Unknown Photographs from Bancroft, Daviess County, Missouri #6 in 52 Ancestors

Today’s article features two photographs from the collection of my paternal grandparents, William Musgrove Jr. and Eva Buckmaster Musgrove, now in my collection. There is no writing on the back of these photographs to suggest names for the featured people. The name of the photography studio, W. H. Allen, yields no clues from a computer search.

However, the location of Bancroft, Mo. does give us some clues. Bancroft is in Daviess County, Missouri, where my 2nd great grandparents James T. Pennington and his wife Elnorah Melvina Francis were born in 1857 and 1859, respectively. Their young family was in Daviess County for the 1880 census, but had moved to nearby Harrison County, Missouri by the 1900 census. The 1890 U.S. census was destroyed in a fire, a constant point of grief for genealogists.

While the Pennington and Francis families did scatter into other areas of Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and California, some were still in Daviess County in 1900. Daviess County is north and a little east of Kansas City, Missouri on the way to Des Moines, Iowa. Harrison County is on the border of Missouri and Iowa with Daviess County just south of Harrison County.

This style of photograph is called a cabinet card.

“One style of photograph that can often be found in many old family photo collections is the cabinet card. First introduced in 1863 by Windsor & Bridge in London, the cabinet card is a photographic print mounted on card stock. The Cabinet card got its name from its suitability for display in parlors — especially in cabinets — and was a popular medium for family portraits.”[i]

The cream colored cards measure 4 1/4” by 6 ¼” with rounded corners and a thin gold border imprinted around the edge of the photograph. The name of the photography studio, W. H. Allen, and Bancroft, Mo. are written in script with same gold ink. The back of the cards has three chubby cupids flying around a heart pierced by two arrows. Ms. Powell, on her website, indicates cabinet cards with rounded corners and a thin gold border were popular from 1889-1896. Though, if a photographer had those cards in inventory, they could be used later.

Cabinet Card photo abt 1889-1896

As I look at the photograph of the two young girls, I see my own pug nose on the girl on the right, the one with the high-necked dress. I wonder if this could be my great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth Pennington Musgrove. In 1896, she would have been 17 years old and her younger sister, Alice Cynthia, would have 15. We have other pictures of these women when they are older, but it’s hard to tell. Those of you that have those pictures, or knew the women, what do you think – could these be Mary Elizabeth and Alice Cynthia Pennington?

Cabinet Card Bancroft Mo Two young couples 001

The picture of the two young couples is more difficult, though it does seem like the young women on the left in both pictures share at least a family resemblance, with the woman in the couples picture looking a little older. What do you think?

If you have any clues to the identity of these people, please let me know.

[i] Powell, Kimberly, Cabinet Cards, (http://genealogy.about.com/od/photo_dating/p/cabinet_card.htm :accessed  20 Feb 2014).


Written for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge at No Story Too Small.

Copyright © 2014 Andrea Musgrove Perisho


Unemployment Relief Census of 1933 – Transcribed by Oklahoma Historical Society

While on the Oklahoma Historical Society website yesterday, I found the following information about the 1933 Relief Census. Here’s the link  to the site:  http://www.okhistory.org/research/reliefcensus. (Right click and select open in a new window.)

On this site listed as heads of household were both my maternal and paternal grandfathers, Carl Holder (listed as Carroll Holder, age 28 in 1933, a farmer with 4 people in the family and living in Wade, OK, which all matches Daddy Holder) and William Musgrove (age 24, a farmer with 3 people in the family and living in Oklahoma County). Also included in the census as heads of household were two of Daddy Holder’s brothers, E.F. and Joe, along with their father, G.B.

Within a few years, both my grandfathers, Carl Holder and William Musgrove, were able to buy their own farms.

For a genealogist, this census gives us another tool to place people in a particular place and social context.

In order to be on “the dole,” most likely, the family could not own any land. The head of household may have had to be of a certain age. A quick search today did not list the criteria for being on the dole in Oklahoma, but each state set up their own criteria until Roosevelt established the Federal Employment Relief Act in late 1933. I’ve requested a book on the Depression in Oklahoma, which may give more information.

From the site:

The OHS Research Center staff and volunteers have transcribed Oklahoma records for   unemployment relief. These records offer insight into the economic status of Oklahomans during the 1930s. There are more than 100,000 names included in this database.

The OHS Research Division’s manuscript archives include information for several counties. These records are located in the William H. Murray Collection [1982.294]. The records are fairly uniform and consist of typed pages.

  1. Beaver County
  2. Blaine County
  3. Bryan County
  4. Caddo County
  5. Canadian County
  6. Cotton County
  7. Craig County
  8. Creek County
  9. Logan County
  10. McCurtain County
  11. McIntosh County
  12. Muskogee County
  13. Noble County
  14. Nowata Count
  15. Okfuskee County
  16. Oklahoma County
  17. Okmulgee County
  18. Ottawa County
  19. Pawnee County
  20. Payne County
  21. Pottawatomie County
  22. Sequoyah County
  23. Texas County
  24. Tillman Count
  25. Tulsa County
  26. Wagoner County
  27. Woodward County


Copyright © 2013 Andrea Musgrove Perisho


Thomas Andrew Pennington – Missouri Calvary, Union Army, bugler.

Union Civil War Flag

Thomas Andrew Pennington was born on March 24, 1825, in Russell, Kentucky. His father was Royal Riley Pennington and his mother was Elizabeth Kerns.

On November 18, 1847, he married Cynthia Ann Brown. They had five children before the war, including James T. Pennington, who was William (Bill) Musgrove Jr.’s grandfather. Another child was born in 1863 and two more after the war.

 He enlisted in 1862 at the age of 37. He joined Company A, 1st Regiment, Missouri State Militia Calvary Regiment. He started as a second class musician, but by the end of the war, he had been promoted to bugler. On January 24, 1862, Thomas Pennington along with the rest of his company was dispatched to fight against Chandler’s Jawhawkers who had attacked several farms near Atchison, Kansas. Some of the Jawhawkers were captured, the remaining escaped toward White Cloud, Kansas.  

 He died on April 3, 1880, (age 55 years) in Patton, Bollinger County, Missouri.


  • U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865, online, Provo Utah.  General Index to Pension Files 1861-1934, National Archives, for Cynthia’s pension application #349881, Feb 4, 1887, filed in Mo. T288, roll 367.
  • Index to Compiled Military Service Records, film M390, roll 37. Union Army, Vol.5, p.52.
  • Index to Compiled Military Services Records can be found at the following website –  www.civilwar.nps.gov/csss/

Copyrighted, 2012 by Andrea Musgrove Perisho.