Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

More On Our 5th Great Grandfather John Nossaman, Revolutionary War Veteran (Williamson Line)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
     The posts to the blog are few and far between. I've exhausted most avenues of online research and wait for additional information to appear. The good news is that there is new information on our 5th Great Grandparents on the Williamson line; John and Catherine Nossaman (Nosseman).  This comes from the Find a Grave project's website. 
     We will start with the Relationship Chart for reference:

Relationship Chart
5th Great Grandparents 
John Conrad Nosseman
Married Catherine
Catherine Nosseman
Married Bennett Willis
Jonathan Willis
Married Anabella Phlegar
Margaret Ann Willis.
Married George Matthew Williamson
William J. Williamson
Married Effie Helen Victor
Vennie, Ima Della, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie, Emmett, Walt, Charles, Maurice.
Charles married first Elda Kay Vercellino and second Elsie Jensen

The following is the biography of John Nossaman from the Find a Grave Project.

Birth: Jan., 1751, Germany 
Death: 1827 West Virginia, USA
     Family genealogists concur that this is the grave of John Nossaman, Sr., honored by his family and friends w/ old style Roman lettering of his headstone. He was christened Johan Conrad Nasseman, 25 Jan 1751 in Mainz, Germany, the son of Heinrich and Anna Marie (Gretz) Nasseman. At the age of 22 he struck out by himself and emigrated from Germany to America, arriving in Philadelphia on the ship "Sally" on August 23, 1773. Soon after arriving, he Americanized his name to John Nossaman. During a six year indenture he served to pay for the passage, he won his wife, Cathrina, and enlisted in the Lancaster County Pennsylvania Militia. He served in that unit continually during the Revolutionary War, first as a substitute, then as his own man, from 1777 through 1784. He mustered out of the 7th battalion, 5th Company of the Lancaster County Militia in 1784, just a few months after the Treaty of Paris was signed. 
     By 1785, he had purchased 10 acres in Lancaster County. Along with many other German immigrants, he then moved with his wife Cathrina and growing family, likely down the Wilderness Trail, to the Virginia frontier, arriving in Greenbrier County prior to 1789. It was less than a decade after the last of the Indian Wars, although periodic troubles continued through at least 1781. He acquired land on Indian Creek in Greenbrier County, VA in 1789 and farmed several plots in the region, without slave labor. By this time, he had dropped "Conrad" from his name. 
     He bought, farmed and sold various plots on Indian Creek, Rich Creek, and Brush Creek in newly formed Monroe County, and later in life across the New River in Giles County. At his homesteads in Monroe County he raised a family of four daughters and a son, nurturing them to maturity with his spouse Cathrina, and saw them marry well.

      Catherine, b. 1779 PA, m. Bennett Willis in VA 1800, d. 1843, VA (8 children) 
      Elizabeth, b. 1782 PA, m. David Paine in VA 1801 VA, d. 1815, VA (>5 children) 
      John, Jr. b. 1786 PA, m. Abigail Wylie in VA 1809 VA, m. Luresa Meadows, 1821, KY, d. 1849, IN (13 children) 
      Susannah, b. abt 1790, VA, m. William Pennington, Jr. 1808 in VA, d. 1834, KY (11 children) 
      Sidney, b. 1796 VA, m. John Belcher in VA 1816, VA, d. 1850, IN (11 children) 

      The record indicates he was successful as a tobacco farmer, businessman, and family man: he and Cathrina celebrated more than 40 years of marriage together, and they became grandparents of at least 48 grandchildren. There are consistent indications in the record that he was literate, enterprising, entrepreneurial, individualistic, industrious, vigorous in acquiring and defending his property, and respected by his neighbors, the founding settlers of Peterstown. 
     Today his descendants number more than 20,000 across eight generations, with 8000 or more living today, including many with surnames of Pennington, Willis, Paine, Belcher, Sytsma, and many others. He is the patriarch of the Nossaman family name in the United States. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Vercellinos Return to America. December 3, 1903.

The American Line's SS St. Louis
From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today's focus for our virtual family gathering centers on the early days of the Vercellino family.  John (Giovanni) Vercellino was born in northern Italy.  He immigrated to the United States, arriving first in 1885 according to the 1920 US Census. There is a problem with his first arrival date. The 1910 US Census lists him as having arrived in 1880. The South Dakota state census of 1915 has his arrival in 1882. He married Maria Viano in 1894. The Vercellino's moved to Trojan (Lead), South Dakota in 1905, the same year Grandma Elda was born.

John and Maria Vercellino

We know the Vercellino's moved to Italy shortly after their marriage where their first born son Raymond was born in 1898. From Italy, the family moved to Kimberly, South Africa.  John Vercellino worked in the Kimberly Diamond Mine as a security guard ensuring the laborers didn't leave the mine with diamonds tucked away somewhere on their person.  The family lived in South Africa a short time (not even one year according to Charles Williamson, Elda's son) before returning to the United States, arriving on December 5, 1903 on board the SS St. Louis of the America Line.

The St. Louis's passenger manifest lists the Vercellino family on the ship's register.  

The SS St. Louis Ship Register. The Vercellinos are at the top of the page
Click to enlarge.
SS St. Louis, was a transatlantic passenger liner built by the William Cramp & Sons Building & Engine CompanyPhiladelphia and was launched on 12 November 1894; sponsored by Mrs. Grover Cleveland, wife of the President of the United States; and entered merchant service in 1895, under United States registry for the International Navigation Co., of New York with her maiden voyage between New York and Southampton,England. She was acquired by the United States Navy during the Spanish–American War and commissioned under the name USS St. Louis in 1898, and again during World War I under the name USS Louisville (ID-1644) from 1918 to 1919. After she reverted to her original name in 1919, she burned in 1920 while undergoing a refit. She was scrapped in 1924 in Genoa.

The SS St. Louis

 The Vercellino family most assuredly travelled in steerage (3rd class).  Their sleeping accommodations would have been similar to the ones seen above.  Spartan? Yes, but easily survivable for a five day Atlantic crossing.  

 The photo above shows the dining saloon of the St. Louis. It may have been for all classes considering the ship wasn't large. 

Post cards were available for messages home.

From Ellis Island in New York we lose the Vercellino's trail until they reappear in South Dakota in 1905. Great Grandpa John (Giovanni) found work in the Homestake Mine.  

Thank you for Reading,

Friday, June 10, 2016

Great Grandpa John (Giovanni) Vercellino's Death Probate Court Records.

John (Giovanni) Vercellino in his World War I Italian Military Uniform

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Summer is here and that means school is out.  I have TIME to work on other projects, like this long neglected family history blog.  Let's start this summer with a posting on Great Grandpa John Vercellino's Probate Records.  What makes this interesting is his Italian government bonds and the signatures of the entire family - Maria, Raymond, Elda, and Edward. We begin with the Relationship Chart for reference:

Relationship Chart


And now the court records...

Victor Williamson

John (Giovanni) Vercellino Probate Records

John (Giovanni) Vercellino 

John (Giovanni) and Marie Vercellino on their wedding day

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Williamsons as They Appeared in the Sundance Times, Sundance Wyoming

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
     I've spent the better part of two days searching through the online archives of the Sundance Times, the local newspaper of Sundance, Wyoming for any and all mentions of our Williamson family. 
I'm surprised by the actual total, much of which I didn't bother to clip to this post because the information was simple in nature. For example, who visited whom for lunch - very common in local, rural papers of the day. 
     Let's remember that our Great Great Grandparents George Mathew and Margaret Ann  Williamson arrived in Sundance, Wyoming sometime between 1885 and 1910ish.  With them went a few of their children from whence most of the Williamsons who live in the Black Hills area originate.
     You many not know everyone mentioned in the clippings below, but you can easily find them by browsing my family tree on ancestry.com.  Contact me if you have troubles. I marked the family tree as public.  I'm hoping ancestry.com allowed you click on certain people to read more about them, as I've placed a great deal of information on their individual pages.  My email address is 
spacecamputah@gmail.com.  I also want to point out the fact that many of the female Williamsons will have different married names. Again, do a quick search to see how we are interrelated.  

Our Family Mentioned in the Sundance Times. 1920 to Present

April 13, 1944

April 21, 1932


August 6, 1925

August 19, 1954

August 29, 1989

August 29, 1946

February 20, 1964

Dec. 29, 1955

June 28, 1951

March 4, 1965

October 16, 1975

October 31, 1985

July 12, 1956