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.
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
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 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 Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org. 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.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.)
A vintage photo of Block & Kuhl. http://collections.carli.illinois.edu/cdm/ref/collection/bra_peoria/id/1029
Below, “The Great White Store,” what the building looked like when Seth and Blanche worked there.
Blanche died in March 1974. Seth died in December 1977 in Tucson, Arizona.