Anna Eliza Blessing Winney Obituary

As part of my multi-post series about the Blessing Sisters, below is the obituary for Anna Eliza Blessing Winney mentioned in Part 6. It’s from the book that Michael Winney wrote in 2007, Ancestry of The Winney Siblings: Arthur Jr., Margaret, Patricia, Kathleen, Leonard & Michael.


Fennimore Times, May 19, 1909
Obituary – Mrs. Anna Eliza Winney

“The death of Mrs. Winney came as a surprise to many as the general condition of her health gave no warning of the near approach of the end. She died of heart failure on the evening of April 30th, 1909.

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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

Anna Blessing Winney walked from VA to WI in the 1830s to work in the lead mines

Anna’s Story

Anna Elizabeth Winney_mid to late 1800s

Anna Eliza Winney_mid to late 1800s

Anna Eliza Blessing Winney is my great-great grandmother on my maternal grandmother’s side. Her son Arthur Lou Winney was the father of Patricia Ann Winney, my mom’s mom. She was born on August 25, 1826 in Wythe County, Virginia (now part of West Virginia), to Eliza Wolf and Abraham Blessing.

I’ve bolded the parts in the excerpt below I found interesting. They walked from Virginia to Wisconsin! Anna lived with her sister and her sister’s husband when she was 10 in Wisconsin so she was probably between 6 and 8 when they made the trek.  Continue reading