You may also like to read:

If you enjoy reading this blog, you may also like to read the articles I write each week as the Springfield Genealogy Examiner and as the Ozarks Cultural Heritage Examiner. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a one. You may also enjoy reading about the family stories in my novels at The Homeplace Series blog. You can sign up for e-mail reminders.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Surname Saturday - Kinnick

KINNICK is the surname on which I have personally done the most research. Several earlier posts here are on that surname. The biggest single representation is the 2003 Kinnick Genealogy Book On-line at:
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~kinnick/

KINNICK is my mother's maiden name. With the exception of a few Germanic immigrants who adopted the name upon arriving in the USA, nearly all persons of the KINNICK surname are part of the same family, reported in the book, above. I'm always happy to help folks figure out where they fit. The early years of this family are now available in a print book - see:
http://stores.lulu.com/drbillshares

I always look forward to hearing from any other family researcher who has included the KINNICK surname in their research. Hope to hear from some of you soon.

Family is Forever! ;-)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More on Daily Blogging Themes

GeneaBloggers [see geneabloggers.com] has suggested using Daily Blogging Themes. They suggest... "Many genealogy and family history bloggers like to post every day but at times are at a loss for ideas. Using the series of blogging themes below is not only a great way to create new content, but also lets you participate in a community effort with other genealogy bloggers." Genea-Musings added the last two.

Check it out! Will this work for you?

Black Sheep Sunday
Madness Monday
Tombstone Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Treasure Chest Thursday
Follow Friday
Surname Saturday

Black Sheep Sunday
Create a blog post with the main focus being an ancestor with a "shaded past." [geneabloggers.com]

Madness Monday
Create a post with the main focus being an ancestor who either suffered some form of mental illness or an ancestor who might be hard to locate and drives you mad. [geneabloggers.com]

Tombstone Tuesday
Create a post which includes an image of a gravestone of one of your ancestors and it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor. [geneabloggers.com]

Wordless Wednesday
Create a post with the main focus being a photograph or image. Some posters also include attribute information as to the source of the image (date, location, owner, etc.). [geneabloggers.com]

Treasure Chest Thursday
Create a post with the main focus being a family treasure, an heirloom or even an every-day item of importance to your family. [geneabloggers.com]

Follow Friday
Recommend another blogger, a specific blog post, or a genealogy resourse to the genealogy community. If you've found something or someone helpful, post about it/them and tell others why they should be followed. [geneamusings.com]

Surname Saturday
Post about one or more of your surnames - talk about the origins, talk about their geographic locations, etc. Anything that would help you bring more attention to the surname, especially if you have hit a brick wall or need assistance with research. [geneamusings.com]

Family is Forever! ;-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Surname Saturday Blog Entry

You can read about "Surname Saturday" at GeneaBloggers - lots of other good information there, as well.

Following is my entry, from the first couple of decades of the 1880s, Guernsey Co, Ohio:

"Jacob Swineheart and Joseph Swineheart were brothers who married
sisters Sarah and Elizabeth Zimmerman.

It is the fifteen children of these two marriages that adopted the surname
Schwyhart as young adults.

I wonder why?"

For more information on this family, see:
http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~earlyyrs/schwyhart.html
One of the fifteen children was my 3rd great-grandmother.

Comments welcomed. See other entries at: Genea-Musings

Families are Forever! ;-)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Deer Lodge Montana Fire - 1872

My great-grandfather, James P. Preston was co-owner with John Coffee of the large livery stable mentioned in the following news account of the time:

From Saturday morning, Feb. 24, 1872, New North-West, Deer Lodge, Montana
Territory.

A Disastrous Conflagration.

An Entire Business Row of Deer Lodge in Ashes.

Sixteen Buildings Burned
LOSS, $68,325.


[From the New North-West Extra, Feb. 18.]

Almost simultaneously, at a little before 3 o'clock this morning, Mr. Wm.
Rowe, night watchman, and Mr. Robert Wiles discovered flames issuing from
the rear portion of the roof of Coffee & Preston's large livery stable,
standing at the corner of Main and Second streets, and at once gave the
alarm, Mr. Rowe rousing Main Street in a few minutes. When discovered it
had gained but little headway, but almost a gale prevailing from a point
or two east of south it was fanned to fury in a few minutes, and the eager
flames swept from the immense stable front and rear around the adjoining
store of Parchen, Paynter & Co. gathering its rich store of combustibles
to its assistance, and presaging almost inevitable destruction to the two
principal business blocks of Deer Lodge. In a few minutes hundreds of men
were at the scene, and to save the most valuable goods from the stores in
the certainly doomed block, was accepted as a first duty, and, like Trojans,
scores of willing men applied themselves to the task, in some instances
standing by their dangerous task until the flames enveloped them, and skins
were parched in the on sweeping furnace.
But on sped the fire, Mrs. Wright's, Sharp & Napton's, and D. B. Halderman's
buildings ignited in quick succession, and the ferocious flames lashed by
the quartering gale reaching eagerly on and across swept almost over the
100 feet wide Main Street, a spray of fire sweeping up against Valiton's,
Thompson's, the Scott House, Emerson's and the Occidental, and fairly raining
fire upon the scores of earnest workers who battled and beat it as manfully
as ever men met and vanquished the fire fiend. So fierce was the heat that
thoroughly saturated blankets on these buildings repeatedly ignited, and
the face of them is browned - almost blackened - and the paint is crisped
and peeled. In some places the pitch from the pine exuded under the heat
and fried like a spider. Fortunately not a blaze started on that side, for
the sheet of flame would have flashed along the entire block almost instantly
and no man could have withstood it.
While this was going on, Bein's Brewery, Robinson & Thornton's, Grant's
large City Hall and adjoining Restaurant, the Harris Building, Welch Building
(Wolf's Barber Shop), and the Welch & Willey Building (Kleinshmidts),
caught in quick succession, and at 4:30 o'clock the entire block was in
blaze - a grand, glowing mass of flame and coal, an alter on which was sacrificed
this Sabbath morning the hard earnings of many and the all of more than
one good, honest, industrious man.
While the Grant Building was burning hottest there occurred one of the heroic
incidents of the fire, seen by hundreds, and its success was rewarded with
a round cheer of grateful appreciation. The roof of the "old Decker
Building," an eye sore and standing iniquity of the town, was fired
in three places by wafted brands. In anticipation of this, ropes had been
put to it, the corner posts and tenons cut, and all in readiness to pull
it down if need be, as it commanded, and its burning made inevitable, the
destruction of Dance & Murphy's Planing Mill and the yard containing
over a million feet of piled lumber. When it caught it was found impossible
with the force of men available to pull it down. At this juncture, John
Murphy, Chas. Murphy, and "Bob" Bouier, ascended inside, and Bouier
mounting on the shoulders of the others jumped through a burning hole in
the steep roof to the outside with a pail of water, sprang up it, ran along
the high comb like a Blondin, and extinguished a burning spot inaccessible
from the inside. The other places were easily reached, and no other places
igniting, in that portion of the town, the valuable machinery and lumber
requisite to rebuild the burnt district was saved. Bob Bouier is a hero.

Meantime the fire was slacking. It had burned the entire block; its expansion
had been prevented, walls and chimneys were crumbled to their bases. The
apprehension was over - the actual could be realized. So far as we are enabled
to learn today, the following will approximate closely to the actual losses:

Buildings Burned.
Coffee & Preston - livery stable and adjoining store building, $ 6,000

Wm. Copinus - clothing [Coffey's building], 2,000
Parchen, Paynter & Co. - house and drug stock,
$5,000; burnt in cash $500, 5,500
[Fireproof with $10,000 stock saved, will open
tomorrow adjoining Gas & Klein]
Cohen - groceries, [Mrs. Wright's building] 3,000
Mrs. A. Wright [owned Cohen building] 1,500
Joseph Rosenthal - clothing and dry-goods,
house and merchandise 8,000
[The fire-proof burned; no goods of any consequence in it.]
Wm. Coleman - grocer - stock, from $500 to 600
Sharp & Napton - law office and Coleman building, 1,500
C. Elias - clothing - stock $2,500 to 3,000
[Largest part of stock in fire-proof]
D.B. Halderman [owned Elias building,] 3,000
M. Bien - brewery - building, saloon, and brewery, 6,000
[malt house save, value $1,000]
E.T. Heuson - tobacco and cigars, 800
[fire-proof safe, and nearly all stock saved.]
R. W. Donnell owned Heuson building, 2,500
Thornton & Robinson - law office and building, 800
H. Lansing - shoe shop, 100

Jon. Grant - City Hall and restaurant building, 8,000
Billiard table, etc., 1,000
Deer Lodge Club, 100
John Anderson, (col.) - restaurant, 250
Harris Bros. - shoemakers - building and stock, $1,500 to 2,000
[Saved nearly all the stock.]
Dr. O. B. Whitford - instruments and furniture, 1,000
D.J. Welch - [Wolff building,] 1,500
Estate of B. Wolff - barber shop, 800
R.C. Hancock - butcher fixtures, etc., 500
Kleinschmidt Bros. - grocers - m'd'se $1,500;
personal property $200, 1,700
Commission goods, 800
[saved fire-proof and $40,000 worth of goods.]
Welch & Willey - Klienschmidt building, 1,800 Total.......................................................
$63,530

DAMAGES TO BUILDINGS, MOVING, ETC.
N. Thompson & Co........................................... $ 200
H.G. Valiton 500
R. Boisvert 75
Chas. Blum 500
Gilbert & Meyer 50
Aspling & Son 250
Dance & Stuart, on Buildings 500
Emerson & Co., 500
Richardson Bros 200
Scott House, 1,000
Total....................................................... $4,775
Grand Total............................................ $68,325
The following diagram will give a fair idea of the locality of the fire:
{Coffee & Preston Livery Stable listed as "Coffee & CO."}

And thus, at last has the valuation of fire fallen upon us. An entire block
is in ashes. We do not believe that any time after fifty men reached the
scene, a fire engine could have saved any building that was burned, but
in a less vigorous breeze, with engine, hooks, and ladders, some might have
been saved, but they could not have been with the appliances at hand this
morning. The saving of the Scott House block was not miraculous, but it
was an astounding result of energy, endurance and determination. Men never
worked better, and although some were indifferent, some paralyzed, and some
were poltroons who stood back with the Chinamen and absolutely refused to
assist, nearly every one came forward nobly when shown where he could be
of service. We join with the Independent in giving the colored men of Deer
Lodge due mention. Every one of them worked manfully, and fought the fire
like salamanders. The Chinese, with one exception, positively refused to
render any assistance. We acknowledge gratitude to the employees of the
New North-West, to others who assisted us, and to the many, including our
Independent friends, who proffered service when the situation was perilous.
However, the wind happened to hold firm in one direction, and that with
the night thaw - the first of the year - which flooded the streets and made
water plentiful, saved a large portion of the town. It is an unhappy fact
that not one of the force pumps in the vicinity of the burning block was
in working condition. The cool wind, too, favored the west side of Main
street. Nearly all the glass on that side is broken, and also the large
glass in Donnell, Clark & Larabie's Bank, the intense heat splitting
the panes in innumerable fragments across 80 feet and 100 feet streets.

THE ORIGIN OF THE FIRE
is unknown; but the general belief is that the fire was started by an incendiary.
There had been no fire in Coffey's stable, and no one, that Coffey knew
of, occupying it since Feb 1st.
We think Deer Lodge would be a pretty warm ant-room to Hades for the wretch
who fired it, if he were known.

INCIDENTS, ETC.
Coffey had just removed his last buggy from the stable yesterday, and it
only contained two tons of hay.
Hank Valiton cut his sixty horses loose, and got nearly all them out of
the stable and across the river without trouble, where they and the other
horses of the neighborhood behaved frantically till morning, but were prevented
from recrossing the bridge.
We noticed Mr. Stevens, painter and glazier, at work at Chas. Blum's by
noon today.
So rapid did the fire sweep over some buildings that not even the money
was saved from the tills.
Thornton & Robinson will rebuild at once, and doubtless many others
purpose (sic) doing the same.
We have noted but briefly and hastily, for the information of other localities,
this disaster to our fair village. Before midsummer we believe the entire
block will be rebuilt with better structures. But it is bad enough; Thank
God it is no worse.
Deer Lodge, Sunday, Feb. 18, 6 p.m.

* * * * *
Monday, P. M.

Kleinschmidt Bros. opened today in Louis & Coleman's building, adjoining
Gans & Klein's.
The losses to the Scott House and Emmerson & Gerber's, omitted in first
account, are inserted today.
Mr. Henry M. Parchen informs us that $5,000 will cover their entire loss,
inclusive of cash.
R.C. Hancock, butcher, opened yesterday adjoining the Metropolitan Billiard
Hall.
Cohen, grocer, has re-opened adjoining Sweeney & Frazier's.
Higgens & Murphy and Dance, Stuart & Co., will erect two large fire-proof
stores next to Osborn & Dennee's, as soon as material can be used.
Emmerson & Gerber are repairing their hall in first-class style before
re-opening.
The Burnt District was thronged with workers today, clearing off rubbish,
collecting "rich dirt," and removing goods from firs-proofs.
Phil. E. Evans authorizes us to say he will furnish all his customers who
were burned out, with milk without cost for two months from date.
Parchen, Paynter & Co. reopened adjoining Gaus & Klein today.
Dr. O. B. Whitford announces his office at C. N. Bowie's drug store until
further notice.
Thornton & Robinson contracted with John Murphy this afternoon to erect
them a law office 13 x 30, on the site of the burned building. It will be
commenced tomorrow morning.
Jos. Rosenthal has reopened Dry Goods Store adjoining Aspling & Son.

* * * * *

FIRE ENGINE

On Wednesday and Thursday Mr. Wm. H. Richardson and Dr. Mitchell interviewed
Deer Lodgers on the Fire Engine question to the following effect:
We, the undersigned, agree to pay the amount set opposite our respective
names, for the purpose of purchasing a Fire Engine, complete:
Strang & Richardson $100 C.N. Bowie $100
Chas. P.H. Bielenberg 100 H.G. Valiton 100
Sam. Scott 100 Murphy, Higgins & Co. 100
Murphy & Co. 100 Dance & Stuart 100
F.B.Miller 100 Donnell, Clark & Larabie 100
Emerson & Gerber 100 Con Kohrs & Bro 100
Jas. Talbot & Co 100 S.A. Willey & Co 100
Kerley, Smith & Co 50 Osborn & Dennee 50
J.V. Suprenant & Co 50 D.S. Kenyon 50
Mitchell & Holmes 50 Rev R. DeRyckere 50
Peter Valiton 50 Chas. Blum 50
Jas. H. Mills 50 R. Boisvert 50
Ah Kane Co 30 A. Heath 25
J. M. Steward 25 R.T. Kennon 25
R. Plummer 25 Wm. Wilson 25
Chas. Warren 10 Jas. E. Owings 10
O.B. O'Bannon 10 Wes. W. Jones 10
V.A. Smith 10 Henry DeWitt 20
D.Gamer 10 Wm. Hyde 10
Thos. F. Frasier 10 Cash 10
C.Elias 10 G. Bogk 10
Gem Kee 20 Jas. O. Grady 10
L. J. Sharp 10 R.C. Hancock 10
O.B. Whitford 10 B. Levy 15
J.C. Thornton 25 Louis McMurtry 10
Jno. Glass 5 A. Elliott 50
M. Goodman 5 Jno. Maxwell 5
Gans & Kllen 50

The total amount to date is $2410. It is designed to buy a Button &
Blake Engine, 40-man power, throwing a 2-inch stream, with 600 feet of 4-inch
hose, hose-carriage, etc., the net cost of which, at the manufactory, is
$2,040. Arrangements are being made to have it brought through direct. It
will cost, probably, as much more to supply the requisite cisterns, engine
house, etc. That done, and an efficient company organized, the town will
be comparatively safe. Deer Lodge has done tip-top in this matter, and there
is plenty of property yet subject to danger, although "a horse was
stolen" before "the door is locked."

* * * * * * * * * *

Megan Thompson (Genealogy Researcher), of Deer Lodge, in a letter of August 20, 1996 stated:
Within two weeks after the fire, the town had raised the necessary funds for a
new fire truck and established the first volunteer fire department here
which continues today. Most of the buildings were immediately replaced by
the owners with brick and granite "fireproof" buildings, many
of which are still in use.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Episode 8

The following is Episode 8 of 8 written in the summer of 1995 (this particular episode has addendums written later in 1995) and shared with our three daughters, to begin sharing with them our ancestors stories. We have shared many stories in the meantime, and regularly keep them up to date on our research.

I am posting each of these stories here in order to demonstrate what can be done, and, to make the information available to interested others. PLEASE NOTE: these have not been edited and updated for new information, so if you read this, take the information WITH THAT IN MIND! Thanks! Enjoy reading this slice of our lives.

Episode 8

Walter Kinnick Siblings

From Episode 5, The Kinnick Gap:

This is where the gap is. Who is the next ancestor back from Walter W., father of Walter Watson, father of Alonzo? Is that person (her) Joseph, a son of Joseph, or someone else entirely? This is the challenge.

When we were in Princeton, we were shown a box of 3 by 5 note cards in the Genealogy Room of the Public Library. They were put there by people doing work on various Surnames. Under Kinnick, we found one card, "Joseph." The card had the name of a lady in Colorado who was seeking information on Joseph KINNICK/Rachel MERCER (this Joseph is a son of Walter W (the older) and a brother of Walter Watson, therefore, an uncle of our Alonzo). I sent her a letter, including some details we had beyond what it appeared from the card that she had. I heard back from her in about a month. Turns out she was actually looking for a KENIKE family, no relation...but...she enclosed a letter and charts, from a lady in Oregon, dated 1978, that contained the names of the siblings of the older Walter W. KINNICK!!! ...as well as the correct (I need to confirm, but looks realistic) spelling of the maiden name of his wife, Susan SCHWYHART (copy attached). Note there are four sisters of Walter listed as Dorcas, Sarah, Mary, and Catherine. No brothers (a clear reason it has been hard to find information under KINNICK!). Even their spouses are named: DALLAS, TRACY, TRIPLETT, and BUFKIN, respectively, along with a number of their children, including their birthdates. Note that the birthdates are only given as years, or year approximations, but exact dates and places of marriage are listed for all five.
Following receipt of this information, we were able to match the Mary KINNICK (sp. James TRIPLETT) with a list Nancy had gotten from the LDS Family History Center (about a block from our house) listing Mary KENNICK (AFN: KJ8X-57) with spouse James TRIPLETT (provided by a lady in CA, descended from another wife of James). We went over and ran the family group and it all matched!!! Their children, place of birth, marriage dates and places, spouses, more children... confirmed from two independent sources (specific details were different, so seems they came from different searches). Made us feel pretty good. Still need earlier info, of course, but makes it even more encouraging to keep looking. By the way, the current LDS file on James TRIPLETT lists a third wife, in between, of whom the lady from CA was apparently not aware. Interesting! I sent her a copy of this information. Haven't heard back to this date.
Some observations on genealogical research at this point using this experience as a point of reference: First, I used "siblings" in the title of this episode for a reason. I believe it is essential to gather sibling information (that is, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles) to give yourself a reasonable chance to locate information on past generations. [Many people only look at their lineage, the direct descendants only, not siblings]. Our "gap" is information on the parents of Walter W. (the older). Now that we know his siblings, in this case his sisters, we can begin looking at their documents (the sisters' information and records) for evidence of the parents' information. Since they were all females and each married, we now know to look under DALLAS, TRACY, TRIPLETT, and BUFKIN and not KINNICK!!!
Second, it is essential to follow all available leads. It would have been very easy here to have ignored that 3x5 card with the name of Joseph KINNICK on it. I already had extensive information on that family and could not reasonably have expected to get anything new. Yet I sent a simple query... and got an extremely pleasant surprise. Follow all leads!
Finally, gathering and maintaining records for cross-checking information is vital. We had no idea, for instance, that the Mary KENNICK listed on the LDS printout (of about 80 names) would be one we were looking for. We ran the list of all similar names to have ready to check-out as time was available. I had checked off those on the list which were already mentioned in the 1953 Kinnick Genealogy book. The "Mary" entry was one that I had marked to check-out when we had time. It moved to the top of the list with the receipt of the other information.
There were other useful bits of information in the new sheets from Oregon (circa 1978, no longer at that address) via Colorado. There is a mother's name (Mary), speculation on the father's name (William?) and information on Ohio locations not previously known. Let's look at the location information first.
We previously only knew that Walter Watson KINNICK was born 11 Oct 1940 in Belmont County, Ohio. Now we see references to Union Township, Belmont County (two marriages of sisters), and to Beaver Township, Guernsey County (actually Beaver Township is in Noble County after 1860). Dorcas (m. 6 Nov 1823) and Sarah (m. 1 Jan 1828) were married in Union Township, Belmont County. Mary was married 10 Jul 1831 in Guernsey County and Catherine was married 1 Mar 1832 in Belmont County. It appears Walter and Susan were married in Belmont County before 1835, but that is not yet documented. Walter and Susan had children Mary E. (b. abt 1835, per census records), Sarah, John, Joseph, Walter Watson and Catherine born in Ohio. Jacob (b. 4 Jan 1846), Margaret, Susan, Evelina, and Mary S. (b. abt 1856) were born in Illinois. It will be interesting to visit the courthouses, libraries and historical/genealogical societies in these Ohio locations someday.
There is apparently an 1830 Belmont County, Ohio, census record listing a Mary, age 50-60, as mother of the siblings, as well as a death record of the same person after 1830, same location. The speculation of a father named William (death 1823-1830, same location) comes from the name on a bond for the marriage of Dorcas KINNICK. It is suggested the name could refer to a brother, but there is no other such reference. This would, again, suggest that Walter might be a son of "the other" William KINNICK from Maryland in the Revolutionary War:

...shows two William Kinnicks living at the same time and confirms my deduction that there were two William Kinnicks in the Revolutionary War. The names of those serving in the Revolutionary War were taken from the Archives of Md. Vol. 189 Muster Rolls and other records of the Maryland Troops, etc. (p. 6, Kinnick Genealogy book, notes of Robert F. Hayes, Professional Genealogist)

There is much work yet to be done, but there are now more tools with which to dig in and do the work.
This is an addendum to Episode 8, Walter Kinnick Siblings

I am leaving the first part of this as I wrote it, to illustrate the thought processes going on over several weeks, as more information became available.

Addendum added 10-21-95 (not sent out ['til now, of course!]):

An alternative on the parents of Walter W KINNICK: Maryland Records for Anne Arundel County - Marriage Licenses, p. 449, lists John KERRICK m. Mary ISSAC, Jan. 12, 1790.
There is a record of birth on LDS IGI for a Mary KINNICK, 13 Aug 1804, Cecil County, Maryland. This is very close to the birth of Mary KINNICK who later married James TRIPLETT, and sister of Walter W. The father is listed as John KINNICK. No mother's name listed.
There is another interesting fact from the KINNICK Book. Probably not related, but who knows. "Percilla, daughter of John and Mary Kinnick, was baptized by the Rev. Rt. Rev. Thomas John Clagget 19 May 1800. She was born Feb. 1, 1800. (From Trinity Parish Register Charles County, Maryland)."
Sarah (1802), Walter (1809), and Catherine (1815) are all shown on census data to have been born in Maryland. Information to date on Dorcas, listed in my source as oldest, only suggests born between 1800-1810, no place shown (she married in 1823).

Narrative on known information on Walter and four sisters, 10-24-95:

Since Sarah was 71 years old when she died on 1 Jan 1872, her birth was probably late in 1801.
Although Dorcas is listed first, we do not know her year of birth yet. The 1840 census puts her at 30-40, presumably, therefore, born 1800-1810. She married, however, 6 Nov 1823, did she marry late or early? She was the first married, and was in Union Township, Belmont County, Ohio, at the time. ***Need to follow Joseph Dallas family for more details.
Catherine is, presumably, the youngest of the five children. Her birth is listed as 1815, but I do not know the source; probably death record, but I don't have it yet. ***She is shown as born in 1815, in Maryland. Dorcas marriage in Ohio was Nov 1823. The family seems to have moved during these eight years. ***Where were they for 1820 census?
Potential answer to 1820 census question: From Maryland census, in 1820 there is a Mary, as head of household in Charles Co. In 1810, there is a (head of household) HOH of John KENNICK. In 1800, there is also a HOH of John KENNICK, one white male 26-45, 2 w/male under 10, 2 w/female under 10 and 2 w/female 26-45. (One of these young boys could be the William who vouched for Dorcas in 1823! There is also a William getting married back in Maryland, in 1833?!) ***Need to see details of 1810 and 1820 census.
This could be the John and Mary noted above, married in 1790. That would suggest four children, 2 boys and 2 girls, by the 1800 census.

Additions on 10-28-95, Maryland 1810 and 1820 and Ohio 1830 census data all seem to fit into a coherent pattern:

It does appear that John and Mary had 2 boys and 2 girls between 1794 and the 1800 census. They could very well be the John and Mary noted being married in 1790. One of the boys is probably the William we find in Ohio in 1823 and then back in Maryland getting married in 1833. The other boy, an older brother of Walter, is unidentified at this time. One of the girls is likely the Percilla noted in the KG book as the daughter of John and Mary Kinnick, born 1 Feb 1800, baptized 19 May 1800 in Trinity Parish Register Charles County, Maryland. The other would be Dorcas, born late in 1800 or early 1801, before the census was taken.
The 1810 census, then, shows Walter, presumably, less than a year old, and, also, two more daughters who would be Sarah and Mary. These all follow through on the 1820 census in Maryland, Charles County. In addition, there are two more girls under 10. One would be Catherine, presumably born in 1815. The other is unknown. Also, before 1820, John has apparently died, as Mary is listed as head of household. A note on age of John and Mary. John appears to have been born between 1765 and 1774 according to the age categories in the 1800 and 1810 census. There is a second woman in the 1800 and 1810 census, either older or a helper. In 1800, both she and Mary are in the 26 to 45 category. They split to one of them over 45 in 1810. By 1820, Mary is over 45. Also, we know by 1823 there was a marriage in Ohio, so, presumably they moved.
By 1830, only Walter, presumably, is still in the household with Mary, in Ohio. The others have moved on, married, etc. This seems to fit with other known facts. This would explain why Walter does not show up on his own. Walter would be just 20 years old in 1830 at census time, which fits. Catherine and the other younger girl are gone, off to school or assisting in another household, a common practice at the time.
So, the parents of Walter W. appear to be a John and a Mary now identified through census data. We are searching, now, for the death record of John KINNICK in Charles County, Maryland, and for Mary KINNICK, in Belmont County, Ohio, though she might have moved to live with one of her daughters in a neighboring county. The search goes on. We also are seeking to follow William KINNICK back in Maryland after 1833, and, to identify the other older brother, probably, now, staying in Maryland.
Note that none of this new information places the family in Pennsylvania. Also, however, it does put them in Maryland at the same time as the principle families in the KG book. It is still possible that John might be a son of Joseph. We also believe that the references to Joseph, Jesper and Jasper, in the KG book, are probably all one person, not three. We seek to confirm or disconfirm this theory and the possible linkages. The search is now in Maryland, primarily. There was also a brother, Richard KINNICK, about which we know little except he was listed as a son of William and Sarah in the estate of William, and that he served in the Revolutionary War, in Maryland, in 1776. We also know there was a second William KINNICK in the Revolutionary War, in Maryland, who may also be the father of "our" John. "Our" John, of course, is distinct from the John, son of William and Sarah, who is the principle character in the KG book. "Their" John sold his land in Maryland and moved his entire family to North Carolina, where the balance of the KG book, about his descendants, plays out.
Looking at the rest of the "unused" KINNICK men mentioned in the KG book, there is an adult, George KINNICK, who is recorded in commercial tobacco transactions in 1780, 1781, and 1784. Also, a George, paid $1.00 in support of the clergy in 1805. These transactions were in Saint Mary's County, adjoining Charles County.
In the Charles County, 1810 census, there is also a Patrick KENNICK (John is also listed as KENNICK in the index; reading the actual census you really can't tell the difference.), age 26-45, with 2 females 26 to 45, and two boys and two girls all under 10. The children's ages would seem to explain the extra adult female, a child care person! This Patrick would be a contemporary of our John, having been born between 1765 and 1784, probably closer to the latter, making him somewhat younger than John. He is not listed in either 1800 or 1820. Probably not a head of household yet in 1800, moved elsewhere by 1820.

Added 10-29-95:

There is a Walter KERRICK, which I believe to be KINNICK, in Feb 1768, age 16 (therefore, b. 1752), on land leased from the Lord of Baltimore, "State of His Lordships Manor of Zachaiah in Charles County," by William Simms, age 60 (and Sarah Simms, age 30).
He is the correct age to be the father of John KINNICK, born 1765-1774. Let us say, for instance, that Walter married at age 18, in 1770, and John was born in 1771. He was married, we believe, in 1790, age would be 19 at that time. We have John KERRICK marrying Mary ISAAC on 12 Jan 1790, you recall. There was also in that record, a Francis KERRICK marring Mary DOVE on 21 Feb 1797. These could both be sons of Walter.


Report as of 11-18-95: Have this week received substantial more information on KINNICKs! Not the least of this is a six page research report from the Bureau Co, IL, Genealogical Society with another, maybe, twenty pages of supporting information. I sent in a membership in August. Membership includes access to a research report at minimal cost done by volunteers in exchange for a donation to the society. She did a great job!
Included, among other things, is the death and burial place of Walter W. (the older) and Susan, along with a son, John, and a daughter, Mary, which add much to our understanding of the middle years of that family. They were in a small town, Wyanet, between Dover, where they arrived from Ohio, and Buda, where Walter Watson (the younger) and his family lived. By way of an 1869 lawsuit, we have documentation of land owned by the older Walter which he left to some of his children, but it states that he never lived on the land! Actually, the land, 160 acres, now lays right along I-80, west of Princeton. She provided plat maps dated 1867 and 1875 that both show KINNICK on the maps! Two married daughters lived on adjoining land, as is so often the case.
Forest Hill (Wyanet) cemetery inscription information shows Walter W. d. 28 Feb 1853 at age 43y, 17d. Susan is actually Susanna on her grave, d. 27 Sep 1884 at age 75y, 4m, 25d. They are in plot 1 and 2. In plot 3 is "John S. KINNICK, son of W.W. & S. KINNICK, d. Jun 5, 1851, 16y, 9m, 22d (marker broken off, leaning against Large Kinnick Marker). This is especially interesting, because, this is the John KINNICK listed in the Kinnick Genealogy Book, per "family tradition," [as we family historians call it (that means, they said it, but don't necessarily believe it; work from it and prove or disprove it!)], as "killed in action in Civil War; unmarried." He was 16 years old and died in 1851, ten years before the war started!
But on real Civil War veterans, she included even more detail than I already had that shows both Walter Watson and his brother Joseph served as volunteers from Illinois; but, the served in the 7th Kansas Cavalry! Mom went down to our library and found them both listed, along with a five page detailed write-up on the whole 1861 to 1863 action they were in. A lot of the action was around Corinth, Miss, including the battle of Tupelo and crossing the Tallahatchie river several times. [I know Annette and Larry have visited this area, we'll have to compare notes.] We have at least three separate accounts of how Walter's wife, Mary, accompanied him to Corinth and nursed the troops. [I'll put this all in a separate episode.]
The other child buried in Wyanet was a Mary A. HARRISON, d. 12 Apr 1880, age 23y, 5m, 21d. This information, along with several other bits and pieces (I won't bore you with those details, now; part of it comes out of the lawsuit over land info), solved a couple mysteries noted above about three different "children, " shown on the 1850 and 1860 census. Turns out, the Mary E., listed as oldest daughter of Walter W. and Susan on 1850 census, had married a HARRISON, had two daughters, Evelina and Mary, and died before 1860 (she was not on the 1860 census). There were two youngest "children" listed on the 1860 census as Evelina (b. 1854) and Mary (b. 1856). What wasn't on the census, of course, was that they were actually grandchildren of Susan and their last name was actually HARRISON! Mary's age at death in 1880 puts her as born late in 1856. Elsewhere, I have confirmed an Eva HARRISON as a grand-daughter of Susan.
From several letters to several states, I have received much detailed information on Walter's (the older) four sisters, as noted above (Dorcas DALLAS, Sarah TRACY, Mary TRIPLETT, and Catherine BUFKIN). For instance, we have have located Mary TRIPLETT, buried in Monmouth, Warren Co, IL, in 1882. The TRIPLETT family is well documented, it turns out. I am corresponding with several people working on the line. Just today, I got a letter from the State of Indiana Library, locating information supporting a second and third marriage for Catherine BUFKIN REDDING ADAMSON, and her burial as Catherine B. ADAMSON! I have received preliminary information on the estate of Dorcas's husband Joseph DALLAS in Ohio. I'm still expecting some document to give support to identity of parents of the girls or Walter.
I am confident the John and Mary KINNICK from the census information in Maryland and Ohio supports those names. I do expect some further confirmation on the rest of the relationships. I've attached the latest Family Record Group for both John and Mary and for Walter and Susan.

Note: As I was running the Walter and Susan Family Group Record, I discovered a new relationship! With the correct age of John S., from his tombstone, he becomes the oldest child, not third! You recall from the 1830 Ohio census, it appears Walter, age 20, is the only one still at home with his mother, Mary. She seems to have died shortly after the census, and, Walter appears to have married Susan in about 1833. They then name their first son John (after his father) and their first daughter Mary (after his mother), very common practice. This would seem to be an additional confirmation the father and mother were indeed John and Mary!

Families are Forever! ;-)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Episode 7

The following is Episode 7 of 8 written in the summer of 1995 and shared with our three daughters, to begin sharing with them our ancestors stories. We have shared many stories in the meantime, and regularly keep them up to date on our research.

I am posting each of these stories here in order to demonstrate what can be done, and, to make the information available to interested others. PLEASE NOTE: these have not been edited and updated for new information, so if you read this, take the information WITH THAT IN MIND! Thanks! Enjoy reading this slice of our lives.

Episode 7

The Prairie City Connection - Part I

The town of Prairie City, in Jasper county, Iowa, just east of Des Moines, was (and is) home to many of our ancestors and relatives (and relatives of relatives). There have been Wilsons, Offills, Adkins, Weavers, Yagers, Stauffers, Elliotts, and others who played a variety of roles in the settlement and development of Prairie City. This episode will look at the early settlement of Prairie City and those of interest who took part.
Mary (Polly) Offill married John S. Elliott on 10 Oct 1818 in Kentucky. Their first son was James Hickland Elliott, born 20 Nov 1819. He was only eleven years old when his father died. In the 1830's he went to Owen Co., IN, where in 1839 he was married to Julianna Emaline Hicks. Nine of their sixteen children reached adulthood (See note 1, p. 7).
"After the 1850 census they left Owen County and moved to Coles Co., IL. In the autumn of 1851 they left their Illinois home, leaving the crop in the field and selling it with his cows for almost nothing. The locality they left was stricken with swamp fever and his neighbors were dying of cholera, so he took his family in a wagon, drawn by two horses, and went to seek a future home. The low swamp lands caused him to look for higher ground.
"They came to Iowa and the family picked their way along the Old Indian Trail between the Des Moines and Skunk Rivers and on to the Raccoon River. On all sides lay the virgin soil lush with tall prairie grass, a habitat for prairie chicken and migratory birds by day and night. James Elliott was intrigued and decided to stake a claim and found a town, calling it Elliott. He went to the nearest timber near Walnut Creek and built a cabin, close to timber so his fuel would be handy. This was only a temporary location, for the spot chosen for the dreamed of town was on the prairie.
"They encountered many hardships in building their real home. Wood had to be hauled from Walnut Creek and there was no road. Mud was deep in the sloughs and all creeks had to be forded and picking one's way across the pathless prairie was an arduous task. The beauty of the springtime was enticement for more settlers as the fragrant blossoms scented the air. Finally when Mr. Elliott applied for a postoffice for Elliott along the stage coach road, he was informed that there was another postoffice in Iowa named Elliott so the name was changed to Prairie City (See Note 1, pp. 7-8)."
John and Mary (Offill) Elliott's other five children also migrated westward. Mary died on 16 March 1854 in the settlement, then known as Elliott. (She was buried in Westview Cemetery, Prairie City, Iowa - along with many, many other relatives!)
L.P. (Levi Parsons) Wilson was the son of Eli and brother of George F.H. (father of Norman) Wilson. He was born 16 Jul 1822 in Oneida County, New York, and moved to Peoria Co., IL, in 1834, with his parents. In about 1855 he moved his family to Jasper County, Iowa.
From a Directory of Jasper County: When he (L.P. Wilson) came here, there were only two buildings in sight. He bought 560 acres of land at $1.25 per acre and has improved his land. (He is noted earlier in the sketch as "farmer and stock raiser.") He first moved into a shanty with a man of the name of Elliott (described above). He stopped there four weeks while Mr. Elliott was East. When Mr. Elliott returned, he had two more families besides his own, making four families in a shanty 18 x 22, and only one story, where twenty-nine or thirty persons lived for four weeks. The first few years after he came here, he could buy buffalo meat for 1 cent per pound, brought here from the Northwest. There were plenty of buffalos within fifty miles and elk, deer, wolves, wild turkey and prairie chickens were plentiful. It was reported that one hunter killed forty-one elk in one day. He has ridden wolves down and killed them with a club. He has been backward and forward five times to Peoria, IL, in what they called a prairie schooner.
In some other comments about L.P. Wilson, referring to the first settlers, the Prairie City News reported: He was one of the first constables in these parts. When he came here, there were two houses, owned by J.H. Elliott and William Means.
James A. Offill (subject of the book in Note 1, our direct ancestor, a first cousin of James Hickland Elliott, above) was born 17 May 1819 in Carter County, KY. On 21 Jan 1841 he married Mary Ann Walters in IN. The couple established their new home on a five hundred acre tract of land five miles from Olive Hill, KY. Nine of their eleven children were born in this Kentucky home.
"The peace and quiet was broken by the Civil War which began in 1861. The Morgan band of rebels went through Kentucky burning houses, taking prisoners, stealing horses, and pillaged the small town of Olive Hill, just five miles from the Offill home. Quickly John Franklin (second child, oldest son) joined the Home Guards to help fight the rebel band in that way. When word was received of the coming of the rebels, the horses were hid in the hills by the Home Guards to aid in the escape of the family since the rebels burned homes in their wake. Mary Ann hid bedding and other articles of value in the fodder shocks and other places where they would not be found in a hurried search.
"The raiders passed the Offill homestead before daylight, about a quarter of a mile away. Forty men of the Home Guards were armed with guns and shot thirty of the raiders, without losing a man. The women spent the night in the hills, Mary Ann holding Rhoda Jane (the youngest) on her lap throughout the night. Fifteen homes were burned within a radius of thirty miles, but no harm to the Offill homestead. Mary Ann could hear the fighting, which deeply aroused her anger. In the morning she returned to her home and had breakfast for twenty-five women whose men were fighting with the Home Guards. At noon she prepared dinner for a yard full of men of the Guards.
"Feeling sure the raiders were gone, the horses were brought back from the hills by the men, and the families disbanded for their own homes. Mary Ann warned them to watch for more raiders, but they all laughed at her warning. Her husband's uncle, returning home, rode up to some of Morgan's raiders before he realized who they were. They took his horse and made him a prisoner. When one of the rebels mounted the horse, it promptly threw him over its head.
"In the spring of 1863, the family left the home place in Kentucky, bound for Iowa, to save their children from the perils of the border state. They gave their household furniture and dishes to an elderly couple whose property had been burned by the raiders. Fifty friends gathered to bid them adieu. Why Iowa? Mary Ann's sister and husband, Rhoda Jane & William Gulliams, had come to Iowa and settled in the late 1850's and encouraged the Offills to come to a spot they had selected.
"They traveled on horseback from their home near Olive Hill, KY, to Portsmouth, Ohio, accompanied by two soldiers to protect them from the rebels. They went by boat down the Ohio to the Mississippi, thence to Keokuk, and took the train to Eddyville. Some have said that they went on to Prairie City by stage, while others state that the Guilliams met them at Eddyville with wagons and escorted them to their new settlement. At any rate, kindly hands soon built a log cabin home, but the mother, older sister and brothers had contracted small pox on the way and there were sad days in the new home.
"There were then only thirteen houses in Prairie City. There were no trees except a few planted at Dan Main's. There was no hotel. Mail was brought in by "horse power" and left at Mr. Bundy's to be called for. There was one store, but only a few things could be purchased there and then only in small quantities. There were no flour sacks, either cloth or paper. Wheat flour was obtained by driving to the mill and exchanging wheat for flour. Sacks for flour or other uses were made of "tow" or course linen, and flax was not raised in Iowa (it was in Kentucky).
"The Offills settled on a farm south and a little west of Prairie City. They watched and helped the town in its growth, and by 1872 it had a population of 350 (See Note 1, pp. 21-22)."
Ezra Adkins was born in Plymouth, Litchfield County, Connecticut, 5 Dec 1824 (he was a brother of Lydia, who married George F.H. Wilson). He was married to Lydia (a popular name in those days!) Ann Vertner 18 Oct 1843 in Schuyler County, Illinois. He "came to Jasper County in 1862, enlisted, fought in the battle of Knoxville where he was wounded in the arm with musketball which caused amputation of his arm. He purchased 160 A. of land in Jasper County, and built a Hotel on part of it (See Note 1, p. 22, caption of a picture of the original hotel and other buildings)."
From the Directory of Jasper County of Ezra Adkins (listed as hotel keeper): Held the offices of Assessor, Township Trustee, Councilman and Justice of the Peace. A member of the Congregational Church and was Sunday School Superintendent for twelve years.
The first schoolhouse was built in Prairie City in 1856, the year in which the name of the town was changed from Elliott to Prairie City. Prior to that, school was held in a small building owned by James Elliott (See Note 1, p. 22).
John Franklin Offill, oldest son of James and Mary Ann Offill, had moved to Iowa with his parents and enlisted in the 3rd Iowa Cavalry. After he returned to Jasper County, he was engaged in farming, then lumbering and for years engaged in grain and livestock business. On 28 April 1882 he bought the grain office and crib at Zachery's Switch and employed G.H. Childs to work there for him. On 27 Nov 1885 he had a new office near the depot and had purchased lots east of the elevator from J.H. Elliott. He was Representative of Jasper County during the 1930-1932 session of the General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature.
After the Civil War, Norman David Wilson came to Iowa from Cambridge, Illinois, to start work on the Prairie City News. It was here he met Mary Ellen Offill (a daughter of James and Mary Ann Offill) to whom he was married at Newton, Iowa, on 16 Nov 1871. They made their home near Prairie City for the first five years of their married life where he continued to work on the News until 1876.
Manchester Offill was born 31 July 1856 in Olive Hill, Carter County, KY, the son of James and Mary Ann Offill. He moved to Iowa with his family when he was six years old and spent the rest of his life as a farmer in Jasper County. Potato production became big business in the area and the Offill family was no exception. For years, potato diggers, like fruit pickers and harvest hands, were a common thing in harvest season. Not only were many acres planted to potatoes, but since the railroad, and later highway, cut through the property, the right of way was leased and planted to potatoes. The yield was good, but the market value was sometimes most discouraging. The Dowden Potato Digger was founded and developed in this area and reduced some of the labor problems (See Note 1, p. 68). Floyd was the fourth child of Manchester and his wife, Melissa.
The balance of this episode consists of excerpts from the Prairie City News between 1880 and 1888, gathered in a booklet called: In Years Gone By. Many provide insight into life of the times as well as show relatives.

23 Jan 1880: Mrs. Mary M. (Eli Pomeroy) Wilson of Farmington, IL, is visiting her daughter, Mrs. W.H. Curley, who has been ill.
20 Feb 1880: On Monday, quite a number took the train for Audubon county. Among those were Mrs. D. W. Hendricks, Mrs. Yager and family, Mrs. Hawkins and family. Mr. Hawkins and Mr. Hendricks went overland with their teams.
6 Jan 1881: Mrs. Geo. Wilson of Cambridge, IL, is visiting here with her brother, Ezra Adkins.
13 Jan 1881: Norman Wilson of Glidden, Iowa, is here visiting his old home.
3 Feb 1882: Mr. Ezra Adkins went to Plymouth, IL, to see his mother.
2 Jun 1882: Miss Julia Wilson of Cambridge, IL, is visiting her sister, Mrs. F.M.Austin.
23 Jun 1882: Jessie and Lila Wickwire (granddaughters of Eli Wilson, also) have gone to Farmington, IL, to spend the summer with their grandpa Wickwire.
3 Nov 1882: Henry Wallace has bid goodbye to Vandalia (a few miles southwest of Prairie City, where the Yagers lived, also) and started with his family to Coon Rapids, where they will make their home.
24 Aug 1882: Mr. L.P. Wilson's mother (Mrs. Eli Wilson) died in Illinois recently. She was 93 years old.
5 Jan 1883: Miss Hattie Wilson, daughter of L.P. Wilson, returned Wednesday, from Oak Hollow, Dakota, where she entered a homestead of 160 acres.
26 Jan 1883: Mr. Ezra Adkins, the genial landlord of the Prairie City House (the hotel), is being visited by his sister, Mrs. Phelps, of Illinois.
8 Nov 1883: Mrs. Eva Brous, daughter of L.P. Wilson has entered a homestead in Dakota.
1 Aug 1884: Chancey Comstock, of Prospect, Dakota, is here. He is a nephew of Mrs. L.P. Wilson.
3 Oct 1884: Ezra Adkins has sold his farm of 160 acres to William Montgomery of Fairmont.
31 Oct 1884: Mrs. G.F.H. Wilson, of Henry County, IL, is here. She is a sister of Ezra Adkins and mother of Mrs. F.M. Austin.
6 Feb 1885: L.P. Wilson 's received word of the death of their grandson, Donnie Brous. The mother is Eva Eilson Brous.
22 Jan 1886: Norm. Wilson, now of Coon Rapids, sent us one of the early numbers of the Gleaners and Herald, published here by Jacob Saunders. It is dated February 3, 1870.
Among several sale notices: There will be offered at public auction on the farm of E.B. Adkins (deceased), three miles east of Prairie City, on February 15, 1887, sale to begin at 10 a.m., the following property to-wit:
14 head of cattle, 2 horses, 65 hogs, 450 bushels of corn, 50 bushels of oats, 2 1/2 tons of hay, scales, corn planter, corn sheller and corn grinder, feed cooker, mower, stalk cutter, hay rack, hay rake, wagon and other articles. M.A. McCord, Auct. Ezra Adkins.
27 May 1887: Mr. and Mrs. James Wickwire, of Farmington, IL, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, May 17. Two mile east of Farmington, IL, stands a large stone house, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wickwire. In the rear of this building stands the old log house in which they were married. It was the home of the pioneer, Eli Wilson, father of Mrs. Wickwire. This humble building was a station on the U.G. railroad in slavery days. Mrs. Wickwire is a sister of L. P. Wilson, of Prairie City and of Pomeroy Wilson, of Des Moines. They both attended the anniversary.
27 May 1887: Mr. Henry Wilson, of Delmont, Dakota, arrived here. He is the son of L. P. Wilson. [Note: "Dakota" still was a territory, until 1889.]
4 Nov 1887: L. P. Wilson received a telegram Thursday, that his daughter, Mrs. Hattie Adair, of Delmont, Dakota, was dangerously ill with typhoid fever. Mr. Wilson and daughter, Emma, left on the train.
13 Jul 1888: L. P. Wilson and wife attended the golden wedding anniversary of E.P. Wilson, in Des Moines, last night, July 12th.
6 Apr 1888: George Stauffer will take his family to Kingston, Missouri.
4 May 1888: The men are sinking a shaft and mining operations will begin on the Alva (Son of L.P.) Wilson farm two miles north west of town.
10 Aug 1888: Ezra Adkins, a one arm soldier, is our county Recorder.

This last entry brings another little item to mind. Yesterday, 21 August 1995, we received copies of some of Norman Wilson's diaries. One entry from the Civil War era diary related to receiving mail. On several occasions he had expressed disappointment when the mail came and he didn't get any letters. On Friday, July 22, 1864, he wrote,"mail came in last night and brought me a letter which I was glad to get it was from Uncle Ezra Adkins."

Note 1. From "The James Offill Family Came to Iowa" by Ethel I. Harryman.


Families are Forever! ;-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Episode 6

The following is Episode 6 of 8 written in the summer of 1995 and shared with our three daughters, to begin sharing with them our ancestors stories. We have shared many stories in the meantime, and regularly keep them up to date on our research.

I am posting each of these stories here in order to demonstrate what can be done, and, to make the information available to interested others. PLEASE NOTE: these have not been edited and updated for new information, so if you read this, take the information WITH THAT IN MIND! Thanks! Enjoy reading this slice of our lives.

Episode 6

The Wilson family in Illinois - Part I

In the introduction to this series, we said:

The Wilson line was a good place to start because a lot of good people before us had done a lot of work in recording and preserving records down through the years: From England to Connecticut shortly after the Mayflower landed at Plymouth, to upstate New York, to Illinois just after the Black Hawk wars, fighting in the Civil War, moving to Prairie City, Iowa and then to the Far View Farm in Carroll County, Iowa, between Coon Rapids and Glidden. The Wilsons, particularly in Illinois, were also active in the Underground Railroad.

The first record we had to work with (in the spring of 1995) was in the form of a letter to Hazel Bolger from a Wilma Fletcher in Des Moines dated June 3, 1965. Actually, what we had was a piece of paper on which I (Bill) had hand copied some of the information from the letter. I had done this sitting at the kitchen table in Glenn and Ruth Bolger's house sometime about 1975. It began like this:

1. Robert Wilson (a kinsman of Thomas Newell) Windsor by 1647
married Elizabeth Stebbing, dau. of Edward,
and had children, probably others:

2. Samuel Wilson (b. about 16-52-1697)
married Mary Griffin of Windsor, Conn.
dau. of John Griffin and had children: Elizabeth, Mary, Abigail,
John, Samuel, Mindwell

3. John Wilson, Deacon (1686-1774) Windsor,
married Mary Marshall, dau. of Thomas Marshall and
Mary Drake (The Drake line is a royal one)
and had children: Mary, John (b. 7 Nov 1711), Hannah, Noah,
Joel, Rachel, Amos, Pheneas

4. John Wilson, Jr., Capt., Deacon, (1711-1799) born Windsor, Conn.
One of the first 5 settlers of Harwinton, Conn.
married Abigail Stevens, dau. of John,
and had children, probably others: 5. Eli (11-30-1740)...

The list continued thru 6. Eli (1765-1824) and 7. Eli (1791-1875) who is the one who eventually moved to Illinois. More on this end of the lineage below.
Nancy began two research tracks that became fruitful at an early stage. One was to check the Ancestral File on the computer at the library and the LDS church family center. It actually had the first four generations, above, on file, but, also had one preceding generation (see copy attached), John Wilson, born about 1600, in England, along with wife, Hannah James, born about 1605 "of Windsor, Hartford, Conn." [In a later episode, we will discuss early Connecticut history, when both the Wilsons and the Adkins were among the very early colonists, shortly after the Mayflower landed.]
The second research track was the census records. We will not attempt here to detail the many records that were found, checked, examined, recorded, rechecked, etc. to confirm and then expand on the information on the Wilson family. Some examples, and a July 1995 status report, will suffice for now. The ten generation Pedigree Chart from John down to Norman, as of 14 July 1995, is attached.
The two most recent generations included in the 1965 letter were (notice the gaps in information, including no spouses, no death dates):

7. Eli Wilson (1791-1875) married Julia Candee - Removed to Camden, New York in 1818 and to Peoria Co, Farmington, Illinois, in 1834.
Had children: Eli Pomeroy 4-20-1814
George 2-18-1816
Julia 9-22-1817
Huldah Jane 1820
Levi Parsons 7-16-1822 -to Iowa in 1855
Sarah
Margaret
Candee

8. George F.H. Wilson - Harwinton, Litchfield Co, Conn.
married Lydia Adkins, Oct 1837, Plymouth, Litchfield Co., Conn.
Children: Julia Asenath May 23 - 1839
Emily Jane Aug 30 - 1841
David Norman Jun 28 - 1844
Hiram Aug 5 - 1846
George Edwin Jun 10 - 1851
Elbert Edkins Dec 6 - 1853
Sarah Ellen Nov 27 - 1855
Harriet Lulu Sep 15 - 1857
Henry

We have since received a copy of the actual letter to Hazel...from Marjorie Meggs, in Edmond, OK, who is writing an Adkins genealogy book (see Lydia, wife of George F.H. Wilson, above). It is expected to be available in December, 1995. Wilma Fletcher, in the cover letter to Hazel, asked these questions, among others:
1. I would like any information as to Eli (7) Wilson's descendants. Do you know who any of the girls married?
2. Where did George (8) and Eli (8) Pomeroy Wilson settle?

Using census records, Nancy was able to, first, locate Eli and family in Peoria Co, Illinois, near the town of Trivoli, just east of Farmington. Farmington is actually in Fulton County, just across the line from Peoria Co (Illinois map attached). In addition, she confirmed George F.H. (still don't know what the initials stand for) and his family moved to Henry County (about 1850) and Eli Pomeroy stayed in the Farmington area as an adult (we have identified his wife and their five children and their spouses), but, later, died in Des Moines. These facts were further confirmed by our visits to Peoria, Trivoli, Farmington, and Cambridge (Henry Co). In Cambridge, for instance, we found (by review of newspaper microfilms) the obituaries of both George F.H. and his wife, Lydia, which gave a good summary of their lives and family relationships (much more on these later). In Peoria, we found an entry in a "Trivoli Directory" which provided details of Eli Pomeroy's life in the community and more details on his father, Eli's, early years.
The following speaks of the father, Eli, from the directory article:

"(Eli) was reared on a farm (Harwinton, Litchfield county, Conn.) and received a liberal education, which well qualified him to teach, which occupation he pursued in the State of New York for a number of years. In May, 1813, he married Miss Candee...and by which union there were four sons and four daughters, all of whom lived to adult age,... In 1818 they immigrated to Camden, Oneida county, N.Y., where he became an active member of the Congregational Church, teaching vocal music and leading the choir for many years. He was somewhat of a politician of the Dewitt Clinton and Gerrett Smith style, though he never sought office. In the spring of 1834 he immigrated with his family to Peoria county, and located in Trivoli township on Sec. 8, where he remained in comfortable circumstances until his death, which occurred Sept. 7, 1875, at the age of eighty-four. His widow is still living at the age of ninety-one (therefore, this written about 1880), retaining all her mental faculties to a remarkable degree. The family came by the lakes and rivers to Peoria, arriving June 3, 1834. Through the kindness and hospitality of the Hon. Charles Ballance a room was obtained for the stay and lodgement of the family of ten for the night, free of charge. The next morning started out for their future home on the west line of the county, and were all day making the trip, twenty-four miles. The land not yet being in market, he purchased a claim of Joel Brown, ten acres broke and a small log cabin on it, partially finished. Thus he located, and soon made his family a new and comfortable home. He was liberal minded and reformatory in his views, both in church and state; was a friend to the poor and friendless of every class and condition. From his boyhood he was opposed to slavery, and his place was known as a leading depot on the underground railroad between Cairo and Galena [more on this in another episode]."
We have visited his grave (with his wife, Julia) in the pioneer section of the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Farmington, IL. Three pictures are in the cemetery picture file.
With respect to the children of Eli and Julia, we have identified them all (see Family Group Records attached for the families of both Eli and George F.H.) with their spouses, except for the youngest, David Candee Wilson. We only recently confirmed his name and birthdate. He had two daughters we know of, now, but have yet to locate the name of his wife. This is one of a set of questions we are building for another trip to Farmington and Cambridge, probably next summer. We wrote earlier of Eli Pomeroy Wilson and George F.H. Wilson, of course. Julia married James Wickwire in Trivoli. They lived in the large brick home (very likely the one built by Eli for his family) next door to the original cabin Eli bought and first lived in with his family. Huldah Jane married Truman Jones and was living in Chicago in 1879. Levi Parsons Wilson married Nancy M. Ortch and was one of the first settlers of Prairie City, Iowa (see episode 7). Sarah Elizabeth married Royce Allen whom she knew from Camden, Oneida county, New York. They also moved to Henry county where we will report more on them later. Notice they were prominent on the LDS records, I suspect someone in his family was the reporter. He was an active politician, farmer, and cattle breeder. Margaret married Dr. John Gregory. We have identified two children.
As for the children of George F.H. and Lydia, Arthur, Henry and Ella died in infancy and are recognized on a common stone in the Munson cemetery (George donated the land for the cemetery, by the way. We have several pictures of it on the top of a hill overlooking the land they and Royce Allen and other relatives owned). Judith married David Kemerling, but, she is buried near her parents. We are still seeking information on him. Emily Jane married Francis Martin Austin and moved to Prairie City. Norman we know about, and more, later. Hiram is a mystery. We cannot locate birth records or a grave site. Edwin George Wilson was unmarried, died in Cambridge in 1921. He owned the forty acres in Carroll County, IA, immediately east of the original Far View farm for several years, but sold it outside the family, not to Norman or his family. Bears more investigation. Elbert died in infancy and is buried in Munson cemetery. Harriett Lulu Wilson married Charles Edgar Remsburg in Trivoli in 1878. In 1884 they moved to Glidden, Iowa, and settled in Lanesboro where some of their descendants still live (friends of Paul, Carolyn, Ruth, etc. - as well as relatives). Their oldest son, however, raised his family in Prairie City!
This has been rather lengthy, but, I believe illustrates well how much a little well directed research time can accomplish. Simple comparison of where we started with the current status is startling...and we have just begun. The stories of their daily lives from newspaper articles and other references are still the most important sources of bringing their way of life "to life," however. The bare statistics are essential elements, but are just really the tools to get at those other details. We will get into more of those details when we delve into each families' activities in future episodes.

Another part of the story to tell is of Illinois during these years as Eli and his family were arriving and settling beginning in 1834. "For a time in 1832 northwestern Illinois was kept in terror by Indian raids and murders..." Later in 1832, Chief Black Hawk was driven into Wisconsin where he and his band were reduced to "abject submission." Abraham Lincoln served as a captain of militia in the campaign. He ran for (state) General Assembly in 1832 and was elected in 1834, 1836, 1838 and 1840. "First an unsuccessful storekeeper in New Salem, he took up the study of law by himself and in 1836 was admitted to the bar." I have attached a map of Illinois with a number of the towns and counties mentioned above marked in red. Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837. In a Priarie City directory listing for Levi Parsons Wilson it states: "...emigrated from New York to Peoria Co., Ill., in 1834, with his parents before the Indians left that section; Peoria was called Ft. Clark; there were only two frame buildings and 200 inhabitants..."
More details and relationships in later episodes.

Families are Forever! ;-)