Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Workday Wednesday ~ Texas Stock Farmer

On my father's side of the family, there are several families which are either very small (one or two children) or if there are several children, only one child left descendants in more than one generation.

My father, Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. was an only child.

His mother, Elizabeth Adsit (known as Libby to us grandchildren), was one of two children; her brother never married.

Libby's father, Charles Chapin Adsit, was one of seven children, and the only one to have grandchildren. (See More on the Adsit Family for the details.)

Libby's mother, Mary Bowman Ashby, was one of six children, and I don't believe any of her siblings had children who lived to adulthood.

Mary Bowman Ashby's mother, Mary Elizabeth Gorin, was one of seven children, the youngest of whom, Florence Gorin, married John A. Lee.

Inscription from the Gorin Family Bible:
Miss Florence Gorin
Presented by her
Pa T. J. Gorin
Florence Gorin and John Lee didn't have children, and upon their deaths, Florence willed certain items to her sister's daughter, Mary Bowman (Ashby) Adsit (daughter of Mary Elizabeth (Gorin) Ashby). Because of the small families as noted above, certain "treasures" like the Gorin Family Bible and the ambrotype of Thomas J. Gorin, were passed down from Florence on down to my father.

I find it very interesting (and fun) to track these collateral relatives forward through census and other records. The family bible tells me that Florence and John married on October 19, 1880. (I have had no luck finding Thomas J. Gorin, Florence Gorin or John A. Lee in the 1880 U.S. Census.)

By 1900, John and Florence had moved to Wheeler County, Texas. (The following is from the U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 3, Wheeler, Texas; Roll: T623_1678; Page 5B; Record for John A. Lee.)

John A. Lee (age 55) and Florence G. Lee (age 45) have been married 20 years. (Actually, Florence was 48.) The next two columns indicate that Florence never had children. They have a boarder living with them.

Subsequent columns show John Lee's occupation as a Stock Farmer. At the right are columns that indicate that John A. Lee owned his farm, free of mortgage. The last column, which indicates that he is number 80 on the farm schedule doesn't give me any information, as the special schedules for the 1900 census were destroyed by an Act of Congress. It would have been neat to see how much cattle and other animals he owned, and how much of the land was "improved."

Ten years later, they are still in Wheeler County, Texas. (The following is from the U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 2, Wheeler, Texas; Roll: T624_1600; Page 6A; Enumeration District: 219; Record for John A. Lee.)

John A. Lee (age 65) and Florence G. Lee (age 56) indicate that they have been married for 29 years. They have no children and a "hired man" is living in their household.

Again, John's occupation is Stock Farming. The 1910 special agricultural schedules were also destroyed by an Act of Congress. To find out how successful John was at stock farming in Texas would likely require doing some land research in Texas.

In 1920, I find them in the City of Long Beach, Long Beach Township, Los Angeles County, California! I wish I knew why they moved to California. (To retire, maybe? He is 75 years old and she is 68 years old.)

U.S. Federal Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: City of Long Beach, Long Beach Township, Los Angeles County, California; Roll: T625_104; Page 18A; Enumeration District: 75; Record for John E. Lee.
Detail from lines 19 and 20 are below. I'm pretty sure that this is the couple who was living in Texas in 1900 and 1910, as they indicate that they and their parents were born in Kentucky.

I found that they are both buried at Cave Hill Cemetery, in Louisville, Kentucky. Based on the burial dates, it looks like John died in early May 1925. Texas Death records (found at show that Florence died on December 15, 1925 in Wheeler County, Texas, and was buried in Louisville, Kentucky.

Second great grand aunt Florence Gorin Lee was sister to Mary Elizabeth Gorin. My descent from Mary Elizabeth Gorin > Mary Bowman Ashby > Elizabeth Adsit > Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. > me. 

Workday Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.


  1. Elizabeth, it sounds like your family is like mine, very small and like you, I often work on distant relations, because that is all I have. Nice detailed piece on this family.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Barbara. Actually this is an unusual branch for my family, going back several generations with small families or unmarried siblings. I have other branches that are much larger. Sometimes I find a family in an unusual location and keep digging because I'm curious about why they ended up where they did.

  3. I suppose this is one of the benefits of a small family-- you were able to have these treasures passed down to you.

    Sounds like they might have chosen to retire in CA.

  4. Karen, thanks for commenting. Yes, I'm grateful to have quite a few treasures from my father's mother's family. There are other branches of my family for which I have very little, so I'm grateful for what I do have.