Madonna Mae Montran (1893-1976)

52 Ancestors #7 — Madonna Mae Montran (1893-1976)


Madonna’s Early Life

Madonna’s life is defined by her names.  Every part of her incredible life is defined by the name she used.  
Only known photo of
Madonna as a child.
Madonna was born 20 Feb 1893 in Albion, Calhoun County, Michigan, to Ida Barber and John Montran. There is no evidence that Ida and John were ever married.  Although there are indexes that indicate Madonna has a birth certificate in Calhoun county, the County was unable to fine a copy of the certificate.  Sometime later in 1893, Donna’s mother married Max Fisher.  Max, Ida, and Madonna were living in Manistee, Michigan, in 1900 and Madonna was using the last name of Fisher.  
We know that Max died and in 1904, Ida married Jos. Holdsworth.  Jos. was from Minneapolis, which is our first connection with Minneapolis.  We don’t know where they lived, however, by 1910, Ida and Madonna, now Holdsworth, were living in Detroit, Michigan. Living with them was Ida’s mother, Sarah (Blackhurst) Barber, and Harvey Knight who was a “boarder.”
Oral history indicates that Madonna attended the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada where she learned piano and singing. There is a family story about Madonna getting a job because she went to a music store and sat in the window playing a piano.  Her highly skilled playing helped sell pianos so they let her do so.  From that exposure, she got a job playing the music at silent films in Rochester, New York.
Interestingly enough, neither of her children knew that Madonna married Chester Fenyvessey on 1 Oct 1911 in Lake Erie, Welland, Ontario, Canada. Chester Fenyvessey was a theatrical manager at the Rochester Hippodrome. When Madonna and Chester separated isn’t clear, but by 1914 Madonna had changed her name to “Donna” and left for California.
Donna is standing, fourth from left with cap on.

The Show Business Years

In California Madonna became one of Mack Sennett’s bathing beauties, and activity that would serve her later on in her career.  She also had an uncredited part in “Birth of a Nation,” D.W Griffith’s silent classic.  In the film she was one of the “Dancers of 1862.”  The film released in February, 1915. 

In July, 1915, Donna (Montran) was in Boston and was involved in a publicity stunt where she dropped flyers from a biplane onto spectators. 
In 1916, Donna won a bathing beauty competition at Madison Square Garden.  This was four years before the “Fall Frolic” began which would become the basis of the Miss America competition which began in 1921. In some respects, Donna was a Miss America five years before the pageants began.   Also in 1916, Donna applied to represent Boston at at New York’s Crystal Palace Preparedness Bazaar. She didn’t get the job, but it is clear that she was a considerable beauty for her time. 
In 1919, Donna modeled for the cover of sheet music of the song, “In the Heart of a Fool.”  She also appears to have recorded the music, however, I have been unable to find a copy of the recording. Also, in 1919 Donna began her live stage career. She was in the show “Bonnets” by Charles Smith and Abel Green.  Able Green would go on to be the editor of “Variety” magazine for forty years. 
Also, in 1919 Donna joined the cast of the road version of “Chin Chin” and tour the United States from the east to Oregon and Washington and back. The show continued into 1920.
In September, 1920, Donna began as the headliner for a vaudeville show, “California Bathing Girls.”  Obstensively, it was a review of bathing suits from the 1860s to modern (1920s) times.  As one reviewer said, “it offered nothing more than a leg show.” The show continued well into 1921.
In December, 1921, Donna began a new song and dance review with Murray Walker and Walter Davis who in later billings would be known as “the boys.”  I have a lot more research to do to follow Donna through the 1920, what shows she was in, and who she was with. In most every case, she was the headliner.  Later in the 1920’s she changed her stage name to “Donna Darling.”
I am not quite sure when she met Sammy Clark (aka Samson Amsterdam), probably in 1925 or 1926. They were married and in 1928 they had a son, Russell.  
The depression hit in 1929 and it hit the vaudeville industry hard.  In March of 1930 Donna and Sammy went to Panama.  While in Panama City, Panama, Donna met a US soldier named  Clifford Brown. It appears that Donna was smitten by Clifford and Sammy wasn’t pleased. When they returned in April of 1930, Donna and Sammy were clearly estranged. They had separate cabins on the ship and each identified their address as their individual parent’s homes.  About a year later Donna became pregnant with Clifford’s child. Sammy stayed married to Donna, to “give the child a name” and then quietly divorced her after the birth.
Donna’s second child was born in January, 1932 and they lived in Chicago, right down town.  Donna didn’t want to marry Clifford and there was a lot of stress about that. Apparently Clifford wasn’t happy about the way Donna was raising their child and in April of 1935 Clifford child-napped the daughter and brought her to Minnesota. Donna brought the police to bear and Clifford was arrested and returned to Illinois. Proper extradition wasn’t followed and there are many newspaper articles regarding the illegal arrest by Illinois police in Minnesota. Clifford went to prison in Illinois. When he came out of prison, he changed his name to Richard. Why will always remain a mystery. 

Later Life

Donna moved from Chicago to Grand Rapids, Michigan, about the time Richard was released from prison. In Grand Rapids Donna was living with a Russell Kees.  It is unclear if Donna and Russell were ever legally married, however Donna did take his name, the name she would keep for the rest of her life.  About 1942, Donna, Russell, and the kids moved to Detroit and lived in a house on Olivet. 
NEVENS LAUNDRY BUILDING
Where both Donna and her daughter worked in 1952
Photo from 1920s; however, building was not 
renovated until 1983
Thanks to Hennepin County Library
The Minneapolis Photo Collection
In 1950, Donna’s daughter had a son, named Donald, after Donna. In 1952, Donna and her daughter were living at 1221-1/2 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis and both were working at N

even’s Company, Donna as a seamstress, her daughter as a presser.  Her daughter left Minnesota late in 1953 to have a second child, this time a girl, who was also named “Donna.” When the elder Donna was called and told the news, that it was a girl and was named “Donna,” her daughter asked if she could keep the baby.  The elder Donna said to keep with the plan and put the baby up for adoption. Little Donna’s adoptive parents renamed her Glennis.  During the 1950s Donna was the housekeeper for the family as little Donald’s mother worked to support the family. 

Donna’s Final Years

In 1962, Donna’s daughter married Edgar Matson.  Extreme friction developed between Donna, who had a quick wit and piercing words and Edgar who was very abusive to her daughter and her grandson. Donna was forced to move out into an apartment by herself.  The animosity between Donna and Edgar was so virulent that Edgar promised he would “piss on her grave.”

In the late 1960s, I visited Donna fairly often. I am sad to say it was with ulterior motives. Near where she lived a liquor store would deliver “adult beverages.”  My best friend and I would visit her.  While there, we would order booze. When it arrived, Donna would go to the door and pay for it with money we gave her.  Sometimes we would order some for her as well. But, shortly after the booze arrived, my friend and I would leave, giving Donna our love and appreciation. Sometimes she would show us her scrapbooks, which were filled with clippings from the 1920s and her many show business activities.
Donna died on 14 September 1976. To thwart Edgar’s promise, Donna willed her body to the University of Minnesota to their cadaver program.  Donna was cremated in 1979. Her cremains were buried in a mass grave for University of Minnesota donors at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Sadly, her photos and clippings were lost as Edgar wouldn’t allow anything of Donna’s into his house. 
I am sad to say that I was in the navy when she died and hadn’t seen her for several years.  I never had the opportunity to truly thank her for all she did to raise me for the first twelve years of my life.

Madonna/Donna was an amazing woman, who, while young, lived on the edge. She traveled the country from coast to coast several times, she was in show business and lived life in the fast lane. And in later life she was, in many ways, cast aside and forgotten. 


Madonna’s many names included:

Madonna Montran
Madonna Fisher
Madonna Holdsworth
Madonna Fenyvessey
Donna Montran
Donna Amsterdam
Donna Clark
Donna Darling
Donna Kees

I miss Donna and will celebrate her life, on this the 121st anniversary of her birth.  I’ll give her a four-finger toast tonight, I think she’d like that, and I vow that I will never forget her.

William Price (1762-1846)

52 Ancestors #6 — William Price (1762-1846)

Logo of the Daughters
of the American Revolution
Thanks to the wonderful records on the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) website, I knew that my wife’s 4th great-grandfather, William Price was a descendant of the patriot, William Price, Sr. I also knew that William was born on 14 Feb 1762 in Martin County, North Carolina and that he died in Martin County.  With his birthday coming, I thought I’d research more.
Nothing is known about his childhood.  According to the DAR information he married circa 1778, at the age of 16. Other research found that his wife was probably Mary Brown. I suspect that he and Mary were married somewhat after 1778 because, apparently, their first child, Hardy Brown Price wasn’t born until 1789.  All of their children were born in Martin County, North Carolina.
Courtesy: Wikipedia
Their first daughter, Cherry, (my wife’s 3rd great-grandmother) was born in 1793.  About 1795 another daughter, Rebecca was born. 
The DAR lineage report indicated that both his parents, William and Martha, died 27 Jan 1800. I’m quite certain that that is not the case. I found William Price, Sr. Will and it was dated 27Jan 1800.  He mentions that he was weak of body but provides for his wife in the will. 
In 1802, a third daughter Roxanne was born and in 1805 a fourth daughter, Mary was born. 
Some records indicate that about 1816, William’s oldest son, Hardy died at the age of 27 and the following year, they had another child named Hardy B. Price.  I find this unlikely as Mary would have been well into her 40s.  So, either there was a second wife, named Mary, or the reports of Hardy’s death are incorrect. We do know that Hardy was dead in 1843 as his heirs are mentioned in William’s will. It possible that a first Hardy had two children before dying at age 27 or that a second Hardy was born and had two children and died before dying before age 26.  In either event, this is an area that requires more research.
Daughter Rebecca died about 1829.
The 1830 Census indicates that he, at age 67, was living with a young woman and three  children under 10, a boy and two girls. It is not clear who this was yet.  His daughters Roxanna and Mary both had a boy and a girl living in 1843, so it is possible that it was one of them living with him.  Again, this is an area that additional research would clarify the situation.
In 1837 his daughter Cherry died.  
Guilford flag (North Carolina)Source: North American
Vexillological Association
The 1840 Census indicates that William was a Revolutionary War Pensioner.  There were several William Prices that fought in th™revolution. Certainly his father did.  There is another William Price who married a Mary Butler of Kingwood, Preston Co. Virginia (Now WV), who some researchers appear to confuse with the Martin County William Price. This is an area for future research to solidify this William’s Revolutionary War service. 
William Price’s will in August of 1843 is silent regarding regarding William H Price (III) so it appears that child, if he existed — and I’m not sure that he did — died before 1843 without issue. 
William Price’s will indicates the following children:   

Hardy Price (Dec.)
Cherry Bryan (Dec.)
Mary Johnson
Rebecca Bryan (Dec.)
Roxana Bryan

There are many grandchildren mention including Evelina Bryan and Joseph Bryan whose mothers are not identified.  Note that it appears that three of Williams four daughters married Bryan men.  
William died sometime between August 1843 (when he signed his will) and January 1847 (when his will was probated).  He asked to be buried in the family cemetery.   
Although some land is passed through the will, it appears that much more of his land was passed via sales.  I have several records of land transfers that I need to go through in the future. 
————————
Last Will & Testament – William Price – 22 August 1843
Amanuensis by Don Taylor
 Probated – January Term 1847
North Carolina
Martin County
Martin County Wills Records
1810-1868, Vol. 02 Image 196 (Pg 326) – Cropped
Thanks to Family Search 

Know all men by those present that I William Price being in sound mind and memory thanks be to God for the same but knowing the uncertainty of death do make and ordain this my last will and testament as follows:

1st I commend my soul to Almighty Good my body to be entered in a descent christian like manner in the family Grave yard.
2nd The negro girl Hannah I trust my daughter Cherry at her marriage after my death it is my will and desire that said negro Hannah increase except one boy by the name of Luke, be equally divided between the children of my daughter Cherry and these being from my Daughter Cherry being dead it is my will wish and desire that the increase of said negro Hannah she being dead also be equally divided between Robt. Rebecca, Martha, John & Benjamin Lewis Bryan children of said Cherry after my death and to make said division I do nominate and appoint Jno P. Turner Robert Bryan and same. Saml A. Long to do the same.
3rd The negro girl Silva I let my daughter Rebecca have at her marriage and my daughter Rebecca being  dead and said nigro also best said nigro silva having an increase it is my will and desire that Jno Bryan, husband of my said daughter Rebecca have said negros to him and his heirs forever.
4th the negro girl Liza I let my daughter Roxana have at her marriage it is my will and desire that my daughter Roxana have said girl and increase her life time and after her death. I give said nigros to her (sasfue?) children.
5th The negro boy thisosehilus which was sold and the profits equally divided between my daughter Mary and her two children Joseph and Martha remain so forever.
6th I give unto my grand daughter Evelina Bryan one nigro girl by the name of Hannah, should the said Evelina Bryan die without a lawful heir it is my will and desire that the said nigro Hannah be sold and increases of (???) and the proceeds rising from the said sale be equally divided among my heirs.

over 
Martin County Wills Records
1810-1868, Vol. 02 Image 197 (Pg 327) – Cropped
Thanks to Family Search 

7th I give unto my grandsons Benjamin F Price and Hardy B. Price, sons of my son Hardy B Price one hundred dollars each before the property I have on hand is divided.
8th I give unto my grandson, Joseph R. Bryan our tract of land said land I bought of B. F. & H, M. B. Price containing forty acres more or less and all its improvements thereon forever.
9th It is my will and desire that the nigros I have not given away after my death to be equally divided between my heirs in the following manner (viz) one fifth to Hardy B Price heir, one fifth to the Cherry Bryan heirs, One fifth to Rebecca Bryan children, one fifth to Roxana Bryan her lifetime and after her death to her children, one fifth to Mary Johnson her lifetime and after her death to her children leaving and giving my executions forever  to appoint commissions to allot and divide said nigros between said heirs according to the above statement.
10th I give unto my daughter Mary Johnson one track of land known as the Johnson Tract containing fifty acres more or less running south with the fence to her and her heirs forever also one negro woman by the name of Ninny to her and her heirs forever.
11th It is my desire that the balance of the land I have not otherwise disposed of except the family graveyard be sold and equally divided between my son Hardy B Price and the  heirs of daughters Rebecca, Cherry, & Roxanna in like manner, as the negros.
12th I give to unto my grandson Joseph R Bryan one bed and furniture.
13th It is my will and desire that my Executor sell at public auction my perishable estate and after paying my land debt the balance with what monies or land that I may have to be equally divided between the heirs of my son Hardy B. Price and the children of my daughter Rebecca and the children of my daughter Cherry and Roxana and Mary in like manner as the nigros.
14th It is my will and desire that my Executors retain in their hand, if not applied for property before the part of any estate which I give unto my daughter Roxana and her heirs seven years if not adopted for in that time then to be equally divided between my other heirs.
15th It is my will and desire my executors retain in their hands the property which I given unto my grand children until they arrive to the age of twenty one or married, I do hereby constitute and appoint my friends Archibald Stanton and William R Brown Executors to this my last will and testament revoking all others that I may have made prior to this date. In witness where of I have (??ents) set my hand and seal, this the twenty second day of August One Thousand Eight Hundred and forty three.

Signed:  William Price {Seal}

Signed in presence of us
Bryant Bennett
Jos. Waldo

A Great Lineage:

Ann Debora Long’s mother was
Martha Ann Bryan, whose mother was
Cherry Price, whose father was 
William Price (The subject of this posting). His father was 
William Price, whose father was 
John Price.

Peter McAllister (1852-1941)

52 Ancestors #5 – Peter McAllister (1852-1941)
PETER MCALLISTER was born on 12 Feb 1852 in Workington, Cumberland, England. He died in 1941 (The death index indicates he passed in Jan/Feb/Mar of 1941) in Cockermouth, Cumbria, England. He married (1) MARGARET MARY LAMB, daughter of Edward and Jane Lambe on 22 Aug 1878 in Workington, Cumberland, England. She was born in Apr 1860 in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cambria, England (St. Marys, Cumberland, England). He married (2) UNKNOWN after 1921 in England.

Saint Michaels Church before the fire.

Peter’s Story

Peter McAllister was baptized on 12 Mar 1852 into the Church of England at Saint Michaels Church in Workington, Cumberland, England. Nothing is known about his childhood or early years. It is assumed that he grew up in Workington.
In 1878, Peter was working as a seaman out of Workington, England, and he married Margaret Mary Lambe.  In 1879, the couple was blessed by the birth of their first child, Frank. In 1881, Peter was working as an “Engineerman,” which is a person who was in charge of a large engine. The engine type could have been most anything.  Possibly he would have been an engineerman (engineman today) on a ship while a seaman.  He identified himself as an engeerman in the 1881 census while they lived at 5 High Church Street in Workington. His first daughter, Elizabeth, was born in March, 1881 and his second son, Edward, in May, 1882.  In August of 1884, his second daughter, Hannah was born. 
In 1885 the family immigrated to the United States.  It appears that he preceded the rest of the family because Margaret arrived with the children but Peter wasn’t on the ship. The family settled in Catasauqua, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, which is where their third son, John William McAllister was born in 1887 and their last child, Joseph M. was born in 1889.
2800 Berg Street Today
The house Peter built in 1890 at the corner of
Vine & Cologne (now Berg & Cologne)
Courtesy Google Maps
In 1890 the family relocated to Pittsburgh and in November Peter took out a building permit to build a house at the corner of Vine (now Berg) and Cologne. A 16×32, two story with basement house for $1,200. 

Homestead Strike & Riot

The 1890s were an extremely volatile time in Pittsburgh. Back in 1876, the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers (AA) union was formed. After winning several strike confrontations with steel plant owners during the 1980s the union, the union decided to strike against the Homestead Steel Mill.  In 1892, plant manager Henry Clay Frick wanted to break the union. On June 30th, he locked out the union employees and the union decided to strike back by closing the plant with their pickets. The AA would not allow the plant to be opened with nonunion employees.  
On July 6th there was a huge confrontation between 300 Pinkerton detectives, hired by the mill and hundreds of strikers.  By the end of the day, many had been killed on both sides and another couple dozen injured.  At the union’s demand and the city’s agreement, the Pinkertons were arrested and to be tried for murder and other crimes. The city then reneged on that agreement; the Pinkertons were released which outraged the strikers.
Troops Arrive in Homestead
Harper’s Weekly, July 23, 1892
From wood engraving by T. de Thulstrup
Thanks to US Library of Congress 
On July 12th, 4000 state militia arrived and took the plant from the strikers. On the 15th the mill opened again with new, strike breaking employees. Because many of the new employees were black, a race war broke out inside the plant while union employees who were trying to stop the opening of the plant were bayonetted by the troops. On July 18th the town was put under martial law. On July 23rd, an anarchist attempted to assassinate Frick.  Throughout July and August there were continued skirmishes and legal battles.  One judge issued treason charges against the Union’s Advisory Committee for “making itself the law.”  
This was the backdrop for September 2nd, when Peter McAllister was arrested for rioting.  We don’t know if he was working at the Homestead Steel Mill at the time or if he was just a supporter. His being “locked out” suggests that he was an employee at that time.  We do know that he worked as an engineman on the Rolling Mill Crew at Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp a few years later. In either event, Homestead would have been a fairly quick six-mile train ride from where he lived. We do know that he made bail, and renewed his bail several months later.  It appears that eventually the charges were dropped on both sides.  
Rolling Mill Crew – Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation – 1906
Peter was a member of the Rolling Mill Crew in 1906. He may be pictured in the photo
Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center,  Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation Collection
In 1894 Peter became a United States Citizen. 
In 1900 Peter was living on Patterson Street with his wife, both daughters and his three younger sons.  He went to Europe at some unknown date and returned to the States in June 1905.  
In 1906 his daughter Hannah gave birth, out of wedlock, to a girl, which was fathered by a man 27 years older than Hannah, who was only 21 at the time. After Hannah became pregnant a second time by the same older man, he finally married her in 1907, giving both the children his name. Hannah and her father were estranged after that. 
Peter McAllister
1921 Passport Photo
Thanks to Ancestry.Com 

Peter returns to England


In June, 1921, Peter received a US Passport.  He was 69 years old, 5′ 5″ tall. He had grey eyes, grey hair, mustache, high forehead, large nose, heavy chin, fair complexion, oblong face. His passport contains the only known photograph of Peter McAllister.  His passport application indicated that his intent was only to visit England. However, he left in July, 1921 and never returned to the states. 
It is believed that he married his housekeeper in England.  
He died sometime during the first three months (January-March) of 1941 at the age of 88.
Peter McAllister and Margaret Mary Lamb had the following children:
i.  FRANK MC ALLISTER was born in 1879 in Workington, Cumberland, England.
2.
ii.
ELIZABETH MCALLISTER was born in Mar 1881 in Workington, Cumberland, England. She died on 02 Jan 1944. She married Harold Lane, son of <No name> and <No name> on 06 Jul 1909. He was born on 19 Nov 1880 in England. He died before 26 May 1943.
3.
iii.
EDWARD LAMB MCALLISTER was born on 23 May 1882 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, United Kingdom (Scotland, England). He died on 12 Jan 1925 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA (Cause of death: Murder / Hatchet to head.). He married VIOLET YELLIG. She was born in 1889 in Pennsylvania. She died on 04 Oct 1910 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. He married (2) THERISA BAUCKMANN, daughter of William Bauckmann and Elinor Bowers before Sep 1918 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. She was born on 20 Aug 1891 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 17 Nov 1924 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA (Died of a cerebral hemorrhage, stroke).
4.
iv.
HANNAH MCALLISTER was born on 15 Aug 1884 in England. She died on 11 Jul 1913 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA (Died of pelvic peritonitis due to a ruptured ovarian cyst.). She married (1) RUFUS HARRY DARLING, son of Rufus Holton Darling and Elizabeth Jane Swayze on 16 Feb 1907 in Kittanning, Armstrong, Pennsylvania, USA. He was born on 30 Jun 1857 in Michigan (Age 3). He died on 05 Jun 1917 in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. She married THOMAS R WHITE. He was born on 13 Sep 1868. He died on 06 Sep 1945 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA (Interned at Chartiers Cemetery).
5.
v.
JOHN WILLIAM MCALISTER was born on 28 Mar 1887 in Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA. He married EMMA M [MCALLISTER]. She was born about 1889 in Pennsylvania, USA.

6. vi. JOSEPH M. MCALLISTER was born on 25 Sep 1889 in Catasauqua, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in Oct 1962. He married Myrtle (McAllister) before 1917 (After 1910). She was born about 1893 in Pennsylvania, USA.

Conclusion

Pittsburg Dispatch,
September 03, 1892, Page 2
Thanks to the Library of Congress
It is very cool when you find an ancestor was a part of a major event in American history.  The Homestead Strike and Riot was one of the most significant events in labor history and Peter was there, being arrested with the best of them.  
I commend Peter McAllister, my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather and I urge everyone to remember him and his struggles today, Feb 12, 2014, the 162nd anniversary of his birth.  I’ll think of him on Labor Day too.


Minerva Ann Tolliver (1821-1902)

52 Ancestors #4 – Minerva Ann Tolliver Mannin (1821-1902)

County Map of Kentucky
Courtesy: Wikipedia
Minerva Ann Tolliver was born in Kentucky on 5 Feb 1821. Various records during her life record her name in many different ways, Minerva, Manerva, Minora, and Minna.  She was probably born in Bath County, near Greenup County, in the portion of Bath that became Morgan County in 1822 and Rowan County in 1856. I also suspect near what was to became Carter County in 1838. It is also likely that the county changes account for many of the different county designation of where she lived over the years.
There is a wonderful interactive map at Kentucky Historical Counties which allows you to select a date and see what counties existed then. If can then easily see the changes in the Bath/Morgan/Rowan counties over time.
There is considerable speculation regarding her early life. One thread indicates that Minerva was Native American (Cherokee). I don’t believe this to be the case. First, in none of the Census reports was Minerva ever reported as being anything but white.  Second, as my 3rd great-grandmother, I would expect to have about 3% of her genome.  Although I do have 2% unknown or trace, there is no evidence that I have any Native American in my ancestry. Likewise, my mother, who should have approximately 6% of Minerva’s genome shows no proportion of Native American. 23 & Me indicates she has 99.4% European ancestry as do I.  Because of the “stickiness” of DNA, although unlikely, it is still possible for Minerva to be Native American. I would be very interested in the mtDNA results of any direct female descendants of Minerva – that should answer the question definitively. 
Another theory is that Minerva was raised by Elijah Toliver and used his last name although she was born with the surname Mannin. This theory suggests that her father died when she was very young and her mother remarried. Her mother, Martha Patsy (Mannin), married Elijah Tolliver in 1825. Minerva was 3 years old then, so she probably wasn’t a child of Elijah. This thought is supported by Phoebe Mannin, Minerva’s granddaughter, who listed Minerva’s last name as “Mannin” when she created a family tree in 1973.
A third theory exists that Martha Patsy Mannin had Minerva out of wedlock. Thus, Minerva had the surname Mannin until Martha married. This scenario makes the most sense to me and explains many of the conflicting facts. (I think this is a case where Occam’s Razor applies and this is the simplest answer.)
Kentucky State Flag
Courtesy: Wikipedia
The records are unclear where her parents were born. Some say Kentucky, some say Virginia. Kentucky became a state in 1792 so it is possible that her parents were born in what was Virginia but is now Kentucky. It is also possible that Elijah was used on some occasions as her father and the unknown Mannin used at other times.
She and Enoch were married on 15 Oct 1843, in Grayson, Morgan County, Kentucky, when she was 22 years old. She had nine children, five girls and four boys. Four of her children preceded her in death.

John William Mannin (1846-1888)
Isaac Wilson Mannin (1848-1931)
Nancy Ann Mannin Barnett (1849-1913)
Meredith Mannin (1851-
Sarah Jane Mannin Bryant (1855-1942)
Mary Ermaline Mannin Jones Gates (1856-1899)
Gresella Mannin (1857-1897)
Prudence Mannin Bare McDonald (1860-1898)
Robert J Mannin (1869-

Following her and Enoch while they were in Kentucky is very confusing.  They appear to have moved between Bath, Carter, and Morgan counties between 1843 and 1883. (All are in northeast Kentucky.) However, as mentioned before they are all within a short distance from each other depending upon the year being considered.  This could be an excellent area for further research and study.

Her husband, Enoch, served the North during the Civil War (War of Rebellion or War of Northern Aggression depending upon your point of view) 

In 1880, she and Enoch were still in Carter County, Kentucky.  
She and Enoch moved to Minnesota in April 1883 to Holding township in Stearns County; their post office was Saint Anna.

Their eldest son, John William Manning, had two daughters, Mary & Phebe. John’s wife died in 1882 and the girls were living with their grandparents, Enoch and Minerva, in 1885.  We aren’t sure how long they stayed with them. 

NE 1/4 of Section 22, Township 134 (May Township) today
View Larger Map
Enoch moved the family to Cass County in April, 1888. They settled on 160 acres in May Township, Cass County, Minnesota; Enoch received a homestead patent in 1894 for the land. Minerva’s life was that of a farmer’s wife; she kept house on the land that her husband owned and raised 9 children.

A Google map view of the property (Northeast quarter of section 22, township 134 (May Township), Range 31, today indicates a swampy bit of land along a creek without any evidence of current farming or of the original homestead.  She continued to live on the farm in May township until her death in 1902.

Marker of Minerva A (Tolliver)
Wife of Enoch Mannin
Feb 5, 1821- Oct 25, 1902
Photo by Don Taylor

Minerva marker and death certificate are inconsistent. One says she died on October 24th the other October 25. One says died at 81 years, 8 mos, 20 days (making her birth Feb 5, 1821) the other says she died at 82 years, 8 mos, 21 days (making her birth Feb 3, 1920).  The 1821 date is probably correct as she was x9 years old during most of the earlier census reports.

She is buried in Bridgeman Cemetery in Cass County.

I remember Minerva and celebrate her life today, the 193rd anniversary of her birth.

Sources: 
Tombstone/Marker Minerva A, Bridgeman Cemetery, Cass County, Minnesota (Personal visit)
1850 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1860 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1880 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com

1885 Minnesota, Territorial and State Census – Via Ancestry.com
1895 Minnesota Territorial and State Censuses – Via Ancestry.com
1900 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
Department of the Interior – Bureau of Pensions – Questionnaire, Enoch Mannin – 20 Nov 1897.
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