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1904 World’s Fair Ramsæy Family Reunion: Mrs. R. L. Ramsey of Advance, Missouri

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1904 World’s Fair Ramsæy Family Reunion: Mrs. R. L. Ramsey of Advance, Missouri

Posted: 1390878852000
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Ramsey, Ramsay, Flynn/Flin/Flinn, Mabery, Huggins, Bollinger, Barks, Masters, Hawkins, Smith, Rhoades, Hector, Meade, Rumfelt/Rumpfelt
Last fall, doing searches on my Ramsey family, I stumbled across a portable document format (.pdf) version of the “Proceedings of the Ramsæy Family Association at its First National Meeting held at St. Louis, Mo., August 26, 1904” in the North Carolina Digital Collections (NCDC), a joint project of the State Archives of North Carolina and State Library of North Carolina. A copy of the proceedings can be downloaded from the NCDC holdings at:

The First National Meeting of the Ramsæy Family Association was held on Friday, 26 August 1904, in the Kansas State Building on the grounds of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, better known as the St. Louis World’s Fair. A reunion was held in conjunction with the national meeting. I assume it was on Saturday, 27 August 1904, but I don’t know for certain.

The “Report of the Kansas Commissioners to the Louisiana Purchase Centennial Exposition, St. Louis, Missouri, 1904” (Topeka: Crane & Company, 1905), reported this about the gathering, without using the Ramsæy spelling, on its page 23:

“On the 26th of August the Ramsey family held a reunion in the Kansas building. The meeting had been called and advertised under the auspices of a Kansas branch of the family, in the person of Mr. J. A. Ramsey, of Topeka. Over two hundred responded, and a general good time was had, in the tracing back of the genealogy of the various blonds and brunettes who made up the good looking, intelligent men and women assembled. They perfected an organization for future gatherings, adopted a constitution and by-laws, and adjourned after a two-days session of social enjoyment.”

The association’s Secretary, James Arthur Ramsey of Topeka, Kansas, who appears also to have been the main organizer of national meeting/reunion, compiled the proceedings. In addition to the minutes of the national meeting, the proceedings contained: the association’s constitution, photographs and biographical sketches of the association’s four national officers, who formed its Executive Committee; a list of the association’s 38 Vice Presidents from the States and the District of Columbia; a list of charter members; a list of honorary members; the names of persons unable to attend; and a list of individuals who registered at the reunion.

Mrs. R. L. Ramsey of Advance, Missouri, was the last individual listed as registering at the reunion.

I believe she was Mary Jane (Flynn) Ramsey, the wife of Dr. Robert Lee Ramsey.

In 1900, Robert Lee Ramsey was head of this household in Advance, Pike Township, Stoddard County, Missouri [my additions in brackets]:

Dwelling 29/Family 30

RAMSEY Robert L. Head 34 (b. Apr. 1866) Male White Married 4yrs. MO MO MO Physician
RAMSEY Mary J. Wife 20 (b. Apr. 1880) Female White Married 4 yrs. MO TN PA
RAMSEY Dead [Dean] W. Son 2 (b. Feb. 1898) Male White Single MO MO MO

Mary J. Ramsey was recorded as having had one child/one still living.

That Robert L. and Mary J. Ramsey had been married for four years is consistent with a report they had married in neighboring Cape Girardeau County in 1897.

The family was still in Pike Township, Stoddard County, in 1910:

Household 108

RAMSEY Robert L. 44 Male MO
RAMSEY Mary J. 30 Female MO
RAMSEY Dean W. 12 Male MO

I’m certain Robert Lee Ramsey was the Robt. L. Ramsey listed in this household in White Water Township, Cape Girardeau County, in 1880:

RAMSEY Albert Head 64 Male White Married NC VA VA Farmer
RAMSEY Catherine Wife 60 Female White Married MO NC NC Keeping House
RAMSEY Melissa 34 Daughter Female White Single MO NC MO At Home
RAMSEY Franklin H. Son 29 Male White Single MO NC MO Farmer
RAMSEY Mary P. Daughter 24 Female White Single MO NC MO At Home
RAMSEY Sophronia Daughter Single Female White Single MO NC MO At Home
RAMSEY John W. Son 20 Male White Single MO NC MO Works on Farm
RAMSEY Jefferson Q. 18 Son Male White Single MO NC MO Works on Farm
RAMSEY Martha GDaughter 18 Female White Single MO MO MO At Home
RAMSEY Robt. L. Son 16 Male White Single MO NC MO Works on Farm
MABERY Dela C. GDaughter Single Female White 9 MO MO MO
MABERY Mary R. GDaughter 7 Female White Single MO MO MO

Head-of-household Albert Ramsey (b. 1816, NC; d. 1886, MO) was the immediate older brother of my father’s great-grandfather, Alfred Ramsey (b. 1819, MO; d. 1898, MO). Albert and Samuel were sons of Samuel Ramsey (b. 1777, VA; d. 1822, MO) and Rebecca (Huggins) Ramsey (b. abt. 1781-1782, VA; d. aft. 1850, MO), who moved with as many as nine children to Cape Girardeau County, Missouri Territory, from Lincoln County, North Carolina. I suspect they left North Carolina after the harvest in 1818, the last year Samuel appeared on the tax rolls in Lincoln County, and arrived in the Cape Girardeau area either late in 1818 or early in 1819. They followed neighbors from the Lincoln County area who had made the trek west earlier, most notably George Frederick Bollinger and his large party, who crossed the Mississippi River into what was then Spanish Upper Louisiana on New Year’s Day 1800.

Albert Ramsey’s wife, the mother of Dr. Robert Lee Ramsey, was Catherine “Kate” (Barks) Ramsey (b. 1821, MO; d. 1907, MO). Kate, whose given name also appears as Catharine, Katherine, and Kathryn, was a daughter of Jacob Barks and Hannah (Masters) Barks. Jacob and Hannah Barks were born and married in Lincoln County, North Carolina. In her “German Speaking People West of the Catawba River in North Carolina 1750-1800,” Lorena Eaker noted that Jacob and Hannah Barks moved their family to Missouri [Spanish Upper Louisiana] about 1800. Lorena Eaker also noted that Jacob Barks’ household was not on the census of North Carolina in 1800, but was on the tax list for Cape Girardeau District in November 1803.

I looked for a Mary J. Flynn who might have been Robert Lee Ramsey’s future bride. I’m certain she was the infant daughter Mary in this household in Pike Township, Stoddard County, in 1880:

FLYNN David C. Head 40 Male White Married TN IRE GA Druggist & Genl. Retail Merchant
FLYNN Sarah A. Wife 24 Female White Married PA PA PA Keeping House
FLYNN Laura Daughter 8 Single Female White Single MO TN MO At School
FLYNN Robert Son 5 Male White Single MO TN MO At School
FLYNN Clara Daughter 2 Female Single White 2 MO TN MO
FLYNN Mary Daughter 2M Female White Single MO TN MO
HAWKINS Ada Other 18 Female White Single TN TN TN Helps in House

Mary Jane Flynn’s father was David Crockett Flynn (1829-1912). His surname also appears in records as Flin or Flinn. In a March 2010 “Find A Grave” post (, Simone Fitzgibbon reports that David Crockett Flynn, a son of Martin Flinn and Easter or Esther (Smith) Flinn, married three times: first to Elizabeth Jane Rhoades; second to Susan C. Hector; and, third to Sarah Meade.

Dr. Robert Lee Ramsey and Mary Jane (Flynn) Ramsey left Missouri after 1910. The World War I draft registration for their son, Dean Willard Ramsey, filed in Kanawha County, West Virginia, on 12 September 1918, reported his nearest relative as “Mrs. Mary Jane Ramsey, Coles Bldg., El Paso, Texas.” At the time he registered for the draft, Dean Ramsey (20, b. 19 Feb. 1898) was working as a laborer for the Hercules Powder Company in Nitro, West Virginia.

By 1920, Dr. Robert Lee Ramsey was head of this household in the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California:

RAMSEY Robert L. Head 54 Male MO
RAMSEY Mary J. Wife 39 Female MO
RAMSEY Katherine Daughter 6 Female MO
FLYNN Sarah A. Mother-in-law 63 Female PA
FLYNN Nathan W. Brother-in-law Male 25 MO

I don’t know what prompted the family’s move from Missouri, first to west Texas, and then to southern California. Perhaps Dr. Ramsey’s health was a factor. He was tubercular. Regardless, he appears to have returned home to die.

The Missouri death certificates database ( holds a death certificate for Robert. L. Ramsey. Some of the information it contains includes [again, my notes in brackets]:

Name: Robert L. Ramsey
Occupation: Physician
Personal particulars: Male; White, Married
Date and place of birth: 15 April 1865, Jackson, MO
Date and place of death: 23 July 1923, Huble [Hubble] Township, Cape Girardeau County, MO
Age at death: 58 years, 3 months, 8 days
Cause of death: Tuberculosis of lungs
Wife: Mary J. Ramsey
Father: Albert Ramsey, b. NC
Mother: Kate Barks, b. VA [MO]
Informant: John Ramsey, Tilsit, MO
Place and date of burial: Rumfelt Cemetery, 26 July 1923
Undertaker: J.W. [John William] McCombs, Jr., Jackson, MO
Attending physician: J.W. Ramsey, Jackson, MO

J. W. Ramsey, a physician and druggist, was John Walter Ramsey (1859-1940), an older brother of Dr. Robert Lee Ramsey. In 1923, J. W. Ramsey was living and practicing in Tilsit, a small farming community in western Cape Girardeau County, about 5½ miles southwest of Jackson, the county seat.

According to an obituary for Robert Lee Ramsey that appeared in Cape Girardeau city’s “Southeast Missourian” newspaper, he had been living at his brother’s home in Tilsit for five weeks before his death. The obituary noted that he was survived by his wife and two children, who were in Los Angeles.

The Rumfelt (or Rumpfelt) Cemetery and the Ramsey Cemetery appear to be the same cemetery. It’s immediately south of Byrd Creek, northeast of Millersville and south of Oak Ridge, in Cape Girardeau County. The cemetery lies in a box formed by State Route D on the east, County Road 460 on the north, and County Road 469 to the west and south. In 1850, Albert Ramsey and Hezekiah Rumpfelt appear to have been neighbors along Byrd Creek. It’s not clear to me how many individuals were buried at the Ramsey/Rumpfelt Cemetery. Albert Ramsey, Kate Ramsey, and Hezekiah Rumpfelt were buried there. I don’t know if Samuel Ramsey and Rebecca (Huggins) Ramsey were buried there as well.

I don’t think Mary Jane (Flynn) Ramsey was buried there. She died in Los Angeles in August 1974, aged 94.

I don’t yet know exactly when or where Dean Willard Ramsey died. He appears to have been a patient in the Norwalk State Hospital in Downey, Los Angeles County, California, in 1940. Norwalk State Hospital was an institution for persons with psychiatric disabilities.

Jean Kathryn Ramsey, born in Missouri on 11 December 1913, died in Los Angeles on 31 January 1940. Her father was recorded as a Ramsey, and her mother a Flynn. I suspect she was the six-year-old Katherine living with her parents, Robert and Mary Ramsey, in Los Angeles in 1920.

I don’t know what drew Mrs. R. L. Ramsey/Mary Jane (Flynn) Ramsey from Advance to the First National Meeting of the Ramsæy Family Association at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, which appears also to have been the association’s only national meeting/reunion.

Besides Mrs. R. L. Ramsey of Advance, Missouri, I haven’t (as yet anyway) indentified any other individual noted in the proceedings of the Ramsæy Family Association national meeting/reunion with connections to my Ramsey family. I’m still looking. As I work through the names of people connected to the national meeting/reunion, I’ve been posting what I’ve learned about them to the Ramsey family message board. I thought I’d post the information about Mary Jane (Flynn) Ramsey here, because of the connection she and her doctor husband had to Advance and Stoddard County. That said, my Ramsey family has other connections, of at least nearly a century, to Advance and Stoddard County.

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