My first attempt at a Prezi Presentation.

Mahnke Family Prezi

How to follow the family tree from Mahnke to Sprague to Schaefer in easy photos.

Well, it could have been worse — maybe.

I definitely need more practice. I won’t tell you how many re-edits this took. The idea came to me as I was moving my office furniture back into the den. I finally had the remaining carpet replaced (part of my 3-part carpet project). Since I’m 5 feet and one inch tall, and the room is a cathedral ceiling, I painted the room “square” to the height I could reach. Anyway, while waiting for the carpet installers, I started putting family photos back up on the wall. This prezi comes from the Mahnke side of the family, my mother’s side. Just photos from the wall, and a youtube that may or may not work. It didn’t work on my older computer but worked on the laptop.

So here it is my first try, but NOT my first draft.

UPDATE…After seeing Kurt Beaver’s Prezi presentation, that looks like an actual slide show — I really want to master this software and create something usable in my genealogy research.  More later…


Samuel C. Sprague b. 1822 NY; d. Unknown Nebraska

Samuel C. (Clark?) Sprague, one of the possible children of John and Diantha Sprague was probably born in Holley, town of Murray, Orleans County, New York — all I have is a guess-timate due to the census records. If the family moved to Thornapple, Barry County, Michigan in 1848 — Samuel would have been 26 years old, old enough to be on his own. He is found in the 1850 and 1860 Barry County census, living with a family, probably as a laborer.

Then in 1870, he is listed with a wife and 4 children:

Samuel C.   48 yrs.  NY  m. Dec 1869, FA=CT, MO=VT
Laura J.       24 yrs.  NY
Frank           18 yrs.  MI
Carrie E.       12 yrs.  MI
Ellen             9 yrs.  MI
Selden S.      7 yrs.  MI

In the 1880 census they were living in Richland, Sarphy, Nebraska

By 1900, the family was living in Elkhorn, Sheridan, NE. Samuel was not listed with the family. Selden was listed as the head of the house. Laura (Samuel’s wife) was listed as step-mother. His sister Ellen was living with them.

1910 in Inman,Holt, NE lists Selden, a wife Anna, and sister Ellen M. Finch.

1920 Selden and Anna are in Douglas, NE

1930 Selden, Anna are living in Westfall, Pike, Pennsylvania, with Anna’s brother J. Truman Keyes, who may be her twin. Anna was born in PA.

I need to find Samuel C. Sprague’s death record or cemetery record to see if his parent’s names are listed. Or find the marriage certificate. But were they married in Michigan or New York?

Spragues on the 1830 & 1840 census for Murray, Orleans County, NY

I was searching through my old files and found a spreadsheet that a “cousin” had done on the Sprague family in Murray, Orleans County, New York. I couldn’t find her excel file — it must be on my external hard drive which I don’t have connected at the moment. But I did find this gem from the 1830 census.


On it, you can see two John Sprague (s) listed. The top one has a male in the 40 to 50 age group. I believe that is John Sprague, born 17 Apr 1783 in Connecticut. He has 5 male children, under the age of 20, and 1 female child in her 20’s. The John Sprague who is lower down was born 21 Dec 1805 in Vermont, and has 1 male child under 5, and 1 female under 10, and a teen female, with one in her 20’s.

Since I haven’t found any complete lists of the older John’s children, and have been finding them by accident on later census, death records, proximity in cemeteries, etc. Here is my guesswork on some of the possible children,

(1) John Sprague b. 21 Dec 1806 Winhall. VT (the lower John, my line) d. 4 Feb 1890, Vernon, WI

(2) Diantha Sprague b. 15 May 1808 Winhall, VT

(3) Unnamed Deceased Male twin b. 15 May 1808 d. 18 May 1808 Winhall, VT

(4) Female 1810 (census)

(5) Thomas Sprague b. ~1819 NY (Orleans County?)

(6) Samuel C. (Clark?) b. 1822 NY

(7) Eli D. Sprague b. 27 Mar 1827 NY  d. 4 Sep 1908 Barry Co. MI

(8) Mary Ann Sprague b. 27 Mar 1827 NY  d, 22 Nov. 1910 Barry Co., MI

(9) Arah J. (Jesse?) b. 1828 NY

The names of Thomas, Eli and Clark have been listed as sons of John Sprague, who was the son of another John Sprague, b. 1735 Malden, Middlesex, MA and moved to Killingly, Windham, CT with his father and siblings. That John is on the census for Killingly in 1790. Without vital records, I am trying to build a connection between all these “Johns” by location and the fact that families tended to move together.


I’ll post more on the 1840 census. My theory is that John Sprague’s  (Jr.) wife died leaving him with small children, so he moved back in with his father.

Mary Ann (Sprague) Young, Middleville, Michigan

When you find a clue, you follow that clue. I was looking over the wonderful that was the brainchild of Dick Weber, and trying to organize the information I have given him over the years. When I didn’t have a definite record or source for the information, I gave him my best guess. After reviewing the data, my guesses have not stood up to research. It seems I have to get my known family in order and stop guessing names, relationships and possible ties until they are confirmed.

So back to Mary Ann Sprague Young. I first found her living next to her parents John and Diantha Sprague in Middlevillle, town of Thornapple, Barry County, Michigan in the 1850 federal census.  The 1850 census is important because it lists the names of everyone in the household at the time. Prior to that, it listed the name of the head of the household and number of males/females by age group.

So I searched all the death records online from the state of Michigan for the keyword “Sprague” and went through each name. That is how I first found Mary Ann.


The death record for Mary Ann Young, whose father was John Sprague and mother Diantha Turner. Information from her son, James A. Young.

The only thing that bothers me is the birthplace of her father, John, is listed as Massachusetts. I hope that is an error on James Young’s part, since from all other records his place of birth is Connecticut.

Holley, town of Murray, Orleans County, New York

I was reading the history of the town of Murray and discovered some interesting information. My ancestors were Baptists! Since I was raised, and still am, a practicing “Roman” Catholic, and my dad, Gerald Sprague was Catholic, his dad/grandpa Art Sprague was Catholic…it made me think when did the family change religions. There’s a huge difference between Baptists and Catholics.

However, in the history of Murray, my ancestor, John Sprague was a founding member and deacon of the church. A new direction to search in…

Finding a needle in the haystack of, a “for profit” company that holds many if not most of the genealogy databases on the internet. From family trees, census information, vital records to newspapers and other archives; it allows you to search for your ancestors in many resources. However its search engine capability is pretty lame. It rates results in a “star” system. You can request results in 3-4-5 stars. As far as I can tell, it ignores most of the information you put into the “advanced search” in the results. But…sometimes you get an unusual hit…

My great, great, great grandfather was John Sprague, born Dec. 21, 1806 in Winhall, Bennington County, VT to John and Diantha Sprague. The John Sprague listed above was the husband of Diantha Sprague, as acknowledged by the date of death. They are both buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Middleville, town of Thornapple, Barry County, Michigan. On an earlier post, I had found Diantha’s maiden name of Turner. On this source, I found a timeline of locations, so I can continue my search for John’s parents. I have an idea who they might be but no documentation to back it up.

Diantha Unknown married John Sprague, Winhall, Vermont

Diantha and John Sprague had at least two sets of twins. Their first son, John Sprague, my great, great, great grandfather was born in Winhall, VT in December 1806. By May 1808, Diantha was giving birth to twins: a daughter they named Diantha and an unnamed son who died within days. They had more children, but by that time they had moved to Holley, town of Murray, Orleans County, New York.

I haven’t found John and Diantha’s marriage certificate, and both John and Diantha’s death certificates were not found in the Michigan vital records. They had moved to Middleville, town of Thornapple, Barry County, Michigan, and are buried in Mount Hope Cemetery.

But I found one of their other children, Eli D. Sprague’s death record in Michigan. It listed both parent’s names: John Sprague and Diantha TURNER. I have a maiden name at last!! Time to start digging again.

Death record for Eli D. Sprague

The maiden name for Diantha Sprague is TURNER. Finally found it!