Category Archives: Family History

George “Eugene” Heald, 1844-1930. The 4th great grandfather of my grandson.

I have spent quite a bit of time trying to find ancestry documents on the 4th great grandfather of my grandson.  His name was George Eugene Heald, but he used his middle name “Eugene.”

Eugene was born on August 27, 1844, in Antwerp, Jefferson County, New York. His father, Nathan, was 29 and his mother, Adelia (Hoard) Heald, was 25 at the time of his birth.

Eugene was 21 years old when he married Agnes Hitt (the 4th great grandmother of my grandson). They had seven children together. It was their first born, Frances “Fannie” Adelia Heald, who would continue on my grandson’s direct ancestry.

The picture below is of Eugene’s 1st wife, Agnes Hitt Heald.

Agnes Hitt Heald portrait

Agnes Hitt Heald seated

Later, Eugene would marry again to Angeline “Angie” Berriault. There were no children as a result of the 2nd marriage.

In a 1928 news article, Eugene is an elderly man and reflects and describes himself, “I am a regular down east Yankee.” He was describing the place of his birth and his origins. This wonderful news article from 20 August 1928, Green Bay Press-Gazette, gave me much of my information about Eugene. Here we find out that his father was part of the gold rush to California in 1848.”  This made Eugene’s father absent for some time during Eugene’s early childhood. After his family moved to Missouri for a period of 4 years, they finally moved to Clay Banks, Wisconsin.

part 1 Eugene Heald reunion 20 August 1928 Green Bay Press

part 2 Eugene Heald reunion 20 August 1928 Green Bay Press

part 3 Eugene Heald reunion 20 August 1928 Green Bay Press

 

One way to piece together part of Eugene’s life is to study the U.S. Census records.  In 1870 (age 25), he is living with his wife Agnes in New York and is employed as a teamster. The only children listed on this census record are Fannie (my grandson’s 3rd great grandmother) and Hattie. Sadly, Hattie died young.  See news article:

Hattie Heald death

In the 1870 census, Eugene is living in Clay Banks, Door County, Wisconsin.  In the 1880 census, Eugene describes his occupation as  a farmer. By the time of the 1900 census, he is married to his 2nd wife, Angeline. His first wife Agnes had died the year earlier in 1899.

Eugene was a soldier in the Civil War, but I have not found military records at this point.

News clipping below is from 20 May 1926 – Green Bay Press Gazette.

20 May 1926 Eugene Heald from Green Bay Press Gazette

He died on August 10, 1930, in Algoma, Wisconsin, at the age of 85, and was buried in Door, Wisconsin.  The tombstone marker lists his name, his first wife Agnes, their young child Hattie who died when she was only 2 years old, and also listed is his second wife.

Heald family tombstone

Here is the order of descendency from Eugene to my son-in-law (the 3rd great grandson of Eugene Heald).

George “Eugene” HEALD (1844 – 1930)
3rd great-grandfather of son-in-law
Frances “Fannie” Adelia Heald (1867 – 1937)
daughter of George “Eugene” HEALD
Zebina Eugene Shaw (1888 – 1939)
son of Frances “Fannie” Adelia Heald
Joyce Lucille Shaw (1922 – 1990)
daughter of Zebina Eugene Shaw
Eugene Norbert Wiesner (1944 – 2012)
son of Joyce Lucille Shaw
Andrew Jacob Wiesner (1974 – )
son of Eugene Norbert Wiesner
G Eugene Heald Obit
G Eugene Heald Obit part 2
G Eugene Heald Obit part 3

Mary Ann Higbee Hess, 1813-1874 – my 2nd great grandmother (A story of a Michigan pioneer woman and mother of 12!)

The Hess/Higbee genealogy is well documented.  You can read the book Hess-Higbee Genealogy compiled by W. Emerson Babcock here:

https://archive.org/details/hesshigbeegeneal00lcbabc

When Mary Ann Higbee (my 2nd great grandmother) was born in Crawford, Ohio on December 12, 1813, her father, James, was 33, and her mother, Mary Fenton Higbee, was 31.

Mary Ann married George Waltour Hess on April 21, 1836 in Anapolis, Ohio. They had 12 children in 20 years. She died on March 24, 1874, in Michigan at the age of 60, and was buried in Berrien, Michigan.

In W. Emerson Babcock’s genealogy compilation, it is recounted that this young married couple “pressed the frontier” and made their way to Berrien County, Michigan.  The book (see page 22) then continues to describe the obstacles on their pioneer journey including the need for them to abandon their wagon when they were mid-stream in the St. Joseph River.  They mounted themselves on the horses and continued on their way through the forest trails of the Native Americans until they find Mary Ann’ parents who had gone before them to establish a dwelling. Mary Ann and George’s westward journey had taken them through Chicago towards St. Joseph, MI. They were literally traveling through marsh lands.  See here the documentation in A twentieth century history of Berrien County, MI Chapter XXVI. HagarCountyhttps://www.ancestry.com/interactive/16860/dvm_LocHist004592-00674-1?pid=1084&backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.com%2f%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3findiv%3d1%26db%3dGenealogy-glh19225593%26h%3d1084&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true#?imageId=dvm_LocHist004592-00674-1

 From the history of Berrien County.JPG

Mary Ann’s husband George was by nature a carpenter and also being of German descent, was able to speak and interpret German.  He served as a justice of the peace in the area and was “an old school Democrat.”  In looking over the news paper clipping below, it is obvious that there was a wave of immigration directly from Germany to Berrien starting in 1840.

clipping from an article in News Palladium 30 Dec. 1939

In historical accounts it is mentioned that George was “neat in appearance” and was able to do logging without getting his clothing “dirty.” Wow- a super great life skill! All kidding aside, it does seem that he was considered a respectable and kind man and community leader. I never heard stories from my family about Mary Ann or George, so all of my knowledge has come from searching Ancestry and the web and of course the entire Hess-Higbee compilation by Babcock.

Find a Grave photo of Mary Ann’s tombstone is here: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/95816610/mary-a-hess

Here is my connection to Mary Ann Higbee Hess

Mary Ann Higbee (1813 – 1874)
2nd great-grandmother
Juan James Hess (1850 – 1929)
son of Mary Ann Higbee
Robert Lawrence Hess (1924 – 2017)
son of George Kellogg (W) Hess Sr.
Linda Claire Hess
You are the daughter of Robert Lawrence Hess

 

I guess we were Puritans! My 10th great grandparents were Richard Warren (sailed on the 1620 Mayflower voyage) and Elizabeth Walker (sailed on the 1623 Anne voyage)

Many historical and genealogical writings offer information on Richard Warren and Elizabeth Walker (my 10th great grandparents).  Richard sailed on the Mayflower in 1620.  He came to the new world alone making sure that things would be satisfactory for the rest of his family. So, YES, my 10th great grandfather was on the original journey of the Mayflower.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Warren “At the time of the Mayflower’s voyage in 1620, Richard and his wife had five daughters: Mary (my 9th grandmother), Ann, Sarah, Elizabeth and Abigail. But Richard came on the Mayflower alone, deciding to wait until conditions in the New World were satisfactory before bringing over his family.” 

Elizabeth, (my 10th great grandmother) then arrived in the new world in 1623 and is described here: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bobwolfe/gen/mn/m2332x2333.htm

“Elizabeth Walker followed husband Richard to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the Anne in 1623, accompanied by their daughters: Mary, Elizabeth, Ann, Sarah, and Abigail. Early Plymouth records suggest that Elizabeth was a woman of force and social position in the community. She was rated in the Plymouth tax list of 1632-3, and was one of the first purchasers of Dartmouth. She is usually spoken of as Mistress Elizabeth Warren, a designation by no means common, and she is one of the rare instances in that early colony of continued widowhood.

“Mistris Elizabeth Warren an aged widdow aged above 90 yeares Deceased on the [twenty-] second of October 1673 whoe haveing lived a Godly life Cam to her Grave as a shoke of Corn fully ripe shee was honoralby buried on the 24th of October aforsaid.” “Plymouth Colony vital records,”

Richard only lived until the age of 49 and died in 1628. The quote http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bobwolfe/gen/mn/m2332x2333.htm here is from Nathaniel Morton’s 1669 book New England’s Memorial:  “This year [1628] died Mr. Richard Warren, who was an useful instrument and during his life bare a deep share in the difficulties and troubles of the first settlement of the Plantation of New Plymouth.”

 

Here is HOW we connect to Richard Warren (1579 – 1628)
10th great-grandfather
Mary Warren (1610 – 1683)
daughter of Richard Warren
Elizabeth Bartlett (1636 – 1713)
daughter of Mary Warren
Jeremiah Sprague (1682 – 1759)
son of Elizabeth Bartlett
Anthony SPRAGUE (1742 – 1831)
son of Knight SPRAGUE Sr ** (Rev War) Sr
Anthony Sprague Jr (1766 – 1850)
son of Anthony SPRAGUE
Mary “Polly” Sprague (1792 – 1852)
daughter of Anthony Sprague Jr
John Kellogg Bishop (1827 – 1906)
son of Mary “Polly” Sprague
Dorothy (Dora) Bishop (1857 – 1904)
daughter of John Kellogg Bishop
George Kellogg (W) Hess Sr. (1891 – 1969)
son of Dorothy (Dora) Bishop
Robert Lawrence Hess (1924 – 2017)
son of George Kellogg (W) Hess Sr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luigi “Louis” Bravin and Thecla Melosso

Luigi “Louis” Bravin was born in 1884 in Italy. He was a brother of Anibale Bravin ( the great grandfather of my children.)

Louis married Thecla (or Tekla or Cecelia; Meloso or Melloso) on November 15, 1909. They had five children in 12 years.

He died in 1936 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, at the age of 52, and was buried there.

Luigi Louis Bravin

 

 

portrait of Luigi Louis Bravin.jpg

Louis immigrated to the U.S.A. from Udine, Italy when he was 22 or 23 in approx. 1906/07. When he was 25 years old (November 15, 1909) he married Tecla.

By occupation he was a stone mason.

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Tecla Melosso wife of Louis Bravin

1936 death certificte of Louis Bravin

Together, Louis and Tecla had these children: John Edward 1910-2003/ Mary “Sister M. Yolanda” 1912-1996/ Rose E. 1915-2006/ Yolanda Madeline 1918-2011/ Evelyn Louis 1923-2014. (These children were the Bravin great, great Uncles and Aunts to my children.)  

Bravin siblings

My family and the Salem Witch Trials: Wildes and Bishop family

 

My 8th great grandfather was John Wildes, Sr. who was born in Lanchashire, England in approx. 1620.  His 1st wife and my 8th great grandmother was Priscilla Gould.  She also had been born in England in approx. 1628.  They emigrated and settled in Massachusetts.

My 8th great grandfather, John Wildes, Sr. was married 3 times.  His first wife and my direct ancestor was Priscilla who died in 1663 at the age of 34.  In the year of Priscilla’s death, John married a second wife Sarah Averill.  This second wife would be wrongly accused of witchcraft and was hanged in 1692 along with other Salem citizens: Sarah Good, Rebecca Nurse, Elizabeth How, and Susannah North. (In the book The Salem Witch Trials: A day by day Chronicle of a Community Under Seige- page 186, this quote is made about John’s 2nd wife Sarah Averill: “…most evidence came from the family of her husband’s first wife, Priscilla Gould.  For their sister was not even seven months dead when John Wildes married Sarah, who, they knew, had once been whipped for fornication and yet had the brass to flaunt finery above her station…”

John’s 3rd wife was Mary Jacobs ( a widow) and he had no children with his 3rd wife.

John Bishop, Sr. would have to suffer terribly during the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials. Not only had his second wife been accused of witchcraft and hung, but also his daughter (also a Sarah) and his son-in-law (Edward Bishop) were accused and imprisoned for witchcraft.

Sarah and Edward Bishop (my 7th great grandparents) were able to escape jail after 37 weeks! Once they escaped, they went to Rehoboth where Edward became an inn keeper. Later, they would be exonerated.  Why had Sarah Wilde and Edward Bishop, wife and husband, been accused?  Well, Sarah and Edward  ran an unlicensed tavern in their home.  In addition to serving drink, they also allowed the patrons to play games that included gambling at shovel board.  (See the book The Salem Witch Trials: A day by Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege- April 1692, page 95)  Townsfolk were indignant and sought to have them called out as witches before their “loose ways” affected others.

Here is a photo of me (Linda Claire Hess) in the play the Crucible. Funny that at the time that I played the lead, I did not even know about my family connection to the story!

Linda Claire Hess with Jim Greiner in the Crucible

 

 

 

George Kellogg Hess, Sr. 1891-1969

George Kellogg Hess, Sr. was my paternal grandfather.  I only met him a few times. I was 15 years old when he died.  Perhaps, not “knowing” my own grandfather has piqued my curiosity and given  me ample reason to delve into the history of this direct ancestor. Although I spent little time with this Grandparent, I was frequently told of his intelligence and some of his accomplishments especially those to modernize the Hess family orchard/farm. In other words, while there was some type of “distance” between my nuclear family and my grandparents, there was also an acknowledgement by my father of his parent’s better attributes. I heard they were brilliant, avid readers, liked ham radio, they were ahead of their times in farming technology, and were staunch Baptists. I have a few presents that were sent to me by my grandfather that included an elf doll and a book on animal footprints.   My grandfather has long since passed away from this life and I am trying to understand some of what made up his life story and in some sense “meet him.”

When George Kellogg (W) Hess was born on September 6, 1891, in Benton Harbor, Michigan, his father, Juan, was 41 and his mother, Dorothy, was 34.  If you read my blog about Robert de Montel Hess (George’s brother), http://wp.me/p7gsef-kJ you can get information about George’s siblings and better understand some of the losses my grandfather had as a boy and youth.

This is a link to a book about Juan Hess (George’s father)

https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/16860/dvm_LocHist004592-00674-1/1084?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.com%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3fdb%3dgenealogy-glh19225593%26so%3d2%26pcat%3dFLH_FAMILY%26rank%3d1%26new%3d1%26MSAV%3d0%26msT%3d1%26gss%3dangs-

Here is a link to a blog I created on Juan Hess (George’s father)

file:///Users/lindagroshans/Downloads/Story%20of%20Juan%20Hess.pdf

George’s parents seemed to have had a successful life.  I understand that they were farmers, but had a city and country home. Dora, George’s mother, was accomplished in social graces and many news articles of that era spoke of her love for the arts, music, sleigh rides, buffets and social gatherings. (The articles below are only samples of many articles that appeared in the news)  The orchard successfully sold and supplied Chicago markets and other large city markets with their very fine fruits.

sSleigh RideArt League

George was a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.  Both of his sons, George Kellogg Hess, Jr. and Robert Lawrence Hess would also graduate from the U.of M.  Henrietta had attended and graduated from the Chicago School of Music.

graduationSigma Xi Quarterly from Dec 1, 1921

George married Jane Ellen Agens on April 21, 1917, in Benton Harbor, Michigan.   My father had not been told that his father had been previously married. But, my father had told me that his father had been in love with a young woman who became ill and was moved to a sanitarium with terminal tuberculosis. According to these legends, my Grandfather would sit on a bench outside of her window and read to her. He was not allowed to be with her for fear of infection.   It was only because of  the internet that I found proof that a marriage had in fact occurred.  Jane Ellen Agens died in March of 1919.  Following her death, George moved to Cook Co., Chicago, IL.

Mrs. Agens Hess dies from News Palladium 7 March 1919 part 1Mrs. Agens Hess dies from News Palladium 7 March 1919 part 2funeral of Jane Agens Hess from 10 March 1919 News Palladium

jane agens and george kellogg hess, sr..png

Note that George registered between 1917 and 1918 for the WWI draft and stated that he should be exempt because his wife was an invalid.

George Kellogg Hess, Sr. 1917 1918 WWI draft registration

It was in Chicago, that George married Henrietta Spruhan (my grandmother) on June 29, 1921. At the time of the marriage he was 29 years old and Henrietta was 27.  They would go on to have two children together.  Their sons were George Kellogg Hess, Jr., my Uncle and Robert Lawrence Hess, my father.  This is a link to my blog on Henrietta Spruhan Hess  http://wp.me/p7gsef-2P

In 1930 the the George Hess Sr. family was living in a rented apartment in Chicago on N. Neva Ave.  The census states that they owned a radio!  George’s occupation is listed as Electrical Engineer. I don’t know how to figure this into my information, but in the same year 1930, there was also a published city directory that lists George and Henrietta living at a conflicting address of 832 S. Maple Ave. At this time, George was 7 years old and my father was 5 years old.  The 1930 census must have been taken just prior to my father’s health crisis and burst appendix.  The doctor’s cautioned George and Henrietta that my father’s only hope for recovery was to move from the city to the country.  Although this advice seems quite odd from modern day perspective, it was the advice given and my father did survive!  Therefore, it was also in 1930 that the George Hess, Sr. family returned to the farm of Juan Hess recently deceased.

As a farmer, George was also quite active in political affairs pertaining to grower’s rights, taxes, labor camps, and pipelines.  (See a few examples- there are so MANY news articles on George K. Hess, Sr. that I have not begun to gather all of them!) N

George Hess, Sr. from 30 Dec. 1939 News Palladium Benton HarborNews Palladium Benton Harbor 31 Oct. 193925 March 1949 opposes pipeline

George and Henrietta lived on the Hess Farm pictured here: (note: my father told me many times how his father had sold the horses in order to use tractors on the farm- not generally a practice in this area at this time)

 

George and Henrietta moved to St. Cloud, Florida as their retirement residence in approx. 1958.  I visited there once.  The home was modest but set on land that had whispering pines and the lake.  One of the curious things that I noted there was a full fledged underground bomb shelter!

George Kellogg Hess, Sr. died on January 10, 1969, in St Cloud, Florida, at the age of 77, and was buried in Kissimmee, Florida.  His wife Henrietta did not die until 1984 and was never remarried.

George Hess Sr. on window sillGeoge Hess Sr. with arms crossed

There are only a handful of photos with me and my grandfather pictured together.  This photo was taken at my home in Ann Arbor, MI.  I remember that he had visited us there prior to getting his cataract surgery at the U of M Hospital which is located in Ann Arbor.

Mary Ann and Linda Claire Hess with their grandfather George Kellogg Hess, Sr.

Death Notice:

George K. Hess death notice

 

 

More articles:

26 July 1939 – A Mad Apple Grower

26 July 1939 A Mad Apple Grower

From 3 March 1949

Big Little Inch by George Hess, Sr.

25 March 1949 News Palladium (Benton Harbor)

25 March 1949 opposes pipeline

 

 

Robert de Montel Hess 1882-1907

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When Robert De Montel Hess was born on April 8, 1882, in Benton Harbor, Berrien Co., Michigan, his father, Juan Hess, was 31 and his mother, Dorothy (Dora Bishop), was 25.

Robert de Montel and my grandfather, George Kellogg Hess, Sr. were brothers. They had two other siblings (also children of Juan and Dora) that had died as very young children.  According to Michigan death records these two Hess children died in 1880 of diphtheria.  They were Hattie (4 years old) and Perry Hess (2 years old).

Hattie and Perry Hess death records

I do not know why an obituary for Juan Hess written many years later on January 15, 1929, states that he only had 2 sons.  Perhaps, it was the “fashion” at the time not to mention children who died in their youth?

This is the 1929 obituary (below)  for Juan Hess (father of Robert de Montel Hess)

death of Juan Hess from Jan. 1929 obit

I chose to write this blog because I was intrigued that Robert de Montel may have been a namesake for my own father. There were 2 generations of the Hess family that had a child “George” and a child “Robert”.  My father was Robert Lawrence Hess and his brother was George K. Hess, Jr.  My father did not recall much about his Uncle Robert de Montel Hess, (the subject of this blog), because his uncle had been deceased for many years before my father was born in 1924. Even so, my father did believe that this was the relative that may have inspired the name “Robert.”  If this is true, it also makes me wonder why my father was called only by his middle name “Larry” (short for Lawrence) as a child.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Quick reference review of the names George and Robert:

Juan Hess and Dora Bishop’s children included  Robert de Montel Hess and George Kellogg Hess, Sr.

George Kellogg Hess , Sr. and his wife Henrietta Spruhan then had George Kellogg Hess, Jr. and Robert Lawrence Hess.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

The deaths of Hattie and Perry had happened before my Grandfather’s birth in September of 1891.  But, sadly, my grandfather George Kellogg Hess, Sr. would know death of loved ones (other than these two older siblings) again soon being only 13 years old when his mother, Dora Bishop Hess, died and only 15 years old when his only remaining brother, Robert de Montel Hess, died.

Robert de Montel Hess, married Alice Susanne King on October 19, 1904, in Benton Harbor, Michigan. They had one child during their marriage. He died on January 18, 1907, in Berrien, Michigan, at the age of 24 from a liver abscess due to appendicitis.  He was buried in Berrien County, Michigan.  As stated, his death, was in part attributed to appendicitis.  This is interesting to me as my father had a burst appendix at the age of 5 years old and made a rather amazing recovery.

At the time Robert’s marriage to Alice he was 22 years old.  More surprising, is the fact that Alice was a mere 16 years old when they wed.  This would make Alice only 19 years old when she became a widow.  There seems to be a date conflict.  All census records indicate that Alice was born in 1888.  However, the News article pictured below, states that she was a graduate of Benton Harbor College in 1904-shocking considering that she was only 16???  Or…was someone trying to make Alice “older” than she really was??

So, Robert’s mother Dora died on October 15, 1904.  He married Alice 4 days after his mother’s death on October 19, 1904.

22 Oct. 1924 Robert Hess marries Alice King 20 years ago

https://books.google.com/books?id=E8VRAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=alice+king+and+hess+higbee&source=bl&ots=I9_szOmwoV&sig=r7SPS7YZ041R2_4S-kQBVstEjSE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwid0bvWzdzUAhVJ7GMKHemzAZoQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=alice%20king%20and%20hess%20higbee&f=false

The news photo below is from 8 May 1929 – It highlights events from”25 years ago” and tells how Mrs. Juan Hess and son Robert (a college senior) entertained the Juniors at the Hess farm.  Printed in 8 May 1929 in the News Palladium.  This party took place 6 months before the wedding of Robert and Alice and 6 months before Dora’s death.  08 May 1929. 25 years ago Mrs. Juan Hess and son Robert

 

The child born to the marriage of Robert de Montel Hess and Alice King Hess was Hattie Lenore Hess.  (Her first name being the same as Robert’s sister who had perished as a child).  She was born on 17 September 1905.

Robert de Montel did not live long enough to be part of the 1910 census.  Alice is in the 1910 census living with her parents in Michigan and her 4 year old daughter who is now going by her middle name  Hattie “Lenore” Hess.  In 1910, Alice states that she is a sales lady in a furniture store in Benton Harbor.  Then, also in 1910, Alice would go on to marry a man named Harlow A. Hansley and live in Los Angeles.  She died in 1957 in Los Angeles, CA. Her daughter Hattie Lenore Hess had been living with her mother and step-father in Los Angeles.

In the 1920 census, Alice and Harlow are still in Los Angeles with Alice’s daughter who is now 14 years old and using the name  “Lenora”.

Please write and let me know if you have any other information on Robert de Montel Hess or the Hess family!