LIVINGSTONE, William or Nial/Neil **Missing**

+4 votes
I'll try to make this short.  I'm asking for another set of eyes (several if possible) to help me find out what happened to my great grandfather.   His name was "William or Neil/Nial Livingstone".   His name is listed as William on census records but after digging deeper because of hints that came up on a DNA test, I suspect he might have changed his name to William from Niel/Nial.   He was born in Canada, probably Nova Scotia, in 1856-1865.   His parents were Niel Liviingstone 1805-1858 born on the Isle of Mull in Scotland and Ann Cameron 1833-1903 born in Nova Scotia.   William has 2 siblings, Catherine and Allan; Allan died young and is not on any census records past 1861.  William also has 5 half-siblings, all MacDonalds, because his mother Ann Cameron remarried after the death of her first husband Neil Livingstone.  Ann Cameron married Lauchlin MacDonald, also from Nova Scotia.

William/Neil/Nial came to the US and worked as both a miner and on the railroad.   Listed occupations are placer miner and fireman, which is a person who loads the coal in the engine to keep the steam going.   He married Anna Treaster in Hannibal, Missouri in Nov 1892 so I know he lived in Hannibal, Missouri... but census records (2) have them living in Terraville, South Dakota while he was a miner.   They had 5 sons together and a daughter and they all lived in Springfield, Illinois for a while as well.  Anna Treaster was buried in Springfield, IL, and remarried to Henry Feuerbach after William was supposedly killed when their only daughter was a baby.

Here comes the big mystery.... I cannot find a death cert, another marriage cert, nothing from the railroad or the mining company and he's not on any further census records past 1901.   I am in touch with Anna (my great grandmother) granddaughter and the family story is that William/Niel/Nial died in a railroad accident when their daughter was a baby.   I've poured over the newspapers and census records for 35 years looking for this man.   He's the only brick wall I have and its wearing on me.   He's out there somewhere.  I would appreciate any help I can get.
in Genealogy Help by R Livingstone G2G Crew (950 points)

2 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
I will be happy to look have a look for you.  But just a couple of questions.

In the 1900 census, William and Anna are in Terraville with two sons, Archie and Raymond.

In 1920, Anna was living in Springfield with Henry and four children:  Earl Livingstone (1901 SD), Guy Livingstone (1904 Missouri), Ethel Feuerbach (13) and Dorothey (6).  So, could the child that Anna was pregnant with when William died have been a son (Guy) rather than a daughter.  Perhaps he died in 1903/04 and Anna returned to Hannibal for the birth.

I an going to verify the following but it seems that when Raymond Livingstone died in Springfield in 1906, his mother had already remarried and was pregnant - presumably with Ethel.  This would support the suggested dates above.

Second question - Could William actually be Neil's brother or some other relation?

I see that William says in the 1900 census with respect to naturalization that he has filed papers.  Could these be found, do you think?  They might give a parent's name.
by John Carey G2G2 (2.6k points)
selected by R Livingstone
Bless your heart for being willing to take a stab at it!

Guy Livingstone was my paternal grandfather.

I have spoke with Anna Treaster Livingstone Feuerbach's granddaughter and she "assumes" that William Livingstone was her grandfather (father to Ethel Livingstone).  Nothing has ever been confirmed so your theory is a good one to look into.  Raymond is actually Joseph Raymond Livingstone who died at age 6 in a street car accident.    In quite a few newspaper clippings, it states that Anna was listed as Anna Lear, aka: Feuer... I'm assuming short for Feuerbach.   When Joseph Raymond died, it was in April 1906 and the baby Anna was carrying (Ethel) was born 2 months later in June 1906 and Anna was already not using the name Livingstone by then.  I have no idea if she was officially divorced or widowed by then though.   Its certainly possible that Ether Livingstone was actually Henry Feuerbach's child but she had Livingstone on her birth cert.  

I think William ran off from his family and remarried but I have no clue if he changed his name.  I've looked for him under Neil Livingstone, William Livingstone, Neil Cameron (his mothers maiden name), William Cameron.  Nothing.

I have a paper for a Neil Livingstone that came into the country via Detroit but not sure if this is my Neil.  No mention of parents.    The 1895 South Dakota census says he immigrated in 1884 and that he was born in Canada to Scotland born parents.  At that point, he had been in the US for 16 years.  Granted, incorrect information is reported all on the time on these things.
For whats it worth, it could be a deadend, I have a Minnesota Death cert for a "Neil Cameron" dtd 16 January 1909, Death Place: St Louis, Missouri.

I kept this record just in case because he had some history in Mionnesota, as well as St Louis; St Louis is close to Springfield, Illinois.   Also, he might have changed his name to his mothers maiden name.  I also kept it because the death date is close to when I suspected he died, if he actually died.

I also have a death record for a William Cameron, St Joseph, Missouri dtd 3 December 1910

I have another one for a William Allen Cameron dtd 11 September1937 in Detroit, Michigan

He seems to have stayed in the midwest area as he met Anna in Hannibal, Missouri, he supposedly lived in Springfield, Ill at one point, his son Archie was born in Iowa, his son Earl was born in South Dakota as was Joseph Raymond, his son Guy was born in Hannibal, Missouri and his presumed daughter Ethel was born in Springfield, Ill.
It has taken me a while to get back to you because you asked for a fresh pair of eyes and I'm taking you literally and going back to original records where I can find them.

Your ancestor was known to your family as William and the link to Neil came from some sort of DNA result.  So, I focused on what records I could find that is unquestionably your William.  A marriage record would be nice but as far as I know, the best that we have is the marriage license notice in the newspaper.  I found the abstracted entry for the birth of Archie N. Livingstone that says he was born 7 Nov 1897 but I'm sure that this should have said 1894 because of the next record.  The abstract gives the parents names and the father's age and birthplace as 28 and Maine and the mother Annie as 21.  Using the corrected date, this places William's birth year as 1865/66.  I also had a look at the original image of the 1895 Iowa state census for Lee County, where we find William (29, labourer, Maine), Anna (22, Mo) and Archie (5 months).

We have both looked at the U.S. census of Terraville S.D. where William says that he was born in Canada in May 1865 and that both his parents were born in Scotland.

These are the only records I have seen that give any particulars about William and, to my eyes, they don't suggest that he could be Neil, born in Canada in 1856 to a Scottish-born father and a Canadian-born mother.  So, unless this DNA result is a very strong y-DNA match, an by that I mean GD = 0 or 1 at the 37-marker level, I focus on William not Neil.

That being said, I did have a look at baptisms on Mull in the Scottish records site.  I did not purchase the images but, assuming that Neil was the individual baptised 11 Mar 1805 in Kilfinichen & Kilvickeon parish on Mull, he had four brothers: Hugh (1809), Alexander (1812), John (1814) and Duncan (1817).  Of these sons, only John was listed with Donald and Cirsty's family in the 1841 census  and the age doesn't match exactly.  Plenty of scope there for other folks connected to Neil to be William's father.  The place in Nova Scotia where Neil married is in the coal mining region of Cape Breton Island, just the place where new immigrants from Scotland found labourer work.  My own family did the same.

So, this pair of eyes is going to focus on looking further into a William born in 1865, and leave the Scottish connection aside for now.
I'm just now getting back to this portion of your post.  Starting with "That being said....."

I have Neil Livingstone born abt 1805 with brothers John Jr 1800, Duncan unknown, Alexander abt 1814 and other siblings Mary, Florence, Grae, Ann, Janet, Allan, Colin and Christina.   PARENTS:  John "The Pioneer" Livingstone 1776/76-1840 and Catherine Campbell 1776-?

Who are the Donald and Christy family you mentioned?

Also, I have about a dozen confirmed DNA matches from the Cape Breton area.

I got a lot of my information about these particular Livingstone's from a set of books called Mabou Pioneers, Vol 1&2 written by A.D. McDonald
I was searching the baptisms in the old parish records database at the Scottish Records Office site.  ( The one I mentioned is the only Neil baptised in 1805 in all of Argyll.  There were other Neils but the closest was 1803.

John Livingstone married Catherine Campbell in the parish of Kilninian and Kilmore on Mull on 31 Dec 1805.  Baptisms of their children in that parish included Janet (1810), Grace (1811), Donald (1812), Duncan (1813), Alex (1814), Hugh (1815), Catherine (1916), Flory (1817), Colin (1818) Mary (1819) and Catherine (1820).  Also to John Levingston and Catherine Campbell in the same parish Mary (1806) and John (1808).  No Neils.

Is it autosomal DNA or y-DNA?
Autosomal. I’m going to try again to get my son to do a Y-dna *fingers crossed*
+1 vote
I'm going to stick with my suggestion that William died before Guy's birth and Anna returned to Hannibal.  I found two clippings that, while they are not an obituary, indicate that William Livingston was in bad shape in the early 1900s while they were living in Terraville.

Lead Daily Pioneer-Times (Lead, South Dakota) Wed 5 Feb 1902.  "Mr. Wm. Livingston, of Terraville, who has been quite ill for the past two weeks, is able to be around again."

Lead Daily Pioneer Times (Lead, South Dakota) Thurs 1 Jan 1903.  "Miss William Livingston of Terraville is reported very ill."

There was nothing more about him before the middle of the month when there is a gap of many months in the collection.  This may be as good as we get.
by John Carey G2G2 (2.6k points)
I think I've seen the one clipping about him, will have to look back through my stuff to see if I saved it because I don't have a subscription to Newspapers dot com..... the second clipping mentions "her", it says Mrs William Livingston.... I wasn't aware of that one.  

 I'm def open to new suggestions as this has been a brick wall for over 30 years now.    You at least found him later than I did!   Nothing of him in Springfield, Illinois?   I get why you might think William died before Guy was born....  totally, since there is no mention of William anymore and my grandfather Guy was born in Missouri, unlike his older brothers in South Dakota.   That would make Ethel, the only daughter, NOT Williams child.   I'll start looking into this as well.
I have copied both clippings and will send them to you if we can conect.  (johnca at
Also I tried to have a look at the Springfield census on the assumption that the name was uncertain.  When he entered information for the WW1 draft, Henry listed the same address that the family had in the 1920 census.  So, I went through the 1910 census for Springfield Township but the addresses for West Auburn Ave (sheet 14A) skips from 1107 to 1139.  There is no entery for 1137 West Auburn.  So, either they were not there or they were missed.  Bummer!
I just emailed you
Re: Springfield street addresses

I have a 1920 census record of them living on "1126 Calhoun Ave" (I also have pictures of several of them sitting on the porch of this house with the house # in view.  Interesting enough, this is the same house that Anna son "Archie William" killed himself in.  I have a newspaper clipping for that.  Sad.)  Residents were Anna Feuerbach, Henry, Earl Livingstone, Guy Livingstone, Ethel listed as Feuerbach and step sister Dorothy Feuerbach

The next census I have is for 1940 with just Henry and Anna Feuerbach in Proviso, Illinois (Cook county)

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