William, We are some sort of cousin. I am descended from Martha Ann Eells, wife of John Henry Chapman. She was the daughter of Asceneth Dennis Eells and Nathaniel Eells of Solon, Johnson County, Iowa. Martha Ann, her husband, two of his brothers and their wives, joined another brother who had come to Oregon the previous year (1853) with his wife Eliza Jane Eells, another daughter of Asceneth and Nathaniel. Accompanying them to Oregon was the unmarried Amanda Isabelle Eells, a sister to the two Eells just mentioned. She soon married Zachariah Ball...and there are lots of descendants of the Eells here in Oregon.
I have several letters from the Eells who were left in the east, including several prior to and during the Civil War. The Eells girls' brother Nathaniel wrote at least three letters as I recall to the sisters out here while he was in the Union army, including one that describes his activities at the Battle of Vicksburg. I have these on floppy disk files and can e-mail them to you if you are interested. All told, there are about 500 family (mostly from the Chapmans to each other) that my great aunt sequestered away and I have transcribed.
I just got 16 more mostly to Amanda Isabelle that I have yet to transcribe. I also have a newspaper clipping discussing the life of an Eells funeral director, and I think it is Erastus but I have not checked my notes as yet...at least not prior to sending you this letter.
I am delighted with this contact and have been in touch with severl Eells descendants (some in Kansas and some in Alaska, whose e-mail addresses I will share if you are interested. Robert Livingston Casebeer, great grandson of Martha Ann Eells Chapman. Oregon
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