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So, this is Dad and Mom. Ray is the son of Conrad Herrmann and Kate Bundock. He is the step-son of Edith Armstrong and Wally Hewitt. ...

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Lilla and Susan Spnecer

One of the thrills of family history is meeting new family. I just love it. This morning I had a wonderful conversation with my newly found 2nd cousin 1x removed. Her grandmother was my great-grand Aunt.

My great-grandmother, Lilla, on the left
My great-grand Aunt, Susan, on the right

My 2nd great-grandfather, Rodolph
Father of Susan and Lilla.

So, how did two sisters - one born in Tennessee and one born in Minnesota - meet up in California? Well, lets start with Susan.

The oldest daughter of Rodolph Ambrose Spencer and his first wife, Telitha Humphries, was born in 1867 in Tennessee. 
And the story starts with the Civil War.
In 1862, Rodolph enlisted in the Union Army, Company B 22nd Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Private. He mustered out in June, 1865, and filed for a pension in 1871 as an invalid.
Now, I am relying on my memory here of what my Aunt had told me. She sent for Rodolph's Civil War record. 
According to my Aunt, Rodolph was either injured in battle or fell ill and had to be hospitalized. His nurse was Telitha Humphries. I recall a conversation on our old family site speculating that the Florence Nightingale syndrome may have occurred during the convalescence of Rodolph.
Rodolph and Telitha married in May, 1865 in Giles County, Tennessee. In 1867, Susan was born. I don't know when the marriage failed, but by 1870, Rodolph was living in Black Hawk County, Iowa. In 1877, he marries Emma Curtiss in Janesville, Minnesota. Their only child, Lilla Florence, is born in 1878 in Owatonna. 
At some point, the family moves to El Dorado County, California. The reason is unclear, but there are two possibilities. One possibility is for gold digging. The other is the fact that Rodolph's Aunt Rhoda Glynn lives there. Her husband, Ira, being a dentist in Placerville.

 In April of 1888, Lilla includes a letter to her father with one her mother sends, hoping that her sister, Susan, can come to California. 
In May of that same year, her mother dies. 
Lilla is sent to Minnesota to live with her mother's family. She is 9 years old.

Meanwhile, Susan lives with her mother, Telitha in Tennessee.
Telitha married Andrew Duke in Giles County, 1872. By 1880, Andrew and Telitha are living in Limestone County, Alabama along with Andrew's two sons from a previous marriage, Henry and James, Telitha's daughter, Susan, and the couples 3 children, Frank, George, and Willie. Also with them is Andrew's nephew, Thomas.
At some point between 1880 and 1900, the family moves to McNairy County, Tennessee. It is in this county that Andrew dies in 1905, and Telitha in 1915 (of tuberculosis).