Alfred Bonniwell documents – part 7: landowner, 1845

When the extended Bonniwell family arrived in Wisconsin Territory in May, 1839, youngest son Alfred T. Bonniwell was not quite two months past his 13th birthday, and his brother Walter was only two years older. Because of their youth, neither Alfred nor Walter were able join their mother and brothers as they purchased government land and established what became known as Mequon’s Bonniwell Settlement.1

That changed for Alfred on June 7, 1845, when his mother, Eleanor (Hills Bonniwell) Hyde, gave him the eastern 80 acres of her original federal land patent.

Hyde, Eleanor (grantor) to A. T. Bonniwell (grantee), deed for 80 acres, June 7, 1845. See note 2 for source and details. Click to open larger image in new window.

Alfred would buy and sell several other properties in the 1850s and ’60s, but he held on to this parcel until his death, fifty years later. Let’s see what he got…

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JCH News: Play Ball!

I just got some fun news from Jonathan Clark House executive director Dana Hansen:

While the weather doesn’t feel like it at the moment, our fundraiser game with the Chinooks is coming up very soon! Make sure to purchase your packages asap for the game on June 3rd as they will be opening up general ticket sales May 2nd, and expect to sell out. See the poster below for more information, and hope to see you out at the ball game!


Click to open larger image in a new window.

Batter up! for history.

So if you’d like to support the Clark House—and enjoy an fun evening at the ballpark—call and reserve your game package for Friday, June 3rd, 2022, and don’t forget promo code JCH.

And even though the Chinooks and the Rafters will play by modern rules, I’m sure Old Abe would approve…

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Alfred Bonniwell documents – part 6: U.S. Citizen, 1849

Today’s post in our Bonniwell document series1 focuses on one important item, Alfred T. Bonniwell’s Petition for Naturalization as a United States citizen, completed in Milwaukee, at the U.S. District Court for the District of Wisconsin, November 6, 1849.

Bonniwell, Alfred, Petition for Naturalization 6 Nov 1849; for full citation see note 2, below. Click to open larger image in new window.

This petition was the final step in a relatively simple citizenship process whose basic outlines had not changed much since the early days of the republic. Alfred T. Bonniwell’s 1849 citizenship petition follows a form typical of such documents, but has a few extra bits of information that are particular to his immigration story. Let’s take a closer look.

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Alfred Bonniwell documents – part 5: Wisconsin, 1846-1847

Continuing our look at the life of Alfred Bonniwell, today’s post focuses on two documents, the Wisconsin territorial censuses of 1846 and 1847. We’ll take a close look at the Bonniwell families as enumerated on the Wisconsin territorial census of 1846, and discuss briefly the status of the 1847 census schedules for old Washington/Ozaukee county.1

The Wisconsin Territorial census of 1846:

The next Wisconsin territorial census after 1842 was officially enumerated on June 1, 1846. The record of Mequon’s various Bonniwell families begins on the third line of page 43 of the Washington county schedules:

For full citation, see note 2, below; image lightly tinted. Click to open larger image in new window.

For our purposes today, the key “heads of families” and their households begin on line 3. They are the households of:

• W. T. Bonniwell . . . . .  2 males, 4 females
• Eleanor Hyde. . . . . . . .3 males, 2 females
• C Bonniwell. . . . . . . . . 3 males, 5 females
• P. Moss. . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 male, 1 female
• J. Bonniwell. . . . . . . . . 5 males, 4 females
• G. Bonniwell. . . . . . . . 2 males, 3 females
• H. Bonniwell. . . . . . . . 1 male, 3 females

We see that by mid-1846 there were seven Bonniwell family households in Mequon’s “Bonniwell Settlement.” Five were headed by Bonniwell sons: William T., Charles, James, George and Henry, and another by Bonniwell brother-in-law Philip Moss. And Matriarch Eleanor (Hills Bonniwell) Hyde still led her own substantial household.

Who’s who in 1846?

As we noted in our discussion of the 1842 territorial census, identifying “who’s who?” in each family takes some guesswork, and the identifications are never 100% certain. But let’s try and make some educated guesses about who is living with whom in each of the 1846 Bonniwell family households. Let’s start with the families of the Bonniwell sons:

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Monday: Map Day – Ukraine

UPDATED, April 9, 2022 to fix a minor typo and two unclear phrases.

I haven’t published much here in the last month or so. My apologies. There were some unavoidable but relatively harmless distractions involved, the sort of things that we all deal with from time to time. But the ongoing slaughter in Ukraine, unprovoked, inhuman and inexcusable, made writing and blogging…impossible.

But now it seems even more impossible to not write about the largest conflict in Europe since the end of the Second World War. So today’s “Monday: Map Day” will be devoted to some basic information about Ukraine: its location in Europe, its main cities and geographic features, and a few facts about the country, at least as it was prior to the Russian invasion.1


This map2 was downloaded on April 3, 2022, and shows the borders of Ukraine as understood by the United States and most of nations of the world, and includes all the portions of Crimea, Donbass and Luhansk that Russia seized at the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2014.

Not quite sure where we are? Here’s a map showing Ukraine’s location in eastern Europe:

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