|Ray Jerrems with Research by Sandra Walcyk||
This article is one of the "Remember Me" series and tells you about Charles Jerrems, who was born in 1858 in the Utica area in New York State. His ancestors came from Wappenham, described in the JJ of February 2008.
A distinguishing feature of the "Remember Me" articles is that we have located a photograph of the person described.
Much of the information in this article originated from research by Sandra, supplemented by my research.
Charles' Parents and Siblings
Charles' parents were James Jerrems and his second wife Esther Jerrems (nee Colbrook). Charles came from a large "extended family". As described in the JJ of July 2008, James and first wife Ann had 8 children James H, Thomas W., Jessee or Jesse, Elizabeth, Josephine, Rebecca, Emma and Helen. The 3 boys served in the Civil War. Following Ann's death James married the widowed Esther in1853 and in due course they had five children, Mary, born 1853, Anah born 1854 (died 1856), George, born 1856 (died 1859), and lastly our hero Charles, born 1858.
James's third (and final) wife was the widowed Caroline Mayborn, who was born in England in 1822. They had one daughter, Minnie.
Charles' s Perambulations
The family's travels remind me of Lucky Starr's song "I've Been Everywhere". Initially Charles lived in New Hartford (near Utica), where he was born, and then the family moved west to Essex in Illinois. In 1870 he lived in Akron, Illinois (about 200 km west of Essex) with his father, stepmother Caroline and his half sisters Emma, Mary and Minnie. In 1880 James, Caroline and Minnie returned to the Essex area with Minnie only, so Charles (aged 22) had parted company with his family by that time. Most of James's sons had been farmers, so it is likely that Charles started off working on farms and later bought a farm. He married Mary Elizabeth Lyons b1860 in Pennsylvania (whose Irish-born parents were Cornelius Lyons & Helen Cronon) in about 1880
Charles and Mary then spent their married life steadfastly in Iowa, where they merrily moved around comparatively frequently, zig-zagging their way up and down the State as follows: (a) in 1885 they lived in Lincoln (near the northern border of the State) (b) in 1891 they lived in Coin (where William was born), which is near the southern border 224 miles from Lincoln (c) they moved north 112 miles to Liberty for the 1900 Census (with their teenage daughters Caroline, Catherine, Hellena and young William) and the 1910 Censuses (with late-teenage William only) (d) they continued their progress towards the Equator with a period at Mt Ayr (65 miles to the south of Liberty, near the southern border of Iowa) as seen in the photographs, then (e) the 1920 Census shows them taking a minor deviation in a northerly direction by living alone in Main Street, Tingley (12 miles north of Mt Ayr), where at long last they finally retired and stayed until their respective deaths in 1935 (Mary aged 75) and 1940 (Charles aged 82). They now reside in Tingley Cemetery and, as far as I know, have not moved from there.
There were numerous railway lines in Iowa. Coin, Shenandoah, Lincoln and Mt Ayr were on railway lines, but Liberty and Tingley were not, but they were not far from railway lines (about 15 miles). It is therefore likely that the family travelled by rail in its perambulations.
Iowa is a mid-western State to the west of the State of Illinois. It has a higher ratio of rural citizens than most States and its fertile plains give it a strong agricultural base (it is known as one of the food bowls of the US), particularly the growing of crops (predominantly corn) and raising of animals such as cattle and pigs (known as hogs in the US). It produces about a quarter of the hogs in the US.
Education, Financial Position
The 1925 Iowa Census shows that Charles completed rural high school up to "Reader 6", the highest grading being "Reader 8", so he probably attended about 3 years of high school. This was a good standard for a person born in a rural area in the 1850s. Mary completed high school, and attended university or college for one year. It would have been quite exceptional for a woman born in the 1860s to achieve this level.
The Census shows the value of their house at Tingley to be $3,800, without a mortgage (they were 67 and 66 at this stage). Comparing this with other house values shown in the Census this would have been a big house, even though only Charles and Mary lived in it.
In the 1930 Federal Census Charles had reduced his estimate of the value of his house to $3,000, probably as the result of the Great Depression, which was taking hold on the United States.
My conclusion is that they were in a financially "comfortable" position, irrespective of which value was correct.
Charles and Mary had 4 children, Caroline ("Callie") E. Jerrems b1881 , Katherine ("Kate") M. Jerrems b1883, Helena/ Lena Faye Jerrems 1886 - 1931 and William Cornelius Jerrems 1891 - 1926.
William Cornelius Jerrems
Although I have a lot of information about his sisters and their descendants I will concentrate on William because we have a photograph of his grave. He was born in 1891, in Coin, Iowa. A farmer like his father, he married Vera George, whose parents were Charles George & Cornie Zachary, and he died in 1926 at the early age of 35. William and Vera had 3 daughters (1) Kathryn Belle ("Belle") who was born in 1916, and died in 1991. Belle's first marriage was to Thomas Wilfong in about 1932 and they had two sons, William Thomas Wilfong (b 1934 in Shenandoah, Iowa, married Marian Jean Hilty) and Robert Wilfong (b. ?). Second marriage to Morehouse. (2)Helen 1917-1993 (married Kolb) and (3) Mary (1918-1993??) mBattles.
Having had 3 sisters William may have felt a certain degree of "déjà vu" when he had 3 daughters!
William and Vera lived initially in Tingley, 12 miles north of Mt Ayr, where William's parents lived and their daughters were born, and later moved to Shenandoah, 100 km west of Tingley (by coincidence, Shenandoah is only 15 miles from where William was born, so he ended up almost where he was born). After William's death Vera and the children continued to live in Shenandoah (all three daughters lived there during their married life and died there).Vera remarried in Shenandoah, to Elton Parrish (b1888), in 1928.
The mention of the word "Shenandoah" evokes happy childhood memories of the folk song of the same name ("Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you, Away you rolling river, Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you, Away, I'm bound away,'Cross the wide Missouri.") made famous by Paul Robeson and numerous other later singers including Bruce Springsteen. Unfortunately for this article the song probably referred to the Shenandoah River in Virginia, not the town Shenandoah in Iowa. The Iowa town is on the humble Four Mile Creek and its main claim to musical fame is that the Everly Brothers were born there.
The Photographs of Charles, Mary and their
|Donald Jerrems, Publisher, Editor||
Gout and Rheumatoid Arthritis
I would like to survey other members of the Jerrems family tree to see if anyone else suffers from the apparent disease that afflicts me several times per year.
My gout attacks affect me in the foot and wrist. During an acute attack I can only walk at a much reduced pace.
My aunt Eleanor once told me her father (Donald the first) suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis, a disease related to gout.
Please drop me a note if you seem to have the symptoms.
By the way, I take my prescribed medications and tried many home remedies (such as cherries, gin-soaked raisins, etc). I watch my diet closely. I think sweets and alcohol (and dehydration) trigger my gout episodes more than any foods high in purines (spinach and beans for example).
Gout is a kind of arthritis that occurs when uric
acid builds up in the joints.
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