Saturday, November 21, 2009

Conger IV, Job

Job Conger IV

People study the stars without ever getting into a rocket and traveling to them. And you don't have to fight in a war to be an expert on military history.

So it's not all that unusual that Job Conger IV, one of Springfield's [Illinois] foremost authorities on aviation, can't fly an airplane.

"I've always wanted to learn," Conger says, "but I've never had the time or money."

Nevertheless, he probably knows more about airplanes than many pilots do. Conger's two-story home is crammed with aviation information, most of it filed on thousands of index cards he painstakingly wrote out by hand. There are files on every aircraft imaginable, complete with photos and diagrams.

There's the aircraft name file, the magazine index file, the aircraft data file and the "point in time" file. The point in time file tells what happened on a particular day in aviation history.

"Pick a date." Job says.

"May 10."

"Let's see, May 10. Here it is. On May 10, 1911, the first Army officer was killed in an aircraft. On this day in 1929 was the first flight of the Boeing XP-12A. In 1942, the Mustang's first combat sortie was flown for the Royal Air Force against German occupied France."

There's more. Much, much more.

An upstairs closet contains 5,000 model aircraft kits, dating back to the early 1930s. Some are constructed, others are still in their boxes. Every era is represented, from the space shuttle to the World War I - vintage Sopwith Camel.

The next room has piles of files. And there's yet another room beyond that, containing aviation magazines, more files, photos, facts and figures about anything that flies, flew or falls from the sky.

There are more models in Job's basement, including one of Han Solo's Millenium Falcon ship from the "Star Wars" movie trilogy. Other models are just figments of Job's imagination and sense of humor - like the one in which he grafted a World War II bomber's nose gunner turret onto the modern B-1 bomber.

All of the models and information are part of Job's "AIRCHIVE" project. AIRCHIVE is a library for anyone who needs information on aircraft. Job says he gets four or five requests a month, some from foreign countries.

"We're known in Venice, Italy, we're known in Prague, Czechoslovakia," Job says. "But we're very little known in Springfield, [IL] -- and those who do know about us are not inclined to support us."

Job's dream is someday to take all of his AIRCHIVE files and models out of his house and put them on display somewhere, like museum or an airport. Last year, he had some of his collection on display at the Sangamon County Fair. He has done slide shows and speeches for local organizations to promote his idea. But, so far, it remains just a dream.

"Only one person from the airport authority board has even visited and that was for about 10 minutes," Job says, "even though they've been invited several times."

Maintaining the AIRCHIVE library is what Job calls a "labor - intensive operation." Some days he spends up to 10 hours putting information into his files.

"It's easier for me because I don't punch a clock," he says. "Not that I wouldn't want to."

Job supports himself by doing freelance writing, including a weekly aviation column. For three years, he put together the souvenir program for Air Rendezvous. Most of the material he collects, such as aviation magazines, is donated to him.

Financially, it's a losing proposition. But if a guy's got a dream...

"This is what I'd like to do with my life if I could just find a way to support it," Job says.

Job, 39, developed his aviation fascination early in life.

"When I was 4, I could draw a picture of an F-86 Saber faster than any kid on the block," he says. "The first time I remember enjoying a plane ride was in the 9th grade."

Naturally, Air Rendezvous is just about Job's favorite time of the year. He burns up film that weekend like a fighter burns up fuel.

Job took his favorite plane ride at Air Rendezvous in 1985. He went up in a B-25 bomber to shoot photographs of Rudy Frasca's P-40 in flight. He had the run of the bomber as he scrambled about to get different photographic angles of Frasca's plane.

The article that he eventually wrote about the P-40 was published in "Air Show Journal," along with one of his photographs.

Even moving to a different house didn't dent Job's dream. He moved every pound of his files with him and then issued an "AIRCHIVE Update" press release, announcing the move. At the end of the update he says: "The saga continues at AIRCHIVE. The dream is undiminished. The horizon is blue."
(Source: Written by Dave Bakke in an unnamed paper and republished in "Conger Confab" p. 578, Vol. XIV, No. 4, Dec 1988 - Maxine Crowell Leonard)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Conger, Everton Judson

Everton Judson Conger

OCCUPATION: Dentist; soldier; lawyer; Judge

MILITARY: Served during the Civil War
2nd Lieutenant, Co. F, 8th Ohio Infantry (3 months service); 2nd Lieutenant, 7th Co. Ohio Cavalry; Capt. Co. A and Major 3rd West Virginia Cavalry; Lieutenant Colonel, 1st D.C. Cavalry.
(Furnished by Charles G.B. Conger)

MARRIAGE: 16 Oct 1861 at Troy Twp., Richland Co., OH by Rev. Enoch Conger. Probably at the farm of Seymour Beach Conger, according to Robert Guilinger. (Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, p. 173 - Maxine Crowell Leonard)

RESIDENCES: Fremont, Sandusky Co., OH at the beginning of the Civil War.

Everton Judson Conger was a practicing dentist in Fremont, Sandusky County, Ohio at the beginning of the Civil War. He enlisted, raised a company and was commissioned as a Captain and attached to the West Virginia Cavalry. He saw extensive fighting around Petersburg, VA in the Richmond Campaign and was wounded several times, almost losing an arm from a sword blow.

He was honorably mustered out of the First Regt., of the District of Columbia Cavalry on 8 Feb 1865, due mainly to complications from a gunshot wound in his hip, received on 28 Jun 1864.

He was residing at the farm of his deceased brother, Seymour Beach Conger, near Lexington, in Troy Twp., Richland Co., OH when President Abraham Lincoln was shot and died on 15 Apr 1865. Col. Lafayette C. Baker, his old commanding officer, called him back to Washington, DC, via telegraph, to assist in the apprehension of John Wilkes Booth. Col. Baker offered Everton Conger a Colonel's rank in the Secret Service and a share in the posted reward.

Conger accepted Baker's offer and was tasked to track down Booth and his associates. He was successful in tracking and finding Booth and a companion near Port Royal, VA, but Booth was killed in the attempted capture on 26 April 1865. Conger later received a reward of $15,000 for his role in the assassin's capture.

He moved to Carmi, White County, IL in 1869, at age 34, with his wife Emma Kate Boren and son, Charles West Conger (b. 1862).

Everton studied law at the law office of his brother, Chauncy Stewart Conger, and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1871.

He also built a home in Carmi with part of his reward money and practiced law there until 1880 when he was appointed a federal judge in the Montana Territory by President Rutherford B. Hayes.

Judge Conger became a legal adviser to Queen Liliokalani in the 1890s. She had ascended the throne in the Hawaiian Islands to become the last independent ruler. He remained in the islands until his death on 12 Jul 1918 at age 84, in Honolulu. After World War I, his body was returned for burial in Dillon, Beaverhead County, Montana in 1919.

[Note: The material in this article was obtained from sources that include "Conger Family of America, Vol II," 1992 and "Conger Confab" newsletters, 1975-1994, both written and compiled by Helen Maxine Crowell Leonard (b. 1919). Robert R. Guilinger, the author of this piece about Enoch Conger, is a grandson of Margaret E. (Conger) Guilinger (1863 - 1927).]

RELATIONSHIP: A descendant of Job Conger, Col. Everton J. Conger, was a Detective and Aide to Lafayette C. Baker. Lafayette C. Baker was the Chief of the National Detective Police (NDP, i.e., Secret Service) at the time of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, in April 1865.

Everton Judson Conger (1834-1918) and the Capture of John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth (1838 - 1865)

When the fall of Richmond aborted his plan to kidnap Abraham Lincoln and take him to the Confederate capital for a prisoner exchange, noted actor John Wilkes Booth changed his plot to murder.

Born into a Maryland stage family that included his father, Junius Brutus Booth, and his brother, Edwin Booth, he did not achieve the acting success that he thought he deserved.

Although his family tended to support the Union, his sympathies were entirely with the South and, while he didn't enter the military service, he wanted to strike a blow for his "country." He apparently planned to kidnap the president-elect before the 1861 inauguration but failed when the travel plans were altered secretly. Late in the war he plotted with several others to capture Lincoln and spirit him off to Richmond. Several times the band went into action but for one reason or another never succeeded. With the collapse of the Confederacy, Booth realized that the kidnapping would serve no purpose. His new scheme called for simultaneous attacks on Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, cabinet members, and General Grant.

On the night of April 14, 1865, Booth, having made arrangements earlier, entered the President's box at Ford's Theater and shot Lincoln in the back of the head. Major Henry Rathbone, who was a guest of the president, was wounded with a knife by the actor/assassin. Booth then jumped from the box but caught his leg in the decorative flags draped around the ledge and broke his leg landing on the stage. Despite attempts to stop him, notably that of Joseph B. Stewart, he managed to escape the theater.

He crossed the Navy yard Bridge after informing Sergeant Silas Cobb, the guard, who he was and that he had been unavoidably detained in the city. He met up with fellow conspirator, David E. Herold, who escorted him through his flight. He stopped at the farm of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd to have his leg set and then with the help of numerous people along the way, he made it to Virginia and across the Rappahannock River. But here his luck ran out and he was cornered at the farm of Richard H. Garrett near Port Royal. Trapped in a tobacco shed by a cavalry detachment under the direction of detectives Everton J. Conger and Luther B. Baker, he refused to surrender. The troopers were under the direct command of Lieutenant Edward P. Doherty. Herold surrendered but Booth remained stubborn. After the shed had been torched, a shot rang out and Booth fell mortally wounded. Whether it was suicide or a shot from Sergeant Boston Corbett has never been determined. The only other part of the conspiracy that was carried out was the attack on Secretary of State William H. Seward by Lewis T. Powell.

Lafayette Curry Baker (1826 - 1868)

A thoroughly unsavory character before the Civil War, Lafayette C. Baker remained that way for the duration and after.

Born in New York, he appears to have lived in Michigan, New York, Philadephia and San Francisco during his prewar years. Some of his occupations included claim jumping and vigilantism.

During the first months of the Civil War he served as a special agent for Commander-in-Chief Winfield Scott. Through connections with the secretaries of state and war, William H. Seward and Edwin M. Stanton, Baker became special agent of the Provost's branch in the War Department. Charged with rooting out corruption in the war effort, he was not of strong enough character to refrain from engaging in it himself.

In order to give him the appropriate authority, he was granted military rank and his assignments included: Colonel, 1st District of Columbia Cavalry (May 5, 1863); and Brigadier General, USV (April 26, 1865).

He rarely, if ever, actually commanded the regiment that had been raised for special service in and around Washington, although it did see some action under others against Mosby and near Richmond and Petersburg.

Following the assassination of Lincoln his detectives fanned out across the countryside after the culprits. Two agents, his cousin Luther B. Baker and Everton J. Conger, brought back David Herold and the body of John Wilkes Booth with a cavalry detachment. For this Colonel Baker received $3,750 of the reward money. He was promoted to Brigadier General from the date of capture, and was mustered out on January 15, 1866.

His working methods had been questionable to say the least. Arbitrary arrests were commonplace and charges were made without evidence, as happened when he was a witness in the impeachment proceedings against Andrew Johnson. His "History of the United States Secret Service" is of interest mainly for insights into his personality; otherwise it is highly unreliable.

Over the years, alleged coded messages from Baker have surfaced indicating that the assassination was masterminded by Stanton and others. Even if they actually are Baker's work, one must still question the message's veracity.

Baker died (some say he was murdered to keep him quiet) in Philadelphia in 1868. (Mogelever, Jacob, "Death to Traitors: The Story of General Lafayette C. Baker, Lincoln's Forgotten Secret Service Chief")

Luther B. Baker

Luther B. Baker was the junior detective supervising the cavalry detachment under Lieutenant Edward P. Doherty in the search for John Wilkes Booth and David Herold. He was a Lieutenant in the War Department's Secret Service, headed by his cousin, Lafayette C. Baker.

Under the direction of Colonel Everton J. Conger, he helped follow the trail of the assassins across the Rappahannock River at Port Conway. They finally caught up with their quarry at Richard H. Garrett's farm and captured Herold, but Booth either committed suicide or was killed by a soldier named Boston Corbett.

Baker recrossed the river and headed off for Washington without waiting for the rest. He took Booth's body and two prisoners but managed to lose one, Willie Jett.

All sorts of stories entwine the younger Baker with the activities of his cousin in some kind of coverup, but nothing has ever been conclusively proven. .

Everton Judson Conger (1834 - 1918)

Having served through much of the Civil War in the area of northern Virginia through which John Wilkes Booth and David Herold fled from their crimes, Everton J. Conger was a good choice to lead one of the most promising pursuit efforts.

His earlier assignments had included: [2nd Lt., 8th Regt., Ohio Vol. Inf, Apr 1861]; Captain, 3rd (West) Virginia Cavalry (ca. December 1861); Major, 1st District of Columbia Cavalry (1863); and Lieutenant Colonel, 1st District of Columbia Cavalry (1864).

Under John C. Fremont, he had commanded a cavalry squadron at Cross Keys and elsewhere in the Shenandoah Valley. Made a field officer in a regiment raised for special service in and around Washington, he frequently operated against John S. Mosby. He commmanded the regiment in Butler's operations along the James River and the subsequent seige operations against Richmond and Petersburg.

Called back to Washington, [after his discharge in Feb. 1865,] he became a Colonel in the Secret Service of the War Department, in which position he was given this assignment. Along with a detective Lieutenant, Luther B. Baker, he supervised one of the many detachments of cavalry scouring the countryside for the Lincoln assassin. The actual cavalry detachment comprised 26 men from the 16th New York Cavalry and was under the immediate command of Lieutenant Edward P. Doherty. Picking up the trail, the 29-member detachment crossed the Rappahannock at Port Conway and caught up with a Confederate Captain, Wilie Jett, who had briefly accompanied Booth and Herold, in Bowling Green. Jett revealed to Conger that Booth was at the Richard H. Garrett farm. Returning the way they had come, the party caught Herold, but Booth was either shot by Boston Corbett or committed suicide, [on 26 Apr 1865]. Conger's share of the reward money came to $15,000.
(Source: Who Was Who in the Union, Vol. I, by Stewart Sifakis, copyright 1988 by Facts on File, New York, NY. - furnished by Robert Guilinger)

Claim of Officer or Soldier for Invalid Pension.
The State of Ohio, County of Richland, SS.
On this 9th day of May A.D. 1867 personally appeared before me ... ...
[Joul Myers ?] Judge of a Court of Record within and for said county, Everton J. Conger, aged 33 years, a resident of Lexington, in the county of Richland, and State of Ohio, who, being first duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical Everton J. Conger who was mustered into the service of the United States at Washington City, D.C.
in the county of --, and State of -- on the 24 day of February, in the year of 1864 as Lieut Colonel, in the First Regiment of District of Columbia Cavalry, commanded by Colonel L.C. Baker, in the war of 1861, and was honorably mustered out on the Eight day of February A.D. 1865, as will appear by his certificate of discharge herewith presented.

That while in the service aforesaid, and in the line of his duty, and engaged in the Battle of Roanoke Station on the Danville Rail Road Va and during Wilson Raid he was wounded by gun-shot in the right hip & back by reason of which said wound he disabled so much that he was conveyed by ambulance to City Point opposite Petersburg Va at which place he received a leave of absence for 30 days and returned to his home in Ohio.
And further that being so completely disabled by said wound his leave of absence was extended thirty days more at the expiration of which said extended leave he reported at Washington DC in person and being unfit by reason of said wound for duty in the field was placed on special duty with Genl L.C. Baker Prov Mar. War Dept. and never did any duty with his said Regt thereafter. He received said wound on or about the 28th day of June 1864.

That since leaving the service he has resided at Washington DC and since Lexington in the State of Ohio, and has been unable to perform labor of any kind. He makes this declaration for the purpose of being placed on the Invalid Pension Roll of the United States, on account of the disability above stated.
/s E.J.Conger Also, on the same day, personally appeared T.E. Tracey [?] and H.O. March [?], residents of said County of Richland, Ohio persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me duly...
(Furnished by Robert Guilinger)

Conger, Benjamin

Benjamin Conger

PARENTS: The parents of Benjamin Conger were, John Belconger and Sarah Cawood.

Problem: Was the date of death, 10 Mar 1762 or as listed in Ancestral File, 19 Mar 1762?

Very little is known of the early life of Benjamin Conger. He was perhaps about twelve years old when his father, John Conger, died. He is mentioned in his father's will, and is given one-half of the farm home, but with the express provision that his brother, Joseph, was to have the use and improvement of Benjamin's portion for the ensuing ten years, when it would revert to Benjamin. (Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, p. 34 - Maxine Crowell Leonard) .

Benjamin Conger's children, mentioned in his will in 1762, include among others: Daniel, Enoch, Sarah, Elizabeth and Lydia. In the case of Lydia, she was to be paid 50 pounds on her marriage day. If she were to die unmarried the 50 pounds would go the grandchildren, Sarah and Martha Goble, daughters of Simeon and Abigail (Conger) Goble; to Lydia, daughter of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Conger) Goble; to Zipporah and Abigail, the daughters of Daniel and Mary Conger.

Benjamin's will, dated at Morristown, was proved 10 Mar 1762. He described himself as Yoeman. To his wife, Experience, he left one third of the proceeds of his personal estate, and the use of the profits of one third of his real estate.

To his son, Daniel, he left the use of 10 acres at the east end of his plantation, adjoining Jonathan Wood. At Daniel's death it was to go to his son, Jonas. Another piece of land was given to Daniel for life, then to go to his son, Benjamin.

To Enoch he left wearing apparel and the rest of his real estate.

To daughters, Abigail and Elizabeth, 10 pounds each; to daughter, Lydia, unmarried, 50 pounds as mentioned.

Executors, son Enoch and friend, Jonathan Stiles. Witnesses: Samuel Oliver, John Primrose and Ezekiel Cheever.
(Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, p. 34 - Maxine Crowell Leonard) .

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Conger, Joseph

Joseph Conger

PARENTS: The parents of Joseph Conger were, John Belconger and Sarah Cawood.

COMMENT-BIRTH: 17 May 1692 may have been the date of baptism, rather than the birth date. See Ancestral File.

MARRIAGE: According to CFA I, p. 334, "... apparently was md to MARY MARSH. Probable issue:"

MILITARY: In 1715, Job Conger and his brother, Joseph, were Privates in Col. Thomas Farmer's New Jersey Militia Regiment, apparently at the time in the service of the Colony of New York.
(Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, 275 - Maxine Crowell Leonard)

Joseph Conger lived at Woodbridge, NJ for many years, and it is likely that he died there.

He is mentioned in his father's will, dated 11 jan 1710, in which he was given his father's freehold rights, in the town of Woodbridge, and was also allowed to occupy the eastern portion of the farm for ten years after the decease of his father, and to have the use of all tools, carts, plows, etc., he being to equal in their repair as long as he lived on the place.

That portion of the land that he was allowed to live upon, had been devised to his younger brother, Benjamin, who at the time of the dating of the will, was about ten years of age, being born about 1700.

The permission given to Joseph to live on the land might indicate that he was married, in which event his wife must have been born as early as he was -- 1792 [sic, 1692]. However, Joseph Conger was mentioned in the will of John Marsh of Rahway, as being the husband of the testator's grand-daughter, Mary, which might indicate that she was rather old to have been named as grand-daughter of a man living as late as 1739, the date of the will, unless she was the second wife of Joseph Conger.

Charles L. Conger said there were four unattached Congers of the period, namely, Joseph of Sherman, Conn., John of Hanover, Morris county, NJ, Elizabeth, who married John Baldwin, and James, who he listed as being children of Joseph Conger (1692). They were all born between 1714 and 1720, except that James was born about 1734, and may be the issue of the second marriage of Joseph Conger.

His reasons for assuming that they were the children of Joseph Conger is by elimination. To begin with, there is no New Jersey record of any sort showing the birth of a son or daughter to Joseph Conger, but as a result of the elimination of all known parental contenders of that time, it is assumed the four above-mentioned Congers were the children of Joseph Conger.

On 2 Nov 1712, Joseph Conger, together with a number of other freeholders of the town of Woodbridge, gave power of attorney to three of their number, viz. John Bishop, Thomas Pike and Adam Hude, to sell as much of their land as will bring forty pounds, which was to be applied to the cost of a lawsuit being carried on in the name of John Pike, in defense against paying Quit-rents (new Jersey Deeds, C-2-86).

The Middlesex county court records show that in 1714 there was a case on trial, John Brock vs. Joseph Conger. No particulars were given.

On 23 Aug 1716 there was laid out to James Clarkson, Jr., 5 acres of land in Rahway, "it being half a third division lot in Woodbridge, which the said James Clarkson purchased of Joseph Conger." (W.T.R.A.-25)

On 13 Mar 1735, Joseph Conger witnessed the will of John Moore of Woodbridge.

On 14 Mar 1737, it was voted "that the committee appointed to manage the school land shall pay to Joseph Conger the sum of four pounds and ten shillings out of the rent of the said school land, it being the sum agreed upon by Henry Freeman and Joseph Bloomfield, appointed for the purpose." (W.T.R.-B-8) (Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, p. 335 - Maxine Crowell Leonard) .

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Conger, Edwin Hurd

Edwin Hurd Conger

PARENTS: Lorentus Everett Conger and Mary W. Hurd

PUBLIC_SERVICE: United States Minister to China during the Boxer Rebellion. (CFA I, p. 40a)

DEATH: Edwin H. Conger, published 22 May 1907, former U.S. Minister to China, died Los Angeles.
(Source: Putnam Co., MO, Newsprint Death Index - furnished by Joyce Posey) .

BIOGRAPHY: CONGER, Edwin Hurd, 1843-1907
CONGER, Edwin Hurd, a Representative from Iowa; born in Knox County, Ill., March 7, 1843; was graduated from Lombard University, Galesburg, Ill., in 1862; during the Civil War enlisted as a private in Company I, One Hundred and Second Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and served until the close of the war; attained the rank of captain and received the brevet of major; studied law and was graduated from the Albany Law School in 1866; was admitted to the bar and practiced in Galesburg, Ill., until 1868; moved to Dexter, Dallas County, Iowa, in 1868 and engaged in stock growing, banking, and agricultural pursuits; elected treasurer of Dallas County in 1877 and reelected in 1879; elected State treasurer in 1880 and reelected in 1882; elected as a Republican to the Forty-ninth, Fiftieth, and Fifty-first Congresses and served from March 4, 1885, to October 3, 1890, when he resigned to accept a diplomatic mission; chairman, Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures (Fifty-first Congress); Minister to Brazil from September 27, 1890, to September 13, 1893; appointed Minister to China January 19, 1898, and served until his resignation on March 8, 1905, on which day he was appointed as Ambassador to Mexico and served until his resignation on October 18, 1905; died in Pasadena, Calif., May 18, 1907; interment in Mountain View Cemetery.

Bibliography DAB.
(Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present) .

BIOGRAPHY: From a newspaper clipping in 1901
"Edwin H. Conger, United States Minister to China, was in Kansas City today on his way back to his post in Peking. He visited W.J. Buchan, former state senator in Kansas City, Kansas, and this revived rumors of a romance between Lt. Frederick E. Buchan, United States Army, and Mr. Conger's daughter, Miss Laura Conger, who met at the seige of Peking."
(Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, p. 136 - Maxine Crowell Leonard) .

Edwin Hurd Conger was graduated from Lombard University, Galesburg, Ill., in 1862. During the Civil War he enlisted as a Private in Co., I, 102nd Regt. Illinois Volunteer Inf., and served until the close of the war. He attained the rank of Captain, and received the Brevet of Major for gallant and meritorious conduct in the field.

He studied law and was graduated from Albany, New York Law School in 1866; was admitted to the bar and practiced in Galesburg, Illinois until 1868. He moved to Dexter, Iowa in 1868 and engaged in stock raising, banking, agricultural pursuits. He was elected treasurer of Dallas county in 1877 and re-elected in 1879; elected state treasurer in 1880 and re-elected in 1882.

He was elected as a Republican to the 49th, 60th and 61st Congresses; served from 4 Mar 1885 to 3 Oct 1890 when he resigned to accept a diplomatic mission. He was made Minister to Brazil on 27 Sep 1890 and served to 13 Sep 1893.

Edwin Conger was appointed Minister to China on 19 Jan 1898, where he served during the Boxer Rebellion, and until his resignation on 8 Mar 1905, on which day he was appointed Ambassador to Mexico and served until his resignation 18 Oct 1905.

His biography is in the Congressional Biographical Dictionary, p. 467 and in Who's Who in America, 1902.
(Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, p. 136 - Maxine Crowell Leonard)

Conger, Clement Ellis

Clement Ellis Conger

RESIDENCES: Alexandria, VA

PUBLIC_SERVICE: Deputy Chief of Protocol for 8 years; Chairman, Special Fine Arts Committee, Department of State; Curator of the White House .

Clement Ellis Conger was written up in "The Sunday Courier and Press," of Evansville, IN on 1 Mar 1970 by Dorothy McCardle, as follows: .
Together President and Mrs. Nixon twisted the arm of Clement E. Conger to pursuade him to take on a White House Americana Project comparable to the one he heads at the State Department.

Conger had three other job offers. A top U.S. Museum was trying to draft him. The Bicentennial Commission wanted him as a commissioner. The Secretary of State dangled an ambassadorship.

Conger, who now relinquishes his job as Deputy Chief of Protocol, finally decided to accede to the President and Mrs. Nixon's wishes for two reasons: .
"The challenge at the White House is terrifc," says Conger, "I shall do my best."

His second reason is that the White House job leaves him time to continue with the State Department Americana Project ... his first love.

Clem Conger has won a world-wide reputation as a antiques sleuth. He has tracked down more china, silver, paintings and furnishings from America's beginnings than most men ever see in a lifetime. And he is determined to get the best of America's cultural heritage for the two spots in Washington where it will be displayed in an international showcase -- the White House and the State Department.

He won't discuss just what he will do at the White House. It has been learned from other sources that a top reason he was asked to move his talents there is because of wear and tear on the public rooms by the hundreds of tourists who go though them daily and scores of guests entertained there nightly.

Conger is expected to stockpile a substitute collection of Americana at the White House which will be as historic as anything that has to be replaced or repaired.

The idea got started last November when President Nixon attended the Governor's Conference at the State Department. For the first time, the president took in the full significance of what Conger and his special fine arts committee have done to give an authentic historic setting to the rooms in which the Secretary of State entertains the heads of foreign governments. The President was astounded as he inspected various items of the five million dollar collection of American antiques on view in the State Department's hospitality suite.

"This is one of the most important projects of its kind in the American government," the President told Conger. Then he added, "Clem, could you help us over at the White House?" Conger did not take this at face value until he was summoned for a talk with the First Lady.

When he spoke of other job offers, he was assured that he was much too valuable at the State Department and could be, too, at the White House, for him to leave. He did not want to leave anyway.

An antique desk, designed and used by Thomas Jefferson, illustrates the fast action and sleuthing ability of Conger. He heard about the desk at a party in the Thomas Jefferson Room at the State Department. He didn't let one day go by before he headed for Philadelphia, where the desk was in private hands. He interviewed George Holcombe Parsons, a wealthy Philadelphian, who told him he planned to give the desk to a museum in Philadelphia. Conger talked him out of it. He gave Parsons statistics of the number of presidents, prime ministers, kings and queens who would see that desk if it was at the State Department.

That's where the desk is right now, on loan, it may be given later as a permanent fixture. The top of the desk lifts up into an architect's drafting board. Jefferson designed it this way because he liked to stand up when he wrote. The "great penman" of his day drafted the Declaration of Independence on this desk.

Conger's ability has been listed as "having a practiced eye, a discriminating taste, and an appreciation for excellence -- things found in a rug merchant, a horse trader and a Florentie aristocrat -- rolled into one.
(Source: The Conger Family of America - Maxine Crowell Leonard)

BIOGRAPHY: Clement Ellis Conger 1912-
Clement Conger was born and raised in Rockingham County, VA and joined the White House state in the 1930's and by 1941 was an Electrician in the White House. He served in the US Army in WWII and after the war served as a Foreign Service Officer in the State Department. By the 1960's he had advanced to the position of Curator of the Diplomatic Reception Room of the State Department. His work caught the eye of Mrs. Richard (Pat) Nixon, wife of President Nixon, in 1970 and she asked Clement to be the White House Curator. He diplomatically accepted, but only on a half-time basis, retaining his position in the State Dept.

Clement's speciality was locating pieces of furniture that once were in the White House or State Dept. and getting people to donate them to the federal government for display in the White House or elsewhere. Clement continued in his role as White House Curator until 1986 when Mrs. Ronald (Nancy) Reagan, wife of President Reagan, had him fired for not showing "proper deference" to her. Clement was only one of perhaps 10 persons around the White House that Mrs. Reagan had fired for the same "offense" in the 1983-1991 period.

One story told was when Michail and Riasa Gorbachov visited Washington, DC in 1987, Riasa requested a tour of the White House. Nancy Reagan and the new Assistant White House Curator hosted the tour. Riasa Gorbahov asked a lot of questions about the White House and it's furnishings. Mrs. Reagan couldn't answer half of the questions and the new Asst. Curator didn't do much better. The snide comment made by some State Department officials was that if Clement Conger were on the tour he could have answered all of the questions off the top of his head.

Clement Conger retired from the State Department in the early 1990's and went to work as a Consultant for Sothby's Auction House in New York City.

Clement was an active subscriber to the "Conger Confab" newsletter and resided in Arlington, VA.
(Source: Written by Robert Guilinger, 7 May 1998)

RESEARCHER: Clement Ellis Conger corresponded with Charles Leslie Conger about his study of the Conger family. Clement Conger lived in the Washington, DC area. It was Clement who arranged the donation of the Charles Leslie Conger's papers to the Rare Book Room of the Library of Congress. Many articles about the career of Clement Ellis Conger appear in both volumes of "Conger Family of America" and in issues of the "Conger Confab." .

OBITUARY: Curator Clement E. Conger Dies at 91; Beautified Nation's Diplomatic Spaces, By Adam Bernstein, Washington Post Staff Writer, Monday, January 12, 2004; Page B04

Clement E. Conger, 91, the State Department curator who transformed the "motel modern" look of its diplomatic reception rooms into a showcase for early American craftsmanship, died Jan. 11 [2004] at a hospital in Delray Beach, Fla. He had pneumonia.

Mr. Conger's career, which married the worlds of diplomacy, politics and fine arts, was chronicled extensively in print. Seemingly every Chippendale table, every Gilbert Stuart portrait, every Duncan Phyfe cabinet he obtained became cause for a story.

He raised millions of dollars to refurnish State Department rooms for visiting dignitaries and then did the same at the White House and Blair House, the presidential guesthouse.

Although Mr. Conger was long enamored of antiques and fine art, he was a bit of an anomaly in his high-profile job.

A tall, chatty, energetic Shenandoah Valley native with roots in Colonial Virginia, he held no college degree in decorative arts, never worked in a museum and had no scholarly record.

His entry into curating, in the early 1960s, was largely accidental. He was at the State Department helping coordinate visits by foreign officials when the wife of Secretary of State Christian A. Herter approached him worriedly about additions that had been made to the State Department building. She was distressed to see the new hospitality suite looking so sterile. According to Mr. Conger, she "burst into tears," knowing that she soon had to entertain the Queen of Greece there.

He fixed the problem with three borrowed French paintings and then got to work forming a committee of wealthy citizens with a healthy interest in history and antiques.

He sent letters nationwide explaining the benefits of lending beautiful objects to the State Department: "national pride, family pride and tax deductibility."

On weekends, he visited auction houses and private estates for vintage Americana while working full time during the week as an assistant to top arms-control officials.

Over the years, he overhauled more than 15 main reception rooms as well as the Treaty Room suite and the offices of the secretary and deputy secretary of state.

The furnishings are now valued at more than $100 million, said Pat Heflin, his former assistant.

The Nixons admired his work and invited him to be the White House curator. Curating became his main job, and he divided his time between the executive mansion and the State Department.

He raised millions to renovate much of the White House, including the Red, Green and Blue rooms.

In 1986, first lady Nancy Reagan reportedly dismissed Mr. Conger because of artistic differences and replaced him with a Reagan friend, White House chief usher Rex Scouten.

Mr. Conger retired from the State Department in 1992 and then spent two years doing consulting work at Christie's auction house.

Clement Ellis Conger was born in Harrisonburg, Va., where his father was a doctor. He was a graduate of Strayer College and attended George Washington University.

Early on, he worked in Washington as an office manager and correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and office manager for U.S. Rubber Co.

During World War II, he served in the Army and became assistant secretary for the United States and British combined chiefs of staff.

He joined the State Department after the war and became deputy chief of protocol in the late 1950s. He helped oversee visits by foreign officials, among them the Shah of Iran, Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev, French President Charles de Gaulle and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Although he began curatorial work as a volunteer, he attacked the job with vigor. He earned the nickname "the Grand Acquisitor" for his singular pursuit of certain objects.

At a State Department party, he heard about a man in Philadelphia selling a desk once used by Thomas Jefferson. He rushed that day to meet the owner and dissuaded him from selling the desk to a museum. Giving it to the State Department, he explained, would mean that it would be seen by presidents, prime ministers, kings and queens.

The job also had its foibles.

"Marshall Field V's wife didn't like antiques," he said in 1972, referring to the Chicago newspaper publisher. "But he couldn't stop collecting them, so he lent them to us. But a funny thing happened. He changed wives, and his new wife just loves antiques. So the other week, all the antiques he had lent us went to their home."

Mr. Conger, a member of the Senior Executive Service, was a recipient of the State Department's Distinguished Service Award and the Distinguished Service Medal.

In 1992, Winterthur, the Delaware-based museum of American decorative arts, gave him the Henry Francis DuPont Award for distinguished contribution to the American arts.

He was a former chairman of the Virginia Trust for Historic Preservation and a former vestryman and senior warden at Episcopal Christ Church in Alexandria.

A longtime Alexandria resident, he lived briefly in Arlington before moving to Delray Beach in 2002.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Lianne Hopkins Conger of Delray Beach; three children, William Conger of Maurertown, Va., Jay Conger of Manhattan Beach, Calif., and Shelley Conger of Sherman Oaks, Calif.; and two grandchildren.
(Source: c 2004 The Washington Post Company)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Belconger, John

John Belconger

COMMENT: Ancestral File shows, John Belconger (Conger); b. 8 Sep 1633, Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Great Britain; d. 27 Aug 1712, Woodbridge, Mddlsx, [sic], NJ; Christening, 8 Sep 1633, Great Yarmouth, England .

AKA: John Conger; John Conger "primus" by Charles G.B. Conger. What does "primus" in italics mean?

BIRTH: Abt. 1633 in England, perhaps in Norfolk County. Other dates of birth of 1640 and 1641 have also been listed. In CFAII, Maxine Leonard disputes the date of Abt. 1633.
QUESTION: Can anyone cite a source for the birth date?

MARRIAGE: "A Mary Kelly, m. April 12, 1666, John Belconger. She may have been a dau. of John."
(Source: Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, found in, The Conger Family of America, Vol. II, p. 18 - Maxine Crowell Leonard) .

John Belconger came to Newbury, Massachusetts from England in 1665. He and his first wife, Mary Kelly, had first two children in Newbury and then moved to Woodbridge, New Jersey in 1667 or 1668. Shortly after moving to Woodbridge he shortened his name to Conger. He was illiterate and always signed his name with an "X".

It has been reported by some researchers that John (Belconger) Conger is the ancestor of all Congers in America. They also report that the name, Conger, does not exist in present-day England and that the name, Belconger, is very rare, existing only in County Norfolk.
(Source: According to Karen Halter Werry in Feb 1990 this information was written by Darrell Conger of Parkersburg, WV.)

In 1665, John Conger came from England to Newbury, Mass. On Jan. 12, 1666 he married Mary Kelley, b. in Newbury, Feb. 12, 1641, the only daughter of John Kelley.

John Kelley came from Newbury, England to Old Newbury, Mass. with the original founders of the town in 1635. His only other child was a son, John Jr., who married Sarah Knight, the daughter of Deacon Richard Knight. John Jr. and Sarah had five children who had numerous descendants.

The Kelley Ferry operated for many years by father and son was a popular mode of travel in the early days of Newbury.

Daniel Pierce, a prominent citizen, well known throughout Mass. colony was organizing a group of citizens to move to a newly acquired Province of New Jersey which King Charles had wrested from the Dutch in 1664. In 1667, Pierce with nine associate owners and forty-six other men, many with families, arrived in New Jersey and founded the township of Woodbridge, located on an estuary that flows between Staten Island and the mainland and between Rariton and Rahway Rivers. Woodbridge, traditions says, was named for the Presbyterian minister they left back in the Newbury home.

John Conger and his wife, Mary, and their infant son were among this company. Tradition is, and can be proved by some facts, that the Conger family came from Alsace, then a French province, to Holland (the name being Koeniger about the date of the massacre of St. Bartholomew 1572), and then from Holland to England, the name being anglicized into the English, Conger.
(Source: "Conger History 1664-1941," p. 2, by Ethel Conger Heagler - furnished by Robert Guilinger)

In 1702 John Conger deeded to his three motherless grandchildren, eighty acres of land as a token of "love and affection." He named the children as: John (b. 15 Feb 1685), Allen (b. 12 Jun 1687) and Edward, sons of Edward Wilkison of Woodbridge. [Note: No source citation given. REH] (Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. II, p. 16 - Maxine Crowell Leonard)

DEATH: According to Robert Guilinger a death date of Sep 1712 is recorded in New Jersey.

WILL: 11 Jan 1711 with Codicil of 14 June.
He left a will, dated 11 Jan 1711, proven before Thomas Gordon on 27 Aug 1711, approved and sealed by Col. Hunter on 17 Oct 1712.
(Source: J. Bass. Liber I, Folio 382, New Jersey Wills, Sec. of State Archives) .

PROBATE: Will of John Conger, 11 Jan 1711
In the name of God, Amen, the 11th day of January 1711. I JOHN CONGER of Woodbridge, in the county of Middlesex, and Province of East New Jersey, Planter, being in bodily health and in perfect mind and memory, thanks be given to God, therefore: Calling in mind the mortality of this body, and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and Testament, that is to say, principally and first of all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of God that gave it, and for my body I recommend it to the earth, to be buried in a Christian-like and decent manner, at the discretion of my Executors, nothing doubting but at the general Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God, to bless me in touching such worldly estate, wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life. I give, devise, and dispose of the same in the follow manner and form:

ITEM: My will is that my farm or plantation on which I now dwell to be equally divided into two parts, beginning at the River and running with a direct line through the whole length of my said farm or plantation, the Eastern division whereof I will and bequeath to my son BENJAMIN CONGER, to be by him quietly and peacable possessed, and enjoyed as soon as he shall arrive at the age of 21 years, and if my son JOSEPH please, he shall have the liberty to live upon it 10 years after my decease, paying the charge arising thereon.

ITEM: The use and improvement of the western division of my said farm or plantation, and my dwelling house standing thereon I give to my wife during her state of widowhood and when her condition shall change either by marriage or death I will and bequeath the said western division of my farm together with my now dwelling house and all other buildings thereon to my son JOB CONGER.

ITEM: I will and bequeath to my son JOSEPH all my freehold right in the towne of Woodbridge (Will also specifies as conveyed to Joseph his rights to Woodbridge common lands yet to be divided.) I give to my son my Carts and Ploughs with all the tackling belonging to them to my son JOSEPH to have liberty to use them when they can be spared so long as he lives upon the place, he being at equal charge at repairing them.

ITEM: My will is that if either of my three sons above mentioned, JOSEPH, JOB or BENJAMIN, shall die without issue, then what land I have willed to them do descend to the survivor or survivors, and be equally divided between them.

ITEM: I give to my son JOHN ten schillings; to my son JONATHAN five schillings; to my son GERSHOM five schillings; and to each of my daughters five schillings, all to be paid by my son JOB, if demanded.

Lastly, I give all my cattle, horses, sheep and household stuff, to my faithful and beloved wife, SARAH CONGER, whom I do nominate and appoint my sole Executrix, to see that this, my last will, be punctually fulfilled, and I do declare this to be my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me formerly made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, the day and year above written.
JOHN CONGER X (His Mark) Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said John Conger, as his last Will and Testament, in the presence of us, the subscirber viz: --James Connet, James Connet Jr., Richard Pangbourner, John Bishop .
CODICIL: June 14, I the above name John Conger, being very sick in body and not expecting many hours of this life, and my son GERSHOM being born since the making of this my Will, above written, do declare that my will & desire is that my three sons, JOSEPH, JOB and BENJAMIN, as they come to age, give unto my son GERSHOM, ten schillings, each of them and that seven pounds out of my movable estate be put out for his use when he comes to age, this I declare to be my desire before thise witnesses.
--John Stille, John Moore and John Bishop

Proved before Thomas Gordon, the 27th of August, and approved and sealed by his Excellency, Col. Hunter, the 17th day of Oct 1712. (Some say he died on 27 Aug 1712. Maxine Leonard states he died in September 1712.) (J. Bass. Liber I, folio 382, New Jersey Wills, Secretary of States Office.) (Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. II, p. 19-20 - Maxine Crowell Leonard)

CONFLICT: Codicil Confusion
The naming of a youngest son, Gershom Conger, in the Codicil has caused confusion and conjecture among Conger researchers, owing to the fact that an elder son of John Conger, named Gershom who had been born in 1685, was listed in the last "ITEM" of the 11 Jan 1711 will. At the time the will was written, the elder Gershom was married and was father of David, born in 1707 and Phoebe, born in 1708.

Researcher, Charles L. Conger, believed that the Gershom Conger, born in 1711, was the son of Gershom Conger, born in 1685. Gershom Conger, b. 1685, supposedly died before his father, a date of death of, Abt. 1710/1711 in Union Co., NJ, has been listed by some researchers.

It seems highly unlikely that John Conger would have had a son in 1711. At that time, his health was probably already failing, since he had drawn up a will. And, his second wife, Sarah Cawood, who had been born in 1660, would have been 51 years old.

It seems more reasonable that either the person drawing up the Codicil made a mistake when he wrote, "... my son Gershom being born since the making of this my Will..." or that John Conger was confused in his last days, and that the family pampered him in his belief that his grandson was indeed his son. If the Gershom, mentioned in the Codicil, was indeed the grandson of John Conger this would raise the question of why this grandchild was the only one that John Conger chose to mention, by name, in his will.
[Note: This discussion from CFA II, p. 20, has been editted by Richard E. Henthorn in order to clarify and expand on some of the points made.] (Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. II, p. 20 - Maxine Crowell Leonard) .

Conger, Job

Job Conger

PARENTS: The parents of Job Conger were, John Belconger and Sarah Cawood.

RELATIONSHIP: A descendant of Job Conger, Lt. Col. Everton J. Conger, was Aide to Lafayette C. Baker. Lafayette C. Baker was the Chief of the National Detective Police (NDP, i.e., secret service) at the time of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, May 1865.

SPOUSE: Mary (Pierce) Percy is also listed as a spouse in Ancestral File. Can this spouse be proven? What is the source citation? .

SPOUSE-QUESTION: Various records have stated that Job Conger was married first to Mary Percy or Pierce, as his wife, Keziah, was mentioned in his will. According to the evidence just found among an assortment of notes, your compiler [Maxine Leonard] is of the opinion, Job had but one wife.

From the "Hartford Times Queries," Hartford Times, Jan 23, 1854, Query B-5907, in part: "Job's wife was Mary Keziah, dau of Joseph (2) Thorp (Thomas 1) of Woodbridge. Deed of Zebulon (3) Thorp (Joseph-Thomas) Feb. 6, 1736 to Benjamin Thorp by Huder: (a schoolmaster of Woodbridge, N.J.). "Land belonging to the plantation that my father Joseph Thorp and my brother, Paul, sold to Job Conger Feb. 24, 1732, witnesses John Alston and Jonathan -----." (Sent by E.E.T.) (Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, 275 - Maxine Crowell Leonard) .

MILITARY: In 1715, Job Conger and his brother, Joseph, were Privates in Col. Thomas Farmer's New Jersey Militia Regiment, apparently at the time in the service of the Colony of New York.
(Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, 275 - Maxine Crowell Leonard)

Job Conger Jr. removed to Albany County, New York; Enoch removed to Dutchess County, New York and on to Darby, VT; Moses remained in Woodbridge until 1771 when he offered his land for sale.
(Furnished by Harold Murton Hyde)

PROBATE: Job Conger's will, dated 30 Jan 1749 at Woodbridge, Rahway Neck, East Jersey, refers to himself as "Yoeman." (A freeholder; a gentleman farmer) .
To wife, Kezia, he left one half of his moveable estate. To his oldest son, Job, he left but ten pounds, as money to buy a plantation which had already been given him. The balance of his moveable estate he divided among his daughters, the married ones to have half as much as the single ones, they having had their marriage portions.

To his sons, Enoch and Moses, he left "my farm land in Woodbridge, Rahway Neck, where I now dwell," when they are 18, but they could not sell same until they were 30.

The Executors named were wife, Keziah, son Enoch, and friend William Moore; witnesses Job Pack, Benjamin Thorp and Thomas Chapman.

Will proved 17 Feb 1758.
(Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, p. 275 - Maxine Crowell Leonard) .

Monday, November 16, 2009

Conger, David

David Conger

PARENTS: Jonathan Conger and Ann Enyard

REFERENCE: "Conger History 1664-1941," compiled by Ethel C. Heagler, 1941, Broadlawn Farm, Cooksville, Illinois. Book located at the State Library of Ohio; 65 Front Street; Columbus, Ohio 43266-0334; Phone: 614-644-6966 (Reference furnished by Joyce Posey and Robert Guilinger)

REFERENCE: "The Conger Family of America," Vol. 1, 1972 & 2, indexed, by Maxine Crowell Leonard of Janesville, Iowa. [Note: Both volumes were used at the Library of Congress by REH in Sep 1995, Call Number: CS71.C7515 1972. Supposedly there are copies at the DAR Library in Washington, DC. The compiler's full name was Helen Maxine (Crowell) Leonard, which is only revealed by review of her familie's family group sheet information in Volume 1. REH] (Reference furnished by Joyce Posey)

CHRISTENING: 12 Aug 1744 at the 1st Presbyterian Church, Morristown, Morris Co., NJ, according to Ancestral File.

SPOUSE: David Conger, Sr. was the 2nd spouse of Mary (Darby) Green.

It is thought that David Conger Sr. was married twice. There is a tradition to that effect and that he had a son, Ishmael, by the first marriage -- that he was only married about a year when his wife died. An Ishmael Conger does appear in the 1790 census of Washington county, PA, where Elias D. Conger and David Conger Jr. (his brother) settled in 1790. Elias D. and David Conger were half-brothers of Ishmael. CFA I, p. 98

David died during the Revolutionary War, circumstances unknown. From the office of the Adjutant General in Trenton, NJ we find the following:
It is certified that the records of this office show that David Conger served as a Private in Middlesex County, New Jersey Militia, received certificate 1571 amounting to 28:8:2 for the depreciation of his continental pay in Middlesex County, New Jersey Militia during the Revolutionary War.

Any of his descendants are eligible for membership in the Sons or Daughters of the American Revolution.
(Source: The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, p. 99 - Maxine Crowell Leonard)

MILITARY: David and John Conger were privates in the Revolutionary War from Middlesex county, New Jersey. [No source citation. REH] (CFA I, p. 328)

CENSUS: 1800, in Washington Co., PA, Morris Twp., page 815
David Conger, males 2, 1, 0, 1, 0; females 1, 0, 0, 1, 0 CENSUS: 1810, page 703
(Furnished by Joyce Posey)

DEATH-BURIAL-CONFLICT: According to David M. Dodd, he was buried at Dunn's Station, PA; Ancestral File lists, d. 1778 at Green [sic] Co., PA. Others have listed the date and place of death as, 1778, Middlesex Co., NJ.

CHILD: Ancestral File lists a child, Ishmael Conger, born Abt. 1761 at Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ. According to CFA II, p. 119, "An ISHMAEL CONGER was listed in the 1790 census of Washington county, PA. Speculation was that he may have been a s/o David 1741 and a wife before Mary Darby Green. The will for this man is under the name CONYERS. He died 8 July 1835. He mentioned his wife Mary, sons-in-law Jonathan Thomas and Henry Devore; also a grandson Ishmael Devore."

Conger, James Lockwood

James Lockwood Conger

John Conger, who settled in Woodbridge, N. J., in 1667, was the ancestor of nearly all the native-born Congers in the country. He had two wives and a large family of children. From that day there has been a steady stream of Davids, Johns, and Josephs in succeeding generations of the family, most bewildering to one member of it, Mr. Charles L. Conger of McIntosh, Minn., who is patiently compiling a Conger Genealogy.

Very little has been preserved of the Cleveland life of James Lockwood Conger, a lawyer residing in the city between 1826 and 1840, save through a package of old letters written by Mrs. Conger to her only sister, Mrs. Erwina Miner of Centerville, Fairfield Co., Ohio. James L. Conger, b. in Trenton, N. J., was the son of David and Hannah Lockwood Conger, who later lived in Phelps, N. Y. He received his general education in that locality and studied law with Judge Ewing of Ohio.

In December, 1824, he married in Lancaster, O., Miss Paulina Belvedere Clark, daughter of Dr. Ezra and Sarah Clark, pioneers of that county and formerly of Middletown, Vt. James Conger was only nineteen years old and the bride but eighteen. The youth of the couple and the fact that they remained in Lancaster two years, suggests that he may have pursued his law studies after the marriage. A little boy named Seneca was born to them in Lancaster, who died young.

In April, 1826, they started for New York State to visit Mr. Conger's parents and perhaps with a view of settling near them. An acknowledgment of money received by the couple at that time is here given because of its phraseology

"Received, Lancaster, O., April 25, 1826, of our revered father, Dr. Ezra Clark, three hundred and fifty dollars towards our portion. J. L. CONGER. PAULINA B. CONGER."

They drove a span of horses all the way to eastern New York and return, as far as Cleveland, which they reached September 6th of the same year. And in this month begins the series of letters previously mentioned, a half-dozen only, but covering several years of the Conger's residence in Cleveland. These letters are unusual for that day and generation. The penmanship is beautiful, the composition correct in every particular. The writer must have been a woman of charming personality; a brave woman possessing great fortitude, but shy and sensitive, sweetly grateful for every kindness shown to her.

The depth of her affection is revealed in the messages to her aged father whom she seems to have idolized and whom, so far as the letters reveal, she never met again in this life. On her trip to New York she met Mr. Conger's family for the first time. Of these new relatives she writes

"I frequently think of the remark you made when we were last together, `Do not be too sanguine in your expectations of James' parents,' and I was cautious not to be so. But my own could not do more for me. James' sisters were all equally kind, each striving to be most so. I was almost afraid to mention anything I wanted for fear one of them would get it for me, and they seemed to think they could not give me enough. I really think the whole family would have liked to come on to Cleveland with me, they were so truly attached.

"Father Conger and James went to New York City, returning before July 5th. They purchased about three hundred and fifty dollars worth of books and other things. Father brought me a beautiful figured silk dress and other smaller presents."

The young couple drove back to Cleveland, but various and sundry household furnishings donated by the elder Congers were shipped by canal and Lake Erie. One barrel when opened was found to contain everything necessary for the laundry, while mop and dish-cloths had been tucked into another one. Nothing necessary or convenient in that line had been omitted or forgotten. And, just as the team was about to start on the long western journey, father Conger had placed a bill in his young daughter-in-law's hand, to be used by her for any personal need on the way.

When they reached Cleveland they found Mrs. Reuben Wood, wife of the future governor of the state, preparing for a visit to her former eastern home. Her sister was to accompany her, and they intended to remain until spring. Evidently the Conger and Wood families were previously acquainted. The latter at once turned over the house they occupied, with all the heavier furniture to Mr. Conger, at a rental of $80 for the eight months' use of it. This sum also included the kitchen garden well stocked with a variety of vegetables and five bushels of peaches yet ungathered.

The departure of Mrs. Wood and her sister is told in one of the letters. "They started on Sunday, September 10th. We went out on a lighter about a mile from shore to the steamboat with them. The waves were very high and became seasick on the way. Notwithstanding, on the whole I had a pleasant ride."

The young wife seems to have been very lonely in the new strange town, her only acquaintance in it having been Mrs. Wood whose return she pathetically anticipates. Meanwhile, Mr. Conger had purchased a lot on the south-east side of the Public Square. The east corner of the May Co.'s big department store now covers the site, and upon this he began the erection of a small frame-house, which, four years later, was considerably enlarged.

Mrs. Conger dwells upon the delights of its possession; speaks with pride of the sodding of her "door yard," and of her planting in it a rose, a lilac, and a snowball bush; of the high board fence surrounding three sides of the lot, and a little later of the arbor covered with five kinds of grapes, and of the square of English strawberries each side of the arbor, from which she picked sixteen quarts of fruit.

Stand, if you will, in front of the towering Cushing Building and imagine the little home, the lilac, and the snowball bush!

The furnishing of their house progressed slowly.

"I believe all the furniture we have, so far, are fees. James has sent to Pittsburgh, by a man who owes him, for a carpet for the front chamber and hall, and I have just finished a pretty rag-carpet for the back room."

The second summer after the house on the Square was occupied Mr. Conger's sisters, Hannah and Phebe, both mentioned as "beautiful young girls," make the family a long visit. We can imagine how pleasant those months must have been when we are told that "there are numerous young men in town, but very few young women." And in connection with this who can not read romance in the opportunities afforded in the statement, "There are many beautiful walks and rambles on this delightful lake. Every Sunday, after meeting, James and I take a walk by the lake, and often through the week we stroll through the Square and Ontario street to it and spend the twilight hours there." This was written August, 1827.

James Conger must have given evidence of unusual ability in his profession for one so young, or he never would have found himself associated with Thomas Bolton, one of Cleveland's most able jurists. "Bolton & Conger, Attornies and Counsellors, Hancock Block, No. 93 and 95 Superior Street," they announce professionally.

Some time after the panic of 1837, that was the cause of scattering many of the numerous Cleveland lawyers and doctors to all points of the compass, James L. Conger removed to Belvedere, Mich., where in 1847, after four years of battling with tuberculosis, Mrs. Conger died, aged forty-one. Mr. Conger married again, but there is no record furnished of this union. He became a prominent man of that community and at one time represented it in the lower house of Congress in Washington. He died in St. Clair, Mich., in 1876, aged seventy-one, and was buried in Columbus, O.

Children of James L. and Paulina Clark Conger:

Seneca Conger, b. 1825; died in infancy.

Helen Edwina Conger, b. Jan., 1827; m. Thomas Lough.

William James Conger, b. 1829; m. Abby Louise Meckler. He died in Columbus, O., 1882.

Three younger children died in infancy.

Helen Edwina Conger was born four months after her parents arrived in Cleveland, and often returned in after years to her native town, ever since it became "Greater Cleveland." She was welcomed each time in the homes of our oldest families as a loved and honored guest, for she was an unusually bright, attractive woman. She died but recently, leaving two daughters.

Mrs. W. B. Waggoner, one of them, resides in the city.

When James L. Conger removed to Michigan, he sold his Cleveland residence property to Dr. Erastus Cushing. He may have received less than $1000 for it. Today the lot is worth $8000 a foot front; a traffic tally recently taken showed that in the business hours of the day an average of 5134 persons pass this spot hourly.
(Source: The Pioneer Families of Cleveland, 1796-1840 by Gertrude Van Rensselaer Wickham, Vol. I & II; Found on the Internet, April 2006)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Belconger, John

"John Belconger was born on 8 September 1633 at Suffolk, England. As of 1665, John Belconger was also known as John Conger Shortly after moving to Woodbridge he shortened his name to Conger. He was illiterate and always signed his name with an 'X'.

He married Mary Kelly, daughter of John Kelly, on 12 April 1666 at Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts. John Belconger married Sarah Cawood circa 1689 at Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey. John Belconger was born in August 1712 at Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey. He was buried in August 1712 at Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey."

Note: This is the website of Diane Joleen (Sisler) Conover. The URL takes you to the page of John Belconger (John Conger) the patriarch of the Conger family in America.

Conger, Omar Dwight

If you are interested in Omar Dwight Conger of Michigan contact me personally. I have a document about him that I am willing to share via Email. Look for my Email address in my profile. Find my profile in the About Me section at the bottom of the sidebar on the right.

Omar Dwight Conger on Wikipedia.

Mr. Dickie

Conger, Jerry

Rosiclare, Illinois Man, 36, Writes (Hard Way)
Jerry Conger, 36, is a writer.

He also is a quadriplegic. For the past 20 years he has not walked, played basketball, turned the pages of a book with is fingers. When he was 15, he dived to the bottom of the Ohio River and broke his neck.

He has no use of his legs or the fingers of his hands. His vehicle is a wheelchair. He can move his arms to some extent and is able, with the help of arm splints, to feed himself.

In the ensuing years the Rosiclare native has discovered his goal in life - to become a published author. He always has been interested in writing, but he became seriously interested about 10 years ago.

He devotes his afternoons to long sessions at his carriageless electric typewriter which is stationed in the living room of the home he shares with his mother, Mrs. Hazel Conger. Conger types by using a mouthstick.

The mouthstick is a quarter inch dowel stick capped with a teeth-moulded acrylic mouthpiece and tipped with an eraser. It was while he was in therapy at the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Peoria, IL that an occupational therapist suggested the mouthstick.

The instrument has opened up a new world for Conger. It is the world of the mind. It is a world where he can go anywhere he wants, do whatever he feels like, and create a universe all his own. In the past 10 years he has written novels, a few dozen short stories, and a number of poems, as well as numerous other articles. It is with the articles and poems he has had success. An article he did on himself appeared in the June 1971, issue of "The Exceptional Parent." This is a magazine for parents of children with disabilities.

In the article he told of his mouthstick and his love for writing and his philosophy about himself. He does not live in the past, although the past is an important part of life for him and he draws some of his fiction from it. But this is not his dwelling place. He writes and his writing keeps him geared toward the future.

Conger was in the hospital for three months after his accident but he was able to receive his diploma with the rest of his graduating high school class. After high school, he took a number of correspondence courses through the University of Illinois. The courses included rhetoric, literature, and psychology.

Serious fiction is what interests Conger the most. He turns out an average of 2,000 words each afternoon. So far he has not been successful with having his fiction published. Fiction is the hardest market to break into and, with so many magazines folding, Conger finds the obstacles on the road to being published are large.

But he keeps writing. Two more articles have been accepted by "The Exceptional Parent." He received mention in recent issues of "Time" and the "Saturday Review" in connection with the new magazine. "Time" carried a quote from his article -- "One Adjusts to Realities. I Try to Forge Ahead."

Although fiction is his first love, Conger also writes articles which require a good deal of research. Although the Rosiclare library is small, there is a good library system in Illinois which allows libraries to borrow from larger libraries such as the one at Springfield. The research for his articles also comes from government books and brochures.

A writer must be willing to accept any assignment. Perhaps the oddest assignment Conger tackled was an article on the louse. Robert Burns wrote a poem on the louse, so Conger decided maybe there was a louse market somewhere out there in publishing land. To his dismay one magazine informed him that it had already published an article on the louse.

Like Ireland's famed Christy Brown, the author who is completely paralyzed and types out joyous novels such as "Down All the Days" with his left foot, Conger has overcome numerous obstacles. He is not bitter. He is not angry over what has come to be his fate. He adjusts as best he can.

In his article for "The Exceptional Parent," Conger wrote: "One does not accept the unacceptable. One adjusts to realities, living always with hope. I try to forge ahead as everyone else does, fully aware that life may never be full, but determined never to accept less than I must. This doesn't mean I never despair. Depression, a sense of frustration and failure, lurk just outside conscious thought, ready to spring when something goes wrong."
(Source: probably Conger Family of America)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Conger, Abraham

Abraham Conger

Pension file documents of Abraham Conger:
  1. Marriage Certificate
  2. Soldier's Declaration for Pension
  3. Department of the Interior Bureau of Pensions - Questionnaire
  4. Drop Order and Report

The State of Ohio, Franklin County, SS.
I Certify That I this day solemnized the Marriage of Abraham Conger with Elizabeth Brintlinger.
Witness my Hand, this 21st day of Dec A.D. 1871
s/Wm G. Heyl J.P.

The State of Ohio, Franklin County, SS.} Probate Court.
I, SAMUEL L. BLACK, Judge of the Probate Court, within and for the County of Franklin, and State of Ohio, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a full and correct copy of the Certificate of Marriage of the parties therein named, as the same appears of record and on file in said Court, to-wit:
Marriage Record, No. 12 Page 91
In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal of said Court, at Columbus, this 17" day of June 1905.
s/Samuel L. Black, Probate Judge.
s/Alexr Carpenter, Deputy Clerk.
(Source: Civil War Pension Record - furnished by Robert Guilinger - extracted by Richard E. Henthorn)

Soldier's Declaration for Pension
Under Dependent Act of 51st Congress, Approved June 27, 1890.

State of Ohio, County of Franklin, ss:
On this 14th day of July A.D. one thousand eight hundred and ninety, personally appeared before me, W.P. Dunlap, Notary Public in and for said County and State aforesaid, Abraham Conger aged 54 years, a resident of Columbus County of Franklin State of Ohio, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical Abraham Conger who served the full period of ninety days in the military service of the United States in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, who enlisted first for three months in Co "G" 15th Ohio Inft Vols; then 3 months in Co. K 86th Ohio then at Bucyrus Ohio, on the 8th day of September 1863, as a Saddler (Boyfol) in company "A" in the 12th regiment Ohio Cavalry vols. , and was honorably discharged as a Corporal or Saddler at Nashville, Tenn on the 14th day of November 1865.

That his personal description at the time he last enlisted was as follows: Age 27 years; height 5 feet, 7 3/4 inches; complexion light; color of hair Sandy; color of eyes Brown; was born at Seneca County Ohio; occupation when enlisted, a Saddler.

That he is at this time afflicted with a disability which is not the result of his own vicious habits, and as he verily believes is permanent in character.

That said disability is first a Sunstroke at Parkersburg, W Va while in the Service, effecting him ever sincere also piles since his return, and these diseases so debilitate him that he cannot labor much.

That by reason of said disability he is incapacitated from the performance of manual labor, which renders him unable to earn a support about three fourths disability at least.

That he makes this declaration for the purpose of being inscribed upon the Pension Rolls of the United States as a disabled ex-soldier of the last war, being incapacitated from performing manual labor to earn his support as provided for under the act passed by the 51st Congress of the United States for disabled soldiers and sailors, approved June 27, 1890, and hereby constitutes and appoints, with full power of substitution and revocation,

T.W. Tallmadge, of Washington, DC
his true and lawful attorney to prosecute this claim and obtain a certificate for pension under the act foresaid.

That he has not received or applied for a pension under the laws of the United States.

That he has ever been a loyal citizen of the United States and will support the Constitution of the United States.

That his post-office address is at Columbus County of Franklin State of Ohio or at Mifflinville, Franklin Co, Ohio.

Attorneys fee to be ten Dollars.

s/Abraham Conger (Signature of claimant)

s/Joel L. Skillen
(Two persons who can write sign here.)


Certificate No. 935504
Name: Abraham Conger
Department of the Interior Bureau of Pensions.
Washington, DC, January 15, 1898
In forwarding to the pension agent the executed voucher for your next quarterly payment please favor me by returning this circular to him with replies to the questions enumerated below.
Very respectfully,
s/Melay Evans; Commissioner

First. Are you married? If so, please state your wife's full name and her maiden name.
Answer. Mrs. Elizabeth Conger, Elizabeth Brintlinger
Second. When, where, and by whom were you married?
Answer. Dec. 21st 1871. Columbus O.Squyre Kyle
Third. What record of marriage exists?
Answer. Franklin Co. O. Probate Court
Fourth. Were you previously married? If so, please state the name of your former wife and the date and place of her death or divorce.
Answer. No.
Fifth. Have you any children living? If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth.
Answer. Yes
Grant Conger born Oct. 12th 1872
Letta Conger " Sept. 14 1875
John Conger " Dec 19 1877
s/Abraham Conger (Signature. )
Date of reply, June 4, 1898.
(Source: Civil War Pension Record - furnished by Robert Guilinger - extracted by Richard E. Henthorn)

Drop Order and Report
Department of the Interior Bureau of Pensions Finance Division.
Washington, DC, June 23, 1905
Pensioner: Abraham Conger
Certificate number: 93550
Class: Invalid
Soldier: Act of June 27, 1890
Service: A-12-O.V.Cavy
U.S. Pension Agent: Columbus
Sir: You are hereby directed to drop from the roll the name of the above - described pensioner who died May 31, 1905.
s/V. Warner (Commissioner)

Commissioner of Pensions:
Sir: The name of the above - described pensioner, who was last paid at $10 per month to 4 Mar, 1905, has this day been dropped from the roll of this agency.
s/illegible signature; U.S. Pension Agent
June 27, 1905
(Source: Civil War Pension Record - furnished by Robert Gulinger, extracted by Richard E. Henthorn)


Friday, November 13, 2009

Personal Ancestral File - Future

"So where are we going with PAF? In a fairly recent article in Mormon Times, David E. Rencher, FamilySearch's Chief Genealogical Officer is quoted as saying as follows:"

This is a very interesting blog posting, by James Tanner, about what the future may hold in store for the very popular (free) genealogy program Personal Ancestral File (PAF). I recommend taking the time to read this blog posting.

Mr. Dickie

Everton Judson Conger and John Wilkes Booth

Everton Judson Conger and John Wilkes Booth

Some say there was blood on the moon that awful April. President Lincoln's martyred body lay in a black coffin. Men wept and cursed in Washington's muddy streets. Flags draped at half staff. Bells tolled.

Panic stricken officials send soldiers and secret service men scurrying off in all directions on a hell-bent hunt for a crazed actor who had assassinated the President at Ford's Theater the night of April 14.

Somewhere in southern Maryland John Wilkes Booth was hiding. His flight with a co-conspirator, David Herold, was delayed by a broken leg, smashed when he arose from the kill in the Lincoln box and jumped to the stage.

Peace, then Rage

Five days before a triumphant nation had hailed a peace at Appomattox. Now an enraged North was baying like a bloodhound.

Every April, Carmi, Ill., feels close to that scene in the swamps along the Potomac, the winding roads around Port Tobacco, the swollen Rappahannock, a certain tobacco barn near Port Royal, Va.

There's a house on Carmi's Main Street to remind folks of that hunt for John Wilkes Booth. There's a Carmi family bearing the name of the man who caught Lincoln's assassin.

Used Reward Money

Remodeled and beautified; the house at 302 West Main Street was built 105 years ago by Col. Everton J. Conger. He paid for it with part of the money he received as a reward for commanding the troops who cornered and killed Booth.

Col. Conger lived in Carmi for 11 years, from 1869 to 1880. Here he studied law in the office of a brother, the late Judge Chauncey S. Conger. Here he was admitted to the bar in 1871, elected police magistrate. He practiced law in Carmi until 1880, when President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed him to the Federal bench in Montana territory.

Was Ohio Dentist

When the Civil War started, Everton Conger was a 26-year-old dentist in Fremont, Ohio. He enlisted, raised a company in his state, was commissioned captain and attached to the West Virginia cavalry. He was a handsome, slender, black-bearded man with high forehead, large expressive eyes and a dashing mustache.

He was his hardest fighting at Petersburg and during the Richmond campaign, being wounded several times. In one battle he was on the ground when an enemy attacked with a broad sword. He raised an arm to ward off the blow and his arm was cut off.

Recovering from his wounds, Conger returned to duty and was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He was with the First District of Columbia Cavalry when Lincoln was assassinated. His chief was Col. LaFayette C. Baker.

Human Ferret

Col. Baker, brown-haired, grey-eyed, was a human ferret; more of a spy or secret agent than he was a military man. He had served with the San Francisco vigilantes. When war came he was sent to Richmond to spy for Seward's State Department. He was so successful as a detective that he was taken over by Secretary Stanton and made chief of the War Department's large force of secret agents. It was then that he was given a Colonel's commission.

And so, the stage was set that fateful April.

Booth and Herold escaped into Maryland on horseback. They crossed the Navy Yard bridge over the Anacostia River, hoping to reach Virginia. Booth's broken leg was swelling in his boot. The throbbing pain forced the fugitives to turn from their escape route and make for the Maryland home of Dr. Samuel Mudd.

Capitol in Chaos

When Lincoln died the morning of April 15 Washington was in chaos. Secretary Steward was unconscious from knife wounds inflicted by another conspirator, Lewis Paine. War Secretary Stanton took command as a dictator, ignoring the new President, Andrew Johnson. Stanton issued orders to soldiers, policemen and secret service agents. The hunt was on. Col. Baker rushed back from New York on orders from Stanton, who greeted him tearfully with these words: "My entire dependence is upon you."

After Lincoln's funeral train started wending its way back to the Illinois prairies, Stanton seemed to get a grip on himself. The hunt for the conspirators had been a frustrating farce. April 20 Stanton offered rewards totaling $100,000, a sum of $50,000 for Booth and $25,000 each for Herold and John H. Sturrat.

Col. Baker Ignored

Lack of coordination between the hunters in their hopes to grab the rewards enabled Booth and Herold to make their way to the Potomac. Col. Baker was ignored at General Christopher Augur's military headquarters. For a week he made little progress, while certain Army sleuths were in full cry on a hot trail in Virginia.

By Monday, April 24, Col. Baker received secret information that Booth and Herold had crossed the Potomac and that Major James R. O'Beirne's search party was closing in on the fugitives.

Conger On Trail

It was then that the wily Baker pulled strings which put him and Col. Conger on the trail. Major O'Beirne was suddenly recalled and Baker was put in charge of the hunt.

He sent for Col. Conger and Lieut. L.B. Baker, a cousin, both of whom were in the First Cavalry. Conger and the lieutenant watched while Col. Baker showed them a map, pointing out where the fugitives had crossed the Potomac and the route he believed they would take.

He ordered Conger and Baker to leave at once and to search the area around Port Royal, Va. Col. Baker asked Stanton for some troops to support his two officers and he was assigned a detachment of Sixteenth New York Cavalry.

Trail Grew Hot

Mindful of the huge reward, Col. Baker placed Conger in command of the expedition. By evening of the 24th, Conger's hard riding horsemen were warm on the trail in the swamps of St. Mary's County, Maryland. On April 25 they found a Confederate officer who had helped Booth and Herold cross the Potomac. It was he who hinted where Booth might be found.

It was after midnight. There was an April chill on the night air. Horses and men were bone tired, but there was no time to lose. Guided by the Confederate captain, the weary horsemen hurried toward the farm of Richard Garrett.

It was 2 a.m. when the troops halted at Garrett's gate. Col. Conger have quiet orders for the cavalrymen to surround the. ... When the soldiers were in place their carbines poised, Conger told Lieut. Baker to rap on the kitchen door. He knocked and gave a loud halloo.

Hiding in Barn

In drawers and nightshirt. ... man Garrett opened the door looked into the night, and the of Baker and Conger. He said and Herold had left, but his John, spoke up and blurted out the fugitives were hiding in the barn.

Trooper Seized Young Garrett

They held cocked pistols at and led him toward the Soldiers surrounded the hide Conger and Baker went up to barn door. Calling out loudly told those inside that they sending Garrett's son into get their weapons; that they the fugitives to surrender arms and come out or they set the barn on fire.

Herold Seized

Pushing the boy inside, Conger and Baker heard Booth curse and refuse their proposal terrified boy retreated After haggling for a few minutes with Booth, they heard him call that Herold wanted to surrender. Unarmed Herold came through door. He was seized and handcuffed. When he started whining innocence, Conger threatened to have him gagged.

While Booth was still arguing a chance to make a run for his Col. Conger slipped around the and set it afire. The barn ablaze inside when Conger looked through a crack. He saw Booth standing in the glare of the flames his broken, infected leg supported by a crutch. Booth held a carbine intent on shooting the man who had set fire to the barn.

Corbett Disobeys

Suddenly he turned, rifle and made a dash for the determined to shoot it out. Just Sergeant Boston Corbet disobeyed orders. Peering though a hole in the barn, he raised his and shot Booth, the bullet entered the back of the neck.

Booth collapsed in the burning barn. Col. Conger and sergeants rushed in, picked Booth and carried him outside placing him on the grass.

"Bring water," Col. Conger ordered. They threw some on the assassin's face. He opened his eyes for the last time. His lips moved, "Tell mother.. I did.. for

Leonard, Helen Maxine (Crowell)

H. Maxine (Crowell) Leonard

In Volume I, of "The Conger Family of America," H. Maxine (Crowell) Leonard wrote of her involvement in Conger genealogy.

"You could say these records [of Charles Leslie Conger which had been filmed at the Library of Congress for Elijah Hagens Conger] were handed to your compiler on a "Silver platter," thanks to Era (Conger) Jones [sister of Elijah Hagens Conger], who let me copy the books one at a time. Why did I, Helen Maxine Crowell Leonard, get involved, when I am not a Conger -- my closest relationship is that of my great grandmother, Mary (Conger) Croel, born 1814, in Monroe county, Ohio?

I have been "Conger Conscious" since about the age of eight. I, with my folks, visited the cemetery in Monroe county, Iowa, where Mary is buried with her son, Wilbur, and his wife, Margaret, my grandparents. As I stood beside her grave I had the strongest feeling about her -- the urge to know her. I liked the sound of the name CONGER. I knew that in some say she was very special.

In 1956, I was stricken with Rheumatoid Arthritis and was bed ridden for three months, as stiff as a board. Through prayer, food supplements, exercise and diet I was able to assume a fairly normal life. Five foot operations alleviated a lot of pain, and both hands and wrists were restored to good use through surgery. Through all this I needed something to occupy my time and mind and genealogy seemed to be the answer.

I "met" Era Jones through correspondence, and in 1962 we had the opportunity to visit her. It was then I began copying her books. When I finished I thought, "Someone should index all this," for it was impossible to find anything specific. And so, I made file cards for everyone, and recorded the Conger spouses. Every place my husband's Army travels took us, I looked for Congers and interviewed them.

My husband retired from the service in 1967 and we settled in Janesville, Iowa. I had no idea what to do with the records, for I really didn't know any Congers. I thought of typing all the material and sending copies to the Library of Congress and the Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City, UT and keep a copy for myself.

Then in July 1968 I received a letter from Beach Conger of Pleasantville, New York. He was planning to update his line, that of Job, which Charles Greenwood Barker Conger had published in 1903. He heard of me through correspondence and wondered if I could help him. When he learned what I had, he offered to finance the publication if we worked together to put all the Conger material into one book.

Since Beach lived near a large library, I suggested he search telephone directories for Congers throughout the country. This he began to do and contacted about 150 people of this name. For six months he sent material to be cataloged -- and then he died on 6 Jan 1969. Marion, his widow, sent me his files, which contained the booklets of "Job A. Conger and his Descendants, by Ivan Albert Conger and the story of "Norman Hurd Conger," by Roger N. Conger (included in Volume One of CFA, with their permission).

Lauren Tenney Conger of Lake Forest, Illinois, came to my rescue by helping with the telephone directory search in Chicago - and my slipping me a couple of $10.00 bills to help defray the gigantic postage costs. Later, I spent an entire day in the St. Louis library to finish the project. About a 1,000 Congers were contacted; over 2500 letters have been written. In this way the past three or four generations have been added to the existing records.

Special credit goes to the following people for many hours of research -- reading census reports on microfilm, checking courthouse records, writing letters and personally interviewing people: Marion Barton for checking all the Vermont Vital Statistics and libraries; Geneva Clark, finding and identifying the Congers of Marion county, Kentucky; Willa Dean Eaves for research in Georgia; Beulah Frehner and daughter, Connie Money for finding the missing link to establish Jonas Conger in Georgia; Leona Robertson and Lesba Thompson for finding the descendants of Jonathan Conger of Pike county, Indiana and proving him for DAR; (William) Russell Conger for further search of the Ohio branch; and Geary H. Worth and Don Ruth Merritt for checking Tennessee census films.

(Joseph) Clyde Conger went that extra mile to round up the descendants of Lucius Lee Conger in Mississippi; Sidney Conger Mendenhall has kept records of James Westfall Conger's descendants from Kansas. Mary E. Woods has done a splendid job in preserving the records of the descendants of Abijah Conger from Athens, Georgia. Many letters were written by Noel William Conger to find the descendants of Colvin Conger of New York. Ivan Albert Conger kept the descendants of Job A. Conger together by an annual family reunion at his home in Owoso,

Although Abraham H. Conger, 1810, of Lowndes county, Georgia, cannot be linked to John Belconger, his prolific posterity has kept in close contact and John Robert Conger prodded them into submitting their records.

There are many others too numerous to mention.

Now, after 120 years, several thousand dollars, and the devoted efforts of many kinsmen, "THE CONGER FAMILY OF AMERICA" is assembled into one cover. I personally have not done much research; I make no claims of any kind. I have compiled the existing material, which undoubtedly contains errors. In many instances additional children have been found, so the reader must bear in mind that these records are not necessarily complete; none probably ever will be. When known, the religious denomination is given as an aid in directing further search and verification.

This is only the beginning! There should be a supplement every five years, giving additions and corrections. The family should become "Conger Conscious" and make sincere efforts to keep individual records henceforth. There should be more family reunions to preserve our rich heritage. Seek out your Conger cousins wherever you go. Unless there is another volunteer, I promise to continue in the roll of "compiler" so long as I am able. If I have no successor, the records will be donated to the Genealogical Society of Salt Lake City, UT.