Thursday, October 30, 2014

52 Ancestors: #43 Mary Ann Hill, Born on the Atlantic Ocean

Mary Ann Hill was born aboard a ship on passage from Ireland to America on June 6, 1790.  This is confirmed by 1880 census reports from four of her children.  Her birth at sea is also mentioned in a biographical sketch of her son, James Whitlow Trees. (The sketch is from the History of Rush County, Part II.)

Like many Irish immigrants of that period, Mary Ann's parents, John Hill and Elizabeth Jane Whitlow, came from Ulster.  John Hill was a weaver in trade.

After the Hills arrived in America, they located somewhere in Pennsylvania.  I don't know exactly when they left that state, but Mary Ann spent most of her early years in Bracken County, Kentucky.

In 1811, Mary Ann married another first-generation American, John Adam Trees, in Clermont County, Ohio.  After spending well over 10 years in Clermont County, Adam and Mary Ann decided to move to Indiana.  For 10 days, they traveled over almost impassable roads, crossing the White and Miami Rivers. Their youngest child, John Kell Trees, was barely two months old at the time. The family arrived in Richland Township, Rush County, Indiana on March 27, 1823. The Trees raised ten children, who all lived to adulthood.

Mary Ann Trees died on July 23, 1863 in Shelby County, Indiana, less than a year after the death of her husband.  She was 73 years old.  Her father, John Hill, outlived her by a few years.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

52 Ancestors: #42 Thomas Worland's Wheel Chart

Thomas Worland's Wheel Chart, which includes 75 grandchildren.
I descend from Thomas' son Stephen, then from Stephen's son John.
One of most useful and interesting genealogical treasures I have inherited is a book about the Worland family.  One Man's Family, written by Olive Lewis Kolb with the help of two Worland descendants, is well over 1000 pages long, including maps, biographical sketches, wills, and family pedigrees.  Hidden within its many pages is this wheel chart of Thomas Worland's family. The wheel chart makes it easy to see how often family names are reused.

Thomas Worland was the eldest son of John Worland III and Mary Brady.  He was born June 11, 1774 in Maryland, probably in Prince George's County.  He assumed responsibility very early in life.  His father's will, written just before Thomas' 16th birthday, named him as co-executor with his mother. (One Man's Family by Kolb)

Thomas married nineteen year-old Virlinda Hardy on December 8, 1799 in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Thomas and his wife raised a large family of 13 children, who all reached adulthood.  Barnabas, a younger brother of Thomas, married Virlinda Hardy's sister, Theresa.

Thomas, Barnabas, and most of the Worland family joined with about 60 other Catholic families in a compact to migrate to Kentucky between 1785 and 1807. This migration was inspired by the great poverty being endured in Maryland and the promise of a better life in Kentucky. By 1810, almost all of the Worland known to be living at that time were in Kentucky.  (One Man's Family by Kolb)

Thomas and Barnabas Worland [were] worthy and respectable citizens, always in active and useful occupation. (The History of Pioneer Lexington, Kentucky by Charles R. Staples)  Thomas and his brother Barnabas seem to have been very closely associated until Thomas decided to leave Kentucky in 1828 and begin a new life in Indiana.  They likely never saw each other again, since Barnabas later gathered up his family and permanently settled in Missouri.

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
Thomas took up his residence in a roughly-hewn log cabin situated near the Little Blue River, one mile east of Shelbyville.  In the fall of 1828, the first Catholic Mass in history of Shelby County, Indiana occured in this house.  At that time, the congregation numbered about 30 members.  On September 6, 1838, a contract was signed to build a church for $619.00 on two acres of land donated by Thomas Worland. The St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church was built in 1839.

Two of Thomas' daughters, Mary Ann and Eleanor, entered convents. Eleanor became "Sister Mary Saint Paul"; Mary Ann became "Sister Mary Clara."  Sister Mary Clara later wrote a book entitled Lives Of the Saints, where she described the Worland family's influence on Catholicism in Shelby County.

Thomas Worland's youngest daughter, Eulilia, was "feeble-minded." According to Thomas' will, five hundred dollars (in addition to her portion of the estate) was to be set aside after his death for her support.  She only lived nine more years after her father died.

Thomas Worland died July 13, 1850 in Shelby County, Indiana.  He was buried at St. Vincent's Catholic Cemetery, on the land he donated to the church.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

52 Ancestors: #41 Jacob Kimmel, Oldest Voter in Kearney, Nebraska

Jacob Kimmel, left, with his daughter Catherine and her family.
Jacob Kimmel of Fourth Ward Votes at 86 Years of Age.

The statement in the Hub Tuesday that Rev. C.R. Ford was probably the oldest voter in the city has brought out the fact that there is at least one voter, who cast his vote on election day, who could boast more years than Mr. Ford.  This is Jacob Kimmel.  Mr. Kimmel is 86 years of age.  He is a carpenter and mill wright by trade and is still able to do some work every day.  The fact that there was a voter 86 years of age in the city was kindly brought to the attention of the Hub by S.M. Forney, and it is probable that there may be some other voters who are as old or older. (The Kearney Daily Hub, published November 8, 1906.)  

My 4th great grandfather, Jacob Kimmel, was born on May 27, 1821 in Canton, Stark County, Ohio. His parents were Samuel Kimmel and Catherine Mory.  On October 9, 1842, Jacob married Nancy Tombaugh. Sometime before 1850, Jacob and Nancy migrated to Richland, Illinois, along with Jacob's brother William and his sister Elizabeth and their families.  Together Jacob and Nancy had at least seven children.  Jacob's wife Nancy and his sister, Elizabeth Shook, were midwives in the area. Nancy died in 1879.  

In 1880, Jacob lived with his newly-married daughter Mary and her husband Noah Michaels. Sometime before 1885, Jacob, his son Lewis, and the Michaels family decided to leave Illinois and and travel over 500 miles to live in Hutchinson, Kansas.  Jacob, Lewis, and Noah were all carpenters and probably worked together.

The Wood River Mission Church in Kearney, Nebraska.
In 1896, Jacob Kimmel moved one more time to Kearney Nebraska to join his daughter, Catherine Forney, and her family.  Jacob opened a carpenter shop at the back of Catherine's house.  

Catherine's husband, Samuel Michael Forney, was the minister of the Wood River Mission Church in Kearney, Nebraska, which was affiliated with the Dunkard Brethren.  During a special council on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, the Wood River Church reinstated "Brother Jacob Kimmel."  (I wonder why he had to be reinstated.)  By December 31, 1898, the church had 40 members.

Jacob died in Kearney on March 10,1910  at the age of 88 from cardiac failure. According to his obituary, he had made his own coffin before he died.

Jacob Kimmel with four generations of descendants, c. 1908.

Friday, October 17, 2014

52 Ancestors: #40 Squire Lot Green, Pioneer School Teacher

A schoolhouse similar to the one Lot Green would have taught in.
Lot Green was a farmer of Rush County all his active life. He was a man of fine attainments for those days and at different times taught school with such success that he is regarded as having been an able educator. For twenty years he was Justice of the Peace under the old constitution. (From the Pictorial and Biographical Memoirs of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana, 1893.)

My 4th great grandfather, Lot Green, conducted one of the oldest schools in Anderson Township, Rush County, Indiana. The log cabin school stood on the farm of Jacob Hackleman, one of the original settlers of Rush County.  In 1829, a man named George Wrinbro assumed the task of teaching the school. At the end of the school year, Mr. Wrinbro treated his students to whisky!  Another teacher in Anderson Township at the time was the famous evangelist and poet Knowles Shaw, who wrote the lyrics to the Gospel hymn "Bringing in the Sheaves."  

Lot was born on April 15, 1799 in Pulaski County, Kentucky, the tenth of eleven children. His parents were Thomas Greene and Elizabeth Ann Ransbird Mathews. (I believe Lot was the first Green in the family line to drop the final "e" from the surname.) Thomas Greene was a Patriot spy during the American Revolution and was the first cousin of General Nathanael Greene. Nathanael and Thomas Greene came from Quaker families, but both were turned out from the congregation because they would not acknowledge that they were wrong in joining the fight for freedom.

On April 27, 1824, Lot married Anna Cooper in Pulaski, Kentucky.  Together they had nine children. Anna died in 1841, when their youngest child was less than two years old.  Lot married Sarah Houston on June 7, 1842.  He was chosen as a delegate to attend the Rush County convention on April 18, 1843.

Lot's involvement in education had a lasting effect on his descendants.  Two of his sons, James Wilkinson Green and William Frame Green, became doctors.  Another son, John Cooper Green, was a well-known lawyer in Shelby County, Indiana.  His youngest son, Perry M. Green, was also a lawyer and a founder of the city of Pasadena, California.  Six of Lot's grandchildren became doctors, including my great grandfather, John D. Green.

Lot Green died on July 12, 1845 in Rush County, Indiana, at the age of 46.

Friday, October 10, 2014

52 Ancestors: #39 Mary Gertrude Resslein, the Ship's Cook

"Scene Between Decks", The Illustrated London News, July 6, 1850.
In the summer of 1850, my great-great-great grandmother, Mary Gertrude Resslein, left her homeland of Bavaria and boarded the ship Marathon at the Port of Le Havre, France.   Captain Henry S. Tyler commanded the 890-ton ship, which was built in 1849.  A thorough study of the ship manifest reveals that she was 28 years old and had brought 2 chests with her. A family story is that Gertrude worked as a ship's cook to earn her passage. There were 408 passengers listed on the ship manifest; two young women died from a fever during the voyage.

Gertrude's granddaughter, Stella McCammon, wrote a letter to her sister Bertha describing the
voyage. The wind blew the ship off course, and they ran out of drinking water. According to Stella, Gertrude slipped food to a stowaway from Luxembourg on the ship.  His name was George Holzlider.   Gertrude and George disembarked from the Marathon at New York on July 26, 1850. Less than a month later, they were married in Hamilton County, Ohio.

Hamilton County, Ohio Marriage Certificate

At some point, the Holzliders moved to Decatur County, Indiana and eventually to North Vernon, Jennings County, Indiana. They raised five children, including my great great grandfather, William. Gertrude died at North Vernon sometime between 1880 and 1897.   It is not known where she is buried, but she may have been buried at a Potters Field in North Vernon.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

52 Ancestors: #38 Nancy Tombaugh, Midwife of Richland County

The Illinois Medical Practice Act of 1877 included the creation of the Illinois Board of Health, which was charged with the responsibility of regulating physicians and midwives. Midwives would now be required to register with and be approved by the Illinois Board of Health.

"Midwives To Whom Certificates Have Been Issued" from the Annual Report of the State Board of Health of Illinois 
On December 15, 1877, Nancy Kimmel registered for a midwife certificate.  She was 54 years old and had practiced as a midwife for 15 years in Richland County, Illinois.  Her certificate was issued on October 19, 1878.

Nancy was born on May 8. 1821 in Akron, Ohio to Solomon Tombaugh and Catherine Myers. At the age of 21, Nancy Tombaugh married Jacob Kimmel on October 9, 1842 in Stark County, Ohio. Jacob's sister, Elizabeth Kimmel Shook, was also a midwife in Richland County.  Nancy and Jacob had seven known children. Their youngest child, Susanna, born in 1860, was my third great-grandmother.

On March 14, 1862, their 13-year-old daughter Sarah died of "winter fever" (an archaic term for pneumonia that was used only in Southern Illinois.)  Soon after Sarah's death, Nancy began her occupation as a midwife.  (Perhaps to keep her mind off of her loss?)

Nancy Kimmel died on May 9, 1879, less than a year after she received her midwife certificate.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

52 Ancestors: #37 James Harvey Latham, Survived the Battle of Shiloh

Pen-and-ink and watercolor map by Captain Leon J. Fremaux.
My 4 times great-grandfather, James Harvey Latham, was among the 111,000 men who fought at the two-day battle at Shiloh. The carnage amounted to the greatest devastation known on the American continent to that date -- more than 23,000 casualties.  Yet somehow he survived the horrible battle.

James was born on February 5, 1823 in Todd County, Kentucky. His parents were Stephen R. Latham and Mary Elizabeth Sears.

On September 25, 1844, James married Susan H. Driskill in Montgomery County, Tennessee. He was 21, and she was 17.  The Lathams raised their family in Greenville, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. They had nine children: George Washington, John Wesley (my 3rd great-grandfather), Sophronia, Mary Susannah, Cordelia Josephine, twins Robert Oscar and Stephen Finis, Margaret Marcella, and Harvey Edward Latham.  Tragically, two of their children, three-year-old Cordelia and newborn Stephen, died from scarlet fever in 1856.

James enlisted as a private in Company K, 11th Kentucky Infantry, which was attached to Fifth Division of the Army of the Ohio.  On April 6, 1862, his regiment engaged in the Battle of Shiloh. Colonel Pierce Butler Hawkins, commander of James' brigade, in his report of the battle stated:

The enemy ... [was] drawn up in considerable numbers in the brush and playing upon us from their batteries ... We were compelled to fall back to the original line of battle. I then by your order charged the enemy, and succeeded in driving [them], found and captured one piece of artillery ... holding it until the engagement ceased.

Shiloh was the first battle for the men in the 11th Kentucky Infantry. For James Harvey Latham, it was also his last battle.

James' gravestone at Nashville National Cemetery
On August 18, James was sent to General Hospital #1 in Nashville, Tennessee. He died ten days later on August 28, 1862, from typhoid fever at the age of 39.  He was buried the same day in Nashville City Cemetery and was later re-interred in the Nashville National Cemetery. By the end of the war, the 11th Kentucky had lost 214 enlisted men by disease.

Two years after his death, James' widow Susan married a man named Edmund Hawthorne.  Mr. Hawthorne became the legal guardian of the four minor heirs of James Latham (namely, Mary Susannah, Robert Oscar, Margaret Marcella, and Harvey Edward) and helped them obtain a pension of eight dollars a month.

Like countless others, James had his life cut short by disease during the war.  James Harvey Latham's grandfather, Elijah Stephen Latham, lived to be 102 years old.   Elijah's father, Jeremiah, died at the age of 104.  Jeremiah's father, Phillip Latham, was born in 1710 and died in 1820.  Yes, that's 110 years!  I wonder how long James Harvey Latham would have lived if he had not been struck down by typhoid fever.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

52 Ancestors: #36 Adam McConnell Gowdy, Delegate to the Indiana Constitutional Convention

Cover of the 1851 Indiana State Constitution
My 4 times great-grandfather, Adam McConnell Gowdy, was born in 1809 near Bellbrook, Ohio, the eldest child of Andrew Gowdy and Mary McConnell.  He had two brothers and four sisters.

Among the papers I have inherited that belonged to Adam's son, John Kennedy Gowdy, I found a few interesting documents.  I believe the following history of Adam McConnell Gowdy was written by John K. Gowdy's daughter, Fanny Gowdy Mansfield.

When a child, as was the custom then, he was bound out to a farmer, John Van Eaton, who lived near Xenia,[Ohio].  John Van Eaton was a wheelwright and a member of the Old Seceder Church. 

The Old Seceder Church was a branch of the Presbyterian church. They were against Sabbath desecration, profanity, stage performances, use of charms, slavery, secret societies, intoxicating liquors, and dancing.

Fanny's story continues...

Adam McConnell Gowdy was not treated kindly by Van Eaton and ran away, walking to Rush County, Indiana.  There he met and married Nancy Oliver, daughter of John Oliver.  She was born in Fleming County, Kentucky and had moved with her parents to Rush County as a child.

Adam was a blacksmith and pioneer resident of Rush county and helped lay out the town of Rushville.  He and Nancy had five children together: Mary Jane (my 3 times great-grandmother), Martha Ann, Lewis Oliver, John Kennedy, and Adam Thomas.  It is interesting to note that both Mary Jane and Martha Ann were married at the age of 15.  John Kennedy Gowdy later became a famous Hoosier politician and served as the American Consul General to Paris during the McKinley administration.

Adam Gowdy gained quite a reputation as a public speaker and was active in politics.  He was elected in 1850 and served as a member of the Legislature of Indiana, which formed the Constitution of the State.  Having moved with his family in 1849 to Jasper County, Indiana, he was elected from the county, which comprised the territory now composed of Jasper, White, and Pulaski counties.

In 1857, Adam died in Xenia, Ohio due to unknown causes.  He was only 48.  Adam McConnell Gowdy is buried at Pioneer Cemetery in Bellbrook, Greene County, Ohio.