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.


I am on a solo trip in Clinton County, New York this weekend. We are saying goodbye to my Aunt Sheila. I had plans to stop at the Essex County offices today but it didn’t happen.

I took a trip to Central Cemetery in Jay. I wanted to try and find the grave of Sarah Knowlton Coolidge. I wrote about her a couple days ago in my Brick Wall post. Well I got to the cemetery and was walking around when the skies decided to open up and rain down.


She is here somewhere but in the rain I couldn’t find her and I didn’t want to chance getting sick. I did walk around for a few minutes and I did speak to her and told her she wasn’t forgotten and any guidance she could give me I would take. She died back in 1832.

After getting back to my car. The rains opened up even more.


It was time to make my way to Plattsburgh, where I am staying this weekend. I was following my GPS and passed by the offices of the Black Brook and this is where I got the feeling I wasn’t alone. I went through this little road and I had the feeling of Deja Vu and not being alone and being guided. All of a sudden I was crying and couldn’t tell you why. I know this is going to be an emotional weekend with the family together sharing memories. This feeling carried me all the way until I hit the Harkness Methodist Church. Then I had a lifting feeling and as I passed the Harkness Cemetery I was more at ease and feeling more like me.

I know it was the memories of days gone by and those who have gone before me carrying me. I have had family in these parts since the 1790s, almost 230 years.

Tomorrow I am heading to the Clinton County Court House to see what  I can find. I have a list of 13 probate records I would like to look at but if I have to narrow it down. There are 7 that are most important. Also hoping to hit up the Clintonville Cemetery but we shall see.

I have tissues for the weekend and hopefully my ancestors will guide me this weekend.

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.

More about Sarah Larkin Beardsley

If you have been following along for a while you will know 2 things that I really enjoy podcasts and I have an affinity to Sarah Larkin Beardsley, my 2X great grandmother.

I have been binge listening to the podcast Research Like a Pro Podcast. It is really well done and I have been learning little things. I also love that Diana is always sharing about her journey to become and Accredited Genealogist. While listening to Episode 21, there were a couple hints about searching the Family Search Catalog and it has made things super easy for me. As a test, I used my Sarah Beardsley to find out if there was anymore to her probate file.

Guess what? There was.458bf45c-b666-43d2-98a9-410d98058766

Ancestry had a couple of Administration letters but there was a little more over on Family Search. For years information on Sarah’s death was limited to a cemetery marker and a line in her husband’s Civil War pension file. As I move forward and I stop looking at the low lying fruit. I am rewarded.

This file only had about 5 more pages in it but one was a statement from her husband about only him and their minor daughter being the only two members of the family.


The other items were bonds and one of the people who put up the bond was James Thompson. James Thompson, owned a mill in Valley Falls, New York. He was also married to Sarah’s younger sister Lucy. It shows that this family was closer than we though. Honestly, I have been searching this family for years based on a family story of 3 sisters, Sarah, Lucy and supposedly a Johanna (who I really think is a Julia) but I have yet to be able to confirm that.

Little side note that supports my theory that Lucy and Sarah were closer than I think is I found a descendant of Lucy’s back in the early 2000 and he knew very little about my Sarah but as Lucy was his grandmother he was able to share a little about her. Lucy gave birth to her son Leslie supposedly on a train in Jonesville, MI, in 1884. I can tell you my Sarah was practicing medicine in Jonesville MI in 1884. Also they both lost daughters named Myra in infancy but I haven’t been able to connect more to that.

Back to Sarah’s probate file. One other bond was put up by a Mr. Hunter but I do not know who he was so that will require a little research into a possible FAN club connection.

I have a research trip coming up on Thursday and hopefully I can get some things done. I do plan  on visiting Sarah and Leslie Beardsley’s gravesite. I always thing that the story is over but then something else pops up.

I highly recommend listening to Research Like a Pro. It has been really fun. I am hoping to be caught up in the next couple of weeks.


From My Archives…

I came across this letter this morning while organizing some files to do a little bit of research. I guess you can say I have been at this for a while and several of the questions in here have been answered.img_3735

WE have done almost no research on those Stewart or Shumway families. Mostly because they give me a headache. LOL. But you see that whole paragraph on the Larkin’s and Grandma Beardsley has been solved. Would love to know what the letters she is talking about are. This letter made me smile today.


Who were Grandma & Granpa Huttel?

Yes I went down a huge rabbit hole last night and this morning. Especially since Facebook wasn’t working for me. As my last post said I visited St. Michael’s Cemetery in Queens and found this gem of a tombstone and the whole Grandma and Grandpa thing threw me. Especially since they died years before poor Florence was even born.


Photo taken by me 13 April 2019 St. Michael’s Cemetery East Elmhurst, NY

I started with finding out who Florence’s parents were by searching for the 1930 and I found, Peter and Lillian Huttel with 3 daughters Louise 15, Florence 13 and Caroline 9. Peter was Butcher and born in Germany.


I then did a search of the 1940 census after a quick search of the NYS death index yielded no results for Florence’s date of death.


The family was enumerated on April 15, 1940. At this time the family consists of Peter, Lillian, Louise 25 and Caroline 19. Peter is still a Butcher and the girls are Salesladies. Poor Florence has already passed by April 15.

Next I did a search of Peter Huttel and found he died in Houston, TX on the 18th of January 1974. He lived to be 88 years old. I love Texas as they put their Death Records online and this gave me a clue onto his parents names.

peterhutteldcPeter was born 26 Oct 1885 in Germany to Franz Huttel and Elizabeth we do not know her maiden name yet.

I decided to look for Peter in the 1910 Census because he might possibly be living with his mother, as according to the tombstone his father Franz died in 1909.


The 1910 US Census shows Peter with his Mother Elin living with their Brother-in-Law Ernest (who is listed as a Butcher), his wife Augusta (who is  Elizabeth’s daughter and Peter’s Sister) and their daughter Florence. Elin is listed as a widow which fits with the death date on the tombstone at St. Michaels.

Next up was a search of the 1905 Census see by this point I was really sucked in and wanted to see what else I could find. The 1905 Census 1905Huttelcensus

has the Schumacher family and Franz, Elizabeth and Peter Huttel living with them. It also lists that the Huttel’s had only been in the country for 1 year. Time for another search to see if I could find a passenger list.

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 8.06.06 AM

Success Franz Huttel along with his wife and son appear on the passenger list of the SS Ryndam that arrived June 21, 1904 to New York from Rotterdam. They are on the Record of Aliens held for Special Inquiry.

I don’t know why Franz and Elizabeth Huttel came to NY in their 60’s. I did find quite a few listings for children of Franz and Elizabeth Huttel in Germany but my German is not very good.  I did find who I believe are Franz and Elizabeth in the NYC Death Index for their respective years of death.

A little more research on Peter and Lillian Huttel (Florence’s parents) revealed they applied for a marriage license on 26 of April 1913. Peter also became a naturalized citizen.

huttel naturalization

By this time I had a couple of little niggling questions. What happened to Lillian Huttel, since her husband died in Texas? Who was John Chartrand, the informant on his Death Certificate?

When I want quick results I generally check out Ancestry family trees for clues and this morning Ancestry did not disappoint. The first result for a search of Peter Huttel was for a Chartrand Family tree. John Chartrand was Peter’s son-in-law. The husband of Caroline Huttel Chartrand. It suggests that Lillian died here in New York though I haven’t found proof.

The last bit I will leave you with is the Obituary for Caroline Huttel Chartrand.


They never forgot about poor Florence. So in the answer to the question of who Grandma and Grandpa Huttel were?

They were Franz and Elizabeth Huttel.

I told you it was a rabbit hole and a side note to my own family put my whole name on my tombstone or whatever marker you decided to put there for me. 


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


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

52 Ancestors – Week 9 – At the Courthouse

For me this prompt was tough. I haven’t been to a courthouse or a town hall in ages, that isn’t saying that I haven’t found legal documents anywhere.

Right now I have a super long list of things I would like to find at a courthouse and I even have plans to visit the Surrogate’s Court in Clinton County when I visit in May because I want to look at the probate record of David Weatherwax with my own eyes. So for this prompt I decided to share all the records I really want to look at.

  • Probate/Guardianship for Beverly Beardsley (d. 1815) – location Essex Co, NY.
  • Probate of David Weatherwax (d.1841) – location Clinton Co, NY.
  • Murder trial transcript for the man who killed Berlindo Moro (d. 1927/8) – location Queens Co, NY. (also need to find all the Long Island Star Journal articles).
  • Court Records for Henry Bass aka William Kirk (from 1913) I have records of him at Sing Sing trying to determine if this is my Henry Bass.
  • Annulment proceedings of Patricia Moran and Robert Bass. I have the final decree but I tend to be nosy.

I am sure there are more but I think these ought to be a good start and realistically I know we will probably never see the annulment proceedings everything else should be fair game though and it will satisfy my curiosity.

Until next time.

52 Ancestors – Week 8 – Family Photo

BEardsley Siblings

Meet the children of Beverley Beardsley (1815-1897) and Minerva Winchester Beardsley (1823-1843).

The men are George Beardsley (1843-1897) and Leslie Winchester Beardsley (1841-1920). The woman is Helen Maria Beardsley (1839-1900). I am thinking this photo was taken post civil war but that is as far as I have gotten.

Leslie Winchester Beardsley is my 2X great-grandfather. He married Sarah Larkin and had one child who survived to adulthood.

This is one of the few family pictures we have and I am trying to find other pictures of George and Leslie so I can figure out who is who. My mom swears the man with the beard is Leslie because he resembles my nephew but I have no clue.


52 Ancestors – Week 7 Love

If you have been reading along for a while you will know that I absolutely adore old newspapers. I am constantly scouring the New York Historical Newspapers website for tidbits about family.

One day while researching I found the following about George and Dorcas Weatherwax, my great-great grandparents.


The above article appeared in the  November 29, 1889 edition of The Plattsburgh Sentinel. It sounds like a wonderful celebration of their love. A celebration of 40 years of marriage. They were together until George died in 1900.

We don’t have many pictures in the family and my grandpa was the youngest and his mom died when he was 15 and the stories just weren’t there. One of the things I love about newspapers is you get a peek into their lives.

I am also amazed because My Great Grandparents Benjamin and Minerva Witherwax were married for 35 years until Minerva died in 1925. My Grandparents Earl and Frances Witherwax were married for over 60 years and my parents will be celebrating 55 years together this year.

I know sometimes people got married out of necessity but I am a romantic at heart and always hope love crept in at some point.