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Migrants from Somerset  to Illinois, USA

 

FAMILYHISTORY Home     This page last updated on 12th Nov 2009. See bottom of page for list of major updates.

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Many individuals and even complete families packed up, left Somerset, England, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, and then travelled to various states in the USA and Canada. Many of them ended up in the state of Illinois. For most of them it was the start of a new life, with new hopes and expectations. You may know that your ancestor came from Somerset, but how did they make the journey, who organised it, where did they sail from and too, and how did they travel to their destination within Illinois?

 

 

 

This picture shows a coach and horses about to leave Porlock, a Somerset village. How many of your Ancestors might have begun their journey this way, perhaps first making their way to the local train station?

 

 

 

 

 

This web page contains details of some known migrants, showing where they sailed from and where they arrived, and where they eventually ended up in Illinois. It may give clues to other researchers on what route to Illinois their own ancestors might have taken, and where to start their research.

Many folk appear to have sailed the route from Liverpool to New York. Just the journey from Somerset up to Liverpool would have been quite enough in those days.

 

Many would have booked locally. Hickman’s, who had shops at 50 Eastover, Bridgwater and also Highbridge (and probably elsewhere; anybody know?) were known to have offered a booking service for passage to Canada, and perhaps other places.

 

 

This is a 1907 picture of Hickman’s shop at Highbridge, which would have been similar to the one in Bridgwater. On the pavement on the left, you can just make out an advertising board for ‘Allan Line’ shipping to Canada, confirming the fact that Hickman’s acted as booking agents, as well as being dispensing chemists and druggists.

 

 

 

 

 

The Bridgwater Mercury of 1908 records that many passages to Canada took place that year, with some having been secured by the Canadian Pacific Line, with one of the attraction’s being the offer of ‘Free farms in Western Canada’. A report from April 8th 1908 also includes an account of the first stage in the long trip to Canada. A party booked by Hickman's, Eastover, started from the Great Western station in Bridgwater, on Thursday night, bound for Liverpool, to embark on the Canadian Pacific Railway steamer "Empress of Britain". A special carriage had been placed at their service by the G.W.R. (Great Western Railway) Company.

 

This is a picture from 1905, of a typical train with carriages heading north through Dunball station towards Bristol, on the Great Western Railway line. Dunball is just 2 or 3 miles north from Bridgwater station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the bottom of this page there are links to pages where there are pictures of some of the Somerset villages where your ancestors might have come from. There are also some extracts from the book ‘Eight Months in Illinois’, by William Oliver, written by him about his journey into Illinois in 1841/2. This gives some possible routes from New York, the main port of arrival, into Illinois.

 

The Immigration experience at Ellis Island……

 

http://members.tripod.com/%7EL_Alfano/immig.htm

 

 

 

If you have relevant information and would be willing to share, or if I‘ve missed your details or got something wrong  please… Write to  me at the following email address:

                                 

 

 


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Migrants from Somerset are known to have settled in the following counties ;  DeKalb, Iroquois, Lake, Macoupin, Madison, McDonough, Montgomery, Morgan , Warren,

Illinois residents can look at thumbnail pictures of some Somerset villages at  http://dbown100.tripod.com/album.htm

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Bown & Lockyer ancestors of D Bown (Somerset, England): Middlezoy to Macoupin County, Madison County.

 

William Field Lockyer1849 of Middlezoy: He made the passage on the ship France arriving at the port of New York Aug. 23rd, 1872. The point of embarkment was Liverpool, England. By 1880 he was residing at Polk Township, Macoupin County, Illinois but we have no details on his trip there from New York.

Richard Field Lockyer1860 of Middlezoy ( younger brother of William): He made the passage on the ship Wisconsin arriving at the port of New York on Oct. 9th, 1884. The point of embarkment was Liverpool, England. By 1890 he was residing in Macoupin County, Illinois.

Albert Bown1872 of Middlezoy ( nephew of William & Richard): He made the passage on the ship Majestic arriving at the port of New York on July 3rd, 1890. The point of embarkment was Liverpool, England. It’s believed that he initially went to stay with his uncles in Macoupin. In 1910 he was residing in Godfrey Township, Madison County, Illinois. Later he was living in Medora, Macoupin County.

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Lockyer ancestors of Lisa O’Donnell (St Louis, Missouri)     Aller to Macoupin County

 

George  Lockyer 1832  of Aller and Ann his wife(nee Taylor) ,emigrated  to Macoupin County, Illinois with their daughters Mary and  Sarah1863 around 1870.

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Hook ancestors of Tony Bate:   Migration to Macoupin County.

 

The eldest son of his ancestors John Hook & Elizabeth Grave Lockyer was a John Hook who married Ann King.  They emigrated to Macoupin County in the 1840's.

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Eddington ancestors of Daisy Eddington (Bushnell, Illinois):  Middlezoy to McDonough County,  

 

John Eddington came over to Illinois in 1875.George Eddington (brother of John) came in 1881 to McDonough County Illinois, with brother William Eddington aged 3.

George’s sister Sarah Eddington  married Frank Bawden and  their daughters Bessie and Florence Bawden (nieces to George) came to Macomb Illinois from Middlezoy, England in March 1908 and made their home with their Uncle William Eddington.  Their sister, Kate Bawden, came to Irving, Montgomery Co,  Illinois in 1912.

Bessie and Florence met death when the Empress of Ireland sank in St. Lawrence River May 29, 1914, as they were on their way back to England to visit family.

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Eddington ancestors of Marcella Jackson(Coffeen, Illinois)  Middlezoy to Irving, Montgomery Co

My grandparents Henry Robert Taylor, born April 16,1888 and Kate Taylor(Bawden), born Sept.15,1886 and their 18 month old daughter, Florence Anita (my mother) left Middlezoy on March 2,1912 to come to the U.S. They came across on the Empress of Britain and landed in Newfoundland. They then took a train from there to Irving, Montgomery Co, Illinois. Kate's Uncle James Eddington who had come to the U.S. in1873,  paid their way over. Henry worked on James's farm until the debt was paid in full. Henry then got a job in the coal mine. Wages were more here than in England. Kate's two sister's Bessie and Florence Bawden had come over several years earlier. In 1914 they drowned on the Empress of Ireland. They were on their way back to England to visit family.

Look at Marcy’s pictures of Coffeen (191) &  Irving  mjAlbum101.jpg

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Eddington ancestors of Stan Eddington  (Brighton, Illinois):     Middlezoy to  Macoupin County, Madison County.

Take this link to read about Stan Eddington   ancestors.

 

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Kick ancestors of Helen Mueller (Westchester, Illinois):         Middlezoy to Libertyville

 

Horace John Kick1889, my grandfather, left Middlezoy in 1907, aged 18, sailing from Liverpool on the vessel Ivernia, reportedly to Boston.  He travelled by train to Illinois where he worked for Thomas Barnstable, a distant cousin.  He married Marie Larson in 1916 and they eventually ran a small dairy in Libertyville, Illinois.  Horace died in Oxford, Wisconsin in 1979, two months after his 90th birthday.  His brothers, Art, Fred and Mark, also immigrated to the US.  Brothers William and Charles came to the US but returned to England, not liking life here.

Fred Kick came to the US in 1904 to live with his brother William.  Fred was killed with a neighbour on Christmas eve 1916 coming home from town with Christmas presents for his family in a horse and buggy and being hit by a train.  His son Bob was only two months old. A cousin, Charles Kick, son of Octavius Kick, who was the son of James Kick + Sarah Bridge, had a small farm in Lake Villa he called Middlezoy.  After he died of appendicitis in 1924, his wife Gladys and their four children moved to California.

 

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Kick ancestors of Eric Bonell (Strood, Kent, UK)                    Middlezoy to Libertyville

My great grandfather Frederick Kick and his wife Emily Hucker had the following children: George Thomas Kick b: 1877, Florence Mary Kick b: 1878, William Ernest Kick (my grandfather) b: 1880, Sidney Kick b: 1882, Frederick (jnr) Kick b: 1884, Arthur Kick b: 1886, Horace John Kick b: 1889, Isabel G. Kick b: 1891, Mark Kick b: 1891, Charles Kick b: 1894, Fendora Mercy Kick b: 1896, Grace Ethel b: 1898, Emily Florence b: 1900.

 

Four brothers, Frederick, Arthur, Horace John & Mark all went to USA, where there is now a very large family.

 

My grandfather William Ernest Kick also went to USA but his girlfriend did not want to join him, so he returned to marry my grandmother Beatrice Alice Tucker, which was fortunate for me. He lived in Brent Knoll and worked for the farmer. I enjoyed living with them in the war years.

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Brean  ancestors of Therese Ives. (Waukegan, Illinois)     Wrington to Lake County.

 

Her great grandfather William. Brean, b. March 9, 1845, of Wrington, and his wife Selina (nee Walker), b. Oct. 26, 1841, Chewstoke, sailed from Liverpool to New York, on the City Of Washington, arriving, April 18, 1870. Their first child (George Wm. Brean) was born July 18, 1870, Kenosha County, Wisconsin.  At the time the city was believed to be called Southport, later Kenosha.

After a period living in Wisconsin, their second child (Alice S.) was born in Illinois (possibly just south of the Wisconsin-Illinois border) on March 7, 1873. Their fourth child (Ernest A.) was born Feb. 2, 1879 in Benton Township, Lake County, Illinois.  This would be roughly where the city Zion is today. Their fifth child (Lewis E.) was born June 16, 1882 in Shields Township, Lake County, Illinois. That is the city North Chicago today. The last child (Walter Thomas) was born June 19, 1884, also in Shields Township.

 

William Brean's brother George Henry Brean, b. Feb. 9, 1852 Butcombe, came to the U.S. in 1872. Once here he settled in Waukegan, Illinois which is also in Lake County.  He was a well known builder and contractor in Waukegan.  His story was put into the Portrait & Biographical Album of Lake County, 1891. He married Elizabeth Worsfold, daughter of Richard Worsfold, in 1874. 

 

Therese also adds ‘ My feeling is that they travelled by a series of canals through New York, and then onto the Great Lakes, ending up at Lake Michigan and eventually Southport.  Lake County is in the most eastern and northern corner of the state, right up against Lake Michigan.  Starting at the very north and moving southward, the cities at the lake's edge are Winthrop Harbor, Zion, Waukegan, and North Chicago

 

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Ward ancestors of Kathleen Adamson ( Lansing, Illinois)  MRSJDAJR@aol.com 

 

John WARD (b. 1810 Barnstaple, Devon) married in 1837 Mary Jane HALLETT (b. abt 1815 Chiselburough, Somerset).  They were in Somerset thru 1861, then went to Middlesex, and London.  At least  3 of their children went to Illinois. Jane "Jennie" Ward married Wm MC LAUGHLIN (also born in England) in Waukegan, Lake Co., IL in 1884.  Wm came to the US in 1876 and Jane came in 1882 (according to the 1900 Census).  They were living in Shields, Lake Co., IL at the time of the 1900 census.  William died before the 1910 census, when Jennie was then in Gilman, Iroquois Co IL. Emma and Eliza Ward both came to Illinois in 1890 (according to 1900 census).  Eliza married  Edgar Edworthy WARD in Waukegan, Lake Co, in 1891. She resided in Gilman, Iroquois Co., IL after that time. Emma was married in England, and was here before her husband died in England in 1895.  Emma then married Samuel GREEN in Iroquois Co., IL in 1898. Both Eliza and Emma married close cousins.

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Ashelford ancestors of Ruth Dunlap(DeKalb, Illinois)        Lydeard St. Lawrence to DeKalb county

My great-grandfather, George Ashelford, came to DeKalb Co. Illinois in his early 20s in the year 1858 (according to a county history).  I have been through New York passenger arrivals films for the whole year and did not find him.  I suspect he may have sailed to Canada then crossed into the US.  His brother, Abraham Ashelford, had come to the US in 1855, stopping briefly in Ontario, Canada, then to DeKalb Co. Illinois. He claimed to have entered the US via Detroit in his citizenship papers.  They had a first cousin who settled in Ontario sometime in the 1850s, but I don't know why Abraham chose DeKalb Co.  Another cousin settled in Michigan. 

 

The brothers were born in Stogumber parish, Somerset, and the family had moved by the 1851 census to nearby Lydeard St. Lawrence parish (just northwest of Taunton) .  Immigrants named Lock came from the same area to DeKalb Co., also - that family later intermarried with George's children.

 

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Loveridge ancestors of Fran Henley to Warren Co, Illinois.      Stoke St. Gregory to Warren County

 

My grandfather,  Thomas John Squire Dare Loveridge left  Stoke St. Gregory for Warren County, IL at the age of 15.   He left in July of 1889.  Port of Departure:  Liverpool, England . Destination:  New York USA . Ship name:  Umbria

This information is from the New York Passenger Lists:  1851-1891.

 

Grandpa stayed with an aunt who had previously lived in Somerset. The aunt was Mary Loveridge who married James Jeanes in Somerset before coming to Illinois in 1857.

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Pictures of Somerset.

For persons living in Illinois, who are unable to visit Somerset, but would like to see pictures of the Sedgemoor villages around where their ancestors came from, go to http://dbown100.tripod.com/album.htm  to see thumbnail pictures. Unfortunately it is not possible to show full size images as they take up so much web space.

 

To look at thumbnail views of old postcards, go to http://dbown100.tripod.com/POSTCARDs.htm 

 

Pictures of Illinois.

Does anyone out there take pictures of the towns & villages in Illinois?

Many Somerset folks who have relatives in Illinois would love to be able to see some pictures of the towns and villages mentioned above.

 

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Eight Months in Illinois’, by William Oliver

I am indebted to Stan Eddington for bringing this book to my attention. William Oliver travelled from New York to St Louis during 1841-2, and then wrote a book about it all when he returned home to England.

 

In Chapter 8 he gives very detailed information on the routes the traveller might take from New York into Illinois.

 

He says that if the destination is to Southern Illinois, south of St Louis, he should take a route leading to the Ohio river so he can drop down it to the Wabash, thence he can run along the southern edge of the state to the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, then sail up the Mississippi to St Louis. Total distance 1623 miles. Details as follows:

New York to South Amboy by steamboat  25miles

Railroad to Bordentown  33 miles

Steamboat to Philadelphia  29 miles

Railroad to Harrisburg on the Susquehanna river  119 miles.

By canal Juniata river to Frankstown  128 miles

By railroad across the mountains to Johnstown 35 miles

By canal to Pittsburgh  109 miles

Steamboat from Pittsburgh to mouth of Ohio 965 miles

Steamboat from mouth of Ohio to St Louis  180 miles.

 

To go via Northern Illinois, the best route from New York will be by Buffalo to Chicago, then to Peru and on to St Louis, a total distance of 1893 miles.  Details as follows:

From New York by  steamboat up the Hudson river to Albany,   145 miles

By Erie Canal to Buffalo 353 miles

By Lake Steamer from Buffalo to Chicago  1028 miles

By wagon* from Chicago to Peru  95 miles

By Steamer from Peru to St Louis 272 miles

 

The passage from Buffalo to Chicago can be had on one of the lake schooners for less than half the fare of the steamers(12-15 dollars), but they take several weeks, while the steamers take 5 or 6 days. Between Chicago and St Louis there is no water conveyance as yet, but a canal* due to open in 1844 will connect Lake Michigan with the waters of the Illinois river at Peru. In the meantime a traveller can take a wagon from Chicago to Peru for 50 dollars, a distance of 90 to 100 miles.

* The 96 mile long Illinois & Michigan canal was eventually opened in 1848. The canal was a popular passenger route but this ended with the opening of a railroad in 1853 that ran parallel to the canal.

 

Another route to Southern Illinois involves branching off from the previous route at Cleveland(On the route by steamer from Buffalo to Chicago), and by the Ohio and Erie canal, leading to the Ohio river, at Portsmouth, where it joins the route from New York by Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

 

 

Organisations:

http://rootsweb.com/~wiilbig/   British Interest Group of Wisconsin & Illinois.  Anybody belong to this or know anything about it?

 

Rootsweb Somerset Emigrant Families   http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~engsom/somerset_emigrant_families.htm

This appears to be an interesting site well worth a look.

 

 

 

Please write to me at :

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updates:

 

12th Nov2009 Added family history of Eric Bonell.

5th Sept 2008 Added a link to Rootsweb Somerset Emigrant Families at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~engsom/somerset_emigrant_families.htm

14th July 2007 Added a link:   The Immigration experience at Ellis Island……

http://members.tripod.com/%7EL_Alfano/immig.htm

19th Nov 2006   Added details about Hickman’s of Eastover, Bridgwater, who offered a booking service for passage to Canada. Also a picture of their shop at Highbridge, and a picture of a train passing through Dunball station in 1905.