Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cocklin - Millard

I'm looking for information on Peter Cocklin born abt. 1831 in Pennsylvania. I have found him on the 1870 U.S. Federal Census with a wife, Lavina, and children: Daniel (18), Elizabeth (15), John (10) and Aldavine (7).

Again, I found him in the 1880 census in Harrisburg, PA, with wife, Lavina, and children: George B (23) and Alda (16).

I found a Peter Cocklin in the 1860 census in Pottawattamie, Iowa. He seems to be the correct age of the Peter I am looking for, but his wife is listed as Francis A (born in England), children: William J. (9), Anna J. (7), Elizabeth (5), and Caroline (1). All children listed as being born in Pennsylvania, except for Caroline.

The person in my tree is Mary E. Cocklin Millard, born Aug. 25, 1854 in Sherherdstown, PA. Peter & Lovina are her parents. I'm wondering if Elizabeth in the census, is really Mary E (E possibly standing for Elizabeth). The ages seem to be correct.

I'm also wondering if Peter was married twice, first to Francis and then Lavina? And how all the children figure in.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Info from Ancestry, Gunzenhauser board...

Christoph GUNZENHAUSEN b: Bet. 1735 - 1748 in ??? d: Deceased in ???
+Barbara HEINZMANN b: Bet. 1751 - 1752 in ??? m: Bet. 1769 - 1770 in (??? d: Deceased in ???
....... 2 Johann ( ) GUNZENHAUSEN b: December 14, 1771 in Böehmenkirch, Württemberg, DEU Occupation: Weber (Weaver) d: November 26, 1829 in Böehmenkirch, Württemberg, DEU
........... +Martha HEINZMANN b: May 23, 1773 in Böehmenkirch, Württemberg, DEU m: February 28, 1798 in Neunkirchen, Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, DEU Father: Michael HEINZMANN Mother: MariAnn BIEGERT d: June 18, 1824 in ???

Gunzenhauser Update:
Genovefa and Joh. /Joseph/ Schmid 1819-1821
Genovefa and Joseph Knoblauch 1823-1849

This is from Peggie Knoblauch Ballard, who I know has since passed away. We are related. I wonder if anyone else if following up on her extensive research.

Friday, August 24, 2007

On the hunt for family stories...

...and just some visiting too. This past Monday, my girls, my grandma and I headed up to northern Wisconsin (Minong) to visit with my grandma's only living cousin, Norma. She is the daughter of Martha T. Rust Nelson (1894-1949). She is the sister of my great-grandmother, Selma Eliza Rust Schiell (1895-1977).

It was a nice to meet Norma and fun just to listen to my grandma and Norma reminsce and tell stories from days gone by. It always helps to refresh ones memory while looking at pictures!

Chatter Chatter Chatter
Cousins, Norma & Marcy

"You don't say..."
You don't say!

Norma had typed up some information regarding their grandparent's, Helga Pauline Larson Rust (1871-1903) and Henry Tollefson Rust (1860-1936). I will include it here. She had Tolefson spelled differently than I do, but I'm including just as she had typed it.

Heritage of Henry T. Rust

Henry Tolefson, a single man of 24 years of age, arrived in America in 1884. There were many Henry Tolefsons on the ship. H had worked on the Rust Farms in Norway. It appears that he joined the thousands of other immigrants whose names were forever changed as they landed in this country. Here, he was known as Henry T. Rust. Older Norwegians called him Halsten. Halsten must be the Scandinavian pronunciation of Henry.

Henry settled in Hoff Township, Pope County, near Clontarf, MN. Relatives, the Gilbertsons and Munsons, had come to that area at an earlier time. For employment, he worked on neighboring farms.

A copy of his citizenship records will be attached if one can be obtained from the Naturalization Record Book, Pope County, Minnesota.

Henry married Helga Pauline Larson in 1893. Helga was born in Christjania, Norway on March 25, 1871. Little is known of her life. It is assumed she came to America with family friends. She worked on a farm in Hoff Township as a chore girl. She became pregnant with a young farmhand. This farmhand, named Kolstad, moved on when the harvest season was over.

Henry raised Alma L., born July 10, 1892 as one of his own. To Helga & Henry, three children were born: Martha TheoDora, born January 20, 1894, Selma Eliza, born October 28, 1895, and Herman Christopher, born July 18, 1898. Helga was 27 years old at Herman’s birth. She died before she was 30 years old. Helga often complained of a pain in her right side. Her death was attributed to the after affects of childbirth, however a ruptured appendix could have been the cause. If a copy of Helga’s death certificate can be obtained, it will be attached. It is assumed Helga Pauline Rust was buried in Hoff Township, Pope County, MN.

Attached is a copy of the 1905 Population Census listing Henry and his four children. Henry never remarried and he raised this young family through many, many hardships.

In the early 1920’s, his youngest child, Herman moved to South St. Paul, MN to find employment in the meat packing plants. Henry went with Herman, who remained a bachelor until the last three years of his life.

The Christ Nelson family also moved to South ST. Paul, MN about this time. Christ and Martha (Rust) Nelson lived in the home on 100 – 15th Avenue South for 30 years and Christ was employed by the railroad (The General American Car Company) for that length of time.

Around 1930 Herman bought a small farm at Coates Station, MN, 16 miles from South St. Paul. Henry stayed on the farm. Herman continued to work at Swift & Company and went to the farm on weekends. Henry and Alma (Rust) Nelson and William and Selma (Rust) Schiell also lived on farms in the Coates Station area at this time.

In 1936 “The Old Age Assistance Act” was passed. Herman took Henry to the county courthouse in Hastings, MN to apply for assistance. That evening, Henry went upstairs to the loft to put his citizenship papers in his steamer trunk. It was located on the landing at the top of the stairs. The next day his body was found at the bottom of the stairs. He had died of a heart attack. He was 76 years of age.

Henry T. Rust and all of his children are buried at the General Lutheran Cemetery on 15th Avenue and Marie Blvd., South St. Paul, MN. Their grave markers read:

Henry T. Rust

Herman C. Rust

Nels C. Martha T.
1886-1965 1894-1949

Henry L. Alma L.
1891-1971 1892-1951

William Selma
1889—1968 1895-1977

It was news to me to finally find out why he had changed his name to Rust. My grandma had known his name was changed to Rust and we thought, from Tollefson, but were unaware of the common practice of using the name of the farm that you lived and worked on as a surname. I found this explanation.
Many Americans have a Norwegian farm name as their surname. You will find the reason for this if you look at the page about Norwegian surnames. Farm names are important clues for the genealogist, but they also carry lots of interesting cultural history with them. First some information about Norwegian farm structure: In earlier centuries most of the Norwegians lived on farms, and each farm had a name. A few hundred years ago all the farms were listed in a land register ('matrikkel' in Norwegian) and given a number. Each rural district ('kommune' or 'herred' in Norwegian) had its own list, where the farms were numbered from 1 and upwards. The numbering and the spelling of the farm name may have changed with revisions of the land registers, but with only minor exceptions the farms were the same units. The numbers are called 'gårdnummer' in Norwegian, often abbreviated to 'gnr.'. Farms that were listed in these old registers are called 'matrikkelgårder', in English I will call them 'main farms'. Originally there may have been only one family on each main farm, but as the population increased, the land had to be divided between many families. Each holding is called a 'bruk' in Norwegian, and just before 1900 the authorities had to create a secondary numbering ('bruksnummer' or only 'bnr.') for these holdings. If a main farm were divided into five parts, they got the numbers from 1 to 5. 'Gnr. 7, bnr. 4' consequently means 'holding number 4 on main farm number 7'. In addition, the holding got a name. On many main farms, there were cotters holdings. The cotters used land belonging to the numbered holdings, therefore their small places didn't get their own number. As a rule they had a name, but it could easily change. The farm names that made the transition into family names as a rule once belonged to a main farm, but many numbered holdings and some cotters holdings also have produced surnames. Now some words about the main farm names. Some of them are very old, perhaps 1500 years or more. The great majority are more than 200 years old. The spelling may have changed quite a bit through the centuries, and even more after crossing the Atlantic as a surname. Farm names usually describe the farm in certain ways. The oldest are either short 'nature words' or names ending with -stad, -set, -heim/-um, -land or -tveit/-tvedt. They are probably more than a thousand years old, the farms they belonged to were big and could feed many people in earlier history. As a rule you will find the oldest names at the most central farms in an area. Some farm names have expanded and are used as names for wider territories today. If the local church were build on a farm called Sortland, then both the church and its parish got the same name. Later on this place could grow to be a little town, covering also the neighbouring farms, and the town would be called Sortland. If you are interested in Norwegian farm names and want to know more about their meaning, then you should read 'Norske gaardnavne' (Norwegian Farm names), written by the brothers O. and K. Rygh a hundred years ago. It is an encyclopedia in 18 volumes, one for each of the counties ('fylke'), covering every main farm name in Norway. Take a look at the Rygh website, where you can search for information about farm names.
This excerpt can be found here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mahala Kirkham Stoddard McLane

I've listed some of the surnames in my family tree in the sidebar. These aren't names that are related by marriage, but direct lines to me. There are some that I have a lot of information on, and others that I have relatively none.

Two of the names I'm not exactly sure which is the correct one. I have a Mahala McLane in my family tree. She was my great-great-great grandmother, married to Jacob McLane. I have found information that her maiden name was either Stoddard or Kirkham. I'm just not sure which one. I'm guessing that one is a maiden name and then the other is a married name, but that is just a guess. Possibly her first husband died and then she married Jacob McLane. She was Jacob's second wife. I also have conflicting information on where she was born, either Michigan or New York. The birthdate that I have for her is July 14, 1842 and I think she was probably born in Michigan.

Eventually she ended up in Oronoco, Olmsted Co., Minnesota, where she married Jacob McLane on May 14, 1865. She and Jacob went on to have nine children together:

Frank William McLane
16 FEB 1866 in Oronoco, Olmsted, Minnesota, USA

Catherine E. McLane
15 MAR 1867 in Minnesota

Francis Zelda McLane
15 AUG 1868 in Minnesota

Walter Lee McLane
5 MAR 1870 in Minnesota

Mark Gordon McLane
15 OCT 1871 in Minnesota

Frederick Jacob McLane
23 JUN 1873 in Oronoco, Olmsted, Minnesota, USA

Charlotte G. McLane
12 FEB 1875 in Minnesota

Mabel Zoe McLane
8 JUL 1878 in Dakota Territory, Bon Homme Co., SD

Paul Jay McLane
1 APR 1880 in Dakota Territory, Bon Homme Co., SD

In 1878, Mahala and Jacob moved the Dakota Territory in what is now Bon Homme Co., South Dakota. They raised most of their children there and I believe there are still direct decendants that live in the area. Mahala died on February 6, 1902 and is buried in Hitt Cemetery, Avon, Bon Homme Co., South Dakota, alongside Jacob, who died March 30, 1897 (b. May 9, 1823 NJ, OH or MN).


Hello! I'm Kim and I'm starting this blog to help organize my thoughts and research of my family tree. I figured that I may as well do this online, and maybe, just maybe someone else might find something here useful.

A little background...I have been researching my tree for as long as I can remember. I guess probably since I was 18 years old. I've always had a love for history and so I think this type of research comes naturally for me. I can get lost in my research. Time just flies by. I feel such a connection to my ancestors and I want to know their stories. I love old photos and tales from past generations. I hope to preserve this information for my family and generations to come.

This site will be a constant Work in Progress. I've started listing my surnames on the sidebar, as well as, some favorite genealogy links, and you can expect more.

Please feel free to drop a note or a comment if you have something to share or would like more information.