52 Ancestors – Week 6 – Surprise

I have been mulling the topic of this post for a few days. Trying to figure out where to go with it and trying to figure out if there was a big A-Ha moment in my research and I really couldn’t come up with anything.

Looking back I would have to say the biggest surprises would have to be in my husband’s family. Researching his family has been fun and interesting as everything I learn is new to me.

The first surprise, I would have to say is when we did his DNA test in early 2018. G. DNA Results

I was surprised by the amount of Norwegian ancestry he had, though he wasn’t as his grandmother had always told him he had it but he hadn’t paid attention. The 16% is in line with having 2 Great Great grandparents who were born there. I am still trying to learn more about Neils Osborne and Bergetti Netland Osborne and their life before the United States.

The other surprise on his DNA is the European Jewish. I am thinking that has to do with his maternal Great Grandmother’s line Marguerite Brucks Bass, as her parents were from Germany.

As I said previously his entire tree is a surprise to me. gfamilytree

As you can see there is a lot of Irish in there. I will admit as there is so much Irish it is super slow going for me. I am honestly thinking the next time there is an institute or conference I need to get my feet wet with Irish Genealogy.

I did find his Butler and Hurley lines came from Canada and spent several years their before coming to the United States. I haven’t found them entering Canada from Ireland as of yet but I am sure I will.

I am excited to see what the next surprise I can find  on his tree. It is an ongoing process and I am sure I will fill in more and more blanks as we go.


52 Ancestors – Week 5 – In the Library

This week’s theme is “In the Library”. Back in the 1980’s I used to spend summers with my grandparents up on the farm. The farm was located in Peru, NY on a dead-end road. We were the only people who lived on the road. The farm was bordered by an apple orchard and the Northway. It still is.

It was a simpler time. No computers, cellphones and only 3 TV stations. Heck there was even a party line for a phone. My Grandma was really beginning to get into genealogy. As a break from farm life we would visit the library in Plattsburgh since they had better hours than the Peru Town Library. They also had microfilm machines and all the Plattsburgh newspapers.

I remember it being a very rainy day. I was with my Mom and my Grandma I was looking at the social columns. Small town newspapers are the best. Anyway that is when I found it. The marriage notice of my 2X-Great Grandparents Sarah A. Larkin and Leslie W. Beardsley.


appeared in the Plattsburgh Republican April 21, 1866

This was probably one of my biggest newspaper finds until recently when I finally found Sarah’s obituary.

Nowadays I am much happier to be searching at home in my pajama’s since you can find the Clinton County papers on both Fulton history and my all time favorite source the New York State Historical Newspapers website.

Today I was just seeing what I could find and I found these 2 items.


This is my Mom and her brother Earl from 1956. It was about their 4H group. My mom is in the front row, 3rd from the left and my uncle is the blob up on top.

Then I found this picture from 36 years ago today. It is my Uncle Marc observing the ruins of our burned barn on the farm.


I love finding pictures of family in the newspaper.

Libraries are so important for research and you never know what you are going to find in them.

I am excited to be able to start visiting libraries again and seeing what I can find.

52 Ancestors – Week 4 – I’d like to meet

This prompt always makes me want to smile. I spend a lot of time working on my family tree and when I do that I generally let myself listen to my gut and let it guide me because I feel that is my predecessors speaking to me.

I would love to meet the following people as I have a lot of brick walls to breakdown.

  1. My 3X great grandmother – Mary Shafer (Shaver) Weatherwax my question for her would be when did you die and where are you buried?  I know you died post 1880.
  2. My 3X great grandfather – Jacob Weatherwax (Mary’s Husband) and I would ask him when did he die and where is he buried?
  3. My 4X great grandmother – Ada Curtiss Beardsley – Did you get married after your husband died in 1815? Did you stay in Clinton County or did you move west?
  4. Ambrose Shumway my 3X Great Grandfather – Where in Canada did you reside? Why are you so hard to find? Is Nathaniel really your father?
  5. Domenico Moro my Great Grandfather why did you leave the United States and return to Italy and renounce your citizenship?

and to any of my predecessors who lived in Jay, NY in Essex County – Why are there no deeds or wills filed prior to 1845?

See lots of questions to ask. Hopefully one day I will get one or two of these questions answered and this is why I am planning those research trips.



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.


52 Ancestors – Week 2 – Challenge

Well, it is onto week 2 of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestor’s Challenge. As soon as I heard the prompt for this week of challenge, I kind of knew what I wanted to talk about. It wasn’t necessarily an ancestor but the Challenge of Researching in a particular time and place.

For me that place is the State of New York, particularly northern New York. Even more specific it is the counties of Essex and Clinton in New York during the late 1700s and early 1800s. ny_1822_carey-web

I often tell people that if there is a branch of a family that gets lost, it is usually mine. Particularly when they leave Vermont, Massachusetts or New Hampshire to jump across Lake Champlain to New York.

My ultimate black hole in New York State is the town of Jay in Essex County, New York.

essexco_1858_web (1)

Jay, NY has claimed many families of mine. As not many of the Essex County Records are digitized on Family Search. I seriously have issues that not many deeds or probate records until 1850 or so not being in the books…….this is going to require a good old-fashioned boots on the ground research trip, starting in the county seat of Elizabethtown. My hope is to find the those illustrious deeds and probate records for my Beardsley, Knowlton and Preston families.

While over in Clinton County there is a bit more online it is always worth getting the original documents on your own so a definite trip to the County Seat in Plattsburgh is worth the trip. I will also be reaching out to the Special Collections at the Library at SUNY Plattsburgh because I remember reading a letter my Great Grandmother wrote to her cousin and I would love a copy of it. (the age of cellphones is now upon us.)


One wonderful asset in the Counties of Clinton and Essex are the town and county historians. Along with the Town Clerks. I have found that pen and paper are still required at times to reach out to these resources. I am also most successful when sending a return envelope with postage.

One of my favorite resources for this portion of New York is the NYS Historic Newspapers site. It is one of my primary sources when researching here. It is also where I found my 2X Great Grandmother, Dr. Sarah Larkin Beardsley’s obituary that had eluded me for years. (You could read about that HERE).

Another great resource for New York State comes to us from the New York G & B. It is the New York History Research Guide and Gazetteer. I had heard about it but when I attended the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in July 2018 I was able to see it in person and review it. Before I left the session that day I had ordered it. If you research in NY it is a must have. It has opened me to collections I didn’t know I needed.

One thing after 30-plus years of on and off research I have learned is New York State requires boots on the ground and thankfully now that my husband has retired (at least for now), I can possibly breakdown those brickwalls.


Italian Roots

My Dad is Italian American. His dad, Antonio DellaVecchia was born in Italy in 1903. His Mom, Clara (Chiara) Moro was born in New York City in 1911 to Italian Parents. I haven’t done much research on his family as I feel woefully inadequate as a researcher.

Since completing the Boston University Certificate Program in December of 2017, I have begun to branch out. Now that my husband has retired, I am now able to plan some local research trips to the NYC Municipal Archives and local cemeteries to begin gathering information that isn’t available online.

I grew up in an area of Queens that is near LaGuardia Airport but isn’t Astoria or Jackson Heights. It is now lumped in with East Elmhurst but that doesn’t really fit either. I grew up between Astoria Boulevard and Ditmars Boulevard. Across the Grand Central Parkway from my house was St. Michael’s Cemetery and I always heard that my Great-Uncle Berlendo was buried there and how he was murdered.

On December 19, 2018 I decided to stop at St. Michaels and do a little research of my family there. My first stop was the office where I got the locations of the graves.

My first stop was the grave of Nicholas “Sweeps” Mangini. He isn’t really my relative but my dad always talked about Sweeps. He is Ida Mangini Moro’s brother. He is buried in Section 22 with his wife. Unfortunately I am not sure of her name at this point I believe it was Mae. Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 7.39.16 AM

I am always saddened when there is no marker. Especially when it is the end of the line. Who will remember them.

I next made my way to Berlendo’s grave in Plot 6. Plot 6 is huge but the office told me how to find the graves in the plot so it was fairly easy to locate. Part of the reason for this trip was to see who was buried in this grave. My Mom and Dad had a disagreement. So this was the easiest way to end it. Well my Dad couldn’t remember the 3rd person and my Mom had the wrong people.

Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 7.39.38 AM

Well my Dad happened to be correct as he did say that his Uncle Michael was not buried there. In this plot is Sebetino Mangini (who I believe to be Ida Moro and Sweeps’ Dad. I now need to do more research on this line to confirm but the dates do seem to line up), Ida Mangini Moro and Berlendo Moro. Adding these names for my upcoming trip to the Municipal Archives to see what I can find on their deaths. Death Certificates are hidden gems for information.

I then made my way to the St. Michael Mausoleum and my parents were pretty spot on for the locations of my dads Aunt Josephine and Uncle Willy’s resting place which unfortunately did not seem to be marked the are in Section B22.

My last stop for paying my respects were Aunt Jenny and Uncle Nicky in AW104.Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 7.40.08 AM

If you know me at all you know that I do not do mausoleums generally. They kind of freak me out but I will say these are done really well and are very peaceful.

This mini-cemetery research trip along with my trip the other day to Cyprus Hills Cemetery have lit a fire in me to tackle the Italian and NYC research. I think I am going to like my husband being retired.

Can’t wait to hit up the Municipal Archives in a week or two.