By the name of Mayhew…

The family crest of my particular branch of the family is debatable. My mother, who for some reason took a keen interest in the history of the family into which she married. was delighted at the prospect that we all sprang from prominent heritage. She was particularly thrilled with the thought that we may have been descended from missionary stock and perhaps from the early owners of Martha’s Vineyard.

Alas, at this writing, I haven’t been able to trace our line to the Massachusetts gentry. We seem to have migrated down from Maine, which suggests we were a bit more working class than my mother would have liked.  Moreover, the family crest that she showed me in my childhood seems to have hung from some other limb of the family tree, unless I can find a connection in Britain. If a family crest appears here at some future time, that will indicate that I made the connection. For now, we are apparently of rather common stock.

Expect some–more than a little–of the content of this site to be narrative in style. I don’t want to bore your with a list of facts, names and dates. Instead, I want to try to tell the story of these lives; to use my imagination to add depth and texture to whoever I can. I will resist flights of fantasy, but if something seems likely and not to farfetched, I will feel free to speculate. Moreover, I won’t hesitate to render an opinion a few times along the way–my great uncle, Milford, almost demands it.  

Site Organization

My ancestral heritage in the Mayhew line is traced in the column at right, beginning with me (DANFORD NATHANIEL) and proceeding downward and back in time. Each Mayhew listed at right has his children linked below him. Capitalized names are my direct lineage. The most recent generations will have considerable information, because I intend that this space be something of a family scrapbook in addition to being a family tree.

There will be a profile for specific persons–their own page–where, in addition to a brief outline of their life, will be a timeline organized from birth to death with specific life events noted between. Notations in the text might be linked to photos and documents if they are available–look for the underlined words to click on. Also, each year (1907, 1935, etc.) is linked to a list of historical events for that year to give context to the life of the the person. Links on these pages will open in a new tab so you can keep your place as you explore each life. Just close the linked tab when you’re done with it.

I intend to include information about the children in each entry so you can get a sense of the family units. If any information about a family member is available, their name will be linked to their own page. There may be birth certificates, photos, newspaper clippings and such. And so, back through the years of our Mayhew family history.

Finally, as my research unfolds, I will post journal entries. These will be grouped in categories, like “Kewanee Mayhews-Jake” or “Places.” They will also be tagged. The tags will be hyperlinked to the profile pages and to any journal entries about them. They will be helpful if you want to follow the research on a particular person or thread. The list of tags is in the ancestry column on the right. 

Other Lineages

Of course, with each preceding generation, my line touches other surnames on the maternal side of the family. The drop-down menu at the top lists some them. If I find any interesting history, I’ll link it to the appropriate surname. Eventually, though, I’ll lose interest and the names will just be names, with little or no history added.

Of particular note, the Ford family, my mother’s line, has been researched by my cousin, Marylin Nielsen, in Illinois. At this writing, that information hasn’t been added, but eventually, it will appear as I have the time.

Thanks for taking an interest in the Mayhews of Kewanee, Henry County, Illinois. I hope you enjoy getting to know them.