In November, 2013, the Joiner History Room
received a letter found in a drawer of a desk being cleaned by
Thomas and Nancy Jake of Centreville, VA. The heading read
“Courtland DeKalb Co Ill, September 24, 1865” and signed simply,
“Grandaughter Hattie.” The Jake’s were wondering if Hattie could be
identified so the letter could be given to a descendant. (Read
Loving a good mystery, volunteer Sheri Baker took on the task.
Clues taken from the letter were: (1) the date and location of the
letter; (2) a reference to Uncle Joshua with “the girls”; (3) a
reference to Aunt Mary Jane; and (4) the writing style seems to be
that of a mature woman. Using census and burial records, obituaries
and websites FindAGrave.com and Ancestry.com, Sheri believes the
letter’s author was Harriet (Peck) Love.
Who was Grandfather? The only verifiable man could have been John
Elliott, who died in 1877. Unfortunately, after the 1870 census,
Harriet could not be found. This is her family record as best could
Harriet’s father was
Nathan H. Peck. Nathan H. Peck, b. 1816 in CT and d. 1885 in
Sycamore, DeKalb, IL. He is buried in Mounds Rest Cemetery,
Cortland, DeKalb, IL. He was a merchant and a brick mason. He
married (1) Margaret Elliott before 1840. Margaret was
b. 1822; d. 28 October 1849
and is buried in Berkshire Cemetery,
Sunbury, Delaware County, Ohio. Children of Nathan and Margaret are:
b. 1839 in Berkshire, Delaware, Ohio; d. 27 Nov 1863 when he was
killed in action during the Civil War. Burial site unknown.
b. 1842 in Berkshire, Delaware, Ohio; d. 1864, buried in Mounds
b. 1844 in Berkshire, Delaware, Ohio; d. bet. 1875-1880
Nathan married (2)
Lydia K. Call on 22 Jan 1851 in Kane County, IL. She was b.
1831 in Ohio and d. 1 Oct 1897 in Sycamore. She is buried in Mounds
Rest Cemetery. Child of Nathan and Lydia is: Frank, b.
1856; d. 1867, when he was just 11. Burial site is unknown.
Census Notes: The
1860 census of Bradford, Lee County lists Nathan; wife Lydia; sons,
Charles (21) and Frank (4); and daughters, Mary J. (18) and Harriet
Harriet E. Peck,
b. 1844; d. bet. 1875 and 1880 (based on birth and census records).
She married Henry B. Love on 10 August 1869. Henry was b. 24
May 1842 in Danville, PA; d. 25 May 1926 in DeKalb, DeKalb, IL.
Children of Harriet
and Henry are:
b. September, 1869 in Albany, Whiteside, IL; d. unknown.
b. 1872; d. 1941, married Epenetus John Olmstead on 12 Feb
1891. He was b. 25 Feb 1866 in Chatsworth, IL; d. 6 Jun 1930 in
b. 16 Nov 1875; d. 1939; married John Hiram Sprague on 11 Feb
Harriet and Henry’s marriage announcement in the Sycamore True
Republican states, “Married—At the home of the bride’s father in
Cortland, on August 10, by Rev. C. Combs, Henry B. Love of Albany,
N.Y. to Miss Hattie E. Peck of Cortland”. The announcement was in
error as Henry was from Albany, Whiteside, IL.
The 1870 census for Albany, Whiteside, IL are Henry, “Hattie” and
daughter Lydia, age 8/12 living with Henry’s parents Andrew and
Rebecca Love and their daughter Rose. On the 1880
census, Rose is described as an “adopted daughter”, born in Iowa.
There were no further records found showing Harriet or Lydia.
The 1880 census for
Cortland, DeKalb, IL shows Clary B. (Clara), age 8 and Jessie J.,
age 4 living with their grandparents, Nathan and Lydia Peck.
Elliott Family Notes:
Margaret (Elliott) Peck
had a brother, Joshua, and a sister, Mary Jane. This
is the uncle and aunt mentioned in the letter.
Notes for Joshua: Joshua was b. 4 April 1824 in Belmont,
Belmont, Ohio; d. 28 April, 1904 in Union County, Ohio. He married
(1) Minerva Leonard on 27 April 1848 in Delaware County,
Ohio. Their children are:
b. 1850; d. 1937
b. 1852; d. unknown
b. 1863; d. 1934
He married (2)
Lydia P. Ferris on 1 October 1863 in Kendall County, IL. He
married (3) Elizabeth Wycoff in 1873 in IL. Their child was
Frank, b. 1876; d. unknown.
The 1860 census records for Cortland lists Joshua Elliott; wife
Minerva; daughters Sarah (10); and Mary (8). In
her letter Harriet writes about taking care of the girls while their
parents went to Ottawa.
Notes for Mary Jane:
b. 1830; d. unknown married John Boston. Hattie
writes in her letter to her grandfather, “Will Aunt Mary Jane move
out to your house as soon as she is able or is she going to stay in
The 1860 and 1870
Federal census records shows Mary and John Boston were living
in Pleasant Township, Putnam, Ohio in 1865. The 1910 census shows
her living in Hartford, Blackfort, IN.
Past Website Articles
Movie Has DeKalb County Connection
Chicago and North Western Depot
Letitia Westgate and the 1902 Smallpox Season
The Lincoln Statue
First Jury of Sycamore Women
Sycamore Electric Company
Sycamore Wagon Works
Obituary of Phyllis I. Horton Kelly
In Grandmother's Attic
The Own Your Own Home
Fairdale Train Accident
Pictures Show A Sad Time In
Franks, DeKalb County, IL?
|The DeKalb County Clerk's office has put online
birth, marriage, death and naturalization records that meet
genealogical guidelines. You can print the
document image for $3.00. Their website is
New Malta Obituary
“A Scrapbook of Obituary
Collections, People with a Connection to the Community of Malta, IL”
Compiled by Dorothy W. Stoddard, December 2012. 3,274 obits.
These obits are not part of our online database. If you are
looking for an obit on someone from the Malta area contact the Joiner
This collection is also for sale
in printed ($80) and CD ($20) formats. All proceeds go to the
Malta Historical Society.
On Sale Now
and Order Form
Young Author Gets Acknowledged
Erin Templin, daughter of Dan Templin, "Young Author's" story was
selected by Sycamore School District in her grade to attend a
statewide young author's meeting in May. Because her story takes
place in one of Sycamore's most loved historical buildings, we are
pleased to post it online. Adobe Reader required.
Sycamore City Council Minutes
mayor Ken Mundy is a history buff. He has compiled a brief
description of each meeting held by the city council during the years
1858-1949. By reading his work, you get a
historical sense of the important issues for this growing city.
It is an ongoing project. The manuscripts are available for
review at the Joiner History Room.
Adoptee Law Passed By Illinois Legislature
Excerpts From the Chicago Tribune 10 June 2011
Since last year when the bill was signed, about 645 adoptees born in
Illinois before 1946 have been issued their birth certificates.
Starting November 15, 2011, those born after 1946 will be able to do
the same thing. The law also allows birth parents to have
their names redacted from any released birth certificate by filling
out a form by Nov. 1. For more information see
JHR Adoption and Juvenile Court Records
Database Updated February 2012
Images of Sycamore
The Mighty Maroons
The Mighty Maroons boys' baseball team had this
formal portrait taken at the local M. F. Carlson studio, circa 1900.
Mascot Raymond Branen is front and center. Team members, from
left to right, are (second row) Will Sell and Rex Shield; (third row)
Doug Langhorn, George Murray, Captain Charles B. Townsend, Earl Branen,
and George St. Dennis; (back row) Harry Cornwell, Jim Branen, and
Picture and historical information used with permission of Sue Breese and
the Joiner Room Staff.
See More Like This In
Images of America-Sycamore
Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon and at Local Stores
Home Records 1891-1943
Funeral home records are often overlooked as a source of genealogical
information. Joiner History Room volunteer Fran Besserman
diligently compared a hand-written list of Burkhart burials with obits
available from other sources in our collection. This may be the
only record of a death. Click
here to see list.
This database still under construction but is available
now by clicking on the icon above.
We are working on putting
approximately 40,000 obits into an online, searchable data base. When completed, you will be able to search by name, year of death and
cemetery name. Also available will be the ability to view all
the obits in order of name, and in order of death date. Each
obituary is being scanned and you will be able to print a copy of the
obit. If you don't find the obit you are looking for,
contact the Joiner History Room.
We thank the Douglas C. Roberts
Family for making this possible.
Sycamore True Republican Newspaper Is Online and
The Joiner History Room, the DeKalb County
archive, announces the completion of a year long project to digitize the
Sycamore True Republican. The Joiner History Room along with the
University of Illinois and Shaw Media, parent company of the DeKalb
Chronicle, has worked to digitize the
Sycamore True Republican from 1868 through 1968. Funded by a grant from
the Douglas C.
Roberts Family, the newspaper is fully
searchable for those years and available online, free for everyone. The
Sycamore True Republican was one of DeKalb County’s longest published
newspapers, recording our early history. It is the hope of all involved
that this digitization will help preserve the rich history that was
reported in the newspaper and make it accessible for everyone who wishes
to use it for genealogy or historical research purposes. The newspapers
can be accessed from the website at the University of Illinois through
their Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection (IDNC) at
New Index Available
The Midweek, a current DeKalb County area
publication, has a column called "Looking Back" that has small snipits
of local news dating back to the late 1800's. Most items are one
or two lines long, just enough to give you a flavor of what was
happening at the time. This index covers publication dates from
the start of the column, mid-2010, through December 2012. If you
find an item of interest, e-mail the Joiner History Room with date of
publication and page number.
April 2014 Issue is Now Available
Can You Help?
Joiner History Room is seeking to add to its archives pre 1960 telephone
books and city directories for the cities of Dekalb and Sycamore. We are
also interested in historical documents pertaining to DeKalb County. You
don't have to send the original historical document, copies will be just
as good. If you have such an item to donate, please email the Joiner
History Room. In the subject line enter "Item to Donate." Thank you.
Joiner Room Honored To
Be Part Of The DeKalb County
Joiner History Room Endowment Fund was established in 2008 to honor Ralph
Joiner and the first appointed DeKalb County historian, Phyllis Kelley.
If you wish to donate to our Endowment Fund, click on the DCCF logo or
send a check directly to The Joiner Room at the address above.
$ .25/page......Photocopy by patron at JHR
.50/page......Photocopies by JHR staff
2.00/scan......By JHR researcher
2.00/each......Photo quality prints
Scans will be emailed. To keep your costs down, we will try
to get as much on one scan as possible. Photocopies by JHR
staff and photo quality prints are sent U.S. mail only.
Postage is also charged.
Sycamore True Republican, 1893