Wednesday, February 26, 2014

52 Ancestors: Week 8—Hulda Charlotte Anderson-Carlson

This is week 8 of the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge” by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

Hulda Charlotte Anderson-Carlson was the second wife to Nils Malkom Nilsen, but the great-grandmother to my husband. They were married on 20 May 1893 in Youngstown, Ohio, just over a week after her arrival to America.[1]

Marriage Records of Nils Malkom Nilsen & Hulda C. Carlson in Youngstown, Ohio, 1893
Hulda was born 14 Aug 1868 in Rappestad, Östergötland, Sweden to Anders Peter Johansson and Anna Larsdotter. [2] She was the second oldest child of six. Her parents were married in 1865 in Rappestad but neither had been born in this community.  So the first part of her surname came from her father, Anders, making her an Andersdotter. When she was 14, her father died and she lived with the Carlson family and took on their name.

It is unclear how Nils Malkom met Hulda, but after the death of his first wife, he asked permission of the church where he served as Pastor, to take leave for a trip to Sweden.[3] He returned to the United States on the ship Aurania on 8 Nov 1892 without Hulda.[4] However, she arrived aboard the ship Umbria on 8 May 1893.[5]  She was listed on the passenger list as Hulda C. Carlson going to Ohio. Nils Malkom lived in Youngstown, Ohio.

Ship List for the SS Umbria, arriving in NYC 8 May 1893
Hulda and Nils Malkom had six children together: Nils Arthur Nathaniel Nilsen, Carl David Harry Nilsen, Joseph Andrew Walter Nilsen, Ernest Gedion Ferdinand Nilsen, Berger Malcolm Sylvania Nilsen, and Esther Hulda Victoria Nilsen.  The family traveled across the country while the Rev. Nils Malkom Nilsen served in Swedish Covenant churches in several communities: Cromwell, Connecticut; Harcourt, Iowa; Hilmar, San Pedro, and Escalon, California.

Hulda and Nils Malkom remained married for a little over 30 years before Hulda died on 15 Nov 1924.[6] 

Were they happy? Did she live as a proper minister's wife? Was she a good mother? These questions have not been completely answered. My mother-in-law was born nearly two years after Hulda's death, so she did not know her grandmother. She remembers little of her grandfather, Nils Malkom. There are stories that he spoke often of his first wife, even after marrying Hulda. That certainly would not sit well with me if my husband spoke often of his first wife (even if she had died) and it must not have spoken well to the oldest son, Arthur, for when his first wife died and he had remarried, he told the children not to speak of their mother in the company of the stepmother.  One extreme going into another....

Here's a nice photo of Hulda, shortly before her death.
Hulda Charlotte Andersdotter-Carlson Nilsen

[1] Mahoning Co, Ohio Marriage Records, Mahoning County, Ohio Marriage Records, Nils Malkom Nilsen & Hulda C. Carlson, Vol 7, pg 563, FHL, Film 0906676.
[2] (Rappestad, Östergötland), Births. Digital images. (, Hulda Charlotta Andersdotter, image 100005.32.27500.
[3] Simon, Bernice Hammar, ed. 1986. The Early History and Church Register Record and Ministerial Accounts of the Swedish Mission Church of Youngstown, Ohio, 1886-1930.   FHL 977.139/Y1 K2s, p.3-4.
[4] "Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1957" National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, Record Group 36. Online images. (,, "New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957" (, manifest, \i SS Aurania\i0, 8 Nov 1892, N.M. Nilson, no. 234.
[5] New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957, image, ( : accessed 11 Sep  2009); based on National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls; Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36; National Archives, Washington, D.C.; Microfilm serial: M237); Hulda Carlson,  Microfilm roll: M237_514; Line: 29.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

Saturday, February 15, 2014

52 Ancestors: Week 7—Ida Marie Hork

This is week 7 of the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge” by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

Ida Marie Hork was an older sister of my grandfather, William Cyril Hork, who was the youngest of ten.  She was born 24 Jan 1875 in Aurora, Illinois, nearly 24 years before him.[1]  In fact, she was probably not living at home at the time of his birth. She was listed in the Spokane, Washington 1897 city directory.[2]

1897 Spokane, Washington City Directory
She married Martin J. Colmann in Eagle, Alaska on 11 Oct 1903 at a Catholic church in the Diocese of Fairbanks.[3]  How she met Martin, I do not know. I don’t know if she met him in San Francisco where he was from or in Alaska. Many people went to Alaska during its Gold Rush.

I cannot find Ida in the 1900 census, but I did find her future husband, Martin. He was living in Eagle in the Northern Supervisors District, Alaska.  According to the census, he had arrived in Alaska Feb 1898 and was working as a bookkeeper for the N.A.T. & T.E.[4]

1900 Alaska - Northern Supervisors District - Eagle Twp - Martin J Colmann
He was also listed in the Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer & Business Directory in 1903 living in Eagle and dealing with furs.[5]

Their life together was short-lived. After returning to San Francisco, the couple survived the 1906 earthquake but later decided to move to southern California where the climate was more suited for Martin’s poor health.  Unfortunately, however, he died 17 December 1908 en route on board the steamship State of California[6]. His body was put ashore at Santa Barbara and shipped back up to San Francisco. The funeral was held 20 December 1908 and his cremated remains are at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.[7]

Ida lived in Southern California after her husband’s death but never remarried and she and Martin had no children.  In 1920, she was living at 436 South Olive Street in Los Angeles and worked as a telephone operator at the apartment house.[8]  She later lived in Long Beach and her nieces had fond memories of visiting her there.

She returned to Montana about 1947 to live, probably to be close to her sister, Carrie Hork and brother, Tony Hork. She died 30 May 1950 in Hamilton, Montana.[9]  She is buried at Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton.[10]  I visited the cemetery in 1999 and have a photo of her tombstone.  

Riverview Cemetery, Hamilton MT
I don’t have any photos of Ida, so if any of my cousins do, please contact me!

[1] State of Montana, State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Certificate for Ida M Hork, Ravalli Co, certificate #3564, Ida M. Hork.
[2] Spokane City Directory, R.L. Polk & Co, digital image, (, 1897, p 346, Miss I Marie.
[3] Diocese of Fairbanks Archive, 1316 Peger Road, Fairbanks, AK 99709, email from David Schienle, Assistant Archivist,, 1903, Colmann-Hork.
[4] 1900 Northern District, Alaska census,Eagle twp, ED13, sht 4, p 156b (stamped), line 8, Mart J Colmann.
[5] Alaska-Yukon Gazetteer & Business Directory.  RL Polk & Co., 1903: pg 94, M J Colemann.
[6] "Body Landed Here,” (Santa Barbara) Morning Press, Santa Barbara, California, 19 Dec 19 1908, news article of Martin Colmann’s death. 
[7] “San Francisco (California) Area Funeral Home Records 1835-1931,” Martin J. Colmann, H.F. Suhr & Co, pg 2512, digital image, ( : accessed 2 May 2009).
[8] 1920 Los Angeles Co, CA Census, digital image, (, Los Angeles, ED 204, Sht 9, line 66, Ida M. Coleman.
[9] State of Montana, State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Certificate for Ida M Hork, Ravalli Co, certificate #3564, Ida M. Hork.
[10] "Find A Grave," database and digital images, Find A Grave  (, Memorial# 70200340, Riverview Cemetery, Hamilton MT, Ida Marie Colman.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

Sunday, February 9, 2014

52 Ancestors -- Week 6: Matilda Pearl Davey

This is week 6 of the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge” by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

Matilda Pearl Davey was my husband’s grandmother. She was born 18 April 1880 in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky to Frederick Henry Davey and Matilda Wollenweber. She was the only girl with three brothers: Fred J, William Edward, & Leon Thomas. In her childhood, she was called “Tillie” like her mother or “Daisy.”  I will refer to her as “Daisy” to keep her straight from her mother’s name.

The first record I have found of Daisy is the 1880 Federal US census in Clark County, Indiana.[1] Her parents were living with Matilda’s mother, Philopina Wollenweber and Matilda’s two sisters, Rickie and Julia. However, Daisy was recorded as “Mary R.” Perhaps Philopina’s German accent was difficult to understand.

When Daisy was five years old, her mother died on 1 November 1885 of malarial fever.[2] She left four young children under the age of 10. According to the obituary, her mother, Mrs. Wollenweber stayed with the family through the winter.

However, the children ended up being cared for by relatives. Daisy lived with her maternal grandmother and aunt for a while and then with her paternal aunt, Sue Wellman, her father’s sister, in Cincinnati. These both were short-lived and she lived in a children’s home for a while.[3]

It was not a happy childhood. Her father had a drinking problem and though was very talented with pattern-making, he couldn’t keep a job. Marie Davey Korn, one of Daisy’s cousins, wrote, 
“I often heard Father say that Fred was the best pattern maker at the Carthage Foundry and as long as he was sober would turn out splendid work in a remarkably short time.”[4]
I don’t know much about her life in the 1890’s but by 1900, she was living in Kansas City, Missouri, working as a maid at the Washington Hotel.[5]  She lived in a boarding house and that was how she met her future husband, Joseph Norman Gorrell. They married 19 December 1900 in Kansas City and had four children: three girls, Bertha, Ada May, and Claire, and one son, George.[6]

Joseph worked for several different telephone companies and they settled in the Joplin-Carthage-Webb City area in Jasper County, Missouri. Here where they lived until their deaths, newspaper articles account for Daisy’s activities. By now, she was referred to as “Tillie.”

She was very active in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and several articles were found about their activities.
W.C.T.U. PROGRAM AT WEBB CITY ANNOUNCED[7]Webb City, Mo, Nov. 30.—A  program for a meeting of the W.C.T.U. to be held at 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon at the home of Mrs. Elmer Meredith, 320 South Webb street, was announced this afternoon.
Mrs. J. N. Gorrell will be the leader.
The program follows:
     Devotional — Mrs. P.O. Silvara.
     Song, “America the Beautiful.”
     Talk, “The Story of the Crusade” – Mrs. O.J. Gosch
     Address, “And There Arose Another Generation” – The Rev. Z. M. Williams, pastor of the Central       Methodist church, South.
     Song, “America”
     Business session, Mrs. J.T. Steele presiding
All members have been requested to attend, and the public is invited.
 She was also involved with the Webb City Garden Club.[8]  A transcript of that article:
Mrs. Susie Sampson, assisted by Mrs. Edith Stumbo and Mrs. Gladys Gilliam, entertained the Webb City Garden Club at a luncheon Monday at Mrs. Sampson’s home, 416 South Pennsylvania avenue. Mrs. Matilda Gorrell spoke on “Herbs” and Mrs. Gilliam spoke on “Irises.” Mrs. Sampson read an article on “How and Where Pineapple is Grown.” Will Sampson talked on remedies for diseased plants, including African violets. Miss Grova Harrison, Mrs. Wheeler and Mrs. Ann Golden were guests. The next meeting will be held August 4 at the home of Mrs. Otis Fifield, 1425 West Daugherty street.
Tillie died 4 Feb 1958 at home in Webb City.[9] The obituary stated she had been ill for ten days and the death certificate confirmed this. The cause of death was chronic myocarditis which she had had for “two or more years.”[10]

She was buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Webb City on 6 Feb 1958.  Our family visited the cemetery in 1999 and took a photo of her tombstone.

Mount Hope Cemetery, Webb City, Missouri - Joseph & Matilda Gorrell's headstones

[1] Indiana, Clark County, 1880 U.S. Census (Washington DC, National Archives and Records Administration, T9), digital images, ( : accessed 27 May 2012), Jeffersonville, ED 26, p 111B&C (stamped), Philapena Wollenweber household.
[2] “City News in General,” Jeffersonville Daily News, ( : accessed 5 Aug 2013), Mrs. Fred Davey obituary, p unk.
[3] “Recollections of George J. Gorrell on his mother’s life,” written 15 Oct 2000, Gorrell Family Collection; privately held by Lisa Suzanne Hork Gorrell, [address for private use], Martinez, CA 94553, 2013.
[4] “Letter written to Ada Thomason from Marie Korn,” 2 Aug 1937, copy in possession of author, Gorrell Family Collection; privately held by Lisa Suzanne Hork Gorrell, [address for private use], Martinez, CA 94553, 2013.
[5] Kansas City, Miissouri Directory, Hoye Directory co, digital image, ( : 9 Feb 2014), 1900, p 271, Matilda Davy.
[6] "Webb City Couple Will Observe 55th Wedding Anniversary," Joplin (Missouri) Globe, 17 Dec 1955 digital image, ( : accessed 3 Aug 2013).
 [7] “W.C.T.U. Program at Webb City Announced,” Joplin Globe, 1 Dec 1931, p 7, digital image, ( : accessed 5 Aug 2013).
[8] “Webb City Society,” Joplin Globe, 13 Jul 1947, p B3, digital image, ( : accessed 5 Aug 2013).
[9] “Mrs J.N. Gorrell of Webby City Passes,” Carthage (Missouri) Evening Press, 4 Feb 1958, digital image, ( : accessed 5 Aug 2013).
[10] “Missouri Death Certificates,” Missouri State Archives, digital Images, Missouri Digital Heritage, ( : accessed 5 Aug 2013), state file no. 1696, Tillie D. Gorrell, 1958.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

52 Ancestors -- Week 5: Leah Wollam

This is week 5 of the “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge” by Amy Crow from No Story Too Small.

Leah Wollam was my husband’s 3rd great-grandmother. She was born 9 April 1800 in Maryland to John Jacob Wollam and Sarah Duffield.[1]  Most trees found online do not show Leah as a daughter of John J Wollam and Sarah Duffield. Sons Peter, John Balser and Ratchford are often mentioned. However, with John J and Sarah being married 24 Apr 1797,[2] there is a possibility that they could have had a daughter born in 1800 before the four boys were born.

Columbiana Co OH, Marriage records 1818-1833 vol 2, p 273
She married Amos Gorrell in Columbiana County, Ohio on 24 May 1827.[3]  Between them, they had six children: Sarah, James, Duffield, John, Amos Jr, and Joseph Wollam. Only Amos and Joseph lived to adulthood. My husband is descended through Amos Gorrell Jr.

The four older children died within the month of March in 1841 due to an epidemic.[4]  From research on the Internet, yellow fever was prevalent in 1841 throughout the United States and especially in the south.[5] It must have been very sad to lose four children in such a short time. How did the two younger boys manage to survive? As well as the parents?

Leah lived a long life, dying 20 Nov 1873 at the age of 73. Amos would live another seventeen years, and even married again to Sarah Monroe, who was 43 years younger. Also from the 1870 census, it stated she could not write however there was no record of that on earlier census records.[6]

Leah and Amos are buried in the Denver Cemetery in Ross County, Ohio.[7] Her tombstone reads:
Wife of
Nov 20,
73ys 7mo

It was her death record in Ross County where I discovered the name of her parents: John Wollam and Sarah D. Wollam. 

My next step is to make the parent-child connection to Leah.  My to do list will include:
  • Finding John J Wollam in the 1800, 1810, and 1820 census records. Of course these records did not name every member of the family, only the head of household. However there are tick marks indicating other members of the family. What I will need to do is find every John Wollam (or variation of his last name) and analyze for each census year. I’m thinking a spreadsheet might work well for this.
  • Checking land records. When did John Wollam move from Virginia to Maryland to Columbiana County, Ohio?
  • Checking probate records of John Wollam or Sarah Wollam. Did either name Leah Gorrell?
  • Checking tax records. That might give a clue to time the family moved to Ohio.

[1] Ross County Death Records, Death Record of Leah Wollam, Ross County, Ohio Death Records, Bk B1, p 48, FHL film 0281659.
[2] West Virginia, Division of Culture & History, Marriage Record Search, digital images,, 1797, p 12, Berkeley Co, Wollam-Duffield.
[3] Ohio, "Ohio County Marriages 1789-1994", database & digital images, (, Columbiana Marriages Records 1818-1833 vol 2, p 273, Gorrel-Wollem.
[4] “Questions re Grandfather Amos Gorrell,” probably written by Ada May Gorrell Thomason, date unknown, currently part of the George Gorrell Papers, privately held by Lisa S. Gorrell, [address for private use].
[5] “List of Epidemics,” Wikipedia ( : accessed 4 Feb 2014).
[6] Ohio, Ross Co, 1870 U.S. census,, digital images ( National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), M593, roll 1263; p 708A, household 200, Amous Gorrell.
[7] Tombstone Inscriptions Huntington Township Ross Co, Ohio, compiled by Ross County Genealogical Society, Chillicothe, Ohio, 1993, Denver Cemetery, pg 70.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past