Posts Tagged Roll Family History

#52 Ancestors No. 25 – Francisco Mine #2 1926 Coal Mine Disasters – Two Roll Family Members Lost

This is post 25 of the 2015 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of u52ancestors-2015 Images blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

Coal mining without a doubt is dangerous work. Toxic gases, coal dust, explosions, fires and flooding occur; taking the lives of over 10,000 just in the last two centuries. Tragedies continue today as the world continues to mine for precious minerals, gemstones, and energy sources. Health issues from mining may affect miners after they stop working in the mines.

Coal has been mined in Indiana and Kentucky since the early 1800’s. Coal was the fuel for steamships and railroads that helped expand the growth of United States. I have two family lines who settled both Indiana and Kentucky. Members of these families migrated from the back breaking, drought or disease ridden and labor intensive farming to the more dependable coal mining employment.

My own great-grandfather Oliver Cromwell Roll worked on the railroad. As did his uncles and cousins. My grandfather, Hugh A. Howes, did not want to work the mines or railroad and headed north to Detroit to work in the auto factories.

Inscription by Laufa Helsley Lockwood, the widow of Frank Helsley

Inscription by Laufa Helsley Lockwood, the widow of Frank Helsley

The probability that my collateral ancestors would be affected by a mine disaster may have been marginal. Nevertheless, two of my relatives died in the same mine incident. My third great Uncle, Samuel W. Roll, son of Isaac Roll and Elizabeth Weir, lost a son and a grandson.

1926 Francisco Mine #2

The explosion occurred on December 9, 1926. 37 miners lost their life. The cause of the explosion was undetermined. Francisco Mine #2 was located near Princeton, Gibson Co, Indiana. Workers came as far as Evansville, IN, 40 miles away to work the mines.

Two of Samuel sons, John R. (b. 1863) and Shelby Jackson Roll (b. 1868), ended up as miners. John R. Roll mined in Spottsville. Shelby moved up to Evansville and mined at the Francisco Mines. John’s son, Ollie Roll (b. 1895), lived in Ohio Township, located near Evansville.

It is quite possible the two men, one an uncle, the other a nephew; rode to the mines together or stayed nearby in lodgings. Shelby was one of the missing after explosion and fire. His body was found the next morning. His was 58 years old. Shelby married late in life to a widow with three daughters. He did not have children

Ollie Roll was 31 years old on the day he died in Francisco Mine #2. He was survived by his wife Emma and their four young daughters.


Princeton, IN Coal Mine Explosion and Fire, Dec 1926, originally submitted by Stu Beitler.
Mining Accidents
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Coal in Indiana – – Memorial Headstone, tlws (#47311297),
Indiana Coal Mine Disasters

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#52Ancestors: Week 21 – Revolutionary War Private, Michael Roll

This is week 21 of the 2015 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of u52ancestors-2015 Images blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

Yes, I am two posts behind. This post is in remembrance of those who have served in military service. My fourth great grandfather, Michael Roll, served in the Revolutionary War,  from 1776 to 1778. He started service at the age of 14 as a substitute for  another person.  He also served as a substitute for his father, John Roll at one time. Michael served a total of four times in a two year period.

Born in Pennsylvania, he served for Maryland Company’s.  He marched to various forts, including Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) Fredericktown, Missouri. He served in the Pack Service in his first term.  He also served as an Indian Scout during the later of 1778.  His

In his thirties, he married Christina Vaught.  Together, they and their families moved to Hardin, KY.  Eventually settling in Muhlenberg County.

The image below is Pension Statement certifying Michael’s service.  His military records being lost by 1834, a sworn statement from friends and family had to be submitted.  There are about 20 pages in his pension file describing his service and witness statements. He was eventually award $175.00 as his pension.


Source: S38340 Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls). Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

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#52Ancestors: Week 20 – Rolling with the Bright Shiny Objects – Kathyrn M. Roll

This is week 20 of the 2015 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of u52ancestors-2015 Images blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

My plan was to write about the wife of a great uncle. However, I cannot verify her maiden name. I starting searching for more information. Of course, I squirreled. Also known as being distracted by BSO’s (Bright Shiny Objects). Since I couldn’t find anything on Frances Roll. Let me write about my BSO. It is still somewhat related.

Frances husband was David Roll, the brother of my great grandfather, Ollie Roll. Well the Roll brothers had five sisters. One was (is?), Kathryn M. Roll, daughter of David Wayne Roll, Senior, and Catherine Traylor Guy. Kathryn was born in 1890 and passed away in 1958. She lived in Muhlenberg and Henderson Counties in Kentucky.

Kathryn married Bluford C. Ellison, marriage date unknown. The couple had five children. Unfortunately, Bluford was killed in an explosion from a coal woodstove. Bluford’s occupation was that of a farmer. The explosion most likely occurred at home on December 19, 1923. Bluford died of his injuries on Christmas morning, December 25, 1923. Bluford was 35 years old. Two year later, Kathryn loses her youngest son, Earl, to dysentery.

Children of Bluford and Kathryn Roll.

Margaret Ellison  (1912 – ?)   married Robert H. Porter
Agnes Laura Ellison (1914 – 1988)     married Harold Bangs
Foster Carlin Ellison (1917 – 1992)     married Evelyn Pearl Irwin
Stella Mae Ellison (1920 – 1986)         married Charles David Wright
Earl David Ellison (August 1923- May1925)

To support her family, including her widow mother, Katie Roll, Kathryn works as a machine operator in a radio tubes factory. Her son, Foster, is listed as an inmate in the Daviess County Jail on the 1940 census. There is some type of distinction between inmates and prisoners at the jail as both terms are used. Foster heads to Texas shortly thereafter and marries. His name is carried down to Junior and his grandson.

I was not able to locate an image for Kathryn’s death record. Her death record is recorded as Katherine Roll Ellison. It includes her parents’ name. Burial location is not provided. I didn’t have any luck find a memorial on

Death source:
“Kentucky Death Records, 1911-1961,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 May 2015), Katherine Roll Ellison, 16 Oct 1958; citing Rural, Daviess, Kentucky, United States, , Office of Vital Statistics, Frankfort; FHL microfilm 1,709,630.

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Grandma Olive’s Recipe Box – Sauerkraut Salad – may lead to bloating and flatulence

Warning: Excessive consumption of sauerkraut may lead to bloating and flatulence.

This is a series of posts of one of the recipes that came from my grandmother Olive Roll Howes’ recipe box.

Do you love sauerkraut and looking for a healthier way to add it to your plate? You mean I don’t have to have it with fatted and salted sausages, served on top a hot dog made with processed ____ (well, you fill in the blank)? Yes, there are alternatives. But…here is the disclaimer. There is a bit of sugar in this recipe.

Unpasteurized sauerkraut has health benefits. You know, the most important ones, low calories, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Kraut has more beneficial bacteria1 than live yogurt. About that fiber, might I suggest this dish for Friday or Saturday? That way you won’t offend your co-workers during the work week.Sauerkraut Salad1 jar – 32 ounce Sauerkraut        1 chopped green pepper
1/3 cup white vinegar                  2 chopped small onions
1 cup of sugar                                4 stalks chopped celery

Pour sauerkraut into colander, run cold water through it and set aside to drain.
Combine vinegar with sugar, boil 1 (one) minute, then set aside to cool.
Mix sauerkraut with chopped green pepper, onions, and celery.
When syrup is cool, pour over vegetables.
Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours.

Recipe Variations
There are plenty of sugar substitutes that could be used, such as honey or agave nectar. That could help with the sugar rush. I would try cutting up the small snack size red or orange peppers to add color to the dish.

Before you ask, “Why don’t you include an image of the dish?” This series is about the recipe cards themselves. If I can find a “royalty free” image that resembles the dish, I will post it. If not, no go.

1Wikipedia and TheGuardian (

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Grandma Olive’s Recipe Box – Dutch Coleslaw

My aunts and my mother were divvying up my grandmother, Olive Roll Howes (1910-1996), belongings after she was moved to a nursing home in 1990’s. I think my mother ended up with the bulk of the paper files in several boxes. I was amazed at the number of boxes my mother brought home. My grandmother lived in a senior citizen apartment. The square footage was small, probably around 500 sq. feet.

My mother was sorting through the boxes at our house and there was no time to do it at grandmother’s place. As I watched my mother, I was exclaiming, “Where did Grandma find the space to put all the “stuff” in her tiny apartment? “ Being curious person genealogists can be, I started reading the letters, slips of paper, piles of statements, and et cetera in amazement.

There were cancelled checks from the 1950’s. Garnishment receipts for child support payments from an Uncle. 1952 military training records for the same uncle while he was training in Florida. A letter from her great uncle regarding burial plots, an envelope with a torn out page from the phone book.  The page contain surnames of possible relatives she was trying to track down in Kentucky or Indiana. Genealogy is genetic. I still treasure those items today.

Dutch Coleslaw Recipe

Dutch Coleslaw Recipe

It is amazing what she kept. At the time, I managed to snag a few items and placed them in my room. Lucky that I did. My mother threw out a lot of the boxes during one of her cleaning sprees. I do not want to take a gander what treasure trove was thrown out. A couple of boxes did end up at my sister’s house. I went through and grabbed what I could when I found the boxes in the attic.

In among the paper files were recipes Olive collected. Some came from her friends that I remember from my childhood. Others were copied from newspapers in her own handwriting to index cards. The cards provide a lovely example of her handwriting. Compared to mine, Olive’s penmanship remained flowing and fluid even in her older years.  The handwriting is similar to my own mother’s. Seeing the writing reminds of her and brings a tear to my eyes. My own mother passed away 12 years ago.

I am posting the Dutch Coleslaw recipe today, because it is a play on words.  The word “coleslaw” is derived from the Dutch word “koolsla.” So why call it Dutch coleslaw?   Even though I have Dutch settlers who arrived in the 17th century, this is not a family recipe handed down through time.  Because this recipe lists mayonnaise as an ingredient, which was was invented in the 1800’s.

Dutch Coleslaw
Shred cabbage for 1 quart, plus 2 stalks of celery and 2 carrotsSoak in salt water in refrigerator for 1 hour.  Press out water.
Dressing – 1/4 cup of vinegar,  1/2 cup of mayonnaise, 1/4 c of sugar, add salt to taste
[add dressing to shredded cabbage and mix]
Let stand in refrigerator – several hours to blend flavors


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