Monday, February 25, 2013

Mouser: A Branch of the Family in Hempstead County Arkansas

In March of 1988 I traveled with my parents and my two young daughters to the area around Hope Arkansas to do a little family history sleuthing.  We were in search of my Dad’s Smith, Jones, and Mouser families.  That was almost twenty-five years ago, and my memories of that trip are a bit dim.  But fortunately, I have a few photographs and notes to jog my memory.  This blog post reflects on several discoveries we made related to our Mouser family during, and as a result of that trip.

The town of Hope is in the southwest corner of Arkansas, in the county of Hempstead.  Between 1825 and 1830 my paternal 4xgreat-grandfather, George Mouser, bought property and established his family at Rocky Mound, about four miles east of Hope.  One of the highlights of our Arkansas trip was meeting Roy and LaVeta Mouser.  Their gracious hospitality led us to the Mouser Memorial Cemetery (aka Rocky Mound Cemetery), and the old Mouser homestead.  They also introduced us to LaFrona Foshee Mouser’s book, “A Genealogy of the Mouser Ancestry, Including the Best and other families.”  This excellent resource, published in 1978, opened up a wealth of information about our Mouser ancestry. 

During our 1988 visit we viewed and photographed the old George Mouser Homestead from the road.  Family tradition suggests that this was the home built by George Mouser in the 1820’s, where he lived with his wife Phoebe Best Mouser and their thirteen children.  This early construction date has been questioned.  In her 1978 genealogy, LaFrona Mouser states, “This cabin still has two rooms and a hallway still standing with 14 inch wall.  It was sold by Isaac Mouser, Sr in 1907 and was the first time it passed out of Mouser hands for over eighty years.”  Roy Mouser (of Roy and LaVeta mentioned above) made a model of the George Mouser Homestead.  It was displayed at several Mouser Family Reunions in Hope Arkansas in the 1970s. 

Near the Mouser homestead we also photographed Mouser Memorial Cemetery (aka Rocky Mound Cemetery).  None of our direct Mouser family line is buried there, but family tradition indicates that George Mouser and his wife Phoebe Best Mouser are buried almost across the street in the totally overgrown Madison D Hall Cemetery.
As previously mentioned, George Mouser and Phoebe Best had thirteen children.  My family descends from their daughter Phoebe Mouser, who was born in 1834, and married to James Jones of neighboring Lafayette county Arkansas in 1850.  You can read about the Jones Family in my upcoming blog posting titled, Meet the Joneses.   For more details on George Mouser and Phoebe Best, visit their individual pages at Family Stories,

Moving back in time:  Edith W Tanner 1902 (wife of Robert Hutchison) >Mary Lula Smith 1879 >Eliza Alice Jones 1859 >Phoebe Mouser 1834 >George Mouser abt 1800 (married Phoebe Best)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thankful Thursday: Annie Lorinda Mundie, a Rich Resource of Clarkson Family History

Annie Lorinda Mundie (Munday) was born 27 April 1881, daughter of Richard Arnold Mundie and Kate Conway Clarkson.  She is my second cousin, three times removed.  Her parents were married in December 1878, and they resided in Baltimore Maryland during the early years of their marriage.  But, sometime before 1900 the Mundie family returned to live near their ancestral home in Essex county Virginia.  Annie Mundie had an older brother Julian Conway Mundie who appears as an infant in the 1880 census.  It is believed that he died young, leaving Annie Lorinda Mundie as the only living child of her parents. 

We do not have details of Annie Mundie's childhood.  The 1940 census indicates that she completed an education through grade six.  She may have suffered with health issues through her life.  A letter between her cousin RA Clarkson and his son SE Clarkson in March of 1906, makes this mention,

I found a nice letter awaiting me from sister Kate [Kate Clarkson Mundie]. She invites us to make her another visit this summer. Richard’s [Richard Mundie] health was very poor during past winter – but better now. Annie [Annie Mundie] still quite deaf, with no prospect of getting better. She had been helping her father in his grocery store.

From this snippet, written when Annie Mundie was about age twenty-five, we learn that her father, Richard Mundie operated a grocery store.  This was probably in the community of Tappahonnock in Essex county Virginia.  Richard Mundie died sometime between this 1906 letter and the 1920 census, when Annie L Mundie, age thirty-eight, appears in the home of her widowed mother in Albemarle county Virginia (City of Charlottesville).   It is not known how Kate Clarkson Mundie and her daughter Annie supported themselves after Richard Mundie's death, but there is clear evidence that my Clarkson ancestors provided generous bequests, and a regular stipend through the years.  This was evidence of the great affection held by my great, great-grandfather, Richard Albert Clarkson, for his cousin, who he always called “Sister Kate”. 

Kate Clarkson Mundie died in Charlottesville Virginia in 1931.  Her obituary mentions the care she gave her “invalid” daughter Annie.  Beyond deafness, the nature of Annie Mundie's illness is not known.  After her mother's death she managed to care for herself.  The 1940 census shows her as a resident of the Martha Jefferson Sanatorium, also named as “The Old Ladies Home”, in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

In the 1950's she maintained a correspondence with my grandfather, Albert Clarkson.  Two surviving letters, written by Annie Mundie in 1954 and 1956, provided a wealth of information on my Clarkson ancestors.  When Arnold Motley, Clerk of Essex County Virginia, compiled his ClarksonFamily Research (probably in the 1950's or 60's), Annie supplied much of the data he included in his report. Obviously she listened (despite deafness) to the Family Stories, recorded them in her memory, and willingly shared them with others who wanted to hear.  I will be forever grateful!  

For more details on Annie Lorinda Mundie, visit her page at Family Stories,  If you would enjoy reading her letters, full of wonderful family history, they are included in the pdf document titled, Clarkson Family Letters, available in the Features Archive at Family Stories,  See pages 5 – 7 of the Clarkson Family Letters.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dalbey Radio Broadcast, 1942

Carl Shepherd Dalbey (junior) was born 22 October 1922, son of Carl S Dalbey (senior) and Henrietta Clarkson Boyd.  During WW II he served in the Merchant Marines as a radio operator.  During his sixteen months of service he met with incredible hardship.  In October of 1942 his mother had the opportunity to send him birthday greetings via the Fred Waring radio broadcast from New York City.  Five months later, 29 March 1943, Carl Dalbey was killed in action when his ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic.  The article below appeared in The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 18 October 1942.  The format has been slightly edited.

Voice of City Woman Going Over Radio to Her Son at Sea

Without a doubt, Mrs Carl Dalbey sr, 900 Northwest Forty-second street, was the busiest woman in Oklahoma City Saturday, and one of the happiest in the world. She was preparing her wardrobe for an expense paid trip to New York.  That's a good enough deal on its own to make any woman happy. But, Thursday night, she is going to appear on a coast-to-coast hookup and talk to her son, Carl Dalbey jr, who will be on the high seas as a member of Uncle Sam's merchant marines. Thursday will be his twenty-first birthday anniversary, and she hopes to goodness that he's listening.  The broadcast by Fred Waring and his orchestra will be dedicated to Mrs Dalbey's son.

The whole thing has happened so fast that it has taken her breath away.  Carl was home to recuperate after he spent 32 days in an open lifeboat after his ship was torpedoed in the Caribbean. It took seven weeks for him to regain his strength.  During the summer nights he and his mother and father frequently listened to the Waring broadcasts.  It became one of their favorites.

Several weeks ago Carl went back to the east coast to get a job on a boat and head for the open seas.  Mrs Dalbey heard Waring's orchestra play his new March of the Merchant Marine. She wrote him a letter, asking him to play that song for her son Thursday, on his twenty-first birthday, and figured she would hear no more about it. One day she got a letter, saying that Waring would change his program to include it, and would send a recording of the program to her son.  The same day Gayle Grubb, manager of radio station WKY, wanted to know if she would like to go to New York to appear on the Waring broadcast, expenses paid. With Grubb handling arrangements for Waring, the trip was arranged.  She will leave at 1:10pm Tuesday on the Santa Fe. Mrs Dalbey is getting an additional kick out of the situation.  Her son knows the Thursday program will be dedicated to him and he's sure to be listening if he possibly can.  What he doesn't know is that his mother will be on the broadcast.

The boy, graduate of Central highschool here and the Oklahoma A and M college, was a radio announcer before he joined the merchant marine.  His ship was torpedoed on his first foreign trip. He was one of a group which landed on an uninhabited Caribbean island and faced the prospect of dying of thirst. However, he and others noticed some wild jackasses on the island, and tracked them to their watering hole.  Later they were rescued and brought back to the United States.

Mrs Dalbey's husband is not going to New York. "No, he isn't going, poor man, but he had a trip to California not long ago."  Father Dalbey will have his car glued to the radio Thursday.  The program will be broadcast by WKY at 6pm.

Carl Dalbey (junior) is my second cousin, once removed.  You can learn more about the Dalbey Family by visiting their page at Family Stories,  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hutchison: From Ayrshire to America

According to the 1920 census of Coal county Oklahoma, my great-grandfather Robert Hutchison, became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1880.  We don’t know much about his immigration experience; no departure point, ship name, port of entry.  We don’t know who met him when he arrived, where he first laid his head, or how he traveled west.  But, we do know that he was living in Rich Hill, Bates county Missouri by 1883.  The evidence we have gathered suggests that he immigrated as a young man alone; no immediate family members came with him from his home in Ayrshire Scotland.  Perhaps he traveled with friends, or cousins with names we fail to recognize.  His immigration story would be an interesting research project.

We do know that Robert Hutchison was born in 1858 in Springside, Ayrshire Scotland.  His father was John Hutchison, a coal miner, and his mother was Jane Faulds.  In May 1869, when Robert was eleven years old his father was killed in a mining accident.  Young Robert Hutchison, being the oldest son, was called upon to support his widowed mother and four younger siblings.  The years following John Hutchison’s death must have been a struggle for the family.  In 1872 Robert’s little brother, George Hutchison age four, died from the injuries of a fall.  Then two years later, in 1874, his fourteen year old brother, John Hutchison died.  John’s death record tells us that he had been ill for a year and was away from home at the time of his death.  He was attended by his brother Robert Hutchison, who was then sixteen years old. 

We get a clue to the family’s continuing difficulties from the Ayrshire Poor Relief Records of 1875:

Jane Faulds or Hutchieson; Record No. 129; Applied on 9 July 1875 at 9 am; Residence No. 2 Springside Square;  born Stewarton, Scotland;  a widow aged 39;  religion protestant.  Dependants:  Margaret 12 yr 1 m,  Jeanie 10 yr 4 m.  This case is well known to the Board.   Her son Robert has been unable to work for 2 mth; One previous application on 6 May 1869; Relieved 4/-;  Admitted to the Roll; No. 116 on the Register.

We don’t know why Robert Hutchison had been unable to work for two months, but illness or injury would seem likely causes.  A few weeks after the poor relief application was submitted, Jane Faulds Hutchison was married for a second time.  Her new husband was William Bird, a coal miner in the Springside community.  Jane was about forty years old when she married again, and her oldest son Robert Hutchison was seventeen.  She went on to have three more children with William Bird.

Robert Hutchison age 22 appears in the 1881 census of Ayrshire Scotland, residing in the home of his mother and step-father.  This calls into question his 1880 naturalization in the United States.  It seems likely that he immigrated in 1881 or 1882.  The few details we have of Robert Hutchison’s early life might hint at a young man’s desire to try his hand in a place with new possibilities.  Shortly after his arrival in America he married my great-grandmother, Isabel Wilson, who also hailed from Ayrshire.  They had eight children together, four of whom lived to adulthood.  Having grown up in the coal mining area of Scotland, it must have been natural for Robert to continue that occupation in Missouri, and then in Oklahoma. 

For more details on Robert Hutchison, visit his page at FamilyStories,  There you will also find an article, Robert Hutchison: A Name Long Treasured.   This article gives stories of four generations of men sharing this family name.

Photo:  The photograph accompanying this article is a family treasure.  The young man stretched out in front with an open book is Robert Hutchison.  Family tradition suggests that this is a group of four friends (three names unknown), and that the photo was taken in Scotland just before Robert Hutchison’s immigration to the United States.

Monday, February 4, 2013

1908: Clarkson 40th Wedding Anniversary

In September of 1908, most of the Clarkson family gathered in Fort Smith, Arkansas for a family reunion honoring the fortieth wedding anniversary of Richard Albert Clarkson and Elizabeth Jane Robinson, a remembrance of the marriage that took place on the 3rd of September 1868 in Washington county Missouri.  A “now treasured” family photograph was taken on that occasion.  This lovely recounting of the event was found, as a newspaper clipping, in the Clarkson family Bible.  The date “Sept 3rd 1908” was handprinted on the clipping.

Mr and Mrs RA Clarkson were given a most pleasant surprise on Wednesday, the occasion being a surprise family reunion in celebration of their 40th anniversary.  Early in the morning, unconscious of what the day would bring forth, Mrs Clarkson accompanied by her two grandchildren, Miss Elizabeth and Henryetta Boyd, of Oklahoma City, who have been visiting at the Clarkson home for a number of weeks, and Miss Etta Clarkson, went to Mt Vista to spend the day.  During their absence, Mrs Walter Boyd, Mrs WH Vick, Edwin Clarkson and little son, of Oklahoma City, arrived as a surprise to celebrate the anniversary of the marriage of their parents.  Mr Clarkson was soon let into the secret and upon the arrival of Mrs Clarkson and daughter at Electric park, returning from their day’s outing, they were most happily greeted by the rest of the family.  To complete the pleasant surprise a most sumptuous dinner had been prepared by the visiting members, and amid many congratulations and good wishes the day passed, making it one of great pleasure and thorough enjoyment.

Who’s in the photograph?

For more details on the Richard Albert Clarkson and Elizabeth Jane Robinson Family, visit their page at Family Stories,  Richard Albert Clarkson and Elizabeth Jane Robinson are my great, great grandparents.
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