A Resting Place for this blog about the lives of George and Amarilla Barclay of Pine River…

This blog was started in March of 2010.  It has now been six years of postings about the lives, ancestors and families of George Angus Barclay and Amarilla Spracklin, founders of Pine River, Minnesota.

George A. Barclay ca. 1878

George A. Barclay ca. 1878

I have covered George Angus Barclay’s early years, his siblings, his life in Minnesota, his service in the Civil War and his settling in the Pine River area.  There is always more you can do in genealogical research and I still have questions but I think I have covered quite a bit on this blog.  They were truly two very colorful and complicated people.

Unfortunately, I have not yet determined if George was born in Enfield, Connecticut.  There is no birth record for him at the Enfield Courthouse.  I was actually there at the courthouse on two separate occasions searching for his birth and anything on the Barclays. I have studied George’s siblings to try to find out if they knew anything.  They all have their own version of their origins in the USA but not much about Scotland so far.

The last name of George’s mother Margaret was found on his sister Mary Jane Barclay Ford’s death certificate but it is unreadable.  I have asked many genealogists to try to help me decipher it but they have failed as well. It is something like Margaret “Davison or Davidson.”  If I could find another source it might reveal the name in a more readable manner.

George’s father,  John Barclay, was supposedly born in Edinburgh, but I am not so sure about that. We all know the great city of Edinburgh and he might have just used that city because it was known.  If he had a Scottish brogue it might have been difficult to understand his actual birth location. I have experience with a mispronunciation and spelling of a birth location in Scotland on my mother’s side. However, Edinburgh is a very big city and he could have come from some area in or around that city. What this means is I need to learn about Scottish genealogical research and I started that process with the course I took several years ago at the British Institute in Salt Lake City.

Evergreen Cemetery - Barclay plot

Evergreen Cemetery – Barclay plot

John Barclay stated that he came to the United States in 1833.  This is what he testified to in his naturalization papers that I found in Scott County, Minnesota records. So far I have not found any evidence of a John Barclay coming to the United States in that year of 1833 online. I am told by accomplished genealogists who have studied immigration that people often forget the year of their immigration.

John’s age is also in question, it changes from census to census. It is said that he was born in 1801 and died in 1897 which makes him 96 years old at his death.  His obituary notice is also vague about his origins, immigration and his first wife.

George and Alexander, brothers, indicate they were born in Connecticut but so far I have not found any birth records for the children of John and Margaret Barclay in that state and I have been to several of their archives in person on several occasions and local courthouses.  I have conducted a cemetery search in the Enfield area for Margaret but have had no luck on a burial location. It is possible that she is buried near the Bristol area based on her daughter Mary Jane’s information. So the origins of the Barclay’s are still shrouded in mystery.  We will see, and if I do find out anything I will of course share it on this blog.

Amarilla about 1911 in Pine River, MN.

Amarilla about 1911 in Pine River, MN.

Amarilla’s connection have been a little easier to find and search. I have covered Amarilla’s life in Iowa and Minnesota on this blog.  Her father Daniel D. Spracklin was born in Knox Co., Ohio and he migrated to Iowa by 1856 with his first family.  That family consisted of mother Elizabeth Keller Spracklin, and her siblings Henry, Oliver, and Mary with Amarilla following in 1858.

Because there was a lot to share I decided to divide up the story of Amarilla’s origins between Ohio and Iowa/Minnesota. So you will find the origins of the Spracklin’s on another blog titled “Solomon Goss of Fearing Twp., in Ohio.”  This blog will take you back into the history of Amarilla’s father and mother’s origins in Ohio focusing on the counties of Washington, Knox and Morrow.  It covers Daniel D. Spracklin’s family origins through his parents John A. and Lydia (Goss) Spracklin, his siblings and what happened to them.

Amarilla’s lineage goes to DAR and the Revolutionary War and to Mayflower through her grandmother Lydia Goss Spracklin. I have yet to share about that side of the family but will be doing so on the Solomon Goss blog after I complete the Spracklin’s history.

Amarilla’s also has lineage to DAR and Mayflower through her mother’s side of the family Elizabeth Keller Spracklin’s mother Mary Anne Delano Keller and her father Stephen Delano.  This lineage has been covered in the Solomon Goss blog.

I need to join DAR and Mayflower and in the next year hopefully that will go well and I will let you know the outcome.  I also might give information to other organizations in order to preserve my and our family history.

I have taken DNA tests and some family members have done so as well.  I have a PAGE at the top of this blog describing that process.  I encourage anyone who is a Barclay or a cousin to take a test and let me know so I can seek you out in the database and see how you compare with myself.  I have tested with all the major companies – Ancestry, Family Tree DNA and 23&Me.

So I come to a stopping place on this blog and will not be posting unless I have something of merit to share with you. The blog will remain online and active and I might make some changes adding material or updating and do a little maintenance on occasion so check back once in a while to see if anything new occurs.  Check the right side at the top of the blog for any updates and announcements.

This does not mean that I am finished.  I want to clean up my research binders for the Barclays and when that is to my satisfaction, I will start working on more research into the origins of the Barclays.

I will be putting my time and energy into the Solomon Goss blog and going further back into the past to cover the Goss family history. It will be a great challenge and will take a great deal of care.  It will be harder because the further back you go the harder the research gets.

To help you find things, I have created PAGES at the top of this blog on various topics and as table of contents for the different surnames making it easier to find the posts that cover the information you seek. There are tips on how to search this blog.

Please feel free to comment, just make sure you have the correct blog before you click send for I have several blogs.  You can also contact me at my other email  bjmcdonell@gmail.com.

Happy hunting Bonnie

Amarilla’s Origins in Iowa!

Amarilla Spracklin Barclay was most likely born near Blairstown in Benton County in the state of Iowa on the 17 of November 1858.

Amarilla’s father was Daniel D. Spracklin and her mother was Elizabeth Keller.  Daniel and Elizabeth  married 1 January 1853 in Sparta, So. Bloomfield Twp., Morrow Co., Ohio.

Source:  Marriage Records, 1848-1951, Index 1848-1948, Morrow Co., Ohio.  General Index V1A-10, 1848-1948 #388779 Item 1, Marriages v. 1A #388779 Item 2 1848-1858. Keller, Elizabeth to Daniel Spracklin Vol. 1A, pg. 119. Pg. 60, Spracklin, Daniel D. to Keller, Elizabeth on Jan. 1, 1853 by Joel Abbott JP.

I believe Amarilla was born near Blairstown because her father Daniel had land in Leroy Twp., Benton County, Iowa which is where Blairstown is located.   He had migrated from Ohio to Iowa.  According to the 1856 Iowa State census they were in Iowa by 1855.  There are problems with the index of the 1856 census but Daniel is there along with other interesting discoveries.

Benton County was organized as a separate county in 1846 with the town of Vinton as the county seat.  Blairstown was established in 1862.  The town of Marengo was incorporated in 1859 and was more established as a town at the time.  Marengo is the county seat for Iowa County, Iowa and has been since 1845 according to this website which gives a little history of Marengo, Iowa:  http://www.marengo150.com/default.htm  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marengo,_Iowa

The two towns are about 9 miles from each other with Blairstown being directly north of Marengo.  I drove the highway between the two towns and it is a nice drive through a canyon and over a hilly area.  Blairstown and Marengo are situated in flat land areas between these rolling hills.

Between Blairstown & Marengo

Blairstown, Iowa

In the photograph above you see Blairstown in the distance and the water tower to the left.

Source:  Blairstown, 1862 to 1987, History – Town History.  I obtained a copy of this history book from the Blairstown Public Library which has  a genealogical collection.  At that time they were in a temporary building in 2003 so researching was a challenge.  The librarian was very helpful.  The genealogical collection is in the care of another individual through the Benton County Genealogical Society and that information is listed at the library website.  Apparently they are in their new building now, so it would be a much better experience to do research there.

Here is the link:  http://www.blairstown.lib.ia.us/use-the-library/genealogy2

Benton Co. 1872 Atlas

Daniel’s land in Leroy Twp. is in two 40 acre sections straddling the double line that runs the entire page above, north to south.  He is slightly to the right of the middle of this picture.  If you click on the photo it will enlarge and look for two smudgy dots on each side of that long line.  The township page above is  from the 1872 Iowa County Atlas – Benton County, Leroy Twp. which I found at the Iowa County Genealogical Society.  Blairstown is in the upper right corner of the photograph.

Be advised that the Iowa County Genealogical Society was in the basement of the Marengo Public Library but they did some renovations a few years ago and the society is now in North English.  See the links to the right on this blog.

Daniel moved to Dayton Twp., Iowa County, Iowa after this 1872 date and he appears in the 1874 Atlas of Iowa County, Iowa published by Harrison & Warner.  Daniel purchased the land in Dayton Twp.  at the end of 1872.  The land in Dayton Township is in the northeast corner of section 19 which is right next to the Poweshiek County line southwest of Millersburg and close to Keokuk County.  Marengo is twenty miles north of Millersburg.  So Daniel put some distance between his original land purchases in Benton County and moved south to Iowa County and obtained a lot more land, all in one large piece.

To get a better idea of the distance from Blairstown I have below a copy of an atlas page of Iowa County showing Dayton Twp. and if you focus on the white square you can see about where the land was situated.  I am using Millersburg as a reference point.

Historical Atlas 1875 of Iowa County, Iowa

I found this atlas at the Iowa Digital Library website for The University of Iowa and I chose the page for Iowa County.  http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/atlases  There are more counties listed at this website.

I have deeds and more information regarding Daniel’s land holdings in Iowa and copies of atlas pages for Iowa County and Benton County.

I did check newspapers around the time of Amarilla’s birth to see if I could find an announcement or discover her mother Elizabeth’s obituary for March 10, 1859 but I was not successful.  I did see obituaries but mostly news about the farming industry.  I also checked the bible records at the Iowa Historical Society in Des Moines and did not find anything to confirm my theory.

Amarilla’s mother Elizabeth died four months after her birth. Daniel her father remarried in 1863 to Sarah Blacketer Allgood.  They had seven more children as I have mentioned in a past post.

Amarilla was born in Iowa and was not unfamiliar with living on a farm and that lifestyle.  So in my opinion this made her adapt well to life on the frontier in Pine River, Minnesota in 1878 after her marriage to George Angus Barclay.

Amarilla’s family the Spracklins is a very large family and I have been researching them for many years.  There are many others who have done a great deal of work on this family line.  There is Mayflower and DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) connections in Amarilla’s ancestry through both her father and her mother sides and it spans the early history of our country and if I shared all of the research that I have on her family it would take a blog all by itself and it would be a major undertaking.

The scope and focus of this blog about the Barclay’s is about George and Amarilla’s life together.  In future posts Amarilla will be touched by her Spracklin and Keller families as events unfold in her life.