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.
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Fearless Females Challenge: March 24 – Shared Traits

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 24 — Do you share any physical resemblance or personality trait with one of your female ancestors? Who? What is it?

I am told by family members that I share some physical resemblance to my paternal grandmother, Margaret Ann (Lapham) Kernan (1936-2004), and to other members of her family. I have fair skin, blonde hair, and green eyes (originally blue). I also share some resemblance to other members of my family, but they are all male.

As for personality traits, I share some with my maternal great grandmothers, Irene Vera (Balla) Sebok (1913-2006) and Goldia “Goldie” Mae (Worthington) Hamilton (1912-2006). My great grandmother Irene was notorious for being a “neat freak.” I have always been that way as well. Like her, I can get quite upset if someone makes a mess and doesn’t bother to clean it up. (It has always been interesting to me that my fraternal twin brother is the complete opposite.) I also inherited what some call the “worry gene” from my great grandmother Irene. She tended to worry about little and big things, and about her family members, which I have a tendency to do. Although I never got a chance to get to know her, I am told that my great grandmother Goldie loved to laugh, and always tried to find a reason to laugh, even in difficult moments, which is a trait I share with her.

Margaret (Lapham) Kernan, Irene (Balla) Sebok, and Goldie (Worthington) Hamilton
The Female Ancestors I Share Traits With (L-R): Margaret (Lapham) Kernan, Irene (Balla) Sebok, and Goldie (Worthington) Hamilton.

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.

Fearless Females Challenge: March 10 – Religion

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 10 — What role did religion play in your family? How did your female ancestors practice their faith? If they did not, why didn’t they? Did you have any female ancestors who served their churches in some capacity?

Religion has often played a very large role in the lives of my ancestors. Several branches in my family tree faced persecution and left their native homelands because of their religion, which of course included female ancestors. Early ancestors in my Lapham branch were Quakers, as were early ancestors in my Worthington (which married into my Hamilton branch). Early ancestors in my Stearns branch (which married into my Kernan branch) were Puritans. Early ancestors in my Agee branch were Huguenots. Also, early ancestors in my Graber branch were Mennonites.

The role of religion in my more recent ancestors (include my female ancestors) had varying degrees of importance. My paternal grandmother, Margaret Ann (Lapham) Kernan (1936-2004), was a devout Catholic. My maternal grandmother, Alberta (Sebok) Hamilton (LIVING), was raised in Protestant churches, particularly the Pentecostal Church. As for my great grandparents, I am less certain what role played in their lives. From what I have uncovered on this topic, it appears that religion didn’t play a major role. This, of course, is not to say that they didn’t believe in God or attend any religious services.

My paternal great grandmother, Maxine Elizabeth (Davis-Kernan) Smith (1912-1992), appears to have been raised in a Baptist home, but her first husband, Delmar Clair Kernan (1908-1979), was raised in a Catholic home. It is unclear, however, if Maxine (or Delmar) ever really participated in either of these. The same is true of my paternal step-great grandmother, Pauline Katherine (Rains-Rowlands) Kernan (1913-1997), who was Delmar’s second wife. My other paternal great grandmother, Alice Lucretia (Wellin-Lapham) Graber (1916-1985), was raised, it seems, in a Baptist home, but married her second husband, Willard Pershing Graber (1918-1989), in a Methodist church. Her first husband, Theodore Alexander Lapham (1910-1955), was raised a Seventh-Day Adventist, though it is unclear if Alice (or Theodore) ever participated in this church.

My maternal great grandmother, Goldia “Goldie” Mae (Worthington) Hamilton (1912-2006), and her husband, Harry Carl Hamilton (1891-1960), do not appear to have been involved in any particular church, though they were (according to oral history) Methodists. My other maternal great grandmother, Irene Vera (Balla) Sebok (1913-2006), grew up in a Protestant home that attended Baptist, Presbyterian, and Pentecostal churches. Her husband, Albert Sebok (1903-1968), grew up in the Hungarian Reformed Church, but appears to have attended Pentecostal church when they went to church. Later in her life, she briefly consulted with members of the Christian Science church, but never converted or attended their services.

As for serving their church in some capacity, the closest any of my female ancestors comes is the involvement of my 2nd great grandmother Anna Margaret (Leishman) Lapham (1875-1951), who often went by Annie or Margaret, in the Seventh-Day Adventist church. Even at a young age, faith was important to her. As a biographical sketch in a funeral booklet states, “at the age of 14 years, she was converted and joined the United Presbyterian Church,” like her parents. However, “about four years later, she overheard a strange man make the remark that ‘You can’t find between the two lids of the Bible that the Sabbath has ever been changed.’ That deeply impressed her as she had been taught that it was changed when Christ rose. So she went to her Mother and asked where to find it in the Bible, and her Mother said, ‘I don’t know, but it’s in there somewhere.’ She said, ‘Well, I’m going to find it.’ She had a reference Bible with a brief concordance. She started her search, which lasted for months. She didn’t know there was such a thing as a Seventh Day Adventist Church, or any one who kept the seventh day. Her folks didn’t hinder her, neither did they help her. She studied it out alone with God’s help. Not that she wanted to keep the seventh day, but she wanted to know where the Bible said it has been changed, but finally decided that whoever made the change, it wasn’t God. And in order to be a Christian, she must obey God. So she told her folks that she couldn’t help what they did, but she was going to keep the Sabbath; she didn’t know the that she would ever have any one to keep it with her; she started keeping it alone, but when her folks saw how very much in earnest she was, they decided to keep it with her. One day her Father met the man in a store that made the remark, and found that he was a Sabbath keeper, and had a wife and five children and there was a woman and two children in town. So they all got together and organized a Sabbath School. That was indeed a happy day for [Annie], and she was always glad for the experience of studying it out for herself, and always thanked God for revealing it to her.”

Margaret Lapham
Margaret Lapham

Anna Margaret was an active member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church for most of her life, in Nebraska, Oregon, and Idaho. Some of her involvement included reciting or other ways sharing her Christian poems. A number of the poems in her Courage and Comfort (a collection of ninety poems she wrote in the 1940s), were published in “Gems of Faith” by the evangelist R.H. Nightingale, in “Quiet Hour Echoes” by the evangelist J.L. Tucker 1943, or in “Gleaner,” which appear to have been church newsletters or magazines. Some of these poems were also recited or broadcast by evangelists J.L. Tucker and R.H. Nightingale many times at church gatherings or over the radio.

The following is a page from Anna Margaret’s Courage and Comfort featuring a poem called “By Faith” that is noted to have “broadcasted by Evangelist J. L. Tucker.”

"By Faith," a Poem from Courage and Comfort by Anna Margaret (Leishman) Lapham
“By Faith,” a Poem from Courage and Comfort by Anna Margaret (Leishman) Lapham

Fearless Females Challenge: March 5 – How They Met

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 5 — How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?

Although I do known how my parents met, this blog is focused on the ancestries of my grandparents. I will instead talk about how my grandparents met.

My paternal grandparents, William Kernan (LIVING) and Margaret Ann Lapham (1936-2004), were married in 1952. According to my grandfather, they met almost two years prior to their marriage, when Margaret was babysitting with one of her cousins, Carol Morgan. Knowing that a friend of her boyfriend was single, Carol got her boyfriend to bring his friend, William, over to the home they were babysitting at, and he introduced William to Margaret. It was a blind date set up. Soon after, they began dating each other and eventually realized that they were meant to spend their lives together—it was, as my grandfather recalls, “love at first sight.”

My maternal grandparents, Harry “Lee” Hamilton (LIVING) and Alberta Sebok (LIVING), were married in 1954. According to my grandmother, they meet when one of her friends cancelled a movie date with Lee, which he found out about after arriving at her house. Alberta was there visiting her friend, and she, not wanting to face Lee, told her to go instead. Lee agreed. Following this, the two dated some, but Lee was serving in the U.S. Navy and the Korean War had already begun. Before shipping out, Lee asked her, while at a dance, to marry him when he got back. When he got back, the two got married.

Photo of Lee and Alberta Hamilton, taken in 1954 in front of Lee's ship
Photo of Lee and Alberta Hamilton, taken in 1954 in front of Lee’s ship

Although I do not know how each of my great grandparents met, I do know how one set of maternal great grandparents did. The parents of my maternal grandmother, Albert Sebok (1903-1968) and Irene Vera Balla (1913-2006), were both living in different states prior to when they first met–Albert in California and Irene in Texas. Irene’s father, Alexander Balla (1886-1950), wanted his children (particularly his daughters) to marry Hungarians. He even went to the extreme of advertising that he had eligible daughters, placing ads in local newspapers and advertising it on a billboard. When Irene was ready to start looking for a husband, her father was contacted by one of his sisters, Zsophia, who was living in California with her family. Her husband, Peter Sabo, worked for the railroad, and he worked with a single Hungarian man, Albert, who was looking for a wife. Zsophia asked her brother to send a photo of Irene so Albert could see what she looked like. They sent the photograph below. Albert liked what he saw and wanted to meet her. So, Irene went to California to stay with her aunt and uncle, at whose home she met Albert. The two began dating, and where married soon after (on June 17, 1935 in Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Co., California). The photo that caught Albert’s attention always made my great grandmother smile, so much so she kept it for the rest of her life.

Irene Balla, 1930s
Irene Balla, 1930s

Fearless Females Challenge: March 4 – Marriage Records

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 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

I have marriage records for both my paternal and maternal grandparents. However, I currently only have details about and some photographs of the wedding day for my paternal grandparents.

My paternal grandparents, William Kernan (LIVING) and Margaret Ann Lapham (1936-2004), were married on June 28, 1952 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregon.

Marriage Certificate of William and Margaret Kernan
Marriage Certificate of William and Margaret Kernan

Their wedding was reported in The Milwaukie Review,  a local paper in Oregon. The service was held at St. Peter’s in the company of family and friends, and was officiated by Rev. Patrick J. Dooley. Margaret was given away by Willard Graber, her stepfather. She wore, the article states, “a white slipper satin gown with two panels of lace down the front.” Her bouquet was of white orchids, carried upon a white prayer book. The maid of honor was Gloria (Lapham) Graber, Margaret’s older sister. Her bridesmaids were Deldalyn Kreisman, William’s sister, and Carol Morgan, her cousin. William’s best man was Robert Kreisman, his brother-in-law. The ushers were Donald Rowlands, William’s stepbrother, and Calvin Wellin, Margaret’s uncle.

Article about their wedding (1952)
Newspaper clipping about William and Margaret Kernan’s marriage, 1952
Group Photo from the Wedding
Newspaper clipping of the group photo taken at the wedding of William and Margaret Kernan, 1952

My maternal grandparents, Harry “Lee” Hamitlon (LIVING) and Alberta Sebok (LIVING), were married on January 24, 1954 in Las Vegas, Clark Co., Nevada. The ceremony was officiated by John V. Lytle, Justice of the Peace of Las Vegas, Nevada. I currently do not have any real details about the wedding day itself or any photographs from the wedding. They were divorced in 1975 in Orange Co., California.

Marriage Certificate of Lee and Alberta Hamilton
Marriage Certificate of Lee and Alberta Hamilton
Photo of Lee and Alberta Hamilton, taken around the time they were married
Photo of Lee and Alberta Hamilton, taken around the time they were married

Fearless Females Challenge: March 3 – Names and Naming Patterns

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 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

As a male, I am not named after a female ancestor. However, I am named after my grandfathers, my first name (William) being that of my paternal grandfather’s name and my middle name (Lee) being that of my maternal grandfather’s name (well the name he legally changed it to anyway). My paternal grandfather is also named after his grandfathers, with his first name (William) being that of his maternal grandfather and his middle name (George) being that of his paternal grandfather. So, in an extended way I am named after my great grandmother Maxine’s father.

Despite not being named after a female ancestor, I do have some uniquely or unusually named women in my family tree. I have some female ancestors with unusual names like Jemima, Jerusha, Zerutha, Kjersti, and Ingeborg. I have one ancestor named Euphemia (Wink) Leishman (1789-?), my 5th great grandmother and an ancestor of my 2nd great grandmother Anna Margaret (Leishman) Lapham (1875-1951). Although I am unsure of its popularity throughout Europe, it seems unusual for a Scottish woman to have the Greek name Euphemia. I also have some ancestors with names that are unusual to find today, though not in Puritan Colonial America, such as my 5th great grandmother Thankful (Raymond) Stearns (1756-1817) and my 7th great grandmother Deliverance (Bigelow) Stearns (1695-1762). Both Thankful and Deliverance are both ancestors of my 2nd great grandmother, Maudena Elizabeth (Stearns) Kernan (1885-1936), whose first name is so unusual that she often went by nicknames, such as Dena when she was a child and Lizzie (after her middle name) when she was an adult.

Maudena (Stearns) Kernan
Maudena (Stearns) Kernan

Perhaps the most unusual female name I have uncovered in researching my ancestry is the name of one of my 3rd great grandmothers, Tirzah Olive Stephens (1873-1967), who was first married to Otto W. Agee (1868-1904). Until I uncovered the name Tirzah in my own ancestry, I had not recalled every hearing the name before. Researching the meaning of this name, I found that it is of Hebrew and Biblical origins, being the name of one of the daughters of Zelophehad who is spoken of in Numbers 27:1-11 as petitioning Moses for the right to inherit property following the death of their father. It is said that this petition is what granted Jewish women the right of inheritance under Jewish law. Tirzah is also the name of an ancient city now in the West Bank.

Tirzah (Stephens-Agee) Martin, 1967
Tirzah (Stephens-Agee) Martin, 1967

My Ancestral Connection to Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura_Ingalls_Wilder_cropped_sepia2
Laura Ingalls Wilder

On February 10, 1957, fifty-six years ago today, American author Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) died at the age of 90 in Mansfield, Missouri. Wilder was most famous for her series of books, Little House, which were based on her childhood in a pioneer family. These books were so loved that they were turned into a successful television series, Little House on the Prairie, which ran for nine seasons from 1974 to 1982.

While researching my family history, I discovered that I have an ancestral connection to this beloved American author. When I began researching the ancestry of my paternal grandfather, William Kernan (LIVING), I researched a family that married into my Kernan branch, the Dunton family. As I dug deeper into this branch and its related branches, I found my ancestral connection to Laura Ingalls Wilder, which was by my 9th great grandparents, John Locke (ca. 1626-1696) and Elizabeth Berry (ca. 1631-1708). According to research on Wilder’s genealogy, her paternal great grandmother was Martha Jane Locke (1753-1785), who was a great granddaughter of John Locke (ca. 1626-1696) and Elizabeth Berry (ca. 1631-1708). While researching my grandfather’s ancestry, I found that my grandfather’s great grandmother, Harriet Dunton (1836-1928) was a great-great granddaughter of the same John and Elizabeth Locke, through her mother’s Knowles family.

The following is a chart that shows the decent of both Laura Ingalls Wilder and my paternal grandfather, William Kernan (LIVING), from John Locke (ca. 1626-1696) and Elizabeth Berry (ca. 1631-1708):

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Line: My Grandfather’s Line:
1 John Locke (ca. 1626-1696) m. Elizabeth Berry (ca. 1631-1708) 1 John Locke (ca. 1626-1696) m. Elizabeth Berry (ca. 1631-1708)
2 Edward Locke (ca. 1655-1739) m. Hannah Jenness (1673-?) 2 William Locke (1677-1768) m. Hannah Knowles (1678-1769)
3 Thomas Locke (1713-?) m. Abigail Berry (1719-?) 3 Jemima Locke (ca. 1721-1765) m. John Blake (ca. 1716-1760)
4 Martha Jane Locke (1753-1785) m. Jonathan Ingalls (ca. 1750-1834) 4 Mary Blake (1747-?) m. Daniel Knowles (ca. 1746-1817)
5 Samuel Ingalls (1771-1841) m. Margaret Delano (1773-1837) 5 Mary Comfort Knowles (ca. 1801-1845) m. James Cyrus Dunton (ca. 1800-1845)
6 Lansford Whiting Ingalls (1812-1896) m. Laura Louise Colby (1810-1883) 6 Harriet Dunton (1836-1928) m. Owen Francis Kiernan (1836-1901)
7 Charles Phillip Ingalls (1836-1902) m. Caroline Lake Quiner (1839-1923) 7 George Edward Kernan (1884-1960) m. Maudena Elizabeth Stearns (1885-1936)
8 Laura Elizabeth Ingalls (1867-1957) m. Almanzo James Wilder (1857-1949) 8 Delmar Clair Kernan (1908-1979) m. Maxine Elizabeth Davis (1912-1992)
9 William Kernan (LIVING) m. Margaret Ann Lapham (1936-2004)

Based on the generations of descent from John Locke (ca. 1626-1696) and his wife Elizabeth Berry (ca. 1631-1708) listed above, my paternal grandfather, William Kernan (LIVING), and Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) are 6th cousins, 1x removed. This makes Laura Ingalls Wilder my 6th cousin, 3x removed.

Opening Credits for Little House on the Prairie Television Series