Month: March 2011

Davis – Blewett Information

About the year 1770 a man by the name of — Painter brought his small son to a family by the name of Kempthorn who lived in Cornwall, England and left him for them to care for.  He went to the continent and sent back money to pay for the child’s expenses.  Mr. Painter appeared to be well to do.  After about 5 years, the money stopped and it was assumed that he had died.  The Kempthorn’s were evidently poor people and could not afford to keep the child so he was adopted by a man named Davies.  This boy’s name was probably Jacob, and he married Elizabeth who lived to be about 90 years old.

Tantalizing, isn’t it?  Who wouldn’t want to know more about their family history after reading something like this?  So how is it that I completely forgot about a 32-page document regarding the Davis-Blewett family?!

Davis-Blewett Family Info from David Mayo Davis

The fact that I didn’t remember I had this information HORRIFIES me.  This research was done by David Mayo Davis. My mom and grandmother received it from David’s widow Loretta in the early 2000s.  At first, it seems overwhelming detailed and confusingly laid out.   However, the information contained in the document is extremely valuable, accurate, and helpful.

Anyone searching the Blewett and Davis family from Crowan Parrish in Cornwall, England may find the document helpful.  The family starts with Jacob Painter who, after his father died, was adopted by Mr. Davies.  After Jacob and Elizabeth (Vivian)’s descendants came to America, the name changed to Davis.

Alvin Davis Jr and my grandfather have passed away, but the research lives on.  If you find this information helpful, let me know.

Met a cousin back in Galena

Carl Hermann and Lena (Wulff) Bohnsack family
Carl Herman and Lena Bohnsack family

While I was visiting my grandmother in Scales Mound Illinois, I decided to make a stop at the courthouse in Galena.  I wanted get a few death certificates since a couple weeks ago, I found my great-grandfather’s, Carl Herman Bohnsack, obituary and was thrown for a loop.  But that’s a story for another time…

While picking up the death certificate, I met a cousin.  She was the deputy at the records office in the courthouse.  Her grandmother was Mary Anna Johanna Bohnsack Brandt, the youngest sister of Leo Bohnsack my great grandfather.  What a small world!  Of course, I was in Galena which certainly can’t qualify as a metropolis.  But it was a fun coincidence.  She seemed to appreciate looking up death certificates for genealogical purposes, which is more enjoyable than other alternatives.

Let me also complain a bit.  Galena charges $16 per death certificate.  $16!!!!  That’s highway robbery.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s certified or not, it’s the same price.  Good god!   I contacted Wyoming State Archives a couple of months ago and was emailed a PDF of my great-grandmother’s death certificate for FREE.  One thing’s for sure, genealogy is not cheap.

Obituary: Mary Bohnhoff Wulff

While I was researching the Wulff’s, I came across this obituary for Mrs. Henry (Mary) Wulff on page 4 of  the Freeport Journal-Standard, Monday, May 19, 1958. Her relationship to me: wife of 2nd great grand uncle.

Mary Bohnhoff Wulff Obituary

Transcription of obituary:

Stockton—Mrs. Henry (Mary) Wulff died Sunday about 5:15 p.m. from a heart attack suffered at the home of her son, Arthur of rural Stockton.

The former Mary Bohnhoff was born Feb. 8, 1875, in Thompson Township, Jo Daviess County, the daughter of John and Henrietta Weich Bohnhoff. She married Henry Wulff Sept. 12, 1894, in Schapville. He died in 1951. Two sons also preceded her in death

Survivors include two sons, Arthur and Wesley, both of Stockton; five grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Lewis of Galena and Fred of Springfield, Mo.

Funeral service will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Christ Lutheran church with the Rev John Hieronymus, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Ladies Union Cemetery.

Friends may call at the Hermann Funeral Home until noon Tuesday and then at the church.

Obituary: Henry John Wulff Sr

Henry John Wulff Sr

I was researching Henry Wulff Sr, who is my 3rd great grandfather.

He was born in Germany and died in Schapville, Illinois.  His wife was Maria Sophia Schumacher and they had three children, Carolina Sophia, Henry Jr., and Anna Marie.

I found this obituary in the Freeport Journal-Standard. It was published January 3, 1929.

Henry Wulff Sr Obituary

Transcription of obituary:

Elizabeth, Ill., Jan. 2 – Funeral services were conducted at Schapville, a few miles north of this city, on Sunday morning at 11 o’clock at the Schapville Lutheran church at the Schapville Lutheran church for Henry P.[sic] Wulff, aged resident of that community for the past 45 years, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 84 years. The services were conducted by the pastor, the Rev. Otto C. Moke, and burial was made at the Lutheran cemetery adjoining the church.

Henry John Wulff was born at Jarmstorf, Mecklenburg, Germany, on July 15, 1844 and had reached the age of 84 years, 5 months and 12 days at the time of his death. He remained in Germany to receive his education and before coming to this country in 1883 he was united in marriage to Miss Marie Schumacher.

Upon their arrival in America the young couple came directly to this community, Mr. Wulff working as a laboring man for a time and later acquiring a farm which he operated until 17 years ago when he retired and moved into the village of Schapville. He was well known in this section of the country and especially in Schapville where he had resided for the past 45 years.

The deceased is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Hermann Bohnsack of Elizabeth, Miss Anna Wulff at home and one son Henry Wulff who aslo resides in this vicinity. Six grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren are also left to mourn his departure besides other relatives and many friends. His wife passed away just about 10 years ago this time when the 1918 epidemic of influenza was current throughout the country.


His daughter, Mrs. Hermann Bohnsack, aka Carolina Sophia or Lena, was my great-great grandmother.  Her husband’s full name was Carl Herman Bohnsack.  I think it’s interesting that they say his wife, Maria (Schumacher), died “when the 1918 epidemic of influenza was current throughout the country.”  I wonder if this means she died of influenza?  Something I’ll have to explore.