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.

Monday, January 28, 2019

#165--A Surprise in the Library

In the Library is the theme for this week and I was delighted to see it.  I love libraries—all those books and information, just waiting to be explored.  I am a regular patron of my local library and have visited several genealogy libraries.  I thought I would write about one of them, but then I thought I might blog about Family Search, which is the on-line branch of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  I have been to the Family History Library and it is phenomenal.  The on-line line site is also great and I use it  often.

So before I wrote about Family Search, I thought I should go and check it out again.  I have been working on a group of individual who moved from Brown County, Ohio to Edgar County, Illinois.  I went to the catalog, got the Edgar County entry page and looked it over.  I noticed that one of the categories was “Unprobated Wills.”  Wills can contain a lot of information so I thought I would check it out.  I was disappointed to discover that the document was not indexed, but was alphabetized, which mean I was now going to hunt for ancestors in the 255 pages.  I was looking for Hannahs—about a third of the way down the alphabet so I picked page 40 to look at and see where I was alphabetically.  What I surprise!   I did not find any Hannahs on page 40, but I did find, John Conrey.  I am his wife’s—Sarah Calvin-- second great grand niece.  Not a close relationship, but what a surprise.  The Conrey are part of the group that I am researching in terms of their relationships.  I was anxious to see what the probate papers contained.

I downloaded the will and was delighted to see a wealth of information.  What did I learn or confirm:  John had five married daughters living in Ohio:  Priscilla  Conrey Curry, Anna Conrey Curry, Acenith Conrey Sargent, Elizabeth Conrey Bell, and Thurza (Clarissa)  Pangborn.  Each of them was to receive an equal share of land John owned in Clermont County.  Further, he had a grandson, John R. Conrey, who was the son Abram Conrey.  John R was to receive a plot of land near Bethel in Clermont County.  His daughter, Sarah Conrey Riley, who lived in Edgar County Illinois, was to receive the proceeds of a note from Abram Conrey and John Conrey in the amount of $40, one cow and calf, and a brass kettle.

His sons, Abram Conrey and John R. Conrey were appointed executors.

So what did I really learn or confirm what I knew?  The names of his five daughters, and the fact that they still lived in Clermont County, Ohio.  The name of his son, Abram  and grandson, John R..  He borrowed money from his two sons, John and Abram Conrey.  He still owned land in Clermont County, Ohio, even though he lived in Illinois.

I would like to know why the will was not probated.  I would also like to know if there was a will that was probated.  If I go to my local Family History Center, I can access the wills for Edgar County, and I will put that on my “to do” list.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

#164--Meeting Ann Morgan

This week’s theme is “Who Would You Like to Know?”  Now I would like to know the vast majority of my ancestors, especially those who were the emigrant ancestors of their line.  I would like to know why they came, where they were from, where they settle where they did, etc.  However, I would also like to get to know some of the people who present a brick wall.  That would give me the chance to ask questions and break through that wall.

William Cochrane
I have several brick wall, but the biggest and the one I am having little success with involves my great great grandmother, Ann Morgan.  She is the mother of my great grandfather, William Cochrane,(1810-1873), his two brothers, Andrew George Cobbett Cochrane (1809-1872) and George (1813-1815), and his sister, Anna Marie (1811—Unknown).  All the baptisms are recorded in the parish records of Saint Marylebone with the Honorable Andrew James Cochrane Johnstone listed as the father and Ann Morgan as the mother.  Andrew James Cochrane Johnstone was a member of Parliament and came from a well-known and distinguished naval family.

 There is no records of their marriage.  It is my understanding that in the late 1700 and early 1800's in England,  it was very common and acceptable for men to have not only a wife, but also a mistress.  According to Murray (2000), in An Elegant Madness, a mistress had her own position in society and could be a positive asset to her man.

While the Cochrane line is well documented, there is no mention of Ann Morgan or of the children born out of this relationship.  Hence learning more about Ann that way is not possible.  I do not know when the relationship ended, but Andrew Cochrane Johnstone fled England after being convicted of stock market fraud, leaving Ann and her children.

I have used Family Search and Ancestry to see what I could learn about Ann Morgan.  Since her first child was born in 1810 and I am assuming that this relationship did not involve an older woman, I picked 1790 as her approximate year of birth and London as the place of birth.  I found a William Morgan and his wife Mary with an Ann born in 1890 and christened at St. Marylebone, and a David Morgan and his wife Arabella with a daughter Ann born in 1787, also christened at St. Marylebone.  I then looked to see if either set of parents had other children.  I found that William and Mary Morgan had another daughter, named Anna Marie born in 1781.  The exact same name as the daughter of Ann Morgan and Andrew James Cochrane.  So I am about 50% confident that I may have found Ann Morgan parents.

More problematic is a death and or burial data.  I do  not know if after Andrew left, Ann married or remained single.  Further I have no idea when she might have died.  Both William and Andrew George Cobbett Cochrane came to the United States in about 1836.  Her death might have been a reason to leave, but maybe not.

So I would like to meet Ann Morgan.  I would have lots of questions for her.   Who were your parents?  Where did you grow up?  Did you have any brothers and sisters?  How did you meet Andrew James Cochrane Johnstone?  How long did have a relationship with him?  Did you live with him?  Once he left England, how did you support yourself and the children?  Do you know why your sons left England.

So if you read this, and have ideas of where I could go next, I would love to hear them.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

#163--Ususual Name--Meet Marinda

not Marinda Hannah as a child

I looked though the names of my ancestors and wanted to find that was unusual , but one that I thought was pretty.  One I would use if I were naming a daughter.  I finally settled on Marinda, the name of my great aunt, Martina Park Hannah.

I did a little research to find out about the name Marinda.  It is of Latin orgin, and means admirable or beautiful.  Some though it was a variant or Mary or Miranda.  It is not a popular name, ranking number 16329 in popularity.

Ironically, it seems that either Marinda or her sister Cora were found of their names, because they always used nicknames:  Marinda was Toots, and Cora was Tim.

not Inside Doerner School commencement card
not Marinda Hannah portraitMarinda Park Hannah was born on June 17, 1880, in Butler, Missouri.  Her parents were John Wesley and Jennie Sophia (Willey) Hannah. Marinda had one brother, William, and three sisters: Anne, Gertrude, and Cora.  Her mother died on July 23, 1887 and her father on March 10, 1898.  Marinda attended local schools in Butler, received a certificate from Doerner Piano School and graduated from Vassar College.  Shortly before her father’s death, the Hannah family moved to Auburn New York, where William Hannah and his brother in law Charles Ross, husband to Anne Hannah, were in the shoe business.

Marinda Hannah in profile
She married Edward Harrison DeArmond, a West Point Graduate, in Auburn, New York, on December 4, 1901. The DeArmonds had four children:  James Keller, Catherine, David, and Anne.  As a military family the DeArmonds lived in a number of different locations:   Fort Sill, Oklahoma; the Island of Jolo; Hawaii; Governors Island and Manil, P.I.. Her husband Edward Harrison passed away on October 21, 1948, in Kings, New York, while Marinda died on January 1, 1953.

Thanks to my cousin Anna for the pictures of Marinda which she found in a scarpbook,

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

#162--Cluster Analysis--My New Challenge

Challenges are all around us.  Rather than blog about an ancestor who faced a challenge, I decided to write about a genealogy challenge that I am working on.  As I worked on my genealogy, I noticed that I had a group of ancestors that seemed to have lot of ties to each other.  They sold each other land, married brothers and sisters, and moved to similar locations.  For want of a better name, I call them the Tribe.  Then learned about a doing a cluster analysis of a group of ancestors, and decided that that is what I would do with my tribe. 

The idea of a cluster analysis is that people do not live in isolation.  They often lived near relatives, friends and neighbor.  They were involved in each other’s lives.  Anyone can be included in a cluster, but it typically involves siblings, extended family, and those living close by.  Thus, your research is expanded in the hope that you will learn more about your direct ancestors. 

So to do this, I first needed to define my cluster or tribe.  The main tribe is the sons and daughters of David and Elizabeth Mears and the sons and daughters of John M. Hannah and Charity Mears, who moved from Brown County, Ohio to Edgar County, Illinois. 

Inspecting what I have already learned, the Mears cluster would include the sons and daughters of David and Elizabeth Mears:

Mary Mears
Samuel David Mears
Elizabeth Mears
Catherine Mears
William Mears
Nancy Mears
Jane Mears
Charity Mears
Sarah Jane Mears.

This is the part of the cluster that I plan to explore first.  My first task would be to find out who each one of these individuals married.    Just dealing with this group should keep me busy for quite a while.  I want to know about their children, where they lived, who they sold land to, etc. as well as what I can learn from census data. 

Friday, January 4, 2019

#161--First--Aunt Gert Goes to College

The theme this week is first.  Who was your first ancestor to do something? One of Amy Johnson Crow’s suggestions was go to college.  Now I worked at a University for a number of years so I found that kind of an interesting suggestion.  But I wanted to give it a twist.  Not who was the first ancestor to go to college, but who was the first female ancestor to go to college. 

However, before I figured that out, I wanted to learn a little bit more about women and education.  In the colonial period, it was believed that women needed only to learn to read so that they would be able to read the bible.  They were taught in small dame schools or at home.  By the middle of the 1800’s some people believed that to be good mothers and wives women needed to receive an education equal to men while others believed that such an education would make them unable to fulfill their traditional role.  By the 1830’s some women were attending seminaries, academies, and normal schools, where the curriculum was similar to that of men’s colleges.  After the Civil War in the Midwest, colleges under pressure from parents began to admit women. 

Gertrude Hannah
I am pretty sure that my first female ancestor to attend college was Gertrude Hannah, my great aunt.  Aunt Gert was born on March 27, 1868, in Butler, Missouri.  Her parents were John Wesley and Jennie Sophia (Willey) Hannah.  Aunt Gert was the oldest of six children.  I do not know where Aunt Gert went to elementary or high school.  However, I do know that there was both a public high school and a private high school, Butler Academy. Since her brother William attended a private high school, I am assuming, and I may be very wrong, that Aunt Gert attended Butler Academy.

I remembered searching the Butler newspapers for information about Aunt Gert and seeing a note or two about Aunt Gert coming home from school to visit her parents.  I retrieved both the articles, neither one indicated what school, but one was clear that the school was in Clinton, Missouri.  An internet search indicated that only one college was in Clinton, Baird College.  So Aunt Gert went to Baird College. 
Baird College

A quick search of the web gave me a little information about Baird College, but not much.  Baird College was founded by Priscilla and Homer T. Baird in Clinton, Missiouri and opened in September 29th, 1885,  The college was located in a four story building. Two years after it opened, the college had 300 students, 100 of them were borders and the rest were day students.  The College operated until 1897.

A Picturesque City, Clinton Missouri had the following two pages devoted to Baird College:

As I read the information, I was struck by the fact that it described the buildings, the furnishings, the water on every floor, the grounds, etc, but no where was I able to find out what the curriculum was 

If I could talk to Aunt Gert, I would ask her what years she was at Baird, what classes she took, did she get a degree, did she play sports, etc.