Family Posts

Margie’s living wake and celebration

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This celebration for Margie occurred at the Derry Playhouse on June 23rd 2019. Attended by many of the Derry Playhouse Writers and close friends, it was a wonderful expression of appreciation for her positive inspiration and it’s influence on the people and community in Derry Ireland.

 "At her request I hosted a farewell party for her. It was one of the most joyous events for all present. There was laughter and tears but mostly appreciation for a life that touched so many. My daughter filmed it for me and once the edit is complete I will send you a copy to share with your extended family. We are going to have a dedicated bench for you mum that will sit proudly in our Plaza, at the very heart of the Playhouse where everyone meets and greets. It is a joyful space where we have book launches, exhibition openings, talks and gatherings. She loved attending all of these events. I have also acquired two young Oak trees, one to be planted in Buncrana, Co. Donegal where she lived and one in Derry, a city she loved and who loved her back." - Pauline Ross

Very special thanks to Pauline Ross for the celebration planning and hosting and her daughter for producing the video for us all to enjoy. I’ve also posted this on her webpage

Video Player

In Memoriam

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Mom at Living Wake 2019
Marjorie Louise Tollas Bernard October 7, 1932 – July 25, 2019

Marjorie Louise Tollas Bernard (Margie) passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 25, 2019 in Buncrana, Ireland, after losing her three-month battle with cancer.

Our family is deeply saddened by this loss and will miss her dearly. Margie was never one for long good-byes and she would prefer us to celebrate her life and not mourn for her.

This website was created for Margie to post information about our families ancestry so it is fitting that we all can celebrate her life here as well.

Please click here to join family and friends in celebration of Margie’s life with photos, videos, writings, links and other information. Post your comments and share your thoughts and memories about her with us.


The Winthrop Fleet

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The Winthrop Fleet—1630

The next wave of English immigrants to New England took place in June & July 1630, in what is known as The Winthrop Fleet.

Arrival of the Winthrop Colony by William F. Halsall

This fleet consisted of 11 ships led by the flagship Arabella carrying John Winthrop. Traveling with Winthrop were about 1,000 Puritans plus livestock and provisions which sailed from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony during the first period of the Great Migration. Among these passengers were several of my maternal ancestors:

Isaac & Mary (Barker) Stearns with three children: John, Mary & Hannah.

William & Godethe (Gillman) Learned with five children: Sarah, Betha, Abigail, Elizabeth & Isaac.

Jonah Weed, who was single.

In future posts I will trace the lineage of each of these families through the generations leading to their relationship to me and my brother Charles Tollas and sister Carolyn (Tollas) Knapp.

The Walter Palmer Family ~ Our First English Ancestor Immigrants 1629

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First some historical background before writing about our first English ancestor immigrants. They were Walter & Ann Margaret Palmer and their five children: Grace, William Jonah, Elizabeth and John who lived at Nottinghamshire, England. Ann Margaret died before Walter and their children emigrated from the port of Gravesend, England aboard the Four Sisters in 1629 as part of the Higginson Fleet.

Walter & Ann Margaret Palmer, are Margie Tollas Bernard’s (as well as those of her brother Charles Tollas and sister Carolyn Tollas Knapp) maternal 9th great-grandparents; Don & Mark’s 10th great-grandparents, Mark Bryan, Christopher, Patric & Kyle’s 11th great-grandparents; and 12th great-grandparents to Mark Bryan & Michelle’s Holdin & Caleigh, and Patric & Jessica’s Nolan. 

This is my Palmer lineage beginning with Walter:

Walter Palmer (1585 – 1661)
9th great-grandfather
 Jonah Palmer 1st (1613 – 1709)
son of Walter Palmer
 Hannah Palmer (1657 – 1736)
daughter of Jonah Palmer 1st
 Ephraim French 1st (1698 – 1786)
son of Hannah Palmer
 Ephraim French 2nd (1734 – 1780)
son of Ephraim French 1st
 Mary French (1760 – 1820)
daughter of Ephraim French 2nd
 Ira R. Briggs (1823 – 1905)
son of Stephen Briggs 2nd
 Fannie E Briggs (1865 – 1933)
daughter of Ira R. Briggs
 Lena Mae Barker (1907 – 1990)
daughter of Jennie Augusta (Waldron) Bennett
 Marjorie Louise Tollas
I am the daughter of Lena Mae Barker & Alfred Tollas

In 1620, the stockholders of The Plymouth Council of England were granted the right by English King James I to form the Plymouth Colony in what was known as New England. They in turn granted the Pilgrims the right to settle and they arrived at Plymouth on September 11, 1620.

Landing of the Pilgrims

The next significant settlement was that of John Endicott who was one of seven signatories to a colonizing land grant provided by Robert Rich, the Second Earl of Warwick on behalf of the Plymouth Council of New England. Endicott was chosen to lead the expedition to New England and sailed aboard the Abigail with fifty or so colonizers and servants on June 20, 1628, arriving in September. The settlement they organized was first called Naumkeag, after the local Indian tribe, but eventually renamed Salem in 1629 and Endicott became the first acting governor of New England.

 Arrival of our Palmer Ancestors at New England

The following year, Endicott invited Francis Higginson, a Puritan minister [follower of John Calvin], to bring settlers to Salem. Higginson agreed and obtained a Royal Charter from King Charles I of England to form a colony. The Higginson Fleet set sail on the May 1,1629 with the following ships: George Bonaventure; Talbot; Lyon’s Whelp; Four Sisters; Pilgrim and Mayflower (a different ship than the Pilgrim’s Mayflower). The GB arrived June 22 and the rest on 29 June 1629. Walter Palmer and his five children were on the Four Sisters.

Lyon’s Whelp–Sister Ship of the Four Sisters

The Higginson Fleet brought with them 115 head of cattle, as well as horses and mares, cows and oxen, 41 goats, some conies (rabbits), along with all the provisions needed for setting up households and surviving till they could get crops in. They would have to build their lodgings for the coming winter from scratch. These were the first settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the main body would start coming in 1630 on the Winthrop Fleet. The Higginson Fleet arrived in Salem harbor on the 24 June 1629, and was greeted by a small group of settlers, led by John Endicott. This marks the second phase of what has become known as The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England between 1620–1633

Not all these immigrants remained in Salem, as recounted by Higginson in his New England Plantation

“During the last week of June, or the first week of July, 1629, Mr. Thomas Graves, Rev. Francis Bright, with a part of the emigrants, settled in Charles-town. Describing the colony Higginson says:– There are in all of vs [us] both old and new planters about three hundred, whereof two hundred of are settled at Neihum-kek, now called Salem: and the rest have planted themselves at Masathulets [Massachusetts] Bay, beginning to build a towne there which wee doe call Cheriton, or Charles Towne.”

In the History of Charleston, Massachusetts is the record of the proceedings of the first town committee which lists the names of the settlers: Ralph Sprague; Richard Sprague; William Sprague; John Meech; Simon Hoyte; Abraham Palmer; Walter Palmer; Nicholas Stower; John Stickline, Mr. Graves and Rev. Bright their minister. Also present was Thomas Walford Smith who had lived there alone for several years.

“This newly created town committee then agreed: That this place on the north side of the Charles River, by the natives called Mishawum, shall be called Charlestown, which was also confirmed by Mr. John Endicott, governor.

“It is jointly agreed ad [and] concluded by the inhabitants of this town, that Mr. Graves do model and lay out the form of the town, with streets about the Hill, which was accordingly done and approved by the Governor.

“It is jointly agreed and concluded, that each inhabitant have a two acre lot to plant upon, and all to fence in common; which was accordingly by Mr. Graves measured out unto them.

“Upon which Ralph Sprague and others began to build there [their] houses, and to prepare fencing for their lots, which was afterwards set up almost in a semi-circular form on the south and south-east side of that field laid out to them, which lies situated on the north-west side of the Town Hill.

Walter Pamer [Palmer] and one or two more, shortly afterwards began to build in a straight line upon their two acre lots on the east side of the Town Hill, and set up a slight fence in common that ran up to Tho. Walford’s fence, and this was the beginning of that east field.”

Abraham Palmer,  a merchant, was one of the prominent men of the colony. He … came over in Higginson’s fleet in 1629, and arrived in this town [Charlestown, Massachusetts] with Graves.  He died at Barbados, about 1653. His wife’s name was Grace and apparently they had no children. As a merchant Abraham was engaged in trade between the New England Colony and Barbados. Barbados became an English Colony in 1627 dedicated to sugar plantations and slave trade: One wonders what Abraham traded in?

Walter Palmer is mentioned in the first record of the Massuchetts Bay Court of Assistants on September 28, 1630, in a jury called to make a determination into the death of Austin Bratcher a servant of one of the settlers, William Cheseborough. It found “that the strokes given by Walter Palmer, were occasionally e [the] means of the death of Austin Bratcher, and so to be manslaughter.” Walter  was tried at the next Court in October, and acquitted. Later, he was made freeman 1631, [citizen] and constable in 1636.

Old Oil Painting of Charleston. Seen is the steeple of the First Church which Walter, Rebecca and his eldest child, Grace, joined in 1633








In 1632, Walter married his second wife, Rebecca Short. They had five sons and two daughters: Hannah, Elihu, Nehemiah, Moses, Benjamin, Gersham, and Rebecca.

  In 1642, he moved his family to Rehoboth, Massachusetts, of which he was one of the founders. He was chosen to represent that town at the Massachusetts Bay General Court.

Walter Palmer Commemorative Stone

In 1652, Walter & Rebecca moved to Stonington, Connecticut of which he is a founder. This commemorative stone was erected, August 31, 1899, by the Wequetequock Burial Ground committee at Stonington to honor its four founders: William Cheseborough, Thomas Minor, Thomas Stanton and Walter. Minor married Walter’s daughter Grace.[The surname Minor was changed to Miner and remains thus in official documents] The wording on Walter’s side of this stone states:

“Walter Palmer one of the founders of Stonington. Emigrated to New England in 1629 and settled in Charleston, Mass. Became a Freeman May 18, 1631, and united with the Charlestown Church June 1, 1633. Removed to Rehoboth Plymouth Colony in 1642 and represented that town in the General Court. Came to Stonington in 1652 and lived here until his death Nov. 10, 1661. At his home near this spot was held the first religious service between the Thames River and Narragansett Bay.”

Walter Palmer’s Original Gravestone, called a “hogback” stone. The inscription was added years later.

In his will, Walter left property to his sons John, William, Gersham, Elihu, Nehemiah, Moses, Benjamin; and daughters Grace, Hannah, and Rebecca. He left to Jonah, who was already residing there, his “lot at Seeconk” which became part of Rehoboth .

 As reported in the New York Tribune, August 12, 1881, Walter Palmer ancestors made a pilgrimage to his last residence at Stonington.

Yesterday morning about half-past nine, more than five hundred of the [Palmer] family went by special train to view the site of the house in which their principal ancestor lived during a part of his residence in Pawcatuck (Stonington) and also the ancient Wequetequock Burying Ground where he was buried. These are situated about two and a half miles from the center of the borough. A number also went out by carriage and a few walked to….Walter Palmer’s estate, embracing about 1200 acres, [which] lay on the east side of the cove, and extended from its upper end down to the ocean. The burying ground was set apart by him and originally bordered on the cove. Now, however, a road runs along the shore and is divided from the burial plot by a substantial stone fence. It is not an absolute certainty that Walter Palmer and his wife Rebekah are buried here, but it is believed his bones lie under a huge “hog back” stone….There is no inscription or mark whatever upon the stone which is 6 ft. 11 in.  in length—the reputed height of Walter Palmer, whose weight was 300 pounds—and must weight at least a ton. One reason why this believed to be the grave of this ancestral Palmer is that a stone marking the burial spot of his son Nehemiah stands along side of the stone already described. Another of Walter Palmer’s children, his oldest daughter, Grace, who married Thomas Minor, is also buried a rod or two away, together with her husband. A flat stone covers the common grave, bearing the figure “1690”. His son Elihu, who died in 1655 is buried here, and the first wife of his son Gershom [Ann Dennison].”

President Ulysses S. Grant had agreed to attend the pilgrimage but had to cancel due to the death of his youngest brother Orvil Lynch Grant.

Through the lineage of Walter’s eldest child Grace, who married Thomas Miner, I find I that General and President Ulysses Simpson Grant is my seventh cousin, three times removed.

Furthermore, Walter’s daughter Hannah by his second wife married John Fish whose ancestors are also famous in U.S. history; two of whom, brothers Hamilton & Nicholas Fish are friends of mine from our Washington, DC days in the 1980s. One of their ancestors, whom I believe is a great-grandfather, also named Hamilton Fish, was President Grant’s Secretary of State from 1869 to 1877.

This link provides Walter Palmer’s descendants, through the fifth-generation.













Posted on Categories Bernard-Tollas, Family Post, Genealogy, Geographical, UncategorizedLeave a comment on O’Meara~D’arcy
Eliza O'Meara
Seated on the right is Eliza O’Meara Briggs wife of Ira Briggs (1834-1920), standing is Eliza’s daughter Fannie E Briggs Bennett (1865-1933) Fannie’s daughter Lottie Bennett Snyder (1887-1960) Lottie’s children Mabel Louise Snyder(1908-) & Clifford E Snyder (1912-1980)

Our Irish ancestral link begins with the birth of my 2nd great-grandmother Eliza O’Meara on 23 February 1834 at Gortmore Townland, Youghalarra Parish, County Tipperary, Ireland to Daniel & Margaret (D’Arcy) O’Meara. She was baptized 25 February and her godparents were Patrick D’Arcy and Brigid O’Meara. These surnames are also spelled as Darcy and Meara. 

The following information was obtained from the  Daniel O’Meara Family History compiled by Mary Ellen ‘Tink’ Stewart-Bailey and the History of Gratiot County, Michigan written by Willard D. Tucker, a son-in-law of Ira and Eliza (O’Meara) Briggs.

Plympton, Lambton County, Ontario, Canada

Daniel and Margaret (Darcy) O’Meara immigrated from County Tipperary, Ireland. They first settled in Plympton, Lambton, County, Ontario, Canada  sometime between 1845/48.  This dating is based on the fact that their last child born in Ireland was John (Feb 1845) and their first born in Canada was William (Jul 1848). These are the children who emigrated with them: Mary, Eliza, Patrick,  Ellen, Margaret, James and John. William and Theresa were born after their arrival in Canada.  They stayed in Canada for a while then ‘walked’ to Emmett, St. Clair County, Michigan where they settled. They lived there about six years and then moved to Kenakee Township, St. Clair County, Michigan. According to the History of Gratiot County  by Willard D. Tucker:

There the parents passed the remainder of their lives; substantial and influential farmers of the township and respected members of the community. Daniel O’Meara died in 1886; and Margaret Darcy O’Meara died in 1884. The nine children of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel O’Meara – all excepting the youngest still living – are given in their order as follows: Mary, Eliza, Patrick, Ellen Bridget, Margaret, James, John, William and Theresa.

Eliza R. O’Meara married Ira Briggs at Port Huron, Mi on September 15, 1854. He was the brother of Merrick D. Briggs, who was married to Eliza’s sister Ellen Bridget.

With the exception of about two years in Sanilac County, Eliza and Ira Briggs resided continuously in St. Clair County until the spring of 1881, when they moved to St. Louis, Gratiot County, where they resided until the winter of 1904-05. While on a visit at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Cora Goldsmith, at Edmore, Michigan.  Mr. Briggs, who had been in poor health for many years with rheumatism and kindred ailments, was called to rest, passing away on February 22, 1905. He was a man with many admirable qualities, respected by all. He was buried in the Edmore cemetery.

After the death of her husband, Mrs. Eliza Briggs lived in Edmore with Cora and her husband. “It is but simple justice to say that she is a woman of sterling worth. For many years, her husband being incapacitated for business in his later life, owing to ill health, by her industry, energy and indomitable persistence in conducting her business (dressmaking); she provided a comfortable living for her family, feeding, clothing and educating them in a way that would have been a credit to anyone with twice her strength and resources. She is fully entitled to a vacation of perfect leisure; but to keep her idle it would be necessary to bind her, hand and foot; and the law would not permit that.

Eight children were born in Michigan to Ira R and Eliza Briggs; the oldest at Bruce Township, Macomb County; all the rest born in Wales Township, St. Clair County. Their third child, Fannie, is my great-great grandmother. Fannie married Joseph Bennett in 1881 and two years later their first child, Jennie Augusta, my grandmother was born at St. Louis, Gratiot County, Michigan.

Johanna Henrietta (Loraff) Schultz Biography by Cindy Schroder

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The following information about Johanna Henrietta (Loraff) Schultz [she was my paternal great-grandmother married to great-grandfather Martin Schultz. MTB]  was collected by Cindy Schroder: . Her research into the Loraff, Reischke, Schultz, Tollas ancestry was brought to my attention by Bill Remus: .

Cindy cites where she obtained her information thus: [3, 10-13, 15] with the numerals referring to a specific individual listed as SOURCES  at the end of her research.

My notes are indicated by brackets [ ] in bold text noted as MTB which stands for Margie (Tollas) Bernard.

Johanna Henrietta (Loraff) Schultz Biography by Cindy Schroder

In Germany she had a very good friend in Mrs. Bismarck. Mrs. Bismarck often would visit Henrietta in her home. Henrietta’s daughter, Emma, remembered that Mrs. Bismarck had a coachman who drove a handsome carriage [Hansom Carriage. MTB] drawn by white horses. She would arrive and depart this way. [3, 10-13,15]

Carl Greiffendorf was a “coachman” for the von Puttkammer family. Carl Greiffendorf (born 1825), was the brother of Wilhelmine Greiffendorf Gast. It is not known if this is the coachman who drove Mrs. Bismarck to Henrietta’s home though. [26]

She always had a large (2’x3′) full body picture of the Bismarck hanging in their home until WWI when it was impounded by the government. It was a full length picture of him in color. [13]

Johanna von Puttkamer was born Reinfeld on 11 April 1824. She married Bismarck on 28 June 1847 in Alt Kolziglow Pommern. Johanna died on 27 November 1894 in Varzin. [23]

She raised her granddaughter, Minnie Knuth. A daughter Minna Schultz [sic] is named in her probate – this must be Minnie Knuth. [3, 9]

She had a birthday on New Year’s Day and all her children who were able to come always came to help her celebrate. She would really have a houseful on that day. No one was especially invited, but everybody who was able to come would come so her little house almost burst at the seams at times. Gifts were always brought to her on her birthday. This is how she got so many of her pretty dishes, some of which Marty shared with Elsie. [3]

[“Marty” is the nickname of Martha (Schultz) Tietz. MTB]

The 4th of July was another day every relative who was in town would come to the house to eat. Kids were going in and out of the house all day long. It took the whole next day to get the flies out of the house. [3]

Henrietta had a couple of bushel of amber canning jars that her daughter, Martha, later smashed and buried in her yard in Baroda. [8] Henrietta took Minnie to raise when Pauline [Paulina. MTB] died in childbirth. Martha was ten years old and was jealous of Minnie. Many times Martha would blame things on Minnie and Henrietta would punish Minnie. [16]

[Wilhelminia Henrietta (Minnie) (Knuth) Siewert was born on 11 May 1860. Her mother Paulina (Schultz) Knuth died that same day. Her father was Carl Knuth. Paulina and Carl married in Reinfeld, County Rummelsburg, Pommern. They had three (3) sons born there: Emil Carl Gustav (1882-1948); Carl August (1884 – ); William Herman (1886-1970). (Paulina is my paternal Great-Aunt and Minnie my 1st cousin 1x removed.) Minnie was born in Michigan in 1893, so they must have immigrated sometime between 1886-1893. Prior to marring Paulina, Carl had been married to Augusta Loraff who died in 1879. They had three (3) sons and one (1) daughter. After Paulina died, Carl married a third time in 1896 to Johanna Reischke.  MTB]

Carl Knuth had his eye on Marty Schultz (who later married Will Tietz) after his wife Pauline Schultz (Marty’s sister) died. He wanted to marry Marty, but Henrietta really put her foot down and told him “NO” he had enough kids – to go marry someone his own age. Also Henrietta didn’t approve of Marty marrying Will Tietz. She was very much against it because he was a heavy drinker and “boozer.” She was very much against Marty marrying anyone and insisted she stay home with her and take care of her. (Note Henrietta’s death date and Marty and Will’s marriage date.) [4]

She only had one tooth when she was older. It was a wide tooth on the side between two stubs. [3]

All the children had blue eyes except Marty who had green eyes. [3] [I also have green eyes. MTB]

Many German people stayed with Martin and Henrietta when first arriving in St. Joseph from Germany. The Schulz’s lived very close to the train station in St. Joseph in a very small house. All of that area is now vacation/beach homes as it is right off the beach of Lake Michigan. The house is about a block and a half south of the railroad station just below the bluff and facing the bluff. [8]

Aged Woman Died This Afternoon [14]

Mrs. Henrietta Schultz, who has been gradually failing for the past eight months, died this afternoon at 1:30 at her home on Vine Street, at the age of 75 years. Death was due to old age.

Mrs. Schultz came to this city 32 years ago from her native country, Germany, where she was born January 1, 1840.

There are surviving her three sons, Henry Schultz of Court street and August and Herman of Baroda, four daughters, Mrs. Huldah [Hulda. MTB] Tollas of this city, Mrs. Bertha Krause and Mrs. Peter [sic] Krause of Scottdale, and Miss Martha Schultz and a grand-daughter, Minnie Knuth, both of whom reside at the family home on Vine street.

She also has a brother, Carl Loraff, residing in South Dakota. Mrs. Schultz was a member of St. Peter’s Evangelical church. [Carl became a successful rancher in South Dakota. MTB]

Mrs. Schultz Buried This Afternoon [14]

Preceded by brief prayer services at the family residence on Vine street, the funeral of the late Mrs. Henrietta Schultz was held from St. Peter’s Evangelical church at 2 o’clock this afternoon.

The Ladies’ Aid society of which Mrs. Schultz was an active member, attended in a body and sang “The Rest of the Soul at Home,” and a choir made up of Misses Tillie Schrage, Helen Buehler, Louise Fechner and Lydia Tollas, and Messrs. August Biastock, Ferdinand Streich, Arthur Haase, William Meschke and Edward Archut, sang “Longing For the Heavenly Home” and “At Home.”

Messrs. Fred, Henry and Herman Kasischke, Charles Taubie and Fred and Albert Bartz acted as pallbearers. The burial took place in the city cemetery.

Card of Thanks. [14]

We wish to thank the friends and neighbors for their kindness during the sickness and death of our mother. We also thank the Ladies’ Aid society of St. Peter’s Evangelical church.

Miss Martha Schultz,

Miss Minnie Knuth,

Mr. and Mrs. Herman Krause,

Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Krause,

Mr. and Mrs. William Tollas,

Mr. and Mrs. August Schultz,

Mr. and Mrs. Herman Schultz,

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schultz.

1910 US Census: 614 Vine St., St. Joseph, Berrien Co., Michigan [20]; (all birthplaces Germany except Minnie, she was born in Michigan.

Schultz, Henrietta 70 widow mother of 12 – 8 living

Paul (son) 29 single, Occupation: Hauling – own team

Martha (dau.) 26 single. Occupation: Knitter – knitting factory

Knuth, Minnie (granddau.) 16 single; Knitter – knitting factory


Name: 1, 3, 18; 25 (Johanne Henriette Lohraff)

Nickname: Loraff 2-3, 9, 5,15, 17, 22; Lohraff 6,17; Henriette 7, 14, 16, 19-20; 21 (Henriette)

Birth:1-3,7,14,19-22;18,25 (1 Jan 1840)

Birth Place:1-2, 14, 19-21, 18, 25 (Reinfeld, County Rummelsburg)

Baptism: 18

Death: 1-3, 7, 9 [sic],14,22

Death Place:2-3,14

Burial: 1-3, 7, 14

Siblings: (Carl & Fred) 3 Female: 2, 18, 25 Male: 2, 18, 25

Husband: 1-3, 5-7, 15-17, 19-22

Marriage Date: 1859

Marriage Place: 3

Marriage Ended: 2-3, 20

1. St. Peter’s Evan. Church, St. Joseph, MI [290]

2. Berrien Co. MI deaths – hers [6, 5419]

3. Elsie Krause Brown [352,1875+]

4. Told to Faye Krause Stone by Rose and Bertha Hirsch [1778] Rose and Bertha heard Henrietta Lohraff Schultz tell this to their mother Alwine.

5. Birth certificate of her daughter Emma

6. Baptismal certificate of her daughter Bertha

7. Her gravestone [318,431]

8. Fern Brown Graber

9. Berrien Co. MI probates – hers (Death May 1914) [1818]

10. Nelson Schultz

11. Edna Krause Toney

12. Mabel Schultz Kolberg [1819]

13. Herb Tollas [1820] [He is my Uncle and lived in Sawyer, Berrien, Michigan where he owned Tollas Drugstore. He was a pharmacist. MTB]

14. Newspaper – her obits, etc. [1822]

15. Emma L. Schultz [1724+]

16. Agnes Tollas Landeck [1755+]

17. Civil birth records of her children in Gaffert [3554]

18. Roland Blümer. Pastor [5152] 07 Oct 2014: Modified Register for Lohraff Page 23;

Alt Kolziglow, Birth Register, Stettin Archive., Nr. 2/1840.

19. 1900 Census: Berrien Co. MI

20. 1910 Census: Berrien Co. MI

21. Ship lists from – Nurnberg; Arrived: Baltimore Apr 1885

22. Family research by Fern Brown (later Graber) done in 1948 for college paper; most of information probably contributed by her mother, Elsie Krause Brown [218]

23. Wikipedia

24. Martha Schultz Tietz [218]

25. Johanne Henriette Lohraff baptism record [5442]

26. Kevin Knuth [5153]

Erastus & Roxanah (Rogers) Disbrow

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Erastus & Roxanna (Rogers) Disbrow


Great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth Disbrow‘s parents, were Erastus & Roxanna (Rogers) Disbrow. Erastus was born 1815 in the Catskill Mountains town of Windham, Greene County, New York to Meeker & Chloe (Abbott) Disbrow.

Although the 1950 U.S. Census indicate Roxanna was also born in New York State, we don’t know where; there have also been several versions of her forename, Roxanah, Roxanna, Raxalena, Roxsalany. A semi-official record of her family surname was given in the death certificate of their son, Robert S. Disbrow, provided by Robert’s son (her & Erastus’s grandson), Roy Disbrow. The names he provided for his father’s parents are: Erastes Disbrow & Raxalena Rodgers, so at best this is third-hand information. Until further information is uncovered I will accept her as my 2nd great-grandmother Roxanna (Rogers) Disbrow.

There are also numerous versions of the Disbrow surname as noted in Descendants of Thomas & Mercy (Holbridge) Disbrow: Part One, The First Six Generations compiled by Michael S. Disbrow for the Disbrow Family Association.

So how ancient is our honorable name? As it was applied to a small parish in the western part of the county of Northampton in England, it was in use by 1086 when mention was made of it in the “Domesday Book”. As it was then spelled Dereburg, Desburg or Diesburg – it didn’t bear much resemblance to the name we are familiar with, but eventually it came to be spelled “Desborough,” and the town is still known by that name today. Archeological discoveries made in the area show that there were both Celtic and Roman settlements at Desborough, and the place has quite probably been occupied for 2,000 years or more. There is more than one theory ascribed to how the place took its name. One is that it was called “Danesborough” because it was a place of refuge for the local inhabitants from the marauding Vikings. Or perhaps it was “Daysborough”, a place or borough of Judgement. (Disbrow, p.9)

Again, although I have been unable to obtain official documents of their wedding, some give 5 May 1842 as the date Erastus & Roxanna married in Milan, Erie County, Ohio and Roxanah (sic) is given as the name of his wife on the 1850 U.S. Census. We also don’t know the official date of her death but family records say it was at Milan, Erie, Ohio in 1853.

In 1850 Erastus Disbrow was living in Milan Twp., Erie Co., OH. In the census he’s listed as age 35, a carpenter, with Roxanah 35, Sylvester 7, Mary 9, Jane 3 and Hannah 1. By 1860 Erastus had married his second wife Betsey and the family was living in Michigan Twp., LaPorte Co., IN. (Disbrow, p. 197)

The official records of Huron County, Ohio give the date of Erastus & Betsey Ann Barker’s marriage as 30 July 1854. Interestingly, the 1860 U.S. Census lists a Marion Disbrow under Erastus name which is usually the slot where the name of a wife is entered. Then on the 1870 and subsequent censuses, Betsey A. is recorded in the wife slot. Some family historians, in their attempt to reconcile these two different names, combine them as Marion Betsey A. I don’t know who Marion is nor where Betsey Ann may have been when the 1860 census was taken so this remains a mystery; then again, it could be a recording error by the census taker.

Erastus & Roxanna’s children were: Lemuel Sylvester born 1843, Milan, Erie County, Ohio; Mary Elizabeth born 20 October 1846, Milan, Erie County, Ohio;  Jane Fanny born 10 November 1847, Milan, Erie County, Ohio; Hannah Emma** born 7 July 1849, Milan, Erie, Ohio;  Robert Scott born 17 October 1851, Gilead, Branch County, Michigan.

Thomas Alva Edison’s Birthplace, Milan, Ohio.

Roxanna & Erastus’ daughter, Jane Fanny, my 2nd great-aunt, shares the same birth year (1847) and birthplace (Milan, Ohio) as does Thomas Alva Edison.  As his family lived at Milan before moving to Port Huron, Michigan when he was seven, one can speculate that Jane, as well as her older siblings, my great-uncle Lemuel & great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth may have been playmates with Edison or even attended the same grammar school.

Civil War Service


Sometime before 1860 the family moved from Ohio to Indiana. There, Lemuel Sylvester, Erastus & Roxanna’s eldest son, enlisted in the Grand Army of the Republic, 9th Regiment, Company B, Indiana Infantry at La Porte County, Indiana on 21 August 1861. Sadly, nearly four-years later he died on 20 June 1864 at Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia on the second day of what would be the biggest battle of the Civil War in Georgia. The battle was fought from June 19, 1864 until July 2, 1864. Lemuel was originally buried where he died but was later reinterred at the National Cemetery, Marietta, Georgia in Section N, Grave Number 4578. 

Union soldier figure atop monument at Baxter Springs National Cemetery; Bivouac of the Dead plaque at Wood National Cemetery; Flagpole and graves at Togus National Cemetery

By 1863, the family had moved to Mukwonago, Waukesha County, Wisconsin. On 16 February 1865, Erastus enlisted in the Union Army 48th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry On 22 March it departed for St. Louis, Missouri. In April, the Regiment marched to Kansas. Erastus was a private in Company A which was assigned provost duty at Fort Scott until 25 August. In September, Company A was dispatched to Fort Zarah then assigned garrison duty at Fort Larned until December 1865.

According to this website, Legends of America, the role of Fort Scott during the Civil War was to house captured Confederate troops, however, its main purpose, before, during, and after the Civil War, was to serve as a “permanent Indian frontier” to “kept peace between white settlers, native peoples like the Osage, and relocated Eastern tribes.”  This was also true of Fort Larned where great-grandfather Erastus was stationed. 

His pension file shows that on 15 Apr. 1865 he was ruptured while fording Bear Creek on a march between Sedalia and Warrensburg, MO. Treated at Ft. Scott, KS. He was mustered out with his company at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, 30 Dec. 1865. In 1870 Erastus was residing at Poygan, Winnebago Co., a farmer, and was still there in 1877 when he applied for invalid pension for his service. Neighbors testified as to the “sad condition” Erastus was in since his return from the war: bronchitis, ulcerated liver, unable to do manual labor. Erastus and Betsey Ann went to live at the Wisconsin Veterans’ Home in Rural, Waupaca Co. in 1891, where they resided until their deaths. (Disbrow, p. 197)

WVH Chapel 1.jpg
Veteran’s Home Chapel — A Designated National Historic Site.

I have also located information in the 1895 State of Wisconsin Census which gives the name of E. Disbrow as a resident of a veterans’ home in Farmington, Waupaca County, Wisconsin.  This facility was later renamed as the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home. At the left is a photo of the Veteran’s Home Chapel established there by the Grand Army of the Republic.  

Erastus & Betsey had three children: Eugene Benjamin born. 24 January. 1859, Ashland, Ashland County, Indiana; William Henry born  1 May 1866, Eaton Rapids, Eaton County, Michigan; Georgianna born 1868, Oshkosh, Winnebago County, Wisconsin.

I end this account of my maternal 2nd great-grandparents, Erastus and Roxanna (Rogers) Disbrow by referring you to this account of our earliest ancestral immigrants to New England: Arthur & Susanna (unknown) Holbridge and their daughter Mercy whose second husband was Thomas Disbrow 1st:  Holbridge ~ Disbrow: Our Earliest New England Ancestors 

**The name of Erastus & Roxanna’s third daughter is confusing. In the 1850 U. S. Census her name is given as Hannah; 1860 it is Emma E., and another family historian (Michael S. Disbrow) has given her name as Amelia/Emma E., however until I learn otherwise I will accept her name as Hannah Emma. This serves to prove that extra care need be taken when recording ancestral ‘facts’.

I am in the process of annotating the Descendants of Thomas & Mercy (Holbridge) Disbrow: Part One, The First Six Generations & Part Two — Generations 7 through 13 compiled by Michael Disbrow. After I unravel all the loose ends I will post a history of our Disbrow line which begins with Thomas & Mercy as generation one through my generation fifteen..


Posted on Categories Family Post, Tollas2 Comments on Kemp~Hoy

Jacob & Harriet (Hoy) Kemp


Jacob M. Kemp and Harriet Hoy are my maternal 3rd Great-Grandparents.

300 block of Main Street
Main Street, Fayette, Fayette County, Pennsylvania

Jacob M. Kemp, was born on 11 July 1811, in Fayette City, Fayette County, Pennsylvania to Edward & Eve (Penrod) Kemp; his father was 39, his mother 37.For more information about them see the Kemp~Penrod Post.

Village of Plymouth, Ohio

Jacob & Harriet married 23 April 1830 in Plymouth, Richland County, Ohio. They had seven (7) children in 23-years and their fourth child, Narcissa, is my maternal 2nd great-grandmother. They were pioneers, living first on a farm in Richmond County, Ohio and after selling this they moved to Michigan buying another farm at Coe, Isabella County. This U.S. Agricultural Census of 1870 shows the number of acres owned at Coe by Joseph, as well as those of his sons Joseph and George. Later Jacob gave up farming and they moved to St. Louis, Gratiot, Michigan where Jacob opened a grocery store. Their eldest son Joseph was partner with W. A. Williams of another store in St. Louis that sold boots, shoes. crockery and glass-ware. Eventually Jacob took over Williams’ share and he and son Joseph were partners for four years before Jacob retired.

During the Civil War, Jacob and two of his sons, Joseph and George, enlisted in the Union Army: Jacob was a private with the 1st Regiment, Michigan Light Infantry, Battery B; Joseph enlisted as a private, discharged as a captain with the 5th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Companies F, D & C ; George entered as a private, was discharged as a corporal with the 2nd Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Company F.

Jacob died on 24 November 1891 at the age of 80-years. The executives of his will, filed 7 December 1891, were Elias Phillips and Robert W. Hoy.

Jacob’s wife, Harriet Hoy, was born 22 February 1810, at Hagerstown, Washington County, Maryland to Robert & Alice (Talton) Hoy (sometimes spelled Hoey/Hoye); her father was 27, her mother 21.  Harriet was the third of six girls and three sons born to Robert & Alice whose births and marriages were recorded in the Hoy Family Bible. For more information about Harriet’s parents see the Hoy~Talton Post.