Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blanket Time

The Jesse Spencer Family

I love finding old family photos online of ancestors that, until now, have only been names on a chart.  This handsome portrait shows Zachary's 3rd great grandparents Jesse and Nancy Spencer and their boys Jesse Jr. and Perry (brothers of the Frank Spencer in the photo I posted a couple weeks ago).

This was a family on the move.  Jesse C Spencer was born in October of 1821 in Kentucky -- a son of Virginians.  He was first married to Alley (or Alla) from North Carolina around 1843.

They started out in Kentucky before moving briefly to Illinois where they farmed on land between Macoupin and Apple Creeks in Greene County in 1850.  They were surrounded by the John M and Samuel Spencer families who were probably Jesse's brothers.

Jesse, his wife, and children had returned to Kentucky by 1852.  They were living in Russell County in 1860 where Jesse worked as a cabinet workman.  His real estate was worth $500 and his personal estate $300.  The closest post office was in Jamestown.

Jesse and Alla had seven children together before her death around 1860.  They are John S, Sarah E, Mary Jane, James R, Nancy M, Frances C, and Lindille.

Jesse Spencer was 39 when war broke out in 1861.  He should have been living in Kentucky during this time, and, because Kentucky is a border state, I am unsure where he placed his loyalties.  It is true he had Virginian roots, but he could have had family and friends in Illinois.  More research is needed to determine if he or members of his family had any role in the War for Southern Independence.

Jesse married his second wife Nancy J around 1863.  She was Kentucky born in June of 1839.  Jesse and Nancy were still living in Russell County, Kentucky in 1870 where he was farming again.  His real estate was worth $450 and his personal estate $200.

The family moved to Missouri between 1871 and 1875 where they were farming in Dent, Iron County, in 1880.  Jesse and Nancy had six children together: Preston T, Frank W, Perry M, Alice, Laura, and Jesse.  The 1880 and 1900 census records show that while Jesse could both read and write, his wife Nancy could not.

Jesse and Nancy's son Frank Spencer is shown in the top left of this photo.  His wife Rhoda (Taylor) is the adult woman seated on the far right.
By 1900, they had moved again to Grant in Newton County, Arkansas (where son Frank married into the Taylor family).  Five of Nancy's six children were still living, but only Perry and Jesse Jr. were still at home with their parents (the family structure shown in the top photo).  They were farming on land owned by 25 year old Perry.

It is believed by many that Jesse moved one last time and died in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, in 1906.  From my own research, this seems plausible as at least two of his sons, Frank and Perry, were both living in that county in 1910.

Sources:, 1850 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2005),, Database online. Year: 1850; Census Place: Between Macoupin and Apple Creeks, Greene, Illinois; Roll: M432_108; Page: 18A; Image:., 1860 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2004),, Database online. Year: 1860; Census Place: Russell, Russell, Kentucky; Roll: ; Page: 674; Image: 86., 1870 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2003),, Database online. Year: 1870; Census Place: Precinct 5, Russell, Kentucky; Roll: M593_; Page: ; Image:. and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2005),, Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Dent, Iron, Missouri; Roll: 691; Family History Film: 1254691; Page: 486C; Enumeration District: 048; Image: 0358., 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2004),, Database online. Year: 1900; Census Place: Grant, Newton, Arkansas; Roll: T623_70; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 88.

Losing It

About to lose it...

Losing it...

Lost it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Video of Anna on Father's Day

Father's Day

We celebrated Zachary's first Father's Day this year.  He is such a great dad.  I remember seeing him with young children long before we were married and knowing that someday, he would be great with children of his own.  Babies were a new experience for both of us, but he has done so well with Anna.  She is definitely a "Daddy's Girl."

Her outfit says, "I love Daddy."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thank you, Amy!

My friend (and Study.Quiet reader) Amy sent a special gift to celebrate Anna's birth: a beautiful blanket.  It looks wonderful in our living room.  Thank you, Amy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

First Anniversary

First Anniversary Dessert: Lemon Bars
Zachary J Pruett and I have been married for one year today, and what a year it has been! We went from being single young adults at home with our parents to being husband and wife – parents ourselves to an adorable baby girl. I am so blessed to be Mrs. Zachary Pruett. My husband is the love of my life and my best friend. Life is better because of him!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Taylor and Spencer Family Photo

This is a 1897 photo I located online this week from Zachary's ancestry. The older man (back row, second from left) is Zachary's 3rd great grandfather, Walter Francis Marion Taylor. His daughter Rhoda (2nd great grandmother) is the adult woman seated on the far right. Her husband Frank Spencer (2nd great grandfather) is standing at the back on the far left next to his father in law.

This family came from Newton County, Arkansas, but Rhoda, her brothers, and their families moved to Oklahoma between 1900 and 1910.

In this photo:
Children of Walter Francis Marion Taylor and Hannah O Hanna Keys Taylor and Grandchildren: Left to right in front row: Minnie Taylor(standing) Emily Crow Taylor(sitting) William Robert Taylor(standing) Sarah Elmore Taylor(sitting) Anna Arlinta Lucretia Mae Taylor(in Mother's lap) Pleas McKinley Taylor(standing) Vickie Spencer(on Mother's lap) Rhoda Taylor Spencer(sitting) Mae Spencer(on Mother's lap) Viola Spencer Two young boys standing in front of men, left to right: Arthur V Taylor and Quincy G Taylor(sons of Pleas McDonald Taylor) Men standing, left to right: Frank Spencer(husband of Rhoda Taylor) Walter Francis Marion Taylor, Allison Bradford Taylor and Pleas McDonald Taylor

Friday, June 08, 2012

Family History: Coming Soon!

Family history is so much fun! I just found some new ancestors for my husband and daughter this afternoon, and I am so excited about it. I will show you what I found after the weekend. Hint: it will be more than just a name or date.

Beem Decade Glimpses: 1940

The 1940 United States Federal Census showing both the Lee and Arthur Beem families.

Eugene A. Volkman enumerated the Beem family and their neighbors in rural West Fork Township, Woodbury County, Iowa, on April 8, 1940.

Arthur and Irene Beem had a full household in 1940. At age 30 years old, they had four children: Evelyn (7), who had just completed the first grade, and Jeanette (3), James A. (2), and Mary Jane (1). The census indicates that Arthur had completed four years of high school, and his wife had one year of college. Arthur was at work “For pay or profit in private or nonemergency Govt. work during week of March 24-30.” He worked 60 hours as a farmer that week. He worked a total of 52 weeks the previous year. Arthur’s farm schedule was listed as number 37. Irene was engaged in “home housework.”
Clara Olson Peterson: Irene’s grandmother who lived with them in 1940.

Irene’s widowed grandmother, Clara Peterson, also lived with the family during this time. She was the only member of the household not born in Iowa; she was born in Wisconsin 84 years before. As a child, she had only completed the sixth grade. Because of her advanced age in 1940, it is unsurprising that the census shows she was unable to work.

Arthur and Irene owned their farm home outside of Hornick, Iowa. The house was worth $6,000 in 1940 – the equivalent of about $96,716 today (as of 2012). Although they were not new to the community, they had been in their home less than five years.
Arthur and Irene Beem

They were well off enough to employ two people. Ray (21) and Leona (19) McCoy were both single young people who had each completed four years of high school and were now living with their employers. Ray worked with Arthur as a farm laborer while Leona was a “hired girl” who helped Irene with the housework. Both Ray and Leona worked 60 hours a week; Ray’s wages were $90 while Leona earned $100. Ray had worked 12 weeks in 1939, Leona 26.

In a quirk of the 1940 census, additional questions were asked of Leona because she happened to be enumerated on line 29. From this we know that she was not a veteran, English was spoken in her home during her earliest childhood, her father was born in Missouri, her mother was born in West Virginia, she did not have a social security number, and she worked in a private home. Based on this information, we can identify her parents as William and Nora McCoy, farmers who lived in the same area with five other children.
Lee and Anna Beem

Living next door were Arthur’s parents, E. Lee (61) and Anna M. Beem (54) with their last child still at home, Edwin D. Beem (17), who had completed three years of high school, and Irene Becker (13), a lodger who had completed the eighth grade.

Lee was born in Kansas and only finished the sixth grade while in school, while Anna was native to Iowa and had finished the eighth grade. They were now farmers living in a home worth $8,000 – $128,955 in today’s dollars. According to the census, it was the same home they lived in five years before.

As a farmer engaged in private work, Lee claimed to have worked 72 hours the week of March 24-30 with 52 work weeks in 1939. Their farm schedule was listed as number 37.
Although the record doesn’t say, I find it likely that the neighboring renter, Frank Cook, worked for Lee. Frank was listed as a farm laborer who earned a wage of $310 and paid $5 rent for the home he, his wife Pearl, and their two children lived in.

There were plenty of cousins, aunts, and uncles scattered throughout the Woodbury County countryside. Just as a small example, Alfred Larsen was listed just after the Frank Cook family. Alfred was Anna M. Beem’s only brother (and consequently, Arthur’s uncle). He was 45 in 1940 and living with his wife Esther (39) and five children. A few homes later, Lee and Anna’s oldest son, Earnest Beem (31), lived with his wife Lois (31), two sons, and his brother T. DeWitt (23). The Beem family was deeply rooted in the Iowa farmland in 1940.
The Arthur and Irene Beem home where they lived in 1940.

1940 U. S. Census, Woodbury County, Iowa, population schedule, West Fork Township, enumeration district (ED) 97-96, page 443 (stamped), sheets 3A and 3B, dwellings 41-44 and 46, Arthur Beem, Lee Beem, Frank Cook, Alfred Larsen and Earnest Beem households; digital images,

Anna at Two Months