20 May 2016
A Most Unusual Genealogical Record
How many of you have family history recorded by an ancestor on a piece of furniture?
I can cross this off my bucket list of "great records that only OTHER people seem to find."
The photo is of the bottom of a dresser drawer that my paternal grandmother - Myrtle Mae Borgstadter Beffort - wrote on to record the provenance of the dresser. It also relates a bit of my lineage from my 3rd great grandparents to my great grandmother.
The photo above is the James and Angeline Solomon family. They are shown seated on the porch. Angeline is holding the youngest of their 12 children on her lap. All of the children in the photo are theirs with the exception of the man standing on the far left. He is a nephew of James and Angeline. The woman standing between James and Angeline is Sarah Jane Solomon, my 2nd great grandmother.
My grandmother wrote on the drawer that the family moved about the time of the Civil War. Actually the family moved from Moultrie County, Illinois to Tescott, Ottawa County, Kansas about 1883. The family group photo was taken on the front porch of their home in Tescott in 1884.
If the family knew what laid in store for them when they moved to Kansas, they might have never left Illinois. James Solomon died one year after their arrival, just a month after this photo was taken.
In February 1885, the 13 year old daughter of James and Angeline died.
James' brother John Solomon had moved his wife and 10 children at the same time from Illinois to Kansas. John's youngest son died in September 1885, his oldest son in November 1885 and then John himself died a month later in December 1885.
A month later in January 1886, the oldest son of James Solomon died.
1887 there was one more death - my 3rd great grandmother Angeline Fulton Solomon.
All of these deaths were attributed to cholera.
In 1895, the home of my 2nd great grandparents Louis Besson and Sarah Solomon burned to the ground and their 5 year old son lost his life in that incident.
In 1896, the two families went through another epidemic losing 7 family members to to cholera. My 2nd great grandmother was one of those dying at the very young age of 27.
In the family photo above, they all appear to be well fed, well clothed and happy. I find it so very tragic that these two families managed to raise almost all their children to young adults without incident. Until they decided to move West for a better life.