Wednesday, March 23, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Hactor Wicks and Hactor Wicks

So I just realized that in all the talk of Hactor Wicks and Hactor Wicks back in February, I didn't post one picture of either Hactor!

The first picture here is of Hactor T Wicks and Madala Wicks around the time of their 50th anniversary in 1920.

The second picture is the photo cousin Jessica provided of Hactor H Wicks and his wife Guri.

Thank you, Jessica, for the picture!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Hannah Dempster

The obituary of Hannah Dempster was published in the Brookings register on 22 November 1915:

Mrs. Hannah Dempster Dies

Mrs. Hannah Dempster passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Margaret Boyd, 1018 Williams Street, Monday evening after a lingering illness.  Hannah Gray was born Sept 2, 1830, at Moyarget, County Antrim, Ireland, and departed this life on Nov 22, 1915 at the age of 85 years, 2 months and 20 days.  On Oct 31, 1950 she was united in marriage to George Dempster with whom she came to America in 1883 when the family settled in White, SD, where they lived for about a year.  From there they moved to Brookings.  Mr. Dempster passed away 9 years ago and since that time, Mrs. Dempster had made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Margaret Boyd, all of Brookings.  Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dempster, seven of whom survive their mother.  The children are Mrs. Henry Getty, Mrs. Lawrence McGarry, William J. Dempster, and Mrs. Margaret Boyd, all of Brookings.  Mrs. Charles Fish of Castlewood, Mrs. Frank Glenn of Aurora, and George C. Dempster of Estelline. 

Mrs. Dempster was a woman of strong character and impressed her personality on those with whom she came in contact, always leaving the impression of being a woman of clear faith and positive conviction.  She was always hopeful, looking on the bright side of every situation and able to see the humor of life where others saw only sorrow and disappointment.  She was a consistent Christian whose faith was strong, a Christian who tried daily to apply her faith to her life.  She was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church and always attended the services with unbroken regularity until the death of her husband.  She had been growing feeble with the infirmities of age but never lost interest in her children and the friends who were about her.  The deceased leaves to mourn, besides her immediate family, one brother Charles Gray of Brookings, also a large number of relatives and friends who extend their sympathy to the bereaved family in this time of sorrow.  The funeral services were yesterday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Boyd.  Services were conducted by Rev. Wm. A. Mast.  Internment was in the Greenwood Cemetery.

Sunday's Obituary: George Dempster

The obituaries of Geroge Dempster published in the Brookings Register in November 1906.

George Dempster was born March 17, 1830 near Ballymoney county, Ireland.  He was united in marriage in Ireland October 31, 1850 with Hannah Gray.  They came to America in 1883 and settled with his family and having been a linen weaver in his native country followed his trade here by weaving carpets.  A family of six daughters and three sons came to bless the home of whom five daughters and two sons with the widow and mother live to mourn the loss of a loving husband and father.  The deceased was a devout Christian. The weight of years wore heavily upon him and he was resigned to the change from a transitory life to eternal happiness.  He passed away Tuesday morning, November 27, 1906, and the funeral was held Wednesday.  It is a pleasure to add that Mr. Dempster was one of God's noblemen - a gentlemen and a true friend to the needy.  He had a host of friends who will miss his genial smile and cheery voice. 

George Dempster died at his home in this city (Brookings, SD) Tuesday morning at six o'clock.  Mr. Dempster had been feeble the entire summer, and had an attack of partial paralysis a couple weeks ago which was the direct cause of his death.  The funeral was held from the house yesterday afternoon and the remains were laid to rest in Greenwood Cemetery.  Rev A. M. Work of Watertown, a former pastor of the Presbyterian church here had charge of the services.  Mr. Dempster was born in the County Antrim, Ireland, March 17 1830.  He came to America with his family in 1883 coming direct to Brookings County.  The family lived on a farm near White until the fall of 1884 when they moved to Brookings, where they have since resided.  Mr. Dempster is survived by a wife and seven children, Mrs. Henry Getty, Mrs. Boyd, and Mrs. Lawrence McGarry of this city, Mrs. Glenn of Aurora, Mrs. Fish of Oakwood township, and George and William of this city.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dempster Family Immigrates to America

The Dempster family immigrated from Ireland to America in the early 1880s for a handful of reasons, including the poor crops in the County Antrim and the political unrest between the Roman Catholics and Presbyterians. 

In addition, family stories say that Hannah Dempster was so fearful of their home being attacked that she would sit up at night and keep watch at the window with a candle.  One night Hannah fell asleep and the candle set the curtains afire.  It is said that George decided then that it was time to leave for America.  Another family story tells of young male relative that did not return home one night and was found the next morning strung up by his thumbs in a nearby cave.

Two of George and Hannah Dempster's older daughters immigrated to America in May 1882.  Hannah Dempster (b. 1864) and Matilda (Dempster) McGarry (b. 1858), son-in-law Laurence McGarry, and 1 year old grandson Laurence McGarry Jr. boarded the ship Dominioin in Belfast, Ireland.  They arrived in Quebec, Canada in June 1882.  They stayed in Canada until that winter and then left for Brookings County, Dakota Territory.

From Dempster
From Dempster

George and Hannah immigrated with the rest of the family in the summer of 1883.  The family boarded the steamship Devonia in Moville, Ireland in July.  The Devonia arrived at the Port of New York, likely Castle Garden, on the 7th of August 1883.  Their son Thomas died shortly after they arrived and is buried in the eastern United States.  They came directly to Brookings County, Dakota Territory and likely stayed with  Hannah's brother Charles Gray, who had a farm near the town of White.

From Dempster
From Dempster

Ship list images are snippets taken from the ship lists on's "Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935" and "New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957".

Some family information taken from Jo Kalleymn and Shari Adair's journal from their trip to Ireland in April and May 2006.  Thanks Jo and Shari!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Those Places Thursday: Moville, Ireland

George and Hannah Dempster and their family left Ireland from the port at Moville in 1883.  This is a view of Moville, Ireland that was taken by Jo Kallemeyn and Shari Adair from a ferry in 2006, about 123 years after the George and Hannah Dempter family left Ireland. 

So take one last look at our homeland and remember it well:

From Dempster

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wisdom Wednesday: Grandma Glenn's Recipe for Rearing a Large Family

Way back in May of 1949, a reporter from the Brookings paper asked Grandma Maria (Dempster) Glenn about her recipe for raising a large family of 104 direct descendants.  She responded with the following:
"Just keep on reading the Scriptures every day. You won't go far wrong, if you practice what the Bible teaches. And keep out of other people's business. Don't gossip about others. If you work hard you won't have time to do that. And then you won't worry and you can live a long time."

To read the newspaper article, check out my post from July 2010 titled "Grandma Glenn Boosts of 104 Grandchildren".

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: George and Hannah Dempster

In honor of St. Patrick's Day tomorrow, I share a photo of my Irish ancestors.  This is a photo of George and Hannah (Gray) Dempster. 

The little girl was originally thought to be one of their daughters, either Matilda or Maggie.  However, in recent years, some cousins have thought that it could be their granddaughter Mary Boyd, who was born in 1883 in Scotland. 

We also believe the photo was taken in the mid-1880s.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Irish Genes - Dempsters

'Tis the week of St. Patrick's Day, so I figure I should share some about my Irish roots.  With that said, I only have one Irish family that I know of - the Dempsters.

My fourth great-grandfather, George Dempster was born in Rasharkin, Antrim, Ireland on January 17, 1829 to William and Elizabeth (Wilson) Dempster. His wife and my fourth great-grandmother, Hannah Gray was born in Moyarget, Antrim, Ireland on September 2, 1830 to John and Elizabeth (McConaughy) Gray.

They were married on October 31, 1850 in Antrim, Ireland. They had 9 children, all born in either Cape Castle or Ballycastle in the county Antrim, Ireland:
  • Elizabeth Hannah "Betty", 1854-1925
  • Mary Jane "Jane", 1856-1892
  • Matilda, 1858-1937
  • William John, 1860-1932
  • Margaret Ann, 1863-?
  • Hannah, 1864-1939
  • Maria Campbell, 1867-1953
  • George C, 1869-1942
  • Thomas, 1872-1883

The family immigrated to America in 1882 and 1883. (Watch for more on their immigration in another post this week!)  They made their home in Brookings County, Dakota Territory - later South Dakota.
George passed away on November 27, 1906 and Hannah on November 22, 1914, both in Brookings, South Dakota.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mappy Monday: The Journey of My Irish Ancestors

In honor of my Irish ancestors, here is the emigration of the family of George and Hannah (Gray) Dempster.

View Dempster family emigration in a larger map

Locations pinpointed on this map include:
  • Rasharking, Antrim, Ireland
  • Moyarget, Antrim, Ireland
  • Cape Castle, Antrim, Ireland
  • Ballycastle, Antrim, Ireland
  • Moville, Ireland
  • New York, USA
  • White, South Dakota, USA
  • Brookings, South Dakota, USA
  • Aurora, South Dakota, USA
Watch for more about George, Hannah, and the Dempster family this week!

Monday, March 7, 2011

An Influx of Cousins

For a long time I thought I was alone in researching many of my family lines.  On several occasions I searched for cousins who were researching my family and came up empty handed.  Now all of the sudden I find myself responding to a handful of new cousins all within a couple weeks of each other. 

While this is a good problem to have, I'm a little bummed that just don't have time to work with all these family lines at once!  

So with these new cousins watch for more information in the Wicks, Luze, and Crapser family lines.

Military Monday: Purchase of Gun upon Discharge

My dad asked an intriguing question last night. I'm not sure where to begin looking for this answer though.

Apparently our family once owned an 1847 Springfield (1842 model) 69 caliber musket. (All that is directly from dad; I wouldn't know one gun from the next gun!)  It was rumored that the gun was brought home from the Civil War by a triple great-grandfather down the Crapser or Workman line.

Apparently, my grandpa and his brothers hunted with it, using "ballistically superior" rocks wrapped in paper.  They put pheasants and the like on the table when food would have been otherwise scarce.

My dad has reenacted the Civil War and several other time periods over the years.  Over the course of his adventures, he has seen receipts from "Uncle Sam" for soldiers who purchased their musket on discharge.

So the question is:  How would one find a receipt from a soldier's weapon purchase upon discharge? 
Would this have been included in discharge papers?

Side note for anyone with an itch to research this:

My dad's triple great grandfathers in the Crapser and Workman lines would be
  • Charles Crapser born in 1785
    • probably more likely to be his son, Timothy (GG grandpa), who was born in 1825 in New York
  • Gilbert Lane born in 1797 in NewYork
    • We do know that Gilbert's father Joseph C Lane served in the Revolutionary War (see details)
  • Jens Kjolseth born in 1823, but didn't arrive in the U.S. until the late 1860s
  • ? Hansen - father of Anna Hansen, who was born in 1860 in Norway
  • George P. Workman born in 1806, arrived in US before 1838
  • Herman H Koester born in 1821, arrived in US in 1845
  • ? Heard - father of Frederick W T Heard, who was born in 1855 in Illinois
  • ? Doak - father of Annette Doak, who was born in 1861 in Iowa

Mystery Monday: Mr Bradley or Mr Monroe

In late February I communicated with "KathyDon217" on the message board for Brookings county, South Dakota regarding a photo.  She found the photo in New York state with a bunch of other photos of the Coon family from Otsego County, NY. 

The photographer's inscription states O. G. Oyloe, Brookings, Dakota.  On the back of the photo it says "James Monroe or Andrew Bradley", with "or Andrew Bradley" crossed out.

Both Kathy and I desire to get this photo in the hands of this man's relatives.  In doing so, we began researching James Monroe and Andrew Bradley.

According to the book titled "They Captured the Moment: Dakotas Photographers 1853-1920", Ole Oyloe was a photographer from 1889-1921 in the towns of Brookings and Elkton.  The final pieces of Dakota Territory split into the states of North Dakota and South Dakota on November 2, 1889. So the inscription indicating "Dakota" means this is likely from 1889, maybe into early 1890 if Oyloe was finishing up his stock of cabinet cards.
In the 1885 Territorial Census and the 1900 Federal Census, it appears there was an Andrew Bradley born about 1834/5 in New York. Looks like his wife Martha had 2 children a William and another child that didn't survive. Martha and William were also born in New York. They appear in the Moody county census, which would be just down the road. Brookings was and is still the major hub city for a large portion of Moody county.

There are several Brookings, South Dakota census records for James Monroe, though they all indicate James was born in a variety of locations including Kansas, Iowa, Canada, Massachussettes and Illinois. Nothing seemed to tie James to New York.

Kathy found Andrew Bradley in the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census records for Otsego county, New York.  She also located an obituary for Andrew J Bradley who died in 1926 in San Diego, California.  Interestingly, a Mary Coon Thayer and a Tom Coon were both found in San Diego as well.

If the stars are aligning correctly, this looks like it may be a Mr. Andrew Bradley. 

Do you know of anyone researching the Bradley or Monroe families of New York, South Dakota and California? 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Search Terms that Brought You to Me

Shortly after I started blogging, another blogger (maybe Amy on We Tree Genealogy?) posted an article on search terms that brought people to her blog.  With my curiousity spiked, I took a quick peak at search terms for my blog:
  • family
  • geneabloggers
  • blog
Bummer, all very generic search terms for family history blogs.  I realized that I needed to wait after I had more content posted.  Today, on a whim I took a look again and found some interesting results.  Google and Blogger provide different results, which intrigues me because Blogger is a Google product!

Blogger indicates the following search terms are popular for my blog:
  • Ida Waage blog
    • Ida Waage was my Great-Great-Grandmother.  I'm certain she didn't have a blog of her own as she passed away in 1939, but I do have a few posts about her (err .. my) family.  Check the posts labeled with Waage (her husband's name) or Wicks (her maiden name).
  • christie michelle sumstad
    • I'm afraid you've been led astray.  It appears that search results took content from two posts and sent you here.  Rev. Sumstad officiated at Madala Wicks' funeral. Christi Sjursdatter, Madala's mother-in-law, was listed in the 1865 Norwegian Census.
  • norm jorenby spanish american war
    • The Spanish American War occurred in 1898, four years before my great-grandfather Norman Jorenby was born in 1902.
  • weinkauf haugesund
    • Were the Weinkauf's from Haugesund too?  I'm not sure, but I might have to research that now.  I announced the arrival of a new bundle of joy last September, when my cousin Isabella Weinkauf was born.   My Waage family came from the Haugesund, Norway area.
Google provided the following popular search terms:
  • Haktor  (also variants Hector and Hactor)
    • I've been researching Hactor/Hector/Haktor Wicks recently.  I have four posts all about Haktor Wicks:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
  • Susanville CA
  • Mrs May
    • I don't believe I have anyone by the last name May.  Though I did a post containing Mrs. May Schrode Reep's obituary.
  • stack of postcards
    • Interesting choice of keywords; are you working on a postcard project?  I do have a series of posts titled "Those Places Thursday - Postcards", beginning with the Susanville, CA one listed above.
  • teddy girl
    • I love this one - if only because I love my teddy bears!  In Grandma Leola's collection, I found two pictures of the same girl with a teddy bear.
  • emma handy wiki
    • I'm quite certain that Emma Rittman, who passed away in 1918, wasn't very handy with a wiki.
Enjoy your reading!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Those Places Thursday: Railroad Bridge, North Redwood, Minnesota

In Grandma Leola's box of treasures, is a stack of postcards. Most of them were written on and sent to Leola or her parents by family and friends. There are a handful though that have no writing on them at all.

I remember picking up postcards on my adventures for souvenirs. In fact I have a shoebox full of postcards from places like Rapid City, Washington D.C., various places in Spain, and any zoo or tourist attraction that I visited as a child. None of mine have any writing either.

So curiosity strikes this genealogist again. What significance did the places on these postcards have for Grandma Leola?

This week's postcard place is the Railroad Bridge in North Redwood, Minnesota:

This is the second railroad bridge picture in Grandma Leola's collection; she also had one of the Marent Trestle in Missoula, Montana.  What significance would the Railroad Bridge in North Redwood, Minnesota have in Leola's life?