John Patrick McGinty (52 Ancestors, #10 John McGinty)

My maternal grandfather is John Patrick McGinty (b. 24 May 1905, Chicago, IL; d. 01 Nov 1962, Chicago, IL) who was the eldest son of Michael McGinty and Nellie Carolan.

John attended and graduated from St. Charles Borromeo for middle school in 1913. John graduated high school from St. Patrick Academy in June 1921. Upon graduation from high school, John followed in his father’s footsteps working as a plumber. John Patrick McGinty

John eventually strayed from this line of work and got a job as a clerk at AT&T in 1925. Aside from working as a plumber, this is the only place that John will work his entire life. John worked at AT&T for 37 years as an accountant before retiring.



John met and was married to Helen Elizabeth Beasecker on 27 June 1932. Thomas McGinty, John’s brother, and Clara Mader, Elizabeth’s cousin, stood up for their wedding. John and Elizabeth lived at 243 Stanley Avenue in Park Ridge where they had three children.

John passed away at the young age of 58 years of age due to a pulmonary embolism.  John is buried with his wife at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.

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