My genealogy journey seems to be a round-about journey into the past.

Some of my family lines are straight forward, documented and richly sourced. Others, like my Neal line, tend to start, stop, jog and then I find that nugget of information that opens the past.

Abigail Neal Shane age 9  My Neal line starts with Abigail Neal. Abigail was born 2 Feb 1875 in Mossville, Illinois. In 1895, She married Charles Henry Shane, my great grandfather. I had some early Shane information that indicated Olive was Abigail’s mother but a census record indicated Abigail was older than how long Daniel and Olive were married.

So, I began the “LONG” search for Abigail’s real mother.

I found a marriage record for a Daniel Silliman Neal and Eliza Smith in 1874, but still needed to verify Eliza was the first wife. In a LaSalle Cemetery listing for Medina Township, Illinois I found it.

A gravesite for Daniel Neal and his “wives.” Eliza, 1849-1877, daughter Minnie Jan. 21, 1877 to July 17, 1877 and Olive 1854 to NDD.

Daniel Silliman Neal was born to Samuel Clements Neal and Emily Silliman. I did not know who his parents were until I discovered the tendency to have the mother’s maiden name as the middle name of a child.


The pictures above are of Sally Neal and Moses Neal.

Samuel’s parents were John Prentice Neal and Sally Clements and John’s parents were Moses Leavitt Neal and Martha Prentice. I do believe I am on the right track for Moses’ parents who I believe are John Neal and Mary Leavitt. That is yet another search for the correct lines.

The Neals and Sillimans have a long history of public and military service. The Neals hailed from New Hampshire, serving in the NH House of Representatives and as lawyers. The Sillimans include Gershom Silliman, who was a patriot during the American Revolution and from whom we claim Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution lineage.

Abigail and Charles were married when Abigail was 20, but the 1930 census from San Antonio, Texas states her first marriage was when she was 16. So, I now begin the search for a possible first husband.

Abigail left Charles and the children, moving to Texas where she married L.L. Lanaux, James Armstrong Rouse and then, after moving to Yakima, WA, she married J.M. Jones. It was my understanding she married while living in a nursing home.

I hope to find out more about her, as I continue my “long” search into Abigail Neal Shane Jones.



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