Irish Grandfathers

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 45 – Bearded

lucille 1935

My Grandmother’s Maternal Grandfather, Michael Thomas Casey, was born December 24, 845 in County Westmeath, Ireland. He came to America, at age 7 with his widowed Mother, brothers Bartholomew, John Jr and an older sister, name beginning with A. They left Liverpool, England, arriving in New York on October 15, 1850. The ship they came on, Western World,  sank near Spring Lake, New Jersey on its voyage back to England, less than ten days after they left it, on October 22, 1853.

Michael’s mother, Ann (Annie) McKiernam, with her three sons, operated a boarding house at 43 Webster in New Haven, Connecticut. The real estate was valued at $1200 in the the1860 Federal Census or about $36,000 in today’s dollars. Michael and his older brother John headed West to Iowa about 1869. Michael settled in Griswold, Cass County, Iowa with his wife Sarah (Blake) Casey.

mike and sarah casey
Sarah and Michael Casey


My Grandfather’s Maternal Grandfather, Michael Peter Fitzgerald was the first of his generation born in America, born November 1, 1853 in Saco, Maine. Both his parents were Irish immigrants. His parents moved the family to Cedar Township, Monroe County, Iowa when Michael was seven years old. There he would settle and raise his family with his wife Johanna Barron.


Michael and Johanna (Barron) Fitzgerald

Bows and Arrows

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 43 Cause of Death

I’ve written about my Paternal family on the Kansas frontier; I’ve  never thought about Massachusetts, being the frontier, however, in the mid to late 1600’s, that’s exactly what is was, as the Puritans moved west. There were dangers of wild animals, Indian raids, and in the 1690’s, witchcraft.

068d35ad-d379-486d-96bb-cf44b4b81a24 John Rogers Sr. (my 9th Great Grandfather,) settled in Watertown, part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1638 from Chelmsford, Essex, England. He married Pricilla Dawes, November 22, 1640 in Boston. Their first child, John Jr. was born September 11, 1641 in Watertown. John Sr. was one of the founders of Billerica, (SW of Andover,) about 1643, after the birth of their daughter Mary, in Cambridge.

John Sr. would live the rest of his life in Billerica, Massachusetts. They would have eight children, four boys being John Jr, Thomas, Daniel and Nathaniel. His wife Pricilla preceded him in death, at the age of 43, in 1663. John Rogers Sr. would live to age 73, passing away in Billerica in 1686.

John Jr. married my 8th Great Grandmother, Mary Shed, daughter of Daniel & Mary (Gurney) Shed, on October 10, 1667 in Billerica. (John’s brother Thomas would marry Mary’s sister, Hanna Shed in September of 1672.) John Jr. and wife Mary would have 9 children, John (died as infant,) Samuel, Sarah, Eunice, John, Daniel, Mercy and Hanna. They lived during the King William’s War, the American version of the Nine Years War, (1688-1697) During the War, both England and France had Native American allies and encouraged them to raid the other’s colonies in New France and New England.

mas bay colonies 1692

Billerica experienced their first Indian assault on August 1, 1692. The second home attacked was that of Mary & Hanna Shed’s brother, Zachary Shed, his wife, Ann (Bray m.1677) and their five children. Little is known about the circumstances of the attack, only the names listed as “All slain by y Indians.”

On August 5, 1695, several farms were raided. The Indian attack ravaged the John Levistone homestead, killing his mother- in-law, five young children and capturing his eldest daughter. Neighbor, Mrs. Mary Toothaker, wife of Dr. Roger Toothaker, (whom died in prison as a defendant during the Salem Witch Trials,) was killed and her youngest daughter Martha taken. Thomas, brother of John Rogers Jr. and his eldest son, were also killed.

The Indian raid continued, as they entered the home of my 8th Great Grandfather, John Rogers Jr. A widower of seven years, he was shot through the neck with an arrow, which he pulled out and died with the arrow in his hand. A young woman, presumably one of John’s daughters, was scalped and left for dead; son Daniel, age 12 and daughter Mercy, age 8 were captured and taken by the Indians, never to be seen again.  Billerica Town records list them “All slain by y Indian enemie.” My 7th Great Grandfather, John was 14 years old, he and his remaining siblings, now orphaned.
john rogers road sign


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks- Week 42 – Conflict

It was about ten ago when I first went to the Allen County Genealogy Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana with my friend Nancy. It is an amazing experience as you can sit surrounded by a stack of books in your family’s sir names. I was researching my Great Grandmother, Maggie Lynn Boughton’s family. I didn’t know much about her family, as my Grandmother told me she was raised by  Great Aunt Nancy (Harrison) Cloninger.

I sat on the floor of the library with stacks of books surrounding me, paging through each book with the Lynn sir name, looking for a clue that this was MY Lynn family. I was paging through Lew Lynn Linage, by Billie Allen Jimes, on page 45, there were two pictures, one of my Great Grandmother Maggie, and another surprise. The caption on the page read:

“Above: James Newton Lynn and his only child, Maggie Jane Lynn when she was 16. Right: Tammie Ann Rogers a great- great- great granddaughter of James Lynn, at age 18, when she was an AFS exchange student to Bogota,’ Columbia”

This WAS my Family!

It was through this book, I first learned of Maggie’s grandfather’s tragic death. Lewis John Lynn, known as Lew Lynn, previous Mayor, practicing Attorney and Justice of the Peace in Chautauqua Springs, Kansas was stabbed to death in the street outside his office.

Born March 31, 1842 in Calhoun County, Illinois, son of Lewis Francis Lynn and MaryAnn Maupin Lynn. He enlisted as a soldier in the Civil War, Company D, 10th Regiment, Missouri infantry, on August 31, 1861, serving until the wars end. He is described as 6”1, dark hair and hazel eyes. (He served with his later to be Brother-in-Law, Robert Emmett Bennett, whom married his sister MaryAnn Elizabeth Lynn on November 3, 1867.)

Lewis John Lynn
Lewis John Lynn (1842-1891)

Lew married Martha Harrison on November 19, 1865. They moved to Montgomery County, Kansas about 1870, where he is listed in the census in Westrailia, as a Saloon Keeper. His wife, Martha passed away at age 34, in March of 1876, leaving four children, ages 1 to 10 years old.

Lew remarried on September 13, 1877 to Sarah Ann Holt. In the 1880 Census they are listed in Belleville, he as a Farmer. Lew spent many years of night study to become an attorney. The Cedar Vale Star, July 31, 1891, stated:

“He raised himself from the plow to the bar by his own excursions, he was respected and liked by all.”

In 1881 Lew moved his family to Chautauqua Springs. He and Sarah would have seven children, his widow giving birth to his name sake three months after his death. He would leave behind a widow and seven living children.

“Lew Lynn was a man of prominence and high standing in the county, especially in Chautauqua Springs, where he had resided ever since the town was started. He was Justice of the Peace for seven years, and at the time of his death, City Attorney. He was the leading Pension Attorney in the county, was himself a soldier in the Civil War… He leaves a wife and four children at home.”

“Lynn received three cuts, two of which were on his left arm… both cuts were to the bone, thus showing the assailant was aiming for the heart of his victim. The third and fatal stab was received between the fifth and sixth ribs on the left side.”
Sedan Republican, July 29,1891

Jack Quinn was charged with 1st degree murder was said to have had a grudge against Lew Lynn from a previous prosecution. He is described in the newspapers as a shoemaker, blacksmith, fiddler, loafer and bootlegger.

The Elgin Clipper Elgin Chautauqua County Kansas Saturday August 1 1891
The Elgin Clipper, Elgin, Chautauqua County, Kansas, Saturday August 1, 1891





Remember the Journey – To America!

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks- Week # 40 – Ten

Sometimes I find myself laser focused on the destination, that I forget to remember the journey. I suppose the Pilgrims, including my 10th Great Grandmother, Remember Allerton, felt the same crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the Mayflower in 1620. Remember, born in 1614 in Leiden, Zuit, Holland, Netherlands, was the second child of Isaac and Mary (Norris) Allerton. Remember, just 6-years-old, was aboard the Mayflower with her parents, 8-year-old brother Bartholomew and 4-year-old sister Mary.

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall 1882

The Mayflower set sail on August 20, 1620, leaving England headed for territory granted to them in the area of the Hudson River, in present day New York. Storms and rough seas prevented the ship from reaching their destination, instead arriving on Cape Cod, which is now Provincetown, Massachusetts on November 21, 1620. On the day before Christmas, the 104 settlers were deposited nearby at the site of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Remember’s Mother was one of three women onboard that were in their third trimester of pregnancy. Mary gave birth to a stillborn child aboard the Mayflower, in port at Plymouth, on December 22, 1620. A staggering 78% of the Mayflower women died the first winter, leaving only five survivors. Remember’s Mother Mary (Norris) Allerton was one of them, passing away on February 25, 1621. They believe the mortality rate for women was higher as they stayed on the damp and crowded quarters of the Mayflower, while the men were out in the brisk, New England fresh air felling trees and building structures to live in. Of the 104 original Mayflower passengers, only 53 survived the first winter. They succumbed to malnutrition, disease and the extremely hard winter.

isaac allerton signatureBefore going ashore at Plymouth, Pilgrim leaders drafted the Mayflower Compact, a 200-word document that became the first framework of government in the new world. Isaac Allerton, Remember’s father’s signature was placed upon it.

Remember married Moses Maverick on May 6, 1635. They had six children, one boy and five girls, Rebecca, Mary, Abigail, Elizabeth, Samuel and Remember. Remember passed away on September 12, 1655 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, at the age of 41. Her oldest daughter Rebecca was 16 and youngest child, her namesake, just three years old. (Remember’s younger sister, Mary, was the last survivor of the “Mayflower” company, living until age 83, passing away in November of 1699.)

As winter approaches, the cold and snowy midwestern weather will soon be upon us. I will appreciate the challenges of my 10th Great Grandmother Remember (Allerton) Maverick, all that she endured that first harsh winter in America as a four-year-old, as her Mother and so many others did not survive. I now know where the strength I draw from originated from yet another strong, brave and courageous female ancestor.


Fitzgerald Farm

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 39

Mike and Hannah Fitzgerald with two youngest children[4097]

My 2nd Great Grandfather Michael Peter Fitzgerald was a Farmer in Monroe County, Iowa most of his life. The first in the family born in America, in Sato, Maine on November 1, 1853. Michael was the eldest born to Patrick Fitzgerald and Catherine Quinlan, both of Ireland; married in Portland, Cumberland County, Maine on November 22, 1847. (Family stories are that Michael’s parents met on a blind date while living in New York City, she a maid and he worked in a stable.) The young family headed West, from Maine in 1853, then on to New York in 1856, to Missouri in 1857, to Illinois in 1858 and onto Cedar Township, Monroe County, Iowa by June 23, 1860 the date the Federal Census was taken.

Ten years later, in 1870 Michael is listed as a Farmer on his father’s land in Cedar Township at age 17. At age 19, on January 13, 1873, Michael married Johanna Barron, (daughter of Philip Barron and Bridget Murphy,) in Stacyville, Monroe County, Iowa. (Michael’s wife Hanna immigrated from Ireland with her Mother and 5 siblings. They lived in New York and Illinois before settling in Cedar Township, in 1869 on 160 Acres, titled under her brother James Barron.)
Michael, his father Patrick Fitzgerald and Hanna’s brothers James and Sylvester Barron are listed in The History of Monroe County Iowa.

The History of Monroe County Iowa, by Western Historical Company, Published 1878 Chicago. Patrick Fitzgerald- Cedar Township S16, Weller & Michael Fitzgerald – Cedar Township, S8 Weller, Page 489

1878 history of monroe co

Michael and Hanna, as she was known, went on to have 9 children, 3 sons and 6 daughters, (one son is lost between census records,) all born in Cedar Township, Monroe County, Iowa. They both lived on their 194-acre farm in section 15 of Cedar Township until after Hanna’s death in 1914. Michael continued to live on the farm with their daughter Margaret, until 1920, when they are both living in Albia, he is listed as a retired Farmer, at age 67. Margaret married in 1923 in Albia. I’m not able to verify where Michael lived between 1923- 1929. I unable to locate an Iowa State census for 1925 for Margaret and her husband, with Michael listed. Perhaps he spent time at each of his Monroe County, Iowa children’s homes?

Gathering Graduation Dates

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 38 – Unusual Source

1913 McCook Map

While researching McCook County, South Dakota, I stumbled upon school records showing my Grandmother in the first grade. I shuttered at the thought of my ancestors obtaining my first-grade school records showing my “D” in effort in penmanship. After all, I won’t be there to explain that I found copying the printed letters on a whole page of lined paper rather boring. I created my own block and curly cue alphabets, which would later become scrapbooking and computer fonts. My creativity and futuristic vision was not appreciated by my first-grade teacher, nor my parents.

Back to the school records of Benton, School 1, Salem, South Dakota; the one room school house with 15 students, grades 1-7 was held for nine months, from September 6, 1920 – May 21,1921. The roster lists all five Ellebrecht children, sons and daughters of Lawrence George Ellebrecht (1880-1963) and Elizabeth Agnes Casey (1885-1971.) Son, Lester, age 14, grade 7, and daughters, Anna, age 13, grade 7, Blanche, age 11, grade 5, Ethel, age 6, grade 2 and my Grandmother Lucille, age 6 grade 1.

ellebrecht school records 1920 21
1920 -1921 Benton Salem, McCook, Co. S.D.

I further searched for school records. In 1911-1912 Lester is listed in the first grade and attended school for 25 days of the seven month school year, in Pearl Township. In 1912-1913, the two oldest, are listed as students #7 & #8 both in the first grade, in Pearl Township, District 4, McCook County.

Ellebrecht School records 1911 1912 Lester
1911-1912 Pearl Township, McCook Co. S.D.

Benton, School 1, McCook County, S.D. one room schoolhouse, with 15 students, for the 1922- 23 school year, started on September 18 and finished on May 29. It listed my Grandmother Lucille, age 8, grade 2, sisters Ethel, age 9, grade 4 and Blanche age 13, grade 7. The two older siblings, Lester and Anna would have been in High School.

Ellebrecht School records 1923
Benton Township School #1, McCook Co. S.D.

September 8, 1924- June 5, 1925, my Grandmother was in 5th grade at St. Mary’s Parochial School in Salem, S.D. She has 32 classmates in the 4th and 5th grades. Her older siblings would be in Junior High and High School.

Ellebrecht school records 1925
1924- 1925 St. Mary’s Salem McCook Co. S.D.

The next school records I found were of my Grandmother  in 7th and 8th grade, with 35 classmates, in Spencer Independent Consolidated School District, McCook County, S.D. She is listed as student #22 and #5. They studied Reading, Writing, Orthography (Spelling,) Arithmetic, Language & Grammar, Physiology (Biology,) Drawing, South Dakota History (grade 7,) US History (grade 8) and Music.

Ellebrecht school records 1929
1928 -1929 Spencer, McCook, S.D.

I estimate from the school records that Lester graduated in 1926; Lester went on to attend one year of college. Lester married in 1931 in Salem, S.D. He and his wife Pearl  moved to Janesville, Wisconsin for work at the GM Plant about 1933.

Blanche nurse
Blanche Ellebrecht 1933

Anna would have graduated in 1927.She married September 22, 1928 in Janesville, Wisconsin. Her husband worked at the GM Plant.

Blanche would have graduated from High School in 1928; she attended three years of college at Creighton University to become a RN. She is listed in the 1930 census at St. Catherine’s Hospital Nurse’s Home in Omaha, Nebraska.

Ethel would have graduated in 1932. In 1934 she is listed in the Janesville, WI. City Directory living with her older brother Lester on Blackridge Road and working for Parker Pen Company.

My Grandmother, Lucille would have graduated from High School in 1933. She is living with her older brother Lester in 1936 and working as a  sticher at The Janesville Clothing Company. She married in Janesville, WI. August 1936.



Shared Birthday

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 37

I must go back over 200 years to find an ancestor that shares my birthdate, my 5th Great Uncle, Noah Rogers, born November 23, 1803. He was the 9th child born to Noah Rogers (1761-1826) and Hanna Catherine Whitney (1766-1861)

His father, Noah Sr, my 5th Great Grandfather, served in the Revolutionary War, 6th Battalion, Massachusetts, enlisting at age 18, in October 1780. He married Hanna Catherine Whitney, daughter of Jason Whitney & Lois Pratt Whitney, on November 12, 1785, in Gorham, Maine.

They had ten children between my 4th Great Grandfather, Thomas born in 1787 and the son born after my Uncle Noah in 1805. Noah Sr. also served in the War of 1812, Uncle Noah would have been 8 years old and my 4th Great Grandfather Thomas had married two years prior to Rebecca Smith in Farmington, Maine and welcomed their first child in 1812.