Ah…the tropics!

Right about now I am almost be temped to kill to get to a warm clime. The weather lately has been crazy cold. Winter has definitely not been shy about letting itself be felt this season.

So to bring warm thoughts I am posting this fun document for my mother. It is a passenger list of her and her siblings along with her mother arriving in New York from Puerto Rico in 1950.

Margaret Shepard is my mother in this passenger list, her mother is Lois. You can see that David, the youngest, was born in Puerto Rico. The image is from Ancestry.com [Year: 1950; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 7812; Line: 10; Page Number: 94].
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Is there a Doctor in the house…

In the past month or so, I posted a few pictures I found on Ancestry’s site that were uploaded by users. They were of Franklin Robinson and his wife Susan Landon, both of Grand Isle, Vermont. Well I have never done any research on Franklin, and I don’t have any excuse or reason for that, it just never happened.

So over the holidays, and my lovely two weeks off, I decided to focus on researching Franklin’s side of the family. In my records the information I had on Franklin was from over 10 years ago and mostly gleaned from our cousin who put together the Shaw family book. Not much was said about Franklin, just his parents being listed as Abijah Hall and Beulah H. Billings.
My first thought was why on earth is his father listed as HALL when he is a ROBINSON. I have to admit that is was probably just an error in data entry on someone’s part and as I was just entering the data mindlessly, I didn’t really analyze it at the time.
I do know that Beulah married Abijah in 1796 when Franklin was about 4-5 years of age and he wasn’t adopted by Abijah because he went by ROBINSON his whole life. Local histories indicate he was a descendant of the Robinson’s of Bennington County, Vermont, but there are, as of yet, no records that tell just which ROBINSON that was. So, for now, his father is still a mystery.
His mother on the other hand was the daughter of a BILLINGS and a FAY, and there was much information on her and her family to be found online and in books. And it is through the FAY line that we run into Richard PALGRAVE (apparently an official descendant of Charlemagne, but that’s not important now).
Richard was born about 1593. He arrived in Charletown by 1629, which we know because his signature on a document signed by all the inhabitants of the town at that time is quite clear, it shows up third in the list:

Signature of Richard Palgrave

He is the first doctor I have come across in my research on our ancestors and will probably be the only one. The author George A. Moriarty wrote that “[h]e was a quiet man who minded his own business, got into no trouble, and buried himself in his profession.” According to his inventory of property after his death in 1651 he was worth £313, which made him well to do. The quality of his signature also indicates a good education.

His daughter Mary married Roger WELLINGTON. Their granddaughter married into the FAY family.
Richard’s other claim to fame is also being the ancestor of the Bushes. Our second link as cousins – shudder.

And the answer is…

Last month FamilyTreeDNA had a huge sale on their testing kits. Not being rich, it took me a short while to decide on which upgrade I was going to invest. I decided on the familyfinder test for my husband. This is the test that shows ones ethnic breakdown.

Well, the results came in today. It appears he is 100% European – Orcadian. Orkney is part of Scotland. Imagine my surprise, after all he is half German and half Polish, what the heck?

Ahh, but Scotland was invaded by Vikings and apparently tests of the genetic make-up of the males currently living in Orkney indicates a strong Scandinavian influence.

So while his genetic make-up is Orcadian, the reason is most likely because of Vikings.

I am including a link to an interesting website that talks about Orkney’s genetic heritage. Let me know your thoughts. http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/vikingorkney/genetics.htm

Say Cheese…

Ancestry.com lets folks who are members upload their family pictures. Which is wonderful for those distant cousins who don’t have those images in their family’s collections. Strangely, many, not all, of those same people have a bizarre notion of ownership of these same images – well the ones that are very old anyway.

I am not one of those people. I have uploaded every image of our ancestors that our family has in our possession to flickr for anyone to view and download for themselves, all high quality and large. These images are not for hoarding in our closet. After all genealogy is about sharing.

The two images you see below I found at Ancestry. They are said to be of our ancestors Franklin Robinson and Susan Landon Robinson, their daughter Olive Robinson married Oscar Ebenezer Hatch.

Susan Landon married Franklin Robinson September 16, 1817  in South Hero, Grand Isle County, Vermont. This image was probably taken not long before her death in 1862. Franklin died in 1885.

Pay attention…

It’s not that I am unsure of the connection of Kari Jorgina Johnson to John Stianson and Kari Gunlichsdatter, the evidence and coincidences are too many to be in doubt, but in researching Jorgina and her family, I have yet to find a definitive document that specifically connects Jorgina Johnson Amundson to who I believe to be her parents. The marriage record and her death record both give a good record of a connection, but her father’s surname is hard to read and her mother’s name is wrong on her death record, and neither of her parents or Amund’s are listed on the marriage certificate, but her last name of Johnson helps push the connection to the yes category, as does the fact that her birth is the same as the Jorgina born in Norway to this family. When doing genealogical research the preponderance of the evidence is usually enough to prove a connection. So in order to cover all my bases, I am still looking for more evidence.

I have filled in most of the gaps of Jorgina’s sibling’s families using the Holden Church and online Norwegian records, and I was trying to think of another record that might help in that regard. That’s when I smacked myself on the head when I realized that the marriage certificate has witnesses listed.

And there was the fourth connection that says yes to Jorgina being the daughter of John Stianson and Kari Gunlichsdatter – H. Einertson and E. Halvorson are the witnesses to her marriage. H. Einertson is her sister Ingaborg’s husband – Halvor, (E. Halvorson is possibly her cousin, a son of Ingaborg and Halvor, I’m not really sure yet).

I am still trying to find a church record for Jorgina and Amund’s marriage. I might have to wait until I get to Salt Lake City to look at the Lutheran Church records on microfilm there. But maybe an email to a good source before then will answer the question unequivocally.

A Little Rebellion…

One of my favorite ancestors is Dugal McQueen, mostly because I just love saying his name. I don’t recall if I have ever said anything to the family about him. With so many ancestors to keep track of one forgets these things. But I thought I would spend a little more time with him today. The most interesting thing about Dugal is he was a Jacobite prisoner or war, transported to the Colonies by the British in 1716. He was born in 1698 in Pollocaig, Moy, Inverness, Scotland. He was married to Elizabeth McIntosh first, they had one daughter Anne. He married Grace second, and they had at least 3 sons all named in Dugal’s will, Thomas, William, Francis. He died in 1793. We descend from Thomas and a possible daughter Ruth. Their descendants eventually married into the Goble family.

Below is the story of the battle which changed Dugal’s fortunes forever.

Battle Of Preston, 1715
After the death of Queen Anne riots broke out in a number of English cities when the accession of George I was declared. Led by John Erskine, 11th Earl of Mar, known derisively as ‘Bobbing John’ the ’15’ was started. Erskine had been Secretary of State for Scotland in Anne’s government and although he supported the Hanoverian succession, George I dismissed him, resulting in him becoming a fervent Jacobite by the time he arrived back in Scotland. 

On 7th November, the Jacobite army marched into Lancaster with bagpipes playing and drums beating, colours flying and swords drawn, and occupying the town, proclaimed James III king at the market place. Five of the local Catholic gentry and two townsmen joined the Jacobites ‘the Gentleman soldiers dressed and trimmed themselves up in their best cloathes, for to drink a dish of tea with the laydys of this town. The laydys also here appeared in their best riging and had their tea tables richly furnished for to entertain their new suitors’. This pleasant interlude over, the army assembled on Wednesday 9th and marched south, having acquired 6 small cannon from a ship moored at Lancaster. 

On 9-10 November 1715 the Jacobite Army around 1,700 strong marched into Preston without opposition, two troops of dragoons who were stationed in the town withdrawing before them. James VIII was proclaimed king in the Market Place, troops were billeted on the townspeople and because ‘the Ladys in this town, Preston, are so beautiful and so richly attired, that the Gentlemen soldiers from Wednesday to Saturday minded nothing but courting and ffeasting’. More local gentry and their supporters joined the Jacobite forces or sent assistance. A severe disappointment was that most of the English supporters were Catholic, the High Churchmen and ‘tavern Tories’ staying at home. 

On the 12th news was brought that Government forces under General Wills were advancing from the south and the main streets of the town were barricaded and some trenches dug reinforced by the town bars, which could be used to close off the main roads by stringing chains across them. The barricades were manned and many of houses of the town occupied by troops to create a strong defensive position. Reserves were grouped in the churchyard and Market Place, ready to move to bolster the defence at any threatened point. 

The first assault was launched against the east barrier on Church St, around three hundred men taking part. Shooting from cellars and windows the Highlanders of the Jacobite army poured musket fire into the attacking redcoats. They were supported by two of the ships guns brought from Lancaster which were commanded by a sailor, reputed to have been drunk. The first cannon shots seriously wounded one of the town’s chimneys but following rounds of ‘small shot’ (probably grape shot) caused casualties among the attackers. The pitched battle over the barricades resulted in the Hanoverians being repulsed with heavy losses. 

Following the bloody repulse of the direct assault, troops were sent to fire the houses and barns east of the Church Street barricade. Fortunately for the defenders and the townsfolk of Preston the wind was against the attackers and failed to drive the flames into the town. However, Government troops, possibly aided by drifting smoke from the burning buildings concealing some of their movements, managed to infiltrate one of the alleys or weinds which led along the backs and between some of the properties and stormed Patten House which stood on the north side of Church Street and commanded the east end of Church Street and the barricade there. 

As dusk fell, the attackers, attempted to bypass the northwest barricade on Friargate by an attack down a back lane. The Jacobites unleashed a hail of fire which ‘killed the Captain and about one hundred and forty of his men’ and beat off the attack. Houses beyond the barricades here were also set alight although whether as a result of this action or earlier is uncertain. 

With nightfall, blazing buildings and the long, red muzzle flashes of musket fire illuminated the town. General Wills ordered his men to set lighted candles in the windows of any buildings captured by Government troops so that progress could be seen. To confuse the enemy, the Jacobites responded by illuminating all the windows they could and some of the townsfolk, misinterpreting an order to extinguish the lights lit still more candles, to the amusement of both sides but doing harm to neither. As the night drew on the fighting around the barricades petered out although sporadic shots were fired through the night. Both armies’ front line troops spent the night snatching what sleep they could in their positions although Forster retired to bed. 

A replica of the ship Friendship which
transported Dugal to America.

On the following morning Wills was reinforced by another 2,500 men enabling him to surround the town and block off all means of escape. The Jacobites, trapped in the town, were left with the choice of fighting their way out or surrendering, having no provision for a long siege. Derwentwater and Mackintosh were for fighting, having inflicted heavy casualties on the attackers the day before and still being in possession of most of their strongpoints but Forster overruled them to the dismay of the ordinary soldiers who were well aware of the fate that might await them. Furious with Forster ‘had he appeared in the street, he would certainly have been cut to pieces’ and an attempt to shoot him in his chamber was made by Mr Murray. Murray actually fired a pistol at Forster but a Mr Patten knocked up the barrel of the weapon and Forster survived. Patten was later to turn King’s Evidence and to write an eyewitness account of the Rebellion.
On the 14th the Jacobite army therefore laid down their arms in the market place, the senior officers, to spare their feelings, proffered their surrenders more privately in the inn where they had been billeted. 

Sherriffmuir was fought on the same Sunday and any hopes the Jacobites may have had of success were thwarted. The proclaimed but uncrowned James VIII landed at Peterhead in December but departed soon afterwards to spend the rest of his life (he died in 1766) in exile. 

AftermathThe prisoners were confined in the church and fed on bread and water for a month, at the expense of the townspeople. Some were transferred to Lancaster Castle and some taken to Liverpool and tried. Around fifty died in prison. 

Much has been written about Dugal, so I won’t be putting in his biography. He lived in Maryland after finishing his indenture of 7 years. I was able to find original copies online of the Friendship’s passenger lists – both departure and arrival:


Fun facts…

Just before the holiday I thought I would share a few fun HAMM family facts that I found in the Taylor County (Wisconsin) history book. For those who don’t know, the Hamm’s lived just outside of Medford:

In 1878…At this early date Main Street looked more like a country road, with its stumps, and a slab and saw dust fill on the north end. This side walks for years were made of planks; and the ones in front of stores were on different levels…The appearance of Main street, then, was anything but citified. Among the new arrivals this year, were T.H. Fredricks, Jos. Hirsch, J. Hirsch, George Hamm, Mrs. John Kuse, C.J. Boeckler, Peter J. Olson, and John Raths. A school was built at Whittlesey, with Miss Whippler finishing the first term in June. [pg33] 

The roads out of town were possibly usable two or three miles each way but the one south in the vicinity of the Hamm farm, was muddy even in summer. [pg39] 

Rev. B. Ungrodt came here from Cape Colony, South Africa in 1881, and served for many years as the first pastor of the Immanuel Lutheran church. Chas. Faude, Henry Schoeplke, George Hamm, Wm. Thielke, F. Krueger, and Daniel Schief were among his early parishioners. [pg49] 

The first man to make a business of delivering milk was Geo. Hamm who was followed for many years by Mrs. Carl Kuehn. [pg123]

Major Denis Mahon’s murder

Major Denis Mahon portrait, owner of
the Mahon Estate, where Strokestown
is and where our Connellys came from.

There was a theory put out by a Connelly researcher that the reason Dennis Connelly had to leave Ireland when he did was because he was somehow involved in the murder of Major Denis Mahon.

I wanted to see if it was possibly true, so I found a book that had been written about the subject, the killing of Major Denis Mahon, by Peter Duffy. I highly recommend it as a read.

In the 1700s an English writer by the name of Arthur Young was touring Ireland. When he came to Strokestown and the Mahon Estate his description of the land was “flat and featureless, due to the sheep grazing,  having a general atmosphere of being dreary and cheerless. The people were not industrious or better housed. They lived on potatoes, milk and butter. There were few cows, pigs are not allowed, poultry was tolerated. To earn a bit of coin the men dug turf, planted potatoes and work for their landlord, while the women spun.” But on the whole he said the land was deemed tolerable. Land was divided up the old fashioned way on the Mahon estate, 2-300 acres would hold anywhere from 10-15 families. Leased and sub-leased. There were many very small plots of land for a family to survive on. In actual fact the situation was not good, and in time only worsened.

It was in the early 1800s that the Mahon estate was poised on the brink of disaster. Another English writer, Edward Wakefield, visiting the estate in 1809, described the area “I…found everywhere, cabins of the most wretched aspect, infamous stone roads, very minute divisions of land, and  a superabundant but miserable population.” Unlike the author Young he did not see any beauty in the land and in his eyes no estate in his travels represented such a “scene of desolation,” as that of the Mahon estate.

There is much that has already been written about the politics, and consequences of the famine. Too much to go into here, but it was the winter of 1846-47 during the famine that changed Strokestown’s course forever. Major Mahon was preparing to go to England for the hard winter, leaving his land agent John Ross Mahon (unrelated) to handle the estate. He was a hard-hearted, penny-pinching, no nonsense advocate for his clients. In Strokestown he is remembered as a ‘very cruel man’.  He set up an office in Strokestown to oversee the handling of the estate and in looking over the property, he later testified that “…of course they were absolutely starving…It saw the impossibility, not only of rent being paid, but of the people living.”

His plan was to remove two thirds of the tenants and let the remaining third expand their holdings and grow profitable crops. Subsidized emigration was his answer to the removal of the two thirds. The Major was against a major eviction of the tenants, and the Mahon family was not in any kind of financial condition to pay for the tenants transport out of the country.

But by early spring of 1847 he capitulated on the removal issue. We know that our ancestor Dennis Connelly arrived at the port of New York in May of 1847, because his declaration of intent tells us so. This means that sometime in April is when, at least he, packed up to go to America. It is unclear to us if the whole family left at the same time, because we can find no passenger lists with the Connelly’s on them. This does mean that at least Dennis was not one of the 1000 who were sent to Canada on the ‘coffin ships‘.

It is possible the Connellys left because they received eviction notices, although records indicate that Major Mahon didn’t sign any until April, to be delivered in early May, and it appears that the Connellys had already left by then. Maybe they had heard the rumors. Shortly after Mahon’s removal of the first 1000 families on the ‘coffin ships’ he had his land agent either pay off the families with a few pounds, or use the sheriff, to evict another two thousand more off the estate.

His actions were now going to have consequences. It was in the evening of November 2, 1847 that Major Mahon was murdered while driving home in a horse drawn carriage. According to witnesses at the event two men were involved. Before his murder he was making plans to evict another 6000 families off the estate. Some believe that it was his land agent John Ross Mahon who was actually the target as they had switched places on the carriage before the drive and the Major was holding the reigns. We will never know. The murder was never solved.

So to answer the question – No Dennis Connelly didn’t run away from Ireland because he was involved in the murder of Denis Mahon. He was already in America working to make a better life for his family.

So this Thanksgiving I will be sure to thank my Irish ancestors who survived a devastating famine, and a horrendous sea voyage to make a new life in America, making my Thanksgiving dinner possible.

Those long New England winters…

It is amusing, to me anyway, how when we die we suddenly become saints who led exemplary lives, were the epitome of upright citizenry, god fearing moral examples for all, yadda, yadda, yadda (by the way If anyone ever says that about me, it’s all lies!). The same type of thing happens when genealogist write up family histories about their ancestors.  It’s rare to find a family history that says anything bad about their fore bearers.


That’s why I love to find records like what I am posting today, records that show even our ancestors were only human. I have had this information for a while, but sometimes there is a long wait before I can post anything new, so I like to go through all my old research to find entries of interest that I might have forgotten about.


Jonathan and Lydia Hatch of Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts are our focus today both of them are ancestors of ours. Read this little tidbit: 

Jonathan Hatch, who eventually married Ann Rowley, was described by the historian Otis as:     … a man of indomitable energy of character – no difficulties discouraged him – no misfortune swayed him from his onward and determined course of life. He was a pioneer in the march of civilization, and the history of his life, if faithfully written, would present many points of romantic interest. (Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families v1:p463).

Well some of that may indeed be true (he certainly focused a lot on the romantic aspect, but not in the way we think), but those New England winters must have gotten quite boring because Jonathan and his sister Lydia seem to have spent a bit of time in court, and not in a good way, as can seen in the following court record entries that I have entered below.

(1) p.152 – …In 1642 Lydia Hatch appeared before the court not only “for suffering Edward Michell to attempt to abuse her body by uncleanness” and not letting it be known, but for “lying in the same bed with her brother Jonathan.” Her brother was not directly accused of incest, although he was in court on other charges. Lydia was publicly whipped for both offenses, no option of a fine being given, and Jonathan was also whipped for vagrancy and “for his misdemeanors.

(2) March 1, 1641/1642 Bradford, G. (PCR 2:35):
Edward Michell, for his lude [and] sodomitacall practives tending to sodomye with Edward Preston, and other lude carryages with Lydia Hatch, is centured to be presently whipt at Plymouth, at the publike place, and once more at Barnestable, kin convenyent tyme, in the presence of Mr. Freeman and the committees of the said towne.

March 1, 1641/1642 Bradford, G. (PCR 2:35):
Lydia Hatch, for suffering Edward Michell to attempt to abuse her body by vncleanesse, [and] did not discouer it, [and] lying the same bed with her brother Jonathan, is censured to be publickly whipt; was accordingly donn.

March 6, 1665/1666 (GC, PCR 4:117):
Wheras Jonathan Hatch hath bine convicted of vnnesesarie frequenting the house of Thomas Crippin, and therby hath giuen occation of suspision of dishonest behauior towards Francis, the wife of the said Crippin, the Court hath admonished him and warned him for the future not to giue such occation of suspision as aforsaid by his soe frequently resorting to the said house or by coming in the companie of the said woman, as hee will anware it att his peril.

———————————-
(1)The entries above were found in James and Patricia Scott Deetz, The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love, and Death in the Plymouth Colony, (New York: W.H. Freeman and Co., 2000), 151-152. With other sources listed, Other information found at the website related to book: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/users/deetz/Plymouth/Lauria2.html

(2) Appendix II: The Court Records  The following descriptions of Court Records provide the date of the record, the Plymouth Colony Record (PCR0 cite, and an indication of the Court at which the action occurred, including the General Court 9GC0, the Court of Assistant (CA), Court of Magistrates (CM) (typically conducted by individual Assistants), and Governor Bradford hearing disputes and claims as an Assistant or Magistrate (Bradford).

References for above court records Bradford, William Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647. Ed. by Samuel Eliot Morison. New York:Knopf (1952). PCR. Records of the Colony of New Plymouth in New England. Ed., by Nathaniel Shurtleff and David Pulsifer. New York:AMS Press. 12v. in 6.

All in the family…

I have been through the microfilm of the Norwegian Holden Lutheran Church 2 1/2 times looking for entries for the John Stianson and Kari Gunlechsdatter’s family. John and Kari did not attend, or become members of this church. But 5 of their children or their families did.

In fact, I have been able to glean from the research in to this church’s records that the only children of John and Kari’s who do not appear to have emigrated to America are Stian, the eldest son, and the youngest daughter Sigri, (although the jury is still out on her). Three of the eldest daughter, Marriken’s, children were confirmed in the church, but I can find no evidence of her or her husband living in Goodhue County. But then again with a name like John Olson, it can be a daunting search.

So it appears that pretty much the whole family came to America, leaving the eldest son to farm in Norway.

The first appearance of the family in Minnesota, was actually Ingeborg and her husband Halvor Einerson. They came over in 1852, about 20 years earlier than the rest of the family. However, they lived in Dane County, Wisconsin for a few years, before heading over to Goodhue County, Minnesota. They are found in the Blue Mound, Dane County, 1855 census for Wisconsin, and their child Peter was born there. Shortly after that is when they moved a little bit more west.

Anne Karine and her husband Knud Stianson moved to South Dakota in the 1880s, Knud died in1887 of what is believed to be yellow fever. Anne never married again, but stayed in SD. Gunlech her brother headed out to South Dakota for a few years where some of his children moved, but he moved back to Minnesota and lived out his life there. The rest of the family also stayed in Minnesota. Ingeborg died in 1904, Anne Marie died between 1895 and 1900, Jorgina died in 1907, Gunlech in 1927 and we believe Ann Karine died in 1928 in an insane asylum. Her daughter Carrie also died in the same asylum, they were there at the same time, although Carrie died 10 years later.

John Stianson and Kari Gunlechdatter’s children:1. Marriken m. John Olson
2. Ingeborg m. Halvor Einerson
3. Anne Marie m. Tolv Nelson
4. Kari Jorgina m. Amund Amundson
5. Stian
6. Gunlech m. Anne Thorbjorbsdatter
7. Anne Karine m. Knud Stianson
8. Sigri

They actually had three other children who all died at the age of 2 or less. Unfortunately neither Jorgina nor Amund, my ancestors, bothered to become members of this church either. But I do know they were married in Leon, so that is my next stop for church records.