52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: A Fresh Start

What was the question…what was the answer…what was the explanation? Who was involved in the decision-making? Who planned the moves forward and eventually westward? What compelled them? What led them? Were these moves each obviously a fresh start?

William Henry Stevens was born in London in 1844. During the Civil War, he immigrated to America and joined the Union Navy. Was that meant to be a fresh start in a new place? His assignments as a landsman were documented in his military and pension records. He was a mere 22 years old when this adventure began.

At the age of 24, he married Isabella Couchman in New York City. They also resided in Jersey City, New Jersey. They would parent a total of ten children…some born there and the remaining in a final start over location. Was this meant to be a fresh start in a new place?

For while, the family lived in Memphis, Tennessee, where Will worked at the gas company. Was this move to the South meant as a fresh start in another new place? It was a city albeit smaller in size than New York.

Will’s final start over was in Osborne County, Kansas. He became a farmer. A London-New York-Tennessee transplant making yet another fresh start in the early 1870s. What prompted this move when he knew very little about farming?

None of Will’s and Isabella’s real thoughts and ponderings have ever been discovered. Are they just dust in the wind?

Stevens Farm on original Homestead Act claim…
Kill Creek Township, Osborne County, Kansas

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