Taking Time to Say I Love You – 52 Ancestors #242

It’s Father’s Day, and of course, we’re either with our fathers or missing them.

This Father’s Day, I can’t help but think of my step-father, Dean Long.

Me Dad wedding

This is us together at my wedding. Can you tell that we utterly adored each other, without reservation?

And while this is my favorite picture of him, wearing one of only 2 suits he ever owned, that’s not how I really remember him best.

Dad was full of life and levity.


He started early as a prankster – in his teens, seen here with his never-smiling sister Verma. He had obviously done something to deserve that “disproving glare” and you can bet he was very proud of himself!

He spent his entire life “in trouble” for some kind of escapade or practical joke.


This, this is how I remember Dad, having appropriated an old cast-off coat and created a fashion-statement hat.

Dad Halloween.jpg

And this, as I was getting my kids ready to go trick or treating. They wore matching masks.

Dad Halloween daughter.jpg

Hugging my daughter. He would have laid his life down for that child and very nearly did.

Butch and Dad

His step-grandchildren had no idea he wasn’t “blood related.” They completely adored him. This baby, my son, tells me that “Pawpaw” still visits him in his dreams.

dad6 crop

Dad in his first suit, complete with wig. No, I have no idea “why.” He never needed a reason to laugh or make you laugh either! He was known to appear, comically, at the most unexpected times, places and in completely out of context ways. Like…in a suit at some “event” he didn’t particularly want to attend, wearing a wig.

He was even late to his own funeral. We suspect he paid of the funeral director in advance for that tone!

Dad pregnant

And here’s Dad, wearing MY orange dress, “pregnant,” in 1978. Look at that farmer’s tan!


He played that for all it was worth including waddling and groaning! I had to provide lessons and the requisite pillow! I laughed so hard I was gasping for air and crying. I think we both did!


This grainy out-of-focus picture taken at some long-forgotten fundraiser tells the story. A man of modest means, he was always doing something for someone else even if it did require being pregnant. Believe me, lots of people paid to see that!

Dad was a farmer but raised orphan animals. He rescued creatures with no hope, bringing them home to me and Mom.

Dad chose me as his daughter, telling me that when he married my mother, he “got his baby girl back.” Linda would have been about my age and died 2 days after Christmas in 1959. He never stopped grieving her death.

His first wife, Linda’s mother, died 9 years later. He never stopped grieving Martha either, always visiting and cleaning their graves on Memorial Day. We never accompanied him. It was a trip he needed to make alone.

Dad and Frosty.jpg

Here Dad is taking his daily 20 minute after-lunch nap with Frosty, his constant companion, a 3-legged cat that broke her back as a kitten in the barn. He thought there was no saving Frosty, but she outlived him. Love works miracles sometimes.

They are together now.

Dad was quite the practical jokester, participating in Rendezvous’ and Encampments throughout Indiana.


Schoolchildren attended on field trips and he educated them about pioneers and using everything at your disposal, wasting nothing. You could say he was an early recycler. It wasn’t “fashionable” then, but born of lifelong necessity. It was just the way life had always been on the farm.


Of course, there was always some funny tall tale to be told – like the yarn about the bull with the one red eye. I shudder to think. Those kids probably still have nightmares!

I made Dad’s Rendezvous clothes by hand in true pioneer style.

Dad's buttons.jpg

He carved buttons and fasteners out of bone and wood. We made such a good team. After his death, I mounted a few in a frame so they wouldn’t get lost. I can still see him intently working with his gnarled old hands.


The stories around the campfire as the “pioneer” mountainmen gathered in the evenings were less family friendly, but quite humorous, nonetheless.

One time his buddies even hung him, after a mock trial, for molesting a groundhog – all in good fun. (No groundhogs were actually molested.)

He was, of course, rescued at the last minute. I think mother and I coincidentally happened to arrive, in costume, and leapt into action just in time to save him from sure and certain death. Complete with righteous indignation of course. Mother playing the “Well, I never…what have you done now???” role with me sneaking in with a hatchet hidden under my skirt in the nick of time to spontaneously chop the gallows rope from around his neck, facilitating his escape!

Those were the days.

Dad loved the encampments which afforded opportunities to work with his hands, somewhat raucous camaraderie and to connect with and educate young people.

Dad's Indiana banner.jpg

I cross-stitched Dad a “banner” with the location of each of the encampments he frequented for him to hang and display at his campsite, but he hung it on the door at home instead. Mom said he was afraid it would be damaged or stained, although I viewed that as “seasoning.” I wanted him to use it, but I was secretly pleased that he loved it so much. It still hangs in my house now, 25 years after his passing.

Dad was too ill to “camp” the last summer before he passed away on Labor Day weekend, 1994. The following summer, the “rendezvous farewell ritual” took place.

Dad's encampment.jpg

Dad’s campsite was set up by his friends just like always, but was of course vacant. On Saturday evening, a fire was built in his fire pit, and everyone gathered round, telling stories and regaling tales about Dad, whose nickname was “Hoot” – because he was.

I absolutely had to attend, traveling from out of state, but mother just couldn’t. The grief was still too raw. His son didn’t bother.

Each person took turns telling stories that evening.

I laughed. I cried. A lot. Sometimes at the same time. Is that even possible?

I said, in a quiet moment, as the firelight flickered and the wood crackled, that I simply could not have had a better father if I had been his own blood.

The comfortable silence continued with everyone lost in their own thoughts when finally one of his buddies said, softly, barely audibly, “We had no idea he wasn’t your father. We knew that one of his two children was a step-child, but we thought you were his daughter. You’re the one who always came with him and made his things.”

You know why they thought that? Because I am, in my heart, and in his too.

I loved that man to depths I still can’t fathom. The grief is still new and palpable and raw, even 25 years later – especially on “those days,” like Father’s Day, his birthday, Christmas, and the anniversary of his death.

Also on days when I see cornfields, barns, cows, pigs, weeds, dandelions, snow, cats, dogs, tractors or flowers, especially his ferns growing in my garden, waist high this year.

Yes, pretty much everyday.


I’ve passed on some of the ferns and flowers from Dad’s garden, having passed through two of mine, to those grandchildren, now adults. His ferns, joyful reminders of carefree childhood summers spent on the farm.

I am eternally, sorrowfully, grateful.

I wish I had told him more often and could tell him, in person, just one more time. It didn’t seem necessary. I thought I had forever. I didn’t.

All I can do now is visit his grave.

Mom, Dad, grave.jpg

Thank you, Dad.

I love you.

DNA Testing the Recently Deceased

No one really want to think about this, but it happens.

You’ve always meant to DNA test someone, and they’ve agreed, but either you didn’t order the kit, or the kit is far away from where they passed away.

What can you do?

Take heart, all is not lost. You have two options.

Swabbing the dead

Swabbing the Deceased

Some funeral homes work with companies for DNA preservation and other services, but these services do not provide you with genealogy results from any of the major vendors and are processed by the lab associated with the company whose kit the funeral home is selling.

For genealogy, you have two options.

  1. Call Family Tree DNA (713-868-1438 9-5 CST) and have them overnight you a swab kit. The funeral director can swab the inside of their cheek and generally, funeral directors do a great job. You may want to ask for extra vials to be included in the overnight package, just in case. This is your last (and only) chance.
  2. If you don’t have time or aren’t in a location where you can receive an overnight delivery, purchase an Identigene paternity test kit at any CVS or similar drugstore. That kit will cost you about $27 for the kit alone, but the kit contains sterile swabs and a sterile pouch for inserting the swabs after swabbing the inside of the cheek. DO NOT SEND THE SWABS TO IDENTIGENE. Instead, call Family Tree DNA and explain that you are sending the Identigene swabs to their lab for processing. They will provide you with instructions and you must obtain approval before sending non-standard swabs for processing.

Caveats and Alternatives

  • Cheek swabbing must occur before embalming because embalming fluid interferes with DNA processing, per Dr. Connie Bormans, lab director at GenebyGene.
  • Per my friendly mortician, if you’re desperate and embalming has occurred, another area where some have achieved swabbing success is the crease behind the ear lobe where skin cells tend to become trapped if the body has not already been cleaned in that area. At this point, you have nothing to lose by trying.
  • Please note that sometimes “overnight” is not actually overnight. I attempted to overnight something across the Memorial Day weekend and “overnight” in that case was actually Friday to Tuesday for all carriers. If you are in a pickle, be aware of delivery constraints surrounding weekends, holidays and perhaps a very remote location.


After the kit is returned to Family Tree DNA for processing, you can order the regular suite of tests. I would suggest that you order all the tests you actually want initially, because the quantity and/or quality of the DNA sample may be questionable.

In other words, later upgrades may not be successful. I had that situation occur with my aunt’s mitochondrial DNA test results. The initial mtPlus test was successful, but her sample could not be upgraded to either the mitochondrial full sequence or Family Finder.

Three Data Bases in One Test

While you can’t obtain a spit sample from a deceased person for other autosomal tests, you can transfer the person’s autosomal DNA results to both GedMatch and MyHeritage for additional matching after processing.

Hopefully you’ll never find yourself in this difficult situation, but if you do, you have options.



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Hiram Ferverda, Part 3: Banker, Marshall and Yes, Still Brethren – 52 Ancestors #241

Hiram was born in the Netherlands in 1854.

His first article, Hiram Bauke Ferverda (1854-1925), Part 1: Baker’s Apprentice chronicled his life in the Netherlands.

In 1868, at age 13, Bauke immigrated to the US with his family. His life after immigration, as a farmer in Elkhart and Kosciusko Counties in Indiana, was documented in Hiram Bauke Ferverda (1854-1925), Part 2: American Farmer.

Part 3 begins with Hiram’s move to town and new career, beginning at age 54, and takes several entirely unexpected turns. You might want to make a cup of tea, because this one is both fascinating and long. It’s amazing what you can find in local newspapers that allows us to time travel and visit our ancestors in the time and place where they lived.

I must say that I had NO IDEA of most of the events that both influenced and changed Hiram’s life before I mined the newspaper articles. This man was alive 100 years ago, so I thought I knew about him through my family, but I didn’t. I would never have expected many of these discoveries because of his Brethren religion, but here they are, in black and white. A complete dichotomy.

I feel like I actually know Hiram today – and I thought I knew him before but all I had was a sketchy outline, a couple fuzzy stories and a few paragraphs in a book.

  • Hiram both upheld the law and broke the law.
  • Hiram eschewed violence but was a lawman.
  • Hiram was a pacifist, yet 4 of his sons proudly served their country.

This man was a study in opposites and perhaps in conflict as well.

Come along on Hiram’s amazing “second act” journey!

The Move to Leesburg, Indiana

In 1908, Hiram’s life took a dramatic change – and not one you’d expect for a farmer and certainly not for a farmer past the half century mark.

Hiram moved to town. Not a big town, but Leesburg with about 800 people, the closest town to his farm – more like a village. Hiram gave up farming, with his son moving to his farm and taking over day to day operations.

According to the Ferverda booklet written in 1978, Hiram supervised the laying of the brick streets in Leesburg which vehicles still drive on every day. I visited Leesburg in May of 2019 and found those same brick streets which remain beautiful, a tribute to his work more than 100 years ago.


Prairie Street in Leesburg, Indiana

Hiram became a director of the Peoples State Bank in 1908 and later Vice-President. Yep, he became a banker. Farmer to banker – now THAT’S a career change!

Son Donald Ferverda became Cashier a decade later, after his high school graduation, and eventually Director before his untimely death. In later years, another son, Ray Ferverda, became a Director and Vice-President as well.

It’s unclear where the actual bank property was located, although it may have been where the Freedom Express office building is found today.

Hiram’s Property

Hiram owned the entire section between Main on the west, Church on the south, the right side of this graphic and the alley between Church and Prairie on the north.

Hiram Ferverda google map Church Street.png

Today, that’s the gas pump area of the Freedom Express convenience store and gas station – along with the lots to the right along Church Street.

Note that in this aerial, you can still see the red bricks on Prairie Street. It’s possible that Hiram owned the area noted with the Freedom Express too. The deeds are not clear.

Hiram Ferverda google map Church Street aerial.png

The Kosciusko County Surveyor’s office was extremely gracious, providing me with the 1938 flyover image of these properties.

It’s possible but uncertain if Hiram also owned the top portion of the lot, now 201, then referred to as 117, that includes the Freedom Express building itself today.

Hiram Ferverda Church Street 1938 flyover.png

These images are grainy and difficult to see, but we can discern structures.

The deed for this property is confusing. Between the Auditor’s office, the Recorder’s office and the Surveyor, I think we have it straight.

Hiram Ferverda 1909 deed.jpg

The problem begins with the fact that the lot numbers given in the deed are not the same as the lot numbers today. To help map this, a rod equals 16.5 feet.

Lot 117 was originally what is showing today as both 201 and 205, which provides us with a place of beginning and is shown on their GIS system below.

Hiram Ferverda Leesburg GIS.jpg

However, based on the deed metes and bounds, lot 117 does NOT appear to encompass both 201 and 205, only 201. There was some confusion about this when I was in the Recorder and Auditor’s offices too. Based on the metes and bounds, it appears that lot 117 incorporated 201 and lot 116 incorporated 211 and possibly 209/207 as well. Perhaps lot numbers has not been assigned to 205, 305, 208 and 206, the properties it appears that Hiram owned.

201 and 205 are addresses today, on Main. 305 is on Hickory. 206 and 208 are on Church and 207, 209 and 211 are on Prairie.

Based on the metes and bounds, it appears that Hiram owned the red area, 205 below, and not 201.

Hiram Ferverda GIS land.png

One of the offices told me that lot 201 or 205 had been the Farmer’s State Bank before it was purchased for a gas station and convenience store. This building, below, on lot 201 would be the best candidate.

Hiram Ferverda Lot 201.jpg

However, the most recent Farmer’s State Bank building was directly across Main Street from this location, so the person may have been recalling that.

Hiram Ferverda Leesburg 1938 structures.png

In this 1938 flyover, we can see that there are two buildings on this group of lots owned by Hiram. One on the main property, at the left, and one on Hickory at the alley, which probably wasn’t Hiram’s home based on other evidence. I wish these were clearer, but it’s great to have anything from 1938. Eva would still have been living then, probably in this house. Maybe she was inside when the picture was taken!

Perhaps Hiram did not actually own the bank itself which could have been on lot 201, or even downtown. My brother John told me that Hiram and Eva lived “on the main road” which would reflect a house on the corner of Church and Main. In any event, today, I pumped gas where their house once stood – where my mother went to play as a child.

Hiram Ferverda Citgo.jpg

This photo is taken from across Main Street, looking at lot 205. The convenience store part of the building, and the small office building facing Prairie behind the convenience store sits on lot 201 today.

Hiram Ferverda 201-205.jpg

Hiram and Eva’s home would have been right about where that canopy shields people who pump gas today. I didn’t realize that when I was gassing up on “their” land.

Hiram Ferverda 205 only.jpg

Looking down Church Street from the East end of Hiram’s property back towards Main, we can see that only modern buildings exist today.

Hiram Ferverda Church street lots.jpg

No houses were present in 1938 except on 205, which had to be Hiram’s house.

Let’s take a look at Hiram’s life through the newspapers.


January 11, 1908 – Warsaw Daily Times – Margaret Ferverda, who has been quite sick, is improving.

Margaret turned 6 on January 12th.

April 2, 1908 – The Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda April 1908.png

Hiram’s father, Bauke, known as Baker in the US, is Grandpa Ferverda whose wife had died in 1906.

Hiram Becomes a Banker

April 17, 1908 – Warsaw Daily Time

Hiram Ferverda April 1908 banker.png

I can’t even begin to imagine what possessed Hiram to open a bank! It looks like the new bank was in the same building as an existing bank with the same people involved, given that Joel Hall is president of the new bank.

Brethren typically wanted nothing to do with government, nothing to do with “swearing oaths” or signing documents. Many deeds were never registered nor were licenses obtained for marriages in Brethren families. Even for a progressive Brethren, owning a bank was a huge step. Had I not known better, I would immediately eliminate the Brethren religion for any person owning a bank, being involved with government, law enforcement or warfare of any kind. This was very out of character and unexpected.

Hiram would die before the economic crash of 1929, and maybe that’s a good thing, because that might just have killed him. Banks didn’t fare well although this one survived.

And a Politician

June 2, 1908 – Warsaw Daily Times – Republican County Convention – Representatives if Party Assemble in Auditorium at Winona Lake and Choose County Ticket – (many names including) Plain Township – first precinct – Hiram Ferverda

Winona Lake is threaded throughout the news. Not only was it a recreational area, but many conferences were held there, making it a destination area throughout Indiana. Apparently, the Winona Lake region, located nearby, had facilities to handle, and house, crowds.

June 11, 1908 – Northern Indianian – Republican Convention held at Plymouth Indiana for congressional nominee. Speeches were given and the seat is contested. The convention is being held in the open air on the lawn of the old Henry C. Thayer property. Those Kosciuskoans who went to the Plymouth on the Pennsylvania train leaving this city at 8:20 a include…Hiram Ferverda.

Death is Ever Present

Especially in large families, death is an ever-present fact of life. Penicillin wasn’t discovered until 1928. People died then of infections and diseases that would be easily curable today.

October 22, 1908 – Hiram’s sister, Melvinda, died on October 12, 1899, leaving husband James Gibson and daughters, Minnie, Gertrude and Alma. James Gibson died on May 30, 1907, and daughter Alma died on September 10, 1908 of tetanus.

Hiram’s brother, William, became the guardian of both surviving daughters, replacing Peter Bucher, with Hiram posting his performance bond in the amount of $2000. Hiram signed this bond, providing us with his only actual signature.

Hiram Ferverda October 1908 bond.jpg

I love Hiram’s signature, below that of his brother, William. He actually signed in two different places on that document

Hiram Ferverda signature.jpg

Nov. 12, 1908 – Warsaw Daily Union. Marriage license issued to Rolland Z. Robison and Chloe Ferverda, both of Leesburg.

Rolland, known as Rollie, and Chloe would have an unnamed stillborn son in 1911, then Robert Robinson, Earl Robinson and Charlotte Robinson.

Hiram Ferverda, Eva, Chloe, Margaret.jpg

This photo, brought to the 2010 reunion shows Eva, Chloe, Hiram, Margaret, Bob (Robert) and Earl.

Robert was born in 1913 and Earl in November 1916, so I’d guess this was taken about 1917 or perhaps 1918. Hiram would have been about 64.

Dec. 24, 1908 – Northern Indianian – H. B. Ferverda allowed $48.24 for the gravel road in Plain Twp.


February 3, 1910 – Northern Indianian – Hiram B. Ferverda of Leesburg was in the city (Warsaw) Thursday.

Hiram Ferverda Warsaw courthouse.jpg

I visited the courthouse in Warsaw in May of 2019, knowing that Hiram would have been in this building many times, attending to business.

February 5, 1909 – Warsaw Daily Times – Samuel Ulery, George W. Cummings, Hiram Ferverda and Charles Matthews, of Salem and vicinity will all move to Leesburg.

Samuel Ulery was related to Hiram’s wife, Eva Miller, in multiple ways.

Hiram opened the bank in 1908 and moved to Leesburg a year later in 1909, probably to be closer to business affairs. As reported on the Farmers State Bank web page, local people and farmers had confidence in people they knew. I do wonder why these several families moved to Leesburg at the same time. Leesburg was then and still is small, the downtown extending all of a block.

Hiram Ferverda Leesburg business district.jpg

I love the bricked-in windows that give us a hint of what these building used to look like.

Hiram Ferverda Leesburg business district center.jpg

These old buildings speak of times that were. This entire business district is all of one block long.

Hiram Ferverda Leesburg business district end.jpg

I’d like to know what these buildings where when Hiram lived in Leesburg.

Hiram Ferverda Leesburg 1907 building.jpg

At the top of this building, you can see that it was built in 1907, so it was brand-spanking new when Hiram lived here.

One of these buildings was assuredly the Town Hall where Hiram would conduct many of his duties.

It seems that Sundays were church and then social days.

February 11, 1909 – Warsaw Daily Union – Hiram Ferverda, wife and little daughter Margaret were Sunday guests of Erve Ferverda.

Moved to Leesburg

March 10, 1909 – Warsaw Daily Union – Hiram Ferverda moved to Leesburg Wednesday and Thursday Erve Ferverda moved on the home place.

On March 19, 1909, Hiram bought the lots in Leesburg.

This seal in the old courthouse was probably used on many of Hiram’s documents, including his deeds.

May 6, 1909 – Commissioners allowances to John Pound to view Ferverda road – $4.

This is an interesting entry, because no place else have I found mention of Ferverda Road.


On the 1910 census, Hiram and Eva lived in Plain Twp., west of Big 4 which was the description for all of Leesburg. The railroad tracks ran just east of town, along “Old 15.”

Hiram Ferverda 1910 census.png

January 27, 1910 – Warsaw Daily Times – Hiram B. Ferverda of Leesburg was in the city (Warsaw) Thursday.

Feb. 3, 1910 – Northern Indianian – Hiram B. Ferverda of Leesburg was in this city (Warsaw) Thursday.

The Paternity Suit

Feb 9, 1910 – Warsaw Daily Union – This would be Ray, not Roy. There was no Roy Ferverda that I’m aware of. Maybe Ray was pleased to be misidentified, all things considered.

Hiram Ferverda Ray trial.png

This is a very suggestive entry in the paper which makes me suspect paternity. Rape would not have been a civil suit, although this does not say specifically.


The old courthouse doors still remain. Hiram surely accompanied his son to court.


And climbed the stairs to the second floor.

On February 12th, the following:

Hiram Ferverda Ray transcript.png

Confirming that the name is Ray, not Roy.

Sept 7, 1910 – State against Ferverda set for trial Sept. 23rd.

Aha, indeed, it was paternity! This means that there are potentially additional DNA relatives out there!

September 19, 1910:

Hiram Ferverda Ray paternity.png

Typically, at that time, people in this situation married. I wonder why Ray and Lucretia chose not to. Or maybe, just one chose not to.

The 1910 census shows a Lucretia Brown, of the right age and location, but with no child.

Hiram Ferverda Lucretia 1910 census.png

Did the child die? I didn’t find either a birth or death record. Perhaps placed for adoption? Being raised by someone else?

Lucretia married George Eldridge in 1914 and was living in Wabash in the 1920 census with two children, ages 3 and 4, but no child that would have been 10 or over. I wonder if an eventual DNA match will provide the answer.

The Great Bluegill Caper

I tried not to laugh at this, but especially given the earlier political commentary about the unfair fish laws – I just couldn’t help myself.

March 22, 1910:

Hiram Ferverda bluegills.png

This incident was reported by the Warsaw Daily Union using exactly the same words, but with much larger headlines

Bluegills huh? I’m thinking there is more to this story that we will never know.

Cheryl told me that the edge of Hiram’s farm touched Lake Tippecanoe because Don or Roscoe fell through the ice at one point.

March 21, 1910 – Warsaw Daily Time

Hiram Ferverda fined for fish.png

March 24, 1910 – Warsaw Union – It cost Hiram Ferverda $75 for taking 5 bluegills from Tippecanoe lake with a net. He entered a plea of guilty to the charge against him.

Also reported in the Northern Indianian, of course. This would have been great gossip!

I can just see Hiram’s teeth clenching!

Most expensive fish per ounce EVER.


Hiram would have passed these old cupboards in the Warsaw courthouse on his way to answer for his fish crimes. Maybe the evidence was even held here!

March 31, 1910 – Warsaw Daily Times – Rollin Robinson and wife spent Easter with the latter’s parents, Hiram Ferverda and wife of Leesburg.

July 7, 1910 – Fort Wayne Journal Gazette via a “special correspondent.”

Hiram Ferverda July 1910.png

Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Ferverda spent the day with Mr. and Mrs. John Ulery of Nappanee who are at their cottage at Government point, at Tippecanoe Lake.

They may have had no idea they are related to the Ulery family through the Millers, because they are also related to the Ullery family through Eva’s mother’s first husband’s family. They are also related to the Ullery family because Eva’s half-sibling, Emanual Whitehead married Elizabeth Ulery and her half sister, Mary Jane Whitehead married John D. Ulery. Yes this is a family vine!

July 12, 1910 – Warsaw Daily Union – Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Ferverda attended church at Salem, Sunday and took dinner with their daughter, Mrs. Louis Hartman and family.

Sister-In-Law Dies

July 19, 1910 – Warsaw Daily Union – Hiram Ferverda received a message Sunday morning stating that his sister-in-law, Mrs. Fannie Ferverda died at her home near Nappanee Saturday evening.

This would have been his brother, William’s, wife.

While Hiram and Eva appeared to be quite social, there are surprisingly few mentions of Hiram’s brother and family. I suspect that part of this may be due to the fact that William’s side of the family appear to have remained more conservative in the traditional Brethren ways, while Hiram became increasingly progressive throughout his life. Distance was probably also a factor, although they clearly do keep in touch.

August 10, 1910 – Warsaw Daily Union – Boyd Whitehead of Goshen is visiting Hiram Ferverda and family.

Off to Kansas

August 18, 1910 – Warsaw Daily Union – Hiram Ferverda, Frank Bortz, Charles Dye and Henry Kinsey started on a 10-days pleasure trip for various points in Kansas Tuesday morning.

Then, later in the same article about Leesburg residents:

Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Ferverda were Warsaw visitors Monday.

August 25, 1910: Frank Borts II, E. Kinsey, Hiram Ferverda and Charles Dye arrived home Monday afternoon after a 10 day pleasure trip through Kansas and Colorado.

So, what happened to Illinois and Missouri??  What did 4 men do? I wish they had told more of the story!

Sept 23, 1910 – Warsaw Daily Times – Ulery Family Reunion – Descendants of Daniel Ulery Held Enjoyable Meeting at the Home of John D. Ulery – The descendants of the Daniel Ulery family met at the home of John D. Ulery at Government Point on Tippecanoe Lake Thursdays. Those present were: (long list including) Hiram Ferverda and wife of Leesburg.

I notice that Emanual Whitehead was also present. I thought perhaps that this would lend itself to breaking down brick walls, but one Daniel Ulrich was born in 1811 in PA and died in 1834 in Elkhart County, His father was Jacob Ulrich who died young, but his wife Susan Leer remarried and died in Elkhart County. Jacob’s father was Daniel Ulrich (1756-1813) and Susannah Miller (1759-1831) who was the daughter of Philip Jacob Miller and wife Magdalena, ancestors of Hiram’s wife, Eva Miller, which may be the family connection.

This Emanual Whitehead was Eva’s half brother who married an Ulery, and John D. Ulery was married to Eva’s half-sister. This is enough to cause any genealogist to bang their head against the wall.

September 23, 1910 – Warsaw Daily Union – Mr. Violette of Goshen visited with Hiram Ferverda Wednesday.

Sept. 29, 1910 – Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda 1910 Ulery reunion.png

Nov. 3, 1910 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Ferverda spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. R. Robinsin (sic) east of Oswego.

Mrs. R. Robinson (actually Robison) was Hiram’s daughter, Chloe.


Feb. 2, 1911 – Warsaw Union – Rolly Robinson and wife spent Sunday with the latter’s parents, Hiram Ferverda and wife, of Leesburg.

Feb. 5, 1911 – Warsaw Daily Union – Andy Vanderford of Whitley County, a former deputy fish and game cop has filed with the auditor of Kosciusko county a bill for $134 for seizing and destroying nets, spears, etc. taken from alleged illegal fishermen during the past 7 years. Cases mentioned include…Hiram Ferverda. Amounts range from 1-10 dollars, in the majority of instances $5.

Hiram must have groaned and rolled his eyes!

Here it is AGAIN!

It. Won’t. Die.

Or maybe by this time it was a big family joke. “Hey Dad, want to go fishing for some bluegills?” Maybe they gave him “nets” for his birthday after his were confiscated.

Hiram Ferverda 1911.png

Mr. and Mrs. John Ferverda of Silver Lake visited with Hiram Ferverda and family over Sunday. John is my grandfather, but my mother and uncle weren’t yet born.

It wasn’t far from Leesburg to Silver Lake – about 18 miles. I wonder if the families had automobiles by then. I’m guessing so.

Attendance Award

May 8, 1911 – Warsaw Daily Union

Hiram Ferverda 1911 attendance.png

I think this was the predecessor of “walked uphill, in the snow, both ways” – except it was true. What an amazing record. School was very important to the Ferverda family – which isn’t surprising given that Hiram’s father, Bauke, was a teacher in the Netherlands.

Hiram Becomes a Marshall

October 19, 1911 – Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda 1911 marshall.png

This is the first mention of Hiram being a Marshall which is extremely unusual for a Brethren man. Brethren eschew public office and generally refuse to fight in wars or participate in any other type of activity which conflicts with their pacifist doctrine. Yet, Hiram continued to be Brethren. This must have caused some very interesting conversations!


March 14, 1912 – Northern Indianian – Hiram B. Ferverda of Leesburg, visited n Warsaw on Tuesday.

Hiram Ferverda Warsaw courthouse back.jpg

The courthouse in Warsaw is beautiful from all sides.

March 16, 1912 – Warsaw Daily Times – Hiram B. Ferverda of Leesburg transacted business in Warsaw on Saturday.

March 21, 1912 – Northern Indianian – Hiram B. Ferverda of Leesburg transacted business in Warsaw on Saturday.

I can’t help but wonder what kind of business he was transacting or was this just the stock commentary. He could have been shopping.

May 25, 1912 – Warsaw Daily Times – Hiram B. Ferverda of Leesburg transacted business here (Warsaw) on Saturday.

May 30, 1912 – Northern Indianian – Hiram B. Ferverda of Leesburg transacted business here (Warsaw) on Saturday.

Leesburg to Warsaw was 12 miles and Hiram is going to Warsaw on Saturdays for something, but what, and why Saturday?

Progressive Republicans

June 6, 1912 – Northern Indianian – County Convention Personnel, Second Precinct, H. B. Ferverda

July 26, 1912 – Warsaw Daily Times – The Progressive Republicans of Kosciusko formed a county organization on Thursday afternoon in city hall in Warsaw. Notices were sent to the men who were delegates at the last district convention in Warsaw and asked each to bring friends. When called to order, nearly 60 were present. At the outset, Mr. Vail explained the purpose of the meeting which he said, was to form an organization which could legally send delegates to the state and district conventions of the progressive party for the purpose of naming national delegates to nominate Theodore Roosevelt or some other progressive and for the purpose of selecting progressive national electors. The purpose is to give the voters a chance to express their actual sentiments at the polls in November by having a progressive ticket in the field. After that, various men expressed their opinions, including Hiram Ferverda from Plain Township.

I wish they had recorded the various opinions expressed.

Now, Hiram, a Brethren who is supposed to avoid politics is a “Progressive Republican,” and active to boot!

The Progressive Party was a third party in the US formed in 1912 by former President Theodore Roosevelt after he lost the presidential nomination of the Republican Party to his former protégé, incumbent President William Howard Taft. This party was considered to be center-left and was dissolved in 1918, but in 1912, it was quite the sensation.

Proposals on the platform included restrictions on campaign finance contributions, a reduction of the tariff and the establishment of a social insurance system, an eight-hour workday and women’s suffrage.

In 1916, the conventions of both the Republican and Progressive Republican parties were held in conjunction with each other, with Roosevelt being the nominee of both. He refused the Progressive nomination, accepting the Republican nomination, after which the Progressive Party collapsed.

August 1, 1912 – Northern Indianian – Progressive Republicans Meet in City Hall at Warsaw, Form an Organization, Differ Only On National Issue, No Third County Ticket to be Placed in Field, Nor is Third State Ticket Favored

Hiram Ferverda 1912 delegate.png

Hiram B. Ferverda was present as a delegate.

October 11, 1912 – Mr. and Mrs. John Ferverda of Silver Lake are here for a two weeks visit with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. H.B. Ferverda.

Wow, that’s a long visit.


January 3, 1913 – Warsaw Daily Times – Commissioners allowed Hiram B. Ferverda 56.70 for road repair.

Horseshoes Anyone?

May 17, 1913 – Warsaw Daily Union – An old fashioned game of horseshoe has opened up in town. Games are going all of the time. Hiram Ferverda is champion pitcher.

A horseshoe champion – who knew! I wish there had been pictures. In 1913, Hiram would have been 59 years old.


January 8, 1914 – Warsaw Daily Union – H. B. Ferverda allowed 109.20 for gravel road repair.

January 15, 1914 –- Northern Indianian – H. B. Ferverda allowed 109.20 for gravel road repairs.

January 29, 1914 – Northern Indianian – Plain Township trustee report shows the following disbursements…Hiram Ferverda, labor, $24.

April 2, 1914 – Warsaw Union – H. Ferverda and family were the guests of Bert Frederickson and family on Sunday.

May 6, 1914 – Warsaw Daily Union – Rolin Robison and family and Hiram Ferverda and family were the guests of the latter’s brother, William Ferverda at Nappanee, Sunday.

June 11, 1914 – Northern Indianian – Allowed H. B. Ferverda $5.00 for gravel road repair.

August 13, 1914 – Warsaw Union – the Progressives of Plain Township met Wednesday and elected the following township ticket: Trustee – Hiram Ferverda.

August 21, 1914 – The town council has bucked up against a proposition that is causing the members much worry. At the meeting last week a sidewalk was ordered along the east side of Main Street at the west end of H.B. Ferverda’s property and when Mr. Ferverda went to stretch the line for his walk it was discovered the Winona Interurban station freight house watercloset are all out about 4 feet past the walk line. What action the council will take in the matter is being watched with much interest.

Hiram Ferverda 1914 watercloset.png

Apparently Hiram had public toilets on the west side of his property. Apparently the Winona Interurban lines ran along what is now State Road 15 and the offices, probably pictured here, sat on the west side of Hiram’s land. The automobiles look like 1909 Model Ts, although I’m clearly no expert.

Winona Interurban an Leesburg

The Winona Interurban didn’t last long, being placed into receivership in 1916, so this photo of the “freight house” at Leesburg must have been taken about the time Hiram lived there.

Nov. 12, 1914 – Northern Indianian – Allowed H. B. Ferverda 140.75 for highway repair.


January 28, 1915 – H. B. Ferverda allowed $23.27 for labor for roads.

March 18, 1915 – Warsaw Union – Adopts City Airs – People who visit Leesburg this summer must run their cars up to the curb in an angling position according to instructions issued to Town Marshall, Ferverda.

Angle parking is still in effect in front of the heritage “business district” buildings. Who knew this was a “city air.”

Hiram Ferverda angle parking.png

March 31, 1915 – Warsaw Daily Times – Hiram Ferverda Jr. had the misfortune to badly bruise his finger while playing with a corn sheller.

This would be Hiram’s grandson through his son Irvin and wife Jesse Hartman. Young Hiram would have been about 3.

April 8, 1915 – Northern Indianian – H. B. Ferverda and S. V. Robison and their families visited Rollin Robinson and family Sunday.

May 6, 1915 – H. B. Ferverda and S. V. Robison and their families visited Rollin Robinson and family Sunday.

May 6, 1915 – Warsaw Union – Allowed H. B Ferverda asst road supt. $5.64.

Hiram is noted as the Assistant Road Superintendent.

Marshall Drama

June 7, 1915 – Warsaw Union – Leesburg Marshall Resigns – H. B. Ferverda, marshal of Leesburg, has resigned because the office made too many enemies. He states that many people refuse to speak to him because he did his duty.

Dec. 23, 1915 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1915 Marshall resign.png

Hiram was Marshall for 4 years and a few months.


January 7, 1916 –- Warsaw Union – H. B. Ferverda allowed 186.20 for gravel road repair.

Jan 20, 1916 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1916 tramp.png

I find this amusing because Brethren are supposed to avoid physical conflict, which is why they do not participate in wars and historically, would not even defend themselves or their families from frontier attacks. But here Hiram is dealing with a man that “showed fight.”

I wonder if the tramp was sent alone or accompanied.

More Drama – Throws Down Star

Hiram Ferverda 1916 marshall drama.png

I can sense his frustration, even today, 103 years removed.

Jan. 21, 1916 – Warsaw Daily Times – H. B. Ferverda, assnt road supt – allowed $5.64.

No Marshall, By Heck

Not only was this getting juicy, the word was also spreading!

January 24, 1916 – Rochester Sentinel (Fulton Co., Indiana)

Hiram Ferverda 1916 no marshall by heck.png

January 29, 1916 – Warsaw Union – H. B. Ferverda allowed $7.50 labor on roads

Feb. 1, 1916 – Warsaw Daily Times – Calvin Baugher is serving as town marshal of Leesburg. Baugher was chosen by the town board following a meeting on considerable friction. H. B. Ferverda previously held the position.

Feb. 3, 1916 – Warsaw Daily Times – Calvin Baugher has been appointed town marshal by the town council to fill the vacancy made by the resignation of H.B. Ferverda who quit when someone stated at a board meeting that the town did not need a marshal. The job pays $75 per year and the holder is supposed to serve as street commissioner peace officer and several other jobs.

Feb. 5, 1916 – Rochester Sentinel

Hiram Ferverda 1916 pay.png

“Not to pump the water.” That’s just about the only thing the Marshall doesn’t do.

Each of these articles tells the story in a slightly different way, and includes different tidbits of information.

February 10, 1916

Hiram Ferverda February 1916.png

I’m sure that Hiram was just glad to have this entire chapter closed. It sounds miserable and it had to affect his banking business.

The rest of 1916 seemed to be settling down a bit. Maybe Hiram found peace working on the roads.

Feb. 10, 1916 – Northern Indianian – H. B. Ferverda allowed $7.50 for labor on roads.

May 3, 1916 – Kosciusko Union – H. B. Ferverda allowed $20 for repair of gravel road.

Ira Ferverda Saves General Pershing’s Life

May 4, 1916 – Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda Ira saved Gen Pershing.png

Hiram must have been very, very proud of his son.

This from the Indianapolis News on May 10th:

Hiram Ferverda 1916 Ira 2.png

Hiram Ferverda 1916 Ira 3.png

Hiram Ferverda 1916 Ira 4.png

Hiram Ferverda 1916 Ira 5.png

This event didn’t happen in 1916, but during the Mexican American War between 1901-1904.

1916 wasn’t going to stay calm for long.

But Then There was that Cow Incident…

May 21, 1916 – Warsaw Union – An affidavit was filed Saturday in the court of Squire Garty by Ola A. Harris against H. B. Ferverda, retired farmer, bank director and business man of Leesburg, charging him with injury and cruelty to animals. Saturday morning when Ferverda and F.J. Filbert of the Leesburg Journal and their wives were driving to this city, they approached the Ola Harris farm two miles west of town.  A son of Mr. Harris was herding several cattle which were browsing along the highway. The auto driver, Mr. Ferverda, slowed up and endeavored to get around the cattle, but one Holstein heifer, valued at $100 by Mr. Harris, jumped into the machine and from the contact with the bumper its hind leg was broken, while a lamp on the auto was damaged. Harris demanded $100 of Ferverda in return for the cow, which had to be killed, but the Leesburg gentleman refused any settlement on the ground that he was in no wise to blame. Ferverda and his party drove on to Columbia City after giving Harris their names and addresses and upon reaching town, Ferverda was arrested on the about mentioned charge. He plead not guilty and arranged for a hearing on Friday, June 3. He has employed Levi. R. Stookey of Warsaw to defend him and gave bond for appearance.

Hmmm, interesting to note that there is or was a Leesburg Journal.

We now know that by 1916, Hiram did own an automobile.

May 31, 1916 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1916 cow trial.png

June 3, 1916 – The case of the state of Indiana vs H. B. Ferverda of Leesburg on the charge of injury to animals was tried in the circuit court rooms Friday afternoon by Justice Theordore Garty. Deputy prosecutor Joseph R. Harrison was assisted by attorney D.V. Whiteleather and Ferverda was defended by attorney L. R. Stookey or Warsaw. The defendant was found guilty and fined $10 and costs.  An appeal was taken by the defense and the case will be heard in the next circuit court term. Several days ago Mr. Ferverda, a wealthy and prominent citizen of Leesburg, in company with his wife and friends, while driving past the Ola Harris farm, west of town, in an auto, struck a young cow, which later had to be shot on account of a broken leg sustained from the collision. The present case is an outgrowth of a confrontation between Mr. Harris and Mr. Ferverda. Harris claimed Ferverda should pay him $100 damages on the cow and may decide later to file a damage suit.

I think the term “wealthy and prominent” might just say it all about the motivation for this lawsuit.

It’s interesting that Hiram was found at fault for hitting a cow that was in the road. Very different from today.

June 8, 1916 – Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda 1916 cow fine.png

September 9, 1916 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1916 cow attorney.png

I never did discover the outcome.

Hiram Ferverda courthouse seat.jpg

I did, however, discover this vintage seat in the Warsaw courthouse and couldn’t help but wonder if Hiram sat here during one of his many visits, maybe impatiently tapping his toe on the ground.


World War I had begun in 1914, but by 1917, the action in Europe had really heated up.

In January, in violation of international law, Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare, hoping to starve the British out of the war. The Germans understood that their actions would probably draw the US into the war, but thought the damage to Great Britain would be so devastating that it wouldn’t matter.

According to the Chicago Tribune in a 2016 article, prices had soared. Bread was 20 cents a loaf and flour jumped $3 a barrel. The country came to understand food conservation with “meatless Mondays” and “wheatless Wednesdays.”

A headline in the Indianapolis News on April 10, 1917, told readers “Patriotic Wave is Sweeping Indiana.” The article reported that “thousands of native and foreign-born citizens are showing their fealty to the flag by taking part in great street demonstrations which include parades, salutes to Old Glory and the singing of patriotic songs.”

In April, Hiram’s son, George volunteered.

Hiram Ferverda 1917 George volunteer.png

April 12, 1917 – Warsaw Daily Times

The headlines looked like this:

Hiram Ferverda 1917 headlines.png

That Thursday, the entire county shut down to go to Warsaw.

Hiram Ferverda 1917 war.pngHiram Ferverda 1917 war 2.pngHiram Ferverda 1917 war 3.png

George was obviously very inspired.

May 10, 1917 – Warsaw Union – allowed H. B. Ferverda, Sept roads, $14.35.

And still, Hiram works on the roads.

May 10, 1917 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1917 George enlists.png

May 11, 1917 – Warsaw Union – allowed H. B. Ferverda, roads $13.35.


Meanwhile, as the President was calling for young men to volunteer for the military, Hiram’s youngest son, Donald, was graduating from high school.

May 22, 1917

Hiram Ferverda 1917 Donald graduation.png

How I would love to hear what Donald’s speech.


June 1, 1917 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1917 Wyoming.png

Hiram and Eva set off for Wyoming. I wonder if they took the train or drove. Trains were a lot more reliable than automobiles at that time.

Ira had married Ada Pearl Frederickson in 1904 and moved to Wyoming sometime between the birth of their son in July of 1907 and the 1910 census.

The wave of patriotism may have been responsible for the surfacing of the General Pershing story once again.

July 9, 1917 – Warsaw Daily Times

Hiram Ferverda 1917 Ira saves Pershing.png

August 9, 1917 – Northern Indianian– Lists of Volunteer troops from Kosciusko County

Hiram Ferverda 1917 George.png

This list confirms that Hiram’s father, Bauke, was known as Baker in the US.

Aug. 23, 1917 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1917 Wyoming return.png

I’d guess that Ira and his wife were just plain homesick and when Hiram, Eva and Treva, Ira’s wife’s sister were preparing to leave – Ira decided to go with them. However, Ira’s health was deteriorating too.

Sept. 10, 1917 – Warsaw Daily Times – Warsaw Boys Off For Fort Benjamin Harrison (list includes) George Ferverda

Dec. 21, 1917 – Warsaw Union – George Ferverda arrived on Friday from Camp Shelby to spend Christmas with relatives.

Dec. 29, 1917 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1917 all home for Christmas.png

I would bet this is when the picture was taken – especially since John Ferverda is without his family in the photo and in this article too.

Hiram Ferverda 1917 photo.jpg

Hiram would have been 63 in December of 1917.

The next photo looks to have been taken at the same time but included the other family members in attendance as well.

Hiram Ferverda 1917 photo all.jpg

There’s a bit of confusion about the house.

Hiram Ferverda old home place.jpg

This could have been the same building, with an extended porch. It’s difficult to tell because it certainly is not the house on the farm and it doesn’t look like the house above. However, whichever of Hiram’s grandchildren that wrote the Ferverda book would surely have known.

In 1917, the second draft registration known as the “Old Man’s Draft” was put into place. Hiram’s brother, William, then age 45, registered.

Hiram Ferverda 1917 William Fervida registration.png

His registration tells us that William has blue eyes and light hair.

Hiram Ferverda William 2

I wish Hiram had registered, but he was beyond the age cutoff. Given that my grandfather, John, had blue eyes, I suspect that Hiram did too.


Feb. 7, 1918 – The Northern Indianian – Hiram Ferverda of Leesburg transacted business at Warsaw on Tuesday.

Feb. 8, 1918 – Warsaw Union – H. B. Ferverda allowed $228 for gravel road repair.

Feb 16, 1918 – Warsaw Union- Mrs. H. B. Ferverda of Leesburg spent Friday in Warsaw on business.

Roscoe Enlists and Marries Without Telling His Parents

Hiram Ferverda Roscoe enlists.png

February 28, 1918 – Friends and relatives here had just learned of the marriage last month of Roscoe Ferverda, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Ferverda of Leesburg and Miss Effie Ringo of North Vernon, Indiana. Mr. Ferverda who was a telegrapher at North Vernon enlisted in the signal corps and just before being called for examination was taken sick with measles. He came home for two weeks and immediately upon his return to North Vernon was examined and sent to the training camp at Vancouver, Washington. The wedding took place while at North Vernon for the examination. The bride is expected here tomorrow for a visit with his parents.

Whoo boy! Not only did Roscoe marry without telling his parents and didn’t tell them for a month, but his bride wasn’t Brethren. Not only that, she was coming to meet his parents alone – and pregnant! Their son, Harold was born on August 5th.

Hiram’s Not a Citizen!

April 27, 1918 – Warsaw Daily Times

Hiram Ferverda 1917 not citizen.png

Imagine Hiram’s surprise to discover that he wasn’t an American.

I should probably have requested his naturalization papers when I was in Warsaw.

Don Ferverda Enlists

June 27, 1918 – Warsaw Union – Don Ferverda son of Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Ferverda and…left on Thursday for Fort Wayne where they expect to enlist in the regulars.

This makes 3 of Hiram and Eva’s sons who have enlisted in WWI, plus Ira who served in the Spanish American War. I can’t help but wonder, as Brethren, how Hiram and Eva felt about this, other than praying for their safe return.

I have been unable to find Donald’s military records.

June 29, 1918 – Don Ferverda, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Ferverda, and James Kohler, son of Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Kohler, of Leesburg, left on Thursday for Fort Wayne where they expect to enlist in the regulars.

October 28, 1918 – Warsaw Union – Among the many patriotic residents of Plain township are three men who each have 3 sons in military service. These men are…George Ferverda who is in France, Donald Ferverda who is at Jefferson Barracks, Mo., and Roscoe Ferverda who is in the Signal corps and located somewhere int the state of Washington, sons of Hiram Ferverda of Leesburg. Ira Ferverda, another son, was a soldier in the Spanish-American war and was responsible for saving the life of a captain who belonged to the same cavalry company as Mr. Ferverda.  They were crossing a flooded river when Captain Wiltshire lost his balance and started to sink, but was rescued by Ira Ferverda.

Hiram Ferverda 1918 George Roscoe Don in uniform.jpg

The photo above shows the three Ferverda boys who served in WWI and was brought to the Ferverda reunion held in 2010.  Roscoe is seated in the middle, George on the left and Don, at right. I don’t know if this picture was dear to Eva Miller Ferverda or broke her heart that her sons were serving in a war, giving her Brethren heritage and that her grandmother was born in Germany.


April 23, 1919 – Warsaw Daily Times – H. B. Ferverda and wife of Leesburg and Erv Ferverda and family spent Sunday with Ira Ferverda and family.

June 12, 1919 – The Northern Indianaian – Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Ferverda of Leesburg and Mr. and Mrs. John Ulrey of Napanee were guests of Mrs. Sarah Whitehead on Monday afternoon.

June 19, 1919 – Northern Indianian – H. B. Ferverda allowed $12.65 for road repairs

Aug 13, 1919 – Warsaw Daily Times – Rollin Robinson and family, Rosco Ferverda and family, Hiram Ferverda and wife of Leesburg, John Ferverda ad family and Mrs. McCormick of Silver Lake spent Sunday with Lewis Hartman and family.

Mrs. McCormick is John Ferverda’s mother-in-law.

Ladies Aid Society

November 5, 1919 – On Wednesday the Ladies Aid society of the New Salem church met at the home of Mrs. H. B. Ferverda.

I wonder if this meant that Hiram was absent until the meeting was over. Maybe he went to the bank or to see one of his sons. My Dad used to go to the barn or the mill when these “hen gatherings” happened at our house.

This is the first mention of the Ladies Aid Society, and I wonder if it was formed in response to the War effort.

Nov. 12, 1919 – Warsaw Union – Mrs. H. B. Ferverda and Mrs. Thomas Dye, of Leesburg were in Warsaw Wednesday morning enroute for Fort Wayne where they will visit for several days with the former’s daughter, Mrs. Louis Hartman.

This tells us that daughter Gertrude, known as Gertie, had moved to Fort Wayne.


In the 1920 Census, Hiram clearly lives on Church Street – probably in the last house before the census-taker turned the corner and started down Prairie, which runs parallel. This confirms the location of his house.

Hiram Ferverda 1920 census.png

June 11, 1920 – Warsaw Daily Times – B. Ferverda, gravel road repair $13.75

Dec. 21, 1920 – According to the Warsaw Daily Times, Roscoe and his wife were living in Leesburg at this time.


January 19, 1921 – H. B. Ferverda, road work, $17.80.

July 8, 1921 – H. B. Ferverda for gravel road repair $36.42.

Sept 10, 1921 – H. B. Ferverda gravel road repair $20.05.

Oct. 13, 1921 – Roscoe Ferverda, new agent for the Big 4 has moved his family into the Burdge property on Main Street.

The railroad ran parallel to Old 15, on the east side of Leesburg.


Feb. 10, 1922 –- Warsaw Daily Times –  H. B. Ferverda grading road $1.75.

Hiram is still grading roads!

May 9, 1922 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1922 bank.png

This is the first in a series of bank statements published. I suspect this began in reaction to something – but have no idea what. Hiram is now vice-president. Mr. Hall is still president and has been since the beginning. It’s odd that there are no social interactions between the Hall and Ferverda families.

Donald is now cashier, which I suspect means that he runs the day to day business of the bank.

June 27, 1922 – Warsaw Daily Times – H. B. Ferverda and wife spent Saturday at the David Miller home new New Paris. Mr. Miller, brother to Mrs. Ferverda is in very poor health.

David B. Miller died on September 25, 1922 of chronic kidney disease with bronchitis contributing.

July 3, 1922 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1922 bank 2.png

Sept. 20, 1922 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1922 bank 3.png

Oct. 13, 1922 – Warsaw Union – Commissioner’s allowances – Hiram Ferverda, gravel road repair – $5

Nov. 16, 1922 – H. Ferverda, C Long Road $72.00.

This is the last road maintenance we find for Hiram. He’s 68 years old.

Dec. 26, 1922 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1922 Christmas.png

It’s interesting that they went visiting on Christmas Day. I’m surprised, although many German families actually celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve, and Eva’s parents were German.


Jan 5, 1923 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1923 bank.png

March 30, 1923 – Mr. and Mrs. Ferverda of Leesburg spent Sunday evening with Albert Heckaman and family.

April 9, 1923 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1923 bank 2.png

April 30, 1923 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda Whitehead funeral.png

Samuel Whitehead was Eva’s half sibling through her mother’s first husband and died of chronic bronchitis.

July 30, 1923 – Warsaw Daily Times and the Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda 1923.png

August 21, 1923 – Warsaw Daily Times and the Northern Indianian – The 4th annual reunion of the Hartman family was held August 19th at the home of Pearl Hartman near Larwill, Indiana. At the noon hour, a picnic dinner was served under the trees. A program consisted of music and songs followed the dinner. Games were played and ice cream was served late in the afternoon. There were 119 relatives which came from far and near to enjoy this happy reunion. Present were…(long list including) Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Ferverda of Leesburg.

September 3, 1923 – Warsaw Daily Times – Will Ferverda and family, living north of Gravelton, were Sunday guests of his brother, H. B. Ferverda and wife.

Sept 22, 1923 – Warsaw Daily Times

Hiram Ferverda 1923 bank 3.png

October 3, 1923 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda October 1923.png

John’s wife was Edith.

Nov. 10, 1923 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1923 bank 4.png

Nov. 12, 1923 – Warsaw Union – Ira Ferverda and family of Oswego expect to move to Leesburg next Monday.

Nov. 22, 1923 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Ferverda spent Wednesday in the John Ulery home. Mr. Ulery is quite poorly.


January 5. 1924 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1924 bank.png

April 11, 1924 – Warsaw Daily Times and the Northern Indianian – Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Ferverda spent Thursday at Silver Lake with their son, John and family.

April 11, 1924 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda Emanual Whitehead funeral.png

Eva’s brother Emanuel was 75 years old and died of a stroke.

April 24, 1924 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1924 bank 2.png

July 22, 1924 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mr. and Mrs. Roscoe Ferverda and two children of Silver Lake spent Sunday at the home of his parents, H. B. Ferverda and wife.

Sept 23, 1924 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1924 bank 3.png

These bank notices stopped at this point.

Sept. 27, 1924 – Warsaw Daily Times and Northern Indianian – Mrs. George Han?? (possibly Haney) of Milford Junction and Will Ferverda, living near Gravelton were here Friday to see H. B. Ferverda who has been seriously ill for several days.

This is the first indication that Hiram is ill.

October 7, 1924 – Warsaw Daily Times and Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda 1924 large family.png

Fifty descendants – how amazing!

October 8, 1924 – Warsaw Daily Times and Northern Indianian – Mrs. Gertrude Dausman returned Tuesday to her home at Nappanee after spending a week here with her brother, H. B. Ferverda.

Looks like the family is all coming to say goodbye.

October 16, 1924 – Warsaw Union – Mr. and Mrs. Roscoe Ferverda were at Leesburg Saturday with the former’s parents.

Dec. 29, 1924 – Warsaw Daily Times and Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda 1924 Don cashier.png


April 13, 1925 – Warsaw Daily Times and Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda 1925 Easter.png

I wonder if my grandmother was at home with my mother who may have been ill.

It’s interesting to learn that Easter gathering was a Ferverda tradition.

Hiram’s Death

June 5, 1925 – Warsaw Daily Times and Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda death.png

That day’s headline:

Hiram Ferverda heat wave.png

Two days later, on the 7th, Hiram died.

June 8, 1925 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda obituary.png

The handwriting was on the wall.

June 8, 1925 – Warsaw Daily Times and the Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda death article.png

Hiram Ferverda death article 2.png

Hiram had 7 sons, why only 6 as pallbearers? Maybe there was only room for 6 men?

June 9, 1925 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda services.png

June 10, 1925 – Warsaw Union

HIram Ferverda funeral attendee.png

June 10, 1925 – Warsaw Daily Times and the Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda funeral.png

From the Silver Lake Record, June 11, 1925, Page 1 column 1:

Leesburg Man Dead – H.B. Ferverda, Father of Two Silver Lake Boys Passed Away – Survived by Widow and 11 Children

Sunday afternoon in Leesburg occurred the death of Hiram B. Ferverda following a long illness of tuberculosis.

He had been up and around until only a few days prior to his death and he was here in Silver Lake on Saturday – Decoration Day – visiting with his sons Roscoe and John Ferverda and families.

Mr. Ferverda was past 70 years of age and was born in Holland coming to this country when only about 13 years of age. He and the faithful wife resided on a farm near Leesburg and there they reared 11 children all of whom were at the parental home on Sunday.

Mr. Ferverda is survived by the widow, the children, one brother, two sisters besides many other relatives.

The funeral was held Wednesday at the New Salem Church near Leesburg and interment was made in the church cemetery. The 6 sons acted as pall bearers, which was the father’s request.

This mention of Tuberculosis is very interesting, because Hiram’s son, John contracted TB in the late 1950s. It’s possible for TB to lie dormant for years.

Hiram’s death certificate says he died of heart exhaustion and a contributory cause of chronic bronchitis. He was a retired farmer. Book H-22, page 50, local nu 6.  Died in Leesburg. Age 70 years 8 months 16 days.

Hiram Ferverda death certificate.png

The great irony is that after I finished this article, I realized I had completed it on the cold, rainy 94th anniversary of his death.

June 11, 1925 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda 1925 sons called.png

They were a little behind.

June 12, 1925 – Warsaw Daily Times and Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda card.png

Hiram’s Will and Estate

June 13, 1925 – Warsaw Union

Hiram Ferverda estate to widow.png

June 18, 1925 – Warsaw Daily Times and Northern Indianian – Roy G. and Donald D. Ferverda have been appointed executors of the estate of Hiram W. Ferverda who died at his home in Leesburg recently.

During a visit to Kosciusko County in May of 2019, I obtained Hiram’s will and estate papers.Hiram Ferverda will.jpgHiram wrote his will on the 10th of February. Even though he was 70 years old, he probably didn’t believe his death was imminent until that time.

Hiram left everything to Eva, in fee simple, meaning that she in essence could do anything she wanted with this estate, or any portion thereof.

Following Hiram’s will in the will book is an affidavit of death.Hiram Ferverda affidavit of death.jpgFollowed by the widow’s election:Hiram Ferverda widow's election.jpgThe clerk’s office wasn’t helpful, but the Historical Society was very nice and sent me Hiram’s estate paperwork, beginning with the inventory.

Hiram Ferverda estate inventory.jpg

As expected, Hiram owned stock in the bank. He also had a couple of CDs and some cash.

His “old car” was only worth $50, and I surely wish they had said what kind of car it was. It would be worth far, far more today.

The land Hiram had purchased for $8000 in 1893 had almost doubled in value.

Given that Hiram owned 4 tons of hay, I’d wager that Irv paid his rent in a percentage of crops.

What’s missing is the land Hiram owned in Leesburg. Where is that?

The settlement of Hiram’s estate is shown thus:

Hiram Ferverda estate settlement.jpg

There were crops not inventoried, probably because they hadn’t yet been grown or harvested in June when Hiram died. The inventory was settled more than a year later, in November of 1926.

Hiram’s funeral cost a whopping $700, 14 times more than the value of his car, but his medical care, only $30.

Ironic that the insurance was only on the farm buildings, not the houses, or at least not the house in Leesburg.

John Ferverda’s Debt

It appears that for some reason, in 1924, John Ferverda, Hiram’s son, had fallen on hard times. My mother would have been about 18 months old.

On June 21, 1924, Hiram in essence co-signed for a note for John due to Indiana Loan and Trust in Warsaw for $1600 plus interest, due 60 days later. Why didn’t Hiram do business with his own bank?

On April 11, 1925, Hiram signed for a note for son John for a second note in the amount of $3900 plus interest to People’s Bank, his own bank, due in 6 months.

Apparently neither of these notes was paid by either man. Hiram was clearly gravely ill and John was obviously unable to pay.

By the time the estate settled, the total of John’s notes was $6096.84 – nearly one third of the total value of Hiram’s estate, including Hiram’s farm.

I wondered if John borrowed money to purchase his house, but I believe that they lived in that home when my mother was born in 1922, so that wouldn’t explain the 1924 and 1925 loans. These loans look short term, like they expected to be repaid shortly – but weren’t.

Eva paid those notes in order that the land and other assets not have to be sold in order to pay the balance.

I wonder where she obtained the funds to pay that huge bill.

Louise’s Will

This story isn’t finished, because Louise’s will and estate settlement takes up in early 1940 where Hiram’s story left off. Louise died on December 20, 1939 and her will as probated shortly thereafter – but for the rest of the story, you’ll have to join me for the article “Evaline Louise Miller’s Will, Estate and Legacy,” to be published shortly.

Love Letter from Eva

This love letter from Eva was found in Hiram’s Bible, given to him in 1900.

Hiram Ferverda 1900 note from Eva

In it, Eva says:

“Search the scriptures for in them you shall find eternal life.”

Followed by:

Remember me when this you see,
While traveling o’er life’s troubled sea,
If death our lives should separate,
I pray we’ll meet at the Golden Gate.

Your wife,


Hiram and Eva Together

Hiram Ferverda Salem Cemetery.jpg

After leaving Hiram and Eva’s farm and property in Leesburg, I drove to the Salem Cemetery, across the road from the New Salem Church of the Brethren to visit them.

Hiram has been residing here for almost 94 years and Eva for almost 80 with three of their sons, Irv, Ray and Don.

Hiram Ferverda New Salem Church.jpg

The creation of this church was reported in the Gospel Messenger, as follows

The Gospel Messenger Feb. 1911 page 92

Bethel congregation met Jan. 28, in 1 special council for the purpose of dividing the congregation into districts. Before this work was taken up. Eld. John Stout and wife, were received by letter, and two were granted.  We had with us adjoining elders, Brethren Henry Wysong, James Neff and Amsey Clem. Bro. Wysong officiated. The question of division was taken up and after discussion the vote was taken, which resulted in a line being drawn east and west between the two country churches. Salem and Pleasant View Chapel, thus placing Pleasant View Chapel and the Milford church in the northern congregation still retain in the name of Bethel, Pleasant View Chapel being the mother church. The Salem congregations then decided to meet in council Feb. 9, to effect a new organization. It is our earnest desire that both congregations may be benefited by the change made, and that both may prosper in the cause of the Master.

Hiram and Eva had likely been members at Bethel, formed in 1859.

Hiram Ferverda Salem gate.jpg

Across from the church, wrought iron gates beckon visitors into the cemetery.

Hiram Ferverda stone and church.jpg

I have taken several photos of their stone in order that others can locate their final resting place without walking the entire cemetery😊

Hiram and Eva’s stone is almost directly down the row in front of the gate across from the church.


In front of a large pine tree.

Hiram Ferverda gravestone.jpg

Hiram Bauke and Eva Miller Ferverda’s resting place in the New Salem Cemetery, Kosciusko County, Indiana. I wonder if Eva visited often, talking to Hiram, in the 14 years she outlived him.

Based on the estates, I believe the stone was purchased when she died, not when he died. Eva certainly didn’t need a stone to find him.


I’m terrible at selfies, but I couldn’t resist. I felt like I was representing several people that day; my grandfather, John, Mom, her brother, me, my brother and my children.

I also realize that based on how far distant my life is today from this farm crossroads in Indiana, I’m probably also saying goodbye…that is…until I see them all at the Golden Gate.

Father’s Day DNA Sale + New Y DNA Series

It’s a good week for genetic genealogy. Y DNA is on sale at Family Tree DNA, autosomal almost everyplace and I’m beginning a new Y DNA series of articles!

Father’s Day is approaching, and of course DNA tests are a hot item.

Y DNA – Makes Dad Dad

At FamilyTreeDNA – both Y and autosomal DNA tests are on sale. Every male has a Y chromosome to test, and Y DNA testing in conjunction with autosomal is a very powerful combination.

What better gift that to give your Dad the gift of history and matching to other relatives, both.

This week, Family Tree DNA notified project administrators of their Father’s Day sale pricing, and I’m sharing with you.

Father's Day 2019.png

Before we look at specific tests, let’s talk about why Dad might want to test his Y DNA. Y DNA is passed from father to son, typically along with the surname, and men tend to be very interested in their paternal line.

Y DNA provides information that autosomal DNA can never provide, because they are two completely different kinds of tests. To view a short article about the various kinds of DNA tests, click here.

8 Benefits of Y DNA Testing

What can Y DNA testing tell Dad about himself and about his genealogy?

  • Surname line matches – does he match other men with the same surname? Can they identify a common ancestor? The Y37, 67 and 111 tests will provide that information, with the Y111 test providing the most specific, granular information.
  • Ethnicity for the direct paternal line – the haplogroup will provide a direct line ethnicity test that will reveal continental level ethnicity plus generally regional information for the paternal line only. How much is revealed depends on whether you order the Y37/67/111 test or the Big Y test, which is the most specific!
  • SNP Maps – for people who have taken SNP tests (Big Y-700) that allow you to “step back in time” by viewing the locations of haplogroups on your personal haplotree.
  • Ancestral Origins and Maps – locations where the earliest known ancestors of your matches are found.
  • Haplogroup Origins – where your matches haplogroups are found in the world.
  • Migration Maps and Percentages – how the haplogroup migrated to where it is primarily found today and how frequently it is found in that region of the world.
  • Projects – over 10,000 projects to join for collaboration based on haplogroup, surname, ethnicity, region and many other options. Goldmines!
  • Science – the Big Y-700 test provides the highest level information both for individual markers (700 instead of just 111) and the most refined haplogroup possible. Many people discover that they carry new never-before-discovered mutations that define new haplogroups, allowing Dad to be a part of scientific discovery.

Results are provided on your own personal page along with more tools and features.

Here are the tests available along with their sale prices.

Father's Day 2019 2.png

What to Order?

I’m often asked which Y DNA test should be ordered.

Generally, I say to order what the budget will allow, because you can always upgrade later.

HOWEVER, I will also say that you can only upgrade a limited number of times. Upgrade success is dependent on the following:

  • Age of sample
  • Quality of sample
  • Amount of sample remaining

While we always think Dad can swab again later if needed, I GREATLY regret not testing family members at the highest level possible when I could – because I can’t now for any number of reasons.

Many of my early testers have passed over – so order as much as you can afford out the gate.

The higher resolution the test, the better the results without an upgrade and the more information for you to use.

Father's Day 2019 3.png

If you’d like to order a Y and autosomal test, for example, you can save another $10.

Family Tree DNA does offer an advanced match feature which allows you to see who you match on multiple tests, such as Y and Family Finder. Combined information can provide valuable hints and information.

What About Upgrades?

Father's Day 2019 4.png

If you’ve already purchased a Y DNA test, you can upgrade to the above levels for the prices indicated. To upgrade to Big Y-700, it’s best to have a sample from within the past 2 years, but the lab will contact you if they have concerns.

Debut of New Y DNA Series!

How many of you have been following along with my Mitochondrial DNA Series where I’ve been explaining all about mitochondrial DNA in bite size pieces beginning with an overview? You can take a look here, here and here.

Would you like to see a similar Y DNA Series as well?

You’re in luck, because that’s exactly what I’ll be writing, beginning about the middle of July when everyone’s results begin to come back from the Father’s Day tests.

Don’t forget, you can also test other men to represent your paternal line if your father is not available for testing. If you are a male, you can test yourself for your father’s Y DNA. What a wonderful way to honor your Dad!

I recommend having Y DNA results available so you can follow along with each article!

Click here to order.


If you’re interested in Autosomal testing that includes both ethnicity and matching, most of the major genetic genealogy vendors are having sales right now.

Vendor/Test Best Features Sale Price Link
FamilyTreeDNA -Family Finder Automatic Maternal and Paternal buckets, combined matching with Y and mtDNA $59 Click to purchase
MyHeritage Triangulation, Theories of Family Relativity $59 Click to purchase
AncestryDNA Database size $69 Click to purchase
23andMe Ethnicity $99 Click to purchase

Have fun and get your tree ready, because you’re going to be meeting cousins who share ancestors before you know it!

How To Subscribe to this Free Blog

Don’t know how to follow or subscribe (free) to this blog and want to receive the upcoming Y DNA series? It’s easy.

Click on the home link on the main blog page here. On the upper right hand side, you’ll see the “Follow” area. Just fill in and click to follow.

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Don’t worry, your e-mail is never used for anything except to receive the blog articles in your inbox.

Please feel free share links to my articles with anyone else who might be interested.



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Thank you so much.

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Genealogy Research

A Heartfelt Thank You to a Wonderful Community!

In the past few days, I’ve had the honor of working with the family of Navajo Code Talker William Tully Brown to assure that he had the funeral he deserved which meant that funds needed to be raised quickly, using both GoFundMe and a Facebook Fundraiser.

This is not a solicitation, as those are both closed now, but something much different that will warm your heart.

A’hee’he, Thank You

Today, I want to say a huge thank you, from me and from Vee Browne-Yellowhair, the daughter of Navajo Code Talker, William Brown. In Navajo, A’hee’he means thank you.

William Brown thank you from Vee.png

Vee’s comment about “the scientists” is referring to many Family Tree DNA employees who contributed personally when they became aware of the circumstances, as well as the broader community. I explained to Vee that “the scientists” as well as others were rallying around her after her father’s passing, and indeed, so many people did.

As you know from my article a few days ago, William Brown passed away. Unfortunately, the family was unexpectedly short funds for the funeral. My family knows never to tell me you have a problem if you don’t want me solve it, so that’s what I set about to do.

In this case, the amazing genetic genealogy community came together to raise the needed funds in just over 24 hours.

I learned a lot about both GoFundMe and Facebook Fundraisers, neither of which I had ever set up before – but better yet, I learned a lot about the hearts of people – including perhaps you. Many contributors are my friends, family and followers and I was overwhelmed by their generosity, especially given what I know about some of their own circumstances. I shed many a tear as I saw the list of contributors. People from different countries, religions and walks of life.

I intentionally did not publish an article, nor did I invite any of my friends individually because I didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable or like they were being pressured. I posted the fundraisers on my own timeline, and thankfully, people began sharing. Not just sharing the link but contributing very generously.

  • The GoFundMe page had 928 shares, 72 donations and raised $3464.
  • The Facebook Fundraiser garnered 53 shares and 64 donations totaling $2319.

Both fundraisers have been discontinued. After the funeral yesterday, the family requested to turn the fundraisers off as they had at that time received the support they needed.

The family will receive all the funds less whatever small processing fees are withheld by GoFundMe and Facebook’s processing agents.

The Funeral Brochure

Today, Vee so kindly shared the brochure from the funeral and asked me to share with others, thinking those who contributed might appreciate a copy.

William Brown funeral brochure

William Brown funeral brochure 2

William’s Military Funeral

If you’d like to participate in William’s funeral virtually, Judge Sam Crowfoot videoed the military funeral and shared on his Facebook page, which I’ve shared publicly on mine. Thank you, Judge Crowfoot, for preserving this historic event for posterity and allowing us to participate. You can watch at the links below.

I must say, the service was perfect and beautiful in the lovely Arizona sunshine, the land that William loved with mountains in the distance.

I was incredibly impressed with William’s great-grandson and great-granddaughter, in uniform, both proudly following in his footsteps by serving in the military. William’s great-granddaughter read the poem in the funeral brochure written by her grandmother, William’s daughter, Vee, graveside. I’m sure William was smiling down, beaming with pride and showering love on all of his family.

Rest in Peace, William Tully Brown.

“You’ve reached your Rainbow.”

Veterans Benefits

Prior to this week, I didn’t have a reason to understand veterans’ burial benefits. I was surprised to learn that many people believe that the military or the government pays everything for a veteran’s funeral. The only way that happens is if the individual experiences a service-related death.

If you’re interested in the burial benefits for any veteran who does not die as a direct result of their service, you can read the government document here regarding burial compensation.

The burial benefit is much lower than I expected. For someone like Mr. Brown, it would be $300 in addition to a tombstone. He was buried in a military cemetery.

A friend recently received the $300 veteran’s burial benefit for her husband who was a military retiree after 22 years of service, but then was not able to collect his $250 Social Security benefit because she had received the $300 veteran’s benefit. Hardly fair, but it’s the sad reality.

A Pickle

No one ever wants to find themselves or their family in a pickle like this – and I’m extremely grateful to the genetic genealogy community for coming together and solving this problem.

The last few weeks in the genetic genealogy community have been difficult due to a chasmic divide that has generated lots of hurt feelings, but I was relieved to see many people sharing and giving without regard to those issues.

Perhaps this has been the beginning of healing.

It feels good to reach out and help others.

I realized by the end of the day, as I saw donations rolling in, that I felt better than I had in weeks. Perhaps William Brown’s legacy includes yet one more thing. 😊

Thank you everyone for all love, contributions and the respect shown to Veteran Brown and his family. Every bit helped!

You’re amazing!


Mitochondrial DNA: Part 3 – Haplogroups Unraveled

This is the third article in a series about mitochondrial DNA.

The first two articles are:

This third article focuses on haplogroups. They look so simple – a few letters and numbers – but haplogroups are a lot more sophisticated than they appear and are infinitely interesting!

What can you figure out about yours and what secrets will it reveal? Let’s find out!

What is a Haplogroup?

A haplogroup is a designation that you can think of as your genetic clan reaching far back in time.

My mitochondrial haplogroup is J1c2f, and I’ll be using this as an example throughout these articles.

The description of a haplogroup is the same for both Y and mitochondrial DNA, but the designations and processes of assigning haplogroups are different, so the balance of this article only refers to mitochondrial DNA haplogroups.

Where Did I Come From?

Every haplogroup has its own specific history.

mitochondrial migration map link.png

Looking at my DNA Migration Map at Family Tree DNA, I can see the path that haplogroup J took out of Africa.

mitochondrial migration map j.png

This map is interactive on your personal page, so you can view your or any other haplogroup highlighted on the map.

mitochondrial frequency map J.png

On the frequency tab of the Migration Map, you can view the frequency of your haplogroup in any specific location.

mitochondrial results tab

On my Results tab, I’m provided with this information:

The mitochondrial haplogroup J contains several sub-lineages. The original haplogroup J originated in the Near East approximately 50,000 years ago. Within Europe, sub-lineages of haplogroup J have distinct and interesting distributions. Haplogroup J1 is found distributed throughout Europe, from Britain to Iberia and along the Mediterranean coast. This widespread distribution strongly suggests that haplogroup J1 was part of the Neolithic spread of agriculture into Europe from the Near East beginning approximately 10,000 years ago.

Stepping-Stones back in Time

The haplogroup designation itself is a stepping-stone back in time.

Looking at my full haplogroup, J1c2f, we see 5 letters or numbers.

The first letter, J, is my base haplogroup, and each letter or digit after that will be another step forward in time from the “mother” haplogroup J.

Therefore, 1 is a major branch of haplogroup J, c is a smaller branch sprouting off of J1, 2 is a branch off of J1c, and f is the last leaf, at least for now.


In the supplementary data for the article, A “Copernican” Reassessment of the Human Mitochondrial DNA Tree from its Root, by Doron M Behar et al, published in the Journal of Human Genetics on April 6, 2012, he provides age estimates for the various haplogroups and subhaplogroups identified at that time.

My haplogroup breakdown is shown below.


Time Estimate (Years) SD (standard deviation in years)
J 34,258.3 4886.2
J1 26,935.1 5272.9
J1c 13,072.3 1919.3
J1c2 9762.5 2010.7
J1c2f 1926.7


  • Time estimate means how long ago this haplogroup was “born,” meaning when that haplogroup’s defining mutation(s) occurred.
  • SD, standard deviation, can be read as the range on either side of the time estimate, with the time estimate being the “most likely.” Based on this, the effective range for the birth of haplogroup J is 29,372.1 – 39,144.5. In some of the most current haplogroups, like J1c2f, the lowest age range is a negative number, which obviously can’t happen. This sometimes occurs with statistical estimates.

The first question you’re going to ask is how can these age estimates be so precise? The answer is that these are statistical calculations – because we can’t travel back in time.

What Came Before J?

Clearly J is not Mitochondrial Eve, so what came before J?

In the paper announcing the latest version (Build 17) of the Phylotree by van Oven, meaning the haplotree for mitochondrial DNA, this pedigree style tree was drawn to show the backbone plus 25 subtrees.

mitochondrial Build 17 tree.png

Haplogroup J descended from JT, fourth from right on the bottom right.

The MRCA, most recent common ancestor at the root of the tree would be the RSRS (Reconstructed Sapiens Reference Sequence), known colloquially as Mitochondrial Eve.

Branches and Names

Haplogroups were named in the order they were discovered, using the alphabet, A-Z (except O). Branches are indicated by subsequent numbers and letters. Build 17 of the phylogenetic tree includes 5437 branches, increasing from 4809 in build 16.

Occasionally branches are sawed off and reconnected elsewhere, which sometimes plays havoc with the logical naming structure because they are renamed completely on the new branch. This happened when haplogroup A4 was retired in Build 17 and is now repositioned on the tree as haplogroup A1. I wrote about this in the article, Family Tree DNA’s Mitochondrial Haplotree.

It’s easier to see the branching tree structure if you look at the public mitochondrial haplotree on the Family Tree DNA website. Scroll to the very bottom of the main Family Tree DNA page, here, and click on mtDNA haplotree.

Mitochondrial mtDNA haplotree.png

You can search for your haplogroup name and track your ancestral haplogroups back in time.

mitochondrial J1c2f search.png

J1c2f is shown below on the tree, with haplogroup J at the top.

mitochondrial J1c2f tree

Click to enlarge

Where in the World?

Whether you’ve tested at Family Tree DNA or not, you can view this tree and you can see the location of the earliest known ancestor of people who have tested, agreed to sharing and have been assigned to your haplogroup.

You can mouse over the little flag icons or click on the 3 dots to the right for a country report.

mitochondrial country.png

The country report details the distribution of  the earliest known ancestors where people on that branch, and those with further subbranches are found.

mitochondrial country report J1c2f

You can click to enlarge the image.

J1c2f is the lowest leaf on this branch of the tree, for now, so there is no difference in the columns.

However, if we look at the country report for haplogroup J1c2, the immediate upstream haplogroup above J1c2f, you can see the differences in the columns showing people who are members of haplogroup J1c2 and also downstream branches.

Mitochondrial country report J1c2

Click to enlarge the image.

I wrote more about how to use the new public tree here.

Haplogroup Assignment Process

There’s a LOT of confusion about haplogroup assignments, and how they are generated.

First, the official mitochondrial tree is the Phylotree, here. Assigning new haplogroups isn’t cut and dried, nor is it automated today. The Phylotree has been the defacto location for multiple entities to combine their information, uploading academic samples to GenBank, a repository utilized by Phylotree for all researchers to use in the classification efforts. You can read more about GenBank here. Prior to Phylotree, each interested entity was creating their own names and the result was chaotic confusion.

Individuals who test at Family Tree DNA can contribute their results, a process I’ll cover in a future article.

The major criteria for haplogroup assignments are:

  • Three non-familial sequences that match exactly. Family mutations are considered “private mutations” at this time.
  • Avoidance of regions that are likely to be unstable (such as 309, 315 and others,) preferably using coding region locations which are less likely to mutate.
  • Evaluating whether transitions, transversions and reversions are irrelevant events to haplogroup assignment, or whether they are actually a new branch. I covered transitions, transversions and reversions here.

Periodically, the Phylotree is updated. The current version is Build 17, which I wrote about here.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

While change and scientific progress is a good thing, it also creates havoc for the vendors.

For each vendor to update your haplogroup, they have to redo their classification algorithm behind the scenes, of course, then rerun their entire customer database against the new criteria. That’s a huge undertaking.

In IT terms, haplogroups are calculated and stored one time for each person, not calculated every time you access your information. Therefore, to change that data, a recalculation program has to be run against millions of accounts, the information stored again and updating any other fields or graphics that require updating as a result. This is no trivial feat and is one reason why some vendors skip Phylotree builds.

When you’re looking at haplogroups at different vendors, it’s important to find the information on your pages there that identify which build they are using.

Vendors who only test a few locations in order to assign a base or partial haplogroup may find themselves in a pickle. For example, if a new Phylotree build is released that now specifies a mutation at a location that the vendor hasn’t tested, how can they upgrade to the new build version? They can’t, or at least not completely accurately.

This is why full sequence testing is critically important.

Haplogroup Defining Mutations

Build 17 example

Using the Build 17 table published by Family Tree DNA that identifies the mutations required to assign an individual to a specific haplogroup or subhaplogroup, you can determine why you were assigned to a specific haplogroup and subgroups.

Mutations in Different Haplogroups are Not Equal

What you can’t do is to take mutations out of haplogroup context for matching.

Let’s say that someone in haplogroup H and haplogroup J both have a mutation at location G228A.

mitochondrial mutation comparison.png

That does NOT mean these two people match each other genealogically. It means that the two different branches of the mitochondrial tree, haplogroup J and haplogroup H individually developed the same mutation, by chance, over time. In other words, parallel, disconnected mutations.

It may mean that both individuals simply happen to have the same personal mutations, or, it could mean that eventually these values could become haplogroup defining for a new branch in one or the other haplogroup.

How Common Are Parallel Mutations?

From the Build 17 paper again, this table shows us the top recurrent mutations after excluding insertions, deletions and location 16519. We see that 197 different branches of the tree have mutation T152C. My branch is one of those 197.

Mitochondrial build 17 mutation frequency.png

I think you can see, with location T152C being found in 197 different branches of the Pylotree why the only meaningful match between two people is within specific haplogroup subclades.

Within a haplogroup, this means that two people match on T152C PLUS all of the upstream haplogroup defining markers. Outside of a haplogroup, it’s just a chance parallel mutation in both lines.

Therefore, if another person in haplogroup J1c2f and I match a mutated value at the same location, that could be a very informative piece of genealogical information.

Partial and Full Haplogroups

Some vendors, such as 23andMe and LivingDNA provide customers with partial haplogroups as a part of their autosomal offering.

Family Tree DNA (full haplogroup) 23andMe LivingDNA
J1c2f J1c2 J1c

23andMe and LivingDNA provide partial haplogroups because they are not testing all of the 16,569 locations of the mitochondrial DNA. They are using scan technology on a chip that also processes autosomal DNA, so the haplogroup assignment is basically an “extra” for the consumer. Each chip location they use for mitochondrial (or Y) DNA testing for haplogroups is one less location that can be used for autosomal testing.

Therefore, these companies utilize what is known as target testing. In essence, they test for the main mutations that allow them to classify people into major haplogroups. For example, you can see that LivingDNA tests the mutations through the J1c level, but not to J1c2, and 23andMe tests to J1c2 but not J1c2f. If they tested further, my haplogroup designation would be J1c2f, not J1c or J1c2.

For full sequence testing, complete haplogroup designation and matching, I need to test at Family Tree DNA. They are the only vendor that provides the complete package.


mitochondrial matches link.png

Family Tree DNA provides matching of customer results. Consumers can purchase the mtPlus product, which tests only the HVR1/HVR2 portion of the mitochondria, or the mtFull product which tests the entire mitochondria. I recommend the mtFull.

In addition to haplogroup information, customers receive a list of people who match them on their mitochondrial sequence.

mitochondrial matches result

Click to enlarge

Matches with genealogical information allow customers to make discoveries such as this location information, provided by Lucille, above:

mitochondrial villages map.png

Lucille’s earliest known ancestor, according to her tree, is found just 12.6 km, or 7.8 miles from the tiny German village where my ancestor was found in the late 1600s.

Of course, matching isn’t provided in the 23andMe and LivingDNA databases, so we can’t tell who we do and don’t match genealogically, but haplogroups alone are not entirely useless and can provide great clues.

Haplogroups Alone

Haplogroups alone can be utilized to include or eliminate people for further scrutiny to identify descendancy on a particular line.

mitochondrial advanced matches link.png

For example, at Family Tree DNA, I can utilize the advanced matching tool to determine whether I match anyone on both the Family Finder autosomal test AND on any of the mitochondrial DNA tests.

mitochondrial advanced matches

Click to enlarge

My match on both tests, Ms. Martha, above, has not tested at the full sequence level, so she won’t be shown as a match there. It’s possible that were she to upgrade that we would also match at the full sequence level. It’s also possible that we wouldn’t. Even an exact mitochondrial match doesn’t indicate THAT’s the line you’re related on autosomally, but it does not eliminate that line and may provide useful clues.

If my German match, Lucille and I had matched autosomally AND on the full sequence mitochondrial test, plus our ancestors lived 7 miles apart – those pieces of evidence would be huge clues about the autosomal match in addition to our mitochondrial match.

Alas, Lucille and I don’t match autosomally, but keep in mind that there are many generations between Lucille and me. If we had matched autosomally, it would have been a wonderful surprise, but we’d be expected not to match given that our common ancestor probably lived sometime in the 1600s or 1700s.

If I’m utilizing 23andMe and notice that someone’s haplogroup is not J1c2, the same as mine, then that precludes our common ancestral line from being our direct matrilineal line.

At GedMatch, people enter their haplogroup (or not) by hand, so they enter their haplogroup at the time they upload to GedMatch. It’s possible that their haplogroup assignment may have changed since that time, either because of a refined test or because of a Build number update. Be aware of the history of your haplogroup. In other words, if your haplogroup name changed (like A4 to A1), it’s possible that someone at GedMatch is utilizing the older name and might be a match to you on that line even though the haplogroup looks different. Know the history of your haplogroup.

Perhaps the best use of haplogroups alone is in conjunction with autosomal testing to eliminate candidates.

For example, looking at my match with Stacy at 23andMe, I see that her haplogroup is H1c, so I know that I can eliminate that specific line as our possible connection.

mitochondrial haplogroup compare.png

At Family Tree DNA, I can click on any Family Finder match’s profile to view their haplogroup or use the Advanced matching tool to see my combined Family Finder+mtDNA matches at once.

Mitochondrial match profile.png

Haplogroups and Ethnicity

My favorite use of haplogroups is for their identification of the history of the ancestral line. Yes, in essence a line by line ethnicity test.

Using either your own personal results at Family Tree DNA, or their public haplotree, you can trace the history of your haplogroup. In essence, this is an ethnicity test for each specific line – and you don’t have to try to figure out which line your specific ancestry came from. It’s recorded in the mitochondrial DNA of each person. I’ve created a DNA pedigree chart to record all my ancestors Y and mitochondrial DNA haplogroups.

Ancestor DNA Pedigree Chart

Using Powerpoint, I created this DNA pedigree chart of my ancestors and their Y and mitochondrial DNA.

Roberta's DNA Pedigree Chart 2019

You can see my own mitochondrial DNA path to the right, in red circles, and my father’s Y DNA path at left, in blue boxes. In addition to Y DNA, all men have mitochondrial DNA inherited from their mother. So you can see my grandfather, William George Estes inherited his mitochondrial DNA from his mother Elizabeth Vannoy, who inherited it from Phoebe Crumley whose haplogroup is J1c2c.

This exercise disproved the rumor that Elizabeth Vannoy was Native American, at least on that line, based on her haplogroup. You can view known Native American haplogroups here.

So Elizabeth Vannoy and her mother, Phoebe Crumley, and I share a common ancestor back in J1c2 times, before the split of J1c2c and J1c2f from J1c2, so roughly 2,000 years ago, give or take a millennia.

Haplogroup Origins

My own haplogroup J is European. That’s where my earliest ancestor is found, and it’s also where the migration map shows that haplogroup J lived.

mitochondrial haplogroup origins tab.png

The information provided on my Haplogroup Origins page shows the location of my matches by haplogroup by location. I’m only showing my full sequence matches below.

Generally, the fewer locations tested, at the HVR1 or HVR1+HVR2 levels, the matches tend to be less specific, meaning that they may reach thousands of years back in time. On the other hand, some of those HVR1/HVR2 matches may be very relevant, but it’s unlikely that you’ll know unless you have a rare value in the HVR1/HVR2 region meaning few matches, or both people upgrade to the full sequence test.

mitochondrial haplogroup origins results

Click to enlarge image

You can see by the information above that most of my exact matches are distributed between Sweden and Norway, which is a very specific indicator of Scandinavian heritage ON THIS LINE alone.

By contacting and working with my matches of a genetic distance of 1, 2 and 3, I determined, based on the mutations, that the “root” of this group originated in Scandinavia and my branch traveled to Germany.

This is more specific than any ethnicity test would ever hope to be and reaches back to the mid-1600s. Better yet, I can make this same discovery for every line where I can find an individual to test – effectively rolling back the curtain of time.

Ancestral Origins

mitochondrial ancestral origins tab.png

Haplogroup Origins can be augmented by the Ancestral Origins tab which provides you with the ancestral location of your matches’ most distant known ancestor.

mitochondrial ancestral origins results

Click to enlarge

Again, exact matches are going to be much more relevant to you, barring exceptions like heteroplasmies (covered here), than more distant matches.

New Haplogroup Discoveries

You might wonder, when looking at your results if there are opportunities for new haplogroup subgroups. In my case, there are a group of 33 individuals who match exactly and that include many common mutations in addition to the 11 locations in my results that are currently indicated as haplogroup identifying, indicated in red below.

mitochondrial haplogroup defining mutations J1c2f

Click to enlarge image

My haplogroup defining mutation at A10398G! is a reversion, meaning that it has mutated back to the ancestral value, so we don’t see it above, because now it’s “normal” again. We just have to trust the ancestral branching tree to understand that upstream, this mutation occurred, then occurred a second time back to the normal or ancestral value.

The two extra mutations that everyone in this group has may be enough to qualify for a new haplogroup, call it “1” for purposes of discussion – so it could be named J1c2f1, hypothetically. However, there may be other sub-haplogroups between f and 1, so it’s not just a matter of tacking on a new leaf. It’s a matter of evaluating the entire tree structure with enough testers to find as many sub-branches as possible.

Attempting to assign or reassign branches based on a few tests and without a full examination of many tests in that particular branching haplotree structure would only guarantee a great deal of confusion as the new branch names would have to be constantly changed to accommodate new branching tree structures upstream.

This is exactly why I encourage people to upload their results to GenBank. I’ll step through that process in our last article.

What’s Next?

My next article in this series, in a couple weeks, will be Mitochondrial DNA: Part 4 – Techniques for Doubling Your Useful Matches. I more than doubled mine. There’s a lot more available than meets the eye at first glance if you’re willing to do a bit of digging.

But hey, we’re genealogists – and digging is what we live for!



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William Tully Brown, USMC Navajo Code Talker, Passes Over

Veteran USMC William Tully Brown, Navajo Code Talker

Photo courtesy Vee F. Browne-Yellowhair.

USMC Veteran, William Tully Brown, Navajo Code Talker, wearing his uniform for the last time when he swabbed to provide his DNA for posterity. What a legacy this man leaves, literally from the beginning of his life to the very end.

William Passes Over

This isn’t the article I was supposed to be writing. 

My flight was booked for Wednesday, June 5th. On the afternoon of the 5th and the 6th, I was supposed to be meeting William Brown. Explaining his DNA results to him in a way that a 96-year-old man can understand and thanking him for his service. I was preparing a little booklet for William so he could show visitors.

I was looking forward to hearing the stories of this incredible man who made history.

William reminds me of my father and was born exactly 2 months before my mother. I referred to him as “Cheii,” or “Grandfather” in Navajo. In the Native culture where I was raised, Grandfather is an honorary way of addressing someone older and for whom you have great respect.

William was incredibly proud of his Navajo heritage as well as his service to his country as a Code Talker.

William passed over early this morning, “walking on” to the next world. You can read more about his passing, here. I honored William on Memorial Day with a special article, here.

My condolences to William’s family and especially his daughter, Vee, who has become my sister-of-heart.

The Code Talker Quilt

As we were arranging the trip to Arizona, I knew I needed to make William a quilt, and quickly. It had to be a very special quilt – fitting for a true American hero, one of very few who had received the Congressional medal of honor.

Code Talker Quilt

I was incredibly honored to be able to provide this gift of love and comfort to one so richly deserving. The person in the star part of the quilt is a Native American wearing a Congressional Medal of Honor. Could there be a more fitting image?

Thankfully, everything worked perfectly, and the quilt went together seamlessly (pardon the pun), albeit mostly in the middle of the night. My special friend, Pam, quilted it the next night, and the following day, the quilt was photographed, boxed and on its way. Record time!

Roberta Estes with Code Talker Quilt

As William’s quilt was winging its way to Arizona, his DNA was winging its way to the Family Tree DNA lab in Houston for advanced Y and mitochondrial DNA testing thanks to Vee.

My husband overnighted the quilt on Friday before Memorial Day when we realized that William might not live until my visit on the 5th. Plus, I wanted William to be able to enjoy the quilt for as long as possible, given that his time on earth was limited. But, ironically, the Memorial Day holiday interfered.

I was looking forward to taking a picture with William and the quilt this week. Sadly, that wasn’t to be.

The quilt will now be used by William’s family to honor him Thursday at his funeral.

Unfortunately, I cancelled my travel plans when William was so gravely ill, not wanting to be intrusive at a difficult and private time, so I won’t physically be there with them – only in spirit. His family was very generous with their invitation.

William’s Legacy

William left an incredible legacy, stretching over three quarters of a century. First, saving our Nation in our time of desperate need followed by his final act 74 years later being that of a humanitarian. Contributing his DNA to unknown generations in the future – connecting them through the threads of time. Vee said that he loved everyone, and it showed.

Veteran, patriot, hero, humanitarian.


Rest in Peace, William Tully Brown.

Semper fi

USMC Navajo Code Talker patch

Genographic Project Prepares to Shut Down Consumer Data Base

Today, on the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project page, we find this announcement:

Genographic end

This is a sad day indeed.

  • Effective May 31, 2019, you can no longer purchase Genographic kits.
  • If you currently have an unsubmitted kit, you may still be able to submit it for processing. See this link for more information about your specific kit.
  • The Genographic website will be taken down December. 31, 2020. Your results will be available for viewing until then, but not after that date.
  • Data will be maintained internally by the Genographic project for scientific analysis, but will not be otherwise available to consumers. Miguel Vilar with the Genographic Project assures me that the underlying scientific research will continue.

Please Transfer Your DNA Results

The original Genographic project had two primary goals. The first being to obtain your own results, and the second being to participate in research.

If you are one of the 997,222 people in 140 countries around the world who tested, you may be able to transfer your results.

Depending on which version of the Genographic test you’ve taken, you can still preserve at least some of the benefit, for yourself and to scientific research.

Family Tree DNA Genographic transfer

Note that only Y and mitochondrial DNA results can be transferred, because that’s all that was tested. How much information can be transferred is a function of which level test you initially took, meaning the version 1 or version 2 test.

According to the Family Tree DNA Learning Center, people who transfer their results also qualify for a $39 Family Finder kit, which is the lowest price I’ve ever seen anyplace for an autosomal DNA test.

  • If you tested within the US in November 2016 or after, you tested on the Helix platform and your results cannot be transferred to Family Tree DNA.

If you have already tested your Y (males only) and mitochondrial DNA at Family Tree DNA, there is no need to transfer Genographic data. Family Tree DNA information will be more complete.

Salvage as Much as Possible

As a National Geographic Society Genographic Project Affiliate Researcher and long-time supporter, I’m utterly heartsick to see this day.

Please transfer what you can to salvage as much as possible. We already lost the Sorenson data base, Ancestry’s Y and mitochondrial DNA data base along with YSearch and MitoSearch. How much Y and mitochondrial DNA information, critical to genealogists and the history of humanity, has been lost forever?

Let’s not lose the Genographic Project information too. Please salvage as much as possible by transferring – and spread the word.

Please feel free to repost or preprint this article.



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Hiram Bauke Ferverda (1854-1925), Part 2: American Farmer– 52 Ancestors #240

My introduction to the Ferverda genealogy came in the form of a small blue booklet that my mother obtained at a family reunion. How I desperately wish I had attended that reunion, but I was preoccupied in the summer of 1978 with 2 small children – one that was a newborn.

With a beastly hot summer, a new baby and no air conditioning – my greatest wish was for sleep – not meeting new people and certainly not this thing called genealogy😊

The Blue Ferverda Booklet


In 1978, one of the Ferverda family members authored a small blue-covered book after visiting the Netherlands in 1977. I’m extremely grateful, because most of the photos and a lot of the original information about the Ferverda family came from their booklet. However, no place are the authors identified, so I don’t know who to thank.

From the Ferverda book:

Hiram and Eva were married March 10, 1876 by Rev. Bigler of Goshen Indiana. Their early married life was spent on farms near New Paris and Milford where all of their children were born except George, Donald and Margaret. They were born in Kosciusko County, Plain Twp.

In 1894 they bought a 160 acre farm 3 miles east of Leesburg, Indiana and lived there until the spring of 1908 when they moved into town. Hiram supervised the laying the brick streets in Leesburg. He became a director of People’s State Bank in 1908 and later became Vice President. Donald Ferverda was a director and cashier. In later years, Ray Ferverda became a director and Vice President of Peoples State Bank.

Ira was a rancher and later had a chicken hatchery. They lived in Wyoming for a time, then moved to Leesburg. He served in the Spanish American War.

Edith’s husband Tom (Dye) farmed and later worked with this son-in-law who was an undertaker and had a furniture store. They made their home in the Leesburg area.

Irvin was a farmer with a love for horses. He farmed in the Oswego community and moved to the home place after his parents moved into town.

John was in the hardware business and later became an auto salesman. He lived in Silver Lake all his married life.

Gertrude’s husband Lewis (Hartman) was a farmer and an experienced butcher. They lived on a rented farm until they bought 80 acres south of Oswego. Their last years were spent in Leesburg.

Chloe’s husband Rollie (Roland Robinson) was in the hardware and plumbing and heating business which he took over from his father. They lived in Leesburg.

Ray was a farmer who entered politics. He was a township trustee and then a county commissioner. They owned a farm in Van Buren Twp. near the New Salem Church.

Roscoe was a railroad man, station agent at Silver Lake where he lived. He had a love for baseball. He served in WWI.

Donald was cashier at the Leesburg bank. His future looked bright, but death took him when he was a young man. They owned a home in Leesburg. He was the third member of the family to serve in WWI.

Margaret’s husband Chet (Glant) was a railroad man for 37 years and they made their home in Warsaw, Indiana.

Hiram and Eva were faithful members of the New Salem Church of the Brethren, Milford, Indiana.

The blue Ferverda booklet was written by people who probably knew Hiram, and assuredly knew his children. The photos in the book refer to Hiram and Eva as their grandparents. Thankfully they recorded what they knew.

Hiram Immigrates from The Netherlands

In our first article, Hiram Bauke Ferverda (1854-1925), Part 1: The Baker’s Apprentice – 52 Ancestors #222, we met Hiram in the Netherlands.

We left Hiram Bauke Ferverda, as he was called in the US, setting sail as Harmen Bauke Ferwerda in 1868 at the age of 14. He had been apprenticed to a baker, his mother’s sister’s husband, Johannes Jousma in the tiny village of “Fiifhus” translated at 5 Houses.

Hiram Ferverda 5 Houses canal

Yes, there were literally 5 houses in this little picturesque village on a canal.

Hiram Ferverda 5 Houses Cheryl

Hiram returned from his apprenticeship in time to sail for America in August of 1868 with his father, Bauke Hendrick Ferverda, step-mother Minke, younger brother Hendrick Ferwerda, known as Henry Ferverda in the US, age 10, half-sisters Lysbeth age 4 and Geertje, apparently named after Hiram’s deceased mother, age 15 months. What a lovely gesture by Bauke’s second wife.

From the “History of Kosciusko County”

The second piece of published information that I found about Hiram came from the History of Kosciusko County, published in 1919.

Hiram B. Ferverda has been a resident of Kosciusko County a quarter of a century, grew up in Indiana from early boyhood and had many hardships and difficulties to contend with in his earlier days. Industry and a determined ambition have brought him an enviable station in life and among other interests he is now vice-president of the People’s Bank at Leesburg and owns some fine farming land in the county.

Mr. Ferverda was born in Holland, Sept. 21, 1854, son of Banks and Gertrude D. Young Ferverda. His parents were also natives of Holland, married there, and the mother died in Holland leaving two sons, Henry and Hiram B. The father was a man of excellent education and very talented as a musician and in other pursuits.  He taught music. After the death of his first wife he again married and had two daughters by the second wife. He brought his family to the US and located in Union Township of Elkhart County, Indiana where he spent the rest of his life. He was a member of the Lutheran Church in Holland.

Hiram B. Ferverda was 13 years old when his father came to Elkhart County. He had begun his education in his native country and finished in the public schools of Elkhart County. The family were poor and he lived at home and gave most of his wages earned by farm work to the support of the family until he was nearly 21 years old.

Mr. Ferverda married Evaline Miller who was born in Elkhart Co., Indiana, March 29, 1857, daughter of John D. and Margaret Lentz Miller. Her parents were both natives of America and her maternal grandparents were born in Germany.

After their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Ferverda moved to a farm 4 miles west of New Paris, Indiana and 2 years later, in 1893, came to Kosciusko County and established their home on a farm near Oswego. Mr. Ferverda bought 160 acres and developed a splendid farm. He yet owns the farm, but since March 1909 has lived in Leesburg.

Mr. and Mrs. Ferverda have 11 children. Ira O. is a graduate of the common schools and was a student in the North Manchester College and beginning with the Spanish-American war saw 3 years of active service in the American army as a quartermaster sergeant. He now lives at Oswego. Edith E. is a graduate of the common schools and is the wife of Thomas Dye of Plain Township. Irvin G. is a farmer in Plain Township. John W. is a high school graduate and is engaged in the hardware business at Silver Lake, Indiana. Gertrude E. is a graduate of high school and the wife of Rollin V. Robinson. Ray E. a graduate of high school is a farmer in Van Buren Township. Roscoe H. is a graduate of high school and is now serving as a train dispatcher with the Southern Pacific Railroad. George likewise completed his education in high school and is in the army. Donald who attended school 12 years and in all that time never missed a day nor was tardy now is in the US service at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. Margaret is a high school student. The family are members of the Church of the Brethren and Mr. Ferverda is a republican. He was at one time captain of the local Horse Thief Detective Association, and in now an inspector of the streets of Leesburg.

What can we learn from this information?

First, not everything is accurate, including the spelling of Hiram’s father’s name. His mother’s name was “semi-translated” from Dutch to English. His parents names were Bauke Hendrick Ferwerda, known as Baker in the US, and Geertje Harmens de Jong. De Jong in Dutch means “younger” or “the younger.”

His brother, William, by his father’s second marriage was omitted which caused me to not search for him, for several years.

The years are “off” for Hiram’s early married life in Elkhart County.

I wish they had been more specific about the many hardships and difficulties Hiram had to contend with. It’s very interesting that he contributed his wages to the family from the time they arrived until he married.

I had no idea that Ira had attended Manchester College, an institution associated with the Brethren religion. Ironic that he attended that college and also served in the war. Brethren are opposed to warfare.

My grandfather John also attended the Normal School in Angola, Indiana, a college for teachers, and obtained his teaching certificate, but never taught.

The Horse Thief Detective Association was a local detective and law enforcement group of vigilantes formed about 1840. Many had an element of Masonic influence within the organization. During that time in Indiana, near Wingate, Indiana, horse stealing had become so rampant that folks had to completely give up the idea of farming. Arrests were nigh on nonexistant, so the men banded together to not only discover who was stealing the horses, but to apprehend them and put an end to it. They did, becoming relatively well respected, and also becoming investigators, police officers, judge, jury and executioner all in one – sometimes all in the same night or raid. Later in the early 1900s, they became heavily associated with the KKK. Some say they were infiltrated by the KKK, hastening their decline. In the early 1920s, this group met its demise with the downfall of one of their leaders who was convicted of the murder of a woman. They primarily operated throughout Indiana, but also to some extent in surrounding states.

In essence the Horse Thief Detective Association was a volunteer police force with state laws giving the group arrest powers. The HDTA could chase thieves across county and state lines where the local Sheriff and Marshall could not. The HDTA was organized into groups of about 50 men each and there were typically several groups in each county.

The mention of the KKK chills me to the bone. Hopefully that’s when Hiram left that organization. Written in 1919, this article says he had “at one time” been the local Captain, not that he currently was.

Note that the description of 4 miles west of New Paris doesn’t fit the location of either Eva’s nor Hiram’s parents land. Four miles would locate the couple about 1 mile into Union Township, directly west of New Paris.

Hiram Ferverda New Paris.png

The best we can say is that it was in this general location, probably someplace between their parents.

Hiram Ferverda parents.png

This had to be where they lived before they purchased land in 1890, because we know where the farm they bought was located.

Let’s walk Hiram through his life, with the assistance of newspapers. I found a huge treasure trove through my subscription at MyHeritage.

Bauke Purchases Land

There’s nothing between 1868 and 1870 aside from the fact that Bauke, Hiram’s father, bought land on December 7, 1868, in Union Township, Elkhart County, from the de Boer family, almost immediately upon arrival.

Bauke Ferwerda 1868 deed

That farm would stay in the family until the present day. You can read about the farm here.


The first census was taken about 18 months after Hiram’s arrival. Neither of the 2 boys, Hiram nor Henry, were living with their father and step-mother. Hiram was living a nearby, working on the farm, but brother Henry was missing from the census.

I checked several spellings of both first and last names of Harmen, Hiram, Ferwerda, Ferverda and Fervida, and the only one I found in 1870 was for our Hiram who was living a couple houses away from his father and step-mother, with the Simeon Smith family.

Hiram Ferverda 1870 census Click to view a larger image.

In 1870, the Ferverda family was living in Union Township, not far from New Paris, Indiana by the Postma’s and the Krulls, other families from the Netherlands. They were also neighbors with Ephriam Miller, and the Miller family was Brethren.

The Ferverda family was Brethren here in the states, with Hiram eventually marrying Eva Miller who was also Brethren. Eva would have been 13 in 1870 and might have thought Hiram was mighty cute! They probably saw each other at church and farm functions.

Where was Hiram’s brother, Henry? Why was neither boy living with Bauke and the rest of the family?

Henry was 3 years younger than Hiram, so 11 when they arrived. And neither boy spoke English, at least not upon arrival.

Henry & Hiram Ferverda

Hiram (Harmen Bauke) Ferverda (Ferwerda) at left, Henry (Hendrik) Ferverda at right, assuming the Ferverda booklet is labeled correctly.

From the Ferverda book, this is the only known photo of Hiram and his brother Henry (Hendrick). I can’t believe how much alike they look.

Henry’s sad story can be read here.


This 1874 plat map shows the land of Bauke Ferwerda in Union Township, Elkhart County.

Bauke Ferwerda 1874 map

Note the Miller influence across the road. Hiram’s eventual wife, Eva Miller, lived about three and a half miles up the road, current County Road 15.


By 1876, Hiram, now of age, applied to become a citizen.

Hiram Ferverda naturalization.jpg

According to Hiram’s Naturalization application found in Elkhart County, the family sailed for America on August 1, 1868 and arrived in September. Hiram applied for citizenship on October 4, 1876, age 21. His father applied on the 7th of the same month.

Ironically, Hiram never completed his citizenship process until during WWI, as reported by the local newspaper.

A Confusing Record

Of course, this information begs the question of this next record. How many Harmen Ferwerdas can there be immigrating from the Netherlands in 1868 or 1869? Did the family arrive by train in Chicago and connect to Indiana from there? It seems that the train would have traveled right through northern Indiana on the way to Chicago, so that doesn’t exactly make sense either.

Hiram Ferverda Chicago arrival.png

This record’s arrival location could simply be incorrect. We would need to see the original to know and it seems a rather moot point because we know where Hiram settled. This record did beg the question of whether he actually immigrated separately from the rest of his family, but the ship’s records, discovered by Yvette Hoitink in the Netherlands tell us otherwise.


Hiram Ferverda marriage.jpg

On March 7th, 1876 Hiram Ferverda obtained a license to marry Evaline Miller in Elkhart, Indiana. Two days later, on March 9, they were married by Andrew Bigler, a minister of the gospel. The couple must have been busy happily preparing!

Andrew Bigler was an elder in the Brethren Church in the 1870s and 1880s in Elkhart County.

Hiram Ferverda and Eva Miller early.jpg

Based on the caption of the photo from the Ferverda booklet, it’s obvious that the author was the Hiram’s grandchild.

The early married life of Hiram Ferverda and Eva Miller Ferverda was spent on farms near New Paris and Milford where all of their children were born except George, Donald and Margaret who were born in Plain Township in Kosciusko County, according to the Ferverda booklet.

At least part of this is confirmed by the locations given in their various children’s marriage applications where Ray, born in 1891 and Chloe born in 1886 were listed as having been born in Milford, and Roscoe is listed as having been born in Leesburg in 1893.

Try as I might, I cannot find this family in the 1880 census. By this time, Hiram and Eva would have had two children, Ira Otto born on November 2, 1877 and Edith born on August 27, 1879.

The next hints we find are in the local newspaper.

In the News

I found several articles that shed light on Hiram’s life in the states. I love old newspaper articles. They flesh out so much about our ancestor’s lives and the times in which they lived.

I searched for Hiram’s name, then Fervida, Ferwerda and Ferverda beginning in 1860 at MyHeritage.

My ancestor, Hiram’s son, John, was born in 1884 but where, exactly? I suspect, based on the fact that his siblings born in 1886 and 1891 were born near Milford in Elkhart County, John was too. However, the family did move in 1885, so John could have been born “4 miles west of” New Paris, the first location given for Hiram’s home in Elkhart County. New Paris was very close to Eva Miller’s father – and all of the locations didn’t mean the actual village, but in that vicinity.

On March 5, 1885, the Indianian Republican reported that “Wash Miller is moving west of Goshen. He intends to take his family Thursday. Hiram Fervida gets the farm Mr. Miller is leaving.”

What does the verb “gets” mean in this context?

Wash Miller was George Washington Miller, Eva’s brother, Hiram’s brother-in-law.

A friend, Ann, did me a wonderful favor a few weeks ago and checked the deeds for Elkhart County. There was no Ferverda (or similar spelling) deed at that time, and none from a Miller at any time.

There is an old plat map of Elkhart County in 1874, but I wasn’t able to find a property owned by either George Miller, Wash Miller or G. W. Miller in 1874. I’m assuming that Hiram and Eva probably lived not far from Eva’s parents, John David Miller and Elizabeth Lentz, or may had even lived with them.

Wash Miller could have been renting or “share farming” and Hiram Ferverda was probably doing the same.

Their Own Farm

In 1890, Hiram Ferverda did purchase a farm in Elkhart County, recorded on page 317 of the deed book.

Hiram Ferverda Elkhart deed index.pngHiram Ferverda Elkhart deed entry.pngHiram Ferverda Elkhart deed.png

Based on the deed description, I was able to find this land, first on the old plat map, then today using Google maps.

Hiram Ferverda Elkhart Co deed 1874 map

Jackson Twp – Elkhart Co. – Elkhart Co 1874 Jackson Twp section 22 w half of SE qtr 80 ac

In 1890, John would have been 7 years old. He would have played the games that boys played on this farm.

Hiram Ferverda Elkhart Co aerial.png


The field to the north is probably much the same. The house on the plat map is gone today of course. This area south of the road looks to be mined, possibly for sand.

Hiram Ferverda Elkhart Co aerial close.png


The house looks like it might have been about where the red star is in the closeup above.

John certainly wouldn’t recognize the property today. I wonder if a few hearty Daffodils still bloom in the springtime where the old homestead used to be. Daffodils and other perennials are a surefire hint for locating former houses. Women have always loved flowers it seems.

Three years later, in February 1893, Hiram sold this 80-acre farm and moved to Kosciusko County, the next county over.

Hiram Ferverda 1893 deed index.png

Hiram Ferverda 1893 Elkhart deed Click to view a larger image.

Kosciusko County, Indiana

In March 1893, just a few days after selling their farm in Elkhart County, Hiram and Eva bought a 160-acre farm near Oswego, Indiana, doubling the size of their land.

March 9, 1893 – Indianian-Republican and Warsaw Times – Real estate transfers: William D. Wood to Hiram B. Ferverda 160 acres Section 11 Plain Twp, $8,000

John would turn 11 the day after Christmas that year.

This 1914 map of Plain Township shows the location of Hiram’s farm. Hiram’s son, Irvin was living there in 1914, but Hiram still owned the property.

Hiram Ferverda 1914 Plain Twp map.png

Hiram Ferverda 1914 map close.png

You can see Hiram’s land in the upper right hand quadrant of section 11.

Google maps lets us look at the area today.

Hiram Ferverda Plain Twp aerial.png

This explains why John Ferverda went to Oswego Schools.

Hiram Ferverda Plain Twp aerial red.png

Their farm included the area, above in red, shown in a closeup below.

Hiram Ferverda Plain twp close.png

The upper right hand corner is wet and swampy, and the lower right hand corner may have actually touched or included the edge of Lake Tippecanoe. The bottom third of the property is still wooded.

The Surveyor’s office in Kosciusko County was exceedingly helpful, providing me with this image of the 1938 flyover from their GIS system which shows the house at that time to be west of a newer house today.

Hiram Ferverda 1938 Plain Twp flyover.png

The flyover image shows us where the original house stood, allowing me to find it on Google Maps today.

Hiram Ferverda 1938 Plain Twp flyover today.png

This looks to be the same house as in the flyover.

When I visited Kosciusko County in May of 2019, I thought perhaps this was a possibility, and took a photo, just in case. I’m so glad now that I did.

Hiram Ferverda Plain Twp house.jpg

I love to find and walk my ancestor’s land.

The white barn to the rear is probably not original. I don’t see it in the aerial, but this is the view that Hiram would have seen, minus the irrigation equipment, of course.

Hiram Ferverda Plain Twp land.jpg

This would have been Hiram’s view of his fields from the house.

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This is Hiram’s land at the southwest corner of the intersection of 700N and 300E. Looking across his property, toward the houses today. Hiram’s house is the one furthest to the left.

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The images above are from Google Maps Street View, but the ones below I took when I visited.

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Standing on 300, looking west across Hiram’s land.

Hiram Ferverda land rains.jpg

The rains had been torrential and the land everyplace was simply saturated. This view above is looking south across Hiram’s fields.

Hiram Ferverda land mud.jpg

While this entrance provided access for the farmer to the field, it was a sure and certain mud quagmire for me, so I pulled to the side of the road, off as far as possible, and turned on my flashers.

Hiram Ferverda land pipeline.jpg

You can see the back of Hiram’s old house in the distance, with the white barn to the rear.

There’s a pipeline of some sort on this land today. You can see part of it in front of the woods, and another part stood directly beside me as I took this picture, at the beginning of the planks.

Hiram Ferverda plank.jpg

A plank walkway had been constructed that headed towards the wetlands on the corner.

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Is it safe to walk here? Am I trespassing, or is the walkway in the right-of-way or on an easement? I’m in the open, with my car and flashers, so I’ve decided to “ask forgiveness” if I need to. I grew up on a farm and most farmers are quite reasonable, especially if you explain why you are there.

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At the end of the plank walkway, several old trees had been bulldozed into a pile. I wonder if any of these trees lived when Hiram owned this land. From the aerial, it looks more wooded today than then.

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Hiram’s rocks. How I would have loved to take those home, but they are MUCH too big. I did find a couple smaller hand-sized rocks near the road to take and leave at his son John’s gravestone, as well as my mother’s the following day.

Hiram Ferverda creek.jpg

A tiny creek runs beneath the foliage and muck.

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This corner land is very boggy.

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But it surely is beautiful. I think that’s Skunk Cabbage which earned its name.

Hiram Ferverda wetlands.jpg

Rounding the corner onto 700, you can see the wet area from the other side.

Hiram Ferverda wetlands 2.jpg

You can hear the creek gurgling through the underbrush.

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It was hard to tear myself away from the peacefulness here, especially knowing it has changed little since Hiram walked these lands himself.

Hiram Ferverda road.jpg

However, the sky was darkening again, even though it was the middle of the afternoon, and that’s AFTER lightening this photo, taken from the wetlands looking east on 700. The new house sits on the hill on the left, and Hiram’s home would be beyond this maybe a quarter mile. This was one of the gravel roads when Hiram maintained it.


Uh oh, I’m sinking. Time to leave. The rains are beginning again.

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Hiram’s land looking southwest. I had to take one last look. Goodbyes are difficult.

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Hiram’s land appeared to continue south into the trees, about 30% of the depth of his property, into this forest. I wonder if it wasn’t cleared because it was simply too wet.

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Looking back across the land, I see Hiram’s old house in the center that rang with the laughter of children for 15 years. I wonder if Hiram built this house or if it existed before he purchased the farm.

As I drive on south on 300, passing the corner of Hiram’s property closest to the lake, the streams feeding Lake Tippecanoe from Hiram’s and other properties are flooded.

Hiram Ferverda Lake Tippecanoe.jpg

Was this old tree here when Hiram lived, and when John assuredly played in these waters on his way to school perhaps? What stories it could tell!

The Lawsuit

Not long after Hiram purchased his farm, he was involved in a lawsuit, apparently having to do with the property he purchased. The print is difficult to read.

Sept. 28, 1893 – Indianian-Republican

Hiram Ferverda lawsuit.png

Life on the Farm

By the time that Hiram and Eva bought the farm in Plain Township near Oswego, they had 7 children with number 8 arriving on March 30, 1893, just days after they purchased the new farm. In fact, Roscoe may not have been born on the new farm, depending on when they actually took possession and if a house was already built. According to the blue Ferverda book, Roscoe was born in Elkhart County, but according to his own documents, he was born in Leesburg. It’s certainly possible that Eva, 9 months pregnant had no desire to move to the new farm 3 weeks before delivering her 8th child.

On April 1, 1893, Hiram’s sister, Melvinda would marry James Gibson. However, this might have been a bit of a scandal, since their first child would be born on November 7th, the same year.

Given that Eva had just given birth, it’s not likely that the family attended Melvinda’s wedding. Brethren weddings tended to occur in the home by the minister, with no celebration. Simplicity was a way of life.

The Oswego School

Hiram and Eva’s children attended the old school in Oswego. In April 2019, I visited the Kosciusko County, Indiana courthouse where the surveyor graciously provided me with a photo of the old schoolhouse.

Hiram Ferverda Oswego school.jpg

The schoolhouse is shown standing near the top of the photo – the tallest building in town at that time – and it would be now as well.

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My grandfather, John Ferverda, pictured in this photo, graduated from the Oswego school. In 1900, a class photo was taken that included 4 Ferverda children and later published in a yearbook. He probably graduated that year or a year later.

Ferverda Oswego

The building is long gone, replaced by a church today.

Hiram Ferverda Oswego school today.png

However, the surveyor was kind enough to show me on a contemporary map where the old building stood so I could visit.

I pulled into the parking lot of the church, located on the corner. The school probably sat partly where the church does today.

Hiram Ferverda Oswego school parking lot.jpg

The yard behind the church sported a few flowers, suggesting that at one time, this yard hosted a building of some sort, now only a memory.

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These grape hyacinth hardy perennials are probably left over from the old building. Today, they bloom alone in the middle of a yard, beside the church.

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Looking at the field behind and beside the church. John played here or saw this very field as it was plowed and grew.

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One way or the other, John and his siblings spend many years on this exact spot, walking the mile and a half to and from school, in all types of weather – past that aged tree beside the flooded creek.

The school wasn’t terribly far from the Ferverda farm, but in the winter, it had to be a miserable walk.

Hiram Ferverda farm to school.png

Hiram’s farm in red, above, and the location of the school at the red dot, right lower area.


Around 1895, Hiram’s epileptic brother, Henry, who was also an alcoholic, would wind up in the poor house in Marion, Indiana. We know very little about Henry, other than he was never found living with the family after they immigrated to America – and we have no idea how he got to Marion, or the poor house. While I told as much of Henry’s story as I could, there is clearly a great deal that we’ll never know.

In 1895, Eva would deliver child number 9 and a year later, in 1896, Hiram and Eva’s older children would begin marrying.


Hiram Ferverda 1896 farm photo.jpgAccording to the information from the Ferverda book, this would be the farm near Leesburg. Hiram is holding the baby, and Eva is in the dark dress. My grandfather, John, was on the horse at far right.

On May 30, 1896, Hiram’s baby brother, William Fervida, married Fannie Whitehead who would die in 1910. Fannie Whitehead was collaterally related to Hiram’s wife, Eva Miller, through her mother’s first husband’s family.

William Fervida later married Maude Fulmer and who would give birth to the Fervida line who owns Bauke’s property today.

Just a few months later, Hiram’s first child would marry as well.

Aug. 6, 1896 – Northern Indianian – Marriage licenses – Thomas W. Dye and Edith Ferverda. Thomas Dye and Edith Ferverda were married Sunday. Our best wishes go with them.

Hiram’s daughter, Edith would have two children, Ruth Dye born in 1897 and Dewey Dye born in 1898.

Hiram and Eva weren’t finished having children themselves and would have two more children, Donald (1899) and Margaret (1902), after Edith’s children were born, so Donald and Margaret’s niece and nephew were older than they were.


On April 29th, Hiram’s sister, Melvinda’s son, Levi Gibson died at 10 months and 3 days of age. A day or so later, Hiram and family would have stood at the graveside in Union Center Cemetery, near Bauke Ferwerda’s home as the baby boy was buried.

Melvinda was also known as Malinda, Lijsbert, Elizabeth and Bettie by various spellings. It’s only through her birth, census and death information that we were able to verify that this was one and the same person.

We know that Hiram subscribed to the newspaper.

June 29, 1897 – Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda 1897 newspaper.png

Does this mean Hiram’s subscription was in arrears?

In October 1897, Hiram’s sister, Clara would marry Cletus Miller, Eva’s half first cousin. Clara and Cletus would set up housekeeping next door to Hiram’s father, Bauke and have 5 children; Minnie Miller, Noah Miller, Lucy Miller, Esther Miller and Clara Miller.

They’ve only been here less than one generation and the family is already intermarried!


On April 11, 1898, Hiram’s brother, Henry would pass away in Marion, Indiana of epilepsy. Hiram and his father, Bauke, were both notified, but the family elected to have Henry buried in Marion.

Something else was going on in the family at this time as well, but it’s difficult to tell exactly what. Eight days after Henry died, on April 19th, Hiram’s father, Bauke, sold his farm to Hiram’s half-brother, William. There was no mortgage or loans.

Fifteen months later, William sold the farm back to his mother, Minnie, Hiram’s step-mother. This arrangement allowed Minnie to own the farm without Bauke deeding it directly to her.

This also effectively shut Hiram, Bauke’s only living child from his first marriage, out of an inheritance since Minnie was not his mother. Minnie’s will in 1906 left everything except Bauke’s widower’s share to her biological children who then sold their portions to their brother William. For all we know, this may have been worked out in advance, but the unusual sequence of events does leave me wondering. It would have been a lot easier for Hiram to simply quitclaim his share if that was the agreement.


In July of 1899, 4 years and 1 day after their last child was born, Eva blessed Hiram with child number 10, Donald.

I did wonder if they lost a baby in 1897, based on the birth order. However, looking at the 1900 census, Eva reports that she birthed 10 children and 10 are living.

Aside from the new baby, it seems that the Ferverda family had a bit of excitement in 1899.

Assault and Battery

October 8, 1899 – Warsaw Daily Times – A large amount of business was conducted at Squire Young’s court Saturday. Ira Ferverda was before Squire Young last Saturday charged with assault and battery on the person of Vern Miller. The young man was found guilty and was fined $1 and costs, amounting to $13.15 which he paid.

This was also reported in the Warsaw Times – except the reverse:

A young man by the name of Verne Miller was before Squire Eiler last Saturday charged with assault and battery on the person of Ira Ferverda. The affidavit against young Miller was filed by Joel Wilkinson, marshal of Leesburg. The young man was found guilty and was fined $1 and costs, which amounted to $15 in all. Both parties reside northeast of this city.

It looks like both boys were fined and probably told to go home and straighten up.

On October 12th, Hiram’s sister, Melvinda, died leaving a husband, James Gibson and 3 children who would be raised by foster families and then other family members. Unfortunately, there is no record of Melvinda’s cause of death. Melvinda was buried in the Union Center Cemetery with the name of Malinda E. on her tombstone. Hiram’s father would eventually be buried at Union Center too.

According to the newspaper, Hiram was maintaining the roads in Plain Township, or at least the ones that bordered his property.

Nov. 16, 1899 – Northern Indianian – Allowances made by Kosciusko board of commissioners (includes) Hiram Ferverda, gravel roads work in Plain Twp., $7.50.

This would be the first of many such notices.

I think Hiram would be pleased that most of the roads are paved today.


Hiram Ferverda 1900 census Click to view a larger image.

The 1900 census provides confirmation of Hiram’s children that attended the Oswego School.

March 1, 1900 – Warsaw Daily Times – Chloe Ferverda has sore throat at this writing.

It must have been a slow news day as Chloe’s sore throat was also reported in The Daily Indianian. I wonder if these types of notices is how the newspapers maintained the interest of their readership – and subscribers.

When duplicate newspaper entries occur I have eliminated all but one. The local newspapers seemed to have a bit of rivalry. Often, the same event was reported in both – sometimes in the exact same words.

April 26, 1900 – Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda 1900 jury duty.png

I bet this made for an interesting story around the dinner table!

May 17, 1900 – Northern Indianian – Jurors April term paid: Hiram Ferverda

The Love Note

This note was found in Hiram’s Bible, given to him by Eva for his 46th birthday. Based on this, it appears that Eva and Hiram had their own Bibles, and I’d wager that the large “family” Bible, now in the possession of descendants, was just for home, meaning it was not portable and was not taken to church.

Hiram Ferverda 1900 note from Eva.jpg

Indeed, Hiram and Eva are together now, beyond the Golden Gate, along with all of their children and many of their grandchildren.

I wonder what happened to Hiram’s Bible.

Nov. 15, 1900 – Plain Township – entire Republican ticket elected – Road Supervisors – 1. Hiram Ferverda $9.20

It appears that 1900 was the year that Hiram began dabbling in politics.


On March 26, 1901, Hiram’s son, Ira enlisted in the military to serve in the Spanish American War.

This from the Army Register of Enlistments.

Hiram Ferverda 1901 Ira enlist.png

Ira was age 23 and a farmer, with blue eyes, light brown hair and a fair complexion. 5’10” tall, he was assigned to the 15th Cavalry, company F.

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Ira was discharged at the end of his service as a Sergeant with excellent service.

Hiram Ferverda 1901 Ira enlist 3.png

I believe Ira was the first Ferverda to serve in the military, bucking the norms of the Brethren religion.

There’s more to this story that we’ll discover in 1916!

Nov. 4, 1901 – Northern Indianian – George Curry and Miss Mary Leedy spent Wednesday evening with Hiram Ferverda and family.

Nov. 21, 1901 – Northern Indianian – Allowances of Kosciusko County board of commissioners (includes) Hiram Ferverda, $5.25 labor for maintaining gravel road.

Another entry, same date shows Hiram 5.25, Hiram .90, Irvin Ferverda 3.00 and 3.15.

I wonder how much time Hiram spent per dollar at that time. Maintaining gravel roads is hard physical labor.


Hiram and Eva’s final child, Margaret, was born January 12, 1902. Eva would be 45 years old 2 months later.

January 15, 1902 – Warsaw Daily Times – Hiram Ferverda and wife – girl.

Less than a month later, Eva’s father died.

February 11, 1902 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mrs. Hiram Ferverda was called to Nappanee Friday on account of the death of her father.

May 27, 1902 – Warsaw Daily Times – Delegate to Kosciusko County Republican convention – H. B. Ferverda from First Precinct, Plain Township

June 19, 1902 – Northern Indianian – Wind Accompanying Storm of Thursday Night Causes Damage North and East of Warsaw.

The article lists quite a bit of damage including a house blown off if its foundation and a tree split by lightening. Then, “windpumps on the Ferverda and White farms were blown down.”

Windpumps are another name for windmills that are used to pump water out of the ground.

October 23, 1902 – Northern Indianian – William Jones spent Sunday with Hiram Ferverda and family.

Nov. 13, 1902 – Warsaw Daily Times – George Curry and Mrs. Mary Leedy spent Wednesday evening with Hiram Ferverda and family.

It seem that Hiram and Eva were entertaining quite a bit.


January 7, 1903 – John Ferverda and Roy Huffman left for Angola Monday where they will attend school.

I wonder if John had tried farming to no avail. John would receive his teaching certificate but never teach, instead opting to become a station agent for the railroad.

Two years later, John was reported in school in Goshen, but by 1906 he was living in Carthage in Rush County where he would meet his future wife.

July 8, 1903 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mrs. Miller, an aged lady, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Ferverda.

Just a year after Eva’s father died, her mother passed away as well and had been living with Hiram and Eva. Elizabeth Lentz Miller was 81 years old. Three generations had been living under the same roof, and 4 were probably often gathered when Hiram and Eva’s grandchildren were present.

July 29, 1903 – Warsaw Daily Times – Ben Hartman’s young people and William Parker and family were the guests of Hiram Ferverda and family on Sunday.

In September, Hiram’s daughter, Elizabeth Gertrude as written in her mother’s Bible, or Gertrude Elizabeth Ferverda as written by others, known as “Gertie,” married one of those Hartman young people.

Sept. 2, 1903 – Warsaw Daily Times – Marriage License for Lewis E. Hartman and G. Ferverda.

Lewis and Gertie would have Louisa Hartman, Earl Hartman, Merritt Hartman, Roberta Hartman and Raymond Hartman, and would then raise two of Louisa’s children as well.

Sept. 9, 1903 – Warsaw Daily Times – On petition of Charles B. Thompson for a road in Turkey Creek Township, Charles D. Beatty, Hiram B. Ferverda and Charles O. Gawthrop were appointed viewers to meet at Oswego Sept. 23.

Sept. 23, 1903 – Warsaw Daily Times – Thomas Dye and wife, Lewis Hartman, wife and two sisters spent Sunday with Hiram Ferverda and family.

October 7, 1903 – Warsaw Daily Times – Hiram Ferverda and wife and William Parker and family took dinner with Henry Lentz and family.

Henry Lentz was Eva’s first cousin, born in 1853. Henry’s wife was Mary Rebecca Parker.

Nov. 18, 1903 – Warsaw Daily Times – Ed Whitehead and wife, of (New) Paris, Anna Beagle, Tom Dye and family and Roy Huffman were the guests of Hiram Ferverda and family on Sunday.


January 27, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mrs. Hiram Ferverda was the guest of Mrs. Myer Hartman Saturday.

Feb. 17, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times

Hiram Ferverda 1904 Irvin marries.png

Another child married!

Irve would have three children; Mira Ferverda, Rolland Ferverda and Hiram B. Ferverda.

Based on his draft description, Irve had brown hair and brown eyes.

March 9, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mrs. Edith Dye visited her parents, Hiram Ferverda and wife last Friday.

March 14, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Hiram Ferverda was elected an alternate designate for the State Republican Senatorial convention committee from Plain Twp.

On March 31st, Hiram’s family was mentioned 3 times in the paper.

March 31, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mrs. Tom Dye and son Eldon spent Monday with her parents, Hiram Ferverda and wife.

Hiram Ferverda and wife were the guests of Thomas Dye and family one day last week.

Ira Ferverda who has for the past 3 years been serving in the army is again at home shaking hands with his many friends.

Ira had served in the Spanish American War, gaining no small amount of notoriety by saving the life of General Pershing. Ira broke his leg in the war, subsequently being declared disabled in June of 1918 due to a medical issue.

April 5, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Lewis Hartman, wife and daughter, Ira Miller and family, of New Paris, Ben Hartman and family, Tom Dye and family, Irve Ferverda and wife, Roy Huffman, Parmelia Gawthrop, Mae Dye and Ira Ferverda spent Sunday with Hiram Ferverda and family.

Hiram and Eva had a houseful!

April 13, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Hiram Ferverda, Ben Hartman, Will Parker, Augustus Neibert and Mrs. Mary Lentz are quite sick.

Sounds like something was “going around.”

April 20, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Hiram Ferverda who has been very sick is improving.

May 5, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mrs. Tom Dye and children spent Monday with Hiram Ferverda and family.

June 2, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mrs. Dora Method and 2 children, of Milford, Lewis Hartman and wife, of New Paris, Hiram Ferverda and family, Mrs. Myra Hartman and family, spent Monday with Irve Ferverda and wife.

June 7, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Delegate to the county Republican convention at Winona endorses Roosevelt administration. Hiram Ferverda was a delegate from the first precinct of Plain Township.

On June 29th, Ira Ferverda married Ada Pearl Frederickson. Ira and Ada had either 2 or 3 children, with only Dean living to adulthood. Mary Evelyn died in 1920 the same day she was born, and another child, Frederick is reported to have died as an infant.

July 6, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Hiram Ferverda and wife are entertaining relatives from New Paris and Goshen.

The New Paris address tells us that the guests are Eva’s family.

July 7, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Marriage license granted to Ira Ferverda and Pearl Fredrickson.

The paper was running a few days behind.

July 27, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Under Oswego heading – Mrs. Hiram Ferverda was the guest of Mrs. Myer Hartman Saturday.

August 31, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mrs. Hiram Ferverda is visiting friends in Goshen.

September 7, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mrs. Hiram Ferverda has returned from a visit in New Paris and Goshen.

Mrs. Tom Dye and children spent Monday with Hiram Ferverda and family.

November 9, 1904 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mrs. Hiram Ferverda and two children and Ira Ferverda and wife visited Mrs. Tom Dye on Monday.

Tom Dye was married to their oldest daughter, Edith. Daughters are often referred to by Mrs. plus their husband’s names. At that time, it was a badge of honor of being married and called by your husband’s name.


Jan. 12, 1905 – Northern Indianian – Kosciusko commissioners allowed H. B. Ferverda $6 labor for gravel road.

January 26, 1905 – Northern Indianian – H. B. Ferverda allowed $18 for labor and grading the road

Feb. 2, 1905 – Northern Indianian – Marshal Dye and family of North Webster, J. W. Dye and wife of Ligonier, Hiram Ferverda and family, Thomas Dye and family, Effie Dorsey and Georgia Traster took dinner with Charles Dye and family on Sunday.

March 9, 1905 – Northern Indianian – Ditch notice see below

March 16, 1905 – Northern Indianian – In the matter of the Ditch Petition of Stephen V. Rosbrugh et al in Plain, Wayne and Harrison Townships, to dredge the Tippecanoe River. No 304. Notice is hereby given that the viewers appointed by the Kosciusko have filed their report and will report on April 4, 1905. The ditch affects the lands owned by (long list, including) Hiram B. Ferverda

July 27, 1905 – Northern Indianian – Hiram Ferverda and family; Charles Dye and family; Tom Dye and family; Irve Ferverda, wife and daughter, Myra, Lewis Hartman, wife and daughter, Louise, Winnie Dye and wife; Mr. Shadt and Miss McLaughen held a picnic west of Kalorama Sunday.

Kalorama seems to be on the back side of Lake Tippecanoe, so maybe a mile from where Hiram lived.

In the same paper:

Hiram Ferverda buggies.png

I love old newspapers! I wonder when Hiram purchased his first car. Now THAT would have been newsworthy! Oldsmobiles were mass produced beginning in 1901, but Model T’s not until 1908. Hiram probably didn’t have a “horseless carriage” until after that.

August 24, 1905 – Northern Indianian – Mrs. Hiram Ferverda spent Wednesday last with her son, Irve and wife.

Dec. 7, 1905 – Northern Indianian – Mrs. Tom Dye spent one day last week with her parents, Hiram Ferverda and wife.

October 12, 1905 – Northern Indianian – Irve Ferverda and wife took dinner with Hiram Ferverda and family on last Sunday.

October 19, 1905 – Northern Indianian – Hiram Ferverda and wife spent Sunday with Henry Lentz and wife.

Dec. 7, 1905 – Northern Indianian – Mrs. Tom Dye spent one day last week with her parents, Hiram Ferverda and wife.


Jan. 4, 1906 – The Northern Indianian – Tom Dye and family took Sunday dinner with Charles Dye and family. Irve Ferverda and wife were guests of their parents, Hiram Ferverda and wife.

June 5, 1906 – Warsaw Daily Times – Delegate to the county Republican Convention in Winona Lake – Largest Delegate Body in History of Party Assembled to Select County Ticket – Immense Auditorium is Filled to OverFlowing – Resolutions passed endorsing the administration of President Roosevelt, Governor Hanly, Senators Beveridge and Hemenway and the Work of the Indiana Delegation in Congress – Strong Expression in Favor of Modification of Present Drainage and Fish Laws is Also Embodied – (list of delegates include) Hiram Ferverda.

The verbiage reads that they “condemn the present fish law in its severity and ask the passage of such a law that will so benefit the common people that they will support and obey.”

This fish law, which can be read here, may be strangely relevant!

In essence, this unpopular law prohibits the use of seine, dip nets, gill nets or other kinds of nets, spear, gig or trap and the fine is not less than $5 nor more than $200 for each offense, to which jail time can be added. This does not apply to minnows or private ponds.

June 7, 1906 – Northern Indianian – Republican County Convention ticket is nominated – Plain Township, first precinct, Hiram Ferverda

Hiram’s son John was also a life-long Republican. Of course, the Republican and Democratic parties were both quite different in 1906 than they are now.

September 6, 1906 – Warsaw Daily Times – Mrs. Jane Pollick of Goshen is the guest of Hiram Ferverda and family.

In Elkhart County, Eva’s parents’ estate was finally being closed with their property being sold.

December 22, 1906 – Eva Ferveda (sic) and Hiram Ferveda (sic) her husband of Kosciusko County, Ira J. Miller and Rebecca his wife, Edward E Whitehead and Hattie E. his wife of Elkhart Co. to Calvin Cripe, sect 5 tw 35 – r 6 80 acres Book 114-375 for $3500


Feb. 7, 1907 – Hiram B. Ferverda allowed $7 for hauling tiles working on road.

The tiles would have been for ditching.

March 25, 1907 – Warsaw Daily Union – Hiram B. Fervida, Petit jury for the Circuit Court.

March 28, 1907 – Northern Indianian – Paper reports that a grand jury must be called at least once yearly and the following people’s names were drawn: Hiram Ferverda, petit jury, Plain Twp.

May 2, 1907 – Warsaw Union – Hiram Ferverda and family took Sunday dinner with Ira Ferverda and family.

Accusations and Drama!

June 5, 1907 – Northern Indianian

Hiram Ferverda 1907 railroad.pngHiram Ferverda 1907 railroad 2.png

June 7, 1907 – Warsaw Daily Union

Hiram Ferverda 1907 appraiser.png

June 12, 1907 – Warsaw Daily Union (paper cost 2 cents).

Hiram Ferverda 1907 conspiracy.png

How closely related was Eva Miller to William Miller? According to family history, William Crowell Miller (1857-1934) was married to Lydia Yoder and lived very close to Hiram Ferverda. William’s father was John J. Miller who married Elizabeth Crowell and John’s father was John B. Miller who married his cousin, Esther L. Miller. John B. was the son of Daniel Miller and Elizabeth Ulrich. Esther Miller was the daughter of Daniel’s brother, David.

Hiram Ferverda 1907 relationships.png

Eva’s grandfather was first cousins to both John B. Miller and Esther Miller, so Eva was double third cousins to William Crowell Miller. While they did share a family connection the fact that their fathers were both staunch members of the Brethren church might have done more to unite them than their shared ancestors. But then, everyone in that part of the county was related at about this same level.

Was Hiram prejudiced, or did he have an opinion based on his duties as an appraiser? Or were the allegations simply false? We will never know.

German Brethren Annual Meeting

For Hiram, the trip to California to the German Baptist Annual Meeting in Los Angeles must have been the trip of a lifetime – second only to his immigration journey. We don’t typically think of our ancestors in this time period taking long trips, but Hiram did.

Based on these newspaper dates, below and above, it’s hard to know exactly when this trip occurred, or how long Hiram was gone.

June 13, 1907

Hiram Ferverda 1907 California.png

Lordsburg, which is today more of a neighborhood, is located about 25 miles east of Lost Angeles, up against the mountains along the Foothills Freeway.

Hiram Ferverda 1907 foothills.png

I visited Los Angeles, taking my mother and my son, in 1981 or 1982. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever suspect that Mother’s grandfather had made the trip as well, assuredly via train. By 1876, with the introduction of a train called the Transcontinental Express, a trip from NYC to San Francisco took only three and a half days. Mom and I flew, something Hiram very probably never did.

After returning from his trip, Hiram settled back into daily life.

July 18, 1907 – Warsaw Union – H. B. Ferverda allowed $2 for being a juror

Oct. 31, 1907 – Warsaw Daily Times – The following persons licensed to hunt by the County Clerk: H. B. Ferverda

I wonder why the fact that Hiram was licensed to hunt was worthy of mention in 1907, but never before. Did he not hunt before? Hunting licenses were required in Indiana beginning in 1901.

A Big Change

1908 would bring big changes for Hiram and his family, in more ways than one.

My Brethren ancestor would move to Leesburg and become a Marshall. Yes, Marshall, with a capital M and a badge.

Hiram Ferverda Marshall.jpg

And that’s not all!

Join me for Hiram Ferverda: Part 3 in a few weeks.