The History of the LaFollette and Bertram Families
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Family History of Ruth Bertram

The following family trees represent the legacy of Ruth Bertram who was reared on farms in southern Kentucky by her Mother, Missouri Wayne Denney and Father, Joseph S. Bertram.

The Denney Family

In 1642 the Denneys lived in the northeastern part of the City of Dublin, Ireland. Some years prior they resided in the highlands of Scotland. Jeremiah and Iseiah immigrated to Virginia. Jeremiah, Sr. was the oldest and brought his wife with him. Iseiah never married and is buried in Hanover County Virginia. Jeremiah , Sr. had two sons, Jeremiah, Jr, and Iseriah, Jr who between them raised twenty three children including twenty one boys. One son, James (who fought in the Revolutionary War) came to Kentucky with his wife Esther Small in 1800.


Great Grandfather Denny and Family




The Denney family tree is as follows.


The Bertram Family

William Butram was born about 1735. He died before 1806 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He married Margaret. This is a first known Bertram ancestor in America. They had at least three children, William I, our ancestor was the oldest son.

The name Bertram was originally spelled Buttram, Butram, Burtram, and in 1840, the spelling was changed to Bertram.

William Buttram I was born July 15, 1759 in Salisbury, North Carolina. On January 29, 1780 he married Sarah Patterson. William was a private in the North Carolina Militia. Before he was twenty years old, he served in a campaign against the Cherokee Indians. When he was seventy-four, William I applied for and received a pension for his service in the Revolutionary war. William moved to Iredell County, NC in 1878, then to Lee County, VA in 1806. In 1815 he moved to Wayne County, KY. He spent his older years in Sparta, TN where he lived with his daughter.

William Bertram II was born in Rowan County, NC where he lived with his siblings, Nicholas, Jacob, John, Cornelius, Elijah, James, Andrew, Emsley, Willis, Catherine, and Nancy. On February 19, 1807, William II married Nancy Stinson (Apr 1789-Sept 22, 1855). She was born in Lee County, Virginia. William and Nancy moved to Wayne County, KY in 1809 and settled in the Mount Pisgah area. William and Nancy later moved to the Sunnybrook community of Wayne County, KY.

William became a preacher and in 1841. the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church was started near their home. They had twelve children: Joel (1808-1855), Polly (1809-1893), Elijah (1812-1859), Sally (1813-1890), Ephraim (1814-1886), Jacob (1817-1909), Ahile (1819-1901), William III (1921-1902), Jonathan (1823-1894), John Calvin (1825-1880), Martin (1827 (died in Civil War)), and Nancy (1829-1881).

William III married Martha Hurt and they had fourteen children. Matilda was the oldest and Joseph the youngest. . Joseph and Wayne Denney were married on February 22, 1900 and had six children, Lola (1901), Chester (1902), Obie (1905), Nell (1908), Lucy (1912) and Ruth (March 20, 1919)


Great Grandfather William Bertram and Wife Martha L to R Lola Bertram Dabney, Missouri Wayne Denney, Lucy Bertram Rogers, Ruth Bertram LaFollette

LaFollette History

Georges Lafollette was born about 1755 and died about 1841 in Van Wert County, Ohio. He had three wives, each who preceded him in death (Jemima Menthorne, Sarah Stansbury, and Hannah Moore). The four sons of Georges were ­ William Lafollette, Joseph Lafollette, George Lafollette, and Isaac Lafollette who was born in 1770 in New Jersey and dies in 1859 in Hocking County, Ohio.

Isaac married Mary Kale in 1795. She was born about 1758 in Capon Valley, VA. The family moved from capon Valley, VA to Guernsey county (now Noble County) Ohio in 1822. Ten children were born of this union, William (1796), Elizabeth (1799), James (1803), Mehala (1804), Christina (1804), Mary (1807), Margaret (1810), Anna (1811), Isaac (1812) and Adam (1813) in Guernsey, County, Ohio who died in Hanna City, IL.

Adam Lafollette married Elizabeth Jackson (niece of Stonewall Jackson) who dies in 1852 and Martha Johnson, who was born in 1833 and dies in 1866. The family of Adam Lafollette moved to Peoria County, IL in 1827. Adam and Elizabeth had seven children; Jacob (1840), Mahala (1840), Margaret Louise (1842), John (1844), James (1847), Elizabeth (1850), and Daniel (1852). Adam and Martha had six children; Joseph (1852), William (1855), Anna (1857), George (1859), Alfred (1862) and Martha (1864).

Alfred was born in Rosefield Township, Peoria County, IL: and dies November 6, 1941 in Hanna City, IL. He married Chloe Gilliam on September 28, 1887 in Peoria. Chloe was born September 2, 1971 and died August 3, 1946 in Peoria. Following is an early photograph of their family. (More on the Gilliam family later).



Alfred and Chloe had nine children; George Howard (1889), Albert (1890), Eva (1892), Hessie (1894), James (1896), Nora (1898), Henry (1900), Bernice (1903), and Jasper (1914).

George Howard Lafollette was born November 24, 1889 and died July 24, 1944. He married Amber Catherine Dawson on September 9, 1907 in Peoria, IL (More about Dawson later). Amber was born June 13, 1891 in Elmwood, IL and died March 22, 1978 in Galesburg, IL.

The following photographs are the family of Harvey Lafollette and include his grandfather, Alfred, his father, Howard, Howard and Amber on their wedding day and Harvey and his siblings.




The Children of Amber and Howard LaFollette

Howard and Amber had nine children; Addie (1908-1908), Marie (1909), Clarence (1910-1984), Roland (1912-2001), Alma (1914-1992), Bill (1916-1998), Harvey (1918-2003), Edith (1920-2003), and Gene (1937-1995).

Dawson Family

Thomas Dawson was born in 1690 in England and died July 11, 1768 in West Caln Township, Chester County, PA. He married Mary who was born in 1695 and dies in 1769. Their children include Abraham (1716), Thomas (1718), Isaac (1720), Richard (1721), Ann (1722), Fortunata (1724), and David (1726).

Isaac Dawson, born in 1720 in Edgemont, Chester Co., PA married Mary Cherry in 1741. Isaac died in 1780. Isaac and Mary had five children, David (1742), Abraham (1744), Isaac (1746) and Jacob (1750), and Thomas (1761).

Abraham married Elizabeth in 1769 in Frederick County, VA. Abraham came to Virginia with his father in 1757 when the family patented land from Lord Fairfax. Abraham and Elizabeth had six children; Isaac (1770), Abraham (1772), Ary (1776), Israel (1776), Christina (1778), and Elizabeth (1780).

Abraham Jr. married Mary Critton who was born in 1774 and died in 1838 in IL. They had four children, Harriet (1803), William (1807), Critton (1813) and Mariah (1815).

Critton who was born in Virginia in 1813, died Dec. 2, 1884 in Rosefield Township, Peoria, IL in 1884. He married Margaret in 1836. They had four children, Nancy (1836), William (1838), Joseph (1840), and Samuel (1845).

Joseph Dawson was born in 1840 in Illinois and died in 1909. He married Sallie Smith, November 10, 1861 in Peoria, IL. She was born 1841, and died in 1907. They had five children, Flora (1863), William (1864), Hattie (1868), Harry (1873), and Leonard (1878).

William Dawson was born June 19, 1864 and died February 18, 1898 in Peoria County, IL. He married Alma Catherine Nixon in 1887 in Peoria. She was born January 21, 1862 and died December 1, 1938. William and Alma had five children, Jasper (1888), Addie (1890), Amber (1891), Edith (1894) and William (1898). Amber was the mother of Harvey Hugh LaFollette.

Harvey Hugh LaFollette/Ruth Bertram LaFollette

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