Monday, March 10, 2014

52 Ancestors - Bessie Beatrice Landers (Belknap)

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  Each week focus on one ancestor and post something about him or her. Since March is Women's History Month, it's only appropriate to include women for the rest of the month.

Bessie Beatrice Landers is my great grandmother on my direct maternal line (my mother's, mother's, mother). All of the women in this direct line would have received mtDNA (mitochondrial) haplogroup H from their mother's and they in turn passed it on to their children. Their daughters then pass it on to their children and so on. Sadly I have no daughters who can pass it on, but I do have cousins who have daughters. 

Bessie was born August 2, 1888 in Keithsburg, Mercer County, Illinois, USA to James Robert Landers and Angeline Henrietta Littrell. Although Bessie's birth record has her middle name as Imena, she went by the middle name Beatrice in all other records that I've found. 
Mercer, Illinois, "Register of Births," Return of Birth, p. 34, no. 3540, Bessie Imena Landers, 1888; Courthouse, Aledo.
What should have been a joyous occasion turns to sorrow eight days after Bessie's birth.  Her mother, Angeline, dies of congestive chill complicated with dysentery. James and Angeline's three children are now motherless, Fred Lewis who is 5, Ruby Jane Jean who is just about 2, and newborn, Bessie. 

James remarries in December of 1889 to Laura Belle Baugess. Since there is no census for 1890 to go by, I'm not sure where the children would have been.  But in the 1900 census, Fred, Ruby, and Bessie are living with their paternal grandparents, John William Landers and Mary Angeline Humbert. Their father, James is living with his new wife and four children.

By the 1910 census, James, his wife, and their 7 children are in Sheridian, Nebraska. Fred, Ruby, and Bessie have left their grandparents in Mercer County and have all gone to South Dakota. Ruby is married to Altie McCready with an 8 year old daughter from a previous marriage to George Oscar Johnson. Fred is living with the J. L. Johnson's family as a hired hand. Bessie is living with the O.L. Boyden's family as a servant.

Shortly after the census, Bessie marries Donald Francis Belknap on 12 September, 1910 in Charles Mix, South Dakota, USA. Donald Francis Belknap is listed in the 1910 census as a widower  and the nephew of Joseph S. Grandon living in Charles Mix, South Dakota. (Still haven't figure out how he is related.) Donald lost his first wife Bertha Ocila Todd in May of 1907 by Lacombe, Alberta, Canada. Somehow both Bessie and Donald, from different parts of the country ended up in Charles Mix, South Dakota, where they meet and married. 

Bessie and Donald stayed in South Dakota for a couple of years. 1911 is not a good year for them. Bessie gives birth to a little boy, John Donald Belknap, in May who only survives 20 days. Later that same year in September Bessie's brother, Fred, dies. 

Leaving her sister, Ruby, in South Dakota, Bessie follows her husband, Donald back to the Lacombe area in Alberta, Canada in 1912. Bessie and Donald have three girls who survive to adulthood, Bertha Bessie (Betty) born in 1913, Ruby Alberta (my grandmother) born in 1917, and Frances Eldora born in 1918. More women to pass on haplogroup H. 

Bessie's father, James Robert Landers, dies February 21, 1929 in Riverton, Fremont County, Wyoming, USA. Fred, Ruby, and Bessie are mentioned in his obituary. 

Bessie dies in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on December 27, 1947 at the age of 59.
Alberta, Province, Registration of Death, 1947, 001295, Bessie Beatrice Belknap;Alberta Vital Statistics, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
More post about the Landers:
Another post about Donald Francis Belknap:

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