Much like her husband, Henry Harrison Tyrey, I know little about the person who was Laura Belle Brunk.
Documents show the timeline of her life but the facts don’t tell me about her personality or her dreams and hopes for her children or herself.
Laura Belle Brunk, photo on Ancestry.com courtesy of Judy Tyrey Schaper.
I have found one photograph so I know a bit about what she looked like.
Laura Belle Brunk was born Jan. 18, 1879, in Washington County, Mo.
She was a year old in the 1880 census, living with her parents John Brunk and Martha Oliver in Big River in Jefferson County, Mo. She was their first child.
She married at age 19. The ceremony to Henry Harrison Tyrey took place on Dec. 21, 1898, in Richwoods. They paid $1 to have the marriage recorded.
In late August 1900, her first child, Luther Tyrey, was born. He was followed by four more siblings, Lester, Luster, Lois and Elasco.
There is a seven year gap between Lois and Elasco, which makes me think Elasco was a menopause baby. Laura was 38 when he was born (also the same age I was when my daughter was born) and 31 in 1910 when Lois was born.
Laura and Henry farmed in Washington, Jefferson and Franklin counties for much of her adult life. It’s likely that they rented their farms, but that isn’t something of which I’m certain.
She died March 23, 1948, in Jefferson County, Mo., and is buried in the Grubville Baptist Cemetery.
I’m skipping around the generations a bit in my family tree, but have been writing about people that I find most interesting, or who have caused me to rethink my standard research practices.
So, I’m going back to the Tyrey line for a bit to write about my second great-grandfather, Henry Harrison Tyrey.
Using online records, I’ve been able to trace his life for each decade, but the stories are flat because I know so little about what kind of person he was.
Here’s the timeline of his life:
Henry Harrison Tyrey was born March 27, 1872, in Jefferson County, Mo. He was the third son, fourth child of Francis Tyrey and Sophia Mairat Tyrey.
He married Laura Belle Brunk on Dec. 21, 1898, in Richwoods, Mo.
From 1900 to 1940, he is listed on census records as living in various communities in Jefferson, Washington and Franklin counties in Missouri. I’m not sure if he moved or if the county boundaries changed during that time.
The 1940 U.S. Census record shows that he rented a farm in that year. I’d have to go back through the earlier years to see if he rented farms then, which would account for his moving around the neighboring counties and communities.
Henry Harrison Tyrey died Dec. 19, 1946, in Jefferson County, Mo. He was 74 years old. He is buried in the Grubville Cemetery.
Francis and Sophia Tyrey
Sophia Tyrey was born Jan. 2, 1844, in Washington County, Mo., the second child of French-immigrant parents.
Her parents had emigrated from France and settled in Washington County, Mo. Her father worked in the mines there.
Sophie and the family lived for a time in Richwoods, Mo. She was one of 10 children born to Donat and Adelle Seraphine Mairat. She was baptized April 20, 1845, in St. Joachim Church.
She married Francis Tyrey at age 20. Together they had 10 children; she buried at least four of them — two in 1873 — before her own death.
Sophia died Nov. 2, 1910, of pneumonia, as recorded on her death certificate. She was 66 years old.
However, she was counted on the 1910 census, living in Big River with her husband and two sons.