Halloween or Samhain is said to be the day where the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. As such, it is an important time to remember those who have passed. Although I try to remember all my ancestors who have passed, this Samhain I want to remember three people who were not ancestors but had a profound effect on my life. Their passing touched me deeply.
First, is my first close friend to die. Steve Plowman was a close friend while I lived in North Minneapolis. He lived about a block away – down the hill to the corner then left a half a block to his house on 24th that adjoined the alleyway between Aldrich and Bryant avenues. On Tuesday, November 24th, 1964, Steve and a mutual friend, Gary Dorf, were crossing Lyndale Avenue in North Minneapolis while a bus was stopped. Gary stopped walking while in front of the bus, but Steve ran out trying to beat a car that was coming. Steve was hit by the car and died before getting to the hospital. He was the first close friend I had to die, and one of only a few I’ve known that have died due to a car accident. Steve was only 15 when he died. To this day, I am ultra-careful when walking past a bus into traffic and cringe when I see someone step past a bus without using super-great caution.
Sadly, I was in Minnesota a few weeks ago and at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, where Steve is buried, and didn’t realize he was there. So, visiting his grave will be on my list of things to do during my next visit to Minnesota.
Next, is my best friend’s mother, Alvina Kirks. She was a really nice woman. Hers was the first, and only, funeral where I was a pallbearer. It was difficult for me to say anything that would help my friend or the rest of his family. I recall making a conscious decision to do my absolute best to fulfill the honor my friend and his father bestowed upon me asking that I be a pallbearer, at only 16-years of age. Alvina was only 47 when she passed. From her, I learned that even when cancer is taking your life, you can be strong and dignified during the process. She was. I was able to visit her burial site at Fort Snelling National Cemetery when I was last in Minnesota. She is buried next to her husband, Charles N. Kirks.
Finally, is my first wife, Mary. She was an exceptionally good woman and mother to my first child. She was very tolerant and in so many ways amazing. I was married to her for over ten years and don’t rue a day of it. We were so young when we were married and tried very hard to make it work. But the separations of Navy life took their toll on our relationship. She passed away last spring (June). I was able to visit where her cremains are buried at Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Minneapolis. I was saddened that there wasn’t a stone monument there. Cemetery records indicated where she was buried. She is resting with her grandparents, John & Marie (Hawley) Langford. Although she doesn’t have a stone marker at the cemetery, I did create a virtual monument for her on Find-a-Grave. May her life in heaven be more joyous than she ever imagined.
Meredith didn’t follow the typical “go west young man” life of so many of my ancestors. Meredith was born in Virginia about 1802. He went west as a young man to Bath County, Kentucky, where he married. He then moved west to Missouri. After several years in Missouri, he moved back east to Boone County, Indiana. He returned east again and settled in Carter County, Kentucky. Finally, he appears to have died in Bath County after returning to the place of his youth.
The Mannin family bible clearly indicates that Meredith Mannin was born on 12 June 1802. Sadly, that family bible isn’t a contemporary source record. The bible record is from the Civil War record file of Meredith’s son Zachariah. The record appears to be written by one person at one time. It was clearly written after 1838 and probably not until the 1860s. The 1850 and 1860 Census records indicate he was 48 and 58 years old respectively, suggesting the birth year of 1801. The 1870 and 1880 census records re-establish his birth year as being 1802, consistent with the Bible record.
It is unclear who his parents were. Some sources suggest that his mother, Catherine Barnett, married both John Bosel Mannin and his brother Meredith Mannin. I’ve accepted his father being John Bosel Mannin and know that I need to do much more research in this area.
In any event, I believe his siblings to be:
b. 1796 in Virginia
b. 1798 in Virginia
b. 1799 in Virginia
b. 1800 in Virginia
b. 1802 in Virginia
b. ca. 1804 in Kentucky
b. 1811 in Kentucky
b. 1915 in Kentucky
b. 1826 in Kentucky
Nothing is known of Meredith’s childhood. Sometime in 1803 or 1804 the family relocated to Kentucky.
Meredith and Rachel Fugate’s father signed a marriage bond on 14 February 1825. It is unclear if they married on that date or three days later, on February 17th. See: Marriage of Meredith Mannin & Rachel Fugate. Enoch was born on 3 January 1823, two years before Meredith and Rachel were married. While Rachel was 4-months pregnant with Isaac she and Meredith married.
Meredith and Rachel had 12 children. Their first three children, Enoch, Isaac, and Thomas were born in Kentucky. About 1828, the family moved to Missouri and had three children while in Missouri – Tubill, Reuben, & Katharine. About 1835, the Mannin’s moved 250 miles back towards the east to Boone County, Indiana. There they had four more children, John, Mahala, Sarah, & Elizabeth. Finally, about 1841, the family moved back to Kentucky where their two youngest children, Zachariah & Tarlton, were born.
1830 Census indicates the family is in St Ferdinand, St Louis, Missouri:
3 Males under 5, One presumed to be Isaac, Age 5 One presumed to be Thomas Hillry, Age 3 One presumed to be Tubill, Age 1 1 male 5 to 10 Presumed to be Enoch, Age 7 1 male 20 to 30. Meredith Mannin, Age 28. 1 Female 20 to 30 Presumed to Be Rachel Fugate, Age 26.
In 1837, Meridith Mannin owned 40 acres of land about four miles north of Lebanon, Boone County, Indiana, in Washington Township, the SE ¼ of the NE ¼ of Section 12.
1840 Census indicates the family is in Boone County, Indiana:
2 Males 5 to under 10 – Presumed to be John (age 5) and Reuben Calloway, (Age 9) 1 Male 10 to under 15 – Presumed to be Thomas Hillry OR Tubill (Age 13 or 10) 2 Males 15 to under 20 – Presumed to be Enoch (Age 17) and Isaac B. (Age 15) 1 Male 30 to under 40 – Presumed to be Meredith Mannin (Age 38) 3 Females under 5 – Presumed to be Mahala (Age 2), Elizabeth (Age 1), and Sarah Jane (a newborn) 1 Female 5 to under 10 – Presumed to be Katharine Susan (Age 7) 1 Female 30 to under 40 – Presumed to be Rachel Fugate Mannin (Age 36)
The 1850 Census indicates the family is in Carter County, Kentucky
Meradith Mannen – 48 – Farmer 250 VA Rachel “ 47 KY Tubal “ 20 Laborer Mo Reuben “ 17 Laborer “ Cathrine S “ 15 “ John “ 13 Ind Mahala “ 12 “ Sarah “ 10 “ Zachariah “ 8 Ky Tarlton “ 6 “
The 1860 Census indicates the family is in Bath County, Kentucky. Only four of their children are still with them:
Meredith Manning – 58 Farmer – Born Virginia Rachel “ 57 Kentucky Zachah “ 18 Farm Hand – KY Mahala 21 KY (Apparent Error) Sarah 19 KY (Apparent Error) Tarlton 16 KY
Rachel died on 7 May 1870.
The 1870 Census finds Meredith in Carter County again. Living with him are his daughter Sarah Jane, her husband and their three children. Also, with them are two of Meredith’s grandchildren. One more person, Rodeth Richard, probably Sarah Jane’s sister-in-law, is also living with them.
Merideth Mannin M 67 Virginia Farmer Jane Richardson F 26 Kentucky Keeping House James Richardson M 26 Kentucky Farmer Rachel Richardson F 7 Kentucky James Richardson M 4 Kentucky William Richardson M 2 Kentucky Rodeth Richardson F 17 Kentucky Ruben Tapp M 15 Kentucky Farm Laborer Evaline Tapp F 13 Kentucky
The 1880 Census now finds Meredith living in the household of his daughter Sarah Jane, her husband and their six children now in Tanyard, Bath County, Kentucky:
James Richardson Self M 43 Kentucky, Farmer Sarah Richardson Wife F 41 Indiana, Keeping House Rachal Richardson Dau. F 17 Kentucky James Richardson Son M 15 Kentucky, Laborer William Richardson Son M 13 Kentucky, Laborer Meridith RichardsonSon M 8 Kentucky Charley RichardsonSon M 6 Kentucky Melvin Richardson Son M 2 Kentucky Merideth Mannon F-I-L M 77 Kentucky (Widowed)
Death & Burial
I have been unsuccessful finding any death or burial record for Meredith. Several researchers suggest he died after 15 Jul 1885, several others suggest 15 July 1885.
Further Actions / Follow-up
Find out the sources for the suggested death date for Meredith.
1850 Census, Com, 1850 Census – Meradith Mannen [Mannin] – District 1, Carter, Kentucky. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data – Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls).
1860 Census, Family Search, 1860 – Meredith Manning – Bath, Maine – Page 131.
1870 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, 1870 Census – Merideth Mannin – Precinct 3, Carter, Kentucky. “United States Census, 1870,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MX7P-1PB : 12 April 2016), Merideth Mannin, Kentucky, United States; citing p. 1, family 4, NARA microfilm publication M593 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 545,953.
1880 Census, Family Search, 1880 – James Richardson – Tanyard, Bath, Kentucky. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCCM-LQ1 : 12 August 2017), Merideth Mannon in household of James Richardson, Tanyard, Bath, Kentucky, United States; citing enumeration district ED 7, sheet 362D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0402; FHL microfilm 1,254,402.
Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Thomas Hillry Manning – Memorial 41718613 [No Image]. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 15 September 2018), memorial page for Thomas Hillry Manning (8 Mar 1827–4 Oct 1924), Find A Grave Memorial no. 41718613, citing Manning Chapel Cemetery, Carter, Carter County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Norm Nelson (contributor 47026217).
Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954, Family Search, Meredith Mannon and Rachel Fugate, 14 Feb 1825 – Bond. Bath, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 273,003. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V5ZH-L12.
Mannin Family Bible, Copy, Mannin Family Bible – Family Records – Births. Bible Records found in Civil War record file of Zachariah Mannin, son of Meridith and Rachel Fugate Mannin. Zachariah died of smallpox Jan. 7, 1864 at Knoxville, Tennessee. Meridith Mannin applied for Zachariah’s pension and received it. From http://boards.rootsweb.com/surnames.mannin/159.1.1/mb.ashx.
 NOTE: The family should include both Thomas and Tubill, however, it appears that only one of the two is enumerated.
Know all men by these presents that we Meredith Mannon & Rueben Fugate are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the just and full sum of £50 current money of Kentucky which payment well and truly to be made to the said Commonwealth we bind ourselves our heirs & jointly and several firmly by these presents sealed and dated this 14th day of February 1875 the condition of the above obligation in such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to be had and solemnized between the above bound Meredith Mannon and Rachel Fugate. Now should there be no lawful Occur to obstruct said intended marriage then this obligation will be void else to remain in full force and notice in law
Memorandum of Marriages Confirmed by me in Bath County in year 1825.
Willis Moffett & Caroline Stone on the 4th of Jan Also Rice Burns & Elizabeth Hardin Febr 3rd Meredith Mannon & Rachel Fugate on the 14th Feb…. ….
January the 3rd 1826 – Jonathan Smi…
The legibility of the “Marriage Confirmed” date leaves something of a question. It is unclear in my mind if the date is the 14th or the 17th. Both dates make sense. There are no other 7s on this page to compare his 7s against his 4s. Meredith and Rachel’s father, Reuben Fugate, signed a bond assuring Meredith and Rachel were able to marry. That they married on the same day makes sense, unless there was a waiting period. If Kentucky had a marriage waiting period in 1825 then their marriage three days later, on the 17th makes more sense.
I have decided to go with the 14th because Kentucky does not currently require a waiting period. I’ve tried to find Kentucky Laws in 1825, but have been unsuccessful. If anyone has a source for me to check, that would be a great help. If Kentucky had a waiting period in 1825, then Meredith and Rachel had to have been married on 17 February 1825.
[i] John Newmark started the “Amanuensis Monday” category in 2009 on his Blog, Transylvanian Dutch, and many bloggers have followed suit using the tag. Google provides the following meaning for amanuensis: “A literary or artistic assistant, in particular, one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.”
[ii] “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V5ZH-L12 : accessed 16 September 2018), Meredith Mannon and Rachel Fugate, 14 Feb 1825; citing Bath, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 273,003.
[iii] “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V5ZZ-J2T : accessed 16 September 2018), Meredith Mannon and Rachel Fugate, 14 Feb 1825; citing Bath, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 273,007.
For a few years, I’ve hypothesized that my great-grandfather, John F. Montran and John Foster Montran were the same person.
I have been unable to find a record of John F. Montran and my great-grandmother, Ida Mae Barber marrying in 1892. My grandmother was born in 1893 with the name Donna Montran and when Ida remarried in 1897 to Max Fisher she indicated her surname was Montran and that she was married once before. So, I believe John Montran and Ida were married about 1892. Donna indicated in 1911 that her father was dead. Certainly, John F. Montran doesn’t seem to exist anytime in the 20th century. I have found no records for John F. Montran after my grandmother’s birth in 1893.
John Foster Montran married Maude Minnie Winter in 1894. I have found no records for John Foster Montran before 1894. He had two children with Maude, Thelma M. Montran and Ruth Grace Montran, in 1895 and 1897 respectively. In the 1900 Census, Maude is listed as a widow and John appears nowhere else.
1892 – John Montran married Ida
1893 – Donna was born.
1894 – John and Ida separate.
1894 – John married Maude Minnie Winter
1895 – Thelma is born.
1897 – Ruth is born.
1898-1900 John dies.
1911 – Donna indicates her father, John Montran, was dead.
All the parts appeared to fit. The locations weren’t too far off. Donna indicated her father was born in Pennsylvania but had lived in Canada. Maude indicated her husband was born in Canada, but Maude and (her) John married in Pennsylvania.
I figured that DNA testing would prove the two John Montrans were one. I began researching the descendants of John and Maude (Winter) Montran. In 2015, I found a living descendant, I’ll call Sue[i]. I contacted her and asked if she would be interested in doing a DNA Test. The results should prove my hypothesis that the two John’s were the same person. She wasn’t interested in testing then, but maybe sometime.
I continued searching and finally found another descendant of John and Maude (Winter) Montran, I call him James[ii]. I contacted him, and learned he wasn’t interested in testing either.
I continued searching but didn’t find any additional living descendants of John and Maude and I set the project aside for a while.
It had been nearly two years since I had contacted Sue, so I thought I’d follow-up with her and see if she was interested in testing now. She replied that she had tested with 23 and Me and had her results. My mother tested with 23 and Me several years ago. My mother and Sue should show as a match. If my hypothesis is correct, they would be half first cousins, once removed. No match on 23 & Me. When you look for matches on 23 & Me, the page says, “Note: your anonymous matches have been opted out of DNA Relatives and are no longer visible within the tool.” I thought, maybe Sue opted out of DNA Relatives. I asked her to double check her settings. She responded that she opted in to DNA Relatives the day before. She also shared her results with me. Again, nothing, nada.
Using Blaine Bettenger’s “Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v4,” I could see that half first cousins, once removed (1C1R) should share 226cM of DNA. And that the range seen for half-1C1Rs was from 57 to 530. I even decreased the match criteria from the usual 7cm segment match required to only 4cM segment match and still no match with Sue.
Of course, it is possible that there was a non-paternal event that caused these DNA results, and it is always good to keep an open mind. However, these results prove to my satisfaction that my great-grandfather, John F. Montran, and the John Foster Montran who married Maude Minnie Winter were two different people.
Further Actions / Follow-up
Separate John F and John Foster in all my records and notional work and indicate that they were definitely different individuals.
I applied to and was accepted at Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC). ARCC was close to home, only 3 miles away so it was easy to work days, come home and eat, then go off to school for evening classes and the occasional Saturday class. I also received a nice stipend from the government based upon my ½ time class load. All my classwork with Chapman College and Chaminade College transferred, so I was nearly a year ahead of the game.
I was able to take some fun classes at Anoka-Ramsey. I needed another science course for my degree requirements and was able to take Meteorology at Anoka-Ramsey. What could be better than taking Marine Biology and Oceanography in Hawaii, and Meteorology in Minnesota? It was cool. Freshman English Comp was a drain on my time and resources, but I got through it. I understand it was much more personalized at a Community College than it might be at many larger universities, something I am grateful for or I may never have gotten through.
Computers were relatively new in 1981-2; I had a Psychology professor that utilized the new technology to its greatest. He gave his students all the questions and all the answers for his mid-term and the final. When we took the actual tests, the questions were a subset of what he gave us and the answers were jumbled up. The professor thought Psych 101 was all about learning and knowing the terms and his method helped assure that students knew them. It seemed strange at the time but makes a lot of sense now.
I wasn’t involved in any sports or extra-curricular activities at ARCC; I was too busy working and providing for my wife and my step-daughter. I was also involved with my community and a commissioner on the city’s Economic Development Commission. I had aspirations to run for City Council and took three courses in real estate at ARCC so I’d know more about the processes of Zoning, Planning, and Real Estate transactions.
Since I attended, Anoka Ramsey has added another campus in Cambridge, Minnesota. It is a well-known and well-respected community college in the area. It was a top 10 finalist for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s preeminent recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges.
I went Anoka-Ramsey (half-time) for nearly two years and received an Associate of Arts from them in December 1982.