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.

52 Ancestors – Week 37 – Mistake

Back to catching up again.

We all make mistakes. Life happens but sometimes we need to ask ourselves can this really be true. There are a couple of men in my family tree that drive me absolutely batty.

The first one is Beverly Beardsley, see Beverley Beardsley number one was born in approximately 1775 and died in 1815. Beverley Beardsley number 2 (his son) was born in 1815 right before his father died and lived until 1897. This has caused all sorts of confusion in online family trees. Thing is it is pretty easily verified as there is a Probate and Guardianship for the children of Beverley Beardsley and Ada Curtis. Unfortunately it was perpetuated for so long that there are many mistakes in trees out there.

The other man that drives me batty is Obadiah Coolidge. There are many men named Obadiah Coolidge but the one that I am interested in is Obadiah Coolidge who may or may not be the son of Josiah Coolidge and Mary Jones Coolidge.

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My Obadiah Coolidge profile is the top one. As you can see, I have him still living as of 1839 and his daughter Hannah’s will being probated. I am not sure when he was born or if the parents listed are his but they are listed as his parents in the book The Coolidges of Watertown, Massachusetts and the documentation is sketchy.

It also doesn’t help that he also had a son named Obadiah. There is a huge amount of confusion as to both his birth and death dates. One day I will figure it out but I feel we need to be careful when clicking those leafs that make the discoveries easy. We need to evaluate each and every hint.

I hope to one day to figure out this brickwall and when I do the victory will be sweet.

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.

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

Happy Anniversary Grandma and Grandpa!!


52 Ancestors – Week 27 – Independent

Week 27’s prompt was supposed to go up around Independence Day and it was suggested to write about a relative who fought in the American Revolution. IF you have read for a while you will know that I am a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

I knew I had relatives who fought in the Revolution since about 1998 or so but did not join until 2016. Life and such got in the way and it was a lot of work. Plus I am glad I waited because I wouldn’t of been a member of the wonderful Increase Carpenter Chapter, I am a part of.

I joined in 2016 under my 5X Great-Grandfather Lorin Nehemiah Larkin. I chose him because he was the easiest as my other known patriot at the time was not in they system. Lorin Larkin was a Private and served in 3 different states, Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts. He was born in Stratford, CT in 1755 and died in Beekmantown, NY in 1845.

I have 2 other supplemental patriots to date one being Bezaleel Wood. I have written about him before. He served for Massachusets as a Private. He is also a 5X Great-Grandfather of mine. He was born in Lunenburg, MA and died in Plattsburgh, NY. I have been blessed to visit his grave in the Baker Burial Ground. He is also the patriot that 2 of my aunt’s joined under.

My last supplemental that was approved was for Timothy Bolton, my 5X Great-Grandfather. Timothy was a private from Massachusetts. He died in Windham County Vermont.

Having relatives who served in the revolution makes you want to fight for what this country was founded for. The right to be free. I have other patriots I am trying to prove an that silly AIR (additional information requested) on Benjamin Knowlton who served in New Hampshire but that is proving tricky. One of the reasons, I like to file the supplementals is to open lines to other potential members. I am up to about 8 patriots that are in the system and I really should prove my new patriot David Weatherwax. Maybe this year.

Also my daughter is getting ready to be a dual Children of American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution, which is pretty good for a girl who is majoring in Museum Studies and American History.  After she is in I am going to work on a few supplementals for her as she also has patriots on her Dad’s side, which will mean a whole new area of research for me, the south.

Do you have a patriot in your line?

52 Ancestors – Week 26 – Legend

What an interesting topic. Family Legends and Folklore. Stories passed down through the generations.

There are 2 pertaining to my grandpa’s family. I have not substantiated them in any way but it is fun anyway to share them.

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The first pertains to the 30th President of the United States Calvin Coolidge. My grandparents always maintained we were related to him and it is most likely true but I can’t document it until I can tie Obadiah Coolidge (my 4th Great Grandfather) who was born in 1760 and died somewhere after 1839, I know this because he is named in his daughter Hannah’s will; to his parents Josiah and Mary Jones Coolidge.

Once I am able to do that I can say I am related to Calvin Coolidge. Then again once I can tie Obadiah to Josiah I have another Revolutionary War Patriot.

The next family legend is a lot more far-fetched and involves Paul Revere and his midnight ride.

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So the story goes that either Edward Larkin or his brother gave Paul Revere one of their horses to ride. I have serious doubts about this story other than it being a cool antedote. I seriously doubt it is true. Edward Larkin is the father of my original DAR patriot Lorin Nehemiah Larkin.

I find these stories interesting but they are just stories until I can prove them.

52 Ancestors – Week 23 – Namesake

I am a big proponent of family names and being named after someone. I myself am named after my 2 grandmothers. My first name is after my paternal grandmother and my middle name is after my maternal grandmother.

My daughter is named after myself, my paternal grandmother and her middle name is after my dad. My son is named after his 2 grandfathers. Samantha on the other hand is named after an American Girl doll and has my Mom’s middle name.

As I look back on the different branches of my family I can sometimes see different naming patterns. my 2X Great Grandfather’s name was Leslie Winchester Beardsley. In turn my great grandmother named her son Leslie Winchester Witherwax. My grandparents then named their son Earl Leslie Witherwax. The Earl for my Grandpa and Leslie for his oldest brother. Though for the most part my grandma did her own thing with naming her kids hence the reason all the girls had the same initials.

My husband isn’t named after anyone except his middle name is supposed to be his great grandmother’s surname but I keep coming up with slightly different variations of it. His brothers though do have family names, I love the history a name gives someone. I think it gives the strength of your ancestors to you.

52 Ancestors – Week 20 – Military

I have always been proud of the Military members of my family. Though I didn’t know any of them personally, until my cousin Steve joined the Navy, prior to that the only member of the military I knew was my Uncle Leslie but he died in 1971 a few weeks after I was born.


Through the years, I have found out my 2X Great Grandfathers Leslie Beardsley and Peter Shumway both served in the Civil War. One from Clinton County and One from Essex County here in New York State.

I have a couple of War of 1812 veterans but I am waiting to see those pension files, the only one I have confirmed is John Larkin which brings us to the American Revolution. I have 3 ancestors I have proven my direct lineage to Lorin Nehemiah Larkin, Bezaleel Wood and Timothy Bolton. I also have a few others I am working on Benjamin Knowlton who I wrote about in a previous entry, David Weatherwax and I would love to tie myself to Abiel Preston as it would also give me a patriot on my grandma’s side of the family and it would open up a couple other patriots.

As I head to the Daughters of the American Revolution Continental Congress this week, maybe I will be able to solve some of these mysteries.

I believe it takes a special person to serve in the military and am honored that so many people whether they are my relatives or not have answered that call.

A Beautiful Sendoff…

Today was a beautiful service and send off for my Aunt Sheila. There were many stories told and many memories shared, The service was lovely and the perfect length. It was AWESOME.


I want to give a huge shout out to my Aunt Shari who took care of arranging it all, including have the stone cleaned.


This is probably one of my favorite pictures I took of Uncle Dale, Steve and Tony. It is funny how the years go by the stories get funnier.


RIP Aunt Sheila, I will always remember the days I spent washing your dishes and my little play kitchen made of cement blocks at the side of your house.


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.