Sunday, March 18, 2012

Plat Maps

So I was bored the other day and so I decided to randomly search for the name Louis Wilmette. I like to do that every once in a while to see if anything new comes up. Surprisingly, I found a two new records that need to be looked at more closely.

The first record is from 1829 said to have information about Louis Wilmette. There is land seeming to have belonged to Louis Wilmette and Mitchell Wilmette.

The second record is another plat map from 1829. There is land seeming to be for Louis and Mitchell Wilmette.

I found these records but I will need to look closer at them to determine what they are and exactly what they are. I think these plat maps are from Illinois.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Potawatomi

I have never known much about the history of the Potawatomi people. But in these last couple weeks, I have had to opportunity to work on learning about them. I have been reading books about them and their culture. I have been able to read about their history and tie it into the line I have been researching.
The Potawatomi were once part of a bigger tribe that included the Chippewa and the Ottawa. They lived in the Great Lakes region. The Potawatomi were one group that broke off but stayed in the same general area. Their first contact with white people were with the French. As time went on, some were forced to move to Iowa, near Council Bluffs. They lived there for awhile until the government wanted all of them to move into Indian territory, in modern day Kansas and Oklahoma. Many did not want to make this journey and some ran off and remained in the Great Lakes region and Iowa. The majority of the Potawatomi made the journey to Kansas. This migration was called the Potawatomi Trail of Death. About 72 people died, mostly children, of typhoid fever and exhaustion. When they arrived in Kansas, they were worn out but began to settle in. They purchased land that they could live on near Osawatomie, Kansas, they were known as they Prairie band. A group of them decided to buy land and move to Oklahoma, near Shawnee, where they were given allotments of land and told they could become citizens. However, for many this did not happen until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924. The group that moved to Oklahoma became known as the Citizen Potawatomi. 
Learning about the Potawatomi people has been really interesting and informative and I feel that I now have a sense of information that was missing before. After learning about the history of the Potawatomi tribe, I was able to determine that the Wilmette, Hurd, and Crumbo family were members of the Citizen Potawatomi band. 
The current website for the Citizen of Potawatomi Nation is

Monday, February 27, 2012

What a Find!

So I went to the FHL in Salt Lake and only had time to research one film but apparently I chose the right film! I started looking at Film 1036363 that has Citizen of Potawatomi Land Allotments, Annuity Rolls and 1891 Census. As I began scrolling through, I found my family! They were in the land allotment records so I can now see how much land that they received. They were also on the annuity rolls, and some of them had the maiden name of the married women, which is helpful! I then as able to find them on the 1891 census. I was able to get copies of them all but I need to spend more time looking at what is all included in the records. Here are a few examples of Mary Elizabeth Hurd (nee Wilmet) found on the records.

Citizen of Potawatomi Land Allotments from Treaty of 1887. FHL Film 1036363 Item 1 pg. 62

Citizen of Potawatomi Annuity Rolls. FHL Film 1036363 Item 2

Citizen of Potawatomi 1891 Census. FHL Film 1036363 Item 3

A side fact is that the Potawatomi tribe was separated into different bands. Most tribes had different bands within a tribe. The two bands that seem to be in the same area as my family are the Citizen band that live in Oklahoma and the Prairie band that live in Kansas.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mary Ann Hurd is Dead

1929 U.S. Indian Census, Shawnee County, Oklahoma, population schedule, Shawnee Agency, individual number 427, Mary Ann Hurd Crumbo; digital image, : accessed 20 March 2010); NARA microfilm publication M595, roll 492.

How cool is that! I was completing a census search and found that Mary Ann Hurd had died before June 1929. I have not been able to find her death date as of yet. I lost her on the censuses so I assumed it was before 1930 but after I found this I can narrow the date down even more. Since the Indian censuses were taken yearly it is likely that Mary Ann died within that year (but I will still remember that not all Indian agents went out of their way to actually accurately take the census so it may be wrong). If nothing else it gives me an approximate year and that is a great start!

The only down side is that many of the vital record for the Potawatomi people is housed in the regional archives in either Texas or Kansas City. I haven't figure out which one yet.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Indian Censuses

I found that the more I learn about Native American research the more interesting it becomes. But when I talk to others about my research they do not know what I am really talking about and I have to explain a lot about what I am doing. So I thought that I would talk about one of the most useful resources that is easily available.

Indian Censuses are available on The United States began to take count of the Indians on the reservations every year beginning in 1885. After that year, the government would have agents go around and write down the Indians on the census to keep track of them and to know how many were there. However, like the other censuses, they are not perfect. Sometimes the agents would just copy the census from the year before and add a year to their age. Some tribes, like the Navajo, did not follow this law very well.

Being Ute and Pottawatomie, the children of Walter and Amelia were on both censuses, in Utah and Oklahoma. It is interesting since Amelia and her children were not regularly ever in Oklahoma and most likely they were not in Oklahoma during the time every census was taken. Most of the Indian censuses were taken by the Indian agents to take down what people were still affiliated with the tribe. Since Amelia and her children were affiliated with the tribe, even though they did not live there, they were still counted.

1932 U.S. Indian Census, Uintah County, Utah, population schedule, Uintah and Ouray Agency, individual number 269, Walter Daniels; digital image, ( : accessed 20 March 2010); NARA microfilm publication M595, roll 1862.

1932 U.S. Indian Census, Shawnee County, Oklahoma, population schedule, Shawnee Agency, individual number 605, Amelia Crumbo; digital image, ( : accessed 20 March 2010); NARA microfilm publication M595, roll 1862.
 These are just a few examples of how the Indian censuses were not perfect but they are very helpful in Native American Research. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Indians in the Census

This week has been crazy. I have been trying to find proof that Mary Elizabeth "Be-bo" Wilmette is the daughter of Louis Wilmette to write a proof summary. However, I have had little luck in finding anything solid.

I have been working on a census search but have had little luck finding any of the Wilmette family before 1890 since according to the National Archives website, the instructions for census enumerators were to only write down the names of the Indians paying taxes. This allowed for many of the Indians to be skipped. According to the article, only 8-22% were enumerated between the years 1860-1880. This leaves a huge possibility that this is the reason I cannot find my family on the census records in that time period. I have found a few but only because the woman married a white man. The first census I can find Mary on is the 1880 census, after she is married. She and her three surviving children are listed as Indian while her husband is white.

1880 U.S. Federal Census, Wabaunsee County, Kansas, population schedule, Maple Hill, ED 121, page 2, dwelling 11, family 11, P. John Herd; digital image, ( : accessed 9 March 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 399.

I have searched for the census years when Mary would have been a child but have had not luck in finding her or her parents. However, I did find a family history book that has information on the Crumbo family which is who Mary (see above) married into. There is some information on Mary's family including her maiden name that then leads back to who she was but there are a few sources. It references a book written by Mary Patricia O'Grady Johnson, who is a granddaughter to the Crumbo line, called Foot Prints of the Past, but I cannot find it anywhere.

For more information on the Native Americans in the Censuses, there is an article by James P. Collins that can be found at

Monday, January 23, 2012

Antoine Ouilmette by Frank R. Grover

So jumping a little ahead in the researching process, this week I was able to find a book that was written by Frank Grover about Antoine Ouilmette who was the first settler of Evanston and Wilmette, Illinois. He is also the great-great grandfather of Amelia Crumbo. I found an online site that provides the book online (see related links). You can view it online. I found this site on accident but I also just got it through Inter-Library Loan. It is such an interesting book. It has information about Antoine Ouilmette and his family. But it also gives information about the Ouilmette reservation. I just began reading it and found that it is believed that Antoine was born around 1760 in Montreal, Canada. It is believed that he was French and possible Metis (a Canadian Indian tribe) because of the known variation of Ouilmette. He worked for the American fur company in Canada and later moved to Chicago where he married a French/Pottawatomie woman, Archange.

Photo was provided courtesy of Wilmette Public Library

That is as far as I have read so far. As I learn more about the family I will keep you posted. I am excited to learn more as I read further into the book.