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 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.

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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.)

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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.

 

The quest to clear an AIR!

What is an AIR? An air is this pesky thing in the DAR. It stands for Additional Information Requested and right now it is the bane of my existence and I am thinking a couple of research trips may be what I need to do.

Here is the situation. I am working on proving my lineage back to Benjamin Knowlton, who was a member of the Committee of Safety and Correspondence in New Ipswich, Hillsborough, New Hampshire. Benjamin was married to Phebe Wright.

Benjamin was born in 1728 in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts. He died somewhere in Oneida County, NY as he is buried in Sangerfield, NY.

Photos courtesy of Find A Grave.

My lineage goes through his daughter Sarah. Sarah was born in New Hampshire and I found a birth record for that. Sarah was married to Obadiah Coolidge in either Vermont or New Hampshire. (This is one of the things I am looking for.)

Sarah Knowlton and Obadiah Coolidge lived in Vermont and then settled in Jay, Essex County, New York. Essex County is my black hole for genealogy research. I lose several members of my family there.

Sarah Knowlton Coolidge died in 1832 in Essex County and is buried there. Her tombstone was erected by her son Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge.

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Photo Courtesy of Find A Grave.

My additional information request comes from the birth date on the tombstone does not correspond with the birth date in New Hampshire which I submitted as proof to the DAR.  So the requested I find the marriage record of Sarah Knowlton and Obadiah Coolidge or the will of Benjamin Knowlton naming Sarah as his daughter.

The Daughters of the American Revolution are sticklers for the documentation to prove the lineage. Benjamin Knowlton has several members under him but they all come through one child of his. He had several children who reached adulthood so this would open a new line to him. I am beginning to research sideways on this branch of the tree.

So I am thinking a research trip to Oneida County to see if I can find a will for Benjamin Knowlton or Phebe Knowlton may be necessary and then there is always a trip to Essex County, NY as there are almost no records on Family Search for them and there doesn’t seem to be many wills or deeds for the County anywhere before 1860 or so. I have 18 months to get my AIR resolved so if you have an idea or are researching these families, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to leave me a comment.

Have a great day.