Tag Archives: History of Walworth County Wisconsin

Getting to Know William Graydon’s Family, and Me – Here’s the Punchline!

By Vicki Ruthe Hahn

8-11-2017″

Duhhhh! I forgot to tell you the punchline this morning.

Great questions on my Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program today.

“Getting to Know William Graydon’s Family, and Me – a Study Showing Genealogy Research Methods and Regional Connections”.

The biggest Stateline/regional connections are these:

Major Jesse Meacham’s extended family (I think) is connected to the 1833 founding of the community West of Chicago – Meacham Grove, Illinois

(I believe that this is the “Chicago” that Major Jesse Meacham, and later, Elizabeth Lulu Booth visited before going to Troy WI.)

While Jesse Meacham went on to found Troy, Wisconsin (where William R Graydon’s family later moved),

Caleb Blodgett bought a farm/acreage in Meacham Grove, Illinois.

After a short while, Caleb Blodgett sold his Illinois land, and moved to Wisconsin.

The French trapper Joseph Thiebault (Tebo) was the first white man who came to the Beloit Wisconsin area in 1820.  He was married to two American Indian wives at the same time.

Stephen Mack was the first white settler (mid 1830s) in the Rockton Illinois area, and was married to Hononegah, a Native American woman from one of the surrounding tribes.  He founded Macktown, Illinois.

Tebo and Stephen Mack knew, and traded with each other.

Caleb Blodgett bought “three looks” of land in 1836 from Tebo, and founded what became Beloit, Wisconsin.

Caleb Blodgett knew, and traded with, Stephen Mack of Macktown Illinois (near Rockton).

 

And now you know (some of ) the rest of the story!

 

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Stateline Travelers Part 9 -A “Shack Beautiful” Cinderella Story and Me; The Very Modest Cottage

Stateline Travelers Part 9 –

A “Shack Beautiful” Cinderella Story and Me;

The Very Modest Cottage

July 9, 2017

by Vicki Ruthe Hahn, SGS Stateline Genealogy Sorter

Part of an On-going Series – Stateline Travelers

This Posting of the Stateline Travelers is the story that caused me to start this series about “people” moving across state lines, (and my series “Other Travelers”), in the first place.  Stateline Travelers Part 9 A “Shack Beautiful” Cinderella Story and Me; The Very Modest Cottage was only going to be one Post, but I realized it was linked to so much more.  The Posts in the Other Travelers Series are stories that are connected to me, but are other than stateline experiences.

If you remember, I have connections from south central Wisconsin (Walworth and Rock Counties) all the way down to central western Illinois (Winnebago, McHenry, and McDonough Counties).  The other Posts in the series have gotten us to the point where I can finally segue way into my connections to this little shack.  In this case, the “person” who moved across state lines is a building.  This particular building has a unique connection to me, and other people that I know.

Hint- studying a building’s history can tell you a lot about the people who are associated with the building. Did you know that you can do genealogy of a building, house, or place?

Patrons come to the Beloit Public Library all of the time to look up the history of their houses.  Sometimes it is to see who is haunting it!  Sometimes it is just to know more about the people who had resided in it before them, and to see how old it is.  We have some nice big maps and City Directories of Beloit throughout history.

Illinois Map of How to Get to Beardstown_thumb

 The Very Modest Cottage and Me

The cottage started its travels in Beardstown Illinois, which is along the Illinois River and about 38 miles north of my childhood Table Grove area farm home.  I grew up hearing “Beardstown”  in the local news and weather.  I will have to ask my Mom what events we attended there in my childhood.  I am remembering fish fry picnics there.  Even though we moved when I was 7, we visited my paternal grandmother many times per year in Table Grove.

In Sugar Creek Township, north of Elkhorn, there is a very modest cottage near where I live now .  The shack was moved from Beardstown (central) Illinois north across the stateline 200 miles to its new home and sixth life.

cottage

Tereasa had come across the shack while visiting her grandmother in Beardstown.  When Tereasa bought the shack, she did an extensive search for its history with countless interviews of locals, and the genealogy search of library and courthouse records to get accurate history.  She discovered 6 previous lives of her shack, and several previous moves!

“A Very Modest Cottage”, by Tereasa Surratt, is a beautiful book full of tales and photographs about the history, moving, remodeling, decorating, and transformation of a shack into a cozy, welcoming guest cottage in a new location.  It is inspiration for the methods, and a final keepsake, of how you can trace the history of your own house.  Her book tells the stories of two locations.

cottage book back

You can get a better feel for whom your ancestors were by discovering the places that they lived in and how local, national, and world events and history affected their life decisions and experiences.

I did that very thing, by reading the Morgan County, Ohio history “mug” book on our WHS Wisconsin Historical Society trip, to find out more about my elusive ancestor Thomas Campbell and his wife Mary Jane Adams.

On our WHS fieldtrip 2 years ago, I thought I had traced them back to Ireland.  The WHS librarian advised me to try a different family in the interest of time, as those names in Ireland would be too numerous to search effectively until I learned more.  He also knew that the Pennsylvania County that I was looking for had not been created yet.

Hint – ask the staff as you research at societies and libraries.

Of course the librarian was right. I have since found that it was a few more generations back to when that family had “crossed the pond” from Scotland to America.  I traced my relatives from Pennsylvania to Ohio where Thomas Campbell had a connection to the Underground Railroad.  (Read “Other Travelers Part 9 – The Underground Railroad and Me; My Ancestor Thomas Campbell was an Abolitionist!” posted on June 29, 2017).  Search “travelers“ to find the other Postings in my two series “Stateline Travelers”, and ”Other Travelers”.

As a librarian, reader, writer, photographer, and creative person, I just appreciate a beautiful book and Tereasa’s creativity and work.

cottage book front

The Beloit Public Library staff was so delighted with my copy of the book, that they purchased two copies – one for the Genealogy collection, and one to check out. It is a how to book on researching the genealogy of a building.

The modest 91/2″ X 7 1/2″ book of 175 pages reflects the 12ft x 12 ft 1920s shack, yet it is such a little gem of a book that you may want a copy for yourself.  $25 at:

www.averymodestcottage.com

or   www.sterlingpublishing.com

Yes, I do know Tereasa because she lives in the area near me – in the summer and weekends.  She and her husband David Hernandez are also stateline travelers – from their jobs at an Ad Agency in Chicago to their private “country resort”, Camp Wandawega.

cottage fabric

The Modest Cabin is one of their many resort residences that one can rent for a vacation get-away –   “private, vintage pair of cabins overlooks the lake and wetlands, nestled within the legendary Wandawega Lake Resort, aka Camp Wandawega.    Lake Wandawega  http://www.wandawega.com/

I am getting to know this whole area of Walworth County.  There are a lot of great historic stories that I will be posting here.  And it started with this gem.

 

War of 1812 Pension Digitization Project

Vicki’s Note -Article from Family Tree News 9/1-2016 – “Preserve the Pensions – War of 1812 Pension Digitization Project ; A Community Digitization Project.  Sparked by the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812, the genealogical community has come together for this monumental task.” “Preserve the Pensions – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost to view the digitized pension files?

By agreement, Fold3 is making the images and associated metadata available for FREE – 24/7, forever for the same $0.48/image to anyone in the world with an Internet connection.”

fold3-war-of-1812

 

War of 1812 Pension Application Files – Fold3 – Click on:

Here is one record (of a person I know of from Walworth County, Wisconsin history) that I found (for free) when looking up War of 1812 pensions on Fold3:

meacham-1812

a1

 

Preserve the Pensions –

War of 1812 Pension Digitization Project

War of 1812 Pension Digitization Project

The Pension Records from the War of 1812 are among the most requested documents at the National Archives. Unfortunately, these fragile documents are in urgent need of digitization. After five years of hard work, the community raised more than $3 million to support the digitization of these important materials.In support of this monumental task of digitizing 7.2 million pages, Ancestry.com provided a dollar for dollar matching grant, so every dollar contributed will make four more pages accessible and free for everyone.

  • We did it! With your help, we raised more than $3 million to preserve these important records.

THE MISSION

The National Archives reports that these War of 1812 pension files are among the heaviest requested materials. With that level of use, these valuable records, available in no other format, are in danger of grave deterioration.

FREE TO THE PUBLIC

As these valuable historical documents are digitized, they will be made available to all at no cost, and the original pension files can be retired to much less active use.

DIGITIZED NOW IMAGES AVAILABLE

Completed images and associated indexing are posted incrementally and will be added in the coming months. Genealogists, historians, teachers, patriotic societies, and history buffs all have access to the images that have been digitized right now. Images will be offered for free at Fold3 indefinitely.

A Community Digitization Project

Sparked by the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812, the genealogical
community has come together for this monumental task.

Federation of Genealogical Societies National Archives Fold3 Ancestry.com

PRESERVATION PATRIOTS

The Federation of Genealogical Societies has created an organization to recognize those individuals and societies who have given at least $250 to the Preserve the Pensions fund. This new organization, named the Society of Preservation Patriots, is dedicated to raising funds for preserving critical, historic records and genealogical data for future generations. Learn More

Patriots

Spread the Word

Get brochures, press releases and more to spread the word about Preserve the Pensions.

War of 1812 Pension Application Files – Fold3

War of 1812 Pension Application File

What is this?

US National ArchivesWar of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, compiled ca. 1871 – ca. 1900, documenting the period 1812 – ca. 1900. ARC Identifier 564415 / MLR Number A1, Entry 3more info

When Jackson had the fight at New Orleans, La. in January 1815, my Husband [William Graves], his Father Stephen Graves and his Brother Adam Graves all belonged to the same company…all from Blount County, East Tennessee…

Mary Graves, widow of William Graves, 1886

Other War of 1812 Titles

What Can I Find?

This series consists of approximately 180,000 pension and bounty land warrant application files relating to claims based on service between 1812 and 1815. The files generally contain documentation submitted in support of a claim, such as the original application form, affidavits, and statements from witnesses.

The following information will be captured with the images and available to researchers when it exists in the file.

  • Veteran’s name
  • Age
  • Place of residence
  • Widow name
  • Service data & dates
  • Organization & rank
  • Widow’s maiden name
  • Acres Granted
  • Marriage date
  • Soldier death date
  • Widow death date
  • Year of BLM act
  • Warrant number
  • Additional names

Examples

1812 Pension record 1812 Pension record 1812 Pension record