Saturday, February 24, 2018

Book Of The Week: History of the Presbyterian Church in the State of Illinois

History of the Presbyterian Church 
in the State of Illinois

Augustus Theodore Norton

W.S. Bryan, 1879 - Illinois - 735 pages

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Video Of The Week: Introduction to Slovenian Research - Milan Pohontsch

We watch a lot of videos in the Cave. Webinars, instructional videos, continuing education videos, you name it! If it helps with our genealogical pursuit we are all over it!

Each week we thought we'd share one we've enjoyed.

Hope you enjoy it too!

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Finding Faulkner: The Progeny | Mary Townsend Houston {Gen 4}

It started, as good quests always do, with a family tale.

Mary Townsend Houston (Nelson Houston, Sarah, James, William) was born in Cornwall, Orange Co, New York, July 19th 1842, to parents Nelson Houston and Sarah Townsend.

Mary married (1) Robert Clifton Steele (1836-1865) on September 6th 1860, at the Presbyterian Church of Cornwall, Cornwall, Orange Co, New York. Mary married (2) Walter Case Anthony (1842-1930) on December 2nd 1868, in Newburgh, Orange Co, New York. 

Mary and Robert had, at least, the following children: born Cornwall, Orange Co, NY

  • Josephine Clifton Steele b. 3 Jul 1861 d. 12 Jan 1934 m. John M Adams no issue
  • Sarah Townsend Steele b. 16 Jan 1864 d. 13 Apr 1951 m. Dr John Taylor Howell Sr 

Mary and Walter had at least one child: born Newburgh, Orange Co, NY

  • Theodore Van Wyck Anthony b. 9 Jan 1875 d. 19 Jul 1954 m. Alys E Sykes no issue

Robert C Steele emigrated from England shortly before marrying Mary. Not much is known about Robert, why he emigrated or what his profession was. Robert died in his 30th year on March 19th 1865 leaving Mary, a very young widow, with two small children to care for. Mary buried her husband in the Friends Cemetery in Cornwall, Orange Co, New York.

Mary returned to her father's home until December 1868 when she married Walter C Anthony. Walter was a lawyer practicing in Newburgh, Orange Co, New York.  

Mary Townsend Houston Steele Anthony died November 12th 1923 at the age of 81. Her burial location is unknown.

Walter C Anthony died September 26th 1930 at the age of 88. Walter's burial location is also unknown. 

©2018 Anne Faulkner, AncestorArchaeology.ney, All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 19, 2018

Zadok Willis Thomas: Pioneer Capitalist (52 Ancestors #31)

Inherently ambitious, perhaps rebellious, Z W Thomas was born into a family with deep Quaker roots. Named Zadoc Willis, he was the second son born to parents Jesse Thomas Jr and Joanna B Stanley. Tradition ran deep and the Quaker faith stretched back generations on both sides of this family.

Born May 18th 1856 in Goshen, OH. Zadoc had one older brother, Benjamin Franklin but would eventually be joined by two younger sisters, Elma Luella and Mary Eldora.

Seeking opportunity, the family headed west to the frontier land of Iowa between 1864 and 1869. Settling in Mahaska County, Zadoc's father Jesse ran a fine hotel in Oskaloosa. According to the 1870 US Census he appeared to be one of the wealthiest men in town at the time. Zadoc must have learned his business skills at the heels of his father.

Z W (as he was known) left Oskaloosa for Monroe, IA to pursue teaching. Driven by a deeper ambition, Z W attended the University of Iowa Law School, graduating with a law degree in 1884. It might well have been where he met his future wife, Laura Busby; herself a college educated school teacher, living in Brooklyn, IA .

At any rate, Z W Thomas married Laura Busby, certainly his equal in many ways, in Brooklyn, IA on October 1st 1885.  The couple was married by a minister, I am unclear on the faith, but it appears that Z W had broken with his Quaker upbringing. Z W and Allie (as she was now called) made their home in Fort Dodge, IA, where Z W was partner in the law firm Bennett & Thomas.

Their first child, a son named Dana, was born the following August.

Land Agent - 1892
Shoe Company - 1895
Between 1886 and 1902 Z W build a fine, solid reputation for himself. He became a principal in many prominent business dealings around Fort Dodge. He was purchasing real estate and businesses, operating farms, mining for coal, drilling for oil (yes!) He owned a stone quarry, was experimenting with growing alfalfa, practicing law; let's just say, a very busy man!  He found time to father two more children, son Lauren, born in 1891 and daughter Edith, born in 1898.

By 1902 Z W was partnered with his brother-in-law in the law firm of Thomas & Busby.

Creamery - 1900
Bolivia - 1900
For a number of years he had been purchasing all the local dairy farms with the intention of creating one large dairy farm for the region. He succeeded with the Oakdale Dairy Farm servicing Fort Dodge and the surrounding area.

Then he began to set his sights outside of Iowa.

In July of 1900, Z W and a group of capitalists got together to investigate mining for gold in Bolivia. It appears they sent a junket to the region to explore their possibilties. I do not know what came of it, however.

Texas Oil - 1901
Louisiana Oil - 1902
Z W Thomas then partnered with a man named F S Hoyt out of Louisiana. The pair drilled for oil in both Louisiana and Texas. Again, I don't know the outcome but I suspect it was successful.

There are many accounts of Z W Thomas traveling around the country, I wonder if he was home much during this time?

Cow Attack - 1902

Stone Quarry - 1902
In December of 1902 poor Z W learned a hard lesson! One should never wear a fur coat around a cow (who knew?)

He did manage to make it home upon occasion, however. The couple's last child, a son, was born in 1904. Later that year Z W, along with partner F S Hoyt undertook a monumental project. The dredging of the New Iberia Canal in Louisiana. The project that began in 1904 was almost not completed several times due to natural and man-made obstacles. Success won out, however and in 1911 the project came to fruition.
Louisiana Canal - 1904
Alfalfa - 1912

Back home Z W set his determination on raising the newest crop, alfalfa, and in 1912 was quite successful.

Life by all appearances was grand for the family of Z W Thomas in the early 20th century. Z W had established quite a name and reputation for himself; and had his hand in many successful ventures in Fort Dodge and the surrounding area.
Louisiana Canal - 1911

His life was not exempt from sadness and hardships, however. Amid all his amassing of wealth and reputation, Z W buried his 7 year old son Dana in 1898, his mother in 1904 and his father in 1907. His little sister Luella died in 1913.

It seemed Z W had managed to keep a wide berth between himself and the financial crisis of the early 20th century. Never showing any outward sign of struggle or hardship during a time when people were loosing money and confidence in the U S banking system.

Obituary - 1914
Death - 1914
Nevertheless, his luck ran out on a June day in 1914. While returning from overseeing one of his properties, Z W was struck by an automobile and thrown from the buggy he was riding in. He landed on his head. Outwardly able to resume his duties, Z W continued home where, while hoeing his home garden, fell dead of a cracked skull.

Z W Thomas was 58 years old.

It would be another year before his estate was settled.

- - - - - - - -

Z W Thomas is buried in the large Thomas Family plot in Oakland Cemetery in Fort Dodge, IA.

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Book Of The Week: Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Henderson County

Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Henderson County

Newton Bateman, Paul Selby, Josiah Seymour Currey, 
James W. Gordon, Charles Josiah Scofield

Brookhaven Press, 1911 - History - 1437 pages

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Video Of The Week: Finding Your Ancestor in American Fraternal Organization Records

We watch a lot of videos in the Cave. Webinars, instructional videos, continuing education videos, you name it! If it helps with our genealogical pursuit we are all over it!

Each week we thought we'd share one we've enjoyed.

Hope you enjoy it too!

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Finding Faulkner: The Progeny | Carrie L'Hommedieux Houston {Gen 4}

It started, as good quests always do, with a family tale.

Carrie L'Hommedieux Houston (Franklin Houston, Sarah, James, William) was born in Orange Co, New York, August 1843, to parents Franklin Houston and Caroline L'Hommedieux.

Carrie married the widower James Spencer McWilliams (1839-1895) sometime between 1871 and 1875, most likely in Orange Co, New York.

The couple had at least two children:

  • Anna Isabel McWilliams b. 17 Nov 1876 d. Jan 1968 m. Samuel L Hemmingway
  • Laura May McWilliams b. 18 Apr 1880 d. Feb 1965 m. Samuel J Stickney

James Spencer was a cattle farmer in Orange Co, New York. His first wife, Susan B Coleman, died in October of 1870. He had lost two children prior to her death and was raising his son William on his own. Carrie married James when she was in her 30's, late for a woman at that time. The couple had two daughters together. 

James S McWilliams died December 25 1895, his place of burial is not known. 

Carrie L H Houston McWilliams lived at least another 30 years. The last census she is found on is the 1925 New York State census. She is still in her home on Wickham Av in Middletown, NY. Her daughter Laura and family are residing with her. She does not appear on the 1930 US census. 

Carrie's exact date of death and place of burial is unknown.

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Book Of The Week: History of Fulton County, Illinois

History of Fulton County, Illinois

C.C. Chapman & Company, 1879 - Fulton County (Ill.) - 1082 pages

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 9, 2018

Tools For The Dig: State Focused Research | Missouri

State Focused Research | Missouri

Some of my favorite research sites are slightly off-radar by today's definition.

First I'd like to talk about Genealogy Trails. From their homepage: "Our goal is to help you track your ancestors through time by transcribing genealogical and historical data and placing it online for the free use of all researchers. We are all about adding data for you to use in researching your family lines!!! We know that what you're looking for is data -- and we have LOTS of it right here.
Our hosts work continuously to bring you fresh, interesting and NEW data (well.... as new as hundred year old data can be!!!)" Pretty much everything you need to know to begin your Missouri research is contained within the pages of  Missouri Genealogy Trails. This is a thorough, well thought out site - and they are always looking for volunteers!

Companion Yahoo! Group: Genealogy Trails/MidwesternStates

Next up, RAOGK. Another volunteer site. A treasure trove of links, well organized and easy to understand. From this site you can request look-ups from a team of Missouri volunteers. Or add you name to the volunteer list if Missouri is your home-base.

MOGenWeb is an oldie but a goody! Volunteer based also, this database was founded in 1996! From their home page: "MOGenWeb isn’t an ordinary genealogy website. Ordinary websites are those where text and sometimes pretty pictures are present, but trying to get in touch with a real person to help you with your research… impossible. The strength of MOGenWeb is its many volunteers, some of whom have spent over a decade assisting others with their Missouri research. Using our county page visit the Missouri county your ancestors lived in and first try and find any information the county may freely provide on their pages (most have some sort of search built in). If the particular fact isn’t available online, then reach out to the county coordinator (cc) and they will try and assist you as best they can. Most county coordinators have their email address available on their website, though some will use contact forms."

Linkpendium is another all around resource hub. So What is Linkpendium, Anyway? "Linkpendium is a 10,000,000+ resource directory to everything on the Web about families worldwide and genealogically-relevant information about U.S. states and counties. We cover both free and subscription sites, with a strong emphasis upon free resources provided by libraries, other government agencies, genealogical and historical societies, and individuals. We are particularly proud of our unique indexes to online biographies."

Cyndi's List Missouri page.

Missouri State Wiki
Missouri State Catalog
Missouri Online Genealogy Records

State societies and archives include:
Missouri State Genealogical Association
The State Historical Society of Missouri
Digital State Archives/Missouri

Missouri Secretary of State offers:
Missouri State Archives
Local Records Inventory Database

Missouri is home to the Midwest Genealogy Center

A comprehensive list of newspapers can be found at The Ancestor Hunt's Missouri page.

For social context look at LOC Missouri Collection, DPLA Missouri Hub and State of Missouri Digital Collections.

As I discover more resources I'll update this post. Do you have any Missouri favorites that I've missed? Please share!

©2018 Anne Faulkner - Ancestor, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Video Of The Week: Family Tree Cleanup Case Study 1: Untangling Wesley Jackson's Family

We watch a lot of videos in the Cave. Webinars, instructional videos, continuing education videos, you name it! If it helps with our genealogical pursuit we are all over it!

Each week we thought we'd share one we've enjoyed.

Hope you enjoy it too!

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Finding Faulkner: The Progeny | Mary Corwin {Gen 4}

It started, as good quests always do, with a family tale.

Mary Corwin (Catherine Houston, Sarah, James, William) was born in Middletown, Orange Co, New York, August 26th 1833, to parents Catherine Houston and David Corwin.

Mary married John Davis Wilcox (abt 1820-UNK) about 1852, perhaps in Rockland Co, New York.

The couple had at least two children:

  • William H Wilcox b. 9 May 1853 d. 1907 m. Mildred Jennie Johnston
  • Henry Houston Wilcox b. abt 1859 d. UNK

Not much is known about this family. The original information was taken from the Bull/Wells Genealogy book. Further research turned up very little additional information. John and Mary are found on the 1860 US Census living in New York City with two more boys, Nelson A Wilcox and John W Wilcox. The boys are too old to be sons of Mary, perhaps John Wilcox was a widower when Mary married him? There is also a 26 year old man named Henry Houston living in the household.

This is the only census the family appears on. I found John in the NY City Directories up to 1864, then he was gone.

The death date and burial location are unknown for both Mary Corwin Wilcox and her husband John D Wilcox.

Anyone with further information is encouraged to contact me.

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 5, 2018

Brick Wall Ancestor | #9 Martha McBride {part 2}

We all have them! Those stubborn ancestors that refuse to come out of hiding. No matter how much coaxing we do! Well, I think it's time to bring them out of the shadows - put their redacted story out there - another piece of the puzzle could be lurking just around the (cyber) corner, in someone's basement, or closet, or sitting in a box on a bookshelf ...... You never, ever know where that loose chink will manifest, the one that allows you to push out one brick, then the next. Food for thought. So without further ado....

Brick Wall Ancestor | #9 Martha McBride part 2

In Part 1 I gave you some background on Martha and proposed Wild Theory #1, the Theory of James, that she is the daughter of James McBride Jr and Martha Hill.

Here I will offer Wild Theory #2 and propose she is the daughter of Archibald McBride Jr and (maybe) Jane Newkirk. Thus the Theory of Archibald. Even less evidence exists to support this theory! And, I'm taking the long way around. Bear with me.

Let's look at Archibald. We know there was one Archibald living in Mamakating, Ulster Co, New York in 1790 (3 males under 16, 2 males 16 and over, 4 females any age). Digging deeper unearthed the discovery of a will of one Jane McBride of the town of Montgomery, dated June 26th 1795. The will lists four children. Sons James (wild theory #1! - put a pin in that!) of Wallkill and Archibald of Mamakating, a daughter (deceased) Mary, wife of Francis Burns and another daughter Mrs William Douglas (hey, thanks for that!) The will names grandsons Archibald and William (sons of James) and John Douglas (son of unnamed daughter) and "the grandchildren of my son Archibald" (again, thanks for that!) and the "five grandchildren of my daughter Mary Burns, deceased", also granddaughter Elizabeth Burns.

Lots of grandchildren. (FAN research anyone?)

What struck me as curious was that the boys, for the most part were listed by name but the "grandchildren" of son Archibald could possibly mean his children were very young at the time of the writing of the will and that there were perhaps sons and daughters. Still, not much help.

The will also made mention of a note that Jane had in her possession that was outstanding against Archibald dated July 19th 1786. Curious.

Digging into land records uncovered a land sale between Jane McBride of Montgomery and her son Archibald, of Mamakating, dated July 20th 1786. Huh. Must be what the note was for! Further land record digging unearthed this land purchase made "the 30th day of June in the first year of the reign of our sovereign Lord George the Third by the grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King defender of the faith and the year of our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred sixty one" Between Samuel White and Jane McBride, relict and widow of Archibald McBride .... two thousand two hundred and nine acres of land ..... seven hundred and thirty six acres of land .... one thousand and fifty five acres of land! A total of four thousand acres of land in Ulster County, Province of New York.

The widow Jane purchased a great deal of land in 1761!

What I found interesting, the land was adjacent to land owned by Jane and Alice Colden and by Thomas Noxon and by George Murry. All players in another story, one that might intertwine with this one yet.(*)

Connecting the dots from these documents it appears that Jane McBride and Archibald McBride were the parents of Archibald, James, Mary and Mrs Wm Douglas. Disproving the common assumption that James was the son of a James. Maybe there never was a James Sr? Maybe James was Archibald's middle name? If there is proof, I have yet to find it.

So how does Martha fit into all of this?

Not sure. Yet. (I think we need a diagram for this!)

There are a great number of 'coincidences' because of a very limited population at this time in history.

Let's go back to that 4000 acre land purchase.

Martha married James Faulkner. James Faulkner's father was Samuel Faulkner. (*)Samuel Faulkner owned land adjacent to Jane and Alice Colden, Thomas Noxon and George Murry. It is suspected that George Murry was James Faulkner's grandfather. The land straddled the border of modern day Orange and Sullivan Counties, sitting in both Mamakating and Wallkill. In fact Samuel and his wife are buried in unincorporated Mamakating. IF Martha was the daughter of Archibald McBride she would have grown up on the farm next to Samuel Faulkner and his son (her future husband) James.

A stretch, I agree. A good example of those coincidences. (You might want to take notes)

And there is NO census evidence for Martha anywhere in 1800.

Then there's the DNA.

DNA points to Archibald McBride as the prime candidate based on the research tree of our DNA match. However the newfound information that Archibald and Jane McBride are the parents of BOTH Archibald Jr and James is a greater cause of confusion! (That would suggest our MRCA is Archibald Sr, still not proving which son is Martha's father.) The author of the Bull book, who posed the 'James Sr', theory did not back his statement up with evidence or any type of citation. In fact, the book that was referenced as the source does not contain any sources or citations either, kinda like a Public Ancestry Tree!

Perplexed? Me too! (Where is that diagram?! The one that explains everything?)

Martha could be in the Archibald McBride household in 1790 - the census reports 4 females (of any age) and we know three of them (from church records): Jane, his wife; Jane, his daughter; and Agnes, his daughter. That leaves one daughter unaccounted for. (And no, it would not be the mother Jane, she was residing in Montgomery not Mamakating, per all of her legal documents)

So my second (wild) theory, the Theory of Archibald posits Martha belongs in the Archibald McBride household. The DNA evidences leads to this conclusion, but remains fuzzy if James and Archibald are brothers. Martha could fit into the 1790 census of Archibald's household. Again, the question is where is the family in 1800? Did both Archibald and Jane die? Are the children living in a relative's home, or with an older sibling?

More fuzzy information. More possibility of errors. No real conclusions, just two theories, similar and frustrating. Time to back-burner this project and let it simmer, perhaps more evidence will turn up?

Oh, Martha; Martha, Martha, Martha .....

- - - - - - - -

Then this happened .....

Well, hold your horses! Look what the gods of land records presented me with today!

A glorious land division document dated 1799, the year after James McBride died, dividing his land among his four minor children ...... Archibald I McBride, William McBride (both of the Jane McBride Will from the top of this post!) Jane McBride and John McBride (born after the will was written). No Martha! NO MARTHA!!! Martha would have been about 10 in 1799, a minor child. Martha was not the daughter of James. Wild Theory #1 is incorrect.

That leaves Archibald.


up next ..... charts and graphs!!! (Or at least a genealogy, stay tuned)

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Fabricated Heirlooms and the Touchstone That Wasn't

My mom fabricated a family heirloom. It's not her fault. She knew the antique spool cabinet was familiar, important to her, a tether to life long ago. It was the last item she held onto. The one she insisted move with her wherever she went.

I have hauled that beast more times than I care to admit.

It's bulky and awkward and doesn't really serve any practical purpose; especially when you are moving to ever smaller living quarters. When pressed for the reason why it was so important all she could remember was that it came from the family, long ago, and it must stay in the family.

My mom has vascular dementia. Not much of her life is familiar or remembered to her now. But that spool cabinet? That was a fighting point! It held some strong, perhaps happy, family memory now all but gone.

Last weekend as we were moving her (yet again) to a new facility much closer to where I live (Yay! No more hour long commute - one way!) and we were loading the spool cabinet into the UHaul one more time, with no intention of putting it in her new digs - too big - too impractical, we happened to lift the lid to peek inside.

Guess what we found??

A tag from an antique store.

This was NOT a family heirloom! Just a random antique picked up sometime in the 1970's (I have a vague recollection of it's arrival) Had that tag not been discovered the story would have continued. Family Heirloom. Passed down from previous generations. Exact origins unknown. I would have worked it into my home, told the story to my grandchildren, and perpetuated the myth.

Why was it such a touchstone?

Here's a theory. It's a Merrick's Thread spool cabinet. c. 1900. Mom's favorite grandmother, Bessie (Twining) Potwin, had a brother named Merrick and their father, Jesse Twining, ran a drugstore/dry goods store in Corning, IA in the late 1800's. For all I know he was named Merrick because of that thread!! Anyway, somewhere in the fading mind of a woman who is loosing most of her history, this sticks out as meaningful.

The facts don't line up - but she connected the dots the best that she is now able.

Faces fade, memories lost, things no longer hold meaning, but this was an anchor, a tether, a touchstone; fabricated as it may be.

And we will never know why.

But now I have a new story, the true story, and maybe I will work that darned Spool Cabinet into my home after all.


I wonder how many of us have "family heirlooms" that we cherish and hold dear, that are merely fabrications of a sweet grand aunt or beloved grandmother's faded mind?

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Book Of The Week: A History of Southern Illinois: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests

A History of Southern Illinois: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests

Volume 2

George Washington Smith
Lewis Publishing Company, 1912 - Illinois - 1717 pages

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Video Of The Week: Finding Elusive Records in FamilySearch

We watch a lot of videos in the Cave. Webinars, instructional videos, continuing education videos, you name it! If it helps with our genealogical pursuit we are all over it!

Each week we thought we'd share one we've enjoyed.

Hope you enjoy it too!

©2018 Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved