52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: In The Cemetery

Intertwined among the branches of my family tree lies a story. It is a remembrance of how grandparents helped grandparents find a place of eternal rest. They were neighbors from a farming town…Bloomington, Osborne County, Kansas. Like all good neighbors, they cared for one another.

When Amos Howell Boultinghouse died in 1893, the Civil War veteran was placed in an unmarked grave on a piece of land near Bloomington. When his wife Mary Magdalina Kraemer passed in 1901, she was placed beside him. Family members would say, “Grandpa and Grandma B are buried near the fence.”

More than 50 years later in 1944, Amos’s son Lafayette Boultinghouse become aware that the U. S. government provided markers for veterans. Paperwork and proof of military service had to be provided. When approved, the marker would be shipped to the veteran’s family. On a fall day, Lafayette meet the train to receive the tombstone…”Amos Boultinghouse…55th Ill. Inf….Gone”. His grave was located near the fence and the footstone laid to rest with Amos.

When Mary died, there was no marker for her. She lay unknown for over 80 years. Her great great grandchildren who lived in the county had a reunion in the 1990’s. They decided that Amos’s and Mary’s grave would be located and a proper tombstone installed for them both.

Finally, Amos and Mary had their resting place honored.

Amos and Mary are part of my Grandmother Isabella Boultinghouse’s story. It would be her husband Andrew Earl Storer’s family that added to the story. In 1900, Wash and Sarah Storer (my grandfather’s parents) sold 5 acres of their farmland to the Bloomington Cemetery Association. The cemetery was to be laid out in plots, drives, and paths.

May all who rest there be honored for their contributions to the communities that they loved and served.

52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Brick Wall

Dear Grandma Rhoda, You remain a mystery to me with little trace of your footprints left behind. How could you just vanish? What became of you after the death of your husband, Daniel Boultinghouse?

You left behind a marriage record and a visit to the county probate court. You survived your husband’s leaving for duty during the War of 1812. At that time, you cared for Daniel’s children from his first two marriages. You named your son Amos after your father. Your children were nine years old (Matilda) and five years old (Amos) at the time of your husband’s and their father’s death. That’s it…I have hit a brick wall.

I will be checking the 1830 Census and beyond to see if you are a tick mark on a stepchild’s entry. I wish you could guide me to more information about you. I want to draw out more details so I can paint a clearer picture of you and your life. I wish…I want…I hope.

Love, Your Granddaughter

Note: Rhoda Howell was my third great grandmother, married to Daniel Boultinghouse. It is speculated that she was born in Tennessee… unknown year in the 18th Century. She married Daniel on 31 January 1813 in Illinois. Her year of death and place of burial are unknown. Women at that time in history left little in the way of paper trails to follow. I wish…I want…I hope.

52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Bald (Faced Lie)

How did she keep her secret so hidden? It had to be obvious to what the true was. It was actually a bald faced lie. The convent educated bride was claiming an untruth in front of a priest and county clerks.

Maria Magdalina Kraemer migrated from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. No ship manifest has come to light with her name as a passenger. Parentage unknown. Year of emigration unknown. Residence in Manhattan unknown. A mystery left to the ages.

Educated by nuns in a convent school, Maria excelled in needlecrafts and sewing. Somehow she met an Army private from Illinois who was stationed at Fort Columbus outside of New York City. How were these two introduced? How were they chaperoned during their courtship? Why did she agree to marry and be relocated to the plains of Illinois? The year was 1843, and Illinois had been a state for less than 25 years.

The bald faced lie: on her marriage license, she declared that she was 22. In reality, she was 15. With the declared age of 22, a parent’s or guardian’s permission and signature were not required. Did she try to conceal her real age somehow by dressing to look older? Did she have no guardian to stand up for her? A mystery left to the ages.

Together, Maria and Amos Howell Boultinghouse shared 50 years of marriage. They were the parents of eleven children. Married less than 20 years, Amos would reenlist in the Union Army. They would be parted by the Civil War with Maria running the farm. After the War, they would move onto Osborne County, Kansas. They are my second great grandparents.

Some might say that nothing good can come from a bald faced lie. Perhaps, there are exceptions.