Sunday, December 22, 2013

1851 - August F. Buschick Marries Catherine M. Wylie

While in LaSalle County, Illinois, last year, I thought of my great grandfather August Ferdinand Buschick who, in 1850, was farming in Grand Rapids Township just a few miles south of where I was. I wrote some on another blog post in July of 2012

My main objective is to find when and where my great grandparents August and Susan married. I think researching his first family life and times could help me and besides for years I've been curious about August, his first wife Catherine and their children. I don't have much to go on and I really feel lost when it comes to gathering information, but slowly my research looks like it is advancing.

Catherine isn't my great grandmother -- to me she is just August's first wife. His second wife Susan A. Fowler is mine. August and Catherine's children are my "half" great aunts and uncle. The grandchildren are then my half-cousins and so on with all the "removeds" and so forth.

By using the census, I have a basic idea of August's life in Illinois starting around 1850. The censuses show the migration route from LaSalle County to Chicago in Cook County. The story for August begins in 1850 when he's a farmer then becomes a machinist in 1860 and 1870, and lastly a boiler maker in 1880. [More on his boiler maker life in another blog post.] He had two wives, first one died before 1865 having bore two children (listed); the second wife by 1880 census bore three children (listed). Looking at the census gives me an overview picture to build on. August did father more children, but the censuses don't reflect that number. Several of Susan and August's children died very young and are buried in Rosehill Cemetery.

A TIMELINE (so far)
I am speculating August came to the US around 1849. There is one promising immigration index card for one August Buschick, but I haven't come to verifying it as my August Buschick.

1850 US Census - We find August living alone in Grand Rapids, LaSalle County, Illinois and is farming.
[Sometime between 1850 and 1852, August married Catherine.] 

1855 Illinois State Census - August was living in West Chicago, Cook County, Illinois and there was counted: 1 male 20-30 yrs old, 2 females 10 yrs & under, 1 female 20-30 yrs old
[This doesn't verify who the females are, but one might believe they are his wife and daughters.] 

[October 1856 - Oswego, Illinois - August applies for naturalization.]

1860 US Census - with a little more information listed, the family is in the 5th Ward, Chicago, Cook Co., Illinois: August is a machinist, there is only one daughter listed and now there is a son
    August 34 Machinist born Hamburgh 
    Catherine 42, born Scotland 
    Catherine 8, born Illinois, "deaf & dumb"
    Stewart 4, born Scotland, "deaf & dumb" 
[Did Catherine go back to Scotland and have the baby there? Or did the enumerator make a mistake?] 
    I recollect my mother saying her Aunt Kate who couldn't hear so I'm sure I have the correct family. [I was startled when I saw those two words; I don't like the labels used back then, but it is what it is. They aren't my labels.] 

1865 Illinois State Census - August was still residing in Chicago, but there was no family listed with him. His name is indexed as A. Buscheck.
[Sometime between 1860 and 1870, wife Catherine and son Stewart must have died.] 

1870 US Census - August F. 44, machinist, now shown as born in Prussia, living in the 16th Ward in Chicago 
    Susan A. 29, keeping house, born New York 
    Catherine 18, at home, born Illinois, deaf & dumb 
    Edwin L. 5, born Illinois [my grandfather]
    Anna A. 2, born Illinois
[Sometime between 1860 and 1870 August marries Susan A.]
[Sometime between 1870 and 1880 daughter Catherine gets married.] 

1880 US Census - Shows August indexed as August I. Buschwick. He is still in Chicago living on Grant Place; he is a Boyler [sic-Boiler] Manufacturer, born Germany.
    Susan A. 39, wife, born New York
    Edwin 15, son, at school, born Illinois
    Jennie 8, daughter, at school, born Illinois
    Carrie 1, daughter, at home, born Illinois
    Inger Olson 16, servant, born Sweden

Up until just recently, I haven't had any luck finding August and Susan's marriage date. Knowing when August's wife Catherine died should give me some clue to a timeframe for searching, but Catherine's death date wasn't being found either. Even my time spent at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City yielded no information. Oh, there are so many questions to ask in order to move on in this family's history.

My blog posting about William Rosser and the Spanish-American War on August 19 started the information flowing to me. Not knowing when I uploaded a woman's image I had the wrong identification for her (it has since been removed). I mistook the woman pictured as William's wife Susan Elizabeth (Lizzie) [my half first cousin once removed]. I didn't know until I received a comment on my posting.

Not long after I published that posting, William and Lizzie's granddaughter happened to be poking around the internet and came across my blog post. She contacted me with a correction. I was happy I made that mistake because I wouldn't have learned as much as I did subsequently.

What luck! Gerry and I exchanged several emails; I asked questions; she answered best she could. In one email she mentioned her cousin David in Florida. She said he had more information on the family. She put me in contact with him. Next thing I know, a volley of emails were exchanged, questions asked, answers given.

To chronicle our emails would be too much for this posting. All I can say is David has been a godsend, a treasure trove of information on my "half-family." My comments and questions written between the censuses listings above were slowly being confirmed and/ answered. One thing leads to another.

[Sometime between 1850 and 1852, August married Catherine.] 
Catherine and August married in Grand Rapids, LaSalle County, Illinois, 15 April 1851. David sent me an image of the certificate. There are probably no county records since they didn't require marriages to be registered before 1856.

I was searching in that time frame because I knew their first daughter Catherine (Kate) was born about 1852 (calculated from the 1860 census). In my research I did find another daughter (not named) was born to them before 1855, but must have died shortly after (she is one of the two "females 10 years and under" in 1855 census above).

This is an entry in Kate's diary: "My father’s name was Augustus Ferdinand Buschick, He was born in Hamburg Germany on the 2nd of October1825. He was married to Miss Catherine Miller Wylie on the 15 day of April 1851 in Grand Rapids, LaSalle Co Ills. She was born on the 28th day of Jan 1818 in Glasgow Scotland. She died of disease heart on the 13 day of Nov 1862 age of 45 yrs [buried] in Rose Hill Cemetery in Chicago."

[Did Catherine go back to Scotland and have the baby there? Or did the enumerator make a mistake?] 
Son Stewart Alexander was born September 1855 in Glasgow, Scotland. Was his birthplace really Scotland instead of Chicago? David checked Kate's diary which confirmed Scotland. It was entirely possible for Catherine to have gone back there when she was in early pregnancy and just stayed there until the baby was born. People didn't travel and go all that way just to be there a couple weeks like we tend to do today. I haven't found passage information to answer this question yet. Also unanswered: Why was she over there? Or does it matter since she isn't really related to me?

[Sometime between 1860 and 1870, wife Catherine and son Stewart must have died.] 
Stewart died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 1862. David repeated what was in the diary "He died of diphtheria in Milwaukee. His body was shipped to Lincoln Park Cemetery on Mar 10 1862 at the age of 6 years." 

Lincoln Park Cemetery or City Cemetery was the cemetery where around the mid-1860s the interred were dug up and moved to other cemeteries (e.g., Rosehill, Graceland, and Oak Woods) for public health reasons. It is said there are thousands more who are still in that ground on the southern part of what is now Lincoln Park. I hope Stewart was one who was moved to the Buschick plot in Rosehill Cemetery. I have put information on

[Sometime between 1860 and 1870 August marries Susan A.] 
 Half-great aunt Kate had the "remarriage" of her father in her diary, too! "My Father was married to Miss Susan Augusta Fowler again on the 15 day of May 1864." They were married 15 May 1864, but there was no place name. So, did they get married in Chicago? If they married in Chicago, the records might have been destroyed by the Chicago Fire of 1871. Or did they marry in Michigan where Susan's family was at the time? 

The hunt will be on for church records, but I don't know what church if any in Chicago they attended...and were those records destroyed in the fire, too?

[Sometime between 1870 and 1880 daughter Catherine gets married.] 
I found on Catherine (Aunt Kate) had married Samuel Norris in January 1878 in Chicago. That was in the timeframe I had. I haven't asked David to verify this from the diary.

Little by little I trudge on in the mire of genealogy and family history challenges. The scenarios are what keep me interested...answer one question only to create another. I love it!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Networking, Genealogy Gods, and a Little Serendipity

I belong to the Lincolnshire (England) mail list on Rootsweb. I can't tell you how long...10 or more years now I guess. I have had many of my questions answered by the experts in Lincolnshire history, genealogy, and records. This has helped me immensely in learning about Lincolnshire genealogical resources, traditions, and information about the county itself. I don't hesitate to add my two cents to a thread either, and have been involved in some interesting conversations to boot. I've been able to network with people on the list as well. Many people don't see the value in an active list, but I have benefited in many ways. Not only have I met -- online -- some of the most knowledgeable researchers, I've also gained a few cousins, too.
A week or so ago, one of the postings was to inform the listers "If you have forebears in the north of the County, you may like to visit this web page: ."

Not being familiar with what constitutes the "north of the county," I sent off an inquiry (off list) to Rex who posted the link. As I'm about to click send, I added my mail list "signature" to the bottom. I almost forgot to add it, too! 

As you can see in the image above, my mail list "signature" contains surnames and the locations [in] which I'm researching; my blog address; Lincolnshire Family History Society (LFHS) member number; and a link to the Porteous DNA Surname Project. Simple, direct, and most helpful in advancing my research -- if someone actually takes the time to look at it as Rex did.

Who would have thought a simple message asking what was meant by "north of the County" would be so rewarding. I guess one could say the genealogy gods were at it again; they made me add the signature at the last minute. Soon I received an unexpected surprise to go with my awaited answer. 

Rex's email enlightened me with a brief geography lesson, a little history lesson and a couple surprises. He wrote:
The county used to be all "Lincolnshire", the second largest county in the British Isles. Then the politicians decided to cut off the northern section and link it to a part of Yorkshire, and call it 'HUMBERSIDE'.
That was hated all round, and in 1992, the Lincolnshire element was returned, but again political influence re-named it to "North Lincolnshire" ... and "North-east Lincolnshire" which is centred on Grimsby.
I will send you a copy of an old Lincolnshire map which might interest you..... but I do have a lot of Lincolnshire data for the northern half of the County particularly.
Your email interested me. I help several people with computer maintenance and sort out problems, and recently was asked by a Messingham resident to help him start computing from scratch, and to use a family tree program. I spotted a name which I knew would be a good start, because it would be around in smallish numbers - unlike the Johnsons in thousands. The name was VAMPLEW.In a coupe of days we took the family back to the first Vamplew in the British Isles - Isaac Vamplew the Hugeunot refugee who came to England in the mid 1600s. All the Vamplews we know about descend from Isaac and his son Peter, baptised in the Huguenot church at Sandtoft.
....So, you see, I know your names!!If you get stuck, tell me a name/date/village and I will see what I can sort out.Regards, Rex
In addition to the Vamplew name, he has PATCHETTs in his line, and went to school with a friend who is a PORTAS! It is truly wonderful hearing from someone like Rex who is willing to go the "extra mile" to help as he stated at the end of the e-mail.

I promptly replied to Rex with some information on my Vamplew lineage, that is, the furthest I have gotten with proof: "My Vamplews can be traced back to Gayton Le Marsh 1719 marriage of James Vamplew and Elizabeth DALES. I'm sure they are connected to Isaac because they had a first son Isaac... " Families in Lincolnshire have been very good about following the naming practices i.e. first son is named after the father's father; second after the mother's father...and the first daughter is after the mother's mother; second daughter after father's mother... this usage is a pretty good indication of ascendancy in most families.

Of course I gave Rex my blog's url and told him where he could find a couple stories about my Vamplews and Patchetts. Click on any of the links for VAMPLEW in the keywords to the right of this posting and it will take you to more information.

To make a long story shortened...I asked Rex to give his Vamplew contact my email address and ask him to contact me. I really wanted to see if I could help him, too.

I soon got an email from Laurence with a short rundown on his lineage and what all Rex had helped him with. He is connected to the VAMPLEWs through a female side. I was so excited as I read his email message, because now I have the missing link back to the first Vamplew -- Isaac. I will follow up on that lead. As I read, part of his email stuck out like a sore thumb! Hey! Those are my family names! I have bolded that part in the paragraph below:
"Isaac Vamplew married Jean Duvertier in1665 (it is not known yet if this marriage was in Sandtoft or France in 1666 they gave birth to Piere Vamplew at Sandtoft who in turn gave birth to Peter 1690/1695 ( have no marriage detail as yet) from peter came James Vamplew who married Elizabeth Dales who died in 1725 more research is required on James's 1st and 2nd marriage James had a son called Isaac who married Ann Cuthbert in 1746 on this direct line came Jacob Vamplew born in1750 at Muckton nr. Louth and only a few miles from Gayton le Marsh. Jacob married Elizabeth (surname to find) then came James in 1790 and was born at Kirkby upon Bain also in the Louth district and married a Mary Dixon (more details to find on her) they produced a son called John born1829 at Skidbrooke also in the Louth district Married Mary Ann ????....Gayton le Marsh does come up a few times during my research but as yet have not put this on file but I shall be happy to help here. incidently Gayton le Marsh is a very pretty village with a lovely old Church"  
This triggered a nice round of emails. It is great he has Rex to help him through all that is available to him online. Rex is one of those very knowledgable people who monitor the list and is always there to help.

I've been researching the VAMPLEW family and the PORTAS family of Lincolnshire for almost 20 years. Although I have focussed on the Portas name and not so much on the Vamplew name, I do have many notes, images, and much information I've accumulated on them over the years. You can see the green type in the paragraph above (surname to find) -- information neither Rex nor Laurence found to that point. It took me a long time to find her name, too. I do have it in my files now and was happy to send him that little gift. Jacob Vamplew married Elizabeth ENGLAND

I wish I could supply him with the name of the Mary Ann who married John. I may find it in my notes from all my hunting and gathering at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. 

I stressed to Laurence to "trust but verify" for himself everything I give him, hoping if he finds I am wrong, he will tell me and I can correct it. It is important to me to have accurate information with the source citations also, but sometimes I find my early research is without and with that I do tell my contact to use it as a guide. Speculation also takes into account some iffy information and I don't like handing that out without stressing it as such.

It has been a nice couple weeks learning more about the Vamplews. As Laurence gets more acquainted with research and the computer and all its resources, I hope to introduce him to several other Vamplew cousins living here in USA, Canada, and across the pond in England. Such fun getting to know Laurence, too.

My cousins list is growing with a little help from networking and the genealogy gods with a sprinkling of serendipity!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Church Record Sunday - Syllina "What's-Her-Name?" Married William PORTAS 1679

Over a week ago, I got back from my annual ten-day trip to Salt Lake City. Yep, it's that time again when duty to my research calls to me. I take this trip with a great group of researchers with the Lake County Illinois Genealogical Society. We have a wonderful time with lots of time to research and time to socialize, too. We stay at a nice older hotel a couple blocks from the library. It is close enough anyone who wants to walk can stroll through Temple Square along the paths lined with least a day or two until all are ripped out in exchange for millions of spring bulbs and winter pansies. 

Our gang stakes their claim to tables or computers on several floors covering different countries such as B2 (second level in basement) where all British Isles is located. Some of us do nothing but British research. I am one of the British researchers. I, as you have read before, am a "hunter-gatherer" -- I only work on the microfilm when I'm at the Family History Library. Now some may think that is unorthodox for a family history researcher, and I should be looking at books, wills, probates, newspapers, etc., but not for a hunter-gatherer. I only do that as I'm filling in on my direct ancestors.

I concentrate on one family in one county in England -- PORTAS in Lincolnshire. I include spelling variations of which there are many. My quest is to connect all the Portas families to mine. So far, so good. There have been some hick-ups, but I've worked a lot out. I am also have another Portas researcher in England as my "other pair of eyes and mentor"; Margaret and I connected our Portas families during my trip in 2012; we keep each other honest. 

After last year's trip I wrote about the fantastic find -- 5x great grandfather Joseph's baptism of 1716. We finally filled the gapping hole in the list of children for William and Isobel (Salmon) Portas in Margaret's family tree.

After finding Joseph's baptism last year, I have been spending my time verifying and filling in the rest of the family information. I continued to add to my "ToDo" list and tried to keep my research strategy list up to date in ready for my trip this year.  

One of the things I wanted most this year was to verify the marriage date of Joseph's grandparents William Portas and Syllina What's-her-name? along with finding her maiden name. According to the information I had, they were married in Wold Newton, 26 Jan 1678. Wold Newton is a small Wolds parish not far from Kelstern where Joseph was baptized, and Wyham Cum Cadeby where he married. 

At the Family History Library, I pulled the Wold Newton microfilm from a drawer in the stack, set it up on the reader and proceeded to crank away. It takes me awhile to look at a roll because I don't go right to particular dates. I like to start at the beginning of the parish register section and proceed year by year, line for line, until I reach my destination which in this case was 1678. I go slowly looking for other Portas families in that parish that may have been there earlier on. I can add them to my collection. I document and take digital images of everyone I find. 

I finally arrived at the 1678 page where I found William Portus and Syllyna What's her name? entry. Most of it was very faint. I marked my spot with a 3-M post-it arrow and snapped the picture projected on the reader bed. For your viewing I enhanced it to be more readable, but you can see what isn't readable.

"Wm Portas et Syllyna    .....bert   Solu...  nup..... Ju 26" and below the 26 is "79." That's interesting because I can clearly see 1678 at the top of the page... yet, there are a couple other 1679s in the entries above in the "Baptismata" section.

I wasn't satisfied with the quality of the film and was told to use one of the computers which will enhance the image and will printout the selection. I also took my memory stick and got a copy of the enhancement along with a paper copy. While at the computer, the British expert came over to help read what Syllyna's maiden name was. The last four letters look like "bert" or maybe "lvert" -- a slanted "l" along with a "v" could be what we are seeing. More investigation was needed. I went to the microfiche files and pulled out a little sheet of film that had a list of all the surnames found in that parish record film. Colvert or Calvert were the two that fit the "ert" ending. No others came close. Am I safe in concluding Syllina's maiden name is one of those?

I also went to the Bishop's Transcript film for Wold Newton and surprisingly, the entry wasn't there! So now I think my Wm Portus and Syllyna What's her name? was added after the BTs were sent off. And maybe that is why there is confusion on why 1679 was on the 1678 page entries. Hmmmm.....

I'm not so sure of Colvert or Calvert being the name. I mentioned the possibility to Margaret in a hasty email that evening. She replied next day of the possibility; the Colverts were in Wold Newton, but not in that timeframe. Well, back to the drawing board.

When I got home I went online to Lincs to the Past website. This is an nice website maintained by the Lincolnshire Archives, but a little hard to understand how they index items one is searching for. I am one who likes to go right to an item or get as close as I can, but not on this site... you have to get used to using it, I guess. I'm not, so I just type in my parish name and hope for the best. Once I found the page for 1678 I made sure it was the one I wanted before I ordered a high resolution image. That was the easiest few minutes on that site I have had. My order was processed in British pounds and the image was sent to me by e-mail for downloading with in a day or two. Better than having to wait a couple weeks like a couple years ago.

Hurriedly, I opened the file and looked it over...hoping the high resolution image would give me more to look at. I darkened the area where W & S's entry is. Nothing is conclusive. But if you look at the space the maiden name takes up, it seems to be more space than "Co" would take up ahead of the "lvert" if it were Colvert. The other night, I suddenly thought of another surname which shows up in the area around where my Portas families lived in Lincolnshire -- Cuthbert. Well, if nothing else, we see an "ert!" More sleuthing is warranted. Any ideas?

All Saints church sits high above a horse pasture. The only way we knew to get to the church was to pass through a gate next to the "Church Path Cottage," walk the path up to the church's covered gate, enter the churchyard and climb a little more to the church.

Church Path Cottage

Our traveling companion entering the path in the pasture. You can see the railing on the steeper part of the climb just before getting to the covered church gate.

Looking back at the undisturbed horse grazing oblivious to our adventure.

All Saints church, Wold Newton, Lincolnshire, England

Other end of the church around from the entrance porch on the side.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chicago Fire and Laura Voigt

Family stories always have a shred of truth...we hear that all the time in our genealogical circles. However, when we hear a story from the one who experienced it, how much of it is that "shred?" 

Laura VOIGT was born 4 April 1866, in Chicago, Illinois. She was five years old at the time of the Chicago Fire in October of 1871. Laura VOIGT married Edwin Luther BUSCHICK on 25 September 1889. 

I barely remember my grandma BUSCHICK who I affectionately called grandma BooBoo; I was six years old when she passed away 13 September 1951 at age 85. Grandma BooBoo was my peppermint grandma. She always had a star candy in her pocket to give me when I visited. I remember she was soft spoken, had white hair twirled up in a bun, and she was always smiling.
Laura Voigt Buschick 1866-1951.
Grandma had many stories of growing up in Chicago north of the Chicago River in a neighborhood that is now part of the "Mag Mile." I don't remember many stories, but parts of one has stuck with me -- she survived the Chicago Fire.

Grandma told of how her family had to quickly leave their home with very few belongings and how some Indians had led them to safety. 
Family tale: The Indians supposedly had befriended her father for when they were traveling through, they would stop at the VOIGT's for water and to rest before the next leg of their long journey to Michigan. The Indians saw the flames and came to the rescue. Grandma would add being put in a large hole and wet rugs were put over them. 
How much of a "shred of truth" is this? I have no idea, but it made for a great story to tell us grandkids. Over the years, this story was reinforced by my mom and her sisters who repeated it many times -- of course, with just a few minor adjustments each time it was told. As a kid, I never thought much of what grandma said. Then a couple years ago, Bob and I went on Chicago Genealogical Society's bus tour of the city's 1871 burn area. 

The bus took us to many significant spots around Chicago tracing the progression of the conflagration from where it started to where it ended. Along the way and at each stop, our historian/genealogist explained what was important about it and the timeframe was within those few days. It was a very interesting and informative tour.

I couldn't wait for the bus to visit the burn area on the north side of the Chicago River where my ancestors were living at the time. Both grandparents' families -- VOIGTs and BUSCHICKs -- lived in the burn area near the Water Tower and Pumping Station. The Water Works as it was called actually survived the fire and is now a landmark and symbol of survival.

We toured that area, then our bus took us north into neighborhoods where there are buildings and houses that survived and had their own historical stories. On our way back to our tour's starting place, we passed the Old (Chicago) City Cemetery a few blocks north of where my grandma lived. 

Our historian explained how people in the neighborhoods tried to escape the fire by running into the city cemetery which is now part of Lincoln Park. Some years before the fire ravaged the area, the city cemetery was cleared due to health concerns. Graves were opened and the interred were taken to other cemeteries "outside" of town. Many of the opened graves had not yet been filled in. It was in these holes people jumped to get away from the fire. Some people didn't survive this sanctuary, but many did. Hearing that, my mind flashed back to what grandma said she remembered...a large hole

Could it be my VOIGT family was one of those surviving families? I can only guess, but it does bring that shred of truth closer to being for real. They were in the right area. 

Some stories of horrendous experiences can be read about on the webpage The Great Chicago Fire & The Web of Memory.

The darken area on this left-side map is the burn area. Ward 15 is where Pearson and Rush Sts. (X) are located (green area), but the 1870 census has 16th Ward on it. This is a pre-fire map. It shows Pine St.(Michigan Ave. today) and Chicago Ave. where the Chicago Water Works is (0).

The correct address of where grandma died is 2365 Chase. It's a two flat on the corner of Chase and Western Ave. Both obits say the place of her home at the time of the Chicago Fire is Pearson St. and Michigan Ave., but in 1871, Michigan Avenue was actually Pine St. (Laura's memorial can be found on Find A Grave Memorial # 66604751.)

I found grandma's obituary/death notice pasted in the funeral book (above on the left). Funeral was held on 16 September. I don't know what newspaper these came out of. The notice on the right is from the Chicago Daily Tribune (14 September)

I checked the 1870 Federal Census in Chicago, but couldn't find what street the enumerator was on when recording the family.

1870 Census -
Henry VOIGHT 47 Carpenter b. Baden Owned his home US Citizen
Anna 36 Keeping House b. Darmstadt
Linna 14 b. Illinois [must be Helena shortened to Lynna or Lena]
Emma 12 b. Illinois
Bertha 8 b. Illinois
Laura 4 b. Illinois
Henry 1 b. Illinois
[and Laura's grandparents]
Frederick ARNOLD 66 b. Darmstadt US Citizen
Gertrude 69
(Year: 1870; Census Place: Chicago Ward 16, Cook, Illinois; Roll: M593_209; Page: 25B; Image: 54; Family History Library Film: 545708)

Both notices said her home at the time of the fire was at Pearson St. and Michigan Ave. This would have put her home right in the path of the fire. The certificate below, shows her place of birth to be Rush and Pearson Sts. In 1943 when this was issued, would grandma have gotten that correct? That is about a block west of Pine St.... Close enough and still within the boundaries or the burn area.

Laura born to Henry and Anna (ARNOLD) VOIGT 4 Apr 1866. Place of birth was Rush and Pearson Sts., Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. This is a delayed birth certificate signed affidavit by Laura's sister Helena KAISER in October 1943. Laura was about 10 years younger than her sister.

I'll probably never know if the VOIGTs were one of the families who ran to the cemetery. How does one find the truth? If there is anyone out there who can add to this story, I would love to hear from you. I'm not the only grandchild she told this story. There must be more who can fill in some of the blanks. 

In 1871, Laura's future husband...Edwin Luther BUSCHICK, 5, lived with his family further north on Hurlbut St. which also was in the burn area. That area burned last. St. Michael's Catholic church, a historical building, is on that street, too. Hurlbut is now named Cleveland Ave. I never heard any stories of his surviving the fire.

Friday, October 4, 2013

John R. Vamplew Is Dead

A few days ago a nice surprise awaited my click on an e-mail message in my "inbox." 

VANPLEW in Garfield was the subject. My click opened the short message that gave me more, something more to help fill in a three-year time gap of questions. 
Karen...I found the notice of John's death and his obit in the Garfield Booster and thought of you....

Ed did indeed enclose two images -- a death notice and an obituary for my great-great uncle John Rouse VAMPLEW! I've been looking for an obit on him for quite a few years. John's obit was the last one I needed for my family of Garfield, Kansas. I have John's death record which was found in an old vault in an old Larned, Kansas bank.

Ed has been searching through newspapers on microfilm rolls for death notices, obituaries, and news items on the people buried in the Garfield Cemetery. He is entering memorials for these people to Find A GraveMy first contact with Ed was a few weeks before when he discovered I had a memorial for my great grandfather John PORTEOUS and thought I'd like the death notice he found on him. As it turned out, it was one I hadn't seen before either. This was a treat because it contained some information that was different from the original death notice I had. This type of treat is savored by family historians.

Like in the PORTEOUS death notice, John R. VAMPLEW's obit contained some information I hadn't previously known about either. This post is about that obit and how some questions get answered, but honestly, it might add mysteries, too.

John R. VAMPLEW sailed to America on the same ship as my great-great grandparents, William D. and Elizabeth PORTEOUS and family. Where were they between their 1875 arrival and 1878 settling in Kansas? The three-year time gap puzzles me.

I was sure they would have made their first stop in America in Lake County, Illinois where family and friends were. All were from their the county of Lincolnshire, England. If this is the case, did they stay in Lake County for those three years or go straight on to Kansas?

Of course, this time gap is between censuses which makes finding stuff more difficult. All the information I have accumulated so far points to the PORTEOUSes being in Kansas in 1878 and I believe John was with them, but according to John's obit, he wasn't there until 1880. The person giving the information probably didn't know and therefore guessed. I believe this would have been William M. PORTEOUS who was a young teen when they immigrated. He was the only family member left in Garfield. John was living with the PORTEOUSes at the time of his death.

In the 1885 Kansas State census, there is a column which asks "Where from to Kansas,..." and on the line for John Vamplew is "Illinois." That was my first clue to proving their first stop was in Lake County. Searching local directories, church records, and newspaper articles in Lake County, I haven't found anything that could give me a clear answer. 

This Garfield, Kansas newspaper obituary brings me a little closer to the proof I'm looking for.

Published March 10, 1921 in the Garfield Booster. This is an inside page; there is no date, but on the left column, the paper says it is “PUBLISHED EVERY THURSDAY” which would have been the 10th since March 5 was a Saturday in 1921… he was buried on that “Sunday afternoon” which would be the 6th. 
John R. Vamplew 
John R. Vamplew was born in Lincolnshire, England, August 17, 1850, departed this life Mar. 5, 1921, aged 70 years, 6 months and 16 days.
When a young man he came to America and lived for several years in the state of Illinois. In 1880 he came to Kansas and settled in the community near Garfield and has made this his home continuously ever since that time.
He made two visits to the old home in England. 
He has two sisters and one brother who still reside in the old home town in Englaad [sic], one brother and one sister who live in Ill.
He was a member of the state church in Ehgland [sic].
The suffering of his last days was much relieved by the kindly ministries of neighbors and friends. The funeral was held Sunday afternoon from the home conducted by Rev. R.L. Cecil, pastor of the M.E.Church, and the body laid to rest in the Garfield cemetery.
First of all, this obit actually spelled John's surname as it was most commonly found in England. That was a bit of a surprise since the surname of his brothers who were in Lake County was being spelled VAN PLEW! Seeing VAMPLEW spelling, I couldn't have been more thrilled.

Checking my family tree program, I had entered John's birth event as 17 Oct 1850 and (baptized 20 Oct). The obituary states August 17 and that he "departed this life" at "aged 70 years, 6 months and 16 days." Which should be trusted? Where did I get that month? Did I read my original source wrong? 

%@#%! I don't seem to have a source reference for that event in my data -- lesson learned: make sure you have a source! I probably entered this when I was first starting out and didn't know any better. Of all the images I have of family records, this is the one I don't have either! I'm finding out it has been awhile since I entered data into John's card.  

I picked up and checked the VAMPLEW diary I acquired a few years ago. Sure enough, John Rouse VAMPLEW was recorded as born 17 Aug 1850! That does it... I'm changing my entry and sourcing it! I did make a note about the October date just in case August is wrong. I have also added him and this scenario to my "get" list for my next trip to Family History Library in Salt Lake City. doesn't have a record on the website.

Putting that aside, here is the "treat" in this obit: John "lived for several years in the state of Illinois. In 1880 he came to Kansas...." 

How sweet is that? Mystery solved? Could this be the answer for that time gap? Well, not so fast. That only helps. I should dig deeper into records for any sign of John's employment and employer (starting in Lake County). He must have worked in Illinois during those three years in order to save money to buy land outside of Garfield

His uncle John ROUSE or brother-in-law John PORTEOUS would have helped him find work. They were well established in the community. I'm sure the PORTEOUSes and the VAMPLEWs who immigrated to Lake County, Illinois in 1875 were not well off. Back in England they were agricultural laborers or in John's case an Ag Servant / indoors (1871 census). How much money could they have saved over and above their passage when they were in Lincolnshire?

Revisiting a copy of John's land patent for acreage in Pawnee County, Kansas, I noticed the date was 1889. I don't know of any other deed or patent earlier than that. This would suggest he purchased land well after coming to Kansas. So what was he doing those nine years he was in Kansas? 

I remembered an article I had copied out of the Larned, Kansas, Tiller & Toiler newspaper, published October 24, 1947 during one of my research trips to the Garfield area over five years ago. It was about John working on the Santa Fe railroad. To my surprise, I actually found the photocopy in the VAMPLEW binder where it belonged.

According to "Senator E.E. Frizell's Story of Early Days in Pawnee, County"
"In 1878 and the spring of 1879 I worked on the Santa Fe section for one dollar a day. When I worked under the supervision of Mike Sweeny, replacing light steel with heavier between Great Bend and Kinsley I received on dollar and ten cents a day. We were paid once a month from the back end of a pay car that made a regular trip for this purpose. John Van Plew worked on the section with me."  
This accounting of him in 1878 and 1879 contradicts the 1880 date in the obit. This would make the year John was there coincide with when W.D. PORTEOUS and family was in Garfield.

At a dollar a long would it have taken John to save enough to buy land and when did he do it? I do have a few mortgage documents with later dates for him so I presume he probably had enough money for a down payment and then had to get the mortgages. This land adventure needs more looking into, but now I can honestly say John was in the Garfield area prior to 1880.

One other thing I have been curious about -- what church did the PORTEOUS family and John VAMPLEW belong to in Garfield? Knowing that would give me another trail to follow up on for "fleshing out the bones" of my family's life in Kansas. This obit gives me the opportunity. The last paragraph it says the pastor who performed John's funeral was of the M.E. Church. In Lincolnshire John belonged to the Church of England, but in Garfield he was part of the Methodist Church? 

My first thought was they all belonged to the Congregational Church, but nobody in Garfield knows where the church records were deposited after the church disbanded in 1959. I have inquired numerous times to various people and places. Nothing turns up, only speculation to lead me to no answers.

So what about those three years?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Corrections! I'm grateful for this chance to correct a posting

I appreciate it so much when someone sends me corrections to what I have written in my postings or my research. It doesn't happen that often, but when it does... I'm so grateful because what I want most is to be accurate. I have corrected what she has told me. You can go to that post about William D. Rosser and the Spanish War and I have put a red "*" where I made corrections. 

This message was from William D. and Elizabeth Rosser's granddaughter! It can be found at the bottom of that posting. This was unexpected, welcomed, and yet quietly hoped for since I don't have that much information about this family. I have written back to her with my thanks for her help. I am looking forward to corresponding with her. There are so many questions yet to be answered.

William D.'s wife Elizabeth is descended from my great grandfather August F. Buschick and Catherine Wylie, his first wife. I am descended from his second wife Susan Fowler. That makes their granddaughter, my "half" second cousin twice removed? or something like that.

Because August's "first" family isn't really a direct line, I never made it a priority in my research of my mom's side. Never the less, I am interested in putting those families together. It's hard not to be interested since I grew up hearing those names mentioned fondly by my mom and her sisters at family gatherings and funerals. 

I guess the curiosity dwells in all of us family historians. We just can't stop looking for more family!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

1925 - John Porteous Dies in Garfield, Kansas

I've mentioned "gathering bits and pieces" in several of my posts. I never refuse information when it comes to me. I have found that accepting these morsels of information may turn out to be a missing puzzle piece. Take for instance a couple days ago, I got an email from someone in Kansas who was working on a project -- to add all Garfield Cemetery burials on of which I am also a contributor. He was reading obituaries on the local newspapers on various microfilm.

My great-great grandparents and family settled in Garfield. They are all buried in the Garfield Cemetery. My great grandfather died in Garfield, his body shipped back to Mundelein, Illinois and he is buried in Diamond Lake Cemetery. There were obituaries/death notices in Kansas and in Illinois.

In the email message was an obituary for my great grandfather John PORTEOUS. I opened the obit image. The obituary was a lot longer than the one I had originally from a Larned, Kansas newspaper; this one was from a different newspaper, The Pawnee County News, July 23, 1925 issue (on microfilm).


There isn't much here I didn't know before, but as I read the obit, one bit stood out -- a puzzle piece -- like the cloudless sky piece of a jigsaw puzzle, it doesn't have a lot to go by, but its die-cut shape can yield the information necessary to attach more pieces. This small part of the obit does just that -- it gets me a little closer to figuring out when John's father William D. actually settled in Garfield, Kansas.

John was "84 years old and had not seen his brother for 42 years." John's father came to America and landed at the Port of New York on 21 Apr 1875 aboard the ship SS Bothnia (found on the New York Passenger Lists on William D., wife Elizabeth, daughter Jane, grandson William M., and John's brother-in-law John Rouse Vamplew, were in Garfield at least by 1878 the date on an early deed I have. I haven't seen any deed prior to that. This is the "known" in the time line. 

So where were they for the first three years? Some people wouldn't care, but I want to know. Did the W.D. Porteous family go straight to Garfield, Kansas, from the Port of New York? Unlikely. I would guess they came to John's house in Lake County first to visit with family and then any Lincolnshire friends. They probably took a train down to Garfield; by that time the Santa Fe railroad ran through and stopped at Garfield. So it is likely the W.D. Porteous family would have used that mode of transportation. Wouldn't it be neat if  the ticket stubs turned up and then were given to me? In my dreams...

"This was his [John's] third trip here to see his brother, the last being in 1878." Let's see: 1925 - third of three trips, 1878 - second of three trips, and the first trip is before 1878! With John living in Lake County, Illinois, and Garfield being almost 850 miles away in Kansas, I would think the second trip wasn't that soon after the first.This might be the closest I'll come to knowing when they were in Garfield prior to 1878. Maybe revisiting some deeds will help me. 

About forty-two months after he arrived in America, W.D. bought land in Kansas. (This 1878 deed below is the earliest known.) The deed for three lots bought in Oct. of that year is for "Sixteen Hundred Dollars." W.D. was a farmer in Lincolnshire, England, but not a land owner. How did W.D. get enough money to buy that land in Kansas? Could he have secured a loan and if so, who loaned it to him? There must be loan papers out there I haven't found yet. I'm not sure he could have worked and saved it up having a family to support and all. Sixteen hundred dollars is a lot of money to have laying around.

Over the years, W.D. accumulated quite a few acres both in town and outside. According to his 1902 obituary (found in the Larned newspaper): "Mr. Porteous was considered an exemplary citizen and by thrift and industry had accumulated a considerable estate." The obit also stated he had "resided at Garfield for the past twenty years." This would imply he came there in 1882. That can't be correct because he and the family were shown on the 1880 census. Can't believe all that is written in obituaries or death notices.

I have a deed with an 1879 date on it showing John Porteous bought land south of Garfield. Looks like the trip in 1878 could have been to look at land and then it was finalized in 1879, but we know John didn't come down next until 1925. There must be a record of the dealings between lawyers in both states. I have no knowledge of any as yet.

The 1885 State census shows the Porteous family: WD 70 years old; E[lizabeth] 73 years; Will 22; Jennie 30. There is a column for where born - all said England. There is another column "Where from to Ks" and here they wrote Illinois. No where did it say how many years they were there. This is what made me believe they had stopped in Lake County before coming to Kansas. I can't find any mention of them coming to that area in the local newspapers either. 

By 1895 State census (no 1890 census), John R. Vamplew 22 has joined the household; WD is 74, Elizabeth had passed away (1886), Jenny is 40, Wm M is 35, and a Bertie Hand 8 from Indiana has joined the household. They were asked again "Where from to Kansas..." and again they said Illinois. Still nothing about how long in Kansas.

The last census W.D. was on is the 1900, and it shows William as a Naturalized citizen [1887], states he has been in the country 25 years as do the others except Bert. William is an 80-year-old widower and it shows he was born Jan 1820 even though I have his baptism record for 7 Dec 1817 Mareham Le Fen, Lincolnshire, England. Jennie is 42 single, William J. [should be M.] is 37 and single, Bert is now an "Ad Son" [adopted] and is 13 years old, John Vamplew is a boarder 49 years old and single. Jennie was born in 1843. That would make her 57 years old. Can't believe everything written on the censuses either.

As you can see, it's the little bits that can lead to hints cutting the shape of those family history puzzle pieces. Yep, there are many more pieces to fill in for the complete picture, but this is a start. This post does help put things into prospective and will help me sort things out later on. One of these days I'll get to the clouds on those sky pieces, then it will all come together. I have to keep gathering those bits and pieces!

+ + + + + +

NOTE: A surprise on the 1895 Kansas Federal Census in Garfield, there is a Bert Hand in the Porteous household. He is eight years old. That would make him born about 1887. Although this could be for another story, I wanted to mention it here. When Bert came to be in the household he had his surname Hand. By the 1900 census in the same household, he was adopted and after that he is known as Bert Porteous. I believe he has a link to the "Orphan Train" where, right about that time, orphaned or homeless children from crowded cities were being distributed on the farms. I followed Bert to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1920 and then lost his trail. I haven't been able to find out where in Indiana he is from or if he had parents. I had contacted the headquarters for the Orphan Train, but they didn't have a database of names set up. At the time they were building one by persons submitting names and stories. Bert is a curiosity to me and I have a bunch of scattered puzzle pieces on him. One day I will spend a little time to look for him again and maybe the pieces will come together, too.