Lavada Jane McKitrick Mason is my great-great-grandmother. She was born in Noble County, Ohio 4 August 1863, the oldest daughter of Isaac and Margaret (Morrison) McKitrick. She married Eber Mason on 10 June 1882 in Washington County, Ohio. Between 1910 and 1920, Eber and Lavada moved from Washington County to Licking County, Ohio. Lavada died 8 December 1930 in Newark of “pulmonary TBC” (tuberculosis). She and Eber are buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark.
Here’s where I start to wonder about things.
Lavada had 7 children: Sherman, Clara (my great-grandmother), Arthur, Ella, Nettie, Esther, and Susan. Nettie, per the 1900 census and her death certificate, was born in February 1890. Nettie does not appear with Lavada and Eber in the 1910 census; in fact, I have yet to find Nettie in the 1910 census. I don’t believe that Nettie was married by 1910, as she marries Henry W. Smith in 1913 and uses the name “Nettie Mason.” (Of course, she could have reverted back to using her maiden name.)
Sadly, Nettie died from eclampsia on 1 April 1919 in Bridgeport, Belmont County, Ohio. Her husband Henry was the informant on her death certificate and listed her father as Eber Mason and mother as “not known.” Why didn’t Henry know the name of his own mother-in-law? She was still living at the time.
Nettie lists her residence on her 1913 marriage license as Gracey, Ohio (which is in Washington County). Henry lists his residence as Washington County, Ohio. Yet they got married in West Virginia. And not even just across the river in Parkersburg. They went 100 miles north to Brooke County.
Nettie wasn’t with her parents in 1910. She’s living in the same county they are in 1913 (as was her husband). Nettie and Henry go 100 miles away to get married. Henry doesn’t list Lavada on Nettie’s death certificate. All of this leaves me asking “Why?” Were Lavada (and/or Eber) and Nettie estranged? Or is all of this just a matter of coincidence and it really doesn’t have a bearing on their relationship?
Sometimes, the records create more questions than they answer.
- Eber D. Mason and Lavada J. McKitrick marriage record, Washington County marriage volume 7, entry 791, Washington County Probate Court, Marietta, Ohio.
- Eber Mason household, 1900 Federal census, Washington County, Ohio, Cow Run precinct, p. 175B, household 89, family 93.
- Eber Mason household, 1910 Federal census, Washington County, Ohio, Lawrence Township, ED 139, sheet 2A, household 25, family 25.
- Henry W. Smith and Nettie Mason marriage record, Brooke County (WV) volume unknown, page 488. Digital image at wvculture.org.
- Lavada Jane Mason death certificate, certificate number 73421 (1930), Ohio Historical Society.
- “Mrs. E. D. Mason obituary,” Newark (Ohio) Advocate, 9 December 1930, page 8.
- Nettie Smith death certificate, certificate number 30603 (1919), Ohio Historical Society.
Amy, I don’t know that this sheds any light to the subject, but when I read your post I immediately thought of our grandma’s (Adah, daughter of Clara and niece of Nettie) “memories”–stories of her childhood she recorded. Near the end of her memoir she wrote about the 1918 flu epidemic: “Finally when Tommy got so bad, Dad sent the boys down to the neighbors and had them call Grandpa and Grandma Young, and they came to help but they wasn’t there only a week or two when my little brother died. My mother (Clara) was sitting by his bedside when the neighbors brought the mail. We always got the newspaper from Marietta where all our relatives lived close by, and Mother was reading the paper and seen the death notice of her sister Nettie. No one had called us or wrote us that she was sick. It came as such a shock, my mother nearly went wild and the next afternoon little Tommy died.”
You’ve brought back memories of talking to Grandma about her childhood–thank you
I remember that in Grandma’s notes, too. (Should have included that little detail!) Though if Nettie died from eclampsia, she might not have appeared sick before she died. But the fact that nobody notified them when she died and they had to read it in the paper does make you think that perhaps there was a rift in the family.
Amy, my grandmother “Clara Young” lived with us from 1953 until her death in “1970?”. I came home from Vieatnam to attend her funeral since the Army considered her immediate family because she lived with us. I don’t have any records for you only that I have fond and clear memories of grandmaw telling us about her birth in and moving away from Shenandoah Valley VA. Maybe her memory was wrong or ????. Thank you so much for the work you are doing.
Your grandmother was born in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia? You might consider joining the Blue Ridge Genealogy group on Facebook. Very active, and very helpful people if you ever have a question about genealogy in the area – members are well-versed on many different families.
Yes, my grandmother was born there, but the family lived there just a short time. My great-grandparents married in Washington County, Ohio, then moved to Virginia (pretty much just long enough for Grandma to be born there!), and then moved back to Ohio. My roots in the Shenandoah Valley (at least on that line) are pretty shallow!
Great to hear from you!
Your memory is correct. Clara and Robert lived for a short time in the Shenandoah Valley. In fact, that’s where my grandmother was born. They were married in Washington County, Ohio, then moved to Virginia, then moved back to Ohio.
I think Brooke County, WV was a Gretna Green county. I have many ancestors from Ohio and Pennsylvania that traveled there to get married, many of the women were really girls, younger than 18.
That’s what I was thinking. Maybe they went away because she was too young to get married in her own county.
Nettie was 22, so it wasn’t a matter of her age, plus they could have just gone across the bridge to Parkersburg if they needed a place with looser age restrictions.
But Nettie was 22 when she married, so even if Brooke County was a Gretna Green, they didn’t run off there because of her age. In fact, if it had just been a matter of her age, they could have just gone across the bridge to Parkersburg instead of going 100 miles north.
It seems to me that research ALWAYS turns up more questions than it answers. Or maybe I just have an overactive imagination.
Isn’t it funny how we dissect our ancestors lives and want to know – and know more than they seemed to want us to know. Yes, so true, the the more we learn, leaves us puzzled! I do enjoy playing Nancy Drew, but sometimes we just can’t solve our mysteries, oh well….maybe one day. Great read, I enjoyed hearing her story and so jealous that West Virginia has a great site for history. Loved seeing that they involve children more in learning about the history of their state – good for them!
I do sometimes wonder if my ancestors made it their life’s mission to not leave any answers!
Don’t you just love a good genealogical puzzle? Could Nettie have been misspelled “Nellie” in the 1910 census? Could she have been living with another family as a servant or governess? Could Nettie have been an illegitimate child of her father and another woman? If so, it would explain the “mother not known” on the death certificate. Did either Nettie or Henry have close or distant relatives living in Brooke County where they might have stayed after getting married?
I’ve looked under all sorts of spellings and even played with a few searches that didn’t use a name at all. She’s hiding now, but I’ll find her I have her birth record, which lists Eber and Lavada Jane as her parents. I don’t think Nettie had relatives in Brooke County, though I’m not sure about Henry. Even if he does, it would be unusual for a bride to go away from her own family to get married. There’s a reason they went 100 miles away — I just don’t know what it is yet 😉