Tag Archives: Mason family

Martha Hibbs: The First Wife (52 Ancestors #33)

Posted by

My last post featured Philip Mason, my third-great-grandfather who married his second wife just days after her divorce was granted. Seems only fair to feature his first wife this week.

Martha Hibbs, my third-great-grandmother, was born 31 August 1837 in (West) Virginia, the daughter of John and Jane (Amos) Hibbs. She and Philip married in 1858 in Marion County, (West) Virginia.

In 1860, Martha, Philip, and their 1-year-old son Eber were living in Doddridge County, (West) Virginia. They had no real property and just $75 in personal property.

P. [Philip] Mason household, 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Doddridge County, Virginia, page 549, household 690, family 691.

P. [Philip] Mason household, 1860 U.S. census, population schedule, Doddridge County, Virginia, page 549, household 690, family 691.

By 1870, the family had grown; daughter Mary Delpha (or Marydelphia) was born in 1861, Eunice in 1866, and Elizabeth in 1869. They were living in Monongalia County, West Virginia.

By 1880, the family had moved again, this time to Ritchie County, West Virginia. The family continued to grow, with daughters Mahala, Lumi Viola, and Emma.

According to Philip’s Civil War pension file, Martha died 28 March 1893; I have found no death record for her.

Questions that I have about Martha: What must she have experienced when Philip went into the Civil War, leaving her with Eber and Mary? Is Philip’s pension file accurate regarding the information about her death?

Philip Mason: Civil War Vet… and Ladies Man? (52 Ancestors #32)

Posted by

For Veterans Day, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight Philip Mason, my third-great-grandfather and veteran of the 14th West Virginia Infantry. Philip was born 20 November 1834 in Monongalia County, (West) Virginia, the son of John and Elizabeth (Everts) Mason.

Philip married Martha Hibbs in 1858 in Marion County, (West) Virginia. (Of course, theirs would be among the three marriage records on the page that don’t have the exact date filled in. Thanks, Marion County clerk.) Martha died in 1893.

Not too surprisingly, Philip remarried after Martha’s death. On 3 July 1894, he married Amanda D. Lowers in Ritchie County, West Virginia.

Philip Mason and Amanda Lowers

Philip Mason and Amanda Lowers

As was typical for widows of Civil War veterans, Amanda applied for a widow’s pension after Philip died in 1909. It was in her declaration for a widow’s pension that I got a bit of a surprise:

philip-mason-pensionPhilip and Amanda were married on 3 July 1894. (Yes, I knew that.) Amanda D. Mason was divorced from Weeden N. Lowers on 21 June 1894.

What? Not only was Amanda married before, but she divorced her husband a mere 12 days before marrying Philip.

I haven’t tracked down the divorce file for Amanda and Weeden, but the dates makes me wonder how it played out that Philip married Amanda just 12 days after the divorce was finalized. Was Philip a bit of a ladies man?

Philip died 10 January 1909 in Washington County, Ohio and is buried in the veterans section of Oak Grove Cemetery in Marietta.

Lavada Jane McKitrick Mason: Estranged from Her Daughter? (52 Ancestors #29)

Posted by
Lavada Jane and Eber Mason with unidentified child. Photo from mtngeek.

Lavada Jane and Eber Mason with unidentified child. Photo from mtngeek.

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.

An Enigma Wrapped With a Bow: Clara Mason Young (52 Ancestors #11)

Posted by

It’s amazing what you think you know until you go to write about it. Such is the case with Clara Mason Young, my great-grandmother. Perhaps it’s because I have several photographs of her. Perhaps it’s because she’s the only great-grandparent I ever met. But for someone who I thought I had a good handle on, it turns out I know fairly little.

Clara Mason, the daughter of  Eber and Lavada Jane (McKitrick) Mason, was born in West Virginia 10 October 1884, according to her death certificate. Though census records seem to be in agreement, I’ve yet to find a birth record for her.

By 1900, she had moved with her parents and siblings to Washington County, Ohio. It was there that she met and married Robert Andrew Young.

Clara (Mason) and Robert Andrew Young. We believe this photo was taken around the time of their wedding in 1903.

Clara (Mason) and Robert Andrew Young. We believe this photo was taken around the time of their wedding in 1903.

Clara and Robert had ten children; my grandmother Adah was their oldest. When I started into genealogy, I got a kick out of discovering that my dad is older than one of his aunts (Clara and Robert’s youngest daughter, Vida).

Clara (Mason) Young with her great-grandchildren, 1964.

Clara (Mason) Young with her great-grandchildren, 1964.

I’m fortunate to have several photos of her, including this one of her with her great-grandchildren in 1964. (This photo was scanned from a slide. Eat your heart out, Instagram.)

Great-grandma Clara (Mason) Young and me. Photo taken in my grandparents' (Stanley and Adah Young Johnson) back yard.

Great-grandma Clara (Mason) Young and me. Photo taken in my grandparents’ (Stanley and Adah Young Johnson) backyard.

Despite the photos, I don’t feel like I know her as well as I should. I need to go back through Grandma’s memoirs and see what I can glean. I also need to talk to Dad and my Aunt Clara (named for her grandmother) to get more stories.

Clara (Mason) Young died 25 August 1970 in Licking County, Ohio and is buried with Robert in Wilson Cemetery. Dad has promised to go with me to the cemetery if this winter would ever stop.