Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Jerry and Elsie (George) Prewett

We finally got picture's of Jerry and Elsie Prewett's gravestones!  If you want more information about the Prewett's you can read about them here.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Funeral Card Friday: William James McCroskey

We recently upgraded our internet to Fios, so of course the tech guy had to have access to the computer... which meant I had to go through the piles of genealogy stuff on the desk and put them away properly.  (I know!  I know!  I should have done that in the first place!)  While putting things away, I ended up looking through my entire McCroskey folder.  (You must admit, its far more enjoyable to allow yourself to get distracted and pour through your genealogical treasures than it is to put them all away!)  While doing so, I ran across a portrait of William James McCroskey.  I've written about him before -- in August I posted a biography found in one of my great-grandfather's notebooks with the above mentioned portrait.  It can be found here if you're interested.  I also found his funeral card (which I knew I had) and his obituary (which I didn't realize I had) glued into another of A.J. Doran's notebooks.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

SNGF: What's Your Halloween Personality?

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has given us our mission for some Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.  Obviously, I have decided to accept the mission.  If you'd like to take the quiz too, just pop on over to http://www.blogthings.com/whatsyourhalloweenpersonalityquiz/
According to this quiz, I See Halloween as Scary.  Here's what it said about me: 
You're a friendly person, but not the life of the party. You like making someone else's day - and you'll dress up if you think of a really fun costume.
You definitely think of yourself as someone who has a dark side. And part of having that dark side means not showing it.
Your inner child is open minded, playful, and adventurous.
You fear people taking advantage for you. You are always worried about protecting your own interests.
You're prone to be quite emotional and over dramatic. Deep down, you enjoy being scared out of your mind... even if you don't admit it.
You are a total overachiever and workaholic. You're the type of person who plans their elaborate Halloween costume weeks in advance.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: A Letter to A. J. Doran from Ora Gubler

July 26, 1960

Dear Mr Doran,
I was so delighted to receive your fine letter and the excellent information on your mother’s family.
I shall give you a little of the information I have obtained and perhaps it will be of interest to you if you don’t have it among your records.  From the Patterson cemetery I got the following dates when I was a young girl.

William B. McCroskey b. 13 Nov 1805 – died 18 Feb63
Matthew McCroskey born 1 Jan 1808 – died 12 Jan 1869
James Madison McCroskey born 13 Feb 1810 – died 19 Feb 1861 or 1864

The stones are old but I managed to copy several dates.  These three men were brothers and I have been trying to find out who their parents were, but I’m not successful so far.
Recently Mrs. Agnes McCauley of Nixa, Missouri sent me the birth and death dates of her husband’s grandfather and Grandmother which is as follows.
Margaret McCroskey born Oct 9, 1817, died Jan 26, 1894 wife of Frederic Hamilton McCauley who was born Nov 10, 1815. He died Jan 5 1894.
Mrs. McCauley thinks this Margaret McCroskey is the daughter of your grandfather Matthew McCroskey who was born 1 January 1808.  Now I think she was a sister to your grandfather instead of his daughter because your grandfather would have been only 9 years old when your this Margaret was born.  According to the 1860 Census of Christian Co Missouri, your Aunt Margaret was born in or about 1835 and according to your letter your Aunt Margaret married Joe Meritt.
I appreciated so much the names of your Mother’s brothers and sisters and the names of whom they married.  I would love to have the names of the children of your parents and children of your Aunts and Uncles if you can give them to me.  Also it is very important to have the name of the county and the state in which each was born.
I am also going to include a copy of a Will of Matthew C. McCroskey of Sullivan, Co, Tennessee.  His will was proven or probated August 5, 1867.  It is on a separate sheet.  Will you please read it and tell me if you have ever heard of him?  Do you think he might be the father of your ancestor grandfather Matthew?  Please note that he gave his sister Mary G Myers, all his personal and Real Estate and that William M. McCroskey was appointed executor of his will.
Do you know the names of any other brothers or sisters of your grandfather Matthew McCroskey besides, William B. and James Madison McCroskey?
Do you have any pictures, old Bibles or any stories which have been handed down through the family which might give any clue as to who were the parents of William B., Matthew and James Madison McCroskey?
I would appreciate any names and addresses of other McCroskeys who might give me any additional information.
Can you tell me if your grandfather Matthew was a minister?  I’ve always heard of him as Reverend Matthew.  But I have not been able to find any church records of his ministry.
I’ll try to show below how I fit into the McCroskey picture.
Brothers {William B. McCroskey – Matthew McCroskey – James M. McCroskey
                                                                                                        ↓                                              ↓
                                                                                Charlotta McCroskey        Matthew C. McCroskey
                                                                                                       ↓                                              ↓
                                                                                                 A. J. Doran     ←→     Pearl McCroskey
                                                                                                                                         Ora Etta Hoffman
Notice that you are a second cousin to my mother Pearl McCroskey. You may remember her brothers Rudy, Eddie, and Felix McCroskey. My mother married Warren E. Hoffman who was my father. I married Darwin Gubler. We have seven children.
I’m afraid my letter is too long. But I do appreciate your letter and hope to hear from you again.
                                                                                              Sincerely your cousin,
                                                                                                         Ora Etta Gubler

Sullivan Co. Tenn. Wills 1830 – 1870
Will of Mathew C. McCroskey1
In the name of God Amen.  – I Mathew C. McCroskey, being of Sound and disposing mind and memory, but weak in body, and knowing that it is appointed unto all men to die, to make, ordain and establish this as my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made.
First – I give my soul to God to be disposed of according to his own pleasure – touching the worldly goods with which it has pleased God to bless me – I dispose of them as follows.
First – I request my executors herein named, to pay all my just debts and funeral expenses out of any money I have on hand or that may be due me or that may come from the sale of my property, -- I require my said executor to see that I am buried in decent Christian like manner.
Second – after the payments of my debts, I give and bequeath to my sister Mary G. Myers all my personal and real estate of every kind and description whatever.  I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint William M. McCroskey my executor of this my last will and testament.
In testimony whereof I have set my hand and seal this 2nd day of Feb. 1867
Mathew C. McCroskey
Attest S. F. Johnson
          John Keys
          H. M. Targler
Proven Aug. 5, 1867

1 Page 68

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday's Child: Roy E Rosa

Photo taken by Jami L. Berthiaume at the Indian Creek Cemetery in Hamburg, IL 

Roy Eldon Rosa, had he lived, would have been my Grandfather's oldest brother.  He was the first-born of George Westly and Eva Jane (Hallett) Rosa.  He was born Nov. 5, 1891 and died Jan. 30, 1892 at the tender age of two months and 25 days.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Family Letters, Part Five

April 10, 1936
Dear Bro;
I am sending you some material which I got from Mrs. Gibson of Emporia, Kan. about our ancestors.  I am going to Wichita Falls, Texas to-morrow to visit Albert Crenshaw.  Will stay over Sunday and come back Monday.
We have had a very dry and cold spring.  No rain to amount to anything since Jan. 1.  We have an Easter vacation of five days.  I am writing a few letters this morning and going to wash my car this afternoon.  Let me hear from you when any news breaks loose in the old stamping ground.  I got the young check.
                                                                                        your Bro.
                                                                                             Uncle Fuller
Hutchinson, Kansas
Feb. 29, 1932
Dear Mrs. Gibson
Isn't your husband head of the English Department at the State Normal?  I believe I studied English under professor Gibson during the summer of 1916, preparatory to securing my teachers certificate.
Would surely enjoy meeting you in person.  If nothing unforseen takes place, I hope to attend the conference  at Abilene.
I am decended from Alexander Doran, son of Robert Doran a native of Dublin Ireland.  The former born June 2, 1760 in Pennsylvania, moving to Rockingham County, Virginia, then to North Caroline and later to Carter County now Johnson County, Tennessee.  He married Elizabeth Lowry born 1757 in Washington county, Virginia, in 1781 -- (I know nothing further of her, but will try to get more information.  My cousin, Mrs. E. L. McDade is historian for Tennessee, and National Committee of some kind and regent of Tennessee chapter in Mountain City, Tennessee.  She can probably give me some information.)  Continuing with Alexander Doran's history.  He was an ensign in Battle of King's Mountain in Virginia line in 1780, died in 1814 in Carter county now Johnson county, Tennessee.  Their daughter, Rebecca Doran born 1796 died 1870, was married in 1817 to Richard Donnelly, born in 1790, died 1870.  Their daughter, Emoline Donnelly (my great grandmother) was born 1825, died 1900, married Roderick Randons Butler, born 1827, died 1902, Lieut. Colonel in Civil was in Federal Army from Tennessee (cousin of General Ben. H. Butler and U.S. Senator M.C. Butler of South Carolina.)  The former was U.S. Congressman for years in the legislature for ten years all together.  His father was George Butler, mother a Leach of Virginia.  He was born in Wythe County, Virginia 1827, died 1902.  Wish I could trace his history enough to get bar on that side.  Their son, my grandfather, Richard Hugh Butler, born 1847 died 1929, married Anna Ingrahm, born 1849, is still living, in 1868.  Their son, my father, Dr. James Clyde Butler, born 1871, died 1912, in 1895.  Her mother, Florence Leoitia Wills was a Wills.  I am in line for a bar on that side through Lewis Winsell, several of my cousins have joined through him.  Don't know the national numbers at present.
The history or war record of Alex. Doran will be found in Summers History of Southwest Virginia, page 854 - 857.
Quite a number of my relatives in Tennessee have descended from Alexander Doran.  Two of my Aunts, Inez and Dua Butler, national members 104171 and 160382 and I don't know the other numbers.
If any of this information helps you, I shall be glad, and if I can help you any further I will be glad to do so, as I was born and reared in Mountain City and know all these people quite well.
                                                  Sincerely yours,
                                                       Bonnie Lon Butler Fry
                                                       (Mrs. Fry)
Tulsa, Oklahoma
March 29, 1934
Dear Mrs. Gibson;
I am trying to trace my husbands ancestors, and he is a descendant of Alexander Doran born in 1760.  I am wondering if this is your ancestor also.
Here is what information and data I have gathered concerning this Alexander Doran.  He was born in 1760 January 28, in Morris County, N.J.  He enlisted as private in Captain Thomas Reading's company in March 1776.  In 1781 he and his father moved to Hampshire County, Virginia.  In 1836 he resided in neighborhood of Hanging Rock, Va.  He married Sarah Reed in 1791, but I can find no records for her, and believe she died soon after their marriage.  He had a son Joseph Doran who married Luce Fry in 1827.  Joseph and Lucy Fry Doran had son Benjamin Franklin Doran who married Lucy Daniels.  Their daughter Lula Doran is my husband's mother.  I notice in my record's where Elizabeth Doran, daughter of Alexander Doran married a Joseph Smith, and you have in your record that Elizabeth Doran married a Caleb Smith.  I feel sure these lines are the same.  I do not know where Alexander Doran was buried.  There is a possibility that this Alexander married Sarah Reed first, then your Elizabeth Lowry.
I would be very happy to learn who the father of Alexander was and more about his ancestors.  We have in our family and old Bible from which I have dates of all Alexander's children and marriages which followed.
I myself am a DeHaven descendant, and if you are a descendant of Updegraft there is an all probability a mutual relationship between you and as well as my husband.  Do you have any DeHavens records?  I am only able to trace back to Edward DeHaven born 1757 in Montgomery City, Pa.  He married Rebecca Johnson of Breckenridge County, Ky.  I have a wealth of material concerning the first two generations of DeHavens, Inderhaven, Updegrave and Updegraft; but am unable to connect my Edward DeHaven.  He was probably the grandson of Peter and Sidonia Levering DeHaven, making Jacob Updegraft his uncle.
I could go on indefinately about my lines, but it is the Doran lineage I am anxious to establish.
Hoping to hear from you in the near future, I am
                                                              yours sincerely,
                                                                    Mrs. E. F. James
P.S.  There is a William Doran still living in Bunceton, Missouri,
4147 South Norfolk
Tusa, Oklahoma

Emporia, Kansas
March 19, 1936
My dear Mr. Doran;
You were kind and considerate to write me, not to send you duplicate data.  I am, however, enclosing some letters and should like to have you read them and see whether you can straighten the Alexanders out.  I felt that they must be two different menmen but it is surely confusing the way facts pertaining to our Alexander are a part of the life of the other.  I do not see how our Alexander could have served in Washington's staff, or lived in W. Va.  Several years ago I wrote again to Paul Doran asking him to give his version of the truths of the matter, but had no reply.
I am hoping to have a chance to spend time enough in Topeka to copy all the Lowry and Doran data in the Annals of Southwest Virginia, -- I had so little time before, just enough to get a part of the Doran data.  I found that it is very inadaquately indexed and that means going through all of it and spending much time.
Some years ago I had the complete text of John Lowry's will copied by the clerk in Staunton and am enclosing a typed copy since you may not have it.  I have tried to copy it exactly as sent to me but wonder if some of the spelling is not due to mistakes in typing.  In a note accompanying the copy of the will, the clerk stared that the land mentioned in the will was part of the great Borden tract and was situated in the present Rockbridge county -- taken from Augusta Co. in 1778.
If you ever pass through here, I hope that you will arrange to stop.  We should have some interesting subjects in discussion.
Please return the letters at your leisure.  Keep the copy of the will.  I have had inquiries of a Peter Doran, of Shirkshinny, Luzeren County, Penn. abt 1840 to 1845, but know nothing of him.
                                                                         Lula Gibson

Friday, October 15, 2010

Funeral Card Friday: Mr. & Mrs. (& Mrs.) A. J. Doran

Alexander Judd Doran (my great grandfather):

His first wife, Lillian Francis Stroud:

His second wife, Virginia Vandalia McCroskey:

All of whom I've written about before... so this will be a fairly silent Friday.  Have a great week-end!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Family Letters, Part Four

Sparta Tenn
Aug 11, 1932
My Dear Mrs. Gibson,

Your letter of August 6 is very interesting to me.  It seems very probable that we have a common ancestor, though some of the dates and facts given in your letter are bit hard to reconcile with the records, partly traditions which I have.  I am a descendant from Robert Alexander Doran who settled in Hampshire County Va. in 1742 or 43.  He came from County Donegal, Ireland, in 1741 and lived for a year or two in New Jersey near Englishtown.  Not liking life there, he came to Va. and settled in Hampshire Co. now West Va.  There he reared a family and died there.  His wife, according to the record I have, was Sarah Elizabeth Reed.  To this union was born among others William and Alexander.  I mention Alexander because this is the one in whom you are interested.  I am a decendant from William.  This Alexander was born about 1760-5.  At 14 or 15 he entered the Revolutionary army under general washington as a teamster, drawing a munitions wagon.  He was cited for bravery under fire was personally commended by Washington.  After the war closed he was an overseer of part of the fairfax estates and after Washington's death he came into posession of part of the land.  Robert Alexander Doran was a man about 50 when the war started and served on Washingtons staff; it is easy to see how his son should attract the attention of the General.

Alexander married Elizabeth daughter of John Lowry.  Ther children were William, Joseph, John, James, Peter, Elizabeth, Alexander.  Joseph settled at Sedan Va. and reared a family and afterwards moved to Ohio.  John settled at Blacklick, Ohio where some of his descendants still live.  James also went to Ohio but I know nothing of him.  Peter never married.  Elizabeth married Joseph Caleb Smith and reared a family in Va. where many of her descendants still live.  Alexander was drowned in north River when he was just a young man not married.  William married Hannah Guard and rered a large family some of whom went to Ohio while Dave & Sam went to Cloud County Kansas.  I know nothing further about the children Alexander and I suppose you would not be interested in the family of William.  I might tell you however, that William also Served through the Revolution and was given a grant of land.  1,000 acres in the Cherokee nation in what is now Overton County Tenn.  He reared a family of twelve and two daughters Mary and Elizabeth.  Mary married firs a man named Carter after whom Carter County Tenn. was named.  He died leaving one son and later she married a man named Lawry Silas and Ambrose.  twins the youngest children of William Doran were the first to use steam in industry west of the mountains.  My father, Marrion, was the oldest son of Silas and will be 93 next birth day.  He is living now in retirement.  He was a doctor by profession and was also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, the ancestral church of the Dorans.

A few years ago I spent five weeks in Ireland and while there I saw Sir Henry Doran who ownes the large ancestral estate of the Dorans in Donegal.  He was at that time a member of the Irish senate and one of the most influential men in Ireland.  You probably know that the house of Doran is one of the oldest of irish nobility.  The Dorans reigned in Donegal when there were petty kings in Ireland, in the eighth century.  While I was in Ireland I was shown much respect every where as soon as my name was known.  At Belfast at the assembly where I spoke the clerk told me that nothing had happened in Ireland in more than a thousand years in which the Dorans had not had part.  The reigning Earl in Donegal at the time of the Reformation was the first to sign the Irish Covenant in his blood since which time Dorans have been Presbyterian, except for a few strays in this country who have joined other churches.

It sees very improbable that the name Doran has any connection with Drogheada.  It is a common in all the Gallic lands, in Ireland, Scotland, North Emgland, France, and even in the Gallic parts of Spain.  But our family is Irish.

I trust I have given you some information that will be helpful to you.

Paul E. Doran

Personally, I think we have two different Alexander's being mixed up with one another... too many names etc just don't match up.  My Alexander did marry Elizabeth Lowry, but his parents were James Doran and Margaret Gordon and they stayed in Washington Co., Virginia untill they moved to Johnson Co., Tennessee.  Different parents, different kids... different Alexanders. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Family Letters, Part Three

Dec. 7, 1935
Dear Mr. Morris,

I have your letter of the 4th and in this letter you say that what you want to know is the parents of Robert Lowery Doran and Betsy Doran, who was a daughter of Robert Lowry.

Robert Lowery Doran was the son of Alexander Doran and Elizabeth Lowry.  Robert Lowery Doran was married on May 19th 1812 to Betsy Lowry, a daughter of John Lowry (I believe).  He was an officer in the Revolution, a decendant of Col. John Lowry of Cromwells army.  Alexander Doran was born presumably in Virginia in 1760 and died in 1814 in Johnson County Tennessee.  Alexander was an ensign in the Continental Army and was at the battle of Kings Mountain, 1780.  Alexander Doran was the son of James Doran Revolutionary soldier whose will was probated in our court on the 17th of December 1799, and James Doran left the following Children Peggy Doran, William Doran, James Doran and Alexander Doran.

Robert Lowery in the Revolution from Virginia.  Robert Lowery Doran and his wife on the last day of September 1853 sold and conveyed the last of their lands in this county and I suppose emigrated.  No finer people ever lived in this part of the world than the Doran Lowry people.  Miss Rebecca Hope of Abingdon Va. can give you much information.  She is of this family.

Yours truly,
L.P. Summers

You can tell from this that the old reprobate is satisfied that we have two Doran Revolutors, one of them an ensign -- no less -- which in them days in army service rated along second looeys of today.  That battle of Kings Mountain was fit by a motley horde of frontiersmen who went horsing over the hill.  Just for the occasion one might say, and went on home when the job was done.

Well, I am writing Miss Rebecca Hope forwith and hoping she is not ascrewy as her fellow townsman.  I don't believe there would be room even in New York City for two like him.  There is no doubt in my mind that we are simply putrid with ancestors.  Pat ok again. 

Much love,
     Your Royal Kinsman the Sultan of Goulash.

I shall let you know when Mr. Summers of Abingdon finds more.  Yours truly,
     B.M. Morris, Springfield Newspaper Inc.
     Springfield, Mo.

B.M. Morris is a son of Laura Doran.  Robert Doran was her father.  Corner of Maine & Center St Springfield Mo

Monday, September 27, 2010

Amanuenses Monday: Family Letters, Part Two

My Dear Mr. Morris,

Your letter reached me some time ago.  All of Jan and first part of Feb. I was so busy preparing for two club programs that it seemed impossible to attend to anything but strictly necessary corespondence.  Since hearing from you I have had a letter of inquiry from Mrs. Shupe of Denton Kan. who says she is your cousin.  I am writing to her tonight.  Also my typewriter is so much out of order and I feel I owe you an apology to  [illegible] for writing to them in longhand.  I hope you will not find it completely unintelligible.  Some years ago Clinton Elmer Smith of Elizabethton Tenn. sent me the Doran data and I joined the DAR.  Alexander has a number of descendents in the organization.  He served also in the War of 1812 as major, I am told.  The list of his children as sent there is as follows.
James born Jan. 1, 1782 not married
Margaret B. 1783 m. James Keys
Elizabeth B. July 22, 1785 m. Caleb Smith (my great parents)
Robert Lowry B. July 19, 1786 m. Betty Lowry
Nancy Gordon B. Sep 17, 1789 m. Ezekiel Smith
Jennett B. Sept. 11, 1791 m. John Ward
William B. July 25, 1793 m. Elizabeth Wilson
Rebecca B. Sept 9, 1796 m. Richard Donnelly
John Lowry B. May 26, 1799 not married
In a list of children sent by another descendant some years ago all the above were named but some dates varried.  Robert was given as born in 1784.

Last fall I was at the state historical library in Topeka a part of a day.  They had the new book Annals of Virginia.  (I have a copy of the History of Southwest Va. by Summers.  I found references to the will of James mentioning wife Margaret and son Alexander as the only heirs.  I had no time to look for Lowry data but some one wrote me a few months ago that John Lowry is the son of William, I believe.  I have such a lot of notes on the various John Lowrys.  Two of them lived in Augusta county Va. in the same vicinity.  Came there during the 1749s or there abouts.  Ours died in 1761-2.  I have a copy of his will which I can send to you if you want it) and the other John did not die until some years later.  As I said I have so many Genealogical notes and have not had the time to get them in accessible files -- as I hope to do sometime.  At one time, I had all the details fairly well in mind but for the last several years I have been so busy with other things and have not kept up on this hence it is a good deal of trouble to look up all the various items.  I have referred to the references to the wills in chalkleys records -- vol 3. p. 69 -- will of John Lowry Nov. 26, 1761.  Executors wife Elizabeth.  David & James = daughters Rebecca, Janett, and Elizabeth (this is the Elizabeth who married Alex Doran) she was B. 1758.  This will was probated May 18, 1762.  Other notes states that James left children Peggy, William, James & Alex.  Can the list of children you have be those of his son John?  He married Dorcas Mongomery during the 1717's sometime.  However I am quite sure he died before 1880.  He removed to Abingdon became an atorney I think and has prominent descendants in the South.  I believe Robert Edmondston Lowry was one of them.  I am sure that I have a partial list of his children somewhere and do not believe it agrees with your list.

Then the other John that I have from the Augusta County records made his will May 26, 1770 mentions wife Jean, sons Melvin or Martin, Patrick and John and son in law Samuell Todd.  His will was probated June 19, 1770.  A John Hamilton of Newcastle County, Penn. left land to John Lowry deed dated June 7, 1749 mentions "bond by John to have his wife execute release of dower in above" -- Probated Nov. 27, 1750.  I would should like to know which of the John Lowry's this refers.  The name of Hamilton as well as Gordon, Campbell and Russell have been used a good deal among descendants of our John and I have wondered if his wife could have been Elizabeth Hamilton.  Do you know the name James Dorans wife Margaret.  I have a copy of the will of David Lowry  the son of our John he died in washington co. Va.  His will was made May 1, 1827.  He mentions as his brothers sisters those mentioned in his fathers will and leaves his property to them also to nephews and nieces.  He had a fairly large estate about a dozen slaves etc.

I am trying to trace [illegible] Smiths too Jarvis Smith of Walkers county North Carolina the father of Caleb who married Elizabeth Doran.  I have some different data in Mrs. Shupes letter, perhaps you can exchange.  I have more data on Alex Doran not much detail of John Lowry.  This is a scrappy letter and may not contain much that you want.  If you have only a little data I can send more details.  I hope you will write me again

     Lulu Gibson
     Mrs. Franklin L. Gibson
     801 West 12th Avenue
     Empora Kansas

Copyed by Lowery A Doran

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's Tip: Finding Frank

Sometimes its a little scary how quickly we can find things on the internet.  I was having an online conversation with a friend, Link, in Florida.  He had mentioned that he had always wanted to get into genealogy, but didn't really know where to start. 

"That's easy!" I said, "Start with what you know."  What he knew was his grandfather's name, Frank Stizo, and that he was born in Italy. 

I was already on Ancestry.com, so I did a quick search.  As I mentioned, Link lives in Florida.  I wasn't finding any results in Florida.  Looking at what popped up, I asked "Did you ever live in New Jersey?"

Link was stunned.  "I grew up there!  In Rahway."  I had found Link's grandfather, Frank, with his wife, Matilda, and four children -- including Link's father -- on the 1920 census.

I also found the World War I Draft registration that provided an exact birthdate, November 18, 1888, and listed Andretta, Italy as his birthplace.  Cool!  What Link found fascinating was the description; his grandfather was of medium height, considered stout, and had light grey eyes and black hair.  He had no idea that draft records could provide you with that much information.

"Wow!  You are good!"  I appreciated the complement, but I hadn't done any digging yet.  I'd gotten that within five minutes.  That was just luck.

A few days later with a little digging, and armed with a little more information provided by his sister, I soon found Frank on the 1910 census living with his parents, Pasquale and Antonia.  I also found a manifest showing that he entered the United States through the Port of New York and that his final destination was New Rochelle, New Jersey, to join his brother-in-law.  He was in good health, could read, and had $8 in his pocket.

Trust me, you don't always find that much so quickly, but you should never let what don't know keep you from starting!  Start with what you know, and work back from that.  And don't forget to ask your family what they know, too... their tidbits plus your tidbits will eventually turn into a breadcrumb trail that's worth following.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Family Letters, Part One

Empora Kan
Feb 19, 1936

My Dear Mrs. Shupe;

It is a pleasure to have a letter of inquiry from some one we can help.  I have a good many from people with questions that I know nothing about.

According to the record of the children of Alexander Doran sent to me many years ago by Clynton Elmer Smith of Elizabethton, Tenn. also a descendant.  Robert Lowery Doran was one of his sons.  Here is the list as he sent it.  (the interpolations are mine)
(1)  James born Jan 1, 1782 unmarried
(2)  Margaret B. 1783 married James Keys
(3)  Elizabeth B. July 22, 1785 m. Caleb Smith and lived in and near Elizabethton (my Great Grandparents)
(4)  Robert Lowery B. July 19, 1786 m. Betsy Lowery
(5)  Nancy Gordon B. Sept. 17, 1789 m. Ezekiel Smith
(6)  Jannett B. Sept. 11, 1791 m. John Ward
(7) William B. July 25, 1793 m. Elizabeth Wilson
(8)  Rebecca B. Sept. 9, 1796 m. Richard Donnelly (I have correspondence with Mrs. Lou Hendreickson of Elizabethton a decendant of this line)
(9)  John Lowery B. May 26, 1799 not married
(Both Dorans and Lowrys were strict Presbyterians)

Alexander Doran was the son of James Doran, both of them served in the Revolution.  If you are interested in the D.A.R., my first D.A.R. paper is through the service of Alexander.

They settled in Washington county Virginia, evidently not far from Abington, at a place called Wolf Hill.  However, I believe that was an early name of the site Abington.  James took 268 acres of land on wolf creek in 1774, and Alexander took 105 acres at the head of Cane Brake Springs Iron Mountain probably in the same year.  Both of them served Kings Mountain in 1776.

James took part in an expedition against the Cherokee Indians.

Alexander also served in the war of 1812.  was major.  I have been told, but I have no definate information.  It could be obtained I think for I understood that Mrs. Hendreickson was a member of the daughters of 1812 through his service.

Some relatives say that the Dorans came to Virginia from pennsylvania but others think they been in Virginia for several generations in the eastern part.  Alexander is said to have been born 1760 and he died in 1815, I believe, or 1814.  According to my records he was born June 2, 1760.  He married about 1780.  Elizabeth Lowry B. April 28, 1761.  According to my notes of James Doran's will, his wife was Margaret and Alexander the only other heir named.  I took these notes hastily and must check on them when I get back to Topeka sometime for I see I have the will dated Nov. 7, 1799 and probated Dec. 17, 1779.  I have found additional data which states that James Doran's children were Peggy, William, James and Alexander.  I believe 1799 is correct probably for the year, for I have several notes on James later than 1779.  One reference gives his wifes name as Mary but that might be used for Margaret, I should think.

I have a copy of the will of John Lowry, and not long ago one of decendants wrote me that he is the son of William Lowry.

A new book of records has been published recently.  I found it in Topeka last fall.  That is where I found James Doran references.  I had no time to look for Lowry references but hope to do that the next time I am there.  You speak of having someone in Abington looking for records.  I hope it isn't L. P. Summers, he has been a lawyer there and published the history of south west Virginia and lately the book of records mentioned above, Annals of South West Virginia.  Years ago when I was trying to trace the families I wrote to him.  He told me that he would look for records for me if I would send him a fee (a large one for me to pay).  I sent it never dreaming he would not prove dependable.  I waited a year or so and wrote him.  He replied saying that he had merely neglected it and would attend to it later.  I waited another year or so and wrote him again.  The time he replied stating and told him so, but was never able to get anything of any kind from him.  I was thouroughly exasperated but didn't know what to do and had to let it go as a disagreable experience.  I surely hope that you fare better.

If you have access to the Annals of South West Virginia, I believe you can find all you need perhaps about all there is on record.  I have a history of Southwest Virginia but it is not so many records it has more history.  If you want to prove on James Doran in the D.A.R. I can send necessary references, I have not yet, although I hope to some day when I have time to get the necessary papers ready for D.A.R. service for Alexander refer to the history of South West Virginia by L.P. Summers p857.  My national number is 152,530 -- he has a number of descendants in the organization.  A marker was put for him on or near his grave by the Mountain City Chapter D.A.R.  About 1800 he removed with his family to what is Johnson Co. Tenn -- and he is buried near Shoun or Shouns.  The D.A.R. magazine for June 1937 gives a brief account  of the ceremonies and a picture of the monument.  If there is anything else I can do for you write me again.  I have been registrar of our D.A.R here for 11 years but intend to out this spring.  My typewriter is out of order and my writing is so poor especially I hurry.  I have been so busy and have neglected correspondence and now I have so much to try to get off my mind.  I shall hope to hear again.

     Lulu Purdy Gibson

Do you have data of connection with Cambell Hamilton Gordon and Russell families?  These names were used among descendants.

     Lula Gibson

Friday, September 17, 2010

Funeral Card Friday: Benana Elliott

Benana (Elliott) McCroskey is a darn difficult woman to find!  All I have are tantalizing tidbits.  I have a funeral notice...

I have an obituary...

which I admit is really more than tidbits.  The tantalizing tidbits are actually found in one of Alexander Judd Doran's notebooks.  It simply states:
Benana Elliott Parents names. Father Benjamin Elliott.

Her mother was Angeline Crenshaw.
Benjamin Elliott died about Feb 1846
Angeline died 1864

While Benana Elliott was in a Federal prison in Marshall Mo Saline Co. She was 18 yrs old she never got to go to her mothers funeral. A negro slave came to the prison and told her that her mother was dead.
What?!  Federal prison?!  At 18?!  Where??  And for what??  

I don't have the faintest idea.  I don't even know where to start.  Benana (Elliott) McCroskey is a darn difficult woman to find!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Sparland 1st & 2nd Grades 1926

Back row: Emily McLaughlin, Wayne Gryness, Richard Fleming, unknown, Jean van Antwerpt, Milfred Beck, Duane Siebold, Alice Self, Trella McLaughlin, Lucille Kineaid, unknown, Junior Frisbey
Second row: Delores Anderson, Wanda Bean, __________ Dennis?, unknown, Thelma Anderson, unknown, unknown, Alice Dorris, Hester White, Elizabeth Beaver

First row: Joseph Neesonger, __________ Grimes, unknown, Wordford Griswold, unknown, Paul Neesonger, Donald Stenfeld, __________ Dennis, Dean Pribble, unknown, Robert Ingram, John Hawk, Donald Fleming

Monday, September 13, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: the Memorandum Sketches

Biographical Sketch of the Doran family
The name is of Scotch, Irish and French origin:
Robert L. Doran was born in Virginia about 1790, and Elizabeth Lowry was born in Virginia about 1792.
The parents of Robert L. Doran came to America from near Dunshamflin Ireland, and the parents of Elizabeth Lowry came to America from Scotland. Robert L. Doran and Elizabeth Lowry were married in Virginia about 1812. The children born to them were as follows:
Malinda, born in 1813 and never married.
Alexander born April 29, 1815 married Delphia Marilla Judd, Dec 26th, 1838.
James L. born about 1817 married Jane E. Conn, 1
Margaret born 1819 and married Josiah Leedy
William C. born 1821 married Ellen Leedy
Miranda born 1823 married Addison King
Nancy born 1825 married Samuel Maiden.
Jane born 1827 never married.
John H born 1829 married Jane Mitchell.
Robert C. born 1831 married Virginia Manning.
All the members of this large family lived to be much past middle age and all2 the two that never married raised rather large families of children. The father of Robert L. Doran was born in Ireland and it is said, was a general in the Florida war.
Robert L. Doran was the owner of more than twenty slaves and set them free in 1852 for the reason that he did not believe in slavery. This Doran family3 were nearly all members of the Southern Methodist Church.
The Doran family have been and are now a strictly loyal and law abiding people and no one of them has ever been convicted of a criminal offense.
Robert L. and Elizabeth Doran emigrated from Washington County, Virginia to Greene County Missouri in 1854 and resided on a farm eight miles South of Springfield Mo; until each had attained the age of 81 or 82 years.4 They and the two unmarried daughters are buried on said farm which is now owned by Mr.5 Plank.
Alex and Delphia Marilla Doran are also buried on this said farm.
When this farm was sold from the Doran family, a plot of ground (about ⅓ acre) amply covering the graves of the Dorans buried there, was reserved to the Doran families.6
The author of this sketch is William Penn Doran a son of Alexander and Delphia Marilla Doran born Dec. 26, 1842.
The next two pages are blank

Biographical Sketch of the Judd family
Mr and Mrs Judd resided in North Carolina near the Yadkin River, when there were born to them on March 22, 1822, a daughter name Delphia Marilla.
Delphia Marilla Judd was married to Alexander Doran, in Washington county Virginia Dec. 26, 1838.7
Alex Doran was born in Johnson County Tennessee April 29, 1815.
Mr and Mrs Alex Doran resided in Washington County Virginia from the time of their marriage until 1848 when they emigrated to Overton County Tennessee where they resided until 1852 when they emigrated to Greene County Missouri where they remained until the end.
Delphia Marilla Doran died in 1865. Alexander Doran died in Aug 1896.
Twelve children were born to Alex and Delphia Marilla Doran. Five sons and seven daughters, all of whom lived to middle age or older. Now on March 30, 1923 there are still living one son and five daughters. All the twelve children have been married and all raised a family of children except Charles J.8
This writer now 80 years old remember very well seeing the father and mother of Delphia Marilla Judd; but does not remember their Christian names.
The Judd family emigrated from Washington County Virginia to Owsley County Kentucky about 1850: where they became the owner of a coal mine and resided there until after the Civil war. The father of Delphia Marilla lived to be 96 years old and the mother lived to be 92 years old.
Delphia Marilla Doran had some brothers and sisters. This writer thinks about three of each. The oldest brother Hamilton B. Judd was a soldier in the Mexican war and later a soldier in the Texas, Mexican war and for this last service received from the State of Texas 1476 acres of land located in Nachodoches County where he resided until his death. He had raised a family of children.
Leander H. Judd continued to reside in Owsley County Kentucky; was married and raised a family of children, two of them sons. William C. and Charles H. were soldiers in the civil war and members of the seventh Kentucky Infantry.
This writer met them several times on Red River Lousiana in 1864. They were fine looking and appeared well educated.
Of the other brothers and sisters of Delphia Marilla this writer does not remember their names except one sister Elvera. Elizabeth, Frances, Navina, Allie, Allen and Elziah, these brothers and sisters of Delphia Marilla as remembered by Mary Lymon, a sister of William Penn Doran.
Judd family were Methodist in their religious belief. All were loyal and law abiding, worthy and deserving citizens.
The name Judd is certainly not of Saxon or Teutonic origin but most likely Celtic or Gaelic origin.
The writer of the above sketch is William Penn Doran, a son of Alex and Delphia Marilla Doran, born in Dec. 26, 1842 in Washington County Virginia and was a soldier during the Civil war for the three years and nine months and had command of the Military Post of Springfield Missouri and over 4000 soldiers at the close of the Civil War.9

Biographical Sketch of Alexander and Delphia M. Doran
Alexander Doran was born in Johnson county Tennessee April 29, 1815.
Delphia Marilla Judd was born in North Carolina March 22, 1822.
Alexander Doran and Delphia Marilla Judd were married Dec. 26, 1838 in Tennessee and emigrated to Washington County Virginia and there were born to them a son, Hamilton Greene Doran Oct. 20, 1839.
Mary M. Doran borned in Tennessee Mar. 3rd, 1841
William Penn Doran Virginia Dec. 26, 1842.
Mandy E. Doran Virginia, Dec. 29, 1844.
Martha A. Doran in Tennessee Nov. 23, 1846.
Nancy J. Doran in Tennessee Apr. 29, 1848.
Susan L. Doran in Tennessee Nov. 29, 1850.
Lizzie M. Doran in Tennessee Feb. 24, 1853
Charles J. Doran in Missouri Jan. 24, 1855
James A. Doran in Missouri May 8, 1857
Joseph C. Doran in Missouri, March 21, 1859
Fanny Doran in Missouri June 4, 1861
Alexander and Delphia Marilla Doran emigrated from Tennessee to Greene County Missouri and settled ten miles south of Springfield, Mo. where they lived until death, Delphia Marilla Doran died in 1865. Alexander Doran died in Aug. 1896.
Marriages of the children of Alexander and Delphia Marilla
Mary M. Doran married to William H. Lymn at Ozark, Mo. June 4, 1860. To them were born Willie, Charlie, Annie, Frank, Lib and Hart.
Mandy E. Doran to William B. Stapp at Syrucuis Mo. Feb. 1862.
Eight children were born to this union Johnny, Marion, Chester, Fletcher, Marshall, Ellis, Joe and Alfred. Mandy E. Stapp died June 15, 1923.
Martha A Doran to William M. Patterson at Ozark Mo. July 26, 1865.
To this union were borned Walter, Laura, Julia, Betty and Mattie.
Laura married a Malicoat
Julia accidentally shot in Springfield and was single
Betty married a Stiles.
Mattie married John O’Day.
Hamilton Greene Doran to Charlotte Belinda McCroskey at Ozark, Mo. Feb 12, 1867. To this union were born Emma Amner Doran, Francis Edwin, Minnie Ellen, Mathew Duff, Alex. Judd, William James, Junius, Allen Hamilton and Lenard Paul. Hamilton Doran died Feb. 12, 1905.
Nancy J. Doran to Samuel Smith at Ozark, Mo. May 22, 1870. To these were born Charlie, Perry,
William P. Doran to Cornelius J. Maiden at Springfield Mo. July 7, 1871. Two children were born to these Ralph and June. June married Tom Galbraith.10
Susan L. Doran to Granville M. Estes at Ozark Mo, Aug. 20, 1871 one child were born to them Lillie who married Doug Chapman. Susan L. then married Robert Owens to them were borned Everett11 and Ella who married a Mr. Young.
Lizzie M. Doran12 to Milton Robinson at Springfield Mo Oct. 14, 1879. Born to them one child Oliver. Mr. Robinson died she married Jim Doran to them were born Nettie, Macey and Charles. Nettie married Pleas McDaniel, Macy married a Mr. Noakes.
Charley J. Doran to Book Ferguson Sept. 1881. No children. Charles J. Doran died in 1891.
James A. Doran to Mary (Mollie) E. Gooch at Mentor Mo. Oct. 30, 1881. To this union were born Delmar, Daisy, Lowry, Fenton, Jessie, Threat, Ella, Pansy, Wade and Roscoe.13

Delmar married a Bilyeu. Daisy married Everett Estes, Jessie married (           ) 14Ella married a Whittington and Pansy married Hubert Moore. James died June 2, 1912
Joseph C. Doran to Frances Page at Springfield Mo.
Born to them Irene and Clearance. Irene married a Mr. Fightmaster, Okla City.
Joseph Doran died at Nixa Mo. 1914.15
Fanny Doran to Louis Clark at Cassidy Mo. May 9th, 1889. Born to them were Lou, Niva, Ethel and Ruby.
Lou married a Ben Graves. He died. 1 girl born, Maree. Lou then16 McDaniel. Niva17
The next page is blank.
Biographical of Hamilton Doran
Hamilton Greene Doran born in Washington Co. Virginia,18 Oct. 20, 1839. Charlotte Belinda McCroskey was born in Missouri Christian County Mar. 19, 1847. They were married Feb. 12, 1867.
To this union were born
Emma Amner Doran born Dec. 27, 1867. Married Fred Kerr. To this union one boy Fred.
Francis Edwin born June 2, 1869. Died Dec 24, 1873.
Minnie Ellen was born in Nov. 28, 1870 married to Bluford Gooch at Ozark, Mo, Dec. 15, 1886.
To this union were born two children Edd and Ella. Married Sam Larkins. Bluford died about 1890, Minnie married Marshall Fitzpatrick.19
To this union were born Dewey, Hazel, Earl, Carl, Faye and Lorene.
Mathew Duff20 was born in Feb. 19, 1872 married Ella Hilliard at Springfield 18
To this union were born Hugh, Malcom, Cecil, Lottie, Eunice and Glenn. Lottie married Oran Thompson
Eunice married Scott Pemberton .21
Alexander Judd was born in Apr. 18, 1873 married Lillian Stroud at Thayer Kans. Dec 17, 1903.
To this union were born Ethel, Chester, Glenn and Vivian. Ethel born in Thayer Ks. Chester at Cassidy Mo. Glenn and Vivian at 9 miles west and 3 miles south of Walter Okla.22
William James was born Jan. 15, 1875 married to Eliza Grubaugh at Ozark 189__. To this union were born Inez, Clearance, John, Lawrence and Donald.
Ina married Lee Bingham 1921
Junius Doran was born in June 8, 1878, married Cora             in Rialto Calif. 19
One child born to this union Lenard Junius. 23
Allen Hamilton was born Feb. 7, 1880. Married Julia Simms Cassidy about 1917. One child to this union was born Ralph.24
Leanard Paul was born in Sept. 4, 1881      not married
The next twenty-two pages are blank, then an unknown handwriting continues in pencil….
About 1875
Hallie South was killed at Pilot Point Texas. She was killed by a Doran who shot off his revolver on the way from church and it was counted an accidental
He had asked her for her company home and was told no. So for that reason there was a lot of talk, he was a distant relative of our family.
On the facing page, in pen, A. J. Doran writes:
Hamilton Green Doran was under Capt. Barett in the War of the South.
Capt. Barrett (this last line is in pencil)
On the next page (in pencil) another unidentified hand takes over:
Burt A. Judd born at Columbia, Murray County Tennessee in 1876 a son of C. S. Judd and Helen (Crane) Judd natives of Tennessee Binghamton New York.
Growing up at Columbia Burt A Judd had educational advantages. In 1906 Mr. Judd was married in Mount Eagle Tenn. To Miss Carrie Knowles.
Mr. Judd died June 27 1921 in Ranger Eastland Co. Texas. He was owner of considerable city property.
On the inside back cover, A. J. Doran continues:
The last thing my mother spoke was I want to meet you all in heaven and the last words to me (A. J. Doran) was go get your other pants and put them on. That was just a day or so before she died.

Transcribed by Stacy A. (Rosa) Chadwick. The original notebook is in the possession of my mother, Charla M. (Doran) Rosa, a granddaughter of Alexander Judd Doran.

1 “no children,” added in pencil by A. J. Doran 
2 “but” inserted by A. J. Doran 
3 On the back of this page, A. J. Doran has written “Page one Uncle Will William Penn Doran married to Virginia Maiden a first cousin she and uncle will are Buried at Denison Tex uncle lived to be 87. June an Ralph ther children”
4 On the back of this page, A. J. Doran has written “Ralph died at the age 9 or 10. Buried at St. Louis Mo. June married Tom Galbrath at Springfield mo they had two children girs.”
5 “Milo” inserted by A. J. Doran
6 A. J. Doran added – “Hamilton Greene Doran and Charlotte Doran are buried there.” He continues on the back of the page in pen: “Hamilton Greene Doran and Charlotte are buried on the Plank farm which was the Robert Doran farm. He was my great grandfather. I am Alexander Judd Doran so he was my great grandfather.”
7 This is incorrect; he later gives the correct marriage location in Tennessee. ~Stacy A. Chadwick
8 Added by A. J. Doran – “Doran”
9 A.J. Doran adds “and mustered them out of service.”
10 Penciled in by A. J. Doran – “June died July 31, 1940”
11 A. J. Doran inserted “married Minnie Keltner”
12 “Aunt Lizzie died Mar 16 1939” – added by A. J. Doran
13 Added by A. J. Doran – “There was a small boy 2 or 3 years old that died.”
14 A. J. Doran filled in the blank “Payne”
15 A. J. Doran lined through the word ‘Nixa’ and wrote “at Springfield in the Hospital”
16 A. J. Doran inserted “married”
17 “married a Clausen” – added by A. J. Doran
18 This is incorrect – Stacy A. (Rosa) Chadwick
19 A. J. Doran notes “Marshall died 1927”
20 Added by A. J. Doran – “Died Jan 1935, Ella died 1936”
21 In an unknown handwriting – “Cecil children Marvin, Delbert, Wanika; Glens -- Patty Ann; Jerry – Johnnie Joe; Eunice – Albert Cecil, Hilge Virgal, Colleen; Malcolm – Dexter, Nena, Kenneth, Wayne, Shela (died), Winsor, Warren, Trela, Leslie & Wesley”
22 Added in pen “2 marriage Alexander J. Doran married Vannie McCroskey June 10 1943 at Witchita Falls, Tex. She died Aug 1 194263”
23 A. J. Doran adds “Junius died 10th of July 1963 of cancer stomache”
24 “Allen died Sept 14, 1935” added by A. J. Doran

Friday, September 10, 2010

Some Friday Fun

They say that immitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Keeping that in mind, I'm going to flatter Amy Coffin over at The We Tree Genealogy Blog by stealing her idea of Fun with Search Terms.  I hope she doesn't mind!

One of the cool features on Blogger is Stats.  With one click I can see how many page views I've had (kind of pathetic, my last post had only 9 views), where my audience is (mostly the U.S., but I've had one visitor from Denmark and one from South Korea today!) and my traffic sources, which includes a list of search terms. 

Here are my search terms for the week:
james mccroskey margaret duff
Whoever they were, we're definately researching the same people.  I wish they had contacted me! I've got several pictures of various McCroskey family groupings (some identified and some not) and other McCroskey "stuff" that I'm willing to share, collaborate on, etc.
minnie ola prewett
I really wish this person had contacted me!  The Prewett's are my husband's line and they're driving me crazy!  I've had more brick walls with the Prewett line than any other and often feel like I'm the only Prewett researcher on the planet.  Minnie Ola Prewett is my husband's aunt.
which clark sister passed awy
Out of all the Clark sisters there are, I have no idea if "mine" were the ones being looking for.  I posted The Mystery of the Clark Sisters in January.  I found it odd because all three share a stone bearing their birth dates and married names.  I've never heard of such a thing.
That was it for my search terms the week!  If you happen to land among my Wandering Vines in your searches, please drop me a line or leave a comment. I might nibble if you ask politely, but I don't bite!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: Records of the Olden Time

Can you do a Scottish brogue?  Can you at least listen with a good Scottish brogue?  Just imagine that this is being read by Sean Connery or Liam Neeson....

Samuel B. McLaughlin

The subject of the following sketch comes from an old Scoth covenanter family that some 250 years ago lived on the coast of Scotland and followed the occupation of millers as had their fathers before them. It was a time of bitter religious persecutions. When Catholics were in power they persecuted Protestants without mercy, whipping, branding and murdering, and when the disciples of Calvin obtained the upper hand they paid off in like kind. The McLaughlins were Covenanters, and would not belie their religion. Through persecution and threatened death they clung to their faith, and when grim old Claverhouse, who was never known to show mercy, ordered the head of the family to recant, he stoutly refused, and told Black John to do his worst. Eleven times they strung him up, but life did not desert him, and still he refused to give up his religion. But it was not the Papist leader's purpose to take his life. Good millers were scarce and could not well be spared, so they left him more dead than alive, swearing to return again. Far in the distance across the blue channel the Irish coast was visible. The miller knew his vindictive enemies would surely return and then unless he recanted no mercy would be shown, so making his arrangements hastily and secretly, he embarked in an open boat with his family and such goods as he could carry and bade adieu to his native land forever. He found an asylam in Ireland, where he lived and died, with his wife also. The family here became farmers, and nearly a hundred years later one of the name, bidding his relatives adieu, sailed for the new world and settled in Virginia. Of there history there little is known in detail. The name is prominent in the annals of the time, and several members served in the war of the Revolution, fighting manfully on the side of the Colonists. After its close they drifted to the "dark and bloody ground," and one became a noted Indian fighter. After the border tribes were defeated and dispersed they settled down to peaceful persuits, one branch locating on Green River, where on the 17th day of Feb., 1813, Samuel B., the subject of this sketch, was born. His father was a tanner and likewise cultivated a small farm. The country was new, the people poor, and though soil and climate were unsurpassed, the imperfect means for tilling the earth made life one continuous struggle for existance. Imagine the artistic steel plows of to-day transformed into a clumsy affair, with a short beam, a blunt iron point, and a wooden mould-board, warranted never to scour, and you have the "Clipper" plows of our forefathers. It was commonly drawn by a mule, the lines and traces made from homespun and twisted hemp, passing through the wooden hames and tied with a knot; a shuck collar, and the whiffletrees fastened with withers of hickory bark to the plow. Wagons were unknown, a clumsy sled being the only means of conveyance in summer or winter. Good schools there were none. During the winter months some tramping pedagogue would gather a few scholars, and ply the birch and ferrule in some out of the way cabin until cleaned out by the larger boys, which usually happened about the middle of the term, when there would be no more school that year. The knowledge obtained under such circumstances could not be great, yet he learned sufficient to transact ordinary business, and it must be a sharp one who can profit by his want of information. The food of those days was plain and simple, corn bread and bacon, or "hog and hominy," formed the living of rich and poor, the luxuries of wheat bread and home-made coffee being indulged in only once a week -- on Sunday mornings. Very little sugar or coffee was used or to be had if desired. Books and newspapers in that benighted region were unknown, and information from the outer world came through those adventurous voyagers who made annual trips by flatboat to New Orleans, and for six months thereafter were the self-appointed oracles of the village. When sixteen years old his father promised, as a reward for extra labor, that all the corn raised, besides filling a certain crib, should be his. It may be believed the weeds had little show that season, and his labors were rewarded with a surplus of 150 bushels. A Christmas, and then left me. On this day commenced what has ever since been remembered and designated as the neighbor, the proprietor of a keel-boat, was going on his annual voyage to the gulf, and young McLaughlin bargained, in consideration of the aid he should give, for ten feet of space therein. In addition to his share of the corn, he loaded it with a thousand hoop-poles, while his mother sent along a venture of chickens, ducks, etc., with many admonitions as to the careful expenditure of the proceeds, which were to be laid out in such products as most delight the maternal heart. The question of getting the hoop-poles on board involved much thought and labor. A team to haul them to the boat was out of the question, so a place was selected as near the river as possible, and then cut, conveyed by hand, and rafted to where the boat lay, four miles below. For a sixteen-year boy this was an undertaking, unaided, of no small magnitude, but it was accomplished after infinite labor and pains, and the craft was got afloat. All went well until it struck a sand-bar, and refused to budge another peg. Throwing off his clothes, although it was November, he swam ashore, walked four miles to where a six-foot brother-in-law lived, and by their united efforts at lifting and pushing, the raft was afloat again. The venture was a success, the corn, hoop-poles and chickens finding a ready market, and with the proceeds laid out in a suit of store clothes, some sugar and coffee for his mother, a drawing knife for his father --a wonderful implement in those days-- he returned to enjoy his well earned laurels, and relate his surprising adventures. For the next three years he lived at home. When 19 he started on horseback for Illinois, ostensibly to see the country, but in reality to find the possessor of a pair of bewitching eyes that had stolen his heart away and had it in her keeping. Both were found, and during the season he was married to Rachel L. Hammett. His choice was a good one, and to her industry, frugality and careful management he is indebted for much of his success.

After the wedding he went back to Kentucky with his wife and worked on a farm, built a boat, etc., in which he returned to Illinois in 1833 with ten dollars in his pocket. He took up a claim above Chillicothe, put a cabin of primitive construction, which to its owners seemed a palace. The floor was made of puncheons, the roof of shakes, and the windows of greased paper. Wooden stools sufficed for chairs, a store box in which their goods were packed answered for a table, and the cradle --soon needed, was hallowed out from a log of wood. In this primitive style many of the now wealthy families of Marshall county began housekeeping. During the winter he cleared fix or six acres of land, which with the aid of his wife he planted to corn and potatoes. A severe cut in the foot disabled him, but the corn was properly cultivated and produced a good crop, though he was obliged to labor supported by a crutch. They lived here four years. Markets were too distant and transportation too expensive to make the raising of grain profitable, so he turned his attention to raising cattle and hogs, marketing the latter with Jabez Fisher at Lacon. It was a great event to him, when after paying all his debts he had a clean surplus of $50 left. He has sold wheat for 15 cents and corn for 8 cents a bushel. Occasionally a trip was made to Chicago, loading in with grain and out with lumber, salt and household necessaries. When lands came into market there was difficulty in raising the entrance money --many losing their homesteads. McL had little money, but he had two yoke of oxen and a cow, with which he started for Galena, hoping to convert them into money. A cash customer could not be found, and he sold them on credit with the solemn promise that payment should be sent down before the sales. There were no banks or express and the money must be risked by mail, carried by a tow-headed boy on a blind horse for a hundred and fifty miles. But those were days when men were honest and women virtuous, and the cash was duly paid according to promise, and safely arrived. The homestead was saved, and from this time prosperity was theirs, and riches came almost unbidden. In due time the old cabin gave way to a showy house with all the modern improvements. The home made chairs were replaced with costly mahogany; the old spinning wheel to a thousand dollar Knabe piano; the puncheon floor to costly carpets; the gourd cup and tin plates to cut glass and china. He owns nearly 1300 acres of land, is out of debt, has corn and wheat in the crib, hogs in the pen, and "cattle on a thousand hills." To himself and wife thirteen children have been born, nine of whom survive. Their names are Martha J., John B., Andrew J., Jefferson M., Jeanette C., Susan R., Samuel A., Harriet A., and George W. Are members of the Presbyterian church. He has filled various local offices, and is a good neighbor and citizen.

This is from Records of the Olden Time; or Fifty Years on the Prairies by Spencer Ellsworth. You can read or download the entire book as a PDF here.  Within its pages, I have found information on several ancestors from multiple family lines.  If you have connections to Illinois, its worth checking out!  May it prove to be a treasure chest of information for you as it has been for me.  (^.^)