Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Grandma Mary's siblings: Emery Marco

Poverty and tragedy marred the adult life of Emery Marco Waggoner, my grandmother Mary’s eldest brother, but he seems to have persevered and perhaps attained a measure of peace in his later years. Perhaps.
The firstborn of Eli and Rachel Waggoner was born 30 May 1885 in Bland County Virginia and died 10 October 1966 in Warsaw, Missouri at the age of 81. Between those two locations and years, he rambled from place to place. Being the eldest son, Emery learned to assist his father with farm work very early in his life as evidenced in the 1900 census, which lists his occupation as farm laborer at age 15.[1]
So far, I cannot find him in the 1910 census; he is not listed with the family in Missouri[2] where they had moved about the year 1909. Evidence suggests that Emery migrated farther west to the state of Washington where he married Ida May Geist on 4 January 1911 in Spokane.[3] According to the marriage record, she was 29 and he was 24; he was employed as a fireman. Ida was descended from Pennsylvania Dutch,[4] so your guess is as good as mine how she ended up in Washington. By 30 September 1911, the date their first child John was born,[5] they resided in Ocanogan, Washington. Sad to say, only two years later on 14 September 1913 in the same county, Ida died the day after giving birth to their second child, a girl they named Ida Rachel Marie.[6]
Marriage Certificate of Emery Waggoner and Ida May Geist, Spokane, Washington
With two small children to care for alone, Emery moved back east, perhaps to be closer to family members, and evidence is strong that he even went back to Virginia. Although I cannot locate the marriage record, Emery’s descendants say he remarried on 30 September 1916, to Dewey Minti Petty, age 19, of Smyth County, Virginia. 
Dewey Petty and her sisters, Nannie and Martha, in Virginia. Not sure which is which.

Emery was, by then, age 31. Two years later when he registered for the WWI draft, he and Dewey were living in Cottonwood, Lyon County Minnesota.[7] 
World War I Draft Registration for Emry Marco Wagner. Note that he spelled it Waggoner when he signed it. Also note how he spelled his first name. It's spelled that way when he signed his marriage certificate, too--and on the birth record.

Another two years later when the 1920 census was taken, they were living in Normania township in Yellow Medicine county with their children: John, Marie, and two more children, James, age 3, and Nanny, age 1.[8] Emory was working as a farmer in the “grain and stock” industry, and he rented his home. Two additional children were born to Dewey and Emery: Lucille Virginia in 1921[9] and Ruby Irene in 1924.[10]

Emery and Dewey Waggoner and family. John and Marie, children of Emery's first wife Ida, are standing at back; l. to r. the children are James, Nannie, Lucile, and Ruby on Dewey's lap.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck again on 20 March 1926 when Dewey suddenly died as a result of a blood clot to the lung. This time they were living in Cheppewa County. According to one of Dewey's descendants, the family was very poor when she died. She was buried in Boyd Cemetery along a fence line with no marker, and there is no record of her burial. 
 Once again, Emery was left to care for children alone—six of them. He did not fare so well. More to come.

[1] 1900 U. S. census, Broadford, Smyth County Virginia, population schedule (first enumeration), enumeration district (ED) 84, p. 3B (penned/stamped), dwelling 52, family 52, Emory Wagner; digital image, ( : accessed 9 August 2013); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication T623, roll 1728.
[2] 1910 U. S. census, Audrain County, Missouri, population schedule, Salt River Township, p. 7B (penned/stamped), enumeration district  (ED) 11, sheet 7-B, dwelling 140, family 140, Eli Wagoner; database (, accessed 9 August 9, 2013; NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 767.
[3] Washington, Marriage Records, 1865-2004, digital image (, accessed 11 August 2011), entry for Emery Michael Waggoner – Ida May Geist, 4 January 1911.
[4] Ibid.  1900 U. S. census, Ringgold, Jefferson County Pennsylvania, population schedule (first enumeration), enumeration district (ED) 77, page 3B, dwelling 63, family 57, Ida M. Geist; digital image, ( : accessed 9 August 2013); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication T623, roll 1417. Note: Ida May was living with grandparents Henry M. and Sarah Emhoff.
[5] Social Security Administration, “U. S. Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current,” database (, accessed 13 August 2013), entry for John Waggoner, 1972, 475-28-3453. 
[6] Ibid, entry for Marie Fergusen, 1983, 468-84-7544.
[7] “U. S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” images (http://www., accessed 13 August 2013), card for Emry Marco Waggoner, serial number 0820, Local Draft Board, Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota.
[8] 1920 U. S. census, Normania, Yellow Medicine County Minnesota, population schedule, Normania Township, p. 1660 (penned), enumeration district (ED) 207, sheet 6-B, dwelling 107, family 113, Emery Waggoner; database (, accessed 13 August 2013), NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 867.
[9] Minnesota Department of Health, birth certificate 11669 (1921), Lucile Virginia Waggoner; Division of Vital Statistics, St. Paul; ordered from Minnesota Historical Society (, 13 August 2013).
[10] Ibid, birth certificate 38491 (1924), Ruby Irene Waggoner.


  1. Hi Zola,
    Welcome to Geneabloggers!
    Reading your blog, it struck me that the Geist surname sounds very Dutch. Being Dutch myself, I was very much interested. I also have a blog with many genealogical subjects. One of my posts shows a survey of foreign genealogical blogs/sites showing Dutch origin surnames. The URL is The idea is to try and establish contacts between people who have an interest in the same surname. There are numerous cases in The Netherlands where people emigrated centuries ago without leaving a trace in Dutch archives. With my blog I try to bring Dutch and foreign (mainly US/CAN) genealogists together.
    Therefore, I like to have your permission to show your site in my a.m. blog.
    I look forward to your reaction!
    Kind regards,
    PS A popular Dutch data base shows 260 hits for Geist.

  2. Certainly, you may show my site in your blog. Thank you for asking.

  3. Thanks for your permission. Your site is now shown in my blog. If there is anything you want me to change or add please let me know.