Sunday, December 13, 2015

Family Photo of Lewis Sidney Ratcliff and wife Amelia Elizabeth Lemons Ratcliff (later Taylor)

The children with Lewis and Amelia ("Bessie") are Lillie and Lizzie. These were Lewis' children from this first marriage. He was a widower. Lillie and Lizzie later lived in Calico Rock Arkansas, until Lizzie needed to move to Wadsworth Ohio to live with her daughter, Mildred Pelfrey and Mildred's husband, Willaim (Bill).  Lillie and Lizzie married brothers with the last name Tunnicliff. Sometimes you'll see that name as Tunniclift. It all has to do with how people in the Arkansas area pronounce words!  I never met Lewis or Amelia - but I did meet Lillie and Lizzie. They were both very nice ladies.

Remember, if you'd like this image, that's fine, but please click on it to see it larger, then right-click and save it to YOUR computer. Thanks very much for that!
Lewis S. Ratcliff and Amelia E Lemons Ratcliff ()later Taylor)

My Tornado Experience by Doris Herde Anderson Ratcliff

We thought it was just another spring storm. They're frequent in Oklahoma.  After awhile the wind was howling. I looked out the front door glass and saw the garage disintegrate.  Mother decided that we should go to the storm cellar. She tried, but the pressure would not let the door open.  She took us children into a center room then where we huddled in the corner.  Mother prayed, "God save us," and He did.

 The tall Victorian-style house swayed on its foundation. SCARY. When the storm passed, my father entered the same door that wouldn't open earlier.  He exclaimed, "I thought you'd go to the cellar!!" He had been milking when the storm struck and the bar blew away, leaving him and the cow untouched.  He had made his way to the house by holding onto the fence and crawling. Four farm buildings were destroyed.

That was the second close call for me.  A tornado struck eight years earlier.  I was an infant lying in the center of the bed.  When the storm struck, mother rushed to pick me up just before a rafter from the barn came through the wall and landed where I had been sleeping.

I have memories of seeing hailstones the size of tennis balls, blinding sandstorms, and the aurora borealis, but those memories do not compare to those of the tornado.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Photo of August Ludwig Herde (1876-1974) and Susie (not Susan!) Elmira George (1886-1973) around the time of their engagement or wedding in 1905. Click photo to view larger, then right click to save it to your computer.

Memories of Grandma Herde

I spend time tracking down long dead relatives I never knew and never will.

I thought today that I should start writing down what I remember about some deceased relatives who I did know, so what I remember can be passed on. It is easy to forget. I decided to start with Grandma Herde.
in 1905
I will start with her because she liked to write and I like to write too. I think it's a family trait that has been passed down in the DNA. :)

She was born Susie Elmira George.
She was born in 1886 and died in 1973. I have seen her name wrong online as Susan. She did sometimes go by Susan because she thought it sounded more mature than Susie, but Susie was her legal name. I've also seen her death date listed incorrectly as 1969. I know for a fact it was 1973. She died when I was 8-years-old.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see her very often, because we lived in Michigan and Grandma Herde lived in Billings Oklahoma. Now I know this won't be incredibly interesting. There aren't any twists or turns to this story, but I'll just be able to relate the things I remember from my time spent there as a young child. Actually I'm grateful I do remember something.

Grandma Herde always impressed me as very neat and calm. She wore simple dresses with usually a full body type apron (or maybe that was because she always needed to be cooking when our large family descended on her house!) Her hair was always neat and clean. I always thought she was very pretty and she had kind blue eyes.

I remember a cold green pea and cheese salad she made for us. I was a picky eater but I was surprised I liked this. It had a white sauce and the cheese was small cubes of cheddar (in case you ever want to try to recreate Grandma Herde's pea salad.)  I have her recipe for Applesauce Cake (but I have never made it). I should. I really should.

She had a wooden corner cabinet in the kitchen and especially in my younger years I liked to look inside it. I think they kept some toys and games in there. Probably Grandpa August Herde's dominoes. He liked dominoes.

I also liked to go in the attic and play. I think the adults liked it because I was out of their hair for a bit. I liked the musty smell of it up there. Lots of really cool stuff. I like antiques a lot and maybe it's because it reminds me of Grandma's attic...I'm not sure. I found a black doll up there one time. I thought she was beautiful! I played with her and one day, Grandma said I could KEEP her! I was so happy. The doll was something I believe she made as part of a sewing group but I'm not sure. I still have it, although I played with her so much I don't think she's in the greatest condition anymore. The doll is made to cover a toaster. She has no lower half of her body, just a skirt, and that goes over the toaster. When the doll is set on the toaster, it looks like the doll is standing with a full skirt.

I also have a miniature Christmas bell and a couple pieces of rhinestone jewelry (pins) that were Grandma Herde's. I am really grateful to have these physical remembrances of her and I do try to display them or use them whenever I can.  I also have a few pieces of glassware that I like to use at holidays that were hers.

I remember spending the night there and having trouble sleeping because of a fairly large sized cuckoo clock in the living room. Wooden (or plastic made to look like wood, I'm not sure) but it ticked very loudly and it had the huge weights that looked like pine cones -- the whole German look. I think a bird popped out during the day.

Grandma Herde had decorative pillows that looked like large pills. They were small by today's standards I suppose. Some had crocheted covers on them, some were velvet. She lined them up on the back of the sofa. Probably to keep a little kid like me away from them.

Early in the morning, I'd hear the neighbor's rooster crowing. Sometimes he'd crow at noon, or at 3 p.m. He didn't seem to care what time it was. I learned they are different from roosters in cartoons. I never did get to see the rooster, I just heard him.

My grandparents lived on a dirt road. It was very boring at their house. Now that I am older, I would like to be there and be bored and enjoy some of that peace and quiet...I'd even enjoy the rooster. But not the cuckoo clock.

Grandma Herde died in the hospital of a stroke, following a staph infection she got from cutting her finger on a can or something like that in her enclosed porch area.


Children of Mathew George (1804-1879)

Children of Mathew George and Nancy Leonard:

James K George born 1823
Susan M George   born 1826 
Elizabeth J George born 1829 
John J George  born  1831 
Margaret L George born 1834
Samuel M
George born 1836 
William S George  born 1838
Lewis M V George born 1842

Children of Mathew George and Sarah Ann Van Skike:

Samuel Erastus George  - born 17 Oct 1847.
Mathew Edward George - born 20 Jun 1849.
David B. George born  11 Dec 1851.
Mary V. George born 1 Mar 1853.
Francis Marion George born 26 Mar 1855.
Elmira Emaline George born 21 Mar 1857.(Twin)
Elviva Evaline George born 21 Mar 1857. (Twin)
Andrew Frank George born 5 Jul 1859.
Susan Emma George born 7 Aug 1861.
Mariah Nida George born 21 Apr 1863.
Margaret Jane George born 9 Jun 1865.
Eliza L. George born 11 Oct 1870. 

Can you believe...20 kids in all? One of the twin girls died on the day of birth.
I found this obituary of Mathew George this week:

"Mr. George was born in Chilicothe, Ross County, Ohio, in the year 1804, and died the 17th of November, 1879, at the age of 75 years.

He was married at the age of 20 to Nancy Leonard. He left Ohio in 1828 and moved to Indiana, from thence to Illinois, where he lost his wife. Then he moved to Shelby County, Missouri, where he was married to his second wife, Sarah Vanskike. He then moved to Ottumwa, Wappell County, Iowa, in 1851, then to Jackson County, Kansas, in 1863, where he concluded to live the remainder of his days.

He was taken sick the night of the 13th of Nov, with lung fever, and died the 27th. He was in the battle of Tippicanoe. [See important note below] He was a member of the Methodist church for forty years. He was the father of twenty children, of which sixteen are living. Peace to his ashes."

From:  Holton Signal, Holton, Jackson Co Ks. 10 Dec 1879, pg.2 column.3.

A little question????

How was Mathew in the Battle of Tippicanoe (sic) if he was only about 7 years old at the time?
See Wikipedia article about the Battle of Tippecanoe here.

Does NOT compute. If that doesn't compute, there could be more wrong here.
Perhaps at one time he lived in Tippecanoe COUNTY or a town of that name, and someone heard him say something about being at Tippecanoe and they made that jump. :) 

Parents and Grandparents of Mathew George

Keep in mind that is information was found on that thing known as "The Internet." It does not mean it is 100% correct. 

We have been looking for some time to find out who the parents of Mathew George (1804-1879) were.

I Googled "Mathew George 1804 parent" and found this information. I have not 'cut and pasted' from that site, but have gleaned information that I will share, along with assumptions I am making from the information I found there. As I've said before, not facts definitively, but you can consider this fun family folklore and perhaps use it as a jumping off point for your research.

Mathew George 
I do know his name was spelled with only one 't' in it, as I have seen a photograph of his gravestone.
Born 20 June 1879 in Chillocothe, Ross, OH
Died 27 November 1879 in Soldier, Jackson County, KS

Mathew George's first marriage was to Nancy Leonard.
Nancy was born about 1807 in Ohio and died in 1844 in Illinois.
According to source on Family Central site, they had 8 children from this first marriage.

Married Sarah Ann Van Skike 13 Oct 1846 in Shelby MO
The Family Central site lists it at Van Skoike but I do not believe that is correct. See FindAGrave.com that lists as Van Skike. I will request a gravetone photo.
Sarah was born 27 February 1825 in Shelby MO.
Sarah died in August 1885 in Soldier KS
By at least 1851 they resided in Wapello, Iowa and by 1870 they were back in Kansas (going by the birth years of some of the children born during their marriage. I'll make a separate post with a list of children.) 

Mathew George's father was Richard George, born 1744 in Cornwall England.
Mathew George's mother was Rebecca Nicholas.
Richard George and Rebecca were married 17 February 1771 at St Sennen, Cornwall England.
A quick Wikipedia search of Cornwall led me to an article about St Sennen Church in Cornwall.
I would bet that is the church that was the site of marriage.

Richard George's parents were Richard George, born 1710 in Cornwall England, and Constance Nickles, born in 1710. 
If you observe that there was a father Richard and a son Richard, then observe the women's last names: Nicholas and Nickles, I believe that has gotten mixed up somewhere as someone who was not a certified arborist of genealogy has worked on the family tree. lol

So good luck with this information, and if you can confirm what is correct or point out the errors by leaving a comment below, maybe you can help someone else who is working on this tree and we can get it all worked out. 

Source: http://www.familycentral.net/index/family.cfm?ref1=66050:2224&ref2=66050:2225