Patj's Stories & Genealogy

Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A Live Chat -- Genealogically Speaking Of Course

My Genealogical Briefcase - Well Traveled

Image result for iLearn Lab Loveland

I am so blessed to have so many outlets for my passion of speaking about genealogy. Since my last report on March 13, I have been very busy.  I want to catch my readers up on the latest adventures.

Pictured is the wonderful iLearn Lab in the Loveland Public Library. This was the location of the Family Search Workshop I had the pleasure of conducting on March 28, 2015. 15 eager students registered for the workshop and the room was a buzz of activity.  I presented an hour Power Point to show them the way and then they were on their own to play with the wonderful website.  I had three volunteer helpers to help the students as they had questions about the wedbsite.  Thanks to Sharon, Kathy and Debbie.  George, former Larimer County Genealogical Society Education Chair, was there to help as well, although he was partaking as a student today. It was a very successful workshop.  The evaluation sheets were very positive for feedback. The Larimer County Genealogical Society may decide to repeat this workshop soon. Of course, I was exhausted both physically and mentally by the end of the three hours.  But I am pleased to report that it is an experience I thoroughly enjoyed.

One week later, on April 4, 2015 I facilitated the first of two Intermediate Genealogy classes for LCGS. This one was held at the Council Tree Library Community Room in Fort Collins. Thirty people attended this class. It was an excellent group and there was a lot of interaction among all of us. This picture is not of my class, but it is of the Community Room in the library. Another three hour class that was most enjoyable.  The Council Tree Library shares the corner with Panera Bread, and of course, I couldn't resist the temptation of having lunch there before heading home. Delicious 1/2 cheese panini and green salad.  This was a beautiful April Saturday and the day before Easter.  I was pleased that thirty people chose to share it with me in this class. Stay tuned for further adventures, Patj

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Friday, March 13, 2015

March 11, 2015 Speaking At Longmont, Colorado

What a beautiful day this was. I drove the back way to Longmont so I could enjoy the scenery.  I like County Line Road as it cuts through the beautiful farm land and I can look at the "not so busy" areas.  The day was warm and sunny and perfect as I traveled to Longmont for my presentation there at 1:30.  The Longmont Genealogical Society is one of my favorite places to speak.
The folks are always so friendly and kind. It was good to see Margaret K, the Society President, and meet Kay who is Vice President and in charge of programs.  Of course, the presentation is a piece of cake compared to the anxiety in setting up the electronic equipment. That is the best show of all. Every set up is a different animal.  I have become pretty good at figuring most systems out, but there is always that unexpected glitch that I have to figure out.  But like every other time the set up was good and the program was ready to roll.

My friend Harry R gave me the newspaper article that was in the Longmont Times-Call for the day. That was nice to see my name "in lights".  From that you can see what my subject was.  All in all, it was a very pleasant day and I enjoyed it immensely.

This is the Church where the LGS has the pleasure of meeting.  It is a nice big hall with plenty of room. The turnout today was enough to fill the hall comfortably.

After I was finished at the Genealogical Society I drove out to see Cindy and Don. I haven't been there for about a month due to the bad weather we have been having in February and March.  It was good to see them and they had fixed tacos and we all had a good supper and a few laughs as well. Cindy is recovering so well, I am amazed. I finally left about 7pm and headed back to Fort Collins. As always, it was good to get home.  It would be better if I still had my special little friend, Kitty Girl waiting for me.  But that is life, full of changes and sometimes not so peasant changes.

It was a wondeful day, seeing old friends, having a well received presentation, a beautiful drive, and seeing family as well.  Have I mentioned lately that I have the best life imaginable?  I am so blessed and so grateful.  Until later, Patj

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Berriman McLaughlin & Company

Yesterday I brought Berriman McLaughlin & Company back into the computer office.  He has been waiting in a box for about six weeks, because I couldn't stand to look at the stack of papers and be reminded that I had to put him aside for awhile.  My 2014 goal was to have my book about him done by year end ---- but many things got in the way, so he was exiled to the box until further notice.

But finally, I had a breather and decided to get started once again on this book.  Berriman McLaughlin had eleven children that grew to adulthood.  I plan to write about each of them, their family and their life.  I am currently writing about child number five! She is daughter Elizabeth who married Elisha Petty first and second to Lyman B Darrow. Elizabeth died in her forties.  Would you say I have a way to go with six more children?  My goal now is to be done by year end 2015, but no guarantee.  

That is the reason for the title Berriman McLaughlin & Company. As I study these folks I find such interesting personalitites and unknown events that I linger way too long on each child. They are the major stockholders and partners in the "Company". 

When I started this project I felt it would be a fairly short and easy job.  These people looked, at first glance, like typical frontier people that led fairly ordinary lives.  What a delightful surprise to find not one of them is anywhere near typical at all.  But then, I shouldn't be surprised since every person has a story worth telling.

It is definitely a labor of love and respect to write about Berriman McLaughlin & Company.  Of course, I have a hidden agenda. I am hoping to find a slight, if even tiny, clue as to Catherine French's parents.  But even if that does not happen it is fun to study her family.  Patj


Saturday, February 28, 2015

2015 - Coming In LikeThe Roar Of A Lion

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2015 promises to be a busy and fun year!  I have given five talks so far, in just the first two months.  My speaking schedule is filling up nicely and is a comfortable level now. I have to be careful to not over book and make it UNcomfortable.  It all has to do with that little two letter word "No".  Here is my schedule as it stands today.

Now you can see why I am looking forward to a wonderful year.  It is what I like to do.  I know, you may say, "Hmmm you didn't work this hard for money. Right?"  That is so correct, but this gives me rewards so much more valuable than money.  I like designing and organizing my material and I really enjoy interacting with others at the presentation. 

My wish for you is that you will also have a joyous 2015. Stay tuned, Patj

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Finally -- Back In Business -- A Few Of My Favorite Things

It has been more than a month since I last wrote in my blog. So much has happened to me and my family, and I will not try to recap it all.  I just want to express my gratefulness to Heavenly Father that things seem to be getting back to the normal. 

The picture is to record my favorite things, my little treasures given to me by little people.  As I am in a downsizing mode right now, I decided to take a picture of these precious gifts.  I am organizing, and storing, and tossing items that are taking up space.  These things are getting quite old, and soon will be too old to keep. I have a necklace made of Cherrios and a beautiful decorated clothes pin, made by a special little girl, my granddaughter, Logan.  I have an ape standing by a tree given to me by my oldest grandson, Chad. I have a special leather key fob called Echo, made by my next grandson, Ryan. I have a Christmas Tree and a floral wall hanging made by my daughter, Laurel. I have a Christmas ornament made this year by the veterinary clinic for my best friend, Kitty Girl. And last added to my treasures, a little mechanical musical from my great grandson, Oliver.  Of course, these treasures are not anything I could turn into money or that I could even hock.  Treasure does not mean monetary value only, for me these are more precious than money, their value is in love.

And finally, I have been able to work on my book about Berriman McLaughlin. As I study each of his twelve children and add them to the story, I am discovering so many new people and new stories.  These McLaughlins seemed to be ordinary people at the outset.  But, oh my, I have discovered wives no one knew about, grandchildren that had been lost to history, and one grandchild mis-identified who is now in the correct family with the correct parents.

Now that I have teased you, I will share a bit of these discoveries now.

John McLaughlin, son of the original Berriman, had four children and genealogists and family historians have assumed he had one wife who was their mother. But upon studying this family I discovered he had to have had a first wife who was the mother of the two oldest children. Her name may be forever lost to history, but I know she existed, and she will be mentioned in my book.

Berryman McLaughlin, grandson of the original Berriman, had been described as having no children. However, I discovered he had a daughter, Sarah, and a son, John.  They are now recognized as his children and that is in my book.

Elizabeth McLaughlin, daughter of the original Berriman, died young, around age forty five. With her first husband she had seven children. With her second husband she had one baby boy. She died shortly after that baby was born. In her father's intestate probate case that baby is identified as John Doir, heir of Elizabeth, deceased.  I discoverd this son is Asa Allen Darrow, not named John as in the probate case.  I am sure that Asa knew who his mother was, but others that have followed assumed the probate record HAD to be right, and his name was John. Asa is in my book, in the right family at last.

So I am busy and having fun again. Is there anything more fun than family history?  Oh yes, also, my daughters are both doing fine.  Stay tuned, Patj

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Angels Around Us -- December 2014

If you do not believe in angels, read no further.  However, I am here to tell you, they are real and they are around us, everyone of us.  Our believing is the same as opening the door to their help and miracles.  I would be very afraid to say I don't believe in angels. 

Today is Sunday, December 28, 2014.  It is 10:45 am.  Two weeks ago on Sunday, December 14, 2014 at this very same time, Cindy, my oldest daughter, was entering the Valley of the Shadow of Death.  The surgeons at University Hospital, in Aurora, Colorado were starting her second surgery in three days.  For three hours I waited, not leaving the phone for a minute. Finally at 1:30 I got the call that Cindy had survived a surgery not many would have survived.

There is no reason to go into detail of the surgery itself.  It was necessary to keep her alive.  The surgery meant she had a very tough road ahead of her, but at least she had a chance to survive.  Cindy had gone to the hospital on Monday, December 8 and is still there today December 28. 

This brings me to the subject of "Angels".  Do I believe in angels?  Absolutely.  Can I see angels?  No, but I can sense and feel their presence.  Would I want to live in a world without angels?  Never.  Did I ever see them?  No, I don't need to see to believe.  Do I need to know who they are?  No.  Do I trust angels to do Heavenly Father's bidding?  Yes.  I think you get the picture, I am an angel fan club of the first order, and I am thanking them in public.

If you have read this, hopefully you will agree with me that life without angels would be very dangerous.  Hopefully, you are now a member of my angel fan club.   Patj

Friday, December 5, 2014

Berriman McLaughlin & Farewell To 2014

The book about my 4th great grandfather, Berriman McLaughlin, is not going to be done by the end of 2014.  My goal when I started this project was to have it done for my "2014 book".  I try to add one book a year to my collection of books.  2014 ended up being a very busy year for me, so I had to keep setting it aside.  Now, in December, I am back at it, but I won't get it completed soon.  But I wanted to give it recognition at least, and I will be talking about it more when it is finished.

The project became very interesting due to my plan to study each of Berriman's twelve children, and write about them as well.  It seemed a fairly simple idea, until I started studying these folks and found all sorts of mysteries.  An unknown wife for a son, a different maiden name for another son's wife, unknown children for a grandson.  They are a very interesting group of people.  So stay tuned for a full report when the book is done.

As far as a farewell to 2014, I can only say it has been a very nice and busy year.  I have facilitated quite a few genealogy classes. I did a Land Records Workshop with a dear friend and fellow genealogist of mine.  I have designed and taught a nine week Family History Class for my Church Ward.  The calling of Family History Consultant has kept me busy since the class because several people sort of caught the "genealogy bug".  I spoke at the Loveland Stake Family History Fair in April. This was a neat experience as it was in connection with Roots Tech the largest Genealogy Conference ever with about 10,000 people attending in Salt Lake City.  After that conference Church Stakes can use some of the recorded programs and combine it with some local speakers to give other geographical areas the advantage of the programs/classes shown at Salt lake City.  300 people attended the Loveland Stake Family History Fair.  It was quite successful and very well organized.  I thoroughly enjoyed the day.

I said farewell to some very special people this year.  My dear friend, Mary Zebley, passed away in April.  My step brother, Ron Evelyn, passed away in October.  And closer to home, my forever friend, Kitty Girl, died on September 11.  Nothing can ever replace the spot she holds in my heart. What a sweet and gentle four legged friend she was.

I did make one new friend however, this is the first full year of driving my Toyota Prius.  I had so much to learn about this vehicle.  It is not like any car I have ever owned.  But I have to say that so far it has been a pleasure.  It has to go a bit to beat out "Orange Bird" as the best car ever, but it is certainly in the running.

2014 has been a very good year.  Two visits with Laurie, and two visits with Cindy make it a good year.   New friends, Mimi, Peg, Rebecca, Ruth Ann, and DeNae from Church add to the feeling of gratefulness.

2015 is already looking busy as well --- so expect a full report this tme next year.  Until then, I wish you the very best.  Patj

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

That's A Good Reason ---- Genealogy Will Be Worthwhile Forever

That's a Good Reason        By Darcy      
Ancestral Quest October 2014 Newsletter

When life is shaking its fist at us and staring us right in the eye, it matters where you have come from, that you are an apple hanging on a family tree and that you have a tree that you belong to.  You matter, those whom you love matter.  You and they need to know they matter.  Identity hits at the very root of all of our souls. 

We once communicated with a young man who had ended up in a state prison at the point of the mountain in Utah.  While visiting another prisoner, this man shared his experience  in prison of finding himself by finding who he is by tracking down his family tree. 

After he told us his story on how he ended up in prison, he told us, “Had I known who I was, I would not have ended up here.” Lessons from classics like “Oliver Twist” and “Anastasia” would never have made such an emotional impact on the man, both Oliver and Anastasia were beaten up physically and emotionally by cruelties in life, but were lifted out of their circumstances and grief by extended family. 

To not have a strong connection to family, no matter the reason, interferes with our being able to socially or academically function at our potential. Loved ones who are able to relate to family members who have lived before, find strength knowing they are attached to a strong tree of their own.  Men and women they can relate to those who have also gone through fear, anxiousness, abandonment, the unfamiliar and pain much like what they are facing and may face in life and they made it through. 

Just knowing you are an apple that came from branches full of other apples, just like you, that is attached to a very strong-large tree that has roots and arms that reach down and are solidly deep, can make a mighty difference in never feeling alone.  Knowing where they come from, that they have purpose, there is a plan is aided by them getting to know those who have left this life ahead of them. It can help them through some mighty tough spots. 

How do we help our disinterested youth know who they are and to feel the powerful arms and envelopment of those who have come before of their very own tree?  We help by sharing bits and pieces of a time of the other apples on their tree.  This creates a safety net and a peaceful place they can go when the wars in the mind can become overwhelming.  They can see how conflicts were resolved and that being overwhelmed and upset have resolutions.  They will see positive behaviors and emotions that will build their confidence and ease their anxieties.  With such a vast strong awareness of a mighty tree and being surrounded by apples of their own increases a sense of stability, warmth and caring that will nurture our children’s independence.   

Now “That’s a good reason.” Working on your family tree will be important to a member of your family, the effort will be worthwhile.  (accessed 29 Oct 2014)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Remembering Ronald Evelyn 1932-2014

Today I learned of the passing of my step brother, Ronald Evelyn.  I am very sad to hear that news. My mother married his dad in December 1950.  Ron lived with his grandparents, Mr and Mrs Dixon, but visited us often and then he joined the US Air Force after graduating from high school.  After returning from the service he lived with my mom and step dad until he married in 1954.  He and my brother David, shared a bedroom in the house at 1815 P Street.  To all it seemed that we were real siblings.

It was Ron and David that tied tin cans and other paraphanalia to our car when I married Richard Meier in August 1952.  It was Ron that comforted my mom when his dad died in 1967.  It was Ron that came to my brother's funeral in California in 1980.  Ron and Lorna always included my mom in their family events and celebrations.

Our lives went different directions over the years, but in the clinches, we were family.  There are all kinds of families, not aways blood relations.

All I can think of to say is, "Farewell, dear friend, rest in peace."   Patj

Monday, October 20, 2014

Taking A Short Break From Loneliness

A person gets so used to being alone, that a short break from that feeling is a joyful thing.  In the five years since John passed away, I have had to get used to being very much alone.  It is self inflicted, of course.  There is such a risk in reaching out to others and taking a chance on getting hurt and disappointed.  It is funny how you can get used to being alone in that way.

My daughter was here visiting me for five and one half days and it was so easy to slip back into the feeling of "family" again.  It is also so sad to be back to being alone again.  I never would have thought I would be so alone in my old age.

This evening I was listening to one of my favorite songs, "The Cat In The Cradle" by Harry Chapin. As I listened to the words I had the thought that my children had grown up "just like me".  It is a never ending circle of events.  Generation after generation.

And yet I feel blessed that I can be content all alone.  I know people, but I don't have to depend on them to feel good about myself.  I am also blessed to have had that short break from loneliness, and the memory of the feeling of belonging again to a family.

I hope my dear readers forgive my emotional sojourn this evening.  Tomorrow will be a brighter day for sure --- for me and for you.  Patj

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Dead Do Tell Tales – Sarah McLaughlin Age 8 - John McLaughlin Age 6 - Scott County Illinois

As you know, if you are a regular reader of my blog, I love genealogy!  I am always amazed when I find little known information that finds new connections for people lost to history so long ago.  I will try to recap my latest case and the way I feel about it.

I am writing a book about my 4th great grandfather, Berriman McLaughlin.  I fell in love with his name when I first connected to him so many years ago.  2014 seemed to be the year for me to concentrate on him and his family and write about them all.  I started the book, but many interruptions slowed me down.  But when a few minutes were available I wrote, and of course, doing that meant I would see little details that I needed to investigate further.  That is really the fun of this type of project.

My plan was to also write about each of Berriman’s twelve children and their families.  I started with the oldest child, Daniel McLaughlin and his wife Elizabeth Utt.  It was short story as this couple was pretty much a normal family. 

Next was the second child, John McLaughlin and his wife Verlinda Wilcoxen.  I didn’t really know much about John as he died in 1849 at a young age of fifty.  His wife, Verlinda, died in 1835, while the couple still lived in Ohio.  Most family researchers assumed John also died in Ohio, but now I am sure he went to western Illinois after Verlinda died, and took his four young children with him.  That is where his parents and siblings had gone.  It would make sense to go where there would be family support.  Plus some of Verlinda’s brothers went there as well.

It was finding an old newspaper article published in 1841 Morgan County, Illinois that started my newest interaction with the dead.  It was a notice of John McLaughlin filing a petition concerning the estate of his father-in-law, John Wilcoxen.  It mentioned his children, Elizabeth and Hercules, both infant heirs of Verlinda McLaughlin.  This convinced me that John died in Illinois not Ohio.  It also sent me on a search to find out more about Elizabeth and Hercules.  The two older children, Sarah and Barryman, were obviously old enough to not be considered infants.

In trying to pin down the births of John and Verlinda's four children, I checked all censuses for them to try to draw a conclusion about their order in the family.

It was when I was investigating the oldest child, Sarah, that I discovered the two children mentioned in the title of this story.  Sarah, daughter of John and Verlinda, married Squire Barnes.  When I found her and Squire in the 1870 Scott County, Illinois census, there were two McLaughlins living with them. Sarah age eight and John age six. My question immediately was, who are these two children?  It would seem logical that they were the children of a brother, but who?  I had investigated Hercules and had his children figured out, that only left Barryman.   The book by Steven K McLaughlin, The McLaughlins, didn’t know that Barryman had any children, it only said Barryman was killed in a fight in 1867 and his widow (unnamed) married Andy Lawson.  With that bit of information I found Barryman married Nancy E. Swearingen in 1857 in Greene County, Illinois.  It now seemed perfectly logical that the two children would be Barryman’s.  Many new mysteries now came into the picture.  

Yes, Mrs. Emeline McLaughlin married Andrew Lawson in 1869 in Morgan County, Illinois.  In 1870 Emeline Lawson was in the household of Andrew Lawson, but not her children, they were in the household of Sarah McLaughlin Barnes.  In the 1880 Scott County census, Sarah (the 8 year old in 1870) had married Andrew Moore and her sixteen year old brother, John (the 6 year old in 1870), was living with that couple as Andrew’s brother–in-law.  

I still didn’t know for sure that they were Barryman’s children.  But when I found Sarah McLaughlin Moore’s (the 8 year old in 1870) memorial on Find A Grave it said she died in 1939. I went to and searched Illinois Deaths 1916-1947.  There she was, and her death certificate said her father was Berryman Mcglacin and her mother Emma Swangaim.  Yes, terribly misspelled, but I know it is Barryman McLaughlin and Emeline Swearingen.  These are indexed records and the handwriting was probably poor for the indexer’s input, but I know what the names are.  Thank goodness the informant knew enough about Sarah McLaughlin Moore's parents to get it close.  This lady lived a long and fruitful life, from about 1860 to 1939, at least eighty years.  

Things I will probably never know?  Did Emeline leave her children with her sister-in-law because her second husband didn’t want them in the house?  Andrew Lawson was twenty years older than Emeline, so maybe that was a problem. Or maybe they were just visiting their Aunt Sarah Barnes the day the census taker called. They counted everyone in the house on that day.  Indication is that the children were on their own.  In 1880, sixteen year old John was living with his newly married sister and her husband, Andrew Moore.  I don’t know what happened to John McLaughlin (the 6 year old in 1870) .  Did he marry?  Did he die early?

What happened to Nancy Emeline Swearingen McLaughlin Lawson after Andrew Lawson died is another mystery.  I am happy to have connected Barryman McLaughlin (1825-1867) to his two children after these many years.  Now, dear reader, you know why this is such a fascinating thing to do.  Many times I put the book about the family of Berriman McLaughlin (1776-1850) on the back burner.  But there was always a small voice urging me to keep plugging along.  I believe now that these children needed to be identified and connected to their parents.

Happy hunting to you – and to me as well.  Patj

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Farewell To A Beautiful Show Kitty AKA Kitty Girl 9/11/2014

Isn't she beautiful?  I always told her she could have been a show kitty, or on TV advertising cat food, or in a movie.  Of course the main ingredient was her sweet disposition and her care taker mentality that made her beautiful.  She came into my life in June 2002 when I was in Gering, Nebraska visiting my parents.  Mom said, "Oh yes we have a cat now that lives up over the garage."  We went out to see her and she peeked around corner of the rickety old stairs and looked down at us.  She was not in a very pretty state as she had been on her own for some time and hungry, skinny, and scared.  I immediately said, "Hello Kitty Girl."  We fell in love at first sight.   We didn't even know at that point if she was even a girl at all.  My stepdad, said, "Well she can stay but she is NOT coming in the house."   A week later, when I called my Mom, she said, "Guess who is living in the house now?" And this began our life with Kitty Girl at the helm, and she definitely knew  how to become the boss.

For a year she took care of Mom and Lee and then Mom died and Lee moved to the Veteran's Home and John and I went over to Gering and picked her up.  She became a Colorado kitty then.  Elsewhere in this blog you can read about her introduction to Colorado, us, and BusterB.  Just enter Peace Accord in the search window next to the "B" at the top of THIS home page and the story will show up.  And just like us humans, she had BusterB under control in no time.

I figure she was between 18-20 years old and she was failing fast in the last few months.  It is the worst thing to have to do, but she was suffering so I had to do it and she wasn't well either.  So I have lost my last best friend.  No longer anyone waiting at home for my return from different activities. No more evening petting rituals before bedtime.  No more beauty treatments that she loved so much as I combed her and made a fuss over her.  No more extra warm foot warmer on cold winter nights.  Just like losing a human friend, it is sad.

The vet said she definitely was ready to go as it only took about 10 seconds and she was gone.  I was with her until the end, petting her and talking to her so she went peacefully and knowing she was loved.  I sat in the car for quite awhile before driving off as I was pretty emotional and figured it best not to drive in that condition.

All I can say now is that I am glad I was with her until the end. She relaxed so fast and she was out of pain and worry.  It was hard to do, but I did it because I loved her and didn't want her to suffer anymore.  I will miss her terribly, she was a good friend.  Goodbye, Kitty Girl.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Beautful Day At Soapstone Prairie -- 4 September 2014

If you are a "prairie person" like I am, you would have enjoyed my short visit to Soapstone Prairie yesterday.  A good friend suggested we take a sandwich, some water and drive north of Fort Collins, Colorado to this very special place and enjoy it before the summer gets away.  It was a gorgeous September day and just perfect for the drive north, almost to the Wyoming border.  It was even more perfect because I didn't have to drive and could play the sight seer role, and I enjoyed doing that so much. Not that I can't drive and sight see at the same time, it is just a treat to not have to watch the road all the time.  
This is land that has not been subjected to modern civilization, except for being a cattle ranch called the "Lindenmeier Ranch".  Thank goodness the ranch was deeded to the City of Fort Collins to preserve its pristine landscape from development.  It has a few shelters built on it for visitors to use for eating picnic lunches, etc, and a few trails for hikers to use but other than that is pretty much as it has been since the beginning of our time period.  I can't describe the feeling this place holds for me every time I visit it.  For just a short while I can see in my imagination the many people that have come here for various reasons in the last 10,000 years and picture the activities that may have happened here.  And yet it still retains its original look.  It is a fragile yet enduring landscape that should last another 10,000 years ---- if we leave it alone that is.

It was a wonderful respite from the daily noise pollution we have grown so accustomed to, and the continual hustle and bustle we have grown so accustomed to, and the hectic driving and deadlines we subject ourselves to.  I am so blessed to live so close to a perfect retreat like Soapstone Prairie.  My wish for you is to find a place like that in your neighborhood, and hope that you can go there and visit occasionally.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Birthday To John E. Johnson Today August 21, 2014 -- It Is #82!

John and three of his siblings (1988)

His oldest five grandchildren

The last Johnson Reunion he attended (2006)

      John and his twins in Butte, Montana           

                                    John and our Harley "Collection" in 1984/1985                                     

These photos are from a file called "John's Favorites".  He would look at them when he was in the hospital.  You know they were special to him as he picked them out for me to scan.  The best way to sum up John E. Johnson is to say he was an experience.  I only hope someone says that about me someday.  I'm glad I met him, I am glad I married him, I will never forget him.
                                                               RILYA, Patj

Monday, August 4, 2014

Berriman McLaughlin's Place -- Butler County, Pennsylvania

Butler County Pennsylvania is # 28 Jefferson County Ohio is just west of #12
about sixty miles on the National Road

    In genealogy, location is everything!  Without knowing the place where our ancestors lived we are like a rudderless boat.  For years I have pondered over where Berriman McLaughlin and his wife, Catherine were between 1799 when their second son was born in Hampshire County, Virginia and 1808 when Berriman appears in Jefferson/Harrison Counties, Ohio in land and tax records.

     Yesterday, August 3, 2014 I finally found him.  He was in Butler County, Pennsylvania on the1800 census.  Now you may ask "Pat, why didn't you see that before?  Census records abound in the world of genealogy."  The answer is, "I do not know. I can't explain it.  Unless it is because I didn't have a focused goal before and I didn't have a relentless attitude before."

     My new theory is that unless you have those two attributes for a brick wall person you won't find them, even under your own nose.  But because my new book is about Berriman McLaughlin, I had those two tools up front when I was at the Cheyenne Library yesterday.  I was focused on him.  I am not going to analyze my shortcomings any longer, I just want you to know I was puzzled as well.

     I found this when I walked past a book on the top shelf at the Library and it said, "Hey, I am over here, pick me up."  I couldn't believe my eyes when I looked and found Baryomon McLaughlin in Butler County, Pennsylvania.  Another book had the AIS census data listed which showed him with two little boys under age five and a little girl under age 5.  That was his family make up in 1800 for sure.  (AIS means Accelerated Index System for United States censuses)

     I didn't find this until 4pm and they were closing at 5, it was terrribly cold in there, I was tired after looking at so many "other" books" getting background information for my book, and  I was ready to head  home.  I figured I would continue at home.  I still couldn't quite believe my good fortune.  With a place, now I could look for land, tax, vital records etc, etc.

     First on the agenda is to locate where this county is exactly, and when it became a county.  It was part of Alleghany County until 1810 when it was officially formed.  Another unknown thing is why was he listed in Butler County when it wasn't a county yet?  Probably some underlying thing about knowing in advance that a county would be eventually formed, and it would be called Butler? I never can answer all the questions in this business.

     Next I went to USGenWeb and looked at the Butler County website.  There was a database called Land Warrants and Patents. Why not take a peek here?  When you don't know anything about the person at all, you look at everything available.  And there he was ----  an ORIGINAL land owner in Butler County with a Warrant dated January 1804 and a Patent returned June 1804!! Berriman was born in 1776, so he was age twenty eight when he got this land warrant.  Just a young family man starting out in the only way possible, buying, developing, and living on cheap land. Of course, selling it and making a profit to buy land in Ohio is the next chapter.

     All of this led me to the Pennsylvania State Archives and learning about those first land records. Also, a way to order copies of the actual documents.  Need I tell you it was about midnight when I called it a day and went to bed.  My poor eyes were screaming at me, and my poor brain was fizzled.  BUT I am happy to report that I have my order ready to mail to the Pennsylvania State Achives this morning, in a few moments actually.  You will be the second to know as soon as I receive them.  Isn't life exciting?  In the meantime, I have to really get my book started now.

     Stay tuned, Patj

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Daniel McGlaughlin American Revolutionary Soldier 02 March 1777 to 09 December 1779 (Virginia)

                                   Pertaining To Daniel McLaughlin - Revolutionary Patriot & Soldier

Hampshire County Courthouse Romney, West Virginia Wills FHL Film # 1853709

Early Hampshire County Wills (Index) FHL Film # 1853710
Daniel McLaughlin 1830 Will No. 417 in Index
At a court held for Hampshire County the 15th day of February 1830 This last will and testament of Daniel McLaughlin, dc'd was presented in the court and proved by the oaths of Solomon Parker and William F. Taylor witnesses thereto and ordered recorded and on the motion of William McLaughlin the Executor therein named who -- made oath according to law -- certificate is granted him for obtaining a probate thereof in due form giving security whereupon he with Solomon Parker and William F. Taylor his securities entered into and acknowledged Bond in the penalty of Five thousand dollars conditioned for his due and faithful administration of the said testators estate.
Teste, John B. White, Clerk

In The Name of God Amen, I Daniel McLaughlin of the county of Hampshire and State of Virginia being of sound mind and disposing memory for which I thank Almighty God do make and publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following (That is to say) First I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Daniel McLaughlin my black man Ned. I also give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Anner my slave Milley and her child and their increase (if any) also her choice of aney of the Horse Creatures I may die possessed of also a side-saddle and bridle also her choice of aney two of the Feather beds bedding and furniture belonging to the same, I also give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Anner two cows and two calves such as she may chuse of those I die possessed of, I also give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Anner all the Lands on the east side of the road leading to the mouth of the south Branch, including the House and buildings in which I reside which lands adjoins the lands of Murphys heirs and others also one equal half of a wooded tract adjoining which I give and bequeath to her and her heirs and assigns forever. All the balance of the lands I possess I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Daniel McLaughlin his heirs and assigns forever. It is further my will and desire that all the rest of my property of every description shall be sold by my executor whom I shall hereafter name, on such credit as he shall think proper to be sold at public auction and after payment of all my just debts and funeral expenses the ballance to be equally divided between my six children, William McLaughlin, Berryman McLaughlin, Daniel McLaughlin, Anner McLaughlin, Elizabeth Chapman, and Mary Collins. And lastly I do hereby constitute and appoint my beloved son William McLaughlin sole executor of this my Last will and Testament hereby revoking all former and other wills and Testaments by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I have set my hand and affixed my seal This twenty first day of June in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Twenty Nine.

Daniel McGlaughlin §§
signed sealed and declared as the last will and Testament of the above named Daniel McLaughlin in our presence who desired us to witness the same. William Donaldson, Solomon Parker, Wm F. Taylor, ___ Taylor
Transcribed 07 April 2001 by Patricia A. Johnson, 5th great granddaughter of Daniel McLaughlin.

Daniel McGlaughlin
American Revolutionary Soldier
02 March 1777 to 09 December 1779
by Patricia Craig Johnson
August 2001

My 5th great grandfather is Daniel McGlaughlin. He is one of my favorite ancestors, and I have a good record of his military assignments, thanks to the Muster Rolls of the Continental Army. I would like to share some of what I have learned about Daniel.

Daniel was born to Daniel and Rachel Anner Disbury McGlaughlin on 10 February 1755. He was born on his father's farm on the South Branch of the Potomac River in Springfield, Hampshire County, Virginia. This part of Virginia (now West Virginia) is at the Northernmost boundary of Virginia, and just across the Potomac River from Allegheny County Maryland. It is, to this day, a very remote and hard to find area. In May 2001 I contacted a man that does photography of cemeteries in that area. He offered to take pictures of Daniel's tombstone and marker for me, but I had to give him directions. I contacted Tina McLaughlin of Oldtown, Maryland and she gave me the following directions. As I wrote these directions I could almost see in my mind, the place where Daniel McLaughlin was born and where he grew to manhood. The area is thickly wooded and the South Branch of the Potomac winds its way through the countryside like a lazy serpent. The McLaughlin farm remained in the family until 1919. Here is the way, if you should ever be in the neighborhood:

If you are coming from the Cumberland, MD area on Rt. 28 you will turn left in Springfield. There is a Green Spring/Oldtown sign there. There is a Ruritan bldg on the hill on the right immediately after you make the turn. Go to Green Spring where you make a right turn over the railroad tracks heading toward Oldtown. Turn right on Arnold Stickley Rd. The cemetery is approximately 3 miles out Arnold Stickley Rd.(possibly a bit further) on the right. The paving runs out before you get to the cemetery , which is almost to the end of the road. If you go under a railroad underpass (Just beyond Arnold Stickley Rd.) or get to the toll bridge that crosses over to Oldtown in MD., you have gone too far. Also there are some year round houses at the first part of Arnold Stickley Rd. but on closer to the river (South Branch of the Potomac) there are mostly camps.(1)

At the age of 18 Daniel married Mary Key. I have yet to find her parent's names, but marrying so young indicates to me that they were probably close neighbors. Daniel wasn't old enough to have done much World traveling yet (he would get his chance for this later). Mary Key (or possibly Kay) was born 15 February 1754. Their first child was a son, William, born 23 April 1774 and their second child was a son, Berriman, born 23 March 1776.(2) Berriman is my 4th great grandfather, and is my connection to Daniel, the Revolutionary Soldier.

Thanks to the muster rolls, received from the National Archives, I have been able to trace Daniel's military history in the Virginia Continental Line. This project has rekindled my interest in the history of The American Revolution, therefore I will embellish my story with items I have found during this project that are pertinent to Daniel McGlaughlin. I admit to taking literary license to help me visualize the time period of 02 March 1777 to 09 December 1779.

When Daniel McGlaughlin enlisted on 02 March 1777, he was age 22 and he had a son, William age 3 and a son, Berriman age 1. I am quite sure his wife Mary, and the two little boys remained on the farm with the elder Daniel and his wife Rachel Anner. Both of Daniel's parents were still alive in 1783. His father died in 1814 and his mother died after 1783.

The Virginia counties of Hampshire, Berkeley, Botetourt, Dunmore and Prince Edward was the area that the 12th Virginia Regiment was organized from. This takes in a varied portion of Virginia that is not in close proximity to each other. Hampshire and Berkeley counties are now in West Virginia, Dunmore county is now Shenandoah county and they are all three in what I would call Northern Virginia. Botetourt is in Western Virginia and Prince Edward county is in the South Central part of Virginia. I wonder where they all came together and became a Regiment.(3) 

The 12th Virginia Regiment was authorized as early as 16 September 1776. On 12 February 1777 (three weeks before Daniel's enlistment) it was organized into nine companies in garrison at Fort Pitt (now Pittsburg, Pennsylvania), Point Pleasant, Tygert's Valley, and Wheeling. All of these places are within 200 miles of Daniel's home in Hampshire County, Virginia. I don't know where he was first garrisoned, but it seems likely that it would be Fort Pitt, as that was a major Army center, dating back to the first white settlers in the area in the 1730's. The 12th Virginia Regiment underwent many reorganizations and was combined with the 4th Virginia Regiment on 11 May 1777 and finally combined with the 8th Virginia Regiment on 12 May 1779. Trying to follow the forming, disbanding, reorganizing, splitting, renaming and renumbering of the Continental Army Regiments makes genealogy look simple. The Army was being reorganized with maddening confusion, and I wonder if General George Washington, himself, could keep it all straight.

Another consistent fact in Daniel's story is that he always served with Colonel James Wood. No matter what the Regiment number, his Colonel was James Wood. James Wood has an interesting history. In the summer of 1775, in the infancy of the American Revolution, Captain James Wood was sent by the government of Virginia to tour the Indian towns of Ohio. His guide and interpreter was, the then patriot, Simon Girty. The two men completed their daring mission and reported that the British were actively enlisting the Indians as allies against the Americans. The

Americans missed the boat in the race for making the Indians allies. Simon Girty was later to turn his loyalty to the British and became known as the "White Indian".(4) Our Daniel McGlaughlin rubbed shoulders with some very interesting people, and his neighborhood was a walk in the early history of our country.

From March 1777 through April 1778 there is no detail of where he was stationed. There are comments on his Muster Roll such as "sick in camp", "on guard", and "on command". Among the early campaigns of the 12th Virginia Regiment are Northern New Jersey and the Defense of Philadelphia. These campaigns happened before the Winter Encampment at Valley Forge for the winter of 1777-1778. Did Daniel see action at these places? On 19 December 1777, Washington's Army entered Valley Forge. It seems safe to assume that Daniel McGlaughlin was among those soldiers because the muster roll dated 02 May 1778 proves that he was at Valley Forge. It appears that the 12th Virginia Regiment was present at Valley Forge for most of the winter of 1777-1778. The organizational chart of Washington's Army at Valley Forge as it pertains to the Virginia Continental Line is as follows:(5

General George Washington
3rd Division - Major General Marquis Gilbert Lafayette
4th Virginia Brigade - Brigadier General Charles Scott
4th Va Regiment
8th Va Regiment
12th Va Regiment
Staff Officers
Colonel James Wood; Lt. Colonel John Neville; Major George Slaughter
Company Officers
Captain Steven Ashby; Captain Andrew Waggoner
Captain Michael Bowyer; Captain Thomas Bowyer
Captain Benjamin Casey; Captain Rowland Madison
Captain William Vause; Captain Andrew Wallace

The VA 3rd Division 4th Brigade entered Valley Forge with 495 men and 164 fit for duty. The 12th Virginia Regiment left Valley Forge with the 4th Virginia Regiment. Previous engagements were Northern New Jersey, Defense of Philadelphia, and Philadelphia-Monmouth. See the map of Valley Forge Historical Park to locate the place Daniel McGlaughlin lived during that terrible winter of 1777-1778. He is at #14 and John's ancestor, Reuben Pew was at #26 with the New Jersey 1st Brigade.(6) 

The Continental Army had suffered a devastating defeat at Germantown, Pennsylvania in October, 1777 and then wintered at Valley Forge. They entered Valley Forge with their "tails between their legs". They marched out of Valley Forge as a renewed Army, thanks to the training of Baron Frederich von Steuben. On a blistering, hot, and miserable, June 28, 1778, the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse was fought. The advance guard that hit the British at Monmouth Courthouse included the Virginians. It was a crucial victory for the Americans, as it instilled confidence in their ability as an Army. It was after this battle that Washington sent some of his Army north to protect the Highlands of New York This is where we next find Daniel McGlaughlin. 

In June 1778 Daniel reported "absent with leave" from Camp Paramus. This camp was in New Jersey, near Morristown. Apparently he went home on leave after the winter at Valley Forge. The fact that he came back is a testament to his honor. By 03 August 1778 he rejoined his regiment at White Plains, New York. The Virginians were there to keep the British from gaining territory near West Point and from taking control of the Hudson River. On 03 October 1778 Daniel was reported as "sick at Fishkills". Fishkills, New York is across the Hudson River from Newburgh and north of West Point. It was very valuable as a military depot and an ideal site for magazines, a distribution center for provisions and for transportation by wagons, sloops, and boats.(7) Washington could not let his guard down in this strategic place. 

By November 1778 Daniel was stationed at Middlebrook, New Jersey. He was at Middlebrook until April 1779. Middlebrook was Washington's Winter Encampment for the winter of 1778-1779. Can't find Middlebrook on the map? It is no longer there, as it has been absorbed by the town of Bound Brook, New Jersey. When Daniel entered Camp Middlebrook he was part of the 4th Virginia Regiment and when he left he was part of the 8th Virginia Regiment. The encampment was north of the village of Middlebrook and the Main Army, including the 4th and 8th Virginia Regiments, was along the base of the Watchung Mountains. It provided protection from the weather and had a good supply of trees for construction and firewood. When the troops began to arrive at the end of November 1778, they lived in tents while they built huts to live in. Each hut was 16'X14' and had walls 7' tall. Ten to twelve men lived in each hut. 

Fortunately the winter was a very mild one. The encampment was visited by the French ambassador in March 1779 and issued new uniforms to the Army. They were either brown or blue, and perhaps this is the uniform that remained in the McGlaughlin family for so many years after Daniel's death. Thanks to Quarter Master General, Nathanael Greene, the troops never starved as they had the previous winter at Valley Forge.(8)  

During his time at Middlebrook he was an "orderly in the hospital" in October 1778 he was "sick and absent" in December 1778 and "on furlough" in January 1779. He was back in February, March and April 1779. 

In May 1779 Daniel is at Smiths Clove. I had a bit of a challenge in finding this place. Thanks to the Internet, I finally got a clue of where it is. It is in Orange County New York, and again, in that strategically important area along the Hudson River. While in camp at Smiths Clove, Daniel was sick and in June was sent to the hospital in "Summerset". I assume this is Somerset, New Jersey.

By July 1779 he was well enough to be on duty at Camp Ramepourt, New York. This is another place that is hard to find, however, I found that it is in Richland County New York. Very close to the New Jersey border with New York. It is near the present town of Hillburn, New York. Through October 1779 Daniel was stationed at Smiths Clove and Ramapourt. This depended on where his Company was needed in the overall plan of protecting the Hudson River.

October 1779 finds Daniel and his Company at Camp Haverstraw. This Camp is situated between Smiths Clove and Ramapourt. It is at the mouth of Haverstraw Creek, where it empties into the Hudson River. Haverstraw Creek, New York was to become very infamous after Daniel was stationed there. On September 23, 1780, just one year later, Major John Andre', a British officer (in civilian dress), was detained by three militiamen on duty at Haverstraw Creek. In searching him, they discovered a letter from American General Benedict Arnold. The letter was a confirmation of the plans for the surrender of West Point (by Arnold) to Sir Henry Clinton, the British Commander of the Northern New York Forces. It contained the plans of West Point. Major Andre' was later hung as a spy, due to the fact that he was not captured in military uniform. Many Americans felt that the wrong man was hung, and that it should have been Benedict Arnold! The price tag he agreed to was 20,000 Sterling, which would be about $1,000,000 today. Benedict Arnold fled to the British High Command in New York City and became a "man without a country". The British never trusted him and the Americans detested him. A great American hero that turned traitor. The three militiamen were each awarded a silver medal by the Continental Congress.(9)

By 02 December 1779, Daniel is in a camp near Morristown, New Jersey. This is the last muster roll of his file. Since he enlisted for three years on 02 March 1777, he is three months short of his enlistment duration. What happened in those three months, I do not know. Perhaps some of the muster rolls were lost.

Family tradition states that Daniel was present at the Battle of Yorktown and witnessed the surrender of General Lord Charles Cornwallis on 19 October 1781. I have not found in what capacity he was there. I suspect it may as be a member of a Militia Company. Perhaps further research will reveal the answer is to this mystery.

Daniel returned to his father's farm in Hampshire County Virginia, and to his little family. He and Mary Key had four more children after 1780.

One of the men Daniel admired was Major General Gilbert Lafayette. When Lafayette returned to America in 1826, he was greeted, everywhere he went, as a modern day rock star would be greeted. Among the men that made the effort to see him, was Daniel McGlaughlin. Daniel's son, Daniel had a baby boy that same year and our Daniel asked that the baby be named William Gilbert Lafayette McGlaughlin. This little baby boy later wrote a narrative of his remembrances, and his writing has enlightened many of Daniel McGlaughlin's descendants.

During his enlistment he was paid 6 2/3 dollars a month and had a 10 dollar subsistence allowance per month. I gather from this, that he had to find his own food and supplies with that 10 dollars. These were not American dollars as we know them. They were Spanish milled dollars. The financial state of the new country was in complete shambles, and inflation was terrible. George Washington stated that "a wagon load of money will scarcely buy a wagon load of provisions". The saying "not worth a continental" was born because of this time.(10)

Daniel's name was spelled various ways on his muster and pay rolls. McLoughlin; McGloughlin; McLaughlin; McGlothlin; McLochlin. I chose to spell it McGlaughlin, as that is the way my 3rd great grandmother spelled her name, Catharine McGlaughlin. Many descendants have settled on McLaughlin, and that is the most common way to spell it today. Any way you spell it, we can all be proud of our common ancestors, Daniel McGlaughlin and Mary Key. Mary is also a hero to me, as she kept the family intact while Daniel served our new country.

Was Daniel McGlaughlin a famous hero? No. Was he a great military leader? No. Was he a steady and dependable soldier in a very trying time? Yes. I am so proud to be his descendant, and feel he is typical of so many men that went to serve and did their duty as ordered. I don't find that he ever asked for a pension or a land bounty. He seemed content to get back to his life after the War.

End Notes

1. From Tina McLaughlin of Oldtown, Maryland (personal communication)
2. "The McLaughlins" by Steven K McLaughlin & Evelyn Z. McCann © 01 Sep 1988
3. Valley Forge WebSite //
4. "The Human Tradition In The American Revolution" by Nancy L. Rhoden & Ian Steele © 2000
5. Valley Forge WebSite //
6. "Not By Bread Alone" by Calvin E. Chunn, Ph. D. © 1981
7. "Fishkill And The Fortifications Of The Highlands In The American Revolution" by Colonel James M. Johnson. Published in the Dar Daughters Magazine February 1998.
8. New Jersey Revolutionary WebSite //
9. "The Revolutionary War" by Bart McDowell published by Nat. Geographic Soc © 1967
10."The Revolutionary War" by Bart McDowell published by Nat. Geographic Soc © 1967

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Part Of Something Bigger Than Myself --- What Fun -- Worldwide Indexing Event --

On Sunday evening July 20, 2014 the clock started at FamilySearch Indexing in Salt Lake City. On Monday evening July 21, 2014 the clock stopped at FamilySearch Indexing in Salt Lake City.
Indexers and arbitrators began an indexing marathon to set a new record for a 24 hour number of indexers and number of records.  I tried to start at 6pm sharp -- and I couldn't get on.  The error message was that the server was down.  Oh dear, not a good start. On Monday morning I could get logged in and completed a couple of batches of obituaries. I was determinded to participate if even in a small way.
I had errands to take care of but got back to the indexing about 4:30.  Then the batch I was indexing started doing strange things.  I could fix it by exiting and logging back in for awhile before it started again.   After the third time I called Salt Lake (1-866-406-1830) to see what was happening. The indexing consultant I talked to shared my batch so she could see what was happening -- and of course, it wouldn't misbehave for her at all.  We stopped the sharing of the batch and I hung up.  But not before I said "The Adversary is alive and well, isn't he?" She agreed.
Finally at 6pm Monday night I signed off from FamilySearch Indexing for the evening.  Today FamilySearch informed all of us (and the rest of the world as well) what the final tally was.  I have copied the announcement below. It was an interesting experience and I am glad I participated. 5,700,000 new records that will be available to researchers is a big deal. 66,511 indexers and arbitrators participated.
"These generous indexers and arbitrators made a true difference. Each record and each name indexed and arbitrated matters. It only takes one to open the door to linking generations of families together. Without question, thousands of lives will be changed as a result of this day’s effort.
While the focus for this challenge was on the total number of participants, a tremendous amount of indexing and arbitration work was accomplished as well. Here are the results for the number of records indexed and arbitrated.
Indexed: 4,682,746
Arbitrated: 941,932
Total Records Processed: 5.7 million
Worldwide Indexing Event BadgeOur ancestors deserve to be remembered. You can be proud to be the one who made the difference for someone else who is looking for their ancestors. Because of you, they will know the joy of adding a new branch to their family tree. Thank you!"