Wednesday, June 13, 2012

George H. Webster, Who’s Your Daddy? Part 1

Copyright 2012, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

(As I wrote this long review on George, I realized that I had mis-read part of the obituary of John Wesley Webster. Bad - - and good. Bad, obvious, mis-reading or misunderstanding is just not a good thing. Good, well, it made me stay up late and do a lot of research and I found some new stuff and, ya, I had some frustrating fun too! And, so, with that confession of my “ooops”, onward - -)

Here is where this saga stands at the moment, and even though I have been obsessed with the search for several nights (and days) now, I find for many reasons, I need to just record what I think I know and move on for the time being. I have reviewed and snooped and I am exhausted from the efforts, and no, I will not profess this is an exhaustive search.  George, despite this last few days, is NOT a strong contender of the focus of my research, and I must let it rest, at least for now. A revisit in a year or so is not out of the possibilities, by then, more records will become available online, or I hope I will be in a research library where I can access records not available online and I can do some digging there.

So, here is how I think it plays out. Up front, some of this knowledge comes from online family trees at, some from research done by others and published in books, and I only have portions of those books. I have tried to verify some of this information in the past and currently via the net. This is a working draft. I may prove or disprove some parts or all of this later. I feel I am close on this, that said, there are too many holes and missing proofs to be totally comfortable with it.

Henry David Webster and John Wesley Webster are brothers, sons of David Webster and his wife Betsey Blake. Both Henry and John find themselves living in Floyd County Iowa in the 1860 to 1880 time frame.


Henry and his wife Josephine are enumerated on the 1860 census of Floyd County, Iowa with 2 daughters, Clara and Ellen.

In 1860 John is living with his parents, David and Betsey, in Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin.


In 1870, Henry is living in Floyd County Iowa, but, Josephine, Clara and Ellen are not found on the census. As a matter of fact, Ellen (Ella) is found buried in Floyd County, having died in 1864.

In 1870 John W. and his wife Lorinda Bemis Webster are living in Floyd County. Also in the house hold are: John’s father, David; Georgie or Georgette or George H. Webster; Litta Clifford and 3 individuals with the surname Bemis, actually some horrible form of Bemis.  (Below is image of part of the 1870 enumeration.)


Henry has not been found enumerated on the 1880 census, but, we do find H. D. Webster, with wife Josephine and son Ernest enumerated on the 1885 Nebraska state census living in Brown County. The ages and birth places match well with what I know about the family. Son George is found on the 1885 census of Iowa, as a young married man. This is the last sighting of Josephine I have found.

John W. is enumerated on the 1880 census of Plano, Kendall, Illinois. In the household are his wife, Lorinda; and George Webster, SON, 19; Carrie Webster, DAUGHTER, 8; David Webster (John’s father), 81; 7 others, whose names mean nothing to me at this time, shown as boarders; and one Earnest Webster, aged 17, listed as a boarder, but whom I believe is the son of Henry David, therefore a nephew of John W.


Henry has not been found on the 1900 census.

John is found on the 1900 census of Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. Others in the household are his wife Lorinda and a fellow who is claimed as a cousin (probably the Henry Bemis in the 1910 census, see below).


John is found on the 1910 census of Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, in the household is his wife Lorinda and Henry Bemis, a cousin.


Henry David dies in 1909 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, John Wesley dies there in 1913.  I have death records for both.

I have traced a number of the “grandchildren”, adopted or otherwise, well past the death dates of 1909 and 1913.  I found them in census and found some marriage and some death records for the grandchildren.  These findings assisted in furthering the searches on the grandparents and on our George H., allowing me to get this far. The searches are not complete by any means.

Part 2 will discuss the obituaries of Henry David and John Wesley Webster and give rough outlines of their family groups.


No comments: