Thursday, August 27, 2015

Margaret Steel-living through the Dakota Wars in Minnesota

I have not joined Weeks 33 or 34 Challenge for two reason: I have been behind due to vacation and I haven’t figured out any ancestors to write about with the two given topics, which were “Defective, Dependent & Delinquent” and “Non-Population”.  I have spent my time researching more about William Kerrott, my great-great-great-grandmother’s brother.  I have been researching him and his family quite a bit this year.  After reading The Night Birds by Thomas Maltman for book group, I realized that William Kerrott and his family moved to Minnesota (from Canada) somewhere near the time of the Indian Uprising that was occurring in Minnesota.  And that the family settled only about forty miles away from where the trouble was going on.  This totally changed my take on William and led me to more research. 
Actually, this led me to think more about William’s wife Margaret Steel.  She was born in about 1824 in Ireland. She was about fourteen years younger than her husband.  They married in 1839 in Canada and had eight children there.  One of their sons, James Kerrott, died in Canada when he was about five years old (in 1854). Margaret was about thirty-two years old when she and William and their children moved to Minnesota in 1856.

What I have learned is that the Dakota Indians lost their rights to their land after signing a treaty in 1851 and the Indians were moved to reservations.  The land they lost included Erin township, Rice County, Minnesota, which is where William and Catherine and their family settled in April of 1856. Erin Township was formed in 1856 by Irish immigrants (thus the name Erin).   

In October of 1859, William left his family and traveled to New Orleans. His wife Margaret was left with their seven children.  She was listed in the 1860 Faribault, Erin, Minnesota Census with the seven children.  Margaret was listed as a seamstress.  William was in Lake Bolivar Mississippi in 1860 working on the levees.  By 1861, William was in Memphis, Tennessee.  Also in 1861 William and Margaret’s oldest son, John Kerrott, joined the service to fight in the Civil War, and their oldest daughter, Rosanna, married. In 1862, the next son, Edward, joined the service. 

Meanwhile in Minnesota more than one million Dakota Indians were struggling to survive on the reservations and were starving. Six weeks of war broke out in August of 1862, when four Dakota Hunters killed five white settlers in Acton Township, about one hundred miles northwest of Erin. By December of 1862 thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged in Mankato and most of the remaining Dakotas were forced to leave Minnesota.  Many people, both whites and Indians had been killed or left Minnesota.  Meanwhile, where was William Kerrott? Still working in Memphis. And Margaret was still in Minnesota with the four children still living with her.

William Kerrott did not return to Erin, Minnesota until 1868.  By that time, Margaret had had enough and in 1865 she had moved to Chicago Illinois with the children.

She was listed in the Chicago City Directory in 1865. In the 1870 Chicago Illinois Census Margaret was listed with her sons William and Charles.  The 1880 Chicago Census showed her living there with her son Charles and daughter Mary.  Charles was a bookkeeper and Mary was a seamstress.
Sadly, Margaret Steel Kerrott died in January of 1881 at the age of fifty-seven.

I can’t even fathom what it must have been like for Margaret to be left in the wild frontier of Minnesota from 1859 to 1865 (when she moved to Chicago) with her small children trying to survive Indian Wars, winters, hardships, etc.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jennie Thompson (52 Ancestors #32)

This week’s challenge is to write about one of my 32 great-great-great grandparents.  I chose Jennie Thompson.  I don’t know much about Jennie other than it is written in the history of Vermillion County, Indiana that Jennie was the second white woman to cross the Wabash River at Clinton, Indiana.  It is also written that she was of Irish descent.

Based on census readings Jennie was born between 1791 and 1800.  She married Samuel Malone around 1817 in Ohio.  Their son, Thompson Alexander Malone, was born in 1818 in Ohio. In 1820, Samuel Malone was listed in Vigo County, Indiana with his wife and a son under ten years old.  Daughter Rebecca was born in 1825, daughter Martha Jane was born around 1827, and son James was born around 1830.  

Samuel Malone was listed in the 1830 Vermillion County, Indiana census with his wife and four children.  Samuel and Jennie had one more child after this census. My great-great grandmother, Isabel Malone, was born in 1833.

Samuel Malone died in November of 1836.  His death left Jennie with their five children.  Thompson, the oldest, was eighteen years old when his father died.  He was listed in the 1840 Vermillion County Indiana Census with his four siblings.  Jennie was not listed with the family. 

It has been reported that Jennie died in August of 1844.  However, in March of 1844 Edmond James of Vermillion County was assigned as guardian to Jennie’s youngest daughter, Isabell Malone, so it is likely that the date of death reported for Jennie is not the correct year.  Isabel married in 1850 and is listed with her husband, David Gray, in the 1850 census, so it is not known if she lived with her siblings or with the James family until her marriage. 

I would love to learn more about Jennie Thompson Malone.  It is a rather difficult task, as there were many Malone families living in the same area in the early 1800’s.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kerrott/Carrott family (52 Ancestors #30)

This week's challenge for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is "Challenging".  Stating that "It's a good time to take a look at another challenging-to-research ancestor.  And it was true.  This was a perfect time to look some more at my Kerrott family.

I have recently renewed my search for the Kerrott/Carrott family.  For years I have known that my great-great-great grandmother Rosa Kerrott was born in County Down, daughter of John and Catherine Fagan Kerrott.  Rosa was born on the 14th of October in 1814 and married Patrick Smyth on the 14th of April in 1833.  They left for the United States the day after their wedding.  This information came from a Kickapoo Illinois Directory.  In 2002, I requested a search for the Kerrott name from the Ulster Historical Foundation in Ireland.  They reported that there were no records in County Down with the Kerrott surname name.

I renewed my search after remembering that Peg, my second cousin once removed whom I met in 1994 after I began working on my genealogy, told me that one of her cousins had named a daughter Kerrott (Kerry) after a teacher.  Peg didn’t know if there was any relation to Rosa Kerrott, however. Peg and all of her family were from Little Rock, Arkansas.  So I began looking at old census records for Arkansas, specifically Little Rock, and found from 1870 on that John Kerrott and his family lived in Little Rock.  His wife, Frances, was a teacher. Thus began my search of the Kerrott name in the United States.  What I learned was the John Kerrott (living in Little Rock) was the son of William Kerrott.

At this point, I have identified a couple of siblings of Rosa Kerrott who came to the United States.  William Kerrott initially went to Canada, but moved to Minnesota by about 1857, along with his family.  By 1877 William’s nephews from his brother Edward M. Kerrott had moved to Minnesota from Canada. Edward had remained in Canada.

After the National Register of Ireland records were released a few weeks ago, I located Rosa Kerrott and Patrick Smyth’s marriage record in Aghaderg Parish in County Down Ireland. In that record both Rosa and her father John’s surnames are spelled “Carrott”.  And I found that William Kerrott in Minnesota was a brother to Rosa.

I also have spent years searching for what became of one of Rosa Kerrott Smyth’s granddaughters, Katie Fox. Her mother was Mary Smyth, oldest daughter of Patrick and Rosa Kerrott Smyth.  Katie was born in 1874 and by 1898 her parents and her five siblings had all died. In both the 1900 and 1910 censuses for Quincy, Adams County, Illinois there is a Katherine Fox listed as a servant in the SB Montgomery home.  Katie’s father, William Fox, had lived in the Soldier Home in Quincy until he died in 1898.

SB Montgomery’s daughter was married to Matthew Finlay Carrott.  Matthew Finlay Carrot’s family goes back to his father, James Finlay Carrott, who was the son of Fredric Carrott.  This Frederic K. Carrott landed in New Orleans in 1840.  He married Jane Finlay in Adams County, Illinois in 1843.
At his point, I cannot directly relate Frederic Carrott to my great-great-great grandmother Rosa Kerrott.  He was born in 1810, she was born in 1814, so there is a good chance that they may have been either siblings or cousins.

There is still much to be learned and researched about the Kerrott/Carrott family, but this past year has lead me to some information that I had not had before, so I am hopeful that perhaps the information will lead me to learning more about the family.