Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

The author doth disclaim too much, methinks!

I happened to find a biographical sketch of Theron Emmons Sedgwick in an 1895 book called Biographical Sketches of the Nebraska Legislature. Theron was Secretary of the Nebraska Senate at the time. Oddly, however, the sketch was entitled, in all-caps format, "HON. TIMOTHY E. SEDGWICK." At first I thought I'd discovered another Sedgwick cousin, but upon reading the bio, I recognized certain facts that, without a doubt, belonged to Theron--his wife Adelaide Thurston, for example.

Who on earth, I wondered, authors a book called Biographical Sketches of the Nebraska Legislature but doesn't know the name of the Secretary of the Senate? Quickly I turned to the title page but it didn't satisfy my curiosity, so I went on to the Preface, which began with a few interesting chatty comments about the history of the state. It concluded this way:
It is the object of this undertaking to give correct sketches of the prominent citizens of Nebraska, contained herein, and, while we do not arrogate to ourselves a degree of accuracy beyond criticism, we hope to have attained a large measure of accuracy in the compilation of the sketches and other matters contained in this history. No expense has been spared in making this volume complete in every detail, although information from some directions was extremely hard to secure, and some who are represented herein caused delay by unintentional carelessness on their part. To all those who favored us we tender our grateful acknowledgments; without their aid this history would have been left buried beneath the debris of time, unwritten and unpreserved. Respectfully,

W. A. HOWARD. Lincoln, Neb., February, 1895.

Oh, dear reader! You don't suppose Theron "caused delay by unintentional carelessness," do you? Could it have been his direction from which information "was extremely hard to secure?" Tsk, tsk! It seems to have resulted in, shall we say, unintentional misnaming on the author's part!

The name is Theron . . . not Timothy!

You can read the misnamed biographical sketch directly from the book at My Ancestors in Books, or download a copy of "HON. TIMOTHY E. SEDGWICK" at The Vertical File.

Howard, W. A. Biographical Sketches of the Nebraska Legislature; and National and State Officers of Nebraska. Lincoln, Neb: Press of Jacob North and Co, 1895.

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Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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