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) ·
  • 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) ·
G.W. Joy's life - obitG.W. Joy’s life – obit Thu, Dec 31, 1914 – 2 · The Eudora Weekly News (Eudora, Kansas) ·
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) ·

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 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) ·

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


















Meet the Richards – A Pioneer Family


In an earlier post, I profiled Dacy Eliza Richards but realized by the end of writing it, that the dates and names didn’t line up properly. It was pretty improbable that she should be the daughter of George Richards and Sarah Ann Sasscer of Maryland and Pennsylvania, who both died within a few years of her birth. Supposedly, Sarah Ann was 59 at the time.

dacy richards tree mistake

Here’s the ancestors that I now realize were mistakes. Some other trees have these names too but I’ve removed them all from my family tree.

Casting about for a more likely family, I found three families of Richards in the 1860 census (Eudora, Kansas Territory). There was a female Dadey in one household. Was it Dacy? The age of 18 was a match, as she was 20 when she married George Washington Joy in Eudora in 1862. The handwritten record is hard to decipher, so  I think it could be Dacey.

Fortunately, as a pioneer Kansas family, and as early settlers in other states, there was quite a bit of documentation. One of Dacy’s brothers, Oscar Grinman Richards, later served in the legislature and earned space in the Kansas Biographical Dictionary of 1879 (pages 300 – 301).

Xenophon Richards (Dacy Richards father)

The entry mentions the father, Xenophon Richards who was prominent in the Indian wars and was a soldier in the Blackhawk War.

Xenophon is an ancient Greek name with some history to it. For our Zenophon Richards, the Biographical Dictionary says he was “a man of but fair common school education.” It went on to say that he was “of superior mental abilities and the highest moral character; universally respected for his integrity, generosity, and philanthropy, and in every respect an eminently good man; he was of Scotch-English descent.” Now perhaps that is just the rhetoric of the times, but it’s fascinating to have this insight into your 3rd great-grandfather.

family histories oscar richards - eudora site

Oscar Grinman Richards. Photo Citation: Family Histories P-R. (2019). Retrieved 15 January 2019, from

Oscar Grinman Richards (Dacy Richard’s brother)

His son Oscar Grinman Richards was with the Kansas forces under General Lane during the border-ruffian war. He took a claim near Manhattan, Kansas which he improved and cultivated and then sold in 1857. He moved to the Douglas County area, then known as “the Shawnee Absentee Lands” bringing with him a party of 27 settlers. Those early Kansas settlers included his father, brothers, and others.

ancestry com kansas biographical dictionary 1879 oscar g. richards

1879 Kansas Biographical Dictionary – part of the entry for Oscar Grinman Richards.

This gets us to the point where Dacy Elizabeth Richards meets and marries George Washington Joy in Eudora, Kansas Territory in 1862.

I’m glad to know that my ancestors played a role in keeping Kansas a free state and blocking slavery. It’s sad to see that they also played a role in suppressing the Native Americans and taking their lands in several states. I’ll need to read more about the Indian wars in Illinois and the removal of Indians from Kansas.

One last bit of evidence connecting Dacy to this family. In 1865, Oscar Richards marries his second wife and the wedding takes place at the home of George Joy.

Just a few days ago, I wrote about Dacy as an unusual name. Now, I find that her father and brother had even more unusual names.

Week 3 of the #52Ancestors Challenge – The topic for the week was Ancestors I’d Like to Meet.

Update – January 20, 2019 – I’m in a quandary, as there is another possibility for Dacy’s parents. Since at age 18, she was in the household of Xenophon Richards in Eudora, Kansas in 1860, I assumed that was her father. That was one of the census forms that did not include relationships for the household. Then I found in the 1850 census in Illinois, that Dacy Eliza was living (age 8) with George and Sarah Richards. George was Xenophon’s brother.

So, the question is which one is her father and which is her uncle? I’ll keep looking for further documents relating to her life that might shed light on this mystery.

2nd Update – January 25, 2019 – I’ve found gravestones in New Michigan, Illinois for Sarah and George W. Richards who died in 1851. It seems likely that the 8-year-old Dacy in their household in 1850 was their daughter and that after their deaths, she was taken into the family of her uncle, Xenophon and Lucy Richards. Later, they ended up settling in Eudora, Kansas in 1858.

3rd Update – May 2019 – I have 2 DNA matches who link through siblings of Dacey Richards with a common ancestor of George Richards. This seems to verify that George is her actual father.