Luck is a fun topic. I always feel super lucky when I discover something new about an ancestor. My favorite way to learn things is by reading newspapers.
I have been working on building out my trees and newspapers have been a great way to do this, especially in less populated areas because everything is found in newspapers. From obituaries to information on people who are feeling poorly.
These two obituaries are about 2 of the children of Peter Shumway and Arvilla Preston Shumway. The obituary of Mrs. Mary I. Preston was also a clue that she married a cousin of hers, George R. Preston, I haven’t pieced it all together but the clues are there.
This is an article about my grandpa’s brother. He died before I was born but I did not know that he was the Fire Chief in Schroon Lake. Tidbits like this are what brings family members alive to me and I always consider myself extremely lucky to find things like this.
So for this prompt for the 52 Ancestors Challenge I wanted to choose a different relative in my family. I decided Sarah “Sally” Sawyer Preston would be my choice.
I believe Sally Sawyer Preston was born in 1769 to Joseph Sawyer and Judith Kelly Sawyer in New Hampshire. She married Abner Preston on 12 September 1787 in Cavendish, Vermont.
Sally was 18 years old. I am not sure where Cavendish is in relation to her home in New Hampshire but even today Vermont is not a very populus state so it may of been remote.She had 3 children while still in Vermont.
In the 1800 US Census, her husband Abner is listed in the town of Jay in Essex County, NY. As you know Jay for me is the black hole when it comes to genealogy research. Maybe when this pandemic is over I can visit and make some headway in all the research I need to do there.
Sally and Abner had several more children in New York. At this time Essex County was just beginning to be settled and even today it is an extremely rural town in northern New York.
Back in its heyday Jay was a logging town, but at the time the Prestons arrived the land still would of need to be cleared and this town is in the middle of the Adirondack State Park. This would not of been an easy life for the Preston family.
Abner Preston died 17 November 1835 and is buried in Wilmington, New York. Sally Preston lived to be 85 years old. She died 15 August 1854.
To live such a long life in this time period takes a strong person. I hope to someday learn more about Sally Sawyer Preston’s everyday life.
When I originally say this post I thought I was going to write about September 11, 2001 and the impact it had on my life. G was an active duty police officer for the NYPD at the time and he recently retired after 25 years. September 11, 2001 truly did change how we lived our lives.
Today it is March 17, 2020, St. Patricks Day, usually a fun day in New York City but we are in the middle of a global pandemic and life as we know it has yet again changed. To give you the scope of the havoc COVID-19 is causing, NYC schools are closed until April 20th and possibly through the end of the year, we will be doing online/homeschooling. G is currently on his way home from Rochester with C as she will be also finishing up her freshman year of college distance learning. We are being told to social distance and no groups of more than 10 people. Countries are closing their borders. The lights of Broadway are no longer shining and all restaurants are takeout only.
I live in a walking neighborhood as we can walk to stores. You do not see people out and about, occasionally you will see someone walking their dog.
The COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease and can be dangerous for those who are older or have underlying medical issues such as diabetes or heart disease. So these are indeed scary times and no one wants to unwittingly pass the virus on to others and cause harm. Most people are social distancing with grace but of course there are those who don’t heed the warnings. I pray we don’t wind up like Italy under total lockdown but it could happen here if people don’t listen. To give you a sense of it all Disney World is closed actually all of Disney is closed or closing (all parks and hotels).
I am praying we all stay well and safe during this uncertainly. At least I will hopefully be able to work on some family history projects and keep up with the blog in the coming days.
Hey I think I can social distance in a cemetery on a nice day.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary
pros·per·i·ty | \ prä-ˈsper-ə-tē \
: the condition of being successful or thriving especially : economic well-being
As I thought of this topic, the person who kept coming to mind was my grandfather Antonio DellaVecchia.
Antonio DellaVecchia was born 24 January 1903 in Vasto, Chieti, Italy. He left home at the age of 17 to travel to America. He arrived in New York City in 1920 on a ship that sailed from LeHarve, France with his cousin Paulo Florio.
My grandfather did not spend much time in NYC as he settled in Clifton Heights Pennsylvania, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1926. He then went back and married my grandmother in 1929 in Lentella, Italy.
He came back to the United States and was a very successful contractor and investor in real estate.
This is a list of the properties that my grandmother had after my grandfather died in 1976.
My own Dad and brother have continued with the construction company.
My grandfather lived the American Dream.
One of my favorite discoveries to date is always in reference to my 2X-Great Grandmother, Sarah Larkin Beardsley. On her tombstone it is inscribed with Sarah A. Beardsley, MD. We always thought it was a mistake.
Until I found reference to her in a publication of the University of Michigan. (thank you Google).
and the discovery of her in the 1880 Census in Michigan, listed as a student, along with her husband, Leslie Beardsley. One of my next projects is to find my Great Grandmother, Minerva during this period.
and then sadly I found her in another publication this time of the Michigan Medical Society. Sadly Sarah died at the age of 39 in 1886. Not much is known about her but I think she must of been a super strong woman as she pursued her dream at a time it wasn’t common.
This is the only picture we have of Sarah Beardsley and it also hangs in the University of Michigan Medical School as part of a group photo of her class.
In my family there is no clear cut naming patterns except on my paternal side. They are Italian and the oldest son tends to be named after the paternal grandfather, hence why my dad has a slew of cousins named Dominic.
I myself am named after both my grandmothers and I named my oldest daughter after myself and my dad and my son is name after both his grandfathers. Going through my tree for this prompt I didn’t see a clearcut naming pattern for any other branch but I did see a few interesting names.
- Dorcas Winchell Coolidge Weatherwax – where is Winchell from?
- Leslie Winchester Beardsley and in turn Leslie Winchester Witherwax – Winchester is the last name of Leslie Winchester Beardsley’s mother Minerva Winchester if her tombstone is to be believed.
- My 2nd Great Grandmother Sarah Larkin Beardsley and her sister Lucy Larkin Thompson both have infants named Myra who died early. Where did the name Myra come from?
I guess I am lucky that not many branches used the same names over and over but there are a few that in one generation there a 3 Jacobs and they are all born about 1792 or the several men named Jehiel Beardsley and I also have the tale of 2 Beverly Beardsleys that can muddy the waters a bit.
The prompt for Week 5 of 52 Ancestors is So Far Away. This was a difficult prompt for me because I thought of the journey’s traveled by my family to come to America, whether it was my recent immigrant ancestors on my Dad’s side who came from Italy or the members of my maternal side who came over to America before it was a country.
One thing that sticks in my mind is they all came for the same reason a better life than the one they left in Europe.
I want to talk about my great-aunt Olive Witherwax Rogers though. Aunt Olive is the daughter of my Great Grandparents, Benjamin and Minerva Beardsley Witherwax. She was born in Peru, New York on 19 February 1895.
Aunt Olive married Henry Rogers 9 August 1916 in Schenectady, New York. She was 21 years old.
Aunt Olive lived in Plattsburgh and in 1919 she applied for a passport to travel to France and then on to Germany where her husband Henry was living.
Aunt Olive did take her trip to see Henry but sadly she died while in Germany on 20 October 1920 at the age of 25. She and Henry had no children and had such a short time together. To be sick in a foreign country so far away from home must of been so hard on Aunt Olive. She must of felt so alone.
It is over 3600 miles from Peru, New York to Coblenz, Germany. I am always a bit sad when I think of Henry and Aunt Olive. I always hope they had a great love story.
That final ProGen assignment is done. I am taking a day or so before I jump into something new and I am procrastinating my final critiques of my peers. If you have been reading for a while you have probably learned that I like to procrastinate and I like rabbit holes.
While procrastinating that final ProGen assignment I did a deep dive into my Italian Ancestors (that right there should tell you how much procrastination there was). I have been looking for the elusive last name of my 2X Great Grandmother on my Moro line.
If you read this Learned something new… post and you will see how I arrived to this place. I am not sure of the search terms I used to come up with this record but look what I found.
My 2X Great Grandmother, Chiara DiLudovico and Concenzio Moro, my great uncle.
I need to do a bit more research as I know very little about when Aliens were held for special inquiry and I am hoping there are records. One thing that I love about European women is that they traveled under their maiden names.
I am searching for a class or an institute on Italian Genealogy because I think that is what I need to get further into the process, but I finally did it I found the maiden name.
My 2X great grandmother’s name was Chiara DiLudovico Moro and it explains how my grandmother got her name.
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.
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).
Beardsley Tombstone in the Old Clintonville Cemetery.
Beverly Beardsley is the topic of my final ProGen assignment this week, so I thought it was fitting that he was my first Tombstone Tuesday topic.
He is buried in the Old Clintonville Cemetery in the same plot as his son, Leslie Winchester Beardsley and my beloved Sarah Larkin Beardsley, MD.
Beverley Beardsley lived in the Clintonville area all his life. He was married first to Minerva Winchester (1823-1843) and then to Betsey Blake (1807? – 1887).
According to his obituary, Beverly Beardsley will be missed at the revivals. I love little facts like that. I will expand more on Beverly Beardsley once this assignment is over.