University of Leicester Special Collections

I love it when I find a new website that really helps my genealogical research. I was researching my 4th Great-grandfather, Stephen Blackhurst, Sr. (c. 1779-1847) and found “Historical Directories of England & Wales,” on the University of Leicester, “Special Collections” webpages.  They have multiple directories from 40 county’s in England and Wales.  In my case I searched for Blackhurst and found over 100 returned items.  I then added “Yorkshire” to my listing and found 15 records.  Stephen died in 1847, so eliminated directories 1850 and newer. I looked closely at the Directories for 1833, 1841, 1847, and 1849 (he should have been gone for that one).

Stephen Blackwell in the 1833 Sheffield City Directory

Sure enough, there he was; a shoe maker at the Old Workhouse in Pitsmoor and he’s a shoemaker at 57 Pye bank in the 1839 and 1841 directories as well. He was not listed in the 1849 directory (he died in 1847), but two of his children, Adamson and Mary were listed.  Adamson was a shoe and butcher knife maker, at 102 Matilda St., and Mary was a dressmaker at 19 Chapel Street. I’m not 100% positive that this Mary Blackhurst is the right Mary Blackhurst (some of Mary’s siblings could have had a daughter Mary who could be this Mary), but it is likely enough to add it as a tentative entry.

To find the city directories, visit the University of Leicester Special Collections, then select Historical Directories of England & Wales. You can then browse or search the collection by county.  For those of you with Leicestershire ancestors, they have an additional 50 directories at Historical Directories of Leicestershire.

I can hardly wait to apply these city directories to my wife’s line in Workington and Cumberland County, England.

Uncle Russ, the Poet


Lisa Emmett recently contacted me about my Uncle Russ. She read my post about him – “In Memoriam – Russell Erwin Kees (1927-2016)” – and wondered if my uncle was the author of a poem she had.

Apparently, her mother died last year and as she was going through her mother’s things, she found a poem in a jewelry box by Russell E. Kees. As we compared notes, we learned that both her mother, the former Rosella VanderKlok, and my Uncle Russ were born in 1927, so they were contemporaries. Additionally, Rosella grew up and lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, until the 1950s. My uncle lived in Grand Rapids from about 1937 to about 1944. So they were in the same place at the same time. So, there is no doubt in my mind that the poem, “To Rosa” is a poem from my uncle to a young woman, written sometime from when they were teens, probably 16 or 17 years old.

Photo of Russell Kees in army uniform
Russell Kees c. 1952

Rosella VanderKlok


“Rosa” by Russell E. Kees

I’ll admit I’m rather slow,
When it comes to words of grace,
So I’ll tell it to you in a poem,
Rather than face to face.

I realize we’ve barely met,
Except for a week or two,
But I think that the time is coming close,
To speak of my love for you.

No don’t get red and blush and fret,
‘Cause it happens every day,
Boy meets girl, and falls in love,
That’s why I feel this way.

I may joke like I did last night,
About things we were going to do,
But deep inside, I keep the hope,
That someday they might come true.

I was happy to see you wear my ring,
And although I have no right,
To lie here in bed and think of you,
As mine for a single night.

I’ve tried for an hour to write a poem,
Explaining just how I feel,
But after I’ve read it, (and I’m glad that I said it)
I feel like a lowdown feel.

So here is the poem I said I would write,
God help me for being blunt,
But truth is stranger than fiction, you know,
And the true is, this poem’s NO stunt.

May God give me the courage to look you in the eye again
after you’ve read this!!!!!!

(But the Truest)

                           by Russell E. Kees

Russell and Rosa must have had a very special relationship for Rosa to have kept the poem for nearly 75 years. The poem also provides insight into Russell, whose youth experiences have always been a mystery to me.  My thanks to Lisa for sharing this glimpse into their teenage lives.

Ancestry’s ThruLines

General Genealogy
DNA, Brown Line
By Don Taylor

I was recently asked what I thought about Ancestry’s new ThruLinestm feature, how much did I use it and what do I accept from it. In using autosomal DNA results, it is always good to have a very wide tree. The wider your tree is, the more cousins you have identified, the more likely you will be able to determine the relationship between you and a DNA match.

So, I decided to look at the matches that reach my great-grandparents, Arthur and Mary (Manning) Brown. They had 12 children, 11 of whom reached adulthood, so I figured there would be many cousins there.

ThruLines for Arthur Durwood Brown (Partial)

I tend to analyze each person left to right, so I started with a 2nd cousin, descended from Victoria Brown.

ThruLines – Victoria Brown Segment
  1. Look at the centimorgan (cM) match amount. In this first case, the individual and I share 134 cM across nine segments. Our trees suggest we are 2nd The Shared cM Project 3.0 tool v4 at indicates that 2nd cousins should share between 46 and 515 cm of genetic material. So, our match is within the expected range.
  2. Does the other person’s tree match yours? In this case, we have all of the same data for her grandmother. In order to accept a ThruLinestm display, both 1 and 2 must pass.
  3. Do the other descendant entries make sense? In this case, the cousin’s father is still living (and thus redacted). I had the same person with no discrepancies in data. Therefore, I am sure of the match. I did contact the individual to learn of her first name and then entered her into my tree in the right place.
ThruLines – Edward Brown Segment

The next cousin to analyze is a descendant of Edward Lewis Brown. This cousin and I share 144 cM over seven segments, well within the expected range for 2nd cousins, once removed.

According to ThruLines, this match a great-granddaughter of Edward through her mother and her grandmother both of which have private entries.  My records indicate that Edward had ten children, seven of whom were girls. I also don’t have information on any of the granddaughters of Edward. As such, I can’t place this individual on the tree at all. I then contacted the cousin and asked her about her connection to Edward Brown. Her mother and her grandmother’s name if possible.  Once I receive that information, if her grandmother matches one of my known children of Edward Brown, I will accept her and her mother’s names from her tree.

ThruLines Arthur Brown Segment

Cousin number 3 was somewhat expected. The amount of DNA, 98 cM, fit expectations for 2nd cousins once removed. I had identical information for her grandfather and her great grandfather. Looking at my data, I had four potential women (all living) who could be the mother of this cousin. I contacted her and asked which of the sisters was her mother. She replied, and I placed her onto my tree.

I followed a similar process for all of the other cousins that ThruLinestm provided connections to.

As you can see, my process it to:

  1. Confirm the shared DNA amount matches expectations for the relationship.
  2. Confirm the cousin’s descendants from the common ancestor and a known child of the common ancestor.
  3. Analyze the remaining path to the cousin, assuring things make sense.

Then, I accept the individual’s tree as “tentative” from the grandchild of the common ancestor to the cousin.

I like ThruLinestm, but only for widening my tree to include individuals that are descendants of a known family unit.

Note: I do not even consider anything in the individual’s tree before our common ancestor.

Ancestor Sketch – Ruby Foster Wilmoth (1912-1966)

Rittenberry Project
By Don Taylor

Names fascinate me. When I was a child, I had a pastor whose name was Joyce. Since then, I’ve encountered other men with names that were unusual for men to have, such as Nancy and Shirley. While I was researching Ruby Foster Wilmoth, I encountered a very unusual name for a male – Jewell. From other records, I learned Ruby’s older brother went by “J. T.” often, but the “J” really stood for Jewell. Jewell had a son he named Jewell. Masculine names such as Joyce, Nancy, and Jewell remind me to never assume the sex of an individual based solely upon their name.

Rittenberry 2019 – Ancestor RS-15

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother: Ruby Jean Shoemake
  • 1st Great-grandmother: Ruby Foster Wilmoth
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Jubie Collins Wilmoth
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: John Thomas Wilmoth

Ruby Foster Wilmoth (1912-1966)

Ruby Foster Wilmoth was born on 24 August 1912 in Overton County, Tennessee. She was the second of eight children born to Jubie and Rachel (Petty) Wilmoth.

Children of Jubie and Rachel (Petty) Wilmoth

  Birth Death
Jewel T. Wilmoth 1910 1968
Ruby Foster Wilmoth 1912 1966
Brison F. Wilmoth 1913 1985
Roxie Ann Wilmoth 1916 1988
Cordell Wilmoth 1919 1944
Charles Dennis Wilmoth 1923 2001
Austin Collins Wilmoth 1925 1927
Living (?) 1928


In Overton County, she grew up surrounded by family. The 1920 Census saw Ruby living with her parents and four of her siblings. She and her older brother, Jewel, are attending school. Her father, Jubie, is a farmer who owns his farm and is working on his own account. On the same census page was the farm of John T. Wilmoth and included his wife and six children. In Total there are 5 Wilmoth heads of households on the same page of the Census Record. Altogether there were 10 Wilmoth families in the county, 8 in District 1. Looking back in history, there were six Wilmoth family “Heads” enumerated during the 1910 Census, and three in 1900. There were 22 individuals with the surname Wilmoth (or Wilmouth) during the 1880 Census. The 1810 Census records suggest that the Wilmoth’s have deep roots in Overtown County and have been there since it was formed out of Jackson County and Indian Lands in 1806.[i]

In 1928, when Ruby was 14, her mother died. As the oldest girl in the household, I’m certain much of managing the house fell to Ruby. The 1930 Census reflects that life, with the 17-year-old Ruby identified in the census as the person who provided the information to the census taker. She identified her farmer father as a widower who had been married 19 years. With Ruby and her dad are six of her siblings. (Little Austin died as an infant in 1927.)

In November 1930, her father, Jubie Wilmoth married Maggie Goodwin. Jubie and Maggie would go on to have three children (half siblings to Ruby).


Willie and Ruby Shoemake c.1933

In 1933 Ruby married the widower, Willie Hayes Shoemake. Willie and his first wife, Berchie A. Bryant had two children (Gladys & James) before Berchie died in 1932.



Children of Willie Hayes and Ruby Foster (Wilmoth) Shoemake

  Birth Death
Ruby Jean Shoemake 1934 1964
Robert Jere Shoemake 1940 2015
Willie Paul Shoemake 1943 1943[ii]


The 1940 Census, finds Willie & Ruby living in the First Civil District, Putnam County. Living with them is James, Willie’s son from his previous marriage. Willie’s 15-year-old daughter, Gladys, appears to be elsewhere. Willie is a painter and Ruby is keeping house.

Death & Burial

Marker – Ruby Wilmoth Shoemake Tucker – Posted to Find-a-Grave by imagal49.

Ruby died on 9 August 1966. She was buried in Wilmoth Cemetery, Poplar Springs, Overton County, Tennessee.






  • “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 March 2019), Ruby Wilmoth in household of Julie C Wilmoth, Civil District 1, Overton, Tennessee, United States; citing ED 56, sheet 2A, line 23, family 28, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1759; FHL microfilm 1,821,759.
  • “United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 March 2019), Ruby Wilmoth in household of Jubie C Wilmoth, District 01, Overton, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1, sheet 6A, line 23, family 105, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2268; FHL microfilm 2,342,002.
  • “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 8 March 2018), Willie Shoemake, Civil District 1, Putnam, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 71-5, sheet 1A, line 19, family 5, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 3928.
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 31 March 2019), memorial page for Ruby Wilmoth Shoemake Tucker (24 Aug 1912–9 Aug 1966), Find A Grave Memorial no. 77439952, citing Wilmoth Cemetery, Poplar Springs, Overton County, Tennessee, USA; Maintained by imagal49 (contributor 47223808).
  • “Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1963,” database with images, Family Search ( : 25 May 2014), Willie H. Shoemake in the entry for Willie Paul Shoemake, 28 Nov 1943; citing Judd Cemetery, Cookeville, Putnam, Tennessee, 24298, State Library and Archives, Nashville; FHL microfilm 2,137,340.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–


[i] Internet: Wikipedia – List of counties in Tennessee.

[ii] Died at the age of 8 months.

Ancestor Sketch – William Cameron Bradley

Bradley-Hingston Project
Bradley Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.It is often difficult to keep track of individuals with the same name. In the case of William Cameron Bradley, there were two William C. Bradley’s that lived in Philadelphia at the same time and two other William Bradleys that were born the same year as the William Bradley of interest in this research.

One method I use to help keep individuals straight is to use the “Notes” section for a person to remind me of those different people. For example, for my William Cameron Bradley I added the following:

         Do not confuse with William Bradley (b. 1839), father of Harry Bradley of Venango, PA.

         Do Not confuse with William Bradley (b. 1839) who died 11 Apr 1899 in Philadelphia, PA.

As I was researching, the notes remind me of ways to keep focused on the person I am researching.

Bradley-Hingston-2019 – BH #8

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Arthur Wilson Bradley (1887-1938)
  • 1st Great-grandfather: William Cameron Bradley (1839-1901)
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Joshua Bradley (1809-1874)

William Cameron Bradley (1839-1901)

William Cameron Bradley was born on 26 July 1839, just a few days after the start of the First Anglo-Afghan War when British forces captured the fortress city of Ghazni, Afghanistan. He was the oldest of four known children of Joshua and Margaret (Cameron) Bradley.

During the 1840 Census, he appears to have been living with his parents in Spring Garden, Philadelphia, PA. His father was working in the manufacturing and trades industry.

During the 1850 Census, his father is identified as a “machinist.” Two of his siblings had been born. I note that there is a five-year gap between William and his brother John, so there may be an unknown missing child born in 1841 or 1842. In any event, the family of five was still living in Spring Garden, Philadelphia, PA.

Young adult

During the 1860 Census, he was still living with his parents, three siblings and a woman, Sallie Carr, whose relationship to the Bradley’s is unknown at this time.  Joshua is still working as a machinist. The value of his real estate is about $6,000, and his personal estate is $500. Young William is working as a clerk. His three younger siblings are attending school.

In 1863, when the 23-year-old registered for the Draft (Civil War), he was living at 1323 Mount Vernon Street, and address that would stay with him most of his life.

The 1870 Census finds the 30-year-old living with his two sisters, Margaret and Emma.  He is working as a telegraph operator.  His sister Margaret is “keeping house” and his sister Emma is “without occupation.”


On 6 June 1872, William married Emma Smilley Earle.  The two of them had five children

William Apr 1873
David Cameron Mar 1875
Marian Nov 1877
Walter Cooper Apr 1879
Arthur Wilson May 1887

I note there was an eight-year gap between Walter and Arthur suggesting there may be one or two unknown pregnancies between 1880 and 1886.  However, the 1900 census indicates that Emma had five children and all five were living.


The 1880 Census indicates William and Emily are living with the four oldest children.  Living with them are two servants, 32-year-old Julia Grandly and 24-year-old Eliza Tagard, both from Ireland. William is a clerk and Emily is keeping house. This census also indicates they were living on Prospect Ave. I speculate this is the house at the corner of Evergreen and Prospect owned by William at the time of his death.

Sometime before 1898 the family moved to 1323 Mt. Vernon.  When Emily’s sister, Kate Earle Bixby died, the funeral services were held at the Mt. Vernon Street home.  Living there must have been frustrating.  In February 1898, people from the house across the street, 1322 Mt. Vernon, were arrested for running a house of ill-repute. William testified in court about the neighbors, but they were acquitted. Shortly after that, they moved to 608 North Seventeenth St.

The 1900 Census indicates that William and Emily were renting at 608 North 17th. William was a clerk in a chemical works and Emily was keeping house. Living with them are their five children (four are adults). Their sons include a mechanical engineer, a physician, and an art student. The fourth son, 13-year-old Arthur, is attending school. Marian is still single and living at home. With the family is a sister, Emma Bradley, and a sister-in-law Martha Earle. Finally, Mary McCrory, a servant of Scottish descent was living with them.

Death & Burial

William Cameron Bradley died on 6 August 1901 at his home at 608 North Seventeenth St. of “angina pectoris.” He was buried at Woodland Cemetery, Section H, Lot 251.

After his death, his estate was probated; his wife, Emily, was the executrix and the sole recipient of the sizable estate. It is interesting to note that he appeared to be renting the home at 608 North Seventeenth St. However, he still owned the property at 1324 Mt. Vernon and the property on the S.E. Corner of Evergreen and Prospect (400 Evergreen).

Events by Location

Philadelphia, PA – All events in William Cameron Bradley’s life took place in Philadelphia.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–


  • 1840 Census, NARA – Joshua Brady – Spring Garden, Ward 1, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 September 2017). Citing p. 280, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 487; FHL microfilm 20,555.
  • 1850 Census, NARA – Joshua Bradley – Spring Garden, Ward 4, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 April 2016). Citing family 475, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration).
  • 1860 Census, NARA – Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Philadelphia – Josh Bradey. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 December 2017), Wm C Bradley in an entry for Josh Bradley, 1860. Enumerated on 5 July 1860.
  • 1870 Census, NARA – William Bradley – Philadelphia Ward 14 District 41, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Year: 1870; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 14 District 41, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1398; Page: 182B; Family History Library Film: 552897 – Source Information
  • 1880 Census, NARA – Wm C. Bradly – Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 August 2017), Wm C Bradly, 1880; citing enumeration district ED 458, sheet 527D, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d), roll 1181; FHL microfilm 1,255,181.
  • 1900 Census – William Bradley – Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 May 2018), William Bradley, Philadelphia city Ward 15, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 268, sheet 4.
  • 1901-08-25 – Register Admits Wills to Probate. The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) · 25 Aug 1901, Sun · Page 7 Downloaded on Mar 23, 2019 ., Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (
  • Find a Grave Memorial, Find a Grave, William Cameron Bradley – Memorial 157643237- No Image. Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 22 March 2019), Citing Woodlands Cemetery, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA; Maintained by Crypt Tonight (contributor 48494116).
  • Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013,, Death – William C. Bradley 8 Aug 1901. Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records.
  • Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950, Family Search, William C Bradley & Emilie S. Earle – 6 Jun 1872 – No Image. “Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 28 November 2018), Wm C Bradley and Emile S Earle, 06 Jun 1872; citing Marriage, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, various county courts and registers, Pennsylvania; FHL microfilm 1,765,398.
  • Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966,, Arthur Bradley – Died 5 Jan 1938.
  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906, Family Search, Marian Bradley – Birth 27 Nov 1877 – No Image. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Births, 1860-1906,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 10 March 2018), Emily E. in an entry for Marian Bradley, 27 Nov 1877; citing Birth, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915, Family Search, Walter G. Bradley – Death – 13 Feb 1913 – No Image. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 March 2018), William C. Bradley in an entry for Walter G. Bradley, 13 Feb 1913; citing cn 3986, Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,421,367.
  • Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915, Family Search, William C. Bradley – Death – 6 Aug 1901. “Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 March 2018), William C. Bradley, 06 Aug 1901; citing 3573, Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; FHL microfilm 1,853,175.
  • Pennsylvania, Septennial Census, 1779-1863, Philadelphia Philadelphia Ward 14 1863 – Bradey. Pennsylvania, Septennial Census, 1779-1863 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.
  • Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993,, William Cameron Bradley – 16 Aug 1901. Pennsylvania probate record; Probate Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia Times – 1896-05-06 – page 5 – column 2 – Died – Bixby (Bradley). Via NewspaperArchives.ComPhiladelphia Times, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia Times – 1898-02-11 – League Would Not Prosecute – Ref: William C. Bradley. See last paragraph.. NewspaperArchives.Com, Philadelphia Times, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia Times – 1901-08-25 – Page 9 – Register of Wills – admitted to probate the will of William C. Bradley. Philadelphia Times, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (NewspaperArchives.Com).
  • Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865,, William C Bradley – Age 23. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registration Records (Provost Marshal General’s Bureau; Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865); Record Group: 110, Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau (Civil War); Collection Name: Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865 (Civil War Union Draft Records); NAI: 4213514; Archive Volume Number: 1 of 11.