Consanguinity: (kŏn'săng-gwĭn'ĭtē) , relationship by blood, whether linear or collateral.

Primarily concentrating on my Browning family from Harrison County, Ohio (and their subsequent move to Crawford County, Illinois) but I've got Plymell, Crago, Eagleton, Garrard, McConnell, Nichols, Swan, Nevitt, Huls, Markee, Depperman, Papstein/Popstein and Hamilton in there too. And that's just the beginning......

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Tonia over at Tonia's Roots gifted me with a Kreativ Blogger award (awww thanks, Tonia!) The rules say that I must reveal seven things about myself, then pass the award on to seven other blogs. Hm. In the past few weeks I've seen a pile of my favorite bloggers get the award already so in lieu of naming any others I'll just give a huge shout-out to the genealogical blogger community at large. I think we ALL deserve credit for getting our stories out here and if you're reading this and haven't done it already, reach around and pat yourself on the back. Our ancestors would be proud.

Seven Things You May Not Know About Me, But Are About To!

1. I was born in IL but I was conceived in I guess that makes me an honorary Lone Star stater?

2. I'm (at least) a 4th-generation redhead and I've proudly continued the tradition, passing the gene on to my daughter.

3. Other than genealogy, I really enjoy role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons (the pen and paper type) and online, Neverwinter Nights. Yeah, I was a nerd girl Dungeon Master!

4. I'm a huge Monkees fan. In the 80's I hung out on Davy's tour bus and ate breakfast with Peter and his family.

5. I write poetry. Not necessarily GOOD poetry, but poetry.

6. On a related note (get it, related?) the rumor in my family was that we were related to Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. If we are, I haven't found it yet.

7. I'm an incredible klutz. Once I broke my toe, and when it was almost healed I broke it again. I was too ashamed to go back to the doctor so I took a few shots of whiskey and set it myself. It's only slightly crooked (I did a decent job) but I can sure feel for our ancestors!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - A.A. & Martha (McDowell) Brian

I'm ashamed to admit it but this is the first time on my blog that I've featured a member of my daughter's father's family, i.e., someone not related to me. When we were married I did quite a bit of research on his family and it's about time that I featured some of it. Besides, my daughter IS related to them. So.....bad me! Bad me!

These are the headstones of my daughter's 3rd-g-grandparents, Martha 'Mattie' Texas McDowell, and her husband Alfred Aaron (or Aaron Alfred) Brian. The couple are buried in the Gorman Cemetery in Gorman in Eastland Co., TX.

Mattie was born on 27 Dec 1847 in Spartanburg Co., SC. She was the daughter of Mjr. Calvin McDowell (1816-1878) and Mary C. Ballenger (1822-1912). A.A. and Mattie had nine known children.

A.A. was born c1840 in Inman, Spartanburg Co., SC, and was the son of Thomas Desix Brian (1796-1871) and Narcissus Camp (1798-?). He enlisted in the Civil War in Charleston on 13 Apr 1861 and served as a Pvt. and then as a 1st Sgt in Company K of the 5th Reg. SC Infantry Volunteers. He was wounded in VA during the war and was in attendance during Lee's surrender at Appomattax courthouse. After the war he taught school for a while.

The Brian family moved all over and it's been hard for me to keep track of them. In 1880 they were living in Campobello in Spartanburg Co., SC. They may have spent a short time in Pulaski Co., AR before finally settling in TX around 1888. The family spent some time in Hunt County and lived in Knox County in 1910-1912, where A.A. applied for and received a Confederate pension.

At some point before Mattie's death on 10 Jun 1921 the couple had moved to Gorman in Eastland County, where Mattie was buried. Afterwards A.A. may have moved to Lorenzo in Crosby Co., TX (perhaps to live with one of his sons or daughters) before he was admitted to The Confederate Home in Austin on 7 Sep 1927. He sent a typed letter to his daughter-in-law Mary Irene (Blount) Brian from the home on 7 Dec 1931 and signed it himself. He stated then that he was suffering a bit from his kidneys but was getting around well. He died there on 17 Aug 1932 and was buried beside his wife Mattie.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Browning Series -- Part Two, or Elias Browning and Elizabeth Crago

With this post I continue what I call "The Browning Series." Samuel and Margaret Browning had thirteen children between them and after Margaret's death, Samuel chose to take a widow named Sarah Ann (Bell) Gaddis as his second wife. The two of them had two more children together. I plan to feature each one of the fifteen children in a separate post and finally tie the family together with a discussion of their parents.

This post features Elias Browning, Samuel Browning and Margaret Markee's second child, and his wife Elizabeth Crago, the daughter of James Crago and Sarah Jennings Fordyce. Elias was born in June of 1818 in Cadiz Township, Harrison County, Ohio. Elias married Elizabeth on 2 September 1847. The document you see to the left is a marriage license issued to the couple in Harrison County on 23 August 1847. Elias and Elizabeth got married in neighboring Tuscarawas County and the minister who married them, G. McBride, returned the license and addressed it to the Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas in Harrison County.

Elizabeth was born on 29 November 1822 in Pennsylvania. Her father James was the son of Thomas Crago and Priscilla Thurman and was born on 25 December 1798 in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Her mother, Sarah Jennings Fordyce, was born on 19 March 1799 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth’s parents had moved to Harrison County by 1835 and to Defiance County, Ohio by 1850. Elizabeth was a sister of Susannah Crago (the wife of Absalom Browning) and Isaac Fordyce Crago (the husband of Susannah Browning.)

(For more information on the family and ancestors/descendants of James Crago, refer to the Crago Connections website maintained by Brian Smith. The Crago family is of interest to me because three of James' children -- Isaac F., Elizabeth and Susannah -- married into the Browning family.)

Elias and Elizabeth’s children (Samuel Franklin, James M., Wesley Asbury, and Isaac Crago, born between 1848-1853) give the state of Ohio as their place of birth throughout their lives. This evidence indicates that although Elias and Elizabeth can't be found on the census of Ohio in 1850 they were indeed living somewhere in the state. As most of Elizabeth’s family, as well as Elias’s brother Absalom (who had also married into the Crago family) had moved to Defiance County, Ohio around the time that Elias and Elizabeth were married, Elias and Elizabeth may also have chosen to move to the county as well and may have been en route when the census was taken.

Elias and Elizabeth came to Crawford County, Illinois sometime after the birth of their twins, Wesley and Isaac, in the last part of the year 1853. Their presence in the county is not documented by land sale records or by any court records excepting the presence of Elias Browning’s tombstone in the Browning family plot in Wesley Chapel Cemetery in Crawford County. Elias died on 16 June of either 1855 or 1856. His tombstone is cracked across the last digit of his year of death (see right) and only the first three digits, “185,” are clearly visible. The years 1855 or 1856 are the most likely dates, given the shape of the numerals upon the stone.

There's some amount of evidence to support the earlier date of 1855. Elias and his family aren't enumerated in the 1855 Illinois state census of Crawford County that was taken in October of that year, nor are they enumerated in any of the surrounding counties. A widowed Elizabeth is also not found on the state census in October of 1855 in Crawford County or any surrounding counties. But on 7 October 1856 Elizabeth is found in Defiance County, Ohio, when she marries William Pollock. If Elias had died in June of 1856, Elizabeth's remarriage so far away leaves her a span of only four months in which to travel from Illinois to Ohio, meet another man, and marry. If Elias had died in 1855 instead, that short span increases to a more reasonable frame of time. So what evidence I have available to me suggests that Elias died in June of 1855 at the age of 37 years. As an epidemic of yellow fever was spreading throughout the country in 1855 it may also be probable that Elias was one of its victims.

When I first began my research into this family I met a man named Brian Hoffer. Brian was looking for his ancestor, Elias Browning, but Brian was living in northern Indiana and his Browning ancestors had for generations. I just couldn't see why any of my Illinois Brownings would have ended up there. I am shamed to admit that I didn't consider his case in any reasonable fashion for some time, to my naive, newly-minted genealogist's chagrin! Eventually things began to come together, puzzle pieces fit -- names, dates, etc -- and once Brian and I really began comparing notes I was able to put a few more pieces together and figure out why the sons of Elias Browning ended up in northern Indiana from southern Illinois.

It began after Elias died. Elizabeth packed up shop and moved to Defiance County, Ohio. When did she do this? Why? How? These were questions that didn't make much sense to me until I began to look at the Illinois state censuses and pay more attention to the family Elizabeth had left behind in Ohio. Elizabeth and her sons aren't found on the 1855 state census of Crawford County and that seems to indicate she took her four boys and moved back to Defiance County almost immediately following Elias’s death. But why? I think Elizabeth chose to accompany her younger brother Isaac F. Crago back east to Ohio. I don't know if Isaac ever actually lived in Crawford County or if he came to Illinois solely to visit Elizabeth and/or claim a bride, but in November of 1854 Isaac married Susannah Browning, Elizabeth's sister in law. Isaac F. and Susannah aren't enumerated on the Illinois 1855 state census either so it appears the couple made the trip back east between the date of their marriage and the taking of the state census to join Isaac and Elizabeth’s Crago relatives in Defiance County. As this time frame is the same in which Elizabeth experienced the death of her husband and perhaps felt lonely in Illinois so far removed from her family, it's very probable she and her boys joined Isaac and Susannah on their way back to Ohio.

According to a story passed down through the family of Wesley Asbury Browning (one of Elias and Elizabeth’s four sons and Brian's ancestor) Elizabeth and her boys were on a ship when Elizabeth passed out. The captain of the boat believed at first that she was dead, but she soon came around. This ship could have been a ferry traveling the Wabash River, which delineates some of the southern boundary between the states of Illinois and Indiana, and winds its way up into northern Indiana. This story is difficult to place chronologically and may have been a memory of part of the journey back to Ohio from Illinois.

Whenever the exact time of the move, Elizabeth’s presence in Defiance County, Ohio by the middle of 1856 is unquestionable. She and William Pollock were married in the county on 7 October 1856. According to Samuel E. Alvord’s History of Noble County, Indiana, William Pollock was born around the year 1804 in Pennsylvania and had first been married to Mary Barker around the year 1828 in Ohio. The couple had lived in Richland County, Ohio for some time before coming to Cromwell in Noble County, Indiana around the year 1848. William and Mary were the parents of nine children (Thomas, Elsie, Elizabeth, Simon, John, Eli, Margaret, Lousetta, and Louisa) before Mary’s death on 1 November 1855.

After Elizabeth and William married they settled in Cromwell, a community in Sparta Township in Noble County. Their choice may have been influenced by many factors; some of William’s children by his first marriage were living in Noble County and in neighboring Steuben and Elkhart Counties. Members of Elizabeth’s family had also chosen to settle in Steuben County. Two of Elizabeth’s sisters, Sarah Ann and her husband Andrew Sewell, and Susannah and her husband Absalom Browning, had also moved to Steuben County by 1860.

William and Elizabeth were still living in Sparta Township in 1863 when Elizabeth's second son, James M. Browning, died on 10 December of that year. The boy was buried in the Valley Cemetery in the township. By 1870 the couple had had moved to Jefferson Township in Elkhart County and had four children of their own, William N., Lincoln Richmond, Nancy Jane, and Morton Pollock.

The family lived in Elkhart County the rest of their lives. The picture on the left was supposedly taken around 1899 and is supposed to show Elizabeth with Elizabeth's son Samuel F. and his wife, Minnie Brumbaugh, along with another unidentified man (perhaps another of Elizabeth's sons.) I have my doubts about whether this photo is actually c1899, though....something about the clothes and background seem to suggest a later date.

William died on 1 December 1891 and Elizabeth died on 12 January 1900. They are both buried in the Sugar Grove Cemetery near Dunlap in Concord Township, Elkhart County, Indiana.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pt 5 - Wallace William Plymell

We continue my series of posts about the families whose names are in my Hair Book with Wallace William Plymell and his family.

The two women who "authored" the entries in the Hair Book (Eliza Ursula (Nichols) Swan and her daughter Estella Jane (Swan) Browning) were both descendants of the Plymell family. Eliza's mother Delinda was a Plymell and many of the main players in the Hair Book (Mary Plymell, Adaline Plymell, James Fuller Plymell and Wallace W. Plymell) were Delinda's siblings and Eliza Ursula's uncles and aunts. It's therefore fitting to continue this series with a discussion of Delinda's brother, Wallace William Plymell and his wives and children.

Wallace William Plymell was the first son of James Plymell and Jane Twiley. He was born on 14 Feb 1819 in Deer Creek Twn., Madison Co., OH.

I don't know much about Wallace. He married twice, both times in Crawford County, Illinois -- the first time on 3 Jun 1840 to Margaret J. Grimes (who died c1851 after giving him two daughters, Margaret b. 1841 and Selina b.1843) and second on 18 Sep 1852 to Sophia Jane Cox. Wallace and Sophia had four children of their own -- Cordova D. (b. 1853) , Lyman S. (b. 1855), William Wallace (b. 1860) and Charles Melvin (b. 1861) -- and Wallace also adopted Sophia's son John Catlett Sheppard.

The family lived in Olney in Richland County, IL, for a while before heading to Belleplaine, KS around 1873. Wallace operated a stage line near Plymell, KS.

Eight years later, in 1881, Wallace sent a short note on a postcard back home to Illinois. This slightly ripped and worn postcard in my possession is the only tangible connection I have to Wallace William Plymell. The postcard doesn't have Wallace's name on it and a large portion of the postcard is difficult to read but the references that I can make out point to Wallace as the author.

The front of the card is postmarked "Belleplaine, Kansas, May 30, 1881." It is addressed to Joseph Nichols in Robinson, Crawford County, IL. Joseph was Wallace's brother in law; he was Delinda Jane Plymell's husband and Eliza Ursula's father. The postcard reads:

...ay 29th 1881 ...ear Brother and sister Been along time ...we have heard from ...we are having a nice [a..?] ...looks well of all kinds ...d harvest will soon be ... us we are a[gony?] to have a good [March] crop if nothing happens th[ere?] Kansas looks fine now we have plenty of Rain this spring we live in Belleplaine now the Boys lives on the farm or Charley does Wm is in the Territory hauling for the goverm... ent I am not well am [ ? ] I feel quite w... times I have got ...questions I hope a ...ect soon to go dow... ...hope you are all we... alive w... this you....

The writer mentions two boys, Charley and William. Wallace was the only person who would have referred to Delinda and Joseph as "brother and sister" with boys named Charley and William old enough to be on their own in 1881. Wallace and Delinda's brother James Fuller Plymell did have a son named William old enough but he didn't have a son named Charles; besides, he lived in Paradise, Texas instead of in Belleplaine, Kansas. The writer also mentions that "William is in the Territory" -- Wallace's son William was living in Choctaw, OK, which was then considered Oklahoma Territory. By the process of elimination, therefore, this postcard must have been written by Wallace.

Wallace's wife Sophia died in 1890 and Wallace married a third time, on 8 Oct 1892, to Susan C. McCarty in Crawford County, IL.

Since Wallace lived in Belleplaine, I wonder if he traveled to IL to visit family and to court Susan? The McCarty name comes up a couple of times concerning the Plymell family. There is a reference made to a "Miss Susan McCarty" in a letter written to Eliza Ursula (Nichols) Swan in Dec 1886 by John Vane, Wallace Plymell's brother in law (he was married to Adaline Plymell, Wallace's sister.) Vane says, "We send our best respects to Miss Susan McCarty - tell her to write to us." Susan was obviously well known to the Plymell family. She may have been a spinster until her marriage to Wallace late in her life -- she was in her early 50's when they married. And oh yes, there were two other McCarty's listed in the Hair Book (Mary J. and Mary A.) I wonder if they were any relation to Susan?

Wallace and Susan moved back to Belleplaine but they didn't live together long before Wallace's death on 10 Mar 1895. Wallace was buried in Belleplaine. Susan was back in Crawford County by 1910, where she died on 27 Sep 1922 in Robinson. Her death certificate is in the Crawford County courthouse.

((Many thanks go to Ken Groves for using his research as the base of this post.))

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Naturalization Certificate - August Papstein

Well, I scurried to my local FHC last night to pick up the film containing my 3rd-g-grandfather August Karl Papstein's naturalization certificate that were the focus of this post last week. I was excited when I got there and eagerly rolled the film to the right page. And AhHA! There it was!

I now have a date for his naturalization -- 9 Apr 1894. The wording in the document states, "....has resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for at least five years last past, and at least one year last past within the state of Illinois..."

My great-grandmother, August's daughter Minna Anna Louise Papstein Depperman, was born in Janicow, Kreiß Dramburg, Hinterpommern, Prussia (now Poland) in July 1888. She wrote a short autobiography on notebook paper before her death in 1985 and stated that she had come over with her family in March of 1889. Since April 1894 is consistent with the five year waiting period that the law required, this naturalization certificate's date is also consistent with Minna's statement. August sure didn't wait around to begin the process of becoming a citizen of this county. Finding the two dates match fairly well sure makes me happy!

I don't know who David Christian and James J. McMahon (the two witnesses) were. They may have been friends or relatives or might have simply been employed as witnesses by the court.

I did a little poking around and found that David Christian was living in Kankakee in Kankakee County, IL in 1900 with his wife Cora, son David P. and mother-in-law Sylvia Palmer. David was listed as a traveling shoe salesman. James J. McMahon was listed as "James J. McMann" in the 1900 census. James, his wife Anna, and their children Mary, William, Agnece and Sharlot were living in Peotone in Will County, IL, the same village where August also lived. His occupation at the time was "work in elevator."

The certificate didn't tell me anything else I didn't already know. But that's okay. I have it now, and it's one more piece of August's life.