The Single Most Favorite Double in the World

1979 Doublemint twins ad from YouTube.

This week the theme is ‘multiples’. This theme was almost too broad for me to decide what to write about! After some debate I narrowed it down to two topics. After looking at the 2021 weekly topics list I felt the other story would fit into an October theme and this particular story for this week didn’t really fit anywhere else. So, this week we’re talking about multiple births. I’m going to look into something I’ve always wondered: how many sets of twins did my direct-line ancestors have? I’ll be going back as far as my 2nd great grandparents. I chose that as a stopping point so this blog doesn’t get too lengthy. Out of the 8 pairs of my 2nd great grandparents, 3 of the couples had twins.

Dad’s Family: Double Your Sentiment

90’s Doublemint twins ad.

In the 21st century the statistical probability of having twins is about 3%, or 3 in 100. That is a higher probability than previous generations. In my family (in that 2nd-great-grandparent generation) mixed sets of twins were more popular (mixed meaning a boy-girl set of twins versus same-sex twins). Out of my dad’s great grandmothers, he had one who had twins. Eliza Emoline BELL WILLIAMS (and her husband, Samuel Morris WILLIAMS) had a set of twins in 1900- two boys named Lorenzo Dall and William Sherman WILLIAMS. Neither baby survived. I’m guessing the babies are probably buried in Oakland Cemetery in Success, Texas County, Missouri since the family lived in that area and other family members are buried in that cemetery but I can’t say for certain where the babies were buried. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this family today because I’ve written about them quite a bit. You can find previous posts at:

Mom’s Family: Double Good

Early iteration of the Doublemint twins ads.

My 2nd great grandmother, Sarah C. DAVIS REITER, and her husband Nicholas Wilhelm REITER had a set of twins in 1864. My mom thinks Sarah’s twins were mixed – one boy and one girl. She can’t remember their names but is going to try to find that information for me. I’ve not found their names anywhere but if mom locates that information I’ll be sure to let you know. The babies did not survive. I don’t know where they’re buried but I’m sure it’s in Illinois, in the area of Perry, Pike County, Illinois since that’s where the family lived. This is another family I’ve written about quite a bit so I won’t spend a lot of time on them today. You can read more about Sarah and her family at:

My 2nd great grandmother, Druziller Mahala LATTY BULLOCK (and her husband James Mathaniel BULLOCK), also had a set of twins born in 1892. For this grandma though, both twins survived – one girl named Alice May and one boy named Oscar Morris.

1982 Wrigley’s Doublemint gum twins ad.

Alice May and Oscar Morris BULLOCK were born 17 April 1892 in Benton County, Arkansas. They remained in Benton County, Arkansas until after they married. Alice married Martin Rotramel when she was 17 years old. Together, Alice and Martin and had 8 children – and no twins. Here is Alice in her later years with her dog, Major. I love this photo.

Alice BULLOCK ROTRAMEL and her dog, Major.

Alice lived to be 92 years old! The last 52 years or so of her life she lived in Delaware County, Oklahoma. Alice passed away on 1 December 1984 in Jay, Delaware County, Oklahoma. She’s buried in Hillcrest Cemetery beside her husband in Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas where her parents are buried.

Oscar Morris BULLOCK grew up with his family in Benton County, Arkansas. He served as a Private in the U.S. Army as evidence by the Army transport document below.

Army Passenger List.

I don’t fully understand that document. It looks like perhaps he was transported to a Veterinary Hospital. It would be interesting to know what he did in the Army. Oscar fought in World War I. I do know he arrived in New York in June of 1919 on his way to fight in France.

Army transport document.

According to military records, Oscar was serving with Veterinary Hospital #16 MR. as a Private V.C.. Oscar served in France in 1919. During that time, the final US deaths of the war happened and the Treaty of Versailles was drawn up. The treaty was signed the day after Oscar arrived back on US soil. Oscar shipped out from Marseille, France on the ship Taormina and arrived home at New York, USA on 27 June 1919.

Some researchers say that at age 27 Oscar married Stella BROWN. He lived in California at the time but the marriage certificate was in Arkansas. I haven’t done extensive research on this line so I can’t say what really happened. I know that in his obituary no children or wife were listed. Oscar passed away at 80 years of age. He died on 17 February 1973 in Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas. He was buried in the Fayetteville National Cemetery in Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas.

Doing the Numbers

So, let’s bring this all together. I looked at all my direct line ancestors from my parents up through all of my 2nd great grandparents. The only generation that included twins were my 2nd great grandparents’. Out of 8 sets of 2nd great grandparents, only 3 couples (2 on my mother’s side and 1 on my father’s side) had twins. The paternal set of twins passed away or were stillborn; their names were Lorenzo and William. One set of maternal twins also passed away or were stillborn and included one girl and one boy; I don’t know their names but they were given names. The final set of maternal twins (Alice and Oscar) lived to adulthood and at least one of them had their own offspring but did not have their own set of twins.

According to official statistics:

The gender chances of a fraternal twin pregnancy are; 25% chance that a mother will have two boys, 25% chance that a mother will have two girls, and 50% chance that a mother will have a boy and a girl. On the other hand, identical twins are always the same gender.

https://healthresearchfunding.org/24-interesting-fraternal-twins-gender-statistics/, accessed 28 Feb 2021.

So, according to Health Research Funding, Alice and Oscar were fraternal twins as were the DAVIS twins. Only the paternal twins- Lorenzo and William WILLIAMS- had a chance at being identical twins. I found that very interesting.

I was wondering about what my chances of having twins might have been in my childbearing years. Since 3 out of 8 couples in my 2nd great grandparents’ generation had twins, I felt like statistically I stood a better chance of having twins in my child bearing years. MedlinePlus.gov confirms it as does Washington State Twin Registry. Turns out, fraternal twins- especially if they occur on the mother’s side- are associated with an increased likelihood of twins being hereditary in families. I searched some more and I hit some good information:

A family history of identical twins does not necessarily make it more likely you’ll have multiples, although the offspring of male identical twins may be more likely to have their own identical twins. However, if you have fraternal twins (non-identical) in your family, your chances of conceiving twins rise. If there are fraternal twins on both the mother and father’s side, your odds for twins goes up even higher.

Lazarov S, Lazarov L, Lazarov N. Multiple pregnancy and birth: Twins, triplets and high-order multiples. OverviewTrakia J Sci. 2016;1:103-107. doi:10.15547/tjs.2016.01.015 

There are other factors that play a role as well. As it turns out, having children when you’re older increases your odds of having multiple births from one pregnancy. So I went back to my charts to check ages of the mothers. Eliza Emoline was 28 years old when she had Lorenzo and William. Sarah C. was 27 years old when she had her twins. Druziller Mahala was 34 years old when she had Alice and Oscar.

Final Thoughts

One last statistic about twins from Health Research Funding.

A woman named Mary Jonas, who died in 1899 had 15 sets of fraternal twins.

24 Interesting Fraternal Twins Gender Statistics – HRF (healthresearchfunding.org)

I found that tidbit interesting since two sets of the twins I talked about today were born during the 1890’s. I will spare you one last Doublemint commercial. Hopefully the song is now stuck in your head so I don’t have to suffer that fate alone now.

If you’d like to learn more about the BULLOCK family, you can find more of my posts at:

If you’re looking for more blogs to read later in the week, you can go to:

If you’re interested in joining me on this family history writing adventure, well…the more the merrier! You can join at Amy Johnson Crow’s website. There’s a Facebook page that goes along with the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. The only rules are the rules you make up for yourself on this writing adventure. Anything you get down in writing is more than you had before so get writing! Don’t miss out on Amy’s blog and podcast either. Both are very good.

Enjoy your week and make the most of it!

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives Genealogy blog

Speling- Hoo Neds It??

Let's wind the calendar all the way back to the first part of April- where I got busy and couldn't keep up with the blog schedule. (This end-of-the-school-year stuff is killing me!!)  The theme of the week was, "How do you spell that?"  I chose to write about my Latty family- my great-great grandmother Druziller LATTY BULLOCK.  Her mom Irena WALLS LATTY and Irena's mom Delila WALLS also put in an appearance.  I created a Google map to go with this post but apparently no one can see it unless they are logged in to my account.  So sadly- you have no map to see how many times she moved back and forth in a very small geographical area.

You ask why I chose Druziller for this week? Well…I've seen her first name spelled Druzilla and Druziller (Druziller is, the best I have been able to find, the correct way to spell it). I've seen her middle name spelled Mahala and Mahaley and also shortened to Halie (Mahala is correct the best I can tell). And I've seen her last name spelled LATTA, LATTY, and LATTIE, and mis-transcribed as TUTTIE. I figured that was good enough for the theme this week.

Please meet Druziller Mahala LATTY BULLOCK:

I only have one photo of Druziller and it is the one posted above. Druziller was born in 1857 in McDonald County, Missouri, to Jefferson and Irena (WALLS) LATTY. She was the first of five known children (Druziller Mahala, Sarah Ellen, James, Lucinda Cynthia, and Martha E.). In the 1860 census she was living with her parents in Pineville, McDonald County, Missouri. She was listed under the name Mahala.

In 1870, the family is found on the census living in Bentonville, Osage Township, Benton County, Arkansas. She was going by the name Mahala. Mahala and her mother (Irena) and younger sister (“Elen”) were living in the household of Thomas NICHOLDS. Irena's occupation was listed as “keeping house”. Both Thomas and Irena were born in Tennessee. An older gentleman named Philip LYDICK was also living in the home along with a woman named Elizabeth LYDICK, and five children with the LYDICK surname. Irena's relationship to Thomas is not listed and I do not know what connection they had beyond this one moment in time. While trying to research the relationship of the LYDICKs, NICHOLDs, LATTYs, and WALLS', I discovered that the children listed as LYDICK children are actually Thomas NICHOLDS' children and Elizabeth is Thomas' wife.

In the home next door to the NICHOLDS, LYDICK, and LATTY families, Druziller's maternal grandmother, Delila WALLS was living with Jesse and Sarah FULLER. Nancy LATTIE was also living in the home with Delila and the FULLERs. Jesse FULLER was the nephew of Irena (grandson of Delila). Jesse's mother was Irena's sister, Elizabeth WALLS. I believe the Nancy LATTIE in this census record was Irena's sister-in-law (Jefferson LATTY's sister).

Here is an 1874 map of McDonald County, Missouri.  This is what the area would have looked like when Druziller lived there.

Druziller Latty Bullock blog.jpg

On 2 April 1879 Druziller married my great-great-grandfather, James Mathaniel BULLOCK. They married in Pineville, McDonald, Missouri.

Above is an 1879 map of the Missouri-Arkansas border- just as it would have looked when James and Druziller were married and started their family there.

In the 1880 census the couple was located in White Rock, McDonald, Missouri. James and Druziller are listed by their initials (J. M. and D. M.) but their daughter, who was born in May of that year, is listed by her name- Mary E. (Mary Ellen) – and so is Druziller's mother Irena who was living with James and Druziller that year. In 1883, Druziller had another girl- Syntha Jane. By 1885 the family was living across the state line in Benton County, Arkansas, where they had their first son- William Edward. In 1887, they were back in McDonald County, Missouri in a little town called Caverna where they had my great-grandmother, Laura Ann. After Druziller had my great-grandmother, she gave birth to a son- Clarence Levi in 1890- and twins Oscar Morris and Alice Mae in 1892. I am uncertain which state (Missouri or Arkansas) Clarence was born in but Oscar and Alice were born in Benton County, Arkansas.

Druziller next shows up in records in 1897 when she made a sworn statement on behalf of her cousin-in-law (Sarah Ann FULLER) so Sarah could try to get a pension on her deceased husband (Jesse FULLER) for his military service. Since I don't have access to the pension files I will have to show someone else's transcription of the record. That person states that Druziller “made a similar statement to her mother's” (Irena LEETY WALLS) on the same date as her mother. Irena's statement is transcribed as :

Affidavit
I, Irena Latty, do solemnly swear on oath that I was personally acquainted with William Tittle from the year 1854 to the time he left. In the same year 1862, I heard that he was dead, and

know from my own personal knowledge he never returned, and that until the present time I have never seen or heard anything more of him, and I am personally acquainted with

Mrs. Fuller and that we are neighbors and have all the reasons to know that she has not heard from or seen Mr. Tittle since his departure in 1862 and I was personally acquainted with

Mr. Fuller from his birth until his death and know that he was never married to anyone but Mrs. Tittle, now Mrs. Fuller, his widow. Signed: Irena Latty.

State of Arkansas
County of Benton

Sworn and subscribed to before me, a Notary Public, on this the 4th. day of August, 1897.
W.A. Blair, Notary Public.

In 1899, Druziller made another sworn statement for Sarah and it is transcribed like this on the above website:

State of Arkansas, Benton County.
Personally appeared before me, a Notary Public, in and for Benton County Arkansas, D.M. Bullock, (Druzilla Mahala Latty, daughter of Irena Walls Latty),

who being duly sworn according to law, certifies as follows: That she has lived a neighbor of Sarah A. Fuller, wife of the soldier, from 1860 to present date and

that she was not married to any person from 1862 to January 19, 1868, and that her present Post Office is Sulpher Springs Ark.

Sworn and subscribed to before me this 3rd, day of March 1899

F.M. Marr Notary Public
My commision expires June 13, 1900

This information was found at http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/LATTA/2006-04/1145020385.  The story of Sarah FULLER's husband sounds like an interesting one and one that the family probably talked about for a long time.

In 1900 the family was listed on census records as living in Sulphur Springs, Benton County, Arkansas. Living in the home were James M. and D. M. (Druziller), and their children Syntha J., William E., Laura A., Levi, Oscar M, and Allice M.. They were among the last few families to be visited by the census taker in Sulphur Springs Township that year.

In 1910 the BULLOCK family was living in Wallace, Benton County, Arkansas. Druziller was a widow and some of her children (Edward W., Levi C., Oscar M., and her married daughter Laura A. RITER) were living with her. She had seven children and according to this census, all seven of her children were still living at the time of the 1910 census. It looks like the three sons may have been supporting the family. Edward was working on a farm, Levi was a railroad worker, and Oscar was also working on a farm. Druziller was widowed seven years prior to this census in 1903. Laura had just married my great grandfather, William RITER, in March of 1910. I'm not sure where he was at the time of the census nor why he wasn't listed as a member of the household.

Shortly before Druziller's death, her son William Edward completed the WWI Draft Registration. On his paperwork he listed his nearest living relative as his mother, “Halie Bullock”. This is the only time and the only person I know of that called her “Halie”. He listed her address as “Gravette Benton Ark”. William's physical description said he was of medium height and build and had black hair and blue eyes. I wonder which parent, if either, he looked like. Levi Clarence's WWI Draft Registration card gives his physical description as medium height and build, brown hair and brown eyes. Oscar Morris' WWI Draft Registration card states he is of medium height and build, has brown hair and light blue eyes and that his mother is dependent upon him for support.

Druziller died on 23 November 1919 in Gravette, Benton County, Arkansas. She is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery next to her husband James. It is family oral history that Druziller's daughter, Laura, had an infant that died shortly after birth that is most likely buried at the foot of James' grave. No record has been found to verify this story. Druziller's obituary read:

Mahala Latty Bullock

Mrs D.M. Bullock died at her home northeast of town Sunday, November 23, 1919 following a few days of Illness from Pneumonia.

Mahala Latty was born in McDonald County, Missouri Sep. 19, 1857. She was married to D.M. Bullock, who preceded her in death July 25, 1903. Seven children

survive: Mrs. Ellen Gilbert, Hannock, Mo., Mrs. Cynthia Baty, Mrs. Laura Ritter, Mrs. Alice Rotramel, Edward, Lee and Oscar Bullock of Gravette. The funeral was

conducted by Rev. W.H. Weatherby Monday and burial took place at the Odd Fellows cemetery. Sympathy is extended the family.

(Gravette News Herald 11-28-1919)

According to family stories passed down, Druziller was 1/16 Cherokee and 1/16 Catawba.

For all of the records listed, I still feel like I don't know much of anything about Druziller. There seemed to be a theme running through her life of returning to places she had already been. And just as Druziller was a widow, so her daughter Laura would be, and her granddaughter Jessie as well. Hopefully one day I will meet someone who knows a little of Druziller's story and is willing to share it.

Until then,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

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