Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A History of "Pioneer Sarah" - Part Two

The article continues:

"Shortly after the end of the Civil War, Henry Fordyce and Rachel/Sarah, along with the Thomas J. Sampson family, joined a wagon train going west for about two years. It is thought they had relatives there. (Note: Thomas J. Sampson was Henry and Rachel/Sarah's son in law. He married their daughter, Mahala Fordyce. TJ was the one who sacrificed his own health and life for his team of horses).

In Iowa, another tragedy struck the hearts of the two families - and that of Rachel/Sarah in particular. Her little namesake Rachel, daughter of Thomas and Mahala Sampson, came too close to the fire where trash was burning. She burned to death.

The lure of free homestead land drew them to Kansas, and the families once more packed their belongings. Two sons had been born to the Sampsons while in Iowa, and when they arrived in Marion County in October of 1869, John Wesley Sampson was only a few weeks old.

The two families chose adjoining land on section 14-18-5 in Clear Creek township. Eight months after their arrival, a federal census was taken on June 21, 1870. It listed Henry Fordyce as age 69, white, a farmer born in New Jersey, a citizen, with property of $1,717.00 in value. His wife is listed as Rachel, 71, female, white, b. West Virginia. They lived in Clear Creek township about five miles east of Lincolnville. Living with the Fordyces was an 18 year old youth named Frank Vanmeter.

In the months that followed, the aging couple met yet another young adventure, building a home, setting up their farming operations, coping with weather and soil vastly different than the lush green land of Indiana. But they were survivors who could meet a challenge. Stone houses were built, orchards planted, fences built, three new grandchildren arrived to be cuddled, and older children needed to be told tales of adventures. Their twilight years could not have been lonely nor empty. In the year of 1878, Rachel/Sarah died. In the months that followed, neighbors by the name of Howell were making a trip to Indiana and offered to take Henry with them. In his luggage Henry packed the Fordyce family Bible and went to Indiana to see his son and relatives. The Howells did not bring him back. According to information in the Marion County (Kansas) Court House, (Book P.P. 176, Register of Deeds), the Howells induced Henry to sign on March 4, 1879, a paper agreeing to give John Howell and wife 80 acres of land in Marion County, Kansas, in exchange for "clothes and board and necessary medical treatment during his life, and, at his death, the said John Howell to furnish the said Henry Fordyce with a respectable burial outfit." Henry, according to the date of death on his tombstone died the same day the agreement was signed, March 4, 1879. The Howells waited seven weeks and filed their claim on April 21, 1879, then waited until February of 1892 to file in Marion County an affidavit or claim to the land, SW quarter-section of 14-18-5 "containing 160 acres, more or less."

Henry died the same month as his son-in-law, Thomas Sampson, husband of the Fordyce's daughter Mahala. Thomas died 29 March 1879 of dust pneumonia, leaving his wife with 10
children, one an infant. Thomas must have been something of a powerhouse of a man to have accomplished all that he had in his less than 10 years on the prairie; he had bought expensive machinery, including a threshing machine and well pump. There were notes on the machinery and livestock. He had not expected to die at age 47. Mahala simply could not go to Indiana to see about her father's affairs. So the Howells were able to "absorb" the Fordyce land Mahala and her children sorely needed.

As to the real name of Rachel/Sarah, we would like to suggest that both Biblical names eminently suited her. She was strong, patient, loving, fruitful, faithful, courageous, and though uneducated because of frontier conditions, she was a splendid teacher by precept and example. She was proud of her heritage and the heritage of her children. She taught her daughter that her ancestry went back to the Mayflower and also the ancestors who arrived with William Penn. Lee Sampson has suggested that Sarah was probably Rachel/Sarah's middle name and that she may have become known as Sarah because she preferred that name. There was both a Sarah and a Rachel among the Thomas Sampson family children. Thomas' mother was named Sarah Grear.

Though there are more records to be searched, and more to be written, it seemed appropriate to write as much of the story of this ancestress as is now available for the reunion of the Sampson family on June 12, 1983, so that it can be distributed and hopefully preserved by someone who may be able to someday find all the remaining story of a gallant lady."

Monday, January 18, 2010

A History of "Pioneer Sarah" - Part One

For some time, I have wanted to share about Pioneer Sarah. She is an ancestor who has inspired me, even though I know very little about her. Over the next couple of blog posts, I'm going to transcribe an article written by my grandmother, Lucile Fox Osgood's, third cousin, Vida Soyez Vinduska. I hope other descendants of this great lady find the story interesting. This photo of Sarah's final resting place actually was something that inspired me while in labor with my daughter, Isabelle. Knowing I came from such strong stock helped me through the difficult times!

The beautiful tribute to "Pioneer Sarah" in the Marion County Record of May 25 is greatly appreciated by her family, and, though it is wished that her grave could have been surrounded by kinfolk, she has always been in their hearts as is exemplified by the stone erected to her memory by her great-grandchildren, among whom are the children of Miles Elsworth Sampson and John Wesley Sampson. The stone was especially the project of William Thomas Sampson who supervised its production and installation.

For more than twenty years I, Vida Soyez Vinduska, have periodically worked at learning the history of Rachel/Sarah, and about five years ago two cousins joined in the search. Beulah Fisher Boyer and retired Lt. Col. Edward E. Sampson, an excellent researcher, have helped to gather some interesting lore.

Over the years, we have puzzled over how she became known as "Sarah." Col. Sampson found her in an Indiana (1850) census as Rachel, 53, born in West Virginia. her husband, Henry Fordyce, was listed as aged 49, born in New Jersey. her children at that time were listed as Jane, 20; Mary, 18; Mahala, 14; and William H., 12; all born in Ohio. Also living in the household were a daughter, Ann, and grandchildren, Elvira Allen, 4; and Emore (Elmore?) Allen, 3.

A Kansas death record for her daugher, Mahala Fordyce Sampson, who died in 1931, gave her mother's maiden name as Clark. In the Kansas census of 1870, she is listed as Rachel, 71, born in West Virginia. On a recent (April 1983) visit to the Mormon Archives in Salt Lake City an 18 Jan. 1838 birth record for William Henry Fordyce gave his parents' names as Henry Fordyce/Rachel Stackhouse.

Family tradition has it that Rachel was married twice, but we have not been able to find her marriage records which would help sort out which name, Clark or Stackhouse, was her
maiden name. Mrs. Grace Soyez of Marion remembers her grandmother, Mahala Fordyce Sampson, telling her that her mother was married twice, having had 15 daughters during her first marriage, and that Mahala and William Henry were born to the second, or Fordyce, marriage.

A descendant of Rachel/Sarah Clark Stackhouse Fordyce, whose name was Rebecca Fordyce Deardorff of Ellendale, North Dakota, and who was a granddaughter of Rachel/Sarah wrote a Fordyce family history which gave the information that Henry Fordyce married Rachel Clark, of Dutch descent. She had no information on the possibility that Rachel/Sarah was married twice, but did relate that she had 17 children, 16 daughters and one son, William Henry Fordyce, born 1 Jan 1838 in Clinton Co., Ohio. The daughters she named were: Betsey, b. 15 March 1821; Jane, b. 5 Oct. 1829; Mary b. 1 June 1833; Mahala b. 18 Feb. 1836,and she gave Sarah, Ann, and Annie, whose birth dates she did not know. Rebecca related that the other nine girls died in childhood.

In 1847, Henry Fordyce and his brother James decided to move their families from Ohio to Indiana, and in oct. of that year the two families arrived in Wabash County, Indiana. The trip, made in oxen-drawn covered wagons, had been slow. There were no roads. Often they had to cut down trees to make a road so they could get through. At their destination in Wabash County, they had to cut down trees to build a small log cabin where both families lived until they could build a second cabin...

Life could not have been easy for Rachel/Sarah. Born on the frontier of West Virginia in 1799, she was to make homes in Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, possibly Illinois, and Kansas before she died. She had buried nine little daughters by the time she was 32. In all she bore 17 children. The last was her only son, William Henry, born Jan 1. 1838, when she was 40. When she was 62, she saw both her handsome young son and her husband, aged 60, march off to fight in the Civil War. Henry was enrolled as a private in Company C, 40th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers at Peoria, Ill., on the 13th of Nov. 1861, by Capt. Leaming and was mustered into the military forces of the United States at Lafayette, Indiana in December 1861 for a period of three years. His physical description: eyes, grey; hair, grey; height, 5 foot 8 1/2 inches; complexion, light. His nativity, New Jersey, Essex County, occupation, farmer. He was discharged at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, March 17, 1863. Reason: disability.

The son, William Henry, told of a severe eye infection he himself contracted during the
war. The best the medics could do was to tie him hand and foot to railroad rails so they could pour a solution of lye into his eyes to fight the infection. There was some damage to his eyes. But, still sighted, he wrote a letter to his sister, Mahala Fordyce Sampson, in 1915.

The photo here is of Rachel/Sarah's son, William Henry in his military uniform. Much thanks to Loretta Klose (another descendant) for this picture.

Stay tuned to my next post for the continuation of the story!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, William Lemuel Shipp!

My great-great grandfather on my dad's side is William Lemuel Shipp. He was born on this day 155 years ago in Springfield, Missouri. (January 15, 1855). He was the second of nine children born to Rufus Earl Shipp and Olivia Freeman Shipp.

By his teenage years, William's family had moved to Johnson County, Missouri. This is where William would live the rest of his life. William married Mary Roop when he was 22. Together, they would have four children. Their eldest daughter, Jennie Olivia, was my great-grandmother. The family lived in Centerview, Missouri.

On the federal census, William always listed his occupation as "farmer." However, he was very involved in local affairs. He was the Justice of the Peace for Centerview Township in 1882. He was elected as County Officer in 1902 on the Democratic ticket. He was also very invovled in educating the children of Centerview. He was the Principal of Centerview school and was elected school superintendent in 1905, 1907 and 1909.

William died on September 1, 1933 at the age of 78. His death certificate is interesting in a couple of ways--I'm adding it here to see if anyone can help decipher and add meaning to it. Where it lists his area of work, it looks like "Poet Master and Teacher." A poet? I knew about the teacher part. But perhaps William had a talent for prose as well. If so, it would be amazing to find some of his writings. Any of my Graham cousins know anything about this??

As for his cause of death, the doctor who completed the death certificate has the sterotypical doctor's writing. It looks like William suffered from prostate cancer. Anyone want to take a try at translating? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A new image of Karl

Karl Kline is my great-great grandfather. He has been a frequent subject of this blog. You can read one of my former posts here .

Anyway, one of my joys of 2009 was finding another granddaughter of Karl's, who still lives in Kansas. Her mother was my great-grandmother's older sister. Connecting with this cousin has been great for me, as well as for my mom.

This wonderful cousin sent me this picture this week in the mail. It's of Karl! The back of the photo says: Karl Gottlieb Kline. Driving water wagon in Marion, KS. Main street, just west of bridge.

I thought other descendants of Karl would like to see it too.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Sampsons and Klines-my maternal line

I wanted to share some photos that I was so graciously sent by a new-found cousin who is also a descendant of the Kline's and Sampson's. I know that my Osgood family will probably enjoy them. Consider it a New Year's gift! I hope you all are as thrilled with them as I am!

This is a photo of Amelia Wendel Kline. She is with her son in law, George Cutler. Amelia lived several years after her husband, Karl, died in 1907. The 1910 census lists her living with another daughter and son-in-law, the Linn's. Her occupation is listed as a "washerwoman." Apparently, Amelia spoke mostly German, and very little English. She died in 1923. Her
daughter, Caroline Juliann, married Miles Ellsworth Sampson.

Miles Sampson's mother was Mahala Fordyce Sampson.
Here is a fantastic photo of her. She was born in 1835 and died in 1931. She looks like a very strong
lady, doesn't she? It was her husband, TJ, who died after saving his team of horses from a dust storm in 1879.

Mahala's son, Miles Ellsworth, was the father of Lillie Pearl Sampson. As mentioned above, he married Caroline Kline. Here are two photos of them, one early on and another at their 60th wedding anniversary.

The children in this picture are their four eldest: Lillie Pearl (born in 1894), Effie (born in 1899), Albert (born in 1898), and Mabel (born in 1901). Since she looks the oldest, I'm assuming the girl on the left is my great-grandma Lillie Pearl. I just love the curly hair and ribbons!