancestry.com for the last few generations.  I have scanned in quite a few pics that came from my grandmother’s (Ruby Hanes Terral)  house.  I helped clean out her house when we had to sell it and I rescued the photographs so I could scan them in and share with the rest of the family.  It is nice to have a face to put with the name.  While I was uploading pics, I became distracted filling in some gaps in information on the Cloud and Terral sides.  I used the PDFs I have of the most recent generations.  I was trying to fill out all my father’s cousins so I could upload pics to theirs.

I did a little more looking on Samuel Osborne and John C. Hanes including searching at Newspapers.com and Fold3.com.  I found some people by those names but the dates and locations didn’t match up so I don’t think they were my guys.  I was pleased to find some interesting stories in the newspapers even though I don’t think they are my relatives.  Here is one about a man named Samuel Osborne:

Not relatives - Samuel C. Osborne old article

And this is a poem by a man named John C. Hanes (not a relative):

Not relatives - John C. Hanes poem

I also did some searching on those sites for John Harville because he pulls up with a Civil War service record.  I found a few different entries and it is hard to tell which is the correct John Harville.  More than likely the Confederate soldier and not the Union one because he is from Louisiana.

       I was happy to find some information on Mary Ann Olds, wife of Reuben Valentine and mother of Sophronia Valentine.  She showed up through ancestry.com as either Oles or Olds.  Looking through the census records led me to believe it should be Olds.   Her mother was listed as Ann Fortner in some places but when I worked back from Sophronia Valentine, my 2nd great grandmother it led to Mary Ann Olds.  Through census records and findagrave.com plus the names on Sophronia Valentine’s wedding certificate (I have a copy from a family member), I found names that supported Ann Foster Olds Parker Day as Mary Ann Olds mother.  Benjamin F. Parker, son of Ann Parker, was a witness at Sophronia Valentine’s wedding.  William J. Valentine, Sophronia’s brother, was also a witness.

          Now I’m questioning the man pulled up by ancestry as Mary Ann’s father because he lived in New York.  I will have to do some more digging on that line to try to support that relationship.

JC Hanes Sophronia Valentine marriage

1870 Census Valentine, Day

1860 Census Valentine, Day, Parker

1850 Census Ann Foster Parker

Ann Foster Day Olds findagrave

Mary Ann Olds headstone

John C. Hanes, Who are you??

Today, I have been working on organizing my information on my computer, my bookmarks, my scanned pictures, etc.  It was all getting out of control but it is better now.  I’ve also been doing some hit and miss, mainly miss, searching on John C. Hanes.  He is my 2nd great grandfather on my father’s mother’s side.

I have his marriage license from 1885 where he married Sophronia Valentine in Catahoula Parish but not much more than that.  I know she was remarried on the 1900 census so John might have died prior to that.  The 1890 census is not available because it was ruined in a fire & through some mismanagement of the records so that wealth of info is lost.  Such a shame!  I was trying to go around him and see if he showed up on any of his children but no luck so far.  I did find a new item for Sophronia in the 1898 Galveston City Directory.  She was listed as Mrs. JC but didn’t look like he was there.  I already had a pic of him from my father with notation on the picture that John Hanes was my great great grandfather & shot & killed. Daddy doesn’t remember writing that and he doesn’t remember what happened to John C. Hanes.  I went around and signed up for some Hanes mailing lists to see if I can discover anything through them.  Time to call it quits for the day, looking forward to more research tomorrow and hopefully a breakthrough!

EmmieCloudHanes ViolaHanesMoore AlvinHanes JohnHanes

JC Hanes Sophronia Valentine marriage

Sophronia Hanes Mrs JC 1898 Galveston Texas City Directory

Sophronia Valentine 1870 census


I went to Alexandria today to visit with Mom and Dad.  As I was driving to town, I noticed flags lining the median of Lake Charles Hwy from Alexandria Memorial Gardens in Woodworth to Alexandria.  I realized the funeral for David Strother was today.  He was killed in the military helicopter crash in the Gulf.

When I reached Alexandria, I pulled into the parking lot at Dantzler’s Flea Market because I wanted to take some pictures of the flags lining the road.  After I left my parents’ house to head home, I saw the Alexandria utility crews had come out and lined the road and put up 4 bucket trucks with flags across the road and in Woodworth there were two fire trucks with buckets up and flag across the road there.  I decided I wanted to stop to show my respect so I pulled up & parked behind some cars already parked on the side of the road.  As time went by, more and more cars came along and parked on the highway.

I was there probably about an hour when I could see nothing but blue lights coming from Alexandria.  There were about 30 cop cars plus quite a few motorcycle cops.  I lost track of how many.  Then the Veteran’s motorcycle club came by with their flags waving in the wind.  All the policeman parked and left their vehicles and lined across the road, shoulder to shoulder, and when the hearse came into view, they came to attention with their heads slightly down.  It was amazing to see.  During all this, I’m trying not to bawl my eyes out because it didn’t seem like the right thing to do.  I also didn’t feel right taking pictures during the procession so I will depend on the reporters for that.  The procession went on for miles and miles.  Some of the cars in the procession had their windows down and were holding flags out the windows and one car had Amazing Grace playing in the car. Eventually the parking in the cemetery filled up so they started parking the cars on the outside lanes of the 4 lane highway.  This ended up blocking all of us on the side of the road from leaving but I was ok with that because I had time to go across the road to visit Pas’ and his parents’ graves.

After the services began, two military helicopters did a fly over.  That was so sad to see.  I didn’t get close enough to hear any of the service but Susie said they were supposed to play Taps.

I kept thinking about the sacrifices some men and women and families make for all of us and the very least I could do was to show my support.  I am so glad I did!  It was awe inspiring to watch everyone come together to show support for the family, friends and military.  The feeling is really beyond words.  I know that it doesn’t make anything any better for his family and they would give everything to have him back but I still hope it brings them a small measure of comfort.  They will need continued prayers and support for a long time to come.

David Strother funeral flag in front of Danzlers

David Strother flags in Alexandria

DavidStrother funeral

David Strother funeral more cars lining the road

David Strother funeral flags

David Strother funeral flag in Woodworth7

Sorting Sherwoods the Sequel

  • Tonight, I have researched George Edward Mallory, Easter Mallory & Rachal Mallory (twins), Julia Mallory.  These were the final 3 out of 8 children of Matilda Jane Sherwood with Andrew Edward Mallory.  He died in 1864.  Matilda married Samuel Osborne around 1865 and had three children with him – David Hilgriff Osborne (21 May 1866 – 12 Mar 1932), my 2nd great grandfather on my maternal father’s side, Joseph William Osborne (31 Mar 1868 – 14 Jul 1929) & James Osborne (04 Dec 1873 – unknown).
  • I’ve hit a dead end on Samuel Osborne.  The information shows he was born in Ireland about 1827 but I haven’t found out where he was born or lived in Ireland nor when or how he immigrated to Canada.  He married Matilda Jane Sherwood around 1865 so he must have come across before that.  I’ve heard it is hard to find family history in Ireland especially if you don’t know what county they came from.  On the 1871 Census of Canada, he is listed as born in Ireland, Religion Presbyterian, Origin Irish, Occupation Boat and Shoemaker. On 1881 Census of Canda, the information was the same except only listed as a Shoemaker at that time.  On the 1891 Census of Canada, his parents are both listed as being born in Ireland and he listed as a Shoemaker.  He isn’t listed on the 1901 Census of Canada so he probably died before that time.  That census sheet is dated April 13-15, 1901.  So he will be one of the mysteries I will be working on….I have to say I was thrilled to find him because I always wanted ancestors from Ireland and he was the first one I found! Yay!
  • David Hilgriff Osborne’s mother was Matilda Jane Sherwood.  On the 1871 Census of Canada, Matilda J. place of birth is New Brunswick, Religion Baptist, Origin German.  On the 1891 Census of Canada, her parents are listed as being born in New Brunswick.  On the 1901 Census of Canda, Matilda was listed as Head of Household and only son James was still living at home.  This is probably a case where someone else provided the information or she was having memory problems because she is listed as 74 yrs old with her birth month listed as “did not know”.  Her death is listed as March 27, 1902 through ancestry.com but there isn’t a source cited to verify that date.
  • Next time, I will do some research into Matilda Jane Sherwood’s family…..

Mabel Irene Osborne & the family piano

I grew up with a beautiful upright piano in our home. My mother used to play and we loved it. When my parents did some remodeling, they decided to not keep the piano anymore so I took it home with me. It has moved with me 3 times. I do not play the piano and I know it is probably out of tune but I think it is beautiful and it has so many memories for me. My mom told me in the past the piano was given to her by an aunt but that was before I started investigating the family tree. After reading my blog post from yesterday about the Sherwoods, she told me that the piano came from Mabel Irene Osborne, my great grand aunt on my maternal grandfather’s side of the family. I was thrilled to get that tidbit of information. I am going to take a picture of the piano this weekend and post it. I will have to get all the details as well. Mom also said Mabel did not marry until later in life and she doesn’t remember her married name right now but she will try to remember. I will put out the word to my aunts on facebook to see if they remember…

Sorting Sherwoods

Today I am working on trying to sort out the branches of the Sherwoods line.

  • Wilton Leslie Osborne’s (02 Jul 1920 – 05 May 1989) father was Herbert Sherwood Osborne (21 Jan 1895 – 30 Oct 1971) – know for sure through two of  Wilton Leslie’s daughters Daisy and Amanda
  • Herbert Sherwood Osborne’s  (21 Jan 1895 – 30 Oct 1971) parents were David Hilgriff Osborne (21 May 1866 – 12 Mar 1932) and Emma Amelia Sherwood (31 Mar 1866 – 23 Oct 1947)  determined through US Census records 1900 – 1940 & report from family (Amanda)
    • Herbert Sherwood Osborne’s siblings were Mabel Irene Osborne (5 Sep 1892 – unknown) & Freda Amelia Osborne (about 1902 – 1972) – determined through US Census records 1900 – 1940
  • Still working on David Hilgriff Osborne’s family but so far through various census records his parents were Samuel Osobrne (abt 1827 – abt 1901) and Matilda Jane Sherwood (11 Apr 1827 – 27 Mar 1902).  Matilda was first married to Andrew Edward Mallory (1826 – abt 1864) and had 8 children with him and they were half siblings to David Hilgriff Osborne.  I’m looking at the sources for the half siblings now and have checked Mary, Sarah Jane, Harriett Elizabeth and Hannah so far.  I will pick back up with George Edward, Easter & Rachal (twins), Julia.  I wish there was more time to work on this today but it is a work night so I have to force myself to go to sleep.