Showing posts from January, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 4: My Grandma Helen's Grandmother: Anna Melichar Hroch

Anna Melichar (my 2x great grandmother) was born in March 1865 in Bohemia.

At age 14, she left Bohemia with her parents Thomas (47) and Josefa (44) and 3 sisters Maria (21), Franziska (12), and Valentina (4) and a brother Alois (8) and traveled to Bremen, Germany where she boarded the ship named The Rhein.

  Don’t know how long the voyage lasted, but the ship had 2 masts, so I imagine it took many weeks.  They arrived in New York, New York on 7 Apr 1879.

They went to Gage County, Nebraska (south of Lincoln).  Three years later at age 17, she married James Hroch in 1882.

Her in-laws, the Hrochs, (John and Bertha and their 3 sons James, John and Joseph) had also emigrated from Bohemia (ca 1868).  They went to Iowa first where they had three children and then on to Gage County where their seventh child was born.

Anna and James moved to the Lake George, Charles Mix, Dakota Territory (southern part of SD, near the Missouri River) to farm. They had seven children:  Frank (1883), Mary (1885), …

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 3: Ann Matilda Tipler Peck

I am always interested in finding immigration stories about my ancestors. The Pecks emigrated from England in the mid 1800s. They seemed to have thrived here.  There must be hundreds of descendants from this couple.  Maybe some day I will try and figure that out.

It was their son George who left Neenah, WI and went west to the Dakota Territory where he met Nyda Beliel (week one) in 1883.

My 3x great grandmother, Ann Matilda Tipler was born on 25 Oct 1835 in Garrid, Lincolnshire, England (130 miles north of London) as the sixth of twelve children.

Age 16:  Ann married John William Peck, on 16 Oct 1853 in Timberland, Lincolnshire, England, and they had 14 children in 23 years.  She had her first baby at age 18 and her last at age 42.

Age 22: Ann emigrated from Liverpool to New York on 02 Jan 1858 on the ship "Calhoun". She sailed with her two brothers in law and one sister in law and her two children Lizzie (5) and Billy (3).

“When my mother, Ann, came to this country, she w…

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 2: My Grandma Olive's other Grandmother: Ragna Knutson Locken

My grandmother's maternal grandmother was
Ragna (Randi) Knutson Locken.

She was born right after Christmas on 28 Dec 1868 in Gulbrandsdalen, Norway, about 90 miles north of Lillehammer, the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics.

I don't know anything about her young life in Norway, nor about her parents.

At age 24, she married Ole Hansen Locken (age 22) on 11 Oct 1892 in Norway.

After about 10 years of marriage, he emigrated in 1902 and she came in 1903 (age 34) with 4 children in tow, ages 9, 7, 4 and 2, along with her 18 year old nephew.

The brand new ship, christened the Hellig Olav had made it's maiden voyage to New York just 1 month prior. On it's second voyage, it left Copenhagen with about 590 passengers and traveled north to Christiania (Oslo) and picked up 895 more. So the ship was carrying nearly 1500 passengers. The trip took 11 days.

The manifest says that they traveled in steerage (which normally was pretty miserable), but "there was no steerage on the sh…

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…