Wednesday, August 6, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #31: Anna Stiver

This is my thirty-first  posting for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.

Anna Stiver is my great-great-great grandmother. I only have approximate dates for her birth, marriage and death.

In the Stiver Family file at the Markham and District Historical Museum, I found a piece of paper that looked like it might have been a copy of listings from a family Bible. None of this information has been confirmed by finding other sources.

Anna was born in what became Germany, possibly in the Duchy of Hanover about 11 June 1784. If that date is correct or close then Anna would have been about eight years old when she travelled across the Atlantic Ocean with her parents and siblings. Anna is listed as 68 years old in the 1852 census so the date is likely close.

What might have started out as an exciting adventure for her, her siblings and the other children who were part of the families headed to the United States under the leadership of William Berczy von Moll likely became boring. Did they get to go out on the deck to play games? Did they ask their parents "Sind wir schon da?" Are we there yet?

Once they reached land, their trip was not over. The family spent almost two years in the United States. When the people became discontent with the conditions, the families were on the move. Berczy had made a deal with the Lieutenant Governor General for free land in Upper Canada. Women and children went in canoes while the men walked beside the bank of the river as they headed north towards Rochester, New York.

By November 1794, the family were living in Markham. Very few people were living there but Anna would have had lots of playmates amongst the children who she had been with during the voyage and time in the States.

Slowly other people came to Markham Township. Anna met Josiah Hemingway who had come from the United States and the two were married around 1800. In Berczy's Census of Markham Settlers, 1803, Anna is listed as 26 with her husband, Josiah aged 40, written as Esiah Hemmenway, and one daughter, [Pilis?] aged 2. This would likely have been Eleanor but Nancy should have appeared as well.

Josiah and Anna had eleven children: Eleanor in 1801, Nancy in 1802, John in 1806, Moses in 1809, Mary in 1811, Elizabeth "Betsy" in 1814, Anna in 1817, Hannah in 1819 (my ancestor), and Benjamin in 1821.

Josiah died the 21 September 1851. Their daughter, Eleanor had died in 1845 and only a few months after the death of her husband, her son, Benjamin died leaving behind a wife and seven young children. The young mother, Harriet, applied for guardianship as she was only the birth mother of one and in those years, males were appointed as co-guardians. In the detailed accounts,  we learn of a lawsuit and that twice a year Mrs. Hemingway (or the Old Mrs. Hemingway) was paid five shillings.

shows payments in 1855 and in 1856 to Old Mrs. Hemingway the dower

It looks like payments continued until at least 1857, when Harriet re-marries.

Anna most likely went down to Michigan to visit or to live with her daughter, Nancy, who had married Jonathon Worthing. The Bible listing gave her date of death as the 17 February 1859 in Detroit, Michigan.

© 2014 Janet Iles Print

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