Monday Madness – Sarah Meeks/Meaks/Meakes/Makes

I have very little information about my great great grandmother, Sarah Meeks Hollingsworth (12 Aug 1833 Chester Co, PA – 26 Jan 1915 Chicago, IL).   She married William Hollingsworth (29 Apr 1817 Hamilton, Butler Co, OH – 28 Aug 1894 Onarga, Iroquois Co, IL) on 26 Mar 1857 in Wayne Co, IN.  I believe that she was his second wife, his first having been a Jane Lacey.  William and Sarah Hollingsworth had four children; Joseph Meeks Hollingsworth (1857-1928), Alice Hollingsworth Mosher Kussell (1861-1936), my great grandfather William Harvey Hollingsworth (1864-1950) and Grace Hollingsworth, who died as an infant.

The obituary of William Hollingsworth (Leader and Review 31 Aug 1894) states that he married Miss Sarah Meeks, a native of Chester County, Pa.  Sarah’s obituary (Leader and Review 29 Jan 1915) also states that she was born in Chester Co, PA and moved to Tippecanoe Co, IN in 1855.  Her obituary gives her maiden name as Weeks but I believe that to be in error.  The obituary gives no information on her parents.  I also obtained her death certificate from Cook Co, IL but the names of her parents were not included on it.   In Portrait & Biographical History of Iroquois County, IL William states that his wife’s parents were Joseph and Mary Hill Meeks but I have nothing of substance to back this up.

The only promising thing I have found so far about Sarah before her marriage is an 1850 census record for West Marlborough Twp, Chester Co, PA.  On it there is a Sarah Meakes (age 17) living with the Passmore family – William P 66, Catharine 58,  Levis/Lewis 26, Sarah 21 and a hired man Edward C Lewis 15.  It does not give Sarah Meakes relationship to this family.

Published in: on November 1, 2010 at 8:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Amanuensis Monday

This is an excerpt from Reminiscences of the Nichols Family which was written by my great grandmother, Fay Eveline Nichols Jimison (22 Jun 1883 – 5 May 1979) in May of 1960.  I have scanned the entire document into a pdf file (23 pages) which I will be happy to send to anyone who is interested.  This particular Nichols Family lived in and around Momence, Illinois.


Forward:  Until I was eleven years old I spent quite a lot of time every year visiting my grandparents, John Nichols and his second wife, my father’s stepmother, Grandma Lindy (Malinda McKinney Nichols).  I was the favorite grandchild of Grandma Lindy.

My father’s sister, Martha Nichols (Aunt Matt), who never married and had been raised by her grandparents, William Nichols and his second wife, Margaret Grimes Nichols, also lived there, and so had many tales of an older generation as she had heard them from visitors with the grandparents.

Grandma Lindy and Aunt Matt raised two children, Mattie Moran, whom they took at four years of age when her parents separated, and Frank Yates, whom they took at five months when his mother died.  His story appears elsewhere in these notes.  Mattie was Aunt Matt’s favorite and they were as close as if they were really mother and daughter.  Mattie’s oldest son, John Ward, was also raised there and after grandpa’s death he farmed and made a home for Aunt Matt and grandma until Aunt Matt’s death.

Frank Yates was grandma’s special care, and he was appointed her guardian.  He bought out the shares of the heirs of my father (myself, brother and sisters) and planned on making a home for themselves and grandma, but soon after Frank acquired the place, grandma went to Missouri with a niece and died there.

When we lived in and near Momence, until I was six years old, I used to go often with my father to visit the families of his uncles, aunts and cousins.  The Nichols’ families were mostly quite clannish, and also came to visit us.  It is from these memories that these stories come.  Since most of them are from childhood memories, they are not of historical value but the few dates that are included I have tried to have accurate.


From my research notes: John Nichol’s first wife, the mother of James Nichols, grandmother of Fay Eveline Nichols Jimison, was Sarah Jane Marshall (25 Apr 1835 OH -10 May 1861 Momence, IL).  She married John Nichols 10 Feb 1853 in Will Co, IL.  After Sarah Jane died, John Nichols left his children in the care of relatives and joined the army.  He served with the 76th IL US Infantry as a wagoner/teamster from 22 Aug 1862 to 22 Jul 1865.  This is a photo of Sarah Jane Marshall Nichols and a daughter Ellen, who died shortly after the photo was taken.

Published in: on November 1, 2010 at 7:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Tombstone Tuesday – John & Bridget Doyle

These are from the tombstone of my great great grandparents John and Bridget Cadigan/McArdle Doyle in the Pine Ridge Cemetery in Loda, Illinois.  Haven’t pursued this line too much but believe they were 1st generation Irish from County Corke.

Published in: on April 6, 2010 at 7:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Wordless Wednesday – the Doyles

These are my great great grandparents John and Bridget Doyle.  Both are buried in the Pine Ridge Cemetery in Loda, Illinois.  I believe they were both born in Ireland, perhaps County Corke.  According to their tombstone John was born 24 June 1833 and died 1 Oct 1912.  Bridget was born 20 May 1835 and died 31 Jan 1906.  I believe that Bridget’s maiden name may have been McCardle or Cadigan.  I know that they had several children and my great grandmother, Katherine Emma Doyle Hollingsworth, was a twin.  I believe her twin sister’s name was Nellie Doyle Lyons

Published in: on December 23, 2009 at 11:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Follow Friday – Illinois State Archives

If you’re doing research in Illinois you may find what you need at the Illinois State Archives page  This is a work in progress and data is not complete for all counties but I have located several marriage and death records for Illinois ancestors here.

Published in: on December 4, 2009 at 10:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Monday Madness – Nancy Bright Merrill

I believe that Nancy Bright Merrill was the mother of Caroline Merrill Sanders Lyon (b. 18 May 1834 in Cincinnati, OH; m. (2) Howard William Lyon 14 Feb 1864; d. 12 May 1879 in Onarga, IL) .  Caroline (age 16) and her first husband, Richard Sanders (age 22) were living in the home of Nancy Merrill in St. Louis, Missouri on the 1850 census.  I think that Nancy Bright Merrill and her husband Daniel (?) may have run a boardinghouse in St. Louis but by 1850 Daniel was deceased.  By the 1860 Census, Richard Sanders was deceased (or they had divorced) but Caroline (26), a seamstress, was still living with her mother in St. Louis.  Richard and Caroline Sanders had 2 children – Richard Sanders and Violetta Sanders Conn (w/o Smith Conn) but neither of the children is shown on the 1860 census with their mother.  On the 1870 Census, Nancy Merrill (56) is shown living with Smith (28) and Violetta (17) Conn in St Louis.   Nancy Bright Merrill shows her birthplace as Virginia but I haven’t yet been able to connect her to a specific Bright Family.

Published in: on November 16, 2009 at 9:09 pm  Comments (1)  

Veteran’s Day 2009

Great Uncle Howard Eveline Lyon (12 Jul 1892 – Mar 1992)

World War I Veteran

Howard Eveline Lyon WWI

Published in: on November 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm  Comments (2)  

Tombstone Tuesday – William Porter & Mary Tucker Condit Pierson

Onarga Cemetery, Onarga, Illinois

Tombstone of William Porter Pierson (1811-1909) and his wife Mary Tucker Condit Pierson (1821-1890).  The Pierson’s were among the earliest settlers and business people in Onarga.

Stone was made by the Chicago Bronze Company and is engraved on three sides with Pierson’s genealogy.

William Porter Pierson Stone

Published in: on November 10, 2009 at 11:27 am  Comments (1)  

Monday Madness: Researching the Elusive James Coleman Jimison

My 3 gr grandfather James Coleman Jimison has proved to be one of the most elusive to research.  It is said that he once bragged to one of my grandmothers that no one would ever be able to trace his lineage.  According to his obituary (Iroquois County Democrat, Watseka, Illinois  May 17, 1907), he was born 30 Jan 1834 in Pike Co, Missouri.  On March 22, 1855, he married Mary L Ashworth.  He was living in Watseka, Illinois at the time of his death.  He does not mention any parents.  There were 4 surviving children:  Paulina Johnson, William H Jimison (my gr gr grandfather), Ellis Lee Jimison and Ely T Jimison.    I did obtain a record of his marriage from Schuyler Co, MO.  It was recorded/transcribed under the name Joneson. I know that other members of the family have used the name Jamison and Jemison at various times but so far I have found nothing to indicate who his parents were.

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 8:50 am  Comments (3)  

Started with the Hollingsworth Family

I first became interested in genealogy about the time I joined DAR in 1976.  Several aunts on my mother’s side of the family had belonged so I joined using a maternal ancestor.  But I really wanted to find one on my father’s side to add so I started looking into the Hollingsworth family.  I came upon an ad that Harry (Henry Albert) Hollingsworth (1931-1995)  – who published Hollingsworth Register from 1965 to 1991 – had placed in a genealogy magazine. I wrote to him and many of my Hollingsworth family blanks were filled in.  Unfortunately, most of the earliest Hollingsworth ancestors – including my Revolutionary era ancestor Joseph Hollingsworth (b. c 1735 Winchester, Frederick Co, VA; m. Margaret Wright Hammer 4 Jun 1768; d. 10 Sep 1792  Newberry, SC) – were observant Quakers so I still have no Hollingsworth patriot to add.  Of course, even pacifists did sometimes aid the Revolutionary cause by furnishing supplies or holding public office  so I’ve pencilled in as one of my projects to find out exactly what this Joseph Hollingsworth was doing during the American Revolution.  In the meantime I did find a few revolutionary patriots on my father’s side of the family and added them – William Margerum PA, John Wright SC (father-in-law of Joseph Hollingsworth), Joseph Barnes MA, and James Hawkins SC.  More about them later…

Published in: on November 8, 2009 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment