Documenting my family's past for future generations. My family tree includes the Smith/Mansell families of Alabama and Oklahoma, the Castle/Day families of Kentucky and Oklahoma, the Wheat/Ming families of Texas and Oklahoma, and the Bell/Roberts families of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Grandma Daisy

I’m interrupting my series of posts on the Smith family to remember my son’s great-great-grandmother who was born on February 1, 1892.
Grandma Daisy with her great-great-grandson
Grandma Daisy lived in a farmhouse at S. 33rd W. Ave. and 111th St. near Jenks, Oklahoma, when I started dating her great-grandson.  She had the greatest house and 20 acres with a pond.  It was so peaceful out in the country, and we often sat on her back porch to snap string beans for dinner or while her daughter, Grandma Dod, taught me to crochet.  Her dark wood Victorian furniture was beautiful, and the first thing anybody noticed in her house—and coveted—was her gorgeous carved wood and curved glass-front china cabinet.  She had the coolest old gas stove in the kitchen that even had a built-in well in it in which she would boil her homemade noodles for Sunday dinners.  She was a wonderful cook. 

As her great-grandson and I became more serious, she and my grandmother became phone friends.  They had a lot in common and enjoyed talking to each other.  My grandmother said once that she was almost afraid to meet her in person because she was afraid she wouldn’t like her as much in person as she did on the phone.  Eventually, of course, they did meet, and they continued to be great friends.  After my son’s birth, my grandmother, ever the keeper of family history, asked Grandma Daisy the names of her parents and siblings.

After I started doing genealogy, I was so glad that I had the clues of Grandma Daisy’s family names.  According to the note my grandmother kept, Grandma Daisy’s mother’s name was Kathryn (married name Leo); her brothers were Charley, William, John, and Conrad; and her sisters were Anne (Klein), Kathryn (Buchannon), Rose (Houseman), and Lena (Kleburger). 

Eventually, I found the family (enumerated twice at the same address) in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1880 with father Charles Leo, age 32; mother Catharina, age 31; and children Charles, 6; Katie, 5, and William, 2.  Charles the father was a teamster, and he had emigrated from Prussia (or Wurttemburg).  In 1900 the family lived in Union Center, Elk County, Kansas with mother Katie, age 50; Rosie, 16; John, 13; Lena, 12; Daisy, 7; and Conrad, 6.  In Cathrine’s obituary I found her maiden name, Drier.  It said that she had come to America from Germany with an uncle when she was “quite young.”  On the 1900 census Cathrine stated that she came to America in 1863 at age 14.

Daisy Leo married William Ensley and had four children: Carmen, Wilber (Bud), Delpha (Dod), and Doyle.  She was married later in life to Burt Lavelle.  She died in Los Angeles, California, in 1984 at age 92, while visiting her daughter Carmen.  She is buried near Tulsa, Oklahoma.


  1. Welcome to GeneaBloggers. I enjoyed your story about your husband's great grandmother. I am really new to blogging also. I wish you lots of luck getting started.


    1. I'm having so much fun! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Welcome to Geneabloggers. I've been a member for about four months. This is a great community of bloggers.

    Regards, Grant

  3. Wonderful memories about your husband's great-grandmother.

    Welcome to GeneaBloggers. It's a great community!

    1. Thanks for your comment! I'm really enjoying this!