Thursday, March 1, 2012

115th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Flash Family History: Wanderers, Jabez and Elizabeth McPherson

Jasia, of Creative Gene again challenges us --- this time with Flash History.  This 115th  Carnival of Genealogy should be really interesting.  I have to confess that I came to this Carnival late and have only one Flash History to present.  My bad!

 Wanderers, Jabez and Elizabeth McPherson

A wandering man was my grandfather Jabez Burns McPherson. In December,1898, the 26 year old Scots married 16 year-old Elizabeth Alfreda Foss. Soon after, the couple joined his parents, a sister and brother-in-law as they traveled by way of a horse-drawn wagon and a fancy surrey from Madison, Wisconsin, to Iowa where a younger sister of Jabez's father lived. Jabez and Elizabeth stayed for at least a year as their daughter Bertha was born there in 1900.

Young Elizabeth delighted in this adventure; she had never ventured far from her parents' Madison farm. Little did she realize that this trip was a harbinger of trips to come. She married a wandering man, who came from a family unafraid of “picking up” and going to unknown places – and a McPherson traveled far to visit kith and kin.

Throughout her life Elizabeth gathered their children and belongings and followed Jabez from Madison, to Iowa, Madison, crisscrossed the country from Madison to Minnesota, on to California and back. Always together.

I ponder on their lives. A dedicated husband and father and a wanderer. How did that come about? Ah, his grandparents, James P. and Mary Burns McPherson, too were wanderers. In 1842, barely in their twenties the two, sailed from Dundee, Scotland to New York City. They could have raised their family in the immigrant-laden city, but chose to save and scrimp and travel up the Hudson, through the Erie Canal, then across the Great Lakes to Milwaukee. Springdale, Wisconsin was their destination and it was there J. P McPherson and his wife hewed out their home, farm and life. Then their nine children, wanderers too, spread to Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, Canada, Washington, Oregon and California. Always looking afar, unafraid of change. T'is in the blood.

~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


  1. Don't you admire the courage and adventurousness our pioneer ancestors showed, wherever they were. You captured their story so well. I hope your writing projects are progressing smoothly.

  2. Beautifully done, as always. Keep telling stories, you are so good at it!.

  3. Pauleen and Carol, so glad you liked my little bit about the wanderers --- "a wandereing man" and "the wanderers" are phrases that have floated in and about the workings of my mind of late.
    Thanks again for reading and commenting.

  4. Very nicely done, Joan! I'm so glad you took up the challenge. It's probably the most difficult (for most people) topic I've chosen for the COG. As usual, your words flowed almost melodically. A pleasure to read. Thanks for participating in the COG!

  5. Jasia,
    thank you for the kind words. I loved the topic, but wish I had gotten started earlier as I would have done a flash history for each of my mothers parents as well. Keep us on our toes, Jasia. It's good for us.

  6. Joan,
    You told a great story; love the use of the "wandering" theme.

    Also, thanks for the comment