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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 24 – Dear Diary

Sadly, I have never seen a family diary for any of my ancestors. The one ancestor I could imagine writing a diary is my 2X Great Grandmother Sarah Larkin Beardsley.

Dr. Sarah larkin Beardsley

I could imagine her writing about losing her mother at a young age. Living with her grandparents. Living with her aunt and uncle, about getting married at 19 and then deciding she wanted to be a doctor and going to medical school. I imagine she might write about leaving her child with relatives (it would be great to know who, as we don’t find Minnie until 1890 when she is married).

I would love to read about her practicing medicine and the pain of losing a child. I would also like to read her thoughts about dying young. Her amazing life cut short as she died at the age of 39.

This woman is one whose strength I always draw upon because she did so much with the time she had on earth. I am proud to be descended from her.

52 Ancestors – Week 23 – Namesake

I am a big proponent of family names and being named after someone. I myself am named after my 2 grandmothers. My first name is after my paternal grandmother and my middle name is after my maternal grandmother.

My daughter is named after myself, my paternal grandmother and her middle name is after my dad. My son is named after his 2 grandfathers. Samantha on the other hand is named after an American Girl doll and has my Mom’s middle name.

As I look back on the different branches of my family I can sometimes see different naming patterns. my 2X Great Grandfather’s name was Leslie Winchester Beardsley. In turn my great grandmother named her son Leslie Winchester Witherwax. My grandparents then named their son Earl Leslie Witherwax. The Earl for my Grandpa and Leslie for his oldest brother. Though for the most part my grandma did her own thing with naming her kids hence the reason all the girls had the same initials.

My husband isn’t named after anyone except his middle name is supposed to be his great grandmother’s surname but I keep coming up with slightly different variations of it. His brothers though do have family names, I love the history a name gives someone. I think it gives the strength of your ancestors to you.

52 Ancestors – Week 20 – Military

I have always been proud of the Military members of my family. Though I didn’t know any of them personally, until my cousin Steve joined the Navy, prior to that the only member of the military I knew was my Uncle Leslie but he died in 1971 a few weeks after I was born.


Through the years, I have found out my 2X Great Grandfathers Leslie Beardsley and Peter Shumway both served in the Civil War. One from Clinton County and One from Essex County here in New York State.

I have a couple of War of 1812 veterans but I am waiting to see those pension files, the only one I have confirmed is John Larkin which brings us to the American Revolution. I have 3 ancestors I have proven my direct lineage to Lorin Nehemiah Larkin, Bezaleel Wood and Timothy Bolton. I also have a few others I am working on Benjamin Knowlton who I wrote about in a previous entry, David Weatherwax and I would love to tie myself to Abiel Preston as it would also give me a patriot on my grandma’s side of the family and it would open up a couple other patriots.

As I head to the Daughters of the American Revolution Continental Congress this week, maybe I will be able to solve some of these mysteries.

I believe it takes a special person to serve in the military and am honored that so many people whether they are my relatives or not have answered that call.

52 Ancestors – Week 18 – Road Trip

So I have decided my goal by the end of July is to be caught up on the 52 ancestors challenge. I am about 8 weeks behind which isn’t too bad. Especially since June is such a blur.

Week 18’s prompt was all about a Road Trip. While I am sure my ancestors traveled. I recently went on a road trip to Clinton and Essex Counties in upstate New York. This trip was primarily to say goodbye to my Aunt Sheila but did also involve some genealogy.

I visited the Central Cemetery in Jay, NY where I was looking for my Sarah Knowlton Coolidge and the skies opened up on me so I did not find her, sadly.


I also visited an old favorite of mine Gilliland Cemetery on the Lake Shore Road and I finally was able to visit with my Beloved 2X great grandmother – Sarah Larkin Beardsley.


The other place I visited was the Clinton County Surrogate’s Court. What a fun trip that was and I have so many documents to transcribe. I haven’t even started but I have also started using Family Search to get the wills that go with the probate packets I have so I can better interpret the data.


This is going to be a long process to get all the facts together but I know in the end I will be a better genealogist for it.

Sadly I did not hit the Essex County Surrogates Court so there may be another Road Trip in my future as I have a few probate records from there I am looking for.

52 Ancestors – Week 17 – At Worship

You read here time and again how much I love the New York Historic Newspapers website.

It was here in the Plattsburgh Sentinel I found these two clips about my 3X great-grandfather Beverly Beardsley, from what I can discern they were Methodist but whatever religion he went to revivals and he must of been involved.

This first bit is from 1888 and it was in the town notes for Upper Jay.image_681x474_from_1989,7994_to_3422,8992

Next is from April 1901 and is the ramblings of someone sharing memories of their time in the North Country.


Newspapers offer us all kinds of clues into our ancestors lives.


52 Ancestors -Week 16 – Out of Place

Out of place what or who should I write about. Let me tell you about stumbling across this census record back in the day. It was probably early on in my Ancestry membership.

This is the 1880 US Census for 6th Ward of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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This census sent me on a merry chase. For years the only clue I had to my 2X Great Grandmother being a doctor was the MD following her name on her tombstone. When I found this census it provided another clue as I  had no clue she was in Michigan at any point in time.


Leslie and Sarah Beardsley appear but it also raises the question of where is their daughter Minerva Ruth who should be with them as she is 9-11 years old at this point. The more informed I become the more questions I have.

I do not encounter Minerva on a Census until 1900 when she is married. I think she must be living with family but no clue where. The Beardsley’s were only in Michigan from about 1879 – 1886. I am always looking for more information on my Dr. Sarah I find her to be a fascinating individual for her time.

Successful Day…

Today I had a plan.  I wanted to visit the Clinton County Surrogates Court. This was vitally important as I didn’t make it to Essex County yesterday. I really want to go there now.

I prepped for my trip by perusing the Family Search Catalog and I had the list of names, dates of death if I could find them and when their papers were filed. I had a list of 13 names and 7 of them were must sees.

I started with Jehiel Beardsley and worked my way down the list. Beverly Beardsley, Leslie W. Beardsley.


The employee of the courthouse was kind enough to let me use my phone to scan the documents as I didn’t need a physical copy. When all is done I probably have close to 500 documents in my possession. The next step is to begin to review them and transcribe them for my records.

One of the Wills and probate I looked at was for David Weatherwax. The Will is almost 200 years old. Crazy to think that.


I can’t wait to review Joseph Stewart’s probate because his Executor quit in the middle. I hope to find that whole story out.

The one probate I didn’t copy was Daniel A. Weatherwax. His probate was huge as there were minor children when he died. I am not actively researching him and I know it is here. My Mom and I were there for almost 3 hours. It will probably take me over 30 hours to read everything I scanned. I am a happy girl.

After lunch, my Mom and I went on a little cemetery jaunt. We went to Gilliland Cemetery over on 9 and next to Uncle Calvin’s House. Didn’t really find anything new. Then we headed to Clintonville and I finally saw where Dr. Sarah Beardsley is buried. This cemetery was quite large and is still in use.


After The Clintonville Cemetery we went to another cemetery called Riverview and then we hit Evergreen in Keeseville. I will probably hit that one again another time. We were tired by the time we hit Evergreen and I had a bit of a chill.

Tomorrow will be emotional but it was a good day. I may attempt to hit one more cemetery in the afternoon but then again I may just enjoy my family and make some memories.

Being in the cemeteries with my mom brought back some memories of days gone by. I hope they are smiling down on us.