Author Archives: wonderfulstoryphotos

Garret Spruhan 1825-1869 – My 2nd great grandfather and an immigrant to America from Ireland having arrived here on a Famine Ship.

My direct ancestor and 2nd Great Grandfather, Garret Spruhan, was born in about 1825 in Kilkenny Ireland. (source reference for birth is the 1860 census) The name Spruhan is rare in the United States and in Ireland.

In 1850, at the age of 25, Garret left Ireland and immigrated to the United States on a “famine ship.” The name of the ship was the “Martha.” He embarked from Liverpool.
This brief history of famine ships (includes the ship the “Martha”) Information may be found at http://www.irishamericanjourney.com/2011/10/irishships-to-america.html

Here is a post about Garret Spruhan that I found on-line. This quote also is the only reference found for death date. Garret lived only to age 44.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/soc.genealogy.surnames/33aNmWAGM5Y/JoNI6PBZP40J:

“Garret Spruhan was a farmer in County Kilkenny. He arrived in New York like many from his country and eventually moved west with the railroads. He married Margaret Denny and had five children. The Spruhan family settled in Crawfordsville, Indiana.The children’s names were as follows: John Arthur, Katherine, William Henry, Eliza J., and Macie.

In 1862 Margaret Denny Spruhan died (She was my 2nd great grandmother). Garret Spruhan returned to farming in 1864 after purchasing land north of Crawfordsville. He also remarried in that year to Ann McKevitt Wood. The family farm prospered over the next four years, as evidenced from estate records. Tragedy hit the family in early 1869 when Garret died.

From the estate records, the Spruhan children were sent to live on farms in neighboring counties. Only Macie remained at the Spruhan farm with her stepmother.
Any questions or comments are welcomed.”  Note: this means that my great grandfather Henry Spruhan was emancipated at the age of 12!

____________________________
In 1852, at the age of 27, Garrett Spruhan married Margaret Denny. They were married on January 11, 1852 in Hamilton Co., Ohio by a Roman Catholic bishop.
In the 1860 census, Garret lives in Union, Montgomery, Indiana. The afore mentioned
quotation states that he settled in Crawfordsville, Indiana. (The Civil war would begin on April 12, 1861)
__________________________
Garrett had a brother named John Henry. John immigrated to Nova Scotia Canada. He changed the spelling of his last name from Spruhan to Spruin. This is documented in a post found online. http://genforum.genealogy.com/cgi-bin/pageload.cgi?Roanoke::in::36997.html
(There seems to be an incorrect piece of information in this post. Garret immigrated in
1850 and NOT 1839. Also, there may be a misspelling of Garret’s second wife’s name.)

Here is the post that I found on-line from family historian Lydia Spruhan:
Dear Spruhan Family querers:
My name is Lydia Mary Spruhan. I am the genealogist of the family. I can tell you alot about the Spruhans in Indiana. The family began in this country when Garret Spruhan came to America from Ireland in 1839, and married Margaret Denny, also from Ireland. The were married in the Roman Catholic Church, by the Bishop of Pennsylvania. Garret
became a naturalized citizen in 1940. I still have his original naturalization papers, as well as official “copies” issued by the Gov’t. He and his wife moved to Crawfordsville, Indiana and began a family, the oldest being John Arthur (NOT Alexander) Spruhan, who is my great-great-grandfather. I have many photos of him, as well as letters to my
grandfather from his daughter, my great-great. Eliza, whom you also mentioned, became the first female attorney in the State of Indiana, and carried the name Eliza Spruhan Painter. She ran a charity for Confederate Soldiers from the Civil War. But, I am jumping ahead of myself here. There were many children born to the Spruhans, some of whom died in infancy. They were all baptized at the Catholic church in Crawfordsville. I have the original church ledgers if you would like to see them. When Garret and Margaret were still fairly young, Margaret died. Garret married a woman named
Ann McKerritt, also from Ireland, as a second wife. After Garret died (I have never found out whether he died in the Civil War after conscription or of natural causes), the
children were sadly separated into different families in the community. I have the name of the family who raised Eliza and the younger children. I’ll have to look it up for you, it’s
German. John Arthur and Henry were already of sufficient age to be emancipated as adults. John Arthur married Joan America Bohannon, who is in herself quite a story. Their children are in my direct line, so I can share that history with you as well if you wish. Her family dates back to the pre-Revolutionary times, and my female ancestors and aunts have always been in the DAR due to the connection to John Bohannon who served in the Virginia militia during the Revolution. John Arthur was the railroad man for the stop in Crawfordsville for many years. His son, Fred Garret Spruhan went to Purdue and also became an Engineer. His son, John Galey Spruhan, is my grandfather, also a Purdue grad and engineer. John Halsey Spruhan was the only child of John
Galey Spruhan and my grandmother, Beatrice Halsey, who only recently died a few years ago at 93. After John Halsey Spruhan, of Salem, VA, comes Paul Wesley Spruhan, my
brother, and then his son, my five-year old nephre Bahe Spruhan. Paul lives in Arizona with his Navajo wife, Bidtah. Both of his children are also enrolled in the Navajo Nation
(tribe).

Back to the beginning:
The Spruhans come from County Carlow, and County Kilkenny, Ireland. Garret was from Kilkenny, and he has a brother who also emigrated around the same time to Nova
Scotia. the family there changed the spelling of their name so it would be pronounced correctly (Sproo-in), NOT Sproo-Han. They go by the spelling Spruin. John Henry Spruin is the brother who went to Canada. His son, John, is somewhat of a local Nova Scotia hero, as he was one of the “Halifax Nine”, who were first responding fireman at the Halifax explosion (when a munitions boat exploded in Halifax Harbor, killing all
nine, who were the only fireman who responded, given the seriousness of the explosion and the certainty of death. There are still Spruins in Canada whom I know of.

Back to Ireland:
The Spruhan Family are all buried back hundreds of years from Garret’s arrival in the US, at St. Columbkille’s Cemetery in Thomastown. There are barrows in the distance of the ancient Celtic kings who the area around the Nor River (Black River) in Kilkenny. There are Spruhans still there, in the area of Carlow bordering Thomastown, Kilkenny. They are headed by Thomas and Peggy Spruhan, and they have five sons, one of whom I talk to, Edmond, who lives in the Boston area. One of Edmond’s brothers, Michael I believe, lived and worked in Mexico City, and married a Mexican woman. They have a son named Emilio. So, as you can see with the Navajo & Mexican influences, our family is quite diverse.

Of course I have the documents and photos for all of this. There are a few other Spruhans in my home state of VA: Jack Spruhan, my great uncle (Fred Garret’s cousin), and his local hero father, Pinky (Guy) Spruhan RIP, who was the football coach at Roanoke College for many years.

What else are you wanting to know about? Henry Spruhan is your ancestor, I do have a family tree which comes down to the 1980s. there should be two siblings named Paul (not my brother Paul) and his sister Cinnamon Spruhan. they also had a younger brother who died as a child. Cinnamon should be in her 30s and Paul is a young free spirited 20 something. People often search for my brother, Paul, on Facebook, and are si surprized when they find Paul Spruhna from Henry’s line, as he seems to be into counter culture…like Punk Rock or skateboards or similar style.

As I said, you’ll have to ask my some more questions if I’m to help you find (or have myself alreay), the particular documents or information you require.

Interesting piece of sad Famine-era family history: there was a young woman named Bridget Spruhan who jumped to her death from a prison ship rather than be put into a life of servitude and slavery in Australia. For some reason the song “Fields of Athenry” makes me cry, most likely due to Bridget’s experience.
Many regards,
Lydia Mary Spruhan
Salem, VA
_______________________
Of Garret’s children, my direct ancestor is Henry Joseph Spruhan who married Caroline Baur. Henry was 12 at the time of his father’s death and was thus thrust into an early adulthood emancipation. (Henry Spruhan was my Great Grandfather)

My name is Linda Claire Hess Groshans

List of generations:
Garret Spruhan and Margaret Denny
Henry Joseph Spruhan and Caroline “Carrie” Baur
Henrietta Spruhan and George K. Hess, Sr.
Robert Lawrence Hess and Gretchen Lois Ream (my parents)

Comments from Ancestry.com

“Nor River: The Spruhan Family are all buried back hundreds of years from Garret’s arrival in the US, at St. Columbkille’s Cemetery in Thomastown. There are barrows in the distance of the ancient Celtic kings who the area around the Nor River (Black River) in Kilkenny.”

What was their address? Finding the homes of my Ann Arbor, MI ancestors…

Grandparents

Amelia Grayer Ream was my maternal Grandmother.
Born 1885 in Scio Township, Washtenaw County, Michigan.
1910 US Census at 400 N. Ashley Street, Ann Arbor, MI 
1920 US Census at 520 N. Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI

Grover Cleveland Ream was my maternal Grandfather. He was born in 1885 in 
Denver, Miami County, Indiana, USA.
1900 US Census he is 14 years old and living with his family on 1714 Wells Street, Ann Arbor.
1912 Ann Arbor City Directory shows him boarding at 1132 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI. Later in 1912, he marries my grandmother, Amelia Grayer Ream.
1919 Ann Arbor City Directory shows him and my grandmother living at 520 N. Main Street. (Note that a some year before 1925, the home on N. Main Street was rebuilt)
For some part of the marriage of Amelia and Grover, they lived in Santa Clara, CA

Great Grandparents

Amelia Wisthoff Grayer a.k.a. “Grandma Grayer” was my maternal Great Grandmother. Born 1861 in Prussia.
1880 and 1900 US Census living in Scio Township, Michigan with my Great Grandfather August Grayer, born in 1849 in Prussia.
1910 US Census Amelia “Grandma Grayer” was living at 400 N. Ashley Street, Ann Arbor, MI with my Great Grandfather August Grayer.
1920 US Census living at 404 N. Ashley Street, Ann Arbor, MI (The Walter and Helen Mayer family were next door at 400 N. Ashley) My Great Grandfather died in 1917 and was therefore not included in the 1920 census.
1940 US Census living at 520 N. Main Street, Ann Arbor,MI (living with her daughter)

2nd Great Grandparents

Wilhelmina “Minnie” Ponto Grayer was born in 1827 in Warsow, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Deutschland. (She was the mother of my great grandfather,August Grayer.)
By 1898, she was re-married to Christian Schmidt and was living at 503 N. 5th Ave., Ann Arbor, MI. (She and her 2nd husband, Christian Schmidt, died in the same week)

Great Aunts and Uncles

Herman Grayer was my Great Uncle. A brother of Amelia Grayer Ream.
He was born in Scio Township, Michigan.
In the 1920 US Census living at 502 N. Main Street.
Later in life, he lived w/ sister Helen at 609 S. 1st Street, Ann Arbor, MI

Minnie Grayer Gross was my Great Aunt. A sister of Amelia Grayer Ream. She was born in Ann Arbor, MI
In the 1916 AA directory she was at 535 Packard, Ann Arbor, MI
In the 1920 US census living at 102 Crest Ave., Ann Arbor, MI

Huldah Grayer Page was my Great Aunt. A sister of Amelia Grayer Ream.
In the 1920 US census living in Detroit, Michigan.

Ernest Grayer was my Great Uncle. A brother of Amelia Grayer Ream. He was born in Scio Township, MI
In the 1920 US census he is living in Spokane, WA.

Adelaide Grayer Miller was my Great Aunt. A sister of Amelia Grayer Ream. Her birth place is listed as Dexter, MI
In the 1920 US census she is living at 115 Willard Street, Ann Arbor, MI
In the 1930 US census she is living in Pontiac, MI

Helen Grayer Mayer was my Great Aunt. A sister of Amelia Grayer Ream. She was born in Scio Township, MI
In the 1930 US census she is living at 400 N. Ashley St., Ann Arbor, MI
Later, she lived at 609 S. 1st Street, Ann Arbor, MI

William Sprague 1609-1675 an American Colonist and my ancestor

William Sprague was my 9th great grandfather.

LCG photo of a meadow

photo by Linda Claire Groshans

When William Sprague was born on October 26, 1609, in Upwey, Dorset, England, his father, Edward, was 33 and his mother, Christiana Margaret Holland, was 31. William’s father was a fuller by trade.

William married Millicent Eames on May 26, 1635, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. They had 12 children in 18 years. He died on October 26, 1675, in Hingham, Massachusetts, at the age of 66.

William was one of the first planters in Massachusetts. He had arrived in Massachusetts Bay having left from Upway, Dorsetshire, England in 1628. He probably traveled on the ship Abigail. He traveled to the colonies with his brothers Ralph and Richard. They were some of the first settlers in Watertown and Charlestown. William moved to Hingham in 1634 with his future father-in- law, Lt. Anthony Eames.

North America Family Histories 1500 to 2000 Sprague Families in America

Source: North America Family Histories 1500 to 2000, Sprague Families in America

North America, Family Histories 1500 to 2000, Sprague Families in America

Source: North America Family Histories 1500 to 2000, Sprague Families in America

From source: Great Migration Study Project…”By 1636 William was a proprietor and in ensuing years received several grants of land. He served as a fence-viewer, constable and disbursing officer as well as a selectman in 1645.”

I thought that it was most interesting that in his will, part of his estate were his books valued at 8s.

New England, The Great Migration and the Great Migration begins Vol. 3 P W

Source: Great Migration and the Great Migration Begins Vol. 3 P-W

William Sprague, Sr., my 10th great grandfather died the 26 day of October, 1675, but ” not a stone tells where he lies.”

how we relate

Here is how I relate to William Sprague, Sr.

 

Web sites that tell of William’s life:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/35310519

You can purchase this book on Amazon:  The Genealogy Of The Sprague’s In Hingham: Arranged In Chronological Order, To The Fourth Generation, Counting From William Sprague, One Of The First … England, In The Year 1628.

On the free website FamilySearch.org the ID# for William is LT3K-KCD

 

 

John Annis 1700-1771

John Annis was the 6th great grandfather of my Moller-Thornbladh friends.

 

When John Annis was born on May 1, 1700, in Newbury, Massachusetts, his father, Abraham, was 31 and his mother, Hannah Badger, was 26. John’s parents were born in the British Colonies of Colonial America.

 John married Abigail Rolfe on December 16, 1724, in his hometown. They had 10 children in 24 years. It was his son Rolfe “Ralph” Annis that would become the 5th great grandfather to my Moller-Thornbladh friends.

Here is how my friends relate to John Annis, Sr.:

Relate to John Annis

John’s occupation was a cordwainer and a shoemaker.

John was in military service from 1745-1748 in the King George War.

While residing at Bradford in 1748, he was mustered under Captain Goffe for Scouting against the Indians. This service gave him travel to New Hampshire and perhaps to Canada.

From 1754 to 1760, he was in military service during the French and Indian War. Raids were common on his home by  those Native american Indians who had been sanctioned and encouraged by the French.

John died in 1771 in Newbury, Massachusetts, at the age of 71.

Resources:

Free e-book https://archive.org/details/genealogyofdavid00curr/page/n4/mode/2up

Anthony Sprague 1742-1831

Anthony Sprague tomb stone from Ancestry

photo from Ancestry.com

Anthony Sprague was my 5th great grandfather.

When Anthony Sprague was born on June 29, 1742, in Hingham, Massachusetts, his father, Knight, was 30 and his mother, Mary Lewis, was 24. He married Sarah Harper and they had 7 children together. He then married Chloe Jane Harvey in 1780 and they had 5 children together. He died on November 20, 1831, in Waltham, Vermont, having lived a long life of 89 years.

Anthony’s father Knight Sprague was an American patriot having served in the Revolutionary War. Here is a blog that I did on Knight. https://tellinglifestories.org/2017/12/15/knight-sprague-1711-1804-my-6th-great-grandfather-a-minute-man/

My interest in Anthony Sprague is that he was my 5th great grandfather.  It was his first wire, Sarah Harper that was our direct ancestor and 5th great grandmother. She died at the age of 37. I presume that she died in childbirth as it was also the year that her son David Sprague was born. At the time that Mary died, her husband Anthony was 31.

Anthony remarried at the age of 38 to Chloe Jane Harvey.

Like his father, Anthony also was an American patriot. I found the following clip on-line

Anthony Sprague

“…struck the 1st blow of defense on the memorable battlefield of Bunker Hill”

In 1775, Anthony was serving as a sergeant in Col. Jonathon Ward’s regiment.

Sometime between the time of the census taken in 1790 and the census taken in 1800, Anthony had moved from his home in Massachusetts to Weybridge, Addison, Vermont.

 

Free e-book on the Sprague family:  https://archive.org/details/memorialofspragu1847soul/page/n6/mode/2up

Firsts

There have been so many firsts in my life. I will name a few in a somewhat random order…
First day of Kindergarten
First lost tooth
First time riding a 2 wheel bike
First kiss
First menstrual period
First love
First time having sex
First child
First grandchild
So many firsts and all of them stand out as so memorable and as markers for passing into new eras of
my life. They were moments to be cherished for so many reasons. They make up my whole life of
memories.
Now, I have an unexpected first. And, I am sharing this first with every person in this world.
Together, we are going through our first pandemic. We have ventured into a new era. We would give
anything to wish this away. But, we are caught in a war of sorts and we may never be the same. Fear,
anxiety, worry, sadness, loss of control. These are markers of this first in our lives.
I see goodness and heroism often these days and I feel love for these moments. I also see frustrations
and broken systems and I grieve. Oh, how I grieve.
We are separated from those we love. This is a horrible new reality. The ache I have for my loved ones is
powerful, but more than any feeling I have is my desire for them to shelter and stay safe.
Dear friends, we are in this first together. I wish you all to be safe. I care so deeply.
I am still trying to figure out how to navigate this experience. How to hold my heart in one piece…
When will the healing come? Please let the healing come.
I will continue to send powerful expressions of my love to all. I know you do the same.

Alexander Irwin “A.I.” Barton 1853-1930

Tintype photo of Alexander Irwin Barton

Tintype photo of Alexander Irwin Barton – photo from Ancestry.com

When Alexander Irwin “A.I.” Barton was born on December 6, 1853, in Port Royal, Pennsylvania, his father, Robert, was 38 and his mother, Sarah Hazlett Barton, was 36. He married Martha Elizabeth “Libby” or “Livvy” Metz on January 25, 1882, in Belleville, Pennsylvania. They had six children during their marriage. He died on September 8, 1930, in York, Ontario, Canada, at the age of 76.

A.I. Barton was the great grandfather of my friend Daryl.

8 Sept 1930 death of Alexander I. Barton

8 September 1930 – death certificate, death after being struck by an auto

PHOTOS:

Alexander Irwin Barton, John Hazlet Barton, and Josiah Clark Barton.

From left to right: Alexander Irwin Barton, John Hazlet Barton, and Josiah Clark Barton.

A.I. Barton and daughter Bertha Barton from Dersline Photo Studio, Lewiston, PA

A.I. Barton and daughter Bertha Barton photo from Ancestry.com

 

 

1876 Philidelphia World's Fair

photo from the 1876 World’s Fair- A.I. Barton is pictured with brothers John Barton and Josiah Barton

Alexander Irvin Barton

photo from Ancestry.com

1901 census of Canada

Canadian census 1901

 

1911 Canadian Census

1911 Canadian Census

CHILDREN OF A.I. Barton and Martha Elizabeth Metz:

Bertha Barton – 1883 to 1964 (married James Muir)

Nelly Barton – 1884 to 1885

Warren Wakefield Barton – 1884 to 1962 (married Mary ?)

Alexander Irvin Barton – 1886 to 1975 (married Edna Mckimmie Tennant)

Paul Revere Barton- 1889 to 1965 (married Irene Emily Roddy)

Alfred Tennyson Barton – 1892 to 1917

Research

On FamilySearch.org (free website-registration required) the ID# for A.I. Barton is LVFB-MH2

 

Celia Marion Joyce Moller 1898-1961

Celia Marion Joyce Moller

When Celia Marion Joyce was born on March 18, 1898, in Derry, New Hampshire, her father, William Lawrence Joyce, was 22, and her mother, Olive Annis Watts, was 24. She married Charles Edwin Moller on December 25, 1919, in her hometown. They had seven children in 12 years. She died on June 11, 1961, in Hartford, Connecticut, at the age of 63, and was buried in Manchester, Connecticut.

13 Jun 1961 Hartford, CT

The children of Marion Joyce and Charles Edwin Moller are listed below:

children of celia and charles

 

Charles and Celia Moller

Martha Ellen Spruhan 1918-1991

One of my father’s first cousins was Martha Ellen Spruhan.  On my Family Tree on  Ancestry.com, I have done extensive research on the short life of Garrett Denny Spruhan, who was Martha’s father. He died at the age of 28. He had married Marion Parks at the age of 25 and they had their only child, a daughter, Martha Ellen Spruhan (the subject of this blog.) 

Martha Ellen was not yet a year old at the time of her father’s decease.

Martha Ellen was born on March 3, 1918 in Terre Haute, Indiana. She died in 1991 at the age of 73 in Rockford, Illinois. During much of her life she resided in Chicago, Illinois.

Martha E. Terrill from the Register Star, Rockford Ill, May 24, 1991

The 1940 census shows that Martha who was still single at age 22, lived with her widowed mother at the home of her maternal grandparents, the Parks of Chicago at 7523 Seeley Avenue. This same census indicates that she was employed as a corespondent for a mail order.

At age 23 Martha was married Earl B. Terrill, Jr. They had 2 sons. Martha’s husband seems to have applied and received several patents.

This is the death notice for Martha Ellen’s husband:Earl B. Terrill, Jr. 12 Nov 1966 Chicago Tribune, IL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adeline Wiesner 1912-1978

Adeline Wiesner

When Adaline Wiesner was born on September 21, 1912, in Wisconsin, her father, Jacob, was 33 and her mother, Emma, was 32. She married Lloyd Corbisier on January 21, 1934.
They had three children during their marriage. At the age of 61 she divorced Lloyd. She died on December 21, 1978, in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, at the age of 66, and was buried
there.

It was difficult to research the life of Adeline. I found some date details, but was unable to find the “story” of her life. Adeline was an older sister to direct descendant Norbert “Nick” Wiesner. Adeline was 5th in the birth order and descendant Nick was the 7th in birth order and he was also the youngest child.

Adeline was born on September 21, 1912 in Wisconsin. Her mother was Emma Bork born in 1880 and her father was Jacob Wiesner, Jr. born in 1878.

In the 1930 census, Adeline was 18 years old and lived in Nasewaupee, Door, WI. She still lived with her parents but lists her occupation as seamstress in a dress making shop. Her father lists his occupation as farmer on a dairy farm.

On January 21, 1934 she was 21 years old and joined in marriage to Lloyd Corbisier.
A private law (see attached-next page) indicates that Lloyd was occupied for some time by the U.S. postal service in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

A 1958 city directory from Green Bay, Wisconsin, shows his occupation as construction.
A Wisconsin divorce index shows that at the age of 61, Adeline divorced Lloyd. She died at the age of 66 in Sturgeon Bay, Door, Wisconsin and was buried there.

Burial:
Schumacher Cemetery
Sturgeon Bay
Door County
Wisconsin, USA
Plot: Section 2

Lloyd’s grave marker indicates
that he is a U.S. Navy veteran.
Burial:
Stevenson Cemetery
Door County
Wisconsin, USA

Adeline and Lloyd had 2 or 3 children. I was able to find documentation of their two sons, and only some slight evidence of a daughter.

These children would have been the 1st cousins of Eugene Norbert Wiesner.
Some evidence suggests the daughter’s name was Marlene. No other information available. The eldest of the two boys was James Larry Corbisier 1935-1989.
The youngest son was Robert Roland Corbisier 1937-1989 from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
see photo of grave marker on next page.