Saturday, May 31, 2014

Libbeus, Lebbeus and Lebius

Three different men all named Lebbeus Simmons would surely be related, wouldn't they?  I believe these 3 men are Father, Son and Grandson, but I don't have a single document to tie any one of the three to another.  To keep them straight in my mind I spell each one's name the way I first found it, I'll add numbers here to make it less confusing. 

Looking for my Great Great Grandmother Rachel Simmons as a little girl in the 1850 Pennsylvania census, I found the family of Lebius3 Simmons.  That lead me to a Rootsweb World Connect Tree showing Libbeus1 Simmons, with a son Lebbeus2 Simmons, both born too early to be the Lebius3 from 1850.  My search has been continuing from there since 1999.  The 3 men never appear together by name on the same census record or any other record that I've found yet.  Several years ago I collaborated with a group of several researchers all possibly descendants of Libbeus1.  We shared information and ideas and with help from them, this is what I have.   

Libbeus1 SIMMONS (1749  - 1835) 

From Vital Records of Middleborough, Plymouth Co., MA, Vol. 11, Book 2, Part 2, p. 80: 
Middleborough January the 27th, 1774 Then Libbeus Simmons and Mary Douglas both of Middleborough were Joyned in Marriage by me Ebenezer Hinds Baptist Minister.
Libbeus1 fought in the Revolutionary War, I have his pension application documents. There isn't much information on his family, just an affidavit by his daughter Priscilla Mitchell declaring she was one of ten children of Libbeus and Mary.

The Rootsweb Tree lists his children as:  Elijah, Betsey, Thaddeus, Mary, Persilla, James, Sarah, Judath, Lydia, and Lebbeus.  The DAR application from one woman has his children listed as:  Libbeus, Abigail, Joshua, Priscilla, Polly, Dorcas, Judith, James, Mary and Lydia. 

Libbeus1 died on March 13, 1835 at age 85.  His burial location is unknown, he is probably buried on private land near Unity Pond, Maine.  The two lists of children both include a son named Lebbeus, but there is no identifying information to prove that that son is...

Lebbeus2 SIMMONS    (abt 1794  - after 1870)  

1820 Census records of Troy, Maine list both a Lebbeous Simmons, age over 45 and Lebbeous Jr, age between 26 & 45.  Of course the 1820 census only lists heads of household by name.  Land records in Maine show that Lebbeus and his wife Esther Kelsey sold land in 1827 and at that time they were located in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. That's the same county as Lebius3 in 1850.  The only other mention of Esther that I have is the marriage record of her daughter:   "Mary C. Simmons, dau of Lebus & Hester Simmons" to William Webb in 1854 in Ritchie County, Virginia (now West Virginia).  Children of Lebbeus2 and Esther are believed to be:  Jeremiah, David, William, Lebius3, Mary Catherine and Rosilla Douglas.  By 1850, Lebbeus2 had a new wife.  Esther must have died sometime between 1831 (birth of her last child) and 1850 or possibly 1840, I have no idea where.

The Illinois Marriage Index has 3 interesting listings: 
Libbens Simmons and Jane Hart, 3/29/1840  Fulton County
Lebeous Simmons and Mrs. Sarah Thorn, 7/2/1850 Fulton County
Lebbens Simmons and Maria Dunavon, 1/21/1865 Fulton County

Was Lebbeus2 the "Libbens" Simmons who married Jane Hart?  Jane Simmons (b. abt 1803 PA)  died in 1850 after a 1 day illness at age 47 (Mortality Index found online at Genealogy Trails History Group, -  She had been married 10 years, did she have any children?  

I believe Lebeous who married Sarah Thorn is Lebbeus2, son of Libbeus1.  In 1850 they lived in Canton, Illinois, with two of Sarah's sons and Lebbeus2's daughter Mary.  In the next few years they had 7 children together:  James, Charles, Lydia, Sarah, Delilah, Mariah Antoinette and Amos.  Sarah left Lebbeus2 and their children in 1864 and they divorced in 1866, I have the documents of the divorce case.   All of those children, except Charles, were living with other families in 1870, after the divorce of their parents.

Lebbeus2 could not be "Lebbens" who married Maria Dunavon in 1865 when he was in the middle of divorce proceedings.  Was there another Lebbeus Simmons in Fulton County at that time and just who was he and do some of these records belong to him?

Land records don't give a persons age which would really help.  If there is no mention of a wife, does that mean for sure that there isn't one?  As best as I can understand, on 27 OCT 1838, Lebbeus Simmons bought from David Nillum (?) Lots 9, 10 & 11 in Canton for $300.  Then on 6 JAN 1840, he sold those lots to Samuel Miller for $450.  Also on 6 JAN 1840, Lebbeus bought 40 acres from Ptolomy and Sarah Ann Stone (wife's name is included because she relinquished dower).  The legal description is E 1/2 SE 13 7N R4E.  He paid $110.  And still on 6 JAN 1840, Lebbeus bought 40 acres from Joel & Emily Wright for $91.  Description is SE SE 13 T7N R4E, same Section (13), same Township (7N) and same Range (4E).  No mention of a wife of Lebbeus in any of those deeds.  Can I be sure these were all Lebbeus2?

In the 1870 census there is a Lebeus Simmons age 73 back in Mercer County, Pennsylvania living with Phebe Bearse and her son Isaac, and his son Charles Simmons who is 16.  The column is marked to say that Charles' father is of foreign birth for some reason.  It is believed that Phebe is a niece of Lebbeus2.    

Lebbeus2 died sometime after 1870, but where?  Mercer County has no death record.  I've also tried Fulton County and Ritchie County.  Although I have nothing that confirms Lebbeus2's children from his marriage with Esther, I believe he is the father of...

Lebius3 Simmons   (1820 - between 1852-54)  

1850 Cool Spring township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania lists the family of Lebius3 - Lebius, wife Ruth, daughters Rachel, Rosilla and Louisa and son William.  All of the children were born in Pennsylvania.  

This is a deed from Fulton County, Illinois dated March 7, 1846 that has the name as Lebbeus Simmons "Jr." as opposed to the other deeds with Lebbeus Simmons.  [7 MAR 1846 Parkis & Margaret Corey sold to Lebbeus Simmons Jr NE NE 13 7N R4 40 acres $150]  Could this be Lebius3  Again there is no mention of a wife.  In 1846 daughter Louisa was born in Pennsylvania, did he travel back and forth that much?   

And if he bought land in Illinois in 1846, and lived in Pennsylvania in 1850, how or why was his wife widow in Ritchie County, Virginia in 1854.  In July, 1854, Ruth Simmons, widow, married Cyrus Webb in Ritchie County, Virginia.  As I mentioned before, Mary C. Simmons married William Webb also in July, 1854 in Ritchie County.  Mary was the sister of Lebius3 and William Webb the brother of Cyrus.   Then in 1860, Cyrus and Ruth are listed in the Fulton County census with Simmons children Rosilla, William and Ruth (born 1852).   So what happened to Lebius3 between 1852 and 1854 and where - Pennsylvania?  Illinois? Virginia?  Was he the victim of an accident while traveling?  I always think of the scene in the movie "How The West Was Won" where the Prescott parents were lost rafting down a river. 

These are the disconnected links in the chain.  One more disconnected link is my Great Great Grandmother Rachel McGrath to the little girl in 1850.   It has to be more than coincidence that these people lived in the same places.   And there are several name connections.  There may not be any documents that will identify the relations between them all, but this is how I believe these 3 men to be my direct ancestors (with a lot of unanswered questions).

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Newspaper Clippings - Edwardsburg and Marcellus, Michigan 1912

After finding out that my Great Grandfather's half brother, Henry Menke Jr., died in Cassopolis, Michigan, I contacted the library there to get a copy of his obituary.  The Cass District Library sent me his obit along with two other small articles about his death from two other newspapers in the area.  

Here's some of the news from Edwardsburg and Marcellus, Michigan in September, 1912.  A letter or two are cut off in the first column of the Edwardsburg Argus, so I gave it my best guess as to what was missing so that the names would come up in a search.  Check out the final paragraph in Edwardsburg, that's one of the more unique marriage announcements I've seen.

Edwardsburg Argus, September 5, 1912

Miss Bessie Van Tuyl has returned from a visit with her aunts, Mrs. Ed Robbins, and Mrs. Ralph Compton, in Elkhart.

C. K. Lowman and wife, of Jefferson, visited M. E. Robbins and family and Nile Lowman and wife, in Mishawaka, last week.

The game of ball between Edwardsburg and Penn, Sunday, at Eagle lake, resulted in a score of 6 [ ? ] in favor of the former.

The fire bell is now in position on top of E. G. Sherman's livery and [?]ed stable, but we hope we will never have occasion to use it.

Henry Andrus left Tuesday noon for South Haven, as a delegate to the Grand Lodge, Knights of Pythius, which is not in session.

Miss Celia Ely, who taught in the intermediate department of the Edwardsburg school last year, has been engaged to teach at Vandalia.

Frank Lamb, son of F. A. Lamb, of Redfield, left last week for Bay County, where he has accepted a position as foreman on a stock farm.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Whaling, of Kalamazoo, arrived Saturday evening for a two days' visit with their nephew, E. E. Patterson, and family.

Mrs. Dell Crosby, Mrs. Goldsmith and Mrs. Strong, of Chicago, have been spending a few days with Mrs. Harriet Crosby.  They spent Sunday at the home of John Jones, in [?]lton.

The Edwardsburg public schools will open next Monday, with the following instructors:  Principal, C. C. Borst, of Cedar Springs; Assistant, Mrs. E. E. Patterson; Intermediate, Grace Collins, of Marlette; Primary, Mrs. Harriet Dowler.  There will be no change in text books.  The changes required by law have been made and we are now on an equal footing with the other high schools of the state.

Rev. Menke, pastor of the Presbyterian church at Cassopolis, passed away Monday morning, at the Goodwin House.  He returned Friday from Chicago, where he had undergone a surgical operation, and was feeling fine, but suffered a relapse and Sunday night was much worse.  About two o'clock he became easier and his attendants retired.  Monday morning Almon Miller went to his room and found him dead.

Last Thursday the citizens of Edwardsburg first became aware of the fact that G. H. Redfield, of this place, and Mrs. Josephine Hoy, daughter of the late Henry Kimmerle, had stolen a march on their friends and had been united in marriage in Laporte, Ind., Aug. 21st.  They were serenaded last Thursday evening by the Edwardsburg band, of which Ham is the leader.  As Mr. Redfield has a very pleasant home here and Mrs. Redfield has one on South Bend, they will divide the time between the two places, for the...

Marcellus News, September 5, 1912

For rent - The house we now occupy, ten rooms, all modern improvements including complete toilet room electric light, etc; also has a barn - Lena Arnold

Misses Verna and Abbie Fenstermacher left yesterday for Sargent Neb., the former to resume her school work and the latter will spend the winter there.

Come in and let me show you the $4.50, $5.00 and $6.00 trowsers I make to your measure.  Nothing better anywhere for the money - H. Klinkman, The Tailor.

Mr. and Mrs. Albert Cook of Newberg returned from their northern trip Thursday evening having visited relatives in Grandville, Grand Rapids, Cadillac, Fife Lake, Mayfield and Alba, Mich.

Just received a fresh line of chocolates and salted almonds. - S. Brody

Rev. Menke, pastor of the Presbyterian church in Cassopolis died Monday morning.  He had been to Chicago for an operation and returned feeling much better, but suffered a relapse Sunday evening, and passed away the next morning.

Geo. Barleon of Barrien Center accompanied by a boy named Loraine Kower drove his auto over a bank west of Dowaglac Friday.  The machine turned over into a pond and before help could be summoned Mr. Barleon was drowned.  The boy was not hurt.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Patterson's


Minnie R  & Levi Patterson's grave in the Cozad Cemetery, Cozad, Nebraska.

Arminda Ruth McGrath
Born  December 17, 1861
Died   April 27, 1950
Age 88
Daughter of John McGrath and Rachel Jane Simmons
Minnie’s middle name is Ruth, which is another reason for me to believe her Grandmother, Rachel’s mother was Ruth (Smith) Simmons. 

Levi Patterson
Born  December 27, 1857
Died   May 26, 1941
Age 83
Son of Robert Patterson and Margaret O’Hara 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday - Needle Crafts Appreciation

Needle crafts are a big part of my family history.  Most all of my foremothers did all kinds of sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, embroidery and more.  My Mom made this pretty pioneer doll and gave her to me several years ago.  The dress and bonnet are made from a pillowcase with the cat embroidered onto it.  She gets pretty dusty, and I'm afraid of ruining the embroidery and bonnet if I wash them too often.  But when I do (hand wash, of course), she looks nice!

This doll is really not old enough yet to be classified a "family heirloom".  But it will become one.  My daughter doesn't have much of an interest in the various fabric art pieces I have around the house.  If she doesn't acquire an appreciation for them, this doll will go to one of my nieces who does!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Newspaper Clippings - Howard County, Nebraska 1904

Howard County, Nebraska is just north of Hall County here where I live.  The communities of Howard County include St. Paul, Boelus, Cotesfield, Cushing, Dannebrog, Elba, Farwell, and the unincorporated villages of Dannevirke, St. Libory, Midway and Nystad.  The Grand Island Library has copies of the Howard County Herald for the years 1896-1961.   Do you have any family from Howard County?  

Legal Notices involving your ancestors can appear anywhere.  Think about where the immediate family members of your deceased relative lived and you might find Legal Notices like the one here from Covington, Nebraska nearly 200 miles from Howard County.  

Howard County Herald, Feb. 4, 1904

"The funeral of the infant child of William John Welch was held at the Presbyterian church Sunday at 11:30 o'clock.  Interment took place at the Warsaw cemetery.
FARWELL, Jan. 28.  The cold weather of the past few days has been hard on fingers and coal piles.
The A. O. U. W. are taking in new members at almost every meeting.  The following officers for the coming year were installed at the last meeting:  J. Lang master workman, Fred Olsen financier, Chris Christensen receiver and D. Bangert recorder.
A sister of Mrs. Potkowski came in on Saturday evening's train, and made her a visit.
Mr. Ambrose has purchased the house vacated by Mr. Horkey and moved his family into the same.
Mrs. Stephen Petersen boarded the train last Thursday to pay her former home, York, a visit.
The dancers of the village and surrounding country amused themselves at a masked ball Saturday evening.
Mr. Watke of Ashton called in our town last week.
Miss Eva Jacobson of Cushing visited last week in the family of Chris Christensen.  She is a niece of that gentleman.
P. Lang's have beautified their commodious residence by the addition of a large plate glass window. 
The new saloon keeper and family have arrived and are visiting in the country; also the new barber.
The graphaphone at Charles Lukasiewicz's which is to be raffled off seems to be a good machine.
Martin Lang and family attended church at Elba Sunday afternoon.
Rev. Longstaff came from Ashton Saturday evening and spent Sunday with O. Petersen.
Mrs. M. E. Moody of St. Paul visited her daughter last week.
James Lang was a St. Paul passenger Monday.
Chris Christensen was on the sick list last week; also little Harry Bangert.
D. Bangert is spending a short time in O'Neill.  The office is in charge of a substitute.
Mr. and Mrs. Ward from near St. Paul visited with their daughter, Mrs. Otto Petersen, Thursday of this week.

School Report

Report of Farwell school, district 67:  Primary Department - Number enrolled 50; average daily attendance, 42; number of visitors 7; Pupils neither absent nor tardy, Charley Horky, Albert Harvey, Mary Dobry, Annie Borzych, Myrtle Lang, Mac Brown, Arnold Krogh, Martha Horky and Hattie Wichman.  Eva Suponchick, teacher.

A. A. Jensen has bought the Anders Mortensen residence adjoining his own residence on Elm street.  Mr. Jensen intends to move the buildings on the Mortensen place to the upper end of the lots and remodel them.  This will make his own residence lots larger and improve both properties.
Born, to Mr. and Mrs. Leo Hansen on Friday morning, a boy.
Anders Mortensen departed Monday morning for Galveston, Texas, where he intends to remain a couple of months and then go to Montana.
Morten Krogh died at his home one mile west of Nysted Wednesday afternoon from lung trouble.  He leaves a wife and two sons, Peter and Theodore.  Peter, the eldest, is a grain dealer of Farwell and Theodore is our furniture dealer.
P. C. Petersen, better known as "Gamie Peer," died at the home of his sons, Hans Petersen in Chapman, this state, Friday night, January 22, and was buried in the Dannebrog cemetery Monday afternoon by the side of his wife, who died some six years ago.  He was 72 years old.
Archie Diercks and Oscar Carlson went down to Silver Creek Monday to inspect the waterworks at that place, it being a similar plan to what had been thought we might afford in this town.  The boys were highly pleased with their trip and are now able to explain just what it will take to put in a plant here.

In the District Court of Howard County, Nebraska
In the matter of the estate of Jens Danielsen, deceased
This cause came on for hearing upon the petition of Alexander Danielsen, administrator of the estate of Jens Danielsen, deceased, praying for a license to sell lots 7, 8 and 9, in block 113, in the town of Covington, Dakota county, Nebraska, or a sufficient amount of the same to bring the sum of $120.00 for the payment of the debts allowed against said estate and the costs of administration, there not being sufficient personal property to pay said debts and expenses.  It is therefore ordered that all persons interested in said estate appear before me at St. Paul, Neb., on the 17th day of February, 1904, at 10 o'clock a.m. to show cause why a license should not be granted to said administrator to sell so much of the above described real estate of said deceased as shall be necessary to pay said debts and expenses. 
Dated this 26th day of December, 1903.
J. N. Paul, Judge of the District Court."

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Ruth Pettit

*Sterling Farm Journal, Thurs. Dec. 8, 1932
Mrs. Ruth Pettit Resident Here for 38 years
Mrs. Ruth Pettit, 80 years of age, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Anna Norton, in Sterling Saturday.
Mrs. Pettit came to Logan county from Nebraska thirty-eight years ago and has been a resident here since that time.  She is survived by the following children:  Mrs. Anna Norton, Sterling; Mrs. Sadie Mathews, Callaway, Neb., Mrs. Jennie Berger, Gothenburg, Neb.; Sylvester Pettit, Haxtun; Mrs. Mary Couture, Gothenburg; L. Pettit, Fleming; and Mrs. Ethel Scull, Kalama, Wash.
Funeral services were held Sunday at the Jackson mortuary in charge of Dr. V. P. Mitchell, pastor of the First Methodist church.  Burial was at Riverside cemetery."  
Ruth is a sister of Rachel Jane (Simmons) McGrath, my second Great Grandmother.  The Colorado State Archives does not release their microfilm to anyone outside the state.  I'm very grateful to Lori McBride Nichols who answered my request through facebook and went to the library and got this obituary for me. 

The information missing here is that Ruth was the daughter of Lebius and Ruth (Smith) Simmons.  She was preceded in death by sisters Rachel McGrath, Rosilla Davee, Louisa Simmons and a brother William Simmons (possibly living yet in 1932, age 83).  Other relatives were half-siblings Milbourn Uriah Webb, deceased; Jesse Carver Webb living in Illinois, Sarah Webb and Franklin S Webb, whereabouts unknown.   

* Reprinted with permission.