Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ezekiel H. Teel - Reporting for Duty

While doing a bit of research on the ancestor of my friend and neighbor, I found his name (Stephen Flanagan) contained in a letter supporting another man's application for a Revolutionary War pension, at  The amount of rich detail found here clarifies family relationships, as well as military service.  Middle-school students might be surprised at the experiences of a 13-year-old in 1782.

I have transcribed the letter below, exactly as written:

1 May 1834

Dear Sir,

     The additional facts which can be gathered in the case of Ezekiel H. Teel, are as follows: - The family bible of his mother shows that he was born in 1769: - The battle of the Hyder Ally was fought in 1782, consequently at that time he was 13 years of age: - a boy of that age may render efficient Services on board an armed vessel.
     Mr. Price (a brother-in-law of Stephen Girard) says, that when boys, Teel was always considered the older of the two, but from the family records it does appear that Mr. Price is two years older than Teel. –
     I have frequently heard the late Capt. Stephen Flanagan say, that Teal was in that action, and I have often heard him remark, that at that time, Teel was distinguished, as an adventurous and Courageous boy.

Thos. D. Grover(?) Groves(?)

Hon. I. (or J.) B. Sutherland

A postscript is torn away from the original paper.

(Note:  The battle referred to is known as The Battle of Delaware Bay, or the Battle of Cape May, fought in early April of 1782.  The Hyder Ally was an American privateer sloop, named for Hyder Ali, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore on the Indian subcontinent, and a British enemy.  The Americans were victorious over a superior British force.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sisters? Not exactly...Rena M. Fuller Ives & Carrie Smith Ives

     Recently, I visited the updated Washington State Library, now located in Tumwater.  I had last used the collection at the old location in downtown Olympia, close to the capitol building.  The new facility makes for a productive experience, with easy parking, helpful staff, and free downloading of materials to your own thumb drive.
     One of the things I was able to clarify, was the relationship between two women who had married into my family, Rena M. Fuller and Carrie A. Smith.  While they aren't "my" ancestors, I thought the clues in their obituaries were worth sharing.  I sure wish this kind of detail would happen to me more often...
     Rena Mae Fuller was the wife of Levi "Lee" Ives, and lived from 1857-1944.  In an obituary of 6 April 1944, in the Herald-Reporter newspaper of Brewster and Pateros, Washington, she is described as "a real pioneer," and "the first white woman along the Columbia River at the place now called Pateros."  (The site was originally known as Ives Landing.)  Her survivors are listed as 3 brothers:  Frank, Arch and Scott Fuller, and one sister, Carrie A. Ives of Pateros.  Looking at my records, and the 1880 census, I knew that a Carrie A. Smith had married Joseph Daniel Ives, brother to Lee Ives.  So, did Rena's obituary really mean that Carrie was a sister-in-law, instead of sister?  Or did it mean something else?  Earlier census records were located for the Riley Fuller family, showing two young females named Rena and Carrie.  Where did the name Smith fit in?
     Luckily, I located an obituary for Mrs. Carrie Amanda Ives, in the Herald-Reporter of 5 September 1946, which brought clarity to the relationship.  "She was born in Gloverville (Gloversville?), N.Y. October 4, 1862.  Her father Edward Smith was killed during the Civil War.  Her mother Mary Haggert Smith married Riley Fuller, and they located first in Illinois, then in Kansas."  With regard to Carrie's marriage to Joseph D. Ives, it states, "They came to Washington state in the early 80's and homesteaded along the Okanogan river, near what is now the town of Monse.  They were the first white settlers in that particular section of the country."  (It's hard to imagine the loneliness these two women experienced.)  Carrie's obit also states that her survivors are two half brothers, Arch and Scott.   Information from Carrie Ives' death record can be accessed via the Washington State digital archives, at .  The names of her parents are listed as being Edward Smith and Mary Haggert.
     The relationships Rena Fuller Ives shared with those who appeared with her on the early census were varied:  father, step-mother, no blood ties, and half-siblings.  Blended families are certainly nothing new.  The census record, however, doesn't begin to explain this complexity.
     Another example of the drilling deeper for "the rest of the story."