19 April 2009

Strayer letters and news items

If you go to this web site you can read a letter from Mrs. Mary Emma Hughes of Medicine Lodge, KS to her mother, Mrs. Harriet Alice Strayer of Davenport, IA. The letter is dated 4-May-1884.

Mary Emma (STRAYER) HUGHES was one of the aunts of my maternal grandmother, Esther (JOHNSON) OGDEN. Harriet Alice (HOWARD) STRAYER was my grandmother's maternal grandmother. The letter also mentions Mary Emma's sisters, Mattie and Flo/Flora. These would be two more of my grandmother's aunts, Martha Ellen and Flora Alice. Mary, Martha and Emma are all sisters of my great-grandmother, Rosabell "Rose" (STRAYER) JOHNSON.

At this web site you can read another letter from Mary Emma. This one was written to her sister Mattie on 2-Jan-1903. The very first sentence mentions a letter Mary Emma received from her sister, my great-grandmother, Rose. I wish I could find that letter!

The last nuggets that I want to share are a couple of brief news item from the Milan (IL) Independent newspaper that I found here.

29-May-1902: Mrs. H.A. Strayer of Davenport , Iowa has been here visiting her son John Strayer.

That would of course be Harriet visiting my grandmother's uncle, John Howard STRAYER, brother to Rose, Flora, Mattie and Mary. Milan is south of Rock Island, which is just across the Mississippi River from Davenport, where Harriet lived.

And another entry from May 1902
"Mr. and Mrs. John Strayer have been visiting his brother, Lou Strayer, in South Rock Island ."

This introduces yet another of my grandmother's uncles: Louis B. STRAYER, the oldest of Harriet's many children.

04 April 2009

Maria HUIGENS (1860-before 1870)

A while back I received an abstract of some baptismal records from St. Mary's Catholic Church in Henry, IL. This list included the records from 1850 to 1860 of all of the names similar to HUIGENS. Two of the entries were of interest.

1856-Nov-1: Mary Julia 9 ds. Dau of Edward HAGENS and Catherine THOMAS, ss Peter and Mary THOMAS

1860: Maria Born to Eberhard HENCHEN and Cathirina THOMAS, wit Mathias TOMMES, Maria SCHMITT

The first entry is for the older sister of my great-grandfather John HUIGENS. I had her listed as Julia M., born Oct. 1856. This record provides not only her exact birthdate (23-Oct-1856, 9 days before her baptismal date), it also provides more information on her name, although she always went by Julia.

The second entry presents a whole host of problems. Is this a previously unknown daughter of my great-great-grandparents? The mother's name matches Catherine TOEMMES and the sponsors are Mathias TOEMMES, Catherine's brother and Maria SCHMITT, the maiden name of Catherine's mother and my great-great-great-grandmother.

There is also a 4-year gap between Bernard HAUGENS (born 18-Aug-1858) and my great-grandfather John HUIGENS (born 15-June-1862). An 1860 birth would fit neatly between those two dates.

However, I had my great-great-grandfather's first name as Edward or Evert. Eberhard was only an outside possibility. There is a gravestone for Eberhard HEIGENS in the Old Catholic Cemetary outside of Henry. The year of death on it is a match for my ancestor and it is near that of what wold be his mother-in-law, but the age, 21 yrs., is way too young. The stone is broken across the engraved birthdate making it very difficult to double check the death age. I need to go back and give the stone a closer look.

The last name is not a very good match either, but it's as close as any other version of the name I've seen. The first "en" may be a transcription error of "ui." I'll need to ask my source to double check that.

There is no Maria listed with the family on the 1860 census. The date on the census form is 2-Jul-1860, which leaves two possibilities. Maria may have been born in 1860 and died before the census. Or she may have been born that year after the census taker came around. In the latter case, she presumably died before the 1870 census because she is not listed with Catherine and her second husband, Nicholas WEND, on that census. I'll also have to ask my source check on the exact date of the baptism.

Given what I know so far, I'm inclined to add Maria HUIGENS as a previously unknown child of my great-great-grandparents.