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Saturday, January 25, 2020

Benjamin Franklin Bonnell Family Bible



Recorded in this bible are births, deaths and marriages in the families of Benjamin Franklin Bonnel and wife Parthenia Petray., their ancestors as well as her descendants. The entries are obviously written by several different people.

Denise Nelson, a descendant, kindly shared it with the blog.

Since any transcription is prone to errors from misreading the original text as well as typing mistakes, pleas notify us if a mistake is found.

Page One
George Wilson Petray was born July 9th day in the year 1811 in North Carolina Cabarrus County on Kocky River–
Elizabeth Petray wife of George Wilson Petray was born March 2nd day in the year AD 1807 North Carolina Cabarrus County Kocky River
Was married same plce January 7th 1830
Willis Gay Bonnell was married to Edith Haskell in Petaluma
Dora Cornelia Bonnel was married to George Harrison in Gilroy Dec 1890
Mary Elizibeth Bonnel was married to Robert Einfast in Gilroy June 1891
Martha Ann Bonnel was married to Frank Shore in Tres Pinos.
Franklin Calvin Bonnel was married to Edna Bule Green in Hollister Nov. 23 1898.
Parthenia Einfort maried to Duncan Onsal 19-- Two children Lewis & Dan San Jose Calif.

Page Two
Ransom Alexander Petray was born July 9th 1831 in Illinois Washington County on Crooked Creek.
Mary Ann Petray was born April 1st day A.D. 1839 in Arkansas Pope County on Illinois Bio
Parthenia Petray was born October 10th in Arkansas Pope County Illinoia Bio
Anita Belle Bonnel married Joseph Bell Hammon  Nov 11, 1922
Gail Gladys Bonnel married Herbert Williamson 1932 Separated 1937
Dorothy Claire Bonnel married Joseph Erla Doan Aug 12 1925
Edna Belle Hammon Dec 31, 1925 Born in Oakland, Calif
Dorothy Marie Doan Aug 23, 1927 Hollister, California
Jerry Erle Doan July 2, 1926 born in the same room his mother was born in 343 7th St. Hollister, Calif.
Benjamin Hammon married Mary Lou Wyman Aug 1957 Sueto, Calif.
Patricia Jane Morgan born Jan 10 1954 Sacramento California
Michael Gary Morgan born June 16-1952 Sacramento, California

Page Three
Nathaniel Bonnel settled on Long Island.
original Bonnel came from Brussels Belgium France
B.F. Bonnel was born April 25th 1835 in Howard County Md
An arrow from his name points to Fsther Joseph Bonnel married Martha McGrath
B.F. Bonnel was married to Clara Kirkpatrick Jany 1st 1863 in Healdsburg Sonoma County Cal.
Willie Gray Bonnel was born Oct 1 1863 in Healsburg.
Clara Kirkpatrick wife of B.F. Bonnel died Decemer 11th 1863
B.F. Bonnel was married to Parthenia Petray April 26th 1865 In Windsor Sonoma County Calif
Mary Elizabeth Bonnel was born Aug 21 1866 in Windsor Sonoma County CalDied Nov '38
Dora Cornelia Bonnel was born March 20th 1868 in Windsor Sonoma County Cal
Martha Ann Bonnel was born Jany 9th 1871 in Santa Clara Valey San Br. County Died Feb 4 1926
Franklin Calvin Bonnel was born May 17th 1873 in San Buena Ventura County California Died Santa Cruz May 12 1944
Charlotte Harrison was born in Feb San Francisco Calif
Martha Ann Shore was born Nov 13 1899 in Hollister, Calif.
Anita Bule Bonnel was born Jan 31 1900 in Hollister, Calif.
Dorothy Elaine Bonnel was born Feb 22 1902 in Hollister, Calif
Pauline Bonnel was born Feb 29, 1902 in Petaluma, Calif. Died 1984
Parthenia Einfast was born July 24 1904 in Gilroy Calif Died San Jose Ca 1986
Evelyn Shore was born 1907 Hollister, Calif. Jan 16
Gail Gladys Bonnel was born Jan 28 1911 in Hollister Calif
George Bonnel Shore was born Hollister, Calif Aug 2nd 19 (rest is torn off)
Edna Belle Bonnel wife of Franklin Bonnel died Santa Cruz 1948 May 14th

Page 4
G.W. Petray Died Oct 26th 1867 In Windsor, Sonoma County, Calif.
Elizabeth Petray Died March 18th 1881 in her 75 year in Hollister San Benito Co, Cal.
Newspaper Clipping:
DIED
Petray–In Hollister, March 18, 1881, Mrs. Elizabeth Petray, mother of Mrs. B.F. Bonnel, aged 74 years.
Willie Gray Bonnel died 1905 Hollister, San Benito Co., Calif.
B.F. Bonnel Died Jan 31, 1910 In Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Co., Calif.
Parthenia Petray Bonnel Died Oct 1925 in Oakland Alameda Co, Calif age 90 yrs.
Martha Ann Bonnel Shore Died Feb 5 1926 in Hollister, San Benito Co, Calif. Age 55 yrs.
Frank Shore Died 1938 died Accidental death.
Franklin Calvin Bonnel died May 14 1944
Edna Bule Bonnel died May 12 1948
Dorothy Bonnel Fauburge died July 1st 1958 California
Joseph Bell Hammon Died Mar. 27, 1976 Sacramento, Calif.
Martha Shore Hill Died June 1980 Hollister Calif
Aileen Gail Frere Born Mar 4 1946 S.F. Co Mother Gail Gladys Frese Father Lloyd B. Frese
Gai Brese Feb 28 1989 Died–

Page 5 Newspaper Clipping from The Gilroy Telegram Nov. 25, 1898
Bonnel Wedding Recounted Upon 35th Anniversary
Brilliant Affair Was Highlight of Social Life.
Thirty-five years ago today F. C. Bonnel, popular young Hollister dentist, and Miss Edna Nelle Briggs were united in marriage at one of the prettiest weddings ever to take place here.
Tonight Dr and Mrs. F.C. Bonnel, will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary with a dinner for members of their family and relations at their home on Seventh street.
An interesting account of the Bonnel-Briggs wedding is given in the November 25, 1893 edition of the Evening-Press Lance.
It follows in part.
"The wedding march was played by Miss Nellie Wentworth. Miss Lillian Rea of Gilroy was bridesmaid and N.C. Briggs, Jr. was best man.
"The bride was charmingly clad in an exquisite gown of white silk orandie, lace and inseerting over white taffeta silk and carrying in her hand a bridal bouquet of white carnations and maiden-hair fern.
"Mr. and Mrs. Bonnel were the recipients of a larga number of handsome wedding presnts.
"Following is a list of invited guests: Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Bonnel, Mr. and Mrs. F.E. Shore, Mr. and Mrs. R.G. Einait, Mr. and Mrs. George Harrison, Mr. and Mrs. N. C. Briggs, Mr. and Mrs. J.R.N. Bell, Mrs. Ella Taylor, Mrs. S.F. Jackson, Mr. and Mrs. Will Henry Jackson; Mr. and Mrs. Quivolo, Jackson; Mrs. Bradley, A. Barton and mother, Mr. and Mrs. R.A. Petray and family, Healdsburg; Mr. and Mrs. Petray, Livermore; Mrs. Bert Partridge and J. S. Harley and family, San Buenaventura; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Schackelford.
"Misses Maude Swan, and Gertie McCloskey, Leah Cox, Amy Breen, Lottie Robers, Guadaloupe; Anna Thomas, Ada Hatch, Flossie Bassignano, Nonie and Myrtle Lathrop, Susie Moore, Miss Conover, Carrie and Addie Hamilton, Dille Clark, Minne Pearce, Rilla Sherman, Jeannette Boyns, Belle Owens, Oakland; Daisy Littlefield, Jackson; Hattie Mills, Lillie Henry, Nellie Wentworth, Nellie Swan, Bertha Shonson, Belle Mitchel, Ada Duncan and Lillian Res.
"Messers John Patterson, J.M. Button, Louis Phillips, Frank Powell, L. Green, R. Green, Los Gatos; N. C. Briggs, Jr., Armand Briggs, Dr. Pliss, San Francisco; Will Bonnel, Julie Schemmell, Gilroy; W.Townsend, W.P. Breen, E. Sherman, Frank Blessing, Claude Hendricks, Sidney Ware, Peter Breen and Richard Flint."



Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Kentucky Farris-Bunnell Connection

George Farris, one of the blog's biggest supporters, sent some comments regarding his personal special interest in the Kentucky Joseph Bunnells. They are fascinating and worthy of sharing since many of us can relate to what he says about names repeating in families. In my family the name Marion has been used for generations for both men and women, including an uncle, my mother, daughter and a niece, with its origin traced back to the McClellands settling in Marion County, Illinois.

George writes: 

The name Joseph Bunnell/Bonnell has been a key to my own research regarding my Bunnell ancestry at two key points.  

First, my great-grandfather died before I was born but I knew that his name was Joseph Bunnell Farris. My grandfather was also named Joseph and I inherited Joseph as my middle name.  But no one in my family knew where the Bunnell middle name came from.  

When I became interested in genealogy I soon found that my Farris line was the hardest one to track and it took me many years to make much progress on it.  When I finally was able to zero in on the Farrises in Green County Kentucky in the early 1800s, I became aware of the Bunnells around them (Jeremiah and Peter in Barren/Hart County and William Jr. in Hardin County), but still had no indication of any connection with them.  

The second point occurred years later, when I found a document that sparked a new interest in the Bunnells.  

While I was researching Mercer County records at the Kentucky Archives, I uncovered a Circuit Court record from 1802. William Farris, my 3rd great-grandfather and John Farris, his brother, had filed assault charges against a man in Mercer County.  The interesting aspect to me was finding the witnesses listed included Joseph Bunnell, William Bunnell (Jr.), and Williams Bunnell's wife Mary.   

One of the few children of William Bunnell, Sr. for whom we have documented evidence of the relationship through the marriage bond is Anne Bunnell Farris who married John Farris in Albemarle County, VA in 1785. 

That circuit court document spiked my interest in pursuing the Kentucky Bunnells and led me to conclude that Mary Bunnell must have been my 3rd great grandmother, William Farris's wife, sister to John Farris's wife Anne.  Since then DNA matches have provided further confirmation of it. 
As we began to list the presumed children of William BunnellSr., interesting pattern emerged.  It became clear that almost all of the children of William and Mary/Polly Farris were named after her Bunnell siblings–including my great-great-grandfather Jeremiah Farris, his brother David, and a younger brother Joseph Bunnell Farris born at the time they lived in Green County, Kentucky.  

Those three, among others, later lived in Fulton County, Illinois, and were three of the Mounted Rangers from Fulton County who were involved in the Battle on Sycamore Creek in Ogle County, Illinois, on May 14, 1832, during the Black Hawk War. (Later it was branded as "Stillman's Run" or Stillman's Defeat.) Twelve of the men of that company were killed in the battle — including Joseph B. Farris.  

Ten of those killed were buried the next day in a mass grave at the battle site by a company from Sangamon County that included Abraham Lincoln. This was the first of several encounters between Jeremiah Farris and Abraham Lincoln (but that's another story). George writes more about this fight and his family's reported relationship with the future president in his columns found here.

A battle monument was erected in 1901 and there are individual monuments for the ten Rangers (photos from Wikipedia).

A few months later Jeremiah and Rosanna Farris had a son and named him Joseph Bunnell Farris after his recently deceased uncle.  He was my great grandfather–which brings us back to the beginning of this summary and my first point.


Friday, November 15, 2019

Margaret Watson Cooke's Photo Album Has Many Bonnells

Several years ago I took advantage of Ancestry's free scanning at the Southern California Genealogy Society's Jamboree and had my great-aunt Margaret's photo album scanned. I then posted it online at WeRelate.org, after identifying as many people in the photos as I could.

When Margaret Watson was almost 12 in 1911, one of her' Christmas presents was a Brownie camera, She took many photos of family and friends in her hometown of Barry, Pike County, Illinois. In the photo albums she created she usually identified people.

Thinking this might be a wonderful resource for folks researching family in Barry, I put it online at WeRelate.org.

I was looking at it today and realized there were many Bonnells in the pictures, and I'd never publicized it. Margaret's mother was a Bonnell and her many siblings and cousins had their photos taken when they visited Barry.

So here's a link to Margaret's albums. I hope some of you find photos of someone in your line.
Margaret Watson Cooke's Photo Album, Barry, Illinois 1911-1913

Monday, October 7, 2019

Bunnell House Wins 2019 Best of Winona Award!

Charlie Bunnell forwarded this for posting. Isn't it wonderful?


It is our pleasure to inform you that Bunnell House has been selected for the 2019 Best of Winona Awards in the category of Museum.

For details and more information please view our website:


2019 Best of Winona Awards - Museum


If you are unable to view the link above, please copy and paste the following into your web browser:


http://winona.2019AwardAdvisory.net/s6b5qdra_BUNNELL-HOUSE 


Best Regards,
Winona Business Recognition 


Friday, September 27, 2019

Bunnell/Bonnell Newsletters Are Now Free

Here's a great announcenent from Charlie Bunnell.

The Bunnell/Bonnell Newsletters are now available to the public at no charge. Go to www.bunnellfamily.com and select Newsletter. Then scroll down that page to the link to the index. Alternatively, go to www.bunnellfamily.com/newsletters.php. Enjoy.

How cool is this?

Thanks, Charlie, for all you did as editor of the newsletter as well as this news..



Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Revolutionary War Soldier John Bonnell

Steve Bonnell has been compiling information on all the John Bonnells who fought in the Revolutionary War. At present he's aware of five:
  1. John 1 died 1845 Waterford Twp, Erie County, PA
  2. John 2 died 15 Dec 1817 Springfield Twp, Essex Co., NJ
  3. John 3 died 1 April 1823 Harrison Co, VA
  4. John 4 died 21 Aug 1808 Screven Co, GA
  5. John 5 died 184X Berlin, Wayne Co, PA
He created a matrix to compare the information he's found can be found here: Revolutionary Soldiers John Bonnell.

If any of our readers have information on these or other John Bonnells, please share it with Steve.

His main focus is tracking down the Bonnell line from John 1, who migrated through Lancaster, Lycoming, then Erie counties in Pennsylvania. His origin is not known, but many circumstances suggest Ireland. Present Y-DNA Tests SHOW that this Bonnell Line is NOT related to the majority of Bonnell-Bunnell Folks in the country! However, the tests do show that the lines of each of the 4 sons ARE related to each other.

Steve’s website can be found here: http://kbsb.com/bonnelltree/. It features, among many other things:

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Why This Blog Exists

Recently it has come to my attention that new readers may be unfamiliar with the reasons this blog was created and its purpose. I am republishing our very first blog post of Sunday, March 29, 2015, in hopes it will encourage family members to submit information for publication and dispersal.


This Bunnell-Bonnell Family Blog was created to share information on the many branches of the Bunnell/Bonnell family tree. It is the child of the Bunnell/Bonnell Newsletter, which was in continuous publication from January 1987 until November 2014–28 continuous years!

Mr. William Austin of Lacyville, PA started the Newsletter in order to share some of the material he had collected during 25 years of research and correspondence. That first issue was 8 pages long. Over the years Bill grew the Newsletter both in content and in subscribers, and he became one of the foremost experts on the Bunnell/Bonnell genealogy.

After 10 years of publishing the newsletter, Bill turned it over to Carole Bonnell and her sister-in-law Teri Bonnell. Their first publication was in January 1997. Like Bill, they published an outstanding Newsletter and provided a much needed forum for Bunnell and Bonnell researchers to share information and ask questions.

Finally, in January 2003, in answer to Carole's and Teri's calls for new editors, Charlie and Pat Bunnell decided to give it a try. Charlie had just retired and was looking for something new to "obsess" over. 

The newsletter ceased publication with the November 2014 issue because no one volunteered to take over for Charlie after he decided to take a well-deserved break.

Every issue of the newsletter is available on Charlie's website at 

The creators of this blog and all Bunnell/Bonnell family researchers owe enormous debts of gratitude to these editors and all who contributed to the newsletter. Thank you for all the information you preserved and shared.

The newsletter had always been an informal, information sharing publication with all of the subscribers recognizing and treating each other as family. We hope this blog will be the same.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Jay H. Bonnell Reminiscence of The Polar Bear Expedition

You Bonnell/Bunnell family members are a wonderful bunch.

One of my correspondents informed me the University of Michigan has digitized and made available online the Jay H. Bonnell typescript I mentioned in my last post.

The Jay H. Bonnell reminiscence of the Polar Bear Expedition to Northern Russia 1918-1919

Addendum: UM's Bentley Historical Library's magazine published a story on the Polar Bear Expedition Bentley Historical Library article The Bentley's magazine has many fascinating articles and I've spent the last three hours enjoying them.

Thank you, University of Michigan.

Addendum: Steven Bonnell has it right. The Jay H. Bonnell #342490 is the man who wrote the reminisces linked above. I found this article on GenealogyBank.com:

Bay City Times, Thursday, 20 February 1919 page 11
From a Bay City Boy in Russia
From Pvt. Jay H. Bonnell, Company A., 310th engineers, Archangel district, Northern Russia, to his wife, Mrs. Jay H. Bonnell, 807 West John street, under date of December 17.
It is getting near Christmas and I am still in Russia. They say the coldest weather here is about 25 degrees below zero, but it is a dry cold and don't seem much colder to feeling than our Michigan winters. I am feeling fine and gaining weight and haven't even had a cold so far this winter. We have plenty of food and clothing, but lack blankets, as I lost one of mine in a battle on the front.
Just received some more letters and about 25 newspapers, and while I am writing this letter the resto f the boys in the car are having a great time reading Bay City news.
We have a Y.M.C.A. car along with us, and if we have rubles we can buy candy, gum, canned stuff, etc. We ride about seven miles back and forth to work in a train. The working hours are short though, as we have only about seven hours of daylight.
A sergeant, corporal and nine men besides myself were let off a boat about 200 miles up the Dvinn river on September 14, and the authorities must have forgotten they sent us, because we were reported missing. On November 10, a corporal and myself were detailed to go to Archangel and get some supplies for the men. We left the others in a little town on the Yosa river, a branch of the Dvinn. It certainly was some trip. It is about 200 miles, and took us four days. We went about 150 miles in a canoe, and then caught a tug the rest of the way to our destination. As soon as we reported to headquarters we were taken off of the missing list. I am now on a railroad front where I can get mail out once in a while.
As far as the army making a man of a person, it depends on the man, for I know some who will come out better men, and some that will not, I am sorry to say. One has to have a strong will to endure the hardships and monotony of this life, for we have had no fighting now for over a month. The men are all anxious to get home and sometimes complain now that the war in France is over. Believe me, I will know how to appreciate home when I get there.

Addendum 2: Life is full of funny connections. The Wednesday 27 March 2019 Wall Street Journal (page A15), contained a revies by Mark Yost of The Polar Bear Expidition by James Carl Nelson (Morrow Publishing). The  4400 soldiers in 339th Infantry were mainly Michiganders, which explains why the University of Michigan has a collection on the expidition. The troops were sent to protect the Allied supplies at Murmansk from capture by the Germans. The arms and materiel had originally been sent there to help in the fight against the Bolsheviks. The review ends "Mr. Nelson quotes Lt. John Cudahy, the son of a wealthy Wisconsin family and America's future ambassador to Belgium and Poland, who summed it up best: 'When the last battalion set sail from Archangel, not a soldier knew, no not even vaguely, why he had fought or why he was going now, and why his comrads were left behind.'"

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Finding Manuscripts in ArchiveGrid

Recently, thanks to an article in Bill Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, I've now heard about ArchiveGrid. I don't understand many of the words on the website's About ArchiveGrid page because I'm neither an academic or an archivist, but I do know the value of a website that allows Boolean searches of manuscript collections at more than 1,000 archives.

I searched for "Bonnell" and 359 results came up. "Bunnell" brought up 610.

To pick a few at random:
Bonnell Harold Stone family papers circa 1980 (University of Georgia–Special Collections Library)  four items: two letters from Mildred Mayo, one addressed to Mr. Campbell, regarding Bonnell and Stone families, and the biography Campbell is writing about Mayo’s father, Bonnell Harold Stone; and two drafts of Bonnell Harold Stone’s biography.
Bonnell Family Photographs ca 1880s-1950s (New Mexico State University-Archives and Special Collections) Photos taken on the Bonnell Ranch ca 1915-1955.
George Bonnell Collection of Your Show of Show Scripts (New York Public Library) My mother's favorite TV show.
Bonnell, Jay H. (University of Michigan–Bentley Historical Library) Reminises 1919 and photo album of the "Polar Bear expedition 1918-1919 

Clicking on the record brings up more information. Naturally I was curious. What the heck is the Polar Bear Expedition. The details say "Member of the 339th Infantry sent to northern Russia during World War 1." Doesn't that sound interesting? There's a record for it in WorldCat, but with much less detail. My son's at the University of Michigan and I asked him to make a copy of the typescript for me if he can. There's a story here.

Those examples have Bonnell in the collection name. Here's some that don't:
Library of Congress–National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections–includes correspondence of Pvt. Richard W. Bonnell serving with Co. I of 101st Ohio Infantry Regiment.
Letters, 1766 Chenevix, Richard 1696-1779 (Yale University)–includes correspondence concerning the disposition of the estate of Jane Bonnell (died 1747).

Other gems include Edith Bonnell's letters about her family's movements during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, as well as many genealogy collections (like William Austin's).

So happy hunting. If you find something write it up and send it to me. We'll share it in a blog post.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Richard Brotherton's Letter on the Children of Benjamin Bonnell

Among the treasures in The William Austin Collection (New England Historic Genealogy Society) is a copy of the letter that settled the question of the parentage of Jacob Bonnell, eldest son of Benjamin Bonnell. I'm descended from Benjamin's son Aaron, step-brother of Jacob. 

NEHGS has granted permission to share these documents, as long as they are cited. If you use this information, be sure and mention them and Bill's collection.

Here's a transcript of the relevant letter and how it was found:

Excerpt from a letter dated 19 January 1921 from Grace Gridley Roscoe, Fremont, Ohio, to Mrs. Addie W. Crawford, Coston, Pennsylvania.
In the desk of Charles (my mother’s father) grandson of Jacob was found a letter from Richard Brotherton, a well known Quaker of Dover, N.J. (Dover histories have his pictures and much praise of him.) Richard Brotherton was a cousin of Charles or his father, at least of cousin of Charles–he addresses him as “Cousin Charles.” This letter seems to have been in answer to a query from “Charles” as to Jacob’s father’s family. The letter says very definitively that Jacob was son of Benj. by a first wife and mentions the children by second wife which tally with those records give as children of Benj. & Rachel Van Winkle. Richard Brotherton knew them personally so we treasure this letter as the only known evidence of such a marriage…Had it not been for the love of family history fostered by the husband of the granddaughter to whom the desk descended by her acquiring the old home, this letter would have been thrown out with other papers and it was not until I was well started  “leading no where” that a second cousin of mine living in Washington D.C., who for years lived in New Jersey, found we were both climbing the same tree and told me how she had heard of this letter. I went there, copied it and took it to a notary for him to acknowledge as a copy of original.…
To go back to Benj., a younger son–half brother of Jacob…whose age was more like Jacob’s son Henry, took up land across the road from Henry and that land is now in our line possession. In fact I at one time owned some of it but it now belongs to a gandson of Charles. Descendants from this son of Benj. come about sixty miles to our Reunion.

Copy of a Letter Written by Richard Brotherton of New Jersey to Captain Bonnell of New York
Dover, 11th mo, 28th 1855
Cousin Charles
Thine of the 10th instant came duly to hand, as touching the object of thy inquiry. Benjamin Bonnell lived in this neighborhood, Jacob was a son he had by his first wife. Henry was Jacob’s only son. Benjamin had a second wife. By her he had five sons, namely Aaron, David, Nathaniel, Simeon, and Benjamin. Simeon died when a young man,,Benjamin I never knew,–therefore, I suppose he died before my time. Aarom removed to Redstone, Pennsylvania, about sixty six 66’ years ago. his two oldest sons Moses and Henry, each came back and spent one year Moses returned to Redstone and I had a letter informing me of his decease near 38 years ago. Henry went from here to upper Canada and settled at Pickering, a younger one by the name of William was afterwards out with a view of going to Redstone but settled in the upper part of Virginia. When he left here he had two sons, Thomas and John. Nathaniel settled at Waterloo. He had four sons Simeon and William are both deceased. Darius Nathaniel both went with their Father to York State. The personal property of Elizabeth Vail is not yet settled, but they expect to have it settled soon, which when done I will attend to. I should like to know if thy Mother is yet living, if so, of her welfare.
Richard Brotherton
to Charles Bonnel
Mrs. Ellen C. Barton (copyist)
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 2nd day of Jan 1920. Jacob Brooks, Notary in and for Seneca Co., N.Y.

Here are images of all the pages on Benjamin Bonnell Sr.
















Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The William Austin Collection at the New England Historic Gealogical Society.

Bill Austin has done the Bunnell/Bonnell family a great service. 

After his definitive book, The Bunnell/Bonnell Family in America, was published, he donated all his papers to the New England Historic Gealogical Society. The William Austin Collection, as NEHGS named it, is safe in its archives.

I live on the other side of the country from Boston, so all my requests were made through e-mail. Timothy Sails in Special Collections assigned Archivist Judy Lucey to help me. I wanted Bill’s copy of the Hatfield Bible, the source for all the birth & marriage dates for my branch. All I have is a transcription and hoped Bill had a copy of the original page.

Ms Lacey not only found what I’d requested, she asked if I wanted copies of Bill’s files on my Bonnell branch. Of course I did. She also read through those files and located other documents mentioned in them. One item was a letter from my great-great-Uncle William Wayland Bonnell.

For a modest copying fee (40 cents a page, with 50 pages free to NEHGS members), I received a treasure trove via e-mail.

When I opened the first file I gasped. There was my great-aunt Margaret’s handwriting on the stationary she always used. She was my paternal grandfather’s sister and one of my favorite relatives. For ten years she and Bill corresponded about Aaron Bonnell’s branch. Margaret’s mother was the granddaughter of Aaron's son Moses.

Among the treasures was Margaret’s first version of her compiled genealogy, the letter from her uncle mentioned above and an 1855 letter that resolved the parentage of Aaron’s father.

I’ve spent two weeks now taking it all in. 

Thank you, Bill Austin, for the meticulous research you did and for donating your papers to NEHGS. 


Thank you, Judy Lucey, for being a true research assistant, not just a copyist.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Midwest Genealogy Center's indexed US Railroad Retirement Board Pension Claims

The Midwest Genealogy Center has indexed US Railroad Retirement Board Pension Claims for 1936-2010. With the information obtained from the indexed record you can order the complete file. The site even tells you how to do it.

Many years ago I acquired a copy of my husband's paternal grandfather, and what a treasure trove it was. Besides containing a complete employment record of his years working for various railroads, it included his wife's death certificate as well as copies of his birth, death and marriage certificates.

I did a quick search of Bonnel/Bunnell names, and found many. The search results include last name, first name initial, birth and death dates, so you need to know something about the person you are searching for so you find the right record.
Some names in the database have been truncated to five characters, to BONNE or BUNNE for example. 
You can explore these records for yourself at Search Midwest Genealogy Center Online Collections There are several other interesting collections there as well.

Let us know if you find anything helpful.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Clement Milton Bonnell III Passed Away November 23

A long, long time subscriber to the Bunnell-Bonnell Newsletter, Clement Milton Bonnell III, passed away November 23, 2018. His son Henry was kind enough to send his obituary to Charlie Bunnell so it could be posted here. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Clement Milton Bonnell 3rd
June 9, 1931 – November 23, 2018


Clement Milton Bonnell 3rd died peacefully at 12:15 am on November 23, 2018, at Merit Hospital in Biloxi, MS, from complications of pneumonia. He was there to attend a family reunion in his late wife's hometown.  

He had met his wife of 52 years, Alyne Lucille Eisendrath Bonnell, there at Keesler Air Force Base in 1954 and married her in 1956.

Mr. Bonnell was born in Somerville, NJ, on June 9, 1931, to Clement Milton Bonnell, Jr., and Doris Elizabeth Bush Bonnell of Plainfield NJ.  

He was a 1953 graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken NJ, with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering. He was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and manager of the basketball team.  He and 18 Sigma Nu fraternity brothers held annual gatherings for 50 years beginning 1963, in locations including Arizona, Alabama, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.  

In 1995, he retired from Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ, as a facilities engineer. Earlier he served as plant engineer at Ideal Toy Corporation in Newark, NJ, and held various engineering positions of increasing responsibility at Rexham Corporation, Flemington, NJ, Reigel Paper Corporation, Milford, NJ, and Rayonier Paper Corporation, Jesup, Ga.  

He served as an Air Force logistics officer in the Korean War with on-ship duties in the Pacific Ocean and tours in Seoul in 1954-1955. In his retirement, he was an avid volunteer for more than 20 years for Habitat for Humanity and on went various house-building missions with the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, PA. He traveled to Iowa, Mississippi, and Texas to help rebuild homes damaged in flooding and hurricane disasters. He was a trustee of the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, PA.
He was a member of the Sons of the Revolution and an avid researcher of genealogy, having traced the Bonnell family roots from their departure from Southampton, England, to New Haven, CT, in 1638. He also traced the Eisendrath roots to Dorsten, Germany, where he and his wife represented the American Eisendrath branch in a global reunion of several hundred family members in 1997.

He is survived by his sons, William (Joan) Bonnell and Henry (Haruyo) Bonnell; daughter, Elaine Bonnell; grandsons, James Bonnell and Daniel Sobey; and granddaughters, Melody Sobey and Joy-Beth Sobey.  
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Merit Hospital for their compassion, caring and kindness during his illness.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 29, 6-8 PM, at Rupell Funeral Home, 465 Memorial Parkway, Phillipsburg, NJ.  

Services will be held on Friday, November 30, at 11 am at Grace Church, 521 East Locust St., Bethlehem, PA. Burial will be at the Grandin Presbyterian Church, Pittstown, NJ, at 2 pm.  

Flowers can be arranged through Rupell Funeral Home via the website at: wwwcid:image003.jpg@01D48597.E868DF90  or by calling (908) 859-4471.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Bonnells in the transcribed Southern Revolutionary War Pension Application website

I'm taking the DAR courses on genealogical records and having a ball. So much information is shared on the class forums.

Today I learned about a fabulous website:

Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters

It's goal is to publish transcriptions of every Revolutionary War Pension Application FREE. The work is done by volunteer contributors.

It grabbed me right away with it's notice at the very top of the home page that the ads on its site are placed there by Google Ads and generate a small amount of revenue to help offset the site's expenses, BUT are not to be construed as endorsed by the site owners. I thought that was useful information. I admit to clicking on the book that was advertised because it looked interesting.

But I digress. The pension for Alexander Bonny (Bonnell) was posted. The transcription includes a link to the original image.

Other transcriptions include the pension application for John Bunnell W6222

I found the transcription for one of my husband's ancestors on the site, saving me considerable work.

There's more to the pension files than the application, but this site is still a treasure.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Where did the Bunnells live in Mercer County, Kentucky?

Here is the answer to the second question George Faris attempted to answer in his December 2017 report.

Where did the Bunnells live in Mercer County, Kentucky?

Now that the Mercer tax lists and some other records are available on-line I've spent some time in analyzing the tax lists to see if any further information might be discerned from them.  One of my questions has been where the Bunnells actually lived and who they might have worked for - since they didn't own any land of their own.   

The early 1800 s tax lists included the date on which each individual was listed. (Later tax lists combine all of the districts in alphabetical order and do not include a date.) It becomes fairly clear where the Bunnells were located when looking at the dates when they were listed each year from 1799 through 1805 and searching for others listed on the same dates in those years in the same district. 

Except for Jonathan, who appears to have lived apart from the others in a different commissioners district, all of the Bunnells as well as John Farris and Joseph Lyon were always listed on the same day, e.g., June 14, 1799; June 27, 1800; July 22, 1801, etc.   There were only a few others in the same district who were always listed on the same day and what stands out is that the primary landowner who was always listed on the same day as the Bunnells was David Williams.  David owned one of the largest plantations in Mercer County - 1190 acres on Shawnee Run. (He also owned additional  property totaling about 500 acres in Gallatin and Henderson Counties.)  It seems clear that the Bunnell families lived and worked on David Williams' plantation from 1799 - 1805.  

Jonathan Bonnell was married in 1799 to Rebecca Dean and apparently lived with the Thomas Dean family which was listed in a different district even though the Dean property was only about 2 miles north of the Williams plantation. 

However, Samuel Bunnell, who was also married in 1799, apparently lived and worked on the Williams plantation with the others until after the others moved on after 1805. Samuel later relocated to property on Rocky Run about 4 miles farther north and near the Kentucky River. 

Joseph Lyon was also with the Bunnells through the 1801 tax list. He then apparently moved to Barren County and later to Green and finally to Hardin County. 

John Farris was always listed along with the William Bunnell family through the 1805 tax list. 
John Bunnell appears only on the 1800 and 1801 tax lists and there seems to be no further information regarding him. 

William Bunnell, Jr. first shows up on the 1801 tax list. 

Jeremiah Bunnell shows up only on the 1804 list in Mercer County. 

After 1805 the only Bunnells remaining in Mercer County were Jonathan, Samuel who, after 1815, remained on the same 75 acre property on the waters of Rocky Run for the rest of his life, and Joseph who lived across the Kentucky River in Jessamine County where he was married to Martha “Patsy” McGrath, a daughter of Bryan McGrath, on July 3, 1813. Joseph may have worked on the large Mason Singleton farm near Keene – since he named one son Mason Singleton Bonnell. Joseph also lived for a short time in adjoining Madison County, where he is listed in the 1830 census and in the 1830 tax list, before ultimately moving to Howard County, Missouri, before 1835. 

After Thomas Dean died, Jonathan Bonnell is listed with 47-1/2 acres on Shawnee Run until 1821 before moving to Indiana. 

The Bunnell descendants who still remain in Mercer County appear to be descendants of Samuel. In some of the later tax years Samuel's apparent sons, William, Benjamin, Samuel, Jr., James S., and Archibald were listed and were probably still living in the same area. 

The Samuel Bunnell property was apparently on the north side of the Rocky Run drainage near Cummins Ferry Road. Numerous Samuel Bunnell descendants are buried in the cemetery at Ebenezer Church of Christ at the intersection of Cummins Ferry and Oregon Roads. The earliest Bunnells listed with marked graves there were born in the 1840s and were grandchildren of Samuel. The church was established in the 1830s and it's likely that Samuel and some of his children are buried there but there are no surviving markers for them.

Who was David Williams and where was his plantation in Mercer County?

Since the Bunnells were associated with David Williams and his plantation it's of interest to know who he was and where it was located. David was born and raised in Frederick/Hampshire County VA.  He was born in 1750 in what is now Grant County, WV and his father was killed there in 1756 during the French & Indian War and his mother remarried to Peter Casey.  David later migrated to the Lost River area of what is now Hardy County near it's eastern edge where he became acquainted with the Robert Denton family and married Sarah Denton, daughter of Robert, in 1768.  That same year, Robert divided his land and sold 160 acres each to two of his sons and to David, his son-in-law, and the rest to another person.  He then migrated to the Watauga settlement in what is now Tennessee along with another son.  David and Sarah sold their 160 acres in 1771 

In 1774 David was with Capt. James Harrods group that traveled down the Ohio to the Kentucky River and up it to the area that is now Mercer Co. and started to establish a settlement there.  They were interrupted by Lord Dunmore's War and abandoned the settlement to join in that endeavor.  But they arrived at Point Pleasant a few hours after the battle there had ended.  Early the next year they returned to Kentucky and built the fort at Harrodsburg as well as numerous cabins throughout the area.  David remained there until 1776 when he returned to Hardy County - where he then enlisted and was a in much of the action and the hard winters of 1776 and 1777 with Washington's troops in NJ and PA. He was discharged in 1781 as a 1st Lieutenant in the 8th Virginia Continental Line.  

When David and his family returned to Kentucky in about 1785 they established the plantation there on land that had been originally claimed by David's stepfather Peter Casey adjacent to the land owned by Sarah's brother Thomas Denton. There were several "stations" along Shawnee Run - one belonging to Thomas Denton and an adjacent one owned by David Williams that show up on the lists and maps of pioneer stations in that area.  From these we can pinpoint the location.  Hugh McGary's Station was described as being within 100 yards of Shawnee Springs; David Williams' Station was 0.9 miles north of McGary's and Thomas Denton's Station was east of Williams' Station.  There is a historical marker for Denton's Station located at 986 Curry Pike.  So David Williams' property was the area north of Shawnee Run between two branches of the stream about a mile north of Shawnee Springs which is easy to locate via Google Maps.

David Williams and Sarah Denton had at least 6 children before her death sometime before1790.  David married Jane Jones in 1790 in Mercer County and they apparently had 2 children.  He married Eleanor Higgins in 1799 and they apparently didn't have children.  In one of the Dean court cases in 1801 David acknowledged that he had fathered 2 children with Elizabeth Dean, daughter of Leven Dean, and agreed to pay Elizabeth for their support.  David died in 1831 in Mercer County.