Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Archive for the ‘Francis Ancestors’ Category

Silver and Golden Anniversaries

  • #52Ancestors challenges us with the word “longevity”.  As we move backwards in time the average life expectancy diminishes. Most of my ancestors fell into the average. There were a few exceptions to this but nothing like my husbands Aunt Clara. She died 14 days short of her 105th Birthday in 2010.

Another type of longevity is length of marriage. How many marriages in your family have celebrated 50 or even 75 years? The longevity of marriage has also changed through the decades but instead of getting longer because people live longer, the tendency has shortened due to divorce and/or couples living together without marriage. Last year my in-laws celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary and they are still going strong, and my husband and I have just celebrated 52 years.

Genealogy not only looks at history but also sociology. The social standards have certainly changed  since my 2x great grand parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary 2 September 1910 in California, and went on to reach the 54 year mark. Your life expectancy was 42 years in 1860.  So being able to celebrate 50 years marriage on the average would have been difficult to achieve. Where today’s average life expectancy is 78 years, making it a little more common to make that milestone if you can stay married.

Francis 50th Wedding Anniversary Cup
photo by mmelo

George Washington Francis and Clementine Shipp married back in 1860 in California. George had come west in a covered Wagon and lived briefly in Eldorado California before moving down to the Visalia area. Clementine’s family had moved west from Louisiana and in 1852 they lived in the Los Angeles area before settling in the area east of Visalia. In 1860 Clementine was only about 13 years old and George was 28 years old. Today that would raise a lot of eyebrows. Then having their son William only 7 months later would  have also raised a few eyebrows. The average age for women to marry increased from the age of 20 in the 1800 to 22.5 in the 1900 and today is about 25. So Clementine’s age was very young even back then. The crossover of the average woman having her child before the average woman’s first marriage,  occured in the 1970’s. My conclusion is that early births in the first year of marriage had been steadly increasing and once women got the vote and worked outside the home they were putting off  marriage until the last possible moment and today more children are participating in the wedding ceremony of their parents.

Soon after Clementine and George were married the American Civil war erupted. What was it like for the Shipp’s and the Francis’s. I’m sure it sparked some debates in their household. Ohio was a free state and Louisiana was a slave state. Looking back though Clementine’s family history we can find that the Shipp’s were once slave owners. Since California had many pioneering families from both northern and southern states it is not surprising to know that there were those on both sides of the issues. George may have felt strongly about the war for he lost his brother, Andrew Francis, in 1862 at Stoney Point, Tennessee fighting for the union.

Tulare County Land Map

When Clementine and George married it was very much the wild west. Tulare county had lots of Indians and vaquero’s. George was a cattleman and Clementine kept house and raised a herd of children. They owned a 1/2 section of land east of Ivanhoe (north of the town of Visalia).

In 1863 construction on the Transcontinental railway was started. By the time it was completed George and Clementine had 4 children with the fifth on the way. Travel had certainly changed during their life time, going from traveling across country taking several months, to the completion of the Railroad across this nation, to the Model T Ford being manufactured and cars competing with the horse in our mode of daily transportation, and the Wright Brothers  taking flight at Kitty Hawk. They experienced the assassination of two presidents, Lincoln and McKinley. And read about the sinking of the Titanic. The were able to welcome in the 2oth century. They spent their entire married life living near Visalia California. They raised nine children and 4 of them died before they did.

After helping to develop the west, women were finally allowed to vote in California in 1911. The telephone was only used for local calls, it wasn’t until 1915 that you could phone across the country, but the telegraph had connected the east coast to the west since 1861. I certainly hope that Clementine exercised her vote a few dozen times before her death in 1928, 14 years after George had died in 1914.

Leave a comment before my next posting (Jan. 30th) and I will enter your name in a drawing for a special package of family note cards.


12 Family Lines – 12 Months – #7 The Francis Line in Tulare county

The Francis Line comes to our family with my maternal grandmother Etta Jane Francis (b. 1889, California) who was one of two daughters of Gilmore C. (b. 1864, California) and Caroline (Batson) (b. 1866, Ohio) Francis. Gilmore’s parents were George Washington Francis (b. 1832, Ohio) and Clementine Shipp (b. 1848, Louisiana). Gilmore had eight brothers and sisters. George Washington Francis was one of 12 children born to William Henry Francis (b. 1798, Virginia) and Susannah Holmes (b.1806, Virginia). William Henry was the eldest of 9 children born to Joseph Francis (b. 1770, Maryland) and Sabitha (Tabitha) Holmes (b. 1775, Virginia). Joseph had an older brother Thomas and their Father was Andrew Francis (b. abt. 1740, Maryland, d. 1804 in Virginia) their mother is unknown at this time. My sister has done all this research on the Francis line. While much is sited in the Francis Family of Fauquier County Virginia ¹ we knew that some of the information was incorrect, therefore Madeleine has done due diligence in verifying the information.

If you click on the names underlined it will take you to a previous post about that person.

In sorting out my files on the Francis line I tried to see if I could place George Washington in a 1860 US Census. We have him in all the other available census plus the California voter registers from 1866 forward. A historical biographical sketch was given in History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California ² for George W. Francis.

Also about the same time (1859) he removed to a cattle ranch not far from Visalia, where eventually he gained control of four thousand acres and had large herds of cattle grazing on the plains…….At Visalia in 1860 ³, Mr. Francis married Clementine Shipp, a native of Tennessee and a daughter of George Shipp, one of the earliest settlers of the San Joaquin valley. …….. There is one thing that Mr. Francis takes pride in, and that is that he voted for Abraham Lincoln at Venice, Cal, in 1861.

Well  why is he not in the 1860 census in Tulare County? according to the biographic sketch George W. had previously lived in Mariposa County where he had been Mining .

In 1858,  abandoning mining, he went to the Kings River region and settled in Drums Valley, where he and Andrew Drum engaged in the hog business.

So after some in-depth searches I discovered that Drums Valley (Drumms Valley or Drum Valley) is just west of Badger in northern Tulare County.

Tulare County from Google Earth

So this is the beginning of the Francis family in Tulare county where George lives until his death in 1914. Where is Venice California? I had assumed it was in Los Angeles area (Venice or Venice Beach). After looking into the History of “Venice of America”, I discovered that Venice was originally in the Santa Monica area and the tract of land was sold to Abbott Kinney and his partner Francis Ryan in 1891 where they built a pier. It became Ocean Park in 1895 and when Kinney opened his “Venice of America” park in 1905. So that does not fit the 1861 date for Venice, California. So I looked at the townships in Tulare county for the 1860 US census, no Venice. Then I checked the townships in the 1870 US Census and found the township of Venice. Searching maps of Tulare County I finally found it. Today it would be near Ivanhoe, just East of Ivanhoe are two groups of hills, Venice Hills North and Venice Hills South and Venice Cove (click on image to enlarge).

Mystery solved.

Next Month I will be looking at the first of the two different Hall Family ‘s.

¹Francis Family of Fauquier County Virginia, by Albert O. Felchlia 1992 available at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah (out of print)

²History of the State of California and Biographical Record of the San Joaquin Valley, California  by Prof. J.M. Guinn, A.M., Chapman Publishing Co. Chicago 1905. Available through the California State Archives, Sacramento, California.

³Clemintine would have been 13 years of age in 1860.


Susannah Holmes marries her 1st cousin

holmes-branch-image-cropThere are lots of enhanced family stories that I recall from my childhood. One of them revolves around this family line. The Holmes family makes it’s first appearance in our tree when Susannah marries William Francis in Mt. Sterling, Ohio.
Apparently not only was grandma Dougherty one to embellish on the notoriety of a family name but so did the Francis’. Instead of just saying that “great grandma was a Holmes, you know like Oliver Wendell Holmes.” I was led to believe that “we are related to Oliver Wendell Holmes.”
Well, there has been no direct connection found to date, to prove any relationship to the “Oliver Wendell Holmes”. The Jurist Oliver was born in Boston to Oliver and Amelia (Jackson) Holmes in 1841. While Susannah Holmes was born 22 Nov, 1806 in the Shenandoah Valley , Virginia.

The Holmes name is a recurring surname on our tree. Susannah Holmes is the daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Redman) Holmes. Peter’s sister Sabitha or Tabitha Holmes married Joseph Francis , Sabitha and Joseph have a son, William Henry Francis. William Henry married Susannah Holmes his first cousin on 29 July 1826. In my last blog I wrote about William Henry Francis.

I always thought that first cousins should not marry and have children, because those children are at a higher risk of being born with a birth defect. But looking into the genetics a little closer it appears that the increased risk is a very small percentage and the practice is less frowned upon then I had supposed and even some cultures encourage the practice. It might be prudent to have a clear understanding for all of us to know more about our own genetics if we want to have ” perfect children”. And now exactly what is “perfect”?  Who’s to say? William and Susan had 12 children? Were the odds against them having 12 perfect children? It was a hardship just physically for Susannah to give birth to that many children in the first half of the 1800’s. The likelihood that they would not survive their childhood was high. Infant mortality rates were not recorded in the 1800’s but looking at the statistics in our own family it appears that approximately two (2) out of ten (10) children did not make it to becoming adults. By 1930 in the United States the infant mortality was about 30 per 1,000 births and is now around 6 per 1,000.

In the 1830 US Census for Hopewell, Ohio we find Peter Holmes (Susannah’s brother) and his family living nextdoor to William Francis (Susannah’s husband) and their family.

1830 US census Hopewell, Muskingum, Ohio

1830 US census
Hopewell, Muskingum, Ohio

In looking at the specifics (click on image to enlarge) William Francis is head of household with 1 male less then 5 years of age, 1 male between the age of 5 & 10, one male age 30 to 40 (William), one female less then 5 years of age, and one female between 20 and 30 years of age (Susannah). Referring to the 1850 US census, where we have everyone in the household named, we find that the male 0-5 is most likely Simon and the male 5-10 may be Thomas, William’s son from his first wife, since William and Susannah have only been married for 4 years. The female 0 to 5 years of age would be Sabthia Ann.

1840 US Census Hopewell Ohio

1840 US Census Hopewell Ohio

Here in the 1840 US Census we see the family has grown, there are now 3 boys and 4 girls. In trying to put names to the tick marks in the census record, the boys,  Simon and Thomas may be the older children and George may be counted as younger then he was, otherwise Thomas may not be living at home and it is George and Simon as the older boys and perhaps another boy who did not survive to the 1850 census. The girls are straightforward; Susanna the youngest, Margaret and Mary next, then Sabitha Ann is about 12 in this census.

1850 US Census Hopewell Ohio

1850 US Census Hopewell Ohio

In the 1850 US Census we find that William is no longer with the family and at 44 Susannah has 10 children at home which includes twin boys 3 years of age, one of the twins (James) is listed as idiotic.


In 24 December 1851 Sabitha Ann is reported as dying.¹


1860 US Census Mt. Sterling Ohio

1860 US Census Mt. Sterling Ohio

By the 1860 US census Susannah has moved to her parents home which was near by. Susannah is 54 and her parent are 80 and 73.

The children living there are Simon(31 y) , Peter (22 y), Susanna (18 y), and James (12 y) who is now listed as “born blind”. Jesse is not listed in the house hold but is not reported¹ as dying until 1898. Mary Isabella is listed¹ as dying 7 October 1859. Mary is also noted as being blind in the Francis Family of Fauquier County, Virginia¹

In May of 1862 Susannah loses her son Andrew at Stoney Point Tennessee¹. There is an Andrew Francis buried at Shiloh National Cemetery who was a private in the 78th Ohio Infantry that fought at Shiloh 6 April 1862.

Susannah’s father Peter Holmes also died in 1862 and her mother died in 1869.

1870 US Census West Zanesville, Ohio

1870 US Census West Zanesville, Ohio

This census shows Susannah 64 with sons Peter and Jesse F. now Jesse is listed as Blind.

In the 1880 census Peter is listed as a Widow as is his mother Susannah. Jesse is listed as blind.

1880 US Census Mt. Sterling, Ohio

1880 US Census Mt. Sterling, Ohio

In 1882 her son Simon Henry dies. Simon had married an Emily Holmes (daughter of George Holmes and Alicinda Fry), not sure how close a relative she was.

In 1893 son Peter Gilmore dies in Visalia California. His tombstone indicates that he was in Co. H  113 Ohio during the Civil War.

In 1896 on 02 April, Susannah (Holmes) Francis dies. She is buried in the Mt. Sterling Cemetery, Muskingum county, Ohio.

There are lots of questions to be answered.

We still need:

  • The military records for Andrew and Peter to understand more their parts in the the American Civil War.
  • Peters marriage.
  • Jesse and James were they both blind, the same person, or when James died and why.
  • Death or Probate for Susannah

It appears we have only skimmed the surface on the Susannah story. With the large family she had and the challenges that Jesse and Mary had to face she must have lead a stressful life. Peter stayed with his mother until her death and then he travelled out to California where other family members had previously located.

¹The Francis family of Fauquier County, Virginia by Albert Oscar Felchlia, (out of print) available at the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah and also available on microfilm.







William Henry Francis – Mexican War Volunteer?

164c45e7-2fcb-41e3-af1c-18e21c31c53dThis will be my 91st post and “I’m not done yet.” I started this blog back in February of 2014. I have covered a lot of our relatives but there is always something new to learn. I started researching the Family History way back in 1985 for my parents 50th wedding anniversary. This week my husband and I will be celebrating our own 50th anniversary.  It seems like it could not really be 50 years that Roy and I have been married. I do not even feel 50.  We have so many more things to do it will take another 50 years if time continues to speed by. I do digress, sorry. About this genealogy stuff.  In researching this weeks ancestor, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that this week played a role in one of his marriages also.

My goal is to complete the 32’s this year. The 32’s are our 3rd great grandparents. Now that we have Julia Marsh’s parents most likely identified I shall move on to the Francis line. This is my grandmother Etta Jane’s surname.

Etta’s (better known to me and my siblings as Gay) parents were Gilmore and Carrie (Batson) Francis who I have previously written about (see 52 Ancestors- Carrie Batson Mail Order bride? and 52 Ancestors -33- Gilmore C. Francis- gramps ). Gilmore’s father was George Washington Francis and his mother was Clementine Jane Shipp.

George’s father was William Henry Francis. Most of what we know about William initially came from the Francis Family of Fauquier County, Virginia  published in 1992 by Albert O. Felchlia. My sister Madeleine has done the research on the Francis line. This family book she has used as a starting point for some of our research, but we know the mistakes in our immediate family and therefore have taken the information with a look toward proving or disproving the information found in Felchlia’s book, and that is where we are with William, trying to prove or disprove his role in the Mexican War.

Here is what Francis Family of Fauquier County, Virginia  has to say about William H Francis.

Francis Family Farquaire VA pg8w wateermark

Francis Family of Fauquier County, Virginia

(Click on image to enlarge)

Data on this family supplied by Diane Pheneger, Granville, OH

F141  William Henry b. ca 1798, Fauquier Co. VA………………..

F141  William Henry Francis m 6 Sept 1821¹, Fauquier Co, VA to

F141a  Delilah Dennison

             Parents: Thomas Dennison

             Bondsmen: William Francis and Thomas Dennison


F1411 Joseph Thomas b. 15 May 1822, Fauquier Co, VA, d. Columbus, OH

F141 William Henry Francis m. (2nd) 20 July 1826, Muskingum Co, OH to

F141b  Susanna Holmes b 22 Nov, 1806, VA

              Parents: Peter & Elizabeth (Redman) Holmes

             Resided: Muskingum Co, Oh

             William d 1848, Texas, drowned in Mexican War

             Susanna d 2 Apr 1896, bur Mt Sterling, OH


So according to the Francis Family book, William was born about 1798 in Fauquier county Virginia to Joseph and Tabitha /Sabitha (Holmes) Francis. A Transcribed Marriage bonds index of Fauquier county (by John K. Gott) shows a Wm. Francis and Delilah Dennison original bond dated Sept. 8, 1821 and the date of marriage ….  .. 1822.

Not much for pinning down a marriage date here.

Madeleine found in an 1820 Deed  (recorded 6/22/1820) for 250 acres in Muskingum Co. Ohio being sold by a Joseph Evans and his wife Mary to a William Francis of Muskingum.

The 1840 census for Mt. Sterling , Ohio does not list family members by name, Just head of household but we can determine from the age grouping and known information of William and Susannah’s children who was at home in this census.

1840 US Census Mt. Sterling, Muskingum Co., Ohio

1840 US Census
Mt. Sterling, Muskingum Co., Ohio

The Males (ages) <5 = 1 (Peter Gilmore), 10<15 = 2 ( George Washington and Simon Henry), 30<40 = 1 (William Henry).

The Females (ages) <5 = 1 ( Mary Isabella), 5<10 = 2 ( Margaret Elizabeth and Laleth Ann), 10<15=1 (Sabitha Ann), 30<40 =1 (Susannah).

The 1850 US Census and later, shows Susannah as a widow. The information that William Henry died in 1848 is presumed correct. While we can find Susannah (Holmes) Francis on a “Findagrave” we are unable to find any documentation of a grave for William Francis in Muskingum county Ohio.

Records needed-

  1. original Marriage bond for William and Delilah in Fauquier Co. Virginia.
  2. Death of Delilah Dennison Francis in VA?
  3. Marriage record of Susannah (Holmes) and William H. Francis in Muskingum county Ohio.
  4. War records for William H. Francis – Mexican War 1846-1848.

While looking for Mexican War records for William H. Francis the following Index card has been found.

General Index card from Family Search United States Mexican War Service Records 1846-1848

General Index card
from FamilySearch.org
United States Mexican War Service Records 1846-1848

There were no records in this file for a William Francis from Ohio. Also in searching on Ohio’s list of Volunteers for the Mexican War there were no William Francis’ found. Any help on researching William Henry Francis and his demise would be greatly appreciated



52 Ancestors- Our routes to the Gold Fields

During the “Gold Rush” we had two different family lines make the great migration to California. Joseph Putnam left Cambridge Massachusetts and traveled the sea route  down the eastern seaboard past Cuba, into the gulf arriving in Chagris, Panama and making the journey across the isthmus and up the west coast to California. Once in San Francisco he bought a row boat and rowed up the delta to the Molkaleme river to what would become his mining claim. The other was George Washington Francis who left Zanesville, Ohio and traveled overland to the mining town of Hangtown (Placerville).

Just getting to the expected riches in the California foothills must have felt like traveling halfway around the world. If you had money and were in a hurry to get a prime mining site what route would you have chosen?

Painting by A.D.O. Browere Crocker Art Museum, Saramento "Crossing the Isthmus about 1860

Painting by A.D.O. Browere
Crocker Art Museum, Saramento
“Crossing the Isthmus about 1860



Routes to California 1849

Routes to California 1849

In the early 1850’s a trek across the isthmus of Panama was the preferred route for settlers headed to California from the Boston Area. The trip around the horn would have been 15,687 miles and taken an average of 6-9 months on a whaler. The trip that utilized the trek across the isthmus of Panama was about 6,000 miles and would have taken approximately four months utilizing a ship out off Boston or New York,  mules and carts across the isthmus to Panama City, and then a ship from Panama City up to San Francisco. To have traveled the shortest route in miles would have been overland approx. 3,000 miles, from Massachusetts or Ohio to Council Bluffs Iowa then 6 to 9 months by wagon train to San Francisco.

Apparently one had the money for the sea route while the other was taking the cheapest route.

from a Journal written and illustrated by Alexander Van Valen http://americanhistory.si.edu/onthewater/exhipition/2_4.html

from a Journal written and illustrated by Alexander Van Valen









52 Ancestors – Heirloom ~ George Washington Francis

Family treasures have always been important to me. I have a beautiful oil painting that my grandmothers sister Aunt May Bush painted that hangs in a prominate spot in my living room. I have lots of hand painted china that she also did and then I have my grandmothers silver and many of her cut glass pieces. Most of these pieces I have previously featured here on my blog and they came to me through my mother. One item that I have not featured previously is one my sister holds, it’s the Francis treasure. This family heirloom is now 105 years old.

Francis Cup photo by mmelo

Francis Cup
photo by mmelo

This is what is referred to as the Francis Cup. George Washington Francis my 2x great paternal grandfather married Clementine Jane Shipp on 2 Sept 1860 and in 1910 they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  At the time George W. (80) and Clementine (65) Francis were living with their daughter Kate (26) and her husband Frank (32) Weatherman  and their two children George W.(5) and Eva May (2) Weatherman.

1910 US Census Visalia County Road

1910 US Census
Visalia County Road

They must have had a large party to celebrate and this was what the Gilmore Francis Family gave them to commemorate the occasion. It is engraved with:

Pres. by

G.C. Francis & Family


Father & Mother


George and Clementine had 8 children. In 1910 they had four of their children still living and had 10 great grandchildren. Clementine was about 15 when she married George, who was twice her age. I had often heard my grandmother talk about her family coming to California by wagon train. George and Clementine met and were married in California. George had been Born in Ohio and,

With ox teams, wagons, and a party of emigrants, George W. Francis crossed the plains to California in 1853, and after a journey of five months and thirteen days he arrived at Hangtown, where he began mining. A few years later, in 1856, he went to the mines of Mariposa county. ¹

By 1859 he settled a cattle ranch near Visalia California.  He was a stockman most of his adult life.

Tulare County Land Map

Tulare County Land Map – 1892

This map shows several parcels that are owned by G.W. Francis in 1892. I searched the Tulare county assessor maps and found the three parcels are in the Woodlake area. Two of the parcels are in the Elderwood area and the third is in the area of Ivanhoe. This area is east of Visalia, California.

When the compulsory fence law was passed George moved his cattle to San Luis Obispo county while maintaining his residence near Visalia. George W. Francis died 11 February 1914 and his wife Clementine died 14 years later on 30 June 1928.


1. History of the state of California and biographical record of the San Joaquin Valley, California. An historical story of the state’s marvelous growth from its earliest settlement to the present time.
Prof. James Miller Guinn , A. M.
The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago 1905.

Thomas B. Shipp – Missing in Kingman

The Challenge that Amy Johnson Crow issued for this week 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was “Close to Home”. I could not decide. Recently we moved, again, and while I feel at home here. It is not what I think of when I think of “Home”, that would be Visalia California. That was were I was born and where two prior generations of Putnam’s lived most of their lives. Since then and with my husband we have had lots of homes. The place we lived the longest was in Arizona. It was were I started this genealogy quest and where I learned many of the basics at the local family history library. I had visited the local cemetery there and never realized that I had a paternal ancestor that had also lived in that same small town in northern Arizona.
So this week I thought I would tell about Thomas B. Shipp who also lived  in Kingman, Arizona.

Thomas B. Shipp was born in 1850 to George F. and Elizabeth C. (Vaughn) Shipp in Jackson County Louisiana. The third of eight children His older sister Clemintine (Carroline) Jane was my paternal 2x great grandmother.

1850 US Census Jackson County Louisiana

1850 US Census
Jackson County

In the 1850 census (above) we see that Jackson is 6 months old. This census was taken on the 7th of November. Therefore Thomas was born in either  April or May.

1860 US census Tulare County California

1860 US census
Tulare County

In the 1860 census we find the Shipp family has left Louisiana and now reside in California.

While the census states that Thomas is 9, it also say that he was born in California. This census was taken the 12th of July 1860. Possibly the Shipp family left Louisiana soon after the 1850 census was taken. We also see from this census that Thomas and his older sisters are all attending school. George the father is a Farmer with real estate valuing $3000 and  personal estate valuing $3000. For that period he appears to be financially comfortable. This census also shows Thomas with 6 brothers and sisters.

In the 1870 US census the family is shown in San Luis Obispo county.

1870 US census Santa Rosa township, San Luis Obispo county California

1870 US census
Santa Rosa township, San Luis Obispo county

Here we find Thomas 20 years old. George, his father has increased his wealth and is now shown as a Stock Raiser. While Thomas is 20 he is shown “at home”. Just two doors down is a Vaughn family also listed as stock raisers and born in Mississippi. George W. Vaughn (31) and James Vaughn (29) are Elizabeth’s younger brothers.  Also listed below George W. Vaughn is Lavina Vaughn (68) Elizabeth’s mother.

It makes me curious who came to California first, the Shipp’s or the Vaughn’s?

Thomas Shipp next shows up in the 1880 US census in Arizona. In this census for the Big Sandy River, Signal, Mohave, Arizona, Thomas is shown as 30 years old, single, born in Louisiana, both mother and father born in Mississippi. His occupation is listed as stock farmer. The next entry is for a marriage 20 April 1889 in Mohave county, Arizona to a Lucy Ann Goodman. This is recorded in the court house in Kingman. Having been in that court house basement and having seen the record books stacked when I was consulting on a remodel project for this very historic and iconic building in Kingman I wish I knew then that a record for one of my relatives may have just been a few feet away.

Lucy remarries just two years later. What happened to Thomas? Is he buried in the local cemetery that I have visited?  The trail ends in Kingman. Will I ever know?




52 Ancestors – Carrie Batson – Mail Order bride?


This past week Amy Johnson Crow of 52 Ancestors challenged us to write about Love. Well we do have a collateral line named “Loveren” but that’s a stretch. So an ancestor I overlooked in last years 52 Ancestors is Carrie Batson. Carrie is one of my paternal great grandmothers. She is my grandma Gay’s (Etta’s) mother. While I knew her husband, ‘Grampy’ I never knew her.
Carrie (Caroline) was born 17 January 1866 in Mt. Sterling, Ohio to John R. and Sarah (Dick) Batson.

1870 US Census Hopewell Muskingum Ohio

1870 US Census Hopewell Muskingum Ohio


In the 1870 US census (click on image to enlarge) we find a Catherine (3 years old) listed in the John R. Batson (47 years of age) family in Hopewell township, Muskingum county Ohio, a Potter, born in Virginia. Her mother is Sarah J, (40 years) born in Ohio. Also in the household is William L. (18 years) also a Potter born in Ohio, Agnes A. (16) helps mother, born in Ohio, John M. (13)  born in Ohio, Florence R. (11) born in Ohio, and Charles H. (6) born in Ohio. This is probably where I get my love of pottery from. This family is the last entry before the listing for the Village of Mount Sterling.

1880 US Census Hopewell Muskingum Ohio

1880 US Census
Hopewell Muskingum Ohio

In the 1880 US census John R. and Sarah J Batson are again in the Hopewell township in Muskingum county Ohio. John is now 57 and still working as a potter. Here we see that he and both of his parents were born in Virginia. Sarah is now 50 and again shown born in Ohio while both of her parents are listed as being born in New York state. Florence R. their daughter is 20 years old and still at home. Their son Charles is 18, Carrie is 14, and a new younger brother to Carrie is Edgar E. who is 10 years of age.

Marriage Affidavit Gilmore C. Francis and Caroline Batson

Marriage Affidavit
Gilmore C. Francis and
Caroline Batson

Carrie and Gilmore Francis  Wedding Photo

Carrie and Gilmore Francis
Wedding Photo

In 1888 Carrie Batson married Gilmore C. Francis. They marry in Zanesville, Muskingum, Ohio on 30 March by the Justice of the Peace George W. Griffen. Gilmore was born and raised in California. How did he meet, let alone marry Carrie? My sister Madeleine’s theory is that Gilmore was unable to find a wife from those that knew him in California and it’s her idea that through his fathers connections to friends and family still living in Ohio a wife for Gilmore was found. Gilmore was 23 and Carrie was 22 when they married. That is why Madeleine and I refer to Carrie as a possible ‘mail order bride?

Etta Jane Francis their first child is born 26 June 1889 in California. 2 years later Grace is born on 5 April 1891.

1900 US Census Orosi Tulare County CAlifornia

1900 US Census
Orosi Tulare County CAlifornia

The 1900 US census we find Gilmore and Carrie in Tulare county out in Orosi (about 15 miles north of Visalia) California. Gilmore is 37, a farmer renting the home they are living in. Carrie is shown as Sarah C. 34 years of age and having given birth to 2 children both of which are still living. Etta is now 10 and Gracie G. is 8 years of age and they are both in school. Carries father died in 1900.

1910 US census Orosi Tulare Co. CAlifornia

1910 US census
Orosi Tulare Co. CAlifornia

Carrie Batson Francis at the Elliott Ranch date unknown

Carrie Batson Francis at the Elliott Ranch
date unknown

In the 1910 census the family is still living in Orosi. My Grandmother “Gay” talked about growing up on the Elliott Ranch. Hey David, do you know where the Elliott Ranch was? I had thought it was south of Visalia near Elderwood.

By the 1910 Census Carrie’s daughter Etta (my grandma ‘Gay”) had married Ira B. Putnam and moved to his ranch west of Visalia California. So the Family consisted of Gilmore C. now 45 years old Farming on a farm as an employee. Carrie is now 43 and it shows 2 live births and 2 yet living. Carrie and Gil were lucky they did not lose any children early.  Grace is now 19.

In 1915 Carrie’s mother dies in Ohio. So at 49 both of her parents are gone and probably any connections at home in Ohio are limited.

1920 US census Visalia, Tulare County, California

1920 US census
Visalia, Tulare County, California

In 1920 US Census we find that both of Carrie’s daughters are now married. Gracie married Lark Jones in 1912. Gil and Carrie are now living in Visalia.

In 1930 US Census they were not found but they are in the Visalia city Directory in 1934.

US City Directory Visalia California 1934

US City Directory
Visalia California


Carrie dies 12 August 1937 in Visalia.

California Certificate of Death Carrie Batson Francis

California Certificate of Death
Carrie Batson Francis

Gilmore C. "Gil" Francis & Sarah C. "Carrie" (Batson) Francis Visalia Cemetery

Gilmore C. “Gil” Francis & Sarah C. “Carrie” (Batson) Francis
Visalia Cemetery


Carrie is buried in the Visalia Cemetery.

How do you think Gilmore and Carrie met? Was it a love match or an arranged marriage?


52 Ancestors ~ #33 Gilmore C. Francis- gramps

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.

1870 US Census Visalia, Tulare County, California

1870 US Census
Visalia, Tulare County, California


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.

1880 US Census Kaweaha and Mineral King, Tulare County, California

1880 US Census
Kaweaha and Mineral King, Tulare County, California

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.

Carrie Batson and Gilmore C. Francis 30 March 1888

Carrie Batson and Gilmore C. Francis
30 March 1888

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.

1900 US Census Orosi township, Tulare County, California

1900 US Census
Orosi township, Tulare County, California


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.

1910 US Census Orosi Township, Tulare County, California

1910 US Census
Orosi Township, Tulare County, 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 US census Visalia, Tulare County, California

1920 US census
Visalia, Tulare County, California


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.

1940 US Census Visalia, Tulare County, California

1940 US Census
Visalia, Tulare County, California


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.

Gilmore C. "Gil" Francis & Sarah C. "Carrie" (Batson) Francis Visalia Cemetery

Gilmore C. “Gil” Francis & Sarah C. “Carrie” (Batson) Francis
Visalia Cemetery

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.

52 Ancestors ~ #24 Etta Jane Francis ~ A Little bit Country.

Do you have relatives that embarrass you? As a teenager I was easily embarrassed by some of my family, but back then I was embarrassed by just about everything, then I decided that instead of allowing myself to be embarrassed by my grandmother (my fathers mother), I would accept her as a unique character. It worked well with my grandmother, however I could not do that with my Dad, guess he was too much in my daily life. After we moved away from the ranch when I was 10, I only saw my grandmother a few times a year. To say she was a little bit country was kinder then my mothers comment that her in-laws were hillbillies.

My Paternal grandmother was Etta Jane Francis. She was born 26 June 1889 in Elderwood, California to Gilmore C. and Caroline (Batson) Francis. Her sister Grace was born two years later on 5 April 1891.

Etta Jane Francis early 1900

Etta Jane Francis
early 1900

In the 1900 US census we find Ettie (10 years old) with the family in Orosi township, Tulare county, California. Her father Gil is renting a farm  and both girls are in school.  Etta only goes to school through the eighth grade. She grows up on a poor dusty ranch/farm in Tulare County.

1900 US Census Orosi, Tulare County, California

1900 US Census
Orosi, Tulare County, California

She meets Ira B. Putnam better known as Ike when she is 15.

Etta Francis and Ira Putnam Elliott Ranch prior to 1910

Etta Francis and Ira Putnam
Elliott Ranch
prior to 1907

On 15 July 1907 they get married.

Ira (Ike)  and Etta Jane Putnam Wedding 15 July 1907

Ira (Ike) and Etta Jane Putnam
Wedding 15 July 1907

In 1910 US census we find Etta and Ike in Visalia living on the county road from Goshen to Tulare , later to become Highway 99. Ike is shown as owning the farm.


1910 US Census Visalia, Tulare County, California

1910 US Census
Visalia, Tulare County, California


On 3 May 1912 Etta and Ike ‘s son is born and they name him Lloyd Fletcher Putnam, using Ira’s fathers middle name of Fletcher.

Two years later  on 10 June 1914 their daughter Gertrude Eunice is born.

Ira, Etta, Lloyd & Eunice

Ira, Etta,
Lloyd & Eunice

In the 1920 US census we find the family in the Linwood Precinct, of Visalia, Tulare county.

1920 US Census Visalia, Tulare County California

1920 US Census
Visalia, Tulare County California

Both their families had pioneered the Three Rivers and Visalia area. In the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s the families still took cattle up to the meadows near Three Rivers for summer grazing. They would also all go hunting and fishing. I have lots of old snap shots of the Mineral King and Sequoia areas that they frequented.  This snap is not so clear but it does show how Etta would dress during that era.

Etta Jane Francis

Etta Jane Francis


Ike and Etta continue living on the ranch and raised their two children. They were not getting rich but they were able to send their son to the Ag. School at Davis California for two years and their daughter to a beauty school in Fresno. That’s a lot more education then Etta herself was allowed.


Ike and Gay   1940's

Ike and Gay

After an extensive back and forth to the doctors in Santa Barbara,  Etta lost her husband Ike to cancer, 19 April 1948.

While I have no memory of Grandpa Ike, I have lots of memories of our grandmother. When my oldest sister was a toddler she had trouble saying grandma and some how it became gay. From then on Etta Jane to her family members was ‘Gay’. When we were sick and mom was working Gay was the one who stayed with us. She just lived down the lane and we were often running in and out of her home. I remember the “buster brown” shoes she bought me at Gottschalks in Visalia in the early 50’s. I hated those shoes but I still had to wear them. She would take us to the Drive-in theater, there was a playground up front under the big screen for children to play in before the movie started. I was pretty young when  I tried to find my way back to the car one evening and got lost. I was starting to panic when she came after me, I was so glad to see her. Going to the feed store with Gay was a real treat because she always stopped at the Visalia A&W for a root beer on the way home.

Etta belonged to the Visalia Garden Club. She loved her roses. While she did not have a large garden she loved those rose bushes and I can see her standing there with her hose watering those flowers. Unlike her sister-in law Lena, Gay always wore a dress, to be more specific it was a “house dress” and more often then not she had an apron on over it. She used that apron for everything. She shooed away the dog out of the yard by flapping it, carried eggs wrapped in the hem, wiped our face with the corner or found tissue in one of the pockets for our runny noses.  It was Gays old car that I fell out of twice. Once in the driveway and once when she was turning onto one of the streets in Visalia. No worries I was never hurt but it cured me of leaning on the car door, even if it took me two times to learn, no car seats back then. I still can see her in our yard in Placerville yelling at the top of her lungs for me to get home.
Gay was an artesian in her own way. She crocheted. She was never idle. She could not read the pattern directions but she would look at the picture and could duplicate the pattern precisely. I hate to throw away those pillow cases that have her beautifully crocheted edges. She crocheted the outfits for all our story book dolls She had a small porcelain high heel slipper that she used as a pattern to make crochet slippers from, then she would soak them in sugar water and let them dry stiff  on the form then carefully remove them from the porcelain piece and set them on her tables for decoration. I thought they were lovely. Of course she also made lots of doilies, bedspreads and tablecloths.

Table Cloth about 1960 by Etta Jane (Francis) Putnam

Table Cloth about 1960
by Etta Jane (Francis) Putnam


I was very lucky to have my grandmother in my life for so long. She died 3 March 1982 in Visalia, California and is buried in the Visalia Cemetery where so many of her family members are also buried.

Etta Jane (Francis) Putnam

Etta Jane (Francis) Putnam



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