Willie Ann ROWE was the first wife of John Michael BLUE, D.V.M. They are one of my sets of third great grandparents on my father’s side. Her given name can also be found spelled or used as Willa Ann, Williann, Willy Ann, Willy, Willey, or simply Ann.
Willie Ann ROWE was born circa 1810-1814 in Ohio, according to the 1850-1870 U.S. Federal Censuses. She and John Michael BLUE married 27 February 1834, in Chillicothe, Ohio, which was, at that time, in Fayette County. It is now in Ross County. Family Search’s index incorrectly has “Willey” as “Nelley,” as I’ve shown in the image below.
This certifies that on the 27th of February 1834 Mr John Blue and Miss Willey Rowe were duly joined in Marriage. Daniel Lewis. 1072.
According to a scanned photocopy of the obituary of Dr. J. M. Blue from the Sidney [Ohio] Daily News, Thursday, 26 September 1901, p. 6H, his first wife died in 1874. She is not named in the obituary.
DR. J. M. BLUE DEAD.
Was Past Ninety-seven Years of Age. Oldest Man in Shelby County.
Dr. J. M. Blue, probably the oldest man in Shelby and surrounding counties, and a well known and familiar character about Sidney, is dead. He died in his room at the Sidney House last evening after a few weeks illness of general debility. Dr. Blue’s sickness began about two months ago when he was kicked on the leg by a horse he was called upon to doctor. The leg became sore and from that time on he began to fail very rapidly until his death. Dr. Blue was born in Rumley county, Virginia, August 27, 1804, making him at the time of his death just ninety-seven years and twenty-eight days old. His father served in the war of 1812, and immediately after the war moved his family from Virginia to Ross county, Ohio, in 1814, when Dr. Blue was a boy ten years of age. Here he was raised. From Ross county Dr. Blue moved to Union county and from Union county to Logan county, residing in each county for a number of years. He came to Shelby county in 1868 and had been a resident of the county since that time. He was a veterinary surgeon and had successfully practiced his profession since 1852. He was married three times, the first time in Chillicothe in 1822, to which union were born eleven children, only four of whom are now living: J. M. Blue, of Sidney; R. R. Blue of Midland, Michigan; Martin L. Blue and Martha J. Verkler, of Cleveland. Mr. Blue’s first wife died in 1874 and in 1876 he was married to Mary Smith. She died in 1881 and in 1883 he married Julia Mains, who died May 12, 1895. The funeral services will be held at the Sidney House to-morrow morning at 9 o’clock, conducted by Rev. R. McCaslin. Intermennt [sic] in Glen cemetery at Port Jefferson.
The electronic (PDF) 5th edition of Descendants of John Blaw (Blue), d.1757 Somerset Co., NJ, compiled by William H. Blue of the National Blue Family Association says on page 97 that “originally [John Michael BLUE and Williann (ROWE) BLUE] were buried at the Port Jefferson Old Cemetery, but later the graves were moved to Glen Cemetery.” The cemeteries are in Shelby County, Ohio. The original creator of the Find A Grave memorials for John and Willie transferred them to me at my request, and I maintain them. When I requested photos of their stones by the Find A Grave community volunteers, I was told that they could not be found.
Earlier this year, I contacted, via email, Don Tangeman of Salm-McGill and Tangeman Funeral Home in Sidney, Ohio, to see if he had records for the burial information on John or Willie or both. So far, he has been able to locate the 1901 records, but not the 1874 records.
From his email dated 3 December 2014:
3 December 2014
Hi Elizabeth – I found information on J. M. Blue who passed away on September 25, 1901. He was buried at Glen Cemetery, Port Jefferson, Ohio on September 27, 1901 and was 97 years old. He [sic] total funeral cost was $61.50! He had a coffin for $45.00, a suit for $10.00, and two carriages for $6.50.
I have not located our records from 1874. If I find them I will let you know on the information for Willa Blue. Thanks, Don Tangeman at Salm-McGill and Tangeman Funeral Home in Sidney.
So John was buried at Glen Cemetery in Port Jefferson. Don Tangeman also gave me the phone number of a contact at the cemetery who may have more information. I have not yet contacted this person. It is on my long list of things to do.
The 1898 Midland County, Michigan marriage record book record of a Reuben R. BLUE to Matilda (SWIFT) BLUE (I do not know which BLUE she was previously married to) gives Reuben’s parents as John M. Blue and Willie A. Rowe. (Source: “Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NQWY-ZC2 : accessed 17 December 2014), Willia A. Rowe in entry for Reuben R. Blue and Matilda Swift Blue, 22 Jun 1898; citing Midland, Midland, Michigan, v 3 p 300 rn 752, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2,342,510.) Please note that again, Family Search has incorrectly indexed “Willie” as “Willia.” If you compare the last letter to other letters on the pages of the record book, you can see it is an “e”. They are all in the same handwriting.
Descendants of John Blaw (Blue), d.1757 Somerset Co., NJ, 5th ed., compiled by William H. Blue lists the following as children of John Michael and Willie Ann (ROWE) BLUE:
- William BLUE (b.1837);
- John M. BLUE (1840-1917), m.1867 Elizabeth VALENTINE (1841-1932);
- Reuben R. BLUE (b.1841), m. Matilda _____ (b.ca1852);
- Susan BLUE (b.1842);
- Martin Luther BLUE (b.1844);
- Lucinda BLUE (1846-1877);
- Martha J. BLUE (b.1848), m. Joseph VIRKLER, my ancestors;
- Mary E. BLUE (1853-1873);
- Katherine BLUE (1856-1859);
and, possibly a son, Henry BLUE, as their first born.
I have a slight variation to that, which is that from census records, it seems there may have been a Luther, b.c. 1844, who then died, and Martin Luther, b.c. 1850, was named after him. This is kind of a hunch.
The book has information for the descendants of two of these children, John M. and Reuben R., leaving the rest at current dead ends. The book also states that Willie Ann was probably a daughter of Ruben ROWE. It does not say how that conclusion was drawn.
Martha J. BLUE and Joseph H. VIRKLER were married in Livingston County, Illinois, on 8 December 1867, when she was 19. He was from Lewis County, New York, and she was, of course, from Ohio. I wish I knew the story behind how she met him and how they ended up marrying in Illinois.
Back to Willie Ann (ROWE) BLUE, and moving forward now with something I found today.
A fellow BLUE descendant, call her JC, and I have been doing a bit of a study of the DNA of the BLUE descendants we can find. In order to do it properly, we need to be able to sort out the DNA of the wives from the husbands. This means that I need descendants of the siblings of Willie Ann ROWE. I may have found one today, actually, on AncestryDNA.
I’ve been working with Family Tree DNA and GEDmatch for the past year. Only recently have I submitted a sample to and received results from 23andMe, and last week, I mailed in my AncestryDNA kit that had been sitting on my coffee table for a few months. I hate spitting, but I should know I need to take the bad with the good. There are a lot of problems with AncestryDNA, but I’ve found leads, and those are helpful.
I have a 2nd cousin, 1x removed, call her RM, who I found on-line sometime last year. From DNA testing of her and her first cousin, we found they are descended from Martha J. BLUE, but not Joseph H. VIRKLER. This has allowed me to narrow in on the DNA from John Michael BLUE and Willie Ann ROWE, at least as it is carried down from their daughter Martha. RM allows me access to her AncestryDNA results, so that even though mine are not back yet, I am still able to at least look for those matches who could be our common ancestors. She also uploaded her results to FTDNA and GEDmatch. I love my newly-found cousin RM.
The tree of the match who I found today, call him JH, has him descended from a Reuben ROWE and wife Lucy BABER. This Reuben ROWE is said to have died 1 April 1855, in Fayette County, Ohio. JH’s tree says he is descended from their daughter Frances “Frankie” ROWE.
As those of us who have been following the Chromosome Browser War blog posts lately know, AncestryDNA does not have a Chromosome Browser, so there is not much I can do with that information except write to JH and hope he responds, which I did today. Then, if he responds, I can ask him to upload his data to GEDmatch (if he has not already), and hope that he will.
Sigh Family. Can’t live with ’em. Can’t do genealogy without ’em. I really, really want to be able to determine who Willie Ann ROWE’s parents were. So please answer, Cousin JH, pretty please?