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Carroll County Biographies

PATRICIA (BASHAW) GAAR


I want to commemorate the life of one of the best genealogists I've ever known. Pat Gaar just died October 18, 2014 in Savanna, after a 10+ year battle with colon cancer. For over 60 years, Pat had collected genealogical information on Carroll County area families that was unequaled anywhere. And she did it all in the pre-computer era, when you got your information by transcribing it from newspaper articles, birth announcements, wedding accounts, and obituaries. She saved this information on practically every family covered by all the daily and weekly newspapers in Carroll County and Clinton, Iowa, and off micro-fiche in the library (and whatever medium the library had before micro fiche). She filed her transcriptions by family surname, and housed them in a basement described as literally filled with filing cabinets.

When Pat's health departed and it came time to break up her collection, she made sure it went to people who would share her information with others. The 325-page Sisler file she sent me, which I just went through and added to my tree and transcribed the obituaries for Genealogy Trails, Carroll County, was just a tiny fraction of what she gave me. Pat gave most of her vast collection to other people; I told her I'd take what no one else wanted. What I received just a very small portion of what she had, but it is a goldmine of information. I suspect there are over 4000 obituaries in it alone; I've already indexed over 500 and there are lots of binders left for me to go through. (You either index or actually add information to trees and transcribe, so I haven't had time to finish most of the indexing.) I will be forever grateful to have received what she gave me.

And Pat was working just as hard on genealogy when she was younger. She did the literal legwork of walking cemeteries and not just the well cared for ones like Oak Hill, but the isolated ones like Chambers Grove. She was cold calling people like my mother in the late 1950's, looking for information. She got other people interested by leading the Carroll County Genealogical Society. And this was in an era when genealogy wasn't considered a national hobby and there were no TV shows or commercials describing the advantages of genealogical websites. All of us who work on genealogy projects are mere pikers compared to her. Pat Gaar left as a great role model for the rest of us.

With fond memories -- by Alice Horner


The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Carroll County, Munsell 1913 provides the St Mary's birth place but not the birthdate. The birth date is provided by the Lycos source. The Lycos source gives the birth place as Marieville.

According to Carroll County, A Goodly Heritage Supplement No. 4, Peter Bashaw and his wife Mary Elizabeth Ashby Bashaw stayed in Carroll County, hoping to raise their family of 8 children. However a few months after their arrival in America, both Peter and Mary along with 4 of their children, became ill and died. No dates of these deaths are provided.

According to Samuel Preston's History of Carroll County, Illinois (transcribed by me, Alice Horner, and published in Genealogy Trails. Robert Ashby came in advance of the family in 1837 and picked out locations for a colony coming from Canada, consisting of the Ashbys, Bashaws, and others; part locating in this and part in Savanna Township." It doesn't state specifically when the Bashaw family settled, but possibly as early as 1838.

Bachand was the surname this family used in Canada; they changed it to Bashaw when they moved to America.

The Boucher - Tetreault ++ source uses the Bachand surname throughout, not Bashaw.

See the history of the Bashaw Family in the Downing Family Tree

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