Benjamin Wood Larkin – Where Did You Go?

Benjamin Wood Larkin is my 3X Great Grandfather and is the father of my beloved 2X Great Grandmother, Sarah Larkin Beardsley, MD.

What I believe is true about Benjamin Larkin

  1. He is the son of John Larkin (1790-1865) and Sarah Wood (1789-1865).
  2. He married Ruth (possibly Morgan) I have a couple of theories and DNA matches that support the hypothesis.
  3. Daughters Sarah (1847-1886) and Julia (1849 – ??) were born in NY. In 1860 Sarah is with her Grandparents in NY.
  4. In 1850 – Benjamin, Ruth, Sarah and Julia appear on the Federal Census in Morristown, St Lawrence County, NY. Their is a Rueben Morgan in the next dwelling. I believe Rueben married Benjamin’s sister later on.
  5. In 1852, Benjamin and Ruth have a daughter Clare in Illinois. (This was derived from a Minnesota Territorial Census in 1857).
  6. IN 1853, Benjamin and Ruth had their daughter Lucy in Joliet Illinois. This was found by reviewing Lucy’s DAR application. Lucy married James Thompson. She died in NY in 1934.
  7. In 1855 a daughter Ruth was born in 1855 I think in Minnesota and died in 1864. She is buried in NY.
  8. !n 1857, Benjamin appears in a Minnesota Territorial Census with all the daughters. No Ruth. A new Wife Margaret, who is 18 and born in Norway and there is a son George Henry Larkin (1857 – 1936).
  9. Edward Jay Larkin was born to Margaret and Benjamin in 1859. Edward lists his birthplace as Wisconsin.

I have an 1859 Land Grant application in Fillmore County Minnesota in Benjamin’s Name. I do not find him on any subsequent census.

In the 1900 Census Margaret Larkin, lists herself as a widow and she is living with her son Edward and this is the last record I have of Margaret.

Today, I spent some time building down the descendents of Benjamin Larkin and his son George had no biological children. He did have a Stepson. His son Edward Jay Larkin had 3 children who had children. Also one of his descendants came up as a DNA match to my Mom so maybe that will yield some fruit.

I did find some Land Grants in Florida with the name Benjamin W. Larkin in the Gainesville area, so I need to see if I can find something there. I also found a newspaper in Clinton County mentioning Sarah and her husband going to Florida so maybe it is possible Benjamin went there.

I really would like to tie up the loose ends and delve further into my tree and maybe see if I can prove that his wife Ruth was indeed a Morgan, it would open up several more Revolutionary War Patriots. Seems like most of my DAR lines come through females and the records can be spotty.

So what do we think happened to Benjamin?

Here are a couple of my theories.

  1. I think Benjamin after Ruth died married Margaret to have some one to take care of all these daughters.
  2. Benjamin suffered from Wanderlust and started traveling and cashing in on his father’s War of 1812 Land Grant.
  3. He abandoned his Children with relatives and in his Son’s case left them with his mother.
  4. I think it is entirely possible his daughter Sarah did travel to Florida when she had consumption to see him and he did possibly die there.

If you have suggestions of resources for me to look at let me know.

52 Ancestors – Week 6 – Maps

A huge amount of my research focuses on two particular counties of New York State, my maternal ancestors settled primarily in Clinton County.

Early Map of Clinton County.

Most of my family in Clinton County centers on the towns of Plattsburgh, Peru and Ausable.

The other New York county that a lot of my research has been focused on is Essex County. I have affectionately called Essex County as the black hole of my family history.

Early Map of Essex County.

For Essex County, a lot of my research is in Chesterfield, Jay and Wilmington. I have lots of research particularly in North Jay but records can be hard to come by.

Recently I have been working on my Dad’s side of the family and I have been focussing on his Italian roots as much of his family stayed in Italy. I stumbled across this map recently and it has really helped me as I have been looking for records.

Map of the Province of Chieti

I have so far found records in Vasto, San Salvo and Lentella. As I have said most of my Italian research is done blind as there is no one alive that really knows anything. My Dad has told me things and next time I see him I am going to sit down and write down everything I can so I can maybe find out more.

I personally love the old insurance maps where you can see who was living where.

I love that the Library of Congress has a great cache of old maps to use for free. Looking at a map always helps me figure things out with locations and how much travel people did by horse and buggy,

What do you like about maps?

Hello 1950 Census!!!

Today is April 1st, 2022 and it is the long awaited day of the release of the 1950 census. I was very excited about this day because it is the first census my parents show up on. It released at 12:01AM EST. Since I live in the central time zone I was luck to be able to view it last night since I was up and down another rabbit hole that I will save for another day.

Even though I would of loved to search for my Dad or the elusive Henry Bass, I figured I would start with my Mom, Grandma and Grandpa because the lived in a much smaller place than NYC. Oh did I mention I decided to take this endeavor on using my iPhone.

Well I had great success and found them right away.

As you can see they were in Clinton Co, NY in the Town of AuSable.

In 1950 they were living on a plot of land larger than 3 acres and the family consisted of my Grandpa Earl, My Grandma Frances, My Mommy Shirley who had just turned 8, my Uncle Leslie or Earl Jr who had just turned 6 and my Aunt Sheila who was about to turn 4.

But my most favorite part of this page is my Grandpa’s occupation.

Yep you read that right he was Beer Salesman. LOVE It.

I will spend some time looking for other relatives including my Dad and all of my Grandpa and Grandma’s siblings and some great grandparents and of course the elusive Henry Bass but it is fun to see people I actually know on the census.

Now the wait begins until 2032 for the 1960 census.

52 Ancestors – Week 50 -Tradition

Tradition. What makes a tradition? I try to think of traditions we had growing up and nothing leaps out to me.

With my own family, I try to concentrate on making the memories and being present. Things that might be considered traditions are we put our Christmas Tree the weekend of Veterans Day. We tend to go to Disney for Thanksgiving and sometimes Christmas. I sometimes make things that evoke memories of my grandparents but I am not swayed one way or another.

I have items that remind me of family but I try to share their stories and make them become real to them and not just names with dates.

I sometimes people get so wrapped in those traditions that they are not able to change and see what can be.

52 Ancestors – Week 35 – At Work

Surprise Surprise for this topic I do not have a lot to report as the majority of my ancestors were Farmers and they farmed in Clinton and Essex Counties of New York.

I do have Sarah Larkin Beardsley who was a doctor. My grandfather on my dad’s side was a contractor. A Great Grandfather on my Dad’s Side was big with the Sanitation Department here in NY, story goes he was responsible for helping them unionize.

Funnily enough as the majority of my relatives were Farmers my husband has a whole slew of Longshoreman in Brooklyn. He also has a post master in North Carolina. A Great Aunt who went to Julliard and was a concert pianist. A Great- Great Grandmother who owned and ran a stationery store. I particularly love reading about women who had occupations, to me it shows the growth of women in this country in a short time.


52 Ancestors – Week 34 – Tragedy

When I think of tragedies in my family tree, a couple come to mind but the first one I always think of is my Great-Uncle Berlendo Moro.

Berlendo Moro was born in 1909 in New York to Domenico Moro and Teresa Tracchia Moro. He was the 3rd son of the couple and the 3rd child. Sadly Berlindo, never married and died December 2nd, 1928, in Astoria, NY at the age of 19/20.

He was murdered while helping a Police Officer Richard Duffy.

This was a huge case that involved a manhunt and trial. Sadly his killer only received 8-15 years.

Berlendo Moro is buried in Saint Michael’s Cemetery in Jackson Heights, Queens not far from where the family lived. One of my projects is to aquire all the new articles from the time and try to get to the Courthouse to read the case transcripts because I feel like it would be interesting due to the personal ties.

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I will be honest all the names on this tombstone had tragically short lives.

52 Ancestors – Week 30 – Easy

I really like this prompt easy. I do not think tracing any line is specifically easy. Especially if you are trying to dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s. I will say that one of the most straight forward lines for me to trace is my Grandpa Earl’s family the Witherwax/Weatherwax line. To be honest the name is Weatherwax, our branch is the oddball branch using Witherwax and there is a story about that, more like family drama.

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There is a wonderful genealogy by Wayne E. Weatherwax that documents the Weatherwax family from when they came to America and their history. It isn’t perfect but it give you all the tools to find the facts. Also due to the fact David Weatherwax is only my 4th Great-Grandfather it isn’t that far to trace back since this line is all male.

So I would say this one is one of my easier lines to trace though I am all about the stories our ancestors have to tell us.

Honest question here do you collect the names or do you look for stories also?


52 Ancestors – Week 29 – Challenging

I am currently supposed to be working on a research report for my ProGen class that I really need to have about 90% done before we leave to take C to college on Wednesday. I am really not that great editing on a computer. So I guess you could say that could be challenging but I decided to talk about a couple of challenging relatives.

You all know about my Quest to connect Sarah Knowlton Coolidge to her father Benjamin Knowlton so I won’t go into that one but I do have a couple of others I can talk about.

Let’s Start with Immanuel Beardsley, the topic of my ProGen Research Report.

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I can start by saying his name is actually Emanuel. He is the Brother of my 4th Great-Grandfather Beverley Beardsley. Before starting the research which I am still analyzing I did not know much but I am learning quite a bit about him. One of the reasons I tackled this project is because I believe he is married to the sister of Beverley Beardsley’s wife Ada Curtis. The other thing I learned is I am going to have to seriously start focusing on DNA as Ancestry’s Thru Lines has lots of interesting family hints that I had kind of thought but it looks like DNA may be confirming so paper and DNA is going to be fun.

Also I thought if I did more research on the extended lines of the Beardsley family, I just might find out more about what this branch was doing during the Revolutionary War. AS Jehiel Beardsley the father was brother to Rev. John Beardsley who was a noted loyalist. So I would like to know if Jehiel was a Loyalist or a Patriot. Morbid curiosity on my part.

Another Challenging relative of mine is Ruth Morgan.

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Ruth Morgan is my beloved Sarah Larkin Beardsley’s mother. Those parent’s listed here are just a hypothesis on my part but it seems that Ancestry ThruLines is showing DNA matches to other Children of Reuben Morgan and I do know that Morgan moved to St. Lawrence County, NY around the same time as Benjamin Larkin and Ruth in 1850. He is listed on the census right next door. If I can prove that Reuben and Sally are Ruth’s parents, it would open up 2 more Revolutionary War patriots and expand the lines. One of the challenges of this line is I have Ruth dying in 1856 and look at all those daughters and I only know what happened to Lucy Larkin.

Moving on to my wonderful Preston Line.

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I am trying to connect Abner Preston born in 1863 to Abial Preston a Revolutionary War Patriot. Both of the Abner’s died in Essex County, NY and you know how I have said Essex County, NY is the black hole of research for me. See all those blue dots on the tree though. It is saying I have DNA matches in those lines. One of the great things I have done is tested my Mom and 2 of her siblings so that is helping me get back so far with DNA matches.

I would also love to get all the paperwork tying Sarah “Sally” Sawyer to her parents and in turn her mother to her parents as this would give me a female patriot in Hannah Bartlett Kelly.

I love proving new patriot ancestors as a lot of mine are by children of patriots not in the database and that in turn opens new lines for people to join the DAR. One of the reasons I am passionate about the DAR is it brings history alive for me but also I love the service and preservation that the DAR encourages.

I could go on all day about challenging relatives like my husbands Great Grandfather Henry Bass or my Dad’s Italian relatives. Actually the Italian Relatives are challenging because of naming patterns and my inability to read Italian but I am going to methodically breakdown those challenging lines and once I get the Research Report on Emanuel Beardsley done, I will share what I have found.


52 Ancestors – Week 28 – Reunion

My grandma’s family. The Stewarts had family reunions for as long as I can remember. They used to be held at my Uncle Calvin’s house on the Lakeshore Road. Then they started having them at a VFW or something I actually think the location was affiliated with the Marines. The last one I attended was in 2016.

Last August, my Mom and all of her living siblings got together for a Family Clambake. We had unfortunately scheduled a cruise so we were unable to attend as my goal for Cs senior year was lots of family time.

I know for my mom and her siblings this trip was extra special now as this was the last time there would be five of them.


I am so happy they had this time together and I think they were too.

52 Ancestors – Week 20 – Nature

Ok totally going to admit that I am winging this one because I have no clue if my relatives enjoyed nature or not and I can’t think of a different way to take this.

Most of my relatives on my mom’s side were farmers from what I can tell. Did they enjoy it or was it just a given they would be farmers. Even some of my dad’ s relatives were farmers in Italy from some of the family stories.

I personally am not a big out doors person. Though when I was younger there was a summer my friend and I rode our bikes all over NYC so that is as close to Nature as I ever got.

My dad enjoys going on his boat and fishing so you could say he enjoys being outdoors. I think it may have to do with how many distractions we have in life weather we enjoy nature or not.

I think that is enough rambling but as I delve into more research I think I may need to keep in mind this prompt to see if I ever get a better answer to this question.