Thursday, May 28, 2015

Elkanah Anderson: Died at the Battle of New Orleans (#11 of 52 Ancestors)

Elkanah Anderson and his brother-in-law, Thomas B Whitwel, were two of my 5 times great grandfathers. In December 1814, Elkanah and Thomas joined the West Tennessee Milita and were "part of a flotila that went down to New Orleans via the Cumberland, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers." Once there, they fought in the famous Battle of New Orleans under Andrew Jackson. During the bloody, one-sided battle which lasted only about 30 minutes on January 8th, the British suffered 2,000 casualties while the Americans only had about one hundred.

Painting of Battle of New Orleans by Edward Percy Moran (from Wikipedia)

According to the Tennessee Archives site, there weren't any battle casualties in Elkanah's and Thomas' regiement, but there were "many deaths due to sickness" in February and March. Elkanah Anderson died on January 14th, just 6 days after the big battle. Was he one of the first to die of disease? Or did he die of battle wounds? And was he buried in an unmarked grave in New Orleans as family stories tell us?

Thomas returned home to tell his wife that her brother, Elkanah, had died in New Orleans. Elkanah's wife was presumably pregnant with their seventh child at the time of his death. Although I'm not sure exactly how he died, he died defending our young nation.

My Line of Descent
  • Elkanah Anderson (1774-1815) m Sarah "Sally" Murray (1777-1845) 
  • Margaret Anderson (abt 1801-1877) m Pleasant Whitwell (1803-1875) 
  • Martha Ann Whitwell (1830-1904) m Carroll Houston Ward (1826-1863) 
  • Reuben Houston Ward (1859-1906) m Sallie Harriet Dickson (1860-1960) 
  • Martha Lenora "Nora" Ward (1885-1916) m James Bedford Dickson (1880-1968) 
  • Ethel Evelyn Dickson (1915-2004) m Sherman Joseph Kaechle (1907-1987) (my maternal grandparents) 
Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or write me at

Isaac Vincent: Killed at the Battle of Fort Freeland (#21 of 52 Ancestors)

Hower-Slote House.jpg
Fort Freeland (image from Wikipedia)

In 1772, the Vincent families and others moved from Essex County, New Jersey, to current day Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. For several years, they lived peacefully near the local "Indians." But, trouble started brewing in 1777. By 1779, about 13 families were living in a large, two-story house around which they had built a 12-foot high wall around. It enclosed a half acre and they called it Fort Freeland.

Life was fairly normal at the fort. Isaac Vincent's wife gave birth to a son, George, in February of 1779. Two other babies were also born inside the fort. The men planted corn in a field at the back of the fort that spring.

But, on July 21st some men were working in the corn field when they were attacked by a party of "Indians." Isaac Vincent, only 22 years old, was killed along with two other men. Isaac's 10-year-old brother, Benjamin, was taken captive along with another male. Their brother, Daniel Vincent, about 19-years-old, outran the captors.

About 6 hours after the attack, the captured young Benjamin was shown the scalp of his brother, Isaac, and he knew Isaac had been killed.

Eight days later, the fort was attacked by about 300 Seneca Indians and British. With only 21 men left at the fort, they quickly surrendered. Most of the remaining men were taken as prisoners and "marched" to Canada while the women, children, and "old men" were set free and walked eighteen miles to Northumberland.

Nineteen year old Daniel Vincent was my 5th great grandfather. His older brother, Isaac, lost his life at the fort. Daniel was a prisoner in Canada for three years, after which he returned home to his wife. I wrote about his story in "Prisoner of War Love Story."

My 6th great grandparents, Cornelius & Phoebe Vincent, were in their mid-forties and also at the fort. Phoebe and another woman helped to turn their plates and spoons into bullets and, as such, is a DAR eligible ancestor. Cornelius also was a prisoner in Canada for three years. After his return, "he carried ankle and wrist scars from English shackles" the rest of his life.

My 7th great grandparents, John & Elizabeth Vincent, were each about 70 years old when they were attacked at Fort Freeland. As Elizabeth was crippled, John spoke with the British and was given a horse for his wife to ride and he wasn't taken captive with the younger men.

My Vincent family suffered a great deal as they lost their son, Isaac, and the younger men were taken prisoner and not seen for three years.

My Line of Descent
  • Isaac Vincent (1757-1779) m Unknown - he's a brother to my direct ancestor, Daniel Vincent (1760-1827) m Angelchy Huff/Hough/Heuff (1760-1821) 
  • Elizabeth "Betsy" Vincent (1789-1846) m George Watson (1783-1856) 
  • Sarah Jane Watson (1826-1853) m John Quiggle Stewart (1825-1922) 
  • Alexander Stewart (1852-1922) m Catharine Jane McClintock (1852-1929) 
  • Andrew "Andy" McClinock Stewart (1882-1954) m. Bessie Waldron Merrill (1879-1959) 
  • James Edward Stewart (1910-1972) m. Hazel Lucille Peters (1910-1975) (my paternal grandparents) 
  • "Warrior Run - Fort Freeland Heritage Society" webpage 
  • "Access Genealogy: Fort Freeland, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania" webpage 
  • "Rootsweb: III An Account of the First White Settlement on Warrior Run" webpage 
Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or write me at

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bethuel Vincent: "Found Lifeless" in a Brook (#13 of 52 Ancestors)

Almost 3 years ago, I came across the obituary of Bethuel Vincent (1798-1828), my 5th great grandfather's youngest son, posted on Find A Grave. The short, sad obituary said the following:

Died – In Turbut township, on the 11th inst., Bethuel Vincent, junior, aged about 30 years. The deceased had gone to the fields to collect raspberries and while crossing a small brook was taken with convulsive fits, to which he was daily subject, fell into the water, where he was, shortly after, found lifeless. [The States Advocate, Thursday, 17 July 1828. Posted on Bethuel Vincent's Find A Grave memorial page in Warrior Run Church Cemetery, Delaware Run, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania]

Find A Grave memorial page in Warrior Run Church Cemetery,
Delaware Run, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania
Photo by Earl Munday (thank you!)

My heart broke for this 29-year-old man who had went out to pick raspberries and died from either a convulsive fit, or more likely from drowning. I wanted to know more about this him, but I didn't find anything... until yesterday.

What did I find? I found the will of his father, Daniel Vincent, my 5th great grandfather. [The "junior" designation in the obituary was because of Bethuel's uncle, also named Bethuel.] This will told me more about Bethuel.

The will was written two years before Bethuel's death. It regards to my youngest and afflicted son Bethuel it is my will that my Executors provide him with all the comforts of life, to live in the family of my son Isaac or John as he may choose - whilst being with Isaac his wife Rebecca is to receive at the rate of Thirty dollars per year and when living with John his wife Maria is to receive the same - to be paid out of the estate not previously devised - and should Bethuel by accident or affliction become more helpless than at present the sum to be drawn from the estate shall be increased in proportion to his frailty and the expense necessary to keep him. Bethuel have one of the best beds and bedding in the house.

I still don't know what type of "affliction" Bethuel had, but I love that his father was taking care of him even on his death bed. And, I love that, even though his mother had died several years before, Bethuel would continue to live with his family in the house of one of his brothers.

My Line of Descent
  • Daniel Vincent (1760-1827) m Angelchy Huff/Hough/Heuff (1760-1821)
  • Bethuel Vincent (1798-1828) is a brother to my direct ancestor Elizabeth "Betsy" Vincent (1789-1846) m George Watson (1783-1856)
  • Sarah Jane Watson (1826-1853) m John Quiggle Stewart (1825-1922)
  • Alexander Stewart (1852-1922) m Catharine Jane McClintock (1852-1929)
  • Andrew "Andy" McClinock Stewart (1882-1954) m. Bessie Waldron Merrill (1879-1959)
  • James Edward Stewart (1910-1972) m. Hazel Lucille Peters (1910-1975) (my paternal grandparents)

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please write me at

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Robert Stewart: Sued "The Katy" (#12 of 52 Ancestors)

In 1896, the new law firm of Biddle, Boyd, & Sheppard filed their first case. It was the case of Robert Stewart (son of my 4th great grandfather, also named Robert Stewart) vs the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Company, otherwise known as "The Katy." The suit was for damages of $5,000 based on the alleged personal injuries of Robert's wife, Kate. Here is the story from the paper...

Ad for the M. K. & T. Railway (image from Wikiepedia)

The petition alleges that Mrs. Kate M Stewart on April 20, 1894 purchased a ticket from this city to Boonville, Missouri. That when the train arrived at Boonville it stopped at the depot and she went to get off, but that one of the company's porters informed her that it had stopped at a water tank and had not reached the depot. When the train started to leave, the porter saw that it had passed the depot and pulled the signal cord and stopped the train. Mrs. Stewart jumped from the train, but in the darkness fell on a pile of ties, severely spraining her limbs and injuring her side so severely that a large abcess [sic] formed, and from which injuries she is permanently disabled.

I found two newspaper articles from the trial in January of 1897. The jury awarded the plaintiff $1,500: $1,000 damages and $500 for doctor's fees. It also states that Robert's wife had never fully recovered. 

My Line of Descent
  • Robert Stewart (1773-1854) m Frances Quigley (1783-1869) 
  • John Quiggle Stewart (1825-1883) m Sarah Jane Watson (1826-1853) (John Q is Robert's brother) 
  • Alexander Stewart (1852-1922) m Catharine Jane McClintock (1852-1929) 
  • Andrew "Andy" McClinock Stewart (1882-1954) m. Bessie Waldron Merrill (1879-1959) 
  • James Edward Stewart (1910-1972) m. Hazel Lucille Peters (1910-1975) (my paternal grandparents) 
  • Suit Against the Katy, Fort Scott Weekly Monitor, Fort Scott, Kansas, 22 Apr 1896, page 3, column 1, digital image, ( accessed 24 May 2015) 
  • Robert Stewart Receives Damages from the M. K. & T Co, Fort Scott Weekly Monitor, Fort Scott, Kansas, 23 Jan 1897, page 3, column 2, digital image, ( accessed 24 May 2015) 
  • Case of Robert Stewart, Fort Scott Weekly Monitor, Fort Scott, Kansas, 23 Jan 1897, page 3, column 3, digital image, ( accessed 24 May 2015) 
Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or write me at

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ella Wagner: "Dead from Heart Disease and Exhaustion" (#14 of 52 Ancestors)

Today I came across this sad death notice for the half-sister of my great, great grandfather, Alexander Stewart. Before today, I only knew her maiden name, Ella Maud Stewart,  and approximate birth year of 1870. But, then I found her Pennsylvania death record and, through it, found both her married name, Wagner, and date of death in 1910. It was signed by "J. P. Wagner" who I thought was likely her husband.

I wasn't able to find any marriage or any census records after she married, but then I came across this sad death notice...

Altoona Tribune, Altoona, Pennsylvania, 16 Dec 1910, page 8, column 3; digital image ( accessed 22 May 2015

Mrs. J. P. Wagner, of Sharon, aged 35 years, is dead from heart disease and exhaustion due to her labors in nursing her husband and three children through attacks of typhoid fever. She was talking to a neighbor when she suddenly fell dead on a couch. [Note: She was actually 40 years old]

Isn't that sad? And, at the same time, I think she died taking care of her family and died quickly and peacefully.

I found a second article about her death on MyHeritage. Unfortunately, this doesn't give me any additional information about either her husband or her three children, though it does verify I have the right person because of the list of her surviving siblings and mother.

Mrs. J. E Clark of 1408 Elmira street received a telegram yesterday morning of the death of her sister, Mrs. J. P. Wagner, which occurred at her home in Sharon, Pa. Mrs. Wagner is the daughter of Mrs. Jane Stewart of Pine Creek, Clinton county and was well known in this city. She is survived by her husband, three children and the following sisters and brothers: W. R. Stewart, of Flemington; Robert Stewart, of Lock Haven; Mrs. J. E. Clark, of this city, and Mrs. William Bubb, of Pine Creek; Alexander Stewart, of Charlton; and her mother, Mrs. Jane Stewart, of Pine Creek. 

[Source: Wagner, Gazette and Bulletin, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, 15 Dec 1910, page 4, column 5; digital image ( accessed 23 May 2015]

I'm still looking to find the full name of her husband and her three children. It's frustrating that they aren't listed in either article!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thaddeus Kaechle: Key to Hundreds of Years of Church Records (#10 of 52 Ancestors)

Thaddeus Kaechle, my 3rd great grandfather, arrived at Castle Garden in New York aboard the ship Monmouth in the summer of 1851 with his wife, Katherine, and five or six children. (Only 5 are listed on the passenger list, but there should be 6.) They were in Huron County, Ohio when, two years later, his wife gave birth to their 7th and later 8th children, both daughters.

Thada Koechle, passenger #281, 05 July 1851, Ship Monmouth, New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010

In 1858, Thaddeus was naturalized, though I'm still trying to locate this record. So far, I've just seen an index.

A big breakthrough on this family was the German marriage records on Ancestry. Again, there is only an index posted, but it includes the following information:
  • Name: Thaddae Koechle
  • Gender: male
  • Age: 29
  • Marriage Date: 22 Aug 1836
  • Marriage Place: Katholisch, Grisshiem, Freiburg, Baden
  • Father: Anton Koechle
  • Mother: Anna Diringer
  • Spouse: Katharina Kern
  • FHL Film Number: 873353
After clicking on "Katharina Kern", I go the following additional information:
  • Age: 25
  • Father: Lorenz Kern
  • Mother: Maria Kreszens Hauser
From there, I came across a website called "Ortsfamilien-Datenbank Grissheim", which means it is a family databank for the church in Grissheim. This is the church where both the Koechle & Kern family worshiped for hundreds of years! And, someone has put these records together and created the families! Although you don't see the images on this site, I did order the FHL films. They are in German and hard to read, but I found enough & read enough to trust what is on this site.

How far did this go back? Almost 400 years! The oldest ancestor I found at this Grissheim church was Barbara Grozinger who was baptized in 1617. She is my 8th great grandmother. But, the baptism record also lists her parents, Gallus Grozinger and Ursula Binhardt, my 9th great grandparents!

My Line of Descent

  • Thaddeus Kaechle (or Judas Thaddeus Kaechle) (1807-1880) m Katharina Kern (1811-1894) 
  • Rheinhard/Reinhard Kaechle (1844-1900) m Mary Magdelena "Lena" Karbach (1848-1938) 
  • Francis "Frank" R Kaechle (1868-1911) m Anna "Annie" Regina Adam (1867-1936) 
  • Sherman Joseph Kaechle (1907-1987) m Ethel Evelyn Dickson (1915-2004) (my maternal grandparents) 
Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or write me at

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Late Mother's Day Tribute: My Mother, Homemaker of Tomorrow

As a senior in high school, my mother earned the title of "Homemaker of Tomorrow." Though I've heard that story before, it was exciting to get a hint from RootsMagic and then find a newspaper article of her achievement at through their affiliation with 

What a treat to find an actual photo of my mom! She's wearing a plaid dress she made that, she told me, had very intricate pleats. The article says she won the title because "her score was the highest on a written knowledge and attitude test..." While I hope she had a great attitude, I think they probably meant aptitude!

Though my mom says she has a copy of that article, she didn't remember being in the paper for this second article. This one was in her local paper when she ten years old.  

This article shows her receiving two awards - both A's in Division I - one for baking and one for food preparation. I asked my mom about the items she'd entered...

...for baking... they were given a recipe for a chocolate cake that they had to follow precisely. The cake was judged on texture and taste and wasn't covered with icing. She was one of only two A's in Division I!

...for food preparation... she made a fruit salad. She said it was a lot of work to make two different sized balls of fruit: watermelon & cantaloupe. She placed those in a bowl she'd made from half of a watermelon. 

I loved finding these two reminders of my mother when she was younger. And, since she doesn't have many photos of her younger days, I loved finding a copy of this newspaper clipping!

The 1828 Will of Peter Close's Relict: Catharine Elizabeth Close

Yesterday, I shared the 1810 will of my 5th great grandfather , Peter Close of Armagh, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. Peter's wife, Catha...