Friday, October 2, 2015

September Ancestor: John Piatt Foresman

Oops, September must have gotten away from me. Here it is the second day of October.
For September, I am blogging about one of my husband's ancestors John Piatt Foresman. I have been working on this family this month, in fact I've been tracing several of his descendants.

John Piatt Foresman was born in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania on June 15, 1826 to John Foresman and Mary Elizabeth Piatt. He grew up in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania. He marries Anna Filbert August 17, 1848 probably in Lycoming county, Pennsylvania. They become parents to 9 (or 10) children, 2 (or 3) boys and 7 girls. Between 1855 and 1857, they move from Lycoming County, Pennsylvania to McDonough county, Illinois with 4 of their children. The younger 5 children are then born in McDonough county, Illinois. The children are named the following: Mary Regina, Lydia Ann, Ludwig Henry, Sarah Elizabeth, Almira Louise, Martha Colwell, Laura Catherine, Harriet L., and James Piatt. Another possible child I have listed is Charles P. but I don't find him in the 1880 census or any other information about him, so I am doubting his existence or if he belonged to a different family.

My husband descends from the youngest child James Piatt Foresman. Interestingly enough (to me), Mary Regina Foresman married Robert A. Buchanan; they were the parents of 5 children, and at least 2 (and possibly 3) of those children moved to Nebraska and are buried in the next county from where we live! I went to the cemetery and found those 2 children's gravestones, and I think there is a good possibility another one is buried there but she possibly has an unmarked grave.

But back to John Piatt Foresman: In 1860 I find him listed as a farmer in McDonough county, Illinois where the value of his personal estate is listed as 175. So I'm not sure if that's $175 worth of farm land, or 175 acres. In the 1870 census, he is a farmer in McDonough county, Illinois with value listed of 830. By 1880 the Foresman family moves to Hancock county, Illinois where he is a farmer. He remains in Hancock county for the rest of his life until December 1, 1891 when he passes away. He is buried in Harris Cemetery, outside of Dallas City, in Hancock County, Illinois.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: 5th Grade Memories

It's Saturday night, so I am choosing to participate in Saturday night genealogy fun.
Here is the blog post that lists the rules:

I was about 10 in fifth grade, so that was the early to mid 1980's. I went to Cambridge Public School in Nebraska where my parents were teachers. One thing I remember is that I was terrified of my fifth grade teacher. His name was Mr. Hein and he was known for spanking children or hitting them with rulers. Or at least these were the rumors I heard from my brother, two years older than I was. Later I found out Mr. Hein and I were related, although distantly through my mother.

I remember we had a pop quiz; I don't know what subject and I don't know why we had it. But I remember I FAILED it. I didn't just do bad; I FAILED. I was an A student, so this made me cry. I'm guessing it was social studies or science; it couldn't have been a math quiz. I remember he allowed me (and probably the whole class) to wad up my paper and throw it away. I was SO thankful. The grade was not recorded, and it wouldn't tarnish my record.

I'm pretty sure Andrea was my best friend at the time, as my other best friend Susie had just moved away. I remember we had lockers to store our bookbags and coats, which we thought was pretty cool. That was much cooler than the "hooks" we had in early elementary years.

I was also starting to grow and develop in fifth grade, so I was one of the taller girls. I think there was just one girl taller than me, and only two or three boys taller than I was.

I usually got to school riding with my mom in the car. Then I'd either ride home with her, or walk home. It was 2 blocks, all downhill to school and all uphill the way home.

Fifth grade was a pretty good year, but not my favorite. I think 4th and 6th were better.

Below is a picture of me in 5th grade:

Friday, August 28, 2015

August Ancestor: Sarah Green Sickmon

Well I am home with a sick girl today and not feeling the best myself, and August is almost over, so I guess I should blog about my August ancestor. She is my third great grandmother on my mother's side.

Sarah Green was born in Columbia, Herkimer county, New York on 20 July 1824 to Abel Green and Sally (maiden name unknown). I don't know much about her life in New York. According to her obituary her parents died when she was quite young. She married George Sickmon September 1, 1842 in Hamburg, New York. They were there a short time. Their first child Sallie (my second great grandmother) was born in New York in August 1843, and then some time in 1844 they moved by wagon to Monmouth, Warren county, Illinois. They set up a farm just east of Monmouth. There they had 5 more children, 3 more girls Susan, Anna and Eliza and 2 boys Winfield and Charles.

She was a housewife, raising her kids on the farm until her husband retired and they moved into town. I have found them living on the farm in the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses. By 1900 George has retired and they are living in town according to the census. Her husband George died in 1908. It is amazing to me they were married over 60 years. Sarah Sickmon dies October 21, 1910 in Monmouth at the age of 86 years, 3 months and 1 day. According to the death certificate she died from septic cholecystitis, which appears to be gall stones in the gall bladder, and secondarily by senility. Two of her children preceded her in death, namely Sallie and Winfield.

So I have found her in 5 censuses: 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900. I also just received her death certificate this week. I have been to Monmouth once, located her gravestone and took a photo. And I also have her obituary. I also have a narrative written by her grandson with a little information about her. I do not have a photo of her, would love to get one. So if you're a relative and have one, please contact me. I have just found the funeral home that provided services is still run by a descendant, so I hope to possibly get a funeral home record.

Friday, July 31, 2015

July Ancestor: Rev. Matthew Gardner

July was a busy month with vacations and a garage sale. But I did get a little research in. So my ancestor for July is one of my more notable ones on my father's side, Reverend Matthew Gardner. Reverend Matthew Gardner (1790-1873) is my 4th great-grandfather. Myself, my dad, his mother, her father, his mother, her mother, and then her father Matthew Gardner. So now you're probably totally confused.

Matthew Gardner was born December 5, 1790 in Stephentown, Renssselaer county, New York to Benjamin Gardner and Lucy (Hawks) Gardner. He was the fourth of ten children. When he was 8 years old, he was hired out, but then 2 years later, his family moved to Ohio. His father traded 2 horses for 100 acres of land in Brown county, Ohio. They then built a cabin where they lived. In 1809, Matthew left home and went to Cincinnati, where he hired on a flatboat to New Orleans. While in New Orleans he came down with a fever, and during that time was converted and became a devout Christian. He made it home in October 1809, and started studying to enter the ministry. He was baptized about a year later in October 1810. Rev. Gardner was the first pastors at one of the early Christian churches in southern Ohio. He was also a carpenter at this time.

On May 20, 1813 he married Miss Sally Beasley. In July 1813 he enlisted as a soldier for a short time. In 1813 Rev. Gardner purchased 100 acres of land from his father-in-law and moved in January 1814. He lived there for 60 years. There he operated his farm and was a Christian minister. He was a pleasing speaker and singer, "robust" at 6 feet 1 inch and about 200 pounds.

In March 1818 Rev. Gardner was ordained, and he organized several churches. Later at his own expense he started his own Christian paper, called "The Christian Union". It was a monthly publication similar to a magazine; the first issue was May 1841. He preached the gospel for 63 years.

During this time, Rev Gardner and his wife Sally became the parents of 11 children: (1) Barton Beasley (born 1814), (2) Sallie Ann (born 1815), (3)George Washington (born 1818), (4) Jeptha Monroe (born 1820), (5) Lucinda Elisa (born 1823), (6) Louisa Maria (born 1825), (7) Julia E. (1828), (8) James A. (1830), (9) Mary Jane (born 1833), (10) John W. (1836) and (11) Elnathan Matthew (born 1839). They were married a little over 56 years, until Sally's death in 1869. Rev. Gardner passed away about 4 years later, on October 10, 1873 at the age of 82 years and about 10 months. He is buried in Shinkle Ridge Cemetery, in Higginsport, Brown county, Ohio.

I have found Rev. Gardner in the following censuses, 1820, 1840, 1850, 1860 and 1870. There is a gravestone photo on Findagrave taken by a volunteer. Much is written about him and one of his sons in a book on Google books "History of Clermont and Brown Counties, Ohio". There is a photo of him in one book, which I found on Ancestry.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

June Ancestor: Elizabeth (Smith) Patterson

It's getting close to the end of June, so thought I better start on my or rather my husband's ancestor.
Elizabeth (Smith) Patterson was born in Illinois (not sure what town or county, probably Lincoln in Logan county) on April 7, 1863 to John W. Smith and Allie (Keisner) Smith.
I next find her in the 1880 census with her parents and younger siblings living in Lincoln, Logan county, Illinois at the age of 17.
She marries William Lincoln Patterson about 1881, probably in Logan county, Illinois. I have not been able to find them in the Illinois marriage index that is online.
William and Elizabeth become the parents of 5 children: Margaret Pearl (1882), Charles William (1885), Martha O. (1887), Hazel F. (1893) and Lester H. (1901), although I believe the 1900 census implies Elizabeth had 2 more children who weren't alive in 1900. The 1910 agrees, as it says she had 7 children, with 5 alive.
So the 1900 census has the William Patterson family living in McDonough County, Illinois. From then they must have moved some time in there, as 1910 has them living in Dallas Ward 1 Township, Henderson County, Illinois. This family was quite mobile, as by 1920 William, Elizabeth and Lester, along with 3 of their grandchildren (Martha's boys) were living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In June 1928, William L. Patterson passes away in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I cannot find Elizabeth in the 1930 census. By 1940, the census finds her living with a daughter, Margaret in Hildalgo county, Texas where according to that census, they had been since 1935.
Elizabeth (Smith) Patterson passes away September 11, 1941 in Tulsa, Tulsa county, Oklahoma at the age of 78. I do have a copy of her death certificate from the state of Oklahoma. She is then buried a couple days later on September 13, 1941 by her husband at the Rose Hill Memorial Park Cemetery, in Tulsa Oklahoma.
Thanks to a Findagrave volunteer I am able to see her gravestone photo:

I am working on tracing more back on her line, but Smiths and Pattersons aren't the easiest names to trace.
So in summary, I found her in those censuses, plus I have a gravestone photo, and death certificate. I would really like to find a marriage record for them. Otherwise I think I've done fairly well.
This is my husband's great-great-grandmother. May she rest in peace.

Friday, June 19, 2015

May ancestor: Mary (Junker) Seggerman

Here it is past mid-June and I never did my May ancestor. Well I got a new computer the end of May and it took time to move documents over, so I found my document with my goals. So I guess I better pencil in my June ancestor for next week, and see if I can get that done.

The irony of putting off my May ancestor until now is that I was able to visit her gravestone in person this last week. Mary (Junker) Seggerman was born January 26, 1852 in Germany to Hidde Harms Junker and Steinje Freise. She immigrated to the United States with her family in May 1862. Presumably they settled around Woodford county, Illinois for a while. On December 15, 1866 she married Johann Heinrich (John Henry) Seggerman in Minonk, Woodford county, Illinois. The 1870 and 1880 censuses have the family living in Minonk, Woodford county, Illinois. John and Mary are the parents of 9 children all born in Illinois (probably Woodford county): Greetje "Grace", Rena, Sena, Sarah Ann, Henry, Harry, Herman, Richard "Dick", and Mary.

In 1894, the Seggermans moved to Nebraska on a farm west of Fairbury. After 6 months of residency in Nebraska, Mary (Junker) Seggerman passes away on March 27, 1894. (The math doesn't work out here, so I'm thinking they moved to Nebraska in 1893.) She dies at the age of 42 years old, which consequently is my age now. She is buried in the East Gladstone Cemetery, now known as Zion United Church of Christ Cemetery.

Mary Junker Seggerman is my great-great-grandmother. One of her great-grandsons just passed away this week, who was a cousin to my mother.

So I've found Mary in the 1870 and 1880 censuses; I have her husband's obituary (not hers), and I have a photo of her gravestone. I'm not sure what else I could find on her; she died too early for a death certificate. It would be hard to find early documents on her in Germany.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thoughts on The Genealogy Society

Our state genealogy society is going through some changes. So this brings this up in my mind as I am on the board. Let's discuss genealogy societies.

These questions came from a genealogy friend of mine.

1. Do you expect to pay dues to organizations (and how much)?

Yes, but I expect them to be reasonable. I think the lowest dues I pay is $20 and the highest is probably $48. Those seem reasonable depending on what funds are used for, and the benefits derived (see next question). 

2. How do you expect those dues to be used? If more than one, how do you split it?
a. To give you exclusive access to materials (members only access)
b. To cover the operational expenses of the organization (utilities, supplies, copies, equipment, etc.)
c. To purchase additional materials for research (books, microfilm, etc.)
d. If not a genealogy society, to support charity
e. Other, what?

This could be expanded to say how do you want them used.
Okay I expect all three of a genealogy society. I don't want B (covering expenses) but I realize it's a necessary evil. Other organizations I'm in do support charities or give scholarships, so I know that's part of my dues (the $48 one). I don't know how you split it, as I suppose it depends how much you need for choice B, and then A and C can be evenly split with what's left. And one has to hope there is something left. 

3. Do you expect or want a newsletter? How do you want it sent? By email, posted on web site, snail mail (paper copy), or a combination.

Yes I like a newsletter. Why are you paying dues if you don't want to be informed? If it's posted on a web site then I like a link sent to my email reminding me to check it. I don't need a hard copy; I'm all about saving money to have it go to something else besides stamps, paper and ink. 

4. Do you, or would you, consider volunteering your time to help the organization? Even if you are not local, there are usually still ways you could volunteer. If so, how much time would you consider (per week, month or year)?
I would add to this if you volunteer, do you expect free membership? And should the board (who volunteers their time), therefore get free membership?

Yes I do volunteer my time for this group I am referencing. I would consider for other groups but one cannot spread oneself too thin. So maybe currently I would consider 10 hours a month or so. 
I added the following because one society of mostly younger folks offers free membership in trade for volunteer hours. I think this is a great option for younger folk who might have more time than money, and maybe for older retired ones too. I also think the board, assuming they put in "enough" hours, should get free membership. 

5. Do you expect organizations to host programs, classes, entertainment, a conference or some other type of outreach?

I think this is a nice benefit for members and a good way to draw people in. So yes I think some type of class, program or conference is a nice benefit. 

5b. I'm asking because I am conference coordinator. How much would you pay for a 2-day conference with 8 presentations, one hour each with about 5 given by a nationally known speaker? Would you want lunch included or register for that separate? (So many people now a days have food limitations that sometimes this is good.)

Answering my own question, I expect to pay $75 for the 2-day conference, $40 a day without lunch. If a nice lunch is included, add $20 per day, so $110-$115 for 2-day conference including lunch, $60 for one day. If lunch is just a sandwich, chips and fruit, knock the lunch down to $10. And I expect lunch to be an option in registration, not because I have food limitations, but I know many people who do. 

6. If you thought the society could be improved, would you be willing to help on a committee, or serve on a board, to encourage and help change?

Yes in fact I have. Last year (2014) I was disappointed to only see less than 40 attendees at our annual conference so I volunteered to help, became conference coordinator and was happy to see double that (about 80 people) at our 2015 conference. 

This is all the questions my friend had. I thought I had another one but I can't think of it again. It will come to me right after I post, because that's the way it goes.

Yay, I thought of it before I posted.

7. How often do you expect a society to meet? This could vary depending on type of society and location. Do you want to always meet in person, or are conference calls or online meetings acceptable?

Answering my own question again: If a society is local (in one's own county), then I think monthly meetings in person are acceptable. If a society is state or regional, then I think quarterly is enough in person. If more meetings are necessary, then I think conference calls or online meetings should be considered and used. 

Okay I think that's it. Feel free to add your own questions below in the comments. Also feel free to answer these in your own blog, and leave me a link in the comments. Or leave your answers in the comments or send me an email or message. I am interested in more people's opinions. As always, thanks for reading. I may suggest this as a discussion for #genchat too, if we haven't done it already.