52 Ancestors – Week 41 – Context

And just like that this post will have caught me up with the prompts for 52 Ancestors and that is making me feel pretty proud.

As I work to become a better researcher, I find myself thinking of Context. I find myself thinking of how the pieces fit together between history, social events and family stories. It at time becomes quite daunting as sometimes the records are not there to prove or disprove a story.

If you have followed me for a while you will know I am a complete novice when it comes to Irish Research. It along with Italian Research gives me a headache. I have a hard time with the naming patterns and such. I am seriously considering an Institute on it or other class on it. There must be an Irish Research class for complete idiots. Anyway back to the post I am writing instead of self-deprecating humor.

When my mother in law was alive she would talk about her family and I would listen. I actually should of been writing down her stories or recording her but I was not quite the level of genealogist as I have become. Anyway the story goes that her family immigrated to the United States in the early 20th Century from Ireland.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 7.40.01 AM

We are going to concentrate on the Mary Elizabeth Butler line for this post because in all actuality it fascinates me. I tend to want to research the female branches of the tree as their voices are lost a lot of the time.

The first hint I had that something was wonky with Mary Elizabeth Butler’s line was looking at the 1940 Census in Brooklyn, NY of the Peter Moran Family.

1940 Census Peter J Moran Family

Clear as day it says Mary Moran was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Also thank you Peter and Mary for naming one of your children, Edith it made life so much easier. So Mary was born in about 1889-1891 in  Canada, but wait I thought everyone came from Ireland, what is the story here.

A quick search yielded Mary and Peter’s marriage certificate in NYC and after receiving it I had her parents names of William Butler and Mary Hurley. It was now time to see what I could find about a William and Mary Hurley in Canada.

I searched the 1891 Canada Census and found the Butler Family in Hamilton, Ontario.

1891 Canada Census William Butler CensusAccording to the Census both William and Mary were Roman Catholic and were born in Ontario. Their parents were born in Ireland. Very interesting because this did not fit in with the family narrative I had, but since I did not have information on the parents. I will say it was about this time I fell in love with Canadian records and their wealth of information as this census also said that William was a GBV conductor.

Since I found the family in 1891 and their oldest child was 3 I decided to see if I could find their marriage record.

William Butler Mary Hurley Marriage Record

Now it is time for me to rant about how horrible New York is about getting records. IS this not the bomb. IT lists religion and parents names. Witnesses. How awesome is this.

So William Butler and Mary Hurley were both born in Ontario and married in 1887. So did Mary Elizabeth immigrate alone or did her family move together. Well I did not find the family on the 1900 US census but I did find them on the 1905 NY State Census.

1905 NY Census

According to this Census they came in 1899, what provoked them to move to the US from Canada. How many people went to Canada instead of the United States? When did their Parents immigrate to Canada?

I have yet to find the Death Certificate for Mary Elizabeth Butler Moran or even her obituary. I did find the Obituary for Peter Moran in the Brooklyn Eagle and it states he was buried in Calvary Cemetery. Which coincide with what my mother-in-law stated to me many years ago. Maybe Mary Elizabeth is buried with him and lets hope their is a stone. Guess I will try calling Calvary as the next step in the process.

I guess I also need to see what happened to Mary Hurley and William Butler when they came to New York and to see about their lives before they left Canada. I see new things on my horizon.

I am thinking a book of Research Questions and next steps in order. Along with finding how many people went to Canada before later coming to the United States.

52 Ancestors – Week 40 – Harvest

This was a rough topic as it reminds me how much of our history has been lost. My Weatherwax family were farmers. My grandparents were dairy farmers and lived in Clinton County, the stopped farming full time around the time I was born.

My great-grandfather, Benjamin sold the family farm that had been in the family for about 150 years in the early 20th century but I do not have the whole story and the parts I have heard read like a Greek tragedy so I have yet to research to find the validity of the story. It is on the list of items for another day.

Recently I joined the National Society of American Farmers, this society spoke to me as it is honoring those who have come before us and were the backbone of America. It was the need for fertile land and opportunities that drove so many to cross the ocean to America. Our history is not without tragedies for how we treated those who were here before us but I truly believe we should learn from the past no matter how ugly it can get.

One little memory about my grandparents farm. There was a garden next to the house and it was huge. It had corn, cucumbers, sunflowers and the biggest pumpkins ever. I would say in was in the early 1980s because I remember my uncle still being alive but I just recall walking up and down the rows of the garden and this pumpkin that had to be 50-100 pounds it was like a boulder.

52 Ancestors – Week 39 – Maps

I will be totally honest here until the past week or so I really did not use many maps in my research. I have recently fell in love with Locality Guides and part of creating a Locality Guide is to show different sources.

Since a lot of my research is in Essex County, NY aka the Black Hole of genealogy in my family, this was the first Locality Guide I created and I came across this gem of a map on the Library of Congress website.

essex county NY historical map

Maps really put things into perspective and make the research a living and breathing organism in my mind. It brings the names to life when I see where they were.

The next locality guide I am going to work on is for Clinton County New York. I have been lazy in these as I feel that since I had been there and did so much research there, I knew everything and you know, what I have discovered some amazing sources.

Here is the Clinton County Map I grabbed from the Library of Congress site but sometimes you can find maps in the county archives or state archives. Somewhere I have a hand drawn map of the land my Weatherwax family owned in Peru and it is fabulous to look at.

Clinton County Historical Map

I am on a research roll lately and am grateful that I discovered the importance of having maps in my research.

52 Ancestors – Week 38 – Cousins

When I saw this prompt I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about, then it hit me I would talk a bit about my quest into the world of DNA.

As I have wrote in the past I am one of the least sciencey (yes I made this word up), people I know. I am just not a fan. Also being in a ProGen study group made me realize I really need a working knowledge of DNA.

So I have been messaging all of my matches trying to discover all the connections for those people I do not know. Right now I am working on trying to prove who Sally Sawyer’s parents are and that her mother is indeed the daughter of Hannah Bartlett and Capt. Richard Kelly. If I can do this I will be able to claim a female patriot as a supplemental in the DAR.

I have actually realized I really like using DNA for the older brick walls where records can be scant. I am also discovering all sorts of DNA cousins I had not known and I am able to build my tree out farther.

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 9.24.58 PM

Sally Sawyer was born in 1769 possibly in New Hampshire to Judith Kelly and Joseph Sawyer. She married Abner Preston and had several children. This line gets very tangled and confusing as there was a lot of intermarriage between Preston and Shumway family members so there are some double cousins in there. I also found a DNA match that was from this line and one of my Grandpa’s relatives.

It has been great because I am beginning to make connections and I feel like this research question can be answered. Also I love the hints of ThruLines from Ancestry but there are a lot of names and traditional genealogy work to tie all the DNA matches together.

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 9.27.43 PM

I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me in the end but it has been great meeting DNA cousins, so far and sharing my love of these family lines with others and I am finally able to say that I am learning how DNA can be a really valuable tool in the genealogy toolbox.

52 Ancestors – Week 37 – Mistake

Back to catching up again.

We all make mistakes. Life happens but sometimes we need to ask ourselves can this really be true. There are a couple of men in my family tree that drive me absolutely batty.

The first one is Beverly Beardsley, see Beverley Beardsley number one was born in approximately 1775 and died in 1815. Beverley Beardsley number 2 (his son) was born in 1815 right before his father died and lived until 1897. This has caused all sorts of confusion in online family trees. Thing is it is pretty easily verified as there is a Probate and Guardianship for the children of Beverley Beardsley and Ada Curtis. Unfortunately it was perpetuated for so long that there are many mistakes in trees out there.

The other man that drives me batty is Obadiah Coolidge. There are many men named Obadiah Coolidge but the one that I am interested in is Obadiah Coolidge who may or may not be the son of Josiah Coolidge and Mary Jones Coolidge.

Screen Shot 2019-10-06 at 7.19.04 PMScreen Shot 2019-10-06 at 7.18.27 PMScreen Shot 2019-10-06 at 7.17.52 PM

My Obadiah Coolidge profile is the top one. As you can see, I have him still living as of 1839 and his daughter Hannah’s will being probated. I am not sure when he was born or if the parents listed are his but they are listed as his parents in the book The Coolidges of Watertown, Massachusetts and the documentation is sketchy.

It also doesn’t help that he also had a son named Obadiah. There is a huge amount of confusion as to both his birth and death dates. One day I will figure it out but I feel we need to be careful when clicking those leafs that make the discoveries easy. We need to evaluate each and every hint.

I hope to one day to figure out this brickwall and when I do the victory will be sweet.

52 Ancestors – Week 36- School Days

This was a fun one as I hit up the US School Yearbook Collection on Ancestry and the gems it brought up. Sadly there were no pictures of me in my 1989 Senior Year glory or of Gerard in his Senior Year Glory.

I did find pictures of my Mom though through High School and her college pictures. Along with Gerard’s Dad from Saint Francis Prep when it was still in Brooklyn.

You have got to love these. I can’t wait to see more as they hit online. Though I am sure there are some in my family who hope their pictures never come to light.

52 Ancestors – Week 33 – Comedy

It took me a bit to think of something for this prompt but all of a sudden it came to me this would be the perfect post to honor my husband with because most people do not know what a sense of humor my husband has.

His humor and playfulness comes out most times when we are at Disney. I think because that is where he is truly relaxed and not stressed.

52 Ancestors-Week 32 – Sisters

I could right about several sister sets right now but I am going to go back to my Larkin Line, since I am continually enthralled with my Sarah Larkin Beardsley.

If you remember I started this genealogy hobby with my maternal grandparents and the Larkin family is through my Grandpa. The story goes that Sarah was one of three sisters and the other two were Lucy and Johanna. I have no clue where this story came from and my Grandpa was the youngest child and his mom died when he was fifteen.

So I take up the quest to find out about the sisters and for years it was a dead end. We then stumbled across Lucy Larkin Thompson in Valley Falls. I actually found her because of the DAR Lineage Books but it took us on a research trip and My grandparents and I met a delightful librarian who in turn sent us to either a lawyer or accountant who was Lucy’s paper boy. I seriously wish I could remember the stories he told us about her.

Fast Forward to about 2001 or 2002 when I took genealogy back in full force and I discover a Grandson of Lucy’s but unfortunately he did not have anything to share with me, though he did mention a family story of Lucy having a baby on a train in Jonesville, Michigan. Jonesville was where Sarah practiced medicine.

I did know that Sarah had a sister Julia as she appears on the 1850 census with her and their parents Benjamin Wood Larkin and Ruth Morgan Larkin, in St. Lawrence County, New York.

It wasn’t until quite recently no more than 5 years ago. That I stumbled across this gem from the Minnesota Territorial Census in 1857.

1857 Minnesota Territorial Census for Fillmore County

I was seriously in shock finding this as I really wasn’t sure what happened to Benjamin and I do not have lots of information on him or Ruth. Sadly from this I am kind of thinking Ruth died in childbirth or shortly after the birth of Little Ruth and Benjamin married Margaret right after as George is Margaret’s son.

So now I have all these sister’s to find of Sarah and Lucy and I have no clue really where to look. I do know in 1860 Sarah is living with her grandparents and uncle in New York and last night I did find a FindaGrave entry for sweet little Ruth.

Ruth K. Larkin FindaGrave Memorial.
This is the same cemetery her Larkin Grandparents are buried in.

So once I finish my little project on the children of Emanuel Beardsley. I am thinking these Larkin sisters and what happened to their father Benjamin Larkin may be my next project. I would also love to know where poor Ruth Morgan Larkin is buried.

I feel sorry for these sisters as they were left motherless at quite a young age and then I think they must of been dispersed amongst relatives but that is conjecture on my part but I do this research for the stories I can find out.

52 Ancestors – Week 31- Brothers

I truly believe that our ancestors reach out to us and speak to us. I have been doing a lot of research on my Beardsley/Curtis Lines.

I have been working on an assignment for ProGen but I am also trying to link back to another Revolutionary War Patriot, Eldad Curtis. It is tough going because after the Revolution these lines moved around a lot. Also so far I have found 3 wives for Eldad.

So when I received an assignment in ProGen to transcribe a will and develop a Research Plan. I decided Emanuel Beardsley would be perfect he is a brother to my Beverly Beardsley and I had done no real research on him. Let’s be honest it took me for ever to sort out the mystery of the Beverley Beardsleys and Ancestry is still full of errors as some trees have him living to be like 120 years old.

Anyway I digress, the theme this week is brothers and I have been a bit obsessed. It all stems from this passage in the History of Clinton and Franklin Counties.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 7.19.35 AM

So this passage has so much information and needs more but it was a huge diving off point for me. I love families that use familial names but also hate it because it creates a mess.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 7.33.26 AM

So I have been studying these families and expanding them in hopes to go back further as you never know who is related. It is also fun to go back and hear names my grandpa talked about. I think this is the branch of the family they went to see as I truly believe his mother Minerva was bounced between these relatives as I never find her anywhere with her parents.

My Beverley Beardsley married and Ada Curtis in Wells Vermont. She was the daughter of Eldad Curtis and Clotilda Weeks or Meeks. Well I also discovered that an Immanuel Beardsley married an Astilda or Clotilda Curtis. So I am trying to piece this all together and I have DNA that shoes a connection but I really want more.

So my project for my research report has been the birth order of Emanuel’s Children named in his will and that has been interesting and has me doing a Deep Dive into DNA and that is not something I am very good at so I am looking for a crash course in it and am very happy for Ancestry ThruLines which is giving me places to go look for traditional research.

So today’s question does anyone have any good DNA webinars for dummies???

52 Ancestors – Week 27 – Independent

Week 27’s prompt was supposed to go up around Independence Day and it was suggested to write about a relative who fought in the American Revolution. IF you have read for a while you will know that I am a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

I knew I had relatives who fought in the Revolution since about 1998 or so but did not join until 2016. Life and such got in the way and it was a lot of work. Plus I am glad I waited because I wouldn’t of been a member of the wonderful Increase Carpenter Chapter, I am a part of.

I joined in 2016 under my 5X Great-Grandfather Lorin Nehemiah Larkin. I chose him because he was the easiest as my other known patriot at the time was not in they system. Lorin Larkin was a Private and served in 3 different states, Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts. He was born in Stratford, CT in 1755 and died in Beekmantown, NY in 1845.

I have 2 other supplemental patriots to date one being Bezaleel Wood. I have written about him before. He served for Massachusets as a Private. He is also a 5X Great-Grandfather of mine. He was born in Lunenburg, MA and died in Plattsburgh, NY. I have been blessed to visit his grave in the Baker Burial Ground. He is also the patriot that 2 of my aunt’s joined under.

My last supplemental that was approved was for Timothy Bolton, my 5X Great-Grandfather. Timothy was a private from Massachusetts. He died in Windham County Vermont.

Having relatives who served in the revolution makes you want to fight for what this country was founded for. The right to be free. I have other patriots I am trying to prove an that silly AIR (additional information requested) on Benjamin Knowlton who served in New Hampshire but that is proving tricky. One of the reasons, I like to file the supplementals is to open lines to other potential members. I am up to about 8 patriots that are in the system and I really should prove my new patriot David Weatherwax. Maybe this year.

Also my daughter is getting ready to be a dual Children of American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution, which is pretty good for a girl who is majoring in Museum Studies and American History.  After she is in I am going to work on a few supplementals for her as she also has patriots on her Dad’s side, which will mean a whole new area of research for me, the south.

Do you have a patriot in your line?