Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Tangled Ruble Roots

If you're not kin to me, this post probably won't interest you.

I think I'm having an ancestral identity crisis, at least where a great-grandmother and a great-great-grandfather on the Ruble side are concerned. It started recently when I noticed that my Naces of Lithia blog, which I rarely update anymore, was getting a lot of traffic. Then I received two emails from distant Ruble cousins I'd never met. They also descended from my great-grandparents, George William Ruble and his wife Margie Odell Caldwell, who were married on October 14, 1884, and they'd read "The Ruble Connection" post on the Nace blog. They were also  interested in Ruble family history.

My intro to Ruble history started with a note my Great-Aunt Leona wrote when I was a child. She wanted me to know where I came from:

Aunt Leona was probably in her late 50s-early 60s when she wrote down this info for me. She made one error: For her grandfather, Alexander G. Caldwell, she wrote his birthdate as 1882. She meant 1822, since Alexander  "Died August 21st. 1900—age 78 yrs. 4 mo & 21 days." On the page above, she listed the children that he and his wife Marcellus Surber Caldwell had:
  1. Anna B. Caldwell: born Dec. 17, 1850
  2. Wm. C. Caldwell: born May 9, 1852
  3. John B. Caldwell: born Aug. 15, 1854
  4. Tilman E. Caldwell: born Nov. 11, 1856
  5. Maggie L. Caldwell: born May 9, 1859
  6. Alexander J. Caldwell: born June 10, 1862
  7. Montra A. Caldwell: born Feb. 25, 1866
  8. Margie O. Caldwell: born Feb. 25, 1866
  9. Larence O. W. Caldwell: born May 5, 1869.
Leona added a notation that Montra and Margie, who were born nine months after the Civil War ended, were twins. Their father  was a private in Company B, 28th Virginia Infantry Regiment, and he was living in Craig County in 1894 when his pension was granted. However, on one site, he also has a death date of 1865—his regimental history apparently though he died as a POW. So, there's the first tangled root: my great-great grandfather has two death dates: 1865 and 1900. UPDATE: The site giving this info has been removed. Regardless of when he died (I'm favoring 1900), he's buried in the Looney Cemetery in Craig County, VA, with his wife "Cynthia Marcella Sarver Caldwell."

And there's another tangled root. Marcellus Surber Caldwell is Cynthia Marcella Sarver Caldwell. On a Virginia Marriages site, she's Marcella Surber, daughter of Henry Surber. According to, she is Marcella Surber, married to Alexander Gibson Caldwell and mother of Margaret Ann Caldwell (1864-1941). 

And it gets more tangled: according to, Margaret Ann, born on Feb. 25, 1864, is the one who married George William Ruble. (She died on the same date as Margie—Nov. 4, 1941, and had two of Margie's children—Clara E. Ruble and Stewart Webster Ruble.) 

. . . which brings us to the Ruble family Bible. This page lists the children of George William Ruble and Margie Odell Ruble:

  • Howard Rufus Ruble Born August 29, 1885
  • Clara Edith Ruble Born February 25, 1887
  • Leona Francis Ruble Born March 17, 1889
  • Harry Leffel Ruble Born April 23, 1891
  • Ruth Gladys Ruble Born March 10, 1896
  • Taylor Everette Ruble Born October 15, 1893
  • Rossie Faye Ruble Born April 9, 1899
  • George Kenneth Ruble Born February 27, 1901
  • Bertranse Ryland Ruble Born April 1, 1905
  • Stuart Webster Ruble Born June 1, 1906
  • Eugene Barber Ruble Born February 1, 1909
G. William & Margie Ruble
In the 1900 census, George Wm is listed as 39 and Margie O. Ruble is listed as 34. That makes her birth date 1866. Living at home with them are Howard (age 15), Clara (13), Cora (11), Harry (9—he'd die two years later), Taylor (7), Ruth (4), and Rossie (1). The others hadn't been born. "Cora" must have been a misspelling of Leona, who would have been 11.

In the 1910 Census, George Wm is listed as 48 and Margie O. Ruble is listed as 42. If the age is correct, she should have been born in 1868. (Did she lie about her age? Or did the census taker write down the worn age?) The children at home were Leona (21), Taylor (16), Ruth (14), Rossie (11), George (9), Bertanse (7), Stewart (3), and Eugene (1). Howard and Clara would have left home; Harry would be dead.

But, to tangle things up, there are websites, such as this one, which says that "Margaret Ann Logan Caldwell" was the one who married George William Ruble, and lists their nine children: Clara, Leona, Taylor, Ruth, Bessie, George, Bertanse, Stewart, and Eugene. It leaves off my grandfather Howard, his brother Harry who died as a child, and my Aunt Ross, but adds a Bessie. (Bessie and Rossie have the same birth year. Perhaps someone miscopied.)

Anyhow, I doubt the accuracy of that site. I remember Aunt Ross, who visited my grandparents when she came up from Texas. For my high school graduation, she sent me a brown and white striped blouse that matched perfectly a brown skirt I had.

The Find-A-Grave site says George William Ruble was married to Margaret Odella Caldwell Ruble. Another site says his wife was Marga Logan Caldwell.
So, I'm confused. Is "Margie" actually short for "Margaret" but nobody thought to put that in the family Bible? But wouldn't it be more likely that her older sister "Maggie A" is "Margaret Ann"?  (Whatever happened to Maggie?) Could folks posting to some of the genealogy sites have confused the two sisters? But where did the "Logan" come from? Is that another person altogether?

Can anyone untangle my roots?

Update: Margaret married E.D. Brougham on June 21, 1888. She died a widow in 1926 in Richmond Virginia at Little Sisters of the Poor:


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Blogger Sally Roseveare said...

Before he retired, my dentist, who practiced in Lynchburg, was Richard Ruble. He was a nice man,a good dentist, and a friend. Related maybe?

5:44 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

I don't know. But then, I don't know all of the Rubles.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am a 29 year old Ruble looking for roots, This is the first I am the great grand daughter of Alexander Caldwell Ruble, Grandaughter of raymond John Ruble (born in rocky mount NC) and Daughter of Raymond John Ruble the 2nd.

I am beginning the hunt on family lineage as my father is in his late 70s.

Alexander was the son of John Ruble and Isadria Brown and was married from my understanding to Sally Wells.

I feel there may be a connection here.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

From 20 minutes of poking around, I found Alexander C. Ruble (1879-1953) who was 50 when he appeared on the 1930 census for North Carolina-Orange-Chapel Hill District 0006. His birthplace was Tennessee, as was that of his wife Sally (age 51), son Raymond J (age 20), and a female relative AC Ruble (age 50) who was an assistant at a library. Alexander’s father was born in Ohio. There is no occupation listed for Alexander, but he was a veteran (served 1898-1899) of Co. F, 2nd Reg. Tenn Inf.

IN 1929, Raymond J Ruble (born 2 Jan 1910) was a member of Theta Phi Fraternity at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He married Ella Brundag.

Conflicting reports about Alexander’s father, John Ruble. A John Ruble was born 7 Aug 1843 Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio, and was married to Isadora Melissa “Dora” Brown. He died 17 Feb 1927 in Covington, Tipton, TN. His father was Joseph Rubel/Ruble (1786-1844), supposedly born in Germany. Another John with approximate dates and same wife was the son of a Eugene Leonard Ruble (1810-1844)who came from Germany in 1840. Eugene fell through a bridge enroute to church and drowned in the Cayahauga River in Cleveland in June 1844.

We’re probably distantly kin somehow.

5:42 PM  

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