Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday’s Obituary–William Marshall Cornell

I had believed my maternal great-grandfather William Cornell (see post Can Census Records Add to What I Know About William Marshall Cornell?) who lived in Spencer, New York had also died there.  But as frequently happens I was unable to find his death certificate through the Spencer Town Clerk.  Recently I found the following Obituary for William:
Cornell William 1962 obituary
from the newspaper Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York) dated January 28, 1962 and found on

I notice in the above obituary that there is a son Nathan listed, however, there was no son Nathan and son Earl is not listed. 

Research lesson learned...always look for an Obituary before you spend the time… finding the contact information for the Town where you believe your ancestor died, sending the required fee and personal information ...only to find out...your ancestor died elsewhere…ugh!  Now I know where to find his death certificate.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Can Census Records Add to What I Know About William Marshall Cornell?

I thought I’d take a look at how much information I can learn about my maternal great-grandfather William Marshall Cornell from the Census records I can find.
Cornell William young photo Cornell William photo
photos of William Cornell
William was born on 28 September 1879 in Alpine, Schuyler County, New York to Joseph Cornell and Charlotte Bailey Cornell.

William married Nettie Emily Coolbaugh (see post) my maternal great grandmother, on 11 February 1900.  They had 6 children-3 boys and 3 girls: Earl, Earnest, Gertrude, Arthur, Bessie and Edna (my grandmother).

1900 US Federal Census- 1 June 1900 in Hector Township, Schuyler County, New York.  William (19 years old) and Nettie (18 years old) were living with a Boarder named Guy Williams who I believe is William’s brother.  William’s occupation was Day Laborer.  He is listed as being unemployed for 3 months.  He and Nettie were listed as married for a year.  William and his parents were listed as having been born in New York.  Nettie and her parents are listed as being born in Pennsylvania.  No children.  All are listed as being able to read, write and speak English.  William is Renting a House.

1910 US Federal Census- 20 April 1910 in Genoa Town, Cayuga County, New York.  William M. (29 years old), Nettie E. (27 years old), son Earl J. (9 years old), son Earnest G. (7 years old), daughter Gertrude B. (6 years old), son Arthur B. (4 years old), daughter Bessie (2 years old), Father-in-Law Portis M. Coolbaugh (65 years old), Mother-in-Law Harriet H. Coolbaugh (60 years old).  William and Nettie married 10 years.  Portis and Harriet married 35 years.  William and Portis’ occupations were listed as Laborers on a farm.  At the time of the census William was working but Portis wasn’t (had been out of work for 4 weeks).  All can read and write English.  William rented a house.  Portis was a Veteran of the Civil War.  Nettie had 5 children alive at the time of the census and 5 children born.  Harriett had 4 children alive and 5 born.

From a newspaper dated 29 January 1920 “Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Cornell have received a letter from their son Earl, who is in the American Army in Germany…”
William’s wife Nettie died in 19 February 1925 while they were living in Ithaca, New York.

1925 New York State Census- 1 June, 1925 in Ithaca, Tompkins County, New York.  William (44 years old), occupation- Carpenter, son Earnest (age 23 years old), occupation-Chauffeur; daughter Edna (10 years old), at school; son (Census says Fred J.?) Earl J. (24 years old), occupation-Chauffeur; daughter (Census says Calise E.?) must mean Bessie E. (Census says 32 years old but Bessie was 17 years old then), occupation-Housekeeper; son Arthur B. (19 years old), occupation-Hawaii B. Battery D: 8th Artillery).  sister Gertrude was listed with her family right before William’s listing so they must have lived next door to each other.

William married Edith R. married about 1928 and they lived in Spencer, New York.

1930 US Federal Census-  22 April 1930 in Newark Valley Township, Tioga County, New York.  William (49 years old), age at first marriage 20. wife-Edith R. (43 years old), age at first marriage 24 years old, daughter Edna C. (15 years old), Arthur B. (24 years old), daughter-in-law- Genevieve A. (19 years old), (Genevieve and parents born in Idaho), step-daughter Hilda N. Kilstrom (13 years old), Hilda & mother born NY and father born in Sweden.  William’s occupation was Farmer on a General Farm, Citizen of US, currently employed and not a Veteran.

William’s wife Edith Rea Cornell died in Spencer, NY on 24 June 1933 at the age of 46.

From a newspaper dated 8 March 1934 “ William Cornell announces the engagement of his daughter, Miss Edna C. Cornell, to James J. Hammond of Brookings, South Dakota.  Date of marriage not set.”

1940 US Federal Census- 10 April 1940 in Spencer, Tioga County, New York.  William (60 years old) and Housekeeper Elizabeth Mead (48 years old), divorced.  Highest grade of school completed-William 8th, Elizabeth 5, live in same place, William’s occupation- Delivery Man, Industry- Coal. 

I was able to find some additional information about William’s life from newspaper clippings dated -
    • 22 June 1944 – “William Cornell visited his daughter, Mrs. Andrew White, in Ithaca, Sunday.”
    • 6 July 1944 – “Mrs. Iva Curkendall of Newark Valley visited her brother, William Cornell, last week.”
    • 22 November 1945- “Mr. and Mrs. Earl Cornell of California are here for a few weeks, visiting his father, William Cornell.”

William died on 27 January 1962, Waverly, Schuyler, New York.
Places William lived
  • I always find it amazing to see what I can learn from census records when I transcribe them.  It’s amazing to see the jobs William had, who was living with him and the places he lived.  It looks like in each census he was living in a different place.
  • A map of the areas that my ancestors lived always helps me understand where they lived.
  • I was also able to find some newspaper clippings that add to the story.
  • I wonder where and how William and Nettie Cornell met?
  • William lived his life within the boundaries of a relatively small area of Upstate New York.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday-Daniel and Eleanor Warner

Warner Daniel Eleanor 1895 gravestone
Daniel Warner
Born   June 9, 1818               Died   June 15, 1895
Eleanor Howell
His Wife
Born   May 15, 1825                  Died   March 7, 1895

Baiting Hollow Cemetery, Baiting Hollow, Suffolk County, New York
(See previous post on Eleanor Howell Warner)

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Eleanor Howell Warner

When I was growing up there were times when I would go for Sunday afternoon rides with my paternal grandparents Agnes and Olin Warner.  I remember one time when we wound up at the Baiting Hollow Cemetery.  I walked around with my Grandfather and he pointed out various stones and told me who people were and how we were related.  (Oh, how I wish I’d written things down but I was probably about 10-12 years old.)  I remember him showing me his grandparents graves and saying how Daniel so missed his wife Eleanor when she died that he died about 6 months later.  I remember him telling me that Daniel needed a pulley system at the end to help him get out of his chair. 

What do I know about Eleanor:
Eleanor (Howell) Warner photo (2)
Eleanor Howell Warner

My paternal great-great grandmother Eleanor Howell Warner was born 15 May 1825 to Jemima Luce Howell and Daniel Howell in Baiting Hollow, Suffolk, New York.
At the age of 17 years old Eleanor married Daniel Warner, also of Baiting Hollow, on 19 October 1841. 

Warner Daniel Eleanor 1841 marriage Bible
This is from Eleanor’s Bible.  I wonder if this is her handwriting?

Eleanor and Daniel (see post) had 13 children: Allen Monroe, Francis Maria, Josephine Amelia, Martha Rosalie(see blog post), Eunice Elizabeth, Mary Agnes, Julia Howell, Waldo Daniel, Charles Henry, Eleanor Blanche, John Benjamin, Eugene Goldsmith, and Franklin Everett.  All lived to adulthood and married except Josephine who died at age 2 and Julia who died at age 18.

Justine Warner Wells, great grand-daughter of Daniel & Eleanor, reported in her book The Descendants of Daniel Jr. & Eleanor Howell Warner of Baiting Hollow LI, NY and the Warner Ancestors in England and America “The home that the Warners occupied and in which THE 13 may have all been born was situated on the North Road, the main route passing by fertile fields and farmhouses.  Likely built by Daniel himself, with the help of neighbors and relatives; it was a simple three-bay home with a half-house extension to the side.  The central chimney, a handsome doorway and under-eave trim add a touch of beauty to the structure.  It still stands, moved twice, now on Osborn Ave. 1/2 mile from its original site.”

Eleanor died at the age of 69 years old on 7 March 1895.  She was married for 54 years to Daniel who died 3 months after her.

Warner Eleanor Howell 1895 death notice
from the Riverhead News dated 7 March 1895
  • I hope to one day be able to actually see Eleanor’s Bible in person.
  • I wish I could find more pictures of Eleanor. 
  • I have been in the house that was believed to be their home.
  • I believe the teapot in Sentimental Sunday-The Teapot (see post) probably belonged to Eleanor either as a Wedding gift or purchased when she set up her own home.                       
                                          This May 15th is the 192nd Anniversary of Eleanor’s birth.  Happy Birthday!!
old fasioned flower bouquet

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Monday, April 24, 2017

Who Was John Bentz?

In the early 1990’s my son and I traveled to Germany to see a dear friend of mine and her family.  She had told us to fly in to Luxembourg because it would be easier for them to pick us up since they lived in north western Germany.  As I purchased our plane tickets I had no idea that I had ancestors from Luxembourg.  Just before we left I found out that my ‘German’ ancestors were really from Luxembourg but I had no idea what part at that time.  What a surprise!! I remember traveling around the northern part of Luxembourg and noticing how green and beautiful it was in April.  I kept wondering ‘why’ had they left such a gorgeous place?

John Bentz was my maternal 2x great-grandfather.  There is still so little that I have been able to discover about John or Johan.
John was reportedly born in Weiler-la-Tour, Luxembourg in 1821 to Wilhelm Bentz and Maria Petesch Bentz.
Lux highlighted
I believe he married Maria Margareta Robin/Rovin 20 November 1855 in Luxembourg.  I find it interesting that later in several of the census records it states that they were both born in Luxembourg, however, John’s native language is listed as French and Maria’s is listed as German.

John and Maria had 6 children; John Nicholas (born in Luxembourg about 1856), Clara (born in Luxembourg 1860), Catherine (born in Luxembourg 1862), Nicholas (born in Dubuque, Iowa 1863), Jacob (born in Cascade, Dubuque, Iowa 1869), Suza/Susan born in (Worthington, Dubuque, Iowa 1878).  (Suza is my maternal Great-Grandmother).

1870 US Federal Census for Cascade Township, Dubuque County, Iowa 22 June 1870.  John Bentz, 50 years old, occupation-Farrmer, value of Personal Estate $300.  John was living with his wife Mary (36 years old), son John (14 years old-born Luxembourg), daughter Clara (10 years old-born Luxembourg), Catherine (8 years old-born Luxembourg), Nicholas (7 years old-born Iowa), Nicholas (5 years old-born Iowa), Jacob (11 months old-born Iowa).  Education-John and Mary are listed as not being able to read or write.  The children, with the exception of Jacob, are all listed as being in school.

1880 US Federal census for Worthington/Dubuque, Dodge County, Iowa 14 June 1880.  John Bentz, 59 years old, occupation-day laborer, born in Luxembourg as well as both parents.  Living with wife Mary (46 years old), son Jacob (10 years old) and daughter Suza (age 3).

From Wikipedia I learned that “Between 1860 and 1880, Dubuque was one of the 100 largest urban areas in the United States.”  “Beginning in the mid-19th century and into the early 20th century, thousands of poor German and Irish Catholic immigrants came to the city to work in the manufacturing centers.” 

According to Suza’s obituary in 1908- “Susan Bentz was born in Worthington, Iowa, August 20, 1878. When 8 years old her parents moved to LeMars and later, about 16 years ago, they moved to Remsen.”  That would have put the family in Remsen, Iowa about 1882.

Wikipedia states-“Remsen was incorporated in the spring of 1889. The population in 1885 was given at 650, of whom 400 were American born.  Remsen was settled by mostly Luxembourg immigrants. Plagued by religious persecution, unwelcome Prussian military conscription and economic limitations, the early immigrants left their native land to start a new life in the land of opportunity now called Remsen.  Remsen citizens retained their Luxembourg traditions of deep religious faith and loyal, energetic, hard working and fun loving style.”  
rr map of iowa
1881 Iowa Railroad Map found at the Library of Congress

I thought I should look at railroad lines in Iowa after I looked at the histories of Dubuque and Remsen because they both talked about being near railroad lines.  I thought about several of the cities I have come across while researching and found them all very near one particular railroad line:
rr map of Iowa with cities

Unfortunately, John Bentz and Mary Margaret seem to be rather common names which makes the searching difficult at times.  Their son John Bentz also married a Mary which, until I realized this, I had father and son information as one person.  Same with Mary Robin and Mary Wanderscheid.  Very confusing at times, to say the least.
Some thoughts: 
  • I have been unable to find John’s Naturalization paperwork or locate the ship he and his family traveled in to come to the Untied States.  This will definitely take further research and access to records in Luxembourg.
  • John, Mary and family were in Luxembourg in 1862 for the birth of Catherine but in Iowa by 1863 for Nicholas’ birth.  They must have come directly to Iowa upon their arrival in the United States.  Were they following other family members or someone they knew from their home town?
  • Learning about the history of the towns and the area adds a lot to the story of John and his family.
  • I wonder if John was a farmer in Luxembourg? 
  • I wonder why John stopped farming and turned to ‘day labor’ work?
  • Wish I could find a picture of John and family.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sarah Maria Barry King

I have this picture of my paternal 2X great-grandmother Sarah Maria Barry King but what can I learn about her?  What information can I find that will help me build the story of her life?
King Sarah Barry

What I have learned about Sarah:
  • Sarah’s parents were Ebenezer and Catherine Bolin Barry.  Her father was Swedish and her mother was Irish/English(born in Gibraltar).  She was the oldest of 7 children.
  • Sarah was born in Brooklyn, New York  on the 20th of  November 1851.
  • Sarah married Louis King (see post Who Was Louis Arthur King) on the 25th of December 1870 at Christ Chapel in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Sarah and Louis had 6 children: Sarah E., Louis Arthur, William Henry, George Washington (my great-grandfather), Walter and Katie.
  • Louis died in 1890 leaving Sarah with 6 children ranging in ages from 18 to 7 years old.  They lived at 14 First Avenue, Brooklyn.
  • In the New York State Census 1892 – Sarah is 40 years old.  Sarah, Louis, William, George, Walter and Katie are living with her.  They are living on 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.  Her father Ebenezer appears to be living with her sister Amelia King Sundstrum and her family very nearby since they are all on the same census page.
  • As of May 1st 1896 Brooklyn, NY City Directory -      King, Sarah   wid(ow) Louis  h(ome) 32 1st Av   (George, William, Walter, Arthur are living at the same address.
  • As of May 1st 1897 Brooklyn, NY City Directory -      King, Sarah   wid(ow) Louis     h(ome)   32 1st Av  (Only Walter seems to be living with her)
  • In the New York State Census 1905 – Sarah was 53 years old. Louis, William, Walter and Katie are living with Sarah in Brooklyn Ward 08, Kings, New York.  Sarah’s occupation was listed as ‘Housework’.  Residence on Forty Ninth Street. 
  • In the 1910 US Federal Census – Sarah was 58 years old.  Louis and William are living with her.  She rents a house.  She gave birth to 6 children and 6 children still living.  She is living on 49th Street in Brooklyn, NY.
  • In the New York State Census 1915 – Sarah is 63 years old.  Louis and William are living with her.  She is listed as having no occupation.  Residence on Forty Ninth Street
  • In the 1920 US Federal Census – Sarah is 68 years old.  Louis and William are living with her.  She is living on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.  She is listed under Occupation as None.  It states she can speak English.
  • In the New York State Census 1925 - Sarah is 73 years old.  Louis (age 51) and William (age 49) are living with her.  Residence is on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, NY.  Block #3, Election District #22, Assembly District #3.

Sarah died at the age of 74 on the 29th of March 1926 of Chronic Nephritis with Arteriosclerosis, Contributory Pulmonary Edema.

She is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.  She is buried in Grave # 138 in Lot 21347 a single grave area, of Section 206/207 with husband Louis and granddaughter Louisa King.

In summary:
Sarah lived a long life.  She was married for 20 years and raised 6 children on her own after her husband died.  They stayed near family in Brooklyn and even though they occasionally moved they still remained in the same area of Brooklyn.  Two of her sons remained living with her and supporting her until her death.  She never remarried.

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,

Sunday, April 2, 2017

My First Naturalization Papers-Jacob Hamman

Most of the ancestors I grew up knowing about had been in the United States since the 1600 and 1700s so there was no need for them to apply for Citizenship since they were here at the beginning.

My first Naturalization papers wound up being for my maternal great-great-grandfather- Jacob Hamman.  Armed with his Naturalization papers I wondered what I could learn about Jacob?  (Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of Jacob.)

What I have learned about Jacob:

Jacob was born in Luxembourg in July 1839.

Jacob and Kate (Catherine Hein Hammond) were married about 1860.  Not sure where.

Jacob filed his ‘First Papers’ or Declaration of Intention to become a citizen of the United States in Plymouth County, Iowa on 23 October 1880 stating his Nativity was Luxembourg.  First Papers could be filed any time after arriving in the United States.  He was the only person to file a Declaration of Intention on this date in Plymouth County, Iowa.  In reviewing the list of those filing First Papers in Plymouth County, Iowa from 1871-1888 I am seeing other people from Luxembourg but no other families with the last name of Hamman.
Hamman Jacob 1880 first papers
State of Iowa, Plymouth County-SS
Before the undersigned, Clerk of the District Court in and for said County, personally appeared Jacob Hammond, a native of Luxembourg and makes solemn oath that is is bona-fide his intention to become a Citizen of the United States, and to renounce and abjure forever, all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Power, Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatever, and particularly allegiance to The Grand Duke of Luxemburg of whom he was heretofore a subject.
                                                                                                                                                                  Jacob Hammond
Sworn to and subscribed before me, by Jacob Hammond this 23rd day of Oct. A.D. 1880
                                                                                                                                                                   W. S. Welliver  Clerk
LeMars, Iowa  Plymouth County  1st Papers  Vol. I  page 36

Jacob was granted Citizenship in the United States of America 25 Oct 1882.  His ‘Second Papers’ were filed in Plymouth County, Iowa.  ‘Second papers’ were the record of the granting of citizenship to persons who had previously filed first papers or who made a declaration of intent at least 2 years previously.  Individuals had to live in the United States continually for 5 years.  To have citizenship granted in Iowa the individual had to have lived in Iowa for at least 1 year.  So, Jacob had to have been living in the US by 1877 at the least.
Hamman Jacob 1882 Naturalization papers
Naturalization Record
State of Iowa, Plymouth County
Be it remembered, That at a Term of the District Court holden in and for said County , at the Court House therein, on the Twenty fifth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Eighty two, was present the Honorable C. H. Lewis Presiding Judge, Gus Haerling Sheriff of said county and W.S. Welliver Clerk of said Court, whom the following, among other proceedings were had: Jacob Hamman a native of Luxembourg and at present,, residing within said State, appeared in open Court, and makes application to be admitted to become a Citizen of the United States, and it appearing to the satisfaction of the Court that he had declared an oath, before W. S. Welliver Clerk District Court Plymouth County Iowa a  court of record having common law jurisdiction, and using a Seal, two years at least before his admission, that it was bona-fide his intention to become a Citizen of the United States, and to renounce forever all allegiance to any foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly to The Grand Duke of Luxembourg of whom he was heretofore a Subject And said applicant having declared an oath before this Court that he will support the Constitution of the United States, and that he doth absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Prince, Potentate, State or Sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly to The Grand Duke of Luxembourg of whom he was heretofore a Subject.  The Court being satisfied that said applicant has resided within the United States for the term of five years next preceding his admission, without being at any time during the said five years out of the territory of the United States, and within this State one year at least; and it further appearing to the satisfaction of this Court, that during that time he has behaved as a man of good character, attached to the principals of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the same.
Thereupon the Court admitted the said Jacob Hamman to become a citizen of the United States, and ordered all the proceedings aforesaid to be entered of Record, which was accordingly done by the Clerk of this Court.
In Testimony Whereof, W. S. Welliver Clerk of the Court aforesaid, have hereunto set my hand, and affixed the Seal of said Court at office in said county, this the 25th day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Eighty two and of the American Independence the 106th year.
                                                                                                                                                                    W.S. Welliver, Clerk
Plymouth County, Iowa  Vol. I  Page 312
In the 1900 US Federal Census (8 Jun1900)  Jacob (60 yo) and wife Kate (55) are living in Fredonia, Plymouth, Iowa with children Mike (22 yo), John (17 yo), Jo (15 yo), Maggie (16 yo), Francis (7 yo).  Jacob is listed as a Farmer who can read, write and speak English.  He owned his farm and had a mortgage on it.  He was 60 on the farm schedule.  Year of Immigration 1862,  He is listed as being in the US for 37 years.  Number of years married 40.  (So he and Kate must have been married before they came to the United States??)

Jacob and Kate/Catherine had 8 children (as best as I can figure out): Arthur (b. 1869),  Nickolaus (b. 1873), Henry (b. 1873) (my great-grandfather), Michael (b. 1877), John Paul (b. 1883), Joseph (b. 1884 ), Margaretha/Maggie (b. 1888), and Francesa/Frances (b. 1893).

Jacob died 18 November 1900 in Fredonia Tp, Plymouth Iowa at the age of 65 years 3 months 9 days (that would make birth in 1835?) of Asthma.  Buried in Remsen, Iowa at St. Mary’s Cemetery.  (I find it interesting that 5 months before Jacob’s death on the US Federal Census it states he is 60 but on his death record it states he is 65.  I wonder who gave the information for the Federal Census?)

Thoughts and Questions:
  • I find it interesting that on Jacob’s first papers his name is spelled as ‘Hammond’ but on his Naturalization papers it is spelled as ‘Hamman’ by the same Clerk of the Court.
  • I have had Jacob’s Naturalization papers since the early 1990s when I learned he was from Luxemburg and not Germany as previously thought.  It wasn’t until I transcribed them this week that I really thought about what Jacob was giving up to become a Citizen of the United States.  Did he find what he was looking for in the US? 
  • I wonder what brought Jacob to America?
  • I wonder why Jacob wound up in Plymouth County, Iowa?
  • Did he miss Luxemburg?  Did he leave family behind that he missed?
  • Why can’t I find him in any of the Iowa State Census records?
There seems to be so little information available that I can find on Jacob.  Will have to do some deeper research, perhaps at the Iowa State Archives??

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,