Last week I sent off my first report binder, this week I am humbled.


I received the following post on my facebook page.

From the absolute bottom of my heart thank you! You have given him the most precious gift. I cannot thank you enough. ❤️❤️❤️

I had the honor to trace my friends family back into 1870 Texas and gave recommendations of where else they could look. The proverbial 1870 brick wall came and I have names of people who were alive pre-civil war but lack information on where they came from.

It was eye-opening to try my hand at African American research and I am blessed to have a friend who let me dive into her family history.

The result was more than I could of asked for. I also know this family will be a pet project of mine as I have fallen in love with a few of them. I will just need to listen to their spirits as they guide me forward.





52 Ancestors – Cemetery

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Growing up I thought I had been to almost every cemetery in Plattsburgh and Peru. Nope not even close.

In 2016, while awaiting my applications approval from the Daughters of the American Revolution, I joined their Facebook Group and I learned about supplemental applications for other patriots you descend from. One of the tips was to look into the father of the wife or husband of your original patriot. Lo and Behold I discovered Bezaleel Wood. Seriously isn’t that the best name ever.

Upon discovering Bezaleel Wood, I saw he was buried at the Baker Burying Ground off Route 3 in Plattsburgh, NY. I immediately asked my mother where it was since she is a native of Clinton County and she had no clue. She had never been there. Let’s be honest we didn’t even know we were related to Bezaleel Wood until then.

A road trip was planned and we discovered the coolest cemetery ever. Well kept. Situated off Route 3 and sitting behind 2 houses. They should have the coolest Halloween Decorations ever. We found Bezaleel and his Wife Mehetabel Darby and a few of their sons. My Sarah Wood Larkin is buried in Shelters Cemetery.

The Baker Cemetery is peaceful under a throng of trees and I am so happy to say I am planning to visit soon. Oh and I did fill out one of those DAR Supplemental Patriot Applications for Bezaleel.

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Hopefully this summer or early fall. I need to hit the North Country for some research. I need to find that pesky Old Clintonville Cemetery where my Beardsley family is buried.  I find peace in these old cemeteries and do not want these extraordinary men and women forgotten.

Everyday I research my family the past comes a little bit more alive.

52 Ancestors – Misfortune

What is Misfortune? Misfortune can be defined as bad luck or an unfortunate condition or event.  Using this definition I had a couple of people come to mind. My favorite ancestor Dr. Sarah Beardsley who died at 39, tragically young. The more I got to thinking I thought of my Great Grandfather, Charles Edward Stewart.

Charles Edward Stewart was born February 9, 1886 to Joseph Gardner Stewart and Ella Mayo. He married Mildred Mabel Shumway on March 11, 1911. He supported his family mining. He was a miner on Lyon Mountain.


In 1927 he was severely injured in an explosion at the mine. There is a family story that the accident was a result of his brother setting the detonation too early but no proof has been found. His injuries resulted in the loss of his eyesight. He tried to sue for damages but there was no award given. stewart46anniversary

He was never in the best of health after the accident and he passed away in 1958 shortly after celebrating his 46th wedding anniversary.

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Never stop searching…

In 2017, I started listening to genealogy podcasts. Two of my favorites are Genealogy Guys and Extreme Genes, each one provides me with new things I may not of thought of or gives me an a-ha moment. This past week I listened to both and can’t remember which one said to look into the neighboring towns and counties to look for your ancestors in their newspapers.

My Beardsley line lived in an area of Clinton County, NY that borders Essex County. They are from the area of Clintonville. I had stumbled upon the obituary of Sarah A. Beardsley in the Plattsburgh Sentinel. She was a Larkin and they were in the Plattsburgh/Beekmantown area. She married Leslie W. Beardsley. Anyway back to the point of my post. Today I was researching on the NYS Historic Newspapers site. I came across this beauty of an obituary.


It really details her life. You can view it here. This obituary names her 15 year old daughter. It lists her sister Mrs. Thompson. It is genealogy gold to me. I knew a lot of these things from different pieces but it validates the research. I am in the process of transcribing the obituary for my tree and records. The obituary helps make Sarah a living breathing person.  The only thing that is missing from this obituary is the name of her Mother Ruth, oh and where Benjamin is but that is another story for another day.

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This is my 2nd great grandma Sarah A. Larkin Beardsley. She was a wonderful strong woman who went to medical school and blazed a trail for the women who came after her.

Never stop searching for stories of those who went before us because every now and then you will find answers to questions you never knew you might of had and you may find validation in research you have done before.



52 Ancestors – Lucky or Not….

I wasn’t originally going to use this post as a 52 Ancestors post. Then today I was sitting here going through the Deed books for Clinton and Essex Counties in New York State. To me this is the black hole of genealogy research.

When I go through these books I look for family names. I have been working on my Beardsley/Curtis line. I am trying to find out what happened to Ada Curtis after her husband Beverly died in 1815.

So going through the books I said let me look up Beardsley, Shaver (one of of my brick walls) and Weatherwax. Even though I know a lot about my Weatherwax lines I am looking to always strengthen the connection between Jacob and his father David who I intend to file a DAR supplemental application and prove a new patriot.

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 8.37.53 PMSo you will see this sad little branch of my tree, with George and his wife Hannah and then possibly Jacob as a father.  These blank spaces bug me, immensely.

I have very little on George except he was one of the earliest settlers of Clinton County. I got his wife’s name from the Weatherwax Genealogy book.


Then I know Jacob and Mary are the parents of my George Weatherwax as I have a copy of his death certificate listing them. I also have a copy of William Weatherwax naming them also.


Not knowing more about Mary’s family has bothered me for a while. It is sad how much women got lost into their husband’s identities when the got married. Recently, I discovered George in the 1850 census with a wife Hannah and daughter Elizabeth, their ages and place of residence fit into the Clintonville history I had read.

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Then I found the 1860 census with only Hannah and now Betsey aged by 10 years. I can not find Elizabeth/Betsey in the 1870 census yet. So she may have died by then or possibly married or who knows, it will be an ongoing quest. I have not been able to find a will for George. Essex and Clinton counties again have that black hole effect for research.

Today I feel that the luck of the Irish struck me as I found several deeds with George Shaver/Shaffer buying and selling land. Some of it with a John Shaver and his wife and some with his wife Hannah. The next few weeks will be sent transcribing these deeds to see if I can discern the family relationship a bit more. I would love to expand this tree and give George and Hannah some more family.

Wish me luck since I am going to need it. Here is one of the deeds I found in the Deed books, which I will say are becoming a huge reference for me. IMG_0969

52 Ancestors – Strong Women

There are so many Strong Women in my family. They tended to not sit on the sidelines but to dive right into the fray. From my Dr. Sarah Larkin Beardsley who went to medical school in 1880 and became a practicing doctor in Jonesville, Michigan before her untimely death in 1886.

To Hannah Bartlett Kelly who gave money to help fund the American Revolution after her husband died to my immigrant ancestors who left Italy to come to New York and left there families behind. Strong Women run in my family.13179014_586372354857763_4566421874198837288_n

To me the strongest woman I know was my grandma Frances Mary Stewart Witherwax. She was born on Lyon Mountain in 1922. Married my Grandpa (Earl Elmer Witherwax) in 1940 at Schuyler Falls at the age of 18 and he was 30. Had my mom at almost 20 and then 6 more kiddos followed. She buried 2 children, raised her family and ran the farm while my Grandpa, who was an operating engineer helped build the Northway. She then also buried 2 sons and she kept moving forward. She never gave up and never quit. She had a stroke when I turned 14 and she still kept moving forward and overcame it. She was not a quitter and I will be honest it has been almost 14 years since she passed and I still miss her daily. I hate not seeing her and sharing the expanded knowledge of our family. She is the one who started me on this crazy journey. She would be so happy with all we have found and what we continue to find.

Love you Grandma and you are in my heart and big part of who I am.

52 Ancestors – Heirloom

Every Week Amy Johnson Crow provides a prompt for the 52 Ancestors challenge and I will be honest I get stuck on them and ponder them and then do not write anything here for weeks. My goal is to not ponder them so much anymore and get moving and stay caught up.

So this prompt is for Week 8 back in February and it is about Heirlooms. My family was not really the type to hand things down from generation to generation. Seriously, the only thing I ever really wanted was my Grandma’s Genealogy papers and obviously those made their way to me. Every time I open the box I get the warm fuzzies.

If you know me you will know I am a sucker for the handmade, so I do have something that while it isn’t of great value to the outside world it means the world to me.


My mom made the pie plate and the floral coffee set. When we were cleaning out my grandparents house in Florida I asked if I could have them. I also snagged the Grandma and Grandpa set my grandparents used on the farm. I have no idea where they came from but I wanted the connection to them.

There is only one other thing in my house I took for the purpose of passing on and it is from my husbands family. I have a set of 6 little cordial glasses. I believe they are Waterford but am not sure. I will pass them to one of the girls if they want them though at this point I am sure they would rather have the Disney Art my husband and I collect.


Above is a picture of one of the cordial glasses they are tiny. Maybe I will use them one day as dessert dishes so they get some use. Things should be used and loved in my opinion. These are just objects it is the memories they evoke that are truly priceless.

Not my forte…

So I will be totally honest here, Irish research gives me a headache.  A big massive migraine. A great friend gave me a book on researching your Irish roots and I should probably break it out and read it.

I am working on one of my pro-bono cases to gain knowledge on report writing and researching things I am not accustomed too and Irish research scares me. I know I can do it if I could get over the fear but those Marys and James and Johns confuse the heck out of me.

I am working on finding the immigrant ancestors for this case and am proud of how far I have gotten to date on these. I am gaining a huge amount of knowledge into NYC records something I am not super proficient in but getting there pretty quick.

Now I am on to find those naturalization papers and ship manifests and I will call this one a success. After looking at the picture I am a bit aggravated by Ancestry putting the married name in. I should use my RootsMagic but love the convenience of Ancestry on the multiple computers I use.Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 4.48.20 PM

I was very happy for that one United States line that took me into Indiana. I was able to go back prior to the revolution on that one. May see if I can find the gateway ancestor on that branch. I went back to Maryland there.

I will be honest I love colonial/American Revolution research the best. Now off to find my final few facts and work on my reports.

Who Knew?

I was recently appointed the Reorganizing Society President for a Children of the American Revolution Society here in Queens. Tonight, I was working on my son James’ application and discovered something interesting.

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The Children of the American Revolution was founded by Harriet Lothrop. Mrs. Lothrop was the author of the Five Little Peppers series of books. She wrote under the pen name of Margaret Sidney. Mrs. Lothrop also ran her husbands publishing company after he passed. I am always amazed about the founders of both the Daughters of the American Revolution and now Children of the American Revolution, how bad ass they really were. They bucked convention at every turn. They did have their faults but they fought for progress also. So fun to learn something new and I remember coming across these books when we were at the farm growing up.

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I find it fascinating to learn about women who did more than just sip tea and crochet or knit. They were trailblazers.

Wish me luck as I complete the first 3 applications for our new Children of the American Revolution society here in Queens.

52 Ancestors – Valentine

Life got a hold of me back near Valentine’s day with things going on. I decided to take a different take on the Love theme. Instead of speaking of the great love stories of relatives. I decided to tell you about a family I have fallen in love with.

In heading toward a career in professional genealogy, I asked friends to be guinea pigs and let me research their families and practice writing reports with footnotes. I was immediately drawn to all the families I started researching. One in particular drew me in and has kept bringing me back. The Cameron Family.

This family has been my first foray into African American research and I am learning on the fly and falling in love with this family who has been in Texas for over 120 years. In someways African American research is the same as traditional research until you hit 1870. I think this is going to be my adopted project for a while but I am thankful for this opportunity and am blessed that I have wonderful friends who entrusted me with their loved ones.

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