Saturday, March 01, 2008

Serendipity and a Random Act of Kindness

The helpfullness of genealogists and family researchers amazes me sometimes, especially when it is truly a "random act" of kindness. I've never been on the receiving end of one of those random acts before and I must say, it feels good.

Friday evening "Gary" left a comment on my post "Wiliam Wise, son of Peter and Christina ?" Gary's Blogger Profile does not have any contact or other information about him so I can't contact him directly, but I wanted to publicly thank him for the time he took to find this information.

The text of Gary's comment:
A William and Nancy Wise appear in Sumner Co, KS on the Kansas State Census beginning in 1885. They appear to fit pretty well with your William and Nancy, but I can't be absolutely sure it's them. Perhaps you can follow-up and find out more. Here is a summary of the census data:

1885, KS (state census), Sumner Co, Wellington Twp (pg 10)
W. Wise, age 63, b. PA, came to KS from IN
N. A. Wise, age 51, b. PA

1895, KS (state census), Sumner Co, Wellington Twp (pg 15)
Wm. Wise, age 74, b. PA, came to KS from IN
Nacy Wise, age 62, b. PA

1900, KS (federal census), Sumner Co, Wellington Twp (pg 22)
William Wise, age 79, b. PA
Nancy A Wise, age 68, b. PA

1905, KS (state census), Sumner Co, Wellington Twp (pg 13)
William Wise, age 83, b. PA, came to KS from IN
Nancy Wise, age 72, b. PA

The online transcription of Prairie Lawn Cem at Wellington, KS lists the following:
Nancy Wise died 29 Nov 1909
W M Wise died 26 Dec 1905
Because, "fit pretty well" they do indeed - the ages, place of birth. But you see, for the past week or so I've been corresponding with Janette in Meade County, Kansas about Elmina and John Mohler. (Elmina is the sister of Eliza Jane Wise Hoffman.) I won't get into what all Janette has found for me as that will be in a future post, but last evening, about 2 hours after Gary posted his comment, I received an email from Janette which included the obituary and biography of John Mohler (Janette is still looking for Elmina's date of death and obituary, we have the year of 1932). Anyway in John's biography he tells about where he was born and other details and also about when they left Gilead, Indiana to go to Kansas saying "When William was nine years old we started west in a covered wagon. My wife was in poor health and the change in climate was necessary. I left my family at Wellington for a short while until I could get a sod house built."

There is more, but what caught my eye was that his family was left at Wellington for a while. And that is where the William and Nancy Wise that Gary found just happened to have lived. Obviously, more research is needed to prove the connection, but it looks promising.

Would I have found the census and cemetery information on William and Nancy Wise myself? I hadn't started looking for more about them yet and I'd like to think I would have, but Gary has certainly saved me the time and trouble of searching. Thanks again, Gary. I've downloaded the census images for my files and located the cemetery transcriptions (links below) and have sent an email to the Wellington Library to see if they have local newspapers on microfilm and if anyone is availabe to do lookups. It's awfully nice that the full dates of death for William and Nancy were included on their grave markers!

Online transcription of Prairie Lawn Cemetery, Wellington, Kansas

Sumner County Cemeteries

I know I've said it several times already, but THANK YOU Gary and THANK YOU Janette.

1 comment:

footnoteMaven said...


The internet is indeed a wonderful place, I know, I've been on the receiving end of it.

And yes, genealogists are a kind and giving group of people.

Congratulations on your good fortune and thank you to Gary and Janette for making us all look good!