We've been on an adventure of discovery for the last few years as we research our respective family trees. We've made some interesting discoveries and have encountered some mysteries.
Below is a picture of Pat's paternal great-grandfather and great-grandmother. We are still actively seeking any information regarding this family. The information we have currently is that John Ellsworth Johnson married Mary Harriet "Hattie" Smith, in Fayette Co., PA. They lived near Masontown/Woodside,Fayette Co., PA. We have located three children, one of them, Homer, was Pat's grandfather. J. Ellsworth Johnson was the son of John Johnson and Maria Deffenbaugh. Hattie was the daughter of Robert Smith and Sarah Longanecker.
Family tradition says Homer ran away from home as a boy due to a disagreement with his father and may have traveled out west to Washington State. Again tradition states that Pat's Grandmother, Carrie Busse, went by train to Washington State and that is where she met her future husband. We do not know where Carrie was living when she went to Washington State if in fact she did go. The 1910 Census shows her living in Wilkin Co., MN working as a servant. Homer is in Fayette Co with his parents in the 1900 census. In 1910 he is working in Detroit, MI in the auto industry and a boarder. In 1920 Carrie and Homer are married with one son (Pat's father) and living in Detroit
Carrie's parents, William Busse and Sophy Thurnau (also seen as Turner) lived in Will Co., IL and in Fulda, MN and Everdell, MN (according to son William's obituary) where they farmed at or near Breckinridge, Wilkin Co. William's sister Louise and her husband, Henry Wolter, lived in the Breckinridge area at the time.
The 1900 census shows the family in Foxhome, Wilkin Co., MN and William is listed as a hardware dealer. William Busse was alive in 1910 when his mother died at the home of his sister in MN. (This is according to his mother's obituary.) However, in the 1910 census we find Sophy, along with son "Willie", living in a household in Otter Tail Co., MN where Sophy is listed as "Housekeeper". (There are a number of Thurnau families found in Otter Tail but we don't have any connections yet.) Carrie's two sisters, Pauline and Alvina have disappeared and we have been unable to find out what happened to them. Oral family history suggests that "Alvina" died young but she is shown as a 15 year old in the 1900 census. We believe that Pauline married a Mr. Peterson and remained in MN. On our wedding day, my husband and I received a gift of a silver dollar from "Aunt Pauline" in MN. When I asked who this was, my mother reported that "Aunt Pauline" was my Dad's aunt.
We do not know happened to William but Sophia married Charles Kuersten in Lake Co., IN in 1912. They lived out their lives in South Chicago Heights,IL.
Homer Newton Johnson b. 22 Jan 1889 in/near Woodside, Fayette Co., PA married, about 1917, Caroline Alvine Christine Busse b. 21 Aug 1889 in Eagle Lake, IL, daughter of Sophia Thurnau and Wilhelm Busse of Eagle Lake, IL. They lived in Detroit, MI as that is where Pat's father, Robert Frederick Johnson, was born on 8 Apr 1919. They also lived in South Chicago Heights, IL and in Harvey, IL.
Recently (2005), after 20+ years of searching (in all the wrong places!*lol*) the brick wall tumbled and we believe we have found the correct Johnson connection. More work needs to be done but at present we are proposing the following descent: Peter Johnson b. about 1737, possibly at sea, and unknown wife > Peter b. 1762 and Anna Drieslein b. 1764 > David b. 1785 and Mary Magdelena Bixler b. about 1780 > John b. 1830 and Maria/Mariah Deffenbaugh b. 1834 > J. Ellsworth b. 1863 and Mary H. "Hattie" Smith b. 1864.> Homer Newton b. 1889 and Caroline "Carrie" Busse b. 1889 > Robert Frederick b. 1919 and Lois June Hartmann b. 1921. If you have any proven additons or corrections, we would be pleased to have them!