The Long life, three wives, and fake death of Elias Goddard

See PDF link below for timeline. DNA has proven the link between descendants of his first family and descendants of his 2nd family.
I have had this theory for several years now, due to the little overlap in where Elias was in Indian Territory and his slightly younger 2nd self in GA.  I guess the promise of a 14 year old wife at age 38 was enough to make him leave his first family behind.

Elias Goddards TIMELINE Condensed2016

Elias’ son, John Willis Goddard, b. 1837.


Many Layers of the Journey

When I started this blog, I simply wanted to leave a legacy of stories for my family, with photos and any reminiscences neatly wrapped up in one package.  What I did not expect is something more closely resembling a spiritual journey-one that has helped me to uncover parts of myself, and my own deep connections to the families and stories I wanted to preserve.
I’ve been a fan of “Who Do You Think You Are?” for a long time, and I think every single person who’s been on that show by the end of it finds some deep connection to the people and stories they uncover.  Everyone takes a journey when they seek out their ancestors and I don’t think anyone expects what they find.
When you have just a name or a date or a photograph, you have something flat and two dimensional, but when you find details, stories, loves and heartaches, blessings and tragedies, these people become real-and all the more real because they are your relatives.
I think it’s natural that we see ourselves in them, and now we know that through “epigenetics” and DNA they really are within us-we carry their passions, their talents, and sometimes their bad traits too. It’s rather amazing when it unfolds.
This journey into finding my ancestors is vast-it gets exponentially bigger with each generation. The story fans out across the globe and through DNA, even my mostly European self touches almost every continent on the planet.
This has been a really fascinating journey for me-and one that’s become by obsessive and beloved hobby.  I am learning more and more about DNA, genetics, genealogy, ancestors, history, migration patterns, and how family stories change  over time.
Now I understand why many cultures have “ancestor worship”-better described as “reverence for the ancestors”…It’s a way of connecting on a very deep level with who we are-as a single person, as a family, as a culture, tribe, race, and human species.
And it is terribly evident in much of American culture today, that the lack of connection we modern folks have, is not good.
We need those connections. We need to remember these people and their stories and we need to share these stories with others. What we lose if we don’t tell the story is our soul. If we don’t share the memories, and share the bad things and the good, if we don’t tell the stories and tales about all of our own relatives and their adventures and sorrows, we lose our soul.

So this has become something much bigger for me than just family remembrances to share with future generations. It has become a path home-one I hope I can share with others. A path that I hope I can write down in some sort of cohesive outline and share with others in hopes that others can walk this same pattern-although it will be their own personal path, and reconnect with themselves.
I truly believe that in some way, our ancestors are still living, still with us, still able to guide us, and we owe them gratitude.
Something good is going to come out of this, I think. I’m just on a different path than I thought I was when I started! Stay tuned.

The Case for Elizabeth Gibson Being Daughter of Demarcus and MaryAnn Walker

Updated 11/2016, see below.

Many people have seen the 1850 Crawford County Missouri census with “my” Elizabeth Gibson and her three children (Hannah Parilee, Joseph Kelly and Willa Ann Gibson) living with Demarcus and MaryAnn Blevins Walker, and many have just assumed she was their grown daughter.

But we can’t make that assumption, especially because at the same time there is an E. (Emmaline) Arney living there too. She is a cousin to MaryAnn, likely looking for a husband among three eligible cousins and she does eventually marry the eldest Walker son in residence, George Washington Walker.
So we cannot assume that Elizabeth Gibson is their daughter. Continue reading

Up the Crabtree Tree

I thought I’d work on this line a bit-especially people I have photos of.
I found out through DNA testing of a male relative that while the paternal Crabtree NAME comes from West Yorkshire, England, the DNA is actually Scandinavian-probably Viking, probably from the time after the 900’s when the Vikings had a strong presence in much of eastern England.
Where I’ve always sort of ignored the paternal line-because it was boringly “English” I’m now curious-after all, it is where we get the really tall, long-faced bodies from, and one can hope just a little Viking toughness as well. This map (link) shows that the W. Yorkshire DNA is distinctively different from the Southern and Eastern British Isle DNA…As are the Welsh, Cornwall and Devon areas (which is my Whitecotton family-a post for another time)…

My great grandparents were Alexander Wilson Crabtree, Left, below. Center is Alexander’s wife, Alice Rosaline Goddard Crabtree. “Rosa” and Alex had 5 children, and then Alex died, of appendicitis, leaving Rosa with five children and extreme poverty.

Alexander Wilson Crabtree Alice Rosalin Goddard Crabtree  Sylvester Crabtree


Family stories have it that she was so poor she could not afford medicine when her kids got sick, so when she needed something she would ask someone going across the river to stop in with some Native folks that people called “the root diggers” and get some wild-harvested medicine. (That’s where I get my love of herbal medicine!) Rosa was also a midwife, not only to those being born, but sometimes to those dying as well.
After Alex died, Alex’s brother Sylvester (right, above) married Rosa. They had two more children, for a total of 7.
My dad used to say they had the “10 year club” going in the family. Rosa’s first son, my grandfather John Willis Crabtree, was born close to the end of 1886.
His full brother, Frank was born in 1897, and their half brother Thom was born in 1907.  Then in 1917, my grandfather had my Dad, so there was 10 years between each of them. Apparently my dad remembers this conversation while he and Thom were brushing their teeth around the cistern.

Alexander and Sylvester’s mother was Elizabeth Crabtree, born 1837.


Elizabeth(1) married Thomas M. Crabtree(2) and yes, they were 2nd cousins.

Elizabeth(1)’s father was William W.G. Crabtree(3), below.

William W.G.(3-note middle initial)’s father is William(5).




Thomas M (2)’s father is William T.(4-note middle initial).
William T (4)’s father was Thomas (6).

William(5) and Thomas (6) were sons of (you guessed it!) William and Ann Riley Crabtree.

If that’s as clear as mud, try the diagram, below.  Elizabeth and her husband/2nd cousin Thomas M. are on the right. They shared the same Great Grandparents. (Perhaps this accounts for their son Alexander being what looks like cross-eyed?)

Note also in the diagram below that one brother married a Sarah Flory and one married Sarah Flory Graham-they were likely also cousins, which, ugh, is just weird. Apparently there were no other dateable women except cousins?


Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 7.47.59 PM


Uncles-Great Grandma and Uncle Thom, notes, part 2

I found a note written by me-a little paragraph told to me by my dad. It says Little Grandma (Rosa Crabtree) was a widow with seven children. With no doctor around she knew that just down the road on the other side of the Merrimack River was the 
“Root Diggers Nation” a group of Indians who ‘dug roots’ and used them for medicine, and apparently sold them to others too. If the Pennocks (a family who live near the Root Diggers) came by her house in their wagon she would ask them to get her some herbs for her and bring them next time they came by.

Speaking of Rosa, my cousin and I have shared stories about intuition and ghosts and such, and she is the one that told me that Rosa did see ghosts and would occasionally hear her front gate opening and would casually tell people that that was a ghost coming to visit. She once saw a ghost man and his ghost horse riding down the road, and remark to her daughter that she had seen him before and he was looking for his cows.

Regarding Uncle Thom, my father and he were very close, because although they were uncle and nephew they were only 10 years apart in age. My dad says he remembers being out at the cistern with Tom brushing their teeth with Colgate toothpaste and he was wetting his brush and a glass of water. Tom taught my dad how to brush his teeth properly.

Uncles-A letter from Uncle Thom

Uncle Thom (Thomas) was my Grandfather John Willis Crabtree’s baby brother.Thom Crabtree

Letter to Dorothy Braunsdorf and her mother, Alice (Alice’s mother is Lily, Tom’s half sister)
dated December 1, 1992, Tacoma, Washington

Dear Dottie and Alice,
I see I have several letters waiting to be answered and felt yours is the most important we always enjoy hearing from you.

(Here he goes on about what they had for Thanksgiving dinner.)
Anyway we had a delicious dinner including turkey and dressing….

Thanks for the interesting or maybe I should say “cute letters” from our(1) great great grandma Goddard. I never knew her but I know our(2) grandpa Goddard was a character. I remember when he died. I was a kid 10 years old and he died a very painful death from gangrene of his foot I remember asking him how his foot felt and he said “it burns like fire”.
Alice Rosaline Goddard CrabtreeI recall a number of family members who return to our little house there and Bourbon so my little mom could nurse them through their final illness. There must’ve been six or eight of them through the years, uncles aunts and cousins. She was a woman whose heart was so big she just couldn’t say no to anybody who needed her care.

And I doubt she ever received a five dollar bill from anybody she helped. I feel sure you are aware that for several years she acted as the community midwife of Bourbon and I’m sure that during that time she rarely ever was paid for her services. And I will always remember getting up as a kid and asking about mom only to be told “Oh, Mrs. _____ needed her and they came and got her about 4 o’clock” (in the morning). Come to think about it if she was still living today (December 1) it would be her 128th birthday.
But enough of this.


Ernest Sylvester "Pooge" Crabtree I have one mother(3) that I wonder if you know about. Do you have any info about the life of my brother Ernest-commonly called “Pooge”? (4) During World War I while in the service he was assigned to a battery of engineers and shipped to Babylon, Long Island, New York. I have no idea how long he was stationed there possibly a year or more. During this time he met a nice local girl, fell in love and they produced a daughter.
For some time he kept this quiet and often he was shipped back from there he never wrote the girl. He had very little formal schooling (my guess would be around the third grade level) but somehow she got our address there in Bourbon and wrote to our mom. She immediately made Pooge fess up and tell her the whole story. I never heard anymore but I’m sure the mother never came to Bourbon and Pooge never went back to New York. And I never heard anything more about the girl so he so have no idea where she is or what became of her.
So much for any contribution to family history.
Considering the state of my health I am well aware I might kick off any time but we hope you and your mom will have the happiest Christmas ever and we hope the new year will be the best you can remember.
Take care and keep in touch.
Love always Tom and Dodie

P.S. thanks for all the info about family history. I do appreciate your efforts.
T. C.

1-I am pretty sure that when Tom is talking about “OUR” great great grandma, he means Dorothy’s, because this is literally one generation talking to the two below him-his niece and great niece. He is referring to his MOTHER, Alice Rosaline Goddard Crabtree. The story I was told was when she needed to treat an illness she would go across the river (Merrimac) and buy herbs for medicine from the “Root Diggers” (native people in S.E. Missouri.
In another Note from Thom he says: “For quite a long time she (his mother) was the community’s number one midwife and must’ve delivered 25 babies during that time. She was also the number one practical nurse during the time, and would never deny her help to anyone who needed her. Despite the fact she rarely ever was paid any cash. Mostly chickens or eggs or some kind of fruit or canned goods. In view of the life she lived in all the kindnesses she did for just about anybody who needed her, someone, maybe you, should write a book about her…”

2-When he talks about “OUR” grandfather, he is talking about HIS Grandfather, John Willis Goddard. So Thom would have been 12 when he died.

3-He doesn’t mean his literal mother-he means a mother in his files.

4-Ernest never married. He had a severe drinking problem and had difficulty holding a job for any length of time.

Note re. John Willis Goddard:
According to Tom, his grandpa Goddard was a very outspoken Republican, who served in the Missouri militia for a matter of some weeks, with ____ at Rolla, and at one time fired a Frisco locomotive between Stanton and Rolla.

Notes about Thom himself:
Tom was born in 1907, and somehow was able to travel from border to border and coast-to-coast by train, during the depression years in the 1930s. He said he enjoyed every mile of it. He said he rode in coaches (chair cars if he was lucky) and had meals in the diner car, which was quite a thrill for poor country boy. 
He and his wife Dorothy had no children, but he was very fond of all his nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Frank CrabtreeWhen I lived in Bangor, Washington, 1983-1986, my first husband, Brad, and I would go visit them for Thanksgiving Dinner. Uncle Frank, from Douglas, AZ was present at one of these dinners, and they gave me a copy of John Willis Goddard’s diary. I was reading through it, looking at dates when I discovered there were only about four months between the time when he married Hannah Parilee Gibson, and their daughter Alice Rosaline (Thom and Frank’s mother) was born. I said “Hey, wait a minute! My mom told me stuff like that didn’t happen back then!” and they ROARED with laughter.

Side Note:
Thom and Frank always had fun with the fact that Frank was born in 1897, Thom (his half brother) in 1907, and their older brother John’s boy John (my dad) born in 1917. That’s how they could always tell their ages, by how old the other one was plus or minus ten years.

Cool Videos

Sorry I haven’t been writing more-we are down to one computer and I so dislike trying to think and type on an iPad. Plus we’re trying to finish bathroom reno, painting a bedroom and Spring is definitely calling us in 17 different directions, so computer time is limited.

Not only am I a genealogy geek, but I LOVE languages too-and accents…And I thought this was really fun, considering how much of my ancestry I now know is from the British Isles. By the way, I refuse to call it the UK. To me it will always be Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales (and a few other wee bits) and to me, conglomerating it all together is a culture killer, just like the EU.

So here’s the video. Enjoy!


And here’s one more.
When we go to do genealogy research we have to remember things weren’t then like they are now. Heck, even in my lifetime, the map that used to show the U.S.S.R. doesn’t even exist anymore. Now we have all these smaller countries, and they have their identities back! (Add USSR to the yucky list with UK and EU.)

So here’s a video to show you just how much the place where your ancestors came from has changed.


Recently, I uploaded my DNA info into another ancestry/genealogy site, one that gives pretty simple raw data, connections and names/email addresses.
So I contacted the person who was highest on my list. We SHOULD BE third cousins, which means that our great-grandparents were siblings-in other words, we SHARE a great-great grandparent.

We exchanged surnames back to the GG stage (which is 16 names). I am lacking no names but am sketchy on details on a few people. This other person is missing a last name for one person, and, well,

I thought it would be so easy since this would be my closest kin so far, but….nothing.
Yes, our families have been in the same states…but…

How can it be that we can’t recognize a common name in 16 people…
And then I got to thinking about some of my ancestors. Yes, I have one line of lovely royal blood, my great-grandmother with the strong royal-looking face who probably didn’t even know she’s from princess blood… but a lot of my family is…”skitchy”.

We have two who are on the rolls for being tried and convicted of adultery. (No sentence). One murdered for running liquor, Several who could not read or write, many tradesman, many who were always on the move, and I’m guessing we have more than a few cases of “who’s your daddy?” happening in my tree.

So now I’m making myself crazy, going over and over the information that I got from the other person, trying out their ancestor’s name with my names on Google, checking through my 16 great-grands to see where I might be missing something, where someone could be lying about parentage, where someone could have been adopted or ravished by a stranger in the night….

And I’m making myself nuts!

I am curious what other genealogy researchers do in this case…Again I wonder, does this change who I am? What if I found that someone in my recent ancestry is not my ancestor?…Am I NOT a descendent of Kings? Not descended from the Cherokee’s?

I’ve connected with people in my Keeney, and Whitecotton lines, so I know at least those two…but…one small lie, or mis-representation one hundred years ago, could be a HUGE deal…

Crazy making….