Tag Archives: John Anderson

Revisiting the Andersons of Holmes County Ohio

EDITED to indicate John Anderson’s (Jr.) proper lineage.

Among the things that getting a DNA test has done  to influence my research–I discover ancestors I skipped over when I wrote about members of their family. That has been the case with both my maternal line of Andersons and my paternal line of Kasers.

DNA strand

DNA strand from pixabay

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Last week I remedied an oversight in the Andersons by talking about my great-uncle William McCabe Anderson. (My attention had been drawn to Will because of a DNA match.) William, second son of the 2nd marriage of John Anderson—to my grandmother Isabella McCabe—survived the experience of a P.O.W. during the Civil War.

As I looked at Will Anderson, I realized there were other Andersons that I had missed.

A Recap of the Andersons I Have Introduced

Caroline Anderson Bird

Family portrait Anderson and Stout, 1909

For identification of everyone in the Anderson and Stout family picture above, follow this link.

Leonard Guy Anderson, my maternal grandfather. You can see “Daddy Guy” in the photo at the top of the page–an ancestor in an apron. I have written about Guy’s second wife, Vera Stout Anderson many times. I was named for her and spent a great deal of time with her when I was young.

Bernard Franklin (Ben) Anderson, great-uncle, was Guy’s brother. I wrote about the tragic loss of his young wife and his family, which presented quite a tangle. His descendants included his nephew Telmar, Guy’s son by his first wife and brother to Rhema Anderson Fair (below); Estil Anderson Sr., Ben’s only son; and Estil Anderson Jr.

Mary V. Brink Anderson and Joseph J. Anderson, my grandfather’s parents. Joseph was the next to youngest son of Isabella McCabe  and John Anderson, and died young.

Isabella McCabe Anderson and her husband John Anderson, my great-great grandparents moved the Andersons from Ohio to Pennsylvania. Isabella lived a long time– long enough that my mother knew her great-grandmother, who sits in the center of the family picture above.

Great-Great Uncle Erasmus Anderson (actually a half-uncle of my grandfather), a soldier in the Civil War had a series of posts dedicated to his letters from the front and description of his service and death during the Civil War.

Margaret Anderson Lisle, great-great aunt. Margaret, the first child of John Anderson and his second wife, Isabella McCabe, played the role of family caretaker.  It was Margaret who wrote to Erasmus during the war. It was Margaret who kept a family scrapbook with locks of hair and obituaries. It was Margaret who raised her own family and the grandchildren who needed a parent.

Franklin Anderson, great-great uncle– my grandfather’s uncle who raised him when his father died. Franklin was the youngest of the Andersons family.

Caroline Anderson Bird, great-great aunt.

Amy Anderson Roof, great-great aunt.  Caroline and Amy were the two youngest children of Isabella and John Anderson, and close in every way for the rest of their lives.

I also wrote about the generations after my Grandfather–

Rhema Anderson Fair, my mother’s half sister.  The daughter of Guy Anderson and his first wife, Lillis Bird.

William J. Anderson. My Uncle Bill could be a rascal, as in the story I told about his running away, but my mother’s older brother held a place in my heart as a favorite relative.

Herbert Guy Anderson, son of Guy Anderson and his 2nd wife, Vera Stout Anderson. My uncle Herbert was my mother’s younger brother.

And I have written many times about my mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser. (I’ll let you use the search function to find those articles and pictures.

Andersons in Waiting

Which Andersons still wait to have their stories told?  Well, I am currently working on Sarah Jane Anderson McDowell and her family.

I have not written about John Anderson, first child of John Anderson and his second wife, Isabella McCabe  I have a puzzle to solve about John’s possible service in the Civil War before I can write about this man who died from a farm accident in his 30s.

The first child of John and Emma may have been a girl named Mary who married before the Andersons left Pennsylvania. But information on Mary is scarce.

And of course, each time I research a great-great aunt or uncle, I discover their children and grandchildren, new cousins galore.

Are You an Anderson?

Anderson is such a common name that even in the small county of Holmes in Ohio, I find Andersons that are not visibly related to my John Anderson line.  I keep hoping to meet someone who holds the key to where John Anderson (1795-1879) came from and who his parents were. Perhaps there is a family Bible. Perhaps an earlier Anderson wrote a family history. Until then, John Anderson is one of my brick walls, and I will continue to explore the families that came after him.


Anderson Ancestor Search: An Excuse to visit Scotland and Ireland

The bane of family searches is the recycling of names.  In my maternal grandfather Guy Anderson’s line, the overused names are John and Joe. What? It’s not bad enough that Anderson is a common name, you also have to call your kids John Joseph and Joseph John ad finitum?

Now that I have that off my chest, I’ll move on to today’s subject, Joseph J. Anderson (1848-1883) married to Mary Veolia Brink (1858-1932), my mother’s paternal grandparents. Joe Anderson accounts for both the Scotch and Irish blood in my veins (although it really all stems from Scotland). You’ll see how that ignites my travel desire in a minute.

Women seemed to keep the stories going about their mothers and grandmothers and I have no doubt many of those came through food and cooking, sewing and other acts of nurturing, so I have more stories about women in the family than men. And since Joe died very young, I’m left with few stories about him. He was only 36 years old when he died, which means Mary lived as a widow for 48 years.

On the other hand, official records favor research on male ancestors. Women tend to disappear as they change names at marriage. Of course in this case, Joe died when he was so young that there were not a lot of stories to tell.

In my earlier discussion of the fascinating Hattie Morgan Stout, I mentioned that Hattie taught at country schools at a very young age.  One of my mother’s (Harriette Anderson Kaser’s) stories goes like this:

There were evening gatherings for adults where the teachers taught  subjects like spelling, reading and music. Co-incidentally, our Grandpa Joe Anderson [my mother’s paternal grandfather] taught music and Grandma Hattie Morgan taught spelling.  Joe Anderson must have been a natural musician rather than a scholar, because his full time occupation was farming. Hattie laughed to Harriette, “I always thought he was awfully good looking, “but he was already pretty much in love with Mary Anderson.”

So there are a couple of clues to Joe Anderson.  He was handsome, and judging from his sons and grandsons, probably a charmer as well.  And he was a musician, so that may explain my Grandfather’s love of music and the community band.  How lovely that this man who worked on a farm, found an outlet for music, even though there may have been no community band for him to play in.

Guy Anderson in the band

Guy Anderson in the Killbuck Community Band

And then there’s the Robert Burns poem. Mary (Brink) Anderson, according to Harriette Kaser, said that the Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote his poem entitled Joe Anderson for her.   I looked it up and the poem is actually John Anderson, My Jo.  Since the poem has to do with a couple growing old together, which unfortunately was not the case for this Joe and his Mary, the poem definitely does not fit. But Mary must have been a romantic. Wikipedia has a different story about the origin of the poem, than the one you’ll find at that first link.

I have no pictures of great grandfather Joe Anderson, but Mary Anderson said that my mother’s brother Herbert looked just like him. So maybe he looked like this.

Herbert Anderson

Herbert Anderson when he was twenty years old. Photo from another tree at Ancestry.com Thanks to K. H. Crissey

Joe Anderson was next to youngest of seven children of John Anderson of Pennsylvania (1797-1879) and his second wife, Isabella McCabe.  Most of the children were born in Pennsylvania, but Joe grew up on a farm in Monroe Township, Holmes County, Ohio, where his father had moved around 1840.  John Anderson started with 150 acres and grew the farm to 400 acres, and after their father’s death, the farm was managed by the youngest brother Frank.

Joe also had two older  half-sisters and a half-brother by John Anderson’s first wife.  As one of the youngest in this enormous brood, he no doubt got plenty of attention.

The Anderson Tartan

The Anderson Tartan in display at the Mac Isaac Kiltmakers in Nova Scotia

The Andersons came from Scotland, but I have so far not been able to pin down the exact time and the place they came from.  My sister and I visited a couple of Scottish kilt makers while we were in Nova Scotia and purchased some souvenirswith the Anderson clan plaid.

Joe’s mother accounts for the legitimacy of my wearing of the Green on St. Patrick’s day. Isabella’s McCabe’s grandfather was born in Ireland and immigrated in 1783. However, it turns out that back in the late middle ages, the McCabes were MacCabes who came to Ireland as mercenaries from the Island of Arran in Scotland. (I don’t think my mother knew that, but she always said we were Scotch-Irish on my grandfather’s side, and she was right.) Most of their territory would fall within what is now County Cavan in the far north of the Republic of Ireland. Ah, now THERE’s a couple of  lovely excuses for travel.

Joe and Mary V. Brink married January 7, 1877 , and his younger brother Frank married Mary’s sister Sarah Jane Brink.  (It was not uncommon in those days of large families in small towns for two sisters to marry two brothers.)  Joe and Mary V. had two sons–my grandfather Guy and his brother Bernard (Ben) Franklin Anderson– and a daughter who died as an infant.

When Joseph J. Anderson died in 1884, my (to-be) grandfather was only 5 years old, and he was taken in by a different Frank Anderson, brother to Joe.

The facts are sparse about Joseph J. Anderson, but at least he gives me an excuse to talk about my Scottish and Irish roots. I want to thank my cousin Herbert G. Anderson, son of the Herbert Anderson in the picture, for sharing his research into the Anderson history.

Do you find that you know more about your female forebears than your male ones? Or vice versa?

(Photos from the Isle of Arran come from Flikr and are used with a Creative Commons license. Thanks to the photographers for sharing.)