Pankey’s in the News – Judith Pankey Dies

Howell Research
Howell-Pankey Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.In the News” is my reporting of discovered newspaper articles and advertising regarding ancestors I am researching. Judith (Ligon) Pankey is the first wife of my wife’s third great uncle, Thomas Armstrong Pankey. She and Thomas were married on 27 January 1825, and Judith died on 14 January 1826, less than a year later. Her death was clearly a blow to the family.

This week from the Enquirer  (Richmond, VA) dated Tuesday, 7 February 1826, (Vol: XXII, Issue: 88) Page 3, “Mortuary Notice.”

DIED] — on the 14th instant, in the 17th year of her age, Mrs. Judith S, wife of Thomas Pankey, jr. of Cumberland. In the death of Mrs. P. the heart of every friend must mourn the loss of one, in whom are united in no ordinary degree all those virtues which adorn the female character, which rendes her name to the memory of those whom she has left. There are indeed but few, who have carried with them through life and borne with them to the tomb, a greater share of those attractions which bind together human hearts, and lay the foundation of all that deserves the name of friendship. As a daughter, wife, and friend, she was all that is implied in those endearing relations. Deep and painful is that bereavement which is felt by all to whom she was connected; but while they mourn over the memory of one so much endeared to their hearts, they do not mourn “as those who have no hope.” They cannot but find sweet consolation when they bring to recollection the many indubitable assurances which were given in the closing scene of life, that “for” her “to die were gain.” Her trust was in her Saviour—to him as her Redeemer, she has resigned her immortal interests, and in all the triumph of Faith and Hope she left the world with the assurance that he would “kee that which she had committed to his hands.” Those who stood around her dying bed, could not but realise, that
     “The chamber where the Christian meets his end
     “is privileg’d beyond the common walks of life.”

“Instant” in obituaries means the present or current month. In this case, the newspaper published the notice on 7 February, so “14th instant” must be referring to January. I suspect the obituary was written late in January and didn’t make the paper in January, and the “instant” was not changed to “ultimo” (the previous month).

If Judith was 17 when she died in 1826, she was born in 1808 or 1809. If she were in the 17th year of her life, she would have been born in 1809 or 1810. Because I am not entirely sure what was meant by “17th year of her age,” I’ve decided to identify her birth as between 1808 and 1810.

Donna & Earl at Pantages, Memphis, TN

Donna in the News
by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertisements regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and Donna Darling). I am always excited when I find a new venue for my grandmother’s exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s. 

This week from The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) newspaper dated 27 July 1924, I learned that Donna Darling and Earl played in Memphis at the Pantages Theatre from July 28 to August 2.


Triple Stars Appear In “Love’s Whirlpool” Heading Pan’s Show

A vaudeville bill of half dozen feature acts, all of big time caliber, will be preceded at Pantages the coming week by a vivid photodrama boasting in its cast….
From the ranks of musical comedy come Donna Darling and Earle in a song and dance romance. Miss Darling has won several beauty prizes and was the prima donna and star of Dillingham’s musical comedy “Chin Chin.” She is a bathing beauty of note. Murray Earle her partner, late of George White’s Scandals, is known as the “Dancing Fool.” Replete with beautiful costumes and surrounded by special settings, this miniature production is acclaimed as one of the artistic hints of the season.

Emil Casper and Dolly Morrissey….

Because of those newly available online articles, I was able to add another venue for Donna’s exciting vaudeville career.

Jul 28-Aug 2, 1924 – Memphis, TN – Pantages Theater – Donna Darling & Earle – Song and Dance Romance.


(Thanks to





Ancestor Sketch – William Lister

Roberts-Brown Research
Roberts-Barnes-Lister Line
By Don Taylor

William Lister is my earliest verified Lister Ancestor. He was probably born in Maryland about 1793. He served in the War of 1812, married twice, and died in Monroe, Pickaway County, Ohio.

William Lister is found in 58 Ancestry Public Trees[i] and is Family Search profile K8JH-PX9.

Roberts/Brown – Ancestor #44

List of Grandparents

    • 5 – Grandmother: Essie Pansy Barnes(1903-1982)
    • 11 – 1st Great-grandmother: Marada Mae Lister(1867-1932)
    • 22 – 2nd Great-grandfather: Nimrod Lister(c. 1826-c. 1890)
    • 44 – 3rd Great-grandfather: William Lister (1793-1848)
    • 88 – 4th Great-grandfather: ? Nimrod Lister (1765-1847)?*
    • 176 – 5th Great-grandfather: ? Nimrod Lister (1730-1813)?*
    • 352 – 6th Great-grandfather: ? William Lister (1688-1732)?*
    • 704 – 7th Great-grandfather: ? Thomas Lister (1654-___)?*

(* Note: Ancestors marked with “*” are tentative/speculative and have not been independently researched by me.)

William Lister (1793-1848)


William was born in 1793 in Maryland. His parents were likely Nimrod and Mary Lister.

Military Service

William appears on the roll of Capt. Alexander Robinson’s company serving between 30 August and 9 October 1812. He was a private in the Army.

He also served in Capt. George Yocums Company of the Ohio Militia.

Marriage 1

William married Nancy Strain on 17 June 1822. They had four children together. 

Name Born Married Died
Nimrod 1824 – Ohio Malinda Evans 1888
Sarah c. 1830 – (Ohio) Aaron Dean
William Marcus 1832 (Ohio) Elizabeth Krohn 1921
James M. c. 1840

1830 Census

The 1930 US Census found William living in Walnut Township, Pickaway County, Ohio. With him is a female age 20 to 29, presumed to be William’s wife, Nancy, and a male under 5, presumed to be Nimrod. Also living with them is a female aged 10 to 14. This is probably a sibling of either William or Nancy.

Nancy’s Death

Nancy died on 23 November 1844 in Pickaway County, Ohio, at the age of 37.

Marriage 2

William married Leah Adkins on 23 April 1846 in Highland County, Ohio. They had one child together 

Name Born Married Died
Elizabeth Ellen 1847 George Corkwell 1933

Death/Burial, etc.

William Lister’s Marker – Photo by oh_fudge via Find-a-Grave

William Lister died on 23 November 1848, presumably in Monroe, Pickaway County, Ohio. He was buried at the New Holland Cemetery in New Holland, Pickaway County, Ohio.

Property Sale

Sometime before 20 November 1848, William 5old 50 acres to Elacy Enis & William King for $450. William died before the property transfer could occur, so his probate administrator needed to process conveying the title on 1 July 1850.

Events by Location

  • Maryland:                                              1793 – Birth.
  • Ohio, Highland County                    1822 – Marriage 1
  • Ohio, Pickaway County:                  1812 – Military Service.
  •                                                                   1824 – Birth of Nimrod.
  •                                                                   1830 – Census.
  •                                                                   1832 – Birth of William Marcus
  •                                                                   1846 – Marriage 2
  • Ohio, Pickaway County, Monroe: 1848 – Property Sale.
  •                                                                      1848 – Death
  • Ohio, Pickaway County, New Holland:  1848 – Burial

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research William’s Military Records closely.
  • Research William’s Children.
  • Find William in 1800 & 1810 Censuses (with Nimrod?).
  • Find William in the 1820 Census.
  • Find William in the 1840 Census.



[i] Accessed on 1 June 2022.

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 84

McCormick, McCrae, McDonald, & née McLean)

Photo Friday
Ethel Wight Collection
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week, for Photo Friday, I identify the people in five more envelopes from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The envelopes contain the names who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is vital to analyze the pictures and information to identify the individual therein.[ii] Ultimately, my goal is to reunite the photos with family members who may have never seen the image.

Frank C. McDonald, circa 1934.

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. Frank C. McDonald, 48 Gilman St #360.”

Frank C. McDonald, circa 1934.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1934 Portland City Directory lists Frank C (Ora M) McDonald living at 48 Gilman. There are also two other Frank McDonalds and a Francis J McDonald listed.
  • The 1940 Census lists Frank C. McDonald living at 48 Gilman. He is 48 years old and was born in Canada.
  • Ancestry Family Trees suggest this is Frank Charles McDonald, born 29 July 1891 in Canada. He married Ora Madelene Drew on 9 October 1920.

Ancestry has six public trees that refer to Frank Charles McDonald. Family Search has profile LLSP-NLV for Frank Charles McDonald. I  have uploaded this photo of him to his Family Search Memories.

Dorothy R. McCrae, Circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Dorothy McCrea, 42 Beckett St #541.”

Dorothy R. McCrae, Circa 1935.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1934 & 1935 Portland City Directories list Dorothy R McCrea as a clerk at 486 Congress residing at 42 Beckett.
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Dorothy R McCrea living at 115 Cumberland but still working at 486 Congress. The 1938 Directory lists her still residing at 115 Cumberland.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Dorothy R. McCrea living at 115 Cumberland. She was the 32-year-old sister of Ethel M DeMott. Dorothy was born in New Hampshire and lived in Portland (same place) in 1935.

Ancestry has six public trees that refer to Dorothy R McCrea, born 20 February 1908 in Lancaster, Coos County, New Hampshire. Family Search has profile GCTL-G87 for Dorothy R McCrea. I have uploaded two photos of her to her Family Search Memories.

Christine McDonald (née McLean), circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. Christine McDonald, 233 High St. #829.”

Christine McDonald (née McLean), circa 1935.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Mrs. Christine McDonald as a maid at 2 Crescent but residing at 233 High.
  • The 1940 US Census lists Christine McDonald as a 65-year-old lodger at 231 High Street. She was born in Canada, divorced, and worked as a maid.
  • Ancestry Family Trees suggest this is Christine McLean, born 18 March 1875 in Canada. She divorced James McDonald in 1921 and lived in Portland, Cumberland County, in 1935 and 1940.

Ancestry has 11 public trees that refer to Christine McLean. Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Christina McLean, born in 1875 in Canada and who married James McDonald, so I added her photo to Dead Fred.

Unknown Girl, probably related to Thomas and Laura (née Egan) McDonald, circa 1936.

This negative envelope says, “ Mrs. J. McDonald, 10 Bradford St #1065.”

Unknown Girl, probably related to Thomas and Laura (née Egan) McDonald, circa 1936.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1940 US Census lists the 56-year-old widow Laura McDonald living at 8 Bradford with her son, Thomas McDonald, and a 6-year-old lodger, Edward Nicholson. Thomas was 26 years old and born in Maine.
  • The 1930 Census lists the 62-year-old Thomas J McDonald and his 42-year-old wife, Laura, living with four children, Marian A (18), T. Edward (17), James P (16), and George F(14). They lived at 105 Bracket Street.
  • A review of Ancestry Family Trees suggests this photo relates to Thomas J McDonald (1868-1934) and his wife Laura J (Egan) McDonald. Laura was born about 1888. If this child is about five years old in 1935, Laura would have been 47 years old.
  • I see where James Robert was born on 12 March 1914 and George F was born on 9 May 1915, but I’m not finding any other children for Thomas and Laura.

I suspect this little girl is a granddaughter, niece, or another relative of Thomas and Laura McDonald. Sadly, I am unable to identify her. Hopefully, a family relative will be able to identify her.  Thomas J McDonald is found in 23 public trees on Ancestry.

This is the only photo I have of her.

William J McCormick, circa 1935.

This negative envelope says, “Mrs. John F McCormick, 187 A Oxford St. #1069.”

William J McCormick, circa 1935.

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists John F (Lillian M) McCormick living at 53 Mayo. Residing at 55 Mayo is John J (Mabel E) McCormick. There are no other John McCormick’s listed.
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory does not list John F McCormick. Additionally, the directory is missing pages 1201, 1202, and 1203 which should detail who lives at 187 Oxford Street.
  • The 1937 Portland City directory lists 187a Oxford as being vacant. It does show John F (Lillian M) McCormick living at 17 Washington Ave.
  • The 1940 US Census lists John F McCormick living with his wife, Lillian, a son, two daughters, and a sister-in-law at 107 Washington Ave. His son, William J., is four years old and born in Maine.
  • Further research found that William J McCormick was born on 5 September 1935 in Cumberland County, Maine.

William John McCormick is found in 13 Ancestry Public Trees. On Family Search, he is ID G82B-B3F. I uploaded his photo to his Family Search Memories.


  • I fully identified four of the five Three of them have Family Search profiles, so I uploaded their images to their Family Search Memories.
  • I identified one individual that did not have a Family Search profile but did appear in Ancestry trees, so I posted his/her image to Dead Fred.
  • I failed to identify one child but probably identified individuals with Ancestry trees related to the child. (grandparents, aunt/uncle). I only uploaded her photo here

If any of these photos are of your family member, I would love to hear your reaction. Especially if this photo is of a loved one for whom you hadn’t seen this photograph before.

Due to software limitations, the images uploaded to Family Search & Dead Fred typically have higher image quality than those linked here. (Unknown child excepted.)

For all postings of the Ethel Wight Collection, please see here.


[i] The Wight Studio was in Portland, Maine. Many thanks to Ethel Wight’s family for access to and permission to use the collection of their great aunt.

[ii] These images were converted to positives using a lightbox, a Nikon camera and computer software.

Chin-Chin in the News – 27 March 1920

The Wheeling Intelligencer (Wheeling, West Virginia)

Court Theatre
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My grandmother was a vaudeville star. I am following her career and learning about her many performances. In October 1919, she joined the cast of the Charles Dillingham production of “Chin-Chin” “Chin-Chin” played in the US and Canada until June 1920. I monitor several newspaper services watching for new venues that the show played at while she was a cast member.

This week’s entry is from  The Wheeling Intelligencer, dated 24 March 1920 via Newspapers.Com.

The Wheeling Intelligencer – Mar 24, 1920, Page 11 via

This ad and several others ran in the Wheeling Intelligencer advertising that “Chin Chin” was coming to the Court Theatre on Saturday, 27 March, for two shows, a Matinee and a Night show. I didn’t see any write-ups describing the show.


New Venue Added:

Thanks to these newspapers, I was able to add a new venue to Donna’s career.

Mar27, 1920 – Wheeling, West Virginia – Court Theatre – “Chin Chin.” – In the News