“FANs”- Albert Hunniball and Annie Fletcher

Albert Hunniball and Annie Fletcher, and Their Dog
Albert Hunniball and Annie Fletcher, and Their Dog


“FAN” is an acronym for Friends, Associates, and Neighbors– people to look to when doing genealogy to help learn more about your primary subjects.

Annie Fletcher and Albert Hunniball were close Friends to my grandparents, Associates, as the two women attended the same church, and Neighbors too- they lived just a couple of houses around the corner from Edith and Alfred Luck. The Hunniballs were very British, as was Alfred- all three immigrated to the US between 1903-1912. As a child we would go visit Mrs. Hunniball- she was mostly blind and stayed at home, so enjoyed any bit of company. Mrs. Hunniball- I never knew her first or maiden name until just recently- was tall and slender to me as a child, and wore dresses reminiscent of the cotton shirtwaists of an earlier time. Her white hair was piled high on her head in a bun or a wrapped braid, and she had an air of elegant grace even though she was slightly stooped in her 80s. She taught us how to make tea the English way and would tell stories of working in the Queen of England’s castle when she was a young girl. It all seemed so romantic, as did her love for Albert- he passed away in 1965 so it would not have been very long that she had been widowed. She had a photograph of him on the wall that she looked at, and though she probably could not actually see the image in the photo, it was obvious that she could still see Albert with her heart as the young man she fell in love with 50 years before. As she touched his portrait she would smile a sweet smile of long, deep, true love.

I had never seen a picture of the two of them together, young, until recent years when I found some family of theirs online. I just love this photograph- so quintessentially British with the wicker chair and their dog, his paw on Albert’s knee. They never had children, so I wanted to share a bit of their story so their legacy can live on.

Eliza Ann Fletcher was born in Timworth, Suffolk, England on 18 Dec 1880 to Edward and Maria Fletcher. She was listed in the 1881 census in Culford with her parents, and then in 1891, at age 11, in Ampton, both in Suffolk, this time with her parents, four sisters and a brother. Although her father was an agricultural laborer, she and two siblings were listed as “Scholars” as they did attend school. By 1905, when she was 25, she was working in one of the palaces in England- when the “Royal Household Staff” listings became available, I was excited to search for her name to see how the story I remembered fit reality. I had to learn her maiden name first though!

Annie immigrated to the US in 1911 or 1912. She married Albert John Hunniball on 30 Mar 1912 in Newton, Jasper, Iowa.

Albert had been born 07 Apr 1877 in Thetford District, Norfolk, England to George W. and Anna Simmons Hunniball. Albert was listed as a “Plumber & Painter” in the 1891 England census when he was 23 and still living with his family. Albert decided to emigrate to the United States, and sailed on the ship Campania, from Liverpool, England, to New York City, USA, arriving March 26, 1911, at the age of 33. The ship’s manifest listed him as single, his occupation “Decorator,” and it stated he was going to Colfax, Iowa to settle.

Albert and Annie lived the rest of their lives in Newton, Iowa. He worked as a painter and paperhanger. He had a heart attack and died 15 Mar 1965 at age 87. Annie lived for almost six more years, dying at 90 years of age on 26 Jan 1971, in Newton, Iowa. They are buried together in Newton Union Cemetery, Sec. 01 Lot 106 Block 18.


Notes, Sources, and References:

1) 1881 England- census for Eliza Ann Fletcher: Source Citation: Class: RG11; Piece: 1838; Folio: 41; Page: 19; GSU roll: 1341445. Source Information: and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1881 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

2) Royal Household Staff 1526-1924 at Fee-based records accessed 2012.

3) Annie Fletcher Hunniball- Find A Grave: Accessed 11/22/13.

4) 1881, 1891, 1901 England census for Albert John Hunniball,

5) New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Source Citation: Year: 1911; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 1646; Line: 28; Page Number: 102.

6) US Federal Censuses for Albert and Annie Hunniball for 1920, 1930, 1940, on

7) 1925 Iowa State Census for Annie and Albert: Source Information: Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Microfilm of Iowa State Censuses, 1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925 as well various special censuses from 1836-1897 obtained from the State Historical Society of Iowa via Heritage Quest.

8) Albert John Hunniball- Find A Grave:


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Copyright 2013 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

George Anthony Roberts- A True Iowa Farm Boy


This image of George A. Roberts was cropped from a family portrait. It was taken circa 1904.
This image of George A. Roberts was cropped from a family portrait. It was taken circa 1904.

George Anthony Roberts Jr. was the second of four children born to George A. Roberts, Sr. (1861-1939), and Ella Viola Daniel (1866-1922). Their first child, John Robert, was born 14 Mar 1888 in Jasper Co. and died just three months later, in June. George (Jr.) was born the next year on 11 June 1889 in Monroe, Jasper, Iowa, and was always called Georgie. He was a farm boy, and worked hard his whole life on the family farm. He had knee problems and thus was not able to enlist in the military during World War I. When we visited in the 1960s, I remember him having his knee wrapped as he worked throughout the fields and stock areas of the farm. It must have been very painful for him to do such hard physical labor his whole life.

Georgie Roberts with his great-nieces about 1963,
dressed fashionably to gather eggs in the chicken house.


George married Irene Artie deBruyn about 1915 in Knoxville, Marion, Iowa. They had been neighbors as children, and Irene kept a journal that mentioned him numerous times. (More about that in an upcoming series of posts.) They lived in an old Victorian farmhouse on one of the land parcels the Roberts children (George and his two sisters) inherited. Georgie and Irene never had children. They did divorce before the 1960s, and one of George’s sisters tried to take care of him, and always brought him baked goods and other foods when she went to visit. He farmed her land for her and they were very close.

George Anthony Roberts passed away 30 Jun 1965 in Jasper Co., Iowa.


Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family oral history

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Mystery Monday- Jasper Co., Iowa Students, circa 1899?


Ah, the delightful pictures with no names, no dates, but you just KNOW there is someone in the picture that belongs in your family…

This is another one of those pictures. It was found in with old photographs of the George Anthony Roberts (Sr.) family. After much study of this and other images over the years, I now believe the boy on the left of the picture is George Anthony Roberts, Jr. I do not know the other children, nor why they were in the uniforms they wore, nor why they had the broom handles. I wonder if this had to do with the Spanish-American War? We would love to hear from anyone who can explain this picture.

Georgie and his sisters Ethel Roberts and Edith Roberts attended a one-room schoolhouse just down the road from one of the family farms. Might this be a picture of his whole class?


[OK, this Mystery Monday post got published on a Tuesday, but I hadn’t thought of that topic when this was originally published.]


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Copyright 2013 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Welcome to “Heritage Ramblings: Musings on Family History”!

Edward A. McMurray, Jr., with his grandfather George A. Roberts, about 1926.
Edward A. McMurray, Jr., with his grandfather George A. Roberts, about 1926.

 What does one write in a first blog post? Seems like it should be epic and scintillating, entertaining and stimulating, enticing and tempting, and make a reader yearn for more from this blog. Don’t know if we can do all that in this post, but we are going to try to do at least some of that on a regular basis with our family stories we so want to share.

“We” are two married-ins to a wonderful family and have become the unofficial family historians and genealogists and are, of course, totally addicted researchers. We both have been researching our own family lines for a very long time as well, so we DO have a lot of names on the list to blog about- hence the “Ramblings” portion of the blog title. We hope this blog is a good way to share our family stories with those far and near, and a way to get all the generations knowing and understanding their rich heritage. It is really through the stories that we connect to our ancestors.

Of course, we also hope this blog will be “cousin bait”! If you are related to any of these families, we would really love to hear from you and share even more information than possible to include on the blog. Just click on “Contact Us” to send us an email.

Please click on “Follow Our Ramblings” to stay updated on the latest posts. We don’t know how frequently we will be posting, as each time one starts to write a story, it seems there is more research required to fill in newly found holes. Hopefully, though, we can stop researching and tell the stories on a regular basis!

For both of us, family heritage has been a part of our lives for most of our years. We both grew up with grandparents and great-grandparents telling the stories of our families. My grandmother would always tell us, especially when it seemed like we were “in a pickle” in our lives,

“You come from strong pioneer stock. You can do anything you set your mind to.”

This knowledge that was instilled from a young age has helped me conquer many a challenge throughout my lifetime, and I have tried to pass that heritage wisdom on to newer generations.

Grandma even wrote about a dozen stories of growing up on a farm, and gave details about the personalities of each of her beloved family members. These stories are priceless- I feel as if I almost know her parents and other family members, and can feel the drive to make life better, even if it meant moving the family across the Midwest in a covered wagon to new fertile lands. THIS is what family history research is really about- not just dates and places as in a traditional genealogy, but learning the stories and context, and then using that knowledge and connection to enrich our own lives. It is one of the best legacies we receive, and one of the best we can leave behind.

So with this blog we also hope to inspire you to search your own piles of papers and pictures; look for forgotten albums and boxes in the back corners of a closet; talk with family members still around who lived the stories and have the answers to our questions; and make connections with other family members (like us!) who may know a part of the puzzle that you did not. Our family research and our lives have been so enriched by the wonderful cousins we have met along our ramblings, and have helped us embrace the rich heritage that has helped to make us who we are today. We hope that we can do the same for you!


Notes and references:
1) George A. Roberts Family Homestead and Farm, Jasper County, Iowa, c1900.

2) Family oral history.


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Copyright 2013 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.