Archive for the ‘musings’ Category

Moving on

I have migrated this blog to a new site.  My website http://www.mcwieser.info/mcleland-wieserfamily/  is now hosting the blog directly.  I will leave this blog hosted on WordPress for a few months  but please redirect any RSS feeds to www.mcwieser.info/relay Thanks for reading.  And keep on posting comments.



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Battering at brick walls

Miriam over at Ancestories had a post regarding posting about brick wall ancestors.  That got me thinking, not about posting about my brick wall ancestors – which I should do. But about how some brick wall ancestors are stumpers for everyone who comes in contact with them.  And about how every line has them in differing degrees.  Which led me to thinking about the family lines I don’t actively research at present and why.  And guess what – usually I’m not researching on a line because of a brick wall ancestor!  But there are differing kinds of brick walls (flemish bond, dutch bond and so on.)

Some ancestors are there but they are speculative.  Often this is the case when someone else has identified a potential ancestor, occasionally with a level of documentation that satsifies the orginal research but not me. In many cases this tentative ancestor will link me to a well documented lineage that goes back anywhere from 2 to 6 additional generations.  Examples of this abound in early Maine.  Sometimes the problematic ancestor doesn’t even have a tentative name.  And sometimes they have a name and nothing else. So rather than do an exhaustive post on each one of the many, I thought I’d start out with a simple list of,

Ancestors who refuse to be documented

Thomas Adams, potential father of Anne Adams Gould, possibly Harpswell, York & other counties, Maine, died before 1800. – According to Charles N. Sinnett  Thomas is a descendant of Phillip Adams of York, Maine, 1650 signer of the submission to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.   Sinnett says he married Sarah Tarr and lived in Harpswell, Maine.  According to one descendant’s brag book bio – Thomas and possibly 1 or more of his sons were killed “by pirates” at Damariscotta.  The brag book said this was near the Barbary Coast – the pirate connection I guess.  But Damariscotta is in Maine not too far from Harpswell.  No evidence for Thomas or for Sarah have I ever found.  However, Anne Adams Gould named her first son Thomas Adams Gould.   If I accept Thomas as an ancestor I then have a couple more very well documented generations in Maine. So who knows.

Joseph Gould, probable father of Moses Gould (and Jacob Gould) of Georgetown/Bath and Lisbon, Maine, born c. 1740’s deceased by 1800.  There are far too many Joseph Goulds in Maine during this period.  Depending on which site/book you believe the various Gould families of Maine are either completely unrelated or completely inter-related.  I have found nothing that connects Moses to a specific Joseph except a possible will – one generation removed, several naming patterns and a poorly documented group of websites/book.  Depending on which Joseph I accept as my ancestor I could have a fairly well documented English ancestry back to the 1400s.  Would be nice.

James and Christian Savage, supposed progenitors of Isaac Savage of Georgetown, Woolwich and Hallowell/Augusta, Maine, born before 1700 in Northern Ireland  and died c. 1745 Georgetown Maine. Isaac is one of the best documented early Maine ancestors I have.  But his parents seem to have sprung out of the mind of someone(s) before the turn of the 20th century.  I’ve found precious little documentation for the existance of either James or Christian (sometimes called Christine Hunter)  Supposedly there are land records but I’ve found nothing in the early Maine records.  They may the subject of a Boston warning out around 1720 but that is also nebulous.  They are driving me crazy.

George Whitman – may have married Phoebe Holly (?) in Orange County, NY around 1750.  He shows up on the 1790 census and is dead by the time his family settled in Greenbrier County, West Virginia in 1793.

Adam (and Alice his wife) Carson – Hallowell, Maine in the 1770s, father of Alice Carson Savage who married Joseph son of Isaac Savage – see above.  Adam and Alice’s names come from the 1775 marriage record of their daughter and the record of their son William who married Hannah Savage sister of Joseph.  There are a few references to Adam in the early records of Hallowell and that is it.  A complete and total blank beyond that.

Joseph Rulon – possible father for Jane Rulon McLeland, although some folks say his name should be David.  There is an inventory for his estate from the 1790s in Clark County, Kentucky.  And that is it.

?? Overman – possibly father of Penina Jane Overman Swartz.  A real mystery man.  Possibly named Charles. May have died in Clark County, Indiana around 1820.  Possibly has a brother Samuel.  Maybe born in North Carolina.

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Once T.A. returned  to Deer Creek, from the Civil War, his married life truly began.  He and Caroline Decker McLeland began married life as farmers on the rolling prairies of SW Kansas. Over the next 20 years, they had 8 children and buried 3 as infants. Life was not easy for them but they got by.  Surviving letters from Caroline are full of ill health, family moving away and weather trouble.

As the surviving  McLeland children grew up one by one, they moved away from Allen County, mirroring the migratory ways of the country around them.

Joanna, the oldest married Henry Clay Taylor and began a rootless life as the wife of a salesman.  The Taylors lived in Chicago during the 1893 World’s Fair and some of the McLeland’s visited them and went to the Great White City. Sarah Jane McLeland spend considerable time with her older sister, helping her through illnesses and other family trials

James Riland McLeland, their oldest son was born on a family trip back to Frankfort Indiana.  He is most likely named after his paternal great grand parents – John McLeland and Jane Rulon/Rulond/Riland.  James was the first of the family to attend school past the local upper school.  A graduate of the Kansas City Dental College he moved to Pleasanton, Linn County, KS where he put down roots.  He married Nellie Valentine Whitman, daughter of a respected Pleasanton pioneer and merchant.  After the birth of his first son, George, J.R. became mayor of Pleasanton.  He was mayor when his mother Caroline died in 1912.  The Pleasanton newspaper printed her obituary with the headline, Mayor’s Mother Passes.

Sarah Jane McLeland, T.A.’s second daughter never married.  For a number of years she filled the traditional role of spinster sisters and unmarried daughters.  Moving around the family residences she took care of sick family members and kept house for unmarried brothers.  But at some point , Sarah went to Secretarial College and became a career woman.  She worked as an Executive Secretary for Berlesser and Isaacs in Kansas City until her retirement in the 1950s.

Thomas Albert McLeland – T.A. jr. married a local girl and settled into Iola Kansas, not far from his parents but not on the family farm.  T.A. jr andGeneviere, his wife had two daughters Lucille and Winifred spent their entire lives in the Iola area.

The youngest surviving son, Benjamin Clifford McLeland, B.C. moved from Allen County to other Kansas counties and then spent some time in Oklahoma.  He apparently spent the last several years of his life in New Mexico.  His life is hard to trace.  Bsed on the meager evidence of family photos and census entries he worked in the early oil business and then for a railroad.  B.C. and his wife, Bertha had two children, Rollo and /Augusta and adopted a second daughter Jesse Young.  I have been completely unable to trace Rollo after his induction into the Navy in 1920.  Austa apparently died quite young.  Jesse married late in life and died in Texas where her husband worked in the oil industry.

Once their children had moved away T.A. and Caroline  moved into the “city” of Kansas City, KS and Thomas went to work for the Federal Government. He was 59 when he began his second career as a government employee. In 1894, he was a tagger for the Department of Agriculture. By 1907 at age 70 he was a stock inspector making $1200 per year. I know his salary because it was published in the Annual reports of the Department of Agriculture for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1906. Report of the Secretary of Agriculture. Departmental reports.

Caroline Decker McLeland died in 1912 with her oldest son and youngest daughter by her side.  T.A. worked for the Department of Agriculure until shortly before his death in 1917 at the age of 82.  During their lifetimes, the telegraph, railroad, automobile, telephone, residential gas and electrical service and early telephone service were all introduced to the world.  I know that they traveled by train, electrified their home in Kansas City and sent at least 1 telegraph.  T.A. and Caroline were ordinary people who were also swimmers in the fast rushing tide of history.  I am proud to be their descendent.

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I really thought, back in April, that we would be mostly done by now.  But here it is nearly the end of May and still no kitchen sink.  At the moment the back wall of the house is gaping open.  We’ve had to replace a sill plate and make a hole for the plumber to use for venting the dishwasher.  That little detail got missed in the original plumbing.  Ah well, such is remodeling.  I’ve learned about patience and persistence and building techniques in this past year so I guess it wasn’t a total loss.  I’ve also learned about stress eating, denial and telescoping time.  Rumor has it that the window salesperson will be here on Monday and the built-in cabinetry for the hutch has supposedly been ordered today.  Tomorrow is our 24th Anniversary – and also co-incidentally the 1 year anniversary of our remodel.  I’d say that I’ll be back to blogging soon but my reputation for veracity isn’t the best right now<G>

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And absorb me so completely.  I’ve neglected this blog so totally I’m almost ashamed.  But the end is in sight.  Countertops are installed tomorrow and then the final electrical and plumbing next week and then we can use the newly redone kitchen.  The floors and walls in the rest of the main floor are done and some furniture is in.  We still have woodwork and to install the new windows sashes.  Frankly those are outside of my control  Dearest husband is in charge of woodwork.  It may take months (the family jokes that it will take years)  but the house is more than liveable, it is lovely and I truly feel that we have respected the historic nature of the house while updating for our lives.  Sigh.  Now for the second and third floors.  Well maybe not quite yet.

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ben-and-lydia-wedding-1919.jpg This lovely photo shows Bernard Joseph Anstoetter and Lidwina Kramer just after their wedding in Dyersville, Iowa, December 1919. My mother in law, child of Ben and Lydia had one of the rarest surnames I’ve ever researched. Every person in the United States with the surname Anstoetter/Anstoeter was directly related to her within 3 generations. All of them descend from 2 brothers who arrived in the US about 1868. This also appears to be a very rare surname in Germany. It’s always a bit of a shock to search for a name and have almost nothing turn up! However this has its good points. Anything I post or write about the family is sure to be found and read. As a result I’ve just been blessed with wonderful instance of Genealogical Serendipity.

The Anstoetter men hailed from Hummeldorf near Salzbergen Germany. Neither Hummeldorf or Salzbergen are large towns even today. So you can imagine my surprise when I received an e-mail from an official of the Historical Society for Salzbergen. She was interested in finding out more about these former citizens of her town. And it turned out she had access to the unmicrofilmed church records of St. Cyriakus in Salzbergen. So a gift from heaven!!! (more…)

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I don’t usually write about work (much) but I’ve been having alot of fun with a new database we’ve recently subscribed to.  America’s GenealogyBank is lots of fun.  I been reading the social news for early 20th century Dallas.  Looks like I married into the wrong branch of the family :> There is a nice selection of smaller town newspapers, Bellingham and Olympia newspapers so far for Washington state.  If you don’t live in Seatttle – does your library subscribe.

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