Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: More Eppards

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers which asks bloggers to create a post including an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors; it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor.

To close out a month that has been devoted to the bits and pieces of my woefully under-researched Eppard information, I am posting the remainder of my Eppard tombstones.

Bessie Ellen Eppard
10 May 1889 – 30 Jun 1909
Daughter of William Henry and Pamily Rogers Eppard
Buried in Coverstone Cemetery, Shenandoah, Virginia
My first cousin 3 times removed

Charles W. Charley Eppard
29 Jan 1868 – 30 Apr 1944
Son of William Henry and Pamily Rogers Eppard
Buried in Coverstone Cemetery, Shenandoah, Virginia
My first cousin 3 times removed

Daniel Eppard
From Findagrave.com
Photo by Jan Hensley
28 Nov 1803 – 30 Jul 1878
Son of Philip Ebert and Margaret Utz
Buried in Hensley Community Cemetery, Elkton, Virginia
My first cousin 5 times removed

Mary Fox Eppard
From Findagrave.com
Photo by Jan Hensley
17 Aug 1817 – 23 Nov 1908
Buried in Methodist Church Cemetery, Shenandoah, Virginia
Widow of 3 great grand-uncle James D. Eppard

 William H. Eppard
From Findagrave.com
Photo by David Roberts
18 Dec 1927 – 21 Sep 2007
Son of Dr. George Irving Eppard, MD and Louisa UNKNOWN
Buried in Joy Chapel Cemetery, Hollywood, St. Mary’s, Maryland
My first cousin 2 times removed

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday's Obituary: Daniel Wesley Eppard

Sunday’s Obituary is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers asking us to post obituaries along with other information about that person.

Found on Findagrave.com
Wesley Eppard Dead   
Near Mt. Pleasant

Wesley Eppard, a farmer of the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, five miles east of Elkton, died at 2:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon, following a lingering illness of tuberculosis.  He had been bedfast for more than six months.  He was 60 years old.

Surviving him are his wife, who was Miss Ardenia Hensley, of Mt. Pleasant and eight children.

The funeral will be held at 11:00 tomorrow morning from Hensley United Brethren church, Rev. W. S. Ran, of Elkton, conducting the services.

Rockingham Daily Record
December 9, 1912

Image from Findagrave.com
Hensley Community Cemetery
Elkton, Virginia
photo by Jan Hensley
5 Sep 1846 – 8 Dec 1912
Son of Daniel Eppard and Delilah Hensley

Children of Daniel Wesley and Ardenia Hensley Eppard:
Etta Virginia (27 Jan 1869 – 12 Jan 1943)
Daniel Benjamin (31 Jan 1871 – 14 Mar 1970)
John Adams (3 Sep 1873 OR 16 Feb 1872 – 18 Nov 1959)
Emma Lee (27 Sep 1875 – 8 Dec 1961)
Rebecca Ann Delilah “Abbie” (17 Apr 1878 – 20 Oct 1962)
Ella Ree (Mar 1880 – 1957)
Alfred Franklin (12 Jan 1882 OR 21 Jan 1883 – 1 Aug 1971)
Annie P. (8 May 1885 – 18 Jan 1886)
Rupert Collins (8 Nov 1886 – 20 Mar 1917)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy: Week 5 Life Experiences

This is Week 5 of Amy Coffin’s Abundant Genealogy series.   I started to skip this week because I haven’t been able to think of a good answer.  But I’m determined to stick with it, so I am offering a not-so-good answer.

Life Experiences: Sometimes the challenges in life provide the best learning experiences. Can you find an example of this in your own family tree? Which brick wall ancestor are you most thankful for, and how did that person shape your family history experience?

Ida Mary Davis was my great grandfather Walter Davis’s sister.  She was born to Mitchell and Martha Ann Wilson Davis 25 Jun 1869.  She married William Layton Morris December 12, 1890.  They had two sons:  Lionel born in 1891 and Mitchell 1893.  In 1895 at the age of 21, Layton Morris was struck with Bright’s disease and died.

In the 1900 Rockingham County, Virginia census, I don’t know where Ida was, but evidently she was unable to take care of her sons on her own.  I found Lionel living with his grandmother Martha Davis.  At the opposite side of the county, Mitchell was living with the other grandmother, Nancy Morris. 

In 1910, Mitchell was still with his grandmother Nancy Morris, now in Washington DC.  She was running a boarding house and Mitchell was an apprentice carpenter. Ida Mary’s mother had died, so Lionel came to live with her in Elkton where she and a daughter Dorothy were renting a house on Ward Avenue (apparently this road no longer exists, at least not on Google Maps).  Lionel helped out by taking odd jobs.  Ida Mary was earning a living as a washer woman.

Washer woman.  Washer woman.

I can’t get that word out of my mind.  No honest work is unworthy, but what difficult work that had to be.  In 1910 there was no laundry detergent.  Ida Mary probably grated soap flakes from some hand-made bar of hard soap.  I wonder if she was able to afford a “modern” washing machine like this one:

Image from Google Images

or if she simply had a tub and washboard like this:

Image from Google Images

I wonder if she suffered from washer woman syndrome.  (I didn’t know there was such a syndrome!)  It’s a form of tendonitis caused by the repetition of hand movements like wringing out wet clothes, pinching and squeezing.  Washer woman syndrome is also called Mommy Thumb, Mother’s Wrist, and of course, more scientific terms like radial styloid tenosynovitis and De Quervain’s Syndrome in honor of the doctor who first identified it.

But back to the question about lessons learned from life experiences.  I don’t know if Ida Mary was proud of being an independent woman who eked out a living washing other people’s clothes or if she was bitter at being widowed at such a young age forced to leave her children with grandparents.  I don’t know if she viewed her own life as any harder than anyone else’s.  But as I sit in my very comfortable home able to play around with my genealogy and blog thanks to early retirement, I am glad not to be her. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sepia Saturday: You oughta be in pictures

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday photo prompt is a theater.  This one almost had me stumped as we are not a theatrical family.  Oh, we have some drama, just no theater.  Except for this one tiny instance.

Virgil S. Davis, 2nd cousin twice removed, once managed the Arcade and Virginia Theater in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

1920 Harrisonburg, VA Federal Census
click on image to enlarge

Virginia Theater on Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA about 1926
Image scanned from Harrisonburg Images of America
by Scott Hamilton Suter and Cheryl Lyon
Click on image to enlarge

The Virginia and the Arcade were two of the most popular places of entertainment in the 1920s for the citizens of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.  The Virginia Theater showed movies and hosted live entertainment.  It was a place for meetings and for public speakers and lecturers.  Politician and orator William Jennings Bryan spoke there in 1921. He could have been there speaking in support of Prohibition or attacking Darwinism, who knows. I wonder if Cousin Virgil got an autograph.

Entrance to Virginia Theater and Arcade about 1926
Image scanned from Harrisonburg Images of America
by Scott Hamilton Suter and Cheryl Lyon
Click on image to enlarge

The Arcade shared an entrance with the Virginia Theater.  Patrons for the theater entered just behind the ticket booth, while those going to the Arcade entered to the left.  At the Arcade, one could play billiards, go bowling, and grab dinner or a snack.

Image scanned from Harrisonburg Images of America
by Scott Hamilton Suter and Cheryl Lyon
Click on image to enlarge

If you’re wondering what movie you could have seen in 1926 when these photos were taken, it was a silent movie starring Dorothy Gish called Nell Gwynn about an orange grower who became the mistress to Charles II.  Also on the bill was a short silent cartoon called “Earth’s Other Half.”

But in 1975, you could have joined me there when I spent most of the evening peeking around my box of popcorn during the showing of Jaws.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thriller Thursday: Dr. Eppard to the rescue

Thriller Thursday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks bloggers to write about murders, bizarre accidents or other thrilling stories in their family history.

On May 30, 1915, a day when the Washington Post was reporting the arrival of a new fire wagon and the opening of the new hospital, a day when Saks & Company was advertising men’s suits for $10 and Zell Motors was selling a 5-passenger 6-cylinder motor car for $820, the police reported this incident:

from Washington Post, May 30, 1915
Page found on Ancestry.com

While playing with a horse that belonged to William A. Simpson, 530 South street southeast, yesterday afternoon, near Benning road, Anacostia, Erick Fisher, 13 years old, who lives on Gault street, Hillbrook, had his right forefinger bitten off.  Young Fisher was treated by Dr. George I. Epard of Benning.

George Irving Eppard, born in Rockingham County, Virginia, July 27, 1883, was my great grand uncle, brother to my great grandmother Mary Susan Eppard Rucker.  He married twice and had 5 children.  He died December 28, 1969, and is buried at St. Francis Xavier Church Cemetery in St. Mary’s, Maryland.

Image on Findagrave.com
Photo by David Roberts

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - No Vote for You!

Wordless Wednesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers that asks family historians to create a post in which the main focus is a photograph or image. Some posters also include attribute information as to the source of the image.

Image from Ancestry.com

Phoebe Breeden Eppard and Wesley Eppard

Wesley Eppard  (1825 – 1882), my 3G grand-uncle, was the baby of the family, youngest brother of my 3G grandfather William Eppard, son of Johann George Eppard and Catherine Beasley.  Johann George directed in his will of 1866 (read it HERE) that Wesley should be allowed to purchase the family farm in Rockingham County, Virginia in four easy installments. 

Yet Wesley picked up his family and moved to Missouri.  In 1870, they were farming in Randolph County, Missouri.  His real estate was worth $2000 and personal property, $300. 

Now here’s the strange thing:  it appears Wesley was denied the right to vote.   In the 1870 Federal Census, Columns 19 and 20 concern Constitutional Relations.  In column 19, he is confirmed as a male US citizen of age 21 or upwards.  In column 20, there is a mark indicating he was denied the right to vote on “other grounds than rebellion or other crime.”

The Fifteenth Amendment, which guaranteed no one would be denied the right to vote based on race, was ratified that year.  But that doesn’t apply to Wesley.  He was white.

The fact that he had been a Confederate should have had no bearing since the question says “other than rebellion.”

He is not checked off for being deaf, blind, insane or idiotic. 

Following ratification of the 15th Amendment, some states continued to try to deny voting rights to certain citizens, not just former slaves, but the Irish and Chinese among others.  That didn’t apply to Wesley either.  In his county, only 3 other white citizens were denied the right to vote:  a German, an Englishman, and a Canadian, all of whom were also US citizens.  Wesley was born in Virginia. 

So why was Wesley Eppard denied?  If I could determine Missouri’s laws regarding voting requirements, I might have an answer. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Segourney Eppard - Application for a Widow's Pension

Segourny Eppard is my great-great grandmother (my mother's mother's mother's mother).  Her application for a widow’s pension, which was made available to widows of soldiers, sailors, and marines who served during the Civil War, is rather difficult to read.  I previously wrote about George Harvey Eppard's pension application HEREThe handwritten portions appear to have been done with a medium-point Sharpie pen, but of course, I know that’s not the case.  Even the typed part is not crisp.  Everything in this digital copy appears to have bled and spread.  Therefore, I have transcribed mainly the questions and answers.  The opening paragraph appears to merely lay out the requirements for application as determined by the General Assembly in 1894. 

Click on image to enlarge

The Applicant must read, or have read to her, every word in this Application
Pensioners now on the ROLL are NOT required to make new application, but must file annual certification.

THIS APPLICATION must be filed with the Clerk of the Corporation Court of Your City or Circuit Court of Your County
(No application will be entertained, not on the printed form.)

1.        What is your name?  Segournie Eppard

2.       What is your age?  74

3.       Where were you born?  Albemarle Co, Va.

4.       How long have you resided in Virginia?  all of my life

5.       How long have you resided in this City or County of your present residence?  20 years

6.       Where do you reside?  If a City, give street address.

Post Office  Shenandoah

County of  Page  Virginia

7.       With whom do you reside?  my daughter Mrs. J. C. Rucker

8.       What was your husband’s full name?  Geo. Harvey Eppard

9.       When, where, and by whom were you married?

When?  May 28th 1870

Where?  Rockingham Co., Va.

By whom? Rev. Condor

10.   When and where did your husband die?  Jan 13th 1917 Shenandoah, Va.

11.   What was the cause of his death?  Rheumatism & kidney trouble

12.   Have you married since the death of your husband?  If yes, give full particulars.


13.   In what branch of the army did your husband serve?

Second Virginia Regiment

 “I” Company

14.   Who were his immediate superior officers?

Colonel   I’m not sure

Captain Wilson Carrier

15.   Give the names and addresses of two comrades who served in the same command with your husband during the war.
(See Certificate “B”)


Address  None living



16.   Give the names and addresses of two persons who are familiar with the circumstances of your husband’s service and death.
(See Certificate “C”)


Address  None living



17.   What assistance do you receive and what income have you from all sources?

No income live with my daughter

18.   How much property do you own?

Real estate  $  none

Personal Property  $  none

19.   Was your husband on the pension roll for Virginia? If yes, for what county or city was his pension allowed?

Yes, Rockingham Co.

20.   Have you ever applied for a pension in Virginia before?  If yes, why are you not drawing one at this time?


21.   Is there a camp of Confederate Veterans in your city or county?


22.   Give here any other information you may possess relating to the service of your husband or the cause of his death which will support the justice of your claim.

he was disabled by the war, and limb broken

The document was signed by Segourney Eppard.  It is interesting that her name is spelled differently on the first line and question, which suggests someone else filled in the form for her, possibly the witness (possibly W.T. Miller) since the Notary Public’s handwriting does not match the other writing.

The next image is a series of witness statements which I have summarized:

Click image to enlarge

1.       W.T. Miller and C.C. Conrad swear they have known Segourney Eppard for 25 years.

2.       A statement from comrades says that there are none living.  Names included were Simeon Merica, Simon Merica, Cal Eppard.

3.       B.T. Milton and T.H. Bailey, non-comrades, swear they are familiar with George H. Eppard’s service and death.

4.       The physician witness statement could not be signed noting that George H. Eppard’s doctor J.M. Ropp has moved from the area to southwest Virginia.

This third image is a continuation of witness statements which I have summarized:

Click image to enlarge

1.       P.M. Kauffman, Lt. Commander of the Rosser-Gibbons Camp of Confederate Veterans, verifies Segourney Eppard’s application for a widow’s pension.

2.       Certificate of Ex-Confederate soldiers is blank.

3.       The Commissioner of Revenue for Page County, Virginia verifies that Segourney Eppard has no real or personal property of value.

4.       The chairman of the Pension Board recommends approval.

5.       Judge T.N. Haas examined the affidavits and certificates and judges the application to be just.

Below the form someone whose signature I cannot read states that George Harvey Eppard was on the Pension Roll for Rockingham County, Virginia.

Tombstone Tuesday: Hiram Oscar Eppard

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers which asks bloggers to create a post including an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors; it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor.

Hiram Oscar Eppard was the oldest brother of my great-grandmother Mary Sudie Eppard Rucker.  Oscar was born to George Harvey Eppard and Segourney F. Shiplett Eppard on 17 March 1871.  He died just 23 years later on Sep 10, 1894.  He is buried along with many of the Eppards in the Methodist Church Cemetery in Shenandoah, Page County, Virginia. 

Image from Findagrave.com
by Jan Hensley
Click on image to enlarge.

Image on Findagrave.com
by Jan Hensley
Click on image to enlarge.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Eppard Pension Application

Amanuensis Monday is a daily prompt at Geneabloggers which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts.

I found my great-great grandfather's application for a Civil War pension on Ancestry. 

Click on image to enlarge it

Application of Soldier, Sailor or Marine for a Pension,
Disabled by Reason of Disease or Other Infirmities

I, George H. Eppard , a native of the State of Virginia, and now a citizen of Virginia, resident at McGaheysville, in the County (or City) of Rockingham in said State of Virginia, and who was a soldier from the State of Virginia, in the war between the United States and Confederate States, do hereby apply for aid under an act of the General Assembly approved March 7, 1900, entitled “An act to give aid to soldiers, sailors or marines disabled in the war between the States, and to every such soldier, sailor or marine who by disease or other infirmities of age, is disabled from earning or is without the means of procuring a support, and to the widows of Virginia soldiers, sailors or marines who lost their lives in said war in military or naval services, or whose husbands have died since the war.”  And I do solemnly swear that I was a member of Company I 2nd Virginia Regiment and that I am now disabled by reason of of having a broken leg which was broken in 1863 and Rheumatism in my lims [sic.] and that by reason of such disability I am entitled to receive, under said Act, the sum of thirty dollars annually.  I further swear that I do not hold any National, State, or County office which pays me in salary or fees over three hundred dollars per annum; nor have I an income from any other source which amounts to three hundred dollars; nor do I own in my own right nor does my wife own, property of the assessed value of more than one thousand dollars; nor do I receive aid or a pension from any other State or from the United States; and that I am not an inmate of any soldiers’ home.

I do further swear that the following answers are true:

1st What is the applicant’s age? Ans. 60 years

2nd What is the precise nature of the disability of the applicant?

Ans. Of having a broke leg
Rheumatism in my Lims

3rd Is it total?  Ans. No
(a)    Is it partial? And if so, to what extent does it disable him from manual labor?
Ans.  Not able to do manual labor

Given under my hand, this 24th day of April 1901.

                                                                                George H. Eppard

The rest is the legal stuff signed by W. J. Runkle, the Notary Public, and a few others.  Parts are difficult to read because apparently the original paper was wrinkled or folded when digitized. 

Click on image to enlarge it.

This second page is a series of testimonies which I have summarized:

1.       George H. Eppard repeats the information from the first paragraph claiming to have Rheumatism in his “lims” as a result of a broken leg suffered in the war.

2.       R.M. Runkle and J.O. Gibson swear that George H. Eppard is still living at the time of his application.

3.       J.W. Churchill, the Commissioner of Revenue, verifies that George and his wife meet the income requirements.

4.       Dr. H.H. Miller testifies that George Eppard is unable to do physical labor.

5.       D. H. Lee Maritz, Clerk of Rockingham County Circuit Court, will certify to the Auditor of Public Accounts that George H. Eppard is entitled to receive a pension of $30.