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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When I saw the topic of foundations for the week, my Grandma immediately came to mind. I have many a memory of cemetery trips with my Grandma and Grandpa.
Who is my Grandma? Frances Mary Stewart was born 30 July 1922 in Clinton County, New York. The daughter of Charles Stewart and Mildred Shumway. Frances married Earl Elmer Witherwax 6 October 1940 in Schuyler Falls, Clinton County, New York. Grandma and Grandpa had 7 children and did many different jobs. She developed an interest in genealogy and she spent a huge amount of time researching my Grandpa’s family. She left me so much information and I have loved following through with her work. Sadly my Grandma passed away in 2004 in Washington County Arkansas and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her .
Coming from a family who are contractors, you know the foundation needs to be the strongest to hold up the rest of the building. So when I think of a genealogy foundation I think of my grandma. She was the heart of my family and the glue that held us all together.
I am excited to be starting the 52 Ancestors Challenge again and can’t wait to dive back into my family history after a crazy insane 2021.
Popular what does that mean? According to the dictionary Popular is an adjective. It means liked, admired or enjoyed by many people or by a particular person or group. This prompt is going to be tough. I am not big into popularity, I tend to root for the underdog and when it comes to family history I find the scoundrels a bit more interesting.
So I decided to look at the family tree and decided to see from my grandparents which lines went back the furthest. I kind of knew it would be my maternal grandpa’s side. These are the lines my grandma spent the most time on and which I have been slowly going through and confirming the data she had or in some cases I have been fleshing out the trees and looking at siblings to ensure I have the correct family units.
I have been concentrating on the Knowlton line a lot. I am trying to connect that pesky Sarah to her father Benjamin Knowlton. There are a couple of genealogies with no sources that state they are father and daughter. If I could confirm that Sarah Knowlton who married Obadiah Coolidge was the daughter of Benjamin Knowlton it would clear up an AIR (additional information requested) for the DAR. I am in the midst of reading town records isn’t that fun.
The other line I have been playing with is The Joseph Daby and Elizabeth Nurse line as that should take me back to Rebecca Nurse of the Salem witch trials. I really need to finish that application for the ADEAW. I think I may pull out what I have for that this weekend.
I can generally get these lines of my grandpa’s back to about 1630, my eventual goal is to hopefully find that elusive Mayflower ancestor.
So I would say this is my popular line of genealogy research probably because I am most comfortable with researching it.
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.
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.
This week we were prompted to post about our favorite photo. I have 2 currently one old and one new.
I love this photo of my husband and our 3 kiddos from October 2018. It is a favorite because Jimmy our now 12 year old is actually looking at the camera. He has autism and is non–verbal so this this a big deal for us.
The second photo is of my 2X-Great Grandmother Sarah Larkin Beardsley, MD. It was the photo she used for her graduation from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1884. Sarah is something of an obsession of mine.
It is a brand new year and a new decade. As the new year dawns it is full of amazing possibilities and opportunities, a new beginning and a fresh start, which brings us to our topic for week one of the edition of 52 Ancestors.
My Fresh Start is not chucking everything and starting over, my idea for a Fresh Start is to move beyond the low lying fruit of databases and heading into the catalogs and being more delibrerate with my research, including contacting historical societies, libraries and research trips, even if it is only a day trip by doing this I am hoping to breakdown some brick walls and open up the tree a bit.
My other goal is to branch the tree out and work more on the outliers and not necessarily my direct ancestors as by shrubbing the tree I think I will get more use out of my DNA matches and further breakdown some brick walls.
I hope you will follow along again on this journey with me.