52 Ancestors – Week 17 – At Worship

You read here time and again how much I love the New York Historic Newspapers website.

It was here in the Plattsburgh Sentinel I found these two clips about my 3X great-grandfather Beverly Beardsley, from what I can discern they were Methodist but whatever religion he went to revivals and he must of been involved.

This first bit is from 1888 and it was in the town notes for Upper Jay.image_681x474_from_1989,7994_to_3422,8992

Next is from April 1901 and is the ramblings of someone sharing memories of their time in the North Country.


Newspapers offer us all kinds of clues into our ancestors lives.


52 Ancestors – Week 10 – Bachelor Uncle

As you can tell I am behind with the prompts. So much going on and I actually have a bunch of posts I want to do not related to the 52 Ancestors prompts. Hoping to get myself on track this week with a schedule.

My bachelor uncle is my Uncle Calvin. Uncle Calvin is my grandma’s brother making him my great-uncle. Uncle Cal was about 18 months younger than my grandma. He was born in December 1923 on Lyon Mountain to Charles and Mildred Shumway Stewart. He enlisted into the Army in 1943 during WWII. He did all sorts of jobs.

Now, I knew Uncle Calvin later in his life and he was a character. He honestly was a great story teller and a kind human being. A favorite story of ours is how in the early 2000s he told us he still had butter made by my grandma he was using or his feeding of the livestock. The livestock were the rats. He would go out of his way to help you.

From family stories the reason he was a bachelor is his mother chased away all the girls. Not entirely sure why except maybe she didn’t want to be alone. A true testament to the life one has lived is the turn out at their funeral and Uncle Calvin had a full house. Heck I drove all the way from NY to Clinton County for it in 2011 and I don’t generally go to funerals or to Clinton County much anymore.

Family Picture

This picture is of my Grandma, Frances, Uncle Calvin standing and those adorable kiddos are Lesley, Sheila and Shirley Witherwax. I would say this photo was taken in 1947.


52 Ancestors – Week 9 – At the Courthouse

For me this prompt was tough. I haven’t been to a courthouse or a town hall in ages, that isn’t saying that I haven’t found legal documents anywhere.

Right now I have a super long list of things I would like to find at a courthouse and I even have plans to visit the Surrogate’s Court in Clinton County when I visit in May because I want to look at the probate record of David Weatherwax with my own eyes. So for this prompt I decided to share all the records I really want to look at.

  • Probate/Guardianship for Beverly Beardsley (d. 1815) – location Essex Co, NY.
  • Probate of David Weatherwax (d.1841) – location Clinton Co, NY.
  • Murder trial transcript for the man who killed Berlindo Moro (d. 1927/8) – location Queens Co, NY. (also need to find all the Long Island Star Journal articles).
  • Court Records for Henry Bass aka William Kirk (from 1913) I have records of him at Sing Sing trying to determine if this is my Henry Bass.
  • Annulment proceedings of Patricia Moran and Robert Bass. I have the final decree but I tend to be nosy.

I am sure there are more but I think these ought to be a good start and realistically I know we will probably never see the annulment proceedings everything else should be fair game though and it will satisfy my curiosity.

Until next time.

52 Ancestors – Week 8 – Family Photo

BEardsley Siblings

Meet the children of Beverley Beardsley (1815-1897) and Minerva Winchester Beardsley (1823-1843).

The men are George Beardsley (1843-1897) and Leslie Winchester Beardsley (1841-1920). The woman is Helen Maria Beardsley (1839-1900). I am thinking this photo was taken post civil war but that is as far as I have gotten.

Leslie Winchester Beardsley is my 2X great-grandfather. He married Sarah Larkin and had one child who survived to adulthood.

This is one of the few family pictures we have and I am trying to find other pictures of George and Leslie so I can figure out who is who. My mom swears the man with the beard is Leslie because he resembles my nephew but I have no clue.


52 Ancestors – Week 7 Love

If you have been reading along for a while you will know that I absolutely adore old newspapers. I am constantly scouring the New York Historical Newspapers website for tidbits about family.

One day while researching I found the following about George and Dorcas Weatherwax, my great-great grandparents.


The above article appeared in the  November 29, 1889 edition of The Plattsburgh Sentinel. It sounds like a wonderful celebration of their love. A celebration of 40 years of marriage. They were together until George died in 1900.

We don’t have many pictures in the family and my grandpa was the youngest and his mom died when he was 15 and the stories just weren’t there. One of the things I love about newspapers is you get a peek into their lives.

I am also amazed because My Great Grandparents Benjamin and Minerva Witherwax were married for 35 years until Minerva died in 1925. My Grandparents Earl and Frances Witherwax were married for over 60 years and my parents will be celebrating 55 years together this year.

I know sometimes people got married out of necessity but I am a romantic at heart and always hope love crept in at some point.

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 – The Old Homestead

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I am way behind on this project but hope to get moving on it again. This is Week 13. The prompt was the old homestead. My grandparents bought this farm in the early 1960s. It is not the house my Mom was raised in. They owned a farm in Harkness before this. This is the house I spent many summers at.

When I think of my grandparents I think of this house or their house in Florida that originally belonged to my Uncle Les. The Weatherwax family owned a much larger spread in Peru but my Great Grandfather Benjamin sold the spread originally settled by David Weatherwax in 1790.

This summer there will be a family reunion and I am sure lots of stories will be told and memories shared. As I get older I realize that the house is not what holds the family together. It is the bond and the love.

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52 Ancestors – Cemetery

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Growing up I thought I had been to almost every cemetery in Plattsburgh and Peru. Nope not even close.

In 2016, while awaiting my applications approval from the Daughters of the American Revolution, I joined their Facebook Group and I learned about supplemental applications for other patriots you descend from. One of the tips was to look into the father of the wife or husband of your original patriot. Lo and Behold I discovered Bezaleel Wood. Seriously isn’t that the best name ever.

Upon discovering Bezaleel Wood, I saw he was buried at the Baker Burying Ground off Route 3 in Plattsburgh, NY. I immediately asked my mother where it was since she is a native of Clinton County and she had no clue. She had never been there. Let’s be honest we didn’t even know we were related to Bezaleel Wood until then.

A road trip was planned and we discovered the coolest cemetery ever. Well kept. Situated off Route 3 and sitting behind 2 houses. They should have the coolest Halloween Decorations ever. We found Bezaleel and his Wife Mehetabel Darby and a few of their sons. My Sarah Wood Larkin is buried in Shelters Cemetery.

The Baker Cemetery is peaceful under a throng of trees and I am so happy to say I am planning to visit soon. Oh and I did fill out one of those DAR Supplemental Patriot Applications for Bezaleel.

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Hopefully this summer or early fall. I need to hit the North Country for some research. I need to find that pesky Old Clintonville Cemetery where my Beardsley family is buried.  I find peace in these old cemeteries and do not want these extraordinary men and women forgotten.

Everyday I research my family the past comes a little bit more alive.

52 Ancestors – Lucky or Not….

I wasn’t originally going to use this post as a 52 Ancestors post. Then today I was sitting here going through the Deed books for Clinton and Essex Counties in New York State. To me this is the black hole of genealogy research.

When I go through these books I look for family names. I have been working on my Beardsley/Curtis line. I am trying to find out what happened to Ada Curtis after her husband Beverly died in 1815.

So going through the books I said let me look up Beardsley, Shaver (one of of my brick walls) and Weatherwax. Even though I know a lot about my Weatherwax lines I am looking to always strengthen the connection between Jacob and his father David who I intend to file a DAR supplemental application and prove a new patriot.

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 8.37.53 PMSo you will see this sad little branch of my tree, with George and his wife Hannah and then possibly Jacob as a father.  These blank spaces bug me, immensely.

I have very little on George except he was one of the earliest settlers of Clinton County. I got his wife’s name from the Weatherwax Genealogy book.


Then I know Jacob and Mary are the parents of my George Weatherwax as I have a copy of his death certificate listing them. I also have a copy of William Weatherwax naming them also.


Not knowing more about Mary’s family has bothered me for a while. It is sad how much women got lost into their husband’s identities when the got married. Recently, I discovered George in the 1850 census with a wife Hannah and daughter Elizabeth, their ages and place of residence fit into the Clintonville history I had read.

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Then I found the 1860 census with only Hannah and now Betsey aged by 10 years. I can not find Elizabeth/Betsey in the 1870 census yet. So she may have died by then or possibly married or who knows, it will be an ongoing quest. I have not been able to find a will for George. Essex and Clinton counties again have that black hole effect for research.

Today I feel that the luck of the Irish struck me as I found several deeds with George Shaver/Shaffer buying and selling land. Some of it with a John Shaver and his wife and some with his wife Hannah. The next few weeks will be sent transcribing these deeds to see if I can discern the family relationship a bit more. I would love to expand this tree and give George and Hannah some more family.

Wish me luck since I am going to need it. Here is one of the deeds I found in the Deed books, which I will say are becoming a huge reference for me. IMG_0969

52 Ancestors – Favorite Name

I think this is one of my favorite prompts so far in the 52 Ancestors challenge. I love the use of family names. When I named each of my children my husband and I spent hours pouring over names. We never did use Zachary Tobias or Rebecca Lynn, neither of which has a family connection. We did instead to choose to name our children after family though I never did get to stick grandpa’s name Earl in anything.

We have a Chiara Michelle after me and my grandmother, a James Michael after both grandfathers and then we have Samantha Dawn, who shares a middle name with my Mom, along with her first initial. Going through the family there are some cool names from Leslie Winchester Beardsley and Olive Virginia Witherwax, or Lorin Nehemiah Larkin and my personal favorite Bezaleel Wood.

I did not know about Bezaleel Wood until after I submitted my application to the Daughters of the American Revolution under Lorin Larkin. I was visiting a Facebook group in 2016 and they said to look for other patriots through spouses and children. Lo and behold I found Bezaleel Wood, my 5th great-grandfather.

Bezaleel Wood was born 10 September 1758 in Lunenburg, Massachusetts to Jonathan Wood and his second wife Sarah Gary. He is named after an older brother who died in 1756. (Let me just say that naming your kid after a child who died is creepy. Yeah, I know it was a common practice but I still find it creepy.)

Bezaleel married Mehetabel Darby in 1778. They had 2 daughters that I have proven Sarah, my 4th great-grandmother who married John Larkin and Mary, who married Thomas Haynes. There may have been 2 other children (Eleazer and Elizabeth but I have not proven them to date).

After the American Revolution where Bezaleel served under Captain Joseph Bellows, the family relocated to Plattsburgh, Clinton County, NY where he lived until he died on 25 February 1818.

Bezaleel and Mehetabel Wood are buried in the Baker Cemetery off of Route 3 in Clinton County. I am happy to have discovered this ancestor and will keep learning more about him.

bezaleel wood

(photo courtesy of Find A Grave)