Covering genealogy, family history, historical events and places, and anything else related!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Haunted Houses

For Halloween, I thought it would be interesting to share haunted house stories from over the years.

Nashville Union and American, 30 January 1875, page 4. Available from Chronicling America.

Cairo Bulletin, vol. 12 no. 219, 12 March 1881, page 4. Available from Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections.

Ottawa Free Trader, vol. 47 no. 2, 1 August 1885, page 8. Available from Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections.

Urbana Daily Courier, 17 September 1908, page 5. Available from Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections.

Ringwood Manor, located about half an hour away from me in Ringwood State Park, Ringwood, New Jersey, is supposedly haunted. More information is available at, Ghosts of Ringwood Manor, and Haunted Ringwood Manor?

Ringwood Manor, 18 September 2005. Photo by Mwanner [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Familien-Stammbüchelchen, Carl Joseph Schneider & Christina Nagel

My aunt Joan has the Familien-Stammbüchelchen (Family Pedigree) which records the births of the children of my 2nd-great-grandparents Carl Joseph Schneider and Christina Nagel. All their children were born in in Remagen, Ahrweiler, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. Only their first three children are listed: my great-grandfather Johann (John), born 6 December 1878; Johann Wilhelm, born 5 July 1882, died 17 August 1882; and Johann Wilhelm, born 8 December 1883.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

National Cat Day

October 29 is National Cat Day. It is a day to celebrate the cats in our lives, and to encourage the adoption of cats that need to be rescued. Pet & family lifestyle expert Colleen Paige founded National Cat Day in 2005.

My five cats are pictured below. In back are my dilute tortoiseshell littermates Melody, Luna, and Harmony. In front are my tuxedo kitten Flash (my only male) and my black cat Jewel. So far this is the only picture I have of all five of them together.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Statue of Liberty Dedicated

On 28 October 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated. The statue was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. It was a gift of friendship to the United States from the people of France. In 1865, French law professor and politician Édouard René de Laboulaye stated that any monument to American independence should be a joint project of the United States and France, and in1875, proposed that the French finance the statue and that the United States build the pedestal and provide the site. Bartholdi was inspired by Laboulaye's words. The torch was the first part constructed; it was completed in 1876.

The statue represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. The date of the Declaration of Independence is inscribed on the tablet held by the statue.

A parade was held in New York City the morning of the dedication. A nautical parade was held at 12:45 PM, and the dedication followed. President Grover Cleveland presided over the dedication. French diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps and Senator William M. Evarts, and Chauncey Depew also spoke at the dedication.

Liberty Island is in New York territory, but is on the New Jersey side of the state line. The statue has welcomed millions of immigrants to the United States since 1886.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Mappy Monday: Collective Municipalities of Cochem-Zell, Germany

Verbandsgemeinden (collective municipalities) in Landkreis Cochem-Zell, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. Map by Hagar66 [GFDL (, CC-BY-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (, CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (, CC0, Public domain, FAL or Attribution]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

This map shows the collective municipalities (Verbandsgemeinden) in the Cochem-Zell district of Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. One of the communities in Verbandsgemeinde Kaisersesch is Düngenheim. My 4th-great-grandfather Nikolaus Schneider was from Düngenheim.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mother-in-Law Day

According to House Joint Resolution 331, passed in 1981, the fourth Sunday in October is Mother-in-Law Day. In honor of the day, I am posting a photo of my father and his mother-in-law, my maternal grandmother Margaret (Schneider) Boe.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

George Washington Bridge Opens

George Washington Bridge, 1931. Photo by Irving Underhill. From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York.

On 25 October 1931 at 5:00 AM, the George Washington Bridge opened to traffic. That day, 56,312 cars and 100,000 pedestrians crossed the bridge. There were long lines of traffic on both the New York and New Jersey sides of the bridge, but no major accidents.

A dedication ceremony had taken place the previous day, and the bridge was open to pedestrians from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM.

The bridge was a project of the Port of New York Authority. Othmar Ammann was the chief engineer, and Cass Gilbert was the architect. Construction began in October 1927. The bridge's towers were originally going to be encased in concrete, with granite facing, but as a cost-saving measure, the steel towers remained exposed indefinitely and became accepted by the public.

 When the bridge opened, the toll for cars was 50 cents. A motor bus company took passengers from Fort Lee, New Jersey to the 181st Street subway station for 5 cents. The toll for pedestrians was 10 cents, but it was later reduced to 5 cents, and it was discontinued on 30 May 1940. More than 5.5 million vehicles traveled across the bridge in 1932.

Initially, there were six lanes of traffic on the bridge. Two more lanes were added to the bridge in 1946. The lower level of the bridge opened on 29 August 1962.

After the construction of the George Washington Bridge began, the population of Bergen County, New Jersey increased in anticipation of the bridge's opening. Ridgewood, New Jersey expected a population increase, since the opening of the George Washington Bridge would make commuting to New York City easier. In the 1950s, my parents and grandparents moved to Ridgewood, and both of my grandfathers worked in New York City.

"An Astounding Span of Steel and Wire." New York Times 18 October 1931: 119.
ASCE Metropolitan Section - George Washington Bridge
"Bridge Commuters Pay 5-Cent Fare." New York Times 25 October 1931: RE1.
"Dedication Today for Hudson Bridge." New York Times 24 October 1931: 19.
"56,312 Cars Cross Bridge on First Day; Festive Air Reigns." New York Times 26 October 1931: 1.
George Washington Bridge
History - George Washington Bridge - The Port Authority of NY & NJ
"Population Rises in Bergen County." New York Times 25 October 1931: RE1.
"Ridgewood Expects Gain from Bridge." New York Times 25 October 1931: RE2.

Friday, October 24, 2014

52 Ancestors: #43 Mathias Joseph Nagel

Mathias Joseph Nagel, my 2nd-great-grandmother Christina Nagel's older brother, was born on 17 March 1845 in Hürth, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. His name at birth was Mathias Aussem. His parents, my 3rd-great-grandparents Johann Nagel and Anna Maria Aussem, did not marry until 31 August 1848. It was necessary to obtain permission to marry. At the time of his birth, Anna Maria was a widow. She had a son, Peter Esser, from her marriage to Wilhelm Esser. Perhaps Johann was not seen as being capable of financially supporting a wife, stepson, and new baby at that time. 

Mathias immigrated to the United States, and he married Mary Hill on 20 June 1873 in St. Louis, Missouri. When they married, he became a stepfather to Mary's daughter Martha, from her previous marriage to Josiah Howard. After their marriage, Mathias and Mary took a trip to Germany, probably to visit his family.  When they returned, they sailed from Bremen, Germany to New York on the Weser, and arrived on 11 August 1873. The couple lived in Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri, and had three children together: John (born 5 March 1875), Sarah (born 11 January 1877), and Mathias (born 15 October 1878). 

Mathias worked as a landscape gardener; his father had also been a gardener. By 1875, he had a nursery business at the corner of Madison and Dunklin Streets in Jefferson City, Missouri. When the Missouri governor's mansion in Jefferson City was remodeled in 1887, he laid out the grounds. According to the September 1887 issue of the Gardeners' Monthly and Horticulturist, he had one of the most beautiful Sago palms west of the Mississippi River.

Mathias sold his nursery to Hugo Busch and Charles Purzner in 1890, and in 1891, for health reasons, he and his family moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. He initially leased property, but then purchased 500 acres of land. In 1892, he decorated the Catholic churches with wreaths and evergreen strings. By 1894, he was shipping caña agria (also called canaigre) to Germany. In 1899, he built a sanitarium on his property, which consisted of three five-room stone houses. Patients came to stay to regain their health.

In 1900, Mathias and his sons struck a quartz ledge with ore containing gold and copper.

In 1914, a two-page article on the Forestry Service which had been written by Mathias was published in the Congressional Record, vol. 51, pages 11517-11518.

Mathias died in Santa Fe on 11 July 1922 and was buried on 15 July 1922 in Rosario Cemetery.

Mathias Aussem birth registration. Hürth (Rheinland). Bürgermeisterei. Zivilstandsregister, 1800-1875. Geburten 1833-1845. International Film 1237622. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978, 1979, 1981.

Mathias Nagel and Mary Hill marriage record, St. Louis, Missouri, 20 June 1873. Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2007. Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.

New Mexican, 6 June 1891

New Mexican, 17 December 1892

New Mexican, 7 March 1894

New Mexican, 31 August 1899

New Mexican, 30 April 1900

American Forestry, vol. 20, 1914. Available from Google Books.

Mathias Nagel family, about 1910. I think my great-great-grandmother Christina (Nagel) Schneider, sister of Mathias, is also in this picture.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Remagen Notgeld

Notgeld (emergency money) is money that is issued during a time of economic crisis by an institution that is not officially sanctioned by the central government. It may be issued by municipalities or banks. During World War I and the period between World Wars I and II, it was produced in Germany and Austria. As a result of inflation after World War I began, the value of the material coins were made from was higher than the value of their denominations, and metal was needed to produce materials for the war. Coins were hoarded by many institutions. Because there was a shortage of coins, notes in small denominations were issued. The first German Notgeld was produced on 31 July 1914 and was issued by Bürgerliches Brauhaus GmbH, Bremen. 5,500 varieties of Notgeld, from 452 different places, were produced that year. The number of varieties subsequently increased. The largest number of varieties was produced in 1923: 70,000 varieties of inflationary notes from 5,849 places. Additional statistics are available on the Issues: German page of and the Chicago Coin Club's Notgeld Web page.

My aunt Joan has the 25 pfennig note from Remagen, Germany pictured above; I have a scanned copy of it. According to the Remagen Stadt Set 1 page on the German Notgeld Web site, it was produced in 1921. My Schneider ancestors left Remagen in 1892. I know that my great-great-grandfather Carl Joseph Schneider returned to Remagen for a visit in 1900, but I do not know if anyone from the family ever visited at a later date. I am not sure if this note was obtained on a later visit, if it was sent by a relative or friend, or if it was purchased at a later date. Many people collect Notgeld.

German Notgeld
German Notgeld: Remagen Stadt Set 1
Notgeld (Chicago Coin Club) Issues (German)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pretty Boy Floyd Killed by FBI Agents

On 22 October 1934, bank robber Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd was shot and killed. Four FBI agents led by Melvin Purvis and four East Liverpool, Ohio police officers led by Chief of Police Hugh McDermott pursued him, and he was shot in a cornfield behind a house on Sprucevale Road, near Clarkson, Ohio.

Pretty Boy Floyd committed more than thirty bank robberies in the Midwest, mostly in Ohio and Oklahoma. When he robbed the banks, he would also destroy mortgage documents. On 9 April 1932, he shot and killed Erv Kelley, a bounty hunter and former sheriff of McIntosh County, Oklahoma. He and Adam Richetti were suspects in the Kansas City Massacre, a shootout which resulted in the death of four police officers and a prisoner. However, it is possible that he was not actually involved. He was named "Public Enemy No. 1" on 23 July 1934.

Charles Arthur Floyd married Ruby Hardgraves in 1924. The couple had a son, Charles Dempsey Floyd (also known as Jack Dempsey Floyd). Ruby and I are both descendants of Francis Hardgrave and Sarah Greer. We are fifth cousins twice removed.

State of Ohio, Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics. Certificate of Death, no. 58753, 22 October 1934, Charles A. Floyd. Available from Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,

Ruby (Hardgraves) and Charles Arthur Floyd. Photo available from Pretty Boy Floyd: Picture Gallery.

Floyd, Charles Arthur (1904-1934)
FBI — Kansas City Massacre - Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd
Pretty Boy Floyd

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Anna (Gersbacher) Taschner

Anna Maria "Ann" Gersbacher was born in St. Louis, Missouri on 25 August 1886. She was the daughter of my 2nd-great-grandparents John Gersbacher and Kunigunde Dreier. She was their first American-born child, and their only American-born child to survive to adulthood. She married Fredrick Taschner on 19 May 1934. Ann died in St. Louis on 2 March 1978 and was buried on 6 March 1978 in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery, section 010K, lot 0024E. Her gravestone may have been purchased and placed at the same time as her husband's; the two stones have the same design. Her death date was never inscribed, but the Archdiocese of St. Louis' burial search database shows that she is buried in the grave. My maternal grandmother, her niece, flew from New Jersey to St. Louis to make her funeral arrangements.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mappy Monday: Hürth, Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

Map of Kreis Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, showing the location of the town of Hürth. By TUBS [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

This map shows the location of Hürth in Rhein-Erft, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Hürth includes the communities of Hermülheim and Kendenich, where my Nagel and Aussem ancestors lived.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cornwallis' Surrender at Yorktown

On 19 October 1781, General Charles Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, and the American Revolution ended.

On 19 August 1781, the Continental Army, led by Generals George Washington and Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, began their march from Newport, Rhode Island to Yorktown, Virginia. The Siege of Yorktown began on 28 September 1781, when General George Washington led the army from Williamsburg, Virginia and surrounded Yorktown. The French troops were on the left, and the American troops were on the right. They began digging a trench, and when they finished it on October 9 and had moved their artillery up, they began firing at the British. On October 14, they captured the last two British-held redoubts. On October 17, Cornwallis sent a drummer and an officer with a white handkerchief. Firing ceased, and the officer was blindfolded and taken. On October 18, two officers from each side met at the Moore House to discuss surrender terms. On October 19, the Articles of Capitulation were signed. Cornwallis' army marched between lines of allied soldiers (French on the left, Americans on the right) and laid down their arms. General Cornwallis was not present; he sent Brigadier General Charles O'Hara to present the sword of surrender.

Washington records the British surrender at Yorktown. Available from American Treasures of the Library of Congress.

Freeman's Journal, 24 October 1781. Available from The Vault, 3 July 2013.
Leicester & Nottingham Journal, 22 December 1781. Available from Timothy Hughes Rare & Early Newspapers.

Siege of Yorktown Map, October 6-20, 1781. By U. S. Military Academy (United States Army) [Public domain]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Moore House in Yorktown, Virginia, where the British surrendered at the end of the American Revolutionary War. Photo by Aude, CC-BY-2.5 ( Available from Wikimedia Commons.

Articles of Capitulation
The British Surrender/Surrender Field
Cornwallis Surrenders at Yorktown
History of the Siege - Yorktown Battlefield, Part of Colonial National Historical Park
Siege of Yorktown
Surrender at Yorktown: October 19, 1781
Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route 
Yorktown Campaign
Yorktown Order of Battle

Saturday, October 18, 2014

52 Ancestors: #42 John Schneider

My great-grandfather John Schneider was born Johann Schneider on 6 December 1878 in Remagen, Ahrweiler, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. He was the first child of Carl Joseph Schneider and Christina Nagel.

In 1892, according to a family photo, he received the sacrament of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church. The family attended St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Remagen. That same year, he left Remagen with his parents and siblings, and the family settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where his uncle was living. In St. Louis, the family attended a different Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. By 1895, John was working as a tailor like his father. The entire family became citizens of the United States on 18 February 1898 when John's father naturalized.

On 23 July 1902, John married Paulina Gersbacher at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in St. Louis. On 20 April 1903, their daughter Christina Maria was born, and on 2 June 1905, their son Carl Joseph was born. Christina died of meningitis on 27 April 1909. Their daughter Margaret Ann (my maternal grandmother) was born on 16 March 1911, and their daughter Paula Christina was born on 27 January 1913. He bought a home at 2024 Russell Boulevard, St. Louis.

By 1918, John was working as a manager for Modern Woodmen of America. In 1921, he graduated from City College of Law and Finance in St. Louis with a degree in law. After his graduation, he began working as a lawyer.

John hated Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal. He refused to take a Roosevelt dime; when receiving change, he insisted on nickels or pennies instead of a dime.

John was a member of the Men's Sodality of Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Knights of Columbus Lafayette Council No. 1940, Modern Woodmen of America, and the Bar Association. He was director of Jefferson-Gravois Bank.

John died on 11 June 1955 and was buried on 15 June 1955 in Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Communion, 1892, Remagen, Germany

Gould's St. Louis Directory for 1895. Available from U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Although many John Schneiders were listed, I could identify mine by his address (1804 Geyer Av.) and occupation (tailor).

 John Schneider draft registration card, 12 September 1918. Available from U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm. 

Graduation program, City College of Law and Finance, St. Louis, Missouri, 1921

Paulina and John Schneider

John Schneider death certificate, no. 20389. 11 June 1955. Division of Health of Missouri.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 14 June 1955

Friday, October 17, 2014

Follow Friday: Nashville History

Debie Oeser Cox has a great blog, Nashville History ( She worked at the Metropolitan Government Archives in Nashville, Tennessee, but is now retired.  It is a great resource for learning about the history of Nashville. In July she posted an excerpt from History of Nashville Tennessee by H. W. Crew (1890): Turnpikes and bridges in Davidson County, Tennessee. She also shares her memories of life in Nashville.

She also sometimes posts records that are useful to genealogists. I found my 3rd-great-grandmother Mary (maiden name unknown) on a transcribed list of Nashville building permits, 1892. She was listed as Mrs. Cox (her second husband was John Cox). I was able to identify her because her address was given. On 19 May 1892, she was granted a building permit for a fence. Another post that was helpful to me is Original Lots, Nashville, 1784. A map of the plan of Nashville, showing the lots, is included, and there is a link to a table (also created by Debie Oeser Cox), which provides information about each lot, including the grantor and grantee. My 6th-great-grandfather Andrew Lucas was the grantee for Lot 34; he received it on 30 July 1784.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Carl Joseph Schneider's Naturalization Documents

My aunt has my great-great-grandfather Carl Joseph Schneider's naturalization documents, and I have scanned copies of them. He declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States on 16 October 1894 at the St. Louis Court of Criminal Correction. He renounced his allegiance to the Emperor of Germany.

On 18 February 1898 at the St. Louis Court of Criminal Correction, he became a citizen of the United States. When he became a citizen, his wife and children also became citizens.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday's Child: Rosa Louisa Gersbacher

Rosa Louisa Gersbacher burial certificate, 14 July 1891. Missouri, Death Records, 1834-1910 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2008. Original data: Missouri Death Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.

Rosa Louisa Gersbacher. Register of Deaths in the City of St. Louis, July 1891. Missouri, Death Records, 1834-1910 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2008. Original data: Missouri Death Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.

Rosa Louisa Gersbacher was born in St. Louis, Missouri on 17 December 1890. She was the daughter of  my great-great-grandparents John Gersbacher and Kunigunde Dreier. She was baptized at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church on 16 January 1891. She died of gastroenteritis on 13 July 1891 and was buried on 14 July 1891 in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in St. Louis, Section 009S, Lot 00PG, Row 54.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: John Joseph Berberick

John Joseph Berberick was born in New York on 18 November 1890. He enlisted in the United States Navy in 1908, and served for twenty years. He was a Pharmacist's Mate, and saw action in World War I. He married my great-grandmother's sister Margaret Tarkington. They lived in Buffalo, New York at first, and then moved to Cedarville, Herkimer County, New York after he retired from the Navy. He was fire chief of the Litchfield-Columbia Fire District. Margaret died in 1929, and in 1936 he married her daughter Louise Margaret (Gray) Plaumann. He died on 2 October 1939 in Cedarville and was buried in Cedarville Cemetery.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mappy Monday: Görwihl, Waldshut, Baden, Germany

Map of Landkreis Waldshut, Baden, Germany, showing the town of Görwihl. By Hagar66 [GFDL (, CC-BY-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (, CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (, CC0, Public domain, FAL or Attribution]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

This map shows the location of Görwihl in Kreis Waldshut, Baden, Germany. My Gersbacher ancestors were from Görwihl, and then went to Niederwihl (now part of Görwihl), where my Dreier ancestors lived.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

52 Ancestors: #41 Mary Nevins

Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it is a good time to write about my 3rd-great-grandmother Mary Nevins. Mary was born in Ireland, about 1835-1837. She was in the United States by January 1855; she and William Dow Gatlin obtained a marriage license in Davidson County, Tennessee on 2 January 1855, and were married by Rev. C. C. Mayhew on 3 January 1855.

Davidson County, Tennessee Original Marriage Bonds. William D. Gatlin to Mary Nevins. Nashville, Tennessee: Metropolitan Government Archives.

Davidson County, Tennessee Marriage License. William D. Gatlin to Mary Nevins. Nashville, Tennessee: Metropolitan Government Archives.

William and Mary's first child, their daughter Mary Florence Gatlin, was born about 1857. Their next child, my great-great-grandfather John William Morton Gatlin, was born on 23 October 1859 in Nashville, Tennessee. (He is listed as John W M Gatlin in the 1860 United States census; subsequent records list him as William M. Gatlin, William Morton Gatlin, or William Gatlin.) Another son, Clarence Bateman Gatlin, was born in Nashville on 23 December 1862. Their daughter Ida Lee Gatlin was born about 1864. Their son Lee Gatlin was born in December 1867, but died on 7 October 1868. Two more daughters were born: Lillie May Gatlin on 10 November 1868, and Mattie Gertrude Gatlin in February 1870.

In 1874, Mary's husband William was tried for murder. Samuel Haslam had been a boarder in the family's home. It is likely that he and Mary were having an affair. At the very least, he was a good friend to her at a time when she needed one. An article from the Nashville Union and American, 15 September 1874, indicates that Mary was abused by her husband and that Samuel Haslam was going to go with Mary to file for divorce.

 Nashville Union and American, 15 September 1874. Available from Chronicling America.

Nashville Union and American, 15 September 1874. Available from Chronicling America.

Nashville Union and American, 15 September 1874. Available from Chronicling America.

Mary had been hit and kicked by her husband. The next morning, William and Mary's son Clarence found Samuel Haslam lying in a pool of blood. He had been struck with an ax. Clarence ran to get his mother. Mary found her friend and probable lover bleeding to death. She tried to get him to tell her what had happened, but he could not speak, and he died shortly afterward.

William was acquitted due to insufficient evidence, but I believe that he was guilty. He had means, motive, and opportunity.

Mary remained married to her husband for the rest of her life. She was listed as head of household in the 1877 and 1878 Nashville city directories; in 1878, she was listed as widowed. I do not know where William was for those two years. Knowing what he was capable of, I would not be surprised if he was in prison for another crime.

Directory of Nashville, Edgefield, and Adjacent Towns in Tennessee, for 1877. Compiled by T. M. Haddock. Nashville, Tennessee: Tavel, Eastman & Howell. Available from U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011. Note: William Gatlin, bookbinder, is Mary's son (my great-great-grandfather). Mary's husband William was a brick mason.

Nashville and Edgefield City Directory for 1878. Nashville, Tennessee: Tavel, Eastman & Howell. Available from U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

By 1879, William was once again listed in the Nashville city directory, and the entire family was enumerated together in the 1880 United States census. Mary was probably too afraid to try to leave her husband again, knowing that he had committed murder and had gotten away with it. She may have feared that she would end up like Samuel.

Mary suffered another loss in May 1881, when her daughter Florence died in the 24th year of her age. On 9 September 1888, Mary died of dysentery. Only in death could she escape her husband. She was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Nashville. When her husband died, he was buried beside her. Their graves are unmarked.

Mary Gatlin death record, 1888. Tennessee State Library and Archives; Nashville, Tennessee; Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1959; Roll #: M-2. Available from Tennessee, City Death Records, 1872-1923 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

Daily American, 10 September 1888