17 April 2014

Jacob L. Gurwell (1786 - abt. 1860)

The following is reproduced with permission from the "Gurwell Group" newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 4, (December, 1996) writer and editor Shirley Boyd --
Of the three young Gurwells, William, James and Jacob L., the least is known about Jacob L.  
Jacob L. Gurwell did not remain long in one spot.  First mention is in Mercer County, PA from where he served in the War of 1812. 
Jacob L. enlisted for the period of October 1, 1812 to April 2, 1813  in the Pennsylvania Militia and served as a private in Captain Matthew Dawson's Company of (PA) Militia, 5th Battalion (Nelson's) Infantry.They joined General Crook's brigade and marched through Ohio to operate with General William Henry Harrison against the British at Ft. Meigs.  He served two months and receive $13.32 for his service.  Jacob L. was discharged December 10, at Mansfield, Ohio (Richland County) which was "210 miles from home."  One Company Muster Roll shows 285 miles from home (19 days).  His allowance for clothing was $3.98.2 
In October 1817, he married Mrs. Elenor Da(o)rland in Perry Township, Wayne County, Ohio, by Daniel Hutchison, J.P.3   
The 1820 census of Berlin Township, Coshocton County, Ohio (became Holmes County in 1826) shows that there was one male 26-45, two females under 10 and one female 16-26 in Jacob's household. 
On May 1, 1821 he purchased "Lot No. five of the fourth quarter of the tenth Township & the Sixth range of the tract...lying in the State of Ohio."4 However, in November of the same year he sold the land to Jacob Frye.  Jacob L.'s wife was listed as Aley.5   
On April 25, 1822 he purchased land in Liberty Township, Crawford County, Ohio.  (Sale was the from Delaware County, Ohio land office.  The deed was signed by President James Monroe.)6 
By 1823 he had moved to Crawford County, Ohio.  A history of Crawford County records that "in 1823 in Liberty Township, Crawford County, the Northwest corner of Jacob L. Gurwell's farm was the first burying ground in that area so it is believed that one of the first to die belonged to Jacob L.  The graveyard no longer exists."7  Jacob L. is on the 1826 personal property tax list in Liberty Township.  "Prior to 1830 Jacob L. and David Hawk started a tannery northeast of Annapolis in Liberty Township."In 1832 and '33 Jacob L. was on the tax list in Liberty Township for lands and house.  In 1834 he bought land in Chatfield Township, Crawford County. 
The 1830 census of Crawford County, Liberty Township lists the following in Jacob L.'s household:  one male under 5, one male 40-50 (Jacob), one female under 5, one female 5-10, two females 10-15 and one female (20-30) (Aley).
While living in Crawford County, Jacob bought and sold many tracts of land. The last land transaction in Crawford County was in 1836 when he sold land to Isaac Starns.  He signed the land record and Aley made her mark. 
Jacob L. next appears in the 1850 Holt County, Missouri census.  He is 64 and lists his birthplace as Pennsylvania.  In his household are Emma, 26, born in Ohio, James, 16, born in Ohio, Amanda, 11, born in Illinois and William, 3, born in Missouri.  From this we can infer that he lived in Illinois after he left Ohio, that Aley died sometime after the birth of William (assuming that she was William's mother). 
FOOTNOTES: 1-Military Records from the National Archives; 2-Ibid.; 3-Wayne County, Ohio Marriage Records. 1812-1829.; 4-Holmes County, Ohio Deed Book Vol. 15, p. 19, Holmes County Court House, Millersburg, Ohio. (Poor copy.); 5-Holmes County, Ohio Transcript Deed Record 11,  p. 173, Court House,  Millersburg, Ohio.; 6-Crawford County, Ohio, Recorder's Office, Bucyrus, Ohio Deed Book 4,  p. 108-109.; 7-1881 History of Crawford County, Ohio8-Ibid. p. 576 

Jacob Laban Gurwell is my 3x-great-grandfather on my mother's paternal (Gibson) side.

If you have anything to add on the Gurwell family history both Shirley and I would like to hear from you.  She can be emailed at shirboy[at]aol.com.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

16 April 2014


My ancestors who died in big cities are almost always buried in what are now
the old and depressed areas I would not normally think of voluntarily visiting....

....Except to visit a relative.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

15 April 2014

More about Moore (Charles, 1763-1839) Part 2

From El Paso Story: The Centennial Book of El Paso, Illinois (Illinois: Heartland Bank & Trust Company, 1954) --
MOORE, Adam – Son of William Campbell Moore, who came from Ohio to Kansas Twp. around 1833 or possibly earlier.
MOORE, Alfred and Mary Ann – Alfred was the son of Charles Moore, the Revolutionary War veteran who built Moore's Mill. This son was probably associated with his father and uncles in the Panther Creek settlement. He patented part of the NW 1/4 of Section 6 in Kansas Twp. on February 1, 1837.
MOORE, Charles and Martha – It was Charles and his sons and brothers who formed the "Panther Creek" settlement and built the first water powered grist mill in the entire area in 1830, near the Ancil Shoup home in south Palestine Twp. He had previously settled in the Walnut Grove (Eureka area) in 1826. Charles Moore was a Revolutionary War veteran and was killed in a run-away accident, September 18, 1839, showing that buggies were also dangerous. He was shipped to a former home and buried at Ewington, Summit Twp., Effingham County, Illinois. Some historians have said his mill one mile northwest of Bowling Green was the first water-powered mill in Woodford County. He is believed the father of Alfred and Josiah Moore.
MOORE, Joseph and Mrs. Almira Patrick – Joseph lived in Greene Twp. in the 1830's and married Almira, the widow of Winslow Patrick. He is not the Joseph Moore who was El Paso's first Mayor.
MOORE, Joseph H. and (1) Juliet Helm (1816-1868), (2) Nancy – Joseph was El Paso's first Mayor after the City was incorporated under special charter in 1867. Also served as City's seventh postmaster, March 3, 1868 to January 22, 1880, and for many years thereafter as Justice of the Peace. He had been sheriff of McLean County before moving here about 1858. He purchased the NE 1/4 of Section 20, El Paso Twp. on May 13, 1858. A daughter, Elizabeth, married a Willis. He was born in 1814 and died at El Paso in 1904.
MOORE, Josiah and Jane A. Patrick (Radford) – They lived in Palestine around 1830. Josiah was one of the first three County Commissioners named to govern the new Woodford County in 1841, drawing the three year term. Joseph Meek and James Boys (first Woodford County postmaster in 1836 – three miles north of Metamora) were the other two Commissioners. Meek had also been in the county since around 1836. Josiah Moore purchased W 1/2 of the NW 1/4 of Section 28 in Greene Twp. on January 10, 1838.
MOORE, William Campbell and Sarah – William was an Ohioan by birth, who came to Sangamon County, Illinois in 1812, and to Walnut Grove (Eureka area) in 1826. He is believed to be a brother of Charles Moore, as he moved to the Panther Creek settlement and was associated with him and the first water-powered mill there. He moved into El Paso Twp. after a few years, and finally to Montgomery Twp. where he died. He patented the SW 1/4 of Section 25 in Greene Twp. on May 23, 1836, and may have also lived there for a time. He was the father of Adam Moore.
Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

14 April 2014

Amanuensis Monday: More about Moore (Charles, 1763-1839)

In Reply Return To Rev. and 1812 War Section
AWS (initialed)


August 17, 1927

Mrs. John E. Long
208 S. Topeka St.
El Dorado, Kans


I have to advise you from the papers in the Revolutionary War pension claim W. 24005, it appears that Charles Moore was born January 11, 1763 in Hanover County, Virginia.

While residing in Rowan County, Salisbury District, North Carolina, he enlisted and served as a private in the North Carolina Troops, as follows --

From February 1779, three months in Captain James Craig's Company, under Major Mountflorance; from July 1780, three months in Captain Benjamin Smith's Company, Colonel Mathew Brandon's Regiment, and was in the battle of King's Mountain; and six months in Captain Robert Glasby's Company, no dates given.

He was allowed pension on his application executed June 3, 1833, while a resident of McLean County, Illinois.  He died September 18, 1839.

Soldier married April 2 or 12, 1793 in or near Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina, Martha, her maiden name is not stated.

She was allowed pension on her application executed July 29, 1843, while a resident of Woodford County, Illinois, aged sixty-nine years.

Children --

William C. born February 3, 1794.
John A. born March 18, 1796.
Alice C. born June 3, 1799.
Priscilla born February 2, 1803.
Mary born February 4, 1805.
Hugh C. born March 18, 1808.
Josiah born April 15, 1810.
Alfred born April 27, 1813.
Sarah born January 11, 1817.


E.W. MORGAN, Acting Commissioner

Martha Cunningham was born Nov 22 1773 and died April 15th (Handwritten with notation to indicate this is the Martha mentioned in the text.)

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

13 April 2014

Sunday's Obituary: Trunella Trent (nee. Walker) 1916-2004

From THE PANTAGRAPH newspaper (Bloomington, Illinois) Monday, March 29, 2004

Trunella Trent
BLOOMINGTON -- Trunella E. Trent, 87 of 1409 N. Oak St., Bloomington, died peacefully at 10:35 p.m. Friday, (March 26, 2004) at her home in Bloomington. 
Her funeral will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Normal. Bishop Jack Mapes will officiate. Burial will be in Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home, Bloomington, and for one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at the church. 
Memorials may be made to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Humanitarian Aid Fund or to BroMenn Hospice Program. 
She was born Sept. 19, 1916, in Bloomington, a daughter of Guy T. and Nellie K. O'Brien Walker and was welcomed home by them and an older sister, Ruth. 
She is survived by two stepdaughters, Margaret "Peg" (John) Sanford, Saugatuck, Mich.; and Judy (Mel) Hess, Loves Park; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents and one sister. 
She graduated from University High School in Normal in 1934 at 15 years old and received a teaching degree and a master's degree from Illinois State University. 
She began her teaching career in rural schools at age 17 and later served two years as principal in Shirley Grade School. 
In Towanda, she taught first grade for 18 years and served as principal for three years. She then served as principal at Colleen Hoose and then worked as principal at Eugene Field the last nine years. She retired from Unit 5 School District in 1977 after working 41 years. 
She married Ben Trent on Nov. 23, 1966. They enjoyed a full life together for 22 years, enjoying family, traveling, crafts, church and their church family. He died in 1988.
She was a member of Home Sweet Home Mission Women's Auxiliary and the Retired Teacher's of McLean County. She was a member of the N.W. Neighborhood Association and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had prepared countless programs for all of those groups and served as an officer in most. 
She administered the GED test at the Bloomington Courthouse for 17 years after her retirement. 
She was Altrusa's Volunteer Woman of the Year in 1980. She was also a member of the Normal Hobby Club, the Normal Unit of McLean County Homemakers Extension Association and was a charter member of Alpha Delta Kappa Lambda Chapter, for which she held numerous local, state and international offices.
She was an active and vivacious woman all through her 27 years of retirement. Trunella was a mentor to many children and adults. She and her husband, Ben, were avid craft makers, and even after his passing she continued these various hobbies and distributed the wide variety of articles to senior citizens throughout the community. All those who were fortunate enough to have known this very special lady will miss her wisdom, humor, and loving touch.

Her family members would like to thank all those thoughtful members of her church and community who helped make her life more enjoyable. She will be laid to rest next to her loving parents and husband.
Trunella was my second-cousin one time removed.  Her grandfather Samuel Walker (1860-1933) was my great-grandfather Henry Walker, Jr.'s older brother.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

12 April 2014

"Private Dutton reporting for duty, Captain Lincoln."

From History of Sangamon County, Illinois: Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Townships ... Portraits of Prominent Persons, and Biographies of Representative Citizens. (Chicago: Inter-state publishing Company, 1881). --

Before he was President of the United States, before he was a U.S. congressman, before he was an Illinois congressman, Abraham Lincoln was the captain of the Illinois militia in the Blackhawk War of 1832.  My 3xg-grandfather Samuel Dutton served under him.

I am still researching Samuel Dutton (1806-1835), finding very little about him.  He died at only 29 years of age, in rural Illinois before civil records were kept.  But he was a contemporary of Abraham Lincoln's, from not only the same county but also the same area of the county.

Samuel's young widow Nancy Dutton (nee. Smith, 1808-1868), survived on by marrying Samuel's younger brother Norman Dutton (1810-1889) who like all the Duttons was a strong abolitionist and worked the Underground Railroad.  Hmmm.....

Lineage: Samuel Dutton -> Louisa (Dutton) Walker -> Henry Walker, Jr. -> Keith G. Walker -> (living) -> me.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

11 April 2014

Another Revolutionary War Soldier Ancestor Discovered: Charles Moore (1763-1839)

From OLD FAMILY RECORDS - NUMBER FOUR, originally compiled and printed by Milo Custer, 1914, Reprinted by the Bloomington-Normal Genealogical Society (click to enlarge) --

CHARLES MOORE, Revolutionary Soldier from North Carolina, b. in Hanover County, Virginia, Jan. 11, 1763, m. Martha ............... at Salisbury, N.C. about 1792, settled in what is now Woodford County Illinois, 1826, and d. Sept. 19, 1839.  Wife b. 1774, d. about 1845.  Ch.
(10) SARAH (?) MCKEE b. Jan. 11, 1817, m. William McKee, March 10, 1836, Ch. Martha (McK) Richardson, Candace, Amanda (McK) Kirkpatrick, Miriam (McK) Hall, Richard, Josiah, and Emma.  Information from U.S. Pension Records, McLEan County, Ill. Marriage Records, and Aaron Richardson, husband of Martha (McKee) Richardson, Lexington, Ill. 1914)
Miriam McKee (1851-1936) is my 2xg-grandmother in my mother's maternal (Surpluss) line.  William McKee (1810-1873) and Sarah McKee (1817-1895) were my 3xg-grandparents, and that makes Charles Moore and his wife Martha my 4xg-grandparents.

I am learning when you get six generations or so out from the Revolutionary War how easy it is to qualify for the D.A.R. and S.A.R.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

10 April 2014

Gibson's Chix-Fry

From Route 66 in Arizona by Joe Sonderman (Arcadia Publishing, 2010) --

Gibson's Chix Fry in Flagstaff, Arizona was owned by my grand-uncle Ira Gibson (1890-1966).  It was a landmark along Route 66, pictures appear in almost all Route 66 pictorials, and postcards also existed and are collected.

For further insight I want to turn this over to my mom's cousin Dave Gibson --
Kevin, I spent most of one summer with Ira. He originally sort of looked after me as a very young boy in Flagstaff as my Dad was away working.  It was in the early forties during the war. He took me to the movies and a lot of things, they say I was quite known at that time for things I did even before I was 6. The summer I spent with him I was in the 8th grade I think. He still had the Chic Fry but had bought the fish farm that was in Cottonwood. One reason was he needed to be at a lower elevation because of his breathing. 
Ira made and lost many small fortunes in his life and was a very bright man and had a mind for business. He only had an limited amount of schooling. His chicken business was one that enabled him to use every part of the chicken. He raised them,butchered them, sold the feathers to a mattress or pillow company and the guts he took to the fish farm and fed to the fish. We would work in a small butchering area where we cut up and prepared the chickens for the store. 
We went down to the fish farm about once a week I think. He had three long ponds and we would drag a net from one end to the other on one pond and the pick out the ones that were the right size and take them to the shop there for preparation. We would take them up to Flagstaff on the same day each week, half for him and half to a local  market. Both places would be sold out in no time. His Chic-Fry mad a lot of money and it was a very small place on the east end of town on Route 66. This was before fast food or KFC.  He sold it some years later as the route 66 was changed and the business was going to disappear.  He seemed to always know when to get out. The new owner moved it and it didn't last long.
Ira died in Flagstaff, and is buried next to his wife Helen.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker