Thursday, May 23, 2013

Whitfields in Illinois

Frank E Whitfield
Follow along with me as I try to argue the connection for my maternal great great grandparents; John and Margaret Whitfield to newly found records.   Let's start with what we know.

  John Whitfield according to 1870 US census was, born about 1825 in England, living in Newark, Kendall Co., Illinois with wife;  Elizabeth Whitfield who was also born in England about 1837.  At this point we do not know Elizabeth's surname.  Along with John and Elizabeth are sons; Charles J., Alfred W. and Frank E Whitfield, all born in somewhere Illinois .  Charles was the first born about 1858, then came Alfred about 1859 and the Frank 1862.   The family is living comfortably as John is a Miller with a sizable amount of personal wealth on hand at the census taking the property is said to be of some value.  With our Whitfield family lives a young woman as a domestic servant; Isabella Gullickson age 16 from Norway.  So, the family seems to be doing quite well on a Millers income and in the 1870, don't you think?

1870 US Census Newark Illinois
  In the ten years that follows, not much is to be found until the 1880 US census, where we find Elizabeth is living in her sons Charles home in Hobart Indiana   Also in the house are brothers Alfred and Frank.  Charles is a school teacher, mother Elizabeth is keeping house and the two brothers employment is unknown.

  What happened to John Whitfield?  To this point his whereabouts are unknown!

  Charles J Whitfield at some point relocated to Chicago Il., where he meets and marries Artimisia Headley.  They wed on 3 Mar 1887 in Chicago and remained in Chicago for the rest of their lives.  To the best on my knowledge there were no children born to this couple. Charles and Artimisia are enumerated in the 1900, 1910 and 1920 US census, but only Artimisia in the 1930 census.  So, what happened to Charles and when?  In the 1930 US census Artimisia is living with a friend in Chicago, but I can't find her in the 1940 census.  I had no more leads at the time.   A little more about Artimisia Hedley.  Both her given and surname are misspelt numerous times on different documents, but the misspell are close enough to follow.  An example is; Hedley or Hadley or Headley.  Another example is Artimisia's given name was recorded as Artemisia and Martemisia.  These misspells are due to accents, ones hearing and/or spelling abilities.

3 March 1887
  Alfred W Whitfield whose middle name is William, lucky guy,relocates to Ohio where his is a Telegraph Operator.  I bet he had stories that would have been great to read.  Alfred meets Etta Shisler and marries in 1898.  Alfred and Etta had just one child, Lena G Whitfield.  Alfred and Etta marriage ends in a divorce Alfred passed away in 1924 and is laid to earth in the Union Cemetery, Columbus Ohio.

   Franks E Whitfield also relocates to Chicago Illinois and married Elsie M Grothmann in 1885.  Frank is a Grip Car driver and Elsie a housewife and mother of Grace Whitfield.  Elsie is a first generation Germany immigrant as her parents came from Prussia in the 1860's.  Frank and Elsie remain in Chicago until 1919 when Frank passes away at his house on Michigan Ave and is laid to earth in the Oak Wood Cemetery, Chicago Illinois.  After Franks death Elsie remarries to a Orrin Talley in April of 1921.  A year and a half later Elsie loses Orrin too to death.  Both Frank and Orrin lay next to one another in the cemetery.  Elsie relocates to Washington state where her only child lived.  Elsie passes away in Tacoma Washington, 1934

14 Oct 1885
  Did you notice that the three boys started and ended their lives, but there was no mention of their mother.  Elizabeth has gone missing sometime after the 1880 census.  My guess, she remarries!

  So, there you have it, the family as I know it.  So what do we know?  We know the parents, John and Elizabeth were born in England; John born 1825 and Elizabeth 1837.  We know John was a Miller and the family lived a comfortable life, well at least for a little while.  We know John and Elizabeth raised a family in Illinois, then divorced.   We know the family, except John, can be found in Hobart Indiana in 1880. We know that two of the sons relocated to Chicago and married.  And the third son worked as a Telegraph Operator in Ohio.  We can follow the sons through their lives until the 1920's when Charles drops off the radar and the two other boys pass away.

  Here are the questions to be answered.  What happened to John in the 1870's?  What happened to Elizabeth in the 1880's?  And what happened to Charles in the 1920's.

  With recently found records, I believe we have found Charles and Artimisia Whitfield grave site in an Aurora Illinois cemetery.  Also found was a marriage between a John Whitfield and Elizabeth Gearey in Kane Co Illinois 24 September 1857.  There is work yet to be done on researching this data, but I am now confident that we have found the begin of our Whitfield family in Illinois and the resting place of most of the family, with the exception of John and Elizabeth who are still missing.   I have requested the aforementioned marriage record from LDS and soon will be able to examine it more closely.  The family was now been recorded by way of a marriage in Aurora, Kane Co Illinois in 1857, again in the 1860 US Census for Aurora Illinois, then in 1865 in Newark, Kane Co, Illinois and the finally in the 1870 US Census in Kendall Co, Illinois, which is next door to Kane Co Illinois. The data matches from one record to the next, with minor errors.  In the 1880 US census, the family has segmented by divorce and then again in the mid 1880's as the sons marry and start their own families.

  A record of a death for one Arlimesia Whitfield, in 1942 Chicago. Notice the misspelling of the first name?  Close enough to follow though!  Following this person, the Illinois vital records website indicated that she was buried in a local cemetery in Aurora Illinois.  Off to Aurora to poke around their cemeteries.  As luck has it, Aurora has a website with many name collected and linked.  Following the link for Whitfield, I found Arlimesia Whitfield in the Spring Lake Cemetery  Lot LW-33.  The record indicates that Arlimesia Whitfield is 77 and had died in 1942.  Doing the math... Arlimesia Whitfield was born in 1865 which is a close match to the married record of 1863.  People moved their birth years quite often to fulfill a requirement or not.

  Looking a bit closer at the Arlimesia Whitfield cemetery lot number of LW-33, guess who is laying with her, but none other that Charles J Whitfield, her husband.  So, why bury Charles in a cemetery in Aurora Illinois?  Well, the 1860 US census record John Whitfeed and family in Aurora Illinois.  Notice the age of Charles (see 1860 census below) is two years of age and brother is 10/12 months.  Charles and Alfred were close in age, maybe only a year. Note,  Aurora is in Kane County Illinois,so it only make sense that Charles was to be laid to earth in the place of his birth.  The cemetery records Charles J Whitfield passing away at the age of 68 in 1926, which matches the birth year for Charles as we know it.  Another factor is, there are other Whitfields in this cemetery and in the same lot. The image below is suppose to be the Whitfield family which I am guessing circa 1898.  Frank, Elsie and Grace Whitfield are present.. The child sitting on mothers lap, lower right corner is Grace and Elsie.  Frank is third row and third from left.

Whitfield Clan
  Back to John Whitfield.  The below mentioned 1860 recorded his name as Whitfeed, but looking at the actual record it was Whitfield, so a transcription error.  The rest of the family was recorded as Whitfield.  Elizabeth was recorded as Mrs Whitfield.  This is why I couldn't find John prior to the 1865.

1860 US Census
  In closing, I still don't have any new information about what happened to John or Elizabeth Whitfield.  But, I am pretty sure our John Whitfield married Elizabeth Gearey in Kane County Illinois in 1857, which just prior to their first born son in 1858 in Aurora, Kane County Illinois, which is also the resting place for Charles J Whitfield in 1926 and was joined by his wife Artimisia Headley Whitfield of Ohio in 1942.

I would love to hear your thoughts, question or corrections!

Sometime lateral branches need to be followed in order to find the trunk!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Camp Pine

New York
Brigadier General Frederick Dent Grant
Camp Pine in the state New York. In 1908, Brigadier General Frederick Dent Grant, the oldest son of President Ulysses S. Grant, led thousands of Soldiers back to the area north of Black River, known locally as Pine Plains. Grant commanded 2,000 Regular Army Soldiers and 8,000 militia men from throughout the Northeast. He found Pine Plains to be an ideal place to train troops and money was allocated to purchase the land and summer training continued there through the years. The camp at Pine Plains formally opened on June 11, 1908, and training continued throughout the summer. Later in 1954, Camp Pine was renamed as Fort Drum.

Camp Pine was the training location for my Grandfather George Henry Reynolds and Great Uncle James William Reynolds in 1910.  I don't believe either seen any military active duty in the first World War.  

1917 Registration Card
The above registration card places my great uncle James Reynolds in the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia prior to the 1917.  What kept him out for the war is unknown.

And in the Lowell Sun newspaper 1910, James and George are called up for training at Camp Pine.

Camp Pine Training 

Thank you both,  James W Reynolds and George H Reynolds for you time in server for our country!

*Thanks for to the Library of Congress, the Lowell Sun Archive and Family Search for providing these historical documents.