Query: McDowell

Jeannie Waggoner called on Jan 8, 2013, asking for information for a friend she had known about 8 years.  The friend’s name is Sandra Lee Mcdowell, a retired school teacher who doesn’t know when or where she was born.  Her sister, Vicki Lynn Mcdowell, was born in Finley, Ohio and never married.  “Sandy” thinks she may have been born in Michigan, but she doesn’t have a birth certificate.  Also, Sandy doesn’t do computers.  She apparently was married before, I don’t know if he died or they divorced, but she has 3 children, two daughters and one son.  Sandra’s current husband was Michael Taylor and they married in Midland-Odessa.  Jeannie never knew that Sandra had the son until Michael’s funeral in early December.  One daughter used to live in Longview.  The son’s name is David and lives on Oregon, Sandra went to college in Oregon.  Sandra’s father was John Mcdowell and her mother was Mariam Gertrude Bennett.  Someone was born Nov 4, 1941. With this information, I will attempt to find everything I can for Jeannie to help her friend.  I asked if it was possible since Sandra was a retired schoolteacher that there should have been some kind of documents when she got her teacher’s degree.  Jeannie (my friend) and I thought that not knowing any more about your early life is very unusual.  I asked could it have been possible that she had had a stroke.  I went to Ancestry and found an obituary on Michael from the Midland newspaper but my computer wouldn’t bring it up. I thought if nothing else it might have some names of survivors. We’ll see what we can find.     

            At the library and on Ancestry I found the obituary for Michael Taylor. The only survivors named were his wife, Sandra Taylor of Mineola, his mother Cleo Rae Taylor of Odessa, a son Ryan Taylor of Denver City, daughter, Myia Dale Scott of Odessa and 4 grandchildren.  He had died on Nov. 29 in Mineola and this obit was published in the Odessa American on December 1, 2012.

            Also on Ancestry I found Sandra Mcdowell in U.S. School Yearbooks along with a picture of her.  According to this report her estimated birth year was about 1939, and she was age 20 when this picture was made.  The school was Northern Pontiac High School in Pontiac, Michigan, and the year was 1959.  The title of the yearbook was “Avalanche”.  It’s possible that this picture is the Sandra Mcdowell we’re looking for and the approximate birth date is 1939.  With that information, assuming she was born in Michigan, we can write the Michigan state capital and (maybe) get a birth certificate. 

            I also found a 1930 U.S. Census placing John D. Mcdowell in Michigan.  He was single then, living with his father Thomas G. Mcdowell, who was born in Michigan, and his mother Katherine A. Mcdowell, who was born in Pennsylvania.  His siblings named were Thomas M., Lucile , John D. (Sandra’s father), Donald M. , Dorothy M., and 2 others who may have been boarders or relatives living with the family.  Their names were Helen J. Hamilton and Miles D. Hamilton.

            I called Jeannie on Jan. 16 and told her what I had found.  She said several people agreed that Sandra might have had a stroke but she didn’t want to do anything.  I suggested she have it checked because it might just be the first and doctors can use blood thinners and other drugs to prevent them.  I am sending Jeannie the information that I have found along with the picture and if this lady is the one in the picture she or one of us could contact the school or the state records department in Lansing, Michigan to get more information.  

            If this information is not correct, we can use any of these names to further our search.

Jeannie Waggoner’s email is jwaggon10@aol.com.

Submitted by Shirley Bates, Genealogy Research

Wood County Taylor Genealogy

New member Jan Droptini of Beaumont has shared her Taylor lineage with the society.

“My father, Ardoth Wayne Taylor, and my mother, Letha Hazel Hood Taylor, were born and raised in Wood County, Texas. Grandparents are Arch Thomas Taylor, Bonnie Faye Attaway Taylor, Henry Lawrence Hood, and Winnie Lee Farmer Hood. I knew all these people personally so I am confident of the relationship. I am relatively certain of the generations of my great-grandparents due to census records and other recollections. They are James Laurence Taylor, Lucinda Jane Robinson Taylor, Elias Franklin Attaway, Emma Francis Glen Attaway, William Berry Hood, Lillian Johnson Hood, Milton Wiley Farmer, and Lucretia “Creasy” Goolsby Farmer.

Query Followup: Taylor

Re: Isaac (Ike) Taylor from a query of Roby Ottwell, first published in the July 2009 newsletter. “Isaac (Ike) Taylor, Mr. Ottwell’s grandfather, …was killed in 1922 when a hired man killed Taylor and stole his money.”

Society researcher and previous newsletter editor Shirley Bates went back to the Winnsboro News office (following the July newsletter) and asked to look at back copies of the Winnsboro News, but they didn’t allow her to look because the newspaper is too old and fragile to handle. Then she went back to the library and tried again going through microfilm, this time from about July until December. Again, she didn’t find anything. Member Dorothy Harbin was still looking in the microfilm at Quitman Library and looked at a site called smalltownpapers.com and it stated that there was a reprint in July, 1956 but she could never find the article. She looked in the Wood County Democrat (as Bates had done earlier) and the Wood County Echo, and found nothing.
Harbin also talked to a man named Taylor, and he had heard the story and had seen the rope on the water tower where the hired man was supposed to have been hanged, but it was frayed and had been up there quite some time. He said he was no kin but there are two other Taylor families in the county and that she might try to contact them.

Bates and Harbin both looked at the microfilm of the Wood County Democrat and looked through society books at the Quitman Public Library. Bates went to the courthouse to check on a death certificate, but Isaac Taylor was not listed in Wood County. The County Clerk suggested that since Winnsboro is in different counties, Wood, Hopkins, and Franklin, it’s probably listed in one of their death index books.

According to Winnsboro News of Oct. 27, 1922, “killed on Sunday” in Sherman, one Maynard Taylor. Could this have been Ike, and he delivered to Sherman instead of in Wood County?

Bates wrote again to Ottwell Sept. 10, 2009 that Harbin had found “a discrepancy.”

Harbin has found an article in a 1944 newspaper with an obituary or an article about Grogan (his mother’s maiden name) Shoemaker. It stated that Grogan’s father was the man who was killed by a black man and then the black man was taken from the jail and hanged from the water tower in Quitman. Harbin contacted the Dallas library and they looked it up and said that it was listed as Jan. 1, 1944. She found an article about his being very sick in the Wood County Democrat on Dec. 30, 1943, but the next newspaper (Jan. 6, 1944) is unreadable on the microfilm. She found Mr. Shoemaker’s wife’s maiden name from the marriage book in the genealogy room at the Quitman Public Library, and she also found some Shoemakers in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses. The maiden name of his wife was Annie (Anniebell) Wallace Taylor and her father’s name was Wallace Taylor.

Bates wrote Ottwell , “It’s possible that whoever told you that Ike Taylor was killed in that way may have gotten him confused with Grogan Shoemaker. The Taylors lived next door to the Shoemakers. It’s unfortunate, but many of our genealogy stories result this way because they are repeated over the years without documentation and people get confused.” (Editor’s note: the previous information is taken from a letter written to Mr. Ottwell by Shirley Bates in August 2009.)

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