52 Ancestors Week 16: Out of Place

+15 votes

imageReady for Week 16 of the 52 Ancestors challenge?

Please share with us a profile of an ancestor or relative who matches the week's theme. This week's sharing prompt:

Out of Place

From Amy Johnson Crow:

Did you ever find an ancestor in an unexpected place? I recently discovered that my 3rd-great-grandmother didn't die in the county where I found her in every census. Instead, I found her living 4 counties away from there -- in the county where I currently live. She's even buried here. (I'm still trying to figure out why.) Maybe you found an ancestor in a record you didn't expect (like finding a member of a pacifist religion serving in the Civil War). Or maybe there's an ancestor who always seemed "out of place" with the rest of the family.


Share below!

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in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.7m points)
edited by Eowyn Walker

64 Answers

+11 votes
My grandad was one of 8 children (7 of them boys) all born in West Wickham, Kent except the second son Kempton, Kilby-256, who was born in Huntingdonshire. I don't know why. There is no family connection with Huntingdonshire as far as I know. Their father was from Gloucestershire and their mother was from Kent. Sadly Kempton died young.
by Elizabeth Back G2G1 (1.9k points)
+9 votes

My husbands great-grandmother, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Haugstuen-1, Isabel Bertina Haugstuen Smith Thew was the daughter of Norwegian immigrants who settled in Cylinder, Iowa.  Her mother died when she was 18 or 19 and the younger children were left in her care while her father and older brothers went north to Canada to settle homesteads.  She did not know exactly where they were, so she struck out from Iowa when the smaller children were old enough and went to find them.  She ended up in Seattle, Washington and married a young man who, after she was pregnant with their third child, was drowned.  She then resumed her trek to Canada, going first to British Columbia where she met a good man willing to take on her children and her, Cecil Thew.  They started a homestead in Entwistle, Alberta and she was pregnant with their second child when he was shot by a neighbor over a borrowed pitchfork.  The tragedy of her second loss, while having her fifth child did not stop her from surviving.  She and the children even stayed in a tent in the dead of winter because they were poverty stricken.  She raised the children who turned out well and then worked odd jobs to feed and care for herself.  At one point she lived in Calgary, Alberta in a boarding house, in a closet under the stair case. (Much like Harry Potter.)  She was a displaced person and never wanted anyone to know what her circumstances were.  

by Kathryn Wenzel G2G6 (7.8k points)
+10 votes

My research this week has taken me to John Carter and his father-in-law Lewis Banton.  Both men fought in the Revolutionary War!  Yay, more patriot ancestors.  And their units were the King's militia.  Oh...  I see, they were loyalists.  Not quite what I was expecting!  I'm sure they felt out of place after the war was over, probably why John named his son George Washington Carter.

by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+7 votes

My "out of place" person changed her nationality twice; without leaving home (as far as I can tell). Much more research is required, yet when Jessie Plain married Rudolf Wilhelm Maximilan Krieger (in Cardiff, Wales) she took on his German nationality. 10 years after being widowhood (probably national events too this was 1915) she re-applied and became British again.

by Alison Wilkins G2G6 Mach 2 (29.8k points)
+8 votes
A distant cousin and I have have been working on our somewhat mutual family for a few months now and she came up with something very out of place in our Catholic branch of the family: a case of my great-grandfather having served time in Pennsylvania when he was caught for Bigamy. He spent six months at hard labor. The cousin also found the marriage certificate in Ohio where the 2nd 'wife' also had a daughter by this 'marriage'. One pities the woman and daughter. My grandmother and her siblings apparently knew nothing about this. Her aunts had lied to her about him having died fourteen years years before his death. I wonder how they covered it up in such a small town since he never moved away and apparently kept in touch with his family that lived right down the block from where my Gram lived.
by Judy Bramlage G2G6 Pilot (103k points)
+7 votes

For this week's theme, I have chosen my 3 x great grandmother Catherine Helen Pickis. She was from London, but she married my 3 x great grandfather James Atkinson in 1854 in Tynemouth, Northumberland. I had some difficulty initially finding her in the 1851 census, but when I found her she was living with an aunt Dorothy (Bond) Purvis in South Shields, Durham. The fact that she had family in the north of England explained why she was so far from London. 

This is my blog post this week:

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 16 - Out of Place - Catherine Helen (Pickis) Atkinson

by A O'Brien G2G6 Mach 1 (13.7k points)
+6 votes

While all but one of his twelve siblings remained in Hampton, New Hampshire, during their lifetimes, my 9th great grandfather, Luke Perkins Sr., lived most of his life in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  At age 14 he was apprenticed to a shoemaker in Charlestown, where he later married and had 8 children and lived the rest of his life. Some genealogists claim he is out of place and is not a child of Abraham Perkins because there is no record of his birth. However, his indenture to the shoemaker, dated 3 Jun 1654, was consented to by his parents.

by Traci Thiessen G2G6 Pilot (158k points)
+6 votes

I have found several relatives in unexpected places. I found my father in a state census in the 1930's for educable children in Mississippi. That was an unexpected find. It's the closest I've come to a birth record for him.

I also found my 5th maternal great-grandfather, Isaac Vertrees, in a revolutionary war record with a bible record in the 1700's! What a find that was, and I can join the DAR under him.

I found my 5th maternal Great-grandfather, William Shelton, in an Oath of Allegiance filed in Virginia that gives me the right to join the DAR under his name. His son, John (my 4th Great-grandfather), also signed this oath. Interestingly enough, William's father-in-law, John Yates (father of my 5th Great-grandmother, Hannah Yates) and his son John, also signed the oath.

I've also found my 4th paternal Great-grandfather, Jonathan Day, in the following:

by Dorothy Williams Potter
Cherokee Indian Agency Passports, page 119,
Chickasaw Agency; 01 June 1807

Sir-A traveller, by the name of JOHNATHAN DAY reported to me, a few days since, on his way to Natchez, that he had lost a bay mare near the mouth of Tellico River on the 20th April. The owner, Mr. Day, is a poor man with a family and the loss of his horse would injure him materially.

I think these types of finds are the most fun to run in to.

by Tina Hall G2G6 Mach 1 (15.1k points)
+5 votes

Martha "Dolly" Weems made a long journey from her birthplace in Howard County MD to her death in Bozeman MT.  For details see my blog post here

Martha Weems from Maryland to Montana

by Anne Agee G2G6 Mach 1 (11.8k points)
+5 votes

My out of place ancestor is Hallie Guider. For some strange reason I have no photographs or stories of him even though he didn't die until 1960. He is buried in a grave in Olivet Cemetery with his mother and 3 siblings.  The five of them have no tombstone. 

by Lance Martin G2G6 Mach 9 (94.2k points)
+7 votes

You wouldn't expect to find a sea captain in Kansas?  T.B. Sears, Jr. (1834-1925) "The Journals of a Plymouth Seaman",   Born in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Died in Lawrence, Kansas.  

Describes the voyage of the Nathan Hanau from the log of TB Sears from Plymouth to New Orleans to Genoa Italy.  First he went to sea and then he went west.  Some talk about myself: In 1848 I left the Grammar School for the Plymouth High School where I took the 3 year course.  Afterwards took lessons in Geometry with Mr Nat Morton, and Father taught me navigation.  I then clerked one year in Alvan Morton's grocery store, and in 1853 went to the Grand Banks in the schooner Speedwell.(just launched) with Capt TE Cornish.  In 1854 I started to learn the carpenters trade with Mr Thomas Pay, but, after working 6 weeks, concluded that

 I wasn't a carpenter, and worked about home helping Father repair one of his fishing schooners.  In 1855 I went to the Grand banks again.  This time in the schooner "Albert", Capt Fred Bartlett.That winter was a very cold one, and Massachusetts Bay was full, or partly full of ice brought down from the north by strong North gales.  When we left Boston the NW gale was still blowing, and before we were halfway across to Cape Cod, we found that the vessel was so crank, that is, so easily tipped by the wind, that it would be unsafe to go to

 sea, and the Capt. decided to put into Provincetown, and take in more ballast, but as we got near the entrance of the harbor, we saw that it was full of ice, which had drifted down there, and extended several miles out into the Bay.  We then tried to get out around the Cape, + to go to sea anyway, safe or unsafe, but as soon as we brought the vessel up to the wind, she went right over on her side, so there was nothing to do but square away + run into the ice, as far as we could get.  This we did but the rough ice, tossed by the gale, ground against her sides, so that we thought it would sink her, and we had to take fenders and hold themn down to make some protection.  About midnight so much more ice had drifted in, outside of us that the motion, where we were, gradually ceased, so that we could go below and rest.  The next morning the ice extended 2 or 3 miles outside of us, and the intense cold had frozen the big chunks, into a solid mass.  Not far form us lay three vessels, all of which had got caught in the same trap.  The steamer "Acorn" which was running between Boston + Provincetown, the fishing schooner Wyvern with a lot of fresh fish, and a schooner from Bath, Maine.  We lay in that fix several days, then another heavy North West storm set in,a nd we could see the ice outside of us begin to break up + tumble about.  The Captains of the vessels held a consultation and decided that the vessels might all go to thte bottom before morning, and that the only thing to do was try for the shore before the break up reached us.  We  started, dragging the boat from our vessel + a life boat from the steamer, as we knew we might strike some open places, before reaching shore, which was 5 or 6 miles distant.  It was nearly dark, and a driving snowstorm.  One of the Capts carried a compass, and another a lantern.  There was an Irish chambermaid

 on the steamer + two men took her, one on each side by the arms, and so the procession started.  About half way to the shore the work of dragging + lifting the boats over the rough ice became impossible and we left our boat + all took hold of the life boat. It was about midnight when we reached the shore, pretty thoroughly used up, and began to hunt for a house.  Fortunatley we soon found one.  A Mr Todd, who with his family turned out + did everything could be done for us.  Gave us hot drinks + food, and fixed up beds on the floor, which we were very glad to occupy.

by L. Ray Sears G2G6 Mach 4 (40.6k points)
+5 votes
My 2x great grandmother Martha Higgins.  Is probably the closest I've got to out of place.  My ancestors tended to settle and stay there.  Martha was out of place.because she managed to get recorded twice.im the same.census only a day apart in 1880 . Once.with her siblings and then with her husband.  Since I've never found her marriage date I've always wondered if she got married that day or if whoever gave the info at her brother's house just forgot who was living there ( her mother was also listed and sheds passed the month before)
by Brandi Morgan G2G6 Mach 1 (18.6k points)
+5 votes

I always knew that I was 25% German from my maternal grandmother's side, but what I didn't know until I started tracing my family tree is that my German ancestors didn't live in Germany; they lived in Russia.  My grandmother was born in Fresno, CA, but her parents, Michael Huber and Mollie Rosenthal, both immigrated from Bangert, Samara, Volga, Russia.  Their parents were from Russia, and the parents of their parents as well.  Even back to 1776, while colonists were creating a new America, Johann Huber, my 5th GGF, was born in Bangert, Russia.  It was his father, Stephen Huber, who was originally from Germany, and immigrated to Russia during the reign of Catherine the Great (who, by the way, appears to by my 8th cousin 9x removed!).

by William Catambay G2G6 Mach 2 (22.0k points)
+5 votes

I don’t know if this counts because he is my brother but he is definitely out of place. Shaun is my brother. He was given up for adoption and we do not know where he is or if he is even alive. His adoptive parents were followers of Jim Jones and the last anyone knew they went with him and was either killed or given a new identity if they made it back to the states. My siblings and I are looking for him and will never give up. I have a place in my heart that is waiting to be filled. 

by Pam Dale G2G6 Mach 4 (47.5k points)
+6 votes

One of my favorite uncles, uncle was a bit of a rogue. We’ve traced him to Seattle via Chicago, via New Orleans, via Argentina, via Chile, via Australia, via Japan, via Los Angeles, via Houston. Out of place - maybe. Rolling stone - I think so.

by Jim Wiborg G2G6 Mach 3 (39.1k points)
+5 votes

52 Ancestors Week 16: Out of Place.
In my family, both maternal and paternal, there is a history of grandmothers raising grandchildren, aunts/uncles raising nephews/nieces, and children shuffled - causing many of them to feel and appear "out of place", and make difficult research.
My grandmother Bertha Sanders Owenes was an only child - who had been raised by HER maternal grandparents, but had 9 children; she raised 2 grandsons Wilbur "Sonny" Evans and Jimmy Lee Michel - who are both on the 1940 census with her and Grandpa. 
Not my maternal grandmother, nor my two cousins, ever are on censuses or directories, etc., with their own PARENTS. 
Three maternal aunts helped raise their younger sisters children. I was among those in my immediate family, who lived in two different aunt & uncle's households, with younger siblings.
I always felt "out of place" because I was the oldest, and moving around made me "the new kid" in every school. In 5th grade, I changed schools four times, in three different states. Within 4 months in 1966, I had been separated from four of five siblings - and lived with a maternal aunt & uncle in rural Louisiana that I had never met. 

by Sheri Taylor G2G6 Mach 2 (24.6k points)
+5 votes

Yes! I do have someone in my family tree that is out of place. I have a 2nd great-uncle that was a bachelor his whole life, Edgar Bender. Family history even told it that way. He never married and either lived with his father or one of his sisters. However, a couple years ago, I came across the 1920 Federal Census and his is listed in his own household and he had a wife!!! Of course, that led to more digging. I was able to find his marriage record from the year before to an Ellen Caspen. Edgar was 61 years old when he married for the first and only time. His wife, Ellen, passed away by the 1930 census as Edgar is listed as a widower. I have not been able to find her death record yet to pin down her exact date of death. But her existence in Edgar's life was a shock to my cousin and I who do our family history!

by Anonymous Tuma G2G6 Mach 1 (14.3k points)
+3 votes

First I must say that I am always suspicious of family found out of place. Many Ancestry Trees have linked my ancestors to really unlikely families who lived many hundreds of miles away. We know these things did happen, but they do merit extra scrutiny.

Nearly all my ancestors were originally from the southern colonies of North America, before the American Revolution. Most migrated to Kentucky before 1800 and all of them by 1830. A few came from Pennsylvania, which was well-known as a point of immigration into Kentucky. 

My biggest surprise was my 5th-great grandmother, Sally Drake, daughter of Cornelius Drake. The name of her father is unquestionable, but the birthplace for both of them is surprising. Searching for Cornelius Drake led me to only one region, the area of New York and New Jersey. At first I identified the wrong man in New Jersey. I never expected to find several men with such a name so foreign to me. My search finally led me to the right family from Saratoga, in Albany County, New York. He had even enlisted in the 4th Regiment of the Militia in Ulster County, New York. I have no idea why he chose to migrate from New York to Kentucky, but we know that war exposes men to different peoples and different locales. I can speculate that he may have fought alongside some southern men during the war and decided to explore the rich lands of Kentucky for himself. 

by Bill Vincent G2G6 Pilot (134k points)
+4 votes

A little behind this week due to holidays, but here goes.

Today I am sharing Thomas Crawford.  He was born in Tyrone, Ireland and moved to Victoria, Australia.  In 1872, his family reports that he went missing from their home in Queensland, never to be seen again.  Thankfully, his death was eventually found in another state (an asylum record in New South Wales) 40 years later.  It listed his wife and parents as we had them; it listed 2 of his children (though with some errors); it lists his former residence as Orange NSW; it also listed the boat he immigrated on and when.  This led to finding the immigration record where he travelled as "Mr Crawford" coming from San Francisco!

It seems quite apparent from the locations and times he was there that he was following the gold rushes. Notably, 1872 was the discovery of the "Holtermann Nugget", the largest reef gold ever found, only a few miles from Orange.

by Susie O'Neil G2G6 (8.0k points)
+3 votes

My Out of Place ancestor is Jennie Alma Hoilman. Her profile is https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hoilman-21. Alma was very talented. She had no practical training in music, but could by ear, sit down and play the  piano at will. She loved flowers and was always looking for something to plant. She had a troubled childhood beginning with the divorce of her parents Flossie and Doiley. She was raised raised by her maternal grand mother for several years and later lived with an aunt, Juanita and her husband Lilburn Hight. They started a business in South Florida where she was to eventually meet her husband Bill.

My cousin who is the son of Alma learned a tremendous amount of information about his parents that occurred prior to and even after his birth. The facts about family problems were kept from him until well into his teen years. Even now he will uncover some relevant piece of information that was not known by him. The biggest secret in the family must be the psychological state of his mother.

As a child from a broken family, raised by a dominating grand mother, his mother, Alma was very unstable. This did not become apparent until after the birth of her first son Billy my cousin and the other cousin older brother.

As a child of four, Alma was sent to Indiana to her mother who had just remarried and was not even settled into her marriage. Flossie, Alma mother was not entirely honest with her new husband and had not told him of her daughter Alma by her first marriage. As a result of this four year old child appearing on his door step, he made plans to annul the marriage and who would blame him?

After the return of Flossie to her home, Alma first lived with one family member then another. Finally as a young teen she was staying with an aunt and uncle in south Florida when she met her husband Bill. All the problems of her past were now considered of no importance as her "prince charming" had come to her rescue.

She was very young and fragile when she was thrust into the Barker family with their solid clannish nature. They were a large family that worked, fought and loved together. She felt uncomfortable and that she didn't really fit in. Added to this was her pregnancy. The romantic facade soon crumbled and the problems created in her youth came to the front. She had never been taught to face and handle obstacles and soon found herself cornered by them.

The result was years of psychotherapy all to no apparent avail. She was very unhappy in her new role as mother and wife, isolated from the only family she ever knew. Added to this was the examples some of her aunts, including her own mother presented. Suicide was a way out for them and those that  couldn't break the bonds to their mother, took that path. His grandmother Flossie took her life when Alma was only eleven years old. Her son knew of his great grandmother Jennie Belton and found her to be a very manipulative person. She was rigid, stern, and unforgiving.

When Alma's second pregnancy came about, she went completely off the deep end. She spent a few months in Florida's Insane Asylum and upon her return to home wanted desperately to return to the only security she had ever known. That of her domineering grandmother. Bill her husband would have no part of it and there were short separations and many accusations made during this period. He loved Alma and dedicated himself to attempting to make a happy home for her. As intelligent as he was and as much as he loved her, he was not able to be much comfort to her. He passed up many opportunities of financial security just to stay close to Alma's side. The only extended time he wasn't there was during World War II, a very desperate and trying time for Alma.

There were suicide attempts and periods of deep depression. Thus Bill found himself having to be concerned with keeping her and the children alive while providing sustenance. There were many job opportunities that would have offered great security financially that Bill had to turn down, mostly because the jobs would neccessitate him being away from Alma for extend periods of time.

When the little piece of property was purchased in Orlando, if further isolated Alma and subjected her to a very sparse environment with much menial labor. Letter from Alma to others during this time reflect some of the abject poverty she felt. It seemed everywhere she turned she found no promise of help. This caused a lot of friction between them, because he had literally given up many opportunities just to be near Alma.

Years after this period even after Bill had a secure job with a future, Alma never got away from the abject poverty of that time. Life being one challenge after the other, continued to be a burden that Alma was, by this time unwilling to bear.

After both her children had families of their own the final irony came when she began to feel totally unneeded. Little did she realize that those fledgling families needed her more than ever. At the young age of fifty she finally succeeded in carrying out the horrible act of suicide.

Her mother died by her own hands also. 

by Anonymous Barnett G2G6 Pilot (465k points)

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