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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring Genealogy Trip 2014

Last year my mom and I decided to make our first attempt at a genealogy trip.  We planned a trip to Illinois where we could visit Monmouth where relatives on her side lived and then we headed south to Lincoln, Ill to where relatives on dad's side resided.  We had so much fun we decided we needed a repeat this year.
This year we picked Missouri because again we could visit sites from both sides of my family.  We are not professional genealogists by any means but we have a great time and sometimes just luck into some fantastic finds.  This trip was no different.
We started out on a Sunday leaving Omaha around 6:30 with our plan to drive south and get to Wilson's Creek National Park shortly after lunch.  On the way we found this great BBQ place and had a fantastic lunch...after all half the fun of traveling is finding those new and great places to eat!

Mom at Boone's BBQ Barn in Bolivar, MO

We started with exploring dad's side this year.  Dad's great, great grandfather was Alexander Fuller.  He came from Candor, New York and settled near Rolla, Missouri.  He met his future wife, Sarah Jane Padgett, who was living with her mother and step father, Phillip and Mary Deem.  Also living with them were her half brothers, Jim and Christopher Deem. The Deems had moved to Missouri from Illinois.  Alexander and Sarah Jane married on March 1, 1857 or 1858.  (It is stated both ways in a later pension application statement made by Sarah Jane.)  The marriage record has been destroyed by fire so we only have the pension application to go by.  They had two children, John and Martha. Alexander Fuller joined the First Arkansas Mounted Riflemen under Colonel Thomas J. Churchill.  He was wounded at the Battle of Wilson's Creek.  So we wanted to start by touring Wilson's Creek Battlefield. We were there on a beautiful day and could really take our time and walk the trails and see the park.  I cannot describe the feeling you get knowing what took place on those grounds that day.

When we finished up at Wilson's Creek we drove into Springfield to spend the night.  We had dinner in a downtown pub that was good and got a great Priceline deal at the Springfield Hotel.

On Monday we drove into Rolla, MO.

We got to Rolla about lunch time and it was recommended that we eat at a place called "Slice of Pie".  This was perfect as they served a light lunch and had a list of almost 40 pies to chose from!  Yum.  It was so good that we ate lunch there again the next day!

Every good genealogy trip takes planning.  While I was organizing my notes and deciding what we should do in Rolla I knew that there was an out of the way cemetery that I wanted to visit.  Phillip Mary and Jim Deem are buried in a country cemetery.  Luckily it is listed on but I wasn't sure of the location.  I took a chance and contacted the gentleman (Garrett) that had posted the memorial and pictures on  It turned out that not only was he very familiar with the cemetery and the story of the Deem family but some of his family now own the land where my Deem family was living in the 1850-1860s. As we corresponded I found out that he also knew where Sarah Jane Fuller had lived and he had some information about why she had moved back to Illinois with the kids.  He offered to show us where the cemetery is located, the Deem farm and where the Fullers were living. We were really excited to have someone offer to give us a guided tour of the area!
We met Garrett and his friend who is also interested in local history and teaches History at one of the area schools to exchange notes and then go on the tour.  The first stop was the land where the Fullers lived.  After Alexander went to war, soldiers had burned the house down and Sarah Jane Fuller and the kids moved in with the neighbors... Widow Keester. The widow Keester later married Judge Wright.  Alexander Fuller died of disease later in the Civil War and Sarah Jane was being referred to as Widow Fuller.  Now a side the Rolla area there was a lot of conflict between the two sides of the Civil War.  Both sides were accused of bushwhacking and were labeled bushwhackers.  Judge Wright had a son, Anthony,  that was a notorious bushwhacker and soldiers were after him.  One day the soldiers came and arrested  Judge Wright and his other son in connection to Anthony.  They were to take them back to jail in Rolla but along the way
they was killed by the soldiers.  There was a trial of the soldiers and during this trial the Widow Fuller is mentioned because of the time that she spent living with Judge Wright and his wife the Widow Keester.  During the trial another neighbor makes some statements about the Widow Fuller and also states that her brother came to Missouri and took her and the children back to Illinois with him.  Later the widow Fuller remarried to William Calhoun in Illinois.

  This picture isn't the best as the sun was in the wrong position.
Next we went over to the Deem farm.  There is a cabin still sitting on it that may be left from the Deems but it also could have been built shortly after that time.  In the The Bushwhacker book by George Clinton Arthur it says that soldiers burned the Deem house down.  Later in the book it says that since the house had been burned Mrs Deem was now living in a two-room log house near Corn Creek.
Log house still on the property where the Deems lived. Unsure if this is the actual
log cabin talked about.

Mary Deem's son, Jim, was killed by soldiers due to his association with Bushwhacker Bill.  Her husband, Phillip was innocent but killed too mainly because of his son, Jim.   Her other son, Christopher had joined the service and also fought at Wilson's Creek.

Huskey Cemetery where the Deem family is buried.  Notice the spelling on the stones is different.

Here is a picture of mom with our tour guides.  Another picture of mom and I at the cemetery.

We spent the night in Rolla and the next day we went to the Courthouse and the Historical Society.  We found a little bit of information about the Phillip Deem estate but I still have some more work to do on that.
We of course browsed some antique stores too!  Then we headed out towards our next destination, Memphis, MO.
We drove as far as Jefferson City, MO and found a hotel.  Went to a shopping area for dinner and a few munzees (another form of geocaching) for mom.

Wednesday we started the trip to Memphis, Mo driving north and stopping when we would see an interesting antique.  We got to Macon Mo and went into a downtown antique shop.  The owner had a huge wall full of genealogy books.  They were not for sale but were there for anyone who wanted to use them.  They had belonged to her father-in-law and when he passed away they put them in their shop to share with others.  His collection was as big as some library collections that I have seen.  What a treasure!
Of course we had to find a good lunch place and the locals suggested Hawg Father's BBQ.  The special was a chicken tenderloin seasoned and wrapped in bacon.  It also had a sweet taste of brown sugar incopoated into it.  Very good.  I believe we found a homemade cobbler here too....are you starting to see a theme of pies on this trip?

On to Memphis!

We drove on up to Memphis, Mo and pulled into town in time to spend about an hour at the courthouse.  We found some land records and a couple of marriage records that we did not have.
We found a motel for the night and then went out to visit a friend at the cemetery.  Rita was a good friend to my mom and later my family in Omaha.  She was originally from Memphis so we wanted to  take these flowers out to her. RIP Rita.

We found a little bar/pub that we were told would have food and a drink so we went there for dinner.
And no trip is complete with out grabbing a geocache or two along the way.  Mom found this one outside of town at a small recreational lake area.

The next morning we went to the Memphis Genealogical Society and did some more research.  We also stopped at the library as it had a genealogy area too.  We were hoping to find some information about our Civil War ancestors, William P Smith and John Little.  We did not come up with anything more than we already knew but we were referred to the state archives for more information.

We were told that another good stop while we were in the area was the "Athens Civil War Battlefield".  So we headed that way.  This is the site of the Northernmost Battle west of the Mississippi River.
It was a beautiful area but again you could feel the emotions of the battle when you were there.  We saw a house that was owned by the Benning family on the grounds. During the battle a cannonball went clear through it.  The hole in the front and back are still there.  No one was injured but wouldn't
that have been a surprise to see a cannonball zip through your home?

Exit hole in the back of the house.

From there we headed on up to Ottumwa, Ia.  Somewhere on the way Mom found a great Western Stoneware paperweight made in Monmouth, IL at an antique shop here.  We both like to collect small Western Stoneware items because of the family connection to that area.  In Ottumwa we took a break from the old and went shopping at a mall that we found there and then went to dinner. This time we tried BBQ nachos at a local pub in the mall.  They were good but still couldn't beat the BBQ nachos served at the Nebraska State Fair by Pig in a Bag!  We also found a few munzees (another form of geocaching) for mom.

The next morning was Friday and we were due home that night.  We got up and headed to Pella, IA.  Mom had been there before but I had not.  We found a great coffee shop on our way thru Oskaloosa, IA and I was really excited about that!  I hadn't had a Cafe Mocha since before we left and the one from Smokey Row was fact it was such good coffee that when we got to Pella and found another Smokey Row we indulged in a second cup.  I learned that no trip to Pella is complete without a trip to the Jaarsma Danish Bakery and  a tour of the Dutch windmill.  The Windmill was imported from Holland in pieces and reassembled in Pella.

My tour guide.

Shortly after noon we decided it was time to head back to Omaha.  We had covered quite a bit of area and had a great time.  For me touring the areas where my ancestors lived makes them more real and it really is a treat to get to spend the time with my mom.  Can't wait until the next trip... a bit of dieting is in order after this trip! We are not sure where the next trip will take us but had family from both sides in Indiana so....

Note - Our contact in Rolla was Garrett Gabel.  He co-wrote the book "History of Yancy Mills, Mo" and he is working on his new book. Our trip to Rolla was made so much better because of Garrett and Mikes' willingness to share their knowledge and time to help us understand what life was like for my family in Rolla, MO.  Thank you again Garrett and Mike!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ancestor is talking from the grave with DNA results!

Sometimes when you are researching your family history you feel like your ancestors are talking to you.  Last weekend my great great grandmother was talking loud and clear.

My last blog was about Conrad Boehler and his coming through Lincoln, Ill.  Conrad married Amelia Spoettle (Spitly) and today's blog is about her family.  The history of the Spitly family had been passed down but we had no information about Amelia's mother, Theresa.  When I was in Lincoln, Ill last spring going through the church records I discovered that her maiden name was Herberger ( many different spellings of this are found).  So now that I knew her maiden name researching her family should be easy...yeah, not so much.

I started by looking for other Herberger families in the area and I found another gentleman, John, researching the Herberger family too.  We found a Goerge and Josephine Herberger in Lincoln but have no records connecting them to Theresa.  Nothing I have mentions Theresa's family.

Anyway, John had contacted me recently and wanted to look at this again.  We had spent the week exchanging emails and ideas of where to look next but still had no idea if Theresa had any family in Lincoln or where she came from.

So last Saturday we were exchanging a couple more ideas and going back over what little information we had when I see an email come in from Ancestry.  It said that I had some new DNA matches.  I click on it and I had a new third cousin match.  That was excited in itself but when I clicked on it the person that was my third cousin match had her tree attached to her profile and she is a direct descendent of George Herberger of Lincoln, IL!!!!!  I had goosebumps.  This had to be more than a freaky coincidence….my great great grandmother, Theresa Herberger Spitly was pointing me to her family.  She wants to be remembered.

*Side note…John's link to the Herberger family is a Carolina Herberger who married Ambrose Wachter.  Ambrose and Carolina were neighbors to Joseph and Theresa Spitly.  They were found together in the church records as sponsors for the baptisms of each other's children.  This make me believe that Carolina is also related to Theresa but Theresa and George are both listed as coming from Bavaria in several places and John has a complete story on Carolina and her mother coming from Germany so we are not sure if there is a true relationship there or not.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

In Search of Konrad...

My Great Grandfather Conrad Boehler came over from Germany in 1872 according to census records.  I have yet to find his passage on a ship list but will keep looking.  This blog is going to discuss finding Conrad in Germany considering all we had to go on was that he said he was from Baden. First some background on what we already knew about Conrad.

Conrad landed in Lincoln Ill and met my Great Grandmother Amelia Spitley (Spoettle).  Amelia's father, Joseph farmed in Lincoln, Ill and her Uncle Martin Spitley owned the Spitley House there.

*Photo was sent to me from the Logan County Genealogy and Historical Society.

The hotel burned down in 1924 but it is still remembered by a mural in downtown Lincoln.
I was lucky enough to make a trip with my mom last spring to visit Lincoln, Ill.  I took the picture while there.

Conrad married Amelia on the 12th day of January in 1875 at St. Mary's Catholic church.  With Amelia came 80 acres of  farm land as found in the deed books.  A quit claim from Amelia to Conrad was recorded in July 1875.

They remained in Lincoln, Ill until 1878 at which time they moved to Beatrice, Nebraska.  After doing research of the area it seems there were friends from Lincoln, Ill that also moved to Beatrice. Knochel is one of the names found in Beatrice and Lincoln.  Conrad filed an intent to become a citizen in Lincoln, Ill and completed the papers in Beatrice, NE.  It took me 3 trips to the Beatrice Courthouse to finally talk to someone who knew where these records were kept but on that 3rd trip his record of naturalization was found.  
In 1893 Conrad moved his family to Alma, Nebraska and took up farming on land just west of Alma. This land is still being farmed by my dad and brother John and JJ Boehler.
Below is a picture of the house that first resided on this land.
*Picture given to me by my dad.  Although hard to see Conrad and Amelia are seated and all 7 children are in the picture.  

In 1908 Conrad and Amelia retired from farming and built a beautiful house in Alma, Ne.  That house still stands today and is still beautiful.
*I took this picture on one of my trips to Alma.

Conrad passed away on May 20, 1930 from Carcinoma of the Stomach.  Amelia had passed before him from heart disease on November 14, 1926.

Conrad and Amelia had 8 children, one died as an infant, but the others lived to adulthood.  Theodore, Joseph, Mary, Frank, Caroline, George and Edwin. Only two of those children married.  Frank Boehler married Mattie Colgan and they had one son, Clement.  My Grandfather, Joseph Boehler married Loretta "Etta" Fuller and they had 4 children.  Margaret (Peg), Jody, Conrad and John (Jack).  John is my father.

Since Conrad had died in 1930 and my Grandfather Joe died in 1968 when I was in kindergarten there really wasn't anyone to ask about what part of Germany he had come from and what life was like there.  On his death certificate his place of birth was listed as Baden Germany and his parents names were listed as Unknown.  His son, George had given the information so he didn't seem to know much either.

I had been told that Conrad was a stow away on a ship and that he left Germany suddenly.  He had served in the Franco-Prussian War and the "story" was that he was dating a girl and later found it was his superior officer's wife.  Because of this he had to leave Germany in a hurry to avoid the wrath of the officer.  His obituary said that he was the youngest of seven children.  That is about all I had to go on.

As I had become interested in genealogy I had started by researching the other side...the Fuller family.  My cousin, Barb, had done research on the Boehler/Spitly side and for a family reunion she had put together a fabulous book of family group records and pictures that she had collected, but as I became more and more caught up in genealogy I really wanted to know more about where in Germany Conrad came from and more about his family.  

I knew since I had just started out and was still learning that I had to have help.  I got a name of a German researcher from the same friend that has helped me multiple times in my research.  So I contacted her with the only information I had.

Conrad Boehler, born October 16, 1849, in Baden Baden Germany.  The only other thing I had in my possession was a picture that was with my dad's things that had been passed down to him.  It was a picture that listed a Boehler in Germany getting married and the site was listed as Lake Constance, Germany.  I had no idea if this person was related to us or why that picture was mixed in with the Boehler things but it was.

The researcher told me that she would start looking in Baden Baden but that she did not believe any Boehler's were born there.  She searched the records and reported that no Boehler was born that year in Baden Baden.  Next she searched the areas around Lake Constance going from the only hint we had in the picture of Helene Boehler. 

First she found a Conrad Boehler in that area that was born in November 26, 1841 but the year was too far off to be my Conrad.  So she went to looking in another area of Baden where she felt the Boehler family originated from.  I also had asked her to look for an emigration record for Conrad but explained that I believe he stowed away on a ship.  She told me that when they said that they "disappeared in the dark of night" translated to "stowed away" to us, that it meant that he did not ask permission to emigrate to the US.  When someone wanted to leave the principality it was a loss of taxes from this man so they have to pay money to emigrate.  Most people were poor and did not have the amount of money needed for this so they disappeared "by night and fog"!  She told me that he would have still had to purchase a ship ticket as they were very careful to not allow stow aways.  

So she continued to look for my Conrad and one day I received an email that she felt that she had found him!  He was the only Conrad born in that area that year.  The record stated that he was born
October 24, 1849 and he was the youngest of seven children.  I was excited but still unsure due to the birthdate being off.  I felt like everything else fit in.  His father was Sebastian Boehler and mother was Theresia Schey and he was born in a small parish of Riedoeschingen.  Also the distance to Mittelzell, Lake Constance was only 40 there still could be a connection to the picture we had.  She went on to get me lots of information of generations going back many years but I still had that little bit of doubt in my mind.  But how would I ever be sure....

A few months later I had been to a genealogy workshop and they were talking about going back and doing google searches every so often of the people that you are working on because new information is being added everyday and something new could pop up when you least expect it to.  Well my great grandfather was pushing me to check for him that day so I put his name in and I couldn't believe my eyes at what came up.

This is a page from The Bulletin, United States Bureau of Plant Industry that states that my great grandfather had seed from Riedoeschingen Germany that he was growing and developing for them.  This was the confirmation that I needed that he was indeed the Conrad from Riedoeschingen born October 1849.  
Since then I have been told that one explanation for the difference in the day of his birth was that the priest may have been a traveling priest who went from parish to parish to baptize babies and by the time he got back to record births in the books he may have not remembered everything correctly. I don't know but I do believe that my Conrad had been found and with it being in Germany I could never have found the information on my own. 
*Pictures of Conrad and Amelia and a copy of Conrad's intention to become a citizen.

My mom remembers being told that Conrad was spelled Konrad in Germany.  She was right, the books that record his birth have him listed as Konrad Boehler with the "K".  Everything I have found of him in the United States has it spelled with a "C".

We still have not found a connection to the picture of Helene Boehler but I think it must be there. Time will hopefully tell...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

My great uncle, George Boehler, was an interesting man.  He was born in Beatrice, Nebraska , April 6, 1888.  In 1893 he moved with his family to Alma, Nebraska.  He graduated from Alma High School in 1905.  George is in the back row, 5th from the left.

He went on to Dentistry school at Creighton in Omaha Nebraska and graduated from there in 1908.  In 1910 he has a practice in Alma and stays there until WWI.

George was stationed at Base Hospital No. 49 holding the rank of Lieutenant and later Major of the Dental Reserve.  Upon returning home from the war he practiced dentistry in Omaha rising high in the ranks of his profession.  He served for 10 years as a member of the State Dental Examining Board and was a President of the Nebraska Dental Alumni.  He frequently contributed to various medical journals including, "The Removal of Palatal Bone Tumors and Growths" which he presented to the Midwest Association of Anesthetists at their tenth Annual Congress of Anesthetists in New York City.
After returning from the war he continued with his studies spending time at Northwestern University in Chicago and Queens College of Arts, Cambridge England.  He built a national reputation for himself for skill in dental and plastic surgery.

George's most noted plastic surgery was making an ear for a gentleman who had lost his.  According to the Omaha World Hearld, December 20, 1919 on the front page,
"An interesting piece of work in facial reconstruction was successfully completed Monday when Anthony Robinet, 21 years of age, left for his home in Hospers, IA, with a new right ear to take the place of his own which was severed from his head in an accident eight years ago. 
The ear was modeled by Dr. George M. Boehler and tinted to reproduce the translucent appearance of the natural ear by Donne Powell.  The ear was fastened to the head by Dr. J.P. Lord.
Dr Boehler, who was a member of the Nebraska Base Hospital, No. 49, studied facial reconstruction in Sidcup,  the Queen's hospital in London.
In modeling the ear, he first reproduced the natural ear in wax, and from this model made a mold into which he poured the composition of which the ear was finally made.
Dr. Lord fastened the ear to the head by a means of platinum wires which are concealed in openings in the head.  The finished ear is difficult to detect as artificial, so nearly is it reproduced in color and form. "Gee," said Robinet, "I can't begin to tell you how much it means to me."
The operation was the first of its kind to be performed in Omaha."

The World Hearld had a more comical view on the new ear on January 6, 1920.
"Our correspondent at Hospers, IA, reports that Anthony Robinet of that thriving metropolis, recently had an artificial ear hung on him in place of the one sliced off eight years ago, and that the beneficiary later remarked:
"This gives me a new outlook on life!"
A man who can see through his ear is remarkable."

George was not all about work though.  He was listed continually in the Omaha Society pages.  When he wasn't going to gatherings he was hosting them.  On March 27, 1932, George was listed in the Omaha World Hearld in an article about Omaha's Bachelor's Charms.  The description of George goes like this.
"Makes lots of money by fixing teeth of best people.  Likes music and theater.  Sober and kind.  Belongs to clubs and has stunning black and red roadster.  Travels a lot to Europe and here.  Popular. Goes home from parties at midnight"
When asked why he wasn't married, he was quoted in the Omaha World Hearld on April 12, 1931 as saying,
"Why I never married?" echoed Dr. George M. Boehler, young, good looking bachelor dentist, then answered, "I just can't fool 'em. " Just like that."

George died on June 5, 1933 following complications of Gall Bladder surgery.  His place of residence at the time was 102 S. 52nd St., Omaha Nebraska.  His funeral was held at St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Church in Omaha on 61st and Dodge.  He is buried in the Alma Cemetery in Alma Nebraska.

***One side remembers that there was a picture of George with Anthony Robinet with the new ear but we have not seen the picture in many years.  We are not sure what happened to it but it would be a gem to have today.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Brick Walls Come Down Little by Little

It seems to me that with each brick wall I bust through I may gain several more.  The very first line that I started searching when I started genealogy still has the most brick walls but I have also busted through a lot of them over time.  So wins and losses have been the theme for this line.

Tilghman Overton and Elizabeth Byers were my great great grandparents.  They came to Nebraska from Indiana in the early part of 1860 to claim free land through the Homestead Act.  Their homestead was located in Sarpy county, Nebraska.

Elizabeth I will save for another day because her brick wall is a tall one, except to give you enough information to help you understand Tilghman.  On the 1870 census the family is listed as:
Tilghman 28, Elizabeth 30, Margaret 7, Robert 5, Anna 2.

As soon as the Homestead Land was officially theirs Tilghman and Elizabeth took out a mortgage on it in 1871 from a James Preston.  In 1875 James Preston files suit in District Court due to default on the loan.  In his claim he states that the said, Elizabeth M. Overton has died since the mortgage was taken out.  This is the only proof I have of her death.  Newspapers from that time period were not perserved in that county.  There are some starting about 1875 but nothing from 1871-1874 that I have found.

All of Sarpy County's cemeteries have been documented and Elizabeth's name does not show up in any of them.
 * Brick wall #1:
-Where is Elizabeth buried and when exactly did she die?

In 1876 Tilghman marries Marie Adkins (a widow) in Sarpy County.  They are together in the 1880 farm census in Forest City, Sarpy Co., Nebraska.  Tilghman's children are not listed with them but Maria's children are.

Tilghman's daughter, Margaret (my great grandmother), is listed in 1880 as being 16 and working for a James Davidson.  Tilghman's son, Robert, is listed in an 1880 farm census as being 14 and I find him living with his aunt, Matilda Byers McClure Groth, and her husband.  I don't find little Anna at all and I never find Robert again after the 1880 census.
* Brick wall #2:
-What happened to Robert and Anna?

Tilghman next shows up in the Omaha City Directory in 1881 listed as a carpenter and boarding.  On future census records for Maria the marital status box labeled "widowed or divorced" is checked.  When Maria dies and her son inherits her land there is a sworn statement that Maria Adkins and Maria Overton are the same person and that Maria Overton has divorced Tilghman.  No divorce record has been found in either Sarpy County or Douglas County.

For a long time I could not find Tilghman after seeing him in the Omaha City Directory.  "Brick Wall".  He seemed to have disappeared from the census records and the Omaha city directories.  Then one day when discussing this problem with another genealogist he did a search on ancestry and told me that he found him in the California Voter Records.  These records had just became available and I had not done a recent search for Tilghman.  This was a great lesson for me...just because nothing comes up one day you shouldn't give up. Something new might come up the next day as new records are being added all the time!

So Tilghman shows up in the California Voter Registers and there is a great description of him.  He is listed as being 6' tall, dark complextion, brown eyes and dark hair.  That is exactly how I would describe my dad!  At this point in time I had no picture of Tilghman and this was great information.
I can find Tilghman in voter registers and city directories up until 1897in California and then he is gone again.
*Brick wall #3:
-Where did Tilghman go?  When did he die?

So now I only have my great grandmother, Margaret Overton, to track.  Margaret married John Fuller in Sarpy County in 1882.  They have 9 children during the time they are in Sarpy County and 2 more when they move to St. Francis, KS.  3 of the children die in Sarpy County.  2 girls die in 1891 and one son, Charlie dies in January 1900.  John and Margaret move their family to St. Francis, KS about March of 1900.
I am reading the newspapers of the time for more information about how Charlie died.  I find lots of little family snippets in the papers about this Fuller family.  I find some birth records, and I do also find that John has been to Kansas looking for land and that he will be moving his family there.  I then find a record about the death of Charlie.  Seems he was about 17 and died of pneumonia.  I am not sure why I kept reading the papers after that date because the family had moved but it was interesting and so I kept on reading and my heart just about jumped out of my chest when I came across this:

"Til Overton, who was well known to all the old-timers in this part of the country, died in Kansas on the night of May 4.  He was about sixty years of age and leaves one daughter, Mrs. John Fuller, of St. Francis, Kansas.  The cause of the death the MONITOR did not learn."
-Springfield Monitor 10 May 1900

I was so excited to find a record of what had happened to Tilghman.  I have a death date for him and a state...but new mysteries too.  Did he die in St. Francis while visiting his daughter?  I have not had a chance to really search the cemeteries there yet to see if he is buried there.  I have borrowed the newspapers for St. Francis, KS and looked for more information on his death but found none.  I can also now be pretty sure that Anna and Robert had both died at some point since it lists her as the only daughter left to mourn him.

Later I did receive one more awesome piece of history on Tilghman.  My cousin, Connie, and my aunt, Jody, from California have been going through some of my aunt's old photo albums and they scanned and sent me this.

,What a treasure!  Brick wall #3 was knocked partially down.  I hope to be able to find where he was buried.  1900  is just a little bit too early for death certificates in Kansas but I will keep looking for other records.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Funeral Card Friday

I am going to switch over to the Boehler family for "Funeral Card Friday".

I don't know much about Mary Boehler since she died young and was unmarried.  She was born on January 8, 1880 in Beatrice, Nebraska to Conrad and Amelia Boehler.  She moved with her family to Alma, Nebraska and continued to live with her parents up until she died from complications of diseases following a surgical operation.  I remember when I was little that my dad used to tell me that  I was not allowed to get married when I grew up...I was to live at home and take care of my parents for ever.  I guess that Mary and Carrie (also never married) Boehler took this literally when their dad told them the same thing.
Also stated in her obituary in the Harlan County Journal, October 29,1915, "In her death the community loses one of its leading young ladies.  A favorite among a large circle of friends and the home is relieved of a faithful daughter who has at all times devoted her talents toward making that place all the word implies."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ten Fingers and Ten Toes

When a baby is born most people can't wait to see if it is a boy or a girl, how much hair it has and what color eyes it has. In my family whenever a baby was born the first thing we checked was if the baby had 10 fingers and 10 toes.  We did this because we were told that my Great Grandfather, John Fuller, had died during a barn raising.  The story goes that he didn't have any thumbs and so wasn't able to hold his side of the barn up and it came down on him and killed him.

My mother tells me that as soon as one of us was born that Grandma Etta Fuller Boehler (John's daughter) would immediately unwrap the baby and check digits so in turn that was the first thing we checked when my children were born.

Now let's weigh the facts and see if this was just a Great Grandma Fuller story or if there is some truth in this.  When I started genealogy I looked for John Fuller's obituary.  He died in St. Francis, Ks on March 17, 1904.  The obituary from the St. Francis newspaper states the following:

"John Fuller was stricken with apoplexy about 9 o'clock last Thursday evening, March 17, and expired in one hour and thirty-five minutes.  He became unconscious instantly and never spoke again.
Mr. Fuller had just completed and moved into his comfortable new house and was in excellent spirits.  During the day Thursday he had helped John Nelson to butcher and raise a building which they were to move on the following day and being tired he retired early.
It was probable that in the exertions of the day Mr. Fuller injured a blood vessel in his brain which ruptured after he retired and caused his death"

This doesn't exactly say that he lost his grip on the building and was hit in the head with it...but something like that could have caused the bleeding in his brain.

The only other piece of evidence to support the possibility is a picture of 3 grandmothers with the first granddaughter, Margaret Boehler Brown.  From left to right,  Amelia Boehler, Sarah Jane Padgett Fuller Calhoun, and Margaret Overton Fuller (my great grandmothers on each side and great, great grandmother in the middle holding my aunt).   It appears to me that they have one of Margaret's shoes off and Great Grandmother Fuller is counting toes!

Grandmothers counting fingers and toes!
The original picture belongs to my aunt.  Thanks for sharing Jody Gehley and Connie Norland!