Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Convicted and Escaped

I am a student of history.  It was my favorite subject in school and it is what I got my college degree in - B. S. of History, English minor in 1989 at the University of Idaho.  Having said that, you could assume that I had some knowledge of the Salem Witch trials.  It was a surprise to me to find out that I had a distant relationship to one of the accused.

Lydia Perkins would be my 9th great grandmother.  She was born 3 June 1632 in Boston, MA and died 12 Jan 1707 in Ipswich, MA.  She was married to Henry Bennett (b. 1629 in London, England d. 3 Oct 1707 in Ipswich, MA).  Lydia was the daughter of John Perkins and Judith Gater and had a sister named Mary Perkins.  Mary was b. bef 3 Sep 1615 in Hillmorton, Warwickshire, England and d. 20 Dec 1700 in Ipswich, MA.  She married Thomas Bradbury in 1636.  During one of my genealogical wanderings, I came across a notation about Mary, my 10th great aunt, that she had been tried and convicted during the Salem Witch trials.  According to an article by Melisssa Berry in - at - Mary was the victim of numerous familial squabbles from the Carr family.   Melissa explains that it mainly started when Mary spurned an offer of marriage from George Carr and married Thomas Bradbury. Evidently Mary was so powerful that she caused the death of John Carr by "dethroning his reason" and leaving him "weakened by disease, with disordered fancies."  Read the entire article if you get a chance.  I had to use that was too good not to quote. Mary had to be quite aged at the time of the accusations.  The trials occurred during 1692 and Mary was born in 1615 making her 77 years of age. Mary was actually sentenced to death to be hung.  Somehow she escaped that fate and died in 1700.

I have always found the Salem Witch trials an excellent example of what mass hysteria can and does do.  It seems like we never seem to learn "our" lesson, because it has happened time and time again. I can't imagine the helplessness that Mary's family had to feel from her husband and children to her siblings, because it seems that it is a very difficult thing to combat.  You can look at Mary's grave online which is located at Salisbury Colonial Burying Ground in Salisbury, MA - Go to FAG #38426363 . Her gravestone is essentially broken pieces in the photo, not an uncommon occurrence in a gravestone that is 300 years old.

I am related to Mary Bradbury through my 3rd great grandmother, Belinda Willey.  Here is my line starting with my grandparents.

Frank Stewart Johnson m. Helen Marian age
Shirlie Louisa Pope m. Ulpian Grey Johnson
Winslow Lonsdale Pope m. Nancy Ann Marie Lyons
Belinda Willey m. Francis Pope
Eber Willey m. Elizabeth McFarland
Abel Willey m. Mercy Fowler
Abel Willey m. Patience Beckwith
Rose Bennett m. Isaac Willey
Henry Bennett m. Sarah Champion
Henry Bennett m. Lydia Perkins
John Perkins m. Judith Gater (Parents of Mary Perkins Bradbury)

My Grandpa Frank used to think there wasn't a whole lot impressive about his family background!  I think he might have changed his mind with all the info that we have found through the years about his family!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Tannahill Tale...

My mother's maiden name was Tannahill.  It has been an adventure trying to find information on the family.  Mom knew a little and by opening some lines of communication with several of her living family members, we made a start and finding information on the family.  Mom's Dad died when she was six years old (Daddy's Gone)  It wasn't terribly hard to go back two further generations...Mom remembered her grandfather (John Lyons Tannahill) and by census records, we could tell who his parents were.  However, getting further than that...has been a little tricky.

We lost Mom the day after Christmas in 2005, so the search for more Tannahill information became more personal.  Mom and I worked at getting the information filled out on her aunts, uncles and cousins and we did a pretty good job with that part of the story.  Going much further was a little trickier.  So here is Mom's line:

  • Mom
  • Oliver Richard Tannahill m. Capitola Ester Friddle
  • John Lyons Tannahill m. Sarah Rachel Kelley
  • John Lyons Tannahill m. Almira Jones
  • Francis Tannahill m. Mary Fillinger

We were pretty sure of the line this far until we got to Francis Tannahill.  John Lyons Tannahill shows up with his mother and siblings in the census, but not Francis.  The first census that named everyone in the household was the 1850 census.  I could tell from the census record that the children were born in I knew that the family had immigrated from Ohio to Iowa.  Based on a book by James Tannehill on the Tannahill family, I was convinced that Francis Tannahill was the likely parent of John Lyons Tannahill.  While the author had a lot of information and theories, he didn't have a lot of sources for his information.  I suspect that they got information on my line from a the last of John Lyons Tannahill's (Sr)' s siblings, Charlotte Tannahill Bucey.  After a lot of searching and new online data, I was finally able to prove that Francis Tannahill and Mary Fillinger were married and where they came from. A Marriage in Gallia Co., OH - Francis Tannahill

I would love to say that I am comfortable with the rest of the ancestry...but I really haven't found much proof.  Francis was born in 1788 and would have been 52 when John Lyons Tannahill Sr was born (1840) which makes me think that there was another lifetime that had been lived before he ever married Mary Fillinger at the age of 47.  I suspect that I found another earlier marriage to an Elizabeth Loper.  James Tannehill theorized in the book that Francis Tannahill was the son of James Tannehill and Jemima Smith.  The name has been spelled several ways.  On my particular line, I have mostly seen Tannehill or Tannahill, so I use them interchangeably.  (Name Changes)

So, while I still try to look for further information and proof, I have to go with the supposition that James Tannehill b. 1759 and d. aft 1836 is my 4th great grandfather.  I would like it to be true, because I suspect James is an interesting ancestor.  We know that James was born in Maryland to Samuel Tannehill Sr and Sarah Edmonston.  We also know that he served in the Revolutionary War.  Here is a section of a letter that was sent to a Mrs. Bradley that was quoted by James Tannehill in his book.  

James Tannehill enlisted in June, 1776, served in Captain Philip Maroney's company, Colonel Griffith's Maryland Regiment at Flying Camp; was at York Island and White Plains and in several skirmishes at each place and served six months; he enlisted about August, 1777, served two months in Captain John Tarr's Company, Colonel Baker Johnson's Maryland Regiment and was in the battle Germantown. After the Revolution, he lived in Maryland until about 1796; then moved to Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and lived about there about twenty-three years; then moved to Virginia, and in 1824, moved to Daviess County, Kentucky. 

According to other notes, James Tannehill's wife, Jemima Smith died about 1800.   It seems to me that James Tannehill moved quite a bit and distance in his lifetime.  So, going along with the previously mentioned Tannehill is the rest of the line.

  • James Tannehill m. Jemima Smith
  • Samuel Tannehill Sr m. Sarah Edmonston
  • Ninian Tannehill, Sr m. Charlotte Isabella Conn
  • William Tannehill, III m. Euphene Beall
  • William Tannehill, Jr m. Sarah Harris
  • William Tannehill, Sr (Immigrant ancestor) m. Alice
  • Thomas Tannahill

I feel like my "Tannahill Tale" has a lot of holes in it with some tantalizing clues.  I only wish when James Tannehill wrote his book on the Tannehill family that he had included source material.  The book is called "Genealogical History of the Tannahills Tannehills Taneyhills!"  You can find copies at several genealogical libraries as well reprints.  The book was written in the early 1930's and really can be a valuable resource.  I have no idea if I will ever have access to the resources that he used to write his book.  I suspect that a lot of info on my family was partially based on actual primary sources, but likely info based on correspondence with other family members.  It is that last item that leads me to believe what I have.  The timeline fits the possibility that James B Tannehill was able to correspond with someone who really knew the information on the family of Francis Tannehill and Mary Fillinger...their last living daughter, Charlotte Tannehil and possibly her children.

So, right now my tale ends there - but the possibility of additional information shows potential.  I never know when another record will be published online that will allow me to fill in additional details in my Tannahill tale.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Genealogy Wanderings - William Booth Van Aucken

I have been lucky that there has actually been a lot of genealogical work done on some of my family the Gage and Gallup families.  Before, I ever started researching, there was already very good research that had already been done.  Every once in awhile, I go through and try to fill in information on a female line.  So, I was wandering around my database and started looking at the family of Susan Gage.

Susan was the daughter of Potter Gage and Cynthia Swan and would be my 4th great aunt.  Her brother Gilbert Gage is my 3rd great grandfather.  Susan was born 14 Feb 1832 in Knox, Albany Co. NY and died 29 Dec 1914 in Albany, Albany Co., NY.  Susan married Edward Miner Van Aucken (b. 9 Mar 1833 d.20 Apr 1901) around 1860.  They had three children:

  • Wilbur Eugene Van Aucken b. 5 Nov 1859 d. 7 Mar 1951 m. Margaret Ann Hall
  • David Orville Van Aucken b. 21 Mar 1862 d. 1 Feb 1929 m. Ada Goetz
  • Sarah Frances Van Aucken b. 23 Oct 1864 d. 25 Oct 1878

Things get a little interesting when you look at the family of Wilbur Eugene Van Aucken.  Wilbur was married to a Margaret Ann Hall in 1887.  Margaret was born in Londonderry, Ireland in 1863 and immigrated in 1885 according to the 1900 census.  Wilbur and Margaret had the following children:

  • Susan May Van Aucken b. 17 May 1888 d. 25 Apr 1968, never married.
  • William Booth Van Aucken b. 1 Oct 1890 d. 20 Feb 1968 m. Marie-Louise Magdaleine Goubet
  • Eva Florence Van Aucken b. 19 Aug 1893 d. 17 Nov 1894

The most interesting one is William Booth Van Aucken.  First, I find a record that he was a Corporal in the New York, Mexican Punitive Campaign Muster Rolls for National Guard, 1916-1917 (Name of source) William seemed to serve in the National Guard during World War I and was primarily stationed near Ft Bliss TX.  Sometime in the following years after World War I, William is stationed in Germany and has married a Marie-Louise Goubet and is now a Captain when he marries Marie-Louise in 1920.  See below a clip from U.S., Consular Reports of Births, 1910-1949 which listed the birth of their daughter Marjorie Ann Van Aucken plus a lot of great info about the parents.

It would be wonderful if you could look at his service record and see what he did and where he did it.  I have found little bits of information.  The area of Germany that William and his wife lived in was a supply depot for the American soldiers still stationed in Germany after the war.  I also found a listing from an online book called Review of the American Forces in Germany” with a listing on William Booth Van Aucken that discusses his early military history in the National Guard and mentions involvement in the Masons as well as involvement in a military prison at Coblenz, Germany.

I also found notation that William Booth Van Aucken retired in 1950 as a Colonel and had served in World War I and World War II.   The last notation I find is that William died 20 Feb 1968 in Washington DC and both he and his wife are buried at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C. - William Booth Van Aucken's Find-A-Grave listing.

His wife lived 13 years longer and died in 1981.  I can’t say that William Booth Van Aucken is glorious hero who had many great feats.  He may or may not have...I most likely will never know.  However, it is clear that he and his wife must have had an interesting life.  Look at the timeline - he served in World War I and likely did well enough that he went from a Corporal in 1916 to a Captain in 1920.  He married a Frenchwoman who had been born in Indochina who had already probably traveled more than most people.  They had two children and he served in another World War.  William Booth Van Aucken just happened to be the grandson of Susan Gage and to have been buried in Arlington Cemetery.  Those details alone prompted me to pursue him further.