Partially updated January 2013
Genealogy Information for the
Jenners/Obermeyer and Hulka/Chesak Lines
If you cannot open the photos on this page click here to see an alternate version (although it has not been completely updated).
(photo files are gifs rathern than jpgs)
Hello family members,
As some of you know, I began researching family roots in late October. While googling around, I stumbled into the well-documented research of Sue Beach, from Muncie, Indiana. She told me that I was her husband's fourth cousin once removed (a decendent of Saurin Jenner's sister) and promptly emailed the compilation of fifteen years of research (the Jenner's line) to me and only asked that I pass it around to the Jenners side of the family. First she emailed a 72 page document (the last 54 being bibliography) beginning with our own Grandma Obermeyer and going all the way back to 1470 in Horsemondon (County Kent), England. The document goes back 17 generations from my daughters, encompassing ancestors who came to the new world as Puritans to begin new settlements and trade (or fight) with the Indians, or to be an advocate for the "witches" of Salem. Others fought in the very first attack against the British in the Revolutionary War, and another sold land to George Washington to help create the District of Columbia. Still others died horrific deaths in a natural gas explosion. A lot of information to process! Since then she's sent detailed research on eight individuals of this line. These documents can be emailed to you, so just ask and I can send them. I've posted a summary of everything below, sumarizing some things, adding additional info to others. Mary Anthrop (the living one, of course) sent me a document of our Anthrop genealogy which was originally compiled for the 1929 (second annual) Anthrop reunion, along with updates. The reunion is still held every summer in Lafayette, Indiana.In May of 2008 Janet Douglas, one of Great Aunt Jennie's grandaughters lent me an old bible with 19th and early 20th century newspaper clippings and an old photo album with lots of great photos.Some are added to the photos on this page. Thanks Janet!
For the Obermeyer, Hulka and Chesak lines, I have received info from relatives such as (now deceased) Rose Marie Pagel (Great Aunt Blanch Hulka's daughter) through cousin Susie Obermeyer and info from Susie herself, plus a bit of my own research and the research of the Alexandria Virginia Historical Societies' Lisa Adamo (who shares a same grandfather living in this area in the 1700s and founded Alexandria, VA) Dad had taken pictures of a large cache of photos and papers from the Hulka side, so with that, I ran across more interesting images and facts. He put them all on a disk which is available to family members. I also have compiled a 100 page photo book with captions of the Jenners/Obermeyer side, which has photos going back to Grandma Obermeyers mother and back to Henry Obermeyer. If you are interested in purchasing a copy you can do so through MyPublisher.com but you will have to contact me so I can order one or give you the info.This is an ongoing process so feel free to take this information and explore further.
Thank you, Lina Chesak Liberace
If anyone has corrections or additional information, please
Lina (Chesak) Liberace
Or send information or photos to me (I can scan and return them) at:
2826 Chain Bridge Road, Vienna, VA 22181
Grandma Rose Hulka Chesak and
Grandpa Joe Chesak's lines
Grandpa John Obermeyer's line:
The central part of Grandma Alberta (Jenners) Obermeyer's line (the lines further down should be added to the left and right near the top.
You'll have to print this out and splice it together to get the whole picture) The numbers after each name refer to numbers assigned in Sue Beach's research.
Sarah Brown's line. This is still part of Grandma (Jenners) Obermeyer's line so add on to the Jenner's tree above.
Ruth Ann Jackson's line. This is still part of Grandma (Jenners) Obermeyer's line so add on to the Jenner's tree above.
William Young's and Eleanor Birkhead's lines. This is still part of Grandma (Jenners) Obermeyer's line so add on to the Jenner's tree above.
James DeNeale line. This is still part of Grandma (Jenners) Obermeyer's line so add on to the Jenner's tree above
West family tree line. This is still part of Grandma (Jenners) Obermeyer's line. Sybil West married William Scott DeNeale. Her line has a lot of interesting things. Captain Harrison (below) once owned the property my husband and I own and the property my sister owns next door. Some of the West family below (Hugh and Sybil and their daughter Sybil West Carlyle (and her baby) who had been married to the wealthy British Merchant John Carslyle - see "The Carlyle House Historic Park") had their grave vault interred about ten years ago from about two miles from my sister Lisa's house in Alexandria from land which was once one of the West plantations. They were reinterred at the old Pohick Church in Alexandria.
Bibliography for James Deneale Line (this info is not from Sue Beach's research):
Sybil West’s line from a book called “Carter - Mitchell - Weir - Willcoxon and Related Families of Virginia and Maryland”, (Ch 18) based upon research by genealogist Harry Wright Newman. He signed an oath (within the publication) declaring the information is “true and correct to the best of his knowledge and belief” with a D.C. Notary Public, 1953.
DeNeale info (above Captain William Scott DeNeale) from “The DeNeales of Virginia” by Gary Deneale (Mormons have it on microfilm) written sometime mid 20th century, and was from information supplied by the late Jeanette Lashhorn, one of our DeNeale relatives in Illinois. Our grandma (Alberta Jenners) Obermeyer and her two sisters used to be invited to their reunions.
Theodosia Conyers information from “The Paynes of Virginia” page 238 by Brooke Payne, University of Virginia, 1937.
“Innisfail” info from www.innisfail.org and from a folder of info found at the main Fairfax County Library’s “Virginia Room”.
Photo of "Innisfail," a stone house in Fairfax County built by James C. DeNeale (great grandfather x5) in 1771.
It is only a ten minute drive from us and is still standing. The upper floor is said to be inhabited by a "friendly ghost" which watches over the property.
The second image is the survey James made of the property in 1770 by which he realized they owned 552 acres,
rather than the 300 that his wife Theodosia has been willed. Rob and I came close to purchasing two acres of this land in 2001, not realizing it had once been owned by ancestors. On January 15, 2008 the girls and I went to knock on the door but nobody was home. I don't know if it was the thought that one of my grandparents was most likely born there, or whether the "friendly ghost" was trying to tell me something but as I opened the outer door to drop a note behind it, all the hair on my head stood on end!
I have obtained a copy of James DeNeale's handwritten WILL
dated July 1805. To see a copy click here.
This photo is of the Deneals of Illinois (they dropped the e). James C. Deneale (who built the stone house mentioned above) had several sons. We are from His son William. His son James had a son also named James C. pictured above in the chair (b. 1825 d. 1906). He moved to Vermillion County Illinois, the story goes, after he was in the Mexicn War (mid 1800s). He is pictured here with his second wife Harriet McGrannahan. How does this relate to us? Grandma Obermeyer's sisters Jennie and Mary, along with other Jenners family members used to attend "DeNeal" renions with this family (obviously not the older ones since our great aunts came later). Grandma Alberta Obermeyber was on their Roster but never made it over to Illinoia reunions. Photo and info courtesy of Mary DeNeal Beck, a distant cousin living in Illinois.
A couple examples of our ancestors in the censuses...
Grandpa Obermeyer's Grandparents, Paulina and Lucas Hils (spelled wrong below), in the 1860 census
Alois and Marie Hulka (Grandma Chesak's parents) and family in the 1900 census. This was before grandma was born.
Information on our Great (x10) Grandfather, Major Simon Willard
Below is an etching of your great (x10 for my generation) grandfather, Major Simon Willard, an ancestor who came from County Kent, England in 1634. Below the etching is a summery of his life and then, from the "Willard Memoir; Life and Times of Major Simon Willard", 1858, by Joseph Willard is a letter he wrote, before he died, to his "children of all generations."
A summary I put together on his life (pretty amazing stuff):
(Major) Simon Willard (4633)
A letter written by Major Simon
Willard to his children of all generations
From the Willard Memoir; Life and Times of Major Simon Willard, 1858, by Joseph Willard.
This "letter" was probably written by Joseph Willard (a decendent of Simon's) at the time he wrote Simon's memoir in 1858, since it references things that happened after Simon's death.
Simon Willard, born 1606, died 1676.
To my children, - for so I call you, though belonging to different generations, - listen to my words of instruction, warning, and advice.
It is my privilege and my duty to hold converse with you, as I have been constituted by our heavenly Father, the founder of a numerous race on these Western shores. Born before the settlement of Jamestown and Plymouth, and of an age to remember the voyage of the 'Mayflower,' - the news whereof was brought even to my retired village of Horsmonden, - I was permitted to live through an important epoch, when great principles were in discussion, the settlement of which would affect future generations in the establishment of justice and right, or the perpetuation of wrong under the forms of law.
The death of my mother, of blessed memory, when I was too young to know the extent of my loss, and that of a father in my early youth, not, indeed, before remembered words of counsel and affection, but when I needed his protection and guidance, left me exposed to the temptations which invade the humble village as well as the larger resorts of men. But, though assailed, through God's mercy I was saved from falling; and trusting in Him whom I had been in youth taught reverence, I was brought safely through.
My early training was in the church of England; and in the ancient parish church I received in my infancy, the waters of baptism by the hands of the rector, Rev. Edward Alchine, from whose instructions and catechetical teachings, when I came of age to understand them, I trust that I received spiritual benefit. But my religious preferences were in another direction, and I yielded to their persuasions. I well remember, even with the dawn of reason and reflection, the great controversy, which was then beginning to range with unwonted heat, even to the dividing of families.
I had none to aid me in shaping my future course; and though I was prospered in business and very happy with the wife of my choice, and might have borne my part in my native village, the feeling increased, that this was not my proper sphere. Neighbors and friends, the men of Kent, in various quarters, were preparing to remove to the New World, where success had attended the Plymouth settlers, and the larger and more imposing colony composed of those who lined the shores of this beautiful bay. I was in sympathy with these Christians, while still loving the church from which I had separated, and the 'tender milk' drawn from her breasts.
I saw the day approaching when sharp trials would begin, and I should be excluded from the few religious privileges which remained for those who already were stigmatized as schismatic. I determined to join those who were seeking a home in the wilderness, where we might worship God in a way which we thought was of his appointment. But how was this to be accomplished with a young family? Measures of detention, which had now well-nigh reached their culminating point, were daily becoming more stringent, requiring certificates of uniformity, and oaths of allegiance and supremacy, of all who purposed embarking for the New World. Vessels were carefully watched; and none could leave the realm, and take passage for New England, without special permission, and having submitted to various orders exacted by authority. I closed up my business in Horsmonden, made my preparations diligently and silently in connection with a married sister and her husband, and bidding an affectionate adieu to those of the family left behind, reached the coast in safety, where we found a boat in readiness to take us to the vessel which was to bear us to our coveted retreat.
I cannot describe to you my sensations on forsaking my native land. Scarce ever beyond the bounds of my little village, I was leaving home, with all its fond ancestral associations, never to return. My emotions, on taking the last view of dear Old England, were such as almost to over power me. All of love, all of memory, returned; and I felt for the moment a doubt, whether I was in the way of duty in my removal. But it was only for a moment. When the last speck of Kentish shore disappeared below the horizon, I girded myself to the undertaking; cast no more lingering looks behind, but looked forward over the wide waste of waters towards my detained abode; addressed myself to all that belonged to its duties and obligations; and never at any one moment afterwards, until the day that God called me hence from earthly scenes, did I regret the resolution I had taken. We were favored in our passage, and our little fleet reached these shores in the beautiful noontide of May, when all nature was bursting into life, as if to give us a glad and smiling welcome to the new home of our pilgrimage.
I look around me; but all is changed that is under the power or control of man. In the populous towns and cities which have sprung up, I cannot recognize the little hamlets, once my familiar acquaintance. Even my ancient dwelling places - peaceful and humble abodes in Cambridge, Concord, Lancaster, and Groton - can no longer be traced or divined, except by those marks which God himself has established in the flowing waters of the Charles, the Assabet, and the Nashaway. Strange sights and sounds salute my senses; mysterious agencies of motion on land and water are all around me; and I almost feel as if man was in communion with forbidden spirits.
Descendants, - Here I planted my stakes; here I made my home, nor wished to return to the scenes of my youth. My venture here in new and untried existence, and I loved it. God favored me with health, friends, and beloved children; while, by his will and the love of the brethren, I trust I was helpful to the Commonwealth, at least in some humble measure, in military, legislative, and judicial service, through a long period, until my death. For all that I was enabled to do I was truly grateful, while conscious of my shortcomings, and lamenting that my success did not equal my intentions.
It was my earnest wish to train up my children to walk in paths of virtue and usefulness, and to educate them in human learning according to their capacities, that they might serve their generation with fidelity. Herein I was aided and blessed in the schools, open to all, which our honored magistrates and deputies caused to be established, that 'learning might not be buried in the grave of our fathers, in church and commonwealth; 'and by the teachings and instructions of worthy Mr. Bulkeley and Mr. Rowlandson. By their regular attendance on public worship, by observing the ordinances, by worship in the family, my sons and daughters were in the sure way of preparation for good service in life and becoming examples to their own children.
And now, if, in the day of small things, when we were few in number and weak in power, surrounded by the savage, with none under God to help us save our own right arm, I was of any service to church or commonwealth, I desire to first of all thank God, and give him praise. I will not offer myself as an example for imitation, or commend myself for having done aught, but only say that I have endeavored.
Consider what God has done for you. The wilderness and the solitary place have been made glad for you; and the desert rejoices, and blossoms as the rose, as in the days of Isaiah for the chosen people. Indeed, the little one has become a thousand; and the small beginnings, which I witnessed, have widened out to a powerful commonwealth, filled with comforts, privileges, and blessings, countless in number and leaving little to be imagined or desired. Think not that your own right hand has wrought out this your happy condition; but give thanks to Him to whom they belong, and believe that never was a people more highly favored.
You would honor my memory, and are very free in expressing veneration: but if you would honor me aright, if you feel the veneration you express, show it by your deeds; by reverence of that which is higher and holier; by doing all your duty actively and earnestly in your generation; by adhering to the old paths of justice, faithfulness, and holy trust; by sincerity in belief, abandoning all Antinomian heresies as you would the other extreme of dead formalism; by being bold for the right, modestly and firmly maintaining your opinions, whether called to public station or in the more private walks; following no man and no cause because of popularity, shunning no man and no cause you believe to be right because of unpopularity or reproach; but avoiding the parasite and self seeker, and standing bravely by your own convictions. Thus did my son, even Samuel, in the time of his pilgrimage, when he set himself in opposition to the greatest delusion that ever visited this land, subjecting himself to great trial in the coldness of friends, and the harsh judgment of an entire community; but, unmoved in his purpose, sustained by his conscientious view of the right, calmly awaited that revolution in sentiment which at once was the earnest and reward of his long and patient suffering.
* Simon is making reference to his son, Rev. Samuel Willard, who studied witchcraft for twenty-years prior
to the Salem Witch trials and took a stance against the Rev. Cotton Mather, an advocate in the matter of the trials.
Simon Willard, with Peter Bulkeley, bought Concord (Mass.) from the native Indians.
For twenty-two years Major Willard held the highest offices in the gift of the people. He was one of the
Governor's council, a member of the Supreme Judicial Court, and deputy to the General Court for fifteen years.
Sign in Concord Massachusettes marking the spot where Simon Willard traded with the Indians for the land on which he helped found Concord.
Your Family Connection to the Salem Witch Trials
Mural showing Reverend Samuel Willard (Simon's son and our great uncle x10), "one of the few voices of reason" during the Salem witch trials. He played an important role in halting the trials, as he urged caution in the accusing and trying of witches. Willard also denounced spectral evidence, claiming that the devil could impersonate even the innocent by appearing in their shape. Samuel later became a vice president (and acting president) of Harvard University and, as pastor of the “The Olde South Church” in Boston, he happened to baptize Benjamin Franklin shortly before his own death.
Caption: "Dawn of Tolerance in Massachusetts. Public Repentance of Judge Samuel Sewall for his Action in the witchcraft trials."
Description: In this mural size painting Samuel Sewall is shown standing in his pew, head bowed, in the South-Meeting House of Boston while the Rev. Samuel Willard, reads aloud Sewall's statement of repentance for his role as a judge during the witch trials of 1692. The mural is one of five paintings that depict important events in the early history of Massachusetts, under the theme "Milestones on the Road to Freedom in Massachusetts." The five paintings hang in the House of Representatives, State House, Boston. Artist, Albert Herter, 1942.
Source: Pamphlet, "Milestones on the Road to Freedom in Massachusetts: Ceremonies at the Presentation," January 18, 1943.p. 10.
Photo Gallery (More to come)
Signature of my great, great, great grandfather Abiel Jenners. A few years after he died (in 1824) his wife and children (mostly grown) moved to Lafayette, Indiana. One of his sons had "scouted" it out and thought it was a good place to go since there were no "rich"
people there yet.
The Buttrick House is now the visitor's center in Concord, Massachusettes. My sister-in-law, Rose Liberace, actually worked there for the Park's Department.
From "The Story of the Bloods" Elizabeth was described as "A young and beautiful maiden with a dowery consisting of 1000 acres of land, she was the daughter of the most illustrious man in Concord, Major Simon Willard". Her bridgroom Robert Blood, who also immigrated from England, was a big plantation owner, He was described in the same document as "a man untamed, independent, perhaps even unruly, a man not of Concord." (It was rare for any "civilized" people of the time to live outside the bounds of the tightly controlled Puritan communities.)
Jenners Photos (Grandma Obemeyer's line)
Great, great, grandfather John Anthrop, (Grandma Obermeyer's grandpa) who came to the U.S. with his wife Cecilia in 1853 from Holland.
Daughter Mary is below.
Mr. and Mrs James David Jenners and Mary Cecilia Anthrop Jenners (Grandma Obermeyer's parents) on the left.
At first we thougth these photos were both of the same lady but realized that the one on the right is James Jenners with his first wife, Molly Spring (1858-1892), who died before they had children. Her name is on the back of his tombstone at Greenbush Cemetery in Lafayette, Indiana. My mom says she doesn't know much about the first wife except that Mary Anthrop was a neighbor and happened to help in preparing Molly's body for burial (Lafayette, Indiana).
I asked family members their thoughts on whether these were indeed two different ladies. Here is an interesting comment by my neice Jessica Chesak, who went to DePaul for fashion and is currently working in L.A. as a fashion designer for the movies:
Well, from what I can tell, i'd say that the first photo was taken in the early to mid 1880s just based on the tighter fitting sleeves and the draping in the front of her skirt implies that there must be some kind of bustle in the back (if i could see the actual shape of the bustle i could make a better guess on the year). The second photo was taken at least 10 years later, in the 1890s when more emphasis was put on wider shoulders (to make the waist look smaller in comparison) and an A-line skirt...Also, the girl in the later photo looks younger than the girl in the first photo, i think it has to be a different person. (My dates are also based on Parisian and New York fashion at the time, I'm sure people in Indiana could be anywhere from 2 to 5 years behind that). Hope that helps! And it's always fun to put family faces into what i know of costume history. Jess
Below is a photo of Mary Anthrop before she was married.
Grandma Alberta Jenners-Obermeyer with grandchildren Billy and Janie Obermeyer.
great Aunt Jennie Jenners and Great great Aunt Mary Jenners. Daughters of Saurin
Jenners and Ruth Anne DeNeale
(Ruth was killed in the Lafayette gas explosion of 1891 along with her son Saurin J.). They are sisters of James Jenners
and aunts of his daughters, our grandma Alberta (Obermeyer), Aunt Jeanette (Brown-Lehr), and Aunt Mary (Haan). Jennie was born around
1861 in Iowa (her parents moved around early in their marriage rather than moving directly from Virginia to Lafayette,
Indiana along with the other siblings and Saurin's mother) and married Samual A. Clark Black on June 19, 1887
in Tippicanoe County, Indiana. Mary B was born October 1861 at Vermillion County, Illinois. She was also injured in the
1891 gas explosion but survived. She died December 9, 1928 in West Lafayette at age 67. Buried (with so many other
Jenners) at Greenbush Cemetery in Lafayette. Researched by Sue Beach.
Debbie Ann (Deborah) Jennerswas James', Mary and Jennie Jenner's siser (Grandma Obermeyer's aunt). I had written "mystery woman" below the photos above which came from the photo album passed down to Grandma Albert Obermeyer's sister Jennie. Deborah is missing from much of our family history because she died in her early 20s (I don't know the cause) and was buried under the same tombstone in Lafayette, Indiana with her brother Saurin who was killed in the 1891 gas explosion in Lafayette along with his mother. Deborah was born in 1855 so died before her mother and brother.
Photos of Mary and Jenny (Grandma Obermeyer's father's sisters shown above) as older women.
Below: Grandma Obermeyer's Aunt Jennie and her sister Jennie.
Death notice of Grandma's father. Grandma was sick in bed with scarlet fever when he died. They brought carnations home from the
funeral home for her. She used to say that she didn't like carnations for the rest of her life.
These arrows at the bottom say Grandpa and Aunt Jennie
In the Rocking chair, Uncle Clark Black (Jennie Jenners Black's husband). This was written on the photo. She is most likely the one next to him. Grandpa James Jenners is steated on the step with Aunt Jenny Jenners Brown Lehr in front of him. In the rocking chair in front of the door is Grandma Mary Jenners with Aunt Mary Jenners Hahn in front of her. Grandma Alberta Jenners Obermeyer was not born until 1901. This photo was most likely taken in 1900 or 1901. The woman in. the front center is unknown (although I see a resemblance to my Mom, Mary Obermeyer Chesak so I'll bet she is a Jenners!) Also, the two children left and right plus the woman faded out on the right are unknown. Maybe the woman are Debbie Ann or Mary Jenners - James' other sisters? Photo taken in Lafayette, Indiana. Supplied by Barbara Haan Virgin of Lafayette (Mom's first cousin).
William Jenners on his quest
to defend Lafayette, Indiana from the Blackfoot Indians in the 1830s
Click here to read an interesting and funny story I found about our great, great, great uncle,
Colonel William Jenners, (the uncle of Grandma Obermeyer's father, James).
Grandpa Obermeyer and his brother, Henry (who was killed in France in 1918).
John Obermeyer (second from left) in World War I
Henry Obermeyer and Mary Hils Obermeyer (Grandpa John Obermeyer's parents).
Far left, Great Uncle Mike Obermeyer, next Clara Obermeyer, center in derby hat, Great Grandpa HenryObermeyer, to his right,
Frank Obermeyer, far right, Grandpa John Obermeyer.The elderly woman with the light skirt iis most likely Henry’s mother-in-law,
Paulina Hils,who raised his children after his wife Mary, died in 1901.Lafayette, Indiana. Photo circa 1909 and 1912. The older lady
in the front is most likely her sister in law -as her last name is Mauch The young girl behind her is a Mauch as well.
Mass card, front and back, for Paulina Hils, Henry Obermeyer's mother-in-law
(who took care Grandpa John Obermeyer and his siblings).
John Obermeyer with sons Jim (toddler) and Billy
(the infant in the photo - who died at age five after being struck by a car)
Grandma Alberta Jenners Obermeyer at lower left and her sister Mary Jenners Haan next to her, next "Shory" Anthrop Burge (Alberta's maid-of-honor/ first cousin). David Chesak Jr. is the baby, held by Louella Anthrop Bulluck. The lady at the left (dark dress) is Doxie Martin, Alberta's friend and Mary Obermeyer Chesak's godmother. Top left to right Rosalie Chesak Obermeyer, Mary Obermeyer Chesak, and Barbara Haan Virgin. Photo taken in 1957, Lafayette, IN.
The Hulka family. Marie (Alois' wife) is sitting at the lower right. Grandmas Rose Hulka Chesak is at the far right.
The Hulka family. Alois and Marie Hulka are together in the center.
Hulka sisters shown youngest to oldest from left: Lilly, Rose, Annie, Ella, Bessie, Helen, Mary
Rose Hulka and Joe Chesak
Marie Peleska, Frank Chesak (son), and Husband James Chesak, who was drafted for WWI and was married Regina Fisher, just before he left for service. Dad thinks being drafted prompted them to get married. Dad was at the wedding reception at a farmhouse near Toto, Indiana, where the families emptied the house of all the furniture for the party.
John Typner, James "Catfish" Chesak's stepfather who lived with them in North Judson
Joe Chesak with David and Joseph (who died at age six)
Watercolor of Grandpa Joe Chesak by David Dean Chesak, Jr. (grandson)
David Dean Chesak
Mary Elizabeth Obemeyer Chesak age 23
I have more photos of ancestors to post so more to come....
Rob's website: http://www.robertliberace.com
*for "see paper on him/her" email me and I'll send you the files at firstname.lastname@example.org
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