52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019 #4 – I’d like to meet …

Elizabeth Howe 1675 -1764

Elizabeth Howe was my 10th Great Grandmother, and her story is unique. The descendant line goes Howe, Keyes, Weeks, Goodell, Brace, Hancock. So this would be Grandpa Hancock’s line.

According to Historical Reminiscences of the Early Times in Marlborough, Massachusetts by Ella A. Bigelow, in 1692 when Elizabeth Howe was 17 years of age she was taken captive by the Indians.

It was a bright summer day when Elizabeth Howe, who was engaged to be married to Thomas Keyes, left her home in Marlborough to go to Lancaster to visit her sister who had married Peter Joslin and were the parents of three little children with one on the way.

Peter left to work in the fields that day, as he usually did and the women were left to make wedding plans, bake bread for the day and other household duties. Elizabeth had started singing one of the old time songs to the children. Quietly creeping up to the door the Indians rushed in and before an alarm could be given, “all were butchered or borne into captivity.”

“History tells us that upon poor Mrs. Joslin the savages later indulged their cruelty in the most atrocious manner. She had with her a child of two years old and was soon to give birth to another. Tired of her importunities they gathered a large company, and pushing her unclothed into their midst they danced about her in their hellish manner for a long time and then knocked her and the child in her arms in the head. They then made a fire and put both victims in it, threatening the other children and captives who with trembling, witnessed the terrible scene, to serve them in like manner if they attempted to go home.”

When the house was attacked, Elizabeth had been captured and taken away with one of her sisters children. When the child became a burden the Indians murdered the child and Elizabeth was “snatched up by an Indian chief.” He thought her voice possessed a charm which worked on their superstitious natures. Her singing probably saved her life.

About four years later she was ransomed by the government and returned to her home in Marlborough where she married her long waiting fiance, Thomas Keyes, and lived to 89 years old, never forgetting the shock of the horrors of that time.

Ironically her father, John Howe, was also killed by Indians on April 20, 1676 at Sudbury during what was called King Philips War. Philip was the name taken by Metacomet the son of Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Massasoit had a strong alliance with the early Puritan settlers and had befriended Goerge Soule our Mayflower ancestor until Massasoit’s death. Metacomet did not maintain this alliance. With the Puritan excursions into the tribal planting fields and the spread of disease by new colonist arrivals in the mid 1600’s, rebellion was predictable. The Indian attacks were vicious but no more so then those of the Puritans and were waged with less provacation on the Indians.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019 #3 – Unusual Name

Back in 2012, I posted a blog “The Norwegian side of Stalter” describing my fathers grandparents who had immigrated from Norway in 1892 and originally settled in Bruce, Wisconsin and later lived out their lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

On the left is a very young Simmonette (Signe, pronounced Sena) and Himberg Anderson and on the right a later photo dated about 1935 to 1940.

While surfing through Find A Grave I located the memorials for Himberg and Simmonette (Sena) Anderson and requested a photo of the headstones located in Acacia Park Cemetery, St. Paul, Minnesota. Just a few days later the pictures appeared on their memorial page and I was surprised to see my great grandmothers headstone as “Sena D. Anderson.” Stafford Anderson, Sena and Himberg’s son had done quite a bit of family history research and indicated her name was Simmonette Sena Anderson so I was totally confused about the middle initial ‘D’.

Just this week I have learned great grandmother’s correct name is Simmonette Dorthea Kristoffersdtr as shown in Norwegian birth records. The name Sena spelled Signe in Norwegian must have been some type of nick name and the “D” stands for Dorthea, a name that runs through this ancestral line. The typical pattern of names in Norwegian is to add son or daughter to the end of the father’s name (son-male; datter or dtr-female) such as Kristoffersdatter or Kristoffersdtr. Thus I know Sena’s father’s name was Kristoffer. Kristoffer’s last name was Aronson, so his father’s name was Aron. Aron’s father was Peder so Aron became Aron Pederson and so on.

During my research I have learned the name of the city, island or regional area or the name of the family farm may also be added to the end of the name so Ole Pederson Norboe became a more distinct name Ole – Peder’s son – of Norboe.

In 1923 Norway adopted a law that said all citizens must have a permanent, family last name. I admire the folks who have done the Norwegian family history, it seems a lot more work goes in to tracing these names than typical English names.

This photo shows Simmonette (Sena) Kristofferdtr Anderson, on the right, seated with “Aunt VioIa.” Identifying people in photos with very little information and few hints is a real challenge. I have hopes of identifying “Aunt Viola Martin” soon. None of the research I did this weeks shows Simmonette (Sena) with a sister named Viola.

Simmonette Dorothea Kristoffersdtr Anderson

I am so pleased to share this new found information with my Stalter/Anderson/Frahm cousins.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019 #2 – Challenge

In 1998 my mother called me to talk about how much she would enjoy having one of the new “special” license plates Colorado had started a year earlier. “Oh that sounds great Mom, why don’t you go ahead and get one?” was my question to her. “Well,” she said, “I need proof that my grandfather homesteaded in Colorado 100 years ago. This is for Pioneer license plates.”

The Challenge: “Since you live downtown, just a block from the main library, you should go over there and look up the records.” she said. Wait, I’m a self employed business owner, I don’t have time to spend in a library! But she asked so nicely, and how could I disappoint my mother when she was being nice?

I walked over to the library, a whole block and a half, thinking this should be easy. It wasn’t. This is a seven story building that takes up one half of a city block. Although my tax dollars helped pay for it, I had never been in this building.

I boldly approached the librarian and said I needed to find proof of my great grandfather living in Colorado 100 years ago. She advised me to go to the 5th floor which is Western History and Genealogy. It was intimidating to step out of the elevator, historic art work, tables everywhere, rows and rows of books, computers and large machines. Later I found out these machines were microfilm readers which unknown to me at the time I would be spending hours and hours in front of.

Once again I presented my request to the librarian at the information desk and he just looked at me, paused for a moment and asked if this was my first visit to Western History and Genealogy. “Guilty, “I said,” My mother wants to get Pioneer License plates.”

After determining that I didn’t know my great grandfather’s full name, his birth date or his death date, he advised me to check the GLO records which would tell me if he had applied for a land patent through the Homestead Act. Oh, how very helpful this librarian was until he said “We don’t have the GLO records here, you will need to go to the Bureau of Land Management.” It was very hard for me to make the call to my mother and tell her I was not successful at the library and I was referred to another government office to look up homestead records.

Anyway, off to the Bureau of Land Management office I went. The gentleman there only needed the name of my great grandfather to access the records. He found more than one application. My great, great grandfather Jacob Foreman had applied for the Homestead Act ($5.00) as well as the Timber Culture Act ($5.00) in 1890. My great grandfather Robert Sidney Foreman had applied for the Homestead Act in 1892 as did his sister Arte Mesa Foreman for $5.00 each. The requirements were they must be 21 years of age and live and work the land for 5 years and then the Land Patent would be granted. I paid for the copies of the applications and the copies of the Land Patent Warrants. All of the applications and warrants were dated prior to 1897 and I felt my duty was complete.

Then I started reading these documents. The Foreman’s had traveled from their home in tiny Vernon, Colorado, 10 miles south of Wray, Colorado more than 60 miles to Akron, Colorado, to receive their applications and warrants.

The Warrants were signed by President Harrison in 1890 and William McKinely in 1897. The lots were 160 acres. For the Timber Culture Act, Jacob had to plant trees on the 160 acres. If you are not familiar with this north east part of Colorado it is called the “high plains.” there are no trees and little if any water other than the Republican River and a branch of the Platte River.

Robert Sidney Foreman cutting sod with his steam engine so they could plant. The native grasses had roots that could go 12 inches into the soil and had to be removed to plant corn and oats.

The plat for the area shows the lots for Jacob on the east and west side of two county roads on the north intersecting with Robert and Arte Mesa’s lots on the east and west side on the south. This family owned the land around an entire intersection of major north/south, east/west county roads for a total of 640 acres.

Robert Sidney Foreman and his great grandchildren, Don, Linda, Sharon and Carol Stalter. About 1954/55

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019 #1 – First

Thanks for joining me on this second year journey of family history stories. This week I am highlighting George Soule, the first recorded immigrant ancestor to America .

Here is where George fits into this family:

George Soule married Mary Beckett after arriving in 1620 in America on the Mayflower; daughter Susanna Soule who married Francis West; son William West who married Jane Tanner; son Benjamin West who married Elizabeth Smith; son Benjamin West Jr. who married Elizabeth Davis and served in the War for Independence or Revolutionary War. All these marriages and children, dates and places are recorded in the Mayflower history “silver books” and “pink books.”

The next generations are Joseph West who married Mary Ann Brock; daughter Adelia C. West who married Thomas Armsbury Kenyon; daughter Mary Salina Kenyon who married Edwin R. Squires who served in the Civil War; daughter Grace Irene Squires who married Robert Sidney Foreman; daughter Mary Frances Foreman who married Bernard Floyd Hancock and had seven children, Grace Evelyn (my mother), Pearl, Charlotte and Charlene (twins), Dorothy, Shirley and Robert Hancock.

Left to right is Mary Salina Kenyon Squires; Grace Irene Squires Foreman and Mary Frances Foreman Hancock.

;Back row Evelyn, Pearl, Charlene, Charlotte; front row Robert, Shirley and Dorothy Hancock.

The path west was Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, to Hopkinton, Kings County, Rhode Island; to Verona, Oneida County, New York; Rock County, Wisconsin to Elbert, Elbert County, Colorado.

George Soule was a tutor to the children of Edward Winslow on the Mayflower and is listed as a freeman with his signature on the Mayflower Compact which is the document accepted by the colonists as their “constitution.”