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From Maryland to Illinois; Deciphering a Workman family story

My goal this year is to focus more on my own family history here so this is a start! This article is about my more recent ancestors but I feel it’s a good place to start our journey back through part of my family history. I have written about one of the people in this family before but at the time, I really didn’t have a great deal of information on her life. The previous article about Mary Jane “Polly” Owen was more about my personal thoughts on her life and her Owen family background. In a way, this post is an update to her story.

You can read that earlier story about her in this post:

https://timeslipsblog.com/2015/08/10/family-history-because-our-lives-are-stories-waiting-to-be-told/

Mary Polly Owen

Isaac Workman and Mary Jane “Polly” Owen are buried in Yolton Cemetery, Avena Illinois. A search of burials at Yolton Cemetery lists many other family names related to this research project. No burial information has been located for Amos Workman or his second wife Jane Conner/Matheny Workman. This research has verified that Mary Owen Workman lived until about 1895 and died while living with one of her children.

yolton-cemetery-location

Location of Yolton Cemetery on map

yolton-cemetery

Yolton Cemetery Photo credit to Gary Feezel on Find a Grave site

Today we are going to learn more about Mary Jane “Polly” Workman and the extended Workman family as they made the move to Illinois in 1838. This article details my recent research on  Amos Workman and his extended family group. The research is an attempt to  verify information contained in Fayette County Historical County Biographic sketch of Workman family in Fayette county, Illinois. For purposes of this specific research, I have used a land grant map that shows Isaac Workman’s original land purchases in 1838/39. The land grant map was found in a book, Family Maps of Fayette County, Illinois by Gregory A. Boyd J.D. Information on that book can be found here:

family-maps-of-fayette-county-illinois

 https://www.amazon.com/Family-Maps-Bond-County-Illinois/dp/1420311824/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1485800863&sr=1-9

This is the area that the biography pertains to when it mentions the family group’s arrival in Illinois so I have kept the land grant research to this one area for this project. I have also used a number of family histories and information from various family members and trees on Ancestry as well as my best friend, “Google”!  

fayette-county-workman-biography

A number of years ago when I first started researching my Workman family ancestry, I received a biography from the Fayette County, Illinois Historical Society. For many years, this was all I had to go on as far as information for my ancestor, Amos Workman. Amos was my “Brick Wall” in genealogy terms. In many aspects, he still is my brick wall as there is still little information to be found on his history or the family history of his two wives. Because trying to tear down that brick wall was so frustrating, I set the Workman research aside for a number of years. Last year, I decided to make one more attempt at the Workman Wall. I purchased a dna test through Ancestry in the hopes that it would help break through that wall. In my mind, it was kind of my one last attempt. My thought was that if I didn’t get dna results to confirm any relationships, I would be finished with that branch and would resign myself to the fact that he was the end line for that branch. Thanks to Ancestry, that one last attempt was successful on most parts. The dna testing provided enough dna links and connections to place my ancestor Amos within the larger Workman family.  Amos and his descendants have often been overlooked and left out of the many Workman histories that people refer to. The most they generally say about Amos  is a short reference such as Amos was a son of William Workman and Phoebe Critchfield, he married a Rebecca. My dna test confirmed a connection to William and Phoebe and thus my connection back to the Workman and Critchfield families. What it did not do, however, was provide me with much more information than I already knew about Amos, his wives and his son Isaac who is my direct ancestor linking me back to Amos. I was still left with a brick wall, but now it at least had a crack in it so I was and am still optismistic about eventually tearing down that wall completely and discovering the mystery of Amos Workman. While the dna test can unlock some of the mysteries and provide some verification of family lines, it can not answer all of the questions or mysteries. The only way to truly answer those questions is through research, vast amounts of research! I have spent much of the past year doing that research on Amos and the entire Workman family. What I quickly realized was that in order to piece together Amos’ life, I had to look at the overall Workman history because there would be clues to Amos within all of those other family histories. This article provides an excellent explanation on why you need to look at the entire extended family group rather than just your individual direct line ancestry.

http://familyhistorydaily.com/genealogy-help-and-how-to/making-common-direct-line-mistake-family-tree/

 

I learned early on that in order to find answers, you have to look beyond just your direct family ancestry. This research of the entire family led me to an interest in extended family groups and their migration from the early colonies westward.  Amos Workman and his family were a part of that migration pattern. Their earliest beginnings were in New Amsterdam Colony, they then moved as a group to New Jersey and from there they went on To Maryland. Maryland is where Amos’ story began within that large extended family group. Even though we know very little about him, we can trace his migration with the families from Maryland to parts of Virginia, on to Ohio and Pennsylvania and eventually on to Illinois where the family finally settled in about 1838. As we learn more about the other family members and groups, a better picture of the mystery “brick wall” person such as Amos will begin to emerge. I will discuss more about Amos in a separate article, for now I just want to share the information that pertains mainly to the extended family group’s move from Ohio to Illinois. 

 

My research of the early Workman families in Maryland inspired me to go back and take another look at the Fayette County biography where they mentioned the connections back to Maryland.  The research of  early Workmans in Maryland did not show direct family connections to those families mentioned in the biography so I began to wonder what the connection might be? I also wondered if the information in the biography could be verified somehow? While working with another distant family member who grew up in Maryland and was a descendant of Workman branches who remained in Maryland, she verified the connection to Logues and McKenzies not as connected family groups but as living near each other in Alleghany county Maryland. She stated that the Logues, McKenzies, Arnolds and Logsdons were Catholics and would have been living in the Arnold Settlement while the Workman, Wykcoff and other families lived on lands that were adjacent to the Arnold settlement. With this information, I began a more thorough research of the Fayette County biography to see what other infomation or clues it might provide. I started researching more of the descendants of Amos in the hopes that some of them might have answers or at least be asking the same questions as I was.

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page 1 of letter written by Daisy Maude Workman Lichtenwalter Locke. Credit and much appreciation to ancestry member mindweaver for sharing!

letter-from-daisy-workman-lichtenwalter-page-2

Page 2 of letter written by Daisy Maude Workman Lichtenwalter Locke. Credit and much appreciation to Ancestry member for sharing!

In retrospect, Yes, I probably should have went this route from the beginning because some of them did have important information that would shed light on the lives of Amos and Isaac. One family member was able to provide a letter written by one of her ancestors that describes the move from Ohio to Illinois and verifies much of the information contained in the biography regarding Isaac’s horse running away and how he came to purchase the land. Much thanks and credit to ancestry member mindweaver for sharing a letter written by Daisy Maude Workman Lichtenwalter Locke, descendant of Isaac Workman and Mary Jane Owen through son Martin VanBuren Workman. This letter provides a great deal of information and insight on Isaac’s wife Mary Jane Owen as well as information on the trip and the initial land purchase. As a result, it verifies much of the information in the biography and adds an important layer to the overall history of the Workman family. The letter adds to the history of another Workman branch, one that was seemingly unconnected to Amos and Isaac but for information provided in this letter. Daisy’s letter refers to the fact that Isaac Workman had interaction with John Doyle Lee in purchasing land from John Doyle Lee before John became connected to a distant relative of Isaac’s, John Workman. For more information on John Doyle Lee and John Workman family, please see separate article. This link is to the story I posted on Ancestry, but I will soon be posting that story here as well. I will provide that link when it gets posted here.

http://mv.ancestry.com/viewer/082c8a54-1d3b-4fbe-8e3c-82786b42ca42/63696121/210059100415?_phsrc=tTL32673&usePUBJs=true

Letter of importance: Workman connections to John Doyle Lee

https://timeslipsblog.com/2017/01/31/a-letter-of-importance/

After receiving the copy of Daisy’s letter, I became even more interested in information that the biography might provide indirectly. One of the other pieces of information in the biography was the contributors to the story. I looked into those contributors to see how they may have been connected to the families in the biography and this is what I found.

contributors to Fayette County historical society biography:

Arthur Buchanan- most likely a family member of Mary Ann McConkey daughter of George Washington McConkey, granddaughter of Mary Jane Owen. Mary Ann McConkey married an Albert Buchanan. Other Buchanan connections go back to John Jacob Dively and Margaret Earnest. I was unable to confirm which Arthur Buchanan was involved in contributing to the biography because there was more than one Arthur Buchanan who could have provided the informatin but which ever Arthur it was, he most likely would have had family information going back to the earliest years in Illinois and been connected to the Owen families as well as Dively and Earnest families who are connected to Workman family.

Mrs. Katie Owen Whitefort: daughter of John Wilson Owen and Tolitha June Jackson. Granddaughter of George Hartzell Owen and Lucinda Ralston Owen. Great granddaughter of James Owen and Nancy Brashears. James was a brother of Mary Jane Owen who married Isaac Workman. Katie’s Grandmother Lucinda Ralston was daughter of Mary Ann Kyser and Joseph Ralston. Mary Ann Kyser’s Mother was Margaret Workman, sister of Amos Workman. This would make Katie Owen Whitefort a descendant of both Owens families and earlier Workman families. According to source information, she was a school teacher, did not marry until later in life and had no children. Because of her unique link to the families, she may have had a great deal of family history information regarding both families and those early years. Katie had two brothers, and as far as I can tell there was only one descendant of that family branch.

Mrs. Joe Rhodes: Theda Mildred Ellison Rhodes-husband William Joseph Rhodes. Theda Ellison 1899-1990, daughter of Ina Della Workman and Edward Franklin Ellison. Ina Della Workman was daughter of Isaac Wesley Workman, granddaughter of Amos Workman jr, great granddaughter of Isaac Workman and Mary Jane Owen. Her husband William Joseph Rhodes’ family would have had ties back that went back to McKenzie families that were listed in the biography as families in Maryland.

Mrs. Raymond McElheney- Mrs. Raymond McElheney is Phyllis E Springman, daughter of Frank Springman and Maude Workman. Maude Workman was daughter of Isham Douglas Workman and Rosabelle Hedges. Isham was son of Ireal Owen Workman and Lucillia Jennings. Isreal was son of Amos Workman and Jane Connor Matheny.

Once I connected the contributors to their family connections, I decided to address another piece of information from the biography. The biography stated that there was a group of 16 families traveling together from Ohio on their way to Texas in 1838. Daisy’s letter did not mention the number of people in the group but did dispute the mention of Texas. Her letter mentioned that they were on their way to Missouri.

The contributors were unsure of how many of the families stayed in Illinois and how many continued on to Texas. So far I have found no evidence to corroborate the mention of them being on their way to Texas, and I have yet to find any of the extended family group that might have went on to Texas. Daisy Workman Lichtenwalter’s letter states that the group was on their way to Missouri, and a number of the family members did eventually move on to Missouri. Daisy also mentions in her letter that none of the party traveled any further so that would suggest that all 16 families settled in Illinois initially. A search of the early land grants in Fayette county along with a search of families who settled in the nearby area should give us a good indication or approximation of which families were part of this wagon train in 1838. In order to come up with a possible list of families, I used family connections along with a land grant map showing Isaac Workman’s original land grants of 1838/1839.

fayette-county-family-maps-patent-map-twnshp7-range2e-showing-workman-land-purchases

Fayette county Illinois family group land map. Credit to Family Maps of Fayette County, Illinois by Gregory A Boyd

fayette-county-land-map003

map of area that Amos and Isaac settled in showing locations of nearby townships, cemeteries as well as streams and creeks. Credit to Family Maps Fayette County, Illinois by Gregory A Boyd

I limited my focus to that one area because that is the area mentioned in the biography where the group camped while Isaac searched for the missing horse, then decided to stay. The land map shows the connected families that settled in that area. I looked at the families in that area, their possible  family connections and dates of land grants shown on the map. I also looked at individual families and their migration from Ohio to Illinois to verify that their move would coincide closely with the time frame of this trip around 1838. For many of the families, I had to use births of their children to see approximately when they would have made the move to Illinois. I also took into consideration that some of the birth places and or dates may have been incorrect or approximated by individual tree members as many of them had no actual documents to base the date or place on. The list is an approximation or general idea of who the families in that group of 16 families might have been. In most cases, they share a family link or connection which I have provided. In a few cases, such as the Earnest families, there is not a known family connection prior to Illinois but rather a link that connects them back to Ohio or Pennsylvania. At some point in the future there may be a proven family connection going further back but I have not found it yet.

I have attempted to break the families down into individual family groups that reflect how they may have been traveling to account for the number of families in the group. I have also used the land grant map to place them in the area after the trip when ever possible.

1. Amos Workman with wife Jane and at least 7 children- Isaac, Amos’ oldest son would be a separate family. There is no additional information on Joseph born about 1818, so it is possible that he did not make the move. Amos is shown as owning land on the land grant map. His purchase date was 1839

2. Isaac Workman with wife Mary Jane Owen and all 10 of their children. His 1838/39 land purchases  are shown on the land grant map.

3. James Owen and wife Nancy Brashears-brother to Mary Jane Owen, his daughter Mary Owen is listed as being born in Fayette county in 1838. There are a number of land purchase shown for James Owen with earliest one in this area being 1841. He may have purchased land in another section earlier than that.

4. Nathan Clinton Owen brother of Mary Jane and James. Nathan is listed as marrying second wife Mary Ann Griffith 1839 in Fayette county. There is a William Griffith with a land grant in the area- his land purchase is shown as 1839 so possibly he was a relative of Mary Ann’s and was a part of the original party but we can not be certain. Nathan is not shown as purchasing land in this specific area at that time but he may have been living with James during that time as he was a widower with small children prior to his marriage to Mary Ann Griffith. His first wife was Catherine Brashears, sister to Nancy Brashears who was married to his brother James. She died in 1835 so he would have made this trip on his own with three very young children.

One added note for Owen family members: George Washington McConkey, Mary Jane Owen’s half brother moved to Fayette county, but it looks like he may have made the move a few year later around 1843. He may have waited until other family members were settled well to make the move himself.
Earnest family-Samuel Ernest is shown as having a land grant in the same area, purchased 1839. The Earnest family is connected in two ways. The first is that Harriet Earnest, a relative of Samuel’s later married Isaac Workman’s son William. The second way is less obvious and requires looking further back into the families for it to make sense why the Earnest families may have been connected earlier than their meeting in Fayette county. This connection will also bring with it another family that may have been part of the original group. One of the other early families shown on the map and shown to have a continued connection to Workman and Owen families was John Jacob Dively. John Jacob Dively was married to a Margaret Earnest. Margaret Earnest was born abt 1795 in Somerset county, Pennsylvania in the same area that the other Earnest families in Fayette county list as being at. I have no definitive or absolute proof to connect her to them, but I believe she was most likely a sister to William Earnest and possibly David Earnest. They were probably all related and all made the move together. John Jacob Dively’s original property was in the same area as Samuel Earnest who was most likely another brother of Margaret. These families may have had connections to Owen families back to Pennsylvania. In order to better understand these connections and for them to begin making more sense, you need to look at the family histories and you need to look at them in a broader context than just one family’s direct line ancestry. The Earnest and Dively families go back to Pennsylvania where Mary Jane Owen and her brothers were from before moving to Ohio. Mary Jane Owen’s family history would provide some clues to these connections. Her Father’s family were Welsh Quakers and her Mother was most probably probably Pennsylvania “Dutch” which was translated from Deitsch or German. The Earnests and Divelys were most likely part of the Pennsylvania Deitsch groups. An Earnest family history mentions this association and in a Workman biography, Charles Workman also mentions the Pennsylvania and “Dutch” connection. 

5&6 The Earnest families would have made up at least two family groups depending on how they chose to travel. We know of William, David and Samuel but it’s not clear of the exact family connection. William and David were most likely brothers and from all indications, David may not have remained in Illinois. Samuel was either a brother to them or was possibly a son of David. There are no land patents for either William or David but there are for Samuel. At the time of the move, Samuel was unmarried so was most likely traveling with either William or David. Margaret would have been in a separate family group traveling with husband John Jacob Dively.

7. Dively family would have been John Jacob with wife Margaret and 6 children. They would have all traveled together as one household or family as none of their children were married at the time of this move. It should also be noted here that there is a census record for 1830 showing Jacob Dively and family in Knox county Ohio. From looking at Dively family history, it looks like John Jacob was the only one of his family to make the move on to Illinois. Prior to being in Ohio, they were in Somerset county, Pennsylvania where they were married at.

Most of the above mentioned families, except for the Earnest family, would have had a direct family connection to each other so it makes sense they would have traveled together as a group. They would have made up at least 7 or 8 of the families. The rest of the group was most likely made up those families listed in the biography. I have researched those families and traced them back to the early connections they would have had with Amos Workman’s family. The Logues and Mckenzies both go back to Maryland and follow the same migration pattern as Amos and son Isaac. Both of these large extended families were in the same areas of Ohio as Amos Workman families prior to the move to Illinois. I have not yet found intermarriages between Workmans and Logues or McKenzies prior to Illinois but I have not done an in depth search of all of those families either so there could be family connections that I have not yet run across. The Logsdon connection to Workman families is not very prevalent so I do not think those families would have been in this wagon train. There is another family not mentioned in the biography that does have strong connections back to Maryland and could eventually provide clues to Amos’ second wife who is listed as Jane Conner/Connor and or Matheny in various sources and records. This would be the Sapp family.

The Sapp family goes back to Maryland, and besides having a connection to Matheny families, they have a connection to the Critchfield and Workman families. Amos Workman’s Mother was Phoebe Critchfield and his aunt was Hester Critchfield. If you follow the Sapp family line all the way back to Maryland, you will find a George Sapp born 1743 died 1810 in Knox county Ohio. He married Christina Texter in 1765. Their daughter Catherine “Peggy” Sapp married a Joseph Critchfield who was a relative of Phoebe and Hester Critchfield. The Sapp family had a close connection to Critchfields in that another daughter, Margaret married William Critchfield a brother of Joseph Critchield.  An added connection to the Workmans at that time-their son Daniel Sapp married a Mary Robeson. Mary Robeson had a brother Solomon who married a Rebecca Workman, while her sister Elizabeth married David Workman who was a son of Stephen Workman and Hester Critchfield. Their son Joseph M. Sapp married an Elizabeth Starner. All of the children of Joseph and Elizabeth eventually made the move to Illinois. One son, William Sapp’s history gives an explanation that would coincide somewhat with our biography. It lists a time period of 1839 and says, “With several hundred relatives and friends including his brothers and sisters by forming a wagon train they left Knox County Ohio and moved to Illinois. William and Catherine had one small daughter and were pregnant with their second child.”  William’s information states 1839, but there were land agreements dated 1838 so that would suggest that the families arrived in 1838. They probably arrived and began settling in 1838 with initial land purchases by family groups.

fayette-county-migration-project

painting credit to Fayette county migration project

I believe that the 16 families mentioned in the biography were part of a much larger group as William Sapp’s information suggests. The 16 families referenced in the biography could be referring to those who camped with Isaac Workman and settled in the area where he ended up purchasing land. The Logue, McKenzies and Logsdons may have been part of the larger group that William Sapp referred to. A look at the land map will show that two Sapp brothers settled near Isaac and Amos Workman. Their land grants had purchase dates of 1839, the same as Amos Workman’s. This does not mean they were not on the land before that, it simply means that was the year the actual legal purchase agreement was made. They may have been renting the land previously, or the land in question was open and unclaimed when they settled there but they did not finalize purchase agreements until 1839. These two Sapp brothers and the location of their lands near Amos and Isaac provide a clue to the mysterious Matheny connection. As I mentioned previously, Amos Workman’s second wife was Jane Conner/Connor or Matheny. Some records and sources list Conner while others mention Matheny so she could have been a Jane Conner married to a Matheny prior to marriage Amos, or she could have been a Jane Matheny married to a Conner? Either way, she seems to have had some connection to Connor and Matheny families. Daniel Sapp, one of the sons of Joseph Sapp and Elizabeth Starner married a Sarah Margaret Matheny (no other information known about her other than birth date of 1808). Charles Sapp, another son of Joseph and Elizabeth, married a Mary Elizabeth Matheny born 1812 in Knox county, Father’s name possibly Benjamin. Given the fact that Amos’ wife Jane is often linked to Matheny families, I believe that these two Sapp families may have had some family connection to Amos through the earlier Critchfield connections and to Jane through some connection to Matheny families. For this reason, I believe that Charles and Daniel Sapp families may have been in this group of families.

8. Charles Sapp with wife Mary Elizabeth and 4 children

9. Daniel Sapp with wife Sarah and 5 children

This would account for at least 9 or 10 of the supposed 16 familes in the wagon train that all had some link to each other through either Workman, Owen or Earnest family connections. The remaining group members may well have been Logues, Mckenzies or others who made trip with this group and camped with them but did not settle in the same close location as these above listed families did.

The National Road and it’s connection to the family migration from Maryland to Illinois.

national_road_map

 

The last item I want to address here is not mentioned in the family biography but Daisy Lichtenwalter does mention it in her letter. Daisy mentions the Old National Trail or Road in her letter so I just want to touch on the National Road as it pertains to family migration from Maryland on to Illinois. The construction of the National Road and it’s route directly corresponds to the extended family’s migration out of Maryland. You can look at the family histories and see that their moves across the colonies, territories and states closely followed the years of construction of the Old National Road.

In 1802, President Jefferson’s Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, proposed a plan that sparked interest, known as the “Origin of the National Road”. The plan allocated money from land sales, allowing a percentage to be used for the making of the first federally funded highway. The road began in Maryland near Frostburg in Alleghany county, where our extended Workman families were  in the mid 1700s. During the later 1700s many of them were migrating back and forth between Monongalia county in Virginia, Alleghany county Maryland and Belmont county Ohio. The construction of the National Road made their migration between the areas easier. As the road progressed, so did their journey westward. The road would eventually connect Alleghany county and areas of Monongalia county to Belmont county Ohio where the earliest record for Amos Workman is documented other than his birth in Frostburg, Maryland. In the late 1700s around 1790s, he supposedly had land in Monongalia county and when he sold the land, he listed his home of record as Belmont county. Belmont county was on the border of Ohio and West Virginia. By about 1815-1820, most of the families had followed the road as it was making it’s way through Ohio. The majority of families were settled together in Knox county and adjacent areas, and remained there throughout the 1820s until the mid 1830s. The road building was an extremely slow process and it took almost ten years for the road to make it’s way through areas of Ohio.

national-road-in-ohio-and-indiana-showing-the-counties

The National Road was also known as the Cumberland Road and this shows the early route in Ohio through Indiana and on to Illinois.

knox-county-related-to-other-counties-in-ohio

Knox county Ohio in relation to other counties and to Columbus. The National Road was designed to run through capitols of each state so this shows that living in Knox county, the families would have been close to the National Road. It also shows location of Fairfield where Isaac Workman married Mary Jane Owen.

http://fayette.illinoisgenweb.org/nationalroad/nationalroad.html

The first section of the National Road was approved in 1806 by an act of congress and signed by President Thomas Jefferson, officially establishing a national highway from Cumberland, Maryland to the Mississippi. There was one catch, the road would run through the capitals of each state along the route. According to congressional requirements the road was to be sixty-six feet wide and be surfaced with stone and covered with gravel, along with bridges that were to be made of stone. Mandates were placed by legislators for the protection of citizens that prohibited a tree stump on the National Road to exceed 15 inches in height. Surveyors were sent to calculate and measure westward trails. The road would eventually pass through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, and Illinois.

Even though, contracts were not granted until 1811, road construction did not begin until 1815 in Cumberland, Maryland and reached Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1818, being delayed because of the war of 1812. From Wheeling, Ohio was only a bridge length away. Many families preferred to migrate by Ohio River boats than by slow wagon journey westward through the wilderness of deep ruts and low lying stumps. The terrain varied from state to state as well as the quality of bridges and roads.

Original specifications for the road were used before the utilization of Macadamization. This rather expensive and sophisticated engineering technique used layers of stone to build the road. To make the road, the ground would have to be dug 12-18 inches deep and stones approximately 7 inches in diameter were used for the base. Then smaller stones that passed through a three-inch ring and graded down. Macadamization was the ideal surface for the time, but due to the expense it was not available everywhere. Plank roads, literally building of a floor of timber as a roadway, was used and look upon as a perfect answer to providing smooth, dust-free roads in muddy rural areas. Over time, deteriation was common among these timber highways and plank roads were not used everywhere.

By 1820, money was appropriated to survey the remainder of the states: Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Road building was a huge task. And a variety of skills were needed. Surveyors laid out paths; engineers oversaw construction. Masons cut and worked the stone, and carpenters framed bridges. Numerous laborers pulled and tugged, cut and hauled and leveled to clear the path. By 1822, President James Monroe vetoed a proposed legislation to turn the National Road into a federal toll road. Ownership of the road was handed to the states through which the road passed. The states built tollhouses along the road to collect tolls to help fund repairs needed for the road.

Those traveling west of the Alleghenies on the National Road considered Ohio the Frontier and Indiana and Illinois the West. In the early 1800s, thousands of movers and tons of merchandise moved across the National Road, despite its haphazard quality. They came from the Shenandoah Valley and down from rocky New England, pausing to rest briefly at Cumberland, then driving on toward Uniontown and Wheeling. Arriving Eastern goods could either be sent upriver from Wheeling to Pittsburgh or downstream to ports in Ohio, Indiana and on to Louisiana. Agricultural produce and materials from the South and West came upriver to be unloaded at Wheeling, then to be carried eastward to cities as far away as Baltimore.
A horde of emigrants hurried westward during the golden decades prior to the Civil War. Author P. D. Jordan described it this way, “Their covered wagons had been forming an endless procession ever since the Cumberland Road was opened. After they settled Pennsylvania, they filled Ohio. When Ohio land no longer was available, they clumped on into Indiana to erect their homes and plant their fields on the banks of the Wabash. They clung to the National Road like a mosquito to a denizen of the swampy American Bottoms. It was the people’s highway, and the people crowded it from rim to edge until their carts, wagons, stages and carriages challenged one another for the right of way. (Philip D. Jordan, The National Road, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1948.)

It took almost another 10 years for the road to reach it’s end at Vandalia Illinois. In 1828, a surveyor named Joseph Shriver surveyed the eighty-nine mile route from Indiana to Vandalia, IL. Many hardships endured during his survey in July of that year. He recorded a few of these in his survey notes:

“Saturday, July 19th, 1828
Run 10-3/4 miles today- 8 or 9 miles of it Prairie-the dividing ground between the Little Walbash and Kaskaskia.
Encamped on the waters of the Kaskaskia. Lost an ox from the team today, -his death occasioned by the heat and the want of water in xing the prairie.

Sunday, July 20th, 1828
Run 7 miles today over ground not very good for a road. About one half Prairie land, the remainder broken. Encamped on a small spring branch, waters of the stream which puts into the Kaskaskia River opposite Vandalia.

Monday July 21 st, 1828
Run within a mile or less of Vandalia when a heavy rain come on and being in an extensive bottom could not proceed
further—encamped. Provisions scarce: breakfast on meat and coffee: –dined on honey and meat and supped on roasted flitch and coffee. Notwithstanding it being so near to Vandalia there is yet not the least sign of anything like a settlement, much less the seat of a Government of a State. Strange case to be within hearing distance of a city and starving.”

It was not long after Shriver’s Surveys, Congress appropriated $40,000 in 1830 to open the Illinois section of the road. Later, additional money was granted each year for the much needed work of clearing land, grading and the bridge building work. New towns began to spring up over night along the route. Many businesses began to set up shop along the road to accommodate the needs of the workers of the National Road. Huge Conestoga Wagons came in droves, traveling the dusty road westward.

In 1838 the road had finally reached its end to Vandalia, Illinois, the current state capital at that time. During the summer of 1839 the National Road was open for travel in Illinois. Although the road was surveyed to Jefferson City, Missouri, construction was halted at Vandalia, Illinois. Due to lack of funding by the government and squabbling over the route for which the road would take. Missouri wanted the road to travel through St. Louis, MO and Illinois wanting it to travel through Alton, Illinois, a town located along the Mississippi River. After a total of 600 miles and approximately $7,000,000 the road to the wilderness was completed.

Our ancestors remained in Ohio until the road to Illinois was completed and then followed the newly completed road as far as they could. Daisy Workman Lichtenwalter’s letter states that their intent was to head toward Missouri where the road was originally suppose to continue on to. When they reached the end of the road in Illinois they most likely learned that there would be no continuation of the road on toward Missouri. While their reasoning for not continuing on was initially attributed to the horse running off and that they decided they liked what they saw in Illinois, the fact that there would be no future road on to Missouri probably affected their decision to stay in Illinois.

Additional Resources for National Road:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Road

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/back0103.cfm

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ah-nationalroad.html

 

 

Outlander: Sassenach, Ode to Claire

Every once in a while you hear something that moves you so much that you feel a need to share it with others. Many of us Outlander fans feel this way about the Outlander experience? We are so moved and inspired by the timeless and unending story that herself, Diana Gabaldon has created. It touches us in many ways and it makes us want to share the experience and the legend with the world around us. What I find so interesting about all of it too, is that it gives many of us the courage, and the confidence to step out of that fantasy world and explore our own world more in a variety of ways from learning more about history, other cultures and countries, to experiencing life in ways we might never have thought of before. Her fantasy story of Claire, the Sassenach, traveling through the Stones and time to experience and embrace a new life is one that many of us can relate to on so many different levels. I look at those Stones as a metaphor for facing our own fears, taking a leap of faith at times, closing our eyes and going through to a whole new world.

There are so many fans out there who have used the books as their inspiration to create in order to share the legendary experience that Outlander has become. From blogs filled with writing and artwork, to crafters of beautiful and meaningful representations of the rich history presented throughout the books, to fun and whimsical creations. Recently I was so touched by a piece of music that I felt I had to help the artist share it with others! Like many of us, this talented artist was just trying to share her thoughts with us, and I don’t think she had any idea of what a really wonderful thing she had accomplished in just a short time.  She posted her video clip on our facebook group and many of there were so touched by it that we wanted her to share it somewhere so it could be shared by more people.

She has finally posted it on youtube for us! Here is the video, Ode to Claire by Belinda Apps!

Outlander 2014

 

 

What I found so truly amazing about this video is the fact that Belinda wrote the song, sang it, and put together the video montage in just a few short hours! Belinda is not a professional singer, has had no formal voice training or writing courses. As she puts it, she is a novice at all of it, including the Outlander experience and obsession. Where some have been true fans and fanatics for as long as Diana has been writing them- over twenty years, Belinda admits to being somewhat of a new comer to it. “I’ve been obsessed with Outlander for almost two years now, so I am a novice really. When you think about how long some people have been on the Outlander Train I’m still in the back carriage, I haven’t made it to First Class yet!”

Another thing I found so moving about this video and Belinda’s voice is the fact that her voice and the song so quickly immersed me in a feeling of the eastern U.S. mountain folk music which includes the area where Claire and Jamie eventually settled on Fraser’s Ridge. I could easily imagine this song being written back then by one who knew them and their legendary love story, such as Roger…imagine it being sung by those so close to them and being passed down through generations as most folk songs are. Belinda has captured that all so uniquely and so well without ever having been near that place or being that familiar with Early American Folk music. Belinda has never been to the U.S.  “I’m from Australia and, no I’ve never been to Eastern Us or anywhere else overseas! 🙂  I didn’t do it intentionally but I don’t mind that I sound like I come from the US mountains at all, some of the best music in the world came/comes from places like that!”

 

When I asked Belinda about other hobbies, she shared, “I love art too and paint and draw whenever I can. And I’ve now added amateur writer to the list!  I’ve been working on my very first attempt to write a book for a few months now and I think its going ok. Only time will tell I guess!”

Here is another sample of her writing!

 

Outlander Rap, Lol!
There was a hot scot and his name was Jamie,
Claire was his Sassenach, his leading lady.
She fell through the stones and became his wife,
And now they live together in his crazy life.

Brown curly hair and eyes like whisky,
(If you don’t like my rap, please don’t diss me!)
Claire was a beauty, Jamie couldna resist,
 Fell head over heels with the verra first kiss!

Sexy blue eyes and hair of red,
Now Jamie is the hottie sleepin’ in Claire’s bed!
Now I know what your thinkin, lucky lady, lucky gent?
But they were whisky bound and ‘Jackie’ hell bent!

Yes Black Jack Randall tried to make their life hell,
But their love for each other was like a magic spell.
No matter what he did, no matter what he tried,
He couldn’t break the spell they were wrapped inside!

Then the sad day came when they had to part,
Twas  for her  own safety,  Jamie broke  Claire’s  heart.
Yes he sent her back through to save her life,
Back to the future – and to be Frank’s wife.

Now Claire’s hubby Frank, back in 1945,
Had no idea that his wife was still alive!
When she came back it was quite a shock,
To find the baby bump hidden under her frock!

At Culloden Jamie died, or so Claire thought,
But he lived after all coz he bravely fought.
20 years passed by and then Claire came back,
She was older and wiser- still had a good rack!

In the meantime Jamie’s life had changed a lot,
Claire didn’t care- he was still a smoking hot Scot!
So they went to America, yeah that’s what they did,
Then they claimed a piece of land and they called it Frasers Ridge!

Then along came Bree and Roger Mac,
They came through the stones and then they went back!
Now Rogers gone and Bree’s still there,
And Jemmy’s been taken, and she don’t know where!

And Jamie’s nephew Ian, well he met himself a Quaker,
She dressed real plain but she’s still a heartbreaker,
With his Indian tatt’s and a dog named Rollo,
I Guess Ian’s had enough of ridin’ solo!

There’s Lord John Grey, he’s a little bit queer,
Got the hots for Jamie and tried to keep him near,
But Jamie’s into Claire, won’t be buggered again,
Coz he’s been there before, you see, Black Jack was also into men!

Right about now you’re thinking ‘what the hell!?’
What’s gunna happen next? With Diana you can never tell!
Well it all a mystery and we’ll wait impatiently,
To see what happens when we get to MOBY!

By
Belinda Apps

 
I hope you enjoy Belinda’s creativity and talent as much as I do! Thank you so much Belinda for allowing me to share this with everyone! I think you were a Bard and a story teller in some past life and Diana has brought it back to your memory and your heart!

From the Creator: A Little about me!

         

I am a dreamer, a searcher, a story teller. I am on a journey through life and through time, a lover of history as well as of what the future might bring. I invite you to walk beside me for a while, share my space and enjoy the fantasy as well as the realities of life and all of it’s unknowns!

Timeslips cover

 

 

           Ahhhh Ok, today I am going to break with my usual policy of not talking about myself.  Normally, I try to keep the focus on my creations and general interests but I’ve decided to give you some insight on my life and how I came to be who and what I am today. Perhaps you’ll catch a glimpse of yourself in my story and you will be inspired to take your own leaps of faith and broaden your own horizons! Much of this information is probably listed somewhere in my profile should anyone have ventured there.  I am not going to write down my entire life story here for you, just a short abbreviated version so you can understand a little of  how my ever winding journey has brought me to this space!

 

I was born and raised in a small isolated mining town in Northern Minnesota.  Even from my earliest childhood memories,  my one consuming thought was to leave and see the rest of the world, the places and people that I read about in books. I think that from the time I learned to read, I was not content to stay where I was at. I was gifted, or cursed at such a young age with a very vivid imagination and an overpowering need to tell stories. When I was little, that imagination and story telling desire was by no means a blessing! In my desire to live out those fantasies, to have a different life than what I was given, I shared my little fantasies and stories with anyone who would listen… I did not understand yet how to weave the stories and share them as stories, I simply wove them into my life and presented them as that.  It was a difficult lesson to learn as a small child. I did not quite realize then that my stories, my imaginings and my wishful thoughts when presented in that way would cause so much hurt. When I look back on it now, I guess I could put it in some positive aspect in that my stories were well told enough that my childhood audience initially believed them? Then of course, they became quite suspicious and disbelieving… that was when I was suddenly and painfully ostracized from those former friends who became cruel and accusing. I sincerely wish that someone back then had taken the time to explain some differences to me, to understand my imagination and direct me to the process of writing it all down as what it was, a story!  Fortunately for me, there were a few kind children who were willing to overlook my childhood blunder of story telling excesses. I do still remember one of them with much appreciation and fondness, for she did make the connection. During that summer of banishment and ridicule from the other children, one girl, Lynnea, reached out to me and accepted me.  She also made a suggestion which I eventually took to heart.  I can still recall her simple words, “You tell such good stories, you should write them down!”  That simple idea had never occurred to me before!  From that time on, I wrote, almost as much as I read.
I am not going to go into all of the painful details of my life growing up in that small town or the specifics of a difficult family life, other than to mention that for so many reasons, I felt as though I never quite fit there- either in my family, or in that town.  I was constantly searching for something else, something I knew I couldn’t find there. Of course as a teen, one is never really sure what they’re searching for.  For me it was the same, I didn’t know what I was searching for, I only knew I was not going to find it where I was!  I was full of dreams, ambitions, thoughts of the bigger picture, and as someone once put to me, I couldn’t see the forest for the trees in my way. When I was dreaming of a future, I saw writing in it. My Father, how ever did not! His thoughts on that were, “Well that’s a nice hobby, Now what kind of job are you going to do?”  Ever practical, he was determined that I should go to school and learn an acceptable job skill such as nursing, teaching, maybe as a secretary since I did like to write? That was his reference to my writing ability… he decided against the secretarial option when he saw my grades for office procedures such as typing and book keeping! Well, he reasoned, there was always nursing or teaching! He laughed when I mentioned that my high school English teacher had suggested that I pursue a career in writing… His answer to that was, “So, how do you plan to support yourself with that?”  Suffice to say, my Father won his arguments and his battles for the time being. I was steered in the practical, acceptable direction of  going to school for x-ray technology. That career pursuit lasted about 6 months! While I found it interesting, it was definitely not something I felt any strong desire to make a career of… especially after passing out in the OR  being harshly dragged out and being told never to return to by a very irate Surgeon!  Well, Dad was annoyed by this failure on my part but eventually did agree to my attending the local junior college instead and hopefully then going for what he felt was the last remaining option, teaching… or Heaven forbid, Social work?!  I spent some time at college, all the while still searching for that elusive missing what, that unknown? 

After realizing and accepting that the unknown was still out there calling to me stronger than ever, I began looking around and seeing what my life was… I was frustrated with all of it, and scared of what a future would look like for me if I continued to stay where I was.  One night after far too much alcohol, which was becoming my personal means of coping with the situation, another friend came to my rescue with yet another fairly simple observation. It is one of those defining moments, where you recall it perfectly as if it were just yesterday. It was 5am in the morning, the sun was just coming up as I sat on the front step of  some acquaintance’s home, crying over my seeming inescapable life situation. Yet another night of binge drinking and the usual disasters that followed, I was at a point where I knew I couldn’t go on but not sure what to do about it. As I sat there, a friend sat down with me. He didn’t have to ask what was wrong, he knew, I think all that was wrong with my life, had struggled with it himself. We sat there for a while silently when he made the simple statement, “Get the Hell out of here, do what ever it takes but leave and don’t look back!” For a moment I just stared at him in confusion, unable to respond to his remark. He went on, “Do you want to wake up ten years from now staring at yourself in the mirror asking yourself what happened?” I nodded my head and thought on his observations while he went on. “Just pack your shit and leave otherwise you’re going to be one of those people you laugh at now, sitting at the end of the bar with a name engraved on your chair. You’ll be married to some guy you don’t like with four or five kids and no way to get out then.” His picture painted a clear enough image… one that I had already imagined before in my head many times before. But, to hear someone else point it out vividly and starkly is always a bigger wake up call! So, after all of these years, I look back on that moment, that conversation and that friend whom I never saw again and say very sincerely, Thank you so much Bob for those words of drunken wisdom! You most likely never knew how much they meant, or how they changed my life. I am reasonably sure that you don’t even remember that event but Thank you from the bottom of my heart anyway!

 

That was a turning point in my life, and shortly after that, I did pack my shit and leave, not to look back for quite some time! My search landed me at the office of an Air Force recruiter and for that experience in life, no matter how difficult those years were, I am also forever thankful! Those years were part of my search, my quest for that ever elusive unknown purpose in life. I was finally able to go out on the journey I was meant to. It taught me respect, responsibility, gave me self confidence, opened my eyes to the world around me and proved to me what a much bigger picture I was a part of.  During those years of self discovery, I met so many new people with other beliefs, other religions and cultures to share. I believe that it truly was such a part of my journey, my destiny and shaped my views on life and the world so much more than those earliest years ever could have. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful now for having had the chance to grow up in that small town and learn some of those basic values that my family instilled in me. What I do understand now is that it was only such a small part of what I needed to learn and experience! Those early years of stories, books, fantasies and day dreams were tempered with the real life lessons that I learned in the larger world of humanity.

 

Through all of those years my love of reading and writing never subsided.  My years in the military gave me the opportunity to live in Europe for two years and experience a great deal of the world I had only read about in books. It was during those years that I developed an even more intense passion for all things of history! Seeing all of those places I had only read about was such an inspiration for me to write about, to create images of and learn more about.  After I got out of the military and returned to Minnesota to raise my children, my life settled into the daily realities of being a single parent, working full time, going to school, raising kids and helping my now older parents. There was little time left for anything else other than those things.

 

I do want to say that over the years, my Dad mellowed in his views and eventually became my strongest supporter in all my efforts to find myself. No, he was not happy at first with my decision to join the Air Force… he fully expected me to be back home within a few weeks and admonished me that this was one of my more reckless and thoughtless ventures yet. He warned me that this was not something I could just quit when I decided it wasn’t for me, then clearly expected me to try to quit. He was fully prepared for me to fail at it and I think he was already in his head disappointed in me before I even tried it? It could have had something to do with my Mother’s feelings though as well… She was heart broken at the thought of my leaving and put the blame on my Father for it. She believed that he had encouraged me to leave with his stories of his own youth and his travels, and with the fact that he would no longer support me in my present schooling. Once he realized that I was serious, that I did not intend to quit or fail, and that I was accomplishing this goal I had set for myself, he was encouraging on all of my trials through the military experience. When I announced that I had found a way to get assigned to Germany, I think he was more excited than me! And, when I re-enlisted, he apologized for all of his previous doubts.  My Mother, on the other hand, while she was happy that I was succeeding and accomplishing something, wanted nothing more than for me to be home and closer to her. When I got out of the military and returned home to Minnesota, she cried and hugged me… please understand, we are not a huggie  feelie type family so this was an ultimate display for her! My Father was disappointed that I chose not to make a career of the military but he understood my reasons, and really he was more than happy to have his grandkids close to him.

 

I spent years struggling to go to school, work and raise my kids. My parents were there through it all with me, backing me, encouraging me and supporting me in every way possible. I thank them for that, am blessed to have had their help and can honestly say that we are far better off for having made the move back to them. One of the few moments that I saw my Father shed tears was when I graduated from college. Ohhh, and later when I granted his earlier wish for me to have an “acceptable” job… I spent seven years as a pre-school teacher! Turns out that he was right in one respect… I definitely needed a job that would pay the bills and allow me to raise my children without us all starving, or having to resort to living with Grandpa and Grandma!  Besides supporting my education and job efforts, he became my staunchest encourager in all things creative as well. I remember when he helped me purchase a home computer all those years ago when it was a rarity and sinful luxury rather than a common “every home has one” item. He saw how I so desperately wanted one, and felt a need for one in many respects. My initial reasoning was that it was important for the kids to have this tool for the future. He agreed with that and then softly made another comment, “It would be a lot easier to write on too, wouldn’t it?” I didn’t answer him then, just shrugged it off and kept trying to save my money for it. He came to visit close to Christmas that year and simply said, “Let’s go look at that computer you need.” He helped me finish paying for it and never said another word against the folly of my writing or my creating.  Maybe he realized that it was my one outlet, my one connection to that other world I had left behind when I came home to them. My parents were both strong believers in education and learning.  They instilled that in me, in my children and I thank them for that. They also instilled in me a sense of family and the importance of family ties. My Mother was one of those that I consider a Family record keeper. She was the oldest in her family and always kept in close touch with all of her family. She was one who knew the secrets… whether she chose to tell them is an entirely different matter and she had her reasons for keeping them. My Father less so of a record keeper but he instilled a feeling of families being important whether they were with you or not, whether you talked to them or not, liked them or not, they were family. In  one of my last conversations with my Father, he did not have to come out and say he was dying… we both knew he was, he very calmly added at the end of the conversation, “Make sure you take care of your Mother.”  His passing was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through in life and even after 20 years it still isn’t any easier.  For five years after his leaving, I did take care of my Mom, and in some respects it was the best five years we had together. I say this because I came to know her as a person, a friend, and not just a Mom.  I finally understood her better as she shared more of her past, her history with me.  We spent time together as friends and she shared her childhood, her youth and her secrets with me. She encouraged me as well, to find my happiness, my path in life where ever it might lead.

 

One of my Mom’s last wishes in life was to find out more about her family, to find ones she had lost and I believe it was her wish to settle much of the secrecy that she had held on to over the years. I helped her with that and it led me down my own path of discovery. Helping her fill in the blanks involved a great deal of  genealogy research, which I found I had my own passion for! It is an ongoing part of my life which I have shared with and passed on to my own daughter. It is all part of that never ending quest, that thirst for knowledge and answers about the world… the past, the present and the future.

 

Over the past years of my journey, I have learned that my search for that elusive unknown quantity is ongoing. It’s not something easily found or recognized and it’s not a search that has an ending… well, not at least until I reach the end of this life and go on to the next place, where hopefully then there will be some answers! It’s not like a search for the right thing, or place or job… no it’s nothing like that. It’s a search within yourself and the world around you for that next step in your journey, it’s more a search for the next clue rather than and ending result? The search and the journey are what makes you who you are, who you become later. It’s a never ending journey through time because I do believe that when this light dims, when this door closes, a new opens to us on that path!

My writing, my creating has always been a part of me from my earliest years with paper dolls and doll houses, to my story telling, my first attempts at writing it all down, my explorations with various outlets from candle making, doll house building, graphic designs, photos, cooking, computer simulations… they are all just a part of my need to express myself, to share a part of that which makes up me and to go on with the journey!