Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ermie Backus 1810

This name I believe is my fourth great grandmother. This name has officially become a roadblock for me in my genealogy research. I have a birth certificate that claims she is the mother to my third great grandfather Joshua B. Bassett. Ermie(Backus) and John Bassett were the parents to Marcia Melissa Bassett Colgrove Goodwin,my 3rd great grandfather and Fidelia Bassett. I can track back from my Grandfather, Louis, to my great grandmother, Francis, whom I knew as a child. I knew Francis grew up in Rochester MN, and that there were lots of family issues. A fight over land, which to this day I don't believe was resolved legally. Francis' parents Katherine(Kitty)Mabel Bassett and Elmer Ellsworth were married for a very short time. Kitty had health issues, she spent most of her time after her daughter was born in a hospital before dying at a young age. What her health issues were I do not know. I speculate that she was suffering from post partum depression. She never left the hospital after the birth. My gr-grandma Francis was surprised later in life to discover a letter that Kitty had sent from her hospital bed exclaiming how tragic it was that she could not be a mother to her child. Elmer became the soul parent to Francis which didn't work out very well since he was a farmer, and she was a high-spirited toddler. There is documentation in a court hearing that he tied Francis to a tree when he went to work in the fields. At the age of four, Elmer relinquished custody to the State of MN. My gr-grandma became a ward of the state, it cost Elmer $100 that would be given to Francis when she married her husband Michael Joseph O'Donnell.
Kitty was Joshua B Bassett's daughter. Kitty and her parents are buried in Center Grove Cemetery near the old settlement of Genoa MN all under the same stone. John A Bassett, Kitty's grandfather is buried near them as well.
John and his son, Joshua moved from Chardon, Ohio to Genoa, MN to build a saw mill on a north running leg of the Zumbro River. The Olmsted County History states that until the mid 1970's there was still part of the mill standing in that vicinity. After much investigation of the area, and talking to people of the neighborhood the conclusion was that the mill had been torn down in the 80's. It frustrates me to think that it stood while I was alive and never saw it. Ode to have a picture of an ancestors creation.

Ermie Backus stayed behind in Chardon Ohio with her two daughters Marcia and Fedelia. I have no record of divorce. John did not remarry until after 1872 when Ermie Eunice Backus had died. Ermie is apparently a nickname for Eunice sense most of the census data states Eunice in 1850, 1860,and 1870. In the census data her birth place is noted as Tompkins County N.Y. I have not been able to find any information prior to 1850 on Ermie Eunice Backus. I have searched many books about William and John Backus that first settled in Connecticut in the 17th Century, but no Eunice born around 1810. I'm feeling I need to take a trip to Ohio. Ermie Eunice Backus Bassett has a story to tell.


  1. Follow up on this entry. I went back through the actual hard core documents that I have that I know exist for Ermie Backus. Lo and behold I found a Tax Document for David Backus that lists Eunice Bassett, Arthur Bassett, Joshua B Bassett, and others. David and Mary Backus are the parents of Eunice Backus. She was born in Tompkins county, and there is a very nice obituary for Mary posted from a newspaper. She was still living in the Locke, NY area.

  2. I discovered that some of my problems were because the county borders changed in 1817. Meaning that Eunice who was born in Tompkins county at her birth, but by the time she was eight she was living in Cayuga County. And the walls come tumbling down.