Monday, June 29, 2009

Phyllis Moreland 1929-2008

My mother-in-law would have turned 80 today. I have been thinking about her and her life and the many questions that she left unanswered. She had an interesting life. I'm not sure how she would have categorized her life, however. She was a very private person and kept many parts of her life unknown to others.

Mary Phyllis Elizabeth Moreland (also called "Babe") was born in 1928 to what she described as poor, middle-aged parents, George and Margaret McIntee Moreland. She was the 3rd of 4 children of her parents. She also had 3 half-siblings from her mother's first marriage. She attended St. Boniface grade school in Peoria, IL and told us that when she was completed 8th grade, Msgr. Middleton was appointed her guardian and she was sent to St. Mary's Academy in Nauvoo, IL for her freshman year of high school (1944-1945). She did not return to school after that year, since she was 16 years old by that time, and her father wanted her to work.

Phyllis married my husband's father in 1948. My husband was born in 1950. She was divorced in 1951 and her son went to live with his paternal grandparents. She never raised him, but often kept him on weekends.

By 1966, Phyllis was a supervisor for AT&T and worked there until retirement. She was president of the labor union for many years and very active in the union activities.

My husband knew of 2 marriages for Phyllis over the years since his parents had divorced, but family members told us that Phyllis had been married more times than that. We have learned that she was married before 1948 to someone in Peoria named "Robert", but have not learned anymore than that. As far as we know, her last marriage was in 1976, and her husband died in 1978. She lived alone after that until her death.

In 2007, we got my husband's birth certificate and learned that Phyllis had another child living when my husband was born. That means that she had a child sometime between 1944-1948. We have questioned the few people that we can think of who might have known about the child, but have had no luck. As her friends said, she was a very private person. Since she had been a guardian of Msgr. Middleton, we thought that perhaps the child had been put up for adoption. We contacted Catholic Charities and they searched their records for an adoption, but none was found.

It strikes me as so very sad that she had a child and apparently was never able to tell anyone at all about it. We continue to search, but feel that we are at a stuck point right now. Perhaps if we could learn who her first husband was, we could find out more. Of course, time continues to pass, leaving fewer and fewer opportunities to find someone.

Phyllis died in 2008, taking her secrets with her. She left one son, perhaps another child, and 3 grandchildren (more perhaps?).

Children of Charles and Ida Seeber

Here is a picture of Charles and Ida Seeber's children. The photograph was taken at Christmas in 1927. In the top row standing are: Hazel, Harry and Richard. Sitting in the bottom row are: Vera, Earl and Mabelle.

Hazel was born in 1910.
Harry was born in 1907.
Richard was born in 1903.
Vera was born in 1901.
Earl was born in 1913.
Mabelle was born in 1905.

All of the children were born in Peoria, Illinois.

Mabelle was my grandmother. She adored her father and often talked of how witty, charming, talented and entertaining he was. Charles died in 1933, at age 59. Ida lived to be 101, and died in 1974.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Karl Oskar Segh

Here is a picture of my great-grandfather, otherwise known as Charles Oscar Seeber. He was born 6 November 1873 in Ostergotland, Sweden. He left Sweden 10 June 1892 and arrived in the United States on 24 June 1892. From Ellis Island, it is believed that he went to Hobart, Indiana, where his mother's sister and family had settled. By late 1899, he met Ingrid (Ida) Olauson at a dance hall in Rankin, Illinois and married Ingrid just 3 months later on 3 March 1900. Charles and Ida had 6 children, and divorced in 1926. Charles died 4 January 1933 in Peoria, Illinois, and is buried in Parkview Cemetery in Peoria.
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Beginning

I have been actively doing genealogy since about 1994, when we got our first computer on which we were able to access the internet. And I have been hooked ever since. I hope to use these pages to share my journey with research, and some of the stories that I have uncovered. I hope that family members might find some of the information interesting! I have 15 years of work to share, and I continue to research. I retired a month ago so hope to have even more time and energy to put into the search!

One of the most exciting things that have occurred in my research happened today!

For years, I have been trying to learn more about my great-grandfather, Charles Seeber. A number of years ago, a researcher in Sweden found his family and was able to give me some accurate information about him, that he had not shared with the family. I have been trying to learn more about him, especially about his life in Sweden and possibly, why he left Sweden when none of his family did. And why he told such elaborate stories about his earlier self.

A couple of weeks ago, a volunteer researcher in Sweden began seeking any relatives to my great-grandfather, Karl Oscar Segh (Charles Oscar Seeber), who left Sweden in 1892 and came to the United States. His parents, August and Matilda Hertel Segh, had 8 children, with only 3 living past early childhood. Karl and his twin brother, Gustaf, were the oldest, then brother Johan. The next 5 children didn't survive. Neither Gustaf nor Johan had children, so the only descendants of August and Matilda were the 6 Seeber children that Charles and his wife, Ingrid, had. Matilda had 3 siblings, and I have had contact with the descendant's of her sister, Johanna, who came to the United states. There are no descendants from her other 2 siblings who remained in Sweden. The descendants of Johanna did not know anything about Charles.

Today, my researcher found that Charles' father, August Segh, had a brother David who does have some descendants living and are anxious to contact with me! Finally, there are some of Charles' family located in Sweden! I am certainly anxious to hear from them!

Other immediate genealogy plans include trying to get to Olney, Illinois this summer to find the gravesites of my great grandfather, Moses Thompson Adamson, and his family. I am hoping to take my Dad with me, as we can explore where the family lived, etc.