Several children of a prominent relative celebrated October birthdays ... and died young

October 17, 2015

Birthdays from my family tree for the week of Oct. 19:

 

Oct. 19

John Wilson, (my first cousin three times removed on my mother's side), b. 1910 in Bath Township, Greene County, Ohio; d. Dec. 28, 1868, in Madison County, Ohio. John was the son of wealthy landowner Valentine Wilson and his first wife, Elanor Judy. Valentine had six children by Judy, nine by his second wife Nancy Donnels Roberts, and four by his third wife Susan Humble. That's right — John had five siblings and 13 step-siblings.

 

Oct. 20

Glenna Joyce Trent, (my first cousin once removed on my mother's side). Happy birthday, Joyce. Hope you have a great day.

 

Daniel Andrew Feltrop, (my first cousin once removed on my mother's side). Happy birthday, Daniel. Hope it's a great one.

 

Oct. 21

Mary McCormick Downing, (my 4G grandmother on my mother's side), b. 1803; d. 1880. Mary was the wife of Dennis Downing (1801-1837). Their daughter Susannah Downing married George Martin Hall and was my 3G grandmother.

 

Eugene Adrian Hill, (my wife Deobrah Renee Ray's 2G grandfather on her father's side), b. 1868 in Ravensburg, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany; d. 1919. Eugene immigrated from Germany to the United States in 1888s during the Franco-Prussian War. Either at the time of his move or sometime thereafter, he changed his last name from Heil to Hill. Naturalization documents indicate he was 5-foot-7 with fair skin, dark hair and blue eyes. 

He was an only child, possibly taught at the university in Ulm, Germany.

In 1891, he married a woman named Hester, possibly born Estelle E. Miller. According to a letter from from Adrian's mother, written from Ulm and dated Nov. 18, 1898, Adrian had been in the United States for some time by then. A second letter from Adrian's mother to Hester, written from Ravensberg, Germany, July 13, 1920, indicated Adrian had died a year earlier. Ravensburg and Ulm are in southwest Germany, near Swiss and Austrian border, close to Lake Constance and not far from Stuttgart.

 

Bessie Ray Brinson, (my wife Deborah Renee Ray's great aunt on her father's side), b. 1901; d. March 5, 1974, in Camden, Kershaw County, S.C. Bessie was the daughter of James Huey Ray and Hattie Hayes Ray, and the half-sister of my wife's grandfather, Clarence Richard Ray. Clarence was the son of James and his second wife, Jessie Elizabeth Boone. 

Bessie, Clarence and Jessie are depicted in the photograph at left.

I have no record that Bessie was ever married, and there was no mention of a husband in her obituary.

 

Oct. 22

Murvel James Hall, (my first cousin once removed on my mother's side), b. 1917 in Rowan County, Ky.; d. March 12, 1977, in Fayette County, Ky. Murvel was the son of Bethel George Hall and Leafie Jane McClain Hall. Bethel was the brother of my great-grandmother Mahala Susan Hall Wilson.

 

Patty Ann Williams, (my first cousin once removed). Happy birthday, Patty Ann. Hope you have a great day.

 

Shane Edward Thomas, (my second cousin on my father's side). Happy birthday, Shane. Have a wonderful day.

 

Oct. 23

Mary Powers Wilson Dyke, (my second cousin twice removed on my mother's side), b. 1923 in Ashland, Boyd County, Ky.; d. Sept. 12, 1971, in Ashland, Boyd County, Ky. Mary is the daughter of Bunyan Spratt Wilson and Mary Valenti Coffey Wilson, Bunyan's second wife. Bunyan was the first mayor of Morehead, Ky., and the son of a prominent Rowan County country doctor, Jeremiah Wilson.

Bunyan and his second wife had two children, Mary and brother Bunyan Spratt Wilson Jr. The elder Bunyan did not have children by his first wife, Harriet Caywood, who died in 1906 at age 31. She is buried in Morehead. Bunyan moved to Boyd County in about 1916. I don't know much about Mary's life there, or about the man she married. 

 

Oct. 24

William Harvey Wilson, (my first cousin three times removed on my mother's side), b. 1823 in Bath Township, Greene County, Ohio; d. Nov. 2, 1893, in Bath Township, Greene County, Ohio. William was a nephew of Valentine Wilson and cousin of John Wilson, who celebrated a birthday Oct. 19. His parents were Isaac Wilson and Mary Ann Coffield Wilson. He married Sarah Mitman (1825-1880) in 1846.

 

James Turner Wilson, (my second cousin four times removed on my mother's side), b. 1838 in Harmony, Clark County, Ohio; d. Dec. 19, 1905, in Ohio. James was a first cousin once removed of William Harvey, who celebrated a birthday the same day. He was one of 13 children of Michael Wilson Jr. and Lavina Henry Wilson.

 

Hendricks Wilson, (my first cousin three times removed on my mother's side), b. 1884 in Percal, Elliott County, Ky.; d. Dec. 22, 1896, in Morehead, Rowan County, Ky. Hendricks was the brother of Bunyan Spratt Wilson and uncle of Mary Powers Wilson Dyke, who celebrated a birthday Oct. 23 — although Hendricks was an uncle Mary never knew. Hendricks died at age 12. He had a twin brother, Cleveland, who also died young.

 

Cleveland Wilson, (my first cousin three times removed on my mother's side), b. 1884 in Percal, Elliott County, Ky.; d. Dec. 9, 1884, in Percal, Elliott County. Cleveland died in infancy. His twin brother, Hendricks survived him, but also died young, at age 12. I do not know a cause of death for either.

Hendricks and Cleveland were one of two sets of twins born to Jeremiah Wilson and his first wife, Anna Eliza Halley Wilson. Preston Taulbee and Stella Wilson were born March 22, 1882. Stella lived to age 71, but Preston, like his younger twin brothers, died young — he passed away just after his fifth birthday.

 

Elise Aletha Hill Brinson, (my wife Deborah Renee Ray's great-grandmother on her father's side), b. 1898 in South Carolina; d. Feb. 7, 1966, in Charleston County, S.C. Elise was the daughter of Eugene Adrian Hill, whose birthday was Oct. 21. She married James Ernest Brinson, and among their eight children were Ruth Augusta Brinson, my wife's grandmother. 

 

Oct. 25

Everette Wilson, (my first cousin twice removed on my mother's side), b. 1871 in Jeffersonville, Montgomery County, Ky.; d. April 5, 1892, in Rowan County, Ky. Everette is yet another of the children of Jeremiah Wilson and Anna Eliza Halley Wilson — their oldest, in fact, born less than 11 months after their marriage. Although the couple had several children who grew to be prominent citizens, including Bunyan Spratt and adult-literacy advocate Cora Wilson Stewart, five died before their 21st birthday. Although the life of Cora Wilson Stewart is quite well-chronicled — as are, to a lesser extent, those of Jeremiah and his children Bunyan, Homer Lee and Burwell Clefford — I've not read details of Everette's death, except that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

 

 

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