25 February 2014

#8 52 Ancestors: Col. Jay Vanderpool

#8 52 Ancestors — Col. Jay D. Vanderpool

 Marine Reject Builds Brilliant Career in Army

Jay Dee Vanderpool grew up in the Wild West of hard knocks of the 1930s. His parents were divorced and his mother, with whom he was living in Oklahoma, died while he was still in high school. He dropped out of school and went to work at a CCC Camp (Civilian Conservation Corps). In December of 1936 he was in Southern California, working at whatever jobs he could find. He wanted to travel and see the world so he decided to become a Marine.

“As I was wearing cowboy boots, I passed the height test. When I went back in for my physical, the doctor said, “Well, you’re not that tall. So they tore up my papers and sent me down the street to the Army recruiting station.” [1] He enlisted and was sent to basic training at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii.

He got to see the world — Guadalcanal, New Zealand, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Luzon, Japan, Korea, Germany, Vietnam, Belgium and many places in the United States. He was a veteran of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War and is honored in the Army Aviation Hall of Fame at Fort Rucker, Alabama for arming the first helicopter. His awards include the Bronze Star, Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with four oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters. He wrote The Concept of Air Cavalry and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Maj. Jay Vanderpool (right) in WWII Army photo
He was inducted into the Army Aviation Association of America’s Hall of Fame 4 June 1977 at Fort Rucker, Alabama, which notes that:

"In 1956, he began experimentation on ordnance and airmobile tactics for Army helicopters. Colonel Vanderpool overcame a multitude of barriers through aggressive dedication to duty and superior leadership. He and his team developed, tested, and proved the feasibility, practicality, and potential tactical effectiveness of the armed helicopter, which abetted their air assault tactics that led to the armed helicopter's later combat success.

"Colonel Vanderpool sold this new concept to both military and civilian leaders through his team's presentation of live fire demonstrations. Through these demonstrations, the groundwork was laid for the air assault concept which was later employed by the 11th Air Assault Division whose tactics we still draw upon today. Army Aviation's lineage from Colonel Vanderpool is very much alive. It links us closely to facts about helicopter hardware, armament, tactics, and, perhaps most important, the esprit de corps and the vision that Colonel Vanderpool created."

Col. Jay D. Vanderpool (1917-1993)

Col. Jay D. Vanderpool was born 22 April 1917 in Wetumka, Hughes County, Oklahoma. He died 16 July 1993 in Sarasota, Florida. His obituary noted that he had come to Florida from Germany more than 30 years ago (so ca 1963). He retired as full colonel in the U.S. Army. His obituary mentions his wife, Lynn, two brothers, Hoyt K. Vanderpool (Wilburton, Oklahoma) and Norman D. Vanderpool (Coulee City, Washington), but no children.

Col. Jay D. Vanderpool was the oldest child of Orpheus Dixon “Dixon” Vanderpool and Bessie Edna Smith. They both died before their son’s military accomplishments took place. He had three brothers and no sisters. Two of his brothers, Hoyt and Norman, served in the Navy and another brother, Raymond, was in Army Signal Corps (he predeceased Col. Jay). His paternal grandparents were Dr. James Monroe Vanderpool (1859-1916) and Cumi Palestine Johnson (1858-1931) and his maternal grandparents were Jefferson Davis Smith (b. ca 1869) and Isabelle Adkins (born ca 1874). He is a descendant of Captain James R. Vanderpool, a Union army officer who served from Arkansas, during the Civil War.[2]



[1] Jay D. Vanderpool, Colonel, USA Retired. Senior Officers Oral History Program, Project 83-12. Interview with Jay. D. Vanderpool (Colonel, USA, retired) by John R. McQuestion, lieutenant colonel, USA, 1983. Carlisle Barracks, PA, U.S. Army Military History Institute.

[2] Descendants of Capt. James R. Vanderpool (1831-1880), compiled by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, 2012.

16 February 2014

#7 52 Ancestors: Orville Vanderpool

Jumping into France

D-Day Normandy (France)
Orville Ralph Vanderpool, born 27 August 1921 in Kansas, grew up in Oklahoma, and was just an ordinary young man who joined the service in the autumn of 1939 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Orville was the son of William Arthur “Art” Vanderpool (1889-1967) and Sarah E. “Lizzie” Cody (1888-ca 1922).
Orville Ralph Vanderpool
 However, like many others of his generation, he took part in one of the most extraordinary events of the 20th century — the Normandy invasion. He was there on D-Day abroad the Donna Mae — one of the 18 parachutists of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) of the 101st Airborne Division preparing to jump into France. He was two months shy of his 23rd birthday, which he never lived to celebrate. His plane went down near Magneville (France) on the way into the Drop Zone.

Today on the western edge of the small village of Magneville stands a memorial stone erected in memory of the 18 506th PIR paratroopers and four 95th Troop Carrier Squadron flight crew. These 22 men lost their lives during the early hours of 6th June 1944 when the crippled aircraft in which they were flying was shot down. The Third Battalion hit its drop zone right on the mark. As a result, two of the three planes in the battalion that were shot down were from I Company. The first plane to go down was Chalk 15 carrying what is believed to have been a mixture of men from 1st Platoon and HQ section. The jumpmaster was 1Lt. Gerald V. Howard and the pilot was 1Lt. Ray Pullen; #15 had been one of three planes randomly selected to carry additional ammunition (TNT) in wing bundles.

A German tracer round hit one of the bundles and the plane exploded in mid-air.

The marker: near Magneville in France:


 The names of those who died there that day:

1Lt. Gerry Howard - (Jumpmaster) (KIA 6/6/44)

Sgt. Robert Todd - Communications (KIA 6/6/44)

T/4. John Bray - (KIA 6/6/44)

Cpl. Don Bignall - Asst Squad Ldr (KIA 6/6/44)

Cpl. Marvin Stallings - Asst Squad Ldr (KIA 6/6/44)

T/5. Orville Vanderpool - (KIA 6/6/44)

Pfc. Gilbert Amabisco - (KIA 6/6/44)

Pfc. Richard Calhoon - (KIA 6/6/44)

Pfc. Warren Carney - (KIA 6/6/44)

Pfc. John Kittia - (KIA 6/6/44)

Pfc. William Olson - (KIA 6/6/44)

Pvt. James Farrel - (KIA 6/6/44)

Pfc. Fred Smith - (KIA 6/6/44)

Pvt. Paul Weber - (KIA 6/6/44)

Pvt. Howard Philips - (KIA 6/6/44)

Pvt. Glen Weirich - (KIA 6/6/44)

May they rest in peace.


A grave marker and additional information about Orville R. Vanderpool also can be found in the Coop Prairie Cemetery in Mansfield, Scott County, Arkansas via Find-a-Grave website.

08 February 2014

52 Ancestors #6: Mary Vanderpool Hayes Pennington

52 ancestors #6: Mary Vanderpool Hayes Pennington

No Story Too Small — 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge

Inventing Vanderpools

I come from a long line of colorful characters with some interesting occupations. On mom’s side there were politicians, musicians, spies, preachers, moonshiners, shoemakers, carpenters, and an occasional doctor and farmer. On dad’s side, mostly they were engineers, millwrights, mechanics, architects, lawyers, marshals, sheriffs, blacksmiths, and artists. Then there is a bigamist with no known occupation and some adventurous explorers and miners in the Far West and Alaska who were dubbed with the less than politically polite term of “squaw men.”

One thing that makes genealogical research so entertaining is you never know who you are going to find or what you are going to uncover when you discover a new (to you) database to explore. So it was when I checked out the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patents, 1790-1909, that is available online via subscription at Ancestry.com.

The earliest patent I found for a Vanderpool family member is one for Medders Vanderpool, of Polk County, Oregon, in October of 1868 for a “new and useful machine for thrashing grain without cutting or heading the grain previously.”

In March 1870, a patent was issued to James Vanderpool, of Hackensack, Bergen County, New Jersey, for a “new mode of oiling axles or arms of vehicles.”

There were several for Albion Alexander Vanderpool (1847-1932) , of Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, including one for a “type-writing machine” in 1905. His occupation, given in various U.S. censuses, was draftsman of machinery, electrician, and toolmaker, so I was not surprised at him being an inventor. What was unexpected was finding Mary Vanderpool Hayes, also of Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, listed for two patents — for an evaporator for hot-air registers and a finger-ring guard.

Although Mary and Albion were both from Newark, they were a generation apart and were third cousins once removed (3C1R) and they are my 5C3R and 4C4R, respectively. But cousins are cousins, and I was curious to learn more about our family’s female inventor, recorded as Mary Vanderpool Hayes. Turns out she is Mary Isabelle Vanderpool, who was born in 1870, married first Judge Howard Worley Hayes in 1899 in an elaborate ceremony at her parents’ home.[1] Judge Hayes died just four years later in 1903 and Mary Isabelle then married a widower, Louis Pennington, on 19 April 1905. Ironically, Pennington was best man to her first husband at their wedding.[2] Her two patents were obtained 8 September 1903 and 21 February 1905.


Mary Isabelle and her second husband, Louis Pennington, left the United States 31 August 1905 and went to Naples, Italy. In December, he went to the consulate at Rome and filled out an emergency passport application for himself and his wife for the purpose of travelling in the Orient, saying they intended to return to the U.S. within a year.[3] Evidently they did as they are found in Newark, New Jersey in 1910 and in Washington, DC in 1920. A search for them in the 1930 census has not been successful. However, Mary is enumerated as a widow in the 1940 census, living in Summit City, Union County, New Jersey with two maids and a cook.[4] Apparently she did not have any children. Additional research needs to be conducted to learn what happened to her, when she died and where she is buried — and learn if she had any additional patents or other talents.

Mary Isabelle Vanderpool was the daughter of Eugene Vanderpool (1844-1903) and Eleanor Banker “Ellen” Tiffany (1846-1900).[5] Ellen was the daughter of Samuel Slater Tiffany and Isabelle Eliza Mead, who was daughter of Rev. Dr. William Cooper Mead. She was the granddaughter of Bela Tiffany, founder of B. Tiffany & Co., in New York, and Deborah Turner. [6]



[1] Vanderpoel, George Burritt. Genealogy of the Vanderpoel Family with Items of Personal, Political and Social Interest. New York City, New York: Charles Francis Press, 1912. pp. 627-631.
[3] Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc. 2007. Accessed 22 January 2014. (Source: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Emergency Passport Applications (Issued Abroad) 1877-1907; Collection Number: ARC Identifier 1187503 / MLR Number A1 515; NARA Series: M1834, Roll #: 52; Volume #: 101.)
[4] 1940 U.S. census, Summit County, New Jersey, population schedule( index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K4YD-PW1, accessed 25 Jan 2014), Mary Vanderpool Pennington, Ward 2, Summit, Summit City, Union, New Jersey, United States; citing enumeration district 20-156, sheet 6B, family 117, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 2389, p. 2305 (stamped).
[5] Tiffany, Nelson Otis (for and in the interest of Charles Lewis Tiffany of New York City). The Tiffanys of America. History and Genealogy. Buffalo, New York: Author, 1901. Print, p. 15.
[6] Ibid.

04 February 2014

52 Ancestors #1 Elizabeth Vanderpool

52 Ancestors # 1 Elizabeth Vanderpool

Listening to Silent Ancestors

A few years ago Amy Johnson Crow, the creator of Deaf Biographies (deafbiographies.com), shared with me some biographical information about an Elizabeth Vanderpool she had found in the Eighth Annual Report of the Trustees and Superintendent of the Indiana Asylum for Educating the Deaf and Dumb — a source about which I was unaware and would had had no reason to examine. Deaf Biographies is a searchable website devoted to biographical information about deaf Americans through the early 20th century.

Indiana School for Deaf
However, it was an auspicious find and one that would lead me to discover a silent branch of my family tree. This Elizabeth Vanderpool died 8 May 1851 of erysipelas at the Indiana Asylum for Educating the Deaf and Dumb in Indianapolis, Indiana. I learned the following about her:
  •  Her body was unclaimed and she was buried originally in the  cemetery on the institution’s grounds.
  •  Cause of deafness: Congenital.
  • She was connected to the Presbyterian Church.
  •  There’s a photo of her tombstone is in the pictures section of Deaf Biographies.
So who was she and how does she fit into the Vanderpool family tree? The search to identify this Elizabeth lead to the discovery that her family had lived in Owen County, Indiana (not Monroe County, as originally mentioned in some records) and that her age as recorded by the school was off by a few years.

In the 1850 Owen County, Indiana census[1] there is an Elizabeth Vanderpool, age 44, born in North Carolina and enumerated with three adult Vanderpools. What leads me to believe that I have found the right Elizabeth is that she is recorded as “deaf and dumb” — and in that enumeration, the head of the household is a 76-year-old female, Mary Vanderpool, who also was born in North Carolina. Additionally, there’s Pleasant Vanderpool, a male age 50, and Sarah Vanderpool, age 42. Pleasant and Sarah were born in North Carolina, both are single, and both are deaf and dumb.

This same family appears in the 1860 Owen County, Indiana census — minus Elizabeth[2] (who evidently died in 1851). They are all gone by 1870 enumeration, except for Sarah.[3] Two important clues enabled me to identify this family eventually. Those clues were the North Carolina birthplaces and the deafness.

The Mary Vanderpool, who evidently was the mother of these three deaf children found in the Indiana records, fits the profile to be the widow of Josiah Vanderpool. Her maiden name is unknown. He had died ca 1838-1840 probably in North Carolina. But how to make the link?

Another look at the 1830 Surry County, North Carolina enumeration[4] for Josiah Vanderpool showed there were seven people in the family — and three of them were deaf. The ages of the deaf fit Pleasant, Elizabeth, and Sarah Vanderpool.

Descendants of Eli Vanderpool, born about 1804 in North Carolina, claim that his father also was Josiah Vanderpool, of Surry County, North Carolina,  so a search for Eli in the 1840 census was conducted, but negative results turned up for Josiah and Mary in North Carolina. However, Eli Vanderpool was found in Washington County, Virginia with 12 people in the household in 1840[5] — about five too many for Eli, according to the ages of his known children. The household includes an older female (60-70) and three of the adults, ages 25 and up, are recorded as being deaf. Evidently this is Mary, widow of Josiah, and three of her grown children.

It is logical that a widowed Mary and her adult deaf children would go to Virginia from North Carolina to be near one of her older sons who also was the closest (in distance) as her two younger sons left North Carolina before 1840, probably soon after their father died, one going to Mississippi and the other to Louisiana and eventually Texas. One daughter, Amelia Vanderpool married Uriah Fleming in 1825[6] and another, Margaret “Peggy” Vanderpool married James M. Phillips in 1837[7] and they both were busy caring for their children and their own households.

But what was the reason Mary (the widow) and three grown deaf children removed to Indiana from Virginia between 1840 and 1848 (when a land record for Pleasant Vanderpool[8] was found)?

Were they just part of a large migration that took place when many families moved from North Carolina to Indiana or was there some other reason?

Oh, dear, another mystery. And people ask me when I am going to complete my genealogy?

[1] 1850; U.S. census, Clay, Owen County, Indiana, population schedule. Ancestry.com [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009, accessed 20 August 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Seventh Census of the United States, 1850; National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, 1009 rolls. Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29; National Archives, Washington, D.C. Roll M432_164, p. 70A, image 144.

[2] 1860 U.S. census. Owen County, Indiana, population schedule. Ancestry.com [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009, accessed 20 August 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Roll: M653_287; Page: 77; Image: 77; Family History Library Film: 803287. Original data: 1860 U.S. census, population schedule. NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration.

[3] 1870 U.S. census, Clay Township, Owen County, Indiana, population schedule. Family History Library Film: 545847. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009, accessed 20 August 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, roll: M593_348; Page: 184B; Image: 375.

[4] 1830 U.S. census. Surry County, North Carolina, population schedule [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004, accessed 29 April 2003. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1830. NARS Series M19, Roll 125, p. 109. This 1830 census would fit for the Vanderpool males to be: Littleberry, Cornelius, Pleasant and Josiah (father), but the females are missing one of the deaf daughters (evidently). The females would include Margaret (in the 15-20 bracket) and Mary (mother), but in 1830, Elizabeth and Sarah (both deaf) would have been 24 and 22 approximately and there is only one white female marked in the 20-30 bracket.

[5] 1840 U.S. census, Washington County, Virginia; population schedule. National Archives micropublication M704, roll 574, p. 250A, arranged in alphabetically order.

[6]North Carolina, Marriage Collection, 1741-2004 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp. (P.O. Box 740, Orem, Utah 84059) from county marriage records on microfilm located at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah (FHL #0546467-0546474) in published books cataloged by the Library of Congress, or county records in possession of the individual county clerks or courthouses. North Carolina State Archives. North Carolina County Marriage Indexes. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics. North Carolina Marriage Index, 1962-2004. North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, Raleigh, North Carolina.

[7] Ibid.

[8] U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: United States. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records. Automated Records Project; Federal Land Patents, State Volumes. http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/. Springfield, Virginia: Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States, 2007. Pleasant Vanderpool, 40 acres, issued 1 May 1848, Owen County, Indiana, Township 9-N, Range 3-W, Section 33.

03 February 2014

52 Ancesetors #2 Abraham Vanderpool

52 Ancestors #2: Abraham Vanderpool and Martha Thomas Fannon

Researching one particular surname in American records — dating from the 1640s — is a big undertaking. Luckily, I have had a number of cousins who have worked with me on this project for years. We now have a large database with more than 20,000 individuals included. The project is similar to one in Britain called The Guild of One-Name Studies, but less formal. http://www.one-name.org/index.html

I enjoy helping cousins find their Vanderpool connections whenever I can, but it is amusing when someone will ask me for help and naively say something like “my great-grandpa was John Vanderpool, please send me what you have on him.” I then have to explain that I need more information in order to find their great-grandpa, as John is one of the most popular given names in our family. Sometimes, even a birth year or the wife’s name is not enough to pluck him from the pack. Knowing where (the state or county/state) he was born, married or died is occasionally required.

Recently I found a reference to an Abraham Vanderpool in an old Kansas City newspaper article. We have 52 Abrahams in our database, including two named Abraham Lincoln, but the newspaper gave his age and where he was from, which helped narrow the search considerably. What surprised me is that we did not have this marriage in our database, but we have information on his other two wives and his 13 children by them. Here’s the newspaper article, dated 4 April 1909 from the Kansas City Journal:

                            OLD SOLDIER A BRIDEGROOM.
          Abraham Vanderpool Confesses to 70, While His Bride is 44.

Abraham Vanderpool, an old soldier of Liberty, Mo., who modestly gave his age as 70, took out a license yesterday to wed Mrs. Martha Ann Fannon of Kansas City. She confessed to 44. The marriage ceremony was performed last night at the home of Mrs. Khoves, daughter of the bride, 225 West Sixteenth Street.


Don’t you love old newspapers? So now I have everything about this Abraham Vanderpool. Right? Wrong. He married for the third time in 1909, but I have been unable to locate him in the 1910 census. I don’t know if he died between 1909 and that enumeration, or if I just haven’t found him and his bride yet in various records. Of course, the hunt goes on because some genealogists can’t leave loose ends dangling.