Thomas Green (52 Ancestors; #5 Thomas Green)

A recent assignment for our genealogy class is following migration patterns.  While doing some research of those that came “across the pond”, I found myself researching my 2nd great grandfather on my father’s side.

Thomas Green was born 15 Nov 1842 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland.  On 27 Feb 1865 he married Elizabeth Stewart in Dundee, Angus, Scotland.  On 07 Feb 1867 in Dundee they gave birth to their first and only child, Elizabeth Speers Green.

At the time of the 1871 Scotland census where Thomas and his family were living in Liff, Angus, Scotland which is just northwest of Dundee.  Shortly thereafter, in 1872, Thomas and his family emigrated to Canada.  In the 1901 Canadian Census Thomas and his family are found in what was then known as Rat Portage now known as Kenora.

Thomas remained in Kenora for the remainder of his years until his death 06 Feb 1910 where he was proclaimed dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital by his son-in-law, William McKenzie.  On his certificate of death it cites Harry Green as his father but does not list the maiden name of his mother.

Michael McGinty (52 Ancestors; #4 Michael McGinty)

I am currently in a genealogy certificate class at Boston University. One of our first projects was to select a family and review the 1920 and 1930 census for that family. I have reviewed lots of census records over the years but I don’t know that I have looked at them in quite this way before.

michaelmcginty_photoMichael McGinty was born 22 Oct 1871 in Bellageheer, Mohill, Leitrim, Ireland. Michael was the son of Michael Ginty (b. abt. 1831 in Leitrim, Ireland) and Elizabeth McGarry.

According to family stories, Michael came to the United States about the ‘Ethiopia’ in 1893. I have yet to be able to confirm or refute this as I have been unable to find him on any manifests. Census records and other documents have him immigrating to the United States anywhere from 1883 to 1893. It’s also unclear as to what port he would of come into. However, family stories go on to state that Michael traveled from Minnesota to Chicago in yellow corduroys (an indication of being poor). He hitch hiked to Chicago which once in Chicago he got a job as a plumber.

Michael married Nellie Carolan on 10 Jun 1903 at Holy Family Church in Chicago. Nellie and Michael had five sons: John Patrick McGinty (b. 24 May 1904), Thomas Edward McGinty (b. 28 Dec 1905), Arthur J. McGinty (b. 24 Jan 1908), Francis P. McGinty (b. 02 Apr 1910) and Aloysius McGinty (b. 22 Nov 1912).

Michael’s wife Nellie passed at a very young age (32) in 1913 from diptheria leaving Michael to care for his 5 sons. Aloysius passed at the age of 3 in 1915. Francis died young at the age of 13 in 1923.

In reviewing the 1920 census, I was able to find Michael, his sister Mary and his four sons (Francis was still alive) living at Arthingston Street in Chicago. Michael’s occupation was listed as plumber. He is also listed as a 45 year old, white male who immigrated in 1890.

Michael, his sister Mary and his three sons were found 10 years later at Polk Street living in Chicago. Michael’s occupation was listed as plumber but we also know that he drove street cars.

Michael passed away 22 May 1943 from pneumonia. Michael is buried at Mount Carmel cemetery at block 4, section U, lot N19, grave 4.

Andrew Kinney (52 Ancestors; #3 Andrew Kinney, Sr.)

I am extremely fortunate that my family has been able to preserve some fantastic family photos.  One such photo is that of Andrew Kinney (or photos).  You may recall that we introduced Sylvester Beasecker (52 Ancestors, #2) who married Katharine Kinney (b. 11 Oct 1869, d. 23 Dec 1912) about 1896 in Pennsylvania.  Katharine Kinney’s parents were Andrew Kinney and Margaret McTavish.

andrewkinney_photoAndrew Kinney was born about 1823 in Ireland.  We have only been able to identify the approximate birth date and location for Andrew Kinney based upon census records, voter registration and death records.  Andrew passed away 22 May 1900 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.  We know from an article in The Commonwealth published in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin that Andrew’s birth year is about 1823 based upon the age cited in the article.  The article states that Andrew’s remains arrived from Chicago after Andrew passed away in his home located at 424 Park Avenue in Chicago.

While we know that both Andrew and his wife Margaret (nee McTavish) Kinney were transported back to Fond du Lac at the time of their deaths and we know further that Andrew’s funeral was at St. Joseph’s church in Fond du Lac, I have been unable to locate either of their burial locations/headstones.

AndrewKinneySr2There is so much we still don’t know about Andrew and his wife, Margaret.  We know that Andrew and Margaret resided in Fond du Lac from 1852 to 1874.  We know that both Andrew and Margaret were in Chicago in 1890 which is when Margaret passed away.

We know that Andrew and Margaret owned land in Fond du Lac but what prompted them to be buried in Fond du Lac when they passed away in Chicago.  We’ve been able to connect with several other Kinneys in the area but have been unable to establish a connection.  We have still been unable to identify the parents of either Andrew or Margaret.  While we know that both Andrew and Margaret were both from Illinois, we don’t know if they were married in Ireland or in the United States.  Did Andrew, Margaret or both have family in Fond du Lac which prompted them to be interred in that location?  I’m confident that the answer to some of these questions are in Fond du Lac.  I see a trip in my future.

Sylvester Beasecker (52 Ancestors: #2 Sylvester B. Beasecker)


While we are talking about the Beaseckers, lets talk about one of the more interesting men in my family tree based upon what I have found out about him.  Sylvester B. Beasecker was born 06 Feb 1859 in Goshen, Elkhart, Indiana.  Sylvester is the son of Samuel Beasecker and Martha Ann Bowman.  Over the course of his life, Sylvester had four (4) wives, owned several businesses and lived in several different states to include Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Georgia.

I am a descendent of Sylvester through his second wife, Katharine Kinney (b. 11 Oct 1869; d. 23 Dec 1912).  Sylvester and Katharine were married about 1896, probably in Pennsylvania.  Katharine (“Kitty”) and Sylvester had four (4) children: Frances, George, Mae and Elizabeth.  Kittie died at a young age following complications from gallbladder operation.  Prior to his marriage to Katharine, Sylvester was married to Winona Glenn (b. abt 1850, d. bef. 1939).  Sylvester and Winona also had four (4) children to include Vernon, Clarence, Oneta and Raymond.

Sylvester passed away on 01 May 1933 in Minnesota while he was visiting his daughter, Mae Beasecker Waters.


Martha Beasecker (52 Ancestors: #1 Martha Ann Bowman Beasecker)

I began genealogy shortly after the passing of my Aunt Hazel who, to the best of my knowledge, was one of the only people in the Wheeler line doing any kind of genealogy. Not long after getting started, and with family pictures, I became interested in the life and history of my great-grandfather Sylvester Beasecker (b. 06 Feb 1859; d. 01 May 1933).

Sylvester is the son of Samuel Beasecker (b. 13 Feb 1831 in Montgomery, Ohio; d. 06 Jun 1888 in Goshen, Elkhart, Indiana). According to the International Marriage Records, 1560 – 1900, Samuel married Martha Browen born in Pennsylvania in 1836. Numerous searches for Martha Browen in and out of Pennsylvania yielded very little in regards to the background of Martha. Eventually I came across the death record for Martha (as well as several other Beaseckers) in South Bend, Indiana and she was buried in Sugar Grove Cemetery in Goshen, Indiana. On a trip from Illinois to Michigan, I made a detour and stopped by Sugar Grove Cemetery.

Unfortunately the headstone provided little in the way of Martha’s maiden name or her parents.  There is a Mary & John Browand buried in Sugar Grove Cemetery but I was unable to find a link from Martha to anyone with the Browand surname.  Over the years I have tried different spellings to include Browan, Browand, Brown and Brower.  After weeks (okay…months) of research, I wrote it off as a “brick wall”.

Like so many others in genealogy, family research is one that we pick up and put down with the changing of the seasons.  As Illinois got pelted with snow and freezing temperatures, I once again picked up my genealogy.  As Ancestry, NEHGS and others are continually adding new records, I did a search for Martha.

Martha and Samuel had five children (William J, Sylvester B, Alice E, Amanda N and Rosalie M).  While searching in Ancestry I came across a photo of Martha “Bowman”, Alice Beasecker, Florence Wiese and Robert A Wiese.  Jackpot!

Alice Beasecker married Allen Bemenderfer 26 Sep 1883.  Their daughter Florence Bemenderfer (b. 08 Mar 1885, d. 06 Mar 1962) married Christian M. Wiese (b. 17 Aug 1884, d. 25 Nov 1967).  Armed with the correct surname, I was able to locate Martha’s parents, John F. Bowman (b. 1816, d. 1856) and Nancy Stover (b. 1819, d. unknown).

Samuel & Martha Beasecker

Samuel & Martha Beasecker

52 Ancestors

As the website has been taken down ( makes it so easy to publish the tree and it didn’t make sense maintaining both), I figured that I would re-purpose the domain name to use on the blog. One of the project ideas that came up for genealogy was “52 Ancestors in 52 weeks” (  I love this idea.  Look for the first blog entry later this week.