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Petrus Sturmer

Petrus Sturmer, one of my maternal 8th great-grandfathers, has left little information about himself for his descendents to discover. I know he was born about 1633 and died before 1696. He also lived his life in Lieser, Rheinland, Prussia and was a member of the Roemisch-Katholische church in town. I have not yet found his parentage.

The church records do reveal, though, he married my 8th great-grandmother, Barbara Brixius, on 21 Feb, 1658. They had seven children; the oldest, Michael, was my 7th great-grandfather. Barbara died on 21 March 1673 and on 25 Feb 1675, Petrus married Maria Schneider in the same Catholic church. He and Maria had three children.

That’s everything I know (well, that, and the names of the children). There is much more to discover about this ancestor.

Recipes from the American Cookery 1798 Cookbook

Want to try a Plumb Cake recipe?

plumbcakeMix one pound currants, one drachm* nutmeg, mace and cinnamon each, a little salt, one pound citron, orange peal candied, and almonds bleach’d, 6 pounds of flour, (well dry’d) beat 21 eggs, and add with 1 quart new ale yeast, half pint of wine, 3 half pints of cream and raisins, q:s:

A drachm (or dram) is about 1/8 ounce.

Picture was found at


Or Molasses Gingerbread Cookies?

One table spoon cinnamon, some coriander or allspice, put to four tea spoons pearl ash, dissolved in half pint water, four pound flour, one quart molasses, four ounces butter, (if in summer, rub in the butter, if in winter, warm the butter and molasses and pour to the spiced flour,) knead well ’till stiff, the more the better, the lighter and whiter it will be; bake brisk fifteen minutes; don’t scorch; before it is put in, wash it with whites and sugar beat together.


Finally, how about Johnny Cakes?JohnnyCakes

Scald 1 pint of milk and put to 3 pints of indian meal [corn meal], and half pint of flower [sic]–bake before the fire. Or scald with milk two thirds of the indian meal, or wet two thirds with boiling water, add fat, molasses, and shortenings, work up with cold water, pretty stiff, and bake as above.

(Image of Johnny Cakes was found at

The Birth of Susanna Hower

April 8, 1798 was the birth of one of my maternal 3rd great-grandmothers, Susanna Hower.* She was born in Liersberg, Germany to Joannes Hower and Susanna (Schanz) Hower and baptized the next day at Roemisch-Katholische, in Liersberg, Rheinland, Prussia.

On 6 Feb, 1821, Susanna married Joannes Barthen, also of Liersberg.** The couple had nine children–seven sons and two daughters. The fifth-born, the oldest daughter, was my second great-grandmother, Barbara Clara Barton, who immigrated to Wisconsin with some of her brothers as young adults. Susanna and Joannes’ youngest child,  Frederich Wilhelm Nicholas Barthen, born 29 Jun 1840, died as a toddler on 22 Jan 1943.

Susanna died as a fairly young woman at the age of 42. The oldest of her children was 18 years old at the time of her death and the youngest, Frederick, was just 4-1/2 months old. She passed away on 14 Nov 1840 and was buried two days later in the Village Cemetery in Lieser, Germany.***

* Germany, Select Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Germany, Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.

** Germany, Select Marriages, 1558-1929 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Germany, Marriages, 1558-1929. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.

*** Germany, Select Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Germany, Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.

The Marriage of Fredericke Bergemann and August Laramee

I have written of Fredericke Bergemann Adermann previously but today we can remember her fifth and final marriage. On 09 April, 1893, she married August Laramee, a widower and father of seven grown children at the time. His youngest child, Ferdinand, was about 16 years old at the time, so may well have been still at home; the next oldest, George, was 20 years old when his father remarried.

Fredericke, born on 29 May, 1829 was 63 when she married the 64 year old August. They lived together just a few weeks short of 21 years before they died on the same day from separate causes–23 Mar 1914.

Remembering Stephanus Bach

My maternal 6th -great grandfather, Stephanus Bach, was born sometime in 1684 in Filzen, Rheinland, Prussia. I have yet to find his parents’ names so Stephanus is my “dead-end” in this particular branch of the family tree.

According to Germany, Select Marriages, 1558-1929 (in German) on, Stephanus married Maria Eva Henckel on Jun 8, 1716. Their first child, a daughter they named Maria Margaretha Bach, was born that same year. Joes. Henricus, Petrus, Jacobus, Josephus, and Matthias were born in later years. Son Petrus is my direct lineage 5th great-grandfather and the great-grandfather of John Sturmer, about whom I have previously written.

Jonathan Alton Woodington

Today is the birthday of Jonathan Alton Woodington, my 2nd great grand uncle on my mother’s side of the family. Jonathan was the youngest child of Jonathan and Sarah Ann (Wayman? Clark?) Woodington. He was born 16 Dec. 1842 in Pennsylvania. By the time of the 1860 U.S. Census, he was living in Cassville, Grant County, Wisconsin with his brother JAWoodington gravestoneand sister-in-law, Moses and Henrietta Woodington.

Jonathan and Moses registered for the draft midway through the Civil War and both enlisted on 30 Jan 1865. The brothers served together and mustered out on 15 Nov 1865.

Jonathan is believed to have married Sarah Ann Hughbanks in 1861 so two of their children were born before he began his service during the Civil War. They had seven more children when he arrived home. All nine children were girls: Vernelia, Mariah, Alice, Clara, Emma, Eva Lena, Sarah, Settie, and Selina.

Jonathan lived out his life in Cassville, Grant County, Wisconsin. He is buried in the Cassville Cemetery with a military gravestone.

The Death of Freeman Munson

Freeman Munson, one of my maternal 4th great grandfathers, was born in 1786 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He was the eighth of twelve children born to Revolutionary War veteran Samuel Munson and his wife, Susannah Tyler.

By 1808, Freeman was living in Ohio where he and his wife, Margaret Gregory gave birth to their first child, my 3rd great grandfather, Amos Munson.

According to The Munson Record, Vol 1, p 264, Henrietta, Miles, Marietta, and Clarissa were born after that. I have found no other information abut Henrietta, but all three of the younger children lived out their lives in Trumbull County, Ohio. (Amos was the only one known to leave Ohio, moving to Grant County, Wisconsin and then Tama and Fayette Counties in Iowa.)

One piece of written legacy about Freeman is of his enlistment into the US Army during the War of 1812.  According to his enlistment statistics, he was 25 years old when he enlisted, was 5’11”, had blue eyes and fair hair and complexion.

He deserted soon after that and disappears from records until 1830 when he is found in the US Census living in Brookfield, Trumbull County, Ohio, USA. He continued to live in Trumbull County, registering for the US Census in 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870.

It is believed Freeman Munson died on 7 Nov 1878, still in Trumbull County, Ohio.

Celebrating the Life of Susannah Williams Blue

Born on 2 November 1754, today is the 260th birthday of Susannah Williams, wife of Uriah Blue ( in the Blue Family genealogy). The couple married ca. 1770 when Susanna was 16 years old and lived in Hampshire County, Virginia in was what known as the “Lower Rocks.” She gave birth to six known children, five sons and a daughter.

When Susannah was only a year old, she and her father, Richard Williams, were captured by Indians. According to the Blue Family website,

Her father escaped, but Susannah was held captive for 13 years. She was released in an exchange of prisoners and identified by a birthmark on her arm. Her scalp-lock had been taken and she was said to have worn a little cap all the rest of her life.

It is interesting to imagine what Susanna might have experienced during her childhood as a captive of the native people, but those stories remain unknown.

The Birth of Michael Hope

Michael Hope, my second great grandfather, was born on this day, 18 July, in 1816. He was the son of Michael Hope, Sr. and Margaret Foster Errington and was born in Tynemouth, Northumberland, England.

Michael married Elizabeth “Bessie” Foster in July 1838 in Houghton-le-Spring, Durham, England. They had three children while they still lived in England. The young family immigrated with his parents to Grant County, Wisconsin, USA in 1846 where they made their home. In Grant County, Michael and Bessie had four more children. The couple supported their family  by farming. He lived 69 years before he died on 05 December, 1885.

Monroe Blue Dies at the Battle of Piedmont

Today, June 5, 2014 is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Piedmont in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. This is where Lt. Monroe Blue, a Confederate soldier (and my very distant cousin–a 4th cousin, 5x removed according to my family tree) died in battle. Up front, I want to thank Jim Ballard from Houston, Texas, with whom I have been in email conversation about this battle. Jim is finishing a biography of CSA Brigadier General William Edmondson “Grumble” Jones who died soon after Monroe Blue in this same battle and who is mentioned in the story below.

I wrote of Lt. Monroe Blue earlier describing a bit of his experience as a prisoner of war in the same camp as his cousin, John Blue. I also wrote briefly of his death at the Battle of Piedmont and am expanding that story today on the anniversary of the battle.

Scott C. Patchan has written of this battle in his book, The Battle of Piedmont and Hunter’s Raid on Staunton. He describes many of the details of this battle that took place in the Shenandoah Valley. In Chapter 6, as the battle took a turn for the Northern troops:

Campbell’s detachment quickly turned toward the Tennesseans and Virginians in front of Wells [Colonel George Wells of the  34th Massachusetts] and ripped a searing volley into their flank. At the same time, Wells steadied his left wing and directed its fire at [Confederate Colonel Kenton] Harper’s Reserves, while the rest of his regiment volleyed into Confederates  behind the fence. The pressure on the Confederates became too great, and their line began to crumble.  [Confederate General “Grumble”] Jones rode into the the midst of a group of leaderless troops and called for an officer to assume command and retake the lost ground. At first no one came forward, but a moment later, Lieutenant Monroe Blue, commanding Company K of Harper’s regiment, leapt from his horse, waving his sword in the air, and shouted, “General, I will lead them, boys follow me and we will soon have them on the run.” Blue placed his cap on his sword, raised it into the air and led the troops in a a hopeless counter charge.

"The Battle of Piedmont and Hunter's Raid on Staunton" by Scott Patchan

“The Battle of Piedmont and Hunter’s Raid on Staunton” by Scott Patchan

Campbell’s wing of the 54th Pennsylvania fired into Blue’s troops and quickly shattered what little formation they had. Blue attempted to rally them, shouting, “New Market! New Market! Remember New Market!” A captain from the 54th Pennsylvania saw the Confederates assembling around Blue and cried out, “Boys shoot that officer before he starts a rally!” A Pennsylvanian later recalled, “Several of us cut loose at him and he spun around, dropped his sword, and fell to the ground.” Blue died instantly, and those Confederates who had been gathering near him quickly vanished from the scene.

 . . . As the last vestige of Confederate  resistance evaporated, Grumble Jones succumbed to his combative nature and galloped among the fugitives in a last-grasp attempt to salvage the victory that had seemed almost certain a short time earlier. With his hat in his hand, he cheered the men and urged them to rally and hold their ground. The volume of rifle firing coming from the Federals was tremendous, and Jones soon fell, “stricken dead by loyal vengeance.” . . . Upon Jones’ death, the Confederate resistance in the immediate vicinity completely dissolved (Patchan, 109 – 110).

Private Thomas Evans of the 54th Pennsylvania made the claim of shooting the fatal shot in Monroe’s Blue’s neck. As the battle wore on, Private Evans:

 . . . suddenly found himself face to face with the 45th Virginia’s color-bearer, who at that moment seemed “about as big as a full grown grizzly bear.” For the first time in his military service, Evans suddenly found a good use for his bayonet other than as a candle holder. He whacked the flag staff so hard that it “really stung that Johnny’s hands.” When he reflexively lowered the flag, Evans grabbed it and pulled, yelling, “Let go Reb!” The two men pulled back and forth and spun around in a circle, struggling for possession of the battle flag. Their melee ended when Evans raised his rifle with one arm and commanded, “Drop that there flag or I will pin you to a tree!” The Virginian promptly surrendered the flag and Evans turned it over to an officer and sent the prisoner to the rear. The  Pennsylvanian received the Medal of Honor later that year for his capture of the flag. (Patchan, p. 112)

I learned from Jim Ballard’s research (mentioned in the first paragraph above) that, after the battle when they were cleaning up the grounds,  Private Evans went to Monroe Blue’s body in hopes of retrieving Blue’s sword as a souvenir. When he got to the body of the fallen Lieutenant, the sword had already been taken by someone else. More surprising, the private also saw his own regimental commander, Colonel Jacob Campbell, grieving over Monroe’s body. The Colonel from Pennsylvania had gotten to know the Blue family while he was stationed in Hampshire County, Virginia and was distraught at Monroe’s death.

Most of the Confederate troops who died at the Battle of Piedmont were buried on that ground. Because Colonel Campbell knew Monroe Blue, he was able to put a name on the young Lieutenant’s grave.

Two years later, in 1866, many of the bodies from the Battle of Piedmont (and several other battlegrounds) were transferred to a newly expanded Confederate soldiers section of the Thornrose Cemetery in nearby Staunton, Virginia. (My gratitude goes to Scott Patchan who emailed me this information. He wrote: The Staunton Vindicator [the local newspaper] reported in late 1866 that Lt. Blue was among a large number of Confederate dead moved from Piedmont to Thornrose Cemetery. All but six were unknown. Blue’s identity was known because Col. Jake Campbell of the 54th PA knew the family and had it marked after the battle ended.)

The monument in Thornrose Cemetery commemorating the fallen Confederate soldiers buried there.

The monument in Thornrose Cemetery commemorating the fallen Confederate soldiers buried there.

The Valley Virginian of 05 December 1866 wrote it this way:

Removal of Our Dead From Piedmont
(Column 03)

Summary: The paper reports on the removal of the bodies of Confederate soldiers to cemeteries in Staunton.
(Names in announcement: H. A.Lane, Capt.J. M.Welch, ThomasLegion, W. L.Moorehead, M.Blue, Sergt.D. W.Suttle, A. E.Tinsley, A. H.Siddlington, Marshall, DanielOwens, Samuel JohnsonGardener)

Full Text of Article:

About forty of our dead from Piedmont have been brought to the Cemetery here, among them H. A. Lane, 27th Va., Battalion, Capt. J. M. Welch, 6th N. C., Regiment, Thomas Legion, W. L. Moorehead, Co. B. 30th Va., Infantry, Lt. M. Blue, Hampshire County, Va., Sergt. D. W. Suttle, Co. E 60 Va., Infantry, Capt. J. P. B., Co. G, 30th Tenn., Regiment. The rest are unknown. The Ladies desire to thank the people of that portion of the county for the aid given by them, especially the soldiers of our Army. They desire to acknowledge the receipt of $5, from Mrs. A. E. Tinsley; $2, from A. H. Siddlington; $12,50 from Mrs. Marshall, who has so patriotically collected so much for the cause; $2 from Mr. Daniel Owens, of Baltimore. Mr. Samuel Johnson Gardener at the Western Lunatic Asylum, has agreed to plant out the trees in the Cemetery free of charge. Rich earth is needed, and our farmers should send it in at once. It is surely little to give–a cart load of earth they died for. Who can refuse the request? [Note: Remember this was Virginia, a Confederate state, still very early in its recovery from the war. It is a great experience to read the rest of the paper as it has been transmitted to us online.]

Lt. Monroe Blue was only 23 years old when he died at the Battle of Piedmont in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia 150 years ago today. There is no record of him ever marrying or having children. Yet, in his brief life he lived passionately, took great risks, and left a significant legacy associated with his name.



The Brief Lives of Jeremiah and Jerome Fralick

Jeremy Fralick was born on this day, May 24, in 1850. He was the fourth of ten children of Henry and Martha (Scott) Fralick, born in Bloomington, Grant County, Wisconsin.  As the older brother of my great grandmother, Mary Ellen Fralick, Jeremy was my great grand uncle. Regrettably, young Jeremy died when he was  just 3-1/2 years old, on 27 December 1853.

Jeremy’s older brother, Jerome, died two weeks after that on 11 January 1854. Jerome was the second oldest of the Fralick children, having been born 25 January, 1848 in Bloomington. (The township at that point was actually called “Tafton” but soon after was changed to Bloomington.) At the time of his death, Jerome was exactly two weeks short of his sixth birthday.

The close proximity of the time of their deaths suggested the possibility of a disease that cost both boys their lives. I have not yet found a document listing an official cause of death, but did discover there was a cholera epidemic in Wisconsin from 1849 – 1854. Maybe that was the culprit, maybe something else. Whatever the cause, both boys missed out on the opportunity to grow up and their family missed the opportunity to share long lives with them.

Birthday of Adam Börner

Today, May 21, is the birthday of Adamus “Adam” Börner. He was born in Gaulsheim, Germany in 1823, and was, I believe,  the son of Henrici Josephi Boerner and Katharinae Erschfeld. Adam married Anna Maria Jenz and they lived their lives in Gaulsheim. They were written about in an earlier post.

This picture of their gravestone was sent to me by Christa, one of my Boerner cousins in Gaulsheim. I am grateful for her research, her willingness to share it, and for the gift of the Internet opening up such great relationships!



Gravestone of the Börner family in Gaulsheim.

Gravestone of the Börner family in Gaulsheim.

The Birth of a Thomas Munson

On March 12, 1670, Thomas Munson, the grandson of Captain Thomas Munson, was born in the town of New Haven in what had become the colony of Connecticut (New Haven Colony existed independently from 1638 – 1662). He was the grandson of Captain Thomas Munson and the son of Samuell and Martha (Bradley) Munson. Thomas’ older brother, Samuel 2nd, is my 7th great grandfather; Thomas is my 7th great grand uncle.

Gravestone for Thomas Munson (1670 - 1746).

Gravestone for Thomas Munson (1670 – 1746).

Thomas married Mary Wilcoxson on 15 September 1694. Mary had been born 11 December of 1676 and died 28 November 1755. They had at least one child according to Find a Grave, a son named Ebenezer (1717 – 1792). Thomas died in New Haven County, in the town of Cheshire and is buried there in the Hillside Cemetery.

The Marriage of Christian Adermann and Fredericka Bergemann

aderman crestOn March 2, 1857, Christian Adermann, age 40, married Fredericka Louise Bergemann, age 24, in the Evangelische Kirche in Bietkow, Kries Prenzlau, Brandenburg, Prussia.* Christian was recorded as being “Cabinet maker journeyman in Beitikow.” His father had died prior to the wedding, so his mother signed on her son’s behalf. Fredericka was the daughter of Joachim Bergemann and Sophia Danoff, both of whom were still alive in 1857. Her father signed that she was eligible to get married and that he approved. Rev. Jaeckel presided at the ceremony.

Christian and Fredericka became the parents of Ferdinand Adermann (b. 11 Feb 1859). Christian is presumed to have died sometime in the years 1858 – 1860, because Fredericka married William Adermann in about 1860 as has been estimated by other family records.

*Source: Beitikow Lutheran Church Records. See also Our Family Genealogies.

Contemporary Events in the Life of Thomas Munson

Captain Thomas Munson, my 9th great grandfather and a founder of the New Haven Colony, lived from 1612 to 1685. He was born in Rattlesden, England and died in New Haven, in what is now the state of Connecticut, USA. In The Munson Record, Vol 1, on page 60, the author closed the chapter on Thomas Munson with a review of contemporary events which happened in our ancestor’s life–events we now consider important historical events. Consider the following events which happened in Thomas Munson’s life.

When Thomas Munson was 4 years old, Shakespere died; when 5 yrs. of age, Lord Bacon became chancellor of England; at 6, Sir Walter Raleigh beheaded, –Thirty Years War (between Romish and Protestant princes of Germany) began; at 7, circulation of the blood discovered by Harvey; at 8, the Pilgrims landed from the Mayflower upon Plymouth Rock; at 11, the settlement of Manhattan island, now the City of New York, was begun; at 13, Charles I became king of England; at 18, the settlement of Boston was commenced; at 20, Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden defeated Wallenstein and was killed at Lutzen; at 23, Hartford began existence; at 25, the Pequot War occurred; at 26, the settlers of New Haven spent their first Sabbath, Apr. 15, worshiping under an oak which stood at the northeast corner of George and College streets, –and Harvard College was founded; at 27, the New Haven Colony adopted a constitution, which T.M. signed; at 28, the Flemish painter Rubens died; at 30, the Italian philosopher Galileo died; at 31, Louis XIV succeeded his father as king of France; at 34, the Apostle Eliot began his labors among the Indians; at 37, Charles I beheaded; at 41, Cromwell became Lord Protector of England; at 45, the Half-way Covenant appeared in New England churches; at 48, Charles II crowned; at 49, Whalley and Goffe arrived in New Haven; at 50, New Haven Colony refused to be united by royal charter with Connecticut Colony; at 53, N.H.C. was united with CC (in May); at 55, Sir Isaac Newton conceived the theory of gravitation, and Jeremy Taylor died; at 63, King Philip’s War broke out; at 64, Milton and the Dutch painter Rembrandt died; at 73, the Spanish painter Murillo died, and James II was crowned.

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