Blessing Sisters Story Part 6

Blessing Sisters Story Part 6

This is a multi-post series about the Blessing Sisters. Anna Eliza Blessing Winney is my 3rd great grandmother. You can see all of the posts in the series here: Blessing Sister Stories


Nebraska’s Drought and Depression

A few years later, Anna’s life is once more upended. “Nebraska in the early 1890s suffered from protracted drought, and farm prices fell to new lows. Conditions were so unfavorable that immigration, which had more than doubled the state’s population in the 1880s, almost ceased. Financial conditions grew worse and the entire state was almost in the grip of actual famine. Some became so discouraged that they sold or gave up their property and left the state. ”(54)

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Blessing Sisters Story Part 5

Blessing Sisters Story Part 5

This is a multi-post series about the Blessing Sisters. Anna Eliza Blessing Winney is my 3rd great grandmother. You can see all of the posts in the series here: Blessing Sister Stories


Elizabeth and Anna’s Community Involvement

I have few insights into Elizabeth’s and Anna’s participation in the local community. I can imagine that Elizabeth had more societal duties due to the prominence of her husband in local and state politics and as a successful businessman.

I also found that the two families were involved in the Temperance Movement. In Butterfield’s history account, he notes that a “lodge of the I.O.G.T.(45) was organized December 26, 1876, the charter members being C.C. Basford, Mrs. Ocea Basford, Mrs. M. Scott, Mrs. Lizzie Basford…W.J. Winney…”(46) Besides these members of the Basford and Winney families, there were eleven other charter members.

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Blessing Sisters Story Part 4

Blessing Sisters Story Part 4

This is a multi-post series about the Blessing Sisters. Anna Eliza Blessing Winney is my 3rd great grandmother. You can see all of the posts in the series here: Blessing Sister Stories


Elizabeth and Anna’s Children

I wonder how Elizabeth and Anna felt about their father leaving, not knowing if they’d ever see him again. They both had their own growing families to tend to, so perhaps that left them with less time to dwell on the loss.

Anna and William Winney’s first two children were born in Cassville, Wisconsin: William in June 1847, and Annie in August 1848. Continue reading

Blessing Sisters Story Part 3

Blessing Sisters Story Part 3

This is a multi-post series about the Blessing Sisters. Anna Eliza Blessing Winney is my 3rd great grandmother. You can see all of the posts in the series here: Blessing Sister Stories

Note: As of November 26, 2019, I was given access to 6 original letters from Abraham Blessing to his family in Ohio, I will be updating this post to reflect the new information.


Elizabeth Blessing Marries

On 23 May 1839, Elizabeth married a local merchant, Luther Basford, in Cassville, Grant County, Wisconsin.(18) She was sixteen years old, and he was twenty-four. Perhaps immediately, but definitely within the year, twelve-year-old Anna went to live with the newly married Basfords.

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Blessing Sisters Story Part 2

Blessing Sisters Story Part 2

This is a multi-post series about the Blessing Sisters. Anna Eliza Blessing Winney is my 3rd great grandmother. You can see all of the posts in the series here: Blessing Sister Stories

Note: As of November 26, 2019, I was given access to 6 original letters from Abraham Blessing to his family in Ohio, I will be updating this post to reflect the new information about their move to Missouri.


Restless Virginians

The Ohio-bound Blessings weren’t the only Virginians to feel the urge to move. Starting in mid-1825, when James Monroe’s presidency ended, Virginians were surprised by an unfamiliar status. “Four of the first five presidents were Virginians who guided the nation through its first three decades. But now, the political stature of Virginia declined on the national stage when no successors of ability emerged to replace the Founding Fathers.

The state had lost power in Congress because of population shifts. ‘What has become of our political rank and eminence in the Union?’ worried Benjamin Watkins Leigh. ‘Virginia has declined and is declining.’ (10) Continue reading

Blessing Sisters Story Part 1

Blessing Sisters Story Part 1

This is the first post in the Blessing Sisters story. Anna Eliza Blessing Winney is my direct ancestor. I’ve previously written posts about her son, Leonard James Winney and his wife, Elizabeth Wellman Winney.

Note: As of November 26, 2019, I was given access to 1 original letter from Lewis Blessing in Virginia to his son John in Ohio; and 6 original letters from Abraham Blessing to his family in Ohio from Missouri and Wisconsin. I will be updating this post to reflect the new information.


The Blessing family in Virginia

We don’t know why Abraham Blessing ended up in Wisconsin Territory around 1830 with his young daughters, Elizabeth Jane and Anna Eliza, in tow. Perhaps this third son, born into a prosperous German immigrant family in 1794, took the best of the opportunities available to him at the time. Continue reading

Elizabeth Wellman Winney’s Journey from Orphan to Matriarch Part 3

 

1919 Winney

The Winney family at the Winney Ranch in Anaheim, CA, 1919. Back row L – R: Lou, Elizabeth, Leonard, Abe Front Row L – R: Annie, Mae, Alice, Marie, and Rena.

Elizabeth’s Story

Part 1 of Elizabeth Jane Wellman Winney’s story took Lizzie from the 1860 Census living with her mom, Mary, and sister, Josephine, to 1870 where she’s a 14 year old orphan living with her grandmother, Stephania DeViche Heuertz Gaus, and her family in Bloomington, WI.

In Part 2 of Lizzie’s journey we saw her and Leonard James Winney move from Wisconsin to Iowa around 1883 to have a baby and eventually get married.

Now we move into the next chapter of life for Lizzie, Leonard, and their growing family. Continue reading

Elizabeth Wellman Winney’s Journey from Orphan to Matriarch Part 2

Elizabeth’s Story

Elizabeth Wellman and Leonard James Winney family

Elizabeth & Leonard Winney Family

We left off in Part 1 of Elizabeth Jane Wellman Winney’s story in 1870 with Lizzie being 14 years old and living in Bloomington, WI with her grandmother, Stephania DeViche Heuertz Gaus; her step-grandfather; her aunt, Angeline Heuertz; and half-sister Katie Lorenz (Update 1/16/19: my original post said they were cousins. I later found family information that Katie is her half-sister and not her cousin).

Talk about a blended family! I don’t know how old she was when she first started living with them, but I wonder how Lizzie felt to be in this house with this hodgepodge collection of loosely related people. Continue reading

Elizabeth Wellman Winney’s Journey from Orphan to Matriarch Part 1

Elizabeth Wellman Winney’s Journey from Orphan to Matriarch Part 1

Elizabeth’s Story

Elizabeth Wellman Winney_1919_200px

Elizabeth Wellman Winney, Anaheim Ranch, 1919

Elizabeth Jane Wellman Winney is one of my family mysteries. She’s actually somehow entwined with another mystery, Kathryn M. Lorenz.

Elizabeth, or Lizzie as she was known, was born on June 3, 1867 in Clayton County, IA. After months of searching I still I haven’t found any records of who her parents were, with one small exception – the 1870 Census.

According to that Census, taken on June 1, 1870, Lizzie is 3 years old and living in Guttenberg, Iowa with her 2 year old sister, Josephine Wellman, and her mother Mary Wellman. Mary is 28 years old and is listed as being born in Luxembourg.

Lizzie’s father isn’t living with them, and the 1870 Census doesn’t ask if someone is married or not, so I don’t know if Mary is till married to him, his first name, or what’s become of him. Continue reading