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.
Yes shrubbing out that tree and a DNA cousin have lead to a huge Rabbit Hole and it isn’t even a direct ancestor but when a good juicy story gets you hooked you follow.
I love a mystery and think I may of been a detective in a previous life. So I am working on shrubbing out the descendants of Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge and Olive Daby. Though I should also shrub out Benjamin Knowlton Coolidge and Betsey Black also since this family has some pedigree collapse going on and I discovered a triple cousin.
I am also working on creating a tree for my DNA cousin’s great great grandparents because I discovered a case of sisters marrying brothers, so we have a bit more pedigree collapse going on. Thankfully I have a couple of odd markers making the research go a bit easier with a somewhat common last name.
So one of my goals in the coming days is to actually work on some of my own research and scope out the Family History Center’s local to me. It will be nice to be able to access the records fairly easily. I have a list of records I need in my source box and my wonderful daughter said she wouldn’t mind going either. She likes doing research. I am thinking of doing a little 14-day mini-challenge, I did one last year with Nicole and Diana from Family Locket and Research Like a Pro and it helped me. I was able to find some great information and have a nice little report for it. The best part is it kept me focussed on one question.
So I am sitting here going down a rabbit hole and shrubbing along this tree, what are you working on in your tree.
So the past 2 days I have been answering some emails and working with DNA, if you know me I prefer digging through the records or traipsing through a cemetery than doing anything sciencey. Yes I made up a word. Anyway DNA requires sciencey work and while doing this I have uncovered a mess of what I call double cousins.
I am sure there is some correct term but my mind after very little sleep is not working at 100 percent capacity. Anyway my Daby and Coolidge lines are merging in more than one way. A DNA cousin messaged me and that lead me to Benjamin Coolidge and Olive Daby (Darby), who are my 3rd great-grandparents through my maternal grandfather. It also lead me to John Daby and Olive Bolton, who are the parents of Olive Daby making them my 4th great-grandparents.
This DNA cousin and I, along with the accounts I manage share several matches through these 2 couples. After getting some information I decided I should finish shrubbing out these 2 lines and maybe I would find what I was looking for.
Well I started with Miss Destina Coolidge who is the daughter of Benjamin and Olive. Destina married Thomas Bailey. Thomas Bailey had a wonderful obituary.
Sadly both Destina and Thomas died in 1902 only a few months apart. So in my shrubbing I learned that Lydia Bailey married a Hiram Daby. Hiram is somehow related to Olive Daby Coolidge Some ancestry trees have him as the son of John Lloyd Daby who is Olive Daby’s Brother but I haven’t verified it. I would venture a guess to say he is a cousin of some sort. Unfortunately his obituary gave very little family information.
Hiram and Lydia Daby had 2 children Maria who died in 1898 at the age of 21 and Warren. Warren’s Obituary was a beauty. It alludes to all kinds of family lore that I would love to prove. (Those documents are proving to be elusive. I have not shrubbed Warren’s children yet but at least I have the info to move forward.
Shrubbing these lines is going to take a while, I need to bring them forward from the 1840s through the present day and you have heard me all talk about the black hole that is Jay, New York. This will be a fun journey and hopefully I will discover some useful bits as I try to figure these things out.
Long time no post. I have missed writing to you all. 2020 was an eventful year to say the least. Besides living through a pandemic, our family re-located from New York to Arkansas. We lived in a rental from October 2020 until May 2021 when we moved into our forever home. So Genealogy was on the back-burner, I did a little bit of research but not much.
Well it is now time to get back to the things I love and genealogy is one of them. Yesterday and today I have been responding to messages and e-mails and the passion is re-ignited. Since I am not doing 52 Ancestors this year I am going to have to discover new things to write about but I do have a couple of ideas planned.
One thing I did find while I was going through some papers was the elusive marriage certificate for Robert B. Bass and Patricia Moran, who are the parents of Barbara Ann Bass. So Gerard’s Grandparents. This was a breakthrough I needed as the wrong parents are listed on Barbara’s Death Certificate.
The importance of this document means I can complete a supplemental DAR application for my daughter and she will have patriots who fought in the American Revolution on both sides of her family. This would of made her Nana laugh and proud.
I am a big proponent of family names and being named after someone. I myself am named after my 2 grandmothers. My first name is after my paternal grandmother and my middle name is after my maternal grandmother.
My daughter is named after myself, my paternal grandmother and her middle name is after my dad. My son is named after his 2 grandfathers. Samantha on the other hand is named after an American Girl doll and has my Mom’s middle name.
As I look back on the different branches of my family I can sometimes see different naming patterns. my 2X Great Grandfather’s name was Leslie Winchester Beardsley. In turn my great grandmother named her son Leslie Winchester Witherwax. My grandparents then named their son Earl Leslie Witherwax. The Earl for my Grandpa and Leslie for his oldest brother. Though for the most part my grandma did her own thing with naming her kids hence the reason all the girls had the same initials.
My husband isn’t named after anyone except his middle name is supposed to be his great grandmother’s surname but I keep coming up with slightly different variations of it. His brothers though do have family names, I love the history a name gives someone. I think it gives the strength of your ancestors to you.
So it seems like when life gets busy the blog is the first thing I let go. Oh well I am only behind 8 weeks or so.
I had my first taste of researching in cemeteries back in my preteen years, I was probably 11 or 12. I spent summers with my grandparents in Clinton County and my grandma was bit by the genealogy bug. We would spend a lot of time going to different cemeteries in Clinton and Essex Counties. I remember vividly even heading down to Rensselaer County and Valley Falls. My grandparents had a great way about them of getting people to tell them stories.
Until this day I still find outdoor cemeteries to be insanely peaceful. One of my favorite cemeteries is the Baker Burying Ground in Clinton County, NY. One of my Revolutionary War Patriots is buried there. Bezaleel Wood.
Cemetery stones and plots tell so much about families and can give you hints into their life and status. I have recently started visiting cemeteries here in NYC. I do not have huge amounts of Family buried here but my husband does and I have started researching his family in the past few years. I also took pictures of my Sister-in-laws family and boy that stone shocked me. I am excited to visit a couple cemeteries in Brooklyn and find the various relatives of my husband.
It was here in the Plattsburgh Sentinel I found these two clips about my 3X great-grandfather Beverly Beardsley, from what I can discern they were Methodist but whatever religion he went to revivals and he must of been involved.
This first bit is from 1888 and it was in the town notes for Upper Jay.
Next is from April 1901 and is the ramblings of someone sharing memories of their time in the North Country.
Newspapers offer us all kinds of clues into our ancestors lives.
Out of place what or who should I write about. Let me tell you about stumbling across this census record back in the day. It was probably early on in my Ancestry membership.
This is the 1880 US Census for 6th Ward of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
This census sent me on a merry chase. For years the only clue I had to my 2X Great Grandmother being a doctor was the MD following her name on her tombstone. When I found this census it provided another clue as I had no clue she was in Michigan at any point in time.
Leslie and Sarah Beardsley appear but it also raises the question of where is their daughter Minerva Ruth who should be with them as she is 9-11 years old at this point. The more informed I become the more questions I have.
I do not encounter Minerva on a Census until 1900 when she is married. I think she must be living with family but no clue where. The Beardsley’s were only in Michigan from about 1879 – 1886. I am always looking for more information on my Dr. Sarah I find her to be a fascinating individual for her time.
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.
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.
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.