Thursday, December 22, 2016

Frank T. Ryder Family Summary and Timeline

Perhaps this summary will make it easier to follow this summary describing Frank's family terms:

Frank Thomas Ryder (1889-1957)
     Father:  Fred Ryder (1861-1923)
     Grandfather:  Azariah Rider (1836-1895).
     Grandmother:  Mary Jane Jacobs (1837-1914)

     Great-grandfather:  Thomas J. Rider (1812-1880)
     Great-great-grandfather: James Rider (1777-1828)
     Great x3 grandfather:  William Rider (1730-?)

      Grandmother:  Mary Jane Jacobs (1837-1914)
      Great-grandfather: Norman J. Jacobs (1811-1891)  
      Great-grandmother: Sophronia Abbott (1816-1899)

      Great-Great-grandfather:  Aaron C. Jacobs (1781-1855)
      Great x3 grandfather:  Johnathan Jacobs (1745-1822)

     Great-grandmother: Sophronia Abbott (1816-1899) - Details in a future post

Photo Collection of the Gearen Children

Photo Collection of the children of James Edward and Dora Curtis Gearen

This file must download to be viewed.  Click the link above.

Katy Ryder Finnegan assembled these photos of Ruth Harriet Gearen Ryder's siblings in 2006  according to Katy's handwritten notes on the reverse.  I believe the photos were taken at different times.  The birth and death dates for each child are attached next to their photos.  It is likely that all were taken in Sioux City although the oldest may have been born in Illinois.

The photo quality here is not excellent because it is a photo of a digital photo but Katy treasured this collage and it is worth sharing it with you on that alone!  Thanks to Kathleen Finnegan Hiatt for sharing it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Great Grandmother Mary Jane Jacobs Rider and her Jacobs and Abbott families

This November, 2017, re-post edits and corrects some items in the family history of our great-grandmother Mary Jane Jacobs Ryder, wife of Fred Ryder, and her Jacobs and Abbott families.  

Our grandfather Frank Thomas (or Thomas Francis as he was baptized) Ryder's father was Fred Rider who died in Missouri in 1923.  The December 7, 2014, Long Since Dispersed blog posting Finding Our Ryders, A Course Correction discussed Fred and his son Benjamin.  Included was some information about great-great-grandfather Azariah Rider, a Union Civil War veteran who moved from McHenry County, Illinois after the Civil War to Sioux City, Iowa.   

Azariah was born in Bath County, in the Shenandoah Mountains of far western Virginia (Virginia and not the portion that became the adjoining state West Virginia).  His family had moved to McHenry County, Illinois as an early part of the expansion into the Connecticut Western Reserve - meaning a large part of what became Ohio.  Azariah married Mary Jane Jacobs, daughter of a neighboring farmer, on March 7, 1860; their marriage license is below.     

Their son Fred was born in 1861 in McHenry County, Illinois  which adjoins Lake County on Lake Michigan  and is on the northern border of Illinois.  Only a census record sets this date and I was advised by the McHenry County Historical Society that it is unlikely such records were created at that time. In 1862, Azariah, a married man with an infant son, was drafted into the Union Army, Company F of the 95th Illinois infantry.  He was discharged on August 17, 1865 and after the entire length of the war, he returned to McHenry County to his wife and son Fred.  It is not known when they moved to Sioux City, Iowa, but apparently between the birth of Fred's sister Mary in 1866 in probably in Galena, Illinois and the birth of his brother Charles Benjamin in 1874 in Iowa, according to census and City Directory records.  There were three children. 

There is little other information about Fred's mother, Mary Jane Jacobs Rider  – only their recorded marriage license and a recorded death certificate.  

Azariah Rider and Mary J. Jacobs
Marriage Certificate

Death Certificate
Mary Jane Jacobs Rider
Iowa Death Certificate

Mary Jane was born in Ohio on November 9, 1837 according to that death certificate.  It is likely she was born in the vicinity of Cleveland in Cuyahoga County where her parents lived for a time.  Mary Jane had two brothers, Clark (1841-1864) and Charles (1839-1914). After Azariah's death on August 29, 1895, Mary Jane lived in Sioux City until her death on July 26, 1914.  She was buried in Sioux City's Floyd Cemetery near where Azariah is buried in the Grand Army of the Republic section There is not a great deal of other information about Azariah and he did not seem to have a specific occupation which is sometimes stated on census pages.  By 1866 he was approved for an invalid Civil War pension which Mary may have continued to receive after his death.   

Azariah Rider
Pension Index Card

Azariah Rider Headstone Floyd Cemetery

Sophronia Abbott and Norman Jacobs 

Mary Jane Jacob's parents were Norman J. Jacobs and Sophronia (also spelled Safrona on her headstone although her probate documents used Sophronia ) Abbott (1816-1899).   They were married December 3, 1855 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.   Later, Norman farmed in McHenry County (along the Wisconsin border in northern Illinois and the second county west from Lake Michigan).    Both of these families can be traced back to the earliest families of New England.

Norman's father was Aaron Clark Jacobs (1781-1855) and his mother Mary "Polly" Allen (1782-1813) (no other information can be confirmed about her).  Aaron was born in Otis, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.  For a time, he apparently lived in New York State as the site for military records shows this pay card for Aaron C. Jacobs during the War of 1812 in parts of 1813 and 1814  in the New York State Militia.    Aaron was paid for his service with a land bounty as the federal government was poorly financed and land bounties were used to pay for military service periods. 

After more research on this topic, a  separate post can be made soon on the Jacobs family which migrated to Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony from Hingham, Norfolk, England in 1633.


Azariah's father Thomas J. Rider farmed near the Jacobs family.   The Riders had purchased their lands in the county by 1845 and occupied them by 1847.  The land record below (signed by President James K. Polk) indicates he might have purchased additional land in 1848.  The Gordon J. Ryder family history "The Rider--Ryder Family of Virginia" narrates a journey his family members made as far west as Iowa seeking desirable lands for their relocations from the mountains.   A separate blog entry will be posted.   

Norman's grandfather was Jonathan Jacobs (1745-1822) who is shown on an Ohio listing of Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Newton Falls, Trumball County, Ohio.  Jonathan's was originally from Litchfield County, Connecticut, later living in Chesterfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts and Sheffield, Berkshire, Massachusetts before apparently leaving for Ohio.   

Sophronia Abbott's father was Rufus Abbot (1784-1879).   Her family lived in Cuyahoga County, Ohio for some time, but she moved to McHenry County with other family.  A 1903 biography of Mark Hickox indicated that Sophronia moved with her sister Betsey A. Abbott to McHenry County before others in her family.  However, it does not appear that she had a sister Betsey and it is more likely Betsey was her aunt and Mark Hickox her uncle.  The article also stated that her father was Ebenezer Abbot, Rufus's brother, but it does not appear that Ebenezer had a daughter name Sophronia.   An obituary clipping from an unnamed newspaper provided by McHenry County Historical Society states that Sophronia died of typhus.  The entry from Find-A-Grave was created by  volunteer genealogist Phyllis Wallington who also took pictures of the headstone and cemetery entrance.  However, she stated that photos could not be used without her specific consent so they have not been used.  You can visit them at

Rufus Abbott 

Rufus, whose Abbot(t) family had arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1637 as Puritan Congregationalists and who had many ancestors who were ministers and deacons of their local churches, was converted to Mormonism in New York during the Great Awakening of religious zeal that followed the War of 1812.  Rufus and his wife Anna Wright were among the first Mormons to reach Salt Lake City.   Many modes were involved in their journey there – horses, carriages, steamboats, ox carts perhaps - they may have walked from Missouri where they had lived for a time to Salt Lake.  They were driven from their home in Missouri by anti-Mormon violence, and state government seizure of their property and belongings followed.  One of his sons was murdered later by anti-Muslim attacks there in Missouri.  LDS History Overland Trails Pioneers

Pioneer Trails Link

Ebenezer Abbott, Soldier of the Revolutionary Army 

Ebenezer Abbot (1753-1832) was the father of Rufus Abbott.  The information about Ebenezer was initially found in a copy of an application approved on December 10, 1910  by the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sons of the American  Revolution from Howard Briggs Abbott.  Howard was descended from Elisha Abbott (1794-1869), Rufus's brother.    The federal legislation proving these pensions for soldiers and spouses was not adopted immediately after the war and frequently the applications were made when the soldier was no loger able to work to support himself and spouse.

Because Ebenezer was a Revolutionary War soldier and from Massachusetts, there is a great deal of family history available about him and all of his family going back to the arrival in 1637 of one of several George Abbots with the same name who arrived about that time.  A fascinating story unfolds and a later post will provide that

This is the partial transcription of Howard Briggs Abbott's application: 

Vital Statistics and The Military Service of Ebenezer Abbot of Lancaster, Massachusetts 

From The Sons of the American Revolution Membership Application of Howard Briggs Abbott

Painesville, Ohio, County of Lake, State of Ohio, 1st October 1858 
(There are spelling errors and punctuation is missing and not edited by me) 
The list of ancestors included in direct line from the Revolutionary soldier.   
(Howard is) Son of Lewis Smith Abbot born 1824 died 1898 and Harriet J. Abbot (Briggs) born 1824 and died 1912 married 1854 
Grandson of Elisha Abbot born 1799 died 1864 
Great-grandson of Ebenezer Abbot born 1753 and his wife Anna Wright Abbott 
Great-great-grandson of Joseph Abbott and his wife Annah (Hannah) Abbott. 

“This declaration contains a statement of Ebenezer Abbot’s place of which is confirmed by the published vital statistic of Chester, Mass., give the date of my grandfather’s birth.  I learned of grandfather’s (Elisha's) place of birth and date from an obituary notice published in the Painesville Ohio Telegraph in fall of 1869.  Elisha Abbot lived there many years although he died at St. John’s Michigan in Sept or Oct 1864 as I remember.” 

The application's declarations continue with his military history from an affidavit submitted by Ebenezer in his application for a pension (punctuation is missing and not edited by me).  This statement was included in the online version and not part of the digital copy in .pdf form I received from the Sons of the American Revolution.  I transcribed this by hand because of the difficulty of printing from the filmstrip version on which I assume is deliberate.  Ebenezer stated: 

“Asa Whitcomb Col. John Whitney Lieut Col Ephraim Sawyer Ensign.  That he (Ebenezer) was born in Lancaster, Worcester County in the State of Massachusetts in the year 1753.  That his birth is recorded in the records of Lancaster aforesaid.  That on hearing of the Battle of Lexington he went down to the Army and enlisted for eight months.  That he thinks it was about the 25th day of April in the year 1775 that he entered the service and that he left it 31st December in the same year that he served during the term of eight months to the satisfaction of his officers.  That he did not ask for nor receive a written discharge and he thinks none were given at that time.  That a day or two previously to the Battle of Bunker Hill he returned home to Lancaster on a furlough for ten days.  On hearing the cannonading in that Battle he completed  his term of service the Army to the satisfaction of his officers.  The Army continued in the neighborhood of Boston.  That he was with the Army when Gen Washington arrived and took the command.  That some Regiments of Riflemen joined the Army during his term of service.  That he knew Gen. Putnam, Gen Lee and Gen Warner.“  

The affidavit continues to provide his relocation after that military service: 

“That he moved to Chester in the county of Hampshire State of Massachusetts about the year of 1780 where he resided about 30 years – and from there he removed to Worthington in the last mentioned County and from there in the year 1826 he removed to the County of Cuyahoga and the State of Ohio where he now resides.” 

And it concludes: 

“That he has no documentary evidence.  That he is known to Nehmiah Allen John M. Henderson and Post Master Harry Cook Lowell Goodman and others whom he believes can testify to his character and veracity and their belief of his services as a soldier of the Revolution.” 

His affidavit is signed with his mark “X”, assumed to be an indication that he was not literate.  It was sworn in open Court on August 4, 1832 before H. Perry Clark and was accompanied by testimonials from a clergyman and other Cuyahoga residents.   

Ebenezer's application for the pension highlighted what he remembered, but historian and author Nathaniel Philbrick provides much more detail regarding the men of Massachusetts who responded to Lexington.  The book information is listed below.

The sources listed on the application include: 
Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Vol. 2, pages 499 and 538 
Memories of Mrs. Eliza Brock (?) (late of Utica, N.Y.) by Rev. E. Galusha (sp?) filed herewith. 

This information was located through on November 26, 2016, in digital filmstrip format and it is not possible to copy or print.  

Two interesting books from the middle of the 19th century and therefore out of copyright are now available free on Google Play Books in digital format: 

For a description of the history and actions of the Town of Lancaster in the Revolutionary War including their town approvals of funds and arms, participation in spreading the efforts of the revolutionary communications, and a chronology of military events, by Rev. Abiah P. Marvin, Lancaster, Published by the Town read:  History of the Town of Lancaster, Massachusetts From The First Settlement to the Present Time 1643-1879 

The Military Annals of Lancaster, Massachusetts. 1740-1865: Including Lists of Soldiers Serving in the Colonial and Revolutionary Wars, for the Lancastrian Towns: Berlin, Bolton, Harvard, Leominster, and Sterling, Henry Stedman Nourse , W. J. Coulter, printer, 1889 - Berlin (Mass.) - 402 pages: 

Nathaniel Philbrick's The Battle of Bunker Hill provides an excellent history of the period and the siege of Boston including the Battle of Breed's Hill which was really the Battle of Bunker Hill).   Philbrick's book puts the statements of Ebenezer, especially the last few lines in timeline and perspective. 
Penguin Books, 375 Hudson Street, New York New York 10014, 2013
It is also available on Kindle Books