Please see Acknowledgments listed below due to space.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Claypool(e)'s at Union Baptist Church

I am going to begin a series of posts over at my other blog The Digital Annex - each post will be a scan of the 1948 History of Union Baptist Church in Cadogan, PA.  "Old Union" is the church founded by James Claypoole of Armstrong County.  I'm posting it there because it has tie-in's to many other local family and history issues, but it is of great importance for the descendants of James Claypoole.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Harvey Claypool, Birthday Bash, 1919, Part 2

See comment on blog entry below.

Harvey Claypool Birthday Bash, 1919 Part 1

The first half of the group photo taken in 1919 for Harvey Claypool's birthday.  I have an enlargement purchased at our family reunion in 1996, so I apologize as it doesn't fit onto my scanner.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you, Veterans!

My grandfather Merle G. Claypoole, mugs with his young Brother-in-law, Raymond McMunn, March 1943.  My collection.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Cousin's Class

An end of year school momento for Noble School No. 4, part of the then Worthington West Franklin School District, later absorbed into the Armstrong School District from 1926-26.  My personal collection.  Almost everyone listed is directly or indirectly a James Claypoole descendant or relation.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A New Blog...

I have created another family and/or local history blog at, mainly to help me organize things better on this blog. I call it The Digital Annex and you can access it through my profile. On that blog I will post things that are indirectly related to the Claypoole family, and yet might be of use to other researchers. Some items will probably appear in both blogs especially some of the photos. You might want to look it over when I actually post something interesting there! Hopefully it will be a place where stray and otherwise lost clues and people might be found. I always accumulate stray bits of information and I might as well share them.

A few notes about my postings here:

I am exploring all descendants, as well as allied families, of James Claypoole of Armstrong County, but at least for now, not in a truly systematic way. One reason for the somewhat topical approach is lack or recent work on this material. I haven’t done much in this line for some time, I also just moved and that was more chaotic than planned, so as I unpack I'm trying to organize my material and I thought that by providing it online for the enjoyment and enlightenment of others was an excellent motivator, it forces me to be more focused on organizing, preserving and transmitting this information.
N.B.: I will not post photos of any living individual(s), nor will I write about any living individual beyond stating they are the child of so and so, except when I have obtained their written and verbal permission to do so.

I hope those that find this site will alert me to any errors so I might also improve the quality of the material. Some photos or articles may need to be reposted at a later date if significant new materials or corrections are forthcoming.

I am still struggling to find an appropriate template to follow for providing the information here, and I may also re-post for that reason. Please note this is a work in progress for a more traditional Claypoole book I’ve been working intermittently since 1994/5. I had lost interest after I suffered a huge computer crash in 1999 without adequate backup of my materials and I frankly didn’t feel up to the task of starting over. I realized that I need to push on and Louis Claypoole, Kathie Young, and Barry Chapman have all fired me up to do so again.

Also when this blog goes exploring the allied families or the distaff family lines, I will probably only go back one or two generations at most (unless something significant needs to be unearthed), and if I have a surfeit of material on those lines I will return to them later, or more likely I’ll create a separate blog to manage that/those family line(s).

Two cases in point: My grandmother Claypoole's maiden name was McMunn and at some point I will probably start a McMunn and/or Miller Family page to provide a similar service for her line, the same with the Cook line.

In some cases the relatives of James Claypoole are heavily inter-married often through several generations. This will provide a challenge, so please help if you can. I am also more interested in mining the ancient part of the family in Armstrong County say 1770-1890, for more detail to flesh out the realities of daily life. I don’t want to create a comprehensive family tree type site (though that may be a by-product), but rather bring people back to life where that is possible through magnifying and focusing all the surviving source material. I will post information here, first in factual digests, and then later create narrative histories with illustrations, photos, and footnotes, the whole nine yards.

As I post things I will try to acknowledge my sources even in the embryonic stage.

Photos that I know are still copyrighted will not be posted without permission from the holder, when I doubt I would ask you not to copy, paste, or link them to any other site without contacting me first.

I will also attempt to eventually house my entire collection of copies and original family photos and documents on line for the benefit of all, and to help preserve them from wear and tear, destruction, or loss.

I hope you enjoy!

Happy Hunting!

Marion Claypoole

If you are new to this blog and you are interested in the Marion Claypoole line of Armstrong County, please visit the Claypoole Connections photo pages at Facebook.  A link is proved to the left.  Some wonderful photos have been posted there of Marion and his family circa 1916 by Louis Claypoole.

Charles & Annie E. Claypoole Family, 1921

The family of Annie Elizabeth (nee Bowser) and Charles Claypoole, Worthington, Pennsylvania 1921.
This photo is a copy of an original owned by Dorothy Claypoole.
This photo was taken behind the farm house originally built by the Kerr family and purchased from them in 1902 by Charlie and Annie; in 1922/24 the house pictured here was demolished and replaced by the house that still stands on Claypoole Road.
The individuals in the photo are from left to right:
Grace Claypoole, Clark Hobart Claypoole, Vernon Roy Claypoole, Charles Claypoole, Merle Glenford Claypoole, Annie Elizabeth (Bowser) Claypoole, Dorothy Anna Mae Claypoole, Ruth (Claypoole) Welton, William Harvey Claypoole, Warren Valentine Claypoole, Essie June Claypoole

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blogs still in progress

I am still working on bio.'s of Lawson and Burleigh Claypoole, I hope to finish Lawson's soon.  If anyone who stumbles onto this blog knows anything about Lawson or remembers him or knows someone who does please leave a comment.

Many thanks!

2nd of Two Bowser Photos

Here is a group portrait of Elizabeth (Stephenson) Bowser, wife of Valentine Bowser II, and her surviving children.  Standing from left to right is Lureena "Lu" Bowser (who I believe married a cousin Franklin Bowser?), Miller Bowser, Valentine Bowser III, Sarah "Sade" Malissa (Bowser) Laufferty, seated Harvey Bowser and Elizabeth "Zizzy" (Stephenson) Bowser.  The photo was most likely taken sometime between 1885 and 1897. The date has been deduced from the absence of the other children who were deceased by 1885, e.g. Mary Ann is missing, she died in 1885; also Valentine III appears in a nearly identical photograph taken with his daughter Anne Elizabeth Bowser prior to her marriage in 1897 to Charles Claypoole.  My thanks to Jennifer Bowser who allowed me to have a copy of this photo from her family's collection.

1st of Two Bowser Photos

Martha (Bouch) Bowser (1848-1886), wife of Valentine Bowser III.  To my knowledge her only surviving photograph, from her daughter Anne Elizabeth (Bowser) Claypoole's photo album.  This is from a tin type photo circa 1868-1886.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Family of Harvey Claypoole

      My thanks to Louis Claypoole for supplying this wonderful photo.
Beginning with the back row, from left to right: Charles Claypoole, Susanna Claypoole?, Alexander Claypoole?, Minerva Claypoole?, Lawson Claypoole, Seated: Burleigh Claypoole? or Marion?, Harvey Claypoole, Thomas Claypoole?, Margaret Claypoole (nee Zellefrow), Marion Claypoole? or Alexander? or Burleigh?.
      The names have been deduced from the birth order of Harvey's children, and it's my guess that this photo dates from approximately 1886/9 based on the sitters apparent ages.  Harvey had two children die in 1880, the same year that his youngest and last child Thomas was born.  Therefore based on the number of people I am guessing a date of between approximately 1886 and 1889, especially since Charles Claypoole is obviously a young man of about 18 years of age.
      Two individuals beside Margaret and Harvey are easy to identify, Charles Claypoole who bore a very similar appearance throughout his life, and Lawson the oldest son.  Several others are more difficult to identify without more information or other photos to compare, especially the daughters.  Further help is greatly desired, if you can help identify the sitters more accurately please post a comment.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Warren Valentine Claypoole, circa 1928-1938

This photo if still under copyright, belongs to the Leister family of Kittanning.  Please do not reproduce without my and/or their permission.  This is a photo of Warren Valentine Claypoole, son of Charles and Anne E. (Boswer) Claypoole taken in the late 1920's or early 1930's.

Marion Claypoole, circa 1885-1895

Another photo from Anne E. Claypoole's photo album, identified in pencil as Marion C.  Based on the age of the sitter, and the type of photo card, my guess is late 1880's to late 1890's.

Alexander Claypoole's children circa 1910-15?

Here is a photo of (I believe) Alexander Claypoole's children taken around 1910 or 1915.  This was in my great-grandmother, Annie Elizabeth Bowser Claypoole's photo album.  Perhaps someone could help in naming the children and provide a more exact date.  This is on an unmailed and undated photo-postcard.

Preview of Upcoming Attractions

Just to let you know I’m working on the following blogs that I hope to have posted over the next three weeks as time and research permits.

First – Lawson Claypoole

Lawson and his wife Jenny didn’t have any children, and I would like to post what information I have on him online in the hopes others can add to it, or point me to other sources of information.

Second – The problem(s) with Harvey

There are a number of difficulties when researching about Harvey Claypool(e), I intend to list them, document them, and ask for help and clarification if anyone can.

Third – Burleigh Claypoole

I will post the verifiable information I have assembled on Burleigh as soon as I can double check some sources and assemble the documentation.

Fourth – An annotated Bibliography of Claypoole Sources available to the public

I hope this will be an ongoing project that will lead to a permanent separate website as an aid to all of us involved in the process of researching the family tree. I will be listing all the public records, books, and online sources with some descriptions for the benefit of all researchers, those of you who have more online savvy, and deeper experience, your contributions will be most welcome.

Fifthly, and Lastly – I’ll begin an online family photo gallery of the items in my collection and to help supplement the great one begun at Facebook’s Claypoole Connection.



Sunday, September 27, 2009


My thanks again to Barry Chapman for testing the blog out and for reporting a problem with the links.  He noted that they weren't...well...working.

I think the problems have been repaired and all of the links should now work.

Please take some time to see them all, espcially Barry and Kathie's work - it is the best online Claypoole information you will find.


Friday, September 25, 2009

So it begins...

The First Blog.

I hope other relations, local historians, and genealogists will find the information posted here accurate, useful and entertaining. In a sense the title of this blog is a bit inaccurate, or at least a little misleading, because most of the posts will have little or nothing to do with James Claypoole; he is merely the point of departure. The dates of his life, the terms of his residency in Armstrong County, and his descendants are all that can be safely known about we shall see what was once "known" about him, must now be un-"known".

This blog will most likely be taken up with the lives of James’ descendants. I suspect that little new information about James himself is likely to appear in the ensuing years, although there is always hope. However I think that much information remains to be pieced together to form the biographies of his numerous descendants, and I hope with the help of many other hands, that the work may progress and together we may form a more complete picture of our shared history.

I hope others will write and make use of this blog to help me sort out our common past, and perhaps understand ourselves a little better in the process.

Nil desperandum,

Eric Cook


This will be far too brief to begin with, so please forgive me if I ommitt anyone or anything, but there are really too many, but I wanted to thank those who were first or foremost in the process that lead to the creation of this blog.

First my Mother, Fay Anne, who opened my eyes to the richness of our family history, and my father James who ensured that I could proceed down this path.

My grandparents Merle and Alice who personified the good old ways.

My Aunts: Judy, Shirley and Nancy for helping and sharing at all times.

My great Aunts and Uncles, especially Dorothy, Vern, and Beatty without whom so much information would have been lost.

The congregation of Franklin Union Baptist, who opened their attics, minds, and hearts to me.

To Evelyn Claypoole Bracken without whom we could hardly proceed into the past at all (or perhaps receded?!).

To the many cousins who share so often so much.

And most recently and most especially to Barry Chapman of Tasmania, Australia and Kathie Young, who have together resolved something that had truly begun to puzzle me, and whose excellant research is summarized on the Claypoole Family website. And to my sister Erin, who helped stoke the fires of memory.

I will add and update specific thanks and acknowledgments in the places where they are most appropriate. Especially for contributions to original research. I hope to properly credit all researchers original work, and/or to thank those who have allowed me to see and share historical sources whether they are stories, documents, or artifacts.

Also I hope to properly list and acknowledge any secondary sources of information, so that others may check, rethink, verify, and explore the threads of this story.

Please alert me to any omissions, mistakes, broken internet links, or errors of any kind. You may do so in the comments sections or at a new email address I hope to create just for this website.