My Adventure Through Our Family Tree Branches

For over 50 years my Dad researched both his and my Mom's family tree branches - and loved every minute of it! Trying to fulfill the promise I made him the last month of his life, I have spent the past four years continuing where he left off - finding out about all the many family members who came before us, from the many branches of our family trees. The histories will still be published as my Dad always wanted. But what he wanted most was to share the stories of the people who came before us - the places they lived, the cultures of the times, the families they created, and the circumstances - good and bad - that would one day lead to us, their descendants. These are the stories of my Mom's families. . . .

Surnames in this Blog


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

HOMETOWN TUESDAY - St. Anne's Village, Jennings County, Indiana

My great-great-grandmother Barbara Brunett Huber was born in St. Anne's Village, in the Sand Creek Township of Jennings County, Indiana, on April 16, 1852. She was the fourth child of ten born to John Michael Baptiste Brunett (1818-1863) and Barbara Frisse (1822-1893), my 3x-great-grandparents. Both John and Barbara had immigrated from Seingbouse, France, and had married at St. Anne's Catholic Church in August 1846, less than two months after arriving in America. It was here in St. Anne's Village that all of their children were born, and where John and Barbara are buried.

Also settling here from Seingbouse were Joseph Frise (1796-1864) and Marguerite Lang (1802-1868), Barbara's parents and my 4x-great-grandparents, as well as all nine of their children. Joseph and Marguerite are also buried at St. Anne's Church Cemetery. [NOTE: The spelling of Joseph's last name was 'Frise' or 'Frisse', pronounced FREEZE. It was also sometimes spelled 'Frisz'. It was at the funeral of their mother that the sons decided to adopt a common spelling - F-R-I-S-Z.]

Joseph Frise was a farmer, as most citizens of the county were. His son-in-law John Brunett also was a farmer, until his death in 1863. His wife Barbara then took over the responsibilities of farming, as well as being the mother of ten children, ages 0-16. [In fact Barbara gave birth to baby #10 one month after losing her husband.] Her land is highlighted in the Sand Creek Township map below.

Jennings County History
[from Biographical & Historical Souvenir for the counties of Clark, Crawford, Harrison, Floyd, Jefferson, Jennings, Scott and Washington, Indiana; 1889; published by John M. Gresham and Company; Chicago; pages 222-227 ]
"Jennings County lies in the southern part of Indiana. It was organized in 1816, and named for Jonathan Jennings, the first Governor of Indiana, after it was admitted into the Union as a State. ...It contains 375 square miles and by the census of the 1880 it had 16,453.
Heavy timber originally covered the county. As a general rule, the rolling lands bordering the numerous streams are more productive than the flat (lands). The principal productions are corn, wheat, oats, rye, buckwheat and hay. ...A considerable area is in pasture and large number of mules, horses and cattle are raised for the Cincinnati and other markets. Large numbers of hogs are fattened for the various markets....
Fruit culture is becoming more and more extensive every year and the soil proves that it is a good fruit region. The usual varieties of summer and winter apples do well; occasionally cherries and pears. ...Wild blackberries grow in profusion and are quite a source of income at some points, also wild grapes.
Jennings County was settled principally from the Southern  States - most of the early settlers coming from Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee, with a number of families from Kentucky. They were of that hardy class whose trials and hardships were as nothing compared to the longing desire to possess a home of their own. ...They did not come in great rushing crowds as emigrants now go West, on railroad trains, but they come on foot, in ox-wagons, on horseback and, in fact, any way they could get here.
Vernon, the county seat of Jennings County, is beautifully situated at the North and South forks of the Muscatatuck river, and on the Jeffersonville, Madison and Indianapolis railroad. It is a rather dull old town of 616 inhabitants by the last census (1880), but has a sound and solid foundation from a financial and business standpoint. The courthouse is a handsome brick structure, with white limestone trimmings, obtained from the neighboring quarries. ...There is, and has been, considerable manufacturing done in Vernon among which may be mentioned spoke and hub factory; foundry and plow shop; stave and heading factory; woolen and flouring mill; wagons and buggies; pumps and rakes; etc., etc., etc."
1889 Sand Creek Township Map
Barbara Brunett's land in purple
Sand Creek Township
"Sand Creek Township is believed to have been organized in 1841. One of Jennings County's smaller townships, it contains a little over twenty-six square miles. When Indiana became a state and Jennings a county, the northwest corner of this township belonged to the Indians. The Old Indiana Boundary line ccan be found on maps yet today.

Sand Creek derives its name from the stream that winds through it, creating areas that cannot be surpassed for beauty. The Indians had a name for this creek, Laquekaouenek (lak/ka/oo/e/nek), which means "water running through sand." [Jennings County, Indiana, 1816-1999; Jennings County Historical Society; 1999; page 91]

St. Anne's Village
"St. Anne is a German settlement situated in the southeastern part of Sand Creek township. Among the first settlers were families named Frisz, Gasper, Glatt, Eder, Specht, Daeger, Winters, Shulthies, Henry, Erlsland, Frederick, Gehl, Meyer and Tipps. Although no town was laid out, St. Anne had a post office... a grocery story... and several blacksmith shops."[Jennings County Indiana, 1816-1999; page 91]

The village was centered around St. Anne's Catholic Church, organized by February 1841. [Read more in an upcoming post.]

Jennings County Facts
Jennings County Courthouse
Vernon, Indiana
As of the 2000 Census, there were 27,554 people living in Jennings County. The racial makeup of the county is 97.45% white.  It is a rural county, with the majority of  the county made up of personal farms and woodlands.

There are only two incorporated towns in the county - Vernon, the county seat, and North Vernon. There are 11 townships in the county.[Townships are a product of Indiana's history. There are just over 1000 Townships in the state. Indiana is one of 20 states that currently has some form of township government.]

The county is conveniently located in the center of an imaginary triangle consisting of Indianapolis, IN, Louisville, KY, and Cincinnati, OH, and requires only a hour and 1/4 drive time to any of these urban centers.

In recent years, average temperatures in Vernon have ranged from a low of 22 F in January to a high of 86 F in July. President Richard Nixon's mother, Hannah Milhous Nixon, was born near Butlerville, Jennings County, Indiana, in 1885.

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