"The wonder is always and always..."

Almost every year, I re-read the Oz books. It is usually a summer occupation, those jolly and carefree stories the perfect match to a hammock and cold drink. But, as in so much else it seems, I'm running a little behind; this year's return to Oz began just last month. Right now I'm in the middle of the eleventh book, The Lost Princess of Oz--you remember, the one where Ozma goes missing, so Dorothy and all the other celebrated Oz characters search among the Winkies and Munchkins to find her.... No?

Nearly as nice as a hammock.

Anyway. Long about the part where the Frogman jumps over the gulf separating the Yips from the rest of Oz, it occurred to me how many of the Oz books involve a search for a particular person, the term "person" being loosely applied, of course, in a land of living tinmen, anthropomorphic quilts, and assorted talking objects. All of these missing friends and family, all of these quests.... This, despite Glinda's Magic Book!

The eleventh and nineteenth in the series.

My musings continued, easily linking the idea of searching for family in the Oz books with genealogical research, and I wondered what might happen when two hobbies collide. I have been an Oz fan since childhood, first introduced to that marvelous land--like most of us--through the 1939 film, and its annual television broadcast. By second grade, I was so enamored of the story and songs (and musical theater in general, another nascent love) that I auditioned for--and got, beating out a bunch of no-talent third and fourth graders--the part of the Scarecrow in my elementary school's stage version.

"If I Only Had an Agent"

My introduction to the actual Oz books themselves did not come until a few years later. And it was a few years after that when I first became interested in genealogy. The rest, as they say, is--if not history--at least blog fodder. Which begs the question: why am I writing about Oz in a genealogy blog?

Because L. Frank Baum, the man who first discovered Oz and began the beloved series, married Maud Gage on 9 Nov 1882. And she is my ninth cousin, three times removed! (Those of you who follow this blog may take a minute to savor yet another example of my near-miss relationships to prominent people.)

I discovered this--to me--remarkable fact when reading up a little on Baum himself, who was partly of English and Scotch-Irish descent, as I am. I thought it might be fun to see if somehow, somewhere we might be related or connected. Some quick Googlery and Ancestry.com-ing proved that Baum would be a bust ("be a bust, be a bust"--can you hear it too?), but that his wife was more promising. Passing aside her suffragette mother, Matilda Joslyn Gage, I traced Maud Gage's father's line instead. Once I began seeing "Barnstable, Massachusetts" on some of the early births and deaths I thought it likely I'd hit gold if I could just follow ("Follow! Follow! Follow! Fol--" cripes, those tunes are catchy) back a bit further.

And there it was: Lombard. A name I knew from my own family tree. A little more quick "research" (none of this hasty investigating will get me into the NEHGS, that's for sure), and I found the link: Thomas Lombard (2 Feb 1581 - 1663). He was born in Dorset, England, and came to America in 1630, aboard the Mary and John. He settled in Barnstable in 1639, where he was the first inn-keeper, and lived there until his death. His will indicates that he owned books, good fellow, to the value of fourteen shillings. After that, he gets a bit sketchy. He apparently had several wives about whom we know little, with children by each, about whom we know a bit more.

Thomas' oldest son, Bernard Lombard (1608- 1668) is the seven-times great-grandfather of Maud Gage; another son, Jedidiah Lombard (1640 - 1682), is my ten-times great-grandfather. In a further coincidence (or as further proof of just how inbred New England was in those days), another brother, Joshua Lombard (8 Oct 1627 - 1697) is also related to me, although just by marriage. He married Abigail Linnell (1630 - 1662); his grand-daughter Hopestill Lombard (15 Nov 1686- 1756) was the second wife of Joseph Hamlin (20 Nov 1680 - 27 Aug 1766), my eighth great-grandfather. I am descended from Hamlin and his first wife, Mercy Howland (1678 - aft 1721).

And for those of you not entirely confused yet, let me note that the name "Linnell" might ring bells if you are a follower of this blog. Abigail Linnell, Joshua Lombard's wife, was the sister of both Hannah Linnell (17 Apr 1625 - 1701; she married John Davis), a ten times great-grandmother of mine, and Bethia  Linnell (7 Feb 1640 - 25 Mar 1726; she married Henry Atkins), a nine times great-grandmother of mine. ("And you were there, and you were there....")

I feel quite confident that if I keep looking, I will be able to find connections to the remaining Linnell siblings: David and Mary and Shubael (oh my)! But rather than look into that now, or see to whom else I can make myself be related, I've got a book to finish reading.

Ozma isn't going to find herself.

"...more the silent one..."

In honor of Halloween, allow me to introduce you to The Spook, also known by the less macabre name of Sarah Jane Conley, one of my maternal second great grandmothers.

The Spook holding a pumpkin, appropriately enough.

Sarah Jane Conley was born in November 1857, in Richland County, Illinois, sixth child (of seven) of David Conley (abt 1822 -aft 1880) and Rebecca Tolliver (abt 1823 - 1869). It is through Sarah Jane that I am a Double Tolliver, as her parents were second cousins. Sarah Jane's great-grandparents on her father's side were William Maxwell and Lucy Tolliver, while her great-grandparents on her mother's side were Jesse Tolliver and Martha Stamper, Lucy and Jesse being brother and sister.

The Conleys were farmers, and moved to the recently formed Redwood County, Minnesota, sometime in the early 1870s. In 1875, on 13 Nov 1875, the just-of-age Sarah Jane married William Edwin Kinman. The Kinmans, like the Conleys, had been living in Illinois in 1870, and moved to Minnesota about the same time as the Conleys. I do not know if they families knew each other in Illinois; the Conleys and Tollivers (and associated families) tended to be clannish, and I can find no records of other Kinmans in their milieu.

At any rate, the newlyweds seem to get along fine; their first child (of six), Cora Mabel Kinman was born just ten months later. Growing up with siblings named Susan, Rebecca, Catharine, George, John, and Anna (all common names of the era, and much-used in the Tolliver clan) it comes as a bit of a surprise to find Sarah Jane giving her own children such comparatively exotic names as Alta, Iza May, and Lola.

From left: William Edwin Kinman and Sarah Jane (Conley) Kinman; their grandson,
 Dana Earl Brown; daughters Lola Dorothy (Kinman) Gilmore, Cora Mabel (Kinman) Brown,
 Alta Edith (Kinman) Anderson; and son-in-law Walter Campbell Gilmore.
 In front; grandson Ray Edgar Brown?  About 1925.

The Kinmans remained in Redwood County until just after 1900 (William Edwin Kinman is listed as the postmaster of Morgan on the 1900  U S Federal Census), although by the early 1890s William had given up farming and taken up insurance sales. In late 1904 the family moved to Minneapolis, a consequence, no doubt, of William's success; by this time he was the State Manager of the Modern Brotherhood of America, a fraternal organization founded in 1897.

By 1920, the Kinmans had moved twice more; William Edwin Kinman was now State Director for the MBA, and along with his two unmarried daughters, Iza and Lola (both teachers), had his oldest daughter, Cora, and her family (husband Clarence Edgar Brown, and sons Dana Earl Brown and Ray Edgar Brown) living with them.

3512 Third Ave S. The house was built in 1909, and is still standing.
 Apart from a paint job, it looks nearly the same.

But what, you ask, of The Spook? After her husband's death in 1925, Sarah Jane again lived with her oldest daughter and her family, this time in their home in Moorhead, Minnesota. Apparently as time went on she became more and more reclusive and odd. (She was, by this point, in her seventies, so today we might assume she was suffering from senile dementia.)

By the time my maternal grandmother, Myrna Margaret Severin married my grandfather, Dana Earl Brown, in 1933, Sarah Jane had taken to wandering the house, silently (in part because she always wore slippers). She was known to suddenly appear, staring silently, which would usually frighten whomever she encountered. Hence the sobriquet "The Spook."

From left: The Spook, AKA Sarah Jane (Conley) Kinman, daughter Cora Mabel (Kinman) Brown,
 and granddaughter-in-law Myrna Margaret (Severin) Brown. About 1933.

In true Spook fashion, she died on Friday the 13th, March 1936.

5. Sarah Jane Conley (Nov 1857 - 13 Mar 1936) married William Edwin Kinman (Mar 1858 - 13 Jun 1925), son of William Kinman and Sarah R Moore, on 13 Nov 1875, in Redwood Falls, Minnesota.

4. Cora Mabel Kinman (4 Sep 1876 - 22 Aug 1958) married Clarence Edgar Brown (1 Dec 1878 - 21 Aug 1937), son of Silas W Brown and Malinda J Carter, on 16 Sep 1903, in Morgan, Minnesota.

3. Dana Earl Brown (26 Jan 1910 - 10 Sep 1984) married Myrna Margaret Severin (6 Nov 1907 - 12 Jun 1997), daughter of John Jacob "Jack" Severin and Isabelle "Belle" Runser, on 21 Oct 1933, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

2. Beverly Alane Brown (8 Aug 1934 - 7 Mar 2010) married [Living] Burnett, son of Leroy Stanley Burnett and Hazel Lucille Erickson, on 4 Mar 1961, in Long Beach, California.

1. Your humble blogger.