This time last week we were celebrating Independence Day in the U.S.. I planned this post for that date but I was having internet problems last week. Eliza is the ancestor I was working on back on February when my posts got derailed. She is my paternal 2nd great grandmother. July is Eliza’s birthday month. Her death date anniversary was 25 February 1934. I’ve written about Eliza here with a follow-up to that post here and I published a photo here that I believe might be Eliza if you’d like to refresh your memory about her before going on. Eliza was born in Roubidoux, Texas County, Missouri in July of 1871. Her dad, Quincy, was 46 years old and her mom, Elizabeth (Quincy’s second wife) was 26 years old.
Roubidoux doesn’t exist as an official place anymore but before it became a ghost town, it was located in the Salem Plateau region of the Ozarks at the confluence of the east and west forks of Roubidoux Creek, about 12 miles northwest of Houston, Missouri (the county seat).
The above map shows the location of Roubidoux, Missouri.
Their post office was established in 1850 and was in operation until 1953. The town was named after the creek but the creek was named after Joseph Robidoux, a French explorer. The township of Roubidoux does still exist and has since 1845 which happens to be the same year that Ashley County was renamed as Texas County, Missouri. Texas County was the largest county in Missouri and was named after the state of Texas which was the largest state in the Union. Before Eliza was born her dad fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy. Most men in Texas County were Confederates and were more concerned with the question of secession than that of slavery since there were very few slave owners in Texas County in the 1860’s.
Eliza married at a very young 16 years old to Samuel Morris WILLIAMS. I haven’t yet found proof of what happened to Samuel but theories abound from the oft retold family story that he was killed by a train in 1905 to the theory that he abandoned Eliza and their children and ended up marrying another woman. In any case, Eliza had been single (or widowed) about 3 years when she married John Charles F. SNEARY in 1908. John was a local widower who had been married twice before he married Eliza. In 1910, John and Eliza were living at 1300 North Monroe Street in Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma. I wanted to give you a map so you could see where they lived but my internet still isn’t up to par so I’ll let you Google that on your own.
Another interesting thing I found in the 1910 census is that Eliza said she had given birth to 11 children and only 9 were living at that time. My grandma always named 12 children that were born before 1910 and then she named one being born after 1910. I also have information saying that Eliza and John had a baby together. I think the two deceased children Eliza was referring to were the twins, Lorinzo Dall and William Sherman. I am uncertain what happened to Ruel, the baby born after Martin. He lived to at least age 2 when he was listed in a census entry in 1915 in the state of Kansas. I do know that in 1915, Ruel was censused with the last name of WILLIAMS even though family oral history says Eliza and Samuel were not together after 1905 and I have documentation showing that Eliza married John SNEARY in 1908. I suspect that Ruel was the baby that Eliza and John had together and that the census taker made a mistake. However, I have no proof of that. The family did live in Iola, Kansas in 1915 with Ruel and the other children and Ruel doesn’t show up on any more census entries with the family after that 1915 census. One additional fact is that their SNEARY baby is buried in Iola, Allen County, Kansas.
When the SNEARY baby died, the family was living at 625 S Second St in Iola, Kansas. Again, I wanted to give you a map but the internet isn’t cooperating so you’ll have to Google that one on your own again.
The last thing I recently discovered about Eliza was in a census entry that was taken when Eliza was about 5 years old. This census was an 1876 Missouri state census. It is the one piece of documentation that I can find that connects Eliza’s mom with the surname TYREE (spelled many different ways including TIRY). My grandma always gave four surnames for Eliza’s mom- TYREE, MOODY, STEVESON, and BELL with the BELL name being her married name from her marriage with my ancestor, Quincy BELL (Eliza’s dad). (Don’t forget there is also that pesky photo with the last name HENNIG that I believe may belong to this family!) I have never been certain which is a maiden name and which are married names or even if all these names belong to the same family. In any case, back to my discovery- the 1876 census showed a Mary A. TIRY living with Eliza’s mom. The census does not say whether Mary is Eliza’s half-sister, cousin, other relation, or no relation at all. I am assuming that Mary is closely related though since the TYREE name is a name associated with Eliza’s mom.
Above, the 1876 Missouri state census showing a Mary A. TIRY living with Quincy and Emely BELLE (a misspelling of the BELL name).
Over the 1910’s and 1920’s, John and Eliza moved around and slowly worked their way back to Upton Township in Texas County, Missouri where Eliza died in 1934. She is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Success, Texas County, Missouri with John SNEARY. My grandma always described John as a good man- very kind and loving- and a good grandpa to her. I’m glad to know that after a hard life full of loss that Eliza was able to end her life with a good man who took care of her and the children and grandchildren.
Hopefully it won’t be much longer before I finally make a breakthrough on Eliza’s mom’s family and get all those names sorted out.
Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog