•January 28, 2018 • Comments Off on SMOKE & MIRRORS (op-ed)


LARRY’S CUBE-ICLE (the abc’s of snobbery)

I received these Emails from David Alton Dodd, regarding our 2nd cousin Larry Page.  David is the son of my father’s half-sister Dixie.

This isn’t the truth about Larry Page.

David struggles to convey the magnitude of Larry’s achievements, although he’s never met Larry and was unaware of his existence until “a few years ago.”  He praises Larry’s commencement speech at the University of Michigan, and says Dixie found him to be a “humble young man.”  But what’s missing is anything indicating that Larry cares about David, or me, or anyone.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve been attacked by several security firms hired by a relative who have left me traumatized and my family terrified.  A news reports says disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had, through an attorney, hired a security firm staffed with ex-Israeli intelligence operatives to frighten and intimidate into silence women he considered a “threat” to him.  One of their tactics was to show up in a target’s life using a fake identity.

Anyone who hires a security firm is responsible for the actions of the security firm.  In one instance a security firm employed by the relative hired someone to pose as a priest.  This individual engaged in constant harassment and eventually had me kicked out of my apartment.  My relative doesn’t care about the suffering he has caused or the manifest injustice of his actions.  He believes he can stonewall his way out of any consequences.

I want to make this clear: I will not “return” any letters in my possession regardless of who wrote them.  They are my property and will remain my property

And though David says I am “as good as any historical writer I read,” that’s not a compliment.  It’s a warning.  I’ve worked for 30 years on my family history, but I doubt that I will ever be able to sell or publish any of it.

I have 5 ancestors who arrived in this land aboard The Mayflower; 1 who served in Dunmore’s War; about 23 ancestors who served during the American Revolution (I’m a member of Sons of the American Revolution); I have 2 who served in The War of 1812; and 4 who served in the Civil War; and many ancestors in Europe who occupied the upper tier of civilization.

And I got blackballed.

The point isn’t who I AM, but that I’m expected to grovel and dishonor everyone who has come before me.

That’s not going to happen.

To put this into perspective, Alphabet, Inc. reported 1st Quarter 2018 earnings of $31.1 Billion.  But of that $31.1 Billion, $26.6 Billion comes from advertising with Google.  So while Alphabet sells some physical products, it’s ads that float the boat.  The guts of Alphabet is a service business.  The reason Google generates so much ad revenue is the preference the marketplace has shown for the Google search engine, but its superiority in my view is more perception than actual utility.  Google has managed to stage market placement advertising for itself in TV and film to the point one might think no other search engines exist.  I think people mainly use Google because it’s a habit.

Habits can change.

As the Chris Hardwick scandal illustrates, the practice of blackballing is common.  Hardwick blackballed his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra, costing her employment opportunities.

Exposure by the media was important in bringing social miscreants like Harvey Weinstein to justice.

Individuals and companies who engage in blackballing should be ostracized and boycotted.  Those responsible should not hold public office or be appointed to positions of public trust.

On a separate note, I do not help religious organizations of which I am not a member raise money.  I will not be pressured by threats, harassment, or intimidation into helping such organizations raise money.

BLACKBALLED TO THE SIDE POCKET (how Larry Page met cousin Bettie)

•January 22, 2018 • Comments Off on BLACKBALLED TO THE SIDE POCKET (how Larry Page met cousin Bettie)


I cannot stress this enough: a genealogical source should be adequately cited so others can locate it.  Many documents in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Left: Jean (Chipman) Crom.  Right: Carl Victor Page.

Taken in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, probably early 1990’s.  They were first cousins.  My grandfather Beecher, who died in 1959, was their uncle.  Carl Victor Page, who died in 1996, was the father of Alphabet CEO Larry Page.  Alphabet is the holding company that owns Google. On his father’s side Carl Victor Page was the second cousin of pin-up icon Bettie Page.  Carl Victor Page’s grandmother was Annie Drucilla Pardue and Bettie Page’s grandmother was Emily Corilla Pardue; Annie Drucilla and Emily Corilla were twin sisters who usually went by their middle names.

The above article appeared in “The Flint Journal” of Flint, Michigan and chronicles Carl and Beverly’s contraction of polio.

Bettie Page, with her trademark black bangs.  Bettie Page achieved stardom in the 1950’s in pin-ups and films.  Since her death in 2008 she has maintained remarkable popularity.

Above: it was the custom in the WWI era to hold large family reunions and sit for a portrait by a professional photographer.  This portrait is of the Page family reunion held ca. 1909 at the home of Henry Horace Page and wife Annie Drucilla Pardue in Union City, Obion Co., Tennessee.  On the L in the middle row beneath the man with the dark coat and tie is Walter Roy Page, father of Bettie Page.  On the R in the back row is Carl Davis Page, grandfather of Larry Page.  To the L of Carl in the dark suit and light tie is Carl’s father Henry Horace Page, and beneath him is Carl’s mother Drucllia.  In the middle of the 2nd row flanked by 2 standing children is Mary Elizabeth (McCaig) (Pardue) Winston, mother of Drucilla and Corilla.  Corilla, mother of Walter Roy Page, is  in the top row to the left of Henry Horace Page holding a child.

Below: Obituary for Carl Victor Page in “The State News” of Michigan State University.  The obituary names his family members: parents Pauline Aquilla Chipman Page and Carl Davis Page; sons Carl Benjamin Page and Lawrence Edward Page; and sister Beverly Budzynski.

The letter below from Jean (Chipman) Crom to my father Ralph Vernon Chipman discusses the funeral of Carl Victor Page.  The letter was evidently a circular, to which she appended a personal note to him.

Above: the LDS church has made an enormous amount of genealogical information, such as this abstract, available online through its FamilySearch website.  An experienced genealogist can locate this sort of material easily.  Of interest here is some data on Carl Victor Page’s extended connections.  Joyce Chipman Barnett was my father’s half-sister.  [Click on image to enlarge.]

The following letter came from Carl Victor Page, father of Larry Page.  It gives some insight into the family.  A lot of advances have been made in documenting the family genealogy since then.  Note the archaic dot-matrix printer.

Next: in this letter, Beverly Ann (Page) (Bertrand) Budzynski, sister to Carl Victor Page, discusses various family members.  “Joyce” is Joyce Elaine (Chipman) Barnett, my father’s half-sister.  “Aunt Ruby” is Ruby (Bohannon) Chipman, wife of Beverly’s uncle Jewell Vester Chipman.  “Aunt Lawcie” is Lawcie Idella (Chipman) Mason.  “Grandpa Chipman” is James Edward Chipman, but according to the marriage record of his parents his mother’s name was Sarah, not Cynthia; evidently she was called Cynthia.  “Delmar Foster” is married to Nell, daughter of Allie May (Oxley) Chipman’s sister Virginia.  “Carl Victor Page” is Beverly’s brother, and “Carl Benjamin Page” and “Lawrence Edward Page” are his sons.  “Paul Page Bertrand” is Beverly’s son.  I can’t vouch for all of Beverly’s dates.

It’s hard to believe that Carl and Beverly’s letters are 30 years old.  They date to the beginning of my research.

Below: photograph of Carl Davis Page with his grandmother Mary Elizabeth (McCaig) (Pardue) Winston.  Notes by Beverly Ann (Page) (Bertrand) Budzynski.

Next: photo, ca. 1930, Senath, Missouri, of Pauline Aquilla Chipman (eventual wife of Carl Davis Page) and her nephew Ralph Vernon Chipman.

Above: high school record for Pauline Aquilla Chipman, Senath High School, Senath, Missouri.

Following: I have a number of letters from Beverly Ann (Page) (Bertrand) Budzynski, aunt of Larry Page.  In the first she mentions her nephews Carl Benjamin Page and Lawrence Edward Page, and her uncle Jewell Vester Chipman.  Some of Beverly’s dates are a little off.  In the second letter she discusses the condition of a family cemetery in Tennessee and mentions her mother, her aunt Aileen, and her brother Carl.

Above: marriage record for Carl Davis Page and Pauline Aquilla Chipman.  At the time Pauline was living with her brother Beecher Edgar Chipman on Foss St. in Flint.

Following is a screenshot of the 1940 Flint, Genesee Co., Michigan federal census, ED 85-132, Sheet 7, showing the Carl Davis Page family:

Here we see Carl Davis Page and wife Aquilla P. (Pauline Aquilla Chipman) with their two children Carl V. (Carl Victor) and Beverly A.  (Beverly Ann).  The census gives Carl Davis Page’s occupation as “Material Loader/Auto Mfgr,” a floor labor position, which may have entailed loading upholstery fabric onto the assembly line.

Below: delayed birth certificate for Carl Davis Page naming his parents as Henry Horace Page and Drucilla Pardue. Delayed birth certificates were filed so that those born prior to their state’s requirement to register births could obtain Social Security benefits.

Above: obituary for Carl Davis Page in “The Jackson Sun” of Madison Co., Tennessee for Sunday, August 11, 1963, p. 7.

Next: grave site for Carl Davis Page and Pauline Aquilla Chipman in Hollywood cemetery, Jackson, Tennessee.

Below: as mentioned in Carl Davis Page’s obituary, he had a brother Luther, whose obituary appeared in “The Jackson Sun” for Sunday, March 20, 1983, p.16.

Above: also mentioned in the obituary for Carl Davis Page is a sister, Aileen Turner, of Flint, Michigan.  Her obituary appeared in “The Jackson Sun” of Saturday, August 6, 1994, p. 6.  According to Luther J. Page’s obituary, she had remarried.  The statement that Charlene Beach of Flint was her sister is incorrect.  Charlene was actually Aileen’s niece, the daughter of Aileen’s sister Mary Emma (Page) Dunbar, as is proved by Mary Emma’s obituary below.  As any experienced genealogist knows, occasionally there are errors in records which have to be corrected.

Below: grave marker for Aileen Loring (Page) (Orr) (Turner) Stanfill, Cotton Grove cemetery, Madison Co., Co., Tennessee.  The grave marker is partially obscured by flowers, but evidently she had a daughter named Kathy.

Following: obituary for Mary Emma (Page) Dunbar, from “The Jackson Sun” of Thursday, May 16, 1963, p.7.  Mary was the wife of Everett Estes Dunbar.  Charlene Beech of Flint, Michigan is named as her daughter.

Below: grave marker for Henry Horace Page and Annie Drucilla Pardue Page, Cotton Grove cemetery, Madison Co., Tennessee.

Following: marriage record, Obion Co., Tennessee, dated April 10, 1898 for Henry Horace Page and Annie Drucilla Pardue.

Above: death certificate for Henry Horace Page, giving his age upon death on August 18, 1932 as 61; and therefore born in 1871, which agrees with his grave marker.  Parents are listed as “J.B. Page” (actually “John D. Page”) and Emily Sullivan.

Above: marriage record, Obion Co., Tennessee for John D. Page and Emily C. Sullivan.  Marriage was performed on July 8, 1872.  Henry Horace Page was born in 1871, so the marriage of his reputed father to his mother was much later.

Below: death certificate for Annie Drucilla (Pardue) Page, wife of Henry Horace Page, listing  death as occurring on February 17, 1948.  Parents are “Jeff Perdue” (actually “Jefferson Davis Pardue”) and “Bettie McCaig” (“Mary Elizabeth McCaig”).  Drucilla was born on December 5, 1876.

Above: obituary for Annie Drucilla (Pardue) Page in “The Jackson Sun” for Tuesday, February 17, 1948, p.2.  Note that the 4th paragraph specifically mentions Carl D. Page of Flint, MI as a son, and Mrs. Corilla Page of Nashville as a sister.  Corilla was Bettie Page’s grandmother.  Son “Henry E.” was known by his middle name “Ellis.”  He died in 1965.  Frank W. Page died in 1950.  Norman R. Page died in 1975.  I was puzzled by the reference to a daughter “Mrs. James Orr” of Newark, New Jersey.

Below: this clipping from “The Jackson Sun” for Thursday, July 3, 1947, p. 3 mentions once again “Mrs. James Orr.”

Above: the mystery is solved by this notice from “The Jackson Sun” for Thursday, January 8, 1942, p. 7.  Apparently this was the much-married Aileen’s first.

Above: death certificate for Drucilla’s sister Emily Corilla (Pardue) Page, grandmother of Bettie Page, also born on December 5, 1876, and therefore Drucilla’s twin.  Informant was Walter Roy Page, father of pin-up queen Bettie Page.

Following: obituary for Emily Corilla (Pardue) Page in “The Jackson Sun” for Thursday, December 23, 1948, p. 9.  The obituary names son Walter R. Page of Nashville, better known as Roy Page.

Following: Walter Roy Page’s obituary from “The Tennessean” of Nashville, dated Tuesday, January 21, 1964, p. 19, which names his parents as John Benton Page and Emily Perdue Page.  Walter Roy Page’s grave marker indicates he was born on April 19, 1896, but his alleged father, John Benton Page, didn’t marry his mother until December 4, 1898.  Betty Page of Nashville is listed among his daughters.  He married as his first wife Edna Pirtle on October 17, 1920 in Madison Co., Tennessee.  After a chaotic marriage they divorced.  His children were all by Edna.  The obituary states he married Louise Weaver in 1946.  The less said of him, the better.  By 1964 Bettie had divorced Armond Walterson and was living in Nashville to pursue a Master’s degree, which she never completed.

This Pardue family, under the spelling “Perdue,” is found in the 1880 Madison Co., Tennessee Federal census, Dist. 13, pp. 2–3, SD 5, ED 98.  The census shows “Ann D.” and “Emerly C.” as daughters, both aged 4.

Above: Emily Corilla (Pardue) Page’s grave marker at Cotton Grove cemetery in Madison Co., Tennessee.  She was the wife of John Benton Page.

Next: marriage record, Obion Co., Tennessee for John Benton Page and Emily Corilla Pardue, dated December 4, 1898.  John D. Page and his son John Benton Page were often confused.

In genealogy, you can never have too much documentation.  Newspapers are an under-utilized source of genealogical information.  They may contain information unavailable elsewhere.  An easy way to get started with newspapers is the website “Chronicling America,” a free database maintained by the Library of Congress.

According to the United States 2010 census, “Page” is #383 in the list of most common surnames; “Chipman” is #6,866.



The following is the letter I received from the local Catholic bishop acknowledging my resignation from the church.  Note that he says: “I respect your decision.”  I trust the bishop is a man of his word.

The bishop’s claim to be “heartbroken” and asking if my decision was “the result of a bad interaction with a priest or parish representative” is pro forma.  The Catholic church would like to keep a dialogue alive indefinitely, but obviously that would render my decision to leave functionally meaningless.

It was a matter of ideological incompatibility.

The bishop’s letter was in response to my letter resigning from the church:

Every year millions of Americans change their religious affiliation or practice no religion.  And though free exercise of religion is guaranteed by the First Amendment, everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, or lack thereof, enjoy the same rights.

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

(Adopted July 9, 1868)

The right of Free Association has been held to be an essential part of Free Speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Had I known Catholic protocol required those resigning from membership submit a letter to the local bishop, I would have done so decades ago.  My decision is final.  Any assertion that I have been in talks with any official or member of the Catholic church regarding a return to the Catholic church, or that I am involved in any other matter of any kind that creates a relationship with the Catholic church, is false.

I have never sought, nor received, any assistance of any kind from the Catholic church.

And then, finally, this sad sequence of events:


Genealogists today have access to many online databases.  The one I’m featuring here—“”—is free and provided by the State of Missouri for public use, although it’s probably mainly used by attorneys.  “” has litigation information for almost all of Missouri’s counties.  Note that not all files are available in every case.

Let’s look at this case:

This is known as the Case Header.  It gives us the case number, the names of the parties, date filed, and what the case was about.  So it’s: Case Number 0831-CV07451; Gordon A Elliott v Peter Dawson; filed on June 5, 2008; Case Type AC Rent and Possession.

What’s “AC Rent and Possession”?  The landlord Elliott was suing the tenant Dawson for back rent owed Elliott and to evict Dawson from Elliott’s property.

It’s a very common type of civil litigation, and Elliott, one of the largest property managers in the Ozarks, may have had no personal knowledge of the lawsuit or Peter Dawson.

Above is the Parties & Attorneys screen.  Gordon Alexander Elliott, born 1943, is suing Peter Dawson, born 1926, and we are given their respective addresses.  Elliott’s address is a business address and Dawson’s address is his apartment in an apartment complex managed by Elliott.  What’s valuable about this screen is that it gives the age of the litigants.

Now we have the Docket Entries which follow the progress of the case from filing to disposition.  As it turns out, Elliott didn’t have a lot of luck with Peter Dawson.  On June 26, 2008, the Court dismissed the case “w/Prejudice.”  That means the case was dismissed and could not be brought again.  And to make matters worse, Elliott had to pay court costs.

The last screen available for the case is the Service Information: Summons-Landlord-Tenant, served to Dawson on June 11, 2008.

What’s my interest in this case?  I lived next door to Peter Dawson.  I lived in 627 and he lived in 628.  Dawson wasn’t there when I first moved in.  A guy who called himself the “Attack Musician” occupied 628.  He and his female companion moved out and in came Dawson.

I observed Dawson wandering the grounds in a clerical shirt and collar.  He wasn’t a Catholic priest.  Regarding that issue, there’s the following from the-then Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Springfield–Cape Girardeau:

One day I told Dawson to leave me alone.  And almost immediately I received the following:

Obviously, had Peter Dawson been a priest, the bishop would have said so, since Dawson didn’t die until the following year.  But The Official Catholic Directory, which has been published for over 100 years, contains a list of priests.

As it turned out, Dawson had lived and worked in Florida and South Carolina.  I have the name of a company he worked for, which I’m not publishing because they had no apparent connection with his activities in Missouri.  In 1996, while residing in Florida, he filed for bankruptcy.  Evidently Dawson continued to reside at Chardonnay until his death in 2011.

There were those who knew this individual wasn’t a priest and lied about it, even though they were aware he was abusive.  They harassed me mercilessly.  Their deceit made me, my family, and an organization to which I belong look bad.  But in actuality neither I, nor my family, nor my organization had committed any offense.  For some people, the means are the end.  The cruelty of it is appalling.

(Social Security Death Index record for Peter Dawson.  Records through the year 2014 are searchable at FamilySearch.)

Family Of Hillary Lillian Vaughan and Jesse Otto (Jeffery) Scarff (maternal grandparents) / with Notices of Wilcox & McMillen / my Chipman family (a ghostly emulsion)

•January 20, 2018 • Comments Off on Family Of Hillary Lillian Vaughan and Jesse Otto (Jeffery) Scarff (maternal grandparents) / with Notices of Wilcox & McMillen / my Chipman family (a ghostly emulsion)

I penned a genealogical book entitled Some Chipman Families Of The Southern States, the last edition of which appeared in March 1993. Occasionally a copy of an earlier edition comes up for sale on  I lost my copy of the first edition, so I bought one.  It had been given a library binding by the library and then replaced with a later edition. The book covered many families who intermarried with the Chipmans.  One of them was the Vaughan family of my maternal grandmother Hillary, who was little more than 15 years old when she married Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff.

The Vaughans were early Missouri settlers, who came to the section from Kentucky. My second great-grandfather Wilson Milton Vaughan (1850–1950), a Miller County character, missed being 100 years old by less than two months.  His son, my great-grandfather Eric Lyman Vaughan, moved to Wapello County, IA, where he died at the age of 30.

This clipping from The Autogram of Miller County for December 5, 1940 commemorates Wilson Milton Vaughan’s 90th birthday:

(Miller County History, 17 Jun 1983.)

Our first proven Vaughan ancestor is Joshua Vaughan (father of Wilson Milton Vaughan), who married Elizabeth (Betsey) Birdsong:

Although Birdsong is a Native American name, these Birdsongs weren’t Native American. They first appeared in York County, VA in the early 18th century, and were later prominent in Sussex County.  Birdsong is thought to be a corruption of a name possibly Scandinavian in origin, like “Bartsong” or another phonetic variant.

Because the Vaughans were numerous, with many bearing the same given names, I cannot with certainty identify a place of origin beyond KY. There is one Vaughan family centered in Bedford County, VA in the late 18th century who appear closely related, and members of it probably migrated to Monroe and Barren Cos., KY.  What is certain is that the Vaughans of Cooper Co., MO were from Barren and Monroe Cos., KY.

But who was Joshua Vaughan?  He was born in 1805 in VA, exact place unknown.

According to Jefferson Davis Vaughan, a son of Joshua Vaughan by Joshua’s second wife Susan Wyrick, Joshua wasn’t a “Vaughan” at all—his birth surname was actually “Wilson,” and he had been adopted by a Vaughan.

I have a problem with that story.  The first formal adoption law in the United States was enacted in MA in 1851.  In the South, orphans were bound out by the county courts to serve as apprentices, to a relative, or someone unrelated.  But could Joshua “Wilson” have been informally adopted by a Vaughan family—who may have been related to his birth family—and he simply took the name of “Vaughan?”  Of course, and that’s the difficulty with family tales like this: there’s no independent evidence for or against this version of Joshua’s origins.  But the legal machinery in existence at the time Joshua would have been “orphaned” doesn’t support Jefferson Davis Vaughan’s account.

Joshua is also alleged to be the son of Benjamin and Susanna (Burnett) Vaughan, but for chronological reasons, that’s unlikely.  Benjamin Vaughan is presumed to be the son of William Vaughan Sr. of Monroe Co., KY.  My theory is that Benjamin Vaughan was Joshua Vaughan’s uncle, and that Joshua was actually the son of William Vaughan Jr., whose wife is unknown.  William Vaughan Jr. didn’t make the trek to MO and may have died in KY.  Joshua did name his first son William.  But nearly all of the early records in Monroe Co., KY, except for the tax records, are lost.  It’s one of the most total courthouse disasters I’ve seen.

This pedigree, however, begins with the Scott family.  Thomas Scott Jr., son of Thomas Scott and Sarah Mahurin [see marriage bond in “Branching Of The Yoke (Crossing Howland” column)] was an interesting figure. (See  “THOMAS SCOTT JR., FREEMASONRY, AND MILLER CO., MO POLITICS” column.]

Thomas Scott Jr. moved to CA, but his wife America Stillwell remained in Miller County, supporting the opinion that their marriage was unhappy. America was probably a descendant of the Stillwell family of Dubois County, Indiana, and the daughter of Richard Stilwell.  It’s a common problem with pioneer families searching for the Promised Land: families split up, and often the place they came to was no better or even worse than the place they’d left. In due course Thomas Scott Jr. returned to Miller County, but never again lived with America.

The page in Some Chipman Families Of The Southern States regarding the Scott family used an unorthodox system of notation, so I’ll just give the highlights.  The principle treatise on this Scott family is:

Scott, E. Harrison.  (1951).  Arthur Martin Scott 1777-1858 His Ancestors and His Descendants. Dayton:  The Otterbein Press.

Arthur Scott, son of Arthur and Agness Scott, was born ca. 1736/7, probably in Chester Co., PA. He married on 25 Apr 1765, Jean Ross.  After a brief sojourn in Washington Co., PA, Arthur Scott moved to Shelby Co., KY, where on 29 Sep 1805 his son Thomas Scott wed Sarah Mahurin, daughter of Samuel Mahurin, a descendant of Hugh Mahurin of Taunton, MA.  For about 4 years Arthur Scott lived on Brashears Creek, and then purchased land on Little Beech Creek.  He was a Constable in Shelby Co. Arthur Scott died ca. 1824/5 and was probably buried on his farm.

Arthur Scott sold his son Thomas Scott a tract of 159 1/2 acres on Beech Creek for the token amount of $1.00.  In 1821 Thomas Scott sold the land and moved to Dubois Co., Indiana.  The couple moved on to Miller Co., MO, and were living as late as 29 Jan 1858, when they sold 160 acres of land to Lev W. Albertson.

Thomas Scott Jr., the subject of the above short biography, was born 8 Dec 1816 in Shelby Co., KY, and died 30 Aug 1887 in Miller Co., MO, after having returned from CA due to an apparent failure in operating a mine.  He was an active Mason.  His wife, America (Stillwell) Scott, died 13 Nov 1897. Thomas and Sarah (Mahurin) Scott, and Thomas Scott Jr. and wife America are buried at Scott Cemetary, Tuscumbia, MO.

Thomas Scott Jr. recorded the births of his children in the family bible, and daughter Rachel Jane Scott, first wife of the above mentioned Wilson Milton Vaughan, was born on Sunday, 17 Apr 1859 in Miller Co.  On 11 Mar 1875 she married Wilson, and their 6th child was my great-grandfather, Eric Lyman Vaughan 29 Sep 1885–19 May 1916.

(This faded photo is the only one I have of Eric Lyman Vaughan as an adult, but by cropping it I managed to give a fair rendering of his face.)

(This record, from the 1915 Iowa state census, is useful because Eric Lyman Vaughan’s first child was born in 1911, after the 1910 Federal Census, and Eric died in 1916, before the 1920 Federal Census.  The availability of state censuses varies; check with your state archives.)

(The elegant Nora Ann McMillen.  Those Southern flowers, once so beautiful, the sickly sweet smell of decay.)

“Ottumwa Tri-Weekly Courier” for March 23, 1916, p. 2, under “Blakesburg,” records that “Mrs. Eric Vaughn and children went to Ottumwa Sunday evening.”  The reason for the visit was not stated.  Blakesburg had its own newspaper, “The Blakesburg Excelsior.”

[A drab Nora Ann (McMillen) Vaughan Messer (Left) holding her granddaughter Valerie, ca. 1930.  Other woman and baby unknown.]

(From sunny California to the heartland: electricity connects the world.  “The Mt. Pleasant [IA] News,” Saturday, Jan. 4, 1947, p. 3.)

(Iowans gather together: “The Mt. Pleasant News” for Wednesday, July 19, 1950, p. 3.)

[Obituary for Nora Ann (McMillen) (Vaughan) Messer from “The Mount Pleasant News” of Friday, December 5, 1954. It was common for the deceased to have both an obituary and a notice of funeral services.]

[Tombstone of Eric Lyman Vaughan and Nora Ann (McMillen) (Vaughan) Messer, Brooks Cemetary near Ottumwa, Wapello Co., IA.]

(Marriage record of Thomas Calvin McMillen and Nancy Theodocia Wilcox, Miller Co., MO, 9 Oct 1887.  Miller Co., MO Marriage Book C, p. 361.  Nancy’s middle initial is incorrectly shown as “J.”  The marriage took place at the home of her mother, Manerva Wilcox.  Click on image to enlarge it.)

(Nancy Theodocia Wilcox, taken ca. 1887 in Miller Co., MO.  I usually return “sepia tone” photos to the original B & W, but this one is so faded it’s pointless.)

(Detail of 1900 Miller Co., MO Federal Census, Glaize Township (West Part), SD 149, ED 82, Sheet 7.  As occasionally happens, some of the dates are off.  Nora A. McMillen’s mother is shown as “Theodocia N.”  Thomas Calvin McMillen’s father Robert is residing in the household.  Click on image to enlarge.)

[Tombstone of Nancy Theodocia Wilcox (13 Jul 1861–18 Apr 1910; tombstone gives birth year as 1862), whose blue blood and lack of judgement brought distinction and ruin to my mother’s family; buried with her second husband Thomas Calvin McMillen (25 Dec 1864–3 Feb 1935) at Brooks Cemetary, Wapello Co., IA.  Two of their children are buried with them.  It’s doubtful Nancy ever learned of the fate of her first husband, James T. Burris, who deserted her for Miller Co. trollop Charlotte Colvin and disappeared into the Indian Territory.  Nancy divorced Burris “in abstentia.”]

[Here’s an obscure item:  the obituary for Thomas Calvin McMillen in the Ottumwa Courier, Tuesday, 5 Feb 1935, p. 13.  The author of this notice had few words for the departed.  McMillen actually died in Henry Co., IA, but was shipped to Ottumwa in Wapello Co. to be buried in Brooks Cemetary beside his wife, Nancy Theodocia (Wilcox) McMillen.]

Eric Lyman Vaughan married Nora Ann McMillen, daughter of Thomas Calvin and Nancy Theodocia (Wilcox) McMillen.  They had 3 children:  Virgil Zennia Vaughan, Hillary Lillian Vaughan, and Harold Milton Vaughan.  Nora Ann (McMillen) Vaughan remarried to Sheridan Messer and had four children:  Milo Messer; Dwight Messer; Rebekah Louise Messer (m. Warren Stiefel); and Joseph Thomas Messer.

(Virgil Zennia Vaughan and Hillary Lillian Vaughan, ca. 1914.)

(Marriage record for Virgil Zennia Vaughan, Hillary Lillian Vaughan’s older brother.  He was married by the same Baptist minister.)

(Most photos don’t affect me, but in these three children:  Harold Milton Vaughan; Hillary Lillian Vaughan; and Virgil Zennia Vaughan, I see no happiness, although many people, including children, had stiff expressions when photographed.  Ottumwa, IA, ca. 1918.)

(Hillary Lillian Vaughan, ca. 1926.  Two years later she was a wife and the next year a mother.)

Hillary Lillian Vaughan 20 May 1913–4 Feb 1989 married on 3 Oct 1928 in Henry Co., IA Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff.  Because Hillary was 15, her mother Nora Ann (McMillen) (Vaughan) Messer gave consent to the marriage.  The couple had 10 children, of whom 9 reached adulthood. 

Below: Iowa State Board Of Health marriage record.  Lines 1 and 2 read: “By whom affidavit, if any, is made Mrs. Nora Messer/By whom consent to marriage is given Mother of Bride only living parent.”  My grandfather gave his aunt Emma Jane Huffman and John H. Scarff as his parents because he had been legally adopted, much to the dismay of his actual father, Earnest Ervin Jeffery.  When Effie died, Earnie couldn’t work and take care of a young child, so Jesse was placed with the childless Emma.  I think Emma spoiled him.

Above: One Sunday after church, ca. 1941, Mt. Pleasant, IA.  If you see 6 children in this photo, you’re wrong.  Standing next to my grandfather Jesse is my grandmother Hillary.  The children in descending order of height are Valerie, (Jesse) Leroy, John, Noma, and Mary.  Given Hillary’s age, what sort of courtship could she and Jesse have had?  Hillary had just turned 15 on 20 May 1928.  Less than 5 months later she was married.  The marriage record lists both as residents of Rome.  It’s obvious this was a shotgun marriage, but what arrangement existed between Jesse and Hillary’s mother Nora has passed away with them.  Jesse had an “Old Testament Patriarch” mentality, a narrative that subordinates women and children.  Situations like this scandalized reformers who pressed for 16 as the minimum age to marry with parental consent.

(Abandoned building, Rome, Henry Co., IA.  In 1930 Rome had 144 residents.)

[State of Wyoming Death Certificate of Hillary Lillian (Vaughan) Scarff.  Click on image to enlarge.]

[Jesse Otto (Jeffery) Scarff, ca. 1909.  Children put on their “Sunday Go To Church” clothes for portraits.  In ordinary attire, they looked pretty grubby.  It was the era in which children amused themselves by catching frogs and turtles, digging holes, and splashing in creeks.  It’s called the Outdoors.]

(Another useful State census: detail from the 1925 Henry Co., IA Tippecanoe Township schedule.  In this instance, the names of the individual’s parents are given, very helpful in merged households.  Jesse Scarff’s parents are
Ernest I. Jeffrey and Effie V. Huffman.  Click on image to enlarge.)

[State of Wyoming Death Certificate for Jesse Otto (Jeffery) Scarff.  His father’s name was Earnest Ervin Jeffery, not Ernst Jeffery Scarff.  Click on image to enlarge.]

(My grandfather’s obituary from the “Mt. Pleasant News” of 13 Mar 1990.  “I.A.A.P.” is the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant.  Trenton is actually in Henry Co., IA.  Jeffery D. Scarff was adopted; I know nothing of his birth family.  My parents were living in Springfield, MO when Jesse died.  My mother was a member of Rachel Donelson Chapter DAR.  At the time I was working for AT&T in Oakbrook Terrace, IL.)


1. Valerie Berniece Scarff born 28 Sep 1929; married 20 Jun 1948 Ralph Vernon Chipman, died 18 Sep 2016

(“The Mt. Pleasant News” for Thursday, 17 Jun 1948.)

 (“The Mt. Pleasant News” for Monday, 21 Jun 1948.)


a.  Jeffrey Thomas Chipman born 25 July 1951

(“The News, Mt. Pleasant, Ia.,” for Thursday, 26 Jul 1951, p. 3.)

b.  Diane Gay Chipman born 29 Sep 1952; married Glen Christopher Joyce (two children: dau. Cameron Brooke Joyce, m. Kevin Joseph Gibson, one dau. Wren Emeline Gibson b. 4 Oct 2017; son Marc Christopher Joyce)

(“The Mount Pleasant News” of Iowa for Tuesday, 30 Sep 1952, p. 6.)

(The somnolent Wren Emeline Gibson.)

(Ralph Vernon Chipman and his grandson Marc Christopher Joyce.  In the background a cat is snoozing on the turntable.)

c.  Debora Ann Chipman born 8 Oct 1953; married Arthur David Allred (two children: dau. Nora Elizabeth Allred m. Danny Wilson, div., one dau. Sophie Jewel Wilson; son Wesley David Allred)

(“The Burlington Hawk Eye Gazette” for Friday, October 16, 1953, p. 6.)

(My grand-niece Sophie Jewel Wilson.)

d.  Mary Beth Chipman born 27 Jan 1958; married Randall Alan Roguski; div. (one child: dau. Olivia Ann Roguski aka “Olivia Zapo” of Laguna Beach, CA, m. Jordan Zapotechne)

(“The Burlington Hawk Eye Gazette” for Saturday, February 22, 1958, p. 6.)

(My niece Olivia Ann Roguski.  As “Olivia Zapo” she makes lifestyle videos for YouTube.)

(Olivia is relieved of her bundle of joy.  The plaque says it all.)

[Photo made at wedding of my sister Mary Beth Chipman to Randall Alan Roguski.  Left to Right: Jeffrey Thomas Chipman (Me), Diane Gay (Chipman) Joyce, Valerie Berniece (Jeffery Scarff) Chipman, Randall Alan Roguski, Mary Beth Chipman, Ralph Vernon Chipman, Debora Ann (Chipman) Allred, Arthur David Allred.  Mary Beth, being a modern woman, did not take her husband’s name.  She and Randy divorced.]

2. Jesse LeRoy Scarff born 27 Jan 1933; married Leona Witrofsky; div.

(“The News, Mt. Pleasant, Ia.”, for Monday, 19 Nov 1951.  At less than 5 months of age, I was a bon vivant.  I hope LeRoy got stuffed.)


a.  James Dean Scarff

b.  Lorna Scarff

c.  Christopher Scarff

3.  John Eric Scarff born 28 Jan 1936; married Marilyn Kay DalAve


a.  Susan R. Scarff born 28 Aug 1962

b.  Christopher E. Scarff born 2 Dec 1964

c.  Ronald D. Scarff born 11 Oct 1969

4. Noma Louise Scarff born 9 Sep 1937; married (i) Tom Fisher adopted bro. of Franklin Louis Fisher, div. (ii) Edward Colewell Talbott born 16 Jun 1943

No children of either marriage

5. Mary Margaret Scarff born 7 Jul 1939; married George Presley Watson


a.  John Eric Watson

b.  Andrew Clark Watson

c.  Jessica Lynn Watson

6. Linda Kay Scarff born 7 Jan 1943; married Franklin Louis Fisher


a.  Frank William Fisher

b.  Christopher John Fisher born 18 Jan 1968, died 19 Apr 2006

c.  Rebekah Lynn Fisher

d.  Jonathan Conrad Fisher

7. Diane Lu Scarff born 26 Aug 1944; married (i) Emmett Ridinger (ii) Jack Peters

Children by (i):

a.  Michael Ridinger

No children by (ii)

b.  a daughter adopted by Judith Ellen (Scarff) Septer *

8. Judith Ellen Scarff born 19 Oct 1946; married 24 Jul 1966 Ronald Eugene Septer, died 27 Aug 2014 at Mt. Pleasant, IA


a.  Cynthia Lynn Septer born 12 Jun 1968

b.  Kayleigh Septer (Kayleigh Septer earned a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University and is Treasurer of James Harlan Chapter DAR.)

c.  David Eugene Septer born 1 Jun 1972

d.  an adopted daughter *

9. Michael Gene Scarff born 20 Jan 1949; married Barbara Esther Johnson

No children

10. Cynthia Lynn Scarff born 21 Apr 1957, died 22 Apr 1957; buried Forest Home Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, IA

[* I  am withholding the name and birth date of this individual.  The source of this information was Valerie Berniece (Jeffery Scarff) Chipman.  This individual shares her mother’s pedigree, as will her descendants.  This is a mtDNA (female descent) line, so it’s unnecessary to perform a paternity test.  mtDNA is passed from the mother to her children, whether male or female; however, if her child is male, he can’t pass mtDNA to his children.  Therefore, mtDNA will pass from mother to daughter as long as the chain of women is unbroken by males in the direct line of descent.]

This is a complete list of the children and grandchildren of Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff and his wife Hillary Lillian Vaughan.  And that brings us full circle.

BONA FIDE some records are vital / others aren’t, but might prove vital / moving pictures

•December 30, 2017 • Comments Off on BONA FIDE some records are vital / others aren’t, but might prove vital / moving pictures

For genealogists, nothing is better than vital records:  records of birth, marriage, and death.  But any genealogist who’s sifted through vital records knows they aren’t always spot-on correct.

Let’s examine this birth certificate, which happens to be mine.  It was signed on 12 April 1956.  My parents obtained this copy for the the school district in Burlington, IA so I could attend kindergarten.  It’s a typewritten copy of the original. Photocopy machines didn’t exist in 1956. The Des Moines County, IA clerk embossed the birth certificate with his seal to indicate it’s a genuine copy.

But there are two problems.  My father’s middle name is shown as “Vermen.” His real middle name is “Vernon.”  And my mother’s first name is shown as “Valeria,” when it’s actually “Valerie.” Probably the clerk’s error, right?

Not exactly.  In 2004 I found my passport had expired, and to obtain a new one, I had to provide my birth certificate.  The above certificate would have sufficed, but I’d misplaced it, so I ordered another one from the State of IA.  That birth certificate was a photocopy of the handwritten original dated 2 August 1951,  and the original also gives my father’s middle name as “Vermen.”  In the case of my mother’s first name, it’s difficult to tell if the original says “Valeria” or “Valerie” because the letters “a” and “e” look similar.

So the clerk who typed up the 1956 copy made an accurate transcription of incorrect information regarding my father, and interpreted my mother’s first name as “Valeria.” The only additional information of interest to me on the original is that my father’s occupation is listed as “Telegraph Operator.”

It’s not quite the end of the story.  Several years ago I found a government agency had me in their database as born in “Burlington, Illinois.”  As you can see, I was born in “Burlington, Iowa.”  I had to produce a birth certificate so the agency could correct their records.

Vital records are important resources for genealogists.  Mine states that the original is recorded in Des Moines County, IA, Book 16, Page C-24.  If I drove to the county courthouse in Burlington, I could view the original.

(Jeff, age 5 months.  At this point you could say I was protoplasmic, blissfully unaware of the horror that surrounded me.  Soon, vague images of the environment began to form.  I desperately wanted answers, but being unable to speak, that would have to wait.)

[Jeff, Valerie Berniece Jeffery (Scarff) Chipman, and Diane.  Iowa, 19 Jan 1954.  Val used the additional surname “Jeffery” on her DAR certificate.]

Vital records aren’t the only records you generate as your life progresses.  There are other rites of passage.

(Oh yeah?  Already the BS Detector was set at Max.  Jeff, age 5, Perkins School, Burlington, IA.  A.M. Kindergarten, 1956–57, Reichert.)

We left IA for IL, relocating to Downers Grove, which at the time was not the Yuppie paradise it is today.

[“The Burlington (IA) Hawk Eye Gazette,” Sat., Feb. 22, 1958, p.6.]

I knew I had been baptized at the First Baptist Church of Downers Grove, IL, on 29 Mar 1964, but not having a written record, on 7 Mar 2016 I queried the church.  Darlene Watkins responded and confirmed the date of baptism, and then told me something I didn’t know: two of my sisters were baptized on the same date.  That would be Diane and Debbie.

The Baptists don’t practice infant baptism.  They baptize by full immersion.  Behind the pastor’s podium was a tank concealed by curtains.  You wore a robe, and when the curtains opened you were dunked.  A bit of stage management there, but the tank symbolized the river Jordan where, it is said, in ancient times John the Baptist baptized Christ.

In 1982 I converted to Catholicism but lapsed several years later.

(The rapid growth of Downers Grove necessitated the construction of a new high school on the south side of the village which opened in 1964.)

Below is part of my employment file kept by Illinois Bell Telephone.  I began working for them on 23 Sep 1974.  The photo on the right was my I.D. photo. (Click on image to enlarge.)

(It takes one to know one.  Mary Beth and Ralph, ca. 1980, Downers Grove, IL.)

Above: I finished my senior year of college at George Williams College in Downers Grove, IL.  It’s now part of Aurora University.

Below: Certificate of membership, The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.  Three of the signatures are difficult to read because they were signed in gold ink.  New members are inducted through a state society, in this instance Illinois.  I later transferred my membership to Missouri.  Members can also belong to a local chapter.  I’m a member of Ozark Mountain Chapter.  Some people think organizations like SAR are irrelevant.  A lot has changed since 1776: Americans don’t look the same, and the challenges we face aren’t the same.  But despite a Civil War, the institutions created by the American Revolution have remained remarkably resilient.

(Jeff and Kar the Arabian, ca. 1989.  Kar belonged to a girlfriend who lived in Kane Co., IL.  Kane Co., which borders DuPage Co. on the west, has a large horse population.)

Anyone who’s worked for a large corporation will recognize the above as the sort of coma-inducing busy work keeping lower management on the payroll.

(The hunter/gatherer at work: Ralph bags a decent fish.)

[Ralph and his aunt Annie Belle (Bailey) Lamb, Senath, MO 1988.]

[Ralph and Diane with Ralph’s Cessna 172.  Ralph was a very good pilot, with few mishaps (maybe 2 or 3) that I can remember.  Photo taken 1983.]

[Valerie Berniece Jeffery (Scarff) Chipman, Springfield, MO, 26 Jul 1999.  It was our family custom to assemble about the time of my birthday on 25 Jul, not out of respect for me, but because my birthday occurs at the height of summer.]

(Ralph Vernon Chipman, Springfield, MO, 26 Jul 1999.)

Above: this letter is why you shouldn’t throw important letters away, even if you think you’ll never need them.  The letter, dated 14 Dec 2006, from Alcatel-Lucent Corporate Counsel Eric S. Rosen, is proof that no contract exists between myself and my former employer.  Alcatel-Lucent has been acquired by Nokia of Finland.

Though most records generated over a lifetime aren’t “vital,” they document your life and should be preserved.  In my case, preservation of these records proved vital, not because of identity theft, but due to misrepresentation of my identity.

I have deep MO roots: my mother’s family lived in Miller Co., MO.  My maternal grandmother Hillary Lillian Vaughan was born in Tuscumbia.  My father’s family lived in Dunklin Co., MO.  He was born in Senath.

Endless Knight: Henry Skipwith, son of Alice (Dymoke) Skipwithe & Alice’s will made June 29, 1549

•September 18, 2017 • Comments Off on Endless Knight: Henry Skipwith, son of Alice (Dymoke) Skipwithe & Alice’s will made June 29, 1549

Sir William Skipwith (d. July 7, 1547) married first ca. June 1, 1505, Elizabeth Tyrwhit, daughter of Sir William Tyrwit of Kettleby in Lincolnshire, by whom he had one son:

Sir William Skipwith, who also married an Elizabeth, as shown in this a2a abstract from the Lincolnshire Archives dated Nov. 12, 1564:



“Sir William Skipwith kt. and Dame Elizabeth his wife to Sir Ralph Chamberlain, Sir John Tyrrell, Sir Edward Dymock Knights and Andrew Gedney, Esq.  Consideration:  marriage of Richard Skipwith son and heir of Sir William and Elizabeth and Mary Chamberlaine a daughter of Sir Ralph.  Property:  manors of Cawthorpe and Manby, Aswarby, settled in tail male on the heirs of Richard and Mary with remainder  to the male heirs of Sir William’s brothers (Lionel, John, George and Henry) in order of age.”

Douglas Richardson in Magna Carta Ancestry, pp. 752-753, gives this account of the children of Sir William Skipwith by Elizabeth Tyrwhit and Alice Dymoke:

[Sir William Skipwith] “married (1st) before 1510 Elizabeth Tyrwhit (or Tyrwhitt), daughter of William Tyrwhit, Knt., of Kettleby, Lincolnshire.  They had one son, William, Knt.  He married (2nd) Alice Dymoke, daughter and co-heiress of Lionel Dymoke, Knt., of Mareham-on-the-Hill, Lincolnshire, by his 1st wife, Joan, daughter of Rhys Griffith, Esq…. They had four sons, Lionel, John, Esq., George and Henry, Esq., and seven daughters, Jane (wife of Richard Bolle), Mary (wife of George Fitzwilliam), Dorothy (wife of Arthur Gedney), Elizabeth (wife of Thomas Clifford), Margaret (wife of George Tailboys, 2nd Lord Tailboys, Peter Carew, Knt., and John Clifton, Knt.), Anne (wife of William Hatcliffe), and Bridget (wife of — Cave).”

Richardson notes that Sir Lionel Dymoke and his widow Anne, who was not the mother of his children, left wills, but doesn’t quote the contents.  On p. 106 he states that Sir Lionel Dymoke’s surviving children were two daughters, Alice and Anne; Anne was the younger and married John Goodrick ca. 1518.

Where did Richardson get his list of children?

I don’t have the specific visitations of Yorkshire he cites.  I do have Lincolnshire Pedigrees, and here’s the chart contained therein, which I’ve adapted:

CP shows Sir William Skipwith’s daughter Margaret who married George Tailboys (b. ca. 1522) was a daughter of Alice Dymoke, so we might place her birth as ca. 1522, assuming she was born about the same time as her husband:

“George (Tailboys), Lord Tailboys… was b. about 1522…. m., between 26 Apr. and 15 May 1539, (h) Margaret, cousin to his guardian, William [Fitzwilliam], Earl of Southampton, niece of Sir Thomas Henneage, (l) and da. of Sir William Skipwith, of Ormsby, co. Lincoln, by his 2nd wife, Alice, da. and coh. of Sir Lionel Dymoke, of Mareham-on-the-Hill, co. Lincoln.”  {The Complete Peerage (1953) Vol. XII Pt. 1, pp. 603-604.}

Sir Thomas Heneage, d. 21 August 1553, m. Catharine Skipwith, dau. of John and Catharine (Fitzwilliam) Skipwith. 

Sir Lionel Dymoke left a will in 1519 (PCC Ayloffe), and his widow Anne in 1521 (PCC Maynmaryng).  Alice (Dymoke) Skipwith of Culverthorpe, Lincolnshire, widow of Sir William Skipwith, also left a will, dated June 29, 1549, and probated April 26, 1550 (PCC Coode PROB 11/33/176).  I downloaded all three wills from the UK The National Archives website.

The images are clear and of good quality, but the first page of Sir Lionel Dymoke’s will suffers from bleed-through.  Probate proceedings are in Latin.  The text of Sir Lionel Dymoke’s will was given in English and Latin; the text of the others in English only.  Lionel and Anne’s wills are short. 

I understand enough of the writing in Alice Skipwith’s will to determine it’s Sir William Skipwith’s widow.  We can place her death as ca. 1550.  It’s a lengthy affair–at the time it was written, her daughter Margaret (“my daughter Taylboys”) was still the wife of George Tailboys.  She mentions her children, including “henry Skipwith my sonne.” 

I’m no expert at deciphering 16th century English handwriting, so the wills of Sir Lionel Dymoke and his widow Anne, which predate Alice Skipwith’s will by about 30 years, are very difficult to read.  I can’t tell if either of them mention Sir Lionel Dymoke’s daughters.  Sir Lionel Dymoke mentions his father Thomas Dymok.  His bequests appear to be to friends and the church.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the wills of Lionel or Anne didn’t mention Lionel’s daughters.  Prior to the probate reform of 1540 important arrangements for a father’s children were made in other ways. 


Henry Skipwith, son of Sir William Skipwith and Alice Dymoke, was ancestor to the Skipwiths of Virginia.

In connection with the marriage of Sir William Skipwith to Alice Dymoke, the a2a website has this abstract:

“These documents are held at Lincolnshire Archives [Paper, a single sheet.]


“Of John Compton, collector of rents of Sir William Skipwith through the right of his wife Alice, daughter and coheir of Sir Lyon Dymoke in Maring cum aliis villatis (Mareham).  Michaelmas, 1538 to the same 1540.  [Horncastle, Upper Toynton, Haltham, Scrafield, Roughton and Claxby].”

Michaelmas is a day in the Christian calendar which falls on September 29th, and was one of the English, Welsh, and Irish quarter days when accounts had to be settled. 


Alice Dymoke was a descendant of the Capetian kings of France through Edward I’s second queen Margaret (Marguerite), daughter of king Philip III.  The Dymoke and Welles arms are on the achievement* at the tomb of Alice’s grandson, Sir William Skipwith (d. 1610), in the church at Prestwould, and his right to display those arms are confirmed by Alice (Dymoke) Skipwith’s will.



On the south wall of the chancel, in the year 1631, was erected a very fair monument of alabaster and touch, coloured and gilt, erected for Sir William Skipwith, of Cotes, knight, and Lady Jane his second wife, at the cost and expense of the said Lady Jane; where, under an arch, lie both their proportions, neatly cut and graven.  Sir William has a piked beard and hair, plated armor, trunk hose, sword by his side; a mattress under him.  At his feet his crest.  His lady had a ruff, and hood falling back; double falling ruffles, and mantle; her head on a cushion; Plate LII fig. i.


On the top of the arch standeth an old atchievement, in an oval frame, with these coats; fig. 2.


1.  Argent, three bars Gules, a greyhound in chief, courant Sable.  Skipwith.

2.  Quarterly, Sable and Argent, a bend Or.  Langton.

3.  Argent, three bars Azure, charged with as many cross crosslets Or.  Memthorpe.

4.  Azure, three crescents Argent.  Thorpe.

5.  Argent, on a cross engrailed Sable, five mascles Or.  Arches.

6.  Argent, a cross engrailed Gules.  De la Lind.

7.  Azure, a lion rampant Ermine.                        } Ormesby.

8.  Sable, three chessrooks Argent, a chief Or.     }

9.  Quarterly, Ermine and Vaire, Or and Azure.  Gibthorpe.

10. Or, a chevron Gules between three Fleurs de lis Vert.  Hiltoft.

11. Or, frette Azure, in a canton Gules, a cross Moline Argent.  Mumby or Willoughby.

12. Sable, a falcon sitting upon a trunk of a tree Or.  Le Muer.

13. Sable, a fess between three mullets Or.  Dimok.

14. Sable, two lions passant in pale Ermine, coronne Or.  Heronville.

15. Vaire, Argent and Azure, a fess Gules, frette Or.  Marmion.

16. Sable, a sword in pale, point towards the chief Argent, hilted Or.  Kilpeck.

17. Ermine, four fusils in fess Gules.  Hebden.

18. Or, a lion rampant queue fourche Sable.  Welles.

19. Gules, a fess dauncette between six cross crosslets crossed Or.  Engaine.

20. Barry of Six, Ermine and Gules;over all three crescents Sable.  The crest; a turnpike Gules, the foot Or.  Waterton.



In the spandrils of the arch are two less escutcheons:


Skipwith; impaling, Azure, fretty Argent, Cave.

Skipwith, impaling, Party per pale, Argent and Gules alion rampant Sable, Roberts; fig. 3,4.


Under the arch, on a table of touch, this epitaph:


To frame a man who in those guiftes excelles,

Which make the cuntry happy where hee dwelles,

We first conceive what names his line adorne:

It kindles Virtue to be nobly borne.

This picture of true Gentry must bee gracd

With glittering jewells round about him placd;

A comely body, and a beauteous mind;

A heart to love, a hand to give inclind;

A house as free and open as the ayre;

A tonge which joyes in language sweete and faire;

Yet can, when need requires, with courage bold

To publike eares his neighbors griefs unfold:

All these we never more shall find in one;

And yit all these are closd within this stone.


Below, on two smaller tablets of touch, thus written:






[The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester, by John Nichols, Vol. 3, Part 1 (London, 1800) pages 358-359 containing EAST GOSCOTE HUNDRED.  Monumental inscription in the Church of PRESTWOULD (dedicated to Saint ANDREW):  Page 357 of the above volume records that Dame Jane (JOANNA) Skipwith was buried in the church of PRESTWOULD on 4 Apr 1630 and that Amy (Kemp) SKIPWITH was buried on 7 Sep 1631.  Price, pp. 29-30.]


The description of the achievement refers to “Mumby or Willoughby.”  “Mumby” is not a family, but a well-traveled manor of that name in Lincolnshire, once held by Sir Lionel Dymoke, among others.  For the Willoughby family, see below.

*A heraldic assemblage of certain components, among them the arms the individual was entitled to display.


I haven’t verified the marriage between Sir Thomas Skipwith and Margaret, allegedly daughter of John Lord Willoughby.   An a2a abstract dated June 6, 1422 shows that Robt. Lord Willoughby of Eresby, Robt. Hilton kt., et al. delivered seizin of properties in Lincolnshire to Margaret, widow of Thos. Skipwith, which they had of the gift of Thos. Skipwith.  The Robert Lord Willoughby mentioned must be the 6th Lord Willoughby (ca. 1385-1452); he had one child, a daughter, Joan, who married Richard de Welles. The title Lord Willoughby passed to the Welles family.

There were other Willoughbys in Lincolnshire who appear to be related to the lords Willoughby, and an a2a abstract dated June 3, 1417 shows Thos. son of William Willughby kt. and John Willughby son of Thos., et al. granting various advowsons in Lincolnshire to Thomas Skipwith esq. and Margaret his wife.

The Thos. Willughby mentioned in this latter abstract could be the younger brother of Robert 6th Lord Willoughby (and thus a son of William the 5th lord), but the chronology seems very tight.  This is still the period when marriages were contracted early.  Douglas Richardson’s Plantagenet Ancestry doesn’t mention an earlier marriage for William’s son Thomas.

Unfortunately, in his Magna Carta Ancestry pp. 886-888, Richardson contributes errors of his own, terming Robert 4th Lord Willoughby as the 3rd (the 2nd and 3rd were actually Johns).  According to CP 12 pt. 2 “Willoughby” and its associated chart, this individual was clearly the 4th.  Whether he was ever married to Alice, a daughter of Sir William de Skipwith, is moot.  Richardson shows that his son, William Willoughby the 5th lord, was issue of Margery la Zouche.  He then makes Thomas Skipwith’s wife a granddaughter of William 5th Lord Willoughby–but lists only William’s daughter Elizabeth who married Henry Beaumont as having a daughter named Margaret.  Perhaps Richardson meant to say Sir Thomas Skipwith’s wife was a granddaughter of Robert 4th Lord Willoughby, which is more plausible. 

According to CP, Robert 4th Lord Willoughby had a son John, of whom I know little (Bryan, b. ca. 1383, seems to have been the youngest son).  Robert’s son John never held the title, but was living Feb. 3, 1407 as shown by a grant with his brother William.  Obviously there’s confusion in the account of the Willoughby family.  I don’t know who Margaret Skipwith’s parents were, so I’m not going to fog it up further. 

This pedigree chart, adapted from Lincolnshire Pedigrees pp. 894-895, ties into the chart above.  Note that it claims Sir Thomas Skipwith’s wife Margaret to be a daughter of William 5th Lord Willoughby:

The individual who most interests me in the above chart is John Skipwith, d. 15 Jul 1415, buried in the parish church of Covenham, MP for Lincolnshire in 1406, 1407, and Apr 1414.  John Skipwith married by Jul 1397 Alice Tilney, daughter of Sir Frederick Tilney of Boston, Lincolnshire.  The Tilneys were a family of considerable influence and wealth in Lincolnshire.  Although a second son, due to untimely deaths John Skipwith eventually succeeded to the family estates.  Holder of many offices throughout his life,  according to History of Parliament Online, during his tenure as sheriff of Lincolnshire, “he and his henchmen appear to have inflicted a virtual reign of terror upon the county, and as a result of six separate petitions submitted to the chancellor by his victims he was summoned to appear before the justices of assize at Lincoln in August 1397 to face charges of robbery with violence, blackmail, extortion, false imprisonment and intimidation.  All these allegations were found to be true, although the court’s verdict had little effect upon his career….”  Of course, the backdrop here is the turmoil during the latter part of the reign of King Richard II, and the subsequent Lancastrian usurpation.


It’s been alleged that Margaret Cave, wife of Sir William Skipwith (d. 1610), was connected to Cardinal Henry Beaufort.  Ignoring the dubious authenticity of any Henry Beaufort descent, the claim arose through confusion concerning members of the Danvers family and has no merit.

The UK National Archives has recently updated and improved its website.  a2a can now be accessed at this link:

Gutenberg’s children: a desolate English Skipwith begot a Virginia son / Fulwar Skipwith writes of a tree with 3 branches (Newbold, Metheringham, & Prestwould)

•September 17, 2017 • Comments Off on Gutenberg’s children: a desolate English Skipwith begot a Virginia son / Fulwar Skipwith writes of a tree with 3 branches (Newbold, Metheringham, & Prestwould)





(Click on images to enlarge.)

While my family was eating rancid bacon and dodging rude missiles, one imagines these people in their London clubs and country manors, reading about recent archaeological discoveries and the births, marriages, and deaths of those of their class.  “Sylvanus Urban” was a pseudonym used by successive editors.

Such civilization!  And we a nation of salt and canteens.

Sir Grey Skipwith, 8th Baronet of Prestwould, was sent to England at age 13.  He was a descendant of Col. Robert and Anne (Stith) Bolling, whose progeny are sometimes erroneously thought to be descendants of the famous Native American princess Pocahontas.  Col. Robert Bolling’s first wife was Jane Rolfe, granddaughter of Pocahontas, hence the confusion.  However, members of the Skipwith family did marry into the bloodline of Pocahontas.

(Available as free download from Google Books; see pp. 40, 41, 54 &  55 for Skipwith.)

The reader will note that during the reign of King George I, Sir Fulwar Skipwith offered 80,000 pounds to John Montagu (1690–1749), 2nd Duke of Montagu, etc., for the large estate adjoining Newbold Hall.  The duke demanded 80,000 guineas, and the sale didn’t go through.  The guinea, minted from 1663–1814, was a gold coin initially equal to one pound sterling, or 20 shillings.  Over the years its value fluctuated, but was generally worth more than 20 shillings, so the duke’s price was significantly higher than the 80,000 pounds Sir Fulwar Skipwith had offered.

Periodicals and newspapers, wherever they may be found, are the most under-utilized genealogical materials.  They can contain a wealth of information not found elsewhere.

In the above account of the post-Virginia Skipwiths, there are some factual errors: there were three, not two, Skipwith baronetcies.  The Baronets of Metheringham are little remembered as there were only three of that line which became extinct in 1756.  The manor of Prestwould was sold by Sir Henry Skipwith I, not his son Grey.  The fourth Prestwould baronet was Grey’s son William who also resided in Middlesex Co., VA.

(A general genealogy of the Skipwith family is to be found in this volume, published in 1867.  Available as a download from Internet Archive.)