- Rule number one: You are never "done" with your family history.
"Record of Margret Ferguson who was the 4th daughter of Eliza Callin Ferguson who was the 3rd daughter of John Callin who was the 2nd son of James 1st.
Born 1839, died 1902.
Married to Jerome Gallaher.
To this union two children were born:
Helen, married, two children."
So when I began drafting this post, I expected that to be all I could tell you about Margaret Jane (Ferguson) Gallaher. Assuming I could scrape together names of the husbands of Mary and Helen, and find out the names of Helen's two children, I might have bare-bones minimalist biographies of six or eight people, tops.
- Rule number two: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Evidence is the life blood of this project. Without documents that say when and where people lived, and what they did there, I can't rule out anything. And for the longest time, I could only find bits and pieces of this family's story - while the rest was a great, empty possibility.
Then I found an obituary...
Jerome Bohan Gallaher was born 23 August 1833, in Litchfield, Connecticut. He was one of eight children and moved westward when he was a young man settling at various points in Ohio and Indiana. He married Margaret Jane Ferguson (1839-1901) on August 15, 1858, in DeKalb county, Indiana, and they had two daughters: Mary (or Mollie), in 1860, and Helen in 1862.
At the beginning of the Civil War, Jerome enlisted in the 2nd Indiana regiment, in which he served until 25 August 1865. At the time of mustering out he had attained the position of Quartermaster of his regiment. After the close of the Civil War the Gallaher family moved to Black River Falls, Wisconsin, where Mr. Gallaher engaged in his old business of photography. In 1872 they moved to the newly incorporated town of Chippewa Falls, where they resided until the early 1890's, when he settled on a homestead outside of town.
Margaret preceded her husband to the grave in May 1901, and after that he lived alone most of the time on his farm. For the last two years of his life, he had been rather feeble, but when his friends planned to have him come to town where he could be looked after, he always vetoed their plans, expressing the wish to remain on the old farm as long as he lived. He died in January 1912.
I. Mary A (Mollie) Gallaher (1860-1913) married William John Ickstadt (1865-1906) in September 1883. William took her away to the neighboring town of Edson where he was appointed as postmaster in October 1883, and he became a prominent real estate and business man in the Boyd area. In 1906, at the age of 47, he drowned in a boating accident on Pike lake. Mollie only lived another seven years, dying at 53.
A. Jerome Monroe Ickstadt was born on 19 June 1884. He married Marie A Street in Boyd, Chippewa county, on 20 May 1912. The couple settled in Fond du Lac, where Jerome was a fireman with the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad company. The last record I have found for them placed them in Fond du Lac in 1921; there is another placing Marie in that town in 1924, but with no further listing for Jerome. I have found nothing to indicate when or where either of them died, or whether they had any children.
B. Alice Mae Ickstadt (1888–1973) married Louis Floyd Shilts (1894–1947), probably around 1910. Louis was a veteran of World War I, and he worked as an auto mechanic in a Chippewa Falls garage. Mae taught in the local schools.
C. Arthur J Ickstadt (1890–1927) grew up in Chippewa county, and worked at the State Home - what is now known as the Northern Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled. He married Louisa Rosalie Krenz (1894–1959) around 1925, and she was pregnant with their second son when he died in March 1927. The state later awarded her $7,000 in settlement, one month before the birth of that second son.
Found on Newspapers.com
1. Donald W Ickstadt (1927–2013) graduated from Chippewa High School in 1945, then served one and ½ years in the Navy aboard the USS Chara and the USS Parikutin. He matriculated at Wisconsin State College at Eau Claire in 1947 and graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences, Physical Education/Secondary Education. He then attended the University of Southern California graduate school in 1952. Married in 1954, his wife, three sons, and two daughters are all still living. Don worked in employment services for the state of Wisconsin his whole career, retiring in 1987.
2. Arthur Joseph Ickstadt Jr (1928–2013) was a Veteran of WWII and the Korean War. After leaving the Army, he settled in the Seattle, Washington, area. His mother, Louisa, died there in 1959. Art was survived by his wife, son, three daughters, and "16 Grandchildren, 13 Great-Grandchildren, 1 Great-Great Grandchild and numerous nieces and nephews."
II. Helen J Gallaher (b. 1862) and her husband, Wesley J. Gregg (b. 1851) presented a few challenges to this researcher. First, there is a marriage record for a Helen Gallagher in 1879, which, even though the database does not link the bride record to the groom's record, seems to imply that she married a man named Amasa Nichols. Until I found Jerome's obituary, I did not know to look for Mr. Gregg, but once I did, I found Helen and Wesley in the four Census records (1900-1930), which indicated they were married in 1885. The birth record for their younger daughter, Jennie, lists Helen's maiden name as "Nichols," so I assume that 1879 record is correct. (And looking through the Chippewa county marriage records, Amasa Nichols seemed to marry quite often; there may be a whole other story there!)
But, Wesley appears to have farmed and worked for the railroad as a clerk for a time; and they raised two daughters. As of 1930, 79-year-old Wesley and 69-year-old Helen were retired and living on their farm. I have not been able to determine when they died or find any records of their burial, but I know from some mentions in the Eau Claire Leader that they were living in the area in the 1920s, and the 1930 Census shows them in Arthur, in Chippewa county.
A. Ruby Gregg (b. 1883) grew up in Chippewa Falls, and appeared on the 1900 Federal and 1905 State Census in her parents' home. She would have been 21 in 1905, and the 1907 Chippewa Falls city directory indicates that she lived at home while working as a domestic servant for the Mcgilvary family. After that, however, the trail of records dries up, and I can't tell what happened to Ruby.
B. Jennie H Gregg (1887–1931) married George Jerome Cardinal (1887–1963) on 9 December 1905 in Bayfield, Wisconsin. George was a musician and decorator, and was listed as a painter in the Census and city directories. The couple had nine children before Jennie's death in 1931 at the age of 44.
1. Wesley G Cardinal (1906–1982) married Katherine Quinlan (1910–??) in about 1930. Wesley was listed in the 1930 Census in his family home, working as a painter/decorator, like his father. In 1940, he and Katherine and their two sons were renting their own place in Chippewa Falls, and Wesley was a musician in an orchestra. They may have had more children after the 1940 Census, but I have only managed to track down the eldest. I assume any other children they had are still living, or my searches would have turned up something. (Though, searching through results for people with the name "Cardinal" is surprisingly difficult.)
a. Peter Paul Cardinal (1931–1997) served in the U.S. Navy during both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, according to his grave marker. Based on the incomplete information I have found, I would guess that he enlisted in the early 1950s. He was married by 1959, when he is listed in the city directory for Memphis, Tennessee, which is near the Naval Support Activity Mid-South Naval Base in Millington. And he received a commission as an ensign on 1 July 1963. He attained his highest rank as a Lieutenant on 1 January 1967, and retired 1 August 1978. When he died, he had been living in Pegram, Tennessee.
2. Linus Cardinal (b. 1909) is another minor mystery, in that I lose track of him after 1930. There are two items in the November 1921 Eau Claire Leader newspapers that describe how he was wounded when a gun discharged, and was later rushed to the hospital with "lockjaw" (probably tetanus) from the resulting infection. That happened when he was 12, and we see him listed at home in the 1930 Census, when he was 21, so we know he survived that episode, at least.
3. George P Cardinal Jr (1910–1997) appears to have served in World War II, but like his older brothers, left little in the way of records, and his obituary does not seem to be online. I have not been able to find anything between the 1930 Census and the records of his death in Elk Mound, Wisconsin. His wife is still living, and I assume any children they have are, too.
4. Jane Rosemary Cardinal (1914–1991) married Lloyd A Fransway (1910–1966) and they had five sons and seven daughters, in total. Most of them are still living. Lloyd was a painter, employed by Mikesell's Painting contractors for 25 years; he was the union president of Painters Local 259 from 1958 to 1964. He and Jane took in her three youngest siblings some time after the death of their mother; Lyman, Betty Mae, and the brother who is still living were all listed as Lloyd's foster children in his 1966 obituary.
a. Mary Jo Fransway: died in infancy.
b. Patricia Jane "Patty" Fransway (1935–2012) was married to Arthur Sedani (1935–1978), and they had two sons who are still living. Patty worked at the Chippewa Woolen Mill, Creamland Dairy, and the Northern Center for the Developmentally Disabled in Chippewa Falls until she retired. She mentored students through the Chippewa Falls Mentoring Program, headed up the spring and fall suppers for Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, and oversaw funeral luncheons. Patty was a beautiful seamstress and was a member of the Quilters and the Altar Guild.
c. Lloyd Archie Fransway Jr (1937–1998) was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving from 12 May 1954 to 14 November 1957. He married at the end of 1960, and his wife and three sons are still living. They also had a daughter.
i. Robin M Fransway (1961–2011) attended Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming. She lived in the Powell/Cody area and worked as a secretary and bookkeeper, raising her daughter, who is still living. Robin married on July 7, 2001, and her husband is still living, also.
d. Anthony L "Tony" Fransway, Sr (1945–2009) served in the U.S. Army National Guard for eight years after he graduated high school. He married in 1968, and his wife, son, and daughter are all still living. He worked at Amoco-Pactiv for 39 years until he retired in 2004. He lived in Chippewa Falls his entire life.
e. Laura Fransway (1946–2013) grew up in Chippewa Falls and graduated from Chippewa Falls Senior High in 1965. She married in 1977. One daughter and one son are still living. Over her lifetime, she worked for Amoco Chemicals, Whitetail Golf Course, Viking Bowl and retired from the Myrtle Werth Hospital. She was a member of Barum Lutheran Church in Elk Mound.
i. Chad T Brown (1977-2002) was the oldest son of Laura Fransway. He graduated from Colfax High School in May of 1995, and was employed at Big Timber Saw Mill in Colfax until the time of his death from cancer. He was 25 years old when he died.
f. Samuel Cardinal "Sammy" Fransway (1960–2003) was employed by Markquart Motors for the 14 years before he died. Sam was also a Chef at a number of local Wisconsin restaurants, as well as in Florida. He owned and operated Sammy's Saloon in Chippewa Falls from 1983 to 1987. He left behind one son.
5. Kathryn Arlene Cardinal (1916–2007) married Fenton Norman Goss (1914–1999), and they left three sons and two daughters, still living. Fenton served in the U.S. Army during the last few months of 1946.
6. John Samuel "Jack" Cardinal (1919–1990) served in the U.S. Army throughout World War II, from 6 April 1942 through 18 October 1945. He married in October 1946, and settled in the Detroit area with his wife, who is still living.
7. Lyman Eugene Cardinal (1921–1977) served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. If I'm reading the records correctly, he enlisted in the Army in 1940, before Pearl Harbor, and switched to the Navy ten years later, retiring after twenty years in October of 1960. He and his wife settled in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. They had at least one son, who is still living.
8. (Still Living) Cardinal - there is one son from this family still living. Here's hoping I don't need to update this entry until he is good and ready!
9. Betty Mae Cardinal (1926–2015) graduated from Chippewa Falls High School and worked at the A & P Store, where she met her future husband. On April 18, 1948, the two were united in marriage in Chippewa Falls. They resided in Chippewa Falls where Bette worked at the Northern Center as the food service supervisor, retiring from there in 1986. She left behind her husband and two daughters.
And there you have it: just one timely find can add dozens of people to the family tree!