Don and Julane Crabtree's Family Photo Gallery and Blog 


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Genealogy Thoughts, Challenges & Successes

Continuing Curry Madness

I have been in contact with my cousin Janet - you won’t believe all the information she has on the Curry’s!  But, of course, she is not on my line but we have a grand-father in common.

As stated earlier - I have joined the DAR under the patriot Dr. Robert Curry.  If you are interested in joining through him, please contact me and I can help you out.  I’ve been named as the registrar for my chapter and am now taking the genealogist classes they provide.

I have been usingtwo family books to help me, From Whence We Came and From Corner to Corner with John Curry, Sr.  Both have quite a lot of information but sourcing is tricky.  The first book is a family history written by someone who I know did a lot of research but he did not source it all.  The second has a lot of sources but doesn’t have all my lines.

On the earlier Curry Madness post, I had the family lines, some children, etc.  I have been working on sourcing this information ever since.  Janet has some really good souring but the James - James - James and the John - John - John and the Robert - Robert - Robert and the William - William - Willian well…still quite a web to untangle.  

I have the following lists of children from the “original” Augusta Curry famillies as shown below in the Corner book:

To emphasize the relationships among the Curry’s of northern Augusta county at Long Glad Run and Linville’s Creek in the 1770’s, the children of each family are listed below:

1.  Dr. Robert Curry:  Samuel (believed to be co-executor of Edward Erwin’s Will), Margaret, Mary (Molllie), Ann, William, James, Robert Jr., Alexander, Isaiah
2.  William Curry:  Alexander, Robert, James, Benjamin, Jean (Jane), Mary Elizabeth, Margaret
3.  John Curry Sr.:  Joseph, Mary, William, Nicholas, James, Robert, John Jr., Saran
4.  James Curry Sr.:  James, Susan, Rebecca, Mary, John
5.  Isaiah Curry:  who married Margaret Leeper and had land at Long Neck on the North Rived should be considered among the north Augusta County Currys.  He is reported to have had a half dozen children, however these are not known with sufficient certainty at this writing.

So my line comes down through Dr. Robert Curry’s son Robert.  Of course, Dr. Robert’s wife was Anna Currie - another line - and her father was James Currie.  And the Sarah “Scottie” Young (there are 2 grandmother’s with this name) family is now making an entrance, along with the Erwin family. 

I believe that we will, one day, get everything sorted out.  But right now it still appears that I have 3 Curry lines that intertwine and 2 of them are descendants of Dr. Robert.  

Jesse Curtis Family

Well, my taxes are done and I’ve been working on many genealogy-based items.  Thought I would catch up today on what I’ve been doing.

I was able to send out the second installment of the family history notebook.  This covered Jesse & Nancy’s children with information gleaned from census, birth, death and marriage records.   

Jesse & Nancy had the following known 8 children:

Unnamed Son:  This unknown son of Jesse & Nancy Curtis appears on the 1810 US Census (Harrison Co VA) as being under age  10.  He appears on the 1820 US Census (Lewis Co VA) as being between 10 to 15.  This gives him a possible birth date of between 1805 and 1810.  He does not appear on the 1830 census as there are no unknown males in the household between 20 and 29.  Therefore he either left home or died before 1830.  An exhaustive search of the records so far shows that any male in Lewis Co born in this period is not part of our family.

Mahala (1807 - 1880) married Amos Reeder.
Jesse (1811 - 1904) married Elizabeth Cooper
Nancy (1812 - 1887) unmarried
Henry L. (1816-1895) married Catherine Perry
Stephen A. (1819 - 1894) married Josinah Rinehart (this is my line)
David D. (1827 - 1894) married Diana Matilda Smith
John W. (1828 - 1892) married Elizabeth Oldaker

One of the most interesting findings was the part Stephen Curtis played in the Civil War.  On April 18, 1863, Colonel N. Wilkinson, with a squad of Union troops, captured Major Thomas D. Armstrong at Johnstown and scattered his forces on the head of Hacker's Creek.  This was part of a failed plan to enlist recruits in West Virginia for the Confederate cause.  Except for the partial destruction of the railroad and the carrying away of several thousand horses and cattle, the great raid was a failure so far as benefit to the Confederacy was concerned. 

But on April 20th, Stephen Curtis was captured as part of this raid and sent as a prisoner of war to Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio, arriving there on April 28th.  He was considered a citizen rebel and was “released on oath June 17, 1863 by order of Secretary of War.”   Thus Stephen swore an oath of allegiance to the Union and was sent home.  An interesting side-note to this is that Stephen’s future daughter-in-law, Lula Parrack, was born on April 20th during these same battles in Buckhannon and her birth was assisted by a confederate surgeon (probably her cousin, C. C. Wertenbaker).

See the Camp Chase site for this record:  


I am now working on the 3rd generation - Jesse & Nancy’s grandchildren.  There are, at this writing, 25 known grandchildren.  Many of them are found in Lewis County and I am having a grand old time finding their records.  I will have to pay a visit to the Hacker’s Creek Descendants this year to clear up a lot of it.  Of course, I will be emphasizing Stephen & Josinah’s family as that is my line, but I want to get as much information as I can on the collateral families (uncles, aunts, cousins, etc).

There is a lot of intermarriage with the Sims family in the area as well as with other lines on my mother’s side of the family.  One interesting find is that Lloyd White, who married into my Cayton line (my great-grandmother Talitha DeBarr Cayton’s second husband) had a first wife, Olive Adalaid Flesher.  They divorced and her seond husband was William J. Marlow Curtis, a son of Jesse & Elizabeth Cooper Curtis.  They also divorced.  Olive Adalaid had 5 husbands (no children) and William married 3 times only having children (11!) with his third wife.  Another Curtis cousin married an Aunt on my mother’s side of the family.

All I can say is this - be careful in Lewis & Upshur Counties as we are probably related somehow!

2014 - 2017

2017 is already over?!?

OK - so this year didn’t go as planed….

We finished the remodeling of our downstairs level.  One reason we loved the house was because it had a complete footprint of the house on the lower , walk-out, level.  So we now have a bedroom, sewing room, batrh, theater/family room, music & art studio, kichenette and office.  All that was left for 2017 was the new deck and patio.  

I said to Don, “By next February  (2018) I want to have all the stuff sorted through, put away, filed, digitized, or thrown out.”  Ah…the best-laid plans…

Got the shingles Memorial Day weekend and that pretty much sums up the rest of 2017.  The good thing was that I have had only one chair where I can sit and the pain is less - and that was right by my windows so I could watch them install our beautiful deck!  Still on drugs for the residual pain and just waiting for it to go away.

In Oct I deceided I might as well get my knees done.  I had stem-cell therapy and it is working wonderfullly well.  I had my second (and hopefully last) treatment on Wed 12/27.  So…back in the chair.  I am going to try and stand up on my own this afternoon so we will see what we will see.  The good part is that I should be walking by Monday and be running and enjoying my knees in about 4-6 weeks.  No knee replacement, just my own “home grown” knees.

What happened with the genealogy?  Well…here is where that stands…

Rineharts, Raubs, Wambolds & More!

I have been working on tracing these families back to their origins in Germany - also known as the Germanic States.  They all lived in Baden-Wurtenberg, Germany and there are some good records, some poor records, and some non-existent records.  But it is fun to try and sort out the Dieter’s, Anna’s, Maria’s, Andreas’, etc as they all loved to use the same names. 

Found that Great-Great-Grandfather Curtis was a POW at Camp Chase during the Civil War - even with records to back this up!  Guesshis wife,  Josinah Rinehart Curtis, was on her own while he was imprisoned. 

Still can’t find marriage and birth records for Abraham Rinehart - Maryland is NOT a user-friendly website and I learned that many of the reocrds were destroyed (of course) during the time he was there.  I hope to get through those German Church records to help me with this family.  And no records that see to tie to Josinah’s mother, Anna Rees, which has been disappointing.

Curry Madness Continues

While I haven’t been actively working on this line, I have had some “new cousins” contact me this year and we are trying to share materials.  One has much more documentation and I feel overwhelmed when looking at what she has.  It is really impressive and, once incorporated with mine, should give us a really godd picture of the family and their movements in VA/WV.

Some last thoughts….

I wonder what my ancestors would thing of all the diving and delving I have done into their lives.  I am sure they just thought they was living their lives, doing the best the could, with their sights on Heaven when they passed.  And isn’t that what we do each day?  While I love it when I find an ancestor who fought for our country or served their community, most of them were hard-working souls who wanted a better life for their families.  Can’t really argue with that…

Traveling from Germany with the Raub & Rinehart Families

Many of you know that I have started a couple of family history books - one for the Curtis Family and one for the Brooks Family.  Everyone donated a fixed amount of $$$ and I sent out their notebooks a month or so ago.  The plan is to send them new pages as I complete a section that they can add to their book. So far, it is working out OK.  

I am now on our “second generation” in the Curtis line - Jesse Curtis (who married Nancy Curtis, daughter of Henry) is the first generation.  We have no family records for Jesse & Henry and, believe me, we have looked for many, many years to find them.  One day I hope to be the one who finally breaks down this brick wall.   We do have records for Jesse’s children so that is a plus.

Jesse’s son was our Great-Great-Grandfather, Stephen Curtis, who married Josinah Rinehart.  Josinah’s mother was a Raub.  Now - let the games begin!

First of all, you’ve got to love the German Churches.  They kept lots and LOTS of records both in the colonies and in Germay.  So I am able to do quite a bit of tracing quite a ways back (1600’s and more). is a great site to find these German records.  And there are VOLUMES of “Pennsylvania German Pioneers” and “Pennsylvania Church Records.”  So you think this would be a piece of cake to find and verify records, right?  NOT!

First of all, let’s look at the last names:

Raub, Rabb, Rapp, Raup, Rauch, Rope, Roope                                   Reinhard, Reinhardt, Reinhart, Rinehart, Rinehard, Reinharth

Associated Families:  Schoeffel, Schoffell, Schofel,  Zimmerman (smile), Herman, Hermann, Hurmin, Hurman, Rees, Reese, Reece

Then the names of the children (OK - I copied this from someone else):

"In some German areas you will find that all of the sons had the same first name, frequently Johann, and all of the daughters also, often Anna or Maria. You might find a family with 1) Johann Georg, Johann Jacob and Johann Michael and 2) Maria Barbara, Maria Magdelena, Anna Maria, and Anna Elizabeth. People usually went by their second name. However, when an official record was involved they might revert to their full name. “Hans” is a nickname for Johann so there might also be records for Hans Michael or Hans Jacob. Of course, he might also just be John (the original Johann given to the whole family) so it is hard to tell which son it could be. Occasionally, names would be reversed so that Michael George became George Michael, probably because George was the name he went by and Michael was only secondary.

Lots of siblings & cousins named George, John, Peter, Jacob, Michael, Maria, Barbara, Magdelena, Margaretha, Andreas, Sarah…all with first names of John/Johann and Maria/Anna.  My favorite is the one who is just named “John” or “Maria.”   What do I do with that?!?!

I feel excited when I find a batismal record for Maria Barbara whose sponsors were George and Maria; but when every generation has at LEAST two couples named George & Maria…were the sponsors grandparents?  Aunt & Uncle?  Who knows!?   Dates then become everything and the guessing can commence!

One interesting thing is to see, as the generations live on in America, the names starting moving toward Susannah, Carl, Mary (!), and others.

And I thought the Curry family was madness...

Musings on the Ballard Family

So I am working tonight on research my Ballard relatives.  I am using a book by Lynne D. Miller “The Descendants of Thomas Ballard and Anne Thomas” and this version was published in 1997.  

I am trying not to enter everyone into my tree - after all, do I really need  all 10 generations of cousins?  But I find it interesting that all these girls are named….Mary “Polly!”  Now, I ask you, how can you have a wife and a sister AND a daughter and they are all named…. MARY “POLLY!!!”

I found a link today on one of my facebook genealogy groups to an interactive “bubble” map of the most popular girls names since about 1875.  Gues what #1 was until the mid 1900’s?  You guess it - MARY!

I really love Lynne’s book…she has found all the people she can and it is interesting to see 10 generations of descendants in one place.  She doesn’t have the sources listed but says “If you need a source for particular lines, send a self addressed stamped envelope.”  i think I might have to do that.

She also updates the book periodically but I can only get a copy of the 1997 version.  Wouldn’t you know - my direct line is listed in the 1998 version and I can’t find it anywhere.  Maybe I will write to Lynne…or maybe she will see this post and contact me.

Anyway - too many people to think about, all named William, Thomas, Mary and Anne.  Then the names get more creative and I wonder, “where did they come up with THAT?”

Best thing about this is listening to the Piano Guys and Norah Jones while working on these puzzle.  MAybe one day I’ll find my link to Ira Pettit (Volume 1998) and I’ll be able to sing…

“At Last….Life is like a Song!"

Genealogy Trails 2015

httpToday I begin working on the family history, photos, and genealogy.  My goald for 2015 is to get all my scrapbooking done (Good luck with that!) and a big hit on the family history and genealogy.

Let me take a moment to reflect on photographs.  There is just too much disorganization!  I use the Legacy program so the photos have to be located on the computer so they can be accessed.  I also store all my photos in Aperture.  So, somehow, I have to find a way to keep track of what pictures are where.  I finally hit on a tagging solution today.  In aperture, I tag them with a yellow tag that means "this picture is in the legacy file and attached to the person there."  Then I tag then in the Legacy folder with a yellow tag that means “this picture is in aperture.”

Pretty simple, right?

Well, it would be if I had done this for the past 4 years!  So now I get to go through everything and double-check it.  Oh well, at least I will do this work-flow from now on!  Moral of the story - find an organization work-flow early on and stick to it!

I have found some cool pictures for the family as well as lots of information.  Been working in a hap-hazard fashion with the holidays but am now back at it in a strong way.  Here are some of the interesting picutres I have found:


Ha!  Thought you would like that!

One of the best things is the resemblance between family members.  Here are pictures of my Great-Grandmother, Anna Haessig, her son (my grandfather), Louis Betler, his daughter (my mom), Joan Carol Betler, and my son, Brian Bailey.  Guess the Haessig gene’s skipped my generation!


Hoy Burnside Lou Betler - Version 2

carol 1937

Cassey Moulton Nichols, Brian Bailey, Shannon Moulton 2008 - Version 2

Curry Madness

I’ve been working on the family history since March and thought I would add some blogs to my collection of tools.  I’m hoping I can share some information with other family members and, in return, maybe I can get some help!

You’ll notice the title of this post regards the Curry line.  Madness it is, since there are at least 3 lines of Curry families that intertwine through the years in Virginia.  I had some help from a family publication “From Whence We Came” that was published in 1992 by David Cunningham Curry & Susan Jane Curry.  They did a lot of work on the family history and gave me a lot of names, dates and places.  But things are still a bit confused as they are from a different branch on the tree!

Here’s where we start - John McAvoy Curry (23 Oct 1847 - 8 Dec 1913) married Sabina Conrad (11 Oct 1850 - 23 Oct 1943) on 8 Mar 1877 in Upshur County West Virginia. The Conrad’s were a confederate family from Braxton County, West Virginia (more on them in a later post).  John McAvoy Curry served in the West Virginia legislature in the 1900’s.

John McAvoy Curry 1907

This is the portrait of John McAvoy Curry that is in the WV Legislature Archives book. 

Sabina Conrad Curry

Sabina Conrad Curry abt June 26, 1924 

They had 8 children:  Gertrude Margaret, Escar Floyd, James Lloyd, Landona Belle, WIlliam Boone, Charles Edward, John Dairus,  & Martha Blanche.  Landona Belle married Richard T. Brooks ( a Yankee) and she was my great-grandmother.  I’m doing pretty well with tracing a lot of these children’s families although there is some intermarriage there with the Rexroad family.  So many of us are “double cousins.”

Curry Family Reunion 1946

John McAvoy & Sabina Conrad Curry’s Children:
Back Row: John, Charlie, Boone, Lloyd, Escar “Eck.”  
Front Row: Martha “Matt," Landona "Doad", Gerturde “Gert.”   
This is one of the few pictures of all 8 of the children.  Most of the pictures have at least one of them “missing.” 

John McAvoy was the son of James H. Curry (1820 - 1899) and Sarah M. McAvoy (1825-1883).  James & Sarah were married on 23 Mar 1843 in Lewis County or Barbour County, Virginia (this was before the Civil War & WV Statehood).  They had ten children:  Martha, Minerva, John McAvoy, Benjamin Dawson, Charles, Louis Jane, Mary Elizabeth, Albert Mifflin, Emma C. and James Addison.

James H. Curry was the son of John C. Curry (1797-1845) and Mary “Polly” Curry (1801-1882).  They were married on 28 Jun 1819 in Pendlton County, Virginina.  It appears they had 11 children but I haven’t been able to source them.  Their names are James, Robert Edward, Louisa, John Hendron, Sarah Ann, Nancy E., Edward Erwin, Benjamin Ison, Lidea Margaret, Elizabeth Jane, & Mary Susan.

By the looks of things, you would think I was in good shape with the family, right?  Wrong!  Here’s where things go crazy!

First of all, Mary had a sister Sarah “Sally” Curry (1804-1892)  who married James Curry (1794 - 1855).  What?  Another James?  Ok, let’s go back to that in a minute.  Sally’s son, Hamilton G. Curry (1840 - 1931) married Cozbi Brooks  (1844 - 1915).  Now, you may notice there are some Brooks photos on my site - Cozbi was my Great-Great-Aunt and sister to my Great-Great-Grandfather, Luke P. Brooks.  Luke’s son, Richard Thomas Brooks married Landona Belle Curry (see above).  So now Hamilton Curry’s line and John McAvoy Curry’s lines are a bit tangled up as we go forward.  Anna was married twice (Nickel & McDowell); Virginia “Jane”  married Robert Young in 1819.  Robert was probably part of the Young Clan and related to Jane’s mother - need to check into this further.

Curry Sisters circa 1801

Curry Siters:
 Jane, Sarah "Sally", Anna, Mary “Polly"     Source: Ancestry Website 

Secondly,  Sarah “Sally" and Mary “Polly’s” parents were Robert Curry (1760-1820) and Sarah Jane “Scottie” Young (1765-1820).  Robert & Scottie were married 22 Apr 1791 in Augusta County, Virginia.  

Let’s follow Robert’s line (Sarah & Mary’s father):

Robert’s parents:  Robert Curry (1717-1804) & Ann Currie (1727-1819) married in 1751 in Augusta County, Virginia.  Robert was born in Londonderry IRE and Ann was born in Ulster, IRE.  I have a copy of Robert’s will dated 29 Dec 1803 where he states “…leave and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Ann my dwelling house…”  He also mentions his son Samuel, daughters Margaret Nickel and Mary Erwin and Ann Glen and sons WIlliam, James, Robert, Alexander and Isah (spelling?).  And…I think Mary Erwin may be my 5th great-grandmother…!

Robert’s Grandparents:  William Curry (1690 -1748) and…Sarah “Scottie” Young (!) (1695-1748) married in 1717 in Antrim, IRE.  I haven’t found anything on Ann Currie’s family as of this date.

Robert’s Great-Grandparetns:  John Currie (1675-1775) and Ann Curry (1727-1819).  So…was John 15 when William was born? And how can this be William’s mother if she was born after he was?!

Let’s follow John C. Curry’s Line (Mary’s Husband)

John’s Parents:  James Curry (1762-1809) and Mary Erwin (1760-1842) were married on 27 Mar 1786 in Augusta County, Virginia.  I think they had 10 children:  Mary, Robert, Jane, James, John C., Elizabeth, William, Benjamin and Frances.  If you want to know more about Irish naming conventions, just google it.  You’ll find out that they just LOVED to name everyone after everyone else!  This Mary Erwin has a father named ???  

John’s Grandparents:  James Curry (bef 1748-?) and Mary Miller.  Both were born in Ireland (probably) and both were married there.

John’s Great-Grandparents:  John Curry (1675 - 1775) and Anna - born and married in Ireland.  And maybe this was John Currie…and they also may have had two other sons:  William and Robert.

Let’s look at James Line (Sarah’s Husband):  Are you lost yet?  Well, that’s good because I don’t have much info on James’ line.  I have his dates:  Born on 2 Jul 1794 in Highland County, Virginia and died on 9 Sept 1855 in Frenchton, Upshur County, Virginia.  I have a death record that shows his parents as James & Mary Curry (seriously?!) so he may be a son of James & Mary Erwin Curry (see above).  That would make him a brother of John C. Curry (Mary’s husband).  This would make sense since sisters often married brothers.

So, that’s where I am today.  If anyone out there has any insight or information, please feel free to e-mail me.  I’ll update the page with new information as I get it!


Christmas is here and so is Julane’s retirement!!  To say she is excited would be an understatement.  Her last full day at the college was December 13th.  It is hard for us to believe that she is finally retired from teaching and is looking at drawing Social Security.

Mom came out to join us for Christmas.  For once, Julane decided to drive out to WV and back rather than try to fly.  Guess it was a bad plan since the weather turned horrible on the last day of travel.  The car hit some black ice and spun out into a ditch.  Luckily no one was hurt - word is still out on the car - and they got to spend a lovely night at the only motel in Odessa MO.  Lucky for them, Pizza Hut could deliver dinner!  Julane plans to take Mom home after the first of the year (weather permitting!).

Julane is planning lots of time to work on the family histories so keep those pictures and stories coming!

That’s all for today - Have a Happy New Year!

Summer Time!

It's finally summertime!  The spring semester went by too fast for us and we haven't had a chance to even think!  We are both so glad it is time to do some "relaxing!"

Right after school was out, we went on a road trip to Scotsdale AZ.  Don had been given the trip as part of his 25th Cerner Anniversary.  We had a great time driving on "Old Route 66" and viewing the sites in Amarillo, Albuquerque, and Arizona.  Got home and then Julane headed off to WV where she visited her Mom and picked up some more genealogy stuff at both the Brooks & the Betler Reunions.  She will be adding some more pictures to this site soon.

Make sure you check out the picture sites and send us stuff and information for the family histories.  Hopefully, we will soon be sending you a disk with all the information on it for your viewing pleasure.

Bye for now!

Christmas Time!

It's Christmas Time!

Yes, and I've been busy making candy, decorating, getting cards ready, and shopping!  Just a few more gifts to buy - mainly for Brian.  He finally sent me a Christmas list.  I hope to mail all my packages by the end of the week and get the cards out as well.  This extra week between Turkey Day and Christmas has really helped me out!

I've also been working on the genealogy for all four families (Curtis, Cayton, Brooks & Betler) and as many other surnames as I can find.  Look for some notes in the Christmas letter this year.

I look forward to hearing from you during the holidays and remember - send pictures!



Check out the new video section and watch Norma Rhoden on Saturday Night Jamboree!



We've added new photo's to the site.  Julane is visiting family in West Virginia and I've been crazy busy.  I'm working on some video that I'll be posting (along with new pics) soon.


Don says…

I'm taking today off for a long labor day weekend.  Posting more pictures on the site and working on the honey-do list.

School started for everyone else but me!

Today I have been working on adding sources to my ancestry file.  Wow!  That takes quite a bit of work!  I watched a webinar on obituaries on the Legacy site and learned a whole lot.  So I went to Jim Ward's obituary (he is Heather's father-in-law) to see what, and how much, information there was.  Took me a while but I think I got all of it attached to the right people!

Also am working on my sabbatical project - the only fear I have is that none of our students will decide to participate in my research study! 

I found a cool video that I wanted to share with you so, enjoy!  (See how hard I am working?)


Don Says...

My silly wife is as excited about this site as I am! 

Julane Says...

My silly husband is working on this website (finally) and, while we should be working on our business site, we are working on this one instead!

My current projects include the family genealogy and the family photos.  I am working on scanning and labeling the hundreds (thousands!) of photos we have,  putting them in scrapbooks, and adding them to my Legacy file.  I am also working on getting as much family info as I can - finally joined - so I hope to get a book or something together soon.  You'll notice this in my family page - lots of old, old pictures so…enjoy them!