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Remembering Elizabeth (Sparke) Munson

Elizabeth Sparke, my 10th great grandmother, was born ca. 1575 in Rattlesden, Suffolk, England, the daughter of William and Elizabeth Sparke. At the approximate age of 16, in 1591, she married John Munson (1571 – 1650) in Rattlesden. The couple had four known children: Elizabeth (1595 – 1635), Judith (1606 – 1638), Mary (1609 – 1648), and Thomas (1612 – 1685). Her son, Thomas, immigrated to the New World, and became Captain Thomas Munson of the New Haven Colony.

Elizabeth is thought to have died (or maybe was buried) on 3 January, 1634 having spent her entire life in Rattlesden.

Source: Find A Grave

The Birth of Bartholomaus (Barthel) Boerner

Today is the birthday of my paternal great grand uncle, Bartholomaus Boerner. I have made brief reference to Bartle (as the family wrote his name) earlier in a post about his younger brother, my great grandfather, Martin Boerner, Sr. The paper mill the brothers worked at in Niagara, WI was the Kimberly-Clark mill, also previously explored. Today’s focus is on Bartle and his family.

Bartholomaus Boerner, his name often written in American records as Barthel or Bartel Borner (the “e” removed),  was born on Christmas Eve of 1856 to Adam and Annae Mariae (Janz) Boerner. The family resided in Gaulsheim, Ahunhessen, Germany. He was baptized the next day, Christmas Day, at Roemisch-Katholische Kirche in Gaulsheim.

On September 19, 1884, when he was 27 years old, Bartle arrived in New York City on the ship, Rhynland, which had departed from Antwerp.* Like so many other immigrants, he traveled in steerage on the trip to his new country. He moved to Milwaukee, a popular place for Germans immigrating to the United States.

Fifteen months after he arrived in the States, Barthel married Minna Grube in Milwaukee on January 14, 1886. Minna was a first generation German-American born in Milwaukee to her German immigrant parents, Wilhelm and Caroline (Schurmann) Grube. The young couple lived in Milwaukee where Bartel worked as a packer and a laborer according the City Directories.

The couple’s first son, William Peter, was born on July 30, 1886 and their daughter, Anna, was born into the family on February 9, 1888. The family continued to live in Milwaukee until at least 1893 according to city records. Sometime soon after that they moved to Kaukauna in Outagamie County, WI so Bartel could work in the paper mill. Their youngest son, Arthur Fredrick, was born on May 30, 1895 in Kaukauna.

Two years later, in December of 1897, Bartle’s younger brother, Martin arrived in the United States and joined his brother in Wisconsin. The brothers traveled up to Niagara, WI to work at the mill for a year. Bartle then returned home to his family and Martin brought his family over to join him in Niagara.

According to the City Directory records, when the family moved to Kaukauna, Bartle was listed in the 1897 and 1901 directories as a fireman. In 1908, he worked at Boyds paper mill and in 1910 he was at Brokaw mill. It was also noted that he was an Alderman in 1910 at the age of 54. Bartle died on April 1, 1914 at the age of 57.


*Source: “United States Germans to America Index, 1850-1897,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01 Oct 2013), Bart. Borner, 1884.

Remembering John L. Blue

John L. Blue, my 3rd great grand uncle died on this day in 1895 at the age of 53. John was the son of Robert and Martha (Blue) Blue and the younger brother of my 3rd great grandmother, Elizabeth “Betsy” (Blue) Bates.

John was born in 1842 and married Mary Ellis in Adams County, IL on 24 Oct 1867.* They had seven children: Martha, Margaret, Emma, Edward, John, an Unknown first name, and Lawrence Peter, who was just three years old when his father died tragically in a mill accident.

According to the Illinois State Register of Springfield, IL, (Dec 24, 1895):

John Blue, one of the oldest employes at the rolling mill, met his death there last night about 9:30 o’clock in a most horrible manner, and right before the eyes of a fellow workman, who was unable to render him any assistance. A fellow workman approached Blue carrying molten iron. Blue was standing with his back to the pit in which the large fly wheel whirls at a terrific speed, when, in stepping back to get out of the way, he lost his balance and fell backward. Blue was caught in the wheel and whirled through the air. Coroner Burkhardt was notified immediately and upon arrival took the remains in charge and had them removed to Hemberger’s undertaking establishment.

The man is one of the oldest employes at the mill, having been there for over fourteen years. The accident is made doubly sad from the fact that the man leaves seven children besides his wife, all of whom are dependent upon him for support. He was 53 years of age.

Find a Grave  reports that John was buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois.

*Source Information:
Jordan Dodd and Liahona Research, comp.. Illinois, Marriages, 1851-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Index compiled from county marriage records on microfilm located at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah by Jordan Dodd of Liahona Research (P.O. Box 740, Orem, Utah 84059). Specific source information is listed with each entry.

This record can be found at the County Court Records, Film # 1845384 -1845385.

Oscar Aderman Gets Confirmed

Last month I wrote of the Rite of Confirmation of Anna Marie (Boerner) Aderman in the Lutheran Church. Today we remember the Confirmation of Oscar Dearl Aderman at the same church about three years earlier.

Oscar was born in Altamont, Effingham County, Illinois on June 25, 1907 to Carl and Floy (Bates) Aderman. When he was a boy, maybe 8 – 10 years old, his family moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and farmed outside of Daggett. The family lived with poverty and extremely hard work from the time they moved to Michigan. Oscar had to quit school after eighth grade and go to work to help support his parents and younger siblings.

When he was 20 years old, Oscar took the necessary classes to be confirmed in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and become a member in full standing at Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Daggett. The Rev. Henry Hopp presided at his Confirmation on December 18, 1927.

A few years later, after he and Ann had married and were living in Niagara, WI, they moved their membership to Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Iron Mountain, MI where Oscar was a prominent and faithful leader in the congregation.

Confirmation Certificate of Oscar Dearl Aderman

Confirmation Certificate of Oscar Dearl Aderman

Advice from a Physician in 1886

The Michigan State University Library has an amazing project called Feeding America in which they are finding old American cookbooks and uploading them for us to peruse. These cookbooks, some from the late 18th century, are a great read and tell us something of the life of women in the kitchen throughout our American history.

As we begin another cold and flu season, I offer an excerpt from the Woman Suffrage Cookbook of 1886. The book includes a chapter “Cooking for and Care of Invalids.” The introductory section was written by a woman physician, S. Adelaide Hall, M.D., and brings a clearly feminine touch to the care of those who are sick. Enjoy her insights.

Suggestions in the Care of Invalids

When a tray is prepared for an invalid, everything should be very clean and neatly arranged. Drinks should never be slopped over into the saucer; the butter should be in a small plate by itself. It is well to have the milk in a little pitcher and the sugar in a tiny bowl or cup. If only a bowl of gruel is to be offered, the bowl should be the prettiest in the house, the tray covered with a napkin, and not too much carried up at once. To see a large quantity of food is often enough to take away the appetite of an invalid entirely. Do not talk about what is to be prepared for an invalid in the sick-room. Let the meal be unexpected; it will be eaten with more relish. Never let any food stand in the chamber; remove it at once after each meal. Do not let it remain on the supposition that the invalid will perhaps take a little more after a while; it will be very certain not to be used. The same may be said about anything else used in the room. Remove it at once, and allow nothing to remain to litter up the room or create an odor.

Great attention should be paid to ventilation, as to be obliged to eat in an ill-smelling apartment would revolt the stomach of a strong and healthy person. Air thoroughly bed clothing and room. Bathe the face and hands gently before a meal. Cleanliness and fresh air will do much to improve the appetite.

The Season of Advent

candle flame_optToday, December 1, 2013, is the First Sunday of Advent. That also makes it the first day of the new Church Year. This day is always four Sundays before Christmas Day and the 12 Days of Christmas so its date varies from year to year.

In today’s United States culture, the weeks leading up to Christmas often have a lot more to do with commercialism and keeping our capitalist system working, seemingly to equate the joy of the season with buying and receiving gifts. As I ponder how our ancestors treated the season of Advent and Christmas I know it was quite a different experience.

The season of Advent in the Church was much like the Lenten season–a time of quiet and somber preparation. Churches and homes alike were not decorated until Christmas Eve and only then was the joy of the birth of the Christ Child into the world and into our souls celebrated. There are delightful traditions connected with Christmas from centuries back but they were not very “commercial” and limited to the 12 Days of Christmas (Dec 25 – Jan 5).

Now I, like so many of us, begin my Christmas preparation and celebration with Thanksgiving weekend–which is often also the First Sunday in Advent. I rather like it. Our church is decorated for Christmas and we are finding ways to prepare for the remembrance of Jesus’ birth with joyful anticipation. At home, I have my outdoor lights up, the Christmas decorations in their places, and Christmas music playing. It, too, seems like a lovely way to prepare for the annual celebration of the birth of our Christ. I am thinking that as long as we keep our focus on the love of God being manifested in the world, how we celebrate from generation to generation is of little consequence.

Celebrating Merriman Munson

Merriman Munson, my maternal 6th great grand uncle was born on November 30, 1710. He was the son of Samuel Munson (1668 – 1741) and Mary Preston Merriman Munson. Mary was the daughter of Deacon Eliasaph Preston, the widow of Caleb Merriman who died in 1703, and the second wife of Samuel Munson, whose wife Martha Farnes Munson had died in 1707. Samuel and Mary married in March of 1708, about 14 months after Martha’s death.

Interestingly, Martha named her infant son, Merriman, after the surname of her first husband. When her son grew up, he married Esther Johnson on January 24, 1733. After her death in 1757, he married the widow Thankful Peck on January 23, 1758. Merriman distinguished himself by being one of the 18 male founders of the church at Northford, Connecticut on June 13, 1750 and was chosen to be their first deacon.

At Dr. Trumbull’s ordination in North Haven Dec 23, 1760, among the “Messengers” present was “Deacon Merriman Munson from Northford Church.” His wife Esther was received from another church 1 July 1750, and Thankful was received from the church in Wallingford. Merriman was chosen grand-juror, highway surveyor, etc. . . . From his father’s estate, he had not only lands, but (by Will) “my cloathing & my augers & chissels handsaw & turning tools & what is needful in that affare &c I give to my son merriman Munson” [sic].*

Merriman’s father, Samuel, also had given him land to help him get started in life. Merriman and his wife Esther had five children: Sarah, Esther, Samuel (known as Junior), Mamre, and Lent. He was buried in the church cemetery in Northford, where he had been a deacon for 30 years.

Merriman Munson tombstone.

Merriman Munson tombstone.

The tombstone inscription reads:**

In memory of Mr. Merriman Munson who departed this life Sep 9, 1782 in the 72 year of his age. He was one of the first Deacons of the Church of Christ in this Place and sustained that office for thirty years before his death.
Pro. 10.7 The memory of the just is blessed

* from The Munson Record, Vol I, page 92.

**from Find A Grave.

Two old Thanksgiving “Receipts” (Recipes)

In the 1850 edition of Miss Beecher’s Domestic Receipt (Recipe) Book, she offered a recipe for cooking a turkey and for baking a pumpkin pie. With Thanksgiving just a day away, here are two old recipes for Thanksgiving.

To Boil a Turkey

Make a stuffing for the craw, of chopped bread and butter, cream, oysters, and the yolks of eggs. Sew it in and dredge flour over the turkey and put it to boil in cold water, with a spoonful of salt in it, and enough water to cover it well. Let it simmer for two hours and a half, or if small, less time. Skim it while boiling. It looks nicer if wrapped in a cloth dredged with flour.

Serve it with drawn butter, in which are put some oysters.

Mrs. O’s Pumpkin Pie

One quart of strained pumpkin, or squash.

Two quarts of milk, and a pint of cream.

One teaspoonful of salt, and four of ginger.

Two teaspoonfuls of pounded cinnamon.

Two teaspoonfuls of nutmeg, and two of mace.

Ten well-beaten eggs, and sugar to your taste.

Bake with a bottom crust and rim, till it is solid in the centre.

This recipe needs a cook with a bit of experience. I suspect it was cooked in a wood stove. Most women in the kitchen had a favorite pie crust recipe and knew the temperature at which to cook a pie in their stove. Miss Beecher certainly assumed a fair amount of skill in her readers.

Tracking Calendars in our Family History

Earlier this fall I was working on the Munson family, gathering data and writing some stories. I encountered a conundrum. Samuel Munson, my 7th great grandfather (1668 – 1741) married Martha Farnes. Martha died on January 7, 1707. Samuel then married Mary Preston on March 10, 1708. The conundrum was created by the birth of Tamar Munson on December 5, 1707.

January 7, 1707          Martha Farnes died

December 5, 1707     Tamar Munson was born

March 10, 1708          Mary Preston marries Samuel Munson

Who was the mother of Tamar? These are my Puritan ancestors. They were leaders in the community and respected among the members of the congregation. It is reasonable to exclude an out-of-wedlock conception and birth. After stewing on the matter for awhile, I recalled there was a change of calendars a few hundred years ago. The Connecticut State Library held the answer.

The full explanation is worth a read but the short version is that there had been two calendars in use in Europe and in the American colonies. In 1752, an act of the Parliament mandated that England and the its colonies all shift to using only the Gregorian calendar and that the New Year begin on January 1 instead of March 25.

Oh! The New Year at the time of Tamar Munson’s birth was March 25. Now my chart above has to be written:

March 25, 1707          New Years Day, 1707

December 5, 1707     Tamar Munson was born.

January 7, 1707          Martha Farnes died, just a month after the birth of her daughter.

March 24, 1707          The last day of the year (New Years Eve), 1707

March 25, 1708          New Years Day, 1708

March 10, 1708          Mary Preston marries Samuel Munson just two weeks before the start of the next New Year, 1709.

Based on the calendar, Martha was Tamar’s mother. Rather than dying 11 months before Tamar was born, she died just a month afterwards. It leaves me wondering if she died from complications from childbirth or maybe a difficult winter and the burden of caring for nine children in the new land.

The Baptism of Michael Hope

Michael Hope, my 3rd great grandfather and the son of Thomas Hope, was baptized on this day, November 11, in 1787. According to his tombstone, Michael was born in 1782 but according to the ship’s manifest when he immigrated to the USA, his birth was more likely circa 1787.  Given that infants were typically baptized soon after birth, I am inclined to trust the 1787 date. His mother and father are both listed on the baptismal record, but her name is listed only as “Hope.” The sacrament was performed at St. Helen Church in the town of Auckland which is in Durham County.*

Michael married Margaret “Mary” Errington (1783 – 1860) in the Tynemouth Christ Church in the town of  Tynemouth, Northumberland County, England, on July 10, 1815.* A year later, on July 18, 1816, she gave birth to their only known child, Michael Hope, Jr.  Michael Jr. married Elizabeth “Bessie” Foster in 1838. In 1846, when he was 58 years old, Michael Sr. and his wife Margaret, their son Michael Jr. and his family boarded the ship “Hope of Dunbury” in Liverpool, England and sailed to New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.** They traveled north, presumably via the Mississippi River, to Grant County, Wisconsin.

Michael, Sr. died seven years later, on April 27, 1853 and is buried in Providence Cemetery, Bloomington, Grant County, Wisconsin.

* Source:

**Source Citation: National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1820-1902; National Archives Microfilm Publication: M259; Roll #: 25.

Anna Marie Boerner Aderman gets Confirmed

The Boerner family in Gaulsheim, Germany were members of the Roman Catholic Church. When Martin Boerner, Sr. immigrated to Wisconsin, he continued in the family faith tradition. He raised his children in St. Anthony Catholic Church in Niagara, WI. The family is not remembered as weekly attenders at mass, but supported the ministry of the Catholic Church.

When Ann married Oscar Dearl Aderman, who was a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the young couple decided they would both attend the Lutheran congregation and raise their children there. They had married August 9, 1930 and Ann took her classes to be a confirmed member of the Lutheran congregation. Three months later, on November 2, 1930, when she was 20 years old, Rev. Henry Hopp of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Daggett, MI confirmed Ann. Later, they transferred their membership closer to their home in Niagara, WI and became strong members of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Iron Mountain, MI.

Confirmation Certificate for Anna Marie Rose Adermann

Confirmation Certificate for Anna Marie Rose Adermann

My father remembers hearing that Ann’s brothers and sisters chastised her for leaving the Roman Catholic Church and joining the Lutherans. This, of course, was a different era and Catholics and Lutherans were still at odds with each other. It ended when their father, Martin Boerner, Sr., sided with her and reminded the rest of his children–her siblings–that she was quite active in her congregation and surpassed their own involvement. Fortunately, he understood that faithful participation was more valuable than simple membership.

Annae Mariae Janz Boerner

Annae Mariae Janz Boerner, my 2nd great grandmother, was born on this day, October 31, in 1827 in Ockenheim, Rheinhessen, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. She was the daughter of Johannis Janz and Anna Mariae Faeser. (Anna Mariae Faeser was also named after her mother, Anna Mariae Reckertin, who married Philipi Faeser.)

On August 17, 1850, when Anna Mariae Janz was still 22 years old, she married Adam Boerner in the Roemisch Katholische Kirche in Gaulsheim, Germany*. According to her tombstone, she died in 1907 and was buried in Gaulsheim.

Among her children was my great grandfather Martin Boerner.  Martin’s maternal great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, as well as his younger sister were all named Annae Mariae. He continued that family name with his youngest daughter, my grandmother, Anna Maria Boerner Aderman. Since Anna Maria Boerner Aderman had only sons, the name missed a generation, but the legacy has continued for two more generations when each of her four sons used “Ann” as the middle name of their first-born daughters and three of the granddaughters have Anna or Ann in their names.

*Source: Family Search.

Remembering Jacob Boerner

My grand uncle, Jacob William Boerner, died 41 years ago today, October 27, 1972, in Niagara, Marinette County, WI. Jacob was born in Gaulsheim, Germany on 27 January 1891 to Martin and Catharina (Storch) Boerner. Martin immigrated to the United States in 1897 and Catharina sailed to the states with her three sons, John, Jacob, and Karl, two years later. The family moved to Marinette County and Jacob grew up there after arriving in the United States.

He married Rose (maiden name unknown) sometime before 1920 (the U.S. Census has them married at that point; their oldest son was born in 1918) and they had seven children: Martin, John, Hildegard, Bernice, Joseph, Rosalie, and Jacob. Jacob supported his family by working at the Kimberly-Clark paper mill.

Jacob lived a long life and died at the age of 81.

The Birthday of Barbara Clara Barton

My 2nd great grandmother, Barbara Clara Barton, was born on this day, October 22, in 1830. She was the fifth known child (and first daughter) of Joannes Joeis Barthen and Susanna Hower of Lieser, Rheinland, Prussia. Barbara was baptized the same day at the Roemisch-Katholische Kirche in Lieser.* Joanne and Susanna had nine known children, only two of them being daughters.

More has been written about Barbara in an earlier post but today is a day to remember her birth, her youth growing up in Prussia, her courage in immigrating at the age of 21 to Illinois, and then living most of her adult life in Grant County, Wisconsin.

*Source: Family Search

William Munson’s Birthday

The Munson Family Crest

The Munson Family Crest

I have previously written about Thomas Munson and his son, Samuel Munson. Samuel married Martha Bradley and they had ten children: one daughter and nine sons. In our family lineage, Samuel’s oldest son, also named Samuel, is our ancestor. He married Martha Farnes and they had nine children. He then married the widow Mary (Preston) Merriman and they had two more children (Mary also had five children from her first marriage).

Samuel and Martha’s fourth child, William, was born on this day in 1695. William is my 6th great grandfather and is the head of “Clan William” in the Munson Family Genealogy.

William married Rebecca Curtiss (1697 – 1742) and they had eight children. Their seventh child, Samuel (1739 – 1827) was my 5th great grandfather. William was a life-long resident of Wallingford (now Cheshire), Connecticut. According to The Munson Record: Volume I:

William at the age of twenty-three (the deed calls him a “young man’) purchased, 28 Jan 1718, i.e., 1719*, sixteen acres “aboue the town upon missory brook.” Misery Brook is in the southeast quarter of Southington, flowing into the Quinnipiac, say, about an eighth of a mile north of Cheshire line. John Munson of New Haven sold his nephew William 13 acres bounded “east by a brook called honey pot brook”; this was 1 Feb 1726, i.e., 1727*, (when the settlement was about thirty years old,) and the consideration was 20 pounds. Three years later, 14 June 1729, Samuel of Wallingford, for the love and good-will which he bore unto his beloved son William, transferred to him, just after the birth of his first child, 38 acres lying “in Cheshire in the bound of Wallingford upon Walnut Hill by Tunssus valley.” There is little doubt that William had previously received land from his father, as it is recorded that Samuel and William made a joint sale of 90 acres 28 Jan 1726, and in his Will (1740) Samuel observed that he had given William “so much land as I think is my duty to give.” . . .

William’s home was a mile and three-quarters north of Cheshire Green. The stream running northward through the farm a quarter of a mile east of the house is still known as Honey-Pot Brook. On that place William’s son Peter was born and died; there Peter’s son Levi was born and died; and there Levi’s son Levi, our aged contemporary, was born and spent the earlier portion of his life.

                                                            (Written by Myron Munson in 1896)

*Note: in 1750, the calendar in the Colonies changed so that what was recorded accurately by our ancestors as, e.g., 1718,  was actually 1719 using our current calendar system.


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