Monday, February 25, 2013

Family History Writing Challenge Day 25 - Oh How They Worked, Occupations Part One


The occupations that our ancestors followed are many and varied.  There are the ones from the rural areas and ones pursued in the cities.  There are even those who left the farms and journeyed to the cities for employment.

Oloff Hanson left Sweden and became a fisherman in Michigan City, Indiana and served in the Union Army before moving his family to Chicago where he became a laborer. One of his daughters would later found a candy factory in Chicago.  His granddaughter Mable would marry the grandson of two other immigrants from Sweden.  

Leopold Peterson and Carolina Neilsson both left Sweden for Boston, Massachusetts where they met and married in 1873.  Leopold was a carpenter and cabinet maker in Boston.  By 1880 they had relocated to Chicago where Leopold worked as a car builder for the Pullman Company.  One of his sons followed in the Pullman tradition and another became a policeman for the Chicago Park District.

Robert Ferguson left Edinburg, Scotland about 1660 and settled in Charles Parish, Virginia.  According to some reports he was reputedly a lawyer.  In Virginia he became a land owner and farmer of sorts.  The family moved over time traveling from Virginia, to South Carolina, then to Indiana and ultimately ending their journey in Jasper County, Illinois.  Not every family member completed each move so there are members of this family scattered over several states.  The members of the Illinois settlers were also farmers until the 1920s when they began migrating to the cities in search of more reliable income.  This family also provided soldiers in every war beginning with the War for Independence.

Arriving in the United States much later, Frederich and Johan Sempsrott landed in Cincinnati, Ohio about 1845 and married Anna Steinfort there before moving to Ripley, Indiana learning to farm.  When Frederich first arrived he had been trained as an apprentice cigar maker.  In 1863 the family moved further west and settled in Jasper County, Illinois where they continued to farm.  Once again family members began moving to the cities around 1920 for a better life. 

It was 27 Mar 1920 that the Ferguson and Sempsrott families would merge with the marriage of Murl Ferguson and Naomi Sempsrott.  Shortly after the marriage the couple would move to Chicago where work for the railroad was available. Murl’s half-brother Byrl would leave the farm to find work on the railroad thereby continuing the move to the city.  There are still descendants of each family in Jasper County, Illinois and some may very well still be farming and I suspect they are working some of the same lands their ancestors farmed in the 1860s.

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