Monday, December 24, 2018

Postcard From the Past – Christmas



Again I wish to share a postcard from the collection of my father, Lester Albertson. This was sent to him by one of his aunts back in Kansas after his family had moved to a farm near Halsey, Oregon. It was probably received over 100 years ago.



My Christmas greetings to Family and Friends!


Monday, December 3, 2018

Over 175 Years Old




A great big thank you to my 2nd cousin from Wisconsin. (I recently was able to connect with him since we were DNA matches.) He shared this photo and gave me permission to put it on my blog.

The family story tells us that the clock was given as a wedding gift to my gt-grandfather, Ludwig Falk, and his first wife, Marianne Kuss, in 1839 in Prussia. Ludwig married my gt-grandmother, Anna Louise Boehm, in 1850, after Marianne had died. Ludwig and Anna and family immigrated to the United States in 1858 and settled in Wisconsin. So, the clock must have traveled with them on the ship.

The clock has been in the possession of my cousin for over 30 years and he states that it is still keeping time.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 34a – Another Non-Population



Yesterday I wrote about the non-population schedule where my 3rd gt-grandfather, William L. England, appeared in 1880.

But in 1850, 1860 and 1870 he was on a different non-population schedule: agriculture. Since I grew up on a farm, learning what livestock and crops my ancestors grew is fun for me.










This is a table showing what the agriculture schedules showed about him.


1850
1860
1870
Township/Precinct
Fabius
Fabius
Coyote Valley
County
Davis
Davis
Lake
State
Iowa
Iowa
California
Improved Acres
50
110
40
Unimproved Acres
110
150
120
Land Value
$800
$2600
$400
Implements Value
$85
$100
$50
Horses
5
6
2
Milch Cows
4
8
2
Working Oxen
12


Other Cattle
3
21
2
Swine
20
26

Livestock Value
$405
$796
$300
Wheat bushels
30

300
Barley bushels


150
Oats bushels

150

Indian Corn bushels
500
2600

Hay tons

12
14
Irish Potatoes bushels
10
50
25
Sweet Potatoes bushels
5


Butter pounds
200
150
150
Honey pounds


100
Produce value


$680
Slaughtered Animals
$24
$107


In looking at this table, I see the only agricultural items that are the same for 2 different years are the pounds of butter produced, and that was done in 2 different states.



Friday, August 24, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 34 – Non-Population



I have not written for several weeks, but this topic was one I found very interesting. I like to find every bit of information about my ancestors that I can, so generally I enjoy looking at the non-population schedules for the United States census. However, with a title like “1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes,” do I really want to find my ancestor listed there? Maybe it wouldn't be too bad to see cousins or ancestor's siblings, but someone in my direct line?

But I did find someone there in the Lane County Oregon section. Although the census taker marked him in the wrong precinct, it was my 3rd gt-grandfather, William L. England. His name appeared in two sections: Deaf-Mutes and Blind.




I should have expected that since he was marked as blind and deaf on the population schedule for 1880 where he was living with his daughter and her family. Besides that, his obituary in September 1893 stated “although for several years he has been without use of eyesight or hearing he lived a happy Christian life to the end.”

Then as I thought about this, I realized that for at least 13 years William had been blind and deaf. It must have been hard for the family to communicate with him. I wonder what methods they used. I expect I will never know.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 30 – Colorful



My aunt had a colorful name. Violet was my mother's youngest sister. My mother, Wilma Falk, was 12 when Violet was born on 11 Mar 1924. There were 2 other sisters between them and a baby brother was born in 1927.

I decided to check happenings in Violet's life in the 22 years before she was married in 1946 by using the Newspapers.com website. Since she lived in Harrisburg Oregon the nearby newspaper in Eugene did include her name in over 30 issues. Also I found a mention in the Corvallis paper when she attended the England family reunion in Corvallis in 1930 with her parents and siblings. Since she was only 6, I wonder if she would have remembered that.

Reading about her activities in the newspaper, I learned a number of new things about her. When she was 5 years old in 1929 she attended a Sunday school party. In 1937 she was attending Busey school and
appeared in two of the plays presented at the school pie social. She was the only eighth grade graduate from Busey school that year and went on to attend Harrisburg High School. She did well in school, listed on the honor roll at least 3 times and graduated in 1941 with a class of 17 as the salutatorian. She appeared to be active in school: she was vice president of her junior class; appeared in the junior class play, played in a trumpet trio for the school band concert and went with the group to the coast for the Senior “Skip Day.”

She also was involved with the church as in 1939 she went with a group of Christian Endeavorers from Harrisburg to Portland. She played in a trumpet duet for the 1939 Christmas Sunday School program. I never knew she played the trumpet.

The newspaper named Violet as one of those who attended the bridal shower for her sister Lois in 1939 and again for the wedding shower for her sister Erma in 1941.

At some point Violet moved to Eugene where she was employed in office work. The 1944 Eugene city directory lists her as Violet Falk as a secretary at Oregon Mutual Life Insurance Company. Oregon Mutual was located at 132 E. Broadway in the Miner Building, room 343. I have memories of visiting the Miner Building, although it was not for Life Insurance. Violet was living at 710 Lawrence and her phone number was 2977. According to Google Maps today, it is ½ mile from where she was living to where she was working and it would take about 11 minutes to walk that distance.

While living in Eugene Violet still had friends. She was the maid of honor at a wedding and was in charge of the guest book at another, plus she was listed as a guest at a couple of bridal showers. She joined the Business Girls club, aka the Employed Girls club at the YWCA. In 1946 she was the chairman of their social committee and helped with at least 3 of their dances. She also served as a Junior Hostess for the USO, and received a 200 hour pin at their closing meeting in February of 1946. I read a little more about the USO Junior Hostesses and discovered they had some fairly strict rules: no slacks allowed, no smoking inside the USO areas, no drinking alcohol on the job, no dancing with other women and no refusing to dance with a service man unless he was “ungentlemanly.”

Finding out more about my aunt from reading in the newspapers made me wish that I had talked with her more often and asked questions about her life.




Saturday, July 21, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 29a – More About Music



Yesterday (July 20th) I shared what I had written for a writing class about taking piano lessons when I was in grade school.

Today I'd like to share how piano recitals can have a genealogical application. I kept all my programs from so long ago and put them into a scrapbook. So now I can look back and see howmany relatives were playing at the same recitals.

1948 = 4 – Vonda, Eldon, Joyce and Betty
1949 = 4 – Vonda, Eldon, Joyce and Oran
1950 = 4 – Vonda, Eldon, Joyce and Oran
1951 = 4 – Vonda, Eldon, Joyce and Diane
1952 = 3 – Vonda, Eldon, and Oran
1953 = 5 – Vonda, Eldon, Oran, Diane and          Marcelle

This is what often happened when you lived in a small town where a number of family 
members also lived. Oran was my brother. Vonda and Eldon were 2nd cousins, one on my 
mother's side of the family and the other on my father's side. Joyce and Betty were sisters 
and were 2nd cousins once removed and Diane and Marcelle were also sisters and 2nd 
cousins once removed. So I shared playing in piano recitals with 7 different relatives.



Friday, July 20, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 29 – Music



Music has always been important in my life, singing and playing the piano. When I took a writing class in the Fall of 2016, for one of my assignments I wrote about taking piano
lessons. Here is that essay:

Piano Lessons
by Joanne Skelton

It was sixty-nine years ago when I began my piano lessons. I was in the third grade and was starting in a new school, Halsey Grade School. They had a special arrangement for students who wanted to take piano lessons. If our grades were good enough, we could take time during the school day to walk to the piano teacher's house and have our lesson once a week. As a third grader who lived on a farm four miles from town, walking the approximately four or five blocks to the piano teacher's house was intimidating. I would have to cross Highway 99 and then cross over the railroad tracks to get to her house. But my parents had purchased a new piano, a Lester brand spinet, and agreed to pay for piano lessons for me, so I began my piano lessons that year.

My third grade teacher was Mrs. Eldon Cross and my piano teacher was her sister-in-law, Mrs Jess Cross. So I called both of them Mrs. Cross. Sometimes it was hard for my parents to determine which teacher I was talking about. My Dad sometimes would try to be funny by called them Mrs. X.

I can't remember exactly what happened during my piano lessons. I know I had a little book that the teacher used to write my assignments for the week. Then I was supposed to practice them each day so I could play them for her the next week. I'm not sure I always did that, but with my mother's oversight. I probably did it most of the time. I always enjoyed when I got a new book to play from and occasionally I would get a piece of sheet music. Thinking back, my parents might not have enjoyed the new music as much since they would have an extra cost added to the bill.

One of the benefits or not of taking piano lessons was the recital near the end of the school year. Even though I was shy, I rather enjoyed showing off what I had learned. Even more, as I got older I was assigned to play in duets and trios and sometimes even double trios with two pianos. I liked playing together and hearing all that extra sound.

My last year for piano lessons was in the eighth grade and I remember my recital piece that year was By the Light of the Silvery Moon. That was scheduled next to last on the program, but was the last solo number which meant I was at the top of her students that year. The final number was a double trio, including some former students who were now in high school. I really enjoyed playing in that, Stars and Stripes.

So piano lessons were long ago, but they have lasted a long time, as now I am playing in public about two and a half hours each week and still enjoy it.



Sunday, July 15, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 28 – Travel



When I thought about this theme, I realized that I know little about how most of my ancestors traveled. But then I remembered that I have used at least three different sources to learn about their travels: by train, sailing ship and covered wagon.



1. I interviewed my father, Lester Albertson, before he passed away in 2004. He told me that when he and his parents and two sisters came to Oregon from Kansas in 1911, they rode the train. His father, Oran Jesse Albertson, had worked for the railroad back in Kansas, so they had a pass. Apparently they traveled from Goodland, Kansas to Portland, Oregon and then continued south to Halsey, Oregon where Oran's brother Arthur lived.



2. When my immigrant Falk gt-grandparents came from Prussia to the United States in 1858 the passenger list gives the name of the sailing ship they came on. It was a bark named Wieland. I have a picture of a bark named Wieland, but it was built in 1862 and was larger as Lloyd's Register found on the Mystic Seaport website, show the earlier Wieland tonnage to be 512 and the later one was 632. But I believe as they were both barks, they probably had a very similar appearance.

2. In 1938, before I was born, the Bond family reunion printed a booklet with the journal entries of my 2nd gt-granduncle George Bond on the trip from Iowa to Oregon in 1853. Since this was over the Oregon Trail, it is logical to believe they traveled by covered wagon. It makes it more believable when the entry for April 9 stated that they “loded the wagons.” But they apparently did use tents while camping along the way because on May 14 George recorded that a storm prevented them from pitching their tents. I have always felt so fortunate to be able to read the daily travels for that group which included my 2nd gt-grandparents and 2 sets of 3rd gt-grandparents as well as over 30 other relatives.


Monday, June 25, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 25 – Same Name



It seems I'm late again, but here is a post for last week.

As shown on the title of this blog my name is Joanne. I looked up what Wikipedia said about my name and found that Joanne is a variant of Joanna, which is the feminine form of the name John. I looked at the first names of my ancestors and could not find anyone named Joanne. But I did find one Joanna.

Joanna was so far back in my ancestry that I haven't yet entered her into my on-line tree.
She was my 9th gt-grandmother, Joanna Greenslade, the wife of James Avery. I feel very fortunate that a well-documented family history has been written about that early Avery family, (Taylor, Maureen A. Editor, The Avery Family: The Ancestors and Descendants of Christopher Avery, Boston: Newbury Street Press, 2004). It tells me that Joanna was baptized 4 Feb 1621/22 at St. Sidwell, Exeter, co. Devon in England, the daughter of Thomas Greenslade. Joanna had immigrated to the “new world” by April 1643 as she was admitted to the First Church of Boston the 18th day of the 4th month 1643. It was that same year, on 10 November 1643, when Joanna and James Avery were married in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Their first 3 children (Hannah, James and Mary) were born in Gloucester. About 1650 the family moved to New London, Connecticut, when 6 more children were born (Thomas, John, Rebecca, Jonathan, Christopher, and Samuel)I find it fascinating that the home which James built in Groton, (the part that is now in Ledyard) in 1656 stood for 238 years until it burned in 1894. Due to its long life there are photos of this home where Joanna has lived. It was probably in October of 1697 when Joanna died.

There is also a Joanna found in the New Testament in the Bible. A number of years ago (1981) I wrote a poem about that Joanna. Here it is:

Joanna

Let's notice Joanna in the Scriptures, a lesser-known woman of the Jews.
She shared in Jesus' ministry, a first-hand witness of the good news.

Luke tells us she was married, her husband worked for Herod the king.
She could afford to help Jesus financially and did this very thing.

At the end of Jesus' ministry when he's hanging on the cross
I believe she's one of the women standing afar, sorrowing for their loss.

But we know her actions on Easter, where she was at the beginning of the day.
She was one of the women who came to the tomb where they thought Jesus lay.

To their surprise the tomb was empty and the stone had been rolled away.
He is not here, he is risen” were the words they heard the angels say.

Then she and the others hurried to the disciples this resurrection news to tell
But the men disbelieved the women till they saw the empty tomb as well.

We'll not find Joanna's name again as we read the Holy Book,
But due to her recorded deeds we can guess the turn her life took.

I think she would have been at Pentecost when the first Gospel message was preached
And she believed and obeyed the word, a part of the three thousand reached.


So, even if I haven't found my name Joanne in either my ancestor list or in the Bible, I am claiming Joanna as the “Same Name.”


Friday, June 8, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 23 – Going to the Chapel



This theme makes me think of the song, Chapel of Love, that came out in 1964. I didn't realize then that the man I started dating in 1964, Harry E. Skelton, and I would be going to the “Chapel of Promise” eight years later to get married. We were married for 26 ½ happy years before Harry died in 1999.

This chapel was in Reno, Nevada. Today I looked it up in the 1971 Reno City Directory which is online at Ancestry.com. The address was 495 Keystone. So then I looked at the “street view” on Google maps. The chapel is no longer there, as other businesses, such as Radio Shack and Cashco, have taken its place.

Since I couldn't show a picture of the chapel itself, I am posting one of our wedding photos, which took place inside the chapel.





Friday, June 1, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 22 – So Far Away



The theme this week is quite vague. Amy Johnson Crow, who has been setting the themes each week, has admitted it is vague and she is looking forward to what those who are following these prompts will come up with.

I had an event today, 31 May 2018, which fits very well with this theme. One of the members in the Prussian Genealogy Facebook Group, Laura Kaatz, had posted photos in 2017 from the town of Nakel, formerly in Prussia, but now in Poland. Included in them was the former protestant church there. My gt-grandmother, Anna Louise, daughter of Michael Boehm and Anna Rosina Leu, was baptized at the protestant church in 1832, confirmed in 1846 and married to the widower Ludwig Falk there in 1850. I did a blog post for her on her birthday last year, August 30th.

But I was unsure if it would be the same church building. So I contacted Laura Kaatz on the facebook group and asked that question and also if I could have permission to use one of her photos on my blog. She very graciously gave permission and verified that it was the same church.

So here it is, the former protestant church in Nakel, Kreis Wirsitz, Posen, Prussia, now
Nakło nad Notecią, Poland. When I asked Google how far it was from where I live in Cottage Grove Oregon, it told me it was 5,341 miles. Now I would consider that “so far away.” But thanks to another genealogist who was willing to share I can post a modern photo of the church where my gt-grandparents were married over 160 years ago.






Tuesday, May 29, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 21 – Military



Yes, I do know that week 21 was last week, so I am late, which is not that uncommon for me. I had thought that I would probably skip this theme because most of my family did not serve in the military and I had already written about many who did. However, yesterday I saw that Ancestry had added a new database to their collection, U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, so I decided to look up some family names in that collection and write about them today.

I started with Albertson in Linn County, Oregon. There was my father, Lester Albertson and his first cousin Earle Albertson, both listed as Halsey, Linn County, Oregon as their residence place. My father's registration was on 16 Oct 1940. I checked the historical background for this database as given by Ancestry:
The U.S. officially entered World War II on 8 December 1941 following an attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. About a year before, in October 1940, President Roosevelt had signed into law the first peacetime selective service draft in U.S. history because of rising world conflicts. Multiple registrations held between November 1940 and October 1946 signed up more than 50 million American men aged 18–45 for the draft.”
Although this states the registrations began in November, apparently Linn County started soon after the law was passed.

Next I looked at my Falk cousins who lived in Linn County. There were 10 of them listed, except Gerald was my uncle, not cousin. The first 5 were registered on the same day as my father, 16 Oct 1940. The next 2 were registered on 1 Jul 1941, still before war had been declared. They both were born in 1920, so were age 21 before that date. The next 3 were on or a few days after their 18th birthday. They were registered near the end or after the end of World War II. Here is a listing as found on Ancestry.


Name
Birthdate
Registration Date
Charles Donald Falk
08 Nov 1913
16 Oct 1940
Leslie Edgar Falk
03 Jun 1915
16 Oct 1940
Russell Charles Falk
05 Apr 1915
16 Oct 1940
Omar Ellsworth Falk
27 Aug 1916
16 Oct 1940
Rawley Lincoln Falk
12 Feb 1918
16 Oct 1940
Everett Henry Falk
21 Jun 1920
01 Jul 1941
Lyman Lyle Falk
15 Feb 1920
01 Jul 1941
Louis Raymond Falk
12 Apr 1926
12 Apr 1944
Gerald Keith Falk
01 Aug 1927
08 Aug 1945
Delmer Orvilee Falk
13 Mar 1929
13 Mar 1947

I checked one more place. Were any of my relatives in Sherman County, Kansas registered?  The answer is yes. An Albertson cousin, Wilfred Glen Albertson, and a Smalley cousin, Lauren Bobby Smalley, were both registered on that first date, 16 Oct 1940.  For these 2, Ancestry provided a link to Fold 3, where I could see a copy of the actual registration. So here are those 2 registrations. 





So, what did I learn from this? Often it pays to check the research databases to see if any of the new records will include your family members.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 20 – Another Language



The records for my Falk ancestors that I have found before they came to the United States are written in German.

The ones I have found were in Posen Province of Prussia, which is now in Poland. But they attended the Evangelische or protestant church and spoke German. Most of these records are quite difficult for me to read.

Here are some examples:
The birth record for my gt-grandmother: Anna Luise Boehm, from the church at Nakel.


The death record for my 2nd gt-grandfather: Michael Boehm from the church at Nakel.


And I am hoping this is the birth record for my gt-grandfather, Ludwig/Carl Ludwig Falk, from the church at Wirsitz.




Saturday, May 12, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 19 – Mother's Day



I skipped week 18, but here is week 19 – Mother's Day.

All the females in my family tree have this one thing in common. They were all mothers. Also they were all grandmothers. I like this photo shared with me by my cousin, Robert Bond, of my 2nd gt-grandmother, Huldah (Hayes) Bond, showing her with 5 of her grandchildren. It was taken about 1901 and I believe the grandchildren were, beginning at the left corner and going clockwise around her: Lela Bond, daughter of Charles; Lawrence Bond, son of Melvin; Leland Bond, son of Harvey; Guy Bond, son of Melvin and Bessie Bond, daughter of Charles.



Another thing that all the women on my family tree have in common is that they are all daughters. But for some of them I have been unable to establish who they are the daughter of. On my website, www.joanneskelton.com, I have a menu item named “special people.” In that category is a section called “earliest ancestors.” In that long list are a number of women without any identified parents.

Last year I discovered that even if I had recorded parents for an ancestor, maybe I did not have good documentation for that connection. One of my Bond cousins was attempting to join the DAR through an ancestor of Huldah's mother and the documentation was not enough to connect Huldah to her parents.

Why did I believe that Huldah was the daughter of Seth Hayes and Lydia Jewett?
  • I had a published family history, Little Otter to Lost River, about Huldah's mother-in-law's family and on page 69 it stated “Solomon Bond...was married to Huldah Hayes,...daughter of Seth and Lydia Jewett Hayes...”
  • I had a booklet compiled for the Bond family reunion in 1963 which stated they were her parents.
  • The Genealogical Material in Oregon Donation Land Claims, Supplement to Volume I, Volume V, stated on page 45, “BOND, Solomon, ….m Huldah Hayes, dau of Seth and Lydia Jewell Hayes.”
  • I had a photocopy of a family history of the Hayes family which stated Huldah was the daughter of Seth and Lydia.
  • I had a copy of the Geauga County Ohio marriage record for Seth and Lydia.
But the DAR wanted better documentation showing Huldah was their daughter.

What were the obstacles for finding this?
  • Her parents were Methodist so it was unlikely that church records documenting her birth could be found.
  • Huldah was married in 1842, so she never appeared by name in the household of her parents on a census.
  • The marriage record from 1842 in Iowa did not name parents.
  • Huldah was born in Ohio in 1827, which was about 30 years before Ohio even enacted a law for birth registration.
  • Although an abstract for early wills in Linn County Oregon where Seth died showed an heir as Huldah Boyd, a probable misreading for the name Bond, the original will record seems to have been lost.

What did I do? I made a trip to the Linn County Courthouse and requested a search for any probate records for Seth Hayes. I was so thankful when they telephoned me and said that a file had been found and I could have it emailed to me for just $3.00. Of course I paid it gratefully. When it arrived I was so glad to find that Huldah was among the heirs and did receive money from her father's estate. I shared this for the DAR application and now my cousin is a member.
I am confident that Huldah was the daughter of Seth and Lydia.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 17 – Cemetery



Sorry but I missed week 15 and 16, may get back to them later, but decided it was better to go ahead and do 17 and go on from there. This photo is of a local cemetery. None of my ancestors are buried there, but I do have a 2nd gt-grandaunt, Mary Ann (England) Dillard, and a 1st cousin 3 times removed, Eliza Jane (England) Lebow, in that cemetery.

I feel fortunate that I have been able to visit many of the burial places of my ancestors. My parents and grandparents are all buried close enough to where I live (Lane County, Oregon) that I can visit their graves each Memorial Day, as well as one set of 2nd gt-grandparents.

Through the years I have been able to visit all the graves on the following list, except 3 (2 gt-grandparents in Wisconsin and 2nd gt-grandmother in Steven County Kansas.) I posted photos of four of the cemeteries  on May 29 and 30 in 2017 (Alford, Rest Haven, Creswell and Oak Creek)

Here is a chart of 4 generations with their names (women's maiden names), locations (Cemetery, County and State) and my relationship to them.

Name
Cemetery
County
State
Relationship
Lester O. Albertson
Alford
Linn
Oregon
father
Wilma A. Falk
Alford
Linn
Oregon
mother
Oran J. Albertson
Rest Haven
Lane
Oregon
grandfather
Lucie R. Smalley
Rest Haven
Lane
Oregon
grandmother
Julius A. Falk
Alford
Linn
Oregon
grandfather
Florence E. Bond
Alford
Linn
Oregon
grandmother
Nathan E. Albertson
Goodland
Sherman
Kansas
gt-grandfather
Mary M. Hockett
Goodland
Sherman
Kansas
gt-grandmother
Lafayette P. Smalley
Goodland
Sherman
Kansas
gt-grandfather
Rosa E. Shipman
Goodland
Sherman
Kansas
gt-grandmother
Ludwig Falk
Avoca
Iowa
Wisconsin
gt-grandfather
Anna L. Boehm
Avoca
Iowa
Wisconsin
gt-grandmother
John H. Bond
Oak Creek
Douglas
Oregon
gt-grandfather
Mary A. O'Neal
Oak Creek
Douglas
Oregon
gt-grandmother
Rebecca D. Hartley
Bethel
Stevens
Kansas
2nd gt-grandmother
John W. Smalley
Goodland
Sherman
Kansas
2nd gt-grandfather
Rachel A. Hemphill
Goodland
Sherman
Kansas
2nd gt-grandmother
Joshua R. Shipman
Edson
Sherman
Kansas
2nd gt-grandfather
Lucy J. Chase
Edson
Sherman
Kansas
2nd gt-grandmother
Solomon Bond
Halsey Pioneer
Linn
Oregon
2nd gt-grandfather
Huldah Hayes
Halsey Pioneer
Linn
Oregon
2nd gt-grandmother
C. P. O'Neal
Creswell
Lane
Oregon
2nd gt-grandfather
Margaret J. England
Creswell
Lane
Oregon
2nd gt-grandmother





Sunday, April 8, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 14 – Priscilla (Hayes) Windom Hill



The theme for this week is “Maiden Aunt” I did not find a maiden aunt within my closer generations, so decided to write about an “aunt” who escaped marriage, was married, was divorced and then remarried during her 35 years of life in the mid -1800s.

My 2nd gt-grandaunt Priscilla was the daughter of Seth and Lydia (Jewett) Hayes. She was the youngest of 8 children and was the only one born in Indiana as her older siblings were born in Ohio. She was born 5 Feb 1837. Apparently the family was not in Indiana for long as by 1840 the family was listed on the census in Jefferson County Iowa.

By 1850 her 5 oldest siblings were all married. But when her parents decided to go to Oregon in 1853 all the family went together on a wagon train where Nelson Davis was Captain. Nelson's wife was a sister to 2 of Priscilla's brothers-in-law. So it really was a family affair.

In the Year Book of 1968 for the Jewett Family of America, a granddaughter of Priscilla's sister Louisa related a story she had heard about 16 year old Priscilla on that journey. When some friendly Indians visited where the wagon train was camped, they had spread out blankets and it seems that Priscilla picked one up and put it around her shoulders and danced around. It was then they discovered their Indian custom was that it meant she would be married to that Indian. Apparently it took a fair amount of persuading to get the Indians to leave and they continued to follow the train for several days. But Priscilla did not have to marry the Indian and she arrived safely in Oregon. But there was sadness on that trip, for one of Priscilla's sisters delivered a baby girl while they were traveling in the Blue Mountains and then died when they were going over Mt. Hood.

I wonder if Priscilla was excited when her 22 year old sister Sybil was married to Benjamin Windom in the fall of 1853. It was in the spring of 1854 when Priscilla, at age 17, married Benjamin's brother, Drury Douglas Windom. By the time of the 1860 census Priscilla and Douglas and their 3 children (Alanson, James Henry and Polly Anna) were living with her unmarried brother, Ebenezer, in the Peoria Precinct of Linn County, Oregon. In about 5 more years, 3 more children were born to this family: Emily, Jesse and Carrie.

But things must have gone wrong somehow, because Priscilla filed for divorce and 31 Oct 1868 the Circuit Court in Linn County granted her a divorce with custody of the children. The next door neighbor in 1860, George M. Hill, was now a widower and he and Priscilla were married on the 14th of Nov 1868. So when the 1870 census was taken it included George and Priscilla; George's 3 daughters ages 12 – 17; Priscilla's 6 children ages 5 – 15; and their 1 year old daughter Sarah.

It was about a year and a half later. 2 Mar 1872, when Priscilla died at age 35. Her infant daughter Lydia died almost a month later on 29 Mar 1872.



Sunday, April 1, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 13 – The Old Homestead




The theme for this week is “The Old Homestead.” It was during the Civil War, in May of 1862 when the United States Congress passed the Homestead Act. I believe that 6 of my ancestors chose to use that legislation and gain “free” land: 2 in Oregon, 3 in Kansas and 1 in Nebraska.

So who were my “Homesteaders”? I'll begin with those from Oregon. My 2nd gt-grandfather, Commodore Perry O'Neal, received a patent dated 30 Jun 1891 for 164.53 acres located adjacent to land he had purchased in 1870. This was about 4 miles west of the town of Creswell in Lane County, Oregon. His son-in-law John Howard Bond, my gt-grandfather, received his patent about a year earlier, 28 May 1890, for 160 acres located about 2 miles northwest of Commodore Perry's land. John sold his land in 1893 and moved across the Cascade Mountains to Gilliam County Oregon where he stayed about 10 years before moving back to the Willamette Valley. Commodore Perry stayed on his land until his death in 1919. He had deeded his land to his 3 sons about 2 months before he died.


In Kansas, my gt-grandfather, Nathan Elias Albertson, received his patent 28 Sep 1893 for 160 acres in McPherson township, Sherman County Kansas. As I noted in a blog post about his homesteading last year, 9 Sep 2017, it was located about 10 miles southwest of the County Seat, Goodland Kansas.1 Before the 1900 census he had moved to another township in the County, Washington Township, about 2 ½ miles west of the town of Edson Kansas.

Nathan's future daughter-in-law's (Lucie Rachel Smalley) grandfather, my 2nd gt-grandfather, Joshua Rodney Shipman had a homestead also in Washington Township. His patent was dated 23 Sep 1893 for 159.28 acres, located about 2 ½ miles southwest of the town of Edson.

Lucie's other grandfather, another of my 2nd gt-grandfathers, John Wilson Smalley received his patent 29 Apr 1893 for 160 acres in Itasca Township, Sherman County, Kansas. This was a mile east of Goodland and so was about 5 miles west of where Nathan lived in Washington Township.

It was one of my 3rd gt-grandmothers who received the patent to a homestead in Nebraska, Lucy Irene Chase (the mother-in-law to Joshua Rodney Shipman.) Lucy's husband Timothy had originally filed for the homestead, but died in 1877 before it was finalized. She received the patent for 80 acres 30 Jun 1879 as his widow. This land was in Atlanta Township, Saline County Nebraska.

Knowing that some who filed for homesteads did not complete the process, I was glad to discover that at least 6 of my ancestors did the required work and were issued patents. Maybe I should also be thankful to the U.S. Congress for passing such a law so my family had the opportunity to be landowners.



1The blog post about Nathan Elias Albertson's homestead is at: