52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Popular Name

His mama had grown up with a fascination for the author’s stories. They were tales taken from German and Dutch legends. This writer had written in a different tone than others. He wove tales to entertain and delight…to evoke a sense of wonder. Both his mama and the author were born in New York.

This child named after her favorite author was born in Woodbury County, Iowa, far from New York. He was the fourth son of this farming family. The family would move on to finally settle in Osborne County, Kansas. The young man would work from sunup to sundown to help his family in the fields, barnyards, and pastures. Perhaps, at night his mama read the short stories the author wrote. Or maybe, she retold them by heart before he fell asleep.

The young man was never called by his full name by family and friends, let alone by his full first name. He shortened his name to Wash. If he signed a document, he signed W. I. Storer. When his friends were told his full name, they probably replied, “We didn’t know that.”

My great grandfather was named Washington Irving Storer after the author of such tales as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. Wonder if after a hard day’s work as a farmer, he wished he could nap under a shady tree for 20 years.

52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Mistakes

Numerous times I have come across mistakes on death certificates. I always looked at the informant’s name and thought he/she had misinformed the funeral director. Not so anymore…first hand experience taught me differently.

My father-in-law died in October, 2018. When my husband brought home a copy of the death certificate, I read it. Four mistakes! One was his middle name. Another was the address of his residence…transposed number. Another was the name of the assisted living facility…left out a letter in the spelling. The last was the information about the duration of the illness. I had gone with my husband to the funeral home to make arrangements, and I did not remember the funeral director asking my husband about the information per se. I asked about correcting the mistakes and learned they cannot be corrected once submitted. It appeared that the funeral home secretary did not proofread the information before submitting it. To top it off, the memorial programs given at the visitation listed his year of death as the next year!

In September, 2021, my husband Daniel passed away. Going to the funeral home I asked about the death certificate. The director related that the information placed on it of a non-medical nature was taken from the files of the parents’ funeral and records. I would be listed as the informant. I related to her that I wanted to see a dummy copy of the certificate before it was submitted. I told her I was a genealogist and accuracy was important to me. It would be e-mailed to me so I could have the final approval. When the e-mail came, I read the dummy copy in disbelief! My name was misspelled! I sent it off with an immediate correction. Correction made.

How many other certificates are filed where the staff have not proofread the information?

52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Conflict

Captain Daniel Boultinghouse’s eyes scanned the horizon for any movement. The prairie grass was tall, and sometimes obscured his view. He was cautious. He had met this enemy before.

It was September, 1814. America was at war with Britain and with their allies. He and his company had been called up by the executive order of Governor Edwards. They were to protect the settlers from Indian raiders. Daniel had another conflict with this issue: his son Joseph had been murdered by the Indians a year earlier.

Born in Pennsylvania, Daniel had moved across the territories of the Scioto River Valley (Ohio), across Indiana, and finally into the Illinois territory. In Edwards County, he could set up farming and making a home for his large family. Having livestock in the vast pasture land was part of his homestead. He placed his son Joseph in charge of the herd. Later, Indians killed him and mutilated his body which his father found after his dog came home without the son. Such conflict ravished his heart and soul…avenge the death or peacefully run off the natives. The decision would be made by executive order of the Governor to form a military company. So, Daniel and his company patrolled the prairies until December of 1814. They kept settlers safe. The War was over.

Three years later in 1817, Daniel came across a band of natives and spied his son’s horse among the others. Would he exact his revenge, or be a man of peace? His decision and actions left no native witnesses. The conflict was finally over.


Ferguson, Gilliam. Illinois in the War of 1812. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2012.

History of White County, Illinois; page 453, Daniel Boultinghouse