Waller and Montgomery County Stories Generally
Media and Reference Materials
Contact: Nick Wallingford - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophronia B. Wallingford was born 1 June 1822 in Mason County, Kentucky. She was the seventh child of Nicholas and Mary Ginn Wallingford. Nicholas had already had more than a dozen children with his first wife, Alice Hayes - and each of those had on average 8 or 10 children of their own!
Some of the sources used in this come from a Wallingford Family Bible that dates from about 1830, probably started by Mary Ginn Wallingford, Sophronia's mother. It was later taken to Texas by Sophronia's brother Thomas Ginn Wallingford and continued with further family births, deaths and marriages as they came to hand. It would appear that the information on Sophronia's family was, perhaps, sporatic - with entries relating to a number of years being recorded at the same time.
Sophronia married Volney E. Bragg on 25 June 1840 in Lewis County, Kentucky. I believe this was Volney's second marriage, but have not researched his previous wife or children at this stage. He was born about 1815.
Volney had been a Captain in the Army, and was a lawyer by profession.
Their first child, Mary W. (one source says this is for "Wallingford"?) Bragg was born 19 May 1841 while they were still in Kentucky.
Shortly after, the family moved to Gallatin, Daviess County, Missouri, where they had more children and Volney continued to work as a lawyer - he was, apparently, the second practicing lawyer in the developing town of Kingston, Missouri.
History of Caldwell and Livingston counties, Missouri, written and compiled from the most authentic official and private sources, including a history of their townships, towns and villages, together with a condensed history of Missouri; a reliable and detailed history of Caldwell and Livingston counties--their pioneer record, resources, biographical sketches of prominent citizens; general and local statistics of great value; incidents and reminiscences (1886) (Page 260)
Susan M. Bragg Seignior was born 25 January 1843. That "Seignior" confused me for some time - until I realised that it corresponded with a death note in the next column, indicating that Susan died 21 July 1846. Several years later, Volney and Sophronia named another daughter with the same name - so designated the first as "Seignior".
A boy, P. Menefee Bragg was born 28 January 1846, but died only a few months later on 14 April 1846.
Another boy, Armstead C. Bragg (named for Volney's father) was born 22 June 1847.
Volney participated in the convention organised to support the development of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railway Company at Chillicothe, Missouri, on 2 June 1847. He was selected as one of a group of people who were to address the people of Northern Missouri about the project. (from http://www.archive.org/stream/historyofcaldwel00peas)
One of the more significant births, for this narrative, was not recorded in the family bible - in 1848, Volney and Sophronia had another baby girl, and named her Susan M. Bragg. The "Seignior" for the previous Susan M. seems to indicate that the entries for both birth and death of the first child may have been made at the same time, and after the birth of the second "Susan". With many of the entries in the same handwriting and style, it appears a number may have been entered at once, quite possibly after receipt of a letter with some backlog of news about T.G.'s sister Sophronia.
The 1850 Daviess County, Missouri, census shows the family at that time: Volney (35) and Sophronia (28) and their three surviving children - Mary W. (9), Armstead C. (2) and Susan M. (1). Volney was still working as a lawyer, and had real estate valued at $450. Volney is also recorded as owning one 14 year old mulatto female slave.
The next few years brought more death to the family. Volney died on 12 May 1851 of "consumption". Then several months later young Armstead died on 3 September 1851. Sophronia was left with only Mary W. and Susan M.
Nothing more is known about Sophronia. It seems possible that she, too, died in that 1850 - 1860 time period. It is not clear whether Mary and Susan returned to Kentucky before or after Sophronia's death.
There is a "Susan Brag" on the 1860 census of Elizaville, Fleming County, Kentucky, that is the right age. She is living in a household with Moses and Ann Jackson and several others. While there is no confirmation this is the right person, it seems very likely, with others of the extended Wallingford family living in that Mason/Fleming/Lewis County part of Kentucky in those years.
Eighteen year old Mary Bragg was in Lewis County, Kentucky - living with her grandmother Lucy Bragg, then 96 years old.
On 12 July 1860, for the 1860 Lewis County, Kentucky census, Richard Warring was still living at home with his parents - probably not far from Mary.
Census: 1860 Lewis County, Kentuckyhttp://qwerty.geek.nz/reference/Census/1860LewisCoKYRichardWarring.jpg
While Richard's middle initial F. appears on many source documents, only one source indicates it might stand for "Fuquay".
One source indicates that Richard and Mary were married in Lewis County, Kentucky, presumably after the middle of 1860, but more reliable data is a marriage on 20 December 1860 across the Ohio River in Adams County, Ohio. I still have not confirmed that.
In 1870, the family was living in Monroe Township, Adams County, Ohio, with Richard recorded as a farmer. They had three children: Richard (8, and born in Kentucky), Mary Frances (5) and Cerelda (1).
Mary died, reportedly on 12 September 1873, and in Manchester, Ohio. The location comes from a letter from her brother-in-law John Devoss referred to below. The date is not confirmed but seems to fit the timing, and came from the KYLEWIS email list referred to above.
Richard remarried to a woman named Susan H. Lyda, probably in Adams County, Ohio, and probably on 18 November 1875. In the 1880 census they were living in Manchester, Adams County, Ohio, with Richard's children in the household. Both Richard and his son Richard (perhaps known by his middle name Siegel within the family?) worked in a nearby plaining (timber) mill.
Richard and his second wife, Susan, had four children (details are only known about three of them)
Richard died somewhere between the middle 1880s and 1900, and almost certainly in Richmond, Virginia. Susan and her step-daughters and daughters (except Gail who married), and the one son continued to live together in 1900, 1910 and 1920, in Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky.
Susan died 21 June 1931.
Cerelda, one daughter of Susan and Richard died several years later in 1835.
Mary Frances and Cerelda (from the first marriage) did not ever marry, leaving their brother Richard S. as the only sibling to carry on the direct line down from Sophronia and Volney down through Mary W. Though Richard married, he never have children of his own.
The oldest grandchild of Volney and Sophronia Bragg was the first child of Richard F. and Mary W. (Warring) Bragg - Richard S. Bragg. It is almost certain the S. stood for "Siegel", and he may well have been known by that name within the family, though most documents record him as Richard S.
In 1900, the younger Richard ("Siegel") was living in Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, Indiana, having married a widow who had two girls with her first husband. He was working as a sawyer, still in the timbermilling business. John W. Devoss, his uncle, refers to visiting with "Siegel" in the letter to Thomas Ginn Wallingford. Richard and the rest of the family were still there in 1910, and he was still a woodworker in the saw factory. And in 1920, the couple were still in Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, Indiana, but now on their own, and Richard still working as a millwright/saw worker.
Now to the other surviving child of Volney and Sophronia - Susan M. Bragg.
One of the main documents that has given me directions for searching is a letter from 11 March 1909, written from John W. Devoss to Thomas Ginn Wallingford, Sophronia's brother. T.G. died only 2 months later, and Devoss only 2 years after that. For many years, references in the letter eluded me until they started to fall into place...
John W. Devoss married Susan M. Bragg, Sophronia's daughter, in 1868. John had been born in Rockville, Adams County, Ohio, on 20 February 1843. He was the son of a blacksmith, and learned the trade which he later practiced. He spent 11 months in the Union Army, Company D, 173rd Ohio Infantry, rising to the rank of sergeant before he was accidentally injured and was unable to do active duty.
A year after marrying Susan, the Devoss family moved to Buena Vista, Scioto County, Ohio. Over the next 10 years or so, they had three daughters - Mary A., Libbie and Minnie. By the early 1880s the family was established and prospering. John was appointed as a Postmaster 6 June 1881 by President Garfield, and as a Notary Public in 1882 by Governor Foster.
History of lower Scioto Valley, Ohio (Page 429)
It was in this period that T.G. Wallingford made a trip from Texas to Kentucky. The trip was mostly to settle some details of his wife Evelyn Debell's estate (in fact, that of her father, Lewis Debell) relating to several of T.G. and Evelyn's children. A seemingly unplanned aspect was T.G.'s marriage to Annie Tucker, about 30 years his junior.
John W. Devoss' letter (above) to T.G., 25 years later, described T.G. and "Warder" (George Warder) visiting John and Susan and their family. Warder (a son of another sister of Sophronia and T.G., Julina Beauty Wallingford Warder) was the brother of Joseph Warder, who had served in the 16th Kentucky Infantry Regiment with yet another of the Wallingford siblings, Lewis Bean Wallingford. (Lewis, known in later years mostly for his drinking, deserted after only a short time in the army!)
When T.G. returned to Texas with his new wife Annie they started T.G.'s second family - and named their first girl Minnie Devoss Wallingford. Within our family, this has been written as Minnie Devoe in many places, but I am now confident that it was intended to be Devoss - naming the girl after Minnie Bell Devoss, the daughter of John and Susan.
The 1890s were not kind to John Devoss. Two daughters and his beloved wife all died within a four year period. Libbie died 31 October 1893, Susan died 26 June 1895 and finally Minnie died 26 February 1897. They are all buried in the Sandy Springs Cemetery, Green Township, Adams Co, Ohio (though both birth and death dates do not always match other documents sighted while doing this research).
A postcard from John Devoss to T.G. describes his anguish at the events. "Dear Sir, Comrade ... My wife Libbie and Minnie are dead. Tell your dear little Minnie that she will never see her namesake Minnie Bell Devoss on Earth, and hope she will meet her in Heaven".
By 1909 John was a pretty sad figure. John was living with his last daughter Bertha (believed to be the Mary A. referred to previously). It seems her husband had drown in the Ohio River, leaving her with two young sons - John Marshall Burkley and Earl Bragg Burkley. In 1910, as described in the letter to T.G., John was living with that family.
He wrote "I have had a stormy life since my dear ones left me. I haven't had a clear spot in the horizon since. I am running the Elivator in the Excelsior Shoe Factory. The Shoe Factory are all out on a strike about five thousand people are out of work. ... Now Uncle if such a thing is possible I would like to have you come and see us. My dear wife will not be here to welcome you as she did at Buena but I assure you it will be a welcome meeting of the Blue and the Grey. I love you because my dear wife loved you and you fought for what you thought was right. Now I will close with love to all your family and especially our dear sweet little Minnies name sake. Hope to hear from you soon I am yours truly John W. Devoss." As mentioned earlier, T.G. died at age 81 only two months after receiving John's letter.
John died of apoplexy on 18 March 1911, just two years after writing the letter to T.G.