Genealogy: Family Histories
Background Information by Mike Reilly
October 17, 2004 Updated 06/06/2010
This family history results from a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Waukesha County section article, Sunday, October 3, 2004, "Detective work seeks tombstone resolution", and its' follow-up story, "Cemetery mystery mostly laid to rest", Sunday, October 10, 2004.
The first reveals how John Scott Pearce, Jr. finds a cemetery marker for a Eva May Connell in his Huntington Beach, California garage. The well-preserved stone had EVA MAY in relief along one edge. On a flat side was chiseled: "Dau. of J. F. & C. Connell Died Aug. 27, 1893. Aged 1 yr. 10 d's". After some internet research, and later discussion with Waukesha County and Menomonee Falls Historical Societies, the headstone found its' way back to Wisconsin.
In the second article, genealogist and Connell ancestor Jean Guthrie Linton shed some light on the headstone mystery. Her grandfather was John A. Connell. John J. Connell was John A.'s first cousin, and the baby girl was his. Jean believes that an old newspaper article mistakenly attributed the dead girl to John J. A further mystery is why a later headstone is marked MAY EVA, which she thinks resulted from a stone cutter's error (the first stone) , and was never used. How the headstone got to California? Jean reasons that a relative took it along as a remembrance.
The Connell family originally settled in Washington County's Town of Germantown, between 1843-1846, with a son, Francis, moving to the Town of Lisbon, sometime before 1860. His brother Samuel, moved there later as he's listed in the 1870 Federal Census. A 1873 Plat map of the Town of Lisbon shows Francis and Samuel each owning approx 90 acres of the Northeast Quarter of Section 1; apparently some additional acreage across the county may have been included (a quarter section is 160 acres). They also own 20 acres each in the SE corner of the Northwest quarter of section 1. In addition, Samuel owns 20 acres in the Town of Menomonee's most Section 6 area (the cemetery is located south of this property in Section 6). The 1860 Federal Census also shows that their parents, Richard and Jane (nee Johnson) Connell lived in the Town of Lisbon for a while.
The 1891 Plat shows that the brothers have sold the 20 acres each in Section 1, probably to Wm. Butler, Sr. For Samuel, it no longer shows a residence on his 90+ acres but across the road in Washington County, nor does he own the 20 acres in the Town of Menomonee. Samuel later moved to Waukesha where he died.
The 1891 Plat does show that Frank Connell (possible son of Francis) does own property in the Town of Menomonee; 86 acres in Section 6 and 121 acres in Section 5. There are no Connells listed as residing in the Town of Menomonee in 1880.
The 1930 Plat map of Lisbon shows that only 90 acres is still owned by Samuel (or his family), that of Francis is owned by a Gilbert Swanton. In the Town of Menomonee, the 86 acres is now owned by Florence Connell (possible surviving spouse of Frank or ?. Note: a Florence Connell was married to Wesley Francis Connell. She's the only Florence Connell listed in the 1930 Federal Census), and the 121 acres by a Beverly Orth.