Joseph William Wegley

Joseph William Wegley was born on October 14, 1802 in Brothersvalley, Pennsylvania and he died in June of 1880 in McKean, Pennsylvania. Joseph William is the first recorded use of the Wegley spelling of our family name and that’s what makes him special. We can say he is, in fact, the first “Wegley”.

Joseph William Wegley-1850

During the 1850 US Census, we get the first piece of valuable information. It shows Joseph and Eve along with 7 of their children.

When you have a person whose family is so big, you can start using historical records of all of their children, to help you piece together his life. Such is the case of Joseph William Wegley and his wife Eve.

Their daughter, for example, Mary Amanda has a death certificate that gives us some valuable information.

Mary Amanda died when she was 80 years old, but it also shows us that her birthday was July 30, 1847, in Somerset, PA. It also tells us that her parents were, in fact, Joseph and Eve.

Joseph William married Eve Berkebile in 1831 or 1832 when he was 30 years old and together they had a whole mess of children. I question the date of birth for Theresa by the way.

    • Theresa (1831-?)

 

  • Jonathan S (1835-1918)
  • Jonathan George (1836)
  • Josiah (1837-1930)
  • Jonathan (1837-1907)
  • Susanna (1841-1920)
  • Frederick (1843-1889)
  • Adeline (1845-1893)
  • Mary Amanda (1847-1926)
  • Austin (1851-1916)
  • John Wesley (1858-1927)

Thomas Richardson

What I love most about genealogy is that it’s like a mystery and you have to dig and figure out how to solve this puzzle – these puzzle pieces just so happen to be parts of my very existence.

Today we delve into the mystery that is Thomas Richardson. Now there are a lot of Thomas Richardson’s out there today and there were a lot of them back in the 1800’s as well.

This makes it quite complicated when you are trying to find the exact Thomas Richardson that belongs in your family tree.

The Thomas Richardson we are looking for today is the father of John Durk Richardson.

Thomas Richardson was born on January 12, 1826, in Moore, North Carolina. He is my 4th great grandfather. He died on May 18, 1898, in McAlester, Oklahoma.

What we don’t have though is a death certificate to prove it.

Oklahoma became a state in November 1907. The state began accepting birth and death records for filing in October of 1908. The filing of these records became mandatory in 1917, however, the practice of filing birth and death records with the state did not become routine until the 1940’s when they began to be used for identification purposes.

Going this far back in history it isn’t always so easy to find answers with proof. I’ve been trying to piece together his life but it hasn’t always been easy.

We know that Thomas Richardson is the father of John Durk Richardson. But even that simple fact gets muddled and confused when digging that far back in history.

We know that Thomas Richardson was born in North Carolina based not only on several US census records which each time state place of birth being North Carolina. His place of birth is also listed on his son William’s death certificate.

William Bruford Richardson Death Certificate

This document should serve as a reminder that if you can’t find information on your own direct relative start doing some research into their brothers and sisters.

Let’s take a look at the 1850 US census. This document tells us that in 1850 he was 24, which puts his birth year about 1826. This matches perfectly with other data we have found.

It tells us that he was born in North Carolina and that at the time he was living in Moore, North Carolina. So far it all checks out.

Listed on the US Census were

Name Age
Thomas Richardson 24
Nancy Richardson 24
Lydia M Richardson 5
John D Richardson 3
Isham T Richardson 1
    This document tells us that in 1850 John Durk Richardson (or John D) was 3 years old. That matches perfectly with our known date of birth for John Durk. That means we have the right guy. This guy is in fact the father of John Durk Richardson.
    That means we now can confirm that John’s mother was Nancy and Thomas Richardsons’s wife was Nancy. Nancy who though?
    During the course of their marriage Thomas and Nancy Richardson had at least four children.
  • Lydia Martha Richardson (1845-1931)
  • John Durk Richardson (1847-1926)
  • Isham Thomas Richardson (1849-1923)
  • William Bruford Richardson (1854-1924)

We learned from the US Census records that John Durk’s parents were Thomas and Nancy Richardson. In 1850 Thomas and Nancy Richardson were both 24 years old. During that time, three of their 4 children were alive. Lydia was John was 3 and Isham was 1.

This means that our Nancy (whoever she may be was in fact alive in 1850. She however died sometime before 1860.

In 1860 the census records show us that Thomas is married to someone named Margaret. Everything else matches up including Lydia, John, Isham – they are all now 10 years older than the previous one. The newest addition is WM Richardson – which with other documents we would find is William Bruford. All we know about his new wife is that she is 20 years old in 1860 and she was born in North Carolina.

But let’s go back to Nancy. For awhile I thought that the Nancy in question was Nancy Keller (several other family trees said that), whose father in Solomon Keller. But I eventually found an old clipping from a North Carolina archive about her father. In that story it says that Nancy Keller married James Jackson. So that means that John Durk’s mother Nancy isn’t Nancy Keller.

nancy-keller-is-not-nancy-richardson

There is however a Nancy Kelley that could be our mystery Nancy. The William Richardson death certificate doesn’t list the maiden name of his mother. It states he doesn’t know her maiden name or even where she was born at.

There is no known death certificate for John Durk so I began looking for them for Lydia Martha and Isham Thomas, Nancy’s other children. Lydia Martha died in Oklahoma in 1931. I couldn’t however find a copy of her death certificate.

Last but not least I went to Isham Thomas Richardson. I was hoping with such an unusual name it would be easier to find official documents on him. His find a grave listing had a photograph of his headstone which confirms his date of birth and date (April 2, 1849-February 23, 1923).  Sadly I couldn’t find a copy of his death certificate or any other official document stating Nancy’s maiden name. It could be Nancy Kelley, but then again it may not be. Until we have some sort of actual document verifying it, we can’t say for sure. All we can say for sure is that it’s not Keller nor is it Jackson. I just to note that there was in fact a Nancy Kelly who lived in Moore, NC of all places that appears in the 1860 US census. This person is not our Nancy. That Nancy Kelly is married to Salley Kelly, obviously not making that our girl.

Moving forward with Thomas Richardson, we next have a North Carolina, Marriage Records document that show Thomas married his next wife, Margaret McCaskell on May 8, 1860 in Moore, North Carolina.

This means that his wife Nancy seems to have died sometime between the birth of William in 1854 and the 1860 census.

In 1880, the US census tells us that he was 54 years old and was living in Parker, Texas at the time. His birthplace was North Carolina (which we already knew) and that both his mother and father were born in North Carolina as well. He was a farmer and his wife (2nd wife) was 41 in 1881.

At this time they had only two children living with them, King (15) and Julie (11). The King listed is Rufus King and the Julie listed is their youngest daughter Julia Frances. They also have a 11 year old child living with them named Thomas Rogers who is listed as their white, 11 year old adopted son. It says his real father was born in Tennessee and his mother was born in Texas.

What this document tells us is that both Thomas’s parents are from North Carolina. That’s one more clue in the mystery of who his parents were.

There is a John David Richardson who was born in Moore county of North Carolina in 1795 who had a son named Thomas. Is that our Thomas, father of John Durk? I just don’t know. Not yet. 🙂

We know that our Thomas had a son named Isham Thomas Richardson in 1849.

 

 

John Durk Richardson

John Durk Richardson was born on April 22, 1847, in Moore County, North Carolina. He died on January 17, 1926, in Balsora, Texas when he was 78 years old.

In the 1880 United States census (he was 33) we know that he moved his family to Parker County, Texas which Google Maps tells us is just west of the Dallas / Fort Worth area. Prior to that, he lived in North Carolina working on his father’s farm. While in Parker County, Texas the census shows us that he was still a farmer and Mary was a housewife.

  • Born: April 22, 1847
  • Died: January 17, 1926
  • Father: Thomas Richardson
  • Mother: Nancy (maiden name unknown)

In 1865 when he was 18 years old, he served in the American Civil War in the Tennessee Calvary Company E, United 9. The American Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865 so that means when he turned 18 he immediately joined the war which was just as it was ending. Being from Tennessee, that means he fought on the side of the Union during the war. He may have entered the war as early as 1863 which would have made him 16 at the time.

This information is somewhat confusing and I’ve been unable to verify the actual date he entered the war, only the date he got out. One document shows Enlisted: Sept. 28 and Mustered: Oct. 13 but it does not indicate which year. So he either served a few months in 1865 or from 1863 to 1865.

Here is what I can say for sure – he served in the 9th regiment of the Tennessee cavalry, company E. The 9th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry Regiment served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was a private when he both entered and left service.

At 19 (September 1866) he married Mary Elizabeth Mckensie and together they had at least six children.

At 72, (in 1919) he and his wife were living in Balsora, Texas and that is when she died. He went on to live another 7 years. He died on January 19, 1926.

John Durk Richardson and Mary had 6 children.

  • Sarah Caroline Richardson (1867-1953)
  • Kendrick Thomas Richardson (1869-1951)
  • Margaret Jane Richardson (1871-1945)
  • William Alexander Richardson (1874-1971)
  • John Henry Richardson (1878-1924)
  • Julie Richardson (1879-1894)

He died in a county (Wise, Texas) that has a lot of their records available to the public online, but I’ve been unable to get my hands on his actual death certificate. I have placed an order with the state of Texas but I didn’t have any luck.

We know exactly where he is buried and his date of death and birth is on his headstone, but sadly the state of Texas for some reason has no record of his death.

John Durk Richardson - Death Certificate

John Durk Richardson is buried in Balsora, Texas next to his beloved wife Mary (view entry here).

John Durk Richardson had a brother, Isham Thomas (two years younger than John Durk) who followed his brother to Wise County Texas, in the Wilson Prairie area, prior to moving to Oklahoma. His brother Isham Thomas is buried in the area of Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Here is a photo of the two brothers. The photo was provided by Anne Richardson, who got it form her father’s first cousin, Karen Richardson.

She says that the one on the far left is John Durk Richardson (1891-1947), We are guessing that the young man second from the left could be his brother James Richardson. Next, we have no idea who the little girl could be. Lastly, we are also assuming that the older woman and man are Elizabeth J and Isham T Richardson since it really looks like a family picture and John was his son.

john durk richardson - with his brother

I don’t know that she is correct in naming who is who in this photo simply because John Durk is two years older than Isham. The man on the far left is clearly way younger than the man on the far right. But if you look at the picture of John Durk with his wife, taken years later, you’ll see the man on the far right looks very much like John Durk, making the woman at his side his wife.

John Durk Richardson

 

John Durk Richardson is my 3rd Great Grandfather

In 1850 John Durk was 3 years old. He was living in Moore, North Carolina with his father Thomas and his mother Nancy as well as his sister Lydia who at the time was 5 and his little brother Isham who was 1.

What’s interesting is that just 10 years later, during the 1860 census, he was still living with his siblings but not either of his parents. During the 1860 census, they were living with their grandparents Thomas and Nancy.

We catch up with him against in the 1880 census where John Durk is now 34 years old and is married to Mary Elizabeth. He’s a farmer living in Parker, Texas and is working as a farmer.

During the 1880 census, he listed children are Sarah Caroline, Kendrick Thomas, Margaret Jane, and John Henry.

What about William Alexander and Julie? Julie was born in 1879 so it’s possible she wasn’t born during the time of this census but what about William Alexander? Where was he in 1880?

S.C. Richardson – Sarah Caroline
K.T. Richardson – Kendrick Thomas
M.J. Richardson – Margaret Jane
A.R. Richardson ??? William Alexander?
J.H. Richardson – John Henry

We know that John Durk is the father of William Alexander because we have William’s death certificate. It tells us that his father was John Durk Richardson and his mother was Mary McKinsey (aka Mary Elizabeth Mckensie).

It is possible the AR Richardson is William Alexander. I’m not sure what the initials AR would stand for though. During the course of his life, William Alexander did go by “Alex” so it’s possible A.R. stands for Alex Richardson.

 

 

Rubin Nemon Richardson

Rubin Nemon Richardson was my great-grandfather.  I was never lucky enough to meet him, but I have enjoyed trying to piece together his life.

He was born on  June 10, 1898, in Texas. We know when he was born thanks to his draft registration card which he filled out when he was 20 years old.

Rubin Nemon Richardson

This document also revealed that he had blue eyes, brown hair and his closing living relative was Vivian Richardson – his wife (Mary Vivian Phillips), who he had recently married.

Rubin Nemon Richardson should not be confused with R A “rube” Richardson (aka R A “rube” Richardson) who was born on April 11, 1903 on Montague County, Texas. They are not the same. Rube died on December 19, 1966 in Texas. Rubin Nemon died 6 years prior on May 6, 1960 in Colville, Washington.

At the age of 18 (maybe 19?), Rubin Nemon Richardson married his beloved Mary Vivian Phillips. The marriage took place on July 10, 1917, in Decatur which is in  Wise County, Texas.

Within a year (August 31, 1918) they had their first child. She was born in Paradise, which is in Wise County, Texas. Paradise, Texas is located about 1 hour and 15 minutes, NW of Dallas.

By 1930 he moved from Paradise to what is today Waurika, Oklahoma (according to the 1930 census).

Here is a copy of the 1930 US Census where he was living with his wife, 7 of his children, his brother George and his sister in law Admy. It would be easy to assume this is George’s wife but if that was the case the “Admy” has to be her nickname. George’s wife was Francis Mozelle or possibly Mozelle Francis.

1930-census_RICHARDSON-RN

At the age of 41, Rubin Nemon Richardson was married and living in Hood, Texas which is just southwest of Fort Worth – less than a 1-hour drive.

The 1940 US Census tells us that in 1934 he lived in a rural area on a farm, where he rented his home for the insane amount of $2 a month.

At that time he was employed as a salesman. He completed one year of college. Now the odd thing about that was that the previous line said he did not attend school or college. Considering the low amount of money he made per year, I would say he probably did not actually attend college.

In the 1930 census, he said he could read and write but that he had no attended school.

At the time of the 1940 census, he was working 60 hours a week and earned $600, which he used to support his nine children, one of which was my grandfather, RN Richardson.

I did some research into this, and it said that the average male in 1940 earned $956 a year, which meant that RN earned well below average. But he also paid significantly less for rent than the average family did back then.

In 1940 the average monthly rent in a rural area was $18, and Rubin reported only paying $2 a month. That gives him an extra $192 a year, but that still puts him well below others in terms of earnings, especially if you consider the fact that he worked all year long (52 weeks) and put in an average of 60 hours a week. Now throw in the fact that he supported 12 kids and a wife on this income. How crazy is that?

Prior to getting a job as a salesman, he was employed as a Tennant farmer. Farming is something he had done his whole life. Heck, he was even working the fields as farm labor even when he was just 12 years old.

The hard part about researching Rubin is that his name is spelled in so many ways. Here are just some of the variations I have found …

  • Rubin Nemon Richardson
  • Rubin Neamon Richardson
  • Reuben Namon Richardson
  • Rubin Richardson
  • Namon Richardson
  • Nemon Richardson
  • RN Richardson
  • R.N. Richardson
  • Reuben Neiman
  • Rubin
  • Ruby Richardson

It’s often times hard to find proof of people’s birth and who is related to who when you start going back further in time, but as luck would have it, Neamon was living with his mother, father, grandmother and grandfather during the 12th census of the United States of America in 1900.

1900-census_RICHARDSON

If you click the image to expand it, you can see that at the time he was listed simply as Namon and he was 1.

His father and grandfather both listed their employment as farmers.  If you look closely at the entries relating to Mary (his grandmother) and Ada (his mother) it says that Mary is the mother of 6 children, 6 of which are living at this time while Ada is the mother of 3 children, only 2 of which are living at this time.

They had Namon in 1899, and we know he was living, and we know their other son at that time was Roy Lee (Namon’s brother) who was born in 1900, and he didn’t die until 1977.  So that means they had a child prior to Namon, sometime between their marriage in 1897 and Namon in 1889, who died.

John Richardson 53
Mary Richardson 59
Alexander Richardson 26
Ada Richardson 20
Neamon Richardson 1
  • Rubin Nemon Richardson was born in 1898 in Texas
  • Death 6 May 1960 in Colville, Stevens, Washington, United States of America
  • Father – William Alexander Richardson (1874 – 1971)
  • Mother – Ada Mae Sheppard Richardson (1879 – 1965)

Married: Mary Vivian Phillips

  • Date of Marriage:  July 10, 1917 (in Decatur, Texas)
  • This marriage produced at least 14 children.

Neamon with his daughters Betty Jean and Bobbye Sue

 

  1. Ruby Lucille Richardson (1918 – 2001)
  2. Birdie Lorene Richardson (1919 – 1975)
  3. Dorthy Louise Richardson (1921-1928)
  4. Kitty Levita Richardson (1923 – ??)
  5. Joy Charlene Richardson (1925  – 2005)
  6. Dollie Inez Richardson (1926 – 2004)
  7. Billie Jo Richardson (1928 – 1995)
  8. Reuben Namon Richardson (1929 – 2002)
  9. Margie Nell Richardson (1932 – 1934)
  10. Bobbye Sue Richardson (December 15, 1934 – February 01, 2008)
  11. Alex Jessy “Jake” Richardson (July 05, 1935 – November 07, 2007)
  12. Betty Jean Richardson (1936 – ??)
  13. Pasty Ann Richardson (1939 – 2014)
  14. Hazel Irene Richardson (1941 – 1943)

Please note that Joy Charlene Richardson was born Leota Joy Richardson, at least according to the Texas Birth Index and her actual birth certificate which was filed with the state of Texas, shortly after her birth (11/3/1925).

So I’m not sure why her name was changed, but somehow between the time of her birth in 1925 and then 1930 US census she became Joy Charlene instead of Leota Joy, and I have yet to find out why. But don’t worry, I’m working on it!

Variations in how to spell a name aren’t restricted to just males. Here is the legal death certificate of Rubin’s daughter Birdie Lorene who died in 1975. You’ll notice they spell her name “Berdie Lorene”. In the 1920 census she was listed as “Lorene Richardson” and in the 1930 census she was “Lorine” and on the Texas county marriage records she was listed as “Bertie Lorene”.

Rubin Nemon Richardson is my great grandfather

I always wondered why Rubin was in Washington of all places when he died. Recently, however, I found that his daughter Bobbye Sue (aka Bobbie Heberling aka Bobbye Sue Heberling) was living there. Maybe he was there visiting her.

Bobbye Sue married a man named Lawrence J. Heberling Jr. who was born (and lived his whole life) in Colville, Washington. That was the very place that Rubin Nemon died.

He was buried at the Highland Cemetery in Colville, Washington (find a grave). Why not in Oklahoma or Texas where he apparently lived almost all of his life?  This I don’t know.

His beloved wife would go on to live until October 6, 1991. She would be buried in Parker County, Texas (find a grave). This means she was alive when Rubin Nemon died in 1960. That’s always the part that confused me. There is no record of a divorce. So if his wife was alive and living in Texas when he died, why was he not buried where she was living?