Shaw Shenanigans Lead To More Questions

My recent genealogy research has consisted of me reviewing specific ancestors and confirming the accuracy of the ‘facts’ that others have provided regarding their location, vitals and other bits of data.

In this case I have been going over the story of James Shaw, my Irish immigrant ancestor who came here at the age of 15 and was bound out to a family in York County, Pennsylvania. That’s the story anyway.

Using tax, land, and court records I have been able to verify the information regarding his moves throughout his life. However, there are a few bits of history that have not been proven or sourced. How do we know he was here at the age of 15? Where is the ship passengers’ list? There is no record of him in the indentured records, so how do we know he was bound out? If he was an indentured servant he would have been contracted for 4-7 years. That was the gold standard. If he was 18 when he joined the revolutionary war then he was an indentured servant when he was 14 in order for him to have served 4 years. Was he Irish? Or was he Scots-Irish? Where are the sources?

Did he come alone as a young boy? Or did he have a brother or two who were also here?

Now that last one is kind of a trick question. You see, I found a very interesting court record when I was going through the York County Archives on line. This record is about a Daniel Shaw who impregnated Rebecca Jolly, and was in court being fined and convicted for the crime of bastardy in 1780 (or ’81 the record has both dates).

Why this document is especially interesting is that my great grandfather James Shaw married my great grandmother Ann Jolly in 1778 in York County. Are these people related to each other? Is Rebecca a sister to Ann? Is Daniel a brother to James? They are all in the same county at the same time and have the same surnames. A very interesting coincidence.

Here’s another interesting bit of information to ponder–names that show up as volunteers in York County’s 6th battalion, 7th company: James Jolly, Archibald Shaw, Daniel Shaw, James Shaw (my James). Are they related? They are the only Shaw and Jolly surnames to appear in the whole of York County company lists.

Unfortunately, I do not actually have the answer to these questions, they are still a work in progress. And I might never have the answers, but it sure is an interesting puzzle. Fingers crossed!

WANTED: Home For Orphans

We have a cousin on the John side of the family that has been searching for years for evidence of the death of his great grandfather Jacob Wilhelm (aka Williams). To this date he hasn’t found one. Unfortunately this post will not be able answer that question.

When this cousin and I met years ago he shared with me letters that Frederick William John was sending to Lorig/Lorek, and an unknown William, all in regards to his grandson Alfred’s adoption by the Lorig family. You see, his eldest daughter Clara had died, and she had three boys, ranging in age from 11 to a couple of months old, who were now orphans. He was trying to find them homes. Clara had divorced her first husband, and her second husband had disappeared.

Oconto County Reporter, October 10, 1885 
Wilhelm Died
In this city, Sunday, October 6th, 1885, of a tumor, Mrs. Clara E. Wilhelm, in the thirty-third year of her age. 

The deceased was the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. W. John, of Gillett, in this county and was born in the city of Milwaukee, from which city she moved with her parents to this county when she was a mere child and which was her home until her marriage to him who now morns her departure from home circle in the town of Hartland, Shawano County. She had been a great sufferer from the tumor which caused her death for many months, and was brought to this city the Thursday proceeding her demise for the purpose of having the tumor removed, but sank so rapidly no operation could be performed, and death came to her relief. Her remains were taken to the home of her parents at Gillett, Monday, and the funeral services held at that place Tuesday afternoon, being largely attended by the friends of her childhood and matured years. 

She was a most excellent woman, and in her death, her husband loses the help of a devoted wife, her three children the care and training of an affectionate mother, her parents the society of a dutiful daughter, and her brothers and sisters the encouragement and advice of an older sister. All have the sympathy of their neighbors and friends in their great bereavement.

Clara’s parents William and Johanna, took care of the children after Clara died and in the letter below you can see that a little over a year later they are looking for homes for at least Arthur. (Although they might have written letters to other family, or family friends, looking for homes for Chester and Truman also. If they did, we have no record of those letters.) As William and Johanna were in their early fifties at this time, it was possibly quite a stressful task taking care of these young three boys.

Gillett May 9, 1887
Friend Lorig,
If this letter will reach you in good health we will be very grateful. As far as we are concerned everyone is fine. I have taken care of everything here as far as the children are concerned and what remains to be done is for you to go to the County Judge in Milwaukee and submit a petition for the child and everything will take care if itself. Legal guardian F. W. John the child’s name Alfred Wilhelm born on November 4, 1884.
We do not know where the father of the children now resides. Since their mother died the children have not seen him. The mother died October 4 1885. The children are all in my care in the Town of Gillett in Oconto County. I am telling you that so you might be able to answer questions they might put to you.
Greeting from all of us to all who ask how we are and write when everything is taken care of.
Your friend F. W. John

Gillett June 1, 1887
Friend William,
I want to let you know that we are all well here, we also feel better because we have had some rain in the last few days, it was quite dry and nothing would grow, and it did not look to well for us. Now it is better. We had a great forest fire and thousand of acres burned up. I also want to know if P. Lorek received my letter and if he saw the County Judge to give him the application I would like the little poor one get a good place, because at Alfred’s are two kinds of children and you must know how that goes.
In the hope that this letter will reach you in good health I remain your good friend F. W. John and Johnna John.

Greetings to all and please answer soon.

Gillett June 7, 1887
Friend Lorek [ing?]
Received your letter today and saw that you all are happy and well which makes us very glad, we also are thank God well and the food tastes good to us.
Dear friend, the petitions is nothing else but a declaration that you consider the child your own (adopt it?) and that it is recognized by the court as your own and later can demand inheritance rights. I know the child is in good hands at your house, because my wife told me about you and William Donsing I know myself and trust in his children. If you want the child you can get it for some time. All you have to do is decide if you want to get it or if we should bring it. If you want to come we would be delighted. Write as soon as possible and let me know if you are coming or if I should bring the child. Greetings and we remain your friends.
F.W. John
[P.S.] If I come we will write the letter there and if not we will do it here.

Gillett December 19, 1887
Friend Lorig,
I should have written a long time ago but I put it off. When Mrs. Gale came from Milwaukee she told us that you wanted to come for a visit and so I didn’t write, because we really thought that you would come Thanksgiving. But we waited in vain. We are happy to hear that mother father and son are well and we wish you much happiness and health for the future. I believe that you will get a visit from here at Christmas.
Your friend F.W. John

Gillett March 21, 1888
Friend Lorig,
We received your letter from March 9th and see that you are all well. We were happy to hear from you. As far as we are concerned we are all well and have a good appetite. We had a hard winter, three feet of snow still on the ground and the people are still in the bush. Alfred is still there also and Wille who has my team. As far as the instrument for the potato bags I cannot tell you anything, the man who had it moved to Iowa we were happy about the pictures and I hope that the little [one] remains well and gives you joy. I heard last week that his father froze to death last winter in Dakota. Everything is fine here otherwise and greet our friends from us.
I remain your friend F. W. J.

As indicated in the last letter the Wilhelm boys’ father died in a blizzard in the Dakotas after having disappeared on them, I can only imagine the horrible feeling of knowing your father had abandoned you after having lost your mother.

Truman had been put in guardianship to his John grandparents in 1880:

His father had died in 1878 and his mother was married to her second husband at the time, maybe his stepfather didn’t want him around? I think that the eldest William boy, Chester, was adopted by William relatives. Truman Howell and Chester William both moved to Washington state, eventually marrying and having children. Arthur (Wilhelm) Lorig was adopted and raised by the Lorig family, and stayed in Wisconsin, and it is this man whom my John cousin descends from.

A big thank you to my cousin for sharing these letters with our family. Not only are they written in beautiful handwriting, but they show a tragic story in real time as grandparents try to find good homes for their grandchildren, after losing their own child to cancer.

Now I want to see the letters William was writing home to Johanna while he was off fighting in the civil war. I am sure someone in the family has them. They are no doubt sitting in a closet getting musty. Come on folks, share!

August 22, 1961 Hermans Shepard To Parents

August 22, ’61

Dear Dick and Dad:-

Just a line to let you know we are among the living. The weather here has been so cold it seems like fall instead of summer, I imagine your weather has been unusually cold to. How is the guest house progressing? Or is it a “Bomb Shelter”.

Edw. Shepard was down last week for a couple to days, he seem to be O.K. says he is so busy cutting his grass that he hasn’t had time to go anywhere. He drove down in his Chev. Corvair, he bought it from a private owner and still has his Buick which he is trying to sell. He said if he gets it sold he may go up to your place, but don’t hold your breath.

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cars are hard to sell especially a big car such as a Buick. He’ll probably have to give it away. He likes his Corsair just fine. It seems like I always have to mess him up some how or another when he is here. Last time Ruth had to go away and left “Strogenoff” for me to serve. Well I served it all right but I forgot the rice. I thought it tasted funny but didn’t know what was wrong and Edw. didn’t know any better than I did, so we just ate it as it.

Well this time I took it upon myself to turn his bed down and remove the spred. I didn’t know Ruth had taken the pillow cases off to wash and she didn’t check me so Edw. slept on those

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plastic pillow cases. Next morning Ruth noticed what had happened and just about flipped her lid. Edw. said he thought she must have had a lot of starch in her pillow cases. Ruth ask him if they didn’t smell funny and Edw. said yes they did but he thought it was some kind of soap that she was using. We all got a big laugh out of it.

While Edw. was here we all went over to Johnie Gates for a grilled steak cook out. Had a good meal and afterward I showed 2 color movie films that I borrowed from

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the Cols. Library, one was “Waterway Holiday” and the other was “Hawaii The Nw 50th Sate”. I borrowed the company projector, we had color, sound and all, just like downtown. Johnnie & Juanita took the kids and his dad on a cruise down the Ohio River to the Mississippi and then back up the Ohio and up the Tenn. River. It took them 10 days and they traveled a distance of 1700 miles all by water. I guess they had a wonderful time.

We got the siding on the north side of our cottage and the pine paneling up on the north wall inside. Would like to get the siding

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on the front yet this year. We still haven’t used the new boat very much only got 27 hours on it altogether and I think I had about 18 on it when you and Dad were with us that Sunday. Last weekend was a dandy the wind blowed from the time we got there till we left on Sunday night. I didn’t even take the cover off. Mary Michell invited Ruth and I over for supper Sunday evening, She has the cottage just east of Leobluns[?] “Red Brick” She really had a meal fried chicken, sweet corn, browned potatoes and

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home made bread just hot out of the oven. I ate till it ran out my ears. I might just add here that her bread was good but not as good as yours. She is a widow, her daughter and two children live with her in Cleveland. You should meet her I know you would like her and have a lot of fun with her. She was born in Scotland and still has some of the Scotch habits. Well I’ve rambled on enough here so guess I’ll have to sign off for now.

We received a letter from Lois the other day saying they had bought an old house 150 years old and on 12 acres of land [this would be Sugar Hill].

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I would just love to see it. She said Evelyn and her husband were going to go up about the 22 or 23 of August and were going to stop here for the kids liquor. You know the good kind we had a drink of.

We have been real busy at the shop, most of the time I’m so tired when I get home I just crap out, no good for anything and I mean anything.

Hope this letter finds you guys O.K. write and let us know what you’re doing.

Love H. O. & Ruth

Doggy DNA Update

Here’s Caesar chillin’ out in the shade. It is a very hot day, 80s+, and humid. He is waiting very patiently for his DNA results. So as promised here they are.

Hmmm, not a bit of Jack Russell in there anywhere! Not surprising. I am surprised by the Australian Cattle dog though, but I love that he has that bit in him, they are wonderful dogs. The Pomeranian I expected, his eyes and tail have those traits. The Shetland Sheepdog, explains the collie-like traits of his coat. All this adds up to a small dog that loves to walk and play. A lot. And chase the cat. A lot. The health results showed a liver marker that the vet can keep an eye on, just because the trait is there in the DNA doesn’t mean it will actually ever present. But now it can be extra scrutinized.

I have to say it is pretty cool that you can do this for your dog. For us, we don’t give a hoot what his breed is, we are not pretentious, or snobby, we like mutts. They are usually better dogs anyway. But now that we know his parentage, this can help us better understand his behaviors, traits and idiosyncrasies. Here is his public profile at Embark.

Embark does a very good job of keeping you informed and presenting their results for you. (They even send you a cool short video of the results.) I highly recommend them if you want to do this for your own dog. I was impressed and very satisfied. One of the benefits of doing this test is it also compares the results to other dogs in their database to show cousins, just like FamilyFinder at FamilyTreeDNA!

Oh Yeah–10 Years Ago Today

Well, who knew I would last this long. July 23 is my 10 year anniversary. “Of what?” you ask. That would be my blog! It sure doesn’t seem that long!

According to the stats I have made 425 posts over these last 10 years, most of which were about some relative or other. I guess that means I can call myself a writer, although I make no claims to being any good at the craft (plus I am the only one editing my work, so I am sure there have been lots of grammar faux pas). I just hope that folks have found reading about these ancestors as interesting as I have researching them.

And don’t worry, as long as I am able I will continue to assault the internet with my posts as far into the future as possible or feasible.

Thanks to all my readers!

July 24, 1961 Letter Herman Shepard to his parents

Worthington Ohio
July 24, 1961

Dear Dick & Dad:-
Just a line to let you know we’re O.K. We took Burch up to the lake with us Sat. and Ruth and he are staying for the week. I’m batching [as in being a bachelor]. We are having a large window put in the north side of the living room at the cottage, taking out the two small one’s and having aluminum siding put on over that old paint job. We thought Burch would be able to help the carpenter a little besides giving him a change of scenery for awhile. We are only going to put the siding on the one side this year hope to finish the job next year. Ruth bought drapery material and took her sewing machine along so she could make the drapes while she was there. Burch is feeling O.K. but says time passes slow. He said staying at the lake brought back memories to him of the time they lived at Baltimore. Believe it or not Ruth got him in shorts.

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I received a letter from Lois today, says they are living in a tourist cottage for the time being and that the kids really enjoy the water. Ken went back to Chicago on the 14th and Bill was away in New York State some where. She also said their things from Germany had not arrived yet.

Have you heard anything lately from Rena? I just called Elise to see if she wanted me to write you anything and she said she had a wonderful letter from you and that she tried to answer it, but the words just wouldn’t come. She will try again later and said she and Kate are going to come up as soon as she gets a few detail ironed out. I suppose legal details in regards to his death.

How is the building project coming along and where are you building it? I’m about out of news so will close for now. Love H.O.

P.S. I’ll try to mail you Eastern Star material so be on the look out.

Gertrude Cain 1877-1962

Gertrude Cain. I don’t know, but for some reason in this picture she looks very Irish to me. (This image has been enhanced and colorized at MyHeritage.)

Gertrude Cain, daughter of John Cain and Carrie Rosa, was born the 9th of August 1877 in Oconto, Oconto County, Wisconsin1. She is my great grandmother.

Her ancestors were all Irish on her father’s side, and a mix of German, Dutch, Scottish, and English (with a royal gateway ancestor thrown in) on her mother’s side.

Gertrude grew up in a large Catholic family of 8 children in Oconto. Her mother had actually had 10 children, according to census2 records, but her eldest sister Elizabeth died when Gert was 13 years old3, and her mother had another child that never showed up in census records.

I can speculate on her upbringing, as I will for most of my ancestors, but certain things will most likely be true. This we do know, Gertrude’s father was a hard working Irish Catholic man who had partially been raised by his grandparents. I am doubtful that he had much of a hand in the bringing up of his own children, but then that would be in line with the times. Carrie, her mother, was definitely Catholic and it is possible she became Catholic because of her husband (Carrie’s parents were Methodist). Gertrude did not practice catholicism when she left home. In fact this gossip bit appeared in the local paper on 1901:

September 26, 1901 c3 — Mrs. V. H. Johns visited relatives and friends in Gillett this week [also donated $1 to German Lutheran church building committee]

Northern Wisconsin Advertiser, Wabeno, WI (Madison, WHS micro PH 73-1888)

Gertrude went to school until the 8th grade and then she was done, (this we know because of an entry in the 19404 census which asks what the highest grade was that they had completed.) As her mother had all those kids to raise and she was now the eldest, Gertrude most likely had quite a hand in helping out around the house, and keeping everything in order. Getting a higher education was not on her agenda, and it doesn’t appear that her parents encouraged her to pursue any further education either. The family did not live on a farm, her father worked for the lumber mill as a pile driver on the river. She grew up a ‘City’ girl in what they called “French Town” in Oconto. (Land and census records appear to place their abode at 301 Smith Avenue by 1888, earlier her parents lived a few blocks further down the road on Smith, where there is now a gas station.)

The house in early 1900s. On the porch are Gertrude’s parents and two of her brothers.
The house currently seen from Google Street View. You can see the porch is still there, but changed. I am sure the garage is a newer addition, and there is now a window in the basement.

Gertrude lived in this house until she was 20, at which time she had her own house to keep.

On Saturday August 28 1897 Gertrude tied the knot in a romantic wedding on a train. The groom was a local man, and the youngest son of an Oconto and Gillett pioneer couple. His name was Victor Hugo John. Gert had just turned 20 that month, Victor was a mere 5 years older.

Vic and Gert made their first home in Wabeno, Wisconsin where Vic had a job as a station agent for the C&NWR railroad.5 Today the trip from Oconto to Wabeno takes about an hour and a half. In 1897 it would have taken a bit longer. But at least you could take the trip by train because in 1897 the C&NWR railroad had opened up their new tracks and Wabeno was a new and bustling…well…new town created by the logging business.

Screenshot of Oconto in bottom right corner of map to Wabeno in top left. This trip between the two towns was taken by train quite often by Gert and Vic.
Wabeno in 19056 The depot looks like it is in this picture, just past the water tower. But don’t bet me on it.

They actually lived in the Town of Cavour7 for the first couple of years that Vic worked at the depot, which is just north of Wabeno. By 19058 they were living in Wabeno, according to the state census. The town newspaper always seemed to indicate that they were of Wabeno, when ever they were mentioned in the news (Cavour is never mentioned).

As a newly established town there were not many people living in the area, so I can see why Gert was always going to visit her family in Oconto, or her in-laws in Gillett. According to newspaper gossip every other week was a trip to visit family. Something she did even more in the fall of 1898, as she was pregnant with her first child, my grandfather.

Here’s the local gossip on the matter:

September 29, 1898 c5 — Mrs. V. H. Johns is visiting her parents at Oconto.

October 6, 1898 c4 — Station Agent Johns looks lonesome since his wife went visiting.

October 20, 1898 c4 — Station Agent Johns went to Oconto Tuesday evening to see his wife who is visiting with her parents at that place, returning on the special the following morning.

November 3, 1898 c4 — Born—To Mr. and Mrs. Victor Johns, on Saturday last a 9 1/2 lb. Bouncing baby boy, mother and child getting along nicely. Vic feels himself to be the happiest man in town.

November 17, 1898 c4 — Mrs. V. H. Johns and little son arrived home yesterday after an extended visit with her parents at Oconto.

Northern Wisconsin Advertiser, Wabeno, WI (Madison, WHS micro PH 73-1888)

On October 29 1898 Gertrude safely delivered a baby boy9. They named him Clarence Fredrick John (Fredrick was in honor of Victor’s father). They eventually had a total of 3 boys, adding Lincoln William in 1901, and Victor Hugo, jr. in 1903.

Gertrude’s family: husband Vic, and three boys. It looks like each boy had his own dog. This was taken in Wabeno area most likely.

Over the next 8-10 years Gert occupied her time by visiting her family, or someone in the family visited with them. She joined the Ladies of the Macabees (an insurance organization for women created in 1892 by Bina West Miller).

March 27, 1902 c3 — Mrs. V. H. Johns was at Gillett the first of the week to join the Ladies of the Macabees[sp].

Northern Wisconsin Advertiser, Wabeno, WI (Madison, WHS micro PH 73-1888)

Helped out at the depot when Vic was too ill, kept the home and raised the boys.

The family continued in this vein until their first big adventure, which came for Gert, and the family, in May of 1908. It was a few weeks after Vic’s mother died that Gert packed up their family and all their belongings, for a big move out west to Wyoming.

It was a grand adventure — that was short lived. Less than a year later Gert was packing up their belongings again, as the family was heading back to Wisconsin, to stay. It was rumored by an older cousin that Gert was extremely homesick and wanted very much to come back to her family and friends.

While the first 11 or so years of their marriage the family had made their home in the area of Wabeno, and Victor supported the family as a railroad station agent, this changed when they got back to Wisconsin. Victor spent the next 4 or so years moving his wife and family around the state. Maybe it was a reflection of his own restlessness. According to the papers they were of: Clintonville in Jul of 1909, Odanah in Sep of 1909, Hackley in May of 1910, and Friendship in Jul of 1912.

Then another big change happened.

Victor quit his job as a station agent completely and went into banking. Maybe this is what he wanted all along, and he had been working his way to it. His first bank brought the family back to Wabeno in 1913, it was the Leona State Bank, where he was the cashier. And over the years he helped establish several banks across the state.

In 1916 they were living in Crandon while he worked for the Citizens State Bank of Crandon.

In 1919, just to be contrary, he ran for Sheriff, and won. What a boon for Gert, now she got to prepare meals for all the prisoners, along with take care of her own dwelling and family.

Here you can see them in the 1920 census with Gert and her family along with two prisoners, (they lived in the jailhouse building).

Vic served two terms as Sheriff of Forest County, after which he continued establishing and working in banks. On to Laona in 1922-1925. Gillett by 1926-1933. Wabeno by 1933-1947. These dates that I am using are very approximate, because I am using newspaper gossip to try and estimate their moves. It looks like it was sometime after 1947 that Vic and Gert finally settled down to retire. The place they picked was Gillett, Vic’s hometown. They were both now in their 60s.

Gert’s retirement years were spent attending Order of the Eastern Star meetings, playing bridge, visiting friends and relatives, and celebrating.

50th Wedding — Mr. and Mrs. Vic John of Oconto, formerly of Crandon and Wabeno, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at Crandon last Thursday. They were married Aug., 28, 1897, in a railway coach, south of Wabeno, just within Oconto county, as there was no justice of the peace in Wabeno at the time. The nearest justice was in Oconto county.10

This is their 57th wedding anniversary celebration. 1944.

Gert had become a grandmother in 1921. Her eldest son Clarence had run off to Illinois to marry Ester Edwards, (so it is possible he has gotten her pregnant). They had a girl whom they named Gertrude Marie. This marriage didn’t last though, but Ester and her daughter stayed around the White Lake area and visited with Gert and Vic on occasion. (We know this because of newspaper gossip, boy that stuff comes in handy.)

Spending time with one of their grand- or great grandchildren.

Her other two sons never had any children, although Lincoln did marry in 1930 out in Wyoming. Clarence married for his second wife Myrtle Caroline Hamm, my grandmother. Together they had 3 children that lived to adulthood. So Gert had a total of 4 grandchildren to enjoy in her later years.

The stories I have heard about Gertrude were that she was very petite and full of fun. She liked to dress up for Halloween and go trick-or-treating with the kids, having a great time fooling the neighbors, as an adult. She enjoyed hunting and fishing, as did her husband and their friends. And while she might have had an adventurous spirit, she preferred to be around family to feel comfortable indulging in it.

A 2nd cousin told me that his cousins didn’t like having meals at her house because she told them if they didn’t finish, it would be there for the next one. Now I know where my dad got that little bit of wisdom.

Gertrude passed away in 1962 at the age of 84, six years after her husband.

Final Rites for Mrs. John Today

     Mrs. Gertrude John, former Ocontoan, died suddenly Saturday evening at Baraboo.

     Mrs. John was born in Oconto, the daughter of the late John and Carrie Cain. She was united in marriage to Victor John in 1887, in Carter, WI. He passed away in 1956. Mrs. John lived in Gillett the past nine years. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Gillett, and its Past Matron’s club; a past matron of the Grandon chapter, a member of the Gillett Methodist church and the women’s Society of Christian Service of the Methodist church.

    Survivors include two sons, L. W. John, Fresno and Victor John Jr. Saratoga, both of California; three brothers, Milton Cain, Oconto; William, Portland, Oregon; Harry, Milwaukee; a sister, Mrs. Frank (Mildred) Rouseau of Milwaukee; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. A son Clarence died in 1954.

     Final rites will be held this afternoon at 2 o’clock in the Gillett Methodist Church. The Rev. C. V. Dawson will officiate, with burial in Wanderer’s Rest cemetery. The Order of the Eastern Star, Gillett, will conduct services at the church. The Kuehl funeral home is in charge of arrangements.

Both Gert and Vic are buried in the Wanderer’s Rest Cemetery in Gillett, Wisconsin, along with the rest of the John family. Her parents are buried in Oconto’s Catholic cemetery.

——————–
Sources:
1. Gertrude Cain, certificate of birth record page 37, Oconto County Register
of Deeds, Oconto, Wisconsin.

2. 1900 Federal Census Oconto City, Oconto County, Wisconsin: Clara C.,  wife, white, female, Apr., 1858, 42, Married 26yrs., 10 children, 8 living, born: Mich, father: Mich, mother: Mich., read, write, speak english.

3. Oconto County Reporter, March 4, 1892 — Lizzie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Cain, died Thursday, Feb. 25, 1892, aged about 15 years.

The deceased had some time previous to her death eaten prune stones which lodged in her intestines and necessitated a surgical operation, which, however, proved unavailing, and after more than a week of suffering death ensued.  Her burial took place Saturday from St Peter’s Roman Catholic church.

4. 1940 census, Crandon City, Forest County, Wisconsin details — Sheet No. 23 B, SD 8, ED 21-8, May 1, 1940 lines 73-74, household no. 60, rent, don’t live on a farm: John Gertrude, wife, female, white, 62, married, did not attend school or college, highest grade completed 8, born Wisconsin, 1935 lived in rural area in Forest County, Wisconsin.

5. Northern Wisconsin Advertiser, Wabeno, WI (Madison WHS micro PH 73-1888)NOTE: Victor John is listed as station agent of the C &N.W.R. and postmaster in the earliest issue on the microfilm 9-22-1898.

6. Image found at: http://friendsofwabeno.org/history%20summary.html

7. 1900 Census, Town of Cavour, Forest County, Wisconsin details — Sheet No. 5B, 19th June., Enum. dist. #39, Lines 68-70, dwelling 85, family 88

8. 1905 Wisconsin State Census, Town of Wabeno, Forest County, Wisconsin details: — sheet no. 2, page 96 lines 72-76, family number 15.

9. Clarence Fredrick John, Certificate of Birth, Vol. 4, page 48, Register of Deeds, Oconto, Oconto County, Wisconsin.

10. Forest Republican, Crandon, WI —Crandon Public library digital images; Thursday, Sep 4, 1947 p1c4

February 2, 1961 Letter Herman Shepard To Parents


February 2, 1961

Dear Dick & Dad:-

Just a line to let you know we are OK, only getting good and tired of this winter weather. I’m glad you folks don’t have to endure it as we do. If my summary serves me correctly I believe we’ve only had about 5 days above freezing since the first of December. Day before yesterday the temperature got up to a screaming 33º. I thought I was going to have sun stroke. It has really been miserable working at the shop this winter all the snow and ice has made is so wet and sloppy in the shop, it seems like we get a new coat of about 2 or 3 inches of snow a couple of times a week just enough to keep it messy all the time. According to the paper we’ve had 23 inches so far this winter. It even snowing now with 3 to 5 inches predicted.

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The shop is hard to heat and keep warm one day we weren’t able to get it over 42º in the shop. I have been wearing so many clothes I can’t hardly walk. And just one more grip and that is a lot of these drivers can’t get their cars started on the cold morning so we get blamed for all their troubles. “Enough bitchin'”. We mailed Kens Christmas packages to him on January 23rd so far we haven’t heard if he received them or not.

We got a letter form Bill today saying he was in the States, had been in Washington and Boston, was on his way to Colorado Springs and then back to Chicago. I suppose to see Ken for a day, he also expects to spend a day here either the 5th-6th or 8th of Feb. If he gets here we will call you so you can have

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a chance to exchange a few words ad hear his voice. We are really thrilled and looking forward to seeing him, it is a surprise to us and I know it will be to you. So we’ll just sit close to the phone waiting his call.

Did Ed Shepard get down there yet. Dick Rodenfels is leaving Sunday for Miami. We would just love to come down believe me.

Burch is O.K. he says I haven’t seem him as we haven’t had him up since Christmas. The weathers been so bad we just don’t go

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out unless it’s necessary.

Ruth just got in from her Rebecca meeting and said they about froze to death down there tonite I guess the heater isn’t large enough or sumpin. Ruth took an extra sweater but couldn’t keep her feet warm. Well here I go on this stinkin’ weather again so guess I’ll close shop for now.

Love H. O.

P.S. Send me the recipe for making Pawnhouse. I still got the pigs feet and don’t know what to do with them.

Images ‘Enhanced’!

MyHeritage does it again! They recently revealed a new feature on their website introduced as ‘Enhance’. This is in addition to the ‘Colorize’ photo option they provide to their subscribers last fall. You can certainly use Photoshop, or similar software, to try the same thing on your images at home, but that would mean using a lot of filters, and adjustments, and layers, and time, and expertise most of us just don’t have. And who knows if you would even get the same results. So why bother.

Meet my 3x great grandmother Janett/Jennie, 2x great grandmother Carrie, and 2x great Aunt Ida Rosa, again. (Image taken about 1870 to early ’70s).

Being able to colorize is pretty cool. But I have to say, when I enhanced this original scan that I had made from the old photo that my cousin Robert Cain lent me of my ancestresses, tears came to my eyes. There they are right in front of me, real people that I can just reach out and touch, where before they were just poor images on a screen. These enhanced versions of their images have so much more of an impact than the original images did.

Here are some more excellent examples.

The Shaw Boys. Hon. John Shaw at the top, my 3x great grandfather with his brothers in the group image.

Hartley Shepard. Unnoticed before, it appears that Hartley possibly had a scar on his right eye, that even looks to have affected the nerves in his face, the lips on that same side look like they are drooping down a bit.

2x great grandmother Jane (Buchanan) Shepard.

2x great grandfather Frederick William John in his Civil War Union uniform.

This is one of my favorites from the Shaw side.

All I have to say is WOW and well done MyHeritage! I am greatly impressed and touched that you have helped my ancestors feel so much more real and vibrant to me. I am going to be spending lots of time ‘Enhancing’ so many images in the next few weeks.

January 13, 1961 Letter Herman Shepard To His Parents

January 13, 61

Dick and Dad:–

Just a note this morning while I’m finishing my breakfast. Ed Sheppard has been down for a couple of days, went home yesterday. He is looking real good and has gained some weight. Says he will be going down to your place some time between now and the first of the month. He and Ruth went down to see Burch while he was here. Burch is O.K. and doing fine. We have gotten rid of some of

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our snow. The temperature has been up in the forties the last couple of days. Hope we don’t get anymore SNOW

I got some pigs feet down in our freezer, send me the recipe for making P.H. how do you spell it. (Ha Ha).

We are both O.K. and hope you are the same –Time to go too work. Love H.O.