Monday, March 04, 2019

#52 Ancestors - Bachelor Uncle

Lyman Hill was my great-great-Uncle.  He was the brother to Great-Grandfather C.T. Hill.  He never married, and I don't know a lot about him.

Lyman was born on 25 August 1871 in Clark Co, IL.  He was the third son of William Dennis and Sarah Ellen (Forester) Hill.  His older brothers were Harry Oliver Hill, born 1867 and Charles Taylor Hill, born 1869.  He also had a younger sister, Maude, born in 1880.

Lyman can be found living with his parents in 1880 and 1900 in Clark County.  In 1880 they were in rural Johnson township but had moved to the town of Casey by 1900.  We lose track of Lyman after that - until 1913, the Marshall Herald  runs this on November 19 -

So, we're not sure where he has been for 10 years, but family lore states that he was off to seek his fortune - perhaps in the Alaskan gold rush.

At some point around 1917, he was down in Rush, Arkansas with his brother C.T. working at the Red Cloud mine.

I was able to find a couple of newspaper notices about him trading land lots to his sister Maude (now married to William Kimlin) in 1926.  This would most likely be a result of their inheritance from their father William D Hill who died in 1925.  The two older brothers had already died.

Lyman again appears in 1940 where he is living with his sister, her husband and their daughter Doris in Casey.  The census notes that he had been living at the same house - 108 Adams St - in 1935 as well.  Of note, this is the house that William D. Hill owned when he died.  I have been unable to find Lyman in the 1910, 1920 or 1930 census.

The last mention of Lyman in the newspaper is in April 1954 when he quit claims a deed to his sister for land in Johnson Township - the rural land owned by their late father.

Lyman died on 24 May 1954 and lies buried in Slusser cemetery, Johnson township, Clark County, IL near his parents, brother Harry, and 3 of his grandparents.

Monday, February 25, 2019

#52 Ancestors - At the courthouse....

I first started researching my family in 1977 - this was long before the internet.  Back then, we had to research in libraries, archives, and courthouses.  I still enjoy researching in courthouses - you never know what gems you'll find there.
Marion County, AR courthouse

A few months ago, I took a research trip to Yellville, Arkansas.  I was traveling with my second cousin who had done a little research but all online.  At the Clerk's office we met "Miss Martha" who let us into the vault.
The records were truly in a vault

My cousin was excited to actually touch the record books. 

And I enjoyed all the miscellaneous records - not to mention the smell of the old documents!

I can't wait until my next trip to a courthouse!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

#52 Ancestors - I'd like to meet ....

I have a few ancestors that I would like to meet, each for different reasons.

First, I would like to "meet" my great-grandmother Nancy Jane Wiley Hill Hacker Hill.  Technically I have already met her, but I was an infant when she died so I don't remember.  She had a reputation for being a strong independent woman.

Jane Hill (center) with friends showing her independent spirit

Nancy Jane Wiley was born 5 August1875 to George Wiley and Susan Mumford.  She was born and grew up in Clark County, Illinois.  On 21 July 1895 she married Charles Taylor Hill in Clark Co.  They had 3 children, Jessie (my grandmother), Victor, and William.  Her husband C.T.  had a bit of wanderlust and would leave for months at a time to seek his fortune.  This left Jane to raise 3 children by herself.  By 1913 she had clearly had enough as she divorced him on grounds of desertion.  Jane remarried in 1917 to William "Stanley" Hacker but they were divorced less than 4 years later.

During this time, Jane lost her middle child, Victor, who died in France during WWI.  She never stopped grieving his loss.    In order to make ends meet, she worked as a cook at Jefferson Barracks in Missouri for a while.  A few years later, she moved to Toledo, Ohio to start a new life.  Because she was a middle-aged single woman, there were few opportunities for her so she took in boarders to help pay the rent.  Family lore said she was also known for bathtub gin during Prohibition.

I would like to meet her and thank her for all of her hard work and perseverance.  I like to think that I inherited her strong independent will.

Jessie, William, Victor and Jane Hill

Second, I would like to meet my 9th great-grandmother Mary Bliss Parsons.  Mary was born ca 1626 in England to Thomas Bliss and Margaret Hulins.  She came with them to the colonies when she was only 9 years old.  In 1646 she married Joseph Parsons in Hartford, CT.  He was a prominent man in the community, serving as selectman and surveyor of highways.  He was one of the first settlers in Northampton, MA.  It was there, in 1656 that Mary was accused of witchcraft.  Her husband Joseph proactively sued the accuser Sarah Bridgman for slander and won.  Unfortunately this accusation haunted Mary and in 1674 she was imprisoned in Boston for suspicion that she was a witch.  Thankfully she was acquitted and released.

Through all of this ordeal, Mary and Joseph had 12 children, 8 of whom survived to adulthood producing numerous descendants.  She died in 1712 at the age of 86.

I would like to meet Mary to learn how she felt when the townspeople turned against her, not once but twice.

Mary is my qualifying ancestor for ADEAW

Finally, I would like to meet my third great-grandmother Matilda Grass Shuey.  Matilda is one of my brick walls.  I have been searching for years to find her parents.  I simply want to meet her and ask who they were.

Matilda on the left with her family

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sentimental Sunday - One Hundred Years ago today....

My father was born.  Yes, he would have been 100 years old today had he not left us much too soon.
So in tribute to his life during 69 of these years, I am dedicating this post to him.

Donald Edward Ormsby was born on 30 December 1918.  His parents were Harold Basil and Jessie Marie (Hill) Ormsby.  He was born in Casey, Illinois.  When he was just over 3 months old his father died.  A few years later his mother moved to Toledo, Ohio with the boys.  She remarried and had five more children. 

Donald Ormsby with his father in early 1919

Don grew up spending time in both Toledo with his mother and in Casey with his paternal grandparents.  He attended schools in both places at various times.

Dorr school in Toledo, OH - Don seated at far left in 1930

Donald Ormsby wearing his Casey High School sweater

On 13 December 1941 he married Nadine Darling.  They had a son Larry and were divorced a few years later.

Nadine and Donald Ormsby in 1941

In 1942, he joined the Army Air corps.  He received a medical discharge in 1943 before seeing any combat.

Donald Ormsby 1942

After his military stint, Don attended the Internationl Training Institute in Chicago where he learned the skills necessary to repair large appliances.  He moved back to Toledo and opened a business, Efficient Refrigeration with a man named "Red" Richards.  This business was in the building that had been Collingwood Bottled water company, and they soon realized that the bottled water business was better for them.

Original Collingwood Water Company building on Prescott St in Toledo, OH/

On 4 January 1950, he married Ruth Steinbrecher. 

Ruth and Donald Ormsby in 1950

Don and Ruth had 2 daughters - myself and my sister Robin.

Don with wife Ruth and children Larry, Robin and Kim in 1981

Sadly, he died of complications of aneurysm surgery on 2 July 1988.  He was only 69 years old.

Dad, we still miss you.
Donald and Ruth Ormsby 1988

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wisdom Wednesday - My first institute!

In looking over my blog posts for the year, I realize that I never published this one.  So, better late than never :-)

In July I attended my first Genealogical Institute.  This was something that I had wanted to do for a few years, but could never fit it into my schedule.

An institute is a week-long course on a given topic.  The course is coordinated by one instructor, but there are usually several "guest" instructors lending their expertise.  There are several courses happening at the same time.

The course I chose to start with was on Pennsylvania Research.  It was offered at LaRoche college in Pittsburgh.  This is a small private college and our institute took over for the week.

We began with check-in on Sunday afternoon.  Our accomodations were dorm rooms and we ate in the school cafeteria.  We had a welcome session on Sunday evening where we got to know the instructors and fellow students.

Classes began first thing Monday morning and continued all day with a couple of small breaks, and a break for lunch.  In the evening, we could work on homework (yes, there was homework!), attend some optional genealogical lectures, or just mingle with other genealogists.

There are also some informal get-togethers of other groups while we're there.  For example, people who had completed ProGen study met for lunch one day.

One evening I took a walk around campus.  It is in a lovely hilly area north of Pittsburgh.  And, as a bonus, there is a cemetery on the grounds.

We finished at noon on Friday.  I came home that week a little tired, but having made new friends, and ready to dig into my Pennsylvania families.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Society Saturday - The Suffragists

At a recent fundraising luncheon for another DAR chapter in the area, we were entertained by Annette Baldwin who portrayed several suffragists in "The Long Road to Victory".

She began as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and talked about how women in 19th century America had no rights of their own.  She told of meeting Susan B. Anthony and planning the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848.

Then, a quick costume change (while she continued to talk), and she became Susan B. Anthony.  As Susan, she told us how she had tried to cast a vote but was arrested and fined for doing so.  She gave portions of each ladies' speeches in their own words.

Next, she moved into the 20th century and portrayed Alice Paul.  As Alice, she told us about the Women's March in Washington in 1913, the silent pickets outside the White House, and being jailed at Occoquan Workhouse.

Finally, she spoke as Carrie Chapman Catt.  Carrie used different approaches with each state based on their political climate to help pass the 19th Amendment and later founded the League of Women Voters.

It was a nice overview of several suffragists.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Military Monday - Letters from Henry part 15

Well, those were the last letters that I have from Henry.  He must have returned to duty, because in November, his parents received this telegram:

Deeply regret to inform you that it is officially reported that Private Henry Steinbrecker Infantry died Oct. seventeenth of wounds received in action.

His body was returned home and he is buried in the Pettisville Lutheran Cemetery near his parents, grandparents, and brother John.

There was a small write-up about him (along with other Fulton County Casualties) in the Standard History of Fulton County, Ohio.