Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Holcombe Family (5) - Colonial Generations

Part 5 - Joseph, Micah and the Movement West

Three generations named Nathaniel Holcombe carved out lives for themselves and their families in a rugged wilderness called Salmon Brook. On the colonial frontier, far removed from the more established society along the Connecticut River, these families played and important role in the settlement of America. They were a vanguard, a buffer against the unknown and a fragile line of defense for the British Empire. At the same time, they went about their business of staking a claim for themselves, conducting public and private business and building a town. They cleared land, planted orchards, establishing farms, and raised families in the meadows, forests and rocky foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. By the time Nathaniel III turned 80 years old, the revolution was in full swing and America was entering a new chapter. These would be the times of the next generations in this family line: Joseph and his son Micah.

If you missed Part 4 of the story, go here . . .
If you missed Part 3 of the story, go here . . .
If you missed Part 2 of the story, go here . . .
If you missed Part 1 of the story, go here . . .


North Hartford County in the 1760's. At the time of this map, Salmon Brook
is still a small settlement in the northern part of the Town of Simsbury.
Eventually, it would break away and become the Town of Granby.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Spike Peterson - Short Biography

One of a series of short biographies of individual ancestors. These are undertaken, from time-to-time, when enough information becomes available about an individual.

Curtis "Spike" Peterson, the "Rassler"

One of the most colorful characters in my family history was “Spike” Peterson. He was a locally famous wrestler, who traveled the wrestling circuit, primarily in southern Wisconsin from the 1930’s until his tragic death in 1951.


Curtis "Spike" Peterson, circa 1940s.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Holcombe Family (4) - Colonial Generations

Part 4 - Nathaniel Holcombe III

Nathaniel Holcombe, the first of three Nathaniel's and son of Thomas Holcombe settled in the Town of Simsbury, Connecticut in the late 1670's in the remote wilderness at Salmon Brook. He was one of the first of the next generation of colonial pioneers to venture farther west and away from the settled areas along the Connecticut River. His son, Nathaniel II, would also raise his family in Salmon Brook. By that time, the small settlement had become more established but was still lay at the edge of the British Empire in America. The next generation, the third Nathaniel would grow up in this wilderness but as he came of age, he would raise a family in an increasingly more settled 18th Century Colonial America.

If you missed Part 3 of the story, go here . . .
If you missed Part 2 of the story, go here . . .
If you missed Part 1 of the story, go here . . .
From "The Brittle Thread of Live," The Town of Simsbury in the 1730's. Salmon Brook
 (the future Town of Granby) is toward the top. Hop Meadow (the main Simsbury settlement)
is toward the bottom. West of the Connecticut River and approaching the foothills of the
Berkshires, a number of settlements have been established along the colony's western frontier.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Holcombe Family (3) - Colonial Generations

Part 3 - Nathaniel Holcombe II

Thomas Holcombe, an early Puritan settler would arrive in New England sometime between 1630 and 1633. A few years later, he would be part of the party that founded the first colonial town in Connecticut. He would prosper and raise a large family on this early American frontier. His youngest son, Nathaniel would move further west as the towns along the Connecticut River filled-up and good farmland became harder to come by. Nathaniel would be a prominent figure in the area of Simsbury known as Salmon Brook. There he would establish himself and live to see his children and grandchildren spread out in the rugged foothills of an area that would eventually become the Town of Granby, Connecticut.

If you missed Part 2 of the story, go here . . .
If you missed Part 1 of the story, go here . . .

An excerpt from John Seller's map of New England. The Connecticut
River Valley in 1675. The river towns are visible but that is about all.
Everything west is still the wilderness but that is soon to change.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Louis Goldner - Short Biography

One of a series of short biographies of individual ancestors. These are undertaken, from time-to-time, when enough information becomes available about an individual.

Louis Goldner - Chicago, Illinois

Louis Goldner, probably
in Oak Park, Illinois
Louis Goldner was born on October 28, 1861 in Chicago. He was the middle child of  three sons of Frederick Goldner and Louise Ebersold. His father Frederick had come to America from Wirtemburg (or possibly Bavaria). He came over sometime in the 1850's and may have been in eastern Michigan prior to coming to Chicago. Louise Ebersold came to America from Bavaria and is believed to be the sister of Frederick Ebersold and Peter Ebersold. Frederick and Peter where both civil war veterans and Chicago police officers. Frederick rose to the rank of Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department in 1885. Louise's arrival date is also uncertain but probably was in the middle of the 1850's.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Alfred Peterson - Short Biography

One of a series of short biographies of individual ancestors. These are undertaken, from time-to-time, when enough information becomes available about an individual.

Alfred Peterson of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin

A young Alfred Petersen
Alfred Peterson (who also shows up in some records as Albert) was born on March 29, 1882 in the Town of Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. His parents were Ole Peterson and Martha Breisnes. Ole had come to America in 1862 and settled in Blue Mounds where he first farmed 80 acres on section 10 and then over 200 acres on section 11 at the western edge of the fledgling community of Mount Horeb. About a year after Alfred’s birth, his mother would die from complications of childbirth. This would leave Ole to care for a large family, including a number of young children. It is likely that Alfred, his brother Olaus and perhaps some other children went to live with a women named Betsy Peterson. She was a widow and had a farm near the Ole Peterson farm.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Frederick Roth II - Short Biography

One of a series of short biographies of individual ancestors. These are undertaken, from time-to-time, when enough information becomes available about an individual.

Frederick Roth - Monroe and Chicago

Frederick Roth II was born on October 20, 1885. He was the oldest child and only son of Frederick Roth I and Mary Zweifel of Monroe, Wisconsin. His father had immigrated from Switzerland around 1880 and settled in Monroe where he operated the Monroe House and later a tavern near the Illinois Central train station. Mary (or Maria) Zweifel was the daughter of Fridolin Zweifel and Regula Oswald (or Oswalt). Fridolin, along with five brothers, came to New Glarus form “old” Glarus, Switzerland in the 1850’s. He settled just south of New Glarus where he farmed 200 acres on sections 4, 8 and 9 in the Town of Washington.

You can read more about the Zweifel family in a three part report here.

The Roth family of Monroe, Wisconsin around 1900, Frederick I,
daughter Rose, son Frederick II and Maria Zweifel

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wilderman Family (3) - Colonists and Pioneers

Part 3 - From Frontier to Settled Territory
Find Part 2 of the Story Here . . .
Find Part 1 of the Story Here . . .

Note, this post has been revised. The original 2-Part Wilderman Family series has been updated and more information has been added. The series has been expanded to 3 Parts with most of the new information in this part.

Jacob Wilderman and Johann Meyer left their small village in Baden, Germany and came to Colonial America in 1751. Jacob would marry Elizabetha Meyer and make his home in Maryland. There he would raise a family, farm, fight in the revolution and live out his live. After the Revolution, his son George would marry and head to western Pennsylvania to live in the company of other Pennsylvania Dutch settlers. Later he would pick-up once more and venture into the frontier of the Northwest Territory and settle just east of the Mississippi in what is now Illinois.

The Wilderman family would thrive in Saint Clair County. A number of sons would operate large farms of their own. Later generations would continue to farm but some family members would seek other callings including one of George's grandsons, Alonzo, who would become a Circuit Court Judge. Many descendants still live in the area and the family history is well documented.

The Wilderman Cemetery in the countryside on Section 8 in the Town of Freeburg.
James Wilderman, Sarah Jarvis and a number of their children are buried here.