A narrative genealogy of the Forgey and Millhollen relatives of Mary Ann Forgey Shelton
By Dick Schack
Mary Ann Forgey was the daughter of John Forgey and Margaret Matilda Millhollen. The first records located to date with name on them are in the 1850 Federal Census for Henderson County, Illinois. There she appears at age 3 with her father, John, 31, her mother Margaret, 25, William A., 2, and Nancy, 8/12. Also in the household Jacob R. Forgey, 12, and George W. Forgey, 9, as well as William J, Milholland, 20, Jane Millholand, 22, and David Milholland, 23. It appears that the three Milholland’s may be brothers and sister of Margaret, wife of John.
Relationships are not given in this census, but based upon the total research materials gathered for this narrative, it is believed by the writer of this document that Jacob and George Forgey are brothers of John Forgey, and not his children. It is not known why the two brothers are living with John and Margaret, since Andrew, their father, was living in Henderson County as well. It may be that since Andrew had just re-married, and it appears that his wife had four children of her own from a previous marriage, that there may have been a split in the family of Andrew.
The ancestry of the Forgey line appears at this time to descend from a line of Forgey’s, believed to have originated in County Antrim, Ireland, who settled in Knox County, Tennessee. Andrew Forgey was born there on December 10, 1794. During Andrew’s life time he married twice, and is said to have fathered 15 children between his two wives. John Forgey was the second child of Andrew’s first wife, Anna Roller Forgey. John was born on September 13, 1818, in Scott County, Virginia. (This birth location verified with data in an application for a Oregon Donation Land Claim filed by John in Linn County Oregon in 1852).
The ancestry of the Millhollen line appears to descend from Ireland as well, with James Milhollin being an Irish Immigrant who settled in Iredell Co., North Carolina. The “Bunce Genealogy and History”, cr 1977, refers to genealogical research in Iredell County, North Carolina, which supports this statement. The name of James wife is unknown, but Iredell County records reveal the names of John, David, William, and James, who appear to be his sons. Margaret was the daughter of David Milhollen and Mary Gray. David and Mary had a total of 9 children. They are: John Pickney, Isabella Celia, James Alfred, Hugh Milton, Margaret Matilda, Mary Emmalino, David Ebenezer Askin, Jane Theresa, and William Jackson.
An un-sourced document, believed written by Helen Irene Forgey McNiece, of Indiana, indicates that the author was the great-grand descendent of Hugh Forgey, son of Andrew Forgey, lists the children of Andrew, father of John as follows:
Children of Andrew Forgey and Anna Roller:
Hugh, b. March 28, 1817, d. Nov. 28, 1882
John, b. Sept. 13, 1818
Elanor, b. April 2, 1820, d. March 21, 1849
Amos, b. Jan. 7, 1823
James, b. July 26, 1825
(Elizabeth) Betsy Ann, b. Oct. 25, 1827, d. Nov. 11, 1901
Nancy, b. Jan 15, 1930
Elias, b. March 7, 1832, d. June 11, 1911
Andrew Jackson, b. Sept. 6, 1834, d. Oct. 12, 1842
Jacob Roller, b. July 17, 1837
George Washington, b. Sept. 13, 1840.
Anna Roller Forgey is listed in this document as being born February 12, 1779, and died March 24, 1844, in Jackson County, Indiana. Andrew and Anna’s marriage date is listed as October 16, 1816.
Elizabeth is listed as the second wife of Andrew. (The Illinois Marriage Index lists the marriage of Andrew to (Mrs) Elizabeth Milholland on May 23, 1850. The “Bunce Genealogy and History”, accessed on the internet, indicates that Elizabeth was Elizabeth Maxwell, widow of John Pinckney Milholland. John was the brother of Margaret Matilda Millhollen. (Various spelling of names as taken from records.) The children of Andrew and Elizabeth are listed as:
Adaline, b. March 24, 1851
Clark, b. May 25, 1853
Elisha Jackson, b. Oct 15, 1855
Lewis, b. Dec. 22, 1858
The 1850 Federal Census for Henderson County, Illinois, lists Andrew Forgey, age 53, with his second wife, Elizabeth, age 30. Andrew and Elizabeth were married earlier that year. In the same household with Andrew and Elizabeth are Henry, 7, David, 5, John, 4, and Harriet Milholland, 2. It appears that these are children of Elizabeth from her prior marriage with John Pinckney Milholland
In 1852 five of Andrew’s sons, James, Jacob, George, Elias, and John, along with John’s wife and their children, banned together with William, Jane, and David Milholland, as well as a friend Charley Maley, and headed West to claim land in Oregon. Apparently a 6th Forgey brother wanted to accompany the group, but his father, Andrew, indicated that they boy was to young, and wouldn’t let him go with the group. It is not know which son this could have been, other then a step-son of Andrew’s.
From gathered records, it appears that the group included the following individuals: James Forgey, 26, and his wife Mary E, 28; Jacob Forgey, 15; George Forgey, 12; Elias Forgey, 20; John Forgey, 33, and his wife Margaret, 27, Mary Ann, 5, William A., 4, Nancy J., 2. and Laura, 1, all children of John and Margaret Forgey; William Milholland, 22, Jane Milholland 24, and David Milholland, 25; Charley Maley, age unknown
James Forgey, in an interview printed in the Asotin, Asotin County, Washington Territory newspaper, The Sentinel, on November 11, 1892, recounted the tale of the journey of the five Forgey brothers and the others. The group departed Henderson County, Illinois on April 19, 1852, and crossed the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa. ( It was reported in another article that they swam the cattle across the Mississippi, and held on to the tails of the oxen in order to be pulled across the river.) They encountered very muddy conditions during the first part of their journey, making it necessary to use 4 to 5 pair of oxen to pull a wagon through some of the mud holes, and some of the party were considering abandoning the venture at that time. As they traveled farther West in Iowa conditions improved and the party continued. They crossed the Des Moines River at “Pelley, Iowa” (Pella? South East of Des Moines). They continued West to “Cainsville”, near where Council Bluffs now exists. There the joined up with a wagon train headed by a Dr. Russell, who they knew. They crossed the Missouri River there by River Boat, and on the 15th of May headed West in a wagon train of 72 wagons.
The route they took led them on the North side of the Platte River as far what is now Columbus, Nebraska, where they crossed the River at “the Loop Fork of the Platt River”. Here the river was a mile wide, and the oxen pulling the wagons needed to be led across the river so as to stay in motion and avoid sinking into the quick sand in the bottom of the river. Dr. Russell, their wagon train leader, died of cholera in this stretch of the trail, along with many others. The wagon train had split up, and the Forgeys were now traveling with a group of 10 wagons. They passed Lonetree and Chimney Rock, and arrived at Fort Laramie on June 13. Jane Milholland became sick of what was diagnosed as “mountain fever”, but the Doctor in the group indicated that they should continue on, and that she would recuperate. They did, and she recuperated without incident.
After about five days more of travel part of the wagon train wanted to stop and rest, but the rest of the group wanted to continue on. John and James Forgey had apparently purchased a wagon together, and were traveling together in that wagon. John was part of the group that wanted to continue traveling, and James was in the group that wanted to rest. They resolved the dispute between the two of them by sawing the wagon in half, and each taking a part and constructing single axle carts from their portion.
The August 1986 issue of National Geographic, on page 174, mentions this incident. “Two brothers grew to detest each other so much that they sawed their wagon in half, then fought over who would get which end. Finally one hitched up to the tongue and drove off with his cart, leaving his brother “on the prairie 10 miles from timber with one yoke of oxen & the hind wheels of a wagon .... This trip is not boy’s play”. The source for this data was not given.
James and his group arrived at Independence Rock on June 23rd, and Devils Gate on June 24th. They crossed the Continental Divide, (at about 7500 feet in elevation), on June 30th and arrived at the Sweetwater River on July 3rd. It was cold enough there that it snowed on the 4th of July, and they had a 1/4 inch of ice on their water barrels in the morning. This group of the original wagon train met up with the advance group of the wagon train near Soda Springs, Idaho.
The wagon train reached Fort Hall, near present day Pocatello, Idaho, on July 16th. They followed along the South side of the Snake River part of the way, then crossed it, and crossed overland to the Boise River, following it to Fort Boise, where they crossed the Snake River again into present day Oregon.
The wagon train reached the Burnt River, North of present day Farewell Bend, Oregon, on July 30th, and the La Grande area on August 7th. They crossed the Umatilla River at present day Pendleton, and saw an abandoned cabin there, the first house that they had seen since crossing the Missouri River. The train followed a route away from the Columbia River until dropping down into what is now The Dalles, Oregon. From there they traveled South into the Cascade Mountains, and then West around the South side of Mount Hood, taking the (recently opened but very rough) Barlow trail down towards what is now Sandy, Oregon. They arrived at Oregon City, the end of the Oregon Trail, on September 6th, 1852. Apparently they did not all arrive on the same day, with land records indicating that John arrived on September 5th, and Elias and James on September 6th, 1852. (In spite of the deaths in the Wagon train from Cholera, and that James indicated that he had become deathly sick from it for a period of time, it appears that all of the Forgey group survived the 4 month ordeal.)
The Forgey group turned South at this point, heading down the Willamette Valley. They located land at the area known as the Forks of The Santiam River, in the area where Scio, Linn County, Oregon, now exists. It appears that John, James, and Elias all filed for Donation Land Claims. John, Claim # 4384, James Claim #1940, and Elias Claim #1941. Old land maps show Elias’s name on land that was next to the West line of Hamon Shelton’s land, several miles East of what is now Scio, Oregon, and on the North side of Thomas Creek. All three of the Forgey’s are listed on the tax records as having paid taxes on their land in 1854.
The 1860 Federal Census shows the Forgey brothers with the exception of Elias. He may have been missed in this census in that he has not been located in Linn County, or on any of the adjoining census’s either. George, listed in records translated from the original, is listed as Goorge Fargy, 19, and is working for a farmer as a day laborer, not far from the farm of John Forgey. John and his wife are listed, with John listed as a wagon maker. Mary Ann Forgey, their daughter, is still in the household, along with Nancy, 10, and Laura, 9, born after the 1850 census in Illinois. John and Margaret have three new children, all born in Oregon. Priscilla is 6, Sarah 4, and Martha 2.
Jacob Forgey, is listed in the 1860 census with his name messed up worse then that of George, and is transcribed in records as Jacob R. Frogg, 33, born Indiana. He is working in Linn County as a farm hand for a blacksmith/farmer by the name of Frank Shedd. Although Jacob does not own land, he does own personal property that he is taxed on.
James, in his narrative, indicated that he had married a “Miss Milholland”, in 1847. (Henderson County, Illinois marriage records list James Forgy as marrying Mary E. Mulhollen on May 19, 1847.) He does show up on the 1850 census for Henderson County, Ill., with Mary E., age 26, born N.C., as his wife. He does not make any references to her on the trip, however. This Mary Milholland is said to be the sister of Margaret Milholland, wife of John Forgey, brother of James. Materials in the publication Forgey Family Photographs, by David G. Hunt, indicate that the Milholland’s that accompanied the group were brothers and sister to Mary and Margaret.
The Donation Land Claim records, claim #1940, list James as being born in1825, Jackson Co., Ind., and marrying Mary E. in May of 1847. James is listed on the 1860 Census in Marion County with Elizabeth, 26 born in Illinois, so it doesn’t appear that this is “Miss Milholland”, but rather a 2nd wife of James. Some say that this is Elizabeth Swegle, that he married in 1859 after the death of Mary in 1858. Also present are 5 children, all born since James arrival in Oregon. They are Nancy, 7; Marietta, 5; Lucy, 4; Sylvester, 3; and Vennitta, 2.
Elias Forgey did not appear to be married at the time of crossing the Oregon Trail. His Donation Land Claim record, which lists him as being born on 7 Mar 1832, Jackson Co., Ind., and settling his claim on 1 Sept. 1853, does not list a marriage date for him. Linn County marriage records show a marriage between him and a Amanda Callastine (Holman) on October 1, 1865. The 1870 Federal Census for Linn County shows Elias, 38, with his wife Amanda, 33, and three children. Alevilda is 4, Elvira 2, and William 3 months old.
The 1870 Census shows John as farming in the Albany, Oregon, area, 50 years of age, and born in Va. Margaret, his wife, is listed as being 45, and born in N.C. William, the son of John, is still living at home, working on the farm. He is listed as 23 years of age, and born in Illinois. Children born in Oregon include Priscilla, 15, Sarah, J., 13, Martha, 11, and Elizabeth, 8. Mary Ann Forgey has married Leander Shelton, doing so on November 12, 1863, in Scio, Oregon. They are listed under the Scio Post Office for Linn County, and have three children; Franklin, 6, Elva, 4, Albert, 2, and Feril?, 2/12. Nancy Jane Forgey, the 8 month old daughter of John Forgey on the 1850 census, married George J. McCoy on May 6th, 1868 in Linn county. George and Nancy McCoy, transcribed as McCay in census records, are on the 1870 Census for Linn County. They have two children. James, 1 year old, and John, 2 months old. Laura Forgey has married, and is located on the 1870 census for Corvallis P.O., Benton County, Oregon, keeping house with a Jas. T. Phillips, 30, a blacksmith, born in Ohio.
Farming on two nearby farms in this census are William and David Milholland, who accompanied the Forgey’s on the 1852 trip to Oregon, both are married now and have families. David had married a Mary Shearer in 1853, and continues to farm in the Linn County area for the rest of his life. The children of David and Mary include William H., Sarah J., Mary A, Julia, Catherine M., , and Ira H. William married an Elizabeth Shearer in 1858. He also farms in the Linn County for the rest of his life. William and Elizabeth have Robert J., Edward M., and Walter as children. David and William, along with their wives and some of their children, are buried in the Oakville Cemetery in Albany, Linn County, Oregon, with headstones marked Millhollin.
Jane Milholland, sister to David and William, married James Shelton on Sept 22, 1854, in Linn County Oregon. The also live out their lives in Linn County, having a family of Hamon and Rufina. Jane and James are buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Albany, Linn County, Oregon. James Shelton is an older brother of Leander Shelton, who married Mary Ann Forgey.
The 1900 Census for Linn County Oregon lists a Wesley D. Millholland, 55, born in Indiana. (This appears to be the David, 5, listed in the household of Andrew Forgey on the 1850 census of Henderson Co., Ill.) Listed with him are V. Ida (Virginia), his wife, 44, and Anna 21, Milton 18, Clyde 15, George 11, and Ruby 5. . The first three children were born in Nebraska, but George and Ruby were born in Oregon. This would lead one to believe that Wesley had arrived in Oregon between 1885 and 1889. Wesley is farming in the same census precinct as David and William, his uncles. Wesley and his wife are buried in the Oakville Cemetery as well. Wesley is listed there as David Wesley Millhollen. The Oakville records indicate that this Wesley is the son of John Pickney Millhollen and Elizabeth Maxwell, mentioned earlier.
Elizabeth, wife of William Milholland, shows up on the 1910 Oregon Census, with her last name spelled Millhollen. Gary and April Forgey of Ellensburg, Wa., are in the possession of the Bible of James Forgey of this narrative. In this Bible the name is spelled Millhollen. It is believed that this is the correct spelling for this name. But with all of the various spellings that appear on the records, this may never be proven for certain. The only confirmation at this time is the
George W., Forgey is listed in Linn County in the Albany area and farming in 1870. His wife is listed as Martha A., 22, and born in Illinois. Benton County, Oregon Marriage records list George Forgey and Martha Ann Shear marrying there on March 13, 1862. Their children are John, 5, and Henry D., 2, both born in Oregon.
On the 1870 census for Linn County James Forgey, name spelled Forgy, is listed with his wife Haritte(?), 24, and two new children, Sarah, 10, and George W., 7. There is a marriage on May 12, 1863, in Linn County, Oregon, between a James Forgey and a Harriet Ray. It would appear that Elizabeth has died, and James had re-married.
William A. Forgey, son of John Forgey, is registered in Benton County, Oregon, as marrying Jeanette Halstead on October 23, 1873. There are two Forgey marriages in Benton Co., Oregon, in 1874. The first is for Priscilla Forgey, spelled Forgy, marrying Jasper Newton Friend on March 2, 1874. On April 22 of the same year is the marriage of Martha Forgey, again spelled Forgy, and William Mulky. Priscilla and Martha are two of John Forgey’s daughters.
There are records in the Oregon Archives covering Military Service. Among these is a record for Elias Forgey for the year 1874. No search has been made to determine the nature of this service.
A 1878 directory of the Scio area, Linn County Oregon, lists James Forgey. He is listed as a farmer, stock raiser, and fruit dryer. He is listed as a native of Indiana, arriving in the state and county in 1852, and owning 720 acres.
The 1880 census for Linn County, Oregon, list both James and Elias Forgey. James is listed at age 54, with his wife at that time Harriet, 36, born in Tennessee. There children at that time are Sarah Ann, 19, George, 16, and Laura Bell, 9. Elias is listed at age 48, with his wife Amanda Calestine, 33, born in Missouri. Their children at that time are Alwilda Victoria, 13, William A., 10, Isaac R., 8, Clayburn D., 6, Delilila Olive, 4, Lufiza Delcina, 3, Louisa Sultena, 3, and Elias James, 1, all born in Oregon.
John Forgey has left Linn County, Oregon by 1880, but there were descendants of his in the area. Mary Ann Forgey, daughter of John Forgey, had married Leander Shelton, and they are living about 2 miles East of Scio. The 1880 census for Linn County, Oregon, shows George J. McCoy, 43, born in Illinois, with his wife Nancy, 30, born in Illinois. Their children at that time are James A., 11, George E., 8, Hamon, 5, and Lena, 3, all born in Oregon. (Information gained from old photos indicates that Nancy Jane may have gone by her middle name, Jane, later in life.)
The obituary for Laura Forgey indicated that she was married to a J. T. Phillips on June 20, 1869. The 1880 census for Philomath, Benton County, Oregon, shows a Laura Phillips married to a J. T. Phillips. Laura is listed as 28 years old and born in Oregon, which is in error, since she was the last child of John and Matilda born in Illinois. The three children listed, Evert, 9, Miles, 5, and Chide, 3, (a girl),.were apparently their only children.
The 1880 census for Yakima County, Washington Territory, W. Kittitas precinct shows a John Forgey, transcribed as Fargey, 61, his wife Matilda (Margaret Matilda), and a 18 year old daughter Fanny. Also present is Merritt Vetito, 27, born in Illinois, and listed as boarder, and farmer. On a neighboring farm are William Forgey, again transcribed as Fargey, with his wife Nettie, and sons Franklin, 4, and Otto, 1. Both sons were born in Washington territory. That would put there arrival in Washington around 1876. (Apparently William and Jeanette had another daughter, Adah Leah on October 20th of that year, born after the census). B.L.M Land Records show George being issued a land patent there on Feb. 15, 1876 Jacob received one also on June 6, 1874.
On yet another neighboring farm is George Forgey and his wife Martha, and 5 children; Bell 16, John 14, Grover 12, Emma 7, and Feeby 11 months. The children prior to Emma were born in Oregon, and Emma and Feeby born in Washington Territory. With Emma being 7, it would put their arrival in Washington Territory, and the current Thorp area of Washington State around 1873. Living with George is Jacob, his older brother, and listed as a farmer.
Undocumented sources indicate that when John Forgey moved to Washington, three of his married daughters and their husbands moved as well. Precilla Forgey Friend, who married J. N. Friend, is on the 1885, 1910, and 1920 census for Kittitas County. Martha, who married William Mulkey, is found on the 1880 census for West Kittitas with a new husband, James Bates. The 1900 Census for Douglas County, NE of Kittitas County, shows her with an apparent another husband, Albert Walker, a butcher by trade. (Martha appears to have married yet a 3rd time, for her death certificate in Lane County, Oregon, lists her as being married to Harry Lightle at the time of her death. They appear together on the 1920 census for Lane County along with Martha’s daughter Eva, but it appears that Martha has “adjusted” her age with a younger husband. Martha last resided in Veneta, Lane County, Oregon, and died there on the 16th of July, 1942, and is buried with Harry in the Inman Cemetery in Lane County.) Sarah Forgey Newman, who married John M. Newman, is found on the1880 and 1887 Census for Kittitas County. This information verifies that all three of the married daughters had indeed moved to that area, but not necessarily when.
John, George, and William Forgey are all listed on adjoining entries in the 1880 census. James Bates, with his wife Nora (Forgey), is 6 entries before the Forgey’s, and John Newman, with his wife Isabella (Forgey), is 6 entries after the Forgey’s. At the time of the 1880 census there was a road that ran from Thorp directly West, connecting this group of related individuals within about a mile and a half. The construction of the I-90 freeway through the area has severed this connecting road, leaving the route from Thorp to the Forgey properties about a 4 ½ mile roundabout route. With the 1912 plot map of the area as a reference, it appears that the farms of William, George, and John Forgey may have encompassed the South half of Section 10, on the South side of the original road that ran West from Thorp through section 10 and 11.
The History of Yakima Valley, 1919, Washington, has an article on John Miles Newman. John was said to have been one of the early settlers in the area, arriving in 1878, and involved in the plotting of the Village of Thorp. John was listed as a farmer and blacksmith, and lived just South of Thorp in Kittitas County. It indicates that he had married Miss Isabella Forgey in Oregon, daughter of John and Matilda Forgey, when he lived in Oregon. It is believed that John and Isabella had ten children prior to her death on June 12, 1896. The probate records for Sarah Isabelle list Olive M (Wilcox), Lillie V. (Mcafee), James Otis, Minnie M., Fred P., Jacob M., John A. and Jesse R. Newman. Daughters Lena and Ada had died at an early age. The 1900 census for that area shows John M. Newman farming, and with sons Fred, Jacob, John, and Jessie, but no daughters and no Sarah Isabella. Sarah is buried in the Thorp Cemetery, in Section 10, , township 18, on the Thorp Cemetery Rd, just West of Thorp, Washington. The probate records for John Newman indicate that he died on November 2, 1922. This record includes a more complete record of the heirs. They were Olive M. Wilcox, Thorp; Lillie Marshall, Cle Elum; J. Otis Newman, Fresno, Cal.; Minnie M. Shull, Ellensburg; Fred L. Newman, Thorp; Jacob M. Newman, Thorp; John A. Newman, Thorp; Jesse R. Newman, Thorp; as well as a Esther M. Newman, who was the only child of John’s second marriage.
A walk through the Thorp Cemetery revealed the graves of John and Isabella. Their graves are located in the section of the cemetery on the right side as you would face it from the road, and just to the right of the entry gate. Their marker is a large, prominent marker, the largest in that immediate section of the cemetery. Their death dates correspond with those mentioned earlier in this narrative. Located just to the left of their headstone is a round, white pillar, that is the marker for Lena and Addie, their two daughters that died at a young age. Lena died on October 9, 1887, at 8 months and 16 days of age. Addie died on October 5, 1887, at 3 years and 3 months of age. The close proximity of the death dates would make you wonder if they hadn’t died from the effects of a contagious disease. On the right side of the grave of Isabella and John are the graves of Otis Newman 1876-1931, Fred P. Newman 1890-1948, and Jesse R. Newman 1895-1964. In the left front area of the major headstone is the grave of Lillie V. Marshall, 1875-1950, alongside the grave of Ellie B. McAffee 1895-1995. It appears that Lillie is the daughter of Isabella and John, and that Ellie is the daughter of Lillie. Within this unusual arrangement of graves are located six of the children of Isabella and John, and apparently one of their grand children. Another unusual aspect is that none of the graves have spouses buried with them other then that of Isabella and John.
The transcribed 1883 Census for Yakima County shows John Forgey and his wife. Listed next after them is a “White J? M? ”, 30, with his wife Fanny, 21, and a 1 month old daughter. This appears to be Fanny Elizabeth Forgey, daughter of John, and apparently married.
The transcribed 1885 census for what has become Kittitas County shows W. A. Forgey, his wife, and 2 children but no other Forgeys. What appears to be Fanny, her daughter, and husband, is now listed under the name “J. M. Velto?”. There appears to have been difficulty reading and transcribing the census of 1883 and 1885. This appears to be the Merrit Vetito listed on the 1880 census as a boarder, and now Fanny’s husband. The 1910 census for Lewis County, Washington lists Merit Vetilo. A close reading of the document reveals that the o was crossed, leaving the reader wondering if the name wasn’t Vetito. It appears that by 1910 that Fanny Forgey had died, and that her husband was living in the household of Fanny and Merritt’s oldest daughter.
Early land records for Kittitas County, Washington, show John Forgey purchasing land there as late as March 9, 1886.
The 1887 census for the same county shows John and his wife, Margaret, but no other Fogeys.
The early land records for Kittitas County, Washington, show a land sale of 80 acres of land for John Forgey et ux (and wife), to John Waggoner on August 18, 1887. There are also sales for William A. Forgey et ux on November 7, 1887, and August 13, 1888, the later to E. R. Hatfield.
Lymans History of Old Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield, and Asotin Counties, published in 1918, includes an article which indicates that George Forgey had left Kittitas County after living there 12 years, and settled in Asotin County with his family. It is not known precisely when this move took place, but land records in Kittitas County show George purchasing land there as late as 1885. In Asotin County he once again went into farming. His son John, 14 on the 1880 census for Kittitas County, finished school in Asotin County, married, and went into farming there as well, settling 11 miles South of Asotin, and raising wheat as his primary crop. He married a Sadie Milsaps in 1886, and they raised a family there. Their children included Bellzena, Alva, Joe, Jessie, and Dell. Alva and Jessie died in infancy. At the time of the article Jessie was farming in Montana, and Dell was in the Army in France. It is known that George had returned to Linn County, Oregon by 1910, and from the Lymans History article we know that he was living there with his daughter Mrs Phoebe Ramsey.
Wedding lists in Linn County, Oregon, list a wedding between a Robert Fletcher and Ida Forgey on July 8, 1910. George Forgey was listed as the license witness, a Lulu Forgey as the witness for the wedding, and the wedding taking place in the home of Grover Forgey. George would have been 50 by the time of the 1910 wedding, and lived another 14 years. His obituary, in the April 3rd, 1924, Morning Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, indicated that he had died in Albany on April 2nd. It indicated that he had arrived in Oregon in 1852, and spent the rest of his life in Linn county as a farmer (this statement apparently was in error). He was survived by two daughters, Bellzena Newman and Mrs. A. L. Ramsey, both of Albany, and two sons, John A. and Grover H. Forgey, both of the Asotin, Washington, area. The obituary makes you wonder about it’s accuracy, when it states that he lived there “the rest of his live”. He was in Kittitas County, Washington for 12 years, and in Asotin County for a period of time. It appears that Grover moved to Asotin County between the marriage in his home in 1920, and the death of his father in 1924.
The History of Asotin County has an article on Elias Forgey on page 781. It indicates that he had moved to Asotin County, Washington, in 1879 when he settled on the flats near Theon. There “he took a homestead and a pre-emption and later added three hundred and twenty acres of fine farm land by purchase which gives him a choice estate of one of the valuable farms of the county”. He apparently farmed, raised cattle, and worked as a stone mason. The children of Elias and Amanda Colestine are listed as Victoria (b. Sept. 28, 1866), Elvina (b. Jan. 31, 1868), William (b. Dec. 15, 1869), Isaac (b. May 5, 1872), Clebern (Claborne)(b. Dec. 19, 1873), Delila July 13, 1875), Louisa (Jan. 1, 1877), L. Watkins (Loufisa b. Jan 1, 1877), Elias J. (Jan 21, 1879), and Marcus (Demarcus b. Aor. 29, 1886) . Elias and Amanda Colestine were described as “good people and deserve the esteem and confidence reposed in them”. This appears to have been written some time after 1900. (Information in brackets in this paragraph is from the Elias Family Bible).
A narrative report, again in the Asotin Sentinel on August 7, 1939, written by William Forgey, son of Elias, indicates that Elias sold his land in Oregon in 1882. He sold his farm for $4,000 in $20 gold pieces, and packed it in hiding places in two new wagons and an old Hack (buggy?) and moved to Asotin Flats in Asotin County, Washington, where his Uncle Jim Forgey (James?) was living. The trip took them 20 days, traveling back over the Oregon trail to Pendleton, then NE to Asotin County, Washington, located in the very SE corner of that state. William indicated that “nine of us kids were born in Linn County, Oregon. “After thirty years in this web-footed county, father sold his farm .” Then later indicates “Mother and my sisters, Vickie, Vina, Ollie, Fisa, and Lou, the twins and brother Elias, then the baby, all rode with me.” “Brothers Ike and Don rode with Berry (a friend) and Father”. From the sounds of this 9 children were moving with Elias and his wife when they moved from Linn County to Asotin County, Washington, where they settled for good. It appears that Marcus was born in Asotin County, Washington.
James, in his Oregon Trail Article, indicated that he moved to Asotin County, Washington, in 1883. He indicated that he had 3 wives and 10 children die in Oregon before he sold out and moved to Washington. His Bible, in the possession of Gary Forgey of Ellensburg, Wa., tends to verify this. It lists a total of 14 births, with four if them being infant deaths, and others that were named but died within two years of their birth. It also appears that Mary E. Millhollen, first wife of James, died 2 days after child birth in 1859. It is not totally clear, but it appears that James may have not left any male descendants. It appears that his children that survived included Marietta, born 1855, Lucy, born 1856, Sarah Ann, born 1860, and Laura Bell born 1879. Lucy does not appear on the list of births, but does appear on the 1860 census. With her included, the total count of children would stand at 15. The Bible records indicate that Marietta married Zechariah Smith in 1874 in Linn County, Oregon, and that Laura married Anthon Gavan in Portland, Or., in 1889. Sarah appears on the 1900 Census in Asotin County married to a Pierce. It is not known at this time what became of Lucy.
The 1900 Census records for Asotin District, Asotin County, show Elias at 68, a farmer, and his wife Cales, 53, married 35 years, and with Marcus, a 14 year old son in school. Burial records for Asotin County show an Elias Forgey, born 7 Mar. 1832, (bible records show him born 4 Mar. 1832), died 19 Jun 1911. Callie, or Calestine Forgey, is listed on the 1920 Census for Asotin County and living alone at age 72. Burial records list her as Amanda C., with dates of 1847 - 1929. (Elias family bible records show birth date for Amanda as May 29, 1847, born Ray County, Missouri, as well as a possible marriage to a “Burlson” late in life, and death date of Dec. 27, 1928). (Information from Elias Forgey Family Bible provided by Bridgette Davis, a descendent of Elias).
James is shown on the 1900 census for Asotin with his name spelled Forgy, and his wife’s name un-clear. It may be Elriky, age 60. They are listed as having been married 17 years. Sarah Pierce, a daughter, is living with them, as well as Benjamin, a grand son. On the 1910 census for Asotin County, Washington, his wife is listed as Anna, age 72, born in Michigan, and married to James for 5 years. An occupation is listed, but is un-clear. It may be stone mason.
George Forgey appears on the 1910 census for Linn County, Oregon with his wife Martha. George is listed as 69 years of age, born in Indiana, and his parents born in Tennessee. He is working as a janitor in a general merchandise store. Also living with them is a Walter Daggett, and Villa and George, listed as grand daughters(?).
James has been located on the census records for Asotin County for 1920, when he was 94 years of age. There he is living with Albert and Minnie Cook, and listed as a father-in-law to Albert. It would make it appear that Minnie was the nick name for one of the daughters of James. Elriky Forgey is shown on the same census as being 80 years of age, and living alone. James’ grave has not been located as of this time. Some sources indicate that it may be Garfield County, just East of Asotin County. This has not been verified.
Oregon records on the 1852 Oregon Trail Immigrants indicate that George W. Forgey, b. 1840, Indiana, died April 1924 in Albany, Oregon. His grave is listed in Linn County records as being located in Riverside Cemetery in Albany, Linn County, Oregon, with the dates on it reading 1840 - 1924. Listed in the same plot is Martha A. Forgey, with her dates reading 1848 - 1923. In a separate plot in the same cemetery is the grave of Jacob R. Forgey, reading 71 y, 4/3/1909.
A complete list of the children of George and Martha Forgey has not been located to date. By compiling several prime sources, it appears that the children include Bell (Belzena), born about 1862; John, born about 1865; Grover and Henry D., born about 1868, Emma, born about 1873; and Feeby (Phoebe), born about 1879. It is not known how the Ida and Lulu, mentioned earlier in the marriage records for Linn County, Oregon, relate to this family. The obituary of George, who died in 1824, indicated that he was survived by four children: John and Grover of Asotin County, Washington, and Belzena Newman and Mrs A. L. Ramsey of Albany, Oregon (this is Phoebe). In Lymans History is mention of the fact that the family included a son by the name of Fred, who died at age 17 in a hunting accident. He is buried in the Riverside Cemetery, Albany, Oregon, dying on March 1, 1902.
The dates on the graves of George and Jacob, which correspond with those given for the George and Jacob, sons of Andrew Forgey, along with the census information giving the place of birth of the parents of George as Tennessee, tend to indicate that George and Jacob are the sons of Andrew Forgey, and not John Forgey. This information is supported by the obituary of Elias Forgey, printed in the 23 June 1911 issue of the Asotin Sentinel. The obituary indicates that Elias was survived by two brothers, James of Asotin, and George of Albany, Or.
Conversations with April Forgey, of Ellensburg, had revealed that the current Forgey’s of the Ellensburg, Washington, area, descend from John Forgey, the son of George Forgey, who had lived in Kittitas County, and later moved to Asotin County with his family. This John, according to the Lymans History, moved to Asotin County, Washington with his father in 1882. It appears that this is the John Forgey on the 1910 and 1920 census’s for Asotin County, first in Theon District, and then in Asotin, Asotin County, at the ages 4? and then 54, born in Oregon, with his wife Sarah, and sons Joseph and Dell. The Lymans History article indicates that his wife was Sadie Milsaps, and that they married in 1886, and farmed, raising wheat, on a large farm 11 miles south of Asotin. John and Sadie had a family that included Belezena, who married a Ben Moody; Alva, who died at an early age; Joe, who married Ester Hardy; Jessie, who died young; and Dell, an Army Engineer at the time the article was written. The Ellensburg Forgey’s of today descend from Joe Forgey, who at the time of the Lymans History article was farming in Montana.
Records for Miller Cemetery, NW of Scio, indicate that Mary (Mary Ann Forgey) and Lee Shelton are buried there. Mary Shelton is listed with dates reading 9 Nov. 1845 - 23 Aug. 1913. Lee Shelton is listed with dates reading 18 Sept. 1835 - 23 July 1912. Their names are on a common stone for the two graves. Mary Ann Forgey and Leander Shelton had spent their entire married lives living just East of Scio and farming there. They had 11 children. They included: Franklin, Elva Jane, Albert, Ferrel, Albert L., John Ira, David, Roe, Clifford, Laura Edell, and Edith. The home that Leander built is still standing in 2003. It is about 20 to 24 ft. square, the walls about 1½ stories high, with the roof sloping from all four sides to the center peak. The home of John Newman, in Thorp, Washington was of the same configuration, and still standing and occupied by a descendent of Isabella, Mary Ann’s sister.
The Corvallis Daily Gazette, on October 17, 1916, carried an obituary for Laura Forgey Phillips, indicating that she had died on that day. The Fossil Journal from Fossil, Oregon, carried an obituary on Friday, June 28, 1929, which indicated that Nancy Jane Forgey McCoy had died in Palo Alto, California. Her death was apparently on June 13th. She was to be buried in a cemetery in Portland, Oregon.
It appears that after John Forgey, father of Mary Ann Forgey, sold his land in Kittitas County, he moved Northeast to Douglas County, where B. L. M. Land Records show him purchasing land. In November of 1891 he purchased 158 acres under his name, and July of 1893 he purchased 80 acres under his name and that of his wife, Matilda M. Forgey. These land parcels were located in Range 23-E, Township 25-N , section 4, about 6 miles Northeast of Waterville, Washington. Land records in the Douglas County Courthouse verify these purchases by John and Matilda. Probate records in the same Courthouse show that John died in that county on July 4, 1892, and the purchase of the 2nd piece of property was by his wife, Matilda. Matilda became sick two years later, and lived with one of her daughters and daughters husband in Waterville, until she died on May 20, 1898. John and Matilda are believed to be buried in the Old Waterville Cemetery, NE of Waterville on the Airport Rd. This Cemetery was closed in the early 1900's, with many of the graves relocated to the New Waterville Cemetery, South of Waterville. Many of the original markers in the Old Cemetery were made of wood, and have long since weathered away. There is no record of John and Matilda being buried in the New Cemetery, so it assumed that they were buried in the Old Cemetery, in what is now an unmarked grave in field that is returning to natural vegetation containing about a dozen or so stone grave markers.
California records indicate that John and Matilda’s son, William Andrew Forgey, born January 1, 1847, in Illinois, is listed as dying on February 4, 1895 in Fresno, Fresno County, California.
Andrew Forgey, father of the 5 brothers, was on the 1850 census for Henderson County, Illinois, listed as 53 years of age and farming. James, in his narrative, indicated hat his father had moved to Iowa in 1845. This date was apparently in error. Andrew is found on the Henderson County, Illinois, 1860 Census. He is listed with four children born since the 1850 census. They are Adaline 8, Clark 6, Elisha J. 4, and what appears to be Lewis 2. Also listed are the four Milholland children that appeared on the 1850 census with Andrew. Andrew is listed as 65 years old, and still farming, although he is not taxed on any real estate. The oldest Milholland boy is listed as a farm hand.
Andrew appears on the 1870 Census for Henderson County, taken on June 13 of that year, living with his family in the household of Wesley Millholland. With him are his wife, Elizabeth, and their four children.
Andrew also appears on the 1870 Census for Rockingham Township, Scott County, Iowa, taken on the 2nd day of September. Rockingham Township is located just West of Davenport, Iowa. There Andrew is living in the home of John Friday. Elizabeth, John’s wife, is a daughter of Andrew, and this accounts for the living arrangement. Andrew’s wife, Elizabeth, is not listed with him on that location, nor are the children of his second marriage. Based upon the dates of the two 1870 Censuses, it would appear that Andrew moved, without his wife and children from Henderson County, Illinois, to Rockingham County, Iowa, during the summer of 1870.
Hariett Milholland, 2, on the 1850 census, is working in a private home in Henderson County, Illinois, in 1870.
Andrew died on April 8, 1879, and is buried in Friday Cemetery, a small private cemetery on the West side of Davenport, Iowa. His daughter, Elizabeth “ Betsy Ann” is buried there as well, in a grave with her husband, John Friday. Elizabeth died, on November 11, 1901, and John Friday on Jan 10, 1899, with these dates taken from a photo of their headstone
There is only limited information on the lives of the other children of Andrew Forgey. Hugh, his oldest son, remained in Indiana when his father moved to Illinois, and appears to have lived out the rest of his life there. He appears on the 1880 census for Indiana in Brownstone, Jackson County. He is 63 at that time, with his wife Elizabeth, 45, Leander, 25, and William, 18. The records of Helen McNiece indicate that Hugh’s first wife was a Delila Henderson, and they had two daughters; Alpha, and Nancy Ann. Hugh had another daughter by Elizabeth (Wry), his 2nd wife, Sarah Ellen. Hugh died on November 28, 1882, and is buried in Freetown, Indiana.
Amos Forgey appeared on the 1850 census for Henderson County, Illinois, as a neighbor to his brother John. He shows up again on the 1880 census for that county at age 56. With him are his wife Elizabeth, 49, Sarah E., 17, Amos G., 14, and George, 9. Illinois marriage records indicate that he married a 2nd time to a Sarah Jane Adams in 1885 in Henderson County.
Andrew Jackson Forgey is said to have died on October 12, 1842. Lewis Forgey is said to have died on May 12, 1879. These dates from the records of Helen McNiece.
There is a Clark Forgia in Brownsville, Clear Creek County, Colorado, in the 1880 census, that may be the Clark of the 2nd family of Andrew Forgey. This Clark is recorded as being born in 1852 in Illinois, and is listed with a group of other single males. There is a listing for a Elisha Forgey, brother to Clark, on the 1880 census for Alda, Hall County, Nebraska (near Grand Island). He is listed as working as a laborer and living with his mother, Elizabeth Forgey, 59, a widow. It is not known how or why they arrived in Nebraska. The Jefferson County, Nebraska, Marriage Book B covering most of the time from November 8, 1880 to December 29, 1888, has a listing for Clark Forgey marrying a Minnie Phelps, and Elisha Forgey marrying Jennie Phelps. This appears to be a case of brothers marrying sisters
Elizabeth appears on the 1900 census for Stillwater, Payne County, Oklahoma, apparently living with one of her sons from her first marriage, John M. Millhollen. She is listed as 79, with having had four children, four of them still living. She is also listed under the surname of Fordey, but the 1910 census for the same area lists her as Forgey. The “Bunce Genealogy and History” indicates that Elizabeth Forgey lived to the age of 90, and died in Stillwater, Payne County,. This also appears to be the end of the trail for information available on Elizabeth Forgey and her children, as well as the end of this narrative on information related to the five Forgey brothers who crossed on the Oregon trail in 1852.
For those researchers searchers researching Washington State Records, there is an additional Forgey line in the Spokane area. This appears to be William Forgey, oldest son of Amos Forgey, son of Andrew Forgey. Amos was mentioned early in this narrative in the first family of Andrew. He is also located on the 1850 Census of Henderson County, Illinois, farming in the area of Andrew, and Andrew’s son John. Amos’s son William appears to move from Illinois to Nebraska, where he is found on the 1900 Census with a wife Fanny, and sons Fredric?, George W., James W., and Fred E. The Census also reveals that the couple had a total of 8 children, seven of them still living at that time. William next appears on the 1910 Census for the Spokane, Washington, area, with his wife Fannie E., and his son Fred E. Fannie E. Forgey is buried in the Spokane, Washington area, but William’s grave has not been located to date. Those searching for the burial location of William A. Forgey, son of John, son of Andrew, should not be confused and accept it as the burial location of William, son of Amos, son of Andrew.
This project started with interest in a picture identified only as the father of Mary Ann Shelton Forgey. It grew to become a narrative history of the ancestors, relatives, and siblings of Mary Ann Forgey Shelton, and was prepared from the results of an extensive records search, data exchange with others, as well as on site data collections of information on these individuals. I greatly appreciate the assistance of the “others” who have shared information with me. To the best of my ability I have included sources in the body of the document, and no further sources are available. If additions or corrections need to be made to this report they should be directed to me and I will attempt to incorporate them in to this document. However, I am limiting the report to three generations; Andrew, his children, and his grandchildren. Others may wish to pick up from their with their research and this story, and should feel free to do so.
Dick Schack 360-695-8036
810 E. 29th St. email@example.com
Vancouver, Wa. 98663