52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 1: My Grandma Olive's grandmother: Nyda Denese Beliel

Nyda Denese Beliel was born on 18 Dec 1859 in Washington Iowa, a first generation American.  Her parents immigrated from Quebec,Canada in 1856.  She was the fourth of thirteen children.  I imagine that their household was bilingual, French and English.

She grew up in Washington, (1860, 1870 census) and then she went to college and lived with her aunt in the neighboring town of Delta. Both she and her aunt were listed as milliners.  (1880 census)

She wrote a letter documenting her adventures in 1883 (when she was 23 years old).  Here are a few excerpts:

In March of 1883 I left college and joined two friends in Minneapolis.-Mrs. Axtel and daughter Margaret, and came to Dakota (Territory) with them.

...Then we made our first trip by compass to the Missouri river, where they had filed homesteads without seeing them. They wished me to file a pre-emption.

...Early the next morning we went on our way, traveling several miles before eating our breakfast.  We reached a tent hotel about noon w…

52 Ancestors II, Week 69: Rhode Island Families

These ancestors are emigrants from England in the 1630s, VERY early in America's history: remember that the Pilgrims arrived in September 1620.

This is a very interesting family chart:  All immigrants who end up settling in Rhode Island: the Maxson brothers marrying the Hubbard cousins and then in two subsequent generations, Maxson 1st cousins marrying each other.

First some background: “During the 17th century, people left England to escape religious persecution. Many colonists came to America to be able to freely practice their religions. Roger Williams (b 1603) was a defender of religious liberty who arrived in Boston on February 5, 1631.

Leaving behind the religious intolerance under England's King Charles I, he and his wife journeyed across the ocean to join the "American Experiment" in Boston in 1631. At first, Williams just wanted to reform the Church of England; soon, he sought separation completely.

Many of Williams's parishioners did not agree with his…

52 Ancestors II, Week 68: Michael Greenlee

Michael Greenlee, Sr was born about 1700 probably in Ulster, Northern Ireland.

He married twice, his first wife’s name is unknown.  They had 7 children together. We are related to their youngest Michael (Jr). She died (around 1759, perhaps in childbirth).

Michael (Sr) (with 7 young children), married a second time (before November 26, 1761), Esther Davis who was born about 1740, daughter of John Davis. They had four children, and we are also related to their youngest child Allen.

The Greenlee twin brothers wrote this biography (in 1908) about their great grandfather:

"Michael Greenlee purchased land in Kent County, Delaware as early as 1754; but the following, related by Edmund Greenlee (the barrel-maker), as told him by his father (the man with the bad back), shows that he must have settled in Delaware many years before. 'My Grandfather Greenlee came from Ireland at the age of about 14 years, had no Irish brogue on his tongue, settled in Delaware near the Maryland Line; h…

52 Ancestors II, Week 67: Michael Greenlee (Jr)

Robert and Ralph Greenlee wrote this biography about their grandfather: "Michael Greenlee, (the 6th child of 11) was born April, 1759, in Kent Co., Delaware, near the Maryland line.

Michael (33) married April 19, 1792, at Georges Creek, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, Bethiah Maxson (24), of New Jersey, who was born about 1768." (1) They had 11 children between 1793 and 1811.  Our ancestor, Edmund (the barrel-maker) was their youngest.

"Michael was one of the oldest settlers of Crawford County, Pennsylvania. The Maxson family in moving to Virginia passed through Fayette County, Pennsylvania, where Bethia remained and did not go on with the family. She was living there with Rev. Woodbridge when Michael Greenlee married her.

After his marriage he resided in Franklin County for a period of two years, then moved to Pittsburg, where he remained one year, and then, in company with his family and a small colony of settlers, came up the Allegheny River and French Creek on a flat-b…