McHENRY COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
McHENRY COUNTY ILLINOIS GENEALOGY SOCIETY
FAMILY HISTORY BOOK REVIEW
STEWART: HEATHER LOST
The Great Escape
The Story of a Family Displaced by War and Greed
A Transition from Feudalism to Land Ownership
Bruce Maddox Stewart
Private Publication, 2009;
Bruce M. Stewart
Winter: 17200 W. Bell Rd., #1232, Surprise, AZ 85374
Summer: 475 Juniper Ridge RV Resort, Show Low, Arizona 85901
$30 plus $5 Parcel Post or $13 priority mail
Digital copy, $12.00 Postage Paid, requires Adobe Reader
Bruce Stewart has produced a very interesting family history which delineates the origins of his family as well as the movement his branch of that family from Scotland to Walworth County, Wisconsin and then Hebron Township, McHenry County, Illinois via Johnstown, Fulton County, New York. The book is assembled in a well organized fashion and includes numerous informative relationship diagrams. The many photographic reproductions in the book are superb in their clarity. (Moore Graphics Co., 13415 W. Westgate Drive, Surprise, Arizona 85374).
What is of the greatest interest to McHenry County and Walworth County residents can be found after page 95. Prior to that, Stewart amply discusses the journey as well as its causes, of this Scottish family from their homeland to Johnstown, New York. His research is thorough and includes his personal impressions of the travails of his family based on personal visits to the sites he describes.
Stewart’s description of his family’s coming to Hebron Township is clear and informative. Especially informative is his description of land acquisitions and purchases in the township. The maps and graphics describing that activity are very well done. The history of his family in Hebron Township, which includes himself, gives interesting insights into how people lived in the county in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The material is an interesting mixture of genealogy and family history. As should be done, Mr. Stewart cleverly mixes both the genealogical and historical aspects of his family. A discussion of why and how his family installed drain tiles across their land after the 1890’s is of particular interest to county historians.
The “Appendices” found in the book contain copies of numerous land patents in Hebron Township from the 1840s as well as other land ownership related documents. They provide useful insight into area settlement at that time. Also found there are notes and citations which clearly show the vast amount of valid research which Mr. Stewart did in preparing to publish this work.
All in all, this book is a very useful micro analysis addition to those written about the history of McHenry County. It is certainly a valuable addition to any McHenry County family history collection.
This is a good review. I am happy with it. Craig is a participant in both Societies and is a specialist in the history of railroads of the midwest. He gave me the dates the railroads started operating in Richmond and Hebron in Northern Illinois.
Now that the book is done, I haven't figured out yet what the next project will be. I do know I have much work to catch up on in my photos and data base. I will keep every one posted with posts to this blog.
Thanks to everyone for their support in this, our family history.
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