This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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Margaret Weer

Time for #27 in my ahnentafel. This is of course my mother’s father’s mother’s mother Margaret Weer. Born in 1851, died in 1924. Lived in Ohio all her life. Married Thomas B VanTilburgh and then had 13 children, the 5th of which was my great-grandmother Mary Evelyn VanTilburgh.

I mentioned when I blogged about her husband a couple of weeks ago that the two of them started a tradition of VanTilburgh Family Reunions that have gone on annually for almost a century. I think that is great, if only for the tradition of it.

Aside from the above, I don’t know all that much about Margaret Weer. For awhile it even looked like she would be the first ancestor I got to in breadth first ahnentafel order for whom I could not find parents’ names. I eventually got those names only because a random distant cousin of mine found my wiki pages on my ancestors while googling her own ancestors and was able to provide that additional information. I get those kind of emails about every other month now from newly found distant cousins. Which is great.

In any case, that is all I know about Margaret.

Thomas B VanTilburgh

Time for #26 in my ahnentafel. And the timing is pretty good on this one. Well, I’m a day off.

Thomas B VanTilburgh was born in 1847, died in 1910 and had 13 children along the way with his wife Margaret Weer. He appears to have lived in Western Ohio all of his life. He worked at a bakery, a warehouse and a brickyard at various times in his life.

And along with his wife, he started a series of annual VanTilburgh Family Reunions starting in 1909. They have not missed a year since. The most recent was YESTERDAY. (Thus me being off by one day here.) I did not attend, but my mother did. It seems attendance has dropped a bit over the last few years. There were only 20 or so of Thomas B’s descendants there. They are hoping to make a bigger event in 2009 for the 100th anniversary of the first reunion. I hope they manage to do so. I also hope to go in 2009. It should be interesting.

I went to one of these before when I was about 9 or 10 years old I think. But I think I’d get more out of it today than I did then. :-)

Mary Ann Mendenhall

Just a short time since the last ancestor this time, but never the less it is time for another one. Mary Ann Mendenhall is my mother’s father’s father’s mother… #25 in my ahnentafel.

I do not know much about her at all other than the fact that she lived in Darke County, Ohio all her life, she married Robert G Brandon and had 10 or 11 kids with him, 7 of whom lived to adulthood. Her third child was my great grandfather David Clement Brandon.

Does that sound a lot like what I know about her husband Robert G? Yup. This is one of those cases where pretty much all I know is that the two of them married and the list of their children. And some dates and locations. But no real biographical information. Maybe someday I’ll turn up more info along those lines, but I haven’t found that sort of info yet.

Robert G Brandon

It has been a long time, way too long, since I posted an ancestor. Recently I have been spending more time working on Amy’s ancestors as I have a big stack of materials from Brandy’s mom and one of Brandy’s cousins on their family that I’m slowly going through. I’d been going through those as a priority. But it had been long enough since I’d worked on my own that I’m switching to a mode where I’ll alternate a bit between mine and Amy’s. In any case, time for another of my ancestors.

This is #24 in my ahnentafel. That means my mother’s father’s father’s father Robert G Brandon. This is another ancestor I do not have a huge amount of information about at the moment, although I suspect there is more in the files of various relatives I just haven’t gotten copies of yet.

He was born in 1845. He was a farmer in Ohio most of his life. He eventually retired to the small town of Versailles, Ohio and died there in 1912. He lived in Darke County, Ohio all his life. He married Mary Ann Mendenhall and depending on the source you believe, they had either 10 or 11 children, 7 of which lived to adulthood. David Clement Brandon, my ancestor, was their 3rd child.

And that is about all I know from a biographical perspective. For more details, click through to his Abulwiki page.

Mary Alice Stamper

Time for #23 in my ahnentafel. That would be my father’s mother’s mother’s mother.

Lets see, she was born in 1865 in Lewis County, Kentucky. She died in 1949 in the same place. In between she had a few adventures. For instance, her marriage:

Lewis Napoleon Rayburn, her husband to be, stole her away from her parent’s house in the middle of the right and they rode thirty miles on a horse to cross the Ohio River to get married in Ohio.

She is the ancestor that my Grandmother always mentioned was insistent that her part of the family was part Cherokee. Specifically, that Mary Alice Stamper’s father was 1/8th Cherokee. I haven’t yet found any actual evidence of that, but if true that would make me 1/256th Cherokee. (Assuming there were no other Cherokee ancestors.) Not enough for any casino money. :-)

My Grandmother also had this remembrance:

Its interesting as I e-mail the cousin in Albuquerque (younger of the two boys who were my playmates each summer in Ky at the log cabin and farm of these very same grandparents). Wilbur, my age, almost remembers Grandma saying: “Son, while your are resting(!), could you pull some weeds for the hogs? Etc, Etc!! Or whatever: WHLE YOU ARE RESTING :>) Charles (younger in Albuquerque), scientist , inventor, says he doen’t know if she was comparing their boychores to her working from dawn to dusk and just didn’t think little chores added up to her WORK.

She had eight children, the third of which was my ancestor.

Barbara Kingsolver was one of her grandchildren.

And that is most of what I have. As usual, the rest is on the Abulwiki page linked from the picture.

Lewis Napoleon Rayburn

It is ancestor time! As we move through the tree in breadth first order, it is now the turn of my father’s mother’s mother’s father. I actually know more about Lewis Napoleon Rayburn than many of my other ancestors of this generation, mainly due to some remembrances written by Charles C Rayburn, one of my grandmother’s cousins.

He was born in 1860 in Rowan County, Kentucky. He served as Sheriff and Justice of the Peace in Lewis Co, Kentucky. He served two terms in the Kentucky State Senate. He was a farmer and a merchant. And then his grandson’s Charles’s notes about him:

Grandpa Rayburn —

He was in his early seventies when I was old enough to walk the one-fourth mile to his house. He was postmaster, which function occupied one corner of this small country store. By this time the store was out of business but the tobacco plug shear, candy jars and thread drawers remained on the counter top as reminders of the old store.

I sat on the counter top beside Grandpa as he unlocked and opened the US mail saddle bag. The mail came via mule back since the mail route was not negotiable by wheeled vehicles.

Grandpa would tell stories as I listened by the hour. Stories about his experiences as a school teacher; or his days as a traveling salesman for a general store distributer; or his political career as a state senator.

He stole Grandma away from her parents by night and rode thirty miles both on one horse that night and crossed the Ohio river to get married. He remembered Civil War soldiers coming through their yard and asking for water.

He unraveled many stories of his brother, my Great Uncle Jim. Uncle Jim killed his father-in-law who had planted a shot gun in a fodder shock to kill Uncle Jim as if by accident. I remember when Uncle Jim was shot in the hip by a robber. Grandpa loaded his pistol and took off to kill this robber. The robber was much younger and escaped into the hills. Fortunately Grandpa did not find him.

Grandpa was excellent with numbers. He also wrote well but had no need for periods or commas.

He was notary public which made him legal expert for the neighborhood. He understood the law regarding land transfers, wills, law suits and any official papers which came through the mail. Most of the residents of our community were functionally illiterate so Grandpa’s services were especially needed. Also he provided his legal expertise at no charge.

His law office was a bench seat supported on each end by hickory trees beside the dirt road. He would counsel with his clients while I was privileged to listen in. The two of us sat there talking and whittling.

The second law office was his winter quarters by the fire place where he spent hours reading the paper and explaining the news to me along with his independent judgement on the various subjects. I watched as he chewed tobacco and smoked his pipe. Of course I had to do the same but not in his presence.

He and Mom had great respect and admiration for the other.

After I went away to school then into the military we kept in touch by mail. I wanted to be just like Grandpa.

He married in 1882. My ancestor was the third of eight children. He died in 1947. And that is about all I know. As usual, click through on the link above for the additional details I do have, my sources, etc.

Susan Catherine Groves

Time for another ancestor! This time my father’s mother’s father’s mother. This is the only picture I have of her. Don’t know a huge amount about her. She was born in Kentucky in 1854. Married her husband James Wootton in 1873. Had four kids, the last of which was my ancestor. Then she died in 1911 in her late 50’s. And I don’t really know much more than that, but what little more there is can be found at the wiki page linked from the picture.

James Raymond Wootton

Guess what… yup, time for another of my ancestors. In my systematic posts in ahnentafel order we are now up to #20… my Father’s Mother’s Father’s Father.

That would be James Raymond Wootton who was known as “The Little Sheriff” of Central City, Kentucky. He was apparently known for being “smart” at catching the criminals, and for having a pack of bloodhounds that he used for that purpose and had trained to only eat from him so nobody would poison them.

He was also a member of some sort of Freemason/Shriner type fraternal organization. At this point I have not identified WHICH such organization he was a part of, but I know that the hat, belt, sash, sword and scabbard that made up his costume and which you can see in this picture are currently located at my father’s house. I quite well remember in my teenage years taking them out and looking at them… and probably putting them on… I mean, come on, OK, the hat with the feathers is a little goofy, but it was a real sword!

Anyway, he was born in 1850 and died sometime before 1918 when my grandmother (his granddaughter) was born. He married Susan Catherine Groves in 1873. My great grandfather was their fourth child.

He sounds like an interesting character, and I wish I knew a bit more about him. But for now that is all I have.

Henrietta Alethia Anderson

Time for another ancestor…

Henrietta Alethia Anderson is my father’s father’s mother’s mother.

Born in 1846, died in 1911. Lived in South Carolina her whole life. She was college educated, including some post-graduate work. She married Christian Eber Smith in 1870 and had eight children, of which my great grandmother was the second. She was a charter member of a local Presbyterian church. She went by the nickname “Nettie”.

And that is about all I know.

I do have the picture though. It is from a book of descendants of James Mason Anderson… Henrietta’s grandfather. My dad sent it to me for my birthday last year. It has a lot of good stuff in covering 7 generations in this part of my ancestry from James Mason Anderson all the way to my dad, including some new info on people I’ve already posted. I’ll get that info added into the wiki eventually. But not today. I got myself a new scanner a few weeks ago though, specifically so I could get some things from this book and a few other paper resources I have put online.

As usual, more info available on my wiki by clicking on her picture.

Christian Eber Smith

I have once again gone too long without posting an ancestor. So now it is time. No picture again, they are sporadic in this generation. In any case, this time it is the turn of my Father’s Father’s Mother’s Father, Christian Eber Smith.

He was born in 1839, died in 1905. Lived basically his whole life in Glenn Springs, South Carolina. Married Henrietta Anderson in 1870 and had 8 kids of which my great-grandmother was the second. He started college, but left to fight in the Civil War (on the Confederate side). After the war he became a farmer as his family’s fortunes had been wiped out in the war. He also became an elder in his local church.

And that is about all I know. What additional details I know are at the Abulwiki page linked above.