Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Land Record With a Twist-Daniel and Jemima Benjamin Warner

My paternal grandfather’s family lived on Long Island since the late 1600s and within about a 20-30 mile area on Eastern Long Island in New York State.  Generations living in the same area has made it a lot easier for me to research a variety of records on many family members.  When I visit the area I schedule my limited time in several repositories of records where I search frantically for a variety of names on at least 8 family lines.  I frequently find documents that look promising, grab my copies and don’t usually get time to thoroughly look at them until months later.  This is the case with one such land sale document that I was able to find and get a copy of.  I enjoy looking at the records of land acquisitions and sales.  It shows what my ancestors were doing, where they lived and who their neighbors were.  I always get a chuckle, as in this document, about the references to boundaries being a tree, a hedge or a row of stones, etc.  I located this document from 1847 at the Suffolk County Historical Society in  Riverhead, New York.  It is part of a collection entitled the Ackerly Collection which consists of deeds, etc. that Mr. Ackerly transcribed that were held by family members and had not been recorded at county or town offices.

The population of Riverhead was reported as 2,373 in 1845.  In 1847 and today Baiting Hollow is part of Riverhead Town and about 5-6 miles away from Main Street. According to Seeking the Past, Writings from 1832-1905 Relating to the History of the Town of Riverhead edited by Tom Twomey with a chapter about Riverhead written by R. M. Bayles in 1882 the main occupations for Baiting Hollow were farming and furnishing firewood.  Abundant crops of grain, hay and potatoes were grown in the area.  The Supervisor of Riverhead was Sylvester Miller and Justice of the Peace was Nathan Corwin. 

Daniel and Jemima Benjamin Warner are my paternal 3x great grandparents.  They were born, raised 6 children, died and are buried in Baiting Hollow, New York.  (I believe Daniel’s father James Warner was the first Warner to live in Baiting Hollow.)

So, I located the following document that my 3x great grandparents were mentioned in.  There is also a Nathan Benjamin who I believe was related to Jemima.  I thought at first it may have been her father Nathan Benjamin (several generations were named Nathan Benjamin) but he had died in 1838.  As I reread and transcribed the document I thought, OK, it’s another piece of evidence about the lives of my ancestors but pretty ‘typical’… that is… until I read the last line.  I thought that was very different and very interesting!

Warner Daniel 1847 land transfer
Warner Daniel 1847 land transfer 2
click on image to enlarge

Transcription:  (I added in [ ] a definition to aide in understanding terminology)

This Indenture
made the third day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty seven. Between Joanna Hulse, Nathan Benjamin, Daniel Warner and Jamima his wife, Elkanah David and Sally his wife of the town of Riverhead and John Fanning and Polly his wife of the town of Southampton County of Suffolk and State of New York of the first part and Daniel Benjamin of the town of Riverhead County and State aforesaid of the second part witnesseth that the said party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of fifty dollars to them in hand paid by the said party of the second part the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have bargain sold remised and quit claimed [relinquish claim] unto the party of the second part and his heirs and assigns [someone with legal claim] forever ALL of that certain tract of land situate in the town of Riverhead being the west part of the north lot of the Woodhull place so called bounded southerly by the hedge which divides it from the land of Joanna Hulls westerly by the land of Daniel Warner, northerly by the land of Jacob Benjamin and easterly by a certain walnut tree and running a Course equal with the road and Warner’s line containing by estimation two and a half acres be the same more or less also on other trace of Wood land of the Woodhull place so called in Riverhead town lying between Daniel Warner’s land and John Fanning’s wood land bounded westerly by said Daniel Benjamin’s land and eathly by Elkannah Davis’ land containing by estimation one and a half acres be the same more or less together with all and singular the hereditaments [property] and appurtenances [accessories] thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining and the reversion and reversions remainder and remainders rents issues and profits thereof and also all the estate right title intres claim or demand whatsoever of them the said party of the first part either in law or equity of in and to the above bargained premises and every part and parcel thereof to the said party of the second his heirs and assigns to the sole and only proper use benefit and behoof [benefit] of the said party of the second part his heirs and assigns forever. In witness and whereof the said party of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals on the day and year first above written.
Sealed, Signed and Delivered
In the presents of
Nathan Corwin.
Nathan Benjamin L. S. [Legal Signature]
Daniel Warner L.S.
Jamima Warner L.S.
Elkanah Davis L.S.
Sally Davis L.S.
John Fanning L.S.
Polly Fanning L.S.
Suffolk County SS: On the ninth day of March one thousand eight hundred and forty seven personally came before me Joanna Hulse, Nathan Benjamin, Daniel Warner and Jemima his wife, Elkanah David & Sally his wife and John Fanning and Polly his wife known to me to be the Individuals described in and severally acknowledged that they had executed the within conveyance and the said Jemima, Sally and Polly on a private examination apart from their husbands acknowledged that they executed the said conveyance freely and with out fear or compulsion of their respective husbands.
Nathan Corwin, Justice of the Peace

Wow!  Nathan Corwin actually talked to the wives, separate of their husbands to be sure they were in agreement with the sale of the property.  I wonder if this was something that was specific to Mr. Corwin?  I have not come across this statement before and have looked at a lot of land transfers.  So often women were even left out of such matters.  I was pleased to see that their husbands included them and that Mr. Corwin made sure that their consent was given freely and so noted.

There were 2 markings I am not sure about in the original image and image.  I am hoping someone will be able to help me with these.  I am thinking is was a shorthand the transcriber used?  Perhaps something like ‘bounded by’ and ‘free’?

Once again I am very thankful for Mr. Ackerly’s foresight in transcribing these documents and for their preservation.  They definitely add to an understanding of my ancestors’ lives and the times they lived in.

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

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday Obituary & Death Certificate for Nettie Emily Coolbaugh Cornell

In a previous post entitled Searching for Nettie Emily Coolbaugh Cornell I researched the life of my maternal great grandmother Nettie.  At the time I had a year of death but no location of her death or a cause of her death at the age of 42.  When I initially searched I had thought she died in Spencer, NY where the family had lived. 

I found the family living in Spencer in 1920 in the US Federal Census and then in the 1925 NY State Census I found the family living in Ithaca without Nettie.  Many Public Member Trees on Ancestry listed Spencer, NY as Nettie’s place of death but I believed otherwise since the 1925 State Census was taken the same year of Nettie’s believed death.  After writing to both Tompkins County (Ithaca) and Tioga County (Spencer) New York and requesting Nettie’s death certificate I was finally successful!  Ithaca is where the family was living when Nettie passed away.


From Nettie’s death certificate I now know that she died at the Ithaca City Hospital (1).  I know the family lived on Floral Avenue (2).  I am guessing that the original handwritten record, most likely a ledger, must have been difficult to read because Nettie’s father is listed as “Fordyce M.” and his name was Portis M.  I know the informant was her husband William Cornell (14).  I know she is buried at Inlet Valley Cemetery (17).  This probably explains why her husband William, who would marry 2 more times, was also buried at Inlet Valley when he was living at the time of his death in Spencer, New York.  Did William buy 2 cemetery plots at the time of Nettie’s death? 

I was perplexed by not finding a ‘Cause of Death’ but rather a ‘Manner of Death-Natural’ (14).  I haven’t seen that before on a death certificate.  OK, so, she died of ‘Natural’ causes but what was her cause of death at 42 years of age?  After further correspondence with Tompkins County Vital Records I was able to determine that Nettie’s cause of death was Acute Nephritis.  Now, I have verified her location and cause of death!

While searching newspapers for Ithaca, New York on I found Nettie’s obituary:image
The Ithaca Journal 21 February 1925, page 5

Transcription:                                                        "Death and Funerals
                                                                                 Mrs. Netta E. Cornell   
Mrs. Netta E. Cornell died last night at 6:15 o’clock and funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the residence, 219 Floral Avenue.  Rev. W. H. Powers will officiate and internment will be in the Inlet Valley Cemetery.

She leaves her husband, William M. Cornell: three daughters-Mrs. Gertrude White of this city, Mrs. Bessie Williams of Interlaken, and Miss Edna Cornell of this city, besides three sons, Harold and Ernest of Ithaca, and Arthur who is in the Untied States Army.  She also leaves her mother, Mrs. Harriet Coolbaugh of Ludlowville and two sisters, Mrs. Amanda Cooper of Ludlowville and Mrs. Flora Burch of Towanda, Pa., besides two brothers, Lewis Coolbaugh of Philadelphia, Pa., and Charles Coolbaugh of Bedford, Ohio."

Remember when searching for obituaries that the name you are searching for may not always come up with a simple ‘search’.  I was searching for “Nettie” and she is listed in the newspaper as “Netta”.  When I just used “Cornell” I received anything in the newspapers connected with Cornell University which is also in Ithaca.  It took me searching through the individual pages of the newspaper starting with the date of Nettie’s death to find this obituary.  But what a fabulous find!  I now have the married names of her aunts, sisters and locations of family members at the time of Nettie’s death.

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

Monday, June 4, 2018

Southern California Genealogy Jamboree 2018-Friday and Saturday

The Southern California Genealogical Society does such an amazing job of pulling this Jamboree off.  This year was the 49th year they have done this.  The speakers were amazing, the venue is great and everything seems to run seamlessly, at least for us the attendees it always seems that way.  BRAVO and Thank-you to all the volunteers that pull this off!!  I know it is a tremendous job that takes hours and hours of planning and so much behind the scene work.  We do appreciate all you do!!

Friday and Saturday were the official Jamboree Days and the theme this year was Unlock Your Lineage.


Between Friday and Saturday I attended another 9 sessions and a workshop.  Here are some of the highlights of what I learned:

Friday began with a Breakfast Banquet and Thomas McEntee’s talk entitled How Do I Know What I Don’t Know?  Fast Tracking Your Genealogy Education.  Thomas started by reminding us that it’s OK to admit that we don’t always have the knowledge when it comes to researching and methodology.  He gave us tips on creating lists of where our knowledge gaps are so we can determine where to go to build our new bank of resources. 

                                                 Thomas MacEntee and myself

Annette Burke Lyttle’s talk was entitled Reconstruct a Life: Chasing Uncle William through the Wilds of Cyberspace.  Annette took us through online research of her Uncle William to determine his occupation in Laramie and how many wives he really had.  She demonstrated the techniques she used for answering her questions by using Wikis, Cyndi’s List, Google, Online Trees, digitized books and newspapers.  I think I prefer learning new techniques when they are demonstrated through the use of a case study.

Lisa Louise Cooke’s talk was entitled Reconstruct Your Ancestor’s World with Google.  Lisa is a great presenter who is very enthusiastic and easy to listen to.  She showed us several places beyond the typical Google search (such as; Google Books, Google Scholar, Google Patents, YouTube and Google Earth Pro) where information can be found about your ancestors that make your stories much richer.  I had heard Lisa’s talk last year about Google and YouTube and added some interesting clips (click on the links) to my post entitled Recording A Family Thanksgiving Tradition which I think made the story a lot more interesting.

Friday afternoon I took a 4 hour workshop with Blaine Bettinger entitled Visual Phasing Workshop.  Blaine walked us through how you can use your sibling’s DNA to reconstruct your Grandparents DNA.  WOW!  Can you imagine that is even possible.  After he walked us through the painstaking manual process for comparing the segments of chromosomes to make this determination he thankfully showed us a computer program that Steven Fox developed that makes this entire process soooo much easier.  The workshop was a pretty intense 4 hours but I was able to keep up, more or less,  and I understood why Blaine felt it was important for us to understand the process.  We all definitely needed a break after that.

with Blaine 2018Myself, Blaine Bettinger and Diane Gould Hall

Craig Roberts Scott’s talk entitled Civil War Medical Records demonstrated his depth of knowledge on the subject.  Craig took us through NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) finding aids for medical records that are often rich in genealogical information.  I had thought that the records I have on my ancestors who fought in the Civil War were complete and now I know I have a whole new untapped source to look at.

Lisa Louise Cooke had a Mini Power Session at the Genealogy Gems booth in the Exhibit Hall where she talked about 4 great apps that can help you with your story telling.  Several of them I will need to try very soon.
Diane, Lisa and I 2018
Diane Gould Hall, Lisa Louise Cooke and myself

I stopped by the Mayflower Society booth in the Exhibit Hall.  I have sent in my application to become a member of the Mayflower Society.  I asked if they knew of anyone who makes period dress for the Pilgrims and they informed me that in 2020 for the 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower the Society may be marching in the Rose Parade.  Sounds exciting!
Mayflower booth 2018

Annette Burke Lyttle’s talk entitled How Research Plans Can Up Your Genealogical Game really made me think about my ‘research plans’.  I have listened to discussions previously on Research Plans and have used them at times but I think you need to hear some topics over again until it really resonates for you.  Annette discussed coming up with that specific research question and how to identify sources that are available that my provide you with answers.  My big take away from this when I am researching in a new area is not to just hit the SEARCH button but to research all the possible sources of information in an area about a topic before I hit the Search button.  I kept thinking about my post on Mary ? King.  I have no idea whether she was born in Germany or in Pennsylvania.  The other problem is what records are even available to search in Pennsylvania in 1814?  Definitely a technique I will try with this question.

Thomas MacEntee’s talk entitled Secrets of the US Federal Census: How did Enumeration Really Work raised some really good questions about our probably number one source of information when we are researching.  Thomas, who is a great speaker, talked about how each of the Census’ had their own quirks, sometimes hidden information and the different ways to access the census data.  I use the census so much that this will really cause me to go back and look at the information in them with new eyes.  This was a great way to end Jamboree.

Some time with friends and fellow bloggers

There were several talks I would have liked to have heard but just not enough time in the day.  I was able to buy and download the talks for a fee.  Another great perk of the conference.  If you were unable to attend but think you’d like to investigate some of the sessions I attended be sure to go to Southern California Genealogy Society website and click on Jamboree and Buy Past Recordings to order yours.

Jamboree 2018
I was very pleased to get my first set of Blogger Beads on Friday night from Elizabeth Swanay O’Neal and the GeneaBloggers Tribe.

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

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Southern California Genealogy Jamboree 2018-Thursday


WOW!!  Three days packed with genealogy learning, connecting with old friends and making new friends.  It is always so amazing to be in an environment were there are over a thousand people who share the same passion you do -all in one place at one time.  The energy level was so high for all three days.  I am so glad to have today to reflect and relax. 

The Southern California Genealogical Society does such an amazing job of pulling this Jamboree off.  This year was the 49th year they have done this.  The speakers were amazing, the venue is great and everything seems to run seamlessly, at least for us the attendees is always seems that way.  BRAVO and Thank-you to all the volunteers that pull this off!!  I know it is a tremendous job that takes hours and hours of planning and so much behind the scene work.  We do appreciate all you do!!

Fellow blogger and good friend Diane Gould Hall and I drove up to Burbank on Wednesday night to avoid much of the LA traffic. 

Thursday was a special additional day where you could take part in one of two special tracks for the day –a course of DNA study entitled Link through DNA or a family history writing day entitled Love Your Family LegendsI choose Love Your Family Legends because I want to be able to write more interesting stories about the information I have learned about my ancestors. 


Here are some of my many great experiences for Thursday:

Jill Morelli’s talk entitled Just Do It! Self-Publishing Your Family History gave some really good information and tips about self-publishing and led me to believe I really can finally get my great grandmother’s over 100 letters from 1880-1910 published (see posts re Carrie’s Letters).

Lisa A. Alzo’s talk entitled Show, Don’t Tell: Creative Non-Fiction Writing for Genealogists discussed tips and techniques about how to share the factual information in more compelling and interesting ways so we can actually feel like we are walking in our ancestors’ shoes.  After this session I happened to see fellow blogger and friend Randy Seaver and told him I feel like I should go back and rewrite all my previous blog posts to make them more interesting…lol.  I can only hope my future posts will be more interesting.

Andrew Lee’s talk entitled Writing Compelling Family Stories took us through the understanding of basic story types, defining the basic story and the writing process. He left us with “A story is more than just a set of facts, a compelling story will transport the reader to the time and place and make him an observer to the events described.”  I think I need to have this as a sticky note posted in my work area to remember whenever I am writing a family story.

Crista and Susan Cowan ‘s talk entitled Writing Fascinating Family History One Story at a Time reminded us of the importance of writing down our own stories.  While we are so involved in telling other’s stories we forget about the importance of telling our own stories.  Mother and daughter team led us in a great fun writing activity where we got started writing our own stories.

Maureen Taylor’s talk entitled Photo Stories: How to Tell the Tales in Your Pictures showed us how to look beyond the person in the photo as we so often forget to do.  Even if you are lucky enough to know the names of the people in the photo there is so much additional information you can learn about their lives by carefully looking at the rest of the photo.  I used a photo my cousin Rebecca had shared with me of her great grandmother Ella Billard Terry riding in a horse and buggy that I will discuss in a future blog post.

Thursday night Diane and I decided to attend a banquet dinner where Diane Southard was the guest speaker.  Her talk entitled Rewriting History with DNA, Two Mindy’s, a Will and Country Music was an interesting tale of paper and DNA research to find answers to long asked questions and new family.

Stay tuned for information about Friday and Saturday’s classes.  If you have never been to Jamboree consider going next year for the 50th Birthday Bash!

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

Monday, May 28, 2018

Mary E. _ King

One of my paternal 3x great-grandmothers was Mary  E. _ King.  If I trace back on my paternal side this would be George Washington King’s father Louis’ mother. 
What have I been able to find out about Mary and can I figure out where she was born?  I have a lot of questions about Mary.

I first find Mary in the 1850 US Federal Census as living on the 2nd day of August 1850 in Brooklyn Ward 6.  Mary was married to Theodore King (see post Theodore King or Should I say Theodor Konig?) She was listed as 34 years old and her birthplace was listed as Germany.  She did not have an occupation listed and was listed as being unable to read or write.  At the time Mary and Theodore had 5 children: Catherine (15), Jacob (11), Louis (8) my 2x great grandfather, Mary (6) and Caroline (4).  All the children were listed as having been born in New York.
1850 Wards of Brooklyn Map from Wikipedia

New York State Census 1855.  On 23 June 1855 date Mary and her family is living in Brooklyn City, Ward 12, Election District 1, Kings County, New York.  Mary is listed as 37 years old and a birthplace of Pennsylvania.  She was widowed with an occupation of Wash Woman.  She had lived in the City for 12 years.  Jacob, Louis, Mary and Caroline were living with her.  Was Catherine married or had she passed away along with her father Theodore?  This census lists Jacob as being born in PA.  Hmm…did Mary and Theodore marry in PA?

New York State Census 1865.  On 1 June 1865 Mary was living in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York.  She was listed as being 48 years old, birthplace- Pennsylvania. Of how many children the parent of -7.  Number of times married –1.  Widowed.  She was living with Caroline (18), a Seamstress and Single.  They were living in a 2 family dwelling.  The other family was the Daniel and Catherine Lewis Family with their 4 children.  Interesting because the wife was named Catherine and the age fits that perhaps she was Mary’s daughter??  I’m aware of 5 children, so, who were the other 2?

US Federal Census 1870.  On 17 June Mary was living in Brooklyn Ward 12, Kings County, New York.  Mary was 55 years old, birthplace – PA.  Occupation was Keeping House.  Mary was living with her sons Jacob (30) and Louis (28).  They were living in a 2 family dwelling.  Mary is again living in the same house as Daniel and Catherine Lewis and their 4 children.

According to the 1870 Brooklyn City Directory Mary lived at 54 Wolcott in Brooklyn.
New York State Census 1875.  On 1 June 1875 Mary was living in Brooklyn Ward 12, Election District 2, Kings County, New York.  She was 58 years old, a Housekeeper, and widowed.  Mary was living with her son Jacob (39).  They were living in a 2 family brick dwelling.  Mary is again living in the same house as Daniel and Catherine Lewis and their 3 children.

I was unable to locate Mary in the 1880 US Federal Census.

Mary died on 6 August 1890 at 14 1st Avenue (on the second floor) in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York and is buried in Greenwood cemetery with her great granddaughter Louisa King.  Mary was about 70 years old at her death.  Her cause of death is listed as Old Age and Neuralgia.  I wonder if she was living at the time of her death with one of her children?  I noticed Mary’s death certificate was presented to her daughter-in-law Sarah King, my 2x great grandmother and the wife of Louis King who had died 3 months before his mother.  According to Louis’ death certificate he was living at 14 1st Avenue when he died, so, Mary died at the home of her daughter-in-law.

I was able to locate a lot of information about Mary but still have many questions.  From the census record I would guess, and still need to research, that: 
  • Mary was born about 1816—18.  I am guessing in PA since that is listed on more of the census records then Germany is. So, I still don’t know where she was born.
  • Mary and Theodore married about 1834 due to the birthdate of their oldest child Catherine.  Since I see Catherine listed many times in census records as having been born in Pennsylvania I am guessing that is where Theodore and Mary met and were married?
  • Mary came to Brooklyn in the 1840s is my best guess?  Catherine is reported to be born in PA as is her brother Jacob on some of the census records.
  • What was Mary’s maiden name and who were her parents?

With further digging I was able to determine that Catherine King Lewis was Mary and Theodore’s daughter as I had suspected.  Now I know her married name as well.

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


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sunday Obituary-Jacob Hamman

In a previous post entitled My First Naturalization Papers-Jacob Hamman written in April 2017 I wrote about what I knew at the time about my maternal 2x great grandfather Jacob Hamman.  I had some vague information about the family but I had Jacob’s naturalization papers.  Later in 2017 I would write about Jacob’s wife Kate in posts entitled What’s the Correct Information? and Amanuensis Monday-A Will but…Whose Signature is That?.  Even after all this information…I still had questions.  I still had missing pieces about Jacob.  I wasn’t sure of his birthdate or when he married Kate or even when he died.  That was until I finally found his obituary in the Remsen Enterprise newspaper on page 5 which was published in Remsen, Iowa on Friday, November 23rd, 1900.  Will this have some answers for me?

Hamman Jacob 1900 obit

Transcription:                                                             "Death of Jacob Hamman
Jacob Hammon died at this home in Fredonia township, very suddenly Sunday evening, November 18, 1900 of asthma after an illness of but a few hours.
Deceased was sixty-four years old and was born at Hesper, Granduchy, Luxembourg on the 25th day of August 1836. He came to America when a young man thirty six years ago.  He lived at first in Dubuque county where he engaged in farming. He was married thirty-one years ago to Katerina Hein, who still survives as his widow.
He came to Plymouth county twenty-one years ago, and after some time bought the place he owned by him until his death,
He leaves a family consisting of his widow and nine children: Nicolas, Lena Mauer, of Minn., Henry, Peter, Mike, John, Joe, Maggie and Francis all living at home or hear Remsen except Mrs. Mauer.
The funeral took place at ten o’clock on Wednesday morning, Rev. Father Schulte officiating.
The deceased was an honorable and upright man and was much respected by all the citizens of the community where he has lived so long, and who sincerely mourn his loss, and extend sympathy to his bereaved family."

What I’ve learned from his obituary:

I knew from Jacob’s Naturalization records that he was from Luxembourg but now I have a location: Hesper.  ‘Hesper’ in Luxembourgish and ‘Hesperingen’ in German.  Hesper is located southeast of Luxembourg City.

I now know that Jacob, according to his obituary was born on August 25th, 1836.

I now know that Jacob came to America about 1864.

I now know that Jacob and Kate were married about 1869.  Although in 1908 in Kate’s obituary it says she had been married for 40 years to Jacob.  So they may have been married 1860-1869?  Hmm, were they married in Luxembourg or America? 

I now know that Kate was about 6-7 years younger than her husband.

I believe Jacob and Kate had 12 children.  I now know there were 9 children living when Jacob died and 7 children living when Kate died 8 years later.

I now know that Jacob owned land when he died so I can search for land records.

I now know a death date, place and cause of death for Jacob: November 18th, 1900 Fredonia, Plymouth County Iowa and he died of asthma.

I now also know that Jacob was an “honorable and upright man and was much respected by all the citizens of the community where he has lived so long, and who sincerely mourn his loss”.  This is information I definitely cherish!  

By finding this obituary there was so much new information that I now have.  This was a GREAT find!

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

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Griffith’s Valuation-McKenna Family

After my last posts Researching the Land of My Ancestors-County Tyronne, Ireland and Felice and Sarah McKenna of County Tyronne, Ireland  I decided to see if I could find anything about them in Griffith’s Valuation. 

First, I need to understand what these records are:
Many Irish records were lost in 1922 when the Public Records Office burned, so, surviving tax records are particularly significant to my Irish research.  A valuation of taxable property in every parish in Ireland, called Griffith's Primary Valuation, was done between 1848 and 1864.

In 1825 a man named Griffith was appointed by the British Government to carry out a boundary survey of Ireland (Ireland is about the size of the state of Indiana). He was to mark the boundaries of every county, barony, civil parish and townland in preparation for the first Ordnance Survey.  Griffith’s Valuation in County Tyrone was completed on 13 July 1860. 

The valuation records list the name of the head of the household, the name of the landowner ('immediate lessor'), the acreage of the plot, the value of the property, and the amount of tax assessed. The tax based on the property valuation was used to support the poor.  Valuations were then made throughout Ireland approximately every decade.
So, knowing the place and date of my ancestor’s residence will be extremely helpful in my Irish research.  What can I find?

I found the following 2 records for 1860 in the Parish of Clonfeacle, County Tyrone:      (click on individual images to enlarge)


In the image on the left I found a listing for Francis McKenna (I believe this is Susan’s father) living on Killyman Street in the village of Moy.  (See the red box.)  Francis was leasing a House, office and yard from Maria Martin.  Francis’ total annual Valuation of ratable property was 4 British Pounds.

In the image on the right I found a listing for Felix McKenna (I believe this is Susan’s brother) living in the nearby area of Anagasna Glebe. (See the red box.)  Felix was leasing 2 pieces of property from Rev. Joseph Stevenson.  The first listing contained a house on the property.  The size of this property with the house was 4 Acres, 1 Rood and 10 Perches.  [30 1/4 square yards = perch, 40 perches = rood and 4 roods = acre]  This land was valued at 3 British Pounds, 5 Shillings.  The building on the land was valued at 10 Shillings.  The second piece of property was probably a field of agricultural or grazing land.  This size of this land was 1 Acre, 1 Rood and 15 Perches. The value of this land was 1 British Pound.  Felix’s total annual Valuation of ratable property was 4 British Pounds, 15 Shillings.

Some thoughts to ponder:
  • In the same area that Felix lived there are listings for 11 men with the surname Hughes (underlined in green) as well as other McKennas.  My ancestor Susan McKenna married Patrick Hughes.  Could these Hughes be siblings/family of Patrick?
  • I believe I have found a US Federal Census record for Susan and Patrick Hughes in New York City in 1850 but I wasn’t 100% sure I had the right family.  Living with them according to the census was a Susan Quinn of about the same age as my Susan.  I see there is a Patrick Quinn living in the same area as Felix McKenna, underlined in yellow on the right above.  Could this be family of Susan Quinn?  Was Susan Quinn a close friend of Susan McKenna?  Coincidence??
Even though my ancestors Susan McKenna and Patrick Hughes left Ireland around the late 1840s this gives me information about her father Francis and her brother Felix.  Since Felix appeared to stay in Ireland perhaps I can find descendants of his in Ireland one day.  Oh, so much more research to do…

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