Sunday, November 29, 2009

SNGF: OMG I look like Laura Bush!

Ok, so I'm a little late for Saturday night, but we can have some Sunday Night Genealogy Fun!

My celebrity matches are:
  • Laura Bush (72%)
  • Sharon Tate (70%)
  • Lou Diamond Phillips (68%)
  • Mylene Farmer (66%)   I don't know who she is, but she's pretty!
  • Olivia de Havilland (66%)
  • Isabella Rossellini (64%)
  • Rebecca Loos (64%)  Who?
  • Josie Maran (64%)   I don't know who she is either.
This was actually fun!  I've gotta go play with this some more.  I wonder who my daughter looks like?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Blessings

I laid in bed this morning breathing in the scent of freshly brewed coffee.  I love my husband!  Then my daughter made sausage gravy and biscuits for breakfast.  We're doing the big Thanksgiving Dinner this evening.  The two of them are doing all the cooking... Roasted turkey, real mashed potatoes, candied yams, green beans and Jack's ever famous pecan pie.  Yum!  My daughter is adding a new pie this year, Chocolate Ricotta Hazelnut -- it looks amazing!  I am truly blessed in so many ways.... 

My great-great-great grandmother wrote a sketch that was published in Records of the Olden Time; or Fifty Years on the Prairies by Spencer Ellsworth.  You can download the entire book as a PDF here.  In reading it, I am always struck by how lucky we are today... and how blessed.

My maiden name was Hammett, and I was born in Warren county, Ky., six miles from Bowling Green, in 1812.  My father was a farmer, and likewise a blacksmith, cultivating a few acres of ground on which the necessary food for a numerous family was grown, together with the cotton for our clothing and tobacco for home consumption.  Money was scarce in those days, and with many mouths to fill we were early taught to work, and I remember when but ten years old of carding and spinning sufficient cotton to make half a yard of cloth.  It was my duty to attend to this department, and I early learned to plant and tend the cotton, to pick it when the time, and separate the seeds.  This was our summer labor, and the winter was devoted to carding, spinning, coloring, weaving and making up, leaving but little time for going to school.  My father had a numerous family, and was anxious to get where land was cheap and the boys couls each get a farm.  We heard much of Illinois; many of our neighbors went, and they sent back such glowing accounts that in the year I was twenty he started with his family.  We had two large wagons, five yokes of oxen, with sheep, horses and cows.  Myself and sister drove the sheep, my younger brothers drove the cattle and horses.  After a long but not eventful journey we reached the hoped-for land of promise and settled on the Senachwine creek, one mile north of Chillicothe, where the railroad now crosses.  Father and my brother-in-law immediately set about preparing for a crop, and succeeded in breaking, fencing and plowing sufficient for a few acres of corn.  A rough cabin was made out of rails, into which we moved until a larger and better one could be built.  We had been here but two weeks when all but father and mother were taken down with the ague.  Peoria, twenty-one miles distant, was the nearest place were either doctors or drugs abounded, and I thought I should surely die; but a good constitution pulled me through.  My attack of fever and ague lasted until "great snow storm."  On the 1st of February there came a heavy rain, carrying off the snow and creating a great flood.  The Senachwine overflowed its banks, and the back water from the river came up so rapidly that our stock was like to drown.  At ten o'clock at night my brother and sister waded out to the canoe and made their way through the driftwood to Brother John's, while the rest of us climbed on the beds to keep out of the water.  My father was not at home.  When he returned he entered the house in his canoe and took us off.  In the spring we made sugar, and the next summer succeeded in raising a very good crop of all kinds.  There was no mill in the country at that time, and our corn and wheat was ground on a hand mill made by my father, and the bran separated by a sieve.  My wedding cake was made from flour ground in this manner.  In the fall of 1831 I was married to S. B. McLaughlin.  We returned to Kentucky and lived there two years, but didn't get ahead much, and determined to return to Illinois.  We reached my father's with ten dollars in cash and a pair of ponies, gave five dollars to a Mr. Jones for a claim, and paid five dollars for dishes.  Our first labor was to build a cabon, after which we cleared ten acres and built a fence.  After the land was "logged" and the brush piled, my husband cut his foot and could do nothing, so the burning them up devolved on me.  Women of now-a-days, with a young babe and no "hired girl," if left in similar circumstances would have very likely sat down and cried, but I had no time for that, and so set to work and burned the log heaps and brush and hired the ground broken up and laid off, and then planted it, my husband being able to stand on one foot and assist some.  We raised a good crop, and have since been, on the whole, quite successful, for which I sincerely thank the Lord.  In course of time the cabin on the bottom gave place to a more convenient house on the place where we now live, and this in its turn has been replaced by one of more modern style, yet after all I think I found as much true enjoyment in the little cabin where we began housekeeping as I have since.  I have had thirteen children, nine of whom survive; seven are married, and I have fourteen grand-children. 
Rachel L. McLaughlin

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Surname Saturday: Rosa

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has assigned our Saturday Night Genealogy Fun task by asking what was the nicest thing another genealogist has done for us.  For me, that's easy!  I have two and they both deal with the surname Rosa; so I get to tackle two memes at once!  (^.^)

I've been researching Rosa (my maiden name) for years and was staring at a dead-end brick wall.  My grandmother left my grandfather when dad was young so I knew very little about the Rosa's.  I had worked my way back to Abram Rosa who was listed on the 1860 Census for Hamburg, Calhoun Co., Illinois with sons John, James (my 3rd great-grandfather) and Joseph who were all born in Holland.  And there I sat.  Stuck.

Eventually my mother and sister attended a McLaughlin family reunion in Henty, Illinois and while there my sister drove over to Calhoun County to visit some Rosa relatives.  Lynda and George Dixon graciously shared photograhs, newspaper clippings, and filled in missing information, children, etc.  They even had scans of the family bible!  They provided a treasure trove of memorabilia and have my utmost gratitude.

But I was still stuck.

Until I received an email from Martin Roza in response to ancient query on a bulletin board.  He is decended from Abraham Roza, a bother of my 3rd great-grandfather, who stayed in the Netherlands.  He was trying to trace those family members who came to America.  He was able to provide the Dutch names of Abraham Roza, his wife Jantje van Herp and their nine children:

Aaltje Roza (1825 - ?)
Abraham Roza (1827 - 1900) married Eelke van der Wal (1830 - 1912) ~ Martin's 3rd great-grandparents
Gerrit Roza (1828 - 1900) ~ my John Rosa who married Elvira Reed (1835 - 1907)
Catharina Roza (1830 - 1906) married Lambertus Pellikaan and eventually came to America (Illinois)
Pietje Roza (1832 - ?)
Harmon Roza (1835 - 1870) and his wife Josephine (who was farther down on that 1860 Census)
Adriana Roza (1837 - 1858) married Elias Godfrey Harvey in Illinois
Jan Roza (1839 - 1904) ~ James Rosa, my 3rd Great-grandfather
Govert Roza (1843 - 1863) ~ my Joseph  Rosa

Thanks to Martin's information I was able to search Genlias and found Abraham and Jantje's marriage record.  Dutch marriage records are wonderful because they not only give you the birth date and place of the bride and groom, but the parents of the bride and groom as well.  So I now know that Abraham's parents were Abraham Roza and Kaatje de Bruin and I'm happily digging through the baptism and marriage records of their children.

So that brick wall I was staring at?  Demolished!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

They Fought for Their Country

I know Veteran's Day was yesterday, but who says our veterans only get one day?  I know I could wait until May for Memorial Day, but why?  So I'm declaring today a Thankful Thursday.  I am thankful for those who served our country and risked their lives so that we can remain free.

My ancestors who have served in the military since the Revolutionary War include:

Revolutionary War:

James Doran (1730 - 1799) of Washington Co., Virginia ~ fought in the Battle of Point Pleasant

Alexander Doran (1760 - 1814) of Washington Co., Virginia ~ fought at Kings Mountain

War of 1812:

Alexander Doran (1760 - 1814) of Washington Co., Virginia ~ same as fought at Kings Mtn

Civil War:

Edward Bonham (1840 - 1928) of Marshall Co., Illinois ~ 47th IL Infantry (Union)

Hamilton Green Doran (1839 - 1905) of Christian Co., Missourri ~ MO Infantry Co F (Union)

William James McCroskey (1846 - 1922) of Valley View, Texas ~ Texas Calvary Co B  (Confederate)

John W Rawlings (1836 - 1864) of Crawford Co., Indiana ~ 117th Regiment Co F (died of dysentery while in Andersonville prison

Annual Stroud (1813 - 1890) of Crawford Co. Indiana ~ Co B 13th Regiment Indiana (Union)

World War I:

Leonard Paul Doran (1881 - 1975) of  Christian Co. Missourri ~ Navy

World War II:

Allen Edward Danchak (1911 - 1942) of Burleson Co., Texas ~ Merchant Marines

Richard Ernest McLaughlin (1920 - 1994) of Peoria Co. Illinois ~ Army (Rangers)

I'm sure there's more, but those are the ones I know about at this point in time.  I think tomorrow I'll pay tribute to my husbands military ancestors....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Honor of Veteran's Day: Allen Edward Danchak

Growing up all I knew was that Allen had died at sea.  Here's the rest of the sory....

Allen was the youngest child of John & Lydia Danchak; he was born in Lyons, Burleson Co., Texas on February 16, 1911.  He was my grandmother's youngest brother.  He's also the reason she had her ashes scattered at sea.

Allen was in the Merchant Marines.  He served aboard the Steadfast as per the 1930 Census of Merchant Seamen.  I've found several passenger and crew lists on that show him serving aboard the Standard (1934), the Warwick (1940) and the Utacarbon (1941).  The picture above is Allen on the Utacarbon.  During World War II Allen served as chief mate on the Gurney E. Newlin. 

The Gurney E. Newlin was a steam tanker carrying gasoline and kerosene from New York to Manchester, England.  On October 27, 1942 it was struck by one torpedo in the engine room on the port side and immediately began to settle by the stern. The crew abondoned ship and only three lives were lost.  The master and eleven others were picked up by the HMCS Alberni and the rest (31 crew members which included Allen and 13 armed guards) were picked up by the Bic Island.  The Bic Island was torpeedoed and sunk with all hands on October 29, 1942.1

1 From - Allied Ships Hit by U-boats

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Mathew George

Wow!  I write about Mathew George and this morning I find his gravestone!  Which illustrates the point that you should re-visit online sources since they do tend to add new information.  I frequent Find A Grave fairly often, but I've never found any of my husband's Georges ~ this morning I not only found Mathew, but Francis Marion and his wife Annie Laurie Brewer as well!

If I keep finding possible toe-holds I will climb over that brick wall of Mathew's folks.  Just watch me!  (^.^)

Husband of
Sarah A. George
Nov. 17, 1879
75 Yrs. 4 M's  21 D's

Monday, November 2, 2009

Madness Monday: Getting Over Matthew

Mathew George has been a thorn in my side.  Hard work and a bit of luck do pay off however....

Mathew George was born on June 20, 1804 in Chillicothe, Ross Co., Ohio.  He married Nancy Leonard in April 1823 in Franlin Co., Ohio.  He left Ohio in 1828 and moved to Indiana, then on to Illinois where Nancy died, and then to Shelby, Missouri where he married Sarah Van Skike in 1846.  He then moved to Ottumwa, Wappell Co., Iowa in 1851, then to Jackson Co., Kansas in 1863 where he died of lung fever on November 17, 1879.  He is buried in Soldier, Jackson Co., Kansas.  You can see why I've had such fun following him across the country!

He had twenty (yes, I said twenty!) children.  Nine were with Nancy: James, Susan, Elizabeth, John, Margaret, Samuel, William and Lewis. He had twelve children with Sarah: Samuel Erastus, Mathew Edward, David, Mary, Francis Marion, Elviva, Elmira, Andrew Frank, Susan, Maria Nida, Maggie Jane and Eliza.

The brick wall I'm trying to climb over is determing who Mathew's parents are.  I found an 1820 census with a Ridmond or Richard George in Chillicothe, Ross Co., Ohio so I might have found a toe-hold!