52 Ancestors – Week 14- Brick Wall

For the longest time my brick wall was my Sarah Larkin Beardsley. It is probably why I still look for information about her quite often. For me it is more that adding names and dates to a tree. It is about collecting the stories of their lives. I seriously wish I had paid more attention when the stories were being shared. I am eternally grateful for those summers I spent with my grandparents going to cemeteries and the library. I am grateful for remembering what I do remember about the stories.

Now I have several brick wall ancestors I am working on. Sarah Knowlton Coolidge. I have written about her before and how I am trying to clear up an AIR (DAR term for Additional Information Required). I have a birthdate with parents but it doesn’t coincide with the date on her tombstone. There are several unsourced genealogies out there with parents and a husband but I need a marriage and link to her father that isn’t purely circumstantial. I am actually going to try and stop at the Jay Cemetery this upcoming weekend to see if Sarah will give me some clues into her parentage and possibly her marriage.

Next we have Mary Shaver (Schaffer) Weatherwax. I am trying to find out when she died and possibly where she is buried. I have her alive until around 1880 but then poof she is gone. Also I need to connect her to her parents but that is proving tricky in the early 1800s in Clinton/Essex County, NY though there is a reference to a George Shaver who discovered iron ore in Clintonville.

Notice a trend that my brick walls tend to be women. Here is another one poor Minerva Winchester Beardsley. Poor Minerva lived a short life approximately 1823-1843. So before names on a census. Only thing I have is her son Leslie Winchester Beardsley’s Death Certificate naming her. Again I can only find reference to one Winchester family in the Clinton/Essex County area a Moses Winchester. He is on the 1830 census but not much else is out there.

I have been working on putting together research plans and stopping by the Jay Central Cemetery to speak to Sarah Knowlton Coolidge and then to the Old Clintonville Cemetery to speak to Minerva Winchester Beardsley. I want them to know the are not forgotten and just maybe they will lead me on this search to find out more about them and their lives. Maybe I can piece more of their stories together.

An hour at the cemetery

This afternoon I spent a couple of hours at St. Michaels Cemetery. I was looking for a particular grave for someone in a Genealogy group.

I totally find cemeteries to be totally peaceful places. This cemetery though confuses the heck out of me with its layout. It is a mixture of old and new graves. Plots with no stones. It was a beautiful day and I did find the grave I was looking for.

While I was looking for another request I came across this gem. My project for tonight is to find out who Grandma and Grandpa are..

And before I left I finally found Uncle Willie and Aunt Josephine’s resting place in the mausoleum

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All in all it was a productive day though the row of baby graves broke my heart.

Dreaming of Warmer Days & Research Trips

It is a rainy and rather dreary day here in Queens, I am stuck at work. I am dreaming a research trip or two.

I am at the point in some of my lines where I need a good old-fashioned boots on the ground research trip. I haven’t been to a library or an archive for my own research since about 2000 when I went to DC and visited NARA and the DAR Library. I decided today would be a perfect time to list some places I want to go and some research I want to do.

I understand family search has some of the probate records for NYS but I always feel the actual packets may be better than what is listed in the books. Also I swear some of my family was completely left out of the will books. (It may be wishful thinking on my part.)

  1. Day trip to Brooklyn, NY to hit up Canarsie Cemetery and Holy Cross Cemetery.
  2. Municipal Archives in NYC – would love to view the Coroners Report microfilm. Look at several death certificates and marriage certificates.
  3. Trip to Clinton County (I probably could spend a week or 2 here).
    1. Head to the probate court to review the entire David Weatherwax file.
    2. check to see if there is a packet for either Jacob or Mary Weatherwax.
    3. check for probate records for my Larkin family, Jehiel Beardsley.
  4. Visit the Baker Burying Ground, Gillaland Cemetery and Harkness Cemetery while I am in the area.Screen Shot 2018-05-02 at 3.39.22 PM
  5. A Trip to Essex County, NY to check on the probates of Beverly Beardsley who died in 1815, as well as the Beverly Beardsley who died in 1897. See if there are probate Packets for Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge, Obadiah Coolidge, Elijah Preston and both Abner Preston Sr. and Abner Preston Jr.
  6. A quick trip to Rensselaer County Probate Court for the entire Probate pack for Sarah Larkin Beardsley. This one I am rather curious about as Sarah died in 1886 and she predeceased her husband by about 30 years.

Eventually I would love to hit up the various libraries and historical societies but currently I need to be meaningful in my trips.

I would also love to head over to Oneida County to try to find the probate for Benjamin Knowlton and his wife Phebe Wright. I need to prove my Sarah Knowlton Coolidge is their daughter. I also need to find a marriage record for Obadiah Coolidge to Sarah Knowlton and that just might require a trip to New Hampshire.

I am dreaming of sunshine, summer days and the time to travel in New York.

 

A New Puzzle

Yesterday, I attended the annual Wreaths Across America event in Brooklyn. Since I was going to be there my sister-in-law asked me if I minded checking out her grandparents graves at Cypress Hills Cemetery no problem. She gave me her grandparents names and that they were in the Whitehead plot but she had no clue who they were and the connection beyond her Grandmother was a Whitehead.

As you know, finding a woman in your line can be difficult, as a lot of times there are no records pre-marriage.

I started my visit in the office and I was limited in time as I had to be at the National Cemetery at Noon and it was already 10:50. To my luck I was the only person in the office and gave the names of George and Sarah Behringer. Well they could not find George but found Sarah with the date of death of 2004 and in the Whitehead family plot. To my surprise the Whitehead plot was in Section 1 of the cemetery. Section one is right in the oldest part of the cemetery I would say and faces Jamaica Avenue.

My only problem was nothing was labeled until I found a newer stone with the section and grave number. I was too far back. So I wandered forward and this stone was standing before me.

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This thing is huge and my mind was going a mile a minute saying please be the right family. I started walking around it, reading the names of all the people buried there were a total of 23 names including my Sister-in-laws Grandfather, George Behringer. I was at the right place.

Now the fun begins, contacting the cemetery researcher to find how many people are actually buried here, when the plot was purchased and who did it originally belong too  as there is a second name on the other side of the stone of Wilson.

After some preliminary research I believe I found her Grandmother’s Parents to be John and Elizabeth Whitehead according to a couple of census records but that has yet to be confirmed.

I am planning a trip to the municipal archives for my own research, so I am thinking of pulling the death certificates and seeing if I can go back further.

So a new puzzle and I am extremely excited to fit the pieces together.