Obituary for Lisa Ann Greer

From the web site of the Ponder Funeral Home, Sikeston, Missouri.

Lisa Ann Lathum

Born: October 22, 1962
Died: March 11, 2014

Lisa Ann LathumLisa A. Lathum, age 51, died March 11, 2014 at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, MO.

Born October 22, 1962 in Sikeston to Otis and Merle McIntyre Greer who survive of Sikeston.

She was married to James Lathum[1]; he preceded her in death January 15, 2013. She was of the Baptist faith.

Survivors include two daughters, Jenny Lathum and Mindy Jones both of Cape Girardeau; one brother, Daniel and Hilda Greer both of Salcedo; one sister and brother-in-law, Ellen and Johnny Jenkins of Sikeston; paternal grandfather, Bud Miller of Sikeston; nieces and nephews, Bethany Jenkins, John Erik Jenkins, Dustin Greer, Sierra Greer, Joey Greer, Johnna Fisher and Robin Mayfield; and great nieces and nephews, Jackson Jenkins, Avrie Cannon, Claire Jenkins and Emelia Jenkins.

Friends may call Friday at Ponder Funeral Home from 10:00 until time of services at 12:00, Rev. Elizabeth Banks, will officiate.
Interment will follow in the Matthews Cemetery at Matthews.

There is also a video tribute at


[1] James Lathum was the son of Eber Lathum and Freeda King. Eber was the son of Frank Lathum and American Ann Watts. America was the daughter of my 2x great grandfather, William Alexander Watts, Jr. That makes Lisa my second cousin-in-law once removed.


Ponder Funeral Home. “Lisa Ann Lathum.” Retrieved 28 December 2014.

Obituary for Veda Rains

Originally published in the Appeal-Democrat of Sutter County, California:

Veda Grace Luttrell

Veda Grace RainsVeda Grace Luttrell, 89 of Sutter passed away March 25, 2014 in Sutter, CA. She was born December 21, 1924 in Searcy, Arkansas[1] to her parents, William and Eva Rains[2]. Veda was a longtime Sutter resident.

Veda was a member of the Sutter Church of Christ. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Her family, children and grandchildren were her whole world. She could often be found in the kitchen baking the worlds best biscuits or trying to bake more angel food cake then her grandchildren could eat. Veda also enjoyed bird watching and reading, especially her bible.

Veda is survived by her daughter, Margaret Stephens and husband, Donald of Carmichael; sister, Loretta Salcido of Costa Mesa; brothers, Wendel Rains of Marshall, AR, Rex Rains of Marshall, AR, and James Rains of Concord, CA; 5 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Millard Luttrell, daughter, Carolyn Elizabeth Luttrell and grandson, Donald Mark Stephens.

Graveside services will be Friday, March 28, 2014 at 10:00 am at the Sutter Cemetery in Sutter.

Arrangements are under the direction of Ullrey Memorial Chapel, (530) 673-9542.

Memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Sutter Church of Christ, PO Box 531, Sutter, CA 95982.


[1] Searcy County, Arkansas, not to be confused with the city of Searcy in White County, Arkansas. Veda’s memorial on Find A Grave made that mistake.

[2] Veda’s parents were William Guthrie Rains and Eva Elizabeth Bohannon. Eva was the daughter of Daniel Arthur Bohannon and Ada Barnes. Daniel was the son of William Cornelius Bohannon, Sr., who was my 2x great grandfather. That makes Veda my second cousin once removed through the Bohannon side of the family.

Sources “Veda Grace Luttrell,” Appeal-Democrat [Marysville-Yuba City, CA], 27 March 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014.

Find A Grave. Veda Grace Rains Luttrell, Memorial 126965240. Retrieved on Sunday, 28 December 2014.

Two Watts Twice Counted

Charles Watts and his sister Blanche Watts were each counted twice in the 1940 census for Searcy County, Arkansas.

The first count for both was on sheet 4B of enumeration district 65-1, the city of Marshall in Bear Creek Township, Searcy County. Enumerator Blaine T. Myatt visited the Watts home on Walnut Street on Friday, 5 April 1940 and interviewed William Marley Watts. Mister Myatt recorded the family as follows:

1940 Census Marley Watts

1940 Census, Marshall, Bear Creek Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Recorded was Marley, his wife “Dealy” (Cordelia), and their children: daughter “Blanch” (Blanche), son Charles, and daughter “Ermidine” (Ermadean). Marley and Cordelia’s marital status was “M” for married, naturally. It was the same for Blanche and Charles, yet no spouses were recorded for either. Also, it was recorded that Cordelia, Blanche, and Charles all had completed an eighth grade education, while Ermadean had completed sixth grade. Marley was employed as a surveyor at the Dogwood Mill.

This enumeration probably seemed very routine to Mister Myatt. How could he have known that Marley gave him incorrect information? Charles and Blanche did not reside at Walnut Street at that time.

Elsewhere on that same April day, enumerator Alta Shillings visited the household of Charles Watts, who was renting a farm in rural Bear Creek Township. While interviewing Charles’ wife Ruby did Mister Shillings record the following:

1940 Charles Watts

1940 Census, Bear Creek Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

Charles, then, was counted twice – once in the household of his parents and once as the head of his own household. Note the difference in his age here, 23, and his age given by Marley, 22. Charles’ education level was the same as Marley had given it: eighth grade. Charles and Ruby had been married for just over a year at this point and had a six-months old son, Billy Wayne Watts.

It took some time for an undertaking as vast as the Federal census to be completed. It would be over a month before Charles’ sister Blanche would get her second entry.

On 13 and 14 May 1940, enumerator Ella Parks was working to record the households in rural Red River Township. Mrs. Parks recorded the following upon interviewing John Henry Graham at the Graham farm:

1940 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas. This is the bottom of sheet 1A.

1940 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas. This is the top of sheet 1B.

John informed Mrs. Parks that his household included son Daniel, his wife Blanche, and their three children: Leroy, Janice and William. Note that John had given Blanche’s age as 25, while her father Marley had given it as 23. Also, John said Blanche’s education level was fourth grade, while Marley said eighth grade. Thus was Blanche Watts counted again.

Sources 1940 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Marshall, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: T627_173; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 65-1. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 1940 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Bear Creek, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: T627_173; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 65-2. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 1940 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Red River, Searcy, Arkansas; Roll: T627_173; Pages: 1A, 1B; Enumeration District: 65-13. Retrieved 28 December 2014.

Obituary for Randy Scott Treat

Randy Scott Treat

(January 6, 1971 – December 10, 2007)

Randy Scott TreatRandy S. Treat, 36, of Pullman[1], died Monday, Dec. 10, 2007 at his home. Born Jan. 1, 1971 in Martinsville, Indiana , to Eddie Joe and Geneva (Stephens) Treat[2]. He was a carpenter and lived in the Pullman area for many years.

Surviving is his mother Geneva Treat of Pullman; children Christopher Treat, Travis Treat, and Timothy Treat-Maas all of Pullman; Step child Trinity Benevidez and grandchild Eithyn Benevidez; sister Katrina Treat and James Nowak of Pullman; fiancee Nancy Maas of Pullman; two nieces Sarah and Riley; also many other friends and relatives.

Visitation will be Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Funeral services will be Friday, Dec. 14, 2007 at 1:00 P.M. at the funeral home with Rev. Don Jabaay officiating.


[1] The city of Pullman in Allegan County, Michigan.

[2] Randy is doubly related to me, once on each side of my family. Eddie Joe Treat is my second cousin once removed on my father’s side, being descended from William Alexander Watts, Jr. That makes Randy my third cousin on my father’s side. Randy’s mother, Geneva Stephens, is my first cousin once removed on my mother’s side, being descended from William Jasper Stephens. That makes Randy my second cousin on my mother’s side.


Chappell Funeral Home. “Randy Scott Treat,” published December 2007. Retrieved on Tuesday, 13 January 2015.

Modean Jackson, Not Bohannon

On Saturday, 25 July 1942, Floyd Treat signed a bond for a marriage license, with Ray J. Warren as security, “authorizing the solemnization of the rite of matrimony” between Floyd Treat and Modean Jackson. The bond was attested by J. Frank Watts, county clerk.

Mister Watts, in his role as clerk, completed the entire form. In the Marriage License portion, he filled in the details of the groom: “Mr. Floyd Treat of Imo in the County of Searcy and State of Arkansas aged 22 years.” He did the same for the bride: “Miss Madean Bohannon…” Whoah, wait a second! Did the clerk record the wrong name?

Yes, he did. In the bond portion of the form, Mister Watts recorded “Madean Jackson,” yet in the license portion he recorded “Madean Bohannon.”

As a result of J. Frank Watts’ error so long ago, this record was eventually indexed under “Madean Bohannon” by FamilySearch. references the record the same way, since they use FamilySearch’s index.


Record indexed at FamilySearch. (Click for larger image.)



Record indexed at (Click for larger image.)


Treat Jackson Marriage

Scan of marriage record from FamilySearch. (Click for larger image.)



“Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 5 January 2015), Floyd Treat and Madean Bohannon, 25 Jul 1942; citing , Searcy, Arkansas, United States, county offices, Arkansas; FHL microfilm 2,048,298. Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

Obituary for James Kenneth Martin

Originally published in the Harrison Daily Times of Harrison, Arkansas.

James Kenneth Martin

June 30, 1928 – Sept. 17, 2014

James Kenneth MartinJames Kenneth Martin was born the son of James Frank Martin and Stella Vione (Graham) Martin[1] on June 30, 1928, in Searcy County, and departed this life Wednesday, Sept. 17 (2014) at his home in Couch, Missouri, at the age of 86 years.

He was united in marriage on June 3, 1950, in Harrison, to Vinita Hancock.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Vinita Martin, of the home in Couch, Missouri; one son, Dwight Eric Martin and wife, Kimberly Ann, of Couch, Missouri; two grandsons, Blake Eric Martin and wife, Michelle, of West Plains, Missouri, and Derrick James Martin, of Springfield, Missouri; one great-granddaughter, Kylee Brooke Martin; one great-grandson, Wyatt Matthew Martin; two brothers, Dalph Martin of Hasty, and John Henry Martin and wife, Ardith, of Hasty; several nieces and nephews; other relatives; and many friends.    

He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Stella Martin; an infant son, Arlin Carroll Martin; and two sisters, Bernice Earwood and Imogene Davis.

Kenneth was a graduate of the Mt. Judea High School in Newton County, graduating with the class of 1948.

Farm life was Kenneth and Vinita’s way of life. They lived and raised their family in Hasty, for 33 years and continued the same farm tradition after moving to Couch. Through their dedication and Kenneth’s long hours and hard work on the farm, they developed a successful livestock and beef cattle farming operation.

Kenneth had strong Pentecostal faith, reading and studying his Bible, and attending Midway Pentecostal Church as long as his health permitted.

He will be remembered as a devoted family man, and was well respected by his family, friends, and the community in which he lived.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel at Thayer, Missouri. Graveside services will follow at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at the Holmes Cemetery near Bellefonte, with Brother Derwin Martin officiating.  

Arrangements are under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer, Missouri.


[1] Stella Graham was the daughter of my great grandfather, John Henry Graham. That makes James my first cousin once removed.

In 1958, Kenneth served as a pallbearer at the funeral for his aunt, Callie Watts Graham, per her obituary.


Find A Grave. “James Kenneth Martin,” Memorial 136151373. Retrieved on Sunday, 28 December 2014.

Harrison Daily Times.James Kenneth Martin,” published September 2014. Retrieved on Sunday, 28 December 2014.

Thayer Carter Funeral Home. “James Kenneth Martin,” published 17 September 2014. Retrieved on Sunday, 28 December 2014.

Martha Bratton’s Year of Death

I use’s Family Tree Maker (FTM) to keep all my research. One great thing about FTM is that it searches for possible matching records and suggests them to you by way of a little shaking green leaf icon. I was reviewing some of those suggested records today, and it led me to a couple of discoveries, which I shall now share.

Martha Elizabeth Bratton

Martha was the first wife of Ezekial Henry “Sug” Melton (I wrote about his second wife, Minnie Graham, here). I had recorded 1904 as the year of Martha’s death. But a shaky leaf icon was now suggesting a record showing 1903 as the year she died. Which one is correct?

First, I checked the source where I had gotten 1904. It was from Find A Grave, which has a photograph of Martha’s grave marker showing 1904.

Then, I looked at the two sources suggested by the shaky leaf icons. They were both for indexes of Find A Grave records. The first was Global, Find A Grave Index for Non-Burials, Burials at Sea, and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current, and was suggesting a record with a 1903 death year. The second was U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current and linked to the Find A Grave memorial that I had already referenced.

I took a closer look at the memorial with the 1903 death year, for M. E. Melton. It had been created from an obituary published in the Marshall Mountain Wave newspaper, but did not contain any photographs. The obituary read:

Marshall Mountain Wave – Oct 10, 1903

Mrs. M E Melton, wife of Shug Melton died at her home near Red River, southwest of Marshall, last week, after a lingering illness of many months. The deceased was a devoted wife and mother, and her absence will be greatly felt by the bereaved family.

10 October 1903 was a Saturday. “Last week,” to me, would have been the week of 27 September – 3 October 1903. Or it could have been 4 – 9 October, depending upon how you use phrases like “last week” in your neck of the woods. Either way, Martha must have died in early October 1903 (or maybe late September) for the obituary to be published in the Wave on 10 October 1903. Therefore, the 1904 date on her grave marker is wrong. Perhaps the marker was added at a later time when memories had blurred the chronology.

I have amended my family tree to show “circa October 1903” as Martha’s death, and added her obituary as the source.

By the way, “Martha Bratton’s Year of Death” sounds like a great name for a horror novel.

“Sug” or “Shug”?

Ezekial Melton was called either Sug or Shug, depending upon which source you look at. His grave marker shows Sug, but Martha’s obituary above reads Shug. This makes me wonder if the nickname was short for Sugar. If you shorten Sugar, it sounds like Shug when spoken, but would be spelled Sug when written. I have one source for each spelling, so this is a draw.

Sources Web: Arkansas, Find A Grave Index, 1809-2012 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Global, Find A Grave Index for Non-Burials, Burials at Sea, and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.

Find A Grave. Martha Britton Melton, Memorial 45159864. Retrieved on Thursday, 4 December 2014.

Find A Grave. M E Melton, Memorial 75365414. Retrieved on Thursday, 4 December 2014.

Find A Grave. Ezekial Henery “Sug” Melton, Memorial 45159814. Retrieved on Thursday, 4 December 2014.


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