Monday, September 24, 2018

#52Ancestors-Week 39-On the Farm: Per Nilsson

I found the subject On the Farm to be quite difficult.  Oddly, my families on either side were not farmers in the 1900's.  But I did remember my great-grandmother, Ingrid Olausson, had an uncle who was a farmer.

I have written about Per Nilsson before on this blog at:

Per Nilsson was a brother to Ingrid's mother.  He was born in Sweden in 1856 to Nils Trulsson and Anna Martensdotter.  He was the 7th of 10 children, with 5 brothers and 4 sisters.  In 1883, Pers married Kersti Martensson (related to his mother's family, perhaps?) in Sweden.  He farmed in Sweden. Per and Kersti had 2 sons before they immigrated to the United States in 1888.  In 1891, another son was born to them in Iroquois County, Illinois.

By 1893, Per, Kersti and their 3 sons had settled in Rankin, Illinois on a farm, and a daughter was born.   They were there until 1899, which is where and when Ingrid was visiting them and she went to a Swedish dance hall and met my great-grandfather.

Per and his family moved shortly after, because they were listed in the 1900 Hamilton County, Nebraska Census taken in June of 1900.  Per was listed as a farmer.  Shortly after June, another son was born, but he died the following year.  By 1910, Per's wife, Kersti had died.  He was listed still in Hamilton County, as a farmer with 3 of his children.

I have not found Per in the 1920 Census, but I have found that all of his sons became farmers.  Per died in Marquette, Hamilton County, Nebraska in 1929.  I have found an estate listing from a 1929 newspaper where 260 acres of Peter Nelson's was being sold.  So I am guessing that the family farm was being let go of then.

52Ancestors-Week 38-Unusual Source

The most surprising (unusual to me) sources that I have found have been individual county censuses.  Early on when I began researching, I found that Peoria, Illinois had an 1888 Census.  It helped me tremendously with my research.  Later, I found that Texas County, Missouri had an 1876 Census.  Again, that helped me fill in some pieces.  I need to continue to search for more of these kind of censuses.  If anyone can add to these two, please let me know!  They really help give a more accurate picture of what was occurring with the families in-between the regular federal censuses.  And the above mentioned censuses showed more than the name of the head of household...they had all the family members names listed.   State Censuses are useful tools, but they only have head of households on them.

So here are the two that I know of:

1876 Texas County, Missouri Census
1888 Peoria, Illinois Census

Please add to this list!

Friday, September 21, 2018

#52Ancestors-Week 37-Closest to Your Birthday: Olaus Hansson

I wrote a blog post about my great-great grandfather Olaus Hansson that can be seen here:

Olaus was the closest ancestor that I found whose birthday came nearest to mine.  He was born on the 27th of December in 1849, 100 years before me.  (Obviously, his gravestone has the incorrect date of birth.)

I have to admit to not having very good feelings about Olaus, based on reports from his daughter, Ingrid, my great-grandmother.  Olaus left the family in Sweden in 1888, never to return, despite leaving a wife and six children to fend for themselves.  Olaus arrived in the United States with a destination of St. Paul, Minnesota. Upon arrival he went on to North Dakota where he lived until his death in 1925.

Ingrid only saw him once after he left, when he came to Peoria, Illinois to visit in 1911.  By that time, five of his children had emigrated to the United States and four of them lived in Peoria.  One of his daughters had died by then.

from Olaus' obituary in the Crystal Call newspaper (from Crystal, North Dakota):

"About two weeks ago he packed his trunk and shipped it back to the old home at Peora (sp), and had intended to go back there for the remaining months of the winter but sickness overtook him before he could get away.The body was shipped to Peora (sp) for burial on Tuesday."

Interesting that those in North Dakota were under the opinion that Peoria was Olaus' "old home".  He never lived there and only visited there one time.  But apparently he wanted to be buried there.

My great-grandmother, Ingrid, refused to pay anything for his funeral, stating that had been "on the outs" for a long time.  She apparently she still had hard feelings toward him.  And while I tend to judge him rather harshly for leaving his family and never either bringing them to the United States or returning back to them, I have to remind myself that one never completely knows another persons circumstances.  Ingrid once told her granddaughter that "She (Ingrid's mother) was the meanest woman I have ever known."  So maybe Olaus had his reasons for leaving and never returning?  I hope that he at least sent money home for the family, but I don't know.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

#52Ancestors-Week 36-Work: Mabelle Linnea Seeber Murphy

For the prompt Work this week, I am writing about my grandmother, Mabelle Linnea Seeber Murphy.  I think she is a timely subject right now, when more and more women are entering politics.

My grandmother was the daughter of immigrants, a poor family who struggled for everything.  She didn't complete high school, but began working until she married in 1927. She had two children and didn't begin working outside the home until about 1948.  She was forty-three years old and took a part time job, with the intention of working for six months to pay off some medical bills.  The job was a part-time job in the Peoria County Treasurer's office. After six months had passed Mabelle was just ready to quit when one of the deputies-the bookkeeper-left and she was asked to take on that job.  She had not completed high school, but had taken a class in bookkeeping, so the job was hers.

When the County Treasurer left, Mabelle was made the Chief Deputy of the Treasurer's Office.

By 1958, Mabelle was urged to run for the Peoria County Treasurer's Office.  She filed to run and "The first thing I knew I won the nomination, and from then on I was in the race.".

Mabelle won the race and became the first woman elected to a county office in twenty years.  The picture above is of her sitting on the lion outside of the old Peoria County Courthouse.

An interesting quote in the Peoria Journal Star after her election was the following:

"Mrs. Murphy believes political campaigning is harder for a woman than a man because many people are prejudiced against women in public office.  She said during the primary, a number of people told her they had never voted in their life for a woman , and many indicated they weren't about to change that habit."

I have always felt so proud of my grandmother and what she accomplished.  She was a true role model for women.

Monday, September 3, 2018

#52Ancestors-Week 35-Back to School: 1895 Olney, Illinois

Below is a school picture taken in around 1895 in Olney, Richland County, Illinois. My grandfather, Arthur Logan Adamson, is the first boy on the right in the front row. The teacher's name was Kate Nicholson, pictured in the middle of the center row.  I can't read the name of the school.  Interestingly (to me, at least), I have the original picture with the names of a number of the students on the back!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

#52Ancestors-Week 4-Non-Population: Edward E. Adamson

I'm again taking this week's prompt, Non-Population, in a different direction.  In 1876, Missouri did a state census of twenty-eight counties.  Texas County, Missouri was included in that census.  That had been quite exciting news for me since the Adamson family I was researching was from there.

What I found was that the census for Texas County only included six townships.  That was good news for finding Elijah Adamson, but I also needed to find his youngest brother, Edward.  And Edward was not in the six townships that were in the census.  Edward had married the year before the census.  He died in 1879, so that 1876 census would have been the only census taken while he was married.

I don't know how many townships there were in Texas County in 1876, but there are now seventeen townships. Just my luck that they didn't include the one where Edward was living. So I am counting Edward E. Adamson as a victim of a non-population census!

#52Ancestors-Week 33-Family Legend: fishing photo

I have worked on last week's prompt of Family Legend.  I was trying to prove/disprove a story and was unable to do either.  I finally decided to do it simple.  Below is a picture of the Seeber brothers/brother-in-laws.   There is no doubt that they would have told others that they were the greatest fishing group there ever was.