Spike on the River
Neal in Antarctica
Play a game?
< ? Colorado Blogs # >
March 16, 2005 - Wednesday, 11:59 p.m.
A couple days ago I received an email from a posting I made on genealogy.com. It’s was a request for information on my grandmother’s, grandfather, which makes him my great-great-grandpa.
John Charles Kaylor was born somewhere in Pennsylvania in about 1838. We don’t know much about his youth, he showed up in Ohio some time within about a year of the end of the Civil War, which ended in 1865. My guess is that he was in the Civil War and perhaps headed home when he appeared on the Van Dyke farm in Ohio. The head of that household was a Civil War vet as well, however he came home from the Civil War injured and died at home from complications in 1865. Sarah was only 15 years old when he died and her brother, Jacob was 17 and was suddenly was the ‘man’ of the house. John Charles was a hired hand that worked on the farm for the Van Dykes. The 1870 census information I found listed him as Charles and that is what we always knew him by. Charles married Sarah in 1866, she was only 16 (and he was 28!!!). By the 1870 census they had two children listed, but records show that they had a son born in 1867, but gone by the 1870 census. My great-grandpa, Henry Kaylor, was born in 1868. They ended up having a total of 6 kids, 5 of which made it to adulthood.
Charles looks to be a very handsome man. Above are two pictures, the first is from a composite picture with my great, great grandma, and the second came from a lady who answered my question on the website. She is also a great-great granddaughter of John Charles, by his SECOND wife. Believe it or not, some time in the mid 1880’s (some time after 1882 when Charles and Sarah’s youngest son was born) John Charles divorced Sarah. Divorced?!? From what I know that would have been an utterly amazing event for that time in history. He packed up and took the second oldest son Jacob, and moved to Michigan. He never appears in our family history after the point. My great grandfather didn’t like him very much, and never saw him after he moved to Michigan. (I imagine having your father leave your mother when you are a young man didn’t help).
My great grandfather, Henry, left Ohio as a young man. Family stories tell of how he boarded a barge down the Ohio River, and then with his ox cart he continued on to North Dakota. He worked as a hired hand in Eastern North Dakota where he met my great grandmother, Jemima Moug, a “Scottish Lass” as he wrote in a letter to his sister back in Ohio. They married and eventually homesteaded in central North Dakota.
When my grandma was about four, they moved to a farm near Innisfal, Alberta for about a year and then moved back to North Dakota. Henry did not particularly like farming but he said, it was all he knew how to do.
My mother said that her grandpa Henry had a set of encyclopedias that he'd bought (3 or 4 volumes in total) and that he read then so much he wore the embossing of the title off the spine of it. For a farmer with a third grade education he was always looking at the events of the world, and was pretty savvy when it came to interpreting things he saw. He bought a bicycle at the end of the century and road it around in North Dakota. It was a VERY new fangled thing in the late 1800’s. He lived long enough to see the beginnings of space travel (he died in 1959). He played the fiddle by ear and was very, very good... playing at dances and such.
During the depression he wrote letters to his sister asking about the conditions in the cities there and asking about soup kitchens and the like. He also told her about the crops, so sparse they were hardly worth harvesting. My mother told me that during the depression men came around to all the farms buying up scrap metal for the Japanese. When the man arrived at the Kaylor family, Henry told them there was NO WAY he was going to sell them their old machinery and scrap metal. He told the man “Before we know it, they’ll be shooting it back at us.” How very sharp he was for an uneducated farmer. History tells us that is just what the Japanese did. A great deal of their airplanes were built using scrap metal purchased in the US. JUNK & WAR talks about this very thing.