About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.

Curt Lore: Knock, Knock, Knocking at the Door – 52 Ancestors #328

1908 ended in Rushville, Indiana with Edith Lore marrying John Ferverda in November, “quietly,” the same day as they obtained their license, in the home of the Presbyterian minister.

For socialites, Nora Kirsch Lore and Curt Lore, this turn of events for their daughter was quite out of character. Why on earth did Edith and John marry in this manner? And no, in case you’re wondering, there wasn’t a baby on the way.

Perhaps it was because Curt was out of commission for several weeks in 1908 when he had typhoid and nearly died.

Perhaps an unfortunate suicide within the family had made the couple decide that sooner was better than later.

Or, maybe there was more to the story.

What was happening in Rushville in the Lore family?

Rushville in 1909

Postcard courtesy Indiana Historical Society.

Never doubt for one minute that Rushville was a fast-living high-stakes horse-racing town.

This birds-eye view from 1909 clearly shows the racetrack beside the creek, in the flood-prone area. Rushville was built around racing.

Courtesy Indiana Historical Society

That horse racing track was quite large in comparison to the village itself, perhaps reflective of its outsized influence on the citizens. Much of Rushville’s early development was thanks to “horse money.”

Curt and Nora lived in town, raising their four daughters, but Curt’s racehorses were boarded someplace nearby. This postcard, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, shows a typical horse farm. Indeed, for all we know, one, or some of these could have been Curt’s.

Even today, the area that was originally the horse-racing track is still quite large when compared to the rest of the city and dominates the landscape.

The courthouse is marked with a red star, then the First Presbyterian Church where Nora and the girls attended services, and finally, on West Second Street, the location where the Lore family lived.

Panning out a bit, further to the left, we see the East Hill Cemetery. Curt Lore built a mausoleum there for the Reed family in 1907. It was the last stop for Rushville citizens.

Curt himself had cheated the grim reaper in 1907. In January, he came down with typhoid. For weeks on end, the newspaper reported that he was very ill and not expected to survive. Imagine reading that if you were his wife or daughters.

John Ferverda was a pallbearer in January for a typhoid victim, probably a friend of his future wife, Edith.

The river had flooded, contaminating wells with sewage. Nora sent the girls to their grandmother’s in Aurora, preparing for the worst.

One daughter, Curtis, remained at home to help care for her father.

Did the other daughters, especially the two youngest children, realize they were being sent away to spare them the agony of witnessing their father’s death?

On March 18th, Curt was still reported to be the same, but then, on the 21st, the newspaper reported him to be out riding. Not on a horse, I’m sure, but in a buggy. Then again, a week later.

Glory be! Curt had triumphed in his battle against the Grim Reaper.

On June 10th, Curt seemed to be functioning again. He applied for a position as the superintendent of light and water that he did not get. He still, however, retained the city’s street sprinkler contract, but on the 11th his horse died.

Curt still retained his spunk, mixing it up with the local Marshall and got himself arrested in June. This is the only record of Curt actually getting into legal trouble, although I suspect he stepped quite close to that line regularly.

Life continued for his daughters and Nora like normal. Social outings, card games, meetings at the social club, church – all reported in the local newspaper. Thankfully, for me.

In October 1907, Curt bid on and was awarded bridge repair contracts. That apparently worked well, because he was awarded additional contracts in May of 1908. In June, he purchased a “large cement mixer,” so he was apparently planning on doing more construction and bridge repair.

At that point, we were beginning to see less of Curt in the newspaper, but in September he was visiting Knightstown on business and in October 1908, was involved with a political parade.

We also find fewer mentions of Nora in the social columns. Of course, one might surmise that because her grandparents were ill and passed away and because her sister’s husband met with an untimely and tragic death on Halloween that perhaps Nora was otherwise occupied.

Everything seemed pretty much normal, if somewhat quiet…right up until the extremely subdued November wedding of Edith and John.

Normally, the Rushville newspaper social column tells us who is visiting whom on the train, especially during the holidays. Not one peep about any of the Lore family. Nada. Nothing.

What was going on?

1909

  • January 27, 1909 – John Ferveda got several encores with his singing act.
  • February 1 and February 10, 1909 – C. B. Lore is in very poor health at his home on West Second Street.

Uh oh, now we know. Curt’s sick again.

  • April 15, 1909 – Nora Lore to Curtis B. Lore, part lot 5 in the original plat of Rushville, $1, etc.

Based on a later entry where Nora sells this lot, I suspect that this transaction is reversed and Curt deeded the lot to Nora. Curt is transferring assets to Nora.

  • May 14, 1909 – Newspaper states that John Ferveda (sic) is the operator at the Big 4 Station in Rushville and had at one time an assistant in the office in Carthage. Carthage is about 15 miles northwest of Rushville.
  • June 1, 1909 – Misses Curtis and Mildred Lore went to Aurora yesterday to be the guests of their grandmother for several weeks.
  • June 17, 1909 – Children’s Day will be observed at the Presbyterian church next Sunday. The Sunday School will render interesting exercises in the evening: “That Little Word of Don’t” – Eloise Lore
  • June 21, 1909 – Misses Curtis and Mildred Lore returned Saturday from Aurora where they have been the guests of their grandparents. Their sister, Eloise, who has been visiting there several months accompanied them home.

The girls are growing up. Curtis is 18, Mildred is 10 and Eloise is just under 6. Caring for a family in addition to Curt’s apparent illness must have been extremely difficult for Nora. Edith was married, but she and John helped Nora.

  • June 23, 1909 – Carrie Wieman of Aurora is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Curt Lore and family on Second Street.

Carrie Kirsch Wymond was Nora’s sister. The daughters of the Kirsch family had been on the receiving end of grief for months. Margaret’s husband, Todd Fiske killed himself on Halloween the fall before.

Carrie’s husband was increasingly ill with syphilis which was probably quite the closely guarded family secret. Sadly, he had given it to her too.

  • June 26, 1909 – Curt Lore who is also in the business, is oiling in Main Street between First and Second. He heats the oil before applying it and says that it will last longer. The summer will probably come and go and all the streets in the downtown district will never be oiled, if the weatherman continues to oppose the movement. The rain is not injurious to the oil, but stops the work and it cannot be put on while the streets are wet. An almost continuous rain fell for 48 hours shortly after the improvement was tried in front of the Daily Republican office and did no harm.
  • June 29, 1909 – Tim Hiner and Curt Lore were busily engaged today oiling Main Street between 2nd and 3rd.

Curt is back at work! He recovered AGAIN. This is amazing!

  • July 13, 1909 – Rushville Daily Republican – Edgar Lore of Shelbyville is the guest of his uncle, C. B. Lore and family on West Second Street.

This is a fascinating record because it gives a name to one of Curt’s nephews. I wonder if this is Lon’s son. Census and Ancestry research don’t show this Edgar in Shelbyville or nearby. There is an Edgar in Butler Co., PA who may be related. The mystery remains about Curt Lore’s brothers and their families, but this is one more puzzle piece. Maybe someday a DNA match will help answer the questions about Curt’s family.

  • July 14, 1909 – Mrs. J. S. Wymond is the guest of C. B. Lore and family on West Second for several days.

I suspect that Carrie was no longer living with her husband, all things considered.

  • July 18, 1909 – Edger Kirsch returned to Shelbyville today after spending a few days with C. B. Lore and family.
  • July 28, 1909 – Mr. and Mrs. Russell Payne, Mr. and Mrs. John Ferveda, Miss Curtis Lore and George Kelly have established a camp a short distance north of this city.

I wonder what camping in 1909 was like? I never even considered that my grandmother even MIGHT HAVE camped.

FamilySearch offered this photo of camping and cooking, and I found a book written in 1909 about the same subject.

  • Martin Kirsch and son Edgar of Shelbyville spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Lore and family in West Second Street. They made the trip on motorcycles.
  • August 17, 1909 – C. R. Morgan of Alexandria is relieving J. W. Ferveda, Big Four operator. Mr. and Mrs. Ferveda while on their vacation will visit relatives in Aurora and Leesburg.

Edith and John spent their vacation visiting both sets of parents.

  • August 27, 1909 – Of course the I. & C. officials did not know that George Kelly and Miss Curtis Lore had spent the afternoon together on the fairground. But the car was crowded and the officials thought that the very last one had got on that could ride. Miss Lore was the last. George stood and watched the car pull out and wished there had been room for one more. And now their friends are having a lot of fun out of it.

We know that Curtis Lore had a boyfriend from my grandmother’s stories, but we’ve never known who he was. The boyfriend’s family apparently moved “west” as in to someplace like Arizona. Curtis wanted to go along, at that time, to improve her health. Nora said no, and always blamed herself for what happened to Carrie after he and his family left. Nora regretted that decision for the rest of her life.

Was that boyfriend George Kelly? I suspect so. I do not find any George Kelly in Rush County in the 1910 census, so he could have been “the one.”

  • September 1909 – Joseph Wymond, Carrie Kirsch Wymond’s husband is committed to the Wabash Valley Sanitorium near Lafayette, Indiana where he would eventually die of his “affliction.”.
  • October 20, 1909 – Mr. and Mrs. Will Coverston of Goshen arrived last night to be the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Curt Lore in West Second Street.
  • October 21, 1909 – Mr. and Mrs. Ed. L. Beer entertained at 6 o’clock dinner last evening Mr. and Mrs. Will Coverston of Goshen and Mrs. Curt Lore.
  • October 22, 1909 – Mrs. Will Coverston has been the guest of Mrs. Curt Lore on West second street and went to Anderson before returning home to Goshen.

It seems that the Coverstons continued to be close friends of Curt and Nora. They had likely came to say goodbye to Curt and help Nora.

White Plague

You see, Curt had tuberculosis.

I’m amazed given the contagious nature of this disease which was untreatable before antibiotics that so many people came and went.

  • November 17, 1909 – C. B. Lore who has been ill for several months is very low at his home on West Second Street.
  • November 26, 1909

Curt died. He had cheated the Grim Reaper so many times before. In 1907 and 1908 and even earlier in 1909. But not this time.

The Grim Reaper came calling, knocking on the door, intending to collect. Sadly, there was no escaping, not even for seemingly invincible Curt Lore.

Curt was only 48 years old, or so this and his obituary both say.

Ironically, even with this death certificate, there is still uncertainty about when he was born, based on the 1860 census in Pennsylvania which tells us he was born in 1856.

It’s pretty hard to be in the 1860 census if you weren’t born until a year later.

Perhaps Curt had not been entirely forthcoming with Nora. Maybe once he had subtracted 5 years off of his age, it was just easier to remain “younger” than face the music of an angry wife.

Yep, born in 1861 it was. No one would ever know – at least not until genealogists started digging. Pesky great-granddaughter, anyway:)

Family

It’s worth noting that the obituary mentions several things and omits others. Curt’s father is noted, for example, but not his mother who outlived his father. It mentions that Curt had four brothers. That’s true, but he had at least one more and possibly two that lived to adulthood.

He also had one sister who positively outlived him.

This family is incredibly difficult to unravel due to the combination of a lack of records and becoming so fractured and scattered after both parents’ deaths.

Curt was making his way in life on his own from about the age of 12 or so.

But perhaps most interesting is that there is no mention of children other than his daughters with Nora.

Three Years

My grandfather and my great-aunt used to talk about Curt’s illness. His death certificate tells us that he had tuberculosis for about 3 years. This article mentions that he has been quite ill for the past year, which equates almost exactly to the time when Edith and John married. Perhaps now we’ve solved the mystery of why they married “quietly.” Curt was becoming increasingly ill. Perhaps the young couple realized he wasn’t going to get better, so there was no pointing waiting to marry. He wasn’t going to be able to walk Edith down the aisle, nor pay for a wedding – ever.

Three years tracks back to about November of 1906, give or take. That was the fall that Edith was in business college, assuming she actually did attend in Indianapolis.

In early January of 1907, the newspaper reports that “Curt Lore who has been employed with the Indianapolis, Columbus and Southern Interurban line at Scottsburg has returned to this city.” Sounds like he was no longer working at that job. Maybe now we know why.

This also tracks back to almost exactly the time that Curt contracted typhoid, in January of 1907.

Curt managed to beat typhoid, but unbeknownst to us, it appears that he beat BOTH typhoid AND tuberculosis at the same time. I can’t even begin to imagine the fortitude required to beat not one, but both diseases.

He worked through the next two years – sprinkling the streets, repairing bridges, and otherwise earning a living. I’m sure Curt simply tried to work through his misery until he was simply too sick to get out of bed.

Having recovered from simultaneous diseases earlier, I have immense respect for this man’s stamina. Sadly, he simply wasn’t able to do it again. His body was ravaged.

According to family members, when Nora realized how ill Curt really was, and the eventual prognosis – she quietly approached the city fathers and ask them not to award Curt more contracts. She was concerned about the legal ramifications if he were to die with a half-fulfilled contract. It’s not like she could repair bridges herself.

Nora once told my Mom that she thought Curt contracted TB when he went to Kentucky on horse business.

Curt lived fast and died relatively young.

Following Curth’s death, Nora’s life would become immensely more difficult. Their daughters at home were Curtis, 18, Mildred 10, and Eloise 6.

Curtis, named for her father, adored Curt and helped Nora care for him.

Daughter Edith, Curtis’s sister, and best friend was married of course, but lived locally and could help her parents.

The two youngest girls were sent to their grandparents in Aurora during Curt’s illness. Probably both to protect them and because Nora simply could not do any more. Caregiving is incredibly difficult and all-consuming, especially when taking into consideration that Curt was carrying a lethal disease and quite contagious.

Now we know why any mention of the couple ceased in the newspaper. Their social life ceased too – not just because of the illness itself and care requirements. Everyone in Rushville would have known to keep a safe distance.

Their Address

The 1900 census does not give a street address for Nora and Curt, so it was only through his death certificate that I was able to discover where they actually lived.

The map shows the location, given that “West” begins at Main Street. I can’t read the last digit of the street address, but it’s clearly 421, 427, or 429. Based on the other numbers on the same certificate, I believe it’s 421.

The property has to be the one outlined in red above. The houses to the right are 417-419 and the house to the left is 431, so too far west.

This earlier 1879 map shows the same property along with the depot and nearby warehouses. This makes sense, especially considering their good friends were station-masters and Edith, their daughter, married John Ferverda, the railroad station agent.

Regardless of which address was theirs, the house stood on this piece of land, and it looks like they had an extra-large backyard, extending onto what is now the lot 424 First Street, behind 423 Second Street.

It’s here that Curt and Nora lived for at least a decade, probably closer to two decades, and most of their married life.

While those properties hold contemporary buildings today, the neighbor house, at left, looks like it was probably standing when Nora and Curt lived next door.

  • November 27, 1909 – C. B. Lore who died Thursday evening held a $1000 policy in the State Life of Springfield, Mass. The funeral of Curtis B. Lore who died of tuberculosis on Thursday evening will be held at the home in West Second street Sunday afternoon at 2:30, conducted by the Rev. J. F. Cowling. Burial will be in East Hill Cemetery.

Curt would be buried in East Hill, like the rest of the Rushville folks, near the mausoleum that he had built just two years earlier.

I am very glad that Nora had this life insurance policy, but it would not last long. Ever darker times were ahead. However, first, she had to bury Curt and probably pay some large number of overdue bills.

There’s no record of Curt working beyond summer, and he likely could only work less and less as he became increasingly ill.

It’s interesting that Curt’s funeral was not in the Presbyterian Church, although his obituary said that he was a member. Perhaps he was a member in name only to placate Nora.

Curt’s father’s family had a traumatic emotional journey due to differences between Catholicism and the Protestant faith, literally severing the family, cleaving them clean in half like a religious saber. Curt’s father left the family and left Canada after his mother died. I doubt he ever looked back.

Curt’s avoidance of all churches may have been a result of those family experiences and a deeply ingrained suspicion of everything church-related held by the Lore family for generations.

Driving Up and Down Second Street

Wanting to see as much of Rushville as I could, I “drove” up and down Second street on Google, looking at homes. Second Street isn’t very long, extending left to right (west to east) on the north side of the courthouse, below.

Their home is the red star at left, and the courthouse at far right.

Would Curt and his family even recognize Rushville today? I think so. There’s a lot new, but the courthouse was build in 1896 and hasn’t changed much. Curt was certainly in this building a lot.

Driving down Second Street towards their house, then turning around and looking back at the courthouse gives is a peek, if you ignore the vehicles, at what the town might have looked like back in the day.

Many of these buildings in the downtown area likely stood when Curt watered these streets before they were paved. The courthouse is at right two blocks in the distance.

Turning around and looking westward on second, we pass by the Knights of Pythias Hall where Curt attended meetings.

The first actual homes today begin in the 200 block of West Second.

Most homes are gone and have been replaced by more contemporary buildings, but a few remain.

Looking west from Second and Harrison into the area that today remains residential with vintage homes. Curt and Nora lived about 2 blocks further west.

I love this house. This wasn’t where they lived, but they certainly would have passed by. Their home had to be spacious because they had 2 servants living with them in 1900, plus 4 children, and Curt was a successful businessman.

That old 1879 Rushville map shows that the area where the 400 block of West Second is today was at that time a warehouse and the train tracks were laid right down the side of what is today Second Street. The depot is shown too, near the stockyards. I’m sure that there was some sort of industrial or animal noise at all times. If I close my eyes, I can hear it.

In 1900, Nora and Curt’s neighbor was the railroad agent, so this location makes sense. Edith married John Ferverda, the station agent, so I should be extremely grateful that they lived where they did.

A lot changed in Rushville between 1879 and 1900 as well. At some point, those tracks down the street were removed and the warehouse replaced with homes.

It’s also possible that the houses have been renumbered sometime between 1909 and today. I’ve seen that happen more than once, and it plays havoc with dealing with early original records and trying to find current locations.

Google Maps shows that the entire 420 section of West Second appears to be gone now, replaced with a contemporary home and garage. The brick house on the left is probably where their house stood.

The house on either side looks to be original.

Standing in the street where they lived, looking downtown at the courthouse, I realize just how small this town was. Curt probably walked many places, or took the buggy, of course. Curt’s daughters are shown in the buggy with one of their horses, below

Two of the Lore daughters with horse and buggy near Rushville.

Standing in this very place on Second Street back in their day, horses would have been clip-clopping, carriages creaking perhaps, and the train whistle in the distance. You would have been able to hear people talking, especially in the hot summertime with windows open. Maybe smell dinner cooking too.

Now, Nora and the girls would have to navigate without Curt.

Burial

  • December 14, 1909 – East Hill Cemetery Company to Mrs. Nora Lore, lot in cemetery, $35

This lot was Curt’s burial plot and where Nora would eventually be brought home to rest by his side as well.

My very sad mother beside Nora’s grave, not yet covered with grass, at left, beside C. B. Lore’s stone

Mom is standing by Curt’s stone in the cemetery, probably not long after Nora was buried in 1939.

Moving

Before the spring of 1910, according to the newspaper, Nora and her three girls would move from where she lived with Curt on West Second Street to 324 West First Street.

The house was smaller, cute as a button, and certainly less expensive to rent.

Plus, Nora may have needed a change of scenery. While moving was difficult, the fact that they didn’t own the West Second Street property probably made the move easier.

At least Edith still lived in Rushville, and John would have helped his mother-in-law.

In fact, it was here, in this house, that Nora received a visitor.

The Visitor

John Ferverda was sitting in the kitchen, drinking coffee and visiting with Nora, when someone knocked on the door, asking for Curt.

Nora told the young man standing there, hat in hand, that Curt had, unfortunately, passed away.

Curt was well-liked with a charismatic personality and had hundreds of acquaintances, given his broad spectrum of business dealings. Nora assumed, of course, that this caller was another business associate dropping by to say hello or see what kind of horse-trading might be in order.

This young man was different. He shuffled, hesitated a bit, and a wave of disappointment visibly washed across his face. He was crestfallen.

This man, you see, had come to find his father.

I’d wager that was one incredibly awkward moment. A tongue-tied young man standing on this porch at the door, probably wishing he was absolutely anyplace else – face to face with the grieving wife – neither one of them knowing exactly what to do or say.

Nora invited him in, and they sat at the kitchen table and talked, but she took that conversation to her grave.

It wasn’t Nora who revealed this incident – nor was it ever spoken of while she lived.

It was John who told Edith and her sister, Eloise. One of them told my mother years later.

Mom and Eloise were under the impression that this son was previously unknown to Nora and might have been from Kentucky. Somehow the dots were connected and it was presumed this son has been fathered when Curt was involved with racehorses in Kentucky sometime after Nora and Curt were married.

So Nora discovered that Curt caught more than tuberculosis in Kentucky. Or, at least, that’s what everyone thought. Apparently, judging from this information, Curt had visited Kentucky regularly for decades.

Well, Did He or Didn’t He?

Before I discovered Curt’s marriage in Pennsylvania, Mom was certainly unaware Curt had been previously married, let alone still married when he married Nora in 1888. Imagine her shock!

Was this man knocking on the door Curt’s son from his first marriage, Herbert Judson Lore, who would have been age 30? Kurt Lore and Mary Billings are given as Herbert’s parents on his death certificate in 1968.

Herbert looks incredibly like Curt. I can see my mother in his face too. No DNA test needed here.

Neither my grandmother, Edith, nor her sisters, Eloise or Mildred had ANY IDEA they had a living half-brother who only lived about 140 miles from Eloise.

Was the man at the door Curt’s son that I’ve never been able to locate, John Curtis Lore, born January 20, 1881?

Was he Curt’s son Seldon B. Lore, known as “Sid,” born in June of 1886 and found in 1904, as a laborer in Oil City, PA?

Or, was this yet another young man?

If the young man had been born after Curt and Nora were married, he would have been 22 or younger that day he stood nervously on Nora’s porch, looking for answers.

Digging Deeper

One John Curtis Lore who lived in Kentucky registered for the 1918 draft giving Mary Galliland as his next of kin. Mary Bills, Curt’s first wife married Allen Galliland after their divorce in 1888. In 1900, Herbert J., John C., and Seldon B Lore were living in Warren County, PA with Mary and Allen and their half-sister, Alta Gilliland. In 1910, Mary and Allen were living in Cowlitz, Washington with Alta, but the boys were on their own. In 1918, Mary was living in Crewe, Virginia.

John Curtis Lore certainly seems to be Curt’s son, but this record is from 9 years after Curt died. Who knows where John was living in 1909 or 1910 when that young man appeared on Nora’s porch.

What happened to John Lore?

The May 1, 1924, Franklin County, Pennsylvania newspaper tells the story.

Tragedy seems to follow the Lore family like an ominous ever-present dark shadow. An 11-day old baby? His poor wife.

Is this the same John Lore? The name is slightly different.

There’s a lot of incorrect information in this article, but I found this man’s death certificate based only on his death month and year. His nickname was apparently Jack or was misrecorded on the delayed death certificate.

John died of tuberculosis too. How heartbreaking. Even more tragic, his young wife, Annie Jewell Cox Lore died in May 1927 of tuberculosis as well. The children were raised by their Cox grandfather.

Hmm, given the circumstances, I’m doubting if John Curtis Lore or his wife have a tombstone, but let’s take a look.

I didn’t find them, but I did find that child buried in that same cemetery 42 years later.

That baby, born just days before his father’s demise was James Harold Lore, according to FindAGrave.

John’s son also died at age 42 in a motorcycle accident, striking a truck.

Tragedy seems to have run generations deep.

Forgiveness

Nora forgave a lot while married to Curt, like the fact that he was still married to another woman when they were married in 1888, assuming she discovered that fact.

Nora certainly stuck by him through thick and thin. Multiple business ventures, that embarrassing horseracing scandal, a lawsuit or a few, then multiple illnesses.

Regardless of all that, I do believe Curt was Nora’s true love with his infectious impish smile, curled locks, and piercing blue eyes that melted her soul.

My grandmother, Edith, spoke of Nora’s intense grief surrounding Curt’s death. Nora wanted to be buried beside him and with the Lore surname on her stone, even though she eventually remarried.

She would join Curt in the East Hill Cemetery almost exactly 30 years later.

It would prove to be a very long 30 years.

So, what happened to Nora?

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Descendants of WWII 92nd Infantry Buffalo Soldiers Sought to Identify Remains

Soldiers of the 92nd Infantry Division marching in Italy after freeing the region from German troops on April 8, 1945. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2181029

Recently, Fold3 published an article about the 92nd Infantry Division known as the Buffalo Soldiers – a black infantry division that fought in Italy during WWII and suffered severe casualties.

Fifty soldiers of the 700 lost have never been identified and remain unaccounted for.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) is seeking family members of these deceased soldiers to submit DNA for comparison. Details are provided, here.

This is NOT Commercial Testing

Note that testing with any commercial company (such as Ancestry, FamilyTreeDNA, 23andMe, MyHeritage, etc.) does nothing to identify these remains. If you have already tested there, it doesn’t count for this purpose.

The DNA of the soldiers’ remains is processed in the government forensic lab and is NOT entered in any public database. Family members must contact the Defense POW/MIA Agency and submit DNA specifically for identification of remains. DNA submitted for the identification of remains will not be used for any other purpose.

While this specific ask is for the Buffalo Soldiers of the 92nd Infantry Division, DNA of family members of all soldiers whose remains have not been recovered and repatriated should be submitted.

Historically, mitochondrial DNA is the easiest to recover from degraded remains, but sometimes they can recover enough autosomal DNA. If you’re a family member, offer regardless. Amazing results are being garnered with forensic samples that wasn’t possible even just months ago.

Trust me, I’m inquiring about submitting my DNA in the hope of identifying my first cousin, Robert Vernon Estes who died as a POW in North Korea.

If your family member’s remains have never been identified, please contact the authorities and volunteer to DNA test. Even if you don’t qualify for whatever reason, you may know or be able to locate someone who does.

Servicemen’s Families Sought

The entire list of unidentified 92nd Infantry soldiers who gave their life for their country can be found in this article.

The men listed below cannot be identified because there is no DNA sample available from a family member. When attempting to identify the parents and families of these men for this article, I found hints about why the families of these men may not have been located. It appears that some were not living with their birth families or had no siblings.

This makes it even more important for anyone who recognizes these men or these families to contact the Army Casualty office with information. Every soldier deserves to be identified.

  • Benjamin Davis Jr., 29, Webster, Florida, died February 9, 1945, so born about 1916. Jr. implies that his father’s name was the same, but I was not able to locate his family through census or other readily available genealogical search methods.
  • Melton Futch, 20, Perry, Florida, born January 28, 1923. Died Dec. 31, 1944. Parents Robert Futch born 1881 in Georgia and Laura Littingham born 1885 in Georgia, married in Taylor Florida on October 15, 1916.
  • James Thomas Mathis, 22, Fayetteville, Georgia, born there August 9, 1922, died December 27, 1945
  • Anderson Slaughter Jr., 23, Fulton, Georgia, born August 14, 1921, in Atlanta, Georgia. Died February 11, 1946. Essie Mae Slaughter is given as next of kin in 1942 draft registration. Her name is given as Elsie Slaughter on 1930 census as his mother, age 36 (born 1894), living with her mother Victoria Travelis or Travis or Trarelis (SP) age 59, (born about 1871). Eliga Travis died on October 10, 1920, with his wife listed as Victoria Travis. Jr. suggests Anderson’s name is the same as his father.
  • Wesley Melton, 20, Chicago, Illinois, born September 26, 1924. Died February 10, 1945. Edna Melton listed as next of kin on his draft registration in 1942. In the 1940 census, Edna, his mother, is listed as a widow, age 39, born about 1901 in Illinois. A woman by that name died July 12, 1972.
  • Staff Sgt. Henry W. Wilson, 24, Independence, Kansas. Draft registration says he was born December 11, 1919, in Kansas. Next of kin is Carrie Wilson. 1920 census shows Altee (spelled Henry in 1930 and 1940) Wilson (35) born in Oklahoma, father born in Tennessee, and mother in Oklahoma. Wife Caroline (34) born in Missouri, father born in Tennessee, and mother in Missouri. 1930 and 1940 census show two other children, a male, Leroy age 17, and a female, Louise age 13.
  • James Luther Strong, 34, Covington, Louisiana, born September 23, 1910, in LeCompte, Louisiana, died November 10, 1945. He was married when he enlisted in 1943. He listed his residence as St. Tammany, Louisiana but enlisted in Houston, TX. His draft registration card in 1940 gives his next of kin as Mrs. Kattie Bogany, his aunt. Who lived in Beaumont, Jefferson Co., TX.
  • Herbert Taylor, 23, Salisbury, Maryland, died February 12, 1946, so would have been born in 1923. 1930 census shows a person by his name, age 11, so born 1919, with Charles and Hattie Handy, listed as an adopted son. He was born in Virginia but both parents born in Maryland. There is a draft registration for Herbert Taylor, born May 8, 1915, in Newport News, VA who lists Nanie Duncan as his mother. He works for the Seaman Elridge Orchestra in Baltimore. Another registration for Herbert Lee Taylor who lists his wife as Adeline Taylor. None of these align well.
  • James Edward Warren, 19, Pelahatchie, Mississippi, born June 17, 1925, same location. Lists Lennie Macelroy, his mother, as next of kin who lives in the same place. Died February 6, 1945.
  • Maceo Aquinolda Walker, 20, New Rochelle, New York, born December 11, 1924, in Baltimore. Next of kin is Louis Walker of New Rochelle, same address. Died February 10, 1945. In the 1940 census he is listed with parents Louis Walker, 40 (born 1900) in Maryland and Patricia, 38, (born 1902) in Virginia. In 1930, Richard Shelton, brother-in-law is living with the family in NYC, age 22. No other children.
  • Cleo Penny, 23, New York. Died February 11, 1946. The 1930 census shows a Cleo Penny born in 1924 in NC. If this is the right family, there are 3 sisters and a brother.
  • William Thomas McFadden, 24, Olanta, South Carolina/Baltimore, MD. Died February 10, 1945. The 1930 census shows a person by this name in Motts, Florence Co., SC with parents Thomas L. McFadden (3) and wife Annie (28). If this is the correct person, there are 2 sisters and a brother. Also living in the residence is the sister-in-law, Elizabeth Nelson, age 13. His draft registration card in Baltimore, MD in 1942 shows that he was born in Olanta, SC on July 18, 1920, and that Catherine Dickey is his next of kin, with no relationship given.
  • Robert Williams, 26, Richmond, Virginia. Died February 8, 1945, so born about 1919. Several men by this name are found in the Richmond area.
  • 1st Lt. John M. Madison, 32, Washington D.C. Died April 5, 1945. The 1940 census shows him, age 27, a math teacher. The census says he is living with some family but his father is clearly not age 30. Something is amiss with the census. The house number suggests he is living alone.
  • Jose A. Lopez, 29, Washington D.C./Palmira, Cuba. Died February 8, 1945. Born 1915, not a citizen when enlisted in 1942.

For all we know, the bones of these men have already been tested in the Army forensic lab in Hawaii and are just waiting for a family member to match their DNA. If you are related to these men, please contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490 to arrange to submit a DNA sample.

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Edith Lore Blossoms: Floods, Typhoid, The “Beauty Bunch,” a Scholarship…Plus a Plot Twist – 52 Ancestors #327

The newspapers of the early 1900s often reported on the social lives of their local residents. Thank goodness, for researchers today, that they did.

There’s so much to glean about these family members – sometimes by what IS said, and sometimes by what isn’t. I’ve learned so much about my grandmother, Edith Lore, and her parents, Nora Kirsch and Curtis Benjamin Lore, a self-made man and jack-of-all-trades.

A great deal has been revealed in these old black and white pages. I wrote about unexpected discoveries in Outside the Pale: The Lore Family’s “Remarkable” Life Revealed Through the Newspaper and Curt Lore “Shoots Wells” With Nitroglycerine and Dynamite.

We left the Lore family in 1906, when their eldest daughter, Edith Lore, was graduating from high school and turned 18. 1906 was a year of polar opposites with a few curve-balls thrown in. Let’s join the family and see what was going on.

Unidentified Connection

The social scene in Rushville was sometimes reported as far away as Indianapolis, Indiana, about 40 miles distant as the train runs.

  • April 1, 1906 (Indianapolis, Indiana newspaper) – Miss Bertha Helm entertained a number of friends Saturday evening in honor of Mrs. J. F. Wymond of Peoria, Illinois who is the guest of Mrs. C. B. Lore.

Of course, I have to wonder who Mrs. J. F. Wymond was, and how she is connected to Nora. Randall J. Wymond, it turns out, was the vice-president of the Peoria Cooperage Company and his business address was Aurora, Indiana, where Nora was born. He married Mabel Criswell in 1884. Nora’s sister, Carrie, married Joseph Smithfield Wymond, the brother of Randall. Perhaps the society column got the initials wrong or another one of Nora’s friends married a Wymond.

Sometimes these articles raise more questions than they answer and I run down every imaginable rabbit hole.

Commencement

Edith Lore, oldest child of Curt Lore and Nora Kirsch graduated from high school in the spring of 1906.The Indianapolis paper tells us that Gladstone Barrett is class President, Anna Meges Vice-president and Mertha Monjar Secretary-Treasurer. The class colors are royal purple and gold. A few weeks later, the Indianapolis paper carried this article about the commencement.

For most young ladies of that time, graduation would be the end of the line for education, but, surprisingly, not for Edith.

A few days later, Edith was already employed.

  • May 31, 1906 – J. B. Workman, the tax ferret, recently employed by the city of Rushville, has a force of young ladies at work in the Recorder’s office at the court house, copying mortgage records. Those who are at work are. <names omitted>, Edith Lore.

As a genealogist, I could go to Rushville and if the old mortgage book still exists, at least some of those records recopied into that book, I’m guessing, would be in my grandmother’s handwriting.

But Edith, born a hundred years too early, had larger ambitions.

Scholarship

The local newspaper carried a fascinating article:

  • June 15, 1906

Edith, my grandmother, won a 6-month scholarship to Business College in Indianapolis.

What?

Seriously?

I never heard A PEEP about this!

For any female to aspire to attend college in 1906 was amazing in and of itself – let alone with a scholarship.

Did she attend? I would presume that she did. I certainly hope so.

I can’t imagine Edith wasting this opportunity, especially not after specifically seeking the scholarship.

The Central Business College

The Central Business College became the Indiana Business College in the 1940s, located at 802 North Meridian. Established in 1902, it was represented as, “A modern business-training organization. This beautiful college home, located in the heart of cultural downtown Indianapolis – with its spacious commodious classrooms, its numerous and convenient transportation facilities and its various other accommodations presents an attractive appeal to young people who are ambitious to prepare for business careers.”

Amazingly, this building, now apartments, still stands. It’s really not the leaning either – Google maps.

When I saw the large building at right, above, down the street on Google Maps, I thought it looked familiar. Sure enough, it’s the library, and I’ve been there. Of course, I had absolutely NO idea that my grandmother went to college just a block away, and probably lived in that building or nearby while she was attending.

The Business College is the building in the lower left corner that resembles a church.

If walls could only talk.

Edith, who would turn 18 in August, was apparently used to traveling by herself by train – but living in a big city is something else entirely.

The question remains – did Edith actually attend the Business College in Indianapolis?

We know because of what we find out later that there was a backstory going on at home.

If Edith attended, beginning immediately in mid-June, then she would have been finished mid/late December, perhaps just in time for the holidays.

If she did attend, she must have returned home with her eyes open and full of lively discussion about Indianapolis, the big city.

Living away, alone, changes you and opens your eyes to possibilities you would never see otherwise.

There is enough time for Edith to attend college in Indy, but barely.

1907

  • January 4, 1907 – Miss Edith Lore has returned from a visit with relatives at Aurora. Her mother will return later.
  • January 5, 1907 – Greensburg Review: Mrs. C. B. Lore and daughter of Rushville after a visit here, the guests of Miss Stella Wise, have returned home.
  • January 9, 1907 – Curt Lore who has been employed with the Indianapolis, Columbus and Southern Interurban line at Scottsburg has returned to this city.

Apparently Curt found a job after his earlier challenges and illness. Those words “has been” are troubling. Is this a nice way of saying he lost that new job? What is going on? This is very unusual for Curt.

Typhoid!

  • January 22, 1907 – Curt Lore is quite ill at his home on west Second street, being threatened with typhoid fever.

Curt must have become sick after his return on the 9th and before the 22nd. Typhoid is a disease associated with consuming drinking water contaminated with human fecal matter and it’s often fatal. Ironic that Curt is the man drilling the wells for the city of Rushville to have clean water – although he could clearly have been exposed elsewhere.

Symptoms include severe headache, cough, extreme fatigue, abdominal cramping and distension, plus a range of other, more severe, symptoms. Typhoid can last from weeks to months. Generally, if the person is going to live, the fever begins to subside in the 4th week. That’s weeks, not days. Four long weeks. Holy cow!

Typhoid is highly contagious and risk of death without treatment with antibiotics is about 20%, generally in the third week of infection. Of course, they didn’t have antibiotics in 1907, so either the disease ran its course and you lived, or you didn’t. It sounds like a horribly long and dreadful ordeal.

Curt must have been miserably ill. He actually hadn’t been well since the fall, so typhoid was on top of whatever else was wrong. Later, we will learn what that “something else” is.

  • January 25, 1907 – John Ferveda pall bearer for Miss Maude Foust who died of typhoid followed by pneumonia.

Apparently, Rushville was having a typhoid epidemic.

This is the first mention of John Ferverda, Edith’s future husband, in Rushville. We don’t know when John was assigned to the depot there, although we know that he didn’t begin working for the railroad until 1904 and he was in Carthage for some amount of time.

Indeed, Rushville homes were still using outhouses and associated cesspools which was contaminating the drinking supply.

This graphic illustrates the contamination cycle.

This situation in Rushville was probably exacerbated by flooding.

An article on January 17th from Evansville regarding the severe floods stated that the conditions haven’t been worse relative to flooding since the great flood of 1884. “The present high stage [of the water] is backing the water up into the downtown sewers, and an epidemic of typhoid fever has resulted in some sections.”

Another report on January 18th says that the Ohio River is between 10 and 35 miles wide, resembling an ocean. Holy moley.

Of course, this means that Nora’s parents and sisters living in Aurora, at the Kirsch House, just a few blocks from the Ohio River were dramatically affected – as were her grandparents.

The local Aurora paper reported:

The city was entirely cut off from railroad or traction connection with the outside world, although the telephone and telegraph wires were still working. People can only get in or out of the city by boat. The last train to arrive had to feel its way along tracks covered in several places by water. The telegraph office is surrounded by water and has to be reached by boat.

That telegraph office was the depot beside the Kirsch House.

The city gas plant shut down because of the shoot and there is serious danger of a shortage of oil. Danger has been further enhanced by the toppling over of the big Standard Oil Tanks undermined by the flood.

Meanwhile, the waters continue to advance and the whole business section of the town has been invaded. About 1800 in all were rendered homeless by the flood, but those whose homes are still high and dry are generously throwing them open to the refugees. Great suffering is threatened in case of a sudden cold snap.

This picture of the 1937 flood in Aurora shows the magnitude of flooding in river towns and cities.

The Kirsch House where Nora grew up was about half a block behind the photographer.

This photo was taken from the intersection of Second and Bridgeway. You can see the same buildings.

Main Street in Aurora during the 1884 flood. Flooding occurred regularly.

Lawrenceburg, neighbor town to Aurora, that unlike Aurora had a levee, expected during the 1907 flood that if the levee was breached, the entire town would be under 6-9 feet of water. Rain was falling in torrents with gale force winds as the men attempted to reinforce the levee and keep it from breaching during the night.

Rushville too was directly on the Flatrock River, and if the rivers were flooding throughout the region, they were flooding in Rushville too. A Rushville article dated January 3 states that the “entire lowlands is flooded” with the water covering many roads and that the water is within 2 or 3 feet of houses in several places.”

These 1913 photos of flooding in Rushville, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, gives an idea of the what flooding in Rushville looked like when the Lore family lived there.

Rushville resembled a lake. Even the railroad undergirding became mucky and unstable, causing the timbers and rails to twist.

You can see the current and waves in the water. Imagine how cold this must have been in the middle of winter. Looks like meat and grocery delivery was a service as well – just not during the floods.

The rains continued for weeks, explaining how and why typhoid was introduced in the winter of 1907 in Rushville.

  • February 22, 1907 – Miss Edith Lore is suffering from the grip at her home on west Second Street. Her father, Curt Lore still continues ill.

We learn that both Edith and her father are ill, and I’d assume that they both have the grip, another word for flu. But that’s not the case.

  • February 25, 1907 – Miss Leah O’Neil entertained at six o-clock dinner Sunday the Misses Lucile Wilson, Fanny Gregg, Zelma Cox, Harriet Vredenburg, Curtis Lore and Lenore Wooden.
  • March 4, 1907 – Curt Lore of West Second continues quite ill.
  • March 6, 1907 – Misses Edith, Eloise and Mildred Lore left yesterday for a trip to Aurora. Miss Edith will enter a business college in Cincinnati.

Wow – so much to unpack in these articles. Business College, again, but this time in Cincinnati. And Curt is quite ill and has been now for weeks, since before January 22nd.

I suspect that the reason that these 3 daughters went to Aurora was so that they would not contract typhoid, or perhaps because Nora didn’t want the girls to see their father die, or both. Nora very clearly had her hands full.

But where was the fourth daughter, Curtis? Why didn’t she go to Aurora too? Curtis, by all reports, was extremely close to her father. Our family history says that Curtis helped care for Curt, her namesake parent. She remained in Rushville while Edith left to go to school and took the two youngest children with her. Curtis would have been 16 on March 8th. Some 16th birthday.

I find it interesting that Edith went to business college in Cincinnati, not in Indianapolis. Did she decline the Indy scholarship? Did she attend in Indy and then also in Cincy? Mom said that her aunt Carrie paid for Edith’s college in Cincy. Does this imply that Curt and Nora were having financial difficulties? That’s certainly possible, given that Curt has been very ill and unable to work.

This photo of Eloise taken at the depot in Aurora is labeled 1907, so I strongly suspect it was taken during this visit.

Eloise and Mildred in 1907.

Edith lived with her grandparents at the Kirsch House, located beside the depot, and took the train to Cincinnati each day where she attended business school.

  • Mrs. Wymond, of Aurora is visiting her sister Mrs. Curt Lore on west Second Street. Mr. Lore who has been ill some time continues about the same.
  • March 7, 1907 – Mrs. Joseph Wymond of Aurora who has been the guest of her sister, Mrs. Curt Lore on west Second street returned to her home yesterday afternoon.

If Curt was desperately ill, why was Nora’s sister visiting? Perhaps she came to take the girls to Aurora, although Edith was old enough to supervise her younger sisters.

Perhaps Carrie was helping to care for Curt. If he was bedfast, with intestinal symptoms, Nora probably needed all the help she could get.

Or perhaps she came to support her sister.

  • March 8, 1907 – Curt Lore of west Second Street is in a precarious condition, with little hope for recovery.

Given this, Nora probably asked her sister to come and take the girls so that they didn’t see their father pass away. Curtis, however, remained by his side.

Oh no!

  • March 16 and 18, the same notice – Curt Lore of west Second street remains about the same.

Curt is hanging on by a thread. It seems that typhoid is doing what oil wells, nitroglycerine and dynamite couldn’t do – lay Curt low.

Curt had been ill for over two months now and it appears obvious that the consensus is that he won’t survive.

But Wait…

  • March 21, 1907 – Curt Lore of west Second street was able to be out riding this morning.

That man is amazing. Three days ago, he was still given up for dead. This man, I swear, has nine lives.

  • March 22, 1907 – Clyde Clumber of Silver Lake has succeeded John Ferveda at the Big Four station. Mr. Ferveda is located at Rushville.

Does this mean that John was being transferred elsewhere? With Edith gone, studying in Cincinnati?

  • March 30, 1907 – Curt Lore was able to be uptown again today.

I didn’t expect to see this. Curt has obviously escaped the grim reaper and is on the mend. Close call!

Edith Receives Honors in Cincinnati

  • May 8, 1907 – Miss Edith Lore of this city who is attending school in Cincinnati has been highly complimented by the faculty of the institution.

Edith has been in school 2 months. I wish this article had provided the name of the institution.

Some creative googling with city directories shows that there are three candidates for business schools that Edith might have attended.

The Bartlett Commercial College was located near the Union Depot at 641 W. 4th, which would have been the closest distance to walk from the depot. The Mueller School of Business at 6th and Vine and Nelson’s Business College at 7th and Elm.

Edith learned office skills, specifically shorthand and administrative skills, along with bookkeeping.

I wish those academic records were available today.

  • May 10, 1907 – Daily Republican, Rushville, Indiana – Jacob Kirsch of Aurora, who has been here this week at the home of his daughter, Mrs. C. B. Lore and family, of West Second Street, returned home yesterday.

This is the only visit by Jacob that I found. He would have had a difficult time getting away from the Kirsch House even though he was clearly retirement age – 66. I wonder if there was an occasion or if he just decided to visit. Perhaps because Curt nearly died and he wanted to support his daughter.

Curt Goes Back to Work

Just a month later, Curt appears to be ready to go back to work.

  • June 10, 1907 – There are two applicants for the position of superintendent of the city water and light plant made vacant by Oliver M. Ong’s resignation. Curt Lore and T. Melville Greenlee are both aspirants for the position.

Interesting that after his recovery, Curt is now hunting for a job. I wonder what he was doing before and how the family managed financially while he was so desperately ill.  Maybe Jacob Kirsch delivered money.

Curt did not get the job, but that didn’t keep him from working. Although, life’s deck of cards seemed to be stacked against him.

  • June 11, 1907 – Quite a loss sustained by Curtis Lore yesterday when one of his horses which he drives to his street sprinkler died from some unknown cause.

This is the second horse that dropped dead on Curt, 18 months apart. The first one was on a farm though, so Curt wasn’t personally involved.

About this time, Curt must have felt like if it weren’t for bad luck, he would have had no luck at all. He must have been crushed and felt defeated.

  • June 24, 1907 – Mildred Lore of West Second street has returned home from several months visit with relatives in Aurora, Indiana. She was accompanied home by her sister, Miss Edith.

This was 3 months after Edith left to attend business school. Mother said that Edith’s Aunt, Carrie, paid for Edith’s schooling. Was this the extent of Edith’s college education?  Was there more schooling yet to come?

Mildred was born in 1899, so she would have been 8 years old. How was she able to visit Aurora for months on end? What about school?

Arrested!!!

  • June 25, 1907 – City Marshal Price arrested Curt Lore this afternoon on West Second street on a charge of provoking an officer.

Oh my! This man is full of surprises!

  • June 26, 1907 – Lore Trial Will Come Up Monday – City Marshal Declares that Lore insisted on Making Provoking Declarations – Curt Lore was before Mayor Cowing this morning, charged with provoking an officer and his trial was set for next Monday morning. F. J. Hall appeared for him. The case is the outcome of an altercation between Lore and City Marshal Price. The controversy arose over a statement Lore is said to have made to Price declaring that the city officials only made arrests to secure the fees. This incensed the officer and after repeated demands of Lore to refrain from making such a statement, he was placed under arrest.
  • July 2, 1907 – Special Judge Will Hear the Curt Lore Case – The trial of Curt Lore who is charged with provoke on City Marshal Price was again postponed yesterday in Mayor Cowing’s court, and the case will be heard Friday morning by Special Judge George Young. A constable will be sworn in to fulfill the city marshal’s duties in making up a jury.

Was a special judge required because Curt or the Marshall was friends with the judge?

  • July 3, 1907 – Miss Curtis Lore of West Second street will go to Aurora Saturday for a visit with her grandparents.

I need a scorecard to keep track of where the girls are. Even though this extended family lived in separate towns, they remained very close, despite distance. This was probably facilitated by the fact that both families lived very close to the depots in Rushville and Aurora. The granddaughters spent a great deal of time with their grandparents and aunts at the Kirsch House. Their great-grandparents, Barbara Drechsel Kirsch’s parents were living as well, with Barbara Mehlheimer Drechsel passing away in January of 1906 and George Drechsel in February of 1908 at age 85.

Maybe they went to visit their grandparents because Nora didn’t want them at home during the trial. Curt Lore seemed to be a bit hotheaded and I’d wager, he was swearing a bit. Nora certainly would NOT have wanted her girls hearing that.

  • July 5, 1907

The court sustaining the motion means that the judge agrees with the motion. Quashing an indictment means that it is made void or invalid.

This is over. I guess hiring attorney Hall was worth the money for Curt. Nora was probably furious with him.

This episode leaves me with two thoughts. First, that perhaps Curt wasn’t entirely “right” after his severe illness, or maybe there is more to this story that we’ll never know.

Never Mind – Nothing to See Here

My second thought is the remarkable contrast between this drama involving Curt and the next entry about his wife who, the same day, is apparently playing cards and trying to act as if nothing has happened. “Nothing to see here. Just men being men. Carry on.”

  • July 6, 1907 – A delightful time was spent Wednesday afternoon at the Social club when Mrs. Oliver Dale entertained the 3 card clubs. A three course luncheon was served. Mrs. Curtis Lore won the honors for the Five Hundred.

Five Hundred must have become a family tradition. Mom played with her mother, Edith, and I played with my Mom.

  • July 9, 1907 – Curt Lore was in Greensburg this morning on business.
  • August 3, 1907 – Mrs. J. R. Whyman (is this Wymond?) of Aurora, Indiana is the guest of Mrs. C. B. Lore on West Second Street.

I suspect this is Nora’s sister, with the initials mistyped and the last name misspelled.

  • August 3, 1907 – Miss Eloise Lore, daughter and Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Lore returned today from 6 months stay in Aurora.

Wow – 6 months. That’s a VERY long time to be away from home, especially for a young child. This is odd.

  • August 9, 1907 – Misses Curtis Lore and Lucile Meredith are the guests of Miss Pauline Coverston at Goshen.
  • August 19, 1907 – Miss Curtis Lore will play piano at the Star beginning tonight.

The Star appears to be a movie theater where films are shown. This entry appeared under “Amusements.”

  • September 5, 1907 – Festival Queen Voting Lively: First Day Marks Many Nominations and Many Votes are Cast

At first, I thought of this as trivial, but then noticed the prize – a piano. Clearly NOT trivial, but Curtis isn’t in the lead.

Edith had returned home in June. The youngest daughter, Eloise was sent to Aurora as well in February, about the time that the Typhoid epidemic hit and returned home in August. Both Curtis and Mildred, the middle daughters, seem to have remained at home.

Building Bridges

By October, Curt was bidding on bridge repair contracts and traveling again.

  • October 7, 1907 – There were two bridge contracts awarded. The building of the Hinchman Bridge was let to Curtis Lore at $828.
  • October 9, 1907 – Curt Lore made a business trip to Indianapolis and Columbus yesterday.
  • October 11, 1907 – Curt Lore has received the steel for the construction of the HInchman bridge and work will begin immediately.

How did Curt know how to build bridges? Bridges and oil wells don’t seem connected. Apparently Curt became a contractor, either intentionally or accidentally during this time.

If money could be made, Curt, the consummate entrepreneur, figured out how and executed on that plan.

Courting

By November 1907, we know that Edith was at least flirting with John Ferverda. She sent him a postcard with her photo on the front. This at least suggests that she is living back at home, and her schooling only lasted for three months.

  • November 20, 1907 – Curt Lore, the contractor, has just completed the excavation for a vault being built for Theo. Reed at East Hill cemetery. It will be constructed of concrete and have nine receptacles for caskets in it. The vault will be located on the side of a hill in the new part of the cemetery.

Ok, add mausoleum builder to Curt’s lengthy resume. This substantial building still stands today.

  • December 18, 1907 – Miss Estelle Brehm, of Spokane, Washington comes this week to spend the holidays with her cousin, Mrs. C. B. Lore in West Second Street.

Estelle Brehm, born in 1884 in Chicago, is the daughter of Nora’s mother’s sister.

  • December 19, 1907 – Dear Santa Claus: Please bring me a doll, a go-cart, a sled, some candy and oranges. Your friend, Mildred Lore

1908

This oh-so-cute photo is labeled “Mildred and Eloise, Rushville, 1908.” Given the winter scene, I’d suspect it was January or February. I surely wish I recognized one of those houses today.

Of course, I have to laugh. Is Mildred sitting on a sled? Maybe she had been good and Santa delivered!

  • January 24, 1908 – Mrs. J. S. Wymond of Aurora is here the guest of her sister, Mrs. C. B. Lore in West Second Street.
  • February 26, 1908 – George Drechsel, Nora’s grandfather, died in Aurora and was buried on the 28th. There is nothing in the paper to indicate that either Nora or her sister went home to Aurora and attended his funeral, but I bet they did.

The Watson Beauty Bunch

Based on various newspaper articles, it appears that there were two groups of women called the “Watson Beauty Bunch.” The first group was disbanded on February 8, 1908 where it was reported that “they got their last pay envelope and an honorable discharge this evening.” However, that certainly wasn’t the end of the line.

The “Beauty Bunch” appears to have been reconstituted shortly thereafter with new women. Edith Lore was a member of the second group which was formed in an effort to garner publicity and get candidate Jim Watson elected.

  • March 12, 1908

  • March 20, 1908 – In a local minstrel talent show that packed the theater, we find “the Misses Curtis Lore and Mabel Condon played piano for the various acts and songs.”
  • April 2, 1908 – Watson Beauty Bunch:

Edith’s schooling paid off in that she secured a high-profile position with Jim Watson’s political campaign. Today, we might look askance at this characterization, but in the time and place where she lived, being part of the “Beauty Bunch” would have been far more exciting that what the other young women in Rushville were doing.

These young ladies were able to travel and meet exciting people.

Watson had a crew of young women, stenographers, who wrote his flyers, probably his speeches, and worked as his staff to get him elected.

By reading this newspaper account of Watson’s nomination, we can share in some of the heady atmosphere of that day as Edith pinned badges on supporters at Watson’s headquarters. How she must have loved the energy generated by doing something she believed in.

She must have been so excited. This next article conveys some of that electricity, even 113 years, almost to the day, later.

The Watson Beauty Bunch group photo was published many times.

The Watson Beauty Bunch would have been considered very sexist today, in essence exploiting women, and not for their benefit. I don’t know how Edith felt about this, then or later – although she often told stories about this time to her family. For Edith, these seemed to be “the good old days.” My mother mentioned this, and never in a negative context, simply as something interesting involving her mother’s involvement with politics before women even had the right to vote.

Edith and the other “Beauty Bunch” ladies experienced some amount of notoriety and their involvement was exciting and unique for that time.

This experience shaped Edith. In 1920 and 1921, she focused on obtaining Indiana’s ratification of the 19th amendment allowing women the right to vote, then registering women the following year and working the polls. She provided a welcoming, friendly face at the polling location, explaining the voting process to women uncertain about how to vote that first time.

Edith clearly believed in what she was doing and she made a difference. Maybe a bit of Curt’s tenacity and “can do” attitude rubbed off on her.

I smile and think of her every single time I vote. I’m grateful to her and the other women who advocated for that right.

Based on this next short article, perhaps these ladies felt that they were involved in something larger than themselves – that they were able to be recognized contributors instead of remaining invisible and anonymous.

  • March 17, 1908, Indianapolis Star

Mother said that James Watson wanted Edith to accompany him to Washington DC to work for him permanently, but she declined – a decision she always regretted. Watson, a Republican, was defeated in his 1908 bid for Indiana governor after resigning his seat in the House of Representatives to run for governor, but continued to be very influential in politics, eventually returning to Washington in the Senate.

Edith married John Ferverda just 10 days after James Watson’s defeat. I wonder if those two items are in any way connected.

It’s sad that in 1908 the extent of these women’s acknowledged contributions were as stenographers and eye candy.

Another perspective would be that while Watson certainly couldn’t help how women were socially perceived and the institutional discrimination that existed at that time, he was giving credit where credit was due, allowing those typically marginalized to the shadows to experience some limelight. I can’t speak to his motivation, but I’m certainly delighted to have this information about an extremely interesting and inspirational chapter in Edith’s life.

Her skills opened doors and her example paved the way for others.

A stenographer was “one who transcribes,” according to Wikipedia, “such as a secretary who takes dictation,” often in shorthand.

Edith’s stint in business school wasn’t really about business at all, but focused more on secretarial skills that were supportive to those in business. Few jobs or career opportunities were available to women at that time, and stenography was one that was.  The barrier to entry was apparently “business school.” Even secretarial jobs required skills and training beyond what most women were likely to possess. Today, people who fill these types of positions are more aptly called administrative assistants. They were often the glue that held everything together.

Despite the restrictive nature of these positions, it was this skill set that saw Edith’s family through the Great Depression. Aunt Carrie would have been very pleased that her investment reaped life-saving benefits for her niece, years after Carrie had passed on. Perhaps that early scholarship had, indeed, been life-changing.

  • April 2, 1908 – Story covering the convention: Miss Mae Bebout and Miss Edith Lore of this city…officiated at headquarters, pinning Watson badges on all who entered.
  • April 9, 1908 – The Watson Beauty Bunch will have a “Dissolution Dinner” at Whitehead’s Saturday evening.

Building Bridges

Then as now, road maintenance begins in the spring, just about Easter time, and continues through late fall when the ground freezes.

  • April 18, 1908 – Easter Sunday reading at the First Presbyterian Church by Mildred Lore: “Daisies in the Meadow”
  • May 7, 1908 – Curt Lore was in Connersville yesterday evening on business.
  • May 25, 1908 – Mrs. C. B. Lore and daughter Mildred left Saturday for a visit with relatives at Aurora.
  • May 28, 1908 – A number of contracts were awarded…C. B. Lore was successful on the Rudy Arch, $214, Booth bridge $514, Kennedy bridge repair, $410 and Kiplinger, $750.

The Library of Congress shows this drawing of the Kennedy Bridge, built in 1881. Curt repaired it in 1908.

Of course, today, drivers don’t even realize they are crossing a body of water.

  • June 5, 1908 – Miss Ethel Walker of Shelbyville is visiting Miss Curtis Lore this week.
  • June 6, 1908 – Curt Lore who was recently awarded a number of bridge building contracts went to Cincinnati today where he purchased a large cement mixer.
  • June 7, 1908 – Curt Lore was in Connersville yesterday evening on business.

I can’t help but wonder what Curt was doing in these various locations where he traveled regularly throughout his residence in Rushville.

  • June 10, 1908 – C. B. Lore has returned from a trip to Columbus and Indianapolis
  • June 10, 1908 – C. B. Lore who purchased a large concrete mixer at Cincinnati this week began work today on the Booth bridges, south of this city.

Frog Hunting

  • June 12, 1908 – Took Wagon Along to Haul Greenback – Party Went Frogging But Horse Did Not Suffer Hauling Bagged Game. – In a frog hunting party that started in a spring wagon but only captured six of the green backs last night along Flatrock were <names omitted>, John Ferveda and Edith Lore. The usual catch for a small boy is 50 frogs in one night, but this throws no discredit on the party as it was not a good night for greenbacks.

So John Ferverda took Edith on a frog-hunting date??? In those long skirts?  And she married him anyway! Must have been true love!

Maybe they weren’t really concentrating on those frogs…hmmm.

Summer in Rushville

  • June 13, 1908 – Recitation at Presbyterian Church by Eloise Lore – “The Party”
  • July 2, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore will go to Lake Tippecanoe tomorrow to spend a two week vacation with relatives and friends.

If Edith spent two weeks at Lake Tippecanoe, she clearly wasn’t employed someplace.

  • July 3, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore went to Lake Tippecanoe today for a visit with relatives.

I’m unclear as to who, but I think someone in the family owned a cottage on the lake.

  • July 9, 1908 – Ed Kirsch has returned to his home in Burnsides, Kentucky after a visit with his sister, Mrs. C. B. Lore in West Second Street.

This is Ed’s only visit that I’ve found. Nora’s other brother, Martin, apparently never visited or if he did, it didn’t get reported in the paper.

  • July 27, 1908 – Miss Chloe Ferveda has returned to her home near Lake Tippecanoe after a visit here with Miss Edith Lore.

Aha – perhaps Edith’s visit to the lake was to spend time with John Ferverda’s family.

  • July 18, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore has returned from a visit with friends at Lake Tippecanoe.

Chloe Ferverda is John Ferverda’s sister. Was the family checking Edith out as possible in-law material? Is that why Edith visited Lake Tippecanoe?

  • August 5, 1908 – Miss Curtis Lore will go to Aurora next week for a visit with relatives.

Curtis would have been 17 years old and probably traveled on the train by herself. When she stepped off the train at the depot in Aurora, she was literally on her grandmother’s doorstep.

Amusement Park Summertime Fun

We don’t think of our ancestors a century ago visiting amusement parks, but they did. In fact, that was the beginning of that summer tradition.

  • August 10, 1908 – Misses Curtis Lore and <names omitted>, of this city were in Indianapolis yesterday. They visited Wonderland and Riverside Park.

These two amusement parks were new at that time. Riverside opened in 1903 and didn’t close until 1970. Wonderland, a trolley and water themed park, shown below, opened in 1906, was raided for selling illegal liquor in 1911, and subsequently burned.

I can’t imagine visiting an amusement park wearing those long multi-layered dresses.

  • August 29, 1908 – Misses Mildred and Eloise Lore returned Friday afternoon after a visit with W. R. Coverston and family at Goshen.
  • September 23, 1908 – C. B. Lore is at Knightstown on business today.
  • September 24, 1908 – The new Republican headquarters on the ground floor of the K of P building are the most adequate ever secured. County Chairman Charles A. Frazee is in charge and Miss Edith Lore is officiating as stenographer. Drop in and do a little dictating, is the slogan; talk it over and pass your hand around. Everybody made welcome.
  • September 25, 1908 – Mrs. Theodore Bosse of Aurora is the guest of Mrs. C. B. Lore.

Mrs. Theodore Bosse was “Aunt Lou,” Nora’s aunt, her mother’s sister who was widowed and had remarried on May 3, 1908 to Theodore Busse/Bosse in Aurora. I’m sure Nora was thrilled to see her aunt who arrived with Nora’s mom, Aunt Lou’s sister.

  • September 25, 1908 – Mrs. Jacob Kirsch visiting her daughter Mrs. C. B. Lore.

Tragedy

Nora’s mother, Barbara Drechsel Kirsch was having a tough year. Her father died. Barbara’s daughter, Lou, and husband, Charles “Todd” Fiske, had come home to live. Todd had lost his job as a civil engineer, a situation he found devastating, forcing the couple to return to the Kirsch House to live. A few weeks later, on October 31st, Halloween, tragedy struck. It’s a good thing Barbara visited Nora when she did.

  • October 15, 1908 – Circuit court allowances – Edith B. Lore – court stenographer $8.00

I had no idea my grandmother was a court stenographer, recording trials by taking shorthand, a specialized skill.

  • October 28, 1908 – Night Parade for Saturday Republican Rally – Fireworks Committee – Curt Lore.

On Halloween evening, October 31, 1908, Todd Fiske, husband of Nora’s sister, Lou Kirsch Fiske, committed suicide by shooting himself in the courtyard at the Kirsch House in Aurora, Indiana.

November 5, 1908 – Seymour Indiana Tribute

Three days later, on November 3rd, the Indiana election was held in which James Watson was defeated. While the Watson Beauty Bunch had apparently been officially disbanded, meaning they were no longer paid – they continued to appear in at public events and are mentioned often in the newspaper. They participated in parades, riding floats, performed readings, and were generally front, center and visible.

Edith must have been extremely disappointed with the outcome of the election. Not to mention heartbroken for the grief her family was experiencing as a result of two deaths.

A double whammy, especially since the girls spent so much time in Aurora with their grandparents and aunts.

  • November 9, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore left this morning for a visit at Aurora.
  • November 10, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore went to Aurora yesterday for an extended visit with relatives.
  • November 14, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore returned today from a visit with her grandparents in Aurora.

Did Edith have news to share with her grandmother or was she simply going to participate in the funeral? Where was Nora and the other Lore daughters? Why didn’t they travel to Aurora?

Is something else going on?

  • November 15, 1908 – Fine musical program rendered at the First Presbyterian church Sunday might was a quartette…John Ferveda, tenor.

I never knew my grandfather sang, outside the general choir, or that he was a tenor.

The paper has consistently misspelled his name in every entry. Goes to show the value of searching for variants of names.

Surprise Wedding!

Three days later, we find at least some answers.

  • November 17, 1908 – A marriage license was issued yesterday evening to Miss Edith Barbara Lore and John Whitney Ferveda.
  • November 18, 1908 – Miss. Edith Barbara Lore and Mr. John Whitney Ferveda were quietly married at the Presbyterian church parsonage in North Harrison Street last night by Rev. J. L. Cowling.

No one in the family ever knew that this wedding was “quiet.” Edith was assuredly not pregnant, so that wasn’t the reason. Their first child wasn’t born for more than 7 years.

If this wedding had been being planned previously, there would have been invitations and the entire event would have been a social happening in Rushville. The Lore family was well known.

Why was did the marriage occur at this time, in the parsonage and not the church, and “quietly?” Why subdued with no celebration? The same day as the license was issued? A Tuesday. Did they decide to get married on the spur of the moment? Did they tell ANYONE in advance?

Did her parents and sisters attend? Clearly, her aunts and grandparents did not.

This is so out-of-character for this family. Why?

And what about John Ferverda’s family?

  • November 21, 1908

Why is this article titled, “Left a Deep Impression?”

I suspect that quietly married meant that it was a private, not public, service, with just the bride and groom and perhaps her parents.

I wonder if, given Edith’s father’s illness that they simply couldn’t afford a wedding. That may well have been true, but perhaps there were other factors involved too.

The suicide three weeks earlier surely affected everyone in the family. Jim Watson lost the election. Edith married just 10 days later. Did Edith have other plans had Watson won? Did Todd’s suicide make Edith realize that life was short and perhaps she should marry her love?

Maybe some combination?

We’ll never know.

Or perhaps it was quiet for another reason.

John Ferverda’s family was Brethren, so they would not have been pleased about this marriage. Was the “quiet” wedding an effort to spare his family, or for his family’s disapproval not to be made public by their conspicuous absence at a wedding?

John wasn’t the only Ferverda brother to marry outside the faith and inform his parents later. The Ferverda family had met Edith during her summer visit. Edith’s stenography, attending college and Beauty Bunch membership would have rubbed against the grain of expected female behavior within the Brethren faith.

John and Edith could have married at the Kirsch House, but then again, given Todd’s untimely death, that wasn’t such a good idea either.

The other tidbit in this article is that Curt drilled the first gas well in Greensburg. I wonder when? We know he resided in Findlay, Ohio but had been drilling in Greensburg for several months when he married Nora in January of 1888.

Research in newspapers and historical books indicates that 1889 and 1890 were years of intensive gas drilling in adjacent communities. I would guess that the gas well is what prompted the family’s move to Greensburg between 1888 and 1890.

Reception

Four days after her wedding, Mrs. Edith Lore Ferverda hosted her friends. That “Mrs.” is a coveted status symbol, so important to note.

  • November 23, 1908 – The Watson Beauty Bunch were entertained by Mrs. Edith Lore Ferveda at her home in West Second street last Saturday evening.

This was probably Edith’s wedding reception, of sorts. The newlyweds didn’t even have time for a honeymoon – even a short trip. Nothing was mentioned in the paper.

By now, with the newspaper announcement, everyone would have known that Edith and John had married. They were living with her parents, at least temporarily. Even though today, we don’t know what was happening behind the scenes – trust me – everyone in Rushville did.

For now, we fade to black for the next few months.

There was more going on than met the eye.

In the frozen depths of the 1909 winter, we’ll find out exactly what…

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Disclosure

I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.

Thank you so much.

DNA Purchases and Free Transfers

Genealogy Products and Services

Books

Genealogy Research

Ancestry’s “Your DNA Sample Has Been Destroyed” Email

Many AncestryDNA customers received an email from Ancestry stating that their DNA sample has been destroyed, as requested – but they did not make any request.

This email is generating a significant amount of confusion and angst.

  • These customers did NOT request that their DNA sample be destroyed.
  • Many people weren’t even aware that their sample had been retained. It’s not clear that their samples have/had been retained at this point.
  • Furthermore, many of these customers either have not signed up for the Human Diversity Project, or weren’t aware that they had.

Please note that destroying your DNA sample is NOT the same thing as removing or deleting your DNA RESULTS. The DNA sample is what is left over in the spit vial after processing. Your results would be unaffected. Deleting your results is an entirely separate and disconnected process not being discussed here.

Not an April Fools Joke

Yes, I know this is April 1st, but this is not an April Fool’s Joke, nor is it spam or a phishing attempt. The return email address seems quite legitimate, the same as other Ancestry communications, and Ancestry is aware that it was sent.

This appears to be an erroneous email issue. We have no idea what subgroup of customers received this email. Don’t you just hate it when your email system goes rogue like that:)

Several people have contacted Ancestry support and have been told a number of things:

  • It’s an erroneous email and Ancestry is having problems with their email system.
  • Their sample has NOT been destroyed.
  • Ancestry cannot tell them which sample is being referenced, for people who manage multiple samples.
  • Ancestry will get back with them.

I should also mention that this is not the first time this exact same thing has happened. Someone forwarded me this same email last fall.

It’s unclear whether any samples were actually destroyed, although I suspect this truly is simply an email issue.

However, as a consumer, it really doesn’t matter because there is nothing you can do with your stored sample at Ancestry anyway. No upgrades are or ever were available. Ancestry already destroyed their Y and mitochondrial DNA database in 2014, so that kind of testing clearly isn’t going to happen.

Sample Storage

Currently, during the kit activation process, you consent or do not consent to DNA sample storage.

You, the customer, cannot access this archived DNA for any reason, and there are no product upgrades. Ancestry’s short-lived health product required a new sample for processing.

There is no reason that benefits the customer to allow Ancestry to archive their DNA. If you opt-in to Ancestry’s Human Diversity Project, Ancestry will retain your DNA sample for additional processing.

You must explicitly choose to archive or not during kit activation.

It wasn’t always this way. For a long time, there was a question about whether or not the customer’s DNA sample was actually retained after processing. I’m still not sure about mine, because I was one of the earliest testers before the current options had been put in place. Here’s my 2012 consent process. In 2015, when Ancestry began monetizing our DNA, Judy Russell wrote about that here and I wrote about it here.

I should request the destruction of my DNA samples after this settles down and see what happens.

Hmmm…this could be confusing. For people who DID request the destruction of their DNA sample, and received this email, how do they know if their sample has actually been destroyed or if the email is erroneous? But I digress…

Opting-In or Out of the Human Diversity Project

Unless you opted-in to the “Human Diversity Project” which is Ancestry’s research project where they sell either your DNA or access to your DNA to collaborators or partners for unspecified research, there is no reason for Ancestry to retain your actual DNA sample.

Their email confirmed that their Human Diversity Project research partners perform additional processing on your DNA sample.

You can check or change your research consent settings under the “Settings” gear on the far right of your DNA page.

You can opt-in or out at any time, but if your DNA is already being used in a project when you change your mind, revocation of consent is not retroactive. Your DNA just won’t be used for any future research initiatives.

Here’s Ancestry’s Informed Consent document discussing the Human Diversity Project that everyone considering that option should read, thoroughly. Understand that you will not be notified if or when your sample is being used, nor what the research is for. I would be a lot more comfortable if customers could opt-in for specific research subjects/projects and it wasn’t just a “black box” of consent. Personally, I want to know where my DNA is and what it’s being used for.

If you have questions about any of this, please contact Ancestry support for clarification.

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Disclosure

I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.

Thank you so much.

DNA Purchases and Free Transfers

Genealogy Products and Services

Books

Genealogy Research

How to Download Your DNA Matching Segment Data and Why You Should

There are two or three types of data that testers may be able to download from DNA testing sites. Genealogy customers need to periodically download as much as possible.

  1. Raw data files needed for transferring DNA files from the company where you tested to other testing or analysis/comparison sites such as FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage, and GEDmatch for matching and other tools.
  2. Matching segment files which detail your matches, segment by segment with people whom you match.
  3. Match information files that provide you with additional information about your matches. What’s included varies by vendor.

This type of information is not uniformly available from all vendors, but is available as follows:

Vendor Raw Data File Matching Segment File Match Information File
FamilyTreeDNA Yes Yes Yes
MyHeritage Yes Yes Yes
23andMe Yes Yes Yes
Ancestry Yes No No
GedMatch Not a testing company, so no Yes Yes

I have provided step-by-step information about how to download your raw DNA data files and upload them to other vendors in a series of articles that you can find here.

Some of the answers in the table above need caveats because each vendor is different. Let’s take a look.

Matching Segment Files

In this article, I’ll provide information about how to download your matching segment and match information file(s).

Unfortunately, Ancestry does not provide any segment data at all, nor do they provide a way to download your match information. Third-party tools that did this for you have been banned by Ancestry, under threat of legal action, so this information is no longer available to Ancestry customers.

You can’t obtain this information from Ancestry, but you can transfer your DNA file to other vendors such as FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage and the third-party site, GEDmatch where you’ll receive additional matches. Some Ancestry matches will have transferred elsewhere as well, and you can take advantage of your matching segment information.

Why Do I Want a Matching Segment File?

The matching segment file provides you with information about exactly how and where you match each person.

Here’s an example that includes the match name, chromosome, start and end location of the match along with the total number of CentiMorgans (cM) and total SNPs in the matching segment. Your matching segment file consists of hundreds/thousands of rows of this information.

Determining who matches you on the same segment is important because it facilitates the identification of common ancestors. Segment matching is also the first step in triangulation which allows you to confirm descent from common ancestors with your matches.

I wrote about triangulation at each vendor in the following articles:

Matching and Triangulation help you sort out legitimate matches, and which ancestors that DNA segment comes from.

Sorting For Legitimate Matches

On each segment location of your DNA, you will match:

  • People from your Mom’s side
  • People from your Dad’s side
  • People that are identical by chance (IBC) where they match you because part of the DNA from your Mom’s side and part from your Dad’s side just happens to look like their DNA (or vice versa.)

You can see how matching works in this example of 10 DNA locations. You inherited half of your Mom’s DNA and half of your Dad’s.

  • Legitimate maternal matches to you on this segment will have all As in this location.
  • Legitimate paternal matches to you will have all Cs in this location.
  • Identical by chance matches will match you, because they have the same DNA as both of your parents that you carry – interspersed. They will not match either of your parents individually.

IBC matches DO technically match you, but accidentally. In other words, they are identical by chance (IBC) because they just happen to match the DNA of both of your parents intermixed. Conversely, you can match the DNA of their parents intermixed as well. Regardless of why, they are not a legitimate maternal or paternal match to you.

For example, you can see that the identical by chance (IBC) match to you, above, won’t match the legitimate maternal or legitimate paternal matches.

When comparing your matches on any segment, you’ll wind up with a group of people who match you and each other on your maternal side, a group on your paternal side, and “everyone else” who is IBC.

I wrote about IBD, identical by descent DNA and IBC, identical by chance DNA and how that works, here.

A downloadable segment match file allows you to sort all of your matches by chromosome and segment. That’s the first step in determining if your matches match each other – which is how to determine if people are legitimate matches or IBC.

Additionally, these files allow you to utilize features at DNAPainter along with the tools at DNAGedcom and Genetic Affairs.

Match Information File

There’s a second file you’ll want to download as well except at 23andMe who includes all of the information in one file. You’ll want to download these files from each vendor at the same time so they are coordinated and include the same matches from the same time.

Downloading the second file, your match information, provides additional information which will be helpful for your genealogy. The information in this file varies by vendor, but includes items such as, but not limited to:

  • Tree link
  • Haplogroup
  • Match date
  • Predicted Relationship Range
  • Actual Relationship
  • Total shared cM
  • Longest segment cM
  • Maternal or paternal bucket (FamilyTreeDNA)
  • Notes
  • Email
  • Family Surnames
  • Location
  • Percent of shared DNA

You never know when vendors are going to change something that will affect your matches, like 23andMe did last fall, so it’s a good idea to download periodically.

Downloading your segment match and match information files are free, so let’s do this.

Downloading Your Segment Match & Information Files

FamilyTreeDNA

Sign on to your account.

click images to enlarge

Under your Family Finder Autosomal DNA test results, click on Chromosome Browser.

On the chromosome browser page, at the top right, click on Download All Segments.

Caveat – if you access the chromosome browser through the Family Finder match page, shown below, you will receive the segment matches ONLY for the people you have selected.

After selecting specific matches, as shown above, the option on the chromosome browser page will only say “Download Segments.” It does NOT say “Download All Segments.”

Clicking on this link only downloads the segments that you match with those people, so always be sure to access “Download ALL Segments” directly through the chromosome browser selection on your Autosomal DNA Family Finder menu without going to your match page and selecting specific matches.

The segment download file includes only the segments, but not additional information, such as which side, maternal or paternal, those matches are bucketed to, surnames and so forth. You need to download a second file.

To download additional information about your matches, scroll to the very bottom of your Family Finder match page and click on either Download Matches or Download Filtered matches. If you’ve used a filter such as maternal or paternal, you’ll receive only those matches, so be sure no filters are in use to download all of your matches’ information.

Your reports will be downloaded to your computer, so save them someplace where you can find them.

MyHeritage

Sign in to your account and click on the DNA tab, then DNA Matches.

At the far right-hand side, you’ll see three little dots. Click on the dots and you’ll see the options to export both the entire DNA Matches list and the shared DNA segment info for all DNA Matches.

You’ll want to download both. The first file Is the DNA matches list.

To download your segment matches, select the second option, “Export shared DNA segment info…”

Your files will be emailed to you.

23andMe

At 23andMe, sign on to your account and click on “DNA Relatives” under the Ancestry tab.

You’ll see your list of matches. Scroll to the very bottom where you’ll see the link to “Download aggregate data.”

23andMe combines your segment and match information in one file.

Remember that at 23andMe, your matches are limited to 2000 (unless you’re a V5 subscriber), minus the number of people who have not opted in to Relative Sharing. Additionally, there will be a number of people in the download file whose names appear, but who don’t have any segment data. Those people opted-in to Relative Sharing, but not to share segment information.

For example, my download file has 2827 rows. Of those, 1769 are unique individuals, meaning that I have matches with multiple segments for 1058 people. This means that of my 2000 allowed matches, 231 (or more) did not opt-in for Relative Sharing. The “or more” means that 23andMe does not roll matches off the list if you have communicated with the person, so some people may actually have more than 2000 matches. It’s impossible to know how 23andMe approaches calculations in this case.

Of those 1769 unique individuals on my match list, 257, or 15% did not share segment information. I’d sure like for those to be automatically rolled off and replaced with the next 257 who do share. 1512 or roughly three-quarters, 75%, of my 2000 allowed matches are useful for genealogy.

Initially, when 23andMe made their changes last fall, they were reportedly limiting the download file number to 1000, but they have reversed that policy on the V3 and V4 chips. I downloaded files from both chip versions to confirm that’s true.

I don’t have the V5 chip subscription level, nor am I going to retest to do that, so I don’t know if V5 subscribers receive all 5000 of the allowed matches in their download file.

This is the perfect example of why it’s a good idea to download your match files periodically. 23andMe is the only testing vendor that restricts your matches and when they roll off your list, they are irretrievable.

Aside from that, safe is better than sorry. You never know when something will change at a vendor and you’ll wish you had downloaded your match files earlier.

GedMatch

GedMatch, a third-party vendor, provides lots of tools but isn’t intuitive and provides almost no tutorial or information about how to navigate or use their site. There are some YouTube videos and Kitty Cooper has written several how-to articles. GEDmatch has promised a facelift soon.

GEDmatch provides many tools for free, along with a Tier1 level which provides advanced features by subscription.

At GEDmatch, you can see up to 2000 matches for free, but you must be a Tier 1 subscription member to download your matches – and the download is restricted to your top 1000 matches.

There are two Tier 1 one-to-many comparison options that are very similar. For either, you’ll enter your kit number and make your selection. Given that you’re restricted to 1000 in the download, there is no reason to search for more than 1000 kits.

click to enlarge

Then, click on Visualization options

You will then see the list of visualization options which includes “List/CSV.”

Clicking on “List/CSV” provides you with options.

click to enlarge

You’ll want to select the Matched Segment List, and you can either select “Prevent Hard Breaks,” or not. Allowing hard breaks means that small non-matching regions between two matching segments is not ignored, and the two segments are reported as two separate segments – if they are large enough to be reported.

If you prevent hard breaks, non-matching regions of less than 500,000 thousand base positions are ignored, creating one larger blended segment. It’s my preference to allow hard breaks because I’ve seen too many instances of erroneously “blended” segments.

When your matching segment file is complete, you will be prompted to download to your computer.

Thanks to Genetic Affairs, I discovered an alternate way to obtain more than 1000 downloaded matches from GEDmatch.

GEDmatch Alternative Methodology

Genetic Affairs suggests using the DNA Segment Search with a minimum of 5000 kits, and to enable the option to “Prevent Hard Breaks.”

Do not close the session while GedMatch is processing or you’ll need to restart your query.

When finished click “Here” to download the file to your system.

Now you’re ready for part 2.

Next, you’ll want to select the Triangulation feature.

These functions take time, so you’ll be watching as the counter increases. Or maybe go eat dinner or research some genealogy.

I can hear the “Jeopardy countdown music

When finished, click on “Here” to download this second file.

Whew! Now you should have your segment and match information files from each company that supports this information and provides downloads.

Saving Files

I generally save my files by vendor and date. However, if you’re going to use the files for a special project – you may want to make a copy elsewhere. For example, I’m going to use these files for Genetic Affairs’ AutoSegment feature, so I’ve downloaded fresh files from each vendor on the same date and made a separate copy, stored in my Genetic Affairs folder. I’ll let you know how that goes😊

Bottom Line

  • Test at vendors that don’t accept transfers. Ancestry and 23andMe
  • Test at or transfer to the rest. FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage and GEDmatch
  • Unlock or subscribe to the advanced tools that include chromosome browsers, ethnicity, and more, depending on the vendor. FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage, GEDmatch
  • Upload or create trees at each vendor (except 23andMe who doesn’t support trees.)
  • Download as much information as you can from each vendor.
  • Work your matches through shared (in common with) matches, trees, segments, and clusters!

Have fun!!!

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Disclosure

I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.

Thank you so much.

DNA Purchases and Free Transfers

Genealogy Products and Services

Books

Genealogy Research

Misleading 23andMe Paternal Haplogroup Emails For Females

I received an email for a 23andMe kit that I manage stating “Your Paternal Haplogroup Report is waiting for you.” Really? Cool!!!

Only problem is that the tester is a female – and females don’t have a paternal haplogroup available because females don’t have Y DNA.

Clearly, this is just not possible.

Three things crossed my mind:

  1. Erroneous email, as in “oops.” Some marketing person is going to be in a heap of trouble.
  2. Incompetence following the sale of the company. There have been other recent changes that caused me to wonder, although some were reversed.
  3. Bait and switch. Surely not. 23andMe has never been like that, so this is a distant third.

I knew for an absolute fact, beyond any doubt that this close family member is female.

I also realize that any female who receives this email would excitedly check their Paternal Haplogroup report – thinking that maybe, just maybe, some new scientific discovery had been made so they CAN actually see a paternal haplogroup from their own DNA test.

Time to see what’s going on.

I Signed In

I signed in and saw an unopened Paternal Haplogroup report under “Next Reports” at the top of the main page.

click to enlarge

I checked another female kit that I manage, plus my own. The same thing appeared on both of those accounts too.

This e-mail was clearly not an “oops” email inadvertently sent to a female group of testers. It has to be something else.

Sure enough, on the Ancestry tab, if I scroll down, I see these two placards.

click to enlarge image

Maternal Haplogroup, which everyone has, and Paternal Haplogroup, which only males have. Did 23andMe make some kind of mistake? I clicked on the “View Your Report” button for Paternal Haplogroup. It took me to the same page the Paternal Haplogroup link on my main page did.

click to enlarge image

My heart just sank.

Sure enough, it’s a pitch to test another family member, a father or brother. 23andMe explains that no, the female tester really doesn’t have a paternal haplogroup.

So, it IS bait and switch, the least likely scenario I expected. I’m really disappointed. I never thought I’d see the day 23andMe would adopt this type of disingenuous marketing technique.

Why Does This Bother Me So Much?

In general, acquisitions make people uneasy, and 23andMe was acquired in February.

We don’t know what to expect of the new owners, or the direction they will take a company. In this case, the company involved, 23andMe, not only has my DNA, they provide information about my health as part of my test.

Consumers need to be able to have confidence that the information 23andMe provides is accurate. We need to be able to trust them, to believe what they tell us about our DNA results without having to wonder if there is something more, or less, in this case, to the story. In other words, that there’s no ulterior motive in their message.

I grew up on a farm and my old farmer Dad used to tell me that “if someone will lie to you about one thing, they will lie to you about anything.”

I would have NO PROBLEM whatsoever with 23andMe sending an email telling females how to obtain a paternal haplogroup for their paternal line.

There’s a significant difference, though, between that and telling female testers that their “Paternal Haplogroup report is waiting for you,” when it’s very clearly not. The email says the report “includes insights about your DNA,” which it clearly does not, because there is no report. 23andMe knows this. That email says “View Report” twice, with links. It’s not a mistake. It’s a hook, using my own DNA as bait, and I’m the fish.

This tactic is misleading, at best. In my opinion, it’s an unethical and dishonest attempt to manipulate unwary or naïve customers. And truthfully, I’m shocked. I never expected behavior like this from 23andMe. It seems so out-of-character about what I thought I understood about Ann Wojcicki. In this 2015 interview in PLOS Genetics, she said, “I think that for our mission, it’s really important that people trust the company.” What happened?

If I WAS inclined to test another family member, given this deceptive bait and switch sales tactic, I assuredly wouldn’t. Telling me I “have” something only to discover I don’t in an attempt to sell me that same “something” is just not a technique I would have expected 23andMe to embrace.

Come on 23andMe, you are, or were, better than this. ☹

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Disclosure

I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.

Thank you so much.

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Van Oeyen/Oijen Synchronicity in Venlo – 52 Ancestors #326

In 2017, I traveled to the Netherlands, land of my ancestors, where Yvette Hoitink, Dutch genealogist extraordinaire, me and my husband visited the city of Venlo in the southeast corner of the Netherlands.

I’m not ready to publish articles about those ancestors just yet, but suffice it to say that Yvette’s in-process research brought us to this lovely old city.

In the Netherlands, you park wherever you can, and then you walk – enjoying the lovely historic buildings and shops along the way. Everyone walks and bicycles everyplace, and it’s wonderful. It’s a Dutch thing, although you won’t find me on a bicycle.

The old Venlo market square, town hall, and churches, thankfully, survived WWII.

Venlo is not a small town, currently sporting a population of just over 100,000.

Venlo, a historic Hanseatic league city, is located on the Meuse River which meanders its way to the sea. The old medieval market square and town hall is located at the left arrow and the church at the right arrow. You’ll notice a red pin in-between. Keep that in mind for a minute.

Here’s a lovely map of the walled-city of Venlo in 1652 where you can see the same old-town region. We know that my ancestor was indeed living here just a couple of years later.

You can see the same streets on the current map, although they have changed some.

An earlier map of the 1586 siege of Venlo indicates that this area was significantly built up between 1586 and 1652. However, there were structures standing in 1586, although the 1652 map shows more substantial buildings, along with adjacent fields within the gated city.

We walked those same streets.

This particular street where I was standing right about that red pin/star, led to the church where my ancestors baptized their children.

The Church

The church is massive and ancient, one of Venlo’s oldest structures.

The stud reinforced doors of the churches and town hall speak to sieges and mariners past. Pretty much all of the Netherlands is maritime and my ancestor was born dead-center in the midst of the Thirty Years War. A gated city was the safest place to live anyplace in Europe.

We tugged on the church door handle and found it unlocked – not uncommon in European cities during the day.

We entered the sacred space reverently, with great anticipation.

The engulfing silence separated us from the bustle of the city and transported us back to an earlier time. Medieval churches feel timeless.

Seeing no one, we walked in the very footsteps of my ancestors.

Those young parents, almost 400 years ago, may have stood before this window baptizing their second child who would eventually leave for the new world, but never arrive. That baby eventually baptized his own children standing right here.

A tradition, we lit candles, paid homage and absorbed the silence of the ages.

What were they thinking and feeling? Did they have any clue what the future would bring?

The Antiquarian Bookshop

Upon leaving the sanctity of the church, retracing our path back down the curves of the street, Yvette and I noticed an antiquarian bookshop.

Truth be told, we actually noticed it during our arrival, but that church was calling loudly to us so we hurried past.

On the return trip, the bookstore was screaming at us!

We could see those vintage books, beckoning us with a crooked finger. Come hither ladies…

Maybe there would be old maps too. We both love maps. Poor Jim. I have no idea what he did, other than guard our bags outside and stand ready to carry packages if need be. He was such a good sport.

This building was obviously old too. My ancestors probably passed this very building as they walked to church every Sunday. Perhaps they went inside, crossing the same threshold we just stepped over. Did they know the residents? Was it a shop they frequented?

Yvette and I could see the books piled high on tables, the ultimate flea market. Dusty bins to look through, searching for treasures. How could we possibly resist?

Our eyes adjusted to the dim light casting the room much as it would have looked centuries earlier, minus the tables stacked with books of course. There were no windows in the sides or rear of the building, so the further back in the building you ventured, the darker it became.

The inside of this shop still resembled a home, with a steep, narrow stairway in the rear. Families and merchants in medieval times had shops on the street level of the house and often lived upstairs or in the rear, as did animals. This building is actually 5 or 6 stories high, plus that tiny door at the top. That small door at the very top suggests a pulley arm hoist that extended outside over the street, possibly to hoist either feed for livestock, merchandise, or furniture.

A house on the street by the church would have been prime real estate back in the day.

I can’t even begin to explain what happened next.

The Plate

I noticed an old Dutch plate or shallow bowl hanging on the dimly lit back wall. It wasn’t particularly beautiful, but I was mesmerized by this plate. I don’t collect plates. I’ve never bought a plate as a souvenir, before or since.

But this plate, this plate, was different.

I asked about the plate and the owners knew nothing about it. Had been there a long time, they said. Didn’t remember how long and seemed entirely disinterested. I asked if I could take the plate off the wall to look at it. “Of course,” they said, waving the question off.

Indeed, when I took the plate off the wall to look at the back, it was covered with layers of grime that suggested no one had paid it any attention in years. Maybe decades.

The finish was cracked by years of age and wear and the back was signed in some way, probably the personal monogram of the ceramic Delftware potter.

I wondered if the plate might have been in Venlo at the time my ancestors lived there, maybe on some merchant’s dinner table. It appeared to be old enough and quite worn.

I hung the plate back on the wall and walked away.

The last thing I needed was a fragile plate, and besides, what would I DO with it anyway. Maps and books were much easier to transport and not in danger of breaking. If I actually wanted a plate, I could buy a stunning new beautiful Delft plate anyplace in the Netherlands.

I walked back to the front of the shop and began looking through the bins and boxes with Yvette.

That old plate called relentlessly to me, begging, and refused to leave me alone.

I finally turned around and walked back to the plate again. There was no price tag. Was it even for sale?

I asked the shopkeeper how much it cost – or rather – Yvette did. No price marked on the plate, but yes, they would sell it. Hmmm, was that a bad sign that the plate would be quite expensive? I was leery about the situation.

Yvette said to make an offer. I was way, way out of my league here.

I had absolutely NO IDEA what to offer. It was old and probably valuable, but that’s not why I wanted it. Actually, I had no idea why I wanted it, but I simply had to bring that plate home with me.

It was refusing to be left behind.

Yvette offered something – a small amount. They accepted. Transaction done. As we exited the shop, I was ecstatic. Like I had scored the prize of the century and won the ancestor lottery – although I still can’t explain this way “out of proportion reaction.” Jim was quite surprised and said, “You bought a what???”

I told him I had no idea why. He chuckled, shrugged, and proceeded to discuss ways to pack the plate safely in the carry-on luggage somehow.

Research Continues

Yvette has continued to research my ancestors. Before the lockdown, she returned to Venlo to sort through information in records not available digitally.

She was working with the old maps to see if she could figure out if my ancestors owned property, and if so, where.

She posted on Facebook after one of her trips to say that indeed, she HAD found a house.

Wow! Talk about a needle in a haystack. Her work is truly amazing!

She was kind enough to send me a picture she had taken.

I was SOOOO excited!

Drum roll…..

Photo courtesy Yvette Hoitink

It’s the old bookshop, of course! Yes, that exact same building with the plate on the wall.

Whoa.

Deep breath…

It seems that in our excitement about the contents of the bookstore and the plate on the wall inside, we had overlooked something on the wall outside, on the bricks, just above that bicycle.

Photo courtesy Yvette Hoitink

The plaque says this is the van Oeyen – Boener house, via Google translate:

Renaissance – façade. 1588. With family crest of Oeyen – Boener. Restoration in 1921 and following.

Both the date of construction and the crest are embedded in the front of the building.

Of course, now we need to unravel this thread.

Is this the home of my family or connected to my family? We know they were living in Venlo and baptizing their children at the church within sight, just down the street.

We don’t know for sure if or where my family fits in with this house yet. It’s possible the name is similar but not the same family at all. Fate pulls tricks like this, especially on me.

Of course, all of these people with the same or similar surnames are all attending the same church, at the same time, in the same city, naming children the same names.

We have the Y DNA of our ancestral line, and a Y DNA test of any male descended directly paternally from and carrying the Oeyen, Oijen, Van Oeyen or derivative surname from the various Venlo lines would answer the relationship question definitively.

These unresolved questions are why I’m not publishing the ancestor article now.

Rest assured that Yvette will sort this out as soon as she can travel again.

In the meantime, I’m loving my plate, now hanging on my “Dutch” wall in a place of honor!

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Disclosure

I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.

Thank you so much.

DNA Purchases and Free Transfers

Genealogy Products and Services

Books

Genealogy Research

Pandemic Journal: It’s Been (One Heck of) a Year

My first Pandemic Journal article was published on March 7, 2020 – a year ago, just a few days after returning from RootsTech. Talk about dodging a bullet.

I still think several of my friends had Covid at RootsTech, and after. Of course, we didn’t know it at the time.

In that article, I explained the symptoms that every living human on earth knows by now, and drew parallels with the Spanish Flu pandemic a century ago.

I still remember the people who said I was overreaching and fearmongering and was irresponsible. How I wish they had been right.

Of course, back then, we couldn’t get diagnostic tests, didn’t know if face masks were effective (they are) and didn’t know exactly what to do.

Since then, we’ve made masks by the thousands, shipped them across the country by the boxfulls to front line medical teams and essential workers, and isolated ourselves to protect ourselves and others.

Hand sanitizer has become a gift of love and the Amazon driver or food delivery person is the highlight of your day, week and month.

Never, ever in my wildest dreams or most horrible nightmares did I expect what has happened, nor that we would still be isolating a year later.

Are we perched on the edge of yet another surge as more and more people celebrate “opening up,” gathering again, and going maskless?

I don’t know. I surely hope not, but given the variants and the understandable “pandemic fatigue” going on, I fear that we are.

Comparison

This New York Times tracking graph shows new daily cases along with the 7-day average of new Covid cases. On March 8th, a year ago, we had 119 new cases. Today, we’d be grateful for that number.

Think about the fact that 119 cases were enough to begin isolation.

Today, a year later, we have 40,000+ new cases, just today.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that we are way, WAY higher in terms of new cases now than we were when we began the shutdown initially. Yet, some states have removed restrictions entirely and many others have loosened them substantially.

Unfortunately, we were never entirely shut down across at the same time, and the virus burned and continues to burn its way throughout our population, sewing death in its path. The grim reaper, indeed.

More than half a million souls have perished – and it’s not over.

We are perhaps in the third quarter of the game, but we aren’t yet victorious.

Devastating Loss

A couple of months after the first article, I published another where I said that not only had my cousin’s uncle died in an assisted living facility, but that my friend’s neighbor, a 6-year-old girl, had died.

People asked if this was “really” true, obviously doubting. Again, I wish they had been right.

That was followed shortly by my friend’s mother’s death from Covid. Then, more and more and more people. So many more.

Now, I suspect everyone knows at least one person who has succumbed and even more who have been ill.

So far, I’ve lost 7 family members to Covid, unless I’ve forgotten someone. I should have started a list. How sad is that.

As I write this, my cousin’s husband is recovering, and my cousin herself is still gravely ill, three weeks into their illness.

One cousin lost both parents within two weeks.

Another friend lost her mother and step-father within a week of each other.

My husband lost his best and longest friend in January and couldn’t attend the funeral.

I’m ashamed to admit I’ve lost count of the people I know who have been devastated by this life-altering illness and death. Every single person who dies or is severely debilitated has family members who love them – whose lives will never be complete again.

The death count may be 525,000 and counting, but the grief count is much, much higher.

And those numbers don’t even begin to account for the long-haulers. I know several and many are young, in their 20s and 30s. A year ago, “long-hauler” was a term we weren’t even familiar with. It didn’t yet exist. Now the term does and the long-term effects of the disease as well. There’s still so much we don’t know.

We still can’t afford to take chances.

Giddy

Despite this, I’m literally giddy today.

We’ve fully vaccinated about 10% of the population.

About 20%-ish have had at least one vaccination.

The CDC issued their First Set of Guidelines on How fully Vaccinated People can Visit Safely with Others, here.

I’m actually going to get to see my family soon.

But I’m not, and I repeat NOT going to engage in risky behaviors that put others at risk. I’m still going to avoid public spaces and wear my mask to protect my community and others.

I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to be responsible, whether I know it or not, for infecting others and killing someone else. Everyone got it from someone else and most people have no idea who, when or how.

The vaccine improves your chanced immensely, but it’s not 100%, and people can still become infected. Even if you don’t know it, the more of the virus that’s out there replicating, the more chance of a new, more deadly, variant occurring.

We absolutely HAVE to get ahead of this and every little bit helps.

Social Media

Social media has been the proverbial double-edged sword this past year. It spreads critical information but also, just as easily, misinformation that people are likely to believe.

It’s ironic – the ying and yang of social media meant that I found out that cousins were ill and died that I might not have known about previously, at least not as quickly. I checked constantly to see if there was any news about their conditions.

Social media is also the medium that has allowed me to connect with those same family members much more real-time.

In a very substantial way, social media has allowed me to survive this pandemic without feeling entirely isolated!

There are always cat and dog and quilt pictures to sooth the soul.

One of my good friends, Appalachian storyteller, Stephen Hollen, has written and published a chapter of a story every single day. And yes, I mean literally every single day – for more than a year now. Bless his soul is all I can say. Gave me a reason to open my eyes on days when everything else seemed endlessly bleak.

The Vaccines

I cried tears of joy. Tears of relief. I didn’t anticipate such an emotional response to a shot. I couldn’t wait to roll up my sleeve. And yes, I had minor side effects with the second one – but absolutely nothing compared to Covid which is utterly terrifying.

Hopefully, the vaccines will protect us both individually and as a population – so long as enough people take the vaccine. We need to reach that critically important herd immunity.

But vaccines aren’t 100%. We don’t know if inoculated people can still spread the disease to others.

If we still get sick, even with the vaccine on board, it’s certainly possible that we could be left with debilitating long-haul symptoms.

We still need to take precautions not to expose ourselves and others unnecessarily.

That vaccine is what is allowing is to gradually expand our horizons once again.

I saw my daughter in a parking lot, outside, in December and my son-in-law briefly a couple of weeks ago. That’s been it for months and months other than waving at neighbors.

Spring is emerging and I can hardly wait to go for a walk with my children and actually sit down and have a meal together. I’m fine with that meal being in someone’s home. I just need to see my family of blood and family of heart again.

I surely hope that by summer or maybe the holidays in 2021, that things can safely return to something resembling normal – whatever that new normal will be.

Year Lost – Or Year Gained?

Some people are referring to the last 12 months as the year lost. We wonder if we’re going to wake up out of the bad dream, and if so, will we still be in the same time and place we went to sleep, or will we wake up sometime in the future or past. Is this collective “bad dream” ever going to end? I bet our ancestors felt the same way at various points in history.

This past year has been dystopian, that’s for sure.

But, is it really a year lost?

I prefer to think of it slightly differently.

For Some, It’s Forever

For those who perished unnecessarily, it’s not just a year lost – it’s their entire lifetime of opportunity gone forever.

For them, it’s not a year, because there is no recovery. No redo. No reconsidering their behavior if they took unwise risks and lost the Covid-roulette.

I am particularly devastated for those who did “everything right,” followed all the rules, and got it anyway. Life is not always fair.

I will continue to light candles to honor their lives and hold their families close in my heart.

I will also continue to take precautions to reduce the number of candles that need to be lit.

Year Gained

For those lucky enough to be reading this, we haven’t lost a year – we gained not only this year because we are still here, but the rest of our lives – assuming we manage to continue to avoid Covid. We are the lucky ones, no matter how crummy this year has been.

Yes, the lucky ones.

Don’t misunderstand me – along with everyone else, I’ve grieved lost family members and lost opportunities.

  • Holidays with family
  • Seeing friends
  • Quilting with my quilt sisters
  • Quilt retreats
  • Genealogy conferences
  • Travel

Many have lost jobs and income as well, gravely affecting their families.

But, for the most part, if you’re alive, you have the opportunity to regroup.

The keyword here is “opportunity.”

I had a difficult time adapting to isolation. Thankfully, I’m quarantining with another human and someone I get along with pretty well. Plus, my fur family, of course.

I never realized how much I miss people.

My husband and I go on a weekly drive-through Culver’s lunch date where we pick up food, then drive to the grocery store parking lot down the block, park and have an in-car picnic.

We watch people come and go.

A few months ago, a shopping cart was plowed into a snowbank and yes, we’ve been going weekly now to watch the pile get larger and now to watch it melt out. Hey, look, we found something else too!

You know I just had to do this, right? Let’s face it, it hasn’t taken much to amuse us during the past few months. Anything that made us laugh was a good thing!

Do you see it? Where’s Carto? Like everything else this past year, things got a bit worse before they’ve begun to get better.

If you’re laughing and thinking this is about as exciting as watching paint dry – you’re right – but it gives us something to look forward to. A mental break. We joked that someday we will remember these dates fondly. Maybe those good old pandemic days.

When one of us is gone, these will be priceless to the one left remembering.

The key here is that we, those of us who survived this year, have the opportunity to remember what we did during the pandemic. It’s not lost to us.

So, here’s the bottom line – if you’re alive and survived – you’ve gained a year and the opportunity to do something with the rest of the years of your life.

How Are You?

Truthfully?

If your first response was “I’m fine,” but you said that because you’re fine compared to people with Covid, and you actually feel like crap – you are probably suffering from pandemic fatigue.

You’re not really fine, you’re “pandemic fine,” which is entirely different.

I think I’ve cried at least once every single day for the past year – at least once. The bad news just keeps coming and we feel so helpless.

Truth be told, in the US and countries that are locked down, I don’t know how you can NOT suffer from this in some form. If you’re interested in the science behind this phenomenon, the article, The Pandemic Changed You. It Also Changed Your Brain explains a lot and may help you understand why you feel the way you do.

Feeling Better

I’ve found three things that help us feel better.

  • Music – Find your favorite songs on YouTube and make yourself a playlist with the link below each video.

You can then play these from anyplace. Here’s one of mine You’ll find more scattered through the links in this article. Share with me some of yours! 😊

  • Movement – Walk. Around the house, up and down the street, upstairs and downstairs. A treadmill maybe. When do you need to do this the most? When you feel the least like it. Movement releases “good natural drugs” into your bloodstream.
  • Dance – Dance like no one is watching. Because, literally, no one is. Put that old disco favorite, Celebrate, or whatever moves you (pardon the pun), on your playlist and start twirling in the living room, in the driveway or maybe in the yard. Warning, this may serve to entertain your neighbors, but hey, beats the heck out of watching shopping carts melt out of the snow.
  • Books – You can lose yourself in a good book. History is amazing when in pertains to a time and place where your ancestors lived.
  • Do Something for Someone Else – In my case, I make “care quilts” and participate in other volunteer work that I can do from a distance. My husband is a CERT team member and has been volunteering to help in the vaccination process for several weeks now.
  • Pet Something – Not only will your furry family member love this – you will too. For them, this has been a WONDERFUL year with you constantly present. You’re literally all they have.
  • Dream – Your physical activities may still be somewhat constrained. But this gives you more space to dream – and maybe time to do something to move you towards those dreams.

What Have You Been Doing?

What have you been doing this year?

Some people took the opportunity to deep clean and reorganize.

I had good intentions, but I pretty much hate both of those things, so I didn’t actually get either done.

  • I wrote a LOT of articles – 154, now 155, to be exact.
  • I learned how to use Zoom and other platforms to work with others remotely and visit with others.
  • I recorded webinars, conference sessions, participated in podcasts and in Facebook LIVE events.
  • I focused on genealogy.
  • I took a deep dive into genetics – specifically mitochondrial DNA and ancient DNA. More to come in the future on those topics.
  • I made face masks. Hundreds and hundreds of face masks. I never want to see another face mask in my entire life. Yes, I’m still wearing mine.
  • I quilted for sanity. My sanity.
  • I quilted for others too. Care quilts. Although at one point I had to delay shipping them due to postal issues and fears about receiving something that might be Covid-infected.
  • I weeded and planted in the garden last spring, summer and fall. I hate to weed. It’s kind of like cleaning – never stays done. But right now, I can’t wait to get out there again.

I love color and flowers and joy, so weeding is a necessary part of that equation.

Color and sun and warmth brings joy and along with it, hope.

Hope is where I am on the pandemic spectrum today.

Hope

Today, on this one-year pandemic quarantine anniversary – spring has decided to, well, spring. That’s highly ironic, but hey, I’ll take it. Perhaps an optimistic message.

It’s in the 50s here. I can hear the snow melting, dripping in the downspouts, and running in rivulets down the street.

The yard is soggy in some places but still frozen in others.

The sandhill cranes are back. I heard them.

The birds are beginning to do “bird” things that will lead to nest building.

I just had to go outside today and walk in the yard.

It’s warm and sunny and it just FEELS SO GOOD as I bask in the warmth of the wonderful sunshine!!!

Come take a walk with me.

Labyrinth

The labyrinth walk is so symbolic.

We started down this path a year ago not knowing where we were going or would wind up – but we had no choice. This journey was not of our own making.

All we could do was to protect ourselves and survive as best we could.

We need to stop and enjoy moments of joy, of renewal, wherever they appear.

Today, we walk to celebrate a year of survival and to say a prayer for those no longer with us.

Along the way were rocks and bumps and things we didn’t anticipate. The path was not straight or even.

We navigated as best we could. Sometimes we need help seeing the path.

We may have had the opportunity to help others along the way, in person, or virtually on social media offering support.

You may be the angel someone else needs to make a difference in their life at the minute you’re in the right place at the right time.

We are all angels for others when we wear masks.

I hope, really hope we are rounding the corner on this monster. Some of us have barely avoided disaster. Some didn’t.

Just keep on keeping on – just a little longer.

Life is returning, slowly emerging from beneath the frozen snowscape.

Hope springs eternal.

We’re not quite there yet, “there” being in the center of the labyrinth, but the goal is on the horizon.

Together

Oh, this road has been rough and rocky…

With so many obstacles in the way.

The path has been narrow

Painful

Winding.

We’ve tripped.

But the end is within sight now.

Glory Hallelujah.

Give us strength and raise us up so we can lift others!

We can all get there.

If we just keep cooperating.

Encouraging each other.

There’s the horizon.

That flag is life.

The prize.

People.

Activities we love.

Family.

Without the threat of Covid.

Without taking our very lives in our hands.

Or someone else’s.

We are winding through those rocks

In the final turn if we stay steady.

We can do this.

It’s the big picture that matters.

The end game.

Just a few more weeks now.

We’ve come so far.

Don’t give up.

It’s all worthwhile.

Hang on.

We’re all walking on this journey…

Together

23andMe Changes: Triangulation Doesn’t Work the Same Way

23andMe made a significant change about the time I was recording my RootsTech presentation about triangulation which provided examples at each vendor. Unfortunately, there was no notification to customers, so most people still aren’t aware.

In the fall and winter of 2020, 23andMe made several changes that resulted in losses to the genealogy community.

At first glance, it looks like this particular change is cosmetic – simply a column heading title change – but there are modifications behind the scenes that negate triangulation at 23andMe. At least in the way triangulation previously worked with the functionality genealogists have long understood to be triangulation at 23andMe.

This article explains the changes, what they mean, and how to work around the issues.

Update

Please note that as of March 12, 2021, some of the changes seem to have reverted, but it’s unclear if all changes have reverted to the original status. It’s virtually impossible to confirm because testers cannot search for “Relatives in Common” by surname. Therefore, proceed by confirming that people who are marked as “Yes” for “DNA Overlap” do in fact triangulate on each overlapping segment using the techniques I’ve described below.

Triangulation

If you need a refresher about what triangulation means, how it works, and why it’s important, I’ve compiled triangulation resources into one article, Triangulation Resources in One Place.

Let’s look at what happened at 23andMe.

Before the Changes

Before the changes, it was possible to quickly determine if you triangulated with two other people on at least one segment by looking at the “Shared DNA” column. Now, it isn’t.

This change has HUGE ramifications.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to simply not notice the change or interpret the column heading change from “Shared DNA” to “DNA Overlap,” as unimportant, but that’s not at all the case.

A “Yes” in this column NO LONGER MEANS triangulation.

This change makes the 23andMe slides of my RootsTech session, DNA Triangulation: What, Why, and How, obsolete.

I’m rewriting that section, step by step, in this article.

Previous Information

Click any slide to enlarge

On slide 24 of my presentation, available here, I talked about clicking on a match, then scrolling down to the “Find Relatives in Common” link. If you click on that link, you see a list of who you and that match both match in common.

In this case, Everett Harold (not his surname) and I both match with my V4 kit, DH and Stacy.

That page, back then, had a column titled ‘Shared DNA.”

At that time, a “Yes” in “Shared DNA” meant that the three people triangulate on at least one segment. That’s not what it means now, and the column header has changed too.

What I said in the presentation was this:

“Looking under the Shared DNA column, the people with a Yes triangulate, and the people with a No, do not.

This means that Everett Harold, me, and DH triangulate. It also means that Everett Harold, Stacy, and I do NOT triangulate.”

Please ignore this and the next slide, #25, too, because the 23andMe page has changed – along with the meaning.

Just put what I said and what you think you know about how triangulation works at 23andMe out of your mind. If you haven’t yet watched my Triangulation session at RootsTech, please just simply skip those two slides (24 and 25) so you don’t confuse yourself with old and now irrelevant information.

We’re starting over here with triangulation at 23andMe.

Current 23andMe Information

Here’s the same 23andMe “Relatives in Common” page, today:

Click to enlarge

You can see that while Stacy was marked “No,” on the previous “Shared DNA” page, the column is now titled “DNA Overlap” and she is now marked “Yes.”

The new infographic says this:

Here’s what this change means:

  • Previously, if someone was marked as “Yes,” it meant that in fact all three people did share a common segment of DNA AND matched each other on at least one segment. That meant they triangulated on at least one segment.
  • Currently, this field only means that they share an overlapping piece of DNA with the tester. It DOES NOT mean that they all 3 match each other on that segment.
  • They may or may not triangulate.

You might be wondering how that’s different. It’s very different and quite important.

Overlap Versus Triangulation

Here’s an example of two people who both match me on chromosome 15 and are marked “Yes” in DNA Overlap. Based on this graphic alone, or that “yes,” you can’t determine if this overlapping segment means triangulation, where the orange and purple person also match each other, or not.

  • BOTH of these people match ME on chromosome 15.
  • If they also match each other on a reasonable portion of chromosome 15 where they both match me, then we all triangulate. A reasonable amount of matching DNA at 23andMe is 6 cM, their match threshold.
  • If those two people do not also match each other on a reasonably sized segment (6 cM) of chromosome 15, then we do not triangulate. This would indicate that one match is from my mother’s side, and one from my father’s side, or that perhaps one is identical by chance. In other words, we do not share a common ancestor on this segment which is the purpose of identifying triangulated segments.

Based on other comparisons which I’ll show you how to perform in a minute – the purple and orange people don’t match each other on this segment. Therefore, this segment is not triangulated between me and the purple and orange people.

Previously, for this match, the “Shared DNA” column was marked “No,” and now the “DNA Overlap” column is marked “Yes.”

The three of us don’t triangulate, and “DNA Overlap” now only means that the three people share some DNA on the same portion of a chromosome with me, NOT that they match each other, which would mean that we triangulate.

It’s a hugely important distinction.

Before, “Yes” meant triangulation and now “Yes” just means an overlap, but NOT necessarily triangulation. You have to figure that out for yourself.

Overlap at 23andMe

An overlap simply means that two people match you on the same portion of DNA.

Someone from your Mom’s side and someone else from your Dad’s side will both match you on a segment of DNA in the same location on a chromosome, shown above.  However, they won’t match each other because one is from your Mom’s side and one is from your Dad’s side. Your Mom’s DNA is different from your Dad’s.

To prove that you all three share a common ancestor, you all three need to match each other on the SAME reasonably sized overlapping chromosome segment.

However, things are even more confusing now at 23and Me.

An Additional Complication

23andMe now indicates that Everett and Stacy have a DNA overlap with me, but the chromosome browser shows NO overlap on any chromosome when I compare both Everett and Stacy to me on my chromosome browser.

How is no overlap even possible when Stacy is listed on the Shared Relatives list with me and Everett, AND 23andMe shows a yes for DNA Overlap?

I eventually found the answer, which makes match analysis much more cumbersome for genealogists. What used to be one step now takes several, not to mention the “yes” answer is now unreliable.

Essentially, all that “Yes” in the DNA Overlap field means is a hint for you to dig further.

Determining 23andMe Triangulation

It appears that the only way to tell if your two matches match each other on the same chromosome as you is to “Select different relatives or friends to compare” at the top of the chromosome browser page.

You’ll see your name plus the two people you were comparing against your DNA in the chromosome browser.

You’ve already seen how they match you on the chromosome browser. What you now need to view is how they match each other.

You can remove yourself, and replace your name with one of your two matches, as shown below.

This will show Everett’s chromosome with Stacy compared to him.

Everett and Stacy do match each other on two smallish segments, but not in the same locations as shown on their match with me.

This is Everett’s match with Stacy (purple).

I match Everett on chromosome 18, but not Stacy.

I match Stacy on chromosome 7, but not Everett.

There is no overlap shown.

Ok, I’m adding myself to Everett’s matches, just to double-check.

Next, we’re looking at Everett’s chromosomes in grey. Stacy is purple and I’m orange.

Overlap Issue

I’ve found the confusing overlap issue, but it only makes the situation worse.

Everett matches both me and Stacy on adjacent and very slightly overlapping portions of chromosome 18. However, the amount of DNA where I match Stacy on chromosome 18 is too small to be considered a match when compared to Stacy directly, meaning it’s less than 6 cM – the smallest 23andMe segment to show as a match. This tiny sliver of overlap only shows when comparing from Everett’s perspective where we can see his match to me and Stacy both on the same chromosome.

A secondary change is that now it appears that 23andMe is showing any small piece of overlapping DNA with a “Yes.” Any segment of DNA smaller than 6 cM, their match threshold, should not be listed as overlapping if we all three don’t match each other on at least 6 cM of DNA.

You can work around the changes 23andMe made, but it has made a one or two-step easy process into a more complicated, cumbersome multi-step procedure involving comparing multiple people to each other separately.

Summary

Previous Now
Column Title Shared DNA DNA Overlap
Triangulation Status Triangulation if “Yes” in the “Shared DNA” column Not an indication of triangulation, even if “Yes” in the “DNA Overlap” column
Triangulation Indicator “Yes” in the “Shared DNA” column None, triangulation not flagged

In summary, for triangulation now at 23andMe:

  • The DNA Overlap status of “yes” DOES NOT indicate triangulation.
  • The DNA Overlap status of “yes” indicates overlap on the same chromosome, not triangulation, meaning all three people do not necessarily match each other.
  • DNA Overlap status of “yes” MAY mean the three people triangulate, but further comparisons are needed.
  • DNA Overlap status of “yes” may refer to overlap smaller than 6 shared cM which is not reflected in individual one-to-one matches.
  • The DNA Overlap status of “yes” may therefore not be technically accurate in terms of genealogical matching and triangulation.
  • A DNA Overlap status of “no” means you do not overlap which means you cannot triangulate.
  • To determine triangulation, meaning if you and two other people all match each other if you share an overlapping segment of DNA on the same chromosome, compare each pair of people one-to-one in the chromosome browser.
  • If you do not find overlapping DNA when comparing three people one-to-one, try the same comparison to the other two people from the perspective of one of the other people in the group, as I did with Everett. This may reveal a small overlapping segment, as illustrated in this article on chromosome 18 when I showed me and Stacy on Everett’s chromosomes.

It’s worth noting here that every segment is different. Triangulation on any individual segment should not be extrapolated to mean triangulation on every common segment, even between the same three people, is valid for all overlapping segments. Evaluate each overlap separately.

This fundamental change makes triangulation at 23andMe much more difficult for the genealogist. Fortunately, there is a work-around.

Please feel free to share this article with anyone who may have tested at 23andMe and is using their tools for genealogical purposes.

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Curt Lore “Shoots Wells” With Nitroglycerine and Dynamite – 52 Ancestors #325

In the article, Outside the Pale: The Lore Family’s “Remarkable” Life Revealed Through the Newspaper, we discovered details about the life of Curt Lore, known as C. B. Lore, in Rushville, Indiana. One article stated that he lived in Greenburg, but the Greensburg newspaper was not available for that timeframe at Newspapers.com.

My wonderful cousin came to the rescue, providing information from another source that helps bridge the gap of that pesky missing 1890 census.

Curt Lore married Nora Kirsch in January of 1888 in Aurora, Indiana. Based on the fact that he drilled for gas in Aurora, Indiana and instead, accidentally tapped into a mineral water reserve that became the Blue Lick Well, I thought he lived in Aurora, at least for a while before he married Nora. The Blue Lick well was about a mile from the Kirsch House, the tavern/hotel that her parents owned.

But, as it turns out, Curt apparently was only visiting Aurora, according to a news article in the Greensburg, Indiana, newspaper.

Even more interesting is the fact that Curtis not only wasn’t living in Rushville, or Greensburg, but was a resident of Findlay, Ohio. Who knew?

This map of the gas fields might explain that situation.

Shotgun Wedding & Two Wives

  • January 10, 1888, in the Greensburg, Indiana newspaper.

Not only do we discover that Curt lived in Findlay, but we learn that he rode the 1:23 train from Greensburg to Aurora, with his well-driller crew, and was married at 4:30. I don’t know how long that train ride took, but he obviously wasn’t late. Nor, apparently, was there a lot of prep involved for the groom.😊

That journey is about 40 miles, so maybe an hour’s train ride.

I can’t help but wonder what Curt was thinking as the train whizzed along. As the scenery blurred, was he thinking about someone, someplace else, in the not-so-distant past?

Today, by digging in the “Lunatics, Alcoholics and Divorcees” book of records in the Warren County, Pennsylvania courthouse, we know that Curt was still legally married to his wife, Mary, in Pennsylvania. Maybe that was a legal technicality, or maybe not. Mary had filed for divorce in November of 1887, stating that he had deserted her and their four children and had been gone for more than a year. Not only that, he either left Mary 9 months pregnant and never came back, or with a newborn baby. There’s no question that he knew this because he was in the courthouse in Pennsylvania on November 17, 1887, when the divorce papers were “read to him,” according to the court records.

Ouch.

Pesky details anyway!

Did this bother Curt as he rode the train to marry Nora? Even a little bit?

Curt was technically a bigamist, because the divorce wasn’t granted until April 5, 1888, four months after he married Nora.

Complicating everything, Nora was pregnant by the time they married, and her Dad was a crack shot and probably mad as hell.

Angry father who was a national shooting champion or divorcing wife several states away.

Decisions, decisions.

Curt Lore may not have been risk-averse – but he also wasn’t crazy. We know which decision he made. He smiled, acted like everything was just fine, and got married at 4:30.

This is Curt’s wedding picture and one of only three we have of him. He certainly doesn’t look stressed. In fact, he looks quite happy.

Shooting Wells

Until I read the next article, I didn’t realize that well-drilling dealt with explosives. No wonder this was a high-risk occupation and attracted only those who weren’t afraid to take risks. Of course, like many things, if you survived, the potential rewards were significant. And if not…

  • January 13, 1888

Hoo boy. Curt “assumed the alleged temperature of a lime kiln.” What a description. I love that reporter! Just in case you’re wondering, that’s between 900 and 1000C.

Curt had a temper.

This isn’t the first time we’ll hear about Curt Lore getting hot behind the collar. Then again, that’s probably a survival mechanism in the oil fields. Those oil fields were populated with men full of testosterone. Couldn’t find work elsewhere – join the rough and rowdy oil crews. If you could survive, you were welcome in the world of wildcatters and roughnecks where every job was dangerous and some were extremely so.

Shelbyville 

  • The Indianapolis News on March 28, 1888 – The people of Shelbyville are excited over the striking of natural gas in well #4 on the farm of Jonathan Tenant. The well will be “shot” on Thursday, when the flow will, no doubt, be greatly increased. C. B. Lore, the contractor says the well, as it now stands, is equal to any three in Greensburg. Other wells will be put down at once.

Shelbyville is about 22 miles northwest of Greensburg.

  • April 3, 1888 – Gas well #4 on the farm of Jonathan Tenant, 2 miles east of Shelbyville was “shot” yesterday by C. B. Lore of Greensburg. The result was highly satisfactory, the well being 5 times as good as before the shooting. It has a capacity of 1,500,000 cubic feet per day. Other wells will be drilled at once, and the piping of the town commenced within 90 days.

Shooting Oil Wells

So, what is oil well shooting? According to Wikipedia, “oil well shooting is a method of increasing production of an oil well by removing obstructions to drilling, straightening crooked holes, preventing water penetration, and/or increasing the flow of oil.”

Prior to 1910, a “shell,” made of dynamite and a sheet metal casing was lowered into a well and detonated by a blasting cap with a fuse. Both dynamite and nitroglycerine were used to fracture the oil shale and increase productivity. Premature explosions which did more harm than good were common and of course, were often fatal. You can read technical details, here.

Striking gas was the precursor to gas lights for municipalities and eventually gas-heated homes in cities and towns near the gas fields. Everyplace was anxious to drill in the hope of finding this valuable resource.

The Library of Congress site has several photos of filling metal “shells” with nitroglycerine in preparation for shooting wells in Pennsylvania, here.

Discovering that Curt shot wells really gives me pause, especially since this dangerous technology was responsible for a great many deaths in the oil fields. The technology was patented after the Civil War and was employed widely in the Pennsylvania oil fields, including Warren County where Curt grew up.

Perhaps it was perceived that an orphan like Curt had little to lose and was expendable. No family to be devastated if he died. Perhaps Curt found this way to make a living with a career that few wanted. He obviously wasn’t careless, or I wouldn’t be here today.

Curt was a natural-born gambler, it seems. Good at what he did and self-assured. When you’re confident enough to deal with nitro and dynamite, some aggressive guy won’t bother you much.

I have a newfound respect for this man. Just the though of nitro plus dynamite gives me the shakes.

Family Life Begins

  • August 2, 1888 – Edith Lore, the first child of Curt and Nora entered this world, apparently in Marion County, several miles away. I have absolutely no idea why Nora would have had a baby there, unless by some chance she was staying with unknown relatives. She would not have stayed with her parents because of the stigma of a baby arriving “early.” Everyone could count to 9.
  • August 22, 1888 – The fine saddle mare belonging to C. B. Lore died of fever last week, according to the Greensburg paper.

Rig For Sale

  • March 9, 1889

Ok, I’m flummoxed. Why was Curt selling his well drilling outfits? Maybe his bride thought his career choice was simply too dangerous. Maybe he had a close call. Perhaps fatherhood caused him to be somewhat more cautious. He may have sold his drilling equipment, but those skills served him well for his entire life.

Maybe Curt didn’t sell all of his rigs.

This 1885 photo of natural gas miners and their drill was taken near Kokomo, Indiana, part of the Trenton gas field that stretched beneath this part of both Ohio and Indiana.

The first well was drilled in 1886 and the natural gas boom began. At least now we know when and why Curt came to Indiana, and why he would have been in Findlay Ohio. 1886 dovetails with the fact that in 1887, Mary Lore, in her divorce filing stated that Curt had been gone a year.

The Blue Lick mineral water well that Curt stumbled across in Aurora was an accident and from a gas perspective, was a “dry hole.” The best thing to come of that accident was his marriage to Nora Kirsch and my grandmother, Edith.

This natural gas “flambeau” display took place in 1889 in Indiana, at which time it was believed that natural gas was unlimited, so gas was lit at the tops of vent pipes to call attention to the wells. Notice the crowd.

Pythias Lodge

  • March 30, 1889

The Greensburg paper carried the story about Curt’s induction into the Phythian Lodge, a fraternal organization.

His membership certificate would have looked like this one from 1890. The verbiage says:

Friendship, Charity, Benevolence. Knights of Pythias. Founded February 19th, 1864. The Order is founded upon naught but the purest and sincerest motives. Its aim is to alleviate the suffering of a brother, succor the unfortunate, zealously watch at the bedside of the sick, soothe the pillow of the dying, perform the last sad rights at the grave of a brother; offering consolation to the afflicted, and caring, with all a brother’s love, for the widow and orphan. Brotherly love and charity are the Pillars on which it rests; Friendship and Truth the bond and surety of its preservation. Peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

The Greensburg Lodge building wasn’t built until 1899, so Curt might have attended neighboring Rushville. This building was built in 1850 and purchased by the Lodge in 1889. After moving to Rushville, Curt assuredly attended meetings here.

Unfortunately, much of 1889 and 1890 in the Greensburg paper is silent.

1891

  • March 8, 1891 – Curt and Nora’s second daughter, Curtis, clearly named for her father, was born, apparently in Greensburg.
  • May 14, 1891 – The paper reported about C. B. Lore that “all of a drilling outfit that would burn” was destroyed by fire by some meddlesome boys that lit the gas escaping from a well he had just finished drilling. His losses were heavy, nearly $1000.” Obviously, he had not sold all of his drilling equipment, or maybe the earlier sales funded the purchase of better equipment.
  • June 7, 1891 – The Cincinnati Enquirer Newspaper, under “Aurora, Indiana News,” reported that Mrs. Curt Lore of Greensburg, Indiana is visiting her parents Mr. and Mrs. J. Kirsch, and that her brother, Martin Kirsch has returned from Buffalo, New York. I wonder what Martin was doing in Buffalo.
  • October 7, 1891, back in Greensburg, we discover that changes are underway.

Breaking Up Housekeeping

In October of 1891, Edith would have been just over three years old and Curtis 6 months old.

The phrase “breaking up housekeeping” makes me wonder if their marriage was in trouble, and they subsequently patched things up. Did Nora find out about Mary and Curt’s four other children?

Being a single mother, or divorced, in that time and place carried an extreme stigma. Furthermore, as I accidentally discovered reading the Rushville newspapers from this timeframe, divorce laws were not universal. One could be divorced in one state, and other states not recognize the divorce. Furthermore, one party could petition the court to change their mind, causing the couple to become legally married again, without remarrying. In other words, someone could actually believe they were divorced when they weren’t.

Not to mention that the mere fact that divorce records were kept separately, in at least one state, in a book along with the “Alcoholics and Lunatics” says all we need to know about how divorce was viewed.

We hear nothing more about the Lore family until June of 1892 when C. B. Lore, then living in Rushville, filed a lawsuit in the courthouse.

The Rushville Chapter Begins

Nora and Curt had obviously settled in Rushville at this point where they would live the rest of their married life. They settled into a rented home and their life commenced among the horse-racing socialites.

Perhaps Curt was no longer drilling and shooting wells. We know he owned racehorses and established an ice plant at the location of the old woolen mill on the riverbanks, near the footbridge and the horse race track.

I suspect the “Race” in this postcard is the old mill race.

In the last part of our story, we left Curt and Nora Lore in December of 1900, just as Curt was publicly named in a horse racing scandal where he and several other men were nationally sanctioned for submitting falsified race sheets for “wins” in races that were never run.

Nora likely went home to her parents for a month or so at Christmas, and Curt might have been censured, but he doesn’t seem to have been chastened. Perhaps this year, he accompanied his wife to Aurora with Edith, now 12, Curtis, 9 and Mildred 8 months old.

I can only imagine the conversations that occurred between Curt and Nora. In light of this, maybe he didn’t visit Aurora with Nora after all. The new year came and went without the couple being mention in the newspaper at all. That in itself is unusual – because normally the fact that Nora plus whoever else visited Aurora is mentioned in the social columns.

Curt was probably regrouping, trying to figure out what to do next. Did he have a future in Rushville, or did he need to move on again?

1901

  • Feb. 15, 1901 – Real estate transfers. John H. Muire and wife to Curtis B. Lore part of lot 5 in the original plat of Rushville, $100.

Lot 5 is the original mill site/icehouse property again. Curt had apparently lost this land in the 1890s, but now purchased it again. I wonder why, but the next article provides a clue.

  • Feb 22, 1901

Curt ha procured the contract for street sprinkling. While I can’t find a copyright-free photo, think of a wagon-sized barrel of water pulled by two horses where the driver rides on top of the barrel while a hose sprinkles the dirt streets to reduce the dust.

Curt wanted to pump water from this lot into his wagon. The ice plant he formerly owned occupied (at least part of) this lot and lot 152 next door, within sight of the old covered bridge crossing the river at Main Street.

I can hear the clip-clop of the horses hooves crossing this bridge, pulling carriages.

  • March 5, 1901 – The Presbyterian Sunday school graduated 8 pupils from the infant class into the primary department last Sunday morning. Bibles and diplomas were presented to the graduated after the rendition of the program. Graduated included Curtis Lore.

Curtis, then 10 years old, was the daughter of Curtis Benjamin Lore. She was obviously named for her father. So was his son from his first marriage, John Curtis Lore.

The old Presbyterian church, shown here about 1910, was attended by Nora and the girls. Although Curt was officially a member too, he didn’t seem active.

Mom and I visited this church about 1988.

It warms my heart to see Mom walking in the literal footsteps of her mother and grandmother.

  • March 19, 1901 – C. B. Lore was one of the officers elected for The Social Club which was reported to be in “flourishing condition.”

Curt may have been publicly shamed, but that didn’t seem to damage his social standing. He was reported to be very personable and most everyone liked him.

  • April 19, 1901 – C. B. Lore is recovering from an attack of the grip.

The grip is an old-fashioned word for flu.

  • May 10, 1901 – On motion of Mr. Keating, the Street committee was instructed to see C. B. Lore in regard to his putting too much water on the streets.

I’m guessing they didn’t want mud.

  • May 21, 1901 – Judge Morris has dissolved the temporary restraining order in the injunction proceedings brought by Alger and Gray against C. B. Lore.

I’d love to know what this was about.

  • June 7, 1901 – The City Attorney was instructed to draw an ordinance governing street sprinkling by C. B. Lore.
  • The Presbyterian Church Children’s Day program will take place next Sunday evening at 7:30 and Curtis Lore will present “The First Children’s Day.”
  • The matter of C. B. Lore’s pumping apparatus in the neighborhood of the mill was referred to the Street Committee.

I wonder if this suit has to do with his rig being parked in the way, interfering with something that Gray and Alger were doing.

  • July 5, 1901

  • Oct. 8, 1901 – The following cases have been set for trial at the November term of court which convenes on November 18th: Lore vs Alter, Nov. 29th
  • Nov. 22, 1901 – The High School has had no visitors this week, but Mrs. Lore visited the grades.

The grade school was the Graham School, shown here about 1910.

The Lore girls attended this school given that it was the only school in town.

Mom and I visited this building too, almost 80 years later. I wish we had gone back with my grandmother’s sister, Eloise, before she passed away. What stories she could have told.

I can’t help but think of Nora and Edith walking in and out of this very door, maybe holding hands. Perhaps Edith happily skipped.

Edith turned 13 in 1901. Perhaps too old to skip along or hold her mother’s hand.

  • Nov. 26, 1901 – C. B. Lore is recovering from an attack of sickness.
  • Nov. 29, 1901 – Lore vs Alger trial to convene Monday.
  • Dec. 24, 1901 – Mrs. C. B. Lore and children left last Saturday to visit her parents at Aurora, during the holidays.

1902

  • January 7, 1902 – Lore vs Alger trial will be heard at February term of court.
  • February 21, 1902 – The Presbyterian Junior Christian Endeavor Society has elected Mattie Hogsett as President, Edith Lore Vice-President.
  • February 14, 1902 – C. B. Lore returned home last night from Kentucky where he has been drilling oil wells.
  • March 15, 1901 – The firm of Alger and Gray, by John M. Stevens, attorney, have filed a suit in court against Curtis B. Lore to enjoin him from putting a building in the driveway that runs past their coal shed at the foot of Morgan street. Judge Morris has granted a temporary restraining order until the final hearing of the case.

So it appears this suit is about land use and access to a coal shed. Of course, nothing of the original structures remains today.

  • March 18, 1902 – Curtis Lore and wife played cards with a number of other couples.
  • March 21, 1902 – Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Kirkpatrick of near Henderson entertained Claude Kirkpatrick and wife, W. R. Coverston and wife and C. B. Lore and wife at dinner, Sunday the 16th. An enjoyable day was passed and all report a good time.

These always make me laugh. Who was going to tell the newspaper that they had a miserable time for the social column?

  • March 28, 1902 – The Presbyterian Sabbath School will have special exercises at the Sabbath-school hour on Easter. The following program: Duet – Edith Lore and Mattie Hogsett.
  • April 4, 1902 – Cradle Songs of Many Nations – this pretty and interesting entertainment, given under the management of the ladies of St. Paul’s M.E. church last Tuesday was well attended. The program began with a grand match by the children, in costume, and was followed by a chorus including a Chinese tambourine duet by Edith Lore and Mattie Hogsett. Gross receipts were $105 and net were $78.

Elopement

  • April 25, 1902

This is odd. Nora’s sister, Carrie, married in her sister’s home in Rushville instead of in Aurora at the Kirsch House. Given what I know is coming next, I’d bet dollars to donuts that Jacob Kirsch knew that Wymond was bad news.

Why did Carrie marry him? Carrie was 31 years old – no child bride.

I would take this elopement as proof positive that Carrie’s parents’ didn’t approve. Joseph Wymond and his family lived locally in Aurora, and the entire Kirsch family would have known that he was a “playboy.”

Every photo I’ve ever seen of Carrie shows her smiling and joyful. The one photo of Wymond, a decade older than Carrie and from a wealthy family shows an unsmiling man that looks “stiff.”

Carrie assuredly thought this was the beginning of happy-ever-after – but in reality – it was the beginning of a nightmare. He died 8 years later, of complications from syphilis after being institutionalized for 8 months. She died 24 years later, also institutionalized, after suffering terribly, of organ failure from the same disease.

I’m sure the entire Kirsch family rued this day, but no one more than Carrie herself.

Visiting and Entertaining

  • July 8, 1902 – Mrs. C. B. Lore left yesterday for a visit at Aurora.
  • Aug 22, 1902 – C. B. Lore and family, Miss Ida Kirsch of Aurora (and others) formed a party which drove out to White’s Mill yesterday and spent the day fishing.
  • Aug. 22, 1902 – C. B. Lore returned home last Wednesday from Corbin, KY where he has been drilling gas wells.
  • October 21, 1902 – Mrs. J. S. Wymond of Aurora is visiting her sister, Mrs. C. B. Lore.
  • October 24, 1902 – Mrs. W. A. Jones and Mrs. C. B. Lore entertained a large number of friends at the Social Club rooms last Wednesday evening.
  • October 31, 1902 – Mr. and Mrs. Lore of Greenfield visited Mrs. Carpenter this week.

No Lore appears in Greenfield, or Greensburg, in the 1900 census.

  • Dec. 30, 1902 – Scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 5, Lore vs Alger.

I don’t know exactly what this case was about, but Alger owned land where gas wells were being drilled, so I suspect perhaps something in this vein.

These men seemed to be at almost constant odds for several years.

1903

  • February 6, 1903 – The case of C. B. Lore against Alger and Gray was tried in court yesterday. A compromise was reached between the parties before the case was finished.
  • March 6, 1903 – Phil Wilk and C. B. Lore were visitors at Greensburg Wednesday.
  • March 6, 1903 – C. B. Lore, J. C. Clore, George T. Caldwell, George T. Aultman and the Rushville Gas and Light Company petitioned council to vacate Water Street west to Jackson Street. The request was continued until the next morning.

In this aerial, it certainly looks like a street used to be located where the red arrows are pointing.

I can’t help but wonder why the request to vacate the street. Did they drill a well in this location?

  • April 10, 1903 – The following program will be rendered on Easter night at 7:30 at the Presbyterian Church by the Sunday School. All are cordially invited. Solo – Mildred Lore, Recitation, “An Easter Prayer” – Edith Lore

Edith would have been a few months shy of 15.

  • April 14, 1903 – Mrs. Joseph Wyman of Aurora is visiting C. B. Lore and family.
  • July 7, 1903 – C. B. Lore Drilling Company has been organized with C. B. Lore of this city as manager and B. B. Conway of Jeffersonville, Indiana as treasurer. Mr. Phil Wilk is also a member of the company. The company purchased the drilling outfit of William Price and they will ship it to Scott county next week to develop a promising oil field.

This looks like “go big or stay home” time.

Note that Phil Wilk is the father of Edith Wilk, the eventual wife of Wendell Wilkie, an Indiana politician who unsuccessfully ran for president. Nora was friends with Edith and visited her during her husband’s political campaign in 1940. Edith worked for Wilke during his campaign.

  • July 7, 1903 – Mrs. Joseph Wyman of Aurora and Mrs. Luisa Fiske of Jeffersonville who have been visiting their sister, Mrs. C. B. Lore returned to their homes yesterday afternoon.

I suspect that this may have been the occasion when this lovely summer hat photo was taken. It would have had to have been when Carrie, Lou, and Edith were together, along with someone taking the picture – likely Nora.

Those long skirts look miserably hot in July.

October 8, 1903 – Not noted in the paper, but Curt and Nora’s fourth daughter and last child, Eloise, joined the family.

  • September 8, 1903 – list of unclaimed letters at the post office: P. L. Lore

This is interesting because there is a P. L. Lore who appears in Warren County, PA, where Curt was born, also involved in well-drilling, that I’ve never been able to identify.

  • October 13, 1903 – List of unclaimed letters at the post office: Mr. W. L. Lore
  • October 28, 1903 – Indianapolis Journal – Rushville. Headline: “Roaring Rushville Well – Strong Flow of Gas Struck at Depth of 915 Feet.” A gas well drilled by C. B. Lore for George Caldwell, a liveryman of this city, is considered the best well ever put down in this vicinity. A strong flow of gas was struck this morning at a depth of 915 feet, 15 feet in Trenton rock, which showed a 17-foot blaze without shooting the well. This is the 6th well recently drilled in this city and is the best one.
  • November 24, 1903 – Kurt Lore was in Indianapolis Sunday.
  • November 24, 1903 – Miss Edith Lore who has been spending 3 weeks at Cincinnati and Aurora having her eyes treated returned home yesterday.

What was wrong with my grandmother’s eyes? She would have been 15 years old. I sure wish I could ask my mother.

1904

  • March 14, 1904 – Curt Lore was among the Indianapolis passengers this morning.
  • April 14, 1904 – Miss Curtis Lore of West Second street who has been sick with the grip is now some better.
  • April 28, 1904 – Mrs. Jos. Wymond of Aurora is visiting C. B. Lore and family of this city.
  • May 9, 1904 – The water and light committee of the city council has contracted with C. B. Lore to drill the 2 new wells ordered by council at the last meeting.

I wonder if this is why they vacated Water Street and this is where the wells were drilled.

  • May 9, 1904 – Mrs. C. B. Lore and daughters, Mildred and Eloise are the guests of relatives at Aurora.

Where was Edith? She would have been old enough to stay at home. Perhaps she needed to rehearse for the upcoming play.

  • May 25, 1904 – Large Audience Greeted Senior Class in Merchant of Venice

Miss Edith Lore in the part of Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, could not have played her part better.

  • May 26, 1904 – C. B. Lore left this morning on a business trip to Dillsboro, Indiana.
  • June 2, 1904 – The C. E. Society of the Presbyterian church will give a “Seven Social” at the church, Tuesday, June 7th. The program will begin at 7:60 PM. Admission: seven times two and one half cents. Program includes: Seven times three – Love; Edith Lore
  • June 22, 1904 – Curt Lore passed through here from Dillsboro where he has been transacting business, to Fairmount and Marion.
  • June 23, 1904 – Curt Lore returned home this morning from a business trip to Fairmount and Marion.
  • June 24, 1904 – Curt Lore who has been home with his family for a day or two returned to Dillsboro this morning.
  • June 30, 1904 – Miss Curtis Lore is visiting relatives at Aurora, Indiana.
  • July 20, 1904 – C. B. Lore returned this morning from a business trip to Dillsboro.

Curt seems to have transitioned to businessman from oil driller.

1905

  • January 4, 1905 – C. B. Lore and two daughters, Edith and Curtis, have returned from Aurora where they spent the holidays with relatives.
  • January 5, 1905 – Greensburg Graphic: Curtis B. Lore of Rushville spent Wednesday here with relatives.

Who was Curt related to in Greensburg? Why couldn’t they just SAY???

  • January 10, 1905 – Curt Lore will drill a 10 inch well for the city, near the water plant for the purpose of increasing the water supply.
  • January 17, 1905 – Mrs. C. B. Lore and daughter Mildred have returned home from a visit with relatives at Aurora.
  • January 19, 1905 – Expenses submitted to council include Lillian Lore for teaching in Posey Township, also Lillian Lore, “institute”

I have no idea who Lillian is and she may not be related. I can find no link.

  • January 27, 1905 – Mildred, the little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Curt Lore is sick with fever.
  • January 27, 1905 – Curt Lore has returned from Lawrenceburg. He expects his well drilling outfit here at any time and expects to go to work on the city well as soon as the weather moderates.
  • February 1, 1905 – Those who Attended the Masked Party Enjoyed Themselves Hugely – occurred in the big yellow house on the corner of Harrison and Second Street.

Edith would have been about 17.

Today, only one original house remains at this intersection and based on the house numbers, this appears to be the “large yellow house” where this party was held.

  • February 4, 1905 – Mrs. Joseph Wymond of Aurora is the guest of her sister, Mrs. C. B. Lore.
  • February 6, 1905 – The Ladies Band of Workers of the Presbyterian church will meet Wednesday afternoon with Mrs. C. B. Lore at her home on West Second Street.
  • February 10, 1905 – The Ladies Band of Workers of the First Presbyterian Church held their weekly meeting last Wednesday at the home of Mrs. C. B. Lore on West Second Street.
  • February 11, 1905 – Mrs. J. S. Wymond of Aurora who has been visiting Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Lore returned home today.
  • February 11, 1905 – C. B. Lore has purchased the casing for the new well at the water and light plant and expects to begin work as soon as the weather moderates.
  • February 22, 1905 – C. B. Lore reported that he is making good progress with the new water well at the water and light plant and stated that the well will undoubtedly be a good one
  • February 28, 1905 – Headline “Question of Drilling More Wells Led to Some Heated Discussions” – The City Council convened in special session last night with all members present and Mayor Hall presiding to consider the letting of the fuel contract for the water and light plant for the year beginning April 15th. Eight proposals submitted.

Sounds like that meeting got a bit heated!

  • March 20, 1905 – Curt Lore is drilling another new water well for the city supply in the center of Washington Street near Second.
  • March 22, 1905 – The committee having in charge the construction of the new water wells, reported that they had contracted with C. B. Lore to drill 3 wells at the price of $3.30 a foot, he to furnish and guarantee everything.
  • March 25, 1905 – Curt Lore is now at work on the second of the new water wells being drilled by the city. The work is progressing nicely.
  • March 28, 1905 – The second water well drilled by C. B. Lore for the city proved to be not so good as the first one. Mr. Lore is now at work on the third well. The second well is about 84 feet deep.
  • Thursday, March 30, 1905 – Misses Pauline Coverston and Edith Lore have gone to Franklin for a visit. They will return home on Monday.

Edith Lore, born in 1888, would have been a few months shy of 17. Pauline was the daughter of William and Ethel Covertson and was a few years younger than Edith, born in 1892. Pauline married Richard Wangelin in 1917 and lived in Goshen, Indiana, near Edith after she married for a few years, then in Indianapolis. I don’t know if those ladies kept in touch.

  • April 7, 1905 – Miss Mildred Lore has issued invitations for an afternoon party, Saturday from 2 until 5 o’clock.
  • April 14, 1905 – C. B. Lore has returned home from a business trip to Aurora.
  • April 19, 1905 – C. B. Lore who contracted with the city for 4 deep wells at the city power house has completed two and is now beginning on the third.
  • May 4, 1905 – Curt Lore was at Lawrenceburg yesterday buying repairs for his drilling outfit.
  • May 6, 1905 – C. B. Lore made a business trip to Indianapolis yesterday.
  • May 9, 1905 – The water and light committee of the city council has contracted with C. B. Lore to drill the 2 new wells ordered by council at the last meeting.
  • May 9, 1905 – Mrs. C. B. Lore and daughters, Mildred and Eloise are the guests of relatives at Aurora.
  • May 20, 1905 – C. B. Lore will spend Sunday at Aurora where his wife and little daughter, Eloise are visiting.

Eloise would have been about 18 months old at this time. She was the youngest and last child they would have.

  • May 27, 1905 – An immense audience attended the Commencement Exercise at the Christian Church – The Girls Glee Club delighted the audience with a song, “Merry June” and being heartily applauded responded with an equally pretty selection. The club is composed of <list of names omitted> and Edith Lore.

Edith played the piano very well and it was her life-long love. I have vague memories of her sitting at the piano, playing, in the music room in Silver Lake, some 55 years later.

Clearly, Nora and Curt had a piano in the house. Her friend, Pauline, according to later newspaper accounts, played as well.

  • May 30, 1905 – C. B. Lore is now at work on the 6th of the new wells drilled near the water and light plant. The drill is down about 50 feet.
  • May 31, 1905 – Misses Marie Clark and Edith Lore visited friends in Morristown yesterday.
  • June 10, 1905 – First Presbyterian Church – Following is given in a program of the Children’s Day exercises to be held at the church tomorrow evening. Duet – “A Message from Heaven” – Edith Lore and Katherine Petry.

Mother or Eloise believed that Curt may have built or helped to build the church that stands today. I wonder if he installed gas lights or heat, perhaps.

  • June 13, 1905 – It seems now that the 6th well sunk in Arthur Street north of the C.H. and D. tracks by C. B. Lore for the city water and light, is a dry hole. The well is now down 105 feet and the committee having the matter in charge does not know whether it wants to go farther down or not. Members of council have objected to this well being drilled and they do not believe that the committee would be justified in going farther down.

At the meeting last night Councilman Smith refused to OK Mr. Lore’s bill of $315 as a partial payment for his work. Mr. Lore grew hot under the collar and said some very warm things. Mr. Lore objects to working and then being kept continually waiting for his money.

I can’t say as I blame him.

  • June 21, 1905

This isn’t the only time that Curt “grew hot under the collar and said some warm things.”  His temper caused him to wind up in the paper more than once. That’s not something that ever filtered down through the family, but then again, his daughters may not have known. Nora probably kept them pretty well insulated.

  • June 22, 1905 – Curt Lore was among the Rushville people at Greenfield yesterday attending the institution of an aerie of Eagles.

Curt Lore apparently belonged to the fraternal order of Eagles. An aerie is the name of their lodge. The Eagles started advocating for Mother’s Day in 1904 and in 1935, for Social Security. Founded in 1898, “the Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international non-profit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.”

It’s fitting that the Eagles Lodge in Rushville now stands on the land Curt once owned, where ice company once stood.

  • June 23, 1905 – Misses Mary Neutzenhelzer, Edith Lore, Marie Clark and Hazel Moore picnicked yesterday near Arlington.
  • August 7, 1905 – Miss Ida Kirsch who has been the guest of Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Lore returned home today to Aurora, Indiana.

Did Ida visit to celebrate her niece, Edith’s, 17th birthday on August 2nd? This dress appears to be from the same era as the white dresses of the other women in the earlier photo.

  • August 11, 1905 – C. B. Lore has completed the 6th water well for the city water and light plant.

Lon Lore

  • August 22, 1905 – Lon Lore left today on a business trip to Cincinnati.

This entry is actually extremely interesting. Curt’s brother’s name, or nickname, was Lon as reported by Aunt Eloise, Curt’s daughter. It’s thought this might have been short for Alonzo but from the records I’ve found, there is no Alonzo in this family. The only place Alonzo is found is mistakenly on the grave marked A. D. Lore, as given by his death certificate and every census record we can find. A. D. Lore is not Alfonzo Lore.

One Alonzo Lore is born and lived near Philadelphia and if found with his parents, so clearly not this man.

However, there is an Alonzo Lore born about 1861, according to the Crawford County, Pennsylvania 1880 census. He was divorced by Mary getting divorced in Warren County, Pennsylvania in 1898, and then he disappears in the records entirely – until now – a decade later.

It’s possible that Alonzo is Curt’s youngest sibling, born the year after the 1860 census, and unaccounted for in 1870. There is a Mary Clark who died in 1909 who had two children, Hazel then married to Henry Haser, and one Henry Lore born in 1894. Somehow her husband at death, Fred Clark, was involved with P. L. Lore and oil drilling.

If Lon lived in Rushville, this leads me to wonder if he and Curt worked together.  Searching for other instances of Lon or Alonzo Lore in the Rushville paper came up empty-handed. Whoever Lon was, he reportedly “never came back” to visit Curt after Mildred and Eloise put a thumbtack on his chair and he sat on it.

Upon rising, rapidly, he reportedly announced that Curt’s girls were terrible, and departed. Eloise who was born in 1903 remembered this event and said she was maybe 4 or 5, so that would have been about 1908.

Fun and Fairs

  • August 26, 1905 – Greensburg News – Friday – Our city has outgrown Curt Lore, of Rushville, a former resident here. He took the wrong one of the numerous out-bound trains, yesterday evening, in his attempt to get home. This is Curt’s second or third offense of a like nature within a very short time.

I bet Curt was probably distracted at the time and quite embarrassed by this. It made me laugh. There are so many serious events in his life – I enjoyed this light-hearted humor. I think I inherited this trait!

  • August 29, 1905 – Among the Rushville people who will have stands at the fair are C. B. Lore, southwest corner of floral hall.

I’m dying to know why Curt had a stand at the fair. He clearly wasn’t advertising for municipal well-drilling business. And in the floral hall? His movies perhaps? Electricity? Phones? Plumbing?

The Rush County fairgrounds looked like this around 1907. Horses and buggies were the transportation of the day. But those poor horses would have gotten awfully hot with no trees for shelter.

Alas, with the fair over, it’s back to work.

Back to the Daily Routine

  • Sept. 6, 1905 – The committee which had been appointed to make a report as to what should be done about the matter of connecting the 3 water wills which were drilled by Curt Lore for the city water and light plant, reported that they thought it the wisest plan not to connect these wells with the reservoir until next year.
  • Sept. 20, 1905 – City Clerk Lakin was instructed to order C. B. Lore to move his drilling outfit from Arthur Street.
  • Sept. 25, 1905 – Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Coverston, Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Lore (and others) spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. Earl Coverston at Fairmount and Mr. and Mrs. Ray Coverston at Jonesboro.
  • Oct. 10, 1905 – Zike Lore, an old-timer of this county is in this city for a few days. Mr. Lore is a specimen writer and deals in specialties, in pens and advertising supplies. He is located on the corner of Main and Second streets.

I have no clue who this might be, but he doesn’t seem to be related. I don’t find any similar name in the 1900 census.

  • Oct. 17, 1905 – Republicans choose delegates for city convention tonight. Curt Lore – alternate for second ward.

Satan Visits the Masked Ball

  • Nov. 1, 1905

I had to read this twice. I can just see these women in long skirts climbing the ladder and entering through the window. I’d wager there was a HUGE amount of laughter, and not one person had any dignity left by the time everyone managed to get inside.

Politics

  • Nov. 6, 1905  – If the Democratic party has conducted AN HONEST city administration, why is it that the contract for the first new water well, the test well, was let to C. B. Lore and no other well ?? was consulted. W. A. Mull a ??(torn) was not given a ??torn honest way of let- ??torn…

Uh-oh, trouble in paradise.  Sounds like dealing with municipal government contracts and politics hasn’t changed much in 100+ years.

  • Nov. 8, 1905 – P. L. Lore of Cincinnati among those who came home to vote.

Is this man in some way related to Curt?  No absentee ballots then? There was a P. L. Lore in Pennsylvania, a relationship that I could never figure out. Of course, this could be entirely unrelated and P. L. Lore may be entirely unrelated to Curt.

However, the link between a P. L. Lore, well-drilling, Curt, Adin, Alonzo, the Clark family, and more in Warren County, PA is just too much coincidence. Somehow, these families are related. Most of the people simply disappear from the records. This seems to be a Lore family thing.

Never a Dull Moment

  • Nov. 17, 1905 – Miss Curtis Lore has been absent from school on account of sickness.
  • Nov. 25, 1905 – Miss Edith Lore of west Second street is visiting her friend Miss Marie Clark of North Main Street who is attending school at Butler University, Irvington. Miss Lore will remain over Sunday.
  • Nov. 28, 1905 – Miss Edith Lore has returned from a visit with Miss. Marie Clark, at Irvington.
  • Dec. 1, 1905 – Insurance case on trial. Men who compose the jury are (list of names omitted> and C. B. Lore.

Jury duty – what fun!  Here’s the courthouse that Curt Lore knew up close and personal and where he sat as a juror.

I can’t help but wonder if Curt installed those utility poles.

Then, and now.

  • Dec. 5, 1905 – Bids submitted by C. B. Lore and the Ohio Valley Bridge Co. for repairs to the Arlington bridge were rejected for the reason that they were in excess of the appropriation.

Arlington bridge, photo courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society BH photo #445954.

I wonder what Curt was doing to repair bridges. He seemed to be able to do literally just about anything.

  • Dec. 8, 1905 – C. B. Lore suffered quite a loss yesterday. A horse belonging to him dropped dead while at work on the farm of Clarence Carney in Noble Township.

Curt had terrible luck with horses it seemed. This is not the first horse that dropped dead. How terribly sad.

What kind of a relationship did C. B. Lore have with Clarence Carney? Why was his horse working there?

  • Dec. 12, 1905 – The Young Ladies Missionary Circle of the First Presbyterian Church will meet this evening with Miss Edith Lore, west Second street.
  • Dec. 13, 1905 – The Young Ladies Mission Circle of the Presbyterian church met last night at the house of Miss Edith Lore on West Second Street.
  • Dec. 22, 1905 – Mrs. C. B. Lore has gone to Aurora to spend the holidays with relatives.

This makes me wonder why Curt wasn’t mentioned.

1906

On January 3, 1906, Barbara Mehlheimer Drechsel, Nora’s grandmother, died of cardiac arrhythmia after being ill for almost a year. She was buried on January 7th.

  • January 4, 1906 – Mrs. C. B. Lore and daughters have returned from Aurora where they spent the holidays.

This is an interesting entry. I’m surprised that they didn’t stay in Aurora for Barbara’s funeral. She was Nora’s grandmother after all, and Nora would have wanted to be supportive of her mother, so I’m mystified by Nora’s return to Rushville on January 4th.

The paper entry mentions holidays, but this season would have been overshadowed by Barbara’s impending death.

  • January 11, 1906 – The following cast of characters of “The Union Depot” which will be given tomorrow night at the opera house under the auspices of the Ladies of the Presbyterian Church. Curtis Lore – School girl.

Curtis, the second oldest daughter would have been couple months shy of 15.

  • February 10, 1906 – Republican delegates chosen for county convention. C. B. Lore from the second ward.

This is interesting. Curt is a Republican, but earlier, someone was complaining that a Democratic council has been unfairly biased towards Curt. Curt’s father-in-law, Jacob Kirsch was a Democrat and served in that capacity in Aurora. Of course, the leanings and platforms of the parties were entirely different than they are today.

I bet those conversations were interesting, nonetheless. I wonder if the women left the room and made sure the granddaughters couldn’t hear.

  • Feb 22, 1906 – The Websterian Literary society, section B, division 2 composed of Freshmen and Sophomores in the high school will present the following program tomorrow afternoon at the high school building in honor of Washington’s birthday. Recitation – “On the Shores of Tennessee” by Curtis Lore.

The Websterian Literary Society appears to be a coeducational society with programs that included instrumental and vocal music, readings, declamations, and debates.

  • February 24, 1906 – Edith Lore to furnish special music on the Presbyterian Church Sunday.
  • March 21, 1906 – C. B. Lore agreed to tear down and rebuild the stack to its present height furnish all labor and material for $775. (Someone else underbid him by $10 and he did not get the contract.)
  • March 26, 1906 – Mrs. J. F. Wymond of Aurora, is the guest of her sister, Mrs. C. B. Lore.
  • March 26, 1906 – Miss Bertha Helm entertained a number of friends Saturday evening in honor of Mrs. J. F. Wymond, the guest of Mrs. C. B. Lore.

Carrie married Joseph Wymond in 1902 and he died of syphilis in 1910, so clearly by this time, she surely knew that he, and she, both had the disease. Was this when she came to talk things over with her sister? Nora must have been devastated, understanding that syphilis at that time was a sure, and slow, horrific death sentence.

Wymond’s family was quite wealthy and he was reportedly a riverboat gambler. Mom referred to him as a “dandy,” which, trust me, was not a term of endearment.

  • March 27, 1906

I’m glad Curt wasn’t harsh with these boys. Perhaps he remembered being desperately poor as a child.

This speaks to me personally about Curt Lore and how he treated children. These boys probably didn’t have a bicycle – given that it was ridden to death. Curt probably wanted to teach them a valuable lesson, but not damage them. Hopefully his charity, generosity, and gentle lesson served them well for the rest of their life. Curt was apparently a kind man.

  • April 16, 1906 – A large audience attended the services at the Presbyterian church at night. Special exercises were held at that time by the Sunday School. Miss Edith Lore furnished special music at the morning service. She also did a reading.

I don’t know where, exactly, Edith learned to play the piano, but it was clearly as a child in Rushville. It would serve her well for her entire life in many ways. She played for church, friends and her daughter, my mother’s, dance recitals.

  • April 18, 1906 – C. B. Lore bids on bridges.
  • April 19, 1906 – Graduates at Milroy – Music by Glee Club – Music was furnished by the Rushville high school Girls Glee Club which consists of the following young ladies <list of names omitted> and Edith Lore. There were 8 graduates.
  • April 24, 1906 – The local high school this spring will have one of the largest graduating classes in recent years. A more brilliant set of students has seldom graduated here. The class will consist of 23 young people – 14 young ladies and 9 young gentlemen including the following students <list of names omitted> and Edith Lore.

Apparently, if the students didn’t pass their exams, they didn’t graduate. Edith’s friends for the past dozen years would have been the other students in her graduating class. I wish there was a photograph of the graduating class.

The following photos were taken of Edith about this time and may have been taken for graduation.

On August 2, 1906 – Edith Lore turned 18. Officially an adult.

Unforeseen Changes

Edith graduated, and Curt became ill.

Very ill.

Gravely ill.

And he’s not the only one.

What will happen to Curt? To Edith? To Nora?

What about the rest of the family?

Life is changing rapidly and in unanticipated ways…that’s for sure.

There’s only one thing to say.

Typhoid

Tune in next week.

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