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.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Estelle Elizabeth "Bess" Ferrel (52 Ancestors #29)

This week’s challenge is “Musical”.  I really had to struggle to come up with a
subject for this week’s challenge.  There’s just not a lot of known musical talent in my family’s history.  Then I remembered stories about “Aunt Bess”.

Estelle Elizabeth Ferrel was born on the 17th of August in 1880 in Terre Haute, Indiana to William and Mollie Carpenter Ferrel.  She was the youngest of four children and was known as "Bess".  Bess was my great-grandmother’s sister.

It’s unclear if Bess graduated from St. Mary's of the Woods College, or attended there, but she taught piano and violin there through-out her life.  In the 1910 Terre Haute Census, Bess was listed as “Musician Church Work”.  An article found in The Indianapolis News from May 29, 1915 stated that “Miss Bessie Ferrel, of Terre Haute, played several violin solos…” at the Brazil (Indiana) Ladies’ Literary Society of Brazil meeting that occurred that month.

When Bess was nineteen years old her older,and only,sister died (in 1899).  Bess’mother died in 1916, and Bess remained at home to care for her father until his death in March of 1924. Sadly, a brother of Bess died in November of 1924 in a tragic accident. This left Bess with only one other brother living.

In June of 1925, at the age of forty-four, Bess married widower Augustus Ballard.  Augustus had a six year old daughter, Eleanor Mae, who Bess adopted.

Tragedy struck Bess again when her husband Augustus died in 1938 at the age of fifty-seven.  She and daughter Eleanor were listed in the 1940 Terre Haute census, both with no income or occupations listed.  Bess told her nephew that she had a small pension from her husband’s job as a street car conductor, so she must have been living on that, along with giving music lessons.  She gave both piano and violin lessons to her great-niece, who remembers her as “eccentric to put it mildly.”  She remembered that Bess was extremely protective of her hands and would cover her arms with at least one pair of socks for fear sunlight might touch her skin.

Bess’ daughter Eleanor married in 1948.  Bess’ brother, Scott, was widowed in 1950.  When he became ill, Bess took him into her home and cared for him until he died in 1954.  When he died, Bess was almost in poverty.  His will had not been changed after his wife's death and no money was left to Aunt Bess.  Her great niece and great nephew went to an attorney and challenged the will and got some money for Bess.

Newspaper articles that I found show that Bess lived at 1923 Garfield in Terre Haute and as she aged a couple of accidents and robberies were listed under her name.  She fell on ice in 1951 at the age of seventy, and was struck by a car in 1959 at the age of seventy-nine. The robberies reported were rather odd and make me wonder if she had some dementia (underwear stolen off her line, a four year old tree was stolen).  Or perhaps the elderly widow was just taken advantage of by others.  In a letter found that was written in 1961, she wrote of being robbed by family and no one believing her, even her attorney.  A postcard was found that was sent to my aunt from Logansport State Hospital in Indiana stating that her Christmas gift to Elizabeth Ballard had been received.

Aunt Bess died in 1965.  I assume that she died at the state hospital and I am trying to learn more about her death.  She and her husband are buried in Terre Haute near her parents.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Road Trip (52 Ancesstors #28)

This week’s challenge is “Road Trip”.  I made a great road trip a number of years ago to Kentucky.  I swung by southern Indiana to pick up my father and we drove down to Crittenden County, Kentucky for an Adamson family reunion.  This was a reunion of the William Adamson family.  When I first began genealogy, none of our family had ever heard of William Adamson from Kentucky.  The furthest back of the Adamson family that any of us had had known of was Aaron Adamson, born around 1807 in Tennessee.  He was my great-grandfather’s father.  After beginning my research, I found that Aaron’s father was William Adamson, born about 1790 in North Carolina.

I eventually tracked down some descendants of William Adamson Jr., brother to Aaron Adamson.  And the ones I found still lived in Crittenden County.  When I was invited to their family reunion, I jumped at the chance and decided to take my dad with me.

It was a great day for a drive to Kentucky, and we visited the old cemetery and church there before arriving at the reunion.  There was an older Adamson there who was about my dad’s age and they had a great time getting to know each other.  I loved meeting the family that I had been communicating with for some time.  Everyone there was gracious and helpful, sharing what they knew about the family.  It was a great experience and a great day!