52 Ancestors – Week 5 – Branching Out

Yes life has gotten in the way so it is time to start playing catch up. This is a fun topic. I have been doing a lot of what I call shrubbing. Shrubbing is working on all those collateral lines to figure out some dead ends or to try and learn more about a family.

I have been concentration on Gerard’s Roddy (Riedy) line. For years I have put off attempting researching Gerard’s Irish relatives because it gets quite confusing.

Mary Roddy was Gerard’s Great Grandmother and we know almost nothing about her. She was born 25 Jun 1885 in Brooklyn, Kings Co, NY. She died 22 Jul 1921. She was 36 years old of tuberculosis. I am discovering how common tuberculosis was.

Copy of Mary. Roddy Mc Mahon’s Death Certificate.

Obituary of Mary Roddy McMahon

As I go back in my research which isn’t very far on this line, I am discovering the utter tragedy of Mary’s life. I hope she was happy in her married life.

Mary Roddy was the daughter of James Roddy and Margaret McGuire (Maguire). I have only been able to find out a little about them. James Roddy was born in 1854-55 in Ireland and sadly he died at 40 years of age of pneumonia. He had been in New York for about 20 years.

Death Certificate of James Roddy. Courtesy of NYC DORIS – Historical Vital Records,

Mary was only 10 years old and an orphan.

Margaret Maguire died at the age of 30 years old following the complications of a miscarriage. She had been in the United States for 15 years. It was 1886.

Margaret Maguire Roddy Death Certificate courtesy of NYC DORIS Historical Vital Records

For years I wondered what became of Mary Roddy before her marriage to James McMahon in 1907. I decided to delve a bit deeper and see what I could find.

I found the Baptism Register for St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Brooklyn, NY on Ancestry. In it was an entry for John Thomas Roddy who was the son of James and Margaret Roddy. Sadly, he died at about 3 weeks old, but this baptism record yielded a clue into the family of James Roddy. One of the sponsors was a Winifred Roddy.

So, I decided to see what I could find out about Winifred Roddy and I turned to the 1900 Census.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Brooklyn Ward 6, Kings, New York; Roll: 1044; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0051; FHL microfilm: 1241044 Ancestry.com

I found Mary Roddy, living with not one aunt but 2 so this opened up the family of Jame Roddy a bit. During the pandemic I found a parking lot angel who went to the Family History Library and was able to find the death certificate for Winifred Roddy.

DC for Winifred Roddy. Courtesy of NYC DORIS Historical Vital Records.

Sadly Winifred Roddy died at the age of 48 of pneumonia and a cardiac arrhythmia. According to her death certificate she came over to the United States at 8 years old but the 1900 census has her arriving 1876.

I am in the process of searching for the death record of Mary Johnson but it has been slow going as to the commonality of the name. I would also love to find her marriage certificate if one exists.

I haven’t been able to definitively find any of the immigration records into the United States for the Roddy siblings or find their origin in Ireland. So with the exception of their parents names I am at a stand still for now. It just makes me sad at how young they all died and they must of lived a tremendously hard life.

Also between 1907 and 1919 Mary Roddy McMahon gave birth to 6 children who survived to adulthood. After the life she lived that must of also taken a toll on her.

So branching out and shrubbing did help me find other details into this family line and I find it an extremely useful tool to move forward and find a fuller picture of the life our relatives lived.

52 Ancestors – Week 4 Curious

The minute I saw this prompt Alice in Wonderland popped into my mind, I had no idea what I should talk about. I have been mulling it over since the beginning of the week.

I decided to tell you about a couple of relatives that have me in somewhat of a genealogical quandry and I am quite curious about.

First let’s discuss John Daby, who happens to be my 4th great grandfather on my maternal grandfather’s side.

John Daby was born in approximately 1782 possibly in Massachusetts.

In 1801 he married Olive Bolton in Shirley, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

In 1810 census, he appears in Windham County Vermont in the town Andover.

In 1830, 1840 & 1850 he appears on the United States Census in Jay, Essex County, NY.

John appears on the 1860 United States Mortality Schedule for Jay Essex County, New York. He died in June of 1859 of old age.

John is buried in the North Jay Cemetery in Jay, New York.

I have always thought that John’s parents were Joseph Daby (1748-1825) and Abigal Bennett (1748-1824). A cousin recently reached out to me and said that she was told by another researcher that his parents are a Samuel Darby (1759-1839) and Hepzibeth Wheeler (1762-1794) and no proof was given.

It could be possible though I am a tad doubtful after seeing that Samuel and Hepzibeth were married in December of 1782 and John was born in June of 1782. Also I and other of my close relatives have several DNA matches to descendants of Nathan Daby (1766-1836) who was a child of Joseph Daby and Abigal Bennett.

So this whole line now has me seriously baffled and curious as to what the truth is. I know I am going to have to brush up on some DNA skills and shrub out some trees to figure this all out.

The second thing that has me curious currently is the Italian side of my genealogy. This is kind of like researching my husbands family as I am flying blind and add in a language barrier and it is interesting to say the least.

Part of my family tree.

Right now I am focussing on my great grandmother Teresa Tracchia. I am going to start putting together my steps for my Research Like a Pro 14 day challenge which I am behind on but I want to follow through with the steps so I have the locality guide together as I think it will be helpful with future research. I am then going to go step by step and see if I can find her parents so I will have that set of 2X great grandparents complete. I also need to find out if anyone knows when she died.

A few months ago those sets of Great Great grandparents looked much different and I am happy to see the names beginning to flesh out. I have also been planning a little trip to the Bentonville Family History Center so I can tap into the Italian records they have there instead of using the Italian Website.

So these are the 2 things that have me super curious at the moment.

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 1 – Foundations

From Merriam-Webster

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.

52 Ancestors – Week 12 – Popular

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.

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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.

52 Ancestors – Week 11 – Luck

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.

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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.

52 Ancestors – Week 10 – Strong Woman

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Abner Preston, Sally Sawyer Preston

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.

 

52 Ancestors – Week 7 – Favorite Discovery

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).Screen Shot 2020-02-27 at 7.20.16 AM

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.

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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.Screen Shot 2020-02-27 at 7.16.27 AM

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.

Dr. Sarah larkin Beardsley

52 Ancestors – Week 6 – Same Name

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.