Welcome to Backtracking!

This blog has been made for the Hersey/McKelvey/Bross/Gjuresko and the Shafer/Tipton/Fry/Miller Families to share stories from their relatives and retrace their heritage, but the site author welcomes all stories and will be making section for others as well. After enough information has been gathered, a book will be compiled and made to order.

If you have a great story, please email the admin and we will see what we can do. If you are added as a contributor, please make sure that you don’t provide information such as Social Security numbers, house addresses (unless a generation or two outdated), or any other info that may be stolen and used by the wrong people.

Loder Vancycle (again)

I admit I’m a sucker for a challenge. But also that I need help sometimes. When I couldn’t find any info on Isaac Loder and Sylvester Loder’s mother, Elizabeth Vancycle, I finally exhausted myself and asked for help. Yes, I asked for help, lol. I reached out to the folks at The Vansickle Family Tree Facebook page. The researcher there gave me some more ideas, aside from lamenting that the woman seems to appear and disappear out of nowhere and has not been heard of by said researcher. Not a great start, but he or she was still very excited. The first idea was that Isaac Sr. didn’t die in the civil war. He had a wife and kids in Pennsylvania, kids in Kansas, and another wife and kids in Kansas, more kids… He really got around I guess. The second idea was that Vancycle may not have died but remarried to a Vancyle, which would be one reason why we can’t find her. Often times a new husband didn’t want the kids that came with his new wife. 3rd idea: The families with which the Loder boys resided in 1870 may be relatives and are probably at least related to eachother. Isaac Jr. was with the Catletts. Hester Catlett’s maiden name is Potts. Sylvester is staying with the Potts family. Both are in Missouri in the same county. Both Potts are from Ohio. Vancycle is from Ohio. Perhaps they could be family or friends. In addition, in 1870 there…

Continue reading

Some Loder research and images

Through seemingly endless searches I’ve been relentlessly trying to track the Loder family. I only know a small part of their sad story but I hope to get more information eventually. It may be time to take a break and tackle somebody else. To track the exact people I am talking about, here we go from youngest to oldest direct descendants: Betty Fry-Shafer > Orville Fry > Hester Loder and William Fry > Isaac Loder Jr. and Sarah (Salley) Ann Miller > Isaac Loder Sr. and Elizabeth Vancycle. Isaac Loder Jr. was born in Kansas in Johnson County 1858. Though this doesn’t mean he has Native blood at all, the county used to house an Indian Manual Labor School on a Shawnee reservation. The demographics of the school were made up of children of slaves brought to work on the land and school, and (usually) the following tribes: Shawnees, Delaware, Wyandotte, Ottawa, Kickapoo, Kaw, Pottawatomie, Osage, and Peoria. Because of the proximity to Missouri, it would not be surprising if Cherokee made it there at some point. The students would pay 75 dollars a year for room and board and education in things like milling, blacksmithing, brick laying, spinning, etc. By the time young Isaac came around, the manual portion of the school had been closed for a few years. The mission school was abandoned soon after 1862. For more on the school, read here. It’s important to note that I haven’t found Isaac Jr.’s birth certificate, so other than…

Continue reading

Surprise! General John Tipton Makes an Entrance.

While trying to read up on the Indian Removal Act in hopes of finding more information on our Missouri relatives and their supposed Native ancestry, I stumbled upon General John Tipton. This would be Grandpa Wayne’s 2nd cousin 4x removed, according to Ancestory.com. John was Indian agent to the Potawatomi tribe and in charge of moving the faction in Indiana to Kansas. This was an awkward realization considering my intentions for this research, but not surprising. John’s father was killed by Natives (which ones, I don’t know) and so was the father of his second wife. He probably wasn’t too fond of them, nor they he. He had another relative that was killed by Natives: “1781 on Beargrass Creek at the Falls of the Ohio by Natives.  At the time, he was serving as a Captain in the brigade of Colonel Joseph Crockett.” This trip was documented by Catholic priest Benjamin Petit, and became known as the Potawatomi Trail of Death.  It began after a treaty (one of many) that was supposedly containing forged signatures, and signatures of people not in a position of power, was made and the inhabitants of the reservation refused to move and chiefs wrote several petitions against it. Tipton was ordered to round up the militia and forcibly move the Natives out. During their journey they lost 42  of roughly 800 to dysentery, etc. and a few more than that to sickness (they left the sick). The priest died on his return journey due to fever. The…

Continue reading

A whole bunch of pictures coming!

A few weeks ago Ryan and I went to Sanger, CA to see some of my family and I of course thought this was the perfect time to spend hours and hours going over old pictures with my grandma and dad. I’ll get them all loaded up soon but I wanted to summarize my discoveries. First, I have to share a picture of my Grandma Betty because she looks great at every age, but I like the crazy hair in this one:   Walker I’ll need to add this to the list of categories. This is my grandma’s mother’s maiden name and I do believe there are photos to be had in that category. AND something about a violent family feud that could get interesting to research. Fry Oh the Frys, so many of them! One of the best parts about this trip was seeing the home videos of my grandparents’ trip to Ava Missouri, formerly “Frytown”. They met some relatives, toured the town, church, old homesteads, etc., and shared stories. I can’t view the videos on my Mac so at some point I’ll commandeer a PC long enough to get them in a format every computer can open (or on the web, let’s try that too!). I will make a script of sorts when I get to hear the entirety as well. Loder Dad and I were not able to get far on the Native American roots that continually side-step me. Apparently nobody in Missouri wanted to talk about…

Continue reading

At Last! In Full: Journal of a Voyage from Providence to Mobile 1836

Some notes: Many of the places on this voyage can be found by typing in their name to this website and then confirming approximate Latitude and Longitude when hovering over the place with your mouse: http://www.latlong.net/ If I encountered a word that I just couldn’t recognize as a word, or if its spelling or meaning was questionable (due to Hersey’s handwriting being about as bad as my own), I put [brackets] around it. Longitude and Latitude: I admit I’m not great at reading abbreviations of those two but was able to plug in the coordinates, at any rate. I haven’t been able to use a symbol for degrees when typing, so use your imagination. For definitions of sails, ships, parts of ships, and actions taken on ships please look to the glossary at the end of this post. Anything I missed, sorry! Other definitions of words I didn’t know or thought somebody else might not know are at the end of each day’s entry. To download the handwritten journal, go here: http://backtracking.radapplehost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/journal_small.pdf Journal of a Voyage from Providence Rhode Island Toward Mobile Alabama In Ship Elisa and Abby, Capt. [Palmer] [??] By David Hersey Friday November 18th, 1836

Continue reading

Update: Journal of a voyage from Providence to Mobile 1836

I confess I am having the hardest time reading this document. That might speak as to my generation but I’m not giving up! If you would like to assist in translating English to English (bad joke!) go ahead and give it a whirl. I did read ahead though, and saw a lovely paragraph about savages and islands and shipwrecks. Mostly really just that, because those are words I can read ;).  Hopefully the journal in its entirety is as interesting as those three words are to me! My next post on this subject will be about what was going on in 1836 as David was leaving Rhode Island and arriving in Alabama—mostly to stall for time while I continue figuring this out. Please see link to the PDF below for the full document. I can provide better quality images (600 dpi) per request as they are quite large but more clear. Journal of a voyage from Providence to Mobile 1836 By David Hersey

Continue reading

The Knighting of Sir Anthony De Tipton

Tipton Crest

An excerpt from We Tipton and Our Kin By the Rev. Ervin Charles Tipton of San Rafael, California 1975 For further details, please also see this forum thread. For more details mentioning this legend and it’s credibility* (plus more Tipton research) see this site. During the year 1282, one Anthony Tipton was a member of the English army. The Welsh were in rebellion against the English rule. Prince Llewellyn was the backbone of the Welsh resistance. King Edward of England decided to send an army into Wales to crush the rebellion. The big showdown came at the Battle of Snowdon Mountain where the Welsh were completely annihilated. Anthony Tipton acquitted [?] himself so heroically that he was knighted by Edward I the following day, which came about in the following manner: At the defeat of the Welsh army, Price Llewellyn escaped on a horse, crossing the bridge of Bulith, closely pursued by Anthony Tipton. Both were clad in a coat of armor and mounted on a horse equipped with shield, hand sword and lance. The Prince entered a wooded country and suddenly turned to give battle to his pursuer, and the duel was on! As they charge towards each other, Tipton maneuvering for the strike with his long lance, suddenly thrust it forward and paired the armor of the Prince, who fell to the ground mortally wounded. Anthony dismounted to search his victim for valuable papers, and discovered the had slain the Prince of Wales, the man most wanted by King Edward…

Continue reading