Monday, March 20, 2017

Backyard History #1 Sacramento

Alfred Coffman- Was He Really an Odd Fellow? 

Alfred Coffman and first wife, Sarah E. Pemberton
This photo was from the Nancy Pemberton-Spangler photo album.
The photo was received from Cal Sale, P.O. Box 41093, Des Moines, Iowa 50311, April 2003.

Have you ever discovered history in your backyard?  Alfred Coffman was my fourth great uncle and he lived almost literally in my backyard in Sacramento.  During my kindergarten year, we moved from Carmela Way to Craig Avenue in Sacramento.  When we first arrived on Craig Avenue we lived on the very southern edge of Sacramento.  On a clear day, we could look out our two south facing patio doors and see Mt. Diablo.

To the southeast of where we lived in South Sacramento was the town of Elk Grove, California. Alfred Coffman settled near Elk Grove in 1875.  I attended John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento and graduated in 1971.  About ninety years earlier, Alfred Coffman was involved in the founding of one of our rivals, Elk Grove High School.  We could not quite see Elk Grove High School out our back window but it was only 10 miles away from my house.

Elk Grove Union High School was the first union high school in the state of California. Sixteen elementary districts voted to tax themselves for a high school, and they all remained as separate districts until the entire K-12 district unified in 1959. Alfred Coffman canvassed the voters in the elementary districts to get their votes for the Union High School.  The high school opened its doors in 1893 at its first site on Main Street now Derr Street and Elk Grove Boulevard in Old Town Elk Grove.   In 1973, my wife, Robin Harrington graduated from the new Elk Grove High School.

My second great grandfather, Archibald Wilson Coffman moved to California prior to 1880 and was residing near his uncle, Alfred Coffman in San Joaquin Township where Elk Grove is located. And the rest as they say is history.  Counting from my direct ancestor, Archibald Coffman, I was in the fifth generation of Coffman descendants to live in California but there were six generations if you include Alfred Coffman in the lineage. Because of the fact that my grandmother, Elaine Coffman was born in New York, I did not realize that I had such deep roots in California.

I was really pleased to learn that Alfred Coffman was a prosperous farmer and a community leader. His biography was published in the History of Sacramento County written in 1890, by Winfield J. Davis:
 "Alfred Coffman was born in Hamilton County, Illinois, June 12, 1823, son of Jacob and Ayre (Fowler) Coffman...Alfred, the subject of this sketch, followed farming and cattle-raising in Illinois, for fifteen years.  In 1875 he came to Sacramento County, and he and his brother-in-law rented the Curtis ranch, which he worked four years.  In 1879 he bought a farm of 320 acres, thirteen miles from Sacramento on upper Stockton road one mile from Elk Grove.  He was married in 1844, to Miss Sarah Pemberton, a native of Kentucky, who died in 1865 [her tombstone says she died 17 Apr 1863] leaving sixteen children, three sets of twins, five living to become twenty-one years of age.  He was married again in 1866 [they were actually married in 1863 in Des Moines County, Iowa], to Miss Elsie Howard, a native of Iowa, by whom he had three children, two of whom lived to become of age... The subject of this sketch carries on a general farming business. He was at one time one of the greatest grain-raisers in this county, having had as high as 7,000 sacks of wheat from one year's crop. In the State fair of 1887-'88 he took a premium on wheat.  He raises his own vegetables, fruit and grapes. He has an orange tree from which he sold $10 worth of fruit in 1888. He is a member of Elk Grove I.O.O.F., No. 274."
San Joaquin Township, Sacramento County, California
The location of the Alfred Coffman ranch is shown highlighted in blue.

When I was growing up, we knew the "upper Stockton road" as Stockton Boulevard.  Half of the 320 acres that he bought in 1879 were owned by Hans Feickert in 1991.  We visited with Hans and he shared many of the historical documents that he had collected. The Alfred Coffman ranch contained 160 acres in the southwest quarter of section 25 and another 160 acres in the northwest quarter of section 36. The Feickert place was the NW quarter of section 36 and six acres to connect to Upper Stockton Road.  Hans was able to locate the Curtis ranch which was 640 acres about two miles south of Elk Grove as shown in his hand drawn map and notes below.


This article from the Elk, the 1922 yearbook of Elk Grove High School on pages 9 &10 tells the story of Alfred Coffman's role in founding the high school:
"In the spring of 1893, a meeting was held in Toronto Hall, and the subject [of a new high school] discussed.  [The leaders of the high school movement] secured the services of Mr. Alfred Coffman, a trustee of Old Elk Grove District, and a man who, though having had very little schooling in his boyhood, took a deep interest in promoting education among the boys and girls.    Mr. Coffman drove through eighteen districts, interviewing all the residents and trying to convince them of the advantages that a union high school would be to their community.  He asked the head of every family to sign his name to a paper, stating whether he was in favor of or opposed to, the movement.  Dr. McKee carefully arranged that, in Mr. Coffman's campaign, Elk Grove was kept the central point of the territory canvassed.    The opposition which the recent campaign for a new high school met, vividly recalled those days of 1893, when interest was waxing warm in the establishment of the high school.  Mr. Coffman met with many rebuffs, which sometimes really amounted to insults.    But his earnest work was rewarded.  An election was called in each district and a vote taken on the establishment of the union high school; it carried in sixteen districts." 
Alfred Coffman died on 28 August 1897 and the following article appeared in the Sacramento Union newspaper.
Sacramento Daily Record-Union, Sunday August 29 1897, p. 11 "A GOOD CITIZEN GONE-- Alfred Coffman's Death the Result of His Injuries"     "Last Monday Alfred Coffman a well known citizen living near Elk Grove, was thrown from a load of wheat by a sudden movement of his horses, and his breast was badly injured.      He died yesterday morning, it being supposed that an artery burst and that he bled to death.  He was a native of Illinois, aged 74, and leaves behind a number of children-three sons, John, William and Marion Coffman, and four daughters, Mrs. L.B.Locke, Mrs. J.H. Anderson, Mrs. E.W. Rivers and Mrs. E.B. Holmes.  Mrs. Rivers of this city is the only daughter living in this county, the others living elsewhere in the State and in the East.  The funeral will take place tomorrow at 2 p.m. from his late residence.      Mr. Coffman was a man whose integrity and sterling qualities had won the regard of his friends and neighbors, and they will deeply regret the loss the community has sustained in his death." 
The image below was posted on Ancestry.com:


I also have a transcript of an article about the funeral from the Sacramento Bee:
The Evening Bee, Tuesday August 31, 1897 "ALFRED COFFMAN'S FUNERAL--One of the Largest Ever Seen in Vicinity of Elk Grove-- The funeral of Alfred Coffman, who was a prominent citizen of Sacramento County, took place at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon from the family residence near Elk Grove.  The funeral was one of the largest ever seen in that part of the county, and it was under the auspices of Elk Grove Lodge, No. 274, I.O.O.F. The following members of the lodge acted as pallbearers: John Mahon, H.S. Putney, Geo. Taylor, W.D. Haas, S.W. Kennedy, H.G. Alltucker. The members of the Elk Grove High School, which Mr. Coffman had helped to establish, attended the funeral in body.  The sermon was preached by Rev. A.C. Duncan."
The article above helps to confirm the role of Alfred Coffman in the founding of Elk Grove High School and the appreciation felt by the students.

New headstone of Alfred Coffman in San Joaquin Township, Cemetery.
There was another stone on the grave that measured five feet high when I visited in 1991.
A visual clue from this headstone is that the three interlocked links of the chain is the symbol of the Odd Fellows.  Here is the information from the Odd Fellows Register that I obtained in the 1990's by visiting the lodge building:  IOOF Lodge #274 Register, Elk Grove, California; #9 Alfred Coffman, Rank 5, Age 55, Occupation- Farmer, Residence- Elk Grove, admitted by card, May 2, 1878; Last Place of Membership & Name of Lodge- Blandinsville #263, Illinois; Appointed Office When Passed- 3;

The 1890 history of Sacramento County tells us more about Alfred Coffman's role with Elk Grove Lodge, No. 274, I.O.O.F. The lodge met at Elk Grove, Saturday evenings, in the hall over Everson's store.  It was organized May 2, 1878 and Alfred Coffman was a charter member and the first treasurer.  He was also treasurer in 1890.  There were 36 members in 1890 which was the largest number in its early history.  The Odd Fellows Building was valued at $800 in 1890.  So Alfred Coffman was indeed an "Odd Fellow."

The Elk Grove Odd Fellows building was photographed and this photo was placed on Waymarking.com  in 2011.



Monday, March 13, 2017

William Fowler Coffman, Born 1815 Kentucky - Died 1905 Illinois

As preparation for the big reveal of my uncle Ernie Coffman's y-DNA, we will focus this week on Ernie's second great grandfather, William Fowler Coffman. He was born 30 July 1815 in Kentucky and died in Hancock County, Illinois on September 11, 1905.  I took this photograph of his headstone in 1993.  The stone appears to have been added much later than 1905.



!BIRTH: 1815 Kentucky;  "...William and Elizabeth (Wilson) Coffman [were] born in Kentucky [and] came when children with their parents to Illinois at so early a day that Indians were still plentiful in the state."  per Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois & History of Hancock Co. Scofield Vol. 11; pg. 1186 Sketch of Aaron DeWitt.  The source of this information was probably Sarah Coffman, daughter of Wm. F. Coffman and Elizabeth Wilson and wife of Aaron De Witt.

!RESIDENCE:1818-1830 Jefferson County, Illinois; "When he was three years of age the family removed to Jefferson county, Illinois where they remained twelve years, when in 1830 they came to this vicinity where he has since resided" per obituary.

 !CHURCH: 1831; United with the Baptist church at New Hope in McDonough County at 16 years of age per obituary.

!MARRIAGE: 1837; McDonough County Marriage License; COFFMAN, WILLIAM to WILSON, ELIZABETH         18 Dec 1837; Book   A/Page  21     License 162 ; "They were married by the Rev. John Logan, a worthy Baptist divine and one of the earliest pioneer preachers in Illinois. " per wife's obituary.

!RESIDENCE: 1838-1841 Illinois; Mary Jane b. IL 1838; Sarah b. IL abt 1841.

!CENSUS: 1840; His father, Jacob Coffman and his brothers, Thomas and Leroy are in Nodaway Township, Buchanan County, Missouri in the 1840 census.  He apparently followed them to Missouri in 1841. According to the story told by Alfred Coffman in his Sacramento County biography they were residing in Jamestown, five miles from St. Joseph. His actual location in 1840 is currently unknown.

!RESIDENCE: 1841-1845 Missouri;  daughter Julia was born in Andrew County,  Missouri 13 November 1845.  Andrew County is directly north of Buchanan County as shown in the image below.
"In 1841 they removed to Missouri, but four years later returned to Illinois, resolved to make it their permanent home. " per wife's obituary.
MOAndrew1.JPG


!CENSUS:1850; Illinois, McDonough Co. p. 256 Family 370 William 35 KY farmer $600, Elizabeth 34 KY, Mary J. 12 IL, Sarah E. 10 IL, Aritney 7 (f) IL, John A.  4 MO, Archabold 4/12 IL, Joel Goodrin 17 KY

!CENSUS:1850; McDonough Co., IL;p.507, line 370;GS#007689.

LN HSE FAM NAME                  AGE SEX BIRTHPLACE OCCUPATION REAL ESTATE
27  370  370 Coffman William        35   M         KY  Farmer  $600
28  370  370 Coffman Elisabeth      34   F         KY
29  370  370 Coffman Mary J         12   F         IL    X
30  370  370 Coffman Sarah E        10   F         IL    X
31  370  370 Coffman Aritney?        7   F         IL    X
32  370  370 Coffman John A [should be Julia]           4   M         MO
33  370  370 Coffman  Archabole  4/12   M         IL

!LAND: 1850-1851; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; The following series of land transactions appear to be related to Section 18, in the Northwest quarter of Township 7 Norther and Range 4 West; the first name is the grantor and the second name is the grantee.

!LAND: 1850; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; Lucy Ward and others to Wm. and A. Coffman; Dec. 25, 1850 and January 6, 1851; Book O, Page 320; Pt Deed

!LAND: 1851; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; Wm. Coffman and wife to Alfred Coffman; January 1, 1851 and January 6, 1851; Book O, Page 321; Pt Deed

!LAND: 1851; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; Alfred Coffman and wife to William Coffman; January 1, 1851 and January 6, 1851; Book O, Page 322; Pt Deed

!LAND: 1851; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; William Coffman and wife to S.L. Charter; January 1, 1851 and January 6, 1851; Book O, Page 323; 10 acres North East Corner; Deed

!CENSUS: 1855; Illinois State Census Collection, 1825-1865 http://www.ancestry.com  about William Coffman Name: William Coffman Census Date: 1855 Residence State: Illinois Residence County: McDonough Residence Township: Township 7 Roll: ILSC_2192 Line: 14; The listing shows William and Alfred Coffman residing in Township 7 North, Range 4 West.  The tick marks show the following listing.  The names and ages have been inserted for comparison purposes.  The listings and tick marks show one male under 10 [Archibald, age 5]; one male 30 to 40 [William, the father 40]; four females 10 to 20 [Mary Jane 17, Sarah 13, Eary Ettna 12, Julia Ann 10]; one female 30 to 40 [Elizabeth, the mother 39].

!LAND: 1854; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; William Coffman and wife to Jos R. Fullerton; January 15, 1854 and January 9, 1855; Book W, Page 123; Pt Deed

!LAND: 1854; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; William Coffman and wife to Jos R. Hunt; May 15, 1854 and August 22, 1854; Book V, Page 170; Pt Deed

!LAND: 1859; McDonough County, Illinois Land Records; Elias Green to William Coffman; Nov 15, 1859 and April 4, 1859; Book L-M, Page 342; Pt Deed

!CENSUS:1860 Durham Twp., Hancock Co., IL; LDS film #803184, FHL book p. 62 Page 954 P.O. Durham, Enum. 18 August 1860, Dwelling 5004, Family 4870

William 45 KY farmer REAL ESTATE $2400 PERSONAL PROPERTY $930,
Elizabeth 44 KY,
Mary Jane 21 IL (married),
Sarah 19 IL,
Arietta 17 MO,
Julia A. 14 MO,
Archibald W. 10 IL,
Catherine 7 IL,
Luella 5 IL,
Douglas 1 IL.

!BIOGRAPHY: The Pecks of Hancock County, Illinois by Annabelle Witt Linneman "The William Coffman family with their six daughters and two young sons lived in a one room log house nearby and before long, [Christopher Columbus Peck aka Lum] was courting 18 year old Julia." [Reference 1860 census, Durham Township, Hancock Co., Illinois]

!LAND-RESIDENCE: Durham Twp. Pioneers by Suzanne Miller; pg. 9 William Coffman owned land Section 34 Durham Twp. 1860's & 1870's. Wife Elizabeth. Children: Mary Jane, Sarah, Arietta, Julia, "Archibald, Luella, & Douglas.

!CENSUS: 1870; a line by line search of Durham Township in 1870 failed to reveal William Coffman.  Perhaps the Coffman family was traveling in July 1870 or perhaps they were missed by the census enumerator.

!LAND-RESIDENCE: 1874 Map of Durham Twp. north east quarter of section 34; Illustrated Historical Atlas of Hancock County, Illinois, 1874; Published by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, Illinois. pg. 70.  In 1874, William Coffman owned most of the of the north east quarter of Section 34, Durham Township, Hancock County, Illinois.



!CENSUS:1880 Durham Twp., Hancock Co., Illinois  Source: FHL Film 1254211  National Archives Film T9-0211     Page 98C                  

NAME Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace

William COFFMAN      Self             M M W 63 KY  Occ: Farmer Fa: GER Mo: ENG
Elisabeth COFFMAN   Wife             F M W 62 IL  Occ: Keeping House Fa: KY Mo: KY
Sarah COFFMAN       Dau  F S W 38 IL  Occ: At Home Fa: KY Mo: KY
Frank ONEIL       GSon M S W 13 IL  Occ: Farmer Fa: PA Mo: IL

!RESIDENCE: 1886 Durham Twp.  7N 6W, LaCrosse, NE 1/4 of Sec. 34; Directory of Hancock Co. Illinois, 1886; FHL 977.343 E4d.

!CHURCH: 1886 East Durham Christian Church

!LAND: Deed record Volume 113, page 213; Geo. Locke and Mary Locke, his wife of the town of La Harpe, County of Hancock, State of Illinois for... sixteen hundred dollars in hand paid convey and warrant to Wm. Coffman of the town of Durham, County of Hancock, State of Illinois the following described real estate: Lot No. 13 in the subdivision of the southwest quarter of section number twenty two (22) in Township seven (7) north of range five (5) west; SOURCE: Deed records v. 112-113 1881-1895; Family History Library; United States & Canada Film #954291

!RESIDENCE: 1888-1905 LaHarpe, IL

!RESIDENCE: 1891; William Coffman owned Lot 13 in La Harpe.  This was adjacent to the George Locke property on the east and James McCallister property on the east and fronted the highway. He also owned a 23 acre parcel in Durham Township, Section 6. It was a portion of the northwest quarter of the Southeast quarter. E.J. Smith owned 56 acres of the west half of section 6 and bordered William Coffman on the south. SOURCE: 1891 Plat book of Hancock County, Illinois / compiled and published by Alden, Ogle & Co., page 89.





!NEWSPAPER: La Harper 11 Aug 1893      Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Springer of Carthage, visited with Elias Brandon's family, at Blandinsville, Sunday and Monday and returning visited their good friends Mr. and Mrs. P.D. Williams and spent the night with their old Pilot grove neighbors, Wm. Coffman and family.  John's visit about town was all too short.  He has friends here by the score, who failed to meet him.

!WIFE'S DEATH: Elizabeth Wilson Coffman, wife of William F. Coffman, died on 25 October 1893 at their home in La Harpe, Hancock County, Illinois.  Her obituary tells a great deal about their life together. 

!OBITUARY: From the LaHarper or The Quill, LaHarpe, IL    Elizabeth Coffman was born in Washington county, Kentucky, February 27, 1816 and died at her home in LaHarpe, Illinois, Oct. 28, 1893 at the age of 77 years, 8 months and 1 day.    She was the daughter of James and Elizabeth Wilson.  She came with her parents to Illinois in 1833.  They settled in McDonough county in what was then known as "Jobe's Settlement."  This became a typical pioneer home, the hearth glowed with genial warmth and all was hospitality and good cheer.  Here in the bloom of womanhood, surrounded by parents, brothers, and sisters, she became affianced to a young man, also hailing from her old neighborhood, who had come out west to try his fortune and build up a family.  The wedding took place Dec. 7, 1837 and she became the wife of Mr. Wm. Coffman.  They were married by the Rev. John Logan, a worthy Baptist divine and one of the earliest pioneer preachers in Illinois.  They started on life's journey with bright hopes and cheerful hearts.  They resolved to make the most of the situation and to endure all the evils in order to enjoy the sweets of pioneer life.  In 1841 they removed to Missouri, but four years later returned to Illinois, resolved to make it their permanent home.    Mrs. Coffman became the mother of nine children, two sons and seven daughters, two of the daughters died before attaining womanhood and four, Mrs. O'Neil and Mrs. Earlywine, Eary Ettna and Luella preceded her to the better world, Mrs. O'Neil and Mrs. Earlywine leaving small children.  Mrs. Coffman cared for these children during their tender age and lavished upon them the wealth of her motherly affection.  Her two surviving daughters, Mrs. Dewitt and Mrs. Peck and one son, Alfred D. Coffman, live in Hancock county, and all have been most devoted to their mother in her last illness.  One son, Archibald D. Coffman, lives in California.  She also leaves her surviving husband.    Faithful indeed have they kept their marriage vows.  For over half a century have they loved cherished and assisted each other along life's journey.  She was always kind and hospitable and with all possessed a cheerful disposition. In all the varied circumstances, come what might, she was equal to the occasion and maintained a cheerful mien and a happy spirit.   These noble qualities endeared her to a host of loving friends and made her home agreeable and pleasant to all about her.  She was a devoted wife a kind mother and a noble friend.  From childhood to old age she had practiced those virtues which dignify human character and adorn the Christian.  Those who knew her best loved her most.  Let us keep her memory green until we too are called hence.

!CENSUS: 1900; Name:Wm Coffman
Age:84
Birth Date: Jul 1815
Birthplace: Kentucky
Home in 1900: La Harpe City, La Harpe Township, Hancock County, Illinois
Race: White
Gender:  Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Widowed
Father's Birthplace: Kentucky
Mother's Birthplace: England
Occupation: Retired Farmer
Ownership: Owned a house, free of mortgage
Neighbors:
Household Members:
Name Age
Wm Coffman 84
Sarah De Witt 59
Sarah De Witt was the daughter of William F. Coffman.  She was born October 1840 in Illinois and she was a widow and had no children according to this census record.

!LAND: Deed Book 143, page 381, The grantor, Wm. Coffman, widower of this city of La Harpe in the County of Hancock, State of Illinois for consideration of love and affection and one dollar convey and quit claim to Sarah E. Dewitte of this said County of Hancock and  State of Illinois all interest in the following described Real Estate to wit:
Lot Thirteen in the subdivision of the South West quarter of Section 22 in Township seven (7) north of range five (5) west according to plat thereof recorded in the recorders office of said county in plat book #3, page 58
!BIRTH-DEATH-BURIAL: Hillsborough Cemetery, McDonough Co., IL; corner of 100 E and 2150 N; section 18, Blandinsville Township; inscription: William F. Coffman July 30, 1815 - Sept 11 1905; on same stone as Elizabeth, his wife. Printed in the Rural Cemeteries of McDonough County, Illinois; Volume XVII; Blandinsville Township by Duane Lester, Good Hope, Illinois, no date, Printed by Schuyler - Brown Historical and Genealogical Society and the The Schuyler Jail Museum;  Remarks:
"This cemetery was established in 1849 at the same time that the Hillsborough Baptist Church congregation was organized.  A frame church building was built immediately south of the cemetery and stood at that location for several years.  Present condition of the cemetery grounds is good; the area is regularly maintained, well fenced, and most stones are in relatively good repair, although, many are badly weather-worn; some are broken.  At least two stones were located that were completely unreadable due to wear and damage. "
!OBITUARY: From the LaHarper, LaHarpe, IL 15 Sep 1905  William F. Coffman Died--At his home in this city, 8 o'clock Monday evening, Sept. 11, 1905, William Fowler Coffman, aged 90 years, 1 month and 13 days.    William F. Coffman was born in Kentucky, July 30, 1815.  When he was three years of age the family removed to Jefferson county, Illinois where they remained twelve years, when in 1830 they came to this vicinity where he has since resided.  He united with the Baptist church at New Hope in McDonough county at 16 years of age and has been doing Christian service all through his life, not only professing discipleship but doing his Master's work to the best of his ability.  None doubted his sincerity.  There being no Baptist church near LaHarpe he united with the East Durham Christian Church in 1886, and later removed his membership to LaHarpe.  He was zealous in Christ's cause, and a worker in the church.  He had a kindly interest in his fellow man, recognizing the brotherhood that made all men akin.  He was honest in action, honest with himself as well as with his God and his fellow man.  His life was rightly lived from early youth and to this may be attributed the attainment of his many years and the good health he always has enjoyed.  He was married to Miss Elizabeth Wilson in 1837.  Eight children were born to them, four of whom are living. Mrs. Sarah Dewitt who has lived with him since the death of Mrs. Coffman some ten years ago.  Mrs. C.C. Peck, now of Augusta, Archibald of Oakland, Cal., and A. Douglas Coffman of Graceville, Minn.  There were born twenty-one grandchildren, fourteen of whom are living and fifteen great grandchildren.    Mr. Coffman came to this city from South Durham about seventeen years ago. He has been quite feeble for a year or so and of late was unable to get around without assistance.  Last Friday he fell from his chair and while it did not seemingly cause him serious injury, he rapidly declined and passed away at 8 o'clock Monday evening.    The funeral services were held at the Christian church Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock, Eld. Huff officiating, and the burial was at Hillsborough, four miles east of this city.  The floral offerings were beautiful.

!WILL: Online will records were searched on 13 March 2017 but not record was found; "Illinois Probate Records, 1819-1988," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939J-K6Y2-3?cc=1834344&wc=SFKP-T36%3A162590601%2C163259501 : 20 May 2014), Hancock > image 6 of 358; county courthouses, Illinois.  This was an index page for the "C" surnames.

The following articles are also part of my series on Coffman Family History:

http://www.ancestorpuzzles.com/2017/01/using-dna-to-trace-18th-century-german.html

http://www.ancestorpuzzles.com/2017/02/archibald-coffman-alaska-miner-and-mare.html

http://www.ancestorpuzzles.com/2017/01/an-unknown-father-ernest-coffman-1879.html

http://www.ancestorpuzzles.com/2017/01/uncle-ernie-coffman-his-story-and-his.html

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Chain Migration from Ulster: A Case Study

I recently presented a webinar on the topic of Chain Migration from Ulster using my Bamford and Nevin families as a case study.  If you join the Southern California Genealogical Society you can watch an archived version of the webinar which is available free to members of the society.  Here are a few of my favorites images from that presentation.


Much of the trouble and the strife in Ireland throughout recorded history has been due to a struggle between Protestants and Catholics.  The six counties that comprise Northern Ireland today have been predominantly, Protestant.  One of the organizations that was founded by Protestants in 1795 was known as the Orange Order.  So I have used the color Orange as the theme of this presentation.

My goal today is to inspire you to go to Ireland.  As genealogists you will find that there are more and more records coming on line every day.  But online records are absolutely no substitute for going there.  Even if you have already discovered your Ulster Ancestry and have a fully illustrated published family history to prove it, I still recommend that you go there.

There is a process that happens when you walk on the same ground where your ancestors walked.  I like to call that process “getting your bearings.”  You get a sense of direction and purpose that you really cannot experience unless you go there.



If you take a look at these statistics you will see the numbers of people that came from Ulster during a series of 70 year time periods. 

The first figure of approximately 2,000 includes the Caribbean and South America.  The rest of the numbers are for North America

During the 1820-1890 period there were also about a half million people that moved to Scotland, England and Wales.  Because you had many people from Ulster in Great Britain it is also a good strategy to search for people with your surnames in Great Britain that were born in your subject counties.  The British census records for example give the name of the county in the birthplace column.

In the period of the Famine we have estimates based on the censuses of 1841 and 1851 that close to 300,000 people left Ulster during that ten year period alone.

One of the things to note here is the reference to Familia the Ulster Genealogical Journal.  I highly encourage you to start reading this periodical for historical context.  For example, the December 2005 edition has an article that talks about inheritance being a factor in chain migration. 

Definitions


¢ Chain migration -the social process by which immigrants from a particular town (or family) follow others from that town (or family) to a particular city or neighborhood.
¢ Ulster -a province comprising nine counties, three of which in 1921 joined Irish Free State (now Republic of Ireland) while six remained with United Kingdom
¢ One Name Studies -a project researching all occurrences of a surname, as opposed to tracing ancestors or descendants of a particular individual

 Most immigrants from Ulster came to North America based on the recommendation of a friend or relative from their home town.  Perhaps they had an offer of support by the purchase of a ticket and an offer to provide lodging.  This process of encouraging your family and friends to immigrate is known as chain migration.

We have seen the map of Ulster in the title slide and we know that there are nine counties in the region known as Ulster and  six of those counties remained in the United Kingdom as part of a new country known as Northern Ireland.  The counties of Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan became part of the Republic of Ireland.

Due to the scarcity of Irish records an excellent genealogical approach is to widen the focus from a particular pedigree to all occurrences of a surname in your Irish locality whether it be a townland, a county or a region like Ulster.  Unfortunately, due to fires and government record destruction, you will never have all of the pieces of your Ulster genealogical puzzles." By systematically gathering all records relating to your subject surnames you can effectively piece together an image of your Ulster ancestry.


I am going to be using two of my Ulster surnames as a case study to illustrate the principals of Chain Migration and One Name Studies.  The scope of this study quickly becomes quite large when you consider all of the descendants of these people.

By tracing all of the descendants, I have been able to find written accounts and documents that have helped to tie all of these people together into family groups. However, many mysteries remain.


 Before we dig deeper into the one name study methodology, let’s talk about the history, geography and government of Ireland.

Today the island of Ireland is divided into two countries: (1) the Republic of Ireland, also known as √Čire and (2) the Northern Ireland region of the United Kingdom.  Eire is represented by the IE abbreviation and URL.  The government agencies of Northern Ireland use the uk.gov URL. 

Northern Ireland uses the British pound as their currency and Ireland is part of the Euro Zone and uses the Euro for their currency.  If you are planning a trip to Ireland you will need to carry both currencies if you plan to cross the border.

Prior to 1922. the island of Ireland was one country and it was one of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom together with England, Scotland, and Wales. The language most widely spoken is English but the Republic of Ireland also publishes many of their documents in Gaelic and is actively attempting to preserve and promote Gaelic language and heritage.

There are several acronyms here that you need to learn. GRO is an abbreviation for General Register Office which retains the civil records of birth , marriage and death. PRONI stands for Public Record Office of Northern Ireland which functions more like the U.S.  National Archives.


I had collected photos and notes about the Banfords and the Nevins from my Aunt Aline.

The girl is my great grandmother Anna Elizabeth Banford.  She was born in Schuyler County, Missouri which is on the Missouri and Iowa state line.


The old woman in this photograph is shown here as “Grandma Nevin.”  Her maiden name was Anne Bamford. Several descendants were named Anna Elizabeth so that may have been her full name too. She was born in County Fermanagh and came to the United States in 1850 with her husband, Thomas Nevin and three daughters. 


 This pedigree chart shows what I know today about my Ulster ancestors.  I have learned that there were relatively few people with the surnames Bamford and Nevin in Ulster and especially in County Fermanagh and County Tyrone where I have focused my research.  I still struggle to a great extent to find records about these Ulster ancestors but the picture that has emerged has been helped by the One Name Study approach.

When I started, I knew that this family group in the large red circle immigrated in 1850.

It is not clear whether George Banford was considered a friend or a family member.  George immigrated in 1853 and married Mary Nevin in Schuyler County in 1859.  George and Mary were living next door to Thomas and Anne Nevin in 1860.

Samuel and Alexander in the fourth generation on the pedigree chart are the right ages to be siblings but I have not found any records to support that conclusion.  If Samuel and Alexander were brothers, then George Banford and Mary Nevin would share a great grandfather which would make them 2nd cousins.


With Irish research sometimes it is better to be lucky than to be good.  My One Name Study of the Bamfords was incredibly luck to find this 1821 census record of the Alexander Bamford family.  So let’s zoom in and take a closer look at this family.


This 1821 record for the townland of Ramult in County Fermanagh shows us just how tragic it was that most of these census records were lost. This 1821 census lists the names of all of the members of the household and states their relationship to the head of household.  We don’t get this until 1850 in the U.S.

This census also states the occupation of all of the family members that were working.  The father, Alexander Bamford was a farmer who apparently was growing flax because his wife, Jane is listed as a Flax Spinner and his son, Joseph is a Weaver.

After several years of poring over this census record, I have been able to find that Alexander Bamford was my ancestor.  Most of the people in this family immigrated to North America.

You might not be as lucky to find a census fragment that lists your ancestors but if there is one of these for a nearby location, you might want to pay attention to it because of the social and economic history that it might contain.



 The first person in this chain migration example was Joseph Bamford who was the weaver that we saw in the 1821 census.  We have not been able to find him on a passenger list but we know that he was married in April 1831 in Belmont County, Ohio and that he lived there until he died in 1892.  From 1831 to 1850, he must have kept in contact with his siblings as three of them would end up residing near him.

Margaret Bamford immigrated from County Fermanagh to Canada some time prior to 1846 when she married William Bryans in Toronto.  The Bryans family lived in Port Stanley, Ontario for at least 20 years and prior to the 1870 census they migrated to the U.S. and settled in Moundsville, West Virginia which is across the Ohio river from Belmont County, Ohio where her brother, Joseph Bamford had been living for almost 40 years.

Thomas Nevin and his wife, Ann Bamford immigrated in 1850 with their three daughters.  In 1850, we find them living with Ann’s brother, Joseph Bamford in Belmont County, Ohio directly across the river from Wheeling, West Virginia. By 1860 Thomas and Ann Nevin had settled in Schuyler County, Missouri where they lived the rest of their lives.

William Bamford was a brother of Joseph and Ann and he immigrated about 1850 and went directly to Wheeling, West Virginia.  He was married twice in Ireland and had five children in Ireland and was married a third time in Wheeling and had five children with his third wife.

This is screenshot of the 1911 Census website sponsored by the National Archives of Ireland.  These records appear to be complete for the entire island.

You can see that this is a listing of the surnames found residing in the six households in the Townland of Rafintan.  In house six, you will notice that the head of household is named Irvine and that there is also someone named Nevin living in that household.  It turns out that this is a widow probably living with her daughter’s family.

But for demonstration purposes, let’s look at the Lynn family.



This is the transcribed list of occupants and again we should repeat that this census database was sponsored by the National Archives of Ireland.  We see that the head of household was Thomas Lynn and that his wife was Grace.  I was able to find a marriage record for Thomas Lynn and Grace Nevin and I was able to determine that both of them are Nevin descendants.  The mother of Thomas Lynn was Jane Nevin.  The father of Grace Nevin was Galbraith Nevin. 


The landlord for the Rafintan townland was the Brooke Family.  Their manor house is called Colebrooke and the nearest town is called Brookeborough.  When I was in Ireland, I went to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and looked at the Rent Book for the Brooke Estate for 1851.  The book shows the names of the tenants in the townland of Rafintan and the rents collected.  The listing for my ancestor Thomas Nevin shows a half year's rent due May 1851 of £7, 10p, 5 1/2d that was paid by Galbraith Nevin.  This would indicate that Thomas Nevin and family had left Ireland and that they had transferred their interest in the land to Galbraith Nevin.  When we dig into the Griffiths valuation we will learn how to trace the transfer of ownership of the lands of Rafintan.



Here we see the original image for the 1911 census listing of the Lynn family.  There is some additional information here about education levels and occupations and in the far right column it gives the County of Birth.  In the case of this family, they were all born in County Fermanagh.


One of the things that I also want you to notice are the first names of the children: Richard, Mary Jane and Isabella.


The gravestones of Ulster are particularly valuable because you find several members of the family listed on the same gravestone.  Here is an example that helps to tell us more about the Lynn family that we just saw in the 1911 census.

Thomas Lynn is clearly noted as a resident of Rafinton.  He and his wife and children are all named on this stone with their dates of death and their age at death.  This is like having a family group sheet printed on the gravestone.  I will tell you now that I had to go to Ireland to get this picture.


The daughters, Mary Jane and Isabella were the last known residents of the farm in Rafintan so before I made my trip, I was very interested in finding anyone named Lynn that resided in County Fermanagh.


One of my strategies while planning my trip to Ireland was to look for people in County Fermanagh with the names Bamford and Nevin in the online version of the British Telecom white pages.


There were no Nevins.  So since I knew that the Lynns had occupied Rafintan townland, I also looked up the listing for the Lynn surname.  I got really excited when I found a listing for George Nevin Lynn.  So I called him up with my International calling card and let him know we were coming to Northern Ireland.  He met us at the Town Hall gave us a tour of the area and took us home for dinner.  I was able to get enough information from him to determine how he was connected to the Nevins.



After I interviewed George Lynn in Ireland and looked at his family documents, I was able to piece together his family history when we got home.  As you can see he was in fact a Nevin descendant.  George had Nevin as a middle name.  George’s paternal grandfather had Nevin as a first name and his great grandmother was Jane Nevin daughter of Richard Nevin and Isabella Mosgrove.


 Bertie Morrow was a retired postman that was introduced to us by some Banford descendants.  I tracked down a Banford descendant in Canada who had connections with a woman name Betty Warrington who lived at Fivemiletown on the Fermanagh Tyrone border.  I called Betty and let her know we were coming and when we arrived she set us up with Bertie as our tour guide.  Bertie took us to see properties in Fermanagh and Tyrone that he knew were connected to Bamfords.  And later, Betty and her brother, Wilfred Anderson took us on a tour of their family homesteads and cemeteries.

Keep in mind at the time we went, we were not sure if any of these people were actually related.  We only knew that they had some connection with either Bamford or Nevin.

The picture above is the Colebrooke Cemetery and the grave that we were visiting was in a Bamford family plot.


Example of Griffiths search for my ancestral name Nevin in County Fermanagh, Aghalurcher Parish 


Copies of the Valuation are widely available in major libraries and record offices, both on microfiche and in their original published form. The dates of first publication will be found under individual counties. 


The Valuation was never intended as a census substitute, and if the 1851 census had survived, it would have little genealogical significance. As things stand, however, it gives the only detailed guide to where in Ireland people lived in the mid-19th century, and what property they possessed. In addition, because the Valuation entries were subsequently revised at regular intervals, it is often possible to trace living descendants of those originally listed by Griffith. (See
Valuation Office Records


The
Surnames section of this site provides counts of the number of households of a particular surname recorded in the counties and civil parishes of Ireland, based on the returns of Griffith's Valuation.

 Over the last several years PRONI has been in the process of adding these Valuation Revision books which are the original records that were the source of the Griffiths valuation.  These books are currently searchable by place name so again we are using Rafintan as an example. 

You can see here that there are a series of books ranging from 1864 to 1929.  My ancestors had already left Ireland during this period but many of their siblings and cousins remained there.

When you click on the links you get to the original images which start here with the cover. The title of the book is General Valuation of Ireland. Rafintan was in the Union of Lisnaskea and the Electoral Division of Cross. VAL 12B/28/11A is the PRONI reference number which should be included in your source citation.



This is an index page which shows which page each townland is listed.  So we page forward to Rafintan on page 36. You may also notice that the townland of Ramult is on page 39.


So now we are on page 36 and you see that the tax collectors used the same book over a period of years and crossed out names when a new family occupied a farm.  I have told you a little about Galbraith Nevin that he paid the rent on the farm of my ancestor Thomas Nevin in 1851.  Sir Victor Brooke was the lessor of the land and he was also known as the Lord of the Manor.  Galbraith Nevin also became a lessor after the departure of John Beatty.  At the bottom of the page you will see that Anthony Nevin took over the land of Samuel Beatty.  So make a mental note of these names as you will continue to see them in other records.


As you step back further in time, one of the alternatives to census records are the tithe applotment records. The applotment books for each parish give the names of the occupiers, the amount of land that they held and the value assigned to it.  The owners or lease holders were required to pay a tithe to the Church of Ireland.

This example shows the owners and occupiers of Rafintan townland and the other Nivens listings in the County.  Richard and Thomas Nivens were resident in Rafintan in 1833.  Unfortunately there is no descriptive information to state their ages.



You remember Samuel Beatty was one of the occupiers in the Valuation Books.  This gravestone was marked at the bottom with the words that I have superimposed here: the Family Burying Ground of Samuel Beatty, Rafinton.  This gravestone was located in Colebrooke Cemetery.


You can see that the wife of Anthony Nevin was Jane Beatty and that she died in 1896.  The marriage record of Anthony Nevin and Jane Beatty confirms that Samuel Beatty was her father and it also states that Anthony’s father was Galbraith Nevin.

This stone was erected by Richard Nevin of Rafinton in memory of his parents, his wife, daughter and also his son Thomas who departed this life Sep't 16 th 1838 aged 28 years Also Richard Nevin who departed this life 14 Nov 1862 Aged 84 years Also Isabella Nevin daughter of the late Richard Nevin of Rafinton departed this life July 17 1872 aged 58 years
 This stone clearly states that Richard Nevin was a resident of Rafinton and that he had a daughter named Isabella.  The family history notes that I received from my Aunt Aline stated that Thomas Nevin had a brother Richard who had a daughter named Belle.  Belle is a nickname for Isabella.  So based on these facts I have made a tentative conclusion that Richard Nevin on this gravestone is the brother of my ancestor, Thomas Nevin.



For more historical context on your Ulster Counties, I recommend that you get a copy of the Ordnance Survey Memoirs for your county.  These books were compiled by the staff of the Ordnance Survey.  The best way to describe the Ordnance Survey is that they were the map makers similar to our U.S. Geological Survey that produces the topographic maps of the United States.  The memoirs are a snapshot of everyday life in the 1830s when the maps were first being made.  


These memoirs were published in the 1980s and 1990s by the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University of Belfast.  There is a section on each parish in the county.  The descriptions include the natural features such as hills, lakes, rivers, bogs, woods and climate.  The towns are described including  their history, the buildings, and the occupations of the local population.  The economy is described listing the principal industries and the local agricultural methods.  The principal landowners are featured in some detail with lists of the townlands on their estates.  These books provide very helpful historical context for the everyday life of your Ulster ancestors.



IRISH ESTATE RECORDS

Few people realize that many of the landed estate owners kept detailed records of their estates, including records of their tenants. These estate records are invaluable for the genealogist and many of them are held at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.


The diversity of sources found in estate records is amazing. The PRONI website has a description of estate records.  Suffice it to say that there are plenty more records for me to explore when I return to the Public Record Office on my next visit to Belfast.

An interesting side note to the Irish estates is that since they have been divested of their land, the current owners have had to come up with a variety of schemes to maintain these massive houses.  You can see the Lord of the Manor here advertising his deer hunting adventures.  The latest scheme is the Colebrooke Spa which was developed in a reality TV series.


There is a new URL for PRONI the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. PRONI.GOV.UK is short form URL that I show in the orange box here and still works.

I spent five days at PRONI and only scratched the surface of their archival records.  Before you go, I encourage you to spend lots of time with their extensive web resources.  I only have time to show you one example of a document that is extracted in their E-catalog.  Notice that I searched on just the first four letters to try to find variant spellings.

The image above is an extract of a lease.  When I got to PRONI, I requested a copy of the original document.  When I got home I transcribed it:



!RESIDENCE: 1807; Derryheely, Co. Fermanagh D998/26/254 23 Feb. 1807 Lease from Henry Brooke, Colebrooke, Co. Fermanagh, to Samuel Bamford of Derryheely, Co. Fermanagh, Farmer a part of the lands of of Derryheely now in his possession containing 7 acres 1 rood 35 perches and one half perch as lately surveyed by Wm. Cairns  bounded on the north by that part of the lands of Derryheely now in the possession of James Byers & on the south by that part of Derryheely now in the possesion of William Scoles      For the lives of John Bamford aged about ten years, William Bamford aged about eight years, first & second sons of Samuel Bamford, the Lessee and Adam Byers aged about five years, eldest son of James Byers of Derryheely: (1) Rent £14 11s. 7 1/2d.; (2) Receivers fees nil; (3) Fourteen days work of man and horse and fourteen hens or tenpence in lieu of each days work and fourpence in lieu of each hen; and, (4) Corn, etc, to be ground at mill of Henry Brooke, payment for not doing so £5. Copy of Deed from PRONI in the possession of Nick Cimino since 2008



On the left is another example of a lease on the Brooke Estate involving  my immigrant ancestor, Thomas Nevin.  I have displayed the lease next to his gravestone from Schuyler County, Missouri. The gravestone yields a birth year of 1791.  The lease gives us an estimated birth date of 1793.  We also have a baptismal record dated 1791. Here is the text of the above lease transcribed:

D998/26/295 : 29 Sep. 1812 Lease from Henry Brooke, Colebrooke, Co. Fermanagh, to Richard Neven and Thomas Neven, Rafintan, Co. Fermanagh, of 25a. 2r. 5p. of Rafintan, Co. Fermanagh, for the lives of Thomas Neven, lessee, aged about nineteen, Mathew Lucy, son of Thomas Lucy of Dogary [Doogary] aged about nine years and Thomas Neven, eldest son of Richard Neven one of the lessees aged about four years


This is the survey drawing of that lease dated 1812.  The area on the bottom of the image is the demesne where the Brooke family lived. There is the name of an adjacent townland named Tattynuckle with an alternate spelling but otherwise there is very little detail.


By 1841 the property had been split between Thomas and Richard Nevins so that they both had 11 acres. Some of the adjacent lease holders are named as well as the names of some adjacent townlands.  My ancestor, Thomas Nevin left Ireland nine years later so this shows the land that he left behind.


This is how the land looked in the 1860s from the Ordnance Survey maps for the Griffiths valuation at the askaboutireland.ie site.  The parcels that are labeled 3A and 4A are the Nevin parcels.  Parcel 5 is the bog. 


Here is the legend to the Griffiths Valuation Map and it shows that Galbraith and Richard Nevin were leasing land and subleasing land to other tenants.


In conclusion, here is a picture of Bertie Morrow and I in 2008. We were walking up the muddy road on the Lynn property which previously belonged to the Nevins.  This was the same property where my ancestor, Thomas Nevin lived prior to immigrating to the United States in 1850 and here I was over a 150 years later walking on that same ground.


When we went in 2008, the signs of the Irish Troubles were evident everywhere we went.  A shaky peace had been established which reduced the level of violence between Catholics and Protestants to the point where it was safe to travel there.  The people were ready for peace and reconciliation.  


They were ready to accept their American cousins with open arms.  The people were so gracious and welcoming.  The Irish now realize that genealogical tourism is an important part of their economy and they have been working hard to maintain the peace for a decade.  So go there. Now!  


Many of the cousins that I met there have passed away.  So go there, now!  You will treasure your trip to Ireland for the rest of your life