Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Patrick Smyth 1809-1861 (52 Ancestors #9)



This ninth week of the 52 Ancestor Challenge is "Close To Home".  I chose to blog about Patrick Smyth, my great-great-great grandfather.   Patrick and his family settled in Kickapoo, Illinois which is about fifteen miles from where I live, making him the ancestor who lived closest to where I live.

Patrick Smyth was born on the 23rd of March in 1809 in County Down, Ireland.  In 1833, when he was twenty-three years old, he married eighteen year old Rosa Kerrott, the daughter of a neighboring farmer.  Patrick and Rosa left Ireland for America the day after their wedding.  I can't imagine how frightening and exciting the prospect of that journey must have been to the young couple.  I wish I knew what brought them not only to the United States, but if they knew anyone already here.  They first lived in Albany, New York for about thirteen months, then moved to Trumansburg, New York where Patrick worked as a common laborer for four years.  It was in New York where their first two children were born.

Their first born child, Francis, was born in April of 1835 in New York.  The second child, Mary, was also born in New York in July of 1836.  Baby Francis died in November of 1837 at age 2 ½ in New York.  Patrick and Rosa and daughter Mary moved to Illinois sometime between November of 1837 and March of 1838.  The third child, Catherine, was born in Illinois in March of 1838.  It must have been quite a difficult journey to travel to Illinois in the winter back then, especially for a very pregnant young women already caring for a young child. The family “lived a few months in the service of Bishop Chase at Jubilee College” and in the fall of 1838, Patrick and Rosa bought their first home- “a log cabin which they occupied seventeen years”.  Patrick and Rosa remained living in the Kickapoo, Illinois area through-out their lives.

Three days short of one year from when Catherine was born a fourth child arrived.  Anna Maria was born in March of 1839.  Sadly, at seventeen months old, Catherine died in October of 1839.

It is hard to imagine how the young family dealt with all of the turmoil and changes that had occurred in their first six years of marriage.  Patrick and Rosa had left their families in Ireland and moved to the United States, had four children and had lost two of the children.  And they moved from one city in New York to another, then from New York to Illinois.  By this time Patrick was thirty years old, and his wife Rosa was only twenty-four years old.

In 1840 Patrick was listed as Patrick Singch in the Peoria County, Illinois Census with his wife and two female children (Mary and Anna Maria).

No records have been found for Patrick between the 1840 and 1850 censuses. However, he and Rosa were busy adding six more children to the family: Francis B. born in November 1840, John W. born in August 1842, Elizabeth born in June 1844 (my third great grandmother), Catherine born in December 1845, James K. born in January 1847, and Edward D. born in November 1848. 

In 1850, Patrick was listed in the Peoria County, Illinois Census as Patrick Smith, age forty, from Ireland, and his occupation was farmer.  He was listed with his wife Rosa, and eight children (Mary, Ann, Francis, John Betsy, Catherine, Edward, and James).

Three more children were born to Patrick and Rosa before the 1855 Kickapoo, Peoria County, Illinois Census.  Their eleventh child, Rosa L., was born in April of 1850, William H. was born in August of 1852, and Patrick Maximillian was born in June of 1854.

Patrick and Rosa had two more children: Margaret was born in August of 1856 and Charles K. was born in January of 1858, bringing the number of children born to Patrick and Rosa to fifteen.  It is rather amazing that back in that time they only lost two of the fifteen children.

Patrick was listed in the 1860 Kickapoo, Peoria County, Illinois Census as age fifty, still farming, with his wife and twelve of his children.

Patrick was a farmer all of his life, and, judging from the Appraisal Bill filed in April of 1861, he was quite a successful farmer.

Patrick’s will was written on the 30th of November in 1859. He died of consumption on the 20th of January in 1861 at fifty-two years of age. 

In his will, Patrick left “Rosy” three hundred and twenty-five acres, along with all of the livestock and personal property with some exceptions.  The will also stated that all was to go to his seven sons or their heirs upon Rosy’s death.  The exceptions were that his six daughters were to each receive $500 when they came of age.  His oldest son, Francis, upon reaching the of age 21, was to receive 54 ½ acres in the town of Kickapoo, and the rest of the land in town was to go to Rosy.  Rosy was to sell the “Gregory farm” within three years of Patrick’s death, and was to also sell the 32 ½ acres of the “Euyleston farm”.

The Bill of Appraisal showed that his livestock, farm equipment, grain and rent from two others were worth $2193.34.  This did not include all of the land that he owned.

Patrick Smyth’s obituary from the Peoria Daily Transcript stated: “Died, age 52, in Kickapoo, Peoria County, Jan. 20, 1861 of consumption.  He came to this country in the fall of 1838 with but limited means.  He has left fine property for his family, 14 in number." (PDT 1-22-1861 P4 C6). 

Patrick is buried in the Kickapoo Catholic Cemetery in Kickapoo, Illinois.  The tombstone shows his age as 51/10/3 (51 years, 10 months, 3 days).  


Sadly, Patrick did not live long enough to see any of his children marry, nor to meet any of his sixty-one grandchildren. He left his family well taken care of. His wife, Rosa, continued to live in Kickapoo until her death in 1882.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Good Deeds (52 Ancestors #8)




For this week’s challenge, I chose to focus on the incredible generousness of genealogy researchers.  I was blessed early on with lots of help from others when I first started my genealogical searching in 1994.  I joined many different mailing lists and genealogy homepages for the various counties where I was searching for ancestors.  As I got familiar with using the different lists and pages, I began to request look-ups for various records.  I was so impressed with the graciousness of the other researchers.  As I slowly gathered my own copies of publications (i.e. Censuses, cemetery records, etc.), I joined the lists as a look-up volunteer in different counties for those who might benefit from the publications that I had.

I have found that with the growing use of the Internet, most records are fairly easy to find now, and requests for look-ups are pretty much non-existent.  I have my family tree on Ancestry.com and over the years I have heard from many other researchers, as well as myself contacting many researchers, to share and compare information.  The help that I have gotten from others has been invaluable.  I try to keep paying that forward by helping others as I can.

One of the best example of “good deeds” that I have experienced occurred about a year ago, when a Murphy researcher from Ireland contacted me to see if there was a connection between his Murphy family and mine.  We have not found a connection, but he did some searching for records of my Murphy family in Ireland and located the marriage record of my ggg-grandparents, James H. and Alice Reid Murphy, who are as far back as I go in my search.  I had only an educated guess as to when they married based on the birth date of their oldest child.  It was such a thrill to learn of the exact date and place of their marriage!! I had never been able to find that record and probably never would have.  Then my new friend went on and did some research on Alice Reid just out of the kindness of his heart!  Priceless.

Family members have also been very giving and open to helping me over the years with my searching.  Even those family members who had not been known to me (or me to them) have shared information and photos with me.  I will forever regret not asking many questions about family when I was younger, as most of my older relatives were gone when I began my genealogy journey.  Thankfully, some tidbits have remained and have led to some wild chases!  When I was young, probably around ten or eleven, I remember asking my grandmother who the O’Meara’s were…Mrs. O’Meara had been my great-grandmother’s best friend, and her daughter and my aunt had also been best friends.  My grandmother answered the question by saying that the O’Meara’s were “shirt-tale relatives” of my grandfather and the connection went way back to Ireland (which at that time meant about 130 years before).   Remembering just that comment helped me find the connection after I began researching!

I have a cousin who is the same age as my father and lives in Indiana where some of my father’s family was from.  Over the past twenty-some years, she has been invaluable, both in sharing her memories and going as far as doing research at the local library for me!  Such a gift!

All of this has been so inspirational to me.  I try to always “pass it on” with other researchers, even if it does not include my own family.  Being the recipient of such kindness must be paid back to others!  Good deeds indeed!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mary Love, born 1768 (52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #7)





This week’s challenge is “LOVE”.  I chose to write about Mary Love, my fourth great grandmother.  Her son, William Adamson, is the ancestor that started my whole genealogical journey twenty-some years ago into the Adamson family.

Very little is known about Mary, so there is much work to do to learn about her.  This is what I do know (with some noted speculation):

Mary Love was born on the 30th of July in 1768 in North Carolina.  She was a daughter of John and Sarah Sharp Love.  Mary was the seventh of eleven known children. Her parents were reported to be Quakers.  Her father, John Love, was listed in the 1768 Rowan County, North Carolina Tax List, so it is a good guess that his daughter Mary was born in Rowan County.

Mary Love married Enos Adamson around 1781.  Mary’s father was listed in the Surry County North Carolina Tax List for 1780, so it may be that Mary married in Surry County.  Marriage records have not been located to prove this.  The marriage date for Mary Love and Enos Adamson is based on the fact that their first known child, John,  was born about 1782 in Orange County, North Carolina.

Enos Adamson was listed as living in Surry County, North Carolina in 1785.  He and Mary had either four or five children by then.  The family was listed in both the 1790 and 1800 Stokes County North Carolina Censuses.

As best as can be determined, Mary Love had eight children.  It is unknown where and when Mary Love Adamson died.  Her father died around 1791 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and Mary was listed in her father’s will.  She had children born between 1790 and 1800.

Her husband Enos was found in Jefferson County, Tennessee in 1812 as a witness to his brother Thomas’ will.  Was Mary there also?  Unfortunately, no further history of Enos Adamson is known either.  Enos and Mary Love Adamson’s children settled in Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.  What happened to Enos and Mary?  This is one of those mysteries that I feel the answers are out there somewhere, but I don’t know where to look!