Sunday, October 19, 2008

Huycke, Reynolds, Brilliott, etc.

As usual during the school year, I've still been up to random little bits of things, usually as people contact me rather than me seek them out.

Last weekend I went to Appleton and was able to locate a few graves of ancestors on my dad's side of the family, namely Mathias Stark and his wife Margaretha Schmitz, as well as several of their children. I also located Margaretha's father Mathias Schmitz and her mother is buried next to him but her stone is now missing. I know she is there, though, because I called the cemetery (St. Joseph) prior to my visit to determine what section they were in. There was a proliferation of Starks, and abutting their plots were a great deal of Steffens which I assume must be related in some way (although I obviously don't know yet how). Hopefully I can figure that out.

I was contacted last week by a Brilliott descendent still living in Wisconsin. This is pretty exciting for my cousin Stephanie, since she had very much lost touch with a lot of her family. I have gotten a few more details about this family now from this contact.

I also received an email from a Huycke descendent whose ancestor's brother (William Henry Powers Huycke) was married to Rebecca N. Mayville. She has more information about this branch and may have some photos which are of interest. I sent her pictures that I have uploaded of Mayvilles and then of Unknown people on the Mayville side in the hopes that she or her family may recognize someone.

Finally, I was contacted today by a man who lives in Caribou, ME! He said he lives right by Green Ridge Cemetery and said the following:

The Grange hall you wrote of is no longer standing. It caught fire and burned approximately 15 years ago and stood about 1/4 mile north of the cemetery at the intersection of Green Ridge road and East green Ridge road. Green Ridge is located south east of the small City of Caribou and the cemetery is within the town limits of Caribou, The land where the cemetery lies was originally owned by Everett Reynolds, and the Cemetery originated with the burial of Everett Reynolds. I have heard of the "plow" you inquired about though I am not sure where it is located now, but it may be in a local museum that the Caribou Historical Society has set up. The Grange Hall was empty of its contents prior to its burning so my assumption is that the plow is still in existence. Local legend has it that Everett Reynolds died accidently. Supposedly he was in a wagon driving his team of horses when a Black bear suddenly appeared and spooked the horses. Mr Reynolds was thrown from the wagon when the team bolted and died as a result of the fall. It sounds to me that the Everett Reynolds you are inquiring about is the possible son of the Everett Reynolds buried in the cemetery along with his wife and other family members, The Everett Reynolds buried in the cemetery is the original settler of this area and the Reynolds family still has members residing in the area, though I don't believe any of them reside on Green Ridge.
I'm very excited about this and now that I have a contact in Caribou I hope to be able to learn considerably more about this puzzling part of the family. I'll post when I know more.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mayville, etc.

It has been, obviously, far too long since my last post, and despite the 17 credits that are eating my alive right now, I have had some small amount of time to work on some genealogy. A couple of weeks ago I was working on fleshing out my Mayville tree a bit more. I was contacted first by a Christopher Mayville who says he is of the Vermont Mayvilles. Unfortunately he does not have much on his line and therefore we are unable to make a connection at this time.

I found out the exact death date for Sylvia Viola Mayville, a daughter of Ephraim and Loretta, although I do not know why she dies so young,... She and her husband, William Thompson (son of Roxy Huycke Peep and Lyman Thompson) both died in 1918 within a few days of each other. Obvious answer- the Influenza... but of course, not confirmed.

I also looked into the death of George Mayville, which was in 1955 and caused by him drowning himself. Apparently he had been in World War I and was gassed, and this caused mental issues wherein he had been in and out of a mental institution in Oshkosh before drowning himself near Unity. His obituary said he was buried at Brighton Cemetery. I found this odd since we have never found his stone, and he died in 1955 so the stone couldn't have disappeared completely by now.

We decided to take a short trip up to Unity and there we searched in vain for any sign of a stone for him. Now we think that both Loretta and George are there without a stone. I did, however, discover that Sylvia and Will are buried there and just never noticed for some reason. I can't believe I never noticed... but now I know.

On other fronts I am waiting for mail to come back... Apparently a letter I sent to a society in PA was returned, so I need to check with my source of that address and ask them what happened to the society. I am also still waiting to hear back from the OddFellows of Maine, and am hoping that I actually WILL hear back from them... and I believe there are a few other letter floating around unanswered as of yet. Hopefully I will find out more soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Reynolds in Maine!

I am exceedingly excited at present because a guy in Maine went to the Green Ridge cemetery for me near Caribou, ME to check out what Reynoldses might be there. He reported that the cemetery might as well be called "Reynolds Cemetery" for the amount of people there with that name. Unfortunately his camera had a serious malfunction so he had to return again at a later time.

Anyway, he was just able to send me the pictures and they are very great indeed. Included in the cemetery are my ancestors Elisha T. Reynolds and wife Adeliza Fuller. Included are most of Elisha's siblings and I think an obelisk for his parents.

But most interestingly enough are three particular stones.

The first says "Everett E. Reynolds" and the symbol of rings "F L T" with the birthdate of 3 Aug 1847 but no death date...

The next stone over is Everett's first wife Grace Melissa Harris Reynolds, saying "Mother" with the dates "1851-1876"

The next stone is their son, Herbert Ellery Reynolds with dates 1870-1886.

Now, this is interesting for many reasons. First, there were no other Reynoldeses in the Caribou/Green Ridge area except my family, so the Everett E. Reynolds in the article my grandma gave me almost certainly must be the same man who is my ancestor. But his stone in this cemetery has no death date-- did someone just not have money for the date, or was he buried elsewhere---- or did he truly disappear completely? The stone of his first wife, though, is part of the evidence I was looking for.

Also interesting is the death year for his son Herbert-- I have in my notes from a Reynolds family book that he died in 1880, but just a week or so ago I had been fiddling with censuses and I found an 1880 census with a boy of that age living with, I think, Everett's parents. No evidence of Verna Luella though (try as I might), who was the only child of Everett's first marriage to make it to adulthood.

Anyways, back from my tangent--- if Herbert was still alive until 1886, why did Everett not take him with when-if he went to Wisconsin? And about Everett's second marriage---- His third child in that marriage, Grace V., was born in 1886. After this time Everett disappears from Wisconsin and might or might not be the man of the newspaper article I have.

I need to find someone in Caribou, Maine who knows about this family, or at the very least about what Green Ridge was, and also if anyone has records for that cemetery. I need to find out if Everett was ever buried there or if he was buried someplace else.

I'm excited because this opens the door to new knowledge while also seeming to prove a couple of theories I had going based on information but I have to be careful to not be too hasty. I only hope that I can somehow find out more information.

Also, I've been working again on the McConnell front since the other day Bob Speckman sent me a link to a site which listed some Jefferson area newspapers in which a "Mrs. McConnel" was listed as dying sometime in November, 1892. I'm on the hunt for this article and it seems there might be someone who may finally be able to tell me definitively about some records for the Hake Cemetery in Jefferson. I'm hoping very much that that pans out since every source I get sends me in a circle back on info I already have and I really just need to find new information!!

Additionally, I spent the past few days up north in Shawano because the lady who currently owns a house my ancestor Collin Mayville lived in with his family, invited me to come help them restore the house. We spent the past couple days pulling old, old wood siding off of the house complete with old square peg handmade nails. That was really neat but also quite a lot of work and quite a lot remains to be done.

In addition, I have been curious about the "F L T" which was on Everett E. Reynolds's grave as well as, I noticed today, on the Mayville family stone up north in Shawano. I just googled to see if I could finally find it (because I think I have some sort of pendant or something that was said to be Collin's which has the F L T on it also) and I found this site:

It explains that F L T is: "A symbol of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal organization. Stands for Friendship, Love, and Truth."

Another interesting tidbit about Everett E. Reynolds. If he was a member of this society...... ???

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Vital Recs visit (Hurley, Christofferson) and McConnell letters

I meant to write since Thursday when I took a tirp to the Vital Recs office but I've been a bit busy, Thursday afterwards being spent with plugging new names into the genealogy and working over all of my usual sources to see if I could find new information.

I didn't research any of my ancestors this time but instead those of my cousin Steph and my uncle Eric. Since Eric's is shorter and disappointing I will tell what I found (or didn't find) on his family-

I looked up Eva Latus/Latue Skolaski to see what I could find of her parents, etc. It provided a father's name of John Latus but no mother. Eva died in 1932 of diabetes.

Next, I finally found George Young's death record. I had started at the beginning of the years and gone through each one to try to find the right George Young, which was challenging because it is English and a common name. In either event, I finally found that he died 22 Mar 1960 of prostrate cancer. In a turn of bad luck, it did not list his parents' names for some reason. I just thought of that I ought to look for an obituary in the Wisconsin State Journal sinc ehe died in the 60s and in Madison he should have an obit... although, probably, if the informant for the death record didn't have his parents' names, the person who put in the obit might not know also. I will have to check.

Another spot of unfortunate luck came when I located August V. Skolaski Sr.'s death record. He died in 1936 and I had been hoping to find the names of his parents. I was unlucky on that respect.

Lastly on Eric's side I looked up Herman Christofferson because I still hadn't found much on that line (isn't it funny on the most important names- the male line dominated lines in my families, its harder to find info? the Mayvilles, Diebolds, everybody-- doesn't go as far as the other more obscure and hidden names). From Herman's death record I found that his parents were Carl Christofferson and Tena Hanson. I tried locating more information about them but was generally unable to. It might take a thorough search of the vital recs office, again, to find anything on these two.

So, now I move on to my cousin Steph's genealogy, of which I found quite a bit to confirm what I had tried to find prior to my visits, and also enough to jog Steph's memory on her family since she remembered very little.

I looked at a bunch of the Hurley family first, starting with Steph's great-grandparents John S. Hurley and Katherine Byrnes. She had provided years of birth and death for them so I was able to find exact dates now. I confirmed a slight guess I'd had that John's parents were Thomas Hurley and Isabel Dockery. In the next week or so I will go to the historical society and check out that couple's death records which I found in the pre-1907 index. This will hopefully provide me more to look for when I try checking into Irish records-- and will hopefully be easier since its not such a common name as my Irish folks (Walsh, Hurst).

I of course found most of these Hurleys then in Wisconsin census and filled out the siblings of Steph's ancestors.

On Katherine Byrnes's death rec I found her parents to be Patrick Byrnes and Bridgett Keenan. Wasn't able to find much of them in the census mostly because of the amount of name variations on Byrnes/Byrns/Burns, but I will keep looking.

Next I checked out Steph's ancestor Paul T. Drescher. It didn't have his wife's name listed to that didn't help much in the way of trying to locate her but apparently she had pre-deceased him. Either way I found his parents to be Gottlieb Drescher and Minnie Kuhnau (although the record was hard to read that last name).

I looked at Steph's grandpa William Ignatius Hurley just to confirm his parents and dates I had. He is buried at Roselawn in Monona.

Lastly I found LaVetta A. Drescher Hurley's death record and found her mother's maiden name to be Marie Brilliott (father Paul Drescher, aforementioned). This is a really pretty surname (Brilliott) of French origin although the family came from Switzerland directly. I'm sure it will trace back to more direct French origins. Because of this unique surname, I found that they were the only family in the United States with that name at all in the census years currently available. They all lived in Sauk Co. Marie's parents were John Brilliott and Caroline Kaufmann. John's parents were the Swiss immigrants, Russ and Mary Agnes Brilliott. I have charted out most of their children as available from census and then online pre-1907 index. Caroline Kaufmann's parents were John and Josephine Kaufmann and I haven't found so very much about them. There are several people researching various Brilliotts (or at least, having one or two familiar characters in their genealogies, so I have been looking into that.

Finally, yesterday I received a letter from somewhere in Perry County, Pennsylvania regarding a letter I had sent quite over a month ago regarding records on Alexander McConnell being born there, in the hopes of tracking down his parents' names.

Well, as I should know by now it is impossible to find anything on this family, and this instance is not any different. The researcher was unable to find his family but there is a family record in their files from when Donald Schwennesen tried to reach them. I hadn't known they had tried to do any research, but it included Donald's letter which had in it much of the information I have already been able to confirm about the family. Unfortunately his letter was from 1979 and he died five years ago. I don't know his children's names or whereabouts otherwise I would write them regarding his researches... although I can't imagine they would be much more fruitful than my own.

In any event the researcher also included a chunk of photocopies out of the "History of York County Pennsylvania," which details the origins of the Hoeck/Hake family-- From their arrival in about 1748/9 to various endeavors throughout the country including, and it mentions this specifically- the group that came to Jefferson Co., WI. The document is rather dense and so will take a couple lookings-at to see if any of the information is viable for further pursuance.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

RAOGK; Skolaski, Hurley, etc.

In preparation for my next visit to Vital Recs on Thursday (which was precipitated by my necessity of finding info about the Hurleys for Steph), I have been digging around to see what else I could spend time looking for while there.

Because of this I discovered that I had not yet found information on Frank Skolaski Sr.'s parents (Uncle Eric's family) besides that they were August Skolaski and Eva Latue. So I decided to look through the census and try to find the family in 1900, which I had been unable to do. I was able to find them with a very bad misspelling of the surname and found the approximate birth month & year for his parents. Then I was able to find them in other census years also with ridiculous misspellings and hidden in the households of their children and narrowed down that they lived past 1920. I did a google search on the name "August Skolaski" and since it is a unique name it came back with several hits which had to do exactly with this family. One was an article about August Skolaski's grandson also named August Skolaski who had something to do with the creation of a church somewhere around Madison. There were several other links including one to a genealogy for August & Eva's son John from someone on his wife's side. This gave approximate years of death for August and Eva so I will make sure to start with those years. I will hopefully be able to find the names of their parents, so that will be exciting.

The other day I did a little digging on the Steffen part of my family. Not much, just dealing with Emma Steffen and her husband Robert Posselt and their children.

I also am now a volunteer for Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) ( This is mostly because for the past year and now for the next few years I have/will live in close proximity to the Historical Society and therefore will be able to constantly access things that people might not be able to if they live a considerable distance away, so I decided I should finally become a volunteer to put my abilities to some use.

Another reason is because I have used the same site twice.. I haven't gotten responses yet, really, except for the guy who I asked to go to Green Ridge Cemetery for me in Caribou, ME. He should be getting back to me soon with what, if anything, he found there.. and I'm pretty anxious about that-- but actually, very glad I was able to find someone who could go there at all! Of course I very much wish I was able to go there myself and check it out but thats not exactly possible with the current state of finances, etc. so I will have to make do with this.

I got my first request the other day and already fulfilled it. It is interesting being part of other people's genealogy and helping them find information important to their research. That's why most of the time I wish this could be a full time job rather than going to college for random stuff, and who knows if I'll actually end up doing that? But oh well, I suppose.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A little update

I have been digging around on my Uncle Eric Christofferson's side of the family again. Apparently I was previously unable to find the family of Frank Grain in the 1900 census but I finally tracked them down today by searching the first name of "Frank" and narrowing in on Seneca, Wood Co., where I believed they lived at the time. I was successful in finding them with a poor misspelling of their last name ("Gren"), and therefore I found more specific dates for their children including Frances Grain.

I also looked into Frances's sister Mary's husband Henry Tidmarsh, who immigrated from England in 1904. I checked the Ellis Island records and found him very quickly. He immigrated on the Carpathia and I thought this was really interesting, because he came only a year after her maiden voyage, and less than ten years later the Carpathia was involved in scooping Titanic survivors out of the Atlantic. Then, of course, it was sunk in 1918. So there's a cool little bit of history on a distantly related man.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cousin's Genealogy; slight Reynolds update

Just a quick note to say I've begun slight work on my cousin Steph Diebold's genealogy for her mom's side of the family. So far I haven't had much luck beyond guesswork with some censuses because she didn't have much info to start with. It looks like I will have to make a trip to the Vital Recs office before I can really make any definite progress. There are weird age gaps in the genealogy and then a bunch of them were recent immigrants who seems to have died not long after arriving, so tracing definite familial connections just in the census is not the best plan. In addition, none of them seem to have registered any births, marriages or deaths in the pre-1907 indices, so that is also not very helpful. But, so far she's got some Germans and some Irish. We'll see where it goes.

A small update on my Reynolds paper: I haven't yet heard from the person I wrote a letter to a couple weeks ago, so I tried to think of other ways I might get the information I need from such an obscure area of the country. I remembered that I had seen a site once called Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness and I decided to look up volunteers in Aroostook County. I found a man who is going to check on Green Ridge Cemetery for me. I still hope that I can find a way to get the better copy of that article my grandmother gave me but for right now chances seem slim. I will have to do some more digging around to see what other places I might be able to write to in order to find this article. Hopefully someplace will have it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Everett Reynolds- The great mystery

I haven't found much lately mostly because for the past two weeks I was away on vacation. In any event, while visiting my paternal grandparents in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, my grandmother showed me a terrible photocopy of a newspaper clipping she had gotten at some point which is about a man named Everett E. Reynolds who matches the man who is supposed to be my 3greats-grandfather: but she does not remember from whence it came. This is unfortunate, and so is the state of the of the photocopy itself as someone had patched the original with tape that mostly blocked out in the photocopy what the article said, and a chunk is completely missing from the bottom. I decided to type up a transcript of the article for better analysis, and where there are parts missing it is indicated by blanks. Its quite interesting and comes with a photo of the man, who does, when compared with a picture of my great-great grandfather Alex Reynolds, look to be exclusively related. Here is the transcript and perhaps I can scan the document at some point and toggle with it to find out what else it says.

Caribou, July 1

“Many times visitors at Green Ridge Grange hall have asked, What’s that? When the first saw the old plow resting quietly on its sh-- in the grange room. Perhaps it is not to be wondered at, as it surely does not resemble a modern plow to any great extent, but it was a plow, nevertheless, more than a century and a half ago.
“A study of its lines and construction, makes one realize how far we have come in our advance from the primitive state of winning a living from the soil of the advanced science of agriculture of today. Sometimes as I stand before the old plow lost in thoughts of the past, I see the generations that have gone, before me, and I listen to the story the old plow tells me of yhat [sic] it has seen since first it came on the stage of life.
“Some of its history is known only to the old plow itself and this it silently keeps, safely locked away from all our curiosity. The latter part of its history is known to us and while there may be other plows that have as strange a history, surely no other plow ever made such a journey as this.
“Some 30 years ago it was the privilege of the writer to see the old plow that was owned by Israel Putnam and which he left in the field hooked to his oxen when the messenger brought the news that the British soldiers had fired on the American farmers at Lexington. The general appearance of the Green Ridge plow is very much the same as the Putnam plow except it is of lighter construction. It must have been made about the same time, possibly a decade _______ later. It is evident that it ___ ____ used to any great extent, _______ that a better or more substantial plow must have come into use soon after it was made. It would appear, and this fact is borne out by what knowledge we have that the plow is about 150 years old.
“It was discovered in 1887 [1881?] in the barn loft of a farmer ___ _orge, Mass., by Everett Reynolds who had taken refuge in the ____from a heavy shower w--e ______hing trip.
“Mr. Reynolds came ________ old Yankee family of Pilgrim stock, and was interested _________iat had American histor__ b----red the farmer for the plow and it passed into his possession. [might say something else?]. Mr. Reynolds was a shoemaker by trade and was at the time located in Bl----- Mass., but with his parents -- a young man had gone into Aroostook county Maine as pioneers. The parents remained at Green Ridge where they settled, in company with a number of families of that --me and their bodies rest in Green Ridge Cemetery.
“After a time Everett returned to Massachusetts to work at his trade. It was during this time that he discovered the old plow _______ conceived the idea of mounting the plow on a wheelbarrow and in this way making a journey to Aroostook county Maine to visit his parents and other relatives.
“He had a wheelbarrow specially constructed for this purpose ______ compartment in the body for a change of clothes and a few th___ necessary for the _________ made him _____________ the purp__________ condition________

[a huge chunk is missing and skips up to the next column:]
“yourself but Mr. Reynolds remarked that he was glad to pay for the _____ and that he belonged to a party that preserved the Union and freed the slaves.” He started on leaving the old man glutting after him.
“He reached Bangor on August 28 and remained for the Fair and on the 31st left for Aroostook, and reached Ho--ton [Houlton? This is apparently near Green Ridge Grange] at 5 p.m., September 6, and at Presque Isle in time for dinner Sunday, September 9, stopping at Gus Whitney’s Hotel. Although it was Sunday, Mr. Reynolds was anxious to complete his journey and after dinner he started the plow again reaching the home of his parents at Green Ridge near the site of Grange Hall at 5:30 [a.?] m., 3- days after the start was made. He visited relatives at places along the way and of course could _________d rainy weather.
“The shoes worn on the trip are still in Mr. Reynold’s possession, a treasured ________ of the trip.
“Mr. Reynolds was born at Bridgewater, Mass., August 3 [or 8?], 1847, and is thus near ____ years of age. He still works daily in his shop. He is descended from Robert Reynolds who landed at Boston in 1632 and on the mother’s side of Dr. Samuel Fuller who arrived in the Mayflower in 1620.
“In spite of ____ _____t Mr. Reynolds started his strange journey, on ____dey, his birthday was attended by no adverse handicaps. He now resides in Canton, Maine, and is a well preserved man for his years, both physically and mentally as a recent photograph __________.
“The old plow was presented to Green Ridge Grange by Mr. Reynolds, a quarter of a century ago, and as soon as the new hall is completed will occupy a place of honor again, in the _____. Then a ________ to the good _______that hath for all the na----s [nations?] gone. And glory -- now to the good old plow, when a thousand years have flown.”

Conclusions (notes I wrote when I first looked through this):

-Birthdate matches
-Parents and family all around Caribou & Fort Fairfield. Ancestry of parents matches.
-Canton, 1920 has Everett E. Reynolds living, widowed… article does not mention any wife.

So, article is from Maine.. Possibly Caribou with date of “July 1” while he was living in Canton (so after 1910).

Green Ridge Grange appears to be some sort of building or club?
Definition of a Grange is:
1. A farm, with its farmhouse and nearby buildings
2. Chiefly British, a country house with its various farm buildings, usually constituting the dwelling of a yeoman or gentleman farmer.

Route he took: Bangor NE to Houlton took 6 days, North to Presque Isle in 3 days, then in 12 hours was able to make it to his parent’s house, at Green Ridge Grange.

Further notes:

In the mean time I have written to a place in Caribou, ME asking if there is any way to track down an original copy of the newspaper article, as well as to see if anyone has records for the cemetery these people are supposedly buried in. If I can tie this Everett to the parents I have are his in our family tree, as well as if his first wife Melissa is there or any of his children from his first wife, this would be amazing and I will have finally solved this!! I am very excited and hope I can find someone out in Maine who can help me!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Small update

I've been doing a lot of random little things lately jsut finding out some info from my grandma to put in about the Walsh side of the family and the Ryan connection, trying to track down more relatives on that branch to get a more complete picture and hopefully find out a little more about the ones we don't know much about.

Yesterday I spent some time looking up churches online.. the Ryans belonged to a St. Patrick's in Lodi and I emailed them to try to find out more info about Mary Ann Walsh's sister Ann Nancy Walsh who married Thomas Ryan. I found her death date from an online cemetery record but I was hoping that they might have more info. I also emailed St. Mary of the Lake which is where the Walshes belonged in Westport, and where John and Bridget Walsh are buried, in the hopes that they might have more detailed records,especially pertaining to John Walsh. There is another church, St. Martin's, which is where Mary Ann Walsh and James Hurst were supposedly married, I am going to send them a letter asking them if they have any records, either.

In other parts of the family I received some info from, apparently, someone at the Dodge/Jefferson Counties Genealogical Society.. She emailed me rather out of the blue saying she was responding to my query (and I'm not sure which one?) about the McConnells and Reynoldses in Rock River Cemetery. Either way she had told me she had obits for people I was looking for as well as proof that the McConnells were buried at Hake cemetery, and that she would mail this info to me.

This sounded slightly too good to be true so I guess I wasn't surprised by what exactly I received. I got some transcripts of the cemetery, not records pertaining to who is buried there, and miscellaneous obits for people named McConnell who have no apparent relation. The one gem, I think, it Everett Garfield Reynolds's obituary which I didn't know existed and it provides some interesting info. Here's a transcript:

"Everett Garfield Reynolds was born may 22, 1882, and passed away July 5, 1949 at London Wis. He was the son of Everett Sr. and his wife, Kate (McConnel) Reynolds.
"He attended the London school and as a young man he was employed as a farm hand, but worked the greater part of his life as a painter. Many residents of London and surrounding territory came to know him as their house painter and home decorator.
"As a citizen and neighbor he was always accommodating, pleasant, honest, and gentle. Very quietly he lived a peaceful life, minding his own addairs. He was never married.
"Genereally speaking, his health was always fair, until Monday, June 17, when he suffered a troke. Dr. K. K. Amundson, who attended him, advised removal to a hospital and this was done at once. However, in spite of excellent care, there was no hope of his recovery. He passed away on Friday, July 5th.
"Preceeded in death by his parents and one brother, there are still suviving him two sisters and one brother, who are Mrs. Lu Noel of Yonkers, New York, Mrs. Otto Schwennesen, Chicago, and Alexander of Madison, Wis. There are also three nieces and four nephews.
"The departed attained the age of 58 years, one month, and 13 days. He had been a member of the Moravian church and the funeral services were conducted by the Rev. D. C. Heinrich on July 7 grom the Prescott funeral home at Cambridge. Internment was in Rock river cemetery."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cemetery Visits; new censuses available; Everett Reynolds' disappearing act; photo project

Hold tight for a long entry!

The weekend before this past one I went to several cemeteries. The first, St. James, held great promise as I had no idea who I would actually find there but had read online that my ancestor Peter Steffen had donated the land for the cemetery and the church. I went there first because I was excited that he might be there since I don't know much about him or his family.

I found that I am probably related to almost everyone in the cemetery there. The cemetery is full of Hagemanns and Fischers which was pretty intersting. My greatest find, though, was Peter Steffen's moument which had his daughter Franziska Steffen Starck's information on it. Franziska was married to Peter Starck, and their daughter Helen Stark is my great-great grandmother. Franziska had died young but I hadn't been able to find records for her birth nor death. The stone however had both dates in full, and this is very exciting. There were other Steffens throughout the cemetery as well as other families married in to the ones mentioned before. Some of the Steffens were ones I did not have in my records and I have yet to figure out who exactly they are. Other names in the cemetery such as Puetz and Peshon are related to us through the surnames already mentioned, also.

An interesting find towards the back of the cemetery was a stone which had some young Starck people on it but I only know who one of them was.. there was a Mathias, Margaretha and Gertud and I was only able to find the Mathias in the records I have as being a brother of Peter Starck. I do not know who the others are but all are early births and deaths.

After this cemetery I went down the road a ways to St. Martin of Tours cemetery. I searched the entire cemetery, puzzled that I hadn't found Peter Stark even though his death record had said this was where he was buried. As I was walking back to the car I saw the name Stark on the back of a stone which I had searched the front of earlier. I got closer and found that indeed Peter's name, and that of his second wife Margaret Logic, was carved on the back of his daughter Mary Stark's stone with her husband George Acker.

Next I made a return to St. Louis Cemetery in Caledonia because I had found out that the family of Franziska Steffen's mother, Elizabetha Rauguth, had lived in Caledonia and belonged to the St. Louis parish. This is quite the coincidence that the ancestors/families of my grandpa Schmitt's father and mother lived near and knew each other long before Catherine Emerich and Lester Walter were even born. I'm not sure if this was a conscious connection or not but I will try to find out.

Finally, this past weekend I went back to Hake (Rock River) Cemetery in Jefferson to try to look for the McConnells that I could not find on my previous visit. Alex McConnell's death record said that he was buried there but I have still been unable to find his gravestone or that of his wife, Elizabeth Hake McConnell. I did some poking around but all I found really was a gopher which came lunging at me across the cemetery. I also noted that Alex's business partner W. H. Hake was buried a row down the hill from where the McConnell children are (and where I believe Alex and Elizabeth to be as well).

I have also been puzzling over the problem of Everett Elisha Reynolds. I do not know for sure if he simply disappeared or died while the family was living in Deerfield. I found on's new pilot site that they have Wisconsin censuses from, 1855, 75, 85, 95 and 05, most I've never seen before much less knew existed. Through these I looked up several families I am interested in, including finding John Mayville in DePere in 1855.

But back to the Deerfield question. When my grandmother first told me about these families as I was starting research on that side of the family, she told me a story about how "Garfield Reynolds" had gone west to California during the gold rush, and that he had written some letters back at first but then the family had never heard from him again.

The only Garfield I have found in my records was the son of Everett Elisha Reynolds and Kate McConnell, and he was born in 1882, quite long after the California gold rush (1849) and seems to have lived in Jefferson Co most of his life as a painter, usually his residence was with his widowed(?) mother, Kate. He died there in 1940 and is buried at Hake Cemetery with his mother but no Everett anywhere to be found. I had narrowed down that Everett had died or disappeared by 1900 but with the 1895 census available I was able to narrow down his timeframe to disappearing between 1886 (the year his last child was born) and 1895. I find that he could not have gone west for the gold rush in CA (he was born in 1847) and that his father (Elisha Tilton) would not have done so either, because he seems to have lived out his life in its entirety in northern Maine.

So the dilemma is, who is this my grandmother was referring to? His name can't have been Garfield, but was it Everett Elisha? The story must be true to some respect- someone had disappeared- but who was it? Kate was listed as a widow in 1895 and 1900-- did Everett simply die in Deerfield, or did he go west for some unknown reason and not turn back?

I already have one instance of him leaving his life to go somewhere new. Everett had a wife, Melissa Harris, in his native Maine. All but one of the children from that marriage died young, the last of those in 1880 when presumably he picked up and left for Wisconsin--- not sure if he brought his one daughter, Verna Luella, with him but he married Kate McConnell in 1881 and had three children, then within 5 years had disappeared again. So, that is something I have been puzzling about, as well as who took care of Verna for all this time and how she ended up marrying a man from Ohio.

Something else going on is that I have started a new project, because I just didn't have enough to do before :P I have started scanning all of my Mayville grandparents' photos in the hope of eventually getting them on a website ( eventually... although it is going to take quite some while as I haven't even gotten to the beginning of the scanning, and once I do that I have to resize images and upload them, and then code it all on... in general its a huge project.

I have made an appointment for the Vital Recs office on Wednesday. the day was completely open so the lady offered me two slots in a row, so I will have over 4 hours to search the records. Woohoo.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mayville/ Shawano Connection

This past weekend we went on our annual cemetery visits up north from Ellington to DePere, Shawano, Unity and Marshfield. On the way I found some notes and maps I had put in my genealogy notebook (one of three or four at this point) a few months ago and had promptly forgotten about. It was pictures of two houses I believed were around Shawano and which Collin Mayville and family had lived in.

Back when said maps etc were printed I had gone through the Shawano census of 1920 and figured out a possible approximate location of where they lived, and hoped that if I went to look for a house, it would be one of the two (most probably a particular house that has a distinct outer design which I felt I could easily recognise).

So, in any event, we decided to add a house search to our cemetery plans and headed to South Franklin St. in Shawano around midday. It didn't take too long to find.. just a few blocks. It was about a block further than my census studies had indicated (I used the same strategy in locating the Tice house in Marshfield), but as soon as I saw aforementioned distinct outer design, I knew it was the right house, despite it sadly lacking the front wraparound porch that the family had swarmed around in all of the pictures we had.

In any event, when I saw the house, our car came to a screeching halt, startling a woman who was in the front yard of the house gardening with a small dog (Natasha). We parked and showed Brandy the ca. 1920s picture of her house. She immediately said she had the abstracts, and came out with a stack of papers dating from 1854 to present. It was pretty amazing and we were basically able to surmise that in general, Collin did not own the LAND the house was on, and probably the family rented the house.

This led to a tour of the interior which has much of the original walls, wood floors, etc. The original front door was still there as was the original bell... its this little thing on the door down by the mail slot which you press and it rings then pops back up. Apparently pretty rare to find. The front door's hinges were really prettily detailed as well.

In doors there are two staircases, the front leading to two large bedrooms and the back which was apparently servants quarters when the house was first built. There were some smaller rooms up there.

Brandy is planning on restoring the house, and has already started small bits of the process. I offered to help this summer if she's interested; she's going to be taking the siding off and restoring it. Ironically, she also had been thinking of adding a front porch on but once she saw it originally had one, she's decided its going back for sure. I'm excited to be involved and to see how it ends up looking.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Emmerichs, Stark

Hello first of all, I received an awesome email last week regarding the Emmerich family. A lady named Sue Stabler contacted me, and she is a granddaughter of Alex Emerich, who is my great-great grandfather. She knows a lot about the family, consequently, and I'm very excited to learn what information she may have about the Emmerichs, since we don't know very much!! She also has pictures of course and I can't wait to see them. Its going to be great. She told me that Peter and Catherine (Hageman) Emmerich donated the land that St. Louis Church (in Caledonia) is now on, and that one of the stained glass windows was dedicated to them.

This is very exciting and should help flesh out that area of the family tree.

Another email I just received pertains to Johanna Stark who married Ferdinand Rinke and is the mother of Matilda Rinke (who married Alex Emerich). Cathy may have information which provides the names of Johanna's parents, who I was previously unable to find any information about. That will be a good step forward!!

Its almost summer so that is very good- Soon I will be hitting up a bunch of cemeteries and hopefully finding out a lot of new info about the family.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Liebenow, McConnell, misc.

Haven't had a lot of time but I figured I ought to update this quick before I head into the last big stretch of the school year- oh how I want it to be over with.

In any event... Some little things that have occurred offhand include:

I received a document from the Dodge/Jefferson Co. Genealogical Society which told me that in 1877 and 1879, my ancestor Alex McConnell was in a partnership with an unnamed Hake, and they ran a dry goods store together. In 1881 the partnership dissolved with Alex taking full ownership. This is important because it connect further Alex with his wife Elizabeth Hake (although still haven't determined her parents), and it also confirms what my grandma Alice Annen Schmitt told me regarding Alex, that he had a dry goods store. So thats very well, hopefully more information will surface about this.

I've also been exchanging letters with Roland Liebenow. He is a cousin of mine through Ferdinand and August (Koch) Liebenow. Anyways we have been discussing place of origin of the Liebenow family, and that Christian's father's name was William. Also, there were other Liebenows who came who were Christian's siblings I believe.

Thats about all I can remember for right now. If I think of anything, I'll be sure to post it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Christofferson Connection, Misc stuff

Hey all I've just recently started working on my uncle Eric Christofferson's genealogy. So far I found a few lines going back pretty far to the Colonial South and then to Switzerland its pretty interesting :)

Also I contacted the Oak Creek Historical Society through a letter sent last week, asking them about a cemetery in Oak Creek, St. James, which is supposed to have my Steffen ancestors in it. I received an email yesterday from a woman at the historical society who had a list of Steffens buried in that church and also a list of Ranguth/Rauguths who are apparently buried at St. Louis Cemetery in Caledonia. I was there last year looking for Emmerichs!! Now I'll be going back in the spring to look for my Ranguth/Rauguth ancestors. Its pretty interesting that they were members of the same parish. I contacted Carol, who is a secretary at St. Louis, in order to see if she can find any records for me. She found a lot of information for me when I was researching the Emmerichs.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rauguth/Steffen & McConnell/Hake

Just a little tidbit so you know I haven't forgotten about this thing.. I think that I have found miscellaneous scraps of info that I haven't put here in the past month, because I've been pretty busy with school.. however, I figure this is a pretty big update even for it being rather small.

I went to the historical society quick because I found a record for the death of an Anna E. Steffen, who I thought may be the same who was married to John Peter Steffen (their daughter Franciska married Peter Stark, whose daughter Helen married into the Walter family). Turns out that this was indeed the person I was looking for. I confirmed her maiden name of Anna Elizabeth Rauguth, and also found out her birth date. Additionally, the death record stated that she is buried at St. Jacob's, which I haven't yet determined the location of. They lived around Oak Creek, however, so I would assume it is in that area.

Another good find was Alex McConnell's death record. He is not in the Wisconsin Historical Society's index of pre-1907 Birth, Marriage and Death records, so I was not able to find him in that way. Instead, knowing his date of death, I looked for someone who had died the same day and in the same county as Alex, and looked that person up. I then looked near that person's record and happened to find Alex's death record. It proved very useful.

Firstly, It told me that his birthday was 8 Jun 1824 and that he was born in Perry Co., Pennsylvania. From census records, it was impossible to tell where he was born because in some places it stated he was born in Pennsylvania and in others, it said Ohio. Therefore, this will help in the search for his parents, because I now have a county to start with in PA. It is possible that Alex's father's name was either Samuel or John, as these were two heads of household living in Perry Co. in both 1820 and 1830.

Additionally, the record provided that he was buried in Hake Cemetery, and his wife was Elizabeth Hake. This is extraordinary, because it only serves to further the connection with the Hakes which most certainly exists, even though I and my Hake contacts have been unable to ascertain who Elizabeth's parents were for sure (we still think her father was John Philip).

If you remember, I took a trip to that cemetery (now Rock River) a few months ago, and clearly Alex & Elizabeth's stones were no longer visible. I am hoping once it is warm enough, to be able to visit the cemetery and poke around a bit to figure out where the stones might be. I would be inclined to believe that they are in the somewhat vacant space near Kate McConnell & Garfield Reynolds, as well as the other children of Alex & Elizabeth. Hopefully I can turn something up. I also want to try to find out who in particular is in charge of that cemetery so I might find interment records which could indicate further useful information.

I've let my Hake contacts know about the information I got today... Vital Records were apparently not required until the early 20th century for Pennsylvania, so I am not sure how much I will be able to find; however, I plan on writing to a genealogical society in that area, if possible.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Trip to the WI Vital Records Office

Today I got two hours to find as much information as I could. I found some pretty good stuff, and I am pretty happy about it.

I finally found Theresa Kaiser Hess's death record. She died in 1939. This provided me with her full birth date, which I didn't have before, as well as her death date (of course) and the name of her father- Bernard. Her mother's name wasn't listed for some reason.

I also tried to find Ruth Dimmys Tarbell Greeley's death record- couldn't find it.

Additionally, I got pretty lucky when looking for Sarah Elizabeth Mayville Beaulieu's death record--- it was in the first book I picked up. She died in Long Lake, WI, in 1925, about a week after her brother Collin died. She was the last to die of Ephraim's children with Hannah Nora Preston.

I also messed around with the Walter family. Lester Walter's father was Fred. I confirmed his parents' names, that he married Helen Stark, as well as got exact birth/death dates for him. Also found Helen Stark's birth and death dates, neither of which I had previously, as well as confirmed her father was Peter Stark.

Also, I looked up Fred's father Fred Sr. I found when he died and was able to find his birth date, too. I tried to find his wife, Elizabeth Hauch Walter but while searching I came across the death record of Fred's SISTER Elizabeth Walter, who died a few years after him as a result of slipping on ice. I was able to confirm this was his sister because both of their records listed father Simon Walter and Margaret Strasser. I hadn't known their parents' names previously.

The biggest thing I found, so far, is Katherine McConnell Reynolds's mother's name. Well, I also found Katherine's exact birth and death dates, but I found that her mother was Elizabeth Hake (her father was Alexander McConnell). For some reason I recognized the name Hake...

A few months ago I found out that Katherine was buried at Rock River Cemetery in Jefferson, WI., so I went to look at the stones for myself and found that the cemetery was full of people named Hake, and in particular Kate and her siblings and son were surrounded by Hakes. I thought it odd but of course didn't think too much of it.

So I looked up these Hakes on first, then looked a couple up on rootsweb. They are all intermingled. A guy named Bob Speckman had added pictures and info to some of the gravelistings on findagrave, and the site had his email address. I contacted him about the Hakes and asked him if he knew of an Elizabeth Hake. From what I found on Rootsweb, and then what he told me, it seems there was an Elizabeth Hake born in 1819 to John Phillip Hake (the man who donated the land for the cemetery), but Bob hadn't been able to track her down--- everyone but her, he knew more info about.

So it seems that I might have his missing Elizabeth, but we can't quite prove it yet... we just know that Elizabeth it related to the bunch somehow. A Reverend Emanuel Hake, also buried in that cemetery, and born around the same time as Elizabeth, married a Jane Elizabeth McConnell, who I can only assume is closely related to my Alex McConnell (if not his sister or something). I'm pretty excited about this discovery. the Hakes trace back pretty well... but the McConnell's are still a mystery.

I almost forgot--- Bob seems to be the leading Hake researcher, so it was lucky that I contacted him-- he knows a lot and has a lot of good resources. He had, offchance, in a pile of newspaper copies he got just recently from the Jefferson Historical Society, the obituary for Alex McConnell, which confirmed all of the moving I had found in the censuses, and also provided the date of his death, and the fact that he married Elizabeth Hake and they lived in the "Hake Neighborhood." This is also really exciting, because I had had no solid dates yet for Alex and still don't for Elizabeth-- unless we prove she's the daughter of John Phillp Hake.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Perry, Mayville, Tice

Haven't updated lately but I've been doing several things throughout the past week or so. Last week I looked in Elouisa Mayville's marriage with George Washington Perry. I discovered that their son Ephraim had gone to Colorado around 1880 and had begun a family there. I also discovered that Elouisa, her husband George W., and her children George Myron and Lucy M. were all buried at Fort Howard Cemetery in Green Bay, WI.

Today I set out to find them in that cemetery, and despite four inches of snow coating everything, I did. They are in Section E.

Also, today I received an email from Pamela F. Tice. She got ahold of a copy of the will of Peter Tice (father of Ralph Tice). She sent me a transcription of it although I wish she would email me a copy of the document, also, so I can compare it.

Additionally I just found out a little more about a couple of Melissa Mayville and Alfred Nachtwey's children. I found three of them on the Social Security database.

Also, I found out that Edmund Mayville actually got married- didn't know this previously. He married Nina Muriel Morris around 1920 or so. They had at least three children, Edmund, Gloria and Gertrude Mayville. Clorie Greeley Mayville's birthday book had listed those three children's names and birthdays, but we weren't sure who they belonged to until I checked the 1930 census last week. I found Edmund Jr and Gertrude on the SSI also, enabling to find their death dates as well as the fact that Gertrude married and Edward Schultz. Gertrude ended up around the Oregon area and Edmund Jr. ended up in Buena Park, California.

This is pretty exciting news because they are only Ephraim Mayville's grandchildren and Edmund Jr. may have carried on the characteristic Mayville look. That would be great to contact his family if he had any, because of the close relationship to Ephraim. Unfortunately Edmund Jr. died in 2004.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Emmerich line back from Franciscus

Albert Emmerich, my contact in Germany, just sent me what he has found so far in the Emmerich line, past Franciscus Emmerich. I now know that line back to the beginning of the early 17th century, which is very good as far as finding records in Germany goes since a lot of them were destroyed as a result of the World Wars.

Additionally, Albert has begun helping me track down any Liebenow researchers who may be in or around Germany. This is very helpful and will hopefully lead to further information on that line.