Women’s History Month – Popular Girl


Ancestor of the Week:  Cora Joy
Prompt of the Week: 52 Ancestors week 12 – Popular

I only knew my grandmother, Cora Joy Martin, as a sedate and rather stern, older woman. In searching for my family history in old newspapers, I found evidence of an active social life in her girlhood years. Cora’s mother, Marie Kennedy Joy, came from a very comfortable family in Douglas County, Kansas and her social inclinations likely came from that.

Although Marie and Alfred Joy moved a number of times, it seems that Cora’s mother created fun activities for her children no matter how small the town where they found themselves. These three stories are from their few years in Burlingame, Kansas.

Cora Joy birthday celebration. xCora Joy and mother - luncheon party. x

Cora and Harry Joy and teacher. xStories from The Burlingame Enterprise (Burlingame, Kansas) · Newspapers.com

The family lived in the Burlingame area from 1906 to 1908 before moving to Hamilton, Kansas. These small towns were still in their early years of development, but the early 1900s were times of progress. The Joy family had a telephone installed in 1906 and their number was 13-217. This probably made it more convenient to arrange visits and tea parties and “elegant luncheons.”

This was the era of hand-cranked ice cream, croquet on the lawn, and gatherings to pull taffy. There were Sunday School picnics, box suppers at the schools, and other social activities.

Alfred Joy gets a telephone x Thu, Apr 12, 1906 – Page 4 · The Burlingame Enterprise (Burlingame, Kansas) · Newspapers.com
Alfred Joy gets a telephone xAlfred Joy gets a telephone x Thu, Apr 12, 1906 – Page 4 · The Burlingame Enterprise (Burlingame, Kansas) · Newspapers.com

Slideshow of Cora Joy Martin’s Life

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Amy Johnson Crow challenges genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.” This is week 12 of the 2020 challenge.

Women’s History Month – Joy Sisters


My great-uncle, Harry Earl Joy, married Mildred Evelyn Holland in 1918 and they had two daughters. This photo of the family was taken in the summer of 1925.

Orvetta Louise would have been three years old and Harriett Maxene was six.  The family lived at that time in the Eureka area of Greenwood County, Kansas. Harry was a farmer.

The Harry Joy family in Kansas

Harry and Mildred (Millie) Joy and their daughters Harriett and Louise.

I was looking for a picture to match the Sepia Saturday challenge photo showing a 1920s group at the beach. Since all my family was in Kansas at that time, a beach photo was unlikely. So, I’ve settled for a family group sitting on the front porch and hoping for a cooling breeze. The father sits on the porch swing while the rest of the family sits on the steps.

Here’s the Sepia Saturday photo. You can see the blogs that participated in the weekly challenge.

Women’s History Month – Strong Woman


March is Women’s History Month, so I’m featuring a woman from my family tree for every day of the month. Maybe a bit ambitious, but usually, the ladies don’t get their fair share of ancestral glory.  Too often, it’s difficult to track their early lives, find their maiden name, or discover what happened to them after they lose a husband.

pioneer woman statue mollie stark

I don’t have a photo of this ancestor, so I’ll feature this statue of a hardy pioneer woman.

Ancestor of the Week:  Mary Jane Rumery
Prompt of the Week: 52 Ancestors week 10 – Strong Woman

For a short time, I thought Mary Jane Rumery, wife of Cyrus Howard Richards, was my 2nd great-grandmother Dacy Richards’ sister-in-law. After a flurry of discoveries, I found more of the story and had to revise that. Cyrus was actually a cousin, not the brother, of Dacy Elizabeth Richards Joy who was orphaned at an early age.

The story became more complex as I realized that I’d stumbled upon some abolitionists on my family tree. Mary Jane’s father, Moses Rumery, and Cyrus’ father, Xenophon Richards, and Dacy’s father, George W. Richards were involved in the Underground Railroad in Livingston County, Illinois before the Civil War. The families moved down to Kansas as part of the influx of settlers wanting to make sure that territory entered the union as a free state.


Photo of a sculpture of a slave (courtesy of Pixabay)

It’s hard to tell how much the womenfolk were involved in the anti-slavery activities, but I’m sure that food had to be prepared for the slaves in hiding and they may have mended clothing for them or given medical aid. The women might possibly have had encounters with slave hunters snooping around and confronting the family as the Rumery abolitionist beliefs were well-known.

Ancestry com - The History of Livingston County Illinois - moses rumery

From a biographical entry on Mary Jane Rumery’s father, Moses Rumery in the book The History of Livingston County, Illinois

The Dates And Details of Mary Jane Richards’ Life

Mary Jane Rumery was born on June 21, 1839, in Lockport, New York. She was given the same name as an older sister who died the previous year at the age of 3.

Her father, Moses, was 36, and her mother, Sylvia Miranda Raze, was 32. By 1850, the family was in Jackson County, Michigan, as were the Richards family. Later, both families moved to Illinois.

She married Cyrus Howard Richards on March 12, 1856, in Livingston, Illinois. During their marriage, they had one child (Josephine Eugenia, called Phenie). The 1860 census shows them in Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas Territory when their daughter was 2-years-old.

In 1880, her husband was working as a carpenter. There was no longer a need for the Underground Railroad or anti-slavery activities after the Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves by Abraham Lincoln.

Mary Jane Richards died after a long and painful illness from an internal tumor on August 14, 1891, in Lawrence, Kansas, at the age of 52, and was buried there. At that point, Cyrus was working as a bridge watchman. Two of her sisters lived not far away in Burlingame, Kansas.

Amy Johnson Crow challenges genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.” This is week 10 of the 2020 challenge.


The Heirloom Wedding Dress


Ancestor of the Week: Cora Joy and her great-grandmother, Eleanor Dunn Rosebaugh
Prompt of the Week: Week 1 – Fresh Start

I thought about resolving in the New Year to follow a plan and approach the family history in an organized fashion. Right away, that was shoved aside in pursuit of a shiny object when a first cousin, Lorna Stafford Geist, brought out some family heirlooms she had in her care.

dress made by rosebaugh 3

My cousin’s photo of a dress she has

We debated the identity of the seamstress who made this beautiful dress in 1840. Was it the same dress worn by our grandmother, Cora Joy when she married Charles Lorenzo (Ren) Martin in 1915?

dress made by rosebaugh - label
The label clearly attributes the gown to our Kennedy/Rosebaugh line. I’ve put their names and dates below to help us sort this out.  If this is Cora’s dress, then the label might have been made by her mother, Marie Kennedy. Cora’s great-grandmother would be Eleanor Dunn Rosebaugh.

Transcription of the Label

“Made by great grandmother Rosebaugh

Mrs. Elizabeth Kennedy

Made in 1840

By Grandmother Rosebaugh

Marie Kennedy”


Line of Descent

Eleanor Ellen Dunn 1792-1850
3rd great-grandmother (married George Rosebaugh II)
Elizabeth Jane Rosebaugh 1826-1918 (married David Greacen Kennedy)
Daughter of Eleanor Ellen Dunn
Marie C. KENNEDY 1864-1945 (married Alfred Joy)
Daughter of Elizabeth Jane Rosebaugh
Cora Myrle Joy 1896-1969 (married Charles Lorenzo Martin)
Daughter of Marie C. KENNEDY
Vivian Martin (married Edward Stafford)
Daughter of Cora Myrle Joy
Lorna Stafford
Daughter of Vivian Martin
Here’s the puzzling part:
  • If the dress was made in 1840 by Eleanor, who was it made for? Maybe her daughter Mary who likely married around that time. Perhaps the dress was passed along to other sisters (Jane and Elizabeth) who married later.
  • A dress from 1840 would be in a completely different style with a very full skirt while the dress Lorna has is slim in silhouette like the decade leading up to the 1920s.
  • How did the 1840 dress get preserved through a wagon trip to Kansas in pre-statehood days and survive to be passed down through 4 more generations? It would currently be 180 years old.
  • Who wrote the inscription? Do we have any samples of Marie Kennedy’s handwriting?

Sample of Marie Kennedy’s handwriting

I had this list of Marie Joy’s siblings and parents that she wrote. It gives us something to compare to the inscription on the dress. Note the curlicue on the capital E and the way she writes the capital M. Also the letter B is open at the bottom of the handwriting example below and you’ll see the same open capital B in the inscription on the gown.

I’m comfortable that we have enough matches to confirm that Marie Kennedy Joy wrote the inscription that goes with the dress.

marie kennedy joy list family dates

List of family members written by Marie Kennedy Joy

Now, let’s compare the two dresses using the photos from my cousin and the studio wedding picture that I have of our grandparents, Cora and Ren Martin. I’ve used the Topaz Gigapixel AI software that I have. It uses artificial intelligence to enlarge photos, adding pixels. I was able to increase the studio photo to 3 MB to see the details better.

Comparing the Two Photos

My cousin’s photo is on the left and the vintage studio photo enlarged with Gigapixel AI software is on the right

I believe the dress that Cousin Lorna has is the 1915 wedding dress of Cora Joy. the beadwork has darkened over the years making it more visible in the 2019 photos.

What confused us was the inscription by Marie Kennedy about 1840 and Great-Grandmother Rosebaugh. Here’s my best guess on that:


This old saying meant that brides should include each of those things in their wedding attire. I believe the inscription is from a much older cotton or linen dress and was attached to Cora’s 1915 wedding dress to satisfy the “something old” part of the saying.

The dress is now 105 years old. My cousin was worried about the care of the dress and how fragile it is. My thinking is the logical place for the dress to receive the preservation and care that it deserves is the local history museum.

At the Cemetery – Marie Kennedy Joy


The 52 Ancestors’ blogging prompt this week is “At the Cemetery.” Appropriate for Memorial Day, of course, but a bit of serendipity for me. I’d pulled out a box of family memorabilia to sort and scan. The first thing out of the box was a yellowed envelope labeled “Deed to my lot in Blakely Cemetry – Marie Joy.” She is my great-grandmother on my father’s side of the family.

Inside was the deed form, nicely filled out and embossed with two seals. Very official looking. The lot was purchased in 1937, so probably at the time of her husband, Henry Alfred Joy’s death. It would have been a double lot.

The cemetery location in Greenwood County is known to me as many of the Martins, McGhees, and Joys are buried there. Their daughter Cora is buried there with her husband Charles Lorenzo Martin. Some of Cora and Ren’s children are there as well (Zella and Dorothy). Of the McGhees, there my grandparents, Clarence and Ruth McGhee and their daughter, Melba McGhee Harlan.

Also in the envelope was a list of expenses for a funeral. It’s unclear if it was from Alfred’s funeral or from Marie’s. The handwriting looks like that on the outside of the envelope so my guess is that Marie wrote this in 1937 after her husband’s funeral.

marie joy death burial 3

I’ll transcribe it here to make it searchable online.

  • Dr Fairbrother $5
  • Dr Manning $25
  • Lot in cemetry $10
  • Digging grave  $8
  • Minister  $5
  • Singer  $2
  • monument  $90
  • burial clothes $8
  • flowers  $5
  • Dr Lose  $38.50
  • Mr Cook $295
  • prescription, Dr Manning  $1
  • total  $492.50

So, it would appear that this includes the medical expenses for Alfred Joy’s last illness. A newspaper clipping tells that he was bedfast for 3 months before dying. One wonders if it was a stroke or cancer or another illness.

The newspaper also gave us the name of the minister (Rev. G. Russell Fosmire of the Madison Methodist Church) and the singer (Mrs. Lois Hamilton sang “Saved By Grace” and “Sweet By and By”).

The last bit of paper in the old envelope was labeled “Family of Mrs Marie Kennedy Joy.” Here’s the list (with my own notes in parenthesis):

  • Father – May 14, 1821 – 1906 (David Greacen Kennedy)
  • Mother – Nov 14, 1826 – 1918 (Elizabeth Jane Rosebaugh)
  • Ed – Feb 13, 1851 (Edward Newton Kennedy)
  • Jim – Apr 1, 1853 (James Kerr Kennedy)
  • Ella – Feb 20, 1855 (Ellen Kennedy)
  • B.T. – Aug 13, 1857 (Bayard Taylor Kennedy)
  • Walter – Mar 1, 1860 (Walter C. Kennedy)
  • Marie – Dec 1, 1864 (Marie C. Kennedy)
  • John – Oct 8, 1868 (John B. Kennedy)
  • D.G. Jr. – Jan 23, 1870 (David Greacen Kennedy Jr.)

marie kennedy joy list family dates

I started comparing the names and dates to the family tree that I maintain on Ancestry. Everyone matches up. I wish I had the rest of the middle names.

Out of Place


The 52 Ancestors Blog Challenge theme this week is “Out of Place.” I’m struggling with an ancestor and trying to reconcile the records. All her life seemed to revolve around southeastern Kansas, then suddenly, late in life, she marries and dies in Dodge City, Kansas. At least that appears to be her in several family trees. Is there something out-of-whack here?

Nellie Oshel’s full name was Arnell Gracia Oshel. She was born on March 19, 1890, in Johnson, Kansas, when her father, Thomas, was 28, and her mother, Sarah Amelia Joy, was 25. She seemed destined for spinsterhood as at age 20 and age 30, she is still living at home with her parents in 1910 and 1920 in Gardner, Kansas. For a while in 1914, she helped as a live-in housekeeper for her elderly grandparents and her uncle on his farm. But both Mary and George Joy died that year.

I had no picture of Nellie, but imagined her as looking similar to her mother, Sarah. My thanks to Dick Joy for this photo.

sarah amelia joy oshel

Sarah Amelia (Joy) Oshel, mother of Arnell Gracia Oshel who was called Nellie.

At age 40, she’s still single and is back in the household of her bachelor uncle, Stephen Garfield Joy who was age 49. The year was 1930 and the census taker recorded her as Grace Oshel instead of her nickname, Nellie. Her mother died a year later and her father died eight years after that.

Her uncle, Stephen, died the same year as her father. Grace was all alone and took a live-in job as housekeeper for a couple in their eighties, W.B. and Mary Woodburn of Ottawa, Kansas. At this point, she is listed as widowed, though I found no record of a marriage. One wonders if she was still a spinster but thought that “widow” gave her more status. I’ll search further.

Then she shows up on Find-A-Grave in Dodge City, supposedly married to Arthur Gregg Elliott and buried there in 1950. This raises red flags to me.

Where to Search Next

  • I’ll hunt up some Kansas census records which fall in between the U.S. census years.
  • I’ll ask in my cousins’ group on Facebook where a few people might have childhood memories of great-aunt Grace. Perhaps they’ll remember if she ever married.
  • I’ll query the genealogists who have the husband listed for her in their trees.
  • I’ll search the Dodge City and Gardner, Kansas, newspapers for 1940 to 1950 to see if I can find a marriage notice or an obituary.

I did find a photo that is labeled Arnell Gracia Oshel. To me, it appears to be a young lady in her teens or twenties which for it to be Grace would put the picture’s date around 1910. The dress isn’t right for that era. It seems more Victorian and appropriate for 1880s or 1890s.

nellie or grace Oshel from Ancestry may not be right

Is this Arnell Grace Oshel (Nellie) or someone else?



J Is For Joy News 1913 – 1914


Searching through the Eudora Weekly News, I found some sad times for the Joy family in 1913 and 1914. First, I’ll set the scene.

George Washington Joy had remarried after the death of his wife, Dacy Richards. His new wife, Mary Weisinger was 42 at the time they married and had a son, Stephen Garfield Joy, a few years later. By 1910, that son was grown up and had his 71 and 73-year-old parents living with him while he farmed.


George Washington Joy’s 2nd wife, Mary Weisinger

Also in the household was a hired girl, Nellie Oshel. Nellie was the daughter of Stephen’s half-sister, Sarah Amelia Joy Oshel. Her job is listed as a housekeeper so it is likely that she was cleaning the house, cooking, and providing assistance for the older couple, her grandparents.

1913 – 1914 Joy Family News

  • October 1913 – The newspaper reported that Mrs. Joy “seems much improved in health this summer.” Their son also got a mention, “Steve Joy got a fine well on his farm west of the Daugherty place.”
  • December 1913 – Mrs. Joy had a stroke that resulted in a slight paralysis.
  • January 22, 1914 – “Mrs. George Joy lies critically ill at her home in Belleview.”
  • February 19, 1914 – the newspaper reported that she was “no better.”
  • March 26, 1914 – “Death has claimed one of our neighbors, Mrs. Joy. She was a kind-hearted woman. We will all miss her. Our hearts go out in sympathy to the son and husband.” Mary Joy - deathMary Joy – death Thu, Mar 26, 1914 – 1 · The Eudora Weekly News (Eudora, Kansas) · Newspapers.com
  • Shortly before Christmas of 1914, Mary Joy’s husband also died. In his case, it was unexpected and quite sudden.

G.W. Joy dies suddenly - heart attackG.W. Joy dies suddenly – heart attack Thu, Dec 24, 1914 – 2 · The Eudora Weekly News (Eudora, Kansas) · Newspapers.com
G.W. Joy's life - obitG.W. Joy’s life – obit Thu, Dec 31, 1914 – 2 · The Eudora Weekly News (Eudora, Kansas) · Newspapers.com
Because of his long-standing role in the community, there were multiple articles in the paper about his life and death.
G.W. Joy's life - obitG.W. Joy’s life – obit Thu, Dec 31, 1914 – 2 · The Eudora Weekly News (Eudora, Kansas) · Newspapers.com

F Is for Flora Rayson


My grandmother had several cousins who stayed single all their lives. Flora Rayson and her sister Galena were two of those. Their early photos show two winsome children.

Flora Bell Rayson was born on August 6, 1896, to Harriette Elizabeth “Hattie” Joy, age 25, and George Thomas Rayson, age 39 in Hamilton, Greenwood County, Kansas. Two years later her sister Vida Galena P was born on May 30, 1899. Their Rayson grandparents immigrated from England and were early settlers in Douglas County, Kansas.

flora and galena Rayson

Baby Galena and her older sister Flora Rayson in 1899 or 1900.

The photo below shows the Rayson sisters and their younger cousins, Harry and Cora Joy (Cora is my grandmother).

rayson and joy childrenTheir direct gaze but unsmiling faces are charming. Flora and Galena have no children or grandchildren to remember their lives so we will remember it here.

Perhaps when they were of marrying age, the young men had gone to France for the Great War. Many died and were buried in Flander’s Field in 1918. It’s doubtful, now that time has passed, that we’ll ever know the reason they didn’t marry.

Flora attended four years of college and taught for many years in the Great Bend area. The 1940 census shows that she owned her own home and her 68-year-old mother lived with her.  The third person listed in the household was a lodger, another teacher. The 1959 city directory shows her teaching at the Riley School.

A newspaper clipping in 1960 shows that her older sister Beulah Rayson spent two months visiting her from Pasadena, California. Apparently, she also remained single and I’m guessing she was a teacher as well.

I found 39 newspaper mentions in the Great Bend paper for Flora Rayson. She traveled with friends in 1958 for three weeks to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec, then on to New York City and Washington D.C. A number of times Mrs. Frances Brandt is mentioned as well, so she seems to have a good friend.

Galena died fairly young at age 39 in 1938. Flora had a long life, dying in 1985 at age 88.

Flora was active in clubs, service activities, and furthering her education with lectures, cultural events, conferences, and tours. In 1954, she was elected president of the Wesleyan Service Guild, a club for “gainfully employed women.” She was also a member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW).

Photos Over the Years

The photo below shows the Rayson sisters (wearing white, front row) with assorted cousins, aunts and uncles, and a horse.

joy rayson coate family group

The Joy and Rayson families and a horse

More About This Picture

Back row (l-r): George Rayson, William (Will) Gardner Joy, Harriette (Hattie) Joy Rayson, Marie Kennedy Joy, Elma Joy, Alfred Joy
Front row standing (l-r): Susan Elizabeth Coate Joy, Galena Rayson, Flora Rayson, Cora Myrle Joy, Harry Joy
Front (seated): Loren Henry Joy

Family groupings in the picture:

Hattie, Will, and Alf are siblings. Parents are George Washington Joy and Dacy Elizabeth (Eliza) Richards Joy.

  • George Thomas Rayson, Harriette Elizabeth (Hattie) Joy Rayson (wife), Vida Galena (Galena) Rayson and Flora Belle Rayson (daughters).
  • William Gardner (Will) Joy, Susan Coate Joy (wife), Sarah Elma (Elma) Joy (daughter), Loren Henry Joy (son).
  • Henry Alfred (Alf) Joy, Marie Kennedy Joy (wife), Cora Myrle Joy (daughter), Harry Earl Joy (son).
    (I’ve never seen a middle name for Marie, so I’m not convinced that the caption showing “Gladys” is correct. Her gravestone doesn’t show a middle name.)

The Rayson Sisters and Their Mother, Hattie Joy Rayson.

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C Is For Cora and Ren’s Wedding


I pulled out a photo of my grandparent’s wedding party and wondered who all those people were. Recently, I found a list of guests to go with it. Now, I must enlist family members to help me assign the names to the faces in the photo.

The wedding of Cora Myrle Joy and Lorenzo Martin


For details of the wedding, I found their announcement in my mother’s collection. They were married on the 24th of February in 1915. The wedding was in Madison, Kansas.

cora and ren wedding invite

When I look at the people in the group photo, they are aren’t wearing coats so it wasn’t a very cold day or else they stepped outside briefly for the picture and then hurried back inside. Here’s the newspaper clipping with the various guests listed.


guests at Cora and Ren Martin's wedding Newspapers com

Let’s expand on that list of names which like many old newspapers neglected to give married women’s first names. I’d added details from Ancestry.com and from our family records collected by my mother, Gail Lee Martin.

  • Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Martin (Archie Lloyd Martin was Lorenzo’s brother, Lloyd’s wife was Anna Mabel Storrer)
  • Grace Oshel (Cora’s cousin, Arnell Gracia Oshel, called Nellie by the family)
  • Flora and Galena Rayson (first cousins of Cora. They never married.)
  • Elma Joy (another cousin of Cora. Daughter of William Gardner Joy and Susan Coate)
  • Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Martin (Ren’s parents, John Thomas Martin, and wife Cordelia Stone)
  • Mr. and Mrs. M.H. Payne (Martin Henry Payne and wife, Cora Gozina “Grace” Martin. She is Ren’s aunt, sister of J.T. Martin.)
  • Mrs. Kennedy (likely Cora’s grandmother, Elizabeth Jane Rosebaugh Kennedy. She died in 1918)
  • Forrest Payne (son of M.H. Payne and Grace)
  • Robert Martin (Ren’s younger brother. He married Sarah Clark the next year.)
  • Fay Martin (Ren’s younger sister, Anna Faye. She later married Ivan Halligan.)
  • Harry Joy (Cora’s younger brother. Three years later, he married Mildred Evelyn “Millie” Holland.)
  • Glen and Vern Payne (ages 8 and 12, sons of Martin Henry and Grace Payne. Glen is likely the boy in overalls in the group photo. Vern may be the taller boy behind him.)

The Olpe Optimist newspaper of March 3rd described the wedding PRAIRIE BELLE Martin-Joy. Miss Cora Joy and Mr. Lorenzo Martin were married Wednesday noon at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Joy, by Rev. R. H. Beall. They were attended by Miss Nellie Oshel. of Gardner, Kansas, and Mr. Robert Martin. They will go to housekeeping on the Joy farm, three miles west of Prairie Belle.

A reception was given by the bride’s parents at their home Wednesday evening. About twenty-five young people were present and the bride and groom received several beautiful presents. All departed at a late hour having enjoyed a pleasant evening and wishing them a long and happy married life. Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo Martin spent from Thursday until Sunday evening with relatives at Emporia.

The Hamilton Grit newspaper of March 4th gave additional details, Joy-Martin Married: At the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Joy, in the Prairie Bell neighborhood, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 1915, at high noon, their daughter, Cora Myrle to Mr. Charles Lorenzo Martin, Rev. R. H. Beall officiating. After the ceremony was performed a sumptuous wedding feast was served to the young couple and the invited guests.

The bride was dressed in a lovely gown of beaded net over white satin, and the groom wore the conventional black. Both of these young folks are highly respected in the community in which they live and their many friends wish them all the happiness of a wedded life of health and prosperity. Many beautiful and valuable presents were received by the bride. Mr. and Mrs. Martin will be at home after March 1st on the old Joy farm.”

Cora Joy and Lorenzo (Ren) Martin on their wedding day February 24, 1915.

A Is For Ancestor Photos


For the April 2019 A to Z Blog Challenge, my plan is to post a daily vintage photo of our relatives. By vintage, I’m planning on mostly black-and-white photos from the 1800s and up to the 1950s.

You’ll be seeing Babcock, Joy, Kennedy, Martin, McGhee, Stone, Tower, and Vining plus some other surnames to round out the family. I’ll add on some newspaper clippings, bits of the family tree, little stories, or whatever I can collect to enhance each photo posting.

If you have a family photo that you haven’t yet shared, zip it off to me via email or on Facebook so it can get included in our month of photos.

A Is For Alfred Willie Leslie

(photo courtesy of Dick Joy) Alfred and his siblings in the photo are my 1st cousins, 2x removed. The curly-headed tot sitting on the furry pedestal is Alfred, so I’m guessing this photo was taken in 1896. Tina (actually, Vera Justina) would have been around 3, Vernon Dee around 5, and Lloyd Roger around 8 years of age.

Alfred Willie LESLIE was born on August 29, 1895, in Topeka, Kansas. His father, Chauncey William Leslie was 35 and his mother, Lois Adelaide JOY,, was 27. Lois was the daughter of Dacy Elizabeth (Richards) and George Washington Joy.

Left to Right; Tina, Alfred, Vernon and Lloyd Leslie photo from Dick Joy

I saw on Alfred Leslie’s 1917 draft form that it noted his right hand was crippled with a finger “off the right hand.” This may have kept him from being in the military and going to the Great War in France. He was 21 and working as a machine operator at the Kansas City Structural Steel Company.

Searching further, I found a newspaper clipping that may explain the missing finger. A few days later, another news item confirmed that at age 17, Alfred Leslie lost a finger and his father acted to get damages. Four years later when Alfred was of age, he brought his own suit alleging that the first settlement was without his authority and was inadequate for the injury to his hand.

Sat, Dec 8, 1917 – 6 · The Topeka State Journal (Topeka, Kansas) · Newspapers.com

He had one son with Freda L. Borgstede in 1921. In 1930, he worked as a car repairer for the railroad. He died on November 13, 1935, at the age of 40, and was buried in Kansas City, Kansas.

UPDATE: I found a postcard that Alfred Leslie sent to his cousin Flora Rayson in February 1912. He would have been 17 years old so it might be his high school picture.



Here are the rest of the A to Z Blog Challenge posts:











J IS FOR JOY NEWS 1913 – 1914