Maternal family lines

This week’s “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks” challenge from Amy John Crow is “Females,” so let’s see how far up the family tree I can travel in only female lines. Starting with me, then (1) my mother Sarah, then her mother (and so on):

(2) Cora Belle Hawthorne (1914, Louisiana – 2004, Texas)
(3) Sallie Annie Pharris (1880, Louisiana – 1926, Texas). She died of tuberculosis.
(4) Mary Ann Malone (1855, Mississippi – 1913, Louisiana)

Mary Ann Malone Pharris died from injuries sustained in a tornado that wrecked her town, Provencal, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, in March 1913.

“Weekly Town Talk” (Alexandria, LA), March 22, 1913, p. 7, via
“Weekly Town Talk” (Alexandria, LA), March 14, 1913, p. 2, via

And that is as far as I go on my mother’s female side.

My spouse’s documented female ancestry goes back farther, and so if her mother is (1), then her grandmother (and so on) is:

(2) Norma Louise Button (1921, Pennsylvania – 1997, New York). She was first married to a George and later to a Webster. I haven’t found a long obit for her; a death notice in an Elmira, New York, newspaper reads merely that “She is survived by many” (which is true, she had nine children).

(3) Phoebe Hughes (1891 – 1978). She was born in and died in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, part of a long line of ancestors who settled in that part of northern Pennsylvania in the early 1800s. She married her second cousin, Lafayette Button, in 1919. She did a lot of research to establish her D.A.R. bona fides.

(4) Nettie Elnora Sunderlin (1861 – 1931, Pennsylvania). A transcription of her obituary in a local newspaper, the Wellsboro Agitator (September 16, 1931) is as follows:

Mrs. Nettie E. Hughes died at her home on the Button Hill Road Tioga township, Friday morning, after a week’s illness following a paralytic stroke. She was born in Tioga November 13. 1861, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Sunderlin. In October, 1883, she was married to Charles Hughes, of Tioga. Mr. and Mrs. Hughes were lifelong residents of that vicinity, Mrs. Hughes is survived by her husband and eight children, Wells Hughes, of Mansfield; Joseph Hughes, of East McKeesport;  Mrs. L. L. Button, Oliver and Donald Hughes, of Tioga;  Mrs. Elizabeth Bair, of Sabinsville; Mrs. Harold  Shaw, of Wilkinsburg, and Mrs. Helen Adams of Charleston. The funeral was held Sunday afternoon, Rev. H. H. Gillies, of the Mansfield and Mt. Pleasant Episcopal churches, officiating; interment in Evergreen cemetery at Tioga. Mrs. Hughes was a lifelong member of the Episcopal church and was largely instrumental in the erection of the church at Mt. Pleasant on Button Hill near her home. 

The church founded by Charles and Nettie Hughes on Button Hill Road, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. Author photo, 2010. The old church has since been renovated into a home.

(5) Elizabeth Rushmore (1827-1897, Pennsylvania). My wife’s GGG grandmother was married to Joseph Sunderlin, who operated Tioga’s grist mill. He was also a Civil War soldier, in a Pennsylvania unit.

(6) Amelia Wyatt (1791, New York – 1871, Pennsylvania). Along with her husband, Peter Rushmore, a farmer, this ancestor of my wife’s was among the first in the family tree to settle in northern Pennsylvania, in the Tioga County area. She and Peter had at least 10 children together.

— Fred Dews

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