Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Going back on the Shelton/Dean side and finding a cousin

I've got a google alert set for anything that pops up in the internet having the words "Nathaniel Shelton" and "Memphis, Missouri." As regular readers will recall, Nathaniel is a brick wall of mine and I'm always on the lookout for anything that will help me find his parents or even give me an idea of what his life was like.

Yesterday, a hit came for Nathaniel's death certificate on someone's website. I have had the document for some time, but it was exciting to see that there was someone else out there who had been researching Nathaniel. First off, the website is AMAZING and very well documented. I'm sure it took years of work to compile and document everything. There are over 49,000 individuals in this person's tree, and over 1,300 photos. It is searchable and is really a treasure.

Who is the website owner, exactly? The website is called "The Families of Dennis W. Brumm." Perhaps he is a distant cousin? I do believe we are some sort of
cousin, since I found the following picture on the website. It is the cabin of John Dean and Mary Nicely. John and Mary were ancestors of Nathaniel's wife Sarah Dean. They are my 5th great grandparents, they are Dennis' 4th great grandparents. This is what the site shared about this cabin in West Virginia:

"This is the house in which my fourth great grandparents, John Dean and Mary Knicely, lived. They were married January 12, 1787 in Rockingham County, Virginia. These were kindly provided by Jim Shelton, another descendant of John and Mary. Jim kindly provided the photographs and the following information, (November 2008):

"...Attached are a couple of pictures of the John Dean cabin that I had taken while we were there. The log cabin is in very good shape for its age. It had been sided and a tin roof put on it. The cabin was lived in by the Dean family for many years after old John had died [1813]. John Dean built the cabin in the 1790's. And at the time we were there, Dean Gap was owned by a Mr. Teeter...

John Dean was buired on the hillside over looking his cabin in Dean's Gap, along side his father-in-law, Anthony Knicely. There are two stones there marking their grave site. A distant cousin of mine was there 5-6 years ago and saw them. When we were there 3-4 years ago with him, it was so overgrown that we could not find them."

My research at this point does not go beyond John and Mary on the Dean family line. But I'm hopeful that with the new connection with this cousin and his connections that I may learn more about the Shelton/Dean lines.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Sampson Story...with a picture!

I'm thrilled to get some new photos of some of my Sampson ancestors. A recently found cousin (2 times removed) has shared them with me on Facebook. I'm loving seeing these pictures-its like a holiday gift! This photo is of Miles Ellsworth Sampson and his wife, Caroline Kline Sampson, with their three eldest children. The picture was probably taken around the turn of the century. The oldest daughter, Lillie Pearl, is my great-grandmother. Since I don't want to just throw up a picture without a story, here is one that happened a few years before this photo was taken.

Lillie Pearl Sampson was born near what was Elk, Kansas, on the Stowers place on Middle Creek in December 1894. The next year she and her parents Miles Ellsworth and Caroline Julianne Kline Sampson traveled by covered wagon to homestead newly opened land in Arkansas. Baby Lillie rode for 5 weeks on the dusty trails to her new home. Her father built a cabin and cleared new land. The future looked promising for this young couple who homesteaded in this new state. But they soon found out "Yankees" weren't welcome in Arkansas. So after approximately four years of hard work Lillie awoke one morning to the sounds of angry "neighbors" cross plowing her parents beautiful crops and abundant garden. The civil war had left hostile feelings and they were told to get out. So the family with five year old Lillie and her baby brother Albert William who was born in Arkansas in 1898 returned to Kansas.

Back in Kansas, Miles and Caroline went on to have six more children.

Stay tuned for more on the Sampsons!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Family History wish list

As I consider the past year of research and look ahead to 2010, here are some of my family history wishes. Some are areas where I would like to break through brick walls. Others are just things I would like to get my hands on. Here goes:

  • I wish that some kind Osgood relative lets me see Jesse Clark Osgood's diary. Jesse is my 2nd great-grandfather. Regular followers of this blog will remember I had a sample of his handwriting analyzed in October. I know the diary exists. It has been at Osgood family reunions that I was not at. It is probably in the hands of one of my second cousins. I'd even be happy with a photocopy. If I were to get it, I would transcribe it and give copies of that to all Osgood's who wanted it. It is a treasure! This blog would benefit too!
  • June is going to be a good month for family history. One of my Osgood first cousins is getting married in June. I'm excited to go to the wedding, of course, but I'm also excited that this will be an opportunity to have a family reunion. I hope to do some oral history interviews with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I also hope to be able to walk through Grandma and Grandpa Osgood's house one last time, if it hasn't been sold by then. I also want to spend some time at the Payette courthouse and look up some probate records of my Graham ancestors. I've also had some contact with a branch of the Graham family that we never knew (my Grandpa Graham's brothers and sisters and their kids). I'd like to be able to meet some of them during this trip.
  • I'd like to be able to get my hands on some farm schedules from the censuses. From other census records I have of my ancestors, I know which number the family is on the schedule. It would be so neat to be able to see the details on Robert Barnett Graham's farm, say in 1870 and 1880! It's just a matter of getting to a place where I can look them up, since they are not online. Hmmm....I probably need to get to know my local family history library.
  • The Kline family is still a mystery to me. I would like to be able to find Karl Kline's death certificate. He died before the state of Kansas started collecting birth and death certificates, but perhaps there is a record in Marion county. I also would like to find more census records of the Kline's. I'd like to find them before 1880 to document their migration from Ohio to Kansas. I'd also like to find a record of Karl's military service during the Civil War.
  • Pioneer Sarah. I haven't done much research on her yet. She is an enigma, and someone who's story needs to be told. I'll share what I do know of her soon.
  • I'd love to have new cousins make contact with me. It doesn't matter from which branch of the tree they come from. It is so amazing to make connections with others who have been doing research and happen to be related. I've got my "tentacles" out on bulletin boards,, and this blog. Any day could be the day to meet new cousins!
  • I also hope to be able to keep up with this blog. I'll admit, it has been hard this fall. We moved and are getting settled into our new house. I haven't had the time to think much about family history, much less organize my thoughts to be able to post. I'm hoping that in 2010 I will be able to pick up at a better pace.
This isn't an exclusive list! I'm thrilled at every new lead, every new tidbit of information. Anyone out there with a family connection have any information that they would like to have me find out? (Not that I'm taking orders or anything!) Leave a comment!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The value of a good pair of horses

This is the story of my 3rd great grandfather on my mother's side, Thomas Jasper Sampson. He was known as "T.J."

This is a photograph of some of his children taken in 1886, about 7 years after Thomas died. Their son, Miles E. is in my family line. He is the first man standing on the left. He married Caroline Kline, the daughter of Karl and Amelia Kline. (See previous posts with my musings on them!)

TJ and his wife Mahala lived on the Kansas prairie in Marion County during the 1870's. Prior to living in Kansas, they lived in Wabash, Indiana and Wapello, Ohio. They had fourteen children between the years of 1853 and 1879. Three daughters died before reaching adulthood. Sarah was 11 months old when she died in 1854. Rachel was 3 years old when she died in 1868 and Mahala was 15 when she died in 1877. I am in awe of how strong this couple must have been to have so many children-and be able to move interstate with so many! My family just moved 3 miles away with 3 kids. It was one of the most difficult things we have ever done as a family. But moving from Iowa to Kansas, probably in a covered wagons, with 8-10 kids!? I am convinced we do not know difficulty these days.

According to the 1870 census, the Sampson's were a farming family. The value of his real estate is reported as $1,100 and personal estate $837. They lived near Mahala's elderly parents, Henry and Rachel Fordyce. (Otherwise known as Pioneer Sarah.)

On a blustery March day in 1879, a 46 year old Thomas hitched a team to the wagon and set out for Council Grove for supplies. On the way home a dust storm caught him, and T.J. feared for the lives of his valued horses. He removed his jacket and tied it around "Kit's" head. next he removed his shirt and wrapped it around "Kip's" head. Evidently, he had no other piece of cloth to protect his own lungs from the dust laden cold March wind. A week later he was dead of dust pneumonia. His youngest child, Maggie May, was only 2 months old.

This just goes to show how valuable a good team of horses was to a farmer on the Kansas prairie.