Wednesday, October 23, 2013

William & Nancy Mann - Immigrants to America

This is William Mann, but I'm not sure which of his two wives this is.  He was first married to Nancy Clemie on September 14, 1861.  She died in 1894 and on March 6, 1896 he married Mary Armstrong.  This may be their "wedding" photo.  Where he married either woman is still an ancient Chinese secret to me. 

William was born somewhere in England on February 12, 1830.  The huge old trunk in the cyber attic lists him as an early settler in Princeville Township in Peoria County, Illinois, arriving in 1854.  He is also given credit for being a founding member of the White's Grove Baptist Church and having dug the well for the White's Grove School in 1880.  He immigrated in 1852 and if I have learned correctly, in the 1900 census under the "Naturalized" column there is a "Pa", which meant that he had filed his first papers for declaration of intent to become a US Citizen.  

Searches for "William Mann" come up with an astounding number of hits that would take hours to look through.  Because I don't have hours to look, I haven't been very successful finding this particular Mann, which is disappointing.  It makes me act a lot like little Susan Walker in "Miracle on 34th Street", even though there were packages under the tree for me, disappointed that I didn't see the package that I wanted.  I need to remember her mantra - "I believe.  I believe.  It's silly, but I believe."  Positive thinking will help me get through those hundreds of hits and find where in England this William Mann is from.

Nancy had been married before she married William.  Her first husband was John O'Brien and they had a daughter named Nancy Jane who was barely a year old when her father died.  A descendant of Nancy Jane's told me that she didn't know about her real father until just before she was married. 

Thomas Clemie from Scotland, and Mary Jane Hull from Ireland were Nancy's parents. She was born in Upper Canada, which was a British Colony in 1838.  Thomas died when Nancy was about 2, so both she and her daughter lost their fathers at a very young age.  Mary Jane remarried to Edward Jones and had 4 girls - Mary, Jane, Margaret and Jenette. Nancy originally was a nickname for Mary.  I don't know at what point in history it became a name on its own.  Why do I get the idea that Mary Jane Hull's mother's name may have been Mary - or Jane - or both?  The Jones family, with Clemie children Andrew, Robert and Nancy, lived in Van Buren County, Iowa in 1850.  Mary Jane died there May 29, 1854, she was only 37 years old. 

William and Nancy had 11 children together: 
  • Ada Belle married (1) Alex Johnson and (2) Sherman Armstrong 
  • Corrine 
  • Lafayette
  • William B married Eliza Carre
  • Stephen A 
  • Horace M married Lulu Wadley
  • Oscar Marvin married Ida Belle Berkey
  • Carrie
  • Effa married William Camp
  • Clarence married Cora Gaisford - my Great Grandparents
  • Elsie
Nancy died at age 55 on February 11, 1894, that was the day before William's birthday. Her obituary mistakenly says she was survived by one son, not the four it should have said. William was 75 when he died on August 29, 1905.  


A Mann family trait that looks like it comes from William with his white beard in that photo, is snow white colored hair.  It's pretty really, but no one wants theirs to turn white at too young an age.

My original goal when I started doing this research, was to find out what country each line of my family immigrated from.  In this line I have succeeded.  These people were from England, Canada, Ireland and Scotland.  International research is something I've been putting off until I have the time to focus on it - like when I retire.  More and more records are becoming available online, I should go ahead and give it a try.  I believe.  I believe.


  1. Thank you for posting this photo. I have never seen it before, and I was so excited to see it. William Mann and Nancy Jane Clemie are my 3rd great-grandparents. Here's how I am related..

    William Mann and Nancy Clemie
    Effie Mann and William Henry Camp
    Jesse James Camp and Helena Matilda Schidler
    Mabel Gertrude Camp and John Dean Liedtke
    Patricia Ann Liedtke and Michael B. Stephens
    Me Eliesha Stephens-Steffanson

    I have also been trying to find out who William's parents were, and so far have not had any luck.

    You are right about the snow white hair being a family trait. My grandmother, Mabel(William and Nancy's great-granddaughter), recently passed away in October. She had the most beautiful snow white hair you have ever seen. People envied her for it, and always said that when they reached her age, they hoped they could have hair like hers.

    1. Hello Eliesha,
      I'm glad you found this! I'm willing to collaborate with you and find out more about the MANN family. Sorry for your recent loss. My Grandma is 93 & she has the white hair, too. Thanks for commenting!