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Sunday, September 11, 2011

The French Ricard Invasion

It has been several months since I last updated the GEDCOM files for the Erwin/Howard genealogy page so I thought it was about time I brought us up to speed on the research to date.  It's been a slow summer for finding new information on Howards, Crows, Streets and Erwins, though I did post a few discoveries on this blog.

As to the French invasion, I resolved to begin an investigation into the allied families of my wife Mary. Her family name through her father is Ricard which migrated in the mid-nineteenth century to America (around Rutland, Vermont) from the Montreal, Canada vicinity.  The Ricard name, of French origin, had established itself near Montreal by an immigrant named Jean Ricard in 1664 after he arrived there on the Dutch ship Le Noir.  Jean Ricard was not a Huguenot of the group that had settled in America (discussed in a previous posting), but was devoted to the Catholic faith. Although you will find names going further back to southern France on my ancestral charts, I have not been able to substantiate the parentage of Jean with any accuracy. It's pure speculation and picked up form other sources. I'll leave the information on the tree for confirmation.

There was one critical link between Edward Ricard (Mary's g-grandfather) and the family Fortier I found in the 1900 census that confirmed the Ricard family linkage established in The Ricard of North America website.  I was able to find more information on the Van Guilder family from an old post honoring Mary's great-grandparents,  Raymond Van Guilder (1885-1978) and Mary Durham (1890-1982).  Raymond's father, James Franklin Van Guilder (1845-1924), was a Civil War veteran of Company G of the Vermont Volunteer Cavalry.  Since I have ancestors (the Phillips) who also came through Vermont not far from Rutland, I'm intrigued to find if there might be any connections with Mary's extended families from the past two centuries.
James Franklin Van Guilder (1845-1924)
I have not yet begun to scratch the surface on the Garza side of the family. Mary's mother, Andrea, passed just last year, and I hope to be able to establish a solid family tree in her honor. There is a rich heritage from southern Texas and Mexico waiting to be discovered.

Anyway, the main website is now updated and the family tree is loaded with over 1800 names now listed. I've added a new Ricard/Garza page that is currently under construction as is much of the other individual family sites that haven't had much touch up since last Spring. I'll try to have more done on those before Thanksgiving so family can have access for our big gatherings. I'm learning more and more about using Google Sites web pages and beginning to realize the potential uses of them.

The family is having difficulty looking into the history of our dear Fannie Mae Whitten (Crow) who was born in Purcell, Oklahoma in 1888. This seems to be my 'brick wall' that is the most frustrating to address. I have also stalled my search on finding the immigrant Howard who first settled these shores. There tends to be plenty of confusion by the time we get back to Kentucky who came from where.  The earlier Crow, before John Crow (1765-1864), is also still a mystery as I have serious doubts to some connections that were made to an Isaac Crow of the Sabine River, Texas, at the beginning of the 19th century.

I'm learning new tools as I go deeper into genealogy and yet I feel I've only scratched the surface.  Fortunately, new databases are coming online and I'm getting anxious to start digging into the 1940's census records when they become available early next year.  It's exciting times for the genealogist - no matter your level of involvement or skill.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Orphans of John Nelson Erwin

I suppose it is in the history of all families we find the stories of children facing the death of a parent. We see this recorded in my families and notably on this blog several times in the stories of Rufina Vincent and Nancy Street.  It is through the 'Robert Woodley Family History Web Site' that I was able to find record of the death of John Nelson Erwin (1789 - 1841) and how his large family was placed under the care of another. As it is with genealogy, many of our discoveries are found from the detailed work of our far distant cousins. Though I found some collected data in this source that may not be correct (namely, the history of the family in America before John Erwin), the recorded documents by the courts speak for themselves.

John, a young farmer of Pennsylvania, was married to Susan Bailey (1796-1885) on December 4, 1814.  Peter Erwin, their first born in 1817 (and my great-great grandfather), would later lead his own family westward to settle near Tecumseh, Nebraska. In the years after the birth of Peter, Julia Ann, Rebecca, Hannah, Else, Susanah, Jacob, Christiana, Charles, and John, Jr. came along before the elder John Erwin died in 1841.  

The following was recorded.

"Book D, page 211, Orphan’s Court January Term AD 1842

A summary of the minor heirs of John Erwin:

Minor children under the age of 14:

Jacob Erwin
Christiana Erwin
Else Erwin
Charles Erwin
John Erwin

Minor children over the age of 14:

Hannah Erwin
Julian Erwin
Susanah Erwin

Children, not minors, mentioned in this or in other Court documents:

Peter Erwin, listed as their next friend
Rebecca Erwin, listed as the wife of George Richart in signing off on a deed.

Note that Jacob Bailey, named as guardian, was probably the brother of Susan Bailey, the mother of the children and widow of John Erwin.

Petition of Peter Erwin for Guardian for the Minor Children of John Erwin Deceased
The Petition of Jacob Erwin, Christiana Erwin, Else Erwin, Charles Erwin & John Erwin by their next friend Peter Erwin 
Humbly showeth that the said Jacob Erwin, Christiana Erwin Else Erwin, Charles Erwin & John Erwin otherwise late of said County Decd. all under the age of fourteen Plead That the said Minors have no person legally authorized to take charge of their persons and Estates, therefore the said Peter Erwin, in behalf of the said Minors, prays the Court to appoint some suitable person as Guardian for the purposes written mentioned and he will ever pray the etc. - Peter Erwin July 5th AD 1842.

Petition made and the Court appoint Jacob Bailey Guardian for the Minor Children as set forth in said petition etc. direct him to give bail in the sum of $500 each Samuel Bellman approved as bail.
by the Court, E. Youngman, Clk

Petition of Hannah Erwin, Julian Erwin, Susan Erwin for Guardian
The Petition of Hannah Erwin, Julian Erwin & Susanah Erwin 
Respectfully represents That your Petitioners are Minors Children of John Erwin late of said County Decd. that they are above the age of fourteen years state they have no person legally authorized to take care of their persons and Estates and they pray the Court state they may be permitted to make choice of a Suitable Guardian for that purpose and they will pray etc. - Hannah Erwin, Julian Erwin, Peter Erwin for Susanna Erwin.
July 5th AD 1842. 
by the Court E. Youngman Clk
Petition read and the Court give leave to choose whereupon the Minors Choose Jacob Bailey and the Court approve & direct him to give bail in the sum of $500 for each Minor. Samuel Bellman approved as bail."

It appears that Susan Bailey received assistance from her brother(?), Jacob Bailey for a period of years after John's death. However, a later recording indicates that Jacob Bailey would pass away and a new person was appointed to care for the young Erwin children. Peter Erwin, the eldest brother, was nearby to support his mother and his siblings.

"Book E pg 25, Nov term 1846
Susan Erwin widow of John Erwin comes to the court and says that Jacob Bailey is now deceased. Needs a new guardian for children. Charles Tallman is appointed."

All of the children would eventually grow up and find themselves married to raise their families in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, or move on to distant places.  Peter had married Mary Goodlander in 1838.  He, with his family, would go west with his young brother Charles, to Jo Daviess County, Illinois and eventually Nebraska.  Peter's eldest son William, who was just two years of age when John Erwin passed on, would be killed at Missionary Ridge, Tennessee in 1863.  Having successfully raised her children with the support of the family and local community, Susan Bailey died in 1885 in Jo Daviess County.

Note:  I found a record of a Charles Tallman in the Lycoming Co. area, but it is unclear if this would be the same person. There are connections of the Tallman and Bailey families in Pennsylvania and this may be a Charles Tallman cousin.

Genealogy Site Rankings

A fellow blogger has made a compilation of the global rankings of a selection of genealogy-related websites.  Link in and begin your search.  I've also listed them below.  My favorite sites are noted in bold.

Most of these websites are not linked on the reference page of my website. 1,103, (1,076), (984) 3,524, (4,573), (3,886) - My site is basic and not yet built. 7,768 (7,068), (8,086) 8,497, (9,138), (9,120) 12,295, (12,691), (12,190) 17,366 (17,053), (18,209) - recently upgraded with census records.  15,944, (17,199), (17,243) 21,600, (21,801), (18,550)  41,077, (38,146), (41,700) 50,347, (51,699), (46,279) 54,036, (51,631), (42,325)  57,972, (67,246), (80,397)  68,220, (69,394), (81,411) 116,532, (101,523), (86,990) 135,238, (123,589), (150,226) 129,664, (176,217), (168,666) 177,305, (194,673), (193,436) 178,177, (204,998), (212,655) 216,098, (198,889), (161,170) 205,946, (250,031), (175,547) 296,260, (309,746), (201,288) 304,733, (307,860), (527,236) 325,569, (334,563), (273,131) 471,773, (452,499), (296,376) 528,067, (469,630), (372,173) - excellent free tree builder. 292,785, (507,702), (770,719) 568,638, (413,274), (276,418) 615,133, (839,046), (784,440) 671,941, (635,502), (438,407) 702,073 (895,754), (525,834) 1,023,413, (993,634), (994,049) 1,050,849, (965,288), (708,746) 1,101,224, (1,019,853), (830,338) 1,201,950, (1,210,668), (1,267,779) 1,407,276, (1,624,999), (2,418,382) 1,414,288, (-), (-) 1,487,132, (1,440,397), (1,289,655) 1,555,150, (1,328,035), (1,093,695)  2,030,679, (2,724,618), (1,340,610) 2.329.800, (1,874,498), (1,601,646)  2,407,513, (1,684,518) (1,836,425) 2,427,784, (1,815,516), (2,677,921) 2,452,985, (1,902,137), (1,648,569) 2,541,927 (4,938,796), (7,145,992)  2,763,979, (2,224,075), (1,881,611) 2,803,254, (2,343,474), (2,356,437) 3,361,982 (3,459,358), (3,313,414)  10,981,334, (10,510,651), (3,234,636) 12,118,104, (9,884,139), (6,654,860)