Billingsley Reunion Report 2018

Billingsley Reunion 2018

Thomas Ashwood passed away earlier this year.  We knew him as Bud.  He was the son of Golda Billingsley and Thomas Glen “Herschel” Ashwood.  He and his wife, Carmen, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last fall.

The Ashwoods show up as cousins in the DNA matches of Uncle Ike and Aunt Barb, as well as the other cousins who have taken DNA tests.  That’s because, not only was Golda Billingsley—sister of Clarence Arthur—married to an Ashwood, but so was a first cousin, Mary Ellis Thompson.  Aunt Golda always called this cousin “Mary Ellis” with both names.  Mary Ellis was the daughter of James and Florida Billingsley Thompson.  Florida Billingsley was a sister to Benjamin Warfield Billingsley.  They were children of Robert Joe Billingsley and Elizabeth Termin.

Tthompson Billingsley

James Thompson and Florida Billingsley Thompson (from albertashwood family tree @

Mary Ellis Thompson married Harry Monroe Ashwood.  This couple moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma, and their descendants still live in the area.

Our closest match is a 2nd cousin, once removed to Ike and Barb named Albert Ashwood—he is a grandson of Mary Ellis.  Another match is a 3rd cousin, once removed, James A. Jobe—he is Mary Ellis’s great-grandson.  A third match is Johnathan Brock, a great-great-grandson of Mary Ellis.  These Ashwood cousins also match with Termin and Warfield cousin-matches at AncestryDNA.

We also have several matches with other Ashwood descendants.  Thomas Whitmar Ashwood (1852-1910) was the son of John and Julia Harding Ashwood.  He married  Sarah Jane Aten, the daughter of Robert Aten and Mary Jane Allison.  So we are related to all the Ashwoods from this couple, too.  One of their daughters was Hattie (1880-1904) who married John Walter Montooth.  Their daughter, Freeda Montooth, married Alva Roudebush.  This makes us cousins—through the Aten-Allison line—to Geraldine Roudebush Toland, and to online DNA matches debragentile and James and Dana Roudebush (listed as D.R. managed by drblack).

Now, Aunt Alberta Billingsley was also a descendant of the Ashwoods, so her children and grandchildren will have additional Ashwood matches that the rest of us do not.


We have a nice sampling of our family on AncestryDNA.  Here are all the people who have tested:

Uncle Ike, and Quentin Haines

Aunt Barb

From Buss’ family: Connie Dodd, Lou-Ann Norton, Mike Billingsley, Diann Skiles, Gina Cox, and Danny Mike Norton.

From Abe’s family: Marcia Heitz and Ryan Billingsley

From Harold’s family:  Dana LaRosa and Sonja Dean.

We also have one first cousin match with Jean Phillips, daughter of Bill and Thelma Trone Morris.  Bill was Grandma Gladys’s brother.

And just last week, there was one surprise first cousin match who also matches our Billingsley-Brown-Grewell cousins.  The match is the granddaughter of an Essie Stambaugh born about 1895 near Browning, Illinois.  Essie had a daughter, Helen, born about 1911 in St. Louis.  A couple of years later, Essie married Elmer Widener who raised Helen.  To be a first cousin match, Helen must be the daughter of one of Clarence Arthur’s brothers.  There’s Seth (born 1890), Festus (born 1897), and Lester (born 1900).  Festus and Lester are probably too young to be the dad, so it seems most likely to be Seth!

Seth Billingsley

Seth Warfield Billingsley was said to have been married a number of times.  I think Grandpa Buss put it at 15. I can find five.  Here is a quick outline of Seth’s life from the records available online at and  Sometimes he is called Seth H. or Seth Henry.

Seth was born 22 May, 1890 in Ray, Schuyler County, Illinois (from WWI draft card signed in Beadle County, South Dakota).  He is listed on the 1900 census of Astoria Township, Fulton County, Illinois with his parents Benjamin and Rachel.

He married on 23 February, 1910, to Alice Robinson.  They had Zelda (1910), Zeelia (1912), Woodrow (1914) and Wayland (1915).  Alice and Seth divorced, and she married Newton Simpson.

Seth moved to South Dakota where he filed a draft card on June 5, 1917.  Name was Seth Henry Billingsley, and he stated that he was single, but had a daughter.

Zeelia died on 20 March, 1918, back in Schuyler County, Illinois.

The 1920 Census lists him in Alpena, Jerauld County, South Dakota, with wife, Anna V., a German lady.

23 October, 1926, he married Nellie Anderson in Fall River, South Dakota.  They are listed on the 1930 Census of Mills Township, Natrona County, Wyoming.  He was 39, she was 28.  He was a teamster for the oil refinery.  The March 4, 1936 Casper Star-Tribune, lists their divorce.

The 1939 Directory for Casper, Wyoming, lists Seth H. Billingsley with wife, Emma, at 837 North Lincoln Street.  Emma was the superintendent of the Buckman Lodge, an “old folks” home.  The 1941 directory lists Emma and Seth living at 416 South Lowell Street.  Also listed in the city is a Nellie Billingsley—probably Seth’s ex-wife.  The 1943 directory still shows Seth and Emma together, he works for the City Water Department.

Seth’s 1941 WW II Draft card showing his address, spouse, and signature.

Billingsley Seth U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

                The 1952 Directory of Peoria, Illinois listed Seth H. Billingsley, a warehouse worker for Block & Kuhl, living at 604 Matthew Street, with his wife, Blanche M. Billingsley, a cashier at Block & Kuhl.  Block & Kuhl was a major department store in Peoria, later taken over by Carson, Pirie, Scott around 1960 (and later leveled to make room for Caterpillar’s headquarters.)

Block Kuhl

A vintage photo of Block & Kuhl.

Below, “The Great White Store,” what the building looked like when Seth and Blanche worked there.

Block Kuhl 2

This postcard is available for purchase at Amazon.

Blanche died in March 1974.  Seth died in December 1977 in Tucson, Arizona.

Richard Gott, son of Robert (1745-1840)

I typed this article in 2009 following some research on the Gott family.  The article is published now to begin research to confirm DNA matches with the Gott family.  More recent research into tax lists of Shelby County, Kentucky, may change the accepted genealogy of the Gott family.

The Richard Gotts of North Carolina and Kentucky

A Richard and Robert Gott were living in Orange County, North Carolina, in the mid-1700s.  They were probably brothers, although this has not been definitely ascertained.  Most researchers assume that this Richard was born in 1734, son of Robert and Mary Gott.  Many researchers have also assumed that his wife, name Margaret, was a Weems.  This is not proven either.

What is interesting to note about the several Richard Gotts is that in 1810 there is a Richard Gott, born about 1774-75, in Orange County, and another Richard Gott, born between 1770-80, in Shelby County, Kentucky and Marion County, Indiana.  As far as is known, there were only the older Robert and Richard who fathered sons living in North Carolina and Shelby and Warren Counties, Kentucky.  The older Richard is listed as deceased in 1803/04.  Since there are two younger Richards, it would stand to reason that one is the son of the elder Richard and the other is the son of Robert.  No list has ever listed a Richard as son of Robert.

A Richard Gaut married Mary Hines on 31 September, 1795, in Orange County, North Carolina.  It is probable that this Richard moved to Shelby County, Kentucky.  Some online trees list a William Hines Gott, son of Richard, in Marion County, Indiana.

It is my belief that Richard Gott of Orange County, North Carolina, is the son of the elder Richard Gott.  He was born 1774-75 probably in North Carolina.  He married Catherine “Catey” Gill on 1 December, 1796, in Orange County, North Carolina, with Thomas Gill as bondsman.  In 1800 and 1810, he and Catey are listed next door to James Gill, probably her father.  In 1810 and 1820, a younger female is listed with the couple.  Although this could be an unknown daughter, it is the author’s conjecture that the female is Catey’s niece, Sarah “Sally” Squires, daughter of Thomas and Betsy Gill Squires.  Sarah received 1/3 of Richard’s estate, so it is plausible she had a special connection to Richard.  Also, in 1820, James Gill disappears form the list of householders, but another male, age over 45, shows up in Richard’s home.  Perhaps James was feeble, being cared for by Catey.  It does seem that Richard Gott assumed an important role in the Gill family, signing bonds for Thomas Gill to Mary Jones, 4 April, 1801; Thomas Squires and Elizabeth Gill, 6 January, 1802; and John Squires to Mary Gott, 20 September, 1797.  Richard Gott died before November 1821 (date of inventory).

In this work, the Richard Gott of Shelby County, Kentucky is listed as son of Robert Gott, the Revolutionary War Veteran of Montgomery County, Indiana.  Besides the reason given in the opening paragraph of this chapter, this Richard and his son, Richard Jr, show up as witnesses on deeds in Montgomery County, Indiana.  Later, both Richard Sr, and Jr, moved to Indianapolis and finally, the younger settles in Sullivan County, Indiana.

If my supposition is correct, this connects the lineage of the descendants of Richard Gott to the Shelby County, Kentucky clan.  I list the following as his children, thus grandchildren of Robert  Gott, the Revolutionary War veteran: Catharine Gott Smock, Elizabeth Gott McCammon, Thomas Gott, William Gott, Lewis Gott, and Richard Gott of Marion and Sullivan Counties, Indiana.

Finding Revolutionary War Ancestors


This is a link to my post about my Revolutionary War ancestors.

Chances are, if you read my posts, you are related in some way–so there might a Patriot ancestor in here for you.  Or, you might want to use the links to search for your own patriot ancestors.

Digital images of the original tax lists of early Revolutionary War-era Maryland can be viewed at the Maryland Sons of the American Revolution site.  Those named on these lists are usually considered patriots and eligible ancestors for Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).  The link to those records is

Last year, I helped a friend connect to her Revolutionary War ancestor.  She is in the process of joing the Daughters of the American Revolution. The DAR has an easy-to-search system, if you have an ancestor who is already in their list of patriots.  Go to and select Ancestor Search.

A couple of years ago, at a workshop, I heard about the Society of Loyalists and Patriots to honor those who were on both sides of the Revolutionary cause!

If you can trace your lineage back to an ancestor born between 1740 to 1765, there’s a good chance you can find a Revolutionary War ancestor.  Even people born before 1740 might have served in the forces, or given supplies or other support to the colonial army; this makes them eligible ancestors for joining various societies.

Happy Fourth of July to you all!