Genealogically Speaking....
May - August 1999

Weekly column published in The Rushville Times with information furnished by officials of the Schuyler Jail Museum.
Columns written by Susanne Miller, unless otherwise noted.

May 26, 1999
    Many people say they don't know where to start when tracing their roots. Twenty-three years ago I sat down and listed my grandparents and had to ask my mom and dad the names of my great-grandparents. Dad knew his line quite a ways back and I wrote it all down. Mother's line I really had to dig for, but now I have a couple of her lines back to the 1600s, and am stumped on dad's ancestors. I suggest stopping by our genealogical center and getting an ancestor chart and seeing how many names you can fill in. Then have your parents or close relatives help you. If you know what cemeteries they are buried in, get the dates off the stones and look for obituaries that might give their parents' names. Stop at our genealogical center if your have problems and we will try to help, especially if your family is from Schuyler County. We do have many good records and books for surrounding counties also, and good books from other states.
    We are beginning a building project on our museum section in order to house more Schuyler County artifacts and to rearrange some that we already have. Donations are tax deductible. If you want to help, stop by the museum. Hours are 1-5 daily. Visitors welcome!

June 2, 1999
    Visiting cemeteries and gathering dates on your ancestors is very helpful in tracking down obituaries or death certificates. Many, many people were visiting cemeteries to decorate graves this past weekend and I'm sure some genealogical information was shared. I've heard a few people say they've left notes on tombstones, hoping to find another descendant of some distant ancestor, in glass jars or plastic case of some sort. I've never tried this and wouldn't think caretakers of the cemeteries would appreciate picking up stray jars.
    I still enjoy talking to the oldest family members I can find to gain knowledge of the family history. This past weekend it was mother's Uncle Charlie. When he was a little boy, before 1920, he went back to West Virginia with his father and family to live one winter. He can recall his Grandpa and Grandma Darnell, who lived near Renick, W.V. They are my great-great-grandparents, but I've never been able to find out where they are buried. Uncle Charlie did relate he and his cousins went to Pumpkin Center School near Renick, and he thought they lived in the area of Droop Mountain. So, I have some clues and need to find a historical society to write to near Renick, W.V.
   We have new books in the Heritage Room on York and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania. Stop by and have a look at the new book shelf. Also tour the museum. Hours are 1 to 5 daily. Visitors are welcome.

June 14, 1999
    We have many obituary books in the Heritage Room at the Jail Museum, beginning about 1856. This past weekend we had many researchers that found these books very helpful. Names being researched were Skiles, Roberts and DeWitt.
    Just by driving by the museum, you can see the progress being made on our new addition to the museum. We hope you will stop and come in and tour the museum and see all of our Schuyler County artifacts, or use the genealogical center to research your family roots. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. daily. We will be closed July 4.

June 16, 1999
  The Rushville Times, April 3, 1875 (Saturday) Camden Inklings March 30
    On last Thursday at 10 o'clock, Mr. C. P. Anderson of this vicinity, died of erysipelas, after an illness of 12 days. The burial took place next day at 1 o'clock, which was very largely attended notwithstanding the roads were in a terrible condition. Funeral will be preached at some future time. The deceased leaves three grownup children; one daughter and two sons - one of whom is absent in Texas - who in this their sore affliction, have the heart felt sympathy of the entire community. Mr. Anderson was born in Hamilton County, Ohio, on the 25th day of March, 1820, consequently he lacked but one day of having lived 55 years. He moved to this county in the year 1839, and lived the first three years in Rushville, thence he moved to this neighborhood, where he lived until his death. On the 14th of June, 1843, he was married to Miss Lucinda Cady, who died September 16, 1867. For the last nine years he was one of the leading members of the Christian Church of this place, holding the office of Elder from its organization. In his death his children suffer the irreparable loss of a kind and indulgent father, the church loses one of its best and most useful members, and his place in the community will be hard to fill.

June 23, 1999
    We had visitors last weekend from coast to coast - Seattle, Wash., North Carolina, Arvada, Colo., Quincy, and more - doing research and touring the museum. Some names being researched were McClain, Roberts, Tharp, and Goodwin.
    Being a volunteer at the Jail Museum can be a lot of fun. This past weekend I was working with a lady from Seattle, Wash., and after two hours we discovered she was a first cousin of my sister-in-law. I had even met her parents who had lived in Carthage.
    There are over 400 members in our Schuyler Jail Museum Genealogical and Historical Society, and we'd like to add your name to our list. Stop by the Jail Museum and join us. Hours are 1-5 p.m. daily - we will be closed July 4th.

June 30, 1999
    When doing your genealogical research, you might want to check counties neighboring the county your ancestors lived in for other family members. Sometimes obituaries of a brother or sister might tell more of the family history than your ancestor's obituary, such as what state they came from before coming to Schuyler County.
    A lady from Seattle, Wash., was here researching Robert McLain. His obituary in the July 18, 1879, Rushville Times read as follows:
    "Robert McLain who lived alone on his farm in Pea Ridge twp., Brown county, was found in the woods about 2 miles from his residence. A rope was around the neck tied in a knot and the other end fastened to a limb of a tree, the feet resting on the ground. He married a young woman several years ago, but the union did not prove a happy one and they separated, since he had lived alone. Verdict of inquest jury was he came to his death at the hands of an unknown person. The first jury selected couldn't agree and many citizens think it was a suicide."
    At first glance, we thought all the answers would be in Pea Ridge Township, Brown County. She thought he must have owned land there and she was discouraged because we could not find him in their cemetery book. After we spent the afternoon looking mostly in Brown County, we got out the 1872 plat of Schuyler and there he was, a landowner in Huntsville Township. We still could not find him in Huntsville Township cemeteries or Camden. After nearly given up and deciding he did not have a tombstone, I looked at Northeast Township cemeteries of neighboring Adams County and there he was, with his first wife in Mt. Horeb Cemetery, Adams County, Ill. So we had three counties involved in our search. He died in Brown County, was a resident of Schuyler County, and was buried in Adams County. Is there anyone out there who can solve his mysterious death?
    Recent visitors were from Florida, Lewistown, Beardstown and Havana. Names being researched were Alexander, Simpson and Chockley.
    Stop by the jail museum and let us help you search for your Schuyler County roots. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. daily. We will be closed July 4.

July 7, 1999
    Relaxing over the 4th of July weekend back home with my parents, Mom and I were setting on their little patio admiring her pretty roses and other flowers discussing what food we would be taking to the Reed reunion this month. Of course I always prepared to take my latest genealogical findings, also. The Reed and Altizer lines are my Blue Ridge Mountain ancestors and I'd only found the information that Blue Ridgers dranks lots of moonshine, married their cousins, had fatal family feuds, and didn't come out of their hollers very often. Did I really want to take that news to this reunion where all these nice cousins would be? In another desperate attempt for some more uplifting data about the ancestors I stopped by the Jail Museum. In the little room where we have books on all the wars, I found in the Revolutionary War Pensions book the names of Emery Altizer and Andrew Reed, both names that I believe are my fourth great grandfathers. And it so happens these two would be the correct ages to fit right into my family. Even more exciting, Andrew Reed went to Floyd County, Va., after the war and Emery Altizer went to neighboring Montgomery Co., Va. Although I still need to somehow find the names of these war veterans' children to prove they are my direct ancestors, I'm very hopeful that one or both are my line. So this is more exciting news to take to the reunion, and it is very likely my ancestors did come out of their holler.
    If you have ancestors that were in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 or the Mexican War, you might want to check the pension files books of these wars at our genealogical center, or just check them anyway. You might find an ancestor by chance.
    Seeking identification of Nathaniel Hankins who died 1 Sep 1844, age 36 and is buried in Ripley Twp. cemetery, Brown Co., Illinois is Shirley M. Glenn, [address omitted for internet publication].
    Be sure to check the new bookshelf at the genealogy center--we have new books--we are growing--and you can see, we are building on to the museum section. Come take a tour and see the Schuyler County artifacts. The hours are 1-5 p.m. daily.

July 14, 1999
    When doing your genealogical research, remember persistence pays! A few weeks ago I reminded researchers to retrace steps, go back to older family members, courthouses, libraries or cemeteries for a second look--sometimes you overlook or miss things on your first trip. This past weekend a second trip again paid off for me. When visiting my daughter in Lathrop, Mo., a few months ago I found that a distant ancestor, first cousin of my great-great grandmother, had founded the Methodist church in Lathrop, Mo., in 1868. However, I could not find out what happened to Benjamin, who according to a family Bible, had died in 1879. I could not find a grave, although I had everyone in Lathrop involved in helping me. Last Saturday another Logan researcher me at Lathrop and we again went to the little library and museum. The first time they only had one history of Clinton County, Mo., and no genealogical material. This time they had come up with one more history of Clinton County, Mo., an earlier history dated 1881, and guess what I found; it is as follows:
    "Benjamin J. Logan first settled in Lathrop in August, 1868. He was a plasterer by trade and a respected citizen. He was the first resident of town who had the misfortune to lose his mind. He died in the State Lunatic Asylum in 1875. M. L. was the father of 21 children. He moved to Clinton County from Illinois where his wife, Mrs. Delia J. Logan had twice given birth to twins and once to triplets."
    I'm sorry to see he lost his mind, but at least I know what happeded to him. Interestingly, the year of his death is different than family records. I believe the history date of 1875 is correct because land records end about 1874 in that county for the Logans. We did not know of the multiple births of his wife because all the children died young, probably at birth. Delia J. gave birth to 14 children but only two lived to be adults. Benjamin's first wife gave birth to his first seven children, but not all seven lived to be adults.
    So sometimes it pay to go back a second time. Just opening the right book can make a difference, or asking the right person.
    Come and visit our genealogical center and see if we can help you in your research, and tour our museum. Hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Visitors welcome!

July 21, 1999
    Going to a family reunion can aid in your genealogical research. This past weekend I attended our annual Reed reunion in Lomax. As a child I didn't like going to reunions -- they were boring. There weren't many children at our reunion; however, I think everyone that was there representing the seven children of Creed and Marthan Darnall Reed really wanted to be there. We were truly glad to see each other other, eat lots of good food, compare family stories and share genealogical information. I obtained more birthdates from family members I hadn't seen for many years.
    We were pleased to have visitors this past weekend who attended the Sargent reunion here in Rushville. They came in and did research and toured the museum. Some seemed to gain new information.
    This past week we've had visitors from Yuma, Ariz.; Pasco, Wash.; Muncie, Ind.; Kentwood, La.; Weatherford, Texas; Mt. Sterling; Misenheimer, N. C.; Crosslake, Minn.; Canton; Omaha, Neb.; Vancouver, Wash.; East Moline; and Milan. Some names being researched were Derry, Schisler, Beck and David James Noel (the Noels being buried at Marden Chapel Cemetery in Elkhorn Twp., Brown Co., Ill.).
    We have new books -- 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 Census of Vermilion County, Illinois, published by Illiana Genealogical and Historical Society of Danville, Illinois. We also have cemetery records, marriage records and obituaries for certain years for the same county. Stop by the genealogical center and do your research and tour the Jail Museum. All visitors welcome! Hours are 1-5 p.m. daily.

July 28, 1999
    When doing your genealogical research be sure to let all your relatives know you are working on the family tree. Sure, many of them will not be interested or maybe call you the "Family tree nut" as I'm often tagged in my own family, but--many of them have given me old family pictures, stories handed down to them from an ancient ancestor and correspondence from distant cousins that have opened new doors of research for me.
    We would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Phillips for continuing to copy obits from the Augusta Eagle for our genealogical center. Many visitors have gleaned valuable information from these obits.
    This past week we have had visitors from Poynette, Wisc., Danville, Minneapolis, Minn., Kansas, Des Moines and Dexter, Iowa, Mesa, Ariz., Peru, Nebraska, Moberly, Mo., Galesburg, Macomb, Virginia and Rushville. Some names being researched were Bader, Reno and Larkins.
    NEW BOOKS IN THE LIBRARY! We have new books on Mayflower descendants on the new bookshelf. Stop by and look! And tour our museum. The hours are 1-5 p.m. daily.

August 4, 1999
    This past week we've had visitors from Hyrum, Utah, St. Charles, Mo., Spring, Texas, Versailles, Roseville and
    Frances Inman Faulkner, [address unpublished here], is researching the Charles Wells family of Schuyler County. Charles Wells (b. 1804, d. 1868) and his first wife, Elizabeth (Betsy) Durand (b. 1804, d. 1845) moved from Wells Hollow, Conn., to Littleton Township. We were fortunate to find a lot of information to send her but would be happy to hear from any descendants of Charles Wells. She also mentioned she is researching his son, Edward Wells (b. 1821), who married Margaret Snyder in 1841.
    My mother gave me a letter from Teresa J. Smith [address unpublished here], who is researching the Blender family. The Blender is not a blood line of mine, but my grandmother that I knew (who was actually my mother's stepmother) was Bertha Caroline Blender Shinn. Bertha's father was Francis Xavier Blender who was born April 8, 1836, in Baden, Germany, the son of John (or Johan) and Teresa Stroppel Blender. Xavier was a Civil War veteran and in Libby Prison. As I attempt to gather more information to send Teresa, I've found this family most interesting to research.
    We hope you will come tour our museum of Schuyler County artifacts and use our genealogical center to do your research. Hours are 1-5 p.m. daily until Nov. 1.

    Aug. 10, 1999
    Janet Pease, [address unpublished here], is seeking descendants of Clarissa Wilson, who married John Snider, 1823, Galatin County, Ky.; one son and one daughter by 1830, Morgan County, Ill., census plus others including Jacob Snider born 1838, living with Wilson grandparents, 1850 Morgan County, Ill., census. If you have any information please contact her at the above address.
   Visit our genealogical center and museum. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. daily, until Nov. 1.

August 11, 1999
    The Schuyler Citizen Nov. 9, 1859
    Andrew Heitz died suddenly on Wednesday morning the 2d inst. at his residence four miles east of Rushville, aged about 64 years. The deceased was German. On Sunday night he made a fire in his stove, from which the roof of his house caught fire. He carried up a bucket of water and extinguished the flames. He then threw down the bucket and came down himself, but immediately took his bed, became speechless and died the following Wednesday. His remains were interred in the graveyard at this place.

August 18, 1999
    We've had many visitors this past week doing family research. They came from Lodi, Wisc.; Houston, Texas; Laural, Mo.; Iowa City, Iowa; St. Louis, Mo.; Newberry Springs, Calif.; Whiteville, N. C.; Galesburg, Pekin, So. Pekin, Viola, Taylorville and Beardstown. Several joined our society as members. Names being researched were Severns, Jump and Estes.
    We welcome all genealogies if you wish to have yours put in our family history files or your book on our shelves. Our genealogical center has Schuyler County records, Schuyler County histories, obituary books, as well as many records and books from other Illinois counties -- AND we have some very good books from other states as well. We have old Schuyler County newspapers on microfilm as well as some newspapers from neighboring towns. Come do your research with us.
     Our museum section houses several big rooms of Schuyler County artifacts, and we are building on! We invite you to tour our museum. Hours 1-5 p.m. daily until Nov. 1.

August 25, 1999
    This past Saturday was my day to work in the genealogical center, and as usual, I really enjoyed myself. My first visitor was a lady from Joliet, who had seen our web page on the Internet and came for a visit as soon as she could. She was researching the Speed name, as well as Anderson and a few others. There was so much on the Speed name that she stayed the entire afternoon copying material and didn't have a chance to tour the museum. She is planning another trip.
    Also, we had a visitor from Houston, Texas, researching the Blackledge name from the Brooklyn area. He found the burial place of Margaret (also known as Mary), who died in 1874, in the White Oak Cemetery. She was the wife of Aaron Blackledge. Her maiden name was Leonard and we found an 1869 will listed for Samuel Leonard, naming Mary Blackledge as a daughter. We found an estate listed in 1874 for Aaron Blackledge. Did Aaron Blackledge die right after his wife in 1874? Was he also buried in White Oak Cemetery? If anyone knows, let Suzanne know at the Jail Museum.
    We invite you to visit our museum and genealogical center. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. daily until Nov. 1.

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