29 August 2016

Mystery Solved: Farm Located

I have finally been able to locate the farm in Sheridan County, Nebraska that my dad grew up on. Here is how I managed to find it.

I had two pieces of information from my mother to go on:
  1. Logan C. Musser owned it--my grandfather just leased it 
  2. It was northwest of Rushville, within walking distance 
Yesterday I learned that World War 2 "Old Man's Draft" registration cards from April, 1942 had two sides. The indexed images of the front side that are available on ancestry.com, I knew about. I did not know that if you click through to the next image, you can see the back side of the card, which contains height, weight, eye color, hair color and a few more pieces of information. You can read more about that draft here and here. I immediately went online to check out the second image for my male relatives in that age range. From my grandfather, Joseph Andrew Huigens' card, I learned that he had hazel eyes like mine.

But what really caught my eye, and what I had failed to notice before, was that he listed his address on the front of the card as "section 22-32-44." That was exciting because it gave me what I hoped were the section, township and range in which the farm was located.

It took me a while to track down a set of online historic plat maps for Nebraska Sheridan County, but I finally located a set from 1914 in an ancestry.com database: Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918. Townships in some western Nebraska counties were not named but use a number instead. I was able to find the image for Township 32 N in Range 44 W.

Section 22 is listed as being owned by M. P. Musser and not Logan C. Musser, but I guessed they were related and ownership had changed between 1914 and 1926. It was also just north of Rushville and very much within walking distance of the town.

Further research in the book Recollections of Sheridan County Nebraska (Sheridan County Historical Society (Neb.). 1976. [Place of publication not identified]: Printed by Iron Man Industries.) turned up the fact that banker M. P. Musser died in 1914, the year of the plat map and his son was Logan C. Musser. So Logan had indeed inherited the land after his father died and owned it when my grandfather arrived in 1926.

Here is what Section 22 looks like on Google Maps today.

I still need to discover why my father moved the family west in 1926 and when they left the farm and moved into Rushville. I'm also intrigued by the fairgrounds shown in section 22 in 1914. My dad never mentioned any fairgrounds and the Sheridan County Fair takes place in Gordon. I'm guessing they moved the fair long before my grandfather came and leased the land. I'll need to contact the Sheridan County Historical Society about that.

26 July 2015

Fonda My Family

My latest project has been to find the maiden name of my 3xgreat-grandmother Gertrude A. Adelbush. I think I have found it and made a very exciting discovery as a result.

The facts I have to work from were that she was born 18 May 1818 in New York. This came from her grave marker and various US Census records. In the 1840 US Census, she was living with her husband, John Jacob Adelbush, in Red Hook, Dutchess, Co. NY. I have her daughter, Julia Ann (Adelbush) Herren's death record, but for Mother's Maiden Name, it states "not known." Not much help there.

After exhausting everything I could think of on ancestry.com, I decided to try familysearch.org. I added her known information to my tree and up popped info from two other trees giving her parent's names: Mathias Fonda and Elisabeth Segendorf. The source given for this was a record from a database "New York, Births and Christenings, 1640-1962." It lists the 30 Dec 1818 baptism of a Kitti Fonda, born 18 May 1818 in Reformed Church, Germantown, Columbia Co., NY. Her parents are listed as Mathaeas Fonda and Elisabeth Saegendorf. Is Kitti Fonda my Gertrude A.? It's the same birth date and the same area in upstate New York. Some people seem to think it's a match.

My first thought of course was "Am I related to Henry Fonda?" I checked out his wikipedia.org page and learned "The Fonda surname originated with immigrants from Genoa, Italy, to the Netherlands, in the 15th century. In 1642, a branch of the Fonda family immigrated to the Dutch colony of New Netherland, on the East Coast of North America.[4] They were among the first Dutch population to settle in what is now upstate New York, establishing the town of Fonda, New York. By 1888, many of their descendants had relocated to Nebraska." A relationship between his ancestors and mine was looking possible.

I did some googling of the Dutch colonial Fondas of upstate New York and came across the website "Fonda Family Genealogy: Descendants of Jellis Douw Fonda (1615-1659), immigrant from Friesland, Netherlands to Beverwyck (now Albany), New York in 1651." The site is maintained by Albert Mark Fonda. That site lists Gertrude Fonda as the daughter of Matthias Lawrence and Elisabeth (Segendorf) Fonda. So another source that made that connection. The entry for Gertrude lists the same baptism record and it also has a link to an entry for Kitti C. Fonda with that baptism date and place, but a different birth date. Very confusing.

Using the information on this wonderful Fonda site, I've determined that if my Gertrude is really the child of Mattias and Elisabeth Fonda, then yes, I am related to Henry Fonda--he is my seventh cousin twice removed. He is my grandfather, Emery Ogden's seventh cousin because they both share a set of 6xgreat-grandparents: Douw Jellis and Rebecca (Janse) Fonda. This also means my mother and her siblings are eighth cousins of Jane and Peter Fonda and I am a ninth cousin of Bridget Fonda.

Here are the two paths back to Douw and Rebecca:

Kevin Joseph Huigens, Shirley Ann Ogden, Emery Julius Ogden, Mary Elizabeth Herren, Julia Ann Adelbush, Gertrude Fonda, Matthias Lawrence Fonda, Lawrence Abraham Fonda, Abraham Janse Fonda, Jan Douw Fonda, Douw Jellis and Rebecca (Janse) Fonda.

Henry Jaynse Fonda, William Brace Fonda, TenEyck Hilton Fonda, Garret T.B. Fonda, Douw Adam Fonda, Adam Douw Fonda, Douw Jellis Fonda, Jellis Adam Fonda, Douw Jellis and Rebecca (Janse) Fonda.

Obviously this is going to require some more research to verify Fonda as Gertrude's maiden name. I am excited about a possible link to the famous acting Fondas and to having Dutch heritage on my mom's side as well as my dad's. As they say, "If you ain't Dutch, you ain't much."

05 July 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Your Father's Mother's Patrlineal Line

Here's Randy's challenge for tonight:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

What was your father's mother's name?

2) What is your father's mother's patrilineal line? That is, her father's father's father's ... back to the most distant male ancestor in that line?

3) Can you identify male sibling(s) of your father's mother, and any living male descendants from those male sibling(s)? If so, you have a candidate to do a Y-DNA test on that  patrilineal line. If not, you may have to find male siblings, and their descendants, of the next generation back, or even further.

4)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, or in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook or Google Plus post.

1) My father's mother's name was Mary Julia KAIN.
2) Her patrilineal line is:
  • Francis Joseph KAIN(1861-1930) who married Margaret H. KENNEDY(1864-1931)
  • John KAIN(1819-1893) who married Mary FOX(1823-1890)
3) My Grandma Julia had three brothers and one adopted brother.
  • Richard John "Dick" KAIN (1892-1972), who married Mary A "Mame" DARCY (1896 – 1989). They had one daughter: Margaret Clare KAIN (1918-???)
  • Francis Joseph "Fritz" KAIN (1898-1970), who married Helen E. BAKER (1909-1962). They also only had one daughter: Mary Anne KAIN (1943-2000)
  • Edmund Henry KAIN (1904-1982), who married Corene A. CUNNINGHAM (1914 - ???). They had three sons and a daughter, Living KAIN (1954 – ).
    • Living? KAIN (1939 – ???), who married Living? RUDOLPH (1944 - ???). They had one daughter born in 1964.
    • Living KAIN (1940 – ???), who married Living AIGNER (1943 – ???). They had two sons born in 1965 and 1966. One of them has a son born in 2002.
    • Living KAIN (1956 – ???), who married Living HUGHES (1958 – ???). They have two sons born in 1983 and 1989.
So my best bet for a Y-DNA test would be one of my dad's three male first cousins, if they are still alive, or one of their sons. Last resort would be the great-grandson of Ed Kain, who is twelve. It's also possible that one of my second cousins has had another son since I compiled this information. The only way to find out is to locate them and reach out to them for info on their families. The information I can find on them shows them living in various places in Minnesota.

I'm glad I didn't have to go back another generation. My great-grandfather, Frank KAIN, was one of seven sons. Two died in childhood and one never married, but I know I can find loads of living male KAINs through his other brothers.

21 November 2013

NE/SD Family History Road Trip (part 6)

Day 8, Saturday, Oct. 25

Time to head for home. We had an afternoon flight to catch in Omaha, so we headed over to I-29 south, which took us through Elk Point, Union County, SD where my Grandpa Ogden was born. It also took us along the Missouri River into Iowa, our fourth state in a week. We stopped in Sioux City for breakfast. They had some pictures on display of the long-gone Sioux City Corn Palace. I never knew that there was more than one of them.

All in all it was a great trip. We got in all that we wanted to do. We had great weather. I got to visit the graves of six of my eight great-grandparents, three of my great-great-grandparents and one of my third-great-grandfathers. I saw, photographed and took soil samples from six farms. My wife got to see where Willa Cather lived and visit a quilt museum and a quilt shop. Next vacation we go wherever she wants and do whatever she wants. She earned that and more.

20 November 2013

NE/SD Family History Road Trip (part 5)

Day 7, Friday, Oct. 25

Our last day of planned family history activity began by heading to the small town of Kaylor, Hutchinson County, SD. West-southwest of Kaylor was the site of an earlier farm of JR Ogden, in Sharon Township. He was there from about 1879 to somewhere before 1885. It’s going to take another road trip to look at land records to sort out exactly who lived where when. Maybe a bunch of letters to courthouses would be easier.

Leaving Kaylor, we headed for Scotland—Scotland, SD that is, in Bon Homme County. My third-great-grandfather, John Gibbon had settled near there in about 1873. Originally from Scotland (probably from Aberdeenshire), he lived for several years in Ontario, Canada before moving to SD. One of my favorite pictures is him and his second wife seated outside there sod house with their grandson, William Ogden, my mom’s grandfather. John died in 1889, the year South Dakota became a state.

We started in Rose Hill Cemetery looking for the graves of Gibbons. We quickly located a Gibbon marker that marked the family plot William Gibbon’s family. He is one of three sons of John Gibbon, a 2nd great granduncle. There was also a very old marker for Margaret Gibbon with no years on it. That must be a marker for his sister because his mother, Margaret Gibbon died in Ontario. I suppose it’s possible that they put up a marker for her there in Scotland. It’ll take some more research to sort it out.

We looked around for quite a while to find the other Gibbon graves, but could find nothing. Since it was lunch time, we headed into town. We ate at a small “diner” in a corner of a gas station. It appears to be the place for lunch in town as several people came in to eat while we were there. After explaining what we were doing in town (I’m so lucky that my wife will talk to anyone), one of the women working there suggested we visit the City Finance office where the cemetery records are kept. 

We had some time to kill since the women who ran the office was out to lunch until 1. We started by doing some shopping at a small department store in town. The smell when we walked in took me right back to a similar store my Grandpa Ogden ran in Martin, SD when I was a kid. We bought some t-shirts for us and the grandkids (my stepson’s fiancĂ© is from Scotland, the country) and some post cards. We mailed the cards from the Scotland post office to the grandkids, who live in Hong Kong. Those may be the first pieces of mail ever sent from Scotland, SD to Hong Kong. We still had time, so we headed a little way west out of town to the site of John Gibbon’s farm in Washington Township.

By then we could visit the City Finance Department, which is located in a small office in the back of the fire station. Linda, the woman who works there, was very helpful. She pulled out her file of index cards, found the info on John Gibbon’s plot and gave us a cemetery map to show just where to look. Even with that help it took us a while to find the grave markers, but find them we did. John and his second wife, Isabella, are buried near his oldest son, James.

With that we had finished all of the family history work I had planned for us. We headed back to spend the night in Vermillion. Before checking into the hotel we stopped at the National Music Museum on the USD campus. They have a collection of over 15,000 instruments from around the world and from several centuries. Being a tuba player, my focus was on the serpents, ophicleides and other early low brass instruments. 

They also have pictures up of the members of the SD Bandmasters Hall of Fame. I was disappointed that my high school band teacher, Jack Knowles, is not included. Milo Hamilton, the band director from crosstown rival Stevens High is there. I played under him a few times in the all-city band.

(to be continued)