Wednesday, February 21, 2018

#52Ancestors-Week 8-Heirlooms

My great-grandmother, Grandma Murphy (Katherine Hanauer Murphy), had a set of Haviland china that was her "good" china.  I believe that her china was a wedding gift (she married in 1902). She managed to hang on to it, even through the Great Depression.  And when she was older, she determined that the Haviland was to go to her oldest great-granddaughter, who just happened to be me! So, when Grandma Murphy died in 1963, my grandmother kept it for me until I married in 1971, when it was officially passed on to me.  I treasured having it and used it on special occasions!

When my grandmother died, I also got her good china.  One can only have so many sets of "good china".  As my daughters became adults, I was ready to pass on the Haviland.  My oldest daughter already had "good" china and didn't want another set, but my other daughter was very interested in having it, so now it is in the possession of another generation.

**side note: the daughter who has the Haviland has "Murphy" for her middle name, so it made it even more fitting to pass it on to her!

Monday, February 12, 2018

#52Ancestors-Valentine; Week 7

For the prompt, Valentine, I decided not to go with the obvious choice and am writing about my great-great-great grandfather, Valentine Hanauer.

Valentine Hanauer was born on the 20th of February in 1834 in Alsace, France.  He was the oldest son of the six known children born to Jean George and Marie Barbe Marzolf Hanauer. He was named after his grandfather.  Valentine arrived in the United States with his parents and family around 1847 at the age of 13.  The family settled in Canton, Ohio, later moving on to Indiana.

In the 1850 Census, Valentine is listed with his parents, two sisters and his brother in Canton, Ohio. His father is listed as a farmer.  His oldest sister, Saloma, is not found with the family. She would have been 23 years old when the family came to the United States, so perhaps she was married and either stayed in Alsace, or she is near the family, but her married name is unknown.

Valentine Hanauer married Elizabeth Swain on the 3rd of March in 1859 in Huntington County, Indiana.  Their first child, my great-great grandfather, (Edward C. Hanauer) was born on the 21st of June in 1859.  [a side note: In a letter written many years later by Edward's sister-in-law she stated that it was said that "Ed" was adopted, but she didn't know if that was true.]

Valentine and Elizabeth, along with their son Edward, were listed as living with Valentine's parents, and brother George, in the 1860 census for Whitley County, Indiana. Valentine's father was listed as a farmer, but there was no occupation listed for either Valentine or his brother George.

According to the 1870 Huntington County, Indiana census, Valentine and Elizabeth had 8 children: Edward, William Henry, George Washington, Valentine, John, Nancy Jane, Saloma, and Elizabeth Ann. Valentine was listed as a farmer with real estate worth $800. A daughter, Magdalena, was born in 1873, but died that same year.

The 1880 census for Huntington County, shows that Valentine and Elizabeth had three more children: Emmaline, Ira and Nora J. Valentine was still listed as a
farmer, with his older sons listed as working on the farm.  Their son, Edward, had married in 1879 and he was living with his wife in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Six of Valentine's children married between 1880-1890. Three married before 1900 and one married in 1904, so presumably, Valentine lived to see all of them married.  Sadly, he also saw three of his children die between 1890-1900. The picture to the left is of the family of Valentine and Elizabeth Swain Hanauer, with Valentine and Elizabeth in the center.

The 1900 census for Huntington County, Indiana listed Valentine and Elizabeth living by themselves.  Valentine was listed as sixty-four years old (he was actually sixty-six) and a farmer.

Valentine died on the 28th of February in 1904.  He was seventy years old. Elizabeth lived six more years.  They are buried together in Funk Cemetery.

Monday, February 5, 2018

#52Ancestors: Favorite Name-Week 6: Graybrook Lake

For the Favorite Name prompt, I decided to write about the lake that my great-grandfather, Sam Gray, built that was named Graybrook Lake. 

(or sometimes called Lake Graybrook!) Sam moved to Owen County, Indiana from Terre Haute in about 1935.  He had began buying property there in about 1921. In 1932, he had created the Grayland Corporation and wanted to build a lake there. He applied to the WPA for the project.  According to The Early History of Lake Graybrook:

"Because he (Sam) was a staunch Republican, his offer was not accepted.  However, the government had a problem finding projects for the WPA in Owen County.  The WPA reconsidered and agreed to build the dam, providing that Sam would match every dollar to be spent by the government." 

 The work began on the dam and was completed around 1938.  The lake filled up within six months. It is approximately 36 acres.  Because the project was government funded it was required to be available to the public for fifty years, but the Corporation could determine how it was available.  Sam built a boathouse with boats to rent.  However, there was a locked gate that was the only access to the boathouse area.  Meanwhile, before lots were offered to the public, Sam gave his three living children their choice of land on the lake.  My grandmother chose a five acre lot on the lake and in 1940, Sam built a small one room cabin for her and her family.

My grandmother, Lotta Nye Gray Adamson, lived in Peoria, Illinois with her husband and children by that time, so it was a long day's drive for them to get to their beloved cabin. (It's a four hour drive now).  My grandmother and my father spent their summers there, with my grandfather driving down on the weekends.  Sam and his wife still lived down there, too.

After my father married my mother, our family trips began to that small cabin.  It had electricity, but no running water.  We slept on Army cots and used the outhouse.  And for young kids, it was heaven!  The old cabin remained even after my parents built a new "cabin" there in 1976.  The new cabin was originally one bedroom and one bathroom, but my parents added two more bedrooms and another full bath soon after.

Then when I married, my family began spending weekends down there with our children.  It was a great vacation destination and we spent many wonderful weeks over the years vacationing with friends there.  And as our children grew up and married, we spent weekends there with our children and grandchildren.

Now my sister and her husband hope to retire there in the next few years!

So, eighty years later, Lake Graybrook is still part of our family and has been the source of endless enjoyment for countless others!  Well-done, Sam! 

Monday, January 29, 2018

#52Ancestors-Week 5 In the Census

For Week 5 of #52Ancestors the prompt is "In the Census".  This could apply to many things, but what came to mind first was the 1850 Census for Allen Adamson and his family that remained elusive to me for a long time.

Allen Adamson was my third great-uncle, brother to my great-great grandfather, Aaron Adamson.  Allen and Aaron had both married in Edwards County, Illinois in 1835. Allen and his family were still listed in Edwards County, Illinois in the 1840 Census, but were not found in the 1850 Census.  I found him in the 1860 Census in Crittenden County, Kentucky living with his father.

As I continued to research his family, I learned that from 1842 through 1857 his children were born in Missouri.  His wife's parents had moved from Edwards County, Illinois to Texas County, Missouri sometime between 1840 and 1850. Allen's wife, Elizabeth, died around 1857 in Missouri. Estate records for Elizabeth's death and Guardian records for her children were located in Texas County, Missouri, and were recorded in 1858.

But I could not find the family in the 1850 Census records.  I searched manually, page by page through the 1850 Texas County Missouri Census records.  Nothing.  Eventually, I learned that one of Allen and Elizabeth's daughters was born in 1852 in Crawford County, Missouri.

I searched and searched the 1850 Census in Crawford County and couldn't find the family.  Eventually, I again did a page by page search and finally found the following:

Name: A Adsun
Age: 45
Birth Year: abt 1805
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1850: District 24, Crawford, Missouri, USA
Gender: Male
Family Number: 765
Household Members
A Adsun45
E Adsun36
T Adsun14
N J Adsun12
William Adsun10
S A Adsun8
A Adsun6
J W Adsun5
J Adsun4
R Adsun3

So, "Adsun" was the name listed for "Adamson".  Close enough, huh? Believe me, it was a matter of high celebration in this household when I finally located this family in their 1850 household! I wish that I could learn more about why they were in Crawford County, and when they made the move to Texas County!

Monday, January 22, 2018

#52Ancestors-Week 4 Invite to Dinner

Week 4's challenge is to write about who you would "Invite to Dinner". It's a difficult choice to consider.  There are my beloved grandparents, my parents,  and my two brothers to consider. How wonderful it would be to sit down with any of them for a meal again.  And then there are those ancestors who I never knew that I have some brick walls that would be wonderful to solve.  But the one person who keeps coming to mind for me that I would like to invite to dinner is my Aunt Gen.

Genevieve Elizabeth Murphy was my great-aunt, sister to my grandfather.  And
keeper of the family secrets.  As I got to be an adult, we often had long phone conversations late at night, when my baby was sleeping and my husband was working second shift.  She shared many, many family stories.  Of course, at the time, while I found them interesting, I didn't record them.

Aunt Gen was born in 1903 in Peoria, Illinois.  She lived with her parents until she married in 1952 at the age of 48.  So living with her parents all those years meant that Genevieve knew well all the Murphy history.  And she was a great (interesting) gossip who always seemed to know everything about everyone. That's why I would chose to invite Aunt Gen to dinner one more time.  I have to admit, I would also love to see her and spend an evening with her.

We would have a grand time going over all the old Murphy stories and she could answer so many questions about the family that I can't seem to solve.  Why, why didn't I ask the questions?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

#52Ancestors-Week 3 Longevity

Longevity is defined as "long life".  My great-grandmother, Ingrid "Ida" Olauson Seeber, lived to one hundred and one years old.  I am awarding the title of "Longevity" to her! 

I don't know for certain where her longevity came from.  Her parents died at ages fifty-four (her mother) and seventy-five (her father). Although, I guess for the time (1925) after living in North Dakota for years perhaps seventy-five was considered a life of longevity.  And as I look at Ingrid's grandparents, Ingrid's paternal grandfather lived until age seventy-six (died in 1900).  So I am going to make a reasonable guess that Ingrid's longevity came from her father's side of the family.

Ingrid's sister, Elise, lived to age ninety-four. None of her other four siblings lived past age seventy-three.

However, Ingrid's children lived to ages ninety-seven, eighty, eighty-one, eighty, ninety-four, and fifty-three.

An interesting pattern for the family is that it seems to always be the oldest child that lives the longest.  Ingrid's father was the eldest, Ingrid was the eldest and Ingrid's child who lived longest was also the eldest.

Below is a picture of Ingrid and her sister Elise taken on Ingrid's one hundredth birthday! Ingrid is on the left.

Monday, January 8, 2018

#52Ancestors-Favorite Photo-Week2

This was both an easy and a hard choice.  With all my ancestors, my siblings, my children and my grandchildren, I have many special photos.  But the one photo that stands out for me is an interesting choice.  It's a photo of myself at the age of one year old.  That seems rather self-centered, I know, but the reason it is my favorite photo is because it is a photo that my grandmother displayed prominently all of my life, right up to her death in 1986.  When she died, my mom let me have the photo and so I have it in its' original frame on my desk in my bedroom.  Every morning when I see it, I think of how much I was loved.  What a gift a grandmother's love is.