I feel like it’s time to step back and reassess. I began building a family tree over a decade ago. In January 2011, I joined Ancestry.com at the suggestion of a buddy at work, Ray Thomas – a fellow Ohioan like my father. I was immediately addicted and the passion has never let up.
At first, it was a casual hobby and I made mistakes, sometimes adding people simply because other online trees said they were ancestors. Gradually, though, I became more disciplined and rigorous about proving lines of descent. Upon retirement 6 years ago, I started taking genealogy courses and attending conferences. Four years ago, I became a professional genealogist.
As of today, my tree has 5,603 people in it – not all of whom would necessarily be relatives – and 752 direct ancestors, give or take.
In the early years, I was focused on my father’s side of the tree (Jonnes/McMullin/ Lukemire/Blalock) but that changed after Dad died. Mom asked me in 2014 to work on her tree (Bonn/Aaberge/Vermilyea/King), which I did almost exclusively until her death two years ago. I continue to remain centered on my mother’s ancestry, partly because I still have relatives on that side interested in what I find, and partly because of the momentum and expertise that has been built up, especially in Norwegian genealogy.
So, let’s recap the major elements of progress in the Jonnes Family Tree since 2011.
Keep in mind that both parents produced reports regarding their genealogical research prior to this. My father self-published his final genealogy report in hard-bound copies in 1995 at the dawn of the Internet Age.Nelson Jonnes, “Jonnes Family Record 1995,” 3rd edition; unpublished manuscript, 1995 (Stillwater, Minnesota); bound copy #6, privately held by Steven Nelson Jonnes, Ashburn, Virginia, 2021. My mother and Aunt Susie produced a report on their Norwegian roots in 2001Susan K. Quella & Beverly Bonn Jonnes, “Aaberge Family Tree, 1713-2001: For the Descendants of Peter/Petter Peterson Aaberge,” unpublished manuscript, 2001 (Stillwater, Minnesota); loose-leaf … Continue reading and their Vermilyea ancestors and relatives in 2002.Susan K. Quella & Beverly Bonn Jonnes, “Genealogical Information for Those Who are Descended from Avery Vermilya (1820-1904),” June 2002 (Stillwater, Minnesota), unpublished manuscript; ring … Continue reading
Because my 3-year old blog coincides with a research focus on Mom’s tree, I have neglected documenting much of the research performed earlier in Dad’s tree, especially the Blalock and McMullin branches. Each discovery below is tagged with accompanying blog articles.
Major discoveries 2011-2021 in Nelson Jonnes (1926-2011) tree:
- Jonnes – Discovered that the earliest Jones male ancestors in America were cordwainers, for three or four generations at least, which suggests that cordwaining may have been the family’s trade in northern Wales prior to immigration.Cordwaining is an old trade in the fashion industry. They design and make shoes versus cobblers who repair shoes. Bolstered the claim that the original immigrant was 7GG John Jones (1670?-1727) who married Ann Prichard (1670?-1740) in a Quaker ceremony in Philadelphia in 1700.
- Mason – Identified the parents of 4GG Grace Mason (1754-1837) as George Mason (1706-1774) and Jane Ford (1710-1788) from Yorkshire, England. George was a well-traveled Quaker minister who built a home in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania in 1774. (The house is still standing.) Grace married an Irish worker on her father’s estate, Robert Corken (1762-1844), and they became early pioneers of Ross County, Ohio. Two blog posts: here and here.
- McMullin – Identified the father of 3GG Robert McMullin, Jr. (1787-1862) as Robert McMullin, Sr. (1756-1828) and his paternal grandparents as William McMullin (1729-1797) and Margaret Brooks (1730?-1815). William was a shipwright and trustee of Old Pine St. Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. He may be the William McMullin listed on the wall plaque at historic Carpenter’s Hall. Discovered that Robert Sr. was also a shipbuilder. His wharf was leased by the U.S. Navy in 1799 to construct the frigate Philadelphia. The McMullins were Scots-Irish and fervently Presbyterian.
- Tabele – Identified the parents of 3GG Mary Hamilton Tabele (1795-1869) as John Tabele 1767-1810) and Phoebe Bogart (1771-1809) and her paternal grandparents as Jacob Tabele (1739-1831) and Hannah Pettinger (1740-1809), all of Manhattan. Jacob was a Revolutionary War veteran and reportedly immigrated from Germany. Two blog posts: here and here.
- Matthews – Identified the wife of 5GG Daniel Matthews (1723-1727) as Ann Hague (1730-?), and her father as Francis Hague (1701-1780), a Pennsylvania Quaker who bought land in northern Virginia in 1742 and became one of the founders of Leesburg, Virginia. Confirmed Dad’s assertion that the Matthews descend from 8GG Thomas Matthews (1633-1693) of Cumberland, England, who reportedly fought with Cromwell in the English Civil War.
- Johnson – Identified the parents of 4GG Sarah Johnson (1760-1815) as William Johnson (1733-1768) and Ruth Potts (1734-1822). Discovered that William was descended from English Quakers who settled in Northern Ireland. William became a school teacher in Philadelphia and gained some renown as a lecturer on electricity, but drowned while swimming at the age of 35.
- Brown – Reaffirmed the significance of Revolutionary War hero 4GG William Brown (1761-1804), recipient of an original Purple Heart from George Washington for his actions at Yorktown. Discovered that William helped establish Columbia in 1789, the first settlement in Ohio Indian country before the Treaty of Greenville, and may have been its military leader. One blog post: here.
- Lukemire– Partially solved the mystery of what happened to my grandmother’s oldest sister, Mary Lukemire (1889-1939), whose disappearance in 1921 bothered my grandmother Barbara the rest of her life. Mary left Williamsburg, Ohio shortly after the death of their mother in April. Although she sent at least one postcard home from Chicago, she soon discontinued contact. Discovered that Mary married James Henry Dwyre (1874-1964) in Chicago in August 1921. They subsequently moved to Ashland, Wisconsin where James operated a gas station, but Mary became ill and died of endocarditis in Tucson, Arizona in 1939. She was childless as far as we know.
- McIntosh – Discovered that 3GG Rachel McIntosh (1810-1886), wife of Abel Lukemire, was one of six daughters of farmer James McIntosh (1772-1848), who migrated from New Jersey in 1806 and became an early pioneer of Tate Township, Clermont, Ohio.
- Homan – Identified the parents of 3GG Joel Homan (1808-1883) as David Homan (1762-1823) and Rachel Davis (1778-1811). Developed the promising hypothesis that the patrilineal Homan line ultimately goes back to Swede Anders Anderssen Homman (1626-1700), the trumpeter for Gov. Printz of New Sweden at Ft. Christina (Wilmington, Delaware) and who later settled on Trumpeter’s Creek, now Repaupo Creek, in West Jersey. One blog post: here.
- Blalock – Identified the likely father of 2GG Wesley Blalock (1825-1895) as William Blalock (1785?-1850), a native of North or South Carolina who was a carpenter in the Bowling Green, Kentucky area when Wesley was born. Discovered a first wife for Wesley – Susannah Holloway – who died in Caseyville, Illinois, shortly after giving birth to their only child, Laura Blalock (1852-1918). Her numerous descendants are half-cousins. Filled in many details of Wesley’s life based on his rich Civil War pension file.
- Kennelly – Identified the parents of 2GG Harriet Kennelly (1835-1906) as John Kennelly (1796-1836) and Maria Chapman (1808-1838) of St. Clair County, Michigan. Identified her paternal grandfather as John Kennelly (1768-1828) of Mayfield, New York, who served as a drummer boy in the Revolutionary War from ages 8 to 14! Her great-grandfather, also named John Kennelly (? -1777) died in the war. One blog post: here.
Major discoveries 2011-2021 in Beverly Jean Bonn (1932-2019) tree:
- Bonn – Confirmed the farm name of Mom’s paternal Norwegian ancestors as Bønsmoen, close to the village of Bøn in Eidsvoll Municipality. Pinpointed the likely location of their small crofter (husmann) plot at property number 138-19, currently situated in the town of Råholt. Discovered that the wife of 2GG Ole Larsen Bønsmoen (1820-1902) was Dorthea Olsdatter Dalum (1819-1893). Identified the immigration dates for six members of the family: Bernt 1875, Christian 1880, Ole Jr. 1882, Ole & Dorthea 1883, and Laura 1886, who variously spelled their American surname as Bohn or Bonn. Five blog posts: here, here, here, here, and here.
- Bønsmoen – Figured out the fate of Maren Olsdatter Bønsmoen (1860-1907), one of Ole & Dorthea Bønsmoen’s two daughters who never emigrated from Norway. Her husband was Johan Larsen Dønnum, a railroad engineer on the Østfold line. They lived variously in Ski, Sarpsborg, and Moss, and had an adopted daughter but no biological children. Two blog posts: here and here.
- Aalborg – Determined that the farm name for 2GG Dorthea Olsdatter (1819-1893) was Dalum, a sub-farm of the Aalborg farm complex in Eidsvoll Municipality. Both remain farms today: Aalborg is property number 70 and Dalum is 70-4. Identified Dorthea’s parents as Ole Larsen Dalum (1793-1870) who bought the Dalum farm in 1835 and Anne Hansdatter Aalborg (1794?-1871). Two blog posts: here and here.
- Aaberge – Discovered that 3GG Berthe Michelsdatter Vikheim (1812-1883) was a composer of religious hymns. A copy of her “death song” has come down to us. Berthe immigrated from Sogndal, Norway in 1866 with three of her children and settled in Wanamingo, Goodhue, Minnesota. She outlived three husbands. Two blog posts: here and here.
- Hafslo – Discovered that 2GG Dorthe Eriksdatter Alme (1838-1938) was originally from Hafslo Parish about a dozen miles north of Sogndal, Norway. She married Petter Pettersen Aaberge (1835-1909) in 1866 and lived the rest of her life at the Aaberge farm, but her ancestry is wholly Hafslo going back at least three generations, associated especially with the Lad, Venjum, and Alme farms. Identified 38 new direct ancestors in her tree. Two blog posts: here and here.
- Mead – Identified the parents of 3GG Fanny Mead as James Mead (1781-1856) and Jerusha Craft (1785-1865). James was the pastor of Middletown & Roxbury Baptist Church in Delaware County, New York for 34 years. His parents were Abner Mead (1747?-1815?) and Mercy Hazen (1747?-1819). The Mead, Craft, and Hazen families all resided in the South District of Dutchess County prior to moving to Delaware County, and a number of their menfolk served as militiamen there during the Revolutionary War.
- Bradstreet – Determined that Mom was descended through her Mead and Hazen lines from 9GG Simon Bradstreet (1603-1697), Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, and his wife Anne Dudley (1612-1672), the first female poet in American history.
- Whitney – Established that the ancestry of 2GG Alice Jane Whitney (1855-1928) leads back to 10GG John Whitney (1592-1693) who arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony aboard the Elizabeth and Anne in 1635. Our Whitney line lived consecutively in the Massachusetts towns of Watertown, Stow, Harvard, and then Otis in the western part of the state, before finally migrating to upstate New York, eventually settling in Homer in Cortland County.
- Stratton – Mom was tickled by my discovery that 10GG Samuel Stratton (1592-1672) and his wife Alice, residents of Watertown, Massachusetts, spoke out against the execution of so-called witches during the 17th century. Alice reportedly said: “Goodwife Jones dyed wrongfully and was no more a witch than she was.”
- Price – Identified the parents of 3GG Margaret Price (1826-1867) as Richard Palmer Price (1788?-1865) and Nancy Houghton (1796-1875), natives of northern New Jersey who settled in Homer, Cortland, New York in 1834. Identified 59 new direct ancestors in Margaret’s maternal line, including surnames Sexton, Runyan, and Larison. Margaret’s great-grandfather, Joab Houghton (1725-1798), was a colonel during the Revolutionary War. One blog post: here.
- King – Published three articles in 2016 about 2GG Fred A. King (1857-1920), documenting his life in Saginaw, Michigan, and Grand Rapids and Cass Lake, Minnesota. Corroborated family stories about the cabin he built on Star Island in Cass Lake, which was converted from a luxury house boat once owned by Louis W. Hill, President of the Great Northern Railway. Identified Fred’s parents as Stephen W. King (1824?-1865) and Rose Ann Green (1827?-1869). Stephen was a successful lumber merchant in Saginaw, Michigan, but dropped dead at age 41, probably of a heart attack. Three blog posts: here, here, and here.
- King – Identified the parents of 3GG Stephen W. King (1824?-1865) as Henry King (1791?-1848) and Jane Dunlap (1799?-1842?). Traced Henry’s complicated migration history from New York to Pennsylvania to three counties in Ohio and finally Michigan. Identified the probable father of 4GG Henry King (1791?-1848) as Joshua King (1775?-1853) and his grandfather as Samuel King (1755?-), early pioneers of Northampton Township, Portage, Ohio. Samuel settled in 1809 at Old Portage, a key landmark in the history of the Western Reserve. Discovered that Samuel and Joshua migrated from the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania, the scene of the Pennamite-Yankee Wars; both applied for land warrants there in 1800 as Connecticut Settlers. Four blog posts: here, here, here, and here.
- Hopkins – Identified the wife of likely 5GG Joshua King (1775?-1853) as Sally Hopkins (1782?-1870). Sally may be descended from Stephen Hopkins of Declaration of Independence fame, potentially corroborating an old family story. Two blog posts: here and here.
- Green – Identified the parents of 3GG Rose Anne Green (1827?-1869) as Benjamin Green (1786?-1853) and Elizabeth Ellsworth (1797?-1861), natives of upstate New York. Benjamin and his brother Joseph migrated in 1827 from the Finger Lakes region to Redford, Michigan – just northwest of Detroit – and farmed there the rest of their lives.
- Whaley – Discovered that the Old World surname for my Whaley ancestors was Wührlin, a clan that has resided in Hartmannswiller, Alsace, France for over 400 years. 4GG Lawrence Whaley (1796-1870) was born in Hartmannswiller as Lorentz Wührlin. He became a baker in Dannemarie, France and married Rosalie Rist (1801-1890) there in 1823. They immigrated in 1827. Identified 42 new direct ancestors because of this surname breakthrough. All my Wührlin and Rist ancestors lived in the southern Alsatian region formally known as Sundgau, a Catholic stronghold. Six blog posts: here, here, here, here, here, and here.
|↑1||Nelson Jonnes, “Jonnes Family Record 1995,” 3rd edition; unpublished manuscript, 1995 (Stillwater, Minnesota); bound copy #6, privately held by Steven Nelson Jonnes, Ashburn, Virginia, 2021.|
|↑2||Susan K. Quella & Beverly Bonn Jonnes, “Aaberge Family Tree, 1713-2001: For the Descendants of Peter/Petter Peterson Aaberge,” unpublished manuscript, 2001 (Stillwater, Minnesota); loose-leaf copy privately held by Steven Nelson Jonnes, Ashburn, Virginia, 2021.|
|↑3||Susan K. Quella & Beverly Bonn Jonnes, “Genealogical Information for Those Who are Descended from Avery Vermilya (1820-1904),” June 2002 (Stillwater, Minnesota), unpublished manuscript; ring binder copy privately held by Steven Nelson Jonnes, Ashburn, Virginia, 2021.|
|↑4||Cordwaining is an old trade in the fashion industry. They design and make shoes versus cobblers who repair shoes.|