Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ancestry dot-com rocks!

Alonzo Minnis, 102-years-old

Merry Christmas to me! My husband's Christmas present to me was I have now logged many data entry hours, and finally have time for some research.

My mother sent a bunch of information on the decendents of Edward and Emily. It's funny, but I've had it for over a month but my mom had been packed in a 2008 calender and since it will soon be the new year, I finally located it. I felt both excited and stupid!
Anyway, including the following article there was a four page linage chart detailing the births and deaths of the Minnis' children, children's children...did I say that right? And so on. This is why I was on Ancestry for the last ten hours, neglecting my poor children (bad mommy will have to make it up to them tomorrow by taking them to see a movie) I bet my husband now regrets getting this present, but I'll love him forever.

The following is a summary of an article written about Edward's son, Alonzo Minnis, when Alonzo was 102-years-old. It was published in the Daily Capital newspaper. The picture was taken by Bill Snead, about 1960. If anyone wants a copy of the full article let me know.
Alonzo explained that he came with his father, two brothers and four sisters to Kansas when he was about 12-years-old. He said, "My Daddy fetched a colony out from Illinois. There were about eight or ten wagons. And I walked almost all the way, killing game for the wagon train."

The colony settled near St. John. Alonzo recalled Kansas in it's early days of statehood. "Out near St. John there was nothing but snakes and coyotes." In 1893, Alonzo went to Oklahoma for the Cherokee Strip opening and homesteaded 160 acres. Alonzo summed up his life, "My long life comes from the Lord. And I've had a pretty good time. I try to live right so people will like me."

I have (I think) solved the 'who is Elizabeth Ann Lee' question.Mary Cogman is half-sister to the other children. I thinks she is the daughter of Elizabeth since she was born in 1852. There is a gap of about four years between her and Ruth. The most exciting moment was when I "found" Edward Minis in the 1860 census (hiding on the page before his family under the name Morris, pugh). He was working as a laborer in the neighboring farm.

I also have decided, with no contrary proof to deter me, and lack of sleep causing me not to question my deductive reasoning skills, that Lucy Minis is related to Edward (probably his sister). After all the coincidence of their proximity, surname, and closeness in age is too hard to ignore. I also found, much to my surprise that Lucy Minis Bryant remarried in 1858 to Charles Manuel. She was listed in the Indiana Marriages as a Mrs. Lucy Ann Briant. Isom was still alive in 1852 because he purchased 40 acres of property. Maybe he and Elizabeth Ann and the children caught something and died. Unfortunately, I learned that there are no gravestones in the Tuscola Negro Cemetery, and I have not learned whether there any death records.

I am still trying to find the connection between Lucy Dupree, born in 1790 and Melissa Olmstead, born in 1805. Olmstead is her married name. She married William Olmstead in 1838, in Coles, which means they were there prior to the 1840 census. I spent an hour searching 106 pages of the census for Coles County, Illinois. There were twenty-four "free persons of color" in the County, but Lewis James was the only African-American listed as head-of-household. The others were listed under whomever they were working for so there were no names.

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