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Reader Responses

I am hoping for responses from readers with the names of children who lived with families in Illinois.  I will add them to this page as they are received.

  • Denise Piatt to ask for information about Eugene Gerard and his siblings Felicia and Paul Gerard.  Eugene Gerard came to Bethany Illinois, but she has no information about his brother and sister. These OTRs did not have letters published in the Annual Reports, but I referred Denise to Clark Kidder, who I am confident will be able to help her.

  • Jo Edgecombe wrote to inquire about a possible OTR named Harriet Littell or Lytell who was married in Mason County, Illinois to Montcure McReynolds in 1859. Harriett's name does not appear in the NYJA records and It appears that Jo should contact the National Orphan Train Complex.

  • Patricia Bastianelli shared letters written by her OTR ancestor, William Masterson, who as well as being an OTR was the son of a Civil War veteran, whose letters Patricia also shared. One day I will have time to write a post about William Masterson, who had a fascinating correspondence with his sister.

  • Lynette McCrea wrote to ask for information about her ancestor, Lela Leibrock who was sent to Illinois in 1909. Unfortunately, I was unable to help Lynette, but I am placing Lela Leibrock's name here in the hopes someone will have information about her.

  • June Cackley Mahn contacted me about her ancestor, Emma Davis, and I referred her to Clark Kidder once I confirmed that Emma came from the NYJA. June shared the scans of the NYJA ledgers that Clark gave her and it was truly amazing! From those records she learned Emma's mother's name, place of birth and occupation. She also know all the places that Emma had lived while in Illinois. 

  • Darra Prather wondered whether her grandfather was an orphan train rider. He was known as John William Schnickedanz in Pike, Livingston County and lived with Lucy and William Schnickdanz. Also living with this family was Arminta Moor. Unfortunately, without an original surname, it is impossible to know whether John William was an OTR.

  • Kathy Boles contacted me seeking more information about her ancestors: Elizabeth, Katherine and Joseph Kelley. Elizabeth and Katherine lived in Jefferson County and they lost their brother somewhere around Chicago. It appeared that they were not from the NYJA, and I have not learned from her if found more information about Joseph Kelley.

  • Kelly Burrows asked about her grandfather Percy Burrows, (not an NYJA OTR), who thought he might have come from Hamilton, Canada, but ended up with a family named Berry in Washington State. Once again, I am placing his name here in case someone does have information that could confirm his memories.

  • Diane Wahlstrom contacted me about Margaret Finningham, who came to Illinois from the New York Juvenile Asylum. She lived with Abraham Phillips and his family in Nashville, Illinois. Another OTR living in the home was Thomas Noonan. 

  • Jennie Full Dewey contacted me about John Drew, who I am pretty sure came to Illinois with the NYJA. I'm hoping for an update one of these days about John Drew.

  • Tabitha Harry is the great granddaughter of Matilda Ruetinger, an OTR from the NYJA. Tabitha wanted to find information about Matilda's brother Henrik Ruetinger. 

  • Marci Moyer's ancestors were Mary and Harriet Wilson, who came to Winslow, Illinois. There were girls by these names in the rolls of the NYJA, and I am eager to hear more about these women.

  • From Montgomery County Genealogical Society reader Darren King:

Wm Quattlander and Anna Suda were raised by Darren King's grand parents, Theodore and Catherine Westphal on a farm a couple miles NW of Nokomis.  Anna Suda had a brother adopted around Litchfield.  Both were given up by their father in NYC after their mother died.  He remarried in MN and had a whole new family.

  • Lynn Boyd Reener of the MCGS completed a genealogy after receiving Darren's message. 

  • Tiffany Smith supplied additional information about her ancestor: Frederick Zenn, which I incorporated into the blog. 

  • Barbara Lockard shared the story of her ancestors David and Merrin Nicoll. 

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