In an attempt to untangle a few knots in the Phalen family tree, I’m going to begin with this “knot” in particular, one with which I am more familiar. See the blog post Children of Andrew J. Phalen and Mary Jane Kimbleton for a full list of all their children.
Margaret Jane Phalen was the fourth child (of record) of Andrew Jackson Phalen and Mary Jane Kimbleton. She was born 19 December 1873 in Putnam County, likely in Plymouth (or Bancroft now, whichever way you choose to look at it). There is no marriage record for Margaret Jane Phalen to the father of her children that I can locate but one source indicates that he was John Legg, born about 1873 according to my calculations. I have no proof whatsoever of this claim.
Nevertheless, two children were born to Margaret Jane Phalen and an otherwise unknown father(s). These children were:
- Alfred “Alph” Phalen, (b) 1 Jan 1892 in Putnam County, WV, (d) 29 Oct 1918 Putney, Kanawha County, WV; and
- Mayme M Phalen, (b) about 1893 likely in Bancroft/Plymouth, Putnam County, WV (d) Aug 1974 at Bancroft.
In the 1900 Census, we find Alfred, aged 7, and his sister Mayme, aged 5, both designated as grandchildren, living in the same household as Mary Jane (Kimbleton) Phalen, listed as a widow. (She isn’t a widow: husband Andrew J. Phalen is enumerated in the Household of Annie Belle Phalen and husband Henry Carruthers). Among the others listed living in this household is my great-grandfather, John Henry Phalen, aged 20. There is no listing for Margaret Jane Phalen, Alfred and Mayme’s mother. From this, we can determine that John Henry Phalen was the Uncle of Alfred and Mayme.
On 23 June 1905, we find that Margaret Jane Phalen, mother of Alfred and Mayme, married Joseph William Kistner in Putnam County. In the 1910 Census of Putnam County, the couple is enumerated in the Black Betsy Precinct with two males living in the household: Alfred Phalen, aged 19, and Ebenezer Phalen, aged 18. Both males are designated as “brothers-in-law” of William Kistner. This is true only in Ebenezer’s case – he was Margaret’s younger brother. Alfred was in fact Margaret’s – “Maggie’s” – son.
But where is Mayme in 1910? I wish to goodness I could figure that out. She’s no doubt in the household of another family member or perhaps a neighbor but I’ve yet to find her.
Sometime after or about the turn of the 20th century, many Phalen family members migrated to Kanawha County to other coal mining towns: Sharon, Mammoth, Malden, Cabin Creek, Putney, and so forth, working for the Campbell’s Creek Coal Company. Alfred – or Alph/Alf, as he was noted in the few records I found – was one of these “migrants.”
It is likely that he met and married his wife, Alberta “Bertie” Hysell in the vicinity of Putney, WV, as that is where she was from. The two married on 14 March 1917 and lived in the Putney area. A daughter was born to the couple on 29 October 1917, Margaret L. Phalen. Exactly one year later, on 29 October 1918, Alfred Phalen died from a bout of influenza. It is on Alfred’s death record that his father’s name is provided.
I can’t locate Margaret L. Phalen nor her mother Bertie in the 1920 Census. I can tell you that, by the 1930 Census, Margaret L. Phalen is living in Bancroft in the household of (grandmother) Margaret Jane (Phalen) and “step-father,” William Kistner. My assumption is Margaret L. was given into her grandmother’s care.
Mother Bertie Hysell Phalen went on to marry W. Cecil Young. In later years (because I can’t find a marriage record), Margaret L. married Charles R. “Flip” Crouch. There were no children born to this union that I can ascertain.
Of Mayme M. Phalen, (first cousin of Merle and Hobart Phalen) she married Joseph Hargraves on 7 September 1923. The couple had one child, John William, who died at the age of two years and six months of pneumonia in Marshall County, WV on 31 Dec 1926.
And that, dear relative, is one knot hopefully untangled.
= = = UPDATE = = 14 Aug 2022 = = =
Below is a diagram to assist in visual comprehension.