52 Ancestors – Week 8 – I Can Identify

Plugging along with the 52 Ancestors prompts so I can be caught up and work on putting some other things out into the universe and work on them. The prompt for week 8 is I can identify. Many different takes can be taken on this prompt. I am blessed that my Grandma started our family tree back in the day when things were done in person and letters via snail mail.

My Grandma is the reason I am so interested in family history, I have very fond memories of traipsing around cemeteries as pre-teen and teenager with my Grandma and Grandpa.

Picture of my Grandparents, Earl and Frances (Stewart) Witherwax.

So for the topic “I Can Identify”, I decided to highlight a couple of my favorite finds from over the years.

  1. When I identified that my 2x Great Grandmother Sarah Larkin Beardsley was indeed a doctor. This was found via a google search. She attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

2. Finding the passenger list of my Moro Family coming over from Italy in 1880. When I first found this record. I did not realize that the Chiara listed there was my 2x Great Grandmother.

3. Another favorite find of mine is the marriage registration of my 2x-Great Grandparents. Michaelangelo Moro and Chiara Ludivico in Italy. I am hoping to find more Italian records because every time I find one it is always a sense of accomplishment, especially since I can’t read, write or speak Italian.

Michaelangelo Moro and Chiara Ludivico were married in 1872 in Lentella, Italy.

4. Another fun find was my second Daughters of the American Revolution Patriot. Bezaleel Wood. After I joined the DAR back in 2016 through my original patriot Lorin Nehemiah Larkin. I joined a bunch of different Facebook groups pertaining to the DAR and in one of these groups a member said look at lines right near the patriot. So I looked at Lorin Larkin’s Wife Christiana Cutler and couldn’t prove her father so I looked at wife of his son John. John’s wife is a woman named Sarah Wood. Sarah’s father is Bezaleel Wood my 5x great-grandfather on my grandpa’s line.

This is Bezaleel Wood’s information in the DAR Database.

5. My last favorite find is anything on my husbands tree. Everything on this is fun because I am totally flying blind with no one to ask questions of. So when I am able to find records that confirm my findings or hunches I am totally ecstatic.

It is also probably a reason that I enjoy using ThruLines at Ancestry as an additional hint because I know there is a connection somewhere due to the DNA and it gives me a starting point to figure out where the connection is in the documents.

I hope you enjoyed my take on the prompt I Can Identify, until next time.

52 Ancestors – Week 6 – Social Media

Yep another post today. This one is for week 6 of the 52 Ancestors challenge being hosted by Amy Johnson Crow. The topic is social media.

Social Media is a great tool to use in genealogy and I love connecting with family. Those of you who have been following for a while know that I love the <a href="http://&lt;!– wp:paragraph –> <p>Social Media is a great tool to use in genealogy and I love connecting with family. Those of you who have been following for a while know that I love the </p> NYS Historical Newspaper website. I have discovered so much about my ancestors and newspapers were an integral part of life back in the day.

I have discovered so many vital facts about my family from where my great grandparents were married in 1890.

to this query looking for the siblings of Jassiel Preston. I need to remember to look into this query and see what I can find out even if it is from the 1920s.

to this week finding the obituaries for my 2X Great Grandmother Ella Mayo Stewart. This first one appeared in the Plattsburgh Papers.

This second one is the obituary that appeared in the Massena, NY paper in the neighboring county where she actually died and is much more in depth.

I have been trying to break down the brick wall of who were the parents of Ella’s mother Jane A. West? I will break down my hypothesis in a future post. I think DNA is going to be crucial in deducting this so I am going to have to figure it out.

So back in the day, newspapers were the Facebook of the time. Also you can always hit me up on my social media if you want to connect.

52 Ancestors – Week 5 – Ooops

The prompt for week 5 is Ooops. This Ooops can be a variety of things, maybe an oops you made or an oops an ancestor made. It is wide open to interpretation and to be honest I currently have Brittany Spears singing in my head Ooops I did it again.

It took me the longest time to figure out this one and the direction I wanted to go in but I figured this would be a good time to talk about the 2 men named Beverly Beardsley I have in my tree. They are father and son. They are also combined in ancestry trees to make a huge mess but it is slowly being rectified.

Beverly Beardsley (1770-1815) my 4x Great Grandfather and Beverly Beardsley (1815-1898) my 3x Great Grandfather. My 3x Great Grandfather was born 17 February 1815 in Chesterfield Essex County, NY to Beverly Beardsley and Ada Curtis, he was the youngest of their 5 children.

I was able to piece together this tree using the probate books online at Family Search for Beverly Beardsley who died in April 1815 in Chesterfield, Essex County, NY. I need to get my hands on copies of the original file because I see the letters appointing guardianship to all the children except their oldest daughter who was married already. I would like to know what happened to his wife Ada and anything I can piece together to get another generation back. It is one of the reasons I love wills and deeds because it can really bring the person to life a bit.

Here are some records I stumbled upon that drive me nuts because you create if a mess if you do not evaluate dates. One of the tools I do like to use on Ancestry is the notes and tags because I do put things in my tree that I have a hunch on and DNA hints but am trying to get further back.

This is a Geneanet hint that I found a on Ancestry today.

Ada Curtiss is my 3x Great Grandmother. Wife of Beverly Beardsley who DIED in 1815. Child Ada Curtis Beardsley is his daughter who married Asher Stevens. Everyone else on this belongs to Betsy Blake.

Beverly Beardsley my 3X great grandfather married Minerva Winchester who died in 1843. Betsey Blake was his second wife who I believe he married because he had 3 small children. Leslie Winchester Beardsley, my 2x Great Grandfather, his brother George Curtis Beardsley and Maria Helena Beardsley Weston.

This is the Geneanet page that the Ancestry tree takes you to and it stresses me out to look at because it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Evaluation and reason come into play when sourcing your tree especially with people of the same name.

So be careful in perpetuating Ooopses.

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.

Breaking down some walls…

Today was a big day in genealogy research. New York City Records & Information Services released their brand new Historical Vital Records website.

Screen shot of the landing page.

Well I immediately went down a little rabbit hole and had the most success with Gerard’s family. I was able to get his family back another generation on one line which is fabulous. The other thing is the files are so crisp so it will be fun to go through the records I have to see if I can find better copies.

Here are the records I found and was able to get death dates for both of his 2nd Great Grandparents on his paternal side.

The first one I found was Martin Lynch who died in 1931.

Screen shot of Death certificate of Martin Lynch.

Best part is that it had his parents names so I hope to be able to find them in Ireland. Also states he was a resident of NYC for 50 years. I will try to see if I can find his grave in Holy Cross Cemetery also.

Next I was able to find Martin’s wife Bridget Larkin Lynch. She died a few years after her husband in 1935.

Screen Shot of Bridget Larkin Lynch’s Death Certificate.

I can definitely see this leading me down lots of rabbit holes and working on NYC lines. I am excited to see what I can find for more of Gerard’s family and what I can find anything new on my Dad’s family. Between this and the upcoming 1950 census I am super excited.

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.

14 Day Research Like A Pro Mini Challenge

January 14, 2021 began a 14 Day Research Like a Pro Mini Challenge. I love these challenges because I use them to focus on lines I am uncomfortable searching like my husband’s Irish roots or this time I am working on my Italian Roots.

Searching my Italian roots ought to be fun because I do not read or write Italian and my genealogy books are all still in the garage in boxes. I really should move those things upstairs and get a desk so I can get back to work but I digress.

Day one was to come up with a research question and my original question was going to be when did my 2nd great grandmother Chiara Ludovico die but I know she died sometime after 1902 and the records for Chieti, Italy only go until 1900 so I figured that would be a very difficult task.

Last night I was poking around my tree trying to decide on a different question and I ran across her marriage record to my 2X great grandfather Michelangelo Moro. I found some one who was able to translate it on a facebook group and I now have the names of Chiara’s parents.

Translation number 1
Translation number 2

Both of these translations gave me new information I did not have regarding both the groom and the bride. I now have the following questions and one may just become my research question for this mini- project.

  1. When did Domenico Moro die?
  2. Can I find birth records for Michelangelo Moro or Chiara Ludivico?
  3. Who are the parents of any of the parents listed?
  4. Can I find other records for any of the persons named here?

The other cool thing I found here is my Dad had mention San Salvo to me but we did not know where that fit in so now we do. Also we never knew that his Great-Grandmother was named Chiara before finding her on a ships Manifest in 1880. So this is going to be an interesting journey and while I like the Antenati website, I may take myself to a Family History Center to do this research as I will be able to save it on my computer easier and it is behind a wall. Thankfully the Family History Center is only about a 20 minute drive and has great hours.

So any ideas on which Italian Ancestor I should research next?

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.