Sunday, August 19, 2018

Detailed Ancestor Reports Available on the WEBSITE Long Since Dispersed Genealogy

Check a new website also called Long Since Dispersed for stored stories, charts, reports, pictures and research about our ancestors.  There are several new detailed reports for our family centered on Ruth Harriet Gearen Ryder and on the grandparents of Frank T. Ryder - Azariah Rider and Mary Jane Jacobs.

Visit:  Long Since Dispersed

Roll your mouse over the file and click on the box in the upper right corner.  You can print the .pdf file if you wish.   

Blog posts will continue to be added to this Blogger site in the future. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Patrick J. Gearen Photo!

This photo is Patrick J. Gearen (right).  Patrick was the father of James Edward Gearen (left) and the grandfather of Ruth Harriet Gearen Ryder, our grandmother.  Peggy Wilmes found this photo in an online posting.  It includes John Florence “Florry” or Fleury” Gearen (center) and a boy who is probably John’s son.  There is no date or location shown but it is almost certainly Sioux City, Iowa and probably around 1920.  Both Patrick and James died in 1923 within one day of each other, James on January 27th  age 64 and Patrick on January 28th  age 84.  This is the only photo we have of Patrick, so far.  

Patrick J. Gearen, James Edward Gearen, John F. Gearen and young boy

The second framed picture was in the collection of my mother, and probably that of Ruth Harriet Gearen Ryder, her mother. 
James Edward Gearen

Peggy found the four-generation photo in a posting by Jim Gearen of Chicago, Illinois, a grandson of John Florence Gearen.  The photo is used without specific permission from Jim but we have exchanged information, documents and photos in the past, especially his email describing his family trip to Boherbue, Cork, Ireland, to visit with other of Patrick’s relatives.  I know Jim would share with us. 

The third photo is of John F. Gearen, Patrick’s son and James’ older brother, who established a Sioux City plumbing firm.  This picture was found in an archived trade publication on Google Play Books, accompanying a story marking his election as Vice-President of the Iowa State Association of Master Plumbers.  He served for many years in various state and national associations, many found in a simple Google Play search.   

In his posting, Jim says that Patrick paved Chicago streets as a laborer and worked in Cudahy’s rendering plant.  One federal census document describes his occupation as “stove tender”. 

This information was included in an entry for John in:  The History of Woodbury and Plymouth, Iowa, Counties including an extended sketch of Sioux City, their early settlement and progress to the present time, A. Warner & Co. Chicago,Ill., page 74 of 94 online (year not shown but prior to 1916). 

“J. F. Gearen, Plumbers, Sioux City was born in Chicago in 1857. At an early age of sixteen years he learned the plumbing trade. In the fall of 1880 he came to Sioux City and for seven years was employed as a journeyman plumber. In the spring of 1887 he began business for himself. He has a liberal share of the plumbing business in the city. He executed the plumbing for the St. Joseph Hospital, D. T. Hedges’, J.H. Nason’s, and Mr. Fletcher’s residences, besides that many other prominent buildings. Mr. Gearen gives employment to thirteen men, and gives his own entire time and attention to his business. In 1885 he married Miss Mina Griffin, of this county. He is a member of the Broman (sic) Catholic Church, and a liberal democrat in politics”.

Although the 1857 date of birth is probably correct, the birth place statement cannot be true as James Edward Gearen was born in 1859 in Providence, Rhode Island and there is a birth certificate to document that.    I think John F. (the town record shows John F. Garin) was born in Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts in 1857.  More research is needed but that probably means Patrick arrived in Boston rather than New York (although there are some indications that it was New York). 

By the 1860 federal census, Patrick, Catherine Crowley his wife and their children John age 3 and James age 1 were in Bloomington, Illinois, and Patrick is shown as simply “Laborer”  By 1862, I think they were in Chicago.  As the Warner biography states, John was in Sioux City by 1880 but rest of the Gearens were probably not in Sioux City until after about  1885 because there is a Chicago City Direcctory entry for 1885. Ultimately, most of the family including James worked for John F. in the plumbing business.  John died May 8, 1916, and management of his company was given to his son-in-law.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

AZARIAH RIDER -Part II National Archives Catalog Files

The National Archives and Records Administration files which I scanned at the Innovation Hub in Washington, D.C. are now posted in  

The links are included below and they are easily accessed by simply typing "Azariah Rider" into Google.  The files are easily read in Windows browsers on a computer and in the Safari browser on Apple devices.

The Mary J. Rider widow's pension file is listed in the top selections and selecting it leads to both these files.

The last Long Since Dispersed post used two nineteen century 95th Illinois Regimental Histories to cross-reference military history to the locations shown on the official payroll cards included in the following link.  For an excellent background for the conflict in which Azariah participated, you might enjoy reading Grant Moves South - 1861-1863 by historian Bruce Catton (which became nearly a page-turner for me as I followed his payroll record with the Illinois regiments commanded by Grant).  I read it free through the New York Public Library. 

The second file contains all the documents for Azariah's application for a disability pension and, his subsequent health records, documents of his death and burial as well as supporting documents for Mary J. Jacobs' application and approval for the widow's pension.  They reveal some of the migration from McHenry County to Sioux City, Iowa, they seem to indicate that Azariah had a fair amount of education sufficient to write a full letter in script and describes the location of their home in Sioux City as simply South Central Street.  

Thanks to the McHenry County Historical Society's Newspapers Collection (, this clipping reflects the perceived value of the widows' pension to the country.  To Great-Great-Great Grandmother Mary, as these documents reveal, it obviously was of very great importance. 

McHenry Plaindealer 1881-8-31 from

Transcription:  "THE VALUE OF A LIMB.-During the war of the rebelllion the highest price put upon a limb was ninety-six dollars per year, and the same valuation was fixed for the life of a common soldier.  Now a limb is considered worth as much as eighteen dollars monthly; and for this rise in value those who have been shorn of one are truly grateful.  The widow still finds, however, that eight dollars twelve times each year is considered as ample equivalent for the life that was once her joy and support."

Approved Pension File for Mary J. Rider, Widow of Private Azariah Rider, Company F, 95th Illinois Infantry Regiment (WC-419322) 

Thanks to the National Archives and Records Administration and McHenry County Historical Society for making these important documents available to us.

Part III of this story will describe what is known of the family of Mary J. Jacobs Rider.  Her Jacobs and Abbott families in America stretch all the way to the early settlement of Massachusetts.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Last year for Memorial Day, Long Since Dispersed marked the service of Azariah Rider in the Union Army of the Civil War.  This year for Memorial Day, there are new documents that provide details and context. 

On May 9, 2018, a visit to the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Research Center in Washington, D.C., provided two document files related to Azariah Rider great-great-great grandfather and his wife, great-great-great-grandmother Mary Jane Jacobs Rider.  

This is important information that has not been located elsewhere.  The 95th Illinois Infantry served in the southern and western arenas of the Civil War.  The story shown here of the ground they covered, their exertions and undoubtedly their terrorizing experiences are well beyond what I had expected to learn.  Azariah sacrified three years of his life to the infantry, and although not life-threatening to this Illinois farmer, the accidental gun shot wound and loss of his right thumb clearly affected his future as you will see in a separate blog post. Despite his injury, Azariah remained in the army although later documents state that he may not have returned to full duty.

From the Declaration of Invalid Pension dated August 6th, 1866:

"That while in said service and in the line of duty at Lake Providence in the state of Louisiana on the 7th day of February, 1863, he received the following wound or disability, to wit:  The loss of the thumb from the right hand – by accidental gunshot.  That his gun was loaded and lying behind his bunk – applicant in endeavoring to take it from behind the bunk raised the hammer a little and coming down caused the gun discharge and the loss of applicant’s thumb.”

Accessed May 9, 2018 at the National Archives and Records Administration Research Center, Washington D.C.

One NARA file contained the payroll cards for his entire military service from 1862-1865.  The second contained all actual documents concerning his pension application(s) and subsequent documents, and the application Mary Jane Rider submitted following Azariah’s death in 1895 for a widow’s pension. Together the files contained over 130 pages which includes date stamps and reverse sides for each. There were submissions as the pension benefit laws changed over the decades and as his health declined, appeals, additional supportive documents and various affidavits from officers, friends and neighbors, certificates of approval and terminations with their deaths. 

It was not necessary to copy or photograph all the documents.  NARA has opened an “Innovation Hub” featuring Epson HD flatbed scanners and desktops so that researchers can digitize the documents.  This is a full description of the center and the process by the blogger Ellen Anderson in March, 2017:

Azariah's documents will be available in a NARA catalog, described as essentially a searchable URL specifically for Azariah Rider so each of you can view all the documents for Azariah and Mary Jane, perhaps as early as July, 2018 (NARA staff quality control my scans before posting).  This is the link for the current entry for Azariah using just an index card from Ancestry's military records site  I did receive a CD with all documents but finding a way to post all of them is tedious so I will include the documents most important to understanding their history.  
Rather than post each payroll card (a technical feat I could not accomplish not to mention that it was very time-consuming), I matched each of the payroll periods (generally bi-monthly) to two different regimental histories from the period by location so that you can see the movement of the army.  The six pages of this chart were added as photos rather than one file and the print is small but I think you can expand them to read more easily especially with a tablet.  If you wish, I will send you an email with this chart or a thumb-drive with the scanned files but they will be available very soon online, I trust.  The links shown on the chart below as sources are not active and are repeated below: 

Page 2 Military Service
Page 3 Military ServiceService
Page 4 Military Service

Page 5 Military Service

Page 6 Military Service

Context and Sources (It may be necessary for you to search for the 95th Illinois Infantry because some are .pdf files or there is no direct path to the section):

Illinois 95th Infantry Regiment per National Park Service Unit Details  

The pension file documents identify this general area as the one where Azariah's Company F was stationed at the time of his injury.

The area occupied by Azariah Rider's Company F of 95th Illinois Infantry can be visited today:

Google Map Lake Providence, Louisiana
Google Map Lake Providence, Louisiana to Vicksburg, Mississippi

So, thank you Great-great-great-grandfather Azariah for your service!  And, a safe and happy Memorial Day to all of you.