My paternal great grandfather was Gilmore Francis. Born 11 November 1864, Gilmore was the second son of George Wahington and Clementine (Shipp) Francis, in Tulare County, California. My grandmother talked about her family coming west in a covered wagon from Ohio. It must have been sometime between the 1850 Census and the marriage of George Francis to Clementine Shipp. George Washington Francis is not in the 1860 census in Hopewell, Ohio nor in Visalia, California. Maybe they were in transit during the census. From the 1900 US Census we get the marriage year as 1860 when Clementine is only 13. Yet in the 1860 census in Visalia we find Clementine Shipp with her parents and siblings in Visalia, California. I thought the Francis’ should be close if George W. Francis and Clementine get married later that year. But I have not found them.
In the 1970 Census we find Gilmore (6), born in California. His father George (39), raising stock, with a real estate valued at $1,000 and a personal property value of $4,000. He is shown born in Ohio. Gilmore’s mother Clementine is listed as 23 years of age. Clementine was shown as born in Louisiana. Gilmore’s older brother William who had been born in 1861 had already died in 1868.
In the next US census for 1880 Gilmore is 16 years old and shown as a farm hand. Now there are four more brothers and sisters, to Gilmore, listed. Simon (14) farm boy, Walter (12) at school, Iva Bell (10) at school, and George A. (3) . Clementine is shown as 34 while George W. is 49.
In 1888 Gilmore marries Carrie Batson of Zanesville Ohio. We have lots of questions about how this marriage came about. While the Francis family was from this area Gilmore was born in California. The transcontinental railroad is completed in 1869. So travel would have been easier, but still….
Remember there is no 1890 US census. So we look for state censuses and voter registrations. For Voter registration we find Gilmore in the 1886, 1890, and 1892 records in Venice township, rural Visalia, Tulare County, California. In the 1892 Voter register there is a physical description. Height is listed as 5′ 6 1/2″, complexion light, eyes blue and hair brown.
On 26 June 1889 Etta Jane Francis is born. Then on 5 April 1891 Grace is born.
In this 1900 US Census we see Gilmore C. (36) born in Nov. 1863 married 12 years, born in Calif. Father born in Ohio and mother born in Virginia. Gilmore is listed as a farmer who can read and write and rents his home. Sarah C. (Carrie) is now 34 born in Jan. of 1866 in Ohio, father born in Virginia and mother born in Ohio. Their two daughter are Ettie J. born June 1889 now 10 years old and Gracie G. born April 1892 and 8 years old, both born in California.
Moving on to the 1910 US Census their older daughter Etta has married (Ira B. Putnam in 1907). We see here that Gilmore C. (45) married 22 years his father still shown as born in Ohio but now his mother is shown as born in Louisiana. Gilmore is still shown as a farmer but now he is shown as owning his home. Carrie (43) also married 22 years. Grace G. is now 19 and with no occupation.
1920 we find Gilmore and Carrie alone, Grace has married Larkin Jones (1912). Gilmore is now listed as 55 years old still farming and owning his home free and clear. Carrie (53) and she lists both parents born in Ohio.
Somehow they are not in the 1930 US Census. But we see them in the Visalia Directory in 1934. Carrie dies 12 August 1937 and is buried in the Visalia cemetery.
In the 1940 US Census, Gilmore C. Francis (75) is a boarder living in the home of an Emily Dillon (78). Gilmore does not list any occupation.
In the 1955 City Directory for Visalia, Gilmore C. Francis is listed in Dinuba.
Gilmore dies on 27 January 1955. Madeleine and I were told we were to young to go to his funeral.
What I recall about “Gramps” was that he was a small man without any teeth. I remember one time at Gay’s (my grandmother’s) house watching him eat peas off a table knife. I knew if I ever tried that I would be “in big trouble”. I know he stayed with my grandmother Gay on the ranch a lot. He was at family functions, but I can not find any good pictures of him.