Friday, June 29, 2007

Martha Ann Rands (Bignell)

When lived

How related to Kieran
Great-great-great-great grandmother on father’s side (wife of George Bignell Sr.)

Robert Rands and Elizabeth Holton (Rands)

Born May 14, 1820, in England; baptized June 10, 1821, in Simpson (Simpson Parish), Buckinghamshire, England

In England, worked as a lacemaker/seamstress; in America as a homemaker

g Married George Bignell Sr. on June 24, 1839, in Simpson Parish, Buckinghamshire, England; his last name is “Bignal” however in the parish records. Family legend says George Sr. was the son of a duke but disowned for marrying a seamstress (Martha), who was below his class. In 1993, a librarian from Newport-Pagnell, England, discounted (but did not disprove) the story.
g Married Josiah Hight (b. 1807 to Jacob Hight; d. Sep. 11, 1881), in 1857, following George’s death in Canada and her relocation to Wisconsin; took on the Hight surname

With George Bignell Sr.:
g Ann (born 184o in Fenny Stratford, England)
g George Jr. (born 1841 in Fenny Stratford, England)
g Richard (born Feb. 14, 1843, in Simpson, or Newport-Pagnell, Buchinghamshire, England
g Robert (born March 16, 1847, Newport-Pagnell, Buchinghamshire, England)
g Edmund (sometimes spelled Edmond) (born Dec. 10, 1849, in Simpson, England, according to the 1851 English census
g Elizabeth (born 1850? in Newport Pagnell)
g Sarah (born 1852 in England)
With Josiah Hight:
g Susan Jane (m. Eli Louis Warren in 1876)
g Henry (m. Mary Mosher in 1882; their children include: Jacob Hight and John Hight; most "Heit" residents from Durand, Wis., are descended from Jacob and John)
g Josiah Jr. (b. 1859; m. Amelia Shimcusky; they had 9 children)
g John (b. 1860)
g Jacob

Interesting facts
g Josiah Hight had a previous wife and children from that marriage. His father, Jacob, a Lutheran Minister, moved from Hightstown, N.J., near Trenton, sometime between 1813-1815, to Jamestown, Campbell Co., Ky., coming down the Ohio River on a flatboat and stopping at Cincinnati to cross the waterway into Kentucky. A history of the Hight family exists, though it primarily looks at the descendants of Josiah's brother, Samuel. Family legend says Josiah was an Irishman (and perhaps his mother was Irish), but if related to Samuel, his ancestors came to North America from Alsace-Lorraine shortly before the Revolutionary War. Josiah's other brothers, according to the 1820 Clermont Co., Ohio, census, are Jacob Jr., Nicholas and Ellison/Allison Hight.
g Martha appears in the 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia as "Martha Bignall", living in the province of Canada West (Ontario), the district of Huron County (District Number: 16) in the sub-district of Morris and Hullett (Sub-District Number: 141,146), listed as 31 years old. This is evidence that the claim the Bignell family sailed from England to Canada in 1854 is incorrect. In any case, apparently the family was starving ont eh streets of London and so was given free passage to Canada
g The 1860 Pepin County, Wis., Census lists Josiah and Martha Hight. As living in the Town of Stockholm (pg 29; 242/209), Living in their household were: Josiah Hight, 45, bn Indiana; Martha, 40, b. Eng.; Susan Jane. 3 b. Wi (bn. Jan 28, 1858); Henry b. Wis.; George Bignell 16 b. Eng.; Robert Bignell 15 b. Eng; Richard Bignell 14 b. Eng.; Edmond Bignell 11 b. Eng.; Elizabeth Bignell 10 b. Eng.; Sarah Bignell 8 b. Eng.
g Martha’s brothers, James and John, fought in the Civil War, including the Battle of Pittsburgh Landing
g The 1870 Pepin County Census lists Josiah and Martha Hight as living in Waterville (pg 21; 145/156) with the following children: Susan, age 12; Henry, 10; Josiah Jr., 8; John, 6; Jacob, 4
g Martha is mentioned in the following published newspaper columns: Know your family's past — your future depends on it and Irish in America offer temperament for all to live by

Martha outlived Josiah. She died June 30, 1897 (lived 77 yrs, 1 mo, 16 days), of dropsy (which she reportedly had for nearly 50 years), which resulted in heart failure, in Turtle Lake, Wis. She was buried July 1, 1897, in Mount Hope Cemetery, Barron County, Wis. (died as Martha Hight). Inscription on her tombstone reads: Martha Hight/Died June 30, 1897/Aged 77 years, 1 mo, 18 days/ Having finished Life’s Duty she now steadily rests. Martha’s burial records are available through the Barron County, Wis., Register of Deeds.

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