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