Welcome to my genealogy blog. Ancestors I Wish I Knew is a combination of genealogical information and stories about individuals in my family tree. The focus is on those from my Cochrane, Eitelbach, Merrett, Minarcik and Richards lines and their descendants.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#24 William Cochrane—Finding a New Home



My blog this week is about William Cochrane, my great-great grandfather.  I do not know a great deal about him and what I have has pretty much been gathered from various sources on the web.  I do have his picture, which was sent to me by my cousin, Mary.  While I wish the picture was clearer, he reminds me in some ways of my father.

William  was born on October 18, 1810 in London England to The Honorable Andrew James Cochrane and Ann Morgan.  Andrew had two brothers, Andrew George Cobbitt (See Blog #3) and George, and one sister, Anna Maria, all born in London.   In 1830 on January 19, he married Emma Merrett at St. Andrews of the Wardrobe.  William and Emma had six children:  Mary Jane (1836—1920), George Augustus (1838--??), Emily (1840-1911), Walter (1843-1891), Emma (1846—1931), and Evalina (1853—1920).

In the mid 1830’s William and Emma migrated to the United States and settled in Buffalo, New York.  At that time, his brother, Andrew George Cobbett Cochrane also lived in Buffalo.  I do not know whether the two brothers and their families came together or separately. However, in 1835, he filed a declaration to become a citizen of the United States.  By 1840 William had moved to Rochester, New York, where his occupation was listed as an upholsterer in both the 1840 and 1850 Census.  In 1860 and 1870 he and his family were living at 124 Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn, New York.  His occupation was now listed as a bookkeeper at Journey Burnham, a department store. By 1870, Mary Jane had married Abiathar Richards and they along with their two sons, Chester and William were living with her parents.  Also living there were Emily, Emma, and Evalina.  Both George and Walter had married and started their own households.
William died on July 20, 1873, while Emma died on September 1, 1882.  Both are buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Were I able to talk to William, I would ask about why and when he came to the United States as well as why he eventually settled in Brooklyn, New York.  His mother, Ann Morgan, is one of my brick walls.  So I would like him to tell me about her and who her parents were.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

#23 RICHARDS Edward and Nathaniel Richards--Brothers or Not

Edward Richards is my 8th great grandfather, and the immigrant ancestor for my Richards Line.  He was probably born in Southampton, England in the early 1600’s to Edward and Barbara (Warden or Worsley) Richards.  He is believed to have come to the Massachusetts  Bay Colony in 1632 on the ship Lyon with this brother, Nathaniel.  

Abner Morese (1861) in A Genealogical Register of the Descendants of Several Ancient Puritans, V. 3: The Richards Family, writes” Edward Richards is presumed to have been the nephew of Thomas, Sr., and the brother of Nathaniel and Thomas, Jr., and the cousin or brother of William and John of Plymouth. He probably came with Nathaniel in the LYON, in 1632, and resided with him at Cambridge until 1636.”  In 1636, Edward moved to Dedham, and Nathaniel moved to Hartford.

The relationship between Edward and Nathaniel has been one of my biggest brick walls.  I have spent a lot of time trying to establish a relationship between Edward and Nathaniel without much luck.  Parish records from England do not yield baptismal records of both an Edward and Nathaniel with the same parents or even in the same location.  While there are Richards in the Visitation of Hampshire and in the Visitation of Somerset, neither contains pertinent information.  The only evidence is from Morse. I checked his statement about where he got his information and it basically is recollections of people who were alive in the mid-1800’s.  I know that Morse was wrong on several occasions about Edward.  First, he states that Edward moved to Dedham to marry Susan Hunting.   I do not believe Edward moved to Dedham to marry Susan Hunting. The Hunting genealogy in the Dedham Historical Register states Huntings came in 1638 and moved directly to Dedham. Edward was in Dedham by 1636. Second, Morse states that Edward did not have a house lot in Dedham. That is also incorrect.  When the town would not let him buy the house lot from Robert Feakes; the town gave it to Edward (Dedham Vital Records). Also he did not buy  his farm from Mr. Cook. Volume 4 of the Town Records indicates that Mr. Cook's Farm was sold by the attorney for the estate to Fisher and Lusher. Edward then bought it from them. Anyway, my point is that perhaps Morse is wrong about Edward and Nathaniel being brothers.  However, Edward did name one of his sons Nathaniel, which would point to a relationship.

This brick wall is hard and high.  If anyone has an idea of how I could proceed, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

#22 Just Who Were the Rogers Girls?



        A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about some pictures of my grandmother, Gertrude Richards, with her friends (#19 Gertrude Richards—Who Are These People).  One of the frustrating things about those pictures was that none of the other girls were identified.  Who they are remains a mystery.  However, there was one picture was labeled—“Rogers Girls with Gertie Richards and Sally Morse.”  I cannot tell where the picture was taken, but I am pretty sure it was not in New York City.  Now I know that Sally Morse and my grandmother were life- long friends.  In fact, I remember Aunt Sally from when I was a young girl. However, who the Rogers Girls were was a mystery, just waiting to be solved.

  Remember, I come from a family that does not throw out things that have sentimental value.  When my grandmother was married, she kept a little book listing the present she received, the giver and the address.  I thought that if the Rogers were good friends, they may have given my grandmother a wedding present.  I check the book and sure enough, she received a gift from them.  Their address was listed on Beacon Street, Brookline, Massachusetts.  That address was about all I needed.  Putting what information I had into Ancestry, gave me several census listings.  I started with the 1900 census because if my grandmother got married in 1902, the Rogers probably were living in Brookline in 1900.  Looking at several listing, I found Alice and Ethel Rogers living with their parents, George R. and Jennie M. on Beacon Street.   Using the census, I was able to trace both Alice and Ethel in Brookline through 1940.  Neither sister married.  According to Billion Graves, Alice died in 1958 and Ethel, in 1959.

One mystery remains?  How did my grandmother who lived in New York City become friends with The Rogers  in Brookline.  My best guess is that they may have been cousins.  My great grandfather, Abiathar Richards, was from Dedham so it makes some sense that my grandmother may have been related to them.  However, I have yet to be able to prove that.  If I could talk to my grandmother, I would want to know how she knew the Rogers and where the picture was taken.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

#21—Ebenezer Richards—A Family Changing with the Times



Ebenezer Richards, my great, great grandfather, was born on July 27, 1799, in Dedham, Massachusetts  to Abiathar and Elizabeth Richards.  On September 19, 1822 he married Catherine Newell, daughter of Reuben and Abigail (Smith) Newell.  Ebenezer and Catherine had six children:  Nancy, born February 23, 1824; Charles born August 10, 1827; Abner, born August 3, 1830, Abiathar, born October 25, 1837, Rueul, born March 18, 1840, and George Fisher, born September 7, 1842. 

Unlike many of my grandfathers, I have not found much information about Ebenezer.   Both the 1850 and 1860 census give his occupation as a farmer as does his death record.  I have not been able to find him or his wife in the 1870 census.  However, the 1880 census lists his occupation as a cabinet maker.  One of the most interesting things about him and his family is that several of his children relocated from Dedham.  Abner and Abiathar moved to New York City, Charles went to Chicago, Abigail married August Spaulding and moved to Ashford, Connecticut, while her brother Rueul went to Tolland, Connecticut.  Nancy married Jesse Morse and remained in Dedham as did her brother George Fisher.  That movement fits well with the changing of Dedham from a farming community to one focused more on industry.

Ebenezer died on October 2, 1882.  His wife, Catherine died on February 1872.  They are buried in the Village Cemetery in Dedham.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

# 20 Romance in Real Life--Jennie Sophia Willey and John Wesley Hannah

   
John Wesley and Jennie Sophia (Willey) Hannah and their children

If you just looked at the marriage record from Missouri for my great grandparents, John Wesley Hannah, (See blog # 5--Build Me a Palace) and Jennie Sophia Willey, you would see that they were married on December 18, 1866 in Butler Missouri by George W. Chandler, a minister from Rich Hill.  However, if you read the account of their wedding in the Butler Daily Democrat, you would see that this was not a routine marriage.  In fact the headline is “Romance in Real Life."

Jennie Sophia Willey had come to Butler in 1866 to visit her brother and was courted by John Hannah. However, on December 17, she was to return to Indiana under the supervision of Captain E. P., the land agent and a resident of Butler.  As luck would have it, the stage did not arrive.  

     I seriously thought about writing my own account of their marriage based on the article.  However, after some thought, I came to the conclusion that a great many of the details and nuiances would be lost.  Hence I scanned the article and here it is:





Jennie and John Wesley Hannah were married for 26 years and raised five children. I would really like to be able to talk to them about their wedding.  I would like to know how much of the article is true, how the families reacted when they heard about the wedding, and, if  Captain E. P. had not offered Jennie the land, would they have married anyway that night.  Also, I would like to know what Jennie did with that land?

What would you like to know?  Put your questions in the comments section.

Source:
DeArmond, J. K. (1990)   Mike's Story. n,p.




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

#19 Gertrude Richards--Who Are These People?




I love to look at old pictures, which is a good thing because over the years I have acquired a lot of them.  One group of pictures that I like is of my grandmother, Gertrude Richards.  I remember her as an adult and I have pictures of her then, but my favorites are of those when she was much younger.  So I thought this week I would use some of them for my blog.

 I do not know when or where this picture was taken.  I am not even really sure which one is my grandmother or who the other girls are The picture is posed and they seemed to be dressed up.  I love their hats and coats.  Some are wearing long skirts, but the little girl in the first row on the far right has a shorter skirt paired with stockings.  Given how the styles have changed it is hard to imagine, wearing all that clothing.



Here is another group photograph. It is posed in front of a painted backdrop.  I am not sure how many of these young woman were in the first picture, but this group looks more like teenagers.  This time they have two adult women with them.  That makes me wonder if the girls were off on some kind of excursion.  Again they all have hats.  This time I can identify my grandmother, she is the first one of the left in the first row.  She seems to be the youngest one there.








This picture was taken much later and again is another posed group picture. In this one my grandmother is the second one from the right. Again I do not know where it was taken—they are grouped on the steps of a porch.  Since my grandmother lived in the city, I suspect this may have been taken on a trip.  What I like best are their hats—kind of like flying saucers decorated with flowers.

If I could talk to my grandmother, I would ask for each picture where and when it was taken and who the people were in the pictures.  One thing I have learned and try to do with the pictures I take of people is to label them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#18--Sarah Hannah—Farming on her Own



Regardless of the fact that 50% of a person’s ancestors are women, if you look at who is written about in genealogy most of them are men.  Women are often referred to as the “hidden ancestor.”  In part that is due to the fact that women take on their husband’s names and are difficult to trace, were often forbidden by law to own property, make wills, etc., and generally did not write articles or books about genealogy.  So I thought I would focus a blog or two over the next couple of weeks about women in my genealogy.  Although I do not know much about them, what I do know, I find interesting.

Sarah Ann Hannah, my great, great aunt, certainly falls in the category of being interesting.  She was born in Ross Township, Edgar County, Illinois, on February 17, 1823, to John M. and Charity (Mears) Hannah.  She married John Mitchell in 1843.  They had five sons:  John Hannah, Chandler, George, Francis Marion, and Joseph Ensign.  In the 1850 census, in Ross Township, Edgar County, Illinois, John is described as a farmer.  In 1857 John died.

Typically in that time period, when a woman became a widow, she remarried, often marrying a widower.  However, Sarah did not do that.  From 1857 until at least 1880, Sarah continued to run the farm in Ross Township.  The United States Non-Population Schedule contains information about the farm that Sarah ran.  In 1860 her farm consisted of 80 improved and 32 unimproved acres, valued at $2000.  The farm equipment was worth $100.  Sarah owned the following livestock:  5 horses, 3 milch cows, 1 other cattle, 24 sheep, and 12 swine for a value of $570.  The farm produced 1500 bushels of Indian corn, 86 pounds of wool, and 100 pounds of butter.     Farming continued as the 1870 lists her sons, Chandler and George,  as farmers and living with her.  Sarah is also listed in the 1880 census as running a farm.  Unfortunately, the Agricultural Schedule on line is unreadable so it is not possible to know any details about the farm at that time.  I do not know at what point Sarah sold the farm and to whom.  However, a 1910 map of Ross Township shows Chandler Mitchell as owning most of the same land that a 1870 map of the township shows as belonging to the Mitchell heirs.

Sarah remained a widow until 1895 at which time, at the age of 72, she married Samuel McCampbell. Sarah died on February 24, 1906 in Chrisman, Edgar Co., IL.  I would really like to be able to talk to Sarah.

 I would ask why she decided to run the farm, what kind of help did she have to run it, who she sold or gave it to?  I would also like to know how the other farmers and their wives treated her.  Did they think it was unusual or inappropriate for her to farm?

What would you ask her?  Put questions in the comments section.