Family History

Tom Wingate Family History

There are two sources for this family history.

  • The first and more complete source is three type-written pages that are labeled “Family History, narrated by Vida Wingate-Shapanus, 1992.” Karen, Kurt Wingate’s (my dad’s), sister found the pages among Eileen’s things. This has been transcribed with spelling and grammar corrections only.
  • The second are my mom’s (Stacy Wingate’s) hand-written notes from a conversation she had with Eileen Wingate Madill, Tom Wingate’s sister, in July, 2002. This has been interpreted and reordered in some places.

Vida Wingate-Shapanus’s Narration

– Van Allen Family –

Elixa and Chauncey Van Allen (Elixa’s maiden name was Belcher). There were a total of 12 children, residing in possibly Jackson, Missouri. One of their children was Emery Van Allen, who was Vida’s grandfather, and Beatrice Wingate’s father. He was the husband of Mary McCoy. She was from Coshocton Ohio. They were married in approximately 1875, place unknown. Emery had land in Missouri (possibly near Joplin or Carthate, Missouri).

For some uncertain reason, they moved to Kansas City, date unknown. Vida recalls that her mother was probably born in the Joplin area. Emery most likely had a farm there. Emery and Mary had 2 children: Minnie Beatrice Van Allen (born July 22, 1884, see Census record) and brother, Egbert Van Allen, probably about 8 years older than Beatrice. Vida reports that her mother […] Beatrice told her he died at age 37, of heart condition (See funeral notice-E.C. Van Allen). The family moved, by train, to reside in Madera California, because of Emery’s failing health in approximately 1906.

Mary Van Allen died probably around 1912 in Madera California (see announcement). Son Egbert, also known as Bert, died a few years later.

Beatrice Van Allen married Ernest Henry Wingate July 22, 1916 in Fresno California, see announcement, and Marriage certificate.

They were married Lillian and Albert White’s house in Fresno, on Poplar Ave (Honorary Aunt and Uncle of McCoy family). Also present was John T Wingate, also known as JT, Ernest’s brother.

Mary Moore, from Virginia, married William McCoy probably in 1850, and lived in that area. Exact date and location not known.

As a young couple, shortly after marriage, they moved by horseback to Coshoton, Ohio, where they settled and raised their family, one of whom was Mary McCoy, who married Emery Van Allen.

Mary and Emery Van Allen lived on a farm somewhere outside of Joplin area. Vida remembers that her mother told her of taking horse and buggy ride into Joplin.

– Wingate Family –

Henry and Fannie Williamson Wingate were married in Manchester England probably around 1877. Their first son, Ernest Henry Wingate was born Oct 12, 1878. Two more sons, Arthur and John Thomas were born within the next 3 years.

Henry died at the age of 37 or 38, leaving Fannie as an impoverished widow with 3 young boys. Times were hard for the next few years while the boys were growing up. A few years later, Fannie married John Heath and moved to Lincoln on the East Coast of England, where John worked for the railroad as a Station Master. Two more children were born to the couple, William and Gertrude.

Higher education was not possible financially for the older boys, so they were apprenticed in a trade as was the custom at that time. Ernest to a shoe-maker, and Tom to a book binder. Arthur’s trade is unknown. They spend several years learning their respective trades and eventually left home. Ernest went to Marlboro in Wiltshire where he boarded with a young couple Albert and Lillian White, who were to become life-long friends.

About 1910, Ernest and Tom decided to leave England for a better climate and opportunity. The Whites had gone to California, where a colony of English immigrants had gathered in and about the area of Fresno. Meanwhile, Arthur stayed in England making his home in Sheffield. He married Maude, and they had 3 sons: Leonard, John (Jack) and Arnold. Somewhere in the next few years, the younger brother, Will, died of Tuberculosis. Gertrude, or “Gertie,” married Septimus Boddy and settled Seredington, Linconshire England. They had 3 daughters, Vera, Ida, and Muriel.

Ernest wanted to try farming in the “New Country.” He worked for a while for a rancher and then bought or leased vineyard property in Clovis, near Fresno. The work was hard and he was often lonely and homesick. He sometimes considered returning to England, but the idea of being labeled a “quitter” kept him going. He finally was able to raise one good crop of grapes to turn to raisins, but an early fall rain spoiled the entire crop, and ruined him financially, so he gave up the idea of farming at least for a while. He went to work in Fresno, where Tom had found work as a typesetter at the Newspaper office of the Fresno Morning Republican. Tom soon introduced Ernest to Beatrice Van Allen, who worked as a secretary in the same office. They were married July 23, 1916 at the home of their friends, Albert and Lillian White. Tom had returned to England to marry Ida Stanyon, and brought her back as a bride to Fresno. They later moved to Bakersfield and started a business and raised their family. They had children, Alan, Thomas, and Eileen. Alan died at the age of 2.

Ernest wanted to try farming again so he and Beatrice or “Beat,” as she was called by friends, bought or leased a small ranch in Trigs, Madera County. There were more hardships, and that venture failed. They moved back to Fresno where Ernest found work in a cleaning business which became his occupation for the rest of his life. He was also a talented singer and played the coronet in a local band.

He found a great deal of pleasure in music and sang with the Fresno male chorus and directed several Church choirs and often sang at weddings/funerals. He and Beatrice had one child, Vida, born Jan 31, 1922. They were both active in Church work and had a whide circle of friends. Ernest made one more unsuccessful try at rural life, a small chick ranch on the outskirts of Fresno, which also lost after the crash of 1929, the Great Depression. The couple lived out their lives, finally, at the family home on Illinois in Fresno. Ernest died Aug. 1951, and Beatrice in Jan 1960.

Stacy Wingate’s Notes

Grandma [John Tom Wingate’s wife] Wingate married Mr. Heath, the station master of Aswarby Train Station Village of Grettington near Sleaford in Lincoln Shire in England. She had three older brothers, Earnest, Aurthur, and Will.

John Thomas Wingate [known by the family as “JT”] and Gertie Heath, his half sister.

JT, at twelve years old, apprenticed to a book bindery. He saved and saved until he was able to buy a china set for his mother [China Set is in the hutch at the Wingate’s house].

JT came to the US from England with Ernest.

JT died at 87 years old. Tom and Eileen’s mom died at 90.

JT is 9 years older than his wife, Ida Stanyon

Ida was an only child, and spoiled [according to Eileen]

Eileen and Ida went to England when Eileen was 17

Auntie Gertie lived in Peach Cottage Sredington near Sleasford in Lincoln, England. There were three girl cousins from Aunt Gertie Boddy. These were

  • Vera Boddy, who died in 2002,
  • Ida Boddy, who was married in Wales, and
  • Muriel Boddy, who was married in Scredington.

Mr Stanyon (Ida’s father) was in charge of Temperance Hall in Leicester, England

Elna Wingate Family History


Richard Burdick Family History


Jeanne Burdick Family History