Viola Carson is the great grand-aunt of Elizabeth Louise Burritt England Thurston.
Viola was born June 6, 1854 in Indiana, possibly Bartholomew, or Hamilton County. She married Frank P. Armstrong on March 3, 1873, who was born in 1851 in Indiana. Viola’s parents were James R. and Martha Jane (Spurgin) Carson. Friends and family nick name for Martha Jane was “Jane”. Jane died on July 12, 1855 in Livingston County, Illinois. James and his three daughters came back to Hamilton County, Indiana to live on his father’s (John Carson) farm. James inherited the farm after his father passed away. In 1860, James married Orrenda Willes and lived on the farm until his death on Sept 18, 1889.
James and Martha Jane’s daughters were:
- Mellissa (who died from a falling tree on the farm in Hamilton County, Indiana)
- Emily Virginia
Viola and Frank owned a farm in Hamilton County, Indiana and raised their family. Viola’s step grandmother, Orrenda was a retired schoolteacher who was born on an island in Lake Ontario. Orrenda parents, Wilder and Orinda (Kimball) Willes moved the family to Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York. There Orrenda grew up and attended school. She graduated from Newberry Academy, in Vermont. With her teachers’ credential, she went west to Indiana to teach the pioneer children around 1860. This is where Orrenda met James.
James R. and Orrenda (Willes) children were:
- Mary Dell
- Edward Willes
- Ben Wade
- James Ralston
- Jessie Mabel
- Samuel Wilder
- Grace Louise
- Frederick Clark
Orrenda wrote many letters to all her family, and I am in possession of a few letters that survived the years. In a letter between her daughter Grace Louise (Carson) Stockmaster, Orrenda mentioned that “Frank had “Vi”(Viola) living in the barn until the house was finished.”
Some more on Viola’s family:
Frank and Vi’s children were:
- Elizabeth A (Bessie) Armstrong~~~Aug 22, 1874
- Pearl Armstrong~~~Feb 7, 1877
- Clara Armstrong~~Sept. 23, 1880
Notes on Frank Armstrong:
- Father was born in Ohio and mother born in Kentucky 1880 census
- The Armstrong (Frank and Viola) family were living in Liberty, Wabash County, IN (1880 census)
Viola died in July 30, 1917 in Marion County, Indiana~~
Source Location: County Board of Health, Indianapolis Source notes: The source of this record is the book H-14 on page 269 within the series produced by the Indiana WPA Project.