Honoring Our Family Veterans Part 2: Marvin Leo Gregoire

Marvin Gregoire in his Army Air Force uniform. early years Marvin “Marv” Leo Gregoire was born in Marshall, Minnesota to Robert and Lillian (Grandpre) Gregoire, both of French Canadian descent. For more stories about this French Canadian family click here. Growing up on the Gregoire farm taught Marvin hard work and at the age of 17, he left school for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This New Deal program established by President Roosevelt offered employment to young men who struggled...

Honoring our Family Veterans Part 1: Leslie Wendell Stierwalt

Army Air Force recruiting poster 1943-1946. Early years Leslie Wendell Stierwalt, known as”Wendell”, was born in 1924 and raised with 9 siblings and numerous cousins on the Cherokee Reservation near Nowata, Oklahoma. HIs mother, Nina Sequichie’s Cherokee family can be traced back to Georgia before the Trail of Tears and father, Claud Stierwalt’s family immigrated to the US from Germany in the early 1700’s. “Winnie” as he was known as a child, didn’t enjoy school and stopped attending after 8th grade, but his...

Marin Boucher: A Pioneering Percheron Emigrant

Building New France After French explorer, Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Quebec in 1608, Louis XIII, King of France needed craftsmen and other industrious individuals to build, settle, and grow the region. Robert Giffard, Champlain’s ship surgeon, received one of the original land grants from the King in exchange for recruiting settlers. Giffard sailed back to the Perche region of France, his homeland, and began traveling from town to town creating excitement about the opportunities which awaited travelers...

Hans Bürki: A Story of Persecution and Perserverance

Nijmegen (Nimewegen), Holland in 1641 Hans Bürki: Langnau, Switzerland 1710 “For the remembrance of my descendants and of all my fellow believers, I, Hans Bürki, of Langnau, want to relate what happened to me. I had gone to the mountain called Bluttenried (Community of Langnau), in company with my wife and two sons. There a poor man came to us to whom we gave something to eat; this man subsequently went to Harvag to the authorities and told them that...

The Bergey Homestead

The Bergey Homestead still stands on land purchased in 1726 by Hans (John) Ulrich Bergey. The property is located on the banks of the northeast branch of Perkiomen Creek, in Salford Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Hans “john” ulrich bergey: first bergey immigrant Hans Ulrich Bergey was born in Canton Bern, Switzerland in April of 1700. He immigrated to Pennsylvania with a large Mennonite group around 1717 and married Mary (possibly Clemens.) After immigrating to America Hans changed to the anglicized...

Samuel Rider: American Pilgrim

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall Nineteen years after the Mayflower’s 1620 arrival in America, Samuel Rider, and his family sailed from England to join the Pilgrims in the Plymouth Colony. By the time Samuel arrived in New England, Plymouth’s population was nearing 600 families. Over the next few decades, Rider would become a prominent name throughout the colony, with several of Samuel’s children and grandchildren marrying the descendants of Mayflower passengers. The early years of samuel rider Samuel Rider...

Johan Peter Steigerwald (Stierwalt): German Craftsman

  Coming to America Johan Peter Steigerwald, known as Peter, was born in 1730 in the Hesse region of Germany and grew up in Floersbach, about 35 miles east of Frankfurt. In 1749 Peter is named on a Hesse Lutheran Parish registry with his father, Johannes (John), as one of the emigrants who left for Pennsylvania. Much like the Swiss Anabaptist movement, the early 1700’s saw large numbers of German Lutherans moving to the English Colonies in search of religious freedom. Johannes...

School Days: The Ove Sisters

The How do-you-do-bunch Today I stumbled across the Pennington County Historical Society Website and was excited to find some great photos of the Ove sisters while attending high school in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Ida (Ove) Conlin (front row, center) and her sister Nettie Ove (middle row, right) are both part of the “How do-you-do-Bunch”. You may also recognize Nell (Nellie Berg) from my previous Nettie Ove: Milliners Daughter post. I have no idea what the “How do-you-do-Bunch” did, but it sounds...