Friday, March 28, 2014

A Sense of Accomplishment

Platte River, Alda, Nebraska March 2014

When I started this blog last July, I decided on a plan to write a narrative on each of my 15 Great-Great-Grandparents (yes, 15).  Eight of the 15 were born in the U.S.  All but 2 of them made Nebraska their final home.  I've given my interpretation of the information I have found on each of them.  Everything is always open for discussion.  The research I have back to this generation is work I've done myself for the most part.  Things I've learned from my living relatives.  From books, marriage certificates, and other things that were in the old trunk in the attic, or documents or information I've been able to get myself through libraries and online.  Beyond this generation I've done some work myself and other researchers have shared a lot with me.  Writing these posts has made me focus on each individual and see what I need to try next with them.  

So, would my ancestors be happy that I have publicized their lives on the internet?  Would they be glad that I'm sharing what I've learned about them with anyone who might read these?   Some of my living family may feel that I've put too much information online. Things will get trashed without my knowledge for fear it will "wind up on the internet".  Do they even read the posts?  I've heard from a few of them either by blog comments, facebook comments or "Likes".  I got a comment from one before-unknown cousin and I offered to share more with her, but that was all I've ever heard from her.

Nice comments have come from fellow bloggers that are greatly appreciated.  I've made some new online friends.  I'm grateful for all of my followers and I'm always thrilled to find that someone lists my blog in their list of blogs they follow.  Thank you Filiopietism PrismSusan's California Roots and A Tangled Trail for that!  

I've accomplished my first goal.  Now I don't have a plan for future posts and I'm not going to for a while.  I'll be free to participate in some of the challenges or memes that go on. And I plan to post things I have that may be of help to someone else.  I hope to keep your interest.  

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Josiah Foster Negley

Josiah was born December 7, 1846 in Bedford County, Pennsylvania.  He is my connection to the Foster family.   In one of my first few posts, The Book that got me Hooked, I explained that a book found in the old trunk in the attic got me started on all of this. Josiah's parents were John and Ruth Foster, Ruth's parents were the focus of "The History of the Foster Family", by D. I. Foster. 

John and Ruth were married September 15, 1836 in Bedford County.  Their children were: 
  1. David (1837-1917)
  2. George (1839- ? )  died before 1850
  3. Susanna (1841-1922)
  4. Amon (1842- ? )  died before 1850
  5. Catherine  (1843-1870) 
  6. Josiah Foster  (1846-1922)
  7. John Calvin  (1850-1916)
David married Mary Goodman and Catherine married Charles Dorman in Pennsylvania before they all moved to Illinois.  Susannah married William Kelley in 1870 in Illinois. Josiah married Sarah Lee and John Calvin married Mary Fisher both in 1871 in Bureau County, Illinois.  Sometime between 1871 and 1880, all of the family moved to Decatur County, Iowa where the parents lived the rest of their lives.  John Foster died at age 76 in 1884 and Ruth died in 1895 at age 87.   By 1887 Josiah and Sarah moved on to Clay County, Nebraska where Sarah's brother George Lee had moved to in 1878.  

Eldorado was home to Josiah and Sarah from then on.  Three of their children lived with them into their adult years.  I've heard that the Negleys' front porch was lined with chairs. Here is a great photo of the "town" of Eldorado, about 1910-1915.  You can see the church on the left and the school on the right.  I don't know where the Negley & Miller Station would be from this view, a question to have answered someday.  The writing says "Watching a horse race", with a magnifying glass you can see them at the other end of the road.

Josiah must have suffered a stroke about 1914.  Strokes are very common in this line of the family.  A distant cousin, Clarence Neff, sent me photocopies of a letter that Josiah had sent to his father written on October 3, 1920.  On the top of the first page, written up-side-down is this note: 

"Excuse the bad writing and mistakes as my right side and arm have been partly paralyzed for over 6 years and I am over 74 years of age.  Best wishes to you all, very truly J. F. Negley." 
Josiah was a farmer his entire life.  He served as Justice of the Peace in Eldorado from 1912 until his death in 1922, and then Sarah held that position until 1925, maybe completing his term.  In Eldorado that would not have been a full-time job.  He died on April 15 at age 75.

"Obituary - Josiah F. Negley
Josiah F. Negley, the son of John and Ruth Negley, was born in Bedford Co., Pa., December 7th, 1846 and died at his home in Eldorado, Nebr., April 15, 1922, aged 75 years 4 months and 8 days.
At the age of sixteen he moved with his parents to Bureau Co., IL, where on March 5, 1871 he was married to Sarah M. Lee.  To this union six children were born:  George, Newton, William, Calvin, Alice and Mrs. Sadie McGrath.  Newton died August 8, 1887.  The others with their mother survive him.
Mr. Negley was member of the Church of God of Eldorado and ever tried to walk in the paths of right.  He was a kind husband and father and a true neighbor.
The funeral was held from the Methodist Episcopal church in Eldorado, Monday, April 17.  Rev. B. N. Kunkel in charge.  Interment was made in the Harvard Cemetery."  

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sarah Maria Matilda Lee

EDIT May 31, 2017: Since I wrote this post, I've had the old photo looked at by a professional archivist and have learned that it IS for sure a "Tin Type" photograph. I now highly doubt that this photo can be of Susannah Case. She died in 1851 and Tin Type photography was first used in France in 1853 and patented in the US in 1856. I'll leave my post here as originally written, and I'll be posting an explanation soon.

On March 5, 1849 in Hamilton, Madison County, New York Sarah Maria Matilda Lee was born. Maria is pronounced like "the wind".  She was the second child and first daughter of Charles and Susannah (Case) Lee, her brother George Washington Lee was 3 years older.   Before she was much more than a year, the Lee family moved to Illinois.

On April 24, 1851 in Buda, Illinois, Susannah had a baby boy named Thomas Jefferson. Susannah died that day, Thomas died in September.  George was 5 and Sarah just 2 years old. 

This is a tin-type photo that my Grandma gave to my Mom. Grandma wasn't sure who this photo is of, but she assumed it was Susannah because it would be likely that Sarah would have had a photo of her mother who died when she was so young.  My Grandma was the granddaughter of Sarah. There are no markings on the photo or frame to give any idea of when or where the photo was taken. The tin-type is clipped at the corners to fit into this oval frame.  

“When I was just a little girl”, I liked the Doris Day Show.  Little did I know then that her theme song, “Que Sera, Sera” was from a Hitchcock movie.  I'm a Hitchcock fan.  “The Man Who Knew Too Much” is a great movie!  I won’t give anything away if you haven’t seen it, but there’s a key point in the movie about a name and how it’s used.  Just like in the CASE of having the surname CASE in your family tree.  It can be very tricky Googling or searching message boards and mailing lists for the surname CASE as opposed to every CASE of mistaken identity, or even “just in CASE” scenerio.  All legal CASEs come up, all “in some CASEs”, all “that may be the CASE”, even if someone has information in their briefCASE.  Frustrating.  Trying to find Susannah's parents has been a challenge.  The information I have on her birth came from the old trunk in the attic, but I've never been able to find a document to verify that.

Sarah's father Charles, was widowed at age 38 and just 10 years later he died leaving Sarah and her brother George orphans at ages 15 and 12.  Charles was an abolitionist and is known to have helped an escaped slave by hiding him in his well.  Although I've never heard any hint that Charles died of anything questionable, I'm very curious about how he died at only 48 years old. 

In 1998, I was able to visit the graves of Charles, Susannah and Thomas J Lee in Bunker Hill Cemetery, Buda, Illinois.  The tall stone for Charles was lying on the ground with his name side-up.  I assumed Susannah's name was on the bottom side, but I didn't attempt to flip it. Fortunately, a couple of people were there before the stone fell over and uploaded photos of the stone with her name showing on her findagrave memorial. 

Sarah's brother George served in the Civil War from 1862 to 1866.  Most likely, Sarah lived with her Uncle Lewis Holmes near Buda after her father died.  Lewis had been married to Charles Lee's sister Hannah, but Hannah died in 1858.  In 1870, Sarah was living with George and his wife, Christine.  He married Christine Berkstresser in 1868. 

Sarah married Josiah Negley in 1871 and they moved first to Iowa, then Nebraska where they raised their family.  She served as Justice of the Peace in Eldorado, probably finishing out Josiah's term after he died, from 1922 to 1925.  The only female to ever do so.  

On October 5, 1927, Sarah's granddaughter, Cleo (Negley) Jensen died at age 23, leaving 2 small boys.  Sarah died of a stroke at age 78 just six days later on October 11, 1927. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sibling Saturday - Alice, Bill & Cal Negley

Three siblings of my Great-Grandma Sadie never married or had any children.  They have no direct descendants.

First let me say a little about their hometown.  Eldorado, which around here is pronounced with a long A like in tornado, is in northern Clay County just a couple miles south of the Hamilton county line.  Google maps take you to the "township", not the exact location of the town.  It reached its peak population of 100 people in 1910.  Today it's an unincorporated village.  There's a sign at the edge of "town", but no change in speed limit as you drive through on Highway 14.  There's no store, school, church or post office there anymore, not even the old buildings. 

Alice May was born May 20, 1877 in Decatur County, Iowa.   She attended school with her brothers and sister in Eldorado, Nebraska.  She was a member of the Eldorado Methodist church.  Alice lived with her parents until their deaths, then lived with her brother Cal.  The two of them moved to North Platte about 1955 and she lived there until her death on February 9, 1962 at age 84. 

William Dean was born October 9, 1883 in Decatur County, Iowa.  He farmed with his father for several years, and later was employed as Section Foreman for the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad until 1914.  Bill and Sebastian Miller purchased the mercantile store in Eldorado, the Negley & Miller Sinclair station, which was also the Eldorado Post Office.  "Bass" was killed in a car/train accident in 1935.  Bill operated the store until 1937 when he retired.  In 1947 he moved to Aurora.  He was a member of the Methodist church in Eldorado and also a member of the Modern Woodmen Lodge.  He died at age 78 on December 10, 1961, and he's buried in the Aurora Cemetery.

Josiah David Calvin, "Cal" was born September 12, 1887 in Eldorado, Nebraska, just a month after his older brother Newton died.  Cal served in WWI, even though on his draft registration card he stated he was "Strictly opposed to war".  He was in the 7th Trench Mortar Battalion, which according to "US Army in WWI, Orders of Battle", by Richard A. Rinaldi, organized in April, 1918 at Camp Wheeler in Georgia.  They moved overseas in August and returned to the US in January, 1919.  The company demobilized at Camp Knox in Kentucky in February. 
Cal worked for the railroad before WWI and again afterwards in Nebraska and Colorado.  Later he operated a poultry feed business until he retired in 1925.  He was a member of the Eldorado Methodist church.  He lived to be 80 years old, passing away on December 3, 1967 in an Omaha hospital. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Negley Family Plot

The family plot of Josiah & Sarah Negley in the Harvard Cemetery, Harvard, Nebraska. The "community" of Eldorado doesn't have a cemetery.  Harvard is about 8 miles southwest of Eldorado.  Josiah, Sarah, Alice, Cal and Newton are there from right to left.  Newton died at age 13 of lockjaw after stepping on or stabbing his foot with a pitchfork.  
To the left of Newton is Mary Negley, daughter of George and Lena Negley, granddaughter of Josiah & Sarah.  She died at 18 months old in 1908. 


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Friday's Faces from the Past - Negley family

The Negley family - Sarah, Josiah, George, Alice, Bill, Sadie & Cal.  George was married in April of 1906 so unless his wife was left out of the picture, I would guess this was taken before he was married.  It was probably taken at their home in Eldorado.  It's a postcard photo that was never sent to anyone.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wedding Wednesday - Josiah & Sarah Negley's 143rd Anniversary

Sunday, March 5, 1871 Josiah Foster Negley and Sarah Maria Matilda Lee were married in Bureau County, Illinois.  That day also happened to be Sarah's twenty-second birthday, Josiah was 24.   They were married "at Mr. Negley's" by Rev. M. V. B. White, Pastor of the Buda M. E. Church.  Witnesses were Mr. George Lee & wife and Mr. C. Negley and Miss Mary Fisher. George Lee was the brother of Sarah.  Mr. C. Negley, Josiah's brother Calvin, and Miss Mary Fisher were married to each other in September that same year.

Over the next few years...
  • 1872  MAY 11  son George Oscar born
  • Family moved to Decatur, Iowa
  • 1874  FEB 19  son Newton Joseph born
  • 1877  MAY 20  daughter Alice May born
  • 1880  MAR 3  daughter Sadie Ellen born  (my Great Grandma)
  • 1884  OCT 9  son William Dean born
  •  Family moved to Clay County, Nebraska
  • 1887  AUG 7  son Newton Joseph died
  • 1887  SEP 12 son Josiah David Calvin "Cal" born in Eldorado, Nebraska
In March my posts will focus on my Great Great Grandparents Josiah & Sarah Negley and their family.