Sunday, July 10, 2011

Expand the View 2

This is my maternal grandfather's mother's line.

Eliza S. "Lida" Harding [1869-1942] m. William H. Downing [1863-1903] m. John Rupp [1878-1935]
Benjamin Harding [1836-1915] m. Mary Ellen Clark [1847-1914]
Daniel Harding [1798-1869] m. Elizabeth Wilson [1801-1884]
John Bennett Hardin [?-1849] probable but not sufficiently proven - his ancestors are known should proof surface

My maternal grandfather's maternal grandmother's line.

Mary Ellen Clark [1847-1914] m. Benjamin Harding [1836-1915]
Rev. Richard Winans Clark [1808-1854] m. Margaret Ann Clark [1808-1867]
Rev. David Clark [1776-1847] m. Rachel Rutter [? - c 1803] m. Sarah Winans [1788-1843]
David Clark [1737-c 1802] m. Sarah Winans [1737-1807]

Margaret Ann Clark was the daughter of Rev. David Clark's brother John Winans Clark [1779-1859] m. Ann "Nancy" Isgrig [1783-1867]. The Isgrig line can be traced back to William Isgrig, son of William and Ann. William Isgrig was transported from Old Bailey in London to Maryland in 1740 instead of being hanged for stealing after his boss testified on his behalf. This record is online.

The Winans go way back and include early New Englanders as well as early Dutch. The ancestry of David Clark is 100% unproven. It's a very common name. A fantasy version can be found online. My theory is he came from Scotland and brought the passion for the Methodist religion his descendants carried west with him.

I know nothing about Elizabeth Wilson except she also came from Virginia but they were married in Ohio. They had at least 13 children, most of whom apparently did not reach adulthood. One, Wilson, appears to be buried at Laenna with his wife Christena. I have no clue.

My maternal grandfather's paternal grandmother's line.

Delilah J. Downing [1842-1909] m. William N. Downing [1839-1865] m. David Shellhammer [1830-1912]
Robert Downing [1793-1887] m. Jane Morrow [1802-1882]
John Downing [1762-1838] m. Hannah Frakes [1766-1842]
James Downing [?-?] m. Nancy Gardner [?-?]
brick wall

Several Morrow children married Downings and Shoups [sister of John Downing] in Ohio. The Morrows were from New York. 

Hannah Frakes was the daughter of Robert Frakes, born in England about 1746, who married Mary Dawson in Pennsylvania about 1766. 

Some Downing, Frakes, Shoup and other families traveled from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Illinois together or in tandem.

Expand the View

I recently had a lengthy email correspondence with another transplanted Logan County native. We have different backgrounds and no ancestors in common but when we started talking our ancestors, collaterals and their families brushed at so many spots that I learned new things.

This indicates to me it would be worthwhile to expand our somewhat limited view and see what turns up.

If you have any connection to these lines or think you might - or know anything that might be interesting - I want to hear from you.

This is my maternal grandfather's direct male line [with spouses]. This is what is used for most DNA, which will come up later. 

Ellis Downing [1888-1978] m L. Ethel Ryan [1892-1975]
William H. Downing [1863-1903] m. Eliza S. Harding [1869-1942]
William N. Downing [1839-1865] m. Delilah J. Downing [1842-1909]
Samuel Downing [1794-1866] m. Margaret Matthews [1797-1836] m. Mary Matthews Day [1800-1847]
George Downing [1867-1848] m. Elizabeth Bennett [1772-1802] m. Winifred Downing [1778-1841]
Timothy Downing [c 1744-c 1800] m. unknown m. Mary Chenoweth [1749-after 1791]
brick wall

Samuel Downing came to Logan County with his second wife Mary Matthews. Samuel was born in Maryland, lived many years in Ohio and came to Illinois. Mary was born in Ohio. Samuel's first wife Margaret was Mary's sister. Samuel's brother Thomas, members of his assorted families and various members of the Matthews family also came to Logan County. According to family history John Matthews, father of Margaret, Mary and others, was born in Ulster, Ireland. This is important.

Samuel's father and grandfather were also born in Maryland.

Note that there are two Downing-Downing marriages. Delilah is the daughter of Robert, son of John, all of Logan County. John came from "Virginia" which, at the time, could be about anywhere. Before his father James he is a blank.

Winifred is the daughter of Joseph, another Downing line living in Pike County, Ohio, but Joseph came there from Maryland. Before that he is a blank.

To the best of anyone's knowledge and all research to date, these three lines are not related.

Enter DNA. DNA testing indicates that all three [and one or two others tested] have a common ancestor back about the above Timothy's grandfather. This totally ruins my theory that they came by UFO, a theory which conveniently explains some relatives. 

Further, testing indicates they came from Ulster. It appears likely, from research in yet another DNA matched line which my ancestors did not marry, that this common ancestor came in through District 96, South Carolina. This will come up again. Sarah Kirby and Humphrey Scroggin were married there. But that's another line.

See, we already have circles.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

10,000 Dead People

For several years I have been working on a massive database of, basically, burials in south Logan County. It includes cemeteries from Hurlbut, Elkhart, Mt. Pulaski, Lake Fork, Laenna and Aetna Townships and two in Chester. Elkhart is not complete. I frivolously named it "10,000 Dead People." Otherwise it gets a bit too close.

It is more than just a list of the burials. Jane DeWitt, who set up the original list, looked up these people in various sources and added information to the basic list. I have reduced it to the number of columns which fit on a landscape page. I have added information. There may be a maiden name, date of death and maybe birth, spouse, parents, cause of death, military, occupation and assorted other information.

It has taken forever to get it into a format that can be used on the web and then get it into consistent columns. I am still cleaning up columns. It is very time consuming. As I try to clean up each row I get distracted. I knew many of these people. It includes people very close to me. Further, as a genealogist, I want to add information. Finally I gave up, stopped adding information and just worked on consistent columns - all the military in the military column, etc.

At this point I am approximately one third done. Rather than wait until I am done I am going to be putting it online as it is and then continue working on it. I anticipate it will be up by January 1, 2011.

I anticipate there are many, many errors. Some are caused by the manipulations the file has gone through. Some are caused by errors in previous transcriptions. Some are caused by using old books with bad or faint handwriting. There was reliance on old histories which, as we know, were not necessarily accurate to begin with. If you see something in the database that you believe is incorrect do not hesitate to let me know. Please include why you believe it to be incorrect. Ideally the final corrected version will include citations where appropriate.

Ideally I will eventually link names to other things - printed obits, photos, printed bios, etc. I don't know if that is feasible at this point but I hope it is.

Stay tuned.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Biographical record of Logan ... - Google Books

The Biographical record of Logan ... - Google Books

From Google books and a free download. See if your ancestor's biography is in this 1901 book. There are live links to some but not all of the biographies.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's in a Name

The Elkhart Historical Society presents “What’s in a name?” Mike Starasta, director of the McKinstry Library at Lincoln College, on September 24, 2010. Starasta is an experienced genealogist with expertise on researching archives and using libraries, genealogical websites, genealogical databases and local organizations to develop family trees. Topics include using researching archives, libraries, genealogical web sites, databases and local organizations to find your family history. In addition, Starasta will discuss the genealogy of some of the founding families of Elkhart – Gillett, Shockey, Latham and Oglesby. Reservations are required.

More information on their website:

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Web Archive

The Web Archive is a very useful tool. I suggest bookmarking it and checking it periodically.

Do a search for "logan county" illinois. Write it just like that including the quotes. Since the last time I checked they have the 1860 and 1870 census. They are long downloads since they put the entire state in one file but it is worth it. They also have some of the old histories, maybe one you are looking for.

It is free.