Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So much for a break in topics...don't forget that extended family!

Yeah, a break from the Bromagems isn't going to happen. I got an email today with scans from a Civil War pension that a wonderful genealogist offered to get for me last week and I couldn't be happier. Eliza Bromagem, Mary J. Braden Bromagem and James Bromagem's eldest child and Lillian Bromagem Stevens' sister, has been found. By an entirely different name.

The last place I had tracked Eliza last year was in Ohio in 1870 with her family. She is not found with them in the Cincinnati city directories I've checked for the 1880s nor the 1880 census and considering her age, I figured that the most logical thing was that she got married. Either that, or she died of some unknown cause. I made inquiries about her marriage in Cincinnati but nothing was found so I put it aside for another day.

On a completely unrelated topic, my Mom asked me to figure something else out. When she was growing up, she remembered people named Van Wormer always showing up to the family functions and visiting her Grandfather. Apparently he had told her that they were related in some way but never explained it so no one who is alive now knows who these people were. So I started backtracking and pretty quickly found this woman who kept popping up, Lida Van Wormer. As it turns out, she was the grandmother of one of the Van Wormers that my Mom remembered. But there was something else. Her age and place of birth, and the fact that she couldn't be tracked beyond 1880 was a little strange but then I found out that her husband was the grandson of my Great Great Great Grandmother's 2nd husband and that the two marriages fell within a few years of each other. So this set the Van Wormers up to be family associates and explained why wherever there were Stevens and Bromagem family members, there were Van Wormers. Lida's marriage also fell right in the same time frame and place that I lost track of Eliza Bromagem. Could they be the same person?

Fortunately, Clemson Van Wormer, Lida's husband, was in the Civil War and a widow's pension had been filed. Inside the file was the proof of marriage stating that Lida Van Wormer was born Lida Bromagem and she and Clemson were married in 1872 in Hamilton County (the county that Cincinnati is in although marriage records for the city are apparently separate from those in the rest of Hamilton County which is probably why no marriage record had been previously found).

Lida Van Wormer died in Chicago in 1930. She lived there near her mother, Mary Braden Bromagem, who died there in 1907, and her siblings who all died there, and she raised her own family there. Those children and grandchildren of Lida Bromagem Van Wormer were the ones who grew up with my Mom and her brothers and none of them had any idea that they were the family of their Great Grandmother's Bromagem sister. Now they know but unfortunately they do not know what happened to the Van Wormer's they knew. Presumably the older members, Lida's grandchildren, have died but it's possible that their children may still be around in the area. Good thing I'm moving to IL in 3 weeks! :)

And even more importantly than finding Eliza/Lida is that fact that Lida's death certificate is available from the Cook Co, IL clerk and should (keep your fingers crossed everyone!) give me another piece of paper with mention of Mary J Braden's maiden name. Considering the twists and turns I've been having with that lately, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, that record will have to add.

No comments:

Post a Comment