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.

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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