Wednesday, July 22, 2009

60 Years Celebrated

My parents, Dick and Pat, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in April. I am remiss in not remarking on it until now, but it is certainly of a historical, genealogical nature!

They married in Peoria in 1949, and moved to Chicago where Dad was working. They remained there until shortly after I was born in December of 1949, and then returned to Peoria, where they both were born and raised. Dad was hired on at Caterpillar Tractor and they settled into married life. They went on to have 3 more children, Mike, Bill and Sandy.

In 1973, Dad was transferred to Marinette WI, where they stayed for 3 years. It was quite a change for them, living up north. They learned to ski while living up there and have had many enjoyable ski trips over the years. Bill and Sandy went to high school while in WI, and Bill went on to college in Milwaukee. Mom and Dad came back to Peoria in 1976.

Dad retired from Caterpillar in 1986 and they have had 23 blissful years of retirement (just ask them!). They have spent most winters in either Florida or Alabama, and all spring, summer and falls in Indiana at the lake.

Sadly, during this time, Mom and Dad have lost their 2 sons. Bill died in 1990 in San Francisco, and Mike died in 2005 in Peoria.

Mom and Dad have been blessed with 6 grandchildren: Emily, Maggie, Alex, Mandy, Lee, and Rich. So far, they also have 5 great-grandchildren: Lexie, Chris, Connor, Libby and Lucy.

All in all, 60 years has produced much of what life is composed of: great joy and sadness, and many, many blessings.

Matilda Hertel Segh

Matilda Hertel was born in 1853 in Herrestad parish, Ostergot lands, Sweden. She married August Jonasson Segh in 1871 and they settled in Vadstena (Wadstena). After 2 years of marriage, August and Matilda (now 30 years old) became parents of twin sons. Karl Oscar Fromhold Segh and Gustaf Adolf Segh were born on November 6, 1873 in s:t Per parish in Ostergotland, Sweden.

Around July, 1874, when the twin boys were 9 months old, Matilda became pregnant again, and on April 18, 1875 another son, Johan August Segh, was born. Around January 1876, Matilda was pregnant again. Her twin sons would have just turned 2 years old, and Johna was about 9 months old at that time. On September 9, 1876, a fourth son, Axel Edward Segh was born. Now Matilda had 4 sons, all under the age of 3 years old!

Nine months later, Marilda was pregnant again with twins. On March 14, 1878 a daughter, Matilda Sofie Segh was born, It was reported that she was a twin, however, her twin must not have survived. Now she had 4 year old twins, and almost 3 year old, a 1 1/2 year old and a new baby. Sadly, baby Matilda died August 1st at age 4 1/2 months old. Around October of that year, Matilda was pregnant with twins again. In January of 1879, Matilda and August's son, Axel, died at 2 1/2 years old. She delivered another daughter, Elin Mia Segh, on July 11, 1879, and again , it was reported that she was a twin, but the other twin did not survive. Tragedy struck the family when baby Elin died in September at almost 2 months old.

It is incredible to think that all within 6 years, Matilda had 5 pregnancies, 8 children, and 5 of the 8 children had died. By this time, Karl and Gustaf were almost 6 years old and Johan was 4 1/2 years old.

August Segh died in 1901. It appears that Matilda lived with her son, Johan until she died. Her son Gustaf died in 1908, and his twin Karl, died in 1933. Matilda died in 1934, having survived 7 of her 8 children. Johan remained in Vadstena until his death in 1952. He was a single man.

I am struck by all of the hardships and tragedies that Matilda must have gone through. She lost at least 5 children very early, and 2 more later. Her oldest son, Karl, left for America in 1892 and she never saw him again.

Interestingly, Karl Oscar appears to be the only one of Matilda's children who had children. Matilda had 6 grandchildren that she was never able to meet. Such a sad story!

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Journey to the Past

This week my 82 year old Dad and I took a day trip to Olney, IL in Richland County. Dad's grandparents had lived in Olney (as did his parents for a brief time, before coming to Peoria). Some of his father's siblings had remained in Olney for years, although no one is left there now. We went to Ebenezer Cemetery and found the grave sites of his grandparents and their children who had died young.

Then we found the actual home where Moses and Lydia Adamson had lived until their deaths. I was surprised that the house was still standing, but it appeared to be in good shape.

It is rather unusual for anyone to be alive today that can say that their grandfather or great-grandfather fought in the Civil War, but Dad and I can. Moses and Lydia spaced their children out over 23 years, with my grandfather being second to the youngest, thus a generation was skipped.

Moses Thompson Adamson was born March 29, 1838 in Edwards County Illinois, the second of seven children born to Aaron W. and Martha Thompson Adamson. His father, Aaron, died around 1850 when Moses was 12. His mother, Martha, remarried to Joseph Hedrick in 1851 and the family settled in Richland County, Illinois.

In September of 1861, Moses joined the 38th IL Infantry, Co. I. In December 1862, Moses was taken prisoner at Stone River and was taken to Libby Prison in Richmond, VA. His time in the prison appeared to affect the rest of his life. He married Lydia Ann Bullard in Richland County IL in April of 1863. In September of 1863, he was wounded at the Battle of Chickamanga. He was honorably discharged in October of 1864, and returned to Olney, Illinois, where he and Lydia remained until their deaths.

By the time Moses was discharged from the service, he and Lydia had a 2 month old son. They went on to have 12 children, then took in another child in their older years (around 1900). Six of their twelve children died before reaching adulthood.

Moses died in 1917, at age 79; Lydia died in 1935 at the age of 90. Both are buried at Ebenezer Cemetery in Olney, Illinois.

A New Discovery-Never Give Up!

I know that probably anyone reading this who does genealogy is aware of it, but I don't think that it can be stressed often enough...never give up! I have been researching the Segh/Seeber family for 15 years now. I have asked everyone in the family for any known pictures. My parents have given me boxes and boxes of pictures to go through over the past few years. This week, I was at their summer place in Indiana and they had 3 small boxes of pictures for me to look at. Where do these keep coming from? I obediently began going through them and when I was going through the 3rd box there were a couple of obviously very old pictures. I turned them over and, in my grandmother's writing, one said "Gustave Adolf Von Seger-Borksen". It was taken in Wadstena (in Sweden) is a picture of my great-grandfather's twin brother! Who would have ever guessed that there was a picture of him? (If you have read my previous blogs, you know that my great-grandfather, Karl Oscar Segh/Charles Seeber has been a great mystery to the family).

I was so thrilled with the picture! It gives me great hope that more will eventually be uncovered! It also gave written proof of what a crazy last name he presented as his.

In a follow-up note, I did hear from his father's brother' descendant and the family does not remember hearing anything of the Segh family at all. However, she did mention that some of that family came to the US, so that is another avenue. One piece of the puzzle leads to another!