Migrants from Somerset to Illinois,
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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. Hickmans, 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 Hickmans 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 Hickmans 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 attractions 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
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
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
If you have relevant information and would be willing to share, or if
Ive missed your details or got something wrong
Write to me at the following email address:
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
Bown & Lockyer ancestors of D Bown (Somerset,
England): Middlezoy to Macoupin 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,
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,
1890 he was residing in
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,
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
Lockyer ancestors of Lisa ODonnell (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.
Hook ancestors of Tony Bate:
Migration to Macoupin
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.
Eddington ancestors of Daisy Eddington (Bushnell,
Middlezoy to McDonough
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
Georges 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.
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 Marcys pictures of Coffeen (191) & Irving
Eddington ancestors of Stan Eddington (Brighton, Illinois): Middlezoy to
Macoupin County, Madison County.
Take this link to read about Stan Eddington ancestors.
Kick ancestors of Helen Mueller
Illinois): Middlezoy to Libertyville
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.
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.
Kick ancestors of Eric Bonell
(Strood, Kent, UK) Middlezoy
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.
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,
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
Waukegan, and North Chicago.
Ward ancestors of Kathleen Adamson ( Lansing,
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
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.
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
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.
Loveridge ancestors of Fran Henley
to Warren Co, Illinois. Stoke St. Gregory to Warren
My grandfather, Thomas John
Squire Dare Loveridge left Stoke St. Gregory
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.
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
would love to be able to see some pictures of the towns and villages mentioned
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
to South Amboy by steamboat 25miles
Railroad to Bordentown 33 miles
Steamboat to Philadelphia 29 miles
Railroad to Harrisburg on the Susquehanna river
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
By Lake Steamer
from Buffalo to Chicago
By wagon* from Chicago to Peru
By Steamer from Peru
to St Louis 272
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
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.
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 :
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
19th Nov 2006 Added details about Hickmans 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