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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

#59--John Bayard Hannah-Captain in the 54th Illinois Regiment

Memorial Day was Monday so it seems appropriate to write about an ancestor who served in the military.  I have written about my great grandfather, John Wesley Hannah and his service in the Civil War (Blogs # 38 -41) and John M. Hannah (Blog #4), my great, great grandfather who also fought in the Civil War.  In a letter to my Aunt Tim Hannah Parke, her cousin, Phillip Emsinger Hannah wrote that there were “three John Hannah’s that fought in the Civil War. “Old John”, my great great grandfather, Little John, or my great grandfather, and Big John, who was John Bayard Hannah.  So I thought I would blog about John Bayard Hannah and his service in the Civil War.  That would complete the trio.  My great grandfather and John Bayard’s father were brothers so that means that John Bayard Hannah is one of my cousins.

John Bayard Hannah was born in Brown County Ohio in August 9, 1829 to Henry Hannah and Catherine Beard.  Sometime before 1840, the family moved to Helt, Indiana, where his father farmed. In 1857 John Bayard married Elizabeth Frances Lawrence.
Regimental Flag of the 54th Illinois
According to the 1860 census, John and Elizabeth had two sons:  Bayard Lee, born 1829 and Phillip Emsinger, born in 1860.  John Bayard was now living in Paris, Edgar County, Illinois and was a lawyer.  The census lists his real estate as worth $4,000 and his personal property as $1400.  In 1861 his third son, Henry was born, while in 1877, John Gray Lawrence, the fourth son, was born.

Monument at Vicksburg for the 54th Illinois
When the Civil War started, John Bayard enlisted in the 54th Regiment Infantry on February 12, 1862 as Captain of Company F and mustered out on February 17, 1865.  The 54th served in western Tennessee until 1863.  The 54th then moved to Mississippi where they were involved in the siege of Vicksburg.  They next moved to Arkansas where they were involved in the capture of Little Rock on September 10, 1863.  The 54 Infantry
remained in various locations in Arkansas until the end of the war,

According to his obituary, John Bayard Hannah was a charter member of Paris Lodge 268, A. F. & A. M., served as a Justice of the Peace, and was active in his church.  John Bayard died on April 3, 1913 and was buried in the cemetery in Paris.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

#58--Harlan Turner--The Gun Fight in the Goose Saloon

The theme this week is about someone in your family who is a Black Sheep, a person who is a troublemaker and outcast in their family.    Well practically everyone in my family seems to be very, very well behaved, so I did not have many individuals to pick from.  After looking over a couple of likely prospects, I decided that I would blog about my great aunt’s husband, Harlan Turner.   I did not know much about him, except that he married my Aunt Gert Hannah in Butler, Missouri on April 4, 1890.   Then they divorced 9 years later.

Harlan was born Morgan County, Kentucky on February 27, 1857 to James and Elizabeth (Trimble) Turner. The 1860 and 1870 census describe him as living at home with his parents in Kentucky.  In 1880 Harlan is living in Valley, Linn, Kansas.  He is described as a farmer and a partner in the farm. When he arrived in Butler, Missouri is a mystery to me.  However, I got more information about him from the Butler newspaper.

Imagine my surprise to read that he was involved in a gun fight in a saloon  in Butler. Compared to
the size of most of the articles in the paper, this was a much longer article so I suspect it was a big story in Butler.  As I read the article, this is what seems to have happened.  Harlan Turner and his friend, J. W. McVeigh had spent most of the day from noon to early evening drinking in the Goose Saloon.  About 7 o’clock they began to hit each other over the head and in the face with their hats.  To avoid further trouble, the bartender closed the bar, and Turner and McVeight left, and went their separate ways.

Later in the evening they both returned and their gun fight ensured.  The bartender, Robert Plummer,
described the incident as follows:

Harlan Turner was tried in Circuit Court in Butler .  A variety of witness testified as
to what they had seen and Turner testified indicating that he shot McVeigh in self-defense. After describing an verbal interaction with McVeigh, Turner said the following:

After defense rested, the jury began its deliberations about 8 o'clock in the evening and returned a verdict of not guilty 15 minutes later.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

#57--Emily Cochrane--A Will and A Way

Last week’s theme was Where There’s a Will…, this week’s theme is “There’s a Way.  For this week, I decided to put them together and blog about how a will showed me the way to find out where my great, great aunts and uncles lived.

My great, great grandfather and great, great grandmother, William and Emma (Merrett) Cochrane had five children:  Mary Jane (1836-1920), my grandmother, George A Cochrane (1838 – 1931) Emily Cochrane (1840 – 1911), Walter Cochrane (1843 – 1891)   Emma Cochrane (1846 – 1931), Evalina (Blanche) Cochrane (1853 – 1920).  Mary Jane married Abiathar Richards, Emma married Chester Jay Mallary, and Evaline (Blanche)  married Herbert Jewell.  I knew they had grown up in Brooklyn New York and were I was able to find them in some of the census, but in others they just seemed to disappear or to be in places that did not make much sense to me.

Add Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn
Then, on Family Search I discovered that wills from Kings County, New York had been digitized.  I was able to find my great great- aunt Emily Cochrane’s will.  As I read her will,
I learned that when William Cochrane died in testate, her siblings agreed that Aunt Emily should receive the house at 124
Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn, to either live in or sell.  However, upon her death, the house should be sold and the proceeds split equally between her siblings or their heirs.

If she had sold the house because she needed the money to live on, the remaining funds would be split.  According to a petition filed with the court by her sister, Blanche Jewell, Aunt Emily died at the house on Fort Greene Place and the value of her estate was not greater than $2,400.  Now that was interesting to me as I did not know much of the history of that house, but what was much more interesting was the listing of all her siblings or their descendants and their addresses.

The two individuals that had been most puzzling to me were Emma and her husband Chester Mallory and George A. Cochrane.  I was pretty sure that they were not in Brooklyn, even though the Mallorys were buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.  The will supplied the answer.  The Mallorys had moved to Illinois and were living in Chicago with two daughters, Katherine and Florence. George A. Cochrane was living in Woburn, Massachusetts with his wife, Ella Brinkerhoff Cochrane and their three children:  Grace, Charles and Ella.  Once I had their locations, I was able to locate a variety of other information for them, such as the census, death records, etc.

So you see, when you have a will, there may be a way to get more information.