Tullis Trees

A Family History Newsletter

Volume 6


Tullis Postcard

Editor’s Note: I usually keep my eyes open for interesting items related to the Tullis name on ebay. Recently I acquired an old photo postcard that pictured two Tullises as well as some of their friends. Below is the postcard, followed by my best guesses about who the people in the picture are.

Tullis Postcard
(full-size version)

As you can see, someone has identified the six people in the "car" as Olive, W. Tullis, Ethel Jones, J. Battershell, Ruth Tullis, and Clayt Moore. Judging from the style of the car and their dress, the photo was probably taken between about 1910 and 1920. Most of the people appear to be in their early 20's, although Mr. Battershell might be slightly older. This would mean they were born between about 1890 and 1900. Finally, there's a strong family resemblance between W. Tullis and Ruth Tullis, suggesting they are brother and sister. That they were probably not husband and wife is also suggested by the fact that they are not sitting together! Armed with these clues, I set out to identify who these people were.

Luckily, the surnames Tullis and Battershell are not very common. So I started searching the 1910 census records to find a Ruth Tullis and W. Tullis as brother and sister, and a J. Battershell in the same vicinity. (I suspected that by the 1920 census some of these people might have been married.) Here's a Tullis family I found in Lexington, Stark Co, Ohio, E.D. 195, sheet 4B:

Note that there is a Ruth E. Tullis, age 16, and a Walter J. Tullis, age 17. They're children of William C. Tullis and his wife Mary J. These parents would be William Clinton Tullis (1855-1935) and his wife Mary Jane Howell (1862-1944). William was a son of Henry George Tullis (1822-1896) and his wife Susan Moore Welker (1828-1913). Henry and his descendants, including William and his family, were profiled in Tullis Trees, Vol. 3, No. 3.

Walter James Tullis (b. 6 August 1892) served in the U.S. Army during World War I and then married Margaret F. Moak (b. 1895) on 17 December 1919 in Akron, Ohio. It appears that Walter and Margaret did not have children. Walter died in May 1978 and Margaret died 29 December 1993.

Ruth Ellen Tullis (b. 21 February 1894) married Lorin Beryl Sebrell (b. 1894) on 6 April 1918 in Alliance, Ohio. They had two daughters, Lois Elizabeth Sebrell (who married James Minks) and Rhoda Ellen Sebrell (who married Charles Turnblacer). Ruth died on 5 September 1955 in Dover, Delaware. Her husband, Lorin, died on 5 August 1984 in Hudson, Ohio.

Also in the 1910 census in Lexington, Stark Co, Ohio, E.D. 195, sheet 5B, was the following Battershell family:

Note that there is a John Joseph Battershell, age 20, in the household. He is a few years older than Ruth and Walter Tullis, as suggested by the photo. John Battershell appears in the 1920 census in Lexington with his wife Grace and children Robert Lee and Donald Eugene. The family also appears in the 1930 census with the addition of another child, Velma. According to his World War I Draft Registration, John Joseph Battershell was born 14 October 1889. I have not been able to determine when he died. His wife, Grace H. Battershell, died on 11 October 1973 in Stark Co, Ohio. Their son, Robert Lee Battershell, died on 23 November 2001 in Alliance, Stark Co, Ohio. Donald Eugene Battershell died on 4 August 2001 in Alliance, Stark Co, Ohio. It appears that their daughter, Velma Eileen Battershell, married a Vernon E. Egli and that she died on 8 September 2000 in Alliance, Stark Co, Ohio.

Now that we've identified Stark Co, Ohio, as the area where this photo was probably taken, we can try to identify the others in the photo. The other man in the photo is identified as Clayt (probably short for Clayton) Moore. We find the following Moore family in Lexington, Stark Co, Ohio, in the 1910 census:

Note that there is a Clayton S. Moore, age 18, in the household. According to the 1920 and 1930 censuses, he was still single. He died 17 September 1962 in Stark Co, Ohio, and his death certificate indicates that he never married.

Identifying the other two women in the photo is a bit more challenging. One of them is identified as Ethel Jones. There are three women named Ethel Jones in the 1910 census for Stark Co, Ohio. Interestingly, all are named Ethel M. Jones. One is in Sandy Township and was age 12. The other two are both in Tuscarawas Township; one age 12 and the other age 19. Unfortunately, neither Sandy nor Tuscarawas is particularly close to Lexington Township. From the photo, it appears that Ethel could have been slightly younger than the others in the photo, so one of the two 12-year-old Ethels may be the right one.

The other woman is only identified as Olive, which doesn't give us much to work with. There are two Olives of about the right age in the 1910 census in Lexington, Stark Co, Ohio: Olive M. Hoover (age 11) and Olive R. Ellett (age 17). Olive R. Ellett's age is more consistent with the others in the photo, so I suspect this is she. That suspicion is reinforced by the fact that Olive R. Ellett's census entry is on the very same page as that of John Joseph Battershell, indicating they probably knew each other. Here's that entry for the Ellett family:

If this is the right Olive, then it appears that she subsequently married a John Boren on 28 October 1913. They had three children: Albert (perhaps named for Olive's father) who died in 1918, Elaine (born 1917) and Lester (born 1919). Olive R. (Ellett) Boren died on 27 October 1985 in Alliance, Stark Co, Ohio. Her daughter, Elaine, married a Burgdorff and died on 13 October 1998 in Alliance, Stark Co, Ohio. Her death certificate confirms that her mother's maiden name was Ellett. It appears that her son, Lester Boren, may still be living.

If anyone can confirm (or disconfirm) the identities of any of the people in the photo, I'd like to hear from you (TomTullis @ aol.com).

Last updated January 1, 2008.