Research Notes for Phyllis Geshner Warren

Dear William,

Thank you for maintaining the website. As the youngest (and last) person on the face of the Earth, as far as we know, will be the last to have carried the surname "GESHNER", I would like to thank you for keeping this surname on the list.  John William GESHNER was my gr grandfather.  He was married first to Catherine WHITTY (dau of Stephen WHITTY and Katherine BRENNAN) and so the surnames WHITTY and BRENNAN are key.  John William GESHNER mard again after Catherine died to 2nd wife Francis FOWLER (who raised Catherine's children so they considered her their mother...much confusion ensuing until recently). FOWLER is definitely of interest. I have never been able to get much about Katherine BRENNAN's father John or anything further back from Stephen WHITTY.  They were both immigrants from Ireland and apparently met up in Georgia.  How Catherine hooked up with John William GESHNER who was from IN (mother was Mildred PARTLOW, father Daniel) is a big mystery but I suspect had something to do with their railroad jobs or the fact that Stephen WHITTY was imprisoned in IN during the Civil War.

I am always pleased to get any clues about any of these folks or descendants and my father Robert GESHNER together with his older brother "Jack" John Allen GESHNER gave me the charge before they died to be the "keeper and researcher of the tree."  Catherine WHITTY had several sisters so the surnames COLLINS, KEEFE, STEWART (through whom I learned a few details, thank goodness), KELLER, YOUNG,and KEARNS are important to keep out there. It was through Tama, IA and the wonderful researchers at the Historical Society that I was able to link up and learn the true connections of my family and I am ever grateful.  I do not have a website.  I do not publish my database because so many people have shared with me that I don't think I could get all of the permissions necessary and I know that so many have spent their lives and treasures on the info they shared that it just wouldn't be fair.  However, I share with everyone who asks and I have directed my daughter Hannah WARREN to deposit a copy of the database with your historical society when I die.  I believe you will find some very interesting historical data in the information which includes my husband's lines as well.  His mother was a COLES and therefore he is related to almost all the fathers of the country who were related to each other and almost all the other famous American personages in the VA vacinity in some fashion, mostly through the "glue" of the COLES women.  The second governor of IL, Edward COLES was one of his uncles.  Dolley (PAYNE)(TODD) MADISON was his cousin.  JEFFERSON and WASHINGTON were related through marriages too and right now I am involved in uncovering a heretofore unknown descendant of a COLES and JEFFERSON with a fellow researcher.  Online contact is so necessary!

I was able to spend the most exquisite two hours in your historical library in Tama a few years back when we drove through Iowa on our way to Dubuque where my mother and father ended up.  So much kind help and good record-keeping there allowed me to find and confirm the most key points of the family.  I did look for Stephen WHITTY's gravesite briefly but was not able to find it or take a picture of it which is my only regret.  I wish I could have stayed longer.

So again, thank you very much for your time and energies.  They don't go to waste!