Elizabeth Barnes Salisbury Bevis

I finally decided to sit down and work with the clues I had for Ossian Salisbury.  Just to recap, these clues are:

  • First name appears variously as Ocean, Oceanna, Ossian, OssiaAnn, and Osia Ann.
  • Surname appears variously as Salisbury, Saulsberry, Sauelsbury, Sausberry, Stansberry, Landsbury, Lounsbury, and Browning (her married name).
  • She was born in Illinois.
  • She married in 1852, at the age of 17 (which places her birth around 1835).
  • She was married in Kentucky to Daniel Browning.
  • Her mother was Elizabeth Burns or Barnes.
  • Her step-father’s name was Bevis.

Since I have recently begun ordering film from FamilySearch.org, I thought I would start by ordering the film for the record that gives her mother’s name.  When I put the film number in, the website informed me that there were already digital images online for that roll.  I thought to myself, that’s funny, since there are no images attached to the record.  So, I clicked the link provided for the digital images and searched for the page that the index had cited.  There it was!

Marriage register showing Ocean's mother cropped

From Jefferson County, Kentucky Reference Book 5, p. 153.

I looked first for Elizabeth’s name.  It looks like Barnes to me, but I can see where someone could get Burns.  In this record, Daniel Browning married Ocean Stansberry (or maybe Stausberry) on June 30, 1852.  Her mother, Elizabeth Barnes, gave consent.  Consent was proved by Lewis Browning (Daniel’s father).1

I looked for any records of an Elizabeth Barnes or Burns who married a Salisbury or a Stansberry, to no avail.  I only knew that Elizabeth gave birth in Illinois in about 1835.2  Using those details, nothing turned up.  It’s very possible, that they had been married much longer or in a different state or country.  Or, maybe they were never married.

I shifted focus to the step-father.  I had the name Bevis.3  Not knowing if this was a first name or surname, I tried both with Elizabeth Barnes, Burns, Salisbury, and Stansberry.  I found that an Eli Bavis married an Elizabeth Saulsbury in Clark County, Illinois in 1838.4  Thank God for soundex!  I kept searching on FamilySearch for Eli Bavis, but turned up nothing new, so I moved my search over to Ancestry.

Here, I found the same marriage citation, but when I clicked it, it suggested two census records for me to look at.  The first showed Eli Bavis in Clark County, Illinois in 1840.5  It was just an index record, so I couldn’t see family members and age groups.  The second was the 1850 Census.  This one was taken in Jefferson County, Kentucky.  Eli and Elizabeth Bevis lived here with their five small children, Lydia, Jane, Susan, Levi, and Bloony.6  Ossian wasn’t listed.  Since this was two years before her wedding, she should have been about 15 and living at home.  Perhaps she worked as a servant in another household, but I have been unable to find her thus far.

I wish I had turned up information on her father, but I’m satisfied for now to know who Bevis is and to confirm her mother’s name.


  1. “Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F438-JWR : accessed 29 Nov 2014), Daniel Browning and Ocean Stansberry, 30 Jun 1852; citing Jefferson County, Kentucky, reference bk 5 p 153; FHL microfilm 482707.
  2. Ancestry.com. Kentucky, Marriage Records, 1852-1914 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.  Kentucky. Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records – Microfilm (1852-1910). Microfilm rolls #994027-994058. Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky.
  3. De La Montange, Marie. Letter to Sanford Wiseheart. 12 Feb. 1938. MS. New Albany, Indiana.
  4. “Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934”, database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X2P6-BQQ : accessed 24 January 2016), Eli Bavis and Elizabeth Saulsbury, 1838.
  5. Ancestry.com. Illinois, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1810-1890 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.  Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. Illinois Census, 1810-1890. Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.
  6. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Year: 1850; Census Place: District 1, Jefferson, Kentucky; Roll: M432_205; Page: 188B; Image: 381.

Mildred Springer: A Life of Loss (52 Ancestors #24)

My family and I are fortunate to have a number of family heirlooms.  We owe a debt for those heirlooms to my great grandmother, Mildred Gertrude (Springer) Wiseheart.  She wasn’t quite in the category of a hoarder, but she saved a lot of things.  I think this is because she suffered a lot of loss in her lifetime and holding onto mementos of her loved ones was the best way she knew to keep them with her.  I’m going to write her story as a timeline, to allow for better visualization.  I know how hard it can be to keep a bunch of dates straight in your head.


Mildred Gertrude Springer, circa 1892.

Mildred Gertrude Springer, circa 1892.

Mildred was born on November 20th in New Albany, Indiana to parents Frank and Zerilda Eleanora “Ella” (Rakestraw) Springer.1  She and her mother were both very ill at the time of her birth.2


Frank Springer left for the World’s Fair in Chicago and allegedly did not come back.3  (Mildred received almost monthly correspondence from him between 1904 and 1918, possibly even later, and he did come back for visits periodically).  Ella was extremely ill and was considered to be an invalid.2,4


Mildred was adopted by her grandparents, Francis Marion and Mary Elizabeth (Gilliland) Rakestraw.4  Just two and a half weeks later, on June 13th, her mother died of consumption.5


Mildred Gertrude Springer, circa 1900.

Mildred Gertrude Springer, circa 1900.

Mildred was living with her grandparents, her Uncle Willie, and her cousins, Charlie and William.6  This seems to have been the normal living arrangement for the family, as Willie was unmarried for most of the time between 1890 and 1910.


Mildred was living with her grandparents and cousins.7  Willie had moved to Illinois.  At some point during the year, Charlie went to live with Willie.


Francis Marion Rakestraw died, leaving Mary Elizabeth, his wife, Mildred Springer (age 18), and William Rakestraw (age 16).8


Mary Elizabeth and Mildred moved to 811 West 8th Street in New Albany, Indiana.9  William moved to Louisville, Kentucky.  Mary Elizabeth and Mildred became friends with Sanford “Sandy” Wiseheart, who lived down the street at 922.  When Sandy went to France to fight, they corresponded.


George William

George William “Willie” Rakestraw and Mildred Gertrude Springer, circa 1920.

Mildred was still living with Mary Elizabeth on West 8th Street until she and Sandy were married on May 5th.10,11


Mildred gave birth to her first child, Mildred Lorena Wiseheart, on May 9th.12


Mildred gave birth to her second child, Sanford William “Bud” Wiseheart, on May 30th.12


Mildred gave birth to her third child.12


Mildred gave birth to her fourth child.12


Sandy, Mildred and family were living on County Line Road in Clark County, Indiana.12  Mildred gave birth to her fifth child, James Roscoe “Jimmy” Wiseheart, on November 13th.13


Jimmy died of pneumonia on December 12th.13


Mildred gave birth to her sixth child, Mary Katherine Wiseheart, on October 3rd.14


Mary Katherine drowned in the neighbor’s fish pond on July 9th.14


Sandy, Mildred and family were again living at 922 West 8th Street in New Albany, Indiana.15


Mildred had no idea where her father was, or if he was even still living.16


Mildred died on November 3rd of cancer of the gallbladder.1

I’d like to end with what my grandfather, Mildred’s son, said about her:

She had a, I don’t know what you call it, maybe call it a vivid imagination, but she, sometimes at night, she’d take a flashlight and be lookin’ around and she’d say, ‘There’s somebody out there,’ and once a while she’d say, ‘I smell a real strong gag, they’re smoking something.’ And my dad, he’d blow up. I was the only one left at home, the others had all gotten married young and so she was always, like she’d save the last bananer or something and say, ‘Buddy, I saved that for you, that’s the last one.’ And two or three different times she’d say, ‘Buddy, do you think your daddy’s plottin’ against me to have me put away,’ or something. I said, ‘Oh, Mom, he wouldn’t do nothing like that,’ and then I get out walking with him on a job and he’d say, ‘I don’t know what the hell I’m gonna do, I’m afraid I’m gonna have to put your mother away.’ I’d say, ‘Oh, Pap, she ain’t that bad,’ and it was like that for three or four years. Course he blamed it on her father, Frank Springer. I think his problem started when his wife Eleanora died. She was twenty-eight. My mother was two years old when her mother died, so Frank Springer became a wanderer. He’d just wander around and people said there was something wrong with him mentally. And she always had that kind of reflection since people find an excuse to say he was mentally unbalanced and they sort of thought that my mom inherited that. It wasn’t really that way.  My mother was an intelligent person and she could draw and was pretty good in artwork and stuff, she just didn’t go anywhere and associate with people.


1. Floyd County Health Department. Floyd County, Indiana Death Records. Vol. H-12. p. 10. Microfilm.  Accessed 4 Aug 2014, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

2. Springer, Frank. Letter to Ella Springer. 4 Dec. 1892. MS. New Albany, Indiana.

3. Paoli News 22 Nov. 1893: 3. NewspaperArchive.com. Web. 27 Dec. 2014.

4.  New Albany Daily Ledger 26 May 1894, Saturday Evening ed.: 5. Print.column 3.

5.  “Deaths (Obituary).” New Albany Evening Tribune 14 June 1894, Thursday ed.: 4. Print. column 2.

6.  1900 United States Federal Census (database-online). Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. New Albany, Floyd, Indiana. p. 9B.

7.  1910 United States Federal Census (database-online). Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. New Albany, Floyd, Indiana. p. 14A.

8.  Floyd County Health Department. Floyd County, Indiana Death Records. Vol. CH-22. p. 17. Microfilm.  Accessed 4 Aug 2014, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

9.  Caron, C.K. Caron’s Directory of the City of New Albany for 1919-20. New Albany, IN: C.K. Caron, 1919. 297. Print.

10.  1920 United States Federal Census (database-online). Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 24 Sep. 2014. New Albany, Floyd, Indiana. p. 11A.

11.  Floyd County Clerk. Floyd County, Indiana Marriages. Vol. 20. p. 375. Microfilm.  Accessed 12 Aug 2014, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

12.  1930 United States Federal Census (database-online). Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. Silver Creek, Clark, Indiana. p. 14B.

13.  Clark County Health Department.  Clark County, Indiana Death Records. Roll 20, Book 2, p.11.  Microfilm. Jeffersonville Township Public Library.

14.  Floyd County Health Department. Floyd County, Indiana Death Records. Vol. CH-37. p. 97. Microfilm.  Accessed 25 Jan 2015, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

15.  1940 United States Federal Census (database-online). Ancestry.com, 2009. Web. 28 Jul. 2014. New Albany, Floyd, Indiana. p. 10B.

16.  Wiseheart, Mildred, Letter, 1944.  MS.  New Albany, Indiana.

Serilda Long: A Long Life (52 Ancestors #16)

Serilda Long is another ancestor that I have had a hard time tracking.  She has appeared as Serilda, Sirelda, Serelda, Serrelda, Serralda, Zerelda, Zerilda, and Cerelda.  She has been Long, Gilliland (sometimes Gilleland, Gilland or Gillen), and Bridges.  I really should re-evaluate how I spell it.  I’ve just been spelling it Serilda because that’s how it appeared on the first record on which I saw it written.  It appears most often as Zerelda or Serelda.  But I digress.

Serilda Long was born on January 15, 1820, in Kentucky, to parents Daniel and Ruth (Lewis) Long.1,3,5,7,8,9,10  She married Leason Gilliland sometime before 1840.11  The story I heard growing up was that Leason worked on a steamboat and was away a lot, but the 1840 Census says that he was employed in agriculture.2  I suppose it is possible that he switched professions, as many of my ancestors have done, but that seems like a big change to me.

Serilda and Leason had Daniel circa 1838, William T. circa 1840, Ezra W. in 1841, and Mary Elizabeth on January 22, 1849.1,3,5,7,8,11,12  In 1850, Serilda and the children were living with Asa and Maria J. Loundsbury or Longsberry.3  Leason wasn’t there, which caused me to suspect that he had died.  However, Sarah A. Gilliland was born in 1853.5,7,8  Either Leason was still alive and happened to be away from home, prompting Serilda to move in with a friend or neighbor, or Sarah was illegitimate.

Leason was most likely dead by 1857 (I haven’t found evidence of a divorce), as Serilda married John T.M. Bridges on October 15 of that year.4  Shortly after their marriage, John Bridges was tried for and convicted of murder and was sentenced to life in Indiana State Prison in Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1859.  (See Coroner’s Inquest, Trial Day 1, Trial Day 2, Trial Day 3, Trial Day 4, and The Verdict).  By 1860, Serilda had taken a job as a seamstress to provide for her family.5  At some point during John’s confinement, they must have realized that the “preacher of the Gospel” who had married them was not actually ordained and the marriage, therefore, not legal.  (See Marriage Mystery and Two Marriages).  John was released from prison for good behavior on February 2, 1871 (See John Bridges), and Serilda married him again the very next day.6

John died in 1899, and Serilda went to live with her daughter, Sarah, and her children.  Her son, Ezra, lived with them as well.8  Serilda lived with Sarah until her death on September 13, 1907.1,9,10  Serilda lived a long life, but I wonder if she would have lived longer without all of the stress that she must surely have felt.

Serilda Bridges, circa 1900.

Serilda (Long) Gilliland Bridges, circa 1900.


1.  Transcription of the Rakestraw Family Bible.

2.  1840 U.S. Census, Hardin, Kentucky, p. 30, Ancestry.com.

3.  1850 U.S. Census, New Albany, Floyd, Indiana, p. 105, HeritageQuestOnline.com.

4.  Floyd County, Indiana Marriages, Volume 4, p. 485, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

5.  1860 U.S. Census, 6th Ward, New Albany, Floyd, Indiana, p. 106, FamilySearch.org.

6.  Floyd County, Indiana Marriages, Volume 6, p. 644, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

7.  1880 U.S. Census, New Albany, Floyd, Indiana, p. 2B, HeritageQuestOnline.com.

8.  1900 U.S. Census, 5th Ward, New Albany, Floyd, Indiana, p. 16B, FamilySearch.org.

9.  Floyd County, Indiana Deaths, Book CH-20, p. 32, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

10.  Obituary, New Albany Evening Tribune, Friday, 13 Sept 1907, p. 4, column 2, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

11.  Floyd County, Indiana Deaths, Book CH-33, p. 54, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

12.  Floyd County, Indiana Deaths, Book CH-37, p. 67, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room.

James Roscoe Wiseheart: One Little Shoe

James Roscoe Wiseheart was born to parents Sanford Wesley and Mildred Gertrude (Springer) Wiseheart on November 13, 1930.  He had two older sisters and two older brothers, one of whom was my grandfather.  The family lived in Clark County, Indiana at the time.  Jimmy didn’t live long and I know very little about him.  Grandpa said that Jimmy was given his middle name, Roscoe, after his father’s good friend, Roscoe Treece.  Jimmy died at the age of two from convulsions due to a fever that was brought on by lobar pneumonia.¹  He was the first of two Wiseheart children to die young.  The other was Mary Katherine, who was born after Jimmy died.

Recently, as my dad, my uncle and I were going trough the Rakestraw trunk, we came across a photograph of Jimmy in his coffin (which I will not post) and one little shoe that had been found in the potato patch just four months after his death.  How heartbreaking it must’ve been to find the shoe, and how precious.

The note that had been tucked into the shoe.

The note that had been tucked into the shoe.

Jimmy's shoe.

Jimmy’s shoe.

2015-02-22 12.46.49

1.  Clark County, Indiana Deaths, Roll 20, Book 2, p.11, Jeffersonville Township Public Library.

Sanford Wiseheart: The Strong, Silent Type (52 Ancestors #05)

Mary Elizabeth (Gilliland) Rakestraw with her great grandson, Sanford "Bud" Wiseheart, circa 1924.

Mary Elizabeth (Gilliland) Rakestraw with her great grandson, Sanford “Bud” Wiseheart, circa 1924.

Sanford William “Bud” Wiseheart was born on May 30, 1923 in New Albany, Indiana to Sanford Wesley and Mildred Gertrude (Springer) Wiseheart.1  Bud’s great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Rakestraw, lived with the family until her death in 1935.2,3  She was the widow of a Civil War soldier and passed down many family stories to Bud and his siblings.  In 1941, Bud’s father bought a farm just outside New Albany.  They raised crops and chickens.  Plucking the chickens was one of Bud’s jobs.  He never would eat any poultry after that.

Sanford "Bud" Wiseheart on the farm.

Sanford “Bud” Wiseheart on the farm.

Bud married Dolores Louise Schroeder on August 2, 1958 at Atkins Chapel United Methodist Church in Floyd Knobs, Indiana.4,5,6  (For their engagement story, see Dolores Schroeder).  They had four sons.6  Bud was a carpenter.  He worked for New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corporation and he also did some freelance work.  He was also very active in the church.  He was an usher, bell ringer, Sunday school teacher, and maintenance man for Atkins Chapel.  He also built the church’s Harvest Homecoming booth and assisted with Vacation Bible School.  Bud died at home on October 30, 2014.7

Sanford William "Bud" Wiseheart

Sanford William “Bud” Wiseheart

My grandpa was a hard working man who didn’t seem to have much to say, but when he did say something, it was more than worth it to pay attention.  He was an excellent story teller and knew a lot about a lot of things.  Every time he told me a story, it was full of heart.  Bud was no stranger to hard times, but he weathered them all.  The following is a story, in his own words, that includes two such times:

World War II.  I must’ve been nineteen when it started.  After a while, they started draftin’ and they had a bunch of us went over to Louisville and we were sent letters that we were to be inducted into the Armed Forces.  Thirty three of us went over in that bus from New Albany to Louisville and eleven of us came back rejected.

They examined me and I had a bad ear.  And the psychologist held me up and asked me all kinds of questions.  He asked me what I got out of life.  I told him, ‘I like to help other people, my mother and my father.’  And he kept callin’ me ‘Old Man.’  Nineteen years old and he’s callin’ me ‘Old Man.’  He said, ‘Tell me, Old Man, was there ever somebody in your life you loved very deeply?’  And I said, ‘Well, I can’t think of anything right off.’  Of course, what it was, my little sister, Mary Katherine, I used to sometimes change her diapers.  I was kind of an interpreter.  Sometimes she’d say something to her mother and Ma would ask me what she said.  And so, when she was two years old, she walked right past where I was cleanin’ the stables out and into the neighbors’ yard and fell in the fish pond and drowned.  That went pretty hard with me.  I felt responsible, like I should’ve seen her.  I should’ve saved her.  I even prayed to God to bring her back and take me in her place…

But gettin’ back to it.  I took a heck of a lot of flack.  One time I was goin’ to the grocery with Pap and someone remarked, ‘There’s a young man who ought to be in the military.’  Well, now you can’t tell by lookin’ at somebody that they ought to be in the military.  I just never did have any desire to shoot and kill anybody, but I never made any effort to avoid the draft.

They sent a notice out, ‘All people that are unfit for military service are expected to get into the defense work to help the cause.’  And if we didn’t go somewhere voluntarily, they were goin’ to draft us into defense work.  So I went on up to Charlestown and got in on the construction over there.

My mother got a letter one day from Clara Edwards.  ‘My Dear Mrs. Wiseheart, Thank you for your compliments on Albert and Vernon.’  They had both been inducted into the Army, you see.  ‘Thank you for your compliments on their nerves.  Well, let me tell you something.  All you’ll ever see out of the Wiseheart boys is dirty bedsheets, the dirty yellowbacks.’  And then she signed it off.  ‘Course Frank was too young and I was 4F, I couldn’t help it.  Not that I wanted to go, but they said I was unfit for military service.  So anyway, all them years of this hostile attitude.

Sanford "Bud" Wiseheart hanging the flags for the 4th of July.

Sanford “Bud” Wiseheart hanging the flags.  July 4, 2009.  Photo taken by Sarah Wiseheart of Wiseheart Photo.


1.  Floyd County, Indiana Births, CH-14, p.113, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

2.  1930 U.S. Federal Census, Silver Creek, Clark County, Indiana, p.14B, Ancestry

3.  1940 U.S. Federal Census, New Albany, Floyd, Indiana, p.10B, FamilySearch

4.  Floyd County, Indiana Marriages, Vol. 55, p.244, Floyd County Clerk’s Office

5.  New Albany Tribune, Sun 24 Aug 1958, p.6, c.1, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

6.  New Albany Ledger & Tribune, Sun 2 Aug 1998, p.B2, c.3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room

7.  New Albany Tribune, Sat 1 Nov 2014, p.A4, c.3, Stuart Barth Wrege Indiana History Room