Mystery Monday – Greybill Children

One of the many mysteries in my family tree involves two children of John William Greybill and Tressie Gertrude Dodd (my gt-gt-grandparents.)

John and Tressie had a total of 11 children, all born in West Virginia. They were probably all born in Kanawha County.  John and Tressie were married on 09 Jun 1891 at the home of Tressie’s father, William Washington Dodd, in Putnam County, West Virginia.  On 1 Dec 1891 they had their first daughter, Ellen (or Ethel) J, in Kanawha County. Ethel was followed by Mary Maysel on 7 Apr 1893, James William on 28 Oct 1894, and Charles Carl on 09 Apr 1896.  It wasn’t until 13 Dec 1902 that Stanley Lewis was born, then Fred Staunton (Sr) on 03 Feb 1904, Harold about 1908, Mildred Irene on 15 Jul 1910, and John Franklin on 28 Dec 1914.

According to census records, Tressie had a child that was born and died before the 1900 census, and another that was born and died between the 1900 and 1910 censuses. I believe at least one of these children was born after Charles in 1896 and died before 1900. The other, I believe, was born either after 1900 and before Stanley in 1902, or in the gap between Fred (1904) and Harold (abt 1908) and died sometime before 1910.

I haven’t been able to find any birth or death record in the West Virginia Division of Culture & History online archive, but this doesn’t really surprise me, as I haven’t been able to find records for most of the children who I know existed.

If you’ve got any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! And if you’ve got unsolved mysteries, leave me a comment or a link to your blog. Who knows, maybe your mystery is in my tree.

Published in: on December 13, 2010 at 6:05 am  Comments (1)  

Sunday’s Obituary – Pearl Mae Harrington Oak 1883-1976

A TRIBUTE published in the pages of YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER Jan 10 1976

Memorial Obituary

Entered Into Eternal Rest Saturday, Jan 10, 1976

Pearl Oak

Pearl Mae Oak, Beavercreek, died Jan 10 at a Portland hospital following a short illness. She was 92.

Born Pearl Mar Harrington in La Porte, Indiana, she married William Henry Oak in that city on Dec. 21, 1901.

The couple moved to Oregon in 1923. She enjoyed gardening and crocheting. Her husband died in 1951.

Survivors include: a son, Clarence, Oregon City; three daughters, Mrs. C.G. (Margaret) Fellows, Portland, Mrs. John (Gertrude) Harris, Gresham; and Mrs. Bob (lila) Larson, Beavercreek; seven grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and a sister, Sylvia Guthu, Sandy.

Services were Jan. 13 at Carroll Funeral Home, Gresham, followed by interment at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Sunday’s Obituary – if you have obituaries of family members and ancestors, consider posting them along with other information about that person as part of Sunday’s Obituary. This is an ongoing series developed by Leslie Ann at Ancestors Live Here.

Published in: on December 12, 2010 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Surname Saturday – Loundree

My maiden name is Loundree. I can trace the name back through 6 generations, and then I hit my brick wall:

  • 1st gen: Tara C Loundree b. 1977 in Oregon
  • 2nd gen: Larry Dean Loundree b. 14 Sep 1948 Portland, Multnomah, Oregon d. 20 Sep 1999 Zig Zag, Clackamas, Oregon
  • 3rd gen: Junior Carl “Jude” Loundree b. 04 Apr 1924 Oregon City, Clackamas, Oregon d. 11 May 1980 Sandy, Clackamas, Oregon
  • 4th gen: Carl Dean Loundree b. 08 Nov 1904 Independence, Polk, Oregon d. 17 Oct 1985 Sandy, Clackamas, Oregon
  • 5th gen: Joseph Carl Loundree (Jr) b. 14 Jan 1871 Balsam Lake, Polk, Wisconsin d. 31 Mar 1938 Sandy, Clackamas, Oregon
  • 6th gen: Joseph Loundree/Laundree (Sr) b. abt 1820 in “Upper Canada” d. 22 Jun 1910 Independence, Polk, Oregon

Joseph Loundree Sr is also frequently recorded as Joseph Laundree. He immigrated from Canada to Wisconsin about 1854, and married a Native American woman named Sophia. They had three children, all born in Polk County, Wisconsin: Elizabeth (Jan 1860, St Croix), Josephine (Apple River, 1865) and Joseph. Joseph Sr’s naturalization paperwork was filed in Polk County, Wisconsin in 1870. It stated that his Declaration of Intent was filed in Marathon County, Wisconsin in 1854, but this record has not been found. Joseph and family are recorded on the 1860 Census in Polk County, Wisconsin. Before that, his whereabouts remain unknown.

It is known that his native language was French, and he frequently listed his birthplace as Upper Canada. Various records put his birth between 1818-1825, with Apr 1820 being the most common. Other than Joseph’s descendants, I have not been able to locate any other relatives. It is a tradition in my family that the surname is French, and was originally spelled Loundré, but we have no proof of this.

Published in: on December 11, 2010 at 6:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Funeral Card Friday – Amanda M Harrington

Amanda Mahala (Ray) Harrington passed away at the home of her daughter, Sylvia Ruth (Harrington) Guthu on 25 Sept 1942, in Sandy, Clackamas, Oregon.  Amanda was born on 1 Jan 1863 in Kosciusko County, Indiana to Joseph and Elmira Ray. She married Orlando Mayne Harrington on 11 Feb 1882 in Berrien County, Michigan.  They had a total of 5 children: Pearl Mae, Rozilla Ann, and Sylvia Ruth. The other two children’s names are unknown; I only know they were born and died before 1900.


Pearl Mae, Orlando, Sylvia, Amanda (I don't know who the children are)

Orlando preceded Amanda in death in 1941. She was survived by her three daughters (Pearl “Mae” (William) Oak, Rozilla (Frank) Ray, and Sylvia (Oscar) Guthu), and several grandchildren. Funeral services were held at Chapman Funeral Home in Sandy, Clackamas, Oregon, with the Rev. L. C. Des Voine of Portland officiating. Committal was at the Sandy Cemetery (Fir Hill Cemetery.)

Published in: on December 10, 2010 at 6:02 am  Leave a Comment  

Grandpa Jude

Junior Carl “Jude” Loundree was born on 04 Apr 1924 in Oregon City, Clackamas, Oregon.  He was born at the home of a family member or friend (I’m not sure which) because they would not admit his mother, Ruby (Dodd) Loundree into the hospital because she had chicken pox, and they were afraid she’d infect all the other mothers and babies.

Jude was the only child of Ruby and Carl Loundree.  He grew up and attended school in Sandy, Clackamas, Oregon. The story goes that my grandmother, Helen (Guthu) Loundree, spotted him across the playground when she was about 14, and declared to her friends “That is the man I am going to marry.”   In 1946, they were married in Vancouver, Clark, Washington.

Helen and Jude had 3 children; Judith Ann, Larry Dean (my father), and Charla Dee. I believe they were all born in Portland, Multnomah, Oregon, but I will correct this post if I am wrong.

Loundree family: (l to r) Judy, Char, Jude, Helen, Larry in front

Jude served as a cargo pilot in the US Marine Corps from 1942-1946 in the Pacific Theater.  In civilian life, Jude was a carpenter. He built many houses in the Sandy area, including Half-Round House on Loundree Drive in Sandy (where I lived as a baby), and the duplex my grandmother still lives in in Sandy.

Somewhere along the way, Jude contracted tuberculosis. I’ve been told he got it while demolishing old chicken coops. In May of 1980, Jude passed away from a brain tumor. He donated his body to science, and he is listed as a donor up at Oregon Health Sciences University.

l to r: me, Gt-Grandpa Carl, Grandpa Jude

I don’t know much about Grandpa Jude; I was only 2 when he died. If you can share a story about him, please leave a comment below. If you are reading this from the home page, click up at the top on the title “Grandpa Jude” and it will reload the screen. At the bottom there will be a box where you can leave a reply.  I’d love to hear from you!

Published in: on December 9, 2010 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Been away for a bit…

So I haven’t been blogging much lately. I’ve been swamped with the holidays and helping getting my grandmother ready to move. Also, my external hard drive crashed, and I lost all the family pictures I had spent weeks scanning in, as well as all my tombstone photos. I am currently in the process of recovering what I can from various sources, resorting them, and hopefully getting back to blogging in the next few days. I’m also trying to get a website set up, so this blog may be moving. I’ll keep you posted!

Happy Ancestor Hunting 🙂


Published in: on November 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tombstone Tuesday

Oscar Palmer Guthu and Sylvia Ruth Harrington Guthu tombstone

My great grandparents, Oscar Palmer Guthu and Sylvia Ruth (Harrington) Guthu are buried together in the Scandinavian Cemetery in Sandy, Oregon.  The cemetery is located on Highway 26, just west of downtown Sandy. The sign next to the driveway says Fir Hill Cemetery, but Fir Hill is only the portion to the right of the driveway. Scandinavian Cemetery is the portion to the left (west) of the driveway. Last time I checked, there was no marker for Scandinavian Cemetery, and most people don’t realize they are actually two separate cemeteries. They are also collectively known as Sandy Cemetery.

Oscar Palmer Guthu was born in Harrison, Waupaca, Wisconsin on 11 Feb 1880.  He married Sylvia Ruth Harrington in RyeGate, Golden Valley, Montana in 1913. They had six children, and moved to Oregon in the late 1920s.

Oscar passed away in Gresham, Clackamas, Oregon on 13 May 1964. Sylvia passed away in Sandy, Clackamas, Oregon on 05 Jul 1987.

Published in: on October 19, 2010 at 7:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Birthday reflections

I woke up this morning to my six year old wishing me a Happy Birthday and demanding I find his DS, all in one breath. I thanked him, and shooed him out of the room.

Shortly thereafter, I received a phone call from some guy trying to sell me adspace on Google. Said he was looking for a professional genealogist to feature on the front page, and was thrilled to have found one in Oregon. I didn’t buy, but it was kinda neat to know that, somehow, people are finding me. And it got me to thinking, as I start on my 33rd year, what have I accomplished thus far in my chosen field, as well as in my personal research, and what are my goals for this next year?

Among my professional accomplishment I can list that I have established myself as an “Expert” with I have started the National Genealogical Society’s Home Study Course, and completed their course on Special Census Schedules. Most incredible to me is that I have actually gotten paid to do what I love!

In my personal research, I have found new online sources of information. I have downloaded birth, death and marriage certificates for numerous family members. I have connected with living cousins half-way across the country. Who knew I had something like 50 cousins in Michigan? I daily thank the powers that be for Facebook, which has allowed me to connect with these wonderful relatives I never knew about.

I have also begun to fill in the gaps. After years of collecting vitals and census records, I find my research is really starting to turn towards filling in their lives. I want to know what my great-grandparents were like before there is no-one left to tell me. Why did my 3Gt-Grandfather move his family from Wisconsin, through Minnesota, to Independence Oregon in 1902? What was life like in Carl Junction, Missouri when my grandmother was a kid? How did my ancestors feel when they hopped on that boat in Norway, bound for America? What about the ones who came from Sweden two generations later?

Some of these questions are easier to answer than others. I am blessed that I can still ask my grandmothers about their childhood and get amazing answers. I no longer have my grandfather to question, but I have connected with his younger brother. And I’ve got the oodles of cousins I mentioned earlier.

Looking forward, I have a pretty clear idea of my goals. I’d like my genealogy business to become profitable. I’m going to finish the NGS Home Study Course. And then, perhaps, I will go for my certification. Or maybe I will go for a degree in Genealogy. I love to learn. I love to study. I love to research.

I have a burning need inside of me to know where and who I came from. I can’t possibly be the only one who feels this way, and I love to help others find answers. It rekindles my love for genealogy every time I do research for someone and find them what they were looking for. It always leads to more questions, but that’s fine. The research is the fun part for me. Being able to dig through mountains of paperwork to find that one document with your gt-gt-grandmother’s name on it. Walking through an old cemetery to find an ancestor buried a hundred years ago, and knowing that your ancestors stood in that very spot, looking at the same tombstone you are.

What an amazing ride it’s been. And this year looks more promising than ever. So here’s my birthday wish for you. May you break down your brick walls, identify that mystery picture, and connect with that cousin that has the answer. May your research be fulfilling, even when it is not productive. And may your ancestors smile kindly upon you, always.

Published in: on September 2, 2010 at 8:27 am  Comments (2)  

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

Fred Jr, Jean and Jerry Greybill

l to r: Jean, Jerry, and Fred Greybill Jr

On the far right is my grandfather, Fred Staunton Greybill, Jr. The girl on the left is his sister Jean Gathalea Greybill, and the boy in front is their youngest brother Gerald Lee Greybill. There was almost 19 years between Fred and Jerry. This picture was taken in front of their house on Randolph Street in Charleston, West Virginia. I believe it was taken shortly after their mother died in 1944.

Published in: on September 1, 2010 at 9:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Tombstone Tuesday: Joe and Nealie Loundree

Joseph and Nealie Loundree Tombstone

My great-great-grandparents, Joseph and Nealie Loundree

This is the tombstone of my paternal great-great-grandparents, Joseph Loundree and Nealie (Shafer) Loundree. They, along with several other family members, are buried in Sandy Cemetery, which contains both Fir Hill Cemetery and Scandinavian Cemetery. The cemetery is located on Hwy 26, just west of downtown Sandy, Oregon.

Joseph C Loundree was born 14 Jan 1871 in Balsam Lake, Polk, Wisconsin. He was the youngest of three children born to Joseph and Sophia (unknown) Loundree, and the only son.

Cornelia “Nealie” R Shafer was born on 30 Oct 1875 in Rock Island, Illinois.  She was the second of ten children born to Peter Henry and Anne Elizabeth (Middleham) Shafer. Note her tombstone gives her birth year as 1876, although her death certificate has it as 1875. I’m still working on clarifying this fact.

Somewhere around 1896 near Albion, Wright, Minnesota, Grandpa Joe and Nealie were married.  Their first son, Glenn Cecil, was born in Minnesota on 9 Aug 1900. By the time their second son, Carl Dean, was born on 8 Nov 1904, they were in Oregon. Land records indicate they had arrived in Oregon by 1902. In 1915 they had a son, Merle Joseph, who was born with a congenital heart defect and only lived 23 days. He is buried near his parents.

Nealie passed away from a staph infection in her face and jaw on 27 May 1930. Grandpa Joe followed her on 31 Mar 1938. His official cause of death is listed as Cardiac Failure.

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 10:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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