I apologize for the long time since writing. I've had a lot going on in my personal life, such as graduating from UW-Madison and beginning graduate studies at the University of Georgia. Between my time at school I had the entire spring and summer off. I used that time for a great deal of genealogical research.
I have put a lot of effort into fleshing out many of my family lines. Many of them were skeletons and some on my dad's side didn't have much detail. I've spent quite a deal of time finding out more info on each of these.
In particular I took the large and ever growing Stark family by the horns. You my remember that on my grandpa's side, I had two different Stark lines, one on his mother's side and one on his father's side. I had long suspected that the two giant lines were related, given that they were from the same area around Oak Creek, etc. I just had lacked an ability to connect them.
Then I heard from a researcher who had been investigating the families for quite some time. He was able to help me connect the two lines. My furthest back ancestor in one line, Mathias (b. 1826) shared the same father as my ancestor in the other line, John (b. 1810), Peter Stark (1785-1835).John was the son of Peter and his first wife, Elizabeth Thiel. She died in 1813. Mathias was the son of Peter and his second wife Anna Muellen (yes, as far as can be told on records it is MuelleN not MuelleR).
It was extremely exciting to make that breakthrough. I additionally found out more information on Johann's son John Henry Stark. My initial research hadn't turned up much info because he disappeared from the Milwaukee area and I wasn't able to distinctly link him in other areas. Also with the help of PJ Starck I was able to find out that he in fact moved to the Madison area. While I was still living in Madison, I was able to locate his and his wives' graves as well as some of his children. Interestingly his daughter Helena married William Schulkamp, brother of Gerhard Schulkamp who was married to a Diebold on my mother's side. It is funny to see these connections that exist now years after the fact.
During our annual cemetery trip up north during April/May of this year, we stopped at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Appleton. Digging more into the Mathias Stark family I had discovered that there were more Starks and other related families buried there than I had initially thought. We did a somewhat thorough once-over of the main older sections of the cemetery and found quite a few Starks and related names.
This helped illuminate the differences in Nickolas Stark (son of Johann b. 1810) and his line, from the descendants of Mathias Stark (b. 1826) who also moved to the Appleton area at the same time. It also brought to light a list of "unknowns;" people who were buried in Stark plots that I wasn't able to identify initially, and people who have the surname Stark and don't seem to fit into the known lines that I have researched. So, over the past few months I have been slowly working on this list as well.
Even MORE on the Starks (is you head spinning yet?) : I recently was contacted by a woman who received an OLD photo album from a descendant of Appalonia Starck Hauerwas (through Elizabeth Hauerwas Dreger), daughter of Johann Stark (b. 1810) and Helena Mick. The descendant wanted to see if anyone could help identify the people in them. I don't know much about the family so not much progress has been made yet. If anyone reading this is interested in seeing the photos, please do contact me and I would be happy to show you some of what I have received thus far.
As for other work....
I was contacted earlier this year by a descendant of Lula Sarah Beaulieu, daughter of Sarah E. Mayville and Martin Luther Beaulieu. This was extremely awesome. I have spent so much time trying to track down all of their kids, and it has been nearly impossible due to the amount of variance of the spelling of "Beaulieu." Well, did Abby have a story for me. In the 1910 census for Sarah and Luther, included with their children is listed a "daughter" named Hilda who was born around 1906.
I'd never thought anything of it, really, but Abby informed me that Hilda was not actually their daughter, but their granddaughter. It turns out Lula Sarah Beaulieu had eloped with the son of a wealthy family in the Wrightstown area (they were involved in the steel industry or some other similar trade). This family was one whom Sarah Mayville Beaulieu worked for in their house. The families discovered this and forbade the marriage, essentially forcing them to annul it. However, it was a little too late - Lula was pregnant with a daughter, Hilda.
The name of Lula's lover is not known because the family had his name stricken from any known family documents and from Hilda's birth record. Her family never told her who her father was. Lula went on to marry two other men and have a couple more daughters. Now Abby is facing the task of tracking down who this man was. It will take a lot of work but I believe it is possible if we can find out where they eloped to and all that jazz. It seems unlikely that annulment papers would have the names erased of the individuals involved, so that may be a good place to start as well. It'll be interesting to see how this develops. I am hoping that by finding out more about this line I can find out more about Sarah Mayville. I would like to finally find her and Martin's final resting place.
I made a breakthrough in one of my many mysteries involving the McConnell family. The 1870 census for Alexander McConnell living in Jefferson, WI, had a mystery little girl listed after other family, "Flora Bourne" but there was no detail on who she was or what her relationship to Alex was. In the 1880 census for Alex's household, again in Jefferson, she was listed simply as Flora McConnell. Ever since first seeing those census records I had wondered who this Flora Bourne was and why she was living with the family.
Then I stumbled on something while searching for one of the McConnells. A family tree I ran across stated that Alex's daughter Margaret had been married. Something I never knew before. When I looked through Rock River Cemetery several years ago I had found a stone for Margaret, just stating her name as Margaret McConnell, and having died 7 Oct 1866. What the tree I found suggested was that she had married Chardon Bourne on 5 Aug 1865 while she and her family were living in the vicinity of Winona, Minnesota, during the mid-1860's. Further, the couple had a daughter, Flora Bourne, who was born 14 Jul 1866, several months before Margaret died.
This was exciting. But I had to make sure this was correct, first. Was it plausible that the Margaret McConnell married to Chardon was the Margaret McConnell of my family? In the 1865 Minnesota State Census, the Bournes and McConnells are practically neighbors. That is a plus sign. Looking into more documents and records (a newspaper article from 1908 states "Chardon Bourne, who has lived here in Witoka for over fifty years, writes a Witoka resident, is going to Merrill, Wis., to visit a daughter or as he puts it, 'to see his baby whom he has not seen since she was five months old, and who is now the mother of ten children.'"
This seems to add up with the time period here. If Flora was born in July and Margaret died in October, with her parents soon after taking over raising the child back in Jefferson, WI, then the time period would mesh as about 3-5 months of age of his daughter when he had last seen her.
Other records, such as Flora's marriage record and children's birth records seem to add up. I'd like to get ahold of Flora's death record to make 100% sure, so I probably will check it next time I'm back home in Madison. Amazing what mysteries can be solved after a few years of persistence.
I have been spending increasing amounts of time on findagrave.com Most recently I completed a photo/transcription of St Mary of the Lake cemetery out in Westport, WI (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&GRid=23506620&CRid=2144268&). I have quite a few relatives buried there and found a few more through the process of the transcription. It is always nice to have a little more info that might help in making a breakthrough. This Irish line is going to be a tough one to break.
I've also spent a lot of time working on finding the burial location of Corbet Tarbell as well as his wives and all of his children. I made a lot of progress with the help of several researchers in the Londonderry and Chester, VT areas. Corbet and his second wife Nancy are buried in Riverside Cemetery in Londonderry, but I have been unable to find the burial location of his first wife, my ancestor, Amy Thompson Tarbell. I am still searching and hoping to find more information. I've also had trouble finding the burial locations of the three known children Corbet had with Nancy.
Similarly I made a goal of finding the burial places of all of Betsey Davis and Hiram Greeley 's known children. I finally did succeed in that, and through this research I have been able to flesh out my family lines a little further. Also with the Greeleys I spoke to a descendant of Leah Greeley Mills, which was really nice. She had kept in contact with my great-grandparents for her life, despite living out west, so it was nice to reconnect to that line after all these years.
I recently paid a researcher in Germany to hopefully provide more information on the Brandmueller, Hoeninger, and related families in Bavaria. I am looking forward to seeing what will turn up on this second round.
I have also renewed efforts to locate the birth record of Simon Walter. Church records in Wisconsin indicate he was born in Neubeuren by Weisenbach. So far the Archivs I have spoken to have not been able to locate such a place. I have been referred from place to place and hope to soon find someone who can help me figure out this mystery.
Back in June I made contact with an Annen descendant who sent me a few pictures. One of them is believed to contain Peter Annen, my immigrant ancestor in that line, who I had never seen a picture of before! This was great!
Well, I think my work has been pretty well updated now. I have of course been doing many other, smaller things on the side, as well as started a project involving Resurrection Cemetery in Madison. I'll leave it at this, for now, though!!