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Greeney Family Genealogy

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Name variations include: 
Granier, Grenier, Greaney, Graney, Greeny, Greene, Greenie, Greenup, Gruny, Gruney

Related Family Lines and Alternate Spellings
Including  but not limited to:
Burns - Byrn; Culbreth - Culbreath; Clarida - Clariday;
Garrett - Jarrett - Jarrot;   Ivy - Ivey - Ivory ?;
Locklear - Locklier - Lockler - Locklar - Lockaleer - Lucklear - Lockalaire - Lockelaire;

Stewart; Lind; Bronge Parks; Tanner; Rains; Gurley; Foster; Close; Follis; Celik;

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Unidentified Greeney related photos.
(please email me if you can identify anyone)

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Family Regional Ties
Southern Illinois Area
Also  Scott County, Arkansas & Missouri
Circa    1820 - 2000

Indian Canoe

Combined Family Lore
(not necessarily fact)
A Few Facts
  • Family is of French heritage
  • Due to pronunciation, English speaking people such as government officials likely altered the spelling of the name.  In French it may have originally been Granier, Grenier or a similar spelling.  Old documents may show variations such as Greaney, Graney, or Greeny.  Handwriting on some old documents can easily be transcribed as Greenup, Gruny, Gsuny, Gsuney or Gruney. 
  • If the French connection is NOT accurate, the family might be of English, Irish or Scottish heritage as the name is also found there.
  • This branch of the Greeney family reportedly came to North America through Louisiana, lived in Missouri for a while, then this branch settled in Southern Illinois around the area of what is now, Williamson County. 
  • Remember the Louisiana Territory was once extensive.

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Family of John Greeney - Born 1820 - Missouri
  • 1816 Weather and Spiller info
  • 1817 Burns family living in area of Franklin - Williamson County, Illinois
  • Circa 1820 John Greeney was born in Missouri
  • 1839 - Williamson County, Illinois formed from  Franklin County.
  • 1844 John Greeney married Sarah Locklear in Williamson County, Illinois.  On the marriage record it appears as John GRUNY or could be misread as YOUNG wed Sarah LOCKLAR.
  • Greeney Locklear 1844 marriage
  • Sarah's mother was a Burns.   There are ties through the Burns, Locklear and Ivey lines to South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. 
    • John and Sarah had 4 children, including twin boys - Major Washington Greeney & Robert Vincent (Vicent or Vinson) Greeney who were born in 1846.
    • They migrated as did other Williamson County, Illinois families including the Locklear and  Ivey's to Arkansas. 
    • A Gilbreath family also lived in Scott County Arkansas, having been born in Illinois.  Could the Gilbreath's actually be Culbreath or Culbreth?

  • 1850 - Williamson County, Illinois - Census

  • + Greeney John
            30       Mo        pg0212a.txt 220B 17

        Greeney John M     2         Ill          pg0212a.txt 220B 16
        Greeney Major W   4         Ill          pg0212a.txt 220B 14
    (above is Major Washington Greeney)

    + Greeney Sarah       35     Tenn       pg0212a.txt 220B 15  (Sarah Locklear)
    +  Greeney Vinson       4         Ill         pg0212a.txt 220B 18  (This is Robert Vinson Greeney)
        Greeney William C   3/12   Ill         pg0212a.txt 

  • Between 1850 & 1860 - Moved to Scott County, Arkansas later returning to Williamson County, Illinois.   Franklin County, Arkansas may have kin.
  • 1860 - Scott County, Arkansas census lists the John Gruney family.  Name should be spelled GREENEY.  Nearby are Blackwell, Locklear and  Ivey or Ivy kin.
  • 1869 - + Robert Vinson (or alternate spelling) Greeney marries Susan Caroline Burns - a neighbor in Williamson County, Illinois.   (His twin brother, Major Washington "Wash" Greeney also married a Burns, but in 1874)
    • They have four children -  before she dies.
      • circa 1870 - Jackson County, IL - John W Greeney
      • circa 1872 - Sarah T Greeney
      • 1876 - Corinth, Williamson County, IL -  Charles Fletcher Greeney
      • James "Jim" Greeney
  • 1878    Robert Vinson Greeney marries Ester Ann Robinson - Williamson County Illinois
    • 1879 - They have Milton A Greeney
  • His Aunt Jane C Burns,  and his Mother, Susan Caroline Burns, are likely related, possibly sisters or cousins.  The BURNS - GREENEY connection needs further research.  Note that Nina Greeney, daughter of Charles Fletcher Greeney also married a Byrn, Byrns or Burns.

NOTE:  A BURNS family is mentioned here

  • 1900     + Charles Fletcher Greeney and Emma Frances Culbreath or Culbreth of Attilla, Williamson County, Illinois are married in "Poordo", Illinois - Williamson County, Illinois.  Over the years they lived in Corinth, Creal Springs, Dykesburg and surrounding areas.  Their children:
    • circa 1902 - Laura (Lora) W. Greeney (later married a Gurley)
    • circa 1904 - Flora (Flo or Florence) Greeney (later married a Foster)
    • circa 1906 - Nina L or R Greeney (later married Byrn, sometimes listed as Byrns or Burns)
    • circa 1910 - Carl Everitt Greeney
    • circa 1913 - William "Randall" Greeney (married Beulah Allen) - moved to Indiana
    • circa 1915 - Helen or Hellen Greeney born - (later married Clarence Lind and eventually lived near Danville, Illinois or into Indiana). Their children:
      • Clarence "Junior"
      • Delores
      • William "Bill"
    • 1918   James "Artie" Greeney born - (later married Helene Alberta Button).  Children:
      •   Ruby
      •   James "Jimmy"
      •   Charles
      •   Wyman
  • 1930 Apr 3 - Frankfort Twp, West Frankfort, Franklin County, Illinois
    • James Greeney (age 54 - IL IL IL), a cobbler and his wife, Sallie (49 IL IL AL) are living at 1607 East Oak Street and have a boarder, Paul Jones, age 30
  • 1930 - St Clair County, Illinois
    • Milton Greeney (41) and his wife, Bertha (33), and their 11 year old daughter, Nina are living
  • 1930 Apr 11 - Pittsburg Village, Lake Creek Twp, Williamson County, Illinois
    • Charles W Greeney, a coal miner (34) and his wife, Pauline (unknown) and their 11 year old son, Charles R Greeney are living on North East Street in .  Next door live Freeman and Meda Tanner and children.
  • 1930 Apr 15 - Corinth Twp, Williamson County, Illinois  (205)
    • John Greeney, a farmer (59 - born abt 1871) and his wife, Cora (51) have their 9 year old grandson, James Clark living with them. 

  • Branches of the Family attended Coal Bank Church believed to be in Crab Orchard, Williamson County, Illinois
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James "Artie" Greeney - known as Art

  • 1930 April 16 - James "Artie" Greeney and wife, Helene Button, are living in the 38th Ward of Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, with a brother-in-law Jim and Helene's sister, Iris Malon (?) at 2755 N Morgan St. 
  • 1960s - Both James "Artie" Greeney and his sister, Helen (Greeney) Lind (her husband is Clarence Lind) and their families live on adjacent property in St Charles township, Kane County, Illinois, in an area known then as Valley View, or "The Heights 1 & 2".  Postal mailing addresses for that era may show them in Elgin, Illinois. 
  • 1970 - 80s   After retiring from the C E & I Railroad, James Art Greeney returned to Williamson County, Illinois living in Marion on North Walker Street.  See the early Marion Railroad Station below.
  • 1988 - Died and buried at Maplewood Cemetery
  • Descendants have since spread coast to coast:  including suburban Chicago, Colorado, Washington and Georgia.
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  • Fur trapping or fur trading
  • Later generations farmed
  • Some worked in the Southern Illinois coal mines
  • Railroad.  Remember, those who worked for the Railroad may NOT show up in the Social Security Death Index as they worked under the Railroad Pension Act.
  • Restaurant - Grocery Store in Marion, Illinois
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Cleft Chin

See 5 generations of photos below:
  • Descendants of Charles Fletcher Greeney (and possibly others) often displays a characteristic cleft chin. 
    •  This is an inherited characteristic in an "autosomal dominant fashion, with variable penetrance". That means you can inherit a working copy of a gene, that for some reason, doesn't work in you, but does work in your children or grandchildren.
    •  The cleft chin trait is more frequent and more obvious in males than females. 
    •  One source indicates the cleft chin dimple is on chromosome 5 and cheek dimples on chromosome 16. 
    •  Don't be surprised if these little sayings comes up to those with the feature:
      • Dimple in the chin, pushed by devils within.
        Dimple in the cheek, quiet and meek.
      • It's where an angel poked to see if he was done.

Other Characteristics that may be related

  •  May be more likely to be left handed. 
  •  May be likely to have thick curly hair as an adult, even if their hair as a young child was straight and fine.
  •  Males may lose their hair early.

Unknown Greeney or Grainer
or similar name.

John Greeney
About 1820 - Unknown

Robert Vinson or Vincent Greeney
Circa 1846 - Circa 1879-80
Charles Fletcher Greeney - head - chin

Charles Fletcher Greeney
Cleft Chin
James Art Greeney - gas station - head

James Art Greeney
Cleft Chin
Curly Hair

    C F Greeney

Cleft Chin
Straight Hair

Ron Greeney cleft chin

Cleft Chin
Curly Hair

J Greeney

Cleft Chin
Straight Hair

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Greeney Family from 1820 - WorldConnect Family Tree

If you have additional information on the Greeney family or related families, please e-mail me at

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Additional research is needed on the interconnected families.  Here are some links to other sites that may have information and varying perspectives on the history and area. 

"Ah what a tangled web we weave as we build these families."

Illinois - Native American Info
Illinois - History - Black Laws - Slavery
Illinois - the French & Little Egypt
Museum - State of Illinois - River Bottom - Archives

Williamson County, Illinois AHGP

Williamson County Illinois Pioneer History - mentions Burns
Williamson County Illinois - Early Land Entries - mentions Burns & Culbreath
Williamson County Illinois - Early Settlers - lists Lockaleer, Burns, Garrett
Williamson County Illinois - Indian Occupants - Fur trade

Africa, Illinois History

Census - 1818 > Burns
Census - 1818 > Garrett
Census - 1818 > Locklear

Family Lines - Ivey Ivy Womack and more

Burns & Ivey

Locklear - Lockler - Locklier Mary Simons

Chicago tied mobsters were active around Williamson County, Illinois.

Klu Klux Klan and  Unions

Herrin Mine Massacre

Learn more about Fur Trappers and Traders

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Where is that?

Regional Map
  • Absher, (Abshier) an unincorporated
    • According to "An Historic Gazetteer of Williamson Co., Illinois" it was a
        villiage in Crab Orchard township, section 35, 
    • Named for William A. Absher, dealer in farms in that part of the county.
    • Absher became a post office July 27, 1892 with William A. Absher the first
      postmaster. He had the office at the crossroads where he also dealt in real
      M.R. Jones, the general storekeeper, was postmaster when mail service was
      discontinued April 15, 1908.
      The Shawnee Indians had a camp near Absher at a spring. They came there
      regularly until 1817. Indian Camp church supplanted the Shawnees at this
      camping site.
  • Atilla (Unincorporated)
      • Located northeast of Crab Orchard
      • Latitude & Longitude: 37°46'11" N, 88°46'16" W
      • Survey: T. 9 S., R. 4 E.
      • Elevation: 562
      • Civil township: Crab Orchard
      • USGS Quad: Pittsburg
      • Map: 1878
  • Burn's Neighborhood - near Corinth
      • UNKNOWN
  • Corinth (Unincorporated)
    • Located east of Johnston City
    • Latitude & Longitude: 37°49'08" N, 88°46'35" W
    • Survey: T. 8 S., R. 4 E.
    • Elevation: 519
    • <>Civil township: Corinth
    • USGS Quad: Pittsburg
  • Crab Orchard
      • Located on IL 13 between Marion and Harrisburg
      • Latitude & Longitude: 37°43'45" N, 88°48'15"
      • Survey: T. 9 S., R. 4 E.
      • Elevation: 495
      • Civil township: Crab OrchardUSGS Quad: Crab Orchard
  • Population: 702 (Change since 1990: -11.3%)
  • Located on IL 166 between Marion and New Burnside<>
  • Latitude & Longitude: 37°37'10" N, 88°50'12" W
  • Name origin: Edward G. Creal
  • Post office: Sep. 22, 1846 - Now
  • Poordo
      • UNKNOWN

  • Population: 575 (Change since 1990: -4.5%)
  • Located northeast of Marion
  • Latitude & Longitude: 37°46'37" N, 88°50'58" W
  • Name origin: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Post office: Mar. 10, 1907 - Now

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Some of these ancestors may have seen these
Views of Williamson County Illinois

Marion Public Square

      Some postcard views of Williamson County Illinois of the era.

Illinois Central Railroad Station, Marion, Ill
1906 Marion Illinois
West Main Street, Marion, Williamson County, Illinois about 1908
1905-10 Dirt St Marion Illinois
Marion Illinois - South Main Street
 Dirt Street likely 1905-1910 - Note Church Steeple

Elks Home about 1909
Elks Home, Marion - Williamson County, Illinois 1909 era
High School - formerly Logan's Home
Marion Illinois High School.  Formerly Site of General Logan's Home
Elks Club
Elks Home or Elks Club - Marion Illinois
Goodall Hotel Marion Illinois

Goodall Hotel, Marion Illinois


Public Square Marion Illinois

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