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 by 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.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019 #6 – Surprise

My DNA results are here! I was never really interested in DNA results because I knew where my ancestors came from after doing research for the last 20 years. However, Ancestry has advanced the quality of the reports and now provides quite a lot of information

I am a little surprised the percentages are as high as they are for England, Wales & Northwestern Europe and Norway. I thought I would have more groups with less than 10%.

Northwestern Europe would explain the Swiss Stalter branch who were metal tool craftsmen and miners. All of my Mayflower and colonial ancestors are from England and many were farmers.

Ireland and Scotland are self explanatory with the Adair’s, Totten’s and McDorman’s, all farmers.

The Swedish percentage has to include the change in borders between Denmark, Norway and Sweden the majority being from Norway some fishermen and some farmers.

The French percentage is for 3 ancestors, Frederick de la Horine (Foreman branch) and 2 females who married into the Stalter branch.

All of these folks came to America through Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York with the Hancock’s from Virginia and the Foreman’s from Philadelphia. The migration west started through Kentucky, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, moving further west to Colorado as early as 1887 for the Foreman and Squires families and 1903 for the Brace family.

Five generations of Colorado natives!

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2019 #5 – At the library

Early on, when I first started researching my family history, I visited the main branch of the Denver library. Their claim to fame was the best library west of the Mississippi for research in western history and genealogy. I came to trust that claim when every question I came up with or challenge I faced in finding the information I wanted was answered by a book or microfilm or librarian in their Western History and Genealogy department.

Their collection of maps is incredible. When I was looking for a map of Colorado counties for 1887, they had one. That was the first time I learned Arapaho county went from approximately Sheridan Blvd in Denver east into the Kansas Territory. When state lines were mapped Arapaho county went from Jefferson county on the west to the Colorado state line on the east.

I found the book of the Brigham family history, donated by a descendant which named my 2x great grandparents John C. Brace and Mary Phoebe ‘Birdie’ Totten. ‘Birdie’ being the direct descendant. It took me a matter of minutes to find that entire ancestral family all the way back to the immigrant Thomas Brigham born in 1603 in England and traveling on the Susan and Ellen to Marlborough, Massachusetts, arriving in 1635. Now I have this book online.

There were more books that gave me the same information for the Scofield family, and the Squires family and many others all verified by the Barbour Collection which recorded all births, deaths and marriages in Connecticut.

Many of the books I was reading at this time were histories of the state, county and city where these ancestors lived. I began to understand the why and what for of their migration not only to America, but across America.

I found Levi Squires mentioned in the History of Rock County Wisconsin early settlers, 1845. I found Henry Clay Hancock as an early settler in the book History of Republic County, Kansas in the “stacks” at the library, and my husband has ordered a used copy from Amazon. Can’t wait until it arrives.

So if you wonder where I got the information I have, well, I went to the library.

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