52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #13 – In The Paper

Twenty five years ago the front page story on the Sun’Sailor newspaper covering St. Louis Park, Minnesota reads Minnetonka Woman Unveils Mystery. The date was March 2, 1994 and Jeanine Shesterkin nee Anderson was pictured holding photos of her mother and four half-siblings who she discovered in 1993. My father’s sister, June, mailed the newspaper copy to me recently after visiting with their cousin Jeanine whom she had not seen in many, many years.

Vyvyan Anderson abandoned Jack Anderson and Jeanine when Jeanine was about 2 years old. The only memento Jeanine had of her mother, Vyvyan, was a piece of paper with her handwriting on it. For more than 50 years, that piece of paper was the most tangible evidence Jeanine had of her mother.

Vyvyan Anderson

Jack was 22 years older than Vyvyan when they married in 1937 or 1938, and he was a successful business man who owned a soda shop and car dealership. He never drank or smoked. Jack had two brothers who were pastors and their Norwegian mother, my great grandmother, Signe Anderson was a devoted Christian.

Jack, Jeanine, Vyvyan Anderson

In 1942 a business opportunity enticed Jack and Vyvyan to move to New York City. Vyvyan apparently became bored with the life of a homemaker and had an affair with a high-ranking Marine. She became pregnant and the two of them left New York City for Florida. The Marine had been stationed at NAS Pensacola. Jack divorced Vyvyan and she married her Marine in 1942.

What always touched Jeanine was her dad never married again. He never even dated. He went to his grave loving Vyvyan. He never said one bad word about her.

Jack and Jeanine moved to Southern California to build a new life. Jack worked as an engineer with Lockheed Corporation. When she was 10, they returned to Minneapolis where Jack took a job with Honeywell.

Jeanine’s memories of her childhood were warm and positive. She said he taught her to ride horses, to shoot, cook and wash clothes. As she grew older Jeanine said she started to inquire more about her mother and encouraged her father to see other women. He told her one heartache like that was enough for a lifetime. In her late teens they moved back to the Enchanted Lake area of Lake Minnetonka where her father retired and died in 1982.

Unfortunately Jeanine learned her new found siblings were not so lucky. Their father suffered from mental illness, abusing both physically and mentally his wife and children. In 1994 at the siblings family reunion her half sister Jacquelyn was unable to attend and Jeanine met her later in Georgia. The Douglas County Sentinel in Douglasville, Georgia reported on February 26, 1994, the story of Jacqueline meeting with Jeanine and the joy she felt at finding her long lost sister.

Jacqueline Irvin Sliter with photographs of her siblings.

Vyvyan died in 1988, five years before Jeanine started her search.

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #12 – ’12’

Week 12 the prompt is ’12’ so I have chosen to write about a couple of ancestors that are 12 generations up the ladder from me. These two ancestors are the very first immigrant ancestors I studied. They were part of the Great Migration from England to what became America. Their descendants join six generations later to become my 4x great grandparents Reverend Joel Charles Goodell and Elmina Brigham.

Thomas Brigham was born in Holme-on-Spalding-Moor in Yorkshire, England in 1603. In 1635 he sailed on the ‘Elizabeth and Ellen’ to the Massachusetts Bay Colony and settled in what became Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1638 he married Mercy Hurd. They had five children.

Robert Goodale/Goodell born in 1601 in Dennington, Suffolk, England, sailed on the ‘Elizabeth’ to the Massachusetts Bay Colony and settled in Salem in 1634 with his wife Kathryn and 3 children. Four more children were born in Salem. No record of any witches for this family.

Both men were planters. Thomas Brigham “made his mark” on the documents granting him land and Robert Goodell signed his name on the documents granting him land. Robert concentrated his efforts on obtaining land as a legacy for his children, gifting then large acreages upon marriage. Although educated Robert was not involved in any part of the governance or development of the communities and towns where he owned land. Thomas Brigham on the other hand settled in at Cambridge where he and his sons and grandsons amassed well over 1000 acres. Thomas served as a ‘selectman,’ and ‘constable’ in Cambridge. Much of the land both Robert and Thomas owned became the home of Harvard University.

The Brigham’s and the Goodell’s become joined 6 generations later when Reverend Joel Charles Goodell and Elmina Brigham marry in 1833 in Cambria, Niagara County, New York. Elmina’s father, Lieut Joel Brigham who served in the War of 1812 when he was 27 years old and his wife, Polly, move with Rev. Joel Goodell and Elmina to Lodi, Ohio about 1834 and Lieut. Joel and Polly Brigham died a few years later. Elmina Brigham Goodell had four children including Lois Emerette Goodell in 1842 before she died in 1843.

Lieut. Joel Brigham Elmina’s father.

Reverand Joel Goodell promptly marries Clarissa Platt and Lois Emerette is sent to Lockport, New York to be raised by relatives because Clarissa, the new wife, apparently did not want the responsibility to raise another woman’s child.

Lois Emerette Goodell about 10 years old in Cambria, New York.

The 1860 census shows Lois Emerette Goodell in Cambria, New York and in 1861 she marries William Totten of Lockport, Niagara County, New York. William and Lois Emerette move to Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, where her brothers live and near her father in Graham, Johnson County, Iowa.

William Franklin Totten and Lois Emerette Goodell about 1861.

Williams parents James Totten and Mary Adair were immigrants from Ireland and had settled in Cambria, New York. James joined the Union Army in 1862 and dies of disease a few days after the Battle of Bull Run in 1862. He was 44 years old and is buried in the Virginia National Cemetery. In 1861 Milton Totten, Lois Emerette’s brother had joined the Union army and was killed in 1864 at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana. One of the “unknown dead” Union soldiers of that fierce battle.

James Totten, Civil War, Virginia National Cemetery

Descendants – Rev. Joel Goodell and Elmina Brigham > Lois Emerette Goodell Totten > Mary Phoebe Totten Brace > Lulu Pearl Brace Hancock Baber > Bernard Hancock


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #11 – Large Family

My husband has defined my ancestors as ‘farm’ families and his ancestors as ‘city’ families. The difference being in the number of offspring. It was not unusual to have 7 to 15 children for my ancestors while his, being from the city numbered 2 to 4 except for a few generations of the Irish Catholic McMahon, McNamee and Godfrey’s of St. Louis.

William Totten and Lois Emerett Goodell my 3rd Great Grandparents had 11 children. Their eldest daughter was Mary Phoebe Totten who married John C . Brace (9 children), and pictured below is a family picnic on the Brace property just west of Elbert, Colorado around 1916/1917. Note Elwin Brace in his WWI uniform seated at the table 3rd from the right.

Brace Family picnic in Elbert, Colorado. The young boy standing at the end of the table on the right I believe is my grandfather Bernard Hancock

Mary Phoebe (Birdie) Brace’s eldest daughter was Lulu Pearl Brace who married Nathan Brink Hancock and they had one child, my grandfather Bernard Hancock. In 1909 she divorced Brink Hancock and married John Thomas Baber and had eight more children.

Lulu Hancock Baber with 8 of her 9 children. Lloyd Baber, who is missing from this photo, was in the Army and stationed abroad. Photo 1943.

In the Foreman family, Robert Sidney ‘Sid’ Foreman was one of 8 children. His father, Jacob Foreman was the 3rd of 11 children and his mother Sarah Watt was one of 9 children.

Jacob and Sarah Watt Foreman seated, missing from this photo is Sid Foreman and Martha Jane Foreman who died when she was 2 years old. Left to right – Arte Mesa Foreman Confer, William Foreman, Mary Belle Foreman Callaway, John Foreman, Nora Kate Foreman York and George Foreman. Photo about 1920.

Sid Foreman’s daughter Mary Francis Foreman married Bernard Hancock and they had 7 children, my mother being the oldest of their children.

Seated is Mary Francis Foreman Hancock. Left to right – Dorothy with husband Mel Perkins, Shirley, Robert Hancock with wife Josephine, Evelyn with husband Art Mann, Pearl with husband Gene Lomas and Charlotte with husband Bob Lucero. Missing from this photo is Charlotte’s twin sister Charlene. Photo was taken in 1991.

During my research I have found many families with upwards of 15 children. This usually involved more than one marriage. When a man became a widower he remarried, usually a younger woman and the cycle started all over again. My 3rd great grandfather Jacob Foreman, not to be confused with 2nd great grandfather Jacob Foreman had a brother who married 3 times and had 25 children.

At this time I am working on the Scofield ancestors only to find out that my 5th great grandparents are first cousins. That really screws up the family tree. The Scofield’s settled in Stamford, Connecticut in 1640 and all of the Scofield descendants had large families. Fortunately the family history is well documented and is fairly easy to track with unusual names like Neazer and Thankful who were the cousins mentioned above who married.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #10 – Bachelor Uncle

Bachelor Uncle in my mother and grandmother’s family is Jessie Eugene Squires. Born in 1877 in Porter, Rock County, Wisconsin and died in Colorado Springs, Colorado 1960.

Jesse Eugene Squires 1877-1960

Jessie was the fifth of six children born to Edwin R. Squires and Mary Salina Kenyon. The family left Wisconsin and settled in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1888. Jessie was about 11 years old.

The 1900 census shows Jessie, age 22, living at 529 E. Costilla in Colorado Springs and his occupation is a barber. By 1910 the census shows Jessie, age 32, as a farmer in Elbert, Colorado. In 1920 at age 41, he is an Engineer (steam engine) for the Colorado and Southern Railroad which in 1908 became the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, later to become the Burlington Northern Railroad. Both of Jessie’s brothers, Harvey and Clarence also worked for the Colorado and Southern for a time, and they all lived in Cripple Creek for a while.

On the left is Harvey Squires brother of Jesse Squires.

The 1930 census shows Jesse as a watchman for the railroad and he is 52 years old. His address on this census is shown in the Falcon Precinct of El Paso County, Colorado. 1935 and 1940 census records place Harvey, age 69; Clarence age 65, both widowers, and Jessie age 62 living together in a house in Elbert, Colorado.

Harvey Squires, Clarence Squires and Jesse Squires

Jesse Eugene Squires

I remember Jesse visited our home many times and he was a close friend to my great grandfather and his brother-in-law Sid Foreman. Jesse and Sid always wore suites. And they were always good for a walk up to Brownie’s for penny candy.

Jesse Squires, Sid Foreman and baby Irene Foreman

1925 – Jesse with baby Grace Evelyn Hancock, my mother, in his 1925 Ford Model T.

Jesse Eugene Squires died in Colorado Springs in 1960 and is buried in the family plot at the Elbert Cemetery in Elbert, Elbert County, Colorado. Research at the Denver library indicates Jesse Squires purchased the family plot.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019 – #9 – At the court house

Dower and curtesy are the rights of a surviving spouse in the late spouse’s real property. Those rights – dower and curtesy (English spelling) – have a long history in English common law and were firmly entrenched by the time the American colonies were settled. Under the common law husbands and wives were not heirs of one another.  The real estate property of both spouses passed to their own blood heirs at their death.  A husband could name in his will, land to someone other than his heir.

During the nineteenth century, and as early as 1809, states began enacting common law principles affecting the property rights of married women. Married Women’s Property Acts differ in language, and their dates of passage span many years. Ohio did not have such an Act in place until after 1839. For Elizabeth (Eli) Horine Foreman who became a widow in 1811 this meant several long court challenges.

A Little Background:

Elizabeth Horine, my 4th Great Grandmother was born 30 November 1763 in Germany and left her home with her three brothers, George, Michael and Jacob and sister Barbara, at the time of their father Frederick de la Horine’s death in the early 1770’s. He was a French Huguenot and had left France and moved to Germany where he married. Their German mother had died previously.

Early records indicate the Horine children came to America through Philadelphia and settled in Frederick County Maryland. Revolutionary War records also indicate Michael served in the Company of Troutman’s Military in 1775 on the Committee of Observation and Safety for the county. Jacob served as a private and is listed in the roll of the “Flying Camp”, a regiment made up for the most part of volunteers from Frederick County Maryland under the command of Colonel Griffin.

Elizabeth’s third brother George Horine is said to have been a physician. He married Nancy Higgens in 1796 in Mercer County Kentucky. Nancy’s grandfather who lived in Ohio, sold to George Horine 300 acres of land in Highland County, Ohio in 1808. George Horine died intestate in Mercer County Kentucky in 1815. No legal conveyance for the 300 acres was filed in the Ohio courts.

Prior to his death in Kentucky, George Horine sold those 300 acres plus another 50 acres to Elizabeth Horine Foreman, his sister and widow to David Foreman who had died in 1811.

The Challenge Begins

Elizabeth Foreman, age 48, now a widow sells her Kentucky farm and moves to Highland County, Ohio in 1815 with 7 (all sons) of her 13 children.

In March of 1819, widow Nancy Higgens Horine and her heirs all residents of Kentucky sue for order to convey land. ‘Plaintiffs Elizabeth Foreman, widow of David Foreman, and adult sons, George, David and Jacob Foreman heirs of David Foreman, all residents of Ohio allege that in 1814 they purchased of George Horine 300 acres on waters of White Oak Creek in Robert Higgins Survey, the said Horine having purchased the land from Robert Higgins. Higgins had never conveyed said land to Horine, and Horine died before he could convey the land to plaintiffs.’

Highland County Courthouse

The court (Common Pleas Court of Highland County Ohio) “finds the defendants Nancy Horine and heirs to be non-residents of Ohio, and orders the sheriff of Brown County, Ohio to serve Robert Higgins with summons.”

Robert Higgins was too old at this time to make an appearance (he died when he was 110) but provided a letter which reads “The outside of this letter is addressed to Mrs. Elizabeth Foreman. On the left side is stated ‘By Mr. Foreman’, and then is written ‘State of Ohio’. To all whom these presents may concern Know that I Robert Higgins of Clermont County, State of Ohio, do give unto George Horine, husband of my daughter Nancy, three hundred acres of land out of a tract lying and being in said County on the little North Fork of White Oak Creek and joins lands of Co. Abraham Buford it being his legacy of my lands as husband to my said daughter Nancy. He is to take it out of any corner of said Survey and run it as convenient as it can be done with Justice to the other part of said Tract of land, and this said instrument of writing I shall site in my Will. As Witness my hand and Seal this 29th day of October 1808. Fifty acres of the above mentioned land said Horine has paid me for Mrs. Foreman. The above is a copy of the instrument of Writing now in my possession as Executor of the late George Horine, deceased. Dated November 29th, 1819. “

So Nancy and her heirs lose their challenge because they are not residents of Ohio and George Horine being deceased and having no will, by Ohio law the 350 acres is conveyed to Elizabeth Foreman and her three adult sons, George, Jacob and David.

In a court document filed in 1820 Robert Higgins vs. George Foreman, et al. (Elizabeth, David and Jacob) Ejectment. Plaintiff Higgins alleges that he had leased land in Concord Township in December, 1817, and that the defendants George, David and Elizabeth Foreman, now in possession, ejected him from land.”

Kind of tells the story about how these in-laws got along. The job isn’t finished until the paperwork is done. Remember to make a will!

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019 – #8 – Family Photo

Robert Sidney (Sid) Foreman and Grace Irene Squires Foreman 1904

I am very lucky to have known my great grandfather Robert Sidney Foreman born in 1871 in Time, Pike County, Illinois. Sid came to Colorado in 1887 and lived in Vernon, about 10 miles south of Wray, with his parents and 3 sisters and 3 brothers. When Sid was 21 he applied for a homestead patent. After 5 years he sold his land and purchased a steam engine and the necessary equipment to thresh and cut sod. He hired out to thresh oats and cut sod all over eastern Colorado. He settled in Elbert, Colorado in 1900 where he met Grace Irene Squires. They were married in 1904 in Denver.

I am also fortunate to have grown up in a large family that liked to get together and of course someone always had a camera.

L to R – Aunt Ivy Squires (Mary Ivadine) holding baby Margaret Foreman, Joseph Arthur Squires (nephew) Mary Frances Foreman, Sid Foreman, Grace Squires Foreman and Jacob Bernard Foreman. Home in Colorado Springs about 1914.

Aunt Ivy never married and it seems she was available to help her sister Grace and brothers Clarence and Harvey raise their children.

Sid and Grace Irene Squires Foreman. About 1927.

Sid Foreman’s wife, Grace, died in 1933 at age 53 and he never remarried. He lived with his daughter Mary Frances Hancock in Loveland, Colorado for a number of years and then moved to Golden, Colorado and lived with his son Jacob.

Sid Foreman on the left, his daughter Mary Frances Foreman Hancock my grandmother, in the middle next to her brother Robert James Foreman. In the front is Robert Frank Hancock and Shirley Hancock . About 1945.

Sid visited our home in Pleasant View many times when we were young. He lived nearby in Golden with his son Jacob and his family. Mom would fix all of us the same thing for lunch, cream soup on toast! On Sunday’s he would come for dinner after church and when dinner was finished he would walk us up the street to Brownie’s gas station. They had a candy counter there and he would buy us each a nickel’s worth of the penny candy. Some of the candy was two or three for a penny so we would walk home with a mouthful and a handful of candy.

Sid Foreman with my brother Don, sister Linda, sister Sharon and myself. At home in Pleasant View, Colorado. About 1953.

Sid Foreman died in 1962 at age 91, I was in junior high, 8th grade then. The funeral was in Elbert, Colorado at the Presbyterian church. He is buried with his wife Grace at the Elbert Cemetery. The family plot also includes Robert James Foreman and his wife Evelyn and their daughter Loreen. Grace’s parents Edwin Squires and Mary Salina Squires and daughter Mary Ivadine Squires and son Jesse Squires are buried in the plot adjacent to Sid and Grace. According to a book written by a local Elbert historian who has indexed the cemetery there is an unmarked grave in this plot.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019 – #7 – Love

Looking back over the ancestors I have written about or researched I can unequivocally say there is no one who inspired me, influenced me or shaped my life as did my grandparents Mary Frances Foreman and Bernard Floyd Hancock.

Mary Frances Foreman and Bernard Floyd Hancock 50th Wedding Anniversary

From my view as a youngster, teenager and young woman, I learned patience, kindness and responsibility from my grandparents as they had taught their children. I learned what marriage and family was all about. I learned you had to work through the bad times. Never give up.

More than what I heard is what I watched. Grandma always taking care of Grandpa. Preparing his favorite food, ironing his clothes, always making sure he would be comfortable when he got home from work. She lived for her family.

Grandpa always fixed things up around the house to make Grandma’s chores easier. He was good at making stuff, building and fixing things, especially cars. He was the “go to” guy when you needed help.

When I was in high school, my junior year, I was a pom-pom girl. We had to make our pom-pom’s from sticks with the paper streamers at one end. My parents had divorced and I didn’t know how to make my pom-poms. My mother called Grandpa and off we went to his little workshop in the basement of their home. He sawed the sticks to the proper length and covered the ends of the sticks with tape to make a base so they wouldn’t fall apart and attached a handle. They were the best!

Through the years.