Saturday, April 2, 2016

What I know about Daniel BONAWITZ

Yes, yes I have missed a few weeks of posting but I am back and ready to get crackin' on some genealogy research. Next up is one of my husband's family ancestors, Daniel Bonewitz. Now there are more than one Daniel Bonewitz in the PA area during the time I was researching and had to be very careful not to mix the two up. All of you family historians know how easy that is to do. Here goes...

According to Find A Grave, The Book of Bonawitz by Oby Bonawitz,  and his obituary, Daniel Bonewitz was born on December 23rd 1838 and died on September 5, 1900.

The Scranton Republican, Thursday September 6, 1900

Daniel and his two brothers William and Jacob all served in the Union Army during the Civil War.
Daniel was enlisted as Corporal in the 53rd Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. 

Pennsylvania, Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-1999 Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.Original data - Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1929–1990. Digital Images, 3–5. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Bureau of Archives and History. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Daniel married Helenah Jacoby sometime around 1866ish (not very professional in the dating here). I am referencing the 1870 Census and children's birth dates which seem to start about 1867. They had seven children between the years of 1867 and 1883

Birth date: abt 1839 Birth place: Pennsylvania Residence date: 1870 Residence place: Newport, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, United States1870 United States Federal Census, Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data - 1870 U.S. census, population schedules. NARA microfilm publication M593, 1,761 rolls. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Record
During his lifetime he was a laborer, a hostler and a watchman. He is buried at Hanover Cemetery, Hanover Green, Luzerne Co. PA  Although his name is spelled Bonewitz, some of his children spelled their last name Bonawitz. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

What I know about Sarah Catherine HAROLD

Sarah Catherine Herold is my second great grandmother on my mother's father's side of the family. She was born on June 22, 1854 in Kanawha County Virginia, which is now WV. She was the third child of Dabney (sometimes referred to as Daniel) Herold and Nancy Griffith. There is also the question about the spelling of the last name. Could it be Herald? I have not seen it this way on any document but then again I do not have a document written by Sarah herself.

According to the 1900 census she married Joseph Leftwich Chandler in 1874. They were married for at least 44 years as both died after 1930 and before 1940. They had eight children together between 1875 and 1892. One being Dabney Chandler named after Sarah's father and another being my great grandmother, mentioned before, Wealthy Susan Chandler.

According to the census records the family lived in Kanawha Co. WV, Colcord to be specific, until 1900 where they moved to Scott, Boone Co. WV and then back to Kanawha Co. in 1910 to the town of Washington and finally ending up in Gripp Mountain in 1920.The couple spent their final years living with their son Dabney and his wife Bessie in Washington WV.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

What I know about Anson PRESTON

This post should be titled what I think I know about Anson Preston. It has been hard to find documents other than the census to prove the facts in my fourth great grandfathers life. So lets go over what I do actually know from the census forms.

Lets start in the 1850 census. Here we find Anson and his wife Stella (Estella Wheeler) and their 6 children including my third great grandmother Adeline, love that name, and it looks like a twin sister Angelina (it doesn't look like she makes it to the 1860's), living in Herman, St. Lawrence, New York. Anson is listed as a laborer age 49 and his wife is 31. He was born in NY and she in NH and it looks like they did not own property.

Moving backwards I can find Anson in the 1840's still in Hermon, St. Lawrence, New York and looking at the tick marks and comparing them with what I know from the 1850 census I can see some discrepancies.  There is one tick mark for male under 5 and that would be Alvah, one for male 30-39 and that would be Anson, one for female 20-29 - Stella. Now there are two marks for female under 5 and one would be Mary but the other does not match up to the 1850 census so it could be a child that died. There is also a mystery male child age 10-14 that is not listed in the 1850 and that could be by that time he has moved out and on with his own life or died.

From here I back tracked one more decade and there is an Anson Preston married with one child inthe 1830 census in DeKalb, St. Lawrence, NY. This information matches up with Anson, Stella and unnamed older son. However in this census both adult male and female are between the ages of 20 and 29. This doesn't match up for Stella who from all other census records is about 20 years younger. I am thinking they lied, gasp!

Ok, lets jump forward a bit to 1860. They have now moved their family from New York to Ohio. The town of Findlay in Hancock County to be exact. Here Anson is 60 and Stella is 42. He does not have a profession listed and the value of his estate is $50.

I have to pause here a minute and look at Stella. She would have been born around 1818 according to this census. Her first child was born about 1836 and she would have been about 18 which is totally plausible. However, somewhere out there in cloud genealogy her marriage to Anson is listed as being held in 1830 which would make her 11. If that is true why did it take them 6 years to have their first child? Just seems odd and I cannot find a marriage certificate as of yet. I am thinking it might be more like they got married when she was 16 or 17 and then had Alvah when she was 18. Anywho, it requires more research.

In 1870 and 1880 they are still in Findlay, Ohio. Stella dies in 1885 and Anson dies in 1991. What I do not know is who his parents are. Again it is floating around that his father is Jacob Preston, born in CT and died in NY but again proof is lacking. If you are related to Anson and have some proof on his parentage I would be super ecstatic if you would share. I really hope he is the son of Jacob Preston as that would lead me back to Ann Alcock who was tried as a witch back in Salem and died in prison waiting trial.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

What I know about Meinrad FLORENTZ

Meinrad Florentz was a weaver from Ribeauville, France and he was my great, great grandfather. I wonder if that is why my aunt is such a prolific knitter? Is it in the DNA? I have to say there is something about a yarn shop that just draws me in. All the colors and textures. 

Let's get back to the man himself. Meinrad was born on 23 Nov 1850 in Ribeauville, France but by 1872 he was living in the town of Saint Marie Aux Mines, France. On July 8 of that same year he married Maria Josephina Stockey at 10 am. She was a Lutheran and he was a Catholic. Maria's parents were Joseph Stockey and Marie Josephine Kruemort. Joseph was also a weaver and that might have been how Meinrad met his wife if he worked in the same place as Joseph.

I do not know how many children they had together for sure but one was my great grandfather Paul who later immigrated to the United States and lived in West Virginia with his wife Marguerite Pierre Florentz. Meinrad's wife Maria died on 24 July 1888. He went on to live another 46 years and died at the age of 84. I do not know as of yet if he remarried.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What I know about Sophia Dorothea HELBERG

I cannot imagine what it would have been like for a small child of 3 to travel across the ocean to her new home on a twelve week journey. I wonder if she even remembered the trip at all being so young. But journey she did with her parents Cordt Heinrich Helberg and Maria Ann Bruggeman Helberg and her siblings. The story goes that after arriving in America they journeyed by canal west across NY and settled in Napoleon, Ohio.

Her younger sister Maria died on the journey and her father arranged for a burial at the new location in Napoleon. He also helped to found a new congregation, Zion Lutheran Church with the help of Dietrich Badenhop. A group including Mr. Helberg from this congregation helped to form what is today St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Sophia met and married William A. Freytag on 17 Nov. 1865. The Freytag family moved into the area a few years after the Helbergs. The couple had 10 children.

Sophia lived in Napoleon, Ohio her entire life. She would be remembered in later life as having a good sense of humor and sitting in her rocker reading her bible.

Her husband William died on 18 Dec. 1921 at the age of 83 and she would pass on 16 March 1936 at the age of 90. 

I am very lucky to have a copy of Focus on the Freytags by William H  Freytag 1978 which are his memories of this family and have helped in giving me clues on where to find documents for the vital records of its members. If only everyone wrote down their memories of their grandparents and great grandparents we would have a glimpse into what their life must have been like "back in the day".

Sunday, February 7, 2016

What I know about Wealthy Susan CHANDLER

I find it so interesting that my great great grandparents would name one of their children Wealthy. Were they hoping for the best for this baby or their family? If so, that didn't work out.

My grandmother went by her middle name, Susan. She was born, according to her birth record, on Aug 13, 1877. However, her death certificate states her birthday as July 24, 1877. I have to go with the birth record.

Most of the trees out there have her listed as Susan Chandler and I was determined to prove her name was Wealthy. Her birth record only says W. S. Chandler but I found a delayed Birth Certificate for one of her children, Herman Stevens, with her name "Wealthy Susan Chandler" BAM! That was one of those moments where I jumped up and down!

She married my great grandfather, Millard Stephens (the name spelling changed to Stevens somewhere between Millard and my Grandfather Steward and was spelled Stephenson on the record) on October 18, 1898. They had 10 children in their 41 years of marriage. Millard died on September 4, 1939. 

At age 65, five years after her husbands death, she marries Marian Edward Kidd. Now the funny thing here is she marries him again two years later in 1946. There is a story where she takes to her bed at a daughters home for a long period of time after the first marriage but that is just a story. I have not found a divorce record to date but who knows, it may be out there somewhere.

It was not a glamours life for Wealthy Susan Chandler Stevens Kidd but she lived to a ripe old age of  92. I can only imagine the things she saw change during her lifetime and the things she had to endure. I would have been eight years old at the time of her death. I never met her and even if I did I would probably not remember which makes me a little sad. As we would say at Genealogy Happy Hour, "Cheers!" GG Grandma Susan! 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

What I know about Friedrich (Frederick) FREYTAG

Friedrich (Frederick) Freytag is my 5th Great Grandfather. He immigrated to the United States, Ohio specifically, from his home in Stellichte, Germany with his wife Sophia Arps Freytag and their seven children. They came over on the Bremen Bark Ella ship and their name on the log is spelled "FREITAG". Two weeks after arriving Sophia died and left with the children ranging in ages from one to fourteen. 

A few years later Friedrich acquired 80 acres of homestead land in Henry County Ohio. The document is signed by President Millard Filmore. The family must have done well as all the kids grew to adulthood. One son, Henry, served in the Civil War and died in prison in 1864.

Friedrich died on June 7, 1886 and is buried in the Bremer Cemetery in Henry Co. Ohio.