Sophia Melahn

She’s the shortest branch on my mother’s side of the family tree. Most parts of her side of the tree extend back well over 250 years. Sophia, however, is the only person on the Faxon side for whom I’ve been unable to track down 4th great-grandparents. Part of this stems from the fact that she was a first generation immigrant, and this is where I most frequently run into a dead end. She was born on April 1st, 1830 in Germany. According to census records, she arrived in America 1854 and later married Henry (Heinrich) Suhr. They ultimately had 6 children. I’ve been able to track down pictures for most of them, including my 2nd great grandmother, Louisa Suhr (McFall), shown below.

Louis Suhr and Levi McFall

I’ve been checking every now and then for German birth records or passenger lists that may be hers, but so far nothing has come up that looks like a good match. The marriage date given by several people on ancestry.com is November 12th, 1855, in Milwaukee. If I were able to track down their marriage certificate, it would more than likely contain her parents names. However, the 1855 marriage date and location is suspect for a variety of reasons.

  1. Milwaukee started recording marriages in 1852, and theirs does not show up in the Milwaukee database.
  2. If she were married in 1855, that would mean she immigrated, met Henry, settled in Milwaukee and married him all in one year. Possible, but not likely.
  3. Their first child was born in 1861, so if the 1855 date is true it would also mean that after the above sequence of events, they then decided to wait 6 years to start having children.

There could be likely explanations for any one of those things, but taken together, it seems more likely that they married somewhere closer to 1859-1860 in a state that was not keeping very good marriage records. Will just have to keep looking, something will turn up eventually…

Foster Family Photos

I did a little searching on ancestry on the Foster side of the family tree and came across these two:

The fellow on the left is my third great grandfather, Thomas Foster (1822-1882) and the man on the right is his father, Joshua Clay Foster (1794-1883). Both of them were farmers in the small town of Maquon, Illinois, just west of Peoria. It’s always a nice surprise to randomly find pictures of your ancestors on-line. I wasn’t able to find pictures for Thomas’s daughter, Olive, my 2nd great grandmother. Likely because she died at a relatively young age of 44. I did however find her marriage record from 1891 in the Maquon Methodist Church records, which I still thought was kind of neat:

Olive and Eddie Marriage Record

Maybe at some point something more will turn up, but that’s all that was available for right now.

Frederick Royse

Every now and then I come across older ancestors and am surprised by the amount of research that has been done on them. Frederick Royse is definitely one of those people. He was born around 1750, most likely close to Bardstown, Kentucky and fought with the Frontier Rangers from 1778-1783 in the Revolutionary War. Shortly before enlisting, he married Sarah Dewitt of Hampshire, Virginia. They ultimately had 10 children and in 1815, at the age of 65, founded what is now the small town of Fredericksburg, Indiana.

19067989_117738475438

In 1971, Chelsea Dinn published an entire book about his life story, “Frederick Royse, 1750-1825: Revolutionary War Militiaman“. The amount of time and energy spent researching this one person is really amazing. His relation to me is as follows:

Frederick Royse (1750 – 1825)
5th great-grandfather
Rebeckah Royse (1796 – 1831)
daughter of Frederick Royse
Harvey McFall (1815 – 1875)
son of Rebeckah Royse
Levi Augustus McFall (1863 – 1930)
son of Harvey McFall
Edna Dell Mcfall (1898 – 1989)
daughter of Levi Augustus McFall
Richard Faxon (1920 – 1999)
son of Edna Dell Mcfall
Patricia Faxon (1949 – )
daughter of Richard Louis Faxon
Benjamin Steinhaus

Louis Henslie Faxon’s Death – 1929

The below was a document I found recently on ancestry.com corroborating the date and cause of my great grandfathers death. He was killed at the age of only 37. He was walking home from work one Tuesday evening and was gored to death by a bull that had escaped from it’s pen.

Louis Faxon Railway Death

It’s kind of morbid, but I think some of the strange causes of death of my ancestors are one of the most interesting things about my family history. Not so many people died in their sleep at the age of 85 in a nursing home. There were several people who suffered horrible fates. It reminds me of how easy I have it now, compared by to my forefathers.