Archive for the ‘Branum’ Category

Gladys Evelyn Branum Foster and her first grandchild

Gladys Evelyn Branum Foster and her first grandchild


When my grandmother passed away in 2001, her death certificate pronounced her birth place as Lancaster, PA. This was my first mystery. Grandma was the third of four children. Her siblings were Twila Mae, Samuel Louis and William Denzil Branum.

Of the four kids, two were listed as having been born in Ohio, and Samuel (Louis) was born in West Virginia. That was logical. The family lived in Ohio, but my great grandmother was originally from West Virginia. It’s entirely conceivable (no pun intended) that she was back home when Louis was born. But the Pennsylvania thing really confused me. Not at first, mind you, because my grandfather’s family were from Pennsylvania and when I first started out, I had everyone jumbled in my head. But slowly, it began to dawn on me that there was something amiss.

And then I had a “Duh!” moment and realized that my grandmother and her family were living in Lancaster, Ohio at the time. (In my defense, I never heard anything about Lancaster growing up—I was always told Grandma was from Marion.)

Grandma went back and forth between Ohio and Florida quite a bit. I remember riding in the car, driving down to see her. This was back in the day when seat belts were just a suggestion at best. I was the youngest, so I slept on the package shelf of the car. I have a vague recollection of being sick when we were down there for one trip, but I don’t recall if it was the same visit. I know that on one visit, there was a hurricane that came through, aptly named Hurricane Gladys. I don’t remember much about that, though.

Grandma lived with us for a while before my parents divorced. My memories of this time are fuzzy, but I have a clear recollection of being with her in the car and her telling me that the turn signals talked. “Listen,” she said, “it’s saying ‘Right turn, right turn, right turn, right turn.” A few minutes later, she told me it was saying, “Left turn, left turn, left turn, left turn.” I still think of that when I’m waiting for a traffic light.

Today, July 16, Grandma would have celebrated her 100th birthday. I would have liked to have seen that. Happy Birthday, Grandma!


Some time ago, I posted an obituary for my great great grandmother, Lovina Seifert Branum. In that post, I mentioned her daughter, Anna, and my search for what happened to her. I had, at the time, found at least three husbands for Anna, with a possible fourth.

A few days ago, I found an obituary for Anna’s brother Frank online (I’ll post that when I have a little more time to delve into his life). Anna was listed with yet another last name, living in Phoenix, AZ. Searching on that particular combination (Anna Stones), I found an index listing for an obituary in the same newspaper that her mother’s appeared in. So, on a whim, I sent away for it. I had no idea if it was the same person, but at only $3, I figured I could afford to be wrong.

Well, I wasn’t. The obituary was published in 1983 (Anna’s date of death appears to be 22 July 1983) and for that reason, I’m not completely comfortable posting the text online. People are mentioned in it who may still be alive, as well as an address that could belong to family members. But the obituary does list both of her parents (although they missed the mark on my great great grandmother’s name), and Anna’s place and date of birth match the information I have.

It’s nice to know where she ended up, but I would still like to know the story behind all of her marriages. She had no children of her own, according to the obituary, so information is probably scarce. That won’t stop me from trying to find it, though!


Mrs. Lovina Corsen


Late last month, I found my great great grandmother’s obituary listed in an index from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Library, so I promptly ordered it. It appeared in the Fremont News Messenger on 18 October 1946.

She’s listed in the obit as Mrs. Lovina Corsen, but those looking for descendants would most likely be looking for her as Lovina Branum. I’ve transcribed it below:


PORT CLINTON, Oct. 18–Mrs. Lovina Corsen, 88, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Anna Stockwell, here last evening, and the body will be taken to Lancaster, O., where services will be held in Pleasant Hill church Saturday afternoon.

Survivors are a daughter, Mrs. Stockwell, and sons, Frank Branum, here; Edward Branum, LaCarne; Clarence Branum, Marion, and Simon Branum, Amanda, O. Gerner & Wolf, local funeral directors, were in charge of local arrangements.

I was aware that Lovina married William Corsen after my great great grandfather died, as I have her death certificate and I’ve found them in the 1930 census. I was a bit surprised when I saw that someone on Ancestry showed another husband in between, but I was able to confirm that yesterday through marriage records (a post for another day).

Now I’m on the hunt for additional records on her children, including Anna Stockwell. So far, I’ve documented (through marriage licenses) three other marriages besides the one to Mr. Stockwell, and one of those applications mentions yet another husband, with the surname Besis. I’m hoping to get lucky and find some Branum relatives somewhere who can help!




Gladys Evelyn Branum FosterOne of my biggest genealogy regrets is not taking the time to sit down with this lady and learn more about her past. My grandmother would have been 98 years old today. She was born 16 July 1913, in Lancaster, Ohio, the third of four children born to Cora Ellen KITTLE and Samuel Clarence BRANUM.

I don’t think her life was easy. Her parents were divorced when she was still in school. She didn’t have a good relationship with her father at all, and from what I’ve been told, she pretty much wrote him off.

She lived in Florida for a time and I have vague recollections of going to visit her there. One time, we went to visit her as Hurricane Gladys was hitting the area. What are the odds?

This was back in the days when kids didn’t need to ride in car seats, and although it was probably a different trip (one with my mom, cousins and uncle), I remember sleeping in the package shelf of the car on the trip down. Craziness!

She was married twice. Her first marriage, to Roger MINYOUNG, ended in divorce. She had a son, Charles, whom I don’t recall ever meeting. (Part of the reason I’m so interested in this side of my family is because of the lack of connections between various relatives.)

She remarried in 1935, to my grandfather, Howard FOSTER. He died before I was before I was born, as mentioned in a previous post. The had three more children together, including my mom.

Grandma was in and out of our lives throughout the years, taking care of us while my mom worked just prior to my own parents’ divorce. She and her sister Twila were in Florida a lot, I think. And she’d be in Marion as well. I think one of the things I need to do is get her kids to help me pinpoint a timeline of where she was and when. There is a lot I don’t know about my grandma, and I would really like to fix that.

Her last few years, she lived with my mom. I regret that I didn’t try to get to know her better. She wasn’t very mobile then, but her sense of humor was still intact and she could get a gleam in her eye… I can only hope I’ve inherited her sharp mind.

Happy Birthday, Grandma! I really miss you.

Gravestone of Samuel and Lovina Branum, Fairfield County (Ohio)

I feel like I’ve fallen into a rut already, only posting on death anniversaries. I promise that’s not true. Right now, I’m back in school and it’s easier to get a post up when I have a specific event to mention, than to write something more detailed about the research that’s going on. Truth be told, I don’t have a lot of time for research during the semester–although I’ve been known to procrastinate for several hours by nosing around or Family Search.

Anyway, today is yet another one of those death anniversaries. It’s been 92 years since my great great grandfather, Samuel Branum, passed away. The Branums are another name I haven’t done a lot of research on yet, and I have a feeling when I do it’s going to be tough. For starters, there are three Samuel Branums that I know of thus far: Samuel (the first), Samuel Clarence (known as Clarence) and Samuel Louis (known as Louis). To say that it causes a little confusion in my own mind is an understatement. Trying to explain it to others? Sheesh.

What I know about Samuel is that his parents were Allen Branum and Charlotte Huston. They lived near/in Lancaster, Ohio. He married Lovina (possibly Lavina) Seifert in about 1879. They had five children that I’m aware of, including my great grandfather, Samuel Clarence (the womanizer mentioned in an earlier post, according to family members). Samuel and Lovina appeared to have relocated to northern Ohio before his death, as he actually died in Erie Township in Ottawa county and his death certificate is signed by a doctor in Port Clinton. It appears Lovina remarried after his death and remained in that area, but was buried with Samuel in Fairfield county.

In the small amount of research I’ve done on the Branum name, I haven’t yet found a connection between my Branums and a large group that existed in Missouri. But they seem to have had a large family within Ohio and I expect that a lot of them still in Ohio are cousins of mine.

I had a chance to visit the cemetery where Samuel, Lovina and Allen Branum were buried and snapped the photo of the gravestone above. Unfortunately, the day that I was editing and uploading many of the photos I shot on that trip, my house was burglarized and my computer was stolen when I left my house for an hour. This was one of the few that I managed to salvage as it had already been uploaded to Ancestry’s site.

So, I will be making another trip to Fairfield county, hopefully sometime this spring, to retake those photos I lost.