Wednesday, November 21, 2012

OMG! Is she who I think she is?

Among my first posts I had discovered and explained the identification of my great great grandfather. I never knew for sure, but suspected, if I had seen him until cousin Sharon sent me that picture of the two men in front of "Porteous house in England." [Posted April 29, 2012] Since I have a picture of William Dennis PORTEOUS all I need now is a picture of Elizabeth my great great grandmother.

Picture of great great grandfather (person on far right is unidentified) explained in April 29 post.

I entered the church fellowship hall last Saturday where BIGWILL (British Interest Group of Wisconsin and Illinois genealogical society) holds their bi-monthly meetings. Cousin Sharon was already there. She seemed anxious to show me some more pictures. "I was looking for something unrelated to the Porteous family, but came across these pictures," she said, would I happen to know who they are? There were about 20 images; I shuffled through them and came across a couple of them with names scribbled on them..."Ben Porteous"... "Grama Porteous"...Hmmm? 

Immediately I asked who was "speaking" (er, writing)? We concluded it was Georgiana Porteous SMALL, Sharon's great grandmother (my great aunt). This would mean "Grama Porteous" was Elizabeth (DOBBS) PORTEOUS!

Sharon is probably THE luckiest person in the world as far as family history accumulations are concerned. She has so many boxes of family photos, albums, scrapbooks, bibles, prayer books and more. I'll have to go visit...

Wife of William Dennis PORTAS, and my great, great grandmother!
I wish the image were better, but for now, it is the best I have.
It is a picture of a picture I took at the BIGWILL meeting.

During the meeting, I couldn't stop looking at her. Sure looks like she endured a lot. How old is she in this picture? My what an interesting outfit; I love that collar. I can't help but think how life was in Lincolnshire, England (Lincs). What made the family pick up and migrate to Illinois, eventually settling in Kansas in late 1870s? So many questions will be left unanswered. I can only speculate and tell what I know.

Elizabeth was baptized 28 Oct 1815 in St. Clement's parish church of Saltfleetby, Lincs. She married William Dennis PORTAS 11 Jun 1840, at the Register Office for the District of Louth, Lincs. Elizabeth gave birth to two (known) children: John (great grandfather), and Jane (great great aunt). Elizabeth was buried in the Garfield Cemetery, Garfield, Pawnee County, Kansas shortly after her death 2 Mar 1886 or 23 Feb 1886.

October 28, 1815, Elizabeth Daughter of John & Jane DOBBS, Saltfleetby, St. Clements; Labourer

St. Clement's parish church, Saltfleetby, Lincs
Image by me.

Eleventh June 1840, Solemnized "at this Register Office in the District of Louth in the County of Lincoln."
William PORTAS of full age, Bachelor, Labourer, North Cockerington; father Joseph PORTAS, Labourer
Elizabeth DOBBS of full age, Spinster, North Cockerington; father John DOBBS, Labourer
Witness: William COTE and Hannah DOBBS

William Dennis, Elizabeth, daughter Jane and grandson John William Marshall settled in Garfield Kansas sometime in 1878 (earliest known deed). I have been to Garfield. It is a sleepy little town. It's hard to tell how many people are living there. There are no real stores open. The post office is open. There are huge white silos along the railroad. You can see them for miles. 

Congregational Church in Garfield, Kansas 1873. Picture was in "A Collection Of Articles And Stories Pertaining To The History of Garfield, Kansas. Second edition, compiled and edited by Howard Losey (since deceased).

This obituary was very difficult to find. Many letters, films, etc. didn't yield me any information. Then one day, a Garfield resident, Wilma who I had been in contact with sent me an email about the obit. She just happened to know who was transcribing --  from the newspaper, the obituaries and death notices of the interred in Garfield Cemetery.
Serendipity really happens.

W.D. Porteous 1818-1902
Elizabeth Porteous 1817-1886
Garfield Cemetery of Garfield. You can see the huge white silos on the horizon.
Image by Art Gould.

My PORTEOUS (PORTAS) family is #1123 registered with the Porteous Associates for a number of years now. When I first discovered the Associates, I contacted Pat who is the "go-to" person; she also maintains the huge database. She said how happy she was I made my family known to them. They knew about my family, but didn't know how to contact anyone. I guess I was the only one researching them. Anyone who is researching PORTAS or PORTEOUS families is welcome to join. Porteous Associates includes all variant spellings.

Check out:


Sunday, November 18, 2012

What now after busting through the brick wall?

Over the years, I have been hunting and gathering PORTAS families in hopes of finding a connection with my family. I've mentioned that before in other posts. I've put together a goodly number of PORTAS families from Lincolnshire, England and I have compiled a somewhat large database. That was the easy part even though it has taken close to 10 years along with seven trips to the family history library in Salt Lake City, Utah. But looking for 5x great grandfather Joseph's baptism has been an ever-frustrating adventure.  

This year's trip to the FHL yielded the big find. I finally broke through the brick wall. With finding his baptism this last trip in October you would think the game was over. Even though I have a feeling of accomplishment, I also have the feeling of more work ahead. It's not over.

Sure I've connected my family with Margaret's family. With her many more years of research on the books, my family now can be traced back to the mid 1600s. Thank you Margaret! Finding one baptism enabling the joining two researches is quite an accomplishment. 

What do I do with all those other PORTAS families I've collected? What happens to them?  How do they fit into my tree? Do they? There are a lot of loose ends to tie up. There are many speculations to prove; many questions to answer. So? 

I have to begin the process of some major data entry, sorting, cataloging all the Parish Register images I have accumulated over the years. My direct line needs to have some blanks filled in. There are a lot of images I know are from Margaret's family. I hadn't spent that much time on recording her family simply because, well, she had done it.

Research won't end. It never does. It just goes on and on. The more information one gathers, the more questions pop up. That is the fun of being so involved in genealogy and family history. There is always more to be done and learned.

Joseph was baptized 19 Feb 1716, married 6 May 1740, but when and where was he buried? What are the baptism and burial dates of his wife Elizabeth? His father is William PORTAS but what is his mother Isabel's maiden name?