52 Ancestors – Week 3 – Favorite Photo

This week in the 52 Ancestors Challenge hosted by Amy Johnson Crow, the topic is favorite photo and WOW it is a tough one. I can’t pick just one so here are a couple of my favorites.

The first is of my husband’s great grandfather, Henry Bass. Henry was a bit of a scoundrel and not much is known about him. I am hoping with the release of the upcoming 1950 census I can fill the picture out a bit more.

Henry Morrissey Bass picture courtesy of Ancestry.com

The next photo is of my favorite ancestor Sarah Larkin Beardsley, MD.

Circa 1880

Sarah Larkin Beardsley is my 2X Great Grandmother on my maternal Grandfather’s line. I joined the DAR through Sarah’s Grandfather Lorin Nehemiah Larkin. The stories she could tell and the trails she blazed by becoming a doctor in the 1880s.

My Mom is currently getting a bunch of family photos from a family member so it will be awesome to see what she gets.

52 Ancestors – Week 2 – Favorite Find

This week in the 52 Ancestors Challenge hosted by Amy Johnson Crow, the topic is favorite find. To this date I think my favorite find is about my 2x Great Grandmother, Sarah Larkin Beardsley. Sarah was born in Clintonville, Clinton County, NY in 1847 and sadly she died in April 1886 but she is truly a remarkable woman. Now let’s get back to the find.

I discovered a blurb about Sarah being inducted into the Michigan Medical Society in 1884 that means she had to be a doctor. So there was more research and let’s look at the 1880 Census for Ann Arbor Michigan.

On this 1880 Census we find Sarah with her husband Lesley Beardsley and she is listed as a Student.

On Google Books I found the Calendar for the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and listed inside is Sarah A. Beardsley as a 3rd year student.

from the 1880-81 Calendar for the University of Michigan.

Another search of Google Books yielded the In Memoriam Page for the Michigan State Medical Society, where Sarah is listed as deceased.

Sarah died in Valley Falls, New York in April 1886 of tuberculosis. I have found numerous articles about her in the New York newspapers for Clinton and Essex County to this date she fascinates me.

I also have a new favorite find. I have been trying to find out a death date for my husband’s 2X Great-Grandmother, a woman named Bertha Maier Brucks. Bertha was born in approximately 1863 in Germany. She emigrated to the United States and in 1887 she married Robert Brucks who also was a German immigrant. Robert died in 1916 in Chicago, Illinois.

After Robert died the family left the Chicago area after the 1930 census, I know that two of the daughters settled in the Washington DC area. Daughter Charlotte was a gifted pianist and attended Julliard and daughter Helen settled in Maryland.

I found Bertha in a Washington DC City Directory in 1954 but after that I couldn’t find her after that. She was living with her daughter Charlotte.

So this past weekend I decided to run an Ancestry search on Bertha and a new result for Find-A-Grave popped up but I wasn’t sure it was her so I ran her husband Robert and daughter Charlotte. I knew Robert was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Chicago due to an obituary and his death certificate.

So I think this is my new favorite find.

Find A Grave Memorial – Photo Courtesy of MHunt.

This wonderful Find-A-Grave contributor has been going section by section and photographing Rose Hill Cemetery. So now I have a Year of Death for Bertha. So maybe now I will be able to find a death record for her.

So these are my 2 favorite finds.

52 Ancestors- Week 42 – Adventure

When I think of Adventure, I think of my Grandpa’s sister Olive. Olive Witherwax was born 19 February 1895 in Peru, Clinton County, New York. She was older than my Grandpa by 15 years. Sadly I don’t think my Grandpa new his sister Olive very well as she died when he was 10 years old.

Olive married Henry Rogers in Saratoga Springs in August 1916, she was 21 and he was 29. He was a Railroad Conductor. Olive Witherwax Marriage

Henry Rogers enlisted in the Army during World War I and was sent overseas.’Henry Rogers Transport

In 1919 Olive applied for a passport application to visit Henry in Germany. For a girl originally from rural New York and then a suburb of Schenectady, New York this must of been a grand adventure. I love old passport applications, especially when there is a picture.

Olive Witherwax Rogers made it to Germany to see Henry but sadly passed away on 20 October 1920 in Cobelenz, Germany. Her obituary appeared in The United States Army and Navy Journal and Gazette of the Regular and Volunteer Forces, Volume 58, Part 1.

She is buried in the family plot in the Niskayuna Reformed Church Cemetery in Niskayuna, NY. ANR - 588

Olive and Henry Rogers had no children and it strikes me as tragic that her grand adventure wasn’t really very grand.

52 Ancestors – Week 40 – Harvest

This was a rough topic as it reminds me how much of our history has been lost. My Weatherwax family were farmers. My grandparents were dairy farmers and lived in Clinton County, the stopped farming full time around the time I was born.

My great-grandfather, Benjamin sold the family farm that had been in the family for about 150 years in the early 20th century but I do not have the whole story and the parts I have heard read like a Greek tragedy so I have yet to research to find the validity of the story. It is on the list of items for another day.

Recently I joined theĀ National Society of American Farmers, this society spoke to me as it is honoring those who have come before us and were the backbone of America. It was the need for fertile land and opportunities that drove so many to cross the ocean to America. Our history is not without tragedies for how we treated those who were here before us but I truly believe we should learn from the past no matter how ugly it can get.

One little memory about my grandparents farm. There was a garden next to the house and it was huge. It had corn, cucumbers, sunflowers and the biggest pumpkins ever. I would say in was in the early 1980s because I remember my uncle still being alive but I just recall walking up and down the rows of the garden and this pumpkin that had to be 50-100 pounds it was like a boulder.

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 32 – Sisters

I could right about several sister sets right now but I am going to go back to my Larkin Line, since I am continually enthralled with my Sarah Larkin Beardsley.

If you remember I started this genealogy hobby with my maternal grandparents and the Larkin family is through my Grandpa. The story goes that Sarah was one of three sisters and the other two were Lucy and Johanna. I have no clue where this story came from and my Grandpa was the youngest child and his mom died when he was fifteen.

So I take up the quest to find out about the sisters and for years it was a dead end. We then stumbled across Lucy Larkin Thompson in Valley Falls. I actually found her because of the DAR Lineage Books but it took us on a research trip and My grandparents and I met a delightful librarian who in turn sent us to either a lawyer or accountant who was Lucy’s paper boy. I seriously wish I could remember the stories he told us about her.

Fast Forward to about 2001 or 2002 when I took genealogy back in full force and I discover a Grandson of Lucy’s but unfortunately he did not have anything to share with me, though he did mention a family story of Lucy having a baby on a train in Jonesville, Michigan. Jonesville was where Sarah practiced medicine.

I did know that Sarah had a sister Julia as she appears on the 1850 census with her and their parents Benjamin Wood Larkin and Ruth Morgan Larkin, in St. Lawrence County, New York.

It wasn’t until quite recently no more than 5 years ago. That I stumbled across this gem from the Minnesota Territorial Census in 1857.

1857 Minnesota Territorial Census for Fillmore County

I was seriously in shock finding this as I really wasn’t sure what happened to Benjamin and I do not have lots of information on him or Ruth. Sadly from this I am kind of thinking Ruth died in childbirth or shortly after the birth of Little Ruth and Benjamin married Margaret right after as George is Margaret’s son.

So now I have all these sister’s to find of Sarah and Lucy and I have no clue really where to look. I do know in 1860 Sarah is living with her grandparents and uncle in New York and last night I did find a FindaGrave entry for sweet little Ruth.

Ruth K. Larkin FindaGrave Memorial.
This is the same cemetery her Larkin Grandparents are buried in.

So once I finish my little project on the children of Emanuel Beardsley. I am thinking these Larkin sisters and what happened to their father Benjamin Larkin may be my next project. I would also love to know where poor Ruth Morgan Larkin is buried.

I feel sorry for these sisters as they were left motherless at quite a young age and then I think they must of been dispersed amongst relatives but that is conjecture on my part but I do this research for the stories I can find out.

52 Ancestors – Week 31- Brothers

I truly believe that our ancestors reach out to us and speak to us. I have been doing a lot of research on my Beardsley/Curtis Lines.

I have been working on an assignment for ProGen but I am also trying to link back to another Revolutionary War Patriot, Eldad Curtis. It is tough going because after the Revolution these lines moved around a lot. Also so far I have found 3 wives for Eldad.

So when I received an assignment in ProGen to transcribe a will and develop a Research Plan. I decided Emanuel Beardsley would be perfect he is a brother to my Beverly Beardsley and I had done no real research on him. Let’s be honest it took me for ever to sort out the mystery of the Beverley Beardsleys and Ancestry is still full of errors as some trees have him living to be like 120 years old.

Anyway I digress, the theme this week is brothers and I have been a bit obsessed. It all stems from this passage in the History of Clinton and Franklin Counties.

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So this passage has so much information and needs more but it was a huge diving off point for me. I love families that use familial names but also hate it because it creates a mess.

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So I have been studying these families and expanding them in hopes to go back further as you never know who is related. It is also fun to go back and hear names my grandpa talked about. I think this is the branch of the family they went to see as I truly believe his mother Minerva was bounced between these relatives as I never find her anywhere with her parents.

My Beverley Beardsley married and Ada Curtis in Wells Vermont. She was the daughter of Eldad Curtis and Clotilda Weeks or Meeks. Well I also discovered that an Immanuel Beardsley married an Astilda or Clotilda Curtis. So I am trying to piece this all together and I have DNA that shoes a connection but I really want more.

So my project for my research report has been the birth order of Emanuel’s Children named in his will and that has been interesting and has me doing a Deep Dive into DNA and that is not something I am very good at so I am looking for a crash course in it and am very happy for Ancestry ThruLines which is giving me places to go look for traditional research.

So today’s question does anyone have any good DNA webinars for dummies???

52 Ancestors – Week 22- At the cemetery

So it seems like when life gets busy the blog is the first thing I let go. Oh well I am only behind 8 weeks or so.

I had my first taste of researching in cemeteries back in my preteen years, I was probably 11 or 12. I spent summers with my grandparents in Clinton County and my grandma was bit by the genealogy bug. We would spend a lot of time going to different cemeteries in Clinton and Essex Counties. I remember vividly even heading down to Rensselaer County and Valley Falls. My grandparents had a great way about them of getting people to tell them stories.

Until this day I still find outdoor cemeteries to be insanely peaceful. One of my favorite cemeteries is the Baker Burying Ground in Clinton County, NY. One of my Revolutionary War Patriots is buried there. Bezaleel Wood.

Cemetery stones and plots tell so much about families and can give you hints into their life and status. I have recently started visiting cemeteries here in NYC. I do not have huge amounts of Family buried here but my husband does and I have started researching his family in the past few years. I also took pictures of my Sister-in-laws family and boy that stone shocked me. I am excited to visit a couple cemeteries in Brooklyn and find the various relatives of my husband.

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.

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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.

52 Ancestors – Week 18 – Road Trip

So I have decided my goal by the end of July is to be caught up on the 52 ancestors challenge. I am about 8 weeks behind which isn’t too bad. Especially since June is such a blur.

Week 18’s prompt was all about a Road Trip. While I am sure my ancestors traveled. I recently went on a road trip to Clinton and Essex Counties in upstate New York. This trip was primarily to say goodbye to my Aunt Sheila but did also involve some genealogy.

I visited the Central Cemetery in Jay, NY where I was looking for my Sarah Knowlton Coolidge and the skies opened up on me so I did not find her, sadly.

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I also visited an old favorite of mine Gilliland Cemetery on the Lake Shore Road and I finally was able to visit with my Beloved 2X great grandmother – Sarah Larkin Beardsley.

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The other place I visited was the Clinton County Surrogate’s Court. What a fun trip that was and I have so many documents to transcribe. I haven’t even started but I have also started using Family Search to get the wills that go with the probate packets I have so I can better interpret the data.

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This is going to be a long process to get all the facts together but I know in the end I will be a better genealogist for it.

Sadly I did not hit the Essex County Surrogates Court so there may be another Road Trip in my future as I have a few probate records from there I am looking for.