84 Years Ago Today

On September 7, 1929, eighty-four years ago today, Samuel L. Beeney (1857-1929), my 3rd great grandfather, died in Newark, Licking Co., Ohio. Following his death, Samuel was buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark.

Headstone of Samuel L. Beeney

Headstone of Samuel L. Beeney

Samuel was born in 1857 the son of Charles B. Beeney (1815-1903) and Christiana Lyons (1824-1901). In 1880, Samuel married Eva Flora McLaughlin (1863-1899), with whom he had five children before their divorce: Charlotte, Bertha, Walter, Alice, and George (my 2nd great grandfather). Throughout his life, Samuel was an educator, eventually opening a Business College in Newark.

Samuel L. Beeney

Samuel L. Beeney

The following is Samuel’s biography from the History of Southeastern Ohio and the Muskingum Valley 1788-1928, by Thomas William Lewis (Chicago, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1928):

As an educator of high standing Samuel L. Beeney contributed materially toward Newark’s advancement, and his attention is now devoted to business affairs, in which he has been equally successful. He was born January 13, 1857, in Eden township, and in both the paternal and maternal lines represents old and highly respected families of Licking county. His father, Charles B. Beeney, was a native of England and in early life made the voyage to the United States in company with his parents, Jesse and Mary Beeney, who located in Licking county, Ohio, in 1828, hewing a farm out of the wilderness. Jesse Beeney was a member of the Church of Christ and an adherent of the democratic party. Charles B. Beeney was a cooper and later engaged in farming. Success attended his well directed labors, and his religious and political views coincided with those of his father.

In Licking county Charles B. Beeney married Miss Christiana Lyons, a native of Ireland, in which country her parents, John and Margaret E. (Carlisle) Lyons, were married. They left the Emerald isle in 1837 and cast in their lot with the pioneer farmers of Licking county, Ohio, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. Lyons was a Presbyterian and conscientiously followed the teachings of his church. Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Beeney resided for a number of years in Newark and both passed away in this city. Their family numbered five children, of whom Samuel L. was the second in order of birth. His brother, John W., was born April 1, 1855, and became a teacher. In later life he followed agricultural pursuits and on June 30, 1927, was called to his finale rest. By his marriage with Mattie Warthen, of St. Louisville, Ohio, he had three children : Robert and Howard Beeney ; and Mrs. Mamie Lewis, of Trauscona, Manitoba, Canada. John W. Beeney is survived by his second wife, Mrs. Lena (Metzner) Beeney, to whom he was married in Utica, Ohio, and Edward L., their only child, is living in Newark. Margaret, the next in order of birth, is deceased. Marie is now Mrs. Hugh W. Gorley and makes her home in Newark. Emma is the wife of Henry W. Hansberger, a prominent realtor of Newark.

Samuel L. Beeney received his early instruction in the rural schools of his native township and completed his studies in the Teachers Training School at Utica, Ohio. For eleven years he was a public school teacher and in 1885 opened the Newark Business College, of which he was sole owner. As principal he successfully conducted the college for twenty-nine years, developing an institution second to none in the character and thoroughness of its instruction, and since 1914 has been a solicitor for the Hooper Franklin Insurance Agency, making his headquarters in Newark. He specializes in fire insurance and has mastered the art of salesmanship. Endowed by nature with more than one talent, he is an able writer and a frequent contributor to various newspapers. Mr. Beeney established the Ohio Teachers’ Journal, which he edited and published for four years, when he transferred his interest to the National Educator published in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Beeney is a strong champion of those movements and projects which make for good citizenship and was active in the war savings campaign. In politics he is a democrat, and his religious views are indicated by his affiliation with the Church of Christ. Traveling affords him much enjoyment, and he has visited nine countries, including the Holy Land, thus broadening his outlook upon life. He is interested in those things which have cultural value, tending to raise the individual to a higher level, and his personal qualities are such as make for strong and enduring regard.

298 Years Ago Today

On August 10, 1715, two hundred and ninety-eight years ago today, John Stearns (ca. 1692-1765) and Deliverance Bigelow (1695-1762), my 7th great grandparents, were married in Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.

Marriage Record of John Stearns and Deliverance Bigelow

Marriage Record of John Stearns and Deliverance Bigelow

A transcription of the marriage record above reads as follows: “John Stearns and Deliverance Biglow Both of Watertown were joined in Marriag August of 10th 1715 by Mr. Sammuel Argier Minister in Watertown.”

Following their marriage, John and Deliverance remained in Watertown for a few years, where their first two children were born. By about 1720, they relocated to Worcester, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, where they had at least nine more children.

210 Years Ago Today

On June 7, 1803, two hundred and ten years ago today, Lyman Stearns (1803-1879), my 4th great grandfather, was born in Claremont, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire the son of Samuel Stearns (1754-1840) and Thankful Raymond (1756-1817).

Source: Van Wagenen, Avis Stearns. Stearns Genealogy and Memoirs of Charles and Nathaniel Stearns, and Their Descendants (1901)

Source: Van Wagenen, Avis Stearns. Stearns Genealogy and Memoirs of Charles and Nathaniel Stearns, and Their Descendants (1901)

By 1838, Lyman had left New Hampshire and relocated to Howard Co., Missouri where he married Rebecca B. Hines (1816-1875) in that year. Together, Lyman and Rebecca had six children, one of which was Theodore Frelinghuysen Stearns (1844-1930), my 3rd great grandfather. By 1842, Lyman moved his family to Linn Co., Missouri where he ran a boarding house. By the 1850’s, the California Gold Rush was well under way; and by 1852, Lyman, his wife Rebecca, and their six children had left Linn Co., Missouri for Placer Co., California. It is unclear if Lyman made any attempt to become a gold miner. However, he did own and operate a Quartz Mine in Tuolumne Co., California, which he sold in 1860. By all accounts, it appears that Lyman may have suffered the familiar fate of most miners during the Gold Rush. After selling his mine, he became a farmer in Sonoma Co., California and then a Peddler (or merchant) in Oakland, Alameda Co., California. He died in Oakland in 1879 and was buried next to his wife in an unmarked grave.

122 Years Ago Today

On April 14, 1891, one hundred and twenty-two years ago today, Margaret (Wilson) McLaughlin (1812-1891), my 5th great grandmother, died in Newton, Licking Co., Ohio. Following her death, she was buried in Eden Cemetery in Newark, Licking Co., Ohio.

Headstone of Thomas and Margaret McLaughlin

Headstone of Thomas and Margaret McLaughlin

Margaret was the wife of Thomas McLaughlin (1809-1891), whom she married on April 11, 1833 in Knox Co., Ohio, and with whom she had nine children. Thomas died about seven months after Margaret and was buried next to her in Eden Cemetery. Margaret and Thomas were the grandparents of Eva Flora McLaughlin (1863-1899), who married Samuel L. Beeney (1857-1929). Eva and Samuel were the parents of George Benton Beeney (1890-1970), the biological father of my paternal great grandmother, Maxine Elizabeth (Davis-Kernan) Smith (1912-1992).

180 Years Ago Today

On April 11, 1833, one hundred and eighty years ago, Thomas McLaughlin (1809-1891) and Margaret Wilson (1812-1891), my 5th great grandparents, were married in Knox Co., Ohio. Following their marriage, Thomas and Margaret relocated to Licking Co., Ohio, where they had nine children.

Marriage Record for Thomas McLaughlin and Margaret Wilson, 1833

Marriage Record for Thomas McLaughlin and Margaret Wilson, 1833

Record Transcription: “I do hereby certify that on the 11th day of April AD 1833 by virtue of a license from the clerk of the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Knox Thomas McLaughlin and wife Margaret Wilson were legally joined together in marriage by Me a Justice of the Peace in and for said County given under my hand Jacob Spurry, J. P.”

Thomas McLaughlin (1809-1891) and Margaret Wilson (1812-1891) were the grandparents of Eva Flora McLaughlin (1863-1899), who married Samuel L. Beeney (1857-1929). Eva and Samuel were the parents of George Benton Beeney (1890-1970), the biological father of my paternal great grandmother, Maxine Elizabeth (Davis-Kernan) Smith (1912-1992).

Fearless Females Challenge: March 25 – Women and Children

The following post continues the month long Fearless Females Challenge by Lisa Alzo, author of The Accidental Genealogist blog, which is focused on “celebrating and honoring ‘fearless females’ in our family trees” to mark National Women’s History Month, which is the month of March, with a post responding to unique prompts for each day of the month. (Note: Because I started this challenge late, I will be continuing it beyond March 31.)

Prompt for March 25 — Tell how a female ancestor interacted with her children. Was she loving or supportive? A disciplinarian? A bit of both?

In general, my female ancestors for whom I know how they interacted with their children did so in more of a loving or supportive way, than as disciplinarians–a role that was usually held by my male ancestors. However, my female ancestors could certainly fill the role of disciplinarian if they had to.

My paternal grandmother, Margaret Ann (Lapham) Kernan (1936-2004), was not usually the disciplinarian, but certainly did not look the other way when her children (or grandchildren) did or said something she did not approve of. She was more subtle in her disapproval, however. More often than not, she turned to her husband to handle disciplining anyone who required it. From what I understand about her grandmother (my 2nd great grandmother), Anna Margaret (Leishman) Lapham (1875-1951), she was both loving and supportive, but as a deeply religious person whose husband was frequently away working, did not spoil her children by sparing the rod.

Horace & Anna Margaret Lapham Family: (Front Row) Nellie, holding her son James, Anna Margaret, Theodore, and Peggy. (Back Row) Wilbur, Charles, and Orville.

Horace & Anna Margaret Lapham Family: (Front Row) Nellie, holding her son James, Anna Margaret, Theodore, and Peggy. (Back Row) Wilbur, Charles, and Orville.

My maternal great grandmother, Irene Vera (Balla) Sebok (1913-2006) would discipline her children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren if they did something she did not approve of, but she was also loving and supportive as well. I am told that her mother, Julia (Molnar) Balla (1885-1962), could be the typical sweet, loving and supportive mother and grandmother, but could also be a disciplinarian, so much so that her children and grandchildren knew not to act up around her.

Julia (Molnar) Balla with Grandson, Paul.

Julia (Molnar) Balla with Grandson, Paul.

From what I understand about my other maternal great grandmother, Goldia “Goldie” Mae (Worthington) Hamilton (1912-2006), she was almost always loving and supportive, as her husband always filled the role of disciplinarian. The image of Goldie that I have always been left with regarding her relationship with her children (with respect to discipline) was that she was a lot like Jane Darwell‘s role as Ma Joad in the film adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath, loving and supportive even (perhaps) to a fault.

Harry (far left) & Goldie (far right) Hamilton with Relatives. Goldie is holding a young girl, possibly a niece.

Harry (far left) & Goldie (far right) Hamilton with Relatives. Goldie is holding a young girl, possibly a niece.

Fearless Females Challenge: March 19 – Surprising Fact

The following post continues the month long Fearless Females Challenge by Lisa Alzo, author of The Accidental Genealogist blog, which is focused on “celebrating and honoring ‘fearless females’ in our family trees” to mark National Women’s History Month, which is the month of March, with a post responding to unique prompts for each day of the month. (Note: Because I started this challenge late, I will be continuing it beyond March 31.)

Prompt for March 19 — Have you discovered a surprising fact about one of your female ancestors? What was it and how did you learn it? How did you feel when you found out?

While researching my ancestry I have discovered a few surprising facts, some of which include some of my female ancestors. One of the surprising facts involving a female ancestor I discovered is the fact that my paternal great grandmother, Maxine Elizabeth (Davis-Kernan) Smith (1912-1992), was adopted. Growing up, I never knew that she was adopted and that her parents, William Phylitis Davis (1876-1960) and Mary Magdelene “Linnie” Williams (1883-1968), were not her biological parents. I also never knew that she spent many years of her adult life trying to find out more about her biological parents. I learned about this from my grandfather, William Kernan (LIVING), who sent me newspaper clippings telling the story of when Maxine met her biological mother, which was also a surprise (that she met her biological mother). From this meeting with her biological mother, Maxine not only learned the circumstances of her adoption, but also details about her biological parents, George Benton Beeney (1890-1970) and Gladys M. Cook (1894-1957). She learned that her parents were young and not ready to have a family, and that her biological father was from Ohio, which is where he eventually returned following their separation and divorce. When I found this out, I thought how difficult it must have been for Maxine to learn this all; but also how wonderful it must have been for her to find her biological parents and get to meet her biological mother.

Maxine's Reunion with her Biological Mother: Maxine (center), Gladys (right), and Linnie (left)

Maxine’s Reunion with her Biological Mother: Maxine (center), Gladys (right), and Linnie (left)

Fearless Females Challenge: March 18 – Shining Star

The following post continues the month long Fearless Females Challenge by Lisa Alzo, author of The Accidental Genealogist blog, which is focused on “celebrating and honoring ‘fearless females’ in our family trees” to mark National Women’s History Month, which is the month of March, with a post responding to unique prompts for each day of the month. (Note: Because I started this challenge late, I will be continuing it beyond March 31.)

Prompt for March 18 — Shining star: Did you have a female ancestor who had a special talent? Artist, singer, actress, athlete, seamstress, or other? Describe.

Although I have not yet found any female ancestor who was famous for her talents, I do have many women in my ancestry that were talented. Many of my female ancestors were very talented cooks, with many of their recipes being handed down for generations. This is particularly true for my maternal grandmother’s side of the family. My maternal grandmother, Alberta (Sebok) Hamilton (LIVING), her mother, Irene (Balla) Sebok (1913-2006), and her mother, Julia (Molnar) Balla (1885-1962) were all accomplished cooks, making all kinds of Hungarian dishes and desserts. This seems to have run in the family, given the fact that Julia’s sister, Elizabeth, was a professional chief in New York.

In addition to cooking, I have some female ancestors with artistic leanings. My paternal grandmother, Margaret Ann (Lapham) Kernan (1936-2004), was a talented artist. She enjoyed painting, particularly murals. In my grandparents home in California before they sold it, there was a large willow tree mural my grandmother painted. Sadly, no photos appear to exist of this. She also enjoyed drawing. I recall my father telling me that she drew portraits of several members of her family, including her mother. Additionally, several female ancestors were also talented in knitting, crocheting, and quilt/afghan making. My maternal great grandmother, Irene (Balla) Sebok (1913-2006), made many doilies, quilts or afghans, and other items. I have a few of them, including a pillow she made me.

I am not certain how many female ancestors in my ancestry were musically talented, but I do have at least one. My 2nd great grandmother, Lois Beatrice (Agee) Wellin (1897-1983), was talented at playing the piano, particularly the organ. She enjoyed playing for her family and guests at parties at their home in Portland, Oregon. I am told she loved to play songs like “Alley Cat” during these parties. 🙂

Although I already mentioned it in a previous post in this challenge, another talent of a female ancestor I uncovered is writing poetry. My 2nd great grandmother, Anna Margaret (Leishman) Lapham (1875-1951), wrote numerous Christian themed poems.

Fearless Females Challenge: March 16 – Let’s Do Lunch!

The following post continues the month long Fearless Females Challenge by Lisa Alzo, author of The Accidental Genealogist blog, which is focused on “celebrating and honoring ‘fearless females’ in our family trees” to mark National Women’s History Month, which is the month of March, with a post responding to unique prompts for each day of the month.

Prompt for March 16 — If you could have lunch with any female family member (living or dead) or any famous female who would it be and why? Where would you go? What would you eat?

For me, this challenge is a difficult one because I think that I would not mind having lunch with each of my female ancestors, if I could. I can only imagine the information and stories that they could share. However, I suppose I could answer this prompt in one of two ways.

First of all, I think I would like to have lunch with my female ancestors that passed away in my lifetime. This would particularly include my paternal grandmother, Margaret Ann (Lapham) Kernan (1936-), and my great grandmothers, Maxine Elizabeth (Davis-Kernan) Smith (1912-1992), Pauline Katherine (Rains-Rowlands) Kernan (1913-1997), Alice Lucretia (Wellin-Lapham) Graber (1916-1985), Goldia “Goldie” Mae (Worthington) Hamilton (1912-2006), Irene Vera (Balla) Sebok (1913-2006). This luncheon would also include my only 2nd great grandmother that passed away in my lifetime, Lois Beatrice (Agee) Wellin (1897-1983).

An alternative luncheon would involve my immigrant female ancestors from my Kernan, Lapham, Hamilton, and Sebok lines, or the earliest known female I have in those lines if the immigrant ancestor is unknown. This would include Martha Rose (Sheridan) Kiernan (1797-?), Mary (Mann) Lapham (1640-1712), Jennie M. (Lightcap) Heldman (1872-1905), and Roza Mari (Peto) Sebok (1871-1937). It might also include other female immigrant/earliest ancestors, such as Anna Eliza (Backer-Stearns) Tice (1854-1919), Rebecca (Gibson) Stearns (1635-1698), Sarah (Spinney) Davis (1746-?), Mary Ann (Wys) Beeney (ca. 1784-1857), Ann (Forsyth) Leishman (1828-1896), Anna Elizabeth (Stålberg) Lowenburg (1869-1918), Anna Elizabeth (UNKNOWN) Lightcap (?-?), Alice (Taylor) Worthington (1662-1729), Elizabeth (Grant) Gifford (1615-1683), Eszter (Szabó) Balla (1857-1925), and Julia (Molnar) Balla (1885-1962).

In either set up, I don’t think we would go anywhere in particular. I think it would be at my parent’s home. I would want each of them to prepare their signature dish (the women in my family all love to cook); and we would have a party-type luncheon similar to the Christmas parties my grandmother had when I was a kid. Lots of food and lots of talking. I think that would be the ideal luncheon for me with any of my female ancestors.

100 Years Ago Today

On March 28, 1913, one hundred years ago today, Pauline Katherine (Rains-Rowlands) Kernan (1913-1997), my step-great grandmother, was born in Trenton, Grundy Co., Missouri, along with her twin brother Paul Robert Rains (1913-1978). She was born the daughter of Rex Aden Rains (1885-1973) and Vesta Ferrell Keith (1884-1931).

Pauline (Rains-Rowlands) Kernan

Pauline (Rains-Rowlands) Kernan

Pauline was first married to Donald Robert Rowlands (1907-1948), with whom she had one son, Donald. After her husband’s death in 1948, she married Delmar Clair Kernan (1908-1979) in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon in 1950.