Edward Culver, the Puritan

Edward Culver was born in 1600 or 1610 at Westminster Parish, now a part ofLondon.  He was the only member of his family to emigrate fromEngland toAmerica.

Over the years, I have always started with Edward Culver when attempting to draw my findings into some readable mass.  I will do the same today but with some digressions as we meet and intertwine with about a dozen earlyNew England families whom I had not earlier taken the time to research.  You will find these collateral families listed in the Appendices.

Apparently a good deal of research has been done on the Culver family (and the families of many of the Culver wives). I first learned this when I received a letter of inquiry from Valerie Giorgi ofSanta Monica,CA, 15 JAN 1984.  Ms. Giorgi was in the process of writing a book on Edward Culver and was searching for descendants.  I have since received a copy of her book, which includes substantial information on the original Edward Culver and his family, including our line.

Curious about New England, in general, and the Culvers, in particular, my husband and I decided to take a short side trip to Litchfield in the spring of 1984 (We were on our way to Ireland, but got off the plane in New York to make this quick visit.)  We drove through a little village called Mystic on the way toBoston where we stopped to see an aquarium exhibit.  We also drove through a section ofBoston calledDedham on our way out of town.  After we reached Litchfield, we learned that we had been to two communities that my ancestors had helped found in the middle to late 1600s.

Edward Culver came to America in a party brought over to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the autumn of 1635 by John Winthrop the younger, later Governor of Connecticut.  He landed inBoston, but shortly thereafter formed one of the group that founded the nearby town ofDedham, his name being 68th on the list of 124 who signed the compact.

It must have been a turbulent time to arrive in theBoston area.  The outspoken religious leader Anne Hutchinson had arrived in 1634, only to be driven from the colony in 1637 for her "quakerish" beliefs.  The Rev. Roger Williams was expelled from the colony during the winter of Culver's arrival.  Williams had some pacifist leanings and was much too concerned for the well-being of the Indians.  He founded the colony ofRhode Island.

Our Edward Culver was a millwright and a wheelwright at the time of his arrival and continued his trade inAmerica, taking up farming as well.

It was in the newvillage ofDedham that Edward married Anne Ellis, daughter of John Ellis,19 SEP 1638.  The Rev. John Allyn, newly appointed minister of the First Church of Dedham, performed the ceremony.

The church itself was officially gathered8 NOV 1638, so the Culver-Ellis marriage preceded the church itself.  According to church history, there were scarcely 30 families in the area.

Edward Culver fought against the Pequot Indians in 1637 and from then on was noted as an Indian scout.  King Uncas of the Mohicans, who allied himself with the settlers, was said to have held Edward Culver in great esteem and to have named his son after Edward's son Joshua.


Edward Culver remained inDedham for more than ten years.  He then moved to Roxbury for a time. The early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony had established a series of seven villages in 1630. Roxbury was located about three miles south ofBoston, which at the time was a peninsula, and was connected to the mainland by a narrow neck of land, "Roxbury Neck".


Edward moved on toNew London, in the colony ofConnecticut, 1652-1653.  John Winthrop, Jr. led the first English to settle there in 1646, making it about the 13th modernConnecticut town settled by colonists; they informally named it Pequot (from the name of the tribe). It officially took its current name (afterLondon, England) on 1658 March 10.


Edward was granted land on20 NOV 1653 as "Goodman Culver".  He owned a house and a lot in the town and a farm of four hundred acres at the head of theMystic River, on theGroton side of the river, in thecounty ofNew London.  Culver's farm abutted that of Governor John Winthrop, a situation which caused some difficulty, we will see.


Edward was an entrepreneur.  About 1645, he built a water power grist mill. On 10 FEB 1661-1662, he and his wife Anne sold land inNew London, both signing by mark.  On25 NOV 1667, he sold property to his son John and on1 MAY 1676, to his son Joseph.  On5 MAY 1662, he was allowed to brew beer and make bread and on9 JAN 1664-1665, allowed to sell liquors.


In 1678, Edward moved to thevillage ofMystic nearGroton.  He lived near theWinthrop family, as stated above. In 1681,Winthrop's son, Major Fitz John Winthrop, sued Edward for certain lands and a house as falling within the boundaries of a tract granted to Governor Winthrop by the town ofNew London in 1652-1653.  Major Winthrop finally won the case when it was appealed to the General Court or Assembly.


Edward died inNew London County in 1685.  He and Anne had eight children: John, Joshua, Samuel, Joseph, Gershom, Hannah, Edward, and Ephraim.


We are descended from Edward, born about 1654, making his place of birth Pequot/New London, in the Colony of Connecticut.





Edward Culver II ofConnecticut


On3 JUN 1679, Edward Culver II was fined five pounds for drawing away the affection of a girl under the care of her parents without their consent.  He was 25 years old.


Two and a half years later, on15 JAN 1682, Edward married Sarah Backus, daughter of Lt. William and Sarah (Charles) Backus of Norwich. Sarah was born14 JUN 1663, the granddaughter of William Backus, the elder. (Backus Family, Appendix A). 

She was also the granddaughter of John Charles, an early immigrant and ship master. (Charles Family, Appendix B).


Edward II was on the board of "listers" ofNorwich in 1685.  He moved toLebanon,CT, in 1698, and was one of the original 51 proprietors who purchased a "five mile square" from Oaneco, Sachem of the Mohegans.  He was admitted to membership in the First Church of Lebanon in 1701 and his wife in 1703.  He performed the duties of a surveyor and was prominent in local church and civic affairs from the beginning.


Edward Culver II served as a volunteer in King Philip's War (1675-6) and for his service received one of the "Cedar Swamp" lots in the distribution of 1706.


He was a lieutenant in Capt. Williamson's Company in Col. Whiting's regiment in the Expedition againstCanada in 1709.  In October of 1712, the Connecticut Assembly allowed him 24 shillings per week for his services in scouting the previous summer (during Queen Anne's War.)


The allotment of land received for military service in King Philip's War was part of the "Volunteers Land" lying in Windham Co., CT.  In 1712, Edward II was a lieutenant in command ofConnecticut scouts, ranging fromWoodstock toEnfield, during the Indian alarms of that period (Colonial Records of Connecticut V. 348-358.)


The new settlement of Litchfield, in thecounty ofHartford (now Litchfield Co.) was established in May of 1719.  The first settlers were fromHartford, Windsor, andLebanon.  Among the names of the first proprietors of Litchfield are Edward II, now an old man, and his sons Daniel, Hezekiah, and Samuel.  According to Woodruff's History of Litchfield, Edward and Hezekiah Culver were original grantees in 1719, under a proviso that they must settle prior to31 MAY 1721.  Daniel and Samuel Culver came between 1719 and 1722.


An old plat of the town (1720-1725) shows that Edward Culver owned lot No. 41 at the northeast corner ofMeetinghouse St. and the highway. Hezekiah Culver owned lot No. 40 at the corner ofMeetinghouse St. and North Griswold St. Additional information is available on various land transactions among the Culver family.


Edward II died at Litchfield, 7 APR 1732.  He and Sarah left record of twelve children, including Edward, Ephraim, John, Sarah, Samuel, Hezekiah,Daniel,Lydia, Anne and Abigail (10).


We are descended from Samuel, born11 FEB 1691 inNorwich,CT.                                      

Samuel Culver I ofLebanon,Connecticut


Samuel Culver arrived inLebanon with his parents in 1698.  He became a member of the First Church of Lebanon and participated in the public affairs of the town.  He was one of three Culver sons who married three daughters of Robert and Mary (Walden) Hibbard, Jr.  Samuel Culver married Hannah Hibbard on13 MAY 1714 atLebanon; John Culver married Sarah Hibbard; and Ephraim Culver married Martha Hibbard on 6 NOV 1683.  It is to be assumed that the families were close. (Hibbard Family, Appendix C.  We share a common Hibbard ancestor with the late Princess Diana Spencer ofEngland through Hannah’s paternal grandparents.  Also see Luffe Family, Appendix D).


Samuel resided in the section of town, about a mile to the east of Litchfield, known as Chestnut Hill.  Like his father, he was a surveyor. He held the military rank of sergeant.


From an early date, he was prominent in the military, civic, and religious life of the community, and was also delegated a member of the committee to look after the interests of the local schools, such as the hiring of a schoolmaster and school dames.


In October, 1741, Samuel Culver and Samuel Marsh represented Litchfield in the "General Assembly holden atNew Haven in His Majesty's English Colony of Connecticut in New England inAmerica."


Samuel Culver had large land holdings in Litchfield twp., as numerous deeds from him to his several children will attest. He died in 1770 at Litchfield,CT. Hannah, born 1691, died16 JUL 1770 at Litchfield.  In 1904, the chimney of his house was still standing in Litchfield.


Samuel and Hannah had nine children:  Benjamin, Zebulon, Zerviah, Samuel II, Joshua, Ebenezer, Hannah, Jonathan and Nathaniel.


We are descended from Samuel II, born27 OCT 1720 atLebanon. 


Samuel Culver II ofEgremont,Massachusetts


Samuel was born27 OCT 1720 atLitchfield, Connecticut.  He married Margaret Noble in 1748 and began raising a family. (See Noble Family, Appendix E; as well as the Warriner Family, Appendix F; the Dewey Family, Appendix G; the Hawes Family, Appendix H; the Randall Family, Appendix I; and the Orton Family, Appendix J).


Samuel later moved toMassachusetts, where he purchased land from the Stockbridge Indians on29 OCT 1756.  In 1761, Samuel (II) was a taxpayer in Berkshire Co.,Massachusetts, and in 1770, one of the original members of the Congregational Church atEgremont,MA.  His wife Margaret joined the Congregational Church 28 JUN 1770.  Margaret was the daughter of Joseph Noble (more of whom soon.)


Samuel served as a private in the American Revolution:


Samuel Culver of Lenox, Mass., Private, Capt. Caleb Hyde's Company, Col. James Easton's Regt.; marched from Lenox10 MAY 1775, on an alarm atTiconderoga.  Service: five days.  Also in Capt. Chas. Dibble's Company, Col. John Patterson's Regt.; Muster Roll dated thirteen days.  Also Company return (probably) October 1775; also order for Bounty Coat or its equivalent in money, dated 26 DEC 1775.


Samuel Culver, private; Lt. Andrew Loomis.  Company, Col. Ashley's Berkshire Regt.; enlisted31 MAY 1778; discharged3 JUN 1778; service: four days; marched toTiconderoga by order of Gen. Fellows, on an alarm.

(Massachusetts Soldier and Sailors in the Revolutionary War Volumes 3 and 4.)


Samuel had married Margaret Noble, born8 OCT 1727 at Egremont, Berkshire Co,Massachusetts.  She died in 1777.  The couple had seven children:  Samuel, Daniel, John, Joseph, Sarah, Gideon, andLydia.


We are descended from Gideon, born2 FEB 1764.  He was baptized at the Congregational Church, Great Barrington, MA.


His mother Margaret – a descendant of yet another of our earliest arrivals toAmerica. Margaret was the great-granddaughter of one Thomas Noble (Appendix C – The Noble Family). 


It is best to check Margaret Noble’s pedigree chart at this point, because the relationships begin to get complicated.  The Immigrant Thomas Dewey (Appendix G) does, indeed, show up in two places on Margaret’s family tree.


While you are checking this out, we will move on to Margaret’s son Gideon.


Gideon Culver ofNew York &Ohio


It was in 1964 that this writer visited her Grandmother Dorothy Shullaw and saw a handwritten family history compiled in 1910 and a few years beyond by female relatives of her mother (Dora Ferguson Smith) and grandmother (Lydia Culver Ferguson).  I laboriously copied the material in the “Double Q” notebook. (After my grandmother's death in 1987, I was given the original notebook.)  It began with Gideon Culver.  Since then, a substantial amount of additional information has been gathered – and two other “Double Q” handwritten notebooks have been discovered.


Dorothy Culver Palm of Galva,Illinois, was in possession of the second “Double Q”.  Dorothy was my grandmother’s second cousin once removed whom I met along the genealogical trail.  She and I have both attempted to join the Daughters of the American Revolution through Gideon Culver based on the material in “Double Q” books.


Dorothy believed that "an aunt, or maybe she was a cousin, inOhio" compiled the 1910 genealogy and made copies for various branches of the family.  Dorothy Culver Palm was the great granddaughter of Harvey Allen Culver, son of Theron.  Dorothy Smith Shullaw was the granddaughter ofHarvey’s sister Lydia Culver Ferguson.  The aunt/cousin who compiled the family histories, I believe, was Caroline Elmira Culver Hale of Richfield, Ohio, daughter of Theron’s little brother Judson.


The DAR has been reluctant to accept the “Double Q” sources as adequate proof that Theron Culver was the son of Gideon Culver.  The family resources have been discounted because no “official” record thus far has been discovered.  It is irritating since a handwritten family Bible would suffice – but handwritten notebooks from 1910 will not.


Ms. Deanna Vosburgh ofUtica, NY, was hired to help run down the needed proof.  She diligently searched earlyNew York records for additional “proof”, but to no avail. 


No one doubts, however, that Gideon was a soldier in the American Revolution, the following records being taken from the Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution, Volumes 3 and 4.


Gideon Colver, Private, Egremont; six months; men during 1780; discharged14 NOV 1780; served four months and eighteen days.  Gideon Culver, New Marlborough; list of men six months' service, returned by Brig. Gen. Patterson as having passed muster in a return datedCamp Totoway 25 OCT 1780.


After the Revolution, the war-injured Gideon moved his family from town to town throughoutNew York and into northernOhio.  He appears in the Land Records of Otsego Co., New York, as having taken out a mortgage for land25 MAR 1795.  He is listed as a resident of the town ofSherburne, Chenango Co.,New York. He was "overseer of highway" at Sherburne for both 1809 and 1810. 


We learn some more about Gideon through a biography of his brother-in-law printed in The Biographical Review of Otsego Co.,New York, Vol. 4, (pages 366-368):


Israel Chapin was born in 1780 in Berkshire Co., MA.  He came to Otsego Co. in the spring of 1797, a single man and without means.  He came on foot fromAlbany, and worked for awhile on the farm of David Thurston. Not long afterward he marriedLydia Culver, who was born in the same county inMassachusetts as himself, about 1767.  She was a daughter of Samuel Culver.  She and her brothers, Gideon, Samuel, and Joseph, came here soon after 1790.


In 1812, Mr. Chapin was drafted into the army, but sent a substitute by the name of Culver, the mother of whom had two brothers, Gideon and Daniel, in the Revolutionary War, Gideon being wounded in the left arm, which wound caused him to be a cripple for the rest of his life.  The brothers served in the army about three years.


Gideon is later listed in the 1820 and 1830 censuses as well as the 1825 tax assessment list for the town ofMendon, Ontario Co. (later Monroe Co.)New York.  Gideon's son Theron is also listed in the 1825 tax assessment, and Theron and brother Alonzo are listed with Gideon in the 1830 Mendon, Monroe Co.,New York census.


Gideon Culver moved fromMendon, New York, toRichfield,Ohio, about 1834. Deeds forMedina County, Ohio, list Gideon as purchasing land from Amos Sarles in 1834-35. Gideon sells land to Alonzo inRichfield also in 1834. Alonzo and Minerva Culver sell land to Theron Culver inRichfield in August 1834 for $500


Gideon dies1 JUL 1838 and leaves a will in Medina Co.,Ohio.  Neither Theron's name nor that of his brother Alonzo is mentioned -- possibly because being the eldest sons, they had already received their inheritances.  The will itself reads:


In the name of God.  Amen.


I, Gideon Culver, of the township of Richfield in the County of Medina, and the State of Ohio, do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say,


First, it is my will that my funeral expenses and all my just debts be fully paid.


Second, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary in lieu of her dower all my household furniture and other items not particularly mentioned or disposed of otherwise in this will.  Also one third part of all the plantation on which we now reside situated in thetownship ofRichfield in the county and state aforesaid, containing about twenty acres, during her natural life as aforesaid.  And at the death of my said wife, all the plantation or interest therein devised or bequeathed to her as aforesaid, I dispose of in the following manner, viz,


Third, I give devise and bequeath to my fifth son Judson all the plantation on which I now live situated in Richfield as aforesaid (subject to the encumbrances above mentioned during the natural life of my beloved wife aforesaid).  Also about 96 rows of land in said Richfield being a part of lot No. 11 in Solomon Leathrop Grait, it being the same I bought of Riley Parker on which is erected a blacksmith shop.  Also all the livestock, horses, cattle, sheep, hogs, by me now owned.  Also all my farming utensils.


And the conditions upon which I give the aforesaid bequests to my fifth son Judson are the following, viz, that within one year after my said son Judson becomes of lawful age to transact business should I died before he arrives at lawful age or within one year after my death should I not die until the said Judson arrives at lawful are, the said Judson shall pay or cause to be paid:


            to my daughterLydia, one hundred fifty dollars;

            to my daughter Mary Ann, one hundred and fifty dollars;

            to my daughter Celina, one hundred and thirty dollars;

            to my son William, sixty dollars;

            to my grandson George Green, thirty dollars;

            to my grandson Marvin Green, thirty dollars.


The two last mentioned bequests viz one to my grandson George Green and one to my grandson Marvin Green are to be paid to the executor of this my last will and testament and by him kept at interest until the aforesaid George and Marvin become of lawful age and then paid to them with the interest that may have arisen there from.


And lastly, I hereby constitute and appoint Joel Chandler of said Richfield to be the executor of this my last will and testament revoking and annulling all former wills by me made and ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.  In testimony where of I have hereunto set my hand and seal atRichfield this 12th day of April, 1837.

                                                                                 Gideon Culver.


Gideon had the following living children in 1837:


  • Ludda (Lydia?) Culver, daughter by first wife, age 43 in APR 1837. mentioned in will  ($150)
  • Theron Culver, son by "beloved wife Mary", age 38 in 1837. NO MENTION.
  • Mary Ann Culver, age 37 in APR 1837 -- mentioned in will ($150).
  • Alonzo Culver, age 33 in APR 1837 -- NO MENTION.
  • William Culver, age 22 in APR 1837 -- mentioned in will ($60).
  • Judson Culver, age 16 in APR 1837 -- mentioned big time in will (the whole "plantation", minus other bequests).
  • Selina Culver, age 14 in APR 1837 -- mentioned in will ($130).


The Green grandsons are the children of daughter Louisa Culver who had married in 1830 and died in 1835.


It is interesting to note that favored fifth son Judson later married Sophia M. Chandler, daughter of Gideon's executor Joel Chandler.


Gideon's son William only received $60, while his two older sisters each received $150 and his younger sister received $130.  I still have no idea why Gideon left his two older sons, Theron and Alonzo, out of his will, altogether.   The gesture has proven to be a major problem for the descendants of Theron.


Gideon married first25 NOV 1790, wife’s name unknown.  The couple had two daughters, Parlina and Ludda/Lydia.  Parlina died at the age of 22 years.  She had married24 OCT 1811, husband’s name unknown. Ludda married Aaron Cook on6 JAN 1813. The couple’s son Hiram made his mark by moving west and died atBoulder City,Montana.


Gideon married second Mary Muir on30 JUL 1797. Gideon and Mary became the parents of 12 children: Theron, Mary Ann, Allen, Alonzo, Lone, Lorenzo, Louisa, Ashbel, William, Linas, Judson, andSalina.


Have you been wondering about the third “Double Q”?  That notebook is in the possession of John Koch born inOklahoma, now living inTexas.  Mr. Koch is a descendant of Salina Culver who married Garrett Allen in 1843.  The mystery “aunt” in Ohio obviously made three copies of the family history and sent one to relatives “out west” one in Illinois and the other as far as Oklahoma.  All three notebooks say Theron Culver was the eldest son of Gideon.


We know more about the descendants of most of Gideon’s children – but the one of primary concern is our ancestor, Theron.


Theron Culver

Died from a Blow to the Head


A clipping was copied into family records which were printed at the time of Theron Culver's death,20 FEB 1846, Richfield, Summit Co., OH:


"Theron Culver, age 47 years, formerly from Mendon, Monroe Co.,New York.  The deceased was killed while engaged in the construction of some works about a steam engine, by a blow from a piece of plank, one end of which caught in the arms of a coy wheel in rapid revolution, instantly striking him with the other end of it upon the head over the right eye, crushing in the skull and knocking him down insensible.  He survived the accident about three days, but sensibility only partially returned so as to enable him to answer questions in monosyllables."


The Summit Co., OH, Probate Court, has a copy of the records filed regarding the estate of Theron Culver.  Document lists Theron's widow Elizabeth, and minor children Martha, Harvey, andLydia.


Theron andElizabeth's children tended to die as young adults.  I have often wondered if there was a genetic reason.


  • Lone died at age one.
  • Allen died at age 5.
  • Ashbel died at age 18.
  • Sarah died at age 19 in 1842.
  • Horace died at age 19 in 1844.
  • Mary Louisa Ann died at age 24 in 1859.
  • Lorenzo died a month short of 25.


Other lived into adulthood, but still died relatively young:

  • Hiram died at age 42 in 1869 (one daughter, name unknown).
  • Martha Emily (m. Stewart) died at age 40 in 1871 (many descendents).
  • Lydia (m.Ferguson) died at age 48 in 1877 (our line only descends).


Theron himself died early, at age 47, in an industrial accident (see above.)  Theron's half-sisters Parlina died at age 22 and Ludda (Lydia) died at 44.


In such a large family, some are bound to flourish.  Those siblings who lived longest were:


  • Harvey Allen who died at age 61 in 1895 (some descendents, including Dorothy Culver Palm).
  • One brother William apparently did not marry and died at 58 in 1872.
  • Another brother Judson married, had one son and one daughter, no grandchildren, and died at age 72 in 1892.


Two sisters, a brother, and two half-sisters married, but we have no record of their spouses, children, or length of lives.


Theron and Elizabeth (Green) Culver had had seven children:  Sarah Elizabeth, Horace Edson, Hiram Arthur,Lydia Ursula, Martha Emily, Harvey Allen, and Mary Louisa Ann.


Widow Elizabeth moved toIllinois in 1857, with her daughterLydia andLydia's husband, Robert Martin Ferguson.  She died in 1871 and is buried at Altona, Knox Co., IL.


Lydia is our ancestress.


Robert andLydia (Culver)Ferguson ofIllinois


Lydia Culver Ferguson's life is linked with that of her brothers Hiram Arthur and Harvey Allen Culver.Lydia and her husband Robert Ferguson moved toIllinois in 1857, with three small children andLydia's mother, Elizabeth Green Culver.  They were not the first of the family to arrive:


When Harvey Allen Culver was 18 years old, he came toOntario twp., Knox Co., IL, where he settled and engaged in farming.  He moved some years afterwards toKnoxville, where during the war he served acceptable as deputy sheriff under Col. E.C. Brott, who was then sheriff. Col. Brott going to the war, the duties of the office devolved on Mr.

Culver.  After his term expired, he began farming again, east of Wataga, Knox Co.  He continued in this occupation until early in March 1881 when he moved toGalesburg, where he lived until his death.


Older brother Hiram Arthur Culver enlisted 23 APR 1861 in Captain J.B. Smith's Co. D

first regiment of Illinois Cavalry and served three years.  He was discharged9 OCT 1861 at Benton Barracks,St. Louis,MO.  He was taken prisoner atLexington, released on parole.  Appointed waggoner in Co. D first regiment of Illinois Cavalry 27 FEB 1862.  Discharged30 MAR 1862 at Benton Barracks by reason of surgeon's certificate of disability.


It is possible that Hiram arrived inIllinois before his brother Harvey, we do not know. We do know that Hiram arrived in time to serve his country from that state.  Additional members of theFerguson family had also re-located toIllinois. (SeeFerguson Family, Appendix K).


Harvey Allen came toIllinois in about 1851.   His sisterLydia, her husband Robert M. Ferguson, andHarvey's mother Elizabeth Green Culver arrived inIllinois about 1857.  Harvey andLydia's sister Martha Emily Culver Stewart and family remained inOhio.


The 1850 census forBath,Summit County,Ohio, lists the 23-year-old Robert Ferguson as a carpenter. He is living with his wifeLydia, 21, and her mother Elizabeth Culver, 48, and her sister Louisa 15 and brother Harvey A., 17.


The 1870 census for Altona,Knox County,Illinois lists Robert as a house carpenter.


By the time of his death, Robert Ferguson's death certificate indicates that he is a stock dealer by trade.  He had been a resident ofIllinois for 27 years at the time of his death at age 57 years.


Robert andLydia had had eight children:  Ida Ursula, Dora Emma, Fred M., Don Martin, John W., Archie V., Judd Burton, and Edna Gertrude.  Again, the lives of these individuals are interesting, but we are most interested in the life of Dora Emma.


Dora Emma Ferguson Smith

Faithful Baptist and Cancer Victim


Dora E. Ferguson, daughter of Robert M. andLydia (Culver)Ferguson, was born nearAkron,Ohio, Jan. 4, 1852, and died at her home inWyoming in the early morning ofJan. 29, 1917, at the age of sixty-five years and twenty-five days.


When five years of age, she moved with the family to Altona, Ill., where she made her home until the year 1880, when she removed to Wyoming, which place has since been her home.  In February 1888, she united with the Baptist church, remaining a faithful and consistent member until her death, ever doing her part, her life bearing silent testimony to the sincerity of her belief.  She was also a charter member of the Court of Honor, in which she held office for many years, and it was with regret that she gave up attending the meetings when failing health made it necessary.


OnNov. 26, 1895 she was united in marriage with John W. Smith who with one daughter, Dorothy, now Mrs. Leroy Shullaw, remains to mourn her passing.  Of the immediate family there also remain two sisters and one brother, Mrs. Ida Emery ofWyoming, Mrs. M.C. Sparr ofRoseville, and Arch V. Ferguson ofPeoria.


Her illness was of long duration and for more than five years she has borne with patience and Christian fortitude suffering almost beyond human endurance, yet through it all greeting friends with a pleasant smile and a cheerfulness of heart the memory of which will linger with all who knew her.


Quiet and unassuming in manner, true to family and friends as wife, mother and neighbor, our loss though her gain will be inexpressibly felt and the community mourns with those who mourn.


We know that the journey is over: The stress of the voyage is past.  Down, sails; the white mast uncover -- She has entered the haven at last.


Dora died of breast cancer when her only child, Dorothy was 20 years old.  Dorothy had been married about five months.



Mrs. James Leroy Shullaw



Dorothy Geneva Smith Shullaw, my grandmother, was born and lived her whole

life inWyoming, IL.  News clippings kept by the family provide some light on the girlhood of young Dorothy.  She made a 90 percent on the eighth grade fall term final

examination, for instance. 


Father John Smith (See Smith Family, Appendix L) lost some $22 to a pickpocket at the Kewanee Fair and his delivery horse was killed in an accident. "Old Reliable," the horse, was apparently blind.  He started running one day, turned off the road, and overturned the cutter.  The beast then

crossed the sidewalk and dashed headlong into a tree which "resulted fatally to the poor animal."  Mr. Smith, we are told, secured another horse and was still making the rounds.





Roy Shullaw and Miss Dorothy Smith, of this city, were united in marriage last evening at8:30 at the Methodist parsonage inToulon, by Rev. Miller.  They were accompanied by the groom's father, Frank Shullaw and Mrs. Allen Emery, the party going over by auto.


Miss Smith is a charming young lady, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Smith of this city, and is a graduate of theWyoming High school, class of 1915.


The groom is the son of Frank Shullaw and is employed by J.E. McDonna in the Colonial confectionery store.  He is also a graduate of the local high school.


The young couple will make their home for the present with the bride's parents onNorth Galena Avenue.


By the time of the1920 census forWyoming, it is widower John Smith who is living with his daughter and her family.


Roy Shullaw, 24, clerk, general merchandise;

Dorothy, 23, wife;

John R., 3, son;

Wayne, one and four twelfths, son;

J.W. Smith, 72, Dorothy's father; (self b.West Virginia; father b.

                         Tennessee; and mother b.West Virginia.)


A third son, Burton Leroy would be born in 1921.


Roy Shullaw died in 1954.  Dorothy lived in the little family home as a widow for the next 32 years. She lived the last year of her life at theMaple Lawn Health Center inEureka, IL, because it was closer to her eldest son John Robert Shullaw. However, at her death at age 90, she was returned toWyoming for burial beside her husband.


Roy and Dorothy had had three sons:  John Robert, Wayne Jackson, and Burton Leroy.  We are most interested inWayne.


My Father:  Wayne Jackson Shullaw


Obituary in Wyoming Post-Herald -- just before the Post-Herald was destroyed by fire.



Wayne J. Shullaw of Tavernier, FL, a 1936 Wyoming High School graduate, died 1 JUN (1984).  He was born4 SEP 1918, a son ofRoy and Dorothy Shullaw, and married Lynn Kinnian, 18 DEC 1965.


His mother, of Wyoming, survives; along with two brothers, John Robert Shullaw of Washington, IL; and Burton Shullaw of Covington, LA; a daughter Dianne O'Connell, of Anchorage, Alaska; his wife; and three grandchildren.


He graduated fromEureka College in 1941.  He was buried 8 JUN in Tavernier, FL.


Obituary inFlorida Keys newspaper:



Wayne Shullaw, 65, of Tavernier, died 31 MAY.  Mr. Shullaw was retired from the advertising industry, and had lived in the Keys for 3 and one-half years, coming fromChicago.


He is survived by wife Lynn; daughter Dianne O'Connell ofAlaska; mother Dorothy of Illinois; two brothers; and three grandchildren, Jeffrey, Jennifer, and Jessica.


Memorial services were held 8 JUN atCoral Isles Church.  In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions be made to the Coral Isles Fund.  Arrangements were handled by Beyer Funeral Home of Key Largo.




These obituaries, one written by my grandmother and the other by my father’s widow do not tell the tale.  I will try to write one of my own.



Wayne Jackson Shullaw, born4 SEP 1918, graduated fromWyoming High School in 1936 andEureka College,Eureka, IL, in 1941.  He married a fellow Coast Guardsperson, Ellen Jane Bartelle ofToledo,OH,18 OCT 1944, at Rutgers Presbyterian Church,New York City.  They had one daughter, this writer.


Wayne soon leftNew York forKetchikan,Alaska, to finish out his military service prior to being discharged.


Upon his return to "the states," the family moved toMantua, OH, where Wayne and Ellen purchased the "Mantua Record" with the help of a G.I. loan.


"I went to work as a printer's devil when I was 12 and I've been in newspaper work ever since,"Wayne said at the time of the purchase.


Father Roy sent helpful typesetting hints and other encouragement.  But the newspaper did not prosper and it was sold a little while later.


Wayne checked out newspaper employment inPekin,IL, just south ofPeoria.  Ellen and daughter followed.  The family also lived inHudson, IA, where there was a small community newspaper, before moving toLansing,IL, in 1951, whereWayne was offered a job as editor of the "Lansing Journal".  This was the same "Journal" that daughter Dianne served as women's editor during her senior year of high school some years later.


TheLansing area, thirty miles south ofChicago, but still inCook County, became a permanent home of sorts.


Wayne worked for a number of different printing companies inChicago after leaving the "Journal".  He and Ellen were divorced during the summer of 1957 and he moved intoChicago until his retirement in 1980. Ellen remained inLansing and/or neighboringCalumet City.  She continued to live inLansing until her death16 JAN 1999.


Wayne re-married 18 DEC 1965.  He and his wife, the former Lynn Kinnian ofLake Forest,IL, lived in Marina Towers in the Chicago Loop for the first fifteen years of their marriage.  Wayne retired from the Sears Roebuck Company in December of 1980.  He had worked in the production department of the catalog division for more than 15 years.


He and Lynn bought a home in theFlorida Keys (Plantation Key Colony, Tavernier), where he had planned to enjoy his days mostly in the pursuit of the wily cold-blooded, gilled vertebrate (Illusivus Swimmicannus). He learned he had lung cancer in June of 1982.  After two years of chemotherapy, he died31 MAY 1984 at his home.  He was 65 years old.


Memorial services were held at the Coral Isles (Disciples of Christ, Congregational) Church on 8 JUN.   His body was cremated and dispersed over theGulf of Mexico.


His daughter misses him very much.


Dianne Bartelle Shullaw

Anderson O’Connell



What does one say about themselves?  My grandfather Roy Shullaw, it was said, wrote his own obituary.  That way, it would say what he wanted said.


“Just the facts, Ma’am.  Just the facts.”


Dianne, daughter of Wayne and Ellen (Bartelle) Shullaw, was born atGotham Hospital,New York City,14 AUG 1945, and moved toMantua,OH;Pekin,IL; andHudson,IA; before beginning first grade inLansing,IL.  She attended first, second, third and part of fourth grade inLansing, and part of fourth grade through eighth grade in nearbyCalumet City.  While still living inCalumet City, she attended and was graduated from Thornton Fractional Township High School South, inLansing.


She was graduated from Southern Illinois University,Carbondale, with a Bachelor of Science degree in communications (journalism).  She completed her work in the summer of 1967, receiving her diploma by mail the following June inAlaska, where she had re-located with her first husband, Robert Warren Anderson.


Dianne and Bob were married11 JUL 1964, at the Community Presbyterian Church,Calumet City -- where Dianne had been baptized and accepted into membership 3 APR 1960.  Dianne and Bob met as students at SIU where they returned at the end of the 1964 summer.


Bob Anderson was born28 OCT 1942 atBaltimore, MD, and was a resident ofWashington D.C. at the time of his marriage.  His step-father, Harold H. Velde, had served in Congress representing the Tazewell Co., IL, area for a number of years.  Both Bob's mother and late father had deep southernIllinois family roots.


Bob and Dianne were the parents of a daughter, Alice Katherine Anderson, who died shortly after birth atCarbondale's Doctors' Hospital.  Bob joined the United States Army and Lt. and Mrs. Anderson re-located toAnchorage, AK, in the summer of 1967.  Their son Jeffrey Lee Anderson was born the following spring.


Bob and Dianne were divorced14 June 1972 inAnchorage.


Dianne married Charles Lewis O'Connell24 MAY 1977 atAnchorage. O'Connell was born 8 APR 1942 atKalispell,MT, and had lived inAlaska since 1952.  He had three children by a previous marriage:  Catherine Colleen O'Connell, Shannon Lynn O'Connell, and John William O'Connell. Chuck and Dianne also have two daughters: Jennifer Ellen and Jessica Dianne.


Dianne was graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary in May, 1986, and was ordained a Presbyterian minister on15 NOV 1986.  She served as a hospital chaplain atProvidence Hospital, Anchorage,AK, for eight and one half years, before joining the employ of the Alaska Nurses' Association in May of 1999. It is here she is still working.


Dianne is quite pleased with each of her children and tickled with her granddaughters Tristan Lee Anderson and Myah Mathilda Schmitz.  Life, she says, is very, very good.


A Resting Point


Well, here we are in 2005 – a long way off from 1635.  Eleven generations from Edward Culver to me.  Thirteen generations counting my children and grandchildren. 


This is our “English Line”, a line going back the furthest into American history.  It represents one of the great migratory patterns across the country.  There are other lines, such as the Germans who came toPennsylvania in the early 1700s. And not to forget the Scotch-Irish running parallel at some points, merging and diverging at others. We will follow several of these families in future offerings.


Then there are the more recent immigrant ancestors arriving in the 1800s.  We will meet and greet them, as well.

Each line followed from the past, however, will lead to the same future.  Many streams converging, then fanning out to yet more streams.  This is sort of the pinch in the hour glass of time.

The ones I am most interested in, are the ones yet to come.

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