Monday, June 1, 2015

Happy 223rd Statehood Admission Day, Kentucky!! - June 1, 1792

I have been a little homesick for family lately so I guess I will have to post on the beautiful state of Kentucky today. I lived in Kentucky from 2001-2013. I met my husband at Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Kentucky. Our only child was born in Campbellsville, Kentucky. Campbellsville is the geographic center of the state of Kentucky so I thought it may be a good idea for Kentucky to be to focus of today's blog post.

This day, 223 years ago, Kentucky became a state. At that time, there were about 100,000 residents. But since then, the state has blossomed to about 4,339,367 residents. Of those residents, I am most likely related to quite a few. My mother's mother's family hails from Jackson, Breathitt County, Kentucky. My father's maternal grandparents also hail from Wayne and Pulaski Counties in south central Kentucky. I have many family members who still reside in this beautiful state today.
Map of Kentucky from the actual survey of Kentucky by Elihu Barker in 1793.
Royalty free provided by Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

Here are a few of my relatives that lived in Kentucky around the time Kentucky became a state:

Gilbert Elam was born around 1794 in Wythe County, Virginia. He and his family, including 12 children, moved to Morgan County, Kentucky sometime in the 1830's. Gilbert Elam was my maternal 4th Great-grandfather. 

John Back was born on November 19, 1774 in Culpeper County, Virginia. He moved with his family to Breathitt County, Kentucky, in 1836. John Back, Sr. was my maternal 5th great-grandfather. 

William Koger was born around 1784 in Augusta, Cumberland County, Virginia. He and his wife were married in Wayne County, Kentucky, on 22 Aug 1810. Their exact date of migration to Wayne County is unknown at this time. William Koger was my paternal 5th great-grandfather.

William Logsdon was born around 1736 in Virginia. He and his family settled in what would later become Nelson County, Kentucky, before the birth of their daughter Mary Logsdon, in 1786. Mary Nelson was the wife of Rev. Hiram Gregory. Hiram and Mary were my paternal 5th great-grandparents.

Here are a few databases that you may find useful in finding you Kentucky ancestors: (Free) ($$)

Other Websites Helpful in Kentucky Research:

Friday, May 29, 2015

Today's Stroll Through Time - Birthdays - Week 4 - May 24 - 31

Sunday, May 24th

William S. Kleppinger (24 May 1901 - 20 May 1904) - Age 2
4th Cousin 4x Removed
Happy 114th Birthday!

Monday, May 25th

Lewis Holly Jewell (25 May 1828 - 6 Feb 1911) - Age 82
Husband of 3rd Cousin 5x Removed
Happy 187th Birthday!

Tuesday, May 26th

Rose S. Hoover (26 May 1892 - 16 May 1953) - Age 60
Wife of 3rd Cousin 4x Removed
Happy 123rd Birthday!

Wednesday, May 27th

Maria Salome Bach (27 May 1677 - 27 Dec 1728) - Age 51
2nd Cousin 10x Removed - Relative of J. S. Bach as well
Happy 338th Birthday!!

Thursday, May 28th

Dr. Milton Dana Jewell - (28 May 1880 - 20 Jul 1924) - Age 44
5th Cousin 3x Removed
Happy 135th Birthday!

Friday, May 29th

Lewis Back (29 May 1807 - 15 Jun 1891) - Age 84
4th Great-Grandfather
Happy 208th Birthday!

Saturday, May 30th 

*Living Tungate* - Age 85
Step-Grandmother and a very dear lady
Happy 85th Birthday!!!!

***Living Hoppes*** - Age 9
My Baby Sister
Happy 9th Birthday!!!!

Sunday, May 31st

James Granville Corder (31 May 1880 - 10 Jan 1965) - Age84
2nd Great-Grandfather
Happy 135th Birthday!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Trifling Thursday - Abyssinia

Free Clipart found at
Let's examine some irregularly used or trifling given names in my family tree. Those names that make you want to ask, "What in the world were their parent's thinking?" or "Where did that name come from?"

I have one ancestor with this name: Abyssinia Kleppinger. The name Abyssinia originates in Africa. Ethiopia was at one point in history called the Kingdom of Abyssinia.

Abyssinia Kleppinger was born on June 21, 1857.  She was the 3rd of 9 children born to William Christian Kleppinger (1827-1900) and Elizabeth C. Seem (1829-1906). She died at the age of 6 years 5 Months 20 Days on December 11, 1863 in Kreidersville, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Her family left several years later and settled in Nebraska.

Today's Stroll Through Time - Birthday's - Week 3 - May 17 - 23

Sunday, May 17th 2015

Orlando J. Roberts (17 May 1871 - 1 Aug 1931) - Age 60
2nd Great-Granduncle
Happy 144th Birthday!

Monday, May 18th 2015

Erma Esther (Hilberg) Meckes (18 May 1904 - 9 Aug 1988) - Age 94
5th Cousin 3x Removed
Happy 111th Birthday!

Tuesday, May 19th 2015

Wilmer Davis Back (19 May 1922 - 26 Dec 1931) - Age 9
Half 1st Cousin 3x Removed
Happy 93rd Birthday!

Wednesday, May 20th

Joseph Woodford Back (20 May 1873 - 24 Dec 1965) - Age 92
1st Cousin 3x Removed
Happy 142nd Birthday!

Thursday, May 21st 2015

George Lawrence Kleppinger (21 May 1922 - 3 Jan 2010) - Age 87
6th Cousin 2x Removed
Happy 92nd Birthday!

Friday, May 22nd 2015

Jonathan Roberts (22 May 1768 - 7 Jun 1855) - Age 87
5th Great-Grandfather
Happy 247th Birthday!

Saturday, May 23rd 2015

John Gilbert Lackey (22 May 1872 - 26 Apr 1957) - Age 84
5th Cousin 3x Removed
Happy 143rd Birthday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Privacy Laws for Vital Records by State - Part 1 - Alabama

Birth Certificates

A Map of Alabama Counties
Public-domain image courtesy of WPClipart
Registrations of Births began in 1908 in the state of Alabama. However, the state has very restrictive privacy laws and the records are not available to the public until 125 years after the date of birth. An Index of Births for 1917-1919 can be searched on microfilm at the Family History Library or at a local Family History Center near you. You can contact the individual county Heath Department office for the county you are researching to request birth certificates for a fee of $15.00. I would call before ordering online or by mail to make sure the record is even available per their privacy laws. offers an index entitled Alabama Births and Christenings, 1881-1930. There are only four records listed for between 1900 and 1930 in this database due to privacy laws. The database has less than 6,500 records in total.

Marriage Certificates

There are no privacy restrictions for marriage records in the state of Alabama. The only requirement is that the researcher must provide enough information to easily find the record in question. The best thing to do would be to first search one of several indexes that are available online then contact the local courthouse for the county in question for marriages that took place before 1936. The Alabama Center for Health Statistics has all marriage records for marriages that have taken place within the state since 1936 on file. Each marriage certificate requested requires a copy fee of $15.00 to be made payable to the State Board of Health. Certificates can be ordered online via or by mail by contacting the Alabama Department of Public Health website.

Here are a few of the online databases that could aid your search:

Familysearch,org (Free)
Alabama, County Marriages, 1809-1950
Alabama, Marriages, 1816-1957 ($)
Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969
Alabama Marriages, 1809-1920 (Selected Counties)
Alabama Marriages to 1825
DeKalb County, Alabama Marriage Index, 1836-1916

Divorce Certificates

There are no privacy restrictions for divorce records in the state of Alabama. The only requirement is that the researcher must provide enough information to easily find the record in question. has an index of divorce record for 1950-1959 which contains just over 100,000 records. This database index can be searched at Alabama Divorce Index, 1950-1959.  Information for divorces prior to 1950 must be obtained from the circuit court in the county where the divorce was granted.  The Alabama Center for Health Statistics has all divorce records that have been filed within the state since 1950. Each divorce record requested requires a copy fee of $15.00 to be made payable to the State Board of Health. Certificates can be ordered online via or by mail by contacting the Alabama Department of Public Health website

Death Certificates

State wide registration of deaths in Alabama began in 1908. However, many counties have records that start as early as 1881 and are held at the local county level. Due to privacy laws in the state of Alabama, death certificates are available for deaths that have occurred no less that 25 years prior to the current date. So if your ancestor died between 1908 and 1990 you can order their death certificate for a fee of $15.00.  Death certificates less than 25 years old may be obtained only by the following persons, upon payment of the proper fee ($15.00):
  • mother or father of person named on certificate
  • husband or wife of person named on certificate
  • son or daughter of person named on certificate
  • sister or brother of person named on certificate
  • grandchild of person named on certificate when demonstrating entitlement
  • legal representative of family or estate
  • informant listed on death certificate as providing information
For copies of Alabama death records after 1908, contact:

Center for Health Statistics
State Dept. of Public Health
P.O. Box 5625
Montgomery, AL 36103-5625
Tel: 202-242-5033
Alabama Department of Public Health website offers an index to death certificates entitled Alabama Deaths, 1908-1974. There are a few records that fall outside of the stated death range. There are a total of 1,905,672 records in this index. What you may found on records in this index include the following:
  • Name of deceased
  • Death date and place
  • Last residence
  • Burial date and place
  • Birth date and place
  • Names of parents
  • Name of spouse offers an index entitled Alabama Deaths, 1908-59 which contains about 1,363,539 names. They also offer an index entitled Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index, 1881-1974 which contains 1,962,795 records. 


Alabama Department of Public Health Website at

"Alabama Births and Christenings, 1881-1930." Index. FamilySearch. : accessed 2015. Index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.

"Alabama Deaths, 1908-1974." Index. FamilySearch. : accessed 2015. Department of Health, Montgomery.

Alabama Deaths, 1908-59 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000.

Alabama Divorce Index, 1950-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.

Wordless Wednesday

Photo of the Koger Family taken in the early 1950s.
Courtesy of my own collection.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Travel Tuesday

I had never realized how much my great-grandparents traveled until I started going through Grandma Koger's photo albums recently. I found pictures from all over the US and a few foreign countries. On a trip to Arizona in September of 1952 to visit their son, Ralph, my great-grandparents took a trip to Mexico. Here are a few photos that I found that were taken in Nogales, Mexico and made into postcards.

Grandma Koger in Mexico
Grandpa Koger in Mexico

My Great-Grandparents while in Mexico in 1952

My great-grandmother, Ina Koger, also traveled to the Holy Land a couple of times.  Most of the photos taken on her trips were put into a sticky photo album and they can not be removed without damaging them. The following are a few postcards she purchased while on her trips.
Postcard of the Palace of Knossos on the Isle of Crete.
Postcard from Corinth

Postcard from Jericho

Postcard from Rhodes

Postcard Overlooking Jerusalem

All Pictures are courtesy of the author's collection. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Today's Stroll Through Time - Birthdays - Week 2 - May 10 - 16

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

Ralph Wendell Koger (10 May 1931 - 15 Sep 1956) - Age 25
Great Uncle
Happy 84th Birthday!

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Grace Lucille (Friend) Stubbs (11 May 1909 - 12 May 1993) - Age 84
Happy 106th Birthday!

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Carrie Vernice Ash (12 May 1884 - 18 Nov 1885) - Age 1
4th Cousin 4x Removed
Happy 139th Birthday!

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Artie Mince Corder (13 May 1868 - 10 Jun 1934) - Age 66
2nd Great-Grandaunt
Happy 147th Birthday!

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Charles Frank Stokes (14 May 1885 - 8 Jul 1962) - Age 77
Happy 130th Birthday!

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Daniel Errol Traxler (15 May 1889 - 30 Sep 1937) - Age 48
3rd Cousin 4x Removed
Happy 126th Birthday!

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Benjamin Franklin Elam (16 May 1856 - 7 Nov 1922) - Age 66
2nd Great-Grandfather
Happy 159th Birthday!

Disclosure - This post was written for the main purpose of finding long lost cousins. If any of these names sound familiar please feel free to contact me or leave a comment on this post.

Have a great day! Go celebrate life with someone you love!

Today's Stroll Through Time - Birthdays - Week 1, May 1 - 9

Free Public Domain Web Graphic
Friday, May 1st, 2015

Jane Coffey (1 May 1862 - 15 Mar 1927) - Age 64
My 2nd Great-Grandaunt
Happy 153rd Birthday!

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Johann Anthony Clippinger (2 May 1753 - 1806) - Age 53
My 6th Great-Grandfather
Happy 262nd Birthday!

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

~A Living Bowling~ - Age 4
1st Cousin Once Removed
Happy 4th Birthday!

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Mary Elmira Stubbs (4 May 1848 - 16 Sep 1921) - Age 73
3rd Great-Grand Aunt
Happy 167th Birthday!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

William Stubbs (5 May 1789 - 2 Dec 1861) - Age 72
5th Great-Granduncle
Happy 226th Birthday!

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Zelpha Mae Mower (6 May 1884 - 1901) - Age 17
3rd Cousin 4x Removed
Happy 131st Birthday!

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Permelia A. (Loveall) Barrier (7 May 1826 - 17 Mar 1889) - Age 62
4th Great-Grandmother
Happy 189th Birthday!

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Vernon Nash Tungate (8 May 1929 - 10 Dec 2013) - Age 84
Happy 86th Birthday and 2nd Heaven Birthday!

Saturday, May 9th 2015

Marjorie May Toven (9 May 1915 - 30 Jul 2012) - Age 97
6th Cousin Twice Removed
Happy 100th Birthday!!!

The purpose of this post is to find missing living cousins. If any of these names sound familiar feel free to leave a comment.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!!

A Photo of my brother and I, with our mother. Taken 31 Oct 1986.
Courtesy of author's own collection.
I have been thinking about how I wanted to celebrate Mother's Day here on my blog and I think the best thing I can do is talk about some of the mothers in my family tree. Here is a picture of my brother and I with our mother.

The first mother I am going to showcase is Sarah Jane (Dickerson) Hoppes. She was the mother of 12 children. She was born on July 31, 1869, in Indiana and died on October 25, 1967, in Marion County, Indiana, at the age of 98. She is one of my brick walls. I have been unable to find out much about her parents and family. Sarah Jane Dickerson was my paternal 2nd great-grandmother.

The next mother I am going to showcase is my maternal great-grandmother, Carrie Evaline (Elam) Back. Carrie was born on Apr 27, 1897, in Morgan County, Kentucky. She married Junius Back on May 19, 1915 in Morgan County, Kentucky. She was the mother of 11 children all of which lived long lives and 5 of which are still living today. The first child to pass away was in 2005 at the age of 76. Grandma Back lived to be 96 years old when she died on December 24, 1993. I was only 8 years old at the time of her death, but I still have many wonderful memories of her. She was a sweet and beautiful lady.

In contrast to the above mentioned mothers of large families I am going to mention another great grandmother, Ina Leah (Corder) Koger. She was born on October 5, 1909 and died on September 7, 2006 at the age of 96. Some of her story was detailed on a previous blog, Throwback Thursday. Grandma Koger had 3 children. Her first son Earl Winifred Koger was born and died on October 14, 1929, living only a few hours. He had something wrong with his heart. Her second son, Ralph Wendell Koger was born on May 10, 1931, in Fowler, Benton County, Indiana. Ralph served in the military and traveled the globe while serving this country. He went to Arizona, England, and Northern Africa, just to name a few. He loved photography and took pictures during his travels. He loved old cars. He purchased one when he got back home in 1956. He and my grandfather remodeled Ralph's 1932 Chevy.  On September 5, 1956, Ralph purchased an insurance policy on this vehicle. 10 days later he gets into this vehicle and never comes home. He sadly crashed not too far from his home.  He was only 25 years old. Grandma Koger's only daughter, my grandmother, is still living.  Sometimes I sit and wonder what she thought and how she felt every time Mother's Days came around. Was it a celebration or a time of mourning?

As I sit here writing this post, I contemplate my own feelings about Mother's Day.  On one hand I celebrate the fact that I am a mother of a handsome 7 year old boy. But on the other hand, I mourn for the children I have not had. My dream was always to be the mother of a large family, much like the first two mothers I showcased. However, I can relate a little more to Grandma Koger as I struggle with infertility issues. That being said, I appreciate everything all of the mothers that have come before me have done to shape who I have become. I will leave you now, to go celebrate with your mothers. Tell you mother, grandmother, aunt, wife, sister, or daughter, how much you love and appreciate them. Without mothers we would have no society, no freedom, no love, and no humanity.

Happy Mother's Day to All Who Mother!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Silly Saturdays! :)

I think for today I am going to try and lighten the mood a bit. I was mistaken a bit in a previous post. I always thought my great-grandfather Edgar Koger was a quiet and serious man. At least that is the image my 6 year old brain cooked up. But boy was I wrong. I was going through the collection of pictures that I received around Christmas time this past year and came across a few pictures that my great-uncle Ralph took or was in. They were wonderful. My uncle Ralph only lived 25 years, but in those years he did so much. He fought in the military and traveled the world. He was an airplane mechanic during the Korean war. 

Out of all the pictures in this collection a few stuck out because they were a little odd. Someone was doing something silly in each of them. So here they are. 

Photo of Ralph Koger and His Pit Crew. Take Circa 1951-1952.
Courtesy of author's own collection.

This first picture is a large print that was taken of Ralph and his crew buddies while in the Air Force. He enlisted in the Air Force on March 13, 1951. He was stationed first at Sheppard Air Field in Wichita Falls, Texas. He was transferred to Tucson, Arizona on January 2, 1952. While stationed at both locations his parents went to visit him. These following are pictures that were taken while on these two trips. 

Koger Family Circa 1952.
Courtesy of author's own collection.

Grandpa Koger Picking His Nose.
Courtesy of author's own collection.

Grandpa Koger Acting Silly.
Courtesy of author's own collection.

While stationed in Arizona Ralph and his parents decided to take a side trip to Mexico where they saw a bull fight. 

Bull Fight in Mexico.
Courtesy of author's own collection.

Photo of the Koger Family Circa 1952.
Courtesy of author's own collection.

Ralph Koger and his crew flew to England and Northern Africa during the Korean War. He was in England during the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June of 1952.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the funny pictures I have run across lately in going through my great grandmother's photo albums. Have a great weekend and Mother's Day!

To view full size of any of the included pictures just click on the picture and it will show the image in its original size. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday's Faces From the Past

Photo of Russell Lowell Hoppes.
Courtesy of Author's own collection.
Russell Lowell Hoppes was born on December 21, 1911 in Van Buren, Madison County, Indiana. He was the 10th child of 12 born to George Washington Hoppes (1865-1930) and Sarah Jane Dickerson (1869-1967). Russell Lowell Hoppes married Fern Josephine Thorn in 1929 in Madison County, Indiana. They went on to have two children, one of which is still living today. Their other child and only son, was my paternal grandfather, Chancy Clifford Hoppes (1932-2006). Grandpa Hoppes died on February 16, 1997. in Muskegon, Michigan.

Russell Lowell Hoppes was a Wesleyan minister and church builder. He was an Architect and drew the blueprints for several churches built in Indiana and Michigan. He was a Member of the Board at Indiana Wesleyan University. Grandpa was instrumental in building dozens of churches. He was known as the "Weeping Pastor". A Weeping Willow was planted on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University in his honor. He had a very loving and quiet disposition. His personality can best be describes as introspective and sincere. He was very studious and loved not only reading his Bible but studying it. He had a massive library of theology books that he also studied. He enjoyed photography and had a fairly extensive collection of cameras. He also enjoyed fishing and enjoyed many trips to lakes in both Michigan and Canada. He was a great man of God and one of my ancestors I wish I would have been able to get to know more while he was with us.

Grandma Fern Josephine Thorn was born on December 15, 1914, in Jonesboro, Grant County, Indiana. She was the middle of three girls born to Arlie Monroe Thorn (1881-1962) and Julia Frances DeLong (1893-1968). She went home to her heavenly Father after a long life of devoted service on August 7, 1998, in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, where she lived with her daughter.

Grandma Hoppes was a very caring and loving person. She enjoyed traveling with her husband and together they made several trips to The Holy Land. She had a heart for international mission work. She was a very animated person but also very proper. She did much of what is expected of a pastor's wife and did it well. She would take pies to the shut-ins of the church. She was a loving wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, grandmother, and friend to all who knew her.

My great-grandparents have a very interesting Salvation story. Grandpa and Grandma were going to a friends house one evening to play cards and on the way they went by a church that was holding tent revival services. They decided to go to the church to see what was going on. That night both of my great-grandparents received Jesus as their personal Savior. They neither one lost their passion for working for the Lord. They traveled extensively and had a heart for missions. I am sure Heaven was greatly blessed when these two individuals went Home to meet their Savior. I'm sure Grandpa had a hanky in both hands and a spare in every pocket when he meet his Redeemer. I know the Bible says there won't be tears in Heaven, but I am pretty sure Grandpa cried tears of Joy when he met Jesus face-to-face.

Source: The recollections of the Author's aunt, father, and grandmother.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Throwback Thursday

Welcome to my new blog!!

I decided to start off with a picture of my paternal great-grandparents and myself taken in 1989. This photo was taken just after my 4th Birthday. That year Grandpa Edgar Koger and Grandma Ina Leah Corder Koger held my birthday party at their home.

Grandma Ina made a beautiful cake for me that year. Grandma was a babysitter, quilter, cake decorator, gardener, and avid watcher of Wheel-of-Fortune and Jeopardy.  I had sleep-overs at her house frequently growing up. My fondest memory was sitting in one of her closets for hours with a shoebox full of her old diaries, reading to my hearts content. Sadly, I wan't able to rescue these diaries before they were disposed of after her death. I remember she would detail the days weather, who she talked to on the phone or wrote to, if she received any letters, special family events that happened, if one of her grandkids came to visit, and so much more. Grandma passed away exactly 4 weeks after my husband and I got married in 2006. I received one of her beautiful quilts as a wedding present and it will be cherished for the rest of my life. Ina Leah Corder was born on 5 Oct 1909, in Monticello, Wayne, Kentucky. She was the 5th of 11 children born to James Granville Corder and Arbanna Bell.  She lived in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio during her lifetime. Her and her husband moved to Hamilton, Butler, Ohio, in the 1950's and lived there until her death on 7 Sep 2006. She suffered from Dementia for more than 10 years before her death at the age of 96.

Grandpa Edgar died just a couple years after this photo was taken so I didn't get to know him much sadly. I do remember him being very quiet.  A funny oddity about him is that he did not like stringy melted cheese. Edgar Koger was born on 14 Oct 1904, in Bell Hill, Wayne, Kentucky. He was the 4th of 6 children born to Calvin Corder Koger and Predence Coffey. He died on 18 Oct 1991 at his home in Hamilton, Butler County, Ohio.

Both of these grandparents were instrumental in their community and well loved. Grandma made many baby blankets for most of the children born into her church, Bible Way Missionary Baptist Church, in Hamilton, Ohio.

Hope you enjoyed meeting my GREAT-Grandparents, Edgar and Ina.