Friday, January 31, 2014

52 Ancestors #4 Ned Edgar Green

 This week's 52 Ancestors post is about an uncle that led me on a merry chase when it came to tracking him down. Ned Edgar Green was my great grandmother Della Green Houston Schostag's older brother. The two were children of Henry Edward Green & Caroline Valentine "Tiney" Bourland Green. Ned was born in Hillsborough, Hill Co., Texas on Valentine's Day 1891 (as evidenced by his death certificate, WW1 registration & military marker request cards). He died on 30 July 1954 in Temple, Bell Co., TX & was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Cameron, Milam Co., TX.

Death Certificate of Ned Edgar Green

Burial Card of Ned Edgar Green signed by his widow Ionie Merchant Stone Green
when she ordered his military headstone
WW1 Registration Card of Ned Edgar Green
I never really knew a whole lot about my great grandmother's siblings, but I do remember Dad saying that the only thing he remembered about Uncle Ned, who died when he was a child, was that his Aunt Iona Green Farley kept an American Flag on her wall that she received when Uncle Ned was buried (why his widow or one of his children didn't get the flag at his funeral is another question).

Ned married Vera Mamie Sheppard, daughter of Levi C. "Bud" Sheppard & Cynthia C. "Callie" Nugent Sheppard on 4 Oct 1912 in Bosque Co., TX. They had four children together: Douglas Nelson Green, Raymond Morel Green, Loyd Claude Green & Venita May Green. In 1900 & 1910, Ned is shown living with his parents & siblings. In 1900, the family lived in the Chickasaw Nation in what was then known as Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma). In 1910, the family had moved back to Texas & were living in Milam County. In 1920, Ned & Vera were living in Meridian, Bosque County, Texas with their four children.

Then came a big gap in Ned's history. In the next census in 1930, Ned is no longer living with the family. The boys have been shipped off to the State Orphan's Home near Corsicana in Navarro County, Texas. The youngest child, Venita, was still living at home with her mother Vera who is shown as widowed, only they now lived in San Antonio. I knew she could not have been widowed because Ned was married to Onie Lee Merchant Stone in Milam County, Texas on 8 Mar 1950 & died in July 1954. So where was Ned?

I searched the 1930 census, but could never seem to come up with someone I thought could be my uncle Ned. I thought that perhaps he could have left the state for awhile & came back later like my Uncle Dave Turnipseed had. What finally knocked down the brick wall for me was finding his obituary on In it, it not only noted the names of his brothers & sisters, but ALL of his children among the list of survivors. I had known about his four children with Vera, but who were these additional three children I knew absolutely nothing about before now? From there, I went to the Texas State Birth records & searched for the three additional children I had known nothing about & found their mother listed as Mary E. Johns. So back to the census records I went & found that Ned had remarried after his divorce from Vera (who also remarried) & moved to Dickens, Dickens Co., Texas. He was there for the 1930 census, but by the time of the 1940 census, he & his family had moved to Knox County, Texas.

Together, he & Mary had a son, Elmer Dahle Green, & two daughters, Nelda & Ethel. He had no children by his third wife Onie (who was a widow with children by her first husband). Ned farmed the land to provide for his family & he served in WW1 from September to December 1918 at Camp Bowie, Texas. I still wonder why he chose to leave his first two families. Was it perhaps in part due to the Great Depression? But finding this obituary for Ned gave me a little better insight into than I had before. It pays to keep digging because you never know what you might find.

Ned Green's obituary in The Cameron Herald

Sources: 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 2, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1849; Enumeration District: 0165; FHL microfilm: 1241849. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 1, Milam, Texas; Roll: T624_1577; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0054; FHL microfilm: 1375590. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Year: 1920; Census Place: Meridian, Bosque, Texas; Roll: T625_1781; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 33; Image: 123. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Year: 1930; Census Place: San Antonio, Bexar, Texas; Roll: 2297; Page: 22A; Enumeration District: 0130; Image: 860.0; FHL microfilm: 2342031. Year: 1930; Census Place: Precinct 2, Dickens, Texas; Roll: 2323; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0003; Image: 458.0; FHL microfilm: 2342057. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Year: 1940; Census Place:  , Knox, Texas; Roll: T627_4088; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 138-7A.
Marriage to Vera M. Sheppard. "Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 Jan 2014), N. Green and Vera Shepherd, 06 Oct 1912.
Marriage to Mrs. Onie Stone. Milam Co., TX Marriage records, vol. 24, pg #315.
Ned Green Obituary found on pg 1 of The Cameron Herald, 5 Aug 1954 edition.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

52 Ancestors #3 Ida Faye Houston Ulicnik Kotrla Schutz

This week's post honors someone without whom (besides my parents obviously) I would not exist. This someone was my paternal great aunt Faye who was my paternal grandmother's younger sister. She & my cousin Betty (her daughter) are responsible for introducing my father to my mother & getting the ball rolling on a love affair that has lasted for forty-eight years in February.

Faye was born in Buckholts, Milam Co., Texas on 4 May 1927 to Luther Henderson & Della Green Houston, the third of four daughters & the eighth of nine children. She grew up on the family farm & grew up to be (atleast from my perspective) a forward thinking woman. She married James Bennett Ulicnik on 8 July 1943 in Milam County, Texas & had one daughter, Frances, before divorcing him in January 1948.

Daughters of Luther Henderson Houston & Della Green Houston Schostag in 1944-1945. Left to right are Ida Faye Houston Ulicnik, Asalee Ola "Baby" Houston Ulicnik & my paternal grandmother, Beulah Mae Houston Russell. 
One tale I heard from my Aunt Baby when I was younger was that my grandmother & my Aunt Faye had married each other's beaus for fun (meaning my Aunt Faye married my grandmother's first husband Lambert Russell after they divorced & my grandmother married Lambert's brother Robert who was going around with Aunt Faye at the time). I had never really put a whole lot of credence in Aunt Baby's tale until one day I ran across a marriage record in Rockwall County, Texas between Faye & Lambert. Sure enough, just like Aunt Baby said, I found they were married there on 30 Apr 1947 (I am assuming that the marriage was either annulled or they divorced sometime in 1948).

My father, Ralph Ray Quinteros, with his cousins Betty Kotrla Prentice & "Bubba" Kotrla in Cameron, Milam County, Texas in October 1962. Dad & Betty were very close growing up.
Aunt Faye was married next to Lester Eugene Kotrla on 11 Sept 1948. They had two more children; a daughter Betty & a son Lester who was nicknamed "Bubba". They eventually divorced & she married Collie Lawrence Schutz about 1964.

Ida Faye Houston Ulicnik Kotrla Schutz with husband Collie.
It was about this time that Aunt Faye & Uncle Collie ran a boarding house with rooms to rent at 700 Glendale Drive & Junius in Dallas, Texas. My dad had just been discharged from his two year hitch in the USAF & returned to his home town of Temple, Texas looking for work. He had been trained as a key punch operator in the military, but was unable to find work in that field because the majority of key punch operators then were female, so Dad came on up to Dallas looking for work there where he already had family. He finally found work on the packing & meat processing line at Circle J Meats. After staying with his aunt for a couple of weeks, he was able to get his own apartment at 5101 Tremont Street in East Dallas. He would regularly stop by his Aunt Faye's house after work to visit from then on.

Corner of 700 Glendale & Junius in Dallas, Texas where my Aunt Faye & her husband Collie let out rooms for rent. My mother rented a room on the second floor that could be accessed by an outside staircase.
During the summer of 1965, my mother, Sue Turnipseed, who was out on her own & working for the first time in her life, rented a room from none other than my Aunt Faye. She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School as part of the Class of 1964 & found a job.  Dad had often seen her at a distance walking down Glendale from the bus stop, but paid her no mind. On one particularly fateful day in September 1965, he stopped by his Aunt Faye's after work as he so often did. His cousin Betty, then fourteen, was in her room listening to records & passing the time with my mother whom Dad had not officially been introduced to yet. Betty & her younger brother Bubba asked Dad to take them to the Dairy Queen for a treat. Dad said he would wait in the car while they got ready & left the room. In a minute, Betty came out & said the words Dad has said he will always remember of my parents' first meeting: "Can 'Turnipseed' (meaning my mother) go too?"

My parents at my maternal grandparents' 
home in Avinger, Texas  just after their
engagement during Thanksgiving 1965.
My parents while on their honeymoon at
Horse Tail Falls in Monterrey, Mexico in
February 1966.
Dad said he didn't mind one way or the other whether she rode along with them or not & finally, Betty, Bubba & "Turnipseed" were ready to go. He remembers that when they got to the Dairy Queen, his cousins had their own money to purchase whatever they wanted, but "Turnipseed" seemed to have no money of her own.
Even though he did not know Mom, he thought she might feel left out & offered to buy her something which she refused (Mom said that since the invitation to go to the Dairy Queen did not come from Dad, she felt it would not be proper to accept his offer to buy her a treat). This small incident changed both their lives forever. At the time, they were both somewhat lonely people & their ages of 19 & 20 limited what they could do & where they could go. Mom & Dad began hanging out together. Up until then, Dad had made regular visits to see his mother in Temple, Texas where she lived, but once they started dating, all visits to his mother abruptly stopped as they spent more & more time together. This precipitated a call from my grandmother to her sister Faye who said "He's met the girl upstairs". At the end of October 1965, Dad asked "Turnipseed" to marry him. The rest they say is history. 

Aunt Faye lost her husband Collie to a heart attack in February 1972. They were no longer running the boarding house & her children were grown & out on their own by then. She was forward thinking for the times in that she did not consider living with someone prior to marriage or instead or marrying them wrong. She had a few relationships after Collie's death, but never officially remarried.  I remember her as a good cook & very straight forward & forthright person. She developed complications of diabetes & died on 19 December 1982 in Dallas, Texas & was buried at Grove Hill Cemetery.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

52 Ancestors #2 Newton LeGrande & Edward Scott Turnipseed

This week I am focusing on a family mystery that will probably never be solved. It involves two brothers on my mother's paternal line, Newton LeGrande Turnipseed & his older brother Edward Scott Turnipseed.

Edward Scott "E. S. or Scott" Turnipseed, circa 1900, Waxahachie, Ellis County, Texas
 Both were sons of Dr Felix Benjamin Turnipseed & Sarah M. Whitfield. They fell in the middle & had two older brothers (Daniel & Benjamin), an older sister (Margaret), a younger brother (Bookter) & a younger sister (Nettie). Newton was named for his maternal uncle, Newton LeGrande Whitfield, who was an AL State Representative. Their mother died sometime between 1870 & 1876. Their father was a doctor who served in the Civil War. After their mother's death, he moved the family to MS where he remarried Aurelia Gregory & had one more daughter before dying during the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878 in Grenada County, MS. In 1880, we find the two older brothers have married & started families of their own & the children of Felix Benjamin Turnipseed & Sarah M. Whitfield have scattered. Felix & Sarah's two daughters have died by the time of the 1880 Census. Newton & Edward are still unmarried & living in other households in Tallahatchie Co., MS; Edward with a cousin, R. B. Fedric, & Newton with the James & Nancy Quinn family. Bookter, the youngest brother is also missing & was never heard from or seen again in the historical record.

In early 1886, Newton & his brother Edward left MS & joined up with a wagon train that was coming through & headed west from Georgia. Newton met a young woman named Susan Elvira Dennington who was traveling with her family to Texas. The Turnipseeds & the Denningtons stopped in Ellis County, Texas where Newton married Susan on 28 Mar 1886. Edward Scott Turnipseed also found love in Ellis County, Texas. He married Ellen Emily Sims, daughter of Wilson Timlick Sims & Kate Thompson Smithers, on 10 March 1889.
Marriage license of Newton LeGrande Turnipseed & Susan Elvira Dennington
They farmed & started families each in their turn. Edward & Ellen had three sons: Benjamin Whitfield Turnipseed, Edward Wilson Turnipseed & Dixon Gillespie Turnipseed. Then in 1898, Edward's wife Ellen died while in Colorado. It is not known what she was doing in Colorado & she was buried there in Columbia Cemetery in Boulder, Boulder County, Colorado. Almost two years later, Edward remarried Mrs. Sarah A. Byars in Henderson Co., Texas on 13 March 1898. Both then inexplicably disappear from the historical record. The children of Edward & Ellen were then raised by their maternal grandparents.

Meanwhile, Newton & Susan are still farming & living in Ellis County, Texas with their five children; Vera, David, Pat, Sallie & Edna. They would have one more daughter (Ruth) in 1903 before their family was torn in two. By 1903, Newton & Susan have moved from Ellis County, Texas to Rhonesboro, Texas which is in Upshur County. They bought land there & continued farming. The marriage, however, was not a very harmonious one. Family stories tell that Newton had tried to harm Susan on more than one occasion. It was thought that he once poisoned the bucket of well water that sat on their front porch, intending that his wife should drink from it. Instead, his sons did when they came in from the hot fields that day & became very ill from it.

On the 1900 census, Newton is shown as a day laborer, meaning he probably hired out in addition to farming his own land. In 1904, he was tried in Upshur County Court & sentenced to five years in prison for the rape & incest of one of his own daughters. In those days, such behavior was rarely reported, let alone by one's own wife, but Susan possessed a very strong will & she did right by her children, most of whom were close to being grown & out on their own by then. She still had the youngest daughter still at home to raise, while the other two daughters were close to or already ready for marriage. Her two boys were both out working. Two years into Newton's sentence, he escaped from a work camp in Bowie County, Texas. He was never seen or heard from again. What may have happened to him afterwards is one of our greatest family mysteries. No one in the family has ever known the truth of what happened other than one day Susan received a letter from the prison about Newton's escape. It was said by her younger son Pat, who was my maternal grandfather, that he came home to find her crying over this letter. All she would tell him was that it was from the prison & concerned his father. He took it to mean that the old man (as he referred to him) had died, but I think what had Susan so distraught was that she knew he had escaped & she was worried that he would be coming after her for having him prosecuted & put in prison. Her worst fears never to came to pass however.

Huntsville, TX Prison registry showing the work camps Newton LeGrande Turnipseed was
in & noting his escape from custody.
In 1914, Susan was remarried to her widowed brother-in-law Isaac David Stewart in Henderson Co., Texas. Her daughter Ruth continued to live with them before she left to marry Jack Harte. Their marriage was an abusive one. They divorced & she returned home to live with her mother. She later remarried Jesse Clyde Jones & spent the majority of the rest of her life with him in Ellis County. Susan lost her second husband to a heart attack while fishing in mid November 1931. She lived alone after that. Her favorite activies in her old age were gardening & crochet. Her favorite color was yellow. She was a opinionated hard shell Baptist who could be a hard taskmaster according to one niece. I think she was the way she was because of the time she was born in (just after the Civil War) & the hard life she lived.

Our family probably will never know what happened to Newton. I theorize that, with such a unique surname as Turnipseed, he knew it was better & easier to disappear if he changed it to something else & moved to somewhere where few if anyone knew him. He also knew he would not be welcome at home & that if he went back, Susan would be sure to alert the authorities; thus, sending him back to finish serving his prison term. At one point, Susan sent her sons out to look for him, but as far as she knew, neither ever found him. It was rumored that David may have found him living in ID where his older two brothers moved to finish raising their families. He would never tell anyone in the family for certain which was a great source of contention between him & his brother Pat.

You never know what you will find when you start looking into your family tree. Whatever my great grandfather may have been, I wish I knew the rest of his story, even if it is only for the sake of closure.

"Alabama, Marriages, 1816-1957," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 Jan 2014), Felix B. Turnipseed and Sarah M. Whitfield, 04 May 1852.

"United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 Jan 2014), E S. Turnipseed, Beat 3, Tallahatchie, Mississippi, United States; citing sheet 103B, family 0, NARA microfilm publication T9-0665

"United States Census, 1880," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 Jan 2014), B. W. & N. L. Turnipseed, Beat 3, Tallahatchie, Mississippi, United States; citing sheet 107A, family 0, NARA microfilm publication T9-0665

"Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 Jan 2014), Newton L. Turnipseed and Susan E. Dennington, 28 Mar 1886.

"Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 Jan 2014), E. S. Turnipseed and Ella E. Sims, 10 Mar 1889.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

52 Ancestors #1 Tomasa Gauna de Quinteros

My first 52 Ancestors post of the year is not exactly about one specific someone who is a deceased direct ancestor of mine. To tell you about my great aunt Tomasa, I have to introduce you first to my Tio Pancho, who was my paternal grandfather's eldest brother.

Francisco "Frank or Pancho" Quinteros
Tio Pancho was born in 1907 in El Fuerte, Zacatecas, Mexico. The community of El Fuerte was once part of a hacienda of the same name that was located in the town of Rio Grande in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. He was the oldest surviving son of Jose Rafael Apolinario Quinteros Torres & Domitila "Tila" Mendez Anguiano. Rafael & Tila had seven children together, but only the three youngest children lived to make the journey to Texas after the Mexican Revolution. My paternal grandfather Rafael was the youngest child, born after they emigrated to the United States.

All three of the Quinteros sons worked for the Santa Fe Railroad in Temple, Texas at some point in their lives. My great uncles Pancho & Jesse retired from the railroad, while my grandfather moved to Detroit, MI to work in the maintenance departnent at the GM Plant there. Tio Pancho farmed some & raised a big family in addition to his work on the railroad. I did not have the opportunity to know him well while he was still alive, but on the few occasions I saw him at various family functions, he seemed bigger than life to a little girl.

Tio Pancho married Mauricia Martinez when he was 22. Together they had 9 children before she died in 1952. He remarried again a few years later, but that wife also died. Tio's last wife was Tomasa Gauna. They married late in life & had no children together, but she helped raise the grandkids who came along. She never spoke English, but then she never needed to. Although she was of Mexican descent, her family had been in Central Texas since the mid 1880's. Again, like with many of my father's family, I haven't had the opportunity to get to know her as well as I would have liked & there are many in my extended family who have known her a good bit better than I have.

Tio Pancho with his children, nieces & nephews out on the farm near Temple, Texas
Left to right: Anne Quinteros, Pauline Aguirre, Bennie Quinteros, Mariano Aguirre, Tio Pancho, Joe Quinteros, Skippy the dog, Francisco Aguirre & Mary Pauline Quinteros
Tomasa was born in 1919 in Madison County, Texas to Fernando Flores Gauna & Demetria Granado Guzman. She was the oldest of at least thirteen children (records suggest there were a few siblings who died young). Her younger siblings were Vicente, Fernando, Eulogia, Irene, Ignacia, Herlinda, Aurelio, Jesusa, Juan, Marcelino, Guadalupe & Morris. Her family farmed & moved around a lot, bouncing from Wilson, Madison & Milam Counties to Robertson & Williamson Counties, before finally settling in Lubbock. She married Tio Pancho in the early 1960's but it is not known where they married or when or how they met (at least not to me). She helped Tio on the farm & she was very proactive in their family life together. When one of Tio's daughter-in-laws passed away at a young age, they took up the slack with the three children she left behind. She was a great cook & homemaker who subscribed to old school values, but she passed on to one of their grandsons this pearl of wisdom: "Mijo, if you know how to cook, then you don't need a woman."

Francisco Quinteros & Tomasa Gauna on their wedding day. Tomasa's father Fernando Flores Gauna is also shown here to her right.
I first became acquainted (that I can recall any way) with Tia Tomasa while on a family trip in 2000 to a Quinteros Family Reunion in Temple after I was an adult. Tio had passed away in 1984 & she lived alone.
I had called ahead & arranged a visit with her. She invited us into her home which was a little like stepping in to a family shrine. Covering the walls of her home were generations of family portraits. I have to admit we were awestruck & I'm sure she thought it more than a little strange that someone would come in & start taking pictures, but she took it in stride. We had a nice visit. Since she didn't speak english & my family didn't speak spanish, I translated back & forth. She said she remembered us children (I have one younger brother) when we were little & that she had last seen us at a Quinteros family reunion that took place about 1981 or 2 when my grandfather moved back to Texas after his retirement from the GM Plant in Detroit. At that time, I was all of about 12 years old; too young & uninterested in family history to remember her very well then. I told her I had an interest in our family history & asked her about her family. I learned then that her parents had been born in Texas. It was later that I learned that her father Fernando was born in San Antonio & her grandfather Rosario Gauna had once lived in the historic San Antonio Mission District I had once visited with my parents. Tomasa's mother Demetria was born out near Austin, but her lineage has been very much harder to trace. Tomasa's grandparents on both sides & further back ancestors would have been born in Mexico.

Tia Tomasa working on the farm
In my years of family history research, I've learned that Mexican ancestry in the States can be some of the hardest to trace mainly because census & record takers often didn't always comprehend the correct spelling of the surnames being given to them. It doesn't necessarily get any easier once you cross the border either. While Hispanic ancestry can be alot simpler since the culture uses double surnames to include both of a person's parents' names in that person's name, you have to pretty much know the time period & place your ancestor came from in order to find them in the Spanish birth, marriage, death & civil records that may be available to you. Often you will find that there are no indexes to the old spanish register records & you will be forced to go page by page of sometimes almost indecipherable handwriting of some long dead priest or government official (who many times couldn't spell very well either). There are no databases already compiled of searchable data for the most part like there are for US records. Such research is often a test of extreme patience with a few eureka moments thrown in when you are fortunate enough to find them (which is pretty much the case regardless of which side of the border you are on, hispanic ancestry or not).

Any way, back to Tomasa; she is a very soft spoken, gentle lady. She no longer lives alone as she has gotten too old & although I haven't had the opportunity to have known her well, I am glad that I had the chance to know her the little I have. She will turn ninety-five in March & while she is slower than she maybe used to be, I think she is still a vital member of our family. For a daughter of poor Mexican farmers, she has probably seen more of life than she or anyone else ever thought she would. What I have observed of her is that she is a quiet, yet fiesty lady. I wish that my circumstances allowed me to know this remarkable lady better.

Tia Tomasa Gauna de Quinteros with grandsons Ralph Quinteros & Tony Quinteros.

Tia Tomasa sight seeing in San Diego with her grandson Tony Quinteros. The USS Midway
is in the background behind them,

Tomasa gets a kiss on the check from her great great grandson Sean.

Monday, January 6, 2014

52 Ancestors 52 weeks challenge

I started this blog about 2 & a half years ago & stopped with only one post. I enjoy genealogy & reading blogs, but am not very good about posting to one. This week, one of the genealogy blogs I regularly read posted about a challenge for 2014 another genealogy blogger had started on their blog ( The title of the challenge was 52 weeks, 52 ancestors with the goal to post one story/article/photo or what have you about a specific ancestor each week for the entire year. I thought this was a great idea so I'm taking the challenge. I've been researching for 17-18 years now & although I find new things about various family lines from time to time, I have very few brick walls that I can really get very much farther along on. I continue to plug away at them year after year. I trace friends & collateral family members' family trees just for the sake of still being able to pursue my love of family history. (Most of my lines are well documented). I volunteer my time online in the FamilySearch Genealogy Resource Communities on Facebook. I know about this relative & that. I've done a family history book for my mother's relatives, but I feel I still have things I want to share. So when I learned about this challenge, I decided it was a great way to share what I know because the information about these ancestors, these people who came before, doesn't belong to just me.