Chapter 7: Prior Generations

5 Generation Family Chart

Click on the chart to get an enlarged version.

The above charts give a quick look at the people who will be described in the following pages.  This 5G, five generation, pedigree charts are generated using the commercial program Reunion.  The display format provides a basis to see the relationship of family members.  Serious genealogists include thorough documentation of the source of each bit of information.  I have chosen not to attempt a scholarly document.

Russel’s ancestors include the Cline family, the Russell family, and the Abbott family. Mabel’s ancestors include the Roning family and the Hansen family.  There is some data dating back additional generations and that is included in the appendix.

Family names: Cline, Abbott, Russel, Thompson

The Cline Family

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Initially we will trace the line of ancestors that have the Cline name.  This is followed by ancestors with the Abbot name.

John Jacob Klein was born in Germany in on 23 August 1736, d 1818. He came to America on the ship Fane in 1749 with 595 all male passengers.  The ship sailed from Rotterdam with immigrants from Palatinate, Wuttenburg, and Rottensein.   Other passengers included Johannes Schweizer and Jacob Schneider who remained close for their entire lives.  He settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with many other German immigrants.  He may have been the John Jacob Klein who enlisted in Eastburn’s Company of Pennsylvania Regulars in 1785.  Eastburn’s papers identify Jacob Cline, miller, 5 ft. 5 in., born in Germany, enlisted at Philadelphia May 22, 1758.  Ruddy complexion, black hair.  He was only 13 at the time of crossing the ocean, but there is no indication of travel with a family member or related companion.

Jacob married Eva Dusong in 1759 and they migrated to Frederick County Virginia in 1760.  He settled in Stephensburg, south of ‘Winchester in 1764 and erected a large flax-seed mill.   Flax provides the fiber used for linen. Cotton and wool were not widely available and there was demand for flax.  The flax seed can be processed it produce linseed oil, the basic item in high-quality oil paint.  The mill is still standing.  Over the years the structure has served as a flour mill and as a sawmill.  The older photograph of the mill below was taken from a postcard dated 1907.  A more recent photograph shows the mill with some restoration.  Additional photos can be seen at http://millpictures.com/mills.php?millid=2533

Klein’s Mill

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Jacob and Eva had ten children.    Phillip b 1760,  Adam b 1761,   Abraham b 1763,  Catherine b 1766,  Mary Magdalene b 1768,  Barbara b 1770,  Daniel b 1772,  Elizabeth b 1774,  Anthony b 1777,  and ?  Only two of the children died before their 80th birthday.

The long lives of these people are remarkable.  They obviously did not have the medical care we now enjoy.   Their diet was limited to seasonal foods and those that could survive without cooling.  We might initially attribute longevity to the clean air and lack of pollution.  However, they lived in small houses with a constantly burning fireplace and lots of smoke.   They could not employ cleanliness we deem important.  There are severe winters in the Shenandoah Valley.  We visited West Virginia hoping to find reference to the Klein history.  We stayed at the Asa Cline Bed and Breakfast.  Asa born 1827 was a grandson of Phillip Klein.

Phillip Klein

Philip is the next on our family tree.  He was born in Frederic Co, Virginia.  Philip was a soldier in the revolution.  He served for a time in the German Pennsylvania regiment (at age 16) of Captain Woelpper.  He enlisted August 6, 1776 and rose to the rank of corporal.  Phillip was wounded October 4, 1777 at the battle of Georgetown.  Later he served In Captain Bell’s company from Frederick Co. VA and he was present at the siege of Yorktown.  After the war, Philip and his brother Adam moved to the Hampshire Co to improve the land their father had purchased in 1765.  They are mentioned in the tax roles for 1786.   At his death, Elizabeth applied for a widow’s pension but it was refused as Philip’s name could not be found on any official roster.

Imagine the home for early settlers wo

Philip died intestate and his son Philip Jr. was appointed an administrator of the estate.  on June 16,1850 the administrator filed his final report showing principal of $5477.17 or $456.43 per share and the widow Elizabeth receiving $525.54

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Philip and his wife Elizabeth Schweizer had 14 children
Salome b 1797, Daniel b  1795, Katherine b 1798, Elizabeth b 1799, Rebecca b 1804, Abraham b 1803, Barbara b 1804, Phillip b 1807, Johannes b 1808, Michael b 1811, and Eva b 1812.  It should be noted that there was a second Phillip Cline living in the same area.  It is more confusing as they were both born in 1760 and both died in 1837.  Each had a wife named Elizabeth.  It would be easy to assume that there was only one Phillip and records were confused.  However Matt Cline, a serious genealogist, relates that he has visited the graves for both Phillips.

Abraham Cline (Kline, Clyne)

Abraham Cline (1803 – 1866).   Abraham was born in Virginia with many Klein relatives around Frederick.  Abraham’s first marriage to Mercy McKee (1803 – 1855) produced nine children. Perhaps the Virginia land had become expensive so they decided to move westward.  Their first three children, James Madison b 1828, Elizabeth Ann b 1830, and Jemima b 1832, were born in Virginia.  Sarah Jane b 1833, was born in Ohio.  Amanda b 1836, Mahon Lovett b 1837, Louisa b 1840, Eli Barton b 1842, Mellisa Anne b 1844, and Lydia b 1848 were born in Indiana.  The family moved to Indiana in 1836. This was a time of busy migration into Indiana as the National Road had just been opened to Indianapolis.   Abraham’s brother Michael preceded him in the move to Delaware Co, Indiana.  Delaware County had been occupied by the Delaware Indians until ceded to the US in 1820. During Abraham’s lifetime, the census records spell his name Kline, Clyne, and Cline.

Abraham Cline modified

Abraham Cline

On March 2, 1838, Abraham bought the Eppert estate in  Indiana.  These lands amounted to one hundred twenty acres or which Abraham paid $200.  Abraham owned two parcels of land near the small town of Clifton, Indiana. (There is some debate as to the name of the settlement.  Residents call it Sharon while mapmakers call it Clinton).  He served as a Justice of the Peace in 1840-1841.  Abraham and Hannah were charter members of the Desoto Methodist Church in Delaware County. Indiana.

We visited the cemetery in DeSoto Indiana.  The tombstone for Mercy is intact and readable while the tombstone for Abraham is broken.

Our family roots come from Abraham’s second marriage to Hannah Thompson Hatfield.  Hannah Thompson (1820 – 1893) was widowed in the first marriage with Jacob Hatfield that produced seven children. John Nelson b 1841, Mary Matilda b 1843, Melissa Ann b 1844, Charles Melville b 1864, Rhoda Catherine b 1847, Sara Jane b 1850, and Amelia Cecily b 1854. The last four children died as infants.

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Abraham and Hannah married on 25 Oct 1857 and produced three children. Martha Alice b 1859, Emery Lloyd b 1860, and Florence May b 1863.  The children from previous marriages were old enough to be independent.   It has been speculated that this was a marriage of convenience as both needed a spouse to care for the family.  However, records show that Hannah was not without money and neither had dependent children. Most likely it is a marriage of attraction.

Abraham purchased several plots of land in the vicinity of Sharon Indiana.  He constructed his home in the late 1840s.  This was a relatively small single story brick home.  Abraham must have been a very industrious man. He was primarily a farmer.  He made bricks for their house from clay from the property.  He made mortar from a limestone deposit on the property.  The limestone deposit was quite valuable.  One descendant, Larry Burke has speculated that the brick and mortar sales may have been a major source of income.  Walnut trees provided the wood he sawed into lumber.  Remember that Abraham as an adult lived many years at the family property in Virginia.  He likely learned the building trades from his father and grandfather.  The original home was a single story  and the second story added later.

Cline Home in Sharon, Indiana

Abraham’s health deteriorated in the 1960s, and his impending death became obvious.  He tended to legal issues, so everything about his death was organized.  Abraham’s obituary stated that “he was a man of good taste and sound judgment, he had so arranged his buildings that he had a place for everything and everything in its place.”

Emery Cline

Emery was born 10 November 1860.  In 1880 Emery Cline married Lina Godlove 1859 – 1930), a girl from the farm next door. The marriage produced one daughter, Winnie (1881-1960 ) who subsequently married William Depoy. Emery obtained teaching certificates in Indiana in 1883, and Nebraska 1885 and 1886.   There is no record of he and Lina living there.  He and Lina lived in the Dakota Territory around 1886.  Family stories say the Emery abandoned Lina and Winnie and moved West.  Emery wrote Lina telling her to get a divorce.   In 1888 Lina filed for divorce and it was granted. A copy of the divorce petition is included in the Appendix.  The divorce paper indicates that Lina left Emery.

———–  insert reference to divorce

Emery’s father, Abraham, died when Emery was six years old. His wife Hannah lived until Emery was thirty-three. Abraham’s will stated that his farm property would be divided among the three children, Martha, Emery, and Florence at Hannah’s death. A copy of the will is included in the Appendix.  Hannah died in 1893 but there is no record that Emery received an inheritance at that time.

________  will

 The 1890 Walla Walla city guide lists Emery’s profession as a gardener.  As a young man, Emery was better educated than most of his peers.  The education did not help him to find work or an occupation where his education was valued. His first marriage in Indiana was unsuccessful. After moving to Walla Walla he married Hattie Abbot who had roots in the Wall Wall area.

in 1890 Winfield Scott Offner owned a prosperous wholesale grocery business. Winfield’s wife Francis Abbot was an older sister to Hattie Abbott. Naturally, Emery and Hattie became aquatinted. At this time the town of Walla Walla was a rough western town. Although the surrounding community had rich agricultural land, the town served as the gateway to the silver mines in Idaho.  It was a rough Western town.

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Emery and Hattie were married on 10 November 1889. They had seven children, five of whom grew to maturity. Florence (1890 – 1967), Ralph and Ruth died at age 2, Edith (1895 – 1982), Dorothy (1897 – 1993), Winfield (1903 – 1947), and Russel (1909 – 1963).

Florence married Harry Hunt at age 15 and they raised a family of ten children.  They farmed in southern Idaho.

Edith and Dorothy took additional schooling and taught school briefly. Edith married Ray Fitting, and they raised three sons. Ray was a forest ranger who supervised much of the national forest land in Idaho.

Dorothy first went to EWCE in Ellensburg, then to U. of Idaho for a BA and subsequently to USC for an MA. She married Carl Naether, (four days after graduation) an English Professor at USC. They had no children.

Winfield obtained some college education, He worked in advertising for the Spokane newspaper, and eventually started his own advertising business in Boise, Idaho.   After he achieved success in Boise he joined a large advertising firm in Seattle. Winfield and his wife Peggy had no children.

Winfield Offner invested in farmlands around Walla Walla.  Emery took over the management of a farm in Huntsville, WA (1895).  According to daughter Dorothy, Emery understood that after a few years as manager he would be granted part ownership of the farm.

Photo of wholesale grocery   move photo and describe photos

The photo shows Offner’s that wholesale grocery employed twenty people.  Family lore says that he was one of the pioneers in refrigerated shipping.

A large school (college) was built at the town of Huntsville.  It hoped to attract the university that subsequently located at Pullman.

We will speculate on next events. Dorothy’s account says that Emery concluded that the shared ownership would never happen, so he moved on. But it is likely that Emery was not a dedicated farmer and that he did not pay enough attention to running a farm business. Emery did keep a journal of income and expenses. The organization of the journal, which still survives, is chaotic. Certainly, a business manager like Winfield Offner would realize it was an inadequate record of farm income or expenses. It is easy to speculate that Offner asked Emery to leave.

There are many family recollections of Emery, some good and some not so good.  Clearly, he was well known in the community.  For starters, Emery liked to entertain.  Fraternal organizations were very popular in the 20s through the 50s.  Farm life was lonesome.  Emery commonly gave readings or recited poetry at the meetings.  He liked to officiate at ceremonies, even funerals.

Emey had a mustache from the days he was young.  This began after an incident as a young adult.  Emery had gone to church.  Two men edged into a pew behind him and sat there until the services were over.  When Emery started to leave, they cautioned him to remain seated.  Emery had been identified as the man who had recently stolen some horses.  He had the age, build, and a scar on his upper lip.  Emery had friends who could vouch for his location at the specific time to prove he could not have been the thief.  Emery decided to grow a mustache to hide the scar, and he kept a mustache for the rest of his life.

Emery was emotional and found it difficult to read sad stories.  If he were reading a story to his children and it had a sad passage, he would hand the book to Hattie, his wife, and ask her to read the sad part.  Then he would resume reading the story.

Emery’s Journal       The journal is not a family history but only a record of finances showing income and expenses. It starts in a reasonable fashion in 1896 with pages “A” through “Z” listing the names of all people to appear later in the journal together with

The journal is not a family history but only a record of finances showing income and expenses. It starts in a reasonable fashion in 1896 with pages “A” through “Z” listing the names of all people to appear later in the journal together with a page of entry. That sounds good so far. Pages 1 through 66 are missing and according to the index, these pages include family money dealings. There is no clue why anyone would have removed the pages. Pages 66 to the end at page 137 show dates, names of people, and amount of money transactions. The entries are not in any chronologic arrangement but mostly random locations in the journal.   Events 10 years apart might be entered on adjacent pages. It is hard to determine whether any entry is income or an expense. There are no entries after 1907. A study of the records reveals that he moved to his own farm in 1903

Offner Wholesale Grocery                       Huntsville School

The family, that now included three daughters, moved to a farm near Kahlotus. The records in Emery’s journal indicate that he worked as a day laborer from 1903 to 1907.  There is no mention of purchasing groceries or clothing or anything else in support of the family.  There are no clues as to how he was able to purchase the property. It was not rich agricultural land.  In  _____ he purchased three separate parcels of land totaling over $3,000.  From 1907 until Hattie’s death in 1917 he worked his own farm.

The farm was close to the Snake River downstream from Lower Monumental Dam. This was very poor farmland topsoil had been washed away 20,000 years ago in the ice age floods leaving exposed columnar basalt. At age eight it was Russel’s responsibility to drive a team of horses down the curvy road to fill a tank with water for the farm.    A curious entry in the 1914  Walla Walla city directory lists Emery And Hattie.   In 1917 when Hattie died,   Emery was unable or unwilling to manage the chores of a marginal farm and care for a young boy.  The family split in all directions. Russel, age 8, was the only child young enough to need a guardian. As explained earlier. Russel was traded from sister to sister for the next 5 years until settling with Winfield to attend high school.   The 1910 census lists the family living at ElRoy. 1920 census shows Emery working at the grain elevator in Kahlotus. The 1930 census shows him on a rented farm at Fairview, 10 miles north of Kahlotus in the Sandhills.  The town of Huntsville, ElRoy, and Fairview no longer exist.

There are strong conflicting views of Emery’s personality. His obituary, in the appendix, focused on what a wonderful and likable man Emery had been. He was an officer in local fraternal organizations. he frequently recited poems or stories to entertain people at Grange meetings.  But we know that Emery and his son Russel had many issues. Alice, one of Emery’s adult grandchildren, lived with him one summer. Alice had a dislike for Emery ever afterword as she explained he cheated her out of $20. Alice was a generous woman who normally would not voice bad words about anyone in the world.

Hattie died in 1917 when Russel was 9 years old.   His older sisters, Edith and Dorothy,  became school teachers. Emery sold the farm property and started work for Kahlotus Grain and Elevator company.  He remained there until he rented the sandhills farm in 1927.

The Abbot family

In the historical records, we see the spelling of Abbott and Abbot.  For simplicity, we will use the Abbot spelling except where the correction is overlooked.

At a meeting of the descendants of George Abbot on August 16, 1842, it was decided to compile a family genealogy. The results of their efforts were published in book form, 181 pages long in 1847. The Abbot family had immigrated to America in 1600s first at Andover Maine, to Canada after the Revolution, then Ohio, next California, and finally Walla Walla, WA.  To a large measure, the book is simply a listing of parents, children, with birth and death dates recorded. There are occasional stories about family members that add personality to the book. The family starts with George Abbot.   who emigrated from England in 1643. He and his family were Puritans and they continued the Puritan traditions for many generations. Many people listed in the book are the seventh generation descendants from George Abbot. They settled in Andover, Mass and there are many Abbots in that town today.

George Abbot emigrated from Yorkshire, England and settled in Andover MA in 1643.  Hannah Chandler (1629 – 1711), daughter of William and Annie Chandler came to America in the same boat and they married in 1647.  Their house was the local garrison.  George and Hannah had twelve (or maybe 10) children and 73 grandchildren.  Many generations continue to live in Andover.

Our line of ancestors includes;       George Abbot 1659 – 1681, Benjamin Abbot 1661 – 1703,  David Abbot – 1689 – 1753,  David Abbot 1728 – 1799, Josiah Abbot 1759 – 1837, Walter Scott Abbot 1798 – _,  Seneca James Abbot 1834 – 1926, Hattie Abbot Cline 1869 – 1917.   There are records of the Abbot family in England before immigration.  Walter Scott and Seneca were born in Quebec, Canada shortly after the Revolutionary War. It causes us to think Josiah was loyal to the king and moved the family Canada.

The Abbot book tells about  John A Abbot (1712 – 1802).He was employed in the business of the town as selectman; Of strict integrity, always acting on principle and holding truth and his promise sacred. He was constant in religious duties, reading the holy scriptures, and having prayer morning and evening. On the Sabbath morning and evening, he with his family sang a psalm or hymn before prayer. This was also the custom of his ancestors and his children. He passed through a long life with few faults and many virtues and had the gratification of seeing his sons well settled and respectable, regarding him with filial affection and gratitude.

Samuel Abbot (1732 – 1812) who, at his death, left $100,000 to the Theological Institution in Andover. (That must have been an enormous amount of money)

And there are Daniel Abbot Indian stories;  The Indians took James Bidlack, Robert Durkee, and Samuel Ransom prisoner on 21 March 1779. They stripped them, tied them to a tree, stuck them full with sharp points of pine knots, and having piled pine knots around them, set the whole on fire.

Daniel Abbot (1738 – 1804) when a boy was taken by the Indians. By engaging with spirit in everything which they considered manly, and spurning all they considered the drudgery of squaws and unbecoming a warrior, he so won their esteem, that they promised to adopt him and make him a chief. After he had been some time with them, they obtained several pairs of ice skates. He soon perceived that they were unskilled in the use of them; and having obtained permission, put on a pair of them, appeared to be as inexperienced in their use as they were, till, their attention being turned from him, he got behind a point of land; then, being a good skater, he put forth all his strength, and neither their shouts nor balls could stop him; and, though they pursued him, he escaped. This happened on Lake Champlain.

George Abbot (1615 – 1681) emigrated from Yorkshire, England and settled in Andover MA in 1643.   Hannah Chandler (1629 – 1711) (Daughter of William and Annie Chandler) came to America in the same boat, and they married in 1647.   Their house was the local garrison. They had twelve children and 73 grandchildren. At least 45 of the grandchildren had families and thirty of these families remained in Andover. Many generations of Abbots continued to live in Andover MA.

Benjamin Abbot

Benjamin Abbot (20 Dec 1661 – 30 March 1703) lived on a farm near Shoeshine river. In the trial of Martha Carrier (Aug. 2, 1692) for afflicting Elizabeth Hubbard, by witchcraft, Benjamin Abbot gave in his testimony, “that last March was a twelvemonth, this Carrier was angry with him upon laying out some land near husband’s.” Her expression in this anger was that she “would stick as close to Abbot as the bark sticks to a tree;” and that “he should repent of it before seven years come to an end, so as doctor Prescott should never cure him.” These words were heard by others besides Abbot himself, who also heard her say, she “would hold his nose as close to the grindstone as ever was held since his name was Abbot.” Presently after this, he was taken with a swelling in his foot, and then with a pain in his side, and exceedingly tormented. It bred a sore which was lanced by Dr. Prescott, and several gallons of corruption ran out of it. For six weeks it continued very bad; and then another sore bred in his groin, which was also lanced by Dr. Prescott. Another sore bred in his groin, which was likewise cut, and put him in very great misery. He was brought to death’s door, and so remained until Goodly Carrier was taken and carried away by the constables; from which very day he began to mend, and so grew better every day, and is well ever since.

Sarah Abbot also, his wife, testified, “that her husband was not only all this while afflicted in his body, but also that strange extraordinary and unaccountable calamities befell his cattle; their death being such as they could only no natural reason for. Elizabeth Johnson confessed before Dudley Bradstreet, that she and Goodly Carrier afflicted Benjamin Abbot.”

Jumping forward a couple hundred years, Seneca Abbot is an important link to our modern history.  Born in Canada (b 1834 in Quebec,   d 1926 Walla Walla WA) but the family moved to Ohio.  He married Chloe Russel ( 1837 – 1926) in 1858. The moved west to California by wagon train in 1863.  It may be the Civil War prompted the westward move. After several years in California, they moved to Walla Walla. Daughters Eva (1859 – 1939) and Francis (1861-1938) were born in Ohio while the five other children were born in California.  Charles (1866 – 1879),  Hattie (1869 – 1917), Russel (1874 – 1879),  Ernest (1879 – 1949), Lulu (1879 – 1953).

Seneca Abbot                               Frankie, Chloe, Eva

The Russel Family

Now we go back to talk about the Chloe Abbot and her ancestors.  Seneca Abbot’s wife Chloe Russel had ancestors that had long lived in the United States.   

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Following is a rambling paragraph connecting these people.  Chloe’s parents, John Russel 1802 – 1897) was the son of Rachel Harper (1782 – 1844) and John Russel (1782-1820). The Harper family achieved notice when one of the brothers (Tom) was captured by Indians and won release in a trade a year later. Chloe’s mother was Emeline Adams (1806 – 1869). Emeline’s maternal grandfather Samuel Post (1728 – 1814) was a revolutionary war soldier. Her paternal grandfather was Elisha Adams of Mass. Elisha Adams has been reported (suggested) to be a cousin of John Quincy Adams. (Knowledgeable genealogists have pointed out that there were many John Quincy Adams’ and lineage to the president Adams is unlikely.)

John Russell and Emeline Adams joined in the westward migration from Pennsylvania to Allen County, Ohio about 1825. This was the time when reasonable roads were being opened toward the West.  In the subsequent westward movement, their son Thomas Adams Russell traveled west to California in 1855. Thomas made a total of 4 trips to the West. The most significant being 1863 when he led a train of 33 wagons that included Seneca Abbott and Chloe Russel Abbott on their move west. During 1863 the country was torn by the civil war. There were hard-core abolitionists in the north and dedicated slavers in the south. Ohio was between extreme factions and many people lacked the desire to fight. This influenced the timing of the westward migration as it put most of the war issues far behind. Thomas Russell returned to the Midwest and settled in Missouri for 18 years but moved to Walla Walla in 1889. Many of his brothers, sisters, and children are buried at Walla Walla.

We all have seen movies with wagon trains.  It was a long tiresome trip  The wagon trains would gather at St Louis to prepare for the trip.  As soon as winter was past the trains would start.  In the 1860s there would be two or three trains each day.  The common path went across the great plains and most aimed for Salt Lake where they could get fresh provisions.  They crossed the mountains headed for Sacramento.  There were Indians, but normally not organized in attacks.  Sometimes an Indian would wander into camp but they were not looking to fight, only a handout or an unguarded item.  During the long trip westward walking was more comfortable than riding a wagon. Hunting parties ranged far from the train to supplement the limited provisions and to select sites for the next camp.  The trail was so busy that wagon trains competed for the best place to camp each night.

Family stories are interesting.  During the covered wagon move to the west, milk for the babies came from the cow they drove.  But the cow, in the Abbot wagon train, died.  There was concern about how to feed the babies.  The travelers ate lots of potatoes which they cooked each night.  They fed the babies the water from boiled potatoes.  The babies seemed to prosper on the new diet.  Seneca Abbot lived to the age of 91. Seneca and Chloe raised a large garden each year and they saved seeds for the following year.   After Seneca’s death, Chloe threw the seeds away commenting the “we won’t need these anymore.”  Chloe died ten days later

Chloe was born in Allen County, Ohio on June 10th 1837. Eight years later the family moved to DeKalb County, Indiana. She returned to Ohio to teach school for her 17th through 21st years. Seneca and Chloe married in 1858 and survived 68 years of marriage. They had two daughters, Eva and Francis, before starting the six-month trip west. The move west may have carried some dream of finding gold. They started a farm but it was located near the gold country.  They settled in the Sacramento Valley not far from where Sacramento City now stands. Five children, Charles (1866 – 1879), Hattie (1869 – 1917), Russel (1874 – 1879), Lulu (1879 – ), and Earnest (1879 – 1949), were born during the 17 years that they lived in California. Charles and Russel died of scarlet fever. The family suffered flooding that wiped out their farm and they moved to Walla Walla, WA. It is written in a journal (probably from Alemeda Fox) that Chloe was very devout from childhood throughout her life. Chloe and Seneca were active in the Methodist Episcopal Church in California and Washington.

There is an interesting letter written to Chloe by her sister

Ilion, Nov. 29, 1863

Dear Sister Chloe

      I can’t tell you how welcome your letter was. It was twenty-six days coming here and the distance seems shorter than it has before since you left. I felt very bad when I heard you started for that place and I said they never will reach there with their children and I have often imagined you burying your little ones by the wayside and traveling on, but I am so thankful you are there safe and well. I mean I am not particularly glad you are in CA. but since you are there. I must try and be reconciled to it. I wish you had written me more particulars about leaving Ohio, what father said to you leaving, how large a company you had is all H, H,.

      Those dear little children I never shall see now, neither you or Seneca in all probability. My little Willie, I think, resembles Seneca a great deal. Often when I speak to him, I call him Seneca and then comes to my mind the time when Seneca used to call me his “little man” and I sometimes think I used to love him as well as I do “Willie” now. I suppose that could not reasonably be so. Also, Cylinda and Mary went with you? And Mary is married. Well, much joy be with her. But a man of good authority once said; If a woman marries she does well but if she does not she does better. This is for Cylndia’s benefit and there is as much truth as poetry in it without casting any reflections upon anyone.

      Charles has written me since his return from his wedding tour, had a very pleasant time. He said he and Hattie sat their dinner in the Sugar Place under the same old trees that were his companion in boyhood. visited Agnes’ grave, and sent me some moss from it.   (He) did not give many particulars of the neighbors except that Sarah Ellis was married to John Johnson. Sarah Norris also married and has a little boy. Probably he will write you the same or more about them.

      My health is very poor and has been for nearly two years or since Ella was ten months old, occasioned by nursing her too long I suppose. I see by the direction of your letter that you knew we had moved. Ilion is about ten miles from our former home in Alexander. (We) bought a house and two lots. It is a village which has mostly grown up with the war. Contains an Armory which has a large government contract at only quantity. A great deal of business for the mechanic line for which he paid $14,000. He moved his barn 20′ by 24′ onto the vacant lot, finished it off. This all into a nice little house and has just sold it for $900. It leaves us with one lot and the brick house. It is situated at a point where two streets run together. The house is two stories in front and three on the other street which makes a cellar kitchen where all our work is done. On the first floor front, the street front is the parlor, sitting room, dining room and our bedroom. Pantry and clothes press on the second floor are five rooms, It will accommodate 13 boarders (Armory workmen)

(The rest of the letter is missing)

______________

The Roning Family

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This is the family line for Mabel’s mother. Let us start the story with Johan Dalgren (1827 – ) who was born in Sweden and his wife Anna Widding (1824 – ). They moved to Norway in 1858. Among their six children was Julius Johansen (1850 – 1930) who is our direct ancestor. Julius married Maren Gudmendsdatter (1849 – 1923). The family had lived several places before they bought Rönningen, for example at Dammen of Tofsrud and at FrÂstad. In 1884 a deed of conveyance was issued to Julius for a portion of the Falla farm. They named this small farm Rönningen (cleared ground) and they build a house. Julius and Maren had eight children. Three sons came to the United States and they all adopted the surname Roning. Hjalmer (1873 – 1962) our ancestor, was the first to come in 1889. Ole (1876 – xx), and Axel (1885 – xx) in that order. Gunda Axel Carrie Elmer Anna Ole

Gunda               Axel                 Carrie              Elmer            Anna           Ole

Axel returned briefly in 1922 -1923 with the intent of running the farm. He found that his father was resistant to modernization so he surrendered his ownership of the farm to his youngest brother Johan Falla Juliussen (1888 -1924) and returned to the US. Johan died then following year and his wife Emma (1884 – 1961) continued to operate the farm, raising both grain and animals. The son Erling Falla (1914 – 1986) took over the farm after his Mother. However, he lived in Oslo and rented out the farming. It appears that his grandson Kjell Falla (1941 –   ) is operating the farm at this time. He owns a transportation firm as well as operating several farms.

We have a long genealogy of for Maren Gudmundsdatter. Dag Hofsodegard, a Norwegian genealogist who lives in the area of Fetsund near the Falla farm, has provided this information. A comment should be added the name of locations. Norway is divided into 20 states or fylker. The fylker are divided into counties or kommunes. The next small division is the farm or gaard. Usually, the farms are subdivided into bruks. Our ancestors lived in Akershus flyke, Fet kommune, Falla #33 Bruksnummer 3, known as Rönningen. This area is just east of Oslo. The land is gently rolling hills with rich farmland.

xxxx visit to Norway and farm

Maren’s brother Peder (1862 – 1896) came to the United States when he was young. It is undoubtedly Peder who financed Hjalmer’s move to the US. Peder ultimately returned to Norway. He had two daughters who remained in the US.

The Hansen Family

This is the family line for Mabel’s mother. The Hansen Family immigrated to the United States in the late 1800s. Hans Nyhus and Brit Skielle had nine children. Ole come to the US in 1889, Mary in 1888, and Bertha 1n 1890. The balance of the family came in 1892. Unfortunately, the parents did not live long. Hans died in 1898 and Brit in 1909. Most of the children enjoyed long and prosperous lives.

  • Ole lived from 1865 to 1950 as a farmer,
  • Mary lived from 1867 – 1958.
  • Tom (1870 – 1964) ran a grocery store.
  • Bertha lived in Mankato 1872 to 1970.
  • Carrie (1874 – ) lived on a farm is Melfort, Sask. Canada.
  • Tillie, our ancestor, lived from 1877 to 1908.
  • Sivert (1879 – 1968) ran a jewelry store.
  • Marit died as a child.
  • Marie ( 1884 to 1956 ) ran a restaurant in St. Paul.

Sivert’s son Harold had an outstanding career as a plant biologist at St. Olaf College. Edna, the oldest daughter of Ole started some genealogical research 40 years ago. She was able to establish some ancestors back to 1500. The chart is shown here. Mabel Rykhus, the daughter of Mary Hansen Rykhus, wrote a brief history of the family in Norway. That story is repeated here.

Tostin Shelly was born in Norway on the Shelly Gaard in Dovre. He was in his time a rich man. He had come there from Sjaak where his three brothers, Hans Sperstad, Nels Prestgaard, and Kriston Steingard were men of great power. Ole Shelly, his son, was also a rich man but his son Tostin Olsson Shelly, was called “Rich” Shelly. He was born on Northern Shelly in 1669. In his time a freeman in Leshja. His great work was in the lumber business from which he derived all of his wealth. He would buy one Gaard, exhaust the timber supply from them and buy up more of them in Dovre and Lesja. All the people knew him as a “straight” man in the business. But he went too far in his zeal for more money and timber. He mortgaged everything he had in the purchase of more land and lost it because he could not make payments. People could hardly bring themselves to believe how “Rich” Shelly in one year could become so poor. In the midst of all this trouble, he died on January 28, 1764, at 75 years of age.

His son and wife, Ole and Berit, continued to live on northern Shelly. They had nine children. Their daughter Mary became the wife of Tostin Shelly of Southern Shelly. Here is where the Shelly families of North and South Shelly inter-married. These people now were all farmers. On the combined Shelly gaard was born Berit Shelly in 1843, my maternal grandmother.

Another set of maternal great, great grandparents was Kari and Chester Korsvold of the Korsvold gaard in Gulbrandsdalon, Norway. Their son Ole Nyhus, married Berit Uleklev, who was the daughter of Hans Uleklev of the Uleklev gaard, and Gari Shelly, sister of Tostin Shelly, my great, grandfather on my maternal grandmother’s side. So here the two descending sides of my Mother’s ancestors were united.

Ole Nyhus, or Uleklev, in 1839 bought a part of Uleklev gaard and called it Nyhus because of the new house he had build upon it. The gaard Uleklev was a big farm, divided into two sections by a river which ran through it. The farm was very hilly, as is usual in Norway.

Hans married Berit Shelly, daughter of Tosten and Mary Shelly, again the Uleklev and Shelly uniting two generations later.

All my maternal ancestors were farmers, except whereas a side activity they kept a store on the gaard. They were of medium height, but the Shelleys were small, which is decidedly characteristic of the direct Shelly descendants in this generation. Most of them died from old age, and they were usually up to the time of their death, a vigorous, strong, healthy people. True to their nationality, they were fair-haired, the Shelleys going further in having a red color for their hair. Along with the fair hair and skin went the blue eyes. These characteristics are easily found in the present generations. The Shelleys and the Nyhuses are not quick-tempered, being slow to anger.

Hans Nyhus was born in Gulbrandsdalon, Norway, in 1840, the oldest of a family of six children. In 1863 he married Berit Shelly, born in Norway in 1843. She was the oldest in a family of five. They continued to live in Norway on the Shelly farm. Nine children were born to them, seven of whom are still living in 1947. Mr. Nyhus kept store for a while, as had his father, but as this did not prove especially successful he gave it up.

The children went to the school of the district but none of them went farther. They were in strict attendance upon the Dovre Church, and the children to this day always smile and tell of its beauty when reminiscing about the old days in Norway.

Some of their friends and relatives had already left for America by 1885 or 1890. Mary (the second oldest) moved the United States in 1888. Ole moved in 1889 and Bertha in 1890. The parents decided that they would take their other children and go also. The full family arrived in America in 1892, going directly to Mankato, Minnesota to make their home.

In 1893 their youngest child, Marit, died. The parents did not work while here, being supported by their children who were now all grown up and working. Ole, being the oldest, had much of the burden fall upon him. He kept the family and aided some of the younger ones in obtaining an education or a job. These grandparents died in 1898 and 1899. They had hardly been in America long enough to adjust themselves to know people, customs, and surroundings. Their life had been rough but so was everyone else. They left eight children to carry on the family work.

Ethyl Myrum in a 1968 letter identified a couple relatives in Norway. She identified a cousin of Tillie Hansen my Grandmother, named Karen Klieven in Dombas Gudbransdalen, Norway. Karen lived with her daughter Mari Borstad. Mari worked at the Dombas Hotel. Dombas is a busy tourist stop at the intersection of major highways crossing Norway.

Eunice Logan visited in Norway 1981 and found numerous relatives. There is a special church a Dovre which was built in 1740. The cemetery has the names of numerous ancestors. There are still people with the name Uleklev. Eunice reported that Norway seemed prosperous, the people happy and very helpful.

Information About Ancestors.

Personal notes

We have taken the opportunity to visit some of the ancestral locations. In 2000 we traveled to Europe and spent several days in Norway. We visited the farm in Norway where Elmer Roning (Dick’s Grandfather) was born. It was a great pleasure seeing the farm and meeting the distant cousin who now farms the property. We asked if there was some memento of the farm that we might take home. He hauled out an old slab of wood that he said was part of the roof from the original home. He next brought out his chainsaw and sliced off a chunk for each Pat and Dick.

In 2001 we stopped at Yellow Spring, West Virginia, the location where the Clines lived for a couple generations. We did not identify any particular property that would have belonged to Phillip Klein but we did stay at the Asa Cline Bed and Breakfast. Asa Cline was a relative.

Also, in 2001 we visited Indiana. We found Lowell Cline, a GG grandson of Abraham Cline but through a different wife than Dick’s family. We also located the house built by Abraham Cline sometime in the late 1850s. The house was still occupied and when we knocked on the door we discovered that the resident, Paul Beckley, is a distant relative. Paul was able to provide us with other family names.

In 2003 we revisited Indiana and had a delightful visit with Paul and his wife Nancy. They showed us many of the historical features of the property. Subsequently, we traveled to Ft. Wayne and visited with Larry and Betty Burke. Larry’s brother Jack and wife Iris were also there visiting so we had a great reunion.

DNA Analysis

A personal DNA analysis will reveal information of your ancient ancestors, inherited genetic features, and possibly other, previously unknown. relatives. There are three well-known companies that will analyze your DNA for a modest cost.  At present, the analysis primarily has entertainment value. The newspapers tell of crimes solved by matching fragment

Other Family History Records that stimulated interest and/or provided information

  • Family Ties, An Ancestry of the DePoy Family, Compiled by Charles L. DePoy
  • John and Sarah Brenner, Their Ancestors and Descendants, By Marilyn Roberts   1998
  • Hunt Family Tree, Angie Hunt
  • Genealogical Register of the Descendants of Abbotts of New England States
  • Rev Abiel Abbot, D.D., & Ephramin Abbot 1847
  • Family Tree of the Abbotts, Russell Abbott
  • Paul Hunt Autobiography
  • Misc. notes from Dorothy Naether
  • Misc. notes from Emery Cline
  • Through Their Eyes and Mine
  • A Collection Of Family Stories
  • LaVerne Hunt Silcott 2004
  • Misc. notes, letters, and photographs from Larry Burke
  • Conversations with Paul Beckley
  • Conversations with Lowell Cline
  • Childhood and Adult Stories by Mabel
  • Childhood and Adult Stories by Russel
  • From Win Cline’s Diary, October 28th to November 4th, 1945

 

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