Elizabeth, Gertrude, DeVoe and James
A few weeks ago I made an inquiry with the Venago Historical Society to see if they had Elizabeth Goins' obituary. Someone wrote back that they didn't have her obituary but the Franklin City Library in Pennsylvania had it in the News-Herald. So I wrote and I finally received it 22 June, 2012.
Who is Elizabeth Murrells Goins? She is/was the wife of James (a.k.a, Roswell) Goins who passed away in December 1912. There was an announcement in the Massillon Evening Independent wherein, James' brothers John (b.1848) of Canton and Robert (b.1849) of Mount Vernon (my 2nd great grandfather) went to Massillon that year for their brother's funeral The notice also gave the names of Elizabeth's sisters attending the funeral from out of town. This little notice was the last confirmation that James (a.k.a. Roswell) was the youngest brother of John and Robert.
According to the Massillon City directories, Elizabeth who became a widow, took over running the barbershop that her husband and brother Charles Murrells ran prior to James' death. A few years later in 1916 it was announced in the Massillon Evening Independent that, Elizabeth and James' only child, Gertrude married DeVoe Bassett and soon would resettle in Oil City, Pennsylvania.
After the wedding, Gertrude did move to Oil City, PA as I found her in the 1940 Venago County Census with her husband DeVoe. Somewhere in the process I found her obituary which appeared in the Oil City Derrick. A few days later the paper said that her estate along with her mother's estate was unsettled and was to be liquidated. I was also lucky to have one of DeVoe's relatives send me his obituary which had a picture of him and mentioned his skills in sports and his long career as the only colored postman in Oil City at the time.
I wasn't sure when or if Elizabeth had move to Pennsylvania because I found her in several 1930 U.S. City directories living in Massillon and the address of the barbershop on Lincoln Way with her name next to it. Again, it seems like Elizabeth's brother Charles helped run the barbershop, as I believe he was a barber as well. Prior to finding the article on Gertrude's marriage to DeVoe, I had access to her obituary in Oil City Derrick and Elizabeth's obituary in the Herald-News in Franklin, Pennsylvania, I secured Charles' death certificate. He had passed away in 1938 and Elizabeth was the informant on that document. So I guess Elizabeth moved to Pennsylvania sometime after her brother's death in Massillon, Ohio circa 1938.
I made several queries to the Venago County Historical Society in different forums to see if they had Elizabeth's obituary as the Oil City Derrick mentioned her estate. Again they told me no but that Franklin City had it. I made a query to the Franklin City, Pennsylvania Library and they confirmed they had Elizabeth's obituary. It turns out that she died in February of 1956, a month after her daughter Gertrude.
This was a very tedious process but I am glad I didn't give up on finding Elizabeth because she along with her daughter Gertrude and husband James provided many fascinating stories which appeared in the Massillon Evening Independent. In the Herald-News, I read Elizabeth's obituary and it turns out she just missed turning 100 years old by a year or two. I really enjoyed following their lives through news accounts, census schedules, city directories and other genealogical records.