Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Ahnentafel Roulette

Hey there, genea-lovers, it's Saturday Night - time for more Genealogy Fun!!
Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is to (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) How old is your great-grandfather now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel (ancestor name list). Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook or Google Plus note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick a grandparent, a  parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

Using Randy's formula of dividing the age of my great-grandfather, Allen Zephaniah Space, by 4 resulted in my roulette number 37. The corresponding ancestor on my ahnentafel report is Franziska Roetelmeier, wife of Casper Reinwand but not enough information to share three facts. Fortunately I didn't have to forgo tonight's Saturday Night Fun ... Instead I used a favorite uncle, Earle Clare Bergeron. Born in 1922 Earle would have celebrated his 89th birthday on June 25th. Divide by 4 and my lucky roulette wheel is 22.25, rounded down to 22. The corresponding ancestor is William D. Facer.

1. William D. Facer was born August 1827 in Port Huron, St Clair County, Michigan; the fourth known child of Lewis Facer Sr and Susan Baker. Lewis and Susan were among the earliest settlers in Michigan, coming to the area from Zanesville, Ohio; leaving me to believe that Lewis 's father performed some sort of service during the Revolutionary War. William D. Facer was deaf, and died tragically on 10 July 1907 when he was struck and killed by a passenger train as he walked along the railroad tracks along the Wisconsin River in Rhinelander, Oneida county, WI. 

2. William D. was married three times: (i) Elizabeth Calkins (ii) Lucy Jerow (iii) Elisabeth Hornby, outliving all three of his wives. William and Elizabeth Calkins had three children: Louisa, Ezra and Adelia. Only Ezra lived to adulthood. William's marriage to Lucy was a brief duration before she succumbed to one of the many epidemics that swept through the area. William and Elisabeth Hornby were married in 1871; the union produced 7 children but only two survived to adulthood: my great-grandmother Frances Dazie Facer, wife of Cyrus Austin Little, and her brother Burton Wellington Facer. William D and Elisabeth Hornby were married for 23 years before she died in 1894 at the age of 40.

3. William D's family was living on the north bank of the Black River in Port Huron when returning troops infected with cholera began returning to the area. Lewis decided it was time for the family to leave the area; he boarded up the windows and barred the doors, admonishing his wife and son not to let anyone in and headed to St Clair with plans to get a boat and take his family to safety in Lakeport. As recorded in "That Noble Country" authored by Dorothy Marie Mitts, Susan Baker Facer, moved by the soldiers plea handed out cups of tea through the boards on the windows to the soldiers. In return, they tossed coins through the slats resulting in a monetary windfall for the family. (Attributed to "W.D. Facer reminiscences, Miscellaneous Papers, Jenks Collection, Port Huron Public Library.")

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