Ancestor Profile – James Stewart

I have been working on filling in missing pieces of the family tree. especially shrubbing the tree out. This becomes especially helpful in the world of DNA. I have spent the last 2 weeks working on Gs family so I decided to look at one of my lines and see what I could do.

James Stewart was born March 1878, most probably in Clinton County. He is the sone of Joseph Gardner Stewart and Ella May.

He appears to live with his parents during all the census records I found him in beginning in 1880, 1892, 1900.  I really knew nothing about him until I found a picture on Ancestry of the July 26, 1927 Plattsburgh Sentinel about a Funeral for James. It was a fairly long obituary.

When I find things like this I head to one of my favorite sites NYS Historic Newspapers. So I performed a search of 1927 and James Stewart. Oh poor James.

James died in a horrific car crash. The following are 3 different articles from 2 different papers The Lake Placid News, The Plattsburgh Sentinel and The Plattsburgh Republican.

 

The Plattsburgh Republican had so many details (one of the things I love about old newspapers. It gives me the 2 men in the car with James. It gives me where his brother William lived in NYC (how did I not know that William lived here in NYC). It also told me the type of car a Nash Touring Car. I had heard of Nash, I even think there was a movie about them though I could be wrong. So a quick google search to see what a Nash Touring Car looked like yielded this picture.

Screen Shot 2020-04-12 at 9.09.09 PM

I think this is about a 1923 or 1925 Nash. Most of the pictures reveal that they were soft top cars. The guilt poor William must of lived with.

James Stewart died July 22, 1927 in Peru, Clinton County, NY. I am going to research and see if I can find the road they were driving on. I have probably been on it at some point growing up.

James Stewart’s funeral was held at the Redford Methodist Episcopal Church and he is buried in the Redford Cemetery from what I found he never married and never had children. He was 49 years old when he died and he should be remembered.

Tombstone Tuesday – January 21, 2020

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.

Beardsleytombstone BeverlyBeardsley

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.

Another Rabbit Hole

This week I have been going down a lot of rabbit holes. Currently I am in the beginning stages of my final ProGen Assignment. I have to write a narrative about an ancestral couple and their children. I have decided I seriously do not want to write about my Stewart Lines as there are just to many children. Seriously the Stewart Line had 8 or 9 and those Shumway’s with 11 seriously not happening.

So I was going to work on my Witherwax line but I may want to use them for certification. So then I was leaning towards G’s Scoundrel of a Great-Grandfather Henry Bass. (I love Henry, plus he has great material, Possible bigamest).

I finally yesterday had a calling. A certain ancestor was calling me and it is requiring me to flesh a tree out slightly and I want some insight into the Characters and I stumbled across in the papers. You know I love my papers. Thank heavens for the NYS Historic Newspapers.

I found this gem, when searching Maria Weston. I had to use her husband’s name Sylvester Weston but look what I found.BenjaminWeatherwa and MinervaBeardsleyThe Plattsburgh Sentinel, courtesy of NYS Historic Newspapers

In Chesterfield, May 10, 1890, at the residence of Mr. Sylvester Weston, by Rev. J.H. Bond, Benj. F. Weatherwax, of Valcour and Miss Minnie Beardsley, of Clintonville.

So how about those apples. Benjamin Weatherwax and Minnie Beardsley are my great-grandparents. I knew they were married in Chesterfield (I have their marriage license) but I figured they were married in the Methodist Church. Things like this put things together for me.

So as a hint to the relatives that spoke to me it was Mr. Beverly Beardsley. I figured he had something he wanted me to look for and I should listen.

It has been a somewhat productive week for rabbit holes.

Love the headline..

This weekend I was working on my Stewart Line and I stumbled across this obituary for my 2X Great-Grandmother, Ella Mayo Stewart.

ellamayostewartobit

Bang really in your face, a bit of sensationalism anyone. This obituary appeared in THE Plattsburgh Daily Press. Ella is the widow of Joseph Gardiner Stewart of the previous post. Back in the post Never Stop Searching I wrote about hearing on a podcast about searching neighboring counties and/or towns. Well this obituary states that Ella died at her daughter’s home in Massena. (I couldn’t remember if Massena was in Franklin or St. Lawrence county.) Thanks to Google, I found it is in St. Lawrence County.

A quick search of NYS Historic Newspapers for St. Lawrence County resulted in this Obituary.

Ella Mayo Stewart Obituary Massena Observer

You can find the full obituary that appeared in The Massena Observer here. This obituary had so much more detail that the other obituary. So it definitely pays to read and search the papers for neighboring towns and counties.

Joseph Gardiner Stewart (1851-1912)

Joseph Gardiner Stewart was born 4 Oct 1851 in Redford, Clinton Co, NewYork to  William Stewart (1811-1872) and Elizabeth Davis Stewart (1826-1897). Joseph Stewart is my 2nd Great-Grandfather.

Joseph Gardner Stewart

Joseph first appears on the 1860 census in the Town of Black Brook, Clinton Co, NY along with his parents, William (49) and Elizabeth (30), sister Mary (9), Elizabeth (5), William (3) and Margaret (11/12).

stewart1860census1860 Census from Ancestry.com

In 1870, Joseph (19) is still living in his parents household and they are now living in the town of Saranac. Also living in the house are Mary Jane (20), Elizabeth (17), William (14), Margaret (11) and Emma (11/12). Also listed with the household is Horace Wilson (21), a day laborer. (According to the 1900 Census Horace and Mary Jane were married in 1870).

stewart1870census1870 Census from Ancestry.com

In 1880, Joseph (27) is listed as the head of household. He lived in Garlick Falls, Clinton County, NY. He is married according to the census to a Hellen (21), with children James H. (2) and William (2/12) William is also listed as a jobber.

stewart1880census1880 Census from Ancestry.com

The 1900 census is a wealth of information for Joseph (51), it lists his birthday as September 1841, which does not agree with his first appearance on the census in 1860. He and Ellen have been married for 23 years and he is listed as a farmer and they are living in Black Brook, Clinton County, NY. Also in the household are James (22), William (20), Joseph (18), Gertrude (16), Charles (14) (my great-grandfather), Mabel (12), Ruth (10), John (8), Ethel (6), Samuel (1) and Henry (3/12).

Also living in the house are Nicholas Mayo (76) listed as a border but he is also Ellen’s father and George Soper (23) a servant.

stewart1900census1900 US Census from Ancestry.com

In the 1910 Census Joseph and Ella are still living in Black Brook with Ethel (16), Samuel (11) and Henry (10). It would seem the rest of the children had moved on with their lives.

Josephstewart19101910 US Census from Ancestry.com

Joseph Gardiner Stewart died on 25 March 1912 in Clayburgh, Clinton County, NY.

josephstewartdc(Death Certificate is part of my personal documents).

He is buried in the Redford Cemetery in Redford, Clinton Co, NY.

 

 

 

Emotions…

I am on a solo trip in Clinton County, New York this weekend. We are saying goodbye to my Aunt Sheila. I had plans to stop at the Essex County offices today but it didn’t happen.

I took a trip to Central Cemetery in Jay. I wanted to try and find the grave of Sarah Knowlton Coolidge. I wrote about her a couple days ago in my Brick Wall post. Well I got to the cemetery and was walking around when the skies decided to open up and rain down.

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She is here somewhere but in the rain I couldn’t find her and I didn’t want to chance getting sick. I did walk around for a few minutes and I did speak to her and told her she wasn’t forgotten and any guidance she could give me I would take. She died back in 1832.

After getting back to my car. The rains opened up even more.

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It was time to make my way to Plattsburgh, where I am staying this weekend. I was following my GPS and passed by the offices of the Black Brook and this is where I got the feeling I wasn’t alone. I went through this little road and I had the feeling of Deja Vu and not being alone and being guided. All of a sudden I was crying and couldn’t tell you why. I know this is going to be an emotional weekend with the family together sharing memories. This feeling carried me all the way until I hit the Harkness Methodist Church. Then I had a lifting feeling and as I passed the Harkness Cemetery I was more at ease and feeling more like me.

I know it was the memories of days gone by and those who have gone before me carrying me. I have had family in these parts since the 1790s, almost 230 years.

Tomorrow I am heading to the Clinton County Court House to see what  I can find. I have a list of 13 probate records I would like to look at but if I have to narrow it down. There are 7 that are most important. Also hoping to hit up the Clintonville Cemetery but we shall see.

I have tissues for the weekend and hopefully my ancestors will guide me this weekend.

52 Ancestors – Week 4 – I’d like to meet

This prompt always makes me want to smile. I spend a lot of time working on my family tree and when I do that I generally let myself listen to my gut and let it guide me because I feel that is my predecessors speaking to me.

I would love to meet the following people as I have a lot of brick walls to breakdown.

  1. My 3X great grandmother – Mary Shafer (Shaver) Weatherwax my question for her would be when did you die and where are you buried?  I know you died post 1880.
  2. My 3X great grandfather – Jacob Weatherwax (Mary’s Husband) and I would ask him when did he die and where is he buried?
  3. My 4X great grandmother – Ada Curtiss Beardsley – Did you get married after your husband died in 1815? Did you stay in Clinton County or did you move west?
  4. Ambrose Shumway my 3X Great Grandfather – Where in Canada did you reside? Why are you so hard to find? Is Nathaniel really your father?
  5. Domenico Moro my Great Grandfather why did you leave the United States and return to Italy and renounce your citizenship?

and to any of my predecessors who lived in Jay, NY in Essex County – Why are there no deeds or wills filed prior to 1845?

See lots of questions to ask. Hopefully one day I will get one or two of these questions answered and this is why I am planning those research trips.

 

 

Dreaming of Warmer Days & Research Trips

It is a rainy and rather dreary day here in Queens, I am stuck at work. I am dreaming a research trip or two.

I am at the point in some of my lines where I need a good old-fashioned boots on the ground research trip. I haven’t been to a library or an archive for my own research since about 2000 when I went to DC and visited NARA and the DAR Library. I decided today would be a perfect time to list some places I want to go and some research I want to do.

I understand family search has some of the probate records for NYS but I always feel the actual packets may be better than what is listed in the books. Also I swear some of my family was completely left out of the will books. (It may be wishful thinking on my part.)

  1. Day trip to Brooklyn, NY to hit up Canarsie Cemetery and Holy Cross Cemetery.
  2. Municipal Archives in NYC – would love to view the Coroners Report microfilm. Look at several death certificates and marriage certificates.
  3. Trip to Clinton County (I probably could spend a week or 2 here).
    1. Head to the probate court to review the entire David Weatherwax file.
    2. check to see if there is a packet for either Jacob or Mary Weatherwax.
    3. check for probate records for my Larkin family, Jehiel Beardsley.
  4. Visit the Baker Burying Ground, Gillaland Cemetery and Harkness Cemetery while I am in the area.Screen Shot 2018-05-02 at 3.39.22 PM
  5. A Trip to Essex County, NY to check on the probates of Beverly Beardsley who died in 1815, as well as the Beverly Beardsley who died in 1897. See if there are probate Packets for Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge, Obadiah Coolidge, Elijah Preston and both Abner Preston Sr. and Abner Preston Jr.
  6. A quick trip to Rensselaer County Probate Court for the entire Probate pack for Sarah Larkin Beardsley. This one I am rather curious about as Sarah died in 1886 and she predeceased her husband by about 30 years.

Eventually I would love to hit up the various libraries and historical societies but currently I need to be meaningful in my trips.

I would also love to head over to Oneida County to try to find the probate for Benjamin Knowlton and his wife Phebe Wright. I need to prove my Sarah Knowlton Coolidge is their daughter. I also need to find a marriage record for Obadiah Coolidge to Sarah Knowlton and that just might require a trip to New Hampshire.

I am dreaming of sunshine, summer days and the time to travel in New York.

 

52 Ancestors – Week 2 – Challenge

Well, it is onto week 2 of Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestor’s Challenge. As soon as I heard the prompt for this week of challenge, I kind of knew what I wanted to talk about. It wasn’t necessarily an ancestor but the Challenge of Researching in a particular time and place.

For me that place is the State of New York, particularly northern New York. Even more specific it is the counties of Essex and Clinton in New York during the late 1700s and early 1800s. ny_1822_carey-web

I often tell people that if there is a branch of a family that gets lost, it is usually mine. Particularly when they leave Vermont, Massachusetts or New Hampshire to jump across Lake Champlain to New York.

My ultimate black hole in New York State is the town of Jay in Essex County, New York.

essexco_1858_web (1)

Jay, NY has claimed many families of mine. As not many of the Essex County Records are digitized on Family Search. I seriously have issues that not many deeds or probate records until 1850 or so not being in the books…….this is going to require a good old-fashioned boots on the ground research trip, starting in the county seat of Elizabethtown. My hope is to find the those illustrious deeds and probate records for my Beardsley, Knowlton and Preston families.

While over in Clinton County there is a bit more online it is always worth getting the original documents on your own so a definite trip to the County Seat in Plattsburgh is worth the trip. I will also be reaching out to the Special Collections at the Library at SUNY Plattsburgh because I remember reading a letter my Great Grandmother wrote to her cousin and I would love a copy of it. (the age of cellphones is now upon us.)

clintoncountymap

One wonderful asset in the Counties of Clinton and Essex are the town and county historians. Along with the Town Clerks. I have found that pen and paper are still required at times to reach out to these resources. I am also most successful when sending a return envelope with postage.

One of my favorite resources for this portion of New York is the NYS Historic Newspapers site. It is one of my primary sources when researching here. It is also where I found my 2X Great Grandmother, Dr. Sarah Larkin Beardsley’s obituary that had eluded me for years. (You could read about that HERE).

Another great resource for New York State comes to us from the New York G & B. It is the New York History Research Guide and Gazetteer. I had heard about it but when I attended the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh in July 2018 I was able to see it in person and review it. Before I left the session that day I had ordered it. If you research in NY it is a must have. It has opened me to collections I didn’t know I needed.

One thing after 30-plus years of on and off research I have learned is New York State requires boots on the ground and thankfully now that my husband has retired (at least for now), I can possibly breakdown those brickwalls.

 

‘Twas the day before Thanksgiving

Twas the day before Thanksgiving and I have been focusing on family and the blessings of life as is the norm this time of year. I am thinking of those who came before and those who may come after. I am feeling incredibly blessed for all that I have.

There have been several of those family members who came before me that have been heavy on my mind. I can almost feel them reaching out to me to tell their stories.

Martha Winchester Beardsley, who is just a name on a tombstone in Clintonville. She died at the mere age of 20 but left 3 children behind. I know nothing but a couple of dates but I can feel here asking questions.

Arvilla Preston Shumway, who was married at 16, to a man almost 20 years her senior. She went on to have 10 children. What must her life have been like. I hear her story wanting to be told.

My own grandmother, Chiara Moro DellaVecchia, who was born in the United States and then went to Italy for 20 years before returning in 1938. What was the real reason the family returned to Italy. What must it of been like to come back. How had it changed.

We always here the stories of the men but what about the women. Their stories are just as important. Even though the records are sparse their stories need to be told. I so want to put together a profile of those families that speak to me.

I am not a writer and don’t profess to be one but I can feel the family before me asking me to tell their stories and now I need to figure a way to tell those stories and to share them. Our ancestors should not be forgotten and they should be more than the names and dates on a stone.

So today I am thankful for all of my family, past, present and future. Thank you for helping me be the person I am.