I’ve been reading a book, in bits and pieces, written by a cousin about some of our ancestors, including my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Ichabod Foster. It’s based on a volume of his diaries and her travels tracing his footsteps.
It was with great satisfaction to find some details about my Foster cousins and their traditions, including Thanksgiving.
Many of my family’s branches have connections to this part of Iowa — Washington, Johnson, Keokuk and Linn counties.
Almeda Foster, a great granddaughter of Ichabod, married a fellow named John Shannon Boal. Azariah Foster, Ichabod’s grandson, was her father. Their eldest daughter, Nettie Boal, married Jerome Harvey Darling. I’ve discovered that Nettie had sisters, too, the knowledge of which slowly faded from people’s memories.
I actually have one of Nettie’s books, printed in 1871, I think. It was among some of my grandmother’s things for sale just before she moved from her home to a retirement community. Thankfully, I had the chance to quickly browse through what was left, before the sale, but after relatives had picked through whatever was there. Somehow folks had missed this book. I noticed a stack of books and immediately made my way to it.
Nettie and ‘Grandpa Darling’ had one daughter, my great grandmother, named Geneva. My grandmother had obviously either rescued the book or was given it by her mother, Geneva.
I’m glad I’ve got something from this side of the family and era, a book printed just after the Civil War. In fact, Nettie’s father was a Civil War veteran, though I have yet to pin down his unit and experiences.
Now, we can add Julie Foster Van Camp’s memories and writings about Ichabod’s diaries to what we know about the Foster family. It’s nice to read about others, particularly cousins, with the same passionate interest in history and their efforts to preserve and share it.
A COUSIN RECOUNTS
ON THE FAMILY FARM
IN RURAL IOWA . . .