Sunday, February 10, 2019

I Finally Found Matilda Biddle Porter's Obituary!

A couple years ago I posted some plans to research my 3rd great grandmother Matilda Biddle's obituary.  Thankfully beat me to the punch and I found two variations of her obituary last week.  I may eventually see if I can find Newport, Oregon newspapers mentioning her death, but for now at least I have something!

Unfortunately, most of the information given in the obituary is about her father and her ex-husband, not her.

Corvallis Gazette-Times (accessed from
(Corvallis, Oregon)
27 Aug 1927, Sat  • Page 6
Mrs. Porter Dead
Member of Pioneer Benton Family Dies at Home at Newport
Mrs. Matilda Biddle Porter, wife of Orville T. Porter, one of Benton county's early residents, died late yesterday afternoon at the family home at Newport.  The body was brought to Corvallis and prepared for burial and the funeral will be held Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the grave in the I. O. O. F. cemetery.  Rev. E. J. Harper of the Madison street Methodist church will officiate. 
Mrs. Porter was born February 22, 1846, in Springfield, Ill., but apparently came west during her childhood.  She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin R. Biddle, pioneers of Benton county.  From meagre information that could be obtained, it is believed Mrs. Porter's father was Dr. R. B. Biddle, a prominent dentist in Corvallis in the early '70s, who after retiring to Pleasant Valley, 1 1/2 miles south of Philomath, established a short course in dentistry which was probably the first dental college in Oregon.  George Biddle, a brother, is said to have become a leading dentist in Eugene. 
Mrs. Porter was aged 81 years.  She is survived by a daughter who resides in Albany and a son in Seattle.  No definite information regarding the family could be obtained.

Corvallis Gazette-Times (accessed from
(Corvallis, Oregon)
30 Aug 1927, Tue  • Page 3

Was of Pioneer Family - The remains of the late Mrs. Matilda Biddle Porter, widow of Orville Porter, were interred Sunday in the I. O. O. F. cemeteryq [sic] where a brief service was conducted by Rev. E. J. Harper.  Mrs. Porter died Friday at the family home at Newport where she had resided in late years.  She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin R. Biddle who crossed the plains to Oregon in 1850, and rode in a wagon with W. B. Carter, and early editor of the Gazette, as driver.  The Porters lived in Corvallis a number of years and Mr. Porter was a teacher here.  He organized bands, was editor of a Republican paper in Albany for a time and later was a member of the Indian commission in Alaska.  He died 15 years ago.  Dr. Biddle, father of Mrs. Porter, was a prominent dentist of the 70's.  There is a brother, Dr. E. W. Biddle of Hillsborough, Cal. A daughter residing in Albany and a son in Seattle survive.

Related posts for Matilda:

Monday Is for Mothers: Matilda Biddle (1846 - 1927)
Hat Tip to Those Relatives Who Wrote Their Stories Down, Part 2
Monday Is for Mothers: Maria Evans (1814 - 1899) Part 1
Working on Wednesday: Orville Tracy Porter (1838 - 1916) North to Alaska
52 Ancestors in 54 Weeks: Week 5: Tracy Darrow Porter
Orville Tracy Porter: Divorce and Marriage
Monday Is for Mothers: Sarah Emma Biddle Spencer (1842 - 1868)

© 2019 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sunday Drive: Spearfish, South Dakota - 1953

The caption on this slide in Dad's handwriting reads "at Florence's Spearfish S.Dak. 53" so have all the information we need.

[From my personal collection]

Florence Christine Weisman (1900-1985) married Mother's older brother Gilbert Grenfell (1901-1928) in 1924 and the couple had a son Milton (1925-2003) and a daughter Joyce who died as an infant in 1926.

[From my personal collection]

Gilbert was killed in 1928 when the tractor he was driving overturned.

Florence became the wife of Ralph B. Courtney (1903-1956) in 1932 becoming the stepmother to his two children by his first wife.

She's buried in Little Dane Cemetery, Saint Onge, Lawrence County, South Dakota along with both of her husbands, her son and his wife, and her stepson.

© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Saturday Night Entertainment: Big Noses in Encanto

Dad Currey and his nephew and niece* were having some fun in our backyard in Encanto, probably in 1950. The tree in the background is a huge avocado.

[From my personal collection]

These images make me smile so I'm posting them even though the color is terrible.

*Nancy Lee Peterson (1937-1974) and Charles Frederick Peterson (1940-2008) were the children of Dad's youngest sister Marguerite and her first husband.

© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Family Friday: Christopher Colbert "Col" Chappell & Wife Cornelia Josephine "Puss" Stanley Chappell

This double portrait of Col Chappell and his wife was posted to her tree by a distant Freeman cousin who's an Ancestry DNA match.* Since my family tree has quite a few Chappells in it, including my 3X great grandmother Sarah Heath Chappell, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Col is also related to me through his father's line.**

Col was born in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, in 1849 and that's where he and Puss were married. They remained in Alabama (where five of their eventual twelve children were born) until about 1882 when they removed to Texas where they lived out their days.

Puss died on 1934 and Col survived her by three and a half years. They are both buried in Lakeview Cemetery in Hall County.

[Posted by their descendant KathyWhitaker51 to her Ancestry family tree]

Here's how we're related:


*As a 5th - 8th cousin
**I'll have to research his lineage to find out.

© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Repost: Tip: Use HistoryGeo To Track Changing U. S. County Boundaries

Christine first posted this on September 23, 2017.

Brighton, Colorado (now in Adams County). Note:  I clicked on a random spot near the center of Brighton.

Mary L. (Burnight) Lytle (1853-1883), my 1st cousin 5x removed, died in Brighton, Arapahoe, Colorado.  By 1910 her daughter Isabel was living in Brighton, Adams, Colorado, same area. 

There are different ways to determine what county a particular place was in, and one that I've found to be very helpful is HistoryGeo, a subscription based website that takes Bureau of Land Management land records and maps them, called the First Landowner's Project:
Here, you will find our ongoing effort to accurately map the original landowners of the 29 U.S. public land states and Texas.
This limits the time period between about 1810 to 1940, and doesn't include the land in the eastern part of the U.S. that was measured by metes and bounds, but if you are trying to determine a place in that time period and in the more western areas you might find this helpful. 

U. S. County Boundary History, from 1810 through 1940.  Note that the info is from IPUMS, which is a sophisticated data tool that I have yet to really figure out lol.

© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Weddings in my Ancestral Line: December 8th through 14th

Two of my known direct ancestral couples were married during the second week of December:
maternal 6X great grandparents Moses Cooper and Mary Mathewson were wed in Glocester, Rhode Island, on December 10, 1732; and maternal great grandparents Lewis Logan Slater and Rufina Tomlinson in Severy, Kansas, on December 13, 1885.

[Lewis Logan Slater & Rufina Tomlinson Slater-undated double portrait
courtesy of Olive Slater-Kennedy]

The following two couples also married during the second week of December but I'm less certain of my relationship to them: paternal 10X great grandparents Thomas Ford and his first wife Joan Way wed in England on December 13, 1610*; and maternal 5X great grandparents William White and Jemima Wright were married on December 13, 1781 in Adams, Massachusetts, by my 6X great grandfather Elder Peter Worden.**

*This is a line that I haven't looked at in years and so I'm not certain of my connection. In any case, I would be descended from his second wife Elizabeth Charde.
**This couple's relationship to me is entirely speculative and not to be relied on. If it's true they are the grandparents of Hannah Leonard, the wife of Porter Worden (my 3X great grandparents)

© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Celebrations: Christmas, Agua Caliente - 1953

That was the year Mother made matching pajamas for me and my doll.

[From my personal collection]

© 2018 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.