Out of Place – File Important Documents

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 16- 2019

My Great Grandmother Maggie Jane (Lynn) Boughton would tell stories of traveling by covered wagon through Kansas to Illinois as a child. What stories could her Great Grandmother, Mary Ann (Maupin) Lynn tell of her childhood?

Mary Ann Maupin was born December 17, 1811 in Henry County, Virginia, the second of four children born to Jessie Maupin (1780 – abt 1823) and Susannah Dent (1785 – abt 1825.) Mary Ann’s parents married in Henry County, Virginia on September 2, 1809, Jessie was age 29; Susannah age 22.

During the War of 1812, Mary’s father Jessie enlisted in 1813, at age 33; his occupation was listed as School Master. He was discharged March 21, 1815, in Norfolk, Virginia. Mary would have been a little over 3 years old, her older brother George age 6, her younger sister “Molly” (Elizabeth Ann) almost two years old when their father was discharged from the Army.

Mary Ann’s father, Jessie, is said to have traveled with his older brother Mosias Cyrus Maupin (1760 -1816) and Daniel Boone, through Kentucky and onto Missouri. Jessie requested from the War of 1812 Bounty Board for land in Missouri twice, in 1816 he was awarded land in Arkansas.

In July 1818, Mary Ann’s brother James Henry was born in Cumberland County, Kentucky and their father sold 119 acres of land in Kentucky two months before, on May 10th; it looked as if the family was headed West. On April 23, 1821, Jessie claimed his War of 1812 Land Grant in Arkansas.

Jessie Land Grant War 1812 Arkansas
Jessie Maupin Land Grant – War 1812

After filing for the Land Grant in Arkansas, Jessie has no further records. Researcher Phyllis J. Bauer wrote, in her publication Lynn/Linn Quarterly, April 1986, about family stories of Jessie being shot by an Indian arrow and knocked off a raft while crossing either the Tennessee or Ohio Rivers and died when Mary Ann was 10 years old. That would put her father, Jessie’s death about 1822. Eldest son George would have been age 13, Molly age 9 and Henry age 4. What of their Mother, Susanna (Dent) Maupin; I’ve found no record of her death.

Per Phyllis J. Bauer’s research, Guardianship Papers for the youngest child, James Henry Maupin were drafted in 1833, with Guardianship given to George Maupin, his cousin, son of Jessie’s brother Mosias Maupin. The Guardianship papers were found in the 1863 estate settlement papers of George, following his death in 1862.

Mary’s brother James Henry, age 15 in 1833, grew up with his cousins in Calloway County, Missouri. What became of his siblings in 1833, George, age 24, Mary Ann, age 22, and Molly, age 20? First records found for each were marriage records. George married Amanda Brissey in 1842 in Scott, Illinois. Molly married in May of 1834 to Marshall Belew and Mary Ann married in August 1838, in Greene County, Illinois, the second, or possible third wife to Lewis Francis Lynn. Mary Ann outlived her husband by 27 years, living to be 66 years old. She is buried in the Lynn Cemetery in Calhoun County, Illinois.



Baker’s Dozen – A Brick Wall

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks  – Week 12 & Week 14 – 2019

I’m just a Baker’s Dozen generations away from proving my family’s lineage as a descendent of Isaac & Mary (Norris) Allerton and their daughter, Remember (Allerton) Maverick, passengers on the Mayflower in 1620; thus allowing me membership in the Mayflower Society. I’m just a half a dozen generations away in proving my lineage for the Daughters’ of the American Revolution, (DAR.)

Ironically, the oldest records have been the easiest to prove, as New England kept inordinate vital records, that have survived nearly 400 years. My ancestors of the 1800’s had a spirit for adventure and headed West into the great frontier. I imagine that life was hard, time and distance being an obstacle to record births, marriages and deaths at the county level. (Or perhaps, the ever-changing boundaries of state counties that makes for a genealogical scavenger hunt!)

Jeremy Wyman Rogers (1815-1878) was the first to head West with his wife, Sarah Norton Davis, with  five children, three sons, and two daughters in the mid 1840’s, settling in LaSalle County, Illinois. Perhaps they followed Sarah’s parents, as John and Hepsibeth (Norton) Davis were living in LaSalle County, Illinois in 1840. Sarah’s father, John, died at the age of 61, in 1848 and her mother, Hepsibeth, died September 8, 1850. Sarah died just 13 days later on Sept. 21, 1850, leaving her husband, a new-born son and five other children aged 8 -11.

9 Sarah Norton Davis grave
Sarah Norton Rogers Grave


Sarah N. wife of Jeremy W. Rogers
aged 35 years 11 mos 7 ds
Brower- Hess Cemetery – La Salle County, IL.

Following wife Sarah’s death, Jeremy remarried, widow, Laura (Warriner) Austin in July 16, 1851. They had two sons, and moved to Rogers Township, Ford County, IL. in 1864, where Jeremy was named to the Township Board of Trustees. Jeremy moved to Kansas, perhaps following his eldest son John D, as his Will was probated in Montgomery County, Kansas on Jan. 31,1879. Following his death, his wife Laura moved back to Ford, County, Illinois and lived with her son Herbert Austin.

Jeremy’s father, Thomas, son of Revolutionary War Patriot, Noah Rogers, must be the only lineage of Noah not proven into the DAR, or so it seems! Thomas’ Death certificate proved little additional information, nor does his tombstone. Thomas is my DAR challenge; I have yet to prove that Thomas is indeed the father of Jeremy. I have old family Bible records, that may or may not be acceptable proof for the DAR. I’m off to hunt for Thomas’ will!

Inscribed: THOMAS ROGERS DIED: Apr. 26, 1874, AE.88yrs. 2mos.12 ds.

I Love to Knit

2019-03-03 13.56.1752 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 7 -2019

As I bound off the sweater that I have been knitting, since November, with no sense of urgency other to get it finished so that I can wear it to knit-night at the local yarn store, I was thinking about my ancestors.

Knitting was taught to me by my Mother, which was taught to her by her Mother, Lucille. Grandma, most likely was taught to knit by her by her Mother, Elizabeth Casey (1885-1971) while living on the South Dakota Frontier in the early 1900’s. Mom and I saw it as a creative outlet; I never saw my Grandmother knitting or sewing, other than mending and she lived until my freshman year in college.

I can only imagine what it would be like to knit for survival, socks to keep little one’s feet warm, sweaters and shawls to keep out the chill in the air, afghans to wrap up in by the fire. I imagine Elizabeth’s mother Sarah Anne Blake (1850-1936,) the first Blake generation born in this country, was taught to knit by her Mother Margaret O’Brien (1830-1891.) Margaret and her husband Patrick (1824-1893) moved their family of three young children from Pennsylvania to Washington Township, Cass County, Iowa when Sarah was six years old. My Great Grandmother Elizabeth was born in Griswold, Iowa.

Did you know that Henry Josiah Griswold, born in 1837, made an important improvement to the circular knitting machine in 1878, allowing the machine to knit ribbing or the cuff of socks? Circular sock knitting became popular in America during WWI when the Red Cross taught novice knitters how to master the circular knitting machine and knit a pair of socks in 40 minutes.

Is it a coincidence that my Great Grandmother was born in Griswold, Iowa and a man named Griswold has historic significance in the history of knitting… I think not!

Copyright © 2019 by Tamarah Rogers Van Wyk. Reflections on Family History – I Love to Knit, all rights reserved

Griswold Iowa Central Block

Surprise at the Library

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks –  Weeks 5 & 6 -2019

My first trip to the Allen County Genealogical Library in Ft. Wayne Indiana proved more than I could ask for! The Library was being remodeled, no more call slips, just books upon books arranged by Sir Name or location. I remember going to the section with the Lynn Sir Name, sitting on the floor with a pile of pulled books, (I’m sure a Librarian’s nightmare!) and skimming through to see if this was a book I wanted to dig deeper into. I was captivated by a book with family pictures and to my surprise, there was MY High School Senior Picture staring back at me! I guess this was MY family!

Lew Lynn Linage, Billie Allen Jines, Harlo Press, Detroit,1980 - Library of Congress #80-81323

In the late 1970’s, my Great Grandmother Maggie Jane (Lynn) Boughton, granddaughter of Lewis J. Lynn, had been contacted by the author, her 1st cousin, Billie Allen Jines, a cousin  that she never knew. At that time Maggie was in her mid-80’s and her memory was in decline. She spent time rotating between her son Don’s house in Racine, WI. and her Daughter Clarene’s house in Milton, WI.

Upon further investigation, my Grandmother, Clarene Fern (Boughton) Rogers, gathered information and shared it with her cousin, Billie and it was included in the publication of this book. How did I know it was my Grandmother? My name is spelled in the book the way she spelled my name my whole life, “Tammie.”

I contacted the author Billie, (she would be my 1st cousin 3X removed,) to obtain a copy of the book. Billie wrote back and told me she no longer had copies of the book, however, my Grandmother had received one. By then, both my Grandparents had passed away. Upon further investigation, I found out that the book had been given to my Grandmother’s cousin Dorothy, she still had it and graciously sent it to me.

20181021_173404[8187]I now hold dearly that copy of the book.

See also Blog Post:
MURDER! Published Oct. 21, 2018

Copyright © 2019 by Tamarah Rogers Van Wyk. Reflections on Family History – Surprise at the Library, all rights reserved

A Man of Many Names

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Unusual Name – Week 3 – 2019

When I first found the list of family names typed by my grandmother, I wondered if there had been a mistake. She listed my Great-Great Grandfather as Anistasia. I thought that to be a female name; here is his story and the many names he was known by.

A Sceiszinski birth record
Source: Church Records, Par. Dobrcz-Ch-34/1845 (12.05)

Born Anastasius Sciesinski, son of Jan and Marianna (Pawlicka) Sciesinski on May 3, 1845 in Trzeciewiec, Poland, he was the eldest of five children.

Origin of the Name Anastasius

St Anastasius
St. Anastasuis

Anastasiusis – Greek/Latin, meaning Resurrection or Rebirth. Was he named after Pope Anastasius?

From 1880-2017, less than five people per year have been born with the name Anastasius. The oldest recorded birth in the United States for the name Anastasius, is on March 18,1886.

Arrival to America

Anistatia arrival to us 1864
Year: 1864; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Microfilm Roll: Roll 240; Line: 22; List Number: 426

Name Anast Szeszinsky
Arrival Date 23 May 1864
Birth Date abt 1845
Age 19
Gender Male
Ethnicity/ Nationality Prussian
Place of Origin Prussia
Port of Departure Bremen, Germany
Destination United States of America
Port of Arrival New York, New York
Ship Name Elise and Mathilde
Search Ship Database Elise and Mathilde
Anast Szeszinsky – May 1864 – New York, New York Bremen, Germany Bremen, Germany – Male – Elise and Mathilde

From New York to Illinois

Family stories tell that he worked in stables in New York, then may have travelled to work in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. (There are about five years unaccounted for, from his arrival until his marriage in Illinois) In February 1870 he married Mary Ciskey, in Rock Island Illinois. I’ve been told original records were destroyed in a courthouse fire.

a n mary scieszinski marriage record

He is listed as Nostie Sechinza, on August 15th, in the 1870 Federal Census in Coal Valley, Rock Island, Illinois, working in a coal mine. They moved to Monroe County, Iowa in 1871, following the birth of their first son Frank in January. (It is assumed they moved to help Mary’s Mother, Catherine and her brothers Michael and Augustus Ciskey with their farm following the tragic death of Mary’s father Martin, in November of 1870.)

To Monroe County Iowa

Church Records in Monroe Country Iowa, of his children’s baptisms show his name as A. and Augustus Scieszinski.

St. Patrick’s Georgetown:
• Scieszinski, Michael John Oct. 27, 1872; child of A. Scieszinski & Mary Ann Siski; born Oct. 13, 1872; Sponsors: Michael Siski & Ellen Colgan; P. F. Harrison, Priest.

St Patrick’s, Melrose: 

• Scieszinski, Ann February 17, 1875 Scieszinski, Augustus Cisky, Mary
• Scieszinski, Joseph Peter September 7, 1876 Scieszinski, Augustus Cisky, Mary
• Scieszinski, William John June 5, 1879 Scieszinski, Augustus Cisky, Mary (Note his delayed birth record reflects both John and Sylvester as his middle name)
• Scieszinski, Martin Paul October 22, 1881 Scieszinski, Augustus Cisky, Mary
• Scieszinski, John Michael February 6, 1884 Scieszinski, Augustus Cisky, Mary
• Scieszinski, Mary Catherine April 17, 1886 Scieszinski, Augustus Cisky, Mary
• Scieszinski, Elizabeth Agnus September 30, 1888 Scieszinski, Augustus Cisky, Mary
• Scieszinski, Dan James August 25, 1892 Scieszinski, Augustus Cisky, Mary
• Scieszinski, Edward Richard November 28, 1895 Scieszinski, Augustus Cisky, Mary

A. Scieszinski, listed as a Farmer, in Section 21, of East Melrose, in the Biography section, page 503, The History of Monroe County Iowa, by Western Historical Company, Published in 1878, Chicago.

History of Monroe Co 1878

Federal and State Census – Monroe County Iowa

The Federal Census,  July 15,1880, it is difficult to read the first name he is using.

a n mary sceiszinski fed census 1880

In the 1885 Iowa State Census he is Anastasius Scieszinski

a n mary scieszinski 1885 iowa state census

The 1900 Federal Census taken on June 15, in Wayne Township, has him listed as Nostic Scieszinski. (Notice how world history/ geography changed, as they now list that they are from Germany, not Prussia, as listed in 1880 census.)

a n mary 1900 fed census.png

The 1905 Iowa State Census, (line 237,) lists him as Anastatius Scieszinski, (their daughter Annie, line 234, with her husband Michael Judge on the next farm.)

a n mary 1905 iowa state census.png

1910, April 15th Federal Census, he is A. Scieszinski

a n mary 1910 fed census

1915 Iowa State Census he is listed as A. Scieszinski

a n mary 1915 iowa state census.png

1920 – June 20th Federal Census listed as A. Scieszinski

a n mary 1920 fed census

1925 Iowa State Census – Listed as August Scieszinski

a n mary 1925 iowa state census.png

1930 Federal Census – April 2nd – Jackson Township, Monroe County. He is listed as Anastasia Scieszinski. (World History/Geography allows him back to being born in Poland.)

a n mary 1930 fed census

a n mary 1939
A and Mary Scieszinski Sept. 25, 1939 – Pioneer Days in Albia, Iowa – Oldest Married Couple
a scieszinksi obit
Monroe County News July 14, 1941, Albia, Monroe County, Iowa

My Great-Great Grandfather was a man of many names. Born Anastasius, known as Nostic, Augustus, August and simply A., which is what his Granddaughter’s Helen and Grace remembered. No children would be named after him; one Grandson was given his middle name.

a n mary scieszinksi gravestone

He Left a Legacy

The 1902 Wayne Township Plat Map has him listed as several names:
Sections 15 &16 as A. Scieszinski
Section 21 as Anastasius and August Scieszinski
Section 28 as A. Scieszinski

wayne twnshp Plat Map 1902
Wayne Township, Monroe Co. Iowa Plat Map 1902

His land legacy will have a new chapter, as the land of his son William, in Sections 15 and 21, land that was once his fathers, will soon be auctioned off.

A Family Farm for 148 years

Much Thanks to cousins Deb & Jane who provided items for this blog post.

Copyright © 2019 by Tamarah Rogers Van Wyk. Reflections on Family History – A Man of Many Names, all rights reserved


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Challenge – Week 2 -2019

As Family Historians we often find “skeletons hidden in a closet,” that we must deal with, decide how to document and share. I knew of a few of these “skeletons” when I began my genealogical journey, sadly alcoholism, suicide and murder. Last year, I uncovered something I found even more shocking, a family connection to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. My challenge was to better understand this period of American History.

The Salem Witch Trials was to become known as one of the darkest moments of Colonial America.

In 1692, witch hunting was relatively new to the colonies, however, had been in practice in France, Italy, Germany and England for the previous 300 years. Colonists had much to fear, Indian raids were moving closer to the area, there was scarcity of food and sickness. The outbreak of Smallpox in the colonies was causing three in ten to die, many being small children. Colonists wanted someone or something to blame.

From June until September of 1692, many accusations of wizardry and witchcraft were made in the three-county area near Salem, Massachusetts. Up to 200 people were arrested with charges of witchcraft against them. Nineteen people were sentenced to death as a result of the Salem Witch Trials. Surprisingly, one of the ways to prove witchcraft was to find moles or freckles on the body, supposedly this is how the evil spirits would be maintained.

Many confessed to avoid the death penalty. Every woman who confessed to witchcraft lived. Every woman who denied being a witch was hanged. Punishment was not being burned at the stake, those found guilty of witchcraft were hung from the gallows or stoned to death.

The popular point of view was that if you were against the trials, then you were an advocate for witchcraft and therefore must be a witch.

My 8th Great Grandfather, John Rogers was summoned by the court to testify in Salem, on July 30, 1692. His neighbors, Roger and Mary (Allen) Toothaker, and their daughter had been accused & arrested for witchcraft, as well as Mary’s sister Martha (Allen) Carrier. The Toothaker’s had moved from Andover, to take over Mary’s mother’s farm and in the process may have brought the Smallpox epidemic to Billerica, Massachusetts.

Roger Toothaker died in prison awaiting trial. Mary and her daughter, confessed, were released and returned to their farm in Billerica. Martha Carrier was executed for witchcraft on August 19, 1692. 

John Rogers testified in Salem on August 12, 1692.

My Reflections:

Did John Rogers, a widower of seven years, testify at the Salem Witch Trials to protect his five daughters: Mary, Sarah, Eunice, Mercy and Hanna and three sons: Samuel, John and Daniel, from witchcraft accusations? I have read repeated accounts that Martha Carrier, did not have the friendliest disposition, however, did John Rogers really believe she had cast a spell upon his cow? Was there that much fear in the three-county area near Salem in 1692?

Ironically, three years later, on August 5, 1695, in an Indian raid upon Billerica, Mary Toothacker was murdered, as was my 8th Great Grandfather, John Rogers. Mary’s daughter Martha, and John’s children Daniel and Mercy were taken by the Indians never to be seen again. * On July 20, 1703, John’s daughter Sarah, married Roger Toothacker, Jr. the son of Roger and Mary Toothacker; making us more than neighbors, we became family.


john rogers 2 summons to testify salem withc trials 2

john rogers summons to testify salem witch trials


(Summons for Witnesses)
[July 30, 1692 ]
William & Mary by the Grace of God of England Scotland France & Ireland King & Queen defend’rs of the faith &ca
To the Constable of Billrica Greeting. —
Wee Comand you to Warn & give Notice unto Capt Danforth — John Rogers & that they & Every of them be and personaly appear at the Court of Oyer & Terminer to be held by Adjurnment Att Salem on Tuesday Next at Ten of the Clock in the Morning there to testify the truth to the best of their knowledge on Certaine Indict- ments to be Exhibited against Martha Carrier of Andover and hereof they Nor you are to fail at your utmost perill making return hereof under your hand. — Dated in Salem July 30’th 1692 & in the fourth year of Our Reign *Stephen Sewall Cle[rbar ]. (Reverse)According to this warrant I have shew ^d it^ to Capt Danforth, & his Answr is, that hee can say nothing in ^yt^ case, that is worth mentioning, I have warned John Rogers, & he saith he will attend if his garison may guarded in his absence Billerica Ahgr August 1st. 92 James paterson, Cconst: ( Witchcraft Papers No. 18. Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA., Boston, MA. )



john rogers statment salem witch trials 2

john rogers statmement salem witch trials


Deposition of John Rogers v. Martha Carrier )
[August 2, 1692 ]
The deposition of John Rogger of Billreca aged 50 yeares or Thereabouts Saith
That about Seven yeares since Martha Carrier being a Nigh Neig- bour unto this depon’t and there hapening some difference betwixt us she gave forth severall threatning words as she often used to doe and in a short time after this deponent had two large lusty Sowes w’ch frequented home daily that were lost & this deponent: found one of them dead Nigh the s’d Carriers house w’th both Eares cut of & the other sow I Never heard of to this day; & the same summer to the best of my rembrance I had a Cow w’ch used to give a good Mess of milke twice a day & of a sudden she would give little or None Every Morning though a Nights she gave as formerly and this Continued above the space of a month in w’ch time I had three Meals milke on three severall Mornings not successively: and no more though One Night three of us Watched the Cow all night #[one night] yet I could have no milke in the morning of her & about the monthes End she gave milke as formerly she used, by all w’ch. I did in my Conscience beleive then in the day of it & have so done Ever since & doe yet beleive that Martha Carrier was the occa- sion of those Ill accidents. by Meanes of Witchcraft she being a very Malicous Woman & further Saith Not marke of John Rogger Inq’d Sam Holt Andover about M.C. Capt Danforth Billerica (Reverse) Jno Rogger of Billrica Ver: Marth: Carrier Court O. & Ter. by Adjt Aug’t 2.92 Carrier ( Essex County Court Archives, Salem — Witchcraft Vol. 1 No. 315


* See my Blog post Bows and Arrows, Week 43 of 2018


The Hereric’s Daughter, by Kathleen Kent, (a historical novel about the Salem Witch Trials, by a decedent of Martha Carrier)
In the Devils Snare, by Mary Ann Norton
(Includes a History Channel Documentary)

Copyright © 2019 by Tamarah Rogers Van Wyk. Reflections on Family History – Witchcraft, all rights reserved





The Heirloom Christening Dress

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – First -Week 1-2019

Michael Morris Scieszinski

Michael Martin Scieszinski was first in many, during his lifetime. He was the first of ten children born to his parents, William S. and Teresa M. (Fitzgerald) Scieszinski, entering the world on the first day of 1905. Named after his Maternal Grandfather, Michael Peter Fitzgerald and his Paternal Great-Grandfather, Martin Ciskey. There was not a birth certificate from 1905, only a delayed birth certificate filed in 1942, (almost six years after he married my Grandmother!)

Mike S Delayed Birth Certificate

He was baptized on January 12, 1905, the first to wear what was to become the family heirloom christening dress. The beautiful christening dress was worn by each of his siblings, and as far as I know, each of William & Teresa’s Grandchildren. In addition, some if not all of the Great-Grandchildren and at least one 2nd Great Grandchild; as my daughter wore the dress, 83 years later.

The Heirloom Christening Dress had impressive hand stitched detail; several pleats and tucks with open weave lace inserts, with the finest hand stitches, stitched with love, in anticipation of their first-born child, by Michael’s mother, my Great Grandmother, Teresa.

Three Generations wearing  the Heirloom Christening Dress: My Mom, me and my parents, and my daughter. 

Cousins: Do you have a picture of yourself or a child in the christening dress hand stitched by Teresa? If so, I’d love to assemble a photobook of all the babies who wore the dress.