So, um, yea, it has been a few weeks. I have been lazy and off of the radar, hence the name of my post. I am just living up to the standards set by a few ancestors, namely my Applegates. Bless their collective hearts. Now, one good thing about my Applegates is most of the hard work has been done for me as far as the 1600 - 1800's. Thank you to my hard-working distant cousins who have already found all these people and then so unselfishly posted their findings on the internet for their more um, gumption-challenged, cousins to find.
So, quick background: my earliest records start with Bartholomew in Monmouth County, Dover Twsp, New Jersey in the late 1600's. He was married to Mary, said to be a Leni Lenape Indian. They had the usual dozen-plus children, and the Applegates continued to occupy Dover for generations. Until the 1850's, when my ancestor Nathan woke up one morning to realize he was related to just about everyone in town, and he was tired of explaining that "No, I am not THAT Nathan Applegate, that's my no-good third cousin five times removed", and that Dover just was too crowded. Nathan then packed up his family, dragged along a brother or two, and headed off to Iowa. My Applegates then did their share of populating Wapello County, Iowa and Holt County, Missouri for a generation or two. Then my Great-Great Grandfather George and his brothers decided it was time to wander. Jesse took off for Arkansas (Little Rock), their father John followed not long after, Lawrence headed to Texas (Beaumont area), and then George and his wife Ida followed the trend and headed to Little Rock, also.
Now for the "off the radar" part. I have the 1880 census listing George, his father John, and his mother Lois (Waites), living in Ottumwa, Wapello County, Iowa. The 1890 - oh, nevermind. The 1900 lists George, Ida, and sons Everett, John, and Harry, and they are living in Andale, Sedgewick County, Kansas. Then the disappearing act - I can not find these people on the 1910 or the 1920. The 1930 has them living in Burr Oak, Doniphan County, Kansas. Let me back up a bit; the family is living in Little Rock, Arkansas at least from 1915 - 1917. The 1930 lists another son, Frank, born in 1915 in Arkansas. George and Everett both listed addresses in Little Rock on their WWI Draft Cards in 1917. ( I looked up the address; the Amphitheater in downtown Little Rock now sits where the home used to be.) But, they are nowhere to be found on the 1920. To add to the frustration, my Great-Grandfather Harry (George's youngest) and his wife Katherine and my Grandmother Mary (born 1919) are also missing on the 1920. Now, I am to understand from family folklore that Harry and his family resided on a houseboat. If that is the case, I can see how they may have been missed.
The 1930, as mention above, finds George, Ida and Frank, and it also finds Everett and his wife Birdie (Melton) and their children all in Burr Oak, Doniphan County, Kansas. My frustration is with trying to find my Grandmother and her sister, Juanita. On December 28, 1928, Harry Applegate was murdered, shot in the back with a shotgun according to the Death Certificate, just outside DeWitt in Arkansas County, Arkansas. My Grandmother was 9 at the time, and she remembers that her mother had taken her and her sister and her brother, and they had walked into town from the Arkansas River and left Harry at the houseboat. They found him dead when they returned. (I am looking for any newspaper accounts or Sheriffs reports for this - nothing online yet). My Great-grandmother Katherine then returned home to her mother with the children to Morrillton, Conway County, Arkansas. On the 1930, Katherine is shown living in her mothers home with her youngest child, Harry, Jr. My grandmother and her sister are not listed. I was told by my grandmother that her and her sister were placed either in a convent or a catholic boarding school of some sort as their mother was not able to financially care for them. Again, I have been unable to locate them. I have a lot of hunting to do.
The 1940 promises to be an easier hunt. I know that George and Ida had moved to Houston, Harris County, Texas around that time, as well as Everett and his family. I have been to Houston and have seen George and Ida's final resting place. I know that by 1940 my grandmother is married and has two children and is still living in Arkansas at that time, so I am hopeful of finding her. We shall see.
I would just really like to know where everyone has disappeared to from 1901-1915. George listed himself as a carpenter by trade, but was also known to be a wandering preacher. I do not doubt it when I look at what I do know: born in Missouri, moved to Iowa, then to Kansas, then to ??, then in Arkansas, then back to Kansas, then finally to Texas. I know now where I get my need to travel from.