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Eastern KY - Croatian & Norwegian with French-Canadian ties

Updated June 24, 2014

My blog

NEW** Recent discovery of my new Croatian Heritage! Grandfather Anton Warsik found on Philadelphia Passenger lists!
He was from Dragovci,Ratkovica Croatia ! He came to America May 1910 on the SS Frankfurt ship. This learned thru information provided from his WWII draft card, his Naturalization papers that occured during his service back in WW I and the Philadelphia, NY ships Passenger list. Anton's father's name is Adam Varoscic!

Varoscic is the original surname spelling! [There are diacritic marks above the "s" and both "c" that this site does not accurately display so I have had to omit them]

**Our 1st two beautiful & wonderful grandchildren hail from SPINKS & TURNER African-American family lines of Champaign Co., IL & Humboldt, Gibson Co., TN

**My maternal lines: MAY / WARREN / MERRITT / HACKWORTH / CONLEY / ADAMS / PATRICK / MUNCIE / WILHELM / DOTSON all of KY, VA & England & Ireland.
Our earliest documented direct ancestor:
Peter Warren & Jennie Jane Wray of Amherst Co., VA.
Caleb May & Margaretta (Patrick) May of KY. The strongest KY ties were from Pulaski, Floyd (Magoffin)& Johnson counties.
And I have learned that country singer Loretta Lynn is my 4th. cousin!

** My paternal heritage: VAROSCIC / WARSIK / VARPNESS / EVENSEN Descendants remained settled in MN & PA & IL.

!!! SEARCHING 4 info & leads about Anton A. Varoscic from the village Dragovoi, Croatia, son of Adam Varoscic.

Anton Warsik b:Sep 08, 1892 Sailed on the Frankfurt vessel to Philadelphia, PA in May 1910 at age of 17 years old... was a decorated WW I Sgt. in the Army. Retired & died in FL. His wife, my grandmother, Thora O. Varpness was raised in MN. Her parents were from Norwegian areas of Vemundvik & Vikson?n & immigrated July 9, 1890 from Namsos to America.

Our French-Canadian 'Spenard' descendants were firmly rooted in Kankakee Co., IL. after coming from Quebec Canada with prior immigration more originally from France. Our Franklin / Long / Polson/Travis/Woods/Buster lines came up from Kentucky and Virginia.

'Franklin' bloodline from Jamestown, KY needs further history. Descendants settled in Bellflower, McClean Co., IL. & Farmer City, DeWitt Co., and Champaign Co., IL. Grandparents- James Franklin, {son of Jake} & wife Susan Warriner/Warner both were native to Russell Co., KY.
Our Polson, Long, Travis, Buster, Woods trace back thru Ky, Va, Ireland & England. Other associated names: PARSONS, LOFTUS, WORSOP. Some of this bloodline backs to King's Royalty of England.

** My siblings paternal Bloodlines: - QUICK, GEPHART, TROWBRIDGE, SHONTS, BROWNLY, IVEY, WILKINSON is only moderately documented from IL, MI, PA, New Jersey and on from Cornwall England where they lived as miners. Trowbridge line also reportedly traces back into Royalty thru it's Prouse, Bamfield and Eleanor Beauchamp connection.


Andrea Nelson
501 Northwest Ave.
Fisher, Illinois 61843
United States

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Family Photos

  • Thora O. (Varpness) Warsik (42 KB)
    My paternal grandmother in the foreground with the red-checked dress. She was the wife of Andrew Anton Warsik and mother of Robert Eugene and Andrew Clyde Warsik. Thora was born Nov 05, 1899 in Cottonwood, Lyon Co., MN. She passed on Dec 30, 1983 in Tallahassee, FL. Much of the family she grew up with remained in Minnesota where their descendants have carried on. Date Taken: Aft. 1970
  • Long & Polson Families 1902 Russell Co., Ky (23 KB)
    (The order of people that is written on this photo is hard to determine exactly who is who)- It goes: Mary Jane Caien Long - abt. 58 years old, Lena Polson - she is about 6 years old, Eelzervia, Vorda -(in front of Elzwria) Vorda is about 4 years old, Parthena Piercy (foster daughter, Loni Long (Front row) Samuel Long who is about 60 years old, Laura McWhorter (in front of Alice), Alice Long, Winnie Susan Long Polson - abt. age 24 years (Back row) Frank McWhorter (holding Atties), Esther McWhorter (smaller girl), unknown (little boy_, neighbor (with pipe), Everett leveridge, (little boy), Oscar Leveridge, Samuel B. Polson abt. age 29 years holding his son, William Porter Polson, Jr. - whose age is less than one year old. {note* I have written the names as they were spelled on the photo). {Note * Samuel B. Polson is a grandson of James Madison Polson and a grandnephew to James' brother- Levi Polson & Manerva Zilpha Craig Polson.}
  • Eli Warren & Nannie (Graybille) Warren & children (19 KB)
    My maternal great-grandparents: Eli Warren and Nannie (Graybille) Warren & their children. L-R: Eli Warren (age 56 yrs); Elmer (age 12 yrs); Nannie (age 49 yrs); Nellie (age 17 yrs); Thelma (abt. age 15 yrs); Thulie (age 26 yrs). After coming up from Kentucky they settled and lived in Mansfield, Piatt Co., IL. Nannie raised Bees and Eli also was a great 'tinkerer'. He made violins and tinker making watches and other carpentry whatnots in his 'workshop' shed in their backyard. Eli died in Mansfield in Sept. 1938.
  • Anton & Olga Josephine Varpness (1 KB)
    My parternal great grandparents: Anton Luddwig Evenson Varpness & Olga Josephine Larson (aka: "Josepha Larsdatter")They left for America on July 9, 1890 with their 2 son's, Albert & Edwin. It took them 3 weeks to cross the ocean and once here, their first year in America, they lived in a dugout. Think of the hardship! Anton was a fisherman in Norway. The people in Norway were so poor at that time, that where ever they went it had to be better. It is believed that Albert thought the name of the ship that he, his brother and parents came over on was called something like the "DORA". Further research will be needed on this piece of trivia. Anton and Olga had eleven children, nine of whom were born here in America. (Photo & Varpness History is a courtesy great research by Irving M. Varpness of Stewartville, MN)
  • Helen Christine (Franklin) Spenard (31 KB)
    Helen Christine Franklin as a young woman the age of 22 years before she was married to Ivan Floyd Spenard. Ivan & Helen were married Sep 28, 1946 in Kankakee Co., IL. where they raised their family of eight children. (Helen is a paternal grandmother to my 2 daughters, April & Amanda Spenard)
  • dear hubby's Family (251 KB)
    behind the bride (Andrea) & groom (Ronnie) is Shelly, Leah, Charlotte, Leroy and Grandpa Dubson. Photo taken year 2000
  • Harvey Trimble May & Lydia Conley (28 KB)
    My maternal 3rd. great-grandparents Harvey Trimble May (1836-1888) and Lydia Conley (1836-1917) Harvey Trimble and Lydia were married by Wallis Bailey, a United Baptist Minister, at the home of Thomas Conley. Harvey was also an ordained United Baptist Minister. A picture of him and his wife hangs in the Abbott United Baptist Church at Bonanza Kentucky. Photo copy from vol. I "May Family in Eastern KY" compiled by Magoffin Co., Historical Society./ Dianne Dearring also has a copy on her website.
  • Albert Olfred Varpness and Malla (Miller) Varpness (62 KB)
    Albert Olferd Varpness b: Mar 14, 1887 Namsos, Norway d: Sep 23, 1968 MN. Malla Miller b: Oct 23, 1883 MN d: Nov 25, 1959 MN. They were married: Feb 11, 1914. This photo marks their 40th. wedding anniversary. This is Albert who crossed the ocean from Norway with his parents and one younger brother, Edwin on their voyage to America. Albert is the oldest of all his siblings and a brother to my paternal grandmother, Thora Olga Varpness. Albert and his wife, Malla (Miller) Varpness had seven children. It is through their sixth child, Irving M. Varpness that I have been blessed to learn about my Norwegian Heritage. I never would have found Irving had it not been for one my other long lost cousins, Larry Warsik of Florida. It is thru Larry that I was able to learn of my paternal grandmother's maiden name which led me in my search to my cousin, Irving Varpness. (Photo & Varpness History is a courtesy of great research by Irving M. Varpness of MN, son of this couple.)Date Taken: February 1954
  • Ivan Floyd Spenard & 4 of his youngest children (30 KB)
    This photo taken at Ivan's company picnic where he worked - Armour Pharmaceutical. Ivan is holding his youngest, Suzanne, Christine his 5th. child is girl standing with headband in her hair, Donnie is the little 3 yr old standing right in front of Ivan, Larry is the 5 yr old boy leaning against the vehicle's tailgate. The other four children in photo are neighbor kids - "McDonald's." The two women behind Ivan with their backs turned are unknown. (Ivan is paternal grandfather of my daughters- April & Amanda Spenard. Their dad in this photo is little 5 yr. old Larry Spenard.)
  • My very first quilt that I ever made and finished! (1650 KB)
    Poohs Day in the Park. Started it on New Years day of 2003 and finished it three months later on March 15, 2003 and presented to my neice Missy Thomas for baby Jesse.
  • Burial site of Harvey Trimble May - 3rd. gr-granpa (39 KB)
    Bonanza Cemetery- Abbott, Floyd Co., KY (Photo & notation is a courtesy of Dianne Dearring) she writes: According to my great uncle Sammy, there is a tree growing out of his grave, but we couldn't find it. The cemetery is high on a hill on a point and there are lots of trees.
  • T.J. & Sarah (Merritt) May's Cabin - Floyd Co., Ky (32 KB)
    This is where our grandpa Garfield May was born and raised along with his siblings Clee, Biddie, Sammie, Minnie and Willis. Date Taken: after the year 1899 because grandpa Gar was born in 1901 and most probably bef. 1957 because that was the year that his mother, Sarah passed on.
  • Joseph Paul Zotique Spenard & daughter Adele (39 KB)
    Zotique is a paternal 2nd. great grandfather of my two daughters April & Amanda Spenard.On the back of the photo it says "Adele Spenard and father Paul Joseph Spenard. Adele graduated from business (St. Anne’s Academy) school" The picture is estimated to have been taken in about 1910. This might not be her graduation from business school. The story was that the brothers of Adele chipped in to sent Adele to business school after Paul died. This might be high school graduation. You can see the initials SAA on her cap. (Photo is a courtesy of John A. (Jack) Davidson - husband of Barbara Ann Spenard who is great granddaughter of Zotique Spenard. Lineage for her goes.... Barbara, then Ambrose Arthur Spenard, then George Joesph Spenard, then Joseph Paul Zotique Spenard. Barb is a second cousin once removed to my daughters April & Amanda Spenard.)
  • Varpness family photo ca 1916-1918 (1 KB)
    Anton & Olga (Larson) Varpness & their 11 kids. L-R standing: Lula, Oscar, Albert, Lewis, Edwin, Anna, Alfred, Ida, L-R sitting: Thora, Anton, Axel, Olga, Lottie. NOTE* Lewis & Anna are fraternal twins as are, Lula & Thora are fraternal twins. Besides family knowledge of twin status... these 4 kids are notated on 1900 census as being twins. This heirloom photo that I treasure so much is courtesy of Larry Warsik whom lived in Florida & than later Savannah, GA prior to his death. Larry was very fond of Grandma Thora. They spent much time together during his High School years and as a youngin enjoying often a good play of scrabble & monopoly together. Larry was my dad's adopted nephew. The farm name 'Varpnest' was associated with my great-grandparents family back in Norway. This is where our Americanized surname of 'Varpness' comes from. Anton was born 19 Sep 1862 in Vemundvik, Namsos, Norway. His real name is Evenson but he changed it to Varpness upon coming to America. Anton's brother, Peder Martin kept his name 'Evenson' upon Immigration. This is how Anton & Olga's grandson Irving was explained to about it. Olga was born in 11 Apr 1866 Vik i Sogn, Norway. She was known as 'Josepha Larsdatter' being daugh. of Lars Larson. All we know about Lars is his wifes' name was Tillie. Anton & Olga and their two eldest sons came from Namsos, Norway. Family knew they came July 9, 1890 with Anton's brother coming about five years earlier... but 1930 census lists also lists Anton & Olga as immigrating the year as 1885. Though I never had to opportunity to meet in person either my cousin Larry Warsik nor Irving Varpness; we did speak often over the phone and thur beautiful letters during the late 90's and early in the millenium. Had it not been for either of these two, I never would have been able to see & learn so much about my dad's family!
  • The farm place of Winston Caudill & Sarah E. May (137 KB)
    My gr-grandfather, Thomas Jerry 'T.J.' May was a nephew to Sarah. The Winston farm was located in Stambaugh, Johnson Co., KY. Sarah Elizabeth May is d/o of Harvey Trimble May and a sister to my 2nd gr-granpa Samuel White May. Sarah & Winston raised seven children here. (Photo is a courtesy of Dianne Dearring)
  • Sam & Violet (Hackworth) May (29 KB)
    My maternal 2nd. great grandparents, Sam & Violet (Hackworth)May and their daughter Lillie Baker "Pet" (May) Shell and her family.
  • April & Amanda , their dad Larry & grandma Helen (27 KB)
    These are my daughters with their dad, Larry Spenard and grandma, Helen (Franklin) Spenard. Taken: Christmas 1995 in Fisher, IL at their aunt Suzanne's home.
  • Stjepan Varoscic ~ brother of my grandfather Anton (1275 KB)
    Stjepan_Varoscic,_first_row,_first_from_the_left (photo courtesy of Otilia Varoscic, granddaughter of Stjepan )
  • Spenard Lake near Anchorage Intl. Airport. (1 KB)
    Spenard Lake, Alaska - 50 miles south west of Anchorage- (Photo courtesy of Anthony Spenard of Maryland.) The present flousishing community of Spenard area and Lake Spenard itself were not available for exploitation by private ownership until the activities of the early-day Anchorage drayman named, Joseph A. "Joe" Spenard who discovered the area and promptly "liberated" it from the tentacles of creeping bureaucracy. The feisty, muscular little fellow blazed his way into municipal maps for all time by hacking away a trail from Anchorage through the wilderness that carpeted the lower reaches of Chester and Campbell Creeks. On impulse, he took an offshoot-trail that brought him to a breathtakingly beautiful lake which he characteristically claimed as his own. (Up until Spenard took possession, the lake had been known as "Jeter Lake" in 1906 after Thomas Jeter who located coal claims in the Matanuska Valley and later homesteaded the mouth of Ship Creek.) Tom Jeter left Alaska for Washington State, and his name is now all but forgotten around the shores of Cook Inlet. Joe Spenard likewise pulled out of the country after a few years, but not before he had stirred around sufficiently to leave his name of the landscape with what promised to be a high degree of permanence. Born in the province of Ottawa in Canada in 1879, Joe Spenard came to Alaska about 1910 where he first landed in Valdez where he was listed as vice-president of the Alaska Securities Company, a firm which appears to have lacked durability. He then opened a secondhand business and bought, sold and swapped ming machinery, tools, household furnishings and anything else that happened to come on the market. When business was slack, it is reported, Joe loaded a hand cart and pushed it around the streets of Valdez, showing his wares. This pushcart eventually blossomed into a full-scale transfer business, which Spenard began to advertise in the spring of 1913 as the City Expr
  • Thomas Jerry May and Sarah Ellen Merritt May (32 KB)
    T. J. and Ellen (Merritt) May with 10 of their grandchildren & daughter-in-law. These grandchildren belong to T.J.' and Ellen's second child: Garfield May and his wife, Thelma (Warren) May. Back Row: Bill (age 13 yrs.); Vivian (age 12 yrs.); Charles (age 15yrs.); Thelma (age 33yrs.); Don (age 10 yrs.); Lucele (age 8 yrs.). The little girl standing on left side in front of Vivian is Maxine (age 2). Front Row: Thomas Jerry "T.J." May (age 59 yrs.) and Ellen (Merritt) May (age 59 yrs.). Standing between T.J. & Ellen is Jean (age 6 yrs.). The baby on Ellen's lap is Bob (age nine months or less). Standing next to Ellen is Mona (age 5 yrs.) Date Taken: 1938
  • April & Amanda Spenard d/o Andrea (Quick) Spenard (43 KB)
    This quaint little spot exists down at the creek behind the water dept. in our town of Fisher, Illinois. I'm 33 yrs. here. My eldest daughter, April- was almost 15 yrs and my youngest daughter, Amanda was 13 yrs. when this photo was taken during the Summer 1996
  • Anton A Warsik and gr-daughter Gail 1957 (30 KB)
    Anton had a brother Stjepan Varoscic, and three sisters: Eva Varoscic, Reza Varoscic, Julka Varoscic (photo courtesy of Larry Paul Warsik)
  • Irving Varpness and his wife, Lucyle (Johnson) (23 KB)
    This is my first cousin, once removed - Irving Varpness and his wife, Lucyle (Johnson) Varpness. They live in Minnesota. I have never physically met them yet, but they are very dear to me. It was in March of 1997 when I found him on-line. That was the year that I was searching for my father and his family, which that in itself is a long story for another time.. anyways, I learned of my paternal grandmothers maiden name which was 'Varpness'. .thru one of my other cousins, Larry Warsik of Florida, that I also found that year and I did a search on AOL's member directory using her maiden name. We have been in touch ever since. It is thru my dear cousin Irving that I have been able to learn all about my grandmother's family who were all reared in Minnesota with Norwegian roots. Finding Irving and keeping in touch has meant so much to me that no one will ever really know. He has truly enriched that part of my family knowledge that was denied to me for so long. So I salute him and all the work he has done over the years in his research of our Norwegian roots. He passed away on July 3, 2010.
  • Garfield and Thelma's Courtship Buggy (25 KB)
    Garfield May and Thelma Warren's Courtship Buggy on their wedding day at the Warren's house in Eubank, KY taken Mar 05, 1921. Gar was 21 yrs. and Thelma was 15 yrs. in this photo. Well, Gar and his 1st. cousin Taylor May (son of Elza W. and Sarah Sally Dotson May) had an arrangement between the two of them. One had the horse and the other owned the buggy. Whenever they wanted to court their girl they took turns sharing the whole outfit. My aunt Vivian (May) Roemer tells that: "Dad has told a story many times,when he dated mom, grandpa Warren would walk in front of the buggy. They were never left alone." Vivian also has a negative of this photo.
  • old Wedding photo, Larry & Andrea (Quick) Spenard (32 KB)
    (Front Row L-R): Joe, Donny, Donna Suzanne, Chris (Back Row L-R): Ivan, Andrea, Larry, Helen. These are Larry's parents, siblings and his first wife. 2 Spenard siblings missing: Morris Spenard & Alice {Spenard} Price. Joe- 26 yrs; Donny- 20 yrs; Donna- 28 yrs; Suzanne- 18 yrs; Chris- 23 yrs old. Ivan- 67 yrs; Andrea- 17 yrs; Larry- 22 yrs; Helen- 56 yrs old. {Morris- 31 yrs; Alice- 33 yrs.} Date Taken: November 29, 1980 {Larry & I divorced during fall of 1990 and I remarried in Spring of 2000 to Ronnie Nelson of Fisher, IL}
  • Stjepan Varoscic and Manda, his cousin Manda (1194 KB)
    Stjepan_Varoscic_and_Manda,_his_cousin,_daughter_of_Reza Varoscic. of Dragovci, Croatia (photo courtesy of Otilia Varoscic)
  • My mom, Lucele 'Lucy' Virginia (May) Quick (86 KB)
    She was 20 years old in photo on right that was taken in Bloomington, Il. 1950. Her pic on left was taken 1997 in Rantoul, Il. at 67 years of age. Lucy is daughter of Garfield May & Thelma (Warren) May. She has 11 siblings. It is thru her parents that we have our Kentucky Roots. Sadly she passed away Sept. 29, 2009 and is buried in Willowbrook Cemetery, Fisher, Champaign County, IL
  • Thelma (Warren) May making one of her quilts. (46 KB)
    This is the home of my maternal grandparents that I have the most memories of. They lived on High St. in Farmer City, Illinois. Grandma always sewed clothes and quilts for the family.
  • Collage of May family on Halloween Night in Lotus (52 KB)
    This is of my mother and all her siblings at their parents home at a Halloween party during late 1940's or early 1950's.
  • Cheers to the New Nelson's (29 KB)
    This is my dear hubby Ronald Eugene "Ronnie" Nelson. We been together for almost two decades even though we didn't legally wed until April 19th. 2000 at the Baptist Church in Fisher, IL. :)
  • Grandpa Gar giving his Model T a bath! (22 KB)
    This was my maternal grandpa's first vehicle in Kentucky. Inside the vehicle is my mother, Lucele (May) Quick as a small child along with some of her older sibllings.
  • Photo of the Warsik family (35 KB)
    My dad-Andrew Clyde Warsik, his mother- Thora O. (Varpness) Warsik, his brother - Robert Eugene Warsik. Andrew Clyde Warsik b: Dec 06, 1925 d: Aug 01, 1982 in PA. He was called "Clyde" by his family and friends & co-workers of PA,OH and MI. He was known as "Andy" by my family in IL. Robert Eugene "Bob" Warsik b: Jan 29, 1924 d: Sep 03, 1994 in Orange Park, Florida Both were born in Minneapolis, Hennepin co., MN Date Taken: Early 1970's
  • My side of the family (170 KB)
    Amanda(youngest daughter age 17 yrs.); April Lynn (eldest daughter age 18 yrs, ); Lucy (brides mum age 70 yrs), Andrea & Ronnie (bride age 37 and groom age 44) Photo taken year 2000
  • Thelma (Warren) May, 2 sons, Charles & Bill. (1 KB)
    Thelma (Warren) May & her first two born sons, Charles & Bill May. Grandma Thelma is holding uncle Bill who was b: Jan. 22, 1925 and Charles who was b: Oct 19, 1923 is sitting off to the side. Photo was taken in Mansfield, IL. Can you imagine her subconscious expression - only 2 kids now, but ten more to come! Hope this wash tub holds out! ARGH!

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