Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Loghry Line

I have been able to trace my surname, Loghry, back to William Loughry, a probable revolutionary soldier, who resided in Pennsylvania and New York.  According to Stacy Jackson of Hornell, New York (Jackson’s History of Cameron Mills), “William Loughry was a native of Ireland, it is said, born in Ireland in 1743.  The name Loughry was formerly pronounced Lawrey (Logthry).” He resided for some time in eastern Pennsylvania, probably in Northumberland County, also in Luzerne County about ten miles from Wilkes Barre.  The census for 1800 shows one of this name, undoubtedly the above, was a Pennsylvania soldier during the Revolution.  Cemetery records for Browns Crossing Burying Grounds shows William as a Revolutionary War Soldier.

In 1998, another Loghry descendant, Craig A. Davis, contacted the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) inquiring about records for William LOGHRY (LOUGHRY) showing his service.  The DAR responded that their files have been checked and there is no record of service for William, which means that no one has established that ancestor in their index when applying for membership. 

Craig A. Davis has done much research on William and in an undated PDF document titled In Search of William, stated that regardless of how the name was originally spelled, or is correctly spelled, LOCHRY appears to have been the prominent spelling in early court records.  Craig also points out that there was another man named William Lockry/Loughry, but he died in 1825 in Pennsylvania.  Craig also believes that our Lockry/Loughry/Loghry ancestors might actually be Scots who were driven out of Scotland and into Ireland.  “Settlers arriving in the Susquehanna River area in the early 1700s, virtually all Scots-Irish immigrants from County Donegal, Ireland, chose northwestern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for settlement and named the area Donegal. As I have pointed out before, the term Scots-Irish is an American term that refers to the Scots who were driven out of Scotland and into Ireland. So, while we tend to think of them as being Irish [came from Ireland], they are in reality, of Scottish heritage.”

As to why we can find nothing on William’s service during the Revolution, Craig states one needs to look at when William and Nancy (his wife) died.  The Congressional Act under which William would have been covered for a military pension wasn’t passed until June 7, 1832.  Widows and children were allowed to receive payments due the pensioner that had not been paid before his death. William and Nancy’s deaths (1837 and 1828 respectively) could be why the DAR doesn’t have any information on his service as no claim was ever filed.

During the same timeframe as my William was in Pennsylvania and New York, there was another line of individuals with same/similar names.  From Notes and Queries: Historical Biographical and Genealogical Relating Chiefly to Interior Pennsylvania, edited by William Henry Egle, M.D., M.A. (Annual Volume 1899), page 62 < https://books.google.com/books?id=3cUxAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA62&dq=Archibald+Jeremiah+Lockry&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwieqJu01ZbMAhVJcj4KHUCrBMEQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=Archibald%20Jeremiah%20Lockry&f=true>:

Colonel Archibald Lochry.

Next to the sad story of the commander of the expedition to the Sandusky Indian towns, Colonel William Crawford, in 1782, is the brief recital of the mournful tragedy near the mouth of the Miami on the 24th of August, 1781, when the gallant Col. Lochry fell a victim to Indian hate. It is not the purpose of the writer at this time to give an account of the ill-fated expedition which had been sent to the relief of Gen. Clark, who had been directed to capture Vincennes from the British. Archibald Lochry, son of Jeremiah Lochry, was born April 15, 1733, in the North of Ireland. His father emigrated with his family to Pennsylvania prior to the year 1740, locating on the extreme confines of Cumberland county in what was subsequently Lurgan township. Here the father died prior to 1750, and his children were brought up as youthful pioneers. (Page 62.)  Could my William (born about 1743) be another son of Jeremiah and a younger brother to Archibald?

Another interesting source of information is A Brief Genealogy of the Loughry Family of Pennsylvania compiled by Julia A. Jewett (published St. Louis, Missouri 1923) (original from University of Wisconsin  http://hdl.handle.net/2027/wu.89061962304). 

Loughry History.

The early emigrants of this name came to America when Pennsylvania was a wilderness. The father came from Derry County, Ireland, with five sons and settled in the extreme confines of Cumberland County, Pa., in Lack Twp., afterwards Lurgan Township, before 1740, taking up land under Maryland Grant. His Descendants identified themselves with the Colonists, brave Patriots who “pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to their Country,” and did not hesitate to give all when needed. 

The name is spelled in various ways, as was the case with most of the names of the early pioneers, but it is generally conceded, Lochry is the correct spelling. This would indicate the name is a Scotch or Scotch-Irish origin. What is the meaning of Scotch-Irish? It is only an appellation given by Americans to the descendants of the Scots who settled in the north of Ireland and were chiefly of Saxon blood and their religion was Presbyterian, whereas those who were natives of Ireland were of Celtic blood, and as we all know their religion was Roman Catholic and the races are said to be as distinct today as when the Scots first crossed the border and took up their abode in the beautiful Irish land.

The name “Lochry” signifies Mountain Lake. Lock from the Scotch, meaning lake, and “ery” meaning mountain.  The Wilsons, Loughrys and two other families came with Lord Forbes into Ireland from Scotland during the reign of James the First of England and settled in Loughford County, Ireland. There is a lake there called “Lough Rea” and another called “Lough Ree,” also a town in Galloway County named “Lough Rea” all of which would indicate the Loughry family settled there. (Page 1-2.)  While all of this is interesting and I want to be able to tie into this genealogy, I am not convinced this is our line.

In looking at Genealogy of the Loughry Family, the first generation (page 6), there is Jeremiah Lockery, the father of the family coming to America before 1740, and came with his five sons.  His children were:
1.       Jeremiah Loughry—born in 1731
2.       William
3.       Archibald—born in 1733
4.       Margaret
5.       John—born in 1737 in York Co. Penna.
6.       James
7.       Rebecca
8.       Mary

This book, however, has very little information on the son William, simply stating “William, son of Jeremiah, said to have married Rebecca. Had land in Derry Twp., Westmoreland County, in 1786.” My William married Nancy Purdy, another Irish immigrant. Since the information is so limiting, could Julia have been wrong on the name of William’s wife or was my William is perhaps a nephew of the Jeremiah who came over with his five sons and immigrated with them.


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Sunday, February 22, 2015

William Thornton

Last July I started writing about my Uncle Bill but never finished my story. Born May 1, 1913, he was the first-born of Roy Clinton Thornton and Anna Mae Rouse and was a proud union leader, helping to secure better wages and conditions. From his father's obituary, we know that in January 1937, as a 23-year-old man, he had a WPA job.  WPA stood for "Works Progress Administration."  This was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed individuals, mostly unskilled men, to carry out public works projects, including construction of public buildings and roads. Almost every community in the U.S. had a new park, bridge, or school constructed by the agency. At its peak in 1938, it provided jobs for three million unemployed men and women, and between 1935 and 1943, the WPA provided almost eight million jobs.

In 1940 he was living in the household of his mother and is stepfather, Ira Butler. He was listed as a "new worker," having worked 39 weeks in 1940. No information was provided on where he was working.  I have not been able to find any information on military service.  He must have gone to work soon after at  Firestone Tire in Des Moines. I have been told he helped secure a job for my dad there sometime in the mid to later 1940s.  Bill never married and in 1954 he purchased a home at 2800 East 25th in Des Moines for him and his mother.

While employed at Firestone, he became very involved in Local 310 URWA.  At the time of his death, almost 1,000 miles away in Winchester, Virginia 400 workers at the O'Sullivan Rubber Company voted to strike on May 13, 1956 to preserve their union.  Bill was well known throughout Iowa and the International Union for his outstanding work as Local 310's special O'Sullivan representative.

Bill died on Tuesday, November 26, 1957, two days before Thanksgiving. An article titled "Death Claims Three Outstanding Labor Representatives This Week" in the December 6, 1957 edition of "The Iowa Federationist," detailed two other active unionists, dying within days of Bill, all three of them of heart attacks. The Rev. Roy H. Mills, pastor of Easton Place Methodist church and Chaplain of the Polk County Labor council died of a heart attack Thanksgiving afternoon, November 28. Rev. Mills suffered a heart attack at his home. Rev. Mr. Mills was known as the man behind the movement to bring labor and religion together in Des Moines.  Robert J. Myers died of a heart attack on Sunday, November 31 at Mercy Hospital. He was the business representative of district No. 118 of the International Association of Machinists and had been past president of the Solar Aircraft Lodge. He was a delegate to the Polk County Labor council. The story on Bill reads:

Thornton
 
Local 310 URWA suffered a severe loss in the sudden death of William Thornton on November 26.
 
"Bill" had been a member of the local since its organization in October, 1945. He served the local union in several capacities, including steward, convention delegate, executive board member and special representative. His services as board member will be hard to replace, as Bill brought a keen insight into the problems that were part of board deliberations.
 
He was best known throughout Iowa and the International Union for his outstanding work as Local 310's special O'Sullivan representative. On this special assignment bill made many more friends among shoe repairmen and Union representatives. The job he did brought him recognition by the International Union. His complete report on the contacts he made was used by the International as a model for reports from other representatives.
 
Bill died of a heart attack at the age of 44. He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Anna M. Thornton; four brothers Carl, Kenneth, and Russell of Des Moines, and Virgil of Louisville, Kentucky; two sisters, Mrs. Gladys Loghry and Mrs. Alta Johnson, both of Des Moines.
 
Bill served as a delegate from Local 310 to the Polk County Labor council and had one of the best attendance records of any delegate. His friends, numbering in the hundreds, were all deeply shocked by his sudden death and extended their sympathy to his family.
 
One of the finest tributes paid Bill was by a fellow worker who said, "I made more people mad at me in one night than Bill did in his whole life."
 
Bill was a member of the East Gate Masonic Lodge No. 630. The funeral was conducted by Rev. Harry L. Herlein of the Miller Evangelical United Brethren church. East Gate Lodge and Ascalon Chapter No. 139 conducted the masonic funeral service.
 
What I found interesting (and perhaps suspicious) was that all union leaders (1) died of heart attacks (2) within five days of each other and (3) all three had connections to the Polk County Labor council.
 
Right below the story about death claiming the three outstanding labor representatives was a story titled "O'Sullivan Workers Get turkey Dinners Despite 18-Month Strike."  Local AFL-CIO unions in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. contributed the complete turkey dinners and it took over six hours to distribute the food donations. The article stated that contributions from the Retail Clerks alone amounted to 500 full shopping bags of groceries--two for every family. 
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Friday, February 20, 2015

My Mother


My mother, Gladys Irene Thornton, was the eighth of nine children of Roy Clinton Thornton and Anna Mae Rouse. She was born January 1, 1927 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Gladys Thornton
 
Her siblings were:
  1. William Martin Thornton, born May 1, 1913 and died on November 26, 1957 at age 44 from a heart attack.
  2. Carl Roy Thornton, born January 30, 1915, and died on September 23, 1990 at age 75.
  3. Doris Lucille (Baby Doris) Thornton, born November 15, 1916, and died May 13, 1918 at age 18 months.
  4. Russell Claude Thornton, born August 19,1918, and died February 20, 1958 at age 39 of a heart attack.
  5. Virgil Franklin Thornton, born June 3, 1920, and died October 21, 1962 at age 42 from a heart attack.
  6. Kenneth George Thornton, born December 12, 1922, and died April 19, 1988 at age 65 from complications of heart surgery.
  7. Alta Neomi Thornton, born July 21, 1924, and died December 26, 2010 at age 86.
  8. Gladys Irene Thornton, born January 1, 1927, and died November 22, 2014 at age 87.
  9. "The baby" Thornton, born and died about April 1929.
I believe this is William, Baby Doris, and Roy Jr., taken sometime before May 1918 when Baby Doris passed away

Mom's brothers:  Virgil, Russell, and William (Bill) Thornton
In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census, the family was living at 1512 East Madison.  Her father, Roy, was a laborer at the Ford Plant. Today this address is hope to a transmission auto repair shop.  On one side of this residence, in 1930, resided her aunt and uncle, Irvin and Rose Thornton and their daughter, 2 year-old Barbara at 1516 East Madison and on the other side another aunt and uncle, Clifford and Berniece Thornton and their daughter LaVay and son Martin at 1504 East Madison. My mother always referred to this area of East Madison as "the acres" and as a young child can remember visiting her cousins in houses sitting next to each other.  Looking at the Polk County Assessor's page today, 85 years later, and 1500 is an empty lot owned by the Estate of Clifford E. Thornton with Sherri Thornton the title holder and 1504 is a residence, also owned by the Estate of Clifford R. Thornton with Cathy J. Thornton as the title holder, and 1516 is also a family home, sold in 1999 by an Edward Thornton. 

Gladys lost her father when she was ten years old. A newspaper article, found in the Des Moines Tribune on January 26, 1937, sheds some light on the circumstances of the family and his death. The article was titled "Gets First Job in Five Years--Then Dies on Way to Work":
Roy Thornton, 51, of 4118 Bowdoin St., started from his home Monday morning to go to work at his first job in five years. On his way to the job he suffered a heart attack. He died on his way to Broadlawns General Hospital. The job Thornton was to have started was at the Wood Brothers Threshing Machine Co., near East Fourteenth Street and Aurora Avenue. During the time Mr. Thornton has been out of work, the family has been supported by three sons. Billy has a WPA job, Roy, Jr., is in a CCC camp at Centerville and Russell is in a CCC camp at  Indianola. Besides these sons, Mr. Thornton is survived by  his widow and four other children, Virgil, Kenneth, Alta and Gladys.

My Grandfather
She would tell me the story years later that family up the road had provided him suitable clothing for the weather and were watching for him to walk by. When they never saw him, they went out looking and found him collapsed on the ground between the two houses. The position at Wood Brothers Threshing Machine Co. was secured for him by his brother Irvin, who also worked there.  This was during the Great Depression that had a worldwide economic depression began in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s.

How her mother took care of the family is unknown, but I believe that the older boys did what they could to help their mother out.  I did find where an Ira H. Butler and she obtained a marriage license on March 2, 1940. I was never able to find where the marriage license had been returned and when I asked my mom about this she stated she didn't think they ever did marry.

The 1940 U.S. Federal Census, enumerated on April 1, 1940, did find Anna along with 26-year-old William, 21-year-old Russell, 19 year-old Virgil, 17 year-old Kenneth, 15-year-old Alta, and 13-year-old Gladys in the home of Ira Butler at 1707 East Walnut.  All the boys were working at various jobs. The situation in the Butler household was not a good one and the relationship had ended  by the end of 1941.

On August 9, 1943, at the age of 16 she married a young serviceman, Wrex Ival Hill, who was proudly serving his country during World War II. The  young couple had a daughter on October 25, 1943, my sister Sandra Lee Hill.  Wrex never did meet or see his daughter, and the couple never lived together, as he died on December 14, 1944 at the age of 21. Sometime after the birth of Sandy, my mother, grandmother, and sister moved into a house at 2721 SE 6th St.

When Sandy was only two, she became sick and was hospitalized. My mother was running to catch a bus to go visit Sandy in the hospital. A  young man who had just received his separation papers from the U.S. Navy on the bus saw her running and told the driver to stop. That gentleman was my father. A short time later, on November 9, 1945, the two married. They had three more children, Linda, Dennis, and myself.

Gladys and her sister Alta were always very close, but also very competitive with each other. In the end, though, I guess she got one up on her sister, though,  by living until 87. They talked on the phone multiple times during the day. After Alta's passing in 2010, Gladys became very lonely and her health started deteriorating. She continued to reside in the home Wesley and her purchased in 1949 and raised their four children until July 2013. First we moved her into an assisted living situation, which didn't work out the best, and by November 2013 we had moved  her into a care facility where she resided for another year until passing from lung cancer, COPD, and congestive heart failure.


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What I have learned about my father


My father, Wesley Earl Loghry, was born in New Market, Page County, Iowa on either August 12 or 13, 1924. He always claimed it was the 12th of August but other records list the 13th. He was the 12th of 13 children born to Orville Ernest Loghry and Susan Myrtle Jenkins, growing up in the New Market and Hepburn areas in southwest Iowa. The 1930 U.S. Federal Census finds Wesley and his parents and siblings residing in Valley Township in Page County and by 1940 the family, consisting of Orville, Myrtle, 22-year-old Estelle and 15-year-old Wesley, was living in Hepburn. Wesley was listed as attending school, in the 8th grade. Times were tough it appears for this family. Orville, age 55, was working as a welldigger, earning $130 in 1939. Estelle was working at a brick manufacturing company as a general laborer, having earned $416 in 1939. A short two and one-half year later, on August 26, 1942, enlistment papers find Wesley living in Des Moines, residing with his brother Estelle's in-laws, the Youngs, on SE 5th Street.

I knew he served in the Navy, but I never asked and he never volunteered on where he had been and what he had done.  He began his military career at NTS Great Lakes in Illinois. This was two years after World War II began and it wasn't long, though before he is appearing on U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls for the period of 1938-1949.  He is found on the LST 383 from at least March 31, 1944 until November 20, 1944.  The LST-383 was a tank landing ship, built in Virginia and launched September 28, 1942, commissioned on October 27, 1942 with LT. Charles H.  Johnson Jr., USN, in command.  It was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and participated in the following campaigns:



  • Sicilian occupation, July 9-15, 1943
  • Salarno landings, September 9-21, 1943
  • Anzio-Nettuno advanced landings, January 22 through March 1, 1944
  • Invasion of Normandy, June 6-25, 1944

I have proof that he was on the ship during the Anzio-Nettuno advanced landings and the Invasion of Normandy.  I never once heard  him mention anything about this at all.  Here is a picture I found at NavSource Online: Amphibious Photo Archive -- USS LST-383 of the ship high and dry on the beach at Normandy, June 1944:


Here is another photo of the USS LST-383 unloading British troops at Salerno in September 1943. "Note: The troops shown emerging from the bow ramp of LST-383 are British Eighth Army men from either the 50th (Tyne Tees) or 51st (Highland) divisions. These exhausted and poorly equipped, troops were needlessly added to fresh American troops of the US Fifth Army in the assault on Salern. But, after having been deceived about their destination and purpose, nearly 200 men refulsed to  join the assault, and were arrested for disobeying orders. Within six weeks, after a trial for which their defense had no time to prepare evidence, all but one had been found guilty of mutiny, their sentences ranging from five years' penal servitude to death."


This site also shows the awards, citations and campaign ribbons my dad would have earned for this service.  I wonder what ever happened to these ribbons.  

Wesley also appears, in June 1945, in the muster roll for the LSM(R) 504.  This was a also a landing ship of medium size, called a Rocket. It was launched on April 21, 1945 and was decomissioned in May 1946. Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons for this ship were:


He was discharged from the Navy on October 6, 1945, returning to Des Moines. Shortly after his return, while riding a bus, he noticed a young woman running to catch the bus. He made the bus driver stop so the young woman could board. That young woman was my mother, Gladys Irene Thornton Hill.  Gladys was a young widow with a two-year-old daughter. By the middle of November of 1945, a few short weeks later, the two were married.  Within a year he obtained a job at Firestone Tire & Rubber, where his brother-in-law worked. He remained there until his retirement in about 1982. While at Firestone, he was known as "Bookie" because he was always collecting money for football and baseball pools.  

We lost him way too young in 1992. 



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