Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Peder P. Moe - Short Biography

Peder Moe, North Dakota Pioneer

Peder Moe was born on September 28, 1858 in Hafslo, Norway. In 1864, at the age of six, he came to America with his parents, Peter Olsen Moe and Anna Augundsdatter Lad and a number of siblings. They first went to Black Earth, Wisconsin and then settled on Section One in the northeast corner of Town of Blue Mounds and just north of what would eventually become the village of Mount Horeb.

Peder Moe, about 1890.

Friday, October 14, 2022

1950 Census - Another Milestone

Back in 2012, I was really excited about the release of the 1940 US Census - I called it once in a lifetime and it was. But low and behold, these past 10 years have gone by fast and another 'once' is happening. The 1950 census data has been released.

72 years ago, census takers where going around the country gathering information about the population. My my mom was 12 years old and growing up in small town Wisconsin. As a matter of fact, her home town (and mine) had a population that was about 4.5 times smaller than it is today. 1950 ushered on an era of prosperity and growth for much of the country. World War II was in the rear view mirror and the future looked bright. In my own family search, many of the boys and girls from the 1940 census are adults and starting families of their own by 1950 and there are new names in the lists - new children who were not yet born in 1940. There are also those that have disappeared from the record, yes, some have died in the intervening years. The census brings home the the full circle of life in cold hard facts.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

The Buell Family - Colonial Americans

Martha Buell was the wife of Nathaniel Holcombe II. She was born in Simsbury, Connecticut in 1675. Martha was the third of nine children of Sergeant Peter Buell (b.1644, d.1728) and his first wife, Martha Cogan (Coggins / Cozzins) (b.1648, d.1686) both of Windsor, Connecticut.

Martha and Nathaniel Holcombe were married in 1695. She was raised on the frontier at Hop Meadow and would raise her family in the remote outpost at Salmon Brook. By the early 1700s the area was becoming more settled and less of a frontier but there were still dangers lurking about. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Salmon Brook (Granby), Connecticut

Salmon Brook, which started out as no more than a small cluster of houses and a remote outposts of Simsbury, would later became part of the newly formed Town of Granby. It was the home of Nathaniel Holcombe I, II and III and is an important place in the history of this family line. Every Holcombe in Granby was a descendant of the first Nathaniel and hundreds of them raised families and lived out their lives there. Six generations from this writer's direct line lived there, for over 120 years, starting with Nathaniel and ending with Apollas.

Granby Center (Salmon Brook); from the United States Geological Survey, 1892

Thursday, March 2, 2017

In Search of David Hollister

One of the joys of family research is discovering lines of ancestors that you had never heard of. In my search there have been a few of these, mostly from my paternal grandmother’s family. I did not have much information on her and so there was a lot waiting to be found. One of these families, the Hollisters, started out in colonial Connecticut and ended up, via New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, in far western Iowa.

The Town of Dansville, Stuben County, New York;
where David Hollister spent his youth?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Windsor, Connecticut

Located north of Hartford on the Connecticut River, Windsor was the first permanent settlement in the, soon to be, Connecticut Colony and the home of Thomas Holcombe. In 1633 a group from Plymouth established a trading post at the meeting of the Connecticut and Farmington Rivers. A year later, the first group from Dorchester, Massachusetts established themselves just north of the trading post. Others from Dorchester would follow and a foothold in Connecticut was established.

North-central Connecticut prior to 1625 showing tribal settlements
along the Connecticut River in the area of future Windsor.

The Towns of My Ancestors

The primary focus of Genealogy is often concentrated on individual ancestors and there connection to others in the family. It is concerned about birth, parents, marriage, children, work, service, accomplishments and eventually death. These are the markers of a life and form a thread that connects each generation to the next. The place where they lived is another point of data but not always the focus of a Genealogy. Place was certainly an important part of each individual's life and yet, one constant seems to be that these folks were always on the move. It took a lot of work to put down roots and build a life but often, just as they had make a place for themselves, they would pack up and head out, usually toward the horizon of the setting sun. Still, those places . . . their home . . . was everything to the colonists and pioneers of America. Being able to settle in a place of one's own was the very definition of the freedom these people were looking for.

Town of Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. A survey from about 1833 shows the military
 road (on the ridge at the top of the map) and one settler (upper left corner). Like
the calm before the storm, over the next 30 years the town will fill up; first with
 Yankees from the east, then a mix of Germans, Norwegians, Swiss and others.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Chapin Family - Colonial Americans

Catherine Chapin was the wife of Nathaniel Bliss and mother of Mary Bliss. She was born is Pomeroy, Devin, England in 1622. Catherine was the third of 10 or 11 children of Samuel Chapin (b.1598? d.1675) and Cicely Penny (b.1602, d.1682).

John Chapin

The Chapin family is believed to have come to America about 1638, landed at Boston and settled in Roxbury. Samuel Chapin was born in Paignton, Devon, England and was baptized on October 8, 1598 at Saint John the Baptist Church. He was the fourth of five children of John Chapin (b.1566? d.1600) and Phillipa Easton (b.1569? d.1615) both of Paignton. There other children were: Joane, Phillipe, Thomas and Margaret. Phillipa Easton was the daughter of Henry Easton and Joan Cliffe.

Saint John the Baptist Church, Paignton, Devon, England