Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Dear Genea-Santa

Well tonight is Saturday night so Randy Seaver proposed we write our letter to Genea-Santa. Well we don't teach our kids to believe in Santa. When the clerk in a store told my kids and I that Santa was there, my son responded that he's not real. But in case anyone wants to know what's on a genealogist's list, this is mine.

Dear Genea-Santa:

I tried very hard to be a good genealogy girl this year. I have worked hard doing a few presentations: two at Family History Expos and one for the Northeast Library group. I met with my local genealogy friends, attended many sessions of #genchat on Twitter, attended 2 genealogy conferences, am planning a genealogy conference, tried to write 24 blog posts, indexed marriage records and put online, took many cemetery photos and put online, and worked some on my own family as well as my husband's and a few clients'.

Thank you (and my husband) for last year's gifts. I liked all the genealogy books I received but I haven't had time to look at and read them all. You know that job I have now and my 2 kids and life makes it hard to get much reading done.

Well you know everyone always asks for WAY too much, like my son wants all the toys in the catalogs, so here goes.

1. Genealogy books from my Amazon wish list, I would say "Mapping and Documenting Cemeteries" would be near the top, and "Digging for Ancestors: In-Depth Guide to Land Records"

2. Organization of my genea-piles, so send an organization fairy please

3. Break throughs on my brick walls: Williams Lindsey's parents and my Irish ancestors, more on my Dacy family

4. More digitized records everywhere! And not just so we have easier access but to preserve them in case another courthouse burns down (or floods, or tornado, or some natural disaster).

That's pretty much it. Yes I'd like Windows to get a decent operating system figured out so I could get a new laptop, and while my camera is fine, now they have cameras with GPS.

Oh, and world peace.
Merry Christmas all!

Friday, November 28, 2014

November Ancestor: George Sickmon

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday! Well November should mean I focus on a war veteran ancestor because of Veteran's day this month, right? Or perhaps focus on a Mayflower ancestor because of Thanksgiving? Well this is what happens when you make up your blogging schedule in January. Neither of those is my focus ancestor for November. Maybe next year....stay tuned

George Sickmon is my ancestor for November. George was born in Erie county, New York on January 11, 1819, the son of Henry Sickmon and Susan Francis. According to Roy Regnier (George's grandson, and my great-grandfather), Roy thinks George's father (Henry) died when George was young and the responsibility of raising the children fell to him. I have that George was the oldest of 5 boys born to Henry and Susan, so that could possibly be true. I also have that his father died in 1835 in New York, and I believe it was some sort of work accident. So if he died in 1835, that would leave George as being about 15 or 16 years old. Other people have he died as the result of drowing in a creek in Erie county, New York while building a dam. They also have he died in 1852 which seems too late to follow was Roy has about him. George's obituary has that he was the 4th of 12 children so I am missing some of his siblings. George's obituary also has that his father died when he was quite young, although it was the age of 11.

In September 1842 George Sickmon married Sarah Greene at her home in New York. Two years later, they moved to Warren county, Illinois. They settled on a farm 2 miles southeast of Monmouth. George and Sarah had 6 children, 4 girls and 2 boys, namely Sallie M, Susan E, Winfield S, Anna E, Eliza J. and Charles. The Sickmons raised their family on the farm for some time, then moved into town for a short while, back out to the farm, and then retired in town. Dates are a little fuzzy here.

He served several roles while in Warren county, Illinois including city alderman, on the board of supervisors, church deacon, and church elder. He was a member of the Christian church.

George passed away at the age of 89 on May 28, 1908 in Warren county, Illinois. He is buried in the Monmouth city cemetery in the Sickmon plot. I have visited his grave in person several years ago.

I have the photo above labeled as Sickmon family, but I don't think it is George and Sarah and their children as they had 4 girls and 2 boys, not 4 boys and 2 girls. So I am thinking this is Henry and Susan (seated) and some of the children standing. If anyone knows more about this photo, please let me know. I can't remember where I got this photo, probably from the internet unless it was from my great-aunt's stash.

Meanwhile I found this photo on my drive while looking for his gravestone photo. Here it is:
Sickmon gravestone, Monmouth cemetery

So the documents I have for George include the following: US Federal census for 1850, 1880 and 1900, a cemetery photo and his obituary. So I could look for his marriage license and earlier documents. Thanks for reading. 


Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Ancestor: Jesse Fields

Okay yes October is over (yesterday if I get this done today) but I'm running slightly behind.
Time to blog about my October ancestor: Jesse Fields
Jesse comes from my paternal side of my tree.
He was born in England about December 16, 1828, the son of Isaac Fields and Jemima Porter. Some records have him born around 1830. I don't know much about his early life. Thanks to a distant cousin, I have a copy of his marriage license. Jesse married Caroline Sealey in England on February 16, 1852 at the Parish church in the parish of Lympsham in the county of Somerset. He is listed as a bachelor, and she a "spinster". His occupation is a miner and his father is listed as Isaac Fields who was a laborer. Emmanuel Field and Jemima Field are listed as witnesses. Jemima is his mother, not sure who Emmanuel is but I would guess a brother.
She was already the mother of one child, and I have presumed he was the father. However this could be wrong. It would be good to see a birth certificate from England, if one exists, or a baptism record. Perhaps this is why she is called a "spinster".
In June 1852 they immigrate to the United States from Bristol, England to New York. Their ship is called the Queen of the Ocean. They are in New York at least for a couple years as their next daughter is born there in December 1853.
Then by 1855 they move to Wisconsin. They are in Wisconsin for many years, at least until 1870 and maybe a few years more. Generally they are in the Beaver Dam area in Dodge county, 1870 census finds them in the town of Fountain Prairie which is in Columbia county, the next county to the east. Fountain Prairie is listed to have post office at Fall River, Wisconsin so it must be near there. While in Wisconsin on March 27, 1865 Jesse enlists for the Civil War as a private in Company A in the 2nd Wisconsin Cavalry. He mustered out on July 29th of that same year.
By 1880, they have moved to Madison county, Wisconsin near the town of Tilden. Jesse and his wife live in the Tilden area, mostly on the Madison county side until their death.
In all, I have found 8 daughters were born to this union. Of course the first may not be his, as mentioned above. No sons were born. The daughters are Angeline "Annie", Martha E., Sarah J., Emeline, Mary A., Bertha Matilda, Hattie, and Clara.
Jesse's daughter Martha married Charles Hanks in Wisconsin in 1872. Emeline Fields married Walter Elley at her father (Jesse's) home on 25 December 1884 in Madison county, Nebraska. A few other daughters also got married in Madison county. I have a land deed describing land that Jesse bought in the fall of 1884 from the United States.
A few of Jesse's descendants live in the Tilden/Norfolk area for many years, up until this decade. I remember meeting one of them who was from Norfolk with my parents a few years ago.
Jesse Fields passes away on January 31, 1918 at the age of 89 in Tilden, Nebraska. He is buried in the IOOF Tilden city cemetery in Madison county, Nebraska. He has a military gravestone.
copyright Beth (Jorgensen) Sparrow

For records I have on Jesse, I have a copy of his marriage certificate, two land deeds, US Federal census from 1860 to 1910, death certificate and gravestone photo, and I found him on the passenger list for his immigration. So the part I am mostly missing is his early life in England. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Husband's DNA

Happy October to all of you! I can't believe it's 80 in the house and we have the windows open to cool it down. Ancestry.com had a DNA sale and my husband agreed to spit in the tube so I ordered one for him and the results came back a day or two ago. This weekend was busy with a genealogy society board meeting and a day of conference.

So did his DNA turn out as expected? And how does it compare to mine?

Here is his DNA:

47% Scandinavian
19% Great Britain
14% Italy/Greece
11% Ireland
5% Iberian Peninsula
3% Europe West
<1% Europe East

Is this what we expected? Well no.
The Scandinavian?? Where did that come from? And 47%?? Way too much. We have found Patterson and Thompson surnames on his mother's side and yes they are fairly close relatives to him, but I supposedly traced the Thompsons back to Scotland. So maybe that's not right??
Great Britain: Yes that seems right and probably about the right amount. The Sparrow surname is British (English).
Italy/Greece: Nope haven't found any of that in his lines.
Ireland: Yes this makes sense as certainly his McCash surname is probably Irish.
Iberian Peninsula: Nope haven't found any of this yet either.
And where is his German?? He should be quite a bit German, as I have traced one of his great-grandmothers' ancestry all back to Germany. Surely that's more than 1%!
So this was worth it and interesting to see what comes up. I do have some more work to do, but some of my husband's line have been in the United States for quite some time.
And yes, he is totally European (Caucasian/white). No Native American or African American for us.

And look how this compares to mine:
48% Scandinavian
22% Ireland
17% Europe West
5% Great Britain
6% Europe East
1% Iberian Peninsula
<1% Italy/Greece

Look at that! I'm totally European (Caucasian/white) too! And our top one is the same with almost exact percentage. So it will be interesting to see if the web site matches us up as cousins, which we are but you have to go back to colonial New England, at least 12 generations. So it's nothing for me to be concerned about.

DNA certainly is interesting to see where we've been. I have more work to do on my husband's side to trace some of his lines back to their originating country.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September Ancestor: Johann Heinrich (John Henry) Seggerman

Happy Fall! School is in session so it must be September. In fact just a few more days left of September so I better blog about my September ancestor, Johann Heinrich (John Henry) Seggerman.

Johann Heinrich Seggerman was born in Leer, Ostfriesland, Germany 29 July 1838. He came to America in 1857. He enlisted for the Civil War for the Union side in August 1862; he served in Company K of the 108th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was honorably discharged in 1865.
He married Mary Junker in December 1866 in Woodford county, Illinois. They were the parents of 9 children: Greetje "Grace" Seggerman, Laura Seggerman, Rena Seggerman, Sarah Ann Seggerman, Henry Seggerman, Harry Seggerman, Herman Seggerman, Richard "Dick" Seggerman, and Mary Seggerman. Grace the oldest passed away in Illinois in 1889.
The family moves from Woodford county, Illinois to Jefferson county, Nebraska in 1894 and lived on a farm 4 miles west of Fairbury. Six months later his wife becomes ill and passes away. (Note she passes away March 1894 according to her gravestone so possibly they moved in 1893.)
In 1895 or 1896 he is united in marriage to Mrs. Katharina (Eisenhouer) Taddiken in Jefferson county, Nebraska. She already has a son Philip (and maybe others). One child is born to John Henry and Katharina, and he or she dies in infancy in 1896.
John Henry works as a farmer according to the 1880 and 1900 census. He retires from farming in 1895 and lives in Gladstone for 5 years. Then he moves to Fairbury in December 1909 (or should this be 1900?)
In October 1909 he suffers a stroke of paralysis from which he does not recover. In February 1910 he has another stroke, and end of July suffers a third which seems to do him in. He passes away Sunday morning August 7, 1910 at 11 a.m. in Fairbury, Jefferson county, Nebraska.
The funeral service was conducted from his home Wednesday (August 10) by the pastor of the Baptist church. There was a public service conducted at Zion Lutheran Church of Gladstone. He is buried west of town at Pleasant Hill cemetery. His other 8 children are still alive at the time of his passing.

For documentation I have found him in the 1880, 1900 and 1910 US Federal censuses, I have a cemetery photo and an obituary, and I think I have a copy of his marriage license to his second wife.

His gravestone in Pleasant Hill Cemetery (not my best photo)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

One Lovely Blog Award: Thanks & Passing It On

Yesterday I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog award by Cheri Hudson Passey of Carolina Girl Genealogy http://carolinagirlgenealogy.blogspot.com/
Thank you Cheri. I'm in some good company in that list.

So now the rules of the award:
1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire or however many you can come up with
4. Contact those bloggers to let them know you nominated them.

7 Things about me:
1. My name is Beth, not Elizabeth
2. I am the mother of 2 kids, a boy age 6 1/2 and girl 2 1/2. I am under 50 and not a grandmother yet.
3. I was born in Nebraska and have always lived in the Husker state. GO BIG RED!!
4. I began researching my family about 12 years ago, when I was in my late 20's.
5. I now work part time as a receptionist in a dental office. I love the hours as I still get to do genealogy, and like my co-workers.
6. I like to relax by doing various genealogy tasks on the computer: adding photos to Findagrave or transcribing.
7. My parents were both teachers. I have a degree in education, my grandmother was a teacher. On my mom's side of the family at one time, we could probably open a school with all the teachers in our family.

Blogs I admire and nominate for the award:
1. Hack Genealogy Blog by Thomas MacEntee http://hackgenealogy.com/category/blog/ If it has to do with technology or social media, he is ALL over it
2. Ancestral Breezes Blog by Jen Baldwin http://ancestralbreezes.blogspot.com/ She is also our host of #genchat two Friday evenings a month
3. 4 Your Family Story blog by Caroline Pointer  http://www.4yourfamilystory.com/blog#.VCF_zMRDv8c  She always has tips about what genealogy things you NEED to know
4. Genealogy's Star by James Tanner http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/
5. Rootdig by Michael John Neill  http://rootdig.blogspot.com/
6. You Go Genealogy Girls Blog by Ruby Coleman & Cheri Hopkins  http://yougogenealogygirls.blogspot.com/
7. AnceStories by Miriam J. Robbins http://ancestories1.blogspot.com/
8. Nutfield Genealogy by Heather Wilkinson Rojo http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/
9. Genea-Musings by Randy Seaver  http://www.geneamusings.com/  He does Saturday night genealogy fun
10. Long Lost Relatives by Susan Petersen http://longlostrelatives-smp.blogspot.com/

Okay I came up with 10. I am sure there are tons more and I think a couple of these have already been nominated, but I must admit I don't read as many as I should. Okay, hopefully people will see these and now I have to contact them.

Friday, August 22, 2014

August ancestor: Lena M. (Nelson) Jorgensen

August is almost over so I am blogging about my August ancestor. She has been one of my hardest to trace, but luckily I have found a few records about her.
Emeline "Lena" Maria Nelson was born in Denmark (probably in or near Thingstrup) on December 10, 1848. Her parents were Nels C. Jensen and Inger Katrina Euwalden (or something like that).
I do not know much about her early life in Denmark. She at least had a relationship with an Anders Brogoard Christensen and became with child. She had a daughter Inger Katrina Nelson, known as "Katie". Katie was born in 1873.
In 1884, Lena and her daughter Katie immigrated to the United States from Denmark. I do not know what they did for the next 10 years or where they lived. Without the 1890 census I haven't found them. Even with it, they would be hard to trace. I have searched state censuses and come up empty handed, just lots of Maria Nelsons which may or may not be right.
Somehow Katie meets my great-grandfather and they get married in 1897 in Kearney county, Nebraska.
Ten years later in 1907, Katie's mother Lena marries Katie's father-in-law Lars Jorgensen. So Katie's father-in-law becomes her stepfather. This marriage takes place in Kearney county, Nebraska.
I then can find Lena and Lars Jorgensen listed in the 1910 census living next door to Lars' son Rasmus and his wife Ricka and two doors away from their children Chris and Katie in Cheyenne county, Nebraska.
I then have Lena's death certificate that says she passed away 13 Jan 1914 in Minden, Kearney county, Nebraska. She is buried in the Jorgensen family plot in the Fredricksburg cemetery, but a photo request has not yielded a photo of her gravestone. I have implied from this that she is in an unmarked plot.
I have no photos of Lena, just a marriage and death certificates. Perhaps some perusing in the Cheyenne or Kearney county newspapers could yield more information on my great-great-grandmother. A trip west might be in order for that.