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......

Friday, April 27, 2012

April 29th, 2012 - Scanfest!

I have never participated in a Scanfest before but I am bound and determined to start doing so.  The amount of records, photos, etc., that I have is simply astounding.  I was the only repository for my paternal grandmother AND grandfather's families and those people (I'm sorry, but it has to be said) were packrats!  Not that I'm complaining, mind you.  Packrats + Genealogy = Happiness!

Anyway, the Scanfest is being hosted by the AnceStories blog on Sunday, April 29th, from 11 AM to 2 PM, Pacific Daylight Time (that's 1 PM - 4 PM for those of us in Central.)  There will be live chatting along with the scanning to make it less tedious -- which is a brilliant idea.  For more information, hightail it over to this blog entry!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Browning Series Part 3b, or Samuel Browning Hoy, the Young Soldier

Today I will share what I know about Samuel Browning Hoy, one of the sons of Julia Ann Browning and her husband, John Hoy. I hope you'll remember the Browning vs. Beck trial that I featured on my blog last year, but if you don't, take a look at the sidebar on the right. I promise you that you won't be bored reading the full case but just in case, here's a short summary: It was 1837. Julia was sixteen and had given birth to a son named Washington out of wedlock. She and her father accused James Beck and sued him for Bastardy, child support, and Trespass On The Case. It's a long case, with a famous lawyer (Edwin McMasters Stanton, later to become President Buchanan's Attorney General and President Lincoln's Secretary of War), likely a famous juror (Emanuel Custer, the father of General George!) and some fascinating insights into how differently trials were conducted then than they are now. It's a fascinating case and you should go read it now. Go, go, go!

Back now? Good! Okay, so some years after the trial (in 1843) Julia married John Hoy and their story was one I told here. This post is about their second child, Samuel Browning Hoy. Of all John and Julia's children, I know the most about him.

Samuel was born on the seventh day of July in 1848 in Harrison County, Ohio. He was living with his parents and his older brother William (b. c1846) and younger sister Josephine (b. Aug 1850) in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in the 1850 census. Samuel's half-brother, Washington (the result of Julia's liaison with James Beck, b. Mar 1837) wasn't living with his mother and half-siblings; he was living with Julia's parents Samuel and Margaret (Markee) Browning.

Sometime between 1851-1855 the Hoys joined most of the rest of the Browning family relations and moved on to Crawford County, Illinois. The 1855 IL state census makes it appear that John Hoy had died, because Julia and her sons Samuel and William (by this time both Washington and Josephine were also dead) were again living with Julia's parents, Samuel and Margaret (Markee) Browning.

By 1860 Samuel's mother Julia had married again to James E. 'Melton' Legg and was living with him, his five children, and her nephew Elias Browning. You'd think she'd have her boys with her but that wasn't the case -- both William Hoy and Samuel Hoy, aged only 15 and 13 at the time, were once again living with their grandfather Samuel Browning and his second wife Sarah Ann (Bell) Gaddis Browning in Crawford County. (Samuel's first wife, and Samuel Browning Hoy's grandmother, Margaret, had died in 1856.)

The following year Samuel B. Hoy (perhaps along with his older brother William M.J.) moved with his grandfather and step-grandmother to Windsor in Shelby County, Illinois.  I'm not sure about William M.J.  If he did also move to Shelby County he'd returned to Crawford County before February of 1865, when he mustered into service in Company H of the 152nd Illinois Infantry out of he town of Palestine.  I'll mention William again in a moment.  Back to Samuel B.

When the Civil War started Samuel was thirteen and much too young to sign up immediately. He waited until 1864 (when he was 16) before he traveled to Mattoon, a city in Coles County about 15 miles northeast of Windsor. On 21 March 1864 he signed his volunteer enlistment papers, claiming that he was eighteen years old. He was assigned to the 54th Illinois Infantry, Union forces, and was told to muster in on the 30th. But on 28 March 1864, the veterans of the 54th Illinois Infantry were on furlough and had been ordered to reassemble in Mattoon. According to the Adjutant General’s Report, “an organized gang of Copperheads led by Sheriff O’Hair attacked some men of the Regiment at Charleston, killing Major Shubal York, Surgeon, and four privates, and wounding Colonel G. M. Mitchell. One hour later the Regiment arrived from Mattoon and occupied the town, capturing some of the most prominent traitors.” Copperheads were also known as Peace Democrats and were a group of anti-abolitionist Midwesterners.

Two days later, on 30 March 1864, Samuel mustered into Company F. His muster papers say he had sandy hair and gray eyes and was 5' 10".  That's pretty tall for a boy his age!  Anyway, his regiment was immediately on the march and the young Samuel could not keep up. During the march Samuel began growing lame in his left foot. The company moved to Duvall’s Bluff and Clarendon and fought General Shelby, and in time Samuel’s lame foot degenerated into a running sore with small bones working their way out of the upper front part of the foot. The foot prevented him from marching and he had to be hauled in an ambulance part of the way back to Duvall’s Bluff. He was given light duty for the remainder of his service. His regiment was then assigned to guard a section of the Memphis and Little Rock railroad. Many of his regiment were captured during a battle near the railroad, but Samuel’s company was spared.

I said I'd mention Samuel B.'s older brother, William M.J.  As I said earlier, William had also joined the war, mustering into service out of Palestine in Crawford County, IL, in February of 1865.  According to the muster and descriptive rolls of Company H, William was 6’0” with dark hair, dark eyes and a dark complexion.  His regiment was assigned to duty as a railroad guard for the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad until July of 1865.  A month before that, on 2 June 1865, William died of an unknown disease (most likely smallpox) in Tullahoma, Tennessee.  I haven't ever been able to locate his burial.

On 20 August 1865, two months before he mustered out, Samuel was hospitalized for chronic diarrhea in the General Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was released for duty on 28 August 1865. Samuel mustered out on 15 October 1865 and was discharged at Camp Butler on 26 October 1865.

Sometime after his discharge Samuel went to a party at the home of Cornelius Stephenson of Robinson. According to Charles F. Huls and Sarah Ann (Huls) Browning, the spouses of Samuel’s first cousins Margaret Ann Browning and Thomas Nevitt Browning (children of James Browning), Samuel did not dance because of his lame foot but walked with a cane. Samuel was employed by Martin B. Woodworth between 1866 and 1870 as a day laborer. Martin also employed Effie Emmaline Browning (Samuel’s first cousin and the daughter of Samuel J. Browning) as a domestic servant. Samuel worked for Martin out in the fields but Martin claimed Samuel would “frequently give out on account of his lame foot.”

Samuel married Emily Ellen McCarter, the daughter of Samuel G. McCarter and Polly Ann Cannon, on 11 September 1875 in Crawford County. Emily was born on 5 July 1851 in Crawford County. Samuel and Emily Ellen settled in Montgomery Township in Crawford County and had four children (John, Charley, Lillie and Oscar.) In the mid-1880’s Samuel pursued a soldier’s pension, which was granted, and Samuel and Emily spent the remainder of their married lives in Heathsville and Flat Rock in Montgomery Township.

Emily died on 2 February 1930 in Flat Rock and was buried on 4 February 1930. After Emily’s death, Samuel went to live with his son John William Hoy. John, who never married, took care of Samuel for the remainder of his life.

Here's where it gets interesting. When he took Samuel in to take care of him John William applied for an increase in pension for Samuel and during the filing, documents were prepared that seemed to support Samuel’s original statements to his recruiting officer that he had been eighteen years of age at the time of his enlistment. I have copies of Samuel's original soldier's pension files and one of the documents within is a copy of his enlistment papers. This document, signed in March of 1864, specifically states that Samuel was eighteen (which would place his birth in 1845-6.) These documents, along with Samuel’s typed state death certificate and the typed county clerk’s copy of his death certificate, give his year of birth as 1845.

However, I also have his original death certificate. It is handwritten. Take a look at the listed date of birth. Don't you think there is clearly a numeral "8" underneath that numeral “5”? I do.

While it is possible that Samuel had been born in 1845 there is stronger evidence to make a case for the 1848 date. In the 1850 census Samuel was two years of age; in the 1860 census he was thirteen. On the birth certificate of his second child, Charles (born in March 1879) he stated he was thirty years of age. At the birth of his third child, Amy Lillian (born in March 1881) he claimed he was thirty-two years old. As these birth certificates were prepared at the time of the event and not years afterward (as his pension documents were) only one conclusion can safely be drawn: I think that Samuel or his relatives desired to protect his youthful decision to claim lawful age at the time of enlistment (not to mention making sure that the government couldn't demand his pension money back for lying on his enlistment papers!) In reality, Samuel was not yet sixteen years old when he entered into service in the Civil War.

Samuel died on 3 April 1931 in Flat Rock in Crawford County and was buried on 5 April 1931. Both he and Emily are buried in the Robinson New Cemetery in Robinson Township in Crawford County, Illinois.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Browning Series -- Part Five, pt. 2, or The Mystery Effie

I mentioned in my last post that I would talk about a little girl named Effie Spangle who was buried in the Hamilton Cemetery in Otsego Township in Steuben County, Indiana.  She is buried next to Susannah (Crago) Browning, wife of Absalom Browning.  A few stones over are buried Susannah's daughter Sarah Margaret Spangle and two of the three children that Sarah Margaret's had (Franklin and little Belle) with her husband Lafayette Spangle.

Effie intrigues me.  She's a question mark.  No matter how hard I try I can't put her in this family.  Follow along with me and I think you'll see what I mean.

Take a look at the picture to the right.   It shows the burial locations of all the people I'm discussing here; I've labeled them for easy reference.

Sarah Margaret Browning married Lafayette Spangle on 24 Jul 1869 in Steuben County.   The couple had three known children (Franklin b. Aug 1870, Sarah M. b. Aug 1871, and Belle b. Nov 1872) before Sarah died a week after she gave birth to Belle.

Sarah was buried first and when little Belle died in early 1873 she was buried to the left of her mother's stone. When Franklin died four years later (in 1877) he was buried on his mother's other side.

Then there was a lapse in burials until Susannah (Crago) Browning died in 1890.  Hers is the largest stone in the background of the picture.  But as you can see, there's a small stone to the right of Susannah's stone....that's Effie.  But who was she?

The stone itself is nearly impossible to read.  I've included a picture that I've cobbled together of two views of Effie's stone -- the original on the right and a version that I've tried to alter to bring out some sort of relief on the stone.  The kind person who went to the cemetery to read the stones and take pictures for me tried to read it for me and said it was too far gone to do so.

However, there was a cemetery transcription book available that was read some years ago and in it, the inscription is said to read,

"Effie L Spangle D. May 28, 1867 Age 1y. 10m. 9d. Dau of S. M. Spangle"

I don't know about that at all.  To me it looks more like:

"Effie L., dau of LJ & S Spangle died May 28, 1867 aged 1y. 10m. 19d."

I'm not at all sure that it's LJ & S.  Maybe it's LJ & SM.  Or L & M.  Or none of those!  Argh!!

The date of death, however, is clear.  28 May.  The year?  I can't read it.  It "looks" like 186....something.  But here's the thing.  If it is 1867 then whose daughter is this little girl?  Lafayette and Sarah weren't married until 1869.  And if it's 1877 then that's equally bad, as Sarah was dead in 1872.  Perhaps it's 1871 and this little girl is Sarah's twin?  Or perhaps it is 1869 and Sarah Margaret Browning was pregnant before she and Lafayette got married?  Or perhaps the original reader was right and it's 1867 and wow, she was pregnant two years before she got married? 


You got me.  Effie's buried next to all the Spangles is all that I know for sure.  Someday, maybe, if I ever get to Steuben County, I can go see for myself.  I'd love to see what you all think.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Browning Series -- Part Five, or Absalom 'Abner' Browning and Susannah 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 a widow named Sarah Ann (Bell) Gaddis for his second wife. The two of them had two more children together. My plan has been 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 is about Absalom 'Abner' Browning, the fifth child of Samuel Browning and Margaret Markee. Absalom was born around the year 1823 in Harrison County, Ohio.

Absalom married Susannah Crago, the daughter of James Crago and Sarah Jennings Fordyce, on 20 Aug 1848 in Tuscarawas Co., OH.  His elder brother, Elias, had married Susannah's sister Elizabeth eleven months earlier in Harrison Co., OH; no doubt Absalom and Susannah met when Elias and Elizabeth married if not before.

I wish I knew more about Ab and Susannah's early life but I don't. I don't really know that much about them at all in comparison to most of his other Browning siblings.  Of all Samuel and Margaret's children, Absalom's descendents are the ones I know the least about. Half of what I think I know about this family is suspect as well.  I'd love to find any descendants of theirs but once you hear their story you might conclude, like I tentatively have, that there might not be any to find.

I do know that, unlike any of the other Browning family members save Ab's sister Rachel (who married John C. McConnell), Ab and Susannah decided to stay behind when the rest of the family moved to Illinois in the late 1840's/early 1850's. Indeed, Ab chose to remain closer to his wife's Crago family than his own and by early 1849 the couple had moved on to Defiance County., OH, where the Crago family lived.

Absalom wasn't completely cut off from his Browning family, however; his elder brother Elias may have lived in Defiance County for a while with his wife Elizabeth (Susannah Crago's sister) in the mid-1850's and his younger sister Susannah Browning definitely lived there in 1855-1865 with her husband Isaac F. Crago (Susannah Crago's brother.)  Isaac F. had made the trip from Defiance County to Crawford County, IL, in 1853-54 to visit relatives and when he returned in early 1855 he brought Susannah Browning home as his bride.  However, Elias and Elizabeth had moved to Crawford County by late 1853, and Isaac and Susannah moved on to Noble County, Indiana by 1865 and Labette County, Kansas by 1879.

(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.)

Ab and Susannah settled in Washington Township in Defiance County and were living there when Susannah gave birth to their daughter Sarah Margaret on 22 Mar 1849.  In 1850 Absalom was working as a laborer two households away from a Ridenour family (George and Catherine) whose distant cousins, Matilda and Minerva Corderman, would later marry Absalom's younger brothers John Wesley Francis and Asbury Taylor.

Absalom and Susannah lived in Defiance County throughout the Civil War.  Absalom was listed as a farmer in the 1860 census as well as in the draft registration records in Washington township (see above) in June of 1863.  I feature this notation about him because it is one of only three records (other than census) that I have about the man!  Anyway, the couple lived in Defiance County until the spring of 1868, when they moved to Otsego Township in Steuben County, IN.  The first sign of their residency in Indiana was a record of their daughter Sarah Margaret’s marriage there to Lafayette Spangle in July of 1869. 

In 1870, Absalom and Susannah were enumerated in the census in Steuben County with a young girl named Priscilla Sewell.  Priscilla was born on 9 May 1860 in Defiance County and was the daughter of Andrew Sewell and Priscilla Crago, Susannah's sister.  The elder Priscilla had died thirteen days after her daughter was born and Absalom and Susannah took their young niece in to raise.

I've never been able to find out whether Absalom and Susannah had any other children but Sarah Margaret.  I suspect they did given the time period, and that if they did all their other children likely died. Despite this, Ab and Susannah spent much of their time raising children.  I've conducted a search but I've never located any gravestones for Browning children that would match up to the couple.  I've located tombstones, all right, but not too many Browning ones....

As I mentioned before, Ab and Susannah had one daughter, Sarah Margaret.  Sarah Margaret married Lafayette Spangle, the son of Henry Spangle, on 24 Jul 1869.  Lafayette was born around 1844 in Ohio and had served in the Union forces in the Civil War in the 29th Rgt. of the IN Volunteer Infantry.

In 1870 Sarah Margaret and Lafayette were living in Otsego Township in Steuben County.  They had three children in very close succession -  Franklin 'Frankie' in Aug 1870, Sarah Margaret 'Margie' in Aug 1871, and Belle in Nov 1872.  Their marriage was only three years old and they had three beautiful children....and then tragedy struck.  Sarah Margaret died a week after little Belle was born.  She was buried in the Hamilton Cemetery in Otsego Township in Steuben County, Indiana.

What happened to the children directly after the death of their mother isn't known for sure but I can infer a little from a comment in Susannah (Crago) Browning's obituary that states she "raised...three grandchildren...and one niece." This tells me that soon after Sarah Margaret's death the children went to live with their grandparents.  Lafayette was surely reeling from the death of his wife and it wasn't easy for a man to take care of three children under the age of three.  Since Absalom and Sarah were available and already taking care of their young niece Priscilla, taking their grandchildren into their household seemed like the best solution under the circumstances.

But tragedy wasn't ever too far away. Little Belle followed her mother into death in July 1873 and Franklin died in Dec 1877.  This left only Margie in the house by 1880, as her cousin Priscilla had married.  Priscilla didn't live much longer (she died in 1885) and the landscape changed again before 1890 when Margie, the last child of Lafayette and Sarah Margaret, also died. They were all laid to rest in the Hamilton Cemetery next to their mother.   While in 1880 Lafayette was still in Indiana, by 1895 he had no children or family in Indiana to stay behind for and so followed his brother Edmund to Kansas.

Oh....before I forget.  There is one more tombstone in the Hamilton cemetery that rests next to Susannah (Crago) Browning -- that of a little girl named Effie Spangle.  This tombstone is a mystery to me because it doesn't seem to match up, date-wise, to any of the others.  The dates are nearly unreadable now, but the transciptions I have from readings taken years ago seem to suggest that this Effie is another daughter of Lafayette and Sarah Margaret.  I will take the time soon to explain this in more detail.

Anyway, back to the story at hand.
Absalom and Susannah's house, once full of children, was empty again.  I can't imagine how it must have felt to lose your only child and then outlive all your grandchildren as well.  Then, as if there hadn't been enough sadness, the final blow came on 24 May 1890 when at age 59, Susannah (Crago) Browning died and was also buried in the Hamilton Cemetery beside her daughter and her grandchildren.  If you'll take a moment to read her obituary you can feel the sadness running through it.  Absalom - Abner - was well and truly alone.

Speaking of the obituaries of Susannah and Absalom (his is seen to the left), I noticed the usage of the name Abner instead of Absalom.  He was called Absalom when a child on the 1850 census, Absalom on the 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses, and he was called Absalom on his 1863 war draft registration papers.  Yet here, he is called Abner.  Add this to the list of unknowns I have about him.  Absalom Abner, perhaps?  I don't know.

Absalom lived almost nine more years before he died at his home in Hamilton in Steuben County on 15 Jan 1899.  He doesn't seem to have had anyone around that was related to him; his obituary is short and vague on the details.  Nothing personal is included.  "Aged about 80 years," it says.  "Respected by all who knew him."  "Unassuming." 

Sad, is what it seems to me. 

I don't even know where he is buried.  He isn't beside his wife.  Was he indigent?  Did the locals have to bury him?  Did they just bury him in an unmarked grave?  My only clue is the name of the man who conducted the services (Elder Fred A Thomas) and my hope that Ab was likely Methodist, since most of his other Browning kin were.

He doesn't seem to have left any descendants, does he?  For that reason alone I would like to find him and stand in front of his tombstone if there is one.  I'd like him to know that at least one person remembers his name.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Anna, Minna and the Remaining Triplets (1918)

It's late and my intended post got inadvertantly deleted, so I'll add a simple picture and make this an almost wordless post (hahahaha, what a joke!) and consider it late as always.

This picture was taken in the late fall or early winter of 1918. The two little boys are the surviving siblings of a set of triplets. The two are my grandfather Franklin Louis Depperman and his brother Frederick Walter Depperman. The picture is not labeled and the notations in white under the picture are my own, but I am pretty sure that my grandfather Franklin is on the left and my g-uncle Frederick is on the right. The third sibling, their sister Florence, had died at six months of age in September 1918 of milk sickness.

Their mother Minna Anna Louise Papstein (1888-1985) is sitting to the right, in mourning black. Minnie had married Franz Herman Depperman (1879-1955), the son of Hermann Depperman and Henrietta Sennhausen, in September of 1904. By the time this picture was taken the couple were the parents of five living and two deceased children. The triplets were the last born.

Minna's mother Anna is sitting to the left. Anna Marie Louise (Koehn) Papstein (1868-1952), the daughter of Johann Koehn and Johanna Vierkow, was born in the Hinterpommern in Prussia (now Poland) and came to the US with her husband August Karl Papstein. August Karl (1864-1946), one of a set of twins himself and the son of Friedrich Papstein and Wilhelmina Koplen, served three years in the Prussian cavalry before his marriage to Anna and trained Lippanzer stallions for Kaiser Wilhelm I prior to his immigration to the US. He married Anna in October 1887 (very soon after he left the cavalry) and the couple had their daughter, Minna, before coming to Will Co., IL in March 1889. August (and by marriage, Anna) were both naturalized in 1894.

My German\Prussian ancestors are a tough bunch to research and locate. I have so little on them in comparison with my father's side of the family. However, I do like this picture. My great-grandmother Minna looks sad because she'd just lost her little girl, but her two remaining boys are adorable!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Browning Series -- Part 9A, the Death of Charles Otho Browning pt 5 - Pics!

I wanted to share a few pictures with everyone today that were sent to me by a cousin of mine, Sharon. Sharon is descended from Thomas Newton Browning, a son of James Browning and Jane Nevitt. Anyone who is curious can read more about Thomas and his interesting life by clicking on my sidebar; he is listed in the Browning Series under James and Jane.

Thomas and my Joseph were brothers and I have every intention of featuring the wonderful pictures and documents that Sharon has been sharing with me at a future date. She's got some great family heirlooms and they provide a window into Thomas Newton's life.

Today, however, I feature something else she sent me on a different branch of the family.

Sharon wrote me after reading some of my more recent postings about Charles Otho Browning and his tragic train accident. It seems that she was on vacation in Springfield, MO (the site of the accident) last year and her husband Wes took some pictures while she was there. Little did she know that she was taking pictures very close -- if not actually on! -- the site of the accident. She explained to me in her email that "we were just down the street from that location during our vacation last year. There’s a really neat pedestrian bridge across the tracks at E. Commercial and N. Jefferson that we walked across."

She said, "I thought you might enjoy some of the photos we took at the Jefferson Street Bridge. I’ve attached two shots looking west toward the accident site, one of which seems to be pretty close to ground zero, plus a shot of the bridge itself."

She's right, I enjoyed them and found it quite interesting that one branch of our family took pictures of the site of the death of another. So, I include the photos here with her blessing. Enjoy!