Clare (also spelled Clair) Edward Schell was my grandfather. An aura of mystery seems shroud this side of my genealogy and if you have any information, I would be ever so grateful! My grandfather passed away when I was very young, way before I ever got interested in my roots. Therefore, I never was able to ask him the things I now wish I knew. Clare was born in a small town in Pennsylvania known as Sandy Lake in Mercer County. However, there was a huge fire in the old courthouse that contained Sandy Lake's records and nearly everything before the late 1800's was destroyed. Lore has it, my grandfather came to Illinois from Pennsylvania by becoming a bum, more or less, and hopping trains. Whether he came to Illinois on purpose or if this just happened to be where he got off is unknown to me. The real mystery is whether or not Clare is of Native American decent. As far back as I have traced, his dad & grandfather, were both born in Pennsylvania. His father, George Henry Schell, was born in July of 1865 and his grandfather, Henry Schell, was born in September of 1833 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. These are facts with documentation. That means Clare's great grandfather would have come to America before 1833 if he was indeed German as the Schell name implies. Clare's mother, Josephine (also called Sophina, Sopheni, & Sophie) Heim was born in October 1870 in Germany. Her father, John Heim was born in Austria. Her mother was Elizabeth Korna. I am curious as to the decent of this name. I do not have a birth date or place for her. The real oddity is there is suppose to be a photo several family members remember seeing of an old Native American man in a full head dress that was suppose to be relation to my grandfather. I have never seen the photo but it is believed to be in a box of my aunt's in storage somewhere. If you can help me at all get any more information, especially Henry Schell's father's name, I would love to hear from you! In those hopes, I will leave you with this information on Henry Schell, my g.g. grand- father: Henry SCHELL b. Sept 1833, Berks County, PA m. Anna Margaret or Margaret Anna GEORGE in 1857 Children: Maria (1861), Adam (Aug 1863), George (July 1865), Elias (1875) On August 16, 1884, he bought 60 acres of land in Lake Township, PA from William McFarland for $4,000. According to his obituary, it became one of the best farms in the area. d. Dec 5 or 15th, 1905 I would appreciate any help at all on theories or ideas. Thank you and if you would like to exchange information, please feel free to e-mail me.
My grandmother, Frances (Starkey) Schell, died three years before my grandfather, and just a little over a month after my mom (her daughter). However, I did gain much information on her mother's family from a genealogy buff in that side of the family, Vivian "Berniece" (Brittingham) Bara. Berniece has since passed away but she left so much to us. I also received a wealth of information from Bertha (Brittingham) Garrett through a fellow internet genealogist. I am very grateful to them. Frances was born in 1913 in Edward County, Kansas. She married Clare Schell on July 9th, 1932 in Hennipen, Illinois. Her mother was Ida Pearl Brittingham and her father was Aubra (or Aubrey) "Robert" Starkey. You can read more about them in the pages to follow.