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, August 25, 2015

#69--George Newell Hannah--Farming in Three States

Everyone is pretty familiar with the census schedules that deal with people and describe their characteristics, but there are other schedules-- agriculture, industry, manufactures, or 1890 Union veterans. The Agricultural Schedule describes the farms and their products.   I like the agricultural schedules as they give you a picture of how the person made a living.

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

#68--Charlotta Ludlow "Lottie" Willey--What Happened to You?

The theme for this week is to blog about someone who is on the 1880 Census Schedule of Defective, Dependent or Delinquent Individuals.  I do not have anyone on that Schedule, but that reminded me of my great, great aunt, Charlotta Ludlow Willey.  Had her problems occurred earlier, she might have been on that Schedule.

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
of Nevada State Hospital #3 Washington Township, Vernon County, Missouri.  According to the Vernon County U.S. Genweb, “The Hospital, which was sometimes referred to as the Lunatic Asylum, in Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri, treated a wide variety of illnesses and conditions over the years it was in operation:  mental disease, tuberculosis, syphilis, senility, epilepsy, etc.”

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

#67--Abigail Smith--Many Questions, Few Answers

The theme for this week is to blog about one of our 32 third great grandparents.  So the first thing I had to do is figure out was who fell into that category.  That group goes back 5 generations in a family tree.

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
 died in Dedham, Massachusetts in that year, while her husband died in 1825.

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

#66--Road Trip to Butler, Missouri

Summer is the season of road trips.  My cousin, Anna, and I have been thinking about visiting Butler, Missouri.  Her great grandmother, Marinda Hannah, and my grandfather, William D. Hannah, were born there.  Their father, John Wesley Hannah ( See blog #5 Build me a Palace) built the Palace Hotel.  We wanted the opportunity to see the town and do some genealogy research in the Court House and local Library.  As luck would have it, we are not going this summer, maybe in the Fall.  However, it occurred to me that I could use the internet to take a virtual tour of Butler.  So come along, and let’s go.

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.
Court House
According to the official web site for Bates County, to build the courthouse  “A successful election for $40,000 in bonds was supplemented by $10,000 from general funds. This provided $50,000 for a new courthouse. George McDonald was chosen architect for the 80-by-105-foot building. The courthouse of 1901 is similar to three other Missouri 19th century courthouses by the same architect: Andrew County, 1899; Johnson County, 1896; and Lawrence County, 1900. Contractors for this building, which was built with Carthage stone, were Bartlett and Kling, Galesburg, Illinois. Excavation began during July 1901; the cornerstone was laid October 10, 1901, and the court accepted the completed building in July of 1902. It is still in use as the Bates County courthouse.”

As I got to the corner of West Ohio and Main—there was the old Palace Hotel, which was built by my grandfather.
Palace Hotel
It has a new incarnation now as an office building.  On another corner is a large and impressive building.  It turned out to be the Security Bank.
Security Bank

Bates County Historical Soceity
I also drove down some of the streets off the square.  There I found churches, city hall, a movie theater, other stores as well as city hall.  I was also able to drive down Elks Drive to the Bates County Historical Society.

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.