Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dr. Edward F. Westerheide (1887-1955)

I'm baaaack! It has only been ten months since my last post but I decided to write a new story anyway. We are getting ready for Christmas here in sunny Florida where it was 85 degrees today and I was out washing my car. The northern states are getting their fourth winter storm of the year. This one is named Dion. Hope everyone in Ohio is staying warm and safe. Now on to my story.

Edward Francis Westerheide, my great-grand uncle, was born on a farm near Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio on November 18, 1887. He was the first child of Henry Westerheide and his wife Catherine Bornhorst (I wrote about Catherine previously here). Edward's siblings were Julius Henry (1889-1963), Mary (1891-1949), George (1893-1926), Raymond Bernard - my great grandfather (1894-1981), Pauline (1896-1977), Joseph Ignatius (1897-1976), Anthony Frederick (1899-1963), and Henry A (1902-1985). He also had several step brothers and sisters from his mother's first marriage. They were Emma Catherine Severin (1877-1935), Anne Severin (1878-??), Franz Joseph Severin (1880-1931), and Bernard Severin (??-??).

Edward attended St. Joseph College at Rensselaer, Indiana from 1905 until 1907, studied veterinary medicine at Grand Rapids Veterinary College until 1910 and then entered Ohio State University where he graduated in 1911.  According to the Proceedings of the American Veterinary Medical Association, he was voted in as a member of the American Veterinary Association in 1912. From that point on he was referred to as Dr. E. F. Westerheide. On January 7, 1913, he married Ida Elizabeth Laufersweiler (1886-1959) in Minster, Auglaize County, Ohio.

Ida's parents were John Laufersweiler and Anna Schmuecker. The Laufersweiler family was well known in the area. John Laufersweiler began his career as a canal boat driver on the Miami & Erie Canal. At age 16 he drove the mail stage between New Bremen and Piqua and later learned the tinner's trade, purchased an interest in a local business and eventually became the sole proprietor of that business. He served as clerk of the village of Minster for eight years and as treasurer for four years. He was a stockholder of the Minster Bank and Jackson Gas & Oil Company and he served as secretary of the Minster Loan & Savings Company for many years as well as owning his own hardware store. Both John and Anna died the same year that Edward and Ida were married, in 1913. She died on May 10th while he died on October 14th. One of John's nieces, Mary Genevieve Laufersweiler, married Agustus Halvorsen Hilton, and their great-great granddaughter is well known around the world as Paris Whitney Hilton.

As a veterinarian, Edward worked predominantly with farm animals and witnessed many interesting and peculiar cases. One case, which he found interesting enough to submit to the Journal of Veterinary Medicine in 1914 went as follows:

I had a peculiar case of impaction in a cow. I was called January 14th, 1914, to see a cow at a farm eight miles from the office. The owner informed me that she had given birth to a nice calf about two weeks previous, and had continued in good health until the morning of the same day.

I was called at 9:30 p.m. She had a milk flow of seven gallons per day up till the morning of January 13th, when it had dropped to two gallons. After an examination of the cow, I concluded to give one and one-half pounds magnesium sulphate with one dram of fluidextract of nux vomica four times a day. On the morning of the 15th the owner telephoned that he thought she hadn't cleaned herself, and that a piece of the fetal membrane was protruding.

Upon my arrival at the farm I noticed that the supposed membrane was a loop of small intestine protruding from the rectum. I took hold of it and commenced cleaning the parts, when it gradually started to move with a passage from the cow and nearly ten feet were in the bosin. I told the owner to hold the first loop in. I then discovered it was the intestine from a hog, and upon so informing the farmer, he told me that his cows had had access to a pasture field nearly two months before where he had burned (partially) 22 hogs which had died of hog cholera, but declared that none of the cows in the herd of 25 had had access to the pasture for two months, so undoubtedly the cow carried twenty-five feet of hog intestine in her bowels for two months. She fully recovered in three days' time to her normal flow of milk and the owner was well satisfied to save his best cow.

Edward and Ida had six children; John R (1913-1913), Ruth Alice (1915-1996), Elizabeth Jane (1916-1979), Dr. Francis Xavier (1920--), John Thomas (1922-1994), and Allen E (1924-1984). Dr. Westerheide was a practicing veterinarian for almost 40 years and retired from his veterinary business in 1950 due to heart problems. In 1914 Dr. Westerheide was one of the first people to open a Ford automobile dealership. He was selling the Ford Model T at that time and held onto the Ford franchise dealership until his death in 1955. One interesting fact about the Westerheide Ford dealership was that they sold the 20 millionth Ford and there is a picture of Henry Ford and Edward Westerheide celebrating that milestone in Ford history.

He was very active in civic matters including being associated with the Auglaize County Fair for 25 years, served as director of the Auglaize County Agricultural Society, served 12 years as a member of the Auglaize County Democratic Central and Executives committees, vice president of the Roosevelt-Davey Club in 1936, and was an active member of the Auglaize County Auto Club. He was the assessor for Jackson Township from 1912 to 1914 and was active on the Lake Loramie Improvement Association and worked for the betterment of Lake Loramie through securing roads and other improvements of the lake area. He also held membership in the Knights of Columbus, Fraternal of Eagles, the Elks Lodge of Wapakoneta, and the Minster Commercial Club. In addition, Dr. Westerheide made frequent trips to the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan and also frequented Columbus, Ohio where he lobbied for road construction and transportation related programs.

The Westerheide family established their home on North Frankfort Street in 1917 when they purchased the former residence of Mrs. Minnie Goeke. In 1920, Edward and Ida, along with their daughters Ruth Alice and Elizabeth Jane were living on Frankfort Street. Also living in their home were two of Ida's brothers, William Henry and John William Laufersweiler, aged 16 and 19 respectively. These two brothers may have moved in with the family soon after their parents died in 1913. The Westerheide family were still living at 124 N. Frankfort Street in 1930 along with their children; Ruth Alice, Betty Jane, James, John and Allen. August of 1937 was a busy month for Dr. Westerheide and his family. Early in the month their daughter Ruth was visiting them from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The next week Dr. Westerheide met as a representative for the Fourth District leaders to discuss the election of Governor Davey. Then a week later John became ill and the family spent several days in Detroit consulting with specialists at the Ford Hospital. From what I can see in the social news of the day, this is probably a typical schedule for this family. In 1940 the family was still living on Frankfort Street and consisted of Edward, his wife Ida and their two sons, John and Allen, both of which are attending school.

On October 1, 1955, at the age of 67, Dr. E. F. Westerheide died of a heart attack. He had been in failing health for a long period and became ill two weeks before his death. His condition became critical about 9:00 p.m. and he died a little after midnight. His wife, Ida Laufersweiler, died four years later, on November 13, 1959, age 73. They are buried side-by-side in St. Augustines Cemetery in Minster, Ohio.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Joseph Matthias Meyer (1895-1988)

I missed my post yesterday. There are just too many things going on right now so I wasn't able to concentrate on writing a post. Luckily I did one post at the end of January just in case I missed a day of writing. This post will be on my 2nd cousin 3 times removed, Joseph Matthias Meyer. The interesting thing here is that he is not related to me on the Meyer line, like most people would assume (or at least I have not found a link there yet). He is actually related on my Westerheide line. We share the same ancestors, my 4th great grandparents, Johann Heinrich Poppelman and Maria Adelheid Arkenberg, back in Germany. I chose to write about him because of the great tragedies that he had to endure during his life.

Joseph Matthias Meyer was born on 5 November 1895 to John Herman (1857-1935) and Catherine Baumer Meyer (1862-1934) near McCartyville, Van Buren Township, Shelby County, Ohio. His father owned a farm where Joseph grew up along with his 15 siblings. Joseph's siblings were Anthony J (b. 1881), Elizabeth Catherine (1883-1917), Louis D (b. 1884), Cecelia Josephine (1886-1978), George H (b. 1887),  John R (b. 1888), Rosa M (b. 1890), Kittie E (b. 1892), Rosa (b. 1892), Frank Christopher (1893-1966), Dorothy C (1898-1986), Charles G (1899-2001), Adolph V (1901-1988), Anna (1903-1985), and Veronica (1906-1973). Joseph finished 8th grade, which was customary for the children of farmers during this period. Joseph was still living on the family farm and working as a farm hand at the time he registered for the World War I draft.

On 11 February 1919, Joseph married Henrietta E Altermatt (1896-1986). He continued the family practice of farming on his own land in Turtle Creek Township, Shelby County, Ohio. In the 1920 US Census, he is listed as owning a farm with a mortgage and having a 1 month old son, Vernon.

The 1930 US Census lists Joseph (age 34), his wife Henrietta (age 34), and seven children; Vernon (age 10), Cleona (age 9), Kenneth (age 7), Wilma (age 5), Lawrence (age 3), Irene (age 2), and Viola (age 5 months). Additionally, his mother-in-law, Mary Carroll (age 69) is living with the family.

Children of Joseph Meyer
The family suffered a streak of tragedy in 1935. In January, five of the younger children contracted the whooping cough and a short time later, ten of the eleven children contracted the measles. The children appeared to be recovering from these illnesses when those that had whooping cough developed pneumonia. Mary Louise, their youngest daughter, born 25 September 1934, was the first to die. She had been ill with pneumonia for a week and died on 24 January 1935. She was buried in St. Patricks Cemetery on 26 January. I can't imagine having a 4 month old child suffering with pneumonia. That must have been hard on the family. The second death occurred ten days later on 3 February when Alberta Jean succumbed to pneumonia. Alberta was 2 1/2 years old. Of the nine surviving children in the family, two more were ill with pneumonia. Alberta's funeral was held on 5 February. The next to succumb was Carl. Carl died on 6 February 1935 at the age of 1 year and 4 months. The fourth child, Margaret, age 4 years 2 months, died on 7 February. The funerals for Carl and Margaret were held on 9 February. To add to the loss, Joseph's father, John Herman Meyer, died from pneumonia a little over a month later, on 31 March 1935, at the age of 77. Joseph's mother had died a year earlier, on 26 July 1934, at the age of 71.

In 1940, the family farm is valued at $2,500. Joseph (age 44), his wife Henrietta (age 44) and nine remaining children Vernon (age 20), Cleona (age 19), Kenneth (age 18), Wilma (age 15), Lawrence (age 14), Irene (age 12), Viola (age 10), John (age 4) and Joseph (age 1) are living in the home. Kenneth is working on the farm. His brother Vernon is employed as a machinist with an income of $1350/year. Joseph registered for the draft for World War II at the age of 46. He lists his employer as Monarch Machine Tool Company, in Sidney, Ohio. One thing I like about the 1940s time frame is the phone numbers. His phone number was Circle 224 (just in case you wanted to call).

At least two of his sons were veterans of World War II. Vernon was an Army veteran and Kenneth was a Navy veteran. Kenneth died on 7 February 1962 at the age of 39 from injuries caused by an automobile accident on Interstate 70. Joseph's wife Henrietta died on 10 February 1986 at a long term care facility in Minster, Ohio. She was 89 years old at the time. Two years later, on 5 December 1988, Joseph died at Joint Township Hospital in St. Marys, Ohio at the age of 93.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Johann Bernard Anton Winner (1833-1919)

I've been told the more you write the easier it becomes. I am not sure about that. Once you have been writing for a while all the easy stuff is used up and you have to look harder to find something to write about. Like I said earlier, "I am glad February is a short month." Any longer and I might have to start making things up about people (jk). I have decided to work on some uncles for a while so I chose Johann Bernard Anton Winner. He is my 3rd great grand uncle and my 1st cousin 5 times removed.  I chose him because my Ancestral Quest program lists a variety of relations between me and his children. Four of his sons are great grand uncles because they married four Bruns sisters who were already my great grand aunts. In addition to that relation, all of his children are also my 1st cousin 4 times removed and my 2nd cousin 4 times removed. Now on to the story of Johann Bernard Anton Winner, or as he is otherwise known, Anthony Winner.

Anthony Winner was born on 8 October 1833, in Neuenkirchen, near Voerden, in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, Germany. His parents were Francis Joseph (1804-1835) and Mary Catherine Husmen Winner (1808-1877). He was baptized on 10 October 1833, at St. Bonifatius Church in Neuenkirchen. Records from St. Bonifatius Church list his sponsors as Johan Bernard Schnoterbord, Maria Elisabeth Westerhaus nee Winner and Antonius Brandewie. Anthony was the youngest of the children in Germany. At the age of three he immigrated to the United States with his family. The family settled in the community of Minster, Ohio, where his sister was born in 1836 and died a year later in 1837.

Carolina & Anthony Winner
On 28 October 1856, at the age of 23, Anthony married Carolina Rebecca Hoyng (1838-1909). Carolina was 19 years old when they married. Their union resulted in the birth of nine children: Charles Henry (1857-1936), Frederick William (1859-1945), Henry Joseph (1861-1942), Catherine (1863-1944), Clemens (1872-1958), Mary (1869-1941), Anton (1875-1879) and Anthony (1884-1957).

The 1870 census lists the value of Anthony's land holdings as $4,500 and his personal property as $1,100. He is living on his farm with his wife Caroline (age 26), and children Charles (age 12), Frederick (age 10), Henry (age 8), Catherine (age 6), Joseph (age 4) and Mary (age 11 months). All of the children except Joseph and Mary are attending school.

The 1880 census lists Anton (age 46), Caroline (age 39), Charles (age 22), Frederick (age 20), Henry (age 18), Catherina (age 16), Joseph (age 14), Mary (age 9) and Clemens (age 6). Joseph, Mary and Clemens are attending school. Catherina is listed as a servant. The older boys, Henry, Frederick and Charles, are working on the farm.

The 1900 census is a little confusing. The birth dates and ages don't match with the other records that I have. For example  Anthony is listed as being born October 1844 and age 55, while his wife is 61 years old and was born July 1838. Two children, Anthony and Mary are listed as living at home in this census. However, Mary is listed as being born May 1872.

In the 1910 census Mary is living at home with her father.

Anthony and Caroline raised their family on the farm located southwest of Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio. His wife, Caroline, died on 15 January 1909 Anthony farmed this land all his life until October 1918 when he moved to Ft. Loramie to live with his daughter, Mary. Anthony died on 19 June 1909, after a month of suffering "lung fever" (broncho-pneumonia), the last week of which he was restricted to his bed. He was 85 years, 8 months and 11 days old at the time of his death.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Joseph Rieger (1832-1916)

Hello again, I think I have everything working on my computer now, but just in case I have purchased a back up hard drive. Never know when your hard drive will crash leaving you nothing from all your years of research. This story is about Joseph Rieger, my 2nd great grand uncle. He was the husband of Margaretha Weise, the daughter of Justice Weise in the previous story.

Emigrants Building, Bremerhaven, built 1849
Joseph Reiger was born on 21 October 1832 in Wurtenburg, Germany, the son of Joseph (b. ~1797) and Magdelena Marianne Hauver Reiger (b. ~1799). He immigrated to the United States aboard the ship Bremerhaven, arriving at Castle garden, New York on 7 September 1853. The family consisted of Joseph (age 20), his parents Joseph (age 56) and Marianne (age 54), and his siblings Veronica (age 26), Theresia (age 24) and Victor (age 16). The departed from Bremen and were bound for Pittsburgh. Joseph Sr., Joseph  Jr. and Victor were listed as farmers. The family settled in Lancaster, New York then moved on to Dayton Ohio and Greenville, Ohio.

In the 1860 US Census the family is living in McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. Joseph Jr. married Margaretha Weise in 1857. By 1860 they had three children born. The children were Louisa (b. ~1857), Joseph (1858-1859), and August (1859-1927). One child, Joseph, had died before the 1860 census. At this time Joseph is a shoemaker by occupation. He had opened his shoe store in 1857.

The 1870 US Census lists the families residence as Berlin (Loramie), McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. The family consisted of Joseph (age 37), Margaret (age 34), and their children Elizabeth (age 12), August (age 11), Margaret (age 10), Catherine (age 8), Cecilia (age 7), Caroline (age 5), Mary (age 3), and Joseph (age 1). Joseph owns $2,000 in real estate and has a personal value of $200. He is working as a shoe maker at this time. The family had 2 more children, Anna and William before Margaret dies on 3 May 1872 at the age of 36. In 1873 Joseph married Mary Swartz (1843-1934). A total of 12 children were born to this marriage.

Joseph Rieger, seated on left
The family had grown considerably by the 1880 US Census. They are living in Berlin (Loramie), McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. Joseph had changed occupations and is now listed as a saloon keeper. The family consisted of Joseph (age 47), his second wife Maria (age 36), his children from his first marriage Vatherina (age 18), Cecilia (age 17), Caroline (age 16), Mary (age 14), August (age 20), Joseph (age 10), William (age 9), and Anna (age 9), and his children from the second marriage Fransiska (age 6), Rosa (age 4), Peter (age 2) and John (age 6 months). The oldest son, August, is employed as a teamster, probably with the Wise Sawmill.

The 1900 census lists Joseph as a shoemaker again. His son August is now listed as a saloon keeper. I wonder if his son took over the job during this time. Joseph (age 67), his wife Maria (age 58),  and one daughter, Rosa (age 24), are living in the house. Maria states that she had seven children with only three still alive at the time of this census. I currently only have six children listed for Maria and Joseph's obituary only lists six children as well. They were Maria Fransisca (1874-1965), Elizabeth Rosa (1876-1906), Peter Michael (1877-1928), John F (1879-1880), John Jacob (1881-1883), and Emelia (1883-1896).

In 1910, Joseph is listed as a retired shoe dealer. He is 77 years old and his wife Maria is 65 years old. She states that she had seven children and only two remain alive at this time. The two living children would be Maria and Peter. During his life, Joseph had served as Township trustee and treasurer.

Joseph & Mary Rieger, St. Michaels Cemetery
On 2 June 1916 Joseph died. He was 83 years, 7 months, and 12 days old at the time of his death. He had been under the doctors care since 5 January for ailments including asthma and chronic nephritis. The cause of death was a cerebral hemmorhage resulting in a paralytic stroke on May 31. He died two days later. He is buried with his second wife, Mary (Maria), in St. Michaels Cemetery, Ft. Loramie, Shelby County, Ohio.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Justus Weise (1808-1884)

I believe this is day eight in my writing. I wasn't sure I would get this one out since my computer and other things were working against me. By the way, if you download Microsoft Office Pro 2013 - 64 bit be aware that you may have problems installing it. It has taken me three days to get the right configuration for it to work on my computer. The 32-bit version worked right away on the other computer without a problem. Now that that issue is resolved, here is my story about my 3rd great-grandfather, Justus Weise.

Justus Weise was born on 29 October 1808 in Lippe-Detmold, Falkenhagen, Germany. His parents were Christopher Weise (1754-1824) and Christine Bruns Henke (1756-1826). As usual, I don't have much information on his life in Germany but I have researched his life in the United States. Justice and Anna Margaretha Wilken were married in 1832. Soon after they left Falkenhagen and relocated in Holland where their four children were born.

He arrived in New York through Castle Gardens on 5 April 1854 aboard the William Tapscott departing from Liverpool, England. His name was recorded as Justice Wyse (age 45). His family consisted of his wife Anna Margaretha age 52), and children Justice (age 19), Anna Margaretha (age 18), Louisa P (age 16) and Anna (age 12). Justice listed his occupation as farmer. His wife, daughters Anna Margaretha and Louisa P were listed as servants. His son Justice, was listed as a laborer. The youngest daughter, Anna, is listed as a child. Both Justice and his son Justice changed their name to August once they arrived in the States.

William Tapscott
The picture to the left is of the William Tapscott. This is the ship that the Wyse family took in their migration from Europe to the U.S. during March/April 1854. The average travel time for this voyage was about 31 days but could have taken over 45 days depending on weather. The William Tapscott was one of the finest ships of its time. It was one of the largest full-rigged ships built in Maine during the 1850s.

The ship had three decks. The passengers slept on the two lower decks. The second deck was entered through a trap-door hatchway. On each side of the deck, there were numbered cabins. Each cabin contained sleeping “berths”. Each cabin also had light from a large porthole covered with very thick blue glass. Two long tables ran down the middle of this deck. Benches, fastened to the floor, bordered these tables. When the sea wasn't rough, the porthole window could be left open.

The bottom deck was entered by a trap-door hatchway on the second deck. Like the deck above, there were cabins with berths around the sides. There weren't any portholes on this deck. For light, there were lanterns. It was very dark. It was described by a passenger on this deck as “… so dark that you could not see for awhile till your eyes got accustomed to the gloom.”  

There was a cooking gallery for the common use of all passengers. In the center of the cooking gallery was a very large stove, about 10 feet square. Around this stove was space for passengers to stand and hold onto their pans as they cooked. The toilet closet was a large hole with a bar to sit on. A passenger described the closet as “…The only place I was frightened was when we had to go to the closet, there was just a straight stick across and of course you could see the ocean. How I did cling to my little sister when she was on that bar, for it was a large enough place to let a grown person down, let alone children.”

After plying the oceans for about forty years the William Tapscott was lost in the English Channel in 1888. The figurehead from the ship was salvaged and is now on display at the Bude-Stratton Museum in Cornwall, England.

Upon their arrival, the family made their way up the Ohio River to Cincinnati, Ohio. When settlers arrived in Cincinnati they were grouped together and directed up the Miami-Erie Canal where they eventually settled near Ft. Loramie, Shelby County, Ohio. Once he arrived there he began buying and selling land. 

Justice filed for naturalization in Shelby County, Ohio and was granted citizenship on 29 October 1856. His naturalization records reads as follows: "Be it remembered that on the Twenty Ninth day of October AD 1856, personally appeared before me Saml McCowan Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas within and for said County and State, Justice Wise, an Alien a Native of Amsterdam in Holland and subject of William 3 King of Holland or Netherlands, who being sworn according to law on his oath doth declare and say that it is bonafide his intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatever and more particularly all allegiance and fidelity to William 3 King of Holland, whose subject he is. Thereupon his papers of Intention were issued in due form of Law October 28th, 1856."
Wise daughters.

The 1860 US Census for Sidney Post Office, McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio, lists August (age 53) and his wife Anna (Age 63) living on the farm. The real estate vale was $400 and his personal value was $100. In 1870 the couple are living in Berlin Village, McLean Township, Ohio. His real estate value is $350. But his personal value has increased to $1150. Justice is listed as 62 years old and his wife is 73. One problem with this census is that it lists his wife as Louisa. They also have a child, John Rhoma, age 2, living in their home. This child is the son of his daughter Louisa and her husband Martin Romie. Martin died in 1868, leaving Louisa a widow. However, Louisa remarried in 1871 to Jacob Gaier and had five children from that marriage. Justice's wife, Anna died on 23 April 1874.

Wise Sawmill (after 1894)
In 1880, Justice, being 70 years old and widowed, was living with his son August. This family consisted of August (age 43), his wife Theresa (age 41), children August (age 6) and Louisa (age 4), and two boarders Robert Davis and William Davis. August and the Davis brothers are listed as teamsters and probably worked for the local sawmill.

In 1881, Justice purchased a sawmill about one mile north of Loramie from the estate of Conrad Brucken. The sawmill was steam powered and was an awesome sight with all the belts and pulleys operating off the central shaft. This sawmill was moved into town by his son August (Justice) in 1894. 

Justice Wise headstone, St. Michaels Cemetery
Justice died on 25 December 1884 in Fort Loramie, at the age of 76. He is buried in St. Michaels Cemetery, Ft. Loramie, Ohio. His headstone lists his name as Justus Wais. There is also a window on the St. Michaels Church that was donated by the Wise family when the church was constructed. His wife Anna was buried in Lock II Cemetery, New Bremen, Auglaize County, Ohio. The reason the two were buried so far apart has been attributed to Anna being Lutheran and Justice being Catholic. Each one was buried in their specific cemetery based on religion.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Reverend Thomas Pullen (1752-1828)

I am going back a few years for this story. The Reverend Thomas Pullen is my wife's 6th great-grandfather. He is the furthest back that we have currently researched on this line. this line is confusing since there are several documents that contradict each other and many people have combined this Thomas Pullen with another Thomas Pullen who was born in Virginia in 1761. Also, due to the lack of documentation, many of the dates given are approximate.

Thomas Pullen was born 21 November 1752 in Scotland. The immigration records indicate that he came to the American Colonies through Philadelphia in 1774. It is believed that he settled in Virginia. Based on DAR records (#A092089), Thomas served in the American Revolution. I haven't found the documents to back this up yet but he was awarded land grants in several land lotteries for war veterans. About 1777, Thomas married Lydia Bowers (1761-1824) and settled in Laurens County, Georgia where he established the settlement of Pullen's Hill. Thomas and Lydia had six children that we know of. They were Phereby (~1780-~1824), Henry (b. ~1782), Margaret (~1784-1826), Thomas (~1786-833), Mary (b. ~1787) and Moses (~1788-1868). Thomas remarried after the death of Lydia. His second wife's last name was Linder, but I have no more information than that.

Thomas was a devout Methodist preacher and preached at several churches in the area. He was also a planter. In 1792, he received a land grant of 362 acres in Washington County, Georgia. In 1795, he acquired an additional 300 acres. He registered for the 1805 and 1827 land lotteries but I don't know if he received any land from these. In 1817, he sold 118 acres in Laurens County (previously part of Washington County). He sold an additional 300 acres in Laurens County to John Arline, his son-in-law, in 1819. In 1820, he sold 20 acres to Joseph Joyner. Thomas acquired additional land in Muscogee County, Georgia from the 1827 Land Lottery.

Thomas died on 6 February 1828 in Pullen's Hill, Laurens County, Georgia at the age of 75. His will can be found in the Laurens County Georgia Will Book A, 1809-1840, pages 93-95 and reads as follows:

"The Will of THOMAS PULLEM, Senior
Written December 30, 1824 and recorded March 21, 1828

In the name of God Amen. I THOMAS PULLEN of the County of Laurens and State of Georgia in reasonable health and sound mind and memory, knowing that it is appointed to all men once to die and wishing to point out the order and manner for the distribution of what property it has pleased GOD to bless me with, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament. First I wish all my just debts, if I should have any unpaid at my death, paid out of the sale of property hereafter named.

Item, I give to my son HENRY PULLEN my large family Bible.

Item, I give to my son THOMAS PULLEN four hundred Acres of land more or less, it being the plantation where I now reside. Also one Negro man named Jack and one volume of Cokes Commentary.

Item, I give to my son MOSES PULLEN two hundred Acres of land now in his possession, also one Negro man named John and also all my guns and one small Bible and one volume of Cokes Commentary.

Item, I give unto the heirs of JOHN ARLINE one hundred and fifty dollars to be raised out of the sale of property hereafter appropriated.

Item, I give unto my daughter MARGARET MASON one Negro man named Jacky, commonly called Jonas.

Item, I give unto my daughter MARY PULLEN one hundred and forty four Acres of land on Big Creek bounded by Charles Morrman and Simeon Ellington’s land. Also one Negro woman named Amy and young Sorrell Mare called Pok and six cows and calves and one bed she is making with the furniture thereto belonging and one other bed she is making and her trunk and ten pair of geese and one stock of bees.

Item, The balance of my books, not heretofore disposed of, I wish to be equally divided between my daughters PHEREBY WILLIAMS, MARGARET MASON and MARY PULLEN.

Item, I give unto my stepson LEWIS LINDER one Negro man named Serus and one Negro woman named Hannah.

Item, I give unto my stepson GEORGE LINDER one Negro man Serus, commonly called Jim.

Item, I give unto my stepsons LEWIS and GEORGE LINDER all the property not herein mentioned that belonged to their Mother at the time of our intermarriage. My wish and desire is that the balance of my property not specially disposed of be sold in order to pay my just debts and the cash legacy and what remains to be equally divided between my sons THOMAS PULLEN, HENRY PULLEN, MOSES PULLEN and my daughters MARGARET MASON, and MARY PULLEN and to the heirs of JOHN ARLINE one sixth part to each. My desire is that this wish may be carried into effect as soon after my death as it can be done with convenience and propriety at the discretion of my executor hereafter to be named and I do hereby appoint HENRY PULLEN and GEORGE LINDER my executors to this my last will and testament hereby revoking all wills heretofore made by me do declare this my Last Will and Testament. In witness where of I have hereto set my hand and seal this 30th of Dec. 1824. THOMAS PULLEN  (seal)

Executed in Presents of James Mason, Lewis G. Linder, Thomas Vickers, David R. Maddux, and David Mason.

Georgia, Laurens County, Court of Ordinary, March term 1828. James Mason, Lewis G. Linder and David R. Maddux being duly sworn deposed and saith that they were present and did see THOMAS PULLEN the Testator named in the foregoing will sign, seal, publish and acknowledge the same to be his last will and testament and that they did also see Thomas Vickers and David Mason sign their names together with themselves as witnesses thereto and that he was of sound mind and memory at he time of so doing. Sworn to in open Court, Signed-David R. Maddux; James Mason; Lewis Linder (Attest)

Thomas Moore, Clerk"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ferdinand Gaier (1809-1902)

I can't believe I have been able to write for six consecutive days. Hopefully I will be able to keep this up until the end of the month. Today's post is my 3rd great-grandfather Ferdinand Gaier.

Ferdinand Gaier was born 18 October 1809 in Neudorf, Baden, Germany. His parents were George Adam (1778-1818) and Maria Josephine (Ochsler) Gaier (1785-1839). Ferdinand married Eva Katherine Siegel (1821-1844) on 10 May 1838. This union resulted in the following children: Gertrude (1838-1911), Jacob (1841-1906), Caroline (1843-1907), and Valentine (1844-1915). On 4 June 1846, two years after Eva's death, he married Eva's sister Appolonia Siegel (1826-1880). Ferdinand and Apolonia had two children in Germany, Charles (1848-1921) and Magdalena (1852-1929). Magdalena Gaier is my great-great-grandmother.

Berlin (Ft. Loramie), Ohio
I don't have any more information on his life in Germany prior to the time of his immigration to the United States. The New York Passenger List for the ship Carolus Magnus lists the family as Ferdinand Geiger (age 43), his wife Apolonia (age 27), and children Gertrude (age 13), Jacob (age 9), Caroline (age 8), Valentine (age 7), Carl (age 3), and Magdalena (age 3 months). They arrived in New York on 13 January 1854. Ferdinand lists his occupation as farmer and his place of birth as Baden on the ship's list. They originally settled in Troy, Miami County, Ohio but then moved to McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio by 1860 where he purchased 85 acres of land to start farming. The land in the area was characterized as swamp and marsh and required much work to make it farmable. At this time Berlin, later known as Fort Loramie, was the largest town in McLean Township. The German immigration had increased during the late 1830s associated with the construction of the Miami-Erie Canal. St. Michael's church was completed in 1851. Willman's general store and the first flour mill had opened in 1858. Soon afterward Bruckens and Vogelsang's cafe opened. Both of these establishments are still located in Ft. Loramie.

Apolonia & Ferdinand Gaier
In the 1860 US Census, Ferdinand Gaier (spelled Gayer in census) is listed as a farmer owning $1,500 in land and $200 in personal property. He is 48 years old, his wife Apolonia is 34 years old. Their household consists of 8 children; Jacob (age 18), Caroline (age 16) and Valentine (age 14) from his first marriage, and Charles (age 9), Magdalena (age 7), Catherine (age 5), Elizabeth (age 3) and Ferdinand (age 1) from his second marriage. Catherine, Elizabeth, and Ferdinand were born in Ohio. The census states that Magdalena was born in Ohio but the immigration records indicate that she was 3 months old when they arrived in the United States from Germany. In 1860 the area where the family lived was listed as Sidney Post Office, McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio.

The 1870 US Census was a little creative with the names of individuals in the family so I will include the correct names as well as what the census listed. This census states the location of the family as Loramie Post Office, McLean Township, Shelby County, Ohio. Ferdinand is continuing as a farmer and now has $2,000 in land and $685 in personal property. He is listed as 59 years old. His wife, Apolonia is listed as Abbslam. She is 40 years old. Their children are listed as Charles (age 21) working on the farm, Mag (age 18) helping her mother, Cathrin (age 13) attending school, Elizabeth (age 12) attending school, Ferdinand (age 10) attending school, John (age 7) attending school, George (age 5) and Zibidu (age 3). I believe Zibidu is actually Joseph who was born on 24 January 1868.

In the 1880 US Census, Ferdinand in 70 years old. He is continuing with his farming. The family consists of his wife Appalonia (age 54), and children Eliza (age 22), Ferdinand (age 20), Catherin (age 24), John (age 18), George (age 14), Joseph (age 13), and Herman (age 10). Herman and Joseph are attending school. Ferdinand, John and George are helping on the farm while Eliza and Catherine are helping their mother keep the house. Catherine is a recent widow, her husband Francois Carity had died on 18 April 1880, leaving her to take care of their 9 month old son Philip. In addition to that loss, Apolonia also dies soon after the 1880 Census.

By the 1900 US Census, Ferdinand (age 90) is living with his daughter Magdalena, her husband Joseph Reiss (spelled Rice in the census), and their children John (age 22), Katherine (age 20), Edward (age 12) and Leo (age 7). Joseph Reiss is employed as a fireman at the Wise Sawmill and his son John is a teamster for the mill. Katherine is employed as a servant.

Headstone, St. Michael's cemetery, Ft. Loramie
Ferdinand Gaier died on 17 January 1902 at the age of 92 years and 3 months. His obituary in The Minster Post was written in German and has been translated by Google Translator as follows: "On Saturday here Ferdinand Geyer died at the age of 92 years and 3 months. He was one of the oldest settlers of this whole neighborhood, and he was generally respected and loved by his fellow citizens. Few people are granted to live nearly a century in this world and few have the luck to see four generations grow up around them. It means the number of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren amounted to 180. The funeral took place on Monday morning from the funeral home and gave him a large crowd of relatives and friends, the last honor escort to the grave. May he rest in peace. The bereaved our sincere condolences." Ferdinand is buried in the old St. Michael's Cemetery in Ft. Loramie, Shelby County. Ohio.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Edward Faul (1827-1895)

Now that I have done a couple stories about my ancestors I will get back to a few from my wife's line. Today's blog will be about Edward Faul, my wife's 3rd great-grandfather. He is another great explorer in the family, travelling from Ireland as a young man and eventually settling in Oregon.

Edward Faul, the son of William (1805-1893) and Margaret Faul (1807-1883), was born 25 December 1827. He grew up in Ballywillin, Antrim, Ireland where he was the oldest of at least nine children. His siblings, as far as we have found, were William (b. ~1828), Alexander (b. ~1830), Margaret Jane (b. ~1832), Catherine (1833-1834 age 11 months), Archibald (b. ~1836), Robert (b. ~1839), Daniel, and Mary Anne.

Edward arrived in New York on 24 October 1853 aboard the ship Manchester. After arriving in the United States he settled in Connecticut. His naturalization papers indicate that he was naturalized on 23 October 1856. He gave his residence as New Canaan, Connecticut and his birth place as Ireland. In the 1860 US Census he is living in Darien, Farifield County, Connecticut. He is there with his wife Fanny (age 21), two daughters; Ida (age 5) and Ella (age 6 months), and Darias Waterbury, a farmer. Edward's occupation is listed as shoemaker and he had $500 in personal value. His wife Fanny was born in Connecticut.

Connecticut Regiments
On 25 April 1861 Edward enlisted in Company F, 3rd Regiment, Connecticut Infantry to fight in the Civil War. Company F consisted of men from Fairfield County. The unit camped in the Hartford fair grounds before being mustered into service on 14 May, departing by rail for New Haven on 23 May, receiving their colors and then traveling aboard the steamer Cahawba for Washington, D.C. Once they arrived in Washington they set up camp at Glenwood along with the 1st and 2nd Connecticut Regiments and provided for the defense of Washington until 1 June. The three Regiments marched on Virginia and encamped at Falls Church and joined the Army of the Potomac, performing picket duty until 16 July. From 16 July until 21 July the Regiment advanced to Manassas, Virginia and occupied Fairfax Court House on 17 July. The unit's first and only real battle experience came on 21 July at Bull Run. This battle was the first major land battle between the Union and Confederate armies in Virginia. The battle is described by Colonel Keyes as follows, "At about two o'clock P. M., General Tyler ordered me to take a battery on a height in front. The battery was strongly posted and supported by infantry and riflemen, sheltered by a building, a fence, and a hedge.  My order to charge was obeyed with the utmost promptness. Colonel Jameson of the Second Maine, and Colonel Chatfield of the Third Connecticut Volunteers, pressed forward their regiments up the base of the slope about one hundred yards, when I ordered them to lie down, at a point offering a small protection, and load. I then ordered them to advance again, which they did, in the face of a movable battery of eight pieces and a large body of infantry, toward the top of the hill. As we moved forward, we came under the fire of other large bodies of the enemy, posted behind breastworks, and on reaching the top of the hill the firing became so hot that an exposure to it of five minutes would have annihilated my whole line.....The gallantry with which the Second Regiment of Maine, and the Third Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers, charged up the hill upon the enemy's artillery and infantry was never, in my judgment, surpassed."

This battle was a rout by the Confederate army and by late afternoon the Union forces were in full retreat back to Washington. By the evening of 21 July the 3rd Regiment had made it back to the camp they had left earlier that morning. The next day they were ordered to continue on to Falls Church and then to Washington. During the next two days the unit was busily engaged in saving camp and garrison equipment and stores that had been abandoned by other units. Company F had experienced the following casualties during the Battle of Bull Run: 0 killed, 1 MIA, 1 wounded, 5 captured, and 2 disabled. The regiment was mustered out of service on 12 August 1861.

After his short service in the Civil War, Edward returned home to Darien and took up the occupation of farming. By the 1870 US Census, Edward had amassed $1,500 in land and had $200 in personal value. His wife Fanny (age 31), and daughters Ida (age 15) and Ella (age 9) are listed in the home and are attending school. Edward is listed as 42 years old. On 10 July 1874, his daughter Ida died after a seven week long bout with typhoid fever. She was 19 years old and had been working as a teacher at the Ox Ridge school in Darien, Connecticut.

Hillside School (1877-1966)
Sometime in the 1870s Edward decided to travel west to Oregon. It would have taken 4 to 6 weeks to make this journey at that time. By 1877, Edward Faul had acquired extensive acreage within the Gales Creek, Washington County, Oregon community. The Faul's are known to have raised goats on their farm. One acre of the farm was donated to the school district for the construction of a 20'x20' frame building to be used as a school house. One of the Faul's neighbors, Mr. Clapshaw was hired to construct the building. Each day two students would carry water from either the Faul or Clapshaw wells to the school house. In 1889 the school house was moved to its present location on land that was rented from the Fauls for $1/year for 100 years. The school closed in 1966 when they consolidated with Forest Grove. The highest attendance for the school was 40 students. Today this school is kept as a free museum displaying the history of the area's early settlers and the school.

Headstone of Edward & Fanny Faul
In the 1880 US Census, Edward (age 52), his wife Fanny (age 41) and daughter Ella (age 19) were still located in Gales Creek, Washington County, Oregon. Edward is listed as a farmer in this census.

On 22 November 1895, Edward was working with a very uncooperative colt when, due to exhaustion and frustration, he suffered a heart attack and died. He is buried, along with his wife Fanny, in Hillside Cemetery, Forest Grove, Washington County, Oregon. The headstone reads. "We will meet again." On the other side, under Fanny's name, are etched the words, "Reunion after many a lonely year." His daughter, Ella, married Sylvester Perry Reeder, the son of Corydon Bloomfield Reeder who was a subject of my story previously.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Catherine Bornhorst (1858-1931)

I hope people are enjoying my stories. Even though I have close to 40,000 people in my family tree, I find it difficult to choose one to write about. I am trying to stay with direct lines and not get off on sub-branches of in-laws or those married to the cousin of my great-great-grandmother's sister's husband (yes, I do have those in my tree). Today I will be focusing on Catherine Bornhorst, my great-great-grandmother (not her sister's husband's cousin). This is a little more challenging since most women of this time stayed at home and didn't leave as many records as their husbands.

Catherine Bornhorst was born on 18 December 1858, in Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio. Her parents were Franz Joseph (1820-1900) and Catherine (Brandewie) Bornhorst (1824-1885). She was the seventh of ten children. Her siblings were Anthony (1846-1897), Bernadina (b. 1848), Henry (b. 1850), Bernard (1851-1935), Joseph (1853-1931), Frank (1856-1942), Clemens (1861-1931), Elizabeth (1864-1938), and John (1867-1935). Both of her parents were born in Germany and they were married on 13 May 1845 in Minster, Auglaize County, Ohio. Joseph, her father immigrated in 1836 at the age of 16.

The first record I have listing Catherine is the 1860 US Census for Minster, Jackson Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. At the time she is listed as 1 year old. Her family consisted of her father Joseph (age 39), mother Catherine (age 35), and siblings Anthony (age 14), Dena (age 12), Henry (age 10), Barney (age 8), Joseph (age 6), and Frank (age 4). According to this census, her father was born in Oldenburg and her mother was born in Hanover. Her father is a farmer with $1,800 in real estate and $500 in personal property.

Catherine married William Severin around 1877 and had four children from this marriage. These children were Emma, Frank, Bernard and Anne, a daughter who died as a young child. The family left Ohio and moved to Belloit, Mitchell County, Kansas in October 1885. Her husband, William died in January 1886, a few months after they arrived in Kansas. Shortly afterward the remaining family moved back to the Minster, Ohio area to be with family. On 16 February 1887, she married my great-great-grandfather, Henry Westerheide (1863-1948) in St. Joseph's Church, Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio.

The 1900 US Census for Jackson Township, Auglaize County, Ohio lists the family as follows: Henry Westerheide (age 35) and his wife Katharina (age 41), and their eight children; Edward (age 12), Julius (age 10), Maria (age 9), George (age 6), Raymond (age 5), Paulina (age 4), Joseph (age 2) and Anton (age 6 months). Henry and Katharina had been married 14 years and all eight of their children were still surviving. As was customary for this area, Henry was a farmer. I noticed that none of the three surviving Severin children are included in this family or the child count in the census. I am not sure where those children were during this census or future censuses.

In the 1910 US Census for Jackson Township, Auglaize County, Ohio, Katherine states that she has had 13 children with 12 still living. That would include the nine Westerheide children and the four Severin children. However, the Severin children are again not found in the household. This census lists the family as Henry (age 47) and Katherine (age 52) and their children Edward (age 22), Julius (age 20), Mary (age 18), George (age 16), Raymond (age 14), Paulina (age 13), Joseph (age 11), Anthony (age 9) and Henry (age 7). Edward is a veterinary doctor and Julius is listed as a laborer. Their father is still farming.

The 1920 census for Jackson Township, Auglaize County, Ohio lists the family as Henry (age 56) and Katherine (age 61) and their children George (age 26), Pauline (age 23), Anton (age 19) and Henry (age 17). Anton and Henry are listed as laborers and their father is still farming.

The 1930 census for Jackson Township, Auglaize County, Ohio lists the family as Henry (age 66) and Katherine (age 71) and their son Anthony (age 30) with his wife Mathilda (age 27) and son Stanley (age 4). Anthony and Mathilda were married about 1921.

Headstone, St. Joseph's Cemetery
Catherine died on 19 April 1931 in Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio, where she spent the majority of her life. She was survived by her husband, 9 children (2 Severin and 7 Westerheide), 34 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren and several of her siblings. Her funeral was held on 23 April 1931 at St. Joseph's Church, Egypt, Ohio with Rev. Thomas Meyer officiating. The burial followed in the church cemetery.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bernard Emmanuel "Emil" Garman (1858-1932)

Today I am switching from my wife's family over to mine. I joke about her family being world travelers and having all sorts of great adventures while my family were German farmers who immigrated to Ohio and stayed there. So, here goes the exciting life of a German farmer named Emil Garman, my great-grandfather.

Emil Garman was born 23 December 1858 in Halverde, Westfalen, Germany to Johann Clemens Van Lay and Anna Maria Theresia Garmann. When Johann married Anna Maria on 3 October 1848, he took the Garmann name because Anna had inherited the family property. Johann and Anna had 9 children in addition to Emil. They were as follows: Heinrick Clemens (1849-1900), August Gerhard (1851-1928), Johann Josef (1853-?), Reverend Frantz Ignatz (1856-1934), Theodore Johann (1861-1932), Clemens Herman (1864-1891), Reverend Bernhard Johann (1866-1954), Wilhelm Gerhard (1870-1923), and Maria Josefa (1874-1891). The Rev. Franz Ignatz Garman settled in Meyersville, DeWitt County, Texas while his brother, the Rev. Bernhard Johann Garmann settled in Wichita, Sedgwick County, Kansas.

According to his obituary, Emil immigrated to the United States in 1882. An Emanuel Garmann is listed in the New York Passenger Lists as arriving on 19 June 1882 in New York aboard the ship Edam which departed from Amsterdam, Netherlands and Boulogne Sur Mer, France. His country of origin is listed as Germany. During this period, many German immigrants made their way to the fertile lands of Ohio down the Ohio River to Cincinnati. After arriving in Cincinnati, he continued north to the area of Mercer County and settled in one of the small Catholic communities which had developed throughout the area. He became a naturalized citizen in 1885. He married Anna Marie Heitman on 2 February 1887. Anna Marie was born in the small community of Egypt, Auglaize County, Ohio, on 1 January 1866. Her parents were Bernard and Maria Anna (Rolfes) Heitmann. However Anna died three months after their marriage.

Emil and Mary Garman
On 25 April 1888, he married Mary Angela Mescher. They were married in St. Rose, Mercer County, Ohio. Mary was born 3 January 1869 in St. Rose to Johann Heinrick and Maria Catherine (Leugers) Mescher. This union resulted in 15 children: Frances Theresa (1889-1949), Anna Mathilda (1890-1890), August Bernard (1892-1962), Rosa Carolina (1893-1972), Florentine (1894-1974), Edward Herman (1896-1962), Aloys Bernard (1898-1957), Marie (1899-1976), Josephina Rosa (1901-1984), Bertha Joanna Elizabeth (1903-1997), Ida Emma (1905-1987), Lawrence (1907-1975), Alvina (1910-1984), Marcella (1912-1999), and Velma Catherine (1915-2011).

In the 1900 US Census for Chickasaw, Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio, Emil (age 41) is listed as having immigrated from Germany in 1881. His occupation is listed as farmer and he rents his home. His wife Mary (age 31) is listed as having had 8 children, of which 7 are still living. The children listed in the home are: Francis (age 11), August (age 8), Rosie (age 7), Florentine (age 5), Edward (age 3), Aloys (age 2) and Mary (age 8 months).  In addition to the family, John Gehle, a farm hand is listed as boarding in the house.

By 1910 the family had moved to German Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. They lived on Amsterdam Pike. Emil (age 51), Mary (age 41) and ten of their eleven children are living in the home. Frances had married Henry John Vagedes in 1909 and had moved to their home in Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio. The remaining children were August (age 18), Rosa (age 16), Florentine (age 15), Edward (age 13), Aloys (age 12), Mary (age 10), Josephine (age 8), Bertha (age 6), Ida (age 4), and Lawrence (age 2). Emil is listed as a farmer while his son August is listed as a farm laborer.

In 1920 the family was living on Township Road in German Township, Auglaize County, Ohio. At this time Emil had paid off the mortgage on his home. The family consisted of Emil (age 61), his wife Marie (age 51), and their children: August (age 28), Marie (age 20), Eida (age 14), Larence (age 12), Alvina (age 9), Marcella (age 7), and Velma (age 4 years 10 months). It's interesting to notice the spellings of the names during this census. Emil is still listed as a farmer and August is a farm laborer on the family farm. On 20 April 1920 the Garman family celebrated a quadruple wedding. Three sons, August, Alois and Ed, along with one daugther, Mary, were wed at St. John's Church in Maria Stein. Emil's brothers, Father Bernard and Father Frank, performed the ceremony. It appears that Emil retired from farming around 1922.

The 1930 census indicates that the family had moved off the farm and back to Marion Township, Mercer County, Ohio. It appears that August may be living on the family farm but I have not confirmed that. Emil is 71 years old at this time and is doing odd jobs to earn money. His wife, Mary, is 61 years old. Bertha (age 26) and Lawrence (age 22) are living in the home and working in a factory. The remaining children living at home are Alvina (age 19), Marcella (age 18) and Velma (age 15).

During the fall of 1931 Emil contracted gangrene in his right foot as a result of his diabetes, which he had for about 10 years. The gangrene had begun to spread and he was admitted to the hospital for treatment. He would have been 73 years old at the time. While at the hospital he underwent surgery to amputate his right leg in a final attempt to save his life. However, he was in a weakened state due to his age and extended illness. Emil died on 18 January 1932 in St. Elizabeth Hospital, Dayton, Ohio. He had been in the hospital for three days. His body was handled by N. J. Hogenkamp Funeral Home. The funeral services were performed by Rev. J. O. Missler and he was buried in St. John Cemetery, Maria Stein, Mercer County, Ohio on 21 January 1932. Emil was known for his jovial disposition and was well liked in his community. His wife, Mary, lived until 19 June 1951. She is also buried in St. Johns Cemetery.

In June 1934, the heirs of Emil's estate were taken to court by Aetna Life Insurance Company. I haven't been able to find the details of this case yet but the plaintiff brought the suit against the estate for $6,022.31.

Friday, February 1, 2013

James Franklin Coker (1836-1899)

Look at that, two days in a row. I am on a hot streak now as I continue to post for the February Family History Writing Challenge. Today's story is about my wife's 3rd great-grandfather James Franklin Coker.

James Franklin Coker
James Franklin Coker was born on 12 March 1836 in Upson County, Georgia. His parents were Henry (1797-1863) and Nepsey (Wilson) Coker (b. abt 1813). James was the fifth of ten children. His siblings included Rebecca, Millie Evaline, Nancy, Isaac, Elizabeth, William, Orphy Jane, Louisa, and Francis Coker. The area where James grew up had been the territory of the Creek Indians up until the mid 1820s when the Treaty of Indian Springs relocated them to the west of the Mississippi River.

The 1840 US Census for District 588, Upson County, Georgia, lists two adults and 6 children living in the household. Three members of the family were employed in agriculture. James would have been 4 years old at the time of this census. The other children would be Rebecca (age 12), Millie (age 10), Nancy (age 9), Isaac (age 5), and Elizabeth (age 1).

In the 1850 US Census the family was found in District 17, Sumter County, Georgia. Henry Coker (age 52) is listed as a farmer with real estate valued at $1,200 (the equivalent of about $35,000 today). In addition to his father Henry, the following family members are listed: his mother Nepsey (age 37), brothers Isaac (age 16) and William (age 10), sisters Elizabeth (age 13), Jane (age 7) and Francis (age 2). The 1852 Sumter County, Georgia tax roles indicate that the family had 303 acres of land, valued at $1,500 with additional personal property valued at $330. According to the records we have found, the family did not own slaves so we can assume that they farmed the land on their own or had hired farm hands.

In 1860, the family is listed in the US Census as living in Americus, District 20, Sumter County, Georgia. During that census, the following family members are living together: parents Henry (age 63) and Nepsey (age 47), brothers Isaac (age 24) and William (age 19), sisters Elizabeth (age 20), Orphy Jane (age 17), and Louisa (age 13). James is listed as 24 years old. Henry is listed as a farmer with land valued at $1,500 while James and his brother Isaac are listed as students at the time of this census. In addition to these family members, there is an 8 month old infant, James A. living in the home. James A. is the son of James Franklin and his wife Martha Butler. James and Martha were married on 23 December 1858, in Sumter County. Their son, James Anderson Coker, was born 25 October 1859 but he died less than a year later, on 9 July 1860, soon after the census was taken. Martha appears to have suffered from the birth of her son because she died two weeks after giving birth, on 8 November 1859. So at the age of 24, James was already a widower and had lost his first son, all within the span of 8 months.

Regimental Flag - Sumter Flying Artillery
A year later, war called James to action. He enlisted in the Sumter Flying Artillery, Company A, 11th Battalion, Georgia Volunteer Infantry and saw much action during the Civil War. Much of the following unit history is from the website, The Soldiers and Sailors Database and several books. The unit was mustered into service on 15 July 1861, in Richmond, Virginia. On 22 July 1861, they arrived in Manassas, Virginia, one day after the Battle of First Bull Run.

Their first experience in battle was on 20 December 1861, at the Battle of Dranesville where the unit suffered five killed and thirteen wounded. The unit then set winter camp in Culpepper, Virginia until 8 March 1862, when they arrived at Warrenton, Virginia. On 12 April they were ordered to Richmond and then on 16 April to Yorktown to establish a defensive line. On 2 May they were removed from Yorktown and moved back to Richmond. The distance from Warrenton to Richmond is 90 miles and the distance from Richmond to Yorktown is 60 miles. During that 3 week period the unit traveled approximately 210 miles. Throughout the first part of 1862, the unit was plagued with an outbreak of measles  resulting in the death of at least 37 soldiers.

Dunker Church, Battle of Antietam
On 1 June 1862 the unit was incorporated into the Army of Northern Virginia under the command of General Robert E. Lee. They served as a reserve unit during much of this time and didn't see significant action during the Seven Days Battle (25 June - 1 July 1862). Following the retreat of Union General George McClellan from Richmond, the unit was sent to Petersburg to participate in an artillery bombardment of McClellan's camp on 31 July 1862. After an ineffectual bombardment the unit returned to Richmond to protect the rear of the advancing Army of Northern Virginia. However, once the army moved into Maryland, the unit was moved to the front lines and saw heavy action in South Mountain and the Battle of Antietam. During the Battle of Antietam on 17 September 1862, the unit was stationed near Dunker Church defending the "Bloody Lane". Then the unit repositioned in the afternoon behind the woods and was replaced by another unit. After Lee's retreat the unit was again assigned to the Reserve Artillery.

The unit was encamped near Ninevah, Virginia in October 1862, moved to Culpepper, Virginia in early November and then ordered to fortify Fredericksburg, Virginia on 19 November. While in Fredericksburg, the unit was to defend against Union gunboats on the Rappahannock River. On 13 December 1862, they took part in the Battle of Fredericksburg and then set up winter camp at Chesterfield Depot. On 29 April 1863, the unit was moved to Port Royal, Virginia to guard against gun boats. On 4 May they participated in the Battle of  Salem Church. On 9 June Lee's army was reorganized and the Sumter Flying Artillery was assigned to Lt. Gen. A. P. Hill's 3rd Corps in preparation for the second invasion of the north. On 16 June the unit crossed the Potomac River at Sheperdstown, Virginia arriving in Gettysburg late on 1 July. On 2 July the unit provided support in the battle at Bliss Farm. On 3 July the unit participated in the artillery bombardment that preceded Pickett's charge. After that attack failed, the unit made a nighttime retreat back into Virginia on 4 July.

During 1864 the unit participated in several major battles, including the Battle of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Mule Shoe, Myers Hill, Cold Harbor, and the defense of Petersburg. However, from March through August 1864 James was detailed as a guard to the Artillery Ordinance Train, 3rd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia so it is uncertain how much of this action he saw. The unit was assigned the defense of Petersburg from mid-August until 2 April 1865, when they were evacuated to Amelia Court House.

On 8 April 1865 the unit was attacked near Appomattox Station. Several men were captured along with the unit's battle flag. The remainder escaped capture and retreated to the north near Oakville. On 9 April they were ordered to Appomattox Court House to assist the Confederate troops in their retreat. During their march to Appomattox, the troops were informed of Lee's imminent surrender and were ordered to disband. They spiked their cannons, hacked off the wheels, destroyed the carriages and buried the guns. The unit never surrendered. After they disbanded, small groups of men made their way back to their homes. On 19 April some were captured and on 10 May 1865, the The District of Florida, which included southwest Georgia, surrendered.

Simeon & Seaborn Walters
On 8 December 1866, James married Sarah Ann Jane Walters. Sarah was the sister of Simeon and Seaborn Walters both of whom were in the Sumter Flying Artillery, but served in Company B. Both Seaborn and Simeon were captured in Lynchburg, Virginia on 14 April 1865 while in the hospital. Simeon finished the war in a Union hospital while Seaborn was paroled on 15 April 1865.

James and Sarah Jane had the following children: Willis Barnum (1867-1956), William Bartow (1868-1889), Dora Joline (1870-), James Thadeus Beta (1871-1956), Belle Boyd (1874-1938), Maggie Louise (1876-1856), and Effie Dessolee (1878-1905).

In the 1870 US Census James is listed as Jefferson Coker married to Jane with Barnum (age 4), Bartow (age 2) and Dora (age 0) as children. The family is living next to his mother Nepsey Coker, in Georgia Militia District 1185, Americus, Sumter County, Georgia. James is listed as a farmer.

James' wife Sarah died on 9 November 1883 at the age of 47. Six years later, on 28 January 1889, James married Mary Emma Bellew. Mary was 29 years old and James was 52 at the time of their marriage. This union resulted in four children: Ethel Veronica (1889-1916), Janie Mabel (1891-1919), James Bradford (1894-1961), and Mary Ida (1897-1898). James died on 15 June 1899, at the age of 63, in Plains, Sumter County, Georgia. He is buried in Magnolia Springs Cemetery in that town. His wife Mary Emma died on 8 July 1930 at the age of 70.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Leonida Maude Vickery (1855-1950)

Wow, I can't believe it has been a year since I last wrote in this blog - well, not really, I have made some edits to previous stories. I get busy with so many things but that is no excuse. Yes, I have been researching my family history a lot but just haven't had the incentive to write much. However, I signed up for the Family History Writing Challenge during the month of February (good thing February is a short month). The challenge is to write 250-300 words about your family each day for a month. So, here is the first (yes, it is a day early but that means I can miss a day and not feel guilty).

St. Heliers, 1865
Leonida Maude Vickery is my wife's 1st cousin 4 times removed. She was born 6 May 1855 in St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands to George and Louisa (LeBouef) Vickery. She was baptized on 27 May 1885 with Mr. Leon Bouniol and Mary Ann Vickery, her aunt, as her godparents. However neither one of them were present for the baptism so her father and aunt Mary Ann LeBoeuf stood in for them as proxies. As a child, Leonida went by her middle name, Maude.

As a reference, for those who are unsure where Jersey is located, it is one of the Channel Islands located in the English Channel between England and France. St. Helier is a town located on the southern coast of Jersey on St. Aubin's Bay. The community's location made it a major port for worldwide trade and many members of Maude's family had careers associated with shipping. The picture above is of St. Helier in 1865. The language spoken in the area, known as Jersiais, was a combination of French, from the early Norman settlers, and English.

The first census that I have found Maude listed was the 1871 Channel Islands Census for St, Helier, Jersey. During that census she is 15 years old and living with her father (age 46) and mother (age 46), sister Adala (age 19), brother George (age 13), and their servant Mary Fitzgibbon at 11 St. Marks Road. The strange thing is that she and her sisters are not listed in the 1861 census (yes sisters, she also had a sister Augusta, born 1853, who is not found on either census). In 1861, the family was living at 203 Famworth Terrace Cottage Street. The household consisted of George (age 35), Louisa (age 32), George (age 3), sister-in-law Mariann LeBoeuf, and servants Eliza and Eleanore Quirot. Maude didn't spend too much time in her hometown since by 1873 she had migrated to Australia to further her career in the theater. It has been fairly easy to track her time in Australia and New Zealand through the many theatrical announcements and reviews in the local newspapers there.

Theater photo of Maude Vickery, 1878
In the 5 June 1873 edition of The Argus from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia there is a theatrical notice which states "The Director has the honour to announce that he has made arrangements for an English and Opera Bouffe Season, to commence on Monday, June 9, during which he will have the pleasure of introducing several new artistes, in addition to those who have already made themselves favourites with the musical public, a number of New Operas will be added to the repertory, and no expense or trouble spared to make the season successful." The article lists Mdlle. Andree Navaro and Mdlle. Salange Navaro as members of the theater troop. You may be asking who Andree and Salange Navaro are. They are Augusta and Maude Vickery.

The sisters enjoyed early success in the theater as evidenced by a review in the 17 June 1873 edition of The Argus. The review complemented their acting skills stating, "The production of a French operette with French performers was a notable experiment last night. There was a large attendance, and the audience were very polite and encouraging towards the two young ladies who represented the personages upon whom the action of the piece devolves. The sisters Salange and Andree Navaro are not wholly new to the Melbourne audience, having recently made an appearance in the same work at the Apollo-hall. In this they gained the good opinion of those who went to see them, and last night at the Opera house they renewed that impression amongst those who had seen them before, and gave the same kind of modified satisfaction to those who witnessed their performance for the first time, as we had occasion to describe in a former notice of M. Poise's little work. We have no need to alter our opinion concerning these young ladies. They have very slight claims to be considered vocalists in the sense in which we use that word as applied to singers on the operatic stage. As actresses their performance is very pleasing to witness, and their voices for colloquial purposes are singularly clear and musical. The innocent little comedy between the young cabinetmaker Charlot (Mdlle. Salange Navaro) and the young workwoman Louisette (Mdlle. Andree Navaro) was played by them in such a manner as to secure abundance of applause, and one or two points were specially worthy of notice. The duet, "C'en est fait, je prends mon parti! " was an instance of the kind we mean, and so also was the pretty berceuse, "Dormez encor," sung by Louisette. These young ladies have every reason to be satisfied with the reception they met with. They will probably repeat this performance several times during the current week, and this will give the general audience an opportunity to become acquainted with them, and to say to what extent they like this bijou edition of a French play. For our own part, we are anxious to hear them perform in English, and we are glad to know that they are thoroughly conversant with the language. They were not by any means well supported by the orchestra in the matter of accompaniment. On the conclusion of the piece both singers were honoured with a recall."

With ship travel being the predominant mode of travel during this time period, we are able to track the sisters as they make their way through the theater circuit. On 11 May 1874 the sisters arrive in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia aboard the ship Rangatira. On 4 December 1875 we find they were aboard the ship Edina departing Sydney and arriving in Brisbane on 8 December. On 21 January 1876, after a short stay in Brisbane they were on their way aboard the Lady Bowen.

Solange and Andree Navaro performed the operetta "Love and Music" near Melbourne at the Masonic Hall in Wagga Wagg during March 1874. During a performance there Andree had a fall. It is described as follows in The Argus newsapper on 28 March, "During the temporary absence of the attendant at the curtain, Mr. Farley went under the stage for the purpose of lowering it, leaving the trap open. The Mdlles. Navaro were at the point of going into the wings, and Mdlle. Andree, not observing the trap, unfortunately slipped down. The shock of the fall was such that the young lady remained insensible for some time, but we believe that no serious injury has been sustained."

The sisters performed at the Queensland Theater in August 1875. While there, they performed the farce of "The Irish Tiger" and the burlesque on "Fra Diavolo". Solange played the bandit while Andree played Zerlina in the latter piece.

In February 1879, Solange Navaro announced her retirement from the stage at the age of 24. The news of her retirement was taken with sorrow by the press. An article in The Australian Journal stated, "After the conclusion of her present engagement with Mr. George Darrell that excellent actress, Miss Solange Navaro, intends giving up the stage once and for ever. Lovers of the drama, both here and in Australia, where she is such a great favourite, will be sorry to hear it. Miss Navaro is the making of a grand exponent of high-class tragedy." During this retirement she married Fred H Digby. It is believed that Mr. Digby was a sports reporter in New Zealand. Mr. Digby died in the Sunnyside Lunatic Asylum in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1886 at the age of 45. The couple had one child, Claude Digby born in 1881 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Solange's retirement was short lived. In 1882, shortly after the birth of her son, she is in Canterbury, New Zealand preparing to perform in "Jo" at the Princess Theatre. During May 1885, she is performing the comedy "Pink Dominoes" at the Theatre Royal in Adelaide, South Australia. "Pink Dominoes" had previously been performed in Sydney and caused great controversy there as it was the first translation from the French stage. The play was described in the South Australian Register as "a play which will be remembered for its compromising situations as well as for the excitement which it caused in the old country when it was first produced." Solange continued her stay at the Theatre Royal in June 1885 co-starring in the comedietta "A Happy Pair" as the wife of the character Mr. Honeyton. The governor was present for this performance.

In August 1885, she is performing in the play "The Sunny South". The review of this play in the Otago Witness isn't as good as her previous plays but the reviewer seems to like her performance. The review states, "'The Sunny South' is drawing mild houses at the Opera House, and Mr George Darrell's manly impersonation of a manly part is received with much favour. I should have been better pleased if Mr Darrell had a greater slice of fortune this time, for he is really beginning to act. Some years ago he was of an extremely amateurish type, but experience has taught him some lessons. He is at his best in the fourth act, the most exciting one of the five. Miss Emma Fischer, who plays Bubs Berkeley, suffers from a hoarseness which appears to be chronic and grates upon the ear. She is at her best also in the fourth act. Miss Fischer is a Colonial actress of medium ability, who might, under proper tuition develop a considerable amount of talent. Miss Solange Navaro is effective, - she always is - as Clarice Chester. Miss Navaro is a native of Jersey, and made her first appearance in Melbourne with her sister, Miss Andree, in a little French vaudeville, "Bon Soir Voisin," at a place of amusement known as the Apollo Hall. That was more years ago than Miss Navaro will care to recall. She played then in French, and she has since, by dint of perseverance and study attained a prominent position on our stage. In character parts, such as Hortense in "Jo," she is unexcelled."

Later in August of 1885 she is again performing at the Theatre Royal in Adelaide. This time it is in the play "The Squatter".

In the 1891 Channel Island census, her son Claude H. Digby, is found  living with Leonida's brother George Vickery and his wife Alice. Claude is 10 years old and going to school.

Leonida and Claude are back together in the 1911 England census. Leonida is going by her middle name, Maude and is listed as an actress. She is 55 years old. Claude is 30 years old, single and employed as a bank clerk.

The last mention I have found of Solange Navaro is in the Brisbane Courier in Queensland, Australia. This article is dated 31 May 1924 and is a retrospective looking back 50 years on the theater with a short note on the play "Cox and Box" where Solange played Martha Mary Cox, a milliner, and her sister Andree played Mary Martha Box, a telegraph clerk.

It appears that after Leonida returned she settled in Epping, Essex, England where she died at the age of 95, during the fall of 1950. Our search is now to find details for Leonida Maude Vickery, otherwise known as Solange Navaro and Mrs. F. H. Digby, for the time between the death of her husband in 1886 and her death in 1950.