I’ve been looking for Francis Pottgen for years and years.
In 1850, he was living his his wife, Sophia, and their children in Alton, Illinois.
I can’t find either Francis or Sophia in the 1860 census and I’m not sure where they might be. Four of their children were living with a Peter Pattkin in Alton.
I have pension paperwork for Sophia from 1864, and one of her sons is living with her in the 1870 census.
The pension paperwork states that Francis died in 1853.
I made the WRONG assumption that Francis had simply died and that Sophia was a widow.  I didn’t have any information on him after that 1850 census record.

Then, I found this…..


State of Illinois,} ss { Madison Circuit Court,
Madison County, August Term, A.D. 1853

22 Jul 1853, Alton Weekly Telegraph, Alton, IL
Sophia Pottgen vs. Francis Pottgen
Bill for a Divorce

Notice is hereby given, that the complainant in the above entitled cause in Chancery has filed her bill of complaint against the above-named defendant, Francis Pottgen, for a divorce, which suit is now pending in Madison Circuit Court; and it appearin by affidavit on file in said Court, that the above-named defendant, Francis Pottgen, on due inquiry, cannot be found so that the ordinary process of said Court cannot be served upon him, and whereas a subpoena in Chancery has been ….herein according to law.
Now you the said Francis Pottgen are hereby notified that unless you shall be and appear before said Madison Circuit Court on the first day of the next term thereof, to be held at the Court House in the town of Edwardsville, on Monday, the 29th day of August, A.D. 1853, and except to demur to, plead to, or answer the compainant’s bill, filed herein according to the rules and practice of said Court, the same will be taken as conferred, and a decree will be made according to the prayer thereof.
Dated at Edwardsville, June 29th, 1853
WM. L. BROWN, Clerk.
WM MARTIN, Att’y for Compl’t

I am going to try to order the divorce records (if they are available) to see if they have any further information.
This stated that Francis wasn’t able to be found. Where did he go? Did he stay in the area – or in nearby St. Louis? Did he head out west and start a new life? Did he take a new name? Did he really end up dying in 1853 as the pension record states, or did she just call herself a widow? And the search continues…

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Alton Evening Telegraph, 12 Jan 1933

George Jones was the husband of Margaret Josephine Powers, daughter of Bridget Thornton Powers, a sister to my 3rd great grandfather, James Patrick Thornton.

I was curious about the mention of the massacre and found information on it here. It was quite the story!!

George L. Jones Dies At Age of 78
George L. Jones sr, died Wednesday night at 9:55 o’clock at the family home, 706 Royal street at the age of 78 years. Mr. Jones, a member of a well known Alton family, began to fail in health last summer and his condition gradually became worse until yesterday morning when he was stricken.
Mr. Jones was a native of Alton his birth place being on State street, south of Madison avenue, and except for a period of 13 years spent in St. Louis, lived in the city all his life.
In early manhood he became associated with the Alton Box Co. and when the firm moved to St. Louis, he continued his employment, moving his family from Alton. The family returned to Alton 33 years ago.
Although practically retired at the time, Mr. Jones took employment with the Springman Lumber Co., during the war, working for several years.
He is survived by one son, George L. Jones jr., and two daughters the Misses Nellie I. and Lucy Jones. He also leaves two sisters, Mrs. Laura Russell and Miss Lucy Belle Jones. Mrs. Jones died eight years ago.
Funeral services will be held at the family home Saturday at 2:30 o’clock. Burial will be in Oakwood cemetery.
Mr. Jones’ grandmother, Sally McMahan, later Mrs. David Gaskill, and her father were the only survivors of a massacre which occurred three miles from New Design Station, Illinois. The story of the massacre, which occurred 60 years previous on Jan 26, appeared in the Gazeteer of Madison county, Ill., published in 1866.

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Peter H. Weeks was my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather.  His first wife, Julia Ann Snider, died in 1903. He remarried in 1905 to Julia Randall, nee Brooks. She was previously married to William Perry Randall. Yes, he was married to two Julias.

When you are researching, remember that it’s very possible that a man could marry someone with the same name,making it look as if he was only married once!


This announcement was found in the Lawrence Daily World, 19 April 1905.


Julia M. Randall and Peter H. Weeks were united in marriage Tuesday and will reside near Bismarck Grove. The bride has conducted a dressmaking business on Rhode Island street for several years and has many acquaintances and friends in the city.

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