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An American Family History

Gille Bertrand

Seraing is French speaking town in the Liêge Province of Belgium on the Meuse River. It is in the Wallonia region. It is a center for iron and crystal manufacturing.

American pioneers migrated west to settle areas not previously inhabited by European Americans.

Illinois became a state in 1818. A large influx of American settlers came in the 1810s by the Ohio River.

Gille Bertram was born on December 18, 1824 in Seraing, Belgium. He was brother to or close relative of Francois Bertrand.

His wife was named Francis Parprasse Par?rasse or Canper.

Gille and Frances' children included:
Frank Bertram (1847-1928, married Augustina),
Matthew Bertram (May, 1846, married Maggie Flemming),
Mary Jennifer (Jenny) Bertram Naillieux (March 29, 1862, married Joseph Naillieux),
Ernestine Bertram Naillieux (1869, married Simeon Naillieux),
James Bertram (1872, married Mary Detrixhe),
Lizzie Bertram Ball (1875, married Le Roy B. Ball).

The family immigrated to the United States in 1870 and lived in Braidwood, Will County, Illinois, at first. Braidwood is a coal mining town. Many families from Seraing also immigrated to Braidwood.

At the time of the 1885 Kansas State census, the family was in Cloud County, Kansas. James age 23 was listed as head of household. His wife, Mary was 20. Gills was 71, Francis 67, Frank 45, and Lizzie age 21. They were farming.

From The Diary of Hiram H. Young, 1886-1895, Pioneer of Cloud County

[June, 1890] 5 Saturday. Good day. Freddie & the old Man went to town after noon. Charleys boy born this morning Died in 3 Hours afterbirth. Brought home the coffin box. Home 8:30 P M George went to Sam Naillieux Link Goble Called this eve & brought our Mail. A L Demers paid me cas[h] $5.00 in full for all demands to date.

[July, 1893] 23 Sunday. Hot wind South. White clouds flying through air..... This is a bad day on our corn. The corn will not [stand] any great amount of Dry hot wind. Grand Pap Groves Called also [sic, should be on] Mrs Naillieux and Lady Bertram.

[July] 25 Tuesday. Fearful hot wind South. Went to Rice twice with A D Goble. Got a letter from Dave Skeels. Boys helped Jim Shafer thresh, in forenoon. Wind turned north in the evening and fearful Dust and wind. threatened rain & thundered. Ed. Sear and wife & another Frenchman & wife Called in during the wind and dust storm. staid till 10 P. M. Still thundering but no rain to speak of. But need it badly. Lady Empson Called twice to day. Commenced to Rain 10 P M and Rained all night. Jersey Heifer bulled this evening by Jims [Bertram] black bull.

[August] 5 Saturday. Good day. Freddie & the old Man went to town after noon. Charleys boy born this morning Died in 3 Hours afterbirth. Brought home the coffin box. Home 8:30 P M George went to Sam Naillieux Link Goble Called this eve & brought our Mail. A L Demers paid me cas[h] $5.00 in full for all demands to date.

[August, 1893] 24 Thursday. Cloudy & cool. John took last batch of wheat to town. Freddie & Hellen McCasey went with John. After Dinner Mother and Mabel went to Kellenbargers George to [ok] Old Cherry to Jim Bertrams Black Bull.

[August] 29 Saturday. Came down to Soonover on train. Rode a part of the way home with Sam Naillieux. Rained a good Shower in the morning. Home 11:30 A M Family all well

[August 1893] 31 Thursday. Good day. Grave yard meeting. Cleaned up and burnt off the Grave yeard.... George went to Bertrams in evening. Settled with Jim for cutting our alfalfa Paid him Cash $1.25

[September] 6 Wednesday. Clear & hot high wind South. Mrs Swope visited us to day. Lady Empson & Gurty Bell were here 5 or 6 time[s] to day. Also Grand Pap Groves Called Col. Dan Empson Sick. We furnished medicine. John mowed. George run over the neighborhood for a horse rake & finally got one for 2 hours. Then got Jim Bertrams in the eve[ning]. Went to Aurora in the evening Took the third Degree in the Knights of Pythias. The Boys failed to get much fun out of the old man. The third Degree is ahem. from away back. Home from Aurora 2 A. M next morning.

[September] 14 Thursday. Clear & Hot. John & I went to Ames this morning with 7 Hogs weight 14.40 [@] 5¼ [ยข] = $75.60 Home at 11:35 A. M. Hot and Dusty. Fearful dry. Jim Bertram Called at noon. John Raking hay for Jim this afternoon. Mother Can[n]ing Peaches to day. John went to Moore's in the eve. Paid More cash for threshing our grain this year 723 Oats & 96 bushels of Oats [wheat] = $18.30 For all demands to date. Threshing Paid in full

[January 1894] 11 Thursday Bully Day. Fine day Hauled 1 load of corn to Aurora for Colonel J. T. Henderson. Big Jo. Bertrams Daughter Buried to day. Lady Ward Called and Bought No 178 in cemetry Ou[r] School Mother Called this evening and Staid all night. Mother Mable and Miss Tiff Called on Dan. Empson this eve.

Gille died on January 1, 1896 and was laid to rest in Nelson Cemetery, in Rice, Cloud County, Kansas with other members of the family.

After Gille died, Francis married Eugene Garnier who was born in Belgium in 1835.

Francis died on April 24, 1914.

When Kansas was officially opened to settlement in 1854, both abolitionists and pro-slavery settlers rushed to the territory to determine whether it would become a free or a slave state. It was admitted to the union as a slave-free state on January 29, 1861.

The 1890 census materials was lost in a 1921 fire.

 

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
tuller.roberta@gmail.com
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