If you have ornaments that are precious to you, I would love to hear about them.
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.
Friday, December 11, 2015
If you have ornaments that are precious to you, I would love to hear about them.
Friday, December 4, 2015
The theme for this week is Thanksgiving. Those who know me know that I have a collection of postcards. Most of them are from places that my family or I have visited. Buying postcards before the advent of digital cameras was one way to insure that you had a image of the sights that you had seen. However, I also have holiday postcards and those are most special to me because they were sent to my father, when he was a little post.
I have several Thanksgiving cards;
This one is my favorite. It was sent to my father in 1909 by his cousin, Addie Cochrane.
I also have some other Thanksgiving cards. I like this one because it combines the traditional colonial woman and boy with a turkey.
Turkeys seem to typify Thanksgiving. Here is another card with a turkey featured on it.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
This week’s blog theme is “oops.” I have had lots of oopses while doing genealogy. I have researched the wrong person, attached the wrong person as a spouse, and had multiple people, who turned out to be one person. I have also misplaced paper docuemnts, only to discover them later. Several years ago, I decided that I would write some brief sketches about my emigrant ancestors.
Nathaniel Aldis is my 8th great grandfather. He was born in Fressingfield, Suffolk County, England about 1596 to Francis Aldous and Sarah (Mary) Gooch. In 1638, he immigrate to the colonies and settled in Dedham with his wife, Mary and his children: Lydia, Mary, Ann and John. He signed the Dedham Covenant and became a member of the church on February 11, 1640 and a freeman on May 13, of the same year.
Nathaniel Aldis was a selectman for two years (1641 and 1642). He was one of the first deacons of the Dedham Church. He served as a member of the meeting house and pastor’s salary committees. In 1642 he bought one sixth interest in the watermill in Dedham. Seven years later, he sold that interest to Nathaniel Whiting. He was the appraiser of several estates. . Nathaiel died on Mary 15, 1676. His son, John, and his wife, Mary, were the executors of this estate of was valued at 223 pounds. His wife, Mary died on January 1, 1677.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
After his stint at the hotel, He became a clerk in Eratus Baldwin’s store. He must have learned a lot and liked selling as in 1835 he bought the stock and store from the Cheneys. He and his sons kept that store and ran it until 1853. Leaving the retail trade, Seth with his son, Dexter became a manufacturer. They produced flannel material at the Sugar River Mills.
Seth married Fanny Richards of Dedham, Massachusetts on April 8, 1;817. They had eight children: Dexter (1818-1898); Emily (1820—); Elizabeth (1821--)Fanny (1823--) Abiathar (1825—1899); Helen (1828-1868); Ann (1832--) and Catherine (1834--). His wife Franny died on August 11, 1854. Seth Richards, then, married Martha B. Dow on March 24, 1859. Seth Richards died on October 30, 1871.
If I could talk to Seth, I would like to ask him about why and how long Abiathar Richards, his wife’s nephew lived with them and why. Was he visiting for a while? Was he there to work in the store and learn the retail trade? I do know that in the 1860 census, Abiathar is living with his brother, Abner, in Brooklyn, New York and that he worked in the wholesale shoe business. Did he learn some of those skills from Seth Richards? So many questions, so few answers.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Blogging about someone whose birthday is in October was the task for this week. So the first thing I had to do was figure out who had October birthdays. The second person I looked at was born in that month. That worked for me so I am blogging about Silvanus Richards, who is one of my great-great uncles.
Silvanus was born on October 16, 1765, in Dedham, Massachusetts to Abiathar and Elizabeth (Richards) Richards. He married Lucy Richardson on November 13, 1788, in Newport, Massachusetts. Their first son, Leonard, was born in 1789; in 1792 their son, Seth, was born, with Abiathar born four years later in 1796 and Silvanus in 1811. Shortly after 1800, the family moved from Dedham to Newport. At that time, Newport was part of Massachusetts, but later became part of New Hampshire.
I was able to find a biography of Silvanus in The Sketches of Successful New Hampshire Men edited by John Badger Clark. So I learned that Silvanus lived in the western part of the town on a large farm. In addition to farming, he also ran tavern or wayside inn. In about 1812 he moved Newport Village and ran the tavern, The Rising Sun, which previously had been run by Gordon Buell.
In 1816 Silvanus was involved in the establishment of the Coranthian Lode, No 28. In addition, during an epidemic he served on the Board of Health to establish sanitary measures and make sure that those who were sick were taken care of.
Silvanus Richards died on March 5, 1837, when he was 71 years old and is buried in the North Newport Cemetery.
Researching Silvanus opened up a part of my Richards line that I had not explored before. I now want to research his sons so stayed tuned for more information.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Dedham was established in 1636 when the citizens of both Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts decided to establish two other plantations, one in Dedham, the other in Hartford, Connecticut. The General Court granted the original petitioners of Dedham 200 square miles of land south and west of Boston. The intent of these Puritans was to establish a Christian community, where its citizens would live by the Golden Rule, where differences between people would be settled by mediation, where citizens would donate time to maintain the community, and where town rules and policies would be followed. Their intention were contained in a document known as the Dedham Covenant. Those desiring to settle in Dedham need to be acceptable to the prior signers of the Covenant and were required to sign the covenant.
Twice I was able to visit Dedham. So here are some of the highlights of those trips.
The bus left me off on High Street, which is the town's main street.
|Dedham Historical Society and Museum|
I also saw the Allin Congregational Church, which was established in 1637.
|Allin Congregational Church|
Many of my ancestors are buried in The Village Cemetery. So I had to go there. I spent time looking at the Richards headstones and taking pictures of them.
About 10 minutes from the town center is the Fairbanks House. My 8th great grandfather, Jonathan Fairbanks built this house in 1637. It is the oldest standing timber –frame house in North America. I walked over to it and had a wonderful tour. For more information about the house see #27--Jonathan Fairbanks--Building his Family a House
|Jonathan Fairbanks House|
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Our theme for this week is an ancestor who had a large family or who was a member of a large family. So I decided to blog about Ebenezer Newell, my fourth great grandfather. He had 13 children and in my book that certainly qualified as a large family.
Ebenezer lived in Dover, Massachusetts and was active in the community and the church. He served as one of the town wardens and selectmen, was on the committee on inspection and safety during the Revolutionary War (See #8 What Do You Mean, I Cannot Have a Cup of Tea? Ebenezer Newel
l) and in 1773 was the sealer of the bread in 1773, making sure that the bread met certain standards. He was a deacon of the church and charged with taking care of the town meeting house. For that work, he received 12 shillings a year. While Ebenezer farmed, at times he engaged in other additional occupations. He was a cooper and at one time, he also ran a tavern.
Ebenezer died on January 8, 1798 at the age of 87 and is buried in Needham Cemetery. If I were able to talk to him, I would ask him what it was like to have 13 children, if he had any advice for how to successfully raise children, if any of his children caused him problems, and if he was especially proud of any of them and their accomplishments.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Previously, I blogged about Sarah Hannah and her farm (#18—Sarah Hannah—Farming on her Own and #12 John M. Hannah—The Farmer not in the Dell, but in Illinois). So this week I am blogging about George Newell Hannah and the 1860 Agriculture Census Schedule.
George Newell Hannah is my great, great uncle. He was born in Brown County, Ohio in June 27, 1828 to John M. and Charity (Mears) Hannah. Along with his parents, he moved to Edgar County, Illinois about 1830. On March 18, 1855, he married Mary Jane Markley. By 1860, they had two children: Susanna born in 1857 and Cassius born in 1859. Six other children would be born between 1861 and 1875.
I found George Newell Hannah in the 1860 Agricultural Census in Prairie Township in Edgar County, Illinois. According to the Schedule, he owned 180 improved acres of land and 7 unimproved, with a value of $1700. The equipment needed to run the farm was worth $50. In terms of livestock, George owned 2 horses, 2 mulch cows, 45 other cattle, and 301 sheep. The farm produced 3000 bushels of wheat, 100 bushels of rye, and a ton of hay. Also produced was 100 pounds of butter, 60 gallons of molasses, and $50 worth of slaughtered animals.
Unfortunately, The Agricultural schedules for 1870 and 1880 are not available for George. However, it appears that George farmed his entire life. The 1870 census lists him in Edgar County with farmer as his occupation while the 1880 census has George as a farmer, but now living in Bates County, Missouri where his brother, John Wesley lived and ran the Palace Hotel. By 1900 he was living in Hampden, Coffey, Kansas.
If I were able to talk to George, I would like to know how much more land he acquired in Edgar County and what crops he grew. I also would like to know why he moved to Bates County and then to Hampden Kansas.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Lottie, as she was known, was the sister of my great, great grandmother, Jennie Sophia Willey. Lottie was born in 1852 in Kankakee, Kankakee, Illinois to Samuel G. and Ann (Reed) Willey. Her sister married John Wesley Hannah in 1866. Sometime before 1870 Lottie moved to Butler, Missouri and lived with her sister and her brother-in-law. She continued to live with them as she is listed with them not only in the 1870 census, but also in the 1880 census.
It appears that Lottie was an accepted resident of the town of Butler. The Library of Congress Historic Newspaper Collection, which is on line, has the newspaper for Butler. I searched it for Lottie and found three articles. I was interested to see that they spelled her last name as Willie, rather than Willey. The first article from 1881 indicates that Lottie will be with her sister in Butler for the winter. I was interested in the statement about her accomplishments and would love to know what they were.
The second article simply mentions Lottie as a guest at a wedding along with her sister and brother-in-law.
The last one is from 1889, when Lottie has taken her two nieces, Tim and Toots Hannah, to visit relatives in Illinois. What I find interesting is that her sister, Jennie died in 1887. That makes me wonder if Lottie remained in Butler to help her brother-in-law raise his children.
So far, Lottie is looking like a stable, healthy person who is part of a family and accepted in her local community. When I tried to find her in the 1900 census, she was not with her nieces and nephews, who had moved to Auburn, New York, after the death of their father. Rather, she was now a resident
|State Hospital #3|
Unfortunately, neither the census records, her death certificate nor her medical records indicate why Lottie was hospitalized. However, her medical records do indicate that she was committed to the hospital on July 7, 1891 by her brother-in-law, John Wesley Hannah. Lottie remained in that hospital until her death on August 26, 1926. Lottie is buried in the Hannah plot in Oak Hill Cemetery in Butler, Missouri.
I have lots of questions for Lottie, if I were able to talk to her. I would ask: Why she moved to Butler to live with her sister? If after her sister died, did she stayed to take care of her sister’s family? Why was she hospitalized? What was her life like in the hospital? I would also like to know who paid for her burial?
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Since I like to keep my lines in separate files, it took some time to figure out who I was going to blog about. I first settled on David Mears. I have previously blogged about his wife, Elizabeth (#2—Elizbeth Mears) . So I thought that if I blogged about him, I would have completed that pair. However, I quickly realized that what I would write about David Mears, I had already written about his wife Elizabeth.
So it was back to the drawing board. After scouting around some, I decided that I would blog about Abigail Smith. She is one of my 16 great great great grandmothers and I know little about her.
According to the Vital Records of Roxbury, Massachusetts, Abigail was born to Luke and Abigail (Bellows) Smith on June 25, 1768. Her brother, Solomon, was born on October 25, 1766 and Thomas, on November 28, 1770.
On September 3, 1796, Abigail married Timothy Fuller, who was a physician in Dedham, the town next to Roxbury. Three years later, on January 12, 1799 Timothy died. Abigail then married Reuben Newell on January 3 1801. Reuben had previously been married to Sally Battle, who died in 1795, leaving four children. In 1803, Catherine, their only child was born to Abigail and Reuben. According to the Columbian Centinel of February 1832, the local Dedham newspaper, Abigail
I always find it somewhat frustrating to research female ancestors. Unless they have done something that is in some way really spectacular, there is no information about them. That leaves lots of unanswered questions. So if I had the opportunity, I would have a number of questions for Abigail. I would like to know how her first husband, Timothy Fuller died and how she managed for the three years that she was his widow. Did she return home and live with her parents? One of her brothers? How did her meet Reuben? She became a step mother to four children. What was that like? Where did she live after her husband died. I cannot find her in any of the census. Way too many questions, so few answers.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
I started by going to Google Maps. I put Butler, Missouri in the search box and when the map came up, I selected street view. I was now able to “drive” around Butler. Google Maps took me to the corner of W. Ohio and North Dakota. I knew I was on the town square so I decided to drive around it. You can do it too, just click on the link.
I turned left on North Dakota, left again onto West Dakota, left on North Main, left onto West Ohio. As I drove around I was able to see the stores and businesses that were on the square. There were a variety of different stores—a dress shop, print shop, quilt shop and a second hand store. There were also businesses like a realtor, attorney, insurance agent and chiropractor.
You can see the Courthouse in the middle of the square.
As I got to the corner of West Ohio and Main—there was the old Palace Hotel, which was built by my grandfather.
|Bates County Historical Soceity|
Too bad this was a virtual tour as I really would like to be able to spend some time there.
So,if you really want to see what a place is like, you can do what I did, visit it virtually.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Ebenezer Smith is my 4th great grandfather, and the father of Elizabeth Smith, Abiathar Richards, Jr.’s wife. Ebenezer was born in Dedham, Massachusetts of November 8, 1719 to Joseph Smith and Susanna Fisher. He married Lydia Hartshorn on September 5, 1745.
According to Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in 4th the Revolutionary War, Ebenezer Smith served as a minute man in Captain Guild’s company, which was in Colonel Greaton’s regiment. He served 13 days beginning on April 17, 1775.
I tried to locate him in the census and could not pin down which Ebenezer Smith he was. There is one in Dedham, Massachusetts, one in Dover, and one in Roxbury, which are the towns next to Dedham. Each has 6 people in the household. I believe my Ebenezer is the one in Dover as the biography of Frank Smith in American Ancestors indicates that Ebenezer Smith, whose wife was Lydia, was a farmer in Dover.
Other than a statement in the DAR records that Ebenezer died on December 4, 1798 I can find no official record of his death and burial or that of his wife.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
That person is William Cochrane, my great, great grandfather. He has presented me with several
While I know from the New York State Alien Registrations that William was in Buffalo New York in 1836 and was married to Emma Merrett at Saint Andrews of the Wardrobe in 1834.
So I will continue on and off to hunt for William Cochrane’s arrival in the United States, and eventually I may find that information. If I were able to, I certainly would ask him.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
This week's theme is about buildings. I have blogged about the Fairbanks House (Jonathan Fairbanks--Building his Family a House) and about the Palace Hotel (Building Me a Palace--John Wesley Hannah, so I had pretty well exhausted that theme. So I looked for other ideas. Several blogs suggested that Tuesday should be Tombstone Tuesday, so I decided to go that route.
Now that it is summer in the Midwest, it is a great time to take a trip. One of the first genealogy trips I took was to Edgar County, Illinois. I had just started my genealogical research and was anxious to find out more about my Hannah relatives. Among the things I wanted to do was to visit the various cemeteries and see and photograph the graves. The Edgar County Genealogical Society had a listing people’s graves and the cemeteries they were in. Most of my ancestors were buried in the large cemetery in Paris, Edgar County. However, Nancy Mckee was buried in the Mount Carmel Cemetery, sometimes known as Light Carmel Cemetery, in the Brouiletts Creek township of Edgar County. Nancy McKee (1773-1846), is my great, great grandmother, daughter of Andrew and Mary (Bamford) McKee, and wife of James Hannah.
So the first thing I needed to do was figure out how to get from Paris, Illinois where the Edgar County Genealogy Society and Library was to the Light Carmel Cemetery. Fortunately, the volunteers at the library were able to not only give me directions, but also draw my route out on a map. So armed with my map and a camera, I set off in my car and drove up US 150 for about 10 miles to a right turn on 1960 north. Then I drove 3 miles to a left turn on 1900 Street. Having been told I could not miss the cemetery as it was just a little way down the road, of course, I drove right by it and had to back track.
Once out of the car and in the cemetery, I had a sudden realization that while I knew that Nancy McKee was buried here, I did not know exactly where and the listing of graves did not give any location. So, there was only one thing to do—start walking up and down each row in the cemetery
and read each grave stone. After about ten minutes of looking, I found her gravestone. It had fallen over—fortunately, it had fallen with the writing facing up. While somewhat difficult to read, the following is on her gravestone: “Wife of James Hannah, also 2nd wife of Jacob Jones. 72 years, 7 months, 14 days.” Next to her grave is the grave of her second husband, Jacob Jones.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
|Father's Lacross Stick|
Others may have more value. One of my heirlooms that may have some value is my bedroom set—a double bed, a chest and a dresser. The set originally was bought by my grandparents when they were first married. In fact, both my father and my aunt were born in that bed. My grandmother gave it to my father, when she moved out of her house, and when he died I inherited it.
Here are some pictures of the set:
I wish I knew more about this bedroom furniture. I would love to know 1) Where it was bought, 2) How much it cost and 3) Who picked it out.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Just so who are these people? It is a picture of the wedding of Elisabet Katarina Maria "Ella" Huelster and Charles Wood Mitchell on June 19, 1919. My mother, Ella’s cousin, was the flower girl. She is in the second row on the far right. I do not know who the other people are. I searched the newspapers for the area in the hope of finding an article on the wedding and all I was able to find was their application for a marriage license.
I wish I had asked my mother about this picture. I would like to know who the other people were, where the wedding was held, what the wedding reception was like, and anything else she could remember