14 December 2009

Great New Resource: DAR Genealogical Research System

I'm a regular reader of Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings blog. His entries are frequently so good that I can tell I need to set one aside and come back when I can really get into it. Tonight I finally sat down to read his 20 November blog on how to use the DAR Genealogical Research System at the DAR website.

I won't use my time or space here needlessly repeat Mr. Seaver's info. I will say that I had a lot of fun putting in some of my PORTER-line ancestors and seeing what I got!

Dan DAVISON/DAVIDSON, Moses BATES, and Ichabod MARSHALL were all there! It doesn't look like there's any much new info for me, but I printed it out and will study it.

In addition to service info, there is info on which of their descendent lines have been used for DAR membership purposes. While the online info is NOT proof of lineage, it does give info that could facilitate finding primary sources. Be prepared to spend lots of fun time at this site!

13 December 2009

Great-Grand Parents Hegwer & Richardson: Divorce is not so simple

The notes my dad left me in 1982 included a photo copies of 6 pages of divorce proceedings between great-grandparents Charles Herman HEGWER and Margaret Lavina RICHARDSON. Margaret, alleging desertion, filed for the divorce. Charles denied the charges but was found guilty. I naively assumed that Charles was not a nice person. But the genealogical research I have done over the last few years has shown me repeatedly that there is always another side to a story and that seems especially so in this case.

The Basics

Charles was born 28 June 1846 in Freistadt, Ozaukee, Wisconsin, the 10th and youngest child of 'Old Lutheran' immigrants
from Silesia, Carl Benjamin Hegwer and Maria Rosina Ilgner. The family moved to Chase County, Kansas in 1857 where Charles remained for at least 20 years. He appears in the 1880 census as a farm hand with John & Nancy Wilson in Dale, Atchison, Missouri. This is the only record I have found showing Charles ever in Missouri and I don't yet know his connection to the Wilson's.

Margaret (Maggie) was born 24 July 1860 in Tiffany, Morgan, Missouri, the fourth child of 8 of John D. Richardson and Isabella Shaw. So far, it appears that Margaret's ancestors were probably originally English and had been in America for at least 2 generations but probably much, much longer. All known records for Margaret prior to her marriange are in Missouri.

They married 9 December 1883 in Corning, Nemaha, Kansas [1]. Charles would have been 37 and Margaret would have been 23. I don't know how they met. Their family backgrounds seem fairly different, with the Richardson's seeming to have been more established and stable than Charles.

Their five children were:
Benjamin Theodore, born Kansas 1885

Walter H., born Colorado 1889

Raymond Dudley, born Colorado 189
Lela, born probably Colorado about 1897 (died before 1900)
Unknown child, born and died before 1900

The Divorce
Margaret filed for divorce 31 July 1905. A court date was set for August 14. The documents [3] say that Charles denied the charges but there is no mention of any evidence presented by either side. Charles was found guilty and the divorce evidently granted but that sheet is undated; I assume it was August 14.

...But the other evidence I found...

1900 US Census

At first, the 1900 census [4] for the family seems clear: Charles, Margaret, Benjamin, Walter, and Ray in Precinct 11 of Del Norte, R
io Grande County, Colorado.
But, researching Margaret's parents, I found that Margaret and the two younger boys were also listed with her father in the 1900 cen
sus in Mill Creek, Morgan, Missouri from the bottom of one census page to the top of the next: Lavina Hegwer, Walter, Ray D.

The census forms very clearly state that the enumeration is to be for the night of June 1. One of the enumerators may have misunderstood and used the day of enumeration: June 4 & 5 for Missouri and June 6 & 7 for Colorado. However, given the nature of transportation at the time and that the two rural locations are roughly 1000 miles apart, it seems unlikely that Maggie and 2 children could have gotten to Del Norte in a few days. I think it is possible that Maggie had taken the two younger boys to Missouri and her father reported them with his household, while Charles reported them in his family even though they were not there that night. (It's also interesting to me that the Colorado listing is more accurate than that of Missouri, but that's probably another issue.)

Margaret leaves Del Norte

A brief mention on p.4 of the 30 August 1902 "Durango Democrat" of LaPlata, Colorado stated in its entirety: "Mrs. M.L. Hegwer and two young sons arrived in the city from Del Norte last evening and will make Durango their future home. Mrs. Hegwer came to Durango in order that she might school her children properly." [5] It did not say that she had left a husband and 17-year-old son in Del Norte.

Margaret not mentioned

The Del Norte area newspapers [5] have many mentions of their son Ben in the late 1890s and early 1900's, with just a few mentions of Charles. I have not fou
nd any mention of Margaret in any of those papers even though the social pages seem to record every little activity in town. There is no mention of her attending Ben's high school graduation in 1904, where he graduated first in his class of 4 students and received a state university full scholarship.

Margaret quickly remarries

Margaret married Albert Wentling Dane 25 of August 1905 in Aztec, New Mexico Territory [6]. Assuming she had known him for more than nine days, this fact alone may be the strongest evidence that it was not a simple case of desertion on Charles' part.

Charles' obituary

Charles did not remarry and died in 1911 in Kansas while staying with one of his nieces. His obituary [7] is kind and describes warm relationships with his nieces and nephews' families.

Note that the obituary is on the front page, above the fold, and with a bigger headline than President Taft's impending visit.

Yes, there was a divorce but the cause was probably not one of simple desertion. It
seems more likely a complex interaction of many variables and events: age and cultural differences, difficulties of frontier life, and who knows what else. Charles and Margaret were each far away from their own siflings and where they grew up. The deaths of two of their young children must have been a terrible blow to them as parents and to their marriage. Charles had tried many livelihoods (farmer, miner, teamster, laborer, ...) and probably was away from the home at times.

One piece of evidence may imply one conclusion. But, as I find more information, I see that there always seems to be more than one side to a story. The lives of my ancestors were just as complex as our lives are today.


[1] Nemaha County, Kansas; Probate Court Marriage Records, 1861-1951; Family History Library film # 1,887,934

[2] I have specific dates for the boys but did not write them here since I am still looking for better sources. Current sources are: BT -- family notes & death certificate; WH, RD, & L -- Ancestral File at familysearch.org; unknown child -- 1900 & 1910 census notation for Margaret

[3] La Plata County Court, Colorado; 6pp photocopies in MHD collection

[4] US Census image excerpts from those at ancestry.com

[5] The
Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection is a wonderful, free online source for small town newspapers in Colorado. Luckily for me, Rio Grande County is well represented. The search function's ocr has all the typical problems, but the Del Norte paper, for instance, is small enough and the social pages consistently located that, for the most part, I just read every social page for years.

[6] New Mexico, San Juan County: Early Marriage Records 1887-1912, 2nd part, p.33; an extraction, citing p. 20 in the originals

[7] Strong City, Chase County, Kansas: News-Courant, 7 September 1911, p. 1, col 4-5; cropped from a photo copy in MHD collection

18 November 2009

Great Resources: England

The London Gazette is an official newspaper in the British Isles and has been continuously published since the 17th century. My first reaction when I read that it now had a fully searchable online archive was 'Why bother? My people weren't in London.' But, I still visited the site and searched for the fairly uncommon surname CAUSIER and for some of my CARRs, all of whom were in Yorkshire and neighboring areas. ... Now I know that the London Gazette is much, much more than a London paper!

I found Great Uncle Grice Ethell CARR in bankruptcy listings:

11 May 1888 -- p. 2733
18 May 1888 -- p. 2874
16 May 1888 -- p. 6264

His address is listed as "Bridge-street, Sandal-road, Wakefield, Yorkshire" and is a "Grocer and Tea Dealer." The prodeedings are being handled in the Wakefield Court. This data adds to what we know about where he lived and his occupations. The second child of William CARR and Jane ETHELL, his name is actually three of the family surnames! By the 1891 England census, he was back in Whitwood Mere and working in the glass foundry.

I didn't know what the listings were referring to; 'bankruptcy' wasn't mentioned on any of those 3 pages and working backwards to the beginning of each listing had not made it any clearer. So, I went to RootsChat and posted a query there. Within in 2 days I had 3 great responses and that's how I learned great uncle Grice Ethell CARR had filed for bankruptcy. I don't see much in the the genealogy press about RootsChat, but I think it's a great resource for anyone doing research in England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, etc. Everyone is very nice and very helpful.

I made these website thumbnails using Thumbizy which I learned about a few weeks ago from the
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. But, I'm not totally satisfied with them here and will try something else next time.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I neither work for nor receive any consideration from any of these groups. Actually, I don't work for anyone.

14 November 2009

Grandma Bertha and her first child

My father was born ninety-six years ago today, 14 Nov 1913, in Logan Canyon, Utah, at the Utah Power and Light station where his dad was the head. There are some nice vintage photos of the power station in the Utah State University library collection. Note how the rock retaining wall in this photo is shown in the Utah State collection, too.

Herb was the first of eight children of Benjamin Theodore Hegwer and Bertha Maud Carr. They had eloped and married 10 September 1912 in Ely, Nevada. When Herb was born, Bertha was not quite 20 and Ben was 28.

My dad annotated the back of his baby photo. Since I never saw this photo before he died, I assume he received it shortly before he died in 1982. I don't think I ever would have recognized Grandma Bertha from this picture and certainly wouldn't have known it was my dad.

11 November 2009

For Veteran's Day: Uncle Mickey

He died before I was born and the family did not talk much about my uncle Mickey. I just remember that it seemed a difficult topic for them. The great sense of sadness was a constant. Over the years, I learned from them that he had died in World War II in something to do with a plane crash. Much later, as I became more serious about formal genealogy, researching Uncle Harry became one of my goals.

Uncle Mickey was the fourth child of Benjamin Theodore Hegwer and his wife, Bertha Maud Carr. Mickey was born in 1918 at the Lifton Power Station where Ben worked and a house at the station came with the job. I have very few photos of the family while they were there in the Bear Lake, Idaho area, but this one is a favorite from May 1925 on 'the old canal at little dirt dam' at Lifton -- Herb, Wyla, Ray, Mickey, Lelia (left to right).

His name was really Harry Albert, but I didn't know that until I was an adult. A sister-in-law said he was very handsome and a good tennis player. A sister says "his name was really 'Henry' but no one ever, ever called him that." I have never seen it on a document, but 'Henry' is a family forename in each of his parent's families. By the time I had real questions to ask, there was no one left who knew how they got 'Mickey.'

Years later, after moving to Los Angeles, the family lived near the Stapp family, whose son 'Babe', was an Indy 500 driver. 'Pop' Stapp took quite a liking to Mickey and he accompanied them to Indianapolis at least once. I remember seeing Aunt Barbara's photos of Mickey at Indy with a race car (I wish I had a copy of the photo). This one is Mickey and 'Pop' Stapp in their front yard, circa late 1930s; I don't know what they were celebrating.

At 5'8" and 145 lbs., Uncle Mickey enlisted in the US Army Air Corps on 15 November 1941 at Fort McArthur, Los Angeles County, California [1]. He served in the Sixth Air Force [2], earning at least 2 medals [3,4], but was with the First Air Force at the time of his death.

A request for his compiled military records received two responses: there was nothing more to request and that I wasn't a close enough relation to request it anyway. There may be more info there, but I think what I found next will be enough for me.

A very brief Los Angeles Times article about the plane crash gave me, for the first time, a date and a location: 8 January 1944, a crash into the James River of Virginia [5]. When the article was posted to the AP, Uncle Mickey and one other man were still missing while 9 crew members were being treated for exposure. I had never considered that there would have been other men involved in a crash! With all this new information, I was able to do a more thorough internet search and found an article in the "The News" of Frederick, Maryland of January 10 [6] and the same article in the Frederick Post on the next day. This article listed Uncle Mickey and 3 other crew members by name. I am purposely omitting the names of all the crew. It is possible that the crash survivors are still living and the subject could be a difficult one for them or their families.

I also found Uncle Mickey in an online obituary index for the Alexandria, Virginia library. For a very small fee, they sent me a copy of the front page item from the Alexandria Gazette of 13 Jan 1944. The librarian also included a very nice letter naming the other newspapers she had searched on her own and several suggestions of other things to try. ( I have had very good experiences with local libraries and their services. Writing this blog entry reminds me that I should write more often to local libraries even when I have not found anything from them online.)

Using the pilot's name in a few different search engines, I found the crash listed at the Aviation Archaeological Investigation & Research website. They showed the plane as a B24, serial number 42-7339. The site had lots of general info about accident reports, which was all very new to me. Uncle Mickey's name also showed up at Accident-Report.com, specializing in military aviation accident reports. I could order a specific report from them, but I first decided to see if I could find it another way.

Coincidentally at about this time, one of the genealogy societies in my area had a guest presentation by the local NARA archivist. He listened to my brief question about military crash reports and he suggested I check the national NARA website for their military specialist. While I couldn't find a specific reference to such a specialist at their extensive site, I did find an email address for something they now call "Find and Request" and sent off my question about finding crash or accident reports from WWII.

They responded the very same day that such records were held at the Air Force Historical Research Agency in Alabama. Who knew?! While NARA had included a postal contact address, I went online to see what I could find. Quickly, I had a new email address and dashed off another query that Friday. While I expected a general reply about how to order a search, on Monday I received a short email that just asked me to include a mailing address since they could not send reports by email. No order form, no fee, no wait: I had the 19-page document in my hands 5 days later. Here's an excerpt of the first page.

It's been 3 years since I received the accident report and it is still difficult for me to review it. The report lists the entire crew and lots of detail about the plane and its flight history. Signed, individual statements from each of the 9 survivors make up the bulk of the pages.

Very generally, they took off for a training mission, encountered bad weather, and the instructor pilot gave orders to abandon ship; he was one of the first off the plane and 6 other crew parachuted with him. The problem was that one of the crew had spilled his parachute all over the flight deck and could not jump. By the time the student pilot and one last crew got to the bomb door, Uncle Mickey and the crew member without a 'chute were the only other ones left on board. Crew statements said that Uncle Mickey refused to jump since the other man couldn't. The student pilot decided to try to land the plane and went for the nearby James River, wheels up. He and the engineer were picked up by fishing boats. The man who could not jump was found in the river later, dead. Uncle Mickey's body was found still wedged in the wreckage when the plane was recovered later.

There was an accident review board and their summary is signed by a major and 4 captains. There had been a relatively minor mechanical failure, but the instructor pilot was found 90% responsible for the crash and loss of life for 3 reasons: he could have turned back when the mechanical failure was first discovered; he should have stayed with his crew and made more effort; and if he had checked the weather conditions properly, he would have known that flying only 15 mintues north would have taken them all out of the bad weather. As far as I know, Mickey's family was not given any of this information at the time of his death.

Uncle Mickey is buried at Forest Lawn Glendale, as are two of his brothers and one set of his grandparents. It's a beautiful view from his grave site, surrounded by tall, stately trees.

It's good to keep talking with family about what I find. It seems that with each of my 'finds,' they remember more than they had been able to tell me earlier. And, talking about one thing always leads to more or new info on other subjects.

Attending presentations at local genealogy groups can give an opportunity to talk with experts in all sorts of fields. Libraries near where events occurred can have information and be of other help. Sending an email to a government agency and asking questions can also be very helpful. Using more than one search engine can be useful, too.

Uncle Mickey's life was brief but he still left quite a story. I still feel the sadness, but not from knowing nothing at all.

Grave marker photo by MHD; children photo in MHD collection

[1] NARA - Access to Archival Databases:
World War II Army Enlistment Records, created 6/1/2002 - 9/30/2002, documenting the period ca. 1938 - 1946, Record Group 64; online at aad.archives.gov, entry for Harry A. Hegwer, downloaded 19 Dec 2005. Image at ancestry.com: US World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946; cites NARA Record Group 64.

[2] Something About Everything Military: The Sixteen Air Forces, online at www.jcs-group.com/military/aaforces.html, downloaded 31 Aug 2005. "Sixth Air Force -- Constituted as Panama Canal AF on 19 Oct 1940. Activated in the Canal Zone on 20 Nov 1940. Redesignated Caribbean AF in Aug 1941, and Sixth AF in Feb 1942. Served primarily in defense of the Panama Canal; also engaged in antisubmarine operations. Campaigns: Antisubmarine, American Theater."

[3] Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug 1943, p. 5. Online through ProQuest Historical Newspapers. "Air Medal Goes to 78 Army Men - Washington, Aug. 3. The War Department tonight announced awards of the Air Medal to 78 officers and enlisted men of the United States Army 6th Air Force assigned to the Caribbean Defense Command for long-range antisubmarine patrol flights over the Pacific and Caribbean area. Those decorated include ... Sergt. Harry A. Hegwer, gunner, Alhambra, ... ." (Uncle Mickey was one of 4 men listed in this brief article)

[4] Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug 1943, p. A20. Online through ProQuest Historical Newspapers. "Southlanders Win Air Medals on Four Fronts - More names of Southern California fighters appeared yesterday in a War Department list, which had been transmitted ... Awards of the Air Medal to the following California men with the 6th Air Force in the Caribbean, also were announced: ... Sergt. Harry A. Hegwer of Alhambra, ...." (Thirty men were listed in this article, from Australian, Caribean, South Pacific, and Sicilian operations.)

[5] Los Angeles Times, 11 Jan 1944, p. A.
Online through ProQuest Historical Newspapers. "Two of Bomber Crew Missing After Crash -- Langley Field (Va.) Jan. 10 (AP) -- Two members of the crew of a four-engined bomber from Langley Field were missing and nine others were suffering from shock and exposure after their plane crashed in the James River near here Saturday, the Army announced today. One of the missing is listed as Staff Sgt. Henry A. Hegwer, 25, of 1913 Princess St., Alhambra, Cal." [NOTE: the street name should be 'Primrose;' that was Grandma Bertha's house and is still there.]

[6] The News (Frederick, Maryland), 10 Jan 1944, p. 1, col 6. Online at NewspaperArchive.com.

07 November 2009

Great Uncle Henry Hegwer

Henry was the 9th child of Carl Benjamin HEGWER and Maria Rosina ILGNER. He was born 9 Oct 1842 in Freistadt, Ozaukee, Wisconsin. He first married Katherenah Hornberger [1] in about 1871 and they had 4 children. After Kate's death, he married Flora Wallace [2] in September 1885 and they had 3 children. After Flora's death, he married Futcher Knight [3] 19 April 1913, filed for divorce 26 May, and the divorce was final 14 Mar 1914. Henry died 15 December 1921.

New data is going online every day. As we approach Veteran's Day this year, it seems appropriate to share this new tidbit.

Ancestry.com now has the "US National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938" database. This data is from the Department of Veterans Affairs and in NARA microform M1749. Here's a cropped image from the Milwaukee register:

Henry was at the Milwaukee facility from 21 June 1916 to 11 August 1916 and receiving a $40 pension. From 6 October to 8 November 1916, he was in the Leavenworth, Kansas facility. Most surprisingly, he also appears to have been in the Sawtelle, California facility from 8 Nov 1919 to 25 Feb 1920 and again from 27 Dec 1920 to Jul 27 1921. By then, his pension was $72 per month.

Each record repeats his military history, with his highest rank having been 2nd Lieutenant (rather than captain, as he sometimes wrote). It lists 2 old gunshot wounds: left knee and abdomen. His nearest relative is listed in all three as daughter, Mrs. Lila Hibbert of 1259 S. Clayton St., Denver, Colorado.

I accidentally found this veteran info and it does seem to settle several of the previously unclear stories on Henry. I won't go into it here, but he was obviously a very unique individual with quite a story; actually, there were many, many stories: Indian Wars, Civil War, boiler inspector scandal, Hegwer Homes, the saltworks, the law suits, his FBI file, and so on!

Marriage Sources
[1] Chase County, Kansas USGenweb at http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/chase/BGNotices/marhay.html
[2] City of Hutchinson, www.hutchgov.com; also, 1900 US Census, Dist 53, Denver, Arapaho, Colorado
[3] Colorado: Denver District Court. Documents received from Colorado State Archives, after finding a reference in their Historical Records Index at http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/hrd/index.htm

25 October 2009

6th Great-Grandparents Causier & Astmore

I don't know, but it may be time to join Facebook…! I’ve held off on joining or even exploring Facebook all this time, thinking that I already have more than enough other activities to keep me busy. Also, I haven’t really seen a substantive reason to join, but...

A few days ago, with just a few minutes to play online and for no good reason, I ran a search for ‘Causier Astmore’, the surnames of my 6th-great-grandparents Sacheverell CAUSIER and Betty ASTMORE. Only a few results came up and one was to a Facebook page.

Wow! It’s entitled Family Causierand has about 81 members as of today. The 'officer' is cousin John Causier, apparently of the UK. There’re a lot of wonderful photos, other info, and contacts with Causier cousins (only a handful with whom I’ve had previous contact). It seems to be a serious genealogy group and not just a social group. Photos include one of Charles & Catherine Causier with their children.

It has a link to the fine website Causier Family of Dunchurch, Dodderhill & Droitwich by cousin Martin. I’ve used this site before, but not for a while and this was a good reminder.

Great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents Sacheverell Causier & Betty Astmore apparently married in 1744, possibly in Droitwich, Worcester, England. My line of descent from them is:
Sacheverell Causier = Betty Astmore
Sacheverell Causier = Elizabeth Wood
Sacheverell Causier = Sarah Hunt
William Causier = Ann Tolley
Charles Causier = Catherine Hughes
Ann Matilda Causier = John Henry Carr
Bertha Maud Carr, my grandmother

Who knows what other great things I may find if I join Facebook or otherwise contact all these new cousins?!

10 October 2009

Great-Grandparents John Carr & Annie Matilda Causier

This is one of my photos of All Saints' Church in Whitwood, Yorkshire. My great grandfather John CARR and great grandmother Ann Matilda CAUSIER were married here 129 years ago today. There is also a photo of it at the GENUKI site. (When I first found the church at this site, the page was labeled 'Whitwood' and the photo 'All Saints' Church, Whitwood. I don't know why they have changed the titles.)

This copy of their marriage certificate was among the things my dad left. I don't know where he got it, but I suspect it was from cousin Judy. As you can see, the 10 October 1880 wedding was performed by Jno. Jas. (JJ) Needham, Rector of All Saints'.

The 1881 English census was just a few months after John and Annie's wedding. It show them living in Castleford, West Yorkshire, which is about one mile from Whitwood.

The family of John's parents, William and Jane (ETHELL) CARR are nearby in Whitwood, interestingly just 4 entries away from Rector Needham. Also, the way I've cropped the census image, you can see William and Jane's son, Grice Ethell Carr who was one of the witnesses for his brother's wedding.

In September 2006, my husband and I were able to travel briefly to England and see part of Yorkshire. My research had led me to fourth cousin Val, who still lives in the area. She and her husband were wonderful tour guides and showed us places we could never have found by ourselves. While Whitwood, in general, is understandably much changed, the church is still there! What is left of the church cemetery is nearby, but very few headstones remain.
After approaching one of the Whitwood headstones, I was surprised to read that it was that of Rector Needham.

An inscription for his mother is on the left side of the large marker. He is not an ancestor of mine, but it is somehow touching that I could photograph a headstone for a stranger whose name I had seen in old records. I have not found any record that Rector Needham ever left descendants and I wonder if anyone else will ever search for him or his mother.

Great-grandparents John and Annie CARR appear to have left for America between 1887 and 1889, joining Annie's parents and siblings in the greater Milwaukee area of Wisconsin. In contrast to that of the man who married them, their burial niche in Glendale, California, is marked by a small plaque. Their youngest daughter, also named Annie, is with them.

Photos and marriage certificate copy: MHD collection

1881 England Census excerpt #1: England, Yorkshire, Castleford, District 17, p. 31 from ancestry.com

1881 England Census excerpt #2: England, Yorkshire, Whitwood, District 4, p. 6 from ancestry.com

Carr interment location: Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California;
Great Mausoleum, Dahlia Terrace, Columbarium of the Graces, #11686

22 September 2009

My Richardson Photos + one

After my father died in September, 1982, I found these three photos, some notes, and some letters. He had obviously been working on his ancestry, but I have no memory of him talking about it. I think he must have received them about the time he started to get sick in February of that year. Otherwise I'm sure he would have put them on display or at least have shown them to me. All three photos appear to be originals and are mounted on heavy cardstock with pencil and pen annotations on the back in 3 different handwritings. It's only been the last few years that I can bear to look at these notes and treasures.

Great-Great Grandfather John Richardson

This is the father of Margaret Lavina Richardson, which makes him a grandfather of Benjamin Theodore Hegwer and Raymond Dudley Hegwer. He was born 9 Feb 1829 and died 27 Oct 1908, both in Morgan County, Missouri.

The outside measurements are 13.5 cm x 16.2 cm. On the back, at the top, is a pencil 'John Richardson.' Below that in pencil but in a different hand is 2 lines: 'J. D. Richardson / Missouri.' At the bottom, in pen in my father's printing are 6 lines: John D. Richardson / Father of Ben T / Hegwer's mother / Margaret / Lavina / Richardson

Cousin Daisy V. Richardson

I believe that Daisy is my first cousin, twice removed. I believe that she is another of John D. Richardson's grandchildren but through his eldest child James Patrick Richardson and wife Margaret Jane Kindrick. Daisy was probably born about 1877 in Missouri. She may have become a nun and it appears that she died fairly young.

The overall measurements are 11 cm x 16.6 cm. The photographer's mark is embossed in a dark blue. [Sedalia is in Pettis County but not far from Morgan County]. At the back top, in pencil is 'Daisy Richardson.' Next to it in pencil but in a different hand is '-- deceased.' Immediately below that in the same hand is 'Cousin to BTH.' At the bottom in pen by my father are 2 lines: 'Daisy Richardson / cousin to Ben T. Hegwer.'

Lila Hegwer and Mabel York

Who are these lovely young ladies?

The overall measurements are 7.5 cm x 10.8 cm. The embossed photographer's mark is very hard to read. I believe it says "Castor's / 1131 13th St, Denver COLO." The only marking on the back is at the top in pencil in one hand: Lila Hegwer / Mabel York.

Given the 'Hegwer' and the Colorado location, I thought they were part of Raymond Dudley Hegwer's family, but I don't have a 'Lila' there at all. Also, I kind of think the photos came to my dad through Raymond's daughter Toots. If so, then she would have annotated them more specifically. Now, my best guess is that this is Henry Hegwer's daughter Lila by his second wife Flora Wallace. The family was living in Denver in 1913 and he did have a daughter Lila, who I believe married a 'Hibbert.'

As always, more information will be greatly appreciated! Have a great day!

29 August 2009

Great-Great-Grandparents Charles Causier & Catherine Hughes: New Info!

Familysearch.org is adding new databases almost daily; I try to remember to go and look for new info regularly. Currently, the site is still at pilot.familysearch.org , but that URL will probably be changing in the near future as the "New" FamilySearch rolls out.

Last night, while just playing around, I saw new data for the Wisconsin State Censuses and ran the surname 'Causier' just for fun. Sure enough, there was great-great-grandfather C. CAUSIER in June 1885 in the village of Bay View, Milwaukee County!

The household is 2 males and 2 females, all born Great Britain. That data lines up perfectly with my expectations for Charles, wife Catherine (HUGHES), son Charles, and daughter Martha. This new info is especially nice to have since Charles & Catherine supposedly immigrated in 1881 but I had found no record of them in the USA until 1889 and 1890 at 188 Williams St., Milwaukee in a Milwaukee Wisconsin Directory (ancestry.com). Now I can look for them specifically in Bay View.

An adjacent 1885 Wisconsin census entry is for the family of E. Field. That data lines up perfectly with expectations for son-in-law Enoch Field, his wife Manwella (Causier), and their 3 oldest children Enoch, Ada, and Charles. This new info is nice to have since it fits so well with a ship manifest showing them arriving May 11 in New York on the ship 'Germanic' from Liverpool (NY passenger list available at ancestry.com). Note that in the 1900 and 1910 US censuses, Manwella is said to have immigrated in 1884, but in the 1930 US census, she supposedly immigrated in 1888. So, even given that census entries and memories may be faulty, we must at least consider that there may have been both earlier and later trips to the USA than the 1885 trip for the Fields.

What a great find! The only problem that every "great find" seems to lead to more questions...!

12 August 2009

Great Books: Yorkshire

Perhaps I should admit now that even with all my college degrees, I got through school with only one real history course. With the help of PBS, my interest in history did increase over the years but that's not saying much. But as my interest in genealogy increased and my research progressed, I saw how lacking my knowledge was and how interesting specific topics in history could be.

For instance, I soon found that all of my CAUSIER and CARR lines have a connection to Yorkshire but my research was hampered by my complete lack of knowledge of Yorkshire's geography or history. These great books are helping me catch up:

A History of Yorkshire: 'County of the Broad Acres' by David Hey (Lancaster, England: Carnegie Publishing, 2005). It's 472 pages with at least one illustration on almost every page. It is so lovely just to look at that sometimes I just sit and go through reading the picture captions. In 10 chapters, content goes from "prehistory" to present day. Careful attention is made to show how the sub-regions are each unique across that time span.

My Ancestors were Methodists by William Leary (London: Society of Genealogists, 1999). This is a small, 115 page pamphlet. Most of it is a listing of existing Methodist records across England, but the first 20 pages are an excellent overview of all the different types of Methodists. This topic became very important to me when I realized that I was having trouble finding records on the children of John Henry CARR and Ann Matilda CAUSIER because I was looking in Church of England records while the family was Primitive Methodist! Clearly, I need to learn more about Methodist records and history, but this is a start.

Have a great time at your library or bookstore!

11 August 2009

Great-Great-Grandparents Hegwer & Ilgner

It seems fairly well "proven" that Carl Benjamin Hegwer and his wife, Maria Rosina Ilgner were part of the "Old Lutheran" migration and came from Kunitz, Liegnitz, Silesia (an area of what was then Prussia, but is now in Poland). Prior to the discovery discussed here, I had seen nothing that took either line back before 1839.

I have talked with several German language/genealogy “experts” locally and they have all agreed that ILGNER/ ILGNAR/JLGNER/JLGNAR/JIGNER spellings would have been basically equivalent, especially in that timeframe. For simplicity, I will use ILGNER here unless quoting directly from a source.

Maria Rosina ILGNER’s surname seemed well established in several sources [i.e., 1,2, 3, 4]. There are some genealogies that give her surname as “Traugott,” but I have found no records to that effect. I suspe
ct they were assuming that a surname had been used as her eldest son’s given name. There are some genealogies that use “Schletz,” but they appear to have merged her name with that of one of her sons-in-law.

ILGNER early immigration to Wisconsin

One of the first things I did when I found the publications of Pommerscher Verein Freistadt was to look and see if there were others who settled in the Freistadt area who had also come from the Liegnitz area. My hope was that perhaps I could have better luck tracing others than I was having with Carl Benjamin and Maria. There were very few others from Silesia, but one stood out since it also was an Ilgner!

Benjamin SCHOEN/SCHöN and his wife (Anna) Rosina JLGNER immigrated to Wisconsin in 1841 from Pfaffendorf, Liegnitz, Silesia. [4, 5, 6] They settled in Grafton, which is near Mequon. The given names of their children are very similar to those of the HEGWER/ILGNER offspring. At that point in my research it appeared reasonable that the two Ilgner women were related but I had no real links.
HEGWER and especially SCHOEN appear often in publications about the church these early immigrants established in Mequon. The Ozaukee County website has information about early church history. See their fine website for a photo of the historical marker.

HEGWER and JLGNER on same passenger list

While doing some census work on some of Carl Be
njamin and Maria's children and grandchildren, one of those ancestry.com (usually bothersome) "did you know" links about a Hegwer on a passenger list popped up. Usually such links take me to some well known Hegwer census info, but since this was a passenger list, I went ahead and looked at it right then. Much to my surprise, it was for a passenger list of the “Flying Dutchman”, arriving in New York on 28 July 1853 from Hamburg [please see Note 10 below], and showed C. JLGNER, 74, going from Prussia to Wisconsin and traveling with T. HEGWER, 19, going from Wisconsin to Wisconsin. Also, A. JLGNER, 27 was traveling with them from Prussia, as was A. ROWE (?spelling?), 30. The three going to Wisconsin are listed as being in husbandry. [7] I was very excited by now having another document that linked Hegwer's with Ilgner's!

The age and initial of “T Hegwer” is consistent with t
hat of Carl Traugott Hegwer, the eldest son of Carl Bejamin Hegwer and Maria Rosina Ilgner. It was common for families in America to send an older son to Europe to accompany later immigrating family members to America. At this point, I was pretty sure that C. Jlgner, whoever he was, was related to Maria and I became even more vigilant for ILGNER surnames. 

ILGNER probate
In the meantime, the rental price of microfilms from the Salt Lake City FHL had jumped and I had become much more selective about what I ordered. Also, I started making more of a point of seeing just what microfilms were already available at the nearby
Regional Family History Center. On a trip to that center, I checked the following film only because it said Ozaukee County and it was already there so I would not have to pay to order it! I was surprised to find that FHL # 1309213 did indeed have an index listing for Carl ILGNER, 77, died 1856, probate packet A84 [footnote 8 below]. The age was consistent with that of the immigrant on the Flying Dutchman who was traveling with T. Hegwer. Ozaukee County is consistent with the HEGWERs at that time. The year and packet number led me to ordering the film which would have that packet. I eagerly waited the month it took for it to come....

FHL# 1320207’s probate packet number A84 is for th
e probate of Carl Frederick ILGNER and it is a genealogical goldmine [footnote 9 below] for HEGWERs! The “packet,” as filmed, is about 93 images of various handwritten documents including a will, witness statements, receipts, and a brief inventory. The images are clear and most are fairly easy to read. There appears to have been a bit of a dispute between the executor (J. Andrew SCHLETZ, the husband of Carl and Maria's daughter Christina Mary) and at least one of
the other legatees, thus explaining the unusual number of witness statements and the detail.


There is no doubt that Carl Frederick Ilgner was the father of both Maria Rosina (Ilgner) Hegwer and Anna Rosina (
Ilgner) Schoen. The probate documents list his grandchildren and most of the spouses at that time. It includes a comment that Traugott was his favorite since Traugott had gone to Germany to bring him to the USA, thus validating my assumptions about the Flying Dutchman passenger list. A timeline for Carl Frederick Ilgner’s movements for the short time he was in Wisconsin can be extracted.

It was very exciting to find such valuable info and to be ab
le to share it! (This blog entry is modified from entries I posted at rootsweb and genealogy.com.) I've been working on finding descendants of Benjamin Schoen and Anna Rosina Ilgner, dreaming that they will have the entire Ilgner pedigree already worked out! I am also trying to track August Ilgner (A. Jlgner of the passenger list), who was listed in Carl Frederick's probate but without a relationship given.


1. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Freistadt. Freistadt and the Lutheran Immigration. Mequon, Wisconsin: Freistadt H
istorical Society, 1998 reprint of 1989 edition, p. 35.

2. Filby, P. William (Ed.), Passenger and Immigration Lists Index (First Ed.), Volume 2, Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. p. 1267 & p. 1488.

3. www.immigrantships.net; “Brig Caroline,” Hamburg to New York, 27 Aug 1839.

4. Smith, Clifford N., Nineteenth-Century Emigration of “Old Lutheran,” from Eastern Germany (Mainly Pomerania and Lower Silesia) to Australia, Canada, and the United States. McNeal, AZ: Westland Publications, 1980, German-American Genealogical Research Monograph No. 7; p.4. (Note: Frey on pp. 22-23 and Schoen on p. 19)

5. Filby, p. 1488.

6. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Freistadt. Freistadt and the Lutheran Immigration. Mequon, Wisconsin: Freistadt Historical Society, 1998 reprint of 1989 edition, p. 50.

7. Ancestry.com, New York Passenger lists database, downloaded February, 2006.
8. Wisconsin, Ozaukee County, Index to Probate Files, ca 1849-1900. FHL # 1309213.

9. Wisconsin, Ozaukee County, Probate Files A50- A72, A77-A86. FHL# 1320207. (Note: packets are not in a strict numerical order; keep going, A84 is near the end.)

10. (this note added 4 Jul 2013) Whoops! Today I was playing around and went back to look at the image of the NY Passenger List at ancestry. Previously, I had relied on the indexing for the transcription of the origin for Traugott, which said "Staadt West Indies."  No! It clearly says Staadt Wisconsin, which makes much more sense and is specifying that he was a resident of Wisconsin.


This is my second attempt at my first blog creation. I'm hoping that it will be an easy way for me to share my research (and especially my research process) with family and others who are interested in our lines.

When I started my genealogy research, I had my 4 grandparent's surnames, some good notes on one of them, and very little else. Now, about 10 years later, I have hundreds of surnames to research in the USA and Europe. Perhaps the biggest improvement is that I no longer feel alone in my quest. I have 'genealogy cousins' in several states and in England, in fact so many now that I am seriously behind in communicating with several of them....

My Hegwer's arrived in the USA in 1839 (or possibly 1840), settling in Wisconsin and moving to Kansas in 1857. The Richardson's were in Kentucky in the 1700's and migrated to Missouri.

My Carr's and Causier's arrived in the USA in the 1880's, coincidentally also first settling in Wisconsin. Bertha Maud Carr met Benjamin Theodore Hegwer in Nevada in about 1910.

My Porter's and Davison's, and all their lines appear to have come to America from England during the Great Migration. The earliest were clustered in Massachusetts and Connecticut, arriving in Vermont by about 1800 and on to California about 1910.

My Keating's and Dooley's are evidently Irish immigrants circa 1850 to Ohio. While I broke through a major brick wall with them this year, they are still my biggest problem and skimpiest gedcom.

I plan to use this blog to share research "finds" more than family trees per se. But given that this is all a grand experiment, we'll just have to wait to see how it ends up! Have a GREAT day!