Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Waggoner Family Connection (Part 2)

In The Waggoner Family, A History of the Emigrant Hans Waggoner and His Descendants, cited in Part 1 (the previous post), the following comments are quoted in an item from The Shelbyville Democrat dated September 2, 1886 reporting on the Waggoner family reunion:

"There was probably the largest crowd ever present at one of these gatherings and it was an occasion of appropriate respect to the oldest family in the oldest settled township in the county. ... the Waggoners were the first permanent settlers of the township and they came before any settlements were made in other parts of the county. The first members of the family arrived in March 1828 ... It being the oldest family in the county and very few of its members having moved away, while it is related by marriage with all the other old families, make these reunions very large affairs. There is said to be about four hundred descendants of Isaac Waggoner now living, most of whom reside in the county." (pages 18-19)

Reading through the listed descendants of Isaac Waggoner reveals many familiar surnames to any who grew up in Sullivan, IL. One particular name caught my attention. On page 27 is the listing for Hugh Lane (he and his wife Gertrude raised their family on the farm next to where Dad grew up). I discovered from this entry that Hugh Lane was half-brothers with Earl and Dale Lane. This would make Hugh, Earl, Dale and Dad 4th cousins. I knew growing up that Dad and Earl Lane, of whom Dad spoke often and fondly in his last few years, were good friends from way back.

(Duane, Don and Earl Bragg in front of Earl Lane)

A little further research from leads drawn from this book, along with some fairly recent obituaries, soon turned to an interesting direction. Specifically it relates to Hugh Lane's great-grandfather, Archibald Lane (he is the patriarch of many of the Lane families reared in and around Sullivan, IL). [Note: to help you (and me) keep this straight I have added a number of tables in an effort to help clarify the various marriages between the Waggoner, Martin and Lane families]

The story begins with a couple named James Scott Martin (1779-1865) and his wife, Mary Jane Figley (1781-1845). Both were born in North Carolina (James S. was born not far from where I currently live) and both died in Coles County, IL. This couple raised a large family of ten children.

After all of their children had grown up, married and left the home, James and Mary Jane Martin decided to take a trip back to their old home in Kentucky. Along the way they would spend their nights in public houses, or inns. At one of these stops they noticed a "lively six-year-old boy" sitting on a stack of pallets. They learned that he was an orphan (his mother died when he was born around 1835 and nothing was known about his father) and that he was being raised by a family named Webster who, it seems, ran the inn.

The couple went on their way the next morning but Mary just couldn't get the boy out of her mind. So it was agreed that, upon their return trip, they would stop again at the same inn and if the boy was still there they would talk with the innkeeper about taking the boy with them back to central Illinois. They stopped. The boy was still there. The innkeeper's wife, who confessed that she didn't think the inn was a proper place for the child to grow up, was happy to turn him over to the Martins and Archibald Lane become the unofficially adopted son of James and Mary Martin.

Archibald was a loyal caregiver for James Martin (it appears that Mary died when Archibald was about ten years old). It was said that when James Martin died in 1865 at the age of 86, he gave his home and farm to Archibald.

The years passed as Archibald grew up with the Martin's own grandchildren. For one of these grandchildren the relationship grew far more significant that a childhood playmate. She became his wife. Some sources assert that Esther Jane Lewis granddaughter of James and Mary Jane Figley Martin. However, it seems the best evidence indicates that Archibald Lane actually married the granddaughter of James Martin's sister, Jane. She married Charles Neeley in Kentucky (1797). Their daughter, Margaret, married Abram Lewis in 1834 and their daughter, Esther Jane Lewis, married Archibald Lane in 1852.

John Martin (1755-1821) and Sarah Scott (1753)
James Scott Martin (1779-1865) Jane Martin (1781-1834) married Charles Neeley
Archibald Lane (1835-1905) married Margaret Neeley married Abram Lewis

Esther Jane Lewis (1835-1872)

The second of Archibald and Esther Lane's five children (oldest son, the oldest daughter was named Lucinda but went by Lucy), James Lewis Lane (1858-1919), married Mary Elvina Martin (1866-1934) who just happened to be the great-granddaughter of James Scott and Mary Jane Figley Martin. Mary Elvina Martin Lane's mother was Jane Waggoner, the great-granddaughter of Jacob (Hans) Waggoner.

Johann Jacob Waggoner  (1717)

Isaac Waggoner (1761)
James Scott Martin (1779-1865) and Mary Jane Figley (1781-1845)

John Garland Waggoner (1790)
Archibald Lane (1835-1905) and Esther Jane Lewis (1835-1872)

John Martin (1803) and Ann Neeley

William Waggoner (1826)
James Lewis Lane (1858-1919)
William Thomas Martin (1835)  married Jane Waggoner (1835)

married Mary Elvina Martin (1866-1934)

James and Mary Elvina Lane's second child (oldest son), Claude F. Lane (1887-1955) was 17 years old when his grandfather, the orphaned Archibald Lane, passed away on July 24, 1905. Claude would have been 24 years old when his oldest son, Hugh Francis Lane, was born in 1912.

James Lewis Lane (1858-1919) and Mary Elvina Martin (1866-1934)
Claude F. Lane (1887-1955) married Georgia Hunter
Hugh Francis Lane (1912)

And to illustrate why family history research is so much fun, James and Mary Elvina Lane had eleven children. Their eighth child (and fourth son) was Walter Martin Lane (1906). He married Oleta Marie Waggoner, the third great-granddaugther of Hans Waggoner. She was also Dad's 3rd cousin. Walter M. and Marie Lane was the father of James Andrew and Gerald Leon Lane, very familiar names in Sullivan, Illinois' history.

Johann Jacob Waggoner  (1717)

Isaac Waggoner (1761)

Johann Jacob Waggoner  (1717)
James Scott Martin (1779-1865) and Mary Jane Figley (1781-1845)
John Garland Waggoner (1790)

Isaac Waggoner (1761)
John Martin (1803) and Ann Neeley
William Waggoner (1826)
James Scott Martin (1779-1865) and Mary Jane Figley (1781-1845)

Gilbert Waggoner
William Thomas Martin (1835) married Jane Waggoner (1835)
Archibald Lane (1835-1905) and Esther Jane Lewis (1835-1872)          
Andrew J. Waggoner (1842)
John Dawson Martin (1861) [brother of Mary Elvina Martin]

James Lewis Lane (1858-1919) and Mary Elvina Martin (1866-1934)
Winfield "Scott" Waggoner married Rose Alice Martin (1887)

Walter Martin Lane (1906)
married Oleta Marie Waggoner

James Andrew Lane
Gerald Leon Lane

And to add to the confusion, the third child of Archibald Lane (1835-1905) and Esther Jane Lewis (1835-1872), Louisa J. Lane (1861), married Charles Pinkerton Martin (1851) who was the grandson of James Scott Martin (1779-1865) and Mary Jane Figley (1781-1845).

James Scott Martin (1779-1865) and Mary Jane Figley (1781-1845)
Archibald Lane (1835-1905) and Esther Jane Lewis (1835-1872)
James Frost Martin (1815)
Louisa J. Lane (1861)
married Charles Pinkerton Martin (1851)

The Waggoner Family Connection (Part 1)

Recently I found, downloaded, and read a very interesting book, interesting to anyone curious of genealogy, the history of Moultrie County and Sullivan, Illinois, or just history of life reaching back to the Revolutionary War era. Entitled The Waggoner Family, A History of the  Emigrant Hans Waggoner and His Descendants, the book was written by John Garland Waggoner (the nephew of my 3rd great-grandmother Matilda Waggoner, making him our first cousin a few times removed) and Clem Morton Boling in 1922. The revised version of which I am speaking was published in 1929 with updated information of descendants not included in the previous version. (If you would interested, the book is a free download at this web address:

I was so excited when I read a very familiar name on page 33 ... Don Cicero Bragg! I already knew that Johann Jacob Waggoner/Wagner, known to his family as Hans, was my 6th great-grandfather, it was just really neat to see Dad's name in print like that. Here is the line of descent from ...

Johann Jacob Waggoner/Wagner (1717-1799) [born in Germany]
Isaac Waggoner (1761-1838) [migrated to Shelby Co., IL (now Moultrie Co., IL) in 1827]
John Garland Waggoner (1790-1844)
Matilda Waggoner Phillips (1829-1876)
Louisa Jane Phillips Munson (1848-1913)
Elvira Belle Munson Gilbreath (1871-1939)
Gladys Gilbreath Bragg (1898-1977)
Don Cicero Bragg (1920-2013)
Then I discovered through the Find-A-Grave website that the original immigrant Jacob Waggoner/Wagner's grave is not only in North Carolina, but only a short 20 minute drive from where I live. So on September 15, 2016 Ann and I made a quick trip to Midway, NC where we visited the Bethany United Church of Christ Cemetery and my 6th great-grandfather's grave.

Through reading this book you will get a clearer idea of the hardships endured as the Waggoner family migrated from South Carolina to (then) Shelby County, IL. They played a key role in the formation and naming of both Moultrie County and the city of Sullivan (both named in honor of their homeland near Charleston, SC).

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Phillip D. Bragg

Born: August 15, 1956
Died: May 22, 2016

Phillip Dale Bragg, 59, of Fort Mohave, Arizona (formerly of Sullivan) died Sunday (May 22, 2016) in his home following an extended illness.

Memorial services will be conducted by the family at 1:00 p.m. Saturday June 18, 2016 at French Cemetery, Allenville. Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society at or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Reed Funeral Home, Sullivan is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Phil was born August 15, 1956 in Sullivan, the son of Don C. and Mary J. Ethington Bragg. He was a 1974 graduate of Sullivan High School and worked in construction with various companies in Florida, Tennessee, and Arizona. He also worked for a time with a taxi service in Bullhead City, Arizona.

Surviving are his wife of over twenty-seven years, Shirley Lemke Bragg, sons Christopher Bragg  and his wife Terry of Bullhead City, Arizona and Timothy Bragg and his wife Heather of Charleston, a daughter, Rachel Reed and her husband Roger of Charleston, ten grandchildren: Samantha Bragg, Emily Bragg, Taysia Bragg, Mia Bragg, Aaron Bragg, Logan Bragg, Tevyn Bragg, Abel Reed, Chase Reed, and Gavin Reed, brothers, Jess Bragg and his wife Sheryl of Mattoon, Charles Bragg and his wife Rebecca of Sullivan, James Bragg and his wife Glenna of Marshall, Larry Bragg and his wife Donna of Shelbyville, David Bragg and his wife Ann of Kernersville, North Carolina, Ronald Bragg and his wife Linda, of Havre, Montana, Mark Bragg and his wife Becky of Mahomet; sisters, Ruth Bauer and Reva Martin and her husband Ron both of Sullivan and Debra Green and her husband Michael of Masonville, Colorado.

Phil was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Robert Bragg and a sister, Bonnie Bragg.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Did You Know #48

This is a followup of a post from November 4, 2011. That post examined the long search to overcome a dead-end in our Bragg family tree. In that post ( you can read how we were able to deepen our family tree by a number of generations (to Dad's fourth great-grandfather John Galbreath, who was born in Ireland and died on August 18, 1800).

Cicero Gilbreath was Dad's Grandfather (Grandma Bragg's father). Cicero's father died in Indiana when Cicero was a boy. After moving to central Illinois Cicero's mother (Grandma Bragg's grandmother, Eleanor or Ellen Hale Gilbreath) remarried. Things did not go well with Cicero and his step-father which led to Cicero striking out on his own at a fairly young age. The table below will trace the generations under consideration:

Ellen Hale (married William Gilbreath, married J H Humphrey)
Cicero Gilbreath
Gladys Gilbreath (married O. B. Bragg)
Don C. Bragg

Cicero Gilbreath with his daughters
(Grandma Bragg is in center of back row)

Dad never knew his maternal great-grandmother, Cicero's mother. She died on August 8, 1919 while Dad was born on the very same day the next year (August 8, 1920). I learned that she was buried at French Cemetery. After a couple of attempts I was finally successful in finding her grave. She is buried on the first row of graves not far from where the old church building stood, which makes me think she was among the first people to be buried there. The weather-beaten marker is inscribed
"Ellen Wife of
J H Humphrey
1838 - 1919"

Following Dad's death I was able to scan many family pictures, some of which came from Grandma and Grandpa Bragg. On the back of the picture below is written, "Grandma and Grandpa Humphrey."

It was exciting to uncover the name of Dad's great-grandmother, Ellen Hale Gilbreath. Now we can put a face to that name and visit her final resting place in the same yard of her great-grandson whom she never knew.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Did You Know? #47

    Many years ago Springfield was made the state capital city of Illinois. It was made famous by a lanky country lawyer named Lincoln. But do you know who made Springfield?

    The very first white settler of what would become Sangamon County, Illinois was a man by the name of Robert Pulliam. In the fall of 1817 he built a cabin and used the land around it as grazing ground for his cattle. Before long he set out for St. Louis, MO, and later on Cape Girardeau, MO (for 28 my place of residence). While Pulliam was away another settler arrived, Zachariah Peter, becoming the second to take up residence in the area. He found the now empty cabin and moved his own family into it. Mr. Peter was born in Amherst county, VA and two years later his family resettled in Washington County, Kentucky. Zachariah grew up here, married Nancy Spauldin here, and began raising his family (five children) here. The Peter family moved to what would become Sangamon County in 1818, the same year that Illinois would become a state.

    In the spring of 1819 Robert Pulliam returned with his own family only to find his cabin occupied by the Peter family. Zachariah moved his family out and built his own cabin, the second in this part of Illinois, about three miles north of the Pulliam place. During this same year the Peters welcomed the birth of their sixth child, James M. Peter. There were apparently no hard feelings regarding living spaces between the Peter family and the Pulliams since Zachariah and Nancy Peter's son, Samuel, married Robert Pulliam's daughter, Margaret.

    On April 10, 1821 Zachariah Peter and two other men, John Kelley [1] and William Drennan, were sworn in as County Commissioners and entered into the following contract:
"Article of agreement entered into the 10th day of April, 1821, between John Kelley of the county of Sangamon, and the undersigned County Commissioners of said county. The said Kelley agrees with said Commissioners to build for the use of said county, a court house of the following description, to-wit: 'The logs to be twenty feet long, the house one story high, plank floor, a good cabin roof, a door and window cut out, the work to be completed by the first day of may next, for which the said Commissioners promise, on the part of the county, to pay said Kelley forty-two dollars and fifty cents. Witness our hands the day and date above."
The men drove a stake in the ground at the site of the county's very first courthouse. The stake was marked "Z., P. & D."[2] Today you should be able to find a marker near the intersection of E. Jefferson and N 2nd Streets in Springfield. [3]

    In addition to his participation in the building of the first courthouse, Zachariah Peter also continued to serve in local government:
"William Drennan and Zachariah Peter were recommended to the governor as persons fit for the office of justice of the peace. Their duties included enforcing law and order and settling minor squabbles, but the justices were also responsible for performing marriages. Peter conducted seven of the 16 weddings known to have taken place in Sangamo Township between 1819 and 1821. Ministers James Sims, Rivers Cormack and Stephen England performed the others." [4]
You will note in the above excerpt that at this early date final "n" was yet to be added to the area ("Sangamo Township").
    Even before Lincoln arrived in central Illinois Zachariah Peter literally made his mark. But it was not until I began sorting through some of Mom's papers that I learned the story of Sangamon County's birth and the story of Zachariah Peter, Mom's 3rd great-grandfather. Here is the connection:

Zachariah and Nancy Peter
James M. Peter ( married Amelia Ann Peter, his 3rd cousin)
Margaret N. Peters (married William Standerfer)
Zacharious I. Standerfer (married Margaret Jane Clark)
Mercedes Ruth Standerfer (married Luther Ethington)
Mary Jean Ethington (married Don C. Bragg)

[1] After the death of Nancy, Zachariah Peter married Margaret Kelly, the widow of this John Kelly. "They had one child-- PETER CARTWRIGHT, born in Sangamon county. He was a soldier from Sangamon county in the war with Mexico, in 1846 and '7. He went to Washington Territory, where he was married; went from there to California, and was killed by Indians, leaving a widow and one child in California." {From EARLY SETTLERS OF SANGAMON COUNTY - 1876, by John Carroll Power

[2] History of Sangamon County, Illinois (p. 554)
[3] First Sangamon County Court House - Springfield, Illinois - Illinois Historical Marker

[4] SangamonLink History of Sangamon County, Illinois Sangamo Township

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ida May West Bragg (1925-2014)

     Ida May Bragg, 88, of Sullivan passed away 3:30 a.m. Sunday, February 16, 2014, at her daughter’s home in Pekin. Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 22, 2014 at McMullin-Young Funeral Home, Sullivan. Visitation will be held one hour before the services. Burial will be in Greenhill Cemetery, Sullivan.
     Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, Sullivan, or to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Peoria.
     Ida May West Bragg was born May 27, 1925, the third of four children born to Ivan and Ruby Irene (Enterline) West of rural Bruce. She married R. Earl Bragg on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1947. She was preceded in death by her husband on August 20, 2001.
    She is survived by her sisters, Arletta Marie Elzy of Mt. Vernon and Ruby Irene Elzy of Austin, Texas, formerly of Sullivan; and her brother, James William West, and his wife Katie Ellen of Cowden. She is also survived by three daughters, Sue Ann (Charles) Renner of Pekin, with whom she made her home in recent years, Nina Louise (Mike) McGuire of North Platte, Nebraska, and Teresa Carol (Steve) Esterholdt, of Ontario, Oregon. She delighted in her eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, as well as three generations of nieces and nephews.
     She lived most of her life on the centennial farm on which she was born. In addition to raising her girls and caring for children in her home, she served as bookkeeper for the Toggery in Pekin, IL, and as a secretary for the Welfare office and University of Illinois Farm Extension office in Sullivan. She was a capable and respected employee and made life-long friends in her workplaces. A member of the First United Methodist Church of Sullivan, she was a faithful volunteer for funeral dinners and special projects. She enjoyed membership in Civic Club, Home Extension, and Moultrie County RSVP.
     She loved entertaining and visiting with family and friends, as well as traveling with her daughters and her extended family. Her later years were brightened by the fond attentions of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She leaves a legacy of devotion to family and a joyful interest in people and places.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Did You Know #46

I am reading a book entitled 10 People Every Christian Should Know by Warren W. Wiersbe. One of these individuals is Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758), perhaps best known for his famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." What I didn't know was that it was that very sermon that cost Edwards his job.

Edwards is known as one of America's greatest intellectuals. He was distinguished as a preacher, theologian, missionary, and educator. His son-in-law, Aaron Burr, Sr., was serving as president of Princeton University (then known as the College of New Jersey) at the time of his death. Edwards was persuaded to fill Burr 's position. Edwards took office on February 16, 1758, shortly before an outbreak of small pox. He volunteered for the small pox inoculation hoping his example would encourage others to follow suit. Instead, he fell ill and died from the inoculation on March 22, 1758.

Jonathan Edwards' descendants have included many influential roles in American history, according to his biographer George Marsden who "notes that "the Edwards family produced scores of clergymen, thirteen presidents of higher learning, sixty-five professors, and many other persons of notable achievements."" [*] His grandson, Aaron Burr Jr. served as United States Vice President under Thomas Jefferson and the victor in his infamous duel with Alexander Hamilton.

So how is our family connected with Jonathan Edwards? His daughter, Esther Edwards, married our 7th Great-Grand Uncle Aaron Burr Sr. (making her our 7th Great-Grand Aunt). Aaron Burr's sister, Elizabeth, is our 7th great-grandmother, as the chart below shows:

Jonathan Edwards and Sarah Pierpont
Daniel Burr and Elizabeth Pinkney

Esther Edwards marriedAaron Burr, Sr. (b. 1715)
Elizabeth Burr (b.1696)
Nathaniel Hull (b.1726)

Ezekiel Hull (b.1765)

Platt Hull (b.1787)

Ezekiel Hull (b.1813)

Rebecca L. Hull (b.1841)

Frank Martin Bragg (b.1867)

Orval Bishop Bragg (b.1895)

Don Cicero Bragg (b.1920)

[*] Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Jonathan Edwards (theologian) <>