Saturday, September 17, 2011

Virginia Lee Abe 11-019

Virginia Lee Abe

     Virginia (70)"Jennie" Lee Abe was born the third child of John Adam and Martha Jane (Moreland) Abe. Her (188)birth record shows she was born on November 27, 1879 in Mineral County, West Virginia. Her parents were living and farming along Route 28 just north of the Old Furnace Road, possibly what is now the Miltenburger Farm.
     "Jennie's" life started out as any other child who was born into farm life, but at an early age her life quickly changed. The (6)"Abe Family Heritage" book has a quote from Nora (Largent) Stotler, her cousin, that after a long walk to visit her grandparents she suffered paralysis in her legs. There are no records to prove it nor do we know exactly when this happened, but it is likely that she suffered from a case of polio. During this period in history there were no established methods of treatment for this disease and in many cases doctors were not readily available.

     Poliomyelitis was a worldwide epidemic for the time period between the middle 1800's to the 1950's when a vaccine was developed. The viral disease is spread by direct contact and is absorbed into the system through the nose or mouth, multiplies in the throat or intestinal tract and then spreads to the blood, lymph glands and even the nervous system. The infection period, of from 5 to 35 days, can manifest itself as anything from just cold and flue-like symptoms to partial or full paralysis that usually is permanent or even death in extreme cases. Even today, the only thing that can be done once infected, is to treat the symptoms till the virus runs it's course. In severe cases breathing problems would have to be addressed if the spinal cord and brain become involved. These breathing problems were handled by a "negative pressure ventilator" machine commonly known as an "Iron Lung" although it did not come into use until the late 1920's.

      From the point of recovery on, she would spend her life as a handicapped person. There were no provisions for getting the handicapped back and forth to school (almost all had to walk to the local meeting place) so she never learned to read or write. Parents, in most cases, couldn't help as they were either running a farm from daylight till dark or couldn't read or write themselves. "Jennie's" not being unable to walk severely limited what she would be able to do around the farm. Depending on how severe the paralysis, she may have had some sort of makeshift crutches to get around the house. No fancy wheelchairs or scooters here. She could have, in limited ways, helped out with cleaning, cooking and sewing. She could never be able to be out on her own to make a living. For the rest of her life she would have to depend on others for life's necessities.
     "Jennie" travel through life mirrored that of her father's until his death in 1914 so there is nothing more that  can add there. Her mother would pass away in 1890 when "Jennie" was about eleven years of age. About seven years later, in 1897, her father remarried to Sarah Margaret Sowers. At some point, in the six years after her father's death, her stepmother moved back to Hampshire County, West Virginia. She is found in the household of her sister and mother in the (72)1920 Census. "Jennie" is not there with them. It is unknown if Sarah was unable to care for her stepdaughter any longer or if she just did not want the responsibility any longer.
     The above quote from Nora (Largent) Stotler in the (6)"Abe Family Heritage" book further states that there came a time when nobody was able to care for "Jennie" and she was put in a "home". This would have been the time period's version of welfare or assisted living center. In this case it would have been the Mineral County Poor Farm. Poor farms were set up by and through taxes to help those with no means of support for themselves. Individuals were assigned work duties to perform in return for room and board. Most of the poor farms were actual working farms that the residents would tend. From this point on there are no records known that give a glimpse of her life there. It is also unknown when she died or where she was buried. Many unmarked graves are located on the property of the "poor farm" so it is likely she was buried there.

Monday, September 12, 2011

John Adam and Martha Jane Abe Infant Children 11-018

     There isn't much further I can expound upon these three children that has not already been provided in the post "John Adam Abe.....Family Man (part 2) 10-019". As I am trying to keep the information in some sort of order we will do a review of what we know of each. The records available will also be added under the "Sources" for your review.
     On (50)October 3, 1876, about 27 months after the death of his first wife Margaret, John Adam remarried to Martha Jane Moreland. Pieced together information shows that the couple had three children that died at birth or shortly thereafter.
     An initial clue to their existence was found at the Abe Cemetery. The right side of John and Martha's monument has three children recorded. To the right of the monument can be found four actual graves. All are marked with just a footstone style marker. The first marker has no inscription visible. This is believed to be the unnamed child of John Adam and his first wife Margaret. (Refer back to the post "Martha Ellen Abe 11-012" for further on this child. Next to this grave are three other markers with initials that match up with the names of the three children on the monument.
     The first born child to John Adam and Martha Jane was (13)"Our Babe". This child apparently died shortly after birth as no official name is listed on the stone or in records. (13)Birth and death on the stone are listed as 1877. (187)A birth record for Mineral County, West Virginia lists an "Abe, female" child born to Adam and Martha J. Abe in July 1877. No day is listed. A death record for the same "Not Named" child says the child died on July 19, 1877. The cause of death is listed as "unknown" so I believe the child's death was for some other reason other then "childbirth" or "stillborn" as are listed for other children in the same record. Death was most likely very soon after birth, with the child being unnamed.
     The second child of John and Martha is listed on the (13)monument as "Ella M". Birth and death on the stone is listed as 1878. No actual birth record has been found. The only record found is an (187)1878 death record where she is listed there as "Martha E.". The month and day in the record are unreadable but the year is 1878. Her cause of death is also listed as "unknown". *(see update below)
     The third child listed on the monument is named "Emma". She was the fourth child born to John and Martha in 1881. No birth records have been found for her. A (187)death record from Hampshire County, West Virginia and says she died on October 6, 1881 at the age of just over one month.  Her death cause is also listed as "not known". One confusing thing about this record is why the child was listed as born and died in Maryland and the death was recorded in West Virginia.

*UPDATE: (187)A birth record for for the second child, "Ella M." or "Martha E." has been found. The last name is misspelled as "Abbee". The birth is listed as September 1878 with no actual day.

John Adam Abe monument with four small stones to the right

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Amanda Melvina (Abe) Largent 11-017

     Amanda Melvina Abe was born on October 18, 1872 according to her burial headstone. No actual birth records have been uncovered yet. Her (179)death record lists her age as thirty five which would make her birth year 1871 because she had not reached her birthday.... if the October 18 birth is correct. Her (180)marriage record lists her age as 24 in 1896 which would make her birth year as 1872. The (181)1900 census does list her birth as Oct. 1872.
          She was the fourth child of John Adam and Margaret G. (Fulk) Abe. All (17)(181)census records list her birth in West Virginia. The year before her birth her parents were (69)living in Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland where her father was working for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Her (180)marriage record lists her birthplace as Berkley County, West Virginia. This would most likely have been been around Martinsburg, West Virginia. Her parents lived there a very short time while John Adam was working for the railroad. Her (179)death record says she was born in Mineral County, West Virginia so it is still uncertain exactly where she was born. When Amanda's mother dies in 1874 the family apparently moved back to Mineral County, West Virginia because in 1876, John Adam (50)remarried to a Martha Jane Moreland according to Allegany County marriage records in Cumberland, Maryland.
          On October 15, 1896 at the age of 24, Amanda (180)married to Charles Edward Largent of Hampshire County, West Virginia. At that time her (70)parents owned and operated a farm in Little Cacapon, Hampshire County, West Virginia. (181)Eight years after her birth, her father is farming along what is now Route 28 between Wiley Ford and Short Gap, West Virginia. The farm appears to be north of the Old Furnace Road, in the area of the what is now the Miltenberger Farm. The farm is two to three miles south of Cumberland, Maryland.
          Charles Edward Largent was born on February 4, 1871 to (182)John Ashby and Sarah E. (Deaver) Largent in Hampshire County, West Virginia.
          After their marriage, Amanda and Charles then moved to the Old Furnace Road in Mineral County, West Virginia. The (181)1900 Census shows the couple renting a house on or near the original Abe farm. Charles is listed as a farm laborer so he was working for someone else.
          (6)The couple did have five children but sadly both parents lived very short lives and they never saw them grow up. Amanda (179)died on September 26, 1907 just eight days after the (183)birth of a son, Clarence Edward Largent on September 18. She was thirty four years of age at that time. The cause of death is listed as Puerperal Fever.

The American Heritage Dictionary describes Puerperal Fever as "a systemic bactorial infection of the endometrium characterized by fever, rapid heartbeat, uterine tenderness and malodorous discharge, chiefly occuring in women after childbirth, usually as the result of unsterile obstetric procedures."

          Amanda was buried in the Abe Cemetery. Her husband, Charles died less than two years later on July 24, 1909 and was buried beside her. He was thirty eight years of age. His (184)cause of death is listed as Tuberculosis.
          The young children were all sent to live with other families. In 1910(185)Nora (the oldest) and Clarence (the newborn) are found living with their paternal grandparents who were still residing in Hampshire County, West Virginia. (186)Harry is living with John W. and Nancy E. Leatherman in Cabin Run, Mineral County, West Virginia. (186)Earl and Nellie Mae were taken in by Benjamin W. and Ida Smith also of Cabin Run.

Children of Amanda Melvina (Abe) and Charles Edward Largent:
     1. Nora Catherine (1897-1990)
     2. Nellie Mae (1899-?)
     3. Harry William (1902-?)
     4. Earl Daniel (1904-1970)
     5. Clarence Edward (1907-1957)