This is an excellent story of
this branch of the Stewart family. An adventure story, a detective
novel and a history story which shows what an adventure it is to do your
genealogy. Our thanks to Bruce Stewart for giving us permission to make his
book available on the site. The files are pdf files.
Here is a review of the
McHENRY COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
McHENRY COUNTY ILLINOIS GENEALOGY SOCIETY
FAMILY HISTORY BOOK REVIEW
STEWART: HEATHER LOSTby
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
$30 plus $5 Parcel Post or $13 priority
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