©2009-2016 Becky Higgins

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Evidence Gleaned From One Obituary

The Ishpeming Record, Ishpeming, Michigan, Friday, 9 May 1930, page 5, columns 2 & 3; obituary for Mrs. Charles Larson.

To shorten things up a bit, let’s assume I already have sufficient evidence to state that Mrs. Charles Larson is the same person as Amelia (Ellstrom) Christiansen Larson. I could go into greater detail on this but the purpose of this writing is to determine what information can come from her obituary. So here goes.

  1. “Mrs. Charles Larson, who was 71 years of age…” places Amelia’s birth in about 1859. Other records put her birth on 24 Nov 1858. She was actually 71 years, 5 months, 6 days old at death.
  2. “…and a resident here for over 50 years”, she had lived in Ishpeming, Michigan half a century.
  3. “…passed from life Wednesday night,” – date of death 7 May 1930. The obituary was published on Friday the 9th of May, 1930. We’ll want to be careful with this one as we’ll find later in this same article that this death date is impossible.
  4. “…at the family home on East Empire Street.” She lived on Empire Street, Ishpeming, Michigan on and before her death.
  5. “The deceased had been ill the past several months and death was not unexpected”. This is a clue to follow-up for health history. Will the death certificate give more details?
  6. “The deceased was a native of Sweden locating in Marquette with her parents 61 years ago, later living in Ishpeming p to the time of her death.” Family and personal information will be found in Swedish records; immigrated in about 1869; original U. S. residence was Marquette. Lots of clues here.
  7. “Surviving are her husband and the following children: Mrs. Fred Davey Chicago; Miss Teckla, Miss Lida Larson and Clarence Larson, all residents of Ishpeming; Mrs. Albert E Porter, Sault Ste. Marie, and Mrs. H. F. St. Helen of Portland, Ore. The following brothers and sister: Alex Ellstrom, Pueblo, Colo,; Albert Ellstrom, Detroit; Mrs. Charles Seagren, St. Paul, Minn.; Mrs. Axel Peterson, Marquette, and Miss Alice Ellstrom, Saginaw…“ Wow, where to start with this paragraph. First, it tells us Amelia’s husband, Charles, is still living; second, we get a listing of her living children which includes not just her daughters’ married names but the full names of her daughters’ husbands, third we’re told where her children are living on 9 May 1930. We get the same information regarding her surviving siblings.
  8. “Funeral took place Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock from the family home…” Here’s where the date calculated in item number 3 proves incorrect. Since the paper was issued on Friday, the 9th of May and the funeral had already taken place on Sunday, her death could not have been on Wednesday the 7th. She died 30 Apr 1930 from evidence found here and from other evidence such as Family Bible records and a telegram from Clarence Larson to Mrs. Fred Davey.
  9. “…from the Swedish Baptist church…” Amelia was probably a member of this church and more records may be available there.
  10. “The pall bearers were : Mr. John Asplund of Marquette; William Anderson, August Olson, John Swanson, Charles Benson and Emil Olson.” Pall bearers are often but not always family members. They deserve some research to determine their relationship to the deceased and/or family.

The older obituaries and those from smaller communities tend to provide the most information.  Often in the larger cities there is only a death notice giving only the briefest information. Today, due to the cost, printed obituaries seem to be getting smaller; however, with many funeral homes providing memorial type pages on their website the obituary is seeing a come back.

Granted, you can’t take what’s written in an obituary as absolute truth but, wow, what an abundance of clues they can provide!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Surname Saturday - Mary Ann (Harper) Davey

By the time Mary Ann (Harper) Davey died on 08 Feb 1897 she had buried her husband and all but one of her children. Yes, her life had spanned nearly eighty years and all the children had lived to adulthood but each loss surely left a hollowness within her.

Her first great loss occurred on 17 May 1882 when her namesake daughter, Mary Ann, died leaving four children between the ages of eighteen and twelve. How difficult it is to lose a child. Even adult children as expected to outlive their parents. Possibly concern for her grandchildren helped Mary Ann through the trying time.

Less than a year later, on 14 Mar 1883, her husband of 49 years left this world before her. Together they had created a family in Lanlivery, Cornwall, England. Together they had journeyed to Canada in 1848 settling there for a mere 10 months. Together they brought their family to Dodgeville, Wisconsin where they remained. Initially, John took up farming but eventually he worked as a miner like so many of the Cornish men in the area. Like many of the miners, John most likely spent a good deal of time away from the family travelling to find the best work or the richest mines. However, with age creeping up, John had probably been home more in these later years increasing the bond between husband and wife. Losing John, with all her children married and on their own meant Mary Ann knew life alone for the first time.

The next few years saw the deaths of Mary Ann’s oldest child, John, in 1884 and her youngest child, Joseph, in 1889. Fortunately, many of her grandchildren still lived in and around Dodgeville because with her only surviving child, Elizabeth, residing in Kearsage, Michigan, some 400 miles away, Mary Ann found herself essentially childless. The grandchildren and the community saw to her needs as required.

Mary Ann had joined the Primitive Methodist Church in 1861 where she volunteered for numerous activities throughout her life. In later years, the community, holding her in high regard, addressed her as “Grandma.” Her optimistic and gentle attitude towards others created a family far wider than the biological relations
Elizabeth having come to visit just a week before Christmas of 1896 must have seen the decline in her mother’s health. Rather than returning home to Kearsage she stayed on to help in any way she could. It would have been a long few months; it’s never easy to care to the ill and elderly. In addition to the difficulty however, there were most likely times of remembrance and times of laughter. Mary Ann probably had much she wanted to pass on to this her last living child and the last one to hold the memories of a shared family past.

Elizabeth carried the family’s past with her until her death on 29 Jul 1929. Did she write any of the stories down? Did she pass along oral tales about this particular family’s life? If so, who is left to share them? If not, are they lost forever?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What To Do About Alice?

I may not have to deal with this problem today but the time will come as my current project progresses that I’ll have to deal with Alice (Davey) Higgins. Her biography will be the culmination of all those ancestors’ stories leading up to her life and will probably be the most important of the publication. Now you may think I’m concerned about this because I can’t find enough information to write an interesting piece. Oh, Contraire. I’m concerned because I’m overwhelmed with information and data.

First of all, I’ve known of Alice since I was ten years old; she went to the same Church as my family when we moved to Chicago. Of course I wasn’t overly cognizant of her at the time because she was just the mother of two children near my age. As time went on Alice and “Happy”, her husband, drew more of my attention when I dated and later married their son. So, as you see, Alice, my mother-in-law and the grandmother of my children, made up a large part of my life until her death in 2008. Knowing her should make writing her story a breeze, right? In some ways, yes; in others, no. I will need to detach myself somewhat to find an unbiased point of view. I’ll need to see her as a whole person and not just as my husband’s mother.

Second and most important, Alice saved EVERYTHING and most of it is in my house. Not only do I have her diaries/calendars from 1929 until the late 1990’s when she stopped filling them,
but I have a cedar chest full of letters, cards, receipts, you name it. I have the receipts from all the purchases made for her wedding. I have a set of boxed pillow cases, unopened, she received as a wedding gift. (They were “too good to use.”) I have items she saved from her parents. I could go on and on. In fact, in order to get down to the cedar chest I’ll have to work my way through the items we kept when we broke down the apartment she and “Happy” shared in the last days of her life.

I know you may be saying you wished you had all these keepsakes from your mother, father, grandparents, etc. I can feel your disdain for my complaining about having so much but, really, this feels like it will take forever to do justice to all this information. I’ll have to be discerning about what to use and what not to use; honestly, I can’t use everything. I just can’t.

I know it’s hard to know what to keep and what not to keep. I have that problem myself. For me, though, my most treasured items are rarities for those people who left little behind. For instance, I have an inexpensive, well-used, bowl that belonged to my Dad’s mother. It was given to me by my Dad’s cousin and I cherish it, not because it is worth anything but because it is the only thing I have that belonged to her
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m sure in the end this collection from Alice will provide an insight into her life and will help me write her story. Right now, though, I’m feeling dazed.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Mom and Chicken Parts

I wonder what part of the chicken was my Mom’s favorite when she was a child. Was she a drumstick girl or did she prefer the white meat of the breast? I doubt she savored the parts she claimed to be her favorites when she became a mother. As a child she lived on a farm and, though I know they had little money for many and varied reasons, there was always food on the table. Probably chicken wasn’t even kept just for Sunday dinner because its meat wasn’t considered as precious as in later years.

When I was a child our family lived in town and money for food was often at a premium. I don’t recall keeping chickens except for a few bantams that were more pets than stock. We did tend to have chicken on Sunday though and everyone had his or her favorite part. I, of course, favored the drumstick, I think my brothers both liked the thighs and my Dad usually ate the breast. Mom, however, claimed the best parts were the neck, back, and wings. With the exception of the wing these pieces provided very little meat but Mom had a way of making the search for tidbits look delicious.

I know now she was taking the least desired pieces so her family could get the most out of the meal she provided. She made sure everyone else had plenty to eat by making us believe she preferred and even savored those small, even undesirable bits. Perhaps she did too good a job because I began to envy those pieces. I looked at how much she appeared to revel in getting the most out of the bony bits and wanted to try it myself. Of course, I wasn’t about to give up my drumstick at the time but the craving played on my mind.

In later years, I came to enjoy the bony pieces as much or more than any other part of the chicken. Even today, I’d rather have a couple of wings than any other part. I know wings are a big deal these days. They are a party treat, a ball game snack, a tasty spicy nosh. Most of today’s wings have more meat on them than in earlier days – must be the way the chickens are raised.

My favorite wings are from scrawny chicks that have walked around the chicken yard all their days pecking the bits of seed thrown their way.
And where’s the neck anyway? When was the last time you found a neck in the chicken parts purchased at the grocery store. It’s as though the poor things had nothing to hold their heads up with. Okay, now I’m making myself hungry. If nothing else, I may be able to find some wings to satisfy my yearning. Or maybe I’ll bread and fry up some chicken gizzards. Now that’s a treat I haven’t had in a very long time!

Mom taught me much in my life but one of the most important lessons was to not pass over the small and often tasty things in life. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Surname Saturday - Davey, Stephens, Ellstrom, Christiansen, Larson

The work has begun. Reviewing and researching the ancestors of Alice Mildred Davey. The focus will be on her four grandparents’ surnames: Davey, Stephens, Christiansen, and Ellstrom. Perhaps if there is time and space, the next generation’s Harper, Letcher and Mellberg surnames may be touched on as well.

This Davey line hails from Lanlivery, Cornwall, England. The progenitor and immigrant ancestor, John Dyer, brought his family to Dodgeville, Wisconsin via Canada. The family included Mary Ann (Harper) Davey, his wife, and their children John Dyer, Mary Ann, Elizabeth, and Joseph Thomas. All the children were born and baptized in Lanlivery.

Joseph Thomas Davey, the youngest child of John Dyer and Mary Ann (Harper) Davey, became a miner mining in the area of Dodgeville or wherever he found work. Lots of mining was being done in the Platteville, Wisconsin which is where he may have met his wife, Mary Louise Stephens. Mary Louise was a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Letcher) Stephens. Mary Louise was born in Iowa County, Wisconsin, probably Platteville, in 1844 after what became known as the “Stephens Colony” came to the area from Perranzabuloe, Cornwall, England. Around 50 members of this Stephens clan immigrated together in 1842, thus the description of “colony.”

Joseph and Mary Louise Davey had eight children: Joseph Thomas, Mary Louisa, May Louise, William T, Frederick Francis, Hypatia, Benjamin Leroy, and Charles. All of the children were born in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. Joseph still traveled some for mining work, leaving Mary Louise to handle things at home. Based on some surviving letter, Joseph did send money home to help out but it appears the family sometimes found itself in dire straits.

Frederick Francis Davey was born 09 Jul 1877, the fifth of the eight children of Joseph and Mary. He dropped out of school in the 5th grade at the age of 9 or 10. He eventually received training and became a barber. By 1906, he was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he met and married Alice Augusta Larson. She had taken the name of her stepfather; her biological father’s surname was Christiansen.

Alice was the daughter of Hans and Amelia (Ellstrom) Christiansen. Hans and Amelia had two children; Alice and Teckla. Hans was born in Fodslette, Fyn, Denmark. He was naturalized in November 1877. Hans worked for the Lake Superior Mining Company in Ishpeming, Michigan. He married Alice Augusta Ellstrom on 19 Apr 1879. On 07 Sep 1883 while working in the Number 2 Engine House where he was an engineer, Hans had hit in the head by a fly wheel and died a few days later at his home in Ishpeming. This left Amelia widowed with two children under the age of four.

Amelia Ellstrom was born to Frederick and Christina (Mellberg) Ellstrom in Backfors, Dahsland, Sweden on 24 Nov 1858. She was their second child. The children born in Sweden – Augusta, Amelia, Alexander, and Albert – immigrated with their mother (Frederick was already in America) in July of 1869 and settled in Marquette, Michigan. Once in America Frederick and Christina had three more children – Albertina, Anna Christina and Alice M. Amelia’s father and at least one brother worked for the railroad.

On 06 Aug 1887, Amelia married Carl August Larson. The Larson children are Ethel, Lida, Clarence, Alma and Clifford.

It seems there will be plenty to write about as time goes on. I still have plenty of researching and reviewing to do be I can put a book together but it looks like it will come together.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pets Are Family Too

There never was a dog like Buttons. 
She came to us back in the late 1960s, before the uproar about puppy mills, before I’d even heard of such a thing as a puppy mill, so we bought her at a pet store. Now, I doubt she was anything other than from a litter of local puppies because she wasn’t a purebred; she was a Collie/English Shepard mix. As a puppy she was a roly-poly little white and golden happy-go-lucky mound of fur.
We were probably taking on more than we should as, at the time the girls were about 5 and 3 years old. There was certainly enough activity to keep us all busy. We lived in a small apartment with no real yard right on a major street but, for some reason, we all wanted a dog. Even Jim who had never had a pet looked forward to adding Buttons to the family.
Our early times with Buttons were not without their struggles. She never learned to walk on a leash properly. (I know that was my fault. I could have taught her better but I didn’t know how and couldn’t afford a trainer and never thought of reading up on the subject. This is long before the internet and ebooks. The library didn’t enter my mind.) She pulled and tugged and dragged me around from day one.
In fact, we had a dreadful event occur at a forest preserve. It was a family outing on a beautiful day. We were all looking forward to a good romp in the woods and maybe a picnic later. Of course, all dogs must be on leash at the forest preserves but we wanted Buttons to have a large area to explore so we had her attached to a long rope. No sooner had we all left the car then Buttons took off on a run. Unfortunately, Tammy was standing right in the middle between where I held the rope and the end on Button’s collar. The rope pulled tight and caught Tammy at the back of both knees, not only knocking her down but giving her terrible rope burns of the back of both knees. She was laid up for a week or so before that injury healed. Now you can’t blame the dog but I don’t remember too many more family visits to the forest preserve.
Due to living in an apartment building, we were fortunate that Buttons seemed to quickly learn the scent of the other residents because she only barked when a stranger entered. Showing her great watchdog abilities, whenever someone came to our door she barked frantically then hid under the couch. At least, she let us know someone was there.
The best thing about Buttons, though, was her gentleness with everyone. As I said, our girls were young and young children can be rough and tumble. Buttons didn’t care what they did; she tolerated anything and seemed to love any kind of attention they gave. She was the same with other children, and all people, who visited as well.
We moved to our house in the early 70s where Buttons grow-up with our girls and their friends. There Buttons had a litter of puppies before we had her spayed. We found homes for them all. She was a mainstay in our lives until she died at the age of 13. She will always be remember in our family. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alice Davey Higgins' Diaries

Wondering what I should write about today. Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon transcribing my mother-in-law’s diary or, I should say, picking up the transcribing again. Back in 2002, I worked on this project and completed a portion of 1929 and from January 1, 1932 through February 25, 1934.

In 1932, Alice would have been eighteen years old and just beginning to look at life through the eyes of an adult. Her diary entries are not full of feelings but read more like a log of events, what she did each day. When she attends a movie she always mentions the theater and the name of the show which I find very interesting. She was really into sports, especially basketball, and besides playing some herself she attended many games of her brother, who played for General Electric his employer, and her boyfriend, always referred to a Happy or Hap. (She eventually married Happy.)

Yesterday, I managed to get through February 26, 1934 to July 31, 1934. The major family event during that time was the wedding of her brother, Cliff, to Catherine Hossman on Saturday, June 30, 1934. “My brother & Catherine were married at 4 o’clock. I was a bridesmaid and Happy usher. Had a swell time in the even. I wore an orchid dress.” When Alice married in 1936 she had a “rainbow” wedding with the bridesmaids all wearing a different color dress. I don’t know if Catherine’s was like that or if all the girls wore the same color
The Century of Progress World’s Fair had opened in May of 1933 didn’t close until Halloween of 1934. During that time Alice attended the Fair several times, sometimes with her parents, sometimes with her friends and sometimes with Hap. In fact, her diary beginning in 1934 is written in a souvenir notepad, compliments of the Chicago & North Western Railway.
Alice even inquired about a job at the Fair on April 19, 1934, “Stayed home at night and typed a contest. Went to see about World’s Fair job.” To my knowledge, she never worked at the Fair but I’m sure it sounded like fun.

I think I’ll spend a bit more time on this little project this afternoon but I don’t want to get totally tied-down to it because I actually have her diaries/calenders up through the 1990’s. I will continue to transcribe some and I know I’ll be using the information from many of them when I write Alice’s biography, but I doubt I’ll transcribe them all.

It amazes me how consistent she was about making these entries. I’ve started writing journals/dairies many times during my life but have never been able to stay with it to any degree. If I had been half a dedicated to keeping track of my days, I wouldn’t have forgotten nearly as much as seems to have left my memory. I’ve never been good at remember dates, sometimes even years, when things occurred in my life but I know exactly when even mundane events, or as she often puts it, when she “Stayed home & did nothing.”

Oh, well, such is life.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Remembering Grandma Miller

I’ve been thinking about Grandma Miller for the past few days. Not sure why.
It’s not her birthday which was 21 Nov 1892 (she was born Sylvia Beatrice Walker); it’s not the anniversary of her death which was 12 Jul 1986 (she died Sylvia Belle Miller). She was, though, the epitome of every child’s dream Grandma.

When I knew her Grandma (and Grandpa but he’s another story altogether) lived in the blink-or-you’ll-miss-it town of New Salem, Indiana. The duplex house faced the very busy Route 52 but oddly I don’t recall getting lots of admonitions to be careful of the street; the adults must have thought we have more sense than to run in front of a semi. The house had been owned by Uncle Angus, Grandpa’s brother, and when Angus died in 1950 Grandpa inherited it.

Grandma was a short, stout woman whose hugs felt like being encircled by a feather pillow. How I loved those hugs. When her grandchildren came to visit she always had a sweet smile and a giant hug for them. She also had a pile of comic books on the third step up on the stairs leading to the rooms upstairs. That step was often the first place we went to see if any new comics had appeared since our last visit.

I loved to “help” Grandma make mashed potatoes. I would stand on a kitchen chair at the stove as she did the hand-whipping. After a time she would ask, “How’s that?” and I would answer, “More milk.” This would go on until the potatoes were probably not to anyone else’s liking but just as “soupy” as I thought they should be.

I remember learning for the first time how the fried chicken got to the table. Grandma grabbed up one of her plump hens, took it to the concrete slab by the pump in her back yard, held it by its feet, and quickly chopped off its head. The body began to flutter and Grandma let it go to flop around the yard until it lay still. Then, we dipped it in boiling water making it easy to pluck the feathers from the skin. This experience was quite a lesson for a town girl like me.

Whenever my visits included a Sunday, Grandma and I went to her little white Methodist Church there in New Salem. Though the Church sat no more than a block from the house it was on the opposite side of Route 52, so as I recall we drove instead of walked. Riding with Grandma was interesting in and of itself. Being as short as she was and cars being constructed the way they were at the time, I’m amazed she was able to drive as safely as she did. She could barely see over the dashboard and had to look through the driver’s wheel.

I loved having Grandma to myself but I also liked sharing her with my cousins, especially my cousin Gary. Gary is only one month younger than me and I’ve always felt a special bond with him. One of my favorite memories with him at Grandma’s is sitting around her kitchen table eating Ritz cracker and catsup sandwiches. If you’ve never tried it, don’t knock it!

All I know is I am extremely lucky to have had a Grandma like Grandma Miller.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Personal Writing Challenge

Having just finished writing up one line of my family which was three years in the doing, I’ve embarked on my next major project which is writing the family history of Alice Davey Higgins, my mother-in-law. Instead of taking just one line, I’m planning on addressing all four of her grandparents surnames – Davey, Stephens, Ellstrom, Christiansen (and a little Larson) – in one publication.

To start, I have to go back through all my previous research from as early as 1995, as well as add to it where information is missing. On a couple of these lines, other cousins, especially Shirlee Eddy and Nancy Poquette, have done extension research and I’ll have to do my best to give them credit for their work. In some cases, this may be difficult as we have duplicated effort many times over.  Also, so many more “real” documents and such are online now than when I began, I’ve already found myself being sidetracked from an initial focus for my research project. (I’m not complaining; this is my favorite part.)

That said, I feel I should make sure I keep my writing skills honed. I need to keep an edge to relaying what I learn. I need to train myself to turn information into stories; to turn data into biographies.
I don’t know any other way to do this than to keep writing. It doesn’t really matter what I write at this point. It can be a blog post about finding something great; I can go back and work on my own life stories which I hope to share with my grandchildren one day. I can write about the crappy weather we’re having this spring in Illinois and how I wish it would just warm-up already! But I need to keep writing.

The question is how do I keep myself going with the writing when I have so much research/review to do? How can I make sure I get something down before I go off on some research tangent and the hours I have allotted to the project are gone? Well, first I’m going to challenge myself to write x-number of words a day (haven’t decided on the number yet) just like Lynn Palermo, The Armchair Genealogist, challenges us every February, and second I will require myself to write first, then move to the research/review.

In order to do this, I’ll have to learn and exercise discipline. I’m not known for my discipline but I’m sure it’s a great thing to have. Perhaps by the end of this project I’ll have developed a whole new side of myself - one that knows how to control her desires and to manage her time. Even if I falter, which without doubt will happen, my hope is to get right back on track and do this thing!

Let’s just say every day I “work” (that’s what the dog and I do when I go into my office) will begin with writing and, if there is only enough time for that, then that’s all that will get done.
I see by my word count this post is just over 500 words and it has taken me about ½ hour to complete. I think that’s doable without being onus and there’s still plenty of time to get to my other tasks. So, 500 words a day is my goal.

Wish me luck!


PS: As reminder, I’m going to keep a copy of this post on my desktop so I’ll see, at least the title, every time I boot-up this computer.

Monday, April 8, 2013

But For A Wagon Team

If only all the letters written and received by our ancestors were still in existence, think of all the information, stories, and character traits we would have at our finger tips. I am fortunate to have transcripts and, in some cases, originals of a few such treasured items. The one I address today was transcribed in 1941 by Irene Persons Westling, great-granddaughter of the writer. Without the information in this letter, I would never have known how close we came to having a totally different family tree.
The Joe referenced in the story is my husband’s great-grandfather, Joseph Davey[i], about 12 years before my husband’s grandfather was born. The story also mentions Joe’s brother, John. Both of these men were miners and tended to travel wherever they could find work or to wherever they thought they might find the next great lode. They were from Cornwall, England, having come to America with their father, John Dyer Davey. In 1863, Joe married Mary Louise Stephens[ii] the daughter of the Elizabeth (Letcher Nankivel) Stephens, the writer of the letter. 

A portion of the letter written from Elizabeth Stephens to Thomas Stephens[iii] [her husband] on 9 July 1865 from Platteville, Wisconsin to St. Clare Mine, Eagle River, Michigan:
“Tim[iv] is home from the lake and he have ben down seeing me and Jo is home from oragan and he have ben very sick and Jo’s brother he haven’t ben down yet but he is coming down as soon as he gets better. He come home a weak last Friday. They had a lot of truble coming home with the endians. Jo and another man and Jo’s brother sleep three quarters of a mile wore there was three men kild with the endiens and they dident know it and they got up and went on a little further and meet with some teams and they hasked them awhere they was agoing and they said they wore on they way home and those men that wore in the wigons beg them not to go eny futher for if they went eny futher they would be killed and here was a wagon standing by and they told Jo and Jony to go and look in the wagon and they went and looked in the wagon and they saw three men killed and they heads scalped and to of them was tooleable young looking fellows and the other was an old man. He dident have a tooth in his mouth and they put a walking stick in his mouth and pished it down in his throat and before they bored him it tooked to men to pull it out of his mouth and after that they went on a little futher and meet to endines and they stopped Jo and them and wanted some tobacco and Jo give them som and they told them they had no more and Jo told them they could have what they wanted wen the teams come so they pointed. And wen Jo and them started to walk they would follow them and they had now sooner said that before the teams come in sight and the endines left them and went in the woods and they never seen them eny more. They said if the teams hadent came in sight so soon they would have ben killed.
Times is very dull here…”

So there it is…if the wagons hadn’t shown up when they did and had Joe and John Davey been killed on their way home, my husband’s grandfather would not have been born, nor my husband. What that would have meant to my life, I don’t know but I’m happy things turned out the way they did.
Too bad things were so dull in PlattevilleJ

[i] John Dyer Davey Bible, Iowa County Historial Society, Dodgeville, Wisconsin, Joseph Davey, born April 25, 1843.
[ii] Wisconsin Marriage Records, Wisconsin Historical Society Library, Madison, Wisconsin, Iowa County, volume 1, page 373. Davey, Joseph Son of John Dyer Davey and Mary Ann Davey, miner of Dodgeville, born in Cornwall, England and May louise Stephens, dau of Thomas and Elizabeth Stephens.
[iii] William Stephens, Manuscript and Journals of William Stephens Cornwall 1807-Wisconsin 1893 (written 1853-1883, printed by S. Neely March 1992), Wisconsin Room, University of Wisconsin, Platteville, Wisconsin, page 8. "Thomas his eldest son married a widow woman called Elizabeth Nankivel against the consent of his friends, this woman having three sons by her former husband, caused some unpleasant dissentions between them however, she with her family went to America with him in 1842 and I believe is now at the Lake Superior Copper mines.
[iv] Timothy Nankivel, son of Elizabeth (Lethcher Nankivel) Stephens.