52 Ancestors – Week 16 – This Should be a Movie

I have been trying to write about new ancestors this year so I am truly struggling with this one. I have already told you a great deal about Sarah Larkin Beardsley, my 2X Great Grandma who was a doctor and died at 39. Then there was my Dad’s Uncle Berlindo Moro who was murdered, protecting a friend in 1928, he was only 19. So I am truly stumped about for this prompt. So what I started to do is look at the Family tree and see if anyone jumps out at me.

Well I stumbled upon the Hurley Family. They are my husband’s relatives on his Mom’s side. My mother-in-law used to like to hear about my genealogy research and was always amazed about what I found out on my family. She told me I was luck to be able to trace my family as her family were recent immigrants to the United States. Coming in the early 1900s. I never did a huge amount a research while she was alive and that bothers me. She would of been so happy with what I found out. Also I miss not asking questions because people always know more than they let on. So back to the Hurley family, particularly Joseph Hurley.

Joseph Hurley, is G’s 2nd Great-granduncle. He was born 22 May 1881 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He was born to David Hurley and Bridget Gleason Hurley. We first find Joseph on the 1891 Canada Census of Hamilton, Ontario Canada. In the household are William Butler 29, Head, Mary 22, Mary E. 3, Margaret 8/12, Bridget Hurley, 44, Mother-In -law, David 50, Father In Law, Glass Labourer, Edward 14, Joseph P. 9.

We then find Joseph in the 1900 US Census for Brooklyn, Kings Co, NY living on Atlantic Avenue. He is now 18 and the only child living with David 55 and Bridget 55.

I did find Mary And William Butler a few families up on the page.

In 1905, Joseph Hurley age 24, is listed as a boarder in the house of William and Mary Butler. Also living as boarders in the House are David Hurley, 69 and David Hurley Jr. 30. Sadly Bridget died in 1903/4, I haven’t been able to find her death certificate on the NYC Historical records site.

In 1910, Joseph Hurley, 28 is listed in the US Census for NY, Queens living with his wife Nellie, 22. They have been married 2 years have no children and it lets me know that Joseph Hurley is a Naturalized citizen. The 1900 census happens to be one of my favorite records as it has so much information.

Interesting fact about the Naturalization listed in the 1900 census is that Joseph did not file a Declaration of Naturalization until 1914.

The 1920 census of Brooklyn, NY has Joseph 37, Helen M, and son David 5/12. It shows that Joseph became a citizen in 1914. I think I need to go find that whole Immigration file and see if it has any goodies. Joseph is a traveling salesman.

The 1925 NY State Census for Orange County, Newburgh we find Joseph age 44, Eleanor 31 and David age 5.

At this point, I lose the family and can’t find them together again. The next record I find is the death certificate for Joseph P. Hurley.

This is actually the record that sent me on the whole journey to figure out who Joseph Patrick Hurley was. I love finding out about other relatives not in a direct line and trying to piece together their story and learn a bit more about them and create a story in my mind about them.

I would love to figure out what happened to his family. Joseph’s Nephew James Hurley was the informant so I want to learn more about James and why was it his responsibility to look after his Uncle. I have a feeling I will find out more as I continue to research. Not sure if the life of Joseph Patrick Hurley would be a movie but it could be a story of Hope, Perseverance, love and loss.

52 Ancestors – Week 15 – Solitude

This was an extremely difficult prompt for me. I had no idea what to writ about. I decided to go in the direction of a relative that did not have any children. I had already written about my Great-Aunt Olive Witherwax Rodgers, who I have always been enamored of. I then decided to focus on her brother Leslie Winchester Witherwax.

My great uncle Leslie Winchester Witherwax, with the exception of possibly my great-grandmother Mildred Shumway Stewart, my have been the only person I ever met that was born in the 1800s.

Leslie Witherwax was born 29 November 1891, in Peru, Clinton County, NY to Benjamin Witherwax and Minerva Beardsley Witherwax. He appears on the 1892 NYS Census for Peru, Clinton County, NY. In the household are Benjamin 40, Minnie 22, Hattie H. Martin 7 and Leslie is 1. The family above them are George and Dorcas Witherwax, Benjamin’s parents.

The 1900 Census for Peru, Clinton Co, NY shows Leslie, age 8 in the household of George Weatherwax 78, Dorcas 68, Benjamin 48, Minnie 29, Olive 5, Halsey 2, Helen 1, Harriet Martin 14. All the children are listed as the grandchildren of George including Harriet.

In the 1905 NYS Census Leslie is now 13 and listed in father Benjamin’s (52) household. Minerva 35, Olive 9, Halsey 7, Hellen 5, Laura 2. They are living in the Town of Ausable. (I need to research this as the family owned a large farm and I am not sure why they were there).

I don’t have a record of the family for 1910 so that is on my list but in the 1915 NYS census Leslie 22, is in Schenectady and is listed as a border.

On 7 June 1916, Leslie Winchester Witherwax, 24, married Edith Marks, 24, in Schenectady, NY.

Sadly, Edith died 24 January 1919 of Pneumonia following Inflenza. Leslie was a widower at the age of 27.

The 1920 Census for Bridgeport, Fairfield Co, CT finds Leslie 28 and brother Halsey 22 as boarders. In the 1925 NYS Census for Glenville, Schenectady, NY Leslie 33, is listed as the head of the household and a chauffer. Also in the household are MInerva 54, Benjamin 72, Laura 22 and Earl 14.

On 26 March 1926, Leslie now 34 marries his 2nd wife Mary Olive Onderdonk. She is known to the family as Aunt Olive. I have no record of Leslie and Olive in the 1930 census (something I am going to look for). The 1940 Census Leslie (48) and Mary Olive (51) are living in Schenectady and they have no children. In 1942, Leslie Witherwax filed his WWII Draft Registration card. It shows him living on Toll Street in Scotia, NY and working for General Electric. Mary Olive Onderdonk died 12 July in Schroon, Essex Co, NY. She was 65 and for the second time Leslie Witherwax was a widower.

On 6 September 1958, Leaslie W. Witherwax age 66 married Corrine Schroeder Tomkinson (58) in Ludlow, Vermont. Sadly, Corrine died in November 1958 in Florida. Leslie was a widower for the 3rd time. Great-uncle Leslie never married after Corrine died. He split his time between St. Petersburg, Florida and Upstate New York. He used to travel and visit all the family.

He died 31 July 1981 in St. Petersburg, Florida at 89. He is buried in the Niskayuna Reformed Cemetery with his wives, parents Benjamin and Minerva and his sister Olive.

I think after Corrine died he must of been lonely. I also think it is sad he never had children. I wonder if it was by choice or just not possible for him and Aunt Olive. He did have that span of 16 years with Olive where things must of seen possible. At least by writing about Great Uncle Leslie he will be remembered.

52 Ancestors – Week 14 – It Begins with a Vowel

This is a fabulous prompt and I had many ancestors to choose since I had a lot of names that began with a vowel. For this one I decided on my Grandma’s side of the family.

Elijah Preston is my 3X-great grandfather and I don’t really know a whole lot about him and writing this blog has me wanting to research more into this family unit further than I have.

Elijah Preston was born 15 August 1823 presumably in Wilmington, Essex Co, NY to Abner Preston and Delia (Hudson?).

His first appearance by name is in the 1850 federal census for Wilmington, Essex, Co., NY. He is 26 years yold with an occupation of Bloomer (something to do with the iron mines). Living in the home are Emily, age 22, Edwin 5, Carlos 4, and Arvilla 1. Arvilla Preston is my 2X great grandmother.

The 1855 NY State Census for Wilmington, Essex Co, NY has the same family make up with the addition of Adaline age 2.

The 1860 federal census, we still have the same family unit. Elijah 36 is now listed as a Farmer. Emily 32, Edwin 16 is also listed as a Farmer, Carlos 13, Arvila is listed as Rosamund 11, Adeline 6 and Emma 2.

In 1863, Elijah age 40 is listed as registering for the Civil War in Wilmington NY. I have never checked to see if he served in the union army.

In 1865 NYS Census for Wilmington, Essex Co, NY we find the family but Carlos and Arvilla are no longer in the home and we have the addition of Melvin age 3.

The 1870 census for Wilmington Essex Co, NY shows the family has changed again. Elijah 46, Farmer, Emily 42; Adaline 16; Emma 12; Melvin 9; Lida 2; Dolly 6/12. Edwin is no longer in the home.

The 1875 NYS Census for Wilmington has the family the same except Lida is listed as Allida and Dolly is Polly Ann age 5.

The 1880 Federal Census for Wilmington Essex Co NY we have Elijah 56, Famer, Emily 52; Melvin 17; Alida 12; Polly 10. The family directly above is son Carlos and his family.

Emily Williams Preston died 21 May 1890.

The 1892 NYS Census for Wilmington Essex Co, now shows Elijah 69, Farmer, Melvin 31, Caroline 32 Melvin’s wife and Albert 5. These are the only members of the household. Daughter Arvilla 44, is in the next household with her family.

Eliha died 28 December 1895 in Wilmington, New York.

Elijah and Emily were the parents of a total of 11 children. Three of those children died as toddlers and were never listed in a census.

  • John S. Preston (1852-1854)
  • George A. Preston (1856-1860)
  • Elijah D. Preston (1861-1864)

I have also not found Emma Preston after the 1875 NYS census, so that will be a future research project to see if she married.

I really delve into a particular ancestor as it raises questions and makes me want to piece more of the life together. I want to know more. I need to bring this family forward.

The tombstones of Elijah Preston and Emily Williams Preston.

52 Ancestors-Week 13-Light A Candle

This is a hard one for me because to me lighting candles is a religious thing and then I started thinking about events where there might be candles, birthdays and maybe anniversaries.

I was on the NYS Historical Newspaper website and was searching for a specific article about a 50th anniversary party which of course since I was looking for it couldn’t find. When I stumbled across this article about my Great Grandmother Minerva Beardsley Weatherwax.

This blurb appeared in the Plattsburgh Press Republican in July 1901. It had to be devasting to lose the barn. I found a slightly different account in the Plattsburgh Sentinel on August 2, 1901.

I would say the only good thing about this fire is their house escaped and with the exception of My Great Grandmother Minerva, no one was home.

I have discovered in my research that this was not the only fire in my family. I will say I don’t recall ever hearing about this fire which either I wasn’t listening when my Great Uncle Leslie spoke or my grandfather never mentioned it, as he wasn’t born yet.

I don’t generally feel bad for my great grandmother Minerva as from all accounts she was not a nice woman but this helps me understand her a little more and feel a bit of compassion.

52 Ancestors – Week 12 – Membership

This is an interesting prompt for Week 12. When I see membership, my first thought goes to country clubs. I have no idea why but it does. My family has never been a member of a country club. So I started thinking a bit more about organizations my family belonged to.

My Dad is a member of the Elks and Knights of Columbus.

My Grandpa was an Elk and a Mason. I remember my grandma saying she was president of the Eastern Star. I know my mom and her siblings were part of the 4H.

Me I have chosen to join lineage societies. It lets me bring my love of genealogy to life and honor those who have gone before.

I am a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Descendants of Early American Farmers.

I am working on an application for the National Society Daughters of the Union. I am thinking of honoring my 2X great grandmother Sarah Larkin Beardsley by joining the Descendants of Early First Responders. Someday I will finish dotting all the i’s and crossing the t’s to join the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches.

I am also thinking of becoming a member of the Local Quilt Guild and I need to see if there is a Genealogy Society to join here. For me it is a great way to make friends locally.

So are you a member of any society or group?

52 Ancestors – Week 11 – Lucky

Well time to play catch up again but that is all okay because at least I am attempting to keep up this year. The Week 11 topic is Lucky. Well, let me tell you today I am feeling lucky. I have been busy digging deep in the wills and land records on Family Search for Clinton and Essex Counties in New York State.

I get to a certain point in my research and I am stuck. My mom’s side for the most part originated in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont for the most part, with a couple outliers in New Hampshire before the moved in NY and westward. So I lose a lot of family from 1760 until 1850, which means I can find the men but not the women. I mentioned in my post previous that I am working on my lines with ties to the American Revolution as most of my Patriots would be new children of the patriot, which would then open new lines for others to join.

So let’s get onto why I am feeling lucky. I am now going to get into what I didn’t mention in my previous post. Beverly Beardsley (1770-1815) is my 4th great grandfather. He died intestate leaving 5 minor children:

  • Lydia Beardsley (1805-1875) who married Frank Otis
  • Curtis Beardsley (1807 – 1882) who married Almedia Hancock and Angeline Putnam
  • Catherine Beardsley (1808-1847) who married Laban Arnold
  • Margaret Polly Beardsley (1813-1884) who married Samuel Wood
  • Beverly Beardsley (1815-1897) who married Minerva Winchester. My 3X Great Grandfather.

He also was the father of Ada Beardsley (1796-1867) who married Asher Stevens, in the probate proceedings was appointed the guardian of the minor girls.

Beverly Beardsley was married to Ada Curits (1770-?). I have not been able to find Ada Curtis Beardsley after 1820 Census in Chesterfield, Essex County, NY.

So now let’s get back to why I am feeling lucky. I was probing around in the New York State Land Records on Family Search and I decided to probe in the Mortgage Indexes, something I have never done in the past, but believe me it is something I am going to do again.

I first found this little tidbit in a deed of Curtis Beardsley selling land in 1833.

Emmanuel Beardsley and Clotilda Curtis Beardsley are Curtis Beardsley’s presumed Aunt and Uncle. Interesting fact is I believe Clotilda is also Ada Curtis Beardsley’s sister.

I then found this second tidbit in an 1836 deed where Beverly Beardsley is selling land. He was 21 years old in 1836.

It has the same phrase of Emmanuel Beardsley and Clotilda Curtis Beardsley deeding the land to Beverly Beardsley on March 24th, 1804. I knew that since guardians were appointed to all the children there had to be land or money involved but I couldn’t find anything.

So according to these Deeds I now have a new place to look. Essex County Deed Book A. I will have to go page by page because it isn’t indexed and the deeds jump around so I will have to look at every page but it is a start.

My ultimate goal with all this is to connect Ada Curtis Beardsley to who I presume is her father Eldad Curtis who was a revolutionary war Patriot.

The only proven children of Eldad Curtis in the DAR database are Eunice Curtiss daughter of first wife, Tabitaha Perkins and Aaron Curtis son of Eldad and second Wife Clotilda Weeks, who is the presumed mother of both Ada and Clotilda.

It has been an interesting couple of days but I am indeed feeling lucky.

A little Mystery Solved

It has been a hot minute since I posted last and life has been busy but I have been plugging away with research.

I have been trying to bust down some walls because I would like to file papers for more patriots in the DAR. My patriots are usually through the daughters line or a new child of a patriot or even a new patriot by filing these papers it opens lines for other women to join the DAR.

I have been working on a Patriot for my Daughter through her Dad’s line which is nice that she can honor her Nana that way. Ephraim Bass from North Carolina will be her first patriot on that side. I have been learning about North Carolina research.

I have no more fairly easy patriots after I file my new Patriot David Weatherwax which I am in the process of shoring up. This week I have been deep in the land records of New York State and today I hit pay dirt. Let me start with the mystery I solved.

Obadiah Coolidge is my 4X-Great Grandfather. He is the presumed Child of Josiah Coolidge and Mary Jones and was presumably born in 1760 in Bolton, MA. It is presumed he married Sarah Knowlton, daughter of Benjamin Knowlton and Phebe Wright. There aren’t a whole lot of papers to back this up hence the word presumed. Anyway, I have paper documentation beginning in 1788 where he married a Sarah Knowlton in Vermont. I can follow him through the census and tax records into Jay, Essex County, NY. I could never figure out when he died as there is no tombstone in the cemetery where his wife Sarah is buried. I know he was alive until 1839 when his daughter, Hannah Coolidge’s will was probated.

Well today as I was probing around in those Essex County Deed books, oh and it isn’t like I wasn’t in them before but I could never find any land records well today I found Obadiah selling a piece of land and then I found this gem.

This is attached to a transaction about a parcel of land that took place in about 1815 which was issued by Martin Van Buren then the Attorney General of New York State. I honestly didn’t understand a lot of it but this section is from my 3rd Great Grandfather Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge and states Obadiah Coolidge was deceased as of June 1845.

I was going to go more into another cool thing I found today but my head hurts and I need to figure a way to tell you all about it in a cohesive way and about the next thing I am going to be looking for.

Anyway I am a bit happier today because of what I found.

52 Ancestors – Week 10 – Translation

What a fun topic. Translation. When I saw this topic I immediately thought of all those Italian Records that I really need to sift through on my Dad’s family and then there are those Norwegian Records on my husband’s side. Side note thankful to finding a cousin that was able to unlock a lot of that for me because I have no clue where to begin. I then thought of my Mom’s family and her stalled Shumway line because that is going to lead me into Canadian Records.

I tend to not delve to far into things I don’t know how to do and is probably why I can’t get back past the 2nd great grandparents on my Dad’s family. One of my goals for 2023 and forward is to move these lines forward or actually backward in this case. I have started with just finding their names like in this record for Teresa Moro. I think it is a birth record. I have a book that has samples of what these documents are so that makes it helpful for me.

I should see if there is a similar book for Norwegian Records and see what guidance I can find for French Canadian. I get excited once I find something but it can be frustrating also.

52 Ancestors – Week 9 – Gone Too Soon.

I will be honest this prompt kind of bothers me. I have too many relatives and ancestors that were gone too soon. People who were snatched before I got to know them or even before they were able to accomplish much in life.

For this prompt though I am going to concentrate on my Dad’s Uncle Berlindo Moro.

Berlindo died 2 December 1928. He was actually murdered trying to help his friend a Patrolman Richard Duffy.

Berlindo died at the age of 19 so he was in fact Gone too Soon. It would be interesting to see how the family would of been different had he not died. I will say that a lot of the family does not know that he was murdered but I don’t feel the need to whitewash history.

I am all about sharing the good, the bad and the ugly

Here is a prior post I wrote about Berlindo Moro.

An A-Ha Moment.

Finally decided it was time to get a new supplemental for a NEW Patriot filed to begin the long wait for it to be approved.

David Weatherwax is my 4X Great Grandfather on my Mom’s Dad side. Did you get that. My Grandpa Earl’s family. This is also my mom’s maiden name even though crazy Great Grandma Minerva changed the spelling because she was mad at her in-laws at least that is the family legend.

So I messaged my DAR Registrar to review the application because I know everyone is related but you know sometimes that pesky documentation gets in the way. Thankfully the first 5 generations are already proven it is just the last 2 generations that are quirky. Thankfully, the Death Certificate for my 2X Great Grandfather George Weatherwax lists his parents full names and where they were born.

Then we get to his Dad Jacob and there are no primary documents so I need to use the census records. Not horrible I have done it before for my original patriot and I do have David Weatherwax’s will but I couldn’t find anything that said his son Jacob until I started re-reading a transcript another descendant of Jacob had sent me years agon.

Here is the transcription and it lists the entire family and says next of Kin.

Not sure how I have missed this wording in all the years of reading this will but there it is. I did have the inventory where it lists Jacob as owing money to David but it never named him by name and said his son. I have other deeds from Jacob to where he sold his land to his sons George and William and it said land that belonged to David but here is the proof I needed.

and here is the chicken scratch that lists the family from the will file.

So now I just need to organize the information and send it to my Registrar to review again before mailing off to National and that will be another patriot.

Next up on the Patriot hunt is to figure out how to document my Grandma’s Family and prove the connection to the patriot family. Going to be deep diving into Vermont Records next.

I have discovered that my family all disappear from records at some point or we go to towns without great record keeping but for today I am going to take this celebration to heart and be happy.