Wednesday's Child - Ruby Christina Kephart

I've pretty much gone by the name, 'Tina' my whole life. But my given name is Christina, and I was named after one of my maternal great aunts, Ruby Christina Kephart. So, I thought I'd make Aunt Ruby the spotlight of this week's Wednesday's Child feature. 

Ruby Christina Kephart - Ancestry Chick

Ruby Christina Kephart was born September 29, 1909 in Wellston, Lincoln County, Oklahoma. She was the daughter of John Arthur Kephart and Della Mae (Swinford) Kephart, and she was the first born of 11 children born to my great grandparents. She also happened to share the share the same birthday (though 18 years apart) with my grandmother, Della Maxine Kephart. 

You have to admit, she was such an adorable baby! She was quite pretty as she grew older as well. Just look at her, wearing perfectly awesome bows in her hair--long before someone named 'Jo-Jo' got famous doing it. ;) 

Ruby Christina Kephart - Ancestry Chick

I didn't get to see my Aunt Ruby much when I was growing up, since we lived in different states. But I always loved the fact that I was someone's namesake. I thought she had to be very special for my mom to have named me after her. Whenever I did see her, she was always very kind and sweet to me. And the cool part is, my sister named her first daughter Christina as well, so really, we are both namesakes of my great Aunt Ruby! I am so thankful I have these photos of her, and glad to be able to share them as this week's Wednesday's Child.

Grandma Kephart's Tin Box

I think it's time for another addition to my Tuesday Treasures feature here at Ancestry Chick. I wasn't sure what family heirloom I should pick this week, but I finally settled on this simple little tin box that belonged to my maternal great grandmother, Della Mae (Swinford) Kephart.

Grandma Kephart's Tin Box - Ancestry Chick

My mom gave me this little tin candy box a few years before she passed away. She had gotten into the habit of bringing me family things when she would come and visit from Texas. She always told me she had some new goodies for me, and she gave them to me because she knew how much these kinds of things mean to me. Mom and I both spent many years doing genealogy, and also just treasuring family things that had sentimental value. So, anytime she would bring me something, I was more than thrilled to get it.

Surname Saturday - Crain

This week's Surname Saturday post is highlighting the Crain surname from my family tree. According to the House of Names website, "an ancient Scottish tribe called the Boernicians were the ancestors of the first people to use the surname Crain. It is a name for a person whose was tall, and had long legs. This nickname derived from the Old English words cranuc, and cornuc, which mean crane."  They also say that the name, Crain was first found in Suffolk, England, before it made its way to Scotland. I've also read that variants of the name Crain can be found in Ireland.

In my family tree, working my way from me backwards, the first instance of the name Crain is my paternal 2nd great grandmother, Mary Ellen Crain. Mary Ellen was born October 24, 1867 in Illinois.

Mary Ellen Crain and Aaron Bigham - Surname Saturday
Mary Ellen Crain was the daughter of John Hatch Crain (1840-1911) and Nancy Jane Simmons (1844-1915). They moved from Illinois to Kansas within a few years of Mary Ellen's birth. 

Mary Ellen married Aaron Bigham in Labette County, Kansas on May 25, 1884. Mary Ellen was just sixteen years old at the time. They had eight children together, including my great grandfather, Turence Stanley Bigham. Mary Ellen (Crain) Bigham died November 25, 1959 in Labette County, Kansas, where she had lived for most of her life. 

So far, I have the Crains traced back to the 18th Century in my tree. There is more than one line of Crains in my tree too, so some connections are a bit tangled or confusing. Crain is also sometimes spelled Crane, so that only adds to the confusion. There are Crains in my tree that reach back to Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. I have lots more research to do on the Crains and Cranes in my family tree! Hopefully I'll get all the roots untangled at some point.

Is This Andrew Jackson Winders

Following up on my previous post about my 3rd great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Winders, I want to share some photos that I received over the summer. Before I do that, let me give you some background information on how I acquired them.

I received a message through my Ancestry account from a very kind lady named Carlene, who works at the Elkhart County Genealogical Society in Indiana. She told me that they had a box of items (letters, photos, research, dog tags, etc.) relating to the Winders family. Since I have many Winders ancestors, I asked for the name of the owner of the dog tags, and it was Charles Garrison Winders. Immediately I knew the name. Charles was my 1st cousin, 3x removed. Our shared ancestor is Andrew Jackson Winders--my 3rd great grandfather, and Charles' grandfather! So, Carlene had this box of Winders items that she wanted to send to family of the Winders. I explained my connection, and she sent me that wonderful box of genealogical treasures. 

I'm hoping to share several of those treasures over time on the blog. There were many photos of Charles, his father, and their family, along with lots of wonderful research by Charles' daughter. It's been so wonderful to have it all. I've gone through most of it, but hope to dig deeper into the research there once I'm on my summer break again. But for now, I want share two photos that were in that box.

The first photo is of a man and woman and is one of very few photos that has no information written on it. I'm not even sure of when it was taken, but from the looks of the woman's dress, I'd guess early 1900's. 

Andrew Jackson Winders - Ancestry Chick

Andrew Jackson Winders and His Parentage

Monday Mysteries - Ancestry Chick

My maternal 3rd great grandfather, Andrew Jackson Winders, is kind of a mystery. And he has inspired me to create a new blog feature: Monday Mysteries. There is a lot of misinformation and many factual errors about Andrew on Ancestry and Family Search. I focus a lot of my research on him simply because I hate the not knowing. And since there is so much misinformation, I'm hoping this post will serve as a helpful reference for future researchers of Andrew Jackson Winders. So, let me start with some simple facts about Andrew that I know to be true.

A Tiny Charge of Genetic Material

"Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result -- eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly -- in you."

--Bill Bryson

*Genealogy Quotes

Surname Saturday - Eads

This week's Surname Saturday post puts the spotlight on one of my paternal surnames: Eads. According to the House of Names website, "the surname Eads originally derived from the Old English word Eade which referred to abundant riches. However, another reference claims that the name was derived from the Middle English name Edwy and the Old English word Eadwig which are composed of the elements ead meaning prosperity and wig which meant war." says that the Eads family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920, and that the most Eads families were found in the US in 1880. And in 1840 there were 16 Eads families living in Indiana, which was 20% of all the recorded Eads's in the US.

So far, I've traced my Eads family back to just my 4th great grandfather, William Eads. The earliest documentation for him is a record of his marriage to my 4th great grandmother, Margaret Weaver, in 1842. They were both living in Osage County, Missouri at that time. By 1850, according to the Census, they are living in Jefferson, Osage County, Missouri with three children: William Henry, Elbert, and Martha. On that Census, William's birthplace is listed as Tennessee. I have no trace of William after 1850, other than I know that his daughter, Louisa was born in October of 1852, so he was alive at least that year. His wife, Margaret remarried at some point, because she is living as Margaret Galien on the 1860 Census, along with her children Elbert, Martha, and Louisa.

William and Margaret's son, William Henry Eads was my 3rd great grandfather. 

William Henry Eads Ancestry Chick

He was born on July 16, 1845 in Newton County, Missouri. He was a Civil War Veteran and a member of the G.A.R. He would marry Mary Jane Tipton in 1868. After Mary died in 1894, William remarried and eventually settled in Labette County, Kansas, where many of their descendants would live and die. William Henry Eads would also died in Labette County on June 19, 1923 at the age of 77.