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Tracking the Pennsylvania Petersons

July 1, 2013 , , ,

In each tree there are challenging branches. My own difficult ancestor to whom I have dedicated untold number of hours in research is Thomas Peterson. He is special because he is mentioned in the handwritten notes I had to begin my whole search. His granddaughter, Sarah Helena Byrne, wrote facts and her own opinions about family members, said he is Pennsylvania Dutch.  She also mentions that his nephew, James Peterson, married my grandmother Scott after her first husband died.  This seems simple enough, but I am stumped because I can’t find a record of Thomas’ birth in Indiana in 1825.  His parents are alleged to be born in Pennsylvania, but I know facts were sometimes recorded incorrectly in the census.  What were his parents doing way out west before the Civil War?  Who were they, and where in Pennsylvania were they born?  This all remains unanswered.  It makes me crazy…

Thomas Peterson (1825 – ?)

is my 3rd great grandfather
Harriet Peterson (1856 – 1933)
daughter of Thomas Peterson
Sarah Helena Byrne (1878 – 1962)
daughter of Harriet Peterson
Olga Fern Scott (1897 – 1968)
daughter of Sarah Helena Byrne
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Olga Fern Scott
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse
I will travel to Pennsylvania in 2 months, so I am going on a search.  Thomas’ second wife, Emiline Nichols, was born in Somerset in 1837, as were many of her ancestors. Her father was a teacher from Maryland who moved his family to Ohio.  She married Thomas in Ohio in 1855. They moved to Kansas to homestead by 1870, and farm in a small community called Ladore, Neosho.  I went there in person a few years ago, to the cemetery.  I ran into nephew James and Grandmother Angelina Pendergrass, Scott, Peterson buried there, but no trace of Thomas or Emiline. It is time to hire a professional genealogist.  I have found a very good deal at the Somerset Historical Society for research into family history for $20 an hour…$15 for members.  I am going to become a member and invest $100 and see what I find.  I have considered hiring a pro before, but this time I can see how it might be very worthwhile.  They are familiar with the references they have, and can work faster than I could in person.  I am very curious to see how a real one works.  Either way I can visit the ancestral homeland of the Nichols and Wrights, Emiline’s family.  Thy also maintain some cool historical farm and maple camp displays I believe I saw as a child, but am not sure.  It will be an excellent adventure into the history of PA, but I might really score some tree data I have been seeking for years.  Wish me luck, gentle reader.

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1 notes

  1. Phantom Limbs in the Family Tree | mermaidcamp reblogged this and added:

    […] and verify.  Others have me at dead ends. My most irksome dead end is my third great-grandfather, Thomas Peterson, born in Indiana in 1825.  I keep looking for answers about his parentage but have not found any […]


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