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Neil Allen Woodington–A Privileged and Troubled Life

Today would have been the 90th birthday of my 2nd cousin, 1x removed, Neil Allen Woodington. We share the common ancestry of Moses Woodington and Henrietta Munson. I am a descendant of their son Furman’s branch; Neil was a descendant of Furman’s brother, George Franklin Woodington.

Neil had the privileges of education and opened doors but he was not able to hold on to those as he aged. He had three marriages and three divorces, spent time in prison in Wisconsin, and died at the relatively young age of 62.

My cousin and genealogy buddy Lori Hahn from Me. Here. Right Now., contributed an excellent article about Neil’s life and struggles. It is well-documented and an interesting read. I hope you will take time to learn about his life.


Oscar and Ann Aderman family in 1940 Census

The national US Census in 1940 took place on April 1st. No foolin’! Oscar and Ann Aderman, my paternal grandparents lived in Niagara, Wisconsin, USA that year (and for many years). Grandpa was a crane operator at the time, according to the occupation column. Oscar and Ann’s youngest son, Bill, was not yet born and her father, Martin Boerner, Sr., was living with the family.



It was fun to see their neighbors on either side of the Aderman house. My father spoke often of the Papaich’s, immigrants from Serbia, and the Ponzios. Mary (Boerner) Ponzio was Ann (Boerner) Aderman’s sister, my father’s aunt. Dad had lots of stories of the cousins playing together.



Source: Web Address

The Marriage of Anna Louise Erdmann and Christoph Adermann, 1813

Christoph Adermann & Anna Louise Erdmann> Christian Adermann>Ferdinand Adermann>Carl Aderman>Oscar Aderman>Darrell Aderman>Carmala Aderman


My 4th great-grandparents, Anna Louise Erdmann and Christoph Adermann were married in Bertikow, Brandenburg, Prussia on 13 November 1813. Anna was 22 years old at the time of the wedding and Christoph was 35. Her father is listed in the marriage record as Friedrich Erdmann; Christoph’s father is recorded as Michael Adermann.

Christoph lived long enough to sign permission for their only known son, Christian, to be married to Fredericke Louise Bergemann, on 2 March 1857. It is believed Anna was still living at that point, also. I have not found definitive death dates for either.



Title: Brandenburg, Germany, Transcripts of Church Records, 1700-1874
Publisher: Operations, Inc.
Publisher Date:2011
Publisher Location: Provo, UT, USA

The Munsons in New Haven, CT

I wrote earlier about Captain Thomas Munson, my 9th great-grandfather through my maternal Woodington line. He was an early founder in New Haven plantation of the Connecticut Colony. Thomas was born and baptized in 1613 in Rattlesden, Suffolk, England; he came to the new colony in 1637. By 1939, he had moved to the newly-formed New Haven plantation and signed their Fundamental Agreement.

Captain Munson became a key figure in the early public, military, and political life of the New Haven plantation. As the town began to grow, they decided there was a need to lay out the structure of the community. Following the old English tradition, New Haven was laid out in a grid of nine squares. The following picture shows the grids, the community square in the center of town, and Thomas Munson’s property.*

In 1640, the Rev. John Davenport, one of the founders of the community, envisioned a college in New Haven. The idea didn’t unfold until 1701 when the Rev. James Pierpont got a few colleagues together to pursue an Act for Liberty to erect a Collegiate School” wherein youth might be instructed in the arts and sciences “and fitted for Publick employment both in Church & Civil State, . . .” The next year, the first student arrived for his education. The local Munsons helped financially support the new college.

They made enough of an impact in the town that there is a street and “Triangle” named after them. Check this out:

Munson Street and Munson Street Triange in New Haven.



Munson Street is some blocks northwest of where Thomas Munson’s home was. His land is now part of the Yale University, just off the “Green.”


From the New Haven’s Mayor’s page:

By 1640 a complete government had been established and the settlement, originally called Quinnipiac, was renamed Newhaven. The town plan was based on a grid of nine squares. In accordance with old English custom, the central square, now the Green, was designated a public common. By 1641 New Haven had grown into a community of approximately 800.

Over the next few years, however, the flow of newcomers began to weaken and trade with the outside world shifted more and more to Boston. In an attempt to establish direct trade with England, the settlers managed to assemble enough produce to fill a vessel which would become known as the “Great Shippe.” However, after setting sail in January, 1646, the ship and its crew were never heard from again. This disaster ended the dream of creating an economic empire and over the years New Haven became overshadowed by New Amsterdam and Boston.

In 1649, King Charles I of England was accused of treason and beheaded. His son, Charles II, became king eleven years later and sought vengeance against the men who had signed his father’s death warrant. Two of them, Colonel Edward Whalley and his son-in-law Colonel William Goffe fled to America and, in 1661, they were hidden by John Davenport in a cave on the top of New Haven’s West Rock. They were later joined by a third regicide, John Dixwell. Three of New Haven’s streets are named after the regicides and their story has become an integral part of New Haven’s history.

In 1664, the forces of King Charles’ brother, the Duke of York, seized New Amsterdam. Rather than face the possibility of rule by the Catholic duke, New Haven surrendered its hope of remaining independent and united with the Connecticut Colony. By 1701, New Haven had grown to be the village center of a mainly agricultural township and became co-capital of Connecticut, along with Hartford. It was not until 1873 that New Haven lost its status as co-capital.

New Haven had  a district court so in 1839, it was the site of the imprisonment and trial of the Mende people made famous in the Steven Spielberg movie, Amistad. The 50 warriors were found to have been kidnapped and were order to be sent back to their home in Africa.




Wilbert “Feeley” Aderman and a Basketball Championship

As we prepare for the upcoming March Madness, my cousin and genealogy buddy, Kevin Hackett, author of Our Family Genealogies, sent me some articles he had collected over the years about our Uncle Feeley as a star basketball player in Altamont, Illinois in 1923. Enjoy these newspaper articles celebrating his accomplishments as “the star of the Altamont team.”







Anna M. Kososki Boerner

Anna M. Kososki was born on this day, 22 Feb, in 1908. Anna was the oldest daughter of immigrant parents. She married my great-uncle, Martin William Boerner, when she was 16 years old and he was 20. Martin was the brother of my paternal grandmother, Anna Marie Boerner Aderman.

Anna Kososki’s father, Stephan “Steve” Stanley Kososki immigrated from Abienko Poviot Yoisto, Poland. He boarded the Kroonland on 15 Nov 1902 and entered the port at New York ten days later, 25 Nov 1902. His passage was paid by his brother, possibly the brother he was going to live with in the states, Jan Kososki.

Anna’s mother, Julia Forystek, was also a Polish immigrant, coming on the ship Friedrich der Gross, landing in New York on 7 Jun 1905 as a 16 year-old girl. According to the ship’s manifest, she may have traveled alone, but she was going to live with her sister in Norway, MI, USA. On 1 October 1906, she married Stephan Kososki in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Their first child, Anna, married Martin on 28 July 1924 in Iron Mountain, MI, USA, just a few miles from Niagara, WI which both of them claimed as their home at the time of their wedding. Niagara and Iron Mountain, well, technically Kingsford, MI are separated by the Menominee River. Because the communities are so close to their respective state borders and to each other, it is common for the residents to share the hospital in Iron Mountain, employment and shopping, and worship centers in their everyday lives.

Anna and Martin had two children, Dorothy and James. Martin was the publisher of the Niagara Journal, a weekly newspaper for the community.* To distinguish Anna Kososki Boerner from her sister-in-law (and my grandmother) Anna Boerner Aderman who also lived in Niagara, WI, the women were called “Big Annie” and “Little Annie.” Martin was a shorter, slight man and his wife was quite heavy. She is remembered as woman who . . . (Uncle Roger)


*Wisconsin Blue Book

Wisconsin’s Mother of the Year 1984: Billie Aderman

Today is my mother’s 89th birthday. To celebrate her life this year, here is an article from the local newspaper when she was named Wisconsin’ Mother of the Year in 1984. Happy Birthday, Mom.

Wisconsin's Mother of the Year

Wisconsin’s Mother of the Year

The Marriage Bond of Hugh McNary and Janet Logan in 1751

Hugh McNary & Janet Logan>John McNary>Ann McNary Blue> Robert Blue>Elizabeth Blue Bates>Robert Bates>Floy Bates Aderman>Oscar Aderman>Darrell Aderman>Carmala Aderman


On 17 September 1751, my 7th great-grandfather, Hugh McNary (Minary) committed to marry Janet (Jannet) Logan, my 7th great-grandmother by paying a 500 Pound bond to the governor of the colony of New Jersey. Hugh’s oldest brother, James, signed his agreement to help pay the bond if Hugh backed out. These are my ancestors through Floy Bates Aderman.

In the 1700s, marriages within the community were typically announced from the pulpit of the local church for three consecutive weeks or a written announcement posted on the church where the wedding was to occur. This announcement was called a “bann.” Its purpose was to make sure there were no reasons “why this man and woman should be joined together in holy matrimony” as we used to say in the old wedding liturgies.

The primary reasons for objections to a marriage were typically 1) one of the betrothed was already married (“affinity”), 2) the blood relationship between the two was too close (“consanguinity”), or 3) one or the other of the betrothed were too young to get married.

The “bann” worked adequately when the couple both belonged to the same community. When the early residents of the colonies, and then the states, started expanding their geographical territory, there was a shift from “banns” to “bonds.” Since the community did not always know one or the other of the couple, a different mechanism had to be put in place. The bond was still a public announcement allowing members of the community to object to the marriage in advance. It was just a different way to still hold the betrothed to a high standard of qualifying for marriage the community had for them.

“Bonds” were an announcement of betrothal, a public commitment of engagement, where the groom-to-be and/or relatives of his, would pay a significant amount of money to insure it was his intention to marry the woman named on the bond. Typically, the bond was a financial promise to the governor of the colony or the state and would have to be paid only if the groom withdrew from the commitment before the wedding.

When Hugh Minary wanted to marry Jannet Logan, he contracted to owing 500 Pounds to the governor of New Jersey, Jonathan Belcher, Esq. If Hugh backed out of the contract, he and his brother James would owe the 500 Pounds.





As an added note, Governor Jonathan Belcher was in an ongoing writing relationship with Ben Franklin. Some of those letter can be found from the National Archives. Belcher had been the colonial governor of Massachusetts before he was made governor of New Jersey. This picture of him is in the public domain.

William Jennings Woodington’s Application for Social Security in 1937

Social Security became law in 1935 and in January 1937, employers and workers were to start making application to the new program. On 21 January 1937, William Jennings Woodington, my great uncle, made his application through the CER-1 (Carrier Employee Registration) Form used by the Railroad retirement program.

Jennings worked for the Chicago & North Western Railway Company as a telegraph operator. When he registered for the World War I draft twenty years earlier, he listed his job as a telegraph operator for a railroad company then, also.

Jennings died on 5 August 1962 at the age of 64 presumably never collecting on the money he put into the program.




U.S., Chicago and North Western Railroad Employment Records, 1935-1970
Publisher Operations, Inc.
Publisher Date
Publisher Location
Provo, UT, USA

Remembering Theodore “Tad” Aderman

screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-8-04-54-pmToday,  6 Jan 1981, my second great-uncle, Theodore “Tad” Rudolph August Aderman passed away in the Lutheran Hospital in Mesa, Arizona.

Uncle Tad was the sixth of twelve children born to my paternal second-great-grandparents, Ferdinand and Mary (Heiden) Adermann. Born on 13 November 1894 in Altamont, Effingham County, Illinois, USA Tad lived much of his life in Effingham and nearby Logan Counties.

He registered for the draft in both World War I and World War II. The 1930 and 1940 US Census’ list his occupation as a farmer “on his own account” in Mount Pulaski, Logan County, Illinois. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, and Mount Pulaski Christian Church.

Cleava Brashear (1892 -1975) married Tad in Lincoln, Logan County, Illinois on 4 Feb 1915. By the time he was 26 years old, he experienced the death of four of his siblings (Magdalene Maria, Ida, Henry, and Mary).

Tad and Cleava raised two daughters, Mildred and Betty, and in retirement, wintered in Mesa, Arizona. His obituary is below. My thanks to Kevin Hackett of Our Family Genealogies for some of this information.









Wilbert “Feeley” Aderman has His Car Stolen

My 2nd great-uncle on my father’s side, Wilbert “Feeley” Adermann (25 Oct 1904 – 2 Dec 1985) had his car stolen just a month before his 60th birthday. He and his wife, Dorothy, were at church on Sunday, September 26, 1965 when three boys from Pennsylvania were apparently  working their way to California by stealing cars along the way. Uncle Feeley’s vehicle was sitting outside the church while everyone was inside worshipping. The boys helped themselves and continued west on Highway 40. They were caught further down the road in Vandalia.

Uncle Feeley was a life-long resident of Altamont in Effingham County, Illinois. Highway 40 is still the only east-west paved highway through Effingham County. It was a great highway for the boys to travel as they drove from Pennsylvania to California. The police caught the boys west of Altamont in Vandalia at the junction of Highways 40 and 51.


The intersection of Highways 51 and 40 is at Vandalia on the left side of this map. Altamont and Highway 40 is at the upper right side of the map.

Here is the story as my cousin and genealogy buddy, Kevin Hackett, found it in the Centralia (Illinos) Evening Sentinel, 27 September, 1965, page 10.

Arrest Three in Stolen Car

VANDALIA–Three Pennsylvania youths were arrested yesterday in a stolen car minutes after state and local police received the radio message from Effingham County.

State Trooper Clifford Dean and Vandalia policeman William Black took the youths, ages 15, 16, 17, into custody after blocking the Rte. 51-40 junction with the police car.

The youths, two from Philadelphia and the other from Pittsburgh, told authorities they were en route to California.

The stolen car was owned by W.P. Aderman and was taken from in front of church while the Adermans were attending services. A stolen car, with Indiana license, was found near-by.

The youths were to be returned to Effingham County today.


Walter Amos Woodington, A Troubled Cousin

I have referred before to my cousin and fellow genealogist on the Munson/Woodington branch of the family tree, Lori Hahn. She has a terrific blog call Me. Here. Right. Now. This week she posted an article about Walter Amos Woodington, our mutual cousin who struggled with alcoholism. I hope you take time to read her work.

The Marriage of Robert John Woodington and Lula Mae Behncke

Robert John Woodington, the youngest brother of my grandmother, Ethel Woodington, was born in Cassville, Dodge County, Wisconsin on 17 December 1908. He lived there into his 20s, but by 1937, in the depths of the Great Depression, he was working at a canning factory in West Bend, Wisconsin.

He returned home to get Lula Mae Behncke, who was living in Lancaster, Grant County, Wisconsin. They married on 29 November, 1937 in Dubuque, Iowa.




Iowa, Marriage Records, 1923-1937. Operations, Inc., 2014, Provo, UT USA

Frank Neuton Fralick

In my last post, I explored the last will and testament of Henry Fralick. Henry left one dollar to seven of his eight grown children and the rest of his estate to his son Frank Neuton Fralick. Frank is my 2nd great-uncle.

Frank was born to Henry and Martha (Scott) Fralick in Glen Haven, Grant County, Wisconsin in 1857. Both the 1880 and 1900 US Census have him living in Bloomington, Grant County, Wisconsin. In 1880, Frank was 22 years old and working on his father’s farm as were his older brothers Edward (24 years old) and David (26 years old). The census does not include farm laborers or a domestic servant like the 1870 census did when those three boys were teenagers. Unfortunately, almost all the US Census records of 1890 were lost in a fire, so I can only guess if Frank was working on the farm then.

Henry died on Christmas Day, 1886 and his estate was closed in February 1887. Frank was the recipient of the remaining estate minus the $7 to his siblings, any “just debt” and the funeral expenses. Frank was 39 years old at this time and still single.

Nine months later, on 10 November 1887, Frank married 16-year old Ida Lydia Ault. Ida’s family lived in Monroe County, Wisconsin, in the south-central portion of the state. She was the oldest child of the five known children of William T. Ault (1838 -1915) and Mary T. Bechtolt (1858 – 1936).

Lydia’s mother was born in Green County, Wisconsin (in south central WI on the border with Illinois) and her parents were married there. Lydia was born there, also. The family moved a little west to Grant County, Wisconsin where the Fralick farm was also located.

In the 1900 US Census, two years after Henry’s death, Frank was living in Bloomington, Grant County, Wisconsin. Two years later, their son, Vere Frank Fralick, was born back in Monroe, the county seat of Green County, where his mother had also been born.By 1910, the US Census had 52-year old Frank working as a laborer in a furniture store and owning his home, mortgage-free.

Frank, Ida, and their son, Vere Frank, lived the rest of their lives in Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin.

Well, having learned all this about this little branch of my family, I still have not answered the question which most intrigues me. Why did Frank leave the farm and, assuming he sold it, to whom did he sell it?  It was not in Frank’s possession for more than four years after spending the first 39 years of his life there. I’ve had no good fortune yet finding land records to help me sort through this. Hopefully, another blog post awaits in which I will have found the answer.


Henry Fralick’s Will

Henry Fralick, my 2nd great grandfather died on Christmas Day of 1896. He was born 27 February 1812 in New York state and sometime before his marriage to Martha Scott in 1844 when he was 32 years old, he had moved to Grant County in southwest Wisconsin. The couple had ten children, two of whom died in childhood. All were born in Grant County where the Fralicks farmed a 40-acre lot and an 80-acre lot just east of the Mississippi River. Here is a shot from the plat book. The Fralick land is marked in red.



According to the US Census of 1870, the Fralicks worth was valued at $3000 in real estate and $900 in “personal estate.” They  had two farm laborers, a domestic servant, and the four children of those workers living with them–in addition to seven of their own children.

After Henry’s death, his estate was probated in February 1897. His three-page will was included in the series of documents at his probate. His wife, Martha Scott Fralick, had preceded him in death in 1880. At the reading of his will, seven of his eight children each got one dollar. This suggests he probably had given them a portion of his wealth while he was still alive. Possibly, he gave them down payments for their houses or something along those lines. One son, who had not married, received the remainder of Henry’s estate. It reads:

“After the payment of my just debts and funeral expenses, I give, devise, and bequeath to my son Charles H. Fralick the sum of one dollar and nothing more.

“. . . I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to my daughter Martha Jane Reynolds the sum of one dollar and nothing more . . .

” . . . to my daughter Mary Hope . . . the sum of one dollar and nothing more

” . . . to my son David Fralick the sum of one dollar and nothing more–

” . . . to my daughter Lydia Wilson . . .the sum of one dollar and nothing more.

“. . . to my son Edward Fralick the sum of one dollar and nothing more

“. . . to my daughter Laura Taylor . . . the sum of one dollar and nothing more.

“I hereby give, devise, and bequeath to my son Frank Neuton Fralick all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate of whatever kind or nature, without reserve, both real and personal.”

Frank was 39 years old and had never married when his father died. That changed quickly after Henry’s death, which is fodder for my next post.

Here are images of his will and how he distributed his assets.








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