52 Ancestors – Week 1 – Foundations

From Merriam-Webster

When I saw the topic of foundations for the week, my Grandma immediately came to mind. I have many a memory of cemetery trips with my Grandma and Grandpa.

Who is my Grandma? Frances Mary Stewart was born 30 July 1922 in Clinton County, New York. The daughter of Charles Stewart and Mildred Shumway. Frances married Earl Elmer Witherwax 6 October 1940 in Schuyler Falls, Clinton County, New York. Grandma and Grandpa had 7 children and did many different jobs. She developed an interest in genealogy and she spent a huge amount of time researching my Grandpa’s family. She left me so much information and I have loved following through with her work. Sadly my Grandma passed away in 2004 in Washington County Arkansas and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her .

Coming from a family who are contractors, you know the foundation needs to be the strongest to hold up the rest of the building. So when I think of a genealogy foundation I think of my grandma. She was the heart of my family and the glue that held us all together.

I am excited to be starting the 52 Ancestors Challenge again and can’t wait to dive back into my family history after a crazy insane 2021.

Ancestor Profile – James Stewart

I have been working on filling in missing pieces of the family tree. especially shrubbing the tree out. This becomes especially helpful in the world of DNA. I have spent the last 2 weeks working on Gs family so I decided to look at one of my lines and see what I could do.

James Stewart was born March 1878, most probably in Clinton County. He is the sone of Joseph Gardner Stewart and Ella May.

He appears to live with his parents during all the census records I found him in beginning in 1880, 1892, 1900.  I really knew nothing about him until I found a picture on Ancestry of the July 26, 1927 Plattsburgh Sentinel about a Funeral for James. It was a fairly long obituary.

When I find things like this I head to one of my favorite sites NYS Historic Newspapers. So I performed a search of 1927 and James Stewart. Oh poor James.

James died in a horrific car crash. The following are 3 different articles from 2 different papers The Lake Placid News, The Plattsburgh Sentinel and The Plattsburgh Republican.

 

The Plattsburgh Republican had so many details (one of the things I love about old newspapers. It gives me the 2 men in the car with James. It gives me where his brother William lived in NYC (how did I not know that William lived here in NYC). It also told me the type of car a Nash Touring Car. I had heard of Nash, I even think there was a movie about them though I could be wrong. So a quick google search to see what a Nash Touring Car looked like yielded this picture.

Screen Shot 2020-04-12 at 9.09.09 PM

I think this is about a 1923 or 1925 Nash. Most of the pictures reveal that they were soft top cars. The guilt poor William must of lived with.

James Stewart died July 22, 1927 in Peru, Clinton County, NY. I am going to research and see if I can find the road they were driving on. I have probably been on it at some point growing up.

James Stewart’s funeral was held at the Redford Methodist Episcopal Church and he is buried in the Redford Cemetery from what I found he never married and never had children. He was 49 years old when he died and he should be remembered.

52 Ancestors – Week 4 – Close to Home

Week 4 already. As I was finishing my final ProGen assignment this week, I decided since Beverly Beardsley (1815-1898) was fresh in my mind he would be the perfect subject for this week’s prompt.

Beverly Beardsley was born 15 February 1815 in Chesterfield, Essex County, New York and died 19 December 1898 in Ausable, Clinton County, New York. He spent the majority of his life on the Essex / Clinton County Borders.

beverlybeardsleydeathnotice

Courtesy of NYS Historic Newspapers

He lived in the towns of Chesterfield and Black Brook during his life and farmed for the majority of his life. He is buried in the Old Clintonville Cemetery in Clintonville, New York with his two wives, Minerva Winchester Beardsley (1823 – 1843) and Bestsey Blake Beardsley (1807 – 1887).

Beardsleytombstone BeverlyBeardsley

Beardsley Tombstone in the Old Clintonville Cemetery.

Another Rabbit Hole

This week I have been going down a lot of rabbit holes. Currently I am in the beginning stages of my final ProGen Assignment. I have to write a narrative about an ancestral couple and their children. I have decided I seriously do not want to write about my Stewart Lines as there are just to many children. Seriously the Stewart Line had 8 or 9 and those Shumway’s with 11 seriously not happening.

So I was going to work on my Witherwax line but I may want to use them for certification. So then I was leaning towards G’s Scoundrel of a Great-Grandfather Henry Bass. (I love Henry, plus he has great material, Possible bigamest).

I finally yesterday had a calling. A certain ancestor was calling me and it is requiring me to flesh a tree out slightly and I want some insight into the Characters and I stumbled across in the papers. You know I love my papers. Thank heavens for the NYS Historic Newspapers.

I found this gem, when searching Maria Weston. I had to use her husband’s name Sylvester Weston but look what I found.BenjaminWeatherwa and MinervaBeardsleyThe Plattsburgh Sentinel, courtesy of NYS Historic Newspapers

In Chesterfield, May 10, 1890, at the residence of Mr. Sylvester Weston, by Rev. J.H. Bond, Benj. F. Weatherwax, of Valcour and Miss Minnie Beardsley, of Clintonville.

So how about those apples. Benjamin Weatherwax and Minnie Beardsley are my great-grandparents. I knew they were married in Chesterfield (I have their marriage license) but I figured they were married in the Methodist Church. Things like this put things together for me.

So as a hint to the relatives that spoke to me it was Mr. Beverly Beardsley. I figured he had something he wanted me to look for and I should listen.

It has been a somewhat productive week for rabbit holes.

Love the headline..

This weekend I was working on my Stewart Line and I stumbled across this obituary for my 2X Great-Grandmother, Ella Mayo Stewart.

ellamayostewartobit

Bang really in your face, a bit of sensationalism anyone. This obituary appeared in THE Plattsburgh Daily Press. Ella is the widow of Joseph Gardiner Stewart of the previous post. Back in the post Never Stop Searching I wrote about hearing on a podcast about searching neighboring counties and/or towns. Well this obituary states that Ella died at her daughter’s home in Massena. (I couldn’t remember if Massena was in Franklin or St. Lawrence county.) Thanks to Google, I found it is in St. Lawrence County.

A quick search of NYS Historic Newspapers for St. Lawrence County resulted in this Obituary.

Ella Mayo Stewart Obituary Massena Observer

You can find the full obituary that appeared in The Massena Observer here. This obituary had so much more detail that the other obituary. So it definitely pays to read and search the papers for neighboring towns and counties.

Joseph Gardiner Stewart (1851-1912)

Joseph Gardiner Stewart was born 4 Oct 1851 in Redford, Clinton Co, NewYork to  William Stewart (1811-1872) and Elizabeth Davis Stewart (1826-1897). Joseph Stewart is my 2nd Great-Grandfather.

Joseph Gardner Stewart

Joseph first appears on the 1860 census in the Town of Black Brook, Clinton Co, NY along with his parents, William (49) and Elizabeth (30), sister Mary (9), Elizabeth (5), William (3) and Margaret (11/12).

stewart1860census1860 Census from Ancestry.com

In 1870, Joseph (19) is still living in his parents household and they are now living in the town of Saranac. Also living in the house are Mary Jane (20), Elizabeth (17), William (14), Margaret (11) and Emma (11/12). Also listed with the household is Horace Wilson (21), a day laborer. (According to the 1900 Census Horace and Mary Jane were married in 1870).

stewart1870census1870 Census from Ancestry.com

In 1880, Joseph (27) is listed as the head of household. He lived in Garlick Falls, Clinton County, NY. He is married according to the census to a Hellen (21), with children James H. (2) and William (2/12) William is also listed as a jobber.

stewart1880census1880 Census from Ancestry.com

The 1900 census is a wealth of information for Joseph (51), it lists his birthday as September 1841, which does not agree with his first appearance on the census in 1860. He and Ellen have been married for 23 years and he is listed as a farmer and they are living in Black Brook, Clinton County, NY. Also in the household are James (22), William (20), Joseph (18), Gertrude (16), Charles (14) (my great-grandfather), Mabel (12), Ruth (10), John (8), Ethel (6), Samuel (1) and Henry (3/12).

Also living in the house are Nicholas Mayo (76) listed as a border but he is also Ellen’s father and George Soper (23) a servant.

stewart1900census1900 US Census from Ancestry.com

In the 1910 Census Joseph and Ella are still living in Black Brook with Ethel (16), Samuel (11) and Henry (10). It would seem the rest of the children had moved on with their lives.

Josephstewart19101910 US Census from Ancestry.com

Joseph Gardiner Stewart died on 25 March 1912 in Clayburgh, Clinton County, NY.

josephstewartdc(Death Certificate is part of my personal documents).

He is buried in the Redford Cemetery in Redford, Clinton Co, NY.

 

 

 

52 Ancestors- Week 42 – Adventure

When I think of Adventure, I think of my Grandpa’s sister Olive. Olive Witherwax was born 19 February 1895 in Peru, Clinton County, New York. She was older than my Grandpa by 15 years. Sadly I don’t think my Grandpa new his sister Olive very well as she died when he was 10 years old.

Olive married Henry Rogers in Saratoga Springs in August 1916, she was 21 and he was 29. He was a Railroad Conductor. Olive Witherwax Marriage

Henry Rogers enlisted in the Army during World War I and was sent overseas.’Henry Rogers Transport

In 1919 Olive applied for a passport application to visit Henry in Germany. For a girl originally from rural New York and then a suburb of Schenectady, New York this must of been a grand adventure. I love old passport applications, especially when there is a picture.

Olive Witherwax Rogers made it to Germany to see Henry but sadly passed away on 20 October 1920 in Cobelenz, Germany. Her obituary appeared in The United States Army and Navy Journal and Gazette of the Regular and Volunteer Forces, Volume 58, Part 1.

She is buried in the family plot in the Niskayuna Reformed Church Cemetery in Niskayuna, NY. ANR - 588

Olive and Henry Rogers had no children and it strikes me as tragic that her grand adventure wasn’t really very grand.

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.

79 years ago…

79 years ago, two of the most important people in my life, my Grandma and Grandpa were married. They married in Schuyler Falls when my Grandpa was 30 and my Grandma was 18. They were married for over 60 years until my Grandpa died in 2001.

Screen Shot 2019-10-06 at 5.08.03 PM

courtesy of New York Historical Newspapers.
Appeared in the Plattsburgh Daily Republican on October 11, 1940.

Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!!

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